Thursday, January 30, 2014

DIY Headband Holder

So, as I've posted before, I am re-doing McKenzie's bathroom in order to de-clutter the clutter. My initial post, in case you missed it, was the Jewelry Display Board. Here's part 2:

I spray painted my oatmeal container before wrapping it in the fabric because my fabric was see through so keep that in mind before glueing your fabric right away.

There is really nothing to this project, it literally took me like 10 minutes. Just lay your fabric right side down and wrap it around your canister. I used mod podge to adhere the fabric. If your fabric has a pattern like mine, make sure it lines up where the ends meet. {To keep the fabric from fraying later on I also mod podged over the seam.} Using the mod podge, wrap the fabric tightly around the bottom and top side of the canister.

Do the same for the lid as well. Once you glue the ends down, run some mod podge over them to keep them from fraying later on.

After the mod podge is all dry you can add your base. I used a candle holder. Before I glued it to the bottom of the canister, I made sure I got the candle holder centered and then traced an outline as a guide. Then I used a lot of hot glue to make that sucker stick good!

And wallah!!

I wrapped my lid separately because I had originally planned to keep brushes inside the canister. However, I didn't think it through enough because the skinny base made it tip over when I added the weight of the brushes. The skinny base does hold up perfectly for the headbands and a wider base would work great for using the canister as a brush holder as well!

Stay tuned for the third and final bathroom makeover project. I will also be posting all the before pics that motivated me to do this makeover. What organizing projects have you completed?

Check out some of my favorite Link Parties:
That DIY PartySpotlight Saturday Link PartyPeace, Love & Chocolate Pinky Linky PartyGet Your DIY On

Friday, January 24, 2014

Baby It's Cold Outside!

For this Florida baby, the recent drop in temperature has made his little toesies cold! When you live in Florida the term winter wardrobe is not in your vocabulary. Heck, the term winter isn't in your vocabulary! That being said, these flannel pj's were the perfect diy for this week.

This project didn't cost me a single penny because I already had everything. Even if you went to buy fabric and thread, with Joann coupons you could easily do this for like $5 bucks, if that!

What you'll need:

{I made size 12m pants and only needed 1/2 a yard}

Coordinating Thread

{For the waist band. I used 1 inch knit elastic}

Sewing Machine, Pins, Scissors, Fabric Pen, Etc.


This is where I cheat. I picked a good fitting pair of pants and traced them on the fabric as a template. To do this, fold your fabric in half right sides together. If your fabric has a one way pattern make sure that the pattern is in the right direction so you don't end up cutting your pieces upside down {I've done that!}. Fold the pants you are using to trace in half as neatly as possible. Now lay them on the fabric and begin tracing. Be sure to leave ample space at the top for the elastic band and at the bottom for the hem. You also want to leave enough space around the entire pant for seam allowance. I like 1/4 inch seams, but as long as you add enough space you can do any seam size you prefer. In case you are wondering, I left 1 inch for the hem and 1 and a 1/4 inch for the waist band. Trace the pant once on one side then flip them over and trace once more on the other side. When you cut out your pieces, be sure to cut through both layers of fabric. You should end up with 4 pieces total.

Keeping both sets of fabric together {you should have 2 sets of fabric, each with 2 pieces right sides facing each other}, pin from the waist to the start of the leg and sew. Only sew the portion you pinned. Do not pin or sew down the leg portion. Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end of each section you sew to lock your stitch. Once each set is sewn together, press open your seams. I also chose this time to press my hem since I already had the iron on. You can sew your hems first like I did here or you can sew the pant legs together and do your hems last. Either way will work however, it's probably a cleaner finish to do to the hems last.

After you have pressed open your seams of both pieces, put them together right sides facing in. Line up your center seams first and smooth out the fabric on each side. Pin the pieces together starting with the inside of each leg. Sew the pieces together starting at the bottom of one leg and working around to the other. Then, pin and sew the outer sides of each leg. If you choose to do your hem first be sure to line up the bottoms of each leg piece so that your hems are not offset. If you decided to save the hem for last, you can press and sew your hems at this point.

