Archive of ‘DIY’ category
Halloween is coming up fast (as is my baby’s due date, oh my), and I’m finally forcing myself to start thinking about a costume for my daughter. I’ve actually never been a huge fan of Halloween myself, but there is something about toddlers all dressed up in costumes that is so adorable, so I’m finding myself a little more enthusiastic about it this year.
I asked Brownie what she wanted to dress up as and she said “Super Brownie!” I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to make a superhero costume for her. This is what I’ve come up with so far:
It was actually much easier than I thought. You just cut out the shape and from there on it’s just a matter of hemming really. My newly honed sewing skills (I recently made my very first quilt) helped.
Materials and Tools for Superhero Cape:
3/4 yard square of fabric
contrasting grosgrain ribbon
sewing machine and thread
iron and ironing board
You start off with a square of fabric (mine was about 3/4 yard in width of a satin material I found in the remnant pile, just about perfect for a 2-3 year old).
Then you rig up a little contraption by taping the end of a string to the floor and tying the other end to a piece of chalk. The string should measure the width of the fabric.
Draw a quarter circle using the chalk and string (doesn’t have to be perfect).
Draw another curve for the neckline. This one doesn’t have to be a quarter circle, just a slight curve will be fine (the more curved it is the harder it is to hem, just FYI!).
Cut out your shape and you’ll have something like this above.
Iron and sew a hem on all sides (on this side I doubled over the raw edge but on the selvage edge I just left the raw edge since it won’t fray. You can use hem tape or fabric glue if you don’t want to sew the hems. Oh and then trim your threads after (unlike me in the pic above).
Sew on a length of ribbon to tie the cape on. (You can really see the sparkles in this pic. Love this fabric!)
Use fabric glue to attach your choice of superhero logo. It could be made of felt or good ol’ fashioned paper. In my case I used a couple of foam hearts that I glued together. Or you could just tape it on so you can change the logo later.
As you can see I did get a lot of puckering on my seams. I probably didn’t have the thread tension right…whatever that means…
…But Brownie doesn’t care! She loves her superhero cape and asks to put it on every day. She especially loves the subtle little sparkles in the fabric. This was a fun and easy project that I cranked out in about an hour!
Now I have to get the rest of the superhero costume together. I’m thinking, a matching SuperGirl tutu and headband?
What is your kid (or you) going to be for Halloween? Do you like to make your own costume or is it just easier to buy?
Sharing at BlissfulBee, Think and Make Thursdays, Remodelaholic.
I must be a sucker for punishment or something. We’re immersed in a gut bathroom reno, and our next child is due in less than 2 months which we have made NO preparations for, and somehow I decided I was going to attempt my very first quilt for my 2-year-old daughter. Luckily it turned out all right…
I might even go so far as to say, it turned out much better than my expectations. (By the way, please don’t pay any attention to my very dusty floor. I’d like to blame my daughter’s chalkboard, which is right outside of the frame, but really, I’ve just been lax on vacuuming that corner.)
I spent a lot of time on Pinterest looking at simple quilts and decided that simple straight strips of fabric would be the easiest, quickest, and most forgiving for my less-than-stellar sewing skills. (To be precise, I literally have to look up how to wind a bobbin every time I use the sewing machine.)
All of the fabrics are scraps/remnants that I’ve picked up over the last couple years at Joanns. I always check their remnant pile for cute fabrics, which are always 50% off, and turned out just perfect for this project. The quilt back is an old fitted sheet that no longer fits any of the beds we own now.
I made this quilt approx 40″ by 55″ so that even when Brownie outgrows it she’ll still be able to use it as a throw blanket to snuggle with. I bound it with store-bought bias tape, because after putting together the quilt top I was in no mood to cut and make my own bias tape (although it might have been cuter). The store-bought stuff is great! The filling is polyester, because I already had a piece of polyester batting in my stash, though next time (if there IS a next time) I’ll try cotton.
I quilted it “in the ditch” aka along the seams. Straight line quilting seemed the easiest to handle for me.
There are far better tutorials than I could provide out on the Net (by people who actually know how to use their sewing machines), so I’ll just link to a few of them here.
How to sew a strip quilt top
How to baste and quilt your strip quilt
How to bind your finished quilt
I feel that after sewing this quilt I have a much better idea of how to work my sewing machine. Next time I might attempt…dum dum dum…square blocks!
What do you think? Is quilting something you would attempt? Do you get intimidated by sewing in a straight line like I do?
Sharing at Thrifty Decor Chick, Tiny Sidekick, Remodelaholic!
Sorry for the months-long radio silence, folks! I’m expecting my second baby and the morning sickness hit early and lasted for a long time. Then, I was just tired and unmotivated to do any new projects. Finally, in the 2nd trimester, I’m feeling back to my old self (albeit a bit less limber) and back to tackling new projects!
Baby Brownie isn’t a baby anymore! She’s a beautiful 2.5-year old who talks a mile a minute and whose mind is filled with creative and original thoughts! This is such a great time, guys. She is always pretending to mix up Jello in her play kitchen, or talking to her stuffed animals, or dancing to her own singing. Imagination is starting to be a big part of her play, and to help her along, her loving parents decided to make her a dollhouse.
