Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Show & Tell: Ruffled Sippy Leash

I often find myself with a problem, brainstorming a solution and then trying to make the solution more attractive.

This month's problem? My daughter loves the "drop it and mom & dad pick it up" game. I personally, do not love this game. (Huh. Weird) So, the solution was a sippy cup leash. Of course it was trial and error to see what works. I first used some elastic ribbon I had sitting around. On one end I put a snap so I could snap around a highchair or cart. The other end was a smaller loop sewn shut. I then stretched that loop around a sippy cup or a toy like her play phone. I soon realized that the snap wasn't needed, and did a second version. If you sew a even smaller loop at the snap end, you can just thread the ribbon through the small loop to attach it.

So on my third try, I decided to try something completely different. I decided to use elastic and some scrap fabric I had sitting around to create a ruffled sippy leash. I didn't write a tutorial for this particular item because I think I'm going to sell them eventually, but I'm sure you get the idea if you wanted to make your own. :)

So far, the sippy leash has worked great and it's pretty cute to boot. (I am pretty much in love with Moda's fabric) You like the cart cover?
That will be a tutorial in the very near future! :)

My little one in her cart cover with a sippy leash keeping the play phone from hitting the ground.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

You Really Can Fix Anything With Google

Hello There,

I am quite sad to announce a few nights ago my computer died a rather sudden death. One minute I was enjoying some Dexter while using my new favorite website Pinterest and the next it's frozen, restarted and giving me a random error. I spent an entire night Googling and removing the back off the computer (I tried the old Nintendo trick of just blowing...which was actually recommended by one of the websites) No dice. I might try a couple more things, but it looks like the hard drive doesn't even exist when I try to recover. On a side note, it honestly feels like I'm opening nuclear launch codes when I cut open the plastic to open the recovery disk for the first time.

Since we just bought some new tires for our impossible to find rim size, we won't be replacing it for a while. I had thought about getting an Ipad to replace the lap top since I'm not doing a whole lot of word processing nowadays, but I've decided that the inability to multi task would drive me insane.

I digress. Back to the moral of the story. Armed with Google and my purple tool kit, I usually get s**t done. This week it was a rather tricky screen for a storm door. Last fall my in-laws, my husband and I couldn't figure out how to get the glass in nor the screen back in. I asked my husband to do it, but with him working 70 plus hours a week and me now staying home, I better do it myself.

So, I tried to find the manufacturer of the door. Nothing on the door indicating what it was. So I just Googled glass front storm doors plus "difficult to change screen" and my exact door came right up! (I imagine there are hundreds of people around the United States cursing this stupid door)

After watching a little You Tube video, I grabbed a hammer and got the screen attached. Then, I had to tackle the fact the door wasn't opening at all since a storm this winter. I had tried some WD-40 a few weeks ago and tried to just bang it and lift it..but it just wouldn't budge. I decide to be a bit more aggressive and just use a hammer to muscle it open. Ta Da..it actually worked! I was feeling pretty good after fixing the front door. I spent all afternoon bragging to my one year old daughter. (She reacted by pretending to chat on her fake phone...only a year old and trying to ignore me)

Mom..I'm so busy chatting with my bff...let me be!

My question is, how did us strong smart stay at home moms get things done before Google? I'm sure it was those handy 101 uses for ______ books. Now along with Google, I can get twice as many tasks done before nap time is over.

Conquering the house with my trusty side kicks: Google & my purple toolkit!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

DIY Wednesday: Solar Light Jars for $2.00

Hi There!

This project was really exciting. I've been a bit obsessed with solar mason jars since I saw a feature about different solar yard decorations. I knew there must be a way to do it on the cheap. I mean, I found the jars online for $15.00 and above.

Here's how to make the jars for about $2.00 a piece.

Outdoor Solar Jars


Outdoor Mod Podge ($6.00 a jar. You won’t come close to using it all!)
Food Coloring (Free…Already Around the House)
Glass Jars (Free…Collected From Pasta & Fruit Glass Jars)
Small Solar Lights ($1.00)
Hot Glue Gun (Free…Already Around the House)
Plastic Cup or Bowl (Free….Already Around the House)
Clear Spray Paint (Optional) (Free…Already Around the House)
Scrap Fabric (Free…Already Around the House)
Ribbon (Free…Already Around the House)

Total for Project: Around $2.00


Step One: Decorate the Jars

I used this tutorial from Gingerbread Snowflakes to color the jars. Basically, you mix Outdoor Mod Podge and food coloring together and paint it on to the jars. Something I noticed is Mod Podge doesn’t cure very quickly especially if it’s humid in your area. To speed up the process, a coat of clear spray paint will do the trick.
I also tried to use buttons to dress up one of the jars. I’m not sure if I’m a fan of the look, but it’s an option if you want to do more. You could also add something sparkly on the bottom of the jar to cause more reflection.

