Thursday, February 28, 2013

No-Sew Fleece Blanket for Toddlers

Earlier this month, my oldest son turned three. One of the gifts I made him for his birthday was a Cars no-sew fleece blanket. My little man LOVES Lightning McQueen. :)
This weekend his best friend is celebrating his third birthday. So, I thought I would make him a no-sew fleece blanket as well! Instead of Cars, this little man his obsessed with all things Buzz Lightyear.
These blankets are incredibly easy to make and can be customized for any toddler boy or girl. They make wonderful, colorful and fun birthday gifts, too! :)
To get started you'll need:
* 1 1/2 yards character fleece (I am using Toy Story fleece for this blanket)
* 1 1/2 yards solid fleece in a coordinating color
* Sharp scissors
* Clips (I used chip clips. Fancy!)
* A 4x4 inch piece of scrap paper
First, you'll need to line up your fleece. My character fleece has this strip of  words on the side. I decided to just leave it, rather than cut it off. If you do cut it off, make sure you also trim up your solid fleece so that they still line up.

Next, you'll need to take your 4x4 square of paper. You'll want to place it in each corner of lined up fleece and cut around it. You will end up having all of the corners cut off of your fleece.

Now it's time to start cutting your tie-strips. Use your clips to hold together the two pieces of fabric. You'll want to make cuts about an inch apart and two to three inches into the fabric. Cut a small amount at a time, then tie your strips together. Be sure to double knot them so that they are nice and tight.

Do not tie the pieces closest to the corners together. Instead you are going to criss cross them and tie them with the pieces on the other side of the corner. This ensures that there are no gaps in your blanket.

Continue this process until you have gotten all the way around your blanket.

The blanket is roughly 4 x 4.5 feet when complete. It's also pretty easy on the wallet. My total cost for this project was $12.40. If you buy one of the No-Sew Fleece Kits at JoAnn's it will cost you anywhere from $25- $30. So, it's definitely worth it to make one yourself!

My little man loves how soft and cozy his blanket is and he takes it everywhere! It's the perfect size for a toddler to snuggle up under on their bed at night. :)

Does your little one have a favorite character or TV Show? Have you ever made one of these blankets before?

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Chef Hat {tutorial}

I love giving homemade gifts and today I am sharing one of my favorite go-to toddler gifts.  This chef hat is super cute and your little one will LOVE wearing it while helping you cook! A few years back, I found this tutorial and made my first chef hat for little miss E. It turned out so great that I’ve been making chef hat and apron sets ever since. I’m actually opening my Etsy shop next week that will feature these sets as well as some other great gifts. So if you know a little (or big) chef that would love one of these hats, go ahead and follow along! If you don't have the time to make one, feel free to stop by my shop! 

I’ve always made girlie apron and hat sets, but when 2 brothers in our playgroup got a play kitchen for their birthdays, I knew they would enjoy something to dress up in and play the part. And why not? Boys love to cook too! I found the cutest Michael Miller retro fabrics and coordinated solids to match.

You’ll need:
-8” x 24” fabric for the band (I used the print for this)
-20” x 20” square of fabric
-4” x 24” medium weight fusible interfacing
- Two 1” x 2” pieces of  Velcro (1 with hooks and 1 with loops)
-Pins (A LOT of pins!!!)

I stared by making the band. First, fold your 8” x 24” fabric in half (long way- think hotdog!) making it 4” x 24”. Iron to make the crease.

Place fusible interfacing inside the pocket, so that the edge lies along the crease.  Fold fabric over and iron. The original tutorial calls for an 8” x 24” cut of fusible interfacing, but I found that the hat got bulky and not as light for those little chefs.

Next, open the pocket of fabric, fold in your short ends 1/2 “, and iron flat. This way, your ends will be finished.

Fold back in half, iron, and pin. Sew around all edges using a medium stitch length.

Overlap your ends by 1-2”, or whatever length to allow for the correct fit to make a circle band (wrong side out). Pin in place.

Mark your band (around the raw edge) into halves, fourths, and then eighths. Set aside.

Now to make the top:

Fold the 20” x 20” fabric in half and iron to make a crease.  Fold it in half again and iron.  Mark a smooth curve. I used a circular lid to a bowl. Cut along the curve.

I folded mine once more in half and ironed. Open up the fabric to find a circle, or in my case, a square with very round edges ;-).  It should have 8 creases, giving you a guide for pinning later.

Now to put them together:

Place your fabric wrong side up, inside of the band. Secure the fabric at each 1/8th crease (with the evenly spaced pins on the band from before). 

Next, start making even gathers in between each pinned area. Pin from the inside like so.

Make sure to go in one direction all around the hat.

Sew along raw edges. Make sure to give yourself a good enough seam allowance to catch all of the fabric. 

Turn right side out. Pin velcro like so. (Make sure to put the hooks facing out so they don't catch any hair!)

Sew in place. And you're finished. See that wasn't too bad! Now to try it on the cutest model ever!

I am just in love with both Michael Miller prints that I used in this project. 
What fabrics are you in love with right now?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Taggies Style Baby Block {Tutorial}

Both my kids loved their Taggies style blankets when they were younger. So when a good friend of mine had her sweet little baby boy, I considered making one for her new wee man. However, I knew that she would be getting a least one of these blankets from a mutual friend and I wanted to try something new. Which is why I decided to make a Taggies style Baby Block! I was inspired by this post from the blog Teenah's Projects.

I love that this soft, plush block is perfect for baby to play with and throw around. I even put a bell on the inside so it makes noise while baby is handling it. This project was really easy and I was able to make the entire thing in less than two hours (during my son's nap time).

-Various ribbons for the tags
-Fabric enough for six 6-inch squares
-Polyester stuffing
-Jingle bell
-Measuring tool
-Fabric pen
-Iron-on interfacing

1. Cut your ribbon in 4 inch strips.

2. Using your measuring tool and fabric pen, measure six 6-inch squares from your fabric and cut out.

3. Do the same with your iron-on interfacing.

4. Iron the interfacing onto the wrong side of the fabric squares.

5. Fold the ribbons in half and space them evenly around the two squares of fabric that will be your top and bottom of the block. Pin down.

6. Stitch the ribbons down by sewing back and forth multiple times. I sewed them down at about 3/8" since my seam allowance was 1/2". I wanted the ribbon to hold but did not want the stitching to show.

7. Take the squares that will make up the sides of the block and, with right sides together, stitch them all together using a 1/2" seam allowance so they make a long line.

8. Trim the seams and iron flat.

9. Sew the raw ends together, so that it makes a square. Trim and iron the seam.

10. Insert the top of the block into the square you just sewed and pin in place.

11. Sew around the square using a 1/2" seam allowance. I found that it was easier to sew on the sides of the block, rather than on the top (the side with the ribbon).

12. One end is done! On to the next! The only difference with the bottom end is to leave an opening so you can turn the square right side out. I left about a 4" space in the middle of one of the sides.

13. Turn square right side out.

14. Stuff the block about half way with the polyester filling.

15. Place the bell inside, making sure that it is a close to the middle as you can get it. Fill the block all the way with the filling and then hand-stitch the opening closed.

I am really happy with how this little block turned out and can't wait to make a few more for the other little babies in my life.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Paper Flower Ball Bouquet {Tutorial}

Lately the days here have been getting sunnier, warmer and simply... more beautiful! It feels like Spring. And, honestly, I want it to be Spring! So, in honor of the impending season, I decided to get a head start on my Spring decorating. :)

I stumbled across this pretty picture on Pinterest and it gave me just the inspiration I needed to create this simple, paper flower balls. :)

You'll need:
* Styrofoam balls (I used 2" and 3" balls)
* Glass head pins
* Silhouette, flower shaped craft punch, or stencils
* Cardstock or craft paper
* Bamboo skewers

I actually went out and purchased this small flower-shaped punch for this project. It was only $2.99 at JoAnn's with a coupon. Score! I could have used my Silhouette, but I thought that this would be a bit easier.

Start by punching out your flowers. I would punch out a whole sheet's worth at one time.

Then place your pin through the middle of the flower, fold up the petals and push it into your styrofoam ball. Be sure to leave a space to insert your bamboo skewer in the bottom of each ball. (The larger ones actually came with with a hole all ready made for the skewer!)

And... that's it! So easy. It only took me a few episodes of Glee to make this little bouquet. I love how it turned out and can't wait to place it on my Spring mantel. :)

Happy Friday, friends! :)

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