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.

Popsicle stick craft idea for tweens – make a bracelet

Make a popsicle stick craft that is suitable for tweens and teens.  This type of craft is perfect for summer gatherings, day camps and VBS.  You can also use scraps of pattern paper and random buttons making the craft very affordable too.  If you are doing it as a short activity you will need to boil the popsicle sticks  and allow them to dry ahead of time.  It does take the wood craft sticks some time to dry out, especially if it is humid.  If you are in a rush you can place the glasses on a tray and dry in an oven on a low temperature. If you have plenty of time you can set them out in the sun to dry.


I am loving all the adorable versions of this throw back popsicle craft from my childhood I am seeing all the web these days. When I found my stash of  buttons last week, I knew I had to give this old craft a new try to incorporate these adorable buttons. The concept is rather simple. Wood can be manipulated when soaked in water since it tears down the wood fibers. So, grab some jumbo craft sticks and let’s get started.popsicle stick craft ideas for teens and tweensThe 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 needed for a popsicle stick bracelet:

Instructions for a popsicle stick bracelet:

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Turn off the burner, Insert the craft sticks and let them soak for about 10-15 minutes. Put a few more in the water than you will think you need. I broke a few not being patient while trying to bend them.
  2. Once the sticks are soaked. Grab some proper sized glasses or plastic cups and patiently work them into the glass. Work slowly if you don’t want to end up with a lot of broken sticks like I did. It takes a little patience to get the hang of it.
  3. These have to set up for 24 hours to completely dry. While they are drying, go ahead and grab some acrylic paints and pattern papers to coordinate with the buttons. I used acrylic paint and some older random simple printed patterned papers.
  4. Here is another step you can do while waiting for the sticks to set up, On the wrong side of the patterned paper, use a pencil and a jumbo craft stick to trace it. Use a pair of scissors to cut out the paper.
  5. Once the bracelets have dried, gently remove them from the glasses.
  6. Paint the bracelets in the colors of your choice.
  7. Use a decoupage medium like Mod Podge and a foam brush to apply the papers to the front of the bracelets. Allow the medium to dry and gently sand the edges of the papers even with the wood. Now comes the fun part! Glue some rhinestones in the center of the stitched buttons using a tacky glue like or hot glue gun.
  8. Glue the buttons to the front of the bracelet and let dry.
  9. My bracelet’s didn’t turn out as snug as I wanted them to be, so I used some chain and jump rings to pull them a little closer in. I can still fit them over my hand without using a closure such as a lobster clasp but that still be another option. Learning from this, make sure you use a glass or cup that is slim enough if you want to skip this step!

 

Before you go check out all the other summer fun posts that are joining the series today. As always you can find lots of summer fun inspiration and ideas on Life Sew Savory.

kids crafts and activities from Life Sew Savory Summer fun series

365 Days of Crafts – Shared a cute Button Bracelet Project.

Cutesy Crafts – Shared fun DIY bookmark project for kids

Simple Practical Beautiful – Has a post about making friendship bracelets… FUN!

Niki’s Homemade Crafts – Fun tic tac toe game, even good for travel!

Jen Gallacher – Made gorgeous flowers. How fun to try this!

patriotic party favors and decorations

Create nostalgic and patriotic party decorations for the 4th of July using scrapbook paper and paper punches.  Add a few pieces of ephemera for embellishments and you have unique decorations.

Patriotic party favors – Create nostalgic and patriotic party decorations for the 4th of July using scrapbook paper and paper punches.  Add a few pieces of ephemera for embellishments and you have unique decorations for your party or for decorations around your home. Fill the adorable little cones with candies as a thank you gift. Here is a super simple solution to making easy party favors using materials you probably already have on hand. If you have Marvy Uchida’s Extra Giga and Giga paper punches, you can make several of these in less than an hour. The supplies are minimal as you will need some double-sided patterned paper in a patriotic theme or just combine coordinating patterns in red, whites and blues.

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 patriotic party favors:

I used Marvy Uchida’s Scalloped edged Clever Lever Extra Giga Paper punch, Giga paper punch, extra jumbo punch in flower and extra jumbo punch in scalloped circle.

Cone favors 004

Once you punch all your pieces. Roll the large pieces into cone shapes by bending the edges in as shown above. Glue edges together and slightly bend out so that you have a cone shape. On the smaller cone, layer together the scalloped circle and flower and glue it to the front of the cone. Use a vintage game piece to add a little dimension. You can use old games you have or find them at yard sales or thrift stores. Create nostalgic and patriotic party decorations for the 4th of July using scrapbook paper and paper punches.  unique decorations.

