DIY Make a Bow Bandeau Bikini Top Tutorial

Bandeau tops are everywhere right now, they are a hugely popular.  My daughter has been ogling bandeau tops on the internet for a couple of months and she kept telling me that she really really liked one she saw that had a giant bow on the front.  I off-handedly retorted that in my day they were called Tube Tops to which she rolled her eyes and reminded me that I’m old and in the same breath asked me if I could make her one for the 4th of  July.   She showed me a photo of a bandeau she found at this shop and asked me to duplicate it.   Long story short, I did duplicate it; it was easy and I’m going to show you how to duplicate it in this DIY bandeau tutorial.


Once my daughter showed me this photo she ran off to Joann’s and picked up the fabric for the bow, dropped it off in my craft room and ran out the door to spend time with Loverboy.  (The nickname is used with love.  We like Loverboy, he’s good to our daughter and he’s a sweet boy…I almost pity him) Luckily for both my daughter, Acacia and I, I still have the duct tape dress form I made from Acacia’s body that will from here on out be dubbed Acacia2.  Having Acacia2 allows me to sew for her when she’s not home…which is all the time now that she’s a wizened old college girl.  World, meet Acacia2.

Click the photo for a tutorial on how to make your own duct tape dress form


To make this bow bandeau you will need 3 pieces of fabric.  My daughter bought half a yard of red striped fabric and half a yard of blue and white stars fabric.  I happen to have some scrap white knit fabric that I used to make the bra part of the bandeau.  If I were buying the fabric I would probably go ahead and grab a half a yard just to be sure.  If you make this top once you won’t use up the whole half yard but its good to have enough to make two just in case something goes wrong.  And believe you me, when you don’t use patterns to make clothes things can go horribly wrong.  I promised to never talk about the crooked crotch again so I won’t bring up those pants I once screwed up….


Fabric aside you are going to need a pair of good scissors, sewing pins, thread and a sewing needle.


The first thing I did to create a bow bandeau was to take my white knit fabric and fold it in half lengthwise so that I had a double piece of narrow fabric.  Like so..



I wanted my bandeau to have doubled fabric so that my daughter felt covered, comfortable and secure.   Plus it made me feel better to know if I was going to help my daughter wear as little clothes as possible I was going to make sure she was as covered as I could get her.  She’s almost 19 and has a killer body so I can’t blame her for showing it off but as long as I can help it there will be no  No see through, nipple showing white tops here!   I took the white knit and wrapped it around the chest of Acacia2 with the fold being at the top.



From the back I simply pinned it together so that it was tight.  A word to the wise here – make sure you pull your fabric as tight as you can.  In order for a bandeau made like this with no top or bottom elastic to stay up on the body,  the fabric has to be pulled as tight as it will go.



When I had my fabric pinned as tight as I could get it I cut a slit, horizontally in the side about 1 inch BELOW where I wanted the bottom of my bandeau to be.    This will be where I’m going to cut off the excess fabric and sew together the tube part of this.  I gave myself an inch which is more than needed for a seam allowance but again, it’s all about leaving myself room to maneuver.  I can always make it smaller but it’s a hell of a lot harder to add fabric back once it’s been whacked off.


Next I unpinned the fabric and removed it from Acacia2.  I laid it flat and made sure the slits were lined up.    Like below..


This was the only white knit scrap fabric I had but I figured there wasn’t any use being a chicken about it, might as well just chop it up and call it a day.  If I was wrong, I was wrong and i’d have to run to the store and get some knit fabric.    Now I had 2 pieces of white fabric.  One fat and one skinny.




Next, I flipped my fabric so that I had right sides together (the sides that everyone sees on the outside.) and I pinned it together along the lengthwise edges.  You won’t be sewing the ends together just yet so there’s no need to pin the ends unless you just like to pin the shit out of things and then by all means, pin away; don’t let me stand in your way of good pinning.


After you get the bandeau pinned go ahead and sew it together. For the sewing newbie this means you are going to sew down the edge you just pinned.  Give yourself about half an inch of seam allowance.  Then remove the pins.  For the long time seamstress – you know what to do.

