Boys, Birthdays, and Bow Ties

I'm back! And so is Made Monday! Even though I didn't technically go anywhere for vacation, I certainly feel refreshed and focused. Plus I got to spend time with my family and even the husband. We had 3 "Daddy Home Days" as Addy would call them. And by the way, less than 3 months remain till my husband graduates from his program! Yee! I am excited. And ready!

Anyways... now, about this Made Monday post...

I had finally gotten around to working my budget. It's not pretty. This happened to coincide with my son's 1st birthday. Needless to say, I had no money to buy him a birthday outfit. Which is okay. It's not necessary. But seriously, all he has is hand-me-downs. And deep down in this mother heart of mine I really wanted to do something special.

If you ever find yourself wanting to deck your little boy out in all manner of cuteness but have zero dollars to do this with, I have 5 words for you:

Make. Him. A. Bow. Tie.

(Or: Tell. One. Of. His. Grandmas. Also five words, and this will most likely do the trick too.)

All you need is 20-50 minutes of time (depending on your sewing skill level), scrap fabric (I used a hand-me-down shirt that was too stained to be worn as a shirt), scrap interfacing, about a foot of elastic, and thread.

Here's the instructions in pictures (I will add some written out ones with more detail after the jump.)

1. Find fabric. You will need to determine the size you want your bow tie and add a 1/2" seam allowance to the length and width measurements.

      My measurements:
  • Bow Tie: 4 1/2" x 3" (2 pieces needed)
  • Hold-Together piece: 1 1/2 x 6 (I cut this on the bias so my bow tie would have some added visual interest with a change in the direction of the print. By the way, I have no idea what this piece of fabric is technically called, so I made up a word for it: hold-together piece. I know, super sophisticated and technical, right?! Ha!)
  • Interfacing: 4 x 2 1/2 (2 pieces needed)
  • Elastic: 13"
2. Put two bow tie pieces together (right sides together) and sew with a 1/4" seam allowance the whole way around... BUT leave an inch unsewn in the middle of one of the longer sides. Sew the hold-together piece by folding in half lengthwise (wrong-side out) and sewing 5/8" from the fold.

3. Add interfacing to both sides of bow tie.

4. Turn the bow tie and the hold-together piece right-side out. Iron them nice and flat. To get the tip of the bow tie pointy, try using a pencil to push the tips out. Sew the opening in the bow tie piece closed. Turn hold together piece inside out. Iron it so that the seam is in the middle of one side.

5. Pinch bow tie in the middle (see picture).

6. Add hold together piece. Wrap once around the middle of the bow tie  and pull tight.

7. Slip a strip of elastic through the hold together piece on the back side of the bow tie.

8. Sew the hold together piece. Use the zipper foot on your sewing machine to get your seam line as close to the bow tie as possible. Trim extra fabric. Try the bow tie on your handsome model with a collared shirt on to get the elastic measurements just right. (Note: my elastic stretches to get around his head and into place on the collar, but it is NOT stretching when in place. Comfort is very important to keep in mind... especially if you want your child to actually wear it.) Sew elastic together. I added a few free hand stitches to keep the bow tie and elastic from moving.


This was SERIOUSLY easy and would require only the most basic of sewing knowledge. Definitely a great beginner project.

My handsome boy was dedicated two Sunday's ago. Immediately after church, we celebrated his first birthday with family. I may not have had a penny to use to buy him a strapping boy outfit, but I totally made it work. I think he looked adorable in his hand-me-down outfit topped off by the home-made bow tie and the grandma-bought white dress shoes.

Some pictures from the day:

 That boy right there has this momma's heart. BIG TIME! Happy birthday to my little Jedman.

Some candid shots from the day.
  • I am a big fan of baby dedications. Not the event, but the standing before God and witnesses and committing out loud to trust God with my child and to raise my child to know God. It's a powerful thing!
  • My sissy's in blue and my sister-in-law is in the picture with both my kids, aren't they beautiful?! God blessed me with two awesome sisters!
  • I also had no money for decorations, but I rigged up a happy birthday banner from 8x6 triangle pieces of leftover fabric, free-hand cut letters out of scrapbook paper and used modge podge to glue the paper to the fabric. I ripped a long strip of white fabric and zig-zag stitched the whole thing together. It's hard to tell in the bad lighting, but I think it turned out cute.
"Jed, meet Cookie Monster. Cookie Monster, Jed." Add a toy lawn mower to go places with and they are new best friends. :)
 First birthday cake.
Frosting Mustache=Best Kind of Mustache.

Have you ever had next to $0 to celebrate a milestone? How did you make it work?

