DIY

DIY: Turn a blanket into a wearable sleeping bag for baby

In late September, my family decided we were going to take a camping trip. The weather forecast was predicting amazing fall weather – in the 70s – but being that we live in Wisconsin, it was still going to fall into the 50s at night. Since we were tent camping, I started thinking about how to keep the kids warm at night. This was pretty easy for the big kids – fleece jammies and sleeping bags, maybe an extra layer underneath. But the baby? That wasn’t going to work. He doesn’t use a blanket in his bed, and the sleep sack he had been using (affiliate link – seriously my favorite not handmade sleep sack ever) was definitely not warm enough. Then I remembered this blanket that we had that would be perfect to turn into a wearable sleeping bag!

Turn a blanket into a wearable sleeping bag

The blanket I used is not super fluffy. It has a layer of batting inside, so it’s warm, but doesn’t have a lot of fluff or feathers or anything that would make it too difficult to sew.

DSC_0341I also made it reversible, because I like options. ;)

It’s really simple to make your own – all you need is:

  • a blanket (fabric/batting that you quilt yourself)
  • thread/sewing machine/etc.
  • double fold bias tape
  • KAM snaps (affiliate link)

DSC_05321. Trace and cut out the shape of your sleep sack. I used the bodice piece of the Kudzu Coveralls to start, since the back straps are longer than the front ones. I traced a sleep sack I had on hand to get the approximate shape. I added a little width and length, since I want it to last all winter. If you don’t have a sleep sack on hand, use a pair of pajamas to help you determine the length. You will want the back straps to be slightly longer than the front.

sew edges together

2. Place the two pieces wrong sides together – or whichever fabric you’d like to be on the inside should be facing each other. Sew the two pieces together, starting at one armpit to the other. You can do this with a serger, zig-zag stitch or even a straight stitch, as these seams will be hidden.

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3. Now take your bias tape and pin it over the seam you just sewed. Open the bias tape and pin one side along the first fold line. Sew along that fold line.

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4. Now fold the bias tape over to the other side. Pin and sew it down. The top of your bias tape (at the armpit) will be hidden, so don’t worry about finishing it.

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5. Repeat step three along the armhole and the neckline – open the bias tape, pin, and sew down along the first fold line.

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6. I used the edge of the blanket for the top of the straps. If you didn’t, you will also need to enclose that in bias tape. Fold the end of the bias tape under.

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7. Fold over the bias tape edge over to enclose the seam (making sure the end of the bias tape is tucked under), pin, and sew it down. Remember to do this for both the armhole and the neckline.

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8. Add snaps to both sides of the straps. I added two sets of snaps on the back strap, so that if he grows I can adjust to a longer length.

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Now your baby will be warm and cozy all through the winter!

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This wearable sleeping bag worked perfectly for camping, and now that the weather has turned cold, we’re using it at home too. I don’t have to worry about having blankets in the crib, and I know that he’s super toasty warm.

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And we can flip it over when we feel the need to change it up.

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And flip it back again. Because that’s how we roll.

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Happy (warm!) sewing, friends!

DIY Boxy Zipper Pouch Tutorial

Zipper pouches are perfect for basically everything… and a boxy pouch that can stand up? Better than perfect. It’s easily a naptime sew (you know how I love those), so let’s get making!
Make your own boxy zipper pouch

Supplies:

  • outer fabric
  • lining fabric
  • zipper

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1. Cut two outer fabrics and two linings. I made mine 8in x 8in x 8in x 10in. to make a trapezoid – but you can adjust the size as needed.

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2. Sandwich your zipper (mine is 7in) between one of the outer and lining, right sides together, and sew using your zipper foot. The outer fabric should be on the top of the zipper.

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3. Flip the fabrics back, press carefully (without melting your zipper!) and topstitch.

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4. Now repeat with the other set of fabric.

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5. Open the zipper (don’t skip this step!)

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6. Lay the lining and outer fabrics right sides together. Carefully pin together. Sew along the edges, leaving an opening at the bottom of the lining.

