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How to make a pillow cover with an envelope closure

Yeesh!  Sometimes it is the smaller projects that take a lot of time to write a tutorial on the process and this is one of them!  Here’s one more project to cross off the list for Pip’s room…one step closer to the big day…an entirely complete room in my house!  Can you tell that I am just slightly excited about the prospect of that?!  Today my power tool of choice is my sewing machine, and I used it to make pillow covers with an envelope closure.  And it’s pretty cool how the stripes take on a new look by cutting out some triangles and sewing them together.

DIY pillow covers

I made a couple of pillows like this for our couch awhile back, and when I found the clearance sheets for Pip’s room that I talked about in the Scrap Wood Upholstered Footstool I recently posted about, I knew I eventually wanted to make some pillow covers for her room using the same process.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

First we need to make a pattern.  Read More…

Sew a Tote from a Tank Top

With the new year in it’s first few days, you might be cleaning out some closets.  If you happen to have some tank tops that you don’t love anymore, I’ve got a simple sewing project that will repurpose tank tops into tote bags!  I had three that I removed from my closet awhile ago and I turned them into these:

Black tank top turned into a tote

Blue tank top turned into a tote bag

Orange tank top turned into a tote bag

Here’s the tutorial from

Has anyone else done this already?  Have you turned any other clothing into something useful?  I have a slight obsession with tote bags.  I think I need to cull some of my other not-so-cute totes and donate them…

How to make a camera bag insert for a purse

I discovered, as I was completing my teaching degree in recent years, that one of the state standards for Ohio’s school children is teaching them the difference between a “want” and a “need”.  Many people in our great country have got problems with this concept IMHO and although I feel that I have pretty much mastered it, at times I may slip.  Like when I mentioned on my Facebook page that I might need a digital SLR camera.  This would, in fact, be a want not a need.  But I have been wanting one for quite a while now, I had some Christmas money + other money I’d been squirreling away, and I finally bit the bullet and bought one.  And now I need a camera bag and I want it to be pretty.  So I made one. Because OMG are the pretty ones expensive.

Pinterest had a plethora of choices for a DIY bag.  I pinned four onto my Photography board, but the one I chose was from  Some of the tutorials actually put the foam pieces under the purse liner, which was kinda cool, but I want the option of removing.  And I loved her purse/fabric combo.  Here’s mine:

DIY camera bag

The purse I chose was a Nine West.  Now I am not a fashion diva, although you may think that from this post, so I’m not quite sure the original price tag of $72 was accurate, but I paid $24.99 at Burlington Coat Factory. Read More…

How to sew a Ruffle Flower Pillow

Ok, the New Year is here and  I’ve got my resolution  in place:  set small goals and write down how I am going to work toward them daily.  So often I get overwhelmed when I’m looking at the big picture—once I wrote down everything, even the really small things, I wanted to get done in every room in our house AND outside—O.V.E.R.W.H.E.L.M.E.D. !!!

So my current short term goal is Pip’s room.  My goal is to have it done—minus repainting her desk and building a hutch for it—by the end of January.  I still need to map out the month with the baby steps to get there, but I did one of them today without the map.


I was seeing these all over the place while I was Christmas shopping and I knew she would love to have one for her room.  However, I was NOT paying $25 for one!

Here’s how you can avoid doing that as well.  Mine was free because I already had a pillow form stored away and leftover fleece from making Pip a robe years ago (pack ratting paid off this time…)

You need: Read More…

Luggage Tag Tutorial

Like most American families, our lives are pretty busy around the Pink Toe home.  Because of that, whether or not my kids will ride the bus home or be picked up by moi changes day to day, and sometimes my youngest gets confused once she’s at school.  Then she gets anxious.  Then I get called by the school secretary–who does not need to be bothered with this all the time.

Sooo, I’ve written notes.  I tell everyone what’s what before they leave for the morning.  But the system still fails every once in awhile.  Then I thought up the idea of a quick, visual reminder for her backpack.  One that she can check really quick at any time during the day to be reassured what the plan is.  I ran across some luggage tags at Target that had the look I wanted, but to change out the note each day required a bit of hassle because of the way it attaches.

And then there’s that voice in my head: I can make THAT. It is truly a sickness, people.  Because once it comes down to actually making the item the voice is talking about, I sometimes falter.  So on the last day of winter break, after lots of procrastinating, I sat down at my sewing machine, because I was not going to get another call from the school secretary.  This one’s for you, Lyndy.


