Pink Glitter Flat Zipper Pouch

Today I have a fun and easy little zipper pouch for you. I’ve made a ton of these, mostly out of printed felt, but I really love these textured fabric sheets that Hobby Lobby sells too.

These two live in my purse. The giraffe print holds my nail clippers and some favorite jewelry.

The tiny little zebra pouch (it’s about 2 1/2 inches tall) holds my headphones. This is a great project if you have an itty bitty, short zipper in your stash, although of course you can use a longer one and cut it down.

First of all, you’re going to need your fabric sheet. Or felt. Your choice. Hobby Lobby has an assortment of these in various prints for $1.47 each. You can find them beside the craft felt.

A half sheet (cut hamburger style, not hot dog) will make a pouch the size of the giraffe print pouch above, but you can cut it to any length (or even use a whole sheet if you want a big pouch).
The fabric sheet I used is pretty sturdy, but some of the others, like the zebra and leopard print sheets, have considerable stretch in one direction. You want to make sure that when you cut it, the stretch does not run along your short edges (where the zipper will be sewn), because that will cause it to pull as you sew the zipper on, and it will cause your zipper to bow out and be wavy when closed. The stretch needs to run toward the edges of your pouch that will be sewn closed.
I just cut mine at 4 inches by the width of the sheet for this project. 
Now you can totally leave your edges straight here if you’d like. These won’t unravel, and of course neither will felt. But I like to cut mine with pinking shears or scallop scissors. You might get away with decorative scrapbooking scissors if they’re really sharp, but I use these scalloped fabric shears. I think I got mine on Amazon (or Ebay maybe?), but you can also buy them on Etsy.
Trim both short ends with your scalloped/pinking shears.
Make sure to switch to your zipper foot, because we will be sewing these very close to the teeth of the zipper.
Because this material will show pin holes, and because the length we are dealing with is short, I recommend just holding the material and the zipper together by hand and feeding it slowly into the machine.
Unzip your zipper, carefully line up the other edge of the fabric, and repeat for the second side. You may need to move your zipper foot over for this step.
Zip up the sewn pouch partway and with your hand, press it flat with the zipper positioned where you would like it to be on the finished pouch. You can choose to have this off center if you want. I put mine right in the middle for this pouch.
Sew the sides closed with whatever seam allowance you would like. Trim your seams.
Work the zipper all the way open and flip your pouch inside out, being careful to straighten the corners. A point turner comes in handy here, especially on very stiff material like this.
There you have your finished zipper pouch! The prefect thing for all the stray lip balms or coins hanging out in the bottom of your purse!

These are quick, easy, and inexpensive, so why not whip a few up for Mother’s Day?

My favorite crafting tools {Hand Tool Edition}

The other day I posted about some of my favorite crafty tools, like my sewing machine and my Silhouette machine. Today I thought I’d tell you about some of my favorite and most used hand tools. None of the links in this post are affiliate links, and I’m not being compensated in any way to promote these items.

Point Turner and Seam Creaser:

I mentioned this handy little thing yesterday. For the longest time I turned corners with the little tapered sticks that come in bags of Polyfil,and they worked okay. But this tool is so much better for getting sharp corners on things like pillow covers and zipper pouches.

Babyville Boutique Snap Pliers

These things are awesome! My mom bought them for me a few years ago, and I’ve used them a bunch! They allow you to add plastic snaps to all kinds of projects quickly and easily, and the snaps come in all kinds of colors. Plus you can get even more colors at http://www.kamsnaps.com. I will tell you that I’ve never actually used the Kam Snaps products, so I can’t vouch for their quality, but the pricing is reasonable, and I’d like to try them someday. Babyville Boutique is awesome to work with though. The first set of pliers I had kept splitting the snaps, which turned out to be caused by a faulty presser. I contacted them on Facebook, and they not only sent me a brand new set of pliers, but they sent me a whole new bag of snaps (60 sets) to replace the 8 or so sets that were damaged. I’ve used these to close bracelets, add closures to bags and pouches, and make stacks of doll diapers.

Rotary Cutter

I have 3 different sizes of these, but this is the one I use the most. A must have for squaring up fabric.

