Lina and Vi: 2015

Thank You for A Great 2015

Lina and Vi plymouth mi, burlap bag, 2015 recap

As we near get into the final hours of 2015, I just wanted to take a few minutes to say thank you for all of the kindness and support this past year for my small handmade business. I was able to meet many new customers over the course of the year, and I had so much fun being able to dream up new product ideas to share with you. I received requests for Lina and Vi burlap items as gifts for major, personal events from baby showers to destination weddings as well as Christmas gifts for loved ones and decor to adorn your Thanksgiving tables. Being able to create something that others can enjoy is amazing to me.

Burlap isn't the easiest fabric to sew with, and I would be lying if I didn't admit that there are many times when I question whether it's time to turn a new leaf and try a new, easier material.  That time hasn't come yet as I'm not finished creating and dreaming up new ideas to repurpose burlap. For now, I'll continue to walk around my house (and the neighborhood, let's be real) with burlap fuzzies stuck to my pants and scattered among my home as a small price to pay to work with this fabric that has so much potential.

I hope you enjoy your New Year and hope to see you back here in 2016!

Erica






Updates PLUS New Cobalt Blue Michigan Pillows!

Great Lakes burlap pillow - Lina and Vi

And, we're back! I hope you had a great holiday this past week, celebrating and spending time with family and friends. My husband and I traveled around southeast and mid-Michigan to spend time with family. I think the most exciting thing for us was that it was our first Christmas with our pup, Ellie, so we had fun watching her tear open a few small gifts.

The weather is a bit dreary here in Michigan, but with a week off from my full time job, I'm lucky to be able to stay inside, drink hot cocoa, and sew! I just completed two new versions of our popular Great Lakes and Michigan Home pillows using a fun cobalt blue fabric paint, rather than the usual navy blue and black. I asked my husband, "How would you describe this color blue?" and he said, "Honolulu blue...like the Detroit Lions." I am not a huge football fan, and living in the Detroit area all of my life, I would not have known that. Is that bad? I don't know, but I opted to go with a cobalt blue description on these instead. I'm sure I'm not the only one out there who doesn't know what color Honolulu blue is, right? ;-)

The Great Lakes pillow is a smaller square pillow, measuring 11 inches by 11 inches. It's our smallest pillow yet, and I wanted to make something versatile that could be added among other, larger pillows on a couch. I love how the color turned out, and I think it works well with the lake theme!

Great Lakes burlap pillow - Lina and Vi

The second pillow is a variation on our popular Michigan Home rectangle pillow. It measures 8 inches by 10 inches. Similar to the Great Lakes pillow, it is hand-stenciled using the cobalt blue paint, a small departure from the navy blue which was previously available in this design.

Michigan Home pillow - Lina and Vi

I also did sew up a new Michigan silhouette pillow as a back-up so that I have one ready to ship for any new orders. I've shared this pillow a couple of times in the past, and you can always see current photos in our Etsy shop.

Our repurposed burlap pillows were a hit this holiday season, since they are great personalized gifts for all occasions. I'm working to sew up back-up for new orders that come in during the next few weeks, but if you're looking for something custom, please message me (Erica) at linaandvi at gmail dot com or via our Etsy shop.

Enjoy!
Erica




Make It: Stenciled Burlap Pennant Banner


I'm here today to share a fun, new DIY tutorial on how to make a burlap pennant banner. Since the Christmas season is upon us, I had been wanting to add one new handmade decor item to our holiday decorations this year and chose this eclectic banner to use up some of my old burlap scraps. I worked on this project over the weekend, requiring about two hours on two different days.  The bulk of the time is spent creating the stencil and waiting for the paint to dry.

I'll be sharing the step by step directions but want to point out that this project is completely customizable to any theme, event, or color scheme you are looking to embellish. I'm thinking birthdays, baby showers, engagement parties, bachelorette parties, you name it! It doesn't need to be burlap or painted at all, so feel free to skip steps or modify these instructions to fit your desired design.

Let's do this!

