New in Thee Shop: Upcycled Denim and Vintage Straw Belt Messenger Bags

This upcycled denim messenger bag is the second bag I make with this denim scaly detail. It's a simple bag with three pockets, two inside and one on the outer back. The straw belt keeps the flap in place to close the bag.

Check it out in thee shop!

This small messenger bag has an upcycled denim scaly flap with parts vintage straw belt straps and brass metal components. (It was the first one I made, a while back and has since sold.)

I drew inspiration from fish and mermaid scales and went for an overall beachy feel with the straw belt, striped linen pants hems and of course varying denim blues.


DIY Guest Book Wedding Quilt

A wedding quilt "guest book" was the perfect idea for this bride who sews. At first, I considered having guests sign big wooden letters of our initials but I'm found this quilt idea. I sew but I am not really a quilter. I had never made a quilt before until now.

We had family help us set up and decorate. I actually intended for the floral table runner to go vertically on the table, not across but it seems someone didn't follow my exact instructions lol. I made the runner with two yards of Timeless Treasures Metallic Sakura Chrysanthemums & Peonies Navy Cotton Fabric and finished the edge with Save the Date 2.5'' Satin Navy Ribbon from

The instructions were in both English and Spanish and I tried my best to make it easy to understand. I found this pretty picture frame at a thrift store a couple years ago and used it in my parents anniversary wedding party. I had spray painted it silver for that so I painted it copper for mine.

I used this wooden photo display I bought off Amazon to hang the signed fabric squares. It worked really well, all I had to do was add a supporting beam across the bottom to make it stand up on its own. It was, of course, a hot day in August so we had wooden fans available for guests to take with them as well.

In retrospect, didn't need this many clothespins but yeah lol. I also bought mini clipboards to help support the fabric and writing. They worked out really well.

These are some of the cotton fabrics I chose for the quilt. Chose them in colors I thought would match our color scheme. Coppery/rose gold cotton fabrics are tricky to find. I was also able to use leftover fabric from the groomsmen bow ties I made. The colors of the bow tie fabric (Timeless Treasures Revive Charleston Asian Cherry Blossom on Navy Blue 100% cotton) were a lot closer to those I was using in the wedding but not as close as the table runner fabric but I found that one after I had already made the bowties.

These are the tips I followed on Making a Guest Book Quilt by the Strategic Homemaker.

I laid out my squares to get a pattern going. I did however end up changing it a little bit in the end.

I was so tempted to do a heart shape but decided against. Too clich√© haha.

It's so important to press open all the seams. It really does help a quilt or anything lay flat.

I used this burgundy and hot pink fleece as my batting because I had these remnants on hand and I had read that it would work just as well and it did. I sewed it to the front side with the signatures so the back is a bit loose. 

It’s supposed to be a standard throw size so it’s not very big but that’s okay. There’s a couple blank squares I want to fill in with quotes or something, not sure yet. 

I’m regretting the backside (and my fabric choices) a bit. I hastily put it together with remaining pieces of cotton and I wanted to incorporate the banner I had custom ordered. I really wish I would’ve just cut off the white part under the blue, of the banner...I didn’t need to keep the whole thing. I want to be done with it though. It was annoying to sew such a big piece. I might go back and fix it later on if it bothers me too much. 

The things the Strategic Homemaker mentions in her post (I linked above) are totally true. It doesn't really matter how clear you think you made the instructions, they will be overlooked. Yes some people will sign wrong sides of fabric and you will probably overestimate how many squares you need and think people will sign. In this case it's better to have more than less though so that's okay. My husband and I are both so thankful for everyone’s sweet messages and it’s definitely such a lovely keepsake for us. If you're looking for a different wedding guest book idea, and you can sew or know someone who can for you, do this, it's worth the effort.

Upcycled Candle Lid Wedding Cake Topper Base

Since our wedding had kind of a bird theme going on, bird cake toppers were an obvious choice. I bought these (in white) from Etsy seller, Angel Heart Designs. They came very nicely packaged, it was like a little present. Always appreciate pretty packaging.

My mom actually had this candle that came with a hammered copper lid. Found here on Ebay..I can't find it on the Bath and Body Works site. Anyway the size was perfect. All I needed to do was make holes for the wired leaf arch and voil√†.

For the arch, I bought these vintage millinery leaves from Etsy seller, Paper Tales. I couldn't find any already copper so I just spray painted these to match.

I know I could've used a wooden base for the bird platform but it definitely wouldn't have looked as coppery and rose-golden. 

This photo was taken before the cake arrived. It has the base I wanted to use for the cake. I think it's a plant stand, I found it at Ross and spray painted it white. My sister in law, who made the cake, ended up deciding it wouldn't hold up the weight so it wasn't used how I wanted, sadly.

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