DIY Easy Felt Heart Garland

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Hello, friends!  I’m popping in with my first post of the year (at least it’s still January, right?!) with a little tutorial for you – an incredibly easy felt heart garland!  A little something to spruce up your home with some valentine’s day flair.  Ready?  Ok, here you go.  Here are your materials:

  • heart template
  • felt (I used red and pink craft felt sheets that I believe I got at Joann)
  • scissors
  • marker (I used a disappearing ink marking pen)
  • fiberfill stuffing
  • twine some sort of thin string (note: I had originally wanted to use twine but it was too thick to string through the hearts)
  • large embroidery or tapestry needle

This was maybe the easiest project ever.  And economical.  I already had all the materials at home so that makes it free, yeah?  I realize that this project may be super self-explanatory since it’s soooo simple, but I’ll go ahead and share how I made mine anyway!  Cool?  Cool.

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First, you will need to cut out a heart shape on card stock for your template.  My heart measures about 2.5″ x 3″.  Next, get out your felt sheets (or scraps) and trace your heart with a marker or pen.  Trace as many as you wish. We will be using two heart pieces to make one stuffed heart.

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Cut out your hearts.

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Next, take two hearts and align one on top of another.  Pin if you wish and sew along the edge of the hearts using a 1/8″ seam allowance, making sure to leave about a 3/4″ opening somewhere near the bottom of the hearts.

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Stuff your heart with the fiberfill stuffing, and then sew the opening closed, making sure to backstitch at the beginning and end.  And now you have a cute little stuffed heart!  Wasn’t that easy?  Go make some more!

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Finally, take a large embroidery or tapestry needle and string through all the hearts you’ve made for your garland.  I strung through the upper middle part of each heart.  And felt is so dense that the needle pushes through easily, even right through my machine default 2.5mm stitch length that I used.

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And that’s it, folks!  Now go hang up your heart garland and smile each time you walk by it!

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And, juuuust in case you were wondering, I also made those adorable XOXO and heart pillows you see up there in the first photo with my little man.  They are also available in my Etsy shop: MADE to play.  Yes, the shop is finally up and running!  My friend and I had to get all the logistics and legal stuff all squared away first, but we are super uber excited about it (and I’m totally cheesing right now, ha)! Come by and take a peek when you have a chance! :)

heart, jen

yup, that’s a new signature you see up there — new year, new signature! happy (belated) 2015!

DIY Advent Calendar

DIY Advent Calendar {chirpy threads}Hello, friends!  I literally just finished up my son’s advent calendar the night before December 1st. I’m such a last minute mommy.  But, I do love how it turned out! We saw some really cool Lego and Playmobil calendars and actually almost got one, but I decided to make one instead with little gifts that I knew Ethan would love for sure.

I started out by purchasing some little wooden display cubbies at Daiso.  For those of you who don’t know this store, it is awesome – it’s the dollar store of Japan and here in the US, everything in the store is $1.50.  See, awesome, right?! Anyway, I found these cubbies there – they came in one row of three so I bought 8 of them so I could have a total of 24 cubes.  I arranged them together and used wood glue and clamps to put them together to make one large box of 24 cubbies.DIY Advent Calendar {chirpy threads}So, guess what I stuffed into these mini paper sacks that I got from Michaels?  Shopkins!  Omigosh, guys, I’m not really sure why Ethan is so obsessed with these little things but he loves them!  So I put one in each bag, punched two holes in the center and tied it with baker’s twine.  Next, I used my Silhouette to print and cut little circles with numbers and used double-sided tape to stick them to the mini sacks.DIY Advent Calendar {chirpy threads}DIY Advent Calendar {chirpy threads}I also used my Silhouette to make the gable box for the 25th day which just contains a special piece of chocolate.  And lastly, I made a December label and adhered it to a clothespin that clips onto a little wood box I found lying around the house.DIY Advent Calendar {chirpy threads}DIY Advent Calendar {chirpy threads}DIY Advent Calendar {chirpy threads}So there you have it… a Shopkins Advent Calendar!  Ha!  Happy December!

xoxo, Jen

Pikachu Costume!