One Step Looper

I got this with a birthday gift card, and it had been so handy for jewelry making. It will even cut and loop memory wire.
Jewelry Pliers
I don’t have this exact set, but I have all of the pliers in it, which include bent nose, flat nose, round nose, long nose, and side cutters. I think I actually got my set at Lowes (easier to talk Nick into shelling out money for jewelry supplies if they can be found next to power tools ha ha). But this set is less than $10 on Amazon.
Nylon Jaw Pliers
These are great when making wire jewelry to prevent tool marks on your wire. They are a little pricier than some of the other pliers, but with a sale or a coupon they are still well under $10.
Bead Reamer
This is for enlarging the center of beads that may be a bit too narrow for the wire or cording you are trying to string them on. But I also use mine for sharpening the individual dies or the next tool…
Leather Punch
These can be really expensive. I opted to get the one linked for around $6 with free shipping. When it came, only the smallest two punches would work well on even thin patent leather. I contacted the merchant and they very quickly shipped me a replacement at no charge. The second one worked a little better. But I had the idea to sharpen the edges of the dies with my bead reamer, and the performance vastly improved. I use these for punching holes prior to installing rivets, eyelets or grommets in leather. 
Eyelet Tool
This simple tool is what I use to set eyelets. They are available for every size eyelet you can buy, and can generally be bought with the eyelets as a set or by themselves.
Snap Fastener Kit
This little kit sets metal snaps in fabric (or leather or vinyl, etc.). The snaps can also be bought separately. 
Self Healing Mats
I have several sizes of these, and I use them all.
6 x 24 Quilting Ruler
I use this thing ALL. The. Dang. Time. For tons of stuff. I live in fear that my kids will break it.
Fabric Marking Pen
I’m on my 3rd one of these. Love them!
Elastic Threaders
Yes, you can absolutely use a safety pin to thread elastic through a casing. But these are very inexpensive, and they keep the elastic from twisting, something I always struggled with using safety pins. I’ll never go back.
Ring Sizer 
Sometimes you will see these called a mandrel. And they can be pricey. But I got mine at Joann’s for less than $2 with a coupon. If you make rings at all, this is a necessity.  
I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but those are the tools I use the most. Happy crafting!

Princess Crown for Dolly

My girl Lily is a princess with a big capital glittery pink puffy P. Bath time is a production, because first she has to take off the crown, the bracelet(s), the tutu, the necklace, the plastic high heels…you get the picture. A few weeks ago a lovely lady at our church found this sweet little pink crown at the Target One Spot, and she snagged it for Lily. She didn’t take it off for days.

When I was on the hunt for Sawyer’s Easter shoes, I hit up Target myself, and I saw that they had a purple one too. Lily’s dress featured purple flowers, and I had planned to make her a matching headband from the scraps, but when I saw the purple crown, I knew she would be so much happier with it, and that much joy for $1 is always a good buy. 🙂
As you can see, she loved it, and she was in full on princess mode on Easter:
She really, really loved her doll with the matching dress, so I thought I would make Melody, as she named her, a crown of her own.
I started with a doll sized headband blank. I got these a couple of years ago from Really Reasonable Ribbon, and they were really reasonable! This is not an affiliate link and I’m not getting paid to talk about them, but I had a great experience with them and wanted to share. It was $4.49 for a dozen headbands, and they were super awesome to work with. Initially I checked out with a shipping charge of $4.50, but I got an email the next day that they were able to ship it for $3.75 and were revising my total. I love merchants like that! These are the perfect size to fit an 18″ (think American Girl) doll, and I’ve made Lily several mommy-and-me sets over the last couple of years. 
This ribbon was in a bag of random ribbons someone gave me, and it was just what I was looking for. I started by snipping off about an inch and sealing the ends with a lighter.

Glue one end to the inside tip of the headband on one side.
Glue the sealed end of your ribbon (it may be easiest to just leave it on the
spool for this project) to the outside of the same end of the headband, perpendicular to the headband.
Then fold the other end of the short piece up over your long piece and glue it in place.
Then begin to wrap your ribbon around the headband, making sure to cover the end of the small piece of ribbon on the front. Can we please not talk about the horrifying state of my nails?
Keep wrapping, angling the ribbon a bit as you go so that the edge crosses the portion of ribbon under it about halfway across.
When you get close to the end, snip off another small piece of ribbon, fold it over the bare end of the headband, and glue it in place on both the front and the back.

Continue wrapping the headband until you get to the very end, making sure to finish with the ribbon on the inside of the headband. Seal the end and glue it in place.

For the crown, I cut a scrap of white felt, just eyeballing a good width for the size of the headband. I folded it in half and cut out some points to make a crown.
I had this weird vintage purple knit in my stash. I just laid my felt piece down on it and traced around it with my fabric marking pen on the wrong side of the knit. 
Sew wrong sides together, leaving most of the bottom open (sorry, forgot to take a picture of this step).Turn it inside out, using a pencil or something like this awesome turning tool to get the points. 
Tuck the bottom edges in and sew it closed with a very close seam allowance. You can topstitch the whole thing at this point if you’d like, but I felt like the thickness of the fabrics I chose would make this difficult to do neatly, so I skipped it.

