Monday, March 28, 2011

Wedding Card Box

My BFF is getting married this summer and I am so happy for her. We have been friends since we started high school. We went to an all girls, Catholic high school together and were next to each other for everything. Quite literally. My maiden name started with SL and hers starts with an SK so we had lockers next to each other all four years and sat together whenever we were in home room. She was in my wedding two years ago and I am so happy to be in her wedding in a few months. About a week ago I was surprised and excited to see she was video calling me on Skype. While we talked she linked me to some pictures of a card box she liked. After looking at several differetn designs she liked on ETSY I told her not to worry about it and I would make it myself. She was looking at boxes just like the one I made and they were $55 or more plus about $20 or more to ship it to her! I told her I would take over from her and it would cost less. She gave me $30 for the whole thing but I may have spent a bit less than that even. I know I would have spent less had I waited for things to be on sale and for more coupons but I needed to get it done. I bought everything at JoAnn's during their friends and family sale weekend and used my25% off my total order coupon. I bought MUCH more fabric than I thought I needed..I only used 2 feet on this one! The boxes were the next big purchase. I had to get the five piece set since I needed a 14 inch and they don't sell those separately. At least not that I saw. So, I got two boxes I didn't need but I am sure I will eventually use them. Based on the number of people she is expecting to be at the wedding and the number of cards she may get I used a 14 inch, 12 inch and 10 inch box. She chose the fabric based on one of her inspiration pictures and then another picture showed solid black lids and she liked that too. I used a simple plain black craft paint so it isn't shiny or glossy or anything. She also liked the look of a bow on top so I bought a 5 inch wide satin ribbon and made a bow. It is wired which I don't particularly care for but it can be perked right up if it gets smooshed or anything too. I went and pulled out my wedding cards (yes they are saved in a keepsake box) and found three different size ones. A square musical card, a extra large card and a slightly larger than average one. I made sure they all fit in the slot and cut it out to be 2x8. I also cut all the box bottoms and lids BEFORE I painted them so I wouldn't paint anything I wouldn't use in the end anyway. They are all glued together with a hot glue gun and my friend is really happy with it. I didn't glue down the lid of the biggest box so she could still get the cards out. I LOVE how this looks and am thinking of starting to offer this service to some other brides I know ;)
 Please excuse the bad photos...I finished it at night and wanted to take the pictures so I could send them to the bride...

A baby for my baby brother

My little brother is going to be a father in a few weeks. I find this hard to believe since I have always thought of him as my 'baby' brother....he is only four years younger than me but he always had three mothers with our own mom and my sister and I jumping in as well :) The three of us hosted a shower for him and his wife this past weekend and they seem to be close to ready in terms of baby gear now. When I started thinking about their gift I had NO idea what to give them. I decided upon buying them the diaper bag they wanted and then filling it with goodies. I also decided to make all the goodies myself and they were so pleased with them and everyone at the shower seemed impressed when my sister told them that I made everything.

Their diaper bag is amazing. I know this because I have the same one. For about a week we had to make sure that this thing was out of the way while I was working on it. More than once my husband went to go grab this one on the way out the door...would not have been a good thing :) I made them the two NUK tethers by simply sewing some ribbon onto a suspender clip and then sewing velcro on the other end. I figured out how to do this after losing yet another $5 pacifier tether that we had bought. Much cheaper to do it on my own and I can choose my own design as well.

I made the sippy cup leash by following a tutorial on Make It and Love It. I really did like how this turned out and it was super easy!

