Thursday, September 10, 2015

How to Make a Seasonal Cross Stitch Board for minis!

I have had so many responses to showing my seasonal cross stitch boards, I thought I would do a post on how to make them.  They are really quite simple but you can make them as fancy as you like.  I started out with a board that my dad made for me.  This was 100% handmade, he designed the edges and the scallops.  I love it to this day.  It holds a special place in my heart because he made it for me.  
As you can see, it has a wood finish that he stained and then glazed for me.
He even engraved the back of it for me with my married name and the year I got married.  
My father passed away and I really wanted another board.  My husband is not a wood worker.  I started researching on how I could make my own.  Maybe not exactly like the one my dad made me, heck I don't even know what tool you would use to make the beveled edges!!!  
I went to Hobby Lobby ( you can search your local craft store) and found a wooden plaque, roughly the same size as the one my dad made for me. )  Sometimes they will be in different sizes, choose the size you like.  Keeping in mind how many frames you want in your set.  Maybe you only want 3 frames?  Maybe you want 4 like I show.  Also keep in mind the size frames you want.  I have three boards, two are pretty close to the same size.  One is longer- I wanted to be able to do bigger projects so I had to use bigger frames.   Basically to decide how big of a board I wanted, I took my frames and laid them out on the floor, spaced apart the distance I liked, and measure the total length- easy enough!!    That gave me a rough estimate of how big my plaque had to be- go slightly larger to leave room at the top and bottom.  My craft store didn't have the large board at the time but I was able to hunt for it online.  I did this a couple of years ago, and I couldn't find the store I used but:  here are some examples where I found some just searching online:

Here's a rustic one:

I like this place, you can select EXACTLY what length and width you want, the edge you want and the color you want. (keep in mind you have to put dowels in so maybe keep the color to white or black- something you can easily match)  Then just let them know you want it blank!!!!

Make sure you double check your measurements!!!  That's the hardest part....finding the craft plaque.  
The next part is making the pegs- I used a craft dowel that I found in Michaels.  You want to double check the thickness of the dowel- you want it to be able to hold your frames but not overly big!  I think the ones I used are just over a  pencil eraser head size.  
Now for the power tools!!!
You cut your dowel- I like my pegs a little longer so my frames don't slide off- on one of my boards, the pegs are longer than my original board, on one of my boards, my pegs are slightly angled up- both methods keep the frames on the boards nicely.  I have mine placed near my kitchen door and one near my front door so sometimes the door slamming can cause my frame to slide off - mainly when I use the plastic light craft frames.   I would say they are a little over a half inch sticking out from the board- so 3/4 of an inch to leave room to put the peg in the holes.
You drill holes in your board, where you want the top of your frames to be- they don't have to be all the way through the board, just enough to hold.  Add a good wood glue- and your board is ready to dry.  On one of the boards, my husband drilled it to far, it went through to the worries, he made it flush with the board and did some light sanding.  You will never see the back of the board so that part doesn't matter that much. 
We sanded our boards, just to make it smooth and the paint will look more evenly on it.
After the glue dries, you can paint your board any color you want- or stain it!  Some of the new chalk paint may be fun!  Black, wood stained, white, a red board!  I could make a zillion boards!!!

This shows the peg angled up slightly.  

This shows the length and width of the peg made from the wooden dowel.  You might want to sand the dowel slightly after cutting it to get soft edges.  (before painting!)  
Frames can be found anywhere.  These are some Pottery Barn Kids Christmas frames ornaments- I just took out the mat and added my cross stitch.  When I cut my cross stitch- I add no fray to the edges with a qtip- let it dry.  You can get No Fray at any of the craft stores.  It adds a protective edge to your cross stitch.  Once dried it will look a little clear/glue like at the edges, that's okay.  I store my seasonal stitching in plastic sandwich bags in a container, changing them out per season.   They are easy to cut, you just use the glass as a guide and good material scissors. 

You need a hook on the back to hang on the wall.

Here is another picture of the pegs, they are hard to see in the black paint, so this one showed it better.  But an easy way is to take your frames, and see how much room you need.  For regular frames, I use ribbon to hang my frames on the pegs.  Keep in mind the "hanging distance" on your board when you space your pegs, you need to leave room for your frames to hang!!!!  

The great thing about these boards is the projects that you can do on them.  The projects are small so they go pretty quick which is fun.  It's fun to make seasonal ones but you can also make fun ones, for a girl's room- Disney silhouettes, for a boy's room- trucks or animals.  The sky is the limit!
These boards can be anything you make them.  Think outside the box!  Maybe you don't want to use pegs, you could do a board with another way to mount your frames to them!!!  I have made these boards as a wedding gift- including a "starter pack" of seasonal stitchings!  A really wonderful house warming gift!  You can always gift a new set to add to their collection year after year!

Do you have a cross stitch board?  I'd love to hear about it!  Leave me a message!  Or send a picture!!!!  To see pictures of my cross stitch board with the frames and seasonal stitchings on them- search my blog - to the right- cross stitching!

Thanks for stopping by

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Dooney and Bourke Pebbled Leather Domed Satchel Review- Things I LOVE!

My blog followers know that I enjoy sharing my "finds", or Things I Love with my readers.  And my readers also know my love for crafting but also my love for handbags!!!!  Okay, I said it, I LOVE BAGS!!!!  
Today I am sharing my review for the Dooney and Bourke Pebbled Leather Domed Satchel.  I got this satchel on QVC, I think the retail price is $362.  
This bag first caught my eye because of the beautiful trim and the leather handles and the belting.  Very pretty.  The hardest part for me was deciding what color to get.  I decided on the Aubergine.  It was kinda sight unseen because I couldn't find a video showing the color.  Not sure if this is a newer color or a really old color, either way, I could only use my computer and often computer screen vary on colors.   I am very pleased with the color.  It is supposed to an eggplant color.  Pretty.  It appears lighter in the light but is a nice deep rich purple.  

To me the belting around this bag really sets it off and the side tassels are pretty as well done in the same trim.  I like this trim better than the natural trim on some Dooney bags.  But it is a personal preference. 

The zipper pull is also in the same trim and nice and long.  It makes it comfortable to get in and out of the bag.

I love the key holder.  It makes finding my keys a breeze!

The inside is the normal red material that Dooney has inside their bags.  It has one zip pocket and a slip pocket on one side.  The other side has two slip pockets.  
The bag from QVC came with an accessories bag.  I like the wrist strap.  It does not fit my iPhone 6, it is to small but it is a cute little accessory bag.  I could easily fit some money and credit cards in it for a quick trip to the store. 

I would call this a medium sized bag.  It can get a little heavy when I load it but it does have the handles and a shoulder strap.  I always love two ways to carry a bag!
It does have a back pocket.  If there are any negatives about this bag, it is this pocket.  It is quite small and narrow.  Even though I have small hands, I find it awkward to access it.  I don't use the pocket.  I could see keys would be able to fit in it, but the key fob is easier to use.  To me, this pocket is useless in normal everyday life.   I could see movie tickets fitting in that pocket, but other than very small items, not much use for it.  Overall, not a huge thing, this is the only negative I found with the bag.

The bag has feet on the bottom, not pictured here. I am loving this bag.  I have gotten a lot of compliments on this bag.  
Thanks for stopping by!
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