Two Dozen Free Wedding Dress Patterns and Tutorials

Two Dozen Free Wedding Dress Patterns and Tutorials

Yes, you can DIY your wedding dress!

If you’re the crafty type, and you’ve got a good bit of ingenuity, you can find yourself walking down the aisle not in a mass-produced, factory-made wedding dress, but in your very own hand-sewn, custom-made original.

Whether you’re upcycling, remaking, or sewing your wedding dress from scratch, check out these free wedding dress patterns and tutorials to get you started.

1. The DIY wedding dress processRegardless of the fabric or style or pattern of wedding dress that you choose, THIS is the basic process that you’ll follow. Yes, it’s time-consuming, and yes, it can be tedious, but if there was ever a time for precision and perfection, then it’s when you’re DIYing your wedding dress.

2. Ball gownDepending on your colorway, this dress would work equally well as a wedding dress or bridesmaid’s dress.

3. Boatneck dressYou might want to lengthen the skirt on this dress–or you might not!

4. Boning for a strapless wedding dressSometimes the main difference between a standard dress and a wedding dress is the construction; here, a tutorial on adding boning to a strapless dress shows you how to add structure to a standard pattern.

5. Cocktail dress patternA wedding doesn’t have to be the biggest production ever–perhaps all you want is a party, and all you need is the perfect cocktail dress. Here you go!

6. Crepe and chiffon wedding gownThis is a versatile pattern that flatters a variety of body types and goes through a size 18.

7. CrinolineEven if you don’t want to make your entire wedding dress from scratch, a crinoline is an easy way to add something you’ve sewn yourself to your garment.

8. Crochet wedding dressIf you can crochet, I REALLY think that you should crochet your wedding dress!

9. Dip-dyed wedding dressHere’s a great way to remake a thrifted or upcycled wedding dress. Dip-dye it an interesting color!

10. DIY bustleYou don’t necessarily have to build your entire wedding dress from scratch; you can save money and achieve the dress of your dreams simply by doing some of the refashioning yourself. Here, for instance, is a DIY method to bustle the train on your wedding dress.

11. DIY dress formCustom clothing is most easily sewn–especially for yourself!–with a custom dress form on hand. Here’s how to make a duct tape dress form that’s custom-built just for you.

12. Elastic-waist evening dressI LOVE how comfortable this dress looks, while still fitting into a formal theme. To make it even comfier, it’s secretly a two-piece garment.

13. Goddess gownThis beautiful dress has little structure and lots of drape, and as such, won’t work for everyone, but if it works for you, it’s a great way to sew a dress that you really CAN use over and over again–and honestly, that’s a far more traditional way to make a wedding dress than the current way.

14. How to hem a formal gownEven doing your own hemming of your wedding dress can give you more custom options, as it allows you to use a thrifted or off-the-rack dress without shelling out for alterations. This method of hemming is accessible to an intermediate sewer.

15. Laced-back dressHere’s a pro tip for those of you who are looking for even more free resources for wedding dress patterns and tutorials–search for prom dress patterns and tutorials, too! Lots of people DIY prom dresses, so there are a lot more tutorials to choose from, and often those tutorials are for dresses that are both thrifty and adventurous. This lace-up back dress, for example, was built to be a prom dress, but would make a beautiful and fairly easy to sew wedding dress, as well.

16. Lace maxi dressThe pattern and style of this dress are deceptively conservative; it’s the use of lace that makes it an over-the-top wedding dress! If you’re a seasoned thrifted, keep your eye out for antique lace tablecloths to make your dress even more special.

17. Linen wrap dressOne of the best circumstances in which you can sew your own wedding dress is if you’re looking for something simple and understated. In that case, you can often DIY the perfect dress using a pattern that isn’t wedding-themed at all. This linen wrap dress, for instance, would be perfect for an outdoor wedding.

18. Off-the-shoulder wedding dressThis downloadable pattern for a simple, off-the-shoulder wedding dress comes in sizes small through extra-large.

19. Off-the-shoulder ball gownHere’s another free, downloadable pattern for a dress that’s similar to the previous one, but has a fuller skirt and a more structured bodice–it’s your fairy tale wedding gown!

20. Ruffle wedding dressBurdastyle patterns are the BEST! This particular Burdastyle creation is light and fluttery, with ruffles at the spaghetti straps.

21. Satin beltA sash or belt is another DIY way to add definition to a non-standard wedding dress.

22. Sweetheart dress with a bubble skirtYou have to imagine this dress in white, but think of how well the strapless bodice and bubble skirt will look as a wedding dress.

23. Tulle skirtAdd this tulle skirt to a suitable top or sew it to a fitted bodice.

24. Just add lightsThis hack works with any of the tulle or lace dresses above–for an evening wedding, why not add twinkle lights to your skirt?

P.S. Want to skip the florist, as well? Check out these DIY, eco-friendly bouquets!


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How to Make a Shadow Box from Corrugated Cardboard

How to Make a Shadow Box from Corrugated Cardboard

ALL MY THINGS bring me joy. I am not giving up a single one of my priceless possessions, whether that possession is a dragon egg-themed Easter egg, a tiny skull-shaped bottle, a handmade polymer clay narwhal, or the name of my home state cut out of a license plate.

Why do I have the name of my home state cut out of a license plate? Don’t remember. Don’t care. But I am KEEPING IT.

As I’ve discovered, one’s priceless possessions look less like you’re a hoarder when they’re displayed nicely so that you can enjoy them, not piled up on top of your dresser gathering dust. Storing your little treasures nicely is as easy as arranging them in a shadow box, and making that shadow box is as easy as cutting and pasting.

You learned how to do that stuff in kindergarten. You can totally do this.

Why make a shadow box instead of buying one? Well, it’s cheaper, for one thing. And it’s better for the environment because these shadow boxes are made from corrugated cardboard and old papers, not particle board and plastic. And you will absolutely LOVE the way that you can customize each shadow box to have exactly the shape and the shelves that you want.

Seriously, hot glue is a miracle of science.

I think that these DIY shadow boxes look nice, and most importantly, they keep your stuff stored and on display so that you can enjoy it. Check out how to make your own, and then get your own stuff off your dresser and displayed like you love it!

