Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Small & Stylish!

As part of the homemade gift set we made for our friend, we decided to tackle some baby fashion!

One thing we wanted to do was dress up regular, plain onesies, but when looking around the internet for inspiration, we found that there wasn't too much out there that fit what we were looking for. So we got creative!

The onesie on the far right was inspired by the corsage t-shirt project by Enchantress 3. We just modified it to work with a onesie! The outfit in the middle was made by adding three ruffles to the tush of the onesie, and then we made a little hat out of the same fabric. The hat was something we pretty much made up (so we're hoping it fits!), having seen similar hats made out of the sleeves of adult shirts. However, we wanted to use this particular fabric. We found this sizing chart, drew up a pattern, cut, and sewed!

The final onesie on the far left of the above picture was very easy as well. On the front we made a pleated ruffle along the neckline. On the back along the tush, we made flowers out of basic yo-yos and fabric-covered buttons! And as you can see, we used the same fabric that we made our fabric blocks out of!

Our last baby fashion project was shoes!! We used this pattern, and were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was! And what little girl doesn't need leopard print shoes?
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Monday, September 28, 2009

Balloon Bean Bags

We thought we'd give everyone a break from all the baby projects...but there is still more to come! In the meantime, we thought we'd share this fun project we found for making bean bags out of balloons! Actually, when they are finished they feel more like stress balls - pretty cool! This little project takes just minutes to make, but has become a kid (and grown-up) favorite around here.

What you need:
  • 3 balloons (about 11")
  • about 3/4 cup of small dried beans (we used back beans)
First, blow up your balloons, then let the air out. This stretches them out so that it's easier to fill them. Then take your first balloon (any color, since this one won't be seen once the ball is finished) and attach it to the small end of a funnel. Then slowly start adding your beans, working them down the neck of the balloon as you go. We found that as the balloon became more and more full it was harder to add more beans because they got stuck in the neck of the balloon. If this happens, just take the balloon off the funnel carefully and blow it up a little. The beans will fall to the bottom of the balloon and you can put the balloon back on the funnel and continue filling.

Once your balloon is full of beans, snip the ribbed part of the neck. Then snip the necks in the same way off the other two. Take your second balloon and stretch it over the first one, covering the first one's neck. Repeat with the third balloon, snipping more off it's neck as needed so that you can see the color of the second balloon underneath.

And you're done! We're also toying with the idea of trying to use sand instead of beans to fill these for a different texture. Enjoy!
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Friday, September 25, 2009

Fabric Baby Blocks

As another addition to our "Homemade Mamas gift bag", we found this great idea from Make It And Love It - fabric baby blocks! They are very simple to make and look adorable.

For one block, we first cut out six squares of fabric (these were about 4 1/2").

Next, pin and sew four of your squares (right sides together) so that they form a square.

On the two squares that remain, cut a small square out of the corners. This will help make nice pointed corners on the finished block.

Then pin the top and bottom squares to the four you've already sewn and stitch around, making sure to leave a small opening so that you can stuff it.

Turn your block right side out and stuff it until it reaches the desired firmness and holds it's shape well. Then stitch up the hole - you're done!

We made ours pretty simple, but you can embellish these as much as you'd like - applique letters on them, place a jingle bell inside, anything!
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Decorative Wall Letters

Sunday we had our baby shower for a dear friend of ours. We made her a big bag of homemade baby gifts for her baby girl, Chloe. We would love to share some of our ideas with you.

We made these decorative wall letters that spell out Chloe's name. We bought small 4 x 6 inch canvases at a local art supply store. Then painted them with craft paints. Chloe is going to have a bright cheerful room with lady bugs. So our letters have playful lady bugs crawling on them.
Paint your letters in colors that compliment your childs room.

We painted the letters in several stages. First we painted the background color and let it dry. It took two coats of most colors. Next we painted the light blue boarder and then the dark blue. We didn't worry about the lines being perfect and straight. The imperfections give it a hand painted look we liked.

We first drew the letters in pencil and then painted over them. If you are worried about your handwriting, keep the letters simple or you can use stencils.

Then we personalized the letters with our ladybugs. We painted the red bodies, and used a thin sharpie marker for the legs, head and spots. You could decorate your letters with hearts, flowers, butterflies, polka dots, stars, rockets whatever your kids love!
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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Recycled Jar Canisters

Here is a cute way to reuse all those empty glass jars. Why not use them as canisters. Painting the lids with the same coordinating color and chalk board paint makes them stylish and functional.

We got this great idea from the one of our favorite books Eco-craft by Susan Wasinger.

We painted the lids with matching low-VOC paint. Then we used painters tape to tape off where we wanted our "labels". Then we painted the "labels" with chalk board paint. We found several thin layers made a nice smooth surface. We let them dry well, then they were ready to fill and write on with chalk.
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Kids Get Wrapping!

We'll admit it. We've been neglecting this little blog of ours lately. But in our defense we have been busy getting ready for a baby shower that we are throwing for a very good friend of ours. We have been making some really adorable homemade gifts for her that we aren't letting ourselves post until after the shower (which is this Sunday). Just in case she decides to take a peek on here we don't want the surprise to be ruined. But we promise we will show off our cutie creations next week!

