Friday, January 27, 2012

Repurpose Wedding Announcement into Christmas Ornament

I love pinterest because it connects me to fabulously creative people and their amazing ideas. I make a concerted effort to at least occasionally do one of the great projects I pin.

 Before Christmas I saw this idea on pinterest and loved it.

                                                                                                                                         Source: via Katy on Pinterest

 She cut up one of her left over wedding announcements and put it in a simple glass ball. I thought it was lovely and really wanted to do it with our wedding announcement. Problem: our wedding announcement is a photo announcement and I wasn't so sure how it would turn out. But I decided to give it a whirl.

I started with this

Instead of cutting my announcement into even strips, I cut different size strips so I could highlight the information that was most important to me and just left out what wasn't. Then I curled the strips around a pen and popped them into my ornament. I ended up rearranging things a bit and used a pair of tweezers to pull strips out and rearrange them.

Here is my finished product:

I love how it turned out and it is such a nice way to make a wedding keepsake. I know I haven't looked at our announcement well...since we mailed them out. Now we can look at it every Christmas. I love it! Thank you pinterest for connecting me to people with such fabulous ideas!

Here it is hanging on our window garland.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

DIY Christmas Window Garland

I'm going to rewind for the next few posts and talk about all the stuff I made during the Christmas season. First, Christmas isn't quite complete without some kind of twinkle lights and while I loved our felt Christmas tree we needed something more. Plus, while I could do without the traditional glass balls and such, I missed our special unique to us ornaments. 

So using these two ideas as my inspiration

                                                                                                                            Source: via Katy on Pinterest

                                                                                                                                Source: via Katy on Pinterest

I came up with this:
(forgive the less than stellar picture)

I wrapped our curtain rod in greenery and twinkle lights and then hung ornaments from it. I really like how it turned out and it looked much better than the photo depicts.

Here is a little close up. A post on the first ornament is coming soon!

Friday, January 20, 2012

bebe au lait inspired burp cloth

A friend of mine recently asked how to go about making these burp clothes she saw 

Cute, right?

Well I decided to take a shot at making one myself and write up a tutorial while I was at. I failed to look at the dimensions of the clothes on the bebe au lait website before I did mine (whoops!) so I did mine quite a bit wider. If I had to do over I think I would do something more in the middle (6.5'' (bebe au lait) seems a bit narrow and 10'' (mine) seems a bit wide). 

1/2 yard terry cloth (2-10''x18'' pieces or 2-6.5''x18'' pieces)
52'' of bias tape (I would use 1/2 inch double fold bias tape)
scrap of fabric 4.5''x10''

1. Cut two pieces of terry cloth to your desired size. Lay one piece on top of the other. Using some kind of rounded edge (I used a kitchen bowl) trace a curved edge around the corners of your terry cloth and then cut.

2. Take one piece of terry cloth and pin the scrap of fabric about 1/3rd from the bottom fold the long edges under ~.5'' and then sew it down (I used .25'' seam).
- You have two options when it comes to bias tape. You can buy double fold bias tape in a coordinating color or You can make your own bias tape from the accent fabric you choose. {use this tutorial to make your own or you can make faux bias tape (which is what I did) using this tutorial.} While the faux bias tape is faster to make I would still recommend using real bias tape. There is great tutorial here on what bias tape does.

3. Pin the two piece of terry cloth, wrong sides together. Do a wide basting stitch around the edge (again use a .25'' seam).

4. Finally, attach your bias tape! (this is a great tutorial on how to attach bias tape)

And here is my finished product. I think it turned out really cute! Next time I think I will make it a little narrower and put a solid color of flannel on the back instead of the second piece of terry cloth.

Friday, January 13, 2012

DIY child gripper socks

Back in October when the weather started turning colder I set out to make some socks for our twinners that they could wear around the house without slipping all over the place. These DIY gripper socks worked awesome! But they outgrew them all too quickly so for Christmas I decided to make them a bunch more in the next size up. 

I bought a bunch of socks from Walmart and some fabric puff paint and got to work!

I learned from my last gripper sock experience that while I may draw a killer butterfly and rainbow I seriously stink at drawing things like airplanes, rockets, and cars. This time around I sketched out an image and put it next to the sock to help myself out a little bit. 

Ironically, I struggled the most with the simplest image I chose (car) and I ended up liking the slightly more complex images of the sailboat and airplane much better. Go figure. 

The sailboats are by far my favorite.

Here is pic of the whole lot I did.

