Autumn decorations

This past week, I’ve been crackin’ on the autumn decorations! I’ve seen so many good ideas out there, I just couldn’t help myself! And best yet, most of these were FREE. Or cheap. I had all the things I needed right here.
I made these adorable pumpkin cats, I saw them here. 
Aren’t they cute? I got them all put together, and decided they needed a little something more… So I made collars for them. Perfect! I just took a little bit of ribbon, wrapped it around the neck, and secured it with a pin. I didn’t hollow out the heads and put candles in though, I just used scrapbook paper for the eyes. For the tails I used stems (I couldn’t find any good gourds).
And I made these adorable pumpkins from toilet paper and burlap! 
In order to get them to be different sizes, I wrapped one TP roll with extra stuffing (uuuhh, an old shirt). I saw the idea here.
I got the idea for this hoop art here. And here’s where she has the tutorial on how to make them.

I love it! I kept seeing these online on other blogs, and happened to come across some hoops at a thrift store, so I snatched them up! I’d love to do more, but I don’t know where I’d find more of these hoops. The ones I saw in the store were way more expensive than what I expected to see. Maybe I’ll just wait until Christmas and reuse this one to look like an ornament!

My next project is decorating some pumpkins with ribbon! I’ve seen all sorts of cute ideas, I can’t wait to get started. I’ll post pictures when I get around to making them!


Zebra Mod Podge Wall Letter

This is the newest edition to Emma’s pink and zebra room! I love love LOVE the way it turned out! I got a plain wooden letter from Hobby Lobby for $1.99. Awesome price. I painted the edges of the letter with my black acrylic paint. Once that was dry, I traced my letter on the back of a piece of zebra scrapbook paper and cut it out. I covered the front of the “E” with Mod Podge and pasted the paper on it. I used sand paper to clean up the edges a little. Then once it was dry, I did a top coat. Add some ribbon to the back, and it’s done! Easy peasy! 
For more tips on using Mod Podge, see my post here.

Zebra Mod Podge nightstand

I started out with this. It’s a nightstand that we found that was completely unfinished. We’d been using it for a while, just like it was, but I decided to fix it up to match my daughter’s room decor!
I gave it a quick coat of primer, and then added a couple coats of pink spray paint. The color turned out different than I expected, and I was a little unhappy with it. It doesn’t look too bad other than that, though!
I didn’t bother to cover the top with spray paint, I had other plans for it. MOD PODGE! That’s right. I have this awesome zebra scrapbook paper, so I figured I’d do a zebra top!
I didn’t have a single piece that was large enough for the entire top, so I had to kind of patchwork it. Not too shabby though, you can barely tell it was 4-5 different pieces of paper.
Next, I broke out the Mod Podge and a paint brush. Since I’m doing a large area, I used a large brush. Mod Podge tends to dry faster than you want it to when you’re laying paper, and not fast enough when you’re waiting for it to dry.
Doing it one section at a time, I slathered my table top with Mod Podge and layed down each piece.
You see that rock?! That’s 100%.. fake. My fat preggo hands are too swollen, so I had to ditch my wedding band. Now it looks like I’m married to a millionaire. Yup, I got married to a millionaire for $8.88 at Walmart.
I found that I applied the Mod Podge just a little too thick, and it bubbled on me. 😦 I was able to salvage it though, and it didn’t turn out too bad. This was before I’d done the top coat, too.
Make sure you let your Mod Podge dry COMPLETELY. Be patient. I’ve been a victim of Mod Podge impatience before. I nearly ruined a perfectly good picture frame because of my impatience. If you don’t wait for it to dry completely between coats, it will bubble. So make sure it’s dry! Then add another coat of the Mod Podge. It’ll look kind of gross, but I promise, it’ll dry clear. 

Since the handles of the drawers are showing, I decided to cover them with scrapbook paper, too. With this though, I painted the Mod Podge directly onto the paper, and pasted it on the handles. Once it was dry I did a top coat.
Here’s the finished product!

