February 25, 2012

Child ID Tag on Shoelace - made from a Pop Can!

Okay, so call me protective, but a few days before we were going on our recent family vacation, I started to worry about the possibility of my kids getting lost.  Neither of them have our phone numbers memorized - and even if they did, would they be coherent enough to remember them when they were surrounded by strangers?

I know that people make ID bracelets, and necklaces, and all sorts of things - but I wanted something that we didn't have to remember to put on each day, and wouldn't itself be lost.

So, I decided to put a little ID tag on their shoes - and being the DIY/Repurposer that I am, I decided to make it out of a pop can!

February 18, 2012

MadamMay's Original Artwork! + a GIVEAWAY!


I am so excited to introduce a new sponsor to you!
MadamMay's Etsy Shop is filled with
beautiful one of a kind artwork that she has designed and created all herself!
Each piece is carefully handmade, with a combination of paint and intricately cut designer paper.
Covered in a protectant clear coat, this art is durable and perfect for a child's room, or any room in your home!

I mean, how adorable are these owls?!  And this is just a small sampling of the things she has created!  She is constantly coming up with new, fresh ideas. 

And get this: 
MadamMay can custom design a piece just for you! 
She can transform your family into a sleuth of bears, a sounder of pigs, a paddling of ducks... You could hang on your wall a tailored representation of your very own family.

Or, she could design something that fits your existing decor!  Can't find a frog's lily pond in yellow? Want a dragon that spits jellybeans instead of fire? Send her a picture of a themed nursery or kid's room so she can build the piece that ties it all together.

Seriously, this girl is amazing!  And you would not believe how reasonable her prices are!

And would you believe it?!  She is giving you readers the chance to WIN A CUSTOM PIECE!!
(giveaway now closed)

To enter:
Go over and check out her adorable Etsy Site
Come back and leave me 1 comment, telling me what your favorite item in her shop is. (Be sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!)
1 winner will be chosen to receive a custom 6"x6" canvas artwork.  

You will be thrilled when you have one of these beautiful pieces hanging in your home!

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February 14, 2012

Mini Polaroid Magnets


I first saw this darling idea and tutorial on Pinterest here - and I have had it on my to do list for a while!
I LOVE how tiny they are, and polaroids are so fun and nostalgic. 
Plus, I LOVE magnets.  You can check out other magnets I have made here, here and here. 

They are actually very simple to make, and I made a couple of sets of Polaroid Magnets as gifts for an anniversary, a birthday and Valentines Day :)
And you know what's fun?  If you want to give these as a gift for a friend, you can go on Facebook and use some of their profile pictures (open up the pic, right click and say "Save Picture As").  That way, it is easy to make it a surprise!

Here are the supplies you need:
Packing Tape
Sticky Back Magnets (I used magnetic tape I found at the craft store in the exact width I needed for the mini polaroids!),
and The Pictures

Go over to Ambrosia Creative because she has a file you can download straight into photoshop that makes creating these mini polaroid pictures a snap!  It is a template for the polaroid shape, that you drop your pictures into, and it is all sized to print out as a 4x6 picture!

If you don't have photoshop, you could do this in Powerpoint (although the quality wouldn't be quite as good).  The "polaroid" shape is really just an offwhite rectangle, and you could put a little square picture inside it, offset so you have extra white space at the bottom. 
You could also take printed pictures, and cut out small portions and piece this together by hand with some white card stock as the background.

They are assembled by cutting out each polaroid shape, putting packing tape over the top of the photo (to protect it), and attaching it to the adhesive magnet (which you have cut to the correct size).
I also spray painted my magnet edges white, so that the 1/8" thick magnet edges extended the "polaroid" look. 

So, if you love magnets as much as I do, you will love making these cuties!
So glad you stopped by!!
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February 10, 2012

Clothes pin Clip Board for Winter Stuff

This was a guest post I did a few weeks ago - and I can tell you that it is still working great!
So - here is the original post:
We live in New England - and we love it!  But with the early snow fall this year, we had to bust out the gloves, scarves and hats before we had even finished Trick or Treating!
Of course that meant that not only are candy wrappers and Halloween costumes littering the floor - but all the winter clothes are too...
We have hooks by the door for their coats - which they are very good about hanging up - but all the rest had no home, and so, I decided to fix that!

One of my favorite things is the scrap pile of wood at Home Depot.  Didn't know they had a scrap pile?!  Well they do!  And you can get great wood for really cheap there.  There is rarely a wood project I do anymore that isn't made with wood from the scrap pile!  (It also means that if I mess up - no big deal!)

So, I took a piece of pine, about 5' tall and 3" wide, and sanded it really well.  Then, I painted and mod podged it until it looked like this....
I used acrylic paint and scrap fabric - but you could mod podge on scrapbook paper, or even just leave it a natural wood color.  I figured that since it was going to hold the kid's clothes - it would be fun to have bright colors.

I also decorated about a dozen clothes pins (these are also very inexpensive at the hardware store!)  I mod podged fabric onto one side, but you could paint these, or leave them natural wood as well.

With a hot glue gun, I glued the clothes pins onto my board at intervals, leaving a couple of inches in between each one...

And that was it!  Hats, gloves, scarves - all hang easily from the clothes pins!

With a piece of hanging hardware attached to the back, I hung mine by the back door, within easy reach as we are heading out...

It is easy for my kids to use, so they can get their things themselves (and put them back themselves!).

And hopefully, we won't be dealing with as many lost hats, gloves and scarves this winter!!

And there you have it!  A very easy, very useful project!
It's funny, because we have had a record breaking lack of snow so far this year (knock on wood) - and haven't used the winter stuff all that much this year....but it is still nice to have this stuff handy :)

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February 5, 2012

Valentines Day - Past Projects

I haven't posted many Valentines Day projects this year - so I thought I would recap a few that I did last year!

