DIY: Lacing Cards 

When I was a little girl I had Disney princess lacing cards and they were my favorite toy! When I couldn’t find them in stores I knew I’d have to make them- cue Pinterest!

Lacing cards are great for helping your little one develop fine motor skills. It also doubles as something to keep them busy! While there are many tutorials online, I quickly realized that a craft like this could go any direction I wanted. Here’s how it turned out!

giraffeAt first I tried using foam to make the shapes- it was an epic fail. It turned out so bad that I won’t even show you! If you prefer foam shapes for this project, it might be easier to purchase the pre-cut foam shapes from a craft store. However, on the second go around I found super cute animal clip art. I simply had them printed and laminated to provide them the sturdiness they needed. In my opinion it turned out way cuter than the foam shapes would have!

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Once printed and laminated, all you need are scissors and a hole punch! I cut around the animals leaving some white space for looks. Once each card was trimmed I punched holes all the way around careful not to go to close to the edge.

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Then I took a contrasting color shoelace and thread the lace through the holes. Voila! Done! I made two sets for Christmas presents for $5 each! They were inexpensive and super quick and easy!

This project has endless options which make it that much more fun! If you make them- show me how they turn out!

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DIY: Nursing Cover Infinity Scarf

I’ll admit, I have a scarf addiction.  Even before I had Madeline, I have always loved to wear scarves, they’re such a fun and cute accessory!  So when I saw this idea on Pinterest I knew I had to try it!

Feeding Madeline in public is something I am getting less and less shy about. While I’m still not at the point of where I will feed her without a cover, I no longer feel the need to bring a bottle with us when we’re out at a restaurant or running errands.  Let’s be real here for a second, in our society people take things way too seriously.  If I need to feed my baby, you can bet I’m going to do it.  Personally, I like to cover, and luckily Madeline cooperates with that, because frankly – as much as you don’t want to see my boobs, I promise I want you to see them even less.  I am always carrying a blanket and it can get cumbersome, particularly as Madeline is learning to grab things and will attempt to uncover herself.  So, enter a nursing scarf.  There are tons out there available to purchase, but I knew it must be easy to make I just had no idea how easy!

I searched, of course, for some Pinspiration and came across a variety of tutorials.  Here’s where I netted out.

You’ll Need:
1 yard of stretchy Jersey Knit Fabric (in any pattern or color) 60 inches wide
Sewing Machine

Remember on any sewing project to always wash and dry your fabrics prior to working with them, it’s important that they shrink if need be prior to sewing.  Once you have it washed and dried, you need to fold it in half like a hamburger, with right sides together.  See below:

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Are you ready for the hard part? Sew a straight line down the edge of the two fabrics meeting.  Be sure to back stitch at the start and end.  Trim your threads, and then, you’re done!

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You now have created a fabric tube that works as an infinity scarf.  Wear it out proudly! When it comes time to nurse your baby, it unfolds into an expansive cover.  Bonus points, the cute scarf offers great coverage in case of leaks! And it’s super cute!

This is a really easy project that takes just minutes and is a staple in my wardrobe. as well as a must have for gifts for new moms!

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DIY: Hands Free Pumping Bra

Going back to work and knowing I would be pumping multiple times a day, I knew I would need a hands free pumping bra.  The idea of pumping one side at a time so that I could have use of one hand or holding both flanges to my body just sounded like a miserable nightmare.  A hands free pumping bra is one of the items we didn’t get from our registry and once Madeline got here, was something I kept forgetting to purchase, it was just so far from my mind.  That is, until the week before I was supposed to go back to the office! Suddenly, I realized, even with Amazon Prime, the magical bra wouldn’t make it before my first day – and that just wasn’t going to work.  Making the trip to a maternity store or Buy Buy Baby also just seemed to be too daunting of a task when I just wanted to spend my last few days at home snuggled up with my baby.

On Pinterest there are tons of tutorials on how to make your own hands free bra, most of them include hair ties and making loops for your nursing bras.  None of them, to be honest, really seemed like they would work.  They also were not easy to figure out.  Then, I came across what is probably the easiest, best and most convenient idea ever!  Are you ready for how easy this is? You’ll probably do what I did when you’re done, laugh that you didn’t think of this sooner!