Covered Clips

Alright, here’s the promised clip tutorial! I made this adorable clips to go with baby A’s tutu for her birthday. 
What you’ll need:
Hot glue gun (preferably low temp, the high temp one I had leaked constantly! It makes for neater projects with a low temp gun)
Single prong alligator clips (can be found in a lot of craft stores. Usually Hobby Lobby has them, Joannes doesn’t always have them in).
Ribbon (grosgrain works well, I used whatever cute Halloween skull ribbon they had available)
You need to measure how much ribbon you’ll need. I believe I used 4 1/2 inches for a partially covered clip, and 7 1/2 inches for a fully covered clip. Just wrap the ribbon along the clip where you’d glue it, then cut 2 strips the same length. 
Hit your ribbon ends with the lighter. Just a quick run through the flame should seal the ends.
Put a small drop of glue on the alligator clip like shown in the picture.
Stick your ribbon to the clip.
Add another strip of glue to the ribbon, a little over an inch. I like to do small segments at a time, that way your glue is still really hot and will dry flat. If your glue cools too much, it’ll stick without a problem, but it’ll dry really thick and your ribbon won’t lay flat.
Stick that portion of the ribbon to the clip, and then do the last little part.

For the bow, measure your ribbon. It really depends on how large you want your bow as to how long the ribbon should be. Make sure you cut two pieces of ribbon the same length, you don’t want your bows to be different sizes!
Glue your ribbon ends together to make a circle. Glue it down together in the middle to make a figure 8.
Glue your figure 8 to the covered clip. Take a second piece of ribbon, about 1 1/2 -2 centimeters long, and glue that down sideways in the middle of the figure 8.
Wrap it around the inside of the clip and glue it in place.
If you want to add a no-slip grip, it’s easy! I’ve seen people take the foam mats that you use for shelf liners and cut them to size. I like to use plain ‘ol hot glue.
Put a strip of hot glue on your alligator clip, I usually just ooze it through the opening. Keep the clip open until it’s dried, about a minute.

You’re done!

Pocket Diaper Tutorial

What you’ll need: 
An absorbent or wicking material (I used flannel)
Snaps or Velcro
Elastic ( 3/8 inch is usually good)
Diaper pattern
Sewing machine, thread, scissors
To get started, cut out your materials. Since I’m showing you how to do a pocket diaper with a top stitch, you’ll need to leave a seam allowance for this one! I did one layer of PUL, a layer of flannel, and 2 tabs made out of the same flannel pattern. 
Start by sewing on your tabs. Tuck the edge under and hem it, if you have tags, get them in there too! Sew around the entire edge of the tag and along the edge of your tab. 
Take your flannel and fold down the back edge. I folded mine over twice to avoid any kind of fraying. Give it a quick hem. As you can see from the pictures, I only hemmed it in the middle. The rest of it will be sewed into the tabs, so there’s really no reason to hem this part.
Whether you’re applying snaps or velcro, you’ll need to do this part BEFORE you sew. Don’t worry about the snaps/velcro on the tabs, just what’s in the front. Mark where your snaps need to be, and apply them. Since this is a pocket diaper, the insert needs to go between the layers, so you can’t have your snaps gluing those layers together!
Now, time to sew it up! Place your layers together, right side in. The shiny side of the PUL will be on the outside, along with the non-printed side of the flannel. Place your PUL facing down. I mentioned in my FOE diaper tutorial some good tips about working with PUL. Make sure you read them!
Start sewing where your hem ends on your flannel. This will be where the pocket opening begins. It’s also right next to where the tab begins. While you’re sewing, leave enough room so that your stitch won’t come undone when you turn it back right-side-out. Flannel will fray just a little bit, so leave enough room! 
If this is one of your first diapers you’re sewing, it might be a good idea to mark out where your elastic begins and ends. I didn’t do it with this diaper, and ended up starting my elastic about in inch late! I can still easily fix it because of the way I sewed it. 
For this diaper, I chose to sew my leg elastic right into the seam. You can also encase your elastic, which is how we’ll do it in the back. Measure how much elastic you’ll need by stretching it along the leg opening. Cut two pieces the same size for both legs. You’ll need to use a zig zag stitch for the elastic. When you get to where your elastic begins, sew a couple zig zag stitches to secure it. Stretch your elastic as far as you want it stretched (I stretch mine as far as it goes), and start stitching! When you get to the end of the elastic, switch back to your straight stitch. 
Finish sewing the rest, get the other leg opening sewed up with elastic, and finish off the tabs. Don’t forget to NOT sew up the back opening! This is your pocket opening, and will be used to get the insert into the diaper. Turn your diaper right-side-out and make sure you don’t have any gaps in your stitches. There were a few spots that I had sewed too close to the edge, and when I turned it back out, the came undone. Just re-enforce it with another stitch on the inside of the diaper, and you should be good go to!
For the back elastic, measure your elastic by stretching it along the back opening. Fold over the PUL and place the elastic inside the opening. Make sure the PUL is folded over far enough that you can sew a little pocket for the elastic without accidentally stitching the elastic in. Secure your elastic by stitching back and forth the end of the elastic. Again, the elastic will fray also, so make sure you leave enough room for this. It’s difficult to fix a problem like that once the diaper is sewed together. Try tugging on the elastic a couple times to make sure it’s secure. Stretch it along the back, and secure it at the other end of the pocket opening. Now do a straight stitch to encase the elastic into it’s own little pocket. 
Finish it off with a top stitch. I only did the top stitch along the edges of the diaper, I chose not to case in the elastic. I kind of like the look if gives this way.
Now it’s time to add your last snaps! Add them to your tabs, and you’re done!

