Celebrating Fun: October 2012

October comes with a lot of fun on its own.  I mean any month where you get TONS of candy is a good month.  In our house we have a few traditions that come along in October.  While there aren’t as many “fun” days to celebrate there are still plenty of ways to keep busy in October and I plan on celebrating with my sweet little monsters.

 A few of our yearly traditions in October are:

Making Mummy Dogs – always dinner on Halloween but usually a couple other times in the month!

Family trip to the Pumpkin Patch

Annual Pumpkin Patch Trip

Carving pumpkins with Aunt Darla – though she recently moved to Colorado, we are hoping to visit in October and still carve pumpkins with her.

Pumpkin Carving with Aunt Darla

Family Pumpkin Carving Night – my SIL started a couple years ago having us all come over and carve pumpkins together.  It is a fun and silly time with my hubby’s side of the family that we love!

The 5 older cousins with all the pumpkins

Hallelujah Night – where we celebrate Halloween, our church’s Halloween carnival

 

October Unique Holidays:

3rd – National Techies Day (my hubby is a web developer so I might just have to surprise him with something!)

4th – National Golf Day – for sure a day I won’t have to force my hubby to participate in ;)

Golfers

5th – Do Something Nice Day – sounds like some random acts of kindness will be in order!

14th – National Dessert Day – what to make???

16th – Dictionary Day – a homeschooling mom’s favorite type of holiday, it can fit right into schoolwork!

3rd week in October – Pastoral Care week – do something nice for the pastor of your church

30th – National Candy Corn Day – I am sure my boys will LOVE this one!

31st – Halloween & Carve a Pumpkin Day

 

Here is the complete list of things to celebrate in October!

Which holidays are you going to celebrate???

 

Tuesday Tutorial: Halloween Candy Tote Bag

Do you have those lovely plastic pumpkins that you can get for a $1 at Halloween for your kiddos to collect your their candy in?  I sure do!  Can I just say that I am not a fan of storing those all year long to be used for just a couple hours ONE day a year.

So here is the solution – adorable candy tote bags that are reversible too!!!  Want to make one (or four, like me)?  Well, here’s how…

Mom's Busy Crafting - Halloween Candy Tote Bag Tutorial

Halloween Candy Tote Bags

Halloween Candy Tote Bag

Materials:

Materials

1/3 yard of main fabric

1/3 yard of lining fabric

1/6 yard for straps (I used a remnant I found!)NOTE: I bought a yard of each fabric and this made a total of 6 bags!

 

Cut fabric (from selvage to selvage) into 12″ panels.

Cut fabric in 12" sections

Turn fabric and cut width of each panel to 22″ (pretty much just trim the selvage ends off).

Cut to 22" wide

Open up the fabric and cut along the folded edge – you should now have TWO panels that are 12″ x 22″.

Cut the long panel in half

Fold the right sides together and sew up the sides.  (Sorry for the change in fabric!)
Sew up the sides
Now repeat these steps with the fabric for the lining.
This little guy wanted in on all the picture taking!

Cutie break

 

Turn ONE of the fabrics right side out and place it INSIDE the bag that is inside out.  Turn right sides out

bag inside lining

 

Now let’s make the straps. Cut your strap fabric into 5″ strips (again, selvage to selvage).  Then cut those long pieces in half.  You will now have your two straps.  Press each strap in half.

Fold strap

Open the strap back up and fold the edges into the center and press into place.

Fold sides in

Fold along the center line again and press well.  Strap is almost done!

Fold along center

Sew BOTH sides of the strap (the open side and the fold).

sew strap

Time to pin the straps to the bag and finish it up! I pinned my straps 2″ in from the sides leaving a 3″ space in the center of the straps.

Pin straps

Now sew the bag around the top leaving a 2″-3″ hole for turning.

Sew bag and lining together

Turn fabrics right side out and put lining into the bag.

Turn the bag right side out

Top stitch around the top of the bag making sure to close the hole where you turned the bag.

