Creating a soft toy for that special little someone in your life is rewarding in so many ways. You have the excitement of creating something original and personal plus the joy of watching a child get years of play out of it. We have lots of fabrics at Organic Cotton Plus to help you create something unique. Here are some ideas to get you thinking.
Finger Puppets by Dairy Princess
Handmade dolls by Sewing – I can do this!
Horsie in felt by Crafts with Felt
Embroidery galore – Elephant by DIY & Ideas with Felt
Vintage cut out and sew soft Giraffe by Rainbow Vintage Home
Patchwork Pillow Dog by GandG Patterns
Have you ever made soft toys for your children or grandchildren? Feel free to share some of your creations with us by uploading photos at our Facebook page
We’re doing a joint fabric and pattern giveaway with Funky Friends Factory. Thanks to Pauline for joining us in this fun collaboration. We hope you’ll enjoy it!
Here’s the info from Pauline…
I have been having such fun making some baby toys from organic interlock fabric!
When I received the fabric from Organic Cotton Plus, and I really wasn’t sure how my Funky Friends would turn out as I haven’t used cotton interlock before! I found that it was really easy to sew with ( I just used a ball point needle and an all purpose polyester machine thread as it is a jersey/knit type fabric) and I am so excited by how cute my toys turned out!
This is my Dilby Duck toy sewing pattern made up in Banana yellow and Butterscotch eco-dyed organic cotton Interlock.
And this my Plattie Platypus toy sewing pattern made up in Baby Blue and Banana.
I just LOVE their fabric names!
And look how cute Petunia Pig looks in Pink and Plum!
All you’ll need is some organic stuffing (Organic Cotton Plus has that too! ) and some 100% wool felt flowers, and you’ll have a 100% organic baby toy!
AND NOW for the EXCITING NEWS:
This week I am teaming up with Organic Cotton Plus to give away some of their fabulous Organic Interlock fabric and some Funky Friends Factory Patterns!
So what can you win?
We have THREE Prizes up for grabs
- Each winner will receive Organic Cotton Interlock in 2 different colours AND the matching Funky Friends Factory PATTERN to make ONE of the 3 Funky Friends toys above. (Dilby Duck, Plattie Platypus or Petunia Piglet).
How do you enter?
- Leave a comment on the Organic Cotton Plus Blog (just below) to say which eco-dyed organic interlock colour is your favourite.
- Leave a comment here below to say which of the 3 organic cotton Funky Friends you think is the cutest. (Dilby Duck, Plattie Platypus or Petunia Piglet).
- For an extra entry you can also leave a comment on both our Facebook pages and/or Twitter!
Organic Cotton Plus Facebook page is HERE
Funky Friends Factory Facebook page is HERE
*** The winner will be announced on FRIDAY February 8th 2013 ***
Thanks for entering and GOOD LUCK everyone!!!!
Recycling fabrics into something new is exciting and eco-friendly. There are so many ways to re-purpose old clothes, bags and leather items that you will start rifling through your wardrobe and household items looking for inspiration.
Here are few ideas to get the old creative juices going…
Corduroy pants become a knitting bag
As seen on Etsy
DVR case made out of crib bumper
Image – wardroberefashion.com
Leather clutch made out of an old jacket
Denim doormat from waistbands
Tote bag from a kid’s t-shirt
Image – theobjectproject.typepad.com
However you choose to recycle, we hope you will share some of your creations with us on our Facebook page HERE
The holidays are around the corner and there’s no better time to make crafty gifts and ornaments to bring in the festive cheer!
Here are some cute ideas that don’t require much time, money or expertise. Enjoy!
A Christmas Wreath made with ribbon, silk flowers, baubles and a hint of green. With just a few materials, you can create a piece of art to enjoy for many Christmases to come.
image David Wagner
Make a precious home made tree ornament out of buttons. Mix and match colors and ribbon to create something unique and special. Check out some of our buttons for inspiration here http://organiccottonplus.com/?page_id=4139
Make a pretty star out of ribbon or paper. These will look great hanging in a window or from your Christmas tree.
Some playful Santa stockings to hang by the fireside.
These Christmas finger puppets are made from coin wrappers. How cute and fun to make!