Supplies:

burlap (repurposed from an old project or old burlap sack if possible)
fabric paint
sponge brush
craft scissors
printer and paper
iron
thread
twine
freezer paper
pencil
rotary cutter or fabric scissors
pins
sewing machine
computer
Xacto knife
measuring tape

Instructions:

1. Begin by creating a template of the pennant. Use a piece of printer paper to either draw or fold the paper into a triangle. My triangles measure about 8 inches on all three sides. Cut out the paper template.

2. Lay the paper template on top of your burlap. Using fabric scissors or a rotary cutter, cut out as many triangles as you need for each individual letter of the word(s) you would like the banner to spell out.  Iron all pieces using steam and a high setting setting.



3. Now, switch to the computer screen and using a program like Word, type up the word or words you want to spell on your banner in a font of your choice. Print out a test page to measure the size of the letters. Adjust the font size and reprint as needed.

4. Once you have the text printed in the desired size, cut a piece of freezer paper and lay it on top of the text with the glossy side down. Trace the letters onto the freezer paper using your pencil. Once complete, cut them out using an Xacto knife on a protected surface. Separate each letter by cutting around each stencil with craft scissors.


5. Next, you will iron on the freeze paper stencil to each of the burlap triangles. Using measuring tape, center the stencil on each of the triangles. Use a hot, dry iron to secure the freezer paper to the burlap. Do this for each letter and each triangle.

6. This is the fun part! Now you will paint over the stencil using the fabric paint and a sponge brush. Make sure to add paper or scrap fabric under the burlap to protect your surface under the burlap, as the paint tends to bleed through the loosely woven fibers. Follow the instructions on the fabric paint bottle from the manufacturer. In some cases, you may need to 'seal' the paint by steaming it with an iron. For some reason, my fabric paint was much more neon pink than red, but I still like how it turned out.



7. Peel off the stencils once the fabric paint is dry and admire your work up to this point. I didn't forget about the sewing machine sitting there behind you! On two sides of each triangle, sew a zig-zag or other decorative stitch to finish the raw burlap edges. This will keep the burlap from fraying. If your triangles do not have three equal sides (hello, high school geometry), make sure you are finishing the two sides that are equal and hang vertically. I used a metallic gold thread for my holiday banner as I love the look of burlap and gold together.

8. Grab your roll of twine and measure out how much excess twine you want to border the beginning and end of the banner. Leave enough to allow you to tie it to something to hang it up with some slack for draping. Lay out each triangle in order to check your desired spacing between letters. Then add the same amount of excess twine as you did to the beginning of the banner to the end of the banner, just after the last letter.

9. This last step is tricky but with some patience and some pinning, it will secure your burlap triangles to the twine. Start folding over a small hem on the top of the first triangle and sandwich the twine within the hem. Pin to secure. Continue until the entire top of the triangle is pinned to the twine with a neat hem. No raw edge. 

Now, you can continue pinning the additional letters or you can pin them as you sew, as I did. To start sewing, you will line up the hem of the top of the triangle on your sewing machine with the twine secured in the hem. Using a small zig-zag stitch, begin stitching right side up to sew the hem with the twine inside. Remove pins as you go. When you finish a letter, pin the next letter if you haven't done so yet. You can continue the stitch line through the entire banner or sew each triangle in separate stitches.


10. Trim threads. Hang up. Have a cocktail. Admire your work!



Burlap is a challenging fabric to craft with and sew so don't get discouraged if you are struggling a bit. Check out my ten tips for working with burlap for help and please share if you have any additional tips or tricks.

Enjoy and happy holidays!
Erica

New Large Burlap Zipper Bags!


I can't believe another week has come and gone. We're now only days away from Christmas and past the middle of the month, which is both fantastic and a bit stressful. The days seem so long, with the list of things to do always feeling like it is getting longer rather than shorter, but as a whole, the month is moving quickly.  It's always more challenging this time of year to have the time and focus to work on side projects and hobbies. Free time is consumed with seasonal events, friends and family visiting from out of town, and finding the perfect gift.