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7. Flatten the bottom of the lining and the outer fabrics. Sew across the corners and cut off the leftover triangle.

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The bottom should look like this when you’re done.

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8. Turn the pouch right side out, using the hole in the bottom of the lining. Then sew the lining shut. I like to hand sew this with a blind stitch, because I think it looks cleaner, but you can also straight stitch along the entire bottom seam with your machine.

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Then rejoice in your beautiful standing zipper pouch!

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Fill it with make up or hand sewing projects or throw it in your purse to hold all that random junk that doesn’t have a place.

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Happy sewing, friends!

Personalize a bridal shower gift

Last month, my sweet sister-in-law had a bridal shower, in anticipation of her fall wedding. I wanted to purchase her some necessities from her registry, but I also wanted to add a personal touch to her gift.personalize a bridal shower gift with embroidery

So I made a quick zipper pouch with brown linen, and embroidered her soon-to-be married name on the front.

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She can toss her wedding make up in there or throw it in her purse for her honeymoon. Or just stare at it and imagine how she will soon be a Mrs. I so remember how that felt to see my married name for the first time! :)DSC_0306Throw it in a cute basket with some registry items: bathroom rug, hand towels, etc. and you have a personal and functional gift!

Happy sewing, friends!

 

DIY Extra Large Beach Tote + the most stylish baby wipes I’ve ever seen

When you head to the beach (okay, when you head anywhere) with kids, you end up bringing a lot of stuff for all the inevitable messes and disasters. Diapers, wipes, sunscreen, snacks, extra clothes, sunglasses, water bottles, towels, toys… basically everything you own. I knew I wanted to make an extra large beach tote for these occasions – one that you can stuff to the brim with all the necessities – and bonus points if the necessities look super cute, like these ridiculously stylish baby wipes from Huggies. Because just like I can’t pass up fabulous fabric, I love when the things I have to carry with me look adorable.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Huggies. I received compensation for this post and these products. All opinions are my own.

DIY Extra Large Beach Tote

Making a tote bag is super easy – it’s similar to my simple tote bag tutorial, but I’ve added a lining and an extra long strap. And pockets. But you can make this in any size, for whatever toting needs you have… farmer’s market, weekend trips, anything!

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I have yet to meet a mama of little ones who doesn’t use baby wipes on a daily basis. I take these everywhere – I even find myself using them when I don’t have my kids with me. But the regular crinkly plastic that wipes come in is not my fave. So when I first picked up this new Clutch ‘n Clean from Huggies, I was super impressed with the durable non-crinkly material. Hello, who hasn’t cringed as they’ve pulled out the noisy wipes in church?? It’s reusable, so you can leave the not-so-stylish containers under your changing table and refill this one when it’s empty.

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There are several designs to choose from, and I actually stood in the aisle for a full five minutes trying to decide which one was cuter. But in the end, I’m always drawn to the stripes! I also really love that the colors are bright, so I can easily spot them in my bag for those wiping emergencies. We have a lot of them, friends. And then when you need to run to the restroom, they have a super convenient strap, so you don’t have to bring your entire tote with you.

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Now grab some sturdy fabric from your stash so you can make an extra large beach tote too. :)

Bag dimensions

1. Cut your outer and lining fabrics (two of each). My approximate dimensions are in the photo above. You can make it any size you want, really, just be sure to make the lining an eensy bit smaller than your outer fabric. I suggest using a more durable fabric.

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2. Cut out your straps – again, the length is up to you. I made mine extra long to accommodate my tall husband, in case he needs to carry the bag also. Cut a strip of fabric that is double the width you want. (Mine was about 70in. long and 6in. wide, before it was folded.) Then sew the long end, with the right sides together. Then turn it right side out, press, and pin it to the outer fabric as seen in the picture above. Repeat for the second strap and second outer fabric piece. (you can see detailed pictures on how to make a strap in this tutorial)

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3. Stitch down the sides of the straps (you are only sewing through one layer of outer fabric at this point). Stop sewing about an inch from the top. Repeat for the second strap.

