Today is the last day of Teacher Appreciation week… the day to “bring your teachers something sweet to eat.”
Instead of brownies or cupcakes or bags of candy, I wanted to bring something a little bit different. I just discovered this stuff at walmart a couple of months ago, and I can not get enough. It is so good. The perfect combination of sweet and salty.
If you can’t read it clearly, it says “A sweet and savory dream of white chocolatey drops, chocolate drops, peanut butter drops, almonds, peanuts, cashews, golden raisins and cranberries.” Mmmmm mmmmm, good. I might’ve bought a bag for myself. Maybe.
I grabbed a couple of glass jars from walmart, a piece of fabric and some yarn.
First I cut 2 circles from my fabric. I used my rotary cutter and a plastic paint palette as a guide.
And then filled each jar with the trail mix.
I wanted to wrap each jar with the fabric and some yarn. But first I needed to add a bit of double sided tape to help hold the fabric in place.
I placed the fabric down on the lid, and while the hubs held it tight, I was able to loop the yarn around a few times and tie it in a bow.
Teacher Appreciation Week is rolling right along. Yesterday was “give your teachers a hug” day, so we didn’t have to make anything for that. But today is “bring your teachers a card” day. And Laurel made these all by herself!
All I needed to do was set out a few supplies. A couple of blank chipboard cards, some acrylic paint and a few foam heart stickers.
Laurel enthusiastically picked 3 colors for each of her teachers. Then I took a brush and painted a little bit of paint onto the front of a foam heart sticker.
After I painted the heart I handed it over to Laurel to stamp away.
We used a new sticker for each color and put 3 hearts on each card.
Just look at that handwriting!!
Laurel did such a great job all by herself. She was so proud of how they came out, and she was super excited about giving them to her teachers today.
It’s Teacher Appreciation Week at Laurel’s school! So, everyday I’ll be whipping up something cute to show her teachers how grateful we are to have them.
On Thursday of last week, the PTO sent home a list of suggestions to help show the teachers that we are thankful for all the hard work they’ve put in this year. Monday was “bring a colorful pen or pencil” day so Laurel brought a couple of pens like the ones I talked about here. Tuesday is “make or bring your teacher a flower” day. And instead of bringing the teachers flowers that can wilt and be thrown out, we made these cute felt flower brooches.
I’ve made flowers like these before (here), but I put a little twist on these and wanted to show you how you could make your own. Maybe it’s Teacher Appreciation week where you are, too. But, if it’s not (or maybe you don’t have kids), these would make an awesome happy for Mother’s Day, which is right around the corner.
Here’s everything you’ll need to make 2 brooches:
Various colors of felt: 2 colors for each set of petals and green for the leaves
Button covering kit
Needle and embroidery thread
2 safety pins
STEP ONE: Cut the felt you’ve chosen for the petals into circles that are roughly 2.5″ in diameter. I used a small bowl to trace the shape. You’ll need 2 circles of each color.
STEP THREE: Cover your buttons. Start by cutting a small piece of fabric. Place the fabric face side down over the white piece in the button covering kit. Trim off any excessive fabric and fold it down into the button. Place the back of the button over the fabric and use the blue piece to push the back into place.
STEP FOUR: Take each of the circles you cut for your petals and cut them in half. Cut slits evenly around the curved edge of the half circles.
STEP FIVE: Take a needle and thread some matching embroidery floss. Using a back stitch, outline the leaves with the thread. I didn’t draw a line or anything, I just followed the curve of the felt as best I could. Then I added a line down the middle to give it that leafy feel.
STEP SIX: I really didn’t like the idea of the thread showing on the backs of the leaves. So I hot glued the embroidered leaf to another piece of contrasting green felt. Then, I just trimmed around the leaf so that a bit of the lighter green was showing. Leave a little tag on the end… it’ll come in handy when it’s time to put everything together.
STEP EIGHT: Now, let’s put it all together. Starting with the leaves. Add a bit of hot glue to the end tag part of the leaf and stick it down onto the green circle. Arrange the 2 leaves any way you like. One on each side… both on the same side. Whatever you like.
STEP NINE: To make the petals, take one of the half circles and add just a tiny bit of glue… just enough to hold it together folded in half. Then take a contrasting half circle and glue the first piece to the middle of the second. Wrap the other half of the second piece around and glue down. Repeat until all the petals are complete. You’ll need 4 petals per flower.
STEP TEN: Arrange the petals around the green circle and hot glue down. The petals should be on top of the leaves.
STEP ELEVEN: Hot glue the covered button to the center of the flower. I added another felt circle under the button, but it’s not necessary… I just thought it needed something more.
STEP TWELVE: To attach the safety pin, add a tiny bit of hot glue to the part of the pin that doesn’t open and stick it down in the center of the back. To finish it off and add some stability, hot glue a small piece of matching green felt over the pin.