We are off to Addy's very first day of swimming lessons today. Tomorrow, I have a something very personal to share with you all. I am excited about it, so do come back :)

Till Then...


Joy! Journal AND...

There are a thousand ways a mom can feel overwhelmed.

A thousand things to accomplish.

A thousand worries.

A thousand hours of missing sleep over the course of 4 years years of parenting.

There are a thousand things to drag a mom down.


But there's this crazy hope inside of me, that I could live fully. Here. Now. Amongst diapers, grape juice stains, cheerio bottoms, whiney voices, and temper tantrums. (And later amongst wardrobe battles, rolling eyes, boyfriends, and attitudes). Because I truly believe motherhood is a gift, even when I feel exasperated and so very tired... I know these children are my blessing. I want to live on purpose and not so "half-there" because I'm tired and I can't figure out any other way to be.

I want to fully live.

I want to instill in my children how to fully live too.

I stumbled across the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp a couple months ago when a friend invited me to her church's study. I know I've mentioned the book here at least 20 times, but it's good, and it's changed me. It's a simple idea. It's really just about slowing down a couple times a day and counting the gifts you've been given. It's about finding the joy in the messes and beauty everywhere. It's inspired my Thankful Thursday posts and now a journal I keep super handy in my kitchen.

I count gifts and all the precious and fleeting moments with my children, because they're gifts too. I count the beautiful things I see and record things like my daughter trying to take Jed's "tensaber" (temperature, for those of you who aren't fluent in Addy). Things that perhaps only I will appreciate, but maybe Addy and Jed will one day as well. I try to write down the hard things too, like that the mess of cheerios is really just evidence that I am blessed with active children or how even when I was rushing Jed to the emergency room with a punctured ear drum, God was there and He gave us peace and kind doctors and an unexpected friend's visit who happened to be on her nursing shift.

My children are learning to be thankful. I am even writing love notes to my husband thanking him for all he does.

This simple act is changing my life, my family, and my marriage.

I may sound like a complete thankful fruit loop, but it's worth the risk if it helps change someone else.

Couple of notes if you want to try "Joy Journaling" or "Gift Counting" out for yourself:
1. Make the journal handy... like wherever you most often find yourself in your home. For me, it's the kitchen. And don't just put it anywhere... make it prominent--where you are very likely to see it and be reminded by it.
2. Quick notes, sloppy notes, poetic notes... it doesn't matter. It's the stopping, the seeing, the gratitude... that's what makes the difference. It's not about the list. The list is the tool that helps you live a grateful FULL life.
3. If it helps you to have a guided way to count your gifts: visit Ann Voskamp's blog. Every month she puts up a printable with suggested items to count (They are always towards the bottom of page on her Monday posts). Actually, just check out her blog. It's good.
4. The book is awesome, but I found it to be a little like wading through oatmeal. The poetic language makes it thick. It's packed with revelation. The truths it exposes are weighty. It's a little difficult to get through (at least for me). But it was worth the "wading," definitely worth it, especially when I got to Ch. 8. That was the life-changer for me. So, while I strongly urge you to embark on this joy dare, I think it is a highly recommendable idea to read the book too (and to know if you find it a difficult read, don't beat yourself up. You are not less-spiritual or the only one.) :)

To make the journal:

I made myself a journal out of a good old fashioned composition notebook... wide ruled so it's easier to make fast notes. They are less than a $1.00. I covered it in scrap fabrics, a family picture, scrapbook paper and modge-podged it all on.

To Modge-Podge: paint a thin coat on wherever you are adding something. Paint a thin coat over the top to seal it. Just a note: you will battle wrinkles should you choose thin paper. Choose thicker paper (close to cardstock-quality thickness). Also, use thinner more cotton-like fabrics.

I got myself a letter-holder-type thing to hold my JOY journal in my organization station. I had tried just sticking the journal to the wall, but it fell off. Also, writing on something that is upright makes your pen get air in it... and that makes writing difficult. I still like the journal on the wall though (hence placing it in a letter holder). I see it every time I walk into the kitchen, and it reminds me to stop rushing, stop stressing, and be grateful.

I made a couple more journals just for fun. They are seriously easy... like half-hour-with-some-drying-breaks-in-there easy. This one is bright and cheerful. Addy loves it. I am thinking I may let her use it.
This one below is my favorite. I made it with a ribbon and velcro clasp that I embellished with an easy fabric rose. I love the quote I found amongst my scrap-booking materials. Seemed very appropriate.
"The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life."


Since I liked this journal so well and this book has changed my life...

...well... are just going to have to click the link below to see what this conquering housewife has brewing.

