DIY Fabric Covered Letters Tutorial

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Monogramming, initials, and letters spelling out baby’s name are all the rage right now! A while ago I had purchased these paper mache (cardboard-ish) letters from Joann’s for 60% off, but I could not figure out what to do with them. I had previously painted the number 1 for wee man’s 1’st birthday as well as some initials for my cousin’s wedding, but I found that even after multiple coats of paint there were still visible blemishes that showed through from the manufacturing of the letters. This time around I decided to go for fabric covered letters in hopes that they would satisfy the perfectionist image that I had in my head of the finished product.

What you’ll need:

  • Paper mache letters- available at Joann’s, Hobby Lobby and some online stores
  • Fabric (multiple colors/patterns, or all the same)
  • Poster board or thick paper
  • Craft glue
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pen/pencil


Step 1: Iron the fabric that you’d like to use for the front of your letters. Then, lay your letter over the fabric, and cut around the shape of the letter leaving about an extra 3/4 inch of fabric all the way around.

In the case of the J, I cut a slit down the center of the fabric where the J curves, however since each letter has unique curves, you’ll have to sort of wing it. I do suggest at least starting a hole for letters like B where the gaps are in the center. If you don’t, you may find it very difficult to start a cut once you’ve begun gluing.

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Step 2: This step will be easiest if you chose an abstract or solid pattern rather than a geometric or linear pattern. I had quite a hard time getting the chevrons to line up and not be crooked. Pick a straight line on your letter (without curves or holes) to anchor your fabric. Apply enough glue that it will stick, but not so much that it blobs everywhere or takes forever to dry. Make sure you are applying the glue to the side of the letter and not the front. Once your glue is applied on the straight area, line up your fabric over your letter, and stick the part that hangs over onto where you applied your glue.

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Step 3: Following the same procedure that you did for step 2, glue down the fabric to the rest of the straight areas. Leave the curved parts alone for now. Doing the straight parts first will ensure that your fabric goes on straight and without any bubbles or creases.

Step 4: Now lets tackle the curved areas. Take your scissors and cut 1 cm wide slits in the fabric around the curved areas. I did this by using the letter itself as a stopping point for my scissors so that I did not cut too far forward. Just place the tip of your scissors up against the letter while you are making your slits. Once you’ve made your cuts, apply your glue. Then take each centimeter thick piece of fabric, pull slightly to make sure it will lay flat, and stick it down. I started a piece near the center of the cuts and worked my way outwards.

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If your letter has holes in it, follow the same procedure. Be sure to cut a slit at the corners if there is a 90 degree angle.

Once you’re done with this step, you should have a letter with the front side completely covered and the sides looking super messy. Don’t worry, we’ll fix that.


Step 5: Now, we’ll start making the part to cover the sides. Measure the width of the side of your letter. Mine was 1 inch. Take your poster board and measure a long 1 inch strip. Depending on your letter, you may want to measure for more than one strip. Then cut them out.

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Step 6: Take one of your strips and use it to measure around your letter. Start at a corner and act as if you were gluing it down. Notice where the strip ends… is that where you want a seam? If not, then cut it so that it ends at a corner, and use another strip to make up the difference. Also, now is the time to measure how long of a strip you’ll need for the letter holes. Cut the length just slightly longer than you think it needs to be in order to avoid gaps.


Step 7: Iron the fabric you’re going to use for the sides. Ideally, it should be at least the length of your measured poster board strips. Lay the fabric flat and place your pre-measured poster strips on top of your fabric. Cut fabric strips that are about a half inch wider on all sides.

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Step 8: Apply glue all the way around the sides of the poster strip. Then fold the fabric over all the way around the edges. You now should have fabric covered poster board cut to the exact length you’ll need to cover your letter.

