Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Easter Egg Decorating Ideas • Denim

You should have seen this one coming a mile away! Those of you that have been following me know two things -  1) I have a boat load of old jeans that I have been working with lately, and 2) I create an annual Easter egg from a different technique. Put those two truisms together and we have Denim Patchwork Easter Eggs!

Very country!

Basically I cut fabric squares, used Mod Podge to adhere them to eggs, added fake stitching and made a bunch. Easy, effective and not requiring much skill at all. Anyone can do it. Give it a try because I am sharing a step-by-step tutorial below.

Supplies Needed

  • Old Jeans cut into a pile of 1/2" to 3/4" squares
  • Eggs - either plastic ones or blown out real ones
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint Bruch
  • Scissors
  • Fine Sharpie Marker


  • Cut the denim fabric into small squares. I found about 3/4" square was fine. I didn't bother measuring or drawing lines. This is a rustic project!

  • I started using hand blown eggs, especially the ones with bigger blow holes but I then realized the entire thing gets covered so I might as well use plastic eggs. Blown eggs are like gold now that I seldom eat or cook with eggs.
  • I used old spice jars as egg holders. Whatever works for you....
  • Using a paint brush, cover the top half of the egg with a generous coating of Mod Podge.
  • Add a square of denim and cover it with more Mod Podge.

  • Continue adding squares of denim and lots of Mod Podge.
  • On some eggs I used all the same light colored jeans.
  • On others I used a variety of five different shades. I like them both mixed together in the bowl. The mixture makes for a better arrangement.

  • This is a project that allows you to have a series gong at once because you do have to wait for things to dry.
  • Cover the top half of the egg with overlapping squares. Be sure that every pice of denim is coated on both sides with Mod Podge. Also makes sure you leave no little gaps. The hot pinks will peek out if you do!
  • Leave to dry for several hours.
  • Flip the eggs over and cover the other half in the same manner.

  • Allow the eggs to dry thoroughly. I waited over night.
  • Using a fine Sharpie Marker draw tiny "stitches" along all the visible seams of the patches.

  • I put all of mine in a handcrafted turned wooden bowl along with some natural paper filler for "grass".

Later in the month I'll unpack my growing collection of handcrafted eggs and put together mixed bowls and baskets.

Egg Projects from Previous Years:

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©2013 AshbeeDesign, Marji Roy


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Monday, February 25, 2013

Decorating Easter Eggs • Ideas

Having eggs and tulips around speaks of spring to me. I bought some tulips and started thinking eggs. Knowing Easter is coming, I started planning my Easter Eggs for 2013. I have been trying to make a few eggs every year to expand my collection and I like to try something new. Tomorrow I'll share my new 2013 egg idea. Today I'll again share the eggs from the past few years. Back in 2012 and 2011 I had about 20 readers so most of you missed these unique eggs.

2012 Egg - Ombré Eggs

These eggs were made using ordinary spray paint and I had fun making many different color combinations. You can go here for a complete tutorial.

2011 Harlequin Eggs 

These were made using colored duct tape. It was hard to work with but these look great in a mixed bowl of eggs.You can go here for a complete tutorial.

Speckled Birds Eggs 

I made these last year for a spring arrangement. You can go here for a tutorial on how to make the eggs and here for a tutorial on making the driftwood next.

Filling air holes in blown eggs:
Last year I figured out a good way to fill air holes in hand blown eggs. It makes them easier to decorate if you do fill the holes.

I posted a tutorial here.

Come back tomorrow and see what new technique I tried for my 2013 Easter Eggs.

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©2013 AshbeeDesign, Marji Roy


Saturday, February 23, 2013

A Bunch of Bunnies • DIY

I was on a roll yesterday. I'd been thinking about this cute little bunny design that would slip over a wine cork and sit on the table, only when I made the first one the idea didn't work. I did design a cute little bunny in iDraw but when I cut it out, the plan just didn't come together. It was lumpy and awkward. So instead I made a built-in paper base and the next thing I knew I'd made 30 bunnies.

Three things kept me producing:
  • This was so EASY to do!
  • I had a wonderful stack of matching papers.
  • These are bunnies - they reproduce fast!

I purchased one of those big books of 12 x 12 papers for scrap booking on sale last year. It had a perfect array of spring pastels in many prints and I went wild in the pink and purple section.

From each sheet I could cut a family of bunnies.

Here are some quick 'how-to" photos so you can see how simple this project is.
  • I started in iDraw and sketched the one bunny which I then duplicated and flipped. 
  • I connected the bases with a rectangle. 
  • I duplicated it and reduced the size.
  • My drawing is all in black to import into Silhouette but for those of you with out a silhouette, you can just print the patten and trace it onto paper to cut by hand.

  • I explored this design as a pdf file and opened it in the Silhouette Software.
  • I traced it and then cut it using my silhouette Cameo. As I noted above, this is certainly easy enough cutting to do by hand. Although the Silhouette made it faster, it isn't required.
  • Note: This projects works better with paper not card stock.
  • Once cut, I peeled them off the mat.

  • I then pulled each ear over the sharp edge of my craft table to curl the ears.

