Archive for the ‘crafts’ Category

A little while ago, I saw these cute stamps and thought to myself, “I want a t-shirt that has some sort of crafty saying on it!” I loved the saying “make your own magic,” and seeing all the little crafting tool icons made me think that scissors would be perfect for me– since I love sewing and paper crafting so much.


I designed the image in my Silhouette Studio software, using the font Bruselo Script, which I purchased as part of a bundle from The Hungry JPEG.  I used a number of special characters and did a bit of playing with letter sizes and spacing to get everything just so.  I modified a star image to create the sparkle stars around the saying, and I used a scissors image that was part of a NSD cut file freebie from Scrapbook and Cards Today in 2015!



Once I had my design laid out, I flipped it for its mirror image.  I used freezer paper with the shiny waxed side UP on my cutting mat and cut it out with my Silhouette.

I ironed the freezer paper stencil onto my T-shirt, which was about $3 from Walmart.  There were lots of little fiddly bits to fit into the letters, but I watched some scrapbooking videos while I worked and had a happy time!


I used two coats of white fabric paint over my stencil before I let it dry overnight.  I am so pleased with how it turned out!!



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VBS robot alien

This little “costume” for my son was one of the most last-minute of the VBS theme costumes, but I think it’s my favorite!

Earlier in the week, Husband spent a lot of time getting Becker’s antennae just right; they are made from thin copper tubing and red plastic beads.


We hadn’t gotten much further than that when Friday morning rolled around.   I was stumped.  I browsed Pinterest for “easy boy alien costume” and similar searches, but was coming up with almost nothing reasonable!  On top of that, I didn’t have much access to my craft room because our contractors were replacing plumbing and had to cut into my ceiling to do so.

Somehow, though, the Pinterest search sparked the idea of a robot costume, and one of the VBS directors had mentioned lots of eyes…  I ran downstairs to my craft supplies and gathered all sorts of bits and bobs and my glue gun.  I assembled my crazy concoction on the kitchen counter while my kids played nearby.

The robot panel is on a base of felt, and I combined felt scraps with textured craft foam to make the different pieces.  I used reflective cardboard for the dial and added beads and sequins from a stash of random bits to give the idea of buttons.  There are little sliders, too– and they actually slide!– fluorescent green pipe cleaners thread through the plastic pony beads.  And of course, since it’s an alien robot costume, there are lots and lots of googly eyes.

robot alien shirt for VBS!

robot alien shirt for VBS!

robot alien shirt for VBS!

I sized the base panel to cover the screen printing on one of B’s red T-shirts, and while I had a phone meeting that afternoon, I hand-basted it into place!  B was so excited about his robot shirt, and it made the work worthwhile!




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Well, another week of VBS is in the books!   We had a crazy-and-fun time again this year, and of course, I couldn’t resist coming up with headwear (and sometimes more…) for each of the nights’ themes.  You know that I love costumes of any kind!

We tried to color-coordinate the themes to the kids’ class colors (because of course, I need to make it more challenging!).  B was in the “Lil’ Red Rockets” preschool group, and V was in the “Galactic Green” kindergarten class.  Husband and I did a little bit of pre-planning and a tiny bit of advance work, but most of these were developed on the day itself…  I intended to do headbands for V and myself again (since they worked out so well last year), and my friend P gave the awesome suggestion of decorating a ball cap for B!  My headband for the week, upon which I based all of my crazy decorations, was actually a cover (made from THIS pattern–I’ve made countless headband covers over the years!) that I sewed from the hot pink bandana that we wore to designate ourselves as the snack team.  I also made a quick ruffly clip with more strips from the bandana to embellish the headband even further– I also used this clip to help stabilize and attach some of the pieces.

My friend J gave us a hand-me-down red hat that we used for B’s headwear.  It had a team logo on the front, but I used my VBS iron-on logo and turned it into a patch to go over it.  I ironed the logo onto some heavy-weight cotton, which I had interfaced with fuseable interfacing.  Then I satin-stitched a border around the logo and cut it out close to the outside edge of the stitching.  I hand-basted this “patch” onto the front of the hat, and I think it turned out really cute!


Monday night was space night.  I really, really wanted us each to have a rocket launching over our heads…and these creations, made from cardboard toilet paper tubes covered in paper with tissue paper flames, turned out to be more of a challenge than I expected!  I managed to rig them up well enough, though!

rocket selfie!  VBS day 1 (space theme)


Tuesday night was super hero night.  Husband and I brainstormed a few superheroes that had a signature color that coordinated with each of our kids’ group color.  We chose logos, and I used my Silhouette to die cut or print-and-cut those logos from cardstock.   In keeping with the bobbing-above-the-head tradition, I mounted them on wire and attached them to each kid’s head.  B’s was mounted on his hat, and V’s wrapped around her hair bun.  I’ll show you my superhero contribution in a future post…(I couldn’t think of any hot pink superheroes that had easily-recognizable logos, so I went with an apron!)