Once the piece is sewn together I had a tube of white material.  Flip it inside out so that the seam is on the bottom and wrap it around whoever’s chest it is that will be wearing the bandeau.  Since the real Acacia was still out and about with Loverboy I wrapped mine around Acacia2 to see if I had measured right and got it wide enough to cover any escaping boobage.  Well, good ol’ Acacia2 spared me, my material was okay and my size was alright.  I think it could have been maybe an inch or so wider but it was okay.


If you like a simple white (or whatever color) bandeau you could stop there, sew up the back and call it finished but if you want to know how to make this a bow bandeau then read more of my nonesense.  (I do appreciate it when you read my nonesense btw)

One simple way of adding a bow to this bandeau is to take the leftover swatch of white knit fabric that we cut off and tie it into a bow on the front like this..


After step 4 in the above mini-pictorial tutorial you just fluff a bit and you end up with this:


To make a bow like the one on the etsy store you need to cut your stars and stripes  fabric into rectangles. For my daughter’s chest size I cut my fabric to 15 inches by 13 inches or 15″X13″.  To determine what your measurements will be you will need to measure from the center of your chest  (towards your armpit) to where you want the bow edge to be.  For my daughter this was 7 inches.  I doubled that and then gave myself again 1 inch for seam allowance so thus my width at 15″.  the same applies for the height of the bow.  Here’s what mine looked like:


You will need to cut both pieces of your bow fabric this way.  Once you have them cut to size you will fold them in half, lengthwise with right sides together like such:


Just like we pinned the white bandeau fabric together we need to make sure we pin along the edges of our folded bow material.  Once it’s pinned sew it together and flip the insides out again so that we have the following.stars3

If you look very closely at that photo you will see that the seam runs down the length of the center of the fabric.  That’s because when we fold our bow we don’t want heavy, bulky, ugly seams to show, so we hide them inside the middle.

Next you’re going to need to fold your fabric in half again but this time you won’t be folding it lengthwise and you need to make sure that the seam you see in that photo is on the OUTSIDE when you fold it.  look at the next photo to see what I mean.



Now sew along that edge this edge:






Flip it back inside out.  Do this for both pieces of fabric and you will have two pieces that look like this:



Stack these two bow pieces on top of each other so that the seams are arranged on the ends.


Sew one end together.  This will create your middle seam.



Unfold your newly sewn pieces and you should have one large tube with stripes on one side and stars on the other.  Use your fingers and thumb and pinch the center together tightly so that it looks like a bow.  Using a sewing needle (the hand kind, not the machine kind) sew the center together .  The easiest way to do this is to shove the needle right up the center of all that bunched up fabric and pull tight.  Still holding the center pinched between your fingers wrap the thread -with the needle still intact – around the pinched center.  Wrap around and around about 10 times and then tie it off with the needle.


Now that you have the bow made somebody has to put the bandeau back on so we can figure out placement.  By this time Loverboy brought Acacia home so I made her stay put for fittings.  I had her put the bandeau on and hold the bow where she wanted it to be.  I pinned both sides of the bow in place.


I sewed the sides down so that the center of the bow hung freely for the moment.  A quick note here – when you sew the sides of your bow down be sure not to sew through all the layers of fabric because then your bow will look funky!  Your bow should be hollow so even though it takes some maneuvering and cussing you should be able to get just the inside layers onto your sewing machine.  If you are following this tutorial and hand sewing then you should have no problems hiding your stitches.  Sew both sides down and then it’s time to work on the center.

I used leftover white knit fabric for the center of my bow.  You can use leftover stars or striped material or whatever you chose.  Simple hold the pinched bow in place and tie your fabric around the center of the bow being sure to tie it around the bandeau and the bow.  Tuck your knot inside and all should be secured.  this is what the inside of your center should look like.


