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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St. Patrick’s Day Playdate

st. patrick's day playdate {chirpy threads}

I thought it would be fun to have a little green playdate for Ethan and his friends.  Playdates are a regular part of our toddler-mommy world, so why not turn it into a pretty themed mini party for the kiddos since St. Patrick’s Day is approaching? They had a blast!

Please excuse the empty space on the bottom tiered dish.  My mommy brain totally forgot to fill it before I snapped photos of the display.

Here are some of my handmade highlights:

  • These were my favorite — the teeny pots of gold with the rainbow marshmallow pops.  I bought the little pots at Party City and filled them with Hershey’s Nuggets.  Got my inspiration here.
  • You can’t have a pot of gold without it being under a rainbow!  I got the rainbow marshmallow idea from here.  I just stuck a lollipop stick into the marshmallow to make pops, and so they could easily stand in the pot.  The rainbow is from a package of sour Airheads.
  • The mini cupcakes are just that – fun, little cakes with green sprinkles!  Nothing really special here.

st. patrick's day playdate {chirpy threads}

  • The spring water bottles were wrapped with this cute shamrock patterned paper I found at Joann.  I merely cut them into strips based on the size of the original wrapper.  Then, generously stuck some double-sided tape on the back of the strip, and wrapped it around the bottle.  Cute, huh?  And so easy.
  • See that pretty green dish?  It was so delicious!  My awesome mommy friend made it.  Green soba noodles topped with shredded cabbage, cucumbers, egg, and fish cake cut into pretty four-leaf clovers!  It was paired with a yummy Asian dressing.

st. patrick's day playdate {chirpy threads}

  • The shamrock banner was made the same way as my lucky one.
  • And the table was full of fun crafty materials to decorate large shamrocks.  I cut out a bunch of shamrocks from cardstock in various shades of green using my Silhouette Cameo.  I’m beginning to really love this machine!
  • Details on the lucky banner and subway art here.

st. patrick's day playdate {chirpy threads}

st. patrick's day playdate {chirpy threads}

And that’s it!  I now leave you with some cute photos of the kids.

st. patrick's day playdate {chirpy threads}

st. patrick's day playdate {chirpy threads}

Peek-a-boo!  Guess who?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

xoxo, Jen

Lucky Shamrock Burlap Banner

DIY lucky shamrock banner {chirpy threads}I’m sure I’ve mentioned a few times how much I love burlap!  I still do.  I love using it as part of my home decor.  I also love banners!  So for St. Patrick’s Day, I decided to make a banner with the word “LUCKY” spelled out and a couple of shamrocks.  Super easy.

Do you love it as much as I do?  Want to know how I made it?  Here it is!

* A little update:  When I originally made the banner, I had every intention of stringing twine though the casing to hang it, so my instructions below will reflect this.  It was only until later, after toying with the display over and over and over, that I realized I liked it hanging with clothespins.  Yeah, I’m indecisive, but I always decide in the end!

Materials:

  • Burlap (probably a half yard will do)
  • Lightweight fabric of choice (for letters and shamrocks)
  • Heat n’ Bond Lite
  • Twine (or any string or ribbon for hanging)
  • Safety pin
  • Your basic sewing necessities: machine, thread, scissors, iron

DIY lucky shamrock banner {chirpy threads}

1. You’re going to need 7 squares.  Cut them at 6″ x 7″.  They will end up being 6″ x 6″ squares when finished.

2.  Fold each piece down an inch on the 7″ side and iron to hold it in place.  This will make your casing to slip the twine through.

3.  Sew down the casing with about a quarter seam allowance.  You don’t want to sew too close to the edge in case the burlap frays.  Now put aside your burlap squares.

4. Iron on the heat n’ bond to the wrong side of your fabric.  Cut out the word “lucky” and two shamrocks.  You can use microsoft word to create stencils and do a quick image search to find shamrocks online.  Or, if you have a Silhouette Cameo, you can cut them out that way like I did.

5. Peel backing off of your letters and shamrocks, and iron them onto the burlap squares using a low temperature, no steam setting (or, according to packaging instructions).  Now admire how lovely they look adhered to the burlap!  The packaging recommends sewing your appliqué onto the fabric after ironing, but I don’t find it necessary with this project.  The letters stay on just fine.  I made happy birthday and heart banners in a similar fashion a year ago and it’s still holding up just great!

6. Attach the end piece of your twine to a safety pin and slowly feed it into the casing you made.

And that’s it!  Now you can hang your banner up and stare at it endlessly like me!