{Click here to find out about The CCHW's FIRST-EVER GIVEAWAY!!!! (I'm excited, in case the 4th exclamation point didn't clearly demonstrate this to you.) You will want to see this even if you aren't into reading anything longer than a page or writing in homemade journals. Wha-hoo!} 

Hope your Monday is MADE and your life is FULLY lived, Friends!

DIY EASY Headband and Bubble Skirt

I get easily distracted sometimes.

For example, I set out to make my pillows one morning.  Kids were still asleep. I had a good 2 hours before they would wake.

I can and I shall be a woman who conquers great things!

I shall sew my pillows!

I started with the green pillow seen here...
I got it done quickly. I had time enough for at least one more before the kids would wake from their slumber. Then, overcome by the feeling of accomplishment on making the first pillow... I Conquered the pillow case!... I immediately begin thinking of all the ways I could use the left over green knit fabric. Skirt! Headband!

Inspiration... or maybe procrastination... (Apparently I didn't much feel like making pillows anymore) led me to create a super easy skirt and headband...

wait for it...


Creating without a pattern can be so liberating. Kind of like walking around the house without your bra on.

{Don't worry, a picture of that WILL NOT be inserted here! Ha!}

Or like riding a swing on your tummy :)

Before I proceed any further though, I do need to give credit to deliacreates. I had seen the headband during her nesting series. I put a snapshot in the back of my mind for a future auntie/if-I-ever-have-another-baby-girl project. I loved how easy they looked. Loved that they only required scrap fabric. Loved the way they can be cute and girlie without having to use pink, purple, zebra print or any other very used girl fabric (not that I am against these. I love them. Have drawers of them. Just nice to have a change of hair accessory that looks completely original). I love the way they could be super soft and gentle on a baby's precious head and custom cut to fit perfectly snug without leaving those terrible elastic indentations.

I also kept seeing on deliacreates these baby girl skirt projects out of old adult tshirts. They look comfortable. They look easy. They look unique. Also, unlike shopping at the over-priced fabric store where the price for creating your own stuff costs more than it would to just buy it, you are just reusing old shirts. Price: zero! Love when my hard work actually saves me money! (Got baby brain? Do check out the above links to check out the deliacreates nesting series. She had some seriously great projects and most were super simple.)

I had these projects in the back of my mind for baby girl projects...

But now I had a whole lot of leftover green knit fabric...

I think these projects can be made to work for my not-so-baby-anymore Addy!

I totally did this spur of the moment.

Which means...

I have no pictures of the making process.


They are SUPER EASY.

I may not be able to wonderfully and visually explain the "how-to" but it's easy!

And fortunately, Deliacreates does a good job of explaining how to do the headband. She takes beautiful pictures and she did a bunch of different headbands. A great place to get some inspiration. It's so easy that I seriously looked through the pictures, thought how easy it looked, and never even needed to look back to reread instructions when 2 weeks later I decided to make one for Addy.

The headband literally took less than 10 minutes to put together plus a little extra to hand stitch the heart. I want to make more! I need someone to make me an auntie (wink wink brother and sister...get busy! Ha!)

They are Cute and Comfy. I have a hard time getting Addy to wear anything in her hair. She hates the discomfort of headbands and the pulling of hair-ties. This she can do.

Only... This is how she would rather wear it....
That's okay, though. Free spirit soar :) You are cute no matter how you wear that head band (or if you wear it) and even cuter when you wear it your way. Love that girl!!! She makes life so much more fun. 


For the skirt:

1. Measure your kid. You will need her waist measurement and skirt length. I got a little conservative and made the skirt longer than I wanted but at least this way it'll last a growth spurt or two.

2. You will need to cut three pieces of fabric for the skirt. (For all of your pieces the "stretchiness" of the knit should be the "waist" measurements--the longest length.)
First piece: the main skirt. Cut out piece of fabric that is double your waist measurement by your skirt length measurement plus 3 1/2 inches (1/2 for seam allowance, 3 inches for bubble).
Second piece: the underside of skirt. Cut out piece of fabric that is 1 1/2 your waist measurement by your skirt length minus 3 inches.
Third piece: The waist band. Cut piece of fabric that is slightly less than waist measurement (this will depend on the stretchiness of your fabric. You want the fabric to fit snug so it will stay up without being uncomfortable. Best way to figure this out is to try it out on your muse--child. Don't forget to allow for the seam.) by 5 inches.

3. Baste first piece 1/4" from edge that corresponds to the waist measurement. Pull thread at either end to gather until it is the same length as the second piece of fabric. Pin first and second pieces of fabric wrong side out and then sew.

4. Sew the waistband (put the 2 shorter sides together and sew wrong side out).

5. Take large piece (that is now the first and second pieces sewn together). Baste either end (the ends that correspond to waist measurement) 1/4" from edge. Pull thread at either end to gather fabric until it is the same length at the waistband.