Wednesday night was color night– each kid dressed in their VBS T-shirt (a plain colored shirt with the iron-on logo affixed to the front), and I broke out the hair mascara from a few Halloweens ago and went to town on their hair.  The kids LOVED having their hair colored!  Vivian also wore a little ruffly hair clip I made from fabric scraps, and I painted her fingernails with green polish!


Vivian with Galactic Green hair

Thursday night was pajama night.  I liked the moon-and-stars idea that I’d done last year, so I just modified the attachments I’d made for V and myself.  For B, I cut out red stars from textured craft foam and made a white felt moon (a red moon felt a little too grim!).

pajama night for VBS!  I made moons and stars for us to wear on our heads

pajama night for VBS!  I made moons and stars for us to wear on our heads

Friday night was create-your-own alien night.  By the end of this crazy week, I thought I was clean out of ideas (we also had our upstairs hall bathroom remodel begin on Wednesday morning, and on Friday morning, they needed to cut into my craft room ceiling for some plumbing work…)  However, some ideas came together at the last minute!  I’m going to do a separate post about my son’s outfit, but I’ll show my cute aliens off here, too!  B was a red robot alien, and V was a green sparkly alien!  We combined an old Tinkerbell dress-up costume with a sequined jacket her sparkly alien costume, and I made antennae eyes with pompoms and green mesh, which we attached to her hair buns with wire.




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We had quite a few activities planned for the princess party.  As the guests arrived, we had Rapunzel/Tangled coloring pages and crayons out on the table, as well as little “kits” set up to make Pascal blowers.

coloring pages and Pascal blowers to put together in the dining room

I’m really glad that I switched from regular craft foam to adhesive craft foam–it made all the difference!

Vivian made a Pascal blower

Becker made a Pascal blower with Mommy's help

We also had beanbag games set up in the entryway, where guests could throw “apple” (red) beanbags into a hole for Maximus and “satchel” (black) beanbags into a hole for Flynn.

Vivian's fifth birthday party [Ed's camera]

We did one “organized” party game before the “main event!”  I had cut a whole pile of small paper apples with my Silhouette, and we hid them around the rooms in which the party was happening.  The guests each collected at least five and they turned them in for a “reward from Maximus”– a little bag of red and green M&Ms (they were supposed to be apples, haha!)


do you spy my Rapunzel charm bracelet?  I was Disney-bounding Rapunzel for the party, of course! 😉

The main event was the whole reason we decided to put on this party!  Husband found out about “party princesses” (entertainers who come to a birthday party dressed as a favorite princess character) and decided that they would be absolutely perfect for V.  And of course, they were!  We had requested that Rapunzel come to V’s party, and we were delightedly surprised when Aurora came with her!  The princesses sang, told stories, worked on a little craft, and played some games with the guests.  It was so sweet to see the little girls interacting with the princesses!  At the end, Rapunzel did a little coronation ceremony for V and then V gave out “coronation gifts” to each of the guests (toy rings for the girls, and sticky hands for the boys).


Aurora, Vivian, and Rapunzel

As we did the different activities, the guests put their little treats and treasures into paper bags that I’d labeled with their names on tags that were styled after the party invitation. Also inside each of those bags was a little watercolor set shaped like a palette, and I added a little tag that says “Add a few new paintings to your gallery”

one of the favors for the kids

The party was so much fun to plan and even more fun to see in action… but it was so much work (totally worth it)!  The next party we do will probably be for B’s fifth birthday party– a few years from now, haha!

This is the last post in my series about our daughter’s princess party; click here for all the posts

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Speaking of food… Another of our favorite scenes from the movie (who are we kidding, really, we love the whole thing, haha!) is in the Snuggly Duckling with the pub thugs. I decided to recreate the Snuggly Duckling sign to display the menu for the party.

hand-painted Snuggly Duckling sign for displaying the menu

hand-painted Snuggly Duckling sign for displaying the menu

I made the sign by painting posterboard with acrylic paint. I’m pretty proud of myself for how it turned out! (Especially considering that screenshots from the movie are fairly blurry).

I hung the menu underneath.  We had fun giving the food punny names (thanks, Pinterest, for some of the ideas!).

