Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fleece Pocket Scarf

I wanted to make my kids some scarves out of fleece.  My local fabric store had their polar fleece on sale for 50% off, so it was the perfect time to stock up and get started on this project.  I was also secretly hoping that by making these, the weather will take a hint and cool off.  It is Fall you know!

I started off by purchasing a 1/4 yard of fleece.  I chose a cute pink check for my daughter and a blue and red stripe for my son.

After trimming off the selvage, I cut 2 pieces off the bottom of each scarf to create the pockets.

After pinning them into place on each side of the scarf, I sewed them on, along each side and the bottom, leaving the top open for the pocket.  Then, I folded the fleece in half lengthwise, pinned the right sides together and made a straight stitch.

I turned the scarf right side out and cut the bottom of the scarf (below the pocket) into a fringe.

These were really easy to make and turned out super cute!  My kids can wear them casually around their neck and put their hands in the scarf pockets, or can wear them wrapped around their neck like a regular scarf.

Sharing this fun fall craft at these blogs:

Monday, September 27, 2010

Camera Strap Cover Tutorial

With the holidays fast approaching, I will be wearing my camera a lot more.  And, I was thinking about creating a strap cover to make it more comfortable.  I had seen a lot of tutorials around the blogging world for making camera strap covers and they all seemed super easy!  So, I set off this weekend to create one that would be comfortable and stylish.  And, I have the step-by-step directions to share with you!

I wanted my cover to be two sided, one side with a cute print and the other side with a really soft fabric.  These are the fabrics I chose...

I have an Olympus E-300 and it's camera strap is narrow, so I cut a 24" by 2.5" strip from each piece of fabric.

I cut a piece of lightweight fusible fleece to attach to the wrong side of the printed fabric.  I cut this about a 1/4 inch smaller than the fabric.  This gives the lightweight printed fabric a little more stability and also adds a small amount of cushion.

Next, I pinned the two fabric pieces together, right sides together, and stitched along the two long sides of the fabric, leaving both ends open.

After stitching, I turned the fabric tube right side out, then pressed.

I took my camera strap off on one side of my camera and slipped the cover over the strap.  I wanted my cover to stay put, so I folded the raw edges under about a 1/2 inch and sewed along the edge.

I totally love how this turned out!  The fabrics are so pretty, the cover fits perfectly over my strap and the minky fabric on the one side is so soft around my neck.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Handmade Christmas Ornaments - Part 2

Yesterday, I shared some of the handmade handprint/footprint ornaments that I've made with my children over the past few years.  What made these ornaments a little extra special was the little poem that we attached to the back of each ornament.

Here are some of the poems we used:

This reindeer's a gift, to you from me,
Made with my hands and feet you see.
A pretty pink reindeer, sweet as heaven,
To show you how much I've grown in 2007.

This reindeer ornament was made with love,
To give as a gift to you from me.
You'll see how much I grew in 2005,
When you see his ornament hang on your tree.

This little angel is special you see,
because she is a part of me!
Her wings are my hands, her body my feet,
And on your tree she'll look so sweet!

When you hang this ornament from year to year,
I hope it brings you a smile from ear to ear.
This handprint Santa will help you to remember,
How small I was in 2004 in the month of December.

What a cute penguin, so merry and bright,
Made with my fingerprints of black and white.
I'm growing up so fast, did you hear?
I go to school and have gotten so big this year.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Handmade Christmas Ornaments

Today is September 25th - that means only 3 more months until Christmas!  And, as promised, today I will start with some fun and easy Christmas crafts.

If you are like me, you start planning well in advance to prepare for Christmas.  Many of the craft stores already have their aisles brimming with holiday stuff, so now is the best time to stock up and get the best selection on Christmas fabrics, supplies and decorations.

Today I am going to share with you my favorite craft to do with my kids each year - handprint/footprint ornaments.  I have been doing one each year since my son's first Christmas, and they have become so much fun to look at each year to see how much the kids have grown.  The kids also get excited to find out what new ornament they will be making.

One of our first ornaments was made from paper, but most are made from craft foam.  It's fun to use, comes in lots of different colors, is not expensive and holds up pretty well from year to year.  You will also need glue and some other decorative supplies like googly eyes, pom poms, pipe cleaners, tiny jingle bells, paint, markers, and ribbon or yarn.

The first handprint ornament I did with my son was a handprint Santa.  We used paint to create his handprint on paper, then decorated with drawing on a face and adding cotton ball fuzz for the hat.  The paper version turned out cute, but is fragile.  When we did this same ornament with my daughter we used craft foam, googly eyes and pom poms.   

One of our favorite ornaments we've done has been the handprint/footprint reindeer.  You use your child's footprint for the head and their handprints for the antlers.  Again, we used craft foam for the handprints and footprints, pom poms and jingle bells for the nose, googly eyes and added a ribbon for hanging.  They are just so cute!  Another year we used just a handprint to make a reindeer, with the thumb being the head and the fingers being the legs. 

The one ornament that makes me cry every time I look at it, is the handprint/footprint angel that I did with my daughter for her first Christmas.  It is so tiny and sweet and reminds me of just how tiny my baby girl was.  For this one, I used Crayola Model Magic clay to make her footprint.  It dries but stays flexible, so I could actually cut her foot shape out of the clay.  We used craft foam for the handprint wings, drew on a simple face and used a very puffy pipe cleaner for the halo.

