DIY T-Shirt Mod: Mens Shirt to Fitted Tee

I love geeky t-shirts. Since my standard form of dress is usually jeans and a t-shirt, about 90% of my wardrobe is tees that relate to my fandoms. However, I often run into the problem that the shirts I want only come in mens sizes. I like a good mens tee sometimes – they are super comfy and go great with sweatpants for a day around the house. But for a day wear I have to actually interact with other human beings, I like my shirts to be at least somewhat fitted! I’m not hugely into fashion, but I certainly appreciate a flattering cut. So I came up with a mod!

Full disclosure: I am NOT a seamstress, and probably the worst DIYer ever. More often than not my philosophy for DIYing is ‘wing it’, and that is no different in this case. However, I have used this method many times and it has always worked out for me! Even after multiple, multiple washings. πŸ˜‰

What you’ll need:

A t-shirt to mod. If it’s your first time, I recommend getting a practice shirt. When I first did this, I used $.99 shirts from the thrift shop to practice on.
A tee shirt that fits you. Everyone has that one tee that fits just perfectly, right? Grab that one.
A basic sewing machine. I use only a straight stitch for the mod, and then a basic zig-zag stitch for ‘finishing’.
Thread that matches your tee
Pins
Fabric scissors. Or very sharp scissors if you don’t have a pair dedicated to fabric.

Step 1: Pinning

My hubs surprised me with this fantastic Lying Cat tee (from Saga, which if you haven’t read, GO DO THAT) and I knew I needed it modded immediately so I could wear it all the time. Because Lying Cat is the best. Enough fangirling though, tutorial time!

Turn the shirt you are modifying inside out and lay it on a flat surface.

inside out

Then, take the shirt you picked that has your favorite fit, and turn it inside out. Place it on top of the shirt you’re modding so that the neck holes line up. Don’t worry if the shoulders are different – they probably will be. And just in case you wanted to know, the fitted shirt I picked is actually one I snagged at an Ingrid Michaelson concert in 2012. It is still the best fitting, comfiest tee I own.

layer shirt

Once your fitted tee is placed on top of your modding tee, start pinning the edges of the modding tee. See where we’re going with this? You are basically mimicking the fit of your already perfectly fitting tee. Don’t feel you have to pin directly up against the tee like I did. Wiggle room is always a good thing as you can always make things tighter if need be.

pin

Pin from arm holes all the way to the bottom, flaring out a bit if you wish – I did, as the Lying Cat tee is quite long, and I wanted to make sure it didn’t end up too tight over my hips.

all pinned

Step 2: Sewing

Once pinned, it’s time to bust out the sewing machine. I own an extremely basic Singer Tradition machine. As you can see, it has your basic stitches, and that’s it. I think I got it for about $98 at Joannes. Also, I couldn’t stand it being just plain white so I tattooed it with a Sharpie, and added fun stickers! πŸ˜€ The settings you see here are what I use for my straight stitch, nearly all of the time.

sewing machine

Once your proper thread is loaded in, it’s time to start sewing! Using a basic straight stitch, sew until you reach the armpit seam, and stop.

begin sewing

straight stitch

Take the shirt off the machine, and turn it so you are now sewing in from the armhole. Still using the same straight stitch, sew in along the arm pins until you meet your previous stitch at the armpit seam. I think this is actually the trickiest part, and it’s what I practiced most. If your stitches don’t line up in the armpit seam area, you can end up with little gaps once it’s turned right side out – don’t worry if that happens; it’s entirely fixable with a quick hand stitch.

sewing arm

connected arm stitch

Repeat all of this for the other side.

Step 3: Try It On!

Now that you have both sides sewn, before doing anything else to the shirt, turn it right side out and try it on. You want to make sure you have the right fit before you start cutting.

