Monday, March 26, 2012

Embellished Flip Flops

I made these super fun little t's for my niece's sixth birthday. Read about how I made them here:

Here's a pic. Don't you just love them? Me too.

I decided I needed to include a pair of flip flops to go with them. I'm so inspired by all the great little tutorials I've seen lately on Pinterest for fabric flowers. This is my favorite one.
And check out this one on the scarf.

So this is what I did. First, grab your supplies.
Flip Flops (I got these for $2.50 at Target)
Fabric Scraps
Needle and Thread
Glue Gun

Cut your fabrics (in my case I used the same ones I used for the t-shirt appliques) into various sizes of circles. I used cotton for the top two circles and put a dot of glue to hold them together. I cut little slits into the fabric to make it look like petals. Next, put the circles into your palms and rub them together to give that worn look.

Next, I put another dot of glue to add the third layer (the pink t-shirt applique fabric from the purple tank). Cut a long thread and sew on the buttons. Use the excess to tie the flowers to the toe of each flip flop. I put a couple dots of glue under the flower to give it a little more stability (Be careful not to burn your finger like I did. Ouch!).

Makes a great little gift. Right?


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Flip Flop T-Shirts

Another girl project. You would think I actually had a girl. Alas, I will just have to keep making projects for the wonderful little girls in my life.

My niece is having a birthday next week. Six! Wow, that means Parker will be six in just a few months. Anyway, this little girl LOVES flip flops even more than I do. So, I decided to add to her collection - in the form of some t-shirts.

Who knew that neon (aka fluorescent) would be back in after the late 80s? Not me, but I'm loving it. Here's the simple T it picked up at Target. Perfect for a little embellishment. I also needed a little scrap fabric, a small piece of ribbon (about eight inches), some fusible webbing and some sharp scissors.

See that little flip flop pattern in the pic? I just drew it out on a piece of newspaper.

Follow the directions on the fusible webbing and iron it to the back of your applique fabric. Next, pin your pattern on the fabric and cut out your pattern. I did it upside down on a second piece, so you will have a pair of flip flops (rather than two of the same foot).

To make the plain shoe look like a flip flop, I made the straps from a scrap piece of ribbon. Cut to the right size and burn the edges to keep the ribbon from fraying. Pin it in place and straight stitch it on.

Trim the excess ribbon and burn the edges once more. Place your flip flops on the shirt where you want them and peel back the paper from your webbing. Iron them in place.

I've seen appliques done with a zigzag stitch, but I prefer the look of straight stitches. Stitch around the applique and Viola! Done!

Ninety percent of the time, this monkey is wearing a tank top, so I decided to add one to the gift. Here's what I did to this simple little cami from Target.

For this one, I decided to do a reverse applique. Pull out the pattern once more and cut out a pair about 1/4 inch wider all the way around. Turn the cami inside-out and pin the flip flops (with ribbon already added with the same method) in place. The right side should be face down, since you are going to cut the top fabric out to get the reverse applique. Keep reading, you'll get it.

Straight stitch around the edges from the inside of the shirt. I left about 1/4 inch seam allowance (this is why you added to the size of the flip flip pattern). Once it's stitched, flip it right-side-out. It should look like this.

Using sharp scissors, cut the inside of the flip flop out. I made a simple cut in the middle to get the scissors in there.

Be careful not to cut too close to our stitches. Tada!

Here are both T's. I also bought a pair of pink flip flops, which I think I'll make removable flowers for, but that's a project for another day and another blog post.

wednesday's wowzers

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Mom! Meatloaf!"

Greg and the boys were waiting for me to finish getting ready the other morning. They apparently couldn't wait for Jamba Juice. Someone needs to tell them that beauty takes time. Geez.

Next thing I know, they are yelling up the stairs, "Mom! Meatloaf!" Like the scene in Wedding Crashers. That Will Ferrell is hilarious. My hubby, not so much.

I bought the supplies to make it and tonight was the night. This morning, I thought I can make this in the crock pot, right? It's been in there for about five hours now and WOW! does my house smell amazing.

I checked out a couple of online recipes and wasn't very impressed. I never follow a recipe exactly - it's a blessing and a curse (since I can never make it exactly the same again. Here's what I did.