6. Take the two sides of the large piece of fabric (the main skirt) that correspond to the length and sew together wrong side out.

7. Fold the waistband in half, right side out. Fold your skirt piece in half right side out. Take the raw edges of waistband, match this up with the seams you made in step 4&6, and pin them to the basted edges of skirt. (Make sure it is pinned so that after it is sewn raw edges won't be seen on out side of skirt and so that the side of the skirt that has no visible seams will be seen). Sew together.

8. Embellish however you please... or not at all. It's done!

This may sound really complicated, especially without the pictures. But do know, common sense and a very moderate sewing skill level got me this skirt without even glancing at a pattern. Most likely, if you have done any sewing, you can do this without any instructions!
 I hope just seeing it inside out gives you an idea of how to make it.
This project took around an hour with the time it took to add the embroidery on the heart and tack it on.

I think that hand-stitched heart is just the sweetest. So easy. So simple. And something you simply cannot buy in the stores... Kind of like the love I gots for my kiddos... awe!

The pillowcase procrastination and the hour of work were so worth it when I got to see how happy it made Addy to have something handmade by momma. I could tell she was feeling the love :)

We <heart3 you!

Some tips:
1. Scrap fabric! Keep fleece scraps. Fleece is awesome because the edges don't fray. Great for adding cuteness to little-girl outfits!
2. I don't have any embroidery thread. I didn't want to go to the store to buy any either. So, I just took a vibrant colored all-purpose sewing thread. I cut 2 lengths of it. I pulled the 2 pieces through the eye and then tied the ends together so that my thread was now 4x's thicker. Then I stitched it. Could have been thicker still, but pink still stands out and I didn't have to go to store. Win!
3. I made the waistband too loose so I had to go back and fix it. But, then I realized knit stretches out as it is worn throughout the day. Poor Addy had a saggy skirt by the end of the day. I have to fix it again. So keep in mind, SNUG. Not uncomfortable. But SNUG. My mom suggested inserting elastic into the waistband. That would probably work better (but then I would have to use a seam ripper and re-sew... something this girl LOATHES. Plus I like the idea of how comfortable it is without it... Nevertheless I will suggest it for you. I may try it if there is a next time.)

I am linked up at:

Skip To My Lou

Happy Hearts and Warm Ears: Fashion Forward Ear Warmers

A while back I came across this tutorial. I fell in love with the idea of having a giant, friendly bow atop some fashionable ear warmers. I decided to try making some!

I made a practice one for me.

And then perfected one for a pajama brunch gift exchange I went to.
I found that one layer of fleece was fairly flimsy and kind of pointless as it doesn't keep one's head very warm. So I added a layer of zebra print on the inside of the second one. I firmly believe one should always make a point to have unexpected fun where no one can see. Life can be such a killjoy at times and it really is too short to not have zebra print hiding out somewhere on one's person.
 Also I found deliacreate's ear warmer to be a bit wide, at least for my head so I trimmed my pattern down by a 1/4" on the top and bottom. I decided to try out flowers instead of bows. I free-hand cut each flower and then tacked them down with thread in the middle of each flower.
These ear warmers are SO CUTE and SO FUN! Thank you deliacreates for posting them!

They are REALLY easy too. While hand-tacking flowers can be time consuming, the actual ear-warmer itself took 20 minutes to cut out and sew together.

They are also REALLY cheap. Solid fleeces are at Walmart for $2.97 a yard. One yard can get you 4-6 embellished, doubled up ear warmers. That's fashion for under one buck a pop! Christmas gifts anyone?!

Please see my next post for what I am planning on doing with these... I am super excited about it! :)

My notes from the project:
  • Obvious statement here: fleece is thicker than the average fabric. Do practice on a scrap piece of fabric before sewing to make sure you have your tension setting just right on your machine. I had to adjust mine after almost ruining my freshly cut and pinned ear warmer.
  • It took about 40 minutes to make the bow ear warmer. That includes the time it took for me to make the original pattern and goof off in the mirror while project was going to see how it was going to fit. The second one took 20 minutes to make the ear warmer (including the time to change my thread), plus another 40 minutes to cut out and sew on all those flowers.
  • Fleece is not the easiest thing to sew on. I had a little trouble rounding the curves with my sewing machine on fleece. On one part it was pretty noticeable, so guess where I put a flower? ;)

Warm holiday wishes!

Pilgrims and Preschoolers

I suppose it has a lot to do with the way I am wired or the fact that I spent 3 years as a teacher and 5 years as a children's pastor, but something in me can never just allow a holiday to be a holiday. It's always an opportunity to teach my children!

