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!

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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

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

DIY Felt Bunny Ears

DIY Felt Bunny Ears {chirpy threads}

There are so many cute DIY bunny ears out there, like this one (Kate’s Creative Space) and this one (Finley & Oliver) – two of my favorite blogs!  But, of course, I needed to make things more complicated for myself because I just love the extra work!  Ha, so kidding.  I had a vision in my mind and needed to see it through!  So, in case you’re interested in how I put mine together, here it is!

Materials:

  • headband that will fit your child
  • bunny ears template
  • cream colored felt for outer part of ear (or any color of choice)
  • gray colored felt for inner part of ear (or any color of choice)
  • two pipe-cleaners
  • heat n’ bond lite
  • fusible interfacing
  • essentials: sewing machine, thread, needle, scissors

Ok, let’s get started!

1.  Print out the bunny ears template on card stock.  I got the template from Martha Stewart.  Her version is super cute and EASY too.  I enlarged my ears a tad bit because I was making it for an almost-three-year-old.  The outer ear part was about 7″ long and 2.5″ wide; the inner ear part was about 5.5″ long and 2″ wide.

2.  Cut your cream felt into four strips of about 8″ x”4″ and iron strips of interfacing onto it.  Cut the gray felt into two strips that are slightly smaller and iron the heat n’ bond adhesive onto it.

DIY bunny ears {chirpy threads}

3.  Grab your templates and trace the outer ear onto the cream pieces and the inner ear onto the gray ones.

4.  Cut your ears out.  You should have four cream pieces and two gray ones.

DIY bunny ears {chirpy threads}

5.  Iron on the gray inner ear pieces onto the cream ones.  The remaining two cream pieces will be the back of the ear.

6.  This part is optional.  Sew along the edge of the gray ear to secure onto the cream felt.  The adhesive should hold the piece in place just fine without any sewing, but I wanted it to be extra secure in case it gets tossed around by my destructive little boy.

DIY felt bunny ears {chirpy threads}

7.  Next, sew the back piece of the ear to the front along the sides only and leaving the bottom open.  Take two pipe cleaners and twist the ends to join them to make one long one.  Bend at the middle to form a pointy top and insert into the ear via the bottom opening.  Now you can sew the bottom closed.

DIY bunny ears {chirpy threads}

8.  Grab your headband.  I got mine at the dollar store.  If it has any embellishments on it like mine did, make sure you cut or pull them off so that you have a clean headband to work with.  Wrap the pipe cleaners around the top of the headband to secure the ears.

9.  Cut 1 inch wide strips of felt long enough to cover the length of your headband.  You should have two pieces to sandwich your headband in the middle.  Now cut two slits on the top of one of your strips.  Make the slits wide enough (but not too wide) to slip the ears through.  Slip the ears through.

10.  Hand stitch the strips together with the headband sandwiched in the middle.  And you’re done!

DIY bunny ears {chirpy threads}

I’ve now succeeded in making the world’s most complicated felt bunny ears!  I’m certain there is a much easier way… and I’ll probably figure it out a couple years later!

DIY felt bunny ears {chirpy threads

DIY felt bunny ears {chirpy threads

Happy spring and have a great Easter weekend!

xoxo, Jen

Felt New Year’s Eve Party Hat for Toddler

NYE party hat

Wow…this is it — my last blog post of the year!  In case you didn’t know, I’m a very last minute person.  We went to a party store just today to look for party hats and favors and, not surprisingly, they were sold out of many New Year’s items.  They don’t make much for little ones either.

So we dashed home so I could make Ethan a hat before we went back out for New Year’s Eve festivities.  I really wanted to make a classic black top hat, but I didn’t have any black felt on hand (boo!) so I used light heather gray instead.  The letters were cut using my Silhouette Cameo machine.  It’s actually the first time I’ve used it and I’m in love!  No more tedious tracing and cutting out letters for me again.  Yay!

I used these instructions here and here to make the hat.

NYE party hat

Now I'm ready to party like it's 2013!

Now I’m ready to party like it’s 2013!

Happy New Year!  Be safe!

xoxo, Jen

Royal King Costume

This year, Ethan all of a sudden turned into an opinionated and imaginative little boy.  When we asked him what he wanted to be for Halloween, he insisted he wanted to be a dinosaur… that lasted for about one week.  He changed his mind several times after that — a doctor, then a monster, then back to a dinosaur.  Since I was too lazy to make him a dinosaur costume (they’re a lot of work!), I scoured the net to find him the perfect dinosaur costume.  I finally found one at Pottery Barn Kids, only to find out they were out of his size!  Ugh.  So I asked if he wanted to be a dragon instead and he willingly agreed.  I ordered it from Old Navy.  Done!