Top Stitch to finish bag

And there you have it.  Candy collectors that are MUCH smaller to store (and much cuter too, if I do say so myself!).  I can’t wait for the boys to see them (I finished them at 11:30pm so they are sleeping).  Since they chose the fabrics I know they will be very excited to see them complete.

Halloween Candy Tote Bags

 

”Tip

Finally my OWN Burlap Wreath

A few years ago I bought the supplies to make a fabric Christmas wreath.  With pinking shears in hand, I proceeded to cut LOTS of little squares of fabric.  After what seemed like hours there were two red and green piles.  So I started pinning away.  I ran out of fabric squares LONG before I ran out of straw wreath that needed to be covered.  Sure I had more fabric, but I was DONE!  So there it sat… and sat… and sat.

Burlap Wreath: beginning

Fast forward several years…  Having just moved the wreath surfaced again.  Well, I now knew just what I wanted to do with it!  My friend, Laurie of Gallamore West, had posted a while back about the burlap wreath that she made for her son’s birthday party.  As soon as I saw it I was in love!  I mean we are talking serious wreath envy!  Ever since I have wanted to make one of my own, but I dreaded the cutting squares and pinning.

With fall fast approaching, I decided I wanted to tackle so kind of burlap project so with coupon in hand off to JoAnn’s Fabrics I went.  My purchase of 2 yards of burlap sat for several weeks as I went back and forth on what I wanted to make until one day once again Laurie inspired me!  This time she had whipped up (seriously, like in a naptime crafting session no less – and she also has 4 young boys!!!) TWO burlap wreaths – one for fall and one for Halloween!

If she could do it so could I!  One night once the boys were in bed, off to my craft space I went determined to get my wreath made.  I started by taking out all the pins and fabric squares that were already in the wreath from my last attempt.  Don’t worry, I will still use all the fabric squares I spent so much time cutting out.

Burlap Wreath: Supplies

I cut about 5 strips of 3″ wide burlap (selvage to selvage).  I pinned one end into place and wrapped the straw wreath until it was completely covered.  Now it was time to cut the dreaded squares.  Thankfully, since I was now equipped with a cutting mat and rotary cutter this step went SO MUCH faster!!!  Within just a few minutes I had several 3″x3″ squares of burlap (but boy do those fibers of burlap get everywhere!  I was so itchy – not a good thing when you are crafting in your jammies! OPPS).

After folding each square into fourths I pinned them onto the wreath making sure to pin in all different directions so my wreath would look full. I didn’t really count how many squares I ended up using.  I just cut about 3 strips at a time and then would cut more when I needed.  In the end, it was probably about 10 or so strips.  All together it took me about 1 1/2 hours to complete (find something good on TV or throw in a movie and fold and pin away).

Burlap Wreath: Pinning the squares

To finish it off, since this is a wreath for fall – at least for now- I added in the red fabric squares from the old wreath. {please excuse the horrible picture of the end product, it was 10:30pm and this was taken hanging on the door of the bathroom in the loft area where my craft space is.}

I’m not quite done with it yet.  Need to add a ribbon hanger and probably will throw in some ribbon accents.

Burlap Wreath: All done

Can’t wait to find the perfect spot to hang this!

I am thinking I need a mirror for over our mantel and then I can hang it in front of the mirror!  {squeal}

Tuesday Tutorial: Ribbon Organizer

 I have a confession to make… I LOVE to organize!  While my craft room, home, or life might not always reflect this love, it is still there.  Pinterest has only helped my obsession with all the eye candy to pin away!  My Queen of Organization board is proof that I will one day have a place for everything and everything in its place.

One particular day I found a pin that would join my two addictions: organization and ribbon!  If you haven’t seen it, my ribbon collection is a bit over the top.  Mind you I don’t have any girls in my home – and yet with the addition of bow making to my long list of craft projects I enjoy – yet I now have BINS or ribbon.  But all that ribbon goodness is way to pretty to be stuffed in a bin.  That is where THIS wonderful project came in!  At about $10 each for materials these aren’t the cheapest solution for me (since I still need like 4 more! Yes, I am well aware that I have a problem), but they are so lovely on the wall.

