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Saturday, 3 June 2023

Drawstring Bags With a Difference

drawstring bags with a difference
Not your average drawstring bag...
In part two of my things to sew for travel series that I put together in 2021, the focus was on drawstring bags.

They are a common starting point for beginner sewers, with some unlined versions being able to be sewn up very easily, in very little time.

Not having been a beginner sewer when I came back to this hobby over a decade ago, drawstring bags were something I mostly ignored until I created my own version.

In terms of any type of sewing project, I have a requirement that they be somewhat unique or different. You might think, well, how different can drawstring bags be?

A few months ago, while scrolling through one of my favourite YouTube channels (sewingtimes), I came upon several that could be categorized as such. And while I am not likely to make any of them, perhaps they might provide inspiration for you.

This first is probably the most traditional one of the bunch. As you can see from the inset photo, it's just a big, mostly circular pouch (the base is actually rectangular). However, as I've touched upon in the past, this is an example of a basic bag being made better through the addition of some handles and a pieced exterior.

With a limited fabric stash, I've always found it to be a challenge to pick fabrics for any given project. I've learned to "make do" and do the best with what I have — and so should everyone at a time when everything is going up in price — but this demonstrates perfectly that when something as simple as a bag's exterior is made out of two contrasting fabrics, the result is automatically elevated. The bonus part is that you don't need a lot of any one particular fabric. (I should also mention that this project doesn't involve any finicky piecing; a center template creates the part that you see in the middle.)

image courtesy of sewingtimes on Youtube
images courtesy of sewingtimes on YouTube...

This video was uploaded September 13, 2021; you can find it by searching for "DIY Drawstring Bag with Handle | Wide open Purse bag Cosmetic bag".

Project number two is a zipped up jewelry pouch, train case style. It's a clever reimagination of a popular type of zippered case (recall my pouch for hubby's electronics?) that may appeal to some younger fashionistas. Unfortunately, I am way past the age where I care to cart around any jewelry (real or fake) when I travel; what I'm wearing when I leave the house will have to do. (In fact, as a result of the pandemic, I have become ever more minimalist in every regard.)

That said, this would make a thoughtful wedding gift for the bride if you know that there is a fancy honeymoon in the offing. Or, if you're planning on giving away some heirloom pieces to the younger generation in your family, this might be a lovely way to make the presentation.

image courtesy of sewingtimes on Youtube
images courtesy of sewingtimes on YouTube...

This video was uploaded February 16, 2023; you can find it by searching for "DIY Jewerly Box Pouch Cute and Functional - Jewelry Storage Sewing Tutorial". (Yes, jewelry is actually spelled wrong in the title of this tutorial.)

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The next two projects have something in common: a floral theme. 

This first one is a tall rectangular pouch with an opening that cinches up to form a flower with six petals. As you can see from the inset photos below, there is a hanging loop on the back. The scalloped top edge of the bag is what forms the flower when the drawstring is pulled.

I see something like this being made for gift giving; i.e., as a gift bag to hold the actual gift. Most of us likely pass around the same paper bags these days when we exchange presents; having one made out of fabric that you can actually close is a nice change.

image courtesy of sewingtimes on Youtube
images courtesy of sewingtimes on YouTube...

This project was uploaded on May 10, 2021. You can find it by searching for "DIY Flower Pouch Bag | Drawstring Bag Tutorial Free Pattern".

I really like this next one because it's ideal for scraps. It's got a hexagonal shape to it and as you can see from the photos, the flower is formed by six leafy petals. Unlike the others, this project does involve some piecing, but she shows you every step as well as the sewing that's required. Trust me, she makes it look easy... which is not to say that it will be easy for everyone, but if you take your time, she gives you more than enough guidance to be successful.

image courtesy of sewingtimes on Youtube
images courtesy of sewingtimes on YouTube...

This video was uploaded on December 26, 2019. You can find it by searching for "DIY BLOSSOM DRAWSTRING BAG fabric scraps idea string pouch sewing tutorial".

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This last one is truly different with a wrap-around flap that is secured to a bottom center seam. It's an unexpected design element and inspires ideas for expanding on the concept. The red panel is actually a divided pocket. (On the inset picture in the lower left corner, you can see items in it.)

image courtesy of sewingtimes on Youtube
images courtesy of sewingtimes on YouTube...

The video was uploaded February 4, 2021. You can find it by searching for "DIY TRAVEL POUCH BAG Drawstring Pouch with Cover Sewing Tutorial".

