Sunday, November 10, 2013

MoYou London Custom Sewn Nail Plate Holder Tutorial

Howdy!  Today I am here to share my streamlined method for making custom sewn nail image plate holders for MoYou London plates. You might recall my very basic tutorial on how to make these lovely custom sewn holders for any type plate.  That tutorial gives you the basics for the concept, so if you haven't yet read it, I highly recommend that you jump on over there and then come back.  The information about the thread and stitches I use are on that tutorial and I will not be repeating them here.

This tutorial is a bit different from the other one.  For starters, I have had a LOT more practice.  You guys had the privilege of seeing my very first custom page protector with that other tutorial.  I have now made over twenty for myself for plates of all sizes and even sell these handy page protectors for those who don't want to or can't make them on their own.  This tutorial is a stream-lined, more scientific-ish approach specific to MoYou London plates.  Why MoYou London instead of any of the other plate brands?  Well, the answer is simply that I just got a new batch of MoYou's in the mail and felt like recording the process for my own future use and making the tutorial while I did it :-)

The other tutorial required just a few simple materials, but I'm going to be a bit more picky from now on.  These are the materials that I find to be invaluable for making these (all were things I already had on hand).  Please note that I've given some of these items made up (but descriptive) names, as I don't know precisely what they are all called, which is why I had the foresight to include a pic for you guys:
  • MoYou plates
  • A heavy weight page protector (previously bought from Walmart)
  • Sewing Machine
  • All Purpose Thread (Multi-colored thread makes for a special treat!)
  • Rotary Cutter
  • Self-healing mat
  • See through grid ruler 
  • Air-soluble fabric pen
  • Tracing Wheel

Do you need all these items?  No.  Make do however you see fit.  This is just my ideal list, pictured above.  All my instructions are going to use those items, though.  So substitute as necessary.  

Now, there are two varieties of holders that will be described in this tutorial.  You can choose to make protectors that hold 4 plates per page, or 5 per page.  Why would someone only want to hold four per page?  Well, perhaps you have a number of plates divisible by four.  Or, you might prefer the 4-per page layout.  Please look at the two pics below.  Note how the 5 per page holder has two plates sitting vertically, and the 4 per page holder only has one sitting vertically.  So if you don't have two plates that lend themselves well to sitting vertically and you're bothered by looking at them sideways, then you might want to choose the 4 per page layout. 

Many of the steps for each type of holder are the same regardless of type.  When there is a deviation due to the 5 per page or 4 per page variety, that is clearly marked in the individual steps.  

I have a few general points to make before we get started.  First, you should always sew directly on the lines that you mark -- versus sewing to the left or right of the lines.  Second, trim the little threads as you go along as they will stick out and bug the heck out of you.  Third, you don't have to do the steps entirely in this order.  When making these for myself, I first mark and sew the vertical line.  Then I mark all horizontal lines before sewing again.  For simplicity sake, however, I stopped and broke it out step-by-step with pictures.  I suggest following the steps below exactly the first time and then changing it up as you see fit.  Also, all step-by-step pictures are for the 5 per page variety.  Sorry folks, I have no pics of the 4 per page variety while it is under construction.  I will remedy this in the future if I create another 4 per page holder.

Enough chatter, let's begin!

Step One

Mark a vertical line three inches from the left of the page that goes all the way down the page. Sew from the bottom of the page to the top.  Please note, if you sew from the top of the page down you risk buckling:

Step Two
5 Holder Variety: Mark a horizontal line 3 1/2" from the bottom that extends from the right side of the page to the sewn vertical line. 

4 Holder Variety: Mark a horizontal line 3 1/2" from the bottom that extends across the entire page. 

Sew from the edge of the page towards the vertical line:

Step Three
Mark a vertical line 6 3/4" inches from the bottom that extends from the right side of the page to the vertical line. 

Sew from vertical line towards the edge of the page:

Step Five:
Mark a vertical line 1" from the top that extends from the right side of the protector to the vertical line. 