Here’s what you need:
Old Sports Bra
Breast Pump Flanges
Scissors

Put the sports bra on. Once it’s on comfortably, figure out where your nipples are in relation to the bra. Pull the fabric away from your body (this is important, you don’t want to cut yourself!) and make a cut where your nipples are.  Keep in mind you just want to snip this, don’t cut a big hole yet.  Take the bra off and get dressed again.

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Now that you have the bra in front of you, push your breast pump flange through the hole you made as though you were wearing it -shield side in. This will help you know how big to make the hole you already cut.  Use your scissors to make the hole wider, but not too wide, you want to ensure the flanges are held snugly to your body.  Once you’re satisfied with the size of the holes and how the flanges fit – you’re done! Seriously, it’s that easy.  Throw it on and get pumping!

While they are many things contributing to my success of pumping at work, my Sarah Wells Bag, my Kiinde System and Cooler Bag – this bra is by far the most important piece of it all (next to the pump!).  It’s really great to have my hands free.  It takes me about 7-10 minutes to pump each session, so to be able to multitask by checking emails, getting the bags ready for the milk I’m pumping, or just rearranging everything in my bag, I really can save a lot of time.  Time saving is key here, because even though I need to stop working to pump, I still need to get out of work at the same time to pick up Madeline. I love this DIY hands free pumping bra and the best part is –  it was free to make!  I will be making more than one to eliminate having to wash this one every other day. Plus it was a huge money saver over the ones that you can purchase for $50! I can’t stress enough how important it is to have one of these for your pumping bag!

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DIY: Baby Tutus

When we found out Madeline would be a girl I had visions of dressing her in all sorts of tutus!  I don’t think there is anything cuter than a little girl in a tutu and a big headband. I mean really, how cute is this?

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I had purchased three or four tutus (including the one above), mostly in bigger sizes like 12 or 18 months, but wanted to make my own. I knew it would be more economical and I could customize them any way I wanted.  And who are we kidding, with the amount of tulle I would need for what I had planned I could make many, many more than I would purchase!

What else was I to do but take to Pinterest. I found a lot of pinspiration but not a single tutorial that really hit the nail on the head for what I was looking for.  So, here’s my own tutorial, which is an amalgamation of many others.

What You Will Need:
Baby/Childsized Crocheted Headband
Tulle- 25 yard rolls of 6 inches wide works really well
Scissors

The first thing you want to do is decide which colors you’re using for your tutu.  I picked a few: solid pink (because, duh!), rainbow to match a onesie, black and yellow to match her Batman onesies to make them more girly (it doubles as army colors for my military husband), & red, white and blue for Fourth of July/Memorial Day.

Once you select the colors and purchase your tulle you have to cut it. You should cut them in strips depending on how old your baby is and the length you’d like your tutu.  I opted to cut them in 18 inch strips.  Be sure to use sharp scissors, I learned the hard way you cannot cut tulle with a rotary cutter!

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Here comes the fun part.  You want to use a crochet headband because they have holes along the bottom and are also stretchy.  You will tie your tulle pieces into the holes.

I like to alternate colors and as I am working I look at the tutu to see if I need to add more of a particular color to a specific place.  Once you have all the tulle you want tied in and it’s reached your desired fullness and length, you’re good to go! You can use a model if you need to to make sure you’re on track, I used Bruce Wayne, he wasn’t a great sport.

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Here are some of the tutus I made – I just love them! I can’t wait to see Madeline in them when she’s a little bigger.

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DIY: Superhero Curtain Tiebacks 

When Sherrie found out Logan would be a Logan I was so excited to get started on all the cute superhero projects I had planned as gifts for her shower! One thing that I knew I wanted to make were curtain tie backs. I thought they’d make a great addition – I think I was right!

Because Logan is named after Wolverine I thought it would be fun to make wolverine tiebacks. What I did was download a template for Wolverine’s mask to use as my pattern.  You can find multiple templates for masks on Pinterest or here. Be sure to print them to fit a full sheet of paper so that they are big enough!

Here’s the materials I used:
Copies of the mask template (I needed three)
A color photo of what the mask should look like
Felt sheets in the correct colors with sticky backs
Ribbon
Scissors
Glue gun

Once I had the masks printed I cut out each piece that would be a separate color. For wolverine I needed the full size of the mask in yellow, the eye coverings in black, and the eye holes in white.  Cutting the felt was the hardest part! Tip: Make sure your scissors are super sharp.

