Chic Coastal Christmas Decor

Coastal Christmas decorations do not have to be expensive or cost a lot of money.  Let me show you how to use found objects, polymer clay and neutral colors to create simple decorations for your home.

DIY Chic Coastal Christmas Decor you can make on a budget cheap and easy crafts

This picture is of a starfish that I made.  We found the starfish on vacation and I made a mold of it before we broke it.  I knew on of the kids would eventually drop it or it would lose an arm in some fashion.  After I made the mold I made 7 starfish.  I am not sure why 7, when I only needed one as the topper.  So I also made a wreath and a few ornaments.

To compliment the color and the theme for the Coast Christmas I am using jute.  I like jute for its rustic appeal and worn look.  Not to mention it is an inexpensive material.

Seaside Christmas or Coastal Christmas is my home decor this coming holiday season. I share a sneak peak with you last month of the starfish topper.  Below are the companion piece and the real piece the topper is on.  I started on it back in June and I am finished with the main pieces.  My tree is on our second floor of the house so these will go on the first floor. To make the starfish I used a one pound block of Sculpey Premo.  The starfish I used to make the original mold was a vacation find.Chic Coastal Christmas Decor - DIY cheap and easy crafts you can make

I made a wreath with a Styrofoam ring, burlap and buttons from Buttons Galore and More and some jute.

I have a Coastal Christmas starfish garland in the making and I will share that later on. It goes across my mantel. The next piece I made is a topiary using all the same materials. I chose burlap and juts since they are very rustic feeling. There is something cozy about weathered and worn items.

Direction to make the starfish from polymer clay

Materials for a Chic Coastal Christmas Starfish:

Directions for Coastal Christmas Chic starfish.

  1. For best results, condition all clay by running it through the clay dedicated pasta machine several passes on the widest setting. Fold the clay in half after each pass and insert the fold side into the rollers first.
  2. Pinch of a Large piece of Mold Maker and roll into a ball. Flatten ball creating a piece of  large Mold Maker enough to accept starfish.
sculpey mold maker

3.  Dust starfish with cornstarch. Press starfish into mold and then remove. Bake the mold according to the directions above. Allow the piece to cool before handling.

4.  Condition the White clay according to the directions above. Dust the mold with cornstarch. Press the conditioned clay into the mold and remove. Trim off any excess clay with craft knife. Dust the mold and repeat again to make an additional piece. Repeat process to create as many starfish as you’d like. Bake according to directions above.

selvage edge gift tags

DIY selvage edge gift tags for the holidays are fast fun and easy to make in bulk.  Each tag takes less than 15 minutes, so you could easily make one in that short amount of time.  But if you have a spare hour you can make a whole bunch more.  Shipping tags can be found at the office supply store in bulk so it is pretty in expensive too.  I like to keep my gift closet stocked with gifts and wrapping papers and gift tags because you never know when you are going to need something last-minute.

For years I have saved my fabric scraps, at least those that are 3″ squares and larger. But lately, I’ve found myself cutting the selvage off my fabrics and saving them as well. I have been very inspired by all the clever fabric selvage projects I have noticed. So I decided to create these gift tags made with fabric selvage.

I plan to use my selvage edge gift tags for special occasions such as birthdays, hostess gifts, wedding gifts, etc. But I couldn’t resist adding in some holiday themed motifs such as this simple Christmas tree. The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

Supplies for selvage edge gift tags:

The links below are affiliate links.

 

Instructions for selvage edge gift tags:

After deciding on a pink and orange color palette for this project, I tore some fabric scraps into strips, roughly 1 1/2″ wide. Some of the strips I sewed knife pleats in using a sewing machine and black thread.

I painted the shipping tags with fuchsia, jack o lantern, white and bright magenta on both sides of the tags. Allow the tags time to dry and then arrange various bits of fabric pieces on them and sewed them to the tags.

I also added a sewn black straight stitch to the border to frame each design out. Sew any design or pattern you want and don’t worry about neatness.  This is a freestyle sewing technique and there is no right or wrong way.

