Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box Set

Hipsters rejoice!  Foxes and cats are SO last year.  Alpacas are now joining the ranks of most celebrated hipster mascots.   Alpacas are funny.  Their fuzzy, pouty lips and crazy hair make them look completely ridiculous and adorable at the same time.  When I saw this alpaca as I was browsing through the Cricut image library, I fell in love and knew I had to use him on a project.  With back to school time approaching, I thought I'd make a silly, eco-friendly alpaca lunch box set for my kids to fight over take to school.  

Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box Set | popperandmimi.com


The hipster dork factor with this lunch box set is high.  Everything is reusable and eco-friendly (and DIY), which increases its hipster clout.  The retro metal lunch box is just the cherry on top.  Although not hipsters, my kids, ages 8 and 10, still don't mind taking a lunch box to school.  However, unlike a hipster, they wouldn't be caught dead taking a Transformers or Dora lunch box to school anymore. Rather than search high and low for the perfect non-dorky lunch boxes, I bought plain metal lunch boxes and used my Cricut Explore to create custom vinyl decals.  


Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box Set

DIY Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box Set | popperandmimi.com
I kept the color palette simple and chose colors that would compliment the metal.  I die cut black, white, and yellow vinyl with my Cricut and applied them to the lunch box and thermos.  

Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box Set | popperandmimi.com
When the alpaca lunch box is opened up, there are all sorts of other reusable, eco-friendly goodies inside--a thermos, cloth napkin, and a reusable lunch bag.  



DIY Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box Set | popperandmimi.com
The alpaca thermos is my favorite.  That little yellow alpaca makes me so happy!


Eco-Friendly Resuable Alpaca Sandwich Bag and Cloth Napkin | popperandmimi.com
I sewed a simple cloth napkin and reusable sandwich bag and applied die cut iron-on transfers that coordinated with the lunch box and thermos.  Check out this blog post for a tutorial on how to make reusable vinyl lined sandwich bags.  I am hopeful that they will help reduce the number of plastic bags and napkins my kids use this year.  


Eco-Friendly Reusable Alpaca Sandwich Bag | popperandmimi.com
Die cutting the Cricut iron-on transfer material was super easy.  The Cricut iron-on material cut perfectly the first time and was easy to apply to the fabric.  The more alpacas the merrier!  


How To Apply Adhesive Vinyl

Die cutting adhesive vinyl with Cricut Explore | popperandmimi.com
Die cutting adhesive vinyl with the Cricut Explore is a piece of cake.  Simply set the dial to the vinyl setting and follow the instructions on the screen.  The machine takes care of the rest for you. 


How to apply adhesive vinyl | popperandmimi.com
The first thing you need to do after your image is die cut is to weed out the parts of the image that you don't want to transfer to your project.  Use a sharp object, such as a weeding tool, to gently remove the parts of the image you don't want.  This alpaca had an itty bitty face and the weeding tool removed it without a problem.  



How to apply adhesive vinyl | popperandmimi.com
After your image is weeded, cut a piece of transfer paper about the same size as the backing on your vinyl transfer.  Peel the backing from the transfer tape and apply to your image.  


How to apply adhesive vinyl | popperandmimi.com
Using a scraping tool, apply firm, even pressure over the entire vinyl transfer.  This ensures that your entire image will lift from the backing when you peel off the transfer paper. 


How to apply adhesive vinyl | popperandmimi.com
After you have applied the transfer paper to the vinyl, gently peel the transfer paper and vinyl off of the vinyl backing.  


How to apply adhesive vinyl | popperandmimi.com
Place your vinyl transfer on your project and apply firm, even pressure with the scraping tool to transfer the vinyl to your project.  


How to apply adhesive vinyl | popperandmimi.com
Next, slowly and gently peel the transfer paper off of your project.  If any of the vinyl starts to lift, apply pressure over the transfer paper again.


Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box | popperandmimi.com
Repeat this process with all of your vinyl pieces until your project is complete. 


DIY Eco-Friendly Alpaca Thermos | popperandmimi.com
Apply vinyl to curved surfaces using the same technique.  I had no problem adhering the yellow alpaca to the thermos.  