Once you have pressed all your seams, fold over and press your waist band. Here's where I cheat again. That same pair of pants you used to trace out your fabric, use to measure your elastic. Without stretching them I lay them on my cutting mat and measure the width. Then multiply that by 2 for the entire width around and add 1/2 an inch to sew the ends together. There are several different ways to do the waist band and I'm sure there is a way much easier than mine, but this is what works for me.

Sew your elastic band ends together and slide the elastic into the fold of your waist band that you pressed in the previous step. Make sure the elastic is all the way up into the crease and pin {I pin at the 4 seams}.

As you sew the seam around the waist band, stretch the elastic until the fabric is completely smooth. Don't stop stretching the elastic until you have sewn around the entire waist.

Here's what the finished product should look like. Be sure when sewing your waist band not to sew the elastic, that way it will stretch and relax as needed when putting the pants on and off.

Here they are in action, totes adorbs!

When I showed the pants to him he immediately started to take off the pants he was wearing so that he could wear them. Makes a momma proud :) I love when my kiddos get excited about something I've made them!

Friday, January 17, 2014

A Little Bit of Extra Love: Paper Hearts Garland

Last night as I was completing my nightly ritual of laying in bed, browsing through all of my social media outlets I came across the most touching blog post. Melissa from The Happier Homemaker posted a really cute paper heart garland that she made for a special little girl. I clicked on her link to the most heartbreaking story about a girl named Lucy. As soon as I began reading the posts of this child's mother I was flooded with tears. Lucy is five years old and has Mitochondrial Disease, which is a progressive degenerative disease of energy metabolism. Many people have asked what they can do to help and the Marlett family has one request:

Send Lucy as much love as possible!

They want to fill Lucy's room with all the hearts and cards and love they can get. I was so compelled to do my part for this family because as a mother myself I could never imagine having to endure what this family is going through. The immense courage they have really left an impression on my heart. Her mother writes the blog, All The Marletts, which is where you can read more about Lucy, her disease and the special request that this family has for her last weeks here with them.

McKenzie and I decided to make a paper heart garland as well. I had a plastic bin in the closet full of random scrapbook paper. McKenzie really wanted to participate in this project so I let her pick out all the paper that she wanted to use. After she had gone through the entire bin, I got out the Cricut and started cutting out all the hearts. I did 4 - 4" hearts per sheet. {We wanted a lot of hearts and McKenzie wanted a garland for her room too!}

After all the hearts were cut out, I just fed them one by one through the sewing machine.


{If you decide to make your own garland don't forget to leave extra thread at each end for hanging.}

I hope we can put a smile on little Lucy's face when she opens our package. If you would like to send her a little bit of extra love send it here:

Nemours A. I. DuPont Hospital for Children
℅ Lucy Marlett Room 3708
1600 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE 19803 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Upcycled Leggings

My oldest, McKenzie, is 7 going on 17 which means she's a bit of a diva! The days of buying her clothes and dressing her how I want are over. If she doesn't like it, she isn't wearing it.

Her style? Anything with patterns or sparkle!

So, the day I brought home plain leggings {what was I thinking?!} she informed me she would never wear them. I decided to accept that challenge and give those plain ol' leggings a makeover!

Here's what you'll need:

{or garment of choice}

Fabric paint

{I used my cricut to cut out a heart shape on card stock}


It's so super easy you may not be able stop!

Now, I did one half at a time going all the way down one leg before starting the other side, but the process is up to you. Just figure out your pattern, lay out your stencil and start sponging on paint! The paint doesn't have to go on perfect every single time either. Some of my hearts were darker or filled in more than others.

And TA-DA!!

