Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

DIY Valentine's Day Treasure Hunt

Last year to make the boys Valentine's day a little more exciting my husband and I worked together to give them a treasure hunt. There were three small presents (one of which was edible play dough which was a huge hit), and they had to follow clues to each one.

My husband because he is awesome with writing poetry and just words and rhythm and rhyme in general, made the clues each a short poem.

The whole process of reading poetry, deciphering clues, running and searching all over,\and unwrapping each thing made the actually tiny gifts much more exciting.

Friday, February 7, 2014

DIY Human Love Letter Valentines

Last year we made a really fun digital Valentine, turning our cute little boys into human love letters. We had our boys lay down on the floor on a play mat and had them become letters and a heart. We got them to formed the  letters I {heart} U. XO

My fabulous husband then put together all of the images on a repeating play mat background he created to spell out. I {heart} U. XOXO

He used Gimp (a free open source program) and cut out all of them really carefully and I thought the results were really great.

You could use a different photo editing program of course or just put a series of photos together without cutting the figure out digitally.

Whatever way you make your human love letters the recipients are sure to love this unique Valentine.



Cute boys.

I {heart} U. XOXO

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

DIY Sweater Sleeve Snowman

These cute sweater sleeve snowmen are a quick and easy winter craft project. This project similar to the sleeve pumpkin I made, is a great way to upcycle a old clothing into cute decorations.

This is a fun project to involve kids in. Younger kids can help draw on the snowman's face or stuff it, and the sewing part is easy enough that a child old enough to be trusted with a needle can do it themselves.

Sew Easy Sweater Sleeve Snowman

  • White sweater sleeves
  • Needle and thread
  • Something to use for stuffing
  • Permanent or fabric marker to draw on face and buttons (or you could use tiny real buttons and sew them on)
  • Fabric scraps to cut for scarves
  1. Cut out the sleeve or sew a long tube of white knit fabric.
  2. Gather the bottom of the tube, and stitch closed tightly.
  3. Stuff the bottom ball of the snowman.
  4. Gather the section of the tube directly above the stuffing, and stitch closed tightly.
  5. Repeat until you have the desired number of balls and are at the top of the tube.
  6. Gather the top of the tube, and stitch closed tightly.
  7. Draw on the snowman's face or sew on buttons.
  8. Cut a strip of fabric for a scarf, cut the ends to resemble tassels and tie onto the snowman. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

DIY Indoor Snowball Fight Gift

One of my boys' favorite gifts we gave them last year, was the gift of an indoor snowball fight. We live in an area that doesn't really get any snow, so that made is even more special, but I think all kids would like this gift. This could also make a good rainy day activity for January.

I wrapped up mittens and "snowballs" for each of my two older sons and labeled them indoor snowball fight. We had them open the gifts at the same time, and then off they ran chasing each other and throwing their soft fleece balls.

The quickest, easiest way to make this gift would be to pick up some mittens or gloves and white socks (roll them up in balls) for each child. If you want to hand make this gift there are lots of great mitten patterns for free or sale on the internet. Or you can even just trace around the child's hand with enough margin for seam allowance.

You can quickly sew up soft fleece balls by cutting 4 ovals the same size. You want elongated ovals, not to round or you will end up with funny pumpkin shaped snowballs like some of mine were. Although in the end my kids did really like that, because they could stack them up and build "snowmen: as well (like in the top picture), so it is your call. Sew them together right sides together halfway around the oval top to bottom (the long side of the oval). Continue sewing ovals together until you have all four sewn together with only a small opening to turn and stuff. After you turn and stuff the fleece ball whip stitch or invisible stitch it closed, very securely since these are going to be thrown all over.

Either way kids will have a great time with this simple gift and get useful mittens (and perhaps socks) out of it as well. It might just be the most fun way to package mittens and socks for gift giving. :)

I think this would be a great gift if you needed to give something to all of the children in the extended family, unless the gift exchange takes place at Grandma's house in the living room full of crystal. Only Grandpa can bounce a tennis ball off the wall in that room and not get yelled at.

Friday, November 29, 2013

DIY Family Times Newspaper Keepsake Gift

The day after Thanksgiving is the perfect times to start making a Family Times newspaper (that is if you haven't already) to give as as Christmas gift. The stories and perhaps antics that happened on Thanksgiving are fresh in your mind and perhaps you talked about many other events of the year yesterday as well.

My husband and I have been making Family Times newspapers for several years now. It started as a present he and his sibling gave to their parents one year, but a few years later after we married we picked the idea up again and made it as a couple. My brother now helps us write a version for my side of the family as well.

Basically we try to give little snippets of what is happening in the lives of everyone in the family that year. And we try to interject some humor as well.

Now we try to record good ideas for "news stories" throughout the year so we don't forget, but I also try to consult with siblings close to the end of the year to see if they have anything new going on with them or something we missed along the way.

