Sunday, April 15, 2012

Caterpillar Birthday!

My daughter and my good friend's daughter turned 2 in December.  We planned a joint birthday for them using the theme The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Here are some highlights from the party.  Most of the ideas are from Pinterest!

Here is the invitation.

The first circle is the caterpillar's head.  The second circle has the poem:
We can hardly believe
two years have passed.
Our little caterpillars 
have grown up so fast.
Join the Dunnes and Heinleins
as we debut
Kiah and Audrey 
are turning TWO!

The third circle has a photo of each girl, and the fourth circle has the party info.  I used mini brads from Michael's craft store to attach each circle.  I then rotated the circles so they were stacked and slipped it in a large greeting card envelope to mail them off to the party go-ers.

I put an invite in a frame and displayed it at the party.  Making 20 of these invites took FOREVER, but they are so cute it was worth it.

A couple weeks before the party, we got the kids together and made these artworks.  Celia (the other mom and party planner) bought these canvases, acrylic paint, and toddler friendly paintbrushes.  I made the butterfly body forms with brown construction paper and glued them on top of the paint once it was dry.  I also had googly eyes to add once the art was dry.  We made this art as samples and displayed them at the art table at the party.  All the guests who came got to choose which artwork they wanted to make, make it, then take it home as their party favor!  It was a big hit with the kids AND adults alike!

I later hung the art in my kids' room as display of their artistic ability!

I made the girls birthday shirts out of felt and fabric.  I bought the plain white shirts at Kohl's.  I loved the little ruffle detail near the neckline.  I cut out the number two from polkadot and strawberry fabric and ironed on interfacing to the back, then ironed it to the shirts.  I zigzag stitched all around the two to adhere it to the shirt.  I then used my embroidery attachement to embroider the name letters onto different colors of felt.  The eyes on the caterpillar head are just little zeros!  I cut circles around the letters, trying to get the letter as centered as possible.  I used my 2" circle punch to make a paper circle template that I pinned on top of each letter, then cut around.  This worked well, but some letters are more centered than others.  You can tell it is handmade! :)  I then sewed each circle to the shirts using coordinating thread.  This part took awhile to change the top thread and bobbin each time, but I am really happy with how it turned out.  I wasn't going to sew the purple antennas on the caterpillar heads, but in the end I did.  

Here is Audrey in her shirt.  You can see the antennas.

Celia bought green tutus for the girls to wear, too.  They were adorable!

My mom also crocheted the girls caterpillar hats.  Here is Kiah modeling hers at her house:

I bought a book of the Very Hungry Caterpillar just to cut up and use for art.  I got a butterfly punch at Michael's and made these two frames: one for each girl to take home after the party.

I also used the book to make signs for the food table.  We served food from the book!  The big lollipops are from Dylan's Candybar.  Instead of an actual pie, my friend Janae made pie pops - they were adorable and delicious.  And instead of cupcakes, I made a table runner out of cupcake fabric.

Celia made delicious sandwiches with the salami and swiss cheese, and in honor of the leaf the caterpillar eats to make his tummy feel better, we had salad.

I made name banners for each girl and displayed them in the dining room with the food.  Here is Kiah's.  The letters are punch-out letters from a teacher supply store.  The colored polkadots around each letter are the girls' fingerprints!

 Here is Audrey waiting patiently for her cake.  My mother-in-law is a fabulous baker and made this cake.

Here I am enjoying the party with Audrey, my friend Carla, her daughter Kennedy, and my other friend Erin.  A ton of work went into pulling this off, but everyone had fun, the food was good, the decor was cute, so I was a happy mama!

 No, stripes nor black and white clothing were a prerequisite for attending the party.  My friends and I just have very similar taste in clothing!  Ha!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Freezer Paper Love

So I didn't know it until recently, but I love freezer paper!  Last year, while searching for something fun and unique to do at my good friend Carla's baby shower, I found a project for freezer paper stencils. I knew that with a little bit of effort, it would be fun!

I started out with random graphics that I liked.  Most were found from Google images.  This one is a tree with hearts as the leaves.  I traced the graphic onto a piece of freezer paper with a pencil (on the smooth side, not the waxy side), and using an Exacto knife and a self-healing mat, I cut on all the lines.   We wanted to have 20 different stencils for guests to choose from at the party, so my party planning hostess partner Janae cut out 10 and I cut out 10.  I'm not going to lie.  It took a long time.
Before the party, I ironed the stencils to the center of each onesie, positioning them so if Carla were to put pants or a skirt on the baby, you could still see the design. 

