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DIY Crafts, DIY Kids Activities, Free Printables

Make a Mini Road Map Busy Bag – Free Printable

Road Map Busy Bag by The DIY Mommy - Free Printable!

One of my very creative mommy friends, Jenni (she was the one who created this gorgeous tree skirt this past Christmas), organized a “Busy Bag Swap” to take place later today. It’s such a neat idea: a group of us moms are making busy bags (inexpensive, creative little crafts or games that can fit into a bag  for our toddlers and preschoolers to play with) and then swapping them over a coffee & playdate so that we have 11 different bags! What a fun way to visit, get some interesting new activities for our kids, and craft.

Road Map Busy Bag by The DIY Mommy - Free Printable!

I decided to put my graphic design skills to use, and I drew this mini road map that can easily fit into a bag for traveling with. I made a “city” and a “country” map, and I put those in a plastic bag with a little toy car.

Little C played with the mini car mats for a while today, so I think they were a success! I originally planned to have the city map on one side and the country map on the other (so there’s just one piece of paper), but my four year old convinced me it was better to have them separate so that the car could visit both places easily. It made sense to me!

Road Map Busy Bag by The DIY Mommy - Free Printable!

I’m sharing these miniature road map printables with you today – they’re a free download just for you! All I ask is that in return, you share this blog post with your friends (use the sharing buttons at the bottom of this post if you wish).

You can print the map as one double sided sheet, or separate them – it’s up to you (and your discerning toddler/preschooler)!

Road Map Busy Bag by The DIY Mommy - Free Printable!

Click on the following link to download a free PDF of this Road Map Busy Bag Printable: Road Map Busy Bag Printable by The DIY Mommy

Road Map Busy Bag by The DIY Mommy - Free Printable!

Next week, I’ll share with you photos from our Busy Bag Swap and links to the creative busy bags all of the moms are making. I’m so excited to see what everyone is bringing!

DIY Home Decor, DIY Sewing

Sew a Scalloped Bunting Banner

DIY Scalloped Bunting Banner by The DIY Mommy

We’re in the midst of building our new home, and I’m attempting to work on the girls’ room decor now so that it will be ready to pop in their new rooms when our house is done. I’m slowly working on it, so depending on how quickly our house finishing goes (which, in my estimate, won’t be as quick as I’d like it to be), I should be successful!

For Baby A’s room, I’m basing her decor colour scheme and style around this quilt I made for her late last year. Her room will be full of retro woodland animals, soft hues of mint, turquoise, coral, pink and yellow, and I think I’ll top it all off with a sweet chandelier. I thought a cute addition to Baby A’s nursery decor would be a retro-styled bunting banner to hang above her crib (or over a reading corner – we’ll see) and I managed to sew one this week out of fabrics that match her quilt.

DIY Scalloped Bunting Banner by The DIY Mommy

This DIY scalloped bunting banner is very easy and inexpensive to make and it would be a great addition to any nursery decor. It would also be cute in a playroom, as a unique photo prop or as a party decoration.

Materials (for a banner approximately 60″ long):

  • 1/2 yard each of 4 different fabrics
  • a roll of bias tape (or make your own from 1/4 yard of fabric)
  • an ice cream pail lid

Directions:

DIY Scalloped Bunting Banner by The DIY Mommy

To cut out the flag pieces, fold a piece of fabric in half and lay the ice cream pail lid on it with just less than half of it off of the fabric (as pictured above). Trace around it to make your scallop shape.

DIY Scalloped Bunting Banner by The DIY Mommy

Cut this piece out and use it as a template to cut 14 more pieces out. You will cut out 4 pieces in each fabric.

DIY Scalloped Bunting Banner by The DIY Mommy

With two right sides together, sew around the curved edge of the pieces using a 1/4″ seam. I used a serger (because it’s fast), but a regular sewing machine would work just as well. Repeat with all of the pieces until you have 8 flags sewn. Turn them right side out and press them flat.

DIY Scalloped Bunting Banner by The DIY Mommy

Cut a 70″ piece of bias tape, and then sew its short end and about 6″ of its long end shut (sewing about 1/4″ from the open edges). Slip your first flag into the open edges of the bias tape, and sew the tape around the raw edge of the flag. Repeat with the rest of the flags, placing them right next to each other as you sew. You could pin them in place first if you prefer!

DIY Scalloped Bunting Banner by The DIY Mommy

Sew the rest of the bias tape closed along the long and short end, and you’re ready to hang your adorable scalloped bunting banner!

