Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Homemade body paint for kids

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My 4 year old goes to kindy (preschool) 2 days a week. And the other days? He's bored of course!
Today, while his 2 younger sisters were napping, he and I made body paint and, yes, painted each other.
It was suuuuuper easy! And fun.
I used lotion & food colouring & qtips. That's it!
And it's 4-year old friendly. He added the colours & mixed them. And then he had a blast painting.
Half way through it all, my 3 month old woke up. But she was delighted to be part of the fun, too.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Pet Bed: For Man's Best Friend made with Man's Unwanted Shirts

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Pet Bed: For Man's Best Friend made with Man's Unwanted Shirt

I love refashioning clothes.  You know.... taking A and turning it into B.  But this is the first time I've made something for a non-human.

And I love this design:
1) I hate dirty pet smells, and because this one is made with cotton shirts, you can easily wash it in the washing machine.  
2) With the velcro opening, you can stuff it with towels, rags, stuffing, pillows, or whatever you want.  And you can take out stuffing again when you want to wash it (see #1).
3) Bringing your pet somewhere?  Bring this too, it's light & compact and, yes, easy to clean.

And it was very easy to make, and didn't take too long.  Here's how to do it:

Take a matching pile of mens' bottom up shirts.  Coordinate the fabrics to suit your pet's personality... or your home decor.

Make a template for the bed pieces.  I used an old cereal box and measured 12 inches x 12 inches square, and then rounded one of the edges.

Cut apart the shirts, removing the sleeves from the larger parts of material.  Using the template, trace & cut 8 pie-shaped pieces for your bed.

Arrange them into the pattern you like, and sew them right-sides together.  Use an iron to press the seams (the ironing isn't 100% necessary, but it makes the overall finished product look sooooo much better.  Trust me - from a non-ironer, I do the ironing when I sew because it looks nicer).  

Continue sewing 4 pieces together to make one full panel (making sure you match your corners in the middle).  Repeat with the other 4 pieces.

Add the velcro.  This is the trickiest part - you don't want to accidentally sew it on the wrong side (like I almost did), so make sure you're paying attention.  Sew it onto the WRONG side (tuck your raw edges under).  Repeat with both sides.  I made my opening approx 4 inches (10 cm).

Put both panels right sides together (match up the seams to make it look nice & tidy).  It's ok if you've made a mistake and the panels aren't 100% the same.  Once your bed is stuffed, ie not laying flat, you'll never notice.  Also, don't forget to make sure Velcro lines up.

Sew Velcro.  And then, with right sides together, sew all around the circle with 1/4 seam allowance.  Start & finish at the Velcro.

Your bed is now inside out.  At the Velcro opening, turn it right side in & VOILA! You have a pet bed.

Find something to stuff it with (I used old dish towels), and give it to your pet.

FYI these make awesome gifts for "that person" that has everything... and you can use any colors & fabrics that you prefer.  Good luck! :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

No Sew Hula Skirt T-Shirt Refashion

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Last weekend me & hubby & the 3 kids spent the weekend at my MIL's house.  It's a rural farm-type property, and my kids love it.  But... I anticipated a lot of "son-helping-his-mom-on-the-property" time, and that means I would be in charge of the kids.  And, although it's a cool place for a kid, there isn't much to do.

So I brought a few old t-shirts, a pair of scissors, and some no-sew refashion ideas for things to make for the kids.  I didn't want something that was too time consuming or too difficult.  And TA-DA!  The hula skirt was born.  I've seen similar projects around... this one is easy easy easy and you, too, can ask your two year old to help.  

With all the cutting in this, it doesn't have to be tidy or straight.  In other words, you don't have to be OCD to get a good final project.  Either way, your girl will love it.  You'll see.

Start with an adult-sized shirt.  It doesn't matter what the t-shirt design is because you won't see it when it's done.  My "helper" was there with me, of course, sitting on the table while I took step-by-step photos.

Cut off the bottom hem.  And now cut a 4 inch wide piece (this will be the waist band).  You will have a tube - cut the tube so you have one long piece.  Fold it in half hotdog style... so now you should have one long doubled piece that's 2 inches wide.  Set it aside.

