Use Your Noodle! Sachet Boot Shapers

Boot-insert-finalWhile checking out some storage options at Organized Living, I noticed these Bamboo Charcoal Tall Boot Shapers for $19.99. My first thought was,

Those are shaped just like pool noodles!

Luckily (given the winter weather), I had an extra pool noodle from another project wasting space in a closet, so I hatched a DIY hack plan, also inspired by these sneaker sachets. Warning – this project involves supremely subpar sewing skills.

Here’s what I used to make 4 sets:

Boot-insert-supplies

Sachet Ingredients Other Materials Tools
  • 1 pool noodle
  • 1.5 yards of fabric
  • matching thread
  • ribbon
  • measuring cups and spoons
  • large glass bowl
  • box cutter/X-acto knife
  • scissors
  • sewing machine and pins
  • plastic funnel


Directions:

  1. Mix sachet ingredients in a glass bowl.
    I started with 1 cup of baking soda, 10 drops tea tree oil + 3 TB lavender, but ended up adding more lavender and oil.  Don’t be afraid to tailor the ratio to your personal liking.
  2. Cut 2 pieces from the noodle (almost boot height) using the box cutter.
  3. Cut fabric pieces with scissors – 1 rectangular piece and 1 circle per noodle.
    The rectangular pieces should be 3″ longer lengthwise and 1″ wider than the circumference of the noodle. The circle should be 3/4″ larger than the circumference of the noodle.
  4. Hem the top edges of the rectangular pieces with a straight stitch.
  5. Align, pin and sew the edge of 1 circle to the bottom edge of 1 rectangular piece.
    Repeat for other shaper. Don’t worry about perfection, or if your rectangular edge and circle don’t match up perfectly.
  6. Place 1 noodle in the fabric so that the end of the noodle is flush with the circle. Wrap and pin the sides of the rectangular piece together to make a close-fitting sleeve (but not super tight).
  7. Remove the noodle and sew the pinned seam.
    Repeat steps 6 and 7 for other shaper.
  8. Turn the sleeves right side out and slide a noodle in each.
  9. Add TBs of the sachet mixture into each noodle hole, using a funnel at the top, until full.
  10. Tie off each filled noodle with ribbon.

Boot-Insert-Blog

I had enough supplies on hand to make 4 sets of these fragrant boot wonders, which works out to roughly $10/set. The cost could be even lower, if I’d had another pool noodle on hand!

Boot-inserts-views

At less than $10/set, these may be next year’s surprise handmade Christmas gift to some of my female relatives and friends!

Nail and String Art Tree

This piece of DIY decor is inspired by a wedding escort display highlighted on greenweddingshoes.com, which I noticed on Pinterest, of course. I was quite taken with the opportunity to create a large scale piece with texture and a feature color at minimal cost.

I loosely followed Green Wedding Shoe’s DIY String Heart instructions:

  • Fetched a piece of plywood from the basement and stained it
  • Drew a tree on paper, cut it out and taped it to the wood
  • Hammered nails along the outline of the tree
  • Strung teal colored string around the nails in no particular pattern

Hammering the nails became a several-day project, to allow my hand to recover in between hammering sessions. Easily the worst part of this project – everything else was easy.

Total Cost: $15 (for stain, 2 boxes of nails and a ball of string)

This baby now has a prominent home above my mantel. And… a newly discovered bonus role as a Christmas Card holder!

Nail-String-Tree-Art

Painted Nursery Mobile

I’ve seen quite a few nursery mobiles floating around Pinterest lately, and given my recent obsession with circle-shaped decor elements, I was particularly drawn to this DIY Better-Than-Paint-Chip Mobile and Stylish Nursery on the Cheap Mobile. Both are made essentially by hanging strings of circles from an embroidery hoop. I was drawn to the double-hoop system of the paint chip mobile, and how the circles were strung, but preferred the more sparse/clean appearance of the cheap mobile.

Challenge: I didn’t want to make the circles out of paper or something that probably wouldn’t last long = no paint chips.  I really wanted to make a mobile with felt circles, but I couldn’t find any stiff felt in the right colors.

Solution: I found and purchased 3 packs of thin wooden circle slices in assorted sizes at Pat Catan’s. I painted them in various shades with paint I already had, and used a thumb tack to push two holes in their centers (like buttons!). I made “columns” by stringing together several slices of the same color, plus one red slice. I tied each “column” to the embroidery hoop.

mobile-in-progress

Final Result:

mobile-final


Now that I have another embroidery hoop, string and stain, I could make another mobile for the cost of circle slices or $6.

