Monday, September 30, 2019

Handmade & Trade [September] Felt Flower Hoop Embroidery

As you may or may not know, I've recently joined Instagram after getting fed-up with facebook algorithms.  I'm having a hard time gaining followers and getting people to interact on my posts despite my activity there and the amount of views I have here on my blog.  (That being said, I have made some really good new friends through my Instgram pages).  So recently I stumbled upon an Instagram hashtag/event called Handmade and Trade and I really wanted to get involved. Not necessarily to get sweet little handmade gifts (although there are a lot of talented makers involved!) but to get connected with other makers on Instagram.

If you are a maker of any kind (hobby, blog, business, etc) you should consider participating. It goes by 3 month time spans so the next one should start in January. Aaaanywho- I wanted to share the item I made and sent to my partner this month:

My partner sueforgod mentioned a few things about herself, including her faith and her favorite color (blue).   I also knew she liked felt because her own shop is made of stunning felt creations. Y'all should check out her etsy shop Be Joyful Always Shop. (She uses her shop as a way to earn money for her and her husband's adoption journey!) So I came up with this simple but lovely hoop decor.

I finished off the back and glued a wall hanger to it so it could easily be hung on the wall. When she said that she was going to hang it in her someday baby's nursery I about cried. What an awesome honor that will be!

Here's what it looked like before I embroidered it:

I'm still perfecting my embroidery stitches and these probably could have been better but overall I think it turned out really well.  Of course, it was a labor of love so maybe that shined through in the end!

A close up on the felt flowers.  Check out my small business page (Instagram) to snag some of these felt flowers on headbands!

Lastly and sweetest of all, my son (almost 5) has started his own little "confetti" business.  He solicits anyone that visits our house to buy a bag of large confetti from him for $1.00 and threw in a bag of this handmade confetti with my embroidery hoop.  The words on the bag were his message to her.  Ooooh my heart, how sweet is he?  I love the gift I made but my mama heart loves this even more.

I'm excited to see what she created for me but most of all, I'm tickled to have made a new "online pal".  I love watching other small businesses thrive, especially ones with such a sweet cause like hers.  I wonder what I will make for my partner next month!?

Sunday, September 15, 2019

No-Sew Pumpkin Purse Tutorial

What is the one line every creative person you know has said?  Any guesses?  You'll laugh when you hear it.  Ready?... 'I COULD MAKE THAT'.   You're laughing now aren't you?  Because we all know it's SO true!  We have all seen something in a store or online and thought that we could do a better (or at least cheaper) job at DIY-ing it than we could buying it.  Sometimes this works out great and other times we spend a lot more time and money on it than it's worth.  I know this to be true not just for myself but others because there is a world of memes out there:

[Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to products that can be used to make this project.  Purchasing through these links may earn me a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you for supporting my blog.]

I had one of those projects this week (a successful one).  I saw a cute fall/halloween layflat online and part of it included a little pumpkin purse.  I did a quick search on Amazon and Target (because Target always has cute purses like this in the toddler/kids section) to no avail.  I didn't want to spend a lot of money because it was for my 2.5 year old.  She isn't that gentle with things, it's going to have a short lifespan (pumpkin= fall/Halloween) and the girl already has 4 other purses.  (ridiculous right?)  So instead, I made one.

The best part? You can make it too.  I did it entirely NO-SEW so that anyone out there could enjoy this project as much as we do.

Here's what you'll need:

orange craft felt (plus black and green felt for the face & stem)

- interfacing (I'm sorry I don't remember the exact kind I used. It was a scrap! Anything to add stiffness will work great.)

hot glue gun & glue sticks

trim of your choice for the strap

How to make it:

I like to use tissue paper when I make my patterns because it's almost like using an actual sewing pattern (and it's super cheap!)  Just draw out a pumpkin shape in the size you want the finished purse to be.

I drew out the lines on the inside of the pumpkin and also the face on my pattern but only to get the right shape/size because I'm terrible at drawing freehand.  Nothing is actually used except the very outside edge of the pattern so no need to add them like I did.

Next, cut out 2 pumpkin shaped pieces from the orange felt as well as 2 from the interfacing.  Also cut a long rectangle from the orange felt in the size you would like the depth of the purse to be.  Ours was about 1.5 inches.  It needs to be long enough to go across the bottom and up the sides of the pumpkin shape but you can adjust this as you put it together if you aren't sure.

Now is also a good time to cut out a green stem and the black jack-o-lantern face or you can do it later if you aren't sure whether to add it or not.  I wasn't sure at this point in the project but it definitely adds a little Halloween fun!

Next, hot glue the interfacing to the orange felt pieces.  I suggest trimming the interfacing down just a tiny bit so that it doesn't go all the way to the edge of the orange.  It will make it easier to hide the white (which I didn't realize until I had already started. Learn from my mistakes!)