To drink, we had lemonade. Oh wait, I mean magic golden flower juice.

lemonade.  Oh wait, I mean magic golden flower juice

We had “Snuggly Duckling nuggets” (a Chick-fil-A platter of chicken nuggets, my daughter’s absolute favorite, which we served in a cast iron frying pan), “Flynn’s Golden Treasure” (macaroni and cheese), “Rapunzel’s Braids” (honey wheat pretzel twists), “Pascal’s Platter” (carrot and cucumber sticks), “Maximus’ Delight” (apple slices), “Gothel’s Hazelnut Dip” (a dip for the apples and pretzels made from Nutella, cream cheese, and whipped topping), and finally, “Attila’s Sublime Cupcakes” (see the next post!).

I think the spread of food was pretty good, if I do say so myself!

How could we resist making black paper plates into frying pans (who knew, right?)?!

Stay tuned for more about our daughter’s princess party!  


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Instead of doing a general princess theme for V’s party, we decided to narrow it down and choose one princess to focus upon.  It seems like our family is definitely on a Tangled kick!  It’s one of V’s two favorite princess movies, and we all love Rapunzel’s brave, spunky, persistent and sweet personality.  Plus, the movie’s aesthetic is gorgeous!

The main imagery that stood out to me from the movie is (of course!) the floating lanterns, but also the scene in which Rapunzel and Flynn participate in the city’s festival, with those beautiful purple pennant banners!  When we were in Disney World last January, one of my favorite areas of the Magic Kingdom was new Fantasyland.  Especially the Rapunzel theming!


I took this photo (and many others!) of the area of Fantasyland themed after the Tangled movie. We loved the scenery!

Between my photos of the park and the movie imagery itself, we came up with a plan for the decorations!

pennant banners and lanterns

Husband made so many paper lanterns!  He made some by shaping cylinders of white paper, and others by cutting the tops and bottoms off of white paper lunch bags.  On all of them, he stenciled yellow sunbursts (the icon of Rapunzel’s kingdom).  He attached fish line and hung them from the ceiling.

pennant banners and lanterns

In the living, room, where the main activity of the party occurred, I draped some purple tulle from the ceiling over the fireplace and added some tissue paper pom poms.  Radiating out from this point, we hung yards of pennant banners.

pennant banners and lanterns

I cut each one out of purple cardstock.  I traced in the Silhouette Studio software the sunburst design that I downloaded from the Disney Family website and turned it into a cut file and inserted it into a curved triangle flag shape.   (We also used this cut file for the stencil Husband used to paint each of the lanterns!)

pennant banners and lanterns

oooh, so pretty

We also had lanterns and pennant banners in the dining room, where we had some of the coloring activities and the kids ate their food.

there were pennant banners and lanterns in the dining room, too!

If you look closely, you can see a “magic golden flower” in a vase in the center of the dining room table!

Stay tuned for more about our daughter’s princess party!  


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Our sweet girl turned five years old at the end of November!  As time approached her birthday, Husband suggested that we throw her a birthday party.  I was resistant at first, for a number of reasons, but he convinced me, and of course then I had to go all-in!

The first thing we needed were invitations.  There was no question that the party would be princess-themed, and so I used a combination of inspiration from Pinterest and a previous invitation I designed to create the invitations for her party.


Since it was going to be a fairly small guest list, I decided to actually mail the invitations.  You know, in envelopes, with stamps.  🙂  I printed the invitations onto photo paper and matted them on coordinating purple cardstock.

digitally-designed invitation for Vivian's fifth birthday party.

After the party, I made some coordinating thank-you cards.  I was really proud of my girl for writing notes to each of her friends!  (I know it wasn’t my favorite task when I was little, but I am glad now that my mom taught me how…)

hybrid thank you cards


Stay tuned for more about our daughter’s princess party!  

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When we first started discussing the idea of having our family do a Tangled costume this year, it was obvious that V would be Rapunzel, but we debated who would play what other characters.  I absolutely nixed the idea of being Mother Gothel, and after briefly considering Husband and I dressing as Pub Thugs, we eventually settled on my dressing as Maximus, the royal guard horse.


Instead of taking the costume too literally, we decided to stylize things a bit.  A full horse suit would have been an overwhelming amount of work, and I was already overwhelmed by the amount of sewing for this year’s costumes as it was!  First, we chose a medieval-style dress pattern and added a brown belt to call Maximus’ harness to mind, then topped things off with a stylized horse mask.



