Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Year's Eve Poppers

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! We did here at The Crafty Princess house! My living room is still a mess from all the new toys, but I love it! Now to set our eyes on New Year's Eve. This year, Bubba is old enough to get the concept of a new year (he just recently turned six) and I plan on taking every opportunity to make this year's celebration special. First on the agenda, Poppers! Some people call them crackers, but that has a very different meaning in our house, especially when The Little Princess is around. (Hello, favorite food!) I've never made poppers before but I figured they wouldn't be that difficult. First, since there are four people in our family, I went digging for four toilet paper rolls. Literally digging in the trash. Lucky for me Hubby forgot to take the bathroom trash out for trash day yesterday. (Usually a bad thing but in this case I had four toilet paper tubes in there! Bingo! Hubby you are now out of the dog house!) 
Yup, mine look just like yours.
After removing all the little pieces of tp that were stuck to the tube I cut them in half.
Am I being too thorough with the photos?
Nah, you can never have enough photos!
Next I cut a bunch of strips of tissue paper to put into the poppers.
Oooh, pretty!
Now, after experimenting with different methods, I decided I wanted to have a bottom to my tubes, so I could stuff the tissue paper into them without worrying about the paper falling out of the bottoms while I was working with the poppers. (Here's where I get real high tech.) I cut a piece of tissue paper in the color I was using for the popper, in a square large enough to cover up the sides of the tube. Then, (this is the high tech part.) I used a glue stick to stick the paper to the tube. (What? A glue stick isn't high tech? Then why doesn't the glue stick to the plastic tube? Hehe. OK, I spend too much time with small children....)
OK, I really don't know what happened to the top half of this photo.
For some reason it won't load. But, you get the idea.

Next, I stuffed the two halves of the tube with tissue paper strips and a few pieces of candy. (What kind of candy? Reused Christmas candy of course. We don't need even more junk in the house!
This is when I started fending Bubba off from the candy.
"It's ten a.m.! You can have a piece after lunch!"
"Aww, Mom!"
Next I cut a piece of tissue paper large enough to wrap one and a half times around the tubes and just long enough to go from the end of the tube to a few inches past the bottom. (Confusing, I know. That's why I take pictures!)
I did this to add strength to the "pulling" part of the popper.
If you are using a different kind of paper you may not need to do this step.
 Then, I cut a piece of tissue paper long enough to wrap one and a half times around the tubes and long enough to connect the tubes together, leaving enough for the "pulling" part of the popper.
We're almost done. Let's wrap this up!
Please excuse the scissors.
At this point the tubes decided it would be a great time to get camera shy and roll away.
 Next, gently twist the ends so it looks like this.
Looks like a great big piece of candy!
Finally add some ribbon to tie off the ends.
Oooh, Aaah, Pretty!
Here are all the others I made. One for each of us in our favorite colors. You could easily make them in colors to match your party theme. 
Don't you just want to make a whole bunch?
These were a lot of fun to make, and fairly simple. (Seriously, it took longer to write the blog than make all four of these.) I was going to let Bubba help me, but he was too busy playing with his new toys. He has already asked if he can pop one though. I guess I'm going to have to hide them for the next couple of days!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Leg Warmers

Next week it begins ~ potty training The Little Princess. (Did I really just say that? How is that possible?) When I trained Bubba I had no idea what we were doing and it took almost six months. I do not want to go through that again! To the web! (Research, research, research). I decided we were going to do it cold turkey this time. Next Monday, no more diapers (except at bed time). She'll be in her big girl training pants only from the waist down. However, it being December, I was concerned about her legs getting cold. To the web! I found a bunch of great tutorials on how to make leg warmers for toddlers out of knee highs. One quick trip to the local dollar store and $4 later I had the beginings of four pairs of leg warmers.

This is what I started with.

I began by cutting the foot, heal and toes off of the sock.

Now take away the pieces we won't be using.