Thanksgiving is no exception. I cannot just allow it to be about eating turkey and spending time with the family. We must learn about WHY we celebrate Thanksgiving.

For Thanksgiving, to me, is more than just a chance to list off our "Thankful For's" and enjoy family and eat. The first Thanksgiving involved a group of people who set off looking for a place to worship God as they wanted, an adventure, or an opportunity to make money. It also involved a group of people who out of the kindness of their heart became the answer to prayers by teaching the Pilgrims everything they knew about the Pilgrim's new home. The Pilgrims sacrificed much for the freedom they craved, they lost much, and at last they found their prayers answered. I love the story. Just a reminder from your 5th grade history books, the Pilgrims lost 1/2 their numbers to starvation and disease. In their bleakest hour, the Indians helped them, one of whom, Squanto, just happened to be able to speak English. They taught them how to work the soil, how to hunt, and how to survive America. The first Thanksgiving was a great big "thank-you" to the Indians by sharing from their bounty, and it was a chance to reflect that even in the face of great loss, God is still good and God still provides. I can be thankful for my abundance, but I can also stand in the face of loss and difficulty and know that God is my provider. With much or with less, I am thankful.

Alright, so I want to pass all that down in one preschool sized bite to my daughter. How do I do that?... Stick puppet show!

I happened to have a pilgrim foam craft set. Addy and I worked on the pieces last night.

Then this morning we made our puppet show back drop and "Mayflower" out of construction paper.

I happen to have metal slated chairs so I taped the backdrop the the chair and put my arms through the bottom opening. Addy watch my show from the other side of the table. Perfect!

I did the show for her. She demanded an encore: "Again! Again!" So I did it again. Then it was her turn. She didn't get the concept of putting the stick figures in front of the backdrop.

She got from my little Pilgrim Stick Puppet Play that they came in a boat for Jesus, the winter was cold, and they ate. They got in a boat, sang "Jesus Loves Me", said "Brrrr, it's cold," cooked, and then pounded their faces into the table as they scarfed their food. My version had much more to it and no "Jesus Loves Me" song in it, but I will watch Addy's re-telling any day... over and over again. (Good thing too, because I may have to watch it over and over again.) PRECIOUS! I am thinking she will be doing her encore for her grandparents and aunts and uncles tomorrow.

Here's my final thought for you:

DIY Fabric Rose Hair Piece

Alright, so Thanksgiving is fast approaching which means I am already behind on getting my family portraits done for the Christmas cards. What else is new?! I did go yesterday and get some pictures of the kids done at a portrait studio... ugh! So not fun. Jed just came into this world with a serious demeanor, and, while he definitely smiles and laughs, he does not do this for just anybody... and especially not if you are trying really hard. Addy is 3; pretty sure that's enough said right there, but, in case it isn't, she can only handle so many directions before she completely wigs out and your directions might as well be spoken in Swahili because she's lost her ability to understand them. Needless to say, this time I did not have the problem of "so many good pictures it's hard to pick just one;" I had the problem of "Um, which one is tolerable enough to look at in a picture frame until I get around to doing this again?" At least I really like looking at my kids faces no matter the expression on them.

I want my kids and Mike and me to all coordinate for our family Christmas pictures, totally a "mom-thing" I suppose. So I picked up some fabric that will pick up on the varying shades of blue, green and gray in all our eyes and decided that I SHALL do something with said fabric! I made a little button down shirt for Jed that I accented with cow print from a pattern I had laying around, but stopped shy of the button holes. Not sure why, but button holes scare me. Also, I made a mistake. I am still contemplating whether or not I want to go back and seam rip and resew or figure out some way to make it work as is. Me and patterns do not play nicely together and I HATE seam-ripping and resewing. I was going to sew up a little dress for Addy in the same fabric, but I am not so good at making the underarm part and seem to need to rip out and resew everytime I made something with arm holes at least once...

Can you tell not everything is perfect in my crafting world?!

Finally, as the picture appointment got closer and the thought of family pictures is beginning to move to the forefront of my brain, the need for simplicity over took me.

I got the idea to make a hair piece for Addy and a tie for Jed. EASY! FAST! CUTE! SIMPLE! I took my professional pictures of the kids with these accessories and I like the subtle matchy-ness. I am planning on making bigger adult versions for Mike and I for our Christmas card family pictures. This makes me happy.

