Halloween Wreath made out of Yarn

A couple of years back I made an adorable red and white yarn ball wreath for the winter months.  It’s extremely versatile….with a green bow, it’s very Christmas-y.   With a red bow, it’s great through Valentine’s Day.  So when I saw a similar wreath in the Better Homes and Garden’s Halloween Magazine, I decided to make another one….this time, a spooky Halloween wreath made out of yarn!Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialAnd since I already had a bunch of Halloween-colored yarn from the Halloween Pumpkin Garland I made last week, it was a great project to use up some of those materials as well.Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialMaterials:

wreath form {the lighter, the better}…I liked this one since it had holes in it already!
newspaper {you’ll need about 20 pages or so}
sturdy ribbon
four colors of yarn
hot glue and glue gun
scissors
little bit of white yarn {not a whole skein}
spider or other embellishments
Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialThis first step is easy, but takes awhile.  Perfect for an evening of binging on Halloween TV!  I love the “Ghost Hunters” and “Most Haunted” type shows…entertaining enough, but you don’t have to really focus on it.  You’ll cut each page of the news paper in half {for bigger balls}, or quarters {for the smaller balls}, and crumple it up into a ball.  Choose one color of yarn for your first ball.  With your finger, hold the end of the yarn against the wadded up ball, and start wrapping the yarn around the ball in opposite directions, securing the strands as you wrap.Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialKeep wrapping until the paper is completely covered up, and the ball is the size that you desire.  Cut the yarn, and tuck the end under a strand to secure it.  And if you drop the yarn ball about 15 times, and have it unravel each time….well, then you are doing about as well as me!  {laugh it off…it’s just a wreath!}Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialI tried to alternate the colors I made, so I ended up with about the same amount of each.  I think I made about 55 balls.  Although the picture above has a white one, I ended up just doing black, orange, purple and green.  I only used the white to make my spider web, although you could also use black for that.Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialNext, secure your sturdy ribbon to the top of your wreath.  I wrapped it around a couple of times, then tied a knot.  Then I made a loop and doubled knotted it, so it could hang easily.  On top of the double knot, I made a bow for decoration.  Then I got ready to make my spider web.  I taped the end of my white yarn, to make it easier to weave through the holes in the wreath form, as well as small spaces in the web.Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorial

Starting at the top hole in the wreath form, tie it around the outside of the form in a double knot to secure.  Then weave it through the hole and across the middle of the wreath form, to the opposite hole.  Weave it through, then loop it to the hole to the right.  Weave it through that hole and then across the middle of the form to the hole directly across.  Keep going until you have a “wagon wheel” with eight sections.  Tie it to the rim of the wreath form with another double knot, but do not cut the yarn!Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialFrom the double knot, wrap the yarn around the “spoke” and then pull it toward the next “spoke” to the right.  Wrap it around the yarn once, and then move it to the next “spoke.”  Continuing around the circle, wrapping the end of the yarn around each stationary “spoke” before moving on.  By only wrapping around once each time, the yarn will pretty much stay put, but you’ll be able to slide the parts of the web up and down on the “spokes” to adjust.  It will end up going in a spiral, looking more and more like a web as you go!  Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialI ended up weaving the end of my yarn through the loop for a little extra security, whenever I got all the way around back to that first “spoke”.  Poke it through the little twist and then move on the next layer of the web.  When you get to the middle, wrap the yarn around the crossed pieces of yarn and tie a knot.  Make sure the knot ends up being on the backside of the wreath form.Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialBecause my spider was a little heavy, I ended up glueing him on after I finished with my yarn balls.  You can glue the yarn balls on anyway you like….I ended up kind of making a loose pattern of one larger one, followed by two smaller ones of opposing colors.  I placed three or four where I wanted them, then I hot-glued them down.  You also may want to save a couple of pieces of newspaper until the end…in case you need a specific color yarn ball toward the end, when it’s harder to rearrange.Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialI also tended to glue the balls to the wreath form, as well as to each other, for extra stability.  It’s amazing how heavy the Halloween wreath can get once it’s finished!Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialI’m so glad I ended up using the white yarn for the web, as the big ‘ole hairy spider stands out much better against the white web!Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialI’m so pleased with how it turned out.  It’s spooky, but still bright and colorful!Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorialDo you see my mums?  Aren’t they gorgeous?  I actually have two of them, the other is in a bucket in the front yard.  They are HUGE, and from a local farmer who sets up his market at the front of our neighborhood.  He always has delicious fruits and veggies, but I have never seen flowers like these.  Hopefully they will last all season!Adorable step-by-step Halloween Wreath tutorial.....#spiderweb #wreath #Halloween #yarnballs #DIY #tutorial

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Freezer Paper Stencil Tee-Shirts Using Silhouette

I may be a little obsessed with my newfound Silhouette skill.  This may be an old trick to you Silhouette veterans out there, but I’m just now discovering the beauty of using a Freezer Paper Stencil.  And once I figured out how to turn just about any image into a cut file in my Silhouette, all the sudden I can churn out graphic tees and cheeky quote shirts with the best of ’em.  And all by using the freezer paper stencil method!