Next, hot glue the rectangle strip of orange felt to one pumpkin cutout.  Fold it under as you go so that no rough edges are showing.  Hot glue is very helpful for this because you really can just pinch and smooth it down as you need.  I started at the bottom and went up both sides so I could get a feel how high I wanted the edges to be. 

This is an example of how it will look after one side is finished.  You can see how the felt is folded to the inside around the curve.  The second photo below shows how it will look from the outside after this step.

As you can see, some of my white interfacing peeks out. It isn't very noticeable when the purse is being worn but I still wish I would have cut it down a shade and glued it orange to orange.

You're almost done already.  Crazy right? Now do the same thing to the other side of the purse with the second pumpkin shaped piece.

Lastly, add your trim or purse strap by hot gluing it to the inside of the finished purse.  My 2 year old picked out the mini pom pom ball fringe  (which I got last Christmas in the Target dollar bins!)  This trim looked fine without anything over it, but feel free to add a square of orange felt on the inside to finish off the edges of your trim.

All done!  How darling is this fun little purse?  My 2 year old loves it and my (almost) 5 year old has asked me to make him one too!  This would make a great little gift or a perfect addition to all those cute fall outfits.  Now... bring on that fall weather!

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Friday, August 30, 2019

DIY Felt Cookie Decorating Set

We love imaginative play.  Anything where my kids can use their creative little minds to develop stories in their day is a "win" in my book. One of our favorite spots is the play kitchen my husband built for them. Within it, we have a variety of felt foods- including pastascookies and even seasoning salt! Okay... I'll admit. I may be a felt addict.  When we've hosted play dates before, my son's best friend really enjoyed playing with all of these fun foods.  So when her birthday was coming up, I asked him what we should get for her.  His answer? "Felt cookies!" 

It was so sweet of him to remember that she liked those, I had to do it. Of course, I also had to go all out.  I made some changes to the interchangable top cookies that I had made for him a while back (I opted not to put velcro on them because I've found through experience that it sticks to parts of felt you don't want it to!) and I added a few new fun 'toppings'.  Then we finished it off with a "cookie sheet" and spatula/flipper for even more play!

Each cookie (and the remaining 'dough sheet' is made from 2 pieces of felt sewn together.  The really awesome thing about felt is that unlike most sewing projects, you don't have to turn it after sewing because the edges won't fray. So just sew along the outline to keep the pieces together and that part is done!  I used a rotary cutter to easily cut out the circle, flower and heart shapes without compromising the cookies or the dough.

As for the tops of the cookies, simply cut 1 piece of felt in the same shape as your cookie and then hot glue your icing, chips & sprinkles on top!

As you can see, the cookies can be removed from the dough and the decorative tops can be removed from the cookies for multiple levels of play!  I'll admit, I really enjoy playing with these and I'll be 30 this year.

For decorating fun, I made a vanilla and chocolate icing bag and using an empty bottle of sprinkles, created a custom "sprinkles" bottle for the birthday girl.  Since she loves all things "Ninja Turtles" we made sure that a few of the cookies had green icing and sprinkles in the 4 colors of Ninja Turtle outfits!

For those wondering, the cookies/decorations are:
- Chocolate chip
- Cranberry white chocolate chip
- Ninja turtle icing & sprinkles
- Chocolate swirl icing
- White chocolate icing (on both heart designs)

My son really enjoys using the icing bags to decorate the cookies.  Check out this darling video of him "testing it out" before we wrapped it up to gift.  Turn the volume up and hear adorable sound effects of icing squirting out! *ahhh kid, you hold my heart*

Happy crafting & happy pretend play!  What kind of cookies would you make?  

{Yea, I realize this photo is ridiculous. Who pulls the spatula, icing bags and sprinkles out of the oven?!  Someone who didn't pay attention until editing, that's who *ahem.. me* }

Sunday, July 28, 2019

A look at Pediped + Giveaway!

I don't know about you but this summer has been crazy!  First it took forever to get here (any other Hoosiers here that completely missed spring thanks to our crazy weather?) then once it got here it's been a flurry of activities and appointments and running every which way.  I've been dying to write this post for months now and I'm finally getting around to doing so.

Why have I been itching to write it?  Because I get to feature and GIVEAWAY one of my all-time favorite products! Seriously y'all, we are lifetime customers.

[Disclaimer: I have received free product in exchange for writing this review.  However, as always- all opinions are my own and I am in no way required to give a positive review.  Giveaway items are sponsored by PediPed and administered by Cut, Craft, Create]

pediped is a shoe company for babies, toddlers and big kids that practices their slogan "the next best thing to bare feet".  As a barefoot fan, this first caught my attention. But a couple years and three pairs of shoes later- I have a lot more reasons to love them.

Here's why:

1- Barefoot (or close to it) is good for kids!  Bare feet strengthens and promotes agility from the feet all the way up to the hips.  When we don't wear shoes our feet are able to feel the ground beneath us better and thus learn to respond in a healthier way.  Those tiny adjustments add up and over time improve our balance, movement and posture.  (I mentioned this in my last pediped post here) Sometimes though, we have to wear shoes so this is literally the "next best thing."

