Saturday, July 30, 2011

Comic Book Art

comic book art, view 1

This little project was totally inspired by Connor.  After all, when your six-year-old starts cutting up a comic book to save his favorite pictures, what else is there to do but turn it into something cool.

comic book art, view 4

This is a really quick project that you can easily get your kids involved in.   It's a great upcycling project which reuses newsprint and those old comic books that are falling apart.

You'll need:
a comic book (that you don't mind cutting up)
a canvas (any size)
mod podge and paintbrush (or roller)
black and white comics (from the newspaper)

Start by cutting out some of your favorite images.  (It's great if you can tell a mini story with your selections.)

comic book art, view 12

Arrange them on the canvas to decide how you want it to look. 

comic book art, view 7

Set the comic book pictures aside and start laying down a layer of mod podge on your canvas. Get the sides covered too.  I like using a small roller to lay down an even layer of mod podge - that way you don't get brush strokes in your finished project!

comic book art, view 11

Lay down your newsprint on top, wrapping it around the sides and to the back of the canvas. 

comic book art, view 10

For the corners, just wrap it like you would a present.  They'll look really nice (like this).

comic book art, view 9

Cover your newsprint with another layer of mod podge and let dry a bit.  (Top and sides)

comic book art, view 8

Add another layer of mod podge on the top and start arranging the comic book pictures.  Add a layer of mod podge on top of that when you're done.  Smooth it out with your finger or brayer or a bone folder, if needed.

comic book art, view 6

Let dry completely.  If you'd like you can add another layer of mod podge, to completely seal it in.  And you're done!

comic book art, view 3

Terms of use:  This tutorial is for personal use only!

comic book art, view 2

Thursday, July 21, 2011


t-shirt fix, view 1

Sometimes projects don't always turn out the way we expect them to.  This little t-shirt for Connor started as this

t-shirt fix, view 2

a simple little striped shirt (picked up from Target).  I thought it would be fun to put a few cars in that large center stripe.  I used my car template (previously used for making stamps) and cut out some cars onto freezer paper.

t-shirt fix, view 3

I started painting, finished and returned a bit later to check on it.

I had  a glass of water nearby.

Ugh!  . . . Don't ask why.

Although there was very little water in it, when it tipped over it spilled onto part of the t-shirt.  Ok.  I thought, no big deal.

Well. . . .

the paint was still damp.

So when I pulled off the freezer paper, this is what I saw:

t-shirt fix, view 4

I'm sure my little guy would have still worn it, and loved it, but not me.  What bothered me most is feeling like I wasted a perfectly good shirt.

I had to fix this.

After some thought, I decided to add a bit of knit yardage to perfectly fit over that tan stripe in the middle.  I carefully cut it out to size and just sewed it right over my painting mishap with a zig-zag stitch around and there we are!

A fixed t-shirt.  A happy boy.  A satisfied mom.

t-shirt fix, view 5

Perhaps I'll try another little car shirt, but this time NO water nearby.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Playful Puppy

playful puppy, view 4

A week ago, my little boy turned six!  I can't believe it!  Connor's always wanted a puppy, but we don't really have the space a dog needs and I'm very allergic (cats too).  So, when I saw this little puppy pattern over at Bugga Bugs, I just had to get it for him.

playful puppy, view 1

It was quite easy to sew, although aside from a bit of the puppy, most of it was hand sewing.  I love the details.  The cute collar and tag

playful puppy, view 5

and even a little bone for his dog dish.

playful puppy, view 6

I love how the legs attach so that you can let them move and pose him!

playful puppy, view 2

Needless to say, Connor loved him!

playful puppy, view 3

Monday, July 11, 2011

Taking the Plunge

Well, I've finally done it!  Punkin Patterns is now on Facebook, Twitter, and Pintrest.  

Come follow me . . . if you want. ;D

Also. . . . 

Here's a peek at what's sitting on my cutting table this week . . . . Vintage Sheets!

vintage sheet fat quarters

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Doll Mattress - how to make one for any size doll bed

doll mattress, final, view 2

Since we Gwyneth repainted my old doll cradle, her poor dollies have been sleeping without a mattress.

doll mattress, final, view 4

Well, we had to remedy that!

doll mattress, final, view 5

I designed this simple mattress with fun details - piping and fabric covered buttons!

doll mattress, final, view 6

So here's how to make a cute doll mattress for ANY SIZE doll bed or cradle:

Start by measuring the length and width of your doll bed.  (Mine was rather long and narrow, 18.5" long by 6" wide.)  We'll just call these measurements L and W.  Determine how high you want your mattress to be.  The cradle was rather deep so I chose to make the mattress 2" high.  We'll call your height measurement H.

doll mattress, how-to, view 12

Keep in mind the final mattress keeps it's shape well.  You wouldn't even need a doll bed if you didn't have one!  A mattress on the floor would be an excellent simple bed for a doll.

So now that you have your final desired hight (H), length (L) and width (W) of your doll mattress, we can figure out how big your fabric pieces should be.  Using a 3/8" seam allowance, we add 3/4" to the height and length.  So we need to cut two pieces that are L + 3/4" by W + 3/4".  (For me that's: 19.25" x 6.75".)