Fabric Rose Hair Piece:
Need 2 contrasting pieces of fabric (like 2 pieces of 2.5"x6" or so for leaves and contrasting piece of 2.5" by 18+" for rose)
Fabric Glue
Hot Glue
Scrap piece of felt (2" by 2")
Hair Clip
Piece of 3/8 ribbon (about 6")
Optional: Headband and scrap piece of ribbon (about 1" wide)

Cut 2.5" wide strip of fabric about 18" in length. I am using a cheap Walmart cotton print. COW PRINT! Cow print makes me happy. (Note: the measurements can be wider or thinner, longer or shorter depending on what you want your rose to look like) I used scissors to start my cut and then I ripped my "cut" by hand the rest of the way. Ripping is a great way to ensure you are on the grain, keep your cut straight, and, if you like the slightly frayed look of my rose, ripping will help you achieve this.

Fold your fabric in half lengthwise.
Make a knot at the end of your fabric.
You will make your rose by wrapping fabric around the knot, twisting it a 1/2 turn ever so often. This will make your rose petal affect. (Get some practice in before you start glueing and figure out how loose or tight you want your rose to look.)
Now start make your petals and glue as you go.
To finish your rose, take a little bit of left-over fabric and glue it to underside of rose. Be very generous with your glue.
Rose is complete. Now to add the leaves...
Cut out 2 pieces of fabrics, roughly 2.5"x6."
Fold in half lengthwise and pinch in the middle.
Keeping your fingers pinching the middle of the fabric, bring the two ends together flat against each other. It should look like this:
Twist in the middle to get your leaf like so:
Glue to back of rose and repeat for 2nd leaf.
Cut out a oval-ish shaped piece of felt and glue to back of rose.
Because I have trust issues with fabric glue: I made a couple of hidden stitches on the inside of the "petals" through to the back just to make sure this rose would NEVER fall apart. I think in retrospect I was being overly paranoid, so I will say this is "optional" (but definitely worth considering if you loathe unraveled fabric roses no matter how long it lasted prior to unraveling or how slim the possibility is of it actually falling apart. I obviously would loathe this.)

Warm up your hot glue gun. To cover your hair clip with ribbon (this is great for baby fine hair... it stays in place better and is less likely to take their precious hair with it when they pull it out) place ribbon on inside of clip as far as it can go and wrap around to the top side to find our where to put your hot glue. Put hot glue on ribbon and put in place.
Wrap the remaining piece of ribbon around top end of clip to see where to make your cut. Cut and then hot glue. Repeat for bottom of hair clip.
Hot glue hair clip to ribbon.
You could stop here and have a great hair clip.
Our you can use it on a head band.
To make it a head band: Get a head band. Take piece of ribbon and wrap it around part of head band where you would like your flower clip to go. Wrap ribbon loose enough for hair clip to fit through it. Glue ribbon in place on the back side of head band. Slide hair clip in... Et Voila!
Friendly Fabric Flowers and Funny Faces make for Fabulous Photos... Boom! Try saying that one 10x's fast!
Sorry Addy, I made it; it's mine now. HA! Just kidding. I need to make another for me. I am thinking larger and doing the opposite fabrics for mine. :) Love this project. If you know me, you can probably expect to see fabric flowers attached randomly to something on my person... well maybe occasionally. They don't take much time... but they do take some time... ha!

This project took me LESS than an hour. I have a major irritation with blogs that have these amazingly cool projects that claim to be "nap-time" projects and always turn into nap-time+the rest of my afternoon+bedtime projects. Maybe I am not very talented or fast, but don't sell me an idea promising it will take less than an hour, unless it will for the average not-super-crafty person. Because, seriously, the average person is NOT super crafty. Okay, wow, didn't mean to rant, but apparently I needed to get that one off my chest.

Because not everything is perfect in a crafting world... Notes from this project:
  • If this is your first time making fabric flowers, allot time for playing around with fabric.
  • The first time I made a rose, it came undone because either I didn't put enough glue on or I didn't let glue set. Either way, I have been cautious since, and haven't had another incident.
  • Only other notation: This project actually was as easy as it looks! Sa-weet!

Look forward to my next blog post: DIY Baby Tie. Depending on my ability to pack and clean for our weekend road-trip, it should be forth-coming tomorrow.

A little fabric, a little spray paint, and a whole lot of hot glue... makes an old lamp brand new

Last week my daughter decided that she needed to pull on the slightly loose piece of fabric on the lamp shade. The results:

And besides an old lamp made uglier, it also resulted in the motivation I needed to finally redo this lamp. I have had it since I got married (6 years ago!) and Granma passed on some of her old furniture to help furnish our first place.

This project was pretty easy. I happened to have some leftover fabric from a curtain project a while back. Bonus! I can have a lamp that matches my curtain. Am I put together or what?! (And to those who know me well and know that I always have at least one item on my person that does not match, you are welcome to insert your chuckle here).