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4. Pin the two outer layers together – right sides together. Sew all around the three edges (not the side where the straps stick out).

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5. If you want to make pockets, now is the time to do it. Whatever size you want your pockets to be, cut your fabric twice the size of the pocket. Then fold it in half (right sides together), and stitch around the edges, leaving a small opening to turn the pocket right side out.

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6. Turn the pocket right side out, press (folding under the little section that you didn’t sew), and stitch down the three sides onto the right side of the lining fabric. Repeat this for any more pockets you want.

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7. If you want to divide a pocket into two, simply stitch down the center, making sure to back stitch at the top and the bottom.

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8. Now place your lining pieces together and stitch the three sides, just as you did with the outer fabric.

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9. Press down the top of both the outer fabric and the lining. You can finish the edges with either a serger or pinking shears (I would actually recommend doing this earlier, but if you do it now, make sure not to cut through your straps!)

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10. Pin the lining inside the outer fabric and topstitch along the top. You want to stitch over the straps, otherwise you’ll have a gap between your straps and your outer fabric.

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Now pack your bags and head to the beach!

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I love having everything I need all in one spot.

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The one thing I can never have enough of is tote bags. Okay, and fabric…

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You can find Huggies Natural Care® Wipes in stylish packaging in grocery stores and mass retailers nationwide.

DIY Monogrammed Drinking Glasses

Do you have a man in your life who is tricky to shop for? Yeah, me too. In thinking about what to get my husband for Father’s Day, I decided to get him a nice set of drinking glasses (since all of ours have broken… I’ll let you take a guess as to how that might happen in our house. ;) That seemed a little bit… simple. So I wanted to crank it up a notch and add a monogram. It turned out to be super easy – so it’s not too late if you want to do it too!

DIY Monogrammed Drinking Glasses

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

dsc_0684Awhile back, I was sent this great set of Martha Stewart paints and stencils like these that I used for this project. I remembered that in that set was some Martha Stewart Glass Etch Cream.

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The process is really simple, though I would suggest practicing first, before using the item that you want to gift to someone.

DSC_02641. Stick the adhesive stencil to the glass surface.

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2. Apply the etching cream evenly. After taking this picture, I added a little more to even it out a bit.

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3. Leave it on for 15 minutes – don’t do less than that. Then rinse the cream off completely and peel off the sticker.

**Edited to add: after using these glasses for a few months, I’d recommend washing them several times before gifting them, if possible. The monograms look much smoother after a few washings!

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This was so easy, I now want to glass etch all.the.things.

DSC_0281Cheers to all the dads this Father’s Day!

super easy DIY envelope pillow cover  if only they would nap

Straight Lines and Angles – Day 2: Lexi Made and a super easy envelope pillow tutorial

Day two of Straight Lines and Angles means more geometric sewing fun!

Today I’m excited to have Lexi of Lexi Made as part of this series. Lexi is a new blogging friend of mine who is super talented, in both her sewing and photography. I love these ankle zips she made for her daughter’s skinny jeans and hello, these four dresses for herself? So fantastic! Head over to her blog and see the adorable dress she made for her daughter!

Teaser

I recently came across some fabric that as soon as I saw it, I knew it needed to be in my hands. I know you’ve been there, right? :) I decided to make some really easy pillow covers with this super fab geometric print, but these covers have a cozy twist.

super easy DIY envelope pillow cover  if only they would nap

It’s backed with sweatshirt fleece!

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Supplies:

  • one square/rectangle of main fabric – the size will depend on the size of your pillow form
  • sweatshirt fleece fabric – you will need a little bit more than your other fabric, but again, the amount will depend on your pillow form
  • sewing machine/serger/sewing notions/etc.

