Decorative Letters

Letters (15 of 16)

Throughout our college careers (as is the norm for most college students), we’ve constantly been on the move — in and out of dorms, sorority houses, apartments. Each new school year comes with a new place and new people to call home. While definitely exciting as each place will inevitably bring new memories with our friends at school, it makes it a little harder to create that “home away from home” feeling.

When we moved into Towngirls (the 4-girl room in our sorority) together sophomore year, we decided to make a little housewarming gift for our roommates to brighten up the standard white walls and grey carpets of our room and make the place feel a bit more lived-in. Since then, it has been a tradition to begin each school year with this housewarming gift for our new roommates.

This craft is unbelievably easy to make (you’ll be surprised) and can be tailored to each person’s favorite color, pattern, etc. These letters make the perfect housewarming, birthday, holiday gift for friends and family — really, it’s great for any occasion!


Materials:

  • Cardboard letters (we got ours on Amazon, here)
  • Acrylic paint/paintbrush (you can also use spray paint)
  • Decorative paper (we got ours at the Paper Source, here)
  • Modge podge
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

After carefully peeling off all the price stickers from the cardboard (you want to begin with as smooth a surface as possible), we began to paint the letters completely. Two layers ensured a rich paint color. Let dry completely before moving on!

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Next, we flipped the letter upside-down and traced onto the matching decorative paper with a pencil. It’s really important to make sure you are tracing the letter backwards onto the back side of the paper — we don’t want to pull a Karen from Mean Girls!!

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Then, carefully cut out with scissors. Make sure to stay as close to the pencil line as possible so that the paper lines up with the letter so there is no excess or shortage.

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Finally, we painted Modge podge onto the front side of the letter so we could attach the decorative paper. Carefully lay the paper onto the Modge podged surface so that there are no wrinkles. Press down firmly to secure.

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Now you’re ready to keep ’em, gift ’em, hang ’em on a wall – whatever your heart desires!

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Happy Modge Podge-ing!

– Kirby and Michelle

Lavender Sachets

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Kirby & Lola in front of the harvested lavender field in Ojai

This past July, I spent a week in Ojai with friends and family. It was such a magical place with Spanish-style homes, flowering trees, and roadside farm stands that used the honor system. Every morning there would be tomatoes and fresh eggs for us to take, trusting that we would leave the money we owed. Each night we grilled outside under the stars then played games and drank wine. It was perfect. There was also a huge lavender field in our backyard that had just been harvested and the air was filled with the floral perfume. As my dad and I walked Lola (our family Cocker Spaniel) in the evenings, a certain topic kept recurring – how much my Grandma Carylon would love it there. No one would appreciate the vibrant flowers, the fresh produce, and the warm sunshine more than her and we quickly began plotting how to convince her to move so that we could visit all the time.

As a souvenir, I brought home a bag full of dried lavender from the harvest, but wasn’t quite sure what to do with it. Recently it dawned on me to make homemade sachets to send to my grandmother, a small sample of the place my dad and I knew she would fall in love with.

These were very easy to make – keep in mind the most I’ve sewn in my life is a button. With lacy ribbon and fabric paint, they are easily customizable and smell so incredible, a perfect gift. I plan to make a bunch more as Christmas gifts… and maybe a few for myself!


Materials:

  • Non-stretchy fabric (I used cotton)
  • Needle & thread
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • Fabric paint
  • Dried lavender

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Cut your fabric into long rectangular strips. When you fold them in half, they should be a little larger than you want the final sachet to be. Don’t worry about loose threads and messy edges, they will be hidden.

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Take one piece of fabric and fold it in half so that the back of the fabric is facing the outside. Using a cross-stitch (don’t worry, I had to google that, too), sew the sides, leaving about half an itch from the edges. Then carefully fold down the top and sew all the way around, this time leaving about a quarter inch from the top. The fabric should look like an inside-out pouch by now.

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Turn the bag inside out so that the seams are hidden. At this point you can decorate the sachet however you like. I monogrammed the navy blue one with my Grandma’s initials (CC) and sewed crochet ribbon across the bottom of the yellow one. I left the flower printed pouch as is so that the sachets wouldn’t look too busy all together. Once you finish decorating, pour the dried lavender into the bag, filling it 2/3 of the way.

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Carefully pinch the fabric so that the pouch is tightly filled, then sew it shut to secure the lavender inside. Use a thin ribbon and bow to cover the seam and finish the decoration on the bag.

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That’s all there is to it, now you are ready to place them in your clothing drawers and be the best smelling lady around! (I made sure to thoroughly test them out on my clothes before sending them to my grandma).

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Happy sewing!

-Kirby