How to survive back to school clothes shopping + a cute French inspired kid's wardrobe from Marshalls Canada
DIY Kids Activities, Reviews & Giveaways

Back To School Clothes Shopping Tips + Little C’s French Inspired Wardrobe from Marshalls

It’s hard for me to take in, but my Little C is going to Grade 1 in September. That means she’ll go to school every weekday. Oh, I’m going to miss this girl! She’s so excited – she can’t wait to ride the bus every day and see her friends more. She’s already counting down the days. Recently, we’ve started shopping for her back-to-school wardrobe. The other day I asked Little C what kinds of clothes she wanted to wear to grade one. “Clothes that no one else is wearing!” she said. My breath caught in my throat – this girlie is just like me! I distinctly remember having exactly the same attitude about my wardrobe when I was in school. It made me smile and nod with mama pride!

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DIY Crafts, DIY Home Decor, DIY Kids Activities, DIY Sewing

9 Favourite Back-To-School DIY Tutorials

by Christina Dennis

Well, August is just around the corner… then September… then back-to-school! I’ve rounded up 9 of my most favourite back-to-school DIY free tutorials on the web to start working on this month:

9 Favourite Back-to-School Tutorials by The DIY Mommy

  1. KID PANTS: The Basic Pant from by made What a great, free basic pant tutorial! Imagine these on your little guy or girl in a autumn-inspired plaid or houndstooth?
  2. Back To School Homework Caddy Tutorial by Sandy Toes & Popsicles This handy, bright DIY caddy would be perfect on a homework desk to store pencils and other school supplies.
  3. Vera Wang Inspired Tulle Trim Cardigan by Distractions How cute is this upcycled cardigan? The tulle and hearts are sweet for girls, or forget the tulle and add simple circle patches in faux leather for boys!
  4. Lunch Bag by The Long Thread A reusable lunch bag is the perfect back-to-school DIY project. There are so many sweet oil cloth fabrics available to make this in!
  5. Sail Away School Dress by At Second Street This adorable nautical-inspired two-piece dress would make a little girl so happy to wear back to school.
  6. DIY Nap Mat / Bedroll by Prudent Baby This is such a fantastic idea – an all-in-one pillow and mat for nap time at pre-school!
  7. Back to School Art Smock Tutorial by Sew Mama, Sew! What a cute and practical DIY tutorial for school – a washable art smock that’s perfect for any art project.
  8. Owl Tag Along Toddler Backpack by Cut to Pieces This adorable and thorough backpack tutorial is so sweet with the little owl details!
  9. Magnetic Back To School Magnetic Memo Chalkboard Tutorial with Bunting by The Gunny Sack A memo board like this would be handy by a front door or mudroom. I love the bunting detail!

Have fun with back-to-school DIY’s this year! (Have I missed any fabulous free back-to-school tutorials for kids? Please link to them in the comments below.)

Christina Dennis is the creator and designer behind Golly Gee Baby, a collection of unique and colourful baby clothing and accessories that are ethically manufactured.

DIY Crafts, DIY Sewing

Make Owl Elbow Patches

By Ashley
Recently I made a grandpa cardigan for my son and I used owl buttons, however I thought it was lacking something so I decided to add elbow patches.  I’m obsessed with elbow patches and owls so I decided to combine the two to make owl elbow patches for the cardigan.

Isn’t he cute?  I kinda went overboard with the little details, I just couldn’t help myself!  I’ll show you how you can make your own with or without the detailing (Also, you can opt to cut the wings out as part of the body and not separate them like I did.).

Let’s get started!


1.  Felt – White for the eyes and one other color for the body and wings.  Or you can use different colored felt for each body part (the wings, tummy, body and beak), like I did.

2.  Felt Glue

3.  Black Embroidery Floss

4.  Small Sharp Scissors

5.  Hand Sewing Needle

6.  White Thread

7.  Fabric Marker

8.  1/4″ Ric Rac (Optional)

9.  Thread to match the color of the body

10.  Yellow Embroidery Floss for the beak

11.  Pins




1.  Print out the pattern from here.  Trace and cut your pieces.  Rinse off your pieces if the fabric marker lines are still visible.  Allow your damp pieces to dry.

2.  (This step is optional) Next, if you will be using ric rac for the tummy, cut six pieces 2 1/2″ in length (3 pieces for each owl).  Leaving excess ric rac on each side of the tummy, glue down the ric rac with the felt glue.  After the glue has dried, fold the excess ric rac over the sides and sew along the edge of the tummy part to secure the ric rac (you can use your sewing machine for this part or sew it by hand).  Cut any excess ric rac from the back to eliminate bulkiness.  Once all the ric rac is sewn down apply felt glue to the back of the tummy and place it on the body.  Allow the two pieces of felt to dry.

Hopefully your stitches will look better than mine 🙂

3.  Take your fabric marker and mark where you would like the center of the eyes.  With your black embroidery thread make french knots for the center of the eyes (I wrapped the thread around the needle six times).  You can find a great video tutorial on french knots here.  Once you have made your eyes, rinse away any fabric marker that may be visible.  Allow the eyes to dry and then glue them in place on the body.

4.  Glue or embroider the beak.  If you glue the beak wait until the glue dries and use matching color thread to sew down the beak.

5.  After 3-4 hours the eyes should be completely dried and you can sew them down around the outer part of the eyes.

6.  (This step is optional)  While holding your wing in place, begin stitching your decorative stitch.  As you stitch around the wing you will use your stitches to sew the wing down to the body.  Be sure not to sew the edge of the body as you sew the wing, you will need that to sew down the patch to your garment.

7.  Yeah!  Almost finished!  If your little one is like mine you’ll have to wrangle with them and put on the garment you are going to sew the patches on to.  Have your little one bend their arm so you can mark an “X” where there elbow is using your fabric marker.  Phew, now you can take off the garment and turn the little one loose.

8.  Pin your patch over your “X” and fold the garment in half to ensure the patches are place evenly on the garment.  Use your color match thread to hand sew around the border of the patch.

Roll up the sleeve to the bottom of the patch to make sewing easier.
9.  You’re done!
Doesn’t it look cute?  I love it!

About Me:  My name is Ashley and I’m a full time working mom that loves to craft on the weekends and late at night when my husband and son are sleeping.  I come from a family of crafters, my dad always found ways to make something old into something beautiful and my grandmother taught me the basics of almost every single craft you can think of.  I have my own Etsy store, My Happily Ever After, where I sell my creations and a blog, Distractions, where I share tutorials and tid bits of my life.