DIM (Did it myself): Baby Doll Carrier

I had a friend request a baby doll carrier for her daughter to give as a new sibling gift. I had already been toying with the idea of making one for another friend’s daughter’s birthday gift, so this was all the nudge I needed.

Today I dug into my fabric stash and found a large (5 yards!!) amount of pink/mauve corduroy.  I decided that would do for a trial fabric and set to work. I DID NOT photograph what I was doing as I really didn’t know how it would turn out. Well, it turned out pretty well if I say so myself!

Would you like me to do a tutorial on this?? Tell me in a comment below!!

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Quick Craft: Mini notecards and envelopes

I don’t know about you, but I love miniature things. Honestly, even the most mundane items just look cuter when they are small, no? I’m a sucker for small-sized items when I shop, too, much to my husbands dismay. So that makes me a big fan of the miniature gift card- those cute little 3×3 blank notecards in the “last-minute gift” aisle in most stores (you know what I’m talking about- the aisle with gift bags prestuffed with tissue and curling ribbon, where you can find an assortment of random last-minute gifts when you’re already on the way to a party? You know you’ve been there!). Why spend $2.50 for one little (albeit cute) card when you can make an entire set of them for that price? Keep them on hand for the next gift-giving occasion.

First, measure out a piece of cardstock to 3×6 inches. If you don’t have a scoreboard to score it at the fold, just use a pencil to make a small mark at the 3″ area and use the edge of a credit card or the handle side of a butter knife to make a groove. This helps make a more professionally folded crease. That’s it for the card! Seriously. Have fun decorating and embellishing all you want. In these, I added a simple paisley design to the front and a 2.5×2.5″ square inside for writing.

Now, for the envelopes:

Scrapbook or decorative paper works best for envelopes. First, cut a piece down to 4.25″ x 7″.  Flip the paper nice side down and put the 7″ side along the top of your score board.  Make a score mark at 1″ and another at 4.25″.
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Next, flip your paper around 90 degrees so the shorter edge is at the top.  Make score marks at .5″ from either edge of the paper.

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Fold down on all of your score lines to ‘sharpen’ them up and make nice creases.  Then use a pair of scissors to cut away the rectangles along both the right and left sides of the paper (when holding it long-ways like in my picture below- notice the X’s i placed on the rectangles to help you see which pieces to remove).

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This is what it should look like after you cut away the excess rectangles:

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Lastly, just add some glue along the tabs and press down to seal (but not the top 1″ tab! That’s your envelope flap.  Add glue to that after you’ve inserted your card, or a piece of double-sided tape with paper backing that you can peel away to seal later).

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So there you go! I made a bunch of these 4 card sets with envelopes using just some scrap pieces of paper left over from other projects.  Tied up with a nice ribbon, they make a cute little gift, too.  If you have the time to embellish them for a variety of occasions, you’ll never need gift tags again!  If not, make them plain and add a small embellishment as needed.
Enjoy! Happy crafting,

DIY Diaper Cakes

In preparation for my sister-in-law’s baby shower this past weekend, I’ve been working on some diaper cakes that I thought I’d show off. In case you’ve never seen one before, a diaper cake isn’t as gross as it sounds. They’re not for eating, just for looking. Clean Diapers are stacked to look like a cake and can be used as centerpieces or party decor at a baby shower or other baby-related event. Now, just like with most types of crafts, there really aren’t many wrong ways to make these. My personal opinion is that the only wrong way to do it is to use glue or other adhesives that ruin the diapers and make them unusable. While they make cute decor, they really serve as another gift for the parents-t0-be when they take the cake apart at home and have a ton of extra diapers on hand. So you’ll probably find lots of alternatives to how I make a diaper cake, but here’s my method (I apologize in advance for the poor pictures- sometimes my cell phone is the only thing handy!):

Supplies:

  • Diapers! – the quantity and size will vary depending on the size of the cake you’re making. For these small two-tiered cakes pictured here I used a total of 14 diapers, size N and 1. I also prefer name brand diapers that are good quality so they actually go to good use. I’ve seen many a gorgeous diaper cake before that, when taken apart, goes right in the trash after a night or two of major baby leakage because the diaper quality wasn’t the best.
  • Rubber bands- one for every diaper you use and a large one for each tier of the cake.
  • a cake board (like Wilton’s)
  • an assortment of ribbons
  • Glue dots or strips
  • a glue stick
  • long shrimp skewers
  • decorative embellishments of your choice; in my cakes pictured here, I used travel sized baby soaps and lotions as well as themed stickers to match the party decor and large 12×12 scrapbook paper to cover the cake board
  • scissors

