A place for ideas and happy stuff!

A place for ideas and happy stuff

May 16, 2013

How to make your own luggage tags

Have you ever wanted to make your own personalized luggage tags?  Well, I recently went on a fantastic trip to Boston, but wanted to quickly find my luggage once the plane landed.  I loved this project because I finally found a reason to reuse a Lilly Pulitzer bag I'd stashed away.

Materials Needed:
- Laminate sheet w/ Laminator ( -or- Contact Paper -or- Self Sticking Laminate sheet)
- Decorative paper
- Ribbon


1.  Cut Paper into desired size and shape.  I cut up a thick paper bag from a fancy shop into squares about 4" wide.

2. Stack 2 pieces of paper together with design showing on the outside.  While keeping these 2 pieces of paper together, laminate (or place contact paper on both sides, sealing paper inside).

3.  Cut away laminate (or contact paper) from 3 sides of the paper.  If your paper has a top & bottom, cut away the sides and bottom edge of laminate, leaving a thick edging of laminate along the top.  You should now be able to open the papers like a book or greeting card and write your contact info on the inside.

4.  Use a razor blade or scissors to cut a slit along the bottom edge, wide enough to slide your ribbon through.  You can choose to place this slit along the top, but I prefer the bottom.  It keeps your personal info hidden from someone quickly passing by, but is easily read by someone in lost & found by removing the ribbon.

5.   Insert your ribbon and knot, if desired.  Then tie to your luggage.  I also like the idea of inserting both ends of the ribbon, creating a loop of ribbon on one side of your tag.  Feed both ends of the ribbon through the loop and tighten.  This securely closes your tag, but does not permanently knot the ribbon, allowing it to open easily at a later time.

Happy Travels!

May 22, 2012

Phone Volume Control Huggie Pattern

Model: Plantronics DA60 USB to headset adapter
This is a rather odd project and I'm not quite sure what to call it.  I have a headset that plugs into a work computer and the volume button area often falls on the floor.  That's no problem with carpeting, but with hard flooring, it eventually chipped.  My solution was this fabric cozy that provides some insulation, protecting it from the floor.  I hope someone else out there might find this helpful.

I don't know how to post a pdf file, so I'm posting a picture, just make sure when you print you are printing it full size at 8.5x11".  Click on the title of this post to see free pattern image.  If you email me, I'd be happy to send you a pdf file.

April 7, 2012

How to Turn a Pin into a Magnet

Going through some old memorabilia, I came across a pin with sentimental value.  I didn't want to throw it in the trash, but had no use for it as a pin.  I decided to make it into a useful magnet.

Pin-Magnet Tutorial -

Step 1:  Remove the pin backing.

Step 2: Place magnet(s) on backside (make sure the magnets your using will be strong enough to hold both the weight of the pin and the miscellaneous papers or art projects you want to hang on the fridge or front door).

Step 3: Carefully pour in Mod Podge without moving magnets or getting glue ontop of the magnet face.

Step 4: Allow time to dry.  This may take a very long time, so you may prefer to do thin layers of glue so each layer will dry faster.  I poured all the glue at once and it dried enough to use after 1 day, but the glue didn't become completely clear for about 3 days because it was thick.

Step 5: Enjoy!

Reupholstered Chair

I'm excited to have reupholstered my first chair ever!  It turned out pretty good!  I started this project about a year ago, set it aside, and have finally picked it up again.  I picked apart the original covers that were falling apart and copied the pattern pieces to make the new covers.  Now only 5 more to sew.

April 2, 2012

Cooking Tip

I accidentally bought pan-lining paper instead of parchment.  It's basically parchment with aluminum foil on the bottom side which makes it sturdier, but so far hasn't convinced me to switch.  Today I found a nice use for it though, saving me from cleaning mixing bowls.  When I'm baking brownies or something that's mixed by hand, I  line the pan with it and stir the mixture in the baking pan without needing a mixing bowl.  Alternatively, you could line a mixing bowl and then lift the lining paper out, placing it directly into the baking pan keeping the bowl clean.  This is a nice little tidbit when you're making something simple.

Less Mess! Less Cleanup!

March 29, 2012

Kids Room Mobile

Bird Paper Mobile
Pottery Barn Kids Mobile

For my brother’s baby shower, I was inspired to recreate a mobile I’d seen at Pottery Barn Kids, but with alligators.  