Good news!  You don’t have to have a Silhouette machine…just use scissors or an exacto knife to cut out your image from the freezer paper…then skip to the end of this post to see how to paint!

*Please keep in mind that I am not selling anything that I make.  It is for my own personal use.  Be sure to check copyright details on images that you use!*Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteRecently, my best friend from Maryland and her three kids came to visit.  After a happy accident where we happened to mash our two last names together, we realized that it sounded just like a southerner’s version of “raccoon.”  So we decided to call our yearly get-togethers Camp RaKuhn {we’re such dorks, I know!}.  And as a former camp counselor, there is no camp without a camp tee shirt!Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteSince I had recently figured out how to change almost any image on the internet into a cut file, it was just a matter of finding an image of a raccoon that was what we were looking for.  We needed a simple image with block colors.  I Googled “raccoon+silhouette+vector” to get the widest spread of simple images I was looking for.  The images below are perfect for this project.  You don’t want anything too detailed {like the ones X’ed out}, but keep in mind you will be painting, so any simple/high contrast color images are fine too.  There are a bunch of cartoon raccoons out there as well, one of which we ended up choosing.Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteWhen I found the perfect one, I saved it as a .JPEG.  Then, I opened it as a new file and re-saved {“Export”} it as a .PNG file.  Then, it was ready to be opened up in the Silhouette program.Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteWhen you open your file in the program, you will need to trace it.  Highlight the image and then click on the icon that looks like toast on the tool bar that goes across the top of your screen.  You’ll want to adjust your settings, including the High Pass Filter to make sure all of the different areas of your image are highlighted to be cut out.  You can test this by looking at the areas that turn yellow.  Click on TRACE on the right side bar, and the areas that are yellow will turn red.Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteI’ve zoomed in here so you can see…if you drag the original image away from your traced image, you can see the red “cut lines.”  On simple, plain black silhouette images, there will only be one cut line around the entire image, so you will have minimal editing to do.  But as you can see, I have “double” cut lines on mine.  Zoom in further….
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteNow you can really see the double cut lines.  You’ll need to clean your image up a little, since it wasn’t originally made to be cut out by a computer!  Take a look at your image and get a good idea of which lines you need to get rid of….they are messy and squiggly and will have a TON of dots in the next picture.  You also want to get rid of any random little dots, or else they will be cut out by your machine too!
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteSo in the left side bar, click on the icon with the arrow and the connected dots.  Then click on any part of a red line.  A gazillion little dots will show up.  They are all tiny little angles.  Let’s make it a little simpler, shall we?  Click on SIMPLIFY (#1) and some of the dots should go away.  Then, click on dots and lines that you want to get rid of {the messier ones} by clicking on DELETE POINT (#2).  You’ll need to click this each time to delete….it gets a little tedious…you might as well binge on some Netflix while you work.

Keep in mind that most of the points are connected at some point {no pun intended}, so you will mess up and delete something you didn’t mean to.  Just use the UNDO arrow icon on your top toolbar.
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteLike I said, some of the lines will be connected in weird places.  And some of those places you need to get rid of!  So highlight the line you want to break off, and click on BREAK PATH.
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteThe two lines that used to be connected will turn into a solid and open red circle.  Drag them away from each other and put the red circle on any other dot to which you want to connect that line.  They will automatically fuse together.  Then you can delete the other line if needed.
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteKeep deleting, moving and adding points as necessary to clean up your image.  Make sure all of your areas connect, so it will be a clean-cut and easy to weed.  Then you are ready to cut out onto your medium.  You can use vinyl to create a stencil, but I’ve found that freezer paper actually cuts AND paints cleaner.  I use the same settings for freezer paper as I do for regular paper.  Once you weed out all of the little pieces, place them carefully on your tee shirt and iron them down.  You are ready to paint!
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteUse fabric paint and a small paint brush or sponge.  Get creative with your colors and layering.  Just be sure to use an up-and-down motion while painting to prevent bleeding.

In order to make our tail, we painted the entire thing gray {using the cut out of the entire body of the raccoon}.  Then, after it was dry, we placed the cut outs of the tail stripes over the gray paint and ironed them down to protect them…then painted over the gray with a darker gray to create the two-tone effect of the tail.  When you are done with the stencils, just use tweezers to pull them off, and let dry!Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteAfter it dries for 4-6 hours, iron it one more time to set the paint.
Super easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteSuper easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteSuper easy tutorial on how to make a freezer paper stencil out of any image #DIY #stencils #SilhouetteNow, you are all set for camp!

Follow me on Instagram {@palmsandpigs} to see some of the other Freezer Paper Stencil projects I’ve made….with and without the Silhouette!

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How to Turn a Necktie into a Bowtie Tutorial

Last weekend, we took off to Atlanta for the weekend to spend some time with Dave’s family and watch one of his cousins get married.  We had a fantastic time watching all of the kiddos play together, and the wedding itself was magical {more on that later!}.

We don’t get to dress up as a family very often, so I ordered some stuff online so that our family would be nice and coordinated, like any southern family should be.  I got Millie a coral dress with arrows, and the boys matching coral neckties.  Jayna and I already had navy dresses that went with Mille’s dress too.  The only problem was, when Lincoln’s tie arrived, it was waaay too long.  Obviously meant for a real boy, not a toddler.