Supplies & Tools

You will need:

  • Corrugated cardboard. All of the cardboard that I’m using in this project comes from cases of Girl Scout cookies. Ask a Girl Scout of your own, and I’m sure she’ll be thrilled to offload some to you, too.
  • Xacto knife
  • Metal Ruler
  • Self-healing cutting mat.
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue.
  • Stash wire, sturdy enough to hold your shadow box full of treasures
  • White glue, water, and a container to mix it in
  • Paper. I’ve used old book pages, sheet music, comic books, and even plain newspaper for these shadow boxes.
  • Optional materials: paint and polyurethane sealant. Paint can cover ugly papers, such as newspaper, and polyurethane sealant will make your shadow box sturdier and easier to wipe off, and will keep the surface from getting sticky over time (that can sometimes be a problem with glue-based decoupage, so definitely consider it if you plan to put something legitimately precious in your shadow box)


1. Make the outside frame of the shadow box.

Find a box whose area you like for your shadow box, and break it down and lay it flat on top of your self-healing cutting mat. You’ll be cutting the top and bottom off of the box, and then cutting it into a strip that will equal the depth of your shadow box. I really like three inches for this, although I used four inches for the shadow box that holds my friendship rocks and that depth works well, too.

Open up the strip that you cut and stand it up on your cutting mat; this is the outside frame of your shadow box!

2. Add a back to the shadow box.

Set your shadow box frame on top of another piece of corrugated cardboard with at least the same area as the frame; if you’re using Girl Scout cookie cases, one of the larger sides of a second case is perfect for this.

Hot glue the back to the frame all the way around, and then cut away any excess cardboard.

3. Add shelves.

Cut more corrugated cardboard strips the same width as the shadow box frame, and then use those strips to add shelves to the shadowbox. Use hot glue to tack the shelves down, but you’ll be securing them much better a little later.

4. Add a hanging wire to the shadow box.

Hot glue a length of wire or cording to the sides of the shadow box, making a loop that goes over the top of the shadow box for hanging. Don’t secure the hanging wire to the back of the shadow box (as I did on my very first attempt at making this project), because if you do, the shadow box will tend to tip forward when it’s filled and hung. Securing the wire to the sides of the shadow box will even out its balance a little better.

5. Decoupage the shadow box.

If you liked the look of the raw cardboard, you could be just about done with your project there. I think these shadow boxes look nicer and are sturdier when decoupaged, however. To do this, choose a fun paper and tear it into strips. Pour a 1:1 mixture of white glue and water into a jar and stir it up. Piece by piece, dip a strip of paper into the mixture, strip off excess glue with your fingers, and smooth it onto the shadow box.

Overlap as necessary to cover the entire surface area of the shadow box. I like to cover the back first, let it dry, and then cover the front.

Covering the front will take a lot more time, as you use lots of paper to cover all those fiddly corners and seams.

Let the glue dry well, and then you can paint or seal your shadow box if you wish. After that, it’s ready to be enjoyed! What will you display in your DIY shadow box? Let us know in the comments!


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25 Eco-Friendly St. Patrick’s Day Crafts

25 Eco-Friendly St. Patrick’s Day Crafts

Don’t let St. Patrick’s Day just be that overlooked holiday of binge-drinking. Instead, think of it as our first holiday of spring, our first excuse to add green to our decor, our permission to strew everything with rainbows and shamrocks.

St. Patrick’s Day is a lot of fun, and I think you’re going to love these eco-friendly craft projects perfect for decorating and celebrating the hope that spring is (almost) here:

1. Toilet paper tube shamrockYou know that here at CAGW, we’ve never met a toilet paper tube project that we didn’t love, and this one is no different. A toilet paper tube shamrock is quick and easy to make, and if you don’t already have everything that you need to make it, just wait a couple of days.

2. Fried eggs in green peppersNo matter what your St. Patrick’s Day plans are, you need a healthy, protein-filled breakfast to start you off. How about eggs fried inside green pepper shamrocks?

3. Paper shamrocksScrapbook paper is the perfect thickness to make these fun, three-dimensional paper shamrocks.

4. Scrap fabric wreathIf you love to sew, it’s likely that you have more fabric scraps than you know what to do with. Are some of your fabric scraps green? If so, then I know what you should do with them!

5. St. Patrick’s Day gift tagsGiving something gold, rainbow-themed, or green? Add a gift tag with upcycled button embellishments to make it really festive.

6. Recycled St. Patrick’s Day garlandYour St. Patrick’s Day party will be even more festive with the right decorations, especially this St. Patrick’s Day garland made primarily from recycled materials.

Looking for a St. Patrick’s Day craft that isn't so shamrock-y? Try this recycled green St. Patrick's Day garland!

7. Clay pot planters. I LOVE the idea of starting greenery in these simply-embellished clay pots a couple of weeks before St. Patrick’s Day. How fun to finally have something green and growing to decorate with!

8. Embellished mugsI highly recommend using real ceramics markers instead of paint pens, but other than that, embellishing thrifted white ceramic mugs, tea cups, and plates are one of my favorite craft projects.

9. Upcycled Mason jars. You CAN use Mason jars for this project, but I also really like to upcycle embossed spaghetti sauce jars.

10. Wood shim shamrockThe tutorial calls for a pre-cut wooden shamrock as a base for the wood shim scraps, but you could cut the shamrock yourself out of scrap wood, or even use a sturdy cardboard base.

11. St. Patrick’s Day embroidery hoop wreathEmbroidery hoop wreaths are so simple to make and so easy to swap out. Change your Valentine’s Day wreath for St. Patrick’s Day, and then change it again for Easter!

12. LUCK marquee signThe tutorial uses lath, but you could also upcycle pallet boards for this marquee sign.

13. Painted glass vasesA clear glass vase from the thrift store is easy to make look glossy and bright in any color you choose–in this tutorial, the color is three different shades of green.

14. Shamrock heart hair clipsWool felt and Eco-fi recycled felt are both eco-friendly materials to use for this project.

15. Split pea wreath. It’s an unusual choice of material for a wreath, but since it’s green, it works! Use a straw or newspaper wreath base so that the whole thing is compostable after the holiday.

16. Valentine candy box shamrockYou know all those heart-shaped boxes of candy that you got for Valentine’s Day? Glue them together, paint them green, and just like that you have a shamrock!

Shamrock Craft

17. Homemade rainbow rocket popsEat the rainbow in a good way, without all the sugar of a store-bought popsicle.

18. LUCKY penny lettersDon’t bother purchasing store-bought letters; instead, cut them from cardboard or scrap wood.

19. Scrap wood leprechaun hatCrafting with scrap wood is one of my favorite things because it’s so cheap and eco-friendly, and glue and paint can do anything. Here, it makes a fun and festive leprechaun hat!

