Diaper Box Upcycle

Upcycle: the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new products of better quality or of better environmental value.
           {A.k.a - Repurposing}
 
So we recently had a small get-together at the house and the weather was just beautiful. Unfortunately we don’t own many outdoor games. I was thinking a bean bag toss game would be fun so I started searching for something to use and came across one of Baby O's empty diaper boxes.
 (As new parents we just so happen to have a few of these lying around these days.) These boxes are really sturdy and I felt like I could be on to something here!  Plus I've been really into the idea of upcycling lately.
 
All I did was cut the box in half. Then using a round coaster I traced circles on the top of each half and used an Xacto blade to cut the circles out.  I painted these bright yellow and allowed them to dry. Finally my husband used paint stirrers (you know, the free ones from Home Depot that you get with the purchase of a can of paint) as both a support mechanism and to tilt the boxes.
All that I had to do now was sew 6 bean bags from some existing fabric (3 of one color, and 3 of another color for teams). I think I just sewed 4x4 squares w/straight lines, adding a little extra room for the seam allowance.
Easy peezy.
We set up our DIY cornhole game in the backyard. It was a lot of fun and
I'm glad we were able to reuse something that would have otherwise just been tossed.

It inspired me to see what else can be made from old diaper boxes. There are lots of great upcycle ideas online. See below for some links to a few other cool ideas. Stay tuned, I’ll be attempting an upcycled toy chest soon!
 
Happy Crafting! Xoxo Hattie
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Tutorial: Baby Bib in 10 Easy Steps



Our daughter started daycare today as a 'trial run' before she starts full time next week. This trial was to be sure she'd do okay there, but in actuality I think it was more for me.  I needed to be sure I was okay with her being there, so I don't become a complete emotional wreck on Monday when I start back to work. Needless to say  I was a bit down today. The house was too quiet. It's only been 4 months since she's been around, yet somehow I can't even remember or imagine how things used to be without her here everyday. Her new-found giggles, her hiccups, her cooing, even her crying are music to my ears. I hoped the daycare provider was giving her at least HALF of the love and attention I give to her everyday. 

Lately I've complained I don't have much free time to make anything. (Other moms out there >> I'm sure you can sympathize!) But today I felt a strong need to make something for her while she was away. So in between dropping her off, running to the store, cleaning the house and preparing meals, I managed to make a quick & easy baby bib and am providing a simple tutorial for it below. It's just 10 easy & quick steps. And if I can squeeze them into my day, so can you!
 You'll Need:
Step 1. Choose & press your fabrics. 
Step 2. Trace your pattern onto your front piece of fabric. I used an existing bib, folded it in half, and traced it onto the wrong side of a folded piece of fabric (Line the bib pattern almost right up to the fold being sure to add about 1/4" for seam allowance).


Step 3. Cut around the bib pattern, again being sure to add about a 1/4" seam allowance all the way around.

Step 4. Repeat steps 2 & 3 onto your back piece of fabric.
Step 5. Pin the two pieces of fabric right sides together. 
Step 6. Sew the pieces together, leaving at least a 1" opening on the side to turn it right-side-out.  
Step 7. Trim the seam allowance. I also make careful clips around the neck...um, because I saw that on someone else's tutorial once. (It's for making sure the round neck area lies flat.)
Step 8. Turn bib right side out. Press the bib. Turn the open section inward and pin together/closed.
Step 9. Top stitch around the entire bib.
Step 10. Sew on your closure (like your velcro pieces or some snaps).

That's it! Easy huh?  Now just find the time to make one (or ten!) of these & go find a precious little one to model your new creation!







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Easy Rice Bag Tutorial & Link-ups


I'm happy to announce I'm the proud new mommy of a happy & healthy baby girl. These past few months I've been getting to know her & accustomed to motherhood. Who knew how time consuming this job would be? Lol. I thought I'd have all this free time to read, do projects around the house, work on my crafts, make baby bibs, and of course, blog about it all...ha! I have actually done several small projects, though. I've taken pictures along the way and I'll eventually get them up here to share. For now, I wanted to start by posting this blog about how to easily make rice therapy bags (for heat or cold therapy).  

During the past few weeks, I've used one of these handy bags to warm up baby's crib before putting her to sleep, warm my own toes on a cold night, relax my achy neck & wrists, apply heat to get my breastmilk a'flowin', and apply both heat & cold therapy to relieve a case of mastitis. These are extremely functional and easy to make, even with my tutorial below which has very generic instructions. These can be made in any size, with different amounts of rice, & in any fabric (so long as there are no metallic threads in it). I'll also link-up to some other sites that give more proper sizing & sewing directions and different versions of these bags. 

