I Got A Heat Press!!

Okay guys, I have big news! I got a heat press!!! I’m so excited! My mom and dad got it for me as a birthday/Christmas gift, and this has been such a game changer for me with shirt making! This is the one I got:

It came with attachments to also do hats, 2 sizes of plates, and 2 sizes of mugs. This thing is so awesome! Not only is it crazy faster than applying heat transfer vinyl with an iron, the quality of the finished product is miles better! What really surprised me though was the fact that you can re-press old projects that have maybe started to peel a bit and fix them! I’ve been playing with htv for about a year now, and I’ve loved working with it, but I’ve always been a little disappointed that it didn’t seem to hold up very well in the wash. Well this has been the answer to that for sure. My new projects as well as old ones that I repaired are now holding up perfectly in the washing machine! And I have LOVED being able to rescue some ragged favorites that seemed destined for the trash. I had just assumed that once an item had gone through the laundry there would be no way to make the htv stick. Not that every single project I did with an iron started to peel, but well, a good percentage of them eventually did. So if I’ve made you a gift with htv in the past and it’s starting to come off, bring it back and I’ll fix it right up!
My nephew Levi’s birthday party is this Saturday. He’s going to be four, and he looooves superheros, Batman especially. I made him this t-shirt, as well as a pillow with Superman fabric on one side and Batman fabric on the other. I also added his name to the pillow in htv. The Batman decal below is actually a 3D rubber applique that I found at Walmart for $3.97. The instructions included were for a household iron, but I took a chance and applied it with the heat press, and it turned out amazing!

Lily wanted a superhero shirt for her birthday to wear to Levi’s party. She originally wanted a Wonder Woman shirt, but then she saw a pink and black Batman shirt online and wanted it instead. So what’s a mama with a brand new heat press supposed to do besides make them both? The Batman shirt she saw had a matching bow, so I made one to match each shirt. I even used the heat press for the bows! I don’t know why the Wonder Woman set looks pink in the picture below, but as you can see in the shot with her wearing them they are red. Both shirts were the basic $2.97 boys tees from Walmart, and I had the ribbon and htv on hand, so this was a really inexpensive gift.

The gold HTV on this shirt was in an Expressions Vinyl grab bag that arrived on her birthday, and it was perfect for this project. I mentioned when I shared this picture on Instagram, isn’t it neat how God loves on us in little ways as well as big ways?
Sawyer wants a superhero shirt too, but he keeps going back and forth on what kind, so I will be making one or two for him as well. 
I plan on offering some items in my shop soon too.
Heat press for the win!
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Easy Cardboard Rocket Craft

This year’s Vacation Bible School curriculum was called To The Edge, and it was space themed. My sister-in-law Rachael was in charge of the decorations, and people, it was out of this world! (Bahahahaha! Snort. Okay, just ignore me) Seriously though, she did an amazing job. Check out a few of the pictures (Excuse the quality of some of them. The lighting wasn’t the best in some areas. I plan to post some of the pictures from the actual event on a later post.):

The black light hallway was a huge hit.

My mom and dad put these rockets together, and Rachael made that awesome astronaut herself!

The “computer screens” at the control panels even lit up!

This robot. How amazing is this? Of course I think the guy standing next to him is pretty amazing too. 🙂
I can’t believe how detailed everything was. Have I mentioned that she’s five months pregnant and has two kids under four? Yeah, serious supermom stuff.
Anyway, I was really surprised at the lack of VBS friendly space themed crafts out there on Pinterest. There were a lot of space themed projects, but very little that could be done with multiple kids in 20 minutes. So I wanted to share these awesome rockets we made!
This is a super quick and simple craft, even for a group, especially if you have your paper pre-cut. Materials needed are as follows:
5 inch cardstock circle
Toilet paper roll or other cardboard tube about 4 inches in height
Scrapbook paper or plain white copy paper 4×8 inches
3-4 wood half circles
Hot glue gun

At VBS we used plain white paper to wrap the rockets and let the kids color on them. You can absolutely use toilet paper rolls, but a friend at church brought me a massive bag of these heavy duty cardboard shipping tubes from his job. They were already 4 inches long, and they were perfect for this craft!

