Thursday, March 31, 2011

Paint Perfect

He's soo excited I couldn't get him to hold still!
Yeah Spring has sprung! What better way to gain back sanity than send the kiddos outside for hours of entertainment with minimal effort. My boys love this activity, as did I when I was little. A special thanks to my mom for the great idea!

Old paint brush (several styles if possible)
Bucket or paint tray if using a roller
food coloring

Fill the bucket or tray 2/3 full of water and add 2-4 drops of food coloring. Turn the kids loose to paint wooden fence, deck or even stucco. Beautiful part is that as long as the color isn't vivid you can't see it when it's used. The wetness makes the wood appear dark then dries the same as before.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Hop to it!

Jump for JOY because this project is easy!
Every baby deserves a cute swaddle blanket and some fashionable burp rags without spending a fortune. I decided to make my own (although this one was a gift) because I got sick of looking at pale blue and light pink. This little craft project was super easy and the blanket only took 15 minutes!!! The burp rags took longer because I'm super picky and couldn't make my mind up on how to finish the edges.

1 1/4 (I bought 1 1/2 yards) yards of flannel fabric in two complementing patterns/colors
2 cloth diapers (mine are Gerber)
sewing machine
scissors (rotary and self healing mat if you have one)
dinner plate

Directions for Blanket:
1.) Pre-wash fabric if desired...sometimes I do...sometimes I don't. I would if I were quilting but I haven't seen anything bad happen to this project by skipping this step. That being said, if you are nervous and don't want to chance it knock yourself out, just don't forget to press the fabric before starting the next step.
2.) Square off fabric. This can be done by pulling the corner up to outer edge to form a triangle. Cut along the edge to square the fabric off. (Once you open it, it'll be square :) Do this with both colors.
 **Cut along this line***

3.) Trim off any strings from pre-wash.
4.) Compare both pieces of fabric. Make sure they are roughly the same size...OBVIOUS RIGHT?! Wrong! I wasn't paying attention once and bought fabric that had different widths :( Added some extra work and wasted money
5.) Fold fabric into quarters.

6.) Put dinner plate on the open ends corner and mark with a pencil or similar color washable marker..even a crayon (I've used all three). Thanks to Pam Barkdull for teaching me this fancy trick!!!

7.) Remove plate and cut along the line.

8.) Repeat with other fabric
9.)You should have a 2 rounded edge squares now. Turn them right sides together and sew around using 1/4" seam allowance. Make sure you leave at least 6" unstitched to turn your blanket right side out.
10.) Turn blanket right side out and smooth the fabric while turning in the edges of the opening (pin in place if you like)
11.) Sew the entire edge of the blanket leaving 1/4" seam allowance. HINT: start with the un-stitched opening.

Directions for Burp Cloth:
1.) Measure the length of the burp cloth and subtract 2".
2.) Decide on how wide you would like the center section then add 1". (Mine was 6" finished, 7" raw)
3.) Cut your fabric to these measurements.
4.) Fold the edge (length) of cut fabric over 1/2"and press. Repeat other side.
5.) Center the fabric on top burp cloth leaving equal distance between the two sides and equal distance from the top and bottom. Pin in place.
6.) Stitch the length of the fabric to the burp cloth. Repeat the other side. Hint: the top and bottom of the fabric should be open.
7.) Measure the bottom of the burp cloth and add 1". This will be your length.
8.) Cut two strips of the contrasting fabric 3" wide by the length from step 7.
9.) Fold the edges of the strip in 1/2" and press.
10.) Sew the pressed piece of fabric right side up to the top of the burp cloth. This should overlap the center portion by roughly 1". Repeat on bottom side of the burp cloth.

Sorry, but my phone decided not to save the last few photos :(  I'll post more when I make the next gift set

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Eco-Chic for Earth Day

Earth Day is approaching quickly and I decided to make a cute reusable bag to celebrate. The kids love it for playing pretend "Trader Joes" and I love it because it's not ugly.

Fabric (I chose two contrasting)
-12"x28" of one color
-6"x14" of another (I didn't have this much so I used leftovers)
Sewing Machine, Thread, Scissors
About 20-45min to complete

1.) Fold over the 12" side of the main fabric twice (each fold should be about 1/2") Press or pin in place...Unless you are like me and way to impatient. Then stitch along the seam to hold in place.

