Feeling Groovy

Organizer Book

I briefly tried my hand at applique. It was not for me for several reasons; it was super time consuming. It gunked up my machine and I’m not that great of a seamstress so I sewed all crooked.

I thought I would share what I made and what a pain in the bazooka it was.

Step 1 – Find a template. I found a cute photo of a VW bug and printed several copies out because I needed to cut an outline and the individual parts.

Step 2 – Cut it out. Cut the outline. Cut all the individual pieces.

Step 3 – Choose your fabrics and cut squares a little larger than each piece. Actually, cut the squares at least a half inch larger on all sides.

Step 4 – Cut squares of double-sided heat bond paper a little smaller than your fabric squares. This saves your iron from getting gunked up.

Step 5 – Iron the fabric onto the heat bond. There’s instructions on the paper. Usually, the smooth side of the paper faces down and the fabric goes on top of the rougher side.

Step 6 – Take a nap because the first five steps took an eternity.

Step 7 – Pin the paper templates onto the fabric pieces and cut them out. This step was pretty easy because the heat-bond made everything stiff.

Step 8 – Start assembling your design. Iron each layer or individual piece onto the outline piece and sew around each piece in a zigzag stitch or satin stitch.

Step 9 – Iron and sew it onto whatever you want to put it on. I sewed it onto a white piece of fabric because I had no clue what I wanted to do with it. I had an idea to do something for a friend who likes VWs but that was it.

I had to clean and oil my machine because the glue on the heat-bond paper gunked my machine up. Apparently, I hadn’t cleaned it all up because I saw the stain after I finished sewing it. I wanted to cry.

Ugh! An oil stain.

I had made a needle book for my needles for when I do hand sewing projects and posted it on FB and the aforementioned friend asked if I could make her a fabric book for her so I did. She loves anything tie-dye so I made the following book. If you want details on how to make it, I will make a separate post.

Front of book
Inside page with pockets
Inside pages with zipper and more pockets

Making the book was fun. Appliquing was not.

Upcycle Pill Bottles

Boring statistics first. According to Statista, 4.38 BILLION prescriptions were filled in the United States in 2019 and most were not recycled. Most bottles can be recycled but it is up to the local garbage company. Yeah Yeah! I know there are fancy names for the people who take your garbage and recycling away but it’s a garbage company to me.

I had a ton of pill bottles that I was just throwing in a basket because I thought, “Hey, I can do something with those someday.” I get myself in trouble doing that because I end up with too much stuff but not enough time to do anything with it. Does anyone else do that? Anyway, I have been on a mission to organize everything in my home lately so I started using my pill bottles to store things in my junk drawers in my kitchen. Yes, I have two. That’s kind of embarrassing to admit. I started putting tacks, rubberbands and paperclips in the bottles. They work great because they are see-through.

Random thought – Why are pill bottles so ugly? Why are they made that horrid school bus yellow color?

I wanted to store some of my small craft and sewing supplies in the bottles but I am weird about the way things look and if they match so I decided to pretty the bottles up.

I didn’t really take a lot of pictures of my process but I will try to explain the best I can without them. I’m really sorry. I just got caught up in the moment.

I painted the tops of the actual bottles pink. School bus yellow makes me want to hurl. I just painted the part that would peek through under the cap. I wasn’t even neat about it.

I grabbed some duct tape, cut it to size and wrapped it around the bottle.

Polka dot duct tape

I have a handy dandy Cricut machine so I cut out white vinyl circles to stick to the tops of the lids. You can just paint them white or cut out a circle of vinyl or duct tape. I can never make a perfect circle on my own.

I found an old metal bobbin that went to one of my old sewing machines and I just glued it on top. It looked lonely so I added some flowers.

I cut out card stock for the two other bottles and glued them on. I had a wooden thread spool that I covered with lace and stuck buttons over it and then clued that to the lid. This one keeps falling over because it is top heavy.

The pin cushion was an epic fail because it is lopsided. i tried to cover it up by gluing flowers under it. I always tell on myself when I make mistakes. It’s a design flaw in my DNA.

Here’s how I made it.

I cut out a 5″ circle of felt.

I basted lightly around it twice and pulled the strings to close it partially.

I stuffed it and then pulled the strings all the way closed. They didn’t want to close because the felt was so thick so I just sewed it closed anyway and it looked like a ragged mess. At this point I was wanting to toss it but I continued, thinking I could save the poor deformed thing. I used a embroidery thread and went up and down through the whole pink tomato and made sections to make it look like a tomato. I sewed the button on last. Then I tried to shape the poor thing and glued it to the top of the lid. I stuck flowers where it was really lopsided to try to hide that it was lopsided. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do!

And that is basically it. It was all pretty fast and simple except for the tomato monster.

Upcycled Pill Bottles

If you have any questions, I’m always happy to help. I mean that.

How to make a coffee can into an organizing caddy.

I’m all about keeping organized. Okay, maybe I suck at it but I’m always trying to improve because I cannot work or function in a mess.

I needed something to organize my junk stuff on my bedroom side table so I decided to use a coffee can and some fabric to make a caddy to organize things.

Let’s get right to it.

Tools needed:

A can – you can use a coffee can or a paint can or anything round.

Fabric – I used three different patterns and white for the backing.



Glue – school glue or Mod Podge

sewing machine

I grabbed a bunch of fabrics with a Frenchish theme and mixed and matched until I found three I thought looked nice together. For me, it was the hardest part of this process.

I measured the can from top to bottom which was 7 1/2 inches.

I measured it around and it was 19 1/4 inches.

The first piece of fabric needs to be big enough to cover the can plus allow for seam allowances. Most people add a quarter inch on each side but I never could get the seam allowances down that small so I cut it larger.

I cut two pieces (the front and back) 8 1/2 x 20 1/2. The extra quarter is to over lap when it’s on the can at the end of the process.

I cut the next color or patterned piece and the backing 7 1/2 X 20 1/2

I cut the last front and back at 6 1/2 x 23 1/2 because the pockets have to have a little wiggle room. After it was all done, I realized the pockets could have been a little larger so I would suggest 6 1/2 x 25 1/2.

sew each piece to the backing by putting right sides together and sewing the top, bottom and one side. Keep one side open to turn it right side out again but iron it first to set the seams.

Once it is turned right side out, iron it again.

Do this with the other colors too.

Now, stack the first two pieces on top of each other with the pretty sides facing up.

Sew the two sides together. You don’t have to do this step but it gets annoying if it moves during the next steps and pins just get all pokey.

Next, put the last piece on top.

I pinned each side so that the fabric was like a tent when it was pulled up, not that I did that 😉.

The next step is kind of confusing but pretty simple to do. Take the fabric and make little folds, like pleats, and pin them into the size pockets you want. I did all of mine the same size except the end pocket which I wanted bigger.

I ended up using a ruler and a fabric pencil to mark straight lines as I pinned.

Sew, starting at the top of the middle piece of fabric to the bottom of the top piece of fabric. The bottom should look like the this now.

I flattened each pocket out and pinned the extra on each side. Then sewed the bottom closed.

I wrapped the fabric around the can but didn’t like the silver of the can so I spray painted the top and inside black.

After it dried, I painted on Mod Podge and glued the back of the organizer to the can, starting with the unfinished edge. The finished end overlaps it and hides it. Glue it closed.

Voila! (Get it, it’s French themed?)


Coffee Can Organizer


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