Category: BATHROOM

HOW TO MAKE A HOT WATER BOTTLE COVER

Learn how to make a hot water bottle cover and keep your feet warm under the covers during the chilly winter months!

how to make a hot water bottle cover, free sewing pattern and tutorial

This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.


During the winter months, my grandma loves to keep warm under the covers by placing her hot water bottle near her feet. She decided it would be nice to have a cover for her hot water bottle and asked if I could make one for her birthday.

With that being said, this hot water bottle cover makes a wonderful handmade gift! I paired it with another handmade gift for her birthday!

My grandma wasn’t sure how she wanted it to look, but figured a simple rectangle and drawstring would work. However, I couldn’t resist making it pretty for her! I shaped the cover to be a comfortable snug fit and hand embroidered it with none other than bluebonnets (rather my attempt at bluebonnets!).

When she asked me to do this project, I went to Pinterest for some inspiration. There is where I found a picture of a fitted, hand embroidered cover, but no pattern or tutorial on how to accomplish it. So I made my own.

After one failed attempt, which resulted in a cover that was too small, I managed to come up with a pattern that fits perfect and extremely cozy!

how to make a hot water bottle cover, free sewing pattern and tutorial

SUPPLIES

  • 1/3 Yard of Fleece
  • Thread
  • Pins
  • Embroidery Needle
  • Embroidery Thread
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Measuring Tape, Yards Sticks, or Acrylic Ruler
  • Pen + Paper (I used brown wrapping paper)
  • Sewing Machine
  • Hot Water Bottle

HOW TO MAKE A HOT WATER BOTTLE COVER:

Begin by tracing your hot water bottle cover onto some paper. Use whatever you have: wrapping paper, parchment paper, poster board, etc.

Add 3/4 inches around the body of the water bottle and draw the new cut line. This allows for some possible excess of fabric that you can reduce later if needed.

I ended up needing to remove a little bit of length off the bottom of the cover by simply sewing a new seam in the desired location and trimming off the excess. After my first failed attempt, I wanted to play it safe and have too much fabric to work with rather than too little.

For ease of use, I chose to keep the spout accessible by extending the neck of the cover just passed the neck of the hot water bottle to ensure the bottle is hidden. This way she could fill the bottle, refill later with fresh hot water, and let the inside air dry – all while still staying inside the cover!

For the neck of the bottle, draw a line down the center of the pattern and measure out a 6.25 inch wide by 3.25 inch long rectangle (measurements may vary depending on the bottle). This includes 1/2 inch seam for the top opening. Start the rectangle from where it intersects with the 3/4 inch line drawn previously.

Sticking with the most comfortable route possible, I designed this cover to function like a pillow sham. There are two flaps on the backside that overlap – allowing for the hot water bottle to be easily placed inside and concealed without the need of any closure device.

Draw two lines where you want the pillow case opening to lay. I chose to place my lines at the 3 inch and 5 inch marks from the intersection drawn previously. This allows for 1/2 inch seams and 1 inch overlap of the opening.

how to make a hot water bottle cover pattern

Trace and cut the three pieces of fabric: the front piece, top flap, and bottom flap. Remember to pair the 5 inch cut line with the top flap and the 3 inch cut line with the bottom flap.

SEW THE OPENINGS

Using the overcasting stitch, fold the seams at each opening over 1/2 inch and sew the raw edge down. This will need to be done at the back and top openings.

overcasting stitch seam at pillow case opening

SEW THE COVER

Pin the three pieces together inside out in this order: front piece, top flap, and bottom flap placed on top.

Sew 3/8 inch seam around with reinforcement stitches at the top opening and on both seams located at the pillow case opening on the back. This is to help reinforce the seams that might be getting tugged on while placing the bottle inside the cover.

I normally sew 1/4 seam around, but I recommend doing closer to a 3/8 inch seam when using thick plush fabric such as fleece. I simply found it easier to work with while feeding the fabric through the machine.

overcasting and reinforcement stitch at openings

Lastly, I chose to sew overcasting stitches in the same areas as the reinforcement stitching to help cinch the fabric of the seams for a cleaner, thinner, and more finished appearance. You could choose to sew the overcasting stitch all the way around.

