Author: Jess

I sew, I mom, I wife, I drink coffee.

DIY Heart Pencil Toppers

I told you that I’m a little Valentine crazy over here, and the DIYs just keep on coming. These heart pencil toppers are SO simple to make and are ridiculously cute. Pop them onto a pencil to hand out as Valentines or give them to your kiddos to use on their cereal spoons in the morning! These pencil toppers are perfect for kids to make themselves.DIY Heart Pencil Toppers for Valentine's Day

{this post contains affiliate links}

Supplies:

1. Cut pairs of hearts out of wool felt.

hearts

2.Use a blanket stitch to sew the two hearts together. With the two pieces together, pull your thread through from the inside.

pencil topper step 1

3. Pull the thread back through both hearts.

pencil toppers step 2

4. Pull your thread back through the loop made by your first two steps.

pencil topper step 3

5. Pull the thread through both sides and begin again.

pencil topper step 4

6. Continue these same steps until you’ve gotten all the way around the hearts. Leave an opening at the bottom of the heart big enough to slide a pencil inside.

pencil topper step 6

Now all you need is a pencil! (Target’s dollar spot has some super cute Valentine pencils right now, but the way)

pencil topper

How cute are these pencil toppers?? Seriously, these are super easy to make and are the perfect Valentine to hand out at class parties!

easy heart pencil toppers

If you don’t have any kiddos to send Valentines with, use this same idea to make these hanging hearts to add some Valentine decor to your home!dscf7431

Happy Valentine-ing! :)

heart pencil topper

 

FREE Train Valentine Printable

I’ve always loved the tradition of exchanging Valentines! And now that I have kids, I love it even more. :) Even as homeschoolers, we get together with other homeschooling families and exchange cards. This year I’m slightly ahead of the game, and I made a fun printable for my boys to use. This can be a candy or no-candy Valentine! Keep reading to download your free printable!FREE Train Valentine Printable a great non-candy valentine option

When it comes to the Valentines my boys are going to hand out to other kids, I like to go simple. I don’t want something they’re going to have spend all day making (unless they are going to do it all on their own… in that case, I’m all for it). These are perfect – you can print and go!

Choo Choo Valentine

Print them onto regular paper or cardstock, then if you want to add something special, tape on some candy or a Thomas the Train pencil (affiliate link) or some fun stickers!

Train Valentine Printable

We have these fun mini-trains that would be perfect non-candy option for a small group, like a preschool playgroup or even your own kids. Ours aren’t quite the same as these mini-trains, but they’re similar.

free train valentine printable

:::::: download and print out your FREE ::::::
:::::: Choo Choo Valentine ::::::

quick valentine printable

If you’re looking for more Valentine ideas, check out these posts:

       Free Dinosaur Valentine PrintablesEasy Last-minute Valentines

 DIY Heart Pencil Toppers for Valentine's Day

An Ordinary Day in the Life

Last week, I woke with a long day ahead of me. My husband was out of town and the dangerously cold temperatures were going to keep us cooped up inside all day. I was faced with a choice: I could watch the hours drag on or I could capture the moments of the day, monotonous and messy though they may be. Into my head popped my dear sister-in-law and how she captured her own family’s season of life.

Brooke is an incredibly talented photographer in Michigan (we’re not blood related, so I’m not biased, I swear ;). She prefers to shoot in a photojournalism style, where no one is posed and she’s more a fly on the wall in the midst of whatever it is that’s going on. Looking at her photos is like getting a peek into someone’s life. I love that they capture a moment in time, and she inspired me to capture the ordinary.

I chose to make this a day worth remembering. I carried my camera around throughout the morning and early afternoon, only intervening as I normally would. Nothing was staged or posed. We went about our day, and I watched through my lens, finding the beauty in the everyday. There will never be another today, and I want to remember it. My floors weren’t swept and there are boxes piled up for our impending move, and most of the boys stayed in their jammies longer than necessary. There were tantrums and frustrations and cuddles and silliness. But oh, the sweetness of these boys. Their little toes and their eyes and their Star Wars obsession… these are the things dreams are made of. The way my family is right now won’t be how it is in six months, six years, sixteen years. I want to remember this moment, this season, in all its messiness and beauty.

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Peppermint Mocha {or hot cocoa!} Recipe

Here in Wisconsin, it is colder than COLD outside right now. So cold that all I can think about is wearing cozy sweaters and warm slippers with a hot drink in my hand. Preferably coffee. This peppermint mocha (or hot cocoa, for you non-coffee drinkers) recipe is perfect for snow days and holiday parties and having your girlfriends over. But to make it even better, I make this peppermint mocha recipe with homemade whipped cream! And I’m sharing both recipes with you today, so you can warm up this winter too.

