What do you get when you combine a Saturday morning, 8- and 10-year-old granddaughters, a roll of twine, red and white Tempera paint, and a package of dollar store wooden spoons? Sixteen Santas for teachers and friends on the girlies’ gift lists! You’ll find directions on Real Simple, and here are some other crafty ideas from Christmases past:
My blog has been on the back burner since summer, but I think of you often . . . sending love and best wishes for a joyous Christmas season to you and yours!
Our Georgia family recently moved and needed some new pillow décor. First, we made a bench seat cushion for baby Josh’s toy box (handmade by his Uncle Jeff!). Josh’s room is morphing into a travel theme—don’t you just LOVE this map fabric his mommy picked out? We had enough for a square pillow to pose on the rocking chair, too. Then we made some floral and solid-with-button-a-la-mode pillows for the purple sofa in the living room. Mary Ann purchased the fabrics at Curtain Call in Augusta, Georgia. ♥ P.S. Now I want a purple sofa!
It’s time to change up my Shantilly frame again! I’ve been making lots of rolled fabric rosettes from remnants—the perfect handwork project for road trips or watching TV. (I use this tutorial but stitch instead of glue.) So, while waiting for REAL flowers to pop out, I decided to bunch my fabric versions into a colorful garden with a peeping PEEP left over from my spring garland for a-la-mode. Happy April . . . and don’t pull TOO many April Fool’s tricks today! ♥ P.S. Here are the red frame restyles for November, December, January, and February and the green frame design for March.
My Shantilly frame got a makeover for February! The inspiration was this fun suit-on-a-hangar bookmark from my BFF Susan, and the words are letters snipped from alphabet fabric glued onto rectangles cut from last year’s February calendar paper. Here are the ones for November, December, and January. Happy new month! ♥
Remember the chicken-wire frame I bought at the craft show from Shantilly? And how I decorated it for Thanksgiving with cut out burlap letters and a fabric flower? My granddaughter Miranda helped me restyle it for Christmas with new letters, then we added the scrapbook paper ornament my friend Debbie taught me how to make. Perfect . . . and I’ve already got ideas for when Valentine’s Day rolls around! ♥
In my Sleepover! post I told you about Shantilly, a new crafty business launched by my daughter-in-law Shannon and her sweet mom and sister. Their popular handmade items include different sizes and colors of chicken-wire frames to use for memo boards. (My friend Karen bought one for each of her nieces for Christmas!) With mine, I made a new wall decoration for our upcoming Thanksgiving dinner. The letters are snipped from a remnant of the burlap I used for my mini-screen bag, the teeny wooden clothespins are left over from my t-shirt garland kit, and for a-la-mode I pinned on one of my fabric flower brooches. I just love it, and the best part is that I can update and reuse it for Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and more! Thank you, Shantilly! ♥
Since I donated last year’s 4th of July pillows (here and here and here) to a charity auction, I whipped up a new one over the weekend using a remnant from the last Wonder Woman apron and some ric-rac and embroidery floss from my stash. I love how the red pops on the bright blue and silver fabric! The finished pillow is 11 inches tall and 20 inches wide. To all my U.S. bloggy pals . . . have a safe and fun holiday with your family and friends! ♥
When our whole family gathers in over Father’s Day weekend, I want to have some fun crafts that work for *kids* from pre- schoolers to 80+. My latest idea is a decoration that everyone helps create—T-shirt garland! To keep everything handy, I decided to make a kit with all the necessary materials. Then I can simply hang some baker’s twine across the windows and we can pin on our paper T-shirts as we “customize” them.
To make the kit, I first found an empty box that was just the right size. (This one once held a chocolate cake that came in an order one of our kids sent us from Omaha Steaks . . . yum!!!) I cut off the lid and then cut, folded, and glued the lid cardboard to divide the box into four compartments. Here it is with clips holding everything in place while it dried. When the inside was ready, I traced around the outsides and covered them with scrapbook paper, then made a simple word-processed label for the front using clip art and a text box.
Next, I googled “printable t-shirt template” to find a pattern I like and watched a couple of movies while I traced and cut them out on light-colored paper. I also shopped for tiny clothespins and found these at Amazon.com. They’re REALLY tiny—about one inch long—but perfect for hanging paper items. I also found a small empty jar in the pantry to store them in since we’ll need to keep them safely away from the babies and toddlers. (I later glued three of the pins to the lid for a-la-mode.)