Sew from the vertical line towards the edge of the protector:

Step Six

5 Holder Variety:  Mark a horizontal line 5 3/8" from the bottom of the protector that extends from the left side of the protector to the vertical line. Then mark a horizontal line 1/2" from the top of the protector that extends from the left side of the protector to the vertical line. 

4 Holder Variety: Mark a horizontal line 2 3/8" from the top of the protector that extends from the left side of the protector to the vertical line. 

Sew the line(s) from the edge of the protector towards the vertical line. If sewing two lines (5 holder variety) then start from with the line closest to the bottom of the page. (Helps prevent buckling):

Step Seven

Now it is time to cut!  Grab your protector, plates, cutting mat and rotary cutter. 

For each of the 4 or 5 slots, place the plate where it will fit in the slot. Cut between the top line and the plate. 

Cut firmly, in a straight line, from the edge of the page (just inside the page - don't cut the edge) until you reach just shy of the vertical line. Test each slot as you cut to ensure you made the opening wide enough to fit the plate:

Step Eight

Place your three horizontal plates in their respective slots, pushing each plate against the vertical line on the left. For each of the these plates, mark a line 3/8" from the right side of the page that is the height of the plate. It is important that you ensure that there is still room for your plate after making this line. If you sewed everything straight and perfect and as the measurements required then this would not be an issue - but none of us are perfect!  These are designed to make sure the plates fit snugly, so make sure these lines are correct before you sit down to sew.

Take the page protector to your sewing machine. Change from your decorative stitch to a single, centered stitch. Sew each of the three lines, taking care to be as straight as possible. Back stitch at the beginning and end of each line:

If you are constructing the 5-holder variety, you are done!!  Place your pretty plates in the finished product and enjoy your handiwork. 

If you are constructing the 4-holder variety, mark one final line 3/8" from the bottom the page from the left side of the page to the vertical line. Sew the line.  Now you are done too!

Finished product:


I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and if you have any questions please let me know in the comments.  Thanks for sticking around till the end ;-)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Sew Your Own Nail Image Plate Holder (Dashica SDP)

Hi folks!  Today's tutorial is going to be quick and easy and therefore void of most of my pointless humor.  For that I apologize.  Last night I adapted an idea to sew your own coupon binder into a solution for those pesky nail plates that I don't have storage for.

If you're hitting this blog then you're probably just as anal as I am (and probably slightly OCD) about getting ALL your nail image plates nice and organized, instead of just the plates that happen to fit in the Bundle Monster image plate holder.  Maybe you've spent too much money on various sized and shaped page protectors.  Maybe (like me) you refuse to pay more than a couple dollars for a set of page protectors.  Well I'm here to tell you how to do that, with just a couple simple items:

Things I needed for this project:
  • The nail image plates I wanted to fit
  • A heavy weight page protector (previously bought from Walmart)
  • Sewing Machine
  • All Purpose Thread
  • Knife
Yup, that's ALL I needed for this incredibly simple project!  

Here is a look at the finished version:

These plates are nice and snug and not going ANYWHERE -- which is just how I like my plates.  Okay, it's time to get started!

Grab your plates and your heavy weight page protector.  Lie your page protector on a flat surface and decide how you would like your plates to fit.  For the SDPs I realized that all six could fit nicely into one page, laid out like this:

Now that you know what layout you want, it's time to fold the page protector.  I first folded mine in half vertically, then in thirds horizontally.  I used my pretty, stamped fingernails to really set the crease as I folded.  Learn from my mistake:  I would recommend making the top third of the page slightly longer than the other two folds.  I find that my plates sit a little close to the top edge in the finished project.  

After you make your creases, unfold your protector and set your plates on top of each plate's designated home.  Make sure that you have given adequate room for each plate:

At this point, you could decide that you wanted to do a double-sided page.  I did not, because I did not feel the weight of the protector would handle two sets of metal plates.  If you would like to make it double sided then insert a piece of paper or card stock into the protector itself right now.