We use a simple free office program (Open Office) to format it and convert it to a PDF for easy digital sharing. And so it won't explode after we get it just how we want it, as it has been known to do on occasion.

This is a gift that is basically free to make, except it does require a good deal of time. But it is so much fun to look back on all of the years editions that we have, that it makes it totally worth it. And I think our families like it at least a little bit too.

Friday, November 8, 2013

DIY Scrappy Christmas Tree

Our first Christmas after moving halfway around the world two years ago, I made this little scrappy Christmas tree. We think it is cute and it has served us well.

I know it is probably not everyone's choice for a living room tree, nothing is quite like a real tree after all. But if you had an area that you wanted to include a special little tree, this might make a nice addition to your holiday decor. If you had your own sewing or craft room this would be especially adorable in there. Or for a child who really would like their own Christmas tree in their room.

To make it I used the same methods as I did to make these three pumpkins to make each section of the tree. I used all different material from various old clothing I upcycled. This varied the texture of the tree a lot, but you could use all one kind of material in different colors or prints, or even the same material for the entire tree if you wanted.

Once I made six sections in progressively smaller sizes, I whip-stitched them together in between the sections so you wouldn't see the stitching.

I sewed buttons all over so that we could hang ornaments on the tree. And I sewed a fabric star in top to finish it off. I sat in on a painted ice cream container for a trunk (you could totally use a cute hatbox)
, and let my boys hang ornaments on it.

I gave them hot chocolate and cookies as we decorated the tree as well. Because my mom always did and some family Christmas traditions should be continued, even if you are thousands of miles away from your passport country and your Christmas tree is a bit different.

 Looking for Christmas ornaments you can make yourself?

DIY Beaded Ornaments

Friday, October 25, 2013

DIY Snowman Soup (Marshmallow Snowmen and Hot Chocolate Mix Recipe)

As the weather gets cooler, hot chocolate sounds more and more inviting. Making snowman soup is a great activity to perk up little kids on a dreary day. This would make a great snack for preschoolers (as long as the hot chocolate wasn't too hot of course).

Setting out marshmallow snowmen and hot chocolate at a party is also fun. And packaging up a few snowmen, hot cocoa mix, and a few chocolate spoons would make a great holiday gift.

Marshmallow Snowmen

  • Marshmallow in three progressively smaller sizes (I used homemade)
  • Orange sprinkles for noses
  • Chocolate sprinkles for eyes
  1. Push two chocolate sprinkles into the smallest marshmallow for eyes and one orange sprinkle for the nose.
  2. Stack up marshmallows like you are building a snowman.
  3. Wrap individually in plastic wrap or cellophane bags if giving as a gift or add straight to your hot cocoa to make snowman soup.

 Fresh Hot Chocolate by the Cup

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1-2 Tbsp sugar
  • Dash of vanilla and/or salt if desired
  1. Heat milk in microwave or small saucepan, until just bubbling around the edges (not a rolling boil).
  2. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients, adjusting to personal taste.
  3. Add a marshmallow snowman to make snowman soup or top with whipped cream if desired.

Basic Hot Cocoa Mix Recipe

  • 1 cup dry milk powder
  • 1 cup powdered coffee creamer (can used flavored to make flavored hot cocoa or even just another cup of dry milk powder)
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  1. Blend powdered milk in the blender to make it dissolve more easily and look less chunky.
  2. Either blend all other ingredients as well to mix, or layer in a jay to create a sand art type effect for gift giving.
  3. Store in airtight container.
  4. To serve boil one cup of water and mix in 2-4 Tbsp hot cocoa mix.
  5. Add a marshmallow snowman to make snowman soup or top with whipped cream if desired.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

DIY Corn Husk Bouquet

This idea is so simple, but I really like how it turned out. I had my husband and sons go out to gather some leaves and things for fall decorating and craft projects.  When I saw these I thought they would fit perfectly into my glass vase. I love the touch of fall that it add to our kitchen.

The corn husk bouquet adds a lot of vertical interest and I think it complements our scrappy fabric pumpkins nicely.

And you can't beat the price at free.

Want to learn how to make the pumpkins?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

DIY Upcycled Blue Jean Kitchen Towels

Perhaps in going through your fall clothes you have found some jeans you no longer want to keep. Instead of donating  or tossing them, perhaps you can re-purpose the sturdy denim fabric into something else useful.

There are so many great uses for old blue jeans, and these upcycled blue jean kitchen towels are one of them. Sturdy and absorbent these are been great for both hand towels and dish towels.

I think these could even make great gift for a college student or young working adult starting out on their own for the first time!

