Here’s a quick and easy tip…
I bought Baby Brownie an easel chalkboard from IKEA (it’s only $15!) and with it a box of chalk. I’m sure I’m not the only one who hates the feeling of chalk on my hands so I devised a quick and easy way to protect my hands from chalky dryness AND protect the chalk from breaking.
I only thought of this after, but if you start wrapping at the end and finish wrapping near the writing tip, you can peel back the tape as the tip gets worn down. I should have realized that earlier.
I feel sort of silly sharing this cause it is so simple, but hey…why not?
Are you in full-on Christmas mode yet? I know it’s not Thanksgiving yet, but well, as a Canadian my Thanksgiving came in October so I feel totally free to embrace Christmas in earnest.
For some reason I haven’t been crafting much in the last couple of weeks. We’ve done a lot of other projects — painting the front door (pictures soon), installing a new furnace, insulating the house and sealing window frames, and spending time with family. Somehow crafting and decorating have gotten lost in the mix, which is why this project is awesome — it literally takes 15 minutes to do and is almost free.
I just cut up a brown paper shopping bag (this one is from the GAP) into little two-tailed flags. I glued on some silver chipboard letters I got from the dollar bin at Target.
Then I taped the flags to some red and white baker’s twine (also from the dollar bin at Target).
And I used washi tape to hang up the banner in the foyer. (Boy I wish that thermostat wasn’t there.)
Easy, peasy! Total budget: less than $2 (since I’ll be able to reuse the extra chipboard letters and baker’s twine).
Are you getting your holiday decorating on? What have you been crafting lately?
Sharing at TheBlissfulBee!
When I told a friend today that we had already put up our Christmas tree, she did a double-take. What, already? The truth is, I put up the tree so that I could take pictures of this holiday craft in action. But really, if you’re going to go to the trouble of putting up a Christmas tree, you might as well enjoy it, right?
I have never owned a Christmas tree skirt. Last year, I just draped a throw blanket around the base of my artificial tree, but this year I decided to plan ahead and make one.
I’ve never found a tree skirt that I like that is affordable — the ones at Walmart are too glitzy, and the ones I like at West Elm and C&B are upwards of $50 — so I decided to make my own. This was a surprisingly easy project, if you have a little experience with sewing. If you’re a beginner, you might want to leave off the pom pom trim, as that was the hardest thing to sew.
This tree skirt has ribbon ties that hold it together and pom pom trim. But you can of course customize it however you want. You might use a different kind of trim, or use Velcro instead of ribbon. I basically followed Design*Sponge’s excellent tutorial for making a basic tree skirt, but added the trim and the fleece backing.
Ok, let’s get started!
Square of fabric (48″ to 60″ dia, depending on your tree)
Square of fleece fabric for backing
pom pom trim (enough for the circumference of the circle, pi x dia)
grosgrain ribbon in color of your choice (4 pieces of about 10″ each)
sewing machine & thread
fabric marker or chalk (or just a pen)
First, I took a square of fabric big enough to cover my tree base, and folded it into quarters. I already had this plaid fabric, so it was free! I usually like more color but for Christmas I like traditional decorations, so this was perfect.
Most tree skirts I saw in retail stores were between 46″ to 60″ wide. My tree is a 6.5′ artificial tree, which isn’t huge, so I made the diameter of my tree skirt about 48″. I made a makeshift compass using a thread, a pin, and a pen. I tied the thread to the pin and the other end to the pen. My thread was about a foot long. I stuck the pin into the folded corner like so:
And traced a quarter circle on my fabric. See the faint green line?
Then, I carefully cut through all 4 layers of fabric using sewing scissors. I unfolded the circle of fabric, and used the scissors to even out any jaggedy areas. Then, I used the circle to trace another circle onto my fleece backing (which was just an old blanket I had lying around) and cut it out.
Now we have to cut a hole in the middle of the circle for the tree trunk. I folded the circle into quarters again and used a bowl to trace a quarter circle on the fabric. Then I cut out the circle.
I unfolded the circle half way (so it is folded in half), and cut along one of the straight folds.
So now you have a two-sided circle of fabric with a hole in the middle and a straight cut from the center hole to the outside.
Make sure once again that the wrong sides of the fabric are together. If you’re using pom pom trim, fold back the top layer of fabric and pin the trim to the bottom layer, with the pom poms on the inside. Replace the top layer of fabric and pin it in place. So now, you have two layers of fabric with the pom pom trim sandwiched between.
On the straight open edge, sandwich your ribbons with the long ends inside the fabric (I used 4 sections of approx 10″ long grosgrain ribbon). Pin them in place. When it is sewn it will look like this (short ends out, long ends in).
