Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How To: Pacifier Clip

Anyone who has children (or babysits, or has ever even held a baby for more than 1 minute) knows the amount of sheer terror that is evoked when a baby begins to cry and there is no pacifier in sight! With that being said, I found an awesome set of directions for ribbon pacifier clips that I used to make MANY clips for all of the babies in my life. These are really easy projects to create and very inexpensive! Most importantly, they put an end to the lost binky debauchery that has plagued families for centuries. Ok, that might be a little dramatic, but they definitely help!!!
Here is the website (also includes instructions for a matching burp cloth, which I have not yet tried but looks awesome!):


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

T-shirt scarves

T-shirt scarf made from one gray t-shirt and one navy blue t-shirt

If you saw my post from a few weeks ago, you would have seen the tutorial on how to cut a t-shirt and stretch the pieces to create a thick, cotton “yarn” to be used for a variety of items. The previous post showed how to use the yarn for braided bracelets and headbands. This one includes a link to use it for making a t-shirt scarves, which are super cute! Enjoy!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Split Canvas Tree Painting

I know…I’ve been a total blog slacker this week, but with good reason! I recently changed teaching positions from working as a consultant in early intervention, where I traveled to various preschools, daycares, and homes to work with children with a huge array of delays and diagnoses, to a self-contained classroom of students aged 9-13 with varying severities of Autism. Needless to say, my life has been more than a little consumed by this teensy little change!

Split canvas tree painting

I absolutely LOVED creating this next project, not only because it was easy and looks awesome in my organic/nature-themed room, but also because it cost me a grand total of around $2!!! I don’t think they have sold them in a while, but the Dollar Tree used to sell small canvases in packs of three and, at the time, I stockpiled them to have for future projects just like this one. I taped the backs of four of these small canvases together so that they looked like one large canvas. Using a tree I had cut out of cardstock (you could use a stencil of virtually anything and wouldn’t necessarily have to cut it out yourself), I taped it onto the canvases and used a light green acrylic paint and foam brush to cover the canvases completely with paint. After the paint dried, I carefully peeled off the cardstock to reveal the tree then sprayed a sealant over the entire painting. Once the sealant was completely dry, I removed the tape from the backs of the canvases and placed each canvas about 1” apart on the wall.
The options for this project are truly limitless! Any sized canvases could be used and you could use as many or as few as you please. An alternative to painting on canvases would be to use Modge Podge and an exacto knife to blow up your favorite picture or print, lay it across multiple canvases using Modge Podge, let it dry, and cut each canvas apart using an Exacto knife to display on your walls. Here are a few other pictures of ways in which others (far more artistically talented than me) have used the "split canvas" technique.

A LOT of printing studios offer this type of canvas now...How cool is this?

I may have to make something like this for my British grandparents!

Very pretty enlarged and cut photo

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Flip Flops Into Comfy, Summer, Slippers

I can’t wait to complete this project with my Girl Scout troop in preparation for our first sleepover! Since the flip flops I chose were pink, I chose a fabric from my stash that would compliment them.  I cut the fabric into 3”x1” strips (I used pinking shears, but you could use fabric scissors or simply rip the strips, if you so choose). I feel like I cut about 50 strips, but I can’t say that I counted them , so I would start with like 30 and then just cut as you go (you’re welcome for the specific-ness, by the way). Beginning on one side of the flip flop, begin to tie each strip into knots, pushing each of the knots close together so that the strap is no longer showing. Repeat this step on the opposing flip flop strap and arrange the knots so that the straps and toe separator are not showing. Trim the tails of the knots to the length of your choice. Complete the same steps on the second flip flop and enjoy your newly upcycled creation!  Perfect to wear around the house for comfort and cuteness!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Mason Jar and Candlestick Apothecary Jar

I find apothecary jars so appealing and want to have one (or ten!) of my own. Unfortunately, their prices…not so appealing! I found a picture online of an “apothecary jar” made out of a mason jar, a candlestick holder, and a glass door knob, and I immediately knew I had to try it. Using E6000 glue (an awesome craft glue I have recently discovered), I placed the glue around the rim of the candlestick holder ($1 at the Dollar Tree)  and glued it to the bottom of the mason jar ($1.50 at my local craft store). After I took the screw out of the glass doorknob ($2 at Michael’s), I glued it to the center of the mason jar lid and let both glued items dry overnight. After everything dried, I put it all together and Voila!!! The real challenge of this project turned out to be what I would put in them. I finally decided I would use it to store Q-tips on the window ledge of the bathroom. This may not be its permanent use, but it definitely works for now!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Brown Bear Felt Story Props

One of my favorite children’s books is Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? For my sister’s children’s book-themed baby shower (her third shower of four, haha!), there was no doubt in my mind that the book I would be bringing would be this one, but I also knew that the teacher/psycho crafty side of me had to add a little more. As a result, I used various colors of felt and permanent markers to re-create and cut out the animals and people from the book, as well as a large piece of stiffened felt that I folded in half to use as baby’s “follow along” book. The idea is for baby (or toddler, as a baby’s fine motor skills probably wouldn’t manipulate these pieces so well) to place each animal in the appropriate area of the book/felt board as the book is being read.
I cannot wait until this little man is old enough (and hopefully attentive enough) to have Brown Bear read to him and "follow along" with his own version of the book!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Special Occasions Board-Magentic

