Thursday, April 17, 2014

DIY Felt Play Kitchen

Continuing in my attempts to make homemade toys, here is a super simple "play kitchen" that can be whipped up in less than a 1/2 hour. You can see the play campfire set I made out of felt a couple weeks back, here. 


Felt Squares,  (white and gray that I had on hand)

I just took one sheet of stainless steel gray felt for the base of my stove top.  I sewed on white felt circles in a swirl stitch to mimic burners.  Lastly, I sewed on a strip of white felt at the back to house the dials and clock (which were quickly drawn on with a "Sharpie" pen).  I pulled out a mini "egg" skillet for my boys to use on the mini stove.  The "egg and bacon" are also made out of felt. 

If you cook you have to clean, so I made a "sink" out of an old packaging carton.  I glued white felt to the outside of the carton with with fabric adhesive.  I then glued a piece of blue felt to the inside bottom to mimic water and sewed together a tube of felt for the straw faucet cover.

This project cost me $0, because I already had the materials on hand.  This little "kitchen" set is easy to pack away and travel with.  The hours of fun my boys have already gotten out of this toy is well worth my small investment of time.

Have you made any homemade toys lately?  I would love to hear about them.


Friday, April 4, 2014

DIY Botanical Art on the Cheap

I am currently a big fan of "Country Living" magazine.  I have never thought of my design style as "country", in the gingham curtains sense, but I do love the vintage and classic country designs showcased in this magazine every month.  The April 2014 issue has a great tutorial and link to a free image download for botanical prints.  The tutorial instructs you how to take the botanical prints and decoupage them on to some glass trays.  I didn't have the patience or desire to decoupage, so I just:

  • downloaded the images
  • printed them at "Fedex Copy"
  • and put them in clearance frames found at "Michael's"
I found the two 8x10 "rope" detailed frames for just $6/each.  The "bead" detailed frames were $24/each, but on a buy one get one free sale.  With an extra 20% off coupon, my total cost for frames was just $35 and the print cost for the images was only $3.  My total investment is just $38.  I put these botanical prints on a blank wall in my dining room that was crying for attention.

Here is the link to the "Country Living" site where you can download these botanical images, click here .  If you use these images, I would love to see how it turns out.  Feel free to leave a link to your project in my comments section below.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Homemade Toys!

My little boys have such active imaginations these days.  It doesn't take much to get them started down the road of make believe.  This in mind, I thought I would try my hand at some homemade toys. Above is a campfire set I made out of felt.  I was inspired by this beautiful set from "The Land of Nod"; click here to see it.

I just free handed the design of the flames and stones.  For the logs, I rolled up one sheet of felt and then sewed the ends together.  I used "fiber fill" to stuff all the items.

Materials Breakdown
Felt Squares-$2
Fiber Fill-$4
Fun Creating-Priceless

Total Cost:  $6

My boys love to play in this tent we have set up in the basement, and now they have the campfire to go with it. I plan to add some sticks with marshmallows and hot dogs when time allows.

I will be back with more homemade toys I have been working on in upcoming posts.


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ahoy, It's a Pirate Party!

Yesterday we celebrated my oldest son's 4th birthday with a pirate themed party. Above is a cake I made from a "Duncan Hines" mix and pre-made white fondant by "Wilton".  I colored the fondant with "Wilton's" gel food coloring to create some red stripes, an ocean, and small island.  My husband put together the "sails" with some white paper and chop sticks.  I then added the base of "sand" by sprinkling some brown sugar around the cake plate.  Last but not least, I added some "Jake and the Neverland Pirate" figurines to finish off the design.

Just in case there wouldn't be enough sugary indulgence, I also ordered a "cupcake cake" from "Sam's Club".  I have found that sometimes kids just like their own cupcake at a party.  As they have in the past, "Sam's" came through with some great looking and tasting cupcakes.  This year I got a "Jake and the Neverland Pirate" edible screen print design.

I found some neat pirate favors treasures and decorations at "Hobby Lobby". 

 Pirate Necessities:  Treasure Maps, Mini-Swords , Gold Coins, Eye Patches, Hats, and Pirate Booty

I am by no means a professional cake decorator, but I do have a lot of fun giving it a try.  Here is a little recap of the past birthday cakes I have made for my boys!

Wishing everyone a "yo-ho" day!


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

"Cat in the Hat", Simple Summer-weight Blanket

Here is a project in honor of the recent birthday (March 2nd) of Dr. Seuss.  This summer weight blanket has been on my "to-do" list for a long time.  I bought this "Cat-in-the-Hat" panel almost a year and a half ago.  I always knew I would turn it into a blanket, but I finally got to it a couple of days ago.  My youngest son loves to sleep with blankets.  With warm weather on the horizon, I thought is would be good to make a light weight blanket for him.

Here are the details:

1.  "Cat in the Hat" flannel panel, found at my local "Bernina In-Stitches" store
2.  " Letter Block" cotton fabric, found at "Hancock" fabric store
3.  "Yellow Diamond" flannel, found at "Hancock" fabric store

Just some straight seam stitching and this blanket is now on my "done" list.  

Now we all know a little about that, Cat in the Hat blanket!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

So Fresh So Spring

Today I searched the house for free ways to add some touches of Spring. I found a piece of fabric from an old drapery project that never happened. I sewed a couple of hems and bing bam boom, new tablecloth. I also pulled this "faux" tool box from my book shelf and moved it to the dining table.  After adding some fresh flowers, clementines, and napkins the dining room is feeling ready for Spring.  Let's hope the warm weather follows soon.


Friday, February 28, 2014

The Outside Job

Well big things have been happening outside our ole homestead lately.  One of the things we wanted to change when we first bought our house, four years ago, was the dark cedar siding on the back.  Our house has a brick exterior everywhere except a section on the back above our deck.  The cedar siding was original to the house and had been neglected for quite some time.  Several boards were cracking, and the overall look was just not appealing.  We debated whether or not to try painting the existing cedar siding or just replace it all. 

Siding (Before)

In the end replacement won out.  The cost to paint was pretty high. There were cracks in so many of the boards we didn't want to paint and then be forced to replace in just a few years due to damage.  Thus began the "Inside" "Outside" job.

This project was more than we wanted to take on ourselves, so we hired the services of local contractor, "TEKA". Since our decking was installed after the siding, the perimeter boards had to be ripped up.  This allowed room for the new flashing and siding to be properly installed.  A new "Tyvek" house wrap was installed and then up went our new trim boards and cement board siding.


New House Wrap

New "Certainteed" Siding

All of our crazy winter weather caused for several delays, but we finally got a break of warm weather last week which allowed the painter to finish up.  With no further ado, here are the before and after shots.



After (our dog, Cody, photo bombed this shot)
We are so happy to have this project finished.  Hopefully we won't have to worry about maintenance for several years to come.  I am looking forward to dressing up the outside this summer with flowers and possibly some new deck furniture.

FYI (our paint colors)

Siding: Sherwin Williams, Resort Tan 7550
Trim: Sherwin Williams, Chop Sticks  7575

Wishing everyone a great weekend!