Off to the sewing machine!!!  I used the standard needle that was already in the machine.  I have already sewn a couple projects with it, so it was probably getting close to needing to be replaced anyway.  Sewing on plastic will dull your needle.  If you're only making one page protector then it probably won't matter, but if you plan on doing many pages, then reserve the needle to sew only on plastic from this point out. 

I chose a multicolored all-purpose thread (just because I wanted an excuse to use it) and a decorative stitch.  Choose a stitch that suits you, but choose a stronger one.  I don't think a single stitch to support the weight of the plates will hold out for long.  My stitch started and ended with a star, so I didn't have to do tack stitches at the beginning and end.  Make sure you do the tack stitches if needed, otherwise it will all fall apart quickly.  If you are doing a double-sided protector, be mindful that the stitch you use looks good both front and back.

Now sew the creases.  You simply sew straight across your protector on the creases.  I first sewed the long vertical line (don't mind the slits -- as I explained earlier, I recommend cutting later):

Next sew the horizontal creases.  You can sew straight across the center if you would like.  I chose not to, because I wanted it to look prettier with my decorative stitch.  So instead I sewed 4 separate lines, stopping/starting just before/after the long vertical line.  

In this pic I have 2 of my 4 horizontal lines done:

Once you have finished sewing all your creases, lay your page protector flat and put your plates on top of their designated home spots.  

NOW you can finally cut the slits.  I wish I had waited before, because it made my sewing more tedious to ensure I didn't sew over my slits.  You need to cut four horizontal slits, one over the top of each of the bottom four plates (the top plates are already open).  You want to cut through both sides of the protector at once.  Do not cut over your sewn lines.  I used my fabric cutter, on top of a self-healing mat.  This pic is a bit out of sync since I did cutting first:

Viola!  You can now put your plates into the holder!!!  At this point, I thought I was done.  I was SO excited, I just had to go and share with AIS about what I had done:

Haste, however, comes with a price.  I put my lovely new plate holder into my binder and made the realization that the plates still slid too much!  So I sat back down to figure out what to do about it.  I laid the page flat with the plates in it.  I arranged the plates as I would like them to stay.  I outlined the right and left sides of each plate to directly fit that spot and again made more creases in the page protector.  Observe the additional creases on the page protector.  These outline exactly how I wanted the plates to fit:

I wanted to hold each plate into place.  For each plate holder spot, I sewed a vertical line on the new crease on both the left and the right of where each plate was to sit.  I did not sew down the entire side -- a line taking up about 2/3 of the slot would be sufficient.  So I started about a sewing foot length in, and stopped about a sewing foot length from the end.  As I was only using single stitches, I had to ensure I used a tack stitch at the beginning and the end of each short line.  In case you are wondering what the heck I am talking about right now, here is a picture -- look at the upper right hand section.  That plate is now secured in by tight stitching on each side (click to open the large version if necessary):

Before you run off and start sewing those 12 lines, heed this warning -- be VERY careful!  If you sew too closely your plate will not have room to fit.  If you have to rip out the thread you will most certainly have unsightly holes to deal with.  You don't want that.  So check the placement of each plate as you go along.  I inserted my plates after sewing the left lines to ensure I didn't need to adjust my right lines. 

After I sewed all 12 short lines I made one final tiny modification.  At the very top, I sewed short horizontal lines to help hold those plates in.  As I mentioned earlier, my top plates sat a bit too close to the top.  You probably don't need to do this step if you gave your top plates more room than I did:

Congratulations, you are now completely done!!!  You have a nice protector for your plates that is free of slide.  To illustrate I held my new pretty page protector at an angle:

Enjoy your custom nail plate holder!  You can easily modify this idea to fit any sized plate that will fit in a page protector.  Just decide where you need your creases to be, sew, cut, and decide if you need extra definition anywhere.  I plan to make these for all my plates that don't fit in the Bundle Monster holder.  Good luck!!!