Adding bits of layered tulle add to the gift tags, as does some strips of bling here and there.

scrap fabric craft ideas selvage edge gift tags

The gift tags can be used for special occasions such as birthdays, hostess gifts, wedding gifts, etc. To make a wedding cake simply mimic the Christmas tree tag and leave off the trunk of the tree.selvage edge gift tags

The orange and pink colors made these especially feminine. These might be good even for a baby girl gift. Changing the colors selvage edge gift tags to a turquoise and lime green and choosing different fabric scraps, such as polka dots and stripes would result in tags that would be good for a little boys birthday gift or to welcome a baby boy.

But no matter what colors and patterns you use, pairing fabric scraps and selvage with painted and sewn paper results in a project that is fun, easy and somewhat addictive!

Do you create with fabric selvage? I would love to see what you’ve made!

If you would like to see other bloggers create in 15 minutes sheck out this great group of craft bloggers.

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scrap fabric strip pumpkins

Scrap fabric strip pumpkins make me want to sing our Happy Fall Y’all! Don’t you just love this amazing season? I’m a sweater and pumpkin spice kinda gal.  I love all things pumpkin.  To celebrate Autumn, I am going to show you how I made these simple patchwork pumpkins to help usher in Fall and kick off the upcoming holiday season. Making decorations is one of my favorite things to do.

Supplies for scrap fabric strip pumpkins :

  • Fabric of Choice in Fall colors
  • Scrap of wool felt, tulle scraps
  • Fairfield Processing Corp. Crafters Choice Poly-fil
  • Wood pieces, spools, dowels, tags
  • Black, Orange acrylic paint
  • Embellishments of choice
  • Alphabet stamps and ink
  • Sewing machine and thread
  • Paintbrushes
  • Adtech hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Rotary cutter and self-healing mat, scissors

When working with scrap fabric and trying to cut a straight line, I have found that working with rulers and a rotary cutter works best for me.  I have tried to draw a straight line and cut on it but I am not very good at that.  I used a rotary cutter to cut my fabric into jelly roll sized strips (2 1/2″). (If you want to purchase jelly rolls of fabric they are pre-cut strips that would also work.)  They are about 14″ in length and then I placed two of them right sides together and sewed one long edge using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

 

I continued until I had one piece that measured about 14″ x 12.” I doubled the fabric over and used

a rotary cutter to cut a round shape from the doubled over for the pumpkin front and back.

 

 

I cut a pumpkin stem from the black wool felt and pinned it to the inside of the pieces before I started sewing them together. I sewed the pieces together, leaving the edges raw but left a 4″ opening at the bottom for stuffing the fabric strip pumpkins.

I sewed the bottom together but left a 1/2″ opening for the insertion of the dowel. The wood pieces were painted black and embellished with gem stone rows.  A glue gun and glue sticks are used to join the pieces together and to keep the dowel in place inside the scrap fabric strip pumpkins.  You might also call these stuffed patchwork pumpkins.fabric scrap pumpkin halloween decorations for cheap

 

I used alphabet stamps to stamp seasonal sentiments on the wood tags, which were painted orange. I also added some sparkly embellishments and tulle scraps.fabric strip pumpkins from scrap fabric halloween ideas

 

The leaves were made from handmade text fabric.

 

fabric strip pumpkins
What are you making to celebrate Fall?

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Botanical leaf print trinket dish

Leaf Imprint Trinket Dish is a perfect way to bring botanical accents into your home for fall.  Do It Yourself Home Decor & Gift idea that you can make in an hour or two.  Use our free tutorial to make polymer clay jewelry dishes to give as gifts.  I promise they are really easy to make and Keri Lee show you how in 10 simple steps.  Affiliate links below.

