Category Archives: DIY

TTMT #652 – Welcome Back!! (Sewing Room Makeover #1)

This week finds me back in my sewing room for the first time since before the pandemic and halfway through room prep for painting and flooring. I am happy to be back and hope you enjoy my journey to recreate my creative space!


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Storage Solution from Pinterest!

Source: viaRobin on Pinterest

 I see, and pin, a lot of things on Pinterest. If you’re on Pinterest, you know you do it, too! Many things are ideas that I might like to try or just stuff I think is kinda cool. Storage ideas are fantastic, primarily because my home has so little of it.

There’s a fun list I came across earlier this week that includes 10 things to do with an over-the-door shoe organizer. The one that really caught my eye was storing cleaning supplies. I can never find anything under my kitchen sink, and it’s doubly full as I transition from non-green products to green products. Two of everything? I have them!

over the door shoe organizer for cleaning supplies

I found a shoe organizer at my local supermarket for $5. I didn’t hang mine over the door because I don’t need instant access to any of this because most of these are the supplies that I’m transitioning away from. Also, banging. LOTS of banging. All this on the back of a door that’s opened regularly? Not so fun.

I’m loving the way this works for storage and am seriously considering adding one more in my closet to store socks and other items I don’t have a good place for. My shoes can stay in the closet floor…for now!

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 photo FiSPoD_zpse9443b28.jpg

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Featured Pattern: A Little Haunted, $8 on Craftsy

DIY, like crafts, only bigger

UntitledI don’t have much to show for my last few days because I’ve been doing a little DIY!

The faucet above is in my kiddos’ bathroom. I installed an identical one in our half-bath downstairs.

Here it is on Amazon. I picked it up at my local Lowe’s for about half that price.

Not only did I update the yucky old cheap-o faucets that were in our house when we bought it way back in 1999 (why did I wait so long?!), but I also updated the water shut-offs and intake lines so they are now up to current code for our area.

Did I mention my fingers are sore? Ouch! Even the plumber’s putty under my nails was worth it. 😉

Yeah, DIY!


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All Sudsed Up – Homemade Hand Soap!

Homemade Liquid Handsoap made from a bar of soap

After seeing this recipe for making a gallon of hand soap on Pinterest, I could not resist giving it a try!

It takes one bar of hand soap, 2 TBS liquid glycerin and 1 gallon of water. So simple!

I used a bar of tea tree soap for my version, and followed the recipe to the letter. My house smelled extra-nice for a couple of days, and the soap smells just as good.

For the first few hours after cooking, the soap looked a bit like milky water, but once it was completely cooled, it was absolutely the perfect consistency for a hand pump.

I doubt the refills will last for a year for my family, but we will get a lot of use out of that one bar of soap!

If you try this, make sure you have containers ready to go. I filled all my soap dispensers as well as one empty soap refill bottle, but I had to improvise with the rest.

See you tomorrow for Talk To Me Tuesday!


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Bobbin Storage

Bobbin Storage for my Peg Board

Just a quicky for Friday!

In the Great Clean-Up of 2012, one of my goals for my sewing space is to keep my sewing table clear. The last thing leave the table top were my bobbins.

They were already tamed by using soft hair bands to keep them wound, the next thing was storage.

I wanted easy access and the ability to sort the bobbins.

One recycled egg carton later, and I’m all set!

As seen on

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License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa
Sul Ross license plate cover after 9 years of faithful service.

Let me tell you a little story about a car. It was the first new car that was my very own, purchased in 2002. It was a cute little silver Saturn SL2 and I loved it. It was a faithful car that did everything I asked it to do. One of the first things I did for my car was to buy a license plate cover from my Alma Mater, Sul Ross State University.

Well, my faithful little car was wrecked a couple of weeks ago, but not after 9 years of to-ing and fro-ing.  The car, fortunately, was the only casualty in the accident. The car was totaled earlier this week and claimed by the insurance as salvage.

When cleaning out my little car and saying goodbye for the last time, I remembered my license plate cover from Sul Ross. While sobbing in the front seat (yes, really, I was very sad!), my darlin’ husband removed the plate cover for me.

