Dec 31

Vintage bicycle 50 cent pillow tutorial

How to make a 50 cent pillow.  Cute and easy. Easy 20 minute project for beginners.

I saw a similar pillow on Pinterest and loved it.  I followed the link  and it took you to a site where it was for sale for only $54.00 plus shipping.  Yikes.  Even if I wanted to pay the $54.00 for it, I couldn’t as it was sold out.

I thought, I can make one and so I made one. Next time I will use linen but for my test one I used what I had on hand which was felt.  Cheapo felt.  My cheapo felt was even more cheapoish since I bought it at the thrift store and only paid 99 cents for it. I have enough felt left after finishing to make 3 more.

Mine is incredibly cute.  Problem is I have don’t have a high-tech camera nor are my photography skills quite what I hope they would be.   It is what it is. :)  You can still follow my instructions using linen or cotton and save yourself $54.00 and be proud as a peacock too.

To make cut two 16″ squares of fabric.

59 cent pillow tutorial at







Now is the tricky part if you have never done this before.  Do NOT transfer your image to your pillow fabric until you practice a couple times on scrap fabric.  Once you do this a couple times it is easy and you almost never fail.

Find a print you would like.  I found the old vintage bike image on the fabulous website “Graphics Fairy“.  There are several images to pick from.  None with a basket though but I didn’t care.   To follow this method of transferring an image you MUST use a lazer printer.  I specifically bought a lazer printer to do this.  I bought  mine from Craigslist and only paid $25.00 for it and it had a full cartridge of ink too.  I’ve been using it over a year and it is still going strong.  Anyway, print your image.  You can print directly from Graphics Fairy or re size the image in Word, Corel, Photoshop, or even OpenOffice.  Anything will work. (If you don’t have a lazer print, you local library probably does. If not, you can print at any Staples or Office Max store.)

Easy 50 cent pillow tutorial at







Turn your image over with the ink side against the fabric.  Tape into place.  Sorry I thought I took a picture of it taped down but I didn’t.  Just a little snippet of tape on all 4 sides will do.

50 cent pillow tutorial at









This is the magic stuff. Xylol Xylene.  You get it at Home Depot or Lowes.  I recently saw in it Home Depot and it was somewhere in the $18 range.  I have my jug for over 2 years and I have used 1/4 of a cup and I’m always transferring images with it.  Works just as easily on wood too.  (I’ll show you how to do that soon.)  If you have a friend or two (or 10) who would like to try this too, buy it and share.  You only need a little bit. You also need a small paint brush and something to rub with.  I use a small smooth piece of wood but the round part on a spoon would work too.

50 pillow tutorial at







Dip your paint brush in the Xylene.  You only want it wet not dripping.  You can see from the above picture that the image comes through when you paint it.  If you have it dripping wet, the image will bleed.  Just wet.  No dripping.  Paint only a 2″ or 3″ square at a time.

50 cent pillow tutorial at







Once you have painted your 3″ square use your stick or spoon and rub over the wet. This dries very quickly too.

50 cent pillow tutorial at







You paint, you rub, you repeat and repeat till you have the whole image transferred.

50 cent pillow tutorial at







Image transferred. Yeah!  Now time to make it into a pillow.

50 cent pillow tutorial at







Sew around all edges of the pillow using your presser foot as a guide and leaving a 5″ opening for turning.  Clip your corners to reduce bulk.  Turn right side out.  I didn’t press mine because it was cheapo felt but if you were using linen or cotton, be sure to give it a good press.

50 cent pillow tutorial at







Stuff your pillow with stuffing. My pillow was so inexpensive to make because I thrifted the felt and I also thrifted the stuffing.  This bag was so old it was only originally $1.60 at Murphy’s.  I think Murphy’s have been closed for decades. Regardless it was a huge bag and I paid $.50 for it.  I only used 1/4 of the bag to stuff the pillow.  Stock up on stuffing when you see it at the thrift store or garage sale.  It doesn’t go bad.   Stitch your opening.  I used a quick hidden stitch.

50 cent pillow tutorial at







I’m not a big dried flower fan.  Just little dust collectors to me so I didn’t have much to pick from.  I had one little bunch and from it I snipped a couple little buds.  Next time I may buy a little bunch from the dollar store.  Gather your flowers and size accordingly.  Hot glue them to your image if you want flowers.  I also added the bow to cover up the glue.  I also added some additional sparkle with some gems on the wheels.

50 cent pillow tutorial at







That is it.  You transferred an image and made a quick and easy pillow.  Have fun.

See you next time.