Uber cute, right?! Well, guess what? McKenzie thought so! She just couldn't wait to put them on and make an appearance on the blog :)

I want to know how you upcycled your own article of clothing!
So, leave me a comment and tell me all about it!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

DIY: Jewelry Display Board

If an opportunity presents itself to organize or de-clutter, I'm jumping all over it! That's why I am on a mission to makeover McKenzie's bathroom. She has managed to completely clutter the counter top which is very small to begin with. The complete reveal is coming soon, but here is what I did to organize her jewelry.

What You Will Need



Glue Gun & Glue
{or your preferred adhesive}

{I used colored pins used for sewing, but thumb tacks would work too}

Begin by ironing the fabric so that any creases are removed. Lay the fabric right side down, then lay the corkboard right side down on top of the fabric. Using the glue gun, run a line of glue around the back perimeter of the corkboard {work in small segments as the glue will cool and harden quickly}. Fold the fabric tightly and evenly around the edges of the corkboard.

{If you have trouble with the corners, fold them just like you are wrapping a present.}

After you hang your board on the wall, use the pins or thumb tacks to hang and arrange your jewelry as desired.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Don't let schoolwork be a drag...Make it fun!!

Christmas break is over and school is back in session. Which for me means back to work. I am a homeschool mom and as rewarding as it is, it can also be challenging. Now, the curriculum we use is a self taught, workbook format. It works very well for us because it allows McKenzie to work through each subject at her own pace. However, she craves interaction and hands on activity so sitting at the table all day doesn't exactly do it for her. That's where mom comes in and saves the day! It's her responsibility to complete her assigned pages each day. It's my responsibility to make it fun and to keep her love of learning alive. 

How do I do it? Games, of course!

I know the majority of you are saying I don't homeschool so how does this apply to me? Homework! Before I started homeschooling McKenzie went to school so, I know the amount of homework that gets sent home. In Kindergarten my daughter would bring home 5 worksheets front and back in one night! Not to mention weekly book reports, in Kindergarten! After being at school all day and then having to come home and do more schoolwork, they get burnt out. Use these games to make it fun and not so much like a chore.

I came up with these based on what McKenzie was learning each day in her schoolwork. So, they may be above or below your child's grade level. If that's the case, you can tweak them to make them more suitable for you. Just use this as a base and build from it {or simplify if need be}. McKenzie loves them! It gets her excited to do her other schoolwork because she has incentive and something to look forward to.


Right now McKenzie is learning addition and subtraction and the different forms that the operations can be shown. Like adding and subtracting single digits, double digits or single digits from double digits, etc. One way to make it more interactive is using number fridge magnets to display the equations {I got mine in the dollar section at Walmart, I suggest getting more than one pack so you have multiples of each number}. They can use the problems directly from their book or worksheet, but it gets them up from the table and doing something. 

Another one we use are snacks. This is McKenzie's personal favorite {I wonder why?!}. In the picture we were using candy but I would make that more of a special occasion thing. Use other choices like, teddy bear graham crackers, goldfish or grapes during the week and use candy on fridays.

{This is just what I had on hand, but other candies work great too.
Our favorites are smarties, m&m's or skittles.}


In these particular pictures McKenzie was learning how to alphabetize. I set this up like stations around the living room. 

At the first station I jumbled various toys into rows. Each row is its own separate puzzle so here there would be 4 problems to solve. The object is to figure out the first letter of each item and put them in alphabetical order accordingly.

At the second station, I wrote words on index cards and put them in alphabetical order. Then I moved one word out of order. The object is to find the misplaced word and move it to its proper spot. Each vertical row is a separate puzzle so here there are 3.

At the third and final station, I jumbled the letters from a wooden puzzle into 4 separate problems. The object, again, is to put the letters in alphabetical order.