20. Split pea hurricane lamps. It turns out that EVERYONE is using dried split peas to decorate for St. Patrick’s Day! Here, they serve as a rest for the candles in hurricane lamps.

21. Recycled shamrock broochObviously, you have to wear green on St. Patrick’s Day. Here’s a DIY shamrock brooch whose materials you can pull from your recycling bin.

22. Paper mosaic shamrocksHere’s a great way to use up lots of paper scraps. If they’re not already green, feel free to play with paint and stamps until they are!

23. Pot of gold necklaceI have a couple of these little jars leftover from a previous craft, so all that’s needed is to add an eye pin and a pinch of gold glitter in distilled water.

24. Rainbow fruit tray. This is the perfect treat to bring to a kid’s class party or to provide some healthy fiber and natural sugars at your own party.

25. Rainbow stacked heartsEven very little ones can do all the painting and sorting of these hearts, but the sizing and texture of the cardboard is interesting enough that everyone can enjoy decorating and embellishing them.

Are your St. Patrick’s Day plans suitable to reveal in a public forum? If so, tell me about them in the comments below. Bonus points if they involve DIY!


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How to Remove Wax from A Candle Jar

How to Remove Wax from A Candle Jar

Here’s a shout-out to my fellow VERY thrifty crafters!

I like to do a lot of wax crafts, but beeswax is expensive, and lacking my own set of beehives, my budget can’t quite keep up with my habit.

Fortunately, I also have a lot of jar candles around the house, some homemade (with more lovely beeswax!) and some gifted or store-bought (with various qualities of wax, but often most likely the cheapest). When these candles burn down there’s always still some wax left at the bottom and around the sides of the container. Reclaiming that wax is a simple process, and when I’m done, I have all-new wax to craft with!

It’s worth it even to reclaim that cheap wax of unknown (but probably petroleum-based) provenance. You can use it to make fire starters, or dye it and use it to make wax seals. Perhaps you have an origami boat that you’d like to waterproof?

The possibilities for reclaimed beeswax or soy wax are endless, of course, including remaking your own jarred or poured or dipped candles.

And don’t forget that you can also reuse the jar that the candle came in! I’ll show you how to get it squeaky clean near the bottom of my post.


Here’s what you need to reclaim the wax from your jar candles:

  • used jar candles
  • crockpot*
  • oven mitts
  • silicone molds

*Save yourself some trouble and hit up your nearest thrift shop for the cheapest crock pot on the shelf, and then use it only for crafting. I bought this crock pot from Goodwill for $1.50 probably a decade ago, and it works perfectly for me and then lives out in the garage when I don’t need it.


1. Cover your work surface with newspaper, then ready your crock pot.

Because I promise you that you do NOT want to spill melted wax all over your kitchen. Just… you really don’t.

2. Add the jar candle containers and water to the crockpot.

Oh, if only it were so easy! So here’s the thing: those nearly empty jar candle containers are going to want to FLOAT, dagnabit. It’s super annoying, and also, you really don’t want to get water in the containers with the beeswax.

What you have to do, then, is wedge the containers in so that they can’t float away. Setting a ceramic plate on top of them works well, as does filling Mason jars with water and setting them in the crockpot to take up all the rest of the available space.

3. Melt and pour.

After everything is wedged tightly into place, all you have to do is turn your crock pot on and wait for the wax to melt. I like to pour the melted wax into silicone molds, not only because the wax slips out so easily when it’s cooled, but also because afterward, you have lots of manageable little blocks of wax that it’s then easy to melt again and use for all your projects.

Often, your melted candle wax will have soot or wick fragments in it. If so, pour it through a layer of cheesecloth to catch the impurities.

4. Store reclaimed wax separately.

It’s worth it to always store this reclaimed wax separately from your other wax stash. If you have no idea what type of wax you’ve reclaimed, you obviously don’t want to mix it in with your lovely soy and beeswax, but even if it’s soy or beeswax that you’ve reclaimed, you still don’t want to simply add it back to your stash. Reclaimed candle wax is fine for making more candles, but I certainly wouldn’t want to use it for the skin care products that I also make using beeswax.

Now, what about those reclaimed jar candle containers? Even with the wax melted and poured out of them, you’ll notice that they’re still waxy. The trick to getting them squeaky clean is to completely immerse them, right side up, in a large pot of water. Make sure there’s plenty of water covering the top of the containers. Heat the pot of water on the stove, and when the water temperature reaches the melting point of the wax that the candle containers once held, the remaining wax will melt and float to the top of the water.

You have to play around with this method a bit and keep a good eye on the pot, because your wax of unknown provenance is going to melt at an unknown temperature, and if you have several candle containers in the pot, you’re probably going to be dealing with a different melting point for each of them. But when all the wax has finally melted and floated up to the top of the water, you can take the pot off the burner and let the water cool.

Skim the solidified wax off of the cooled water and toss it, and then you’re free to check out your former candle containers. They’ll likely still be sooty and need a good scrub-up, but after that, they’re ready to reuse or upcycle.

Might I suggest that you use them to make another jar candle?


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30 Eco-Friendly Valentines To Make and Share

30 Eco-Friendly Valentines To Make and Share

Valentine's Day Nature Crafts

It’s not too late to give a handmade valentine to all your loved ones–especially not when you can pull the supplies right out of your recycling bin or front yard!

Need inspiration? No problem! Check out the list of my all-time favorite eco-friendly handmade valentines, and get inspired to share the love:

1. Seed paper valentine. The best part of these valentines are that they’re plantable, so there’s no waste! And don’t think that this project is only for Valentine’s Day–I think it would make a perfectly sweet gift for Mother’s Day or your favorite gardener’s birthday, too.

2. Fabric heartThis sewn valentine has a secret pocket to keep your love notes safe.

3. Custom-sized envelope tutorialDon’t despair if your handmade valentine won’t fit into a store-bought envelope. Making your own custom-sized envelope is easy!

4. Folded heart cardThere’s plenty of room for a lovely love letter inside this card. Be creative with the papers that you upcycle for your folded hearts–wouldn’t sheet music look lovely?

5. Toilet paper tube butterflyThese valentines are nice and big so that preschoolers can draw all over them.

Recycled Valentine's Day Crafts

6. Manila folder valentine with a bunting embellishmentIf you’re the office worker type I bet you’ve got some of these lying around!

7. Button and popsicle stick valentinesBe warned: the kids are probably going to want to spend at least as much time playing with the buttons as they are making valentines with them…

8. Cross-stitched hand warmersThese are more work than your average valentine, but still small enough to be able to mass-produce, and your recipients will think of you every time they use your valentine to keep their hands nice and toasty.