Dec 26

Thrifty Thursday – Make money to start your craft business

I read a lot of blogs and I look at all the beautiful pictures of the beautiful homes and wonder where in the world do these people get all their money.  (And I wonder…where is the clutter and dirt and animals?  Where are the kids & the dirty socks? The wonder list never stops.) Anyway, not everyone has lots of money.  You are very talented and make beautiful things and you would like to start making money on your craft yet you simply don’t have enough money in your monthly budget to buy the supplies you need.  I know what that is like, I’ve been there.  This post isn’t craft or sewing oriented however it isn’t random.  I wanted to share some of the ways I made a little extra money here and there which I saved to buy supplies.  You won’t make enough money on any of these or even all together to live on but if you make an effort and try them you will find you have some extra supply money.  Make yourself a money jar and put in every penny you make and don’t tell anyone.  This is your money to start your craft business, blog or whatever dream you have.

Ways to make money at home so you can start your own craft business @

I am the queen of frugal and would like to help you realize your dreams and help you find doable ways of reaching them, and with little or no money or to at least do it as inexpensively as possible.  A tip I can offer is  have an email address designated just for sign ups.  I do this so my regular inbox doesn’t get jammed with things I don’t necessarily want to read.  Here are some good sites to start with for getting some extra cash in your pocket. Remember money saved is money earned so money you saved should go in your jar too.

Have fun.

 Bing Rewards.  Do you use Bing?  I do.  It is my preferred search engine.  I work full-time and I use Microsoft Office all day long. (I only had to work 1/2 a day today – hip hip hooray:))  I do lots of graphic work and while looking for images, Microsoft directs me to Bing to search.  It is just easier for me to use it.  I also seem to have an easier time finding what I want on Bing.  Anyway, Bing has a Reward Program.  You get rewarded for using Bing to search. The points add up quickly and monthly you can cash in for discounts at restaurants, Amazon and a ton more.  Go here to register.  Do a quick search and look at your stats.  It is an effortless way to get free things and/or money off things.  Yeah for free!!!!

 Cash Crate.  I have done this but haven’t done recently because of my limited time these days.  However, when I had more free time I would do the surveys and I did make money. Not tons of money but $20 here and there does help.  If you have some extra time and want to make some easy money, try it here.   Once you sign up, come back and read this article on Wiki How.  They explain in detail how to make sure you getting all the money you are working for.

Ebates. I’m not a big mall shopper. I do 99% of all my shopping online other than grocery shopping.  I didn’t get my check yet this year from Ebates for my holiday shopping but last year my check was over $90.00.  That is a lot.  If you are big online shopper, you have to register.  Any store special is available with Ebates too.  You get the sale price plus the refund.  It is a win win kind of deal.  For example, if Footlocker is having a sale, you log in to your Ebates account and click the Footlocker link.  Ebates lists the % back you will receive.  Make your purchase on the Footlocker site, and it is tracked back to Ebates who refunds the % agreed back to you. No effort just money.  Go here to register for your Ebates and start making money on what you are already buying.

Quick Rewards Network. Quick Rewards Network has been around for years and years.  Again, you do this or that on their site and you get paid and you get paid quickly.  This is a legit company with constantly changing offers.  You may get paid to read emails they send you (again, this is why you have a special email account for these), or you take a survey.  They have a long list of opportunities that are easy to complete.  Go here and register.  It is free and remember to save the money and we will work together to get your business going and growing.

See you next time.


Dec 14

Make your own craft fair dip mixes for gifts or sale. Part 7

Hi All,

This is part 7 of my dip mix recipes.  Besides being great sellers at craft fairs, dip mixes make wonderful hostess gifts.  I make a batch to take with me and bring some dip mixes as a gift.  I have tags that I have created and will be posting those soon for you to print and give with the mixes so be sure and check back soon.

I also have a few more recipes that I will be posting.  If you have one that you know is tried and true and you would like to share, please email it to me and I’ll post it along with all the recipes.

If you missed the other dip mix recipes, you can find them here: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, & #6.


Sesame Cheese Dip

2 T. Parmesan cheese

1 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp pepper

4 tsp. toasted sesame seeds

1 tsp celery salt

1/4 tsp. garlic power

If you need to toast your own sesame seeds, you can do so by microwaving the seeds for about 20 to 30 seconds.

Combine all the above ingredients and mix till well blended.  Place in a zip lock baggie and seal.

To serve: Combine the dip mix with 2 cups sour cream.  Stir till well blended.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hours before serving.  Serve with chips, crackers or veggies.


Bacon & Chili Cheese Dip

1 T plus 3/4 tsp. minced onion

2-1/2 tsp. bacon bits (imitation works well too)

1-1/4 tsp. garlic powder

2-1/2 tsp. Cheddar cheese powder

1-1/4 tsp. chili powder

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

Mix the above ingredients and stir till well blended.  Place in a ziplock baggie and seal.

To serve: Combine the dip mix with 2 cups sour cream.  Stir till well blended.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.  Serve with veggies, chips or crackers.