During a few late weeknights, I sewed up two large burlap zipper pouches in new color combinations that each create a different look and feel.  The first zipper pouch is sewn using a thick, brown and white woven upholstery fabric. The weight of the fabric provides structure to the bottom of the zipper pouch so it can stand on its own and hold its weight. While the bottom is a large, geometric print, it is offset by cream cotton canvas fabric on the inside. The contrast was intentional to balance out the busyness with the patterned fabric and burlap text against the simple, solid interior.

The second zipper pouch is a sewn using a chocolate brown faux leather bottom and a colorful cotton print on the inside of the burlap bag. There is white top-stitching on the seam of the leather bottom to give it a detailed, finished look. This pouch offers a more sophisticated look on the exterior in contrast with a playful look on the interior.


Both of these pouches feature a new, bronze metal zipper. (Note: It is hard to see this detail in the photo above.) The zipper pull is a thin metal square, which is a fun change from the usual triangular zipper pull and blends well  with the warmth of the burlap. These zippers are much easier to zip up than the prior 9" metal zippers I had used previously, which is an added bonus. They are also incredibly durable, as I managed to break my needle into three pieces this afternoon when I made a rookie mistake of not turning my sewing machine wheel by hand when sewing over the zipper, setting my needle up for a direct collision against the zipper teeth at full speed. Live and learn.

You can find these pouches available for purchase in the Lina and Vi Etsy shop here. Unfortunately, the date has past for orders guaranteed to arrive before Christmas. However, all orders will still ship as indicated on the listing via standard shipping.

I'll be back in the next couple of days with a brand new Make It tutorial to share for the holidays!

Erica

Custom Michigan Cottage Burlap Pillow

Custom Michigan Cottage Repurposed Burlap Pillow  - linaandvi

It's been a crazy week filling custom orders, but I'm back with a few photos to share of a recent custom pillow I created upon request from a customer. My customer was looking for a repurposed burlap pillow, similar to our Michigan Home pillows, but with the word "Cottage" rather than "Home".  It's pretty common for people in this part of the state to head "up north" (the generic term we like to use).  There is so much beautiful scenery and a lot of recreational activities to do in this state and many of us take advantage of getting away to a cottage or a lake to enjoy nature and get away from the city.  I thought this was a fun idea, so I took on the challenge of creating a new stencil to make this custom design, excited to think that I could potentially be a part of decorating someone's special getaway cottage here in Michigan.

Following my tried and true freezer paper stencil process I shared here, I got started on this pillow by printing out a few extra block letters that I did not already have from another stencil on hand. I then measured and traced the letters to freezer paper and cut them out with an X-Acto knife so that I would have clean, sharp lines, no matter how small of a cut I needed to make. I ironed the stencil to a long piece of repurposed burlap, hand-painted and sealed the text using black fabric paint and an iron, and then continued with sewing the pillow.

Custom Michigan Cottage Repurposed Burlap Pillow  - linaandvi

Custom Michigan Cottage Repurposed Burlap Pillow  - linaandvi

The Michigan Cottage burlap pillow has a light cream cotton canvas back, which is how I prefer to make our pillows since it provides structure and support to the burlap and fits with any color scheme. As you can see, this pillow is long - measuring at about 28 inches in length. I can imagine it on display on a long wooden bench in a hallway when you walk into a cottage or as an accent pillow on a love seat in a cozy living room.

I wish I had better photos to share, but with the shorter winter days, I just can't make it home in time during the week to take photos when there is light outside. It's not ideal, but aside from waiting until a weekend, the only option is to try to take photos using the lights I have available indoors in the evening. I changed these to black and white so that you could focus on the design of the pillow, rather than the distraction of the poor lighting and color tones.

With that, I'm off to work on a few new burlap items that I'm hoping to get listed this week in time for the last holiday rush.  We're taking all final orders by Wednesday 12/16 so hurry up and visit our Etsy shop for any last minute gift ideas!


Erica


Weekend Wrap Up


Thank you to everyone who stopped by the Lina and Vi table on Friday night in Ann Arbor! This was my first time participating in the Kerrytown Kindlefest, so I really wasn't sure what to expect. It ended up being a fun and festive night. I could definitely feel the buzz with everyone doing a bit of holiday shopping and enjoying the winter-themed food and drinks. The holidays can be a stressful time with all of the gift buying and events, but the event on Friday night reminded me that it's okay to take it slow and enjoy the Christmas decorations, carolers, and food by simply strolling, not running, through this season of the year.

