Posts Tagged ‘make your own’

Dyeing a Rainbow of Play Scarves

September 7th, 2011 by zoe 5 Comments

Whenever the kids ask me what my favorite color is I say RAINBOW. One of my boys loves hot pink best of all, this makes me happy beyond all belief. I wonder when he will be hustled into believing colors belong to different genders? A few weeks ago he approached an older woman at the lake – “Excuse me, I really like your dress because, you know, hot pink is my favorite color!” Big smile.

I imagine before long hot pink will not be a favorite, but for now, I happily ride this wave of color neutrality.  Children always seem to make color allegiances with other kids, they bond through color, it’s one of those cute ways in which kids make friends …..” Hey I like your green bike dude, did you know, green is my favorite color?”

I am pretty happy to have brought some new rainbows into our lives lately. A good friend and I managed to have a day of nature hikes, and rainbow creativity with a whole passel of kids — we were quite proud of ourselves and the awesome results.

We ordered blank silk scarves through Dharma Trading Co. and looked all over for tutorials on how to Kool-aide dye them. Some the sites we found helpful can be found

here and here .

But mostly after looking around we realized you couldn’t really go wrong!

We dumped our scarves in hot, hot water and threw in a few cups of vinegar. We took medium-sized bowls with a bit of hot water and added three to four packets of Kool-Aide to each one and let it dissolve. Next we dropped a scarf into the dye and stirred a bit watching it quickly soak up the dye. So quick and easy and fun!

The Saffron Yellow and Sky Blue were done using a dozen drops of  McCormick Food Coloring. The colors came out less marbled and a bit more vibrant. I am loving that!

After our scarves were washed in cold water and dried we used them to put on a weather performance. There was thunder, lightning, sunshine, floods and in the end a beautiful rainbow!

Kool-aide flavors from left to right -

Cherry, Orange, Yellow (food dye), Pink Lemonade, Grape and Blue (food dye).

After so much rain these last few weeks I am ready for the rainbow!

 

 

 

 

Make a Hen Lacing Toy

July 31st, 2011 by zoe 4 Comments

Summer is whizzing by and our new chicks have grown up fast! We are lucky to have a separate spot in the hen-house for baby chicks.

Chicken wire separates the two areas so the big birds and little birds can slowly get to know each other.  When they grow big enough to venture into the territory of the Big Bossy Hens we put a “small chick” sized door in the chicken wire. The little hens can come out into the main coop but they can also run back into the nursery and hide from the squawking hens.

Watching them figure it out can be quite comical, but that’s life, the young girls and the old girls just gotta learn to work it out!

Maybe one of those big hens will take the little chicks under her wing!

To make your own Hen Lacing Toy click the photo, save to file, then print.

For best results allow your computer to size the image to best fit the page.

Kids Swimwear Tutorial

June 30th, 2011 by zoe 4 Comments

Yesterday the boys went to the lake, I stayed home and sewed them up some new swim trunks. They are a tad picky about their swimwear. They don’t like baggy traditional trunks and instead prefer little Euro style shorts.  Mini Boden sells some that are crazy cute but I just couldn’t afford to buy them. Years ago, when I was a young thing, I  sewed all my own bikini’s – I had dreams of starting my own swimwear empire in California!  Ha Ha!

Recently some friends were ogling the cute girl’s swimsuit tutorial over at No Big Dill and I thought, hey, I can just sew up some boy trunks myself!  I’m not afraid of spandex!! So I traced out a  pattern and here are the new pirate trunks for my little mates.  98% of the boys clothes are hand-me-downs so it’s really rare to see them dressed in matching outfits – kind of adorable, no?

Matching the stripes, I cut 2 front and 2 back pieces for each pair of shorts. Next I stitched and serged the bum and crotch seams.

Then I added a little applique, stitched & serged the sides seams and inside crotch seam. I serged the raw edges of  the top waistband and the legs holes. Next I hemmed the legs with a zig-zag stitch.

