Friday, October 31, 2014

Painting Pumpkins with PreSchoolers

This year we decided to paint our pumpkins rather than carve them. For the last two years we have carved our pumpkins, once outside which was okay and once inside which was one of the messiest things I have ever done. But, this year my 3 year old said "I want to paint my pumpkin" so we went with it.

This was not only less messy than carving but took a total of 15 minutes which is just the right amount of time for a 3 year old before they get bored. She could also do it herself instead of me or my husband doing the actual creating.

All you need is paint, paint brush and a pumpkin. Super easy. We are not putting out our pumpkins until Halloween so that if it rains the colors don't run onto our steps.

There are affiliate links included in this post. I do receive a small commission, this does not affect my opinion.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Book Review: Artful Parent

I love browsing my local library for fun arts and crafts books. I recently came across a great book for parents that are looking to start introducing art to their children or make it a more regular part of their day to day lives. The book is "The Artful Parent" by Jean Van't Hul, she is really passionate about children and their art. She has a website at where she shares 100s of art ideas for kids.

This book walks parents through the process of introducing children to art. She instructs you on what materials you need, a way to create an art space in your home and talks about art and child development.

As an art educator I thought this book was great for parents and teachers. The projects are based on exploratory art instead of making art to replicate subjects. All the projects have endless possible outcomes, which means that you can create them over and over again without your children getting bored. I also appreciated that she gave an age range for each of her projects.

I am looking forward to creating some of these projects with my daughter soon. Check this book out at your local library or purchase it here at

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Design Dye Review

About a year ago I won a fun fabric dye kit called Design Dye. Recently, I tested it out on one of my daughter's plain white onesies.

The kit has everything you need to create endless fabric design projects with little to no mess. All you do is cut out the design that you want on the fabric and iron it directly onto the fabric.

I like the concept of this product, but in actuality you need to have a little practice working with the dye and perfecting it before you start on your actual project. I had some trouble getting the right amount of color to appear and the edges of the design were a little blurry.

I think with a little more practice it would have come out better. I do like the idea that you can keep the design and use it again later, not sure how well it would come out after a few uses though. If anyone is interested in trying it for themselves here is a link to amazon.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

DIY Custom Cork Board

I have had 2 old worn out cork boards in my office for a long time now. I have wanted to freshen them up for about a year now and I finally got around to doing so with a little fabric and a few staples. This project is a quick an easy one that you can complete start to finish in about 15 minutes.

  • Staple gun and staples
  • Cork board
  • Fun fabric
  • Decorative push pins

I found some fun fabric that I was not using for anything else and ironed out the wrinkles. Next I, used my staple gun to secure the fabric onto the board on the backside. And finally, I added some decorative push pins around the edges to keep the fabric taut.

This was a very quick and completely free project for me. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

DIY Elsa Costume

Here it is the long awaited debut of the DIY Elsa costume. My daughter completely adores Elsa and would not think of being anything else for Halloween. This project took me about about 8 hours to complete over the course of 3 or 4 weeks. It seemed like I could never quite find any large chunks of time to sit down and work on it. The majority of the time spent on this costume was spent creating the wig. The actual dress took be about 3 hours to complete, this includes trying it on my daughter to adjust how it was fitting. This whole project cost me a total of $26, the cost of the fabric since I had everything else.

So, without further ado here is the Elsa costume. And if you want to see other costumes that I and my grandmother have created check out the DIY Olaf, Cinderella and Coach, Minnie Mouse and Princess of Rock.

Here is what you need to complete this costume:

I started by measuring my daughter to figure out how much fabric I needed. Then I cut the fabric and cut all the hair for the wig. 

Then, I sewed on the sparkly fabric to the shirt to create the bodice.

I made sure to sew the material around the seams so that it would allow the bodice to stretch with the shirt.

Next, I took an old tiara that my daughter had that was silver and purple and added nail polish to make it resemble Elsa's tiara more.

Then it was time to create the skirt. I had to ask my grandmother for help on this one because I have never sewed clothing before on my own. I hemmed the sides and top, creating a pocket big enough for a 1/2" elastic band to fit through.