Luckily, I happen to be a problem solver.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternHere’s how my “how to turn a necktie into a bowtie” tutorial.

The first thing I did was to rip out the stitches that held the velcro neck piece onto the tie, since it wasn’t tied traditionally {which I prefer for a child, anyway}.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternThen, I ripped the seams that went along the entire length of the tie, and opened it up.  I left the seam that made the tie pointed at the end.   I stuck my finger into the point and folded it the opposite way, so you could see the seam, and the tie folded lengthwise in half.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternSorry for the bad picture above, but I measure and cut four inches off the bottom of the tie, making it 3″X4″.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternThen I turned it right-side out and ironed it flat.  Turning the raw edges under a little bit, I glued around the open area, so it was sealed all the way around.  I forgot to take a picture, but I used more of the fabric to cut a 4″x4.5″ piece of fabric, and a 3″X2″ piece.  I folded both of them length-wise and sewed them together, right sides together.  For the 4″X4.5″ piece, I did the same thing as the piece above and folded the two raw ends inside and then glued them together.  You could use fabric glue in a tube, or do what I did, and use fabric hot glue so it won’t wash out.  The small piece will be the middle of your bow tie, so the ends can stay raw.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternSo I ended up with four separate pieces of double-sided rectangles.  The one on the top with the velcro was the original neck-piece from the tie that I bought. I stacked the middle-sized rectangle on top of the large rectangle and scrunched together in the middle.  How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternI threaded a needed and wrapped it tightly around the middle of the bow tie a couple of times before sewing through the fabric too.  Made it nice and secure, so the bow will never fall apart.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternThen, sew the raw end of the smallest piece of fabric to the middle of the back of the bow tie.  I made sure to line it up…so that way when I wrapped it around the front, the other raw side ended up in the back, hidden.How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternThen I centered the bow tie onto the neck strap.  I put a couple of stitches down to secure the bow tie onto the strap and make sure it was on there straight.  Then I wrapped the smallest piece of fabric around both the bow tie and the neck strap,  and put a dab of hot fabric glue down to secure it.  How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternAnd to finish it off,  I top-stitched it to keep it secure.  The great thing about it is that because most of it is hidden, you don’t really need to worry about your stitches being perfectly straight.  You can even see where I messed up with the glue gun on the left part of the bow.  But it’s all on the bottom and the back, so it’s totally not noticeable once it’s on the kid!How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternAnd considering I had no idea what I was doing when I started this project, it still only took me about an hour, including taking the pictures for this bowtie tutorial.

How to turn a necktie into a bow tie...a step by step tutorial with detailed pictures. #bowtie #DIY #tutorial #bowtiepatternShe altered a too-big necktie to create this adorable bow-tie! Step by step tutorialShe altered a too-big necktie to create this adorable bow-tie! Step by step tutorialAnd as cute as this guy is in them…there will be many more bowties in our future!

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How to Kid Proof Your iPhone

I’m not sure how, but my kids are better at working my iPhone than I am.  Even Lincoln, my one-year-old, knows how to swipe and tap enough to find my photo album on my home screen.  But with that seemingly built in ability, comes the ever-growing threat of accidental deletion of pictures or in-app purchases.  I just want my phone to entertain my kids so I don’t have to…is that too much to ask?  Ok, ok, I’m just kidding, as my kids get little to no screen time…but there has to be a way to kid proof your iPhone a little, right?

How to Kid Proof your iPhone on any screen or appImage courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

So I did a little research and found the solution.  Did you know you can deactivate parts of your iPhone screen so that your kid can’t delete or go to a page he’s not supposed to?  I took some screen shots to show you exactly how to do it.  It’s a bit of a process at first, but I’ll show you how to  make it a shortcut so all you have to do is hit your “Home” button three times to activate the control.

Here’s what you will need to do JUST ONCE {to get it set up}:

1. From your home screen, click on your “Settings” button {it looks like a gear}
2. Scroll about halfway down and click on “General”
3.  Scroll about halfway down and click on “Accessibility”

4. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the screen.  Make sure that it says “Guided Access” next to “Accessibility Shortcut” {see at the bottom of the lefthand picture above}.  This is what makes the controls turn on when you hit the “Home” button three times….it’s a shortcut.

5. Just above “Accessibility Shortcut” you will see “Guided Access”.  It should say ON, but click on it anyway, and then make your screen look like the picture to the right above.  You’ll also want to click on “Passcode Settings” and set a password for yourself…I kept mine very simple and easy to remember.

Here’s what you will need to do before your child uses an App.

1. Open the App or screen that you are wanting to control.  For demonstration purposes, I chose my “Pictures” App and then chose a specific picture inside.  Lincoln likes to look at photos, and can scroll by himself, but often ends up deleting or editing by accident!

2. Click on your “Home button” 3 times in a row.  A little box will pop up quickly that says “Guided Access Started.”  Click on the “Home button” 3 more times and it will ask you for your password.  Put it in.

