Thursday, February 14, 2019

Tutus & Tools Birthday Party

I have this fun thing I do where I decide to pick birthday party themes that don't really exist anywhere on pinterest (ha!)  But really, I had a GREAT idea for my daughter's second birthday and wanted to share it with y'all.  If you have a daughter who loves the frilly tutu side of life but also likes to play in the dirt and fix things with dad... this is the party for her.

I give you... TUTUS AND TOOLS! The perfect blend of sweet and tough for your daughter who is all that and more.

[Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to products I used. Purchasing through these links earns me a small commission at no extra charge to you.  This allows me to continue to bring you more new content! Thank you for supporting my blog]

If you've been following my blog for long, you may remember that we throw *simple* birthday parties. (See some of our past parties here: 'favorite books' , construction, and big adventure)  They are "family only" parties but I still like to make it themed and special.  It gets tricky to "do it up" without all the kid's games that are usually present at "friend" birthday parties.  As might be expected... I also really like to DIY most of it! 

Let's take a look at some easy but great ideas that you can use too:

You can make your own banner!  I made the tulle balls using a tutorial similar to this one (except I wrapped the string around the disk AFTER wrapping the tulle around it, which seems a little easier to me. It's all about the same)  For the words I cut 4 inch tall letters with my Silhouette Cameo and glued all the pieces to clear fishing line (I tied the balls onto the fishing line but you could glue them too!)

I used the same tulle balls to hang from our chandelier light.  You could also hang them around doorframes or anything like that!

For the cake, I made "ruffles" with a leaf tip.  For the cupcakes, I used this AH-MAZING chocolate "tools" mold. I used the same mold for my son's birthday cupcakes and it's just so cool! To get the duel color, I first painted the pink parts with Wilton chocolate melts (with pink food coloring) and then filled the rest of the molds with the white.  After it set, I sprayed the white areas with Wilton Silver Food SprayIf you've never used this, it's like spray paint but it's edible!!! It's. So. Cool.

The decorations were even more simple.  On the tables I set out some of her favorite dress up items and a mini body mold that I made a tiny tutu for! I then sat out a simple frame with some fun facts about the birthday girl.  I try to always include something like this in birthday parties because it's an easy way to look back and remember and also... I believe birthdays should be ABOUT the birthday boy or girl! Don't you think? 

I also put her favorite tool toys on the food table but I forgot to take a photo of it (grr!)  But I did get a few more photos of simple d├ęcor that all parties should have.  Balloons and a fun drink dispenser add color and decoration to any party theme!

Last but not least...  the outfit!  My daughter wore the same tulle skirt she wore for her first birthday and added a new shirt.  I designed the shirt and cut it out with my Silhouette Cameo.

Last year's outfit:

This year's outfit:

Do you know a little one who would LOVE a theme like this?

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Valentine's Canvas with Paint & Photo [Kids DIY]

I love home decor that can be easily swapped out for the different seasons/holidays without much thought.  If you saw my post about making a silhouette design from your child's art, you have an idea of the 5x7 wall hanging I have on each side of our door frame between rooms.  I've since decided to swap those out (the silhouette ones being the "most of the time" decor) during special holidays or events.

And since I have about zero Valentine's decor (I've never been much of a Valentine's girl but as I get older I'm starting to appreciate celebrating love in all forms including kids, friends- Galentine's Day etc.) I needed something made fast!  Seeing as my kids are my favorite artists, I opted to let them decorate for me.  So I gave them some 5x7 canvases and here's what we came up with...

[Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.  Purchasing from these links earns me a small commision to no extra charge to you. This helps me to bring you more new content to the blog.  Thank you so much for your support!]

Here's what you'll need:

- 5x7 canvas
Acrylic Paint
- Dimensional pieces (such as lace, ribbon, fringe, felt or these cute heart shaped pony beads)
Hot glue gun
- (optional) glitter!
Wooden heart cutouts
- A photo of your child

How to Make it:

Let your kids (or you!) go nuts.  Paint your design on the canvas, however you'd like.  As soon as it dries, use the hot glue gun to attach the dimensional pieces.  If your kids are little, adult help is required during the hot gluing!

