How To Make Adorable DIY Shoelaces With Fabric and Recycled T-Shirts

diy shoelaces

Put a little style in your sneakers with some adorable DIY shoelaces. Finding a set of shoelaces to purchase that are colorful and unique just doesn’t happen, so why not make your own. Making your own shoelaces is such an easy thing to do and the color combinations and patterns are endless.

These shoelaces can be made using regular cotton fabric or recycled t-shirts. In this tutorial, I give instructions on how to make two different types of shoelaces and three different methods.

  • Fabric laces (bias tape and tube methods)
  • T-shirt laces (NO SEWING REQUIRED)

The first method is sewing strips of woven fabric and the second method is simply using stretchy t-shirt yarn.

DIY Shoelaces Materials & Items Needed

  • Fabric scissors/rotary cutter (optional)
  • Bias tape maker (optional RED #18)
  • Fabric: Cotton Woven fabrics/Upcycled t-shirts/ Knit fabric
  • Iron
  • Shrink tubing 3/16 inch (optional)
  • Heat Gun (optional) / Hairdryer
  • Packaging tape/ or needle & thread (optional)
  • Sewing machine for sewn method
  • Safety pin
  • Needlenose pliers
  • Fraycheck (optional)

Fabric DIY Shoelaces

The first thing to do is decide how long you need to make your DIY shoelaces. Use the chart below to determine the length.

*If you like the length of the current laces that are in your shoes, simply pull out the laces and measure. Cut the fabric strips to that length.

Cut strips of fabric 1.5 inches/4 cm. (Fabric can be cut on the bias or on the grain).*See video tutorial

diy shoelaces measuring chart
diy shoelaces bias tape

BIAS TAPE MAKER METHOD

(For more information on how to make your own bias tape, READ HERE).

  • Apply the bias strip into the bias tape maker (RED #18)
  • Pull through and press as you go.
  • Topstitch along the open edge from end to end.
  • Do this for both laces.
  • Fold in half and press.

FOLD & IRON METHOD (without using the bias tape maker)

  • Fold the strip in half lengthwise and press. Fold the edges to the centerfold and press. Fold in half again and press.
  • Topstitch along the open edge from end to end.
  • Do this for both laces.

HIDDEN SEAM LACES

If you don’t like the look of stitching on the shoelaces, you can use this method.

  • Fold the strip in half with the RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER.
  • Sew along the raw edges from end to end using a 1/4 inch seam allowance.
  • Turn RIGHT SIDE FACING OUT.

TURNING TIPS: Here are a few tips on how to turn the tube inside out.

OPTION #1:  Sew the tube leaving both ends open. Apply a safety pin to the end of the tube and thread it through to the other end, pulling through as you go.

OPTIONS #2 Before sewing the seam, get a long piece of sturdy twine or ribbon. Sew it into the seam at the end of the tube. Tuck the twine along the inside fold (so you don’t catch it into the seam) and sew down the side seam.

Gently pull the twine to pull the end of the tube inside itself until you can grab it. Then pull it until the whole tube is turned inside out.

T-SHIRT FABRIC LACES (No Sewing Required)

I love upcycling t-shirts! Check out THIS POST for some other great ideas of what you can make with this stretchy material.

IF YOU WANT MORE DETAILED INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO MAKE T-SHIRT YARN, CHECK OUT THIS POST AND VIDEO TUTORIAL.

  • Cut 2 inch/5 cm strips of t-shirt fabric.
  • Pull strips to tighten and curl the fabric.
  • Measure the strips and cut them to the desired length.

FINISHING SHOELACE ENDS

  • Cut 4 shrink tube pieces to .75 inches /2 cm.
  • Apply shrink tube to the ends of laces allowing a little bit of the lace to extend past the end of the tube.
  • Heat tube using a hairdryer, heat gun, or open flame.
  • Remove the heat source once the tubing has shrunk and tightened around the lace.
  • Cut off the excess fabric.
DIY SHOELACES FRAYCHECK

DIY SHOELACES -OTHER FINISHING OPTIONS:

  • You can take a needle and thread and stitch and wrap around and around the ends while pulling the thread tightly. Knot and cut the thread.
  • Apply fray check to the fabric ends to keep the fabric from fraying.

GET THE FREE PRINTABLE INSTRUCTIONS HERE

Lace your shoes and enjoy an authentic stylin, one-of-kind pair of shoes!

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Connect:

Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

Top 4 Heat Transfer Papers for Making Custom Labels

top 4 transfer papers

When it comes to making your own custom labels, knowing what kind of heat transfer papers are the best to use, is good to know.

