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pleated projects week: pleated dish towel

One of the best things about creating is turning humble, everyday items into something gift-worthy.


Take this dish towel, for instance. It started as a very inexpensive and readily available flour sack towel and just by adding a row of pleats to the bottom, it becomes this understated feminine dish towel.

Here’s what you need to make one for yourself {or your mom, or a friend}:


:: two flour sack kitchen towels {I bought a 4-pack at target for about $5}
:: scissors
:: pins
:: sewing machine {not shown}

You will need two towels – one as your base and the second to create your pleats with.

Begin by cutting of the selvedge of the towel you’ll use for the pleats.  Then cut three strips {approximately 4 inches x the width of the towel}.


Sew the three pieces into one long strip by stitching the ends right sides together. Fold the long strip in half width-wise and iron to hold crease.


Finish one edge of the strip by turning the fold inside out to sew right sides together.  Turn right side out to begin creating the pleats.


Beginning at one end {with the finished edge} begin hand pleating and pin into place along the bottom edge of the towel {leaving about a quarter inch overlap}.


To finish the end of the pleats, mark where you need to end, turn the fold inside out, sew right sides together and trim the end {as above}.


Sew pleats to towel along the top, back stitching at the beginning and end.


When you are finished, the result is this dainty pleated towel.



One more great thing about this project: you can do this to much more than a dishtowel. Try adding the pleated trim to the bottom of a skirt, to the edge of tablecloth or along the perimeter of a baby blanket. Just follow the steps as shown above and let your creativity inspire many new pleated projects.

Don’t forget … tomorrow is the link party to showcase your favorite pleated project.

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pleated projects week: pleated ribbon embellishments

Today’s project is a favorite because of it’s versatility.


The technique is simple: hand pleat ribbon and stitch onto desired item. I chose one of Audrey’s simple cardigan sweaters, but you could easily do this to a t shirt, a pillow, a headband, shoe clips … just use your imagination.

Here’s what you’ll need:


:: sweater {or t shirt, pillow, etc
:: various ribbons {grosgrain or satin}
:: coordinating thread
:: scissors
:: sewing machine and pins {not shown}

Start by laying out a pattern for your ribbon.


Next, create knife pleats {folds that go in the same direction} and iron to hold shape.  I just folded by hand, but you could mark measurements if you’d like your pleats to be perfectly spaced.


Pin pleated ribbon onto sweater in desired location.


Continue pleating each ribbon and pin to sweater.



Using a matching thread, stitch along the top of the ribbon pleat.


Switch out your thread with each different color of ribbon.

Here’s the final product:  pleated-ribbon-sweater

Isn’t it darling?!


A very simple way to embellish.

I’d love to see what you are inspired to create … be sure to share your pleated project on friday!

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pleated projects week: pleated medallions


This week should be fun … five different projects all using the same folding techniques to create pleats. Each one is inexpensive {yay!}, easy to achieve {double yay!} and can be altered to make tons of different projects. At the end of the week we’ll do a link party where you can show off your pleated projects.

Up first: how to make pleated medallions.


There are two ways to make these pretty medallions so I’ll show you both ways.

For the first way, here’s what you need:


:: 8.5 x 11 cardstock
:: scissors
:: hot glue gun {not shown}
:: coordinating paper {optional}


cut paper into three equal strips


Begin by folding one strip up about a half inch. Turn over and fold equally. Flip over again and continue folding. Don’t worry about being perfect, just try to keep the folds mostly even.


Once you’ve folded all three pieces, connect end to end using hot glue until you have one continuous accordion-folded strip. Then join the two ends to make a circle.


Now flatten the circle and squeeze in toward the center.


Secure with hot glue.


You can stop here, or embellish further with a coordinating circle in the center.


Freehand {or not} a circle and hot glue to the center.


Cute, right?

To make a medallion another way, here’s what you’ll need:


:: four equal pieces of paper {I used wrapping paper from paper source}
:: scissors
:: hot glue gun {not shown}
:: coordinating paper {optional}


Stack all four sheets {it helps if the paper is not as thick as card stock} and accordion fold. Separate the four pieces. flatten one piece at a time and fold in half.