In the meantime, we wanted to show a gift wrap idea that we are using to wrap one of the gifts for the shower! In the spirit of rejecting commercial gift wrap, we decided to let the kids make the wrapping paper for us. We took an extra-large peice of paper, laid it on the floor, and let the boys have at it with markers and crayons (even Maggie's 16-month-old got in on the action!). We then used the colorful paper to wrap the gift! This was also a fun way for the boys to participate in the shower, since they aren't going to be able to actually go. As you may notice, we did tie on commercial ribbon, but that was because Maggie has a massive roll of it. We feel you should use up what you have before making something new. And while the package may not have the polished look of fancy boutique paper, we know that this is something that our friend (who loves our boys) is going to love.

Here is another gift with homemade wrapping paper. We used a sheet of our marbled paper for the wrapping and paper "ribbon" tops the gift.
Again, stay tuned for our adorable homemade baby gifts!
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Monday, September 14, 2009

Wrinkle Release Spray

As the mothers of two young boys each, we do a lot of laundry. A LOT. But let's face it, it doesn't always get immediately whisked out of the dryer, folded/hung up, and put away. And this means wrinkled clothes. And ironing? Please.... The iron pretty much only comes out when we need it for a craft project.

We've been seeing commercials lately for Downy Wrinkle Releaser, and while it looks pretty cool we'll admit that we are too cheap to actually buy it. So, true to form, we searched around and found a recipe so that we could make our own!

What you need:
  • 1/3 cup liquid fabric softener (we bought the cheapest we could find)
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
Mix your three ingredients and pour them into a spray bottle. Then take your wrinkled garment, place it on a hanger, spray it thoroughly (though not soaking), and give it a shake. The wrinkles will be gone in a matter of seconds! It is seriously like magic!!

Here is a picture of a shirt before:

And here is one after we used the wrinkle release spray:
We purposely used a dark-colored shirt to make sure it didn't effect the color.

Maggie has dubbed it a miracle in a bottle. It works great and smells terrific! Finally! An excuse not to iron!
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cozy Canisters

These are a set of canisters in Maggie's kitchen. While they are not the most exciting-looking canisters in the world, we grew up with them in our mother's kitchen and they hold a lot of memories. We didn't want to replace them in favor of something more colorful, so we came up with an idea to dress them up a little! The solution? Canister cozies made from kitchen towels!

This was a super-simple project! We happened to have dishtowels on hand that worked perfectly, but you could probably get towels at the dollar store to make this a very economical project. We measured the canisters and cut the fabric accordingly. After we hemmed around the edges we attached some velcro so that the cozies could be easily removed for washing. When buying velcro, be sure to get the kind that you can sew (we didn't know this and ours gummed up the needle on our sewing machine - live and learn!). Then put the cozies on your canisters, step back, and admire!
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Monday, September 7, 2009

Marbled Paper

Here is a fun project that both older and younger kids will enjoy. (Not to mention that adults will have a hard time keeping their hands out of it too!)

First you need to squirt a big blob of shaving cream on a tray - we used an old cookie sheet.

Then squirt drops of food coloring all over the shaving cream.

Now, using a wooden skewer, tooth pick or popcicle stick swirl the shaving cream and food coloring together until you acheive your desired amount of swirleyness.

Press a sheet of white paper into the shaving cream. Make sure all the edges are covered.

Using an old spatula or the side of a large popcicle stick, scrape the shaving cream off the paper. The color will stay behind. Wipe off the paper with a paper towel or old rag.

Let the paper dry and then use it for note cards, wrapping paper other projects, or just hang it right up on the wall! You can use your shaving cream over and over again!

Now here is our favorite part...

playing in the shaving cream!!!
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Friday, September 4, 2009


With this project, we decided to combine a couple of our kids' favorite activities; playing with clay and taking "treasure walks" (which is basically a nature walk). We have seen this idea on various blogs and websites, but used the instructions from The Artful Parent this time.

We first took the boys on a little walk , letting them put any interesting leaves and flowers they found into the buckets they brought with them. When we returned home we set to work rolling sculpey into balls. The boys then selected the leaves and flowers that they wanted to make a "fossil" out of. Then they pressed their balls of sculpey into the different things they had collected. Once the sculpey ball was flattened out, we turned it over and gently peeled the leaf or flower out, leaving a wonderful imprint of the item. When the boys were finished making their "fossils", we placed them onto a cookie sheet and placed them in a preheated 275 degree oven, checking on them after 15 minutes. Be careful when you take them out of the oven - they are HOT!!

Here's a couple tips: we found that you have to be careful with flowers and delicate leaves. The had a tendency to tear and get stuck to the sculpey when we tried to peel them off. Also, if you do pine cones we thought it was easier to press them into the sculpey, instead of pressing the sculpey onto them as we did with the other objects.

Once they are cool, you could paint them, varnish them...even turn them into cute magnets! Our boys, however, had no patience for that and just wanted to play with their "fossils"!
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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Take The Pledge!

We saw this post on ~Ruffles And Stuff~ this morning and were so excited! Today is the official start day of the Wardrobe Refashion's that for timing? So for the next two months, we at Homemade Mamas are pledging not to buy any newly manufactured clothes, but rather refashion previously loved clothes! What a fantastic (not to mention fashionable) way to recycle!

The Pledge

We Rebecca and Maggie pledge that we shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 months. We pledge that we shall refashion, renovate, recycle pre-loved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovated, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that thy thriftiness brings!

Signed Rebecca and Maggie

Now it's time to get sewing!

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