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After it was all cut it was a matter of layering. The sticky back made it really easy and once it was all together I simply glued ribbon to the back on each side long enough to be able to secure the curtains.

Matt’s favorite superhero is Captain America so I also made a set of those as well to switch out if they preferred!

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This was a fun, quick and inexpensive touch that makes a great difference!

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DIY: Pacifier Clips

How many times have you been in a store shopping for baby shower gifts and have seen adorable pacifier clips!? I can’t get over that they’re not only unbelievably cute but super useful!

I found a tutorial for them on Pinterest and embellished a little.

Here’s what you need:
Scrap fabric cut to 4″ x 12″
Mitten Clip
Ribbon

First you fold your scrap fabric and then sew into a tube. Then insert a mitten clip on one end and sew it down. The other end is where you sew down your ribbon. Be sure the size of the ribbon you choose will fit for the pacifier you’re using. We use the Avent Soothie pacifiers – they have a small hole on the side so the ribbon I used worked out great.

This makes my life exponentially easier, particularly when Madeline is in her carseat and always spits her pacifier out!

As always, Happy Crafting!

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DIY: St. Patrick’s Day Craft!

This year is Logan and Madeline’s first St. Patrick’s Day! This time instead of creating a keepsake for our home, we wanted that make something they could wear to celebrate the holiday. Sherrie came across many ideas on Pinterest, but we both fell in love with this painted green shamrock on onesie/shirt.  After all, what’s gender neutral and adorable!? See our pinspiration here!

Here’s the supplies we needed:
White onesie or t-shirt in your child’s size
Various shades of green fabric paint (we also used white to make lighter shades)
Pencil with an intact eraser
Cardboard or hard surface to put inside to prevent bleeding through
Printed out shamrock for tracing

After you have gathered your supplies and are all set up, you will want to mix  your paint so that you have the exact shades that you want to use. It’s much easier to mix first before you start to create.

One way to begin is to trace your printed shamrock to ensure that there is a recognizable shape. Then you can start stamping the eraser all around the shamrock. Or, Emily placed the shamrock face down and literally stamped around it, so that when peeled back it left the shape. Emily chose to go with an ombré technique, starting with the darkest first and working out to a lighter shade and Sherrie chose to place the different shades randomly around the shamrock.

 Here is Emily’s onesie for Madeline:

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Here is Sherrie’s shirt for Logan:

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We can’t wait to see these outfits on the kids for St. Patrick’s Day, so cute and festive!
What do you think?

Sherrie &amp; Emily

DIY: Ruffle Blankets 

One of the things I saw and fell in love with on Pinterest were ruffle blankets! I couldn’t find a good tutorial to use so I made my own. I think they turned out wonderfully!

You will need:

1 yard minky fabric
1 yard coordinating cotton print fabric
Satin blanket binding
Sewing machine

This was super easy! I took the yard of cotton and the yard of minky and trimmed them until they were the same size. Then I laid them right sides together.

Making the ruffle was more difficult. I used a satin binding because I wanted a thicker ribbon. You need to sew this with a zig zag stitch without backstitching at the front or back. Once you’ve done that pull the threads and the binding will automatically ruffle. Don’t worry if it doesn’t ruffle as much as you want.

Start to pin the ruffle between the edges of the minky and cotton. As you go, if the ruffle isn’t ruffled as much as you’d like just start to fold the ribbon under- it will have the same effect.  Once you’ve pinned everything, sew around the whole blanket leaving a space as wide as your hand for turning it out.  Turn the blanket right side out and pin the opening.

 Once you’ve done this you’re ready to topstitch! I topstitched in white thread so it blended in but you could easily do a coordinating color to stand out. That’s it! You’re done- enjoy your blanket!

Here are the two I made for Madeline:


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DIY: Hair Bows Galore! 

One of the things I was looking forward to making the most for our little girl was headbands and hair bows! How many times have you seen little baby girls wearing big headbands!? I mean seriously, I can’t even, it’s too cute!

So- I started out with headbands. It was really easy – I just took a trip out to the craft store. My list included: elastic, oversized flowers, and anything that sparkles!! After that putting them together was very simple. A baby’s head has a circumference of between 14 and 15 inches so I cut the elastic a little bigger to account for overlap when gluing.  I glued the elastic and then added (with my trusty hot glue gun!) either big flowers or sparkly bows. I just love how they came out!!