2.) Repeat with the other 12" side
3.) Fold your main fabric with WRONG sides facing each other to make a 12"x12" square.(mine came out more of a rectangle)
4.) Use a basic straight stitch (1/4" seam allowance) to sew the three unfinished edges of your square. MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT SEW THE TOP...that's the area you just finished cuffing.
5.)Flip the material inside-out and Repeat Step 4...Congrats you've just made a French Seam!
 6.)Set bag aside and start on the handles
7.)Cut your fabric lengthwise so you end up with two 3"x 14" strips of fabric
8.)Fold the fabric WRONG sides together and stitch the length of the fabric on the open side.DO NOT STITCH THE ENDS

9.)Turn the fabric right side out...This is the most time consuming part of the whole project :( I had to use a butter knife to push the extra fabric through.

10.)Repeat Steps 8 and 9 with the second piece of handle fabric
11.)OK the handles are done but now you need to center the seam like this so that they are easier to sew on and they look pretty this way.

12.)Lay the handle smooth side up and stitch where the handle meets the bag (mine was about three inches from the edge of the bag)

13.)Repeat this on the other end of the fabric. Hint: make sure the fabric handle is spaced evenly from both edges of the bag AND that it is sewed to the same side of the bag. 
14.) Now stitch the bottom of the fabric handle 1/2" lower to add more support. 
15.)Repeat with the other handle

Friday, March 11, 2011

Color me Clean!


Why not turn bath time into a great color science experiment? It's super easy and teaching color mixing concepts are import in early childhood...not to mention it is always great to have a trick up your sleeve to make those filthy little pumpkins want to hop in the tub and stay there :)

Food Coloring (the box has great ideas for less common colors like fushia, indigo etc)

1.) Pick a color...we picked purple
2.) On one side of the tub drip 5-10 drops of red (remind them to stay still)
3.) On the other side of the tub drip 5-10 drops of blue
4.) If they have the patience have them wait to watch the colors mix...if not have at it and mix them up! We like to write on our mirror with dry erase markers (RED + BLUE = PURPLE)


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tutu Easy!

Angie looking tutu cute!

My favorite no sew tutus are great gifts for birthdays and Christmas. In fact they are so easy to whip up you may wonder why the ones online are so expensive. The beautiful little model is my niece, Angelica Connell! I know...I probably didn't have to take credit for that, but what can I say I like the opportunity to brag about my sweet pea! Also a special thank you to my Sis Maya! She took the beautiful pix for me.

Supplies for Tutu:
2 yards tulle (or more if you want a fuller skirt)
-scissors and a ruler for measuring
2 rolls of 6" tulle
-scissors and a ruler for measuring

non-rolling elastic (the circumference of child's waist minus 1-2 inches)
Thread and needle

  1. Overlap the ends of the fabric by at least 1/2" and sew together...I like to make and "X" 
  2. If using a roll of tulle, use your ruler to cut to desired length (mine was 22") REMEMBER: Double the length of the fabric and add an 2"  ex: If you want a 10" skirt then you would want to cut 22" (2x10=20+2=22")
  3. If you are using bolt fabric cut it into 6" strips then again into desired length.
  4. Stretch the elastic over your knees and slightly separate them (a 4" gap). 
  5. Begin to tie by folding the strip of tulle in half to form a loop.
  6. Place the tulle under the elastic and pull the ends through the loop.
  7. Pull the tulle taught but not tight...make sure not to bend the elastic by pulling too tight. WARNING: If you do this the elastic won't be very stretchy and it will be over-sized from stretching it out.
  8. Rotate the elastic and keep tying until the entire elastic waist band is covered.
Flower Clip

Fake flowers
metal hair clip
hot glue gun

  1. Snip as much of  the fake flower stem off as possible
  2. Put a 1/4" wide line of hot glue across the hair clip.
  3. Quickly lay flower buds on glue and press down firmly. Hold in place for a few seconds.
  4. Flip hair clip upside down and lay another 1/4" wide line of glue on the underside of the clip.
  5. Press 1 to 2 leaves over the glue and hold in place. IMPORTANT: This will keep hair from snagging on the flowers.
These flowered clips are great to accessorize the skirt or to add to their hair.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Sweet Success with Edible Art

Image from
This one won't have a picture because my little guy is sooooo allergic to peanut butter, but it is so fun I need to share. Making edible play-dough is super easy and delicious. I make mine with almond butter, but now Gage is sensitive to that too :(

1 c. peanut butter
1 c. marshmallow whip
snack foods for decorating (stick pretzals, fruit slices, carrots, celery, rasins, chocolate chips etc)

Mix the PB with the marshmallow cream until blended. Serve a small ball with other snack foods and let the art begin. We like to review letters, built houses, and what ever other creative things the boys make...Gavin made a volcano with celery lava.