Behind the scenes, I’ve been working on improvements for the Best Fit Face Mask and am thrilled to finally share with you the Most Comfortable Best Fit Face Mask.


Most Comfortable Best Fit Face Mask

I’ve heard from thousands of you who have emailed me, or commented and told me how much you love the Best Fit Face Mask. So many have remarked how easy it was to sew and how it truly is the best fitting face mask available. In an effort to provide better comfort and ease of wearing, I’ve changed the mask slightly to be the Most Comfortable Best Fit Face Mask!

hundreds of best fit face mask pictures

You heard me right, this is by far the most comfortable, not to mention best fitting face mask. This new design uses the same Best Fit Face Mask pattern but I’ve changed the straps slightly so they don’t go behind the ears.

The Most Comfortable Best Fit Face Mask is super popular with:

  • Children
  • People who wear glasses
  • People who wear hearing aids
  • People with sensitivity issues
  • Workers who see people on and off during the day
  • Medical professionals who don’t want anything on their ears
  • People who want to wear the mask around their neck when not needed

This mask design will be invaluable for children who are heading back to school or people going back to work. It allows the wearer to pull it on and off quickly with ease and without the risk of misplacing their mask! Then when wearing the mask is no longer necessary, they can simply pull it down and let it hang around the neck until needed again.

child wearing most comfortable best fit face mask

You’ll use the same pattern and instructions to make the mask as the Best Fit Face Mask. When you get to the final sewing step in my tutorial, you are NOT going to add the ear straps. Instead, just sew the sides and I’ll show you how to thread the straps next.

Go ahead over to the tutorial, download your choice of five size patterns and start making your mask.

Then watch this video to see how to turn that Best Fit Face Mask into the Most Comfortable Face Mask:

Most Comfortable Face Mask Materials:

I found that the ⅝” flat foldover elastic hairband material is the most comfortable strap material for over the head wearing. It is super soft, stretches easily, and doesn’t pull on your hair or face. For this strap design, cut the elastic at 36”. You may trim a little off the length later if you find it too long (especially for a child-size mask.)

Flat 5/8" Foldover Elastic for Most Comfortable Face Mask

My Source for Flat Foldover Elastic: Amazon or Etsy

Don’t have foldover elastic? Not a big deal, you can also use any cording you like for this mask, but it may not fit through the adjustment bead. You can simply tie the tails instead. Not using elastic straps means it might not be as comfortable or as easy to slip on and off, but it’s still desirable if you want to move away from ear straps.

How to Feed the Straps Through the Most Comfortable Best Fit Face Mask:

Pin a safety pin to the end of your elastic. Starting from the chin side of your mask, feed the elastic up through one side, then down through the other side leaving the ends on the chin side.

feed straps through mask

Adding an adjustment bead helps make this mask easy to adjust. To feed the straps through the bead, fold some fishing line in half. Feed the loop end through the bead. Slip both strap ends through the fishing line and pull back through the bead.

feeding adjustment bead onto face mask straps

Pull the strap ends through the bead completely. Tie the ends of the ribbon elastic and singe the ends to keep them from fraying.

Finished Most Comfortable Best Fit Face Mask

Ways to Wear the Most Comfortable Best Fit Face Mask:

1. Straight Forward:

best face mask for kids

To put the mask on, make sure the nose clip is facing up. Put the bottom strap (or the tail end side) over your head first and rest it around your neck. Then pull the top strap over your head and let it rest on or slightly below the crown of your head. Pinch the nose clip against your nose. Then pull on the tails to tighten the strap to your comfort level. To loosen the straps, move the bead away from your neck.

easy adjustable face mask straps

2. The Good Hair Day:

no more bad hair day with face mask straps

One thing I love about the straps on this design, is the versatility. If you are having a good hair day, congratulations. You can simply put the top strap over your ears and behind the base of your skull. Now tug on the tails of the strap until it’s comfortable. Adjust your hair over the straps. Now you go rock that great hair today!

