Posts Tagged ‘Kids’
Mamma Mia! Looking for a fun, inexpensive thing to do with your kids on a Friday night? Or even a great party idea to have friends over? How about make-your-own personal pizzas? Been there, done that, you say? Well, don’t just have everyone stand around and put some toppings onto some dough. Instead, turn your kitchen into a pizzeria straight from Little Italy! While visiting Grandma over Thanksgiving weekend, she set up a fun evening for the whole family.
Things she had ready to go:
chef’s hats (I know I don’t have these on hand, so here is a make-your-own version)
felt Italian style mustaches
picnic style vinyl tablecloth
packaged, refrigerated pizza dough
rolling pin (also a necessary part of the costume) :)
small can tomato sauce
traditional Italian music, candles, etc. would also do a lot to make it a fun night
With the kids all decked out in their Italian gear, we sang silly sounding Italian songs (okay, just made them up as went along), talked in Italian accents (my son’s is sounding less and less like Russian the more practice he gets), tossed pizza dough in the air (don’t be afraid to eat dough that landed on the floor…come on, just dust it off! or clean your floor first!), and had a LOT of laughs. The pizza turned out fantastic and the kids gobbled it up like there was no tomorrow. And let me tell you, my kids don’t usually jump on food like this when they usually can get it as a special treat at a fast food place. They BOTH said it was the best pizza they ever had.
That’s what happens when all that love and laughter goes into it!
My sweet baby is now at the age where he is on the floor, rolling around, and playing with toys. I was keeping the toys in a small basket on a shelf (to keep the dog from thinking they were his toys), but the basket is now too small to hold everything. Thus, I decided it was time for a toy box. That and…if you don’t remember to turn some of them off, you get to hear “Row Row Row Your Boat” in the middle of the night when you hurt your toe after accidentally kicking a toy while looking for a pacifier…at 2:36 am. Fun!
This toy box is really simple to make, however, the trick is to take your time. Major tools are an iron and a sewing machine capable of sewing a zig zag.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- Some sort of canvas or fabric covered bin. I found mine at Hobby Lobby in the purse and tote bag section.
- Fabric scrap: Size depends on how much of the bin you want to cover. This piece will be for the backing.
- Fabric scraps: These will be for the letters. I used two fabrics, but you can use whatever suits your fancy.
- Fusible Web: Also called Wonder Under, this stuff really is “wonder”ful. :-)
- Matching thread.
- Sewing machine and iron.
Step 1: Cut out your letters. *Personal piece of advice: Iron your web on the fabric before you cut out the letters.* I was so excited about this one, that I forgot to iron mine on first. After I cut out the letters, I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to make them look as good the second time around so I took little pieces of web and “pieced” them on the backside of the letters. Not ideal, but it worked. But…the best way to do it is to iron on the fusible web and then cut out your letters. I always like to free-hand my letters. They’re never perfect, but I like that.
Step 2: Iron/attach the letters to the “back” piece of fabric.
Step 3: Hem the edges of the backing fabric. Be sure to press the sides under before you actually sew the sides. If there’s anything my Granny taught me in sewing (she’s taught me many things, actually), she says to “Always press your hem first…then the job is already half done.”
Step 4: Applique the letters. I used a simple zig zag stitch, but I did practice on a piece of scrap fabric to make sure my stitch length and width were what I wanted. *Another piece of advice: Line up your needle placement so that the zig zag is ON the edge of the letter. If you can keep the stitch ON the item being appliqued, it will look much cleaner and almost give the item a “puffy” look. I tried to show it in the pictures below.
Step 5: Attach backing fabric to the bin: With your backing fabric edges finished and hemmed, cut out a piece of fusible web to fit the size of the backing fabric. You’ll want to get it as close to the edges as possible as this is what will actually attach it to your fabric bin. Once the web is on the bin, peel the paper off, line it up on your bin, and iron it on. I made sure to give mine a little extra time to ensure it set properly.
Step 6: Fill that sucker up with the toys (or whatever) and enjoy a (somewhat) clean room.
This is the first one of these I’ve made, but I’m hopelessly in love with it. It might be an “organizing” themed Christmas this year…if ya know what I mean…
Gift giving season is in the air…especially in my family! 29 years ago when I was born I did everyone a favor…I came in June. Nice, simple, middle of the year. No huge holidays around. I was good. The rest of my family (with the exception of my daughter who’s birthday is in July) was less considerate when they first showed their faces to the world. Beginning at the end of August, we have 7 birthdays in four months. Ridiculous. I feel like as soon as I get one out of the way, planning for the next commences. Not to mention this is the time I should be working on the billions of Christmas presents that I am trying to knock out. Oh,and now would be a good time to mention that I also decided to make the kids Halloween costumes this year. It really puts a damper on my social life. Really.