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Step 9: Beginning with a corner (and doing it the same direction that you did when you measured), apply a generous amount of glue to the side of the letter. Stick down the strip. Apply the glue a little at a time as you go. Keep going until you’ve applied the strip to entire letter. It can be kind of tricky for letters with holes… I found it was easiest to apply glue to the entire hole, coil up the strip a bit, then apply it.


Congratulations! You’ve created a modern and adorable accent for any room!


Feel free to comment, ask questions, and post pictures of your masterpieces!

DIY Milk Jug Storage Box Tutorial

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So they’re not the sexiest things… so what! If you have children, especially toddlers, odds are that you go through (at least) a gallon of milk every week. And if you’re anything like me, you are constantly looking for ways to organize and store things so they are less messy and easier to find. However, even the smallest storage boxes are at least a dollar each. Why not use something that you’ve already paid for? So, if you put together milk chugging toddlers and OCD organization, you get a DIY Milk Jug Storage Box! For more info on a product, simply click the links provided.

Skill level: Super duper easy (beginner), possible fun project for kids!

What you’ll need:

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Step 1: WASH THE JUGS. Even the smallest amount of milk left in the jug for only a matter of hours can put off a horrible smell. I squirted some dish soap inside, added some warm water, put the cap back on and shook. Then, do your best to remove the outside labels. I didn’t have the patience to remove them completely. Rinse and let dry completely.

Step 2: Mark off where you’ll make your cuts. The panel without a handle or any indentations should be your longest side that will eventually become your closure. Every milk jug is different. My large one had a giant circular indentation in one side, and the smaller one had contoured sides that don’t lay flat. Don’t worry, it all works out fine.

For the gallon jug: because the handle comes down so low, this container will be more shallow. Draw a straight line across 3 sides just below where the handle stops. The back panel should be as long as possible, but at least long enough to cover the width of the jug, plus an inch or so.

For the half gallon jug: the handle on these comes up a bit higher, so these will be taller and less shallow. Draw a straight line across 3 sides just below where the handle stops. Then mark the longer side, ensuring it is at least long enough to cover the width of the jug, plus an inch or so.

Then mark at least an inch downwards at all 3 corners to allow the flaps to fold down.

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Step 3: Cut along the lines you made. You may want to cut inside the black lines to make your containers a bit prettier than mine. I would also suggest rounding your corners along the edges… the plastic is surprisingly sharp!

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At this point, I strongly recommend that you give them a wash again. Even though I thought I gave them a thorough washing, there was still a residual milk smell. After the second wash mine smelled like the lavender dish soap that I used, which was quite an improvement.

Step 4: Crease each flap by folding it over. This can be tricky depending on how straight you cut… there is a possibility your box may end up wonky. If you don’t care… move on. If you do care, make sure both sides of each flap come down the same distances. If they do not, grab your scissors, even them out, and fold again.


Step 5: Time to add the closure piece. If you are a crafter and happen to have some KAM snaps and hardware lying around, this is a great use for them. If you’re interested in purchasing them, I got mine here (I’ve made many purchases though them and am happy with their competitive pricing, fast shipping and overall product availability). If you do not have snaps, sticky back velcro will also do the trick.

To apply the snaps: Close the box so the longest flap is hanging over the edge and overlaps with one of the sides. Using your awl, make a hole that goes straight through both pieces of plastic at the same time. Then use your pliers to attach snaps to the top flap and the side.

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To apply the velcro: Make sure the surfaces that you are going to stick the velcro to are clean and dry. If you are going to attach it to one of the sides where the label was removed, make sure there is no residual paper where you are going to put the velcro. Then, peel off the back of the velcro and stick one to the inside of the longest flap and one to the outside where they overlap.

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If you’ve lined everything up correctly, you’ll end up with a reusable storage box to use for just about anything you want! Use for stray hair things for your kids, a pencil holder, miscellaneous craft items, even on the go food storage (do not microwave or put in dishwasher). Every time your family finishes off another gallon (or half gallon) of milk, you have another opportunity to organize your life.

