September 30, 2010

Autumn Bloom Belt

As I mentioned yesterday, I LOVE autumn.  Yesterday autumn got its own wreath and today it's getting its own belt.  I'm going to show you how to make this belt and these fun flowers.

When I made it I envisioned wearing it with a cute brown tunic, but I still haven't found or made one yet.  Until then this dress will give you the idea.

Let's get started.  Here's what you'll need - a glue gun, some grograin ribbon, and 1/8 of a yard of four colors of felt.  (Actually with these supplies you could make about 4 belts, but an 1/8 of a yard is the smallest measurement they let you order fabric in.)

Cut your grograin ribbon to be the correct length.  The belt just ties around the waist in a bow, so make sure it's long enough to do that.  The nice thing about a ribbon belt that just ties on so it's one-size-fits-all.  You can share it.

Find the center of the ribbon.  Take a large rectangle of felt and glue it to the belt as shown.  Then fold the felt on top of itself and glue it.  The felt is essentially sandwiching the ribbon and you'll have a large base to work with when you glue the flowers on.  (Sorry I didn't get a picture of it folded over, but I'm pretty sure you know what I mean.)

To make the flower cut the felt lengthwise in about a one inch strip.

Cut slits in the strip as shown.

Do this down the entire length of the strip.

Start rolling the strips like a cinnamon roll.  I like to add a little hot glue every 6 inches or so just to keep it from slipping.

When you're done your flower will look like this, front and back.  You can fluff up the petals to get them to look how you want them to.  Make two more flowers the same way and glue them to the felt base you created.  I glued them in a high-low-high arrangement.  I loaded up the bottom of the flower with a fair amount of hot glue.

On to the petal.  To make the petals have a little body, cut a slit at the bottom.

Fold one part over the other (as shown) and glue it.  Glue the petals wherever the felt base is still showing.

Head into your closet and see what matches your new belt!  My sister and I have also tried these flowers with thick upholstery fabric and they look cool, too.  They fray a little and they are bulkier, but they look great.

Thank you to all of you who have been enjoying our Loopdeeou headband blow out sale.  We'll keep updating the site with more headbands as they sell until they're all gone.  My sister and I have been thrilled with the success of the sale.  Thanks for your support!

Have a lovely day.  See you tomorrow....same bat time, same bat place.  (Yeah, Rex's Batman phase is creeping in on me.)

September 29, 2010

$5 Fall Wreath

The wreath I made a few months ago was really a spring/summer one, so thought it would be nice to make an autumn one.  Autumn deserves one.  After all it's my favorite season.  Here's the wreath - simple and colorful.

I hit Hobby Lobby where all the wreaths were 50% off, so I bought this oval one for $2.50.  The faux-leaves were also 50% off since all the fall stuff was already on clearance.  (I guess I'm not so on the ball, but I also guess it's sometimes cheaper to not be on the ball :)  The leaves were $2.50, so the whole wreath was $5.  Not bad considering every wreath I've seen in stores has been $30 or more.

The leaf stems were wired, so I tried to wired them onto the wreath.  I also used hot glue to make sure they were on there really well. 

I added a few acorns from my yard where the wreath looked bare.  You can't see them really well since they're kind of small.  That's it! 

Thanks for reading my blog.  I'm glad you're here.

September 28, 2010

Headband Blowout Extravaganza!!! and Free Printable

My sister and I are clearing out our Loopdeelou headband shop.  We're done making headbands and on to out little man cuffs for now.  So what does that mean to you?  Our headbands were normally $18, but we're selling them all for just $5.  So, if you want to stock up for Christmas, want to spice up some autumn outfits, need a birthday gift, or just need a reason to buy something fun than this is for you.  Shipping is a flat rate of $5 no matter how many you order.  There are a ton of options.  Click HERE to do a little shopping.


We've also recently updated our etsy shop ROAR with some more little man cuffs.  Click HERE to do a little boy shopping.

On to today's idea.  There's really not a tutorial here, but I do have something for you.  Let me explain what it is.  I've been trying to think of ways to teach my boys to be courteous and grateful.  I created these little printables that you can use like cards.  They can be colored and then given out.  There are four.  I put them all on the same page and saved them as a PDF file.  That means you can print them, cut them out, color them, and give them out.  Click HERE to download them.

Just a simple idea to teach your little ones how to show appreciation.  Enjoy!

See you tomorrow.

September 27, 2010

Guesting Posting at How Does She

Remember that mustard yellow pillow I made for my sister that I showed you last week?  Well today you get the full tutorial for it, including a free PDF file for the flower shapes.  You just have to take a little trip over to the lovely site How Does She where I'm guest posting today.  Click HERE to head on over.

Thanks for dropping in.  See you there!

September 26, 2010

Sunshine Sunday - confidence, colors, and close calls

We had a pretty good week around here.  Rex has been requesting "Wolverine hair" for the days he has preschool.  Instead of telling him he might look a little crazy I just went with it.  I love his confidence and I hope he always feels comfortable expressing himself.  Here's the do along with his flexed muscles.

I was having a tough day with the boys a few days ago, so I decided we needed to do something fun.  I let the boys strip down to diapers and undies and paint themselves (with washable paint, of course).  Rex had a blast and asked if we could do it everyday.  Baden was clueless but we helped him out.

Lastly, I am most thankful for my husband this week.  He had a really close call.  He's been into cycling for many years and has never had a fall.  Wednesday morning at 7am he called and told me he had gone down.  I can't figure out how he landed because he had holes all over the front and back of his cycling clothing, on his gloves and he was bleeding in a lot of different places.  He must have flipped and rolled a lot.  He was really blessed, though.  He was fine and the sweetest man picked him up and brought him home.  When the man dropped him off he explained that he doesn't usually drive that route, but he just felt like he should that day. 

Life is great.  I sure love me three men.

September 25, 2010

Soapbox Saturday - CSN Stores

If you spend any time in blogland, you've heard of CSN Stores.  The amazing thing is that I've NEVER heard anything negative about them and that is extremely impressive to me.  You can find anything in their 200 online stores and their service is excellent. 

I recently had the chance to review this Paula Deen cookware set.  While I may not be Paula Deen, I'm feeling pretty cool with these fun, turquoise-blue pots and pans.  They match all the accents in my home.  This set comes in a variety of great, vibrant colors. 

I love that the lids work interchangeably on the pots AND the pans.  (That way I can gurantee that my grilled cheese will be melted to perfection and not cold in the middle.) 

The handles are smooth and stay cool.  It's really the perfect set and it's actually even given me a little more desire to cook.  (If my husband had known that he would have bought them years ago :)

So, the next time you're looking for a specific item, be sure to try CSN Stores.  They're bound to have what you're looking for.

Thanks for stopping by.  See you tomorrow.

September 24, 2010

Upcycled Brimmed Beanie Hat

I love hats on little boys.  It's one of my favorite things ever.  Here are my little guys to introduce today's tutorial to you.

Can't you feel the brotherly love?  Poor little guy.  Anyhow, I'm going to show you how to make these cute brimmed beanie hats from old sweaters.  I want you to think of it like making a sunday.  First I'll show you the basics of making the actual hat (like scooping up the icecream) and then I'll give you a buffet of topping choices...carmel, sprinkles, whipped cream, or whatever you like.  (Yes, I just might be hungry right now.)  I just love to embellish boy stuff.

Alright, let's get started now.  To make the actual hat you need to measure your child's noggin.  Once you've got the measurement you can get out your old sweater.  Cut two rectangles out, utilizing the bottom finished edge of the sweater.  If your sweater stretches a LOT, then make the length of the rectangle an inch or two less then your child's measurement.  If it stretches normally then use the actual measurement (the circumference of his or her head).  As for the height of the rectangle here are some estimates.  My one year old's I cut to be 6.5 inches tall and my three year old's was about 7.5 inches tall.  (Sidenote:  They both have very large noggins for their age.  Yeah, they're advanced :)

Once you have your two rectangles, divide the piece lengthwise into quarters and cut three-inch slits down from the top.

Then cut those pieces into half-football shapes.  What am I talking about?  Just look at the picture below.

Now, take one piece and sew the adjacent footballs together.  Then sew the ends together until you have a basic beanie.  Do this with the other one as well.  One will be your lining and one will be the outside of the hat.

Now we're going to make the brim.  I tried using thin plastic for the inside of the brim on this hat so it would be really washable.  However, I recommend cardboard instead (which I used on the other hat).  That's because the plastic can't be broken in, so the brim remains flat rather than rounded.  On this hat I copied the brim of a baseball cap, while the green hat has a smaller brim.  I'll finish showing you the process of the red hat, but then I'll explain the differences in the other hat and you can pick your favorite.

Cut two pieces to match your brim, but leave about 3/8 inch extra on the inside of the brim.

Put the wrong sides together and sew the outer edge.

 Invert it and slip the cardboard into it.  Put the inside seam all on one side of the brim to avoid bunching.  I sewed around the edge three times like a top stitch to keep it in place and to give it some detail.

Now it's time to sew on the brim.  (You will actually want to do all your embellishing before you sew on the brim and the lining, but I just want to show you all the sewing first.)  You'll sandwich it in between the outer hat and the lining.  I like to start in the middle of the brim and sew one side and then the other so it stays centered.  Take your time and make sure you have all three layers lined up as you go.  You want to sew as close as possible to the the plastic or cardboard insert.

After the brim is on you can sew along the bottom of the hat to join the lining and the outer hat.  Here I recommend using a zigzag stitch so the fabric will still stretch well.  Now that's all the major hat construction, but let me show you some things I did differently on the second hat.

The brim was smaller, which I liked better.  You can use my brim if you'd like.  Click HERE to download a free PDF file of it.  Because these types of hats usually have smaller brims I think this brim would work from age 1-10.  The sweater I used for this hat was a lot more stretchy and loosely woven.  When I made the brim I cut the pieces to be much larger than needed so that I could sew the edge and zigzag it so nothing would unweave. 

Then I trimmed off the excess and inserted the brim.

I did not make a lining for this hat, since it was a heavier sweater and because it was for my youngest son who is constantly sweaty.  When sewing on the brim, I obviously didn't have two layers to sandwich it in between, so I flipped up the brim and sewed it on the outside of the hat as shown.  I let it climb up the hat a bit, which worked out really well.  That way the brim sits a little higher and doesn't cover his eyes too much.  I followed up with a zigzag stitch and trimmed off the extra.

Now here comes the fun part.  And, if you don't sew you can buy a hat and add some fun stuff to it.  Here are your toppings:

1) Freezer paper stenciling.  I love doing this.  If you've never tried it you can go HERE to watch my in depth video tutorial.  While I usually create a stencil and then paint it, this time I filled it in with fabric markers instead.  (I thought it would be funny to put established followed by his birth year.)

2) Premade stencils.  I used this Tulip Graffiti stencil up the side of the hat for a fun, tough look.  (It comes in a pack with other great stencils.)

3) Make your own patch.  I stenciled a number or letter on fabric, cut it out and sewed it on.

4) Use existing graphics from old clothing.  I cut out these cute little motorcycles from an old shirt and sewed them on.

5) Don't forget to floss.  I love to use embroidery floss to do some random, messy stitiching here and there.  (Like on the red hat.) 

Thanks for reading.

September 23, 2010

Superhero Car and Reading Nook

This was my final project for So You Think You're Crafty.  It was a lot of work, but I was really happy with the results.

I've been planning on converting one of our bedrooms into a Superhero room for Rex.  I wanted to create an area where he could read, but also have fun.  The solution?  The Superhero Car/Reading Nook.  While the car is huge and makes a big impact, the budget was very small.  Lean in here and I'll tell you what it's make from.... Cardboard!  Recycled and cheap are both great things in my book.  Don't worry - it's super strong and can be climbed on.

Right of the bat you'll notice it's great for playing on. 

However, it was also designed for reading.  The back has a sturdy shelf to hold books and the seating area has a ledge for books to sit on.

I think there will be a lot of adventures in it....

......and maybe even some surprise endings. 

(The car was obviously modeled after the Batmobile, but when it comes to hair we prefer Wolverine's.)

Holy inexpensive-recycled-cool-toy, Batman!  Alright let's get started.  You're going to need about 10 boxes - the bigger the better.  Open up about six of them to start and lay them out.  Start by drawing the side of your car on the box. 

