Easy upcycled pillow sham sewing project

Easy upcycled pillow sham sewing project

I used to be afraid of sewing machines. Not that they would come to life and chase me down the hall or anything – ha ha! No, just afraid that I couldn’t use them and would never learn how! I took Home Economics in school as a child just like everyone else and managed to sew a simple pillow that I stuffed and stitched up by hand. And I used to watch my Mom sew entire outfits for herself, plus tons of dresses for my toddler-self :-) But no matter how many times she tried to teach me to thread her sewing machine, I could never do it! In retrospect, I think it was because my Mom’s sewing machine is an ancient dinosaur and just harder to thread than new machines. Over the years, I’d look longingly at other people’s lovely sewn creations. Cute blankets, skirts, suits, and hemmed pants, but it was all such a mystery to me how they could do that!

Fast-forward into my adulthood and married life and suddenly I had two little girls. How could I have two little girls and not learn to sew? There’s just no way! Plus there were all those ugly throw pillows on the couch just *begging* for new pretty coverings. So I challenged my fears and asked my husband for a sewing machine for Christmas. I knew I was pretty likely to get it because he loves buying electronics of all kinds and bonus…he’s an awesome researcher! Who better to task with the job of finding me an “easy” sewing machine for an affordable price?

My plan worked perfectly and I got that machine 😉 He had to help me figure out how to thread it, and sew a few simple straight lines but that’s all it took. Then it was just me, my machine, and YouTube on my iPad every night upstairs! So fun. I can’t believe I waited so long to learn this wonderful skill! I am still no expert, and I don’t know how to read a pattern, but I can follow a video tutorial like nobody’s business! And I’ve learned to figure some things out on my own. I’ve deconstructed a few items and roughly drawn out my own “patterns” on fabric to make simple things. Plenty of stitches have been ripped out and many, many mistakes were made, but I LEARNED!

I’ve made more little girl skirts than I can count now and I love it. I’m pretty proud of my new skill. It’s funny because when I first started sewing I created a board on Pinterest called “Must learn to sew someday”. Just this last year I finally changed the name of that board to “Sewing”! Not clever, but a huge step for me 😀

This post isn’t about little girls’ clothes but it is about something else I love; upcycling. It’s so rewarding when you take something that’s not quite right and alter it to be something really special and one-of-a-kind. The story behind this sewing upcycle starts with some pillowcases at Bed Bath and Beyond marked down to $10 for a pair. They were sized for a regular bed pillow, but looked like they could be adapted to the size of a small square throw pillow instead. Namely, the throw pillows on my couch! I wished they were a tiny bit cheaper but the embroidery was so pretty and such high quality that they still seemed like a good deal. Aren’t they cute? Pardon the carpet-photo, I’ll take better shots in the day outside. I’m always posting at night – darn it!

Easy sewing upcycled embroidered pillow shams

On that same clearance rack I found an off-white sheet that had a drink spilled on it, marked down to $3. I figured if I couldn’t wash out the spill there was still plenty of good fabric there to be worth the money. So I snagged that too. Good thing because I ended up needing to create a lining for the pillow cases and it was the perfect color. Incidentally, the drink stain washed right out so I ended up with a whole perfect sheet for a measly three bucks. Score!

Another handy thing about these shams is that the back was already set up with an overlapping envelope style opening. So that saved me the extra step of hemming those edges. I just cut off one end of the sham and hemmed up that side, being sure to keep a nicely centered opening in the back. I also trimmed the other three sides and hemmed those for a neat, even, perfectly sized case.

I’m loving how these came out, and my daughter loves it too. She’s sleeping on one of these lovely pillowcases right now. What better testament to a job well done?!

Free printable Avery 6450 ‘hello spring’ circle sticker labels

Free printable Avery 6450 ‘hello spring’ circle sticker labels

I’m a little behind this week on my freebie post. It’s been a busy, busy week with school field trips and family medical issues (everything’s ok now). But better late than never, right? I’ll let this one linger an extra few days to make up for posting it so late :-)

I hope you have fun with this one! Stickers are a new item I’m hoping to add to the shop, but I’m not sure if people are interested in that. What do you think? Do you see yourself using these to secure envelopes or add some happy color to your  kid’s lunch bag, or maybe to brighten up this month’s planner page? What other stickers do you enjoy? Flags? Arrows? Please comment with your ideas and maybe I can create something from your inspiration!

Snag these before May 20th, and enjoy! If you print some of these, I’d love to see it on Instagram! Just tag me with @sarahdesignprints

Instructions:

Right click on the image (hit “save image as…”) and download the stickers to your computer. You’ll need to purchase the printable circle labels for this project. But they are super handy to have around, and I’ll be making more of these, never fear! They are Avery 6450, 1-inch diameter circles, 63 labels per sheet. These are my designs, so no re-selling allowed, but print as many as you want to enjoy at home for fun!

free printable sticker sheet for avery 6450 stickers

Sarahdesignprintables is now just sarahdesign

Sarahdesignprintables is now just sarahdesign

New shorter web address!