9. Embellished treat bagsPerhaps you have some treat bags left over from a previous party. Just a quick paint job makes them Valentine-themed, and then they’re useful again!

10. Yarn-wrapped cardboard heartThis project is a great way to help even the littlest littles make their own valentines. Let them wrap the cardboard heart willy-nilly, then tie on a gift tag with a ribbon.

Recycled Valentine's Day Crafts

11. “Cute As A Button” valentineGot a bunch of buttons? Know somebody who’s just as cute as a button? It’s the perfect combination!

12. Crystal valentinesThese take a while to grow, but they’re educational and fun, and nobody else will be giving away a valentine like them.

13. Toilet paper tube heart stampUse this DIY upcycled stamp to embellish plain paper for an instant valentine.

14. Felt heart pinFelt, whether it’s natural wool felt or recycled Eco-fi felt, doesn’t need to be hemmed, making this project a LOT quicker. Don’t have felt on hand? Try fleece!

15. Newspaper heart valentines. You’d never know by looking at it, but newspaper takes paint like a champ and looks really gorgeous afterward. Try it and see!

Make origami hearts with this quick and easy method. They're so simple to make that you'll have a pile of them before you know it!

16. Origami heartsThis is the quickest and easiest valentine on this list! For a super simple valentine, simply size up your starting strip of paper, fold the origami heart, and sign your name on the back.

17. Fingerprint heart cardI’ve been really into upcycling old photos lately, and I think this project would be an awesome way to use up a cute old photo of your valentine.

18. Friendship necklacesInstead of the plastic foam that the tutorial calls for, simply substitute cardboard or even stiff felt.

19. Mason jar lid valentinesYou don’t even have to attach these to a Mason jar full of treats–but you could!

20. A printable fortune tellerPrint this on the back of anything letter-sized, whether it’s old artwork or stash scrapbook paper.

Recycled Valentine's Day Crafts

21. Puzzle piece valentineThese valentines work best with the larger size of preschool puzzle pieces. If you make valentines out of small puzzle pieces, just put each valentine in its own small envelope so that the pieces don’t get lost.

22. Fingerprint heart friendship rocksGive kindness rocks a new twist by turning them into valentines!

23. Map rosesMake these in bulk, then use washi tape to add a gift tag to each stem.

24. Puzzle heartHere’s another puzzle piece valentine! Instead of simply cutting the photo into a puzzle piece shape, why not decoupage it directly onto an old puzzle piece? For bonus points, glue a magnet on the back!

25. Puzzle piece and popsicle stick valentineOh, my goodness, I am finding so many good puzzle piece valentines! This one is a good way to upcycle lots of old puzzle pieces at once.

Recycled Valentine's Day Crafts

26. Toilet paper roll valentineHere’s a fun gift container that’s perfect for a small toy or piece of packaged candy.

27. Coloring bookmark valentineUse up all those ribbon scraps or yarn bits for these valentine bookmarks that recipients will love to color themselves.

28. Paper airplaneThis paper airplane valentine is a free printable, but it doesn’t need to be. I know you know how to make a paper airplane! Just add cute paper and a stamped message.

29. Puppy love valentineLittle ones can make these valentines while practicing their cutting and coloring skills–AND there are googly eyes involved!

30. Thumbprint heart glass magnetsHere’s something a little different for the valentine mailbox. The glue takes a while to set, but the magnets themselves are quick and easy to make.

Have a great eco-friendly valentine idea of your own? Tell me about it in the comments below!


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36 Free Underwear Patterns and Tutorials

36 Free Underwear Patterns and Tutorials

I know that underwear is generally fairly cheap to buy, so it’s not like you’re saving yourself megabucks by sewing your own.

But the reason why underwear is generally so cheap to buy? It’s generally because:

  1. It uses cheap, poor quality fabric that’s harsh on the environment to produce.
  2. It’s practically thrown together with uneven seams, skipped stitches, and all kinds of shortcuts (don’t believe me? REALLY look at your underwear and count all the places where a decent sewer would have done a better job).
  3. It’s manufactured by laborers under poor working conditions, paid unfair wages. They might even be children.

For these reasons, it’s well worth the effort to at least experiment with sewing your own underwear. Even if you don’t replace all of your underwear with DIY versions, even if you simply make one pair and call it a day, it’s a valuable experience to see the work and the materials that go into it.

You’ll never look at that store-bought cheap underwear the same way again.

Below, you’ll find my favorite free underwear tutorials and patterns. Find something you like, give it a whirl, and see if it doesn’t make you want to stock your whole dresser with nothing but homemade underwear!

1. Boxer shortsBoxers are super easy to sew because they don’t even have to be made from stretch fabric. They’re perfect for beginners!

2. Boyshorts underwear patternBoyshorts are my favorite type of underwear, so I was stoked to happen upon this free downloadable pdf pattern for them!

3. Bikini topThis bikini top has a small enough silhouette that it can be used as a bra, as well.

4. Bikini pantiesIf you like the look of bikini-style panties, then you’ll love this easy tutorial for making them.

5. Bra and panties from a scarfOne large thrifted or gifted scarf can make a matching bra and panties set.

6. Bralette patternBras can be tricky to sew. Here’s a free pattern to make it easy!

7. Bra from men’s underwearThis is… pretty weird. But to be fair, because the sizing on men’s clothing is so logical, all you have to do is find a pair of men’s underwear whose size matches your own under-bust measurement, and the rest is simple!

8. Cage braSkip the high-priced boutiques and DIY this hot trend.

9. Caged bustier topConvert a regular bra pattern into a more sophisticated caged bustier top.

10. Underwear liningThis post is an explanation of all things related to underwear linings–why you want them or don’t want them, the various types, and how to sew each of them into your favorite underwear pattern.

11. Dance ShortsDance shorts are a lot like boyshorts, but with more coverage. I love them!

12. Day of the Week embellishmentsUse any of the basic, non-lace panties patterns and embellish them with these Day of the Week templates. Now you’ll no longer be unsure about which pair of underwear to put on!

13. Fold-over elastic-edged pantiesIf you like the fit of elastic-waisted panties but you want a narrower hem, let this tutorial show you how easy it is to replace regular elastic with FOE.

14. Garter beltI don’t know how to DIY stockings–yet. I DO know how to DIY a garter belt, thanks to this tute.

15. Heart reverse appliqueYou can embellish many of the panties patterns here with this cute heart reverse applique.

16. Lace cutoutThis lace cutout works along the same lines as the heart reverse applique–add either or both to your existing panties pattern.

