DIY Fabric Lunch Bag!

A custom fabric lunch bag takes 20 minutes, is adorable, and you can make one to match any outfit.  These are fantastic thoughtful gifts (or gift wrapping) too.  And they cost virtually nothing – you’ll even save money (and trees) on paper bags.

Get the DIY after the jump!

1.  Cut your decor-weight or canvas fabric, a spare quarter yard works well. I used a bright Denyse Schmidt County Fair leftover that appears to be sold out, but some other fabrics from that collection are available at while more amazing home decor weight prints can be found at Hart’s Fabric.  You can cut two 13X9 pieces and with wrong sides facing sew three sides (leaving a short side open)  with a straight stitch, or like me you can take one 26″X9″ piece, fold it in half with wrong sides facing and sew the two long sides together:

2. Finish the top edge by folding it over about 1/4″ and ironing:

Then hemming in place with a straight stitch:

3.  Now you are going to create your gusset.  Turn the bag inside out and bring the seams front and center and flatten the resulting fabric into a point:

Then fold one side down so it’s in a diamond shape and iron it flat:

4. On each side of your diamond shape measure 2 inches down from the point and draw a straight line with a washable marker.  Make sure they are even otherwise your gusset will be wonky:

5. Sew a straight stitch along each line, then cut off the triangle of excess fabric:

so you are left with this:

6. Now turn your bag right side out, poke the corners out so they’re flat, and fold into a lunch bag shape and steam iron so it has crisp seams:

7. Stand that baby up and admire it, then fold the top over a few times and iron some creases into it so you can figure where to put your closing attachment

8. Now you can leave it like this or put some sort of closing mechanism.  I’ve added buttons or velcro, but this time I decided to use an old bracelet clasp.  Mark the spot in the center of the fold and corresponding spot on the actual bag with a washable marker (it’s important to get them centered or your bag will fold funny). Quickly hand-sew each side of your clasp in place:

You’re done!  So easy and so cute.  Scarlet’s daycare teachers and even my husband always enjoy these quickie lunch bags.  I can’t wait until she’s old enough to request specific colors and patterns!



DIY: Framed Butterfly Specimen

Nerd Alert: I have had a love affair with origami for 22 years. I have boxes filled with random folded creatures, I had origami cranes on my wedding invitations and 1,000 folded cranes at my reception. I have at least 10 origami books and boxes (sigh) of origami paper which I would roll around in naked were it not for the wrinkling (that’s how much I love it) so I was happy to have come up with this little project as a way to display a few pieces in baby’s room. It seems so obvious, has anyone seen it done before?

Instructions after the jump

What you need:

• Display frame: $8.99 @ Michael’s. Rock that 40% off coupon and you’re in business.

• Instructions for origami butterfly. I used this book and highly recommend it if you have some folding experience. Otherwise here is a link to many butterfly instructions.

• Origami paper (the paper I used was 2 sided.) You could also use plain white for a more modern look.

• Clean recycled cardboard

• Background paper (this was from a recycled calendar. love it!)

• Spray Paint (optional)

• Double-stick tape

• Plastic ball stick pins

• Box cutter

• Straight edge

• Cutting mat

1. Disassemble frame and, in a well ventilated area, spray paint your frame (if desired.) Leave to dry.

2. Trace the back insert of your frame on to your background paper, tape to cardboard (or Xyron) and trim both together using your box cutter and straight edge.

3. Fold your butterflies as directed.

4. Double stick the butterflies in position on the background

5. Stick a pin through each abdomen

6. Reassemble frame

7. Add your creation to a tchotchke shelf filled with hipster baby loot. : )


DIY Cameo Plaque

There’s something about cameos that I find a little bit spooky. It might have something to do with Disney’s Haunted Mansion. Regardless, I LOVE THEM and decided to try one out for Miss Quinn Frances. And then we decided to use a cameo in our new banner (see above) and then I decided to use my new cameo plaque as part of my Halloween decor for a bit before it takes up permanent residence on one of my bare walls (hence the weird photo with skeleton.) This was super easy and inexpensive! These would look really cute printed on mugs, totes, t-shirts too…

DIY after the jump

What you need:
Wooden plaque (Walmart): $4.62
Acrylic paint (black & white): $2.50
Photo of child’s profile, on solid background if possible: $0
x-acto or small scissors
Pen or pencil: I used a “Skilcraft Free Ink Roller Ball 0.7”: Stolen from husband’s desk (this is an amazing pen!!)
Large paintbrush: $1-ish
Tiny paintbrush: $1-ish
Varnish (optional): $?

Total: Less than $10

Traditionally this type of silhouette art is actually cut from black paper and placed under glass or, in this case, under varnish/Mod Podge. For this version, I painted the art directly on the plaque but the paper cut would definitely work as well.

