Sunday, December 24, 2017

Fast and Easy Dog Bow Tie

Happy Holidays!

If you are still looking for the perfect accessory for your dog for the holiday pictures, this may be the perfect project. If you use a sewing machine, you can have this done within 5 minutes. Even if you are not skilled at sewing - you can make this. All the stitching is hidden from view.

Needed materials:
Small amount of fabric - I usually just use a fat quarter, since this requires a small amount of fabric. 
Sewing Machine or Needle and Thread
Dog Collar or some other way to attach to your dog (ribbon, elastic, ties, clips, etc.)

Step 1: Cut two rectangles out of your fabric. 

Cut the large one double the size of what you want your finished bow tie to be, plus double the amount of the seam allowance. 
For example: This finished tie is 5.75" wide by 3.25" tall. I am using a .25" seam allowance. (5.75 + .25) x 2 = 12", (3.25 + .25) x 2 = 7". I cut the large rectangle 12" x 7". 

Do the same thing for the small rectangle. I cut mine 2.5" x 2.5" One side will be the width of the knot and the other side will be the length of the knot wrapping around the bow and the collar - or whatever you are using to attach to your dog. I attach my bow ties with elastic, so I do not worry about this too much. If you are going to attach yours to a collar, you may want to complete the bow and then come back to this step to cut the small rectangle to ensure it is long enough. Keep in mind, if you are using the type of collar that snaps shut instead of buckles, you will also need to be able to fit it over the snap at the end.

Step 2: Fold the rectangles in half lengthwise. The inside of the fabric should face you. Sew along the long edge.

Step 3: You will now have two tubes. Turn them right-side out. Lay them out so the seam is in the center and facing you.

Step 4: Fold the rectangles in half the other way. The side with the seam in the center should be facing you. Sew along the side edge.

Step 5: Turn them right-side out. All the stitching should be on the inside. Lay the large rectangle down so the seam runs through the center of the back. Pinch the center and pull a needle and thread thru the center a few times to hold it.

Step 6: Pull the bow through the small loop to make the knot of the tie. Make sure the seam of the knot is on the back side of the tie.

Step 7: Thread the collar or whatever you are using through the back of the tie. If the knot is sliding around, you may want to put a stitch or two through the back of the knot to hold it.

If you want to make fabric ties to tie around your dog's neck, you can follow the steps for the ties in this posting. Start with step 8.

I usually use .5" elastic to attach mine for a couple reasons. My dogs are very fluffy. If I attach it to their collars, the bow tie just gets buried under the hair. So, whatever I use to attach it needs to be very loose. It basically needs to just hang there so it doesn't get buried. Also, I just use mine for a quick picture. The bow ties are only on for a few minutes and then I take them off. The elastic makes this easy to slide off and on their heads. If you are planning on keeping the bow ties on your dog for a long period of time, it is best to use a collar and not elastic. You do not want your tie to get caught on anything and harm your dog.

Step 8: Let everyone admire your handsome dog!

Frankie was not in the mood to model this tie, so this is not a great picture. But I have made lots of these ties for other holidays. Here are a few pictures of the finished product.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Last Minute DIY Advent Calendar Tree

This is last minute, but this project is easy enough to do in just one day!

I found this Stocking Tree Advent Calendar at Pottery Barn. I loved the look of it, but I did not like the $199 price tag. I knew I could make my own version for much cheaper. 
Here is the version that I made. I made this for under $20. Depending upon what you use, you could possibly make it cheaper!

Here are the steps to take to make one.

Needed materials:
  • 1” x 2” at 8’
  • 1” x 3” at 4’
  • Saw
  • Kreg Jig
  • 1 1/4" pocket hole screws
  • Sander or sandpaper
  • Wood Glue 
  • Paint
  • 6” Wood star or 1/4” Plywood 6” x 6”
  • 25 small hooks or clips
  • 25 small bags or stockings
  • Fabric Marker
  • D-hooks to hang the tree
  • Jig or Scroll Saw (if making your own star)

Step 1: Cut Your Boards.

Needed cuts:
2 - 1” x 2” at 2 ½” one end cut at 45 degree angle.
2 - 1” x 2” at 5 ½” one end cut at 45 degree angle.
2 - 1” x 2” at 8 ½” one end cut at 45 degree angle.
2 - 1” x 2” at 11 ½” one end cut at 45 degree angle.
2 - 1” x 2” at 13 ¾” one end cut at 45 degree angle.
1 – 1” x 3” at 38 ½”

I found a 3 pack of these 6” wood stars on clearance for $2. But if you are making your own star, draw a star on your plywood and cut it out using a jig saw or scroll saw.

Step 2. Using a Kreg jig set at the 3/4" setting, drill pocket holes in the non-mitered end of the 1” x 2” pieces.

Step 3. Using the pocket hole screws and glue, attach the 1” x 2” pieces to the 1” x 3”. The longest pieces flush to the bottom of the 1" x 3" and gradually moving up to the smaller pieces. I attached all one side and then all the other. I left a 5 ½” space between each.

Step 4: Sand all surfaces.

Step 5: Paint the tree and star. 

I decided to also write the last name of the family that I was making this for on the star.

Step 6: Using the wood glue, glue the star to the top and attach the clips. If you are using hooks, you probably will need to screw in those.

I decided to use the small craft clothespins. I put some washi tape on the clothespins to make them look a little cuter.

Step 7: Attach hooks to the back so you can hang it. I used D hooks. I had originally planned on using only one D hook. These particular hooks can hold up to 20 pounds. That really should be sufficient, but just in case the gifts in the bags happen to be heavy, I decided to use two of the D hooks.

Step 8: Hang your bags or stockings. I found these little bags. I took a fabric marker and wrote the numbers on each bag.

Step 9: Hang your Advent Calendar on the wall and enjoy your holiday countdown!