What wonderful crafts will you be making this holiday season? If you need inspiration check out our beautiful, organic cotton fabrics HERE
No matter how organized you are in your sewing area, soon enough there will be more fabrics, buttons, scraps and ribbons than you know what to do with. All this stuff means it doesn’t take very long to turn a once neat and tidy sewing room into a war zone. More stuff means more storage, but you don’t have to be boring about it.
Here are some really creative and unique ways to store your essentials.
Fabric samples and swatches look elegant as a wall hanging. Who says scraps can’t be art?
Ribbons, ribbons and more ribbons!
These mason jars make great storage for buttons and pin cushions. Love the way they are magnetized.
Shelves have never looked so stylish. Combined with built in lighting, this is a practical and elegant way to keep everything you need at reach.
A dark wood cabinet makes great housing for your bits and bobs
That old wicker basket you were going to throw away? Stop! It can come in handy as a home for your threads.
How do you keep your sewing area storage organized and attractive? Share your ideas with us on this blog or join us on our Facebook page HERE
Whether you are crafting as a hobby or running a business, it’s important to be environmentally friendly and responsible. This approach not only appeals to your customer base, but it makes your endeavors more sustainable and affordable.
Here are just a few suggestions to help you make your business or hobby a greener space:
Recycle: Does your city offer curbside recycling? If it does, take full advantage of it by collecting paper, plastic and metals in separate bins. You should also check with your town’s waste management website to see what they do and do not accept. If curbside isn’t an option, you can research Earth911.com to find a drop off recycling center near you.
Turn off equipment when it's not being used: This can reduce the energy used by 25 percent; turning off the computers at the end of the day can save an additional 50 percent.
Encouraging communications by email and reading email messages onscreen to determine whether it's necessary to print them. If it's not, don't!
Reduce fax-related paper waste by using a fax-modem and by using a fax cover sheet only when necessary. Fax-modems allow documents to be sent directly from a computer, without requiring a printed hard copy.
Produce double-sided documents whenever possible.
Don’t leave a faucet dripping; always close them tightly after use. (One drop wasted per second wastes 2,000 gallons per year.)
Install displacement toilet dams in toilet reservoirs. Placing one or two plastic containers filled with stones (not bricks) in the toilet's reservoir will displace about 1 gallon of water per flush – a huge reduction of water use over the course of a year.
Use recycled paper wherever possible. This can be for your business cards, invoices and marketing materials.
Choose suppliers who take back packaging for reuse. Use a critical eye to see where you can reduce plastic or use reusable materials. Ask yourself how you can make this more sustainable. Can you use minimal packaging? What about reusable packaging such as craft paper? It’s always better to choose metal, glass, and paper over plastic.
Search for "greener" products and services in the local community. The further your supplies or service providers have to travel, the more energy will be used to get them to you.
Reuse existing office furniture, it may just need to be refurbished. It's less expensive than buying new and better for the environment.
How do you make your craft business or hobby more environmentally friendly? Please post in the comments below, we would love to hear your ideas!
DEAL OF THE MONTH!
The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Throughout October, all of our Eco Dyed Pink Solids, Pink Prints, and our Carnation Thread will be on sale at 15% off our regular prices.
In addition, at the end of the month, Organic Cotton Plus will donate 15% of the total month's sales of Pink items to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Just look for the Pink Awareness Ribbon on any Pink or Pink-Printed item and use the Coupon Code thinkpink to help us raise money for Breast Cancer Research!
Sewing rooms come in all shapes and sizes; big and small, spacious and organized or tiny and chaotic. Whatever your circumstances, you can create a functional and lovable part of your home dedicated to designing and crafting your hand made masterpieces.
Here are a few tips to get you on your way to Martha Stewart heaven:
• Pick a room or space in your home that will become your sewing area. Rooms such as offices or spare bedrooms are perfect for this use. Make sure there is at least enough room for storage area and a sewing table or desk. If you do not have an entire room to devote to sewing, set aside an area in a room that is used for other things. A bedroom, office, family room, or den could have a sewing space in it.
• Draw the floor plan of the room or area. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it must Include a desk, shelves or boxes, and drawers. Remember that you can install wall-mounted shelving, especially in small areas.
• Paint or wallpaper the room in your favorite colors and textures. Be sure to choose calming colors that will also help you concentrate.
• Measuring and Cutting: A large table can work fine for this. Make sure you have a sturdy and supportive sewing chair too. You can pick up an inexpensive one from any office supply store or browse your local flea market.