1.5 pounds of ground beef (mine was 97 percent fat free)
3/4 can of Italian diced tomatoes (with garlic, oregano and basil)
1 egg beaten
1 small can tomato sauce
A couple handfuls of Italian bread crumbs (probably about a cup)
Palmful of dried minced onions
Sprinkle of Parmesan cheese

Mix everything together (except for the tomato sauce). I drained some of the liquid off the tomatoes and only used 3/4 of the can.

Form into a loaf shape and place in crock pot.

Pour tomato sauce (you can probably use ketchup too) over the top.

Cook on low for about six hours.

I dumped off some of the moisture at about four and a half hours.

Verdict: Yum. I'm adding veggies and mashed potatoes. Can't wait for meatloaf sandwiches with the left overs tomorrow.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tutu Hair Ties

Since I have boys, it's rare when I get to do a craft project for girls. We had a birthday party on Saturday for some lovely sisters turning 3 and 6. They love dancing and take ballet classes, so the theme was ballet. Their daddy even built them a ballet bar with backstage and lights for their birthday. It was a hit for both the girls and boys.

When I saw these darling little dresses at Costco, I knew they would make the perfect presents for these little ballerinas. I snapped up two at $12.99 each, but felt I needed a little something more to make the presents complete.

I decided to make them little hair ties that looked like tutus. I was inspired by the dozens of tutu tutorials (say that three times fast) I've seen on Pinterest. In fact, I even made a couple tutus for my nieces for Christmas. They came out adorable. I wish I would have gotten pictures of them.

Here are a few links to the tutus on Pinterest.

The ones I made for Christmas included tulle, ribbon and fabric scraps. For the hair ties, I decided to go with tulle and ribbon to match the dresses.

I started with a spool of tulle I bought at the $1 store (check the gift wrap section). My tulle was 8 yards long and I used sharp scissors to cut the width in half. It was pretty easy to do while leaving it on the spool. Then I cut it into 5-6 inch strips. It was the perfect amount for two hair ties.

I tied the ribbon on the hair ties (they came free with a little brush I bought on the same $1 store trip to stash in my swimming lessons bag). I found the ribbon didn't slide as well along the ties, so I spaced them around until I liked the look.

Next I tied on the tulle strips and slid them around until I got the fluffy consistency I liked.

Tada! Hair ties that look like a tutu. Your little ballerina can also wear them as a bracelet or give Barbie a dancer makeover.

I tied them to the top of the presents and loved the look.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Angry Birds Backpack Pals

In case you didn't know, my kids are Angry Birds addicts. My husband would say I'm an addict too, but I beg to differ (I'm just helping the kids open new levels. Geez).

Here's a pic of the littlest addict.

We were at Target one day and they wanted to buy these little plush birds that hang on their backpacks. They're tiny and cost about $5 a pop. I thought, "Dang, I can make something just as cute for next to nothing."

The boys and I searched Yahoo Images for a pic we could use as a pattern. This one was the winner. We printed it and headed to the craft store.

Here's what we bought. Felt squares in all the colors we needed. I also pulled out my scissors, glue gun, some paper and a pencil.

I copied the pictures (just simple sketches) and created some little patterns.

I used the patterns to cut out the pieces I needed from each color and used the hot glue gun to layer them up. I put a piece black felt on the back to give them some support and weight.

We picked out some of our favorite birds and the pig with the orange mustache. After they were done, I took some tread and some left over hooks from a lanyard project to make them hang on their packs.


And on the backpack. I don't always make my kid wear his helmet at the park. It was a quick pitstop at the park on the way home from school. They rode their scooters that day.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Star Wars Magnets

OK. I know I showed these a few weeks ago, but I thought I'd give some more detail on how to make them and share some things I learned in the process.

These cool little magnets were inspired by this lovely pin I found on Pinterest:

My family loves Star Wars, in fact we had a Star Wars viewing party in the driveway complete with Yoda coozie cups and light saber wars. You can read about it here:

When I first saw these magnets, I thought, "Those need to be Star Wars." I searched Yahoo Images for the perfect picture and printed it to fit my 1 inch glass gems (they sell them in craft store most often in the floral department).