DSC_03641. Cut your fabric square to fit your pillow form, remember to account for seam allowance. Then cut two pieces of sweatshirt fleece – they should be a little more than half the size of your main fabric. (I ended up cutting my fleece a little smaller than in the picture, as you can see in a later step)

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2. Press one of the long sides of the sweatshirt fleece over about 1/3in. and sew a straight stitch. Repeat this with the other piece of sweatshirt fleece. This step isn’t actually necessary with sweatshirt fleece, since it doesn’t fray, it just makes a more “finished” look for your pillow. I made this pillow using the same method and didn’t do this step. I’m pretty sure no one notices but me ;)

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4. Lay one of the fleece pieces on top of the main fabric – right sides together like this.

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5. Lay the other piece right side down, with the stitched seam on the opposite side.

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At this point, I decided that my sweatshirt fleece pieces were too long, and I wanted the seams closer together. I moved them like you see in the above picture and just cut off the extra fabric on the ends.

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6. Pin your fabric in place and sew all around. If you don’t use a serger, make sure you finish your edges if you use a woven fabric for your main fabric, because that will fray.

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Then turn it right side out and enjoy your new cozy pillow!

I can’t decide… living room?

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Or bedroom?

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Did you enter the giveaway yet??

giveaway

DIY Leather Notebook Cover [and a leather giveaway!]

Awhile back, I was contacted by the Leather Hide Store, asking if I wanted to sew something with their leather. After taking a peek at their website, I got pretty excited. So. Many. Options. I settled on Dark Copper Mountain Saddle, and they sent me a remnant. And when I say remnant, I actually mean a super ginormous piece of leather.

You guys, this leather is ahMAYzing. Seriously, the smell…. ahhhhh. SO fantastic. It arrived right before Christmas, so I decided to make a notebook cover for my brother [who is now a lawyer, so obviously needs fancy-pants leather notebook covers] and liked it so much that I made one for my husband too. Did I say husband? I meant me. Sorry, honey.

DIY Leather Notebook Cover // if only they would nap

Supplies:

  • leather [the amount you need will depend upon how big your notebook is]
  • sewing machine/thread/scissors
  • Wonder Clips or binder clips

*I didn’t use any fancy supplies – just my regular machine and a fresh needle. You may find a roller foot
or a leather needle helpful [affiliate links]… I didn’t have either of those on hand, but had no problems.

You may also find it helpful to make a mock-up of your cover out of felt. I got this tip from Jodi, and I used the felt to decide how big my leather pieces should be, without wasting any leather in the process.

1. Lay your notebook out flat and cut around it, leaving about an inch of seam allowance around the entire notebook. This will give you one long rectangular piece of leather. You can curve your corners or leave them square.

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2. Cut two pieces of leather that will be the inner pockets. These should be about two-thirds as long as your notebook , with the same one inch of seam allowance all around [as you can see in the picture above] Use your long leather piece as a guide, so the leather pieces match up and are the same size.

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3. Place the leather pieces right sides together, with one pocket piece on each side. Do not pin the leather together. Use binder clips or Wonder Clips [affiliate link – but I seriously love these things] to keep the pieces together.
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4. Slowly sew only along wrong side of both pocket pieces – you’ll sew in a U shape and stop when you reach the end of the pocket piece [do not sew where there is only one layer of leather]. Sew with a 1/4in. seam allowance and trim the seam allowance a bit when you’re done. But don’t trim too close to your stitches! Leave more seam allowance than I did in the picture above.

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5. Now carefully turn your notebook cover right side out. Press the corners out gently. Clip all around the edges, including the center, folding over the one layer of leather. Then topstitch slowly around the entire notebook cover and trim your loose threads.

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When you’re finished, you’ll have a notebook cover that looks super professional and also smells really, really good. :)

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Don’t be afraid to sew with leather! Just remember to go slowly. Lengthening your stitch may also help. Also, the leather from the Leather Hide Store sews like butter. Well, better than butter, because what kind of crazy person tries to sew with butter….

For more leather-sewing tips and project ideas, check out this Pinterest board full of
leather inspiration and DIY tutorials!