As most of you know, I like to add labels to my crafts and sewing projects. Adding that little tag to your projects gives them a professional look, and is a great way to put your logo on items that you sell or give away as gifts.

what kind of transfer papers

There are a lot of different heat transfer papers out there, and they are NOT all equal in value or quality. I have used several different types of papers out there to make my labels and I wanted to try a few others to make sure I was getting the BEST. So I ordered a few other popular brands out there and put them all to the test.

In this post AND video tutorial that you can watch, I go over 4 different brands of heat transfer papers and give you all the details.

There are two types of transfer papers, one for LIGHT colored fabric and one for DARK colored fabric. They each have different methods of printing and application, so make sure you are buying the correct type for the color of t-shirt of fabric you are using.

(If you want help and directions for printing on DARK fabric, check out my tutorial HERE).

The four brands that I tested were all for using LIGHT COLORED FABRIC.

Heat Transfer Papers Tested Brands

Transfer Papers Testing Categories

  • Adherence
  • Backing Peel Timing
  • Clarity & Vibrancy
  • Sheen
  • Durability
  • Cut Edge Durability
  • Cost

CLICK ON THE PHOTO ABOVE TO GET THE PRINTABLE PDF CHART

 

Each type of transfer papers will have its own set of instructions. I encourage you to follow those instructions because each one will be different.

transfer papers ironTransfer Papers Adherence Test

When I tested how well the paper adhered to the fabric and how long it took, there were some significant differences. Here are the results.

The TAILER brand was the quickest.

Next was the Avery, Koala, and PPD took the longest to adhere. When I went to peel the PPD and the Koala, I had to reapply the iron because it had not quite adhered completely. This is something to be aware of. Depending on fabric type and iron heat, the transfer papers may not adhere the first time and all you need to do is reapply the iron for a bit more until it does adhere.

transfer papers peel

Transfer Papers Backing Peel Timing

Each paper had a bit different timing instructions for when to peel off the backing paper. (FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS).

  • Avery- Didn’t even mention how long before peeling the backing paper off.
  • Koala- Let the fabric cool completely before peeling the backing paper off.
  • PPD- Peel the backing paper while the fabric is HOT.
  • Tailor- wait 1-2 minutes to peel backing paper off
transfer papers clarity

Transfer Papers Clarity & Vibrancy

Here are the results for how well they looked after printing and applying to the fabric. There wasn’t a ton of difference, however, I did find the PPD was the poorest and the Avery the best.

  • Avery- The colors were bright and vibrant and the text was very clear.
  • Koala- Not bad
  • PPD- The colors were not as vibrant and the text was not so crisp.
  • Tailor-Good
transfer papers text

Transfer Papers Finished Sheen & Texture

Each of the papers left a different sheen on the fabric. This depends on the look and feel you want your labels to have. Some have more of a plastic feel to them, which I find helps with durability when using on items that will be going through the wash a lot.

  • Avery- Matt finish and a bit rougher in texture
  • Koala- Matt finish and a smooth texture
  • PPD- Slightly shiny finish with a thicker texture
  • Avery- Glossy finish and thicker texture
transfer papers washing

Transfer Papers Durability

This was a test to see how well the labels held up after being laundered. If you are applying labels to items that will be going through the wash multiple times, this is good to know. I have made labels using transfer papers that did NOT hold up well after washing. It is a big disappointment after spending time and money on something that doesn’t hold up.

Most transfer papers brands recommend WAITING 24 HOURS before washing the item after application. They also recommend turning the garment the wrong side out and using cold water when washing, and drying on a cool setting. (I just send my items through the wash on a regular permanent press cycle and I do run them through the dryer. They hold up just fine).

  • Avery- Unfortunately, this brand fared the worst.
  • Koala- Fair
  • PPD- Fair
  • Tailor- Best

Transfer Papers Cut Edge Durability

When it comes to making your fabric labels, there are a few different materials that you can use to make iron the label onto. You can use ribbon, seam tape, and regular cotton fabric. If you choose to iron the labels onto fabric, you’ll be cutting the fabric into strips. You want the fabric edges to hold up and NOT FRAY! If you use ribbon or something with a finished edge, you don’t really have to worry about this. You can also hem or finish the edges with Fray Check.

I prefer to use transfer papers that have more of a plastic feel because the cut edge is much more durable and great for the labels and tags I make for my projects. It’s all about preference.