Step 4: Cutting and Finishing

Assuming it fits the way you like it, turn the shirt inside out again, and grab your fabric scissors.

scissors

Begin cutting the excess fabric from the bottom, leaving about 1/2″ of fabric on the sides.

cut

edging

Once cut, it will start to curl, but that fine. The next step is finishing those curled edges! Now, if you have a serger, bust it out and give the edges a proper finish. I, however, do not have one (or have any idea how to use one). I just use a basic zig-zag stitch to finish my edges.

zigzag stitch

This will keep the edges from fraying, and in general have the whole thing last longer. Once all your edges are finished, that’s it, your done! After you do it a few times, the whole project can be done in about 30 minutes – not too shabby! But I do definitely recommend practicing on a shirt (or three) that you don’t care about first. Especially the zig-zag stitch, which actually took me quite a bit of finagling to finally work properly.

And now, the fun before and after pics!

beforeandafterA

beforeandafterB

As you can see in the befores it’s pretty boxy, with lots of baggy sleeve in the arm areas; nice and fitted in the afters! I’m thinking I may actually hem the bottom of this up now, because I feel like it is really long compared to my other shirts, and it looks funny with my jeans!

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial! It’s definitely not as exact as using legit measurements and such, but I find it SO much easier, and it hasn’t failed me yet! Let me know if you try it out!

 

 

 

Our DIY Rainbow Party

Last Thursday, my daughter turned four. We had her party on the 14th, as it was the only weekend we had to do it all month! Lucky for me, my little asked to have a Rainbow themed birthday and I was pumped. There were about a million options to choose from for what I could do, and even more fabulous, it wasn’t going to cost a lot. Here’s some pics of how I threw together a rainbow party for my little miss, with lots of help from my tall hubs!

ceiling

The rainbow ceiling was by far the biggest challenge of the decorations. It wasn’t that difficult to actually do, it just took a lot of time. But totally worth it. It’s still up in our kitchen! We used streamers and white balloons from the dollar store, and that’s it! In fact, including the plates, cups, and plastic tablecloths, the total cost of the party stuff was less than $20.

hanging decor

stovetop spread

We decided to have a rainbow brunch for everyone attending, simply because it sounded like fun! The top image is the table area (pre-food) and next is where the main food/drink area was located. The menu consisted of sausage, turkey bacon, rainbow waffles and rainbow pancakes. Drinks included ‘Birthday Punch’, OJ, and water & milk for anyone that wanted any.

waffles

Rainbow waffles are so fabulous. I had a picture of the pancakes too, but apparently I deleted it in the shuffle. Poop.

table spread

For the table spread we had a fruit rainbow and a veggie rainbow. Fruit consisted of strawberries, oranges, mango, green grapes, blueberries, and blackberries. The veggies had cherry tomatoes, carrots, yellow pepper slices, broccoli, and what SHOULD have been purple cauliflower. BUT, all stores in my area decided they all had to be out of stock of purple cauliflower just in time for this party!! So we substituted blue corn chips instead. You do what you can.

table photo

For the ‘centerpiece’ if you will (besides the cupcakes) was the yearly birthday photo I make. I use my favorite photo of her from the family photoshoot, and list her favorite things all around. Below is the actual image. I blurred our her name as I never use it online. I’m aware that in reality, that probably doesn’t do much ‘protection’-wise, but it makes my mom brain feel better. πŸ™‚

Birthday pic 8x10

cupcakes

The rainbow cupcakes (a necessity at a rainbow party) are actually super easy to make – click here for the tutorial!

chalkboard

I spiffed up our entryway chalkboard sign with a fun little rainbow birthday message!

birthday girl cupcake

And of course, the obligatory OM NOM NOM cupcake shot. She got this winter hat as a gift and loved it – kept it on the whole party in fact!

Overall, it was a super successful party! I like to do a lot with decor and such as my little’s birthday is so close to Christmas. Which means that every year, the house is always decorated fully for the holidays, and I never want her to feel like her birthday gets the backseat to Christmas! Therefore, she picks her own theme and we accommodate. Plus, now we have a fabulous rainbow kitchen ceiling for awhile! πŸ™‚

cupcake aftermath

 

 

Want To Make A Plushie?