Cut the rest of the shirt into 1-2 inch wide pieces.  Like the waist band above, they will also be 'tubes.'  So, cut them so they are also long and about 1-2 inches wide (the sun was setting as I was taking the photos, look at the pink shirt "change" colors with the light!).

This is the fun part:  Stretch the 1-2 inch wide (and long) strips.  I mean pull those things.  And pull and pull.  Stretch them as much as you can.  You'll see they will fold onto themselves and make almost like a rope.  This is a great time to ask your "helper" for help.  

Now, work out how long you want your hula skirt lengths to be, and DOUBLE it.  So, if you want the skirt to be 6 inches long, then double it to 12 inches.  Cut the looooooong rope-like strips into 12 inch (or whatever you choose) lengths.

Get your waist band and cut little holes into BOTH sides of the waist band, about 1/2 inch or so from the top.

Fold your hula lengths in half and thread the loop end through the hole in the waist band, and put the ends through the loop and pull tight to tie it onto the waist band.  I'm sure knot this has a name but I have no idea what it is.  

Continue doing this for the whole skirt.

When you're finished tying the hula loops, you can cut the waist straps to fit the girl.  Make a knot, and put the ties into the same fringe (cut into strips, pull tight, etc).  The only difference is you're not going to cut the strips off, but leave them dangling.

And that's it.  All together, you can finish this skirt in less than hour.  Put skirt on your girl and watch her twirl.  Girl Twirl.  Love it.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Mistletoes 2012

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Is it just me or is time going waaaaaaaay too fast??

Sadly, I haven't posted in nearly a year, and because 1) I recently had my 3rd baby and 2) I turned 31, I became nostalgic and decided to read through my blog old posts.  I re-read my mistletoes from last year, and realized I hadn't yet taken any impressions of my kids' wee prints in a year.

But like I said, time is going waaaaaaay too fast.

So here are the directions for my "2012 MistleToes:"
Cate was my helper while her almost-4 year old brother and 2-month old sister were napping.
I used a sheet of construction paper, some paints, and markers.  I decided to wait to write the kids' names until AFTER their feet were on... just in case.
VERY important: a practice step!  (good thing - Miss Cate & Momma's aim needed work)
When did my 2-year old's feet get so big???
I used red paint & thumb prints to make the berries.

And a few hours later, we have a complete set!  The kids enjoyed it - and what a fun & easy keepsake for our family.  And at the rate of these growing feet, I'm going to need a larger paper next year...

Merry Christmas :)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Guest blog: T-Shirt refashion to Yoga Pants

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T-Shirt refashion into Yoga Pants
First of all, thank you Casey for giving me the opportunity to do a tutorial for Stellar Mother.  My usual blog is very different from clothes refashioning, but this is definitely one of my loves.
This refashion is not my original idea, but if you haven’t come across it previously make note of it today because I think it is one of the most ingenious t-shirt refashions I’ve seen around -  and if you are preggers and looking for something comfy for your bump, these are perfect.
If you are an experienced sewer it will probably take you about half an hour or less to throw together, but even if you are only new to this glorious hobby I would consider this an easy project.
What you will need:
Sewing machine (you could make it by hand, it would just take a bit longer)

First, get yourself a men’s t-shirt, I got mine for $1 at the op shop (that’s Australian for second hand store).  I used a size medium (although it seemed large for a medium) and it came out about a size 10 so keep that in mind when you find yourself a t-shirt.  If you get a shirt that has a colour accent or some pictures on it like mine does, remember that will be in your finished shorts (which can be good or bad)

You will need to make 4 cuts: cut the sleeves off along the seam, cut the neck off – straight across and cut what is left in half (make sure this cut is even on each side otherwise you will end up with different sized legs.)  You can throw away the neck part, but keep the arms because these will become your waist band.

The arm holes become the crotch, so next you need to turn the ‘legs’ inside out (right sides together) and pin/sew up the outside (if you are a confident sewer you can skip the pinning – but you’d know that already).  I sewed from the bottom up because I won’t be hemming the pants so I wanted to make sure they were even on the bottom.  Also, leave a minimal of seam allowance so that you can make sure the shorts are big enough.  Once you’ve sewn the crotch you can try them on and fit them to yourself however you like.

