Archive for the ‘Projects with Instructions’ Category

* flower garden skirt instructions

Posted on August 29th, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Cross Stitch/Embroidery, Projects with Instructions.

Ok, the last of the old button projects.






sewing machine

green thread in various shades

wool felt (craft felt will also work, but does not stand up to repeated washing as well, though futuregirl’s done the experiment and this isn’t necessarily true.)

decorative edge scissors

time required: several hours, depending on how many flowers you choose to include

Sketch the garden and decide how many flowers to include and how tall they will be.

If desired, draw the pattern on the skirt with chalk or a wash-out pen.

Use the color of the skirt as your bobbin thread. Since it won’t show, you don’t need to match it to the different colors of top thread.

Using a reinforced straight stitch, sew the stems.

Using the plain straight stitch, sew the grass, either by following your drawing or by randomly zig-zagging. One line of grass looks fine, or you can sew multiple layers in different shades of green.

Choose buttons to use as the flowers.

Choose coordinating colors of felt for the flowers.

Using the decorative edging scissors, cut out circles to fit behind the buttons. Play with different patterns, or try cutting your own designs with embroidery scissors.

Stack the button and felt and sew on to the skirt.

Wash in cold water. Handwashing is probably best, but it should be fine in the washing machine. Hang dry.


* buttoning belt instructions

Posted on August 28th, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Projects with Instructions, Sewing/Fabric Crafts.


original post



cotton print

large button

sewing machine with button-hole function

time required: 30 minutes

Measure your waist and add 6 inches or measure a belt you know fits.

Cut a strip each of canvas and cotton 2 inches wide and as long as your measurement.

Wrong sides together, sew along each long side using a quarter inch seam allowance.

Turn right side out. It helps to use a bodkin or a large safety pin attached to one end.
Iron flat.

Turn the open ends inside, trimming if desired to make a slanted end.

Topstitch ends closed an eighth of an inch from the edge.

Continue topstitching along the entire length of the belt.

Sew large button to one end of the belt.

Try the belt on. Mark the position for the button hole.

Make one or more button holes parallel to the long dimension of the belt.


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* doll button necklace instructions

Posted on August 27th, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Jewelry, Projects with Instructions.


original post


5 doll-size buttons

4 small jumprings

1 larger jumpring

needlenose pliers


time required: 15 minutes

Using the pliers, twist open a small jumpring.

Place two buttons on the jumpring.

Twist closed.

Twist open another small jumpring.

Thread through the empty hole in one of two connected buttons.

Add another button.

Twist closed.

Continue adding the remaining buttons.

Add larger jumpring to the top button.

String on chain.


* button medals and ribbons instructions

Posted on August 26th, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Jewelry, Projects with Instructions.


gold and silver shank buttons





fabric glue

pinback or clip

time required: 30 minutes, plus glue-drying time


Cut a piece of striped ribbon 3 or 4 inches long.

String the button on a piece of cord with a knot at the bottom. If the button hangs straight, you can attach it this way (otherwise read down a few steps).

Fold back the corners of the end of the ribbon.

Stitch through the corners and the cord.

If the button won’t hang straight, cut a small X in the ribbon and push the shank through. Use fabric glue to secure. (This is also the method for the blue and green striped variation.)

Once the glue is set, fold back the ribbon corners and sew or glue down.

Fold back the top edge of the ribbon and make a crease. Unfold.

Sew a pinback or clip right above the crease.

Refold and glue in place.


alternate versions

Pick out a button to serve as the center of the ribbon. Choose a matching ribbon.

Cut 1 foot length of ribbon.

Sew a large running stitch about 1/8 inch from one long edge of the ribbon.

Pull on stitch to gather the ribbon.

Alternatively, pleat the ribbon by folding (works best with wire-edged ribbon).

Shape into a medallion. You may need to trim the ribbon to make a nice ruffle. Knot the thread ends to keep the gather.

Overlap the ribbon ends and sew in place with a couple of stitches near the gather.

Cut short pieces of coordinating ribbon for streamers. Trim if desired by gluing on other ribbons or edging.

Sew button, ruffle, streamers, and pinback together through all layers.


* gradient button necklace instructions

Posted on August 25th, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Jewelry, Projects with Instructions.


alternate version


buttons of varying sizes but the same color or material

embroidery thread

chain if desired

time required: 45 minutes

Arrange the buttons in order of size. Match buttons of the same size to make it symmetric.

Cut a 2 foot length of contrasting or matching embroidery thread as desired.

Stagger buttons with one layer on the bottom and another layer on top.

Thread through the buttons, alternating top and bottom.

Arrange the buttons along the thread until they are distributed in a nice silhouette.

Knot the thread at each end to keep the buttons from slipping.

Necklace can be worn as is by tying the embroidery thread around neck.

Lengths of chain can also be tied to each side of the necklace if desired. Cut off excess thread and tuck ends under.


* Stacked button ring instructions

Posted on August 24th, 2007 by maitreya. Filed under Jewelry, Projects with Instructions.

About a year ago I posted some button projects for a book proposal someone solicited. Well, I sent in a set of sample projects and the instructions and a preliminary table of contents, then never heard anything back. Well. I don’t have time to write a book anyway (I have plenty of writing to do at lab lately), so I was actually kind of relieved. But it just occurred to me that maybe somebody would actually like to use the instructions I wrote up. You could probably figure most of them out yourself, but I have them, so I might as well post them. Here’s the first one, for this stacked button ring:


ring base
quick-set epoxy

time required: 20 minutes plus glue-drying time

Find a button that fits the ring base.
Arrange a stack of buttons of different sizes and colors. Buttons with ridges around the edge work nicely. Doll buttons make a nice top layer.
Sew together the stack.
Glue it into the ring base using epoxy. Make sure it’s centered all around and hold it until the epoxy is set. (Go watch this Bat for Lashes video so you’re not bored.) Try to prop it level while the epoxy cures.