• Pressing: Make sure you have a standard ironing board. You can pick one up at a garage sale or thrift store. Just make sure it’s sturdy. You can even make a new cover to coordinate with your color scheme.
• Lighting: It’s worth investing in some specialized lighting. Everything’s easier when you can see what you’re doing. Look for nice, bright lights that can be positioned to shine right where you want them.
• Custom shelving units are great for small spaces. An old computer desk can also work perfectly for a sewing table. You can also use a chest of drawers for storage. Include bookcases or wall-mounted shelves for storage. Closet companies can help install custom storage, or you can buy closet organizer kits and install them yourself.
• Arrange the furniture according to your plan. Start with any built-in storage, then add the desk or sewing table, and any portable storage. You can also add shelves and plastic tubs for additional storage.
• Organize your sewing equipment. Put your machine on the table.
Here are some additional tips to help you organize your storage so all your supplies stay organized and clutter free:
1. Store your thread in drawers or on pegs on racks.
2. Store large fabric pieces on shelves and collect small ones in drawers, bins, or boxes. Clear, plastic bins will let you see at a glance what’s where.
3. Bobbins, needles, measuring tape, and pins can go in the drawers.
4. Set aside drawers or bins as needed for notions (zippers, buttons, ribbons, etc.).
5. Place crafting magazines, books, and patterns on the shelves. Patterns could also go in a bin or drawer, using their envelopes like file folders.
Don’t forget to take photos of your beautiful sewing room and share them with us on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/organiccottonplus
A Home-Sewn Solution (with 25% off the month of August only!)
We’ve all experienced, or at least have heard stories about, tiny bugs, dust, and dander that wreak havoc while you’re sleeping. These irritants create allergies and make your sleep less comfortable and less healthy.
What’s needed is a barrier between you and dust, dander, and critters. There are plenty of options out there…
1. You can buy a polyester based pillow encasement. (Ughhh – that’s a petroleum product you’re breathing into and putting your face on for 8-hours a day)
2. You can buy a cotton-based pillow encasement. (We’re getting there, but that cotton is grown with sooo much pesticide!)
3. You can buy one yard of 100% organic cotton Barrier Cloth
and sew your own two pillowcases!
Organic Cotton Plus is the only producer of this very unique and difficult-to-create material. This 100% certified organic fabric is truly a feat in packing as much fine long-staple certified organic fabric into each square inch as physically possible. The material is 100″ wide, so you can make 2 pillowcases with a single yard. It’s also wide enough to make encasements for your mattress.
When you receive your fabric, you’ll notice the very smooth feel of the material. But if you put your mouth to it and try to blow through
the fabric, you may turn blue in the face! This fabric is so densely woven that almost nothing
can get through the pores! You’ll also sleep soundly knowing that it’s GOTS
-certified organic cotton.
To encourage an allergy-free Summer, we’re offering a 25% discount on any order of this fabric using the coupon code “cleanpillow”. Just click here
to buy now!
Please send us photos of the pillows you make – we’d love to see them!
Coconut and river shell buttons-how much earthier can you get! These high quality buttons are great for bags, coats, pants, or any of your own crafts. For June only, all of our buttons are 50% off! (Coupon Code: buttonmeup)
These days, many people aren’t able to spend a lot of money on traditional, expensive gifts such as jewelry, perfume, or flowers. Yet they still want to remember Mom or Grandma with a thoughtful gift on Mother’s Day. As Mother’s Day is less than two weeks away, making a gift instead of buying one seems like a much better option.
With that idea in mind I decided to go online to search out a few craft projects. I discovered quite a few gift item ideas that take just a small amount of effort; hardly any fabric; and – best of all – don’t require a huge financial outlay. Also, nobody needs to be extremely accomplished in sewing in order to create them – which is great if you have older children interested in putting their own touches on a special Mother’s Day gift.
What I liked best about these craft ideas is that even though each gift calls for a certain kind of fabric or a special scent, there are no hard-and-fast rules that say we can’t swap out one fabric or scent over another. As you read through these craft ideas, allow your imagination to have free rein. With all the available fabric options here at Organic Cotton Plus, who knows what great ideas you can come up with? I’m betting that you’ll surprise yourself as well as Mom!
♥ Here’s an interesting gift idea: create a Sleep Mask for Mom from Crafts-For-All-Seasons.com. On this website the sleep mask is made with two pieces of felt, but this mask could easily be made using our Style #15841 Natural Interlock or Style #15842 Lavender Interlock. Embellish your sleep mask with beading, sequins, buttons, or add interest with lace, fabric paint, or rick rack.