Pikachu Costume {chirpy threads}Hey there! This year, Ethan wanted to be Pikachu for Halloween! Although he is only four, and doesn’t know too much about Pokemon, he loves this cute little yellow character. It was between a moth and Pikachu, so I’m happy with his decision! This will be my second Halloween sewing him a costume. Last year, he was a spider – which was also really fun to make.

Pikachu Costume {chirpy threads}

I made this Pikachu costume virtually the same way as the spider costume. It is a pullover hooded vest that is cinched on the bottom with elastic. The pullover from last year was self-drafted and I basically just used that as a guide and made it a little wider and longer for this year. All of the yellow fabric is anti-pill fleece (from Joann) and the brown and black details are felt material. The top of the lightning bolt tail, which is stuffed with poly-fil, is sewn into the back to keep it from flopping down. It still flops, but from side to side. The ears are also filled with poly-fil. There he is in the above photos, being silly and trying to do a handstand!

Pikachu Costume {chirpy threads}

The hood is lined with a yellow cotton interlock that I also found at Joann. For the pants, I used Dana’s basic pant pattern and just made it a tad bit wider and longer. Super easy sew. The shirt, which is also made from the yellow cotton interlock, was made using Rae’s flashback skinny tee pattern. This was my first time sewing a shirt – and although there is a lot I need to improve on, it turned out not as bad as I thought it would! I used a regular sewing machine and I didn’t even need to change my needle! Crazy, huh. I think it was because cotton interlock is a thicker type of knit. Anyway, it was a breeze to sew! I also didn’t hem the sleeves as it turned out to be the perfect arm length for Ethan. I guess I could have added cuffs but I was too excited that his costume was finally completed and actually wearable!

Pikachu Costume {chirpy threads}

I also made a Pokeball trick-or-treat bag to go with the costume. Pretty basic stuff – just a huge 14×32 rectangle folded in half and sewn along the edges with the corners boxed. I used duck cloth for this so it is very sturdy and holds well. The pokeball is appliquéd on in pieces of red, white, and black felt.

Pikachu Costume / Pokeball Bag {chirpy threads}

And now, I have a cute little boy running around the house shouting “pika, pika” all day! He sure loves getting into character!

Pikachu Costume {chirpy threads}

Pikachu Costume {chirpy threads}

And I leave you with this last photo of Ethan cooking up some tasty spider, cockroach, and glow-in-the-dark fingers stew! Delicious!

Pikachu Costume {chirpy threads}

Happy Halloween, guys! Be safe out there!

xoxo, Jen

Dragon Birthday Party

dragon birthday party {chirpy threads

Oh man… sooooo… even though this birthday party took place FIVE months ago, I am still going to blog about the details!  Cool?  Cool.  Better late than never, right?  Actually, I really needed to post this blog entry before I could move on… I couldn’t bring myself to blog about any other project until I blogged about this ancient party.  Ha!   And, of course, it’s to hopefully inspire anyone who’s kids are into dragons and wants to throw them a dragon party!  But seriously, I have sooooo many completed projects lined up and ready to be shared.  Yikes!

I also wanted to share what I’ve been working on these past few months… I’ve been working hard!  Really, I have!  I’ve made a few play things for Ethan, sewn up gifts for friends, and have been trying to build an Etsy shop.  YUP!  I’m going to start up an Etsy shop with a friend very soon!  It’s been so exciting working out all the fine details of the little shop.  More on this to come!  Oh, and I completed Ethan’s Halloween costume last week — yes, I really wanted to share the costume I made so I need to finally get the birthday stuff out of the way.  So, without further ado… let’s get back to the dragon party!!

dragon birthday party {chirpy threads

My Ethan turned FOUR way back in May and the theme he close was dragons – like, the scary kind.  You know, fire-breathing dragons!  Um… ok, we can have a scary dragon party but still make it cute, right?  Four-year-olds are still babies, right?!  *sigh*.  Hopefully, this isn’t the last year I can plan a party with a little cuteness.  I still can’t get over how fast my son is growing up.