DIY Scalloped Bunting Banner by The DIY Mommy

DIY Sewing

Sew A Simple Change Mat Cover

Sew a Simple Change Mat Cover by The DIY Mommy

Sometimes I like to spend a lot of time on DIY projects, and sometimes I just want to make them as simple as possible and get them done.

This easy minky change mat cover was one of the latter kinds of projects. I made it before Baby A was born, and I completely forgot to share it until now (almost a year and a half later)! I still use this DIY change pad cover daily. It’s washable, it’s comfortable, and it didn’t take me long at all to sew. It’s basically a small fitted sheet – without mitered corners. Here’s how I did it:

Materials:

Directions:

  1. Measure your change pad from side to side, making sure to add the height of the outside and inside edges. Add 2″. This will be the width of the piece of fabric you’ll need to cut.
  2. Repeat with the length of the changepad, using this measurement as the length of fabric that needs to be cut.
  3. Cut a piece of minkee to this measurement, and then round the corners (I use an ice cream pail lid).
  4. Fold the edges from right side to wrong side about 1/2″ and pin. You can pleat the corners a little to make this work. Sew the edges down, ensuring that there’s at least a 1/4″ casing for the elastic. Leave a 1″ hole.
  5. Cut a piece of elastic that’s appoximately 2/3 the circumference of your changemat. Thread it through the casing, sew its ends together, and then sew the casing hole shut.
  6. Your done! It’s a simple cover, but it’s quick and it’s easy to remove when it needs to be washed. You can make a couple so that you’ll always have one on hand.

Sew a Simple Change Mat Cover by The DIY Mommy

Sidenote: Here’s darling Baby A at only two days old. How small is she?! Is is just me, or does the second baby seem to grow up at lightening speed?

Sew a Simple Change Mat Cover by The DIY Mommy

(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to purchase products via these links, a small percentage of the sale will be given to me at no extra cost to you. It’s a win-win – thanks for helping support thediymommy.com!)

DIY Home Decor, Knitting & Crochet

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket – Part 2: Joining the Squares & Finishing

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

After crocheting what seems like a bazillion little granny squares, this is the fun part – putting them all together and finishing off the blanket!

(If you missed part one of this tutorial on how to plan your granny square blanket and make the squares, go here to Part 1 first.)

Joining the granny squares:

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

With your white/cream yarn, starting with your first square in the first row, attach the yarn to one corner ch 1 hole and then chain 3 (this will act as your first dbl crochet + chain 1). [ Dbl crochet 3 times into the same hole (this forms a corner of the square), chain 1, dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1, dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1, dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1 ] Repeat 3 times until you’re at the hole you started on and then slip stitch into the 3rd chain from the beginning. Pull yarn through loop and cut, leaving a tail.

Now, you will move on to the second square in the first row and join it this way:

Attach the white/cream yarn to one corner ch 1 hole and then chain 3 (this will act as your first dbl crochet + chain 1).  [Dbl crochet 3 times into the same hole (this forms a corner of the square), chain 1, dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1, dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1, dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1.] Repeat once and then stop! Poke your crochet hook through one corner chain of the first square. Slip stich through.

Ch 1, dbl crochet 3 times in same hole (of second square), chain 1, [dbl crochet 1 time in the next hole, then find the middle dbl crochet of the adjacent “dbl crochet 3” on your first square and slip stich through. Dbl crochet 2 times, ch 1] Repeat from [ to ]. Dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1, dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1. Slip stitch into the 3rd chain from the beginning. Pull yarn through loop and cut, leaving a tail.

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

You’ll repeat this pattern for the entire first row of 12 squares.

On the next rows, when you need to join one square to others, only crochet up one side, and then start attaching it to the other squares.

Granny-Square-Baby-Blanket-by-The-DIY-Mommy-25

Here’s a picture showing a slip stitch through the corner chains to attach the square corners together.

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

The blanket is 16 rows long, so this part takes a while. I would suggest to take a “break” every few rows and weave in the ends on the back of the blanket so that you’re not weaving them ALL in at the end (which is really annoying)!

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

Once the entire 16 rows of 12 are joined, you’re ready to edge the blanket.

Finishing the blanket:

I chose a very simple bobble edge so that the colourful granny squares were the stars of this piece!

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

I single crocheted for two rows around the entire perimeter of the blanket, and then I used this lovely pattern to make bobble edging. Isn’t it cute and quirky?

Weave in all of those pesky ends and your done!

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

I think we’ll cuddle up with this blankie on our living room couch, and then when our new house is built and Baby A has her own nursery, it will reside there. I like that it’s soft and made of natural fibers.

I’m totally in love with this crocheted granny square blanket – it’s retro-cuteness at it’s finest. And I’m really proud of it!

