Thursday, March 29, 2012

Upcycled Ribbon Bracelet

Spring is here and with it comes the longing for cute, warm weather clothes and fun accessories. However, our budget doesn't always agree. So after wrapping a gift recently, we were left with an empty ribbon spool thing and thought, "Hmmm...We could toss this in the recycling bin or turn it into something better!" We then went to our ribbon stash where there was a ton of ribbon remnants that were the perfect color to turn of sad empty spool into a cute springtime accessory!

What You Need:
  • empty gift wrap ribbon spool
  • ribbon or fabric scraps
  • hot glue gun
  • scissors

First, dab a little hot glue onto the inside of your spool. Then attach your ribbon. By starting and finishing your ribbon on the inside, no one will see your ribbon ends.

Start winding your ribbon around and around, keeping it nice and taught so it lays flat over that big gap in the spool. Add a drop of hot glue to the inside every once in a while if you want to help keep the ribbon tight and in place.

As you can see, we ran out of our yellow ribbon remnant before making it all the way around.

No biggie! We just started up a new, hot pink color, overlapping it slightly with the yellow. Now it has a cool, color-blocked look!

As we mentioned above, finish your ribbon on the inside of your new bracelet so the ends don't show. Now pop it on your wrist and show off your springtime sassiness!

**Next week our kids are on Spring Break, so we will be too! But check back with us on Monday April 9th for more crafty fun!**

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Sunday, March 25, 2012

Stain, Stain Go Away!

Wow, look at what we did to this shirt! We decided to really give this stain remover from a real test. Jillee raved about it, and since we live with lots of messy boys, we are always looking for a better stain remover.

We took an old t-shirt that was stained and yellowed under the armpits. From left to right we used coffee, chocolate, wine, baby oil and grass. We let the stains sit overnight. Then we set to work removing the stains. The recipe is very simple You probably have all the ingredients on hand!

The Recipe:
* 1 part Dawn
* 1 part baking soda
* 2 parts hydrogen peroxide
You can use more or less depending on the size of the stains. We made a lot! Mix the ingredients well. Apply to the stain. We scrubbed a little with a scrub brush. We poured the extra all over and let sit for a good hour. Because we used so much dawn, and have an HE washing machine we rinsed the shirt out very well and then laundered as usual.

As you can see, the shirt looks fantastic. No traces of the stains remain. The shirt can once again be worn in public!

The shirt came out so well we decided to use the stain remover on the grout in the bathroom floor. It had been stained and grimy since the day Rebecca moved in. No amount of scrubbing or bleach helped. We didn't use quite so much dawn, and added more peroxide to spread the solution around the floor. We gave a little scrub and let it sit for an hour and then rinsed. The floor has NEVER looked so good!
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Craft Rage to Craft Rad: The Rectangle Shirt

See this cute shirt? It was created thanks to a major craft fail on our part....

Like so many of you in Blogland, we saw this amazing project from Behind The Seams and *knew* it was perfect! It was quick, simple, and looked fabulous on it's creator. We even checked out the versions other people made and THEIRS looked fabulous. Then Maggie made her own and it looked... HIDEOUS (too hideous to even take a picture of)! How could something that looked so great on the rest of the world look like something out of Dorothy Zbornak's closet on her? What was even more frustrating was that the fabric used was now pretty much ruined, since there were now two big vertical slits in the middle of it. That was when the Craft Rage set in (you know that feeling, don't you? When you are so excited about a project and think about doing it for the longest time, only to have it blow up in your face? That's Craft Rage). But we were determined to make something cute out of this disaster. So we laid out the fabric and pondered....and decided to try a make a Rectangle Shirt! Since this project was created in the haze of Craft Rage, it is hardly scientific. But hopefully you can follow along and maybe you can recreate it yourself!

What You Need:
  • about a yard of jersey fabric, more or less depending on your size
  • rotary cutter and mat, or scissors
  • chalk (we couldn't find chalk - used a pastel!)
  • pins
  • ruler (ruler was lost, too. Used a block of wood...scientific, right?)
  • a t-shirt you like the fit of

Once we laid out our fabric, we folded it in half so the offending slits lined up with each other then cut it just at the bottom of them.

