Andrea's blog


Reverse Applique T-Shirts

Inspired by these adorable t-shirts made by Amy Tangerine, I made these for Ayla & Baby Boy:

It really wasn't too hard...but I can't guarantee their launder-ability. :) I'll wait until after the photos are taken before I wash them! 

The steps:

  1. Pick a simple block font and cursive print to make your t-shirt saying. 
  2. Print it on computer paper.
  3. Choose a t-shirt to alter and a contrasting color fabric for the block letters.
  4. Use straight pins to pin the saying to the front of the shirt where you want it to be, layering the contrasting fabric BEHIND the front of the t-shirt.  (contrast fabric, then t-shirt, then printed paper on top).
  5. Hand-stitch with a backstitch around the outline of the letters, including any center sections (as in B, R and O).
  6. When you've finished stitching, gently tear away the paper (GENTLY).  You should see an outline of the letters you just stitched on the t-shirt.
  7. Inside each letter, carefully separate the t-shirt from the contrasting fabric so that you can cut a small hole in the t-shirt fabric.  Do NOT cut through the contrasting fabric or the stitching.
  8. Trim carefully around the inside of the stitched outline to reveal the contrasting fabric underneath.
  9. Turn the t-shirt inside out and trim away any excess contrasting fabric.
  10. When the block letters are finished, pin the cursive word above the block letters on the front of the t-shirt.  Use several pins to be sure it stays put.
  11. Hand-stitch with a backstitch along the cursive font. 
  12. When you've finished stitching the font, gently tear away the paper and you're finished!


  • Use a light gray font on the paper and a contrasting thread color so that you can easily see where you've stitched.

I need some practice still, but I like how they turned out.  And I like the price.  I had everything on hand except the t-shirt for Ayla and brown thread.  Total cost: $4.50.  When compared with the prices you'd pay in a store...likely $30 each or more...



Thank You Cards

I put these thank you cards together this afternoon for my upcoming baby shower... how they sort of "match" the new nursery decor...which will look something like this Photoshopped mock-up:



Trees & Critters Wall Canvases

Inspired by the Imaginisce Twitterpated paper line, I just finished up the wall canvases to hang over Ayla's bed in her new "big girl" bedroom.  I'm so thrilled with how they turned out:

I painted the sky and landscape background (using the light blue wall color of her room for the sky and the green paint color that we originally were going to use, and then painted over because it was too dark).

Then I added grass and hill details with acrylic paints.  That took a couple of tries...but with Ben's suggestions, I like the final result.  The good thing about can paint over it if it doesn't look good! 

I decided not to paint a border or frame on this set of canvases because I wanted them to just kind of pop out of the wall.  I'm liking the resulting effect.

Once the backgrounds were painted, I added the paper pieced trees, birds, butterfly & bee.  I had a great time picking out patterned papers from all different paper lines to make the right color scheme and piece together all the elements. 

After everything was glued together and glued down and covered in Mod Podge, I added button eyes to the birds, brad eyes to the bee, and some black string antennae for the butterfly & bee.  

Here are some close-ups of the critters:

Hope Ayla likes 'em! :)



Nursery Wall Canvases

I spent this weekend painting, cutting, gluing and make these for the new baby boy's nursery:

which were shamelessly "inspired" and lifted by these prints from Babies R Us:


I used 16" x 20" canvases, scraps of various patterned papers and just went to town paper piecing them all together.  Since I had pictures to work from, I was able to free-hand the various shapes pretty well.  Once all the animals were put together, I used my sewing machine to stitch a border around the outline of each animal.  Then I painted the backgrounds of the canvases and taped off borders to make the brown border around each canvas.  Finally, I used mod-podge to put them all together and protect them. 

Here are close-ups of each:

This was a fun project and I love the textured finish...much better than buying prints I think....but thenit did take two full days of work to finish them!



Scrap Room Video Tour

I've been reorganizing some things in my office the last few days, bought some fabric drawers to hide some clutter, finished some decorating stuff, and it finally looks more like what I had in mind when I first got my Expedit shelves from IKEA.  It had been getting more and more cluttered with junk over the past few months and needed some rearranging!

Now that's it's cleaned up and looks a little nicer, I thought it would be a good time to do a video tour and show what my office looks like, where I store things, and give you a look around:

(click photo for larger version) can click here for a labeled image telling where I store different things.

And, if you're REALLY interested in taking a look around, here's the link to an 11 minute video tour of all the goods: 

Andrea's Scrap Room Video Tour

Enjoy!  I definitely do.  It's been a great place to work and create, right in the middle of our house, where I can still be involved with everything else that's going on....


Sewing Saturday

Ben was out of town Friday & Saturday for a wedding in Austin, TX, so I took the opportunity to do a few decorating projects around the house.  I've had the decorating itch ever since we took down all the Christmas decorations.  Inspired by my sister-in-law Rachel, I decided to try out my new sewing machine (new-to-me anyway) and tackle a couple of sewing projects. 