  • fabric scrap
  • stiff interfacing or thin cardboard (like a cereal box) scrap.  I used Pellon Peltex 72F double sided fusible interfacing
  • medium weight fusible interfacing scrap
  • scrap of vinyl (I used the container that sheets come zippered up in)
  • ribbon, shoe lace, or more scrap material to make something to hang the tag with
  • snap, velcro, button or skip this and tie the tag on with the ribbon, shoe lace, etc.

1) Draw 4 circles of whatever size you want the tag to be on your fabric.  I used a cup I had in my sewing room that is 4.25″ across.  I wanted room to write.  Also cut circles in your stiff interfacing/cardboard, medium interfacing, and vinyl.

Free source of vinyl!

2) Attach your stiff interfacing/cardboard to two of your circles, making sure that right sides are out.  Mine was fusible, but I think you could stitch cardboard into the center (what I planned to do until I remembered I had the Peltex).  I would just zigzag right on the edges.  Maybe cut off a little from the cardboard so it is just slightly smaller than your fabric circles so you can’t see it after stitching.

3) Attach the medium weight fusible interfacing the the other two circles, right sides out.

4) Using another smaller circle, trace it in the center of the medium weight interfacing circles.  Using a close stitch zigzag, stitch right on the line your just drew.  I made my zigzag width smaller than the default also–on my machine it is a 2.5 out of 5.

Front of the tag, zigzagged and cut out.

5) Cut out the inside of the circle you just stitched, cutting right up to the stitching.

6) Stitch the vinyl circle onto the back of this piece.  Use a longer stitch because vinyl isn’t fabric (see all you learn here?!).  If the stitching holes are close together, the vinyl might just rip out.

If you look close you will see the stitching just outside of the zigzag stitching.

6.5) Now zigzag the outside edges all together. (Forgot this step and caught it when I was reading over the post later in the day that it was published).

7) Sew your ribbon, shoe lace, or whatever you are using for the hanging part onto the inside of the stiff interfacing piece.  Make sure you stitch lower down so you won’t see the stitching once it is all assembled.

8) Finish the ends of your hanging piece.  I used ribbon, so I just applied some Fray Check.

9) I used a snap closure because I thought velcro would pull off easier when we didn’t want it to.  I reinforced the ribbon with medium fusible interfacing for the snap parts.

10)  Attach your hanging parts of choice.  I have a Snap Setter from when I made some cloth diapers way back when.  I think you can set snaps with something from JoAnn Fabrics, but I don’t have experience with that.  Anyone else know??  A button would also be a durable, hard-to-knock-off choice.

11)  Mark where you need to stop sewing your outside seam to attach the front and back pieces.  This will need to be as wide as your inner circle, so that your note/info can slide in easily and fills the entire vinyl area.  Mine is about 2.5″ across.  Start sewing (reinforce this seam start) at one mark and continue around the outside to the other mark (reinforce the seam end too) using a straight stitch.

Click on the picture to enlarge. You can see where the stitching starts and stops around the outside of the tag so that the message can be inserted into it.

12)  All done!  If you have a child that can’t read yet, you might just print out a picture of a bus and another of however they are getting home (you, babysitter, etc.) and use that as their cue.

As always, I’d love to see your finished product if you use this tutorial!

This post is linked to:

Saturday Night Special at Funky Junk Interiors

TeePee Tutorial

A sewing machine is a power tool.  It is probably not the first thing that a person thinks of when starting a conversation about power tools, but it is one nonetheless. Need proof?  My mom sewed right through her finger once.  THAT takes some power to accomplish.  Nuff said.

So sewing projects have a place on Pink Toes and Power Tools blog and I have sewed a lot of projects for my home over the years.  The following tutorial might not be furthering me toward my goal of finishing up this house, but it has been on my to-do list since my nephew was born and my kids got a lot of use out of (and still do, my son pointed out just tonight) the one I made for them many years ago.  My nephew is finally old enough to appreciate this gift and I hope that he enjoys it as much as my kids did/do.  Here’s his teepee:


  • 4 (3/4″) PVC pipes cut to 67″ and sanded smooth
  • 8 end caps for PVC pipes (optional)
  • shoe lace (or cord)
  • thread to match your material
  • 5 1/2 yds. heavier weight fabric at least 54″ wide (no more than this–I had a little left over because I always get a little more “just in case”)
  • 1 yd. fabric at least 45″ wide (if you are going for cheaper and are going to piece your loops in order to get the length you need.  Otherwise you need 1 and 2/3 yards to get the correct length).

I used denim for the heavier fabric.  The fabric for the tubes is 45″ wide Read More…


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