June 17, 2012

Throwing a Baby Shower

My friend is having a baby girl in a few short weeks, and a couple of us threw a sweet baby shower for her over the weekend. 
I had a great time making some simple but eye catching decorations, most of which I found inspiration for on Pinterest, and all of which were inexpensive to make!

We didn't really have a theme, but went with pink things - and I love the pink and green combination, so that is how it ended up.
Above - I made decorative pink and green balls out of things I had around the house.  The innards are balled up newspaper - WAY cheaper than styrofoam balls! 
Take a look at this project I did here to see how I made the yarn wrapped balls. 
Each of these newspaper balls had a little bit of yarn wrapped around them to hold them tightly in shape - and then I continued to wrap yarn around some, and others I hot glued fake flowers or twine to

I made this chalkboard out of an old window I found on the side of the road.  I will show you a step by step for this later on - but I just used chalkboard paint, painted right onto the glass. 
Cute little baby quote added on, and it was a great baby shower decoration!

This pink punch was delicious!  I found the simple recipe here using sherbet and sprite, with some citrus fruit cut up in it as well.  Yum!

My friend made the cake pops - always a baby shower favorite. 

This scrap banner was a fun way to add color.  I have done smaller ones before.  I am Momma Hear me Roar also made a cute one that I liked. 

The tissue paper pom poms are inexpensive and take up a lot of space if you need to fill a room.  I used this tutorial here - which believe it or not, I did not perfect on the first try, despite the simple instructions.  My tips: fold the accordion creases very crisply, wrap the wire around the middle very tightly, and when pulling the tissue paper layers apart, do not over handle them, and do not pull them apart very far.  Good luck :)

The felt circle garland was cute - and fun to hang from the light fixture.  The tutorial can be found here and it is easy to follow, if a little time consuming. 

The pink popcorn party favors were bright, cheerful and yummy.  I got inspiration from this pin here - and I love how much color it added to the table :)
Simply air pop popcorn, and drizzle pink candy melt over it.  Stir it up well (add a litle salt if desired) and let it dry before putting it in a container.  You can get pink candy melt at the craft store....or you could use white chocolate bark and add some food coloring. 
I think using the phrase "gonna pop soon" or "ready to pop" is cute with the popcorn, so I made tags that said "Heidi's gonna pop soon!  Thanks for celebrating with us!!"

This "guest book" was probably my favorite element.  There are a ton of finger print guest book ideas on this one here

I traced the image of a carriage onto the bottom of a piece of cardstock.  I made a cloud out of another piece of cardstock with instructions: "Please sign our guest book!  Stamp your finger and print your name"
The cloud and rain drops were there because it is a baby shower :)

Here is how it ended up, with the names and fingerprints of all the guests
I had pink and red stamp pads available, with a sharpie marker so they could write their name over their fingerprint and baby wipes for cleaning their fingers when they were done. 
I added the "balloon strings" after everyone had printed their finger. 
I love it!
After the baby is born, I will add her name and date of birth to the bottom of the page.  It is a great keepsake for a baby book, or would also be cute framed on the nursery wall...

It was a really fun party - and a great excuse to get together with friends! 
We sat and talked and gathered our ribbons and felt and buttons and sat around making hair bows and headbands for the mom-to-be... just like these ones I have made here or at this great tutorial here.  It was a fun alternative to games, and gave her a great stash of unique bows, made by her friends, to use on her new baby girl :)
Aren't babies wonderful?!

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June 2, 2012

DIY Canvas Growth Chart

This project was a Mother's Day Gift for my mumsie this year, and I love how it turned out!  I love making gifts, and I stewed for a long time over something I could make that was personal, hopefully not something to add to the junk pile :), and not something she already had 10 of (like framed pictures of my kids or their artwork)...

My mom is starting to amass the crew of grandkids, and has a wonderful "grandkids'" room in her house with endless toys, books, artwork, and cribs & beds for when her grandkids visit.  Some of her grandkids live close, and some live far, and I thought this project would be fun for everyone, because everyone can participate in it whenever they visit.

So, here's how I made this canvas fabric growth chart....

I bought "duck cloth canvas" at the fabric store (with a coupon), at about 8 feet long, or 2.75 yards. 

I cut the entire length of the fabric...all 8 feet, at 10" wide, to make a long strip for the growth chart.  I then used a zig zag stitch to sew along all 4 edges, so that the fabric wouldn't fray. 

Now, you could totally freehand the numbers, but I decided to use my Silhouette to cut cardstock into stencils for the numbers (you can see what they look like below).  Each number was .75" tall. 
Now, I have to say, I am REALLY glad I used the odd numbers only, because there are less small pieces to align.  For example, see how the #9 has a free floating piece in the middle of it, to make it look like a 9?  That is a total pain to paint around.  If I had used the even numbers, most of the stencils would have had a piece like that.  So trust me, odd numbers are better :) 

One by one, I took each stencil and I lined the left edge of the number up so that it was exactly 1" from the left edge of the fabric.  At this time, I made sure the number was evenly spaced at the appropriate point up the growth chart.  Using the clear plastic ruler that comes with my rotary cutter was extremely helpful!  So, if you look at the #5 below, you see how it is centered at the 5th inch up the side of the growth chart.  Each stencil was carefully placed before I painted it.

Then, I held the cardstock down tight while I dabbed black fabric paint onto the stencil with a stiff paint brush, and then carefully lifted the cardstock off to reveal the number.  It worked great!

I made larger, 2.25" tall stencils for each of the foot marks 1' through 6'.  Those were about aligned 3" from the left edge of the fabric.

The lines (see below) were made with a ruler and a paintbrush that I ran along the edge of the ruler.  The odd numbers had .5" long lines, the even number spaces had 1.75" long lines, and the foot marks had 2.5" long lines.  It was easy to use a ruler to swipe a paintbrush against.  The lines were straight of course, and I could see how long I was making each line, which prevented me from having to mark it with a pencil first. 

I used freezer paper to make a stencil for the wording.  I have used freezer paper on many projects, including these t-shirts.  It makes a great stencil because you can iron it to the fabric for a secure hold, and peel it off with no residue when you are done. 

Here is the finished stencil... love it!

I folded the bottom under by a few inches, and sewed across the long edge to form it into a loop.  I didn't want my growth chart hanging all the way to the floor, so I had planned on folding it under (even though it cut off some of my painted numbers).  In the loop that was created by sewing, I slipped this thin piece of melamine board to weigh the fabric down, and help it hang straight. 

I cut of the excess fabric from the top (I decided I wanted mine barely over 6' tall), and then sewed the top under to make a smaller loop, so that I could slip a dowel through (or in this case a pretty stick) for hanging it from. 

My stick has twine wrapped and tied around the two ends to hang the growth chart from...

And here is the finished product!!
I pinned little cards with the grandkids' names and heights to the fabric, so that my mom can decide if she wants to hand write on the fabric, or continue to pin cards on as the kids grow. 

It will look darling in the grandkid's room at grandma's house, and the kids love to measure themselves!  Making these as gifts, or for your own personal use is very satisfying, sentimental, and extremely customizable!  It takes a bit of time and patience, because of the repetitive nature of the painting - but I think it is well worth it!!

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