Mom's Busy Crafting: Ribbon Organizer

Ribbon Organizer

Ribbon Organizer: purchase materials

Begin by taking your adorable assistants to your local hardware store to purchase your materials.

Materials:

  • Drill with 3/8″ drill bit
  • Wood rosettes: 3 3/4″ x 3 3/4″
  • Wood glue
  • Wood board: 2″ x 24″ x 1/2″
  • Wood board: 4-1/4″ x 24″ x 1/2″
  • Wood dowel rod: 23-1/4″ x 3/8″ – I bought one that was 36″ and had my hubby cut it down to size
  • hanging hardware (I used 3 per organizer)
  • 12 4D finishing nails, 1 1/4″
  • Paint – I used some leftover paint from when we painted the hall bathroom

I bought double of everything since I wanted to make two.

Ribbon Organizer : drill hole for dowel

Drill the holes about 1/4″ in and 3/4″ down.  After completing this I found that the ribbon fit a bit too tight so I would probably adjust the drill holes for the next set I make. Add wood glue to the hole and let it dry.  While at the hardware store I made sure to check with my hubby to see if we had wood glue and didn’t need to pick any up.  He assured me we did.  I found the bottle lovingly placed on my craft room desk the next morning, only to discover when I went to use it that the cap was completely clogged with dry glue.  In an effort to open the bottle, it broke right off.  However, the glue was still useable!  YAY

wood glue fail

Apply the glue to the bottom sides of the rosettes.  Then place the bottom board on the rosette and secure with the finishing nails.

Ribbon Organizer: glue the bottom

Ribbon Organizer: glue the bottom

Ribbon Organizer: nail the bottom to secure

Next, you will apply the back brace.  Line the back board up with the top of the rosette and glue and nail into place just like you did the bottom board.

Ribbon Organizer: nail back brace

Ribbon Organizer: add back brace

Then line up those ribbons!  This was just a test shot to make sure that the ribbons fit.  Like I said, they are a bit snug so next time I will move the dowel a bit.

Ribbon Organizer

Paint it!  My Facebook fans helped me decide on the color.  Overwhelmingly, it was decided that a cheerful yellow would be just perfect!

Ribbon Organizer: ready for paint

Here you go!  This is what they look like up on the wall.  (This is at the old house.  They are up at my new house but you will have to wait to see them when I reveal my crafting space!  First I have to get a few more things in their place and add a few more finishing touches.)

Mom's Busy Crafting: Ribbon Organizer

 Happy Organizing!

Celebrating Fun: Kool-Aid Play-Doh

My boys LOVE to play Play-Doh and while I am not a huge fan of the clean up (tiny bits of dough ground into their jeans, all over the floor, and mushed into the chairs), I do LOVE the HOURS of quiet playtime it brings.  They will sit and play for the entire day if I let them!

Play-Doh Fun

So can you imagine how thrilled I was to discover that September has a National Play-Doh Day!  YAY!  Talk about a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Play-Doh Cutie

Can you tell this cutie just loves to play with Play-Doh (and he does a good job keeping it out of his mouth too!).

PlayDoh

Now we have LOTS of Play-Doh, in fact an entire storage bin of it, but it is always fun to make your own Play-Doh.  Thanks to Pinterest I discovered Kool-Aid Play-Doh!  Not only are the bright colors TONS of fun, but the smell is amazing!!!

Here is the recipe I have used in the past for Kool-Aid Play-Doh.  I actually think I added a bit more flour since the dough was not very firm.  In the end I used about 2 cups of flour to get my dough to the correct consistency.

Master Play-Doh Creator

I will be making some of this up tomorrow!  Might even invite the cousins or some friends over added fun! How about you?

Tuesday Tutorial: Magnetic Board with Vinyl

Before I was blessed to be a stay at home mama, I was a 6th grade teacher.  Let me just say that if Pinterest had been around when I was teaching, my classroom would have ROCKED!  Not that it wasn’t pretty darn cute or very organized (because it totally was) but there are just so many great ideas to steal emm, copy on there.