Once you have your bow in place the last thing you need to do is close up the back.  simply sew a straight seam right down the back.  My daughter expressed a serious dislike of the seam down the back and when I make another one of these I will be sure to spin the bandeau around so that the seam is either in the front hidden by my center piece or under the arms but for a quick project at the last minute, sewing it down the center served its purpose.   Here’s what the completed bow bandeau looked like.




That’s Acacia.  Didn’t I tell you she has an awesome figure?  Yeah, well, she’s almost 19 so pfft.  Anyhow, Acacia felt very naked in this little top because she’s not accustomed to running around in public like that.  Inside the house is a different story but anyhow, she asked me to make it again only this time with a bigger bow and tails.   Normally Acacia would wear something like this over her bathing suit but its summer and she always wears something cute for the 4th of July.  She celebrates it with fashion LOL!  I have to say I like the first version better but if she feels more covered up by the second version then so be it, who am I to enforce nudity?  Here’s the second version with tails.



We didn’t want to waste the first bow so I folded it in half again and made a smaller bow that she stuck on the back of her belt loop.



And then she begged for me to make one more piece.  She just had to have a matching headband so in about 15 minutes I whipped up this elastic headband with the rest of the red striped fabric.  I’ll write a tutorial for that another day.


DIY Palette Furniture, Homemade Coffee Table

I saw a really cool homemade coffee table on Pinterest made from a palette.  I liked the idea because it costs next to nothing to make and its so family friendly its ridiculous.  No need for coasters, no worries about dings and dents because with a palette that’s all part of the look.   So I asked the truck crew at work to save me a palette.  Here’s what my palette looked like when I drug it home.

Notice it isn’t square? Look at how gross that black grime is.


The first thing I did was to remove some of those slats.  For the table I had in mind I didn’t need all those extra boards so I grabbed a hammer and got busy pulling out nails.  Needless to say it was exhausting because the ends of the nails were hammered over and some of them were even twisted.  getting them out was no easy feat!

Once I got my slats pulled out I hauled the monster into my garage and started the sanding process.  The sanding process took a very long time because what started out as a “rustic table” turned into a masterpiece in my mind and I ended up sanding every single piece of wood.  I also decided I was going to put a top and a bottom on my table so I needed to sand down both sides of that and the legs and the palette if it were to be soft to the touch.  Lots and lots of sanding occurred and 1 shoulder was killed in the making of this table.  Look at how soft the wood looks when it has been sanded.  If you decide to try this project I highly recommend getting yourself a palm sander.  Without it I probably would have abandoned this project.

I used 220 grit sandpaper. I wanted a fine sand paper because I was looking for that smoothness. Choose your sandpaper according to your own needs.


Once I got all the wood sanded I gave my wood a vinegar bath.  I used plain old white vinegar and a soft cotton cloth to wipe down the wood.  The vinegar helps to remove any oils the wood picked up from contact with my skin or anything else that could leave residue behind.  It also helps the stain to go on more evenly.  The vinegar dries fairly quickly so within an hour or so I was able to start applying the stain.  I used a dark walnut stain by Minwax.  If you aren’t familiar with staining wood you can find some excellent videos from the Minwax experts on how to properly apply stain.

Don’t be worried by how dark the stain looks. I ended up sanding between stain applications to get my desired color. I applied 2 layers of stain.  The unstained planks you see are not part of the table, they are keeping my palette from resting directly on my workbench.  

I decided to rub my wood out with a beeswax and olive oil combination.    I know that some people will question that choice because typically the mixture of those two things will seal the wood but I felt it was important because it gave my wood a warmth and depth of color that I wouldn’t have gotten had I skipped this step. The act of rubbing down the wood and the moisture that comes from the beeswax-olive oil ointment makes the wood supple and gives it a warm glow.

Take note that I have not assembled any of the pieces of my table at this point.  The whole thing was disjointed and sitting all over the garage in pieces.  I did that on purpose.  I find it is far easier and looks better to attend to each and every piece individually than it is to put it together and then do all the sanding and staining.