17. Lace panties. Because elastic lace can be found in super-wide dimensions, it’s also possible to make an entire pair of panties from it.

18. Lace braAnd if you’re going to wear lace panties, you might as well make yourself a lace bra to match!

19. Hipster undiesThese are easy and not too pretentious.

20. Kid boxer briefsMy favorite thing about sewing for children is how little fabric it uses. You’ll hardly notice that you’re sewing before you’re finished making these tiny boxer briefs!

21. Kid panties from a onesieThis tutorial is a brilliant way to upcycle your kid’s old onesies into new underwear–if you’re careful, you might even be able to get a little tank top out of the same onesie!

22. Lace thongIf you’ve got elastic lace, then you’ve got everything that you need to make this thong.

23. Lace braletteThis pattern allows you to skip making adjustable chest and shoulder bands by sizing the bralette exactly.

24. Lace-edge pantiesIf you don’t want your panties made entirely from lace, it’s easy to simply trim them with lace.

25. Period pantiesPeriod panties are a big deal right now, so you know someone figured out how to DIY them!

26. Add a pad to underwearIf you don’t want to sew full-on period panties, you can also try adding a permanent cloth pad to many of these underwear patterns.

27. Nursing sleep braMaternity clothes are ridiculously high priced. Do yourself a favor and sew yourselves several pairs of these bras before you’re too exhausted with your newborn to be trusted with a sewing machine.

28. Ruched hiphugger pantiesThese aren’t your average, everyday T-shirt panties. Super cute details make them extra special without being too precious.

29. Serged pantiesI love the look of these panties, adapted from a free swimsuit bottoms pattern. They don’t require elastic, so they’re even thriftier than the average pair of underwear. And the serged edges look really cool!

30. Side tiesThis embellishment will work on any of the boyshort-type underwear patterns.

31. Tap pantsThese are super cute worn under a dress or skirt, or as part of a lingerie set. This tutorial teaches you how to construct your own pattern to make tap pants that will fit you perfectly.

32. Thong patternIf you’d prefer not to create your own pattern, here’s a free downloadable pattern for sewing a thong.

33. T-shirt underwearHere’s another free pattern for making a pair of bikini briefs specifically from T-shirt fabric.

34. Use an existing pair of panties as a pattern. If you have a pair of panties that you’re willing to sacrifice, this tutorial shows you how to break them down and use them for pattern pieces so that you can construct endless identical pairs from your own fabric.

35. Underwear skill setAny technique that you need to know to successfully sew a bra or panties is likely here. These tutorials cover everything from properly measuring elastic to adding trim to sewing a hook and eye closure on a bra. You’ll be an expert by the time you’ve browsed through these tutes!

36. Wool underwearIt sounds non-intuitive, but wool’s moisture-wicking properties can help keep you feeling cool and comfy even when it’s swampy outside.

P.S. Want even MORE underwear tutorials? Check out my older round-up of underwear tutorials that call for mostly upcycled materials!


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Three Dozen Upcycled Hanger Projects

Three Dozen Upcycled Hanger Projects

Sometimes you have too many hangers.

Sometimes your hangers are ugly.

Sometimes you have the wrong kind of hangers–plastic instead of wooden. Wire instead of plastic.

Regardless of whatever you hate about the hangers you have, the answer is rarely to throw them away. Trust me–you’ll hate knowing that they’re wasting away in a landfill for all of eternity even more than you hate owning them.

Instead, upcycle those unwanted hangers. Make them cute and keep hanging your clothes on them, or repurpose them into something entirely new. Either way, you’ll be a lot happier, and knowing that you’re keeping more items out of the waste stream will make it even better.

Check out this list of my favorite upcycled hanger projects, and get inspired!

1. DIY ribbon hangerIf you hate the look of your plastic hangers, hide that ugly plastic by covering them in ribbon scraps.

DIY Ribbon Hangers
2. Back scratcher. Now you never need to ask somebody else to scratch your back for you!

3. Coat hanger coat rackIt’s a coat rack made from coat hangers. It’s brilliant.

4. Fabric-covered hangersThis is a nice way to use up some fabric stash. If you have any scraps left after sewing a special garment, you could use them to make a matching hanger!

5. Painted wooden hangerSometimes all an ugly wooden hanger needs is a fresh coat of paint.

6. Jewelry holderA couple of extra knobs turns a wooden hanger into a useful wall-mounted jewelry holder.

7. Monogram ornamentWire hangers are stiff, but you can bend them with some effort, and it means that the ornament you create will resist warping.

8. Hanging reel for cord storageWhile I don’t think a wire hanger could support our super-long garden hose, I think it would be just the thing for our over-abundant extension cord collection.

9. Wood hanger dish drying rackMost store-bought dish drying racks are cheaply made, and it shows. This homemade one, constructed from wood hangers, is sturdier–and nicer looking, too!

10. Wire hanger plant markersUse found objects, jewelry wire, and wire hangers to give your plants an innovative and moveable plant marker.

Wire Hanger and Found Object Plant Markers

11. Belt organizerIf you don’t like your hanger, maybe you’re just using it to hang the wrong thing. Try belts instead!

12. Faux iron scroll decorYou can camouflage wire hangers to look like much fancier, more expensive materials. Nobody will know that this isn’t real iron scrollwork!

13. Padded hangerMartha Stewart shows you how to give a whole new, way classier look to your typical hanger.

14. Picture frameHere’s an easy way to get some of your favorite photos up on the wall. For a burst of color, spray paint the hanger before mounting it.

15. Scented padded hangerWant your padded hangers to be even more luxurious? Add dried herbs!

16. Recipe holderA child-sized or doll clothes hanger can be upcycled into a hanging recipe holder. No more getting spaghetti sauce all over your favorite handwritten recipe card!

17. Wall-mounted hangerThis hanger is mounted upside-down onto a wall. Twist the hook towards you, and now you’ve got a whole new way to hold your house keys or dog’s leash.

18. WreathProbably the easiest way to upcycle a wire hanger is to bend it into a wreath form.

19. Hoop skirt formYou can’t just order a hoop skirt from the Sears catalog anymore. Alas, you’ll have to DIY your own–good thing wire hangers make such good material!

20. Cat tentThe cutest kitty in the world needs the coziest cat tent that it’s possible to make. This is it!

21. Clothespin bagIf you’re like me and often hang your clothes outside to dry, you know how handy this DIY clothespin bag can be.

