Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Painting Pumpkins With a Six Month Old!

We've been having a lot of fall fun around here! Earlier in the month we went apple picking, we went to a pumpkin patch and the first of several Halloween Parties. I love carving pumpkins, it's one of my favorite parts of the year. I wanted to figure out a way to include H in that fun.

My stroller strides group had a pumpkin painting activity for the little ones that we had to miss. I figured I would recreate the painting experience at home, close to our bathtub. I procured some non-toxic tempera paint, paint brushes, modge-podge spray (since the non-toxic paint is also water soluble) and pumpkins. We've been having beautiful weather so I thought I would set up shop outside - then little H boycotted his nap and ended up falling asleep way early and tonight the weather took a turn for the worst. I wasn't going to let the crazy Colorado weather ruin my fall fun, so I set up shop in the garage. We put H in an old T-shirt and then covered him and the bumbo (without strap) with an old towel.

We let him paint two pumpkins with a little cleaning up in between. For the first pumpkin, I applied the paint to the pumpkin with a sponge brush and let him move it around with his hands. On the second pumpkin, I let him dip his hands in the paint and then tried to aim them at the pumpkin. The first method was much more successful. H loved the feel of the paint and just wanted to put his hands in the paint over and over and over. I was glad we did this at home, close to our washing machine and the bathtub. As soon as he got tired of the activity, he was plucked in the tub and his t-shirt was put in the wash. The paint came right out of both H and our clothing.

Once H was bathed and in bed my artistically inclined sister and I took to the pumpkins. She painted this adorable face, inspired by Tim Burton. I had big plans for using my tulip puff paint to make intricate dots on my pumpkin in a pattern. Unfortunately, the black puff paint must have had a clogged nozzle, because while applying pressure to the bottle the top popped off and went EVERYWHERE. Yes. I made a bigger mess then my 6 month old. With the black paint all over the tarp and only my glow-in-the-dark puff paint left, I decided to stick with something simple. I was able to salvage a bit of the black paint to make a cute little spider. Modge-podge spray was applied to all of the pumpkins and it seems to be helping everything stick, although with the threat of snow, we moved the pumpkins into the garage.

All in all, a very successful activity - H certainly thinks so!

Happy Crafting!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Fast & Easy Football Ribbon Wreath

I've been seeing these cute ribbon football wreaths on Pinterest. You can find them for sale on Etsy, but I figured I could just figure out how to make them myself. I purchased the foam wreath from Joann's and wrapped in white ribbon, using hot glue to secure.

Then I started cutting ribbon - lots and lots of ribbon. I picked too much really thick ribbon and ended up having to cut it in half (note: smaller ribbon is better, although you will need more of it.) Some instructions for the wreath suggested that you pin the ribbon on to the wreath. Instead I hot glued all the ribbon into loops - then I hot glued all the loops onto the wreath, until it looked filled out.

I found these little footballs in the wood crafts section of JoAnn's. They were already painted - so I just used a paint pen to add the team name. I originally used hot glue to attach the footballs to a nail. The nail pushed easily into the foam wreath without damaging any of the ribbons. Unfortunately, when I hung the wreath on the door in the hot sun the glue melted and the footballs fell off... so my husband suggested gorilla glue, which worked like a charm.(Some of the wreaths I saw online used clips so the footballs could be removed.) The wreath has been hanging on my door for a few weeks now and is still intact - so it seems gorilla glue was the answer.

This is an easy several hour project that makes a huge statement. You could make this for just about any team or sport you wanted.  The hardest part was finding the right ribbon!

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Our House, Revisited.

Between traveling, visitors and some early snow, we actually found some time to attack a few house projects. My husband likes to call these "my projects" but none of this would get done without his help and in many of these cases, he does most of the work. haha. The house is finally starting to look like ours. (Although I always have more projects up my sleeve.)

Vinyl Decal - Easy to Apply.
Inspired by I Heart Organizing's birch tree playroom, I set out in search of a stencil or decal that would give it a jungle feel. When this Sissy Little decal came up on Zulily, I jumped on it. I had never worked with a vinyl decal before and it turned out to be easier then I had imagined. The walls in the playroom are textured, and that posed a bit of challenge. The first set of trees we tried to apply as a set of four - that was a mess. Cutting the trees and applying them one by one worked much better. The directions were easy to follow and turned out looking great!

Buttons and Ribbon for Fabric Box Labels
We completed the bench seating a few weeks ago - instructions here. I found fabric bins that I liked at IKEA. I was trying to figure out a way to attach labels to the bins. Velcro did not want to stick and my little one can be pretty hard on items. I found some cute green buttons in a variety of sizes and sewed them on to the front with a small clear button on the back. (The flaps on these bins turn up enough for you to be able to work behind them.) I then printed and laminated labels for each of the bins, hole punched them and used some ribbon to create a loop (using hot glue or a quick stitch) which was then slit and hooked to the small back button. So far so good. We will see if they hold but they look quite cute.

Dress Up Station with Mirrors
 We wanted to create some play stations around the outside of the room. I found some pegs at Home Depot to hang dress-up clothing on. (Please keep in mind my husband installed most of this stuff for me - haha.) I haven't had a chance to make the dress up clothing yet, but I do have this great little ranger vest some dear friends from Edwards gave us. These mirrors are from Wallchart (although I also saw them at Target). Little H loves looking at himself in the lower ones and he will grow to be able to use them all. They were easily hung with the Command picture hanging Velcro tape.

Hardware Activity Board
 My husband put together this great activity board. He has some additional things to add, but with the grandparents coming we wanted to get it up on the wall. We found that little H loves to play with the hardware on our family room coffee table, so this gives him something to play with in his playroom.
(More on this to come, when we get it finished!)

I used the extra fabric from the seating to make some hanging bookshelves. There are lots of instructions for these online. I used towel rods because it seemed easier. I found the towel rods at I made three pocket shelves in three different sizes to accommodate different sized books.  We ended up hanging the two small ones under the chair rail by the tent and the one large one above the seating. I also added a small pocket to the front of the large one.
Large Towel Rod Bookshelf

Playroom With Tent

Finally - The Tent! I wanted a little fort in the room. Again, there are tons of patterns online. I used a pattern from Simplicity. I had major trouble with the cutting instructions - but was able to just do it my own way with the required fabric. The tent has a great little seating mat and pockets in the back for storing little treasurers.
It hangs from an eye-hook in the ceiling, but we also had to add an additional hook in the back to keep it from rotating sideways. It may actually be easier to just purchase a tent in the future, but it was nice to get the fabric I wanted.

The playroom still needs stuff on the walls and a rug, but it's finally well on its way !

Laundry Room 

Laundry Room Storage
I added some fabric baskets from Target to our laundry room shelves to hold everything. I used some ribbon an card-stock to label the bins. (Since we are cloth diapering, I also have to use the space to dry the diapers when its too cold outside.) This room needs some decoration... I'm still looking for something perfect.

Craft Area
Craft Area.

Hanging Fabric Storage
 This house had the best little craft area in the basement. Unfortunately, once I started setting up, I found that it didn't have a great place to keep fabric. My lovely husband hung some towel rods behind the lowered part of the ceiling. Using pants hangers, I hung my stash fabric so it also blocks some of the sun that comes in through this window in the afternoon. It has freed up quite a bit of much needed shelf space. It also makes me so happy to use my fabric as decoration, because it is so pretty. haha.

We are certainly not done with the house- although we are taking a short break from projects to host Jeff's parents, my sister and my best friend from Atlanta. (Plus a nice break helps me get inspired for my next projects!)

Happy Crafting!