Make your own Peppermint Mocha at home
Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Hot Cocoa Powder
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3-4oz. espresso
  • Peppermint Essential Oil* or Peppermint Extract
    *I feel confident ingesting oils from Young Living, because they are 100% therapeutic grade oils, containing no chemicals or solvents. Do not ingest low quality, perfume grade oils that you can buy at the health food store, etc.

1. Mix 2 Tbsp hot cocoa powder with 2 Tbsp watermocha recipe 1

2. Mix with 2 cups milk. Heat to desired temperature.

mocha recipe 2

3. After the milk is heated, add two drops of peppermint essential oil. If you prefer to use peppermint extract, start with 1/8tsp and add more until you reach your desired flavor.

mocha recipe 4

4. Add 3-4oz. of espresso or very strong coffee. If you don’t have an espresso machine, I recommend a Moka Pot to make espresso on your stove top.

mocha recipe 3

5. Top with homemade whipped cream! Here’s your bonus (no refined sugar!) whipped cream recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 very generous Tbsp honey (I prefer to use raw honey!)

Mix together in a cold metal bowl until stiff peaks start to form, and top off your peppermint mocha!whipped cream

Serve these up without coffee for the kiddos after an afternoon sledding or make them fully caffed for your afternoon pick-me-up!

peppermint mocha 1

The homemade whipped cream and peppermint add a bit of decadence and make this mocha the most delicious mocha you’ve ever had!

peppermint mocha 3Plus, you don’t have to leave your house to get it if the weather is icky… and it will cost you a lot less than the coffee shop too. ;)peppermint mocha 5
You can drink it without the whipped cream for fewer calories, of course, but you’re seriously missing out if you don’t drink it with the whip at least once. Totally worth any extra calories. Then if you haven’t had enough peppermint, bake these Peppermint Dark Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars for an extra yummy treat!

peppermint mocha 4

*If you’re interested in learning more about Young Living oils or why they’re the company I recommend, please feel free to check out their essential oils here or email me at ifonlytheywouldnap@gmail.com

The Denver Tunic

Sometimes you sew something and as soon as you make it, you quickly realize it’s going to become a favorite. This is one of those garments. When the latest Pattern Anthology collection came out, the Denver (affiliate link) caught my eye, and I knew it would be perfect for cozy winter wear. So I sewed it for my post over on Melly Sews, and I might be a little obsessed with it. Okay, I’ll admit it, I’m totally obsessed and wear it all.the.time.Denver Tunic Sewn by If Only They Would Nap

I sewed up the tunic version, and it is SO comfortable! The fit is superb, and it comes together very quickly. I cut this pattern one day, and sewed it up during naptime the following day. There’s nothing I enjoy better than a nap time sew!

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There are multiple views to this pattern, so you can sew a dress or a top, which makes it a wardrobe staple, year-round.DSC_2609

I sewed this up with a thick jersey knit and a french terry, both from Raspberry Creek Fabrics. The floral didn’t have quite enough stretch to be comfortable on its own, but with the french terry, it’s perfect. I had to add a teensy bit of length to the cuffs and the neckline due to the stretch, which made it a fantastic fit. These fabrics by the way? Amazing. This french terry is divine, and I want to french terry all the things.DSC_2579 copy

The deep pockets on this tunic are amazing. I love the look, and they’re so practical for those blustery days or for tossing your phone in your pocket when you don’t want to carry a purse.

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The princess seams make for a great opportunity to showcase two of your favorite fabrics. I love the diagonal of the pockets against the curve of the seams near the shoulder!

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I could easily fill my closet with Denvers… all I need is more sewing time! Currently, you can find this pattern in the Pattern Anthology collection or in the Blank Slate Patterns shop.

Easy Vintage-style Christmas Light Garland Tutorial

Christmas is only a couple days away, but if you’re feeling like your house isn’t Christmassy enough, or you need an easy gift idea, this idea will really help you out! This adorable vintage-style Christmas light garland is simple to make, but adds a great pop to your decor. I love those big vintage bulbs, and with this garland, you can bring them into your house and put them just about anywhere – no electricity required!
Make a vintage Christmas light garland with this easy tutorial

Supplies:

  • fabric that doesn’t fray (fleece or felt are great choices)
  • rope, ribbon, or twine
  • embroidery thread
  • hand sewing needle
  • scissors
  • polyfill
  • a chopstick (or something similar to stuff the bulbs)
  • sewing machine (though you can get away with just hand sewing if you prefer!)