DIY lucky shamrock banner {chirpy threads}

Keep in mind that this material sheds… big time!  I can’t recall the number of times I sneezed while assembling the banner.  Luckily, it’s easy to clean up.  Also, the edges will fray.  You can probably spray some fray check on it but I personally like the not-so-perfect look so I kept it the way it is.

Oh, see that cute subway art up there?  Got it from here.  It’s awesome and free – so go print one out and frame it!  The flowers?  Those are Bells of Ireland!  Aren’t they pretty?  They made me smile when I saw them, so I picked up a bunch at my local Trader Joe’s and stuck them in some empty jars I had that were waiting to be used!

Thanks for stopping by and looking at my pretty green display!

xoxo, Jen

Rag Ball Garland and Burlap Ornament

rag ball garland and burlap ornament

I haven’t been blogging much lately, mainly due to the rush of the holiday season and because I have just been too lazy to write and prefer to peruse the web for fun holiday crafts!  Seriously, I need to lay off the Pinterest world for a while — I’ve become an addict!  But, I have been sewing and crafting and DIY-ing like a mad woman all this time — and I have so much to blog about, so stay tuned!

Anyway, so I know I am a little late on the Christmas posting, but I still wanted to show you the few things I made just because I love them so much!

Our tree was looking a little bare with the few ornaments that we bought this year.  It totally needed something to bring it alive and a simple garland was the way to go.  I decided the tree was going to have a vintage, country feel to it.  So…. why not a rag ball garland and some burlap ornaments?

This garland is about as easy as it can get to make.  Not much sewing is needed and it was a simple project.  It can get quite tedious if you’re making a super long strand like I did, but it is worth it in the end.  Just take breaks in between the ball wrapping process!  (i.e., go look up some more projects to add to your list!  It will take twice as long to make your garland, but, it will be less boring!)

Here is a super quick tutorial.

rag ball garland tutorial

1.  First, purchase some wood craft balls.  I bought mine from Joann.  I went with the 25mm (1 inch) ones which came with 19 pieces in a bag.  I got carried away and bought seven bags of them because I wanted a really long string of garland for the tree.  It was exactly enough to wrap around my tree a few times.

2.  Next, cut or rip 4-inch strips of muslin fabric.  I ripped mine because I wanted a really raggy look with frayed edges.  All you need to do is cut a small slit at the 4-inch mark and then tear the piece of fabric all the way down to the end.  If you’ve never done it before, you’ll be surprised at how easily and straight it tears!  You can use any lightweight cotton fabric but I chose muslin because I had so much on hand (and it’s inexpensive)!

3.  To begin, tie a knot on your strip of fabric at one end.  Then, take a ball and wrap the fabric around it, making sure to overlap the fabric so that the entire ball is covered and secured inside the fabric.  Next, tie a knot again to hold the ball in.  Keep repeating until you are satisfied with the length!

4.  Once you get to the end of your fabric strip, sew another strip to the current strip, and continue on with your wrapping.  I’ve seen tutorials that instruct you to sew a tube, slide a ball in, and knot.  But I prefer to do it this way because it gives you more leeway to determine the length of the garland.  Either way works though!

rag ball garland

And you’re done – now you can go wrap it around your tree!

christmas tree with rag ball garland

And here is a quick tutorial on the burlap ball ornament.  Just as simple.

materials for burlap ball ornament

For materials, you will need some styrofoam balls (can be purchased at your local craft store), 1-inch strips of burlap, jute twine (or ribbon), and a hot glue gun.  I chose to use 3-inch balls but any size will do, depending on the look you want.

burlap ball ornament tutorial

1.  First, take a piece of string and wrap it once around the ball.  Tie a knot at the top, making sure to leave some string at the ends for tying a loop to hang the ornament.

2.  Take a strip of the burlap and wrap it around the ball once.  Hot glue it in place.

3.  Continue this process until the entire ball is covered like a mummy.

4.  Now tie the two pieces of loose strings together at the top to form a loop.  That’s it!  Go hang your ornament now!

hanging up burlap ornament

* by the way, as you can see in the above photo, I also used muslin fabric to make the loop for hanging the ornaments.

Thanks for stopping by!

xoxo, Jen

Airplane Birthday Party (Part 2)

On to the best part of party planning — the decorations!

Even though I had planned to have an airplane themed party for Ethan months before the event, all my decoration ideas came to me last minute so I was literally up until 5:00am the night before crafting and sewing.  And of course I didn’t finish.  But I did manage to make a few decorative pieces to fit the theme.  The party setup didn’t end up as dramatic as I wanted it to, but does a 2-year-old really care?  No, not really.  It was more for me, I think!