Spicy Mexican Dip Mix

1 T. minced onion

1 T. chili powder

1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1-1/2 tsp. dried cilantro

1-1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1-1/2 dried parsley

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. salt

Mix the above ingredients and stir till well blended.  Place in ziplock baggie and seal.

To serve: Mix dip mix with 1-1/2 cups sour cream.  Stir till well blended. Refrigerate covered for at least 2 hours before serving.  Serve with veggies, chips or crackers.


Veggie Dip Mix

1 T. dried chives

1 tsp. garlic salt

1/2 tsp. dried dill weed

1/2 tsp. paprika

Mix the above ingredients and stir well to blend.  Place in a ziplock baggie and seal.

To serve:  Combine the dip mix with 1 T. lemon juice and 2 cups sour cream.  Stir till well blended.  Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.  Serve with crackers, chips or veggies.

See you next time.



Dec 11

Freezer Paper Stenciled Personalized Shirt – How to create in CorelDraw & cut on your Silhouette

There are tons of tutorials out there on how to freezer paper stencil a shirt so I’m not going to show  you how to do that.  You can see some great tutorials for that here or here.


Freezer paper stenciling is easy and fun to do.  The challenge however is to create your own design and get it sent to the Silhouette cutter.  You can buy designs from Silhouette and when I plugged in my Silhouette yesterday, it said I needed to update. The update was a plugin that would allow me to easily and quickly use CorelDraw or Illustrator and send the design to the Silhouette.  Guess what?  It cost $39.99.

I needed a quick, easy and cheap little gift and I was no way, no how gonna spend $40.00 for that. So I played and I figured it out. It is quick and easy too and doesn’t cost $40.00.

Freezer Paper Stenciled Shirt @

Open CorelDraw to a new page.  Create your design.

I don’t like to think of myself as a cheapskate, rather I’m frugal.  Again, if I need a cheap gift, I don’t want to be spending all kind of money.  If you are familiar with CorelDraw or any type of graphic design and / or the printing process, you know that your graphic needs to be vector. Vector in layman’s terms means if you enlarge and enlarge the picture, you will not see those little pixel boxes.  It will remain smooth and clean regardless of the size.  Problem is that vector art usually costs money.  All I wanted was some simple animal silhouettes but I couldn’t find any for free.  Soooooo I simply used a font.  There are millions of free fonts.  I picked a free animal font from, enlarged it and it worked perfectly.  I created the call out from the shapes in Corel, added my text and in 2 minutes my artwork was done, waiting and wanting to be sent to my Silhouette cutter.

The Silhouette cutter uses a SVG extension but trying to save your design as SVG and opening it in the Silhouette Studio software didn’t work.

There is one simple step in between.  All you have to do is first convert your design to a bitmap and then save that bitmap as an SVG extension.

That is it.  Create, convert and save.  Open your Silhouette Studio, get a new page, and find the design where you saved it.  To find it though, select OPEN, then in the dialog box, select ALL FILES in the drop down labeled FILES OF TYPE.  The design will appear as the image you created.  Now under the OBJECTS toolbar at the top of the Silhouette Studio, select TRACE.  This will trace your design for cutting.  You do not have to remove the graphics.  From here, simply send the design to your cutter and you are done, done, done and you still have that $40.00 they wanted in your pocket.

If you have any questions, holler and I’ll be happy to help.

See you next time.



Dec 04

Free Quilted Pillow Patterns – 15 great patterns

Hi All,

When you don’t have enough time to make a quilt for someone, a pillow is a close second.  Less fabric, lots less time to make but they sure pack a punch.  Not only do pillows make great gifts, they are great sellers at craft fairs and on Etsy.  Also a great way to gain quilting skills.

I have more free quilted pillow patterns & tutorials so be sure to check back as I’ll soon be posting more.

Winter Night Pillow can be found at Esch House Quilts.

Kiss Pillow pattern can be found at Esch House Quilts.

Trajectory Pillow Pattern in PDF from Simply Cotton.

Fabulous Feather Pillow pattern at Beck and Lundy’s.

Sunburst Pillow pattern at by Noodlehead at Versus.

Recycled Roses Pillow instructions at Alisa Burke.

Button Pillow instructions at Just Another Hang Up.

Bunting Pillow instructions at Just Another Hang Up.

 Fall Pillow with Wood Button Tutorial at Just Another Hang Up.

 Chunky ZigZag Pillow at Fairy Face Designs.

Four Leaf Pillow instruction with Piping at mmmcrafts.

Crate & Barrel Knock Off at Life Crafts & Whatever.

Modern Dresden Plate Tutorial

Dresden Plate Pillow at The Girl Who Quilts.

Picture of Ginormous Button Pillow

Ginormous Button Pillow at Instructables.

Wool Felt Pillow at Craft n Things.

See you next time.