The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.Supplies for Trinket Dish:

TOOLS for Trinket Dish:

1. Condition and mix one block of Jewelry Gold clay with 1/2 block of Gold clay.

2. Use acrylic roller to roll out clay to approximately 1/4″ thickness.

3. Position 4-1/2″-diameter object on clay and use clay knife in 5-in-1 Clay Tool to cut around object. (Note: Examples include bowl, recycled CD, saucer, etc.) See Photo 3.

4. Position two natural leaves toward edge of clay round. Gently roll acrylic roller on leaves to impress outlines into clay. See Photo 4.

5. Use needle tool tip in 5-in-1 Clay Tool to carefully lift edge of leaf up off clay. See Photo 5. Gently pull leaves up and off clay entirely. See Photo 6.

6. Apply ball end on 5-in-1 Clay Tool to create decorative dimpled edge around edges of clay. See Photo 7.

7. Remove clay from work surface and gently position it in bottom of oven-proof, clay-dedicated bowl. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to bake clay in oven. See Photo 8.

8. Sand top edge of dish using fine-grit sandpaper then use buffing block to smooth edges.

9. Use foam brush to apply thick layer of Burnt Umber on leaf impressions. Remove excess from surface using paper towel. See Photo 10.

10. Apply additional paint to entire surface to antique and bring out edge details. Let dry. See Photo 11.

 

Links for product to purchase –  I make a small commission if you make a purchase.

 

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dryer vent pumpkins

Painted Dryer Vent Pumpkins

Make painted dryer vent pumpkins for your home.  You can use the painted dryer vent pumpkins September through November because they are perfect for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Not only can you use them for several months they are affordable to make.

The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

Materials for painted dryer vent pumpkins:

Affiliate links used below.

Instructions for painted dryer vent pumpkins

1. Remove duct from packaging. Determine size desired for pumpkin by wrapping end to end. Cut to desired size using wire cutters; remove excess duct length. Use scissors to trim excess metal foil.

2. Apply generous amount of glue on both ends of duct. Press ends together to form “pumpkin” and use clothespins to hold in place while drying. When dry, remove clothespins.

3. On covered work surface, paint pumpkin White or Metallic Copper. Use several coats as needed, letting each coat dry before adding additional paint. When dry, drybrush edges Neopaque Black. Let dry.

4. Die cut leaves from Green felt using die cut machine.

5. Adhere small amount of Spanish moss into center top of pumpkin. Adhere stick (stem) and leaves to center of pumpkin. Let dry.

Tip: If die-cutting machine is not available, freehand draw and cut teardrop shapes from felt.

 

If you are feeling really fun and adventurous you could make the painted dryer vent pumpkins in a variety of sizes and colors.  How fun would a rainbow of pumpkins be?

mixed media bird Christmas ornaments

Mixed media bird Christmas ornaments are a painted and stamped version of this bird Christmas ornament.  Yes, I really like birds and I really like Christmas and it is never to early to start on your gifts or decorations.  To make the projects, I like to buy fancy embellishments when I catch them on sale at the craft stores. When the mood strikes I want to be ready with all the supplies and avoid a trip to the craft store.

Mixed media bird christmas ornaments are a painted and stamped version of this bird Christmas ornament.

The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.Supplies for mixed media bird Christmas ornaments:

The links below contain affiliate links to Amazon where a small commision is earned.

Instructions mixed media bird Christmas ornaments:

First you will need your bigshot pro to cut out your ornaments from Elmer’s foam board. The Sizzix BigShot Pro is perfect for this as it cuts heavy-duty materials very easily.

 

By using the die cut machine with the foam core, you get nice, even smooth edges. No need to sand. The die cut comes with a wing shape, but I am partial to teardrop. So I elected to trace 3″ teardrop onto foam core and cut out with an X-acto knife. You will need to sand the edges with a nail file (emery board) or a smaller paper sander made especially for paper crafting projects.
For the paints, I chose Lamp Black, Snow White and Antique White by DecoArt. I painted the wing shape one coat of black since I knew I would be covering with one or two shades of white to create a distressed effect on the Mixed media bird christmas ornaments.