It has seen better days. Almost a decade of Texas weather had taken its toll. There was a crack on one side from when my kids were younger and, for whatever reason, thought the bottom of the plate cover was a handle. Yeah.

My first thought was to get a new cover, but looking at it, I realized that I held a piece of my first little car in my hands. It wore my Alma Mater’s name proudly for all those years, so why shouldn’t a new car, too?

So…this is what I did.

License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa
After scrubbing the cover with soap and water and allowing it to dry, I enrolled the help of a paper clip and my handy E6000 and glued together and reinforced the crack.

License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa
See, that’s not so bad!

License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa
Next, I covered all the chrome bits with painter’s tape.

License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa
Sheesh, that is seriously faded!

License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa
Now, for some primer.

License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa
White paint followed…ready for some color!

License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa
I used my favorite metallic Lumiere paint from Jacquard and gently (very gently!) painted the letters with a sponge brush.

License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa

And now a clear coat of Polycrylic and it’s almost there…

License Plate Cover Goes to the Spa
Ta-da! Almost as good as new!

Now, I just need a car to put it on…



Upcycled Light Fixture

How many Ofensteins does it take to change a light bulb?

In this case, two.

So, we had this light fixture. It was a super-cheap, builder installed glass globe. The problem was, the light hangs on a chain in our stairwell. The glass globe, attached to the fixture by screws. It takes a broom handle with a hook attached to the end just to reach it. It takes one person to hold it with the broom while the other gingerly removes the globe, swaps the bulb and then replaces the globe. All of this while trying desperately to not drop any of the breakable pieces to the concrete of the first floor below.

In short, changing the light bulb…pain in the rear end. And the thing was not even pretty.

Some time ago, I found a fabulous silk (or silk-like) lampshade at a thrift store. It cost $2. The shade was meant to be on a floor lamp, but I really wanted to use it in the stairwell. The problem was, I could never quite figure out how, so for over a year, it hung from a hook in my bedroom ceiling.

Then the stairwell light bulb went out.

The hubby and I went to work as described above. 15 minutes into the painful act of changing the stairwell light bulb, with two dropped screws and a lot of swearing, we took  a break before putting the glass globe back on.

Then, epiphany. I finally figured out how to attach the shade to the fixture.

Upcycled Light Fixture

I used a small hole punch and made evenly spaced holes around the top of the shade. Into these, I attached short chain I made out of split rings, and then to that, S-hooks. The S-hooks went into the base of the original fixture where the glass globe was attached by screws.

Upcycled Light Fixture
Wallah! A thing of beauty…and no breakable parts.



2011 UFOs and WIPs

With the finish of the TTMT UFO Deadline Challenge, my mind is filled with the projects that I am not only working on, but the ones that have been on the back burner.

Before we start, some definitions:

UFO = UnFinished Object – a project that has been set aside and allowed to collect dust. Chances are it’s existence has been forgotten until it’s pulled out of whatever dark hole it was stuffed into. While there, it probably multiplied like Tribbles, leaving many more UFOs than you remember putting there in the first place.

WIP = Work In Progress  – Always in danger of becoming a UFO, a WIP is a project that is currently being worked on, and will hopefully become a…

FO = Finished Object – What all projects dream of being. The object of much blog activity and excitement and a good source of personal pride. The Ultimate Destination of a UFO and WIP.

This year, in addition to my list of UFOs, I’m including my WIPs and some DYI. This is by no means a complete list because I’m very much a Do It Right now kind of  person. That is to say, when I get an idea, I often have to stop everything and do it now!

See my 2010 UFO list and the follow-up post.

Quilting Projects

Brown Bear, sadly no change since 2009

Bear Paw Pass Around


Started as a pass around project with my bee in 2008, I sadly have not touched these blocks for over a year. I did go through the box and make a plan…

Brown Bear, sadly no change since 2009

I plan to use the gold fabric for sashing and was playing with the idea of using brown for the cornerstones. The more I look at the fabric, the more I think I want brick red cornerstones. The brown just sort of disappears against the gold.

1/2 square triangles from exchanges

Half-square triangle exchange blocks


These are the results of two half-square triangle exchanged I participated in last year. I have not yet decided what I’m going to do with them, which is what gives them their “ish” status. They’re just waiting for the right project to crop up!

