Monday, October 31, 2011

31 Days: Day 31 - Reusable Snack Bag

It's really hard to believe that today is the last day!  It is sort of bittersweet - it will be nice to take a day off, but it was very exciting to come up with new ideas each day.  It has been a big challenge to keep up and yet this has really challenged me to find my creativity.  I feel much more comfortable with my creating!  

Today's should be something huge, but hey - I'm all about keeping gifts real and simple.  This one in fact, is very practical, but I think that any Mommy or young one will love to have these cute little snack bags that are reusable.

Last Friday, a new cereal box was opened (OK, this happens about every other day here.) but I asked my son to wash out the bag inside the box out.  I went to grab it today, and Mr. Right thought that it was garbage over the weekend and pitched it!  Well, I did what any other craft crazy Mom would do -  I opened a brand new box and emptied it into a Tupperware, so I could have that bag!
 I also took out some much coveted Packers material I've been hoarding in my material stash.
 I cut out a piece of the material and the plastic in a 12"x6" piece.
 Fold each piece in half, matching up the short ends, and sew down the two sides.  The plastic is a little slippery.  I found if I started from the fold side, it stayed together a little better.
 Press the material with the right side - but not the plastic!  This will be the last time you can press it, because you don't want to melt the plastic.
 Then you need to clip the edges of the plastic down to 1/8" away from the seam.  Put the material inside the plastic bag, lining up the seams and right sides together.  Sew around the top edge, leaving a couple of inches open to turn the bag inside out.
 Flip the bag inside out and finger press - not with the iron! Pin a 4 1/2" piece of Velcro near the top edge of the bag on the inside.  Sew close to the edge all the way around the bag, closing the opening and attaching the Velcro at the same time.  Sew another seam all the way around the bottom of the Velcro.
 Here's what the inside looks like - all water proof and food safe, because Cheerios come in this bag!
 Of course the outside, showing off it's Packer spirit!  Won't a little boy love this for Christmas!
I hope that you truly enjoyed this series and have gotten started on your Christmas presents.  May your holiday season be handmade, too!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

31 Days: Day 30 - Felt Food

 Today's gift is for a young child - I would say little girl, but to be honest my son gets just as much joy out playing with the kitchen and pretend food.  I did an easy one today, because I want to see if I could figure this one out for doing for our MOPS group this year.  I think that it would be fun to make some pasta for our toddlers.  I found this wonderful site that has a list of free tutorials, so find the food you'd like to make for your little one here.
 I am going to show you bow-tie pasta.  Cut a 1 1/2" strip of felt of your choice.  I am making whole wheat pasta today.  The green kind looked really cute in the tutorial I used.  The tutorial said to cut the strip first and then use the pinking shears to make the edge, but I used the pinking shears to cut it and saved myself a step.
 Then use a regular scissors to cut 1 inch wide strips.
 I first tried to sew the bow-ties together, but found it hard to hide the knots.  I went to fabric glue and had a moment of brilliance!  I used clothes pins to hold it in place!  You want to fold the bow-tie into a W shape.
Here's my new invention for a tool!  lol!
Here's what it looks like when it's done.  This is the sewn one - the rest are drying as of this post.

Hope you enjoyed this idea.  Tomorrow is the final post in this 31 Days series.  I am hoping that you will find it helpful with plenty of time to get them done before the end of the holiday season.

Please visit the blogs at the right that I love to link up to.  Also, don't forget that I am offering free shipping in my Etsy shop until the end of tomorrow to my readers if you use this code: 31DAYS.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

31 Days: Day 29 - Barrette or Pin

Today's gift, I won't bore you with a tutorial, because if you've been anywhere on the blogs, you've seen dozens of tutorials for this.  Although everyone seems to be making barrettes and pins, it seems there are never enough, though.  Everyone could use a pin or barrette to match every outfit.  My challenge to you is to make a new type for a friend that would love a new hair piece or pin for their lapel.  Here are a few that you may enjoy:


Young or old alike, everyone loves a little bit of prettiness to add to their outfit!

