Sunday, January 18, 2015

Nautical Baby Gifts

My sister-in-law had a baby last summer, and I made her a few things to go with her nautical nursery theme.  I did some flannel-backed burp clothes, a mobile, and a super cute pennant to hang on the wall.

I wrapped the top of the mobile with blue crepe paper, and used some of my 500 miles of baker's twine to hold the paper cutouts.

My fancy Cricut machine did all the cutouts.  After all of the time it took to make my first mobile, this one was a snap!

For some reason, I didn't get a shot of the whole banner spread out. :(
To make it, I picked out 4 different nautical-ish fat quarters.  I made 1" bias tape out of the fish fabric (using this tutorial) to put it all together.  Then, I just cut triangles of the other fabrics, and sewed them all in a line.

I found these very cute anchors to use as... well...anchors on the ends, and personalized them with their last name. 

I really loved this whale print!  If you'd like to see more about how Becky's nursery came together, you can go to here.  (She got the mobile later, so that's not in the post.)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Winter Felt Fun

I made a few felt snowflakes and a snowman for Z last night.  The snowflakes could be a bit better, but it's kind of hard to cut through so many layers of felt!

I used some white, black, light brown, and orange felt to make up the snowman.  She can put him together however she likes on her felt board.  I might try for a few more accessories today; like a stripey scarf or a snow lady-friend.  :)  All in all, it took me less than 15 minutes to make these toys. (Let's hope the cats don't eat them!  They are suckers for all things felt; so far they've attacked a felt chipmunk, a cupcake, and my St. Lucia's Day crown!)

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

DIY Holiday Coloring Sheet

Our coloring station is in the entryway of our house.  It's a nice, big, flat area, and I tape old work posters of John's upside down to the floor for Zephyr to color on.  

Sometimes they rip,(like by the sled) but I just add some more tape and call it a day.

This is our current holiday one... I drew all the pictures with permanent marker, and labeled them.  :)  

The marker is nice because it doesn't smear or fade, despite coloring over it or walking on it.

I think it should last us at least a month!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Parent Product Picks: Food Storage

Sometimes you have leftovers.  Sometimes you want to store those leftovers.  Here are a few things that we are currently using at Casa de Craftycakewagon.

Glad Press-n- Seal Wrap: I love this stuff.  Whoever invented this is a genius!  Yeah, it's normally about $6/roll, way more than those crappy other plastic wraps, but it actually works.  If you are lucky, you can score a deal after the holidays and get discounted "holiday" wrap- who cares if it has candy canes on it? 
I'm not even sure who introduced me to this stuff; I think someone brought something to a party with this as a cover.  It actually keeps things inside of a container (within reason) and keeps food fresh.  You don't need a rubber band, or multiple attempts to use it, it's just like a giant sticker!  (Full disclosure: No one paid me to say this. I just really like it.)

In effort to use less plastic for storing food, I have obtained a few ceramic bowls with lids from places like TJ Maxx and Homegoods.  They are nice because they all seem to have vents in the lids for microwaving, and I know that chemicals are kept out of our food.  We also seem to go through an inordinate amount of Bonne Maman jam around here, so I've saved those jars for a while now.  They are good for storing small bits of leftovers or sauces, and sometimes almond bark.

Friday, November 7, 2014


It's finally done!! Let the tale of craziness, woe, and ultimately happiness commence!

You guys, this project? It took me over a month to complete.  I was inspired by this picture from a Jo-Ann's mailer.

I thought, "That seems like a lot of work, but do-able."  The funny thing was, they sent me on a wild goose chase for the "directions" on their website, only to find out that they used a pattern I already owned.

So, I set to work.  Despite the fact that Zizi was scared of the play tent at her auntie's house and didn't like the real tent that we pretended to "camp" in this summer, I persevered.  I found a variety of fabrics that I thought went well together in a rainbow fashion (some I already had, some I bought, like that great wood-grain flannel up there).  I cut them into strips and set to work.  I sewed them into one big piece of fabric, and got ready to cut.

But, I didn't read the pattern as well as I thought.  I assumed I needed 4 panels, but in fact I needed 6 of them.  I realized this AFTER I'd finished the 4th panel and was out of fabric.  I just refused to buy anything else for this project, so I used some muslin leftover from our wedding.

Honestly, I think it looks better this way!


The next part of my trouble started when actually configuring the pattern.  I was able to sew it together just fine, but then I realized that there was no way for the fabric to stay attached to the poles!  They used a very small casing for a thin ribbon to supposedly be tight enough to hold up the entire thing; i.e. might work for a picture, but not real life.  So, I got some rainbow ribbon and made little attachments to thread through the main ribbon holding it together.  (Kind of hard to explain, but you can see it up there.)  Then I got some fun battery-powered lights to use at night.  Z doesn't really like them, but she does like the teepee!

She will play inside of it, but she also likes to flop into a panel on the outside.  

Monday, September 29, 2014

Homemade Toys: Felt Leaves

Continuing with the homemade toy festival going on around here, I bring you, Felt Leaves!

You may remember the Felt Board that I made back in the spring with flowers, grass, and clouds.  The leaves can also be used with that, or thrown into the air with reckless abandon.  They float slower than paper, making the felt a bit more realistic for leaves.

Sharp scissors
Felt in Fall colors
Fine point permanent marker

This was really pretty easy.  I freehand cut out some leaf shapes, then drew on veins with my permanent marker.  I even tested to see if the marker would come off while it was still "wet"- and it was totally fine.  I did some ovalish leaves, pointy maples, and roundish oak leaves, in yellow, two shades of orange, and red.  I also made a little plastic bag for them, complete with a hanging ribbon, so that they can (theoretically at least) be cleaned up and hung on a hook.

We'll see if they ever make it back into the bag

Friday, September 26, 2014

Homemade Toys: Halloween Sensory Bottle

 John's been on vacation this week; we were supposed to go to the beach, but he has been sick, so it's been a stay-cation.  Suffice to say, we've been making a lot of fun toys with an extra pair of hands around.  Stay tuned for details on all of the projects below (and more!)

The teepee is finally finished! Even the dog likes it!
Felt leaves!

Working on decorations for Z's upcoming b-day
Halloween in a bottle!
Inspired by this post, I decided to make Z a Halloween Sensory Bottle.  I didn't have a fancy water bottle, and couldn't find those tiny spiders at any stores nearby, so I used what I had.  I think it turned out pretty well!

Water bottle- empty
Baby oil (so that the "webs" and halloween bits float slowly)
White yarn, cut into short lengths
Halloween confetti
Clear packing tape

Into a dry bottle, add your confetti and yarn. Fill with baby oil (Alert! This will use almost an entire bottle of baby oil, just so you know.). Seal.  The original author glues the bottle shut with super glue, but I used tape (since that's what we had).  I think it will stay closed just fine, but this activity should probably be supervised.  Shake it up!  Let your kid shake it up!  Be mesmerized by the things floating around.  :)  

I think next time, I will add a bit of glitter- because who doesn't like glitter?