Next, we measured my daughters waist again with the elastic and cut it about an inch shorter. Then, we attached a safety pin to one end and ran the elastic through the hem. To close the elastic band we overlapped the two ends and used the safety pin to secure them together. I also sewed them together by hand to make it more secure. The last step for the skirt was to sew the back seam by hand about half way down. This connected the skirt but also make it so it would not be hard for her to walk.

The wig was a little bit of a pain to make. I did find a great tutorial by The Project Corner. This tutorial shows you how to create the cap from a pair of old tights and how to cut the hair. To sew the hair on to the cap, I took it in sections and sewed them on into a part. Then in the back I sewed 3 sections doubled up to the end of the part. I tried the wig on my daughter as I went to see how it was looking. After I had all the hair on, I placed it on a hat, trimmed it to the correct length and braided the hair.

I think the whole thing turned out pretty cute. I know my daughter is happy with it and that is all that matters.

There are affiliate links included in this post. I do receive a small commission, this does not affect my opinion.

Friday, October 10, 2014

DIY Personalized Aprons - Handmade Christmas Gift

A few years ago I decided to make many of the gifts that I gave to my family. I made a t-shirt quilt for my brother, painted a painting for my other brother, made pickles, etc... One of the projects that I made for all the women in my family were personalized aprons.

These aprons were relatively easy to make, it took me a while because I made 7 of them. I think that each one took me about 2 nights of TV and one weekend afternoon to complete. The sewing is pretty fast, what takes the time is embroidering the names on to the front.

Here is what you would need to create one:

  • Medium weight fabric (something not to porous)
  • Sewing machine or needle and thread
  • Embroidery thread and hoop
  • Trim for the apron ties
I started by tracing an apron that I already had against my fabric. I doubled my fabric so that when I cut it out I had my front and my back. Make sure that when you double the fabric you have the wrong sides facing each other. 

Next, I took the front side and embroidered the name on to it using a complementary color.

After I had finished the embroidery, I lined up the front and back right sides facing each other and placed the ties where I wanted them. Make sure that the long part of the tie
is inside the two pieces so that after you sew the seam the ties are on the outside. 

Then I sewed the two pieces together, attaching the ties in the process. I made sure not to sew the entire way around so that I could still turn it right side out. 

I then turned the piece right side out and sewed that last part of the seam by hand. I ironed the apron and voila it was finished.

It may seem like many steps but, it really is easy to complete.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Stained Glass Makeover in Minutes

I have been wondering what to do with my front hall windows for a while. They really do not look out on anything interesting, like gardens or the street. One day I was at Home Depot looking for something else, when I happened upon this window film product. It was $20 and it would cover roughly two of my windows, so I thought I would try it.

The product is called Artscape and it comes in many very attractive designs as well as frosted. It intrigued me because all you need to install this is a spray water bottle and a craft knife.

Here are my front hall windows before, cluttered, dirty and old looking.

I started by clearing away the clutter. Then I cleaned the windows and installed the Artscape. The whole process took me less than an hour and I think they look great now. I'm debating on whether to buy more and put it on the top of the windows as well. I think I will live with it for a while and see how I like it.

I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for a quick update to some old windows. This product also gives you plenty of privacy. Some of the designs are more see through than others. You can purchase this at Home Depot or here is the link to the Artscape that I used at Amazon.

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Friday, October 3, 2014

Book Review: Quick & Easy Paint Transformations

I'm always looking for tips, tricks and inspiration for my DIY projects. I love browsing Pinterest, but I also love using my local library to find fun and useful home improvement books. Recently, I took out a great book about painting furniture.

Quick & Easy Paint Transformations by Annie Sloan is a wonderful resource for anyone who wants to paint some furniture, whether you are a beginner or have some experience.

She has great detailed descriptions and photos of the steps that you need to do to create these projects. This is great for me because I am very visual, hence why I like Pinterest so much.

Most of the projects in this book have to do with distressing furniture. I did find this Washed Pine Bookcase project, which is a perfect technique for what I want to do with my pine kitchen cabinets.

Overall, I thought this book was a good resource for painting furniture. I would recommend any DIYer to check this out at their local library or below I have a link to the book on Amazon.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Now Selling Note Cards on Etsy

I'm excited to announce that I will now be selling note cards of my prints on Etsy. I've be trying to get this together for a while and I finally listed them on Sunday. Here are a few examples of the cards that I'm now selling.

 Golf Note Card

 Surfer Note Card