10 Minute Pillow Cover & Lola’s Pop Up Card

I’ve been really wanting a black and white living room for some time now. I’ve been obsessed. But recently, reality hit and I looked around at my collection of roadside finds and inherited odds and ends to realize it just wasn’t going to happen. I think somehow I thought if I changed the colors I’d have one of those rooms from Pinterest. You know the ones – the ones that make you hate everything you own instantly. But as I looked around at the worn rag rug and random mix of colors, I kind of loved it again. Well, that or I just settled. Either way color is back at Casa Hoyt. [Pictures after I settle in with it a bit more.]

In embracing the things we had, I decided to give a tangled mess of yarn from a  failed arm knit blanket a new life. This matted bundle has been sitting there taunting me for a few months. I did eventually figure arm knitting out, but never took the time to unravel this guy to try again. Soooo, I decided to stuff it into a pillow cover instead. And for that I needed a pillow cover!

mess of yarn

Enter the shirt that has been patiently been waiting for me to either lose weight or to be donated. Instead of donating it (yep, you knew that would have been the end result), I chopped it up and created the world’s fastest, and most imperfect pillow cover. But it works and it’s super soft!

diy pillow cover from button up shirt

You’ll need:
Button-down shirt (Men’s or a boxy cut would work best, but I used a Ladies)
Pillow form (or batting, old t-shirts, or giant mess of yarn like me)

diy pillow cover from shirt

I knew my shirt wasn’t going to be a perfect square or rectangle because of the darts and curved seaming – but I was okay with that. Pillow covers are incredibly forgiving and the kids are going to have their feet all over it anyway!

I buttoned the shirt and then cut the top portion with the arms and collar off. I was super precise in my measurements cutting armpit to armpit. That’s a technical term, right? Don’t feel bad if you can’t hang with my highly advanced sewing techniques. After removing the arms and the collar, I left it buttoned and turned the shirt inside out.

cutting top of the shirt off

Then I sewed a straight line across both the top and the bottom. This could even be done no sew with hem tape or a glue gun!

sewing the bottom and top of shirt

It’s pretty easy to open the buttons even when the shirt is inside out.

pillow cover inside out

Turn it right side out and straighten your corners. You could press it here if you wanted, too. Ummm, I didn’t. Again, the small people will be putting feet on it and/or launching it at one another shortly.

Next I stuffed the Flying Spaghetti Monster mess of yarn into the cover, making sure to get enough in the corners and make it as lump-free as possible.

stuffing pillow cover

I quickly buttoned it up concealing the yarn, hairy chest inside. This Tom Selleck pillow will be our little secret, internet.

pillow hairy yarn chest

Then I threw it on the sofa and took a nap. Okay, so I can only dream about the nap part. But you should totally add that to your steps!
finished pillow with nap drawing

This one really was a “quick, easy DIY”. I have some men’s shirts stashed away with proper pillow forms. Maybe they should finally become pillows, too!

How about you? Go raid the closet or the thrift stores for some button or snap front shirts to make some of your own!

But before you do, Lola made a pop-up card that she really wanted you guys to see. Don’t you just love it?!  She says it’s the two of us dancing until a giant smashes us in a book. Alright then.

diy pop up card

Keep dancing darlins! But watch out for those giants. xo


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DIY Frosted Glass Windows: Beer & Epsom Salts

DIY Frosted Glass Window Glazing

I have two panels in my front door that are clear glass (and two that have colored film on them) that I love because I get so little light into the front of the house. But I also hate them because you can see straight through two rooms from the porch. We have curtains up and I don’t think about them much. But I was looking through some old craft books of my grandmother’s this weekend and found a “recipe” for frosted windows from beer and epsom salts. What?! Okay, I’ll bite.

Well, we all know how much I love epsom salt crafts (epsom salt sachets and diy bath bombs). But the only beer I have in the fridge right now is a big bottle of lambic that the man brought for Valentine’s Day. Hate to open it for just me, but I guess I’ll take one for the team and for privacy. Yeah, that’s what I’ll tell myself.