 Keep in mind that you'll be gluing the wood heart in the center so be sure not to place the "lumpy bumpies" in that space. I set the heart on the canvas (not attached) to help keep us from doing this.

After everything is set- grab the photo of your child and using the wood heart to trace, cut out their sweet faces in a heart shape.  Using the hot glue again, adhere the photo to the wood heart cutout.  Then glue the heart (with photo on it) to the center of the canvas.  Easy peasy. 

I know you totally didn't need directions on how to do that but I wrote them anyways.

Now hang them up and enjoy!  I am absolutely in love with all the textures on these.  It's something a little different than a regular painting.  Plus it has photos of the kids on it, so that's always a winner for this mama!

...and another peek of them hanging up.  Gah, I want to paint the room so badly. Anyone else think this is the worst color yellow ever? Makes our house look so drab.

My daughter feels a lot of pride for them and even herself took some photos of them while I was prepping for this post.  Or maybe she just really loves her brother. (tee-hee-hee)

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Turn Your Kids Art into an Embroidery [DIY]

I'm so excited to share with you today one of my recent projects. The idea came to me out of the blue and although the craftsmanship needs a little work (I'm still learning) I am so pleased with how it turned out.  Better yet? Since the project was based on a drawing my son made, he was able to present this gift as his own but with materials that will likely last much longer than a piece of paper. #winwin

[Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to products you can use to make this project. Purchasing through these links earns me a small comission at no extra charge to you, which allows me to bring you more new content! Thank you for supporting my blog.]

I have been bitten by the embroidery bug... HARD. I was so excited to begin that I had all these great ideas for projects in my head without really slowing down to learn what to do first (oops). So please don't judge my stitches as they are not perfect and probably not done the "right" way.  They are however full of so much love and it turned out wonderful in the end.

Want to know how to turn your child's work of art into a long-lasting embroidery design?  It's super easy.  Here's how:

FIRST: Have your child draw a design.  I asked my son (4) to draw a photo for his mamaw (my mom). He opted to draw a photo of her with her name at the bottom. [and some other letters and his name because he got excited.]

NEXT: Gather the rest of your supplies.  You'll need a fabric to embroider on.  Muslin or Osnaburg are common ones but really anything with a fairly tight weave that you can still push a needle through works great. Do a litle research to see what's best for your project.

You'll also need DMC floss (embroidery thread), a needle, scissors, an embroidery hoop and a pencil.

TO TRACE the artwork, tape the paper up to a window with lots of sunshine (or anything else that light shines through).  Then tape your fabric on top.  Using your pencil, simply trace your design.

[What I learned: If possible, have your child draw in a dark color. The light blue/green was hard to see through the fabric.  Also- the more they scribble, the harder it's going to be to trace.  Just do the best you can and create an outline, leaving "holes" where there is empty space in the photo]

and once traced...

I moved down the "W" from his original drawing because he kept writing an "M" and then writing another and another until he got it the right way. (because Mamaw ends with a W) but I wanted to use his actual handwriting.  I also left out the extra letters and his name to keep the design crisp and focused on his original drawing.

NOW START EMBROIDERING! Start with an outline and fill in after that. I wasn't really sure how to space my stitches in something like this (since his original lines may have spanned her head to her feet!) but I think it turned out fairly well.

I kept the original drawing next to me so that when I came upon a "hole" I could figure out how the original lines went to keep it closest to the drawing.  It's a little bit off, but again- I'm pretty proud with how it turned out. I feel like the essense of the drawing is still definetly there.

My son gave it to my mom on Christmas and she loved it.  He is proud that his drawing is now framed and can last for years to come in a fun new way.  I'm excited to have actually finished a project and be on my way to learning something new. I couldn't have picked a better project to begin my journey with (this one and another for my cousin were my first, both done this Christmas).

