DIY Felt iPhone 6 Sleeve

I am of a certain belief that hoarding, to some extent, can be a good thing. More times that not I find myself saying, “Wow, I am so glad I kept that!” for whatever it is I am working on. Today’s project uses materials I already had, so once again, my pack rat tendencies have paid off!

Last week I decided to take the plunge and upgrade my cell phone from an iPhone 4S to an iPhone 6. While I’ve had my 4S for several years and it was almost as good as new, I ultimately decided to recycle it with Apple for a faster and larger phone. Anne and I are traveling to Greece this summer (!!!!!!!), and I wanted to have a more reliable phone that takes great pictures for our journey.

To complement my new cell phone I decided, of course, that it needed a cute home. I didn’t want to go the route of a case, and thought a sleeve might be a nice alternative. Plan A was to visit the local art supply store and pick up a swatch or two of felt, but when they didn’t have any nice color options, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t have a Plan B. I sat on my couch when I got home and brainstormed how else I could make a cell phone sleeve. I didn’t have any other materials on hand that would work for this project.

And then it hit me! (Enter: hoarder.) I keep a whole drawer of gift wrapping materials by my drafting table for this very reason. I had the PERFECT item to reuse and repurpose: a felt pouch from Madewell! My aunt gave me a bracelet in it for Christmas once.

I should again stress that I really do not sew. I did, once upon a time in 6th grade, join sewing club, but that was eons ago. I can sew on buttons, and recently embroidered a card, but my sewing knowledge really stops there. That being said, I think that any crafter can make this cell phone sleeve. I’ll walk you through it!

DIY Felt iPhone 6 Sleeve

Materials:

  • Felt (one or two colors)
  • Embroidery thread
  • Sewing needle
  • Scissors

Step 1: My step 1 might look different from your step 1 because I was working with an item I needed to deconstruct before I could re-construct it. I began by carefully taking out the stitches in the felt pouch and lying it flat. I laid my phone down over the felt to eyeball where I needed to cut. For an iPhone 6, measure your swatch to be 3 1/2 inches x 11 5/8 inches. (Note: This pattern can easily be adjusted to fit any cell phone, tablet, or personal device.)

Step 2: If you want to make a secondary pocket, cut another felt swatch of identical measurements. This could be the same color or a complementary color. Then, fold this swatch in half short ways and cut a diagonal line through both halves of the felt. (Since I didn’t choose the color of my felt, I decided to spruce things up a bit with fun coral-colored embroidery thread!)

Step 3: Place the diagonally cut felt over the rectangular felt and carefully line up the edges. If anything does not line up correctly, this is the time to fix it. Thread the sewing needle with embroidery thread and begin sewing up the first side of the sleeve. You can use any stitch for this, or even a sewing machine if you know how to use one! I decided to stick to the basics: in one side, out the other, etc.

I used an invisible stitch to begin and end the two sides so that there wouldn’t be any visible knots or loose string (this sleeve is two-sided, after all!). When beginning, I entered through the inside of the sleeve, and at the end, I tied a knot between the two pieces of felt. These are very much “Victoria stitches,” as I truly had no idea what I was doing and made it up as I went. Much to my surprise, these stitches seem sturdy!

Step 4: Make sure that everything fits nicely in your new felt sleeve! I wanted my phone to fit snugly in the pouch so that it doesn’t fall out if held upside-down. The beauty of not having a top closure is that you can charge your phone and/or listen to music with headphones while it is in the sleeve! It will make the perfect companion for your jacket pocket, bag, or purse.

The best part about this project? It cost me $0. All because I saved that felt pouch from Madewell. Here’s to hoarding crafting supplies forever… and ever.

Be sure to tag your own DIY projects with #scissorsandsage!

Design inspiration for this project came from Poppytalk.