My husband and I both have large families, so keeping track of everyone's birthdays and anniversaries can be challenging, and I happen to find calendars super BORING! So...I decided to come up with a way to commemorate (and help remember) all of the special occasions in our lives. Here's what I came up with:


-metal, serving tray-$1
-scrapbook paper-on hand
-double-sided tape-$1
-circle cutouts (store-bought or machine-cut)
-hole punch-$1 or on hand
-adhesive hooks-$1
-alphabet stickers


1. Cover the metal, serving tray with scrapbook paper using double-sided tape.

2. Adhere alphabet stickers to the top of the tray to spell out "Special Occasions."

3. Stick eight, adhesive hooks onto the scrapbook paper, leaving space between each hook.

4. Use the hole punch to punch a hole in each circle cutout (I used my Cricut machine to make around 100 circular shapes...told ya' we had a big family) and write down a name and birthdate on each circle.

5. Add magnetic strip to the back of the tray, if you wish to stick it on the fridge, like I did. It could also be hung on a wall or propped on an easel, depending upon your preference.

6. Hang circles on hooks (I organized and bagged the ones that did not occur in the present month hung up the ones that did. When this month ends, I will simply go to my drawer and retrieve the next month's baggie)

I LOVE it, and it beats the heck out of a boring old calendar!!!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fabric-flowered, Initial Tote Bag

Monogrammed tote bag
I will be the first to admit that, amongst my many other obsessions, I absolutely adore accumulating bags. While this is not uncommon in females, as far as collecting a large number of purses is concerned, my obsession goes a step further to include tote bags and those reusable bags you can buy at virtually any store on earth. Although I am a big fan of the environment and very much enjoy living in it, my reason for collecting totes and reusables is simply because I like having them and storing anything and everything in them. Last summer, I bought about ten tote bags that I was determined to decorate in some way and give to people as gifts. The monogrammed tote pictured is one example that I decorated for my cousin, Kristin.

I started by using a pencil to write the person's initials, placing the initial for her last name in the middle and making it larger than the other two initials (to the right is the first name initial and to the left is the middle name know the drill!). Next, I threaded a large needle with 1/4" ribbon and used a basic stitch (that I started on the inside of the bag) to go around each of the letters. I used felt and a glue gun to create the rosettes seen in the picture and VOILA!!! Super easy and personalized!
My cousin, Kristin, on her wedding day, holding her tote with her new initials

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Initial Vase

Bridesmaid gift from my sister

This next set of props goes out to my little sister, Kyra (who, if I haven’t mentioned it a million times already, is expecting her first baby, a little boy, in September). For her wedding, she made each of her six bridesmaids vases in her wedding colors (purple and green) using glass blocks (which you can do a GILLION things with, by the way). She sponge-painted the outsides of each vase with a light purple, acrylic paint. After the paint dried, she then stenciled our respective first initials onto the vases in a darker purple, tied a green ribbon in a small bow on the bottom of the vase, and placed a lime green, gerber daisy into it. It is currently sitting on my night stand, and I intend to keep it around for a very long time to come. Thanks again, sissybabes!!!

The options for these things are limitless and they come in all shapes and sizes
Another view of the super cute vase

My sister, Kyra---looking adorable and ready to POP!!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Felt Quiet Book-Part 1

I've been dying to post this craft project, but seeing as how one of these items is a baby shower gift for my sister, I had to wait until the baby shower actually occurred before I posted. Because the baby shower is today at 2:00.
I found pictures of felt quiet books online and thought they were absolutely the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. Of course, I had to make one (or, what I thought would be one until I got on a roll and ended up completing a second one in the process). I used 8.5x11 felt sheets for the pages and cover of the book  and scraps of felt that I have been stock-piling from other projects for the page details and movable pieces. While I cut out some of the felt pieces myself, I also printed clip art images onto iron-on transfers for the pieces that required additional details, as my artistic abilities are limited, and ironed them onto pieces of felt. I cut out rectangular pieces of felt and put Tacky glue around the sides to paste to the felt pages to the left of each corresponding page, forming a pocket for storage of movable pieces.
After everything was glued down and cut out, I sewed all of the pages together to bind the book and added an iron-on transfer to the cover with the book’s title and author (moi!).  My sister is having a children’s book themed baby shower, so I am super excited to give her one of the quiet books, along with a few other children’s books I love (as a teacher, I am officially and completely obsessed with children’s books). The second quiet book will go to my unbelievably adorable and sweet niece, Camdyn, who is almost 9 months old. While neither book recipient will be able to use the book independently for a little while, I know that they will grow to appreciate and love them (and hopefully use them to give their parents a little peace and quiet while out and about as an added bonus
Here are pictures of the second quiet book. Tomorrow, I will post pictures of the quiet book that will officially be my sister's in just a short while.