3. Both on Top:

both straps on top of head wearing face mask

If you don’t want the straps on your neck, or want a very secure fit under the chin, pull both straps to the crown of your head.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments if you find other ways to wear the mask. I know you’ll love how comfortable it is and how lightweight it is when hanging around your neck. I also know that kids are going to love this design change!

child wearing most comfortable best fit face mask

Please share this tutorial with friends and family. I see so many disposable and poor-fitting masks out in public. This is a much better solution, but I need your help to spread the word. In the meantime, thank you all for doing your part to stay safe and stay kind.

Pin this image to share:

Don’t forget to see my Time Saver tips when sewing the Best Fit Face Mask:

Best Fit Face Mask Time Saver Tips New Sizes

Finally, if you are looking for the original Best Fit Face Mask tutorial, here it is:

Two months have passed since I designed the Best Fit Face Mask. By popular demand, I’m putting out three new sizes (child, small, and x-large) to fit everyone! I’ve also developed some time-saving tips to help you sew masks faster.

Best Fit Face Mask Time Saver Tips New Sizes

Best Fit Face Mask – Time Savers and Sizes to Fit Everyone

Before I get started with today’s post, I have to thank you all. I received thousands of comments from people saying how much they loved the Best Fit Face Mask design. If you haven’t seen that video, you can see the video here.

For those of you that have watched that, I have to say you blew me away, because there were over 4 million people who watch the video. I hope that has translated into each and everyone of them making at least one mask if not multiples to protect everyone around the world from the coronavirus! Thank you to those that sent me pictures of your masks. This makes me happy to see so many different people and different masks!

Video on Best Fit Face Mask Time Savers + Updates and New Sizes:

I’ve covered the majority of today’s post in this video. I know it goes fast, so feel free to watch and/or read the rest of this post.

New Sizes – Child, Small, and X-Large Mask Patterns:

Today I’m back because so many people had asked for different sizes and I can appreciate that there are many different size faces. I appreciate your patience with me as I finally developed a child size, a small size, and an extra-large size (in addition to the previous medium and large sizes.) Patterns for all five sizes can be downloaded here (look under Face Mask Template subheading).

Although I had to stop resizing at some point, I decided to show you an easy way to resize your pattern!

How to Resize Your Face Mask Pattern:

Just a quick note before you rush to resize your pattern. Make sure to pre-shrink your fabric. You’ll also want to wash the mask after sewing because oftentimes the mask will shrink a little more.

To resize your pattern, simply print out the size closest to what you need. To reduce, use a ruler to mark points inside the template at each corner. I suggest reducing by ¼” increments. Then use the ruler as a straight edge to connect the dots. To enlarge, repeat, but add your points outside the template. Simple, right?!

More Alternate Ear Strap Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Over the past two months I’ve learned a lot by testing several different strap materials. In the first mask, I used elastic paracord. Although this worked great, it was hard to find and hard to thread the bead through. Here are some alternatives to the elastic paracord.

The old t-shirts, are so comfortable and soft (and most likely FREE! Especially if you have stained shirts or ones your kids have outgrown.) Cut them into one-inch strips and pull them to make them curl. These should feed through the craft beads easily.

Regular paracord (non- elastic) works well too. This is like hiking boot laces. I found the 550 series (7 strand core) is the perfect size to still fit through the craft beads.

Elastic shoelaces are a great alternative to the flat elastic most people want for face masks. In full disclosure, Xpand sent me some elastic shoelaces to try out. I’m happy to say they work great. They are stretchy and you can feed a craft bead onto it.

Slip Knot instead of Craft Beads (or Cord Locks)

No Craft Beads, No Problem! Many people have struggled with the craft beads. Sometimes the strap material doesn’t feed through easily. For this reason, I have the solution if you are ready to ditch the bead! It’s simple, tie a slip knot!

How to Make a Slip Knot:

A slip knot is a knot that slides up and down along one strand. It’s perfect for adjusting the length of the ear straps, yet still holding it in position.

Watch my video (already forwarded to the slip knot tutorial section) to see how to make a slip knot. It’s easy and a great knot with many uses.

Cut your straps about 12 – 15 inches long. (You can trim the excess afterward.) Fold the strap in half. I’ve knotted one end to help clarify this demonstration.) Position the knotted end on the bottom. Take the knot and wrap it over the other end one time. Now reach your fingers through the loop you made and grasp the non-knotted end and pull it through the loop while holding the other two ends. Tighten the knot and now test to see if you can slide the knot up and down your strap. Easy, right?!

