PVC Challenge (Season 16, Week 8)

PVC ChallengeThough this challenge topic may have been a bit of a tough one, I think all of the challengers came through with fantastic projects. Without further ado…It’s time to present the projects for our eighth challenge.

The Projects…

Project #1 Hot Air Balloon Mobile

DIY Hot Air Balloon Mobile

Ooh this was the hardest week (I feel like I say this every week)! PVC! Eeek.

Five days before projects were due I was still without an idea! After a couple of hours spent in my local material shop touching every PVC fabric known to dressmakers I headed home…none the wiser. The following day I headed to the DIY shop and repeated, this time touching every PVC pipe known to plumbers. Then, I happened upon an array of boxes with different plugs, pipes attachments and all sorts. There I found 3 little socket plugs that suddenly called out to be tiny baskets hanging down from hot air balloons. Bazinga! Craft decided.

So with 1 PVC pipe, 3 PVC socket plugs and some left-over PVC coated fabric (oil cloth), I was all set.

PVC fabric works in its element with fabric designs/patterns that need a little sturdiness as it holds its shape beautifully. A lovely extra bonus is that it has a gentle sheen which catches the sunlight.

DIY Hot Air Balloon Mobile

I actually really enjoyed making this. It involved sewing, sawing and sticking. What more could a crafting woman ask for?! As I type my fingers are threatening to bond together with the remnants of superglue.

DIY Hot Air Balloon Mobile

I found a rusty old saw in the outside shed and cut my PVC piping to length. This was then covered in bias binding and spruced up with ribbons and buttons. The piping is light enough to be easy to hang and robust enough to hold some weight.

DIY Hot Air Balloon Mobile

The PVC plug ‘baskets’ were covered with felt pieces and the PVC fabric balloons decorated with ricrac, felt bunting and a little button. Once complete, I decided that this crafting project would be for my bedroom as it has a wistful charm. I loaded the baskets with sprigs of lavender and hung it above my bed. You’re never too old to have a mobile especially one that carries the gentle scent of lavender.

DIY Hot Air Balloon Mobile

Project #2 PVC Puppet Theater

For this week I made a puppet theater with a felt backdrop.  This is the kind of project that I love!  I got to use my imagination and design all of the fun elements.  The nice part about it being built out of PVC pipe is that when we are done, we can just take it apart and put it away.

DIY Puppet Theater

The puppet theater has curtains that open and close.  See the blue behind it?  That’s the backdrop!

DIY Puppet Theater

There are actually two backdrops on the theater.  A lighter one for day and a darker one for night.  They are on shower curtain rings so that they can easily slide back and forth into position.  So neat, right?!

DIY Puppet Theater

I made a bunch of felt scenery with velcro on the back to stick to the backdrops.   The castle is my favorite with a mountain in the background.  There are houses for a village scene, and, of course, we needed some indoor furniture as well.  The princess and knight puppets are also made of felt.  We will eventually have a dragon, but I wanted him to have a mouth that opens.  He will take a bit more planning.

DIY Puppet Theater

I love that the kids can set up the scenes however they want!  We can add more later and completely change the stories.  I have plans for another house and some pigs (3 Little Pigs) and some underwater themed scenery as well.  So fun!

DIY Puppet Theater

Project #3 The Market

The theme “PVC’ certainly had me scratching my head for a few weeks. I thought up lots of ideas, but none that were very useful…until I remembered that my son and daughter had been asking for a grocery store for a long time. Sure kids, I will build you a grocery store!

Introducing The Market.

DIY Grocery Store

It is the perfect little play area in our basement.

I created the canopy out of Ikea fabric, PVC pipe frame, and added a cute little banner I made out of chalkboard fabric.  They can wipe it clean and change the name of the store as much as they want!

Below the canopy is a cubby unit turned on it’s side, which provides lots of shelving for all of the play food they need.

Of course, there is also a shelf for the cash register, money and the debit card machine. The shelf that the register is on was covered with bright chevron contact paper.

market 2

DIY Grocery Market

The baskets are full of play fruits and the shelves are full of play food and empty boxes from our pantry. They have already had their friends over to play “store” and have even returned the items back to the proper shelves!

DIY Market

Finally, there is the Special’s Board, which they can change depending on the seasonal produce.

DIY Kids Grocery Market

The Vote…

PVC Challenge

Voting on SYTYC’s ruffle challenge will run through Thursday, August 1 at 5 p.m. MST. The winner will be announced on August 2.

Drag and drop the following choices in order of preference, with your top choice in the first position.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Summer Challenge (Season 16, Week 7)

summerOh gosh. I have totally and completely hit the busiest point of my summer. Lots of amazingly great stuff going on around here – I will be sharing more details next week. In the meantime, sit back, relax and get ready to enjoy the best of summer projects from our Season 16 challengers!

The Projects…

Project #1 Nautical Beach Bag

Nothing says summer like a fun beach bag!  To take the theme a bit further, the beach bag that I made has a fun nautical theme.

Nautical Beach Bag

The bag is nice and sturdy with a thick, striped home decor fabric and lined with navy blue.  The front has a reverse appliqué of a cute little whale in an anchor print that I had sitting around.  I hand stitched around it just to add a little something extra.

Nautical Beach Bag
The rope handles are tied on with a bowline knot.  The bowline knot is actually used in sailing, so it fits the theme! Yeah… I had to watch a lot of YouTube videos to figure that one out… “the rabbit comes out of the hole, around the tree, and back through the hole.”