dragon birthday party {chirpy threads

I can usually find good party inspiration on the internet but discovered that dragon birthday parties were pretty rare.  So I got to thinking – and thought scales and dragons and lots of green would work.  I made a dragon scale backdrop and decided that the the cake table would be the the main focus.  For the backdrop, I reused the foam display board from last year’s superhero birthday party and cut out a TON of fabric “scales” in three shades of green, and stuck them onto the board with double-sided tape, slightly overlapping each one.  And boy oh boy, this was truly a labor of love!  I divided this task into several days/nights, working on it whenever I was in the right mood.  But it turned out so cute, so it was worth every sleepless night!  The burlap happy birthday banner was made a couple years ago and it sort of fit the rustic-like theme so I reused it here.  The dragon cake is from Torrance Bakery (a local bakery here in SoCal) – they did such a fantastic job!  I also tried to find as much green sweets as I could – hence, the green gummy bears, jelly beans, and yogurt pretzels! Ha!

dragon birthday party {chirpy threads}dragon birthday party {chirpy threads}

Ahh, I’d have to say my favorite part of the party was the paper mache dragon eggs! These, my friends, were another true labor of love as well!  My scissors, tissue paper, and mod podge were my besties for several days.  I got my inspiration and tutorial for these eggs here.  I made a few eggs each for all the kids and put treats and little toy dragons inside them for the big “dragon egg hunt”.  I also made a wood “dragon egg hunt” sign using some cheap plywood and stick I got at a craft store.  Man, this activity was so much fun for the kids!

dragon birthday party {chirpy threads}dragon birthday party {chirpy threads}

I kept the other decorations very simple.  I created a few dragon prints on good old PowerPoint using the images I purchased over at poppydreamz on Etsy.  I also made the party invitations using these cute dragon images.  I blogged about that as well as Ethan’s dragon cape here.  The multi-shades-of-green pennant garlands were made using card stock and twine – super easy and adds a bit of festive flair!  I bought wooden utensils from Amazon and used washi tape to dress up the ends for a pop of color.

I forgot to mention that I wanted to add a bit of woodsiness to the party as well – I’m sure you can sort of tell from the photos?  Maybe?  I used these wood chargers that I had as well as these wood bark coasters, all from World Market – love that store!

dragon birthday party {chirpy threads}dragon birthday party {chirpy threads}dragon birthday party {chirpy threads}

Mmm.  Don’t those cookies look yummy?  These ahh-mazing dragon cookies were made by my friends over at Two Sweet and Crafty.  These women are so talented!  If only I could bake… maybe someday I’ll try my hand at it.  But for now, I think I will just stick to sewing!

dragon birthday party {chirpy threads}

And finally, the photo booth area!  I thought a stone/rocky background would be appropriate for dragons.  The backdrop is from here.  That fire-y looking cup that Ethan is blowing into was another craft I had set out on the kids’ table.  It’s a green paper cup with the bottom cut out and strips of red and orange tissue paper glued around the perimeter of the top.  It’s supposed to be the “fire” for all the “fire-breathing” dragons!  :)

dragon birthday party {chirpy threads}

And that’s all I have for now, folks!  Now, I can finally move on and share with you Ethan’s costume!  I can’t believe Halloween is THIS week!  Why is it the end of October already?!

xoxo, Jen

Birthday Dragon Cape and Party Invitation

birthday dragon cape {chirpy threads}

We celebrated Ethan’s 4th birthday last weekend with a dragon themed party and it was so much fun!  He had been really into dragons for awhile and chose the theme a few months ago… and, much to my surprise, stuck with it without changing his mind.  And so… I had to make him a dragon cape!  Yup.  And guess what?  He loved it!  That always puts a smile on my face.

birthday dragon cape {chirpy threads}

Once again, I used the superhero cape pattern by Georgia Leigh, in a size 4.  I cut the cape in half to add some little felt triangle spikes and wings that I loosely drafted by looking at an old dragon costume that Ethan wore two halloweens ago.  I also attached a tail to the bottom of the cape.  Both the green tie-dyed flannel fabric and forest green felt came from Joann.

birthday dragon cape {chirpy threads}

I had to hand stitch the wings to the cape at the top to keep it from flopping down.  I also sewed some vertical lines on the wings to make it appear more dragon-like.  Not sure if it worked though – people kept asking if he was a dinosaur!  Um, dinosaurs do not have wings!  Come on now, people!  Haha!

birthday dragon cape {chirpy threads}

birthday dragon cape {chirpy threads}

birthday dragon cape {chirpy threads}

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I love this pattern so much.  It’s so versatile – and, as you can see, it’s not just for superheroes!  I’ve used it many times (herehere, and here) and with different types of fabric!