Twine-Wrapped Initial Letters

Wrapping those standard cardboard initial letters with string or twine is a great way to spruce them up while adding texture. We couldn’t hang anything up at our wedding reception, so I painted extra original doors from my century home and placed them behind the bar. With the addition of a homemade ribbon garland (I tied strips of ribbon to a length of twine), poms and our initials, the doors transformed a simple bar top into a welcoming locale.

twine-letters

Photo courtesy of Wilmack Photo.

I followed this Yarn Covered Monogram Letter tutorial fairly closely, except instead of yarn , I used twine sourced from Home Depot.

Challenge: Because of the twine’s thickness and the shape of the letters, a different wrapping strategy was needed for each letter to prevent massive unevenness.

Solution: For the flat ends of the letters, I cut small strips of twine until I had enough to tape over the ends of the letter. Then I followed the tutorial wrapping instructions. My method left small gaps at the corners, but because the base letter and the twine were the same color, they weren’t noticeable.

Total Cost: $15

Light Columns à la Martha

My wedding planner found these fantastic light column instructions on marthastewart.com. Spoiler alert: this was an expensive project! But, I wasn’t allowed to hang anything in our reception venue, and for the price, I was happy with the unique visual element these added to our reception. I’ll probably reuse them for a homemade photo booth in the future, and the lanterns and lights can be used again and again for other purposes.

light-column-engineering

Challenge: Because our venue was inside, I couldn’t just shove some dowel rods into the ground. I needed a system that could adequately support the columns while keeping them upright, yet be easily disassembled for transportation in my car.

Here’s what I used: 

  • 3/4″ dowel rods instead of 1″ (I found dowels longer than 48″ at Menard’s),
  • Terracotta pots turned upside down for the base (the hole in the bottom is a nearly perfect fit for the 3/4″ dowel rod)
  • Pool noodles (another near perfect fit for the 3/4″ dowel rod!)
  • (32) 14″ lanterns sourced from Luna Bazaar for $60.60 including $11 shipping
  • (8) strands of white Bridal Lights

light-columns
Before the wedding, I:

  • Unwrapped all of the lanterns
  • Painted the pots
  • Cut the noodles with an x acto knife and bundled them together with masking tape
  • Miter-sawed the dowel rods to size and masking-taped the stringed lights to the dowel rods

My planner assembled the pieces at the venue and voilà!

Total Cost for 8 Columns: $200 (or $25 per column)

Embroidery Hoop Decor Spheres

spheresMy wedding planner found DIY instructions for decor spheres and recommended that I make them for my guest tables. It turned out to be a brilliant way to add texture, variety and more of my color scheme to the tables.

Challenge: I had trouble sourcing the embroidery hoops in the right sizes. Perhaps my local craft store had a swarm of embroiderists hit before I visited for this project because now they seem to have plenty of hoops in all sorts of sizes.

Solution: I ended up buying additional hoops online from Hobby Lobby for $0.99 each. To make 6 larger and 6 smaller spheres, I bought 12 each of 4″ hoops and 6″ hoops.

I followed the DIY instructions for decor spheres, using thumb tacks to secure the hoops, and painted the hoops instead of staining them. In hindsight, I think it would be much easier to paint the hoops before assembling the spheres.

Total cost for 12 spheres: $35

tablescape

Papier-Mâché Wall-Mount Zebra Head

It’s probably not the nicest thing to say, but when I saw this $69 papier-mâché zebra head on my best friend’s baby registry, my first thought was…

I could make that for way cheaper.

And I wanted to! A quick search on Pinterest led me to this tutorial gem, and I followed the DIY instructions almost to a T (in other words, I skipped the podging because I didn’t have any Modge Podge and applied two layers of white base paint instead).

I already had everything else for this project idling around the house, except for the $4 wood plaque and $1 hanging cleat I bought from Pat Catans:

  • Flour and water for the paste
  • Plastic bags I’d neglected to recycle and blue painter’s tape for creating the initial shapes
  • Strips of brown paper shipping fill for the papier-mâché layers
  • Cardboard from a used box for the backing
  • Leftover black chalkboard paint and white wall paint

Zebra-in-progress

The hardest part of this project was painting the chevron stripes. I free-handed them because it was too difficult to tape off on the curved surface of the zebra head. (If you are not good at painting, this project is probably not for you!)

Total Cost: $5!

Zebra-final