Make A Child’s Artist Smock From A Man’s Shirt

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I found this artist smock and loved her creative idea but decided to come up with my own version. Here is how you do it. Take a man’s button up shirt.

 

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Then cut up each seam on the front of the shirt. This will be up both sides and across the shoulders. You should have a front panel that is now separated from the back of the shirt.

 

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Then repeat, by cutting off the seams on the back of the shirt. You now have two panels, a front and back. The back of the shirt, will become the front of your smock and the front of the man’s shirt will become the back.

 

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Cut off the entire collar (front and back) and unpick any buttons used for buttoning the collar down. Save the buttons that button up the front of the shirt. These will be the buttons on the back of your artist’s smock.

 

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I then took two lengths of ribbon (measure on child before determining how long you would like it to be. I attached my ribbon to the front (button-less) panel and then wrapped the ribbon around the back and tied it in the front of the smock. You can choose to make it so that your ribbon ties in the back if that is your preference. If I remember correctly, I made my ribbon 2 peices at 30 inches a piece.

*Take the new front panel and iron a 1/4″ seam around the entire shirt panel. Fold over another 1/4″ seam and pin in place. Take one ribbon and place it inside the seam and pin it in place. I placed mine right in the armpit of the original shirt. This is where the shirt material comes out into a peak on the side.

Sew around the entire panel. When you come to sew in the ribbon, sew it into the seam and then also sew a square in the top of the ribbon to secure it to the panel.

Repeat the same process beginning with the star now on the new back panel. (You will want to make sure that the top button is about 1/4 to 1/2 inches below your FINISHED seam line, so that it does not pull apart at the top).

 

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Pin the front and back shirt panels with the right side of the material together at the shoulders only. Sew together using a 1/2″ seam allowance.

 

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Now you are basically finished. Only the shoulders of the smock are sewn together. The sides are left open so that the smock can just go on right over the head. When you tie it, the sides just naturally tuck in around your kid.

I did however add a few flourishes so that it did not look so plain. I carefully unpicked the pocket that was originally on the front of the man’s shirt and just sewed it onto the new front of the smock. I also added a pink iron-on flower that I had left-over from a previous project. Ta-Da! An adorable artist smock for your budding artist.

Stay tuned for a recipe for some homemade paints and a homemade easel to complete your artist’s ensemble.

**If I were to make a boy’s version, I would sew the tie onto the back panel and then wrap it around the front so it can tie in the back.

 

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This bird was right outside the window for a long time while I was working on this smock. He made my day!

"Things We Love About You" Scrapbooks

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Make your Mom, Grandmother, Spouse, Dad, or anyone a scrapbook containing any special number of things you love about them. This would be perfect for an anniversary, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, or a Birthday.

 

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When my parents were celebrating their 61st and 67th birthdays (which was just yesterday right momma?) my sister, the amazing scrapbooker, had the great idea of making each of them a scrapbook that listed 61 and 67 things we (their children) loved and appreciated about each of them.

 

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She was living far away at the time and had all of the siblings come up with a list of things we would like to include in the book. Then she rounded them up and together we came up with what would officially go in the books. We scoured our pictures and rounded up enough to also go into the books.

 

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Then the rest of us sat back and twiddled our thumbs while she did all of the hard work. It was better that way, since she has the best scrapbooking skills amongst us.

 

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My parents birthdays are within 10 days of one another and so when my scrapbooking sister was able to come for a visit, we gave them to my parents at a birthday party we threw for them.

 

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She also included a page where we had all of the grandkids share what they loved aobut their Grandma and Papa.

We have since spent a lot of time looking through them, remembering and laughing about the good times and hilarious trips we had together growing up. Although they were quite time consuming and took up a lot of my sister’s free time and talent, they were one of the best presents my parents have enjoyed getting. This Mother’s Day may be a little to close to pull this one off, but someone is having a birthday or anniversary who would love to receive this. Heavens…I want one!

 

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Picture Blocks

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Does your mom, grandmother, or even you need some updated pictures of the kids or grandkids? Make some of these cute picture blocks for the favorite women in your life. They are super easy. I got this idea from my sister who had a friend make these a few years ago.

I went to Home Depot and bought a long square post (in the fence section). You can also buy precut blocks of wood now at Home Depot and in your craft stores. Mine happened to be 4 inches. So I had the hubby cut it into 4 inch sections so that each block was 4 inches square.

Sand all the rough areas of the block and then paint or stain with the color of your choice. Let dry completely.

Then I took some picture of the kids and in Photoshop cropped their faces to measure 3.75 inches by 3.75 inches (to fit onto the 4 inch block). You will need 4 different pictures for each picture block, so that each side of the block has a different picture on it of the same kid. You may need to paste your 3.75 x 3.75 picture onto a new blank photoshop background that measure 6×4 so that your photo store will not enlarge it to fit a 6×4 template they print on? Make sense? I made my photos black and white because I wanted black blocks, but colored pictures would also be cute.

