Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Make Your Own Floor Cloth (Tutorial)

You know those old sayings, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" or "measure twice, cut once"?  I must admit that when I was a young adult, I thought that those were just sayings.  Then, when my husband and I decided to paint our old Victorian home, I thought a nice soft yellow would be a great color (the house was white).  So I went to the paint store, selected a color card.  My husband had the brilliant idea of having the primer tinted just one shade lighter than the color I chose so we could see how we liked the color before we had actually painted the house.

Well, let me tell you, I'm so glad we did this.  Once the contractors had applied the primer, my house wasn't a nice soft shade of yellow! Nope!  It was so bright I needed sunglasses to keep from going blind.  Okay, I'm exaggerating but not by much.  Since then, I always make trial boards.   In the spirit of "measuring twice, cutting once," I'm going to share with you a tutorial on how to make a floor cloth.  A floor cloth is a great way to try out stenciling or painting on a floor or rug without the commitment or expense.





Now, if you're wondering what a floor cloth is, it's what it sounds like. It's a piece of cloth that has been prepared, decorated, and sealed so it can be used on the floor.   It's durable and adds a nice splash of color or pattern to a room. You can make them as small or large as you'd like.

Since today is a tutorial, we are going to gain experience without a lot of cost.  So, let's gather supplies first:

  • 1 yard of 100% cotton duck cloth canvas
  • Latex enamel paint
  • Acrylic paints
  • Water based polyurethane 
  • Sewing Machine Thread

I picked up my canvas at Wal-Mart for $5.97/yard.  This will be enough to make two "throw-sized" floor cloths. My latex enamel paint was a mis-tint from Home Depot and was $5 (I used about 1/3 of the quart).  


Directions:

Prepare Your Canvas
  • You need to pre-shrink your canvas before applying the paint.  Now since our project is small,  I tossed mine into the washer & dryer...NO FABRIC SOFTENER.  This is not how you would prepare a canvas that is larger because it would become a wrinkly mess and there is virtually no way to iron out the wrinkles.  Also, the crease in the fabric from where it was folded on the bolt WILL NOT iron out.  So, the fabric will be enough to make two floor cloths.
  • On the cotton setting, with spray, iron your fabric and remove as many wrinkles as you possibly can.  
  • Using the original "fabric bolt" fold as a guide, cut your fabric into two pieces.  Then lay out your fabric and cut to the desired size (allowing a 1" hem on all 4 sides).




Create A Mitered Corner


  • Press a 1" seam around all 4 sides of your canvas.  (I will refer to the side that "shows" the folded edges as the wrong side and the other side as the right side".  Using a marker or pencil, mark the intersection where the two seams cross in each corner.
  • Folding your fabric toward the right side (it will seem funny because it's going against the fold), bring the two marks together and fold the fabric diagonally.
  • Sew a diagonal seam from the point where the pressed seams intersect to the two marks on the canvas.





  • Trim off the excess fabric to remove the bulk.
  • Turn the seam and flatten.  Use the tip of your scissors or a butter knife to push out the corners so they are nice and square.





Finish Prepping Your Canvas

  • Press your newly mitered corners and all around the edges of your canvas.
  • Sew the edges of your canvas to make a nice, finished edge.





Okay, now that our canvas is prepped, are you ready to get painting?  You will need to apply your base coats with a latex enamel paint.  Do NOT use regular latex paint...it MUST be latex enamel.  This is a much more durable paint that won't crack.  I found a this mis-tint at Home Depot.




Painting Your Floor Cloth

  • You will want to paint your canvas on a tarp and on a flat surface.  With the right side down, paint over the seams (folded edges).  This will keep the floor cloth from fraying.  Dry thoroughly
  • Flip your floor cloth over so the right side is up.  Starting at one corner, apply your first coat of paint.  Try to apply your paint in the same direction.  It will take more paint than you think since the fabric will soak it up.  Once it is completely covered allow it  to dry.
  • Apply a second coat of paint and allow to dry thoroughly.




Now it's time to decorate your floor cloth.  I did mine free hand but you can use stencils, masking tape to create stripes, or whatever you's like.


  • Gather the acrylic paints that you'd like to use to decorate your floor cloth.
  • Paint/stencil/mask the design you'd like.  Have fun!  Trust me, it'll look GREAT!  Allow your floor cloth to dry over night.
  • Now you need to seal your floor cloth.  Apply 2-3 coats of a water based polyurethane.  I used Polycrylic but a water based polyurethane for floors would also work well.


