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I finally did it! I decided on a plan for making my own Kindle case and it actually turned out pretty nice even though I didn’t sew a bit!

Supplies

  • a pack of fabric quarters (or two quarters)
  • elastic (I chose wide because I liked the color, but a thinner kind would work, too.)
  • no-sew seam tape
  • a hot glue gun
  • a repurposed kindle-sized book (I used a Bob Dole autobiography we’d gotten in a grab bag at a book sale several years ago.)
  •  scissors
  • a tape measure
  • an iron and an ironing board

First, I cut everything so I could clear my work space of scrap. I cut both front and back covers cleanly off the book and used my kindle as a template to cut the fabric and batting.

Next, I glued or seamed everything together. I used the no sew seam tape to bond the cover fabric to the batting and the hot glue gun to bond the interior fabric to the book. Then, I attached the elastic also with the hot glue gun. Since the elastic was wide, I cut strips of it in half and glued that to hold the kindle in place. I used a wide strap around the front of it to hold it closed.

I’m pretty happy with the final product! The batting makes it comfortable to hold, the elastic keeps the cover in place when I’m not reading and out of the way when I am, and the book gives it nice support. I can even use the book cover to prop it up if I want to!

There are a few things I would do differently next time. I made the batting and cover fabric a little bigger than the book/kindle. I thought I’d like the wider dimensions but it kind of gets in the way and I’m paranoid about it causing the fabric to bend and then get stuck out of shape. It could also use double or even triple the batting.

For now, I’m really excited about it. And I that pack of quarters only cost me $6.50 and I have enough fabric to make six or so more cases! Lots of possibilities!

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* I’m getting ready to attend a funeral for a close friend’s mom, so I wasn’t able to actually do my project other than the inspiration I’ve gathered. I’m sure you all understand (because you’re wonderful). I’ll be sure to share my finished sandals when I have them. I’m sure it will be a nice project to cheer me up a little.*

I happened on some really fun inspiration while on Pinterest on Easter Monday and this weekend I finally started to put several things together into a plan. It started when I saw these TOMS shoes sandals…

They’re really cute, right? And a great way to turn an old pair of shoes into something I’m excited to wear again. This is a perfect project because I happen to have one pair of shoes that’s basically unwearable. They’re not actual TOMS, they’re these knock-off versions made by Airwalk as part of their Good Shoe Project. I bought them because they’re leather free and at the time I was in the market for some new shoes, I thought I wanted TOMS but couldn’t find a pair without leather soles. These were leather-free and $20, but a pair still got donated.

After a year+ running around in them, I’ve sufficiently worn them out. There is a hole in the toe, and I think they need to be aired out a little. I must sweat entirely from my feet.

So the plan is to cut them up! In the forepart of the shoe, I plan to cut along the seam, leaving a vertical strip of fabric from the elastic down to the strap that will be created over my toes. On the side, I’ll start by cutting them like the sandals in the picture and then make a judgement call about cutting out those straps.

I’m not going to stop with simple sandals, though. I also plan to embellish them and pile on this season’s trend with NEON. Plenty of people embroider TOMS so why not embroider your sandals a little too?

If I opt for a solid color, it’ll be bright green or bright yellow, depending on what I find nearby. If I get really creative, I’m going to also make some friendship-bracelet-style embellishments (using this wonderful tutorial from What I Do) for the front or the sides. Maybe I could add espadrille ties? The possibilities are endless!
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It’s easter egg season! Dyeing easter eggs is a craft that I’ve always really liked. When I was little, we used to blow out eggs and decorate them, and hard boil some for decorating too. I think the blown out ones were special — though I can’t remember why. I just remember being horrified that raw egg was going to go into my mouth and some combination of that fear and my little kid lungs meaning that someone else had to blow the egg out for me.

 Pysanky-Ukrainian Easter Eggs are some of the most beautiful Easter eggs. A few years ago, Design*Sponge had a diy project for ukrainian eggs made simple. It looks really beautiful and not that difficult although the final result is certainly not as elegant at the elaborate pysanky eggs.

