Category Archives: Up-Cycle and Reuse

Handkerchief Skirt and Bloomers

Handkerchief Skirt

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I made a cute handkerchief skirt and bloomers for my baby girl earlier this year.
I hope the instructions below are easy to follow and you have as much fun as I did making this skirt and bloomers

So I found these cute handkerchiefs at the dollar store for $1 for a package of two.
The packs I bought were light pink and light blue together and a dark red and dark blue together. Pretty colors huh?

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So let’s get started you will need the following.

  • Handkerchiefs
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine
  • Thread
  • Elastic
  • Safety Pin

So I started off by cutting the blue handkerchief in half and the pink one in fourths.
However if I were to do this again I would do the pink the same but I would cut the blue into 3rds.
You will see why. Here they are already cut and ready to be sewn.

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I sewed the two half’s of the blue together on both ends and then I sewed 2 pinks together on both ends to create the top part of the skirt.
As you can see in the picture I overlapped the pink to be on top of the blue and then sewed the two together.
“hint” make sure when you sew the top ruffle piece that it is a hair smaller than the bottom ruffle.

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As you can see the two pieces look fine now for the same size ruffle, however I forgot to take into consideration the waist band.

because of the “extra blue” I thought it looked funny so I hemmed the bottom of the skirt.
Otherwise if you cut the handkerchiefs just right you won’t need to do this step.

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Here is the skirt all hemmed up, “probably could have hidden more of that blue” but it is the first one I have ever made.

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Here is the waist after I put the elastic through.
I burned the ends of the elastic with a lighter to keep it from fraying.
I also left a little extra elastic for when I need to make the waist a little larger later.
This way she can wear it even longer then just a couple of months.

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Bloomers

First step I took a pair of my kiddos pants that she already wears. “you will need this to outline the crotch of the pant.”

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Here are the handkerchiefs cut, “you will need 1 handkerchief for each leg.”
When you go to cut make sure you leave LOTS of room for the waist and legs.
Bloomers are meant to be fluffy. So more fabric the merrier.

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Here is one leg done. After you have cut the legs out go ahead and sew the inside of the leg and the outside of the leg together.
It should like the picture above.

  After you have done both legs, go ahead and sew the crotch together.
Pin the two legs together in the crotch area.
I was able to tuck one leg inside another to help with bulkiness of sewing the crotch.

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After you have sewed the crotch together it should like this. “The leg is tucked inside the other.”

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I wanted to add a little extra length to the bloomers.
So I cut the blue handkerchief into fourths and sewed 2 of the thirds to match up with the bottom of the pink bloomers.
“I used the middle of the handkerchief”.
I thought that the middle would look better because of the pattern on the handkerchief.

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After I sewed the ends together I hemmed the bottom of the blue part of the legging.
Then I sewed the top part of the blue ruffle and I left room for the elastic to go through. that hem.

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Then Sew the blue ruffle to the inside of the pink part of the bloomers.
Make sure to keep both ruffles are the same width.
Now if you did the last 2 steps right the elastic should fit through.

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I took a break after putting the blue ruffle on and I put the elastic through the waist.
I did the same thing that I did with the skirt.
I left a little extra elastic to widen the waist later.

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Then put the elastic through the bottom part of the bloomers to create the ruffle of the bloomers.

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Here are the bloomers completed.

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The finished project. The bloomers and skirt.

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Here is my baby girl in her skirt and bloomers! Don’t you just love that smile?

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Have you ever sewn clothes before out of handkerchiefs? If you have questions about any of the steps lave a comment below.

Make a Pillowcase Dress without the Pillowcase

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I have seen recent posts out there for how to make a pillowcase dress. but not one that gives in great details every step in how to make one. So here are the full complete instructions for how to make a pillowcase dress and how to make one without a pillowcase. So lets get started,
Items you will need:

  •  a light weight cotton
    ***half yard “for infant” 3/4 yard for toddler or a yard to two yards depending on how tall your child is.***
  • You will also need to buy another light weight cotton if you are planning on doing a layer inside the dress for finishing touches.
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine
  • Pins
  • Measuring tape
  • Safety pin
  • Your child
  • Thread

Directions:

Take your measuring tape and measure your child from shoulders to knees or to however long you want the dress to be. write it down. Then measure your child from one side of the torso to the other. You will then add 4-8 inches or more depending on how wide you want your dress to be. Here you can be a little bit more lenient on.

