Monday, January 27, 2014

How to Make an Olympic Headband (Tutorial)

{This was a guest post I did for Skip to My Lou two years ago for the summer Olympics}.

Are you excited for the Olympics? I just can't wait! I thought it would be fun to make some headbands for my daughters and I to wear during all the Olympic fun! The rosettes represent the Olympic rings, and here's how I made them...  

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I made two styles- one on a regular headband, and a smaller one on a sports headband.
Aren't they fun? :)

in the 5 colors of the Olympic rings (I bought 1/8 yard of each color, for 37 cents a piece at Hobby Lobby. This is enough fabric to make several headbands)!
--Headbands (choose plastic or elastic style
--Hot glue
--Felt (not pictured)

1. Fold your fabric in thirds, and cut on the folds. This creates 3 rectangles.
2. Snip each rectangle, and rip strips of fabric lenthwise.
3. Once you're ripped all your strips, you'll have a colorful pile of fabric ready to roll!
4. Now its time to create your rosettes. I just twist and glue onto the felt. For the sports headband, I prefer my rosettes to be smaller than the regular headband's rosettes.
5. Make a rosette in each color. I don't worry about tucking my ends under, because once you glue them next to each other, the ends will become hidden. (I could have spaced my rosettes closer together to conserve felt, whoops)!
6. Cut the rosettes out of the felt, and then arrange them on a clean part of the felt. Hot glue in place.
7. Cut around the entire shape. Use a good pair of sewing scissors to get around those corners. Glue to the headband.
8. Cut a small rectangle of felt, and glue it to the back of the headband for extra security.
9. TA DA! Let the games begin!!!

In addition to sporting these headbands, I've also got a lot of fun ideas for a backyard Family Olympics. Follow the links below!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Valentine's Day Printables

I decorated for Valentine's Day early this year! It usually seems that it passes right by with back to back holidays at my house... with Christmas then all 3 of my kid's birthdays within 2 weeks of each other... it's pretty hard to get festive about it with all that going on! So this year, I decided to make some printables that would encourage me to get organized in time, because I love Valentine's Day and didn't want it to pass by this year!

 I hope you can use these free printables to add to your Valentine's Day planning! Before downloading, all I ask is that you become a follower of my blog in some way.

Click the size you want to download.
Be Mine Valentine: 4x65x78x10
Music in My Life: 4x65x78x10
I made three more printables, which are for sale (keep reading for more details). Here's a look at them printed and framed on my little makeshift mantle. (The bunting is not my creation, that's from my friend Ashley, available here on her cute blog).

Here's a small thumbnail preview. They're each available in three sizes (4x6, 5x7, 8x10).

These three printables are available for purchase through an eBook which I had the honor of contributing to along with 21 other talented bloggers and designers. It's a collection of 121 pages of printables, decorations, gifts, games, and lots more. The whole package is on sale for $7.00 (until Feb. 1, 2014). After that date, the normal price is $14.00. 

Here's a glance of everything inside:

Wanna take a closer look at everything?

1. The Dating Divas- "Choose Your Own Valentine Adventure Date Night OUT!" Get ready for an adventure! That's right, we have your Valentine's date already planned out for you. Just print the clever "Choose Your Own Valentine Adventure" booklet, hand it to your honey, and let him decide how the night will go. {If you can't get out for Valentine's Day- no worries! See #20}
2. Paging Supermom- "Heart-on-a-String Lunch Kit" Why not send the kiddos to school with a little extra LOVE in their lunch this Valentine's Day? The Lunch Bag Seal, Sandwich String Charms, and Juice Box Wrap are sure to make it a lunch they'll remember! (I'm thinking the hubby would love it too!)
3. Yellow Bliss Road- "Valentine Monster Bingo" Add some fun to the holiday by playing this cute but simple game with your kids. Bingo set includes 6 different Bingo cards as well as the calling cards. (This would be a FUN one to bring to class parties too!)
4. Whimsicle Design Studio- "Valentine Gift Wrap Set" Your Valentine gift-giving just got a whole lot easier (& cuter!!) This darling set includes 5 gift tags, 3 bows, & 3 wrapping paper sheets! (And hey- you can use most of it even AFTER Valentine's Day too!)
5. My Sister's Suitcase- "Valentine's Dinner for Kids" Let the kids enjoy a special dinner that's just for them! Included in the Dinner Kit: printable Invitation, Coloring Placemat, Straw Flags, Mini Banner, and a Tic Tac Toe game (for a little after-dinner activity).
6. Strawberry Mommycakes- "Babysitter in a Bag" Everything you need to keep the kids entertained while you're out on your HOT V-day date! Includes the cute Bag Label, a Babysitter Information Card, Dragon Treasure Hunt Instructions, AND the darling Puzzle/Clue Treasure Hunt Pieces.