DIY Upcycled Blue Jean Kitchen Towels

  • Old blue jeans or other denim clothing (I used a bunch of different blue jeans in a variety of weights and sizes for these towels. I also like the look of the flat felled sea
    ms, so is doesn't bother me at all to have them in the middle of my towels, but if you didn't want seams you could reuse denim skirts or something else with more seam-free material.)
  • Coordinating thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine, preferably with a sturdy jean needle
  1. Cut the denim into a square or rectangle in the size you desire, adding 1 inch around the entire perimeter for the hem allowance. I basically used the entire width of whatever jean legs I had and made rectangles. I had smaller size jean legs that I made smaller (and closer to a square like shape) towels for drying our hands, and larger jean legs that I made large rectangular dish towels out of. I also chose to use lighter weight denim for the dish towels and heavier weight denim for the hand towels, and I'm happy with all of these choices, but of course choose what is best for you out of what you have to work with. Cut a 4 by 6 inch piece to use for a loop for hanging the towel.
  2. Fold the edges of the 4 by 6 inch piece in 1 inch and then in half to make a 1 by 6 inch strip with finished long sides. You can iron the strip before you sew if you like. I don't in part because I don't have an iron, and mostly because I hate ironing.
  3. Now you want to sew a double rolled seam around the perimeter of your towel, inserting each of the ends of the strip a couple inches from the edge of one corner. You may want to clip small squares out of the corners and some of the seam allowance out of the flat felled seams where you will be sewing over them to reduce the bulk and make it easier for your machine to sew over them. Just make sure not to clip to far and end up with a fraying hem. Again you can iron ahead of time if you like.
  4. After you round the last corner and back tack, simply clip any loose threads and your ready to enjoy your towels!
Such a quick, easy, and useful project.

I'm loving having a whole new set of coordinating kitchen towels that go great in our blue and white kitchen. :)


Friday, October 4, 2013

DIY Upcycled Ruffle Seam Sweater Blanket

As we head into fall and you start getting out your sweaters, perhaps you find some extras (like I did last spring), that are still in good shape, but just don't fit right or you don't need anymore. This Ruffle Seam Sweater Blanket is a great way to upcycle them into something really useful. It is a quick and easy project that you can do with a standard sewing machine as long as it has a zigzag stich.
The colors of the sweaters can be chosen to match your home decor, especially for a certain holiday, or just happy favorite colors of that cute kid who likes to cuddle under blankets in the winter. I made this blanket last spring and it has held up remarkably well through lots of use and washing.

 DIY Upcycled Ruffle Seam Sweater Blanket

  • 4-8 discarded sweaters
  • Coordinating thread
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  1. Cut the body of the the sweaters into uniform size squares or rectangles based on your desired final size and shape. Decide if you want to use long strips or small squares from the sleeves as well (or you can save them for sweater butt pants or another project). I used the body of about five sweaters, but the arms of two and a half.
  2. Pin pieces together right sides out and sew edge securely and heavily using a zigzag stitch, stretching the fabric as you go. Stretching while zigzagging the knit will create the ruffled effect of the seam and keep it nice and secure through lots of use.
  3. Continue sewing pieces together with right sides out until the entire blanket is assembled.
  4. Sew around the entire edge of the blanket in the same way, using a heavy zigzag stitch and streching as you go.
  5. Cuddle up and enjoy the warmth of your favorite sweater in blanket form!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

DIY Upcycled Birthday Reusable Streamers (Long Festive Garlands)

For Aaron's 5th birthday I made checker board inspired garlands to use for streamers. I made similar streamers for the Candyland inspired party we threw when my husband's parents came. Both sets of streamers added a festive air to our dining room.

I love how excited my kids get about streamers and balloons and declare it a birthday or holiday as soon as they see them. And unlike paper streamers these are easy to save and reuse in the future.

It would be easy to make red, white, and blue for any upcoming 4th of July celebrations, or customize these for any theme you wanted.

Since I used old felted wool coats that were just going to be thrown away, these decorations were free and gave a second life to someone else's discards. They are made very similarly to the Valentine's heart garland that I made in January. There are more pictures of the process in that post.

Homemade Upcycled Reusable Streamers

  • Assorted fabrics that won't fray easily (I have used felted wool and fleece)
  • Sewing machine (although you could do this by hand with a needle, it would just take longer)
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  1. First I cut out a bunch of shapes free hand. The shapes and sizes vary slightly, but I kind of like it that way. I did make the same number of each fabric.
  2. Then I arranged them in the order I wanted to sew them in a big stack. I choose to make a repeating pattern since the shapes and sizes vary some.
  3. Then I sewed  them together using a straight stitch on the sewing machine. I started sewing the shape on the top of pile and then just lined the next one up right behind. For pointed shapes to feed into the machine smoothly, it seemed to work best to sew them point first and over lap them slightly with the next shape just under the one being sewn.
Hang them up and throw a party!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...