Have you ever crocheted a blanket? Please share your finished projects in the comments below.

DIY Home Decor, Knitting & Crochet

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket – Part 1: The Squares

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

 

I fell in love with vintage-looking granny square blankets last spring when I saw them all over Pinterest. I especially liked the ones with vibrantly coloured squares surrounded by white or cream stitches. So pretty!

I made it my mission starting last May to crochet a granny square blankie that I could use for my baby girl (or just as a throw in our living room). This project took me a long time (8 months!) but it was well worth the effort. And, honestly – it was a relaxing little project that was easy to pick up any time.

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

The pattern was concocted by staring at a million pictures of blankets I loved, and with the help of my mom who is wonderful at eyeballing crocheted works and duplicating them. I used a really soft and lovely organic cotton sport-weight yarn from Knit Picks. It was nice to work with and also budget-friendly. The yarn has since been discontinued, but check out Knit Picks for other inexpensive yarns in natural fibers.

Here’s how I made this blanket (I’ll divide this tutorial into two parts because it’s quite long)!

Finished blanket measures approximately 48″ by 64″. Gauge isn’t really important unless you want the blanket to be exactly this size (if so, the squares should measure about 4″ wide).

Materials:

  • 2 skeins each of 8 different colours of yarn (164 yard skeins)
  • 8 skeins of white/cream coloured yarn (164 yard skeins)
  • size J crochet hook
  • yarn needle

Directions:

Need help with basic crochet stitches and techniques? I recommend taking a Crafsty class on basic crochet.

Making the Squares

I made 12 different combinations of granny squares and I mixed up the colours in a way that was visually appealing to me. If you look at this photo, you can see the basic pattern I used. Feel free to copy it, or it’s a lot of fun to come up with your own colour combos with the different colours of yarn.

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

Plan the colours that will go into each of the 12 different granny squares, and then make them like this:

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

Chain 4, slip stich into the first chain to form a loop. Chain 3 (this will count as your first double crochet cluster and chain) and then dbl crochet into the loop, but don’t do the last step of the dbl crochet (leaving 2 loops on your hook). Dbl crochet into the loop again, and then on the final step pull your yarn through all the loops on your hook. This forms a double crochet cluster. Chain 1.

Repeat a dbl chrochet cluster + chain 1 6 more times so that you have 8 dbl crochet clusters on your loop. Slip stitch into the 3rd chain of your first faux dbl crochet cluster. Pull yarn through loop and cut, leaving a tail.

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

With your second chosen colour of yarn, attach it in a chain one hole. Chain3 (this will act as your first dbl crochet + chain 1).  [Dbl crochet into the next chain 1 hole 3 times. Chain 1. ] Repeat until you’re at the hole you began with, dbl crochet 2 times and slip stitch into the third chain you started with. Pull yarn through loop and cut, leaving a tail.

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

With a third colour, attach yarn to one of the chain 1 holes of the previous round. Chain 3 (this will act as your first dbl crochet + chain 1). [ Dbl crochet 3 times into the same hole (this forms a corner of the square), chain 1, dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1, dbl crochet 3 times into the next hole, chain 1 ] Repeat 3 times until you’re at the hole you started on and then slip stitch into the 3rd chain from the beginning. Pull yarn through loop and cut, leaving a tail.

Crochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY MommyCrochet an Organic Cotton Granny Square Baby Blanket by The DIY Mommy

You will need to make 16 of each of the 12 squares. I used a tin to store them in. This is a great project to do a bit at the time – do a couple of squares each night as you relax!

Click here to move to Part 2 – Joining the Squares and Finishing the Blanket

 

DIY Crafts, DIY Sewing

9 Favourite Tutorials of 2012 from The DIY Mommy

This year was awesome. It was the year that I settled into being a mommy of two, the year that I turned 30 and finally began to be confident in who I was as a woman and a mother, and it was the year that this little blog grew a little bit bigger.

I love to craft, I love to write and I love to be a mom and The DIY Mommy has been the perfect outlet for me to share these things with people just like me.

I want to thank you, my readers, for taking a slice of time from your lives this year to share with me. Every month, more and more of you “tuned in” to this site. I appreciate every one of you and I thank you for giving me the motivation to write, photograph and share.

Here are your favourite tutorials from 2012 that I’ve posted according to how many views they’ve received. Between you sharing them with your friends, the rise of Pinterest , and me spending more time to write, some of them have reached over 22,000 unique visits which I’m truly amazed and humbled by. Thank you!