The InuYasha quilt - I still need t-shirts

InuYasha Quilt

STATUS – Still Collecting

I started collecting shirts for an InuYasha quilt for my daughter last year. The plan is to use the Shoji Screen pattern and place the t-shirt fronts where the large panels would be. Unfortunately, I only have one t-shirt so far, courtesy of ladyoflosttimes. If you have an InuYasha shirt you’d be willing to part with, please let me know and we can work out a trade. InuYasha is her fandom of choice and the least a good fandom mommy can do is make a fandom quilt for her daughter!

10" HP swap blocks that need to be a quilt

Harry Potter/Magical Swap blocks


These quilt blocks are the results of several swaps. Sadly, I’ve had them several years now. I am one step closer to doing something with them now that I realize I  need to break them into sets. The top set are all the 10″ blocks with images on them that say “Harry Potter” to me. The bottom set are more traditional blocks, blocks that are bigger (or smaller!) than 10″ or magical blocks that aren’t as HP-ish. I still love all the blocks, but I definitely need to make two, possibly three, quilts out of these!

Misc Blocks from Swaps

Christmas Quilt needs borders

Christmas Quilt

STATUS – UFO…leaning towards WIP

Started two years ago from a swap I participated in on All About Paper Piecing (a currently defunct ning network), this quilt is getting a piano key border out of Christmas fabric. I’ve already got it sorted out and plan to start cutting in the next month so it’ll be ready to go to quilt retreat in March.

New York Beauty UFO

New York Beauty Quilt


I started this NYB for a class I taught last year. I had lots of models for the class, all in different stages of done-ness. The class was a blast…and then I lost my steam. I will be optimistic and take this one to retreat in March. I have all the pieces cut and just need to get them together. Will I? Who knows!

Beginning applique class lesson UFO

Beginning Hand Appliquéd block

STATUS -UFO…leaning toward WIP

I took a beginning hand appliqué class last year and learned lots! I even almost finished my class project. Can you see there are two leaves that need to have buds added and to be stitched in place? That’s it…all I have left to do to finish this block. I’m putting it in my car so I can work on it in the carpool line. Maybe I’ll actually finish it then!


The Project of Doom


All the blocks for the PoD are designed and I am several weeks ahead of everyone else in piecing them. I plan to have my quilt top finished by the end of March.  This is my pet project for 2011 and my gift to my friends in the Harry Potter crafty fandom. Want to play along and make your own Harry Potter mystery quilt? Click the banner above!

Below – Tackett protects the PoD blocks.

Tackett protects the Project of Doom.

Five at the Hive January Fall 5 at the Hive January Extra

5 @ The Hive Fall Colorway 2011


5 @ The Hive is Honey Bee Quilt Store ‘s Block of the Month. I’m participating for the first time this year. The two blocks above are my January blocks. I’m doing the fall colorway with the extra block. By the end of the year, there will be enough blocks for a completed quilt top. I’m super excited about this one because 1)I’m not designing it and 2) it comes with fabric and 3)I love the blocks and the layout.


Brown Ghan UFO

Variegated and Browns


I completely forgot about this until I cleaned out my stash. I will get back to working on it after I finish the next project on the list. This will probably be a blanket for The Linus Connection.

black and red project

Black/Red Knit or Crochet Swap


After doing absolutely nothing with these fabulous black and red knit and crochet blocks from a Twilight Crafts swap in 2009, I have created enough white blocks to make a chess/checkerboard out of the set. The next step is to crochet them all together and then add a red, white and black border.


A bowl I started

Rope Bowl – “It’s A Wrap” style


This is the only unfinished craft project I found, and it can really be classified as a sewing project…so, go figure. This was the bowl I started when I taught the It’s A Wrap class last fall. I brought it home from class and promptly forgot all about it. I would like to get back to it and finish it up because the technique is just so darn fun!


