Saturday, April 24, 2010

Idea Thief: Mod Podge Jars

Hi There,

I found this idea via One Pretty Thing. It's a method of painting jars with Mod Podge. I really want to try it before our first outdoor party. It seems like a really fun easy project. (Not to mention really cheap!)

Check out Gingerbread Snowflakes for the tutorial.




DIY Wednesday: Owl Art

Hello,

Man, can you say busy? Over the past couple of weeks, I have completed finals, graduated from law school and am expecting my first child in the next week. It's been a life changing couple of weeks. So, you'll have excuse my inability to post on a regular schedule. I'm hoping things get into a routine once our little Lila arrives.

On a very exciting note, my owl crib mobile was featured on my favorite craft blog, One Pretty Thing. If you are into crafts, her website is definitely a must bookmark.

If you've ever wanted to make some sort of art for your walls, I have an idea for you to try. I created this art for my nursery, but the design could easily be adapted for art in any room. I was thinking you could do something with a quote in a modern like style or your family name or use any other animal that matches your nursery theme. For a printable PDF tutorial, click here.



Supplies:

Stretched Canvas

Scrapbook Paper

Acrylic Paint

Paint Brushes
(Sponge brushes will work just fine)

Mod Podge
(I prefer to use the Matte finish)

Scissors

Directions:

Step One: Paint Canvas





Using your acrylic paint, paint the entire canvas with sponge brush. I decided to create a “cloud” effect by taking a wet washcloth and blotting the wet paint to let a bit of the white canvas show through. You will probably have to do more than one coat of paint to cover the white canvas.

Step Two: Cut Scrapbook Paper



You could design anything to go on the canvas. You could use a name or do an entire quote. I did owls because my nursery theme is owls. I got this design idea from a fellow crafter on BabyCenter, MichelleLouie. Check out her Etsy shop: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ytlou.

If you had a Cricut, you would be set. Just use it to make some fun art and then move on to the next step.

To create my design, I just used the program “Paint” to create the image, then I printed it off. I traced the pattern on to the scrapbook paper and cut it out.

Step Three: Place on Canvas



You will want to create your design by doing “layers.” You will first put Mod Podge on the canvas to glue the paper to the canvas. Once you have put the paper on to the canvas, you will want to do a light layer of Mod Podge across the top of the paper. You will notice that it will at first create a white-ish layer of glue. That will disappear as it dries. You may want to do additional layers after the first layer dries for added protection.

Step Four: Finished Product





Enjoy your one-of-a-kind work of art!

DIY Wednesday: Reversible Car Seat/Seat Belt Strap Covers

Hi Everyone!

I have another project to pass along to you! It's a "baby" project; however, I think I might make one for myself to use on my own seat belt. So, it can be used for those who do not have children. The project is a cover for the straps on a car seat. They can be pretty sharp. (I know I tend to lean forward in the seat which means I always have a seat belt mark on my neck after a road trip.)

I made my straps reversible. One side is a soft plush pink fabric and the other side is a nice cotton. I figure one side is the "winter" side and one side is the "summer" side. (In other words, I couldn't make up my mind on fabric. :) Later on, I figured that cotton might be cooler next to the skin on a hot August afternoon.) Click here for a printable PDF tutorial.



Supplies:

Fabric
(I used two different types of fabric so the straps are reversible. I used a soft pink fleece fabric and a fun dot cotton fabric. You won’t need much. I used scraps)

Batting
(You won’t need much…just two 6x6 squares)

Binding

Hook & Loop Tape aka Velcro

Sewing Machine

Rotary Cutter, Cutting Board and Clear Ruler

Fabric Marker or Pencil

Directions:

Step One: Cut Your Fabric



Using your rotary cutter, cutting board and ruler, you are going to cut the following:
2- 6 x 6 squares of fabric “a” (my soft pink fabric)
2- 6 x 6 squares of fabric “b” (my dot fabric)
2- 6 x 6 squares of batting

Step Two: Pin Fabric & Draw Seams



Make a fabric sandwich with your fabric “a” on the bottom with design facing down, batting in the middle and fabric “b” on the top with the design facing outward. Secure with pins…you may have to reposition these pins in order to draw the seams on the fabric.

Use a fabric marker or pencil to draw 3 seams evenly spaced.

Step Three: Sewing Machine Time



Using the lines that you marked, sew seams down the fabric. These seams will keep your fabric “sandwich” together.

