• Crafts,  Holidays & Seasons,  Kids,  Tips & Tricks

    Trick-Or-Treat, Smell My Feet

    Trick-Or-Treat, Smell My Feet. That phrase is so weird, right? Who the heck even thought of it? Feet totally creep me out, but I absolutely love Halloween and trick-or-treating. So, let’s not talk about my fears and focus on the things that I adore.

    It is so much fun to embellish everything with creepy décor and pumpkins in the fall. And I love to come up with costumes for Trick-or-Treating each year and watch as my kids go from door to door collecting goodies. Instead of going with the whole plastic pumpkin buckets and/or plastic bags this year, I decided to take the classic pillow case candy bag and vamp it up a bit for a cool candy carrier that any kid would be proud to sport.

    Pillowcase Halloween Bags 1

    I love that these treat bags can be so versatile and hold a ton of loot for my kids (which I will kindly raid of all chocolate and caramel items post October 31st.)

    These are the supplies I used for this project:
    – 1 king sized pillowcase (a standard size will work as well)
    – Printed Template
    – Freezer Paper
    – Acrylic Paint
    – Fabric Medium
    – Sponge or Spouncer
    – Pencil
    – Scissors/Craft Knife
    – Iron
    – Ribbon
    – Sewing Machine (Optional)

    Pillowcase Halloween Bags 2

    Since I had an extra unused king sized pillowcase in storage, I opted to use that, although any size will work. My huge pillowcase would have been too big for either of my kids to lug around by itself, so I decided to cut it into two pieces, sewed up the sides and hemmed the tops, which created 2 separate bags. You could also do this with a standard pillowcase, but the bags will end up being just a bit smaller than mine. Or you can skip all of the cutting, if you prefer a bigger sack, and proceed onto the part with the freezer paper. Below is a photo with all of my cutting, sewing and hemming lines. The left side of the pillowcase is the open end where the pillow would be inserted.

    Does this make sense? Because Emily didn’t get it at first, but that isn’t all that uncommon. *wink*

    Pillowcase Halloween Bags 3

    After my bags were ready, I tore off some freezer paper just a bit bigger than my prints. (I had two different simple prints which I made in Photoshop, but anyone could easily whip up the same thing in a Word document. I used the font Boogaloo, found {here} and my own bat design, which you can download {here}.) Each print was taped to the waxy side of the freezer paper (facing up) and then I traced the letters and image on the matte side with a pencil.

    Pillowcase Halloween Bags 4

    Once everything was traced, I used a craft knife to cut it all out.

    Pillowcase Halloween Bags 5

    Next, I centered and ironed the freezer paper, waxy side down, onto the bag. You can see here that the middles of the R’s, O and A were also cut out and ironed on to complete the letters.

    Pillowcase Halloween Bags 6

    Then, using a small cup, I mixed black acrylic paint and fabric medium in a 1:1 ratio and applied it on top of the freezer paper stencil using a spouncer.

    Pillowcase Halloween Bags 7

    After waiting eons for everything to dry, I peeled the freezer paper off of the pillowcase bags to reveal my finished stencils. This is where you hear the angels singing. Ahhhhhhhh.

    Pillowcase Halloween Bags 8

    Then, all that was left was to add a couple of ribbon shoulder straps to each bag. I attempted to use the sewing machine to attach them, but after a few hiccups with that whole process (my sewing machine hates me,) I opted to hand sew the rest of them on. Pain. In. The. Butt. However, totally doable for those of you without sewing machines.

    Pillowcase Halloween Bags 9

    Besides a few little leaks on the letter “K” of the word Trick, I think that they turned out pretty great. They are super sturdy and can easily hold 5 lbs. of Jolly Ranchers, so I think they will be good to go when my kids drag them around the neighborhood in a few weeks.

  • Kids,  Life & Family

    5 Things for the 1st Day of School

    This year, it seems like the summer went by in a flash, right? It’s getting close to the start of the school year, if your kids haven’t started already. Every year, I have a little list of things I love to do for my daughter, Pinky, to make that first day a little more memorable.

    5 things first day 1

    #1. Have something fun for breakfast.

    I love serving up a special breakfast on the 1st day of school. Usually, I let my daughter pick something fun that she loves and this year she chose doughnuts. We rarely have doughnuts, since we are all eating fairly gluten free, but there are a few special days of the year that I am OK with unique treats like these. Lucky for me, I was able to just buy one from the drive-thru and I didn’t have to make anything. But, you could totally make a yummy and healthy breakfast at home. I’m thinking fruit and eggs. Or oatmeal. Or bacon. That’s healthy, right?

    5 things first day 2

    #2. Be excited.

    Kids are very intuitive and if you are anxious or worried about them heading back to the classroom (or going for the first time,) they will totally pick up on it. Even if you know that they may have some obstacles to deal with, whether they be social, academic, etc., try to be positively excited about the new experiences to come and they will most likely follow suit.