Now place your floor cloth in your room!  I made mine to put in my woman cave next to my painted/upholstered chair.


Here's a view of my floor cloth in my woman cave. I think it looks amazing, don't you?


I hope you try making a floor cloth too!  I think I'll try making  a long runner for my hallway upstairs!  If you like this project, you should stop by my Woman Cave post.  This room used to be an old side porch that was just a storage dump place in our house.  In this room, I made a floor out of paper bags & RIT dye, I reupholstered the chair, I decoupaged the desk, I made the sewing machine cover,and more!  You can find the links to all these proejets by going to...



Monday, October 20, 2014

Colorful Coffee Cozies with Bonbons

Although it's mid October, the holiday season will be upon us before we know it.  I have many coffee & hot chocolate lovers on my gift giving list, don't you?  It's those hot beverage drinkers that this quick knit project has been created for.


I picked up this fun package of bonbons from Lion Brand Yarns.  I love this collection because there is a mix of super fun brights and more classical-type colors.  So I can make something for everyone.


Here's my coffee cozies made with the four brights.  These are definitely super fun and will appeal to either the young or young-at-heart crowd.


And here are the four "classical" colors.  Definite picks for those with a more conservative color pallet.



This is a super easy pattern and a great introduction to stranded color work knitting.  Each cozy can be whipped up in an evening.  The quick color changes also help keep boredom at bay.  Are you ready to whip some up for all those coffee lovers in your life?

Colorful Coffee Cozies w/Bonbons

This pattern is knit in the round.  You can knit on double points, two circulars, or one long circular for the magic loop.  Choose the method that you prefer.

Supplies:

4 Lion Brand Yarn bonbons or 4 different colors of DK weight yarn 
       *Each bonbon has 28 yards (26 m) of yarn & each one is enough to make two coffee cozies)
US 6 needles (3.75 - 4.5 mm) - double points, or circulars

Gauge:

7 stitches/inch

Abbreviations:

K - Knit
P - Purl
CO - Cast On
BO - Bind Off

Directions:

CO 60 stitches in color A


Round 1 - 4  Color A, K2P2 the entire round
Rounds 5 & 6   (Color A K2, color B K2) repeat until the end of round
Rounds 7 & 8   Color B, K
Rounds  9 & 10   (Color B K2, color C K2), repeat until the end of round
Rounds 11 & 12  Color C, K
Rounds 13 & 14  (Color C K2, Color D K2)  repeat until the end of round
Rounds 15 & 16  Color D, K
Rounds 17 & 18  (Color D K2, Color C K2)  repeat until the end of round
Rounds 19 & 20  Color C, K
Rounds 21 & 22  (Color C K2, Color B K2)  repeat until the end of round
Rounds 23 & 24  Color B, K
Rounds 25 & 26  (Color B K2, Color A K2)  repeat until the end of round
Round 27 - 30  Color A, K2P2 the entire round

Bind off loosely in K2P2 pattern

Weave in ends.  To block, dampen and place on a coffee travel mug.

If you prefer knitting from a chart, you can download one HERE.



They all fit beautifully on these travel mugs I picked up at the Dollar Tree.  You'll find these to be handy when purchasing those to-go coffees from your local coffee shop.




To be efficient with my yarn usage,  I reversed the order of my yarn colors when completing the complimentary mug cozy.



I'd love to see the cozies you knit up for your coffee loving friends!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

6 Slow Cooker Recipes AND The Project Stash Link Party

I've finally gotten back into my blogging groove and I'm having a blast.  I've been cooking & crafting and just having a lot of fun!  In case you missed anything, here's what I shared with everyone.





When we looked through all the amazing projects that linked up to last week's Project Stash, we decided to feature Slow Cooker Recipes.  Why? Well, because with everyone's hectic schedules, the good old crock pot makes home cooked meals possible.  Check 'em out!




Pumpkin for Puree in the Slow Cooker from Homemaking Hacks
 Bacon Wrapped Crock Pot Chicken from Daily Dish Magazine
Slow Cooker French Chicken from Polka Dots and Paisley
Slow Cooker Chipotle Copycat Barbacoa Beef from Your Homebased Mom
Crock Pot Bacon Cheeseburger Soup from a little Claireification
Crock Pot Pumpkin Spice Latte from Smile for No Reason


I love all these recipes, don't you?  My guys LOVE Chipotle's barbacoa beef so I'll probably make that one first.  Which recipe will be on the top of your "to try" list?  If you were featured, grab a button and strut your stuff!