Next you will want take the length that you just measured and place it on your fabric. You will want to add anywhere between an 2-4 inches on the top and 4-6 inches on the bottom. You will need this for hemming later

Next lay your fabric on a clean smooth surface

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Cut it to the size you would like to to make your dress
Here is what your pattern should look like
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Cut your fabric like so, with one of the arms holes cut out.
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Then fold your fabric in half.
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Now cut the other arm hole. Now your arm holes will be the same size.
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Next you will want to zig zag all the edges to keep the fabric from fraying
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Now take your fabric and pin it together.if you have 2 layers this will mean that you will be sewing 4 fabrics together I used a 1/2 inch seam.
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Once you have sewn them together. It should look like this.
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Now you will want to do a small seam for the arm holes I used a 1/4 seam
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Now fold the neck over to create a band for the ribbon to be laced through on the front and the back.
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Next place the almost made dress on your child and pin the bottom hem up as high as you would like it to go on your child. Then sew the bottom hem. I did a wide band because I thought it looked a little cuter. It will leave me room to lower the hem later when she gets taller.
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Here is the dress all ready for the ribbon to go through the top band.
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Once you have sewed your dress all together grab a safety pin and put through the end of your ribbon. and lace it through the the neck band. Once you have the length you need for the ribbon you want and you have tied a cute bow, go ahead and cut the ribbon diagonally to help prevent it from  unraveling. You can also use a special glue to put on the ends to prevent it from doing that too.
Now here is the finished product, Dress pictured here will fit a 3-6 month old.
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Please leave a comment and tell me what you think.

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How To: Decorative Boxes for less than $1

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Have you ever seen those adorable cute decorative boxes for holding your things? Well here I’m going to give you a “how to” for making them yourselves and making them for cheap! Personally I think they are more sturdy too.

You will need the following items:

  • Card board box – Use an empty refrigerator or stove box. You can get them for free typically from an appliance store just call ahead
  • Box cutter (a sharp one, NOT dull) We don’t want accidents here
  • A marker
  • Fabric, duct tape or contact paper
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Glue if you plan on using fabric
  • Tape

Directions lay your box out on the floor that you will using

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Now take your measuring tape and measure all four corners and put a dot right where you want to start your cut. like above.

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Once you have done that draw the lines above. The solid lines are for a cut that you will make that will go straight through the box. The wiggly lines are where you are going to take your box cutter and make a line with it (DON’T go all the way through the cardboard or even half way, Otherwise when you fold the cardboard it will break) You only want to do it lightly so when you go to bend your box into the shape you want, it will bend easy.

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Now take your box and bend all the sides like the picture above.

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Once you have done that go ahead and start taping the inside and the outside of your box. You can also use glue if you want but it will take longer to make.

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Now grab your box that you made and measure the fabric or contact paper you want to use to cover it.

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Now I used a strip of contact paper and just did the inside. (Remember when laying the contact paper in your box that you don’t use your finger nail to press it in the corners or edges “it will tear the contact paper” But use the tip of your finger to smooth it down.

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Once you have measured your contact paper or fabric and you have covered your box in it. Now you are set to place the items you want in the box. “If you used fabric and glue, make sure it is dry before placing items in it”.

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I made this box for our headphones that we use for gaming on the computer. Now my computer desk doesn’t look so cluttered. Yeah not as much clutter on the desk now.

Have you ever created your own decorative boxes before?

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Boys will Build

 Last year for my 4-year-old’s birthday party, I had a few people ask what they could get him. I gave a few ideas one of which being a REAL mini tool set. you know those tiny hammers, tiny screwdrivers and so on. Well He didn’t get a real one he got an imagination one. Which was fine. HE LOVED it anyway. Which is what counts anyways. This year for his birthday he WILL be getting that mini tool set. Why? Well as I was working on my Mother in-laws surprise last week. My eldest son asked for a hammer and some nails and some scrap wood that we were not using. I said sure and told him to be careful. I didn’t have to show him how to handle a hammer. “After all he did have an imagination one for almost a year.” I was busy building my thing and he was busy building his. 30 minutes passed and he comes to me and says LOOK Mommy!