It may look a little wonky at this point (or perhaps not if you’re better than me, ha!), but it looks better once it has the headband to stabilize it.

Lily’s crown has little jewels all over it, but because of the small size of this one, I opted to only add them to the points.

Use a small jewel for the center and tiny ones for each of the other points.

 These can just be hot glued on.

Run a bead of hot glue along the bottom edge of the crown and glue it to the headband.

The points of the crown should point up when the headband is laid on its side.

Lily was thrilled with it, and Melody looks quite regal if I do say so myself. 🙂

Those tiny pigtails are killing me! I went to get my hair colored Friday at my mother-in-law’s beauty shop. Lily told her she wanted “a cuter look”, so Nana hooked her up with some pigtails, and we’ve had to repeat it every day since. 🙂

Last Mother’s Day

So Mother’s Day is in a little over two weeks. Gah! How does it always sneak up on me? I’ve got a couple of ideas, but we’ll see how they pan out Meanwhile, I thought I’d show you some of the things I made last year for Mother’s Day.

First of all, I tend to show the love to sisters and girlfriends on Mother’s Day when I can. We all know that when your babies are small, you don’t always end up with a thoughtful gift, so if I have the time and resources, I try to make it a special day for ALL the mommies in my life. My father-in-law made me a wind chime for my second Mother’s Day. It was the only thing I got that year, and it meant so much to me that he thought to do something special for me, so I try to pay it forward.

So these are the sister gifts. And please understand that this was pre-blog and another one of those last minute, taken at night in my dark living room, not for anyone to see, just for me to have a personal record or what I made, super lame photo shoots. Ahem.

My SIL Rachael had a still pretty new baby boy, and she also had some blue and yellow in her home, so I thought I would try my hand at some pop art painting. I used my Silhouette to cut a stencil of the words, and I just blocked off the sun’s rays with straight pieces of vinyl. Looking back I see all kinds of things wrong with it, but I guess it wasn’t too awful for my first attempt, especially considering I am so not an artist.

My SIL Leah was pregnant with baby Lawrence, and her best friend (also a good friend of mine) Melissa was pregnant with baby Jackson, so they got matching gifts that fit right in with their sense of humor: We Made a Baby on This Bed pillow covers.

In fact, Melissa wanted it featured in Jackson’s 3 month shoot. 🙂 These can be requested as a custom item in my shop. 🙂
I sent my SIL Kristin in Texas this leather scalloped banner. I cut scalloped circles out of black and gold leather with my Sizzix Big Kick and cut each circle in half. Then I attached the circle halves to black satin ribbon with strips of Heat N Bond.
For my mom and MIL, I had three things. First, I made them each an infinity scarf (sorry, no picture). I also made them each a burlap wreath. The pink and blue was for my MIL, and the red and cream was for my mom. My mom had just redone her kitchen, and I made hers using the same Waverly fabric her curtains are made from. The flowers for both were made using a main fabric, felt, and drop cloth. I just cut the burlap in 2 inch strips and wrapped it around the wreath forms, securing with hot glue.

The last thing I did was to embellish a couple of Mason jars. For these I just wrapped them in burlap, then wrapped lace on top of that. I cut out several layers of patent leather medallions, again with my Big Kick, and attached them to each other and then the jar with hot glue.
I also made a few things for Nick’s grandmother also, but I didn’t get pictures of them. Anyway, I’m off to try to figure out what to do for this year!

Happy Birthday Nick and Taylor!

Today is a big day in my family. Today is my husband’s and my oldest daughter’s birthday! Taylor turns 13 today, and Nick turns 35. I can’t even tell you how blessed I am to have these two amazing people in my life.

Nick is more than I ever dreamed of as a husband. He’s a awesome father, and he works so hard to provide for our family so that I can stay at home with our kids. I love him more literally every day.
Taylor is so smart and funny, not to mention gorgeous (look at those eyes)! She made me a mom, and it’s the best job ever! She’s such a great kid, and I love her so very much!
Happy Birthday to you both! Love you guys!