Word Building/Spelling

For studying spelling words, I wrote out letters on clothes pins {be sure to check spelling words for those with more than one of each letter in a word, like two e's or double l's and make 2 pins for those letters}. On an index card, I made lines for each letter. If you have multiple lengths of words, make an index card for each different length. That will add an extra step that they will have to solve in figuring out the amount of spaces they will need for the word you call out. Call out each word and see their little gears spin as they look for the right pins and spell out the words.

How did these games work for your child?
How did you have to tweak them to suit your child's grade level?
What techniques do you use to make learning fun?
I love to hear what you have to say so feel free to share in the comments!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The B Word...

No one ever talks about them and all women hate to shop for them!

They're painful, uncomfortable, they stretch out {as if they ever fit to begin with!} and no matter how many hours you search or how many you try on you will never find the perfect bra...because there is no such thing!

Or so I thought...

This has always been my experience with bras. It's the one thing that I absolutely despise shopping for. I would spend hours trying on every bra I could get my hands on, several different sizes in each style. Just trying to find the one that would fit. Every time it ended the same. I either gave up and walked out with nothing or I settled, because I desperately needed a new bra. Come on ladies, I know I'm not the only one!

Well sit back and enjoy this mind blowing information! It will totally change not only your perspective on bras, but the entire bra shopping and bra wearing experience!

#1 Classify Your Breasts

There are several different shapes which is why some styles will fit better than others. Once you identify your shape, you can select the right style.

#2 10 Bra Mistakes & How to Fix Them

  • Choosing a bra by cup size
  • Wearing a bra that's too small
  • Fastening your bra on the tightest hooks
  • Letting the band ride up on your back
  • Insisting on a contour style bra instead of a softer seamed, lined bra
  • Thinking you can wear one bra with every type of outfit
  • Wearing a bra two days in a row
  • Washing your bras with Woolite
  • Keeping a bra for too long
  • Settling for a bra that doesn't fit {See? I told you!}

#3 Bra Problem Guide

Do you have specific issues with your bra cup, straps or band? Do you have breast related medical problems? Here are some reasons why these problems are happening and what you can do to correct them.

#4 How to Measure Your Bra Size

You can find your correct band and cup size by consulting a bra fitting specialist {Victoria's Secret, Nordstrom, etc.} or you can use this bra size calculator.

#5 Lingerie Care Guide

Believe it or not there is a proper way your bras should be washed and stored and after reading through all this information and finally getting those perfect fitting bras, you'll want to take care of them, right?

So here's how this all came to be...

I was getting dressed one morning, putting on my horribly fitting bra and decided after all these years, I've had enough! I was going to put an end to my bra misery and figure it out once and for all. So I went to my tried and true...Google! I searched the internet and read a ton of articles, finding these favorites among the lot. The information that I learned alone was enough to thrill me.

Duh! Why hadn't I ever thought of these things?

The next step was to take my new arsenal of info and put it to use. I chose to go to Victoria's Secret for 3 reasons.

  • They have bra fitting specialists. The entire point of this huge dilemma was that I needed to know my true size, not the size I've been wearing since high school and through 2 pregnancies {surely something has changed!}. I wanted someone who knew what they were doing to figure it all out for me.
  • I went this past Friday and they were having their huge Semi Annual Sale and I can't pass up sales or coupons!
  • It's the closest lingerie store to me other than Walmart. Which I was not going to since that has been one of my biggest problems.

When I arrived, I went straight to the fitting rooms and let the attendant know that I wanted to be fitted. She measured me up and told me my size in 1 minute flat. This worried me a little, but okay, I'll give it a go. Worse case scenario, I'll leave and go to Nordstrom. I went straight to the sale table and started filling my shopping bag with every bra they had in my size {and in the style that fit my shape, of course!}. Because, that's what bra shopping is, grabbing every single bra so you only have to undress once. After going through every basket and every drawer, I went to the fitting room.

*Big Sigh* The moment of truth...

Well I'll be darned!! Wouldn't you know every single bra I tried on fit perfectly! I was in shock, I couldn't believe it. Am I dreaming? This has never happened before! And there you have it, life changed   f o r e v e r!