1.Cut out your Christmas light shapes. You will need two for every bulb. The number you need will depend how long you want your garland to be. I only made six, because I knew I wanted to hang it on the piano.

christmas light garland step 1

2. Place two bulbs together, wrong sides together. Stitch around the bulbs with a blanket stitch.

christmas garland step 2

3. After you’ve gotten all around the bulb (except for the top part), stuff a small amount of polyfill into your bulb. You don’t want to use too much! Use the chopstick to get the stuffing all the way to the bottom of the bulb.

christmas light garland step 3

4. Now sew the bulb onto your rope, twine, or ribbon. I used a thick jute rope, but make sure you use something that your sewing machine can handle! You can also hand sew the bulbs on, making this a completely hand sewn project – perfect for car trips or sewing by the Christmas tree!

christmas light garland step 4

Now repeat these steps until all your bulbs are on your garland!christmas light garland

The thick jute I used gives this garland a little bit of a rustic feel, but you can change that up by choosing a different material. A shimmery ribbon would have a completely different look!

christmas light garland tutorial

This is such a simple decoration, but it brings such a festive look to your holiday decor. It’s easy enough that you could get your kiddos involved in making it too!

vintage christmas light garland tutorial

Happy holiday sewing!

Need some other last minute gift ideas?

make-your-own-boxy-zipper-pouch

boxy zipper pouch

15 minute infinity scarf

infinity scarf

lego-minifig-carrier-tutorial1

lego minifig carrier

DIYLeatherNotebookCoverIfOnlyTheyWouldNap_zpsb01abb93

leather notebook cover

This post was originally posted at Skip to My Lou on 11/29/15.

15 Gifts for Crafty Kids

If your kids are anything like mine, gifts that encourage creativity are always a safe bet. They love anything that allows them to express themselves. And I never have a problem buying them sewing and crafting supplies, because we are all about raising creative kids over here. Here are 15 gifts for crafty kids, that you still have time to get!

15 Gifts for Crafty Kids

15 Gifts for Crafty Kids:

(this post contains affiliate links – purchases through these links cost you nothing extra, but I receive a small commission, helping me to run this site!)

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Crafty Chloe – this book is ADORABLE. My boys absolutely love how Chloe makes gifts and clothes and all sorts of fun things!41cRbnczNrL._SX450_

Janome Mini – I highly recommend this sewing machine for kids! It works really well (I’ve used it in a pinch ;) and it’s built for even young kids to use safely.

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My First Sewing Kit – this kit has all your kiddos need to hand sew crafts!71fIRkDbHPL._SL1500_

Self-healing Cutting Mat – protect your kitchen table from scissors and scratches

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Sewing Kit – a must for any kiddo learning how to machine or hand sew

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Yarn Craft Kit – your kiddo can learn to knit, crochet, and make super fun accessories!

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Easel Accessory Set – this art set is perfect for many ages. I love sets like this where everything comes all together. These paint cups are so great too and prevent a lot of messes!

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Double-sided Easel – every artist needs an easel!

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Drawing Set – I like how this set has different mediums for drawing, giving your littles the opportunity to use many drawing methods. Perfect for all ages!

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Sketchbook – this is the sketch book that I use to plan out new designs and ideas, and I get them for my boys as well. They like having their drawings all in one spot, and I like not having a thousand different papers lying all over the place. ;)

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Craft-A-Day – this book is FULL of ideas for your crafting kiddos!51+2PgDb4TL

Felt – this is a must for crafting! There are so many things you can do with felt: sewing, crafting, gluing, cutting…

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Stained Fabric Markers – my favorite fabric markers! Pair these with some plain t-shirts or aprons for hours of entertainment.

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Assorted Craft Supplies – pretty self-explanatory ;)

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Embroidery Floss paired with Embroidery Hoops for hours of stitching fun!

Happy crafting, friends! :)

15 Minute Infinity Scarf Tutorial

The weather around here has been ridiculously warm for Wisconsin winter, but I know it’s just a matter of time before the other shoe drops and it gets COLD. Cozy clothes to the rescue!  This super quick and easy infinity scarf tutorial is perfect for flannel fabric. Stay warm and add a stylish accessory to your fall/winter wardrobe! These are great to make for yourself or as a last minute gift.