The dress is Simplicity 1773, view A, and I wanted a full lining, rather than just facings, since I was sewing it with plain white cotton– an old sheet, to be precise!  To create the lining, I made a second dress, but without sleeves, and attached it at the neckline (as the facings would have been attached).  I sewed the lining to the armholes with a machine stitch, and hand-stitched the zipper opening to the zipper tape in the back.  The lining has a simple overlocked hem, and I did a single turn hem on the outer dress.  I had the sheet and thread on hand, and the zipper and elastic were among sewing notions that I’ve been handed-down from people recently (thank you, thank you, thank you!), and so the only thing I had to purchase for this dress was the buttons.  I didn’t want to spend much–there are nine on each cuff!!!– so I got super cheapo buttons at Walmart: a pack of 20 for $0.88.


Husband was in charge of the accessories, and honestly, I don’t know which one is the better show-stopper!


My horse-head is made from white posterboard (another thing we purchased for my costume).  Husband found an amazing horse mask when he was searching for ideas, and we thought it was beautiful (and prohibitively expensive for our costume purposes!).  As he looked at the pictures, he said to me, “I think I can recreate that!”  And he did.  (His spatial reasoning skills continue to amaze me).




To create the leather medallion that Maximus wears on the front of his harness, Husband turned to an excellent tutorial on the Epbot blog for making craft foam look like leather.* He used scraps of foam I had leftover from another project and traced Rapunzel’s kingdom’s sun emblem onto the medallion using a template and added the horse’s name, since he spotted it in a closeup in the movie.  The only other thing we purchased for this costume was the gold wax to add the gilding effect.  Of all the characters in our costume, I think I probably needed the most explanation, so it was nice to have such a stylish “nametag.”  It slides onto the belt (from my closet) with a foam loop he adhered to the reverse of the medallion.  After I fasten the buckle, the medallion slides over and covers it.

Stay tuned for Pascal and Flynn Rider!


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VBS headbands

It started out because Monday’s VBS had a theme of “nautical…”

At our church’s VBS, we have a ton of fun.  Each night has a theme, similar to a “spirit week” at school for homecoming or whatever.  I really love getting into the themes…

Anyway, I had no idea how to dress in a nautical way with what I had on hand, or help my daughter to do so, for that matter.  I got to thinking…  Boat-related…hmmm…maybe we could wear headbands with boats on them!!

The night before, I broke out the pipe cleaners…and then the floral wire because I had wimpy pipe cleaners, old scrapbook paper, and scraps of fabric–and my glue gun. (I went through so much glue gun glue this week!!)  While watching TV,  I made little paper boats with sails (similar to the one I made for B’s first birthday cake!) and tethered them to headbands for V and me.



The next night was “under sea” night.  Since the headband idea had worked the night before, I decided to continue with the theme, even though V had a mermaid costume to wear from her dress-up clothes.  I had a printed fabric panel with shells and fishes, so I fussy-cut them out with a matching felt backer.  (I made my blouse back in 2009!)



(Wednesday night was color night, so V wore her purple shirt.  I had ballet class, so I was unable to go myself.)

By Thursday, I had a reputation to live up to!  Thursday was pajama night, so I made moon-and-stars headbands for V and I to wear.  (See more about V’s robe HERE)



Friday was “wacky-tacky” night, and so I completed our outfits with heart headbands.  (Tutus HERE and HERE)



Each age group/class at VBS has a color associated with it– my daughter was a “Lil Purple Guppy,” and the adult support teams have colors, too– my team, the snack team, was aqua, and we received a color-coded bandanna to wear to identify ourselves.  I tried to make sure to incorporate our color (and in my case, pieces of my bandanna!) into our headbands each night!

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What I wore: Disney bounding

I did admit that I was living vicariously through my daughter as she wore her princess dresses on our trip to Disney World.  I knew that it was not within the realm of reality for me to dress up in princess dresses (and actually, it’s an official rule at Disney World that people over 14 are not permitted to wear costumes!).  However, I knew that I could still have a little bit of fun with my outfits…

Quite a while ago, I heard about the concept of Disney-bounding.  The basic idea is that a person chooses a particular character and selects an outfit that evokes the idea of that character– without actually dressing up as the character.  You might select garments of the character’s signature colors and wear accessories that reference elements or icons in that character’s storyline.  (Do some Google searches or Pinterest searches for examples– there are so many amazing ideas!  Even Etsy has some great finds.)

I thought this was such a fun idea– you can pull off the outfits in everyday wear!– but it wasn’t until our trip that I seriously considered it for myself.  I have been trying to refresh my wardrobe anyway, and this concept gave me some “rails” to choose some new pieces.  I certainly can’t resist the fantastic palettes that Disney has created for their characters.