What I needed:
Old Lamp
Spray Paint
Scrap fabric (I had a like major yardage of an 18" strip... but a yard of 54"-60" would do the trick on a shade like mine.)
Bias Tape
Hot Glue Gun

I spray painted the base. I had thought about making it a nice black. But I quickly nixed that notion... I am a little crazy, so I made it blue. This made me very happy, and I do have little pops of blue throughout the room this lamp is residing in. So it worked and its surprising. I think it's a good idea to have little surprises in your home (and no I am not talking about about your toddler's sippy cup under the arm chair that has a strange smell coming from it or your pair of lacy panties that got lodged between the cushions when you were folding laundry). Not too many surprises, that's overwhelming for the eye; just a few, so the eye has some places to go that make it smile.

Smile Eye. The Lamp is now Blue!

 While I waited for the paint to dry I decided it was the perfect opportunity to clean and sanitize the race car activity station for Jed. Brilliant idea for whilst I finished this project, he was kept occupied (for a little while anyways).
Awe! Gushy Mommy Moment! That smile is warming my heart :)

I took apart the lampshade. I decided to save the lining on the inside in case I wanted to put it back on when I was done.
I put a piece of fabric up against a section of lamp and rubbed a pen along the frame to get my patten. I put seven pieces of fabric together (I only needed 6, but I wanted an extra one in case of mistakes) and cut them out. I made sure the fabric grain ran down the middle.
I worked one section at a time. I hot glued the fabric directly onto the frame of the lamp. It seemed to work best to start on one of the vertical sides (going up the lamp), then do the bottom, then the top, and then the other vertical side. Pulling it very tight was very necessary to keep from there being any weird pulls in the fabric. It took just a little muscle but this wasn't too hard.
I trimmed all the extra fabric.
 I opened a thin piece of doubled bias tape and placed it along the vertical framework of the lamp.
I put the lining back on. It didn't "need" it. I just think the shade looks a little more "legit" with it and it keeps my white on white flowers from standing out too much (I do have to share my home with my masculine husband, ha!) Then I took a wider piece of single bias tape and glued it to the top and bottom.
I thought I would love the lamp with some spring green ribbon trimming the top and bottom, so I added that too, but, alas, I decided it made the floral shade look like it belonged in a girl's bedroom on a hot pink base. But, nevertheless, I bet ribbon could look good on someone else's lamp shade project...
I pulled the green off. I love that about hot glue. It has a strong hold, but not so strong my ill-choiced ribbon had to stay put.

I like the way it turned out. (Btw in the picture on the right it looks like the lampshade is misshapen in one's not. It's the way all the sections are because the fabric is pulled tight.)  For the picture on the left, I used no flash so you could see the subtle-ness of the floral print. I am thinking I like the white on white pattern for a lamp shade. It's a little girly, it picks up the fabric from the curtains, but it doesn't overwhelm the room with "Girl." (Husband appreciates this.)

This project cost me less than $10 because I had almost everything on hand. So next time you are feeling like you need a new lamp--thrift, garage sale, or search your own home for a lamp with a decent shaped base and a shade that has a metal frame. And let the Creating Commence!

I am thinking about distressing the base. I do love shabby chic. What do you think???

Here is the lamp sanded after the first coat of spray paint to give you an idea of what it would look like distressed. I just can't decide! Help! (I used the flash so you could see the contrast... it's not actually that blue)

Also thinking about adding a different colored ribbon to trim the top and bottom of the shade. My white walls make me want more color, but maybe the blue is enough? Maybe a nice beige ribbon? Ah...Decisions...

Thankfully it looks really good in the room as is, so I have plenty of time to process a decision. :)

Because not everything is perfect in a crafting world, my notes from the project:
  • I should have paid attention to what could be seen with the lamp shade on. I sprayed what I thought would be visible and ended up having some brass exposed at the top. It's kind of bugging me, not quite enough to fix it yet though.
  • I sanded the first coat a little to get the next coat to "stick" good, but forgot to wipe down the lamp, so now I have a slightly rough finish where the pieces of paint are underneath. Also, brass isn't the best thing to sand. Sometimes, Amanda... Oh well, it's kind of fun driving my former-professional-painter-of high-end-finishes husband a little crazy.
  • This used A LOT of hot glue. Like 8-10 sticks. Have lots of hot glue on hand before you embark on a hot-glued lampshade adventure.
  • The metal frame of the lampshade was cool to the touch, so it quickly cooled the hot glue. I had to pull off set glue a couple times because I wasn't fast enough.
  • I used a decorator's 100 percent cotton fabric. It's a little more durable than just plain quilter's or dress-maker's cotton. It pulled tight just fine, but I worry that a low quality cotton or different kinds of  finer fabrics may not look good taut or withstand the pulling well. (Also thinking the fabric needs to be one that can withstand the heat of the hot glue without melting???)
  • This took me 10 minutes spread out over 3 hours to spray paint (3 coats) and 3 hours spread out over 2 days to complete the lampshade. So if you have 2 small children and craft on your dining room table, plan on it taking a while. If you have a glorious project room, an empty nest, and dedicated and sacred crafting time, it'll probably take you significantly less time.