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You can also use your notebook cover to carry a tablet or e-reader, protecting it from scratches. Slip a small notebook in the other side if you’re like me and need to do all your list-writing on actual paper.

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Obviously I’ll be using mine at the coffee shop… or in my house pretending I’m at the coffee shop and hoping someone doesn’t spill my coffee all over my fabulous leather.

Leather Hide Store is giving away a $50 gift certificate to one of my lucky readers. The giveaway is open until 8pm CST 1/19.

 Click here to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for $50 to the Leather Hide Store!

Disclosure: Leather Hide Store gave me leather for this project, but all opinions about the leather are my own.

Handmade Gifts for Boys: DIY fabric ball pit [a tutorial]

Say you have a baby who isn’t walking and has three older brothers and doesn’t need one.single.thing for Christmas, what can you possibly make for him that he doesn’t have already?? I’m asking for a friend, of course…

Well, obviously the only thing he could possibly need would be a ball pit!

DIY Fabric Ball Pit // If Only They Would Nap

Supplies:

  • 1 1/2 – 2 yds fabric – should be heavier weight than quilting cotton, but not super heavy
  • heavyweight interfacing
  • sewing machine/thread/scissors/etc.
  • 8 pipe cleaners or boning

1. Take a yard of fabric, folded with the selvedges together. Cut the yard in half from selvedge to the folded edge. You will now have two long rectangles of fabric. Place them right sides together and sew the short ends together.

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2. With the fabric still right sides together, iron interfacing onto half of it. The interfacing shouldn’t go quite to the outside edge – leave 1/2in. for seam allowance. Then turn the fabric over and iron interfacing onto the other side in the same manner.

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3. Fold the fabrics so that the wrong sides are together, putting the interfacing on the inside. In the picture above, the folded edge is on the left and the right side is open. Press the folded edge.

4. Cut a large circle of fabric to be the bottom of the ball pit. To figure out how big to cut it, stand the ball pit walls up and draw a circle around it. If you have a large compass, you could do some fancy measuring, but I this is the way I did mine. I measured mine to be about 30in. diameter, allowing for extra wiggle room to be wrong in my math. ;)

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5. Pin the circle along the inside of the ball pit walls. It should be pinned to the side with the interfacing. Pin four points [like the N,S,E,W of a compass] first to give you an idea of how tight you should make it.

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Then pin all around. I had a fairly significant amount of extra seam allowance, which I cut off later. It should look like the above picture when you’re done pinning.

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6. Sew the bottom fabric to the interfaced side of the ball pit wall.

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When you’re done it will look like the above photo, with the top layer of fabric not attached.

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8. Twist the pipe cleaners together in pairs. Cut them so they are slightly smaller than the height of the ball pit. Mine were about 8in. These will act as an extra support for the wall. You could probably use boning or something else similar, but this is what I had, and I’m a “make use of what you’ve got” kind of girl.
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9. Pin them in four places [again like the N,S,E,W of a compass] between the two layers of the ball pit wall. Do NOT sew them in at this time, though.
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10. Fold the unsewn edge under 1/4in. and press all along the ball pit wall, pinning as you go.  Then sew it down slowly, adjusting as necessary. Then go back and stitch along either side of your pinned pipe cleaners. Make sure you back stitch at the beginning and the end. Using your zipper foot will also help.

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Then fill it with balls and watch your baby giggle with joy!

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And also be happy that you can try it out with him before Christmas, and he won’t remember on Christmas morning that he’s already seen it. ;) photo DSC_0250_zpscc9f2881.jpg

Seriously, he LOVED this thing.

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Happy baby! And this happy baby wants you to head over to Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy to see Stacey’s awesome monster mugs and enter today’s giveaway.

Don’t forget to enter our other giveaways! And our week isn’t over, friends. We have a big day tomorrow too! Happy sewing :)

Handmade Gifts for Boys: lego lunchboxes [for on-the-go building!]