Nautical Beach Bag
It  has a couple pockets on the inside to hold all of our smaller items.

Nautical Beach Bag
And this thing is BIG!  Towels take up a lot of room, and we are gonna need space for snacks, sunscreen, sunglasses, you name it!  I’m pleased to say that I can fit five towels in this thing with room for more.  Awesome!
Nautical Beach Bag 5

Project #2 Beach Time


Nothing says summer like beachwear and a huge beach bag!

For this theme I knew I wanted to try my hand at designing and making a bikini. Once I started I couldn’t just stop!  I made my daughter a costume to match and a huge bag that would hold our towels, lotion and water bottles.

I wanted a bikini with a sweet ruffle that would gently reveal a bandeau top underneath. I sketched out the design and set about piecing it together.

Beachwear 2

It has waterproof elastic along the bottom and side seams to keep it snug and in place. I also added some thin boning at the edges to keep the bandeau shape. The centre of the bikini is softly ruffled to add detail.

Beachwear 3

The top of the bikini bottoms has a line of navy to offer a symmetry to the navy that peeks out from the bottom of the bandeau. The coral ruffle adds a discreet covering. The tiny swimsuit has a ruffled neckline and ruffle skirt as these days my daughter only likes wearing “twirly” clothes! I made her ruffles more ‘ruffly’ for this reason!

Beachwear 4

Finally, the bag was originally a hardy tablecloth that had seen better days. I based the design on an old, loved bag that is no longer in service due to too much use! I like roomy bags with lots of compartments so I gave it two outside pockets. These have wide elastic top seams which means easy access whilst maintaining some security. I lined the bag in a coral polka dot fabric and added a little internal pocket for ice cream money and beach treasures. The bag ‘closes’ with another wide elasticated seam so that you don’t have to worry about finickity buckles and zips with sandy fingers on the beach. Its a ‘bung it in and go bag!’

Beach Wear 5With all this glorious weather, and our beachwear and bag ready, we are due a trip to the coast! I hope you are all enjoying the summer!

Project #3 3D DIY Dragonflies

I am so excited to be back this week and share my summer project with everyone.  I must say each week is getting harder and harder for me.  My youngest daughter recently decided she wanted her bedroom decorated in green, blue and black.  Seriously?!?  It has been a huge challenge for me, then the other day she said dragonflies and I immediately knew a project for her room was my summer project.  I wanted something different to hang in her room and I decided something 3D would look really neat so I decided to make 3D dragonflies.

Picture 1

Her and I went shopping for some specialty paper for this project.  I kinda had an idea in my head but I knew till I started on the project I wouldn’t exactly know how it was going to come together.  My daughter helped in picking out the exact color of blue and green.  Little did I know when I purchased all the paper that the blue was actually vinyl and not paper.  But finding that out was so helpful, so if you decide to make these recommend vinyl and paper or double sided paper.

Picture 2

Picture 5

I used a dragonfly that I have on my Gypsy and cut out 24 each in the green and the blue and 12 in the black paper on my Cricut.  Then I used the shadow for the dragonfly and cut out 12 in the silver paper.  I love how it looks like fireworks.  Then I cut the antlers off of all the dragonflies and the wings off of the dragonflies that were cut out in the black paper.  I used my create a sticker to make the black paper a stick for the body.  I took the backing off of the vinyl and put it on the back of the green paper making double sided dragonflies.  I wanted half of the dragonflies to have wings with blue facing up and half to have wings with green facing up.  Then I attached everything with glue dots.

Picture 4

I am not completely set on if the dragonflies are going to stay where they are in her room or not so for now they are decorating her mirror and she LOVES them!  To give her mirror a more complete look I used a dry erase marker and wrote dragonflies on her mirror and made the black dots behind the dragonflies like a trail along the mirror.

Picture 3

Project #4 Watermelon Treats

Summer… Oh, how I love summer. The ridiculous heat, swimming in community pools, kids running around like little crazy people, the joy… oh and the watermelon. Watermelon SCREAMS summer to me, so when I saw the theme was “summer,” I knew I had to use the lovely, watery fruit somehow. What is better than a Watermelon Mojito for the adults and watermelon popsicles for the little ones?

Watermelon TreatsWatermelon Mojitos

Check it, people. You know you want to dive into the mojito. Trust me, it is an easy recipe. Mint, rum, sugar, watermelon and a splash of ginger ale (notice I didn’t say a “splash of rum” right?”pour it in). Serve it in cute mason jars and paper straws and you have yourself a party (of course, you could always leave the rum out of this recipe and share with your kiddos).

Watermelon TreatsAnd you can’t forget the popsicles for the little guys and gals.

Watermelon PopsiclesNothing is artificial in these pops, I promise you.

Fresh pureed watermelon, honeydew, and kiwi… along with some organic semi-sweet chocolate chips… and you have got yourself some look alike watermelons on a stick.

Watermelon TreatsThe Vote…

Summer CollageVoting on SYTYC’s ruffle challenge will run through Thursday, July 18, at 5 p.m. MST. The winner will be announced on July 19.

Drag and drop the following choices in order of preference, with your top choice in the first position.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Ruffles Challenge (Season 16, Week 6)


Are you ready to cast your vote in our sixth challenge?! I knew when I posted this week’s theme the projects would be out of this world and I have to say, I was right. I am excited to share the amazing projects created by our contestants this week…

The Projects…

Project #1 The Ruffled Mermaid

I am so happy to be back for another fun week! Ruffles are so fun and there were so many ideas running through my head. I am not going to lie…I kind of wanted to cover myself in ruffled potato chips to see what people thought of that, but I refrained :) Maybe a future post?

