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

Feb 10, 2013

DIY Labels for Sewing Projects

Keeping true to my current sewing themed posts, I wanted to share with you how I make my homemade sewing labels.  I found a similar idea one day while browsing pinterest, and knew I had to try it.  The original idea came from Tutorial Ideas.  I took her tutorial and modified it a little to my liking and needs.

So since I've been doing a lot of sewing lately, I thought that a cute little homemade label would be a nice final touch to my projects. 

So what you need:
Iron on transfer paper
1.5 in wide white ribbon
your label template
an iron!

Step 1:  Create your label in the program of your choice.  I used Word Publisher, but I'm sure Microsoft Word would also work.  I'm not sure what the Mac equivalent would be, but I know there is one.  To create my label, I played around with different fonts, colors, symbols, etc.  When I found the combo I liked, I "grouped" my design together.  (You can do this by ctrl selecting everything, then right clicking and hitting the "group" button)  This just allows you to copy all the pieces of your label at once.

Once you have everything grouped together, go ahead and copy your label.  Then add copies of your label side by side until you have one row of labels.  Microsoft Publisher helps you with this by making sure you align your pieces evenly, so if your program has it, use the pink/red guidelines.  Once you have an entire row, select all of the labels again and "group" the whole row.  Then copy and paste the rows down the page until you have something that looks like this.


One thing you want to be mindful of.... Make sure that your labels aren't any larger than 1.5 inches or they won't fit onto your ribbon. 

Step 2:  Grab your handy dandy t shirt transfer paper.  Make sure your read the instructions on properly loading the paper into the printer.  And before you click print, in the printer settings/properties under paper type, click T-shirt transfer paper.  This will automatically mirror your labels for you.  (I'd print out a test sheet just to be safe)

Step 3:  Now that you have your BEautiful labels, cut em out!

Step 4:  Grab that ribbon and align your labels 2-4 at time along the ribbon for ironing.  (Tip:  Make sure you leave a small edge on top and bottom of label to fold over while sewing.

Step 5:  Iron those puppies on!  I believe I ironed for 15-30 seconds.  I also didn't just leave my iron in one place.  I moved and pressed at different angles.  

Step 6:  AFTER, the ribbon and label have COOLED, remove the backing.  If you remove it while it's still warm, the font will pull up away from the ribbon.  

Step 7:  Admire and SEW to your product!!!  

I use a straight stitch to sew my labels and I fold over the tabs as I go to make sure the edges are finished. 

Hope this tutorial helps you all out!  Let me know how your labels turn out! 

DISCLAIMER:  These are not "heavy" duty labels.  I'm not sure how many washes they will hold up to being that they are transfer/iron on.  If you would like heavier duty labels, you may have to find a different method!

Feb 8, 2013

DIY "Taggie Blanket" Tutorial

In my previous post, I mentioned that I like to sew 'baby' things.  So I thought it appropriate to share with you one of my baby sewing projects that I really enjoy doing...."taggie" blankets.  I say "taggie" in quotations because I believe the actual brand is trademarked and making your own blankets to sell would be an infringement of their patent.  So be warned, if you make your own "taggie", you are technically not allowed to sell it. 

Ok moving forward.  I work with alot of young women.  Young, married, women who are all pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or are just getting over being pregnant.  You think I'm joking?  Right now, there are nine women I work with their very own buns in the oven.  So that means alot of baby gifts.  And true to my style, I like to do 'em homemade.  In my opinion, nothing is quite as sweet as receiving a homemade item from the heart for your unborn child.  So we're off to it!

Taggie Blanket Materials: 
Flannel fabric
Minky fabric
Ribbon (3-4 colors of choice)
I bought 1yd of both flannel and minky fabric...this will yield you at least two taggie blankets.

Step 1:  Cut fabric
I cut my flannel fabric 18" wide by 21" long.  I prefer a more rectangular shape to my blanket, but if you like squares, feel free to modify.

After your flannel is cut, use it as a guide to cut your minky fabric.  I used a yard stick and pen to outline the edges.
Step 2:  Cut your ribbon into 5" strips

Step 3:  Loop and pin ribbon to the PRINTED side of your flannel fabric.

Step 4: Lay minky fabric with SOFT side facing down against your flannel.  Then pin edges of fabric together.