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If you have a question, DIY idea or tutorial you’d like to see, drop me a line in the comments below.

DIY Wooden Growth Chart Tutorial



I’ve been seeing wooden growth charts everywhere lately, and I LOVE the idea. Pinterest, Etsy… they are all over the place, and they are so incredibly cute. I think it’s fabulous that since they are made of wood, they are more durable and will last forever. Plus, they look more like the kind of decor I’d like to have in my house for the long haul, not just during the baby years. I had been debating whether or not to buy one to use for my son and then to keep as art once he’s done growing (omg he’s not allowed to grow anymore!). But as usual, I was NOT willing to pay full retail price to have one made for me, so I did it myself! Here’s how:

Crafting level: Beginner

Here’s what you’ll need:

Click the links anywhere in this post and you’ll be taken to where you can get more information on the products I used, and even purchase them.

Step 1: Decide what style and colors you’d like to go for. There are literally hundreds of great options. Do a quick Pinterest or Etsy search for ideas if you’re stuck. I decided to go with more neutral and natural colors, that way it will go with whatever decor our house evolves into. That being said, there really are some great bright and stylized options out there.

Step 2: Buy/obtain your wood. I sent the hubs to our local Lowe’s and told him to get me a 6 foot piece of wood that I could use as a growth chart. He came home with a 6ft x 6in x 1in (ish) piece of wood. Something along those lines should work just fine… you could even go green and use salvaged wood.

Step 3: Sand your wood. This is very important! If you don’t, it will be rough and splintery and you will have a harder time applying the stain or paint. Just grab your sand paper and rub WITH THE GRAIN until you’re satisfied with how smooth it is.20140427_102044

Step 4: Use a microfiber towel, regular towel or an old sock to wipe off the excess dust off your wood so it won’t have chunks in the stain or paint.

Step 5: Time to give it some color! If you’ve chosen to go with paint, or some other theme, do your thing! If you’re going with a stain, use an old towel or old sock to apply a single layer of stain. Make sure to get the sides. Let it soak in for 5-15 minutes, then come back with a clean towel or sock and wipe off any excess stain that has not soaked in. If you leave any excess on, the wood will remain sticky and will not dry properly. Now, let dry for at least 12 hours. If you wish to make it darker, you can repeat this process 2-3 more times or until the wood will not absorb any more.

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Note: after this step, I decided to do alternating darker and lighter sections every foot. To do this, I used painter’s tape and taped off every other foot. I then applied two extra layers of stain to every other section using the instructions above. Once dry, I peeled off the tape and was left with this:

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Step 6: Time to deal with the numbers. If using a stencil and paint, skip this step. If you have wood numbers, you may opt for stain or paint, or natural. For any of these three options, be sure to sand them down first! Then, if staining, follow the same process as outlined in step 5. If painting, apply as many coats of paint as needed to cover the wood entirely (unless you’ve got a different look you’re going for). Always let dry completely between coats!

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Step 7: Let’s make it look like a unit of measurement and add on some lines. Using a ruler, tape measure, etc., mark off every inch (and every half inch if you’d like) with a pencil up the entire length of one side of your board. Then, go back with a skinny paint brush and paint (or an awesome paint pen), and paint over your pencil marks.

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Step 8: If you are using a stencil and paint, place (and tape, if you have it) the stencil over where you want your number. Paint over the stencil, and let it dry before trying to remove it. Repeat for all 6 numbers. If you have separate wood numbers that have dried after their stain or paint application, attach using wood glue or craft glue. Put enough on so that it will properly adhere, but not so much that it oozes out the sides and looks sloppy. Repeat for all 6 numbers.