Smallish change here on the website. I still sell printables, but my domain name is shorter and simpler. I say this is a “smallish” change because it doesn’t really change the way anything looks to you, but it’s possible some links might get crossed somewhere on the ol’ interwebs that could make this confusing. Confusing internet? What?! :-) The change is that I am no longer calling this website sarahdesignprintables.com and instead am calling it sarahdesign.com. Don’t worry, I’ll still be selling and giving away printables!

It’s just much simpler and shorter and easier all around! I had originally added on the “printables” because I thought it more clearly described my business that way and because I had my professional ux design portfolio listed there already and didn’t want to move that. After a few months I realized it makes way more sense this way so I switched things up this morning. My professional portfolio site now exists on www.sarahguilliot.com. I had avoided using that domain previously because my last name is just so darn hard to spell! But I think this is the right decision so I’m moving forward with it this way.

Don’t worry if you have a bookmark that still leads to sarahdesignprintables or sarahdesignprints. Those domains will both still forward here. I haven’t decided if this changes anything for Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter yet. I’ll post here if it does!

I also have a new business Twitter handle: @momprintables. Don’t you hate it when your name is taken?! I’m @sdprintables on Pinterest and my Instagram handle is @sarahdesignprints. All the business articles tell you to make these names match, but it’s nearly impossible! I thought I’d found something unique but I didn’t realize there were so few characters allowed. My URL is just too long to fit and “sarahdesign” is taken already on most platforms. Oh well, you can always find me here by remember www.sarahdesign.com!

Free “Think Spring” Printable (April 26 – May 2)

Free “Think Spring” Printable (April 26 – May 2)

This week’s free printable is a great gift for Mother’s Day. We need to celebrate spring while we have it! It’s been really beautiful here in Seattle lately, that’s for sure. I find myself unprepared for the warmer weather, always dressed in sweaters and carrying an unnecessary coat. These are good problems to have, I know!

So while this is free this week, and we are in a spring mood, you should snag this print. It’s a classic and subtle design with a simple floral pattern in the background and a “think spring” message, front and center. It’s sized for an 8×10 frame, but is high-resolution at 300dpi so you might be able to print it larger. You can also shrink it down for a smaller frame, or make it into a greeting card.

You’d be surprised how many things you can do with one printable file. I should put together a PDF book with ideas, or maybe a video…or both! Is that something you’d be interested to see?

I used Roselina Script for the”spring” font. I love the curves on this one. It’s very poetic and charming, but with a feminine touch. Unfortunately I can’t remember what font I used for “think” because I turned it to outlines in Illustrator before making note of it! But any tall, thin, sans-serif font, as long as it’s not too wispy, would be a great pairing for this script. I do make a small affiliate commission if you happen to pick this up, so that’s always appreciated. It’s no extra cost to you and is a really great addition to any designer’s toolbox. In fact, this one is 40% off right now on Creative Market so it’s a great time to snag it! I think it’d be perfect for wedding-related art too. So pretty!

If you’re not familiar with the weekly free printable, here’s how it works. Every week I’ll post one free printable here for you to download and enjoy. But it’s only free for one week, then after that I’ll move it into my shop and offer it for sale. Alas, this one is no longer available.

Sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss any future freebies!

8x10 free think spring printable

Double Freebie! Weekly download + Instagram Giveaway

Double Freebie! Weekly download + Instagram Giveaway

Exciting news here today…not only am I publishing my weekly freebie for you to grab before it goes live in my Etsy shop this coming weekend, but I am also contributing to a giveaway on Instagram where you could potentially win free products from TEN small business Moms! One winner takes it all! If you aren’t on Instagram already, you should join. It’s really fun and it’s free. Warning…it is addictive 😉 I’m donating a digital download of my yellow “hello spring” printable to the contest. So you should enter for a chance to get it FREE!

Instagram entries are due before 4pm EST Tuesday, 4/21

To participate in the Instagram Giveaway (pictured below), head over to my Instagram page @sarahdesignprints and follow the instructions under the photo. This deal is called a “loop giveaway”. What that means is that you follow the instructions on my photo in regards to commenting/tagging, then you go to the next shop in the loop and do the same on her page, and so on until you end the loop back at my page. I’m new to this but it is so fun! I can’t wait to connect and share with more people. All the participating shops met and arranged this in the Brilliant Business Moms Facebook group. If you’re a Mom starting your own business, you should definitely check them out. Here’s their blog and they have a wonderful podcast as well! I listen to it constantly while driving around town.

So that’s the Instagram giveaway…scroll down for this week’s free printable….

spring-love-instagram-loop-giveaway-contest

This week’s free “Family” printable (April 19-25)

UPDATE: This one’s no longer free, but check the homepage for the latest weekly free printable.

This week’s free printable is a sweet “family” print in calming teal blue and green. It’s a classic print that looks great anywhere in your home. You can find other fun uses for it as well like a cover for a scrapbook or family planner, or you can shrink it down and trim it into a small rectangle to adhere to a blank greeting card for a customized and hand-created look. That’s a prime opportunity to add embellishments too!