2- These shoes are quality.  I'll admit, I'm generally a "buy cheap stuff" gal but when it comes to everyday shoes for the kids, I want quality.  These are shoes the kids play in, climb in, even hike in! I LOVE how flexible they are while also being sturdy.  My kids climb over rocks, scale trees without slipping and simply do everyday play in their pediped shoes. 

[He's checking out the flexible grip design.  Really!  He commented about how they 'bend' ha! Even kids notice!]

3- They are machine washable.  It sounds silly but this is something specifically that I look for when children's shoe shopping and both pairs we currently own are completely machine washable. (I don't believe our baby ones were though so double check before purchasing!)  I've washed both shoes pictured on this post multiple times in our regular washing machine!

[It's hard to see but the silver on these shoes is SPARKLY!  And they continue to stay sparkly after lots of puddle jumps and runs through the washing machine.]

4- They look really nice. There are so many options avilable on their website that you are bound to find one, or two.. or a dozen that you love! The easy to navigate website allows you to shop size (baby/toddler/big kid) plus special deals, gifts and sizing help.  Within each category you can choose the style of shoe you want or even shop by gender or search bar!

[This is the pair we had when my son was about 18 months old]

5- They are easy to put on.  My daughter has the 'silver glitter' "Minnie" shoes and is 2 years old.  She is able to put them on quickly by herself with no trouble.  The elastic strap is not only easy to close but she can even get it through the loop if it comes all the way undone.  I love that she is able to do it all herself because she is Miss Independent in everything she does and this has eliminated a lot of meltdowns from mommy "trying to help".

6- Last but not least- They are a GOOD company. They run all sorts of fun events and giveaways throughout the year.  We actually WON the Dani Grey/Orange that my son is wearing during their online Easter egg hunt for only 1 penny! They gave away dozens of pairs of shoes over a couple of days!  Even more amazing, they send out shoes to customers simply for the sake of 'paying it forward" called the Serendipity Program.  They also offer a ton of vegan material-made shoes so you can buy quality without harming animals!

 [Screenshot taken directly from pediped Instagram story]

If I haven't made it clear yet, I love these shoes and this company.  I think it's a worthy company to support but if you'd like to snag a FREE pair while you shop around- then enter the giveaway below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Contest open to residents of the US ages 18 years of age and older. No purchase necessary. Must complete prompts using widget above.  Winner picks "girl or boy" and size of shoe and Pediped will send a style of their choice to the winner free of charge.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Lace Earrings DIY

I am so into easy-peasy DIYs right now.  As I try to balance my time with kids, housework, my business, socializing... life in general (!) I find that crafts or really anything creative gets pushed to the side.  I enjoy crafting with my kiddos but it feels good to make something that I want to make.  That's why the fast and easy projects are my jam.  I only need a handful of minutes and I get that sense of accomplishment that carries me into the next craft time.

Earrings have been a favorite of mine lately; maybe because my kids are finally at the age where they aren't tugging on my earrings all the time in fascination.  I've created several super cool earrings lately like these motherhood earrings (from shrinky dinks) and I even let my son make these rainbow earrings (instagram).  I received a bag full of lace scraps from a church friend and as I sifted through them the ideas rushed into my head.  The first of course-earrings.

[I was unable to edit any photos for this post so please be respectful and make sure you link back to my blog or social media if you share my content.  Thank you!]

These were my 3 favorites (I think I'll turn the others into bracelets!

[Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to products I used in making this project. Purchasing through these links earns me a small commission at no extra charge to you. Thank you for supporting my blog.]

All you need to make this project is:

- small pieces of lace
Mod Podge
earring hooks

How to make it (in minutes!)

Step 1: Lay out your lace. 

Step 2: Cover your lace with Mod Podge.

Step 3: If the Mod Podge is filling any holes in the lace, use a pin or other small object to open the space back up.  Do this while the Mod Podge is still wet.

Step 4: When it's dried, take your jewelry hook and attach them together!  It's so easy. Don't you love it?

Don't you just love the delicate lace look?  And it's more durable with the Mod Podge. Win- Win!

It even dresses up a solid tee!

And here's something really cool:  This would be an AMAZING little DIY for your wedding.  Find a lace that matches the feel of your dress or if you have to alter your dress, save a spare piece and whip up identical matching earrings!  I made these earrings in 2019 and this is my wedding dress from 2012 and I swear that flower looks almost the same!  Isn't that fun?

(For those wondering, I try my wedding dress on again every year on our anniversary so that's how I have a photo of me in my dress!  It was a happy coincidence with these earrings.)

Imagine the possibilities! Costing only pennies to make and only a few minutes of your time- what's holding you back from making these now?  I'd love to see your creations, so please comment or tag me on Instagram @CutCraftCreate.