Turn right side out and the sewing of the cover is complete!

DECORATE THE COVER

When it came to the design, I chose to decorate the cover using only embroidery thread to keep with the comfortable feel. I didn’t want to add buttons, Velcro, beads, etc in order to keep the cover plush and practical.

All you need to embroider the cover is an embroidery needle, some embroidery thread, and a design in mind.

I chose to do a design true to our Texas nature and embroidered a couple bluebonnets onto the cover – one for her, one for me. Then added two decorative stripes at the neck of the cover to create some visual interest and division between the body and the neck of the cover.

I used split stitching for a slightly more intricate look rather than the basic running stitch. Split stitching looks just like it sounds – a stitch splitting another stitch.

how to embroider with split stitch

Tie a knot at the end of the thread, place a stitch into the fabric, stick the needle through the thread just below the knot, and pull the remainder of the thread through to make a loop. I like to do this method for knotting to ensure the knot cannot get pulled through the fabric.

For split stitching: thread one stitch forward, thread needle one-third of the ways back into the previous stitch, and pull the thread through to split the stitch. Repeat.

Once your design is complete, tie off the thread and weave the tail of the thread back through a couple of stitches to secure.

My best advice is to knot your thread and simply start stitching! I went into this project without a game plan and do not have much experience at all with hand embroidery. Needless to say, it took a good three attempts at stitching these bluebonnets to come up with a design that I loved. Third times a charm, right?

I am very happy with how it turned out once finished! I do wish the bluebonnets were off to the left a little bit more, but I’m choosing not to sweat the details for the first time in my life.

how to make a hot water bottle cover, free sewing pattern and tutorial

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Filed under: BATHROOM, BEDROOM, BEDROOM + BATHROOMTagged with: , ,

HOW TO MAKE A BATHROOM CURTAIN

how to make a bathroom curtain

Learn how to sew a bathroom curtain the easy way! A simple way to add privacy with one curtain panel and one hemline.

how to make a bathroom curtain, how to hem a curtain, diy bathroom curtain

This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.


When it comes to a bathroom, privacy is preferred and a giant window tends to contradict that preference. The abundance of natural light is appreciated, but the lack of privacy is not.

My grandma has this beautiful rain textured glass window in her bathroom, which is technically intended for privacy, but falls below her comfort level. She wanted to add a curtain that would still allow natural light to come through without feeling her neighbors can see her!

There was one problem… any bathroom windows are not standard windows and do not have compatible curtains to go with them.

She found a curtain on the clearance rack for just $5 and it was the right size to fit the width of the window. The only thing needing to be done was to shorten the curtain panel – a lot. That’s where I come in.

how to make a bathroom curtain

She asked if I could hem the curtain for her and of course I said yes – I love any excuse to sew! Plus, this was much easier than building thirteen jasmine trellises for us and both of my grandmas, which ironically was another project to enhance privacy.

This bathroom curtain is a very easy project that provides a lot of functionality to the space. My grandma was ecstatic to hang her new curtain and said it makes the bathroom look finished.

Continue below for the super simple tutorial! All you need is about thirty minutes of time and you can have a custom curtain for the bathroom.


SUPPLIES


HOW TO MAKE A BATHROOM CURTAIN:

PIN + CUT THE FABRIC

With the curtain panel hanging up, determine the length you want the curtain to be by pinning up the excess. This method allows you to get a visual of the finished length before cutting or sewing.

Once you have determine the length, you now need to determine what size of hem. We decided on a broad 6 inch hemline which was the same as the window ledge depth. The 6 inch hem would be in excess of the window measurement to allow for some gathering at the bottom of the curtain.

how to measure a curtain to hem

Find your measurements:

For example, the window is 46 inches tall + 12.5 inches for the hem (6 inches + 6 inches + 1/2 inch).

Next, measure out the desired length starting from the top of the curtain and mark where the cut needs to be in several spots across the panel. Cut off the excess.

