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mail sorter: a tutorial

In handmade, printables, projects + tutorials on 12/29/2009 at 1:22 pm

I always feel better greeting the new year with a clean house. At least, as clean as our house gets. It seems I’m in a losing battle with our mail. It ends up heaped in the office where things are buried, lost, and forgotten. I’ve tried different filing systems but they never last. I prefer a tidy workspace. My husband prefers to have the important stuff in his line of sight as a reminder to deal with it. I managed to put this little number together in less than an hour. Super simple.

Materials:unbleached cotton fabric

coordinating thread

1/2″ wide elastic or ribbon (depending on where you’re hanging it)

safety-pin

off-white cardstock

Steps:1. From your fabric, cut a rectangular panel measuring 27.75″ by 16.5″ (or whatever dimensions you deem appropriate depending on your needs).

2. On each of the long sides, fold in the edge about 1″ and press flat.

3. Top stitch both folds closed using a 1/4″ seam allowance.

4. Determine which side you want to be “the front”, and top stitch a second time 1/4″ below the first line of stitching. (See the image if you’re confused.)

5. Fold the panel in half, lengthwise, right sides facing, and stitch up the sides. (1/4″ seam allowance again)

6. Now it’s time to add the pockets. I chose the size of mine based on the widest piece of mail that we receive on a regular basis. Using a straightedge, simply pencil in a faint line from the top to the bottom of the front panel to show you where to stitch in your dividers. This makes it easier to sew in a straight line and you can’t see the pencil mark after you sew over it.

7. Stitch in your dividers, following your pencil line, beginning at the bottom and stopping when you reach the lower top stitch line. (Again, refer to the image if I lost you.)

8. Print each of the four labels, below, onto cardstock and cut them out. I left a very narrow border around each one. [UPDATE: The reason for the “action required” label is that invariably, we have pieces of mail (not bills) that require a written reply or a telephone call in response.]

9. One at a time, position each pocket under the foot of your sewing machine. Place the printed label in the desired spot.  Top stitch across the top edge of each label to secure.

Whether you add elastic or ribbon at this point is entirely up to you. Ribbon loops or ties would be ideal for hanging on the wall. I chose elastic because I wanted our door to be able to wear it. To accomplish this, I stretched the elastic snugly around the door to determine a good size. Then I stitched one end carefully to the upper back side of the organizer. Just be sure you don’t stitch both ends, as you’ll have no way of getting it onto the door!!! Using a door is a bit tricky, I recommend hanging it just above the middle hinge. This gives the elastic something to catch on and it just so happened that one end of the organizer rests comfortably on top of the doorknob, which keeps it from sagging. The unstitched end of the elastic is secured to the fabric with a sturdy safety-pin.

 

 

 

printable tags & momma’s thoughts

In handmade, printables, things pondered on 12/17/2009 at 12:21 pm

 

 

 

Above are the free printable Christmas gift tags, as promised. Sorry for the delay! To print them, click on each set. When they open in a new window, select the “print” option in your browser. Be sure to set the page layout to “landscape” (rather than “portrait”) so they will print at full size.  Hope you enjoy! (Both sets of tags are for personal use only.) Click here for a complete list of printables, d.i.y. projects and tutorials.

In this season, where earth seems to dangle between Autumn and Winter, there’s a predictable cadence to our waking hours.

Whispered good mornings.
The scent of cinnamon.
Hissing and sputtering as the coffee pot brims.
Sleepy brown eyes, framed in bed-head.
“Picnic” breakfasts.
Watercolors and warm tea.  
Sunshine and soil.
Sacred hours.

Too soon, duties press in and “the list” rules. And as the harsh light fades again, lengthening our shadows, her heavy eyes twinkle amid a pile of blankets and a beloved menagerie. The days final words fade again to whispers – sworn love, prayers for peaceful slumber, and promises for morning.

printable spice jar labels

In printables, projects + tutorials, thrifting + vintage on 12/11/2009 at 1:50 pm


I recently traded in my modern rotating spice rack for this vintage shelf I thrifted at the local antique mart. I fell in love with the worn paint and the vibrant hue – an added burst of color to our already sunny kitchen. Only problem is that all my jars are labeled on the lids (which are no longer visible). Since it seemed a batch of printable spice jar labels were in order, I decided to share them with you. Click on each set for a printable image. Print onto adhesive paper or affix with contact paper. For a more vintage look, experiment with one of these ideas before putting them on the jars. If I’ve neglected your favorite variety, let me know and I’ll gladly add another set with any requests. Enjoy!

SET 1

 

SET 2

 

SET 3

A special “thank you” to Ohdeedoh for featuring my no-sew fabric bunting earlier this week. I am honored!

The blog tour for I Heart Patchwork (Rashida) and Sew Liberated (Meg) begins today! Click here for the full tour schedule and a giveaway.