Eco-Friendly Alpaca Lunch Box Set | popperandmimi.com
A big thanks to the folks at Cricut for generously giving me a new Cricut Explore with which to make these fun goodies.  For more information on the new Cricut Explore, visit their website HERE.  

Happy lunching!

Amanda

If you like this project, you may also like these: 

Hipster Cat Card | popperandmimi.com

Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag Tutorial | popperandmimi.com

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag Tutorial

Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag Tutorial | popperandmimi.com


I am not opposed to using plastic Ziploc bags, I just like to minimize the use of disposable plastic where I can.  On any average school day, I send my kids to school with up to three sandwich bags each, not including any pre-packaged snacks. I have seen reusable sandwich/snack bags here and there, but they are either way too pricey or they don't have a sturdy plastic lining.  Lunches make messes and a regular fabric wrap isn't going to do a very good job of containing a smooshed PB&J.  So I set out to create my own reusable fabric sandwich bags.  

As I was searching for laminated cotton fabric online to make some reusable fabric sandwich bags, I ran across iron-on vinyl.  Whoa.  In my mind this could be a total game changer.  You see, laminated cotton fabric, although awesome, can run upwards of $15/yard.  It was hard for me to justify spending that much money for a sandwich bag that my kids would wreck/lose/throw away.  Iron-on vinyl seemed like a perfect solution.  Not only was it less expensive, I could apply it to any scrap of fabric I had in my stash.  A cheap mom lifesaver.  


Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag Tutorial | popperandmimi.com


So I gave the iron-on vinyl a go.  These reusable fabric sandwich bags were super easy to make.  Once I got all of my supplies together and got into a groove, I whipped up a bunch of bags in no time.  Using a variety of fabric scraps and fat quarters that I found in my sewing drawer, I made bags that everyone in the whole family can use/lose. 




Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag Tutorial

Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag supplies | popperandmimi.com
To make a reusable fabric sandwich bag you will need:


That's pretty much it.  If you have a rotary cutter and a long ruler thingy, it will make things go a bit quicker, but neither are necessary.  



Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag fabric | popperandmimi.com
Start by cutting two 17" x 7.75" pieces of fabric.  One of these will be the outside of the bag, the other will be the vinyl-lined liner. 


Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag vinyl lining | popperandmimi.com
Trim a 16.5" x 7.25" piece of Heat-n-Bond iron-on vinyl


Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag with Heat-n-Bond vinyl lining | popperandmimi.com
Peel the paper backing off of the vinyl and iron it to the right side of your liner fabric.  


Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag with vinyl lining | popperandmimi.com
Double check for schmutz before you place the vinyl on your fabric.  I failed to do this initially and ended up having to pry little threads/cat hairs/bugs off of the sticky vinyl.  Not fun.  Once your vinyl is ironed on, threads/cat hairs/bugs will become a permanent part of your lunch bag.


Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag iron-on vinyl lining | popperandmimi.com
Iron on the vinyl according to the manufacturer's directions.  THRIFTY TIP: Use a piece of regular ol' baker's parchment paper as a non-stick barrier between the vinyl and the iron.  


Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag sew with right sides together | popperandmimi.com
With right sides together, pin your fabric layers together and stitch with a 3/8" seam allowance.  TIP: Sew the layers together with the vinyl lined fabric on the top.  This will help keep your layers from sliding around too much.


Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag leave a small opening | popperandmimi.com
Be sure to leave a 2"-3" gap when you stitch so you have room to turn your bag right side out.


Snip excess fabric from the corners of the bag to eliminate excess bulk when you turn your bag right side out.


Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag iron out wrinkles | popperandmimi.com
Yikes!  Your bag will look terribly wrinkly after you turn it right side out.  Never fear!  Use your trusty parchment paper and press both sides of the bag with an iron.  OCD crisis averted.  Whew!


Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag sew in Velcro | popperandmimi.com
Sew a 2" piece of Velcro to the top flap and inside of the bag.  The top piece of Velcro is about 1/2" from the top of the bag, and the bottom piece of Velcro is placed about 1" from the edge.  You can customize the size of your bag by varying the length of the flap.  The flaps on my bags are about 2.5" long

Top stitch the inside flap of the bag before you sew the sides of the bag together.  This isn't absolutely necessary, but adds a nice detail.  


Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag Tutorial | popperandmimi.com
Pin your bag together and sew all the way around leaving about 1/4" seam allowance. 

Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag Tutorial | popperandmimi.com
Fill the bags with sandwiches, crackers, grapes, and any other yummy lunch box goodies.  Oh, and remind the kids not to throw them away with the rest of their lunch.  

(NOTE: The Heat-n-Bond iron-on vinyl is washable in cold water and can be air-dried, however I have yet to wash and dry these bags.)


Reusable Fabric Sandwich Bag

Here are the sandwich bag instructions all summed up: 

  1. Cut two 17" x 7.75" pieces of fabric.
  2. Cut a 16.5" x 7.25" piece of Heat-n-Bond iron-on vinyl and iron on to the right side of the liner fabric.
  3. Sew fabric pieces with right sides together, leaving a small hole to turn the bag right side out. 
  4. Iron bag and sew in Velcro
  5. Top stitch inside edge and sew sides of bag together.  



Vinyl Lined Fabric Sandwich Bag Tutorial | popperandmimi.com


Happy lunch making!

Amanda

If you like this project, you may also like these:



Monday, July 21, 2014

Peaches and Cream Argyle Embroidery Hoop Decor

I am a huge fan of embroidery hoop decor.  They are inexpensive and fun and easy to make.  They are lovely as individual pieces or art or grouped together in clusters.  Inspired by the delicious peaches in Chickaniddy Crafts' Twirly Girly collection, I made a peaches and cream argyle embroidery hoop decor piece to brighten up my kitchen.

Peaches and Cream Argyle Embroidery Hoop Decor

Peaches & Cream Embroidery Hoop Decor | popperandmimi.com


Nothing says summer quite like fresh, juicy peaches.  It was love at first sight when I first saw the peaches in the Twirly Girly collection.  I knew they had to be front and center on a project.  



Stitched paper argyle pattern | popperandmimi.com
I machine-stitched the diamond argyle pattern, but it would look just as lovely with hand-drawn faux stitching.



Paper peach die cuts and flower brads | popperandmimi.com
I adhered one large peach and two small peaches to the hoop, using varying heights of foam squares to add dimension.  I couldn't resist the darling flower brads and added a few of those, too.



Seam binding double bow | popperandmimi.com
After I added the peaches and flowers, I used by Bow-Easy bow maker to make a sweet double bow to adhere to the top of the hoop.



Create an argyle pattern with patterned paper | popperandmimi.com
To create the argyle pattern I first traced the hoop onto a piece of cardstock.  Next, I die cut diamonds from patterned paper and adhered them to the cardstock.  Afraid that adhesive will gum up my sewing machine, I strategically placed the adhesive near the corners of the diamonds where I knew I wouldn't be stitching.  


Stitched paper argyle pattern | popperandmimi.com
I machine-stitched the diamonds with a dark thread that contrasted nicely with the lighter diamonds.  I just kept flipping and rotating the sheet as I completed one row of stitching.  I wasn't worried about how the edges looked as I would be trimming the excess later. 


Trim excess paper from embroidery hoop | popperandmimi.com
After stitching the diamonds, I adhered the inner hoop to the back of the cardstock with liquid adhesive.  After the hoop dried, I trimmed away the excess paper with a craft knife.  TIP: Place a book on top of the hoop while the adhesive dries.  



Peaches & Cream Embroidery Hoop Decor | popperandmimi.com
I secured the outer hoop to the inner hoop before adding my bow and embellishments.  

Peaches & Cream Embroidery Hoop Decor | popperandmimi.com
Now I have a pretty piece of decor that will brighten up my space all year long.  

Happy crafting!


Amanda

If you like this embroidery hoop decor, you may also like these embroidery hoop decor pieces: 

Paper Flower Embroidery Hoop Decor | popperandmimi.com

Cross-stitched Heart Embroidery Hoop Decor | popperandmimi.com