Sunday, January 31, 2016

DIY Valentine Chair Envelopes (Pottery Barn Inspired)


So it was 6 years ago that I first created some "I'm not paying that for that" Valentine treat bags that I had seen in the PBK catalog. It was my first "PB Hack", or whatever you'd call it. My favorite hack was the Halloween Bags that I did later that year. They turned out cuter than I could have ever thought! But, looking back on this photo, I can't help but smile at the little toys stuffed inside them that told a tale of who those kids were that year. In fact, as I read through the past years, these bags held trinkets every year since Evan's second Valentine's Day that spoke volumes about who they were in that moment. From Hello Kitty and webkinz and Thomas the Train (which would last for yeaaaarrrrrrs) and Chuck & Friends, all the way to jewelry and legos. It's amazing, isn't it, the way little landmarks can bring so much love to your memory?


Well, this year, I decided to make anew. The treat bags are smooshed and bent, and loved hard. And as kids grow bigger, their "things" aren't as big and bulky and full of monster truck wheels and stuffed animals, so I decided that I would once again, be inspired by the brilliant mind of Pottery Barn and make big Valentine Envelopes for their chairs, like this one:

From PotteryBarn.com
Super cute, huh? I didn't want the scalloped edges, and I wanted it to look a little bit more like an envelope, so I had to change up a few things, but it was pretty easy.
For each envelope, I used 1 1/2 pieces of stiff white felt in the longer size, and 1 sheet of red glitter felt. I also bought red cotton yarn that looked like it wasn't going to fray as easily as the cheap yarn I usually buy, some yarn needles, and red ribbon.


Step 1: Fold one piece of white felt in half, and cut it on the fold. You'll use ONE of these halves on your envelope, (unless you mess up like me, and then you'll use both). Fold the other one in half, but do NOT cut it. You can place the half sheet on top of the whole sheet and it should look like this:
(I cut my half sheet a little shorter than the halfway fold, but you don't need to do this.)


Step 2: You need to cut a small dip in the half sheet to make it easier for the kiddos to get their goodies out of the envelope. I used a dinner plate as a guide, and cut it about 1.5 inches down. (This was my second try, so I also cut the sides down a bit less than the first fail). 


Step 3: Because I wanted it to look like an envelope, I lightly traced a line coming from each bottom corner up to the center of the cutout. I used the felt i had cut, but you perfectionists can use a ruler and measure and trace.


When you're done, you should have lines kinda like this:


Step 4: Fold the top down and draw faint marks from the upper corners down to however low you want the envelope flap to fall when closed. Mine was about 3/4 of the way down.  (I started mine a bit below the top corners because the card envelope I was looking at had tapered ends, but it would be a lot easier to just make the one line. Your choice.)


After tracing, it should look like this: 


Step 5: There are different ways to do this part. If you want to sew with a machine, now is the time. If you want a no-sew option, grab a red sharpie and fake it, or if you're an in-betweener, grab your yarn and a needle and lets go! You're just making the lines on the half size felt right now, so leave the large sheet alone. I started at the corner and went up to the top and back down the other side. Since I like my projects to look "Handmade with love", I didn't aim to make exact straight stitches or stitches of equal length, but you can vary it as you like.




Step 6: Cut your ribbons. Think about where and how you'll be hanging these, and measure accordingly. I ended up cutting mine two times the length of the red felt.


Step 7: Keep the ribbon edges from unraveling by burning them with a lighter, like me, or sew them if you're awesome like that.
Step 8: On the large piece, you need to cut slits for the ribbon to go through, unless you decide to sew them or hot glue them on. I cut mine about 1.5 inches in, and used a steak knife to stab them through. Perfectionistas can measure and use a utility knife, and it'll probably look a lot cleaner than mine. 


Step 9: Weave the ribbons in the slots so the ends are hanging out the backside of your envelope.


Step 10: Its time to put them together! Start at a corner and sew/glue/stitch all the way around the outer edge. Make sure your envelope flap is OPEN.
When it's done, it should look like this:
(And yes, if you're stitching, you probably feel like your fingers are going to fall off)


Step 11: The heart. I cut a fourth of the page of red felt for each envelope.


Step 12: Cut your heart out. You can trace one using a stencil or you can buy premade hearts at the store, but I freehanded one by folding it in half and eyeing about the size/shape I wanted, drawing a pencil line, and cutting it out (plus a few trims afterwards).


Step 13: At this point, you can personalize the heart if you wish. Write it with sharpie, use glitter glue, paint, or, if you really like the look of Pottery Barn, you can take the heart to a shop to get embroidered. I hadn't decided at this point what I was going to do, so I went on to the next step.

Step 14: Once your heart is cut out, attach it by sewing, stitching or gluing it on. I put Emma's heart glitter side up and Evan's with the plain side up.


Step 15: Velcro. I used self adhesive velcro dots. Put a set together and stick it on the flap of the envelope. THEN close it, and the bottom part of the velcro should stick exactly where you need it. If you want to add more stability, you can hot glue the dots on, but they've always stayed on for me.



In the end, I found some iron-on monogram patches at Hobby Lobby, but I glued them on, because, I just don't know the rules about felt and irons? (and I'm lazy, so...)

They looked adorable.




SO, for about $6.00 each (if even that), they've got new treat bags for Valentine's Day.
LOVE! 

XOXO, Heidi
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