Monday, December 15, 2014

Fun with Felt Balls

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Did you see my mantel on Studio 5 today?

Now through December 18 use the code studio5 to save 15% here on this blog or in my Etsy shop.

also be sure to enter my instagram giveaway.  

I am giving away 2 felt ball garlands of your choice!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

A Practical Guide to Elf on the Shelf

Our Elf, Jingle Van Happy Pants, will arrive on Monday.  He always shows up on December first.

When it comes to the elf, sometimes he gets a few haters who think it is just one more time consuming thing to fit into the Christmas craziness and that he is teaching kids the wrong thing.

Well, I love our elf, but I also take a very low key approach to the elf.

There are a couple of rules I live by when it comes to having an elf visiting for the holidays.  First, our elf does NOT do bad things. He NEVER makes big messes, he NEVER camps out all day somewhere inconvenience (like taking up one of the seats on the sofa in the Family room, at the bottom of the stairs, or on the toilet... seriously! the toilet people.  I don't know about you, but decommissioning a toilet all day because an elf is pooping skittles does not seem like a good idea.... and what if he fell in?? Gross.)

So here is what our elf does do.

Every December 1st our elf arrives in our fireplace.  It just seems like a good place for someone from the North Pole to show up and he brings the kid's advent calendars.  The first time I turned off the pilot light, but it was a pain getting it back on so now we just risk it.

 Throughout the month our elf does bring a few presents, but they aren't anything that I wouldn't have given the kids anyway.  He will usually bring them new Christmas jammies the first Friday and Christmas coloring books the first day of Christmas break.

Most days our elf keeps it really simple.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Festive Yarn Wreath

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I love all the texture in this wreath and it is pretty easy to make.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

DIY Felt Ball Coasters

Why is it that everything looks cute covered in felt balls?? :)  I am totally in love with how these turned out.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Mini Felt Ball Wreath Ornaments Tutorial

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These cute little wreath ornaments are super easy to DIY. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Felt Ball Garland Tutorial

I am so excited for this week of felt ball crafts! 
What better place to start than with a tutorial on making felt ball garland.

It was actually when I saw this "Cheery Garland" card from Tiny Prints that I first fell in love with felt ball garlands.

I just love all the bright happy colors and I especially love the silver and gold balls.  I had never seen a felt ball garland that have silver and gold metallic ball in it before. So of course I had to make one.

Felt Ball Crafts Week

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I am so excited for this week of super fun felt ball craft tutorials.  Just in time to add a little extra cheer to your holiday decorating.

Make sure you come join me every night this week when I will post a different felt ball craft.   Why? Because they are just that cute.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Holly Jolly Felt Ball Ornaments

Since we are such good friends I feel like I can tell you this and you won't freak out too badly.  

There are only 7 more weekends until Christmas.  WHAT!?! 

That makes this the prefect time to start getting your Christmas craft on.  
All this next week I will be sharing different felt ball Christmas crafts starting with these jolly felt ball ornaments I am sharing over on The NY Melrose family.    

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

DIY Fairytoile Bunting

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I'm a pretty Halloween decorations kinda girl.  So I was quite excited when I recently had the chance to use some beautiful wallpaper from Graham & Brown in my Halloween decorating.  

I chose the Fairytoile print.  I love it so much.  It is so thick and the texture is beautiful.

To make the bunting I just cut out 6X8 inch rectangles and then took little notches out of the bottom.  Since wallpaper has the tendency to roll I mod podged the backs of the rectangles together.  
Then I just ran a line out hot glue along the top back of the pennants and tied strips of fabric between them.   Cute and easy.  And this can be done with any wallpaper.

I simply love the gorgeous images in this paper. 

And the clever details.

Friday, October 24, 2014

King of the Wild Things

On the night that Bryce wore his wolf suit he made mischief of one kind or another..
 So he was sent to bed...

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based on Maurice Sendak's book Where The Wild Things Are.

To make this costume I used a white plush fabric and faux fur.
I used a footed pajama pattern for the basic shape, but added a hood.
The crown has fusible interfacing to make it stick up.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

7 steps to putting together baskets like a Boss!

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I promise you that I am not that mom. I am not that super put together, stay at home, goes to the gym, house is always clean, room mom, PTA president, kids are always good, makes up 10 baskets for the school fundraiser mom.   Not that there is anything wrong with those things, there is just something wrong with being ALL of those things at the same time.  Ya know?  I can be some of those things some of the time. And in the case of PTA president and house being clean; I am those things none of the time.

So, recently I was basket mom.  You know how on back to school night, teachers have a list of volunteer positions moms can sign up for?  While I am not so good at coming in every Monday morning to help a group of 6 year-olds read for an hour.  I have little ones at home and frankly I don't want to.  It is hard enough to keep my sanity during the hours of nightly homework.  But when it comes to signing up for planning parties or putting together baskets, I am all over it.  

Every year my kids' school has the "Sonic Blast." It is like a fall carnival and it is a major fundraiser for the school.  Each class donates at least one basket for the silent auction.  Kids bring in items for whatever the theme is and then the basket mom puts it all together.  This year I was basket mom for all three of my kids' classes.  It ended up being 10 baskets!  Volunteer quota filled. Ohhhh Yeahhhh.