Anyway, my daughter really wants a mermaid birthday party, so I figured now is the best time to do a practice cake and practice dress! Introducing The Ruffled Mermaid.

Ruffled Mermaid CostumeShe is in LOVE.

The dress was very easy. I took some beautiful ruffle fabric I have had for years, attached it to an old tank top, and sewed it into a mermaid shaped dress.

Ruffled Mermaid CostumeI decorated the cake with “ruffles” and I love the ombre effect, which is super popular right now. I am glad I made this cake now because it wasn’t perfect and it will give me plenty of time to perfect my ruffle technique. I made a cake topper out of some mermaid stickers and bakers twine.

Ruffled Mermaid CostumeI hope you enjoy this project as much as my daughter does!

Project #2 Ombré Ruffled Tote Bag

Ombre Ruffle Bag
Ruffles! People, I am not really a ruffles person. But that’s what’s great about this competition: it forces you to work with media you aren’t necessarily comfortable with, and magical things happen. Right? This bag is magical.

Ombre Ruffle Bag
I love how it turned out. Here’s what I did. I got some canvas in this lovely limish-green color, which is one of my faves lately. Then I bought a bunch of ruffle—7 yards, to be exact—and some Rit Dye in purple. I sewed together a nice sized tote bag, and then I set to work dyeing the ruffle. Cutting it into 9 different pieces, I dyed each one successively darker, to achieve an ombré effect once I lined them up.

When the ruffles were dry, I carefully sewed them to the bag, making sure the lines were straight and that the distance between each was even. The ruffles go all the way around the bag, so it was a little painstaking.
Ombre Ruffle Bag

But worth it. And I hope you agree!

Project #3 Pink Ruffles

I am so excited to be back this week and share my ruffle project with you.  When I found out this week’s theme was ruffle I knew I wanted to make an outfit for my girlie girl but I wasn’t completely sure what I wanted to make.  I had this pink sequin fabric for a while now and knew it would make some pretty ruffles.  While she is my one child who does not mind something being “itchy” as they call it, I didn’t want it to be something that would be bothering her all day at school either.  So I got some knit to match the sequin fabric.

Sequin Ruffle Top

I started out by cutting a yard of the sequin fabric in stripes, doing a rolled hem on one side and ruffling each stripe.  Then measured her, cut the knit to fit and sewed the ruffles on the front piece of the knit fabric.  Once I was done I laid it down with the right side up, then laid the back on it and sewed the two pieces together.  I added some straps and she LOVES it!!  She is so ready to wear it but it’s for back to school.

I also made a chevron print skirt to go with it and some leg warmers.  I am thinking she will probably need a shrug once fall gets here but it will be perfect for the first day of school.

I did learn from this project do NOT iron the sequin fabric.  They stuck to my iron and we had to clean them off which was not the easiest job.

Sequin Ruffle Top


Sequin Ruffle Top

Project #4 Ruffle Alphabet Quilt

Alphabet Ruffle Quilt

I really struggled with an idea this week. I have seen so many ruffle crafts that it was hard to think of something original. I changed tack and thought about what I was currently wanting to buy. My daughter is learning the alphabet and is quite taken with finding out that squiggly lines = a letter so for a while I have been hunting for a good alphabet poster.  Then, bing! How about a ruffle lettered quilt?!

Alphabet Ruffle Quilt

I don’t think I have ever used so many pins in all my sewing projects put together. Never underestimate how many individual ruffle strips make up each letter of the alphabet! Halfway through I seriously contemplated whether I could get away with just telling my daughter that a,b,c,d,e,f,g,h,i,j constituted the entire alphabet! So with some good radio programs in the background I sat down cut, ruffled, pinned and stitched. Cut, ruffled, pinned and stitched. Cut, ruffled, pinned and stitched. and repeat. I highlighted the vowels in a different color so that my daughter can begin to distinguish them.

I wish I could send you all a little snuggle sensor through the internet as I was surprised how cozy soft the top is. I used t-shirt material so that it wouldn’t need hemming and it ruffles beautifully. The absolute bonus is that it feels like a soft little rabbit!

Alphabet Ruffle Quilt

Project #5 Sail Away Summer Ruffle Outfit

Well, you can’t have a ruffle theme without some cute girly clothes, so here you go!  This Sail Away Summer Outfit is complete with a ruffle ocean around the skirt, ruffle sleeves, and ruffle pinwheels behind the buttons and on the hair clip.

Sail Away Summer Ruffle Outfit

I just LOVE the white fabric that I found for the shirt!  It has a very faint polka dot texture.  Super cute and feminine.  Rustic wooden buttons are sewn onto the front as a decoration and sort of look like driftwood to match our theme.

Sail Summer Ruffle Outfit

The sails on the little appliquéd boat are made out of the same polka dot fabric as the shirt.  Don’t you just love the faint orange color of the flag?!  Perfect accent color!  The hair clip ties the whole outfit together using all of the fabrics from the sailboat and the same wooden button as the shirt.  This was so much fun to create!  Hope you like it!

Sail Away Summer Ruffle Outfit

The Vote…

Ruffle Challenge

Voting on SYTYC’s ruffle challenge will run through Thursday, July 18, at 5 p.m. MST. The winner will be announced on July 19.