Now put the long piece aside and trim the smaller piece on the two long sides. (I didn't measure. Just cut off enough to separate the pieces.) This will give you two pieces instead of one tube. (You can skip this step, it will just make the cuff bigger. I wanted it to be a little smaller.)

Next place right sides together and faux serge (use the zig zag stitch making one stitch on the fabric and one stitch just off the fabric) on your sewing machine and stich the length of the two longer sides. Once again making it a tube, just a narrower tube. (If you skipped the above step, then you would skip this step too, obviously.)

Now you should have something that looks like this.

Now turn it in on itself so wrong sides are together.

If you want, you can faux serge the edges together as before.

Next turn the long piece you put aside inside out so that right sides are together. Mark each piece at the sides, the center front and center back, and once more between each pin. (Making a total of eight pins in each piece.)

Place the smaller piece inside the larger and line up the pins. Pin the two pieces together where the pins lined up.

Note: Place pins on the inside as shown rather than the outside. It will make it easier when sewing. (Don't ask me how I know!) Back to the sewing machine!

Slowly and carefully faux serge all the pieces together. (If you serged the cuff together it will be two pieces, if you did not it will be three.)

Turn the leg warmer right side out and you finished your first leg warmer.

Now repeat (or do both at the same time) and you have a pair of leg warmers. I made a total of four pairs.

Hopefully this will be enough. I'll be doing a load of big girl underpants everyday anyway, so these can get washed everyday too. (If my directions are confusing try Blooming Bums, The Towells or Moments of Mommyhood.

Pray for us next week! :-)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Shaggy Bath Mat

After completing my light switch plate, I decided I wanted to do more for my (almost completed) bathroom. So I spent the last two days making a bath mat. We have been using towels on the floor and I was getting tired of my good towels getting ruined. Therefore, to Pinterest! I found a great shag rug made from old t-shirts at Rags By Sock Monkey. However, hers is a no sew mat. And she recommends washing it in a lingerie bag on a delicate cycle. Being a mom, and knowing this was going into my bathroom and therefore was going to be washed and washed often (think two boys) I was going to need something more durable. This is what I came up with.

Love it!
So now you can see what still needs to be done in my bathroom - trim work. (Oh, and that hunter green shower curtain is going to go too (read future project). It doesn't go with the softer hues the bathroom is now.) You can also see how close the mat is to the commode. Therefore washablity (is that a real word?) was a must! (Again think two boys!)
I really wanted the bath mat to coordinate with my bathroom, so I headed to The Salvation Army Thrift Store to get some cheap shirts to turn into scraps. With my color swatches in hand and five minutes to do the shopping, (Hubby was in the car with two very sleepy and cranky children) I headed in. Thankfully my Salvy's has all the clothing organized by color, I was able to quickly find a dozen or so shirts in the right colors and I headed to the register. Lucky me! I happened in on the day where all clothing was half off! So for less than $20 I got all the materials I needed to make this great rug.

After getting home (and getting the afore mentioned cranky kids to bed) I sat down and started cutting.

A rotary cutter makes things go so much faster!
 I cut the shirts into one and a half by six inch strips. It took me about an episode of Survivor to cut out all of the shirts. (Therefore it probably would have taken less time if I wasn't watching TV.) When I was done, this is what I had.

That's a big box of scraps!
Next, I realized that I forgot to leave one for the base of the bath mat. To Hubby's closet! (He's got too many old t-shirts anyway ;-) ). I cut two big rectangles figuring I'd make two bath mats. This is the time you learn that I tend to be a bit anal when it comes to some things. Measuring and cutting are two of them. So I measured and marked, with a sharpie, half inch marks a half inch apart from each other all over the shirt front.

Don't worry, you won't see the ugly, black, sharpie marks when it is finished
Then I carefully cut each line and  I weaved one strip through two of the holes all the way down the center line of the markings.
Here is where I differ from Rags By Sock Monkey. Having children (especially a toddler who likes to take things apart) and knowing that this would need to be washed, I decided that I would secure each row by sewing it down. (To the sewing machine!)
I used a simple running stitch to secure.
Pretty simple so far, right? Push fabric strips through, stitch down, repeat. When I got to the end, this is what it looked like.

