How to Save a Few Bucks by Customizing a Boring Lunchbox!

In the summer, I get to take all of my little kiddos to the grocery store with me. I know, I only have three kids, but they are busy. It is a circus show … we are usually either annoying or entertaining to the other shoppers. If we were in the same store, you would know we were there, haha! Sometimes, I wait a LONG time between shopping trips…. This last week, after a month of not going to the grocery store, I pulled up my big girl panties and dragged my kids to the store, with A LONG grocery list, AND a back to school list! This was a recipe for disaster. When we finally got to the section with the lunch boxes, my oldest was not impressed. (Honestly, I wasn’t either.) We searched all over the store for more, but the only ones he liked were attached to backpacks…but he didn’t need a new backpack. After some tears, we compromised: if he picked a cheap boring Lunch Box, I would figure out a way to make it look the way he wanted.

I would have said almost anything to get us out of the grocery store. I kid you not, it had been like 2 and a half hours!

So here is said boring lunch box…IMG_2389.JPGIt looks like one you would send with your husband right?  I get it, not cool to a six-year-old. I investigated this thing, trying to figure out what I could do. Thankfully that front side is basically a big pocket. As soon as I realized that, I knew I could do something. So I sat down with my kiddo and let him design what he wanted. You may or may not be interested in using the pattern on a lunchbox, but it would be cute on a onesie or something. My son, who recently has been interested in dinosaurs, wanted to know what would happen if a stegosaurus met BB-8, so, I drew it.

I drew it out until it got approval, then I cut out my pattern.

IMG_2392I was figuring this out as I went along. At this point I still wasn’t sure if it would work. My sweet six-year-old gave me very specific instructions for the colors on his stegosaurus, so although they are not the colors I would choose, I am happy he’s happy. IMG_2395He turned out a little cute right?

BB-8 was really difficult because I was working with felt and he was so small. I don’t actually like how he turned out, but once again, my kid was happy and therefore, so was I. It would have been more fun to just embroider this on something than do all the felt work in that tight pocket…but I will do anything for my kids!

IMG_2402My son has requested some more things on his lunch box, but I am going to have to come up with a different way to get them on there…I don’t want to sew through the insulation, and I am not sure how an iron on patch would do. I saw a tutorial of someone bedazzling their daughters’ bags, but I think my kid would be mad if I attempted that. Haha! So, I will keep you posted when/if I come up with another idea…Check out the free pattern if you wanna, but seriously if it doesn’t turn out the way you want, no worries, it is not your lunchbox. That is what I told myself anyway…

Harry Potter Craft: Dolores Umbridge Pin Cushion

Get ready! This is one of my favorite little projects I have EVER done! As you may have noticed in my other posts, I have a small little classic tomato as a pin cushion. That doesn’t fit my personality! So I decided to make another and like always, personalize it!

It didn’t take me much time to realize there was a character out there that I have always wanted to stick a pin in…maybe you would agree with me when I say that Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter would make a GREAT pin cushion! Honestly, no other book has ever made me as mad as Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix. Every time Dolores Umbridge made her small girly cough, “hem, hem” I really wanted to punch her. I know violence isn’t the answer, but she is a fictional character…if you are not a fan, you might want to join me in making this Dolores Umbridge pin cushion featuring the Stitch of the Week: fly stitch!

You ready? Material Time!
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This Free Pattern

Various Embroidery thread

Embroidery Hoop

White Muslin Fabric or cotton fabric of choice

Thin Batting-I chose Warm and Natural-they are just my favorite

Fabric for the back of your Pin Cushion

Filling for your pin cushion

First, transfer your pattern. I decided to just tape my pattern to a sunny window, tape my white fabric over it and use a super sharp pencil to trace it. I did not want to loose any details like I normally do with my tracing paper method. IMG_2231

Please notice, I did not trace the hard line, only the dotted line. That is the seam allowance and where we will eventually cut out our shape.

IMG_2237Place the batting behind your pattern and hoop it. Stitch the way you want.