Print your pictures from your favorite photo store. Having your pictures on real photo paper is important so that the ink does not run and the texture of the wood does not show through the finished photo.

 

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Cut out your photos and paint Modge Podge (I prefer the Matte finish to the glossy) onto the back of each picture. Place one photo on each of the 4 sides of your block. Let the Modge Podge dry. When it has dried, paint Modge Podge over the entire surface of each of the four sides and let it dry. You may want two or threelayers on the front of the four pictures. And there you have it!

 

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The nice thing about these picture blocks is that you can fit a lot more into one area than photos in frames. This is perfect for the Grandmother with 19 grandchildren. Now she can have room on her shelf to show off all of her grandkids!

*P.S. Thanks for all your kind words and comments! I really appreciate them!

Garden Stepping Stones For Mother’s Day

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Looking for an easy and inexpensive Mother’s Day gift? A few years ago my siblings and I made some stepping stones to give to my mom for Mother’s Day. We had one made for each of her grandchildren. Each stone had a footprint and handprint and the name of the child on it. They are really easy to make and look so cute in your garden or flower beds.

All you need is a small bag of cement (Home Depot or Lowe’s), water, a stick to mix your cement (a paint stir stick works great) and a bucket, some trays that go under flower pots to collect the water (what are they called?), a popsicle stick and jewels if you would like to add some bling to your stone.

Mix your cement according to the directions on the package. Evenly distribute the cement into each of your trays (you will need 1 for every stone you are making).

 

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When the cement has set-up so that it holds the imprint of your finger, place your footprint and handprint in the cement.

 

 

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Then with a popsicle stick carve the name into the cement. I used some paper towels to soak up the excess water so that I could see the name as I continued to work on each letter.

 

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After you have put the footprints and name in your cement, you will not want to move them. Let them dry completely. This may take 2 to 4 days total. When they are dry they should come right out of the trays and be ready to go in your garden.

I have always wanted some stepping stones for my own flower beds. Last year my hubby and kids made me some for Mother’s Day! They turned out so cute. Now all I need is for my new plants to grow in my planter and fill up some of that weed prone space!

Glass Tile Pendants

I am always on the look out for a fun and unique gift idea for friends and family.  This year my new go to gift are these cute Glass Tile Pendant Necklaces.  One of my favorite parts of these necklaces is that they are so easy to make.  They are also really versatile and unique and you can make a wide variety of them to be as unique as the person you are making them for. Today I am sharing with you the tutorial so you can learn how to make tile pendants too.

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I found the glass tiles and bails to make these here. I bought my Diamond Glaze at Ben Franklin Crafts.

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All you need to do is take your glass tile and clean it off. (They were a bit dusty upon arrival). Then find your favorite picture of a child (it has to be a picture from a laser printer or photo store), scrapbook paper or even a peice of fabric as the necklace design.

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With a pencil trace around the tile square. When cutting out the square of paper (or other material), cut inside your line so that it fits well on the square. Coat the printed side of the paper, the side you want to see on your necklace, with your diamond glaze. You do not need a lot of diamond glaze, just a couple of small dots will be sufficient. You just need enough to cover a thin layer of the glass tile. Attach your paper to the glass tile. If any excess glaze runs out of the edges of the glass, immediately wipe it clean with a damp paper towel.

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Turn your glass tile over so that you are looking at the back of your necklace. Paint a thin layer of Diamond Glaze over the entire back of the necklace and let dry.

When dry, place a small drop of Diamond Glaze onto your bail (chain attachment) and attach the bail in the exact middle on the back and at the top of your necklace.

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When the glaze has dried, your necklace is finished and ready to wear. Aren’t they adorable? I made a few for myself and then let the girls each pick out a design for their own necklace. My sisters don’t know it yet, but they are going to be getting some of these for their birthdays this year…Surprise!

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Make A Crayon Roll

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I have seen these adorable Crayon Rolls in several places. But I wanted to make one to fit my daughters longer Crayon Twistables. So I looked at this tutorial and saw how they were made and then came up with this creation. If you want to make yours for crayons, colored pencils, or markers, you will need to make a measurement and adjust your material requirements in height.

You’ll Need:

2 pieces of fabric – 14 x 21 and 8 x 21 (inches)
1 piece of ribbon – about 20 inches long
Matching thread

* I sewed a 1/2 inch seam throughout this entire project

First, cut out your pieces of fabric…
And then fold them in half, lengthwise and iron them flat.

Take the smaller piece of fabric, make a seam right along the fold, close to the edge.

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Then open up the larger piece of fabric and lay the smaller one on top, matching the two raw edges of the smaller one with the one raw edge of the bigger piece.

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Sew them together along that long (21 inch) edge.

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Then fold the other half of the larger piece over the smaller piece that you just attached…… and pin it along the long edge and the 2 sides. (You’ll be folding it temporarily in half right where you previously ironed the fold on the big piece, but the opposite way.) So now you have 4 raw edges pinned all together.