I headed out to Hancock Fabrics in search of some fabric to create a curtain in my office and was pleasantly surprised with some great sales (decorator fabric at only $3.50 a yard!).  Although I was looking for a cream/green swirl design, I came across this fabric that had all of the colors from my office in one pattern: tan, red, green and turquoise.  So I decided this was the way to go.  I also picked up some red fringe trim and red ribbon to accent the curtain panel.

I originally wanted to make a curved panel that was longer on each side, but decided that anything curved was a little too ambitious for my novice sewing talents.  So instead, I decided to make a single panel and create a roman shade with ribbon gathering up the two sides.  It took me a while to get it finished, but I'm awfully proud of my new curtain. :)  Any finished sewing project that doesn't result in tears is a success in my book:

And, since the sales were so good, when I saw this blue and cream fabric, I decided it was time to recover a couple of pillows in our livingroom as well.  I wish I had another use for that fabric, because it was so pretty...but I settled for just a yard and a half to make two pillow covers.

My third sewing project of the day...recovering an old comforter with a homemade duvet cover made from two twin sheets for Ayla's new bed.  I don't have a photo of it...but it's just a brown comforter...not too exciting. :)  But, it was only an $8.00 comforter, which I think is pretty cool!

I might just have to add a few more sewing projects to my to-do craft list.  I seem to be getting the hang of long as you don't look TOO closely! 




Cardboard Oven

With all the kitchen utensils, pots and pans that Ayla got for Christmas, I decided to go ahead and move all her kitchen-related toys to the kitchen on a trial-basis.  I hesitate to keep them there mostly because I can't stand the thought of her toys scattered throughout the kitchen. far she's kept them pretty cleaned up, and it has really helped with keeping her busy while we're cooking meals or cleaning up in the kitchen. 

She kept asking where the oven was though (her sink/dishwasher and stove didn't suffice), so I decided it was time to make her an open & close oven. 

Bring out the cardboard boxes...

This was a fun-looking box we had some pizzas shipped to us in from Lou Malnati's, and it made a great base for the oven. I cut a door and window into the front of it (used a cut page protector to create the window).  I also added another cardboard box to the top of it to give it some height, covered it with cardstock and drew on the burners, knobs and a clock...the finishing touch was adding Ayla's favorite time -- 6:30.


A Good Review...

Critics are tough, so I've been interested to see what the reviews are for my e-book that just came out at  The first review is good, so that "makes me happy" as Ayla  would say.  Maybe I should stop reading the reviews there and just assume that if one person loves it, then everyone will! 

In case you're interested, here's the link to the book:

A Scrapbooker's Quick Guide - 365 Special Days by Andrea Steed  ($3.99)




Top 10 Layouts of 2008

I saw this idea on Amy Tangerine's blog today, and thought it would be a good exercise for the end of the year as I'm trying to finish up my 2008 family album. 

Although my 2008 album isn't finished yet (still working on September-December layouts...) I figured I could surely find 10 of my favorites to here goes (in no particular order):

I'd say if nothing else, I'm consistent. I like LOTS of photos on every page! :)

If you're a scrapbooker and have a blog...I challenge you to do the same!  Pick your favorite 10  from 2008 (even if you just MADE them in 2008, regardless of when the photos are from) and show them off!  


Fingerprinted Notepads

For all of Ayla's grandparents gifts this Christmas/Hanukah, we made a handmade (literally) project that was very easy to do and turned out to be a great afternoon activity for me and Ayla to do together. 

We used Ayla's fingerprints and stamping ink to design three flowers.  Then I went back with a pen and outlined the fingerprints to define the flowers a little better and signed her name. 

Next, I scanned each of the flowers and created a Word document for each design that could be cut into 4 to make little notepad pages.

I printed about 25 copies of each flower (making 100 pages of each design).  Next, I cut the printed pages into the individual pages (which ended up being 4 1/4" x 5 1/2").  With all the designs printed and cut, I assembled 7 booklets (one for each set of grandparents and great-grandparents), alternating red, blue and pink flower designs.  The final booklets had about 40 pages each. 

To make the notepad more sturdy, I cut pieces of cardboard to 4 1/4" x 6 1/2" and scored and folded the top edge at 1/2" and 3/4" to create a little cardboard flap to fold around the stack of pages and cover the entire back of the notepad.

I used a stapler to staple the pages together and then hot-glued the pad inside the cardboard flap, but I think a heavy-duty stapler through the cardboard AND the papers would have been a better choice...I just didn't have a heavy-duty stapler to use at the time!

Next, I added a thin yellow bow around the top edge, glued a piece of patterned paper to the back, added few magnets and finally a little "made by" square, including another fingerprinted heart by Ayla.

Great handmade, easy project!


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