IMG_2240It is not marked, but fill in Dolores’ top with the fly stitch in a random pattern. It is so fun!

IMG_2242Cut along the dotted lines. I used a rotary blade and a straight edge to make sure it was really straight. Pick a back fabric, and cut it to the same size. I chose this pink from my stash…IMG_2243

Next, sew right sides together, leaving a small opening on one side to stuff.

IMG_2356I spent a long time debating and researching what to stuff my pin cushion with. I wanted it to be weighted but I also did not want to spend any extra money…haha I know I am cheap! So I found these rocks outside and put them in first, then I put the polyfill type stuffing in until it was as fat as I wanted it to be:)

I pinned the open end together, and whipstitched it to close.

IMG_2359and then, wha-la! You have an effective and entertaining pin cushion!

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I am not into voodoo, but I have to admit, this was really fun to put pins in! Take that, Umbridge!IMG_2373I hope you enjoy this little project as much as I have! Is there another character out there that would make a great pincushion?

DIY Tooth Fairy Pillow: Featuring the MC Bat Commander

Exciting news in our home! Our oldest has his first loose tooth! That is the inspiration for this project…

When I was younger, the tooth fairy had a hard time coming to my home. When teeth were put under our pillow, sometimes the toothfairy couldn’t find it. My parents came up with a brilliant idea to put our tooth inside a glass of water next to the sink for the tooth fairy to find. That led to teeth going down the drain and still no tooth fairy coming. Spending a lot of time on Pinterest has shown me that there is a better way. Maybe you have seen tooth pillows floating around on the internet? I think it is a GENIUS idea, and a way to ensure that the tooth fairy can come to our home.

So then the question came, what kind of pillow would my oldest like? Then it hit me..the MC Bat Commander of the Aquabats band has a black magic tooth! Wouldn’t it be great if that black magic tooth helped the tooth fairy find my son’s tooth?

For those of you unfamiliar with the Aquabats…please allow me to take a minute to explain…they are my husband’s ALL TIME FAVORITE band! He has loved them since their beginning. They started out as a SKA band and then they had their own TV show…the Aquabats Super Show! Their songs are wacky and funny and my kids love them. Many of our family experiences include Aquabats songs, and when we pose for a picture, instead of saying cheese, we say BURGER RAIN! Check them out if you dare. The leader of their band, Christian Jacobs, or the MC Bat Commander is also the brains behind Yo Gabba Gabba. You can expect the same kind of style for everything the Aquabats do! Our family loves it, maybe yours will too?

IMG_2257.JPGLet’s talk materials:

Felt in grey, peach, black, white and blue

embroidery floss of same colors

GOOD scissors

ribbon (optional)

Stuffing -polyfiber filling

pins and needle

and of course, FREE pattern, there are two to download and print

  • ignore the hoop, you will not need it

Step 1: Cut out all your paper pattern pieces. Cut your two main squares out of felt, one peach and one grey. As long as you are cutting the grey square cut the “anti-negativity helmet” (the top piece) as well.

Step 2: Cut the rest of your pattern pieces out of felt. You can draw around these pattern pieces with a sharpie or something instead of pinning them to cut them out. I don’t enjoy writing on felt so this is my prefered method. I did trace around the smallest pieces with chalk. If you do this, make sure you cut around the inside of the chalk line, or else they will be too big.

Step 3: Gather and admire your pieces…haha! You do not have to do this, but I totally did! I thought he was so cute! I was excited to see him come together.

The REAL Step 3: Place your square pattern (of the whole face) under your peach square. Lightly trace the outline of the nose…and stitchIMG_2289

Step 4: Sew on the “anti-negativity helmet” (yes, it really is called this!)IMG_2296

Step 5: I don’t love switching threads unless it is necessary, so I stitched everything that was black. The goggles, the pupils of the eyes, the mustache and the black magic tooth. Note, I did sew the pupils directly onto the peach square with the other eye pieces behind it, but I did NOT sew the mouth directly onto the peach square because it will become a pocket.  I did also sew a black line under the black magic tooth to separate the top and bottom teeth. This is personal preference, totally optional.

