Tuesday, April 30, 2013

CRAFT: Faux Stamped Necklaces (Using Vinyl)

**Edited 11/4/13: I've had some requests for the Silhouette file I used to get the sizing of the names right. I've included a link for the downloadable Silhouette Studio file HERE (only available in Silhouette Studio format.) These are the dimensions that worked for me. If you have different size washers than the ones I specified below, you may need to resize the circles and wording.**

When my daughter was born, I wanted to buy a cute personalized necklace to celebrate her birth. I loved all the stamped necklaces out there, but I felt like I could probably make something similar for less. The problem was, I don't own a metal stamping kit (although it's still on my list of wants!) Instead, I broke out my Silhouette Cameo and vinyl and came up with these cute faux stamped pendants!

These necklaces have the look of the expensive stamped jewelry, but they can be personalized however you want - and they make a great Mother's Day gift! (Think about how special it would be to give Grandma a personalized necklace with the names of her grandchildren on it.) You need a craft cutter (like the Cameo or Silhouette), a few jewelry findings and other supplies but believe me, it's worth it. This project is a go-to gift for grandparents, first time parents and everyone in between.

SUPPLIES: 2 sizes of washers found at any hardware store: 1 fender washer 1/4x1inch, 1 flat washer 1/2 cpack (these were the names and dimensions of the ones at my hardware store, but you can use whatever size you prefer), round nose pliers, wire cutters (not shown), Silhouette or Cameo craft cutter, black adhesive vinyl and transfer paper, thin chain (the smaller the better), findings: jump ring, head pins, and closure, crystals, Diamond Glaze.

Before You Begin:
First, you'll need to measure your washers to determine how big your wording needs to be. Open the Silhouette Studio, and create 2 circles slightly smaller than the size of your washers.

ONE: choose the type tool and type out the names that you want on your pendants (names of the parents or grandparents will go on the large washer and the names of the children on the small washer.) Stick to a simple font and type in caps for ease of cutting (I used Arial.) Also, you can use a small heart shape to separate the names of the children like I did.
TWO: as you type, you'll see a little circle with a plus in it to the left of the text (see picture above.) Click on the circle and drag the wording into the circle. The text will conform to the shape of the circle.
THREE: repeat for larger circle.

Creating Your Vinyl Wording:
ONE: use your Silhouette to cut out your wording on the black vinyl.
TWO: place your transfer paper on top of your black vinyl and press well. Peel your transfer paper upward to lift your letters. Note: you could peel up the vinyl to expose the letters first, but I found this method to be easier since the letters are so tiny and they tend to stick to the vinyl when peeled.
THREE: after you've transferred your wording to the transfer paper, use tweezers or your hook tool to weed out any small pieces of vinyl in your lettering.
FOUR: very carefully place your transfer paper on top of your washer (make sure they're clean first!) and press down evenly. Remove your transfer paper to see your transferred wording. If needed, you can use tweezers to adjust your letters some if they're a little wonky.
FIVE: seal your pendant with a coat of Diamond Glaze. Outline the washer on the outside and inside hole, then fill in with additional glaze. If there are any bubbles, put a lighter close to the surface of the glaze and they will pop. Let dry according to the directions on the bottle.
SIX: after your washers have dried, measure out the length you want your necklace to be and cut your chain to length. Stack your smaller washer on top of the larger one, then fold your chain in half and insert the loop through your washers as shown above. Lace the tails through the loop, then attach your closure at the ends of your chain.

Making Your Charms:
The charms are optional, but they add an extra special detail to the necklace by indicating the gender of the children on the pendants. Plus, they add a little bling :)

ONE: insert a crystal onto a head pin.
TWO: grasp the head pin a few millimeters above your crystal and make a loop by wrapping the wire around the side of your round nose pliers. Use your fingers to wrap the tail of the wire several times around your charm. Clip excess with your wire cutters, and attach to your necklace with a medium jump ring.

And now you have a beautiful, personalized necklace! This one below was made to celebrate the birth of my brother's first baby.