The final piece to cut gives the mattress it's height.  To determine the size of this piece, the length will be the same as the perimeter of your top piece plus 3/4".  The perimeter is determined by adding the length of all sides.  P = L + L + W + W OR P = 2L + 2W.  (For me that's:  P = 18.5 +18.5 + 6 + 6 = 49)  Now add 3/4" to that.  This is the length of the side piece.  The height will be whatever you want (I made it 2" plus 3/4".)

Now that we have our pieces, we can start sewing.  . . . . Yay!

Add piping to both the top and bottom pieces on the right side of the fabric.  To see instructions on how to add piping, go here.


Make sure you go all the way around, and finish it nicely.

doll mattress, how-to, view 8

Set those pieces aside and grab the side piece.  Sew it into a loop (with a 3/8" seam allowance.)

doll mattress, how-to, view 11

Pin the side to the top piece (right sides together) and sew around following the piping sewn line.  For further explanation, see the piping tutorial.

doll mattress, how-to, view 5

Be careful at the corners so you don't get any puckering.

doll mattress, how-to, view 7

Sew on the other side of the mattress, making sure to leave a few inches for turning.

doll mattress, how-to, view 4

Turn right side out and stuff with fiberfill.  To make a sturdy mattress, stuff rather well, our buttons will help shape it a bit later.

doll mattress, how-to, view 6

Hand sew the opening closed.

doll mattress, how-to, view 3

Next figure out how many buttons you want to add - mine looked good with eight 1/2" buttons, but you can use however many you like.  If you're using fabric covered buttons, cover them with fabric.  Since I used store-bought piping and wanted the buttons to match exactly, I purchased quilting binding in the same color and just used a bit to cover the buttons.  

doll mattress, how-to, view 9

Grab some thread and a very long needle.  I used a doll needle, but any long thin needle will work.

doll mattress, how-to, view 2

Determine where you want your buttons and mark those spots with a pen.

doll mattress, how-to, view 1

Sew on your buttons, sewing all the way through the mattress, pulling the mattress together a bit with the thread so that the buttons are a pulled a bit inward.  This will help shape your mattress.

And your done! 

doll mattress, final, view 

When Gwyneth saw the final result she said "Ohhh, Big Baby has a mattress . . . but Mom, she needs a pillow too." :D

Don't forget to add your photos to the Punkin Patterns Flickr pool!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How to sew in piping

Adding piping to a seam can make a beautiful statement.  It can add an interesting splash of color to an otherwise dull seam.  I'm going to show you how easy it is to add piping to any seam.  First off lets look at some feet. 

The foot on the left is a zipper foot.  Most sewing machines come with a zipper foot.  This can be used to put in piping, so no additional feet are needed.  But if you're willing to invest a few dollars, you can get a piping foot (shown on the right), and adding piping becomes simple.


A piping foot is shaped perfectly to follow the piping and sew it down at just the right place.  Don't worry, I'll show you how to use both feet to put in your piping.


Here's what piping looks like.  It's a small piece of cording wrapped in fabric and sewn in place.  It's not difficult to make your own, but for the most part, purchasing it is very nice.


When attaching piping to your fabric, place it raw sides together, so that the cording is facing inward.  Pin with edges aligned.  Store-bought piping leaves 3/8" of fabric from the sewn line on the piping to the edge of the piping, so we can easily use a 3/8" seam allowance for our projects.  When pinning your piping to your fabric, leave an extra tail of about 2" - 3".


When you reach a corner, clip the piping from the raw edge up to the sewn line (but not through the stitching) and rotate it.  If you're using a 3/8" seam allowance, you'd clip the piping 3/8" from the corner.  If your corners are rounded, simply clip darts in the piping to allow it to curve.  Again, make sure you don't clip through the stitching on the piping.


When you've pinned all the way around, leave a tail at the end.


Using a zipper foot to sew:

Attach your zipper foot and place the foot so that it's next to the cording in the piping.  Move the needle so that it matches up with the stitching.  I moved mine over as far as I could to the left.


Using a piping foot to sew:

Attach your piping foot and place the "bump" of the piping in the hole of the foot.  Move the needle so that it is lined up with the stitching on the piping.


Sew around your project, following the piping all the way around, working corners carefully.  Make sure you leave 2" - 3" not sewn at each end.


When you get to the end, stop a few inches before.  Pick one side of the piping and open up the stitching with a seam ripper.


Line up where the piping will meet when on top of each other and trim the excess cording so there's no overlap of that.


Fold the fabric covering the cording (on the side you trimmed) over the cording.


Place the other bit of piping on top.


Fold over the fabric covering the cording over the other piece as well and pin in place.  Sew the remaining bit of piping down to secure.


When adding another piece of fabric on top of the one with the piping attached, align the edges as normal, placing right sides together.  If you're using a piping foot, you have a nice advantage because you'll automatically follow the piping since it's in the ditch of the foot.  A zipper foot can be used, but you'll have to be a bit more careful.


So when you open your seam, here's what it looks like with the piping!


Beautiful!  So many possibilities!

Here's a simple little project that uses piping.


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