Monday, October 25, 2010

Personalized Aisle Runner Tutorial

Our personalized runner was by far my favorite wedding detail. A few weeks before my wedding I wanted to incorporate something personalized into our wedding decor. I came across the Original Aisle Runner and from the moment I saw it, I knew I had to have one. Back then I didn't know of anyone else really making them and well, since they were the "originals" I went for it. These women did an amazing job in a short amount of time. They were so helpful and flexible--I really did adore the final result as well as working with them. The runner for our wedding was gorgeous.

Anyway, fast forward three years and a bride I know wanted a personalized runner but was dealing with some tight budget constraints and even less time (a little over a week before the wedding). She saw some things I had made in the past and wondered if I could personalize a runner for her. Although I had never made one before, I was so excited about the challenge! My mind raced thinking, "should I use a projector to project the image on to the runner? Or, trace the image then paint?" Then, I remembered! I should try the freezer paper technique I saw over at MADE. ( Dana gives great directions, so I suggest you go over there to get a full understanding of the process from her blog.)

There are many techniques to use, but I knew my hands weren't that steady, especially after a couple shots of caffeine and holding my cuddly infant all day. So I decided I'd rather use my shaky hands to cut out a stencil rather than paint freehand on the runner and ruin it. Below is how I used a freezer paper stencil to create a personalized aisle runner.

Poster sized Monogram
Fabric Paint
Exacto Knife
Freezer Paper
Paint Brushes
Patience (and maybe a baby sitter)

Create a monogram and have it blown up poster size. I had this done at Staples for $4.

Trace your image on the freezer paper (shiny side down). I did this in two sections. Because the middle initial and scroll would be a different color than the other initials.

While tracing the letters I wrote "save" on the inside areas of the letters I needed to keep- I also noted what letter they belong to. As you are throwing away paper these can easily be mistaken as scraps.

See why its important to keep those inside parts...those little scraps can make or break the whole thing!

Measure the aisle runner and decide where you want the monogram placed. Then unroll your runner and measure. As I unrolled one end I rolled up the other to protect it from little toddler feet waiting to trample it.

I ironed down my first stencil. And replaced the "inside pieces."

Next I began painting, being sure to place something underneath to protect my work surface (wax paper, freezer paper shiny side up, or cardboard should prevent leaks and sticking. Don't use a towel like me! ). Now, the hardest part was drying because my daughter is a cat napper I had to move quickly. I decided to use a blow dryer to dry between layers. I would suggest avoiding this if possible, I believe the dryer made the freezer paper buckle making more touching up necessary.

When it was all dry I peeled the freezer paper and did a happy dance. As expected, there were a few places I needed to touch up.
(Also, note the towel underneath my runner: do not copy ... I had to learn the hard way).

I then lined up my second stencil and ironed it on, being careful not to iron directly on the painted area.

Painted my second stencil... blow-dried, peeled, and happy danced.

The final product.

I wanted to add a little more to the runner, so I took the last part of a poem from the wedding program and painted it towards the top of the runner. I tried to make a stencil but quickly gave up because of all the small pieces. Instead, you can trace your letters SHINY SIDE UP, place it underneath your runner, tape it down and paint directly on top. This way worked out well for the smaller font but I think I prefer the stencil for the larger letters.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sweet Words Giveaway!

Sometimes we need sweet words to get us through the day. Whether you work a 9-5, go to school or spend your days as a homemaker, occasionally you need encouragement in doing what you feel the Lord has led you to do. Its not always easy, but knowing that He's there, He has a plan and He loves you helps ... a whole lot. Recently a few friends of mine set out to encourage each other to recognize the progress we were making rather than focus on the things we were struggling with. The CD above was a bit of a soundtrack to remind us to "encourage ourselves." The cd is full of gospel songs that remind us of Who we serve and how He sees us -- and reminds us that we are precious in His sight.