Step 5:  Sew your fabric.  I used a zig zag stitch.  Make sure you leave a small opening on one side of the blanket so that you can flip your fabric right side out.

Step 6: Cut the corners of your blanket.  It makes for a nicer corner when you flip the blanket right side out.
Step 7:  Flip your blanket right side out! Almost done =)
Step 8: Sew a zig zag stitch around the border to finish the look of the blanket!
And you are all done!!
I add a little label to my homemade items.  I plan on doing a little tutorial for that later, so check back.
 Let me know how you did with this tutorial and how your "taggie" blanket turns out!

Feb 6, 2013

DIY Monster Onesie

So I like to sew but am by no means an expert.  I sew burp cloths, blankets, little get the picture.  I get by and have learned pretty much everything I know by teaching myself and the trial and error method.  It is also important to note that I have a love/hate relationship with the sewing machine.  Often times we find ourselves head to head, me yelling at it,  and it sitting there mocking me by refusing to work.  My complaint is if it's not one thing causing me undue stress, it's another.  For example, the bobbin runs out in the middle of a stitch, or the needle randomly unthreads itself, or the machine skips a stitch, or the pressor foot falls off,  or the needle breaks, and of course, there's my all time favorite, the thread decides  to jam...  Anyway, you name it and it's probably happened to me.  

This particular project, all of the above misfortunes transpired.   Needless to say, there was screaming, there was shouting, and there was profanity.  Good thing Noah doesn't repeat what we say yet.  Hopefully by the time that age comes around, the sewing machine and I will be on friendly speaking terms. 

Anyway, because Noah grows like a weed, we are now entering the 9 month clothes stage.  While sorting through his drawers the other day, I came across a 4pk of Carter's long sleeved white onesies.  Dan happened to be in the room at the time, and when I showed him the onesies excitedly, he judged them "plain and boring".  Hmm, the familar voice again, "you can do something with these!"  So later that night, I browsed my ipad for some ideas.  I came across the really cute blog The Homes I have Made and was inspired by her monster onesie.  I really liked the picture she used as her inspiration from etsy, (Monster), and decided I'd use that as my inspiration.  So I rummaged through my scrap fabric and came up with some blue and yellow pieces.  Then I found some off white canvas for the eyes and black felt for the eyeballs.  I pretty much free-handed the cutting of the various shapes using the onesie as a size reference.  The "winging it" portion turned out pretty well, and I did take pictures of the shapes for you, but my camera decided to format it's memory card without my permission and alas, they are all gone.

But anyway, I've never appliqued anything before, so there were quite a few challenges I uncovered.  Numero uno, finding the right stitch to use on the machine.  I needed one that would prevent the edges from fraying.  After looking online, it appeared that the "blanket stitch" was recommended.  However, my machine didn't have that, so I opted instead for a zig-zag stitch and adjusted the size and spacing of the zigzag.  The next challenge was not sewing the front of the onesie to the back of the onesie all while keeping the pieces of fabric in place.  This was by far the biggest challenge.  There was a lot of sewing and reripping of stitches until everything was semi straight and organized.  The last challenge was hiding all of the back (reverse stitching) I did to secure the thread. 

So my take on the whole thing.  I guess I am overall pleased with it.  There was alot of start/stopping which shows in the stitched pattern, so in hindsight I wish I would have used a lighter colored thread.  I think the black makes it look a litle sloppy, but it's not bad for my first experience with appliquing. Maybe I'll try to redeem myself with another attempt sometime soon, but for now, behold Noah's truly scary monster onesie ;-)

And the cute model himself!

What projects have you all been working on lately?!

Feb 4, 2013

Mommy "Lesson" Plans

Like I've mentioned to you all, my hubby and I decided after Noah was born that I would return to work part-time.  (I plan on writing a post later to detail all of the thoughts that went into that decision making process, so stay tuned) Anyway, since I work as a nurse, "part-time" for me consists of two 12 hour night shifts per week.  This entails me leaving for work around 6:00pm and getting home around 8:10 the next morning.  I am fortunate enough to have my mother in law nearby to watch Noah one day a week so that I can sleep in between my night shifts, but all of the other days I have him to myself =).  Although finding time to sleep can be a challenge, we are making it work!
I know that alot of moms use daycare.  In fact, I was in daycare (part-time) as a child!  So I have nothing against putting my child there.  Quite the contrary, I was nervous that by not putting Noah in daycare he might miss out on all the cool, neat lesson plans they have for their children everyday!  Let's face it, daycares have really come along way since you and I were little....they really are more like "baby schools"! 