Skipping 5 Fandom Friday this week to bring you a tutorial! This year I have learned how to make felt plushes, and I’ve become a bit obsessed. They are super cute, and in my opinion, pretty darn easy. Especially with some of the mods I’ll tell you about further down in this post – seriously, even if you can’t sew, keep reading! I put in a no-sew mod. πŸ™‚ So, for those who are interested, here’s how I make a plush from scratch!
*Full disclosure: I am NOT a seamstress by any stretch. This is just how I personally do things.*

Step 1: Find a reference pic, and make a sketch. If this is your first plush, I highly recommend buying a pattern, and making it, just to get the hang of things. I purchased 10th Doctor and 11th Doctor plush patterns from Deadly Sweet, and they were immensely helpful to me in learning how to put together a pattern on my own. For this tutorial, I’m using the kitty plush I made. I used the below image as a ref to go off, and sketched it out to the size I wanted the plush to be.
1sketch

Step 2: Make your pattern, and cut it out. To do this, I use a lightbox. I lay a new piece of paper on top of my sketch, and trace out each individual piece I will need. In the case of the kitty, I traced a body piece, each stripe for both body and tail, and then the heart pieces. The little girl I made this for loves rainbows, so I made six pieces for the heart, one for each color of the rainbow.

2trace

If you don’t have a lightbox (my dad was getting rid of his and I snagged it!) you can just use a window and some sunlight. Tape your sketch to the window, and then trace with a piece over it. Once all your pieces are traced, I find it super helpful to go over the edges with a thick marker, to give yourself a really bold outline when cutting. Also, make sure to write info for the piece inside each section. For example, on the body piece I wrote x2 (front and back), lt. purple (color of felt I’m using), and for the little piece I also write ‘kitty’ so I know which plush it belongs to in case they get mixed up with another pattern.

3bold, label, cut

I cut around the outside edge, to give myself a little wiggle room.

Step 3: Cut out your felt. Pin your paper pattern pieces directly the felt, and start cutting! I use a LOT of pins so there is no chance for wiggling, and the paper holds up fine. So go nuts.

4pin to fabric

Step 4: Being assembling! Now that all your pieces are cut out, you can start putting things together. You’ll need to assemble each side separately before you put your two body halves together. I started with attaching the tail.

5pin pieces together

6pin back view

When pinning pieces like this that stick out, make sure it’s not right on the edge – leave a little overlap on the back side, like above. Then just stitch it on!

7 stitch

Time for the no-sew mod. I have never made a plush that can’t also be assembled with hot glue. I personally like the stitched look, but if you’re pressed for time or just can’t sew, hot glue is a perfectly acceptable option. In terms of durability, the only thing I would question is how well they would wash as I haven’t attempted a hot glued one in the machine before. Also, when pinning things, you’ll need to put your pins farther away from the edges so you have room to glue right on the edge of the felt.

Now it’s time to sew (glue) on the back tail piece. When doing so, make sure you lay on the front so they two tails are lined up exactly. Otherwise, it will be all sorts of disasters when you get to sewing the final front and back together.

8 line up back pieces

Once lined up, pin the back tail piece in place, and sew (glue) on to the back body piece.

9 pin details

10 pin detail back view

Continue adding and sewing (gluing) on all detail pieces (in this case that meant all tail and body stripes for front and back, and the heart pieces on front). A quick note – when sewing piece on outer edges, leave a bit going past the edge instead of lining it up exactly (see above image) – it makes it easier when putting the whole thing together.

11 front and back complete

Once all the detail pieces are attached, I put on the eyes. For these, I used Safety Eyes (which when I started I had no clue what that meant. But luckily, the people at Joanns do, and clued me in!). If you’re using Safety Eyes, simply pop them in, and if you’re not you have two choices. You can cut out black felt circles and sew (glue) them on, or wait until the end and paint them on. I have done both, and they both work fine.

Step 5: Sew together front and back pieces. Getting to the end now! Line up your pieces and pin them together – again, feel free to go nuts on pins as you don’t want any wiggling.

12 pin front

13 pin back

Then start sewing (gluing) things together. I always start with small areas that will need stuffing; in this case, the tail.

14 sew inside front

When sewing the two pieces together, put your needle through only the top layer, not both, to start (see above). This will allow you to hide your knot at the end inside the plush (see below – no knot sticking out the back!). If you’re gluing, quite obviously this is irrelevant.

