How do you sew with a three-year-old? Get shelf liner, an embroidery hoop, plastic needles, colorful cording, and fun things to attach. Don’t you love my granddaughter Katy’s first stitched masterpiece? ♥
Brown and pink for girls . . . gray and chevron for boys . . . bunny pattern available from Positively Splendid . . . bunnies embroidered with names and attached with Heat n’ Bond and outline stitch . . . use any lined tote pattern . . . time for an Easter egg hunt! ♥
My daughter-in-law Jen is always looking for creative ways to corral her little boys’ toys. When she found a wall-hanging car caddy on Pinterest, I was in!
Jen tweaked the design and chose the fabric, and I sewed, adding some interfacing between the front and back and doubling the fabric on the pockets to make it extra sturdy.
We got a curtain rod for hanging, but instead of the usual hardware, Jen cleverly used some removable hooks to avoid putting holes in the wall.
We think it’s cute . . . but not nearly as cute as the sweet little boys using it! ♥
My niece Amanda got to stop by for a few hours on her vacation to Kansas. We love to make projects together when she visits, like last summer’s ruffle apron. This time we made pencil pouches for HER nieces who are getting ready to begin first and second grade. Amanda looked through my stash and found a crayon print for the outside, alphabet print for the inside, felt for interfacing, and zippers in the girls’ favorite colors. We used the sunnies cases tutorial, only in a different size and shape. We also typed up the instructions so Amanda can make more when she gets home. Click Pencil Pouch to download all the steps. Happy Back-to-School! ♥
Yes, I’m about to share ANOTHER amazing daughter-in-law craft! We were so excited to get this beautiful star with photos of our dear little ones for Christmas. Jen was kind enough to send me a tutorial this week . . . and she must have known I’d ask, because she’d even taken a photo of her materials! Thank you, Jen! ♥
(1) Get a wooden or metal star from a craft store, some scrapbook paper, Mod Podge, a paint brush, scissors, and photos. Tip: Photos that are further away from the subject work better than close-ups.
(2) Use a piece of plain paper to cut templates for each side of the star points. Then look at the pictures and decide which ones to put on the star and where they will go based on their sizes and vertical/horizontal positions.
(3) Use your template to cut out the pictures, making sure they are facing the same way as their position will be on the star.
(4) Paint the backs of the photos with Mod Podge and stick them to the star.
(5) Cut scrapbook paper to fit any extra space on each point of the star and Mod Podge it on.
(6) Paint the whole star with Mod Podge and let it dry overnight.
After making a peppermint wreath and peppermint Christmas tree skirt, I had three little felt peppermints left, so I wrapped a headband in red bias tape and stitched the candies on top to make a festive accessory for a special little girl. This was another free-to-me activity since I already had all the supplies on hand . . . don’t you love it when that happens? There’ll be no more peppermint projects for me this Christmas since I used up all my red felt remnants and have vowed to use up my stash before buying more fabrics (we’ll see how THAT goes!). But several of you have said you’re on it now, so I can’t wait to see what you make! Now . . . on to some Christmas gifts . . . and Christmas pillows . . . and . . . ♥
This isn’t my usual sewing or crafting post, but my “real” job is writing education materials for students, teachers, and parents, and . . . my newest books are out! These 14 books are part of a 60-title Classic Tales series consisting of retellings of short stories, folktales, fairy tales, pourquoi tales, myths, legends, and fables for kindergarten through second-grade readers. Didn’t the artists do a fabulous job on the covers??? (My earlier books are at www.edwriter.com—click on the BOOKS link and then use the pull-down menu to select “Books for Students” or “Books for Teachers.”) Most of my assignments involve writing or editing teacher’s guides and language arts lessons, prototyping new products, and other non-book tasks, but they’re ALL challenging and fun. Thank you for letting me share a bit about my other creative ventures today! ♥
I’m at it again . . . trying to figure out fun ways to repurpose empty mint tins! I’ve already had a chance to try out my mint tin sewing kit, so this time I decided to make one into a game.
(1) Decorate the top with a tic-tac-toe symbol using paint, scrapbook paper, tape, ribbon, or fabric with embroidery (my choice!).
(2) Find five each of two different colors of buttons.
(3) Glue magnets on the buttons.
(4) You’re ready to play . . . perfect for home, the car, or restless little ones at a restaurant or waiting room.
Click the photo for a larger view, here for the super-cute version at Art + Baja that gave me the idea, here for a tic-tac-toe game made of felt, and here for another wonderful mint tin craft by Look What Mommy Made! ♥
Do you have little ones in your family who LOVE to play tic-tac-toe? We do! Since I bought plenty of orange, yellow, green, and white felt for my citrus coaster project, I decided to use it to make a birthday gift for one of these sweet little girls with a giant orange slice gameboard and lemon and lime game pieces. And how serendipitous to find an orange slice notepad in the dollar bin at Michaels for keeping score! 🙂 At first, I was going to make a bag out of my citrus fabric to hold everything, but then I figured out that the gameboard itself could be the bag with the addition of ties. It worked! Now I’m imagining all sorts of other themes . . . a basketball gameboard with different colors of “team” T-shirts for the game pieces . . . a Disney fabric gameboard with Mickey and Goofy game pieces . . . the sky is the limit! You could also make them different sizes and even add velcro to the gameboard and pieces to play it in the car. Other ideas are welcome! ♥
I was wondering aloud what to make for one of our sweet little grandsons for his birthday. “A ring toss game!” piped up Dave. So we put our heads together. He’d make the wooden part from a round tabletop and dowels, and I’d make the rings from embroidery hoops covered in fabric. We even used fat quarters from Grandma Vida, so it was a true family affair. Then, elementary teacher that I am, I made a pad of scoresheets that utilize the concept of tallies and counting by fives to up the challenge when he’s ready. I hope he has as much fun playing with it as we had making it! ♥
Since kids LOVE to see their baby pictures, I decided to use this idea for a simple homemade birthday card for one of our grandchildren. I printed a photo from my computer, trimmed it, and glued it onto the front of a folded sheet of cardstock, wrote about how cute and sweet and smart and funny he is on the inside, signed it, addressed the envelope, and mailed. Now it’s on its way to Germany . . . Happy Birthday, dear Logan! ♥
P.S. I may try this for other family and friends, too . . . perhaps using a photo of a fun time we’ve shared.
I’d love to have a dollar for every time someone grinned and said, “You must be a teacher!” when they caught me running errands after school with stickers all over my clothing . . . lovingly applied by my first graders that day and then forgotten. So, I just had to read this post on Colossal Art & Design called This is What Happens When You Give Thousands of Stickers to Thousands of Kids. Click here to see the whole process . . . you’ll love it! ♥