Nose Clip Update – Answer to the Question: Do they hold up in the wash?

First, there many people who said they like using pipe cleaners. Frankly, I’ve never been a fan of these because they just don’t have the hold or the memory to do great as a nose clip. Plus, several people have been reporting that pipe cleaners are rusting in the wash and breaking.

There were a lot of people who were concerned about the coffee tabs and how they hold up in the wash and dryer! My own original mask has been washed probably fifteen times now. There is no rust showing. The coffee tabs are coated in plastic, so I don’t think this will be an issue. Some have asked about drying the masks on a lower heat setting in the dryer. I’ve dried mine on high heat, but have switched to a medium heat just to prolong the life of the coffee tab. The beads have been fine in the high heat, but again, why not play it safe?

Time Savers when Sewing the Best Fit Face Mask:

If you’re like me, you likely make a few masks at a time. Typically I like to knock out a dozen when I have time. They usually take a few hours to make, but when you break it down, the masks take me about 15-20 minutes each. To get the full tutorial for the Best Fit Face Mask, download the instructions and templates from my Best Fit Face Mask tutorial post.

After you’ve cut out your fabric, fold the fabric so the printed sides are facing in. Mark the locations for your nose and chin folds. Now, position the liner on top of the outside mask fabric. Line up the nose and chin stitching marks.

Stitch through both pieces of fabric along the fold lines.

To save time while sewing multiple masks, chain stitch all the masks one after the other. Below you can see after sewing through the chin seam on Mask 1, I have Mask 2 lined up to sew through the nose seam.

After sewing and cutting the excess material off your masks, you simply open the masks so the outside fabric is on the outside and the liner is right sides facing out.

open face masks

As you stitch the sides, you can continue to save time by chain stitching all the nose hems together. Then rotate your chain of masks and stitch the chin hems (effectively chain stitching multiple masks together. After separating and folding the side ear strap folds, you can chain stitch all the sides of the masks. Here’s a funny picture of me with six chain-stitched masks.

chain stitching masks

How to Simplify Threading the Craft Bead Through the Straps:

Time to show you how I feed my straps through the bead. This is a tip my father-in-law showed me and I’m eternally grateful for his idea! I’ve forwarded the video to show this process below:

Grab a length of fishing line and fold it in half. Stick the loop end through the bead. Feed half your strap through the fishing line loop. Then pull the fishing line and strap back through the bead.

feeding straps through the craft bead with fishing line

That’s all the time-savers I have for you today. I am working on one new addition to the Best Fit Face Mask, so be sure you are subscribed to my email newsletter. You’ll also get access to my Free Mini Course: 6 Simple Steps to DIY Anything!

Teaching children to sew can be a fun and rewarding lesson if you let them take the lead and design their own monster dolls.

let your child make their own monster doll

Make Your Own Monster Dolls

Aren’t they cute?! Okay, they may have a few imperfections, but I don’t want to hear about it because my boys made them! That’s right my 4 and 7-year-old sons made their own Monster Dolls (with a little help from me). It was a perfect way to spend a summer afternoon together. And as a bonus they learned some basic sewing skills.

My 7 year old really dove in and enjoyed every aspect of making his monster. He used the sewing machine with my help. My 4 year old needed a bit more guidance and help. He was very tentative about the sewing machine, but I convinced him to push the pedal. After one time pushing it, he was LOVING puttin’ the pedal to the metal! LOL!

Materials:

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Instructions:

Let your child draw their monster on a piece of paper.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Help your child draw the outline of the monster onto the backside of the fleece. Explain that you might need to fatten up any skinny appendages so you can turn the monster right side out and stuff (him or her) after sewing.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Pin two pieces of fleece together (right sides together.) Help your child cut out around the outline of the monster’s body. This will give you two identical pieces for the monster doll body.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut eyes, nose, and mouthparts out of colored felt. Pin the facial features to the right side of one of the body cut-outs. Let your child use the vanishing marker to mark other facial features that will be stitched.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Using the sewing machine, stitch the facial features and attach the felt pieces.