15 hidden knot

Step 6: Stuffing. After sewing (gluing) all around the tail, and a bit down on each side, stop and put stuffing in the tail. I use purchased polyester batting, but if I continue making them I’d like to come up with something more eco-friendly (like mixing scraps and using stuffing from discarded stuffies.)

16 leave space to stuff tail

Once the tail is stuffed, keep sewing (gluing) all around the body, leaving a gap to put the rest of the stuffing in.

17 small space for stuffing

The size hole you leave is entirely up to you. I’m used to stuffing now, so I only leave a 1.5″ – 2″ gap to stuff. Now fill it with stuffing!

18 stuffing

I pack the stuffing in pretty tight. If left loose it can settle oddly, and end up lumpy. Just make sure you leave enough space to close that final edge. Once stuffed enough, sew (glue) the whole thing shut!

19 sewing done

Step 7: Final Details. This step may or may not be relevant for yout. In some plushes, I add on the little details like mouth (or eyes if I’m not using Safety Eyes) with hot glue or paint, once the whole thing is put together. I like this since sometimes when you put things on ahead of time, pre-stuffed, the stuffing can warp the positions and things look off. This prevents that. In this case, I painted on the mouth, and darkened the purple part of the rainbow as I didn’t have any dark purple felt, and didn’t want it and the body to be the same color.

20 details painted

Ta-da! The finished product! Pardon the messy art desk…it is always in some form of disarray.

So there you have it! My method of making a felt plush, from scratch. Now I have a question for you, lovely readers! Would you like me to share some of my already made patterns here on the blog? If people are interested, I’d be happy to share some! Obviously, not the Doctor Who ones, as those are purchased and that’s just a rude thing to do. But the ones I made from scratch I’d be happy to share with you guys if anyone has a desire to get crafty!

And lastly, I’d love feedback on the tutorial. Is it easy to follow? I know it’s long, but I am one who loves every detail spelled out for me, so that’s was my diving off point. If it’s too much – let me know! Constructive criticism completely welcome. Thanks! πŸ˜€

Christmas On A Budget: Handmade Gifts

Christmas On A Budget Header

December 1st is here which means that the holiday season is officially underway! And I am in hardcore crunch mode to finish off all my handmade gifts.

I’ve been making gifts for people as far back as I can remember. My grandmother and mother still have on their Christmas trees little paper ornaments with scribbles on them and yarn looped through that I made when I was two. But even if you haven’t always grown up making things, handmaking gifts can be a great way to save money. I look at it like this: If you only have $10 (or however) much to spend on each person, would you rather search for a ten dollar item, or spend that on materials and put a little time into making something them truly unique? I always opt for the latter!

I can definitely understand the intimidation of handmade gifts if you don’t consider yourself an arts and crafts kind of person. But trust me, there is a plethora of projects even the least artsy person can make! Here a few tips to get you started.

  • Β Plan ahead. Given that it’s December 1st, if you’re just starting, pick projects that don’t take an incredible amount of time to do. You don’t want to be adding stress with this venture!
  • Β Try and pick an item that really ties into your recipients hobbies. I find that a handmade item tailored towards something they love makes it that much more special. For example if you have a book lover in your life, consider making a bookmark or e-reader case.
  • Utilize sites like Pinterest or Craft Gawker for inspiration. They are PACKED with amazing things, and are great even if you don’t consider yourself a crafty person. There are so many tutorials at your fingertips on Pinterest that I’d be amazed if you don’t find something useful! Plus, you can search the broadest terms and still get results. Although it won’t come with tutorials, browsing Etsy can be a great inspiration source as well.

COABtextdivdersnow

Still having trouble coming up with something? There’s nothing wrong with a more ‘generic’ homemade gift either. Below are some of my favorite options, which I make quite often!

1. Ornaments.
Even though they are only used once a year, I still think they are a great and practical gift. I love unwrapping my ornaments every year and seeing the ones friends have made for me! Plus, they are so customizable! And generally, incredibly cheap to make.