Dinosaur Hoodie

 My daughter loves dinosaurs. I love that she loves dinosaurs. So, I decided to make her this hoodie. And since I made one for Addy, I had to make one for Jed too [Of course!]. Thank you pinterest and Handmade by Jill for the inspiration. By the way, if you enjoy sewing and have a moderate skill level at it check out the "Handmade by Jill" link to see how she did it. Hers is ADORABLE!

If you don't particularly enjoy sewing or aren't very skilled at it, here is a cheap, easy way to make a stegosaurus dino hoodie.

Hoodie (Jed's is fleece and was $3.50; Addy's is Jersey-knit, standard sweatshirt material, and was $7.00; both from Walmart)
3 pieces of felt paper (1 white; 1 black; and one color of your choice for stegosaurus plates; only $.20 a sheet at Walmart)
2 wiggly eyes
Fabric Glue

Pick out your color for the stegosaurus plates. I let Addy do the picking... purple hoodie and pink plates...can you tell she picked?? For Addy's 4T size, I folded the felt sheet in half and then cut it in half again so after I was done cutting I had 2 equally sized strips of felt (about 3" wide). (For Jed's smaller 12 mos sized hoodie I made strips 2" wide)
While I am sure you could make a more accurately shaped stegosaurus plate, I went with the super easy to cut triangle. Since sometimes I just want to get stuff done rather than be perfect, I free-hand cut my triangles. I cut my doubled-up strip of felt at a 45 degree angle.
I then took the piece I had just cut off to use as my guide for my next cut.
Now that I had my one triangle cut, I used it as a guide to cut the rest of the triangles.
After cutting all my triangles (I needed 2 sets of 7 for both Addy's and Jed's), I glued them together in sets of two. I did this to make them extra strong.
I placed an even, thick line of glue along the top seam of the hood and began placing my triangles one at a time.
As soon as I got one triangle placed, I pinned the triangle to the hoodie to make sure it would dry in place.
To conquer the problem of the tricky curve in the hood, I folded the hood flat along the top seam, placed the triangle behind it where it needed to be, and used the hood itself as guide for where to cut the triangle.

Place an even, thick line of glue down the center of the back and place your triangles.
I cut the teeth using a similar method to the stegosaurus plates. (Mine had a height of about 1 1/2" and a base of 2 1/4" on Addy's and a height of 1" and a base of 1 1/2" on Jed's). I made a thick, even line of glue on the underside of the hood opening (about 1/2" in) and placed the teeth.
I pinned them in place.
To do the eyes, I doubled up two pieces of white felt and free hand cut an imperfect circle. (Doesn't matter if its perfect...slightly oval looks good...just so long as you get 2 that look the same, hence the doubling.)
I doubled up 2 pieces of black felt and free hand cut the base for the eye, making sure Addy's had some eyelashes. I glued the wiggly eye and two pieces of felt together and then glued that onto either side of hood. (Note: I had my kids try the hoodies on first to ensure a "non-awkward" placement of eyes.) I pinned them in place.
Let glue dry for 2 hours and then they are good to go.

Because things are not always perfect in a crafting world, here are some of my notes:
  • My very-cautious self went back and did a loose hand-stitch over everything. This took some time (but it was a great "breast-feeding" project). The glue seems to have a sturdy hold especially on the fleece, but I can't stand spending time doing a craft only to have it fall apart and I have no experience with fabric glue. 
  • I kid you not, the fabric glue made me high (my husband got a kick out of watching me crack-up laughing over nothing). And while it may be funny, the headache that followed was not. I got one word for you: Ventilation!
  • I laid out the triangles and the teeth before placing them to see how much, if any, spacing was needed.
  • The fabric glue got a little messy, and you can see it in some places if you look closely.
  • I used fabric glue on the wiggly eye and so far it's it's holding strong. I thought I'd give it a whirl, mostly because I was too lazy to plug in the hot glue gun. 
My overall thoughts on the project: It was easy. It was cheap (less than $10 per hoodie). And best of all, it was absolutely worth it when Adelaide put her hoodie on, raised her dino claws in the air, and started rawring. Heart is Happy!