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The Animal Rescue Site

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sun Hat - Beach Hats, Floppy Hat - Free Patterns DIY

I'd never made a sun hat of any kind until a few days ago, though I've had the free patterns for these two beach hats for a while now. Both sun hats are in the floppy hat genre.

Both beach hats were quick and easy to make. For the red sun hat, I followed this great tutorial by Novita of Very Purple Person. She shared her creativity with a guest post of her sun hat with the scalloped brim version here. I downloaded the free pattern for this sun hat, taped together the pattern pieces for the floppy brim and started sewing. The floppy brim of the sun hat can be either scalloped or left plain. Since this was my first time making a sun hat, I skipped the scallops, but aren't they fabulous?

The crocheted sun hat was easily finished in one night following this fast & easy step by step on All Free Crochet. I used 100% natural cotton yarn for the hat and a sunny yellow cotton yarn for the crocheted rose attached to the side of the floppy brim. Tipnut generously shares directions for 20 crochet flowers here.

Either of these beach hats can be made easily and inexpensively. A sun hat with a floppy brim also helps protect your face on those really sunny days. Plus, they're just so darn cute! ;) Speaking of cute......a big Mahalo (Thank You!) to Maile for modeling these beach hats. Aloha and Enjoy!
P.S. Beach hats + a good sun screen = beautiful skin!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Upcycled Leather Belts Seating

Upcycled leather belts from the thrift shop were used to create this leather chair seat. It took 20 leather belts to cover the seat and when I originally completed this project several years back, the belts cost me 25 cents each for a total investment of $5. Here's how to make a leather chair seat of woven leather belts.

Flip the chair over and remove the existing seat cover. It should be screwed into the chair frame. I used a ratchet screwdriver to make the job easier.

Once the seating frame is exposed, lay the leather belts over the frame in a pleasing pattern and begin to inter weave the leather belts. I had purchased two red leather belts and made sure one red belt was placed horizontally and the other vertically. Also, I tried to vary the textures of the belt during placement to keep the leather chair seat interesting.

Once the leather belts are woven in place on top, begin securing the belts on the underside to the chair frame. Pull each side taut, alternating sides and secure using a staple gun OR....

you could also use a tack hammer and upholstery tacks to attach the leather belts underneath the chair frame. (I used both methods when fashioning my woven leather chair seat.) Before securing belts to frame with the tacks or the staple gun, you may opt to trim any excess lengths of the leather belts using a sharp utility knife. However, as shown in the below pic....

I found that several of the belt lengths were perfectly suited to fastening as you would while actually wearing a belt. (That was certainly easy.) :)

Here's a closeup of the finished seat. And in case you're wondering, this upcycled leather belt seating is incredibly strong. This chair does not get everyday use, but it does come out when we have company and need extra seating. It never fails to bring me compliments and people are inevitably surprised at how very comfortable it actually is.

Moral of this story....don't throw away your leather belts! Here's some more ideas for up cycled leather belts.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Adult Tutu DIY - No Sew

This tutorial is showing how easy it is to make a no-sew adult tutu. I wish I'd have made a pink tutu for my daughter when she was young. Instead, she asked me (as a grown young adult) to make one for her and a friend for a relay they're running soon. I started and finished both pink tutus today.

Anyone can make a no-sew adult tutu. Here's how I did it:

For each adult tutu you'll need: 
  • 2 yards of hot pink tulle and 2 yards of white tulle
  • 5 yards 1" wide pink grosgrain ribbon
  • sewing scissors
  • tape
  • straight pins
  • sewing graph board
  • a few basic stitches on the sewing machine or by hand if desired

Fold the ribbon lengthwise in half. Cut to create two lengths at 7 1/2 ft each. Tape off ends of ribbon with clear tape to prevent unraveling. 

Sandwich ribbon sections together. Fold in half and mark center with a straight pin. From that point, position another stick pin 15 inches off each center (for a 30" waist). This is a good medium to start from, the actual waistline can be easily adjusted to accomodate the wearer. ** See notes at bottom of article.

Next, sew the ribbon sections together down the middle to give the waistband more substance or strength. To do this...at sewing machine, sew a straight stitch across the 1" ribbon at each marked edge of the 30 inch section. Next sew a zigzag stitch centered horizontally the length of the ribbon between the two previous stitchings. (Ribbons will now be sewn together for a 30" length centered with the remaining ends hanging loose.)


Time to cut the 54" wide tulle. (The sewing board was handy and made the job go much quicker.)

This was my first time dealing with so much yardage of tulle and I found it a little tricky. So, I simply cut off 1 yard at a time and worked with that.