And of course I had to make one for myself. Now I have the special necklace that I've always wanted to celebrate my children! I've already made several of these for friends and family and they love them.

Have fun making one for your mother (or yourself!)
P.S. Thanks to the folks at the Silhouette blog for previewing this project!

Check out our Link Party Page to see where we link up each week!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Made It for Me Wrap-Up and Giveaway by Southern Fabric!

We hope you've enjoyed our Made It for Me series! We've had a lot of fun making projects for ourselves for once, and we hope you're inspired to do the same.

Here is a quick recap of all the fun we've had this past week:


In the spirit of making something for ourselves, our wonderful sponsor, Southern Fabric, is giving away a $25 gift card to their online store so you can make something for YOU for once!

Southern Fabric has a fantastic selection of high-quality fabrics in different cuts. Here are some of our favorites:

1 - Noteworthy - Fly A Kite - Aqua by Sweetwater
2 - Marmalade - Floral Bloom - Pink by Bonnie and Camille
3 - Honey Honey - Tea Rose - Dark Blue by Kate Spain
4 - Mama Said Sew - Geometric Pinwheel - Grey by Moda
5 - Happy Go Lucky - Jump - Navy by Bonnie and Camille
6 - Salt Air - Fish Tales - Ocean by Cosmo Cricket

To win a $25 certificate towards some amazing fabric, enter our giveaway using the widget below. The winner will be announced here on ESM on Friday May 3rd. Good luck!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Made It for Me: Jen from Eat. Sleep. Make.

Have you been loving all the posts this week from our awesome guest posters? So much talent, and so many great projects! Well today, you're stuck with me :)

I love to make things for for friends and family. So much so that I tend to forget to keep some of it for myself. I have a problem though: it always seems to happen that when I make something for someone else, the project turns out almost perfect (as perfect as handmade things can be anyway.) When I make something for myself though, I always screw something up! Does that ever happen to you? I guess that's the nature of homemade items, but man I wish I could catch a break sometimes!

I'm not one to quit though, so for my Made It For Me project, I decided to make myself a wrap bracelet using some leather from the bag of leather scraps I found at an estate sale a year ago (yep, I'm stretching that leather as much as I can! See other projects I've used with the leather here and here.) And, in royal Jen fashion, I managed to place the snap in the wrong place on the bracelet so do as I say, not as I do :)

SUPPLIES: 5-7oz leather or pleather scraps (make sure it's soft and pliable, not the thick leather used for belts. You can buy scrap bags of leather at most craft stores), disappearing ink marker, leather snap kit with setter, rotary cutter and mat, scotch tape, E6000 glue, leather punch (a hole punch may work if your leather is thin enough.)

ONE: first use your rotary cutter and mat to cut the leather to size. When cutting your leather, remember that you'll be braiding it, which will reduce it in length, so it needs to be much longer than you may think. My strip of leather was 18 inches long and 1.5 inches wide.
TWO: flip your leather over to the wrong side and measure 1 inch down. Mark a line with your marker (make sure you do not cut above this line.)
THREE: make 3 separate, equal lines that indicate where you will cut your leather.
FOUR: using the lines as a guide, cut from the marks you made all the way to the bottom of the leather strip (again, do not cut above the first line you drew.)

Plaiting Your Leather:

The plaiting is a little tricky, so hopefully the diagram above will help. Make sure you plait loosely as you go. Once you reach #4 in the picture above, just keep repeating steps 2 and 3 (basically, you're crossing the middle pieces over each other, then crossing each side and repeating that. Make sense?)


ONE: when you've reached the end, tape the end of your bracelet and cut off the excess to make it all even.
TWO: cut a small strip of leather big enough to wrap around the taped end of your leather bracelet. Use your punch to punch a hole in the middle of the leather strip and in the end of your bracelet that was uncut. Punch carefully! As you can see, I made the hole for my snap too close to the end of my bracelet so line your snap up on the bracelet to measure where the hole should be first.
THREE: follow the instructions on your snap kit to attach your leather snaps in the holes you punched.
FOUR: use E6000 glue to glue the leather strip to the taped end of your bracelet, and hold in place with a clothes pin or something similar. Allow to dry according to the instructions on the bottle.