Finally, I added markers, crayons, and colored pencils for creating the T-shirt designs. Since I already had these and the paper on hand, my only expense was the clothespins—and they’re so cute I probably would have bought them anyway. 🙂 I’ll be sure to show you a photo of our garland after everyone is here! P.S. I think this would be a fun way to commemorate family activities over the summer, too . . . books the kids read, trips to the beach and zoo, special treats they get to eat, and that sort of thing. If only I’d thought of that when MY kids were little! ♥
Crocheted snowflakes: My Grandma Leona
Music Christmas Trees: TheHighNoteDotNet
Inspiration: Winter Owls
Welcome to the “THANKFUL” edition of Collectively Creative! Today I have a giveaway for all of our blogging friends . . . one of my children’s stories from Pockets magazine for you to read, share, and/or use to introduce a creative writing activity about holidays. Simply click the first link for a printable word document or the second link for a printable pdf.
Mrs. Hetherington’s Thanksgiving Pageant (word document)
Mrs. Hetherington’s Thanksgiving Pageant (pdf)
I hope some special kids in your life will enjoy meeting Mrs. Hetherington and her Portland Elementary School Drama Club this holiday season! But first, please pour a cup of tea and take a few minutes to savor the rest of this month’s Collectively Creative posts. Each one has something special to enrich our lives. Happy Thanksgiving! ♥
P.S. If you’re a parent, grandparent, children’s book reviewer, librarian, or teacher, please check out the new kids’ Thanksgiving book called Sarah Gives Thanks by one of our fellow WordPressers, Mike Allegra at heylookawriterfellow. I bought a copy, and it’s a keeper!
I was so excited to see some milk bottle carriers on RE: RETRO, because my dad had just given me the set above . . . that my grandparents actually USED!
The glass bottles needed some vinegar and hot soapy water, and the metal carrier needed a good sanding and coat of spray paint, but here it is!
I had some eucalyptus branches left over from my tote bag wall hanging project, so adding those in makes the perfect autumn accent for the top of the kitchen cabinets.
P.S. My husband Dave hung the carrier in a tree to spray it. It worked perfectly and looks lovely. Thank you to you, too, Dave! ♥
Here are the pillows I’m ready to pack up for the silent auction at the PumpkinFest at my church. All the proceeds will go to the youth groups’ summer mission trips, so I hope lots of pillow lovers come! ♥
I LOVE this fabric from Jo-Ann! I used some strips for my fabric-tie fall wreath, a small piece for a mat for my upcycled fan cover tray, and a big piece for this autumn pillow. For a-la-mode, I marked the center of the front and back (after stitching and stuffing), double-threaded a L-O-N-G needle with orange floss, stacked three buttons, went down through the left buttonholes to the back and up through the right buttonholes, pulled the floss tight to create a valley, and tied. I love using this technique on pillows to add an extra bit of visual interest and texture! (Click photo for larger view.) The finished pillow is 18 x 18 inches and will go to the silent auction at the Pumpkinfest at my church later this month. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy seeing it on the wooden rocker in my living room. ♥
I was SO excited that the October issue of HGTV magazine has a tear-out print of a new painting by designer David Bromstad! Click here to see a 30-second video about his creative process via Pier I Imports. But guess what . . . you don’t even have to buy the magazine to get it! Simply click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to download a pdf you can print at home! I think it would be lovely as fall decor or in a nursery. At our home, it’s the perfect guest room dresser buddy for this fun lamp. ♥ P.S. Click here for more fun and free autumn prints!
One of my sweet daughters-in-law just moved AND got a new classroom (see Embroidered Classroom Poster), so I had fun sewing valences for both places. For the kindergarten room, I found a crayon print on the sale table at my local Hancock Fabrics and bought a yard of alphabet/number print for a contrast border. For the dining nook, Jen and Greg chose a green/blue plaid from Fabric.com and I found a matching blue trim at Jo-Ann. They’re in the mail to their new homes! ♥
Do you have toy dinosaurs in your toy box? I do! Now one of them is holding my bangle bracelets! He’s so cute . . . and a surprise pop of fun in the room. P.S. Check out these dino ring holders on My So Called Crafty Life, too! ♥
Since I finished my fall wreath, my new “kitchen project”–as in leaving the materials out on the kitchen island to work on in spare moments–is to make enough mini-pillow ornaments to decorate a small Christmas tree. I started on these last fall but only ended up finishing five. First, I cut all my Christmas remnants into 4-inch squares to mix and match for fronts and backs. I always add a bit of embroidery a-la-mode to the front, along with buttons or jingle bells here and there. Then I stitch and stuff just as I would a regular pillow but add a ribbon for hanging before sewing. I love how festive they look, and they make a great road-trip project, too. I’ll post my decorated tree when they’re all done! ♥
The fall wreath is finished . . . and wearing a vintage bow tie! Click on the spring wreath post for details. Two more seasons to go! P.S. Here’s another pretty wreath + tutorial from the Leisure Time blog! ♥
The minute I saw an adorable mobile on Eco Felt Crafts (who got the idea from It’s the Life, who got the idea from The Handmade Home . . . don’t you love how bloggers share???) I knew I had to make one for a special baby girl. I love the combination of felt, fabric, buttons, and ribbons in greens, pinks, blues, and whites to match her nursery. It was so much fun to make! P.S. Click here and here and here and here and here for five more cute mobiles. And if you’ve made one, please send me a link in a comment and I’ll add it to this post. I’d love to try them all! ♥
Other baby gift posts on Pillows A-la-mode:
Burpies and more burpies and even more burpies (plus a receiving blanket!)