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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Package Pals Craft Exchange

As I mentioned earlier, I participated in a craft exchange last month. It was the Package Pals exchange hosted by Jamie over at C.R.A.F.T.
My partner had a baby girl right before the deadline, and I was kind of covered up with Taylor’s birthday party, so we gave each other some extra time. I sent her a message a week or so ago to let her know that I had her stuff just about ready to mail. Unfortunately the reply I got came from her husband and let me know that she had had a medical emergency and was in the hospital! 🙁
I was quick to let him know that I would be praying and to please not worry at all about the exchange. I finally got her stuff sent out to her last weekend, and I was so pleased to hear from her that she got it and was pleased with it all. I honestly don’t need or expect her to send anything – she has a brand new baby to focus on, on top of recovery from a serious medical event! But I’m so glad that I got to meet her, and I’m sure she would appreciate your prayers!
Anyway, here are the things I sent:
First of all, a boxy makeup bag like the ones for Taylor’s party.
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These are just so much fun, and they really are deceptively roomy!
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Next was this great big headband for her new baby girl made with pleated gold trim and a vintage button center.
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I also sent this soft singed satin flower headband that she can use as a pony holder for herself if she wants!
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And another singed flower, this one on a bobby pin.
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I included a couple of leather bows like those for Taylor’s party, and also a little leather rose pin.
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When we were getting to know each other she mentioned that owls are meaningful to her, so when I spotted this cutie at the Dollar Tree, it just begged me to take it home for this mom of a new baby girl.
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She’s doing baby’s room in woodland creatures and little gnomes, so I thought this guy might be a fun addition somewhere.
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She told me that she’s begun making some hair bows and headbands herself, so I wanted to send her some supplies for that, starting with this sheet of non-slip grip fused to felt. I back all my hair clips with this, and it works GREAT for keeping even big bows in silky little girls’ hair.
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In keeping with her love of owls and woodsy things, I included this ribbon.
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I also added a handful of double pronged clips and a big metal clip to assist in making boutique bows as explained in this pin.
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And some gems of various shapes and sizes for center embellishments.
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And of course the pillow cover and name banner I mentioned in my first post about this.
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By the way, that’s my handsome little brother Toby and his gorgeous wife Leah (recipient of the Bag of Sunshine). Smile
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Leah’s Box of Sunshine

Guys, the picture here, I just can’t even. I almost didn’t post about this gift, because every shot I took of it was just awful. BUT, in my defense, I took them very late at night, on my couch, in my terribly lit living room because this all came together very last minute. I knew what I wanted to give her, but I didn’t get the chance the get everything until that night, and I had to take it to church with me the next morning, so this is what you get. :/

Anyway, this is the Box of Sunshine I put together for my SIL Leah’s birthday earlier this month. Although in this case, it was actually a bag of sunshine. 🙂 I’ve seen this idea all over Pinterest, so I don’t really know where to give credit, but if you did it before me, thanks for the inspiration!

Here’s what I included:

1. Yellow chunky yarn
2. Butterfly spatula
3. Measuring spoons
4. Yellow mouse coin bank
5. Headband
6. Lemon gummies
7. Carmex
8. Sunshine embroidery inspired by Funky Polka Dot Giraffe
9. Yellow flower bracelet
10. Yellow nail art paint
11. Yellow musical star pillow
12. Marigold seeds
13. Flower pot
14. Eyelash curler
15. Juicy Fruit gum
16. Flower vent clip air freshener
17. Headphones
18. 2 pairs of yellow and gray socks
19. Beaded memory wire bracelet made by me
20. Yellow embroidery floss
21. Highlighters
22. Notebook
23. Yellow straws
24. Lays potato chips
25. Lemonheads
26. Yellow silly string
27. A sunny birthday card
28. Big fluffy gift bow
I couldn’t find a box that I liked, but I fell in love with this yellow and white striped straw tote at Walmart. Leah’s favorite color is yellow, which made this whole gift perfect for her.
Most of the items came from the Dollar Tree. There’s nothing very extravagant in there, but all in all I think it made a very fun package, and I hope it brightened her day!

Gallery Wall

So my husband has been after me to get some photos up on the walls for ages. And I’ve been in agreement, especially since I’m also a photographer, but the cobbler’s children and all that. To start with we didn’t have many printed images of our own. Then back at Christmas I ordered a bunch from the awesome photo lab I use. But we didn’t have the frames we wanted.

Then right after Christmas Nick and I stopped at Michael’s and found these awesome frame sets that came with 9 various shapes and sizes. And even better, they were marked down from $49.99 to $7.99! So we grabbed a couple of sets. 

Right now we’re in the process of going room by room in our home to both pare down on our belongings and make any touch-ups/repairs/updates that need to be done. And right now we’re on the living room/staircase, so it was the perfect time to get all those pictures framed and hung. There are still 4 frames that we’re looking for just the right photos for, and I plan to add a few non-photo elements to the layout as well. But here is the wall in progress.

Ignore our builder grade banister. It’s on the to-do list for when we have the money.

Some of my favorite shots ever of both Taylor and Lily, not to mention my handsome husband and his two gorgeous sisters up there!