How To Knit A Basketweave Scarf

In December, my dad shared his hand-carved wooden buttons on Scissors & Sage.  I was so excited to use a button for a knitting project, so I quickly got to work!  I’ve been meaning to share this scarf for a few weeks now.  At long last, here it is!  It knit up quickly, as it’s big yarn and a relatively short scarf.  I used the basketweave stitch for my first time, and really like how soft and thick it makes the yarn feel.  Below is the tutorial.

The Materials:

  • 1 skein Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick yarn (I chose the Starlight color)
  • Size US 13 straight needles
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors
  • White thread
  • Sewing needle
  • 1 oblong button for closure

How To Knit The Scarf:

  1. Cast on 15 stitches
  2. Knit 3 / purl 3 / knit 3 / purl 3 / knit 3 *repeat this for 7 more rows
  3. Purl 3 / knit 3 / purl 3 / knit 3 / purl 3 *repeat this for 7 more rows
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the scarf reaches approximately 30-32 inches long
  5. Cast off 15 stitches
  6. Weave in ends with a tapestry needle

How To Add A Button:

  1. Place the scarf around your neck to determine where you’d like the button closure to be.
  2. Sew the oblong button onto one end of the scarf.  (If using a round button, sew it onto the scarf so that the scarf is permanently closed.  You won’t be able to feed a round button through your stitches, but you can simply pull the scarf down over your head.)
  3. Feed the oblong button through the other end of the scarf at a point where four boxes meet.  (The stitches are bigger here and can accommodate the button more easily.)

Here’s an impromptu picture of me wearing the scarf.  I find it to be incredibly cozy.  It’s almost a hybrid scarf/neck warmer!

MATERIALS FROM: Jo-Ann Fabric

DIY Dragonfly Earrings

DIY projects don’t always end the way I had anticipated, which is one reason why I love them so much.  They force me to see things in a new way, and think up alternate routes to a final product.  When I bought Sculpey clay a few months back, I thought that I’d be making a ring dish for my nightstand.  Yet when it didn’t work out the way I had envisioned, I began brainstorming.  What could I make instead?  I tested what the clay looked like with alphabet stamps pressed into it.  Much to my surprise, it worked quite nicely!  My alphabet set came with a few image stamps, too — a tiny dragonfly being one of them.  I quickly got to work.

DIY Dragonfly Earrings

Materials:

Preheat the oven to 275°.  Gather a pea-sized amount of clay and roll into a ball.  With a butter knife, flatten the ball onto a clean, flat surface until it is about 1/16-inch thick.  Stamp the flattened clay with the dragonfly stamp.  With the tip of a head pin, pierce a small hole into the top of the clay for the earring to later connect.  Carefully place the earring onto a cookie sheet.  Repeat for the second earring.

Bake the two earrings in the oven for approximately 7-10 minutes.  When they completely cool, coat the front  with clear nail polish.  This will give them a nice finish.  Allow them to dry for 20 minutes.

Using the pliers, bend the two ends of the wire into small loops (see finished product below).  Before closing the loops completely, attach the clay and hook ear wire.  Now close the circles as to avoid anything falling off.

Ta da!  My earrings were about a 1/3-inch wide, although any size would work (note that the baking time may vary).  They are the perfect earrings for spring and summer!

Victoria’s Spring Essentials

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Spring has practically-almost-maybe arrived, and I couldn’t be more excited.  While I really enjoyed the winter season this year, I am certainly ready to see it go.  Today, Anne and I are leaving for a spring break road trip for nine days.  Yippee!  So, with spring on my mind, I’ve put together some of my essentials for this upcoming season.

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Ray Ban Sunglasses: Any type of sunglasses add a twist to a spring outfit.  Wear them, hook them onto a t-shirt, or use them as a headband.  Get them here.

Made With Love: These bracelets were a lovely birthday gift from a friend last year.  They make such a statement, whether you wear just one or all eighteen together.  They are made from recycled rubber, and they come in all sorts of colors!  Get them here.