By the way, if that's not enough, sewingtimes also has a YouTube video featuring her top seven drawstring bag tutorials as of October 3, 2022. I believe it includes two of the above projects.

One final observation: a few of these will be a lot easier to sew if you have a free arm machine... just sayin'. \_(-_-)_/

'Til next...

Saturday, 27 May 2023

Celebrating the Big 500

Celebrating 500 Posts at eSheep Designs
Confetti time! I made it to 500!
Hey, throw down some confetti and break out the bubbly... I'm celebrating the completion of five hundred blog posts over the past nine-plus years!

I'm totally tickled to be marking this achievement, because when I reached blog post number four hundred, I was almost convinced that my blogging days would come to an end before reaching another hundred.

If you were around to read that one, you may recall that at the end of it, I gave myself permission to deviate from my once-a-week schedule going forward.

I still haven't missed a Saturday, and with six more months of Saturdays to go before reaching the tenth anniversary of the blog, I'll be giving it my all to stick with the program.

What might one pick as a topic for a five hundredth blog post? Why, the other four hundred and ninety-nine posts, of course. ಠ‿ಠ

Okay, not all of them. (Still, long post warning.) But I thought it might be fun to go back through the years and pick out a couple of posts from each, that marked special moments for me.

Robert Kaufman Craftsy Mystery Box
Box of RK fabric...
This was a super exciting time, but unless you've been in the same boat, you may not be able to relate.

After not having sewn for decades, I bought my first bit of fabric — one single yard — in September, 2012. I then proceeded to "make do" with non-traditional sources of fabric for almost two years.

When it came time to make a real purchase again, I turned to Craftsy, as I did for most things back in those days. Until it ran out of steam, Craftsy provided me with everything from sewing inspiration to a modest source of income (through its affiliate program and indie marketplace).

Not usually one to buy things sight unseen, I had familiarized myself with Robert Kaufman and his reputation, so I knew this would be quality fabric. Over the years, I've used this collection to great advantage and am lucky enough to have a decent amount remaining.

Fiskars ruler and cutter set
Woo hoo — cutter and mat!
Speaking of making do, I was well past the two year mark of my sewing journey when I finally sprung for a cutting mat, rotary cutter and sewing ruler.

I had started to feel hampered by not having the right tools for the job, so in recognition of having achieved a few minor accomplishments, I rewarded myself with what most sewers would deem to be rather basic purchases.

The little cutting mat has since been rotated out of regular use, but the cutter and the ruler are still serving me well.

My first post of 2015 was significant in that I felt confident enough to share some of the knowledge that I had picked up — and relearned — over the past couple of years. Far from being entrenched in what I knew/know from way back when, I am always thrilled with the opportunity to pick up new tips and tricks, and happy to share them.

In David Letterman style, I counted down the top ten sewing tips as I saw them, covering things like taking pride in your work to cutting thread on the diagonal before threading a needle.

DIY wallet by eSheep Designs
An oddly popular project...
This wallet — made by request for one of my cousins — is unusually popular on AllFreeSewing.com. Every so often, it will wind up as "trending" even though it's not a fully formed tutorial.

What it is, is the beginning of a three-part post about a wallet that I developed from scratch (per cousin's existing wallet) that took months to complete. It wasn't so much the work that took all that time, as it was the interest in doing the work. Sometimes projects are just like that. Why else would most sewers have a collection of WIPs?

The happy ending here is that the wallet did ultimately get made and the associated write-up has been an unexpectedly prolific inbound link for this blog.

Customized Beach Tote by eSheep Designs
My "never fail" beach tote...
In early 2016, I decided to take a(nother) free pattern and make it my own in a substantial way. Modifications were made to the overall size, pockets, fabric allocation, and straps; i.e., they weren't just minor cosmetic changes.

The inspiration came from Sew4Home and the result is a bag that has accompanied me on every beach vacation ever since.

It's even been washed a couple of times, which is not normally something I'd do with handmade bags. A great learning experience as well as a practical addition to a bag collection... what more could you ask for?

Fabric flowers by eSheep Designs
A fabric rose...
Making these fabric flowers was just plain fun, and the idea that they could be a skill-building exercise for new sewers leads me to recommend this project again and again.

Seven years later, these flowers are still sitting pretty. That said, my recent experience making tulips has supplanted these as my favourite fabric flowers. In terms of sewing, however, these are definitely a fun way to hone your skills for curvy sewing.

