Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bird and Bunting Birthday Card

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Whenever I watch TV, I find the need to multitask.  Most of the time I work on the computer, blogging, checking email, or messing around on Pinterest.  But lately I've been playing a lot with Cricut Craft Room and making files I intend on later cutting.  I made this card for my niece's birthday using the Birthday Bash cricut cartridge that my neighbor lent to me.  This bird and bunting we the first things on the cartridge to catch my eye.  I designed this entire card using one mat on Cricut Craft Room, then just cut up my paper scraps to fit each element so that all the shapes could be cut out with only one mat running through the Cricut.  It took no time at all, and I think it turned out really cute.  I feel like it's a little hard to read the sentiment, and there may actually be too many polka dots (at least on the bird), but I still really love it.  I've exported and saved the cut file so that I can make the same card again, but also so that I can share the cut file with YOU!  As long as you have the Birthday Bash cartridge you can make this same exact card using your own paper.

Want to download the file?  You can find it here.  (If you have any problems, leave me a comment or email me and I'll send it to you directly.)

Do you have any cut files to share?  I'd love to see how you all are using Cricut Craft Room. 

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rainbow Nursery

Pin It I realized the other day when I was thinking about getting "big girl" furniture for my daughter's room that I never posted on my blog perhaps my largest craft project ever- my daughter's nursery.  Obviously since she's now 2, this is a little past due, but to be fair I didn't actually do this until we moved into our house when she was 5 months old.  So it's only a year and a half overdue. 

Before she was born, my husband and I had decided that if we had a boy we'd make a fish-themed room, and if we had a girl it would be rainbow theme.  Neither of us are big fans of pink, and we knew that bright, stimulating colors were good for little ones.  (It also helped her learn her colors really quickly!)  She absolutely adores her room, so clearly this was a success.

So here is the first rainbow, over her crib.  This one is the largest.  To make these, I purchased paint samples of each color from the hardware store for a grand total of $16.  Along with a couple of 10 cent foam brushes, that was the entire cost of this mural.  Not bad, eh?  To have someone come in and do this would have cost hundreds, and even the wall decals are pretty steep in my opinion.  The rainbows are far from perfect, but I figured they'll be long gone by the time she can make a rainbow better than me.

This is the rainbow on the opposite wall.  It's a little smaller than the first.  There is also a third, half rainbow on the floor on the left side of this wall.  It is currently obscured by her laundry basket, although I keep planning to get one of those witches pots from Party City at Halloween time and spray paint it gold to put at the end of the smaller rainbow.  I figured she could fill it with her most prized posessions- her dolls and stuffed animals.

So how did I work this magic?  I took a pencil and a very long piece of yarn and made a compass.  I marked a spot in the center of the wall where I wanted the rainbow to be, then drew the top arch.  I moved the yarn 3-4 inches in each time to draw the remaining arches.  Then I freehand painted between the lines using a foam brush.  That's it!  I freehanded the clouds as well, which I painted last.  Most of the colors required two coats, although the lighter yellow and green required a bit more touch up.

Hope you enjoy!  I have lots of other rainbow projects, including her first birthday party and some of the other room decorations if you'd like to check them out.  Thanks for looking!

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

DIY Easel-style Felt Board

Pin It As I said in my Leprechaun's Garden Sensory Box post the other day, I've been focusing a lot on crafts & fun activities for my 2 year old lately.  One of these projects was making her a felt board.  Since I stay home with her and she hasn't gone to preschool yet, I take her to a lot of storytimes and other activities and have been reading tons of preschool-aged magazines and blogs to get ideas of fun learning activities we can do together at home.  Felt (or flannel) boards are lots of fun and a great literacy tool.  They're kind of expensive if you go buy one, but of course they're much cheaper if you DIY.

So here's what you need:

2-3 yards of felt (you can buy this on the bolt at JoAnn's.  Don't forget your coupon!)
2 pieces of foam board (I bought mine in a 2 pack, again worth bringing a coupon.)
sewing machine/thread

First I laid out my felt and tucked a piece of foam board into the fabric.

I lined up a second piece inside, then cut the felt so that it would overlap about 3/4" with the other side.  I then trimmed the top to leave about an inch seam allowance on both the top and bottom.

Slide out the foam board and pin the pieces in place. 

Sew the top seam and sew down the middle.

Slide the pieces of foam back inside the pockets.

Here's where it gets tricky.  Sew a seam along the bottom, keeping your sewing machine pedal tightly against the foam board and holding the material tightly together.  Trim off excess fabric. 
Ta da!  You're done!

Front view

Side view

I recommend adding a ribbon to hold the two sides together if you plan to use this on a wood or tile floor.  On carpeting it stands up fine, but otherwise it slips all over the place!

I need to take pictures of the felt board activites I've made so far, so I'll share those in another post.  Happy crafting - and playing!

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

"A Leprechaun's Garden" - A Spring Sensory Box

Pin It So I've taken a bit of detour from crafting lately to focus on fun activities for my 2 year old.  One of the things I've found online that I thought she might like is a sensory box.  I was originally intending on doing one for St. Patrick's Day and a different one for Easter, but they combined to make what I've entitled "A Leprechaun's Garden."

To make this sensory box, I used a bin, scoop, foam shamrocks, multicolored coins, wooden carrot ornaments, butterfly confetti, flower erasers, and split peas.  Most of these items were $1 each, so this entire venture was less than $10.  (They were all purchased from the dollar store or Walmart.)When I first saw sensory boxes, I didn't quite "get it", but I am a total convert.  She's sitting quietly on the floor exploring away.  Happy girl, happy mom.

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