I also painted the back of each foam core bird shape ornament black. Once the wing is dry to the touch, use a candle stick to randomly rub the surface.

Paint the wing two coats of white and then sand gently to remove areas where the candle wax was applied.

Paint the front of the foam core bird shape Antique White. Use an ornate foam stamp and the white acrylic paint to stamp the surface randomly.

For a layered stamp look, I used StazOn ink in black and a script stamps to completely cover the bird.

I painted the beak black and added a small black dot for the eye. I slightly inked the edges of the bird to give it an aged look. Add a floral embellishment, stamp a sentiment on the wing, glue pieces together and your die cut painted and stamped bird ornament is complete!Mixed media bird christmas ornaments are a painted and stamped version of this bird Christmas ornament.
I bears mention that I hand dyed muslin using Rit Dye in Apple Green and purchased the silk flowers
Just think of how many wonderful, lightweight but sturdy birds you can get from one sheet of foam board!

Although I used my Sizzix BigShot pro machine, I tried cutting the foam core with my smaller, standard BigShot and it worked too for the Mixed media bird christmas ornaments. 

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Christmas Balsam Sachet Tutorial

The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.
A Christmas Balsam Sachet Tutorial for you. Fir balsam is one of my favorite holiday scents.  This mixed media project is not complicated when you break it down into easy to manage steps.  It is also easier to make multiples at the same time.  The Balsam Sachet are great as ornaments, package topper or small thank you gifts. You could also use the balsam in a  draft dodger.

Today, I am showing you detailed instructional photographs for making these sweet Balsam Sachet ornaments. (I order my supplies from Amazon and if you order from my links I will make a small commission.) To make them smell so great, you will need Fragrant Dried Balsam Tips.

I got my package very early this year and since I am keeping the leftover stash in my desk drawer, I can tell you the balsam still smells heavenly.  It’s never too early to get started crafting for the holidays. Follow along as I walk you through the Christmas Balsam Sachet Tutorial project.

 Supplies needed Christmas Balsam Sachet:

I recommend working “assembly style” and making more than one sachet at a time once you get the hang of it.

Instructions for Christmas Balsam Sachet:

Step 1– Use a 6″ cardstock square as a template to trace and cut out two pieces of burlap for the  Balsam Sachet.

Step 2– Cut a 9 x 12 fusible webbing sheet in half. I like to use Stick Fusible Webbing. Fuse the sheet halves to red ticking and muslin, making sure fabrics are wrinkle free. Remember to turn off your steam function on your iron when fusing. Always leave a slight border around the fabrics to make sure the fusible webbing does not stick to your ironing board.


Step 3- Now comes the fabric stamping part. Choose stamps you wish to use and use pigment ink to stamp on the fused muslin. You can also use a specially formulated ink for fabric. Pigment ink, heat set with the iron on a low setting works just as well.

Stamp the burlap with a background image of your choice that will show up well such a florals or swirls. Burlap does not show the stamped images as well as the muslin, so the images need to be bold.
Step 4-  Now cut out the stamped muslin motifs, leaving an 1/4 around the edges for stitching. Cut a fused red ticking piece, approx 1/4- 3/8 larger than the stamped motif.

Step 5- Center the pieces on the stamped burlap square that will be the front piece of the Balsam Sachet  and fuse with an iron. (if your pieces seem uneven, don’t fret, I find that uneven edges only add to the country charm!)country chic Christmas Balsam Sachet Tutorial with burlap
Step 6- Get out your sewing machine. Straight stitch the edges of the ticking and muslin border with a dark-colored thread for contrast. if you don’t want contrast, use a light color to match the muslin.

Now is a good time to create your dryer sheet sachet. You will need one used dryer sheet cut to two pieces of 3 1/2″ squares. After you straight stitch the muslin and ticking edges, straight stitch three sides of the dryer sheet together.