Hair Clips: An alligator clip is always clamped onto either my backpack or my purse.  They get hair out of your face in an instant, and look more professional than regular old hair elastics.  Get them here.

Aveda Hand Lotion: I don’t know about you, but the end of winter does not mean the end of dry skin for me.  I almost always keep a small bottle of lotion on me, and Aveda does the trick.  Thanks, Mom!  Get it here.

Clutch: Anne bought me this Anne Klein clutch this past Christmas.  Lemony-lime yellow is a popular color right now, and it’s easy to match with many of my outfits.  It’s perfect for a night out on the town.  This particular bag was from Marshalls.

Bird Ring: This ring is from one of my favorite jewelry stores, Silverado.  The bird image was adapted from a temple screen found in Thailand.  One reason I love it so much is because of the statement it makes–I ditch all other jewelry when wearing this ring!  These birds remind me that spring is on the way.

Hair Pins: These polka dotted hair clips make for a great hair accessory.  Jane Tran makes many cute styles–I have a few!  Get them here.

Lip Gloss & Lipstick: I’ve been challenging myself to wear bold lip gloss and lipstick recently.  There’s something about a red lipstick that changes an entire outfit.  During the day I’ve been wearing Burt’s Bees Rose for something a bit subtler, and Wet n Wild Cherry Frost on nights out.  Get them here and here.

Timex Watch: Another statement piece.  I’m all about minimal jewelry that speaks loudly come springtime.  This watch from Kohl’s was on mega sale, and it has definitely become one of my go-to accessories.  Thanks, Dad!

Essie Nail Polish: Essie is my favorite nail polish brand.  This past year, I have been giving myself manicures rather than spending money at a salon.  I’ve started a little Essie collection of six or so nail polishes.  These two are called Mint Candy Apple and Imported Bubbly.  Get them here and here.

Happy spring, everyone!  Do you have any of these items?  What’s in your spring essentials collection?

Knitting A Pom-Pom Hat

As much as I want to believe that spring is around the corner, it most certainly is not.  Every year I think that post-Valentine’s Day = post-winter, and that the long days of hibernation are over.  False.  There are probably many more cold and snowy days to come (like this morning in Philly), and one must be extra ready for this blustering wind!  (Okay, it isn’t actually blustering.) Anyway, here is a hat that I recently finished making.  I’ve never knit a hat before (let alone anything on circular needles), so I was very excited to work on this project.

I picked up my knitting supplies for this hat at Rosie’s Yarn Cellar in Philadelphia.  The woman working at Rosie’s was kind enough to educate and guide me through the process of starting my project.  Later on, I decided to add a pom-pom for a more playful look, and I couldn’t be happier with the results!

The Materials:

  • 1 skein of Manos del Uruguay merino wool
  • 1 skein of a contrasting color for the pom-pom
  • Size 8 circular needles (16″)
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors
  • Note: I did not end up using the size 8 double pointed needles pictured below.

How-To:

  1. Cast on 87 stitches (use this hat size chart to find your size)
  2. Seed stitch for 1 1/2 inches
  3. Stockinette stitch until the hat is a total of 7 inches tall
  4. Begin decreasing on circular needles (learn how here)
  5. Set aside the finished hat (!!!) to begin making the pom-pom
  6. Use either the same yarn or a contrasting color to make the pom-pom (learn how here)
  7. Secure the pom-pom to the top of the hat using a tapestry needle

While I do hope that winter sees itself out sooner rather than later, this hat is sure to keep me warm in the meantime.  This pattern used about half the skein of Manos del Uruguay yarn, so I may use the other half for another project in the near future.  I love the subtle striation in the color.

Remember that it is never too late to start knitting.  I recently read an interesting article called “Don’t Stop Knitting! It Keeps You Healthy!”  Take this late-winter opportunity to start something new.  Peek into a local knitting store and see what they have to offer.  As my psychotherapy teacher said today, “The way to change your future is to change your present.”

Note: Photos by Victoria Vitale & Anne Kenealy.