At this point I started sealing the wood with a water based rub-on polyurethane by Minwax.  This product was amazing.  It was thin so I was able to control the coverage.  I applied the first coat a bit too thin.  No problem, I did a light sanding which ended up making my finish even smoother, and applied a second coat.  The second coat I applied considerably heavier than the first and when it dried I was ecstatic.

I forgot to take a pic of what it looked like in between coats of polyurethane and i don’t know if this shows the finish very well but this is what the top looked like after I had it sealed and finished.


This was the time to assemble all my pieces.  Like I mentioned earlier I added more to my table than just palettes.  I wanted a flat top instead of the slats and I wanted a solid bottom so my table surface consisted of 3 parts; a top, a bottom and a palette.  What I did to assemble my table was I bought a 4X4X8 chunk of wood and cut it into 11′ pieces – Of course I sanded and stained them when I did the other pieces – and mounted each of them to a piece of 6X6X1/2″ piece of wood by coating one end with liquid nails wood glue and then screwing the 6X6 down to the post.    Once all 4 leg posts were mounted to a 6X6 I flipped my palette upside down and screwed my bottom piece to the palette.  Then I screwed down my posts to my bottom piece.  When I say that I mean I used 4 screws – 1 screw per corner, and screwed the 6X6 directly down to the bottom piece.  Almost complete, I turn my table back upright.  At this point it has no top   Again, using liquid nails wood glue at each of the corners and along each cross plank I screwed the top to the palette.

I like how you can see through the table. this is why I put a bottom on it. also, on a side note, I did add rope-looking trim around my top piece before I stained it.



The final product.  I’m pretty darn proud of it actually.  It’s sturdy, it’s heavy, it’s massive and it’s beautiful.



To make a coffee table like mine here’s what you will need,

1 piece of plywood 1/2″ thick and 8′ long.  Cut it into two pieces. One should be larger than the other.  One will serve as the top and one as the bottom.  The top piece should be 2 inches larger than you palette on all 4 sides.  The bottom piece should be 1 inch smaller than the palette on all 4 sides.

1 junked palette

1  4X4X8 wood post to make legs

1 6X24X1/2″ piece of pine cut into 4 pieces each one being 6X6

Liquid Nails Wood Glue or other adhesive of your choice

220 grit sandpaper

Wood Stain (mine is dark walnut)


Sponge brushes to apply stain and polyurethane  with


To make Beeswax and Olive Oil ointment

1 block of all natural beeswax (sold at Michael’s or store that sells all natural products)

Olive oil

To make:

Combine 1 cup of olive oil and 1/4 cup of shredded beeswax in a small pot.

Cook on low until beeswax is melted.

Let mixture sit and cool for a few hours stirring at least once per hour.  When mixture is set it will be the consistency of butter.  mix together one final time and then rub on wood surfaces with a soft cotton cloth.

My First Failed Mod Podge Project

So, I was browsing through that ever so addictive website and I came across this really cool idea for turning photos into wall art at a ridiculously low cost.    Right away I got excited and wanted to try it out.  I knew exactly which photo I wanted to use and what size I wanted it to be.  I found this photo of my son and daughter to be so sweet and almost etheral looking that it had to be this one.

I downloaded a copy of it on to a memory card and took it to Staples.  When I got to the counter I very nicely asked the girl for an engineering print 24X36.  She says okay and shoves the memory card into the slot and when the contents loaded she looked up at me and said, “These are pictures.”   I nodded, thinking guess what genius?  They’re in jpg format too.  Instead I said, “yes I know.  It’s for a project”

She must have some crafter DNA in her somewhere because after that the chip she had on her shoulder and the boredom she carried in her step disappeared and we started chit-chatting about how I was going to Mod Podge this engineering print to a piece of foamboard and hang it up on the wall.  She expressed an interest in Pinterest (lol!) and it was a generally pleasant visit.

