Monday, December 14, 2009

The Diamond Castle - Recycled Handmade Doll House

Blue Princess Castle

Here is my daughter JJ's new dollhouse/castle that I made out of boxes from the recycle, it's "the diamond castle" from her favorite new movie, Barbie's The Diamond Castle.
She loves it. There are 2 little white dogs in the movie so I found 2 little dogs in the dollar bin at Micheals. She is so into this movie it's entertaining to watch her watch it. We are borrowing it from the library right now, but I'm thinking we may have to get a copy to own.

This didn't take very long to make, I used a foam brush and poster paint to color the outside of the cardboard and did 2 or 3 coats so the pictures and words on the boxes wouldn't show through. Used scrapbook paper for the walls and floors, gems and a cheap sparkly snowflake ornament that was also in the $1 bin at Micheals. I used my little handy glue gun to stick it all together and it's held up great. My daughter isn't the most gentle child and this has been tossed around a bit but still looks exactly like it did the day I made it.  She also pretends it's Cinderella's Castle and puts her mini disney princesses inside.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Toddler Purse Tutorial

I just finished whipping up this cute toddler purse for my Niece, it's one of her Christmas gifts. I made it up and figured it out as I went along and although it has a flaw or two, I'm pretty happy with the results. I took pictures and notes along the way so I could remember what I did since I'll be making another one for my daughter as well. You'll notice my sewing machine in one of the pics, it's a new brother LS2000, my hubby got it for me on black friday at Walmart for $50. For $50 I say it works pretty good. Although I would eventually like a nicer machine that had more variety of stitches a little sturdier.

There will be more to come on this as I'm planning on making a matching wallet with soft fabric money and cards, maybe a check book.

I was doing some online Christmas browsing and saw a toddler purse with all soft fabric accessories on One Step Ahead's website and another version Here. I didn't like the first purse at all! Plus, now that I have a sewing machine, I'm eager to try out lots of new things!

2 coordinating fabrics (about equal to 2 fat quarter panels.) I used flannel "Happy Dots" from JoAnns
sewing machine

Draw out your toddler purse pattern on a piece of paper. This is the shape I used with the measurements indicated on the picture. Iron your fabric, then Fold and place the 6 inch side along the fold. Pin in place and cut.

Using the pattern as described in step 1, cut out 4 pieces, 2 of each fabric. Cut out 2 2.5 inch by 14 inch strips of fabric for the straps.

Take cutouts for straps, fold in half lengthwise with right sides facing each other and press with iron. Sew 1/4 inch seam along open edge, leaving the ends open. Press the seams open.

Flip your straps right-side-out and iron flat.

Open purse pieces and iron out any creases. Then take the pieces of matching fabric and place with right sides facing each other. Line up all the edges and pin the bottom and sides in place.

Sew 1/4 inch seam around sides and bottom of toddler purse. Repeat with the liner fabric.

Press seams open creating a point at the bottom corners of purse.

Measure about 1/2 inch in and mark with a pencil. Sew a seam along the line. I went over the seam 3 times.

Clip off the remaining fabric.


Turn the lining right side out. Place the lining inside the outer layer of the purse with right sides facing each other. Line up all top raw edges.

Pin the strap with the end lining up with the top edges of the purse, with the seam side facing the liner. (MAKE SURE THE STRAP IS IN-BETWEEN THE 2 LAYERS) Pin in place. Then, making sure the strap isn't twisted, secure it to the other side of the purse. repeat for 2nd strap.

Sew across all top raw edges, starting by securing all the straps first. ( I triple stitched to make sure it was secure)

Sew along remaining edges, feeling for the straps along the way to make sure you don't sew over them. Leave a small opening of a couple inches when you sew the top edges.

Using the small opening, flip the toddler purse right-side-out. Reach inside and push out all the corners and straps. Then push the liner inside the bag.

Fold in edges along the opening and stitch closed.

Stitch a seam around top edges of bag.

Here is the second purse. I checked the time and it took an 1.5 hours from ironing out my fabric to snapping a few pics of the finished project. If I had planned out faster way to turn the straps right side out, I could have saved myself probably 10 minutes.

Also, on the second purse, I made 2 changes:
1. Shortened the straps...cut them to 11 inches long
2. When sewing the tops together, I left the opening in the middle of one of the long edges. On the first purse, I left the side open (where it looks like a 'V') and after I stitched it shut, the straps looked a little off on that side. The second one didn't have that problem since I changed the spot where I left the opening for flipping the purse right side out.

Now I just need to make some play things to go inside! That will have to wait until tomarrow, I hear a nice relaxing bath calling my name!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Boutique Style Tutu

Easy Boutique Tutu
This was a super easy and fun project that I came across on called How to Make a Boutique Style Tutu. I was looking for something to make for a birthday gift for a 2 year old girl. I made this tutu while watching a movie with my husband one evening and thought it was so fun and easy I have since made more! I wish I had put more flowers on it, but I used what I had. These are SO cute!
You can find the tulle ribbon in the wedding section at your local craft/sewing supply store. I found mine at JoAnn Fabrics.  You could whip up a bunch of these as tutu party favors to your daughter's guests at her next sleepover party or birthday party.  If the girl's are old enough, it could be a party activity, I think girls 8 and up could make these easy tutus.

Pottery Barn Wreath - knock off

I found a fun and simple project to add to my Christmas decor (which was next to nill!) I came across this easy tutorial on Rachel Berry's Blog.
This wreath is a Pottery Barn Knock Off. The original Pottery Barn Wreath is about $80 and I made mine for a little over $10!
Here is the finished product! My husband was also please when he pointed out that it was Cougar colors! We can celebrate Christmas and our Alumni status at the same time! My picture doesn't really do it justice, but I have nowhere to hang it outside our apartment that gets good lighting since our front door is in a covered hallway. I also realized after the fact that I bought too big of a wreath, it would have been more like the pottery barn had I gotten the size smaller that was less bushy. Either way, I'm still enjoying it very much...and the price even more! This took me maybe 1-2 hours, but I was listening to music and taking my time.
See Rachel Berry's Tutorial Here!