 

Step 7- Fill the sachet with a small hand full of balsam. Straight stitch the top opening closed to secure. (Note- if you are not comfortable machine stitching with the balsam inside the sachet, hand stitch. When machine stitching, make sure you do not overstuff the sachet. You don’t want to end up with balsam inside your machine parts!)

Step 8- Place the two burlap squares together. Machine stitch together about 1/2 from the edges (seam allowance.) Start at the bottom left edges and stitch left, top and right side together but leave the bottom open for turning and stuffing. Steam the seams open on all four sides.


Step 9- Turn the right sides out. If needed, use a blunt object to push out corners. From the bottom opening, stuff the sachet with the balsam sachet and a small amount (golf ball sized) of polyfil stuffing. If you are using a brad to embellish as I did, go ahead and insert the brad while the bottom is opening to make it easier. As an option, you can sew on a button embellishment later. Whipstich the bottom opening closed.Christmas Balsam Sachet Tutorial

Step 10- Finally, insert a piece of wire for the hangar, inserting the ends into the Balsam Sachet at the top and bending to make secure. Tie on a bit of tulle and an embellishment and you are finished!

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Beaded and Sewn Christmas Ornaments

Beaded and Sewn Christmas Ornaments are an easy sew project that is great for beginners and pros alike because you can add all the details you want. Each handmade piece will be unique and reflect the skill and style of the maker.

My tree is up, adorned with lights and ornaments. After the Christmas table celebration, I often find myself more in the Christmas spirit than ever and itching to create something that captures that feeling with my hands. So this year I decided to make these beaded and sewn Christmas ornaments to give away as gifts for next year.The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

Beaded and Sewn Christmas Ornaments Supplies:

Affiliate links to Amazon below.

Instructions for Beaded and Sewn Christmas Ornaments:

I started out selecting fabrics and wool felt for my project. The fabric is from Fabric.com and the wool felt is from National Nonwovens.

To create my beaded and sewn Christmas ornaments, I started out by cutting two 3″ squares for each ornament (front and back) and some simple motifs a snowman, a stocking and a tree. I ironed a 1/4″ seam allowance on all four sides of the fabric, which was cut into a 3″ square.

I used three strands of black embroidery floss and a blanket stitch to sew the fabric to the wool felt.


Then I blanket stitched the stocking on, leaving the top open so that I could stuff it with goodies! I used a blanket stitch for this as well, but sewed 6/0 red pebble beads to the stocking before attaching it to the squares. Then I cut the borders of both felt squares with scalloped edged scissors and sewed beads to the borders.

I left the top open so I could stuff it with poly-fil fiber. I added a jute hanger with a little glue to the top.

Creating these fun sewn and beaded ornaments over the Christmas holidays will keep my hand busy while we watch “A Christmas Story” for 24 hours! I will be happy thinking that I am getting a good start for Christmas 2014.

What will you be creating this Christmas once the packages are opened and dinner is served?

wood bird Christmas ornaments

wood bird Christmas ornaments – True to my fascination with everything avian, my Christmas tree has lots of bird ornaments.  The idea for this particular ornament came when I was out walking my dog.  I noticed the vast abundance of Georgia pinecones littering the ground. What could I do with these? If I used them inside, how was I to extract the little creatures living inside them?  I gathered up some of the little cones.  When I returned home I popped them on a tray in the oven at 150 for about 15 minutes to remove any friends.
I remembered I purchased some little pics after Christmas last year and they would be perfect for the wood bird Christmas ornaments I was planning too.  

The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.Links below are affiliate links to Amazon where I earn a commission of sales.
I absolutely adore this “beautiful bird” applique die cut  by Sizzix.  I love this die cut so much that I have two or three ideas stewing in my head where I wan to show you how to create different ornaments with this die cut using unconventional materials to create stunning tree, mantle or package decorations.  