We’re off to meet the newest member of our family . . . precious baby Katy! Here’s a project from the September issue of Woman’s Day that I hope to try when I come back home. Click here for directions and here for free templates. Enjoy, and have a lovely weekend! ♥
The bit of fabric left over from my latest memo board is now a pillow (surprise! surprise!). I also had a little bag of heart buttons in coordinating colors in my stash, so I stitched them over some of the polka-dots on the front for a-la-mode. I think it will be a nice gift for a little girl whose favorite color keeps changing! ♥
When I was making my class reunion garland, I kept the materials on the kitchen island so I could work on it in spare moments. Plus, I use the tall part of the island, and it’s relaxing to stand and craft since my “real” job involves working at the computer all day. So I’ve decided to keep a project going there all the time . . . well, except for when we’re having a houseful of guests for dinners or holidays. (I DO leave Dave room to eat lunch and read his mail, too! :)) My current “kitchen project” is a fall wreath made with strips of autumn-colored fabrics tied onto a wire clothes hanger bent into a circle. I made one for spring, too, so you can click here for details if you’d like to give it a try. P.S. I’m including a photo of the vintage bow tie I’m going to use for a-la-mode. Isn’t it cute??? ♥
Nothing is more relaxing than breakfast on the porch on a late summer morning. Of course, this requires a serving tray, such as this wire beauty I got
for $24.99 at the local home goods store free from the garage! Yes, we have a floor fan in which the motor burned up after years of service, and I haven’t been able to throw it away. I knew the front came off, so that’s the first piece I salvaged. I can use it to serve a meal, display fun items, or as a seasonal centerpiece with the addition of a liner cushion I made from a remnant and quilt batting. Now, what to do with the rest of the fan . . . P.S. If you haven’t made these cinnamon roll-ups yet, you must try them! Click here for the recipe! ♥
Once one of my teen-age sons accompanied me to a teacher supply store. The next thing I knew, he was sitting on a bench outside. When I asked him why he left, he said, “Mom! It looks like a rainbow threw up in there!” So, if you’ve ever felt the same way, it’s probably best to move on to another blog now. 🙂
Today’s project is a fabric memo board . . . but for holding girly hair things, like:
Click here for a tutorial (starting with a cardboard box!) and here for a photo of the zebra-print version filled with flower hair clips and pins. I can’t wait to give this one to a special little girl for her birthday! ♥
When I saw some scrabble tile pillows in a photo on Get In My Home, I knew I just had to try making some! Here’s how:
(1) Find some khaki colored fabric. (Lucky me, my husband had just handed me an old polo shirt in just this color that he no longer wanted!) Cut out two squares for each letter of the word you want to make. I started with 8-inch squares because I just wanted to make some small pillows to put on a shelf, but you could go much larger or smaller.
(2) Go to Fuzzimo, scroll down to where it says “Download Wooden Scrabble Letter Tiles Image,” and download the photo.
(3) Go to PicMonkey and use their tools to crop and enlarge the desired tiles.
(4) Print the tiles, cut out the letters and numbers, and tape them onto a piece of black felt.
(5) Cut out the letters and numbers, pin them on the pillow fronts, and glue or sew them into place. (I machine-sewed mine using the zig-zag stitch.)
(6) Sew each pillow front to a pillow back, right sides together, leaving an opening at the bottom for stuffing.
(7) Trim the seams, turn, and stuff, then pin and handstitch the opening. ♥
One of my teacher friends posted this adorable chart-paper poster from the First Grader At Last! blog on Pinterest. I wanted to make one for a teacher in my family, but instead of recopying it on paper I decided to embroider the whole thing! Crazy, I know! 🙂 But here are the steps:
- Find some fabric that looks like notebook paper, cut out a rectangle, and embroider the red line and “holes.”
- Print the sayings lightly in pencil on the lines.
- Embroider, using a different color of floss for each line.
- Cut out a piece of quilt batting and back fabric, stack and pin (with right sides together), and stitch the sides and bottom.
- Trim the seams, turn, press, and top stitch the edges.
- Sew a strip of 2-inch seam facing to the top (right sides together), fold it back to make a dowel rod casing for hanging, and handstitch it down.
Here’s my colorful version, taped (a bit wonkily!) to a wall for a photo shoot before heading to a new kindergarten classroom. Happy school year! ♥
(1) Find a stand-up frame that matches your guest room. (I got this one at a dollar store for . . . yes . . . $1!)