 Next, I bought a three pack of good quality onesies from Carter's. I spent about $10 on the set but I wanted them to be nice and thick and I wanted at least one pink one :) Plus, these already had the little bow attached at the collar so I wouldn't have to add anything. I used Velveteen fabric paint after seeing it used for a different project online. I found three different sized round items (pen end, end of a dowel and the end of a foam paint brush) dipped them in the paint and then dotted them on the onesie to make different size and patterned necklaces. It became 'velvet' by simply holding my iron, on the steam setting, about an inch above it. I really like the added texture and dimension it gave them in the end.
 This is a little diaper clutch for a few diapers and wipes to go in and they can grab it out of the bag and go if they don't want to carry the whole bag with them to the bathroom when they are out. I added the handle and used some old fabric I had leftover from something else so I didn't really have to spend on this one :) I used the tutorial I found on Lemon Squeezy Home. Hers looks much better but I was ok with mine and think I may try it again for a friend who is currently expecting. Once again, this was so easy to follow and complete. I love when that happens :)

 I made these bibs by tracing one of my daughters bibs!  I used one of her smaller bibs from early on in life and traced it on some newspaper. I then made sure to cut around the outer edge of the line to be sure to make it big enough and to provide for my seam allowance. The front is flannel and the backs are terrycloth. I used velcro instead of snaps or buttons because that is what I prefer in a bib clasp. And, it is also the easiest for me to do.
 I made these matching burpcloths to go with them. Again, flannel on the front, terrycloth on the back. I cut them I think at 7x14. I sewed them twice, once with right sides together and then again once I flipped them and they were wrong sides together. I like how finished it makes it look.
 I also made burb cloths this way. I found this tutorial at Create Studio and bookmarked it a long time ago. It wasn't as easy I thought it looked but I am not a veteran sewer and have never taken a class on it either. My mom taught me a little bit and then I have been teaching myself how to do more than sew a hem :) In the end I didn't add ribbon to them all and I still think they looked good. I used the same three flannel fabrics and added two more plain cotton ones since I had five diaper burp cloths to use.
I loved being able to gift them homemade items and I think they were happy to get them. Now, I can hardly wait to meet my newest niece!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

First Easter Decorations

My brother and his wife are having a baby; the shower is this weekend and I am helping host it. I decided to make most of the things I am giving them so that has occupied most of my time lately. As soon as the shower is over I can post pictures of what I made them and move on to more fun crafts :)

I can't wait to decorate for Easter. Even if it isn't Spring outside, decorating for Easter at least allows spring to be inside. Again, once I have more time on my hands my Easter decor will begin to come together.

I hosted a Craft-In night with my sister and two girlfriends this weekend so I did get to work on some fun things for Easter then. I have so many things bookmarked to make it isn't even funny!

First, I found this guy for $1 at Salvation Army

I knew just what to do to make him ready for Easter. A whole bunch of primer, yellow spray paint and a few coats of Pearl Enamel and he is ready! As soon as I pull all of my other decorations out he will have some buddies. Until then, this is all I have to show for him:
Much better in my opinion!

I also threw this together after perusing Dollar Tree and coming up with an idea. I LOVE topiary's and saw these little picks and really liked them. I knew I could use them somehow! The pots came three to a pack so I was all set. I painted them white, added the ribbon (had on hand) around the top, put some styrofoam (had on hand) in each one, topped with Easter grass and I have a cute decoration for about $2!
They were supposed to be taller :( I liked them much better with the longer sticks but alas, I was a klutz. I do my crafts in an area of our basement and when I brought them upstairs I had too many things balanced between my two hands and one of the pots fell! It landed on the egg end and the stick cracked <tear>. The picks come 5 in a pack but the blue and purple ones (while my favorite colors) just weren't soft and spring-y looking enough for me. So I just cut down the other two picks and they are all short now. Still cute but I am considering going to find another pack and maybe redoing it but then I couldn't say it only cost me $2 to make :)

Can't wait to put all the Easter stuff around the house!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Going to the birds

My husband is an outdoors-y type of guy. We live on a lake and he fishes all summer. He used to go hunting every year too. He also points out every type of bird he sees wherever we go. He knows alot about nature, animals and all things outside. When I moved into this house after we got married every room had a outdoor-ish/nature vibe going on in it. Our main bathroom was no exception. On one wall was a framed painting of a polar bear. Cute, but it came down. On another wall was a painting of a soaring eagle. Nice and patriotic, but it came down. Above our toilet is a painting of two golden retrievers. Adorable and it is waiting to come down :) The shower curtain has a cabin/hunting/bear and moose theme to it and since it is the only tub in the house I let that one stay. For now.