7 steps to putting together baskets like a boss.
(You can even put on real pants and pretend that you're "that mom" when you drop them off at the school.)

1.  Plan Ahead
 Once you know what the theme of your basket will be just keep it in mind.  That way when you see Frozen tattoos in the dollar spot at Target you know to grab one just in case your "It's a girl thing" basket needs a little filler.  Also, think of local businesses you can call and ask if they would be interested in donating to your basket.  For example I called Minky Couture and Star Nails.  Both were very nice and happy to donate.  

2.  Price it Out 
Once you pick up all the items, the first think I do is list everything and how much it is worth.  I can guess at the value, but if I have no idea my cell phone can really help.  First I use the Amazon app to scan the bar code and see how much it is on Amazon.  If Amazon doesn't have it then I use an app called RedLaser.  It also scans the bar code and can find local prices for things.

3.  Sort it into Baskets
 Now that I have the values, I start dividing things up into baskets.  Unless you only have a few items donated, you will want to break it up into more than one basket.  There are two reasons for this.  The first being that you can end up with kinda random stuff that doesn't really go all that well together.  The "it's a girl thing" basket I broke it up into 4 baskets: little girls, young tween girl, and 2 big girl baskets.  
The other reason you want to break up the baskets is price point.  I find that the sweet spot for getting the most out of you baskets is $30 to $70 per basket.   If I had just put all this together in one basket it would have been over $300 and that is a little much for most parents to bid on.

4. Go Shopping
Make a list of what you still need and go shopping.  Try to only go out for all of this once.  You may need filler items (the dollar spot and clearance areas are great for picking up a few things extra things), you will need baskets, shrink wrap (I would suggest buying it at Hobby Lobby or Micheal's with a 40% off coupon), wrapping paper or tissue paper, and tape.  I usually start at the dollar store, then Hobby Lobby and Target.  If parents sent in money or gift card donations this is a good time to use them.  For instance, with the little girl basket, I had a $20 donation, so I thought to myself, what would be something sure to get bid on?  Then I used the $20 to buy Anna and Elsa. The Frozen themed basket sold for $70... but had a value of $45. Getting the things that pull it all together really makes a difference.  Sometimes you just need a little thing and sometimes you need the big thing that pulls all the little things together.  
The baskets I used for my 10 baskets where mostly dollar store baskets, donated items, and the tote was from the dollar spot at Target.

5. Put Your Baskets Together
As a general rule, put bigger stuff in the back and smaller stuff toward the front.  

In the larger car wash basket I put down a little tissue paper in the back to build it up and then stuffed more tissue paper in spots where I needed things a little higher or to hold items in their place. 

In the smaller car wash basket I put a bunch of old grocery bags in the bottom of the bucket to build it up. That way the auction items were on top and easy to see.

For this basket I put the Minky Couture blanket straight in and then wrapped an empty oatmeal box in the same wrapping paper I used to lift up the candle and the lotion.  I got the wrapping paper at the dollar store.

Empty food boxes, wrapping paper, tissue paper, old paper towel rolls, and clear tape are all great things to have on hand to make things stay where you want them in a basket.

  Sometimes you are going to need to add weight to the bottom, like with this basket.  I used old magazines to add weight and structure to the bottom so it didn't fall over.

6.  Shrink Wrap It
Shrink Wrap is your friend.  The directions on the roll are pretty easy to follow. Shrink wrap it from the top, taping the ends underneath.  Make sure all of the edges are taped down or folded over.  To get a nice shrink wrap look, the shrink wrap needs something to pull against as it shrinks.  

The really nice thing about shrink wrap is that is will pull everything nice and tight, like the pillow in the back of this basket.  Nothing slides around and everything can be seen.

7. Put a Cute Tag on It
I made my tags in PicMonkey and then sent them to be printed at Costco.  I needed to go to Costco anyway and they just look good.  Plus it was like $1.30 to have all 10 of my tags printed.  Try to avoid printing the list out on a whole sheet of paper, because then it will end up covering your beautiful basket.  

You don't need the pictures, but since I like doing this, I added cute little pictures.  I would suggest just Googling them.  For the Frozen pics, I just Googled "frozen PNG."  You want a PNG file because they usually don't have a background.

But PicMonkey also already has a lot of pictures you can use.

Not too bad, right?
You can do it.

Come back on Friday.  It is going to be awesome.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Back to School 2014

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And some were more ready than others.

Poor kid.  This picture totally cracks me up.  It is just so him.

Every year I like to have the kids bring a little first day of school gift for their teachers.  Yup, I am a suck up.  Actually, I just think it is nice.  Like back when you would go to someone's home for the first time you would bring a hostess gift.   Not to mention this person is about to take on a task that I did not want to do and she might need a little chocolate to get through it. 

Anyway, so this year I decorated these cute little jars and filled them with M&Ms.

I think it is nice that they are just something really small that my kids can hand off to their teachers without a lot of fanfare.

All I did was make this cute little printable, Mod Podge it to a little mason jar, fill it with M&Ms, stick a cupcake paper on the top, and tie a little string around it.  And as a bonus to you, you don't even have to make the printable.  You can just use this one.

(just right click on it and save it to your computer.)

Happy Back to School!

Oh yeah, third grade is something to look forward too.  

Oh here, have one more printable.