home life

Homemade Pillows

When I worked at the public library, I held a teen program for making no-sew pillows. We used the iron-on hem tape, an iron, and scraps of material you can buy bundled together. We stuffed them from a big bag of fluff. Some teens ironed their pillows together as-is, some tried to fold in the raw edges and hide them, and some (ok, one, ha!) forgot to flip their material so the bright side would show once it was stuffed. It was a fun program and it inspired me to go back to the store and buy more supplies to make my own pillows. I picked single scraps of material though, matching together complimentary patterns and colors.

Let’s let a year go by…

Here we are in the present, with me cleaning my house and trying to wrap up loose ends. I find this material, hem tape, and stuffing. When I mention the pillows to my mom, she mentions that she would be happy to sew them while using her machine for other stuff anyway, and she also has some pillow forms she doesn’t need. Cue me finding t-shirts I don’t wear anymore and won’t fit into my t-shirt quilt (more on THAT later), but that I still want to keep.

We ended up making 9 pillows. And when I say we, I mean most definitely my talented mother. She can do way more than sew in a straight line, but that skill was very necessary for this project and that skill is one I do not possess (insert vague reference about the t-shirt quilt because ME TRYING TO SEW is why that quilt isn’t a thing yet).

My favorite is from a shirt that was super tight on me and made from really thin material. So while I loved the message, I wasn’t a fan of wearing the shirt. But it makes the perfect pillow for my reading corner!


Continue reading “Homemade Pillows”

home life

Crafting by Upcycling

A few years ago I had some special cards made for a library conference. I was a teen services librarian at a branch here, but didn’t have professional cards yet. I also was (and still am) the volunteer manager of YALSAblog, and I wanted to include that on my cards so I could reach out to people who might want to write for us.

I ordered from Moo.com, my favorite place to splurge when I want fun, unique, yet high quality professional cards. I used pictures from my How I Feel About Books instagram account for the front, because I like a lot of the book photos I take and share there. You can get like 25 unique card fronts per pack, so I didn’t have to narrow it down too much! The back had information about my library position, my volunteer position, and my personal site and instagram.

Fast forward to when I’m not working at that library anymore, and the cards aren’t much use to me. I guess that job title isn’t a huge deal since I’m still the manager of YALSAblog, and they are unique and eye-catching and worth handing out at conferences, but not too helpful in my daily networking. But I love those pictures! I decided I would mount them on a canvas to hang in the house.

When I was hanging work from my photography exhibit around the house a few weeks ago, I moved some stuff around – stuff I didn’t like much anymore, or was hung “just because”, whatever I could do to hang more of my own work without putting a lot of extra nail holes in the walls. One things I took down was this stained glass-looking print that had been hanging in the bedroom for almost 5 years. I think I found it at a thrift store – maybe I was going to do something to it? Maybe I thought it looked cool at the time? Anyway, I took it down and was going to put it on the pile to donate, when it hit me. I could mount my old business cards on this instead of buying a canvas to put them on!

I didn’t think to take a picture in time to get the whole original, but you get the idea.

I used 20 different business cards to make this – I still have plenty left, but it’s nice to see some of them put to good use. Another bonus – I used up the last little bit of both of my super glues! It might sound stupid but it was really satisfying to throw away those things that had been sitting in the junk drawer forever.

I might gloss over it with Mod Podge, but I might just let it go and see if it all stays intact. The front of the original art was glossy, so I don’t know if the glue will stick to it as well as it would canvas, but it is super glue.


Since all the cards are book- and library-related images, I hung it in the back room with all my bookshelves – on a nail that was already there! Talk about low-key, easy art. I think it looks just right.