So my type A personality kicked in and I decided that if I was going to be (essentially) a stay at a home mom, I would need to do my part in keeping Noah up to the standards of his peers.  Like alot of us busy young moms, I like lists and organization.  So I took to Microsoft Publisher again and made what I think is a nifty little grid for planning out Noah's week.   Take a gander...

After making my little chart, I filled it in with details and ideas that I found from, and other related baby info sites.  Now please remember, I am NOT a teacher, but I do believe that as Noah's mom I "teach" him everyday.  This little guide will help me structure out some fun activities for us and remind me what stage of development Noah is working on =) 

Here is my filled out chart...

So there you have it.  For all of you other stay at home moms out there, browsing the Internet does turn up some really useful mommy information.  Here are some of the subject areas I found for infants:

Sign Language

And learning areas...
Fine Motor Skills
Gross Motor Skills

Initially I was trying to find a way to incorporate all of these areas into one schedule chart, but it was becoming just too confusing.  I like the simplicity of the chart above.  But I will be mindful to try and include all of these areas in Noah's daily activities week to week.  Hope you enjoyed and let me know if you found this helpful!

Feb 3, 2013

DIY Nursery w/ Homemade Decor: Part 2 DIY Yarn Letters

Have you all seen those alphabet letters or name decals that a lot of cute nurseries have hanging on the wall?  Usually they are found somewhere above or around the crib...well when i was decorating Noah's nursey, I decided I needed wanted them. So I set out in a hot pursuit of four wooden block letters. First place on the tour was Michaels of course!  Fast forward to me standing in Michaels looking at their wooden block letters while mentally tallying up the price of Noah's name at a steep $5-6  per wooden letter block.  And that price wasn't even for the large sized blocks.  Now 'Noah' is a short name, so the letters would have only set me back $25-30, but that even seemed like more than I wanted to spend on this particular decoration. Additionally, they were unfinished and would need a coat of paint or something to help them out.  So that was a quick elimination for me. Next I thought I'd check out Joann fabrics, which actually turned out to be a little more espensive than Michaels. Humph I thought, what now?

Then the familiar little voice I often have came creeping into my head..."pshhh you can make these". My conscious mind wasn't as confident, but  I was up for the challenge.   So I came up with a home-made alternative that involved some cardboard, ribbon, yarn, hot glue gun, and a lot of patience.  Since I originally posted this project Here the same idea has popped up on Pinterest and other crafty homemade blogs. Seems like crafty minds think alike!  So here's what happened.
DIY Yarn Letters:

Yarn, a color of your choice
Scissors or Exacto Knife
Hot Glue Gun

Step 1: 
I took my cardboard and free handed large block letters for N-O-A-H.  Then I used an exacto knife to cut my letters out through the cardboard.
(Tip- Keep your letter edges as straight and smooth as possible.  It makes for easier yarn application)

Step 2:
Glue one end of your yarn on the back edge of your first letter.  When the yarn and glue are set, you can begin wrapping your letter, laying each strand of yarn tightly next to the other.  Be careful not to wind too tightly or your cardboard letter may bow. 
(Tip:  Be creative wit your yarn if you need to.  It's ok to overlap sections and wrap multiple times to make sure that your cardboard is covered)

Step 3: 
I had some green ribbon lying around, so I doubled my ribbon and glued it to the back of my letters for easy hanging. 

And there you have it.  DIY Yarn Letters for baby.  If I did this project again in the future, I think it may be neat to use multiple colors of yarn.  The fun part is, this project is so easy and inexpensive, and it adds a great custom/*homemade* touch to your nursery.  I like it...and I hope Noah will like reaching up and touching his soft letters too...he's definitely getting close to that stage!  =)

So....the breakdown
Total cost of this project.
$2.99  (for the yarn)

Jan 31, 2013

DIY Nursery w/ Homemade Decor: Part 1 DIY Crayon Wall Art

With Noah being my first baby, I had plenty of time on my hands to be creative and crafty in his nursery.  Nine long months to be exact.  I spent hours looking through nursery ideas online, browsing pinterest for inspiration, and crafting with my own twist on things. 

