Posts Tagged ‘crafts’

cloud crayons

Lila is three today!

Yesterday we celebrated with some friends and family. I haven’t sifted through the party photos yet, but last week I made some party favor crayons – they were way easier and more fun than I’d anticipated, so I wanted to spread the word!

From the moment I saw this DIY crayon post on Homemade by Jill, I knew that somewhere down the line I’d be making crayons for one of Lila’s birthday parties. And when I found cloud shaped candy molds, I figured this was the year to try it. It turns out that candy molds come in more shapes than you could ever imagine – there are pages and pages of them to choose from. Endless possibilities.

I didn’t get a lot of great photos of the process, but everything you need to know is in the post I linked to above. Here’s the general idea:

Start by peeling your crayons, breaking them into smaller pieces, and separating them by color.

I enlisted my mom and Lila to help with the peeling – it was the most time consuming part of the process, but we made it our after-breakfast activity for the day. Also, Crayola = good for peeling. Rose Art = pretty much impossible to peel. I used our existing tub of crayons rather than buying a new ones, and we happened to have a set of 120 Crayolas and some random Rose Arts. We gave up on the Rose Arts pretty early on.

Your trash can will look like this:

Next, melt a handful of similarly colored crayons. I melted mine in an aluminum can sitting in a pot (don’t use your nicest pot, it gets a little messy) with a couple of inches of boiling water – double boiler style. You can use the same can throughout the process without washing it in between – just start with your lightest color and move through in rainbow order. That way it won’t matter if a little of the previous color ends up in the next batch.

I used a wooden chopstick to stir, then poured the melted crayons into the molds. When they’ve set they’ll pop right out – placing the mold in the refrigerator speeds up the process, but even sitting out on the counter they didn’t seem to take more than 5 minutes or so to set. By the time my next batch had melted on the stove, the ones in the mold were almost ready to come out. There really wasn’t much waiting around at all.

And before you know it, you’ve got cloud shaped crayons! I’d say we peeled maybe 90-100 crayons, and I got about 45 clouds – so about two crayons per cloud.

I packaged them up into sets of six or so, and made little cloud notebooks (and cloud cookies) to go with them.

Okay, now I can cross homemade crayons off my list and move on to the next thing….

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I love March because it means I get to drag out my paper crafting supplies and make invitations and decorations for Lila’s birthday party.

I tend to consider the whole month of March her birthday, rather than just the 19th – I start my crafting early and leave the decorations up way too long afterwards.

Every year I’ve kept the party simple and small – just family and one or two neighborhood friends – which makes stamping the invitations easy enough to do. I love hand stamping, because no matter how precise you try to be, the end result is always pretty wonky and each one comes out looking a little bit different.

These skinny washi tapes were a birthday gift from my sister (last year it was baker’s twine in every color – she’s good!)….I can’t seem to stop washi taping everything.

So far they’ve taped up the clouds on the invites, decorated a kraft paper L, and striped up some wooden forks.

Though I can’t decide what to do with the forks…washi tape or stamps? Maybe some of both. I carved that little raindrop using an exacto knife and a pencil eraser – my first rubber stamp!

The big clouds are double sided with two different patterned papers – they’re paper versions of the fabric clouds I made last year for Lila’s reading nook. I’ve got a few more to cut out, then I’m going to put some of last year’s twine to use and hang them from the dining room ceiling.

Would it be wrong to want another baby so I could have two birthday parties to plan every year instead of just one?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

By the way, if you’re local and looking for some nice party supplies – I picked up the forks, straws, and treat cups at a little shop called Fancy That (they also sell online), which is part of Bliss Bake Shop. Lila got a pre-birthday blue-frosted mini cupcake out of the trip, so she was happy. I might have had one, too.

P.S. It sounds like people are up for the tiny tea bag tutorial – it might be awhile since I’m knee-deep in washi tape and clouds right now, but I’ll get to it!

