Tag: tutorial

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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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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DIY CHALKBOARD WINE BOTTLES

Recycle your wine bottles into budget-friendly and versatile decor. All you need is a little bit of wine, cheese, … and chalk!

diy (how to make) chalkboard wine bottles

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


If you are like me, then you probably have a small stash of wine bottles and corks in hopes of doing something creative with them one day. These chalkboard wine bottles are a creative and versatile decor option that work great on a wall shelf or fireplace mantel!

I stumbled upon this cute project when searching for some wedding gift ideas. Between the expense of airline tickets, hotel stays, and a rental car, we honestly didn’t have much in the budget for a wedding gift. You can look at it as our main gift was getting to be there to celebrate with them!

After some Pinterest inspiration and some ideas of my own, I ended up pairing these chalkboard wine bottles with a chalkboard serving tray and wedding date pillows for some handmade wedding gifts!

The idea of using chalkboard paint on wine bottles creates tons of versatility in the project. With three bottles you can write initials for bedroom decor or baby showers, his and her initials for wedding showers, “JOY” for Christmas, etc.

In addition, you can swap out seasonal floral to give them a fresh new look all year long! Flowers, branches, dried floral, Christmas tree clippings, etc. Using the same decorative items year round, but simply changing it up a tad for every season, is such a great way to stay in budget with home decor.

Now, this tutorial is going to be rather straight forward, but here it is none-the-less!

how to make chalkboard wine bottles

SUPPLIES

  • 3 Glass Bottles (wine, champagne, cider, etc.)
  • Floral (live, dried, faux, etc.)
  • #28 3-Ply Natural Jute (Mine is from Hobby Lobby)
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Chalkboard Paint (This is our favorite paint brand!)
  • Sponge Brush
  • Wax Paper
  • Chalk

PREP + PAINT

The first step is to determine which three glass bottles to use. I say three because of the rule of three; items arranged in odd number groupings is more aesthetically appealing. In addition, I chose to use varying sizes to add dimension; two of the same size wine bottles and one spiced cider bottle.

Remove the labels and any residue from the glass until the surface is free of any gunk. Wash and dry the bottles.

painted chalkboard wine bottles

There are two ways you could go about painting the bottles: liquid paint or spray paint. I had some liquid chalkboard paint on hand from my chalkboard serving tray and decided to use that.

When working with either liquid paint or spray paint make certain to work with THIN coats; otherwise, you will end up with paint drips running down the sides of the bottle – thanks a lot gravity.

Apply additional coats until you reach the desired thickness of chalkboard surface, allowing for adequate drying time between each coat.

I chose to not paint the bottom of the bottles; therefore, I was able dry them upright on wax paper. The wax paper works great by preventing any sticking to the bottles surface when dry.

DECORATE

Let your creative side shine and start decorating your bottles! I kept mine simple and only used jute to remain versatile for everyday decor, holidays, and other occasions.

Use a hot glue gun when adhering the jute and periodically apply beads of glue while wrapping the jute around the bottleneck.

decorated chalkboard wine bottles

After the decorating is done, grab some chalk and test out your new chalkboard surface! Finish them off with dried or faux floral.

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Thanks for following along!

Filed under: DINING, FAMILY, FAMILY, FAMILY + OFFICE, KITCHEN, KITCHEN, KITCHEN + LAUNDRY, UncategorizedTagged with: , , , ,

DIY WOOD PALLET SHELF

diy wood pallet shelf

Learn how to build this easy farmhouse wall shelf on a budget! Display your favorite coffee mugs, chili bowls, dog leashes, etc. All you need is a little scrap wood, some chain, and a tiny bit of time.

diy wood pallet and chain wall shelf, chili bowl shelf, coffee mug shelf

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


When I was in college, I found these adorable chili bowls for only $1 each (a dollar!!) at my local grocery store. Am I the only one that was love-struck by that price? The price was perfect for a tight budget college student like myself!

I loved the antique, western flair of the bowls and wanted to use them as decor in my apartment. For starters, I did not have a wall shelf at the time – keep in mind a broke college student – but I did have a pallet and my dad’s tools.

I chose to do a basic construction, but added the chains for a unique feature and enhanced stability. By keeping the construction of the shelf simple, it accentuates the rustic aesthetics of both the shelf and the chili bowls.

The shelf ended up being an ideal size – not too big, not too small – because no matter where the Navy sent us, we have easily been able to find a wall to accommodate it!

This beautiful hunk of wood has moved with us between two apartments plus one home, and has been used in the kitchen, dining room, and entryway. You can see how we used it in our dining room here.

This cute little shelf is a quick and easy project to add some rustic flair into your home. Are you ready to start making your own rustic shelf? Check out our tutorial below!

how to build a wood pallet and chain wall shelf

MATERIALS

  • 1×8 Board
  • 2×4 Board
  • 2’ #14 Black Jack Chain
  • (4) #8 Steel Eye Screws
  • (4) 1” Steel Cup Hooks
  • (3) 2” Black Screws
  • (2) 4” Black Screws
  • Black Spray Paint
  • Long Nose Pliers
  • Circular Saw
  • Drill
  • 2 Bar Clamps (optional)

NOTE: I was able to get my hands on a very unique and gorgeous wood pallet that was used to deliver some furniture. I have no clue what kind of wood the pallet was made of, but I do know that it did not require staining – yay!

I have since not seen another pallet made of these quality 1×8 planks instead of the typical 1×4 pine. Therefore, you may have to use and stain scrap wood or purchase new boards.

Three 2″ black screws used to attach the 1×8 to the 2×4.

PREPARATION

Cut the wood to size. You will need a 1×8 board cut to 32” and a 2×4 board cut to 30”.

Use pliers to detach the links of the jack chain and create two 9½” long strands.