Instructions:

    • Begin by rolling each diaper into a tight tube shape. I like to start with the top of the diaper so the elastic is on the inside of the roll and the ‘tush’ of the diaper is the outside; it makes for a neater roll. Wrap a rubber band around it just tight enough to keep the shape, but not so much that it damages or squeezes the diaper.
  • When you have a small pile of rolled diapers, begin to stand them upright around one another. Use a large rubber band to hold the first 5 or so together in a circular shape and then continue to add more diapers around the ring until the layer is as wide as you’d like it.
  • *MONEY SAVER: If you’re making an especially large diaper cake with several layers, having enough diapers can get pricey. A money saving trick is to “hollow out” the inside of the layers by using a place holder; something else that has a tube shape to build around. It can be as simple as a toilet paper or paper towel tube, or something more fun and creative like a bottle or sippy cup.
  • 2. Repeat the above steps for each layer of the cake you’d like to make, adding less diapers as you go up the cake to make smaller tiers. If you are using an assorted size of diapers, use larger diapers for the bigger, bottom tiers and smaller diapers toward the top. As you continue to add layers to your cake, keep them symmetrical in shape and size. Use a shrimp skewer down the center of the diaper cake, being careful not to pierce any diapers, to stabilize it.
  • When you’ve made all of the layers that you’d like (in my case, just two; I was in need of small diaper cakes), place it on your decorated cake stand (I used scrapbook paper traced and cut out to the shape of the board) and begin decorating! Use your ribbons, secured with glue dots or strips, to cover the rubber bands. Try to avoid getting any adhesive on the diapers so that they remain usable by the new parents after they take it apart.
  • You can decorate your cake with any embellishments you’d like- mini soaps and lotions are the perfect size and shape to nestle into rolled up diapers, but you could also add things like: pacifiers, teething rings, small stuffed toys, blocks, tiny baby socks and shoes, etc… There are also endless possibilities for embellishing with stickers! I added a teddy bear sticker to the front of each cake to help cover the seam where the ribbon ends met because of our teddy bear theme at the shower. Curling some gift wrapping ribbon is also super easy and adds a little extra to your cake with very little effort. You can mix and match colors and even use the ribbon to hide an imperfections you might notice in your cake 🙂 I’ve also added layers of scrunched up tissue between each layer of diapers to give it some “flare” on bigger cakes, but on these small 2 layer cakes it was a little too much.

  • If your skewer sticks out at the top of your cake like mine does, you have several choices: snip it off, paint it, or find a way to incorporate it. I added a small teddy bear stuffed animal from Babies R Us to the top and glued his paws to the skewer to look like he was holding on. I also added a small pacifier charm to his hand as an extra accent.

Sometimes I finish my diaper cakes off by wrapping them in clear cellophane or easter basket bags, especially if I’m giving it as a gift. I haven’t yet decided if I will wrap these or not, since there will be 6 of them used as table centerpieces at the baby shower. Each one was made using the same method, although slightly different embellishments were used (I mixed and matched different shades of blue and green ribbons and used different trios of mini lotions and soaps around the tiers).

SO there you have it! My diaper cake “recipe”. As I said at the top of the post, there are SO MANY ways to do a diaper cake. I’m by no means a pro- I’ve seen some really gorgeous cakes that put mine to shame- but I think this method will get even the beginner a cute looking cake that you’ll be proud to show off or give as a gift. It’s also a great “starting place” to begin and then let your creativity take over. If you have any diaper cake tips please post them in the comments and let me know your favorite way to make one! Happy crafting 🙂

Win Something Wednesday!

Everybody loves a chance to win something for free, right?  Callie and I have been running a weekly Wednesday giveaway on a private parenting board for awhile now, and we recently decided to move it over here to the blog so that more of you lucky ducks have a chance to win.

