Martha Finds: Simple fixes for simple foibles

Friday, April 18

Got chocolate milk stains? Try this.

Okay, I didn't mean to get your hopes up if you thought I had some remedy for chocolate milk stains (insidious aren't they). But this is a neat way to cover them up.
Embellish a solid-colored shirt with bright butterflies in flight -- and conceal stains at the same time. Have your child choose the fabric; iron it to one side of fusible webbing. Trace the butterfly template onto the fusible-webbing side, and cut out. Remove paper backing, and iron the shape on top of the stain. Use several sizes and vary fabrics for a decorative effect or to cover multiple stains.

Got crayon crumbles? Try this!

This is such a fantastic idea! Not only do you use the last bits of crayon that were annoying you at the bottom of the crayon box BUT it can also be a fun activity for your kids. Encourage kids to come up with combinations: A blue-and-white blend for drawing the sky, for example, and a mix of reds and oranges for sunsets."

Tools and Materials
Kitchen knife
Old crayons
Mini-cake tins (we used pans with heart- and circle-shaped pockets)

Crayon How-To
1. Parents can use the knife to chop crayons into pea-size pieces, taking care to keep colors separate so kids can combine them as they like.

2. Preheat the oven to 150 degrees while children fill the tin with crayon pieces, arranging them in interesting designs.

3. Bake just until the waxes have melted, 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Remove the shapes after they have cooled. If they stick, place tray in the freezer for an hour, and the crayons will pop out.

Got a baggy dress? Try this.

I have this problem frequently- A beautiful print (often old navy) dress, no waist. I can usually sew a sash into the dress but if you aren't the seamstress type here's a great idea! A suede hole punched sash. This is great because you there's no fraying and if you buy a sturdier suede material it will hold its shape better. This belt lends itself to variation: Once you get the hang of it, you can even make it without the pattern.

Tools and Materials
1/8 yard of 60-inch-wide fabric|
Hole punch
Erasable fabric marker

Belt How-To
1. Fold fabric in half; place widest part of pattern at the fold. Pin in place with quilting pins, which are long and strong, ideal for heavy fabric like this.

2. Extend the straight lines of pattern to the bottom of the fabric with an erasable fabric marker and yardstick.

3. Cut out the belt. With the hole punch, perforate the edges, positioning holes 1/4 inch apart and 1/4 inch in from the edge.

4. Wrap belt around waist, and tie in back.

Got a damp picnic blanket? Try this.

This is a great idea if you have a blanket that you don't want to *permanently* alter but would still like to use for grassy outings. You can waterproof a cotton or wool blanket by adding a protective backing of water-resistant fabric such as ripstop nylon or oilcloth, and safely lounge on damp grass.

Waterproof Blanket How-To
1. Cut fabric to the exact dimensions of the blanket, adding 1/2 inch on all sides for hem. Fold edges of backing under 1/2 inch, and place 2-inch-wide twill tape on top; machine-stitch both inside and outside edges of tape around entire perimeter, mitering tape at corners.

2. With a hammer or mallet, fix snaps along edges of the backing and the blanket (snap kits with instructions are available at sewing stores): Center a snap in the twill tape at each corner, then attach snaps at intervals of 10 to 12 inches around the whole border. Attach the "male" half of snaps to the backing first; then mark the placement of the "female" half of snaps carefully on blanket for a good fit, and attach snaps. The backing may be detached when it is not needed.

OR (my idea) if you didn't want to mess with the snap kit you could add a long piece of velcro while sewing the twill tape to the blanket (killing 2 birds with one stone). Just be sure to put the soft side of the velcro to the blanket and the rough side to the waterproof material so that you can reuse the blanket without any course obstructions.

1 comment:

Ann said...

I love the crayon idea. It always irritate me to see them wasted or adding to the clutter.

Thanks for sharing.