At any rate, I'm back in the sewing room today working on a few custom pillow orders that will be shipping out later this week. I'm creating a new pillow design for a local customer, and I'm really excited to be part of creating their vision.

This is me checking in to say thank you so much for the continued support from new and old friends, family, and those I haven't yet met. Sewing is one of my passions, and I am thrilled to be able to continue to share my creations with others. It's a little bit messy in here as I start on a new project, but I love it. Messes are the best.

Have a great weekend!
Erica

Kerrytown Kindlefest, Ann Arbor MI Friday Dec 4th!

I'm so excited to announce that I will be participating in the Kerrytown Kindlefest this Friday evening in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan! The outdoor market will take place in the Ann Arbor Farmers Market on December 4th from 6 - 10 pm at 407 North Fifth Ave. This event will have music, fire pits, roasted s'mores, beer, wine, food, and of course, handmade crafts for sale!

I know that I say that I'm excited about a lot of things, but I am truly, honestly  thrilled to be part of the group of vendors selected for this event. I'm looking forward to seeing what the other talented vendors have on display this year, along with designing a festive, holiday themed table for the Lina and Vi bags and pillows.

If you are local to the metro Detroit or Ann Arbor areas, please stop by and say hello at the Lina and Vi table this Friday evening. Grab a bite of handmade food and take a stroll around the market as you kick off what is supposed to be a beautiful first weekend of December.

Find more details on the Facebook event page here.

Hope to see you Friday!
Erica

New Zipper Pouches and Thanksgiving Wrap Up



Burlap zipper pouches - handmade - Lina and Vi

Hi friends! I hope all of my stateside readers had a great Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. We spent the day relaxing and visiting with my family. We ate fantastic food, drank wine, chatted, and enjoyed watching all of the nieces and nephews run and play together. The best days are the ones that are the most relaxed and casual, and that was one of those days.

Now that the holiday is over, everyone is on Christmas mode around here (and by everyone, I mean just me). We've put up our Christmas decor, and I even had Christmas music playing in the kitchen much to my husband's dismay :-). I've since toned it down a bit but now that the shopping season has officially started, I need to seriously start making a game plan for gifts...and cookies...and outfits...and you name it. I feel like the to do list multiplies in December, but at least it is only temporary!

With this long holiday weekend, I was fortunate enough to have a few hours to sew up a few new zipper pouches which are now listed in our Etsy shop. The burlap pouch gift sets are great stocking stuffers or teacher gifts, especially for someone who is looking for something handmade and eco-friendly but with tons of personality.

Burlap zipper pouches - handmade - Lina and Vi

Burlap zipper pouches - handmade - Lina and Vi

We also have single pouches available or even sets of two. All of the pouches have a one of kind cut of burlap on the outside paired with a hand-selected solid or printed fabric on the inside. They are secured with white, beige, and ivory YKK zippers along with a faux suede pull. They measure about 4 inches by 6 inches and can be stuffed with anything from nail polish to lip gloss or gift cards or sweet handwritten note.

Find these handmade burlap zipper pouches and more Christmas gift ideas in the Lina and Vi Etsy shop now. Remember to shop small and shop local today and everyday!

Erica

Maltese Cross Repurposed Burlap Pillow


This week has been all about the pillows. I recently finished a custom order of three burlap pillows, one of which was a completely new and custom design which used the silhouette of a Maltese cross. She was looking for something original that would celebrate her heritage will also adding a cool conversation piece to her redecorated bedroom. I confirmed the shape with her and went to work creating a new stencil and then painting and sewing the pillow up this past week.

She was so happy with the end result, that she posted a photo I took of the Maltese cross pillow to a Facebook group she participates in with with the local Maltese community here in metro Detroit.  Unexpectedly, I received a flood of requests and orders late this week for this new design, and I can't be more thrilled about it.  These new customers are so excited, and I am so happy that I can create something that they will love!