Be sure to check out at the right the blogs I love to link up to.

Friday, October 28, 2011

31 Days: Day 28 - Christmas Cards

One of the most important gifts at Christmas, and yet most forgotten is the Christmas Card or Christmas letter!  I know that many in their effort to simplify their lives have stopped this tradition, but I urge you to either continue or resurrect this thoughtful process.  If you are looking to simplify, scrutinize who you send cards to, but don't stop altogether.  This is truly a way to stay in touch with those that you may not hear from, but once a year.  My soap box is over now, and I'm going to share with you a neat idea for making a card this year!  Beware - it involves a snowman!
 I cut a piece of card stock in tan a little smaller than the 3x5 card that I decided to use.  I also found 3 buttons that are in 3 different sizes and glued them onto the card stock.  The smallest button needs to have 4 holes and glue it on as a diamond shape with the holes. Then use some DMC floss to make eyes.  What I did was make a French not out of black through the two holes for eyes and then down the other two buttons as you like to make buttons.

To make a French knot, bring your thread up through the top, tie a knot (I usually run the know through 2-3 times to make it bigger), then run your thread back through the bottom, but keeping your knot on the top.   You will also make a French knot with orange floss through the bottom of the diamond for the nose.
Here's what the back of the card will look like when you tie it all off not really pretty, but it works.
 Using the Tape Runner, adhere the snowman card stock to the card.
 I used a 1/4" wide piece of ribbon to tie a knot and glue it on the neck.  I used the  Snow Maker to cut out some snowflakes to decorate the card.
On the inside of the card, I used a scrap of the tan card stock to stamp Merry Christmas and also decorated with another snowflake.

This really isn't that difficult to make and is really cute.  What better way to show someone you are thinking of them at the holidays, and it adds a nice touch to make it yourself!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

31 Days: Day 27 - Snowman

If you haven't already guessed it, I love snowmen!  I think that everyone needs snowmen!  They are so flexible because you can put them up as soon as it snows and keep it up until the snow leaves.  (OK - sometimes I take them down early, hoping the snow will get a hint and leave!)  Anyway, I'm going to share with you how I made this snowman, from some more of that Chenille bedspread.
 First, cut a piece of chenille or corduroy into a 16"x22" rectangle.  I was able to use a part of the finished edge, so I used this for the top of the neck of the snowman.
 Fold this piece in half, with right sides together, matching up the short sides.  Stitch a half inch seam across two sides, leaving one end open.
 Turn it right side out.
 Fill a Ziploc back with beans, kitty litter, or gravel 1/2 full.  It's pictured with less than I needed, but you get the idea.  Seal the bag and put it in the bottom of the snowman body for some weight in the bottom.
 Use your plastic Walmart bags to stuff the snowman body.
 Cut a small slit on each side of the body and put a stick through it for the arms.  Also, shove just a little bit of fiberfill through the hole around the stick, to make it look like the snowman is bursting with the stuffing.
 Use a rubber band to close the body.  Move the gathers so they look nice.
 Here's the snowman so far.
 I used my Creative Memories Custom Cutting System to cut a 4 1/2 inch circle from card stock for a pattern.  I used the pattern to cut two pieces of the chenille for the head
 Also, I cut a triangle out of orange felt that measured 1 1/2 inches on each side.
 Fold the triangle in half and stitch it shut with DMC floss.  Stuff the nose and stitch it to the face.  Also, using black DMC, sew two 1 inch buttons for the eyes and stitch a smiley face under the nose.  Using the black floss, stitch loosely, leaving a small opening to fill the head with fiberfill.  Close it up.  Pull little bits of the fiberfill through the top of the head for hair.
 I cut little triangles out of burlap scraps and printed SNOW on them with rubber stamps and ink.  I hot glued the head on the top and hot glued the triangles on a piece of twine for a pennant.  Tie a plaid scarf around the snowman's neck and the banner on his hands.  Also, attach buttons down the front, tying the knots on the front of the button.
He's so cute!  make sure that you check out those blogs at the right that I love to link up to.