If you don't want to be bothered pairing the different images together you of course can just do the same image on all the socks instead. Apparently, I am a glutton for punishment in this area. I also did a few with their names. I think this would be a great way to quickly tell socks apart if you have two kids close in age (or size).

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pin cushion makeover

I'm a bit back logged with projects to post about, but I was so pleased with the simple make over I did today that it jumped the queue. 

I was organizing my sewing box today and I pulled out my pin cushion.

As I took a second look at it I realized that I'm pretty sure this is the pin cushion my mom gave me with my first sewing kit (circa 1994). Ack! You can't really tell in the picture but the basket is boasting a rainbow of faded colors.

Well I pulled it apart and found about a million needles inside. I fluffed the stuffing, spray painted the basket and added some new fabric.

Ta da!

I love it!

Welcome to 2012, pin cushion.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

DIY baby gate

So I have been so busy the past month actually doing projects that I haven't had time to post about them.

The new motto is working!

I'm really excited about this baby gate I created. We have stairs in our apartment and for the longest time have simply been blockading them with a car seat (kind of ghetto I know). Well one of our twinners learned how to wiggle his way past the car seat on a regular basis and was totally enjoying the newfound freedom. Typically he'd just crawl up a step or two and then sit down and happily swing his legs, obviously proud of himself. Hard to be mad when he's so dang cute! But I had the hardest time finding a gate for these stairs. I needed a pressure mounted gate that would allow for different size opening at the top and bottom (we have molding on the bottom on each side). Sadly, the opening was about one inch too narrow for the one pressure mounted gate that would work (argh!!!) and we couldn't install a swing gate because of the bench we have on the wall near the stairs.  Blah, blah, blah. The gist being I could not find a baby gate of any kind that would work for this space. Ridiculous.

So I set out to make my own.

The boys and I headed over to our local Lowe's and picked up two short shower curtain rods. We made quite the splash as we walked around Lowe's like this:

These two were quite the willing helpers. Though I'm pretty sure they would not have been if they had known what I was going to use them for.

Then I sewed together two old curtains I had just laying around the house (which had originally been a sheet set; how many times can one item be repurposed!) with pockets for the curtain rods and up it went. Easy, peasy! 

I had high hopes that these rods wouldn't scuff up the paint. Sadly, not so. So I used some spray adhesive to attach a little bit of felt to the end of each rod and I haven't had any more problems. I've since shortened the gate bit. It was so tall it was kind of hard to walk over. Instead of cutting it down I just created a second pocket for the rod and tucked the excess fabric to the side facing the stairs. This way if we ever need the extra height its ready and waiting.

I love that we can walk over it or take it down completely with just a few twists to shorten the rods. I have been super impressed by the durability as well. My twinners lean on it, use it to pull themselves up etc and it doesn't budge! Sadly, our escape artist doesn't like it quite as much as I do. Here's a video of him right after I put it up.

And no worries, he has since adjusted to it beautifully. In fact the boys like to sit in front of it and lean against it. It's their new hang out spot. haha!

Oh and because I had the fabric on hand this sucker cost me half  of what the other gates we tried cost ($15 for curtain rods vs. $30 baby gate).

Let's just say I'm feeling pretty awesome right about now.

An update on the Christmas tree

So remember my awesome felt Christmas tree? Well it last approximately another week before my darling duo ripped it right off the wall. (sigh) The downside of the heat n bond method I used to adhere the tree to the wall is that once it comes off you can't reapply it. 

so sad.

So I debated some other options (I was determined to have some kind of Christmas tree!) and came up with something that worked. After gooping up my iron trying to remove the heat n' bond, (no bueno!) I decided to use a simple spray adhesive (I used Elmer's multi purpose spray adhesive) and followed the directions for a temporary hold. It worked awesome! My little darlings pulled it down at least once more, but the spray adhesive was so simple to use I had it back up in under 5 minutes. Eventually (after a time out or two) they mostly stopped trying to pull it off the wall. Despite their attempts to destroy it they really loved it.  They learned to say "star" and can now recognize a star when they see one (I was super impressed they could do this at only 12 months!). When we took it down I didn't notice any residual goop on the wall from the adhesive, so that's definitely a winner in my book. 

Even though it wasn't quite as hassle free as I was hoping I am so glad I did it. 
And really had we done the spray adhesive from day one I would have been less stressed about keeping it on the wall to begin with. So next year we'll just start there.

I am equally glad we did not get a real tree. Can you imagine what they would have done to that one? Jeez!

{Our lovely tree on Christmas morning}

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