Step Four: Bind it Up to Finish Up



To finish up your car seat strap covers, you will want to add binding around the outside of the square. It was the first time I had tried using binding (so the results aren’t as pretty as a pro’s). I just pinned my binding around the outside and was very careful when I was sewing to catch the binding and three layers of fabric.

Now you will want to add your Velcro. Velcro is pretty easy to add. I just played around with where it would be most effective to add Velcro. (I even grabbed my car seat and played around with the car seat strap covers to make sure the Velcro went in the correct place). If your Velcro has a sticky back, your sewing machine needle is going to get all gunky. I keep a rubbing alcohol pad nearby to wipe down the needle as I go.

Sew around the Velcro several times to make sure the Velcro is securely attached. I also like to do an “X” pattern across the middle of the Velcro to add security.

Step Five: Ta Da!

You have finished car seat strap covers…hopefully you and your baby enjoy them!








Saturday, April 17, 2010

Idea Thief: Table "Shower Cap"

Hi There,

I know this idea sounds crazy, but I can't wait to try it! It's a tablecloth, but it's more like a table "shower cap." I think it sounds like a fun way to get a funky outside tablecloth that stays put in the wind.

Visit This Present Life for more information!




Wednesday, April 14, 2010

DIY Wednesday: Fabric Boxes

Hi There,

It's time for a DIY Wednesday that isn't solely baby related! This is a project that anyone can do. I personally used the fabric boxes for the nursery, but it would work just as well on a bookshelf or under a bed or in a closet.



I figured out how to make those fun fabric boxes at a fraction of the cost. In fact, I think the entire thing probably cost less than 2 dollars. Rather than post the directions right here on the blog, I will let you explore the PDF tutorial if you want precise instructions. The instructions are pretty in depth with diagrams and pictures, so it would be cumbersome to post them in this blog entry. If you have questions or you do this project, please post a comment so I can see your work! Click here for the printable tutorial.

Idea Thief: DIY Cake Plates

Hi There,

This project is super duper fun. Instead of looking for fun perfect cake plates for your home decor or your party, you can make your own! The project came from Intimate Weddings Blog.




Monday, April 12, 2010

DIY Wednesday: Owl Crib Mobile

Hello There!

I have been MIA over the past week. School, baby and homework have caught up with me. So please excuse my tardiness with this DIY Wednesday post. I made this mobile a few weeks ago and had to share pictures and a tutorial. Click here for a printable PDF version of the tutorial.



Supplies:

Fabric (You won’t need much fabric. Just less than a ¼ of a yard for each color. I used seven different colors. I used a light and medium purple for the bodies. I used a dark purple for the outside of the eyes, white for the middle part and brown for the inside. I did all the wings in pink and all the noses in aqua. You could use printed fabric if you’d like, but I personally didn’t due to fact I already had used prints for the bedding and owl art on the wall.)

Narrow Ribbon

Interfacing

Fabric marker or pencil

Scissors (both fabric and paper)

Hot Glue Gun

Clearance Mobile (You could make your own mobile parts if you’d like. I know many hobby shops sell a mobile kit. However, these kits do not have the music box, and I wanted my mobile to sing. )

Optional: Sewing Machine

Directions:

Step One: Create a Pattern (or steal mine!)

I knew the basic shape I wanted my owls to be (and I had already used that shape on my owl art, so I knew it would work) so I just got a pad of paper and drew out the owl. Once I had a drawing of an owl, I cut out each piece to use as a pattern.

To save you some trouble, if you decide to make an owl mobile, I have included the pattern I used at the end of this PDF. I just uploaded a picture of my finished owls and used that to make the pattern, so please excuse rough edges! It’s the first pattern I’ve ever made. You could also make patterns of other things by just resizing a picture on your computer to be the desired size and printing.

Once you have your pattern, cut it out. You could use actual pattern paper if you’re making your own pattern. However, I used plain ol’ card stock and it worked just fine. The card stock made it easier to trace the pattern.

Step Two: Iron Fabric to Interface

In order to make the fabric sturdier, you will want to iron it on to fusible interfacing. To those who don’t sew, this might seem scary. However, it’s quite easy. Go to your local fabric department and look for the iron on interfacing. Then you’ll want to figure out how much of that lovely fabric you bought you will want to use. You could be all scientific about it and measure out how big the owls are and such. Or you could be like me and figure that you can always have extra or iron more fabric on to the interfacing after the fact.

Follow the directions on the interfacing package for attaching your fabric to the interfacing. Once you’re done with this step, you should have big blocks of color securely fused with interfacing.