After many weeks of Pinning, I decided to model our dollhouse after the one at Young House Love. I liked how simple and unfussy it was but still so cute. We did change the dimensions somewhat — our dollhouse is 10 inches deep instead of 8, and the pitch of the roof is steeper. We also tried to keep it to a 1:12 scale so the ceilings are a standard 8 feet (I mean 8 inches), so it wouldn’t get too ginormous.
I thought it would take longer to get Chris on board with the plan, but the idea catalyzed last Saturday when we saw some cute wooden dollhouses at a local toy store. Then later that same day, we were at Home Depot and saw these 4 foot long, 1×10″ boards for sale for $1.50 each! That’s right! The wood for this whole dollhouse cost $4.50!
Then it was just a matter of measuring, cutting, gluing, and nailing. An easy peasy project for my handyman =p.
We added doorways just for fun.
I briefly debated leaving it pine, because it was really a lovely color, but thought better of it. The bare wood will get stained, discolored, and darken over time. Better to paint it all white.
That’s where it is right now. We are going to add a back wall so the furniture has something to sit against (and um…wallpaper!), and I’m going to paint the roof and exterior.
Chris says really, the dollhouse is for me. It’s true that at this point I’m more excited about it than Brownie is…
This will be more of a “look what we did” post rather than a how-to. I just dug up these pictures from several weeks ago and sorta went, “oh yeah, we did that too!”. But if you’re thinking of making a sandbox for your child, maybe this will give you some ideas.
(Since Baby Brownie isn’t really a baby anymore, I’m just going to call her Brownie from now on.)
So, Brownie likes dirt (doesn’t your 2-year-old too?). And our yard has a lot of it. We’ve been in the midst of installing irrigation and other landscaping projects for a while, so there are literally big piles of dirt all over the yard. So to indulge her love for playing in the dirt, while at the same time keeping her clothes a LITTLE cleaner, we decided to build her a sandbox.
I’ve heard horror stories about sandboxes and cat poop though, so it had to be a covered one!
(Please ignore the neon green pool. We had a little algae overgrowth that we took care of right after we took this pic!)
We started by digging up the area we were going to make the sandbox in. There used to be a fence here with a cinder-block footing, so we were able to use some of the concrete footing as 2 of the walls of the sandbox. For the other two walls, Chris put in some 4×4 footings in the corners and nailed on a couple of 2×6 redwood planks. Then, he used redwood fence pickets and cut them down to size to make the edge framing and the lid. He lined the hole with a weed-resistant barrier before filling it with playground sand.
As you can see, the lid is super simple — just a row of fence pickets held together by a couple of stringers. We sanded down the redwood (which is quite splintery) quite a bit and then sealed it with our homemade Danish oil mixture (1:1:1 Oil-based poly, mineral spirits, and boiled linseed oil).
The below pictures were taken about a month later, so you can see the red color of the wood has faded quite a bit.
When the lid is open, we secure it to the metal fence behind it using this little loop, to prevent Brownie from pulling it down on herself.
When it’s closed it’s just a little pad that looks like a mini-deck. I threw some mulch around it but I’m working on some ideas to pretty-up the dirt all around it. Probably some plants on the right side, and maybe some stepping stones in front.
I’m not gonna lie…Brownie still likes to play in the piles of dirt. Maybe a little less now?
There really aren’t any pretty pictures in this post, sorry! I picked up this sad little chair for $40 at the Habitat Restore a few weeks ago. The 90’s fabric was HORRIBLE but the wood frame was sturdy and a charming shape, and I thought I could update it and have a fun experiment with upholstering without risking too much $$$.
Chris thought I was crazy when I brought it home. He also hates the caning, but I like it. The caning can be removed at some point if it tears without detracting too much from the chair, but for now I’m going to leave it.
I spent a couple of hours on Saturday pulling the chair to pieces and seeing what of the upholstery I could salvage.
Chris helped me with some of the muscle work. I hurt my back last week and pulling a gazillion staples out wasn’t going to help!
Under the layers of hideous 90’s fabric I found older 70’s velvet fabric, so this chair is older than it first appeared. Which totally makes sense. I had thought it strange that the chair’s style was older, and that it was so well-made…it didn’t seem like 90’s furniture.
The professional reupholstery job that had been done on this chair was a little TOO good. It was extremely difficult to pull off the literally thousands of staples, tacks, and upholstery thread. But the good thing is that the cushions and webbing were in excellent shape so I can reuse them. This is kind of as far as we got…
I’m planning to use this fabric…
It’s Dwell Studio Vintage Blossom in Jade.
I’ve always liked this fabric. Although I think more contemporary birds are a cliche on its way out, I like the vintage look of this bird/blossom fabric that makes it more classic and more suitable to the style of the chair.
Also, it didn’t hurt that I found it at Home Fabrics (a discount fabric store) for $7.99 a yard. Yup, that pretty much clinched it.
So now, I still need to remove the padding on the arms and then I’m planning to stain the pecan wood darker with a Poly + Stain product. This will hopefully also cover up some of the dog teeth marks on the lower legs =p. Fortunately the wood was pretty hard so it’s not too chewed up.
I’m excited! This is the first “real” upholstery project I’ve attempted. I don’t count recovering the dining room chairs or the upholstered headboard, cause those were pretty much just pulling and stapling. Hopefully it turns out well. I’ll keep you updated!