These Doodle Easter eggs made with a black sharpie an help you get an intricate design like the pysanky eggs without the effort of dyeing. I don’t think I have a steady enough hand for this. My paisley designs even on paper come out looking kind of crazy in a bad way.

I think decoupage is probably my best option for getting an elaborate design! The best thing about decoupage is you don’t even have to use a real egg.

This tutorial from Two Girls Being Crafty uses napkins to decoupage!  Clever!

You could also use a simpler material for your decoupage.

I think these Paper Mache Easter Eggs from Centsational Girl are beautiful! They look so natural.

Natural dyed eggs are really pretty too, but it kind of intimidates me.

This DIY uses leaves, onion peels, stocking to create beautiful brown eggs.

If you want more Natural Dyes for Easter Eggs, ApartmentTherapy had a great roundup. It includes recipes for the above natural-dyed eggs via Two Men and a Little Farm. What a gorgeous palette!

My favorite idea is to use temporary tattoos to decorate eggs.

These nature temporary tatoos look beautiful on undyed Easter eggs (via CountryLiving).

I also adore these thread wrap easter eggs from Martha Stewart. They’re really pretty and the little bid of thread adds a nice texture.

We’re hosting Easter this year! We hosted last year, too, but it was just my parents and Kyle’s parents. This year, we have my extended family and his grandma coming too. That means I’ll be in a fit cleaning the house Saturday and finishing up little chores. I hope I find time to dye some eggs!

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Since I read somewhere that you can make your own scratch-off paint by mixing 2-parts acrylic paint to 1-part dish soap, I’m on the hunt for great DIY projects involving scratchoff paint. I think this Scratch Personalized World Map Poster might be just the inspiration I need. How fun! (via Offbeat Home)

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Before I begin this post, I want to apologize for the return to bad photo quality! Mere weeks after relocating our nice camera, we promptly left it and my entire purse at Kyle’s parents house when we went there for Christmas. It took us a few days to get it back and in the meantime I completed this project. All I want for my birthday (and the next five holidays for that matter) is a DSLR or, better yet, a mirror-less DSLR.

As you know, we hosted people for New Year’s Eve this year. As usual, we used new out-of-town guests as an impetus to complete another small round of projects at the house. We drywalled the closet, prepared a delicious dinner menu, washed and changed all the upstairs linens, and hung fixtures in the upstairs bathroom.

Since the goal was to have the place guest-ready, Kyle really wanted to do something about the upstairs bathroom which usually had litter all over the floor. The downstairs bathroom had this problem, too, which annoyed him even more. I’m not saying I like walking barefoot on cat litter, I just balance my own comfort with my belief that the cat should have access to two litter boxes because the formula for litter boxes is 1 + the number of cats in your home. Also, I think we benefit from having one bathroom on every floor and Logan shouldn’t have to use stairs to get to a bathroom either.

I checked out Pinterest for some ideas for hiding litter boxes and eventually came up with plans of my own.

If you can’t tell from the image above, the secret to one of the new hidden catbox is … a toy box!

I decided to go with a toy box because it was the right size and price for the project. Plus, it fills another void in the upstairs bathroom which lacks an obvious place to put towels out for guests. Turns out, there are some other good features, too:

  • First, I got a good chuckle about the “adult assembly required” label because I have really never been exposed to the wide world of assembly for children.
  • Second, it came with a slow-closing safety hinge.
  • Third, the depth of it means that we can force the cat to walk over a litter catching mat before he comes out of it, thereby decreasing litter track.
  • Fourth, it would seem to be a pretty easy-to-thrift item. Unfortunately, our thrift stores were all out on the day we went shopping for supplies.

This safety hinge is designed so that the toybox will stay open if a child is digging around in it for a toy and close slowly when they’re finished with it. That means cleaning the cat box is easy because the lid stays open the whole time and that we don’t have to worry about the dog getting her head slammed in the box.  If it weren’t so gross, Oats would really impress us with her dedication to eating available cat poop.

I assembled the toybox according to the box instructions and then took to it with a cat door template and our vibrating multi-tool.

This was pretty easy because the catbox template gave us enough room for error. The most frustrating part was that the knock-off Dremel kept vibrating so hard that the tool part came loose and it had to be stopped and restarted a few times during the cutting.