We've come up with two different snowman ornaments.  One uses the footprint as the body of the snowman.  We also used the Crayola Model Magic clay for this one, adding pipe cleaner arms and a nose, a ribbon scarf and a foam hat.  For the second snowman ornament, we used ball ornaments.  I painted my son's hand and he carefully wrapped his hand and fingers around the ball, leaving his handprint.  Once dry, he used paint markers to make each finger (and thumb) look like a little snowman.  This second ornament is definitely geared towards older kids.

One year, I was lucky enough to find a bunch of wooden star ornaments on clearance after the 4th of July at my local craft store.  We used these for our fingerprint penguins.  My son painted each wooden star ornament  After they were dry, he made fingerprints using black and white paint to create these adorable penguins.  Orange craft foam was added for the beak and feet.

And last, but not least, is our mitten ornament.  We used a mitten cookie cutter to trace the shape onto craft foam.  After cutting out the mitten shapes, I painted my daughter's hand and she put her handprint inside each mitten.  We punched a hole and tied them together.  I'm glad I decided to do this one with her last year, because her hand just fit inside that shape.

These ornaments are so easy to make and make great memories for years to come.  I hope they give you some ideas that you might like to try this holiday season.  I will be back tomorrow to share the poems we paired with each of our ornaments.  Not only did they make a great collection for our own tree, but we loved to share them with other family members as well.

Sharing these fun Christmas crafts:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Jumper to Apron

A few weeks ago, I went shopping at a local consignment store that was having an end of summer sale.  You could stuff your bag with as many sale items as you could for just $8.  I managed to find some things for my kids, but also came across a few items that I knew I could do something with.

And one of those items was a girls button down jumper, that was blue with white polka dots.  It was a size 10, so it wouldn't fit my daughter, and was a bit old-fashioned looking.  I recently lost some pics from my computer, but here is a pic of a similar style dress to give you the idea of what I was starting with.

When I saw it, I immediately thought that I could make an old-fashioned style apron.  And that's what I set out to do.  I started by cutting the top part of the dress from the skirted bottom, and cut the skirt down the back so it could lay out flat.

I cut about 4 inches from each side of the skirt and folded each piece right side together.  Then I stitched along the one side and turned them right side out.  These would be the apron ties.

I stitched along the center where the skirt buttons, just to keep it together.

And I hemmed each side for a clean finish.

Last, I hemmed the top part of the skirt with a 1 1/2 inch hem to act as the waist.  I then took the ties I made earlier, inserted them into the open hem and stitched them in place.

I absolutely LOVE how it turned out and how easy it was to complete!  My daughter thinks it's really cute and has already asked me to make her a pink one.  We'll definitely look super cute together with our matching aprons.

Sharing this craft on some other great blogs!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

ABC Cards Giveaway - Redraw!

Since the first winner did not contact me, I had to do the drawing again.  Please see the updated giveaway post HERE to see if you are the winner!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Letter Activity

One of my daughter's favorite books is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  And this book worked perfectly today for our letter review.

At my daughter's preschool they will soon be starting their letter of the week, so I wanted to do a quick and fun letter review with her to get her ready.  We pulled out our copy of the book and some sticky foam letters. 

We pulled out one of each letter and as we read the story I had her match up the uppercase letter stickers to the lowercase letters in the book (we just sat them on the page, we did not stick them).  She did really well with this!

After we finished reading, she created her own Chicka Chicka Boom Boom tree using the letter stickers.  I would have her identify a certain letter, then she added it to the tree.

And of course, we couldn't read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom without watching it too!  Last Christmas we bought the Scholastic Video Collection and it was the best money I ever spent.  The DVD with Chicka Chicka Boom Boom is a favorite!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Bottle Ghosts

I saw this idea on another blog, but can't remember where (thank you so much for sharing your idea though).  I thought it was a really cute way to recycle something and make it into something useful.  And you can never have enough cute Halloween decorations!

I started off with some clean, white plastic bottles.  Most of these are milk jugs from McDonalds, and the others are from orange juice, shampoo and drink mix.

I used a marker to sketch a face, then used acrylic paint to fill it in.  I tied some ribbon in Halloween colors to the top of each bottle for a finishing touch.

They even look cute with a battery operated light inside...

These were super easy to make and cost very little.  I love when such simple decorations turn out so cute!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Book Organizer

My kids go through a lot of cereal, so a lot of cereal boxes go right into the recycling bins.  But not this week!  I decided to use a few to create book holders for the books my kids read.

My son has to read every night for homework so we have lots of easy readers laying around.  My daughter is beginning to show interest in reading, so we have a lot of phonics readers and handmade books around.  Unfortunately, the basket I was planning on using to hold the books hasn't quite been working.

So I took a few cereal boxes and cut them diagonally like a magazine holder.

Then using a combination of spray adhesive and tape, I attached some leftover wrapping paper to each one to make them look cool for the kiddos.

And added labels so the kids could easily find their books.

This was a quick and easy way to organize our books and didn't cost me a thing!