As you can see in the pictures, I didn’t make the leg elastic long enough. It should have been stretched almost all the way to the tabs, but I wasn’t paying enough attention. Because of the way that I sewed them, I can just go back and add a little more elastic to the legs and sew it right in. if I’d done it in a casing, it would be a lot harder to fix!

If you found this tutorial helpful, make sure you check out my FOE Diaper Cover Tutorial!

Diaper Cover Tutorial

Finally! I’ve made a couple diapers and diaper covers, and finally I feel like my skills are good enough to share. 🙂 So here ya go!
What you’ll need:
PUL (polyurethane laminate, found in the utility fabric section at Joann’s)
FOE (fold over elastic, I can’t find it anywhere in stores, but it’s about $2 for 10 yards on ebay!)
Outer fabric (this is optional, I chose to just stick with the white PUL as my outside, but I did a cute patterned fabric for the tabs. Here’s a picture of a cover I did using pink Minky as an outside)
Diaper pattern (you can always trace a diaper to get your pattern, making sure to stretch it out completely. This takes two people, for obvious reasons. I used the LaDiDa pattern. This one costs money, but there’s lots of good, free patterns out there!)
Thread, sewing machine, scissors
Snaps or velcro (I have the KamSnaps, and LOVE them! Only $35 for the pliers and 200 snaps!) If you use velcro, it needs to be a certain kind. Make sure you look this up before buying! I don’t know much about velcro, since I don’t really like using it. I used some store bought velcro, and it ended up loosing it’s stickiness in the washer after only a few washes. This is why I looooove snaps, they never wear out! Plus, they’re pretty much baby proof!
You can always use different materials than the ones I listed, but there are a LOT of them out there, so I just listed the ones I usually use. I love the PUL because it’s waterproof, but also it’s cotton on the outside. Most AIO (all in one), pocket diapers, or covers you buy (Bum Genius, Fuzzi Buns, KatyDids, Rumparoos) use PUL for the outside of their diapers. Since this is a cover, all you need is this ONE layer, so it’s very simple. 
Before we start, you should know a couple things about PUL. It can be very difficult to sew with, but doesn’t have to be! I learned early on that PUL is very sticky. If you leave it shiny side up, it sticks to the metal foot of your machine as it feeds through, and will feed through unevenly (especially if using more than one layer, the bottom later will feed through faster). I always place my PUL shiny side down, no matter what kind of diaper I’m making. This way it’s directly touching the wheels that are feeding it through, and there’s no sticking. Alright, on to the diaper!
Cut out your pattern and your tabs. Since you’re using FOE for this diaper cover, you don’t need to leave a seam allowance. A lot of diaper patterns come with instructions. Some of the free ones don’t, but if you pay for it, chances are it does. Make sure you read through the instructions! Each pattern is different and will have tips for how to sew it. The LaDiDa pattern comes with lots of tips and instructions, and it’s a great pattern!
The first step you’ll want to do it sew on your patterned tabs (if you choose to do tabs). I also have some LaDiDa Homemade tags that I sewed into mine. Fold over the edge of the patterned fabric, tuck in your tag, and sew it on (don’t forget to back stitch!) Then sew around the tag to secure it.