9 Favourite Tutorials of 2012 from The DIY Mommy. Boutique blanket, baby necktie, I am Loved The Help Onesie, Infinity Scarf, Soother Clips, Glider Recover, Upcycled Baby Headband, DIY Photo backdrop and Princess Dress.

  1. Sew a Boutique Blanket
  2. Sew a Baby Necktie
  3. Make an “I Am Loved” Onesie
  4. Sew a 15 Minute Infinity Scarf
  5. Sew Boutique Soother Clips
  6. Update a Nursery Glider Rocking Chair
  7. Sew an Upcycled Baby Headband
  8. Make DIY Photo Backdrops with Fabric or Paper
  9. Sew a Princess Dress

I wish you all the best in the coming year. May 2013 be full of wonder, baby cuddles, and craftiness!

DIY Sewing

Sew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or Anyone Else in Your Family!)

Sew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or anyone else in your family!) by The DIY Mommy

PJ pants are such a classic handmade Christmas Eve present that I enjoy making and giving  to my hubby and kids each year. I “cheat” a little and don’t use a pattern – I simply sneak some of their favourite pants from their drawers and make a simple pattern directly from the pants they have!

If you’re looking for a beginner’s sewing project that would make a practical and heart-warming Christmas gift (or gift for any time of year), you might want to try this method to make some pajama pants for your baby, your toddler, your hubby or yourself. It’s easy and quick and I always have a blast searching for fun fabrics to make these pants with.

Materials:

  • 1 yard cotton flannel (for baby pants) or 1 1/2 yards cotton flannel (for child’s pants) or 2 1/2 yards cotton flannel (for adult pants) (for these seriously sweet pants for my one year old, I used
    Mother Nature Flannel Forest Friends Girl Blue/Orange from fabric.com
    )
  • 1 inch wide elastic
  • an pair of pants with an elastic waist that currently fits the person you’re sewing these for

Directions:

Sew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or anyone else in your family!) by The DIY MommySew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or anyone else in your family!) by The DIY Mommy

Making the Pajama Pants Pattern

Wash your fabric. Fold it in half lengthwise (if you’re making adult pants or larger child’s pants you won’t be folding it in half because you’ll only be able to fit one full leg on your fabric’s width).

Fold the pants you’re using as a template in half lengthwise at the crotch, placing them towards one side (as shown in the first picture above). Trace, adding approximately 1 1/2″ inches to the top (for the waistband – pull the elastic taught when tracing this part), a 1/2″ for the length (for the seam allowance) and 2″ at the bottom (for the hem). Mark where the outer edge of the leg is.

Flip the pants over to the other side, keeping the edge of the leg in line with your marking (as shown above) and keeping the pants folded in half. Trace the other side of the pants as you did the first side, adding the extra inches.

Sew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or anyone else in your family!) by The DIY Mommy

You should end up with a shape similar to the above shape. You can use a straight edge to straighten the legs if needed. One side should have a slightly deeper curve – this is the back of the pants that allows for extra bum room! Cut out another piece just like this (using the first as a guide) if you’re making larger pants and didn’t fold the fabric.

Sewing the Pajama Pants

Sew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or anyone else in your family!) by The DIY MommySew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or anyone else in your family!) by The DIY Mommy

Sewing these little PJ pants is so easy!

Beginning with one piece, turn it in half lengthwise with the right sides together. Sew the inseam together using a 1/2″ seam allowance. Using a serger makes this go super quickly, but if you don’t have one, you can finish the seams with a zigzag stitch. Repeat with the second leg.

Then, pin the two legs together at the crotch, matching up the inseams, and seam them together using a 1/2″ allowance.

Sew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or anyone else in your family!) by The DIY Mommy

Turn the pajama pants right side out, and press them. For the waistband, fold it over 1/2″ to the inside and press. Fold it over another 1 1/4″ and press. For the hem, fold each pant leg in 1″ and then another 1″ and press.

Stitch both about 1/4″ from the fold. Leave about a 1 1/2″ opening at the back of the waistband to thread the elastic through.

Sew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or anyone else in your family!) by The DIY Mommy

Cut your elastic to the same size as your template pants (add 1/2″ for the join). Thread it through the upper casing and stitch it securely together at the ends. Stitch the opening closed.

I like to add another line of stitching on the waistbands of my pants to keep the elastic from rolling and shifting. To do this, pull the elastic waistband taut and sew line in the middle of the casing (as above).

Sew Easy Pajama Pants for Baby (or anyone else in your family!) by The DIY Mommy

You’re already done your adorable little DIY pajama pants! Now wasn’t that easy?

Whip a few pairs up for your family and friends for a thoughtful Christmas gift (and please comment and share below if you’ve made your own PJ pants)!

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