Sound of Music Nursery Art

If you’re here for the CAMEO giveaway, it’s one post down.

If you want to see how I made the art in the DIY Blogger House nursery, you’re in the right place.

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Lara of Less Cake {more frosting} and I collaborated on this nursery.  When you get a couple of Sound of Music dorks together working on a room, you’re just asking for some sort of movie reference.  And, since clothes made out of curtains don’t make sense in a room that’s not for an actual baby (or ever), artwork it was.  Winking smile

Lara showed me Copeland’s Colorful Nursery from Project Nursery and we knew we HAD to use that phrase.  And, we knew we wanted BIG.  We looked at canvases, but my signature project budget was running low.  We thought about painting it on the wall, but I was worried about a) screwing up and b) having to spend that much time in the house that last week.  So, inspired by the amazing artwork in Mandi’s entryway, we went with plywood.

I picked up this piece (4’ X 4’, thin…maybe 1/4”, pre-cut) at Lowe’s for about $14.  I went through the entire stack before settling.  I liked the movement of the grain.

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Then, I took Lara a Diet Coke and she came up with a sketch/design.

Print

I separated the design in my Silhouette Studio software, and cut the script-y font out of vinyl using my CAMEO.  I applied the vinyl to the board and painted 2 coats using regular old cheap acrylic craft paint.  Then I peeled off the vinyl.

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You’ll notice that I jacked up the colors.  Oops.  It still turned out awesome, right?

Once that was dry, I cut the print font out of vinyl with my CAMEO and applied that to the board.  The white paint needed 3 coats, but that may be due to the fact that it had been in the basement for like 5 years.

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It needed just a little bit more *something*, so I went with 2 coats of a gloss poly,

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sanding between coats (and taking awesome cell phone pics in my garage in the dark).

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The total cost for this was right around $20.

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Photo by Nathan Sweet Photography

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And, because I love you, I’m sharing the Silhouette Studio file for your cutting pleasure.  Open-mouthed smile

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The scale is HUGE/sized for our 4’ X 4’ board but it can all be cut on 12” vinyl in your CAMEO.

How to trace with your Silhouette

I had a comment on the football helmet pillow post asking how to trace in the Silhouette Studio software, so I thought I’d do a quick tutorial.  It’s SUPER easy and it will change your life.  OK, not really, but it’s still pretty cool.

I have the Designer Edition software, but you can do this in the regular version as well.  Just wanted you to know why some things might look a little different on my screen than on yours.

The first thing you need to do is find the image you want to trace.  Save it to your computer.  You can trace anything, but blocky graphic type things work best.  (Next week I’ll be showing you how I traced  some fabric and enlarged the motif to make a painted pillow.)  For purposes of this example, we’re going with the local high school logo.

Go to the "File” menu in the upper left hand corner and choose “Open”.

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The box that comes up with default to Silhouette Studio files only. This will not help you.  Open-mouthed smile  You need to go to the box at the bottom and select all files.

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Find your image and select it and then open the trace menu (indicated by the poorly drawn red circle in the image below).

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Next you’ll want to “Select Trace Area” (the top option on the trace menu).  This allows you to draw a grey shaded box around the portion of your image you want to trace.  If you want to trace the whole thing, you don’t have to be especially careful.

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Parts of the image will turn yellow.  This will be the part that is traced.  Mess around with the sliders until everything you want traced is yellow.  On a blocky black and white image, I have the best luck with clicking the “Low Pass Filter” box and unclicking the “High Pass Filter”.

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Click “Trace” up near the top, and you’re done!

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You can then move and delete the original image and resize/modify your trace as necessary.

Easy, right?

Glitter Glasses

(If you’re looking for the CAMEO giveaway, it’s one post down)

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I posted these and the general how-to on Facebook, but I know that a lot of you don’t Facebook and you can’t pin stuff from there, so I’m posting it here as well.

You’ll need:

Painter’s tape
Craft Knife
Primer
Glitter Blast
Glitter Blast Clear Sealer
Glasses

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Now, I wouldn’t recommend doing this to a pair of $250 glasses or whatever, but we get most of Macy’s glasses from Zenni Optical (seriously…11 pairs in assorted colors for less than ONE pair of boring brown at the eye doctor) and I would DEFINITELY recommend doing it to an inexpensive pair from there. Open-mouthed smile

Tape off the lenses with painters tape.  Get a really good tight seal and trim the edges carefully with the craft knife.  Do the inside and the outside.

The trick with all of this is to go slowly and allow plenty of drying time.

Give the glasses a coat of primer.  I tried one pair (dollar store reading glasses to make sure my technique was good) without and the glitter didn’t stick as well.

After the primer, coat with Glitter Blast.

After that has dried, coat with the Glitter Blast Clear Sealer.

Carefully peel off the tape…like I used a pin to pry up a tiny corner so I wouldn’t scratch the lenses.

And you’re done!

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Now, I don’t know how these are going to “wear”, because that hasn’t happened yet.  I’ll update if something goes horribly wrong, I swear!

“Vintage” Sign Tutorial

Do you love the look of old metal signs?

I do.

Do you love the price of old metal signs?

I do not.

Plus, what are the odds that it’ll be just the right size and color?  Not good, friends…not good.

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So, when I had the idea to put one on Macy’s pallet headboard, I knew I’d have to DIY it.

My first stop was the ducting section at Lowe’s.

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They sell metal sheets elsewhere in the store (near the plexi glass), but they’re about 2-3 times as much.  Is it “nicer” metal?  Probably, but we don’t need nice for this project. Open-mouthed smile

The sheet measured 24” X 36”, but I wanted a slightly different size.  I cut about 2.5” off one of the long sides so my piece was 21.5” X 36”. You can score with a razor blade/utility knife and then snap the metal along the line, but it takes some SERIOUS patience and massive amounts of scoring.  I went the quick route and used tin snips (WEAR GLOVES) and then used a file to smooth the edge (WEAR GLOVES).

I liked the look of a metal border, so I taped off the edges and then I applied some yellow paint.  I used Jonquil from the new Martha Stewart Crafts by Plaid line.  That paint works on pretty much any surface, including metal.  You don’t need a great coat, because you’re going to sand it and beat it up.  Make sure it’s mostly covered, though.  Peel off the tape and sand.  I used an electric sander with 220 grit.  If you’re doing it by hand, you could use rougher paper (lower grit #).  Here’s a shot after I had sanded:

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I put the tape back on and applied some vinyl, cut with my Silhouette CAMEO™, in the center in the shape of a vintage Chevrolet logo.

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I traced the center part manually in the Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition software and then used the font “Hood Ornament” to add the lettering.  It’s not quite the same font that Chevy actually used, but only true car dorks would know that.

Once the vinyl was applied, I put on a coat of Martha Stewart Crafts by Plaid paint in carrot.

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After I peeled off the tape and vinyl:

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And then I sanded some more.  Once I was happy with it, I mounted it to the headboard with a screw in each corner.

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I will probably go back and put a clear coat on it, but it’s cold today and I’m a wuss.  Open-mouthed smile

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Mother’s Day Sign with Martha

So, you realize there are only 16 days left until Mother’s Day, right?

Coming off the awesome insanity that was SNAP! = Mother’s Day totally sneaking up on me

Fortunately, I had all this Martha (yes, THAT Martha) goodness to inspire me:

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Available at Michael’s and now also at JoAnn’s

If you haven’t already, you MUST check out the Martha Stewart Crafts by Plaid paints.  You can use them on virtually any surface (glass, metal, wood, terracotta, etc) and the colors/finishes are FAB.  And don’t even get me started on the tools!  The tops that screw directly onto the paint bottles make me WAY happier than they should.

So, what’d I make?  A sophisticated beachy sign/piece of art with my favorite mom saying:

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I started out with a board from the hardware store (cheap…$7 or so) that I had BC cut down a bit and 3 colors of paint.

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The one on the left is called Sea Lavender (I don’t know).  The one in the middle is Beach Glass.  And, the one on the right is Sterling.

I did a very thin coat (watered it down…is that called a wash?) of the Sea Lavender over the whole board.

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Then I picked out one of the stencils, a damask-y pattern from the Flourish set

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and used some stencil adhesive spray and the foam pouncer tops

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and I did some stenciling.

I applied the Sterling first

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and then layered on the Sea Glass.

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Once it was dry, I gave it a light sanding.  I wanted it to look old and faded.

The last step was to add the lettering.  I cut the phrase out of vinyl and removed where I wanted the paint to be and then applied it to my board.

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I used the Sea Glass with the foam pouncer top to fill in the vinyl stencil as well.

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Are you making a Mother’s Day gift for someone that has mothered you?

Will you tell me what it is?  (This isn’t actually for my mom…she reads my blog!)

 

Find my post disclosure here.

 

· Twitter: http://twitter.com/plaidcrafts (@plaidcrafts)

· Facebook: http://facebook.com/InspiredByPlaid

· Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/plaidcrafts

World’s Easiest Pallet Headboard

If you’ve ever asked me what BC does for a living, you probably remember me saying “I don’t know.”  It’s true…I don’t.  Here’s what I do know:

There’s a crate shop involved.

This crate shop is the source of LOTS of scrap lumber.  And pallets.

So, when I couldn’t figure out a way to make my initial dreams of a corrugated metal headboard be non-tetanus inducing, I decided to go the free route and use some pallet wood.  I thought the rustic wood would be a nice contrast to the white board and batten and that it would go well with the vintage car vibe we’re going for, too.

