Category Archives: Projects & Activities

Craft Exchange and So Much More…

I’m back in the groove this week (sort of) with posting, but I’m sorry I’ve been a bit absent lately. It has been crazier than usual around here. We have had lots of projects going on around the house, plus I have signed on to way more freelance projects that I can probably handle.

I have lots of exciting things to share with you in the upcoming weeks. One just happened this past weekend and it was H’s 2nd birthday party.

I’m also gearing up for our annual Halloween party. This will be the first time we are hosting it at our new house in Connecticut, so the stakes are high. I want to do it bigger and better than ever before, plus this time around we have the outdoors to decorate as well.

And finally, but not least, I have joined an exciting group called the Craft Exchange ‪#‎craftXCHallenge‬. We were fortunate enough to get sponsorship from Martha Stewart Crafts #‎marthastewart‬ and so we have some amazing materials to work with.

craft exchange supplies-the crafty mommy

This has been a bit of challenge for me. I basically have to make five of my project using the following: flocking powder, decoupage, and fringe scissors. I think I’ve figured out a fun way of integrating all of these materials together, but if you have any ideas, please send them my way. Once I do figure out what I’m making and then actually make it, I’ll be sure to share the final product here with you. Stay tuned!

DIY Terrarium

The Crafty Mommy Terrarium DIYDinosaurs are anything but extinct in this mini terrarium. Not into dinosaurs? Use soldiers, farm animals, bugs, fairies, or any other figurines your kids might like. Have a small glass jar? No problem, just make sure you use a smaller plant like a succulent, or you can have it slightly sticking out like I did. Have a massive container? Still not a problem, use a few different plants and characters to fill the space. The key is to have fun and find a plant and glass vessel that will work together to make a magical diorama.

Materials for Terrarium DIY
Glass vessel – this can be anything from a mason jar to a large container
Potting soil or dirt from your backyard
Plant(s)
Small, plastic figurines – I used miniature dinosaurs Water and sunlight

Optional Materials:
Scissors
Construction paper
Craft glue or glue stick

How to Make the Terrarium

1. Get your hands dirty and fill your glass vessel 1/3 to 1/2 way with dirt. You may want to do this project outside, dirt plus kids equals messy fun, but I don’t have to tell you that.
2. Dig a small hole in the center and place your plant in it. Cover with dirt and water it. Repeat this process in several spots in the dirt if you’re using more than one plant.
3. Place figurines around the plants. You can have them peeking out, hiding, or front and center. Be creative!

Other Ideas to Customize Your Terrarium:

  • Cut out a rainbow, sun, clouds, or raindrops and glue them to the inside of the container.
  • Put a miniature plastic bird, pterodactyl, or monkey in the leaves of the plant.
  • Add rocks, twigs, and other greenery from your backyard.
  • Add colorful sand on top of the dirt to add more dimension and interest to your terrarium.

DIY Mouse Pad

leather mouse pad diy

I’m not a big fan of the traditional mouse pads you can buy at office supply stores. I just don’t think they’re very stylish and there aren’t a whole lot of options to choose from, so I decided to make my own based on an idea that a co-worker of mine at Martha came up with.

I bought this piece of teal leather from Michael’s, which was only $6.00, used my fabric scissors to cut a shape of my choosing, and now I have a stylish and sophisticated pad for my mouse.

You could also do the same thing with a larger piece of leather if you wanted to make a desk blotter.

Strawberry Picking with Toddlers

photo

This past week H and I and our friends went strawberry picking at Jones Farm in Shelton, CT.

We had a great time and got some delicious berries, but a few things done ahead of time made this the great trip that it was.

1. We went early in the morning so it wasn’t too hot and it wasn’t too crowded.

2. We dressed appropriately. Comfy shoes and long sleeves and pants so we didn’t get itchy or scratched by anything. But make sure it’s an outfit that you don’t mind if it gets stained.

3. Healthy snacks were packed and brought with us along with plenty of water.

4. H and spoke about what to expect before we left.

5. We didn’t stay long, the key to any activity for little ones is to manage your own expectations. We ended up with about one pound of strawberries (while everyone else left with seven to eight pounds), but it was still a good time.

Fascinators for Belmont

Fascinators

I have two girlfriends going to Belmont tomorrow, and in the spirit of the event I made them fascinators to wear.

I’m not a big fan of horse racing, but I am a huge fan of the hats and fashion. With short notice I was only able to source supplies from Michaels so I got lots of ribbon (I also used some from my own stash), some felt, strong hair clips, and fake flowers (something I never use, but felt it was appropriate for this project).

In the end, I think they’re fun and pretty.

Materials
Ribbon (how much depends on how big you want it to be)
5″ circle of felt (I used the color of the main ribbon)
1 strong hair clip
Fake flowers (again, how many is up to you)
Hot glue gun
Fabric scissors
Feathers, rhinestones, other embellishments (optional)

How to make the fascinators
1. Cut the felt circle out – this will be what all of your ribbon and details get glued onto.
2. Pin or glue the ribbon the way you want it to lay, same with the flower and other embellishments.
3. Turn the felt over when you’re done decorating it and place the pin where you’ll need the most support. My fascinators are pretty symetrical, so right in the middle worked great, but if one side is heavier than the other you will want to play with the placement.

Tip: You can also do this same technique but with a headband. Just make sure the headband is wide enough to support the weight of the fascinator.

An Adorable Wall Hanging

Finished Wall Hanging

I found these cute flash cards on Etsy.com and decided to purchase, download them, cut them out, and hang them in H’s playroom.

Animal Flash Cards

This was easy, inexpensive, and I think a great way to decorate a nursery or playroom.