7. Thirty Handmade Days- "You Color My World Valentine's Pack" You won't believe all of the cuteness included in this pack! The Bag Toppers and Sticker Labels are perfect for pairing with a box of crayons as Valentine's for the kids' classmates and friends. The two gift card holder templates are perfect as a cute teacher gift... AND the Valentine's coloring page finishes off the set!
8. The Girl Creative- "4 Valentine's Day Prints" Add some instant V-day decor to your home with these 4 different, GORGEOUS Valentine's Day Prints. You can print and frame all 4 in both 5x7 and 8x10 sizes! (These are so beautiful, I'd leave them up year round!)
9. The Dating Divas- "Dine & Be Mine Bedroom Fun" Surprise your sweetie with this sassy but classy way to spice things up on Valentine's Day! Give him the invitation to a night of romance, then present him with the romantic Menu of Services and his Love Cash. Now what man wouldn't love THAT?! *wink*
10. Somewhat Simple- "Valentine Advent Boxes" Countdown to "LOVE Day" all month long with these 14 ADORABLE Advent Boxes. Fill them up with sweets & treats, activities to do as a family, or anything your heart desires!
11. CdotLove- "Valentines Wall Art" These 3 Valentine's printables are perfect for displaying together or separately. You can trim to 8x10 for framing OR put behind a mat in a larger frame. (I'm thinking it would make for darling bedroom decor!)
12. I'm Topsy Turvy- "Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt" Chose from two different Scavenger Hunts for your spouse OR kids! The Kids' Scavenger Hunt will have them hunting for Valentine's related items, and the String Scavenger Hunt leaves a trail of string with lots of sweet love notes!

13. Petite Party Studio- "Love Checks" These darling love checks from "The Love Bank" make the perfect, meaningful gift for your Valentine. They even come with a cute checkbook cover to put them in!
14. Falala Designs- "Woodland Creatures Valentine Craft" Help your kids create their own Valentines with this simple craft. I can't even get over how CUTE these little critters are. The heart they're holding even opens up to deliver a personal message.
15. Love the Day- "Valentine's Party Printables" If you're hosting a party this Valentines, this pack has everything you'll need! We're talking: Party Flags, Cupcake Wrappers, Drink Labels, AND lots of different Party Tags! (I think I'll throw a mini-family party just so I can use them!)
16. Smitten By- "3 Love Cards" No need to buy Valentine's cards this year, this printable pack has everything you need. Including: A DIY Scratch-off Card (with instructions), an "I Love You" card, and an "I love you because..." card! Good luck choosing just one.
17. Tatertots and Jello- "Valentine's Dinner Printables" This printable pack is jammed packed with goodies for a memorable Valentine's Dinner. Included: Cupcake Toppers, Banner, Plate Toppers or Silverware Holders, Place Cards, Straw Toppers, and even 2 5x7 prints!
18. 733 Blog- "Love Coupons" Give your honey some love coupons this Valentine's Day! It's a fun gift that keeps on giving. And who wouldn't love some spoiling and pampering from their sweetie? It even has a page of blank coupons so you can personalize it with your own ideas!

19. The Crafting Chicks- "Kid Valentines" Sing it with me.... "What does my {heart} say? Ha Ha Ha Ha HaHa Happy Valentines!" These cute and clever Valentines are perfect for the kiddos to give their classmates and friends. 6 fit on a sheet and they even come in 3 different colors: red, green, and pink!
20. The 36th Avenue- "Party of 2 At-Home Date Night" Can't get out for Valentine's Day? This printable pack has absolutely everything you need for a romantic night in- no babysitter required! Including: Invitation, Menu, Napkin Rings, Coasters, Food Toppers, Small Banner, Bottle Wrapper, AND Valentine Print.
21. Family Ever After- "3 Valentine's Prints" Still need more festive decor to get your house decked out for V-day? We've totally got you covered. Print and frame all 3 of these cute Valentine's prints, available in 4x6, 5x7, AND 8x10 sizes.
22. Kristen Duke- "Our Love Story" And last, but definitely not least- check out this cute printable Love Story Journal. With places to write down "His Version" and "Her Version" this is a keepsake you'll want to keep forever!

Have a great Valentine's Day everyone!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sewing Goals for 2014 + Finished Projects from 2013

I just got done reading through Jeni Baker's sewing goals for this year, and she inspired me to publish mine as well. Writing down my goals is the easy part-- its the sticking to it that I struggle with! So hopefully by putting them up on the internet, I'll find motivation to start hacking away at my huge list. I already know I won't finish all of these (whilst trying to stick with a few other non-sewing goals, and being a mom to 3 little kids + 1 on the way... I almost never start sewing until 9pm, which makes me super slow), but it will be fun to see how far I actually get! I'm notorious for starting a sewing project and never finishing. I enjoy sewing so much, so it might seem funny that I have a hard time actually finishing. It's something I want to make progress on. Also, I'm hoping not to be so much of a stranger on my blog this year!

If you have a list of sewing goals, I'd love to see it! Leave a link in the comments!

