When we lived in our Garage House, my “craft room” was our tiny kitchen table and my “office” was a little 5 foot wide nook by the kids’ bedroom. They were not ideal spaces, but I managed to create a lot of fun things in those teeny tiny spots.
When we were designing our new house, I knew that having an office/craft room on the main floor was really important to me so we designed it into our house plan. This new office is perfect – it’s in a corner between the kitchen and living room and I can open the french doors to it if I want or close them for a completely private space. It’s truly a dream come true to finally have my very own space to create, dream, and even do boring (but necessary) things like paper work in a more organized environment.
Currently, my “craft room” is my kitchen table (shared with our microwave and Hubby’s stash of paperwork) and my office is a 5 foot wide nook right next to Little C’s room (shhhhhhh… don’t type too loud)!
Needless to say, I’m ecstatic about having an office/craft room on the main floor of Our DIY House that has doors that can open to the kitchen and living room or close for privacy.
The look I want for this room is colourful and fun with a bohemian vibe. I want to include colours from the living room and kitchen for flow (yellow, red & turquoise) and it will have a desk and oodles of storage for paperwork, fabric and crafty supplies.Continue reading
Within the next couple of weeks, I’d like to share with you my decor ideas for all of the rooms in Our DIY House. With our drywall scheduled to be finished this week, we’ll soon be on to painting and finishing (hooray)!
My dear hubby chuckles at me as I put together the decor ideas for our home. I mean, I started dreaming of how the finished product would look as soon as he dug the first chunk of dirt up for our basement with his bobcat! You know what, though? I think it’s incredibly important to have a clear vision of a room’s finished look in order to choose all of the things that need choosing as you go along on a house build. If I have a vision of a completed room in mind, it’s easier for me to pick finishes that match – from the flooring to the paint colour to the door knobs.
Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and my girls (and hubby!) and I are really excited to celebrate it this year. I love my little family, and any chance I can get to show them how much I love them is worth spending some time on!
I recently ordered another big pile of fabric from my favourite online place to get it from (fabric.com), and when it arrived via the UPS man (or the “GPS man”, as Little C calls him) I instantly ripped it open and ogled over all of the lovely textiles. This pre-ruffled red fabric was among my treasure. I asked Little C which fabric she wanted a Valentine’s Day dress made out of, and without hesitation she pointed to the red ruffly one. Success!
I made this DIY dress in under a couple of hours. The pre-ruffled fabric made it really easy to get a boutique look with little time involved! The heart applique is optional, so you could save even more time there. The stretchy, ruffly fabric is comfy for a baby or young child to wear (it’s so soft!) and it looks so adorable!
1/4 yard contrasting knit fabric for heart applique if desired
Find a pattern for a slim-fitted peasant dress that is your child’s size (I drafted my own, but you could use this free one) and cut out two main dress pieces and two sleeves. Try to arrange the pattern on your ruffle fabric so that there is a full ruffle on the bottom of each piece (the hem of the dress and the bottom of the sleeve) – be careful not to cut that ruffle off!
Sew down the side seams of the dress, and the underarm seam of the sleeves (I used a serger, but you could also use a regular machine – this fabric doesn’t fray). Sew the sleeves to the dress.
Serge the raw edges of the neckline and sleeves (optional), and then turn each under about 1/2″ and sew to leave a 1/4″ casing. Leave an opening. Thread elastic through the casing (measure your child’s upper arm and where you want the neckline to fall to get the size of elastic you need) and then sew the holes shut.
If you want, you can add a heart applique to the chest of the dress by cutting out a heart shape from a contrasting fabric, pinning it like crazy to the dress, and zig-zagging it in place.
And, there you are! A simple little Valentine’s Day dress that looks much more complicated than it actually is to make. My little ruffle-lover has worn hers for two days straight.
Have you ever sewn with ruffle fabric? What are your tips?
(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!)
It’s been a cold winter up here in Alberta, Canada… and a busy one for us too!
We’re building a house on our acreage, and life with two kiddos is busy as it it is.
If you really want to know, my uniform of choice these days is a big sweater or cardigan, a stretchy tank and leggings (or super-stretchy skinny jeans). When I’m busy (and cold), I tend to go for “easy” and “comfy” with my outfits.
