Monday, March 31, 2014

Frozen Inspired Cape

My little girl is truly a girly-girl inside and out. She has adored the Disney Princesses, especially Ariel and Rapunzel, owning 3 different Ariel costumes (thank you garage sales!!!) along with several other princess dress up clothes. She has jumped on the Frozen bandwagon (like so many).

Most of her play dates center around who is Elsa or Anna, and her little brother can play only if he agrees to be Olaf.
 I love the imagination her and her friends put into their pretend play and wanted to add to it, but in an economical $45 costumes here!

A quick Google search yielded several takes on Elsa's blue dress and cape. Inspired by the variety of the recreations I was able to use items already in my fabric stash...except for the white gauze material that I picked up in a remnant bin for a bit over a dollar. (A dollar is my favorite price tag. I swear I'll buy anything if its a dollar!)

First time using iron-on hem tape and I am SOLD! So.Much.Easier! 
I totally hate ironing but it was worth it! 
This piece was "precut." Came from a fabric grab-bag off of Freecycle.
Perfect for the off-the-shoulder top of the cape.

Originally I was just going to make a simple cape with a tie or velcro closure, but my preciously persistent little girl pleaded for sleeves. I have never made sleeves in my life! No clue how to-do. But sure, why not give it a try. There was enough material to make a mistake and start over if needed but thankfully I didn't need to. Not that the sleeves turned out perfect, but they are good enough for a first attempt (with no pattern) and for a dress up outfit that will see its share of wear and tear.


This train is so much fun in the wind!

I think the off the shoulder part of the cape is annoying but she likes it. Here she is trying to convince me that it works as a coat, too, so she can wear it outside. :)

She loves wearing this while singing along with the movie. "Let it go! Let it go!" (stuck in your head, too?)

Knocking Off a Knock-Off

While I was garage sale-ing I kept coming across all this free stuff. Seriously. No joke. On the curb with a sign, next to the trash can (no sign, but heck, its a given), or my kids finding chicken wire on the ground (who tosses chicken wire aside? of any size???). Best day of "deals," ever!  
Here's where some of the goodies went: garden pot, frame (repainted), and the chicken wire framed for seasonal decorations (currently on the mantel, but it has many homes).

While washing the frame with glass insert, the glass toppled (darn wind) and shattered. I was a bit bummed at having lost such a great find but hung onto the frame for further inspiration. It wasn't until discussing where/how to use the mirror that I noticed that the frame could be glued onto the front of the mirror. Hmmmmmmmm, wheels started spinning.

Here was the first attempt at color options: 
Yeah, uninspiring.

Then I saw this on Pinterest. **love**
How To Knock Off West Elm’s Herringbone Mirror with Fabric
Herringbone mirror
and a DIY search yielded this great tutorial:
which also includes a link on how-to whitewash.

I completely fell in love with the Herringbone pattern, especially with the directional-ity of the pattern meeting in the middle. 

Knocking off a knock-off is like gossip, it becomes a little less "true" with each "retelling." 
For the pattern I simply printed off an image from Google search. There was no math of any kind used, just simply painted the pattern. You can see how my corners are not identical, but since this is a knock-off of a knock off, I'm cool with that. Adds to the charm in my opinion.
Yeah, that's me rocking the post-pregnancy pajamas. Hey, comfort doesn't need to color coordinate ;)

In addition to the non-matching corners, my frame wasn't flat. Its interesting to see how the design looks different, almost straight, from different angles. Again. Charm. Uniqueness.

I ended up taking the mirror to an auto glass shop to have them cut and glue the mirror into the frame. It crossed my mind to try DIY glass cutting, and several online tutorials swore it was doable...but it scares me. And any glue strong enough for a windshield oughta hold this frame and mirror together.

 Horizontal, vertical? Seems a better fit horizontal.

Now to do something about that dresser...again. lol
A clash of the stripes! 

I'm pretty happy with my knocked-off knock off. :) 

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

A Greenless "Green" Wreath

Happy Spring!
In true Colorado form, the first weekend of Spring brought snow and ice. I'm getting antsy for flowers and green things (that aren't found stuck in my teeth). While Mother Nature throws a temper tantrum, or is it Jack Frost who's being moody?, I'll just prep my home for Spring. By the time it warms up and stays that way, I'll be ready to jump into the garden and get dirt under my nails.

cardboard (I used the cardboard from a frozen pizza.)
twine (found this at the Dollar Tree)
scrap fabric (leftover drop cloth and an old denim skirt)
sewing machine (or a needle, thread, and patience)
stuffing (I gutted a curb alert freebie throw pillow)
optional: bunny stencil 
I printed one from Google images, or you could draw one

Depending on what you have on hand, this is a free project full of upcycles and reused items. My favorite kind of project!

For decorations I used a variety of flowers. 
These were purchased from 3 Cords, a non-profit that benefits Haitian amputee women. Click here: to learn more and check out other items. 

I also made a ribbon flower from She has an amazing tutorial for these easy to make flowers. I've made several already for a MOPS project that I'll share later. 

I totally adore this reversible bunny. Its dark denim on the back (forgot to take a pic before pinning to the wreath). I already want to make more with different fabrics. 

