Chillin' wiht my Peeps

FREE file to make a super cute spring shirt

Mini Photo Frame Banner

A cute and simple way to display mini pictures - come find out how to make one for yourself!

Pony Bead Lizards

Learn step-by-step how to make pony bead lizards

Glitter Felt Hairbows

Add a little sparkle to any little girls wardrobe with these DIY hairbows!

Perfect Crisp Lines

Find out the trick to getting perfectly crisp lines on name signs

May 31, 2013

Last Day of School Ideas

Today is our first day of summer - we planned to go swimming all morning - and it's pouring buckets and buckets of rain.  Bummer!
I wanted to pop in and tell you some fun ideas for the Last Day of School from yesterday...

Teacher Treats!
I sent each kiddo with a couple of packs of a giant cookie.  I LOVE these wrappers - it makes just a cookie seem so fancy.  I printed off the free Thank You teacher-ish circles from Dimple Prints.  They gave these to people like the bus driver, secretaries, art teacher, etc.
The chocolate chip cookies are GIANT - - like one of those "big cookies" that you can buy at a bakery.  Seriously - here are they fresh out of the oven - you can see how I can only fit 6 on a cookie sheet.  I got the recipe off of AllRecipes for Best Big Fat Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie.

Mascot Necklaces!
 Next up, a little extra for their teachers.  I love to make them a Glass Tile Pendant each year using an image of the school mascot:
And then used these fun boxes I got at Pick Your Plum to package them.  I love having packaging and fun things like that on hand - it makes everything extra fabulous and it's easy to do.  Speaking of, you can get awesome baking cups at Pick Your Plum today (affiliate link), 24 for only $2.55, if they haven't sold out.  You'll want some just to have on hand this summer!  Oh, and one of the teachers we have this year we had in the past, so she already has a mascot necklace - we just packed up a Paparazzi Necklace (can't beat $5).
 And for all of you that love "behind the scenes" glimpses, really, a picture looks awesome, but it doesn't mean that the rest of my house does....

Next up, Autograph Shirts!!  I got this idea - including the exact fonts and design, over at Eighteen25.  Such a fun idea!  The only difference is that I put the decal on the front of the shirt so that the front wasn't plain.  Everyone still signed the back.  I love how they've got their sharpies ready:
These were made using my Silhouette Cutting Machine and Heat Transfer vinyl - you just iron it on - one of my favorite things to cut on my Cameo.

 I made sure to sign it before they were all filled up!

Balloons!!
So I had the fun idea to have a path of helium balloons, tied onto rocks, leading from the bus stop to our house, with a giant balloon curtain to walk through at the end.  BUT, it was raining like crazy.  So I had to alter the plans! - party van to pick the kids up at the bus stop.  I bought several mylar balloons at the Dollar Store (why would you buy them anywhere else?!  just $1!) and gave one to each kid that gets off the bus at our stop.  Then I filled the van with tons of regular balloons.  I used 50 and obviously needed more if I wanted to fill the van to the brim.
 hint - use an air compressor to blow up the balloons!

Balloon photo bomb, coming off the bus:
 And then save some of those giant cookies for a special after-school snack:

 Summer, here we come!!

Another fun idea - last year we made a HUGE chalk sign that said Welcome to Summer:

And lots of fun surprise chalk activities leading from the bus stop to our house:
 Or you can give a Start of Summer Gift - - a summer journal is a great idea:


I know some of you are already out of school, but hopefully some of you can use these ideas!

If you love these last day of school ideas, feel free to share the love by commenting,  pinning it,  and/or sharing the link on social media!  Thanks in advance.

oh, and speaking of summer fun - look what's coming up starting next week:

T-shirt to Skirt - the perfect summer playskirt!

This is a fun and simple project if you want to give knits a try!  Knit is the fabric that tshirts are made of and it makes for a comfy playskirt.  My daughter didn't want to take this off.
This is part of skirt week over at Crafterhours - be sure to head over there and check out all the fun!  They will even have a link party contest at the end when you can link up skirts you've made.