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I made a plane!

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Isn’t it cool Mommy?

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Can I paint it? What could I say? I’m still in shock and sooooo proud of my 4 year old for making an airplane out of scraps of wood. I already had the paint out since I was painting. So I handed over the paint brush and container and said have had it. I put a plastic bag over him after I created a hole for his head and his arms. I really didn’t want paint on his swim shorts or on his skin. We placed some newspaper on the grass and he had a blast.

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His airplane turned out great!

I am so proud of him and what he created by just putting his mind to it.

So the lesson is this. Even though there might be fingers that get hammered, nails that keep slipping, nails becoming crooked. It still is an accomplishment even through tears  and frustrations. It will be a time where a child and a parent will forget about all the rest and smile from ear to ear and be proud at the accomplishment.

So give your child or children some nails, a hammer and some scraps of wood and see what their little minds will create. You might be surprised and you might be shocked at what they create. There is nothing quite like creating a piece of 3D art work on your own.

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Have you ever given your child/ren a hammer, nails and some wood? What did they create?

Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Mother’s Day MOM’s and any dad’s out there that are single parents that need to be both a Mom and a Dad. I hope you all have a wonderful day. Hope you feel loved and blessed to have children that love you!

Don’t forget to laugh, relax and hug your kids.

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God Bless you all on this Mother’s Day!

Leave a comment and let me know how your Mother’s Day went!

Sweepstakes Friday

DIY Indoor Greenhouse

DIY – Indoor Greenhouse

I know in the last several years I have tried a few different things for starting plants indoor and I’m going to share with you what I have found that works great. To help increase the calcium content of your dirt add crushed egg shells to your dirt. Your Tomatoes will thank you. Also if you want to increase the nitrogen in your soil it isn’t too far from your kitchen, save those used coffee granules and add to your soil. Follow this guide to find out how to add to your garden.
http://www.homeherbgardenanswers.com/coffee-grounds-for-plants/

You will need the following:
– Anything you can put dirt in
*I found that empty egg cartons work great! They retain moisture and are biodegradable.
– Dirt
– A clear tote *preferably one that fits under your bed
– Spade
– Egg Shells that have been rinsed and dried to add extra calcium to the dirt I bought. $0.99 a bag
– Potato masher
– Bowl
-Seed markers “Popsicle sticks or gardening sticks”
– Seeds

Directions: Start with your calcium content, all those egg shells that you have been storing. Put them all into your bowl and grab your potato masher and crush all those egg shells. This activity is great for kids to do and help with and my middle child was more than happy to oblige.

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once you have removed your egg shells from your cartons, saying that is how you stored them too. go ahead and tear off the tops of the egg cartons.

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I placed $0.99 bag of dirt in a pail and half of the egg shells that were crushed into the bucket and mixed. We did after all have 8 dozen eggs.

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Now if you have a tote that doesn’t have a clear lid like I did, place the lid on the floor .

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Once you have all your egg cartons put them onto your lid or inside your container depending on if you have a lid that is see-through too.

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now comes the fun part and your kids will have so much fun with this part. Place dirt in your cartons about half full. I highly recommend using something like Popsicle sticks to mark your containers for the different kinds of seeds you are planting.

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Place your seeds on top of the dirt in each pod depending on how deep they need to be. I place 2 seeds in each pod just in case one doesn’t grow I have that extra back up. And if 2 do sprout I will separate them when it is time to transplant.

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The seeds I like to use are Heirloom seeds, because I know that they have not been altered in anyway and I know that once my veggies are done growing I can harvest the seeds from them and plant them again, saving me money in the long run. Yes they do cost a little more than the other altered seeds but it is worth it in the end.

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Now once you have planted all your seeds in your pods, water them with cool to warm water and place the bottom of the tote on top and place in a sunny warm area. And Don’t forget to water them. The egg cartons help maintain moisture which is very helpful.

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Now you are off to a great growing season!

Apron Turned Sundress

I inherited all sorts of aprons from my husbands grandma. And oh the fun things that I thought I could with them all.

Well here is one of the very fun ideas. Find an old apron and gather the following supplies to create this fun dress for your little one.