It's back to the sewing as I have a few orders waiting in the queue. If you're interested in finding out more information on the Maltese cross pillows, visit our Etsy shop here. I hope you have a great week!

As always, thanks for stopping by,
Erica


Make It: Kitchen Rod Valence


I'm excited to share a new post for our Make It series today! I can't believe that the last post featuring the DIY burlap monogram flag was already back in July. Where is the time going?

Some of you may know that my husband and I are doing a bit of sprucing up in our kitchen right now. My husband is a woodworker hobbyist, and he just wrapped up making a new dining table for us. As part of that new item, I was feeling motivated to update some of the other decor related items in the kitchen, including the valence that hangs above our kitchen sink. The existing valence was the same black and yellow plaid Waverly print that was used throughout the house before I came along. This was the last one hanging, and I knew that I wanted to update the fabric to something not so dark. 

I'm here to share my DIY on making a new kitchen valence to fit a 3 inch flat rod. One of the difficulties in purchasing window treatments in our house is trying to find curtains that can fit this wide of a rod. As a result, this isn't the first time I sewed a valence for our home. A little over a year ago, I shared this valence that I created for our smaller bathroom using two contrasting fabrics. It still is in great shape today!

I would describe the skill level on this project as intermediate but I do feel that someone who has had some experience sewing and is looking to further learn would find this project fairly easy to work through. This is a rewarding project as the final product is visible every time you walk into your room!

Supplies:


One long strip of fabric of your choosing
One narrower strip of scrap fabric for the rod hole
Scissors
Pins
Sewing Gauge, Yardstick, or Measuring Tape
Tailor's chalk
Iron
Coordinating thread

Instructions:

1. Begin by cutting the main fabric to the desired length. Again, this will depend upon how wide your window is and how long you want the valence to drape down the top of the window. Leave at least a half inch seam allowance on all sides.

2. Next cut the scrap fabric to the same length as your main fabric. The width of the fabric should be 6 inches. This will leave enough give for a 3 inch rod to be inserted.


3. Hem the two short sides of the main fabric piece as shown above. I used varying seam allowance in my case as I just wanted to conceal the manufacturing information on the selvedge. Your hem can be as thick or thin as desired.


4. Next, hem one long side of the main fabric piece. I used a half inch seam allowance for the bottom as I was running low on the striped fabric. Use the gauge as a guide like I have done in the photo above and pin as you go to secure a straight hem.  Iron flat to crease the fold. Only hem one side – not both. We'll get to the other side in a moment.


5. Once the hem is set, we will start making the rod pocket. On the right side of the large fabric piece, pin the smaller scrap fabric strip to the top un-hemmed long edge like I have done above. The main fabric piece should have its right side facing you. Match the raw edges and pin them together. Sew along the edge to secure the two fabrics.


6. Here's the key step to finishing the second long side of the valence! Flip the scrap fabric piece up and behind the main fabric. You should have the right side of the main fabric facing you and the scrap fabric completely hidden under the main fabric. Top stitch just below the fold along the long side of the main fabric piece to secure the scrap fabric to the back of the valence. The photo above shows the back view of the valence at this point.


7. Now flip the main fabric piece right side down so that you are looking at the scrap fabric. Using a yard stick (or your rod as I have done above), measure 2 inches from the top of the valence or smaller/larger, depending how much of the valence you want above the rod. Draw a straight line the length of the valence on the scrap fabric using the tailor's chalk. Pin to secure the layers together.

8. Now measure 5 and a half inches from the top of the valence and draw a line using the chalk.  Pin to secure the layers. This will create the 3 inch pocket to slide the rod through with an extra half inch for give. Sew a straight stitch on both lines now drawn on the scrap fabric.


9. Iron to remove any creases. Trim threads. Slowly and carefully thread the window rod into the pocket valence.

I was able to use some leftover fabric I had purchased for a custom order of our burlap flatware holders. I wish I had more fabric because now I want to sew a few placements for the new table using the same fabric. Unfortunately, it doesn't measure out correctly but I'm hoping to find something that will match this striped fabric. With a new rug and some shelf organizing, our same old kitchen will have a bit of a facelift while still displaying our love of DIY in our home.