First run a line of hot glue down the side of your cardboard tube.

Glue down your paper on the short edge, wrap all the way around the rocket and glue down the other end.

Cut a slit halfway across your 5 inch circle and form into a cone shape.
Glue the cone closed.

 Run a thick line of hot glue around the rim of your tube and set the cone on top. Make sure to put it on straight, and make sure it touches the glue all the way around.

Glue on your wooden half circles as feet. (Or a stand maybe? thrusters? I don’t know.) I found these in bags of 100 pieces at Hobby Lobby. However, they were in the clearance section for about $4, so I don’t know if they stock them anymore,  but if you are making a bunch of these and can’t find the half circles, you could buy wood circles to cut in half. If you are just making one or two, you could use any number of things in their place – paper straws, popsicle sticks, short lengths of dowel rod, etc.

The kids had a blast (hehe) with these, and they were appealing to a wide age group. At VBS I had the kids glue on the paper around the side and glue the cones closed with glue sticks for safety reasons. I and another worker glued the cones to the top and glued the feet on with hot glue. I made some extras for our nursery age kids who didn’t get to participate in craft time, and they were a universal hit (ha! I can’t stop!).

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Thanksgiving Outfits

Did you guys have a good Thanksgiving? Ours was wonderful! Phenomenal food, a truly wonderful time with the whole family together, and babies, babies, babies! This year the 5 and under set included Lily – 5, Sawyer – 2, Levi – 2, Lawrence – 1, and Adelaide – 6 1/2 months.

A few weeks ago my sis-in-law and fellow Pinterest addict Rachael and I were oohing and aahing over some cute little dresses online, and we decided that we should make matching Christmas dresses for Lily and Adelaide. Then we decided that we might as well go ahead and come up with something cute for them to wear for Thanksgiving. And if we were going to make the girls matching dresses, we couldn’t leave their brothers out. So we decided to make Sawyer and Levi matching turkey shirts. And of course if we were going to make them for Sawyer and Levi, their cousin Lawrence was going to need one too. And if Sawyer, Levi, and Lawrence were going to be little gobblers, then we certainly had to make one for Jackson, their honorary cousin. You can see how my crafting gets out of control.

So anyway, Rachael, my sis-in-law Leah (Lawrence’s mom) and I got together for a day of sewing, and we made dresses for the girls and shirts for the boys.

I made Sawyer a turkey onesie like this for his first Thanksgiving when he was not quite 11 months old. I’ve mentioned that he was a preemie, and while he’s all caught up now, for a long time he was very small for his age. I just have to show you what a ridiculously cute, tiny little turkey he was in 2012. This was a 3 month onesie.

Gah! Why isn’t he so tiny anymore?

Anyway, we decided to make peasant dresses for the girl with their initial appliqued on them. We followed this tutorial, and let me tell you: Mind. Blown. This was SO easy! I’m going to make tons of these! In fact, it’s what we’ll make for them to wear for Christmas too, and I already have the perfect corduroy pulled out to make one as a Christmas gift for Lily. And I plan on making a matching one for her doll. I also made one for my friend Amy’s little girl’s birthday, and I barely got it out the door without Lily claiming it, despite it being 3 sizes too small for her lol.

Please excuse the picture. I ran out of time to shoot it at home, so I snapped a quick pic of it laid out on the Jake and the Neverland Pirates coloring table at the party. 🙂

Here are Lily and Addie in their matching dresses and headbands.

It’s hard to see the monograms here, but Lily’s has an L and Addie’s has an A in brown corduroy just above the hem on the right side.

And the turkeys…

Want to see the back? Here you go…

Which of course quickly turned into this:

Not to worry, soon they were best buddies again. 🙂

The shirts were just purchased black t-shirts with turkey faces and feathers hand cut from eco-felt and just sewn on with a straight stitch. We even freehanded the pieces. Easy peasy!