Well my dear friend (and practically family) Stacy asked me to help her get ready for the upcoming school year with some Pinterest inspired projects.  She got on Pinterest over the summer and started pinning away.  After texting me several times to ask for help on certain projects she finally just created an entire board called “Things Allison Can Help Me Make : )“.  LOVE IT!  I always feel so honored and special when people ask me to help them and I just love doing it.  So after several conversations via text message on what supplies to bring and what I already had on hand, our crafting day was set.

One of the classroom items Stacy wanted to make for her class was a Where Am I? board.  Using that same type of style we also made a magnetic board for her students to use as the take Accelerated Reader tests (online reading comprehension tests that are done once a book is completed).  Below are the finished projects.  Since I still don’t have a cable for my camera, I can’t show you the step by step pictures I took of the project. I know that you guys are really smart though so this tutorial is a breeze ;)

 

Magnetic Board Tutorial

Supplies:

  • cookie sheets (Dollar Store $1 for 2)
  • spray paint
  • Cricut or similar vinyl cutting machine
  • vinyl
Begin by spray painting the cookie sheets in the desired color.  After it has dried completely, apply the vinyl you cut to the cookie sheet where you want it.
Mom's Busy Crafting: Where Are You? Board
(note: originally the words were all going to be on the cookie sheet like bathroom in the picture above but after I put the vinyl on I realized it wasn’t going to fit that way.  So that is when I turned the other words.  I went back and took bathroom off, recut it and applied it so the words were all going the same direction.)

Mom's Busy Crafting: Teaching Tool

From there you can drill small holes in the top or corners of the cookie sheet to thread ribbon or wire through as a hanger or you can display your new magnetic board using a decorative plate stand.  There are SO many uses for these boards that go beyond the classroom:
  • Chore charts
  • Menu board
  • Calendar
  • and more…

To dress it up even more you can add ribbon to divide each section of your board or even put decorative scrapbook paper over the spray painted cookie sheet to make it even more adorable. Just use Mod Podge to stick the paper on and as a sealer over the top so your paper doesn’t get all scratched up.

What kind of magnetic board will you make???

 

Celebrating Fun: September 2012

Our family LOVES to celebrate fun holidays like National Peanut Butter and Jelly Day, Cousin Day, and World Card Making Day.  One of my friends and fan of my Facebook Page suggested that I post a list of holidays each month that I will be celebrating, that way you can celebrate along with us!  What a fabulous idea!!!

So here is a short list of the fun and unique holidays that my family will be celebrating in September.  This month is a fabulous month to start these posts since there are so many fun holidays to celebrate!  We are really looking forward to all the fun we will have this month!

September Holidays

5th –  Cheese Pizza Day (guess what we had for lunch!)

9th – Grandparents Day – I have some great gift ideas on my Pinterest board, like THIS and THIS!

12th – Chocolate Milkshake Day

16th – Play-Doh Day  - try making some Kool-Aid Play-Doh with the kiddos!  The bright colors are so fun and the smell is AMAZING!

Play-Doh Fun

18th – Cheeseburger Day (can you say In-N-Out for dinner AKA Mama doesn’t have to cook night!)

19th – Talk like a Pirate Day – my boys will LOVE this day. Costumes are a must!

Littlest Pirate

21st – Mini Golf Day – (off to Mulligans we will go!)

23rd – Checkers Day – Perfect game for after church

26th – Johnny Appleseed Day – read a book about Johnny Appleseed and have a yummy snack!

 

Here is the calendar I have gone to for years to tell me what holidays are in each month!

 

Check back in October for more Celebrating Fun ideas!!!

Celebrating Cousin Day

My husband comes from a large family and I love it!  It is wonderful that my boys have 5 Aunts and 4 Uncles as well as 3 cousins on his side (1 Aunt and 2 Uncles and 1 cousin on my side).  It is great when we all get together with the family (all 20 of us).  There are 7 grandsons all 7 and under!  (Don’t worry the family is finally getting a GIRL in September!)  It is so much fun.  With the exception of my oldest, the cousins all came in pairs so they have buddies to play with.