Glue ends of folds together to create one continuous accordion fan.



Again, you can leave this as is, or embellish with a center circle.



By varying the size of paper as well as the size of folds, you can get large and small medallions.

We hung a cluster from twine over Audrey’s bed for a colorful, whimsical touch.



Come back tomorrow for another great pleated project!

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wallpapering with gift wrap {tutorial}

I often get an idea in my mind for a room {like, wallpaper for the back wall of the laundry room} and I search and search for what my imagination pictures.  Sometimes I find what I’m looking for; most of the time I don’t. Or maybe I find it, but it is way beyond my budget.

Which is why I am a DIYer.

And it’s also why I used giftwrap on my laundry room walls instead of real wallpaper.

The idea was originally executed in the nursery with my very favorite metallic peony gift wrap. I had searched for a real wallpaper that was similar and never could find it, so I ordered a stack of gift wrap and glued it to her bedroom wall.  This was all done before I began blogging {which means no photos} so I thought I’d take the opportunity to share with you how I did it this second time around in our laundry room.


Before we begin, here’s the most important tip: use thick paper.

The thinner the paper, the more likely it will wrinkle and look funky. My friend tried wallpapering a closet wall with a cute roll of glossy giftwrap and it did not work. So do your best to find thick paper without a sheen. And if you can find one with a repeat pattern or a random one that you don’t need to match up {like in Audrey’s room}, this project will go much more smoothly.

Okay, so let’s talk about what you’ll need:


:: gift wrap {either sheet or roll}. remember: thick!
:: wallpaper paste {I ordered this as my hardware stores do not carry wallpaper paste}
:: foam roller, tray, foam brush
:: scissors, pencil, exacto knife
:: clean rag
:: optional but helpful: yardstick, glue dots, squeegee

STEP ONE: tack up your first section of paper using glue dots {or an extra set of hands}. Roughly pencil any areas that need to be trimmed, being sure to leave a few inches overlap to be precisely trimmed later.


STEP TWO: roll a thin coat of wallpaper paste to the top section of paper and adhere to wall, smoothing with hands, clean rag or squeegee.


Continue to add paste in sections going down the length of the paper. I ended up just rolling it onto the wall and then pressing the paper down.

STEP THREE: trim around edges using an exacto knife


STEP FOUR: secure all edges with a foam brush and paste {this was easier than the roller for little areas}


STEP FIVE: Once your first piece is up, you can add the next piece – matching the pattern at the seam.


You can see the wrinkles in the photo above. Once the paper dried, most worked themselves out. There are a few remaining air pockets, but they are hardly noticeable.



I used this wrapping paper from Paper Source.

The wall in this room took about 1 1/2 rolls of paper.

The project from start to finish took about 3 hours.

I love how it turned out.


Questions? Please ask and I’ll gladly answer!

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how to make a tissue paper flag banner {tutorial}

Here’s something I have learned about myself through putting all these tutorials on the blog: almost every one could be described as simple. Simple pillow. Simple paper flower. Simple embellished tshirt.

Today’s project is no different. Actually, it’s probably the simplest of all, which makes it one of my favorites because you can whip this out in just a few minutes.

Just the kind of projects I like.

I present you with: how to make a tissue paper flag banner.


These little flags were made at one am the night before Audrey’s party. I know, that’s crazy. I thought so too when I looked at the clock.  But they really made the table area festive and I’m so glad I did this.

Here’s what you need:


:: tissue paper {mine is from here}
:: twine
:: scissors, paper cutter and tape {oops, not shown}

STEP ONE: fold a stack of paper and cut in strips.


STEP TWO: unfold each strip and cut into desired rectangle size {mine are 6 x 8}


STEP THREE: cut notches out of the bottom of each rectangle


STEP FIVE: cut twine to desired length. Just string it up where you’ll hang your banner and add a few inches.


STEP SIX: tape the back of each flag to the twine, leaving a few inches between each flag.


Then hang!



See? Very simple. But very cute.

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