Friday, July 29, 2011

I heart Spain

I had two pillows in my living room that needed new covers. First I made a peace sign pillow cover and meant to make this one soon after. Other projects have been getting in the way but I finally found time to make the second cover!


First I cut the fleece material down to size.
And sewed on the zipper.
Then I printed off a map of Spain and traced it onto the grey felt.
I cut out Spain and cut out a small heart from my red fleece.
I hand sewed the heart onto Spain.
I tried sewing it near where Madrid is located. It's...kind of close. 
I pinned Spain onto the blue fleece.....
....and hand sewed it on using grey thread.
All that was left was sewing the edges of the pillow case and shoving the pillow in.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I saw this hamper on and decided to make one.

We don't have room for a hamper anywhere in our bedroom and have been putting our dirty clothes in a hamper in the guest bedroom...which is annoying. This idea is perfect because it can hang on the back of our door and won't take up any room.

-Pillow case (I bought 3 at a thrift store for under $2)
-Embroidery hoop, 10'' diameter (from the thrift store - 39 cents)
-Fabric scraps

I decided to add two straps to hang my mine from since I didn't think one strap would be strong enough. We also already had two hooks on the back of our bedroom door so that worked out well.

I cut the material to make the straps. I used t-shirt material from my box of scrap material.

Then I sewed the ends together to make a loop. I overlapped the material by one inch.
I wasn't too concerned about the look but wanted the straps to be strong so I sewed three lines.
I put the loops around the embroidery hoop and put the hoop on the pillow case.
Then I hung it up!

Now we won't have our dirty clothes living in the guest room and have a nice, out of the way, hamper in our room. :-)

Monday, July 25, 2011

Another wedding date pillow

One of my amigas just recently got married (congrats!) so I made a wedding date pillow for her and her mate.

My original pillow and tutorial can be found here.

I made hers the same way but I made a square pillow and used a different fabric.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Inspired readers

This post is far far overdue.

Two readers were inspired by my heart wall art and sent me photos of their projects. I'm too embarrassed to say exactly how long ago they sent me these photos...but it's been a while. 

And of course this post would have been great around Valentine's Day (since both readers did their projects for Valentine's Day...) but time has escaped me and here I am posting heart projects in July. The end of July :-)

Tonya created her own version of the heart wall art for her two kids.

For her daughter she did sheet music with a red heart in the middle. 
For her son - she printed off schematics for a computer and used a blue heart.
Here's a close up shot of the hearts.
Both of her kids loved their heart wall art!

Annette made a mini version in a photo frame. She used photos for the main hearts and then added a coloured heart. I love how the black and white photos look on the pink paper.

P.S. Have you made any of the projects that I've posted? If you have - I'd love to see them. You can send either photos or a link to a blog post. There's a "contact me" link in the upper left or you can just e-mail me at secretpieshoppe at

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Featured @ Polly Want a Crafter

Cassity at Polly Want a Crafter is featuring my sun shade today! You can see the post here.

Feel free to stop by and check it out along with all of the other great crafts features and posts on her site. She even has a link party every Monday.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Air Mail Curtain

I've been slowly working on my air mail curtain and am happy to say that it is done and I love how it turned out! Painting is not a skill I possess and is something I usually avoid doing (I even avoid just painting rooms in our casa) so I was very happy with the curtain. I only messed up the paint on one spot and, of course, it happened at the very end. N tells me no one will notice and I pretend to believe him. :-)

A while ago I posted about making the drop cloth curtain. For a recap, here is what it looked like before I painted it. As you'll notice in the end photos, the light doesn't shine through the curtain as much. We had thermal curtains that we used before so I used them as lining for the air mail curtain.
I thought that painting it to look like an air mail envelope might look neat. And if least it'd be unique?

I created an image in PowerPoint.
Image details: 
The font I used is Fountain Pen Frenzy (which you can get for free on

The stamp was drawn by my ever-so-amazing mate. I found an image of a stamp with Queen Isabela on it and knew that there was no way I could paint that. I tried to change it in photoshop to a more drawable image but it wasn't working out. N offered to draw the stamp in a way that I could actually paint. I took him up on the offer and he came up with this.

Original stamp -----------------> Our stamp

(as you can see in the final curtain I did not paint the line under espaƱa or the lines around correos)

We taped the curtain to the wall, set up the projector and began to trace everything. We used a red coloured pencil for the red lines, a blue pencil for the blue lines and a regular pencil for the black lines.