3.  The screen above will pop up.  Any areas that you want disabled on your screen, circle with your finger.  As soon as you circle it, it will turn into a gray box to show you the area that is disabled.  Use the X to delete the area if needed, and the white balls in the corners will adjust the size of the box {keep it as small as possible!}.  When you are done, click on “Resume” at the top.  Your app is now ready for your kid to use!

4. If you want to turn off the gray boxes {and make those areas clickable again}, hit your “Home button” 3 times again and enter your password.  Then click on “End” in the top left corner.  You are Ending Guided Access.  From now on, every time you open that particular App {in my case, My Photo Album App}, just click your Home button 3 times in a row to start Guided Access.  If you need to adjust your gray boxes, just click Home 3 more times to enter your password and edit.

DONE!

 Above is another example of the gray boxes on an actual game App.  Since the App has screens that change, I had to get a little creative…See the gray box on the left side of the screen?  It looks like there is nothing to control there, but in actuality, that is where the “In App Purchase” box pops up…so I disabled the BUY NOW area.  I also ended up making my gray boxes much smaller to just cover the icon…If you leave them too large, they may cover up a game option or answer on another screen.

Although I only have a couple of simple games on my phone for my kids, I went ahead and spent a couple of minutes setting up Guided Access for each app.  So now they are all ready for my kids to use {just hit HOME three times!}.

BRILLIANT.

 Hopefully this tutorial on how to kid-proof your phone helps save you money from inadvertant in-app purchases, and saves your precious photo memories from being deleted or edited!  Please click  below to share and pin!

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Invisible Zipper Tutorial on a Knockoff Anthropologie Pillowcase

I splurged at Christmas time and bought a couple of new pillows from Decor Steals.  I love them, but they are so fluffy, storing them is going to be annoying.  So I decided to make a couple of pillow cases for them instead.  After perusing the web and pinterest.  I found a couple of DIY pillowcases with hearts that are perfect for Valentine’s Day and spring.

So the first one I decided to try to make was a knockoff of this Anthropologie Heart Pillow.  Seemed simple!  And thanks to my friend Amelia, who gave me a ton of fabric last week, I had a couple of red cloth napkins that were perfect {and half finished!} for the project.  For the hearts, I cut out various sizes from a canvas drop cloth that I used for a couple of other projects.An invisible zipper tutorial on a Knockoff Anthropologie Heart PillowI used a fabric marker to draw a heart about a quarter inch from the edge to sew along.  I kept the edges raw, and with time they will get more raggy and unraveled.  Then I pinned them on one of the red cloth napkins, keeping them away from the edges {which would be sewn into seams}.An invisible zipper tutorial on a Knockoff Anthropologie Heart PillowThen I carefully sewed along the blue fabric marked line.  And just that quick, the front of the pillowcase was finished.  Now to add the back of the case and the zipper.An invisible zipper tutorial on a Knockoff Anthropologie Heart PillowI looked up an invisible zipper tutorial, and was completely shocked at how easy it was!  I found this fantastic tutorial on Stop Staring and Start Sewing, so check out that blog for even better pictures and another version of this step-by-step invisible zipper tutorial.

The stuff {other than fabric and thread and pins and such} that you’ll need are:

-an invisible zipper {labeled as such at the fabric store} that is about 6-8 inches longer than the length of fabric that you are going to put the zipper on
-an Elmer’s glue stick {the one that starts purple but dries clear}
-a zipper foot for your sewing machine.

You’ll start off by ironing the fabric right next to the zipper as close to the zipper as you can…this will let you sew right next to the zipper.  Here is an awesome before and after picture of the zipper from the site I mentioned above.

Once your zipper is all ironed out, center it on the fabric where you are going to put it, and mark off where the end of the fabric is, and then about an inch and a half from the end of the fabric.  Keep in mind that I was using finished cloth napkins, so my seams are nice and finished….if you are just using fabric, your seams will be raw.An invisible zipper tutorial on a Knockoff Anthropologie Heart PillowThen, you will use the glue stick to glue on the zipper {with the Right side of the fabric facing up, turn the zipper upside down to glue it to the fabric}. An invisible zipper tutorial on a Knockoff Anthropologie Heart Pillow Once you have the zipper “glued” on, set it with the hot iron {no steam}….amazing how that glue stick will stay!An invisible zipper tutorial on a Knockoff Anthropologie Heart PillowDo the same to the second piece of fabric, making sure that all of your edges and corners line up for easy sewing.  Set the glued on zipper on this side as well, and you are ready to sew your zipper on!This is one of the best tutorials I've seen for an invisible zipper tutorial. Lots of photos and links to others' sites for even more help. Made zipper installation a breeze! Plus the knockoff Anthropologie heart pillow was so cute!Put the zipper foot on your sewing machine, and shift the needle accordingly so that it will sew as close to the zipper coils as possible.  Start on the zipper fabric where you marked the first line {the one that was about an inch and a half from the edge}, and be sure the back stitch a bit {but not all the way to the end of the fabric}.This is one of the best tutorials I've seen for an invisible zipper tutorial. Lots of photos and links to others' sites for even more help. Made zipper installation a breeze! Plus the knockoff Anthropologie heart pillow was so cute!Stitch across the length of the zipper fabric until just past the next line, then backstitch.  Put your two pieces of fabric together, right sides together and zip up the zipper about 2/3 of the way.  Make sure your fabric corners line up.  Move the “tail” of the zipper out of the way and then glue or pin the corners of the fabric together.  Starting at the end of the fabric, sew the two pieces of fabric together, stopping just past the place that you originally backstitched on the zipper.  Backstitch.  Do the same on the other end of the zipper as well.  An invisible zipper tutorial on a Knockoff Anthropologie Heart PillowWith crappy scissors, cut the “tails” of your zipper off, and then close the zipper all the way.  Flip your fabric Right side up and iron over the zipper to make it “disappear.”  Open your zipper again about half way.  Then put the two pieces Right sides together again and pin/glue together.  Sew your pieces together all the way around, be sure to backstitch, and maybe even double stitch for durability.This is one of the best tutorials I've seen for an invisible zipper tutorial. Lots of photos and links to others' sites for even more help. Made zipper installation a breeze! Plus the knockoff Anthropologie heart pillow was so cute!Turn your pillowcase right sides out {aren’t you glad you opened your zipper on that last step!?!?}, and you are done!  Slide your case over your favorite seasonal and/or dingy pillow for an instant living room update!This is one of the best tutorials I've seen for an invisible zipper tutorial. Lots of photos and links to others' sites for even more help. Made zipper installation a breeze! Plus the knockoff Anthropologie heart pillow was so cute!

