The only thing better than playing board games, in my opinion, is playing them al fresco (even if you find yourself caught in a passing shower!). And, though it’s hard to improve on a picnic, here’s my attempt. Grab an old flat sheet or a plain tablecloth and draw a checker/chess board, a tic-tac-toe grid, a Chinese checkers star, or a backgammon board.
Then, when it’s time to picnic, grab the sandwiches and the game pieces and hit the park. Roll out the blanket (it works on the grass or on the picnic table), and it’s game on. Psst! Drawstring pouches for game pieces made from scrap T-shirt sleeves!
Materials: –Tulip Fabric Markers in a variety of colors and tips -plain table cloth or flat sheet -ruler -checkers and/or chess pieces -iron and ironing surface (optional)
The perfect accessory for dressing up a basic crew neck T-shirt: a sequined necklace that mimics a Peter Pan-style collar. Even the sequins don’t take all that long to place–it’s the drying time that’s the most challenging to sit through! The ribbon tie makes it adjustable
It’s been fairly quiet ’round these parts, but I’m emerging from hibernation to share two bits of fun news this Mother’s Day!
1. I’m very excited to share that a collaboration that I worked on with my very creative mom, Susan, almost two years ago, is coming out soon! We designed a fleece hoodie for the newest installation in Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins’ One-Yard Wonder series, Little One-Yard Wonders: Irresistible Clothes, Toys, and Accessories You Can Make for Babies and Kids. My mom is the person who first showed me the way around a sewing machine, so I was glad that she accepted my invitation to team up and submit a project when the call for entries was posted! We brainstormed ideas, and came up with a few…long story short, one of them is featured in the book.
How cute is that shirt on the front? Those shoes! That tea set!
Below is the first spread of the project we designed with squirmy toddlers in mind (no zippers, buttons, or drawstrings — just pull it over the head and you’re ready for an afternoon of exploring). YiaYia’s Snuggle Hoodie! It’s so exciting to see it in print! And, it should be noted, the hoodie can be made from jersey knit material, too, for a more traditional sweatshirt or a lighter T-shirt-weight design. Pre-order the book at any of the online retailers listed here, or look for it in your local bookstore when it releases June 3, 2014!
My mom and I are so looking forward to making lots of the 101 projects for my little ones….which brings me to news point #2.
2. And, not to bury the lede, but…the Mr. and I welcomed a new member to our family just two weeks ago! Meet Esmé Olivine, born 4/27/14 (you’ll no doubt be seeing more of my newest fashion muse in the weeks, months, and years to come!).
A very happy Mother’s Day to all you crafty mamas who encourage creativity in the next generation!
My toddler is VERY into his letters and numbers lately, so when it came time to think up a theme for a spring shoe refashion, his vintage-style alphabet blocks stood out from the pack (that, and I’m not as good at drawing dinosaurs or trains, which would have been the other top contenders!).
And sure enough, when I presented them to him the morning after I made them, he picked one up and said, “ABC shoe!” Exactly, my dear. Now we can practice his letters and colors while we’re on the go!
As promised, here’s one more way to use leaves to influence your fall fashion. Rather than use tracings or stencils made from the leaves, I used the leaves themselves as the “mask” before painting. I laid them down on the skirt, added a touch of glue stick to encourage some of them to hold independently (to contend with the gentle breeze created by the spray paint), and peeled them up when I was done. Now that it’s December, and leaves may be scarcer, you can swap out the leaves for some paper snowflakes to get festive.
-Denim skirt (or, start with an old pair of jeans, like I did!)
-Fabric spray paint (gold)
-Pressed leaves (collect freshly fallen leaves a day or two in advance and press them between pieces of plain paper in a heavy old book)
Optional (if you plan to refashion your jeans into a skirt first): -Seam ripper
-Sewing machine and matching thread
1. Lay the skirt flat on some newspaper (to protect your work surface).
2. Arrange the leaves over the front. Dab the back of each leaf with a single dot of glue stick (just enough to hold it still at the center).