IRON THE HEM

Fold over the bottom edge 1/2 inch to the backside of the curtain and press. Then fold the bottom edge again – this time folding over 6 inches – and press. This hides the raw edges within the hem and leaves us to work with clean edges.

ironing a curtain hem

This is when I loved using my acrylic ruler. I simply measured where my fold needed to be, slid the ruler out from underneath the fold, and pressed. The ruler provided me with a straight 6 inch span to press and I repeated across the width of the curtain.

Pin the hem in place.

pinning a curtain hem

SEW THE HEM

I chose to quickly sew a zigzag stitch down the raw edge of the fabric to help prevent the fabric from fraying. This step is not necessary, but something I chose to do as a precaution since I had not worked with this fabric before and did not know what to expect in regards to fraying.

Adjust your stitch length to match that of the existing stitches on the curtain. I like to test the stitch length on a scrap piece of fabric to avoid ripping out the thread from my project.

With the inside of the curtain facing up so you can see the folded hem, sew a few of reinforcement stitches. Continue sewing along the folded edge and finish off with a few more reinforcement stitches.

A reinforcement stitch is sewing backwards and forwards over the same stitch. I typically do anywhere from 3 to 5 reinforcement stitches together.

how to sew a curtain hem

HANG THE CURTAIN

Iron or steam your finished curtain. If you have a bathroom window like this one, use a tension rod to quickly and easily install the curtain. Hang and enjoy your newfound privacy!

how to hem a curtain, how to make a bathroom curtain

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Filed under: BATHROOM, BEDROOM + BATHROOMTagged with: , , ,

HOW TO ADD VALUE TO YOUR BATHROOM

Learn one of the best ways to add value to your bathroom in addition to some tips and things to consider during the process!

how to add value to your bathroom

This post contains affiliate links used to help support The Bluebonnet Farmhouse. For more information, please see my disclosures here.


It’s official! We closed on our first home and our household goods have been delivered (minus one box that got lost in our cross-country move – not too shabby). Time for our first project as new homeowners! Now, what was the first project going to be? … What better project than one that ADDS value to our home!

A little back story here, our home is a new construction. I know what you are thinking, if your home is a new construction how can you possibly have projects to complete?

Well, majority of the time when you purchase a new home you are able to choose your finishes from a selection offered by the builder – one of the perks of purchasing a new construction, right? We did not have this opportunity as we were not the original buyers.

The original buyers who made the selections and added upgrades were unable to close on the home. The house was placed back on the market and almost sold AGAIN just before we arrived in Texas. Thankfully for us, the home was available at the perfect time and we snatched it the day we toured it – unfinished drywall and all!

Seeing as how we did not get to select all of the finishes and upgrades, we began talking about the possibility of installing granite in the bathrooms. The granite came standard in the kitchen and therefore was not considered an upgrade. However, the bathrooms came equipped with builder-grade, man-made, white countertops with built-in sinks.

master bathroom countertops before

We didn’t mind the existing counters, but had we been given the option, we would have opted for the granite upgrade for both aesthetics and resale value purposes. After all, kitchens and bathrooms sell homes – and a quick resale is most certainly of great value!


FIRST IMPRESSIONS

When it comes to aesthetics, what is one of the first things you notice in a bathroom? The vanity countertops! No one walks into a bathroom and heads straight for the shower to check out the faucet.

Even though I will be the first to tell you the details are important, they are not the immediate attention grabber. However, stunning natural stone countertops are the attention hogs!

Not so in love with the walls of your tub and shower combo? That’s okay, just get a super cute shower curtain in the meantime and pull it shut until you can tackle that project later! The only thing guests will then notice are your gorgeous countertops and cute shower curtain!

Think of it this way. You can hide the inside of your shower, but you can’t hide your countertops.


WHY CHOOSE GRANITE COUNTERTOPS?

If you have ever been shopping for granite then you know how wonderful it is when you find THE slab. No two pieces are alike, even from the same batch, and that one piece can make your entire space a showstopper.

Of course, the tile throughout the bathroom can be a statement in itself; however, in many cases the tile used is manufactured and are overall identical pieces.