The best gifts are always handmade. I love how this brightens our kitchen and I hope you find this tutorial useful when considering sewing something similar for your home.

Enjoy!

Erica


Brand New Burlap Zipper Pouch Sets

Lina and Vi burlap zipper pouch - www.etsy.com/shop/linaandviFriends! I'm happy to be back to share a few photos of the latest burlap zipper pouches I just wrapped up. I had several pouch set orders this past week, so I shifted gears and starting sewing a few new pouches to restock.  These new pouches are now available for purchase in our Etsy shop for all of the early Christmas shoppers out there.

Second only to our Michigan burlap pillow, these small 4" by 6" burlap zipper pouches are our best selling item. They are large enough to hold everything a typical wallet holds plus a cell phone and keys. I've had customers tell me they are using them for organizing their purses, as purse replacements, and to hold items while walking their dog (as a new dog owner, I can understand the complexities of balancing the leash, umbrella, keys, and poop bags all at once).

Each pouch is $8 individually or $21 for a set of three. I also take custom orders for those looking for specific fabric linings or sizes. Contact me at linaandvi at gmail dot com.

Lina and Vi burlap zipper pouch - www.etsy.com/shop/linaandvi

Lina and Vi burlap zipper pouch - www.etsy.com/shop/linaandvi

Lina and Vi burlap zipper pouch - www.etsy.com/shop/linaandvi

Lina and Vi burlap zipper pouch - www.etsy.com/shop/linaandvi


I hope you're enjoying the rest of your weekend! I'm hoping to do a bit of sewing later today in between taking a few hours to volunteer at a local kitchen in Ann Arbor.

Enjoy!
Erica

Restocked! Colorful Burlap Zipper Bags


Burlap makeup bag - lina and vi - plymouth MI

Happy weekend! I jump started my weekend by spending a few hours Friday evening sewing up a bunch of new cosmetic burlap zipper bags for our Etsy shop.  These are all channeling the "business on the outside, party on the inside" mentality, as you see that I designed each of them with lining that provides a pop of color against the burlap.

These all measure approximately 11.5 inches by 8 inches and 3 inches deep. They turned out beautifully, and I want to keep one for myself as my own cosmetic bag (a free with purchase special back from about 2005) is literally ripping apart on the inside. But alas, I made these beauties to share with others this time around.

Shop now by clicking here. Enjoy!

Burlap makeup bag - lina and vi - plymouth MI

Burlap makeup bag - lina and vi - plymouth MI

Burlap makeup bag - lina and vi - plymouth MI

Burlap makeup bag - lina and vi - plymouth MI


Burlap makeup bag - lina and vi - plymouth MI


Large Burlap Cosmetics Bag

burlap zipper pouch - linaandvi - jute bag - etsy

Hi friends and happy Monday! I hope that all my U.S. readers had a fun and safe Halloween! Halloween is one of those holidays where being crafty and creative is celebrated and encouraged. It was awesome to see the kids in the neighborhood and work colleagues dressed up in different costumes, along with all of the photos shared across social media. I didn't end up dressing up (aside from a headband that sported a plush witch's hat), but maybe one of these years, I'll use these sewing skills to create something awesome to dress up and pass out candy.

So I had planned to share a few photos of what I was able to sew over the weekend, but then Etsy beat me to the punch.  I can't believe it, but this new makeup burlap zipper pouch has already sold! It had been listed for less than 12 hours, so it is our best selling item to date.

This is the first time I've created a large zipper pouch. I have been thinking about sewing one for myself for quite some time, and I decided to design one yesterday with some of this fun and colorful printed cotton fabric as in the lining.  The bottom of the bag is a cream canvas cotton fabric. The burlap pouch zips with a vanilla colored, metal-tooth YKK zipper.  The entire bag measures 11.5 inches by 8 inches.

burlap zipper pouch - linaandvi - jute bag - etsy

burlap zipper pouch - linaandvi - jute bag - etsy


It is honestly one of my most favorite items to date. I feel like I say that a lot, but I really do love this bag and I'm so happy someone else did too.  Now, it's heads down (...or needle down?) over here as I design a few more of these large zipper pouches for the upcoming holiday shopping season and craft shows! Keep visiting our Etsy shop for new updates and new items coming soon.

