July 4th Home Decor

I do seasonal decorating around here. I am sort of undecided about home decor ideas- most things I really want to do require major renovations and a large budget. Instead, I do some smaller things to try to brighten things up around here. Seasonal decor fits in well with my "undecided look." I leave my patriotic decor up from late May to early September; it covers Memorial Day to July 4th. Then comes fall, which seems too early to start in the August heat. My living room still isn't finished (is anything ever finished around here?) so the best place I have to decorate is a corner shelf in our dining room. I don't particularly love that shelf, but I don't have anywhere else to put our landline phone. I have to put something else on those shelves or it looks stupid.

I like to use a lot of family pictures when I decorate. I love pictures!!! Last summer I used masking tape to paint stripes on a $1 wood frame from Michaels. (See the tutorial for the dresses in that picture HERE!) I also cut out that number four from 2x6 scrap wood and painted it to match something I saw on Pinterest. (I made my own stamp for the stars from a foam sticker.) A little red and white baker's twine pulls it all together.

Use masking tapes to paint stripes on a wood frame!

On the next shelf, I added some rustic Americana decor I had hanging around from the early 2000s when that was really popular. I made another frame with scrapbook paper and tied on more baker's twine. (I have a tutorial for making the frames HERE. You can see the dresses in the picture HERE.)

Mod podge picture frames to make seasonal decor!

I can't take credit for this one. One of the homeroom parents came up with these fun handprint crab canvases for the Kindergarten picnic/fun day. I thought it matched nicely and added some of my 9yo's shell collection.

Adorable handprint crab kids canvas painting!

Finally, I made a chalkboard countdown block from scrap wood that can be used for various events. This is just an example. A few years ago, the girls and I made 3D stars out of cereal boxes so these added some red, white, and blue to this shelf.

Use chalkboard paint on scrap wood to make a countdown block for any occasion!

It all goes together nicely. I just need to do something about those phone wires.

July 4th home decor on a corner shelf

I also have a few chalkboards in the dining room. One is above my desk and also has a wire basket I use to hold pens, pencils, highlighters, etc. (One jar broke and I didn't replace it yet.) I was super cranky one night so I redid the chalkboard patriotically as a way to relax.

July 4th chalkboard art

Last summer, I taught a class to make these cute flag boards, so I have some July 4th decor outside, too. My daughter actually painted this one. (Pic from last year because my flowers are not so nice this year.)

Rustic flag board porch decor for July 4th

So, that is about it as far as my July 4th decor this year. I also have my patriotic bunting hanging in the window (see it HERE.) Happy 4th of July!

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Ombre Dyed July 4th Skirts


I haven't been sewing lately, but I have had this idea in my head for awhile to make ombre dyed skirts for the girls and July 4th was as good of a reason as any to try it out. I had some knit in a tote that was given to me about 9 years ago (back when I was still scared of sewing with anything but quilting cotton). So, this project only cost me about $3 for the dye and only took a little bit of time.

I let the girls choose what they wanted. Two wanted maxi skirts and two wanted high-low circle skirts. The youngest got what was left over. The maxi skirts were constructed very similarly to THIS tutorial, but I made a waistband measuring their waist size by 6 1/2" (which is folded in half) instead of a fold over yoga waistband. The circle skirts were cut the same as THIS tutorial, but sewn to a waistband made the same way as the maxi skirts. The smallest skirt was just a gathered piece of what was left sewn to a waistband (which I made too big - poor girl was losing her skirt at the picnic!) Always make the waistband a little on the small side so that it stays up! 

I timed myself on one of the skirts and it only took 15 minutes to make! I didn't hem them because I just wasn't that ambitious and it doesn't really matter.

So, we took some before pictures with them all in white. I liked them this way and hated to dye them!

Then, came the dyeing. It went OK and we found that a good way to increase the ombre effect instead of having a distinct line between the white and color was to water down some dye and pour it across the skirt. Then, we sprayed it upwards with the hose.

The circle skirts were made with a different piece of fabric than the other skirts, and did not take the dye well at all. We left them in the bucket for a really long time, but they were just not absorbing the color. They were such a thin fabric that the girls had to wear bike shorts underneath them.
These were both dipped in blue dye. When I washed the circle skirts, the remaining color came out and they are white again. Lesson learned. Check the fiber content or test it out.
The red turned more pink, which I expected. I never have much luck with red Rit dye.
Not my best work but, overall, they were still cute. The girls mostly liked them (except one who wanted her skirt off to play even though I told her it was fine to play in it and get it dirty.) The blue bike shorts under the one skirt gave it a cute cotton candy effect. :)


Honestly, I kind of want an ombre dyed maxi skirt for myself now!
Link Parties where I sometimes hang out...

