Monday, March 30, 2015

PB Knock Off - Fur Trimmed Sweater Pillow Cover

Don't ya love Pottery Barn? I could shop there everyday if I had a huge spending budget for home decorating. But I can't. I love their pillows, especially those cozy ones.

Yes, these sweet sweater types...

 and fur types!

I decided to make them. 
So I went thrift shopping and found this ... the perfect sweater and design for the pillow I had in mind for my "southwestern bedroom makeover" in-the-works. It's got that horse blanket look to it. Just what I needed!  With a $7.99 price tag, not bad...  but it was HALF price day; ... so this was a real steal for just $4.49 !

Then I ran home to make a $69 pillow cover (wink) !!!
Just by simply cutting off the arms and cutting out two squares to fit the toss pillow ...

and, in envelope style for easy removal and cleaning.  I cut one of the squares in half to be sewn for slipping the pillow into.

Remember that fur coat I turned into a rug? Well, it's scrap busting time! Perfect for fur trim on the pillow cover; and for free. Scraps are always totally free.

I cut the faux fur from the sleeves and shoulder areas from the coat scraps to make enough trim to go around the entire squared off sweater.

Then pinned the fur trim and sandwiched it to sew the front and back together.

After carefully sewing the entire pillow (the thickness was challenging) I turned it to the right side and stuffed the pillow inside.

One $69 pillow knock off was just $4.49... awesome!!! 

But... but... what about those sleeves?
Well I have two of these really ugly roll pillows that I kept hidden to someday recover and now it's time to do something with them and use up those sleeves.

So I pulled the sleeves over the ends and made a "hug me" pillow!!

I'm joking!!!
I just needed to see how much of the sleeves I had to cut off.
Using more of the faux fur scraps, I cut round ends to sew in.

Tah dah! 

Now, leaving the center open where the sleeves met, I sewed in velcro to join the ends yet release for easy removal and cleaning.

Then, I used a piece of a leather belt (another project scrap) to cover the velcro enclosure as a decorative touch. And the grand total for this pillow cover is... $0... 
It was FREE using ALL scraps. 
Love that.

Now for that other ugly roll pillow... I went through my closet for fabric and found this suede skirt that I have not worn in ages and probably never will again.

Cutting the skirt to fit around the pillow and circles from the sweater scraps, I made an envelope opening to slip the pillow into.

 The pillow is easy to remove with this opening!

Three pillows and no budget busting!

But... but... I don't have enough fur scraps left for a fur pillow cover (insert big sad face here).

Off to thrift shopping again, I scored with this vest at $3.99!!!

 Basically taking the vest apart to get a squared off portion,

was easy enough to sew straight lines and make another enveloped pillow cover.  By sewing the armholes and the neckline, then leaving part of the vest opening was just right for the pillow to be inserted.

Then I stuffed in the pillow and smiled...
(Happy face!)

Four pillow covers... under $10... another happy face! :-)

This was super cheap, lots of fun, 

AND, the decor I wanted! 

This was a really cheap thrill.  Would you make home decor this thrifty? If so, what's your style?


Created for the April Craft Challenge

Featured at 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Decorated Garlic Infused Oil Bottle & Recipe

I cook with garlic-infused olive oil quite often. It's healthy, tasty and ... expensive.

Making it yourself can save a lot... to buy... more garlic and olive oil. It's so beneficial cooking with it and it's a big budget helper. It takes just 6 smashed cloves of garlic to one cup of olive oil.

I confess, I've bought the pre-made infused oils and vinegar off the shelf; but only on sale.

I saved the used bottles to hold my own home-made. I opted to change the look of the plain "what is in that?" bottle by decorating it.

Cradling the bottle with rolled towels I drew an outline of a head of garlic in permanent marker.

Then painted it.

Still somewhat plain and too simple... I chose some decorative writing from this stencil by The Crafter's Workshop "Grow" # TCW 531S.

I sprayed adhesive on the stencil and wrapped it firmly onto the bottle while applying a green iridescent embossing paste.

The little design became a visual label for what's stored inside.

Super easy and quick little bottle dress up! I'll do this for the infused vinegar recipes too!

Do you make your own infused olive oils?

I'm updating the post to for the requested recipe I use! :)

Garlic Infused Olive Oil


(Stove top simmer method) 
6 Cloves of Garlic to 1 Cup of Olive Oil

First, use high quality olive oil. Getting it on sale can help keep the cost down.
Second, the garlic needs to be cooked to remove bacteria and the threat of botulism.

Start by peeling and chopping garlic, then add some oil in a pan to saute the garlic with medium heat for about 5 minutes. A steady sizzle without browning will avoid bitterness. Lower heat to medium low and add cup(s) of oil to infuse, allowing a slow light boiling of the oil for another 5 minutes. Make certain it doesn't burn. Lower heat to low and simmer 15 minutes. (This is to ensure any health threatening spores are killed.) Turn off the heat and allow the oil and garlic to cool.

Once cooled, strain the entire contents into an airtight container, making sure no garlic pieces are in the oil. (Any remnants could spoil the oil.) Store the oil in the refrigerator for use. It lasts quite a long time chilled.

(Tip: Those cooked garlic pieces can be used in a recipe right away! I like to make a garlic herb butter for hard crusted bread to use it up... Garlic bread goes great with many main entrees!)

(Slow cooker method)
1 Head of Garlic to 1 cup of Olive Oil

You can leave the skin on using this method, and I do, to hold the cloves together. I cut the heads in half and put them into the cooker using high heat the first hour, then medium heat for another 5 hours. This allows the natural garlic oil and it's healthy benefits to release into the olive oil while killing bacteria.

Shut off the cooker and allow the oil to cool. Strain well into airtight bottles/containers. I've stored this method in a bottle in my cooking cubby up to a week without any health risks. (It usually gets used up within that time period.) You can refrigerate or store in a handy place for cooking.

Garlic Infused Vinegar


6 Cloves of Garlic to 1 Cup of Vinegar

Garlic infused vinegar is a lot easier! Because vinegar is acidic, it kills the bacteria spores in garlic and you can simply add the cloves into it. White or apple vinegar gives the best garlic infused flavor, but I've used it in wine vinegar too.

Peel the garlic and smash it to release the oil and drop into your container. Or you can use a wooden skewer to put through the cloves and push it into a bottle. Pour vinegar in and that's it!

You can leave the cloves in as long as you wish. The longer the better without bitterness. As you use the contents, just add more vinegar to top it off. It lasts a very long time.  If the garlic changes color, it's normal, and nothing is wrong. It's a pickling process. (You can remove the garlic and start with another batch anytime.)

(Tip: The pickled garlic can be eaten... add it to a salad vinaigrette!) 

The initial cost of the ingredients for the oil and vinegar recipes can equal the cost to ONE or TWO prepared store bought. The savings is huge and you can control the flavor you desire.