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Category Archives: Crafts

Quick and Easy Bows for Spring

Between wanting to take some 6 month photos, a trip to Disney, and Easter, I have been busy making a few bows. Here are some quick and easy bows to make to match any outfit and occasion.

Basic Bow with Bottlecap Center

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Thanks to I Like Big Freebies, Kelsey is going to end up with a whole bunch of bows with some of her favorite characters (you should check out their Facebook page to see the gorgeous bows people are making). She has almost every character you can think of and a bunch of popular themes available for you to print for free and use. I found 25 flattened bottlecaps and clear stickers on eBay for about $5.00 to use these with.

Finally, I found this tutorial for a quick bow when I was making bows for all the girls in my daughters’ preschool class. It’s so easy to do, I have just kept making them. You can pick up a spool of 1.5″ width ribbon fairly inexpensively with Michael’s or JoAnn’s coupons and sales. Or, if you are just making 1 bow in a particular, look for the “by the yard” section of ribbon if you don’t want to have extra ribbon around.

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Ribbon Flower

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This is still one of the most popular posts on Domesticating Michelle. These ribbon flowers are pretty easy and quick to make and you can make them any color or color combination you can think of. They are also great for making multiple bows. You don’t have to use anything in the center but I think it gives it a finished look. A button, a rhinestone, a patch, or even a bottlecap can be used.

My instructions for covering an alligator clip are on this post, too.

 

 

Dr. Seuss Book Decor and Book Offer

We are Dr. Seuss fans here and have been working on a collection of Dr. Seuss titles over the past few years. I love that my daughter enjoys them being read to her and seemed to enjoy looking at them from the beginning. Using color copies and spray painting some old frames I had taking up space I made a little inexpensive wall art for the girls bathroom. These are the first letters of their first names.

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Read Across America Day is March 1st and we are planning to go to at least one Dr. Seuss event in our area. The girls will be sporting their pillow case dresses, of course. Dr. Seuss’ birthday is March 2 so let the Seuss Mania begin!

Are you looking to build up your library? There is a great deal on Dr. Seuss books right now. Get 5 titles for only $5.95 for a limited time. Why should you take advantage of this deal?

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Visit here to order yours today!

Crafting with Scraps

I bought a few used t-shirts to make this Easy T-shirt Door Wreath. I used most of the shirts in the wreath but had parts of the upper body and sleeves left over. I hate throwing things away so I decided to see what I could do with the left over pieces.

Kelsey had a t-shirt with a stain towards the bottom that I had been wanting to do something with so this Upcycled T-shirt Dress by I Am Momma Hear Me Roar was the perfect solution. Since Kelsey was in size 24 month and these were large and x-large adult t-shirts, I had enough material to cut out the pieces I needed to make this dress. For an added little touch, I cut out and ironed on a little heart on to the chest.

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With a few of the left over strips I made a bracelet by braiding three strips together and hot gluing the ends together and then hot gluing a little piece around to cover the joint. I used a sleeve to make the headband and made a quick fabric bow with another scrap. I wrapped a little piece of scrap around to gather the headband and hot glued it then the bow on top of it.

Fabric Bow

This is becoming one of my favorite things to make with scraps. I’ve done these a couple different ways now but here is a no-sew version that makes a pretty bow and you can make it as big or small as you want or as much as you have scraps of. (If you are using jersey or t-shirt material, you don’t need to do worry about folding the edges since you don’t need to worry about shredding.)

  • fabric cut down to size you want
  • iron
  • thread
  • ribbon
  • alligator clip
  • hot glue gun

Start by folding over the edges and ironing them down. Fold lengthwise to the midpoint. Then, fold the ends to just past the midpoint to have a little bit of an overlap. Pick up in the middle and accordion it in between your thumb and first finger. Take a second to look at the front of the bow to make sure the fabric is in a good position. Wrap a piece of thread around the middle and double knot it to keep in all in place.

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Hot glue a piece of ribbon around the middle. Hot glue ribbon to cover an alligator clip then glue to the bow.

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Finally, put on the head of the cutest girl you can find nearby!

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Easy Sewing Projects

With two little girls now, it is a little trickier to find matching outfits for holidays and special events without breaking the bank. Enter the sewing machine!

My mother had been trying to get me to learn how to sew for years. Two years ago I finally made it my New Year’s resolution to sew a pillowcase dress by the end of the year. I made it in the nick of time and made her a Christmas dress.

Since then, I’ve been doing little projects here and there. I decided to make Christmas dresses for the girls this past year and made some matching Valentine’s Day outfits, too. Here are some easy – as in, if I made it, then you can, too if you can turn on your machine and sew in a relatively straight line – tutorials I found around online.

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T-Shirt Dresses

I decided to make these dresses based on t-shirt dresses so I wouldn’t have to worry about creating the neckline or sleeves. The babies’ dress is based on this tutorial 10-Minute Onesie Dress by Pretty Prudent. However, since I had two coordinating fabrics I wanted to incorporate into each dress I used the ruffle from this T-Shirt Dress tutorial by Treasures for Tots.

For the other dress, I want a tiered dress so I used the same Pretty Prudent tutorial for the top tier, putting it just below the armpit area. Then, I used the Treasures for Tots tutorial without a ruffle for the second tier.

I was pretty proud of my first attempts at ruffles. I’d almost recommend using a one size too big for the onesie dress since sewing it eats up some of the length. In addition, I’d make the first tier shorter on the t-shirt dress so you can see the lower tier fabric better if I did this again.

For the hair, I made two of my Ribbon Flower bows and wrapped a dollar store headband with ribbon to glue Kelsey’s on to instead of a clip.

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Skirts and Dress

I admit I was a bit intimidated to try a skirt for some reason. Let me tell you, this is the easiest thing in the world to make and the fabric choices are endless. I already decided to take a break for St. Paddy’d Day, but I’m already scouting fabric for the next set of skirts to make. It took less than a yard to make both of these and less than a yard of elastic so it was only a few bucks.

I followed this Simple Skirt tutorial from You & Mie as directed for Kelsey’s skirt. It came out a touch too long, but at least it still covers her tush when she’s playing and she’s into “ballerina” skirts, as she calls them, so it will be a decent length on her for a while.

I followed this Pretty Prudent Pillowcase Baby Dress only, I just folded the arm holes and top stitched instead of using bias tape. I just drew the shape to cut out on the wrong side of one of the pieces of fabric and pinned it, right sides facing, to the other layer to cut it out. I like that it was a more fitted, A-line style dress, but one if the benefits to a wider topped pillowcase dress is that it leaves plenty of room for growth.

Both of these options make it pretty easy to layer or pair with any onesie or top you already have. For the hair, I made a headband and a fabric bow with the left over fabric.

In general, it’s easy to combine ideas and patterns to get the look you’d like while not spending a lot of money. I think the Simple Skirt would be great for Halloween and dress up costumes, too.

Have fun sewing!

Easy T-shirt Door Wreath

Sometimes I get in the mood to decorate or make something seasonal but I don’t like spending a lot to do it. I came up with this easy, no sew wreath made with thrift store t-shirts.

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What you’ll need:
- t-shirts to cut up
- scissors
- a wreath shape
- for optional poof: felt, glue gun/sticks, can or other round shape to trace

I figured 4 different colors would make a nice Valentine’s wreath but you’ll have to decide for yourself based on the colors you want it to be and the size of your wreath. 4 t-shirts left me with a little extra on my 18′ wreath so you may want to use more or less.

I picked t-shirts that were 50% off that day so I only spent about $2 for them all. You’ll want to pick shirts that are blank on at least one side of the shirt. You could also just purchase jersey fabric at your local fabric store if you didn’t feel like hunting the racks. I also found my wreath shape on a previous thrift store trip for a few bucks but you could pick one up at a craft store.

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Start by cutting the t-shirts in half, separating front from back up to the armpits. Keep the sleeves in tact, however, if you’d like to try another craft with them. Then, cut them into strips. I cut mine about 3 inches wide but use your judgment based on preference and size of your wreath.

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Once all your strips are cut and you’ve decided what order you want to put them in, start tying them on around your wreath shape and double knot them. Once you have covered the wreath, trim the tails so they are all about the same length for a neater look. Finally, trim off the neck from one of the shirts to loop on to the wreath to hang it.

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You can stop here or if you’d like, you can add a few embellishments. I choose to make these little poofs with some of the extra material from the top of the t-shirt. Use a can or cup to trace then cut out 5-6 circles. Cut a little circle of felt to glue your t-shirt circles on to. Shape them into a V then glue down the first 4 in a circle then glue the final 1-2 into the center. Glue the whole thing in to the wreath.

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Voila! A wreath for every season! I actually took apart the Valentine’s Day one I made and remade it with spring colors.

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So, what to do with the extra t-shirt pieces? Stay tuned for my follow-up post.

Related posts:
- Valentine’s Day 2012
- Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas
- Quick Valentine’s Day Cards

Quick Valentine’s Day Cards

We recently spent yet another day inside thanks to all the snow we’ve been having. I decided to take advantage of the baby taking a nice, long nap to go ahead and get some quick Valentine’s made for some family.

Kelsey likes stamping so I picked up on some Valentine’s stamps and ink. I also have a stash of plain cards. I just let her go crazy with the stamping to decorate the outside. It’s a nice way to get her involved even though she can’t do too much yet (in the way of crafting, that is).

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Kelsey knows her letters but she can’t spell yet so I did the inside message for her but we did do some letter recognition since she had to find the letters for me.

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I let her keep stamping away while I finished getting the cards ready to go. That’s it! Simple but cute. Now I just have to remember to send them off.

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BONUS CRAFT! Sticky Paper “Suncatchers”

I never shared this last year, but this is a pretty easy one for the toddler set (and can really be adapted to any holiday). There are tons of tutorials on Pintrest but basically, you just need some contact paper, tissue paper, and construction paper.

I cut the tissue paper up into shreds and placed them in a bowl for Kelsey. I then cut out a heart shape from the construction paper and prepped it on the contact paper for her.

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Once she checked out the contact paper and got the idea of what she was supposed to do, she got to work. She enjoyed it so much I also put the rest of the construction paper down so she could fill in that heart and we ended up with a cute Valentine’s place mat along with the suncatcher!

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The Little Girl and the Bath Tub

I picked up a pack of foam sheets at the dollar store a while back and recently needed a new bath time toy. I finally got around to making these bathtub shapes from I Can Teach My Child (love this website for ideas for fun learning activities). I just freehand cut mine and they came out pretty good.

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They have been a hit! My daughter loves playing with them and goes running to the bathroom when I tell her it’s time to play with them. She’ll stick them up on the wall and take them down 100 times, stick them to herself, stick them on me, pair them up, move them around… All the while we talk about what color they are, what shape they are, is it big or small, etc.

Meanwhile, I had also picked up a magnet fishing set at CVS, nothing fancy, just wanted something for her to play with on a rainy, summer afternoon in the bathtub. The fish were a bit too heavy for the tiny magnet so she was losing interest pretty quickly.

I tried to see if the letter and number fridge magnets would float but they just sank and stuck to the bottom of the tub. Yeah, it was still fun for her to play with but not quite what I was going for.

Then, it dawned on me that the foam shapes float. I did a test run with clipping a paper clip on a shape and the fishing pole picked it up easily. So, I made a batch of fish!

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I basically just freehand cut out fish shapes out of that same pack of foam sheets and put a paper clip on each “nose” and tossed them in the water. I had to show Kelsey to catch them by the nose but she’s had it on her own since.

A day or two later I decided to number them 1-10 with a Sharpie marker since we are working on recognizing numbers. She can count beyond that but some she gets some of the written numbers mixed up still. I think it has helped to be able to repeat them without it feeling like I’m drilling her on them.

It’s also just think she looks cute fishing in the bathtub and she gets so excited when she catches one. For just playing I only put just enough water in to get the fish to float.

"I got one!"

“I got one!”

 

I doubt I am the first one to ever think of this, in fact we played with a paper version at an event a while back. I am, however, happy that I thought to use what we had on hand to create a fun little game that she enjoys.

Dr. Seuss Week

I have been reading to Kelsey regularly for quite a while now. Usually before bed but she also has a selection of books that she looks at throughout the day. I’m pretty sure she thinks the library is heaven because she gets to pull out book and after book and flip through them all. Some of her favorites are her Dr. Seuss books, some of which were my husbands when he was younger and some of which family has given to us. (Looking to take advantage of Target’s Dr. Seuss sales this month to pick up a few more if I can find the ones I’m looking for.)

My mother is the sewing genius in the family and came across Dr. Seuss fabric last year. She made Kelsey a quilt with it. Earlier this year, she had enough left over to make her pillowcase dress, too. There was just a strip left over of the trim so she gave me that to make a matching hair clip. Here’s what I came up with.

I started out by using this layered fabric flower by Nest Pretty Things as a starting point for the shape of the layers. With the strip of fabric I had, I ended up with two pieces about the same size and a third smaller one of squares. I cut them all according to the instructions.

Since all my layers were the same print I decided to add a layer of ribbon to add a little dimension and tie in some of the colors from the dress. I cut four pieces of ribbon the same length as the width if the larger layers and cut a V into the ends. I then laid the in a “star” shape.

I hot glued all the layers together and topped it off with a red button – side note: I need to learn how to make bottle tops because that might have been cuter for this one. A then glued it to a ribbon covered hair clip.

It has been a while since I could keep a headband on Kelsey’s head but she has been into putting hats on her head lately. My mother-in-law happened to make her a red knit hat (with super cute, matching mittens on a string) so I stuck the hair clip on that and she’ll wear it.

Kelsey was set to attend a couple Dr. Seuss events around town including running around Target!

The beauty of the pillowcase dress is that it will fit for a while so hopefully she’ll be able to wear it again next year. She’s not ready for any real activities like crafts but I have a whole Pinterest board of ideas of things to do with her next year!

Linking up to The Frugal Girls’ Chic & Crafty Party

Goals for 2012

It’s a new year and, so far, it’s been a busy one. This time last year I was getting used to the reality that I had a newborn. Now, that bundle of baby is a running, squealing, opening cabinets toddler! I still see some of my little baby in there, but everyday I know she’s becoming more of a little girl.

Towards the end of December I started thinking about what my resolution for 2012 would be. I am not any good at actually sticking to many of them but I thought that I’d give myself some goals for the year. I have been trying to get more comfortable in the kitchen and I have been enjoying trying new crafts so I think I can actually stick to this for the year.

It comes down to confidence. I, sadly, feel like I’ve been losing a lot of it recently. It’s time to start building some back up.

Goal #1: Make or use something new in the kitchen every month.

There are lots of recipes I see that sound good but I chicken out when I see an ingredient or a technique that I don’t know. It’s time to face them head on!

January’s Challenge - My husband and I wanted to do a smash cake photo shoot for Kelsey’s first birthday. I got it in my head that I wanted to make her a healthy cake. So began the research, then the obsessing. A couple of days before our first date (we had to reschedule because of weather) worrying about whether or not it would turn out alright and would it look good in the pictures got the better of me and I decided to order a little cake from Publix.

At the MacDill Enlisted Spouses Meeting, it was suggested that the theme for the potluck before the meeting should be to make something you’ve never made before. I decided this would be a good time to go ahead and try to make a cake from scratch. I even made the icing! The Banana Cake and Banana Glaze came out moist and tasty.

However, I do stand by my decision. It didn’t come out of the pan like I thought it would so I would have been panicking for the photos but it turned out just fine for the meeting. Kelsey even ate a little of it! (She hasn’t really been interested in any cake so far so I’m curious how our photo shoot is going to come out.)

My first cake and it's from scratch!

 

Goal #2: Try out a new craft or DIY each month.

This one may be a little trickier to keep up with but I’m going to give it my best shot.

 

Goal #3: Make a pillowcase dress for Kelsey.

Sounds easy, right? However, if you know me at all, you’ve probably just fallen off of your seat. I’ll wait for you to get back up. Why is it so shocking, you ask? Because it involves sewing. So, the first step in getting this one done is going to be to finally really learn how to use the machine my poor mother dragged half way across the country to take to me while we lived in Dayton a few years ago that I have yet to use.

 

Wish me luck and here’s to a great 2012!

Butterfly Hair Clip

Simple Butterfly Hair Clip

January has turned out to be a pretty busy month with a bunch of late December and January birthdays and other events. We had a birthday party to go to on December 31, participating in the Disney World Kid’s Race on January 7 and heading over the day before, followed by a party on the 8th. A party on January 14 which we’ll miss because we’ll be on the road to Miami for my cousin’s daughter’s little girl’s party on the 15th. Finally, Kelsey’s party on the 21st with family from both sides in town all that weekend and Gasparilla the weekend after.

Most of the birthday kids are girls and they are all getting a hair clip of some kind along with their gift. Some are getting Flower and Ribbon Combo Hair Clips that I already made. Others are getting some of my new favorite, the Loopy Flower Hair Bow by Sweet and Sassy. I made one to directions for Kelsey’s Christmas outfit but I found it was just a bit too “3D” for me so I’ve been playing with just one or two layers and incorporating tulle. I made ones using the middle layer dimensions for all the nieces for Christmas.

1. 8″ length only

2. 8″ length only with Mickey bottle top

3. 8″ length, 2 pieces of square tulle, 6″ length

4. 8″ length only with 4 circles of tulle

One of the outfits I was giving as a present had a few butterflies on the pant leg and I decided that it I needed to try a butterfly hair clip to match it. I started by cutting two 4″ pieces and two 5.5″ pieces for the wings and glued them into teardrop shapes.

Then, I cut a piece of ribbon that would be both the clip cover and the body of the butterfly. I held the ribbon in the clip and ran a bead of glue down the center and glued the wings into position.

I then ran another bead of glue down the middle, folded the ribbon over and glued it down. I then finished by glueing to the back side of the clip. Remember to heat seal the ribbon.

It’s nothing too special but I think they came out really cute – I made one to give and one to keep!

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