Step Three: Trace & Cut...Trace & Cut... Trace & Cut

Before entering your trace and cut step, you’ll need to map out exactly what color combination you would like to go with. I have included my color combination to give you an idea of how many pieces I had to cut out of each color. Skip it if you aren’t using the owl pattern or have figured out your own color combination.

I had a mobile that had four arms and a center area. I decided to go with medium purple owls on two of the bars and light purple owls on the other two bars. In the center, I went medium purple owl, then pink heart and then light purple owl. I decided to use dark purple on the outside eyes of the medium owls and medium purple on the outside of the eyes of the light purple owls. So in all that meant I had to cut out: 6 medium purple owl bodies, 6 light purple owl bodies, 6 sets of pink owl wings, 3 sets of dark purple outside eyes, 3 sets of medium purple outside eyes, 6 sets of white middle eyes, 6 sets of brown inside eyes, 6 aqua noses and 2 pink hearts.

Using those pattern pieces you created earlier, you’ll need to cut out your fabric bits. Place pattern on fabric fused with interfacing, and trace with a fabric marker or chalk. I use a blue fabric pencil that disappears with contact with water.

Once you have traced all your different pieces, you will need to cut out the pieces. Pair bodies together after cutting out to make sure they are trimmed and are flush with one another.



Step Four: Hot Gun

Start pre-warming that trusty hot glue gun. I used the glue gun to get everything stuck together and then used my sewing machine to make sure that it’s not going anywhere. I think the glue gun itself would be enough, but I thought I would be extra careful.

The first thing you want to do is add a loop to allow you to attach each owl to the mobile.

Eye ball how much loop you want and cut your ribbon accordingly. I attached the ribbon with…you guessed it, hot glue!



After attaching the ribbon loop, I then attached the two body pieces together with hot glue. After that I slowly made my way from bottom to top, giving each “layer” a chance to dry before moving on to the next one. So that means the order of gluing is: ribbon loop to body, body to body, nose to body, outside eyes to body & partially to nose, middle eyes to outside eyes, inside eyes to middle eyes, and last but not least wings to body.

Continue this step until all pieces are assembled for each of your owls.

Remember that if you intend on having a hanging middle section on your mobile, you’ll need loops at the top and bottom of those bodies. So, my middle owl and heart needed an extra loop on the bottom of their bodies in order to attach them to one another. (See next picture to get an idea of what I mean by this) You could even hook the loops together during this stage. I just used more ribbon to connect loops, but it would have been more polished to connect loops together during the gluing stage.

Step Five: Optional Finishing



Now you’ll have all your owls looking much like this. They have their brown loops ready for attachment on to the mobile and your middle hangers have an extra loop at the bottom of their bodies to allow them to be connected by more ribbon or you have already connected the middle pieces.

You could be done at this point. They are looking pretty snazzy. Or you could try some finishing techniques.

Sewing

I jazzed up my owls by doing a stitch around the outside of the owl bodies. I’m not going to lie. With the hot glue in the middle making the owls extra thick, this stage wasn’t easy. The needle hated me and often got stuck in the glue. I kept an alcohol wipe handy to clean up the needle as I was going since it was getting uber gunky with glue.

In addition to the glue issues, keeping a neat straight stitch was hard. I’m not much of an experienced seamstress so I had to go extra slow to make sure that the stitch remained neat. I had to be prepared with a stitch ripper to pull out anything that started to get messy. I also did a quick stitch in the middle of the eyes to make sure they stayed on.

This is what the owl looked like after this finishing technique:



Hot Glue Gun

The second option for finishing the owls is to go around the sides of the owl with hot glue. This makes the ends look finished and prevents fringe; however, it doesn’t look as neat as the sewing method of finishing.

Step Six: Connect Four (or five, or six)

The final step is to put everything together. I personally used a clearance mobile I found. I first cut off the stuffed mobile pieces they had. Then I removed the sticker they had on the music box. I used my handy dandy Goo Gone for this task.



Another optional finishing is to replace the cloth covers that come with the mobile (mine came with these checkered brown covers). I chose to keep my mobile white for the time being, but I might replace these with plain brown or purple fabric in the future. However, for the time being I just stored these cloth covers away to use as a pattern if I decide to go down that road in the future.

After removing the sticker and putting the mobile together (following the directions included in the mobile package), I attached the owls with brown ribbon.

Step Seven: Finished Unique Crib Mobile!





You are finished with your unique crib mobile. Attach it to your crib and sit back and admire your craftiness!