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WRMK Envelope Punch Board

Today I want to talk about one of my favorite craft tools: The We R Memory Keepers Envelope Punch Board.

I got this punch board back in June, but it had been on my wish list since last summer. It has been so much fun! We used 3 of these at the Teachers of Good Things Craft Day last weekend, and several ladies mentioned that they had plans to get one for themselves. In fact, my mom has plans to pick one up at the first opportunity.

While the Envelope Punch Board may look complicated, it’s actually super easy to use, and I wanted to do a quick tutorial. First of all, the measurements you need for just about any size envelope are printed right on the board. It also comes with a sticker with the metric version of the measurements so you can adhere that on top of the standard measurements if you prefer.

It tells you the correct paper size for the card you’re using, and it gives you a measurement mark to place the edge of your paper on for scoring. You can make envelopes from paper sized up to 11.5 x 11.5 inches. These for are for 4.5 x 6 inch cards, and I just squared off some 8.5 x 11 scrapbook paper for this size.

For the Craft Day, as well as for some note card sets I’ve made as gifts, I used 6 x 6 paper to make envelopes for 3 x 4 cards.

Today I’m going to make a 3 x 4 envelope using this sweet 6 x 6 paper I picked up at Tuesday Morning. 
To make this size, you will take your 6 x 6 sheet and line it up at the 2 5/8 mark.

Once it’s lined up, push down on the button at the top to punch your first notch. It’s important to note and remember that this is the only time during this process that you will line your paper up with this mark.

Then take the handy score tool included with the punch board and score the paper down the score track.

Now this part is important. Turn your paper COUNTER clockwise, so that the notch you just punched is on the left.

Now, you want to align the line that you just scored with the little guide arm that leads off the bottom left of the punch button. If you try to line the paper back up with the 2 5/8 mark again, your notches will be off and your envelope won’t fold correctly. I bumped the contrast on this photo way up so you can see the score line a little better.
Now punch and score just like you did on the first side, then turn counter clockwise again. Repeat until all 4 sides are notched. It will look like this when you’re done. I’ve folded up the sides a bit here so you can see all the score lines. Each score line should meet another at the inside point of a notch.
Now you want to round your corners. To do this, just insert each corner into the space at the top of the punch button and punch.
Ta-da!
Next fold in the sides of your envelope.
Line the lower edges of your side flaps with the adhesive of your choice. Elmer’s Glue-All works great here, but I prefer and generally use a glue or tape runner like this one. 
Fold up your bottom flap and press where it meets the side flaps to seal the adhesive, then fold down your top flap and press flat. 
Isn’t it so cute?! I love the “just stay little” sentiment  near the point of the closing flap. Perfect for a baby girl gift! If you’re adding a card for giving, you can go ahead and do that and seal the envelope with your glue runner. If this is for giving someone to use later, you can include a sticker for them to seal it closed when they’re ready.
These little envelopes are so easy to embellish too. For this one I just added a scalloped circle and a little bow, both secured with the glue runner. My SIL Leah’s sister Deborah made one like this at the craft day and I loved it!

For this one I just added ribbon, sealed into the bottom flap and wrapped around the front.

Then I just folded a little ribbon rosette to accent it.

The Envelope Punch Board retails for $19.95, but both Hobby Lobby and Joann carry them, and there’s always a coupon for at least 40% at both. And of course you can get them on Amazon, which is where I got mine, and they’re forever going on sale there. In fact, they’re $12.75 on there right now.
Besides envelopes, you can also make gift boxes and 3d envelopes with this punch board, as well as darling little paper bows and lovely little treat boxes. For more ideas for the Envelope Punch Board as well as other WRMK punch boards, check out my Pinterest Board, Punch Board Projects.

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Camp Craft – Paracord Bracelets

This is not a tutorial – there are a ton of them out there for these bracelets, for instance here. This is just a bit of a recap of what we did at camp.