Step 6: Finish stitching the eyes

Step 7: Sew on the mouth. Use the backstitch, and leave the top open.

Step 8 (optional): Skip this step if you are uninterested in hanging your pillow. I carefully stitched with a running stitch to make as little an impact on the backside as possible. I made sure my knots would be on the inside too.

Step 9: Whip stitch the two squares together. I used two colors of floss, one peach and one a light grey. Note, when you get around to where the ribbon comes out, switch to a backstitch, then back to whipstitch. Make sure to leave a section open to stuff, before finishing.

You are all done! Now you can just admire! Here he is hanging on the door, next to my boys’ dresser. Yes those are Aquabats stickers on the bottom 3 drawers.
IMG_2339Most likely my son will choose to hang it somewhere on his bed. After the tooth fairy comes, this is most likely what it will look like! Except honestly, I hope our tooth fairy is a little less generous. I think she brought me 50 cents…is that still done these days? Or is a dollar mandatory?

This pillow is one of those things I want to keep for my son, along with his baby blanket and first lock of hair. I love embroidery because it does let you personalize these type of things to represent what your kids are interested in.

Are there any other Aquabats fans out there? I tell ya, I wasn’t a believer  till I went to a concert last year. FUNNEST CONCERT EVER! We hope to take our kids this year! Can’t wait!

Star Trek: The Next Generation of DIY Sleep Masks

A few weeks ago, before we went camping, I decided I wanted to make a sleep mask. It is one of those things that I have always wanted, but never wanted to spend money on, even though they are not necessarily expensive. I confess, the desire probably grew from watching Matilda as a girl. (Remember Matilda’s horrible mother wears one when Matilda plays those tricks on her parents?)  Anyway, I didn’t have time to make it happen before we went camping, but I did get the chance to work on it while I was camping. Yes, it smells like campfire…

I did not want the typical sleep mask, so after some brainstorming I landed on the idea of making a Geordi La Forge visor sleep mask (from Star Trek: The Next Generation). I really thought I was so clever. Haha.  So, I gathered my materials, and took it with me to camp.

Materials Gathered:

  • My pattern
  • tracing transfer paper
  • brown cotton fabric
  • craft batting
  • elastic
  • soft material for the backside-I picked mine based on what I found in the remnant bin at Jo-Ann’s
  • scissors
  • embroidery thread and needle

I followed my normal process, and began to stitch. I had beautiful dreams of creating this using satin stitching and metallic embroidery floss. I finished about an inch of it before I let that dream die. The metallic embroidery floss was so difficult to work with, especially with the amount of satin stitching I had planned. It was difficult to thread the needle, and because it is a rougher floss it pulled up the batting I had behind my fabric and really looked awful. No picture included…SO I started over. I decided to use regular embroidery floss for the main satin stitching, but not giving up on the “brilliant” metallic idea, I outlined with a silver and gold metallic floss. Is anyone at home shaking their head at me yet?

IMG_2198 You can see above all the satin stitching finished and me working on the outline. Can you tell just how tired of satin stitching I became? It looks so messy and crazy…but I had come too far! I had to continue. The metallic floss was still so hard to work with, but I did like how it was turning out. So I finished it…I am only a little excited to show you this…

IMG_2200TADA…

It totally looks wonky and crazy…but I had come so far….I had to finish. I chose a soft material from the remnants section of JoAnn’s and went to work making the mask…

If you were not shaking your head before, you are now right? I chose a slippery fabric so I did sew it as a rectangle on purpose, but HELLO Kirsten when you are sewing two fabrics right side together with the plan of turning it inside out when you are done…you CANNOT sew the elastic to it at this step…it will end up on the inside of your project. Haha…not sure what I was thinking or even if I was…but it is clear this is a “what NOT to do” post, right?