I cut a strip for the waistband to measure about 2″  inches narrower than the finished shorts.  The waistband for a 4-5T measured about 181/2″ long by about 2 1/2″ wide, I folded it in half and stitched the ends together leaving a gap to pull elastic through.

I folded the waistband over to make a casing for the elastic and serged it around the bottom edge, pinned it to the shorts – stretching the waistband slightly while pinning to evenly disperse the waistband taper, and then stitched the waistband in place (ensuring my elastic hole faced to the inside).  Next I ran my 1″ elastic through the waistband hole and sewed the ends together. Lastly, I hand stitched the elastic hole in the waistband closed.

The striped fabric was purchased at a local fabric store but if you head on over to Katy’s blog No Big Dill you can find some links to find swimwear spandex fabric online.

The black waistband fabric was recycled from one of my workout shirts, it had a couple of funny seams but they aren’t noticeable in the finished shorts. If you are using a really thin fabric you might want to line the shorts, this stuff was really thick and just didn’t need it.

Next time I think I will choose a dark color spandex, the lake is kind of dirty this year and um… my boys are kind of dirty too!

Let me know if you have any questions, it’s a pretty basic pattern so I didn’t want to over word it  – I could also post up a pattern for the shorts (size 4-5T) if anyone is interested just let me know!

Now off to the lake!

 

 

Hanging Children’s Artwork

June 28th, 2011 by zoe 3 Comments

The kids have piles and piles of cute little drawing they have done for me that I really do love.  The question always is, WHAT THE HECK to do with it all.

The other night while I should have been sleeping I had this idea and here it is …..

I just sewed strips of fabric onto the tops of the pictures and threaded them with dowel rods and sticks with the bark peeled of. I then strung them up with an assortment of ribbon, rick rack and fabric.  Getting a little carried away I also stacked some colorful flowers cut from felt onto the tacks!

I can see reusing the wooden hangers and easily swapping out the artwork by simply sewing new strips of fabric to the top. Slide on new art work and you have an easy way to display the kids paintings.  I bought these old sheet music scores from the 20′s at a tag sale and couldn’t really get myself to frame them  – now they look kind of fun hanging with the boys drawings.

Make a Dinosaur Shirt

June 13th, 2011 by zoe 1 Comment

I stayed up a bit late last night sewing Oliver a new dinosaur shirt. He and some friends at preschool are heavy into the “dinosaur phase” and washing his one dinosaur shirt for school each day was getting a little old! I like to keep a stash of  this high quality wool blend felt on hand for my stitching projects and when I see a good price on plain t-shirts I always buy them for making personalized party gifts. I love stitching a shirt with the birthday kids favorite animal or vehicle on it!

They whip pretty easy but half of the time is spent in making the pattern so I have included the template for this baby dinosaur below. Click pattern, save to file and print -!

Easy Painted Signs

June 8th, 2011 by zoe 4 Comments

The Mr. in these parts has dreamed of building a treehouse for MANY years.  This particular tree house book has been dog-eared and gazed upon with dreams for the future long before there were any tree house occupants in our lives.  One week last summer the DaDa in these parts got into his favorite sort of mischief and made his “fort in a tree” dreams come true. With a fair bit of reclaimed lumber and recycled windows he built a fabulously sturdy house 8 feet up, between the crook of two evergreens. Complete with a ladder swing, rope hoist, doors and gates. It is truly a treehouse palace!  This week the boys and I got to work on some of our ideas to make it extra special.  On a scrap of wood we used masking tape to spell out “kids only”. I gave them some paint with instructions to cover the wood all over.  We were impatient so we used a hair dryer to get the paint to tack up and when the paint was just a tiny bit dry we pulled off the tape to reveal our new sign.  Next the boys decided they needed to fly a pirate flag – with a bit of fabric scraps I sewed one up with simple zig zag stitching and embellished it with skull and cross-bone applique.  I’m thinking this tree house is looking mighty cool!