Bandanna projects

I cleared several projects off my plate this evening. All of them, oddly enough, involved bandannas. Having been taught by my creative writing teachers to “show, don’t tell,” I’ll just let pictures explain it:

1. Gift wrapping. No tape, no wrapping paper — just reusable ribbon and bandannas. I’m hoping to start a trend that will keep a few rolls of wrapping paper out of the landfill. 🙂



2. Wallets. I finally finished making the “fabulous prize” I promised to Janet, the blog reader who got the correct answer to the Neil Diamond trivia question a few weeks ago. She’s getting a dark purple wallet with metallic gold paisleys on it. While I was at it, I made a purple floral print wallet for my friend Kathryn from Australia, who kindly shipped me some Vegemite and some cool souvenirs from Down Under a couple of weeks ago; camo and royal blue paisley wallets to hold checks for a couple of Ron’s young relatives for Christmas; and a saucy little rockabilly-looking lipstick-print wallet to replace the boring harvest gold paisley one I’d made for myself a few months ago. The wallets are all made the same way; I just showed them in three different positions because I’m probably going to post them on Craftster later and people might want to get an idea of how they’re put together.


3. Book cover. Because I’m a Christian Scientist, I don’t carry aspirin or anything like that … but I do keep pocket-sized copies of the Bible and Science and Health in my purse so I can look up healing ideas on the fly. The books survived WWII unscathed in my Sunday School teacher’s pocket, but my purse is a whole ‘nother matter, so this evening, I used a steam iron, a bandanna, a bit of fusible webbing, and a scrap of ribbon to make this handy-dandy slipcover, which protects the books from the stray coins and keys that have a tendency to get wedged between the pages and dogear them.

It took a bit of trial and error to fold it and press creases into the right spots, but I think it turned out pretty well. I’m including pictures of how it folds up in case you feel like riffing on the design to protect a book or two of your own. I think the basic design could probably be modified fairly easily to accommodate a paperback novel.





We spent part of this afternoon cruising 66 to Chelsea so I could take some pictures with my new Holga. I’ll try to get the roll developed this week so I can show you what (if anything) I got. This is the first roll I’ve put through the camera, and it’s a Holga, and it’s been a long time since I shot film, so I’m not holding my breath, but we’ll see….

I was going to decorate for Christmas today, but I have to clear my craft desk first, and I couldn’t do that until I finished my bandanna projects, so I guess I’ll just plan on cleaning the living room and digging the tree out of the garage tomorrow evening.

On a totally random note, I have been listening to some excellent blue-eyed soul this evening: Amy Winehouse (I have decided that “Amy Amy Amy” is one of the best songs ever written, and “Love Is a Losing Game” sounds like some long-lost Dusty Springfield relic), Joss Stone (love her cover of “God Only Knows”), and Van Morrison (“Tupelo Honey”). Wonderful stuff.

Hope you had a good weekend.


7 thoughts on “Bandanna projects”

  1. Emily! Hi, this is Janet. I was telling a friend of mine about your lovely gift (it was 7 years ago, almost, and I still have it). Do you have a pattern? I’m a Canadiens fan and would love to make a friend of mine a wallet with some fabric I found with our logo on it. Thanks in advance – Janet

    p.s. Are you still on FB/Twitter?

    1. The bad news: The tutorial I posted on Craftster was from a different design that ended up being too cumbersome for daily use. The good news: I still had my lipstick wallet lying around, and by looking at it, I think I remembered how I did it.

      1. Fold bandanna in thirds and press the folds with a steam iron.
      2. With the raw edge up and the neat folds down (hope that makes sense), grab the bottom, fold it up until the raw edge is about three inches from the top, and press the fold.
      3. Grab the folded edge at the bottom, fold it up until it is about an inch from the raw edge, and press the new fold.
      4. Repeat step 3. When you finish, you should have a square with three flaps folded into it — one about 3 inches from the top and the rest about an inch apart.
      5. Stitch around the perimeter, about a quarter-inch from the edge, to keep all the layers together. (If you use a sewing machine, which I recommend, you may need a heavy-duty needle like the kind used for denim to get through the thick parts.)
      6. Fold down the top 3 inches or so to cover the flaps (which are now pockets) and press the fold.
      7. Fold in half vertically and press the fold.

      If this doesn’t make sense without visuals, remind me, and I’ll try to find a spare bandanna so I can make a new one and post a tutorial. If you’re using regular cloth instead of a bandanna, you’ll want to add about a half inch all the way around (basically, cut a piece of fabric an inch wider and an inch taller than a regular bandanna) so you can hem the raw edges before you start folding and stitching. Alternately, you could cover the edges with bias tape, though that’s a bit elaborate for my taste.

      As to your earlier question, which I forgot to answer: I’m on Twitter and Pinterest as redforkhippie and on Facebook under my real name, though my security settings are locked down pretty tightly because I’ve gone back into journalism and don’t really want some of our less rational readers monitoring my personal life. o_O

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