Okay, that was easy! Now grab your FOE. Mine came wadded up in a bunch, which is just fine with me! I keep it wadded up in a ball as I sew the diaper, and once I have the entire diaper sewed, then I cut it free. I don’t suggest pre-measuring your FOE, since you won’t always use the same amount. When sewing with FOE, there’s a few things you need to know. Sew as close to the edge of the FOE as you can. If you leave the edge hanging free, it tends to curl up, like this.
It looks much better if you get your stitches nice and close to the edge. Also, as you go, you’ll need to repeatedly check to make sure your fabric is still sandwiched between the FOE. It tends to slip out pretty easily, especially if your stitches aren’t right on the edge. I’ve had it happen a few times, and I didn’t catch it until it was done. This happens a lot when you’re stretching your elastic around the legs and back! Another tip, only stretch the FOE in areas that you want to be stretched (like around the legs and in the back). If you stretch it anywhere else, it’ll curl up weird.
Leave a little bit of FOE hanging over the edge, enough to fold under. Leave it hanging for now, you’ll fold it under when you’re done! You need to use a zigzag stitch when dealing with FOE. I’ve tried out a few different stitches on my machine, and the wider zig zag stitch works best for me (it’s number 4 on my Brother brand machine). It probably doesn’t matter much where you start off, but I like to start in the front where all the snaps are. This part is hidden when the baby’s wearing the diaper, so it’s no biggie if your starting area is a little lumpy. Making sure your fabric is completely inside the FOE, start stitching! 
When you get to your first corner, stop about a centimeter from the end. Making sure your needle is still down in the fabric, lift up the presser foot. Fold your FOE around the corner however is easiest for you. These pictures might not show it too well (click to enlarge), but I tried to show how I fold mine. It gives the corners a nice crisp look. 
Continue to sew forward, and then make your turn. Remember, keep your stitches RIGHT on the edge! You’ll need to re-adjust every time you go around a corner to make sure it lines up properly. 
The pattern you have should indicate where your leg elastic begins and ends. Some people like to put light marks on their fabric so they know, I chose not to. For this pattern, you start stretching as soon as the leg curves. Like I said, this part is a little tricky, because the fabric likes to move! Just keep checking every couple of inches to insure that your fabric is still tightly in between the FOE. Wherever your pattern indicates you should begin the elastic, that’s where you want to stop your machine, and start stretching your FOE. I like to stretch mine just about as far as it goes. This makes nice tightly fitting leg holes. Only stretch a couple inches at a time, stitch, and stretch a couple more. Do the same thing for the other leg hole and the back.
When you get to the very end, cut your FOE with enough extra hanging over the edge to fold over. Take both ends (your start point and your end point) and fold them under. 
Sew up the last corner, and snip any extra FOE that hangs over. I like to give it a couple extra zig zags over the cut ends to keep it from fraying.
Make your markings for your snaps and apply them.
Check that out! It looks as good as any cover you could have bought! I hope this tutorial helped you! If you have any questions, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you! Also if you have any advice, feel free to share it, and I’ll add it in here. 
Once you’ve done a couple of FOE diapers (you can do just about any kind of diaper with FOE, I LOVE IT!), you should be able to whip one out in less than 45 minutes! They’re so quick and easy, and the FOE gives it such a nice, clean look. I hope you like it!
Don’t forget to check out my Pocket Diaper Tutorial!