Stairs - Before

Staircase makeover


Just last week, I pulled the carpet off of our stairs. It had horrible, gross carpet that the builders installed 20 years ago. I’ve steamed cleaned them so many times, the thought of doing it again made me feel like weeping. The stairs are now de-carpeted, de-carpet-tacked, scrubbed and primed. The next step is a faux finish to turn the stairwell and stairs into a stone passageway. Yeah, you heard that, I actually said it out loud!

Projects In Mind

I have about a million and one other projects that I’d like to tackle this year. These are some ideas that have crossed my mind that are on the high end of happening.

  • A Twi-Wizard She-Shirt in Ravenclaw colors with “ofenjen” on the back. Because I can. And for DH, part 2.
  • A new Monk’s Bag 2.0
  • A granny ripple afghan for Linus. Someone made several in December and they were really neat. I want to make one.
  • A multitude of fun layout patterns for the Sewhooked Shop, like Classic Film, intended specifically for 5″ (finished) blocks.
  • A werewolf wall hanging or cushion for my daughter. Not found in all my stuff today were the blocks designed by Cat Magraith that I started making for Miss E last year (definite UFO status). Hopefully they’ll turn up before March!
  • Miscellaneous gifts for people I love. I do have some things in mind, but hey, spoilers!
What are you working on this year? Do you have any UFOs or WIPs? Blog about them and leave me a link so I can see what you’re up to or tell me in comments!

Way Back Craft: The Fat Lady Mural

The Fat Lady

If you follow me here on sewhooked, then you’ve already heard all about my daughter’s Harry Potter bedroom.  It was  a big project with lots of little projects (and some huge ones!) mixed together.

On Friday, I posted about my son’s bedroom door, which is now graced by the TARDIS.  What I didn’t say is that it was The Fat Lady that started it all.  It was the idea of paining her that led to the idea for the HP room, and eventually, the TARDIS.

When you’re a kid (or a young-at-heart) adult, and you’re dearest desire is to go to Hogwarts and live in Gryffindor Tower, who should greet you as you clamber into your living space each day?  The Fat Lady, of course!

When designing the HP room for my daughter almost 6 1/2 years ago now, the very top of our list said “Fat Lady.”

The photos of the door do not do the mural justice.  She comes out looking much flatter and two dimensional than she does in real life.  Part of that is the awkward angle the door sits to our hallway, making it impossible to take a photo straight on.  I hope you get the idea anyway.  Just trust me when I say, she’s a beauty face to face!

And now, without further ado, The Fat Lady, originally posted on my very first crafts website, Jen’s Crochet & Craf.

What You’ll Need:

  • Level
  • Straight edge (yardstick or similar)
  • Fine sandpaper
  • Soft cloth
  • Primer (if needed)
  • Masking tape
  • Overhead projector (optional)
  • Reference image (on transparency film if using projector) from a coloring book, online image, etc.
  • Chalk or pencil
  • Acrylic craft paints
  • Paper cups or empty egg carton (for paint)
  • Artist paint brushes (multiple sizes)
  • Drop cloth or newspaper


  1. Prepare the work area by protecting with a drop cloth or newspapers.
  2. Make sure the surface you will be painting on is lightly sanded and free of dust by wiping with a soft cloth. If the surface is unpainted, paint a base coat of primer.
  3. Using the level and straight edge, measure and mark where your painting will be. When this is done, use masking tape to outline the INSIDE of the frame. You will be painting inside of this.
  4. Sketch The Fat Lady with a pencil or chalk either freehand or using an overhead projector. If neither of these options is available to you, enlarge your reference image on a copy machine to the appropriate size. Liberally rub chalk over the back of the paper. Tape the paper in the appropriate location. Being careful not to touch the image too much, outline the entire image with a pencil. The chalk will be transferred to the working surface.
  5. Once the surface has been prepared, begin painting using the reference image as a guide. Use whatever size paint brushes feel best in your hand. If you’ve never painted before, just take it slow. Start with the background and work your way in. Don’t worry about details, just get the basic shape to start with.
  6. When you’re happy with the basic shape of The Fat Lady, use slightly darker colors to go back and add details to hair, eyes, shadows, etc. Use the reference image to see where shadows and details need to be.
  7. Gently remove the masking tape. Let the painting dry overnight.
  8. Using chalk or a pencil, draw a frame around the painting. If you are not comfortable with freehand, you can also masking tape. Overlap the background of the painting. For an extra flourish, add a half circle to the top of the frame, which will become a lion’s head.
  9. Using gold craft paint, fill in the frame you’ve just drawn. Add shadows and details

This tutorial is also available on The Leaky Cauldron’s Harry Potter Crafts

MORE HP Decor:

If you make a Sew Awesome Craft or any pattern, craft or recipe from sewhooked, I’d love to see a photo. Email me or add it to the sewhooked flickr group.


