DIY: Crochet Pouf

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My pouf, my lovely new footrest. Don’t mind my plate rest – it’s just my baby belly getting into the frame.

I must confess: this is not my pouf pattern. I followed the Red Heart Pouf pattern found here. They do a great job explaining it and it works up really fast.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest, let’s dive in to why I have to post a tutorial. The pouf comes out to roughly 27″ in diameter. And I say roughly because mine is about 32″ in diameter, I used a larger needle than it called for and *gasp* I used a heavier weight yarn – only because *double gasp* the store didn’t have all the yarn I needed in the “grande” which is what the pattern calls for. The pattern also says to use a child’s small bean bag cover for the lining. This does not work. Trust me. I tried. Don’t do it if you want the pouf to resemble anything besides a bean bag. Crocheted pieces mold to whatever is underneath them – so if it’s round it will be round and a bean bag is round, not cylindrical like the pouf I was trying to make. And yes, of course I tried using a bean bag liner first that’s how I know.

This pouf tutorial is really about sewing a pouf lining for your crocheted pouf bag.

Step 1
Gather your supplies: your almost finished crocheted pouf bag, an old queen or king sheet, a zipper (optional) and your sewing machine.

Step 2
Take a string and cut it to be the same length as the radius of the top panel of your pouf plus 1/2″. Using the string as a guide, hold a pen and draw a nice circle that should somewhat resemble your top panel directly onto your sheet. Your non-dominant hand acts like the fulcrum of the circle as the string keeps your hand steady – drawing an almost perfect circle.
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Fold the sheet and cut out two circles and set aside.
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Step 3
Measure the height of your crocheted pouf. It should be around 15″ add an inch for seams and this will be the width of your panel lining. Next, multiply 2 x’s the length of the string x 3.14 (should look something like this: 14 x 2 x 3.14). This will get you the total length of the panel. It’s the circumference of your circle. If you aren’t feeling like geeking it out with math equations you can also just take your fabric tape measurer (is this even a word?) and measure around the outside of your circle cut outs from the sheet. Once you have this number – and don’t worry if it’s big it should be, that will be the length of your center panel. If your sheet is not long enough, use a scrap to piece it together like I did.
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Can you see the small piece that is next to the longer piece? What is great about piecing two pieces together is you can choose to piece two sides of the sheet that have finished edges. So what you say? Guess how easy that makes it to throw a zipper in?!!! You literally just sew the zipper between the two pieces and tada they are joined and you don’t even have to go all postal on it.

Makes me feel like this when stuff like that works out:Time-of-my-life

Step 4 (optional)
Sew in your zipper. Place your fabric and zipper wrong side up with the zipper centered over the two finished edges of sheet touching eachother underneath the teeth of your zipper. Tape everything down with some tape. Using your zipper foot, sew a straight line on either side of the zipper, then across both the top and bottom of the zipper. Open your zipper halfway.

I don’t have any pics of this but a great tutorial is here. Her tutorial goes in to what to do if your edges aren’t already finished. Honestly though, try to cut your sheet so that you get two finished pieces that can match up for the zipper.

Step 5: Match right sides together with wrong sides out and sew your rectangular panel to one of your circles, leaving about 1/2″ for your seam. Now, don’t get all stressed and worried that it’s not lining up or looks like crap, this is a liner. It doesn’t have to look perfect, it just needs to function. I didn’t pin anything together, I just kept holding it as I fed it through my machine.

Just in case though: the longer side of the rectangle matches up to the outer edges of the circles. When you’ve attached the two pieces together, grab your other circle and piece it to the other long side of the rectangle and sew it up.
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Just sew right over your zipper when you get to it.
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Step 6
You should now have something that roughly resembles a cylinder. You will still have an opening where the rectangle ends butt together. Grab the two ends, right sides together and just sew a straight line right up the whole length of the gap – be sure to back stitch everything because your pouf is going to be jumped on/sat on/thrown etc…Then, using the opening you left in your zipper (remember when I said to open it halfway?) pull your fabric through so that it is right side out. If you did not put in a zipper, then do not sew this gap completely closed, leave yourself about 6-8″ and pull your fabric through that. This will also be the hole you use to stuff your bag.
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Step 7
Fill it with your choice of stuffing. I’ve heard people use old shirts/blankets. I happened to have an old foam mattress that I have been slowly whittling down to nothing. I shredded up a 2’x4′ x 6″ section and stuffed my bag with that. Zip it closed. Now if you didn’t use a zipper you are going to have to negotiate your stuffed bag into your sewing machine or hand stitch your hole shut. Trust me on this: zipper’s are a whole lot easier.

Step 8

Join your crocheted piece together about halfway around the bottom panel – following the pattern. Then, place your stuffed bag into the pouf bag like this:
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Once it’s all in crochet the slip stitch around the entire opening to join it all together.

Sit back and put your feet up. You deserve it.
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Bed rest is boring.

Like soooooo boring.
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This has been my view for almost a week now:bedrest
My vacuum also has not moved.