Helping Children Learn to Use a Sewing Machine:

To help my boys learn to sew, I let them depress the pedal on the sewing machine. We focus on light pressure, slowing down, and stopping. Meanwhile, I guide the fabric through the foot.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

To emphasize the features we drew over the stitching with the Sharpie marker.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Use buttons or the Sharpie to create pupils for your monster doll.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Pin the right sides together (facial features inside) of the doll. Stitch around the edge, leaving a small three-inch opening for stuffing.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Trim any excess fabric away from the edges before turning the doll right sides out.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Turn the monster doll right sides out. Use a pencil’s eraser side to poke out any corners and turns. Stuff the monster with polyfill stuffing. Use the pencil to push filling into small areas.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Whipstitch the opening closed after the doll has been fully stuffed.

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Your child’s monster doll is complete!

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Ugly Monsters or Adorable Monsters? What do you think?

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

Your child will surely love his creation and will definitely feel a huge sense of pride that he (or she) designed it themselves!

Monster Dolls Designed and Made by Your Kids | Pretty Handy Girl

I let my boys do as much as possible so they could feel a HUGE sense of accomplishment when they were done. They both were so proud of their monsters. They tote their monster dolls everywhere and tell friends and family, “I made it!”

 

 

Pin for later!

Make It May! A Stay at Home Series

My friends, I know with confidence that COVID-19 has changed your life. I truly hope you and your loved ones are safe and healthy during this scary outbreak. While my entire family is home with me 24/7, I’ve been keeping busy with home and garden projects. All while also trying to keep up with cooking and caring for my family. But, I’m also trying to carve out time for myself to keep me sane. Personally, I know a little sunshine, sweat, and creativity will get me through this ordeal. Although I can get outside, I know many of you still have to work or don’t have the ability to get outside. Please share how you’re staying sane in this insane time! Specifically, what are you doing to “Make It” through?

With the goal of helping us all “Make It” through May, I’m going to be sharing some hand-picked tutorials with you that I know you can make while staying home and with limited supplies.

From Monday – Friday look for one “Make It May” project a day. If you haven’t already, you’ll want to subscribe to my email list to get each project delivered to your email. (Did you know if you subscribe to my email list you can simply reply to any email to chat with me? You can ask me questions, tell me how your project turned out, or just say Hi!)

This morning’s Make It May project was the recipe for making your own laundry detergent. You may wonder why anyone would want to make detergent when you can buy it at the store? I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for nine years now and one batch lasts us 6-9 months.

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent for Only $1.25 per year

We just ran out last week and luckily I didn’t have to “run out” to the store to buy more. Plus, did I mention the detergent I make costs us $1.25 per year? It’s true! If you missed that tutorial this morning, here it is again.

Next week I’ll be bringing you five tutorials you can make for yourself, make with the kids, or make as a last-minute Mother’s Day gift! I can’t wait to share all 21 projects with you!

Once the projects publish you can see All the Make It May Projects Here!

Have a great weekend and don’t forget to subscribe below.



Over the weekend I completed something I’m really proud of! Honestly, I worked like a dog because I felt the urgency to share this tutorial with the world. If you happen to follow me on social media, you already know that I created the Best Fit Face Mask. After struggling with several different patterns online I bemoaned the fit on all of them. Not one of the face mask were any I could wear for any length of time. You could say, I consider myself a face mask connoisseur especially because I searched for years to find my more form-fitting and comfortable masks used for carpentry or demolition.


Best Fit Face Mask

As a general contractor and woodworker, I had searched for form-fitting and comfortable masks to protect my lungs from dust and debris and had my favorites. Several didn’t have a good tight fit around the nose, which inevitably meant I was blowing sawdust out my nose at night. A good fitting mask doesn’t allow air to come in next to your nose. For that reason, I knew there were better options than most of the sewing mask patterns I found. After a weekend, I designed this easy sew Best Fit Facemask Tutorial for use by the public and medical professionals trying to protect N95 and surgical masks while also staying safe during the COVID crisis. (These are not a replacement for N95 or surgical masks. These masks are designed to add an additional layer of protection.) Looking for a simple, stylish, and better fitting face mask? Well, I have you covered. Get it? Covered? ;-D

Truth be told, my Mom reminded me I’ve been sewing and perfecting this design for almost forty years! This is me sewing a quilted rainbow vest (remember Punky Brewster?!)

And this was my costume for Future Day in elementary school. It’s a bit crazy that I thought the future was a place where we’d have so much smog we couldn’t breathe clean air. My costume was a mask with an oxygen tank on my back made from an egg carton. Kind of scary how our current day is a place where we fear the air we are breathing.

Thank goodness, we don’t have to wear tin foil covered milk jugs on our heads. I much prefer wearing the Best Fit Face Mask, a more form-fitted cloth mask with adjustable ties around the ears to fit a wider variety of faces (and keep from irritating the ears after wearing for long periods of time). The mask pattern also has an optional filter pocket, should you need the extra protection (although, frankly it gets harder to breathe the more layers you add.)

Here are a few details about the mask:

  • Two Sizes (Medium and Large)
  • Easy to Sew
  • Filter Pocket
  • Adjustable Nose Clip
  • Fitted around nose, chin and cheeks
  • Less Fabric Waste

Are you ready to make your own Best Fit Face Mask?
Click here to be taken to the full instructions with video and downloadable instruction sheet with templates!

One more thing, I share several options for materials, especially because there seems to be a shortage of elastic.

Prefer to purchase a Best Fit Face Mask? This is the link to the database of sellers.

Home State Pride Spring Garden Flag | Pretty Handy Girl

You know I’m a lover of saving money when it comes to decorating. That’s why I love to create garden flags made from placemats! They are the perfect size for a garden flag stand. You can decorate flags using a variety of paints, fabric and even fake flowers. Best of all, if you have the fabric, these Home State Pride Spring Garden Flags will only cost you a dollar because the placemat is from The Dollar Tree!

Previously, I made a Snowman, Valentine’s Day, Fall and Summer Flag, but I really wanted a Spring flag for our yard. That’s how I came up with the idea to create this Home State Pride Garden Flag.

Want to learn how to make one in less than an hour? Grab some fabric, some thread and let’s get sewing!

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Home State Pride Spring Garden Flag | Pretty Handy Girl

Optional (if you don’t want to hand letter):

Instructions:

Search online for your state’s shape. Print it on a sheet of letter paper. Lay the state on a piece of double-sided fusible interface. (You can use pieces of tape if you need to secure the shape in place.

Home State Pride Spring Garden Flag | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut out around the outline of the state shape.

Home State Pride Spring Garden Flag | Pretty Handy Girl

Discard the state print out. Flip the fusible interfacing over so the state shape is backwards. Iron the fusible interfacing onto the solid fabric.

Home State Pride Spring Garden Flag | Pretty Handy Girl

Cut around the edges of the interfacing. Remove the backing from the interfacing. Set the fabric state aside.

Home State Pride Spring Garden Flag | Pretty Handy Girl

Measure and fold over 1 ½” from one short side of the placemat. Iron to hold in place.

Home State Pride Spring Garden Flag | Pretty Handy Girl

Lay the placemat on top of the patterned fabric (leaving the folded edge folded.) Cut around the placemat shape.

Home State Pride Spring Garden Flag | Pretty Handy Girl

Fold the edges of the patterned fabric under approximately 1/2″ on all sides. Iron the folds.

Home State Pride Spring Garden Flag | Pretty Handy Girl

Center the patterned fabric on the placemat and secure with pins. Center the state cut out on the patterned fabric.

Home State Pride Spring Garden Flag | Pretty Handy Girl

Iron the state shape to the patterned fabric until the interfacing melts and bonds.

Home State Pride Spring Garden Flag | Pretty Handy Girl

Open up the folded edge of the placemat and stitch around the perimeter of the patterned fabric.

Home State Pride Spring Garden Flag | Pretty Handy Girl
Flip the placemat over and stitch the folded edge down to create a pole pocket.

Home State Pride Spring Garden Flag | Pretty Handy Girl

Choose a decorative stitch (if you have a sewing machine that will make decorative stitches) and sew around the border of the state flag cut out.