Drag and drop the following choices in order of preference, with your top choice in the first position.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Around the World Challenge (Season 16, Week 5}

Around the World

Who’s ready for our week five challenge? Yesterday I introduced the “around the world” challenge theme and I have to say these girls went the distance! I love seeing the amazing, original ideas that pop up every. single. week.

The Projects…

Project #1 Paris Quilt

Paris QuiltI am so excited to be back this week and share my around the world project with you.  Right after I found out one of the theme for this season was around the world, my daughter decided she wanted to decorate her bedroom with a Paris theme.  I knew I would have lots of projects in her room and the hardest part of this would be deciding which project to use for the contest.  The other hard part has been not telling anyone I am decorating my daughter’s bedroom in a Paris theme but I did it.  YAY!!

Paris QuiltI decided to use her quilt for this weeks’ project.  I have made her several quilts in the past and she always says “It’s too cold.”, so with this quilt I made a six inch square quilted top but I used warm fuzzy fleece fabric for the back.  It worked out great.  I let her pick out the backing fabric since I picked out the four coordinating top fabrics.  Its thin but super warm.

Paris QuiltProject #2 Sheet Music Globe

When I saw the theme for this week, I knew I needed to makeover this old globe.  I got it at a garage sale for a dollar a few months ago, and my husband thought I had finally lost it!  I don’t know where the previous owners were keeping this thing, but it was filthy!  Neon and dust and dirt!  OH MY!  Doesn’t it look a million times better?

Sheet Music GlobeI had no idea what I was going to do with the thing until we got this old piano.  A piano calls for sheet music art, of course, so the sheet music globe was born.

Sheet Music GlobeLet me tell you, this thing was more difficult than it looks to pull off!  Mod Podging paper onto a round surface wasn’t so easy, and it took several coats of spray paint to cover up that horrible neon! All worth it in the end though because, once again, I have proven to my husband that I am not as crazy as he thinks.

Sheet Music Globe

Project #3 Pictorial Wall Compass

Photo Wall CompassWouldn’t it be fun if we could all just spend our time traveling the world! Sign me up! I have been lucky enough to spend some time traveling. I chose to use photos from my adventures, as well as the adventures of my favorite people to make a PICTORIAL WALL COMPASS. It’s fun to look at when what’s on the TV can be quite depressing these days.


Photo Wall CompassI used chalkboard paint for my compass and put a heart in the middle of my direction areas because of my love for adventure. The wood bases were chosen to add a 3D effect which is tricky to see from the photos, but they are 3 different thicknesses. The compass piece is a fence post top

Photo Wall CompassThere is 1 photo from every continent!! Let me tell you it was difficult to choose just one! I chose to arrange the photos similarly to how they would be seen on a map.

Project #4 Embroidered Fabric Flight Case

Flight CaseTruth be told this is my second attempt at this theme. The first idea just didn’t feel ‘Around the Worldy’ enough! So after a rethink… a decorated flight case seemed to fit the bill.

This flight case started life functional, black and boring. Great for a ‘blend in at work’ look but we’re not about blending in or looking boring. There is always time for a little pazzazz in life. Every aviator, traveller, woman needs nice luggage right?! The great thing about flight cases is that they hold enough for a weekend getaway (My bag is ready, just send me the invite!)

Embroidered Stamped Flight CaseI wanted the bag to represent places loved and a place to dream of visiting. The maps are stitched onto fabric with the place of interest stamped on. I made the landmark stamps from erasers. A fabric luggage label finishes it all off.

Eraser StampsI hope you have some fun travels coming up.

Project #5 Olympic Rings Bracelet

Olympic Rings BraceletWow, I had a hard time coming up with an idea for the Around the World Challenge. I thought of different crafts from different cultures, but nothing really felt totally global, if you know what I mean. That’s when my husband said, “What about the Olympics? That’s pretty ‘around the world.'” He was right!

I put together an Olympic ring bracelet that hopefully won’t put me under IOC scrutiny. I’ve always wanted to try chain mail jewelry, and I figured that connecting the rings with another set of linked rings would sync nicely.

Olympic BraceletI made the Olympic rings by wrapping large jump rings in Chinese knotting cord. I secured the ends with some super glue.

I found a pattern for Helmsweave chain mail and used that to create the bulk of the bracelet. It requires linking together different sized jump rings to create a chain.

Olympic BraceletI love the way it turned out, even if the Winter Olympics aren’t for another 8 months. I hope you like it, too!

Project #6 Around the World in 80 Days

Around the WorldAs soon as I saw that the theme for this week was Around the World, the inner nerd in me immediately thought of the classic book “Around the World in 80 Days”, which has often been represented with illustrations of men in a hot air balloon. Now, here is where I am going to blow your mind….they never actually travelled in one during the story. Nope, no hot air balloons for those original guys, but the film in 1956 changed that storyline and I much prefer the idea of travelling the world in a beautiful hot air balloon, as opposed to a steam train or an elephant. Plus, hot air balloons make for a much cuter outfit!

Around the WorldUsing multiple fabrics, I created an adorable little dress. The bodice has a strip of fabric featuring a sweet hot air balloon and ric rac trim, the middle part of the skirt is composed of unique world map fabric, and the outer skirt fabric has fun drawings of kids from all around the world holding hands.

I always love mixing and matching fabrics…even if they aren’t from the same designer or fabric line, you can still make them work together.