♥ Another great gift to make is a Cinnamon Pot Mat. Pot mats are wonderful gifts – just place a hot pot on them and soon the attractive scent of cinnamon is released by the heat and wafts through the air! I found this craft on Craftbits.com. All you’d need to create this Pot Mat is a small piece of organic cotton fabric such as our Style #16018 Twill, some organic cotton Batting/Stuffing, and Cinnamon Oil or Ground Cinnamon. This Pot Mat is so easy to make that even a child or beginning sewer could manage it. If you don’t care for the scent of cinnamon, try Peppermint Oil, or maybe Eucalyptus. Lots of scenting options can be found in craft stores in the candle-and-soapmaking aisles. Not only is this a great Mother’s Day gift idea, but I’m going to make several differently scented Pot Mats for Christmas gifts too.
♥ An idea that I came up myself with is easy to make, but takes a little more time and effort to complete.
You’ll need some organic cotton Denim fabric such as our Style #15783 and a plain straw beach-type hat (I found mine at Wal-Mart.) First I decided to color the natural fabric with a natural dye I made myself (more on this at the bottom of the page*). After the fabric dried, I cut a 2 1/2″ strip from it, turned the edges over 1/4″ and ironed them in place with a bit of fusible webbing to hold them there. Using this strip I created a hat band on the straw hat, sewing the ends together by hand (after cutting off the excess). I also placed a few stitches through the hat band into the actual hat, just to hold the band in place to prevent it slipping off.
With other pieces of the dyed denim, I fashioned several small fabric “roses”, using a few well-placed stitches to hold each rose closed. Then I attached them to the hat band. This can be done either by sewing them onto the hat band, or by inserting a small safety pin into each rose and pinning it to the hat band (which makes for easy removal if the wearer should decide they wish to take the fabric flowers off for any reason.) Additional matching roses could be attached to a straw beach bag, or glued to a brooch jewelry finding for Mom to pin onto her beach coverup which will complete the outfit!
If, like me, you do a quick online search you will find many easy FREE projects for those who don’t have a lot of sewing practice. And there are lots of FREE options for the more experienced crafters and sewers too.
Moms, sit down with your kids and have fun as you search together for projects to make for Aunts, Grandmothers, “Other Mothers”, next-door neighbors, babysitters, and other special women whom you’d like to acknowledge on Mother’s Day. Not only is this a wonderful bonding experience but just the act of creating a gift together will foster in your children an appreciation for making a meaningful gift from the heart with emotional value, instead of wasting a lot of money to purchase a sterile, expensive, store-bought gift.
Crafting a Mother’s Day gift teaches your children how to say “I love you” by using their imagination and without breaking the bank. And what Mom wouldn’t love a one-of-a-kind gift designed and created only for her to enjoy?
*About Homemade Fabric Dyes:
To make juice (or plant dyes) you need to take about 1/4 – 1/2 cup of a nature item, put it in a pot with about four cups of water, simmer on low for 1-2 hours, strain, and cool. When you add the coloring to something like homemade paint or clay, add a little at a time until you get the shade you want, much like you would food coloring. If you want to dye fabric, soak it overnight in the coloring. The vibrancy of the color depends both on the nature item used, and the amount you simmered.
Nature items to use:
For blue dye use: Red cabbage, blueberries, logwood chips, elderberries. or red onion skins
For yellow dye use: apple tree bark, marigold, turmeric, white onion skin, or goldenrod
For violet to purple dye use: Camellia or purple grapes
For pink dye use: Umbilicara (a type of lichen called Rock Tripe, which is actually edible and used in many Asian cuisines – it’s called “rock ear” in Chinese cuisine, and “rock mushroom” in Japanese cuisine. If you can’t find any of this outdo0rs, you might have luck in an Asian grocery.)
For brown and tan dye use: Coffee, walnut hulls, paprika, tea, greenbriar, or sassafras
For red dye use: cranberries or beets
For orange dye use: Yellow onion skin or oats
For green dye use: oak bark, peach leaves, or crab apple leaves and bark
*** DON’T FORGET TO SEND US A PHOTO OF YOUR CRAFT PROJECT
MADE WITH ORGANIC COTTON PLUS FABRIC! ***