The end result was this.  A green, monkey themed nursery, with touches of "mommy" hidden about the room. 

Perhaps the nicest compliment I've ever been given was by our newborn photographer when she came to take Noah's photos.  "This nursery looks like it belongs in a magazine!"  'Holy Geez', I thought, 'Well butter my buns and call me a biscuit, I've outdone myself!'  Don't worry, I didn't let it go to my head, but I was very flattered indeed and excited that someone else appreciated my craftiness.  So I thought I'd share the ideas I found/modified/came up with so that you have inspiration for your very own DIY/homemade nursery too!

DIY Craft #1: Crayon Art

Box of crayons (I got mine at Michael's for $1)
Blank canvas (also purchased at Michael's for around $5)
Hot glue gun

Step 1:  Line up your crayons in rainbow order

Step 2:  Hot glue your crayons to your canvas

Step 3:  Blow dry your crayons until they begin to melt.  You can direct the trickle of wax down the canvas with your blow dryer as well.
(Tip:  Hot wax can fly off of your canvas, so make sure you have the area around you covered by newspaper or some other protective barrier)

And there you are!  For under $10, you have your very own colorful piece of artwork.  Infants love bright colors and it's also a great way for toddlers to learn about the colors of the rainbow.

Let me know how yours turn out!

Check back later for Part 2 of the DIY nursery series, featuring my step by step instructions on make your own alphabet letters!

Simplify your Grocery Shopping

I used to love grocery shopping... and then I had a baby.  Now it gives me anxiety.  Why?...Because who knows when sweet little Noah will decide that the friendly sights and sounds at the grocery no longer amuse him or that the little toys mommy brought from home are a less than satisfactory distraction.  The thought of Noah having a meltdown in the middle of the grocery store is enough to make me want to eat from the canned goods in the back of my pantry for the next 2 months. 

Ok maybe that is a little dramatic.  But seriously, taking an infant, even a gooood infant, to the grocery store can be a daunting task.  In the past I've always carried a scribbled, hurried grocery list, usually consisting of a nice mix of Dan's illegible handwriting and my half thought out items.  With this sort of system, I have often found myself still forgetting items, missing aisles, retracing my steps, and becoming overwhelmed at making sure I get everything I need.  The extra time and stress that kind of grocery trip leads to does not mesh well with a 6 month old.

So in an effort to simplify and streamline my grocery shopping experience as much as possible, I created a handy little pdf. to share with you all.  It's divided into the main sections of our grocery store and ordered essentially in the sequence that I hit them.  I also included a meal section (hubby and I plan out our meals every week) to offer little reminders as to what I may need to look for at the store AND for a reference to me and hubby (since we often forget what we planned to eat)! 

Please feel free to use my pdf. or be inspired to create one of your own.  And let me know how it works for you!

Happy Grocery Shopping everyone =)
Grocery List Made Simple

Jan 30, 2013

DIY Ribbon Jar

In the spirit of homemade craftiness, I made Noah, affectionately "Noahbear"  a "ribbon jar".  I was browsing Pinterest the other day and came across a similar idea.  The link took me to a website suggesting that I tie ribbon together, glue to the bottom of an unused travel wipes container, and let said child "go to town" pulling out the magical never-ending strand of ribbon.  Perfect! I thought.  This looked simple enough. 

Problem was, my travel wipes container had a hole opening the size of a small fist.  There would be no fun in pulling ribbon through that mammoth sized hole.  So I racked my brain for a different idea and came up with a mason jar, which I have plenty of lying around the house. 

Step 1:
I took said jar and created a cardboard top for it (in place of the metal one). 

Step 2:
I glued some fun baby boy fabric to the top and cut an "X" in the center of the lid for the ribbon to travel through.

Step 3:
I tied together various lengths of colorful, fun ribbon that I had on hand.

Step 4:
I stuffed fun ribbon into jar.

Step 5:
I gave to child (under supervision since strangulation by ribbon is not a fate I wish for my son) and he had a blast.  Look at the face on this kid....

Now that's one happy baby!  Who knew something so simple could be so fun?  Noah loves to play with this 'toy'.  He grasps the concept of "if i pull, something new will pop through that little hole!"  And it's adorable to see his face light up each time he does it.  You can't beat $0 baby toys =)