It probably won’t surprise you when I say that my boys love LEGOs. And I’m a big fan of anything that keeps them occupied for hours! With holiday road trips on the horizon, I came up with a way to take them along and give us some entertainment in the car that doesn’t involve the DVD player.

Lego Lunch boxes // If Only They Would Nap

This is pretty simple, and probably doesn’t even need a real how-to, but I’ll give it to you anyway, just in case it’s not clear.

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Find a lunch box [you could also use an empty baby wipes container or anything with an attached lid]. I found some sweet old school style super hero lunch boxes on Target clearance that I knew my boys would love. And since we homeschool, we don’t have much use for lunchboxes.. ;)

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Cut a LEGO Building Plate to fit the top of your lunchbox. I used regular non-sewing scissors to cut it, nothing fancy. Glue it in place – I used Mod Podge, but that’s only because that’s all I could find in my house. Just make sure that whatever you use, don’t use too much, because you don’t want it to seep out from under the building plate. Hold it in place for a few minutes and then let it dry fully overnight before using it.
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My boys are going to get these along with a little LEGO kit, which really makes an inexpensive gift. And if you’ve been hanging around here long enough, you’ve probably come to know I have an extreme thrifty side! *A reader suggested glueing felt inside the lunchbox so the legos wouldn’t be so noisy – such a great idea!*

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LEGO + Superheros = win!

Stacey’s boys are obviously superhero lovers like mine, because you have got to head over and check out her DIY Spiderman Pillowcase.

Alright, today’s giveaway is fantastic. If you don’t know Jodi from Sew Fearless and her patterns, I’m happy to be the one to introduce you to her. She’s a pretty amazing person [she’s a mama to five aDORable kids] and she happens to be the designer of the pattern for these super cute Pajama Eaters:

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And she has so kindly offered to give a copy of her PDF pattern away to one of our lovely readers, so you can make one. These would make the most adorable Christmas gifts!

Click here to enter the giveaway!

Of course, there’s more boy-gifting fun and giveaways tomorrow!

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Handmade Gifts for Boys: DIY Craft Kit

Hooray! It’s here! Day one of Handmade Gifts for Boys!

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When I started thinking about gifts for my boys, I knew I needed to get them some arts and craft supplies. My boys absolutely l.o.v.e. to create. We go through art supplies super quickly, so a Craft Kit was in order! DIY craft kit for kidsThis one is a really quick and easy gift – and can also be inexpensive!

Suggested supplies to gather:

  • ribbon
  • pipe cleaners
  • markers
  • cardstock
  • pom poms
  • stickers
  • stencils
  • washi tape
  • fun hole punches [using discretion to make sure the child is old enough for these, of course]

 photo f6557d25-d181-4828-8466-1ceb7648e954_zps13bcd615.jpgWhen looking for supplies for a Craft Kit, try the Target dollar spot, dollar stores, or thrift shops. I also dug through my supplies from my wannabe-scrapbooker days and found some cool shaped hole punches and different colors of cardstock that I had but haven’t used in years.

 photo DSC_0015_zps5192a2ed.jpgFind a shoebox-sized plastic container [or larger, if you want to add letter-sized paper].

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I like this one with an attached lid, because then it can’t get lost. And in my house, it definitely would get lost. You could even paint your child’s name on top to personalize it!

You could get super creative with this Craft Kit, depending on what kind of art your littles like to do. Think: paint and paint brushes, decorative edge scissors, stamps and ink pads, yarn, glue, etc. Anything your little one could use to get creative!

Now make sure you head over to Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy to see the amazing Angry Bird Pouches she has!

To top off our fabulous first day of Handmade Gifts for Boys, we have a fantastic giveaway. Bright Life Toys is offering one lucky winner a Memory Game Montessori Learning Toy. Plus, get 25% off your purchase with code BOYOHBOY, good through December 20th. photo il_570xN334132494_zpsc66bceff.jpg

Click here to enter the giveaway!

See you tomorrow for more Handmade Gifts for Boys!