Jars all painted and ready to go!

Step Two: Cut the Bowl

FYI: You have a couple of options. You could get the larger, more expensive solar light and glue it to the top of the jar. (You’d want the kind with a lip that comes out). The only problem with this is you’d have to find the right kind of jar that would be small enough to fit under the lip but big enough to accommodate the light. I wanted different types of jars, so I decided to use the smaller solar light. (That’s basically a long paragraph to justify using the cheaper light!)

I decided to use the smaller much cheaper 1$ solar lights. Since they are so small, you have to use something to attach them to the jar. I looked around my house for a while to find something that would do the job.

Finally I spotted some plastic bowls I had gotten from my aunt. They were used for ice cream at her gas station. I imagine that a plastic cup would also do the trick as well.

I first cut a hole in the bottom of the bowl big enough for the solar light to firmly fit in. Next, I cut off the excess bowl from the top, so when the solar light is placed in the jar, the plastic bowl touches the jar, but doesn’t peek up over the top of the jar.

Step Three: Glue Time!

First, you’re going to attach the bowl/cup to the solar light. You may want to mark where you exactly want to attach the cup on the solar light. You want the top of the solar light to be even with the top of the jar. Use hot glue to attach the bowl/cup to the solar light.

Bowl Attached to the Solar Light

Once the bowl is attached to the solar light, attach the solar light and bowl to the side of the jar. Don’t be afraid to use a ton of hot glue. You will want to use the hot glue to make the top waterproof and prevent water from gathering in the bottom of the jar.

Plastic Attached to the Sides of the Jar: Top View

Side View…Not so pretty yet..but it will be! See that smudge on the side. That’s what you get when you don’t spray the clear coat first!

Step Four: Attach Fabric Top

Since the jars don’t look so pretty right now, we need to make them look better. Cut a square of fabric. I’d recommend using an “outdoor” fabric to prevent mildew; however, I personally just used a cotton fabric. I figured the fabric will dry out in the sun. If need be I can replace the fabric later on.

I used pinking shears to prevent a ton of fraying. Flip the square of fabric over and use a pen to trace the solar light part. I originally cut a circle in the fabric. To be honest, it looks much better to cut a square in the fabric and match the square to the square solar panel.

Originally I cut a circle, but I’d recommend a square instead.

Next, you will want to attach the fabric with hot glue right around the solar panel. This really is the trickiest part of the entire project. It can be difficult to fold down the fabric and glue it at the same time and keep the fabric from bubbling funny.

Attempting to glue down the fabric.

Step Five: Attach the Ribbon

This step is simple. Make a bow with your ribbon. To make sure the bow stays, use the hot glue gun to secure the loops.

You’re done!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Idea Thief: Pin Up Shades

Hi There!

This Idea Thief is a super easy idea for curtains. They are "pin-up" curtains. As far as I can tell, they remind me of roman shades, but are much easier for the non-sewer. You could easily use hemming tape and then hand stitch the hook and eyes. You don't have to worry about loops on the back and pull strings. Plus, if you have little ones, they are much safer since they don't have pull strings (which are a strangulation risk).

Check out Eighteenth Century Agrarian Business for the easy tutorial!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

DIY Wednesday: Closet Hangers

Hi Everyone,

I'm really excited to share this project with you. I've had this project planned for a few months now and I finally snuck in some time after bedtime last night. This project can be done for any one, but I did it for my daughter's room. I organized her closet by size, but you could easily do it by type of clothing, color or occasion.

***I posted this last week, but Blogger ate my post! So I'm reposting it.***

Closet Hangers


Wood Door Hangers
Scrapbook Paper
Mod Podge
Utility Knife
Pencil or Pen
Clear Spray Paint
Full Water Bottle (or 20 oz pop bottle)

1. Cut the Door Hanger

Since the door hanger need to slide on the closet rod, you will need to cut a slit on the side so there is place to fit over the closet rod. I penciled a line on each hanger so it was on the same place on each hanger, then used a utility knife to score the hanger until the hanger was cut through.

2. Fit Scrapbook Paper to the Door Hanger

If you use a 8 x 11 piece of paper, the paper will pretty much fit perfectly. You can also use a larger 12 x 12 piece and trim it. Place the door hanger about a half of inch from the edge of the paper (on the wrong side of the paper) and trace it. Fold the paper over the hanger (so each side has a pattern showing). You did this so you will know where center is.

Scrapbook paper folded over wooden door hanger.

Take the hanger off the paper, and flip the paper right side to right side, so you will see the penciled outline of the hanger. Trim around the top and if needed side and bottom so the outline has about 1/2 inch of paper trim around all side except the folded side. On each side (except the folded side) cut little strips. This will make it easier to Mod Podge the paper to the door hanger. It will conform easier to the shape of the door hanger. In the circle in the middle, cut the circle like it was a pizza.