Around the World DressI also made her a fun hot air balloon necklace out of polymer clay. In order to create the balloon, I used several colors of clay and formed it into the proper shape.  The “basket” is just plain white.  Each of those pieces got baked in the oven.  Once cooled, I glued several strands of thread to hold the “basket” to the balloon and then threaded it onto elastic, along with some cute beads I had in my stash.

Finally, out of the leftover hot air balloon fabric, I made a simple banner that my daughter wants to hang up in the playroom. I simply cut the balloons to shape and sewed each one to some white felt for stability and then sewed them all onto some white ric rac.

Hope you guys like everything! And if you have never seen the original movie, you should really check it out!

The Vote…

Around the WorldVoting on SYTYC’s “around the world” challenge will run through Thursday, July 11, at 5 p.m. MST. The winner will be announced on July 12.

Drag and drop the following choices in order of preference, with your top choice in the first position.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Outdoor Challenge {Season 16, Week 4}

Outdoor Challenge

Who’s ready for a challenge?! I am really excited about the contestant’s projects this week. They’re amazing!

The Projects…

Project #1 Bringing the Outdoors Indoors

I must admit this theme was a little harder for me to come up with a project.  I am not exactly an outdoors kind of person.  I don’t like the bugs and the heat.  But when I think about outdoors I think about picnics and ladybugs and ants and flowers.  So I decided to bring a little bit of outside inside by make a reversible placemats, reversible table runner and a center piece.

Stained Wood Box Table Centerpiece

For my placemats and table runner I used two different fabrics that coordinated.  On one side of the placemats I used my embroidery machine and stitched some picnic ants and I added some ribbon to give it a little something more.  On the other side of the placemats I stitched an appliqued lady bug.

Picnic Placemats

For my center piece my husband and I used some wood from our fence that got blown away in a tornado.  We had debated on putting it back up but we haven’t and when I saw the wood I knew it would be perfect.  I wanted some wood that was weathered.  It was warped and didn’t exactly lay flat when we were screwing it together but with some team work we got it.  To give it more of a weathered look I stained it with some ebony stain then sanded it after it had dried.  I was hoping to get by the store and pick up some more flowers to add to it before taking my pictures but I didn’t have a chance.  These did come from my yard also though.

Picture 3

Project #2 Picnic Quilt

For this round, I decided to make a quilt out of some old jeans that were beyond repair and some red and white fabric.  Not just any quilt, but a picnic quilt, complete with a strap for easy carrying.  I chose a nice, lofty batting so it would be comfortable to sit on, and the jeans make it heavy and durable.  Normally I don’t like jean fabric on anything but jeans, but I think it looks perfect as a picnic blanket!  It measures about 5½ feet square.  Nice and big so everyone has a place to sit!

Picnic Quilt

Of course, you can’t have a picnic blanket without ants, so I embroidered a few around the binding.  So cute!  The fabric was given to me, and I think most of it is vintage.  My favorite is the white with tiny red flowers.

Picnic Quilt

I made the strap using the bottom cuffs of some capris that I had, and the handle is the waist of a couple pairs of jeans.  Nice and durable!

picnic quilt

Project #3 DIY Bird House

DIY BirdhouseOutdoors week, yay! I’ve been working on this project for what feels like EVER, so I was so happy and proud to complete it. I will preface by saying that I am not a carpenter or, in fact, very familiar with power tools. But I was determined to build a birdhouse for my newly blooming garden, and if I can do it, you can, too. I wanted something a little different, so I landed on two important details: I’d make it with upcycled wood, and I’d give it its own garden.

I started with some reclaimed redwood that I got at a recycling center, and I built the house itself out of that wood. I like the idea that in a former life, this wood was a fence, and that I didn’t have to use any virgin wood for it. While I’d seen a lot of birdhouses with green roofs, I wanted mine to have an actual garden, so it looks like a miniature house. So I built out the floor to include several inches around the perimeter to hold soil and small plants. I added a few details like tiny terra cotta pots, some rocks, and even this crazy small wooden wheelbarrow I found.

DIY Birdhouse

As you can see in the photo above, I even included a hinged flap on the bottom in order to clean out the house from year to year. Once a bird family is done with it, I can get in there and clean it out to prepare for another family the next year.

The roof I covered in craft moss that I found at a local nursery. I wanted it to have a more rustic look.

DIY BirdhouseI just love the way it turned out, and now I’m just hoping against hope that some desperate bird will come use it. Hope you like it, too!

Project #4 Vintage Ladder to Awesome Arbor

I am so excited to be back here for another week!

Now, let me just tell you… when I saw that we had to do an outdoor craft, I kind of freaked out.  I am not an “outdoor craft” type of gal.   Plants do not survive around me.  They suffer.

So, I had to really think.  I truly had to think outside of the box for this one, folks. So, give me props, okay? Then, I remembered an old, yucky, vintage wooden ladder I had bought off Craigslist months ago. Bingo. BINGO! Why not make an arbor for our back deck? Right? Am I right?

Ladder ArborOur deck has these weird cubbies that needed something and this was the perfect solution (I plan to make one for the other side… and you know there will be a full tutorial, right?) I took that old Craigslist ladder and cut it to size. Then, I drilled some 2×4’s to both sides. Finally, I stapled lattice to each side. Primed and painted it all white with some exterior paint.

(we already owned the stone bench)

outdoor craft 3The most expensive part was the plants.  I had to ask the nice people at Lowe’s to direct me to the plants that “climb”. They were so friendly and helpful and they explained how to take care of each and every one of them.  I pinky swore to them that I would make sure these plants survived.  So, I need to keep that promise.  