Anyway, I get the print home, I have the foamboard and a fresh jar of Mod Podge.  What I didn’t have was time so it had to wait about a week or so before I could get to it.  When I did get back to this project I had been up all night because my brain couldn’t get out of work mode.  I think I did about 50 projects in my head that night.  At 5:30 a.m. I gave up and got out of bed.  Since I was up so early I took the opportunity to Mod Podge my print.

I got all my supplies ready, the foam brushes, mod podge, foamboard, print and ribbon for edge decorating.  The instructions from the website seemed pretty simple except that I must have been delirious from lack of sleep because I missed the part about using spray adhesive to glue down your print first and THEN mod podge over the top.  What did I do, in my zombie-like state?  I tried to mod podge the back of the print to the foamboard and then mod podge the front too so that it was soaked in  mod podge.  Not a good idea.  My paper was so thin and so soaked that trying to work out the air bubbles caused tearing and the photo was disappearing.

I decided to let it be and dry while I went to work and hopefully if all went well it would be just fine that evening.  Uh, no it wasn’t.   Without some kind of weight being on the foamboard to keep it flat it curled up and dried that way; cracked and curled.  Oh, and it’s f’n huge.  When I tried to see if I could flatten it, it cracked on me.  You can see it curl in the photo.

This is a closer look at the wrinkles in the paper.  Clearly I used way too much Mod Podge for this flimsy paper.  I was so disappointed in how this turned out I haven’t even trimmed the foamboard.  And ignore the date because I didn’t set the date on the camera.  I took the photos today, just now not in 2007.  🙂

I’ll have to see if I can do anything with it but so far it looks dark and unusable.  A Mod Podge mess.  This is one project that goes back to the drawing board before a second attempt.

Get Organized Quick – 20 Minute Message Board

Is your office full of clutter, your desk stacked with bills and every conceivable empty space littered with notes, memos and receipts?  Then what you need is a message board to pin all that stuff to.  Rather than shove all those things into a drawer or sort into bins make yourself a message board, pin it up and forget about it until you need to retreive it.  Here’s a simple way to make your own message board in just 20 minutes.


Message Board Tutorial

Supplies Needed

  • 1 piece of foamboard (size is of your chosing)
  • wrapping paper
  • Mod Podge or craft glue
  • Ribbon
  • Rhinestones with pokey backing (not flatbacks)
  • hot glue
  • Cardboard Letters


  1. Cut a piece of wrapping paper the same size as your foamboard.
  2. Coat one side of your foamboard with Mod Podge or craft glue.
  3. Smooth wrapping paper onto coated foamboard. Press out any airbubbles with a towel or squeegee. Wrapping a towel around a rolling pin works too.
  4. Hot glue ribbon around the edges of your board.
  5. Hot glue cardboard letters onto board.
  6. Press rhinestones into the ribbon and foamboard with your fingers.
  7. Hang


If you have rhinestones on hand that are flatbacks you can still use them; it just takes longer to glue them on.

I used rhinestones made for the Bedazzler because you literally just push them in like a thumbtack.

If you don’t have cardboard letters you can paint on letters, cut letters out of decorative paper or not have letters at all. Embellish your board however you like with whatever embellishments you have.

One quick tip is to hot glue a thumbtack to the back of a clothespin so that you can keep blank notecards or pieces of paper on hand to take messages.

I also put an ink pen on ribbon cording so that we aren’t having to hunt for something to write with.

Homemade flour and water glue mixture also works as an adhesive for this project.

Preparation time: 20 minute(s)

My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 1 review(s)

DIY Duct Tape Dress Form Mannequin

I made my own Duct Tape dress form to be identical to my daughter’s body and it was easier to do than I thought it would be.  It actually turned out to be a fun mother-daughter activity that both of us will always remember.

I have done alot of sewing for my kids over the years and as they got older it got harder to have them available for fittings and I need the fitting time because I rarely buy patterns, I usually draft my own and I need a body to do that on.  There was always soccer practice, softball practice, football practice and school to occupy their time.  This year my daughter asked me to make her prom dress but she’s never home and it’s a little hard to sew for someone when you don’t have them there to fit pattern pieces to.  I always thought it would be nice to have a dress form but they cost more money than I want to spend so after doing a little research online I found instructions for making my own.