DIY Fabric Bow ~ Pattern and Tutorial


So, I made THESE cute patriotic peasant dresses for my five girls before Independence Day. The dress is made of red and white chevron quilting cotton. The bows are detachable, making it a multi-holiday dress, if they so desire.  It took me awhile to figure out how I wanted to make the bows so I thought I would share a tutorial today showing how I made them.

They can be made in any cotton fabric and added to any project, so it is a super versatile thing. I made 3 different sizes, too. The small one would even work with a small loop instead of a long tie to make a hair bow or adapt it to make a bow tie!

For a large bow, cut one piece of fabric 10" x 18 1/2" and another piece 6 1/2" x 42".

For a medium bow, cut one piece 8" x 14 1/2" and another 6" x 35".

For a small bow, cut one piece 6" x 10 1/2" and another 4 1/2" x 24".

I am showing you how to make it using pieces for a large bow.

Fold both pieces in half lengthwise, right sides in, and press with an iron.

Interface one side of each piece from the fold to about 1/4" from the edge.

Sew the long sides together.

Now, lets just work on the tie section. Sew a diagonal line on each end as shown.

Trim 1/4" or so from the diagonal line and narrow it in a bit at the corners.

Seam rip a section in the center of the tie - about 1 1/2" to 2" should work.

Flip the tie right side out using the opening you just made. Make sure to push the points out really well. Press and starch the tie.

Sew the opening closed. It is OK if you see the stitches. That will be hidden later.

Now, for the bow part...

Flip the bow tube right side out. Press and starch.

Fold it in half and sew about 3/8" to 1/2" from the raw edges.

Flip the seam to the inside center of the tube and press open.

Fold the bow like and accordion and pinch it together. It may take some fiddling to get it just right.

Loosely wrap some thread around the center and tie the ends to hold it in place.

Now, to put it all together...

Take your tie and fold it in half at the center. The side with the stitching will go against front of the bow. (The bow is laying with the back facing up in this picture.)

Tie it around the bow.

Then, carefully arrange the bow and pin it to the dress. I pinned them at the shoulder. If it is for a baby, you might want to stitch it down and avoid the choking hazard

Pretty!  I like that the bow is neater and holds it shape better than one made of one continuous piece of fabric. All the extra interfacing, ironing, and starching made them very crisp.

Independence Day Dresses


I felt like making dresses for the girls again this year. Don't be too impressed, though. These were super easy!

I just whipped up some peasant dresses, but shortened the length and sleeves a bit. For the youngest daughter, I also decreased the width. (See my fast peasant dress sewing tutorial HERE.)

Then, in my quest to use up my patriotic fabric stash (see HERE), I added these big blue and white starry bows. I actually ran out (HOORAY!) and had to make a quick run to the fabric store for more-I had to settle for some with red stars, too. I have a tutorial coming up next week for the bows.

Grammy came over and brought Jamberry nail wraps, the girls found some hair clips from Independence Day three years ago- the last time I made dresses for July 4th, and they played with the kittens while I snapped pictures.

The looked pretty and festive... at least for a few minutes. :)

Happy Independence Day!!

4th of July Fabric Buntings... Or Procrastination at It's Finest


13 years ago, our Walmart had a great fabric section and in the post-9/11 Americana decor phase they carried a very nice selection of patriotic fabric. I, of course, stocked up on quite a bit of it. I made THESE dresses for my girls a few years ago, but still have a shoebox tote packed full of it.

2 years ago I started to make some 4th of July fabric buntings. I cut all the triangles and sewed a bunch of them together. I even ironed a few of them. But it was summer. I was enormously pregnant. I would have had to iron more to make bias tape. Ehh... Back in the tote they went.

Last week, I pulled the tote out and decided to finish one of them. All I had to do was iron and sew the triangles to the bias tape (which I must have gotten at a thrift store or something since then.) It took me maybe a half hour to do all of that.

Since I realized how easy it was and still had plenty of triangles cut out- and some red and blue ones sewn- I finished another one. My 9yo daughter sewed the rest of the triangles together. She did a pretty good job! I finished it up and we gave this one to Grammy. We even hung it up on her mantle for her. It earned a few "wow"s from my 3yo nephew. :)

I have enough triangles ready to go to make one more of these, but I need bias tape. I just don't feel like making any. So, maybe in a few more years I will make another one. :)

Happy Independence Day to my fellow Americans!