Plus, they last way longer than real flowers.
I currently have 1124 projects pinned to Pinterest. 1124 little bits of inspiration right at my disposal. Armed with the determination to do rather than just pin—and a little inpsiration—I whipped up this cute chalkboard from an old canvas and some leftover chalkboard paint.
At first glance of the inspiration photo, I thought for sure that the original was an artist’s canvas. Which was awesome because I already had the canvas I could use. But, it’s not.
When I read the tutorial I realized it’s actually a wooden plaque. Which I didn’t have. And I was not about to go shopping. So I just stuck with my original plan and used the old canvas I had already. Of course you could use a wooden plaque, or a frame, or anything really that’s flat and can be hung on the wall.
STEP ONE: Prime the canvas. You can use regular ol’ brush on primer, but I chose to use Killz Spray Primer so I would have as few brush marks as possible. I gave my canvas 2 coats of primer. Not only does it give you a nice clean surface for the chalkboard paint, but it also stiffens up the fabric of the canvas a bit to help make writing on it easier.
STEP TWO: Once the primer has dried, paint 2 coats of chalkboard paint. Be wary of your brush marks and try to keep everything as smooth as possible. A foam roller would probably be better at that, but a brush and some attention works just as well. Allow to dry.
STEP THREE: Hot glue ribbon around the edges of the canvas. The ribbon gives a nice finished edge.
Please forgive me for the lack of process photos.
I got caught up in the making and not in the picture taking. Sorry.
STEP ONE: Determine the size of your pocket based on the size of the canvas. For the width, you’ll need the width of the canvas plus an inch or 2 on each side to wrap around to the back. For the height, take the finished size you’d like the pocket and multiply x3. Mine is 7” high finished so I cut my fabric to a height of 21”.
STEP TWO: Lay your fabric out wrong side up. Fold down from the top (so that the right side of the fabric shows) to reach your desired height, for me that’s 7”. Iron a crease. This is the back of the pocket.
STEP THREE: From the bottom (so that the right side of the fabric shows), fold up until the crease meets the edge of the back of the pocket. Iron a crease. Now you have the pocket flap, or the piece that actually holds the chalk in.
STEP FOUR: Determine the height of your pocket flap. Mine is 4” so the tops of the chalk stick out above. Fold down any excess fabric and iron a crease.
STEP FIVE: Use iron on hem tape to secure the hem of the pocket flap.
STEP SIX: Cut a piece of iron on Heat ‘N Bond the size of the back of your pocket. For me that’s 7” tall by the width of the fabric.
STEP EIGHT: Place the Heat ‘N Bond (shiny side down) between the creases on the wrong side of the fabric. Iron until the Heat ‘N Bond has fully adhered to the wrong side of the fabric.
STEP NINE: Allow to cool and then peal off the paper backing. Fold the fabric back down over the Heat ‘N Bond and iron until the fabric has fused together.
ATTACHING THE POCKET
STEP ONE: Apply a bead of hot glue along the bottom edge of the canvas. Aline the fabric pocket so the bottom edge is flush with the bottom of the canvas. Don’t forget to allow enough over hang on each side to wrap the edges around to the back of the canvas.
STEP TWO: Continue to apply hot glue and stick down the back of the pocket. Be careful not to adhere the pocket flap to the back of the pocket!
STEP THREE: To finish it off, wrap the edge around to the back. At this point it would be helpful to use a staple gun, but mine was out of staples. So I just hot glued everything down. Even the flap to the back of the pocket. It’s okay to do that on the back. ;)
STEP FOUR: To finish it off, hot glue a piece of ribbon along the top edge.
STEP ONE: Cut 4 circles from felt. The bigger the circles the bigger your flowers. You can use soup cans or glasses for tracing.
STEP TWO: Cut a smaller circle to act as the base of the flower.
STEP THREE: Cut a couple of leaves from green felt.
STEP FOUR: Fold each of the 4 circles in half and add a dot of hot glue. Just enough to hold it together in the middle. Then fold in half again and add a touch more glue. Now you have a petal. Repeat x 3.
STEP FIVE: Add a bit of glue to each of the petal ends and glue down on circle base.
STEP SIX: For the center, I used coordinating fabric covered buttons. Just follow the directions of the button covering kit and hot glue the finished button to the center. Other center options include regular buttons, felt circles, or a few more petals to fill it out.
STEP SEVEN: Arrange on your canvas and use hot glue to stick the flowers and leaves down.
Note: To get the pom pom effect, just cut slits in the circles before you fold them!
And there you have it! Just slip some chalk, and maybe even a little eraser, in the pocket and you’re good to go! Give these as a gift or just make one for yourself. The possibilities are endless.
We gave this one as a birthday gift (hence, the sweet message written by my girl) and it really seemed to be a crowd-pleaser. Also, with just a little change in fabric, you could easily make one of these for a special boy.
