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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{From the Archives} Disney World Countdown Chain

Well, we are at it again!  We are headed back to Disney at the end of the summer for another week of family fun.  Today, Jayna and I made our Disney World Countdown Chain for us to keep track of how many days left until our trip.  We made it just like last time, but added a few new Countdown Activities to our bucket this time.  Stay tuned and I’ll tell you all about them.

But for today, I thought I’d revisit how we made the countdown chain two years ago when we went to Disney.  It’s amazing to look at the pictures and see how young Jayna looks!!!

Disney Countdown Chain

You might say there is a little Disney excitement going on inside our house lately.  And the kids are excited too! But, I finally grew tired of the “Is it  Disney World Day yet Mommy?” {Plus, I kind of wanted to know how many days left too!}.  And we all know that kids {and I} learn better with visual aides.  So I scoured my Disney Pinterest Board for ideas.By far, my favorite was the Disney World Countdown Chain by Get Away Today. Plus, it allowed me to control how many links were included {which was key since we had over 90 days left until D-Day}.  Several of the other countdown ideas were only for the last month.  Jayna and I had a great time making it too.  We did it in several parts….spreading out the “Disney Project” over several days.  Lately she is all about projects and having some quality {no-Millie} time with Mama.  I let her cut out the circles and 2 in ch strips.  Then we used glue sticks to add white hole-punched dots to the red strips to make them look like Mickey’s pants.Then DAYS later {when Jayna needed some more Mama time}, we connected the chains.  Jayna worked on her patterning skills while I attached the chains with tape.Because we kept spreading out this project, I had to keep modifying the number of chains used….we waited another couple of days to finish the project with a cute topper {with fun, sparkly scrapbooking stickers and paper}, and hang it up in our dining room.  I kind of underestimated how long the chain would be!To add to the excitement, on the white strips, I drew a little Mickey…and every time Jayna cuts a white strip, she gets to choose a fun-filled Disney Stick from our Bucket o’ Fun Disney ActivitiesMore Jayna and Mama time later that day with a special Disney activity!

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I’m linkin’ up!

Check out my other Disney-related posts and plenty more to come!!

{Cowboy Up} Cowboy Party Favors

The cowboy party favors we gave out at Lincoln’s party were one of the simplest aspects of the whole party.  The hardest thing about it was finding enough straight-ish sticks!

DIY Cowboy Party Favors - Palmettos and Pigtails

Here’s what you are going to need for each Hobo Bag:

a straight-ish stick about a foot long

a 10″x10″ square of bandana fabric {I used yardage}

about a foot and a half of twine

snack sized ziplock bags

Golden Grahams

Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Mini marshmallows

Fill up the snack bag about 2/3 of the way full.  Squeeze al the air out and zip it closed.  You should be able to kind of fold the stuffed baggie in half.

With it folded, place in the middle of the fabric square, on the wrong side of the fabric.  Carefully pull each of the four corners up and secure with the twine.  Tie the twine in a knot and then wrap the twine in a figure eight around the sack and the stick.  Once you get to the end of the twine, tie off in a double knot.

I used both red and blue bandana fabrics, and then arranged all of the Hobo Bags into a vase, making it my centerpiece for the food table!  Double duty!

And my Cowboy Party Favors were a hit…not a single one left!

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{Cowboy Up} DIY Cowboy Vest Tutorial

One of my favorite things about Lincoln’s cowboy-themed first birthday party was the fact that everyone got to get in character.  We supplied the hats, bandanas and mustaches for the guests, but our family searched for weeks before the party to find our perfect outfits!

I ordered the girls coordinating outfits on Zulily, but wasn’t sure about them arriving in time, so I made them each an outfit too.  The matching dresses ended up arriving just in time, so Jayna opted to wear that.  Millie chose to wear my outfit though!!  It’s one of my twirly skirts that I sell occasionally on Etsy.  I appliquéd the matching shirt.  Their cowgirl hats are from Tractor Supply.