Time to snuggle under a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa...I'll have to put the lemonade on hold...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Book-Page Themed Favors and Prizes

I'm a sucker for books, especially used books. When we bought our home, the first addition we made were custom built-in book shelves in the living room and the master bedroom. Even with those additions its not quite enough so I'm planning on a wall to wall built-in bookshelf for the basement. (shhhhh, I haven't told the hubby yet) 
"A house that has a library in it has a soul." Oh we have a library.  It's just in disarray.  But it's there.  It's everywhere.
One of my favorite ways to get books is at my favorite coffee shop which has a book exchange nook (all the best do, right?). Combines my two favorite things!

So when a friend told me she signed up as an Usborne Books consultant, it didn't take long to talk me into hosting a party. (Click Here to see her facebook page and learn more about Usborne Books.)While Usborne focuses on children's books on the educational side, book-page themed party favors and prizes seemed appropriate. I used several ideas from Pinterest as inspiration. You can see my Love Me Some Books board here.
Door Prizes

Party Favors: Clothespin Magnets
The consultant's business card will be attached with the "so glad you came" card

was going to use a cookie sheet for display...but it's well loved, too well loved for a photo shoot
muffin tin to the rescue!

love love love how the yellowed edges look overlapping each other

I'm rigging the door prizes so I win this. lol
Jk, I'll make another for myself.

Garland Success: using craft glue,
sandwich sisal twine between two circles 
There must be a trick to sewing paper. I've seen sewn paper bunting and paper garland on Pinterest, so it can be done. Perhaps its the quality of the paper. These book pages were pretty thin and had that old-paper feel to them, not very durable.

Supplies (not all pictured):
Left Photo: Dollar Store goodies & items from my Garage Sale Stash
Right Photo: Ribbon from dollar bin at Michaels

My daughter wanted to play with my paper hole punch after watching me punch out all the circles for the garland. Seeing his sister having so much fun my son jumped in, too. While I glued and sandwiched away, they created their own art project entirely on their own. I'm so proud of their budding artistic talent!

I'm looking forward to the party. Since its a couple weeks away I might make a few more book-page items. Whatever isn't given away can stay at my house!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Trashed Jug Bedside Lamps

This post could easily be titled "How to set your dining room chairs on fire," or "How to needlessly pay twice as much for something." Oh, the learning experience this project became! 

Let's start with possible title Number 1: How to set your dining room chairs on fire. 
It's not all that funny and more scary than anything. It ended well, lesson learned without damage. 
These are the instructions from the make-a-lamp-kit. In short, the highlighted section explains which wire goes to which screw for the correct electrical current. 
I didn't read it. And this happened: the wrong flow of electricity caused instant sparks and popping noises as soon as the lamp was turned on. In a matter of seconds the electricity melted through the socket cap ruining the socket, and the light bulb, and sending ashy sparks onto my upholstered dining chairs charring them slightly. Learn from me: read the directions and avoid this fire hazard. 
arrows point to where the electrical current melted through

Next possible title: "How to needlessly pay twice as much for something." 
While researching the "how-to" of DIY lamps I saw many many lamps and kits, including how to build your own lamp kit. (click here for Pinterest DIY lamps) I'm not a die-hard DIYer, thank you very much, so I'll take the ready made kit. This Make-a-Lamp kit was about $11 at Home Depot. 

Key phrase here: Make a Lamp. I bought two. 

After the near-fire-episode I stopped by the light-bulb aisle of Walmart hoping for a replacement part (the socket cap). Not only did I find the replacement socket for a couple of bucks, but also a Make a Bottle Lamp Kit for almost HALF of what I paid for the Make a Lamp Kit. UGH!!!! Not sure what the difference is between the two kits (looked the same to me but I didn't look too hard because I didn't really want to know what needless pieces I'd paid double for). I can tell you that the Make a Lamp Kit works just fine in turning a bottle into a lamp. And to make my bruised ego feel better, I'd say it works twice as well. 

Anyways, onto the lamp pieces. 
 "Mom, you're stealing!" my four year old son  said after watching me salvage these jugs from a trash can. 
"Honey, when we're treasure hunting on trash day its not stealing. Its free. If we don't take it, the garbage truck will. Its ok." 
And then I'm grinning from ear to ear because these jugs are quality! Not some wussy container made of just enough material to do the job, but these are seriously made bottles, thick and heavy. If someone breaks into my house I'm grabbing one of these by the handle and swinging. A baseball bat couldn't do worse. 

The lampshades came from a local thrift store, not a bad price, and they were in great shape, just dated. After ripping off the old fabric they were recovered in muslin. Check out these Pinterest DIY lamps. I checked out several of these sites to piece together my own how-to for this project. 

Then the paper was Mod Podged on, but ONLY on the underside of the paper, just in case I wanted to paint the paper afterwards for an aging affect. Luckily, the pages were aged enough on their own. 

Our style is very hod podge and ever evolving. In that spirit I made each lamp to reflect our individual tastes. Here is mine: 

Totally love how the light shines through the overlapped pages.
but another example of the overlapping

I totally staged his lamp. In reality this table is half covered in laundry or piled with the kids books and toys. 

The map was two sided, you can see the pictures from the back peeking through when lit. A lovely visual.
(Neither of us have been to Australia, yet.)

We've had these lamps in place for a couple weeks now and couldn't be happier with the results. It was a fun project to work on, not a bit boring. ;)