Now, you just need to sew around the entire perimeter of the circle, as well as up and down the straight edges and the hole inside. Leave an approx 5″ hole through which you can turn the whole thing inside-out. Sorry, no pics of this step, I was concentrating on sewing. As you sew the edges, make sure you catch the edge of the trim which is sandwiched between the fabric layers. This is the most challenging part.
Then, turn the whole tree skirt inside out through the hole. You can sew the hole closed by hand, but I just folded the raw edges in and top-stitched it on my sewing machine (because I’m lazy like that).
If you were able to catch the edge of the trim as you sewed around the circle, the pom pom trim should now face out and be securely attached! It’s like magic.
I wish I had better progress pics, but it was hard enough just doing the sewing with a toddler constantly underfoot, much less take photos. If you’re having trouble understanding my instructions, the Design*Sponge tutorial is really helpful.
My tree isn’t decorated yet! That will be a fun family activity in the next few days. I’m excited to decorate for the holidays and to make a few more crafts for this season! As a young family we don’t have a lot of traditions yet, but I’m hoping to make holiday crafting one of them!
Oh and my budget breakdown was this:
plaid fabric = already owned but it orig cost $1/yard at a discount fabric store, so about $1.50
fleece fabric = reused an old throw blanket I already owned, so $0
pom pom trim = used a coupon, about $6
ribbon = $1
So in all this tree skirt cost me about $8.50 to make! It would have cost almost nothing if I hadn’t bought the pom pom trim, but I like it! It looks like little snowballs!
Are you planning to DIY a tree skirt? How about any other decorations for the holidays? You might like these other holiday crafts!
Festive Holiday Wreath
Simple Peace and Joy Banner
Happy Holidays everyone!
Sharing at TheBlissfulBee, TheIdeaRoom, TatertotsandJello and SavvySouthernStyle!
My little sister recently had a beautiful baby girl and I threw her a shower while I was back in Canada a few months ago. My other sister and I made these cute baby block photo holders as a party favors for the shower guests and I really like how they turned out!
Wooden baby blocks
Acrylic craft paint + paintbrush
Hot glue gun
Paint the clothespins with the craft paint in the color of your choice (I chose yellow). Let it dry (I pinned mine on a piece of cardboard to paint and dry, so I didn’t have to be holding onto it anywhere).
Decide which side of the block you want facing outwards, and hot glue the clothespin to the back of the block.
It’s as simple as that!
The guests had a lot of fun looking for the letters of their choice. We also used them during the shower to hold baby pictures of the future mom and dad! They were a fun and budget-friendly party favor (less than $1 a block when you buy a set of blocks).
I think a fun twist on this idea would be to use washi tape to decorate the clothespin instead of (or perhaps in addition to) the paint. If you wanted to make it fit your color scheme you could also paint all the blocks a uniform color. Can you think of other variations?
Sharing over at See Vanessa Craft!
Here’s a quick project that took me all of 15 minutes, and helps reuse something you would otherwise give/throw away, use as a rag, or lose in the bottomless black hole you call the closet (or is that just me?).
With the warm weather we’ve been having, I’ve really been wishing that my toddler had fewer long pants and more shorts. She’s going to outgrow her long pants before the weather gets cool again. Well, duh, I told myself, why not just shorten the pants?
1 pair of jersey cotton pants
thread that matches pants
I love the neon pink polka dots on these pants but they were kind of a weird shape on my girl. She has skinny legs so the pants ended up baggy around the thigh, but weirdly tapering at the ankle. So I decided that this pair would be a perfect candidate for a redo, and if it didn’t work out, oh well.
Warning: I am not a seamstress. Not even close. I’m a total amateur who has to look at the manual every time I try to thread my sewing machine. So if I can do it, you can too!
Turn the pants inside out. Fold the pants in half lengthwise and snip off the bottom portion. I just eyeballed it, but remember that you’ll lose more length after you hem the pants.
Fold up the cuffs at the bottom of the legs. You could be all fancy and zigzag stitch them, but the knit t-shirt material won’t fray, so don’t worry about it.
Besides, who’s going to be snooping in your baby’s wardrobe criticizing your hemming skills? (uh…don’t answer that question.)
Just sew around the hem with the sewing machine. Let the machine pull the fabric through to avoid stretching the fabric. Just make sure you don’t sew the leg shut. If you want to be fancy, you can sew in a double seam (just add another seam next to the first).
(I forgot to take a picture while I was sewing, so I faked the above picture.)
And it’s as easy as 1…2…3!
Is it perfect? Nope. I’m incapable of sewing a straight seam. Does it work and are they comfy? Oh yeah.
I tried to get a pic of my daughter modeling the shorts but she moves too fast. This is the best I could do and it’s a little blurry.
Of course, when you hem your shorts you will use a matching thread instead of white, unlike me, right?
The shorts are a little loose and flowy which is actually nice for this warm weather. They are the perfect play pants now.