  • Avery- This brand was the worst and did have significant fraying going on.
  • Koala- Not bad
  • PPD- Ok
  • Tailor- Best

Transfer Papers Cost

  • Avery- Most expensive $1.35 sheet
  • Koala- $.90 sheet
  • PPD- $1.00 sheet
  • Tailor- $.96 sheet

Transfer Paper Testing Final Results

Here are the results of my overall review. Again, it is all preference, but for my needs, in making labels for my projects Tailor was the winner and a product I have been using for several years with great results. Some of the labels I have made are over 5 years old and still holding up great after multiple washings.

#1 Tailor-BEST

#2 Koala

#3 PPD

#4 Avery

I found it very interesting that the Tailor brand is not real popular and somewhat hard to find on Amazon, and they have Avery being one of the top brands.

But after testing them side by side, I found the Avery wasn’t it all cracked up to be and that my tried and tested Tailor brand came out on top.

I hope this was helpful for you when you go to make your CUSTOM FABRIC LABELS.

LEARN HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN LABELS HERE

Other DIY tutorials you may be interested in:

How to Use Heat Transfer Paper | NO MIRROR IMAGE NEEDED

 

Have fun making your own labels!

jan3

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Connect:

Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

Ground Beef Philly Cheesesteak | Quick and Easy Sandwich Recipe

ground beef Philly cheesesteak

Who doesn’t love a good Philly cheesesteak sandwich? This ground beef Philly version is the bomb! It’s a one-pan recipe and so delicious!

There are a lot of different Philly sandwich recipes out there, and I have a few of my own.

My Instant Pot chicken Philly recipe and my beef Philly (still yet to be posted) are delicious and similar, but this ground beef recipe is super quick and easy to make and it will save you a little money not having to buy a steak or a roast.

Making this Philly with ground meat not only saves you little money, but you don’t have to spend time slicing the meat or even go to the effort of having a butcher do it for you. I actually like making this recipe with GROUND TURKEY as well, which is another option and very tasty.

Some ground beef Philly recipes call for ingredients to make a thickening sauce. I find that this is unnecessary and only adds time and more ingredients to the process. This recipe is simple, straightforward, and delicious without all the fluff.

Italian Dressing Mix I like to add a little zip with some Italian dressing mix, but not necessary. Sometimes I add it and sometimes I don’t.

These ground beef Philly cheesesteak sandwiches are a hit for gatherings and parties, but they also make a quick, simple and delicious everyday meal. You can double the batch and freeze some of the meat mixture for a quick go-to meal later down the road.

ground beef philly provolone

What kind of cheese is best to use for your ground beef Philly?

The common cheeses that are used for Philly sandwiches are American cheese, provolone cheese, and there are even recipes out there where you make your own cheese sauce. Our family favorite and what I think is best is simple and yummy provolone cheese.

What about the buns?

Again this is all preference, but I like to use submarine rolls or round ranch rolls.

Ground Beef Philly Cheesesteak Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground meat of your choice (grass-fed beef if possible or ground turkey)
  • 2 large bell peppers (green, yellow or red)
  • 1 large yellow onion sliced
  • 6-8 oz. sliced mushrooms (optional) I LOVE THIS MUSHROOM SLICER!
  • 1-2 TB Italian Dressing Seasoning ( optional)
  • Sliced provolone cheese (6-8 oz.)
  • 1 TB salt (adjust to taste)
  • 6 Buns/Rolls
ground beef Philly peppers

Ground Beef Philly Cheesesteak Instructions

1- Chop or slice bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms and set them aside. I LOVE THIS MUSHROOM SLICER. It makes the task so much easier.

2- Preheat a large skillet, and when hot, add the ground meat and break it apart as you cook it. Season with salt, pepper and Italian dressing mix.

 

ground beef Philly cooking meat

3- Add onions, peppers, and mushrooms and cook until veggies start to soften. Stir frequently.

***If you like to have your veggies seperate, or if you have picky eaters, you can saute the veggies in a separate pan and add them on top of the meat mxture. There are more ways than one to sandwich!

ground beef Philly cheese melting

4- You can add the cheese to the whole mixture or you can add the cheese separately to each sandwich and place under the broiler for a few minutes.

I like to place some slices of cheese on top of the meat mixture while it’s still in the pan, cover and let it melt while off the burner. When the cheese is melted. stir to incorporate.

ground beef Philly sandwich

5- Slice buns open and top with a generous amount of filling. If you want the rolls to have a bit of a toasted crunch to them, place them under the broiler for a few minutes then add the filling.

Oh, baby, these are so yummy. Serve with chips, carrot, and celery sticks and you have a quick tasty meal.