I'd love to see a photo of the drawing you'd love to embroider.  I have a few more of my "favorites" that I'd like to maybe put on a tote bag or something for myself! This would make a GREAT gift for Valentine's/Galentine's Day or for upcoming Mother's Day! Feel free to share your dream project or your completed one on our facebook group or tag Cut, Craft, Create on Instagram in your DIY post!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


Can you believe it's 2019? I can't. The years seem to fly by faster and faster.  From the outside, my 2018 probably looked like an amazing year but internally, it was the roughest I've had in memory.  Because of that, I've got a lot of things planned to make 2019 the best one yet.  Call them resolutions, call them goals, call it getting my act together, it doesn't matter. I think we could all stand to make some resolutions in the New Year.

Not a fan of New Year's Resolutions?  I'm neither here nor there on it; but since I'm trying to improve myself anyways, it seems that the start of the new year is a good time to get things in order.

If you haven't heard of SMART goals, it's a simple but powerful way to break down your goals to help you achieve them (because just saying "I want to get this thing done at some point this year" isn't going to happen).  Here's the breakdown:

[Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Purchasing from these links earns me a small commission at no extra charge to you.  This post also contains sponsored product from GoSili. All opinions are my own and are not influenced by the sponsorship.]

"SMART" goals are:

Specific: What is the specific goal you're trying to accomplish? And be specific!

Measurable: How can you measure your success? Think about how you will know when you've accomplished the goal.

Actionable: What are the actionable steps (aka objectives) needed to achieve the goal? Break the goal into smaller steps. List every step.

Responsible: Who are the people that must support this goal? If you need the support of your manager, co-workers, friends, or family, make note of it here.

Time-bound: When do you want to achieve the goal?

To get started, simplify and take time to sit down and think about your goals.  If you want a planner that helps you work through these goals on a weekly and monthly basis, check out the Passion Planner or give yourself a bit of creative space and try a bullet journal.  Get the kids/spouse/partner/roomate out of the house so that you can think without distraction.  Pour yourself a cup of coffee, tea or whatever makes you happy.

Then make a list of all the things you want to accomplish.  EVERYTHING. Big, small. Just write down everything that comes to your mind. At first, it's doesn't have to be specific or realistic.... just get it on paper.  For me I had everything from blog goals to business goals to personal goals (such as being a better person and more environmentally friendly.)

Next, write down smaller more attainable goals to help you reach the larger ones.  For example, as I want to make more environmentally safe choices, I plan to start things like: bringing reusable bags to the grocery store, taking my own reusable straws to restaurants and minimize my consumption of to-go drink cups.

That's why I wanted to share (and run a GIVEAWAY for) my favorite silicone product company GoSili. I personally own a ton of their products and I'm a big fan.  I've talked about them before a couple times (here and here) but these are my favorite pieces yet!  I've started implementing their new travel mug  into my daily life as a way of reaching my New Year goals.

As you can see in the collage photo above, I have the blue dotted cup itself as well as both the travel mug lid and the straw lid (the straws are from the same company too!)  The smaller cup you see my daughter holding is their kid's cup, which we have owned for some time now.

The lids are completely interchangeable within all of their cups so my kids and me can share, which reduces clutter in our home (another goal of mine!).  Each style of lid has a sort of non-spiral threading on it which doesn't screw it on but rather helps seal the liquid within it to prevent leaks.  On the contrary, the lids just press straight onto the cups.

My husband commented that it should screw onto the cup so that the kids can't take it off but I haven't found that to be a problem. Our 2 year old can't take it off and our 4 year old hasn't ever tried.  They seal on there pretty tight, we've dropped them several times and the lids don't pop off!

My kids use the straw lid most often but the mug lid would make a perfect sippy cup top.  Both the kids cup and the adult sized cup are made of a BPA, BPS, phthalate, PVC, and lead free silicone and include a stainless steel ring that helps them keep their shape.  You can actually squeeze them and they flex like carry-out plastic cups except they aren't awful for the environment and can be both microwaved and thrown in the dishwasher (I only use dishwasher items!).

Now when I go run errands in town, I pack myself a drink. In places that will let me, I'm using my GoSili cup instead of their disposable ones.  I've got my silicone straws and I'm ready to make some changes in my life and in the world this year! Something I didn't mean to do but has resulted from this little change is that I'm not only leaving the world in a little better shape than I found it, but I'm teaching my children to do so as well.  If they grow up saying "no" to the disposable world, then they will already be steps ahead of where I am now.  And after all, don't we all want our children to be better than we are?