22. Decorative orbNobody is ever going to believe that this woven metal orb is made from old wire hangers.

23. Wall hooks rackUpcycle the hooks from broken metal hangers into a nice-looking and super-useful rack of wall hooks.

24. EaselA tabletop display couldn’t be easier!

25. Garden edgingStore-bought garden edging solutions can look so cheap and tacky. Well, this wire hanger garden edging is cheap, too, but at least it’s not tacky.

26. flip-flop holderYou might think that you don’t want any more wire hangers in your life, but that’s before you saw this way to turn a wire hanger into a hanging flip-flop holder. I think you need this!

27. Yarn-wrapped non-slip hangersCover wire hangers in scrap yarn and not only will they hold your tank tops and silk shirts without slipping, but they’ll also look a lot prettier.

28. Wire hanger and upcycled sweater butterfly wingsUse the wire from a wire hanger to mold just the right wing shape, then cover it with fabric from an old sweater. It’s a dress-up obsessed kid’s delight!

29. Christmas countdown calendar. This project is deceptively simple, and an unobtrusive way to have a countdown calendar without filling your living room with the typical paper chain that most people use.

30. DIY roasting sticksUse uncoated wire hangers for this project, along with thick dowel scraps.

31. Sunburst mirrorSunburst mirrors have been popular for several years now, but most DIY versions are made from plastic spoons, which is a shame. This upcycled wire hanger one is much more eco-friendly.

32. Scarf hanger. Add some shower curtain rings to a hanger to turn it into a useful storage spot for scarves.

33. T-shirt covered hangers. These hangers couldn’t be cuter, covered in fringed T-shirt scraps. And they’re non-slip!

34. Tin can lanternWire hangers make the handles on these tin can lanterns, upcycled from old tin cans.

35. TopiaryDon’t you want to train your Boston ivy to grow in a lovely topiary? The trick is to train the ivy to grow up a base that you’ve sculpted from a wire coat hanger.

36.Wall-mounted book holderYou always need more book storage! This quick and easy method turns a wire hanger into a book holder that hangs easily from a nail in the wall.

Do YOU have a favorite way to upcycle hangers? Tell me about it in the Comments below!


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How To Make Stamped Clay Seed Bombs

How To Make Stamped Clay Seed Bombs

I used to think that seed bombs do not work, full stop.

And to be fair, I had a good reason for my opinion, because most of the seed bomb tutorials that you see online just do NOT work! Here’s why:

  • If the seed bomb is too big, it’s not going to be able to dissolve in good time and release the seeds.
  • If the seed bomb recipe calls for too much liquid, the seeds will germinate prematurely and then die.
  • If the seed bomb recipe calls for too many seeds, they’ll crowd each other out before they can grow.
  • If the seed bomb gets tossed out at anything other than JUST the right time, it won’t get the proper amount of rainfall required to dissolve the bomb and nurture the seeds.

When there are so many things wrong with so many of the seed bomb tutorials that you see, it’s easy to think that the whole concept is a bad one.

But done properly, and distributed carefully, seed bombs CAN work.

Here’s what you’ll need to do it right.

Ingredients & Supplies

  • Air dry clay. I’d suggest something non-pigmented and natural-looking, not something like Model Magic, which is super fun and my kids play with it but I have NO idea what it’s made of. If you don’t know what it’s made of, you certainly don’t want it in your garden!
  • Seed starting mix or other potting soil. Your favorite seed starting mix will work well here, but any kind of nutritious potting soil will do.  And again, avoid potting soils with “moisture retention beads” or “water crystals” included; those are just fun names for the same kind of polymer that’s used in disposable diapers. You don’t want that in your garden, either!
  • Native seed mix. Not all greenhouses are ethical providers of native seeds, so check with your local native plant society before you buy a packet. Better yet, save your own seeds from your favorite native plants and use those.
  • Small stamp. A regular scrapbooking stamp is exactly what you need. Scrapbooking used to be big business, so you should be able to find any stamp design you can dream of.


1. Get your hands dirty

Pinch off an amount of clay the size of a large marble–remember that the best seed bomb is a SMALL seed bomb, so don’t overdo it.

2. Roll the clay into a ball between the palms of your hands

Might as well go ahead and get a little dirtier! Use the tip of a finger to make an indentation in the clay ball, and fill the indentation with as much potting soil or seed starting mix as will fit.

3. Add the seeds

Be very stingy with the number of seeds that you put in your seed bomb because you don’t want them to crowd each other out of existence. Three to four seeds is plenty!

4. Seal the potting soil and seeds inside the bomb

Pull the sides of the seed bomb over the top to seal in the potting soil and seeds, then roll it around your palms again to make it back into a nice, smooth sphere.

5. Stamp the top of the seed bomb

Press hard with the stamp; you’ll slightly flatten the seed bomb, but will make your stamped impression stand out nicely.

6. Let air dry

Let the seed bombs air dry for at least as long as the package of air-dry clay instructs. Thanks to the potting soil center, the seed bomb might take even longer to dry.

When the seed bombs are dry, you can store them in the same cool, dry, dark spot where you store the rest of your garden seeds. To use them, toss them onto the ground whenever the growing conditions outside match the seed packet’s specifications AND there’s a lot of rain in the forecast for the next week or so.

Another option is to simply press a seed bomb down into the dirt in your garden or a flowerpot and water regularly. I planted a seed bomb in a pot in my windowsill just for fun (I don’t think the native plants will last inside all winter, but it’s worth the experiment), and look how cute my little seedling babies are, growing out from under the safety net of their seed bomb!

My watering can didn’t exactly mimic the right rainfall conditions to properly dissolve the clay exterior of the seed bomb, but even so, it was enough to get a couple of sturdy little seeds germinated and growing happily.

Imagine how happy they’ll be when I toss them around the garden in the actual springtime!


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Three Dozen Eco-Friendly Tissue Paper Crafts

Three Dozen Eco-Friendly Tissue Paper Crafts

If you’re looking for an environmentally-friendly supply for paper crafting, tissue paper is a reasonable choice.

Buy a brand of tissue paper that’s made from recycled paper pulp, compost the scraps when you’re finished, and if you do both, you’ll find that tissue paper is a craft supply that doesn’t contribute to deforestation or add anything to the waste stream.

Curious about what kinds of crafts you can actually DO with tissue paper?

Check out my list of favorite tissue paper crafts below and get inspired!

1. Tissue paper decoupaged glass bottleThis is a really nice way to make over any glass jar, particularly a plain jar that could make a lovely vase, if only it wasn’t so plain!