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DIY Nativity Blocks

Last year I got a Silhouette for Mother’s Day.  It was one of those big ticket items that I thought I just HAD to have as a crafter.  I mean, just look at Pinterest and you’ll see all of the different things you can use this machine to make.  One of the cutest project’s I’d seen was the DIY Nativity Blocks from Ginger Snap Crafts.  So I decided to use her project as an inspiration for my own.  I know it’s not Christmas season quite yet, but in case you want a jump on some new decor for next month, and and you can use the Thanksgiving time time off to do it!

DIY Nativity Blocks using the Silhouette Machine - Palmettos and Pigtails

Although the painting and drying did take some time, it was a super easy project to do, especially since I’m a Silhouette novice!  I bought the Nativity Silhouette package {Design #52103}, and moved the figures around on my sheets of vinyl until I was able to fit them all onto two sheets total.  After using the Silhouette to cut them out, I peeled the surrounding vinyl away from each figure and trimmed for size.

DIY Nativity Blocks using the Silhouette Machine - Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Nativity Blocks using the Silhouette Machine - Palmettos and Pigtails

By doing this, I was able to see what size blocks I needed for each piece.  Dave used 1.5″ thick blocks of scrap wood and cut {and labeled} each one to size.  I painted the front of each block white and let them dry overnight.

DIY Nativity Blocks using the Silhouette Machine - Palmettos and Pigtails

Then I peeled off each piece of vinyl and placed it firmly on the wood.  Make sure you sand the wood down before painting and applying vinyl…I had some unwanted bumps because I didn’t do this.

DIY Nativity Blocks using the Silhouette Machine - Palmettos and Pigtails

Then, making sure your vinyl is sealed around the edges, paint over the white part with the color that you choose.  When you paint next to the vinyl, feel free to paint over the edges, but always use an outward motion…starting on the vinyl and painting out over the edge, to minimize bleeding under the vinyl.  Peel off the vinyl carefully while the paint is still wet.

DIY Nativity Blocks using the Silhouette Machine - Palmettos and Pigtails

As you can see above, there are imperfections in my wood, where I didn’t sand, and some bleeding on the lamb’s head.  Hey, this whole project was trial and error!  Learn from my mistakes!

DIY Nativity Blocks using the Silhouette Machine - Palmettos and Pigtails

I ended up having to do several coats of paint on the yellow pieces…I think I’d stick with the darker colors if possible.  Especially since the contrast isn’t even quite as good on the yellow.

DIY Nativity Blocks using the Silhouette Machine - Palmettos and Pigtails

I made the pieces various sizes, and the girls have enjoyed playing with them, and Lincoln especially loves stacking them.   I’m planning on adding a stable for a backdrop and sanding down my edges a bit to make the blocks a little more “worn” looking.

DIY Nativity Blocks using the Silhouette Machine - Palmettos and Pigtails

This Nativity Block Scene is the perfect addition to what has become the “holiday” console table!

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DIY Felt Busy Book

Recently I traveled by plane up to New Jersey for my grandfather’s funeral. I opted to bring Lincoln with me to provide some comic relief and distraction. You heard me right…I chose to bring my 16 month old son on an airplane. Crazy, I know. But I was feeling pretty confident since we were flying at bedtime, and I had my sister, Loo, flying with us.

But. Lincoln had other plans….and none of them included sleeping on a smelly, cramped airplane. And as the prepared and crafty momma that I am….I was ready!   In classic Shara form, I decided the night before we flew, that Lincoln not only needed a new pair of appliqued pajamas and a new long-sleeved monogrammed shirt, but that he also would benefit from a felt busy book. So while my embroidery machine sewed away at his new clothes, I got to work on his felt busy book.

