Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Guest Post: The Erratic Project Junkie

Hey you guuuuuys! I recently jacked up my whole left shoulder and as such, I've been seeing the chiropractor a LOT. So I've enlisted the help of my cousin Elle, who is here to enlighten us on all things crafty. I kind of suck at that sort of thing, so you won't be seeing much craftiness here unless it's in the form of guest posts. I try.


A big hello to all the Mom, the Intern readers!  I’m Elle, Jenna’s cousin and author of The Erratic Project Junkie. I love projects and I always seem to have a ton of them on my “to do” list. In order to increase the number of these projects that actually get finished, I started writing about them. Nothing works better than the pressure of a deadline.

Today I'm going to tell you about a relatively easy project that I completed last year. My brother and his wife were expecting their first child and I wanted to make something cute to welcome her into the family. As my very first niece she needed something special. I had done some photo rag quilts in the past (which I blogged about here) and I had a lot of iron-on photo fabric left over. So ... I came up with the idea to make some custom onesies.

How super cute are these? If you have opposable thumbs you can totally make them. 

I dragged Collin out of the house on a shopping endeavor. Now, of course when you're not looking for something you find it all over the place and when you want it, well...then it's no where to be found. That seemed to be the case with these darned onesies.  A few weeks before we had been out shopping for something and I had seen them in several different styles and colors. We head out to get some and can I find a darned thing? Of course not. I finally wound up with a more lackluster group than I previously had planned - a bunch of plain white onesies and one cute little pink one. It would have to do.

The first thing to do was to decide what designs I wanted to make. In the case of my niece, I had a total of six onesies that I could make. I knew that I wanted to make the pink one with her name on it, but no idea of what to do with the others.

So I started digging through the scrapbook room for ideas. I wound up finding some cute phrases on some of my Slice cards that would work fantastically. So...the final plans for the plain white ones were to use the phrases "Princess", "All Girl", "So Cute", and "Cute as a Button". I still had one that I was clueless on. I tend to be some what of a smart mouth, so I wanted one that was somewhat witty.

For those of you who know me, I tend to use the phrase "suck it" quite frequently. I honestly didn't realize how often until my wonderful friend Erin pointed it out to me. I say it a lot. Well...when you think of a baby, what else do you think of? A pacifier right? I figured this was a perfect combination. In fact, I was pretty freaking proud of myself for coming up with something I found so darned hilarious. (Have I mentioned that this was at about 10pm? I may have been a little bit rummy.)

I hopped on the computer to match up some pictures with my phrases. My sister-in-law loves Hello Kitty so I knew that had to be on one of them. I decided to pair the Hello Kitty iron-on with "Princess". A quick perusal of clip art and I had figured out the rest. I imported them into Publisher and added the text. I selected a cute whimsical font that I love - Sunshine Poppy. I then made the colors match the photos and created some outline to keep the letters from coming out looking flat.

(These came out slightly fuzzy since they were taken with my camera phone ... it's not fantastic.) 

After that I printed the pictures and phrases out on my Quick Fuse paper. For those of you who haven't used it before, I love this stuff. It's pretty fool proof. The only trick is to make sure you print on the correct side. The smooth, shiny side is the iron on side. I bought mine at JoAnn Fabrics. I'm pretty sure most craft stores like Michael's or Hobby Lobby carry them as well. They sell for around $25 for a 10 pack. I used to be able to buy them in packs of 25, but lately I seem to only find the smaller ones. And...being the thrifty shopper that I am, I always use one of my coupons to buy them, so I generally get out of the store for around $16 after tax. Not bad. If you add in the cost of the onesie and figure that you can generally make about 2-3 per sheet, this works out to approximately $4 per onesie. Awesome.

While you're waiting for the ink on the photo to dry (the packaging says 1-2 minutes, but I'm a worry wart so I always leave them for at least 5), bust out the iron and smooth out your onesies. Trust me, it makes life a LOT easier - even if you think they look fairly wrinkle free. Don't use any starch to iron them though as this can interfere with the bonding of the Quick Fuse with the fabric. Once dry, cut out your photos and fonts. You can either do a group cutting or you can cut out each individual letter. It just depends on what look you're going for. I cut mine out individually...I just think it comes out a little cleaner and more professional looking that way.

Getting cut out.

For the centers of letters like the "A" and "G" above, use a nice sharp X-Acto knife. This is the most time consuming part of the project. But the extra time is totally worth it.

After everything is cut out you're just one step away from super cuteness. Lay each onesie out individually on your ironing board. Line up the photo and the letters on the front of the onesie like you want them to look when the project is finished. Your iron should be set on a medium high to high cotton setting. Make sure to turn off your steam function - the water vapor will wreck the bond. Coming from straight above, sit the iron down over the top of the fabric and press down for 10-15 seconds. I tend to sweep the iron for a little extra time around the edges to make sure nothing pops up. Check the fuse with your fingernail. If you get any lifting, put on a little more heat. The fabric paper is pretty tough and I haven't had any issues with scorching to date, so as long as you're reasonable you should be fine.

And that's it! You're done! The only caveat to these is the laundering. They do need to be handled somewhat gently to prevent the fuse from coming off. They do best when hand washed in cold water without detergent. Understandably somewhat tough with an infant, but do the best you can to spot treat the areas outside of the photos. You can also use a small amount of liquid fabric softener in the water if needed. This will pull out some discolorations. Allow them to dry flat or in your dryer on low heat. (I can't guarantee that there isn't a risk of damage, but I've been okay washing them in the machine on delicate and then following them up with a low heat tumble dry.)

Once my friend Kari saw them, she talked me into making some for her new niece and nephew. So I had the chance to make some boy ones as well.

I like this kind of a project for baby gifts because it just seems more personalized and thoughtful. In my case, getting the six completed for Marley took me about 4-6 hours spread out over 2 days (most of that time was taken up with the cutting - which I did while watching TV). The total cost for her gift ended up being around $20 - including the more expensive pink onesie. Not bad for six finished projects.

I hope you all enjoyed this project. Thanks again to Jenna for letting me hang out on her blog for a day. I look forward to seeing you all over at The Erratic Project Junkie!


  1. Hi, I loved the blog.
    What do you think of following each other?
    Kisses! Vanessa.

  2. Love them! Especially the "suck it" ones. Very clever.

  3. Maybe 'suck it' with a boob. Maybe not appropriate, but true!


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