IMG_2211 So, I unpicked one side of the elastic, cut a slit in my back fabric and shoved it threw…yes I really did this…oh boy…I am totally losing my credibility aren’t I, haha! No, this was not super successful, but at least the elastic was on the outside right? Well, when all is said and done, and I had jimmy-rigged it together, I tried it on and realized…I made a child size sleep mask! See it on my poor husband…doesn’t he look silly?

IMG_2221Super handsome I know…but a little silly, the mask just barely covers his eyes…poor sweetie! So I tried it on my kiddos to see if it fit them at least…

Geordi La Force embroidered sleep mask for kids

Perfect fit! And might I add totally cute on her! (Don’t mind her dirty sweet face…she had just finished a Popsicle and was kind enough to come inside and model for me.) My genius, brilliant idea for a sleep mask has turned into the blindfold we will use for “pinning the stuff on stuff” as my six year old said. (He has pinned a lot of “things” on “things” but never a tail on a donkey…).

I am passing on the pattern if anyone is interested, but seriously, I feel like this could have been so much more…I might try tweaking it to make it bigger, but I will most likely NEVER do that much satin stitching at once again. Instead I would use three strips of felt and yes I would still outline it in metallic floss. I love the look more than I hate the work!

Easy DIY Superhero Beanbags!-DC Style

So when I finished the Marvel beanbags, I decided it just wouldn’t be right to not include the DC superheros! I woke up one morning with a lot of back pain (of course the day we were packing to go camping) so I had plenty of time to lay back and crank these things out. I followed the same method as the Marvel beanbags, except I made them into squares instead of circles. That just meant I needed to do the corners of the blanket stitch. Superman was the most difficult. Let me show you how I did it… IMG_2142After cutting out the 2 blue squares, I cut out the Superman Logo and cut both a yellow and red the exact same size as the logo. Set aside the yellow. You won’t touch it again, but the red will make magic happen.

IMG_2143Cut out the outside diamond on the logo. NOT the diamond shape WITH the S attached. I think that would make it too difficult.

Cut out the diamond from the red felt, but make sure to start your cutting in the middle of the fabric so you don’t have a cut at the bottom like your paper pattern has.

IMG_2154Next cut out the S

IMG_2156When you pin the S and diamond to the yellow diamond and the top blue square, you will be able to adjust it so it fits just right. Do a running stitch all around the diamond and the S.

and there you go…IMG_2168This is one of my favorites I love how it turned out but none of my kids care about this one. They like Green Lantern more than Superman…can you believe that?!  Well, they have a lot to learn…

IMG_2164I used some gold embroidery thread to make the details in Wonder Woman’s symbol, I really like how it looks! IMG_2175I think they all turned out “super” cute! I think it would be fun to play a bean bag tic-tac-toe with these and the Marvel bags. Who do you think would win, the Super Friends or the Avengers?

Tough call…don’t you think?

Download the DC Super Friend’s Beanbag patterns here!

8 Steps to Some MARVELous DIY Beanbags

My husband’s family goes on a camping trip together every year, so I thought it would be great to make and take beanbags for the kids to play with around the campsite. NOT the campfire…the campSITE. There will be plenty of fun for the kiddos to have in the great outdoors, but sometimes it is nice to have a few planned activities up your sleeve for when the “crankies” or “boredoms” come.

So let’s makes some! This project features the stitch of the week: the blanket stitch. If you need to brush up check out my previous post.

This project is VERY inexpensive and SUPER easy. If you want you can even speed it up with a glue gun, but I enjoy the embroidery…shocker.

