Monday, January 30, 2012

Sweet Hearts: Valentine Sugar Cubes

A few weeks ago. Maggie's son Jack announced that we should make our own sugar cubes. That boy knows us so well! And while they are easy-peasy to make, Maggie's husband thought we should take the project up a notch by making pink heart-shaped ones for Valentine's Day! How perfect! Fun, easy, and festive!

What You Need:
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • water
  • heart-shaped cookie cutter
  • food coloring

Put your sugar into a medium bowl. Then add 2-3 drops of red food coloring (or whatever color you want to use).

Add lukewarm water a teaspoon at a time. We found that a smidge over 2 teaspoons was perfect for us. You want to get your sugar to a wet sand consistency. Mix well.

Place your cookie cutter on wax paper. Fill it with the sugar mixture and press it in firmly..

Lift your cookie cutter up and see your sweet creation! Repeat with the remaining colored sugar. Let them sit for about 30-60 minutes or until dry.

Ours were pretty big - too big to make each heart a single serving. So Maggie's husband came up with the idea of cutting them in half before they dry.

That way you and your loved one can each have a half of a heart and a romantic Valentine coffee date!

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sentimental Scarf - Wrap Up in Memories!

We wanted to share this cool scarf made by our good friend Erin Murphy.

Like most of us, she had tons of sweatshirts and t-shirts that she had collected over the years. Most had sentimental value to her and represented a special time or event in her life. She decided to turn them into a reversible scarf. We love how personal this project is! It expresses who she is and where she has been.

What a great gift this would make!

One side is all t-shirts.

The other side is all sweatshirts. If you didn't have enough shirts to make your scarf double sided, you could use fleece or another fabric to back your scarf.
Decide how long and wide you would like your scarf. You may want to use another scarf as a template. Cut squares and rectangles out of your shirts that are the same width (They don't have to be the same length.) If you are making a double sided scarf, both sides should add up to the same length. (hope that makes sense). Sew squares together, right sides facing each other. Next, sew the front and back of your scarf together, with the right sides facing each other. Leave an opening at one end and turn scarf right side out and hand sew shut.

In no time you will be wrapped in warmth and memories!
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Monday, January 23, 2012


Ok, we never really thought of ourselves as one of those people. You know the type. The crazy pet people who buy and make goofy clothes for their pets. We swore we'd never do that. Then we got pets, and the urge to dress them crept up on us. We don't know why...there is no excuse, we know. So when we came across this post on Dollar Store Crafts for making legwarmers for your dog, we knew that we couldn't fight our crazy pet people urges anymore - these are too stinkin' cute! We modified it a little, swapping out fleece for the knit scarf. Using fleece means there is waaaay less sewing involved - you can make these in a matter of minutes! And your pooch will be toasty in no time!

How could we look at Dory's sweet face and deny her warm legs?

What You Need:
  • fleece (we chose a sassy blue!)
  • scissors
  • ribbon (optional)
  • sewing machine/needle & thread
  • a willing pooch
First, you might want to take a couple quick measurements to decide the size your legwarmers need to be.

Then using those measurements, cut 4 rectangles out of your fleece. Then wrap them around your dog's legs and make any adjustments to the size. Ours were too big, so we cut them down a bit.

Next, fold your rectangles in half lengthwise, then pin and sew them up with a zig-zag stitch.

And that's it! Try them on your dog, then if you want you can add some decorative touches. We chose to hand-stitch some pink bows to Dory's.

Now she's ready to strut her inner Flashdance!

And we are ready to embrace the fact that we are those crazy pet people!
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Paper Valentine Garland

After the New Year we always get the urge to get the house in order and clear out the clutter. While searching for organization ideas online, we stumbled on this cute heart shaped garland. Our organizing bug quickly disappeared and we decided to make this garland instead! Cleaning can wait! This project is so simple and cute! We can't believe we didn't think of this ourselves. The kids can decorate the whole house for Valentine's Day in no time!

What you need:

  • construction paper - we used pink, white and red

  • scissors

  • stapler

  • ruler (optional)

  • pen (optional)

Cut strips of paper about an inch wide and 12 inches long. The kids might find it easier if you mark lines using the ruler and pen for them to cut on.