2. Photographs.
As someone who loves taking and looking at photos, I think photos make a great gift. Plus, there is so much you can do if you don’t just want to give a photo in a frame (though that is a great option as well). One of my favorite options is this:
Take an 8.5×11″ piece of paper (regular size), and write a limerick about the recipient, leaving space at the top of the page to attach a regular 4×6 photo. Type and print it if you don’t want to handwrite, attach the photo to the top using double sided tape, toss it in a frame, and voila – a lovely gift! I have done this for both friends and family in the past. Not a writer, you say? No problem! Make it silly! I often find the sillier/’worse’ the poem is, the better it makes the gift.

3. Photobooks.
In the same vein as above, photobooks are a great option for people with a bit more time. I find the two best options for this are either a scrapbook style or digital photobook. For a scrapbook style you can hit up most dollar stores or Wal-Mart type stores and get supplies on the cheap. Then just assemble your pages! It doesn’t have to be fancy – I’ve used old books found at the recycling center and altered them into memory books for both my mom and best friend. I like the vintage old book charm it adds! Digital photobooks are great not only for those intimidated by crafting, but also for time. Sites like Shutterfly and Blurb have pre-set layouts where all you have to do is add your photos and boom! Instant gift. In the case of Shutterfly, they run promos ALL the time, especially in this season, so keep an eye out for coupon codes.

4. Beauty Products
Don’t be intimidated by this one! It is actually really simple to whip up a nice sugar scrub, bath soak, or facial oil for a gift! Plus, you can often make lots at once, and knock out a few recipients in one session.

COABtextdivider

Here’s a list of some of my favorite tutorials and projects for handmade gifts from around the web! These are all what I consider a beginner craft level.


A custom monogram photo letter via Ryan Greenleaf Photography Blog. Materials needed: Any kind of letter, personal photos, scotch tape, Mod Podge & foam brush, scissors.

Photo blocks via Craftibilities. Materials needed: Wooden blocks, paint (optional), sandpaper (optional), personal photos, Mod Podge & foam brush.


This lovely glass ornament via Yellow Bliss Road (#1 on the list). Materials needed: Clear glass ornaments, sheet music or old books, scissors.

And this other lovely glass ornament, also via Yellow Bliss Road (#6 on the list). Materials needed: Clear glass ornaments, Epsom salt, Mod Podge, funnel, water.

This fabulous vase via The Lettered Cottage. Materials needed: Large glass jar, foam letter stickers, spray paint (any color you like).

Excellent glass jar photo frames via Photojojo. Materials needed: Various sized glass jars, personal photos, ruler, Exacto knife, pencil

An adorably rustic tealight holder via I Love This & That. Materials needed: Glass jar, book paper, scissors, glue, twine/ribbon for the jar top (optional).

No sew pillow cover via Organize and Decorate Everything. Materials needed: A pillow, and fabric equal to 3x wider and 2x taller than your pillow.

This super cute e-reader cover via Unexpected Elegance. Materials needed: old book close in size to your e-reader, a cereal box, hot glue gun, fabric, scissors, a strip of elastic (18″ should be more than enough!).

Either make the whole spa kit or just the face oil – via Gamerwife. Materials needed for face oil:Β  Olive Oil, Castor Oil, Argan Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Rosemary Oil

A ginger bath soak via Tried & True. Materials needed: Medium to large glass jar, epsom salt, sea salt, baking soda, ground ginger.

This last one is a huge list of homemade salts and soaks via Tipnut. Most are pretty simply, and all you need besides ingredients is a glass jar!

Hope you found something useful here! Tune in next Monday for the next part of the series: Food!

I Can Make That

This is a topic that may ruffle some feathers, so I just wanted to say upfront this post is not meant to bash anyone. I’m simply curious on what other peoples thoughts are on the subject and I wanted to share my own!

I am a big lover of handmade goods. Whether it’s knitted items, jewelry, bath products – supporting indie shops and small businesses is something I find really important. That being said, I am also a gal on a budget. We are a one income household, and we have bills. Therefore, often in my browsing on Etsy and Storenvy I will come across an item and think, Hey, I can make that!. Which apparently to some crafters is the worst possible thing that can be said about their creation.