DIY Cowboy Vest Tutorial for a Cowboy Themed First Birthday Party from Palmettos and Pigtails

Lincoln, on the other hand, was a bit harder to shop for.  I ordered his little cowboy hat off of Amazon, and his boots were an accidental find at Hobby Lobby.  But what was he going to wear?

DIY Cowboy Vest Tutorial for a Cowboy Themed First Birthday Party from Palmettos and Pigtails

I scoured Pinterest, but couldn’t find a Cowboy Vest that I liked, let alone a pattern.  So I decided to make my own.  First, I got one of his current onesies so I could figure out how big to make it.  I used butcher paper as my “pattern” and eye-balled how wide and tall to make it, taking seam allowances into consideration.  In hindsight, I wish I had added about an inch to both the width and height.  The vest fit him, but he won’t be able to use it for pretend play as a toddler or anything.

DIY Cowboy Vest Tutorial for a Cowboy Themed First Birthday Party from Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Cowboy Vest Tutorial for a Cowboy Themed First Birthday Party from Palmettos and Pigtails

Here’s what my final measurements looked like for a size 12 month vest.  Again, if I were you, I think I’d add another inch to width and height for a better fit.

DIY Cowboy Vest Tutorial for a Cowboy Themed First Birthday Party from Palmettos and Pigtails

Trace your “patterns” onto your fabric, remembering that you will need two of the front panel…and they need to be mirror images.  When you are finished, the front pieces should fit perfectly.  It’s of if they overlap in the front a bit.  Cut a small dip on the back piece along the neckline.

DIY Cowboy Vest Tutorial for a Cowboy Themed First Birthday Party from Palmettos and Pigtails

Then, use some scrap fabric to  cut a 3″ tall rectangle that is a little wider than the top of the back of your vest.  This will be your fringe panel for the back.  Sew it on with a straight stitch as close to the raw edge as you can {make sure it’s straight!}

Take another 3″ high scrap of fabric and place it under the top of your front sections of the vest. Trace and cut, to form the front panels of fringe.

DIY Cowboy Vest Tutorial for a Cowboy Themed First Birthday Party from Palmettos and Pigtails

You’ve already sewn the back fringe panel on, do the same for the fringe panels on the front.  Straight stitch the panel to the top of the front of your vest.  Then sew the panel along the diagonal line {down the chest}.  Do not sew the side where the arms are going to go.  Then I sewed the front pieces to the back pieces {right sides together!}, and zig-zag stitched around all of the raw edges.  I made it a wide stitch, and wasn’t too careful and I ended up liking the imperfect-ness of it.  Very Cowboy.

DIY Cowboy Vest Tutorial for a Cowboy Themed First Birthday Party from Palmettos and Pigtails

If you have any other scraps available, feel free to cut out a pocket {a semi-circle} and a triangle of the same width.  Sew the triangle to the straight part of the semi-circle.  Zig-zag stitch across the top to finish the raw edge.  Position your pocket where you’d like it, pin and zig-zag stitch around the semi-circle, leaving the straight part un-sewn for a functional pocket.

DIY Cowboy Vest Tutorial for a Cowboy Themed First Birthday Party from Palmettos and Pigtails

Once everything is sewed on, you just need to cut your fringe!  Cut up to your seams, but be careful not to cross or snip any thread!

DIY Cowboy Vest Tutorial for a Cowboy Themed First Birthday Party from Palmettos and Pigtails

Adorable and really easy, right?  Ok, now for the good pictures.  I’ll let the professional take over from here….courtesy of Rachel Weber Photography.  I’ll take credit for the kid though!

DIY Cowboy Vest Tutorial for a Cowboy Themed First Birthday Party from Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Cowboy Vest Tutorial for a Cowboy Themed First Birthday Party from Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Cowboy Vest Tutorial for a Cowboy Themed First Birthday Party from Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Cowboy Vest Tutorial for a Cowboy Themed First Birthday Party from Palmettos and Pigtails

Cutest ‘lil cowpoke around!

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I’m linking up here this week!

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As always, all opinions in the post are 100% my own.*