Next comes the most ‘complicated’ part - sewing the crotch.  This part was what kept me away from making pants/shorts, because I thought it was really complicated, but just do it once and you’ll see it’s very straight forward.  First, turn one of the legs right side out.  Then, in order to sew the crotch, the two legs need to be right sides facing...sooooo....take a deep breath and put the leg that is right side out inside the leg that is inside out so that the crotch lines up, then pin the two crotches together (it’s sort of ‘U’ shaped)and sew.  It really is that simple. 

And hurrah!  We’ve got shorts!! 
Now you can try them on inside out and make sure you like the fit.  If they are too big or you want to shape the legs a bit, use some pins to make adjustments where you want them and resew as needed.  I left them as is, partly because they were a little on the small size (next time I’ll use a bigger shirt) and also because they are just for lounging so I don’t mind the straight leg look.

Now to finish them off we will need to make a waist band for them.  This we will make with our cut off arms.  The waist part can be done in a various number of ways.  You can use elastic, or a tie, or as I did, you can just sew it on as is and it’s tight enough to stay put.  You could make a ‘v’ front for a bit of a variation (also good if you’ve got a baby growing). 

First we need to cut them open along the seam, and cut off any leftover seam. 

Then cut the arms so they are nice and even. 

Then we sew the edges (right sides together) on both sides to make the waist band.

Next we need to attach the waist band to the shorts.  I’ll just show you what I did but obviously feel free to do it however you like. 

First I pinned the raw edge of the waist band (right sides together) to the shorts (notice the shorts are tucked into the waistband at this point.)  You could fold it over and sew the waist band on in one go, I just wanted to make it a bit neater on the inside.

Next, fold the waistband over (wrong sides together) so that the inside half comes a bit lower than the first stitching and pin.  Then ‘stitch in the ditch’ to use a quilting term (except that I don’t quilt).  I sewed on the outside (right side) of the shorts in the little ditch that that first stitching made. 

And you’re done!  They are a bit tighter on me than I like, but they do the job.  You could do just about anything you like to them to suit your style and I would imagine you could use different shirts besides a t-shirt as long as it had stretch to it.


Thanks Shawna for the excellent tutorial - I love comfy clothes & I have heaps of t-shirts... I think I know what my next refashion project is going to be...

Saturday, December 31, 2011

MistleTOES Christmas decoration for kids

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I saw these cuuuute "Mistletoes" from funhandprintart and love the idea!

And they were a big hit with the grandparents, too. 

My kids loved them, too.  They didn't take long to make, and I already had the 'ingredients' needed for it.

First get some posterboard (or if you want to use a tile, plate, etc, to make it a permanent gift.  I am trying to reduce the 'stuff' in my house, so I didn't want to do a 'thing', but was trying to capture their small feet.), and trace a large plate for a circle.

 Using craft scissors with a designed edge (or regular ones), cut them out.  Use your child's shoe to make sure the size is right.

Before you get out the paint, you must do some PREP.  I put a little bit of water in the bath, and had a rag next to me at all times.  I used both of them.

In fact, we did the painting next to the bathtub.  It saved me from worrying about getting green footprints  all over the floor.

Practice the footprint-on-paper before you use real paint, so your child knows what to expect.

Using a paint brush, paint your child's foot (one at a time) - you can use acrylics or Crayola finger-paints.   Beware - it tickles!

Then, use a few other colors - red, blue, purple, and gold for us - for the lightbulbs, using little thumbs to make them.

Don't forget the cluster of berries at the heels!
 Hang them on the Christmas tree.  Perfect & easy Christmas memory.

My 3 year old loved these so much - I can see these "MistleTOES" being a tradition in our home.

Merry Christmas xoxo

Friday, December 23, 2011

Quick coin purse refashioned from Jeans

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Need a last minute gift idea?  Or do you need a project for a young girl to make these school holidays?

I refashioned this coin 'purse' from a jean pocket.  Grab an old pair of jeans (I used these jeans for my baby girl jeans refashion), and cut out bum pocket.

Add velcro to the inside flaps.  I'm not worried about fraying because I sewed the velcro... hopefully  that will prevent fraying?

Time will tell!
And that's it.  I thought about embellishing it with felt, bias tape, buttons, paint, applique.  Perhaps even a long ribbon to make this a purse??

But to be honest, I was happy with it plain.  As it is.

And now this refashion jean pocket is in my purse holding my coins.

Merry Christmas!