Tutu tutorial

I was asked to make a tutu for my niece, Baby A’s birthday this weekend. My sister-in-law wanted purple and black, with some matching skull clips! I’ll be making the clips later this week, and I’ll do a quick how-to for those too! I can’t wait to see how cute this tutu looks on Baby A!
What you’ll need:
Tulle (I like to use 2-3 colors, I think too many start to look kind of clown-ish)
Elastic (I suggest using something between 1/2 inch to 1 inch wide elastic. It’s really a matter of preference which one you use. Normally I use 1/2 inch, but I had 1 inch in the house, so that’s what I used)
If you buy your tulle on a roll, you just saved yourself a TON of time. If you bought it by the yard from a bolt, you’ve got a LOT of cutting to do. To save a couple dollars, I bought mine from the bolt. I’ve learned a few tricks for cutting tulle, so it wasn’t too bad.
Cut your tulle in strips. I like to cut mine 6-12 inches wide. (If you buy it on a roll, it’s 6 inches wide.) This makes a lot less cutting for yourself. How long your strips are is really up to you. I wanted the tutu to be pretty short, so I cut mine to be 1/4 of how long the tulle was coming off the bolt. Keep in mind, the tulle is already folded in half on the bolt, so it was half the length of the bolt. 
Measure your elastic around the waist of who’s going to be wearing it. Keep in mind that it stretches, so you want it to be slightly smaller than their waist. You don’t want it falling off! Sew the ends of your elastic together to create the waist band.
Once you have your tulle cut, you’re ready to begin. Take a strip of tulle, and fold it lengthwise until it’s a thin strip, like this.
Making sure it’s centered, make a loop and place it behind the elastic, like this. 
Bring up the ends of the tulle and stick them through the loop, like this. 
Pull down and tighten the knot.

You can do your colors however you want. I chose to do black, purple, black purple.

How many you’ll need to do depends on how full you want your tutu. I kept sliding mine over and squishing them together so I could fit more on. In the end, I had a nice full tutu! I had bought 2 yards of purple, 2 yards of black, and had a decent amount of tulle leftover (maybe 1/4 of the strips). It only cost $5 to make!
Good luck, and I’d love to see what you come up with!

Chai Latte

This is an incredibly delicious and incredibly SIMPLE recipe for a chai latte! If you liked my Pumpkin Spice Latte, you’re sure you love this one!
What you’ll need:
Chai concentrate
Whipped cream (optional)
Cinnamon (optional)
Brew your espresso in your machine and steam your milk. I like to nuke my milk in the microwave so the steaming process goes a little quicker. To your milk add 1/4-3/8 of a cup of chai concentrate. This is the kind I used, I found it down the tea aisle.
Add your espresso and taste. Add more chai if needed. The chai concentrate is incredibly sweet, so you shouldn’t need any additional sweetener.

Top with whipped cream and cinnamon if desired. Enjoy!

Trendy Clothes Pins

I made these cute little clothes pins to use in the kitchen for bag clips. I also made a second set to keep in my craft room, they’re just too cute! How could I resist.
What you’ll need:
Clothes pins
Scrapbook paper
Elmer’s glue and clear top coat (or Modge Podge)
Sand paper
Trace your clothes pin onto your scrapbook paper and cut it out. You’ll need 2 of each pattern, unless you choose to mix and match your patterns. I did the same pattern on each side of my pins.
Using a paintbrush to get a nice even coat, paint your glue or Modge Podge to the flat side of the pin and stick your scrapbook paper to it. Do this with each one of your clothes pins. 
Once you have all of them done, take your sand paper to get the sides nice and smooth. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find my sand paper anywhere, so mine don’t look quite as nice as they could. Next, apply the top coat. I used this because it’s what I had on hand. You can also use your Modge Podge for this step.
Stand your pins on their ends or sides to dry. Now aren’t they cute?

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza

I had this pizza once, and just HAD to find a way to make it at home. It was SO good!
What you’ll need:
Pizza dough
1/2 cup ranch dressing
1/2 cup of sour cream
Cooked chicken, roughly chopped
Cooked bacon (I like to use the kind they have down the salad dressing aisle)
Green or red onions
Cheese (I used a blend of different cheeses)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Bake your crust for a few minutes until it just barely starts to brown. It should take about 5-10 minutes, depending on if you let your oven preheat all the way (I have an issue with patience and remembering to preheat my oven, so mine took about 10 minutes). 

Mix your ranch and sour cream, and spread it on your crust. 

Now start adding your toppings! We normally keep cooked chicken in the freezer, chopped into cubes. I nuked mine in the microwave and gave them a quick chop. Pile on the chicken, bacon, green onions, and cheese. 

Bake for another 10 minutes or so, or until it’s bubbly and brown in the center. Enjoy. 🙂