Supplies for wood bird Christmas ornaments:

Instructions for wood bird Christmas ornaments:

This version all starts with simple to find, good old foam board. Foam board can intimididate many of us because it usually requires using a craft knife to cut and that can take some practice. The best advice I can give you when cutting foam board (I prefer dElmer’s because it comes in many thicknesses, is high quality and can be purchased with grids on one side) is to utilize the “three cut rule.” That is, trace your shape, use one pass of your X Acto knife to score exactly (or as close as you can) on the traced line, make a deeper second pass and finally score deeper to cut completely through. Don’t try to cut all the way through with one cut, this doesn’t yield smooth-edged results.

As shown in the photo above, cut the foam board down to manageable pieces. Cut some to match the size of the bird image on the die and some to use for the wings.


The good news is that, if you choose to use the shape of wing I did, you only need to trace a large teardrop shape onto the foam board and cut them out with the X ACTO knife. Have handy a sanding block or nail file to smooth any jagged edges.

There is a wing shape included in the die cut that you can use if you wish but I have to admit I am partial to teardrop shaped wings.

The easier part of this project involves using the Sizzix BigShot pro to cut the bird shapes from the foam board. The BigShot Pro is a heavy-duty die cut machine that cuts thick materials such as foam board.

It makes cutting these foam board bird shapes so easy!

Now its time to cover the shapes with the real wood veneer comes in 12″ x 24″ Real Wood Thin Cherry.  It is ideal for card making,mixed media, veneering, paper crafting, custom embellishments, and wood modeling and it is compatible with most cutting dies.

You will need to use the wing template and an ink pen to trace the shape and a die cut machine to cut the real wood. For this smaller duty project, I went back to my lighter duty Big Shot machine and found that I could cut four sheets at once.

Once the sheets are cut, you can glue them to the foam core shapes to cover.


Use stamped sentiments for the wing and StazOn ink and I used chalk ink to smooth the edges of the foam.   I also used the brown ink to create the brown beak. 

And to coordinate with the pine cones I spray painted (which made those little creatures promptly vacate if they were not dead already) I added a small pine cone dusted with snow paint and a bit of holly spray.easy to make wood bird Christmas ornaments tutorial

These wood bird Christmas ornaments are the perfect addition to any nature themed tree.  They can be made fairly quickly and easily in multiples. I hope I inspired you to try to make your own ornaments from simple foam board. What other dies do you own you could use to create special creations? Don’t forget to check back here to see more unusual ideas using this wonderful die.

beach mat tote bag – an easy sew project

Get ready for the sand and the waves with this fast and fun sewing project.  Make yourself and your friends a beach mat tote bag with easy to find supplies.  The beach mat tote bag is an easy sew project that you can make in an hour or two depending on your sewing skills.
easy sew beach mat tote, a simple sewing project by mel bradly for niki meiners The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

Supplies for beach mat tote bag:

The links below are for the Amazon affiliate program where I earn a commission off of sales.

beach mat toteInstructions for Beach Mat to Tote Bag

1. Cut 3″x width of fabric strips of small print fabric. Cut enough strips to go around outer edge of towel. Press in 1/2″ seam allowance on long edges of strips; press strip in half lengthwise with right sides out. Pin in place around edging of towel on all four sides, mitering corners as needed. Sew in place.

2. For pillow, cut two 13″x17″ panels of floral fabric. Sew right sides together on three sides, leaving 1/2″ seam allowance. Turn pillow cover right side out and stuff with insert. Sew pillow bottom closed with whipstitch by hand or by machine. Machine straight stitch pillow edge to top end of towel “front” as shown.

3. For pockets, cut four 9-1/2″x11″ panels, two each of floral and small print fabrics. Pair panels as desired with right side out. Press 1/4″ seams in all four edges, machine sew, then repeat to hide raw edges. Repeat for second pocket.

4. On towel “back” on opposite end from pillow, pin first pocket in place, centered on short side of towel with pocket facing away from edge. Pin second pocket in place with pocket openings facing each other, 4-6″ away from first. Cut twill tape into two 18″ lengths; pin in place beneath pockets. Machine sew in place.

5. Roll towel to form tote and determine closure position. Hand-sew frog closure in place.