Anyway, back to the party… this is the invitation that I created for Ethan’s birthday party!  I bought a set of dragon images from this Etsy shop.  The dragon, cake, presents, and stars are from this set which was customized for me.  I put together the invitation on PowerPoint and made the tower and flag banner using the shapes on the program.  The fiery font I used is called flames and can be found and downloaded here for free.

dragon birthday invitation {chirpy threads}

Details of the party to follow very soon!

xoxo, Jen

Far Far Away Divided Basket

divided basket {chirpy threads}

I just love this little basket!  This was my first attempt at the divided basket pattern by noodlehead.  I had bought it when it first came out – a long, long, loooooong time ago… but filed it away in my “digital patterns” folder on my laptop and just forgot about it, like I do with most patterns that I purchase on a whim because I fall in love with them at first sight.  (please don’t judge!)  Anyway, a friend had a baby shower last week and this was one of the first gifts that came to mind because so many other talented sewing bloggers have made these as baby gifts and I loved how they all turned out!

divided basket {chirpy threads}

I used some far far away III fabric by Heather Ross.  This one is an old print but my local fabric store still carries it and I loved it for this baby basket.  I’m sure Etsy may still have it too.  I chose to use a solid tan for the lining as well as the pocket binding.  I wanted to use something with a small print but couldn’t find fabric that matched.  I think it turned out nice with the solid contrast though.

divided basket {chirpy threads}

divided basket {chirpy threads}

I love, love, love it as a diaper caddy.  But I think I’ll make another one for us to hold some of Ethan’s things in the car.  I’m sure he will find a way to fill it up quickly too!  We currently have a few toy cars, crayons, coloring books and other “stuff” just hanging out on the seat next to Ethan’s car seat.  Nope, not too pretty.

divided basket {chirpy threads}

divided basket {chirpy threads}

Anyway, this pattern is super awesome.  The way it all came together with the divider was uber ah-mazing.  Seriously.  I can’t believe I actually made it.  I can see this as a pattern that will definitely be used over and over again.  So give it a try too!

xoxo, Jen

PS – Can I get a woohoo!  It’s my first post in 2014!  Ok, sorry for being a little melodramatic but I couldn’t leave without saying that.  Haha!  I’ve been sewing and making things, but also spending some quality time with my little Ethan since he won’t be so little anymore soon.  Geez, where does the time go?  He will be FOUR in a couple weeks!  Ok, so stay tuned for party stuff too.  Be back soon!

Meadow Friends Baby Snuggler

Meadow Friends Baby Snuggler {chirpy threads}

My sister is having a baby girl in a few months and I wanted to make her something as she enters her most exciting phase of pregnancy – the nesting phase!  I’m so excited that I get to sew for a girl now!  I love making things for Ethan… but, this is sort of refreshing and different, ya know?  And all the girly fabric out there… oh my, it is overwhelming but so much fun to look at!  Anyway, the first sewing book I ever purchased was Simple Sewing for Baby by Lotta Jansdotter.  I finally took it off the shelf, dusted it off, and made the baby snuggler that I’ve wanted to make for ages!  Actually, I’ve made a couple things from this book before but they were really simple – the giraffe and the simple pants – two of my first projects sewn two years ago. This baby snuggler wasn’t too bad to sew up but it did take some time for me to put together.  I worked super slow on it, making sure the darts and notches matched up.  And I’m glad I did – because I love it!  Hopefully, this baby will like to be swaddled.

Meadow Friends Baby Snuggler {chirpy threads}

The outside fabric is from Birch Organic Fabric’s Storyboek II collection called Meadow Friends Shroom.  I just love this fabric!  It’s girly but not so much.  But it definitely has that baby vibe.  The lining is a super soft flannel in ivory by Robert Kaufman.  I bought the fabric from my local fabric shop, Momen+, but you can usually find it online here.

Meadow Friends Baby Snuggler {chirpy threads}

Oh, and the pattern is also free here if you’d like to make a snuggler and don’t have the book yet! It’s the perfect newborn gift.

I didn’t have a baby to model so I used one of Ethan’s stuffed friends.  He insisted on being in the photos so here they are!  His favorite part seems to be the velcro.

Meadow Friends Baby Snuggler {chirpy threads}

xoxo, Jen