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BC came home with a double sided 42” pallet.  Apparently both of those characteristics are rare?  (Shipping dork alert!)  I loved the look of it so much that I decided not to rip it apart.

I found this fabulous light at Lowe’s in the outdoor lighting section:

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I bought a cord kit and wired the light to work as a plug in.  I’m not going to tell you how to do this, because I’m not an electrician.  You should probably consult one before you do this.  Open-mouthed smile

I mounted the light to the pallet and loved it

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but it needed some height.

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I went for another cheap and easy solution.

BC cut me three 17” pieces of a 4X4 and a 42” long piece of 2X4.  We screwed the legs (the 4X4) to the 2X4 and then mounted it to the bottom of the pallet.

See?

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The bed frame will be bolted directly into the 4X4’s.

Whether or not I stain/paint/something that wood to make it the same color as the pallet has yet to be decided.  It’ll probably depend on how visible it is once there’s bedding on the bed…that’s how I roll.  I’m also pondering another potential addition to the headboard involving something I got in the ducting section at Lowe’s.

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In the mean time, I wanted to remind you all about the $100 Lowe’s gift card giveaway I’m running through noon tomorrow.  GO HERE to enter.

And while you’re waiting to see what else I’ve done to the room/if you’re the lucky gift card winner, head on over for your FREE Subscription to Lowe’s Creative Ideas Magazine:

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Disclosure:  Lowe’s provided me with a gift card for this month’s room makeover challenge.

How To Paint a Mailbox

(Or at least how to make it polka dotted)

I promised the how to on the paint job from the mailbox I used in yesterday’s post, so, without further ado…

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The first thing you’ll want to do is remove the flag from the mailbox.  Mine had a nice little pin to pull out and the flag came right off.

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Next you need dots.  Lots and lots of dots.  I used vinyl and cut them with my Silhouette CAMEO™ and my Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition software, but you could easily trace and cut them by hand or even use a large punch.  Because I bought an oversized mailbox, I wanted my circles big…1.5”.  I made one and then used Object > Replicate > Fill page in my software to fill my vinyl.  A 9” by 24” piece gave me enough 1.5 dots for my whole mailbox.

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I drew a pencil line down the top of my mailbox and found the center.  I placed my first dot there.  I then spaced the dots 2 1/4” apart (from edge to edge) along the top of the box.

To make the next row, I drew a line 2 1/2” from the bottom edge of the dots and placed the bottom of the next row right up next to that line.

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I centered a row of dots down the front and back of the mailbox with the same spacing, and then filled in the ends the same way.

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Once all the dots were in place, I had a kid run her finger around all the edges to make sure that the vinyl was sealed tightly.  Then, I headed for the garage with a can of Valspar Gloss Exotic Sea.  (Random side note:  I’m enjoying the new Valspar spray paint cans immensely.  The big old trigger button makes the painting much more comfortable.)

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My favorite “duh” spray painting tip is to always start with your item upside down.  Get all the bottom edges painted nicely first.  I gave the whole mailbox a couple of coats and then peeled off the vinyl.  I used the hook tool from Silhouette, but again…not necessary.

Put the flag back on and you’re good to go (chains and bird perches optional)!  I’m totally wishing my mailbox wasn’t brick right about now.

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Check back tomorrow for a seriously awesome deal on the Silhouette CAMEO™ and the Silhouette Studio® Designer Edition software.

Basketball Player Costume, On the Cheap

In 3rd grade at my kids’ elementary, they get to participate in a wax museum.  Each kid reads a biography and then dresses as that person for an oral report.  The parents (and the rest of the school) get to come see all the kids in costume at once, posed and holding still.  There’s the “wax museum” part of it.  If you’ve been reading this blog for a really, really long time (hint: my mom), you might remember Macy’s Helen Keller ensemble.

Keller came home and announced that the biography he’d selected was for Steve Nash.  Um, OK?  The next sentence was “So you can just buy me a jersey or something…”  Sorry, no.  I love you but this is a book report.  I’m not spending that kind of $$$ for a book report costume.  I knew I had to get creative.

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Supplies:

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2 cheap-o t-shirts.  Mine came from Michael’s and were 2 for $5.  One was an adult size small and the other was an adult size XL.

Avery Personal Creations InkJet Iron-On Dark T-Shirt Transfers, White, Five Sheets per Pack (03279)
(I used 2 sheets out of the 5 sheet pack.)

You’re going to make the shorts from the XL shirt.  Fold it in half and use the existing hem to save yourself some time.  I traced a pair of Keller’s shorts and then just cut a little bigger for seam allowances.  (Who am I kidding?  This is a costume that will be worn for under 2 hours.  I didn’t trace.  I just cut.)

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Be sure to include an extra 2” or so at the top for the waistband casing.  Sew the inner seams on each leg and then sew the crotch seam.  Make the waistband casing, insert some elastic and you’re done.  Seriously…5 minutes.