4 You With Love




Now, onto this week's party.  Let's start with me introducing you to The Project Stash co-hostesses!



It Happens in a Blink Seven Alive 4 You with Love
on Facebook on Facebook on Facebook
on Twitter on Twitter on Twitter
on Pinterest on Pinterest on Pinterest

When you link up to The Project Stash, your projects are shown on all three blogs!  Also, when you are featured, your project will also be shown on all three blogs.  We also pin features to our Project Stash Features Pinterest Board.  If you'd like, take a moment to add our button to your blog somewhere - the more the merrier!  


4 You With Love


   
Now, let's get this week's party started.  Before you link up, please review our guidelines!  I can't wait to see what you've been up to this week!


Guidelines:
  • No shops, please. Giveaways and projects are welcome.
  • Feel free to link more than one.
  • Visit a couple other links and share some comment happiness.
  • By linking up, you are giving us permission to feature you on round-ups and social media.


Honey Roasted Nut Butter in Just 5 Minutes!

If you've been following along, you've probably noticed that one of my current obsessions is with making my own nut butters.  Two of the recipes I've shared recently include Chocolate Almond Butter and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Butter.  Those two are really yummy and if you like Nutella type spreads, you'll LOVE them.

Today, I'm sharing a recipe that is almost too easy to share...I'm almost embarrassed. However, you'll LOVE  how easy it is and I bet that in no time, you'll no longer be purchasing nut butters at the store. Nope, you'll be whipping up your own at home!

Honey Roasted Peanut Butter


Trust me,you can make Honey Roasted Nut Butter in 5 minutes.  The key is to use a food processor rather than a blender.  I remember the first time we tried making peanut butter at home when the kids were little. We were watching a VHS tape entitled, "Things to Do on a Rainy Day".  Making peanut butter was one of the activities and they made it in a blender.  Well, the kids and I were excited to try this but the blender just didn't work for us.


So, fast forward about 10 years.  I decided to give making peanut butter (and other nut butters) another try.  This time I used my food processor (fitted with the large blade) and O....M....G..... these butters are ssssooooo good!  Are you ready to get started making today's nut butter?


Honey Roasted Nut Butter


Ingredients:

  • Honey Roasted Peanut or Honey Roasted Mixed Nuts
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil, optional




Yes, you are looking at the ingredient list correctly.  Basically, all you need are some store bought honey roasted nuts and your food processor. Natural nut butters will separate.  In other words, the oil will float to the top.  If you add a bit of coconut oil, which is solid at room temperature, this will help keep the natural oils suspended throughout your nut butter.

Directions:

  • Place the peanuts/nut mix in your food processor and begin blending
  • After a couple of minutes, you will see that your nuts are beginning to clump together like dough.
  • After about 4 minutes, you will see that the nut butter has smoothed out.  (At this time, your nut butter will sound a bit more liquid-y when the food processor is running).
  • Scrape down the sides and add the coconut oil, if you choose to.  Process one minute more to thoroughly incorporate the coconut oil.




That's it!  Just pour your new butter into a jar.  Allow your butter to sit a couple of hours, if you can.  The processing has made the nut butter warm and so it is a bit "gloopy".  Allowing it to sit will give your yummy nut butter a bit more body.


honey roasted nut butter


The honey roasted nuts give this nut butter a super yummy flavor and there's not need to add any salt or sweetener!

I hope you enjoy this goodie as much as I do...I think I'll spread some on some fresh picked apples! mmmmmm!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Keep Calm and Eat Candy Corn FREE Printable

Can you believe that it's already October 14?  Yes, Halloween is just 17 days away!  That means that we are all looking for quick and easy, last minute crafts, costumes, and decorating ideas.  Last year, I shared my (Black and White) Free Printable for "We've Been Booed"...just some fun for your friends and neighbors.

Today, I was inspired by the "Keep Calm" posters and the candy corn trend for decorating this year.  I put together this FREE Printable for you.




I hope you like this! I know I do!  I've created two sizes for you to enjoy.  However, before you download these, you agree to the following:

  • 4 You With Love printables are for PERSONAL USE ONLY!
  • You may not modify, re-sell, redistribute, or claim the design as your own
  • Please do not remove the credits & copyright.
  • If you post this on the internet, credit must be given to 4 You With Love and linked back to my blog

8 x 10 "Keep Calm" printable HERE

5 x 7 "Keep Calm" printable: HERE


Okay, everyone, let's all keep calm and grab your candy corn!  Oh, and if you love paydays, check out my recipe for Autumn Pay Days!  Super easy and very delicious!