Originally I didn’t want to make my dress form mannequin out of duct tape because there are times when I will want to actually pin something to the dress form and I didn’t want my needles to get gummed up from the duct tape adhesive.  I looked all over for no duct tape instructions but didn’t find any.  I figured I could probably make one with a t-shirt and just sew it but then I realized that even though I didn’t care for the duct tape idea it would be the easiest way to go.  I figured if I get sticky needles I can always toss them in to a container of Goo-Gone or buy some new ones.  So finally I settled on an old t-shirt, bought one roll of plain old silver duct tape and got busy cloning my daughter’s body.  Here’s my dress form.  Not too bad if I say so myself.



Here’s what we did to get there

We wrapped and wrapped and wrapped duct tape around her body. Not too tight though, I did still want her to breathe.


I wrapped tape around her hips and then up and over her shoulders and across her chest. I had to feel her up a little to get the boobs shaped right but I'm her mother so it wasn't anything kinky...just strange...for both of us. LOL


The view from the back. once I got this much wrapped around her the rest was all about make sure the entire thing was covered.

Paint Splatter Duct Tape Hairbow

A friend of mine brought me a roll of really cool paint splatter pattern duct tape.  She wanted me to make her a hairbow out of it since she liked my tie-dye pattern duct tape hairbow.  What do you think of Leigh-Ann’s new duct tape hair bow?

Homemade Chester Cheetah Trash Bag Purse

I finally got around to taking some half way decent photos of my latest Chester Cheetah Trash Bag Purse.  I hand wove the fused plastic to create a basket weave pattern, added a zipper, some d-rings to the straps, made a chain out of soda pop tops and blinged out Chester with some Swarovski crystals.  The inside is padded and has a simple cotton liner and the edges are trimmed in a black satin ribbon.

In the photo with the purse filled you can see how large it really is.  All the items laid out in front of the purse are all the items that filled the purse and there is plenty of room left.

How to Fuse Plastic Trash Bags to Create a Custom Fabric

With more and more fashion designers looking to use recyclable materials in the making of their clothes it only makes sense to fuse plastic together to create new and unique textiles. Yard lengths of material can be made from fusing plastic trash together so that they take on a vinyl-like texture durable enough to withstand being fed through a sewing machine. Follow the steps below to learn some pretty cool ways to create your own recyclable trash bag clothing and accessories.  Click here to read the full article.

Homemade Hot Cheetos Purse

Guess what I did today?  I made a purse out of Cheetos bags.  For my first Cheeto bag purse I chose to go with a simple square shape to get a feel for what it’s like to work with Cheetos bags.  I have to say the plastic of the Cheetos bags are not anywhere near as durable as plastic trash bags.  Now that I know what working with Cheetos bags are like I’ll be taking some extra measures and incorporating an additional technique to strengthen the plastic before I attempt to sew on it.    Check out my first ever Cheetos bag purse.

Trash Bag Dress Project Comes to An End

I am pleased to say that I have finished my trash bag dress project.  There are some mistakes and not everything came out perfect but for my first time working with a material like this I think I did damned good.  Here’s some shot’s of my daughter wearing the dress.

This was what the dress looked like earlier today when I resumed working on it.
This was what the dress looked like earlier today when I resumed working on it.

Viola!  The finished dress view 1.
Viola! The finished dress view 1.

So, tell me what you think.

Trash Bag Dress Project Update #3

Here’s another update on my Trash Bag Dress Project.  I spent hours and hours hand making all the flowers I’m putting around the waistband of the dress.  It took a little experimenting with the plastic to achieve the look I wanted for the flowers but they are so adorable I love them.

This is a single flower up close.  Once they were all completed they reminded me of the flowers on a leigh.  It took 28 flowers to entirely circle the waist of the dress.
This is a single flower up close. Once they were all completed they reminded me of the flowers on a leigh. It took 28 flowers to entirely circle the waist of the dress.