Then it was time to create the neck hole. We folded the fabric in half again, so it was quartered. them mimicked the curve of a favorite t-shirt's neckline with our rotary cutter.

At this point we unfolded it and put it over Maggie's head to get an idea of how long it was going to be. Too long. So we quartered it again and sliced off the bottom!

We then opened it up and laid it out. After laying our t-shirt on top to get an idea of how we wanted to the side to fit, we grabbed our ruler (ok, ok....our block of wood) and pastel pencil and drew lines up both sides to about where we wanted the arm holes to be. Then we pinned up the lines and tried it on Maggie to make sure it would fit. Once all adjustments were made we were ready to sew!

With this type of shirt there is no turning it inside out to sew it. Simply sew on top of those two lines you created! This will give the shirt it's ruffly, wing-like effect! And because it's made from jersey you don't have to sew any seams...unless you want to.

Then all that was left was pair it with a cute necklace! We were (and still are!) THRILLED with the results! In our mad, manic rush to create something out of that infuriating craft fail of ours, we managed to make something super-awesome!! We went from Craft Rage to Craft Rad!

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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Zombie T-Shirts

Here are the shirts we gave out as favors at Jonah's Zombie Party! We wanted everyone to look like a zombie as well as protect their clothes from zombie facepaint.
Now, you may not be having a zombie party, but you could use the same method for other parties or just for making fun t-shirts.
What you need:
~ shirts
~ dye
~ sheets of acetate
~ X-acto knife
~ fabric paint
~ stenciling brush or sponge
~ picture of zombies
~ waxed paper
We used white t-shirts, because we wanted we wanted to tie dye them a dirty zombie color. We also needed 10 shirts, so it was much cheaper to buy white ones. You could also use colored shirts and skip the tie dye step.
First we dyed the shirts using rit fabric dye (powder) We mixed kelly green and gray and followed the washing machine instructions. We soaked the shirts for a while. When we checked on them, they were kind of a turquoise color - not what we were hoping for. So we ran to the store and bought some brown dye and sprinkled about half of the package on the shirts. Perfect!
When they were the perfect color we rinsed and dried the shirts.
Next we prepared our stencils. We printed out our zombie pictures and words off the computer.

We taped the acetate sheet to the paper and then cut out the stencil using the X-acto knife. We had to modify some of the letters so there were no holes in them - e, p, b and o.

We put a sheet of wax paper inside each shirt so that the paint would not soak through. You could also use cardboard or newspaper. We taped the stencil where we wanted it on the shirt.

We put some fabric paint on a plate. We dabbed it on in an up and down motion covering the shirt in an even layer of paint. We didn't let them dry before removing the stencil - we had so many to make. We did all ten in a row and were done in no time!
As a final zombie touch, we cut and distressed the shirts with holes, slashes and crooked ends.

They looked so cool, several adults have asked for shirts of their own!
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Party Like a Zombie!

Birthday season is upon us. Half our family has birthdays in the next few months. Today was Jonah's 7th birthday. Mom asked what kind of party he wanted. He immediately responded "Zombie Party!" ... Zombie Party?
We put on our thinking caps and came up with a cool (but not too scary) zombie party.

We ordered pizza - Jonah's request - and had some red jello with gummy worms. Instead of a big cake we had cupcakes.
What kind of cake would a zombie want?

Brain cupcakes of course!!

We make red velvet cupcakes and cream cheese frosting. We tinted it with a little red (3 drops) blue (1 drop) and green (1 drop). Then piped it to look like little brains.
During the party, the kids decided to decorate the cupcakes with some of the gummy creatures that were out on the table - great idea kids!

When the kids first came over we transformed into zombies with a little face paint.

We made each guest a zombie t-shirt to protect their clothes and complete the zombie look. (We'll show you how we made these next time!)
Nana printed out zombie coloring pages for the kids.

We thought about playing a game of pin the liver on the zombie, but after painting their faces, all the kids wanted to do was chase each other around the house! Battling zombies is sooo much fun!
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Monday, March 12, 2012

Lacy Tile Trivets

While cruising Pinterest we came across this great tutorial from Maggie has a ton (and we mean a TON!) of tiles in her basement that were left by the previous owner of her house so we knew this would be a simple project for us to do using materials we already had on hand. We think this project is so great because not only is it cheap (or free in our case) but it's also quick, simple, and the end results are GORGEOUS! We can't wait to give these out as gifts!