Since neon is all the rage, I grabbed a XL neon tshirt from Michael's when they were on sale for $2.  You could just as easily use a tshirt you already have on hand.  My daughter is 8 and the XL gave plenty of fabric for a high-waisted skirt.

I have a tutorial on how to put this together - you can do it!  If you're wanting to make the tshirt headwrap, I have previously posted a tutorial on that: Twisted Headband

But, if you're here for the skirt tutorial, here we go!
T-shirt to Skirt Tutorial

 First, wash your t shirt if it's new - you don't want it to shrink after you put the work into sewing a skirt.  Then, cut out the big sections - - straight across from armpit to armpit - that'll be the main skirt part.  I also cut up one of the sides so I could lay that section out flat.  Then the front and back chest area - I used one piece for the waistband and one for the headwrap.

If you want to embellish it in any way, now's the time.  You could stamp it with fabric paint or whatever.  I wanted to make big bold polka dots and I used the bleach method.  The dots didn't bleach out as I pictured (maybe my bleach/water mix was too watered down??) but the subtle look works too.
I used the round sponge to add spots and you can see they went on a small size but seeped and grew into the cool mega-polka dots.
I tried to push the bleaching by setting it to dry in the sun:
Then rinse and dry your fabric again, or heat set it if you went with the fabric stamping route.

Now, on to assembly.

I started with the waistband.  I didn't measure - I just held the strip of fabric around her to where it was taunt (would stay up) but not too tight.  You can measure if you want - just find the width that will wrap around.  And then for height it should be double how tall you want the waistband - I think mine was 8 inches tall which made for a 4 inch high waistband.
With right sides together, sew the ends to create a tube:
Then fold the tube in half with the seam on the inside.  Set aside.

Make the bottom part of the skirt using the bottom part of the shirt - that way you don't have to hem it - you just use the existing hem.  It should be about double as wide as the waistband, and however long you want it - I was going for a high-waisted skirt, so mine is longer than a normal skirt would be.  Sew the short ends together, with right sides together.
You have a big tube.  Now, sew a basting stitch (that's just a really wide stitch) all along the top of the skirt (just one layer of fabric - you're not sewing anything together, just sewing around).  Then use that to gather the top of the skirt.  You pull one thread and slide the fabric along the other thread.  Anyways, gather it to match the size of the waistband.  Oh, if you want to add a tag, do that.

Now, flip that waistband and put it over the skirt (that is right side out) and match up the raw edges along the top.  Also match the two seams (they'll go in the back of the skirt).  Then sew everything together along that raw edge - I used my serger, but you can use a zig zag stitch.  You won't want a straight stitch because you need it to stretch a little.

That's it!!  Stand back and be proud of your tshirt transformation!
 If you're looking for more, I have another tutorial for a knit skirt that is slightly different - with it you sew the waistband to the front and back separately, then you sew the front and back together.  It's an option if gathering in a circle is too tricky.


If you love this T-Shirt to Skirt tutorial, feel free to share the love by commenting,  pinning it,  and/or sharing the link on social media!  Thanks in advance.


May 30, 2013

Handprint Quilt

I want to show you the gift that I made for my daughter's teacher - I love how it came out:
This is her first year teaching, so I thought she'd enjoy something to remember her first class.  I picture her keeping it in a reading nook in future classrooms or something.

I made one of these a couple of years ago for another first-year teacher - here's that Handprint Quilt:
I saw the idea back then on Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke - you can go there for the step-by-step tutorial:


So, a few things about my quilt - - 

-- The FABRIC!  besides the hand prints  the fabric is the obvious star of the show.  It is the Ombre Dot Line from Riley Blake and the pictures just don't do it justice - it's awesome.  I cut the front pieces so that the yellow stripes are darker towards the center of the quilt, and lighter towards the edges.  The back is one piece of the fabric so it show the ombre really well.  The binding is also made out of the Ombre Dot and you can see the gradiating color changes as it goes along the edge.
Side note, Riley Blake has a new Gingham line that I'm in love with!! (it even has it's own video!)