Zip Around Yahtzee Wallet by eSheep Designs
Frustrating but ultimately so rewarding...
While the flowers represented a fun memory, this Yahtzee wallet brings back recollections of frustration. The stitch ripper was out so many times that the fabric was close to disintegrating!

That said, sometimes the most difficult, challenging, and hair-tearing projects end up being the most rewarding. This zip-around case has since been a constant companion of ours whenever we go anywhere near or far.

Lessons learned? Many. Primarily, though, don't be lazy about hand basting. This project pounded that idea into my brain. Trying to save time by machine basting can be false economy.

DIY Ruler grips by eSheep Designs
Best ever ruler grips!
For a few weeks in March, I was on wallpaper duty for the other half's motorhome project. To assist with the inevitable cutting, I brought along one of my newer cutting mats, the rotary cutter, and my 24" sewing ruler.

I had a moment while making one of the cuts when I looked down and marveled at how easy it was to pick up the ruler because of these little grips that have been stuck on it since 2017.

I'm serious. They are totally removable, but the fact is, these two little suckers — literally — have been attached to the ruler for the past six years during the cutting for all of my sewing projects. For an inexpensive and fast DIY, how can you not marvel at that sort of durability and usability?

Mini Quilt by eSheep Designs
My first mini quilt...
I've said many times that I'm not a quilter, but this was my very first quilting project. It was enjoyable. The freestyle type of quilting that was involved appealed to my sense of order and adventure, and kept the project from overwhelming me with rules.

The inspiration came from a Craftsy class given by quilter Suzy Williams, who really made the process fun. (If you're into quilting, you should really check out her website, too.)

My takeaway from this project is that making a mini quilt can be a fun and relaxing way to rejuvenate your mojo if you feeling lost in the (sewing) weeds... as we all do from time to time.

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"linen" fabric from Dollarama
What's better than a newspaper-y print?
My city's newspaper stopped printing a Monday edition last fall. Many years ago, it stopped printing a Sunday edition. For the remainder of the week, the paper is now a pitifully thin version of its former self, back in its heyday. I continue to have a physical paper delivered to my door (at a stupidly high price if I were to be honest), because there's a part of me that thinks that if I don't continue to support the industry, its inevitable demise will come even faster.

When this post went up back in 2018, I was already thinking that newspapers were on their last legs. Perhaps in future, newspapers will only exist as prints on fabric. (This fabric was transformed into a box and a basket.) I'll remain a fan, in whatever format.

Origami Twist Box crafted by eSheep Designs
The infamous origami twist box!
How can I not include the post that led me to uncovering some brazen intellectual property theft last year?

This one describes how I followed a rudimentary tutorial from an origami artist and made a functioning fabric twist box. Having included my own instructions to clarify how to do this, apparently some unscrupulous entities in China decided that it was perfectly fine to take those same instructions — word for word and photo by photo — and sell them along with some ridiculously priced plastic templates. What a world we live in!

AGF Tropical Leaf Rug crafted by eSheep Designs
Back of my Tropical Rug...
This post eventually led to a defining moment in my sewing journey.

Originally written to be just a compilation of intriguing projects offered up by AGF Studios, six months later, the enormous Tropical Rug became my signature pandemic project.

My reasoning was that the societal pause that we were all taking was the perfect time to tackle a project that we had previously made excuses not to do.

Make it memorable, I believe I said. And it was. And continues to be. It's one of my most significant sewing achievements.

Goddess of the Sea Shoulder Bag crafted by eSheep Designs
Customized Goddess of the Sea bag...
This is officially my current purse. It sits on a bench in our foyer. I imagine that whenever I get ready to go out, it's ever hopeful that I'll pick it up and take it along.

About ninety-nine percent of the time, I grab my crossbody sling bag. But if I'm going somewhere "special", I like to fall back on this more glamorous purse.

I love everything about this customized Goddess of the Sea. And why not, since everything I ever wanted or needed in a purse was thought of and incorporated into its simple but stylish design. (That it was made with my own Pride & Prejudice fabric is almost secondary after all that.)

This was one of my occasional off topic posts, so you may wonder why it's being included in this list. The reason will become apparent when you read the next couple of paragraphs.

Anyway, in this discussion from 2020, I asked why sewing related linky parties were disappearing, why some bloggers ignore comments, why anyone would want a master bedroom ensuite without a door, why people downvote free YouTube tutorials, why proper grammar no longer matters, why "sewist" is used as a word — when it isn't — and why people are still on Facebook. (By the way, at least half of those questions are still without satisfactory answers, IMHO.)

And now I have a couple more. First, why are virtually all of the recent tech advances so scary and alarming? Second, why do I have doubts that you'd be able to tell if it was me or an AI app who wrote this post??

The Art of Refashioning by eSheep Designs
Refashioned vest...
Speaking of scary things... what about those that you just don't feel confident about doing? Well, sometimes you just have to get right in there and do them!

That was me about the idea of cutting into a piece of clothing (that I didn't like) to refashion it into something that I might like. For a first effort, it culminated in a moment of elation and a feeling of wow, I made it work. I managed to transform a long frumpy vest into something short and sporty... something that I could actually wear.

Completed in early 2021, over two years on, this little vest still hangs on the back of my chair, my go to for when I need an extra bit of warmth.

Sheep fabric realized!
Of course, I had to include this one.

When I began designing my own fabrics in early 2015, it was always in the back of my mind that I had to come up with a signature design to represent my brand, so to speak.

The goal wasn't realized until six years later, but that was fine because I learned a lot over that period. The result likely turned out much better than if I had tackled the project earlier. (And I'm quite pleased to report that this fabric has actually been sold several times.)

I'm still waiting for the perfect project to use up the large print half of my sample yard shown here.

Not so scary transformation...
A bucket list item checked off is always a good thing, right?

So it was for this jackets to duffle bag transformation. Having said that I wanted to have the experience of taking material from unwanted clothing and turning it into something "spectacular", I tore apart two unworn jackets and very meticulously pieced them together into an unneeded duffle. (Don't get me wrong; I love it, but I've only been able to use it once.)

While I was apprehensive prior to starting the refashioned vest project, this time, I had faith that I knew what I was doing and it wasn't quite as scary.

This reminds me, though, that I still have items hanging in my closet that can benefit from the same repurposing treatment. What about you?

My favourite fabric collection thus far...
This fabulous — and so aptly named — collection by Tim Holtz was released in 2013, ten years ago this month. My introduction to it was via Sew4Home projects in 2016 and 2017. I felt an immediate connection to the fabric, so when a fat quarter bundle popped up on Craftsy at half price in 2018, I jumped at the opportunity.

Truth be told, I'd jump at it again, given the chance. Not like the collection has disappeared or gotten any cheaper in the decade since its release.

This post was a compilation of all of the things that I had made with the fabric up to that point. (You can add this pouch and this vase to the list.) I've often said that I get my inspiration by seeing projects first, but it's always a bonus to have fabrics like these to elevate the results.

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And now as a final celebration of the occasion — and to reward those of you who bothered to read (or scroll!) this far down — here are a few more words that may be worth your while to read: I'm giving away a pattern from my PDF pattern shop. The Bodaciously Basic Bucket Bag (check out the specs and details from my original post about it here) is free to download, this weekend only.

Grab it from here while you can; when the weekend's done, so is the freebie.

'Til next...

Saturday, 20 May 2023

Nifty Things I Thought I Might Make [Pt 2]

Nifty things I thought I might make
Lost opportunities or "never meant to be"s?
I'm baaack... with part two of a deep dive into my computer's crafty archives.

In case you missed it, part one was posted here in early March. Today's featured freebies are from old Craftsy. Old as in before it became Bluprint and then back to (in name only) Craftsy.

More specifically, these patterns were all downloads from the old marketplace where indie designers like me sold our designs. It was an adventure to browse on a weekly basis, picking out the gems and adding them to a personal account. I always made it a point as soon as I found something to download it right then and there. It was a practice not employed by many disappointed people years later when the marketplace disappeared.

Unlike in part one, I can't guarantee these patterns can still be found online. (I will provide as much information as possible for you to find them if they are indeed findable.)

First one is called the Sunshiney Day Tote & Zip Pouch by Melissa Peda. This one is still out there, as she still has her website, 100BillionStars.com.

Sunshiney Day Tote & Zippered Pouch by Melissa Peda
Image courtesy 100BillionStars.com...

The bright fabric drew my attention at first, but the way the coordinating pouch was made to hang from the handle of the bag was the main reason I saved it. It's a worthwhile project to tackle to accessorize any tote bag that you may have.

The pattern calls for the use of buckram to stabilize the lining. Probably wouldn't have done that had I made the bag. (If the requirement was so the tote could stand up, I would simply combine the fusible fleece with a layer of Decor Bond.)