Wrap twice and snap closed. This wrap bracelet has quickly become one of my favorite pieces of jewelry. Leather is always in style baby!


This has been such a fun week, we hope you've all enjoyed the Made It for Me series too! Shannon and I want to say a huge thank you to the talented ladies who shared their projects with all of us this week - you're awesome! And thank you also to our readers. All of this wouldn't be any fun if it weren't for you. We hope you're inspired to make something for YOU this week! 

 In the spirit of making something for yourself, we're going to have a fun giveaway on Monday

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Made It for Me: Jess of Me Sew Crazy

Today's guest is Jess from Me Sew Crazy! Jess is incredibly talented and one of the nicest people you could talk to (plus she lives in Virginia, which is where I (Jen) am from, so bonus cool points there.) We've been long time followers of her blog, and now of the beautiful patterns she sells in her shop.

Me Sew Crazy is a constant source of inspiration. Jess is always coming up with a new project for her adorable kids or herself.

Here's Jess with her beautiful clutch tutorial!


Hi there. My name is Jess the Sewing Rabbit, and I blog over at Me Sew Crazy. I am so happy to be here today as a part of Jen & Shannon's Made it for Me Series.

When I first started sewing, I was primarily focused on children's clothing. There is just something about dressing my little ones in handmade clothing sewn with love that fills me with joy. And as I continue to stretch and grow with my talent, I have started to take on bigger challenges such as trying new techniques, and sewing for myself.

I love upcycling thrift store finds, finding a way to turn something old into something modern and fresh. Finding my own style among piles of fabric and a pattern, and figuring out just what I can do with a piece of ribbon that I fall in love with. Which is exactly how this clutch came about. I was shopping our local fabric store when I came across this woven black and white geometric ribbon. It was love at first site. I just knew I could do something fabulous with it.

I thought I would share with you a mini-tutorial today, how you can turn your ribbon into workable fabric. This works best with cotton or woven ribbon, as the firmer, starchier types are not going to have much movement to it.

I used just over 3 yards of fabric to make the clutch pictured above.

You may consider adding a stabilizer at this point to the wrong side of your ribbon to really firm it up. I personally wanted a loose look and feel to this clutch - with strong zig zag stitches that showed when looking at it. If you do not want the stitches to show, another option would be to closely whipstitch the edges together using a handheld needle and thread.  And that's it!

For instructions on how to make the clutch pictured above, there are two tutorials to visit. With leather bottom - the Leather accent fold-over clutch tutorial at You and Mie, without leather - Fold-over Doily Clutch by Skirt as Top.

They are both great tutorials, and will get you on your way to a great looking purse in no time.

Just some of the supplies you will need to make it.  And to give you an idea on timing, I was able to finish this in one nap-time sitting. Not bad if I do say so myself!

The leather tassel, that was probably the hardest part. And I am not kidding.

Thanks so much for having me here today Jen & Shannon. I love your blog and am so thankful that you would want for me to be a part of it!


I've never thought to turn ribbon into fabric - brilliant! And the pattern and colors are perfect. Thank you for sharing such an awesome clutch that we are totally making for ourselves.

Make sure to head over to Me Sew Crazy and follow Jess to see more of her projects and patterns.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Made It for Me: Kirstin of Kojodesigns

Shannon and I love a good sister team of crafters, and Kirstin and Jordan of Kojodesigns are nothing short of amazing! These two have a brilliant eye for design, as you can tell from the parties and fantastic printables that they're always sharing (this farmer's market birthday party and sprinkled with love birthday party are two of our fav's!) Also I've decided to let these two plan both of my children's future birthday parties. I mean, I haven't asked them yet, but I'm sure they'll be cool with it.