Fold each strip in half.
Bend ends inward and staple.

Link the next heart to the first.

Continue until you reach your desired length.

Now you are ready to hang!

The boys noticed that some of the hearts were a little stretched out.

So, we put a staple in some of the bottom points of our hearts. It really helped the hearts hold their shape.

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Homemade Mod Podge

As you well know by now, we are pretty thrifty. Chances are that if we see a product we like, we will probably try and find a way to make it ourselves and save a few bucks. The same can be said when it comes to Mod Podge. It's a great product and we are always impressed with the creative uses people find for it. That being said, we are (again) cheap and almost never buy it, since we have found that just water and glue will pretty much do the trick. However our ever-clever friend (who also happens to be Jill's mom) Benita recently passed on a link to a post done by Babblings and More that offers up a more concrete recipe than our "little of this, little of that" method to making Mod Podge. And we thought we'd share it with you!

What You Need:
  • 1 pint-sized jar
  • school glue
  • water
  • varnish (optional)
This is so simple! Just take your jar and fill it halfway full with the glue. Then fill your jar the rest of the way with the water. Now mix it up! Yeah, that's it! The lovely ladies of Babblings and More note that this recipe will create a matte finish and suggest that if you want a glossier finish to just add a Tbsp. of clear varnish!

We tried this out on an old coffee can that Maggie uses to hold her sewing thread. We decided to dress it up by "Mod Podge-ing" some cute fabric onto it! Worked like a charm! Unfortunately the pic doesn't do it justice...

Hope you enjoy this recipe as well!
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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dirty Little Secrets - How To Get Your Dirty Whites Clean Again!

Like most moms we want our families to look their best. We feel a sense of pride when our boys leave the house each morning freshly scrubbed, neat and tidy. By the time they come home after school they are usually sloppy, dirty and stained. The worst offenders are their white socks, or should we say their once white socks. Horrifying! No matter what we did they never seemed to come clean again. We set out on a mission to find out what other parents do to keep their kid's socks white.

Here is what we found:

Wash the really dirty whites, like socks, separately from your other whites to keep them from graying the cleaner whites.

Soak the socks in dishwasher detergent for at least 2 hours before washing and bleaching socks. We found this also really helped our husbands white undershirts as well. It helped remove those stubborn deodorant stains. We used a 1/2 cup in our washing machine and hot water.Wash the socks and then re wash and bleach them. This helps the dirt from redepositing on your clean socks. We were so pleased with how good the boys socks looked! Even if it only last a few fleeting moments.But, the best and easiest new trick we learned... ...just buy black socks!
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Monday, January 2, 2012

Lace it up!

Happy New Year! We hope you've enjoyed the holiday season as much as we have! To help us ring in the new year, we decided that some fun new tops were in order! And we think we created the perfect one! Super easy (only minutes to make) with minimal sewing. Perfect for novice seamsters...or lazy seamsters like us! Like most of our homemade fashion ideas, we prefer a quick and dirty approach!

What You Need:
  • 1 1/2 - 2 yards of lace (depending on the size you want to make)
  • scissors and/or rotary cutter
  • sewing machine (though it's simple enough to do by hand)
  • t-shirt to use as a pattern
  • pins
First, fold your lace in half, short end to short end, then fold in half again, this time like a book.

Next, fold your t-shirt in half lengthwise and line it's fold up with the vertical fold of your fabric. Make sure you've chosen a shirt that you like the fit and length of. Cut around your shirt, leaving a little extra room - you can always take it in later!

Then cut a rounded shape for your head to go through. Again, you can always make the neck wider later.

Unfold your new lace top and lay it flat. This will give you a good idea of how it will look! Then grab some pins and pin up the sides of your top and under the arms. If you're feeling fancy, you can hem up the bottom, sleeves, and neck. But as we've mentioned, we're lazy and like instant gratification! :) Then just run it through your sewing machine!

Once your sewing is done, you are done! Try on your top, adjust the neckline (we cut more out of our neckline because we wanted a more off-the-shoulder look), and take in the sides if necessary. So simple and only takes minutes to whip up!

We liked our pink one so much, we immediately made a black one!
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