3. Spray the gold fabric paint over the entire front of the shirt. Embrace the splatters!
4. Peel up the leaves, set them aside, and let the skirt dry for a few minutes. Then flip the skirt over and reposition the leaves on the back before spraying again. Let dry completely (about 4 hours should do the trick, but check the instructions on the packaging of the paint) before wearing.
Here’s a handmade, personalized, and timeless gift for Grandparent’s Day (the first Sunday after Labor Day — for 2013, it’s on September 8!), or you can save it for Mother’s or Father’s Day. Just snap a photo of your subject in profile, gather up the rest of the materials, and you can make and assemble this in minutes. Start a series by making a new image each year so you can see the growth of your child!
Materials: –Aleene’s Tacky Dot Runner adhesive
-photo of subject in profile to fit your frame(the photo doesn’t need to be crisp or particularly high quality–just irresistible, like my little pal Caleb, featured above!)
-craft knife and cutting mat -black paper (tip: if you don’t have any, create and print out a sheet of black paper on your computer) -decorative paper (for background–check out your wrapping paper stash for good options) -scrap paper (for banner–I found a colorful envelope from a holiday card in the recycling bin) -thin-tipped pen
Though my motivation was nursery decor (inspired particularly by my son’s love for taxis and trucks — hey, we live in Brooklyn!), this technique could easily be applied to any shapes that benefit from a grid-like treatment — like robots, or alphabet tiles, or basic shapes. I was inspired by the geometry of the landscape where we live, but your cityscape could be urban or rural (or suburban, for that matter!). The tape technique works like any resist–I love the rough-hewn, batik-like result, and the effect, as I mentioned, could be applied to any subject matter, to suit any room in the house!
They say that April showers bring May flowers. And in some parts of the country this year there’ve even been April flurries to herald in the blooms! While Mother Nature keeps us on our toes, here’s a colorful springtime project that really brings the flowers when it rains. It’s just one of a slew of ways to decorate an umbrella with paint (because let’s face it, sometimes a purple umbrella isn’t quite bright enough). It’s part pop art (a gumball machine!), part impressionism (Monet’s gardens at Giverny) — and a whole lot of color to brighten any dreary day! We often think of fabric paints in the context of T-shirts and other wearables, but it’s fun to experiment with paint on other fabric-based surfaces: embellished pillows, couches, canvas director chairs, curtains, and…umbrellas!
Here’s one last Easter-themed tutorial before the weekend! And this how-to is egg-free (no more glitter, dye, or shaving cream). Best of all, the adjustable band means that both little and big kids can perch these bunny ears atop their heads!
Materials: -Colored paper (for headband)
-Decorative paper (for ear exteriors; check your wrapping paper stash!)
-White paper (for ear interiors)
-File folder (as stiffener, for perky ears!)
–Tacky Dot Runner or glue stick
-Pen or pencil
Click below to follow along with the Paper Bunny Ears video tutorial I made for About.com!
And here’s additional proof that these ears are for bunny-wannabes of all ages:
Ombre skirts, ombre totes, ombre shoes, ombre nails, ombre hair, and don’t forget ombre T-shirts — ombre style is everywhere! Here’s Easter Egg DIY decorating #3 of the week: a clever tutorial for applying the trendy technique to your Easter eggs.
Materials: -eggs (blown or hard-boiled)
-8 oz.clean, empty jam jars (or similar, for containing the dye)
-glass measuring cup
-rubber bands or tape (to hold the skewer and egg in place in the jar)
-timer (kitchen or smartphone timer work well)
Make it: 1. Mix up your dye: Measure 3/4 cup of warm water. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of white vinegar and about 20-25 drops of food coloring (in desired color). Note: I mixed 3/4 cup of dye in order to cover an egg completely in an 8-ounce jar–if your containers are bigger, mix more dye at the same ratio. 2. Click below to follow along with the video tutorial I did for Ombre-Dyed Easter Eggs for About.com!