Anyway, these "sweet words" have been a blessing to me and I would like to share it with you. Simply leave a comment telling me of a song that you listen to when you need encouragement. If you do not have an account select "anonymous" but leave your name and email address so I can contact you if you win. I will randomly select someone on Thursday October 28th to receive a copy of this cd. Also, in case you were wondering like me, from my understanding you can legally burn up to seven CD's of the same playlist according to the iTunes guidelines. So, no illegal stuff going on here!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Petunia Pickle Bottom Outlet Sale

Almost two years ago I grew sick of searching through my bottomless purse-turned-diaper bag looking for wipes or car keys only to find the bottom of my bag was wet from the leaking Sippy cup (gross). It was then that I decided I needed an actual diaper bag. The first diaper bag I carried was a Petunia Pickle Bottom. I found it on Ebay (NWT) for a fraction of the price. I wondered "How are these people selling these bags so much cheaper than the regular price?" Then, I saw one for sale with an upside down logo tag- aha! I cracked the case ... there must be an outlet store. Imagine my surprise when I learned the outlet wasn't a store that was completely out of reach (e.g. Pottery Barn Kids Outlet ). It was an online outlet that was available to all. The only catch was that its only available a couple of times a year. Well, its that time of year again and you should check it out!

Petunia Pickle Bottom is having one of their lovely outlet sales. You can get a great diaper bag for 30%- 60% off retail prices. The sale begins today at 9am PST. One of these bags would be a great baby shower gift or Christmas gift for a mom. I wonder if they will have any of the new Sashay Satchels available-- you never know!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Coming Soon...

What do pretty writing, personalization, and weddings have in common-- besides being things I'm in to? Well, they are all part of my current project. More details coming soon!

For fun and your viewing pleasure above is a picture of my church from my wedding day. It features one of my absolute favorite details from my wedding and inspiration for my current project.

Okay, I've already said too much. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


There are varying views on aprons: some see them as a garment used to protect clothes while others see them as some blast from the 1950's past that they would rather not relive. Personally, I believe aprons can be useful, chic and speak a thousand words.

An apron can say, "Yes this is my job ... and I love it! I am prepared to wipe my hands (or kids noses) with out missing a beat." It says I'm proud to be a keeper at home.

Actually, my apron -- the one I sewed a couple of years ago -- is hanging on the wall saying "I'm too pretty to be used." Its not that I don't need to wear it, I just can't bring myself to get anything on it! Anyway, I recently joined up with some blogging ladies for an "apron swap" and I hope I can bring myself to actually wear mine. I have an apron full of pastels, polka dots, and shabby chicness in mind for my partner. I just need to get my ideas through to my sewing machine!

In the meantime, if you're interested in sewing an apron, check out this book. It has lots of cool ideas, but be sure to check out the publisher's site for corrections -- it also has lots of mistakes! But once you get everything figured out, you will definitely have some cute results. The apron above is one I made using a pattern from that book.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Cardigan to Ruffle Shrug

I recently turned a cardigan, which was destined for the Salvation Army, into a ruffled shrug using this tutorial for inspiration. I decided to make the bottom a little more curved making it more like a shrug rather than a jacket. I also used the remaining fabric for the ruffles rather than buying additional fabric. You should give it a try, the tutorial is easy to follow and the results are great!



Monday, October 11, 2010

Diaper Bag, for Mama not Baby

Gone are the days of my cute little purses. And I don't carry a purse and a diaper bag. In my (modest) opinion the diaper bag is my purse. No, its not a small bag for money as defined by Merriam Webster. Its a huge bag full of necessities for my children and myself (and occasionally my husband). I do not let the gender of my child dictate the color since I am the one carrying it, not them. I used to like handbags but now the stakes are higher- the number of pockets, the material, the accessories. I've become a diaper bag connoisseur.

My current favorite is my brown Kate Spade (KS) Stevie Baby Bag, which was my Mother's Day gift last year. The year before that I received a Petunia Pickle Bottom (PPB) touring tote. We got great deals on both bags, thanks to the outlet mall and Ebay, as they can both be a little pricey. I like the versatility of the PPB and the classic style and size of the KS. Although I'm not angling for a new one, the PPB Sashay Satchel is really cute...and more affordable! (Hubby I hope you're reading this -- and just in case you are -- Mia Bossi makes nice diaper bags too.)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Mum's the Word

Shhh, don't say anything but I adore the wreath above! Well, I guess it's no secret-- I'm in to nice paper, uncommon flowers, and ribbon. So, imagine how excited I was when I came across this new fall Mums Wreath Kit from Paper Source. The paper, the ribbon, the flowers, and the fall color palette...

Ahh, fall-yet another thing I'm in to.