This is what the waist band looks like once the flowers have been pinned on.  I wont be permanently attaching them until I put the sash piece around the waist.
This is what the waist band looks like once the flowers have been pinned on. I won't be permanently attaching them until I put the sash piece around the waist.

My youngest daughter is holding the dress up for me in this photo so you cant get a true idea of what the dress looks like until my oldest daughter puts it on but as you can see it is starting to really look nice now that the flowers have been pinned on.  Theres just a few steps left until completion.
My youngest daughter is holding the dress up for me in this photo so you can't get a true idea of what the dress looks like until my oldest daughter puts it on but as you can see it is starting to really look nice now that the flowers have been pinned on. There's just a few steps left until completion.

Trash Bag Dress Project Update #2

The Trash Bag Dress is coming along really well, especially considering I’m not using a pattern.  I have some alterations left to do to the bodice, some final touches and of course I still have the dress’s accessories to make.  Here’s some photos of how the dress is looking as of right now.

I decided to put a cotton liner in the dress to keep the plastic from sticking to her skin. Here you can see I have sewn the cotton to the inside of the bodice.

This is the skirt lining. I used the same cotton material that I used on the bodice but I also added a layer of netting just to give it some extra poof ability.
These are the skirt layers after theyve been attached together.
These are the skirt layers after they've been attached together.
This is what the skirt layers look like standing up.  Although the plastic becomes pliable once it has been ironed it is still plenty strong and can stand up all by itself. LOL
This is what the skirt layers look like standing up. Although the plastic becomes pliable once it has been ironed it is still plenty strong and can stand up all by itself. LOL
This is what the dress currently looks like.  As you can see it is ill fitting due to my daughter trying it on with clothes on underneath and the fact that I have some alterations to do once Im finished.  Theres still lots to do and I cant wait to see what it looks like when Im done.
This is what the dress currently looks like. As you can see it is ill fitting due to my daughter trying it on with clothes on underneath and the fact that I have some alterations to do once I'm finished. There's still lots to do and I can't wait to see what it looks like when I'm done.

Trash Bag Dress Project

I am making a dress out of trash bags.  My dress won’t be your typical loosely draped, tied up and duct taped trash bag dress.  I won’t be using duct tape at all.  My dress will be white with pink and purple layers. I’ll also be using a “scrunching” technique to create tutu-like ruffles and 2 flowers.  Best of all – no sewing!  I”m going to use a plastic fusion technique to create a custom textile.

As I go along I’ll post some pics and even write a how to article so you can make your own designer trash bag dress.

I’ve already fused together 6 panels of white trash bags and experimented with bubble wrap.   Which, if you are curious looks like the photo below when it is fused with a purple trash bag.

How to Make Your Own Tutu – Free Lessons

This is awesome!  Miss Tutu herself is giving free lessons.  If you are looking to learn how to make your own tutus then go sign up but first you’ll need know what name to use so she’ll know I sent you so here it is – keep it under your hat – tell her suburbanwife sent you.  Ssshhh.

Here’s the linky loo to get a free tutu making lesson from Miss Tutu herself.

*Image belongs to

Cheapest Places to Buy Birthday Party Supplies for a Rave Party

My daughter’s rave birthday party was a huge success thanks to several reliable and reasonably priced online merchants.  I found some of the cheapest places to buy my birthday party supplies that I just have to share.  Trust me if it flashed, blinked and was a glow in the dark product, chances are I  had it at this party.  Check out these merchants when you start buying your rave party supplies.

Glow Stick Man – The first place I started looking for rave stuff was on eBay and while I didn’t find as much as I thought I would I did discover the Glow Stick Man.  He has got to be one of the best sellers on eBay.  Not only are his prices good but his customer service is phenomenal!  He even threw in a little extra something when he didn’t have to.  I purchased 2 dozen koosh flashing rings from him and I ended up receiving 36 rings for $18.50.

