Friday, December 30, 2011

Scrapbook-paper Gift Bow Tutorial

Getting ready to wrap a gift for a wedding I was going to last weekend when I came aross a cool tutorial on making a gift bow from a magazine page. I adapted the instructions just the teaniest bit so I could use it for scrapbook paper. So here it is.
Slice 9 one-inch strips from your 12x12 scrapbook paper. (you should end up with a few inches left)

Leave 3 strips at 12 inches, on 3 of the strips cut off 1 inch, on 2 of the strips cut off 2 inches, and on the last strip cut it down to around 4 1/2 inches.

Twist and staple 8 of the strips as shown. The smallest strip should be stapled in a circle shape. This will become the center loop of your bow.

Staple the 3 biggest loops together, evenly spaced, as shown. The magazine bow tutorial uses glue dots, but it wouldn't hold well for me because of the stiffness of the paper.

Repeat for the next 3 loops.

Repeat for the last 3 loops.
Attach your 3 sets of loops together. I used Elmer's glue here because I couldn't get the stapler to fit in the bow. I had to hold the bow together for a good 5 min for the glue to set. This turned out to be the most time consuming part of the project, and I'd love to hear any suggestions anyone might have.
Voila! I love the way bows turned out when I used double sided paper. so much more interesting to see a bit of color or pattern inside the bow instead of just plain white. I know it's hard to see, but the subtleness is what I love about it.

Update: Hot glue is sooooo much easier to use instead of trying to squish the staple over the loops. Toss the stapler and get out the hot glue gun :)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

DIY Simpson's Yahtzee

This post is actually from one yer ago today. I put it together for a different blog that I no longer update. I am no longer using the same camera and no longer a nanny. Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! I hope everyone has a wonderful God-filled day today. The months leading up to today, I had been looking forward to getting a real camera for Christmas... but I will have to wait another year to improve my blogging photography skills. The closer we got to Christmas, the more my husband and I realized that we were too wrapped up in the consumerism celebration of Christmas, or really, the consumerism lifestyle in general. I am surrounded by stuff and more stuff that I don't actually need. I want things to be different, and I can see how they need to be different for me to live out God's plan for my life, but it's a lot harder to do than it is to say. Small steps I guess. My small step right now is giving up my Christmas gift. Instead of the camera I knew my husband was planning to get me, my husband agreed to let me have the money for that gift to go to any cause I wanted. I wouldn't tell this to brag- there's really nothing to brag, I am a very selfish person in general, and it is a small step- but I still feel the need to share how wonderful this has been. I have been given so many blessings, and even though I'd always known "it's better to give than to receive", it has never felt quite as true as it does now. To give something up, a real thing that I wanted and craved, to provide for someone else- it has made me realize how little I know about what makes me happy. How badly I need to forfeit my will to God, because He knows so much better than I do what is good for me and what will make me and others happy. It's not possible that the camera could have filled me with this amount of feeling that the act of giving it up has... and that's not even counting the benefit the money can make to the someone(s) who need it. So... right. Merry Christmas. God Bless. Now on to crafting:
For my brother's birthday I made him "Homerazzi Yahtzee" (pronounced Homer-AHT-zee). The picture on front and the characters on the dice come from the Simpson's episode entitled Homerazzi. I bought a plain wooden box from Hobby Lobby. I used tracing paper to get the picture and words on the box. My husband gave me his old soldering iron, which I used for wood burning. After a while of being on, the soldering iron got too hot, so using a real wood burning tool is probably a safer idea. I used an inexpensive gel wood stain sold at Hobby Lobby. I chose the lightest color they had, and wiped it off as quickly as possible. I would have preferred a lighted color so the wood burning would show up better, but oh well. I finished by coating the entire box with clear acrylic spray.

Inside the box I included a Yahtzee scorepad, ($4.00 at Walmart) a red cup, ($1.00 at Walmart) and character dice. The dice are little wooden blocks (available at Hobby Lobby) painted white. On each of the 5 five dice I picked Elton John to represent 1, Martha Nephew for 2, Capital City Goofball for 3, Captain Lance Murdock for 4, Paul McCartney for 5, and Duffman for 6. I used some thinned out white glue to affix the pictures to the dice. After they dried, I wrote the appropriate numbers in the corners of the dice. Voila!
I also made a Yahtzee game with my afternoon nanny family. They made a Thanksgiving/ Pirates of the Caribbean version. One set of dice had all thanksgiving themed stuff, one set had characters from Pirates of the Caribbean. Jimmy (age 9) really enjoyed finding pictures online, cropping pictures, and designing the cover of the game. Pinky (age 7) used her wonderful painting skills on the box and dice. I did not even attempt to do wood burning with them. I can only imagine the state their fingers would be in afterward. I love creating holiday stuff with the kids because by the time the initial excitement of the creation has passed, the item has already been packed away to return next year. Then when it comes out of the box a year later, the excitement is back.

Monday, December 19, 2011

I Just Got Here and I'm Already Awesome Onesie

I saw this onesie on Laura Hartrich's Etsy shop and had to make one. I used my cricut to cut out the words for my freezer paper stencils. If using the cricut, I found I really needed to use a good newish mat for the freezer paper to stick well. This onesie and the crocheted hat will be Fisher's outfit for baby announcement photos. I didn't follow a pattern for the hat. I crocheted in the round using increase stitches until I liked the size. This hat will be way to large for infant Fisher, so I'll need to make a smaller one for the announcement photos.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Bag of Coal Tutorial

Fold your fabric in half. The folded part (shown as the top of this pic) will be the bottom of your bag. Cut your fabric (My white line is where I cut it) for however wide you'd like the bag to be. The black lines show where the stitches will go, so make sure to have an extra 1/2 inch on the sides for sewing. I wanted my bag tall, but if you want your bag shorter, trim the extra length off.

Sew up the sides of the bag ending 1 inch from the top (you need the gap for your drawstring). Fold the extra inch over, and sew it down. This should create a long thin pocket for your drawstring to go through.
I used a stretched-out wire hanger to push my ribbon through the drawstring pocket. This was pretty easy because the ribbon was wide. I'm not sure the best way to do this if you're using a thinner drawstring. If anyone has any other suggestions, please share... I love to learn.
Now that all constructive sewing is done, flip the bag inside out to hide the fringe. You can use a Cricut to cut out perfect felt letters, but I liked the hand cut letters better. With the letters unattached from the bag, I stitched around each of them with gray yarn. I love the blanket stitch! I couldn't get the letters to stay flat when sewing them onto the bag, so I used a hot glue gun to attach instead. Much faster.
For a Christmas gift this bag is being filled with drink mixers, rimming salt and sugar, and crumpled newspaper. I love the sack of coal idea, but getting a gift-exchange present to come up to $50 with mostly drink mixers has become extremely heavy. Whoever picks it is going to have a hard time getting it out from under the tree. Oops.

Jan 2011 Update: I stole my own gift at the gift exchange. Kinda silly to drive that heavy gift all the way to TX just to bring it back, but I couldn't resist. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

DIY Baby Room Door Muffler

Door Muffler

I've been seeing this a lot on Pinterest, so I decided to make one for baby Fisher's room. I used scrap fabric and ribbon that I had already used in other places around the nursery. Now when I open and close the door to the baby room, there's no click noise. Genius!

  • Cut out fabric 4.5inches X 4.5 inches
  • Fold in half, wrong side out
  • Use a 1/2 inch seam to sew your fabric into a tube
  • Flip tube so its right side out
  • Stuff with a pinch of stuffing (I tested the tube at this point to see how much stuffing would allow me to close the door and still stop the clicking noise.)
  • Run about 12 inches of ribbon through the tube so you have an even amount of ribbon sticking out both ends
  • Sew both ends of your tube closed
  • Tie your ribbon to the door handle. Use more ribbon to make a pretty bow on each side of the door.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Adorable Simpson's Nesting Dolls

Plain wood nesting dolls bought from Hobby Lobby. If I did this again I would not sketch on the dolls before hand. It's such a simple design so I don't really need it. It took forever to get my cheap paint to really cover the pencil marks. Since I don't paint often enough or well enough to invest in higher pigment acrylic paint, I'll need to keep in mind the translucent-ness of my paint.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Baby Show Gift: Ipood Emergency Kit

Ipood Emergency Kit!

Many a mom will come to the day when baby will blow out her diaper, soil her clothes, and magically get it in her hair. (I swear, baby poo has mystical powers. To this day I don't know how it ended up on the ceiling) Mom and baby will end up stranded in the public restroom, with nothing but a diaper, trying to fashion a baby cover-up out of scratchy brown paper towels. Mom will search high and low for a way to get those poopy clothes home when there's no plastic bag in sight. She'll reason to herself that baby is almost grown out of these clothes anyway so we'd never miss them if they stayed here in the trash.

At least that was my story.

In reminiscence of that fateful day at the animal museum, I put together this kit for a baby shower I went to recently. It was a big hit.

What's inside:
  • A set of diapers. I included 2- size 1 diapers, 2- size 2 diapers, 2- size 3 diapers.  
  • A disposable changing pad (comes in a pack of 10 or so. Include 1-2 in the kit and give the rest to the mommy-to-be
  • Refill pack of baby wipes (usually 40 count)
  • Diaper cream
  • Set of disposable plastic bags to put soiled clothes and/or diaper in. I found the diaper bag buddy at BabiesRUs, which had the bags and some child first aid supplies.
  • A onesie to change the baby into. I got a plain pink onesie and used freezer paper stenciling to create the Ipood logo. Here's a good tutorial from Craft Envy

The drawstring bag:

Here's a good drawstring bag tutorial from Crafty Gemini
I love to mix different fabrics that couldn't normally go together. Especially combining baby fabrics with something more modern. Yum!