Finally, glue the cones together, smaller on top and add a stamped sentiment. Fill the cones with excelsior or shredded paper filling, and small wrapped candies such as peppermints. To double the fun, create a patriotic party string using the same materials. I buy the excelsior in bulk because I use it a lot.   You can buy small packages on Amazon and at big box stores around the holidays. 

Live Life Creatively,

MelonysSignature

Fast patriotic home decor

Fast patriotic home decor is perfect for me. If it is cheap even better. Decorating for each and every holiday feels overwhelming and quite frankly my budget is not that huge. I try to make my decorations things I can use for a long time or reuse year after year.  Some things I find helpful to keep on hand is a trio of vases, pretty kitchen towel, hand towel and maybe a little decorative piece.  I have a golden yellow star that I use for Christmas and 4th of  July and a trio of vases that I use for anything and everything and kitchen towels that hang on my wall ovens. americana inspired patriotic home decor using beans that can easily be recycled.

This is the trio of vases I used and you have probably seen in my projects before. I ordered the glass jars from Oriental Trading Company.  They are called the milk jug vase and I originally bought them because they had a neck I could wrap ribbon around for a party.

To make the american flag out of beans you will need:

  • a bag of red pinto beans
  • white navy beans
  • black beans 9 they sort of look blue
  • 3/4 cup measuring cup
  • jute cording

Instructions for fast patriotic home decor:

  1. Measure out 3/4 cup of beans for each stripe and layer them into two jars as shown in the photo.
  2. Fill the remaining jar with black beans.
  3. Wrap jute cording around the necks of the jars and tie a knot to secure into place.

When you are finished with the decorations you can put them back in your pantry until you are ready to cook with beans.  It is a super simple project that is fast, cheap and easy and for me that is the trifecta of crafting.

I also made super fast hand towels for the kitchen to go with the Americana style decorations.

Glamping with marshmallow roasting sticks

Glamping is the only way I am going to hang in the woods or an open field.  Tents and sleeping bags are really not my jam.  Campfire food does not sound appealing unless we are talking about roasted and toasted marshmallow and especially s’mores. Roasting marshmallows must be done in style with marshmallow roasting sticks.  Hotels and warm showers are more my style but I can learn to make an exception when I get to use these roasting sticks.  The Glamping marshmallow roasting sticks were inspired by a kid version I made.  Thank you to all my blog friends who gave me such great feedback after I posted my version of handmade camp roasting sticks made for kids.  Now how about I share instructions for a grown up more glamorous version of these perfect for those glamping trips!

According to the Urban Dictonary, “Glamping” is shorthand for luxury or glamorous camping. Easy to make, these roasting sticks will be the perfect addition to your arsenal of glamping accessories. Here’s how to do it. 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 glamping marshmallow roasting sticks:

I might be showing my age but every time I think of wire hangers I am reminded of  the scene in Mommie Dearest.  She really did detest them.  😉

Instructions for glamping marshmallow roasting sticks:

First, cut the dowels to approximately 10-12″ using a hand saw and cutting surface.

After sanding and wiping with a tack cloth and base coat the dowels black or white.Once the dowels are dry to the touch, randomly rub them with a wax candle to create random areas that when sanded, will act as a resist to create a distressed finish. Paint the top coat using Halo Violet, Metallic Silver or Magenta.

Top coatAllow the dowels to dry to the touch and sand thoroughly to reveal a distressed finish.

Distressed dowelsNow the real fun begins! Use a paper trimmer to cut vintage book pages to 3″x 6 1/2.” Coat the dowel and wrong sides of paper with Mod Podge and a foam brush to decoupage papers to dowels.

Allow the decoupage medium to dry and go to town embellishing your glamp roasting stick to your hearts content.

Here are a few tips:

– Use a multipurpose glue to adhere hard embellishments such as resin flowers and rhinestone jewelry chain

– Wrap bits of soft trims while drying with a rubber band to hold in place until glue has set.

– Use jewelry wire to attach larger pieces such as old brooches or earrings.

– Leave 4-5″ at the top of the dowel so you have a place to hold it without disturbing all the bling.

After your glamping roasting stick is embellished and fit for a princess, drill a small hole (1/4″) at the bottom of the stick.

Gather your recycled clothes hangers and straigthen them out into one long straight piece of wire with pliers. Use wire nips to remove any excess wire. Place liquid fusion on one end of the wire and insert it into the drilled hole.

glamping with marshmallow roasting sticks

You now have a pretty glamping roasting stick that will do your weenie and marshmallows proud!
Live Life Creatively,

MelonysSignature