This year I am doing my best to make as many homemade gifts as possible. For me, of course, this means I am turning into the crazy old grandma who knits something for everyone. At the ripe young age of 29. Knitted socks, slippers, wash cloths, hats, scarfs, pot holders. Oh yes, you guys had better prepare yourselves. I think I may even knit my BIL a guitar strap or two. Ssh. Don’t tell him!
At the moment I have three projects going…one for myself (like that one will ever get finished!!!) one for my son, and one for – well, I don’t know who it’s for yet. In the evenings after the kids have gone to bed and I have washed the dishes and cleaned the house, and made lunches for the next day and walked the dogs, and folded the laundry I REALLY look forward to picking up my knitting and relaxing with one of my Blockbuster mail deliveries!
This hat was the result of some of that work and I think it is such a cute, stylish hat. I was pretty tired of making the same old beanies every time I made a hat for someone…especially the ladies. I had never heard it called a Tam hat before, but apparently that is the correct name. The one in the pattern, found at Learning My Way Through is definitely easy enough to knit. It is an easily memorized pattern, and after making three of them now, I feel like an old pro! The one I have shown on my beautiful little model here, I adapted by simply reducing the number of stitches I casted on. Just be sure that the number of stitches you CO is in multiples of 8. I think I CO 32 stitches using Lion Brand Homespun for this one. I didn’t really care too much for the Homespun for this hat, but it worked well enough. It just doesn’t look simple and clean, and I am usually pretty OCD when it comes to nice lines. Maybe my mother will post a picture of the one she got for HER birthday! :)
Here is a little sneak peek of the crafty project that I am working on for Week 2 of my Christmas Craft Challenge!
Any guesses what this is going to become when I am finished with all of it?!?!
So week #1 of my Christmas Crafts challenge is coming to an end and I have actually completed a Christmas gift! Hopefully this momentum will keep up!
For this week’s project, I made a few dresses. One of them went straight to my daughter, but the rest are going to be put away. The one my daughter is wearing in this picture is a long dress, but the majority of the other ones are shorter in length. Even though they are summer dresses, they will still be perfect in the winter with a pair of leggings and a sweater.
Too cute, right?!?!
I am not a person who sews regularly, so I try to keep my sewing projects as easy as possible. I know that there are some crafters that make their own shirred fabric, but I am not that ambitious! I bought several cuts of fabric that already had the shirred bodice. Some of the fabrics even come hemmed too! Here are the steps I took to create the dress:
1. First, I pinned the fabric around my daughter to size it. Then I sewed down the edge of the fabric. My daughter has a little curvy figure so I made sure that I did not sew a straight line down the dress.
I had a lot of excess fabric because I wasn’t sure exactly how much to purchase, but I just cut it off when I was finished sewing.
2. If the fabric needed a hem, I hemmed it. Some of the fabrics already had a hem…those are my favorite!
3. For the straps, I sewed two pieces of ribbon on each side. When she wears the dresses, we tie the straps at the shoulders!
It is really that easy!
These instructions will make one standard size pillowcase (approximately 32” x 20”). I have adapted these into EASY instructions from some complicated directions I got for free from a quilt shop in California about 15 years ago. There are almost no limits to the fabrics and colors available. The instructions can be adapted to any size pillow.
- I first made pillowcases when my daughters were headed off to college:
- If your students attend a large school it is fairly easy to find novelty fabric, otherwise use the school colors
- Use stencils to cut out the school/sorority letters out of iron-on patch material; zigzag around to make sure they stay on through repeated washings
- I have also made them to decorate beds
- An inexpensive way for decorator pillows to coordinate with sheets on the bed – pick up a twin size flat to match to use as the fabric
- Use ribbons and buttons to close up the end
- Now I make them for the “grands”
- for holidays
- to decorate their bedrooms (e.g., anything pink, baseball)
- or their hobbies and interests (e.g., Boy Scouts, dance, soccer)
Fabric (44-45” wide) required:
1 yard (44-45” wide) for body of pillowcase
1/3 yard for end of pillowcase
1/8 yard for accent strip
It is up to you to decide whether you want to use something recommended for children’s wear (e.g., flame retardant fabrics). I’ve always used 100% cotton (e.g., quilting-type fabrics, novelty & holiday-print fabrics and flannel). Prewash all fabrics.
Optional: Rickrack and other embellishments
Cutting (or “ripping”) Directions:
From the 1 yard piece, cut one piece 27” x 41”
From 1/3 yard piece, cut one piece 10” x 41”
From 1/8 yard piece, cut one piece 3” x 41”
Press the 3” x 41 accent strip in half lengthwise, right side out, raw edges together (strip will now be 1 ½” x 41”) .
Press the 10” x 41” end piece in half lengthwise, right side out, raw edges together (strip will now be 5” x 41”).
Sandwich the accent (1 ½” wide) strip between the end piece (5” wide) and right side of the bottom long edge of the body fabric with all raw edges together. You can pin them together if you are hesitant about feeding them along, or do like I do and just hold them in place. Make sure that your “body” fabric is going in the desired direction.
