D.I.Y. Adventures

This page is dedicated to all my self-loving endeavors and comes complete with instructions so you can have a Mel-style Do It Yourself mess of your very own!

Disasters Adventures include but are not limited to:
  • Fun, kid-friendly arts and crafts projects that typically end in Princess Cat tracking gilttery glue all over the rug in little paw print patterns (grocery store steam cleaner, please meet my carpet)
  • The outdoor adventures of Mel and Menace Pooch
  • Random bits of enlightenment I attempted to practice in my every day life to honor my yoga posing hippie side that sometimes escapes and runs loose on my blog
  • And much much more...

Enjoy!


How to Rescue a Table
(After it's been chewed by a beloved puppy)


For directions on saving a table from the clutches of the dumpster, please visit this past post.










Shoes, Glitter and Glue
(My front porch will never be the same)
I'm love arts and crafts as well as all things pink and girly. And like every twenty-something female I know, I have a slight addiction to shoes. I never wear them all and have this inexplicable attraction to the ones with the biggest price tags (although as my wise mother taught me, never pay full price for something you can find for half!). So when I saw this Do It Yourself guide to making glitter shoes like J. Crew and Kate Spade, posted by the fabulous Miss HauteMess of Carrie Bradshaw is Full of Sh*t, I knew I MUST try it.

The BEFORE Picture

Stay tuned for the after pictures. I will be glitterifying my shoes (and my porch) this weekend.


The FULL Stuffed Patriotic Bear
(Greg's next box buddy!)


When I began searching for patterns, I realized that bear-stuffing might be more difficult than I had imaged. I couldn't find ANY sites with a full set of instructions and all the complex patterns looked daunting and the basic patterns seemed too simple and boring. I settled on a more complex design with some basic guiding instructions. I've added some really detailed ones if you plan to try this at home. The whole bear took about 6-7 hours to finish. Not too bad!

First, draw your shapes on a piece of paper. You will need to draw...
  • A head (shape in top right of picture)
  • The strip for the nose and top of the head (shape right below the head that looks like an awkward candle) 
  • The foot pad (oval shape next to the candle, under the head)
  • The leg (shape to the left of the head)
  • The ears and paw pads (small circle)
  • Inside of the arm (the curved shape under the food pad)
  • The body (shape at the bottom of the page that looks like a Lima bean)
Trace each shape on the UNDERSIDE of your fabric with a pen. You will need to cut multiples of each item (list below), and a reverse of just about everything. 

To cut a reverse, simply flip the paper over (not the fabric!). Please see picture below for example.

  
Cutting a reverse shape
  • Cut 2 heads, 1 reversed
  • Cut one nose strip
  • Cut 2 foot pads
  • Cut 4 legs, 2 reversed
  • Cut 3 ears (cut one in half to make 2 paw pads)
  • Cut 2 inside arms, 1 reversed
  • Cut 2 body shapes, 1 reversed


Now begin sewing your items together. Pin matching shapes together with the fabric underside facing out and the patterns touching on the inside.