On the other hand, each slab of granite is one of a kind.

why choose granite countertops, each slab of granite is unique

In terms of resale value, if you have some eye-catching granite counters, potential buyers will be less focused on the rest of the bathroom and too busy drooling over the vanity spaces.

Added bonus, buyers will view the countertops as an expensive upgrade that they now don’t have to worry about.

Originally, I had thought not getting to choose our upgrades was a downside, but it ended up working out for the better! By not being able to choose the builder upgrade, we then had the option to go shopping and select ANY granite we wanted – within reason and budget of course! We absolutely love having the variety of granite throughout our home.


HOW TO SHOP FOR GRANITE COUNTERTOPS:

Speaking of variety, the challenge was trying to decide on which granite and whether to have the same type in all of the bathrooms. We did want the new selections to tie into the color of the kitchen granite, cabinets, and overall color scheme of the home.

the standard builder-grade granite in the kitchen

FINDING THE BEST PRICE ON GRANITE:

Being a girl who loves a good deal, I took off straight for the Boneyard when we arrived at the granite store. The Boneyard is what they call the section of the granite yard that has all of the remnant pieces.

Here you will find all of the excess pieces from the companies prior projects. Many of these pieces are too small or too specific in size to be suitable for large scale projects such as a kitchen remodel; therefore, they mark down the price to sell off the pieces.

I instantly fell in love with one piece after catching a small glimpse of it wedged between two different slabs. This one single piece just so happened to be the exact size needed to complete our master bathroom vanity with a 4” splash guard surround.

Originally, this piece was one of the higher priced exotic granites. However, due to the fact they only had this specific piece of slab left, we were able to get it for a major steal!

remnant piece from the Boneyard that was used for the master bathroom

CHOOSING THE RIGHT GRANITE FOR THE SPACE:

This particular granite was the look I was hoping to find! It had the light white body with an abundance of dark movement throughout, perfectly tying into the dark double espresso color of our cabinets.

It was the ideal piece for the space considering our bathroom is much larger than the two secondary bathrooms. The dark colors within the granite did not darken the space or make it feel smaller, which would have been a concern in either of the secondary vanity spaces.

As you know, one has to think about everything when trying to make a decision!

Okay, we had our bathroom taken care of, now what to do about the two secondary bathrooms – the guest and kids bathroom.

Obviously, we did not have enough of the Boneyard granite to cover all of them, nor was it the right balance of colors for the smaller spaces. So we set out to find a granite within the same family that paired nicely with the one already chosen.

Unfortunately, we could not find any more remnants in the Boneyard we were happy with and went to tour the remaining selection of granite. At the very front of the yard is where we found it, the answer to all of our granite questions!

I expressed my interest to the sales consultant and he jokingly said, “She’s got expensive taste.” … guilty as charged. Hey, there is nothing wrong with having expensive taste if you know how to use it wisely and hunt for bargains!

Considering half of the project was being completed with a piece from the Boneyard, those savings allowed us to be able to splurge on this exotic piece. By the end of it, the total cost was the amount we had anticipated from the beginning. The difference being, we were able to get the entire project done with higher end exotic granites! Yay!

Level 1 (Builder-Grade) | Level 3 + (High-Grade)

The sales consultant told us the two granites chosen were from the same family as you could tell from the similar colors and heavy movement.

Movement is the markings, patterns, and crystals found throughout the flow and veining of the granite. Movement is different from the tight consistent pattern found in most builder-grade granites. Therefore, the more movement in a piece of granite, the higher the price.

The secondary bathroom granite was perfect for those spaces because even though it contained the same dark color as our bathroom granite, it was in smaller doses with lighter complimentary colors occupying the majority of the surface. Don’t even get me started on the mica! I will admit, I was way too excited to see this granite installed!

remnant piece used for the secondary bathrooms

There were multiple slabs available in the collection we chose for the secondary bathrooms, but no two slabs are alike when it comes to granite.

Even though it was mined from the same location, at the same time, from the same slab of granite, no two pieces will ever be identical. This is the beauty in nature – no one thing is every truly identical to another.