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Sew along all 3 sides (not the fold) leaving a gap at the bottom, so that you can turn it right side out.

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Trim all corners before you turn it right side out so it will lay flat.

Turn it right side out and iron it. Sew around the entire roll, close to the edge.

Measure the length of the crayon roll and divide it by how many compartments you’ll need. I sewed my crayon compartments so that they were 1 inch apart. Sew each line just until the edge of the top piece.

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*If you do not want to see the lines of the sewing to separate the crayons, you may want to sew the lines for them before you sew the back of the roll closed. But I wanted to be a ble to center my lines perfectly and the lines on the back did not bother me.

Lastly, turn the crayon roll over and pin the ribbon to the back. Line it up to be sewn with the seam of the last compartment. Be careful to not sew over your crayon pocket or you will not be able to slide your crayons in!

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Stick your crayons in and roll it up.

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Now you have a cute and portable crayon roll to slip into your bag or purse to pull out at church, doctors appointments or while your waiting in a restaurant.

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By the way, the striped material is from a sheet I found at a thrift store for $2. Can’t beat that price for a whole lot of material. So next time you are at a thrift store or garage sale, keep your eyes open for cheap, cute material!

Use Felt to Make Easter Egg Animals

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Are you tired of Easter posts yet? Well, I have one more for you.

We have so many plastic eggs at our house and we decided to decorate some and make them into some easter bunnies and chicks. Just cut some felt into ears, cheeks, a head comb, beak and wing shapes; hot glue them in place, and you have got your self some animals the kids can play with and put their treasures in. We even used a real egg for the white bunny. Just don’t let the kids play with that one. This was an easy activity that my kids really enjoyed. They even came up with some interesting new species of animals on their own.

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Fabric Easter Eggs

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Make some fabric covered Easter eggs to add some fun color to your Easter decor. They are so easy. I saw these last year on a blog, but for the life of me can not remember where. All you need is some fabric cut into rectangles, plastic Easter eggs, Mod Podge, and a foam brush.

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I cut my fabric 6.25 inches x 4 inches. I just measured and made sure the fabric would cover the entire egg when wrapped. Measure your plastic eggs before cutting your fabric and make sure that size will cover your eggs (I had eggs of varying sizes left over from Easter’s past). Cut slits down the length of the fabric leaving about 1 inch intact in the middle of the fabric.

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Now liberally cover the wrong side of the material with Mod Podge. Place your egg in the center of the material and roll the material around the entire middle of the egg. Smoothly press each strip (one at a time) carefully up to the top of the egg, overlapping as you go to make lay as flat and seamless as possible. Repeat with the strips on the bottom of the egg. And there you have it. Pretty simple, huh?

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Grow Real Easter Basket Grass

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Go green this year for Easter. You will not want to go back to using that fake Easter grass when you can grow some real grass for your Easter basket and goodies.

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If you are going to, you will need to get started now so that your grass will have time to grow before Easter is here. I used some plastic pot pans (what are they called?…that go under your potted plant to catch the water). Make sure the pot holder will fit into the Easter basket you would like to use. Fill the pot holder 3/4 full of potting soil or dirt. Spread some fast growing, shade loving, grass seed like rye grass liberally over the dirt. Cover the seeds with another thin layer of soil. Water daily to keep moist and place in a sunny window or outside if weather is nice. Within a week you should see the grass beginning to sprout.

If you are too lazy to grow your own, you can cheat and go the easier route. Go outside and cut a patch of grass out of the lawn (somewhere your hubby will not notice.) Make sure to leave a good amount of dirt attached to the roots of the grass. Place the grass patch into a pot holder and then into your basket. Use as a Easter decoration or as a center piece on your table. Make sure that it is watered and kept in a sunny place and it should last for a long time.

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Jelly Bean Bracelets

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Making these jelly bean bracelets was a definite highlight in my girls life this week. I first saw this idea here, which is one of my favorite blogs, and knew it was something my girls would love. We have actually made them three different times this week. My boys even wanted to make one. Of course they did not really wear them, but definetly enjoyed making and then eating one. So easy…all you need is a string of some sort, I used some stretch elastic used for making bead jewelry, a needle, and some jelly beans.

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Thread the needle with some string long enough to fit around the wrist with a little extra room to tie the ends together. It really did help the kids get the beans on the needle by holding the jelly bean against the table and using the table for leverage.

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The older kids had no trouble at all putting the beans on the string. My four year old needed some help so I made a whole in each jelly bean with my own needle and then gave them to her to put on her string with a smaller needle. She thought that was great!

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If you have any left over jelly beans (which is highly unlikely), put them away and pull them out again when the Easter Bunny is in town!  And I know someone is going to make a comment about my baby with this “choking hazard” on her wrist.  Just so you know, I did not let her have it.  I just put it on her for the picture.  She wasn’t even interested in it as you can clearly see.  So no worries!

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