I love the fact that this arbor will eventually be covered with flowers and leaves.  I will make sure to update on my blog when that happens, which according to the lovely people at Lowe’s, should be soon!

Ladder Arbor

Project #5 Fairy Garden

Fairy Garden

“Outside theme, outside theme” I muttered to myself as I wandered around my garden in search of ideas. My eyes settled on the little overgrown patch beside the drain and the garden step. It was crying out for some TLC. What it needed I decided, was a fairy garden.

I spent a couple of days hunting around my house for items that could be repurposed for miniature use. Over the next week slowly but surely tiny items were crafted. A wooden tissue box was converted into a log cabin. A tupperware container became panes of ‘glass’ for the windows. Fabric scraps were stitched into tiny curtains and a little pair of trousers drying on the washing line. The wooden items were painted in a matching egg shell blue. The paint work on the bench was distressed in certain places to hint at years of use and enjoyment.

Fairy Garden

It’s been told that the fairy who lives here often wanders down to lie on the bench or sit on the little tree stump. In the quiet of the summer evenings she enjoys watching the fish swimming beneath the gentle splash of the waterfall. Sometimes she can be seen sweeping her path, hanging out her washing or peeking into the bird house. If you’re quiet enough you mayjust catch her rocking to and fro on her tyre swing in the rosemary tree.
Fairy Garden

You never know – a fairy may make use of any unattended patches in your garden…

Project #6 Patriotic Rockets

Patriotic Rockets

The 4th of July is quickly becoming one of my favorite holidays. I have a few decorations I put up inside my house. I noticed that the outside of my house could use something patriotic. I made some rockets from scrap wood to put in front of my house.

Patriotic Rockets

I’m a beginner when it comes to power tools. I recently learned how to cut straight lines with a miter saw. There were four cuts total for these rockets. Trust me if I can handle this anyone can! After the wood was cut I painted them with craft paint. I found super cute foam stickers for $1 at Joann’s. I applied the stickers with hot glue after the paint was dry. The silver stars at the bottom were found at the dollar store. They were a table weight for balloons that I cut apart.

The hardest part of this whole project was figuring out how to stick the rockets in the ground. I didn’t want to use wood. I was worried that wood would weather quickly. What I came up with (with the help of my husband) was PVC and rebar. We attached the PVC to the back of the rockets with brackets. My state is unpredictable when it comes to the weather. That is where the piece of rebar comes in. The rebar will help the rocket to stay in the ground and not blow away.


My house looks super festive now thanks to these rockets!  I can’t help but smile when I pull in my driveway.

Project #7 Whisky Fire Pit

If we could be outdoors all the time we definitely would be, so that made me feel like there was extra pressure to dream up something awesome. I walked the aisles of home depot, raked the internet for inspiration and then it came to me. We don’t have a fire pit! For many reasons that shall remain nameless, we cannot put in a permanent fire pit. I have been begging for one of the temporary/moveable ones with very little budging on his part. So I told him, “I am going to build us a fire pit tomorrow, just watch.”

So that is exactly what I did!

Old, dirty, well used fire bowl with stand {craigslist find!} + a Whiskey Barrel {craigslist Home Depot}

Without further Ado… My Whiskey Fire Pit

Photo1 (3)
^^Above are the supplies used^^
photo2 (3)
Don’t you just wanna relax right here!
photo3 (3)

Happy 4th of July to all, thankful for the men and women who protect our freedom.

P.S. All safety concerns will be discussed in the tutorial, until then, my hose is nearby!

The Vote…

Outdoor Collage


Voting on SYTYC’s Outdoor Challenge will take place Monday, July 1 through Thursday, July 4 at 5 p.m. MST. The winner will be announced July 5.

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Week 4 Theme: Outdoors {Giveaway}

Our week four theme is “Outdoors” and I am so excited to see what our competitors have in store, aren’t you? Our challenge projects will be live tomorrow!

Sunshine Outdoors Quote

Last summer I read a great study that said the more you get away from the stress of daily life and spend time outdoors, the greater your level of creativity. It indicated that people were about 50 percent more creative after they had spent time outside.

Sometimes it’s time to turn off the iPhone, the iPad, the computer – just disconnect and enjoy the moment. Nature becomes a place where you can relax and rest.

I spent the weekend working on cleaning out the garage…I don’t know that it helped me relax at the time, but I must admit I feel better about the clean space!

To help you tackle your own outdoor project, we’ve got one $50 gift card to Lowe’s up for grabs. To enter the giveaway, utilize the Rafflecopter widget below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Kids Can Do Challenge {Season 16, Week 3}

Kids Can Do ChallengeI love a good project with the boys, especially during the summer! Most recently we’ve been working on Project Life together (It’s a great Sunday activity). However, we’ve done everything from crochet to fine art…

Since summer hit, I have been collecting great kids craft ideas and I have really been looking forward to our Kids Can Do Challenge.

The Projects…

Project #1 Squirt Gun Curtains

I adore munchkins and had so much fun with these two this last weekend. Armed with a photo of their bedspread I picked up various colors of acrylic paint and a pack of 8 squirt guns for $2.99.  Little boys + paint + squirt guns and you’re guaranteed a great and really messy time! I hung up a sheet outside and they went to town. We even used a glow in the dark paint!