My only consolation prize: my ankles look fantastic! I wish I could reach my toenails though, I would love to paint them a new color, this one’s almost grown out.

The pouf I’m putting my feet up on is something I crocheted a few weeks ago. Since I have so much time on my hands, I’ll post a tutorial on it later (for those of you other grannies who crochet like me).

Last week I was just on modified bed rest and as long as Mike did all the heavy lifting I was able to put together a few things for the nursery. Here are some shelves I built, loosely following Ana White’s plans. Eventually they will be filled with books and pictures…If anyone has any good children’s/baby/toddler book recommendations please put them in the comments! If you want to know how I made the ledger shelves¬† let me know. The dresser is missing in this pic. It is actually the dresser in the above pic. It needs to be moved downstairs and painted and with me on bed rest I don’t know if that is going to happen.

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This is the twin’s closet. It’s an Ikea Pax sort of hybrid. The center unit is all Pax, just my own combo I made up – which is what I love about Pax. All the components are separate. The shelves are also part of the Pax system, although I put them in using leftover scraps for ledges that we had lying around instead of more Pax frames. Same with the poles – leftover scraps and that’s why they don’t match. Ironically, it was cheaper to buy the melamine shelves from Ikea than to buy melamine from the Blue or Orange box. And the colors match. And I think it’s beautiful. One last Pax push: it’s cheaper (as in less expensive) than either of the big box store’s closet systems and (in my opinion) is actually better quality. The construction of the drawers and tracks is really intense – you can tell they can handle heavy loads and are extremely smooth. Most importantly the frames and shelves are all 3/4″ thick and the whole system is like a dream to put together – very easy and very quick and everything lines up spot on.

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Mike was also able to hang our new “canvas” over our kitchenette. All I can think about is how I want to paint the trim around the doorways and the bathtub and stain the fridge cabinet to match the rest of the cabinets. The good news is: with the limited number of stair trips I’m allowed to make I have a place to keep my snacks.
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Last, but not least here is the happiest girl ever:
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This girl turned seven on Sunday. Yes, seven. She had just turned five when we submitted plans for this project. Time goes by so fast. It’s hard to stop and enjoy those small moments that you have – but you should. Red said that she wanted to see snow fall for her birthday. She said she’d never seen it fall. When I think about it, she was only 8 or 9 months old when she would have. For her birthday we took her to Big Bear in order to find the only snow in Southern California to inner tube on – it was man made.

For days the forcast said slightly cloudy. Right after lunch it began to snow. It has been a freaking heat wave here in SoCal, our friends have been swimming in their pools and turning on their AC’s, but on Sunday, for Red, it snowed.

Love this girl.

How to build a frame and stretch canvas

As luck would have it, or maybe it was karma, my canvas showed up yesterday – right after I posted the blog! So, of course I had to whip up a frame to mount it on. Then, I had to write another blog to build up some more blogging karma…come on lucky lotto numbers ūüėČ

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Mike can center it/hang it up when he gets home. Read on to find out how to do it yourself.

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This is what it looks like when you get it in the mail. I ordered ours from www.stickersbanners.com. It’s not real canvas, it’s polyester and was 1/3 the cost of canvas. Once it’s on the wall you can’t really tell.

Now, just a side note on the site I ordered from: they do not send you any sort of confirmation that they even received your file. The only thing I got was a charge on my credit card. No order confirmation email, no pending print, no printed and pending shipment, no shipment, no tracking, nothing. Just a charge on my credit card and a print at my doorstep a few days later. Not what I am used to, but again, it’s their lack of customer service that helps them keep their prices so low. I will happily buy from them again and again. I don’t need to pay to have my hand held.

Another thing about polyester: It’s thinner than canvas, so if you want a more opaque print you can add something to the backside of your print after you get it with some spray adhesive. I didn’t. I sleep just fine at night.

Now for the reason you’re still reading:

I built my frame out of 2×2’s. You can use whatever you want, usually I would use 1×2’s but this is what I had lying around. The important thing is that the wood you use is straight.

I measured my print – even though I had specified a specific print size nothing is ever perfect. My print was 48″ x 71.5″ (a half inch shorter than what I had spec’d). I made my frame six inches shorter than the print dimension so that I had extra print to wrap around the edges of the frame. If you use wood that is not 1.5″ wide for your frame then the amount you expect to wrap around can be less. For example, if I had made a frame out of 1×1’s then I would have made my frame 3″ shorter in both dimensions. Anyhow….I like for the shorter pieces to sit in between the longer pieces – attached with a butt joint. My cuts were as follows:
71.5″ – 6″ = 65.5″ for the long pieces
48″ – 6″ (for the wrap) – 3″ (to account for the butt joint) = 39″ for the short pieces
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I then made pocket holes in my short pieces with my kreg jig:21315_canvas14
I used 2.5″ screws and attached them to the frame. If I had used 1×2’s I would have just nailed them together. If you don’t have a pocket jig – like the kreg jig you can pre-drill then counter sink your screws. It’s just harder. Easiest would be to make the frame out of 1×2’s and use a finish nail gun.
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I also cut 2 pieces of cross bracing out of some leftover frame material and nailed them in with a finish nailer. These were both cut to the same size – the size of them doesn’t matter, the degree is 45 on each end and it’s just to keep the frame square.