(2) Use the picture that comes with the frame as a template to cut a light-colored piece of scrapbook or wrapping paper.
(3) Put the pretty paper in the frame.
(4) Using a dry-erase marker, write a welcome message on the glass before your guests arrive.
(5) Watch them smile!
P.S. A big THANK YOU goes out to Bliss . . . a DIY and Home Design Site for this great idea! If you’ve written a recent post about creating a hospitable guest space, I’d love for you to send me a link in a comment and I’ll add it to this post, too! ♥
My pile of giftable pillows was getting quite tall, so I was really happy to discover an opportunity to donate a dozen or so to a fundraiser craft show that’s coming up in August! I hope their new owners love them as much I as I loved making them! Then, silly me, I spotted a remnant in my stash that I knew would look pretty with our loveseat and the plant beside it and just had to take a few minutes to stitch up a new one. No a-la-mode needed this time . . . but it provides a nice splash of scenery and is cushy enough for a nap. And about that tomato . . . well, it’s the first (and maybe only!) one this summer. It’s tiny but mighty, having overcome a hail storm, high winds, and the ongoing Kansas drought to appear and redden on our plants. You’ve got to admire that kind of persistence! P.S. I’ll bet it makes the best mini-BLT ever! ♥
When I made the tablecloth + napkin curtains for the bedroom, they replaced two valences which are now pillows! To make the necktie flower a-la-mode:
- Cut off the fat part of the tie.
- Unstitch the rest of the tie and remove any interfacing and lining.
- Fold and press the tie in half (the long way!) and baste the open sides together, pulling gently to gather it as you go.
- Curl the gathered tie around until it forms a flower shape and tack it together underneath.
- Stitch a pretty button or earring to the center, then stitch the flower where you want it and finish making your pillow.
I’d like to thank . . . in training for the inspiration and for suggesting that I try using neckties for flowers! ♥
Here are the rest of the pillows I made from my Americana-stamped fabric. What a lovely gift that was!
Since the cloth is loosely woven, I backed the words with a light iron-on interfacing before zig-zagging them to the pillow fabric. Other than that, I simply cut, stitched, and stuffed for a nice pop of red, white, and blue for the holiday.
Have a safe, fun, and happy 4th of July! ♥
I was in the mood for some new curtains for two skinny bedroom windows, and I had some fabric that would work perfectly . . . a tablecloth and napkins!
- Cut the tablecloth in half to make two curtains.
- Cut a strip off the bottom of each piece.
- Cut two of the napkins into fourths and sew the strips together to make long, narrow borders.
- Sew the napkin borders to the tablecloth fabrics.
- Hem all the unfinished edges.
- Turn the tops under and stitch to make casings for the curtain rods.
- Hem all the way around the two extra strips and use them for tie-backs.
- Make a matching pillow with the other two napkins.
I love the new look! ♥
This is a fun week! I just posted about the great vintage apron I received from Moosewood Vintage, and now I am the lucky recipient of ANOTHER blogging give-away . . . this gorgeous Persian Plum quilt block kit from Books Quilts and Sewing! And, Michael (the quilter) added a $5 gift card to Michaels (the store) to the package . . . what a lovely surprise! Truthfully, I’d never pieced a quilt block before, but I knew it would be perfect for a pillow so I eagerly dove in. It was sort of like putting a puzzle together . . . and I soon learned that when the directions say to press, DO IT! Here’s my beautiful new pillow, featured in a back porch photo shoot. Oh, and Michael has ANOTHER give-away going on right now . . . you have until July 7 to enter. Click here for information, and plan to stay a bit to browse his blog. Thanks, Michael! 🙂
I got these sweet stars and hearts wooden buttons for my birthday and was waiting for just the right project for them. When I found this remnant at JoAnn with stars the same size and color as my buttons, I knew just what to do. Here is my finished 18 x 18 inch pillow, all ready for the 4th of July! ♥
Design-her Gals is the best web site ever for creating business cards and other personalized products. I’ve used it for several years for my Edwriter cards, and I’ve never been disappointed. Plus, it’s fun designing your “gal,” they have lots of great sales, and a portion of every purchase goes to the Gal to Gal Foundation for Stage IV breast cancer research. I was intrigued by a recent email from Design-her Gals about the “color of the year” . . . tangerine:
Tangerine combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. Associated with joy, sunshine, and the tropics, it represents enthusiasm, creativity, determination, and success. Add a little tangerine to your life this year!
Since this was my new favorite color last spring, I took my camera to my living/dining/kitchen space to see just how many shots of orange I could find. ♥
Plate by Ally & Kira
Front door rug
Ceramic tablespoon on placemat
Handmade dish towel from Mexico
Vida’s handmade egg
Patio door rug