    #3. Record their favorites.

    Kids are constantly changing and growing (Duh!), so it is a great idea to get the details of all of their current favorites down on paper. I whipped up this quick questionnaire for my daughter to fill out the 1st day of school, so we could keep a record of her favorites. I love that she will be able to see how her likes have changed over the years, as well as her handwriting.

    You can also print it out, for your own use, by clicking on the image below. Please download the file to ensure proper print sizing. When printing, make sure that Page Scaling is set to “Fit Printable Area” and Borderless Printing is selected.

    5 things first day 3

    #4. Take a picture.

    This is something that many people already do. I have photos that my parents took of me on my first day of school and I love looking through them and seeing how I’ve grown and changed. Plus, I always get a laugh when I see the clothes that I wore. The 80’s were an interesting time.

    We’ve been snapping a photo every year of our daughter since she started kindergarten and will continue to do so for our son too. It’s crazy how quickly they grow up!

    5 things first day 4

    You don’t need to do anything fancy and can use a dslr or a point and shoot camera. Heck, even a phone camera will do. The point is to get a photo that represents your child. Props are optional. We like to have Pinky hold a sign that says the grade she is in, but any picture will work, as long as you take one. There are so many great ideas out there.

    5 things first day 5

    #5. Tell them you love them.

    This is probably self explanatory, but kids need our love and support. Never let them walk away without telling them how much you love them!

    And remember, even though this list claims to be for the 1st day of school, whether it be in a public, private, or home school setting, it is completely flexible. If your work schedule or other events keep you from being able to do one or any of the previous mentioned items on the 1st day, do it another day. There is not a specific time line in the rule book that says you must take a photo, make a special breakfast, or fill out a favorites questionnaire on the actual 1st day of school. Give yourself a break and work it into your own schedule, whenever that may be. (Our daughter’s 1st day was technically cancelled due to fog.) It doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. We hope your kids have an awesome school year!!!

  • Crafts,  Home Decor,  Kids

    Simple Silhouette

    Warning: Extremely easy tutorial ahead. I know that some people enjoy working really hard for long periods of time with little to no progress (yeah, right), but I’m not one of them.

    Simple Silhouette 1

    I love the classic and timeless look of silhouettes. They are so fun to decorate with and also make great gifts. And the only supplies you need to make one are a camera, a printer, white card stock to print on, scissors, a pencil, colored card stock (I chose black card stock to keep to the with the traditional look, but I think using other colors would also work great), and a few extra minutes.

    First, take a side view photo of your subject, preferably in front of a solid background. It doesn’t need to be good quality; any image will work, as long as you can make out the perimeter of your image. I used my daughter, Pinky, who likes to intentionally make funky faces when I take her picture. Goofball.

    Simple Silhouette 2

    Next, print out the photo on to white card stock (this was an 8″X10″ print) and cut around the outside of your subject. I left some extra white space on the bottom and added a little extra roundness on the lower back of her head to balance out the poof above her pony tail. Excuse my freaky looking print out. My printer is super low on colored ink.

    Simple Silhouette 3

    Then, trace the template on to the colored card stock, add embellishments, like longer eyelashes and a curved bottom if you like, and cut out your silhouette.

    Simple Silhouette 4

    And there you have it!

    Simple Silhouette 5

    I framed my silhouette by centering and taping it to a piece of white poster board, which was cut to fit the size of my frame.

    Simple Silhouette 6

  • Kids,  Printables

    Lunch Notes

    I can’t believe that it is already August! And that means that the new school year will soon be upon us. Last year, I found some really neat little cards at Michael’s craft store that had funny jokes and motivational sayings on them, so I sent them to school with Pinky in her lunch box for a little midday pick-me-up. Unfortunately, they ran out not long after I opened the package, leaving me empty handed.

    Not that there is anything wrong with writing a little something on a torn piece of paper and throwing it in with the peanut butter and jelly, (I love you is I love you no matter what you write it on,) but I tend to like my notes to be cute and fun, so I decided to whip up some of my own.

    Lunch Notes 1

    I chose a few cute literary quotes from my favorite children’s book authors that are both fun and motivational.

    Lunch Notes 2

    I also used the same designs to create some fill-in-the blank cards, so I can tell my sweeties how much I love them or wish them good luck on a test. Or a big work project. My husband loves jacks and bicycles. *wink*

    Lunch Notes 3

    And guess what? You can snag these fun lunch notes for yourself too! Click the images below for the free PDF link. Please download the file to ensure proper print sizing. When printing, make sure that Page Scaling is set to “Fit Printable Area” and Borderless Printing is selected.

    Lunch Notes Quotes Lunch Notes Blanks