Home State Pride Spring Garden Flag | Pretty Handy Girl
Lightly trace your letters in pencil. Draw over the pencil lines with Sharpie Stained Markers. (I chose to outline the state shape to help it stand out better.)

Home State Pride Spring Garden Flag | Pretty Handy Girl

Hang your DIY Home State Pride Garden Flag out in the yard and enjoy!

Home State Pride Spring Garden Flag | Pretty Handy Girl

Be sure to pin this project for a friend (because friends don’t let friends pay full price for home décor! Right?!)

Home State Pride Spring Garden Flag | Pretty Handy Girl

Like these cute garden flags? Stay tuned because we’ll have a lot more on Friday.

How to Sew Reversible Recipe Card Placemats | Pretty Handy Girl

A few months ago, my husband’s grandmother passed away. She was an amazing woman, super smart, and always had a kind word to say about anything. She also had an amazing laugh, the kind that brought you to laughter yourself. Recently I came across the box full of recipes that she gave us as a wedding present. It was fun reading through them and picking ones that had little notes about her favorites and her husband’s favorites (my husband’s grandfather.) I decided to follow the idea of Emma from Hello Beautiful, who memorialized her grandmother’s handwriting on tea towels. I thought it would be fun to take some of the recipe cards and make reversible placemats for my mother-in-law.

Before we get started, I have to wish you all a Happy New Year! Yes, I know it’s been two weeks since the official new year. But, I’ve been sleeping in and taking time to chill. Our kids have been out of school after a snow/ice storm shut down Raleigh. Yes, I know, go ahead and laugh. But, we don’t have enough plows to clear all the neighborhoods and our streets are currently skating rinks. Don’t believe me? Check this video of a man skating on his neighborhood street.

If you are snowed in (or if you have some time on your hands) take an afternoon to make these memorable recipe placemats.

Want to learn How to Sew Reversible Recipe Placemats? Let’s get it done.

Materials:

Optional: 1 ½ yards of water resistant fabric (I used black out shade material.) You’ll want to use at least one layer of fabric or batting in between your layers or the pattern side will show through on your recipe card side.

Instructions:

Start by taking a photo of your recipe card. I used my iPhone and the Turbo Scan App. Bring your scan into a photo editing program. Clean up the scan and enlarge to 13 ½” x 18 ½”. Add an 1½” coordinating border to your scan. This will give you enough excess for seam allowance and to leave you with an inch border.

Combine your scans into one document. For six placemats, you can format them like this:

How to Sew Reversible Recipe Card Placemats | Pretty Handy Girl

My final document size for the six placemats is: 48″ x 42″ to fit on the Linen Cotton Canvas Ultra Fabric. I left a half inch border of white on the outside of my image.

Upload your file to Spoonflower.com and order 1 ½ yards of Linen Cotton Canvas Ultra Fabric.

Cut your fabric between recipes.

How to Sew Reversible Recipe Card Placemats | Pretty Handy Girl

Lay each recipe placemat on top of the pattern fabric and cut your patterned fabric to the same size. Cut your water resistant fabric to size.

How to Sew Reversible Recipe Card Placemats | Pretty Handy Girl

Layer the water resistant layer first, the patterned fabric second, and the recipe fabric face down next (as shown below.)

How to Sew Reversible Recipe Card Placemats | Pretty Handy Girl

Pin the layers together.

How to Sew Reversible Recipe Card Placemats | Pretty Handy Girl

Stitch through the three layers around the outside of the border. (Be sure to stay slightly inside the colored border to avoid having a white line showing.) Leave a 2-3″ gap unstitched.

How to Sew Reversible Recipe Card Placemats | Pretty Handy Girl

Trim off the corners at an angle.

How to Sew Reversible Recipe Card Placemats | Pretty Handy Girl

Pull all three layers through the gap to turn your placemat right side out.

How to Sew Reversible Recipe Card Placemats | Pretty Handy Girl

Use a pen or pointed object to poke the corners out.

How to Sew Reversible Recipe Card Placemats | Pretty Handy Girl

Stitch along the inside edge of the border with coordinating thread to secure all three layers (and to create a pretty border.)

How to Sew Reversible Recipe Card Placemats | Pretty Handy Girl

Topstitch the gap closed. Keep your stitches as close to the edge as possible.