My mom was the youngest of 8 so I have TONS of Aunts, Uncles, Cousins and Second Cousins.  Unfortunately they have always lived quite far away so I don’t see them often at all. In fact I haven’t seen my mom’s side of the family since I was in high school :(

I love to celebrate fun and obscure holidays so when I found a Cousin Day on my calendar I immediately planned a trip with my sisters in law.  We all have passes to SeaWorld so a day of fun was set!  To make it even more fun and excited I wanted to make the boys shirts that matched.  The front design was the same but the sets of siblings each had their own color of shirt so you can see which boy belongs to which family.  On the backs I put the boys’ names as well as the order they were born in.

Cousin Day shirts

Cousins

Here they are smiling for a quick picture before heading off for more fun.  It was at this point when I realized I should have made my sister in law that is expecting a girl a shirt that says #8, finally getting a GIRL.

I have a cute picture of the boys all lined up so you can see the fronts and backs of their shirts but it is on my camera and since I can’t upload those pictures yet, I will have to update this post soon! I can’t wait to celebrate Cousin Day again next year with the “new” cousins that will join the family in 2012-2013!  This is an annual tradition I definitely want to keep!

Tuesday Tutorial: Crib Bumper Redo

Crib bedding is ridiculously expensive!  Having 4 boys myself and wanting them to each have a unique nursery meant spending quite a bit of money on crib bedding sets.  Oh now I wish I knew then what I know now!  A friend contacted me and asked me if I could make a bumper.  She had an old bumper from her daughter that she was no longer using and wanted to see if I could use that instead of having me buy the bumper pads you would usually use to make your own bumper.  Can I just say, I wish I had a sewing machine when I was pregnant with my second child!?!?  I wouldn’t have had to BUY all new bedding!  Instead I could have done what I created here – a slipcover for the old bumper to give it a completely different look.

Crib Bumper Redo

Slip on like a pillowcase

Materials -

  • 2 1/2 yrds of fabric for bumper
  • 1/2 yd of fabric for ties
  • coordinating thread
After washing and ironing the fabric I cut it in half lengthwise (along the fold) so I now had two 3 yard long panels that were each 22 inches wide.

Sew panels togetherNext I sewed the panels together along the side that is 22 inches to make a long 5 yard piece of fabric.  Then fold right sides together lengthwise and sew the LONG side together (I also serged the seam to give it finished look). Turn the fabric so that the right side is out and grab your existing bumper.  Cut the ties of the bumper (you will make new ones).  Now slip the tube of fabric over the bumper like you are putting on a pillowcase.  If the fit isn’t snug – like mine wasn’t – take the seam in a bit and then try it again.  Be sure to line up the seam along the bottom with the bottom of the bumper pad.

Line up center to seam

Once the bumper is completely covered, line up the center seam of the cover (where you sewed it together to make the long panel) and the center seam of the bumper itself.  Stitch in the ditch to secure the fabric into place.  You will do the same at each of the other  seams to create the 6 panels around the bumper.

Fold ends under and pin

At the ends, tuck the raw edges under and pin into place.  Don’t sew yet since you will want to insert the ties into the folds before closing the seam.  Now it’s time to create the ties.

Cut ties in 2" strips

Cut 2 inch strips along the side that was 18 inches.  Press sides into the middle (like you are making bias tape) and then fold and line up the edges. I needed 14 ties total.

sew ties

Sew up the sides, making sure to tuck the ends in before sewing so you have a finished edge.  The ties will then be folded and half and sew into each of the seams on the bumper as well as the ends.

Finished bumper

There you have it!  A quick and easy way to redo your old crib bumper to get ready for a new little one.  This would also be a great way to customize a nursery for a friend.  I so badly want to redo an entire crib set for someone now, complete with new comforter cover, dust ruffle and bumper!