Second project is from Michelle Zoetemeyer, who named the pattern after her initials: the Emzed Foldover Clutch Wallet (still available from a Facebook group and from SewModernBags.com). I was initially impressed by the fact that a pattern for such a fully featured wallet was being given away for free.

Emzed Foldover Clutch Wallet
Image courtesy of Michelle Zoetemeyer...

I'm fairly sure I was intimidated by the project when I encountered it. Later, I found that the wallet that I was using (that I had made in 2015 and is still my wallet today, although I rarely have it on me) was pretty much as fully featured as I needed a wallet to be, so there wasn't any particular need to pursue this one.

Sorta glad about that decision since most of the feedback that I've seen about this pattern is that the instructions are not as clear as can be. (To be fair, it's free.) I'm not going to add to that discussion since I haven't made the thing, but for anyone wanting to do so, there is now a lot of support out there by way of a Facebook group, primarily, and various YouTube videos.

Emzed Foldover Clutch Wallet crafted by Queenie Yap
Image courtesy of Queenie Yap (via Facebook)...

As with any decent design, free or paid, a certain following will develop whereby crafters will make the item repeatedly. The Facebook postings show some really nice looking wallets made by people who have gotten really good at making them.

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You've likely seen variants of these next two projects.

The first one is the Agne Coin Purse from designer IThinkSew. (I made a similar looking pouch years ago out of a single long zipper.) She is a prolific designer of many, many bags, two of which I have made: Ollie and Seth.

Agne Coin Purse by IThinkSew
Image courtesy of IThinkSew...

The tutorial provides measurements for two finished sizes and is still available via her website, IThinkSew.com.

The second one is called the Half Square Triangle Pouch by Kanako Fukatani. I downloaded this one because I wanted to have a pattern — probably for future reference — that featured a "continuous" zipper. (You see how this was constructed with only one side of a zipper tape?)

Half Square Triangle Pouch by kanako fukatani
Image courtesy of Kanako Fukatani...

This pouch can be made with a zipper installed the normal way (like in the previous project), but you can definitely see how this technique produces a more polished, less bulky finish. Had I made either one of these little pouches, I would have used this single zipper tape method.

Unfortunately, this pattern is no longer free. It's now sold on Etsy in Kanako's shop PatternsByKanako, albeit for one (US) dollar. (However — just so you can't say that I've left you with no option but to pay a measly dollar — Tendersmile Handmade on YouTube has a video for a similar coin pouch from March 14, 2023 that uses this same single side zipper tape technique.)

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This last one is pretty cool looking and simple. It's a thread catcher by lulu_luka. I saved this because I just liked it... particularly how the rolled edges can be used to hold a seam ripper.

The bad news for you is that I haven't been able to find it anywhere online.

Thread catcher by lulu_luka
image courtesy of lulu_luka...

That being said, you've probably seen similar triangular thread catcher patterns that can be used to hack this one. It's really only a matter of cutting the points away from the corners of the triangle, creating a shallower tray in the process. (You know, for some reason, this project still calls to me, even though I have a thread catcher that works quite well and don't need another.)

Hope you enjoyed this second installment of projects I once thought I might make, because there will likely be a part three in the coming months.

'Til next...

Saturday, 13 May 2023

Super Simple (No Sew, Recycling Friendly) Burlap Projects

Recycling Burlap Projects by eSheep Designs
Guess what this is?
When last I touched upon the subject of making things (or not) out of burlap, the outcome was up in the air. As in, I hadn't made up my mind as to what I was going to do with the selections of burlap that my other half had gifted to me last Christmas.

As proof once again that we ultimately can surprise ourselves with our crafting choices, one of the projects that I'm featuring today was not something that I thought I'd make. (It's the one that's shown above in extreme closeup.)

My hubby's motorhome project was ultimately the inspiration for my choices.

There were two spaces between a couple of upper cabinet doors that had been decorated according to the previous owners' rather eclectic tastes. When those items were removed, visible outlines remained. Hubby said, why don't you make something out of burlap to hide that?

Why not indeed? 

I had already planned to make him the bulletin board with the monogram, but these spaces that we were trying to cover were relatively small; under one square foot each. So while I stayed with the idea of a pin board, I did not add any embellishments.

Recycling Burlap Projects by eSheep Designs
Burlap memo board...

For the underpinnings, I used some corrugated cardboard and plastic foam that were rescued out of the packaging of recent purchases that hubby made for the motorhome.

The first step of this super simple project was to cut both cardboard and foam to size and glue them together.

