DIY Baby Birthday Banner

DIY Baby Birthday Banner

Ok, this DIY is a throwback to a birthday banner I made for my godson Lawson last year.   Not only was it easy, but it was so much fun to make!!  It came out so cute that I made another one for my niece Mallie.

This throwback makes me sad.  Lawson was so much tinier!!  Now he is a big brother.

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DIY Birthday Banner – from http://fromdahliastodoxies.blogspot.com/2012/11/baby-birthday-banner-tutorial.html

Things you will need:

  • 8 – 10 sheets of paper with baby faces printed on them (this is a strange statement)
  • 2 white posterboards
  • patterned paper – I used those fun scrapbook papers and bought a different one for each face, so 8 pieces.
  • double stick tape
  • glue stick
  • scissors
  • tissue paper
  • ribbon

For all the dirty details, head on over to the link above, where there are great directions.  One thing I did differently was to use color photos of Lawson, rather than black-and-white.  Also, I didn’t print the pictures on card stock (didn’t have any) – instead, I printed on normal paper and and glued them to a poster board.

Finally, make sure you find pictures of the baby with the funnest expressions, like his tongue sticking out or even ones where he is wearing sunglasses.

Have fun with this project!!  If anything, it’s just fun to go through old pictures of the little one.

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Posted in DIY

Sewing Pillowcases

If you are interested in sewing and want an easy peasy and fun first project, decorative pillowcases are the answer.   I seriously sewed one up in the time it takes to drink a cocktail.  I know this because I did it while my husband and his friend had a pre-bar cocktail at my house.  While they went out, I had a wine and sewing night. I’m caaarazyyy like that!  These blissful kind of nights are what my friend Liz and I refer to as “spinster nights.”  Food, rom coms, wine, no boys, bubble baths – whatever your heart desires.  I ate so much spaghetti, and no one was there to see it.  🙂

Anyway, these pillows were also crazy cheap.  I got the funky fabric and down pillows/inserts on sale (for about 6 bucks total) in New Orleans at The Creole Cottage.  And boy did they come out cute.  This is a lot of color and pattern for me – I’m really a neutral kinda girl – but my house was getting a little toooo neutral.  So this pop of color looks fantastic, especially on the cream sofa.

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Here is a back view of the envelope pillowcase.

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For the tutorial to the pillowcase, head on over to DIY Kinda Girl.

The only thing I will add are cutting instructions for pillows that are not 20″ squares:  For any other size square pillow, add 1″ to the size pillow (check the tag) for cutting your main square.  So for a 12″ pillow, one of the pieces to cut will be 13″ x 13″.  For the other two pieces (which are the same size as one another), the length will again be 13″ (12 +1), but the width will be shorter than 13.  These will be the two pieces for the envelope side of the pillow.  I recommend doing the number equal to your other size cut-out dimension, in this example 13, adding 5″ and divided by 2, rounding up to the next whole number if necessary.   Here, 18 (13 +5) divided by 2 is 9″.  So my pieces to cut out would be 1 piece that is 13″x 13″ and 2 pieces that are 13″ x 9″.   I hope that makes sense.

I promise the hardest part is figuring out the pieces you need to cut and cutting them.  Otherwise, there is just a little sewing which is minimal and very easy – straight line sewing woo hoo.

Posted in DIY

DIY Reversible Superhero Cape

If you’ve ever visited my site, you probably have heard me mention my two toddler nephews whom I’m obsessed with! They are both two years old and bring so much joy to the Jones family.  Well, the older one Casey has recently become fascinated with costumes, thanks to Halloween.  I asked him what he was going as, and he responded, “Costume!”  He went as spiderman and loved it – though he demanded a costume change before the night was out.

I found this awesome tutorial for sewing a reversible superhero cape and made them for the boys for Christmas.  I did one side Batman and one side Superman.  Perfect for a costume change!  I was still shocked at how much the boys loved these capes.  Casey was running around in only his diaper and cape, YELLING, “BATMAN CAPE! BATMAN CAPE!!!”  Pretty cool.

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For the instructions, go here for the free pattern/template for the Batman and The Flash logos and here for the free pattern/template for Superman logo and the actual cape. This site contains the detailed instructions and tutorial.  Yes, I know it’s spread out, but all in all, you get a free pattern and detailed tutorial!

These were easy to make, though a little time consuming.  Here is Lawson, my awesome godson, modeling each side of the cape.

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Did you know superheroes play musical instruments?

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They also chase each other through kitchens.

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And race up stairs.

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And completely melt your heart, cape or not.

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Ugh, I miss them already.  I sure wish my siblings and I lived in the same state.  Maybe one day 😉

Posted in DIY

Owl Tag Toy

For a Christmas gift for two baby nephews, I made the most darling little Owl Tag Toys.  Two More Minutes had a free pattern and detailed tutorial, which I love.  I am still enough of a beginner at sewing that pictures are so helpful.  I did my owls in blues since the babes are boys and added funky, colorful tags.