Anyways, back to the quilt - I used:
     - 1 yard white
     - 1 yard yellow ombre dot (for the front)
     - 1 yard black ombre dot (for the binding)
     - 1 1/2 yards aqua ombre dot (for the backing)
I also used some scrap teal for the lettering and batting that was "crib size"

--The BACK!! I just got a new embroidery machine, and of course all my embroidery files are in the format that my old machine reads.  So I just used what was built in (normally a "doily heart" isn't quite what I'd pick) - it was fun to make a quick something with my new machine.  I embroidered onto a white rectangle, then zig zagged that rectangle onto the backing before putting the quilt together:

--The QUILTING!!  Obviously, I am no pro!  But that's what great - if I can make this, then you can too.  Follow the instructions at Capturing Joy on how to put all the pieces together.  My squares are 9 inches and I can't remember how big the strips in between the squares are - I think the strips at the top and bottom are 6 inches wide.  After piecing it all together, I "quilted" it - "quilting" is just sewing layers together, so it's not as intimidating as it sounds.  There are lots of fancy ways to quilt, but there are lots of simple ways as well.  With my layers of quilt top, batting, and backing, I just sewed slightly inside of each handprint square.  That's it - worked great.
--The HANDPRINTS!! I don't have pictures of this process, but let me walk you through it.  I found a good time to pull the kids out of class.  I set up in the hall (brought all my supplies on a cookie sheet) on a table and pulled 3 kids out.  I used a foam brush to paint on their hand and then pressed their hand onto precut white squares.  I sent them to the bathroom to wash their hand as I moved on to the next kid.  When they came back, they wrote their name under their hand.  As they went back to class they sent someone else out.  It took about 30 minutes to get through the class.  The handprints dried quickly so I could carry them out in a stack.
I didn't have fabric paint in the color I wanted, so I mixed a couple of regular craft paint colors.  Then I had some "fabric medium" - it's by the craft paint, and it turns craft paint into fabric paint.  So I mixed in the fabric medium as directed.  You let it dry and then heat set it with an iron.  These pictures above are from after I ran the quilt through the wash, so obviously it held up. 

--The LETTERING!!
 I used my Silhouette to cut out letters out of fabric - you can do that with Silhouette Fabric Interfacing (still on sale til tomorrow, so grab some quick if you want it.)
When I got the package, I was trying everywhere to find the instructions on how to use it - - then I opened the package and realized the instructions were inside - duh.  The main thing I couldn't remember was whether or not to take the liner off before you cut. 
 So - you iron the backing on to your fabric:
 Then peel the paper backing off - it'll leave the interfacing adhered to your fabric, looking kind of shiny:
 Put it on your cutting mat, interfacing-side down.  Then cut your design, using your fabric blade.  FYI, the fabric blade isn't any different than a regular blade, except for it's color.  But you want a separate blade so it'll be sharp.  It's the same reason you have sewing scissors and regular scissors - keep the things cutting fabric sharp.
 See the nice crisp lines - perfect!
 Carefully pull the letters/numbers off the cutting mat.  Place them where you'd like them and just iron them on - that will hold them in place.
 Since this needs to be washed, etc, you'll want to stitch it on as well.  I just outlined the inner edge with stitching to secure the numbers and letters.

That's it!!  If you're not a quilter, this is a good one to try - it's just sewing squares into rows - you can do that!  And it makes such a fun gift!

A few other quilts that I've done:

I Spy Quilt (with jean backing - we use this for watching sports, picnics, etc)


Whirlygig Quilt - (my first big quilt)

Circle Quilt - this is a holiday one, but you could do any type of circle quilt:


Apple Core Quilt - came together pretty quickly:


And if you're into Handprint Quilts, here's one I love to look at when we're at Trevor's grandma's home: