Sunday, December 27

Easiest Adjustable Apron Tutorial

When my sister got married I promised to make her an apron.

Update: I looove this one I made for my mom with the same pattern. I like to wrap around my waist and tie in the front for a cuter fit. 

Every new wife needs a good apron, right? Unfortunately I always like to make things harder for myself and make up my own pattern. I want it to look just how I want it to look and I don't want to spend time looking through tutorials for one that is perfect. My first attempt totally flopped, so I put off trying again... for... two years. *shame* Sorry, Sister. But I finally got into a nesting flurry a few weeks ago and finished one!

The finished apron gives you full coverage when you're cooking. No more splatters around around a too-narrow bodice (I cook messy, okay? Don't judge.). Plus the generous size will work for most cooks. It also boasts a handy pocket and a hanging loop for when it's not in use. But most importantly, it has my #1 most desired feature in an apron: an adjustable strap. Not one you have to tie or slide through rings (you won't spend more time adjusting your apron than you spend actually cooking the food), all you have to do is pull the ties to make the neck loop shorter. And you guys... all this convenience is still pretty easy to make! This is all you need:
  • 1.75 yards main fabric (you can get more for a longer apron or less for a shorter apron)
  • 1 yard strap/pocket fabric
  • thread

Let's start by cutting your main fabric. Cut a piece 29 1/2 x 42" for the main body. Fold the piece in half length wise and lay it with the fold facing you (see drawing below). On the left edge measure up from the bottom 5 3/4" and make a mark. On the top edge measure in 13.5" from the top left corner and make a mark. Draw a curve connecting the two marks and cut along the curved line. This is your main apron body. If you want to make your apron a little more feminine, you can curve the bottom corners of the apron.

Sunday, December 13

Free Printable Christmas Gift Tags

We've almost finished our Christmas shopping and we were about to start wrapping the pile of presents stuffed in our closet when I realized... we didn't have any gift tags! Now, I've been known to do the old Sharpie on the Wrapping Paper technique, but we had such pretty paper this year that I really wanted some nice tags to go with it. Which left me three options: take three children to the store to buy some, send husband to pick some out on his own, or print some at home. I chose door #3.

There are several printables available on pinterest, but in my search for the perfect tags I was a little bit picky and couldn't find exactly what I was looking for. So I decided to make my own printable tags!

You can print either a color version in a classic red & green scheme (my fave) or an all black version that looks great on brown craft paper.

Tuesday, December 8

Easiest Fleece Bunny Tutorial - Sewing with Kids

A few weeks ago I was picking up some fabric for another project and as we passed the fleece Big Brother said "Oh! Can I get some of this fuzzy blue?" I told him I didn't think we needed any and we should keep moving. But then he said "But I need to make something for our baby!" How can I say no to that? Answer = I can't. So each of the brothers picked out a fleece (both picked blue) and I started brainstorming what we could make with just a quarter of a yard.

Well, it turned out my pregnant brain couldn't come up with anything. Fortunately my sister came to the rescue and sent me a picture of some adorable little fleece bunnies. Whew. These guys were so fast and so easy, and I was even sewing them with a two-year-old and a four-year-old! They are a perfect project to get started sewing with your kids. They get to try hand sewing, machine sewing, stuffing, and even drawing their own pattern. Plus this project is fast enough that mom doesn't get burnt out with all the "help."

Here's what you need to make your own fleece bunny:
  • 1/4 yard of fleece
  • scraps of quilting cotton for the ears (if you're buying some 1/8 yard is more than enough!)
  • buttons for eyes
  • embroidery floss for the nose & mouth
  • stuffing
  • thread

Start by drawing a pattern for your bunny (or you can just cut your bunny out free-style). My four year old drew our bunny pattern. He made it like the picture we saw with the top rounded and the bottom more square, but really you can do whatever bunny shape you like! I drew the ears. Just remember that you need to add extra space for seam allowances, so draw everything a little bigger than you want it to be. Our first bunny's ears were cut with the pattern and turned out a little skinny so we cut the second pair bigger. I remember my mom having my sister and I draw patterns to make our own rag dolls when we were little (I still have that doll!) so I really wanted that to be a part of this project too.

Saturday, December 5

DIY Necklace Roundup

I love to give hand made gifts. In fact one Christmas (pre-kids, for the record) I decided to do all handmade gifts for my family. Without going into too much detail, let's just say many tears were shed that Christmas Eve as I tried to catch up with the lofty goal I set for myself. Never again, friends. So while I still love giving handmade goodies, I now know to go with smaller, simpler projects (usually paired with a purchased item). These necklaces have been some of my favorite gifts to give because they are budget friendly, you can personalize them to make them extra-special, and best of all they are so easy and fast to put together. These are the kinds of DIY gifts you won't have to cry over on Christmas Eve!

Essential Oil Diffusing Necklace
Essential oils are very popular right now, so you probably know at least a couple people who would love a diffusing necklace! These are so many options - you can use any color and the bead shapes are unlimited! You could pair it with a bottle of their favorite oil for a complete gift. See the tutorial here.

Stamped Washer Necklaces
These necklaces can be personalized so many ways. Besides choosing the kind of cord or chain, you can make them say anything you want! Choose part of a favorite quote, and inspirational word, or a name. We love making these with the names of a spouse or children. We've also made stamped keychains for the guys on our Christmas list. Get the stamped necklace tutorial here.

Bird's Nest Necklaces
These are my hands-down favorite. They are great for anyone, but I especially love giving these to moms. I customize each necklace with one egg for each of their children. You can pick mom's favorite color for the eggs, or use a different color for boys and girls. This necklace is cute enough to get lots of compliments, plus it has great sentimental value. The one on the left in the picture is the one I made for myself and I wear it every week! (I still need to add a third egg to it for the littlest brother.) See the tutorial here.

So get to it friends! Give those handmade gifts without shedding a Christmas tear.

What are your favorite easy handmade gifts?