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Tag toys are basically toys surrounded with tags – obvious description?  Babies like to grab and chew on and rub tags on toys.  Sure enough, my godson Nico immediately started chewing and grabbing the tags when I gave him his toy.

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And here is little Lincoln napping with his.

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These were relatively quick to sew up.  The only annoying part for me was hand sewing the gap  closed – ha.

Head on over to Two More Minutes for the pattern and tutorial.

Posted in DIY

Christmas Stocking Tutorial

And the Christmas crafts continue!!  I finally completed our Christmas stockings.  This is a high quality, sturdy stocking – it is lined and also has batting.  You don’t want a sagging stocking! I used this tutorial, which I HIGHLY recommend.  Free pattern and picture tutorial.  The very best combo.

Head on over there for all your instructions.  The most time consuming part of this tutorial is cutting out all your fabric.  Otherwise, all I will add is that I sewed a full 1″ seam allowance for my cuff – otherwise, the cuff is too wide for the body of your stocking.

My stocking is the cuter one, obviously – the candy cane and peppermint one!  I picked more masculine-looking fabric for Geoff.  I’ll have to hand embroider our names on… Maybe next year.  🙂

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As you know, I live in a teeny tiny house (an old kitchen house).  Therefore, our stockings are hanging between two windows.  It was either that or over our beds.  Which would been pretty cool to wake up to.

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Posted in DIY

Christmas Tree Skirt Tutorial

I finally made a cute Christmas tree skirt! Last year’s skirt I sewed was cheap-o looking.  While looking through a fabric store, I randomly came across this red and gray plaid flannel and thought it would be a great Christmas fabric that wasn’t overly cheesy.  Not that there is anything wrong with cheesiness for Christmas.  This article perfectly sums up my feelings on Christmas decorations: “If you’re doing seasonal decor right, it’ll look like a reindeer barfed on your doorstep.”

I found this simple tutorial for sewing a tree skirt.  Though there is not a free pattern like I usually like, a pattern would make things more time consuming here.  Trust me.

Again, I will not reinvent the wheel by copying all the info on this tutorial.  Seemingly Smitten has perfectly detailed instructions with pictures!  If you want this to be your “forever” tree skirt, I suggest substituting the “lining” with another fun fabric.  Then you will have a reversible tree skirt!  My lining was plain green felt, so if I am ever in a somber Christmas mood (gasp!), I can flip it to that boringness.

I did a glittery gold ribbon for the bows to offset the country-ness of the plaid.

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Mr. Tabasco Man gave his approval.

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Posted in DIY

Simple Stain Project

I bought two antique side tables and a desk off of Craigslist to save some money.  Neat pieces that needed some work.

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This is the biggest furniture we can fit in my house.  The narrow side tables are perfect. And the whole inside is storage!  If not for the scratches, I wouldn’t have touched this pretty wood.  The desk, really my sewing table, is too light for my taste.

My experience with messing with furniture is limited to this Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Project I did.  And I didn’t want a house of painted furniture.  So I went on a search for an easy way to stain the wood.  I came across this little tutorial on Artsy Chicks Rule.

It looked super easy.  Rather than having to stain it and then put a gloss on top (the normal procedure, says my google results), it uses Minwax PolyShades Stain & Polyurethane – basically a 2-in-1 stain/gloss.  That means you have to: 1. Lightly sand; 2. Apply stain/gloss; and 3. Repeat as desired.  Pretty simple.

Things needed:

  • Minwax PolyShades Stain & Polyurethane – I chose the color “Bombay Mahogany Satin.” I was very happy with the color.  It just slightly darkened my “darker” piece, and it darkened and reddened (not too much) my light piece.  In other words, the colors will show up differently depending on the wood you start with.  This caused both pieces to look cohesive together, but not matchy matchy.
  • Light sanding paper (around 220 for first sanding before application and around 320 for between coats)
  • Foam, bristle brush, or sock to apply stain

In googling the Minwax stain/polyurethane, most complaints regarded the application.  Mainly that, when using a brush, the finish came off tacky (not like denim on denim), dripping, and uneven and you could see the brush strokes in the stain.  Some random comment suggested to use a sock to apply the stain.  I did that, and it worked perfectly.  Thank you, random internet commentator! In this method, your hand applying the stain does get covered in the stain.  But nail polish remover fixed that quickly.

Really, as stated above, the steps are as easy as this:

1. Make sure your wood is clean, and lightly sand the entire piece.  Brush off debris.

2. Apply your stain.

3. Let dry completely – the can suggests 7 hours.

4.  Lightly sand the piece with your finer paper, brush off debris, and apply more stain as desired.  (Sand between each application.)

Here are my before and afters.  With the side tables, I only applied ONE coat of stain.  I did love the wood to begin with.  But look how all the scratch marks are just gone!

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For the desk, I did three coats.  I probably would have done four, but rain was coming.

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It fits perfectly in our home.

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Not too shabby for a beginner!!!

Posted in DIY