My favorite princesses overlap (in general) with my daughter’s, so I decided to coordinate some of my outfits with hers when I could.  I tried to use what I already had in my closet, though like I said before, I am trying to refresh my wardrobe.  I ended up purchasing a few tops, and I raided my jewelry drawer and created some other accessories as well.  I must include a special thanks to some of my friends, who via Facebook, pointed me to some great ideas online.  In the end, I had outfits for Belle, Cinderella, Snow White, Briar Rose (Aurora/Sleeping Beauty’s in-the-forest identity), Rapunzel, and Ariel.

It was so much fun to wear these outfits in the park.  It was a special treat for me– and there were people who noticed!  Cast members commented, sometimes calling me “Princess,” and several guests at the resort or in the parks made remarks as well.

Without further ado, here are the outfits:

Belle: yellow top with a smocked/ruffle detail at the neckline/yoke; red rose pendant and bracelet.  Small gold rose earrings (I received them as a gift shortly after I got my ears pierced, years ago!)

I Disney-bounded Belle today.  Vivian and I took some photos together!


I looked on Etsy for jewelry inspiration and saw a number of rose pendants.  Not only was I doing all of this at the last minute, but I knew that I could make something similar for a lot less.  I got extra lucky when I found these resin rose bracelets on clearance at Michaels for $1.50:


I bought two.  I took the elastic out and spray-painted the roses red…


…and then I re-strung one of the bracelets.  Husband helped me wire one more rose into a pendant with a pearl drop bead that I had in my bead stash.


Rapunzel: playful purple top with a charm bracelet featuring icons that appear in Tangled.  Pink rhinestone earrings.  I also braided my hair (as best as I could, since it’s short!  …but not short enough to recreate Rapunzel’s style at the end of the film…)


This was an old charm bracelet of mine when I was in elementary/middle school.  I left the flute and the Bible charms on it– Rapunzel had plenty of free time and so I don’t see any reason why she couldn’t have picked up an instrument, or read the Bible–she had lots of books in her tower! 🙂  My keen-eyed daughter spotted the sun charm when we were hunting for accessory parts at Michaels (she is so proud that she found it!), and I asked Husband to drill a tiny hole into a metal dollhouse frying pan (from the dollhouse section at Hobby Lobby) so that I could turn it into a charm.  My only regret is that I forgot to show the bracelet to Rapunzel when we met her in the Magic Kingdom!


Cinderella: light blue top (already in my closet!) with shoulder details.  Clear rhinestone earrings– sparkly like a glass slipper.  Black ribbon choker necklace.  


I took a length of black ribbon and singed the ends so that they would not fray.  I set an eyelet in each end and added a clasp so that it was easy to wear.

Snow White: blue top and yellow skirt (I’ve had the skirt for years!).  Red ribbon tied in a bow in my hair and apple earrings.  In the photo below, I am also wearing my daughter’s tiara, since after four straight days of wearing it, she decided she needed a bit of a break.  I was happy to “hold” it for her 😉

We paused as we exited the park to get a photo in front of the Tree of Life


I combined a red acrylic bead and Czech glass leaf bead to make an apple.  I paid about $2 total for the beads (and I have a lot of different shapes of green and red beads leftover!)  All of the jewelry findings were from my stash!

Briar Rose:  Grey dress layered with black cardigan.  Black headband with rose detail (borrowed from my daughter!) Gold rose earrings (same ones as worn for Belle).  Pink necklace that has a shape and color that remind me of the waistline “petals” of Aurora’s iconic gown.  


I wish that I had a better photo of this outfit (though I LOVE this photo!).  It was SO cold on this particular day that I was wearing at least one coat at all times (and still chilled to the bone).  I wore this outfit several times before our trip to “test it out,” since all of these items were already in my closet.

Ariel: Green dress (already in my closet) layered with a purple cardigan.  Shell necklace (a piece of jewelry from my childhood!)  

I regret that I have no photos of this complete outfit on our trip! I wore it on our last day (also a travel day).  I had a second option, if it was warm: a purple top with green shorts and the same jewelry.

~ ~ ~

The best part of this Disney bounding “project” for myself is that now I have six new outfits that I am excited about wearing even in everyday life!  It helped me to put together combinations that I wouldn’t have thought of before, but that I think look great.  I didn’t spend very much money on the new pieces — I think that every single piece that I purchased was on sale, especially the tops, since they were summer clearance!


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