Dressing Room Tip: When putting on your bra put your arms into the straps first and then bend forward at the waist as you place your breasts into the cups. I hook my band while still bending over.

Have you been just as tortured by your bra as I have?
Was your life changed by this new info too?
What did you learn most from these articles?
Please tell me about your own bra experience,
I really want to know!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

How To: Add text and watermarks to your photos

Per special request, I am going to show you how to add text and watermarks to your photos using Photoshop and Lightroom.

{FYI: You can now get both of these programs from the Adobe website for only $9.99 per month, but it's only for a limited time!!}

What the heck is a watermark? It's your own special seal that lets everyone know it's your photo! It could be as fancy as a personal logo or as simple as a text copyright with your name. The most important thing to remember when using watermarks is to keep it simple and discreet. You don't want a huge watermark taking the viewer's attention away from the awesomeness of your photo.

Other than marking your photography territory, knowing how to add text to your photos could come in handy. Like those delectable recipe pics on Pinterest that have the name of the recipe scrolled across it in some fancy font.

Adding a watermark in Photoshop...

{And yes, I am using this tutorial as an opportunity to show off my handsome little man!}

{Step 1} Open the photo you would like to watermark. Select File from the menu across the top, then select Place.

{Step 2} Select the file for the watermark you want to add,
then select Place.

{Step 3} Adjust the size of your watermark using the multiple points on the frame around it. You can move its location on the photo by clicking inside the frame and dragging it. Once you are satisfied with your watermark's size and location, press the Enter key on your keyboard.

Pressing the Enter key places the watermark and removes the frame preventing any further edit.

{Step 4} Going back to the menu at the top, select Layer,
then Flatten Image.

{Step 5} Select File, then Save As. Always save your edited photos as an additional photo rather than saving over the original.

Adding text in Photoshop...

{Step 1} Open the photo that you want to add text to. Select the Text Tool from your toolbar on the left side of the screen. Click and drag the mouse in your desired location on the photo to create the textbox. If need be you can always resize and move the location of the box.

{Step 2} Type your text in the box. Use the various options at the top {the red box in the above photo} to edit your text. You can change the font, size, orientation and color. If you need to move your text after editing, select the Move Tool from your toolbar on the left.

{Step 3} Select Layer at the top, then Flatten Image.

{Step 4} Select File, then Save As.

Adding a watermark in Lightroom...

{Step 1} Once you have imported your photo into your Library, move to the next tab, Develop. At the top of the screen select Lightroom, then Edit Watermarks.

{Step 2} Under Image Options, click on Choose and select the file for your watermark.

{Step 3} Under Watermark Effects, use the Proportional control to adjust the size of your watermark. Select the general location of your watermark in your photo by clicking the corresponding circle in the Anchor control. Use the Horizontal and Vertical controls to fine tune the location of your watermark.

When you are satisfied with your watermark's size and location, select Save. A separate window will appear asking you to name the Preset

{Step 4} Select File at the top of the screen, then Export.

{Step 5} Scroll down to the Watermarking section and check the box. Select your watermark Preset from the drop down box. Select Export.

{Before selecting Export in this step, be sure you have named your new photo file and have selected your desired save location.}

The final photo with watermark.

Adding text in Lightroom...

Repeat Step 1 from Adding a watermark in Lightroom.

{Step 2} Type your desired text in the box below the photo preview. Edit your text using the controls in the Text Options section.

Repeat Step 3 from Adding a watermark in Lightroom to adjust text size and location.

Repeat Step 4 from Adding a watermark in Lightroom.

Repeat Step 5 from Adding a watermark in Lightroom.

The final photo with text.

Feel free to ask me any questions regarding these tutorials!

Are there any other tutorials you would like to see for Photoshop or Lightroom? Let me know so I can create a tutorial just for you!

Craft Dictator