So when we had a Halloween event to attend and the dragon costume hadn’t arrived the day before, I panicked … just a little.  It was a costume party and my little boy didn’t have a costume to wear!  I thought fast and came up with something fairly easy – I’ll make him a crown, cape, and pants, and he will be a royal king!  He could always wear these simple pieces again when playing dress-up!  This was actually already on my project list, so it was one thing I could finally cross off.

For the crown, I used felt, muslin, and elastic for the band.  I made up my own pattern for this one.  I traced my pattern onto the felt, cut out two of the same pieces and sewed them together.  I cut out three diamond shapes and sewed them on to the front of the crown for a regal look.  I also sewed some pretty gold rickrack along the bottom of it.  I then made a muslin tube and ran elastic through it for the band. It was super easy.  I know I’ll be making more of these in the future.

The cape was made out of a crushed panne velvet found at Joann – on sale and super cheap.  It’s basically a big rectangle with elastic for the neckband.  I sewed some of the gold rickrack along both sides of the cape.  Simple and easy and it looks great!  I’ll probably be making more of these in different colors too.

The pants were made using the simple pants pattern by Lotta Jansdotter in her book Simple Sewing for Baby.  It’s basically two pieces sewn together along the outer sides and inside curve of the pants.  When I first saw this pattern, I couldn’t believe how simple it was.  They really are simple pants!  I only made a few changes.  I sewed the casing for the elastic a half an inch from the top of the pants to create a little ruffle effect at the top.  I did the same for each of the pant legs so that they could be hiked up just below the knee.  Of course Ethan didn’t like this idea – he kept trying to pull both pant legs down so they ended up being an awkward length!  But I think they still looked cute on him.

And that completed the outfit!  I didn’t have time to make him a scepter like I planned – but he wouldn’t have held on to it anyway!  Total cost of costume was less than $5.   My kind of project!!

Happy Halloween!

xoxo, Jen

Personalized Felt Gift Bag

We had another birthday party for Ethan and his friends this past weekend.  It was a joint party for six kids who were all turning two in the months of May or June.  Since we know so many kids who are all the same age, it was appropriate to throw one big bash for everyone together.  Each kid would receive one birthday gift from one friend rather than five.  Doesn’t that make so much sense?  Otherwise, we’d we broke buying gifts for everyone each week!

We agreed to list the kids’ names in alphabetical order;  the first on the list would buy for the second, the second would buy for the third, etc.  It all worked out perfectly.

Since I had so much felt in my fabric stash, I decided to make a gift bag out of it.  I know every kid loves to rip open paper from presents but I really wanted to make a bag that was eco-friendly and reusable!  It was super easy too.

I chose the colors blue and green for a boy.  I made the bag striped because I just love stripes but you can make it one solid color too. I also chose to personalize it with the birthday boy’s name.

I didn’t take a whole lot of pictures because I made it last minute but I’ll quickly give a brief tutorial.  I didn’t take down the exact measurement of the bag but I think it was about 11.5″ x 17.5″.  Although a little snug (as you can see from the photo above), it was large enough to fit a hardcover book and boxed toy.  I would have made it bigger if I wasn’t in such a rush!  This is really just one big pouch. 🙂

Materials:

  • four felt craft sheets (approximately 9″ x 12″ – found at any craft store)
  • heat’n bond lite (for letter appliques)
  • string for the drawstring
  • the essentials – sewing machine, scissors, thread

Cut your felt sheets in half horizontally (so you should have strips that are approximately 4.5″ x 12″).  You should have a total of eight strips now (four of each color).  Then take two of the strips (different colors) and put one on top of the other.  Sew one of the long edges together.  I used a 1/4″ seam allowance.

Keep doing this so you end up with a block of four strips.  This will be the front side of the bag.  Do the same for the the back side.

If you’d like to personalize it like I did, the next step is to applique your letters. I had fused heat n’bond to an oatmeal colored felt sheet, then cut out my letters from the two layers.  Iron on the letters to the front side of your bag and sew them on.

Now you are ready to sew the bag together.  Fold down the top of both front and back pieces of the bag about 3/4 inches and sew.  This will create a pocket to hold your drawstring.  Next, place front and back pieces right sides together and sew along the sides and bottom edges closed.  For the sides, you will sew up to where the drawstring pocket starts, maybe leaving a 1/4 inch space in between.  Remember to backstitch at the beginning and end.

Finally, insert your string — attach a safety pin to one end of the string and insert it through a hole on one side.  Once you’ve reached the other side, insert it back in to the closest hole on the other side (sort of like doing a U-turn).  Leave at least 5 inches of string on each side, then cut and tie together.  Then, do the same for the other side.  Insert another piece of string into the opposite side you started at.

And there — you should have one huge drawstring pouch!  Now go fill it up with whatever your heart desires!

And now I leave you with a photo of the adorable 2-year-olds and some yummy goodness from the party!

xoxo, Jen