Finally, the box was set before the cat for his approval. You may not be able to tell, but Logan has mad swagger checking out the cat box. This is mostly because at one point during this process we had to hault the project because he caught a mouse. He caught it, we herded it into a box, I carried it outside and released it in the field across from our house, and we have had no evidence or squeaks of a mouse problem since! I’m pretty sure he thinks the new cat box was a gift to him for his obvious mousing abilities.

The other catbox is made the same way, but I started with a simple big-box store utility cabinet.

Obviously these things are not made very well! I’ll have to share a better photo when we receive the replacement door. For now, I’ll just leave you with the advice that if you buy a cheap utility cabinet, make sure you carry it upright to it’s new, permanent location.

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The frozen custard chain Sheridan’s began around this area and Kyle has been doing some work in Overland Park where he discovered Unforked, their new local/fresh/organic restaurant experiment. He’s super fond of the restaurant and last week he discovered this really cool suspended toilet paper holder. Because he’s a great husband, he snapped a couple pictures of it with his iPad to share with me and now I get to share them with you!

It really seems to fit with the decor of the bathroom and it’s an easy enough project that moves your toilet paper rolls a little closer to the toilet. It would actually work perfectly in our bathroom where there really isn’t a convenient spot to attach a toilet paper roll holder to the wall. Those wires suspend all the way up to the ceiling.

I’m not sure that the heavy industrial look is quite what would fit in our bathroom, but I imagine you could cover the suspension wires with something a little prettier for your space.

Definitely an inspiring project to add to the pinboard and try to make a reality during the next Pinterest challenge.

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I’m loving all of the creative, non-traditional Christmas trees that are out in blogland right now. Before my parent’s gave me their old tree, I was dreaming up ways that I would decorate for Christmas without a tree. There’s so many fun materials that you can mold, stack, or bend into a tree shape, so I rounded up all of the ones from the blogosphere that caught my eye.

This one from Martha Stewart’s site. I’d love to even just do this outside or on the front door. Is it too late to hang lights? I feel like the last three weeks got away from me. How’d that happen?

These reclaimed wood trees I love! They are from Wood Wool Stool and they cost 25 Euros so about $33. So cute!

Here in Austin there are loads of people decorating their agave plants. It’s so cute and festive. On my drive to work, I pass a ton of these that people have decorated. Creative and fun! This one captured by Gardening Gone Wild is perfect (via Pinterest)!

This fun toile and dryer sheet tree is from Myric at Petite Passions and featured on The Artsy Girl Connection. This one is tiny but it’d be awesome to do a large scale of!

This one from  Home Life via Hello Little One is an awesome way to use all of those cards you get for Christmas. You could even just take the cards from the previous year and put them up. Then see how much other families have changed in a year. Creative and sentimental.

What unique, non-traditional trees have you seen out there? I’d love to know! Hope today is a great start to your week!

 

 

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Welcome to So Eclectic

So Eclectic is a blog dedicated to great ideas for home design. Austin, Texas-based writer Mary Marcum and Savannah, Missouri-based writer Jess Rezac feature affordable decor, decorating solutions, and inspiration. At So Eclectic, we experiment with design together. So Eclectic posts new content every weekday.

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Hope Chest

In our hope chest, we share products that complement our home aesthetic or make us excited about the directions of new design.

 

Jess

I live with Kyle, my husband, in Kansas City, Mo. We have a dog, Oats, and a cat, Logan.

I am a development professional who specializes in museums and the performing arts. I write grants, fundraise, and assist with marketing in the form of donor communications. My academic background is in history and museum science, focusing on the presentation and interpretation of Africa in American museums.

As a freelancer, I work with clients in need of websites, Wordpress upgrades, and FileMaker Pro database solutions.

Mary

Hi! I live in a small two bedroom home in Austin, Texas. I believe in vintage, re-purposing, recycling, and making my home comfortable for us and everyone that visits. After grad school, I developed a love for design and giving old furniture a new life. Hope I can take you all along on my journey to rid my house of the "college days" furniture (or at least re-purpose it)! Welcome, and I hope you stay a while!

 
© 2011, Mary Marcum and Jess Rezac at SoEclectic.com