I upcycled on this one with old sweaters and an old picture frame!

I love the idea of putting notes in a fun pouch for different members of the family :)

This one is my favorite.  I keep it up year round, and actually gave it to my sweetie for our anniversary because it has our initials and year we were married in it.

Happy Valentines Day!!

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February 4, 2012

Mickey Mouse Inspired Valentines Day T-Shirt

In honor of our upcoming trip to Florida, (which will be during Valentine's Day!) I decided to make my kids some Mickey Mouse Valentines Day Shirts.
Now, maybe it is a little bit of a stretch, but they are supposed to be X's and O's in there - making the red show through :)

I had a couple of leftover shirts from Goodwill - brand new and 50 cents each :) so I used those.
First, I traced my shape onto each shirt.  This would, of course, work with any shape!  I used a ball point pen to trace, because the line does not show up after you sew over it. 

Next, I cut a piece of fabric large enough to cover the shape.  I chose red for Valentines day...

I tucked the red fabric inside the shirt, right side up, so that it was behind all parts of the shape, and pinned the shirt and red fabric together.  Make sure that there are no wrinkles. 

Using a contrasting color, I sewed around the shape 3 times - sewing through the top layer of the shirt, and the red fabric. 

Here is what it looks like when it is turned inside out:

And here it is after I trimmed the excess red fabric:

I turned it right side out again, and drew a grid (criss crossing lines) inside the shape.
I started with all the horizontal lines (left to right), 3/4 inch apart.  Then, I did the vertical lines (top to bottom), again 3/4 inch apart.

Using the same color thread, I sewed along each line.  You should be sewing through the top layer of shirt, and the red fabric, just as you did when sewing around the shape. 

With very sharp little scissors, I cut through the top part of the shirt only, making an X or an O in alternating little squares. 
Make sure you do not cut through the red fabric!  You can bunch the shirt a little bit in each square to catch the shirt only as you cut. 
You could do all X's, which looks pretty cool - and it looks cool even after it is washed.  I did X's and O's to make it more Valentiney :)

My kiddos are looking forward to wearing these on Valentines Day - and I am glad they have something festive to wear that didn't cost me an arm and a leg! 
So glad you stopped by!

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February 2, 2012

DIY Ziplock Bag Travel Kit / First Aid Kit

This travel, first aid, odds and ends, whatever you want to call it kit thing is so cool, and was so easy to make!!
I originally saw the idea here at Tidy Mom
They used a pot holder for the outside - which is brilliant because they are already made, and they come in many adorable patterns.
I did not use a potholder however, for two reasons.
1) I will be packing mine around with me on vacation, and I didn't want to add any bulk that I didn't need.  I think potholders are a little bulky for this project.
2) I am impatient and the night I wanted to make this, it was late, and I had no extra potholders lying around the house :)

So, I made my own "potholder" - and made it a little bigger - to fit more in - and a little thinner. 

This size will work for either sandwich or quart sized ziplock bags - however I used quart size bags because they are so much thicker and sturdier. 

2 pieces cotten fabric - 14" x 8"
1 piece of flannel - 14" x 8" (this is optional.  I wanted to give my case a little bit of padding and form.)
1 piece cotton fabric - 14" x 6" (for the outside pocket - optional)
1 piece of interfacing - 14" x 6" (if you are using a pocket)
Extra wide, double fold Bias Tape (1 package will do)

First, iron the interfacing on to the back of the pocket.  Then, sew a strip of bias tape across the top edge of the pocket.  To do this, sandwich the pocket fabric between the bias tape, and pin it.  Sew as close to the open edge of the bias tape as you can, all the way across. 
Next, lay out your fabric in the final order as shown below:
1 Large cotton piece, wrong side up
Piece of flannel
1 Large cotton piece, right side up
Pocket (lined up on bottom edge), right side up

Pin the bias tape around all 4 edges and sew. Again, sandwich all the layers of fabric between the bias tape, and pin it. You will have to make some minor folds at the corners to make the bias tape continue around the edge. Sew as close to the inside edge of the bias tape as you can, all the way around.  

Here it is, all sewn.  I folded over the edge of the end of the bias tape and sewed it down to make a loop - just like a real potholder :)  Might come in handy sometime - who knows...

Now, the pocket will be on the outside, so flip the fabric over.  I used 10 ziplock bags, 5 facing each direction.  I alternated 1 facing left, 1 facing right, and so on. 
I liked making my case this size (larger than a potholder), because although the left side and right side ziplock bags overlap a little bit in the middle, there is not a ton of extra bag hanging over.  (You want some overlap, so that when you sew down the middle you catch the ends of all the bags to secure them to the fabric.)
Be sure you tape the bags generously with scotch tape before you sew down the middle, so they don't slide around.  Determine the center of the fabric, and sew along the center line a few times with a zig zag stitch, as shown below:

If there is extra ziplock bag hanging over, you can trim it off after it is sewn down. 
And here it is all sewn together! 
I added a little piece of cord, looped and sewn down (see picture above) to go over a button on the opposite side to secure it closed (see picture below). 

As I said, I am taking mine on vacation soon, and I am so thrilled that all these little odds and ends are in one accessible, colorful, convenient place!!
In mine, I put things like: bandaids, hair ties, hair clips, chapstick, floss, safety pins, hand sanitizer, hand wipes, tissue, feminine products, nail file, eye drops, pain reliever, sunblock, neo to go.  And yes, it all fits!!

So go make one for your purse, your diaper bag, your car, your friend, your babysitter, your child's teacher - I'm telling you, everyone will love it!!

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