Thursday, April 23, 2015

Kitty Doorstop: Upcycle a Baby Onesie

I go through minimalist phases where I try to pare down our belongings into (1) things that we use and (2) things that we just plain love. Our old clothes are always easy to get rid of, but when it comes to our daughter's clothes, I just can't seem to part with them, either for sentimental reasons or because they are just too cute. As a result we have boxes and boxes of her old clothes in the basement.

The cute ones I've been trying to upcycle, so that they can have a second life as something useful. Needless to say she is going through clothes faster than I can come up with ideas on how to use them!

While I was putting her to bed one night I realized that she needed a doorstop in her bedroom. At one point I had put one of her outgrown shoes at the door to prop it open and, like most temporary solutions, it ended up becoming permanent. I remembered this really cute onesie with a cat on it and I could practically hear it meowing at me!

When I sat down to plan out the doorstop, I knew I wanted it to be soft and not too heavy. Our daughter would most definitely be picking it up and carrying it around, because that's her! So I decided to fill it with fiberfill (like a stuffed animal) and put a small weight at the bottom. It won't be securing the door against gale force winds, but it will serve its purpose.

To make the doorstop, you will need to first choose a baby onesie/bodysuit with a cute design on it (I think the only problem here will be picking just one!). I used a size "12 months" onesie from OshKosh B'Gosh. Once you have the onesie picked out, choose a coordinating fabric and a sheet of felt. The fabric will be the back of the doorstop (another option is to use the back of the onesie). The sheet of felt will be the bottom of the doorstop (we have wall-to-wall carpeting and I've found that felt doesn't slip around on the carpet as much as other fabrics). You will also need a piece of interfacing for the onesie. To give the bottom some structure I used a felt sheet from the craft store that is 3 mm thick. I used small stones for weight and fiberfill to stuff it.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

1 - Start by outlining the image with a fabric marker. Leave enough space around the image for the seams.

2 - Cut out the image along the line you just drew.

3 - Trace the outline of the image onto the interfacing and cut the interfacing along the line.

4 - Trace the outline of the image onto the coordinating fabric you chose. Remember to place the image and the fabric right-sides together. Cut the fabric along the line.

5 - You should now have the back of the doorstop (coordinating fabric), the interfacing, and the image from the onesie ready to go! Attach the interfacing to the onesie following the instructions provided by the interfacing manufacturer.

6 - For the bottom of the doorstop you will need four ovals: two from scraps of the coordinating fabric, one from the felt sheet, and one from the 3 mm felt. The two identical ovals (coordinating fabric) will be used to make the stone sack that sits inside the doorstop for weight. The 3mm felt oval will be smaller than the other ovals since it doesn't require a seam allowance.

7 - Fold the felt sheet in half and then fold it in half again.

8 - Using the bottom of one of the fabrics from Step 5, draw a quarter circle onto the felt and cut it out. The bottom of the fabrics will give you the size of the oval you need.

9 - Trace the oval onto the coordinating fabric scraps. Cut out 2 ovals from the scraps.

10 - Trace the oval onto the 3 mm felt. Draw a second oval inside the traced oval, approximately 1/4" in from the original oval. Cut out the smaller oval. You are basically removing the seam allowance from the 3 mm felt oval. 

11 - All the pieces are in place so now we can get to sewing! Pin the coordinating fabric to the onesie + interfacing, right-sides together.

12 - Pin the two fabric ovals together and sew, leaving a small opening. This will be the stone sack.

13 - Fill the sack with stones and hand stitch the opening shut.

14 - Attach the stone sack to the 3 mm felt oval. I hand stitched the sack to the felt at 4 points. This is going to be inside the doorstop, so it really doesn't have to look pretty. 

15 - The stone sack in now secured to the thick felt.

16 - Continuing Step 11, sew the onesie to the coordinating fabric, following the shape of the image. Sew along the sides and the top, leaving the bottom completely open.

17 - Cut off any excess fabric and cut small slits in the seam allowance around the curves and corners (this will allow the fabric to mold to the shape you sewed. For more information on this: Shaping Seam Allowance for Corners and Curves)

18 - Turn the piece from Step 17 around 180 degrees (top facing you), and pin the felt oval to the center of the right-side of the onesie (at the bottom, which was left open in Step 16).

19 - Work the felt oval around the opening, pinning it in place as you go. Sew the felt base to the doorstop. Leave an opening large enough to fit the 3 mm felt oval and stone sack.

20 - Cut small slits in the oval base and turn the doorstop right-side out.

21 - Stuff the doorstop with the fiberfill.

22 - Slide the 3 mm felt base and stone sack into the opening at the bottom of the doorstop.

23 - Hand stitch the opening shut.

You now have an adorable upcycled doorstop!

Our daughter absolutely loved it and it ended up sleeping in bed with her (back to the outgrown shoe, I guess!).

And apparently it not only stops doors, it also stops dogs!

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