Knowing that, here’s the crazy part. The one piece we absolutely loved in the collection was yet again the exact size needed to complete both secondary bathroom vanities with a 4” splash guard surround – JUST like our bathroom! Hard to believe right?!

That settled it. Given the fact that the pieces were each the perfect size for the project at hand, the colors we were looking for, and complimented each other nicely, we knew we had found our granite!

Next up, installation! Find out useful tips and things to consider before the installation of new counters below!


THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE AND AFTER INSTALLATION:

BEFORE

If you have never replaced bathroom countertops before, there are a few more expenses involved than simply the expense of the counters.

For example, you will have to buy new sinks if your current sinks and countertops are all one piece like our previous ones. In addition to the sinks, you will also have to hire a plumber to remove and reinstall your faucets. We were quoted $150 a fixture … and we had four fixtures. Yikes!

Also, if your bathroom mirror sits directly on top of your splash guard, you will need to have it removed for the counter installation and reinstalled after. To save some on expenses, you can always choose to remove and reinstall the mirror yourself, but keep in mind if you break a mirror it can be quite an expense to replace. We did not feel comfortable removing them ourselves and certainly did not want to find out the expense to replace the 6’ x 4’ mirror in our bathroom.

Thankfully, we had become good friends with the sales consultant for our new construction neighborhood and during conversation we mentioned our current undertaking to him.

To our complete surprise, he offered to reach out to the construction managers for the contacts of their mirror and plumbing crew on site. As a result, we had both the mirrors and the plumbing done at a very small fraction of the cost!! And we now have the relationship with those contractors for future projects! Talk about a win-win that we weren’t expecting at all!

TIP: If you live in a new construction neighborhood and the crews are working on site, I recommend you try to take this route to save on expenses!

raised the mirror a couple of inches to account for DIY custom frames

Since the mirrors were having to be reinstalled anyways, I decided this was my opportunity to have them raised for us to be able to frame them! Yes, it was another one of our projects I couldn’t wait to get working on! (Blog post for the mirror frames coming soon!)

As you can see above, the mirrors are now a couple inches above the splash guard rather than sitting directly on top.

AFTER

Our existing counters were removed and the new counters were installed all in one day.

When cutting granite, there is risk of it chipping along the edge where a crystal or piece of mica resided. Think of it like a knot in wood, if you cut it in half the other half will fall out too.

Panic definitely started to set in when I noticed the chip in our new bathroom granite. We had no option of a replacement seeing as how this was the Boneyard piece!

Thankfully, we did not need to worry and the company came equipped for this kind of scenario. They used a granite putty that filled in the chip to the point of being undetectable! Voila!

Lastly, make sure the granite is sealed! Unsealed granite will result in water spots and staining.

All of our bathroom granite was sealed on-site after installation; however, our kitchen granite, which came with the purchase of our home, is a different story.

We were told our kitchen granite was sealed during the manufacturing process and therefore did not need to be sealed on-site. This personally didn’t make much sense to me considering the fabrication process during installation.

Nonetheless, based off our experience, sealing during manufacturing does not seem to be nearly as effective as being sealed on-site after fabrication. Our kitchen granite tends to absorb liquids instead of forming a protective barrier that leaves beads of liquid sitting on top of the surface.

What is the kitchen counter going to presumably come in contact with on a daily basis? Liquids. Needless to say, we will be sealing our kitchen granite soon.

As for now, it’s time for our bathroom countertop reveal!


MASTER BATHROOM | BEFORE + AFTER


KIDS BATHROOM | BEFORE + AFTER

how to add value to your bathroom, kids bathroom counters after

GUEST BATHROOM | BEFORE + AFTER

how to add value to your bathroom, guest bathroom counters after

Clearly, we still have to cover up some holes in the walls from having raised the mirrors in addition to decorating, but we could not be happier with how our bathroom counters turned out! Who knew we would end up being thankful for having not been able to make upgrades during the purchasing process of our home!

RELATED POSTS:

Have you ever replaced countertops or thinking about it? We would love to hear from you in the comments below! Tag us on social media to share your bathroom renovation with us!

Thanks for following along!

Filed under: BATHROOM, BEDROOM + BATHROOM