Materials
4 1/2 yards of grosgrain ribbon
Scissors
Hot glue gun
Flash cards or illustrations you love

How to Make the Wall Hanging
1. Cut the flash cards or illustrations out that you’re using.
2. Lay them out on the ribbon and determine where you want to place them. Take a photo if you like so you know where they go. I placed mine 1″ apart.
3. Hot glue the cards to the ribbon. Let dry.
4. Either cut the ribbon ends in a “V” or tie the top in a bow and hang on the wall.

Tip: You could also use alphabet cards like these to spell out the child’s name and hang them as I did above. It would make a great baby shower gift!

Another Tip: You could also use these as flash cards and give them as a gift, just laminate them and cut them out first.

A DIY Reversible Cover for My Sewing Machine

Finished Sewing Machine CoverI, like many other moms out there, rarely get to do anything just for me anymore. And I’m fine with that, but when I had a few spare minutes this weekend I decided to tackle a project I’ve been wanting to make for a while — a reversible cover for my sewing machine.

It may not be the most glamorous project, but it’s been on my list of things to do for a while now, and I need it so my sewing machine doesn’t get dusty.

I have a lot of extra fabric lying around so I decided to use some of that plus some ribbon I also had on hand. One tip I give any crafter or mom in general is to always have ribbon on hand. You can use it for projects like these, to wrap gifts, hang frames, decorate just about anything, and it’s just pretty.

Sewing Machine Cover Materials

Materials
Sewing machine
Thread
Two types of fabric (roughly 1/2 yard of each)
Measuring tape
Ribbon (48″ of ribbon)
Fabric Scissors
Pins
Iron (optional)

Instructions
1. Start by measuring your sewing machine to see how much fabric you’ll need leaving room for a 1/4″ seam allowance. I used 28 1/2″x16 1/2″ (if you have a directional fabric, be sure to cut it the way you want it to run when it’s finished). Cut accordingly.
2. Cut four pieces of ribbon measuring 12 inches each.
3. Put the two pieces of fabric right sides together. About 5″ from the top and bottom of the your fabric take the four pieces of ribbon you cut and pin them with the ends facing inwards.

Ribbon on Sewing Machine CoverSewn Sewing Machine Cover
Top: the ribbon inside of the sewn cover. Bottom: When you flip it right side out, the ribbon will be where it should in order to tie the cover.

4. Sew 1/4″ seam all the way around the fabric leaving a 5″ opening for turning it right side out.
5. Trim the corners and turn right side out. Press down with the iron. Then top stitch all the way around to finish.
6. Slip over your sewing machine and tie with ribbons to secure.

A Simple Mother’s Day Card

Whenever I can I like to have H make gifts for friends and family. So for Mother’s Day I was inspired by the latest issue of Martha Stewart Living and decided to have H make these hand cards for each of his grandmothers and great grandmothers (plus one extra for his actual mother, me).

Martha Stewart Living

 

Traced Hands

Instead of using white paper as suggested, I used blue paper and wrote a message that said “Happy Mother’s Day 2014″ plus his name, before he got started with his own decorating. If you have older kids, let them go wild with every aspect. Note, when tracing and cutting, I would just draw your outline right off the side of the paper to ensure you don’t cut too close around the folded pieces. You need it to be a chain of hands and if you cut through the folds, that won’t happen. I would also clean up the edges after you cut the chain out.

Cut Out Hands

Finished Hand Cards

I gave him stickers and crayons and let him go to town. Not only will these mothers have a handmade card, they will also have a cast of H’s actual hand.

Our New, Improved Dining Room

The projects continue at our new house.

Another room we decided to tackle right away was our dining room. Mainly because I hated the paint they had in the room, and we were ordering new furniture (our old furniture looked like dollhouse pieces in what is now a much larger room than we were used to). We figured it would be easier to sand and paint before the new furniture arrived, which it was.

Striped Wall

This was the paint before we moved in. Striped hues of cream on the top and a dark blue below the chair rail.

Because the previous owners had painted stripes above the chair rail, lots of sanding, dust, and some tired arms quickly became our reality.

Paint Swatches

We started out thinking we were going to paint the bottom a white color (which would have taken several coats to cover the dark blue) and a darker color on top. Here were the original swatches we tested on the walls.

Full Dining Room

In the end, we went with white on the top so you can better see the artwork (which is all framed with black) and Behr’s pencil point for the bottom, which is a graphite color. After the electrical was updated, we replaced the old shabby-chic chandelier with a streamlined pendant light from Crate and Barrel. The table and sideboard are also from Crate and Barrel. The rug is from West Elm and the chairs are from Amazon.com.

Dining Room 2

All of the hard work and patience was worth it in the end. We now have a modern dining room that is great for entertaining. And I love that some of the old characteristics of the house are still there like the built-in, chair rail, and crown molding.

My Quiet Book for H

Quiet Book Cover

Awhile back, before I actually had H, I was a crafting machine. I literally would make something new for him almost everyday.

Those days have since become fewer and farer between, but I realized there are quite a few projects I made that I haven’t shared with you here. The first being the quiet book I put together for him.

Quiet Book 2

I originally hot glued everything inside the book because there were a lot of pages and I was being a little lazy (hey I was 8 months pregnant at the time). I decided to do 26 pages, one item for each letter of the alphabet. A mix of textures and 3-D items vs. 2-D items has been key to keeping his attention. I recently started going back and sewing around the edges of everything to make it more secure for H’s little hands.

Quiet Book 5

To hold everything together I bought these inexpensive rings from Staples and punched holes in each of the pages to keep them together. It’s easy for H to manage with his little hands and was also super simple to put together.

Quiet Book 4