Kojodesigns is full of DIY's, yummy recipes, and parties that will knock your socks off.
Please help me welcome Kirstin!


Hey Eat.Sleep.MAKE friends! I am Kirstin, half of the sister team that blogs at kojodesigns, and I'm so excited to be here today. Not only do I just adore Jen and Shannon and their fabulous blog, I love the idea behind this series. Honestly, I don't really make things for myself. I pin things to make for myself, and intend to make things for myself, but it is one of those things that always gets put on the backburner. What a great idea to have a whole series to remind us to actually make some of the things on our boards and lists.

how to make metallic edged business cards

Now, before I headed to SNAP (the conference) last week, I ordered some mint striped business cards.

DIY guilded business cards 

And they turned out great.

But I sort of have a hard time leaving good enough alone, so I decided to gild the edges with copper.

how to gild your own business cards 

And now I love them even more.

Even better? Turns out, DIY gilding is super easy! All you need is a can of metallic spray paint. Want to try it?

how to gild your own business cards

First, stack your cards/paper as close together as possible. Really pack them in. Secure them in place (I used a box and filled the empty side with extra paper, smashing them tightly together with no wiggle room at all). Then spray that edge with the lightest coat of spray paint you can muster. Two important thing- you want zero clumps, so really shake the spray paint can. Also, if you coat the paint heavily at all, it'll leak through and make quite the metallic mess on your cards. So spray the first coat as lightly as possible. Then after you give them a good decent chunk of time to dry, and spray (LIGHTLY) again. And again. Repeat until there is a solid metallic coat of paint on one side. Then repeat with the other three sides.

how to make metallic edged business cards

Even though it's a little finicky, the gilded fabulousness is totally worth it.

A few more make-for-me ideas at kojodesigns that you might be interested in checking out (and making for yourself!)? This Kate Spade inspired bag, a pair of glitter covered shoes, or a flattering-for-everyone dress. Plus, here are 32 DIY Mother's Day ideas (any of which you could make for yourself instead). Thanks again for hosting this great series, Jen and Shannon (and thanks for having us!).


Thanks for showing off your gorgeous cards, Kirstin! One day, Shannon and I will have to get pretty business cards like this. For now, we'll have to stick to our print and cut ones. I (Jen) have been banned from cutting our business cards because last time I hacked them into crazy odd angles. Oops :)

Make sure you visit Kirstin and Jordan's at Kojodesigns to see more fabulous parties, recipes, and more!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Made It for Me: Stephanie of Henry Happened

Stephanie of Henry Happened is that mommy friend we all wish we were: down to earth, fashionable, and seemingly able to do it all. She describes her blog as her "playground for staying curious and always learning," which is something that Shannon and I always encourage others to do. Henry Happened is a definite must-follow blog full of inspiration and great DIY projects that make handmade chic.

I first started following Stephanie in 2011 and since then, I've loved following the evolution of her blog and her fantastic tutorials. At Henry Happened, you'll find projects that are both trendy and fun (her no-sew zipper jeans refashion is one of my favorites!)

We're so excited to have Stephanie here as a guest for the Made It for Me series.
Take it away, Stephanie!

DIY Brooch Bracelet

Hello Eat.Sleep.Make readers! This is Stephanie from Henry Happened, and I write about DIY and style. Jen and Shannon's Made It for Me series really resonated for me because how often do moms get to make something pretty for ourselves? Or even shop for something new? My new clothes usually come from a 2-minute run through of Target when I'm there to buy diapers.

But today I'm going to show you something that I did make just for me. And love wearing because it has history and meaning, which makes it all the more special to me.

DIY bracelet with brooches

I love brooches - they are big and bold and colorful. Like most of my jewelry, the bigger the better! And I have quite a collection from my mother and grandmother (they liked big jewelry too, wonder where I get it from, huh?). But my antique brooches just sit there, looking pretty, on my dresser. Awhile back I made these brooch bracelets, just for me, so that I could wear my heirlooms more often.