What is it?: RICE BAG FOR COLD OR HEAT THERAPY

How it works: This sewn rice bag can be placed in a microwave for approximately 1-2 minutes and will hold heat for up to 30 minutes. The bag can also be placed in a freezer for a few hours to provide cold therapy. (Note: When not in use, store in a cool, dry place)

Uses:
  • Apply a hot or cold rice bag to relieve aches & pains.
  • Apply a cold rice bag to soothe bruises, bumps, black eyes or other boo-boos.
  • Place in a crib to warm up baby's sleeping spot (they like to feel warmth. Note: If you heat the bag & wrap it in a t-shirt you've worn earlier, baby will appreciate the warmth AND the smell of you in their crib. Might make them sleep better!)
  • Place on a car seat or other seat as a DIY tooshie-warmer.
  • Place under your sheets at the foot of your bed to warm your little piggies on a cold night.
  • For Nursing Mommies: Apply the warm pressure of the bags to your breasts about 15 minutes prior to pumping or nursing to aide in let-down. It can also soothe sore nipples, relieve mastitis or loosen up clogged milk ducts.
What you need: 
  • Fabric or fabric scraps in whatever size you want. I used a piece of fabric that was about 11 x 12. It was cut incorrectly so it was crooked but worked anyway! You can truly make these any size. 
  • Pins, Matching thread
  • Rice 2-3 cups (not instant rice!)
Directions (In a nutshell):
Fold your fabric in half, right sides together. 
Press & Pin if that's your thing. 
Sew using about a 1/4" seam allowance around 3 sides leaving just 1 (shorter) side open. You can always sew a double seam if you'd like to prevent rice from coming out in case of a tear.
Trim the seam allowance. 
Turn it right side out.
Add rice to the bag. I think I used about 2.5 cups. Just don't fill the bag too much because you want it to form around whatever body part you are applying it to.

Stitch bag closed. You can either leave it at that, or you can top stitch around the bag. To do this, I shook all the rice to one side as I sewed around the other sides. I used pins to sort of act as a barrier so the rice didn't come up to the edge. It also occurs to me now that I could have top-stitched the 3 sides before I filled the bag with rice. Then just stitched the bag closed. (Classic example of learning as I go!)
I customized a version of these printable tags from Sew Mama Sew's blog and added some ribbon to finish the job. I changed the font & wording, and based on the size of this bag, noted on the tag that it only needed to be microwaved 1-2 minutes instead of 2-3 minutes. {I'd err on the side of caution and always heat it up 30 seconds or 1 minute at a time until you reach the desired temperature. If it's too hot, you can get burned!}


Like I mentioned before there are a lot of variations to these in different shapes, sizes, colors. Some use essential oils, some have cutesie poems attached. Just google 'rice bag tutorial' or just let your imagination run wild! The last time I made one, I simply used an old pair of pants, and cut the pant leg off. Then I filled it with rice and only had to sew one side. Here are some other versions I found online.


Happy Crafting!
Hattie xoxo
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DIY Matching Burp Cloth, Bib & Pacifier Holder

Here's a quick post to show off the matching burp cloth, bib & pacifier holder I made for my cousin a few months ago. I used the following tutorial from PRUDENT BABY. Pretty easy and very cute! I plan to make some more sets for myself!
Please try it yourself and feel free to share pictures of the sets you make! xoxo Hattie


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My Little Pumpkin Theme Baby Shower

I know, I know! Where have I been, right? Just busy working, going to class, and getting all pregnanty. :)
Here I am at my baby shower, sitting in my special chair
(decorated with tulle, ribbon and flowers)
that felt like a throne and made for great pics!
 
I will have to back track and post some of the wonderful DIY projects I've been working on these past few weeks. But I just got some amazing pictures (taken by my friend Wendy) from my Little Pumpkin themed baby shower this past weekend and thought I'd share. It was a great time full of friends, family & plenty of DIY ideas! Big thanks go out to my sisters in law, mother in law, and mom & aunt for all their help working with me to put this party together!
 
It was perfect for a gender neutral shower. Inspired by A to Zebra Celebrations, I made banners to hang over a fireplace and across various tables at the party. We also used a lot of pumpkins (both real and faux),we made tissue poms to hang from the ceilings, and instead of ordering a cake, we baked cupcakes and I simply used Wiltons 1M tip to make professional looking frosting swirls! Here are some pics!
 Enjoy xoxo Hattie


A DIY banner, pumpkins and fall silk flowers were a perfect touch!
 

I adore my centerpieces. Mason jars with candy corn and silk flowers.
We added rafia and ribbon to the jar and voila! Perfection! (And so easy!)
(& I love the palm tree that can be seen in the background of the photo!)
 
Duncan Hines cupcakes and frosting. Easy peezy.
The trick was using Wiltons 1M decorating tip
to make professional looking frosting swirls and adding a topper.


We used this tutorial for making tissue poms http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgeHGG-4EI8

Usually I make the diaper cakes around here!
 But my mom insisted she make mine! It was so cute!
 
Another banner displayed on the gift table tells my guests how much
we appreciate their thoughful & precious baby gifts!

Fruit Skewers in a pumpkin base, ham, beans, potato salad, empanadas....
Delicious!


A "Welcome Baby" banner hangs on the sign-in table.
 (One of my fave pics from the shower. Thanks Wendy!) 