If being a little more smart with your environmental choices is part of your resolutions, or if you just want to make some changes in your life to reduce waste, join me in the silicone revolution!  While you're getting your plans figured out, why don't you go ahead and enter to win a $40 gift package of GoSili products?  Just enter using the rafflecopter below. Make sure you follow Cut, Craft, Create on facebook and on instagram because I'll be posting a video later this week that you can share to earn 5 bonus entries!) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, December 8, 2018

"Favorite Things" Christmas Ornament

I love Christmas. I love the spirit of it, the magic that just happens to come with the season. I love how time seems to slow down (even when we are rushing around) and the extra time with family.  I also love being able to create yearly traditions that help me hang on to these memories for just a little longer.  Last week you may have seen me talk about our Christmas Eve Boxes,  which always include a (usually DIY) ornament highlighting something special that happened to that child in the last year ("firsts", big events, etc.). For example: my son's 'first flight' (blog post) or my daughter's "first flight" & "first trip to the ocean" (facebook video post) ornament. These are special ornaments that they get to take with them with they grow and move out, starting their own family tradiations.

[Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to products I used for this projects. Purchasing through these links earns me a small comission at no extra charge to you. Thank you for supporting me blog.]

This year I couldn't think of what to do for my daughter's ornament.  She did so many of her big "firsts" last year and although she changed a lot this year, it wasn't anything I could make into an ornament theme.  So I opted for a "my favorite things" theme.  It was SO easy to put together, I wanted to share it with you all!

Let me start by saying that although I run a craft blog, I'm really not artistic in any way. I don't draw or paint or sculpt or anything like that so drawing designs on shrinky dinks and cutting out shapes with felt is not something I'm naturally gifted in.  So if you are like me, fear not- you can still make this and it'll turn out just fine.  Let's begin:

First, you need to get a clear ball ornament. They come in round or flat and a variety of sizes but that link is a good place to start.  I got mine at Michael's Craft Stores for a steal (you can buy them individually there)

Next, pick up some Shrinky Dink material and a pack of Sharpie markers. Draw your designs. I like to use the "crystal clear" Shrinky Dinks because they are see-through and it's so easy to trace your design (you know, if you have 0 artistic skill like me!) I traced the bird from my daughter's favorite book: Are You My Mother so that it actually looked like the book.

Remember that you need to make your design 3x bigger than you want it to end up.  The colors will also darken up a lot as it shrinks, so don't worry when it looks like it's barely showing up.  For my 'book' I creased the shrink material before cooking and then right when it came out of the oven I lifted one side off the pan (with a spatula) so that it had that open book look.

I also made some regular shrinky dink shapes:

There were a few things that I felt I couldn't make in shrink plastic so I made them out of felt.  This gave them a more dimensional feel, which is perfect for her beloved bunny and her baby doll(s).  Okay and a truck because I felt it was more forgiving than a drawing!

Felt is perfect for adding a little dimension.  I thought about stuffing the bunny but opted not to.

Once all your parts are made, it's time to put together your ornament.

First things first, MAKE SURE YOU BOUGHT PLASTIC.  Some are glass so please do not try to cut a class bulb with an exacto knife.   Draw a line around the bottom of your ornament in the size you'd like cut out.

I'm so sorry for the photo quality. As always, my house has terrible lighting and I was making this in the middle of the night!  Next, carefully cut on the line you drew with an exacto (utility) knife.

Cut it all the way off and throw away the extra piece.  Next, grab whatever you want to use as your bottom piece. This will depend on the size of bulb you purchased. You could even just use a piece of cardboard you've cut into a circle if you wish.  I used an old mini Play-Doh lid.  Paint and let try.  If you love glitter, add a little sparkle like I did!

I need to do a little touch-up on mine. Some paint came off when I lifted it off the paper to dry the glitter!  That's what happens when you try to get everything done in less time than it actually takes to make.

Finally, glue any pieces you want standing/stationary onto your bottom piece.  Then glue your globe on top.  Drop in any moveable pieces into the top hole (or carefully lay them on the inside before you glue the globe part on).

I opted to have most pieces stationary but have a few small pieces (glasses, water and a couple colored beads) able to move just for fun.  I'm considering adding some "snow" inside of it as well that can shake around but haven't decided for sure if I want to or not.

That's it!
What would your child's ornament be?  Something special from the year or a "favorite things"?  You could use this same globe idea for a 1-themed ornament as well or make it a mash up like we did!  Merry Christmas and happy memory making!

Friday, November 30, 2018

Christmas Eve Boxes [Stuck On You feature + Giveaway]

It's December!!! It's December!!! I'm so excited to share with you maybe my favorite holiday tradition (and we have quite a few!)  We do it every year and it's not only simple but makes for years of special memories that we get to relieve every time we decorate the tree.

You're going to want to start this with your family this year, I know it!  It's the Christmas Eve Box and it can be customized any way you'd like, but I'll let you know how we put ours together:

[Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Stuck On You but all opinions are ideas are my own. Giveaway voucher is a gift from Stuck on You to one lucky winner chosen at random by]

The concept is simple: Create a box for each child in your family.  Let them unwrap this "gift" on Christmas Eve.  They'll be excited about opening a gift early and they can wear their jammies that night!  Here's what (and why) I include in our boxes:

1-Pajamas.  Usually a "christmas" or winter theme, something that they'd look super cute in on Christmas morning!  I've never gotten my kids matching ones but this year I knew they would love it because they love their other matching outfits that they own.

2-Books.  Books are so very important to our family and my kids adore reading. I always include a Christmas themed book inside their boxes.  We are all excited to crack the book open and read it together that night. This year I changed things up a little and included two extra special books for my kids.  For my daughter, a custom book with her name in the story and for my son a wipe clean activity book to use in the car as we do all of our holiday traveling.

3-Special Ornament. Every year I (usually DIY) an ornament based around a "big event" that happened to them that year. In the past I've done things like: 'first trip to the ocean/beach", "first flight", "becoming a big brother", etc.  This year I highlighted my son starting preschool and since my daughter reached several "biggies" in her first year of life, this year we opted for a 'favorite things' theme instead.  *keep an eye on the blog next week and I'll detail these a little more*

[His actual ornament has a vinyl logo of his preschool on it but I changed it here for privacy reasons!]

I'm so excited for the kids to open their boxes this year.  I also really like that my daughter is going to finally have her own name book.  Her brother has several of his own (we're big fans) but this will be her first.  There aren't a lot of good Christmas ones out there and this one is absolutely perfect.  Here's why:

1. I LOVE the messages within the story.  I chose The Christmas Deer and it tells about all the different reasons that Christmas is important to the different animal characters. It covers a wide range of reasons including music, food, time with those we love, Santa and baby Jesus.  I love this because no matter who receives this book, they can find something that they connect with.

2. It also includes the child's name within the book multiple times.  It's not just slapped on the cover but worked within the story.

... it also includes the name (front) and date (back) of the book so it can be preserved in their memory box if you wish!

3. It comes with an activity book!  I'll be honest- I thought this was attached to the book at first and I wished the book just came by itself (my daughter is still a little young to do the activities) but when I realized it was separate, I was thrilled! I can either save it for her when she gets older, or give it to my son to do now.

[The coloring pages are perfect for my daughter though!]

Counting, coloring, mazes, puzzles, spot the difference and even craft projects are all including in this little workbook!  How darling is this?!

My only complaint about the book is that I wished it would come in more "neutral" options.  Of course they need to know "boy or girl" for the "s/he" references in the book but I don't love that it has to be pink for girls and blue for boys.  My daughter does love pink, but not all do.  However, the Santa Town story book is set in more neutral tones for someone who is really looking for that, so I love that they do have that option available.

No matter what you choose to put in your Christmas Eve Box, make it special for your little one(s).  We've only got 18 years  (or so) to make memories like this, so let's make them count.  Psst: These Christmas books are even on sale right now on their website, so you can get custom books for way cheap!  Order by December 7 to get your book in time for Christmas!

How about we give away a $40 voucher to shop at Stuck on You?! You can get yourself TWO personalized books with that!!!  Just enter to win using the widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

What would you put in yours?