1 cup of beer
8 tablespoons epson salts
Soft towel and/or tissues

Add 8 heaping tablespoons of the salts into one cup of beer. (The “receipe” called for 4 but I doubled after applying to one window because it wasn’t covering enough.)

beer and epsom salt solution for window frosting

Let it sit for about 30 minutes to allow the salts to partially dissolve.  If that’s your thing, maybe drink some of the rest while catching up on all that Pinterest has to offer.

Apply the mixture to the window either with a paintbrush or the receipe said to “wash” the windows with the mixture. Going to try a cloth dipped in the mixture in a circular motion.

diy window frosting

While the window is still wet use a tissue to dab and pat any running mixture on the glass. I should have done this more – push the salts into the glass if you try this. Could look really lovely.

The mixture dries into a beautiful “frosted glass” crystals – well in some spots. Other spots look like I put epsom salts on my windows while drinking. Going to wait for it to dry for a few days and then add another layer or two. Calling this one a partial FAIL for the moment.

before & after window glazing

Think the sweetness will attract bugs? Hmmm, not so sure about this one but had to try it because she doggearred the page. Maybe she was drunk?! She does really like her wine…oh, grandma Rose. xo

I’ll keep you posted! It could get better. And with the snow that keeps falling we’ve time on our hands for experiments!




Easiest Pillowcase Tutorial & Aunt Nora’s Quilt

diy pillow case and aunt noras quilt

So, I feel a bit like a Missouri Star Quilt Company fan girl. I’m definitely not a quilter (as you can probably tell from my sewing skills), but I have a great love of quilting from afar. I can appreciate the colors, the amount of work that goes into it, the math…oh, the math.

I have a quilt at home that I adore. There aren’t really words to quite describe how special it is to me. It was made by grandmother’s sister, my Great Aunt Nora. I wasn’t close to her, but I always used it when I spent the night at my grandparents house.

aunt noras quilt blocks

From age 5 to over 35, I adored that quilt and would use it every time I visited. My grandmother gave it to me when she sold their house last year. This now tattered quilt has seen it all – it’s quelled nightmares, survived a million ice cream spills while watching kung fu movies with my grandpa, and even dried my tears when he passed.

I don’t mean to be sentimental about an object, but these stitched-together squares are an irreplaceable memento of my childhood that will someday belong to my children. When you stop to think about it, that’s pretty huge.

Kid in Quilt

I hope to one day be able to make something that has that kind of staying power – a handmade talisman, if you will, to keep my children safe and warm. But I’m not there yet.

But everyday I get a little closer, right? That’s what I keep telling myself.  I’m amazed at what I’ve been able to accomplish in this short time. Most of my projects have been utter disasters, but I’m trying and somehow I’m better for it.

So while, I’m not a quilter, I think I can now call myself a pillowcase maker! Is that a thing?? Probably not. But I did it! And so can you! Really.

pillow case tutorialpillowcase tutorial

I found this tutorial online and was really drawn in by the picture (how cute are those fabrics?!), but the tutorial confused me a little. Probably wouldn’t confuse you, but I’m kind of lazy when it comes to instructions.

So I tried the tube pillowcase by Missouri Star instead – it actually seemed easier and pretty cute with the third pop of color. Here’s the video and my experience with it below. Give this one a try. Finally an “easy” tutorial that was actually, pretty easy.

I decided to use some of the torn linens that I’ve stolen borrowed from my grandmother’s house over the years. I was pretty nervous to cut these, but like I mentioned in the softie pillow tutorial, good intentions will make it okay, right?

