Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wonderful onesies

I was given several solid white onesies from a sweet friend of mine and we had talked about how fun it would be to decorate them sometime.

For me, time is running out.  Another friend showed me this fun craft around Christmas for decorating notebooks with scraps of paper and a sewing machine.

It got me thinking.

Why not use some fun fabric fat quarters to brighten up these onesies?

Just by luck, a local fabric store put all their fat quarters on sale in mid-January.  I plunged in with some specific colors and patterns in mind...all for baby girl.  When I got home I gathered all my fabrics and notions and got them organized.

Since I still had my friend's sewing machine for another couple days, I scurried around to get all my patterns cut-out and pinned.  Then I sat down to sew.  And pin.  And sew...

For some things I'm a fan of frayed edges.  It adds some character.  For baby, pulling threads could be a nightmare.  Still, since she will only fit in to these for a couple months, I didn't really have the time to hassle with extra seams and such.  Instead, I used Fray-Check, a clear liquid that seals in edges and is washable and dry-cleanable.

Here are the end products:

I like the variety of colors here.  Yes, pinks are cool for baby girls, but I also want to introduce her to the rest of the rainbow of colors out there, too.  And that's all folks.  Do you have any fun baby-friendly crafts to share?  I'm all ears! :)

Jazzing up an old corkboard

We've had this pretty ugly corkboard for a few years now.  Kind of like this:

I had been toying with the idea of putting up a decorative alphabet in baby girl's room and wasn't sure if I should do a poster or framed prints or stencil it on the walls.  Finally, I thought, "Hey! I can paint the alphabet on that old corkboard."

So that's what I did.

I busted out my painting supplies and brushes and got to work.  First things first, I did not like the birch frame.  I grabbed some dark brown paint we already had, taped out the frame, and painted it.  Much better.

Then, I found some styles of letters I liked for inspiration from the internet and printed out a few.  I decided that I liked the idea of three rows of letters and numbers, so I taped out the spacing of the lines on the cork.  I had some white art charcoal that I used to freehand the letter and number shapes.  Once I was satisfied with the spacing and styles, I started painting.

I propped the corkboard on my dusty easel (so nice to get it out again!) and got to work.  The main colors used in our girl's room are violet, pink, orange, cream, and dark brown.  Since the frame was brown now, I used the remaining four colors in alternating order to paint the characters.

After allowing everything to dry, this is how it turned out.

Not too shabby.  I kinda like that it's not completely perfect.  It looks like it was hand-painted...just as it was.  As my hubster likes to say, "It's kitschy."  That works for me.

Makin' a mobile

Okay, so I guess I'm nesting.  I dunno.  Never been in a third trimester before.  All I know is that I feel time slipping through my fingers as the clock counts closer and closer to our baby girl's arrival.  To help me feel more productive, I've begun to work on pieces for her room.  Now, I think all those gorgeous nurseries shown in magazines and on TV are lovely (example below), but in reality it just doesn't suit life.  I mean, I would feel more concerned with something being out of place in an impeccable nursery than about letting my baby be...well...a baby.

(photo from www.thelennox.com)

So, I began with a mobile.  We love the look of a certain bedding set, but I was not thrilled with the $50 mobile.  Sure it plays music with a hand crank, but the thing just looked flimsy and you couldn't change out the dangling toys if you wanted.  And you couldn't adjust the arm height.  I made mine for a fraction of the price...about $8 for the mobile pieces.  I used three wire hangers (compliments of the dry cleaner), three pieces of felt, one piece of ruffle trim (most expensive item), some thin ribbon, clear faceted beads, clothespins, and craft paint.  The only tools I needed were scissors, needle and thread (I borrowed a sewing machine from the lovely Baby Mulholland), a hot glue gun and glue (duh!), and a paint brush. I did not take step-by-step photos (bugger!), but I snapped a couple and the process really wasn't too hard.

First, I removed the paper from the three wire hangers and wrapped some tape around the necks to keep them together.  Then I spread them out from that center axis to make a basic, circle mobile frame.  I hand-bent the hooks down to look more decorative.  I simply tied a bit of ribbon on the bottoms of the three hangers to keep them somewhat in this frame position.

Next, I measured the length of the hangers from the neck down to the tip and in between points of the hangers to get the dimensions for the triangles of fabric I would need to create the top cover of the mobile.  I simply cut those pieces out of the three pieces of felt, two triangles from each of the three coordinating colors.  I pinned them together and then stitched them up.  I just had to leave about one inch of felt unstitched at the top to trim and slide over the top of the hangers.

The hardest part was attaching the ruffle trim, but even that wasn't really hard.  I pinned it to the cover and sewed it all around, trimming the excess and stitching the seam together.

With that done, I slipped the cover over the top of the hangers and aligned the corners with the ends of the hangers, and removed the tape from the hanger necks.  I used the excess ruffle trim to create almost a crown to go around the top of the felt and around the hanger necks.  Sewing--done.  Now it was time to hot glue.  I had previously painted six clothespins in a coordinating pink and cut six pieces of ribbon to suspend them from.  I inserted the ribbon in the center of the spiral spring and tied it in a knot leaving the two ends of the ribbon to be attached to the mobile.  Just for added decoration and sparkle, I used a wide-eyed needle to string the ends of the ribbon with a few clear beads.

So, I tied a ribboned clothespin at each hanger corner and then hot glued them in place.  Easy-peasy.  While I was at it, I went ahead and hot glued the felt pieces to the hangers just to keep them in place.

Lastly, I attached a long ribbon to the top of the hanger hooks and hung it from the ceiling.  I bought a few stuffed animal travel toys for baby, so I clipped six of them in to the clothespins.  I love that I can change these out whenever I feel like it to keep her stimulated and that I can adjust the height it hangs from the ceiling when she gets older and tries to reach for it.  It doesn't play music, but we can play music of our choosing in her room.

Here's what I ended up with:

Pretty nifty and totally thrifty.  The hubby and I went back to the store and looked at the $50 mobile we passed up...and boy are we glad we did.  This one is unique, hand-crafted, and actually much cuter.  I just have to trim the tags from those toys...