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Category Archives: DIY

Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day I was looking for a new, fun idea that was low in cost (isn’t everyone?) so I started scanning Pinterest and found this blog about creating vases out of jars (yes, I realize it’s in Swedish but isn’t the language of creativity universal?) and I loved the idea I just changed a things. Instead of using plain jars or even upcycling jars I already had (which is a great idea by the way, I just knew I wouldn’t get enough jars by the time I needed to start this project) I went to JoAnn Fabric’s and bought mason jars for $1.25 each.

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Next up was deciding what color/type of paint to buy. Glass paint is really pricey so I decided to buy acrylic paint and just spray the inside of the jars with a clear coat to stop any running when the flower was watered. I bought two colors for $5.99 each, I really only needed one but since I was making 5 vases I wanted to mix it up a bit. You can always use up old paint you already have.

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The next step was painting the inside of the jars. I took the lids off each jar and one-by-one dumped a good amount of paint in the bottom and starting twirling around the jars (adding more paint as needed) until the entire jar was covered. You don’t need to worry about getting too close to the top because you want to set it on its head anyway for the excess paint to drip out. SIDE NOTE: I used way to too much in each jar. When I flipped the jars over the next day there was a ton of paint that poured out. Next time I will use less, waste less.

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Once the paint was dry, and it will take a few days, I screwed back on the lids without the flat place to cover the jar’s opening. I just wanted it to have a more finished look at the top. Then I added chalkboard labels so that I could write on the jar who it was for. I taped off the space I wanted on each jar then put two coats of chalkboard paint, allowing the appropriate drying time in between.

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The chalkboard paint is a little high maintenance. It has to dry for 3 days before you can “condition” it. This means after 3 days you take the side of a piece of chalk and cover the area with it, then erase it. At that point you can wipe it clean but then need to wait another 7 days to write on it. I conditioned the jars and allowed them to sit.

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Finally all they need is soil and a flower and of course to be labeled for the recipient. Any type of flower can be used, I used Marigolds that I purchased from Lowe’s, which cost $12 for 3 pots. It’s better to plant just one or two flowers since there isn’t a ton of room in the jar. I also purchased a small bag of top soil for $5. That puts my total at a little under $30 for 5 Mother’s Day gifts. I didn’t include the chalkboard paint price in the total because I bought it for another purpose and only decided to do the labels because I had it on hand. If I didn’t have it, I would have left the labels off and wrapped some twine around the neck of the jar with name tags. Overall I am happy with the finished product. I hope they are a hit this Mother’s Day! Here is the finished product:

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“(felt) Christmas Tree, Oh, (felt) Christmas Tree”

Being a huge fan of the holidays my husband was shocked when I mentioned not putting up a tree this year. In previous years (pre-baby) we have always put up two, now I barely have the room or patience for one. Images danced in my head of Afton terrorizing the tree and all the antique and sentimental ornaments that adorn it. I just didn’t want to think about her breaking her great-grandmother’s delicate santa clauses or poking an eye out with a branch. But after many discussions I gave in and we put up our tree (we are now on day 4 without incident). I like to think this is because of the felt tree I made just for her.

Afton’s Felt Christmas Tree

I put it up a few days before Thanksgiving so she could get used to it before we put the actual tree up. She enjoys taking the decorations off on a whim or changing them around or just throwing them all on the ground. I just kept telling her that this was her very own tree, and made a big deal about it.

The best part about it was it was so easy to make. I just bought a yard of green felt from the fabric store and picked up a few felt squares in various colors for the decorations. This project had to be no-sew for me, well because I don’t sew! I folded the green felt in half…sketched helf a tree on it with a sharpie…cut it out and…you have a tree!

No-sew Felt Ornaments

The ornaments I just did free hand and created in my head. I used my hot glue gun to put the ornaments together. I have to say the hardest part was actually cutting out the star. I stink at drawing starts so this was a challenge for me. It took a few tries but I finally got it. Oh and I used Command Adhesive Strips to attach the tree to my wall. And that is really it! Felt sticks to felt so you don’t need to do anything to make the ornaments stick to the tree…it’s a beautiful thing. If you have a toddler I highly recommend the felt tree:

Afton loves her tree!