Have you painted anything with chalkboard paint lately? I’m wondering, is there anything that can’t be made into a fun, cute chalkboard?
I made these cute little treats for the kids to hand out at their Valentine’s Day parties at school today.
Using Martha’s tutorial, I made these cute cherry Valentines for Laurel to give all her sweet friends. I tweaked the tutorial a bit so I could use some things that I had at home… like pipe cleaners instead of floral wire stems, and green duck tape in place of the floral tape. I was able to fit 3 pieces of assorted candies inside. The card I designed and printed on cardstock says “You’re the Cherry on Top!” To attach the cherry to the card I made a couple of small holes and looped a piece of pipe cleaner through. Easy and cute!
One down… one to go…
I got so lucky with Spencer’s Valentine. I’ve seen cards like these floating around on Pinterest, but I knew there was no way I could get Spencer to cooperate for a photo. Then I remembered this photo from our Christmas card photo shoot. He was already holding the sucker in the photo so I knew it would work perfectly. To make these Valentines, I brought the photo into Illustrator and added the speech bubble and a happy greeting from Spencer. Then I just printed them out on cardstock and punched a hole above and below his hand. Slide in a sucker stick and voila! The sweetest little Valentine I ever did see!
From my little loves to you, we hope your day is filled with love … and chocolate. Lots of chocolate!
Put a different spin on the tile coaster craze and give them a rock ‘n’ roll edge by using your favorite cd images as art.
Using the same method I blogged about here, I whipped these up for a coworker last night. I asked him to send me the names of his 4 favorite cds and I printed out the cover art. They are definitely not the average coaster and I love them! They’re so personal and unique.
One of my sweet friends is expecting twin boys. They are her first and she’s doing so great! She has about 8 weeks to go, both boys are already over 4 pounds, and she looks like she’s about to pop. But she’s so stinkin’ adorable.
I always try to make gifts whenever possible, but especially when it comes to something as special as a new baby. It just seems so much more meaningful to me. When I was thinking of what to make for her shower, I tried to think of something to give her that was unique and “twinny” but not so matchy-matchy. That’s just not her style. She and her husband are both self proclaimed “computer nerds” and I wanted to give her something that reflected their personalities. I’ve seen these copy and paste onesies on sites like CafePress, but I knew I could make my own version. And, here they are!
These are felt appliques, but since my new sewing machine is still safely tucked away in its box, I used iron on Heat ‘N Bond. Using the Heat ‘N Bond made this project super easy! I was able to finish both onesies in just about an hour and a half.
To make these onesies, or other felt appliques, you’ll need:
1. Heat ‘N Bond (no sew type)
3. Onesies, or similar
STEP ONE: Decide on the design you’d like to use. For the copy and paste design I chose to use the Mac keystrokes for each command. I used Adobe Illustrator to make the design and then printed it out. I trimmed the design from the copy paper and then traced it onto the paper side of the Heat ‘N Bond. Note: Make sure to reverse the image when you trace it onto the Heat ‘N Bond so when you iron it on, it’s facing the correct way.
STEP TWO: Rough cut the design from the Heat ‘N Bond. You don’t have to cut on the lines at this point, just around them.
STEP THREE: Place the shiny side of the Heat ‘N Bond down on the felt and iron on the highest heat. Note: High heat works well with felt, but you may want to turn the heat down a bit for lighter textiles.
STEP FOUR: Trim the felt along the lines of your design.
STEP FIVE: Peel the protective paper from the Heat ‘N Bond, lay the design down onto your onesie, and iron until all the edges are completely adhered.
These are completely safe to run through the washing machine. Just remember to read the instructions on the Heat ‘N Bond before throwing them in the wash.
Don’t they make the sweetest little gift for a set of twins?
I am always trolling the internet looking for new ideas for things to try or make. And now thanks to Pinterest I can keep a visual reminder of everything I find and continually go back for reference. (Which is what makes Pinterest so flipping awesome!) A few months ago I came across this recipe for lip balms on Martha Stewart’s site and immediately pinned it. I thought “I can totally do that!” And there it sat in my pin board waiting for me to come back to it. But 2012 is the year of doing, as opposed to pinning and pining, so I thought I’d give it a go.
I followed Martha’s instructions to the tee for the first batch. But the resulting balm was too stiff for me. I like my lip balm to be soft and smooth, and this one would barely glide over my lips. I probably didn’t do something exactly right. But since I couldn’t ask Martha herself, I just tweaked things and tried different combinations of ingredients until I was happy with the result.