And once I kind of had in mind what pages I wanted to make….it only took me about an hour. {Have I mentioned how much I love my new embroidery machine….I can multitask while sewing!!}. I decided to make the book super simple, with just five 9″x7″ felt pages. I didn’t sketch out anything-just winged it.

Page 1 was a counting page. I traced my hand on some tan felt, labled the fingers with numbers and hot glued the palm and wrist to a 9X7 “page” of felt. He can peel the fingers down to help learn how to count.

The back of Page 1 and front of Page 2 was a road. I did sketch that a little with white chalk, to make sure my road stayed a similar width throughout, and to make sure it was the right size for my pages. I also cut some bushes, a house and some little felt cars out of scraps. The cars keep getting lost though, so I may end up adding a couple of “carports” by gluing 3 edges of a rectangle down….to keep the cars from falling out of the book. I made sure to make my road thick enough for matchbox cars though, since I always have one of those in my diaper bag too.

The back of Page 2 and front of Page 3 were a tree and a basket. I cut out 5 apples and 5 leaves for the tree. This was probably Lincoln’s favorite page. He loved putting the apples on, and taking the leaves off of the tree and stuffing them in the basket. I also added numbers and “targets” {the dots} for practice in 1 to 1 correspondence in a few months…the teacher in me sneaks out every so often!

The back of Page 3 and front of Page 4 were for Mr. Potato Head.  Lincoln loves pointing out body parts {including the belly button of the closest victim}.

So I used similar technique to when I made the giant felt board Mr. Potato Head a couple of years ago, and just made it smaller {and a little less precise}.  I folded everything in half before cutting to make the body parts even.  Using a permanent marker to outline the eyes and feet is a great way to create definition without making so many individual felt pieces.  I messed up on the mouth by making teeth….I should have stuck to how I originally did it {and true to the plastic guy} with just a horizontal line for the teeth.  He ended up a little creepy, huh?

The back of page 4 and all of Page 5 I ended up leaving blank.  I simply ran out of time and ideas at 11:30 at night.  But it ended up working out to my advantage, as I had bought some stickers for Lincoln to play with on the plane, and the empty felt pages were the perfect place to “stick” them.  And because the felt stuck to the stickers, he was easily able to pull them off and on by himself.  And as you know, there is nothing more satisfying to a one year old than doing something by himself!

Once I had all the pages done, I made the cover.  Which ended up being the most time consuming item of the whole project.  I measured a 9″x7″ “cover” and then slide my template over a few inches {more than I needed so I can add pages later if I want}, and measured a second 9″x7″ back cover.  I also cut out a strip to hold my book closed, and attached a piece of adhesive rough velcro to it {so it stuck instantly to the cover of the book to keep it closed}.

Then I punched holes in the tops and bottoms of all of my pages and in the “spine” of my cover.  I folded the spine over once {use chalk to make sure all of your holes line up}, so make it a little sturdier and to store the extra spine fabric {for when I have more time to add more pages…}.  Then I used a long piece of yarn to “sew” the spine and the pages together.  I wove it through and then doubled back to make sure everything was supported.  Then I tied a knot.  If I add more pages, I’ll have to get a new piece of longer thread and do that process over again.

Now, I’ve seen the felt busy book pages on Pinterest.  And maybe someday I’ll get some free time to make some immaculate, creative pages for my book.  But for now, I’m happy knowing that my little book kept my toddler happy on a plane!

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DIY Crib Sheet

We have a new project happening at our house.  It’s been a bit slow going, as we’ve been completing it over the last year, bit by bit.  We are renovation the kids’ playroom to incorporate more storage.  So far, we’ve painted, added new baseboards and moulding, created a loft space, and are in the process now of building built-in-bookcases and shelving.

Needless to say, there will be a grand revealing in the coming months as we finally reach completion.  But for today, I thought I’d give you a little sneak peek of the loft and show you how I created a custom DIY crib sheet for the loft mattress.

DIY Crib Sheet-a fitted sheet tutorial for any size mattress

The mattress is not actually a mattress…we weren’t smart enough to create a space that would be the same size as an actual crib mattress…that would have been too easy!  So instead we made it an odd size, requiring me to buy thick foam from JoAnn Fabrics and make my own fitted DIY crib sheet.  But the method I used was so simple and could be used for any size mattress…I wish I had known about it when I was designing Lincoln’s nursery…I would have just made all of his bedding myself!

Materials

large piece of foam, or a mattress
2 yards of fabric, or as long as your mattress/foam plus 8-12 inches
scissors, iron, sewing machine
3-4 yards of fold over elastic

DIY Crib Sheet-a fitted sheet tutorial for any size mattressI stretched a pre-made crib mattress pad over my foam first, since lots of little ones will be sitting {and possibly spilling} on my mattress.

Set your mattress in the middle of your fabric, centering it so there are 4-6 inches extra on the two ends.  Depending on the width of your mattress, it will be easier if you can have the same amount of fabric excess on the ends as on the sides.

DIY Crib Sheet-a fitted sheet tutorial for any size mattress

Cut out the corners of your fabric with straight lines toward the corner of your mattress.  Do this on all four corners, then match up the lines that you cut, with the wrong sides together {the non-patterned sides of the fabric}.

