Tutorial: Personalized Fabric Trimmed Towels

November 17th, 2011

Anyone on your gift list can use a new kitchen towel, I promise! Let’s face it, kitchen towels are extremely functional, but have constant turn over… so, why not make them fabulous too? Hi, Janell here for another  idea for a quick and thoughtful gift–make one for your own home while you are at it.

I am sewing with Jen Allyson’s fabulous Christmas fabric line: Holly Jolly from Riley Blake.


  • Fabric for decorating towels
  • Towels to be embellished
    (helpful hint: when possible pre-wash and dry your fabric, especially when using dark colors to prevent them from bleeding color onto your towels)
  • Additional trim such as ribbon, lace or rick rac
  • Scissors, sewing machine, measuring tape, thread and straight pins


  • Measure the width of the towel. Cut the fabric strips the width of the towel, plus one inch.  I like to layout my towel with the fabric and trim so I can see what the over-all effect will be.
  • Measure trim the width of the towel plus 1/2 inch and cut.


  • Turn under 1/2” on each long edge and press with your iron. Turn under 1/2” on each short edge and press.
  • Load your bobbin with thread that is the same color as your towel and the top thread the closest color to your trim and fabrics.  You may need to switch colors for the same towel, but keep the bobbin thread consistent.


  • Pin your fabric and additional trims with straight pins onto your towel.  Now you are ready to sew!
  • Start with the fabric and edge-stitch along front pressed edges of strip, through all thicknesses.
  • Decorate with more fabric strips and embellish with coordinating ribbons, lace, or ric-rac.
Pair your finished towel with your favorite bottle of hand soap and you have a wonderful gift that you’ll be proud of giving and the receiver will be pleased to get!

Lost & Found Christmas: Vingtage Holiday Tags

November 14th, 2011

Karen from The Bald Dragonfly here, and I happen to think that nobody describes the iconic holiday image better than Clement Clarke Moore from his poem, The Night Before Christmas. The image portrayed in Lost & Found Christmas is the spitting image of what is written…”…He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf…” It became a great focal point to my hand crafted holiday gift tags and ornament holder. The beautiful textures and patterns from the Lost & Found: Christmas line offer a nice vintage vibe, while the red glittered accents add a touch of sophistication and glam.

To make the tag/ornament holder, I started with an upcycled package from my boys’ toys. After washing and cleaning the inside and out, I carefully measured the Santa paper and cut to fit inside the packaging. After rounding the corners, I simply added a bit of repositional adhesive in strategic locations to secure the image to the clear packaging. I repeated for the back side of the packaging as well with the same sheet of paper. Then I wrapped some jute twine around the outside of the packaging, having secured that with hot glue.

The tags were created from various designs from the Lost & Found: Christmas collection and scrapbooking/cardmaking tools such as corner rounders, label die cuts, twine and fasteners. I found a bit of red, glittery ribbon that had been recycled from my mother-in-laws holiday arrangement from last year that was a perfect match to the red glitter accents! I simply added a strip of the lighter patterned paper to the back of the tags as a place for the address of the gifts.

Once the person that I gift this to has used up all the tags, the decorated box remains as a perfect place to store precious and delicate ornaments. It’s is like two gifts in one! The possibilities are endless for tag-making with this line. Mix and match patterns and shapes to add variety to your tag line-up or let your tags become more vintage by including such things as lace and buttons.

Pumpkin Dip Party Platter

November 4th, 2011

Pumpkin bread.  Pumpkin cheesecake.  Pumpkin muffins.
Pumpkin cookies.  Pumpkin pie.  Pumpkin fudge.

Pumpkin….I can’t get enough of it!

In case you haven’t figured it out, I LOVE pumpkin!  :)

Thanks to my good friend Pinterest, I came across a delicious
pumpkin pie dip
that will NOT disappoint!

But first, let’s think about presentation.

{I need to give props to Mindy of Best Energies Best Affections for the idea.  Thanks Mindy!}

Maybe it’s just me, but I do enjoy food presentation.

I’d much rather eat/serve chips out of a bowl, instead of a bag.
I’d much rather eat/serve caramel, dips,  salsas, etc out of bowls,
instead of the containers they came in.

So, when I wanted to put together a little treat platter to share at work,
I wanted it to look nice.

1. To start off, you need fun bowls!

While in San Francisco for a work training, I got to shop at Anthropologie!
{There isn’t a store located in Iowa.  Sad, I know!}

Because I can’t afford the clothing, I went and looked at the House & Home items,
because that stuff rocks!

In the end, here’s what I came home with.

Aren’t they awesome?!  {I now wish I would have gotten more!}

2.  Next, get some sort of big platter, tray, etc.  Thanks to Mindy and her grand idea,
I used a vintage round cake pan.

This isn’t just any cake pan.  I found it my Grandma’s attic.
So it does have some meaning behind it.

3.  Decide what you want to put in the bowls for dips and dippers.

I decided to go with honey wheat pretzels, honey graham crackers, and grapes.
I would have used apples as well….if I had some on hand.

I served honey crisp apples with this during a craft day, and the ladies loved it!

4.  Now for the dip!

Pumpkin Pie Dip

{Original recipe found here.}

My version of the recipe….

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2.5 cups powdered sugar
1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin pie filling
1+ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1+ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1+ teaspoon vanilla

Beat cream cheese and sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
Add pie filling, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla, beating well.
Cover and chill.
Serve with favorite dippers!

5.  Enjoy!

It not only tastes delicious, it looks great as well!

Another fun idea would be to use clear/white/solid colored bowls,
and add the fun to the pan itself.
Just line it with some scraps of material, scrapbook papers,
or one of your favorite cloth napkins.

Obviously, I didn’t think about that ahead of time.  But I will next time!
I just wanted to use my new bowls!  :)

This idea originated from Mindy as a veggie tray.
She had assorted veggies in different bowls, with a Ball jar of dip in the middle.

With the holiday season upon us, have fun with your treat/snack/dessert/drink presentation.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box!  You very well could be the hit of the party!