1. Paint the entire surface of your plaque white (I think it could also look cool and modern to leave the wood showing. I might try that next). Let dry while you move on to step 2.

2. Print out a profile photo of your baby and trim with an x-acto or small scissors.
3. Trace your cut-out directly onto your plaque with pencil, a fine black Sharpie or the heavenly “Skilcraft Free Ink Roller Ball 0.7” You don’t have to reverse your photo, feel free to trace either side.

4. Using your tiny brush, paint inside the detailed edge of your silhouette black and then fill in with your large brush. Make your black paint as smooth as possible.
5. Add the subject’s name and age (or the date) along the bottom (if you wish) using your pen or a fine brush.

6. When dry, apply a sealant (optional)


DIY Cute Crib Sheet

You know the nesting urge set in and you invested in a giant crib set only to find out within a few months that it was virtually useless.  The bumpers are dangerous and come off before the baby even sleeps in it, and the skirt lasts a few months but comes off as soon as she learns to sit up.  And if you’re like me, your child has one special blanket she insists on sleeping with, so you are left to play around with fanciful sheets.

With so many adorable fabrics available there’s no reason to stick to store-bought crib sheets, especially when it’s so simple to make them yourself.  I made my first crib sheet today and I think I’ll do it a little differently next time, but it turned out great and took less then an hour!

Get the full Crib Sheet DIY after the jump…



Circus Party!

To celebrate Miss S’ first birthday last April we threw a legendary circus party and had a blast! These pics have floated about the Internet and I’ve had many emails requesting more info & how-to’s so I’ll post a bunch in the coming weeks, but for now check out some pictures and links to where to buy…
a simple homemade pennant…
favor bags in neon bandanas also made bright decorations…
Jacinda made and shipped these amazing cookies all the way from Texas!
my first homemade cake…
these party hats were insanely fun to make, get the DIY Party Hat Template here
popcorn boxes and raffle prizes make everyone smile..
especially the birthday girl herself…

more after the jump including the invite…

you can’t go wrong with a giant octopus in a party hat and color coordinated tissue balls…
a cotton candy machine is inexpensive to rent and adds a lot…
Grandpa manned the popcorn machine…
the adults sipped champagne…
the kids had their faces painted…
the kids loved the circus themed tin toys…
the circus-themed sandwich shop Zanzabelle in Silver Lake was the perfect setting…
and my little circus honeybee had a wonderful day!
more to come on the invite and how to April Fool’s your friends in a way they’ll never forget!


Giraffe Softy

My super crafty sister-in-law made this gorgeous giraffe softy for Clare using Vogue Pattern 8349. It now resides in Quinn’s room, given the color scheme, and I’ve been feeling a bit guilty about the theft so I just ordered a copy of the pattern to make one for Clare. I would ask my sister-in-law to make another but she is working on her PhD (smarty-pants) so I’m guessing she has a 1-fabulous-giraffe-softy-per-year limit.

I also ordered this pattern which I think would look really cute in felt or a sweet cotton print. There are alot of new babies around. These would make a-dor-able holiday gifts.

Funny how the fabric choice truly makes-or-breaks these, no?


DIY Cake Stand

Amesh from Indonesia shared an adorable project with us today and it reminded me of a tip from one of my cake decorating classes. Using canned goods to create DIY cake stands! Instructions after the break…

What you need:

– Corrugated cake boards
– Canned goods (unopened)
– Several sheets of scrapbooking-weight paper
– plus: x-acto knife, ruler, cutting mat, pencil, rubber bands, non-toxic glue (I prefer Aleene’s Tacky Glue.)

1. Trace closely around the edge of each cake board with the pencil and cut out your circles with your x-acto knife on the cutting mat

2. Apply glue fairly close to the edge of the wrong side of your paper circle and attach to your cake board. Repeat for each.

3. Measure the height of your canned goods and cut strips of paper to height.

4. Wrap paper around can, marking a 1″ overlap and trim length of paper.

5. Apply glue to the length of the 2 short ends and wrap paper around canned good, overlapping and gluing down the end. Wrap with rubber bands to dry. Repeat for each.

6. Cut 1″ strips of paper to create the “thickness” of the “plates.”

7. Place cake board bottom-side up and apply glue along very top of the entire length of your 1″ strip and begin wrapping strip around edge of cake board. If there is a “front” of your cake-board, be sure to place paper seam towards the back. Repeat until the entire circumference of all of your circles is covered. Glue the strips of paper together as you go.

8. Place your largest can at the bottom and center your largest cake board on top. You can stop there for a pretty cake stand. You should glue your stand to the can (I would probably use a glue gun but haven’t tested this yet)

9. You can add additional tiers by centering another can on top of your first cake board and gluing another cake board on top.

These are great because they are sooo inexpensive to make, totally customizable and you never have to worry about leaving a pretty plate behind at a party!