Smooth out one yard piece of tulle and keep it folded in half (as it comes from the bolt.) Now, fold this piece UP lengthwise in half and then fold in half again. (As shown in pic below, you'll now be working with a piece that is 36" long and approximately 6" or so folded in height.)

Cut through all layers every 4 inches along this tulle, giving you 9 pieces for each 1 yard section. (4" x 9" = 36" = 1 yard, right?)
FOR EACH ADULT TUTU you will need a total of 4 yards of tulle.
There has been a lot of questions regarding the length of the adult tutu. I've tried to simplify this the best I know how...
This next step YOU will determine the length of the tutu:
IF you want a tutu that is 6 1/2" long from the waist then fold each of the 9 pieces of 4" wide tulle exactly in half and cut along the fold giving you 18 pieces of tulle that measure 4" wide x approximately 13" long. (Your pieces may be a tad longer depending on the tulle you use....my tulle was supposed to be 54" wide, but it wasn't exactly so.)
FOR 12" - 13" LONG TUTU
If you want the tutu to be approx 12 to 13" long, DO NOT cut the 4" wide pieces in half. For each 1 yard section this leaves you with 9 pieces of tulle measuring 4" wide x approximately 24" to 26" long.

Continue cutting the remaining yardage in this same manner. 


Align one each of the pink and white tulle strips in your hand. Fold in half together and form a loop.

Slip the loop underneath a portion of the ribbon that is sewn together. (First portion of your slipknot.) Then continue making the slipknot by inserting the ends of the tule through the loop and pull to tighten over the ribbon. (see below what it should look like)

Secure ribbon with pins into your sewing board to hold in place while making your slipknots OR use something like the mannequin I have (shown below) to make it even easier. (Actually you could also probably tie the ribbon ends securely to two opposing, sturdy objects while you work on it, if necessary.) 

Continue making slipknots all along the length of the zigzag waist portion of the ribbon and allow the end portions to move freely to be tied into a pretty bow when worn. 

** Note I used 30 inches as a guesstimate. The adult tutu can be sized to custom fit by either spreading the strips of tulle a bit apart on the ribbon or squishing the strips closer together. Adjust the sewn poriton of the ribbon waistline according to the approximate size of the wearer when starting this project. 

I'm so tickled how these no-sew adult tutus turned out. Really a quick project. Now my only problem was how to get these in one box for priority mailing without smashing? Well, space bags of course! lol

I smoothed the two no-sew adult tutus with my hands, and with the help of my husband got them in the space bag. Now all the girls have to do is remove them and give them a good shake and they'll bounce right back into marvelous pink fluffiness! :)

Vintage Linoleum Wall Art

Once a month I fly to Maui to work with an elderly relative on my husband's old family homestead. There we are salvaging bits of his family history from the ancestral home which is in a horrible state of disrepair. I'm amazed at the "treasures" we've found and I've decided to share a few now and then on my blog.

This is a piece of vintage linoleum found on the floor of one of the bedrooms. In bad shape, it still cut easily with my utility knife. It's very worn and the colors are muted, but as they say, "if only it could talk."

I brought it home to Oahu and happy to hear my mother in law state this linoleum was in all probability a small rug purchased by my FIL (now deceased) for his own mother back in the very early 40s. (The Hawaiian islands in the 40s......more posts to come.)

My father in law  worked during his high school years as a door to door salesman for a dry goods store. Linoleum was a popular item with the housewives on his door to door route. ..... So, vintage linoleum as wall art? You bet!!!!!! :)

P.S. I've shown several other DIY wall art ideas here on my Squidoo lens, Wall Art - DIY and On the Cheap. Linking this post to Craft Gossip's Linky Party; join us!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

DIY Flower Pillows

Flower pillows are so varied. Some are incredibly lifelike and others are more stylized. Together, they make beautiful bouquets for your home and the best part is you can make them yourself! This chrysanthemum pillow designed by the folks from JoAnn Fabric is just one of my favorites.

Flower pillows - I picked a bunch of my online DIY coveted flower pillows and consolidated the links to the free tutorials for these decorative pillows for your convenience. See the flower pillow tutorials from here.

Friday, July 1, 2011

640 Square Feet of Paradise - Making the Most of Small Spaces

Our single-family home in Hawaii is comfy for sure, but it is small. Compared to the square footage of the average American home, my husband and I probably have to make a little more concentrated effort to keep things organized and "in their place" in our tiny home.

I've learned a few tips and tricks along the way which I'm sharing on my Squidoo lens,  Square Footage - Making the Most of Small Spaces. What kind of tricks do you use to extend square footage in your home?
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