Squirt Gun Artwork When they were all done squirting, we left it out to dry while we cleaned off with the hose. I took the sheet home and turned it into two curtain panels, added some fun double zigzag stitching on the edges in blue and red thread. The next day I delivered their curtains for their room and they were SO excited!  

Squirt Gun CurtainsWhen you hear, “Wow, that’s great! I love all the colors!” from a 4 year old you know you’ve done something right for kids week. 

said, “You made that!!” Little man said, “I know!” with a giant smile! The curtains are so fun for their room and the glow paint adds the “stars” element! They kept saying, “Turn off the lights!!” The total cost for this project was $10 for the flat sheet, $1.57 per paint color and then a rod if you don’t already have one. I’d suspect most of you have all the supplies on hand already.

Squirt Gun Curtains

Now go gather up the supplies and release the kiddos to make their own room decor. Pillow cases  to match would be super fun too! That’s next on our list for the boys :)

Project #2 Home Sweet Home

Shower Curtain Play House

Space can be an issue in our home so my craft projects need to fit in and benefit our lifestyle and environment. This wendy house is perfect. It is constructed from just three tension rods placed across a hallway to form the roof frame. A decorated shower curtain draped over the top makes it a perfect wendy house. You can set it up quickly and store it away really easily. Perfect.

When I floated this idea past the little one that occupies this living space with me her only question was “when can we start!” I drew a house shape on a piece of paper for her to design her home. She added flowers, windows, a bunny and a door number. This also developed into a fun learning activity about how houses are constructed and what materials are used. She wasn’t sure how to draw roofs so we went for a walk outside and looked at the different roofs around us. She came back in and represented it as lines with a tiny bird on top.

Curtain Playhouse

Whilst she drew and colored her house I cut up an old shower curtain and stitched it to the right size. I added some tabs, which the rods slide through which keep the shower curtain in place.

I set up a paint zone and let her get to work. She took such care in each brush stroke. She was definitely proud of herself and the end result of her little colorful house. The next morning she bounded into my room as soon as she woke “Is it dry mama?” It took me a second to work out what she was talking about! “Morning to you too darling!”

Wendy House 3

We took it downstairs, cut out the windows and made the door open. I overstitched the edges as the shower curtain was prone to fraying. I embroidered around her paint marks to add detail and embellished the house with buttons and ribbons. She was excited that we could use one of the ‘fancy’ stitches on the sewing machine for the roof. Finally she rummaged through my fabric stash and chose some material for her curtains. With these in place everything was ready for dinner at her house. She chose some extra squishy cushions, invited her favourite dolls and settled down to cook up a storm with some plastic cake and cardboard cookies. A little while later I rang her button bell and was welcomed in to join her dinner party.

I can see this becoming a staple toy, which we can pull out whenever the whim occurs or when little friends come to play.

Project #3 Rainbow Nursery Art

For this week’s challenge, I decided to have the kids make something that we can hang in the nursery.  The song “The Rainbow Connection” is special to us for lots of reasons, but mainly because it’s the song that I sing them to sleep with when they are babies.  I love the lyrics because they are all about wishing, finding the end of rainbows, and childhood wonder.  The art that the kids made has the lyrics of the first verse.

DIY Nursery Artwork

So you are probably wondering, how is this a “kids can do” project?  They made this, I promise, with just a little bit of help from mommy and some vinyl lettering.  I don’t want to get into too much detail because this isn’t a tutorial, but the kids painted the rainbow on canvas, I put on the vinyl, then they painted white over the whole thing, and we peeled off the letters together.  You could, of course, do this project with different lyrics (“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” would be cute) and use vinyl stickers instead of lettering.

DIY Rainbow Nursery Art

I just LOVE the way some of the letters transition from one color to the next and how the background looks like a rainbow peeking through the clouds!  It’s going to look so cute in the nursery!

DIY Rainbow Nursery Artwork

Project #4 Pixel Art T-Shirt


For Kids Can Do week, I wanted to do something both for the kids and by the kids… you know, FKBK. And my kids love making t-shirts. We decided to make some pixel art as a team.

There are plenty of pixel patterns out there on the internet; you can even use Perler bead patterns. Since my kids like to put together Perler beads following patterns, I knew they’d be into making these t-shirts. With parental prep work, it’s really just a matter of reproducing the pattern on the t-shirt.

I used iron-on vinyl and cut it into 1/2″ squares. A lot of squares. I found a pixel image that they liked and printed it out, and then I got a large piece of cardboard and drew a grid of 1/2″ squares on it. By slipping it into the t-shirt, you could see the grid through the fabric and use it as your guide. Then I set the kids to work. I put a tiny amount of adhesive on the vinyl squares so they wouldn’t move around, and they kids laid them all out.


Once the “pixels” are all attached, you iron the shirt and peel off all the backings. And that’s it! The slightly wonky nature of the kid-aligned pixels is perfect, since it allows you to see each individual pixel. And of course, it’s endearing, right?


Hope you like!

Project #5 Felt People

Hey everyone! Thanks again for voting for me and allowing me the opportunity to come back and show you my kids can do it project. For this theme I knew I wanted to do something that was sewing with my children. Due to unforeseen reasons my children have not gotten to make theirs yet, but me making one first gave me the chance to work out the details so that when they make theirs it will go smoother. After voting is over and I get to feature my project on my blog there will be more felt people.