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fabric trays

I realized pretty early on that I wouldn’t be making much of a dent in my project list for Christmas this year. It’s okay, it was a little ambitious. Most of my ideas were gifts for Lila, so I’m hoping to work through the list at a leisurely pace and end up with a few handmade goodies to give for Valentine’s Day and her birthday. But I did manage to do some grown-up gift sewing last night and make a few fabric trays, which have been on my list since I pinned them back in October.

These little trays from Anna’s tutorial were so much fun. Once I tracked down all the materials (I didn’t have fusible fleece or the heavy weight Peltex on hand) and got started, they were really quick and easy. Maybe 30 minutes each, and the fabric is all scraps. I ended up making two sets to give away.

The fabrics from top to bottom (below) are Heather Ross fishes from Mendocino, a random spotty Michael Miller scrap, Lizzy House’s Pearl Bracelet, and some Heather Bailey Nicey Jane. I copied Anna and used linen for the outside of the trays.

I made the small “pencil holder” size and the medium “spare change” size, and immediately envisioned both sizes holding sewing tools and supplies. Because I have a one track mind like that.

The bigger tray can also keep you organized while you catch up on your correspondence.

Especially during Christmas card season.

Which is actually New Year’s card season around here – I always end up choosing a New Year’s design due to the off chance they’ll still look like they’re on time when I don’t get them out until a week or two after Christmas.

Of course Lila immediately thought the trays were for her babies. She has a one track mind, too.

They also work well for serving bonbons and tea to stuffed friends.

So yeah, lots of options!

I hope the recipients find something fun to put inside. And if either of you happen to look at my blog in the next couple days…sorry. Just act surprised. 🙂

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flying bats!

Our trip to the pumpkin patch over the weekend left me feeling all Halloween-y. When I saw these paper bats last October on MADE, I immediately bookmarked the idea (remember bookmarking stuff? it sounds so passé now!) for this year.

So this morning I cut out some bats.

There’s a certain 1/3 of my household who’s not a big fan of holiday decorations cluttering up our already cluttered living space, so I kept it pretty simple and hung the bats outside.

The cool thing about outdoor bats is that when the wind picks up, it looks like they’re flying. Today happened to be really windy, and these things were flapping their wings like mad.

I hung them with duct tape and they held up great in the wind. Not sure how they’ll fare when the rain returns.

Now that we’ve got our bats in order, it’s time to start thinking about a Halloween costume. I’ve got a couple ideas that I’m trying to sell to Lila, but I have a feeling whatever I make is going to be met with some resistance.

Look at her last year, she was so little and sweet and willing to wear whatever I wanted her to…

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I’ve been hunting around for felt board inspiration. I was sure somebody out there had to be making or selling spectacular hand-crafted felt board shapes, but most of what I saw on Etsy and elsewhere was pretty cheesy, or was created for the purpose of retelling a bible story. These shapes from katiedid were sort of what I was after. The machine stitching adds such great texture and dimension to the pieces. I like to use tutorials and templates when I make stuff, at least as a starting point, and since she didn’t include any of that I just kept on searching. Then Pinterest lead me to this and this by Melissa Crowe. And the second board even had free downloadable templates – perfect. Once I got started it was hard to stop. I got a bit frantic wanting to finish the complete set, and I was working in a hurry and not giving much consideration to my color choices. Which I guess is how I ended up with yellow appliances.

After finishing most of the templates I got out some fabric scraps and made the window (there’s a deer and some tress out there) and the picture frame. Everything is machine stitched except for the cat faces and the rugs – I did those by hand with embroidery thread. Once Lila started playing, I realized we really need some felt people, or at least more animals, because she was mostly interested in the cats frolicking together on the bed, or cuddling on the rug, or napping on top of the fridge. I guess it’s not that much fun for a toddler to arrange furniture.

Here’s a view of the bedroom pieces:

And here’s everything together:

So it’s a work in progress – I got a big frame at Goodwill to make our board (I think this tutorial should work), but for now the pieces are displayed on a couch cushion. And yes, that’s kitty’s cell phone on the nightstand.

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