Here’s what you’ll need to make these super quick and easy lip balms:
1. Beeswax pellets
2. Organic soy wax flakes
3. Carrier oil
4. Essential oil
5. Vitamin E capsules
6. Plastic pipettes
7. Heat proof glass container
8. Bamboo skewers
9. Cheapo lipstick (optional)
10. Tubes, tins, jars, etc.
Notes: I ordered a 1 pound bag of beeswax pellets on Amazon for $10. I couldn’t find those at the craft store. The organic soy wax I was able to find at HobbyLobby. I believe it was about $8 for a 1 pound bag. Two pounds of wax will last a really (REALLY) long time. Carrier oil is a food quality oil used to dilute the essential oils, since most essential oils are not food quality. There are various oils that can be used as a carrier, but I chose Sweet Almond Oil because it has a neutral scent and works well with the other essential oils. I ordered the Sweet Almond Oil online, but you can find it, the essential oils, and the Vitamin E capsules at GNC. I couldn’t find plastic pipettes in any store, so those were ordered online as well. Tubes, tins, and jars can all be found for sale online, but I found these tiny little clear jars at Sally’s Beauty Supply. I think they were supposed to be storage for manicurists.
STEP ONE: Grab a small saucepan and add about an inch or 2 of water. Turn the burner on your stove to medium low and let the water just reach a simmer.
STEP TWO: Add 1 tablespoon soy wax, 2 tablespoons carrier oil, and a sprinkle of beeswax (seriously, I just added a very small amount… the more beeswax you add the stiffer the result will be) to my heat proof glass container. I used a mason jar, but you could use a pyrex measuring cup or other glass jar that can be heated safely. Place the jar in the saucepan on the stove.
STEP THREE: Stir the mixture with a bamboo skewer until all of the wax has melted. Once the mixture is completely melted remove the jar carefully from the pan.
STEP FOUR: Work fast, because you don’t want the mixture to cool! Add a few drops of essential oil until you are happy with the scent. Pierce a Vitamin E capsule with a straight pin and squeeze the contents into your mixture. If you want to tint your lip balm, add lipstick shavings and stir until you reach the desired color. Good to know: Essential oils do not have flavors. Instead they are scents that trick your mind into thinking there’s a flavor. There are tons of different oils you could try, but citrus scented oils work great because those scents are already associated with flavors. I used grapefruit oil mostly, but added a couple drops of tea tree oil as well. If you want to sweeten your balm, you can add a touch of honey. For tints, brighter shades of lipstick work best.
STEP FIVE: Now comes the fun part. Line up your containers (tubes, tins, jars) and make sure they are on a level surface. Grab your plastic pipette and fill each container with the still liquid wax mixture. Again, be quick, because the wax cools quickly. Once each of the containers is filled, allow them to cool on a level surface over night.
STEP SIX: Wake up the next morning and your lip balms are ready to use and enjoy!
These are now my favorite, go-to lip balms. I love how soft and smooth they are.
Plus, they make great little happies to give to your friends.
A few days ago I designed and made these teeny tiny notecards and envelopes.
It all started when I was cleaning out the bathroom and found this box.
Can you tell what it was in its former life?
It was a travel sized box of q-tips.
The box was empty and I didn’t want to just throw it away. So I came up with a way to reuse it.
I measured the box and designed the little cards using Adobe Illustrator.
The finished size is about 2″x3″. The little envelopes were made from a template I designed in Illustrator. I just printed it and constructed it from velum paper.
They are so cute and tiny! I made these to give as a gift, but I’m dying to make a set for myself.
Christmas is only 10 days away! Can you believe it? 10 days!!
Which means I’m probably a little late getting my letter to Santa. Better late than never, though, right?!
I really, really, really want my own sewing machine. There just seems to be so many cute things you can make if you know how to sew. Like curtains. And pillows. Quilts and cute purses. I really wouldn’t need anything too fancy. But, I do love this Brother Limited Edition Project Runway model. And while I seriously doubt I’ll be making an appearance on the show any time soon, maybe by next Christmas I’ll be able to hem my own pants.
2. Decorate, by Holly Becker
Decor8 was one of the very first shelter blogs I started reading. Holly fills her blog with loads of pretty pictures and tons of helpful information. It’s one of my favorite sources of inspiration and I know her book will be more of the same. I can imagine sitting for hours staring at the photos in this book.
There is nothing in the world worse than having an idea for a project but not being able to complete it because you don’t have the right tools. The product specifications tell me I could make detailed cuts with precise 360 degree scrolling action with this Skil jigsaw. I actually don’t really understand what that means, I just want to be able to cut shapes out of wood.
There’s not much I hate more than using sand paper. I hate the way it feels on my hands and fingernails and I hate the way it drags across the surface you’re sanding. It’s very much like nails on a chalkboard to me. So, this Skil palm sander would really come in handy.
I’m pretty sure this one is self explanatory. I love coffe, but I usually only drink one cup at a time. These Keurig single cup coffee makers are so easy! I can just make a cup of coffee whenever I need a pick me up. And no worrying about wasting a whole pot.