For the “jersey”, I cut both sleeves off the size small shirt about where the (really wobbly) yellow line is in the picture below.

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I pressed them under along the seam and stitched them in place so they wouldn’t flip back out. You could hem the t-shirt at this point if you want, but I just made my kid tuck it in (back to that whole “wearing it for less than 2 hours” thing).

For the Suns logo, I used the print and cut feature in my Silhouette Studio software.  You can ABSOLUTELY do it without, you’d just cut out the shape with scissors.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  My Silhouette has made me lazy.  Open-mouthed smile

Here’s a brief how to if you have a Silhouette and want to do it that way:

Find an image of your team’s logo.  Open it in Silhouette Studio.  Display your registration marks now so you don’t get all the way done and discover you made it like a millimeter too big.  Trust.  Once you’ve done that, you’re going to want to use the TRACE function (red arrow) and then select an area to be traced (green arrow).

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Adjust your trace settings (bottom right hand side rectangle) until you get a good outline and then select the “TRACE OUTER EDGE” option (yellow arrow).

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I’ve moved the logo out of the way so you can see what you just did a little more clearly.  You can leave it put if your eyes are better than mine.

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That line will cut precisely along the edge of the logo.  I wanted a little white border, since my shirt was dark, so I used the “OFFSET” function.  It’s under the “OBJECT” menu in the upper left hand corner.  You can then change the thickness of the white border (blue arrow).

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I still have the logo out of the way for the sake of tutorial clarity, but you’ll want to leave it put in real life.  The last step is to change the inner most line so that your Silhouette will not cut it.  You use the “CUT STYLE” menu (orange arrow) for this.

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Change the inner line to “no cut” and leave the outer line as “cut”.  Here’s what your finished design will look like before you print it from Silhouette Studio.

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Print it on the Avery transfer paper and then put it on a mat and run it through your Silhouette.  I used the medium cardstock settings.  Apply it to your shirt following the package directions.

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Put your name and number on the back, if you want.

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Not bad for around $8, right?

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Dyed Doily Pillows

Let’s get in our time machines and go back to June 9, 2010.  I posted this.

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I’d taken some ratty old thrift store doilies (I’ve recently spotted doilies at Dollar Tree and JoAnn’s, if thrift stores aren’t your thing) and dyed them with Dylon dye.

I told you I was going to make pillows.

Well, I finally did.  And it only took me 433 days.

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Supplies:

Canvas drop cloth (or other fabric for the body of the pillow)
Doily (dyed or not…your choice)
Sewing machine and thread

Random blah blah blah about the body of the pillow:  I had an 18” pillow form, so I cut my front piece 18” X 18”.  I used the already hemmed drop cloth edges to cut two 12” X 18” (this was the hemmed edge) pieces for the envelope closure on the back.  If you don’t have a hemmed edge, you’ll want to cut yours bigger to allow for hemming.

I centered the doily on my square of fabric and pinned it in place.

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I used a zig zag stitch to sew around the edges and to tack down part of the middle as well.  Since I used matching thread, you can hardly see it.

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Here’s a shot of the back, to give you a better idea:

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And, that’s it.  Put the pillow together and you’re finished!

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Petal Pillow Tutorial

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Supplies:

Canvas drop cloth (or other fabric for the body of the pillow)
Felt (7.5” X 17.5”)
Sewing machine + thread
Hand sewing needle
Petal template

Random blah blah blah about cutting the petals:  The wool blend felt I bought was 17.5” wide.  I cut three 2.5” strips and then cut those strips into 2.5” squares.  This gave me 21 squares (18 for the big petals, 3 for the smaller center petals).  I stacked the squares 3 or 4 at a time to cut them out.

Random blah blah blah about the body of the pillow:  I had an 18” pillow form, so I cut my front piece 18” X 18”.  I used the already hemmed drop cloth edges to cut two 12” X 18” (this was the hemmed edge) pieces for the envelope closure on the back.  If you don’t have a hemmed edge, you’ll want to cut yours bigger to allow for hemming.

Now where were we?  Oh yeah.  The pillow.

Decide where you want to position your flower on the pillow.  Lay out 6 of the petals like this.  I’ve included my tape measure in the shot, so you can see about how far apart I spaced them.

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Pin them if you need to, and then sew them down (in towards the center).

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Position another 6 petals for the second layer.  Pin and stitch.

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Position another 6 petals for the third layer.  Pin and stitch.

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Your 3 center petals are going to be sewed in place like this:

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(pinch ‘em like a piece of farfalle pasta)

You can tack them into that shape first, or you can do it as you sew them on.  You’ll want to sew them on with the points lined up with those in the 2nd row of petals.

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Put the rest of the pillow together, and you’re done!

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