I don’t understand this line of thinking. Why is it so bad if someone wants to embrace some creativity and attempt something they’ve seen for themselves? Personally, I’d be thrilled if something I made inspired someone to make one like it! Yes, you didn’t get a sale. But, I feel if you are only creating things for the sole purpose of making money than you may want to rethink why you create in the first place. I have also heard a lot of negativity about peoples items being pinned to Pinterest, and how people shouldn’t do that. Another thing I don’t understand. Isn’t more exposure a good thing?! Yes, it may inspire others to attempt to make it on their own, but again, why is that a bad thing?

Keep in mind, I am talking about this strictly for personal use. There is a world of difference between seeing something you like and making it for yourself or a gift, or seeing something you like, making it and then attempting to SELL it. That is wrong, especially if you’ve completely copied another persons design. And, when using an item as inspiration for something you make, if you post about it I definitely think it’s courteous to provide a link to the original you used as a source of inspiration.

Here’s a personal example: Before I started making the woodland felt plushies, I scoured Etsy and Storenvy looking at different plush designs to give myself a jumping off point as I have very little sewing experience. I finally found a fox plush which I used as a basis for making my own pattern. The final plush did look quite similar to the one I’d used for inspiration. But it was intended as a gift, not as something I was making to sell. Even though I made my own pattern and mine was made of felt while the original was made of fleece, I’d still feel it’s quite wrong if I had tried to sell it since I used another plush as the basis for my own.

I guess my point with all this is what do you think? I’ve been very lucky to be a part of some great art/craft/handmade communities online, and I’ve seen mixed feelings about this subject. Some people embrace it and are all for people trying it on their own, and some people seem to think it’s the world’s biggest insult to hear that someone is attempting to make a product that they offer. I think it’s perfectly okay to try and make things for yourself or for a gift using something you saw online as inspiration (isn’t that basically the entire point of Pinterest?). I think it’s great to encourage the creativity and also to challenge yourself in making something that you think might be tough!

As this is a subject that has a lot of grey area, I’d love to hear your thoughts! But please keep in mind I am not looking for a fight. I have no problem with a differing opinion (in fact, I’d love to hear all sides!) but please don’t be a jerk about it! Disagreeing is completely okay, as long as it is done civilly. πŸ˜‰

Preschool Homeschool: Week 1

This was our first week of doing preschool activities at home. I could write a novel (or at least a short story) about my thoughts on public school vs. homeschool but to sum up I’ll just say I’m entirely split down the middle. I think they both have benefits and downsides.

Regardless of what I end up doing, I wanted to start her on some ‘school’ like things at home, so if I do homeschool, it won’t be a huge change in pace. I’ve planned out the month with a very basic ‘curriculum’ consisting of age appropriate (and attention span appropriate) activities. It’s been going really well!

DSC_0005

DSC_0008
Shape tracing! She loves to do her worksheets.

This week’s focus is writing and letter practice, and learning the days of the week. Lots of letter, number, and shape tracing along with one big activity each day. She has this ‘My First Calendar’ that we’ve done daily since she received it for her birthday, and she adores it! She’s well on her way to recognizing the day’s of the week (we identify them by first letter) and she is so excited to be able to change the season to spring soon!

DSC_0022

DSC_0025

Our days of the week activity was really simple – I’m all about simple and cheap! During nap time I cut out some cardboard rectangles on which I wrote the days of the week. Her task was to put them in order (we started with Monday since it’s the day her calendar starts on). She did great!

Thursday we did our biggest activity of the week. Matching uppercase and lowercase letters. This was another simple and cheap project to make!

DSC_0034

DSC_0036

Using my 1″ circle puncher, I made 52 circles, and wrote the uppercase and lowercase letters on them. Then I hot glued them onto felt. I only used red as I have copious amounts of these red pieces for some reason! Then I cut them out.

DSC_0062

DSC_0065

DSC_0067

The felt board is from a dinosaur felt game her grandma bought her, but making a felt board for this would be so easy – hot glue a big piece of felt to a big piece of cardboard and voila! (The easel is mine that my grandfather made for me.) Her task was to match the lower case letters with their uppercase counterpart. Or as she called it, matching the baby letters with their mommys and daddys. Since she knows all her uppercase letters, learning the lowercase is priority for now. She knows about 1/3 of the lowercase, most obviously the ones that look the same!