Here are a few snaps of my "works in progress:"

Quilting Goals: 
finish pickledish quilt (aka: double wedding ring)
finish woven hashtag quilt
finish ruffle quilt
flying geese

dance duffle bags (updated, for my little girls)
weekender bag
finish quilted super tote

nursing shawl
carseat cover

finish bird jacket
staple dress in bungalow voile
washi dress with anchors chambray
bess top with field study rayon
dress slip
oliver + s fairy tale dresses
skirts with ft. firefly

deer reverse applique (hoping to learn this from Mary- check hers out)!
finish curves pillow

Sewing Room:
iron board cover
sewing machine cover
serger cover
silhouette cover

mini dresden mug rug
yoga mat straps
pin cushions
chalk cloth table runner
laminate table cloth
finish mini ipad case
bike baskets for my kids
christmas advent
tooth fairy pillows
small projects to teach daughters
   (frog, hair accessories, doll quilts)

So.... wish me luck! :) And good luck to you with your goals!
Here's a look at 2013 and the sewing projects that I completed: 
(it really wasn't that many... don't know where all the time went... I think it had to do with the fact that we traveled so much last year-- husband was interviewing for jobs, and we got to visit our families lots-- Texas, Florida, North Carolina, Utah 3 times, and South Dakota 3 times... it felt like we were living out of a suitcase half the year)!

Mini Chalkboard Buntings

Caroline's "Sew a Skirt"

Doll Pillow with my daughter

And a few other things like Halloween costumes, a shirt and a few refashions, handmade gifts, that never made it to the blog (but they probably are on my instagram).

Oh, and I finally moved my sad little sewing space-- I had been sewing on a camping table in the kitchen and digging for fabric and notions in my dark basement. I finally got smart and swapped out our rarely used desktop computer for my sewing machine, and moved all our books and replaced them with my fabric and supplies. You check out the difference so far in this post (still trying to spruce up my space a little). It's made such a difference!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Mini Chalkboard Bunting Tutorial

Happy New Year everyone!!

I'm here with a really easy handmade gift idea. I made these for my sisters for Christmas, and I love sewing them! They make the perfect house warming gift, going away present, baby shower gift, thank you gift, or just a simple gift for a dear friend, with just the right amount of handmade effort. Chalkboard fabric (or chalk cloth), is what makes this bunting unique. There are all sorts of fun, happy, welcoming phrases that can be written (more on that later). These take less than an hour to make. Let's get started!

Template- You can download my free template HERE. It's 4.5 inches from top to bottom.
Chalk Cloth- I got mine from Sisters and Quilters. You need a fat quarter.
Bias Tape- I either make my own, or find unique tapes on etsy. It needs to be double folded, and you need about 3 yards.
Felt- This is a great way to stabilize your triangles. 2 sheets of felt is exactly enough.
Oil cloth (optional)- If you want to make your bunting 2 sided, you can cut triangles to be sewn to the back of the chalk cloth instead of the felt.
Thread- matching or contrasting (your choice)
Rotary cutter, ruler, cutting mat, sewing machine

1. Cure your chalk cloth, by rubbing a piece of chalk all over it, or embedding chalk dust in a piece of scrap fabric, and rubbing that into your chalk cloth. Delia explains this really well in a tutorial she did for a similar, larger scale bunting. (You'll love her pictures).

2. Determine how many triangles you want to cut. I like the idea of making 14, which gives a set of 5 and a set of 9.

3. Cut strips of chalk cloth to be 4.5 inches tall x the width of your cloth.

4. Cut your chalk cloth into triangles using the template as a guide. You can cut through 2 layers at a time if you have a sharp rotary blade. Flip the template over so you cut like so.

5. Cut your felt or oil cloth into triangles using the template as a guide. Make these just ever so slightly smaller than the front triangles of the buting. I can get 10 triangles out of one sheet of felt (as pictured).

6. Sew chalk cloth triangles to felt. I don't sew across the top, or backstitch, since the top edge of the pennants will be enclosed in the bias tape. When sewing, I start on the right edge of the triangle, following the inside of my presser foot as a guide. Once I get to the tip, I pivot and sew the other side. It's helpful to keep your machine in the "needle down" position. Be sure that the felt was sewn securely to the front. Trim threads and excess felt (if necessary).



Also, at this point, if you want to make your triangles more quirky, you can use pinking shears or other fun scissors to cut the edges.

7. Get out your bias tape. I use about 1 yard for the set of five triangles, and 2 yards for the set of nine triangles.

Open the bias tape to insert the pennants.

Line up the triangles how you'd like. You can pin them in place, but I love to use wonder clips. I space the triangles about 1/4" apart. I also like to leave about 7 inches of bias tape hanging off the ends before adding in the triangles.

8. To begin sewing, I fold the raw edge of the bias tape over twice, sew that down and backstitch, then pivot my needle and start sewing the bias tape shut. I follow the inside edge of my presser foot.

I like my stitches to be right at the edge of the bias tape. Again, I like to sew with my needle in the down position, so if the bias tape starts to bunch up, I pause from sewing and lift my presser foot and adjust everything.

That's it!
I like making two buntings, one with five pennants and one with nine. This is perfect for many cute, useful phrases like.... "Merry Christmas, Happy Halloween, Lemonade Stand, Favorites Party, Happy Birthday!, Thank you _____"

I found this Bistro chalk pen online, which I love because it doesn't smudge, but it wipes right off. You can also use regular chalk.

You can find this markers on Amazon for a couple dollars:

Happy bunting making!