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?

Friday, October 28, 2011

More Pinterest Ideas

I freaking love Pinterest.  I've been busy the past couple of weeks whipping up little crafts here and there for a variety of events.  First, my friend Pat got a great idea to make a "30 Sucks" gift for our buddy Tim's 30th birthday.  Here are the papers I made for it.  Pat stuck all the suckers in a blue vase and a florist block from the dollar store.  He loved it, but unfortunately, we forgot to take a picture of it!

Notice the papers are Duck colors!

Since Tim's was such a hit, I went ahead and made another one for one of my very best friend's 30th birthday party the next weekend.  She absolutely loved it!  Sorry about the crazy lighting - this was taken in a basement, surrounded by red table cloths, and on my iPhone.  Recipe for photo disaster.  You get the idea, though.  I used a pink, square vase I already had, bought a rectangle florist block from Fred Meyer and cut it down to size, then stuck in 30 Dum-Dums.  The "30 Sucks" sign is hot glued to a chop stick and the "Happy Birthday" sign is hot glued to ribbon that is hot glued around the vase.  Super cute and cheap!
Idea from this Pinterest link
I then got crafty for myself last week.  I had been staring at all kinds of DIY necklaces on My Style board on Pinterest and knew I could make something cute with these grey seed-bead necklaces I had laying around.  Armed with this "pinspiration" of another necklace, I got to work.  Using two pairs of needle-nosed pliers, I put two jump rings on opposite sides of each necklace (there were three necklaces), then laced one end of each of the necklaces onto one bigger ring.  I braided the necklaces together, then ran the rings at the end onto a bigger ring.  I looked all around my bathroom for an old necklace chain I could take apart, but couldn't find anything.  So, I took "pinspiration" from this ribbon and pearl necklace and used some yellow ribbon.  Yellow and grey are all the rage.  Grellow, anyone?

Here it is! I decided to model as I was stuck in traffic.  Totally acceptable use of time.

It's a little long, but for being free, I love it.

My next project was for 3 baby's birthdays.  We were invited to two different first birthdays and a 2nd birthday.  I knew I couldn't make all of the gifts, but I thought I could make at least part of them.  For the two year old's birthday, we gave her some felt food (orange slices, bendable bacon, and eggs - not pictured) and a little shopping basket full of cut-able food.  She loved it!  For one of the one year old's birthday, we gave her a set of felt food with a really cute baby pot and pan set with mirrors and rattles on it.  She seemed really excited to play with it when she opened it!  The third party was cancelled last minute, but I also made her the felt food and got her a recycled plastic tea set.  It's so adorable, I can't wait to give it to her!
Once I decided to make felt food, I found tutorials for making felt food everywhere!  Even when we went to the Pumpkin Patch, there was a booth selling tons of felt food and other felt toys.  It was awesome!  I'm really excited to make more felt things, since it was so easy!

Here is my last project - Brains in a Jar! I saw this and instantly knew I had to make it for something.  I don't usually like scary things, but this was so cool!  I stayed up a little too late last night baking, making frosting, and putting 6 of these little jars together.  Then, using a round cookie cutter, I cut the rest of the cake I had baked and placed each round inside a cupcake wrapper, smeared a little strawberry jam on the cake, and piped on some squiggles of the greyish-pink frosting.  The website that these were pinned from had a free printable for the jar lids, so I just glued some onto toothpicks and stuck them in the mini cupcakes.  I WISH I would have taken a picture.  They were so cute and so yummy!  Oh well, maybe next year I'll remember to take more pics.  Or maybe not! :)    I brought them to school for a little Halloween celebration in the staff room for the teachers.  We don't celebrate Halloween with the kids, since a large portion of our population doesn't celebrate at home.  But who says the teachers can't have some fun?!

 So, does anyone else love Pinterest as much as I do?  What projects have you been working on?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

DIY Crayon Art

I had a couple more boxes of crayons and a billion ideas pinned on my Pinterest boards.  So of course I had to make something else today!!!

It all started with this inspiration:
Via Pinterest
A seller on Etsy makes these for $75 bucks a pop.  I knew I would be able to easily make one of my own.  I had a couple canvases in the basement that I had been saving to paint some art work for our bedroom.  I never got around to doing that and since we decided to sell the house later this year, I figured I could re-purpose the canvases.  We've lived this long without art in the bedroom.  What's a couple more months, right??

I googled "melted crayon art" and found this tutorial.  She also used the Etsy piece as an inspiration.  Great minds think alike!  She peeled all the wrappers off her crayons, though, which is a step I didn't do.  Mainly because peeling crayons sucks.  Once of the commenters on her blog, however, said that if you soak the crayons in water first, they peel off easier.  Great tip for when I make melted crayon shapes!
Via Unsimple Living
I got out the trusty glue gun and a couple more boxes of crayons that were left over from the crayon wreath project.  I lined the crayons up on the canvas in an order that I liked and started gluing away.  I omitted the gray, white, brown, and black crayons since I wanted it to be bright and colorful.
After they were all glued on, I let it dry over night.  I didn't want to risk having the hot glue heat up during the next process and have crayons falling off the canvas. 

