It's a dog's life -- and a cushy one at that. This soft bed, suitable for small pooches, can be refreshed with a quick switch of covers. You'll need 2 same-size dish towels, 2-inch-thick foam (cut 4 inches shorter and narrower than the towels), and iron-on Velcro fasteners. Lay towels on top of each other, good sides facing. Sew 3 sides, about 1/2 inch in from towel edges. Turn inside out, insert foam, and iron the fasteners to the open side. For a neat appearance, fold that end as if gift-wrapping a box and use the fasteners to keep in place.
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Use this tailor's trick whenever you need to cut a straight line through a woven fabric such as cotton or linen. Tease several threads loose at the point where you'll make the initial cut. Then gently pull out the threads to create a trail of perfectly aligned holes in the fabric, which can then guide your shears.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, April 2008
Here's an easy way to give new life to old terra-cotta pots you have around the shed: Paint them to create coordinating stripes. Using masking tape in various widths, mark a simple striped design on the pot. In a well-ventilated area, spray the exterior and the rim (and any accompanying saucers) with weatherproof spray paint; let dry completely. Peel off tape.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, February 2008
Hanging a dish towel from an oven door makes sense -- the towel is always at the ready, and the oven's warmth quickly dispels dampness. Here's a way to improve on the idea, keeping the towel from slipping off:
Make it into a loop by attaching Velcro strips to two ends, one on the front and one on the back, below. Stitch in place, or use iron-on Velcro strips.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, September 2009
With just a little retrofitting, an old-fashioned Mason jar can become a new sewing kit with a built-in pincushion on top. To begin, separate the lid's sealer and screw cap. Trace around sealer on cardboard. Using a compass, draw another circle on linen or cotton, 1 inch larger in diameter than the first. Cut out both circles; make cushion by placing batting between fabric and cardboard. Turn screw cap upside down, and apply hot glue to inside edge of rim; quickly press cushion into lid until cloth protrudes smoothly above screw cap's opening and cardboard is flush against rim. Apply hot glue around edge of cardboard, fold over excess fabric, and press down. Glue top of sealer to cardboard. Fill jar.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, August 2006
When you're hemming fabric -- whether for table linens, curtains, or clothes -- accuracy is important. Ensure good results and save time with this technique: To make a 1-inch hem, for example, draw a line on card stock, 1 inch in from an edge. Place the card stock on fabric, with line parallel to fabric edge. Fold fabric over card stock, aligning fabric edge with line; press with an iron. Repeat, folding and pressing again to encase the raw edge. Stitch hem to secure.
SourceMartha Stewart Living, November 2009
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