* pocket

Posted on September 12th, 2006 by maitreya. Filed under Projects with Instructions, Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

I whipped up this little button-closed pocket, lined with linen. The pattern was made up as I went along. It turned out to be really easy, mainly because I just topstitched it together. In brief: 1. Cut 8×5 inch rectangles of lining and outside. 2. Trim the corners of one of the 5 inches sides of both pieces to make a flap shape (optional). 3. Stack fabric pieces, right sides together, and stitch around the edge with a quarter inch seam allowance. Leave a gap for turning. 4. Turn inside out, poke out the corners, fold in the seam allowance at the gap, and iron flat. You can either whipstitch the opening closed, or let the topstitching do the job later. 5. Topstitch the 5 inch side (not the flap, the other one), about 1/8 inch from the edge. 6. Fold up the 5 inch side to make the pocket. Iron to make the fold. 7. Starting at the fold, top stitch up the edge to make one side of the pocket, around the flap, and down the other edge of the pocket. 8. Fold the flap how you want it and iron the fold. 9. Pick out a buttons or snaps and position how you like. 9. If using buttons, sew button holes on the flap. 10. Sew on buttons or set snaps.

Any questions, let me know.



* ironing board cover

Posted on April 25th, 2006 by maitreya. Filed under Projects with Instructions, Sewing/Fabric Crafts.

I really hate my ironing board. It’s dingy and flimsy and too small and it bows in the middle. I’ve been looking around for a new one, but I refuse to buy another flimsy one, and the nice sturdy ones are more expensive than I’m willing to pay at the moment. It seems like it should be a classic yard sale find, some ancient, indestructible ironing board that I will use forever. So, until I find this mythical ironing board, I can at least stop hating my poor current one.

First, I tore off the old cover, and the disintegrating foam underneath, both of which were attached to the particle board base with staples. After trying to pry out a few of the staples, I decided that it would be just fine if I left the darn things in. I put a length of not-too-lofty quilt batting down the center to pad where it bows, and wrapped the whole thing in another layer of batting that was long enough to wrap under the bottom by about 2 inches all around. Next, I flipped it over and used a staple gun to pull it tight. Then I did the same thing with this sweet cotton that was on the sale rack at Joann’s (a pink version of the green fabric I used for the fabric envelope from a while back). The old cover had a piece of seam binding stapled over the raw edges to finish, but I didn’t bother. It’s *much* better now, not just aesthetically but practically as well. I hadn’t even noticed how the lack of good padding was making my ironing life harder.



* Trent Reznor mural

Posted on November 6th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Projects with Instructions.

We went to see Nine Inch Nails last night, sort of an early birthday present to myself (my birthday’s in a week). I’ve seen nin now 4X live, first time ~1994. Last time was in 1996 maybe, when he was touring with David Bowie. He’s still got it. The show last night was incredible. We had general admission tickets, which was pretty exciting. Got pretty close, and only fell over and almost got crushed once. Also got kicked in the face by a crowd surfer and bent my glasses. Great fun.

Anyway, it reminded me of a mural Mark and I painted back in college. As of last year, it was still up. We based it off a giant poster I had. The poster was a black and white photo, so we taped together a bunch of sheets of tracing paper and traced the main contrasty parts. We taped the tracing paper to the wall with sheets of carbon paper behind it and traced the whole thing again to transfer it to the wall. Then we painted it all in. It’s in a narrow hallway bit, so I couldn’t get a picture straight on, but you get the gist.




* needle felted flower tutorial

Posted on April 18th, 2005 by maitreya. Filed under Felting, Projects with Instructions.

I made another needle felted flower, and took some pictures along the way. (Here’s my first one.) I tried to keep the scale the same in each of them so you can see the shrinkage. The grid in the background is 1 inch squares. The pictures were taken every commercial break for ~45 minutes, just to give you an inpression of the time scale involved.

Wad of roving. I got this at a neat toystore that had a bunch of Waldorf/Montessori-type toys.


Pull the roving apart into little wisps and wad it up into a flattened oval. Put it on a pillow or a piece of foam and have at it with the needle. Push the barbed part of the tip all the way through the fiber and into the pillow. It’s the barbs that do the work. It’ll start to felt onto the pillow if you jab too much, so flip it over every few jabs. If the edges seem irregular, just push them into shape and jab a few times to secure.


The oval should start to reduce in size and start to hold together. Keep jabbing all over, flipping, and jabbing more, paying attention to the edges, until it starts to feel like felt. I find this step the hardest because it doesn’t seem like it’s working at first.


Now you can start forming the petals. Jab into the edge of the disk in a line where you want the petal divisions to be. It should only take ~10 jabs to get an indentation. If it takes much more than that, go back to jabbing all over and make the felt a little denser. For now, just make a little indentation for each one.


Finish the petals by jabbing all around the petals and further felting the indentations. I also jabbed in a line along the top to further define them. The felt should really be firming up now. You should feel some resistance when you put the needle through.


Once you’re happy with the flower, you can embellish it however you want. I used some felt beads I got in my Sampler from Lili la Malice. She was kind enough to post a tutorial, too, if you’d like to make some yourself. Just place the beads on the flower and jab until they’re secure.


It all makes a lot more sense when you have the needle and roving in hand, I promise.



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craftlog is under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial license. That means that you are all welcome to take and repost my photos, replicate my projects, remix my ideas, whatever you want as long as you give attribution (a link is fine) and it's noncommercial. Thanks!