Next I moved the frame inside and laid it out on the print. The print (for obvious reasons) needs to be right side down.

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Once square, I began stapling the print to the frame. When stapling, work from the center of the side you are working on outward. Make sure you stop stapling about 6″ from the corner of your frame to leave enough wiggle room to make your corners.

Always pull the print taught around the frame. Don’t be afraid to use a lot of staples – no one will ever see how many you used. I work from the bottom of the frame – to the top of frame – to one side and then to the last side. You want to work from one side then to the opposite side. Don’t work in a clockwise motion around the frame because it’s harder to get a nice, tight edge that way.
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See, crazy amounts of staples. The staples I used were 3/8″. 1/4″ would have been fine.

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When you’re done stapling all the sides you’ll have something that looks like the above pic with wonky corners. The corners are a little tricky, so I took a lot of pics. I always position my corners so that the wrap creases on the bottom and tops of the frame, not on the sides. I don’t know if that’s right or wrong, but it’s how I like it.

So, to start, pull the corner of the print so that it lays flat against the frame like this:
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Then, pinch the bottom of the print towards your index finger to create a small triangle:21315_canvas8

Fold that triangle up:
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Then, pinch the leftover bottom print and fold it up, squaring it on the edge of the frame like the next two pics:
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Staple that fancy corner down. Repeat to the other three corners.
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That’s it. Lean it against a wall and admire your home made art. Just like me.
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How to completely ignore your blog and all of it’s followers, then come back and pretend like you haven’t missed a post.

Just kidding. I honestly did not plan on being gone for so long but I was in a coma – at least a blogging coma. The truth is: we got pregnant. With twins. And those first few months were rough – reeeaally rough. Like, I didn’t go anywhere without ziploc baggies to puke into rough. And then they were tiring – reeeaally tiring. And now I have no excuses. I’m on modified bedrest and I’m bored out of my mind and I feel a little guilty to even write this blog – because it’s been so freaking long since I’ve written anything. I almost thought I should just delete this blog, pretend like it never happened, and start a new one. But then I’d lose all those great moments and I’m too sentimental to lose all of those – especially right now – when just about anything brings me to tears.

The bad part about trying to just pick right up again is it’s been 7 months. A lot has happened in those 7 months and I would hate to shortchange all the accomplishments we have made in 7 months by just a quick summary. So, here’s what I’ll do: I’ll give you a nice photo tour of our house right now and maybe I’ll post later about how we did it.

We finaled with our addition about three months ago – at least as far as the city is concerned. Apparently¬† they don’t care if your front yard is done – because up until last weekend it had about 2 feet of weeds growing everywhere. It’s now freshly graded and trenches are dug for our future front yard. M is at work for the next four days, so nothing is going to happen there…and I was too lazy to walk outside and take a picture so just pretend it looks just like how it did back in July. And honestly, aside from the massive trenches, it really does. So, no pics of the front yard today.

Here is our new entry/music room:
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Our livingroom and the tv console table I built from one of Ana White’s plans:
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The stairs we still need to finish the skirts and the baseboards on the landing and put in the runner:
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Red’s room/alcove bed:
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You can see we still haven’t put up any closet doors. Red loves her chandelier. It came white and I just spray painted it yellow.
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E’s room:
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The dressers are Ikea’s Tarva’s hacked into dressers with bookshelf hutches. I will follow up with a tutorial (probably in the next 7 months…). I built those somewhere between puking my guts out and sleeping my life away.
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One of her bookcases opens up to make a little desk. Mike get’s the credit for this hack, I just gave him detailed instructions and some hinges and clasps.
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The girl’s Jack and Jill bathroom in all it’s messy glory:
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Our massive master bedroom and bathroom. We still need to stain the end panel on our kitchenette. I also have a canvas coming of a picture I took in Yosemite that will hang over the sink.
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You can see I still need to finish painting a lot of the door/alcove trims. Mike says I have until the twins are 3 to finish…I guess he’s basing his timeline on my recent lack of motivation.
Mike’s closet…imagine how it looks with better lighting. Mike and I had a contest at this point: see who could finish their closet first. He did all of the woodworking in his, and I did all of the woodworking in mine. Technically I finished first – only because I caulked and touched up all of the baseboards in my closet and he’s still waiting for me to do that in his. Honestly, his clothes were moved in to his closet about three days before mine were. His also has a secret door that I’m not supposed to talk about…ssssshhhh….if you come over, try and find it.
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My closet. These are really crappy pics. You should see it in person.
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The Master Shower and WC:21215_master721215_master1 21215_master2
In case you are curious, that’s a painting I did – I based it off of a painting I saw at Target a long time ago but didn’t buy because I didn’t like the colors it was done in…so, it’s a copy of something I saw at Target #expensivetaste

The future nursery with some blankets I’ve been working on:
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On the outside we have rain gutters and solar panels. That is all.