What You Need:
  • ceramic tiles
  • lace (don't use good lace as it will be ruined by this project)
  • spray adhesive
  • spray paint
  • clear acrylic spray (optional)
  • felt (optional)

This is so easy, you won't believe it! Cut out your lace to fit the tiles. Play around with it! We covered one tile completely but only partially covered the other (our lace is some we had leftover from our lace tunic project). Then spray the lace with the spray adhesive and smooth it firmly onto your tile.

Then give the tiles a nice, even coat of spray paint, being careful not to put too much on. Too much will make the paint puddle and can ruin the lacy effect.

Once you are finished painting, peel the lace up form the tile - you don't even have to wait for the paint to dry! Then admire your craftiness! At this point you can cover the back of your tile with felt to protect your tabletops. We also added a coat of clear acrylic spray to help add some durability to the tiles.

Now you can simply display your new, pretty tiles....

Or put them to good use as trivets!

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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Calling all Mad Scientist!

Tonight at Rebecca's kid's school, there was a science night. Parents set up all different kinds of science projects for the kids around the gym. All the projects had to do with food - we love that! It was so exciting to see so many kids so excited about science! Some of the projects were tried and true classics and some were new to us parents. They made ice cream in a bag, showed how celery drinks with colored water, tested which foods had starch with iodine. They got to use real microscopes. Each project had a project sheet that explained about the project, the procedure, and a chart to record the data. The kids loved all the experiments, but their favorite was one called "barfing bags.". (You can guess why!)

We thought we would share this experiment with you! It's not actually about the digestive system, but rather about yeast and the fermentation process.

What you need:
-Two ziplock baggies
-1 teaspoon of yeast
- 1/4 cup low sugar cereal mixed with 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/4 cup High sugar cereal mixed with 1/4 cup warm water

Let the cereal and water get all mushy and squishy.

1. Label one bag high and one low
2. Place 1/2 tsp. yeast into each bag.
3. Put the high sugar mixture in the bag labeled high and the low sugar mixture in the bag marked low.
4. Zip the bags closed, making sure to press out all the air.
5. Squish the bags a little to mix in the yeast.
6. Set on a plate and observe what happens to both bags.
7. Record how long it takes for each bag to fill up with carbon dioxide.
8. If you are really daring, you can see how long it takes for your bag to barf!

Have fun experimenting! Get excited about science!
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Monday, March 5, 2012

Doily Box

When Maggie's husband brought home a plain, unfinished box, she knew it needed a little something to make it cute. We knew that this idea from Crafty Nest would be perfect for gussying it up! Since she had plans to use it in her kitchen to hold pens and pencils, Maggie turned to the tiled wall there for color inspiration (when they first moved in her family thought it was kinda goofy, but now it's one of their favorite features of the house!).
And the blue doily-thing we found just happened to be the perfect shade! Like in our original inspiration, we were planning on painting over it, but since the color was so cute we decided to change the project up a bit to show it off! Unfortunately, the pics don't show the color very well! But trust us - it's a deep, pretty blue!

What You Need:
  • plain box
  • doily or lace trim
  • paint
  • craft glue
  • waxed paper

First, Line up your doily on your box and see if the size is right. Ours was a little long so we trimmed off the edges a bit to fit.

Next, you may want to prime your box. Once it's dry, add the paint color of your choice! We decided on a golden yellow to accent the yellow in the kitchen tiles.

Don't forget to paint the inside as well!

When the paint is dry, place your doily back side up on the wax paper. Then add plenty of craft glue to the back of your doily and spread it around making sure it is well saturated.

Pick up the waxed paper with the doily still on it and place it on your box where you want to doily to sit. Then (with the waxed paper still on) press and smooth down your doily firmly. Gently peel back the wax paper.

We also decided to add a piece of the trimmed edge to the front of the box as well!

Let your doily dry completely. And you're done! Finally Maggie went from having pens and pencils stored on her counter top in a bucket and Turkish coffee pot... having them neatly held in this cute box! So much better!

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