I found this lovely pic.

Here's an original link:

After printing it, I used my 1 inch circle punch from Creative Memories, but you can find similar at craft stores or cut them out by hand.

I used Modge Podge to glue them to the back of the gems and added three or four additional layers of Modge Podge to the back. After they were dry, I used hot glue to attach the magnets. And Viola! Here are my magnets.

If I were to make these again, I would definitely invest in stronger or bigger magnets. Mine are a little heavy and don't hold a lot of stuff to the fridge or you have to use two or three to hold up the paper. You can probably use smaller gems for a better hold.

Anyway, craft away and enjoy!


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Growing Pains

I remember nights when I was a kid, when I would toss and turn and cry because my shins hurt. My mom always told me it was growing pains. According to, growing pains occur in 25 to 40 percent of children and usually between 3 to 5 year-olds and 8 to 12 year-olds. Apparently, both my boys, my husband and I are in this small percentage (the hubs remembers it all too well).

Last night, Dillon woke up crying that his foot hurt. He did slip and fall in the garage yesterday, but he said it was both feet. Humm. Call the doctor? Did he hurt himself when he slipped?
Because it was both feet, I decided it was growing pains, which Parker gets all the time (he's five now, so does that mean it will stop soon?). I gave Dillon some Motrin and within ten minutes he was asleep again. That's some good stuff. Right?

This got me thinking - What causes growing pains anyway? Apparently, 'growing pains' is sort of a misnomer. There is no evidence that they are caused by actually growing. According to KidsHealth, "the most likely causes are the aches and discomforts resulting from the jumping, climbing, and running that active kids do during the day. The pains can occur after a child has had a particularly athletic day."

If your kids are as active as mine, that could be everyday; however, yesterday was a busy one. The first nice day in weeks (well second). They played outside for a couple hours with the neighbor kids after school. Dillon never even made it inside to put his backpack away. Instead, he went straight out to play.

Here's to hoping that Parker will outgrow it soon and Dillon, who's four, will have an easy go of it.

Monday, March 5, 2012

"Let's Go Tu-Lo" T-shirt Refashion

Spring Training has started and that means baseball season is almost here! I love baseball. Not just the game, but the experience. I don't usually need an excuse to sit in the sun and drink beer, but if I did, baseball is a good one.

I'm a Giants fan, turned Rockies fan. I'll cheer for both, but feel a little bipolar when they play each other. Five years ago when my family relocated to Denver, I started watching the Rockies. Coors Field is pretty awesome. I do miss "The Stick" though - even if the Giants now play at AT&T Park (which is also pretty great).

Anyway, last season we took the boys to a Rockies game (we only lasted a few innings), but I think we have some baseball fans on our hands. Kwal Paints gave away Tulowitski t-shirts. They only came in XL, so I have a couple extra. The boys can't wear XL.

I've been saving them to rework into something I might actually wear and checked out a lot of different options I found on Pinterest.

I decided to do both. Here's what I did...

The shirts

Cut off the top, just under the collar. The original tute, suggested cutting through the front and back together, but I wanted to preserve the #2 on the back. I cut the back and front separately - the back will come up a little higher than the front on the finished T.

Cut off the sleeves. Bye, bye Kwall Paint logo. Thanks for the shirt though.

Next fold over the neckline on front and back and pin to make a channel.

Finally thread in the ties. The purple came from an old tanktop I pulled from the Goodwill bag. A safety pin will make this step easier.


And the back.

For the other shirt, I decided to give shirring a shot. There are tons of great tutorials on Pinterest, but I really like this one from Make It Love It (one of my favorite blogs):

I did the cuts exactly the same way as the other shirt, but instead of making a channel, I shirred the top with three rows of stitches (using purple thread on top and elastic thread as the bobbin). It was pretty easy! Just stretch out the fabric a little while pulling it through your machine. I did take this one in a little bit on the sides to make it more fitted.

I also did the hemline with four rows of shirred stitches and attached straps from an old gray t.

And the results - I may move the straps over a little more before opening day.

Now, which one to give to my friend, Jill (the biggest Rockies fan I know) and which one to keep for myself.