31 Days: Day 26 - Pillow

 Today's idea is not really an original, but it can be a nice touch for someone special.  You could use something that has a special value to it like a t-shirt, or bag, or you can use some vintage material, like my chenille bedspread that I have gotten a lot of use out of for gifts.  Hope you aren't getting sick of it, but I really love the look of this bedspread.
 The first thing that I did was cut two sections of the edging of the spread 15 inches wide.  I don't know the width of this, but I went about 1 1/2 inch beyond the trim, so I could show the edge of the trim outside the pillow, rather than hidden in the seam.  Also, I cut two 14x14 inch pieces for the front and back of the pillow.
I hemmed the edge of the trim by 1/2 inch.  I would normally turn it over twice, but because of the bulk, I only turned it once.
 Pin the right side of the trim pieces to the two sides of one of the 14x14 pieces - right side up.  Stitch with 1/4 inch seam - you don't need to back stitch, this would really be a basting, but if you do it 1/4 inch, it won't be seen when you do the regular seams at 1/2 inch.
Now put the other 14x14 inch outside piece of the pillow face to face with the trim and pillow panel.  Sew only the two edges that have the trim on them straight across.  Really, I do have a reason for my madness - I want the trim piece to hang loose and not go in the seam of the pillow.
Pin the corners of the trim pieces in, so that they are out of the way of the side seams.  Stitch on complete side, being careful not to catch the trim piece.  Then sew the other side, leaving an opening in the middle for stuffing. I checked each corner to be sure it turned out right before moving to another side.
This is what you pillow will look like at this stage.  You will turn it right side out now and stuff with fill.
I'm already excited about how cute this will be.  Stuff  away and then handstitch the hole shut.
Voila!  A cute pillow with a vintage look to it.  It will go with just about any decor!

Check out those blogs to the right that I love to link up to.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

31 Days: Day 25 - Root Beer

A friend of mine made this for a gift for her family a couple of years ago for Christmas, and I've been wanting to make it ever since.  I don't know why I've been waiting so long to make Root Beer, but really, it wasn't more than 10 minutes for us to be drinking it.
I found that our Walmart is carrying Watkins brand of flavoring, and have always felt that their brand is better than most - so I thought I would use their.  The other item that you need besides sugar and water, is club soda or sparkling water. I thought the club soda would be better to use, but in hindsight, the water may not have as much of a taste to it.

Before you give this to others, I highly suggest doing a trial run and making sure you like the taste.  The Watkins cost about $3.50 and the club soda was $.97.  Not an expensive endeavor for sure and you will have more than half of the Root Beer Concentrate left.

Here's what you need (from the back of the package):

  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons Watkins Root Beer Concentrate
  • Club soda or sparkling water 

Combine sugar and water in medium saucepan; heat and stir until mixture starts to boil and sugar is completely dissolved.  Remove from heat and cool.  (OK, we couldn't wait too long for that, so we used ice in our drinks!)

Add Root Beer Concentrate and mix thoroughly.  To serve, add 1/2 to 1/3 cup root beer syrup to 5 fl. oz club soda or sparkling water.

Makes 3 cups root beer syrup.
This is what the syrup looks like.  It filled two of these pint jars.  When I give this to someone, I plan to give them a jar of this with one bottle of the club soda and the directions.  I will also make a new batch just before giving it away and keep it refrigerated.  I think that a family with young kids would enjoy this or a root beer enthusiast!
Bottoms up!  It was great, but different from the purchased kind.  It has a darker taste.  We found that we mixed on the lighter side - the 1/3 cup to our taste.  It ended up being the club soda bottle (just over a quart) with 2 cups of the syrup.  It's not an exact measure, but it would be easy to give in this size.  Have fun with your little experiment!  It sort of looks like moonshine, doesn't it?

Don't forget to check out those blogs I love to link up over on the right.