Start with the head...
  1. Sew the head from the point of the neck under the nose to the tip of the nose using a whip stitch. LEAVE THE NECK UNSEWN SO YOU CAN TURN AND STUFF! 
  2. Once you get to the nose tip, leave your needle and thread where they are and unpin the two head pieces. Then take the nose strip and (smaller bubble starting at the nose) pin it in between the two pieces of head fabric on top of the head. The easiest way to think of this is like giving your bear a mohawk. Your fabric will look like a triangle shape with the three pieces once it's pinned. 
  3. Pick up your needle and sew down one side of the nose strip from nose tip to the back corner of the neck; LEAVE THE BOTTOM OF THE NECK OPEN! Then sew the other side from noes tip to back corner of the neck. 
  4. Flip your bear head right side out and stuff. Begin by stuffing the nose and work your way out. Make sure the nose is firmly stuffed (and the whole head) so you have a good sewing base for the nose.
  5. Stitch a gathering stitch around the neck like a necklace and pull tight to seal off the bottom of the head. Knot to finish but DO NOT CUT THREAD!
  6. Take your needle through the middle of your gathered circle neck and into the middle of the head. Bring the needle out of the head where you want your first eye to be. Stick the needle back through the eye area (about an 1/8 inch from where you drew the needle out) and exit needle through the middle of the gathered neck. Tug on the thread gently to create an eye socket and knot to keep in place. DO NOT CUT THREAD!
  7. Repeat step 6 for the second eye. DO NOT CUT THREAD!
  8. Take the needle back through the first eye. Cut the very end of your thread just next to the needle eye and split the two threads. Thread one strand and bring the needle back through eye 1 and out eye 2 so you have one strand in each eye.
  9. Use the strands to either sew buttons for the eyes or stitch in a round to build the thread for to form eyes. Knot threads and cut.
Making the bear belly...
  1. Pin the two body shapes so that they match up and the patterns touch on the inside. Start whip stitching half way down the back of the Lima bean shape (where it's one solid curve instead of two bumps). Stitch all the way around, leaving just less than an inch open. Tie off.
  2. Flip the body right side out and stuff firmly.
  3. Whip stitch the back opening closed.
Legs...
  1. Pin each regular leg shape to a corresponding reverse facing leg shape with the patterns on the inside.
  2. Whip stitch the sides beginning at the base of the foot (where the foot would meet the floor if the bear was standing) to the top of the leg. LEAVE THE BOTTOM OF THE FOOT AND THE TOP OF THE LEG OPEN!
  3. Pin the foot pads into the circular openings at the bottom of the feet and whip stitch the pads to the foot in a circle. Tie off and cut thread.
  4. Flip both legs and stuff firmly.
  5. Tuck the fabric of the leg top down to form a curve and whip stitch the ends together to close off each leg.
Arms...
  1. Whip stitch the flat edge of each paw pad to the flat edge of each inside arm shape with the patterns both facing the same direction to form a banana shaped arm side.
  2. Trace each arm side on the inside of your leftover fabric and cut the shapes out of the cloth.
  3. Pin the newly cut shapes to the inside arm/paw pad fusions with the patterns touching on the inside.
  4. Whip stitch the arms together starting at the non-paw pad tip. Leave about 1/2 inch to flip the arms.
  5. Flip and stuff arms firmly.
  6. Tuck the fabric down at the opening to create a curve and whip stitch the arms closed.
Bitty Ears...
    1. Fold each circle in half with the fabric underside facing out and pin in place. Whip stitch all the way around the half circle.
    2. Cut the unsewn side down the crease (without cutting your stitches!).
    3. Flip ears and stuff slightly.
    4. Pin ears on head and whip stitch them in place.
    Putting the bear together...
    1. Thread embroidery string on a large needle and knot the end firmly.
    2. Determine where you want the your head to sit at the top of the body (the two curved bumps on the body face front with the smaller one on top). Mark the middle of the neck on the top of the body and on the bottom of the head with a pen. 
    3. Stick the needle straight down into the top of the body about 1/6 inch in front of and to the right of your pen mark and bring the needle up on the opposite end of the pen mark, about 1/6 inch back and to the left of the dot.
    4. Stick the needle into the bottom of the neck in the corresponding position (1/6 inch back and to the left of dot) and bring it out at the corresponding position to your body entry (1/6 inch to the front and right of the dot). 
    5. Bring the needle back into the body where you entered the first time and bring the needle directly across the seam and up on the top left. 
    6. Cross the needle through the head and down into the body again to form an X stitch. Stitch over the X a few times shifting positions slightly until you feel the head is secure. Tie off the thread in the back and cut.
    7. Repeat steps 2 through 6 for the arms and legs.
    8. Take the rest of your embroidery thread and make a small knot. Stick needle into the nose where you want the bottom tip to be. Bring the thread out a the top right of where you want your nose to end and then back down into the head through the same bottom tip. Repeat this stitch moving left like a fan going back in each time close to the same bottom tip entrance point. 
    9. Tie off in a small knot and cut.
    YOU'RE FINISHED!



    Stay tuned...more adventure posts to come!