I’m not going to take you step by step through mine because Jenny can explain it way better in the video than I ever could. Mine is FAR from perfect, but I did it and immediately wanted to make more!

tube pillowcase images

Note: It wasn’t totally clear to me what size to cut the fabric from the video, but luckily a commenter said, “She is using fabric that is 45″ wide.  After cutting my pillowcase to 27″ I cut the short side to 20″, in so doing when the seams are sewn using a 0.25″ seam allowance, the finished product is 19.5″ wide.  That fit my pillow perfectly.  I also tried cutting the fabric to 24 inches for my first pillowcase, but discovered that when I was finished even with the addition of the cuff, the pillowcase was short; it just barely covered the pillow to the edge.

I followed their lead and cut 27″ x 20″ for the large piece and it worked great for my pillow.

I have big plans to make several more of these! We just swapped the kids rooms and it’d be fun to make them something that is just theirs for their new spaces.

Are you going to give this one a try? Be sure to share pics of your pillowcases and/or your favorite quilts!

Want more? That’s awesome, thanks! Here are a few popular posts: Knitting 101 & Free Pattern / DIY Running Shoe Makeover / Block Print with Food & Household items and lots and lots of pins over here.

[Video] Spray Foam Picture Frames

diy gold picture frames

As it started to get colder I used some spray insulation to fill a rather large gap around a window in my bedroom. And as careful as I tried to be it was a puffy, foamy mess – but it made some pretty cool shapes as the excess fell on the floor. Fast forward to when I was thinking about buying new picture frames for the living room. I wanted something gold and original, with an interesting shape. I remembered the spray foam! I saw something similar at a restaurant and knew I could replicate the look and feel of their gold, textured frames with the foam.

how to make picture frames

I love the way they turned out! It’s a pretty easy (albeit messy) project. You just need some of spray foam insulation, cardboard, and spray paint. We used Great Stuff brand and it’s pretty great stuff, indeed! You’ll want some gloves, newspaper, and scrap cardboard for your work space, too.

Here’s a quick video to show you how to make these diy picture frames. (I think I’m gonna start wearing kitchen gloves in all my videos. Safety first!)

I’m excited to keep playing with this technique. I think it would look fantastic as a frame around those craft store mirrors or maybe an update to a thrifted painting. Can’t wait to see what you guys come up with. Give this one a try and be sure to share pics if you do!

Lamp Shade DIY: Not All Projects are Winners

So, not all projects are winners. But this one had has potential. Just needs to be reworked, I think. I’m putting it out there to document the struggles along with the wins. And maybe to solicit your advice, pins, and/or suggestions.

I had a lamp shade that I wanted to recover as part of the black & white living room makeover that is SLOWLY happening. I had planned to use this top that I love the pattern of, but not the fit. I measured gestimated and thought that it just might work. It didn’t. Too narrow to fit around the shade. So the top has plans to become a pillow. It’s very excited.

shirt fabric

But back to the lamp shade. I have tons of fabric, I could use that. But then I remembered that I had quite bit of white plastic shelf liner left from a recent move. I knew it wouldn’t be a dramatic makeover, but something about the texture and the dots gave it a really modern, clean feeling.

lamp shade makeover

1. shade & liner, 2. removing trim, 3. cutting to size, 4. hot gluein’

I removed the faded black trim from the shade for an even surface. Then I measured and cut the shelf liner to fit. I hot glued the liner to the shade starting at the seam, burning my fingers all the way around. You could use spray adhesive for this one, too, probably.

lamp shade redo

I snipped a small cut in the liner around the metal part of the shade and hot glued along the inside of the lamp shade.

Finished attaching the liner to the shade and tried it on a table lamp and a floor lamp. It was “fine” on both – but nothing to write home (err, blog) about.

diy white lamp shade

Not doing justice to this white elephant, Jonathan Adler-esque lamp at all.

After being underwhelmed by this makeover, I thought I’d try to embroider the shade. I looked around and found beautiful geometric examples and decided on my pattern. Then I got lazy and made some weird star things in varying sizes. Not a huge fan.

lamp redo[Confession: I only did the front half to photograph because I already knew it wasn’t going to be permanent.] But the concept I like.

Think I will pull the embroidery floss out and try again with something more graphic and less, well…this. Suggestions? Thoughts?