Tissue Paper Decoupaged Glass Bottles
2. BowTissue paper is fun for kid crafts, but this bow turns tissue paper into something that even adults will love to receive on top of their presents.

3. Decoupaged pencilsYou’ll find a lot of decoupage projects in this tissue paper crafts round-up, and that’s because tissue paper is AMAZING for decoupage! Here, it’s just about the only thing you’ll find that’s thin enough to decoupage onto a pencil without increasing its bulk enough to make it impossible to sharpen.

4. Edible Olympic torchAn ice cream cone, fun snacks, and some tissue paper make for an Olympic torch that’s fun to carry–and even more, fun to eat!

5. Flower braceletIt wouldn’t be hard to add this tissue paper flower to any existing bracelet, or even to wire it onto a garland or wreath.

6. Stained glass starsThese stained glass stars are SO beautiful, but the best thing about them is that unlike pretty much every other tissue paper stained glass craft on the internet, these stars do NOT utilize contact paper. They’re so much more eco-friendly!

7. Stained glass treesThese trees look harder to make than they are–the secret is that you embellish with tissue paper BEFORE you cut out the tree shapes.

8. Upcycled cardboard and tissue paper treeTissue paper is an extremely kid-friendly craft supply, as you can tell from all of the kid crafts in this round-up. This particular craft is a good way to use up that extra corrugated cardboard in the recycling bin, as well as your green tissue paper scraps.

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🌳T is for TREES LETTER CRAFT🌳 Last week during our seed theme I shared a bit about how we use our weekly themes as inspiratoin for a letter craft. It’s a great way to help kids connect the background knowledge they’ve learned throughout the week with a letter. I personally like to compile our letter crafts into a memory book, but there are a ton of other ways to use them too. Another favorite is to post them around the room as an alphabet chart for kids to refer back to. We also share a TON more ideas for creating letter crafts in our Alphabet Letter Craft and Process Art Ideas Set (link in profile). As you might have guessed we created trees for the letter T. We used a piece of cardboard for the trunk and added a bit of texture by scraping it with a fork. Then we attached green tissue paper bits for the leaves. You could also have kids crumple the tissue paper for added fine motor practice. Since our memory books already get SUPER thick, I skipped that part for ours. 😎

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9. WreathThis tutorial is my favorite of all the ones I’ve seen because this one doesn’t call for a paper plate as the wreath form. I know paper plates are quick and easy, but that’s not an eco-friendly way to craft. Instead, cut your form from some recycled food packaging or shipping box. It’s just the same but repurposed instead of unnecessarily wasting new materials.

10. Sew knit fabric with tissue paperDid you know that tissue paper makes an easy fabric stabilizer? It’s quicker than spray starch and more eco-friendly than store-bought polyester interfacing, and if there’s been a holiday in your recent past, you probably even have some tissue paper hanging out in the house still!

11. Decoupaged votive candle holderYou can upcycle any small glass container into a votive candle holder, and when you decoupage it with tissue paper, nobody will be able to tell that it used to be a salsa jar.

12. Mini koinobori wind sockIf you don’t have a traditional carp wind sock to fly, don’t worry–you can make your own miniature version out of a toilet paper tube and tissue paper scraps.

13. Miniature tissue paper flowersThese flowers are made simpler than you might think, thanks to the wide variety of lovely hole punches that you can use to easily pop out your basic flower template.

14. Pom pomYou’d be surprised at how handy this basic pom pom tutorial is. Now you will ALWAYS  have a way to decorate for parties!

15. Pineapple pom pomsTissue paper is perfect for making paper pom poms. But don’t stop at spheres, because there’s a whole world of novelty pom pom tutorials out there! This pineapple pom pom, for instance, is just the thing for decorating your late summer barbecue.

16. SparklersMake sparklers or cheerleader pom poms with this easy tute. To make it even more eco-friendly, upcycle a chopstick or find a smooth stick from the yard to use as the handle.

17. Tissue paper and pipe cleaner butterfliesThese little butterflies are an easy kid craft, but they come out so nicely that they’re also suitable for a party decoration.

18. Tissue paper decoupaged Easter eggsI HATE plastic Easter eggs, and so I’m always on the lookout for fun, colorful, non-plastic Easter eggs. Tissue paper decoupaged on a wooden or cardboard egg form makes for a project that’s just as colorful as any plastic egg could be.

19.  Upcycled glass jar and tissue paper luminariesTissue paper is so thin that it’s perfect for crafting luminaries. Even little kids can make tissue paper Jack-o-lantern luminaries, and the more artistic of us can make amazing, layered, translucent creations.

20. Decoupaged glass platesThe next time you see a boring clear glass plate at the thrift shop, snag it and then remake it with tissue paper and Mod Podge.

21. Painted tissue paper leavesNOBODY is going to know that these leaves are made from tissue paper. They look WAY too fancy!

22. Snowy day bleeding tissue paper artI’ve found that most tissue paper bleeds when damp. It makes it a pain if you’re not super careful while doing decoupage, but it’s perfect for this kid-friendly art project!

23. Tassel garlandMimic those high-priced home decor pieces by DIYing your own tissue paper tassel garland.

24. Fringe garlandHere’s another type of garland that you can make with tissue paper. This one is fringed!

25. Tissue paper ladybugThis sweet little project is a terrific fine motor activity for preschoolers– they’ll enjoy the sensory experience of crumpling tissue paper, and you’ll enjoy knowing that they’re strengthening their handwriting muscles.

26. Tissue paper dinosaurIs your kid not into insects? A tissue paper dinosaur is just as fun to make!

27. Toilet paper tube dragonI don’t know what it is about toilet paper tubes plus tissue paper, but there are loads of projects combining the two here in this round-up–including this tutorial, which lets you make a fire-breathing dragon.

28. Toilet paper tube valentineIt’s the toilet paper tubes that star in this treat-filled valentine project, but they wouldn’t be cute at all if they weren’t wrapped in tissue paper!

Recycled Valentine's Day Crafts

29. Christmas treeYou won’t be ashamed to compost this particular holiday kid craft after Christmas, not when it’s already made of a toilet paper tube and tissue paper that’s itself made from recycled paper.

30. Gel print with tissue paperI wasn’t expecting that tissue paper was so versatile, but check out this quite sophisticated artistic technique that works perfectly with it.

31. Paper leiI’ve seen plenty of paper leis, but I had NO idea how to make them–until I read this tutorial!

32. Print onto tissue paperIf you have an inkjet printer, you can print right onto tissue paper.

33. Ruffled tissue paper garlandThe technique for this is similar to the one for the paper lei, but this one results in a long garland that’s perfect for party decorations.