– Apron
– Pins
– Sewing Machine
– Scissors
– Measuring tape

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Grab your apron and fold it in half inside out.
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Pin the outer seam
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Then measure how long you want the straps to be and cut that from the end of the apron strings.
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Next grab your straps that you cut and fold the cut ends inside and sew shut.
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next sew the back of your apron together and leave an inch or two or three from the top. to make it easy to go over the child’s head.
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Then go ahead and measure the top of your apron and make sure to pin the straps into the right spots on the apron.
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Now your sundress is complete and it only took 10 minutes!
And of course please leave a comment above.
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Earth Week Activities

This week we are going to continue to have fun with up-cycling and re-using the things around us to help keep the earth clean.
We need to teach our children to be good stewards of this earth.

Here are some ideas for this week to help save money and help teach your kiddos how to take care of the earth.

1 – Turn the tv off,
I know it is nice to have on. But trust me try it for 1 week, Turn the tv off and turn some soft music on or just enjoy the silence. Also with turning the tv off you will find that your kids will have to find something other to do. Which means stretching their imaginations.
Plus take a look at these stats.

http://www.lazymanandmoney.com/save-money-by-turning-off-your-television/

Yikes lets save some energy and cut those costs just think $4 for every hour you watch tv.

2 – Recycling and the up and down game
Teach your kids about recycling, and how important it is to keep the earth clean. You can play a game called ups and downs. have the kids use there thumbs and have them point the thumb up for a good idea and point their downward for a bad idea. Some of the questions you can ask are
– After I eat a piece of Candy, I look around for a garbage can to throw my wrapper away.
– I drank some water out of a plastic bottle. I can’t find a garbage can so I toss it on the ground
– After playing with my toys, I put them away in their proper place.
– I made a bird feeder for the birds so they can eat.
– I picked up some rocks and threw them at the birds.
– I gave the dog food and water when he needed it.

3 – Turn the lights off
Have a day this week where you turn the Lights off all day or even for a meal and light some candles or lamp for light and play some board games.

4 & 5 – Build a bird feeder and house
here are simple instructions for making a bird feeder out of a plastic bottle.
http://birding.about.com/od/birdfeeders/a/Make-A-Plastic-Bottle-Bird-Feeder.htm
And the instructions for making a bird house out of a 2 liter bottle
http://www.favecrafts.com/Cool2Craft-Videos/How-to-Make-a-Soda-Bottle-Birdhouse#

6 – pick up trash
Take your kids to the park and bring some plastic bags. Have the kids pick up trash that they find around the park. Once you are all done take them out for ice-cream or a special treat for a job well done.

7 – Melted Earth crayons
This is a very cute idea follow these simple instructions for making some crayons that look like our world.
http://www.sandytoesandpopsicles.com/2012/04/homemade-earth-crayons.html

8- Check out this awesome blog for some more fun ideas for Earth day/week.

http://morethanmommmy.blogspot.com/2013/04/6-earth-day-activities-for-kids.html

 

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Play Tent in a Bag

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Meet my family! Yes it is one of those economical moments! Money was VERY tight for Christmas so all my gifts were homemade and from the heart. Where are we in this picture? We are under a tent in the living room at my in-laws that I had made for my two sons. “Thank you Meg and Andy for such an awesome idea!
http://megandandymade.blogspot.com/2011/05/super-hero-fort-kit.html The boys just loved it and it topped all the gifts they had received from mommy and daddy. Cost?

The Sheet cost – free. Found an old one in our linen closet that wasn’t being used any more
Clothes pins cost – $1 dollar tree,
Flash lights X 2 cost – $2 dollar tree,
Rope cost –  $1 dollar store,
Glow sticks X2 cost – $2,
The bag cost – Free. I made it out of some knit fabric that was too small to make anything else out of. Got to love the fabric scrap bin.
The ties that I sewed unto the sheet were also from the scrap bin.

Total Cost $6 Yeah!

I used a queen size sheet and I cut the ties to be about 10 inches long. When sewn unto the sheet it created about 5 inches on each side to tie to a chair or other piece of furniture. ” I didn’t want them longer, because I did not want the boys to be able to tie knots.” I sewed a tie on each corner and extra ties on the longer sides of the sheet and 2 extra ties on the short side of the sheet.

The kids had a blast…. Ok so we all had lots of fun.
How was your Christmas? Did you create any of the gifts you made this year? Please feel free to share we loved to hear about it.
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