Then I clamped it to a table and began to paint.
 And paint.
 And paint.
After days of painting (I had to let one area dry before painting another are so I was only able to do a section at a time) I finished!

As soon as the paint dried we bought it to the kitchen and hung it up. I love how it turned out and think it looks great in the kitchen.

All of the hard work and stressful painting = worth it! 
Close up details.
More photos of the completed curtain!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Organzing the pegboard

This has been organized for a while...but I was busy working on the sun shade and apparently didn't have time to post.

We bought a pack of peg organizers at Home Depot and then bought a few extra pieces that we thought we'd need to go along with that. We found a pack of three baskets too - these work great for all of the random things we had or the things that are too small to hang (the smallest basket is full of tiny screwdrivers)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A sun shade

It has been unbearably hot here. Mega hot and humid. We like spending time on our deck but obviously don't enjoy spending time on the deck in 90+ weather with the sun beating down on us.

As a joint birthday present my mom bought us a sun shade so we could cover part of our deck. Unfortunately the sizing didn't work with a deck. We returned it and were inspired to make our own!

First we wanted to make sure we could even find a way to make this work before we went out and bought material. So off to Home Depot we went.

We bought two metal poles ($10 each), an assortment of hardware (around $15), pvc pipe and some pvc pieces (less than $10). The metal poles are 10 feet tall and are the kind used for chain link fences.

We have two hooks on the side of our house already for hanging a projector screen on so we can watch movies outside. We decided to use these for the sun shade and based the location of the poles off of that.

After my engineer husband figured out the details he got to work.

Here are the pvc pieces we bought. The metal pole fits inside of the tube perfectly. 
The pieces got assembled...

The cap is on the end that is going into the ground. This way no dirt will get in.
These photos show the top that can come on and off. This way we can put the cap on when we're not using the sun shade and the pvc pipe won't get full of dirt, rocks, etc.
 And then N dug a hole in the ground, put the pipe in and buried it in. He did a great job of packing in the ground/rocks around it. It is going no where.
 Here is it with the cap on.
 Next he put the brackets onto the deck.
And then put in the pole! They are easy to put in and just as easy to take out when the sun shade is not in use.

After we realized that the poles were sturdy and the spacing worked out with using the hooks we already had on the house we decided to get some fabric!

We found a great greenish and brown striped fabric (thick, in the upholstery section) and bought 9 3/4 yards of it. It cost about $70.00.

Since the fabric wasn't wide enough we measured and cut the fabric so that the seam would be in the middle. Then I got to work hemming all of the edges. 

I sewed.. and sewed...and sewed.
Then I sewed the two pieces together. Magically I was able to work is out so that the stripes continue seamlessly, even with the two pieces sewn juntos. (side note: I used upholstery thread for this part and for sewing on the straps. For the rest I used regular thread)
After sewing the two pieces together we took it outside to figure out the exact sizing. One side would be straight but the other end needed to be angled so we used some hooks and mock-hung it up to see what kind of angle we needed. We marked on each side where it lined up with the pole and then connected the lines. We cut the fabric, hemmed it and just hoped it would work out.

Next came the straps. I cut the material and hemmed the ends. 
Then the sides got folded in and sewn.
I got the metal rings ready to go.......

 And sewed as close as I could to each one.
The straps are done!
We placed them on each corner and sewed them on. This was probably the most difficult sewing part.The corners were already pretty thick and after adding the straps too them it was probably more than my sewing machine could handle...but we got through it.
Here are what the connections look like.....

.....connected to the pole. The cap that goes on the pole has a circle at the top that the s-hook links into. 
.....connected to the hooks that we already had on the side of our casa. These hooks were purchased in the gardening section of home depot. I think they're made to hang flowers from your house. We use them to hang our projector screen (which we bought cheap on craigslist) and a sun shade. :-) To attach the sun shade we just used an s-hook and something that the packaging tells me is a "quick link".
The first thing we did when we finished was go to starbucks to get two cold drinks and we relaxed under the shade. Sooo nice. 

Here is it all hung up! Complete with the blanket we've been laying on/eating our dinner on ever since we finished the shade. When I took these photos it wasn't too sunny so you can't see the difference it makes but it definitely brings our deck from unbearable to amazing. :-)

 Here's a closer shot so you can see the fabric.



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