  • You pull each ear over the edge with the print side of the paper down.
  • Fold the bunny along its base on each side. This forms the spacer and support for the standing bunny.
  • I then applied a glue dot in the center of the head right below the ears.

  • And pressed the two halves together.

And another bunny joins the bunch!

And hops off to join the others.

I think I need to make some tufts of grass for them!

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Old Blue Jeans • Pillow # 2

Notice 2/2021 - lots of folks have commented that the measurements on this don't make sense. They are correct. The concept is great and you can try to make one from rectangles - just don't follow my measurements.  I made this 7 years ago now - and I can no longer adjust it.

My living room sofa has been decorated with the two pillows that came with it and matched the upholstery since I purchased it, oh, about 15 years ago. Talk about a design fail! But last week I started to change that. I have been thinking about new pillows for a while and decided to combine that project with the growing pile of old jeans I've collected.  One of the main accent colors in my living room is denim blue. My first pillow was the chevron pillow that pieced together ombre shaded stripes. It is stunning and visually very strong. I knew a complementary pillow needed to have a subtler pattern so as to not overwhelm the room. I decided to use all one color of denim in this pillow but to use the soft lines created by unraveling the fabric as the accent point. It is a great second pillow for my couch.

I used a log cabin type quilting pattern but with rectangles of descending sizes to create a contemporary feel to this rustic material. Each of the seams has been frayed to form a soft, fuzzy line.

And, like the chevron pillow before it, I will provide a tutorial on how I created the pillow cover.

Supplies needed:
  • 1 Pair of Old Jeans, preferably well washed and soft.
  • 16" square pillow
  • 6" 3/4" velcro
  • backing fabric
  • matching thread
  • sewing machine
  • scissors
  • Sharpie marker
  • ruler

  • Cut the legs off the old jeans, removing all seams and hems.
  • On the back side of the fabric draw lines for the following sizes noted below. Be sure to have the long edge of each rectangle run the long way on the pants leg and be consistent with this. Even the smaller pieces need to run the long way because it effects the fabric when you unravel the edges. You will need the following rectangles:
      • 3" x 18"
      • 3" x 15"
      • 2.75" x 15"
      • 2.75" x 12.25"
      • 2.5" x 12.25"
      • 2.5" x 9.75"
      • 2.25" x 9.75"
      • 2.25" x 7.5"
      • 2" x 7.5"
      • 2" x 5.5"
      • 1.75" x 5.5"
      • 1.75" x 3.75"
      • 1.5" x 3.75"
      • 1.5" x 2.25"
      • 1.25" x 2.25"
      • 1.25" x 1"
      • 1" x 1"
  • Measure and cut them carefully. Here are all the pieces cut and laid out in their assembly pattern. I did write the size on each to help keep me organized.

  • Start assembly by sewing the 1" edges of the two smallest pieces together but sew with WRONG sides of the fabric together. You want the seam on the front.
  • Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance. Be consistent on this for all of the seams on the front.

  • Add the 1.25 x 2.25 piece matching the back sides of the fabric together and placing it across the side with the seam. Stitch it again with wrong sides together.

  • Add the 1.5 x 2.25 piece, again with wrong sides together and placing it across the edge with the two pieces and 1 seam. This is the pattern you continue to follow, always adding the new piece across the side that has 2 pieces and one seam.

  • And always sewing them with the back sides together.
  • Here is the seam plan continuing out. Continue with this pattern until all pieces are attached.

It will look like this on the backside.

And like this on the front.....

  • Now it is time to start fraying! 
  • Just start picking at the threads on the front of the seams. This is a messy job so hae a wastebasket nearby!

  • As you work your way closer to the seam it will be hard to grab the threads to pull. I used a needle to help losen the thread.

  • You want to unravel the seams about 2/3's of the way down to the stitched seam. If you go too far you can compromise the strength of the seam.
  • Keep pulling threads until all the seams are soft and fluffy.
  • You will notice that you can't unravel the denim across the end cuts. I just cut those a little shorter, frayed the piece butting up to it, and visually they blended in.

  • Cut your backing fabric large enough to cover the back side.
  • Mine was split in the middle with an opening held closed by velcro.
  • You can follow that style, or any other pillow encasing technique depending on what supplies you have on hand.

  • Stitch the backing to the front of the pillow cover - this time with RIGHT sides together.
  • Clip the corners before turning right side out and inserting the pillow.

Put the pillow in place and take a look....

Here are my two new pillows together.... They definitely need a third, and probably one at the other end.

I like the combination of the two techniques yet with a similar material. I will think about a third technique for the next one. I also like a variety of sizes and shapes. Maybe the next one will be cylindrical. That's a good shape for under the neck when relaxing on the sofa. The next ones also needs to no have a striped design but something different.

Glad I have a huge pile of jeans.....and no, I haven't made a dent into the pile yet.

And as always, a view artsy photos taken during the process.....

Update 3/1/2013: I made the third pillow using bleaching techniques. See how here.

Update 3/13/13: Machine Appliqué is the technique I used for pillow #4. Probably the easiest so far. Go here to see how.

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