This week, since we’re both in mega-crafting mode, we’re featuring an ADORABLE crayon craft pouch from My Sunshine Designs:

Trio of mini crayon roll ups

8-crayon roll up pouch

The winner will get to choose from either an 8-crayon roll up pouch or a trio of mini roll ups.  What a great way to keep crayons need and organized, especially when you’re on the go.  These are perfect for the bottom of your diaper bag or purse for quick access when you’re out at a restaurant and need a little kiddo distraction!  If you’d like a chance to win, here’s how:

  1. First, go to My Sunshine Designs on Facebook and ‘like’ the page.  Make sure to comment that you’re stopping by from Kristin and Callie’s blog We Don’t Need Sleep.
  2. Next, make sure you follow our blog! Click the link to the right of this post to sign up.
  3. Last, leave us a comment here on this post and tell us your favorite crayon craft for your or the kids.  We will pick a winner at random in 24 hours, so get to it!

Happy crafting!

Kristin and Callie

Spin Art: Two Ways to Paint Spinning Fun!

My older daughter, Ella, is currently obsessed with all things paint. Her attention span isn’t so great though, so I’m constantly looking for new ways to do stuff. Having more than one thing lined up at a time is also key with her. I mean, if I’m taking out the paint, I’m determined for the craft to last at least 15 minutes. So, today we did spin are two different ways.

We don’t have one of those cool motorized spin art things that I used as a kid at camp, although after today I’m adding it to my craft wish list. So instead, for our first go at spin art, we used my salad spinner. Yup, you heard me right. I cut the edges off a paper plate, dropped some globs of paint on it, and we spun spun spun. They turned out ok, but I think we need thinner paint, and more paint in the future. I’ll probably experiment on my own and let you all know what I think needs to be changed.

For our second spin art craft, I went with a technique I’ve seen in a few different places. I taped a piece of paper to the floor, then flipped a paper plate over and dropped some paint blobs on the back. I flipped it over on the paper and showed Ella how to spin it in a circle. the results were pretty nice and she enjoyed it enough to give it a go with a second set of colors!

Mason Jars: A Mom’s Best Friend

Honestly, what can’t a mason jar do?  I use them for canning (a new hobby I developed last year; posts on that to come in the future), storing leftovers, giving “cookie in a jar” gifts, organizing crafting tools in my craft room, planting herbs in the kitchen and so much more.  So when I saw Clinton Kelly’s “Craft Corner” on the Chew a few weeks back, highlighting everything you can do with a simple mason jar, I was smitten.  My favorite were his stained glass mason jars; I can’t take the credit for this idea but I did tweak it a bit, as one should do with all crafts to really  make them your own.

What You Need:

  • Any size and shape of mason jar you prefer; I like the Ball pint size best
  • food coloring of your choice
  • Mod Podge  decoupage
  • a toothpick
  • a popsicle or lollypop stick
  • glitter
  • thin floral or jewelry wire
  • a disposable paper or plastic cup (styrofoam will do but Mother Nature will hate you for it!)
  1. First, wash and dry the mason jar well.  Next, pour some decoupage paste into the paper cup- about a quarter of the way full per jar you will be staining.  You might not use it all, but when you are mixing colors it’s better to make extra rather than not enough and have your next batch not match properly.
  2. Add in food coloring one drop at a time and stir with the popsicle or lollypop stick until you reach your desired color.  If you want to get sparkly, sprinkle in some glitter (just a pinch!) here.
  3. Next, begin slowly pouring the mixture into the mason jar at an angle so it hits the sides instead of the bottom, about a spoonful or two at a time.  Rotate the jar around in circles so the mixture begins to coat the glass.  Allow it to drip to the bottom as well, but keep the glass moving to create a smooth finish.
  4. Continue to add more of the mixture to the glass until it is completely coated, saving the lip of the jar for last.  Use the toothpick to gently pop any air bubbles that didn’t come out with turning the glass. Sit the jar outside in a sunny and well ventilated area for several hours to dry.  *If you sit the glass on its bottom, expect some pooling of excess mixture at the bottom, resulting in a potentially darker bottom.  If you sit it top side down, the lip of your glass may have this effect instead… and be mindful of the surface underneath! That will be stained too.
  5. After your jars are dry, use the jewelry or floral wire to wind around the neck of the jar a few times for a decorative finish.  Bend the end of the wire into a handle and fasten to itself.
  6. Insert a votive candle for a candle holder, and voila! You’re done!

**These mason jars are not meant for food or drink after they have been decorated this way.  This is for decorative purposes only**

Here are two of mine, sans wire hangers as I decided to use them to hold craft tools.  Click here to see a YouTube video from The Chew’s “Clinton’s Craft Corner” segment where he demonstrates this craft (albeit not very well given the pressures of live TV).

Happy crafting!