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You Will Need:

  • Felt in various colors (since I am not planning on keeping these as heirlooms I am using the cheap craft felt but feel free to use the fancy wool kind if you want)
  • Embroidery thread in various colors
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing scissors
  • Paper scissors (heaven help the person who uses my sewing scissors on paper!)
  • Bean Bag Filler…I used dried pinto beans because they are cheap and big enough to not fall through the blanket stitching I did around the beanbag
  • patterns (download the free ones I made here)

Step 1: Cut out the pattern

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Step 2: Pick felt for the front and back of your beanbag, pin the pattern to it, and cut

Step 3: Cut the pattern in pieces, largest to smallest, pin to the appropriate color of felt, and cut

Step 4: On the circle that will be the front of your bean bag, pin the 1st layer and stitch with a running stitch. I used all six strands of embroidery floss, to give it a chunky look.IMG_2101 - Copy - Copy

Step 5: Continue with remaing layers, matching the embroidery floss to the piece of felt you are adding to the beanbag.

Step 6: Place the front and back pieces of the bean bag together and do a blanket stitch around leaving about 2-3 inches to fill with beans

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Step 7: FILL WITH BEANS! My kiddos love helping with this part! (I love having projects I can do with my cuties!)

Step 8: Pin shut the opening and finish the blanket stitching

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All that is left to do now is line them up and admire them…haha my kids didn’t think that was the next step. They immediatley wanted to play with them, try and juggle them, throw them, or carry them around in a backpack. See that little hand down there trying to sneak in and grab one?

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So here you have 5 beanbags with the symbols of some well loved Marvel superheros! Captain America, Hulk, Spiderman, Thor and Iron Man.

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I just love them! They are a cute, easy, cheap, fun way to have some playtime with your littles! I do want to give you a little more information about Spiderman though…he is probably the trickiest, but he is SO worth it!

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Before putting on the eyes, I made a french knot in the middle of the circle. Then I pinned a straight piece of paper to the circle resting just beside it. I did that three more times. Then I did a backstitch to connect those lines together, dipping down a little in the middle. Let me know if you have questions about this. Sometimes I wonder if I makes sense…Also, I did not make an extra line on the pattern for the black felt behind Spiderman’s eyes. I just cut around it a little bit bigger than the line on the pattern says for the eyes.

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I hope you can enjoy making these as much as I did! These could be a great gift or part of a fun game at a superhero party, or just something you pull out when the crankies come. Let me know what you think!

 

DIY Star Trek Embroidered Magnets

I am SOOOOOO excited! Star Trek Beyond opens today! I hope we get to see it soon! We are going camping so unfortunately it will be a while. Poorly planned, right?…but to help curb my excitement AND celebrate Star Trek’s 50th anniversary, I have made these cute little Star Trek Magnets!IMG_2050.JPGI saw the tutorial on diycandy.com. I cannot believe how fun they are to do! Her tutorial is really great, so I won’t try to duplicate it here. But I will pass on some tips I learned from doing it myself and, of course free Star Trek patterns so you can make them too.

Tips:

  • You do need to buy the kit, but I would only buy one with three buttons (Dritz Cover Button Kit – Size 45 – 1 1/8″ in it and then buy a bigger package of Cover Buttons – 1 1/8″ (SIZE 45) – FLAT BACKS buttons and save yourself a step. You could buy the Dritz Craft Cover Button Kit, Size 45, 10 Count if you wanted the clear template as well, but I did mark where you should cut the fabric on my pattern so you wouldn’t need it for this project.
  • Even being careful, the knots and thread are so easy to see through the fabric. If you used a darker fabric the thread wouldn’t be so easy to see. It would be an easy switch to make this project a little more enjoyable.
  • Use only one strand of floss when you are stitching the words. Otherwise it looks too muddled and clunky
  • For satin stitching still use 3 strands of floss
  • When you put the back on the button cover make sure to put the rim side facing you…see that tiny rim? and the circle in the middle is popped up toward you..

otherwise it will do this…

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Totally wonky right? Yuck. Plus see all those scratches…that is from trying to get the shank off…it was not easy for me…seriously, skip that step, you will be happy you did. When done right it should look like this…

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These are so fun to make and I KNOW they will make a great gift for the Star Trek fans in my life. The biggest problem will be figuring out which of the six people who love Star Trek to make these for first…cuz these babies are mine!

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Download the PDF

Are there any other fandom magnets you wanna see? Give me a shout out!