Here are some of the party guests painting onesies.  They choose the design they liked the best, and using sponge dabbers and fabric paint, sponged the colors on that they wanted.  Some girls used a one color design, some got bold and used a variety of colors.  We loved that guests could get creative with their onesie, but you did not have to be artistic for it to come out cute.

After the paint dries for about an hour, you can peel off the paper.  Make sure to launder it inside out for the first time.  How very Portland of us - a peace sign and a recycling symbol :)

As a Christmas gift this year, I decided to break out the freezer paper again.  My little sister lives in Eugene, a very Earth-conscious, "green" city.  So naturally, I made her a bicycle t-shirt.  I bought the plain gray t-shirt at Target and found a bicycle graphic that I liked from Google images.  

Here is my stencil, all ready to be ironed to the shirt.

And after ironing it. I positioned the triangle in the middle of the bike and the circles for the insides of the wheels while ironing.  It's important to remember where each piece goes as you are cutting.

Here is my Tulip brand fabric paint.  I got the palette and sponge daubers at Michael's.   I just sponged on a thin layer, making sure the coverage was good, but that I didn't use too much to make it bleed under the freezer paper.  I put a piece of cardboard on the inside of my shirt so the paint wouldn't soak through to the other side.

Here I am modeling the shirt before I sent it off to Marley.  Cute, huh?  And since I only had to buy the t-shirt, it ended up being a very inexpensive gift.  She said she loved it, so hopefully she wears it while riding her bike around Eugene! :)

Have you used fabric paint before?  What are your ideas for fun baby shower activities?  I'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Pinterest Christmas!

Have I told you how much I love Pinterest?  Haha.  I do.  I love it.  Here are some projects I've been working on for Christmas this weekend:

An ornament with sand and shells that I brought back from our vacation to Kauai a couple weeks ago.  I bought a clear ornament at Michael's, filled it with sand and the shells, then tied on ribbon and a little tag to remind us of where it is from!
Inspired by this pin
A clip to hang recipes I am using in the kitchen.  This way they won't get dirty on the counter!  I bought the pant hangers in a 4-pack at Target, then traced, cut, and glued on scrapbook paper.  I used little black letter stickers to spell out the sayings and brushed on about 4 coats of matte Mod Podge.
Inspired by this pin
 Other side - What's Cooking?

A set of monogrammed gift tags for the whole family.  D = Daddy, M = Mommy, A = Audrey, N = Nathan.  The pin is from  I printed out a template from the website, then pinned the templates to felt.  I cut them out, then glued on strips of rick rack with Aleen's Tacky Glue.  I also cut out the initials from felt.  I just eyeballed these, I was too lazy to make a template.  I figured they are so small, it wouldn't matter if they were all slightly different.  I sewed the rick rack on with a straight stitch and coordinating thread, then glued the initial on top.  I sewed the initials on with a zigzag stitch and coordinating thread. 
Inspired by this pin
 Here is the whole lot - 4 for each member of the family.  I can't wait to tie them to all our packages!

The tags are a perfect companion to this idea I found on Pinterest - only 4 gifts a year.  My kids share a room (so space is at a premium), and they already have so much stuff.  I started my shopping this year with the 4 Gift Rule in mind.  It was hard to stick to!  My husband had an especially hard time.  He loves to buy toys for the kids.  He may have to just shop for Santa's gifts from now on!
Screenshot of this pin
What Christmas projects have you been finishing up this weekend?  Do you love Pinterest, too??

Friday, December 23, 2011

Super Hero Cape Tutorial

This tutorial is WAYYYYY long over due.  Since Nathan's birthday last year when I made 7 capes, I've made 11 more!!  Here is a quick tutorial on how to do it.  Anyone who can sew a straight line can do it!

1.  My mom helped me design these.  We started with two colors of fabric, one for the outside and one for the lining.  First, cut both pieces of fabric into 21" by 20" squares.
The fabric is folded in half here, so that the angles would be symmetrical.
2.  Cut the bottom into a point with the shortest section being 17" and the bottom section being about 3" wide. 
Does that help?  Yuck, I can see my old Blackberry in this pic!
3.  Print out a Superman emblem onto a full size of paper and cut it out.
Found via Google Images
4.  Pin the paper emblem to your desired color of felt and cut out the felt.  If you are going to use an embroidery machine to stitch names onto the emblem, iron stabilizer on the back.   If you don't have an embroidery attachment, you can leave the emblem blank and buy stick-on stars or other shapes to have kids decorate their own capes, or use stick-on felt letters to spell out the kids' names. The possibilities are really endless here.