Each side should be about 3 layers thick.  You'll want to stagger the bends in the boxes when layering.  They best way to attach the boxes to each other is hot glue.  You'll want at least two people and two glue guns for this part.  Get as much glue out as you can, especially near the edges.  (Since the shapes haven't been cut out yet, it's helpful to sketch the car shape onto the other layers or at least make some measurement marks so you'll know where to put the glue.)

Once you've covered it with glue place the next layer on and press till it's dry (as shown below :).  After you've glued your three layers together it's time to cut.  The benefit of waiting till they're glued to cut them is that you can now use a jig saw to cut them rather than cutting each layer with a razor blade.  If you don't have a saw then you can cut each layer out individually and then glue them together.  That works fine, it's just a little more work.

Do this all over again for the other side of the car.

If possible, use your best piece of cardboard for the outside.  While the paint will cover graphics, you want to avoid spots where tape has torn off parts of the box and made the texture uneven.

One way to make the next part a bit easier is to find two identical boxes that are a good width for the car.  That way one can be the seat and you can use them both as a gauge to make sure you're gluing the two sides perfectly parallel.  Once you've placed (not glued) your boxes inside the car, measure the width and cut a long strip to run up the front of the car.  As you hold it up on the car mark where the car bends and score (that means to cut, but not cut all the way through) the box so that it will lay flat up the front.  I recommend two layers for the top.  Glue them on one by one.  Now cut a shape to match the front of the car and make it two layers thick (as shown).  Glue this under the hood to act as a brace and support the top.

Time for more bracing.  Measure the inside width of the car and cut two pieces to be 4 inches wider then that.  These pieces will go where the red arrow is pointing, forming a "T' with the other brace.  Score each piece two inches from the edge on both sides.  This will serve as a tab and give you some place to glue the brace better.  See the tabs where the yellow arrows are?  It's two layers thick.  One piece has tabs going towards the front and the other has tabs going towards the back.  Be sure to glue where the pieces meet as well (where the blue arrow is pointing).

As you can see from the picture above, you'll want to create some bracing within the seat itself.  An "X" is very strong.  I added some "V"s as well so that the box wouldn't collapse when the boys jump on it.  Glue in the braces and the box.

The back of the seat is much like the other brace.  Cut a piece to span from the floor up to the top of the car and give it tabs to glue it in place.  (The tabs won't run the full length of the piece because the seat will get in the way.  Just make them stretch from the top down to the seat.)  Cut another piece with tabs to go behind it.  Glue these pieces in.

Use the box that matches the seat for the bookshelf and reinforce it the same way you did with the seat.  Glue it in place.

The windshield has two layers and the inside layer has tabs to secure it.  The windshield is all one piece with the sides scored.  It's pretty much trial and error here.  Draw it out, cut it, try it on, and make necessary adjustments until it looks right.

Now all the hard part is done!  My favorite part is the decorating.  Cover the whole thing with black acrylic paint.  You can use a small roller to speed up the process.  I used metallic silver paint for the windshield.  Now to clean up all the lines you can buy a roll of black duct tape, which can be found at the Depot.  Run the tape along all the seams.  Where there are curves you'll have to make slits along the way just like you would when sewing.  Later you can cover the slits with another layer of tape (as shown at the back of the car where there are waves.)

The tape will give the car a cleaner look and strengthen all your seams.

For the rest of the decorating you can do whatever you like, but I'll share what I did with you to give you some ideas.

For the tires I cut circles out of the textured, rubbery stuff they sell to line your cupboards.  It was a translucent gray and gave the car some texture.  I found it at Ikea.  For the rims I bought a sheet of silver tagboard at Hobby Lobby and cut circles out.  I cut out the black shapes to go over the top of the rims for more detail.

I scored when I found THESE stickers at Ikea.  You can find them in the kid's toy section.  (They're actually made to go on a plastic toy they have there.)  They made the decorating a lot easier. 

Lastly, I cut out a bumper out of the silver tagboard and a big oval for the emblem on the hood.  I put colored paper behind the oval and painted a thin wooden letter from a craft store to stand for "Rex."  When applying the tires, bumper, and emblem, spray adhesive worked extremely well.

It was a big project, but the results are also big.  I can't wait to do the rest of the room now! 

I think you could build a lot of different types of cars that would also work.  If you make this you HAVE TO show me.  I would be absolutely thrilled to see it.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Let the adventures begin!


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