However, with all the activities, nothing is pushed. I don’t force her to continue if it’s clear she’s not into it. She is only three, and has plenty of time for school. Most session take about 20 minutes, and so far she has been loving them! Next week we tackle writing numbers, counting to twenty, and maybe some super simple basic math using Goldfish. I think she’ll like that one!

Do you homeschool? What are your thoughts on homeschool vs. public/private school?

-Kayly

Daughter’s Big Girl Room Reveal!

Ages ago I posted about redoing some rooms in our house, and this past weekend her birthday party occurred and we FINALLY got to put together my little girl’s new big girl room! I’ve been assembling bits and pieces of the room for months, and I am so excited that it’s finally here! Since she turned three, we decided to upgrade her nursery to a big girl room, complete with a brand new big girl bed.

We opted not to make this a complete surprise. She knew she was getting a new room, and a new big girl bed, but had no idea what was going into it. I think it would have been to much to come home from a sleepover at Mimi’s the day of her birthday party and have her entire room GONE with no warning. But she was thrilled with the idea of having a big girl bed and a new room and boy did she love it. She was literally shaking with excitement, wearing the biggest grin I’ve ever seen!

corner area before and after

DSC_0046

The quilt on her bed we had handmade by D. Rix Creations. I really wanted her to grow up with a one-of-a-kind quilt that was made just for her, and she got one! There will be an Indie Shopping Feature (a new series on the blog coming soon!) post about the quilt, so I’m not going to get into it too much here other than to say I love it, and totally want one for myself now!

DSC_0028 (2)

dresser before and after

I went with a lilac purple for the main room color – very girly and feminine without having PINK everywhere. I’m not a huge pink fan, so I was looking to stray away from that color. The accent colors in the room were based on the colors in the quilt so it would be cohesive.

DresserRedo

DSC_0008

I stripped and repainted her dresser, and then repainted her bookshelf to match. This was first time I’ve ever redone any furniture and I am SO HAPPY with the results! They came out exactly the way I wanted, which almost never happens on your first try, especially with DIY!

Bookshelf corner before and after

DSC_0073

DSC_0032 (2)

DSC_0014 (2)

I painted all her wall art myself, and the bulletin board with the photos I got at a yard sale for $1 and repainted to match.

DSC_0011

This dollhouse came from my mother – she got it at a yard sale and I scrubbed it up into tip top shape. Good old vintage 80’s Fisher Price! My daughter loves it – I think I like the camper with it best of all!

DSC_0044

DSC_0003

Her new bed was a birthday present from Grandma (assembled by my super hubby and friends who came to help with the big setup!!). I added some photos from our family pictures this year, along with some book collections and some of my favorite toy decorations from her old room. The mirror was made for her by her great grandfather and her name blocks I snagged from her block set and painted!

I am totally in love with her new room. It came out just the way I wanted, which really makes me happy as I am not at all confident in my interior decorating ability.

DSC_0211

And best of all, my little miss loves it!

signature image

Connect With Me


Life’s A Garden: Dig It! {Part 2}

Summer is in full swing, and so is my container garden! The majority of my veggies are thriving, and I couldn’t be happier. Back on June 1st, which was transplant day, we transplanted our broccoli and tomato seedlings into their permanent big growing containers, and planted seeds for peas, carrots, spinach, and two onion types (a sweet white onion, and smaller bunching onions). I knew I wanted some labels to keep track of what I planted, so I began thinking up ones I could make easily. I came up with these.

labels

This was a super complicated process. Yeah, right! I collected flat rocks on walks with my daughter, and once I had enough I found some fonts I liked, took a plain black Sharpie, and free handed some lettering on. Instant cute labels! I was actually really pleased with how these came out – and for FREE! Boy do I love free. These actually ended up looking a bit too fancy in my mismatched plastic tub containers! But, they do their job quite efficiently. And they are weather proof, which is always helpful.

