Saturday, January 22, 2011

Need Ideas for a Preschool Valentine's Day Party?

5:49 PM
Some craft projects

Popsicle stick bug

paper plate valentine holder

Snacks
Bell Peppers and dip


Rice crispy treats
Games

Mend Broken Hearts

For this preschool Valentine’s Day activity, cut several large hearts out of construction paper. Then, cut the hearts in half using a different cutting pattern on each heart to make them look like broken hearts. Mix the cards up and have your child try to mend the broken hearts by matching the two sides together. You can also play this with older kids by writing a message across the heart and then playing it with a large group. Each child gets one half of a heart and must find his or her match.

I Love You Because

Preschoolers are sweet, so set a timer to three minutes and have your child say what they love the most. You can also have them say things like, "I love my daddy because," or "I love my brother because." See how many nice things they can say about their loved ones.
 
Pin the heart on Cupid
On a large piece of poster board, draw a flying Cupid with his arrow. Or buy a cut out Cupid and glue it to the poster board. Cut out a small red heart. Stick a piece of tacky tack on the back of the heart. Each child takes a turn being blindfolded and pinning the heart on Cupid's arrow.


 

Need a Helping Hand Getting Organized?

Teacup Piggy Project

6:11 AM
This year all Kamille wanted for Christmas were 2 teacup pigs, which she was calling purse pigs.  So, I tracked them down and they were actually pretty affordable - $12.99 for the pig and it's plastic teacup.  I wanted them to be a gift from the man in red, so I needed them to have a bit more pop than just presenting naked pigs under the tree. 

Last year we did a post on upcycled dog toys.  One of the items was from a blogger who took an old suitcase and turned it into a small dog bed.  I don't have a small dog, but I still had that project in my mind because it was so cute.  So, I decided to take this old rummage sale find - a hairdryer case - $2.00 and turn it into a little bed for the piggies. 
 This project wasn't hard and had a lot of give because all of the trim covers up an little mistakes you may make.  However, it took several hours.  First, I used hot glue to put a layer of fleece on the outside of the case, top and bottom.  I wanted it to look upholstered.  Once I had the fleece on there, I trimmed away the excess.  Next, I added the fabric with more hot glue.  It is a slow process to smooth out the fabric and get it looking just right.  Use HIGH temp glue for the best results.  I then trimmed away the extra fabric.  Then I used ribbons to form a decorative band around the edges and to cover the fabric.  I also glued some trim onto the handle strap to jazz it up. 
 
 After that, I used the same ribbon trim to make some "hinges" that would hold the case open.  I added the self-sticking hooks to hold extra clothes (which are mia somewhere in Kamille's room right now) and accessories.  Finally, I filled the bottom with stuffing and then glued in the leopard fabric to make the bed.  I left enough room that she can close the case with both pigs inside and carry it around or store it.   
  I also made some outfits for the pigs.  They sell outfits that retail for about $10.00 - which is crazy.  Plus, the outfits have arms and legs.  No 3-year-old is getting the arms and legs of one of these little pigs through the sleeves of some tiny outfit.  I based my pattern on a dog coat.  It velcros under the neck and tummy.
 The final item I made was this little purse that holds both of the pigs. 

Glitter Scarf Tutorial

5:55 AM
My niece and daughter are totally obsessed with glitter/sequin scarves.  Those things are expensive.  I personally have a hard time justifying spending $15-$18 on an accessory for a 3-yr-old or even a 7-year-old.  So, this Christmas, Lisa and I made up a bunch of the scarves at much more affordable prices.  I have a NO SEW and a LOW SEW version of the scarves below.  JoAnn and Walmart both sell a fabric they call confetti dot fabric.  It comes in about 10+ colors.  The fabric is about $6.00 a yard (but you can score it for much less with a coupon or buy purchasing a remnant).   

 Because this fabric does not run or fray to speak of, you can make a really cute scarf by just cutting an 8" strip.  If you cut anything narrower, it tends to roll (which makes a nice scarf for American Girl Doll).
I also made a doubled version by cutting 2 8" strips and stitching them together.  I left the ends open for turning. 

These scarves a played with/worn around here everyday.  The single scarf is about $1.00 and the double scarf is about $2.00 (when you buy the fabric with a coupon).

I made the no sew scarves a couple of years ago as party favors for my niece's glamour makeover birthday party.  They were a hit. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

Portrait Props

5:16 PM

This is a great little selection of photo/portrait props from one of my fellow preschool moms, Beth.  You can click any of the photos to go to her etsy shop, monkeyknots.    


READY TO SHIP- Double Felt F...

$8.00
Neckties from Monkey Knots

$18.95
NEW ITEM- Crochet Kufi Hat w...

$12.95
Monkey Knots Neckties- Strip...

$17.95
Treasury tool is sponsored by Lazzia.com.


Here are a few of our patterns for some additional portrait props. 




Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Free Receiving Blanket Tutorial for Konbit Sante Craft Hope

11:27 AM
This morning I put together this tutorial on making a basic receiving blanket.  No Serger Required. 

This tutorial will make a blanket sized for swaddling.  Most receiving blankets you buy from the store are sized 30"x30" which is not ideal for swaddling. 

  You start with a 34"x36" piece of flannel.  I cut it with the rotary to make sure that it was perfect. 
Next you can serge the edges or you can use an overcast zigzag stitch.  To make an overcast zigzag, you need to set your machine to the widest zigzag setting.  I keep the stitch length short.  You should line the fabric up in the middle of the foot.  In the right position, the needle will not catch your fabric. 
 In the left position of the zigzag stitch, the needle will enter the fabric.  This overcast zigzag will encase the raw edge to prevent fraying in the wash.
Stitch around the entire blanket.  It might cause the fabric to wave, so you will want to press the blanket when you are finished. 
Finally, I added a little double heart applique by ironing some craft fuse onto cotton and then fusing it to the blanket. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Craft Hope for Haiti Free Soft Doll Pattern

5:34 PM
For those of you who love Craft Hope and are looking to put together some birthing kits for Haiti, I am going to give you a free soft doll pattern.  This bunny is a breeze to make.  Seriously, 15 minutes tops.  I know, I made about 50 of these.  P.S. they are well loved by kids everywhere.  If you want the full pattern (which makes a larger bunny) with all of the pieces and a step-by-step photo tutorial, you can click here and you will be taken to our etsy shop where you can purchase it.  We will be using all of the proceeds from this pattern to make birthing kits for Craft Hope. 
You cannot get much easier than this for a pattern.  It uses fleece, which is a great material for kids items.  It washed well, holds up to a serious beating, it's cheap, and it's easy to sew.  For this pattern I also used some scraps of cotton to applique on the tummy and for the ears.  You could use all felt if you wanted.  I used safety eyes, but simple eyes from felt would also work for a baby.

The basic instructions are:

Cut 2 bodies from fleece or cotton
Cut 1 tummy from fleece or cotton
Cut 2 ears from fleece
Cut 2 ears from contrasting fleece or cotton
Cut 1 tummy (it's an oval - no pattern piece provided)
Cut 1 nose from fleece or felt (small triangle)
Cut 2 eyes

On one piece of the body, applique on the tummy, nose and eyes.  Stitch on a mouth.

Place your ears RIGHT sides together and stitch.  Trim and turn. 

On the RIGHT side of the Bunny Body Back, put the ears on the top of the head, pointing down so that they will be caught in the seam. Layer the body front RIGHT side down onto the back.  Sew around the bunny body, leaving the bottom (the flat part) open to turn and stuff.  Trim, turn and stuff the bunny.  Stitch the bottom closed with the machine.  You could put a couple of short (less than 2 inches) ribbon loops in there for baby to chew on, but the ears will probably be enough. 

Click here for the pattern

Follow the blog (and let us know with an email to boutiqueit@aol.com) and I will email you a basic tote bag pattern and tutorial.


 

Chocolate Dipped Oreos Tutorial for Valentine's Day

4:48 PM
I love oreo cookies so I have been waiting for a time to make these chocolate dipped oreos.  This batch is going off to my uncle.  I know he will enjoy them because I have personally caught him hiding in the pantry eating cookies behind my aunt's back. 

My this little project you need oreo or another favorite sandwich cookie of your choice, white chocolate, dark chocolate, and I also used pink candy melts, non-pariels or other sprinkles, and conversation hearts.

Follow the directions on the chocolates to melt.  You want them really warm, but be careful not to burn the chocolate.  You should use a heavy bowl, not a plastic container.  You are more likely to burn the chocolate if you melt it in plastic. 


 I use a regular fork to dip my cookies.  There is a tool for dipping that you could buy, but why waste money?  Dip the cookie so that it is totally covered top and bottom.
 Gently tap the fork on the side of the bowl to remove some of the excess chocolate and smooth out the candy.  If you wanted to make lollipops for a school party, you would stick the sucker stick into the middle of the cookie before you dip it and then use the stick to dip the cookie. 
For this batch, I used non-pariels on some of the cookies, sprinkled on immediately after dipping.  I also drizzled melted chocolate in contrasting colors and made some chocolate hearts to put on the top of some of the cookies. 
 Place each cookie on wax paper, parchment, silpat, or a lightly greased (with butter) cookie sheet.  They set up quickly, especially if you put them in the freezer (which will help them pop off if they get stuck).  Notice how I didn't care if the bottoms were not perfect.  Once the cookies are set, you can remove the extra chocolate.  It just snaps off.  If you are really concerned, you can clean them up with a knife. 

Finally, I put them in a cupcake box.  They come in a 3 pack at Michael's for about $3.99.  The little box hold 12 cookies.  I tied it with some curly ribbon.  If I was making lollipops, I would wrap each one in a plastic candy bag and tie it closed with a bow.

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