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Step 9: Once your glue or paint has dried completely, flip the board over to attach a hanging device. I enlisted the help of the hubs for this since I did not plan ahead and buy the proper brackets ahead of time. We scoured the garage and used what we had on hand, but you can find some here. Using a drill or screwdriver, place both screws through each side of the sawtooth hanger. For stability, you may want to put two side by side along the top so that it will not swivel once hung. Since we were only working with what we could find, we put one sawtooth hanger centered on the top, and applied adhesive strips along the middle and bottom.

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Step 10: Hang up on the wall using a screw (or whatever you’ve managed to rig up), and enjoy your beautiful piece of functional art!

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Is there something you’ve always wanted to make but never knew how? Comment below and tell me what kind of tutorial you’d like to see!

Fabric Bookmark Tutorial


For this Mother’s Day, my mom specifically requested bookmarks for her gift. She home schools my baby sister, so they are in constant need of something to mark where they left off in their many textbooks and novels. I was going to get her some jewelry or maybe a purse, but hey, if it’s bookmarks that she wants, I’m happy to make it happen.

Sewing and Crafting Level: Beginner

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fabric- leftover fat quarters and scrap fabric will work just fine.
  • Elastic- the width is up to you
  • Sewing machine and thread

Step 1: Lay your fabric flat and iron out any folds or wrinkles. This will ensure accurate measurements and that your straight lines will actually be straight.


Step 2: At this point, you need to decide what size book you are making this book mark for. Because of the size difference between larger textbooks and smaller paperbacks, one size does not fit all. The length of your fabric will vary depending on what you decide.

Using a ruler and pen, draw a straight line across the length of your fabric. Use that line as a starting point to measure two 1.5 inch strips. Now, cut out your strips. Or if you have a rotary cutter and mat, your process will be MUCH simpler than mine.

You should end up with two 1.5 inch thick strips- for paperbacks, they should be around 14 inches long and for textbooks they should be around 20 inches long. If they are a bit over or under, no problem. They will just ruffle more or less.


Step 3: Pin your two strips together, with the pretty sides facing each other. Everyone’s pinning technique varies, so pin them which ever way works best for you. In my case, if I’m sewing something skinny in width, I just put a few pins down the center and remove them as I go.


Step 4: Leaving at least a 2 inch opening near the center of the strip, sew around the edges of the strip. I used a 1/4 inch seam, but feel free to use whatever you’re comfortable with.


Step 5: Turn your strip right side out by feeding it through itself and back down through the hole that you left open. I tend to get creative by using pens, dull point scissors, etc. to push the fabric down when my finger is too short or fat to reach. Once it is right side out, use something pointy to push out your corners. But be careful that you don’t push all the way through!


Step 6: Iron your strip flat, paying careful attention to the part that you left open. You’ll need to give it some guidance in order for it to lay straight and flat.


Step 7: Top stitch around your strip to close up the hole and give it a finished look.


Step 8: Now it’s time to deal with the elastic. Cut it to the appropriate length: 22 inches for textbooks and 13 inches for paperbacks. Pin the two ends together so it looks like one continuous loop.


Step 9: Sew the two ends of the elastic together. Go back and forth several times in different spots so that it won’t come loose later. This DOES NOT need to be pretty. In fact, you may find that it is very difficult to get the elastic to sit still while you’re trying to get it positioned. That is okay. We’ll cover it up later.


Step 10: Ruffle your fabric strip by pinning it onto the elastic. To do this, pin down a fold every inch or so for the entire length of the fabric. Depending on the length of your fabric strip, you can to big folds or little folds, and this will correspond to how “ruffled” the fabric looks. Make sure that you are placing your fabric so that it covers up the elastic seam that we created in the previous step.


Step 11: Sew straight down the length of the fabric. MAKE SURE YOU USE A ZIG ZAG STITCH. If you do not use a zig zag stitch, the elastic underneath the fabric will not be able to stretch and it either will not fit around your book, or you will tear your stitches when you try to stretch it. Also, be sure to back stitch on each end so they do not come loose.


Step 12: Trim your stray threads and TA DA!! You should end up with something like this:

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