Sew together, about 1/4″ from the raw edge.  The above picture is what all of your corners should look like.

DIY Crib Sheet-a fitted sheet tutorial for any size mattress

Turn your fabric inside out, and iron  along the seam.  Then, with the “right” sides together {the patterned sides of the fabric together}, sew along the same seam {where you ironed}, but this time about 1/2″ from the edge.  Be sure to finish your stitches…you will need these seams to be very strong, which is why we sew two separate seams.

DIY Crib Sheet-a fitted sheet tutorial for any size mattress

When you have done this for all four corners, turn your fabric right-side out again…it should look like a fitted sheet now, but without the elastic.

DIY Crib Sheet-a fitted sheet tutorial for any size mattress

I picked up one of these packs of fold-over elastic from the “baby aisle” at JoAnn Fabrics.

DIY Crib Sheet-a fitted sheet tutorial for any size mattress

Secure the elastic along the edge of your sheet, folding it over the edge so that each half of the elastic envelopes the edge of the fabric.  Secure the end, and then sew a straight stitch along the edge of the elastic {and since it’s folded over, the stitch will encompass both edges of the elastic, as well as the fabric}.  Stretch the elastic as you sew, and it will bunch up automatically.

DIY Crib Sheet-a fitted sheet tutorial for any size mattress

Super easy, and there isn’t really a way to mess this tutorial up.  Even if it’s sloppy, it doesn’t really matter because the parts that you cut and sew end up underneath your mattress and don’t show at all!

DIY Crib Sheet-a fitted sheet tutorial for any size mattress

The entire project took me about 20 minutes…I’m kicking myself for not sewing all my kids’ sheets in the fabrics that I wanted rather than store bought.

DIY Crib Sheet-a fitted sheet tutorial for any size mattress

You can see a bit of the loft in the above picture…I can’t wait to show you how the entire playroom turns out!

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{Walt Disney World} DIY Minnie Mouse Flip Flops

Now that our Countdown to Disney is in full swing, and the kids are in school full time, I’ve turned my attention to our upcoming trip to Walt Disney World.  This week’s #GetPumpedforDisney activity was making our own Minnie Mouse Flip Flops.

Super Easy.  Super Cute!

Minnie Mouse Flip Flops Tutorial to get the kids pumped for Disney!

I used the same technique that I used to make my Spider Corkscrew Bows that the girls wear at Halloween.  Click on the above link to see in more detail how I make the corkscrews.

For this tutorial {and one pair of flip flops} you’ll need:

  • a pair of plain plastic flip flops {I got mine at Walmart for 50 cents at the end of the summer!}
  • at least 5 different grosgrain ribbon spools, 1/4 inch wide works the best
  • several skinny dowel rods, each cut to 12″
  • two wooden clothespins per dowel rod that you have
  • jelly roll pan
  • glue gun
  • two pieces of elastic string cut to about 3″
  • two extra pieces of coordinating grosgrain ribbon {thinner than 1/4″ if possible}, cut to 4″
  • lighter
  • scissors
  • oven preheated to 325

Minnie Mouse Flip Flops Tutorial to get the kids pumped for Disney!

Wrap your ribbon at a slight angle around the length of each dowel rod.  One dowel rod for each color {I have two of each color in the picture above because I was making two pairs of flip flops}.  Secure the ends of the ribbon to the dowel rods with the wooden clothes pins and place on a jelly roll pan.  Bake for 30 minutes at 325.  Let cool completely.

Minnie Mouse Flip Flops Tutorial to get the kids pumped for Disney!

When they are completely cool, gently slide the ribbon off of the dowel rods.  Cut each 12″ length of ribbon into 4 equal pieces {about 3″ each}.  Two pieces of each color ribbon for each flip flop.  Use your lighter to gently melt the ends of each piece of ribbon to prevent fraying.

Minnie Mouse Flip Flops Tutorial to get the kids pumped for Disney!

Line up your ribbon pieces {two of each color} on top of one of your elastic strings.  Make sure the string is in the middle of each ribbon and tie a tight double knot around the entire bundle of ribbon corkscrews. Trim the ends of the elastic.

Minnie Mouse Flip Flops Tutorial to get the kids pumped for Disney!

You should be able to maneuver the ribbons around a bit to get the arrangement and level of “fluff” you desire!

Minnie Mouse Flip Flops Tutorial to get the kids pumped for Disney!

Hot glue your bunch of ribbons to the center of the top of your flip flop.  **The hot glue will NOT adhere the ribbons to the plastic, this is just to help hold the bunch in place while you secure it!  Use your scraps of ribbon {about 4″ long} to secure.

Hot glue one end of the scrap ribbon to the top of the ribbon bundle, right on top of the elastic knot.  Wrap the ribbon around one side of the flip flop thong {the part that goes between your toes}.  As you bring it back up to the top of the ribbon bundle, hot glue it to the top {the end of the ribbon that you already secured} and then tightly wrap it down around the other side of the thong.  Secure the end with hot glue.  Fluff your ribbon bundle around the scrap ribbon as much as possible.