Recycling Photo Props

So you spent some money on Etsy buying photo props for your holiday photos and you don’t want to just throw them out or put them in a box for next year’s photos? Why not fit them in to your holiday decor! I didn’t buy any special holiday photo props this year, I made them, and since I put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into them you better believe I was going to find some way to display them for the holidays.

The first item I wanted to recycle was the holiday banner I created. It was super easy and cheap to put this banner together. The only thing I needed to actually buy was a scrapbook tablet to use as the pennant backgrounds. I had the rest of the items already on hand (twine, mini clothespins, printer paper, scissors, glue stick).

My Dining Room Hutch

To see how this banner was used in our holiday photos, check out my “Tis the Season post.

I also plan on recycling my chalkboard yet again to hang somewhere in the house…maybe by the fireplace downstairs with a cozy Christmas saying…any suggestions? And I made a felt mistletoe for our holiday photos that I did not get to use in them…so I will be hanging that in our doorway. Have fun seeing what you can recycle for the holidays!

Another felt flower wreath – Fall Themed

I just got done making a Fall felt flower wreath for my brother’s girlfriend and I really liked how it turned out, so I thought I would share it. I have to admit that when she brought over the materials I wasn’t in love with the colors she picked (bright orange, white and deep red). I actually thought they were ugly, but hey, I wasn’t going to have to look at it everyday, right?

This one is going to be short and sweet…I didn’t take any “before” or “during” photos while I was making this one. I banged it out in one evening and this was the result:

 

Fall 18″ Wreath

Felt flowers up close

 

If you like what you see…check out my Etsy shop and convo me for a custom wreath of your own! http://www.etsy.com/shop/PrettyHeartFelt

 

 

DIY Grandparent’s Day Cards

I don’t know about you, but to me the worst part of any holiday (Halloween, birthdays, Mother’s Day, etc.) is buying cards. Spending sometimes $5 on a card when you have at least 5 or more people to buy for per holiday adds up quickly. The great part about having a child is having a chance to make homemade cards with your little one for all these special occasions and saving a ton of money (on a side note: you may be saving money but if your little one doesn’t have the patience for these crafts you might be paying a much higher price in the end by losing your sanity). To make your card making life easier just go out and buy a stack of solid colored construction paper, a scrapbook tablet with corresponding colors and a few ink pads (also with corresponding colors). There you have the basics for card making. I have made cards for virtually every occasion since my little one was born, this is just an example of the cards we made for Grandparent’s Day.

Simply tear out whatever paper you want to use for the outside of the card (in this case it was various patterns of green from my scrapbook tablet) and I used plain white printer paper for the inside. I lined up the two pieces of paper and folded them to create a card. Then I wrote “Happy Grandparent’s Day” on the outside of the card with a black sharpie and used some stickers that came in my scrapbook table for flare.

Then I set the outside of the card aside. Using the inside of the card (the printer paper) I cut out a few hearts using scraps and used a few more stickers but first came the tricky part. I wanted to make a heart on the inside of the card using my little ones foot prints. I scooped up my busy toddler and explained to her how she was going to help me make a big surprise for her grandparents. While explaining this and making it sound super fun I took off her socks and started dabbing the inkpad on her foot. Be sure and do one foot at a time, it should go something like this: put ink on one foot, stamp paper, clean foot, repeat on other side. If you leave one foot with ink while you try and do the other I guarentee you will get it on you or the counter or the dog…etc. Here is the inside:

There you have it. Simple card making that means a great deal more than those expensive Hallmark ones. Remember once both parts of the card are done and have had time to dry, glue them together and smooth out and bubbles or creases. I simply use a glue stick and smear the back of the printer paper, stick, fold and smooth. We made three cards for all three, yes three, sets of grandparents. That is six foot prints and a lot of ink, stamp, clean, repeating…

DIY Felt Flower Wreath

I have been obsessed lately with all things felt. I started making felt flowers to put on headbands for Afton (another post), but for the moment I have moved on to wreaths. I don’t really get into the Halloween decorations so I wanted something pretty that I could hang on my door all Fall and Winter long. Enter the felt flower wreath! I went to Joann Fabrics and bought felt squares in the colors I wanted (about $5 or less), a 24″ grapevine wreath ($8.99), three yards of ribbon (about $5) and a wooden letter to hang from the ribbon ($3.99).