15 minute infinity scarf

Supplies:

  • woven fabric of choice 74in x 22in — you can alter this size as you wish, you just want it to be long enough to loop twice around your neck
  • sewing machine/thread
  • hand sewing needle

1. Lay your fabric right sides together and sew along the long side with a zig-zag stitch or using a serger.

flannel scarf 112. Take the two ends and pin the right sides together. Continue to pin together as much as you can – you will NOT be able to pin all around.flannel scarf 9

3. Sew the ends together, as far as you can go before it gets too difficult. It will end up looking like the picture below.

flannel scarf 10

4. Turn the seam into the inside of the scarf and hand sew the opening closed.flannel scarf 8

Then rock your new cozy scarf!flannel scarf 2

I love how it adds a pop of color to an otherwise kind of boring outfit, but it also keeps you warm on those chilly days.

flannel scarf 7
These are perfect for that person on your gift list who’s hard to buy for – just about anyone would love one of these scarves!
flannel scarf 4

Change this up for any season simply by using a different fabric, and they’re such a quick sew that you can have one for every day of the week!

flannel scarf 1

Happy sewing, friends!

Handmade Gifts for Boys 2015 Giveaway and Wrap-up!

The fourth annual Handmade Gifts for Boys series has come to a close! Stacey and I always have so much fun bringing you new ideas for gifts to make your kiddos. Hopefully you’ve found an idea or two and have been inspired to make your boys (or girls!) some gifts this year. Keep reading through the end of the post for two FANTASTIC giveaways with multiple winners!

Handmade Gifts For Boys 2015

1. Trading Card Carrier
2. DIY Wooden Scrap Tank
3. DIY Indoor Hopscotch Mat
4. Mini-me Apron and Tutorial
5. Snake Softie FREE pattern and Tutorial
6. 15+ Softie pattern round-up
7. Floor Cushion (with hidden storage) Tutorial
8. Lego Minifig Doll
9. Alex and Anna – Sweet Dreams Jammies
10. Happy Feet Pajamas

To find the tutorials from the previous years, click these images:

Handmade Gifts For Boys 2014

2014

handmadegiftscollage 2

2013

handmade-boy-gift-wrap-up

2012

Now for the GIVEAWAY! We have two big giveaways, with three winners each!! Every year we’ve been blessed with some incredible sponsors who have been so generous, and this year is no exception. We have some awesome patterns and shop credit for you to win!

Here on my blog, three winners will receive one of three prizes:

  1. $20 from Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop and 1 Bottoms Up Pants PDF Pattern from If Only Designs
  2. 2 PDF patterns of choice from Swoodson Says and 1 Bottoms Up Pants PDF pattern from If Only Designs
  3. 2 PDF patterns of choice from Swoodson Says and 1 Bottoms Up Pants PDF pattern from If Only Designs

handmade gifts for boys giveaway

Click here to enter the giveaway

Then head over to Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts where Stacey is giving away patterns and shop credit from these awesome sponsors:

 

handmadegiftsforboysgiveawayThanks so much for joining us for Handmade Gifts for Boys again this year! It was so much fun! Happy making :)

Handmade Gifts for Boys Tutorials and Inspiration

Handmade Gifts for Boys Day 5: Peekaboo Pajamas

To wrap up our Handmade Gifts for Boys series, both Stacey and I decided to sew up some pajamas from Peekaboo Pattern Shop. I’ve sewn many, many patterns from Peekaboo, including countless jammies. Today I combined the Alex and Anna winter pajamas with the Sweet Dreams PJs for a pair of everyday jammies with a hint of Christmas.

Peekaboo Pajamas

Peekaboo Patterns has basically every type of pajama pattern you could want… footie pajamas, zip-up, baby gowns, summer, long johns… everything! Whatever you want your kiddos to wear on Christmas morning, you can find it there.

Peekaboo PJs

I’ve had this red and white houndstooth flannel since last year’s black Friday sale at JoAnn’s, and it feels Christmasy without being too out of season to wear the rest of the winter.

Christmas PJs from Peekaboo Patterns

I made the Sweet Dream pants, without the cuff. The pants are nice and loose for lounging, which is just the type of PJ pants my little guy prefers.

Pajamas from PeekabooThe shirt from the Alex and Anna pajamas is one of those fabulous comfy shirts that my kids never want to take off.

Darth Vader applique on PJs

My little man is a little Star Wars obsessed these days, so a simple Darth Vader appliqué got him so excited to put it on! And hey, anything to make bedtime just a little bit easier, right? ;)

Darth Vader appliqueI found a silhouette of Darth Vader, traced it onto some black fabric, zig zagged it on, and then zig zagged with white thread for the details.

Peekaboo PJs for Christmas

Stacey is sharing the sweet Happy Feet jammies from Peekaboo that she made for her little guy!

Happy Feet Pajamas-37

I can’t believe this year’s Handmade Gifts for Boys week is already over! Tomorrow we’ll wrap up the series with a BIG giveaway, so don’t forget to pop in and enter.

Happy sewing!