I was surprised at how heavy it was getting.
About here I realized I did not have enough scraps to do all of the rows I had cut out. So, being the (sometimes) anal person I am I separated the remaining strips into piles of what I would need and trimmed the base down a bit, then continued. When it was done it looked like this.
And even closer with out my ugly living room carpet.

And, just for fun, even closer.

Hubby was concerned that it would feel too lumpy and bumpy and would be uncomfortable to stand on. After giving it a try, even he thought it was great to stand on!  All in all, this was a fun project. I got thumbs up from Bubba, The Little Princess and even from the Hubby. Once more here it is in the bathroom.

I can't wait to try it out with some of the kids clothes. I think it would be great for a little rug by their beds or for a comfy reading spot.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Very First Post!

This is my very first post in my new blog! How exciting! To be honest I have a few butterflies in my stomach, but the blog must go on! (right?)

For my first Crafty Princess Project (that sounds good doesn't it?) I decided to make a custom light switch plate with a quote from Albus Dumbledore. (Yes, I am a Potterhead.)  To be fair I got this idea from here. I LOVE Pinterest and get many ideas from there. As you can see (if you clicked the link) the link on Pinterest is broken as to where this idea originally came from. Therefore, I put my thinking cap on and tried to figure it out. This is what I came up with.

First of all, the location. Where would I put such a quote in my house. Answer, my newly (almost finished) rebuilt bathroom. So during The Little Princess's nap I took the plate of the wall and began thinking. I knew I wanted something simpler that what I saw on Pintrest.  First, the color. I wanted it to be white since that is the color of the trim in my afore mentioned bathroom. Next, the font. I did not want it in my handwriting (pretty though it is). I opened up word, typed it out and began playing with fonts and sizes. When I found the one I liked I printed it out and trimmed it down.

Oooh, pretty
 Next, I tried different pens and permanent markers (on the back of the plate) to see which would work the best. The answer - none of them. The regular sized Sharpie did not smudge, but was too thick. The fine point Sharpie and my scrapbooking pens were the right size, but smudged. (To the web!) After some research I decided to try to use sandpaper to remove the finish then use the fine point pens. (Again, I tried it on the back first.) It no longer smudged, but the ink ran into all the little marks the sandpaper made. (Think, think, think...lightbulb!) Paint! I wanted the plate to remain white, but I could just repaint the plate white, use the Sharpie to write the words and presto smudge problem solved!

So, I lightly sanded the plate using a fine grit sandpaper.

Next, I used a dry brush to paint on a thin layer of white paint. (Being impatient and wanting to get it all done before The Little Princess woke up) I dug out my hair dryer and used the low setting to help the paint dry faster. Then, put on a second coat. (Again used the hair dryer to speed things along.)

Next, I needed to figure out how to transfer the font. The previous web search talked a lot about using graphite paper. I don't have graphite paper. (Think, think, think... lightbulb!) Graphite, as in what pencils are made out of? I can make my own graphite paper!

Not so pretty scribbles

Pretty font
I flipped my pretty font over and scribbled all over
the back with a pencil. (Genius!) 

Next, using my trusty scissors I cut each line of the word out and carefully taped them onto the plate.

Then, I carefully traced each word with the same pencil I used before for the ugly scribbling.
After (carefully) peeling the tape and paper off of the plate, this is what I had.

Now I used my fabulous fine point Sharpie  and again traced the words.

Pretty, right? I then used an eraser to get the goo left behind from the tape off of the plate. Finally, I sprayed it with two coats of sealer (again using the afore mentioned hair dryer to speed things along) so that finger prints (that always clutter switch plates) can be washed off. Then, it was simply a matter of reinstalling the plate onto the wall.
And from another angle.

Now, to see how long it takes the Hubby to figure out I did this today! ;-)

(Edit: It took him two days! teehee)