CHECK OUT MY INSTANT POT CHICKEN PHILLY RECIPE HERE

Ground Beef Philly Cheesesteak | Quick and Easy Sandwich Recipe

ground beef Philly cheesesteak
This delicious Philly sandwich is made of simple ground beef, provolone cheese, mild and savory peppers, and a crunchy toasted bun.
  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time20 min
  • Total Time30 min
  • Yield6

INGREDIENTS

    • 1 lb. ground meat of your choice (grass fed beef if possible or ground turkey)
    • 2 large bell peppers (green, yellow or red)

    • 1 large yellow onion sliced

    • 6-8 oz. sliced mushrooms (optional)

    • 1-2 TB Italian Dressing Seasoning ( optional)

    • Sliced provolone cheese (6-8 oz.)

    • 1 TB salt (adjust to taste)

    • 6 Buns/Rolls

INSTUCTIONS

1

Chop or slice bell peppers, onions and mushrooms and set them aside.

 
2

Preheat a large skillet, and when hot, add the ground meat and break it apart as you cook it. Season with salt, pepper and Italian dressing mix.

.

3

Add onions, peppers and mushrooms and cook until veggies start to soften. Stir frequently.

***If you like to have your veggies separate, or if you have picky eaters, you can sauté the veggies in a separate pan and add them on top of the meat mixture. There are more ways than one to sandwich!

4

You can add the cheese to the whole mixture or you can add the cheese separately to each sandwich and place under the broiler for a few minutes. I like to place some slices of cheese on top of the meat mixture while it’s still in the pan, cover and let it melt while off the burner. When the cheese is melted. stir to incorporate.

5

Slice buns open and top with a generous amount of filling. If you want the rolls to have a bit of a toasted crunch to them, place them under the broiler for a few minutes then add the filling.

6

Serve with chips, carrot and celery sticks and you have a quick a tasty meal.

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Connect:

Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More

How To Make Your Own Chalkboard and Magnetic Board for Your Kitchen

chalkboard and magnetic board cover

Several years ago I added a chalkboard and magnetic board to one of my kitchen walls. Even though it has been several years since we made this, I thought you may be interested in how to go about making your own.

chalkboard and magnetic board before

Although my kitchen is rather small and I have very little wall space, I found a little spot where this would work. I designed it and my husband helped me with the construction.

todd construction chalkboard and magnetic boardMy husband is such a good sport at helping me with these projects. We make a great team! I design and he gets out the tools and does his magic. I love this guy. He is a keeper!

chalkboard and magnetic board after

This chalkboard and magnetic board have been a good thing! I love having a space where I can jot down notes, reminders, and positive quotes in my kitchen. Another good thing about this magnetic board is that I’m able to get the clutter off my refrigerator doors.

Here are a few photos of my boards. As you can see, I’ve painted the walls white since the original photos.

chalkboard and magnetic board menu planner

I hang my trusty CLIPBOARD CALENDAR and MENU PLANNER on the magnetic board.

These large magnetic clips are the BEST! As you can see I like to clip magazine recipes that I want to try on a clip as well. I keep a little box of colored chalk and chalkboard markers handy for notes.

Chalkboard and Magnetic Board Materials & Items Needed

  • ¼ inch hardboard cut to the desired size
  • Primer paint
  • Saw for cutting boards
  • Chalkboard paint
  • Paneling glue (optional)
  • Screws/screwdriver
  • Trim
  • Galvanized sheet metal (you can find this in the heating & ventilation section of home improvement stores).
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush/paint roller (optional)
chalkboard and magnetic board cover

Chalkboard and Magnetic Board Instructions

1- Decide how big you want to make the boards.

I have designed the boards to be side by side. You could just do a chalkboard or just a magnetic board singly if you wanted. We cut the hardboard big enough for both and just painted half the board.

2- Prime and paint the side you are using for a chalkboard.

Let it dry and then paint using CHALKBOARD PAINT. (Follow instructions for the paint). We used a little MINI PAINT ROLLER to apply the paint.

3- Glue the hardboard to the wall.

Use paneling glue to adhere the board to the wall. You can just set it in place with trim. We did both.

4-Apply the sheet metal using glue.

To separate the chalkboard and magnetic board, glue a narrow piece of trim down the middle.

5- Fill screw hole and paint trim

If you have screw or nail holes on the trim of the chalkboard and magnetic board, fill them and paint the trim.

That’s it! This is a doable DIY home project that is well worth the effort.


 

If you have any questions about the process, send me a note or leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

jan3

Share:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Connect:

Jan Howell

Jan Howell

Whether it’s a new recipe, a fun craft, or some handy tips for your garden and home, I hope to empower and inspire you with skills that you can use to create joy, improved health, and to do it in a simple way.

Read More