And now, the veggie lineup:

DSC_0084

Tomatoes

Our tomatoes are GIANT. They are now standing quite above their cages. When these were taken (end of June) no flowers/fruit were sprouting – now I’ve got about 15 tomatoes on the way! Yay!

DSC_0088

Carrots

As my mother-in-law pointed out, there is really no need to grow my own carrots. They are super cheap, even at a farmer’s market. But that’s not the point! It’s FUN! And now my baby girl can pick her own carrots she helped grow! However, of the eight I planted, only four have survived, this being the biggest. And I forgot to take a shot of the whole tub. . .oops.

DSC_0077

Spinach

Our spinach is thriving! And it grows so quick – we’ve already gotten one harvest (cut right after I snapped it’s glamour shots) and hope to get many more before the summer is done! A couple leaves have ended up nibbled by bugs – making an organic, non-chemical pesticide is on my to-do list.

DSC_0078

Broccoli

Our broccoli is out of control. It is so big! As in, had to be separated from the group because it’s leaves were SO big it was blocking the sun from the spinach and the onions. When I planted them in the container, the ratio of plant space to soil was fine, but now they look so crowded! Let’s hope it yields some decent florets.

DSC_0080

Onion

Our onions are still so-so I think. Having never grown them before, I’m not exactly sure what rate they’ll grow at. So these may be perfectly fine. In comparison to all my other plants they seem small, but they are healthy and still growing so I can’t complain!

DSC_0092

Peas

Our peas are doing great. Some are growing a little wonky in terms of where they’ve gripped the cages, but they’ll be fine. Originally they were placed next to the tomatoes, and on the other side were some lilies. However, the peas got a bit overzealous in their climbing, and attached themselves to the other plants! So I delicately unwound their vines, and moved the whole tub. Now, they only have the cages to climb. I even had to add a second tier of cages because they got so tall! They are happily sprouting peas right now!

DSC_0094

So there’s our container garden, happily growing away in the front of our house. And the plastic tubs are just so chic, ha! However, as silly as the colors are, I actually picked them on purpose. Darker colors aren’t recommended for container gardens as they trap heat, and can overheat the soil. So I went with the best light color options available. And at this point, my little mismatched garden has really grown on me.

How is your garden doing? Is there anything you’d like to try and grow that you’ve never attempted before?

Tea Time

Here it is. . .my newest crafty DIY project.

Voila! The Custom Tea Mug!

DSC_0003 (2)

This came from a double Pinterest inspiration. The first was a mug that had the first lines from famous works of literature printed on it. I though to myself hmmm, I would love this but with the first lines of my personal favorite books. So began my quest to make this cup. It started with a $1.49 plain white mug from Marshalls. I traced the outside of the cup onto paper to make some templates. Using a black crayon (taken straight from my 2 1/2 year old’s crayon cup) I marked the template blocks onto the cup. Then came the tedious task of doing all the tiny lettering with a crayon! I didn’t worry about font, or even real legibility for this step; this was solely for blocking on the letters to make sure they fit in their allotted spaces. The final lettering is where the second Pinterest inspiration comes in.

teacupmakingof

There are many pins floating around that claim you can write a plain ole Sharpie marker on porcelain, bake it in the oven, and have it magically fused forever. Codswallop! Hogwash! This is entirely untrue – the Sharpie can be wiped right off with a sponge. What you need is an oil-based paint Sharpie – designed specifically for writing on porcelain, glass, metal, etc (and sold at any craft store). I’m not even sure you have to bake it once it dries, though I did. Back to the lettering. I erased the crayon with a Q-Tip as I went along filling in the final text. You don’t even need water; it just rubs off! I used a few different fonts so the sections of text are a bit more visually separate. And presto – your own one-of-a-kind mug!

Teacupmontage

So there’s my new mug in all it’s glory. The lettering isn’t perfect, and the lines are crooked in some places. But that’s what makes is my own. I love it’s little imperfections! Massive awesome points from me to anyone who knows any of the books these are from – you’ve got good taste. Do you have a tea/coffee related craft of your own? Submit it over at Little Green Guy – she’s doing a feature on them! You’ll find my mug in there along with other cool tea and coffee related crafts.

-Kay

Connect With Me