3. Glue Time!

Unfold your paper. Put Mod Podge on the side of paper that is penciled. Put hanger on the paper so it lines up with the penciled outline. Check the other side to see if any bubbles need to be smoothed out before the Mod Podge dries. Then slowly move around the outside putting the trim on the door hanger. (The little tabs you cut earlier) If you're going slow you may need to put more Mod Podge on the tabs if they start to dry and aren't sticking. Move on to the center and create the hole by gluing the "pizza slices" onto the door hanger.

The pizza cut in the center demonstrated on the left. On the right is the center hole post-gluing

After finishing one side, put glue on the other side of the paper and fold it over the door hanger. Make sure there are no bubbles. Once again move around and glue the tabs down and the pizza in the circle.

The back side of the closet hanger. If you look closely, you can see the tabs along the bottom and side.

4. Top Coat

Using your full water bottle, put a light top coat of Mod Podge on the door hanger on both sides. Wait for it to dry and add a second coat. (You can add additional coats as you see fit) Since Mod Podge stays tacky for a while, grab a clear coat spray paint and spray the hangers lightly. This will dry up the Mod Podge

Using water bottles to dry top coat of Mod Podge.

5. Create Label

You have several options for labels. You could use chipboard letters or just write something right on the hangers or print something with something with a Cricut.

What I did was create the labels I wanted with the font I wanted in Word. I did a big label for the main part of the hanger and then a small label for the top part. I printed off the labels to plain white paper and cut around them.

Labels ready to be cut out from paper.

I have a heat laminating machine, so I laminated the labels. You could also use the peel and stick laminate sheets. After the labels are laminated, I trimmed around the labels.

Labels going through the lamination machine.

6. Attach Labels

Since my daughter's sizes will be changing, I wanted to make the labels interchangeable. To do this, I grabbed some peel and stick Velcro. I put the soft side on the hanger and hard side on the laminated label.
Velcro on the labels.
Finished Closet Hanger!



Wednesday, May 4, 2011

DIY Wednesday: 20 Minute Apron


I needed an apron to store change in for my last craft show. I remembered that I wanted an apron at about 1:00 am the morning of the craft show. So I decided I was going to use what I had on hand and only spend at the most a half hour on it. Mission Accomplished.

20 Minute Apron

1. Cut Your Fabric

The first step is cutting your fabric. You'll be cutting the main fabric piece and two squares for pockets. I chose to use a contrasting color for my pockets.

As indicated above, cut the fabric 24 by 11 inches. The two pockets are 7 by 8 inches.

2. Iron & Hem

Go around the edges of all three pieces of fabric and iron down a hem that is 1/2 an inch. You can also pin if you don't trust the hem to stay (I figure, eh, it will work out). The hem is indicated with the white line in the diagram above.

Sew down the hem you just ironed all the way around each piece. I also trim my corners if they aren't perfectly square.

3. Add the Pockets

Place the pockets where you'd like them. I just made sure they were centered. Once you have the pockets where you'd like them, pin them down. (You don't want them shifting crooked!)

Sew around the pockets, obviously leaving the top open. I usually reinforce the pockets with a second stitch, since they will have a bit of weight on them.

4. Add Straps

You could just do simple fabric as the straps and tie them in the back. I had some webbing sitting around with some "D" rings, and choose to use those.

Take a small piece of webbing and loop it around both "D" rings. Sew it shut so the rings are sewn on to the webbing. Then sew this piece of webbing to the corner of the apron. Mine are about two inches in. The straps are at an angle and reinforced with X stitches. (This is also on the diagram above)

The other side will be a long piece of webbing. You will need to see how long your particular apron needs to be. I'm on the bigger side, so I had a long strap. Just hold up the apron and measure. You'll need enough to feed through the "D" rings.

And you're done! Easy Easy. Enjoy!


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Win a Free Custom Item!

Hello Readers!

I'm going to continue a giveaway from this morning's craft show.

If you like The Dabbling Crafter on Facebook, you can win 1 custom item (up to a $15.00 value).

If you comment on this blog, you can get two entries.

Refer a friend our Facebook page and get another entry!

These custom items include all the Lila Jean Modern Baby Crafts as well as non-baby items too! Coffee cozies, therapy sacks, coasters...If I've made it, I can make it again!

The drawing will be held this Friday!

The show this morning was slow...because it was absolutely wonderful outside! After the show my husband and I mowed the yard for the first time this year, picked up all the random stuff that had been lost in the snow (a plethora of dog toys) and rearranged the deck to eventually make room for some plans I have for patio furniture.

A few shout-outs about fellow crafters at the show. Really talented ladies!

Cozy Trends (I got Lila the cutest little hat today. I'll have to take pictures soon!)

My booth at the craft show today. I need to work on making it a bit less cluttered.

New wipe case in our "Blue Chevy" fabric

New wipe case in Moda Sherbet fabric

Best part of the day!

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