34. Temporary faux stained glassHere is such a fun project to keep kids busy on a blustery day. The tissue paper falls right off later and can be re-used for the same project on another blustery day.

35. Tissue paper flowersThese are not the dusty, faded tissue paper flowers sitting on your grandma’s dresser! Check out how vivid and beautiful the flowers in this tutorial are–gorgeous enough for a wedding centerpiece!

36. Tissue paper printing onto a candleYou’re going to LOVE this tutorial. Start with a store-bought or homemade pillar candle, then use tissue paper to transfer your original artwork or text right to the candle’s surface.

Do YOU have a favorite tissue paper craft? Tell me about it in the Comments below!


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How to Sew a Poodle Skirt

How to Sew a Poodle Skirt

You guys, if you have never read about the history of the poodle skirt, I need to start you off with the information that it is just about the most fascinating thing EVER.

Basically, back in 1947, a woman wanted something awesome to wear to a holiday party. Being of a DIY mindset, she made herself a circle skirt out of felt (no seams!), then decorated it with cute appliques.

As you can imagine, knowing how ubiquitous the term “poodle skirt” is today, her creation went over very, very, very well.

What you might not have imagined before, however, is that it’s not just poodles that were on the poodle skirt. In fact, that first Christmas skirt didn’t even have poodles on it at all! Throughout the poodle skirt’s massive popularity in the 1950s, people felt free to personalize it in whatever ways that appealed to them.

Think cacti. Or horses. Or Elvis Presley silhouettes. Cartoon mice. The Eiffel Tower.

So when you think of a poodle skirt, you really should be thinking of a simple felt circle skirt with novelty felt appliques.

Easy to make. Endlessly customizable. NOW you want to make one, don’t you?!? So let’s do it!

Tools & Supplies

To make a poodle skirt of your own, you will need the following:

  • Felt. In Step #1, you’ll do the calculations to learn how much felt you’ll need for the skirt. You’ll also want felt in the appropriate colors for all of your appliques.
  • Matching thread. I don’t use interfacing when I sew, because it’s costlier and less eco-friendly than doing without, so you’ll want a matching thread to sew your appliques to the skirt.
  • Measuring supplies. Get yourself one of those yardsticks with a hole at one end (or just drill the hole yourself). You also need chalk and scissors.
  • Stencils and templates. I freehanded some of the appliques on the particular skirt that I’m showing you in this tute, but other appliques came from Google Image searches. I’m not selling the skirt, so it’s cool.
  • Sewing notions. See Step #1 for these, too.


1. Calculate the measurements for your skirt. A circle skirt is exactly what it sounds like–a skirt in the shape of a perfect circle, with another circle, cut out for the waist.

So first, stop and think about how you want to get the skirt onto your body and keep it there. The skirt in this tute has an elastic waist, which means that I cut the center hole large enough for my kid to pull it up over her hips, and then I sewed 2″ elastic to it for the waistband. This is a great solution for a kid or a teenager because as the kid grows, it’s possible to remove the waistband, enlarge that center hole (provided that you’ve left the room and the skirt is long enough), and add new elastic. I  fully expect my kid’s poodle skirt to last her through adulthood.

If you’re already an adult, however, you can instead cut that center hole to size and install a zipper. It’s more work, but the skirt would be less bulky at the waist and you could make it with a smaller piece of felt.

Either option is totally up to you!

So decide that first, so that you know the measurement for the center hole. The measurement will be the circumference of the circle that you want. In this case, I want a measurement of 24″ so that my little noodle can get the skirt up over her little noodle hips.

Now, either do the math or plug that number into this circle calculator. The number that you want to get from this calculator is the radius. A circle that is 24″ in circumference has a radius of 3.8″. If you’re going with the elastic waistband method, go ahead and round up to the nearest inch, which makes my new radius 4″.

Next, decide how long you want the skirt to be, measuring from the waist to where you want the bottom hem to hit. I wanted another 20″ of length. To find the total radius of the circle that you need to cut, you need to add that radius to the radius of the center hole. In this case, the total radius of my circle is 24″. Double that number, and you’ll have the total dimension of felt that you need in both length and width. Fortunately, felt comes in up to 72″ widths, so you can make a pretty good-sized skirt from a single piece of felt.

Once you have your yardage, fold it into quarters. The very center of the piece of fabric will now be one of your corners. Place the hole in the yardstick right at this corner, and use it as the pivot to mark your total radius measurement in chalk. You’ll see a perfect quarter of a circle marked out. Do the same thing, this time measuring the radius of the center hole. Cut them both through all four layers of fabric, then unfold the fabric and marvel at your perfectly-measured and cut circle skirt!

2. Add felt appliques. With the skirt unfolded, create and lay out the appliques until you’re happy with their placement. You can also add other embellishments, such as the necklaces that I put on both of the unicorns, and a rope ladder from one of the caves.

When you’re happy with the placement, pin all of the appliques to the skirt.

3. Sew the appliques to the skirt. Felt doesn’t unravel, so you don’t have to satin-stitch these appliques in place. With matching thread installed, I set my sewing machine to a stitch length of 3 and a width of 3, then zig-zagged around each applique. I highly recommend a walking foot for this.

4. Add a bias tape hem, if you’d like one. Again, felt won’t unravel, so any kind of hem is completely optional. However, I thought that this skirt did look much more finished with the addition of a double-fold bias tape hem in a complementary color. I’d have had to stitch the appliques all around the hem, anyway, so it wasn’t that much more work to add it.

5. Add the waistband of your choosing. For the elastic waistband on this skirt, I cut a piece of 2″ elastic in a complementary color to the exact waist measurement (22.75″). I lapped the ends, marked both the elastic and the skirt waist at the quarters, pinned them together at the marks,  then zig-zag stitched them together, stretching the elastic to match the skirt as I sewed. It took less than ten minutes!

While felt is a very sturdy fabric, if I were you I’d remind whoever plans to wear the skirt that felt is also quite delicate. I know people were wearing these all throughout the 1950s, but people took better care of their clothes then, and also Velcro wasn’t commercially available until the late 1950s. Velcro will pull at felt something terrible, so be careful when it’s around. Felt also doesn’t wash well in a washing machine and doesn’t dry well in a dryer. It’ll be okay if you wash it on cold and hang it to dry, but it’s better yet if you pretend like you’re wearing your poodle skirt to a sock hop every time you put it on and treat it accordingly.


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