Glow Sticks – In the past I’ve ordered my glow stucks from Glow Stick Kids because I order 1000 every summer for our annual family camping trip.  I decided to go with another seller for my daughter’s rave because Glow Stick Kids raised their prices.  This time around I purchased 700 glow sticks for $40.41 from Glow Stick USA.

*A note about Glow Stick USA – It was the free shipping that caught my eye.  I was a little leery of buying from this seller at first because the contact information on their website it somewhat inconsistent and there was no other option for shipping besides ground shipping.

I placed my order a bit later than I should have and wanted to pay extra for faster shipping but I was never able to reach anyone from Glow Stick USA through either of the contact numbers listed on their site.  To be honest it worried me especially when my order didn’t ship until 4 days after my payment processed and there was no tracking information.

To  give credit where credit is due, I did receive the 700 glow sticks – just 2 days after the party.  Bummer.  Had they been shipped the next day or had I been able to reach them by phone they would have been here on time.

Glow Source is another really good place to shop for rave birthday party supplies.  I purchased 50 glow cup collars, 100 shortie glow sticks and 3 packages of glow cutlery for $57.  It was a little steep but the glow cup collars are reusable and well worth the price.

S&S Worldwide – I was pretty surprised by the amount of glow stuff that S&S carries.  Their prices aren’t half bad and they offer free shipping.  I ended up buying 36 glow in the dark mardi gras beads from them.

Wisbitcat – This is an ebay seller that has pretty good prices on flashing balloons.    This seller has them for $12.75 while Windy City sells the same item for $14.00.  Not including shipping.

Gloworks – This place is awesome.  They have incredible deals.  For $56 and some change I purchased 36 multicolored flashing mouth pieces (which sold for $4.99 a piece at the Spirit Store), 36 flashing sunglasses and 100 purple glow bracelets and 50 lanyards.  I could have easily bought more products at this site because the deals are that good.

Musician’s Friend – When it comes to a rave party you gotta have a light show or 5.  I purchased the Chauvet Double Derby from Musician’s Friend, with free shipping for $56.00.  They have since discontinued this item but you can still find it fairely cheap on ebay or at Cheap DJ Gear.

Spirit Store – for backlights and discount light shows this is the best place to get them, the day after Halloween that is.  Don’t even bother shopping there any other time because everything they sell can be found cheaper online.

Last but not least, Baskin and Robbins.  They have really cool icing that glows under a blacklight.  If you don’t have a blacklight they have some neat neon icing that comes pretty close to glowing.  The cake maker did a free hand design for my daughter’s cake and it didn’t cost me anything extra.

Video: How to Carve a Pumpkin

I may not be all that great at making my own videos but I do pretty good when it comes to carving my Halloween pumpkin. Learn how easy it is to use a stencil to carve your own jack-o-lantern.

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Music courtesy of Andrew Ace at

Kids DIY Education Placemats

Placemats are a great way to continue educating your child.  They inspire conversation and prompt learning in a way that doesn’t seem like work.  All you need to make your own educational placemats is white construction paper, clear contact paper, an internect connection and a printer.

First, print off  your design.  You can find them all over the internet.  Here are a few places to get some.

Spongebob Printable

Printable and Colorable United States Map

Stouffer’s Placemat Maker

Nick Jr. Wubbzy & Friends Printable

Emily’s Everyday Manners Placemat Printable

Dinosaur Placemat Printable

Solar System Printables

Tallest Waterfalls in the World with Map and Facts Printable

Google Docs has a template gallery for students and teachers, plus you can create your own presentation design to print out and turn into placemats.

Once you’ve found a printable you like, open it up in photoshop or some other graphic editing software and resize the image to fit your paper.

Print out your image, keeping in mind to print it in landscape mode.  Don’t forget to print the backside if you are looking for a double sided placemat.

Use clear contact paper to coat both sides.  Leave about half an inch or so of clear contact paper around the edges to help the placemat stay together.  Trim off excess contact paper and you’re done.

Here’s a couple of placemats my kids liked when they were little.  (I did not make these.  My mother in law found them at a yard sale years ago.)