We don’t usually have crafts of any sort, which we (my crafty church sisters and I) felt was a shame. So we decided to have the kids try their hand at making paracord bracelets. Right now with kids camps and VBS looming on the horizon, Walmart has a ton of these paracord kits in stock for a little under $5 (not an affiliate link).

So I stocked up on enough to make 54 bracelets, thinking that would cover what we needed. Then we ended up having more campers than we thought, and including workers we needed at least 76, so I went back and bought enough for 30 more bracelets. THEN the kids totally mobbed us and begged and pleaded to make more than one, so we ended up having to go back AGAIN to get 3 more kits just so the adults could make one too, because let’s face it, paracord bracelets are just cool!
This was a crazy huge hit with everybody, and I’ve already started buying up more paracord for next year. Hopefully by the time camp rolls back around again I’ll have enough stocked up for everyone to be able to make 3 or 4 bracelets if they want. I also found a great deal on flat side-release buckles, a must if you want your bracelet to be reversible, and they will also cut down on that fun oops-you-put-half-your-buckle-on-backwards moment we had to work through with about 15 kids. 🙂


Why yes, there are indeed two kids wearing a watch and nothing at all on their wrists.
It was really neat to see them enjoy creating something so much, and I loved how almost all of them wore the bracelets nonstop. We even made one for this big guy.
I’m so glad they had so much fun, and I can’t wait to do it again with them next year!

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Felt Dinosaur World

This is a gift I made for my nephew Max last summer for his 4th birthday. As with most little boys his age, dinosaurs are where it’s at. Plus he lives in Texas, and this was light to ship. What it was NOT, however, was a quick project. I will warn you that, while it was relatively easy to put together and very affordable to make, there is a lot of cutting and gluing involved, and it can be very time consuming. I found the idea for this over at Fun At Home With Kids, although I made just a few small changes on mine.

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For the grass I just cut strips of felt and fringed them, then glued them in place.

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I did my trees just a little differently than FAHWK. I still used rolled up felt stuffed with batting, but I grouped them together for support and I also used a pipe cleaner inside each tree trunk. Then I wound a couple of green pipe cleaners through and around them for vines.

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I added a little foot bridge to my stream. I also made my pond quite a bit smaller and added little fish to both it and the stream.

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The cave was just shaped and glued as I went. For the little leafy bushes I used my Sizzix Big Kick and my Sizzix Originals Flower Layers #2 die. I just sort of folded and bunched up the smallest two die cuts and glued them down.

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I think the volcano was my favorite. It was just a couple of sheets of tan felt for the base, and yellow, orange, and red felt cut freehand to make the lava. I glued the lava mostly down, and I think it helped the volcano hold it’s shape a little better. The mouth is big enough for dinos to tumble inside, and big enough for little boy fists to reach in and rescue him.

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This could absolutely be a no sew project (the inspiration piece was), but I ended up sewing down the edges of the tar pit. I didn’t have any black craft felt on hand, so I ended up using felted wool instead. It didn’t want to stay glued together, so I sewed the two layers together and flipped them right side out through one if the zigzag cuts I made so the dinosaurs could “sink”. Then I sewed the whole thing down around the edges. (Ignore the lint. I spent forever with a lint roller before I mailed it off).

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For the beach area I used drop cloth instead of felt and sandpaper because I felt like the sandpaper might get crinkled during shipping, and I also didn’t want any rough surfaces. I added a few tiny seashells I had on hand.

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I didn’t have any brown pom poms on hand for coconuts, so I just skipped that detail.

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The cave as well as the volcano both fluff back up pretty easily if they get flattened during storage.

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Of course I couldn’t send a dino playscape without including a T-Rex. There were also a number of smaller dinos sent, but they didn’t make the photo shoot.

Smile

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I think he looks pretty fierce surveying his kingdom. Smile

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I tried to leave plenty of free space for the dinosaurs to roam.

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It was a fun project, and I’d love to try more with different themes.

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