I haven’t had a chance to take any decent photos of my style choices this winter, but here are some of my favourite “selfies” I’ve posted on Instagram when I have managed to put together a look that I’ve been proud of.
As you can see, I still love to wear either a belt or an empire-waisted dress to highlight one of my smaller parts (a great trick if you’re wide in the hips) except for on comfy home or casual playdate days (when the big cape sweater comes into play like the lower left picture).
Scarves are an essential in the winter for practical reasons, and they’re a fun way to make an outfit special. I’ve been wearing them a lot lately!
My favourite colours this chilly winter season? They’re red, grey, emerald, coral and mint. Yes, I believe you can wear pastels in the winter!
We had the most fun Strawberry Shortcake birthday party a little over a week ago that I made a simple scrap fabric banner for. It was so very easy to make, and I constructed it with an idea in mind. I wanted to re-use it as a fun dress-up tutu for my daughter!
This is a really simple, quick DIY project that requires no sewing and little material. You could use the banner as party decor, and then upcycle it into a scrappy fabric tutu when the party’s over. It will be Little C’s Valentine’s tutu!
scrap fabric – enough to make about 30 strips that are about 2″ wide and 30″ long
scraps of ribbon or lace (optional)
60″ length of 1/4 elastic
rotary cutter or scissors
Cut about 30 strips of fabric that measure 15″ – 30″ long. I liked the look of different lengths of strips, but you could also make them all the same length. You can also cut some lengths of ribbon or lace to add some texture to the banner / tutu. Cut a piece of 1/4″ elastic that’s about 60″ long.
Starting about 2″ from one end, tie the strips to the elastic piece as shown above. Fold them in half with wrong sides together, and then turn the folded end over the elastic. Pull the other end through the loop created.
Continue tying strips onto the elastic in this manner, leaving about 2″ between each strip as shown. Tie bits of lace or ribbon between the fabric strips if desired.
Your scrap fabric party banner is done and ready to hang! This would also make a fun decorative banner for a baby or child’s room.
To “upcycle” the banner into a tutu, push all of the strips together as much as needed to match the circumference of your child’s waist (my daughter’s measurement was 20″).
Cut the elastic to size. If you have a sewing machine, you can sew the ends together. If not, tie the elastic tightly together.
Now you have an adorable scrap fabric tutu that’s perfect to twirl in!
My oldest “baby” turned four on January 1st, and we had her birthday party this last Saturday. I’ve been throwing her birthday party a couple of weeks after her actual birthday because of the busy Christmas / New Year’s season, and she hasn’t minded (yet!).
This year, she wanted a Strawberry Shortcake themed party. She picked the theme back in June (yes, June!) and explained to me in great detail her vision for the event:
“I would like to look like Strawberry Shortcake, Mama, with red sparkly hair and a strawberry on my shirt.”
(I made this costume back in October – here’s the tutorial – and it did come with a “sparkly” red wig!)
“Can I please have cupcakes with roses and pink sparkles on them?”
(The cupcakes were made with cake mix and iced with buttercream frosting. We made strawberries with homemade marshmallow fondant – they were basically just blobs of red with smaller blobs of green attached and we poked strawberry-ish holes in them with a toothpick. We completed these with edible pink sparkly sprinkles, of course!)
“For a cake, I want Strawberry Shortcake on top with her big skirt on the bottom. OK, Mom?”
(As you can see, I used my Mom Powers to usurp the cake plan a little. I couldn’t bring myself to make one of those cake-bottomed doll cakes, so we came up with this polka-dotted fondant one instead. I put some of her Strawberry Shortcake toys on top which made her happy!)
Side Note:Last year I swore I’d never try making marshmallow fondant ever, ever again. After looking at the price of pre-made stuff this year, I decided to hand make it AGAIN. It makes me so mad to work with! All goes well until I attempt to roll it onto the cake, and then it tears apart (this cake has a patch job). Any fondant tips from experienced cake makers out there would be so appreciated!