Minnie Mouse Flip Flops Tutorial to get the kids pumped for Disney!

My girls {and their sensitive feet} did not like the way the ends of the ribbons {particularly the long skinny pink ones} tickled their toes.  So I ended up hot glueing the ends of some of the ribbons to the middle of the bundle to create loops.  But by doing that, I actually covered up a lot of the scrap ribbon from the top, creating a more cohesive look.

Minnie Mouse Flip Flops Tutorial to get the kids pumped for Disney!

You can still see the scrap ribbon in the above picture, since I took it front the front of the flip flops.

Minnie Mouse Flip Flops Tutorial to get the kids pumped for Disney!

But from the tops, you could barely see it!

Minnie Mouse Flip Flops Tutorial to get the kids pumped for Disney!

The girls love their new Minnie Mouse flip flops, and after the ribbon baked for 30 minutes, they only took about 15 minutes to make!  They can’t wait to wear them to the pool at Disney!

Minnie Mouse Flip Flops Tutorial to get the kids pumped for Disney!

I’d love it if you’d share this post on FB or pin it!  You can find my sharing buttons at the end of the post, or hover over the photos to pin.  Thanks for reading!

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DIY Wooden Disney Princesses

We are about a month away from our big Disney trip, and we are starting to really get excited.  We’ve been faithfully counting down the days and doing special Disney activities to get ready and even more excited for our trip.  You can follow along with our activities over on Instagram by following me {@palmsandpigs} and following our hashtag #GetPumpedforDisney.

This week’s activity was more for me and Betsy, than for the girls.  And no, Betsy can’t come with us this time…{insert sad face here}.  But she still loves Disney as much as I do, and loves painting too….so she was the perfect helper for my DIY Wooden Disney Princesses.  And it was a terrific late night project for us when we were in West Jefferson.

I found these adorable dolls and Wooden Disney Princesses tutorial over on Lil Blue Boo, and thought they would be the perfect addition to our collection of wooden blocks, as well as the wooden dollhouse that we borrowed from Wiggles & Whimsy.

DIY Wooden Disney Princesses

Aren’t they adorable?  I’m so pleased at the way they came out.  And they look so much more complicated than they really were.

Obviously, I had Betsy, who is an artist, helping me out, so some of my girls’ dresses are quite ornate.  But even without all of the ruffles on Belle’s dress, you can still tell who she is!

DIY Wooden Disney Princesses

I bought my wooden dolls from Casey’s Wood.  I needed a bunch of them since we were making a set for my kids, and a set for Betsy’s.  It was surprisingly difficult to find the larger wooden peg dolls wearing dresses….but in hindsight I wish I had just gotten regular peg figures.   I don’t think the the dress shape ended up mattering that much, and it would have been nice to be able to use extra ones to make some boy figures.  I mean, how cute are these?!?!

Boy Peg Figurines from Homemade by Jill

Anyway, back to my ladies.  I got 12 peg dolls, some acrylic paint and super small paintbrushes….you’ll need one wider one for painting the dresses on, and at least one teensy one for painting details and eyes and such.  I also used a pencil for sketching before painting.

DIY Wooden Disney Princesses

The dresses were pretty simple {they were my job, while Betsy did the detail work!}.  We used images on Google to look at each princess.  We did V-necks, Scoop necks or Heart-shaped necklines on the fronts, and painted straight across the back neckline {but left a little space under the head to make it more realistic}.  Here’s the back:

DIY Wooden Disney Princesses

And some of the princesses have long flowing hair that went down their backs.  Again, we just used simple shapes to create their hairstyles.  And don’t forget their headbands!

DIY Wooden Disney Princesses

To draw belts and bustles and ruffles {and midriffs!}, I used whatever I could find to make little marks all the way around the curved doll.  Here, I used a little plastic tube that I found…that way Aurora’s belt was straight all the way around.

DIY Wooden Disney Princesses

DIY Wooden Disney Princesses

I also found some glitter acrylic paint that I used for Elsa’s cape, Tinkerbell, Ariel’s scales, and Jasmine’s neckline and waist.  A little sparkle adds a lot of detail!!

DIY Wooden Disney Princesses

Some tips we found:

-A little wave to the hairline creates a whole different look for the princess {don’t you love Snow White’s hair?}.

-Smaller is better when it comes to the dots for eyes

-The glitter adds a nice dimension…I may go back and add some bedazzle jewels to Jasmine and Cinderella.  Later on, I also added pompoms with hot glue for the princesses with buns, and that also added some texture.

-Use a non-toxic sealant after painting….because little boys love kissing {or chewing on} Princesses

DIY Wooden Disney Princesses

My favorites ended up being Ana, Belle and Pocahontas.

DIY Wooden Disney Princesses

But the rest were lovely as well.

DIY Wooden Disney Princesses

So my advice:

keep it simple with colors and shapes….

use Google images for different adaptations of each Princess’ look….

little details can make all the difference {look at Rapunzel’s lacey trim and X stitches}…

really, really, really don’t worry about the finished product….{especially if there is wine involved in the process}, because your girls will be just thrilled at the end result!

DIY Wooden Disney Princesses

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