5.  Pin the completed emblem onto the top piece of fabric and, using a zig-zag stitch, sew the emblem to the fabric.

6.  Next, pin both pieces of fabric together, wrong sides together.  Make sure to pin where you will leave a hole to accommodate the tie string.  I just eyeballed it to go a couple inches above the top of the emblem.  I wanted the emblem to be in the middle of the child's back and wanted a little bit of a collar to ruffle at the top.

7.  Start to sew in straight stitches, leaving a 1/4 inch seam.  When you get to these pins as you are sewing, backstitch to make sure it wouldn't unravel in the wash or anything, jump to the next pin and backstitch again.  Make sure to leave a hole in the cape in order to turn it right side out.
8.  Turn it right side out and iron the seams flat.

9.  Next, top stitch all the way around, skipping over the holes for the tie string again.  You will then stitch across the top of the cape, from one side of the little hole to the other, making a track for the tie string to stay in.  (Note: It looks like I had sewed along the entire edge, but I just hadn't snipped the string that jumps across the start and finish of the hole yet.  You will need that hole to be open in order to thread the string through.)

10.  The last step is to thread your string through the track.  I have used ribbon and I have also used binding tape (folded in half and stitched closed).  Then secure, you can use a cord stop on each side, or you can ruffle up the collar to your desired effect and stitch the ends of the track closed.  Stitching it closed makes it not adjustable, but I don't really think that matters too much.  Nathan's cape is stitched closed and he doesn't mind that he can't adjust it.

Happy cape making!!

Decorating capes at Nathan's birthday last year
Wearing the completed capes
Running in the neighborhood to save the day!
Finished cape from my Craft It Forward project

Do you have any little ones who would like a super hero cape?  Who is YOUR favorite super hero?  Maybe you can just make one for yourself!  Or by like my friend and make one for your dog! :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Craft It Forward 2011

On January 4, 2011, I promised to make something for the first 5 people who commented on my Facebook status.

So finally, the end of December, I am ready to mail them out!  Thank goodness for Facebook's new Timeline.  The first time I went to check who exactly had commented on this status, it took me over 30 minutes to scroll all the way back.  Now, I just click on 2011, then click on January.  Easy, peasy!

Now on to the gifts...

For Tia, a jersey knit scarf, sewn with elastic thread in the bobbin so that it would ruffle a bit.  I got the idea from this tutorial.  Since I used jersey knit and it doesn't fray, I didn't hem the edges.  It's really light weight and will be great in the late spring or summer!

For Laura, a shirt for her son, inspired by the Oregon sticker on my car.  I printed out a map of Oregon, then cut out the shape from white felt and sewed it on a little boys black shirt with a straight stitch.  I cut out the green felt heart and sewed that on top with green thread and a straight stitch.  Really easy and super cute!

For Shannon, a fun coffee cozy.  I've made them before, here.  If she doesn't buy coffee drinks often at Starbucks or other places, she can also use this sleeve on Kleen Kanteens (those things can get really cold if you put ice in them) or on to-go coffee mugs.  I used the left over fabric from making Kara's oven mitt and hot pad bridal shower gift and top stitched it with a cute flower stitch on my sewing machine.

For Wendy, a onesie for her baby girl.  I got the idea from this pin on Pinterest.  I had actually originally pinned the inspiration from one of Wendy's boards, so I hope she hasn't made one for her daughter yet!  The flower is from this tutorial because I wanted it to be permanently attached to the onesie.  If Wendy wants to turn it into a pendant, she just has to snip the threads and glue or sew it to a pin from the craft store.

For Kelly, a super hero cape for her daughter, Greta.  I also made capes for Nathan's birthday last year and Greta's brother was one of the attendees who received one.  I'll have to do a tutorial on those soon!  Kelly is also a teacher and last year her class wrote an imaginative story about Super Greta, a brave and courageous toddler.  In the story, Super Greta's cape was blue and red.  I made her real cape blue and purple, because purple is her favorite color!  I even practiced using my embroidery attachment to embroider "Super Greta" on the Superman emblem.  It turned out much better than the last time I embroidered something for Greta! Here is the finished cape in the car, on the way to the post office!

So, moral of the story, if I participate in Craft It Forward 2012, I will start these projects WAYYYYY earlier! :)  I'm such a procrastinator, it's not funny.

What have you been working on lately?