I used felt for everything.  It’s so easy to work with.  I had purchased a bunch of the small felt craft sheets at Joann.

I wanted to make a simple banner that was less time consuming than the fabric one I had put together a couple months ago.  Using felt was the perfect choice.  It was easy to sew and it didn’t fray.  I traced the letters on the back of a heat n’ bond sheet and fused them onto white felt to cut out.  The font is from here – it’s the same font I used for the fabric banner.  Next, I cut out 28 rectangles (14 red and 14 turquoise ones) and 14 pieces of (decor bond) fusible interfacing, each about 4.5 by 5.5 inches in size.  I sandwiched the interfacing between 2 rectangles and sewed the edges closed (by topstitching) with a small white rectangle enclosed at the top for the loop.  It was super easy — no need to to turn the piece inside out!  I then inserted a string of jute twine through each rectangle loop and voilà – there’s my felt birthday banner!  Pretty snazzy, eh?

My next project was an airplane banner.  I knew that this would be the most time consuming piece but I really wanted to hang a few airplanes and clouds up on the wall!

I had a small wooden airplane I had purchased from Michael’s a while ago for another project so I used that as a template to make my airplanes.  I made three airplanes but needed to cut out double the amount of pieces because I added a layer of interfacing to make them firmer.  The airplanes weren’t exactly the prettiest things from the back side, but they were being hung on a wall so it didn’t really matter.  I did the same for the clouds – added some interfacing between two pieces of white felt.  I sewed a small loop on the back of each piece to string the jute twine at the end.  What do you think?  Not so bad for making this banner last minute, right?

And finally, I made a simple bunting banner.  The pennants were small – only 4″ by 4″.  Again, I added interfacing to make them stiffer.  I sandwiched the interfacing between two felt triangles and only sewed the top closed.  I then sewed another line about 1 cm from the top seam to create a pocket for the string.  That’s it!  I got lazy and didn’t sew the edges closed around the triangle.  But hey, it still looked alright from a distance when hung up!

I know I’ve said this before – banners make me so happy!  They are festive and can really jazz up a space.  They are a must for every party!  It was definitely worth staying up for!

xoxo, Jen

Valentine’s Day Prep

Love is in the air! Love has been in the air ever since our little Ethan came into our lives. He brings such great joy to our hearts and we can’t imagine life without him. Our little sweet pea.

But it’s that time of the year where I have an excuse to make pretty things to hang in the house. I have been obsessed with bunting banners lately. Really obsessed. I have been pinning tons of them to my Banners board on Pinterest. It’s such a simple way to dress up the home for a festive feel during any holiday. We had a little Valentine’s playdate for Ethan and his buddies at my house yesterday. I knew that a little decorating was in order. I had never made one before but thought this would be the perfect time to start!

I wanted to make a pennant bunting out of burlap. I just love the old vintage and rustic look of burlap – not to mention that it is eco-friendly too. And relatively inexpensive to buy if you’re not able to find some recycled coffee sacks anywhere. The burlap was $3.99/yd at Joann Fabric and I had a 50% off coupon, making it only $1.99/yd. Great deal.

I found an awesome (and super easy) tutorial for a Valentine’s heart banner over at Finley & Oliver. I pretty much followed it step-by-step, but used cotton fabric instead of felt for the hearts. I wanted a long banner so I made it with 17 pennants. I hand stitched them together using some thin jute twine. I made a happy birthday banner as well since we were also celebrating my friend’s birthday. The font I used is called Carnivalee Freakshow. I used Heat’n Bond Ultra Hold Iron-On adhesive on the burlap and the fabric seemed to stay on pretty well. I love how the banners turned out!

The playdate was loads of fun. I had a talk with Ethan about sharing before his friends came over. I know that this “mine!” thing is just a phase, but still… I wanted the playing to be somewhat pleasant. It worked, I think! Ethan shared his toys like a big boy. We had a Valentine’s playdate too last year with the same kids. We took a cute group photo of the babies back then when they were barely crawling. So we wanted to do it again this year to compare with last year’s photo. I think it was a little easier to get the kids to sit still last year. All it took was some singing and dancing on our part. But that was before they turned into these wild, I mean, energetic, mobile creatures. 🙂 They are all so adorable and lovable.

The babies at 8-months-old last year on Valentine’s Day.

Flash foward a year later… the kiddos (now 20-months-old) in the same order as above.

Here are the kids cooperating for the camera — BEFORE we moved them around to reflect the order of the original photo from last year!

And finally, pictures of all the yummy treats!

Have a great weekend!

xoxo, Jen