Enjoy!
Erica

Burlap DIY Holiday Gift Ideas

Hi friends! Things are busy over here as I'm sewing a few burlap pillow backups as we get close to the start of holiday shopping season. Despite all of the beautiful decorations, delicious family dinners, and glittery dresses, the holidays can be a pretty stressful time as we try to find the perfect gift, make a dish everyone will enjoy, and balance everything on our to-do lists. I find myself particularly struggling with finding the right gift. You know what I mean, the absolutely perfect gift.  When you think you have something in mind, and then you talk yourself out of it, and then you have another idea and then you find five new reasons why that is not the right present. Yep, that's me. Am I alone here? Maybe, but I'm pretty sure there are some of you who go through these same dilemmas each year as we try to find something that feels thoughtful yet practical.

One thing that I always come back to is making a gift for someone. Spending the time to craft something by hand is incredibly thoughtful and really speaks to the care and time that the person put into it.  I've heard all of the reasons why we talk ourselves out of it time and time again - not enough time, too many other obligations, not crafty (what does that even mean?!), and so on.

Well I'm here today to share a few DIY ideas as you start thinking about those upcoming holiday gift ideas. Remember that handmade is more than just the gift, it's the time and effort spent to make that which is so invaluable.

So for all of you 'non-crafters' out there, give one of the projects below a try! They range from simple to intermediate and don't require a lot of supplies or time. Swap the burlap for another fabric and add your own touch. That's exactly what makes handmade so special - every item is unique. And if you're looking for something that you don't think you can make yourself, visit Etsy and support those who are creating handmade goods. You'll feel great knowing that you supported the handmade community and your gift will stand out from the crowd.

Enjoy!


1. Monogrammed burlap flag - great as a hostess gift or new homeowner!


2.  Faux sherpa dog blanket - can't forget those furry friends this Christmas!


3. Stenciled burlap accent pillow - customize it with a city or state or add Mr. & Mrs. for those newlyweds celebrating their first Christmas together!


4. Tea towel - an incredibly easy way to handmade something for the cook in your family!







Amsterdam Burlap Clutch

Amsterdam burlap clutch - Lina and Vi


Since I've been back from our recent trip to Charleston,  I've been busy sewing away! I finished a custom burlap zipper pouch for a customer looking to match an existing purse, and it turned out fantastic! I also wrapped up a brand new clutch purse for the Lina and Vi Etsy shop. Please welcome the Amsterdam clutch as the newest member of the Grounds collection!

As you can see, I'm still on that faux brown leather kick right now. The exterior burlap features industrial printed text, most of which is either cut off or illegible, with the exception of the Amsterdam print on one side. The bottom of the clutch is accented with the vinyl fabric and a beige top-stitching, which it gives it a very polished look, similar to the Charleston bag I shared last week.  I really love the faux leather look against the burlap. It keeps the entire look very warm and natural, while still offering a bit of sophistication.

On the interior of the Amsterdam clutch, you will find beige canvas fabric that provides the structure to keep the shape of the clutch. The clutch secures shut with an ivory metal tooth YKK zipper and is held by a small beige wrist strap. This is a medium sized clutch, measuring 13" x 8", so it's large enough to hold a small wallet, keys, cell phone, mirror, your friend's phone, your friend's ID.... when you carry this clutch, your friends will be asking you to carry their items too!

Amsterdam burlap clutch - Lina and Vi

Amsterdam burlap clutch - Lina and Vi

Amsterdam burlap clutch - Lina and Vi

Amsterdam burlap clutch - Lina and Vi

Amsterdam burlap clutch - Lina and Vi

This bag is very similar to the Pink + Brown Burlap Clutch I sewed in August, just slightly longer and with different burlap print on the outside.  I think the original and this latest rendition both turned out great, and I'm excited to make the Amsterdam clutch available for purchase in our Etsy shop now.

Thanks for stopping by!
Erica