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Next up were bows that I wanted to make, both were more challenging, but they came out great!  After scanning Pinterest I found two tutorials that I thought would be helpful to make Korker bows and loopy bows, you can find the tutorials for each here and here.

There are some supplies you’ll need to make these bows- a variety of colored and patterned grosgrain ribbon (I suggest 3/8 of an inch wide), wooden dowels, straight pins, a needle and thread, a glue gun, alligator clips, and a lot of patience!

The first style I did was the more complicated. I wanted to make what are known as Korker bows. These are the bows you see at stores like Gymboree that are super curly.  What I didn’t realize was that in order to achieve that curliness it involves wrapping the ribbon around wooden dowels, securing both ends with straight pins and then baking them in the oven at 275 degrees for 20 minutes.  Once they are done and cooled, you slide them off and cut them into 4 inch pieces.

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If your fingers have survived at this point it’s time to assemble! You need to layer each and every ribbon you want onto a needle that has been threaded with a corresponding thread color- but do not push them all the way through.  Each bow will take about 30-40 ribbons. It’s a lot of work for one bow! Once they’re all layered on the needle and you like the way it looks, pull the thread all the way through and sew back through the bow to secure it. I tied the pieces together at that point for extra security.  Once the bow is done you need to glue it to the alligator clip. Be careful not to glue the clip shut- I learned that the hard way! In the end you’ll have a series of bows that look like this:

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The second bow I made is called the loopy bow and looks just like it sounds. It involves the same ribbon from before, a needle and thread, alligator clips and a glue gun.

Cut the ribbons into 3 inch strips. Once you’re all set you fold them in half and start to layer them on the thread. Actually pull them through the needle this time. Once you have all the pieces you want in the order you want, sew back through them to make a loopy bow. Secure with a knot and tie the two pieces together.  Then you can glue it to the alligator clip.  In the end they will be various shapes and sizes- here’s how mine turned out!

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Of course once I made all of these bows- I realized I needed a way to store them! Cue Pinterest!

I made another trip to the craft store and the hardware store to purchase a large white frame. I (nicely) made my hubby drill holes into the bottom of the frame and twist in hooks from the hardware store – this is where the headbands will hang. Then I hot glued strips of ribbon to the frame to make a place for the clips to sit.  All in all it turned out great!

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Can’t wait to see our little girl wearing all of these!

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DIY: Diaper Clutch 

I will be the first to say that I get a little hung up on being matchy, matchy. So when I started to think about what I would want to put in my diaper bag and how I would organize it- I knew I needed a diaper clutch. 

Wanting to ensure mommy had something really nice I splurged and got a Kate Spade diaper bag, in fact I got two (plus I’m just obsessed with Kate Spade!)! Each bag came with its own changing pad so instead of registering for one that could hold diapers and wipes I thought I’d make my own diaper clutch. 

Leave it to Pinterest to have a tutorial for everything! You can see the one I used here.  This was a simple project that only took me about an hour.  After cutting all of the fabric (again I can’t recommend a cutting mat, quilting ruler, and rotary cutter enough) it came together really easily.  The biggest challenge I ran into was the fusible interfacing.  Fusible interfacing is intended to stiffen fabric to increase its durability and needs to be sealed to the fabric with heat. The easiest way to do this is with an iron. But, in true Emily fashion, I have misplaced our iron. I am telling you I searched the whole house and it’s nowhere to be found.  Not to be deterred, I found a new solution! I pinned the interfacing to the fabric and used my ceramic flat iron (yes, for my hair) to run up and down and create a heat sealed bond- it worked perfectly!! Though I felt like a whack-job!

Next, it was time to sew the pieces together and attach the handle. I used a straight stitch with white thread to be invisible but you could easily use a contrasting thread and zig zag stitch for extra emphasis.  

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The hardest part was attaching the magnetic clasp. This has to be done last so you know where to line up each side and it includes cutting four holes in the beautiful piece you just made! So scary! But in the end it came out well.  These retail for between $12-$15 and the homemade one cost me about $4! All that was left to do was add diapers and wipes. Now we’re good to go! 

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  I love how it matches our car seat canopy I made. What do you guys think? 🙂

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