I made this fun fabric scrap banner simply by tying fabric strips around a piece of 1/4″ wide elastic (I have plans for it’s use after the party – I’ll share that with you this week), and I made custom labels and treat bag toppers that matched our berry theme.
If you happen to throw a Strawberry-themed party, feel free to download these free printables for your personal use (make sure to print these PDF’s at full size):
My crafty friend Jenni posted some photos of an absolutely gorgeous DIY Christmas tree skirt that she had made this week, and I knew the instant that I saw it that I needed to share it with all of you here! Isn’t it so pretty and country-shabby-chic-y wonderful? Here’s what Jenni had to say about this project:
Years ago I bought a bright green felt tree skirt from Canadian Tire, with tacky Santa Claus appliques all over it. I have pretty much hated it ever since. The past few years I have been collecting rustic, country-style decor to outfit my home for Christmas, and I was so inspired by this burlap and plaid ruffled tree skirt (http://doneoverdecor.blogspot.ca/2011/12/ruffle-tree-skirt.html) that I had to give it a try! The best thing about it is that there is no sewing required at all, which is great because no matter how often I say I’m going to get better at sewing, I just cannot motivate myself. All this tree skirt requires is an old tree skirt, a glue gun, and 2 meters each of burlap and a Christmas print of your choice.
My mother-in-law, who turns everything she touches to gold with her craftiness, provided the blue tree skirt and the burlap. We cut the two fabrics into strips 2 inches wide, sat on her kitchen floor with a glue gun each, and spent the afternoon gluing the fabric down in rows until my two daughters woke from their naps. Basically, all you are doing is starting at the outside, gluing down the top edge and folding it over every few inches to create ruffles (see the link for the full tutorial). We also put a dot of glue under the ruffle and pressed against the fabric beneath to ensure the ruffles stuck instead of standing straight up. Once you’ve done one row, just layer the next piece of fabric a few inches above so it overlaps a bit and continue gluing. From start to finish, it took me about three hours with a bit of help. I love the contrast between the shimmery gold strands in the cranberry plaid fabric and the stray bits of burlap coming loose at the edges, giving it a cozy rustic feel!
After Christmas, I am going to spend some time gluing down the bottoms of the rows, as you can see the original tree skirt underneath. Regardless of whether I ever get around to that, though, I now have a gorgeous tree skirt that matches the rest of my decor and that I am proud of – so long, Santa!
If you’re looking for a fun little Christmas holiday craft for your toddler or preschooler, these candy cane mice are really easy and cute!
My Little C (she’s 3 going on 4 in January) made these today and they were quick. She picked out the colours of felt that each mouse needed to be, I cut out the pieces and did the gluing (but if you had regular white glue, a child could easily do that part too) and then she inserted the candy cane.
She gave them all names and played with them for a while – I believe the purple one is “Desmerella”.
Tomorrow is December 1st and I’ve finally had a chance to put up our little Christmas tree. I didn’t think we’d fit it in our 800 square foot house this year with now two children (and so many baby and preschooler toys and crafts in every nook and cranny), but I made it work. We’re in the process of building a new home on our acreage (our current one that we’ve been living in for over 6 years will become a garage) and I’m calling to action every patient bone in my body as I do my best to wait for it to be done!
I was so proud of my little 3 year old. She was incredibly excited to decorate the tree, and she did most of it except for the very top and the garland. She spaced out the ornaments ever so precisely and alternated between the silver, gold, red and turquoise colours so well. She’s an artistic little one, wouldn’t you say?
I think it’s country-cute and fun and I’m not going to change it one little bit.
I truly cherish the Christmas season, and it’s fun to start new traditions with our little family (and hang on to the old traditions I loved as a child). We can’t do tons of decorating this year because of limited space, but I’m glad we’ve found room for our tree. I’ve also made some 8×10″ artwork from one of my favourite Bible verses that I’ll put in a frame on our living room side table. If you’d like to use it to, please feel free to print it out from this PDF link: The DIY Mommy Christmas Bible Verse Printable (It’s shabby chic in burlap & red – one of my favourite colour and texture combos for Christmas decor!)
It’s Isaiah 9:6:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
I truly hope you have a blessed first week of advent, friends!