Recycling Burlap Projects by eSheep Designs
Crafting by recycling is the best!

Then it was a matter of cutting a piece of burlap big enough to overlap on all sides of the board.

Recycling Burlap Projects by eSheep Designs
Be generous with the amount of material...

Using a hot glue gun, secure the burlap, starting at a corner. Fold in and glue all the tips first, then go back and secure the sides on top of the corners.

Recycling Burlap Projects by eSheep Designs
Fold a mitred corner...

Burlap tends to be stiff and bulky, so I wasn't expecting perfection on these corners. But they turned out well, at least for my purposes.

Recycling Burlap Projects by eSheep Designs
Back view of finished memo board...

The advantage of this type of construction is that the resulting board is very light weight. Exactly what's needed inside a motorhome. We will secure it using some double-sided gel tape when the time comes.

Recycling Burlap Projects by eSheep Designs
No more rhinestone toucan stickers (that's what was here before)...

So that's super simple project number one.

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For super simple project number two, I started with the same materials: the plastic foam and corrugated cardboard.  (Note that in lieu of this plastic foam stuff, you could just use a couple more layers of cardboard.) The actual inspiration for this came out of a running joke between hubby and me about the motorhome. I created a piece of art that would reflect this joke, and wanted to contain it within a burlap frame.

Recycling Burlap Projects by eSheep Designs
Draw a frame...

This time, only the plastic foam would be wrapped in burlap. I cut away the center, leaving a 1.5" border that would be the frame itself. Then, as with the previous project, I needed some burlap large enough to overlap the entire piece.

Recycling Burlap Projects by eSheep Designs
Get the glue stick ready...

Next, I cut out the center of the burlap, again leaving enough material to overlap onto the inside edges of the frame; this was accomplished by snipping diagonally into each corner. My adhesive of choice here was a glue stick, and it worked fine, as most glues should. (Just be aware that a glue gun at high heat will melt plastic foam.)

Recycling Burlap Projects by eSheep Designs
Glue down the inside edges to the frame...

The insides of the corners are obviously raw edged. I would suggest that some dabs of Fray Check or some other liquid glue be applied if they are bothersome.

The outside edge of the frame is finished off by wrapping the burlap around in the same way as with the first project. Since there were parts here that are burlap on burlap, I did end up using hot glue to secure those areas.

Recycling Burlap Projects by eSheep Designs
If using a glue gun, don't wait for it to heat up to highest setting...

Every frame needs a protective surface for the item being framed, even if it's just a thin piece of plastic. (As this will be hanging in a moving vehicle, I'd prefer it to be plastic.) This used to be the cover of a presentation folder.

Recycling Burlap Projects by eSheep Designs
Add some plastic to the frame...

Cut to size and glue to the back of the frame. (Just along the top and bottom as indicated by the white bars in the photo; of course, if you want the frame to be oriented portrait style, secure the two shorter sides.) The last step is to attach the piece of cardboard on top; glue was applied to the sides and the bottom for that.

Recycling Burlap Projects by eSheep Designs
Leave the top edge open to receive whatever picture you want framed...

I then printed up my work of art to the size of the frame's opening and can now do the "big reveal" to show you what it is.

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Throughout this whole motorhome renovation experience, I've made the same comment virtually every time he's showed me one of his improvements: it's just lipstick on a pig. (Which is not to disparage his efforts. It's just that quite often, when new elements are introduced on top of an old foundation, the disparity between them is obvious.)

Anyway, that's the story behind this LoaP sign. I figure it'll be an amusing conversation starter.

Recycling Burlap Projects by eSheep Designs
Lipstick on a pig...

One of the features of a program like Paint Shop Pro is the ability to fill spaces with patterns, textures, or even other images. Here, the letters "o" and "a" are filled with custom stripes identical to the motorhome's new (recycled) curtains while the overall background is filled with a brown pattern called "rope", which resembles the weave of the burlap.

LoaP by eSheep Designs
The original image as seen on Paint Shop Pro...

I'm not sure if I ran across a burlap frame in those one hundred plus projects that I paged through last Christmas Day. If I had seen one, I would likely have pegged it as being too pedestrian to consider making. For a small space, however, this turned out to be the perfect project. Also, while the idea of a frame may seem rather ordinary, this patterned burlap adds a definite wow factor to the finished item.

I'm just happy that none of this cost me anything extra beyond what I already had around the house, and I was able to make useful things out of potential trash. Hurray for recycling once again!

'Til next...