Felt People

We made felt people. My children and I went to the craft store and each of them picked out some felt for the “clothes” and I got a bunch of flesh colored felt for the head, arms and legs. I started out by drawing a pattern on some paper and cutting it out. Then we used the pattern to cut out all the pieces. I got some buttons for the eyes, nose and shirt. At first we made the nose with just embroidery thread but then I decided a button would look better. Also we used embroidery thread to stitch on a mouth.

Felt People

Felt People

Originally I thought I wanted to turn the pieces so you couldn’t see the seams but that was harder than I wanted for something for children to make and since its felt the ends won’t fray. We used the sewing machine to stitch up the arms, legs, head and body. We put stuffing in the head and body. Now the children each have a project that they made and they can keep and enjoy. We decided to make felt people because then its good for a girl or a boy. My husband said a boy can’t have a baby doll.

Project # 6 Busy Blanket

The idea for “The Busy Blanket” came to me when I was planning our family vacation.  Keeping young kids entertained can often be difficult and I didn’t want to have to pack too many toys from home.  A long time ago, I made a quiet book for my oldest child…. it was a small book full of cute little activities.  Realizing how fun those are, I came up with the idea for the ultimate activity blanket!

The Busy Blanket has nylon straps with an adorable cherry print oil cloth outer for waterproof protection (plus it is stylish enough for me to carry around!)   The other side has a mesh bag for collecting seashells and rocks.   It folds in thirds and then in fourths and attaches together with velcro.  (tutorial coming soon!)

Once unfolded, the kids will freak out by how insanely awesome it is.  The blanket was made out of two large bath towels joined together and then trimmed out with lime green binding and backed with the oilcloth.

There are so many activities inside for the kids to enjoy:

A magnetic clock with magnet clock hands, fabric chalkboard (yes, chalkboard fabric!), an I Spy Bag, felt tic-tac-toe, mesh storage bag for game pieces, dry erase board with markers and crayons, and a foam number puzzle.

So far, my kids’ favorite part is the dry erase board.  It was created by attaching clear vinyl over white felt and then sewing it onto the towel.  The dry erase markers and crayons wipe right off with a rag  for lots of imaginative drawings.

I will most definitely be sharing info on how to make each section, so stay tuned!

There are so many activities for kids of all ages and they can be varied according to your child’s interests.  Everything on the blanket is washable, which is perfect after a day at the beach.

The best part is that even though I sewed most of the blanket together, you can most definitely use fabric glue or hot glue if you aren’t up for such a large sewing job.   The kids can also help pitch in and glue things down.

I can already tell this blanket is going to be a big hit when we head up to the lake this summer!

Project #7 Clay Jewelry 


Kids are fun to make stuff for and fun to work with making stuff.. in some cases. I am a kid at heart and when I discovered sculpey it reminded me of play doh and I was so excited. I decided to make some pendants that are kid friendly.

Clay Jewelry

They can be made into necklaces, rings, earrings or anything else you desire.

earrings clay

I decided to make two necklaces a ring and earrings and now I will need to figure out which ones I am going to keep for myself for fourth of july and which ones I will share with others.

clay necklace

Project #8 Kids Summer Scrapbook

book collage1

My kids love taking their own pictures. They also love to look at photo albums. We decided to combine both of those things. They get to make their very own summer scrapbook. Inside it will be filled with pictures they take and pages they make.

book collage 2

My kids started by making a list of all the fun summer things we do. I got them out my scrapbook stuff and let them have at it. What they did was made pre-done scrapbook pages. They will take pictures when we go fun places this summer. After they take the pictures I will help them print them. At the end of the summer they will have their very own completed scrapbook!

book collage

My kids were so excited with this project! They said they want to do one of these every year. As a Mom it was so fun to sit back and watch them do their own thing. This will be a treasure that our whole family will love for years to come!

The Voting…

SYTYC Kids Can Do ChallengeVoting on SYTYC’s Kids Can Do Challenge will run through Monday, June 24 – Thursday, June 27 at 5 p.m. MST. The winner will be announced Friday, June 28. To see the winning project tutorial, please pop over on Tuesday, July 2.

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Upcycling Results {Week 2}

What an awesome week. I loved all of our competitors projects and the things that you linked up were all absolutely fantastic as well. I cannot wait to feature some of them tomorrow!

In the meantime, I am excited to bring you the results of week two’s upcycling craft off!

Upcycling Results {Week 2}

You might have noticed that I changed to voting procedure last week to make it easier for visitors to rank the projects. The result is a slightly less appealing graphic for results week…The left side bar represents rank 1-10, so in this case the lower number is actually better. Does that make sense? Hope so.

ChartExport (2)

Crafter Reveal

Upcycle Winner

Though the results may look a bit dramatic, voting was actually very, very close. However, this week’s winner by a hair was Naomi, from Fifty Two Create.


I really cannot get over the transformation!

Congratulations Naomi!!!

Saying Goodbye…

Of course this week we do have to say goodbye to one of our crafters…it’s much harder than it may seem! We wish Janiene, from A Bunch of Bishops.

I have spent a lot of time on Janiene’s site in the last week and thought I would share a few of my favorite projets with you.

A Bunch of Bishops Blog

1. Wooden Ladder Tellis 2. Map Top School Desk 3. Rocket Ship Piñata 4. Handmade Tic Tac Toe  5. Homemade Coconut Oil Deodorant  

Learn more about Janiene next Tuesday, when we share her crafter interview!

Next Week…

Come back next week for the “Kids Can Do” challenge. This is a perfect series during summer. I can’t wait to share the projects that have come in!