Crafty? Or crappy?

Several years ago, before banks got too big to fail, they bestowed cloth-covered checkbook register covers on their preferred customers, which I was. (I am also a preferred customer at the nearby liquor store, which is awkward because the program is titled “Frequent Buyer Program.” I do not like announcing that I am a frequent buyer at the liquor store, thus have taken to telling the clerk upon checkout that I am a “member of the club.” Wink, wink. Nod, nod.) But I digress. Back to the bank.

My cloth checkbook register was a lovely red, but alas, now, after a dozen+ years, it is looking worn and faded. So I went to the bank the other day, asked to see a personal banker, smiled, and asked for a new one.

First of all, she looked astonished. “Who uses those anymore???” she asked, rhetorically I am sure, because it was rather obvious that I DID use one. Then she pawed through her desk to find one. I wanted to tell her I didn’t want some old thing with her pencil shavings and cough drop sweat on it but I held back. No harm done because no register covers were among the plethora of shit in her drawer.

She sighed and said she would have to go ask one of the tellers. I was glad she offered as there was a very long line of desperate looking individuals waiting for tellers. Plus, a reaction from the teller like that from the personal banker would hurt my self esteem. After a short while she came back and handed me a very ugly, navy blue, stiff vinyl cover. “This is it. No one asks for these anymore. Surprised we had this one.” Well la di dah.

Undeterred, I took the offering and returned home, fired up the computer and went to Amazon. Sure enough, Amazon sells them–for $14.99. Highway robbery. Then I got to thinking …

Encouraged by my recent knitting successes, I found a cute piece of fabric hanging around the rag bag and carefully ironed it and cut it into a rectangle. This is when, if not before, my guardian angel should have asked what I was doing. But she was AWOL. Or maybe she was laughing too hard to interrupt my concentration..

I hunted around for some spray glue. I knew we had a can when my last child did his Minnesota History Day project 9 years ago. Sadly, I couldn’t find it, but did find an adhesive I used (unsuccessfully) on his and his siblings’ Scout badges to avoid having to sew them on circa 1995.

Wouldn’t you know — the adhesive container was clogged. (Aside: Including my travel time, I had spent well over an hour to obtain a cloth-covered checkbook register. Who says I don’t have enough to do?) But, still, I had options.

I found some fabric adhesive in the back of the laundry room drawer. Damn. Despite using it 26 years ago to make my daughter’s Halloween costume, the cap was stuck on the tube. Couldn’t even wiggle it off with my teeth. But there’s more … In the very same drawer, I spied some iron-on fabric tape. Perfect.

I returned to the ironing board and proceeded to iron the fabric onto the vinyl register cover. Who would have guessed that in the process some of the vinyl melted and got stuck to the iron? No matter. I picked it off and left the project to cool.

When I returned, the cover did not meet my stringent quality standards. In fact, the iron-on tape failed to secure the material to the vinyl so I went to my “craft cabinet” where I happened upon some ALL PURPOSE glue. Excellent. This purpose certainly comes within the umbrella term of ALL PURPOSE, and due to the small size of my craft cabinet, it only took a second to locate.

Given the condition of the other household adhesives due to the frequency with which I use them, it will surprise no one that the ALL PURPOSE adhesive cap was stuck on the ALL PURPOSE adhesive bottle. This top was easily unstuck, unlike the fabric adhesive top that even my teeth could not dislodge. But having removed the ALL PURPOSE glue container cap which had a nice point, I could not dribble a thin line of ALL PURPOSE glue onto my project, so tried to gently squeeze a tidy mound from the mouth of the bottle.

As you might imagine, rather than a tidy mound, a big plop came flooding out causing panic. I quickly employed my finger to spread the glue in a nice, even, light layer but then the fabric stuck to my hand. I looked around and spied an old toothbrush. Ingenious. I used this to spread the glue, (also spreading some glue all over the top of the washing machine) and repurposed my finger to smooth the bubbles out of the fabric. But I didn’t wash my hands before I did this — really, there was no time — so I got glue on the OUTSIDE of my new cloth-covered register. I attempted to wipe it off with a wet rag. Thinking I had been successful, I left it to dry.

When I returned, the finished product was stiff and sticky. Some places the cloth had pulled away from the vinyl and, as previously mentioned, the vinyl was melted in spots.

Today I purchased a $14.99 cloth-covered checkbook register from Amazon.

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