So this week I had to do something quick and easy. We spent most of the last week in New York doing our annual apple picking. It was a beautiful weekend and we had a great time. (I’ll post some pictures at the end of this) Needless to say, I didn’t have a lot of time to put something together so I searched through my pinterest boards to find some inspiration. This is the little number I came across.
Make: DIY Projects and Ideas for Makers
How-To: Felt Crayon Notebook Cover
You can click here for a great tutorial on how to make these. I thought these would be a great gift for little ones. They were super easy. It only took me about an hour to make one and now that I know how to do it, I could probably get several done in an hour.
In the tutorial they mention that they used real wool felt. Since I had a stack of synthetic felt, that is what I used.
I ran to the dollar store and picked up some cute little top spiral bound notebooks and some crayons. Then I set out to make these puppies. I must admit here that I am not always good at reading through instructions. Especially if there are pictures and it seems pretty straight forward and easy. So….there are a few differences in my project and the one in the tutorial. Because I didn’t read through everything first, I had to make this a tad bigger because of the size of the notebooks I got but it was no big deal. (Also, I didn’t realize until I got home that the crayons I bought were slightly larger than regular crayons…in the end I was okay with that since I was making it for little fingers) Also, in the tutorial, they only use one layer of felt for the tab. I decided to use double thickness using the inside and outside felt. Felt can tear after repeated pulling and wear so I wanted it to be a little sturdier.
And the finished product…..
Rather than machine stitch the star on the front, I decided to give it a more primitive look so I used a running stitch with 6 strands of embroidery thread. I thought this would be a great Christmas present for the little 5 year olds I teach at church. I wanted to embroider there names on them but decided that might not be a good idea if I make these in different colors. I’m sure they would be upset if they didn’t get a color they wanted and they wouldn’t be able to trade if their names were on it. I’ll leave the personalization for the grandkids. Shhh ….don’t tell them.
Another project done! Time to move on to another one!
(And as promised, some pictures from apple picking in New York)
Several years ago a friend gave me what looked like 4 antique dining chairs that she wanted to get rid of. They still seemed pretty sturdy but definitely needed a little bit of a makeover. The cushions were pretty grungy and needed immediate removal. Which I did. (Wish I had a picture of what they looked like) And then those cute little chairs sat in my garage for several years. I had every intention of finishing them but I just never got around to it. Plus I think I was a little afraid. I’d never redone chairs before and although it didn’t look like it would be too hard, I didn’t want to do the wrong thing. My husband threatened to get rid of them if I wasn’t going to do anything with them. He was getting tired of them taking up space in the garage. I promised that I would get them done within 4 months just don’t get rid of them yet. Another few years passed and still I let them sit there. Finally, several years ago I decided to jump in and get them done. It wasn’t that hard. A lot of elbow grease and voila! I finished one of them and it turned out pretty well. But that was it. The other three continued to sit there for another few years. Finally, FINALLY, last week I determined that I would finish those chairs by the end of the week. I pushed through to get them done and in the end it only took me a couple days! What was I so hesitant about?
I love to find a story behind things like this so after finding a sticker on the bottom from Tell City Chair Company, I did a little research. The Tell City Chair Company was founded in 1865 in southwest Indiana. It made nothing but chairs for 80 years. After 146 years in business, the company closed it’s doors in 2011. As far as I can tell, my little chairs are from the 1930’s – 1940’s.
So, once I got down to it, this project was pretty easy. The finish had become tacky and grimy to the touch. To clean them up I used 0000 steel wool (super fine) to sand down the grit. In a few spots I ended up using a really fine sand paper. This resulted in a nice smooth finish although it did leave the color looking a bit mottled in places. I wasn’t sure if I could even out the look without restaining which I didn’t want to do.
Once I had it all smoothed out, I rubbed the whole chair down with boiled linseed oil. The result was beautiful. It just gave life back to the wood. The mottled look disappeared and the beautiful wood tones came through with a smooth satin touch.
Now that I had the finish cleaned up and restored, I had to decide on the cushion. I decided to keep it simple and use a linen look. Actually I used a drop cloth from Home Depot. I used four chair cushion pads I bought from JoAnn’s, topped them with some batting and then covered the whole stack with the drop cloth cut to fit around the whole thing. Pulling it tight and stapling it on the bottom of the wood seat made a perfect cushion for the chairs.
Now where to put these cute gems. At last this project is done! Time to move on to another one!