Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tutorial Thursday: Crunchy Little Corn Bag

This is a guest post I did over at Creation Corner in December,
I thought I'd post it here in case you missed it!

Poor Tasha, I changed my mind about a bajillion times
before I settled on this tutorial.
I wanted something that was cool,
but wasn't overdone.
Something awesome,
but not "that's so last year".

Well, I hope this isn't "so last year" to you,
because it has been one of my FAVORITE handmade gifts
that I have ever received.

We call it the Crunchy Little Corn Bag!!!!
My mom received one back when I was in high school,
and we were always fighting over it.
Then, when I was student teaching,
one of my darling students gave me one for Christmas.
(perks for student teaching during December in Utah)

And here it is - almost 10 years later - my beloved corn bag!
(I'm like Jojo the idiot circus boy with a pretty new pet.
Now the pet is my possible sale.
Hello there pretty little pet, I love you. And then I stroke it, and I pet it, and I massage it.
Hehe I love it, I love my little naughty pet.

I've made them in all sizes for all purposes.
Neck relaxers, cramp soothers, hand warmers.
The possibilities are endless.
Why corn? you ask? instead of rice or beans?
Corn stays cleanest the longest, won’t have problems with humidity, mold and mildew and generally won’t provoke allergies.

So, let's get started!
We're not just making your run of the mill Crunchy Little Corn Bag,
we're making an AWESOMEFIED Crunchy Little Corn Bag.

You'll need:
Flannel, cut into the following sizes:
9x22" (for the bag)
8x5" (for the bow tie)
2x5" (for the bow tie)
4 pieces of 1x5" (for the ruffles)

{Step One}
Take your 8x5" piece and sew it right sides together with a 1/4" seam.
Take your 2x5" piece and sew it wrong sides together with a 1/4" seam.

{Step Two}
Turn your 8x5" with right sides out
and press both the 8x5" piece and 2x5" piece with the seam in the middle.

{Step Three}
Fold your 8x5", fold your raw edges over to meet in the middle and sew down
the middle.

{Step Four}
Bunch it up to look like a bow tie and then hand sew together.

So it looks like this!

{Step Five}
Wrap your 2x5" piece around your bow tie, and secure with your sewing machine
or hand sew. Clip off the excess.

Onto the ruffles.
I'm a ruffle cheater.
I set my tension high with a long stitch
and let my machine do most of the work.

{Step Six}
With whatever ruffle method you prefer -
be it sewing a long basting stitch and pulling just the top thread to gather,
or cheating and letting your machine do the work -
ruffle/gather your four pieces of 1x5" flannel.

So then you'll have a pretty pile like this!

{Step Seven}
Lay your piece of 9x22 flannel out
and find the middle of HALF of it (9x11) - allowing for seam allowances.
I figured it would be about 4x5" mark if I used 1/2" seams.
Lay the middle of the bow tie on your middle mark.

{Step Eight}
Arrange your ruffles where you want them, and pin them down.
I played with a few configurations (a frame, one ruffle on top and three on bottom),
but I settled on two ruffles on top of the bow tie and two below.

{Step Nine}
Sew down the middle of ruffles with a regular length stitch.
I'm reminding you to switch back both your tension
and length, because I always forget
and then I'm silently cursing myself for forgetting.

Then, hand stitch the bow tie into place.
I did lots of stitches in the middles,
and then a few on each end, so it didn't twist about willy nilly.

{Step Ten}
Take your 9x22" piece and sew right sides together with a 1/2" seam
on 3 sides, leaving one side open.
(in my picture, I only sewed down the 2 long sides, but went back and did the bottom,
because I realized it would throw off my seam allowance figures for the ruffle/bow tie placement)

{Step Eleven}
Clip your corners.

{Step Twelve}
Turn right sides out.
It should look like this!

{Step Thirteen}
Top stitch around the 3 closed sides to give it a finished look.

{Step Fourteen}
Fill with 3 ½ to 4 cups (about 2 pounds) with corn.
You can find field corn by the pound where bird food is sold - it is whole kernel corn.
Use whole corn, not cracked corn.
Or you can go to the local feed store and buy a 50lb bag of recleaned corn
like I did :)
If you're making a lot of them, it's a great idea.
It's usually $13-15 for a 50lb bag.
And no, you can't just use popping corn. . . LOL

You don't want to fill it all the way full, you want the corn to be loose in the bag.

{Step Fifteen}
Sew your open side closed with a 1/4" seam.

You have an AWESOMEFIED Crunchy Little Corn Bag
that someone will cherish for 10+ years.

When I give them as gifts I include this little card.
It is a 4x6 full resolution jpeg that you can
right click and save to your computer and then print
wherever you like to print pictures (I print matte) if you'd like to use it.
That way, the person you gave it to won't be like,
Um, what is this??

Oh! and I almost forgot!
To both sterilize the corn and help it to dry out,
place the newly made bag on a paper towel in your microwave and heat it for 2 – 3 minutes.
Let it cool for at least two hours, shake it up, and do it again on a dry paper towel.
If your paper towel or the inside of your microwave is still showing moisture,
do the heat/cool cycle one more time.

Enjoy your AWESOMEFIED Crunchy Little Corn Bag making!
Happy Handmade Valentine!

Fine Print:
Please feel free to use this tutorial for your personal use. 

Please be kind and give credit where credit is due. 
Any questions or comments please do not hesitate to contact me.


Harvest Moon by Hand said...

Wonderful tutorial! I like the bow and ruffles - both add something special to the bag. The card to explain the purpose of the bag is cute!

AllieMakes! said...

We LOVE this! We love these at our house. My little one has a rice and legume allergy... so corn it is! Thank you for sharing this!
Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!

Liberty said...

LOVE the classy and elegant look of the toile with the ruffles and bow. I really want to make one of these now. :)

raveninthewolfden said...

I am going to Bookmark this idea! what a great and fun gift!

Muffin said...

The directions called for 9" x 11" at the beginning, but later on 9" x 22". Can you please explain? Thanks.

Kyla Armstrong said...

@Muffin - Sorry! It should be 9x22. After you fold it in half then it's 9x11. I updated the directions. Thanks!

Unknown said...

can you add essential oils to the corn, i see it done on the rice bags but not the corn. Is there a reason for this? Thanks


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