 

Felt squares in assorted colors (4 for $1)

Grapevine wreath ($8.99)

Along with the items I purchased I make this wreath I also used the following (which I already had at home): hot glue gun, glue sticks, yarn, and silver door hanger. The first thing I did was make various felt flowers for the wreath using a few different methods.

The start of a felt rose

To make felt roses you just cute out different sizes of circles and cut into each circle to create a spiral. Then start at the pointed edge and roll the felt inwards using dots of glue to secure until you reach the large round end in the middle. Then simply glue the circle to the bottom of the flower. You can click here for a tutorial on a different kind of flower that I also used. They should look something like this:

 

 

 

Almost done!

At this point all I did was wrap my ribbon around the top part of my letter twice, then wrap the ribbon around the top of the wreath and tie into a bow. I tucked the ends of the ribbon around parts of the wreath that were sticking out and clipped the ends to give it a more polished finish. Here is the finished product!

I love my new wreath!

 

 

 

 

 

Afton’s Birthday Party (Part 2)

This post will explain how I created some of the decorations for Afton’s first birthday party. See Afton’s Birthday Party (Part 1) for all the photos. I work full-time so I started these projects about 2-3 months before the actual party, working on them here and there when I found the time. It was usually after Afton when to bed for the night (her bed time is 6:30pm, thank goodness) so I usually worked from 7-10 a few nights a week. Let’s just say my husband is glad the party is behind us.

Happy Birthday, Afton!

Let me start by saying, when I was making this banner I asked for my husband’s opinion and the one thing he said was “make the letters thicker” and of course I didn’t listen to him because in my mind you didn’t have to read it from far away. Now that I see the photos from the party and her one year photos (we used the banner in those also) I must admit my husband was right (ouch that hurts).

Here is what you need to recreate this birthday banner: solid colored construction paper, patterned construction paper (I just bought a scrapbook table), large paper doilies, a glue stick, scissors, ruler, twine, mini-clothespins, and a THICK sharpie.

First I measured and cut all the paper. I figured out my sizes by laying the doily down on the patterned paper and measuring what size square I would need for the paper to peek out behind the doily. Then I measured the inside of the doily (the solid white part) and cut out my solid squares to fit within them. After all the squares were cut I used my ruler and drew the letters on to the smaller squares. There are many ways you can do this…some people print the letters out and cut them out and glue them. Some people use their computer screen as a light box and trace the letters onto the paper. You can even buy a stencil and do them that way.

Once your letters are done you can start gluing your pieces together, in any order you want. I started with the smaller squares onto the doily and let them dry overnight, then glued those to the larger, patterned square. Once they were all done they looked like this:

As you can see it’s easy to read the letters in this photo, not so easy in the first photo from the party. At this point all you have to do is measure out your twine for each word and then attach the twine to letter with your mini-clothespins. I used two pins for each letter. I made this banner for under $15, as opposed to the ones for sale on Etsy for $25-45 plus shipping!

Next up: lace and paper rosettes

These are just random decorations I made with left over supplies. The top image is made from the left over doilies. You simply take 3 or 4 doilies that are the same size and accordion fold each of them. So you should have 3 or 4 long strips, then fold those in half and use double-sided tape to secure the sides together that are touching once folded. If you fan those out you should have half of a rosette. Simply repeat with the other two doilies and connect them all together using the double-sided tape. I also glued some buttons in the centers to make them look more vintage and flower-like and I used twine to hand them from trees at the party. I did the same exact thing with left over construction paper (see the image below the doily rosettes) and just used a hole punch at the top and hung them from trees using left over twine also. The other paper flowers in the photo I actually traced them from a pattern that came with my scrapbook tablet. Then I glued buttons in the centers and cut the petals. I didn’t know what I was going to do with these at the time but I ended up using them on the favor bags:

These favor bags were super easy. All you need are: brown bags, thin ribbon (thin enough to fit through a hole punch), mini doilies, Thank You rubber stamp, ink pad, glue stick and the small paper flowers and rosettes from above. I just stamped the mini doilies with the thank you stamp and glued them to the brown bag along with the paper flower and/or the mini paper rosette. Then I filled the bag with treats (i.e., playdough, tattoos, stickers, bubbles, bath toys, crayons) then folded the over once, punched two holes, threaded the ribbon through them and tied a bow. Simple and cheap!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments regarding any of the DIY projects featured here! I’d love to see photos of your own interpretations of these ideas. Enjoy!

 

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