Alligator Mobile Tutorial


-Thick wire or Metal clothes hangers
-2 pairs of pliers (one pair should preferably be needle nose pliers)
-Clear thread or fishing line
-Cardstock (remember, you’ll see both sides when it’s hanging)
-Scissors (or a machine that cuts out shapes for you, like cricut, or a paper punch)
-Needle or sharp pin
-Glue (I used mod podge)

*optional: sandpaper & paint, ribbon, small beads 

Step 1 – The Base

To remove wire coating, make a cut near end and pull.
You can now grasp the wire with one plier and
the coating with the other to remove completely.
This is what you should have at then end of step 1.
Using the pliers, bend the wire into a circle.  I used a hanger which is approx. 42” long when unbent, creating a circle about 13.5” wide.  If using a hanger, first you must straighten out all the bends..  To straighten wire, grasp it with one pair of pliers placing it next to the curve you’re working on.  Then use the needle nose pliers to grasp the curve and slowly bend it to your desired shape.  Continue moving the pliers as needed to get desired shape.  The same strategy works when adding curve to a straight wire.  .....  Then place 3 straight wires across circle so they cross in the center and divide the space into 6 even pie sliced sections.  Attach the wire to the circle by bending the ends around the circle edge until tight.   .....    You can spray paint the wires at this point if you like.  If you used a painted hanger, you may want to sand it before painting.   .....     To keep each piece in place, you can use some mod podge (or other glue) to secure each section.

A.  Shows how to grasp wire next to curve.   B.  Use needle nose pliers to manipulate and bend wire into place.

Step 2 – The Paper

Find a design you’d like to use for your mobile and copy it onto cardstock or a manila folder.  Cut this piece out and use as your master template to trace all your pieces onto cardstock and then cut them out.  If you have a large punch you like or a cricut type machine, you’ll have a lot less work to do on this step.  Keep in mind the paper you’ve chosen will show both sides, so make sure to purchase double sided cardstock.  Tip: When looking for a design online, try narrowing your search to clipart to find images with a simple outline or try looking for animal shaped patches.
Step 3 – Poke a hole.

Use a straight pin or thumb tack to make a small hole in every piece of paper you’ve cut.  I recommend placing it at the top center of your image.  You can try one out before committing, to decide how it will hang.  If you’re using butterlflies, a hole closer to the center will make them hang at an angle.
Step 4 – Knot the thread

Cut a your thread longer than needed to allow room for tying knots.  You can trim excess when your done.  After deciding on the distance you want between layers, Draw a line on a piece of paper and mark the distance you’ve chosen for each layer.   I placed a knot every 2.75" and allowed 3" from the top cutout to the wire frame.  Then tape one end of your thread down to the paper and thread a needle on the other end.  This will allow more control as you tie your knots.  The easiest method is to place a small bead where you want the knot and tie a knot around it.   I didn’t use beads.  Instead, I made 3 french knots in each place to make them big enough that the paper wouldn't slide over the knots.  After each knot, string the next cardstock cutout before tying the next knot.  Once you’ve completed this, remove the end of thread that was taped and tie it to the wire base.  Then use some mod podge or glue to keep it in place. 

Tip:  You can stack the cutouts and use paperclips to hold each group together, preventing tangles while working or transporting mobile. 

Step 5 – Hanging

Cut 6 long threads and tie each one to the looped ends of the straight wires where they connect around the outside of circle.  I folded my thread in half, doubling it to give it a bit more strength before tying it on.  After tying on all 6 threads, bring them together over the center of mobile.  Adjust them until the mobile hangs straight and then knot them together to hold them in place.  I found it helpful to place a piece of tape on them before tying the knot to keep them from slipping as I tied the knot.  Tie a second knot an inch or two above the first.  You can hang your mobile at this point or tie the section of thread between the 2 knots around a piece of ribbon.  You can use the ribbon to hang the mobile or just add a pretty bow before hanging it.
Trim any excess and you’re done.

 Have Fun!

March 13, 2012


I just bought some new chocolate and it’s so amazing!  I have to share.  Sometimes I get chocolate that’s really good, but remains uneaten for  a very long time.  Not this bar!  I’m quickly devouring it, but trying to make it last.  The brand is CHUAO Chocolatier – Honeycomb 60% dark chocolate bar with carmelized honey.  It’s not too rich, too crunchy, or too sweet.  Everything’s just right.  You gotta try it if you love chocolate.  It reminds me of an adult version of chocolate with rice crisps.  Similar sensation, but smooth with a rich, dark flavor for grown-up taste buds.