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Bride & Groom Christmas Ornament

The idea of trying my hand at homemade Christmas ornaments has been on my project to-do list for a while now. You can imagine how happy I was when I realized that I could kill two birds with one stone in making a wedding gift that doubled as a Christmas ornament! I came across a similar matching bride & groom ornament set online and thought, "I can make that!" A quick trip to Michael's for some felt, little flowers and ribbon and Voila! Check out the super cute ornaments I made! I think they're precious and I loved the way they looked hanging off a bottle of bubbly and presented as a gift. Hopefully I can churn out a few more sets soon and get them up on my Etsy site. Hope you enjoy! xoxo Hattie
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Decorate your own switchplate

I saw some cool [but over priced!] switchplates at a street fair not too long ago and thought, "I bet I can make that!"  And I did! Here's a tutorial on how you can too! It's actually really easy and fun (& I'm now obsessed with mod podge).
To do it my way, you'll need:
  • Switchplate (.26c at home depot) - Take out the screws and set aside
  • A printed image (I chose to print it on the 3.5 x 5 size option on standard printer paper and it was nearly the perfect size)
  • Mod Podge Acryllic Sealer (optional)
  • Mod Podge (I used Gloss not Matte, Outdoor, Satin or Shimmer although you may decide you want to use one of these formulas for a different effect)
  • Foam Brush, Baggie 
  • X-acto Knife
  • Pencil, Scissors and Patience
Decide on an image and print it out. After my first attempt at making these, I decided on using an acryllic sealer on the image first so that the colors wouldn't bleed when I started using the mod podge on it. Let it dry completely and then place the switchplate where you want it and trace it on the paper, adding about 1/2 inch margin all the way around to fold over the back. Cut it out.

Using a foam brush and working quickly, add a layer of Mod Podge to both sides of switchplate and to the back of the paper. Stick the paper to the switchplate and once you've centered it where you want it, fold the top/bottom/sides over the back. Mod Podge over the folded paper on back. Use your fingers or a smoothing tool to work out any wrinkles or bubbles. Note: Mod Podge goes on white but it dries clear. Let your project dry completely (I waited a few hours just to be sure).


Tip: Put your cover back on your Mod Podge container AND cover your foam brush with a baggie so they don't dry out between coats!

Fast forward to when your switchplate is ready for round two. Use your X-acto knife to poke out the screw holes & the switch hole. You may need to use a toothpick or other tool to 'carve' them out. I cut an "X" over the switch hole and folded back the paper. Use another layer of mod podge on both the front and back of switchplate and again, let it dry completely. (I let mine dry outside)


Repeat with as many layers of Mod Podge as you want. When it's done, put the screws back in. (Paint screws to match if you'd like!) I used the acryllic sealer again at the end for a final 'seal' although technically mod podge is already a glue, a sealer and a finish.

Here are my 3 of my finished switchplates.

Also feel free to check out these links I found for DIY switchplates from other talented crafters. They're all so different & so creative!

Martha Stewart
CraftElf
Design-Bug
The Steampunk Workshop
PinkChalkStudio
MySweetThings
JosieJones

Good luck and please send me pics of yours!
xoxoxo HATTIE


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Happy New Year! A Year in Review Project Board

I put together this 'Year in Review' board to celebrate & say goodbye to 2011! It's always an easy & fun project to bring to a NYE party and you really don't need to work on it until a few days before the end of the year. There are plenty of on-line resources to help you sum up the year in pop culture, movies, sports, breakups, deaths, news, etc. Just print out articles & images and let your imagination and creativity go wild!
Now it's a new year, and something tells me it's going to be a good one! It's also a great opportunity for me to dedicate more time to crafting and sharing it here! I've overhauled my blog so I can focus on all things crafty (not just sewing), so come back often and expect to see a lot more Hattie Crafts this year!

"Sewfari" Inspired Aprons

Here are the two aprons I made for my nieces. My brother said one loves leopard prints and the other, zebra prints. PERFECT! I immediately let myself become safari & polka dot inspired and came up with these very cute & trendy half aprons!                                                    


The girls liked them and even want me to sew little matching ones for their American Girl Dolls, which I will do with all the leftover fabric! 
I also plan to post these on my Etsy Shop as I will definitely be making more (bc I need the practice AND I think these are simply adorable!)! 
What safari or nature inspired creations have you done lately? I would LOVE to see!
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Baby Cakes!



Here is the Hattie's Baby Cake I made for a friend just a few wks ago. These are so fun to make! The theme here was turtles (because big brother thought the ultra sound pic of baby looked like a turtle!  Too cute!)  I used a super cute fabric to wrap around the bottom tier and I found the most precious plush turtle online. Plus there are all the other goodies I typically stuff inside all these "cakes."

Hattie's Baby Cakes are made with 100% usable ingredients including: Pampers, Johnson & Johnson baby items, baby spoons, onesies, washcloths, teethers, receiving blanket, pacifiers, bottles, socks. They can be customized to any theme and make great and unique centerpieces or shower gifts to expectant mommies! Contact me for more info.

I am always excited when I find out someone I know is expecting and look forward to making these! If you've made your own- please share your pics! xoxo Hattie Follow Me on Pinterest