How to Sew Reversible Recipe Card Placemats | Pretty Handy Girl

Now set your table and wait for your guests to start reading the recipes!

How to Sew Reversible Recipe Card Placemats | Pretty Handy Girl

If you get tired of the recipe side, flip them over to the pattern side.

How to Sew Reversible Recipe Card Placemats | Pretty Handy Girl

I gave the placemats to my mother-in-law for Christmas. She was definitely surprised and touched by the gift.

How to Sew Reversible Recipe Card Placemats | Pretty Handy Girl

It’s nice to have a memento of my husband’s grandmother around. Hopefully we’ll see the placemats come out next time we are at his parents.

Do you have any writing of a loved one that you’d like to memorialize? This is such a nice way to keep the memory alive.

Disclosure: This is NOT a sponsored post. Spoonflower was mentioned in this post only because I like their ability to print anything on fabric. They have not idea I like them. You will always be notified if you are reading a sponsored post.

 

Make a Summer Garden Flag from a Dollar Store Placemat | Pretty Handy Girl

I have to admit, I’m a little addicted to making garden flags out of fabric placemats from the dollar store (The Dollar Tree to be exact.) In fact this flag was made using all materials from The Dollar Tree. I bought fake flowers, bar towels and a placemat to make this summery flag. Best of all, you could make this flag with or without a sewing machine.

If you missed my previous flags, this was our winter flag:

and our Fall flag.

fall_yall_garden_flag_2

And our Valentine’s Day flag (that I’m embarrassed to say hung until this week.):

Yup, they are all made with dollar store placemats!

I finally caught up to the correct season and made this cheery garden flag!. As I like to say, “Better late than never!”  Read more

How to Make Piping from Thrift Store Finds | Pretty Handy Girl

I used to buy expensive piping from my local fabric store, until the day I learned how to make my own piping. When I saw how easy making custom piping is, I never bought another yard! More recently I found a way to make piping for even less! I frequent my local thrift stores in search of items that can yield thin strips of fabric to make my own piping.

Here are a few things you can buy at a thrift store to make piping:

  • Shirts
  • Pants
  • Ties
  • Fabric Belts
  • Scarves
  • Curtains
  • Linens
  • Tablecloths

Here are some tips for harvesting the material from  your thrift store finds:

Old Shirts: Cut off the arms and remove the cuffs.  Cut the front and back shirt panels out.

Customize a Tote Bag with an Old Shirt | Pretty Handy Girl

Pants:

Similar to the shirts, cut off the legs and remove the cuffs.

CutoffPants1

Have leftover pant material? Pant legs can also make cute bucket liners!

Ties and Fabric Belts:

Ties and fabric belts can be split open. If the fabric is at least 5″ wide, it can be cut in half.

Piped Tote Bag Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Scarves:

Cut scarves into 2.5″ strips.

Stenciled and Dyed Scarves Tutorial | Pretty Handy Girl

Now let’s use that fabric to Make Beautiful Piping Out of Thrift Store Finds.

How to Sew Piping: Read more

Make Your Own Finger-Printed Star Pillows | Pretty Handy Girl

Personalized finger-printed envelope star pillows are an easy and fun gift item to make. My boys and I enjoyed making these pillows for their home room teachers. We got the idea from Cristina’s beautiful seaside themed thumb print pillows.

Materials:

Make Your Own Finger-Printed Star Pillows | Pretty Handy Girl

  • Fabric (I used bleached and washed leftover drop cloths)
  • Pillow insert
  • Thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Freezer Paper
  • Fabric Paint
  • X-acto knife
  • Small Flat Brush
  • Permanent Marker
  • Scissors
  • Piping (here’s the tutorial to make your own piping)

Instructions:

Cut your front fabric with 1 inch excess around the pillow form. Cut the two back pieces of fabric with a 1 inch excess on all sides, plus allow for a 3″ overlap in the center.

Make Your Own Finger-Printed Star Pillows | Pretty Handy Girl

 

Fingerprinted Star Tutorial:

Here’s a great way to customize your pillow for the recipient. Let your little ones finger-print inside the star. Read more