Monthly Archives: April 2013

Elbow Patches




Heart Shaped Elbow Patches

I recently saw some cute elbow patches that were needle-felted onto a wool sweater. I have wanted to spruce up a shirt for a while and thought the heart shape was kind of nice.

Instead of working with wool, I used a floral print in cotton (bought a hat at a garage sale and removed the inner liner made of floral fabric).

How to

  1. Find some fabric you would like to use for your elbow patches and decide on a shirt to spruce up.
  2. Cut out a paper elbow patch to use as your template for tracing onto the fabric. Maybe you would prefer to go with a more classic look with a square patch with rounded edges, or oval.
  3. Ironing the fabric you are about to work with is a good idea because fabric is easier to sew when it’s flat.
  4. Place your paper template down and trace your shape onto the fabric. Or do what I did and just cut around the edge as best you can.
  5. Sew a stitch around the edges of your patches with a sewing machine to make sure that the fabric won’t fray at the edges and fall apart in the wash
  6. Place your patch where your elbow goes and pin it in place.
  7. Sew patches on by hand (or using a machine if you are into that). I figured I would have had to open the inseam on the shirt sleeve in order to sew the patch flat, and I’m a lazy seamstress, so I chose to do it by hand and opt out of too much seam-ripping.
  8. If you find your finished product is not what you had hoped for ,(I realized after finishing that my patches are a little high on the sleeve) thankfully, these patches are super easy to remove and re-sew.

Rustic Renovation



This post is about a project a friend of mine just finished. She was staring at her bathroom walls and was struck by how bleakly blank they were. Although the white painted walls helped keep the bathroom bright, there was something cold about it.

She’s a frugal gal and so she decided she would need to work within a tight budget to spruce up her bathroom. She went to the local lumber yard and asked if she could rummage through their piles of discarded wooden slats (used to separate piled lumber). They gladly obliged and she scavenged all of her materials for this project for free. The slats are no thicker than 1/8″.

She took down her mirror and towel rack and simply stapled the pieces onto the wall (though she adds that if she did it again she’d use finishing nails next time). She covered one wall and then wrapped the treatment around the top of her shower (see images below for details).

The result is a warmer, natural, more textured look to her previously cold white wall. This treatment also gives her interesting mirror a chance to stand out too, whereas before it kind of blended in.

Before and After photos

How to

1. Find a wall

2. See if you can scavenge some discarded wooden slats from your local lumber mill or any other clever places you might expect to find piles of discarded construction materials. I would be tempted to check my local garbage dump because a lot of people get rid of their unwanted materials after they have finished a renovation. Some dumps will even set aside useful materials for people to come and pick up as they please. *this goes for furniture too for anyone out there looking for a thrifty patio set this spring!

3. Begin at one corner of the room, flush with the cieling or floor, and working your way around, attach your slats to the wall. Be sure to stagger them to get that interesting varied effect where the ends don’t always meet at the same point along the wall.