You’d be surprised how many things you can do with one printable file. I should put together a PDF book with ideas, or maybe a video…or both! Is that something you’d be interested to see?

If you’re a typography lover like me and have some digital graphic skills, you can pick up the font I used! It’s called “Bonjour” and is available on Creative Market for purchase. I do make a small affiliate commission if you happen to pick this up, but I wouldn’t recommend it if I didn’t love it. The thick paintbrush style is perfect with the watercolor effect I’ve added.

If you’re not familiar with the weekly free printable, here’s how it works. Every week I’ll post one free printable here for you to download and enjoy. But it’s only free for one week, then after that I’ll move it into my shop and offer it for sale. Sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss any of these lovely freebies!

HOW TO DOWNLOAD:

It’s easy! Just right click on the picture and click “save image as”, then save it to your computer. Then you can just go to where you saved it (I suggest your desktop for easy access), double-click to open it in your browser and print it on your home printer. Right from the comfort of home. You can also save the file and send it to a print shop or take it on a thumb drive to someplace like Costco and have it printed there. I print at Costco quite a bit. They have great customer service and are really affordable.

family-8x10-in-teal-watercolor-text-with-florals

Free Hot Air Balloon Printable (April 12-18)

Free Hot Air Balloon Printable (April 12-18)

This week’s freebie is a fun hot air balloon print. If you’re not familiar with the weekly free printable, here’s how it works. Every week I’ll post one free printable here for you to download and enjoy. But it’s only free for one week, then after that I’ll move it into my shop and offer it for sale. Sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss any of these lovely freebies!

This hot air balloon print would be great for a circus-themed party, as playroom decor in a room with an airplane theme, or a nursery art print. A friend of mine who has a little boy was lamenting the lack of cute things for boys. I have two girls so I tend to only focus on the girly trends, but boys need stylish decor too! So that’s where the inspiration came from for the blues and cool tones in this print.

Just right-click on the image below and save it to your computer, then you can print it on your home printer.

UPDATE–the week is up for the hot air balloon free download, but you can purchase it in my Etsy shop.

This week’s free printable is getting posted today. Sign up for my ‘Weekly Freebies’ newsletter so you don’t miss it!  (there’s a form on the right side of the page, and at the bottom of all the posts)

Rise and shine little star - Hot air balloon printable free for one week only

My print is on the Brilliant Business Moms blog!

My print is on the Brilliant Business Moms blog!

This is so exciting! My new “hello spring” print was featured on today’s blog post over at Brilliant Business Moms.

It’s a really nice article written by Marianne Manthey titled, 7 Ways to Spring Clean Your Blog: Organize, Simplify, & Get Readers To Stay. It’s chock full of great info so I’ll be digging into those tips asap. My print is showing about halfway down the page.

If you’re here because you were reading the article and clicked on my print, then welcome to the site! You can find the yellow “hello spring” printable on my shop page in the navigation above or just go directly to it in my Etsy shop. It’ll be on the front page of my shop for awhile.

Here it is on the Brilliant Business Moms article page:

Spring printable makes an appearance on the Brilliant Business Moms blog

I’m a huge fan of the BBM ladies and I subscribe to their newsletter. They have an awesome podcast that you should check out if you want advice for Moms about running a business, especially on Etsy.

This week’s free printable for Mother’s Day

This week’s free printable for Mother’s Day

I’m trying out something new. I’m going to offer 1 free printable each week that will be free for an entire week, and then after that I’ll move it into my shop and offer it for sale. Sign up for my newsletter so you don’t miss any of these lovely freebies!

Today’s freebie is a great one for Mother’s Day! Gift it to your Mom or buy it for yourself. Either way, enjoy it…FREE! Just right-click on the image below and save it to your computer, then you can print it on your home printer.

UPDATE: Alas! This one is no longer free. But you can find it in my Etsy shop! There’s an orange version there too.

Head back to my homepage for this week’s free print. You can also follow me on Instagram where I’ll announce these lovelies each week :0)

 

Free printable for mother's day available for one week, then for sale in Etsy shop

Free the week of 4/5/2015

Instasale! Instagram exclusive sale of 8×8 canvas deer print

I’m trying something new and offering a special sale on Instagram. I don’t normally sell physical prints, but I had my deer printables printed onto 8×8 stretched canvases and they are SO pretty! I love them and hope you will too!

I have only 3 for sale and the first 3 people who comment on Instagram with their PayPal email addresses will get one! FREE shipping too (U.S. only) so it’s just an even $35. I have a mini easel that I put mine on and it looks super cute. It’s also great in a kid’s bathroom. So swing by Instagram to check out the deal. Even if you don’t buy, I’d love to hear what you think of these and of the idea of selling on Instagram. Would you buy there?

Flash sale of 8x8 wrapped canvas deer prints for $35 on Instagram

Visit https://instagram.com/sarahdesignprints/ to see the deal. Comment there to purchase.

 

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