Monday, October 22, 2012

Homemade Christmas: Bowling Pins

Hello There!

This is a super easy & super cheap present! I decided to make my daughter a little mini bowling set.

Rather than go buy a set for around ten dollars, I decided to make one for (almost) free!

Materials:

-Pop Bottles (I used the same type of bottle so the design and lid would be the same)
-Acrylic Paint (I had some sitting around the house. If you do buy some, they run about $0.50 a color)
-Ball (I just decided to purchase a small Nerf like ball. You can find them at the dollar store or a local retail store)

Instructions:

1. Completely wash and dry the pop bottle.
2. Remove the label and all the sticky glue. I decided to remove mine with some scissors. I scrapped the glue right off.

 

 

3. Squirt a fairly liberal amount of paint in the bottle. Put the lid on (tight) and shake until the entire bottle is covered. You may need to add more paint. You can have fun with this if you decide to add different colors. I had a few "marble-ized" pins.

 

4. Take lid off and put some where safe (i.e. away from kiddos) to dry. Replace lid when dry, and you have a bowling pin!


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Friday, October 12, 2012

Handmade Christmas: Fabric Letters

Hello!

As I stated in my last post, I am attempting to make all my daughter's Christmas gifts. This will not only be nice from a money perspective, but I like the idea of putting the time into her gifts as well as the environmental aspect....recycling materials and preventing myself from using resources like gas, packaging etc. for buying gifts.


This project is being done using my fabric scraps. The only thing I purchased for this project was fuseable interfacing (2 yards at $1.99 a yard). I used the kind that was fuseable on both sides and was "heavy" adhesive. You wouldn't want to use a heavy adhesive if you were using a sewing machine...it's a good way to gunk up your needle. But, I decided since I knew the letters would shift a ton, I was going to hand sew them.

First of all, I played around with different methods. Since I wanted to prevent the layers from shifting, I decided to use interfacing.

Materials

-2 yards of interfacing
-small sharp fabric scissors, pinking shears and paper scissors
-iron and ironing board
-needle and thread
-water soluble fabric marker
-batting (I had this sitting around, and it worked pretty good. It was the "thermal" batting you use in things like oven mitts etc. I think a batting that was more fabric like and not fluffy would work best. You could also try filling with polyfill, but that seems overly difficult to me)

Directions
(1) First thing I did was cut all the interfacing with paper scissors into approximately 5 inches by 4 inches squares. I didn't worry about it being exact since I didn't mind if the letters slightly varied in size. If you're going to be exact, you'll need to cut 52 since each letter uses 2. I am also doing 0-9 so I had to add an additional 20 squares.

(2) I heated up my iron. I took that square of interfacing and ironed it on to a scrap piece of cotton print material I had sitting around. (follow the directions that come with the interfacing) If you're wanting to do everything in one shot (assembly line style), go ahead and use all your squares and attach them to different pieces of fabric. I did a little here and a little there since I was messing around with the best process.

(3) Using your pinking shears, cut the square out of the fabric. Now pull back the backing for the other side of the interfacing and put sticky side down on the batting. Iron away. I usually cut a bunch out and put a bunch on the batting to iron at once.

(4) Using pinking shears, cut out the squares of fabric.

(5) The "sandwich" I did was two of these squares of fabric with batting facing batting. Once I had them in a sandwich. I would draw out the letter with my water soluble fabric pen. Then using my pinking shears, would cut out the letter. For the inside holes on letters like "A" and "B" I used my small fabric scissors.

(6) Once you have all your letters cut out, you just need to stitch around the outside with your thread. I hid my knots on the inside of the sandwich if possible. I just used white on everything. You could try to hide the stitching by using different colors, but I had pretty colorful prints, so that was more difficult.

This is the "H" prior to being sewn. See the water soluble fabric pen marks? I didn't do a great job sticking to my lines. The "H" on the right is batting side up.


"E" before being sewn while in it's "sandwich". See that some of the batting is sticking out on the left side? In those situations, I kinda just pulled the batting away from the cotton fabric and tucked it into the sandwich. It created a nice puffy look like I had used polyfill.





I tried using embroidery floss at first and it didn't look as neat as the thread, so I switched back to thread. You can see the floss in the grey and thread in the white.




Back of "G"

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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Handmade Christmas

Hello There!

Christmas seems SO far away, but soon enough it will be just around the corner and we'll have a fourth family member! Planning for a new baby around the holidays means my Christmas planning has to come a bit earlier than normal. Although, I'd like to know Wal-mart's excuse for starting so early...who is buying tree trimmings in early October?!?

I have decide this year to attempt to make a majority of the gifts we are going to give our daughter. I might try to make some for other family members, but I'm really focusing on my two year old right now. Not only does this make fiscal sense since my husband is still in school and we're having another baby, but since she's only two, she hardly knows the difference between "store bought" and "handmade."

About a month ago, I started a pin board on Pinterest (click on the hyperlink to go to the board!) and started collecting ideas. Since I started so early, I could wait until supplies are on sale or until I find something used. For example, I knew I wanted to make some hooded towels (her newborn ones just aren't cutting it anymore), but at $15.00 a pop at Target, I knew handmade would be cheaper. Since I started early, I happen to catch towels while they were on sale as part of the "back to school" campaign. Each towel with ribbon decoration will cost me about $6.00...over half off store bought.

This is the Pin I have for hooded towels. I checked it out and the tutorial is great!

Picture from One Simple Bliss

I also was looking for projects that would use supplies I already had. I *kinda* have accumulated some fabric over the years...and by "kinda" I mean I have an entire closet full. I also started saving large and small scraps a few years ago. So, a scrap busting project would be perfect.

My daughter is learning her ABC's right now. (She gets up to G, then starts from the beginning again). She does enjoy to look at the ABC's and see if she identify any of the letters. She also enjoys identifying colors. A pin for plush fabric letters was just the ticket for busting some scraps. 

This is the Pin I found for fabric letters.  The Pin no longer goes to the tutorial; however, I think it's pretty self explanatory. I used some fusible interfacing to make it a bit easier to cut the letters out, but I'm not going to be too fancy. I'll post a tutorial when I finish. This was a great "in front of the tv after bedtime project".....I like those because I spend time with the husband and get some stuff done. (I hate just watching tv. I have to be doing something.)



There are some other ideas I'm throwing around. I do like the snowman kit. I think that would be a good gift for any kid of any gender. I also am going to make some felt food. I think a stuffed sewing machine would also be an excellent project. (More scrap busting!) There's got to be some dress up ideas in there. I'll probably make some sort of bean bag/lounge chair as well. Maybe I'll also make a tent.

Picture from Sometimes Creative
There's so many handmade ideas out there! Do you have a project planned for your little ones?

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Gone Junkin': Little Fall Something

Hello There!

The past two weekends I have gone out to the different junk sales in the area. I didn't get much at the sales. I got some vintage pieces for the nursery. (The theme is "hunting lodge" but more of a FDR-era hunting lodge). I can't share those pieces though because they reveal the name too much. I also picked up a small chicken feeder which I'm using as a center piece on our table. Nothing too fancy, but it's a fun way to add a bit of fall cheer to our home. I'm thinking there will be some fun ornaments and holly berries in it for the Christmas season. (Which by strict husband orders does not begin until the day after Thanksgiving...when I'll be a week or so away from having a child. No big deal to put up decorations then....)