TARDIS Newsroom – Pick of the Blogs
July 25, 2009

Is there anything more iconic to a Doctor Who fan than The TARDIS?

Oh, maybe. There are striped scarves and Daleks and, of course, Sonic Screwdrivers. But I think the TARDIS is pretty darn cool.


It just so happens that my 11 year old son does, too.

We’re big on painting, decorating and embellishing in our house. My daughter has The Fat Lady on her bedroom door, and has had for years now. My son has been waiting for just the right inspiration to decide what he’d like on his door.

This summer, it came to him. The Doctor’s TARDIS.

This was not a hard project, but it was time consuming between steps. Here’s how we did it!

Project Supplies:

  • A large, flat surface, primed and painted some variety of light blue
  • Measurements of the door
  • graph paper
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • yard stick
  • calculator (for those like me that don’t do math in their heads)
  • painter’s tape
  • navy blue acrylic paint
  • white acrylic paint
  • 1″ and 2″ white vinyl letters (available at craft stores, mine are from Hobby Lobby)
  • off-white paper, printed with the notice (clickable version below)
  • Modge Podge or other decoupage sealer

The first step is probably the trickiest. After measuring the door, I taped two pieced of graph paper together and then made a scale replica of the door. Using a photo of the TARDIS, I drew up what was as close as I could come to a scale replica, being the door is tall and narrow.

If you’re feeling really detail oriented, flickr user Star_Cross has blueprints of the real deal.

Our door was already painted light blue, so we moved on to measuring. If your door is not blue, remove the doorknob, prime, paint and let dry overnight before moving on.

Next, we used the yard stick and started measuring. We started by finding the center of the door and working our way out, comparing constantly to our graph paper design (which you can see on the right of the photo).

Once the pencil lines were on, we started taping. I’ll show how we did it and add how I wish we’d done it…

We taped outside the windows and inside the door panels (we should have taped inside ALL the rectangles and painted the whole thing navy blue and then gone back and taped off the windows…it would have been easier!).

Then we painted the inside of the window panels white.

We peeled off the tape around the windows and then started painting the rest of the door navy blue.

Once that was good and dry, we peeled off all the tape. You can see the blue from the original door make nice highlights for the panels.

Next, we penciled in lines for adding the vinyl letters. Even though I’d measured carefully on the graph paper, they’re not quite even. My kid is happy, so I left them!

Next, we used the blue paint pen (we tried a Sharpie maker, believe me, it did NOT work) to draw on the window panes and to add mitered corners around the light blue borders.

TARDIS notice

The notice was made in Photoshop by taking a TARDIS pic and then enlarging the notice. I then typed over the words, adjusting fonts and sizes until it was right for the size we needed. The is the scale version.

The notice was attached with glue and then smoothed completely down. I used Modge Podge to cover it, being very careful not to smear the ink.

Once the notice was dry, we added the doorknob back and we were done! I do have silver handles to add to make it even more TARDIS-like, but they aren’t pictured.

Sorry about the awkward photo.  The door is at a 45 degree angle to the hallway, which makes it very tricky to photograph!

More awesome TARDIS crafts:

TARDIS Phone Case by myimaginaryboyfriend

TARDIS Birthday Cake by abbietabbie

and my personal favorite, a squashy, plush TARDIS made by young crafter, Miss K

More Doctor Who crafts from sewhooked:

Share your Doctor Who crafts on the Doctor Who Crafts flickr group or on the Livejournal Group CraftyTardis

If you make a Sew Awesome Craft or any pattern, craft or recipe from sewhooked, I’d love to see a photo. Email me or add it to the sewhooked flickr group.

also posted on craftster and cut out + keep