These bracelets are super duper easy to make - probably less time than dashing through the jewelry aisle at Target. Just collect some old brooches - if you don't have a lonely collection already thrift stores often have these for cheap - and a couple of plain bangles. You can use metal or plastic bangles, whatever works for the brooch. Thrift stores are good for these too!

brooch bracelet tutorial

First remove the backing from the brooch. Wire cutters work best because you can get all they way down to to the base of the brooch, leaving a flat base.

Bracelet tutorial with brooches

Then apply hot glue to the back and stick it to the bracelet. E6000 glue would also work but make sure you clamp and let it dry overnight to fully secure.

Brooch Bracelet DIYDIY Brooch Bracelet

That's all there is to it! Do you have brooches that you never wear? What do you love making just for yourself?


Wow! Such stunning and sentimental pieces (and so easy to make!) If you don't have any brooches on hand, I bet you could find quite a few at your local thrift store or at estate sales. 

Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing such a gorgeous project. Make sure you visit Stephanie at Henry Happened and check out her other amazing projects!

 1. Glitter Striped Breakfast Tray 2. Homemade Cocoa Mint Soap 
3. Jewel Macrame Bracelets 4. No-Sew Zipper Jeans

Monday, April 22, 2013

Made It for Me: Andrea of Train to Crazy

Welcome to the first day of our Made It for Me series, where we're encouraging you guys to make something for YOU!

This week, we have invited some awesome guest posters to ESM to share projects they made for themselves, and for our first guest, we welcome the multi-talented Andrea of The Train To Crazy and Go To Patterns!

I'm sure most of you already know Andrea. She not only runs her own blog and link party each week, but she also heads up Go To Patterns, which hosts a team of extraordinarily talented designers and their patterns. I've been blog stalking following Andrea for years, and her talents never cease to amaze. How anyone can manage to raise 4 children, run a blog and a pattern shop is beyond me. I don't know how I manage to get myself out of bed and dressed half the time (and sometimes getting out of my pj's doesn't happen at all.)

Please help me welcome Andrea!


Thank you so much for inviting me to this great series! I was so glad to have a reason to sew for me! I usually sew for my kids though I do occasionally manage to sew something for myself. Lately it's been mostly Casual Ladies but for this challenge I made myself a purse. With leather corners. I've been wanting to make one like this for ages.

Fun handbag with leather corners #sewing by

I had picked up some leather scraps on a recent shopping trip. This leather is SO soft and wonderful. It is most likely really nice leather but I think I paid $5 for this bit I used.

Fun leather corners on a handbag. Great pattern! #sewing

I managed to just about match up the sides perfectly. When you look at it straight on it actually looks almost perfect.

The sewing pattern is the Rebecca Hangbag by Bev from Flamingo Toes. I omitted the ruffle that goes down the front. I actually think it would have been super cute if I had done the ruffle in the gray linen. But I wanted something a big simpler so I'll have to do the ruffle on my next one.

zip close handbag sewing pattern

I love a handbag that has a zipper closure. I don't exactly keep mine neat and tidy inside so this hides the chaos that lies beneath.


Confession: I intended to have the entire interior made from that gorgeous Kaffe Fassett but cut the fabric wrong and didn't have enough! So one huge pocket had to do. I like it though. A great pop of color.

Rebecca Handbag sewing pattern. Love it!! #sewing

All in all I do love the bag. I think I would keep the ruffle next time and maybe make the handle out of leather as well. But I didn't have enough because I cut the leather wrong as well. Do you ever have projects like that where you just seem to mess up everything? At least I love the results!

Thank you so much for having me! Stop on by my blog to say hi! And please also stop by my pattern shop to find something fun to make!


First off, what a gorgeous bag! I love gray linen and leather together, so classy. Also, I'm more than a little jealous of your shopping trip to L.A. I would be poor if I had access to all of that wonderful fabric :)

Thanks for sharing, Andrea! Make sure you check out The Train to Crazy and Go To Patterns for more awesomeness!

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