Paint the steel eye screws and cup hooks with black paint.

Two 4″ screws used to attach the shelf to the wall.

ASSEMBLY

Lay the 1×8 board with the top facing up. Drill pilot holes ¾” x ¾” away from the two front corners where two of the steel eye screws will be and hand screw the eyes into the holes.

Use pliers to open the end links on the chains and attach them to each eye. Be careful to not chip the black coating of the chain, otherwise simply touch it up with the black paint previously used.

Use clamps – or your husband – to hold the back of the 1×8 to the top off the 2×4. Evenly space the three 2” screws along the back of the 1×8, drill pilot holes, and drill in the screws to attach the two boards.

Remove the clamps and lay the shelf with the topside facing down. Evenly space the four cup hooks across the underside of the 1×8. Drill pilot holes and hand screw the cup hooks into the holes.

You’re shelf is done and all that’s left to do is to hang it up!

Account for the size of the eye screw when hanging the chain.

INSTALLATION

Hold the finished shelf against the wall and make sure it is level. Drill two pilot holes through the 2×4 and into the wall. Next, drill the two 4” screws into the pilot holes to attach the shelf to the wall.

You can choose to add more screws depending on the anticipated weight of décor.

Lastly, take the chain and extend it towards the wall until taut. To ensure a tight tension, leave a small space between the wall and the end of the chain to allow for the eye screws to fit in between.

Mark the location for the two steel eye screws, drill small pilot holes, and hand screw the eyes into the wall. Use the pliers once more to open the end links on the chains and attach them to each eye.

chili bowl shelf, coffee mug shelf

Time to decorate! Hang your favorite chili bowls or coffee cups and enjoy your new pallet and chain shelf!

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Comment below or tag us on social media to share your finished shelf! Thanks for following along!

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DIY CHALKBOARD SERVING TRAY

diy chalkboard serving tray

Learn how to make a custom chalkboard serving tray. This tray is such an easy project and perfect for a wedding gift, housewarming gift, etc.

diy chalkboard serving tray, how to make a chalkboard serving tray

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


Summer is here and that means pool parties, BBQ, and good company! All of this equals entertaining, and with entertaining comes serving ware.

I was actually searching for wedding gift inspiration when I stumbled upon the idea of these neat chalkboard serving trays. I decided to give it a go and make one as a wedding gift for one of my best friends, in addition to using the tray at her bridal brunch.

In addition to this chalkboard serving tray, I also made chalkboard wine bottles and wedding date pillows for some more custom decor to use as accompanying wedding gifts.

If you need a great gift idea this is it! I fell in love with the finished product and wanted to keep it for myself. Needless to say, I plan to make one for us as well!

diy chalkboard serving tray, handmade wedding gift

MATERIALS


WOOD PREP

Begin by either finding a piece of scrap wood in your garage, or by cutting a board to your chosen dimensions. I had managed to find the perfect size of scrap board in our garage that was left over from a previous project we had done – no cutting required!

Lay the handles and a few dishes you might like to use on the tray to determine what size would be best.

how to determine the size of a serving tray

Use an electric sander to round all corners and edges of the tray. I wanted to add a unique feature to the back of the tray so I chose to wood burn my logo into the lower corner. If you would like to add a special feature of your own just follow these simple steps below!

how to sand the edges of a serving tray

WOOD BURNING (OPTIONAL)

Print out the image or text onto a piece of paper at the size you want. Lay the paper onto the wood and use a pencil to trace the outlines you wish to display. Press hard when tracing with the pencil to make indents on the wood.

Remove the paper when you are finished and make sure all of the outlines you want are pressed into the wood. Simply trace the outlines with your wood burning kit and you are ready for staining.

how to wood burn a logo on a serving tray
– When our name was still The Navy Home. –

STAIN + SEAL

Select your choice of stain color and apply with a staining rag. We used Minwax in Red Mahogany, but have since found and highly recommend this brand.

Apply additional coats until you reach the desired color, allowing for adequate time to dry between each coat.

Next, use a sponge brush to apply a thin coat of polyurethane. I chose to seal the tray in case any liquids were to get on it during food prep, serving, etc.

CHALKBOARD PAINT

Once the tray is nice and dry, apply painter’s tape around the edges to form the area that will become the chalkboard surface.

Using the painter’s tape, create a 1” border along the length of the tray with a 2” border along the widths where the handles will be added later. Be sure to press tape down firmly around all edges to ensure the chalkboard paint will not bleed underneath.

how to paint a chalkboard serving tray

Time to pop open your can of chalkboard paint and get to painting! I’m not gonna lie, this is when I stir my paint with a stick I found in the yard. But, I am 99% positive this is not recommended. Instead, a clean stir stick does the trick and helps maintain the integrity of the product.

Use a sponge brush to apply a thin coat of chalkboard paint to your tray within the taped off work space.

When painting at the tapes edge, make sure your brush is lightly soiled with paint and apply with strokes moving away from the tape, not towards. If you paint with stroke towards the tapes edge, you are liable to end up with paint under the tape.

Apply additional coats until you reach the desired chalkboard surface, allowing for adequate time to dry between each coat.

diy chalkboard serving tray, how to make a chalkboard serving tray, handmade wedding gift

ASSEMBLING THE TRAY

After your new chalkboard surface is completely dry – especially at the tapes edge – carefully remove the tape by pulling at a slight angle towards the painted surface.

The only thing left is to attach your decorative handles! Mark the locations for your screws, drill small pilot holes, lay the handles in place, and drill in the screws.

You’re done! Look at that beauty! Now you have a fun and beautiful chalkboard serving tray for all your summer festivities!

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Comment below or tag us on social media to share your finished shelf! Thanks for following along!

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