Sunday, February 28, 2010

Fabric: Tutorials Galore!

I was on Sew, Mama, Sew! today (very useful for tutorials, even if you, like me, are NOT a "Mama"), and found some excellent tutorials, both on their site and others, that I thought could be very useful for both real life and theatre :D So I decided to compile a list of props-related things that can be accomplished by using fabric!

Best part? Once again, you can co-operate with the costuming department! I personally think everyone should know how to sew, but it's always nice to be working with people who know a bit more than you ;) Not just about sewing, but about fabrics, good deals, etc...

So, here are some that I wanted to share!

Reupholstery / Recovering / General Makeovers

I want this chair. Chances are, you do too - especially if you've got some rather ugly furniture sitting around in storage. Thankfully, jcaroline creative has put together a how-to detailing the entire process - and she even sells the fabric in her store!

This chair has a rather similar fabric - and no wonder, it's by the same designer! While the previous tutorial was by the seller of the fabrics, this one is done by the graphic designer who created a ton of cool fabrics for the jcaroline store - Jessica at How About Orange. It's a fairly simple process, and doesn't use too much fabric OR paint - if you're in theatre, you can probably get the supplies from your scenic and costume shops without a problem! Check out the details here!

Desk Chair

If you're looking to recover a desk chair (or make a matching set), look no further! While this tutorial is rather sparse in text, it's got quite a few images - and if you've done any upholstery at all before, this should be a cinch!

Sometimes stock lampshades are ugly - and sometimes they're just plain boring. Never fear, though, Tresa Edmunds at Reese Dixon has got your back - with her tutorial on how to recover a lampshade, you've no need to worry again!


Sew, Mama, Sew! wrote an amazing three-part tutorial on making a slipcover for furniture a while back - it's absolutely loaded with images, and covers all the little details, which is perfect! From drafting, to draping, to sewing! Incredibly useful for all those times when you need something to look different but can't re-upholster (aka borrowed or nice furniture). Check it out here: Part One Part Two Part Three.

The Little Details

When it comes to props and set dressing, it's all about the little details - you might not notice things are there, but people will certainly notice that something is off if they aren't! These tutorials are helpful for when you're looking for that extra bit that brings things all together.

Ribbon-edged Towels

jcaroline creative has a wonderful, simple tutorial on how to embellish plain towels with pretty ribbons. It's a great way to dress up old towels, or to match them to the decor - especially if the characters in the play are those who'd have nicer items! You can also use similar ribbons to match up slightly different towels into a nice set (such as putting a white ribbon on blue towels, and a matching blue one on white towels). Check it out!

Recycled Fabric Napkin Rings from Saran Wrap Tubes

Kathy over at Merriment Design has a fantastic tutorial on how to use fabric scraps and old tubes (either from saran wrap or similar items) to make lovely matching napkin rings! If you've got any sort of table setting, this is an awesome (and super-cheap!) way to embellish it a little bit.

That's all for today - but hardly all the great tutorials I've found! I'll definitely be featuring more in the future; for now, I hope you've found something of use!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

On Blogs and the like

Blogging like this has been rattling around in the back of my brain for a while, but what made me decide to actually get on it was some of the other fabulous crafty blogs and sites I've been keeping an eye on. So, for the first actually helpful post, I'd like to feature a few of my favourites and share what I love about them.

Martha Stewart Crafts

As I'm sure you'll soon know all-too-well, I have a bit of a fixation with Martha Stewart. This, the crafts section of the Martha Stewart Website, is filled with what seems like endless tutorials of every kind, from the simple to the complex. There's also a Crafts Dept. Blog, run by the members of their crafts department.


The website of Craft: Magazine is another tutorial overload, although they focus more on linking to tutorials around the web, rather than their own (although they do have several awesome ones!) They also have it niftily arranged so you can either view all the blog entries, or just search by the type of thing you're looking for - multiple craft types, fashion, cooking, gardening, etc.

How About Orange

How About Orange is constant source of entertainment, if you're anything like me. Jessica Jones, the creator, shares all sorts of things - Tutorials and info on her own pieces (she's even designed several lines of fabrics!), links to interesting tutorials, resources, and graphics. I love her style of writing; it's so fun just to sit and read through the whole thing - which I did, the day I discovered it!

Today's Creative Blog

Kim, the creator of "Today's Creative Blog", is a genius. Not only does this blog constantly highlight creative blogs from all around the web (and world), but she also is more than open to suggestions from crafty readers and bloggers! She also holds crafty giveaways quite often, generously sponsored by a variety of sources. I also love how she keeps this blog and her personal blog separately - so I can browse what I will, rather than navigating through everything :) Her layout is also quite lovely!

Better After

This blog is always so fun to look at - it's a collection of renovations of all kinds (the majority are furniture items) done by regular people. It's a fantastic source of inspiration - both for personal and theatrical use. Seeing as a lot of furniture that theatres have in stock bears a striking resemblance to these thrift store finds...

That's all for today, but I'll certainly be spotlighting more creative blogs I love in the future!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Hello, and welcome to my new blog! I'm a theatrical tech and design major at Drake University, as well as an all-around arts and crafts enthusiast (and blog-reading addict). I adore looking through all sorts of crafting sites and blogs (and anything Martha Stewart I can get my paws on), and especially enjoy thinking of ways all the different techniques and ideas I come across could be applied to theatre and related venues.

Despite the title, this is not just a blog for people interested in props - so many of the things I've come across can be incredibly helpful to scenic designers, set dressers, costumers, etc... not to mention everyone else!

With this blog, I hope to share some of my thoughts, ideas, and finds with other theatrical designers (prospective or current ;)), as well as anyone else who may happen to stumble upon it. Above all, I want to be able to help at least one person out there to learn something new that they can truly appreciates.

Here's hoping!