Sew a 5/8” wide seam along the bottom edge. Don’t panic if they don’t match up exactly on the other end, just trim accordingly!
Press: 1) seams up; 2) accent piece up; and 3) end piece down.
Top stitch the accent piece to keep it standing up. This is a good time/place to add rickrack or ribbon, if desired. I only add buttons and other embellishments if the pillowcases won’t actually be used for sleeping (who wants a button in their ear?).
Fold the body piece (with attached accent and end piece) in half with right sides together, matching the edges (should be starting to look like a pillowcase at this point!).
Sew a 5/8” seam around the long side and top open edges. You can doublestitch this if you think it will get heavy duty wear.
Clip close to the seam and the corners.
Turn inside out and press.
Taking pictures and all, this one took me about 30 minutes. Usually I make these in “assembly-line” fashion. In no time at all you’ll have a Pile of Pillowcases.
I just had a brilliant idea to make “tooth” pillows – will let you know how those work out (when I get around to them).
Linking up to:
This week I have trapped my kids in the house and made them help me clean it. I have also carted them all around town to go grocery shopping, drop off library books and get the oil changed. This morning, I decided that we needed to do an art project for just the three of us! I dug into the recesses of my brain…the one that holds the former preschool teacher self and came up with Bubble Painting!
What You Need:
- Small trays or bowls
- food coloring or tempera paint
- liquid dishwashing soap
Steps for Bubble Painting:
Mix a dollop (about the size of a quarter) of dishwashing soap, 1/2 cup of water and a few drops of food coloring or tempura paint together in a bowl or tray.
Using the straw, blow into the mixture to create bubbles.
Lay the paper over the top of the bubbles and let them pop onto the paper.
Let dry and then display the artwork!
A few things we learned along the way:
- Definitely remind your kids to blow out the straw, rather than use it to drink the soap!
- The more food coloring, the darker the bubbles will be. We thought we added enough, but when we started painting the color wasn’t really showing up. I think the tempura paint works the best but I didn’t have any and my kids are still a little young so I was worried about them sucking it up the straw!
- We had the most fun trying to pick the bubbles up on the paper. Then we would turn the paper over so we could watch the bubbles pop and see what design it left behind.
Happy bubble painting!
I borrowed this idea from my friend J. She sent Little S a Halloween shirt that was just adorable. It was green and had black ribbon and little Halloween buttons decorating it. I took the idea and made this Christmas shirt. I had plans to get Valentine’s and St. Patrick’s shirts done but at the rate I am going, I should probably skip Easter too and just head straight for summer and Fourth of July! I love that this shirt can be created for any holiday and it washes great!
To create this t-shirt:
- Find any type of shirt (tank top, long sleeved, short sleeved).
- Choose your matching ribbon and buttons. The ribbon can be any size you wish. For this shirt, I chose to make all of the ribbon the same size, 3/8, and I used plain round buttons. For Valentine’s Day, you might choose hearts. For Easter, you might use eggs or little chicks!
- Next, I sewed the ribbon. Instead of folding one big piece of ribbon, I found that it worked best for me if I cut three equal pieces, folded them over, and stitched them together separately.
- Place the bow where you would like on shirt. Sew the button to the middle of the bow while at the same time sewing the entire thing to the shirt.
- Repeat for each bow/button you will place!
My mother enrolled me in a sewing class with a friend when I was in fourth grade. My friend and I still laugh about how awful our jean dresses (hey…it was the late 80s!) turned out and how they were definitely never worn! If I remember correctly, mine was WAY too small. Since then, I would complete a sewing project every year or two and then my sewing machine would sit idle in the box. This past year I have been at home with my kiddies and I have had more time to explore the wonderful world of sewing and am finding it quite enjoyable. I have found a sewing buddy who is just as inexperienced as me and we are fighting our way through project after project in the hopes of several things: 1)enjoying the experience of expressing ourselves through arts and crafts; 2)finally making this the year of the Homemade Christmas; 3)attempting to save a little money by creating our own all while helping to build another wing onto our favorite craft stores!
For my first project post, I want to share my newest favorite creation. I plan on making half a dozen of these! The directions for this fabulous Coloring Caddy, or Crayon Bag as we have been calling it, can be found at one of my favorite sites, The Crafty Cupboard.
This is the first crayon bag that we made. It took about 5.5 hours from the first cut of fabric to the final stitch. I think that the next time around will probably take about 3 hours (don’t forget…we are novices with three kids under the age of 4 running under foot while we sew!).
Aren’t these adorable? There are little pockets to hold about 40 crayons and the tote can hold several thin coloring books, notebooks, or smaller activity books. For this bag, I used a fat quarter set that I found. I loved the way the fabrics were totally different but looked great together.
All of the artists in my life are going to get these for Christmas!