The next morning I taped up an old piece of painter's plastic (we used it over Audrey's crib when we painted the ceiling in the kids room a couple of weeks ago) above the mirror and placed the canvas on top of it.  In the tutorial above, it looked like there was some splatter behind.  I definitely did not want melted crayons splattering on our gorgeous bathroom countertops!
I then got out my hair dryer and blasted the crayons at full speed, to soften them up.  This worked well, but the force of the dryer caused a couple of colors to splatter across the canvas.  Ruh row.

The effect was working well, though.

Ben mentioned that he had a heat gun.  Would I like to try it?  Yes, please!  Enter Ace Hardware's heat gun:
I used the low setting, since this is significantly hotter than a hair dryer.  And I did not want splatters all over the canvas.  It worked much faster than my hair dryer.  I had to be careful of the plastic behind, though, since it liked to melt under the heat gun.  No melted plastic is allowed on our bathroom mirrors.  I guess that is an unwritten rule of the house.  :)

I love how the crayons melted all the way to the bottom, filling up the entire canvas.  The heat gun made it a quick project and I'm super happy with how it turned out.

I can't wait to show it to you in my completed classroom!  It will look so cute with all the other colorful elements I am adding. 

Cost Breakdown:
3 boxes of crayons ($0.40 a piece at Walmart) - $1.20
White Canvas (40% off at Michael's) - already owned
Hot glue - already owned
Hair dryer and Heat gun - already owned
Total cost - $1.20 - Smokin' deal!!
Do you have any Pinterest projects you are working on?  What about back to school?  I'd love to hear about them!  Maybe you have some other DIY art ideas that you've been dying to try.  Let me know!

Pinterest Craft - Crayon Wreath

Like I said in my previous post, I love Pinterest!  I get so many awesome ideas for my home and classroom.  It's great. 

For my latest Pinterest-obsession craft, I made a crayon wreath.  Here's how it turned out!

I started off with these projects as inspiration:
Via Pinterest
I really liked the ruler sign with the teacher's name.  I was afraid the lollipops would get gross after awhile, though.  And I didn't like that you could see the styrofoam wreath behind it.  

Via Moms Party Cafe
This one uses embroidery hoops instead of a wreath form.  I liked that you couldn't really see them from behind.  I also really liked the dressmaker's ruler as the ribbon, but could only find bright yellow at Michael's so I ended up getting regular ribbon instead.

Via The Ballard Bunch

 I loved the fabric flowers on this one.  I made some fabric flowers for my earring holder that I just finished, so I knew I'd be able to make these ones pretty easily.

Via Scrapping West
This one also uses embroidery hoops and has a good description of how it's done.

Armed with confidence from trusty, old Pinterest, I gather my supplies and got to work.
I actually started this project when we were in Sunriver a couple of weeks ago.  I love doing projects in Sunriver because I don't have to worry about weeding the front yard, finishing painting the ceilings, running errands.  I get to spend time with the family during the day and craft away after the kids go to bed.  I wish I could live there!

Anywho, I went to Michael's in Bend and got the glue gun, ribbon, and embroidery hoops.  I ended up leaving the glue gun at the house in Sunriver so it will be there for next time I decide to craft up a storm while on vacation!  I went school supply shopping for my classroom at Walmart and picked up a couple extra boxes of crayons and a wooden ruler.

I set the crayons on the embroidery hoops and decided how I wanted them arranged.  I ended up going in rainbow order twice.  After I was happy with the arrangement, I glued them all on with the hot glue.  I glued them on label side down, because I thought it could get too busy with all the labels facing up.  And then you can read the color names. 
I then made my fabric flowers, using this tutorial, and glued them on.  I laced the ribbon through the top, near the clasp that holds the embroidery hoops together, and glued the ruler on.  I'm not super happy with my handwriting on the ruler.  I might replace it with some sticker letters or enlist the help of an artsy friend.  Or I might just get lazy and leave it the way it is. 

I love it and can't wait to show you where it lands in my classroom after I'm all done setting it up!

Here's the breakdown of costs:
3 boxes of crayons ($0.40 each at Walmart) - $1.20
1 wooden ruler - $0.97
2 embroidery hoops ($2.50 each at Michael's Crafts) - $5.00
Ribbon, on sale at Michael's - $0.99
Fabric - already had
Total: $8.16

Do you know of any teachers who would love something like this?  What do you like to do to get ready for the beginning of school?