I wanted something new and fresh and springy for the countertop near the sink. I used to have a candle with a hurricane over it but it was just too plain, simple and frankly boring for me. I tried keeping the hurricane and filling it with things but the shape it is made it too hard. Everything I tried to put in there looked odd unless I filled it all the way to the top. When I did that, something usually stuck slightly out of the top of the hurricane and got in the way of our mirror/medicine cabinet when you opened it. My husband got tired of forgetting about that hazard really quick.

I have seen so many bird statues and figurines out in stores lately and for some reason I am obsessed with them. The bright shiny colors, the sleek lines and shape. I don't know what it is. Since the bathroom already has an outdoor feel to it I decided to play on that but make it much more chic-er. I have seen birdhouses all over blogland lately but since I have that height restriction I couldn't just attach one to a candlestick or other such apparatus. I decided to make it all myself.
  The birdhouse was $4.99, the wooden square was .59 and the wooden spool was .79. Total cost was just over $6.

I found this little guy at the Dollar Tree and knew with the right spray paint he would look as wonderful as all of those other birdy decorations I have come to love. Plus, he wouldn't cost so much either!
I glued all three wooden pieces together, primed and then sprayed them in a light green. After they were dry I also roughed up all the edges and 'seams' to look a bit weathered. My bird friend got a lot priming and painting too. I also finished him off with a pearl enamel to make him shimmer.

I really like the new look in my bathroom :)

Monday, March 14, 2011

C marks the spot.

While 'Little Miss C' was still our 'C-baby' I wanted to make a personalized something for her bedroom door.

Once more I found myself at Salvation Army looking for treasures. I had gotten a glittery foam 'C' at Joann's a while back for next to nothing so that would be my base. I found a $2 wooden picture frame at SA with a floral print in it. I took it home and discarded the glass...more on that at the end.I removed the mat and floral print and worked with just the cardboard backing. I sprayed the frame with yellow spray paint, attached a fun piece of scrapbook paper to the cardboard backing and affixed my foam 'C' to it so it would be 3-D like. I took some white ribbon I already had on hand and made a cute hanger with a bow for it. This is the end result and it cost me about $3 to make and only took about 10 minutes total not including drying time!
I don't hae a picture of it hanging because it took my husband about 4 months to put a nail in the door for me :)
Now, if you do ever try something like this here is my unsolicited advice. If you can't figure out what to do with the glass from the frame and you just want to pitch it, when you discard it please, please, for the love all that is right, please put it in a box or something sturdy BEFORE putting it in your garbage can. And take the time to walk it out to the garage or wherever the big cans are and not put it right in your kitchen garbage can. If you don't, you may take some extra time to run to urgent care after you finish your project. Then, you'll come home and look like this:
I still have an ugly scar but you can bet I am more careful when crafting though. You can also bet that I am now afraid of my garbage can when I go to put something in it and push stuff down to make more room :)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Holiday Candy Jar

I love my local thrift store. I try to go about once a week. I have bought so much for Miss C and the house from there. My favorite thing to do though is to wander the aisles and find things I can turn into something else. I am semi-good at this. It also helps alot that my favorite thrift store is right next door to the Dollar Tree. I find my hidden treasure then head to the DT next door to get my supplies on the cheap! This is something that I made right before Christmas. I only took the one picture after making it which is why it is decorated as such.

I simply found all of these things at Salvation Army:
A $3 candle stick and a $2 glass jar with lid. The small wooden knob I got at michaels for $1. Altogether it cost me $6 to make.

I simply took my go to black spray paint that I keep on hand and painted the candlestick, lid and wooden knob. I did rough up the candlestick with sandpaper before spraying; so far nothing has chipped or come off!
I used my gorilla glue (LOVE that stuff!) to glue the knob to the lid to make a handle. I originally thought about gluing the jar to the candlestick but since it already has that little indentation where the candle would go I figured I would just sit the jar in there and make it removable for easy cleaning.

I change out the ribbon, decorations and candy for the current holiday/season and I have a year round use for it! The final look: