DIY Magazine Gift Bow

If you love How about orange… as much as we do then you’ve probably already seen this awesome/fast/fabulous project. Well, I tried some last night and making these bows is totally addictive! Unfortunately I have a weird thing about cutting pages out of magazines so the only one I was willing to sacrifice was Glamour.

Just a tip: If you make a bow out of an ad for Brit’s new fragrance Circus Fantasythen your bow will smell like Circus Fantasy and that’s no good unless, of course, the gift is a bottle of Circus Fantasy in which case it’s perfect.


DIY Tray

This would be a great gift for a new mom. You could include a mug, a box of tea, a book, and a small journal and pen. This particular tray however, is going to make it’s home on my kitchen island ensuring that the giant pile of mail doesn’t slide off of the counter into the 2 day old glob of pureed carrots on the floor.

This is a quick project and its totally customizable! Have fun!

DIY after the jump…
What you need:
unfinished wooden tray (Michael’s $3.99)
Wood friendly paint
decorative paper (this was from Paper Source, they have lots of beauties.)
Mod Podge
x-acto, cutting mat & ruler

1. Paint your wooden tray your desired color, you can leave the inside (and the bottom, if you wish) unpainted. You will likely need 2 coats. Let dry.

2. Measure the inside of your tray. I did this by laying my decorative paper in the tray and pressing the paper into the opposite corner with my fingernail to make a crease. Very technical stuff.

3. Trim paper to size. As you can see here, my paper wasn’t quite wide enough so I used the piece that I trimmed from the bottom and added it to the width. It was still 1/4″ shy which is why I also added the 2 strips of lime paper.

4. Remove paper from tray and apply a coat of Mod Podge to the inside bottom of your tray. Make sure that the surface is entirely & evenly covered and work quickly.

5. Starting from one side, lay your paper in the tray, pressing and smoothing as you go.

6. Apply a second layer of Mod Podge over the paper.

7. You can stop here or you can add some fun elements. A cut out initial, photos, more pretty paper, or even fabric scraps! Just a note, most home printers have water soluble ink that will run, please test images first. Anything professionally printed, magazines etc. should be fine.

8. When you’re finished apply a final layer (or two) of Mod Podge to seal.

9. You may still have a few air bubbles, you can try to smooth these out but don’t worry, when it dries you will hardly notice them, especially if your paper has a pattern.

I had so much fun making this that I immediately bought more trays for other rooms. A nursing station for Quinn’s room, A book tray for Clare’s ottomen, and just something pretty for entertaining! If you would rather purchase a tray, I am partial to thesecustom beauties. Aren’t they gorgeous? I’ll have more trays to show you next week because seriously, I’m hooked on this fun project. If you make one too, send us pics!


DIY Hooded Baby Towel

A luxurious hooded baby towel is a great gift for an expecting or new mom. It’s big bang for your buck. Be sure to coordinate your towel to the nursery or family bathroom. If you’re feeling extra ambitious, present the gift in one of Jaime’s drawstring bags made from your accent fabric. 
DIY after the jump…
What you need:
A bath towel (approx 30″x54″)
A hand towel (approx 16″x27″) (not face cloth)
Accent fabric, an approximately 3.5″ x 18″ strip
Coordinating thread
Head pins
Sewing Machine

1. Wash and dry towels and accent fabric
2. Iron accent fabric
3. Fold, pin and iron a 1/2 inch seam allowance on both long sides of your accent fabric for a finished width of 2.5″

Tip: pinning through the outside of the fabric rather than the inside, shown incorrectly here, will ensure that you do not sew pins into your piece. Good to know.

4. Cut the edges off of your hand towel to 17″ length

5. Fold the hand towel the long way and position accent fabric strip evenly 1″ from the fold, pin in place through top layer of towel only

6. Unfold towel and sew trim to towel with 1/4″ seam along both lengths

7. Fold towel so that accent trim is folded in half on the inside as shown and sew down left and right side at inside edge of original towel seam

8. Invert piece to look like this…

9. Invert top left point into top right point to look like this…

10. Open piece to look like this (it’s the hood!)…

11. Fold Bath towel in half and place a pin at center edge.
12 Align top center edge of Bath Towel with back center seam of hood and pin an inside seam along entire back edge of hood (be sure to pin the vertical seam of hood open)

13.Sew seam

14. Now would be a really good time to make sure there are no random pins inside your hood. Last chance before we sew it up!

15. Fold inside bottom hood seam under, hiding all edges and trim inside and pin. The bulk of this seam should fall just below the back seam if the inside hood point is pushed all the way in, as it should be.
16. Sew. This is where a newer machine might get tired as the layers are quite thick here. You may need to skip over the corners and stitch these by hand later.

17. And you’re done!

18. Bathe baby, tuck baby in, drink wine.


Autumn Leaf Platter

This is a fun way to display your treats this season. Check out the DIY after the jump…

Use this template from Martha to cut out a selection of oak and maple leaves. I used a manila folder and some orange and gold origami paper.

Tip: Place your template on a window with your leaf paper on top (bottom side facing you) and trace. Then cut out leaf shapes.

Scatter your leaves on a unfinished wood plaque available at Michael’s or Walmart and arrange your treats!

So easy and festive!


Shortbread Cookie Recipe

It’s been chilly and rainy here. Perfect weather a cup of tea and shortbread cookies! These cookies are so delicious and easy to make and nothing beats the “wow” factor from the kiddies when they see yummy little treats in fun cookie-cutter shapes.

This is the recipe I’ve been using for years, passed on from my friend June…

June’s Shortbread

Pre-heat oven to 325.

2 cups sifted flour
1 cup butter
1/2 cup confectioners sugar (powdered)

Cream butter. Very gradually work in sugar… just a little at a time. Add flour and mix thoroughly.

Chill dough 30 minutes wrapped in plastic wrap.

Option 1: Roll dough out to 1/2 inch. Score with knife.
Option 2: Roll dough out to 3/4 inch (or pat down with hands) and cut with small cookie cutter.

Place cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet. Sprinkle granulated sugar on the cookies (or dip front of cookies in colored sugar, get creative!)

Bake for 5 minutes at 325. Turn down to 300 and bake for 15-30 minutes. They are done when you see even the tiniest hint of browning at the bottom. The next time you make them, take them out a minute before the tiniest hint of browning. The cookies should be ivory in color.

Store cookies in a tin. Separate layers with wax paper. In my experience, these ship very well.

Here is another recipe. It includes vanilla (I’m going to try that next time) and is a bit more detailed.

I’ll stop back later with a little DIY on the presentationbut for now I’m off to cuddle with sweet babies and a plate of cookies. heaven.


DIY Simple Snuggly Baby Blanket

Simple Snuggly Baby Blanket
Last week our 100 degree temperatures suddenly disappeared, and now it finally feels like fall.  Time to make Miss S a cozy blanket for snuggling…
DIY Baby Blanket
To get a custom feel without spending a bunch, use this DIY to make your bean his or her own stylish baby blanket. Use an adorable cotton fabric on one side, and compliment it with a cozy dose of snuggly softness on the other like fleece or minkee.  Here’s one I sent off to Miss Quinn (back before we knew she was a Miss!):

Now you try!  Get the Simple Snuggly Baby Blanket DIY after the jump…

How to Sew a Simple Baby Blanket

1. Prewash, iron and cut your fabrics to your desired size, cotton for one side and minkee or something cozy on the other.  I had a yard of Echino Spring in Grey Lion so I started with that.  Lay your fabrics right-sides facing, smooth them nice and flat, then pin all the way around:

Then cut the excess fabric, leaving enough for a 3/4″ seam allowance:

2. Next you want to sew around the perimeter with a 3/4″ seam allowance, leaving a section open so you can turn your blanket inside out (depending on how thick your backing is you can decide how big your opening needs to be). I left my opening at the corner, but it’s easier if you leave it in the middle of one side:

Try not to sew your hair into the blanket, because nothing disgusts Jacinda more on earth then a stray hair:

3. Snip a square out of each corner.  This will allow you to get a nice flat corner when you turn your blanket inside out:

4. Turn your blanket and iron it flat, paying special attention to the edges to ensure your fabrics aren’t rolling onto the wrong side.  At the opening, fold the fabrics in, iron and pin in place:

5. Choose treads that coordinates or contrast, whatever your pleasure, and remember you can choose different colors for each side. Put your color for the cotton side in your spool and for the soft side in your bobbin.  With your cotton side on top, with a 5/8″ seam allowance sew a nice straight line all the way around your square.  Remember at the corners to leave the needle in the fabric, lift the presser foot, turn your fabric and put the presser foot back down to get a nice corner:

and just sew that opening closed:

I stopped there, but you could do it one or two more times around.  For added cuteness you can switch thread colors or use the same.  This time go another 1/4″ in (so 1/2″ seam allowance).

6. Snuggle!


DIY Lazy Days Skirt

The Oliver + S Lazy Days Skirt is the subject of this latest installment in our series where we give other folks’ DIYs a try. The verdict: Do it!  I enjoyed making one for Scarlet so much, I had to sew one for Clare too!  The free pattern from Oliver + S was so simple to follow; you can download it here. I can’t wait to try the more complicated Play Date Dress next time.

Materials included the last of the Joel Dewberry Tossed Flowers (Ginseng Collection) fabric in Raspberry and Camel leftover from the fabric alphabet project, some 3/4″ elastic, and some generic grosgrain ribbon.  The whole skirt cost less then $3 to make!

Don’t forget to send us a picture if you give it a try, and let us know what you think of the pattern in the comments!