Cozying Up to This Homemade Holiday Gift

I wouldn’t say I’m very crafty. But I love to create. I can usually find some DIY craft every holiday to make that is not too intimidating, not too Kindergartenish. You could even say, “It’s just right.”

This year, instead of my usual DIY Christmas decor, I attempted to make a small gift.

All I needed was a few sheets of felt, scissors, sewing needle and thread, fabric glue, a fun template, oh and a pair of those 3M Command velcro strips.

What was I making?

Yep, a cozy.

I found this deer head silhouette here. And I was motivated to try it.

Basically, I printed it out. I lined it up with my fancy felt from Walmart, and tried my best at cutting the outline. It was not easy since the image is detailed. Knowing what I know now, sharper scissors or a less detailed template would have made the process easier.

After that was done, I estimated what the coffee cup sleeve would look like and cut the felt to fit it. I added a second layer of felt to give it dimension and glued it with fabric glue. I also glued the 3M strips to each side of the sleeve.

The hardest part of this was hand sewing the deer to the felt. But it was also the most relaxing. Although my stitches are not perfect, I like to believe it gives the gift charm.

Happily, this took me all of one night to finish.

Hopefully, the receiver is not reading this post. Because here’s the finished product.

handmade sleeve

back of coffee cup cozy

Coffee cup sleeve craft

What are you creating this holiday season?

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Fast and Easy Pumpkin Favors

pumpkin theme

My second son’s first birthday was right before Halloween. This made planning a theme pretty easy. Pumpkin favors anyone?

Actually my idea for the favors came a year ago. I remember the bliss (seriously!) of lying in the hospital and watching TV. It was like being at a hotel that came with its own babysitter.

The Pioneer Woman was on and I was captivated by her and her candy coated marshmallow pops. That’s when this idea was born.

If you have a pumpkin themed party coming up, you might want to try it.

pumpkin birthday

Here’s what you need:

  1. a bag of marshmallows
  2. orange candy melts (I got mine from Walmart)
  3. lollipop sticks
  4. candy eyes (All the rage, and also from Walmart)
  5. black edible pen (Another Walmart find)

Pumpkin party

Here’s what you do:

  1. Melt the candies either by microwaving or I put a glass bowl over a pot of boiling water that I later simmered.
  2. Put a little of the candy melt atop the stick so the marshmallow adheres to it.
  3. Dip the marshmallow.
  4. Stick eyes on it.
  5. Let it cool either by sitting out, putting it in the fridge or freezer.
  6. And then draw a mouth.

That’s it!

pumpkin favor

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Christmas Decorations with a Toddler

Christmas is a beautiful time especially when you have kids around. The trouble is, however, that toddlers LOVE to get their pudgy little hands in everything, which is why I’m on the fence this year about a Christmas tree. While you have to judge the personality of your own child, I decided to dolly up our home with things out of reach of our active toddler. Here’s what I did:

Stockings were hung

The stockings were hung (with tape lol) and the fragile glass snow globes I made and DIY Christmas trees from a few Christmases ago were kept out of reach.

Christmas snowglobes

I played around with this a bit. This little green topiary was too cute not to add here.

Christmas ornaments with kids

All the Christmas ornaments were elevated to the ceiling with thumbtacks.

Reindeer head

Every year I like to add to our Christmas collection. I couldn’t resist this Reindeer head from Sundance.

Christmas forest scene

No Christmas tree this year, so far anyway. But this mini tree fits nicely with my woodsy theme.

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A Cheap & Easy DIY Toddler Costume

Every year for Halloween my challenge is this. Create a costume out of the things you have or do it as cheaply as you can.

A few ideas from Halloween’s past include:

1. Pumpkin Pi

Pumpkin Pi

 

2. A basketball player and movie star couple.

3. Trash. To make this one I stuck double-sided tape on a shirt, grabbed newspaper and recycled paper balled them up and stuck them on it.

This year with a toddler to dress up, I decided to attempt a DIY costume. Bam Bam from Flintstones seemed easiest. And it was. I didn’t even use a sewing machine or measuring tape to create it.

All I needed were the following:

  • Square pieces of precut fabric from Walmart ($3 total)
  • Scissors
  • Needle and thread
  • Velcro
  1. I basically folded and cut the brown fabric to create Bam Bam’s sash. Then, hand sewed it together.
  2. I cut a bone out of white felt and sewed around it.
  3. Next I cut a hole in the brown fabric and threaded the bone through it and sewed it in.
  4. Bam Bam’s bottom was pretty easy as well. I just sewed velcro strips to hold the “skirt” together, cut the bottom of the leopard fabric for that raggedly look and then sewed the sash onto it.

Here are the results:

And with the little one and his daddy:

Barney and Bam Bam

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A Batty Idea

I don’t usually do much decorating for Halloween. But this year with a new toddler in tow, I was inspired to do something fast, easy and out of reach.

After finding this bat template online, I scrounged around for some leftover construction paper and created this:

 

Halloween bats

Although it might be hard to tell on your screen, the bats have a 3D effect. And it was really simple to do. Here’s what I did:

I found a bat template online from Country Living here.

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I also used what I had. I didn’t have a felt, and I didn’t have a long sheet of black construction paper. I had scraps of black construction paper, which made the project take a little longer. Basically, I had to cut twice as much of them since I couldn’t just fold a long piece of construction paper and cut around it to make a single long bat.

 

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Instead of one intact wing, for example, I had to cut out two individual pieces and adhere them together with tape.
Taping bats

 

After folding them in half as if they were one long bat, you could barely tell the difference.

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Once it was done, I stuck tape on the back of each and then sporadically patterned my wall with them. {Tip: double-sided tape would be easier than my single sided one.}

Three bats

In the end, I thought the flock (is that what you call a group of bats?) looked eerily alive:

Halloween bat parade

What are you doing to decorate your space this Halloween?

Halloween paper bats

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I Mustache You a Question: Was it Fun?

Our son’s 1st birthday party is finally been and gone. Just like the year. It’s hard for me not to reflect back without Rent in my head:

Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?

Thankfully we got by without a meltdown and with just a few minor issues. But no biggies. We are grateful, however, that there is just 1 first birthday party. It was like a mini wedding. Without the glow of being newlyweds. And instead of a honeymoon, you’re stuck with a bill and an overstuffed, overwhelmed, and overtired toddler.

With the party being over however, I finally get to share with you my mustache ideas. Like this one:

Mustache straw

It took me a few hours to die cut those mustaches but paired with a patterned straw, they were worth it.

Candy buffetHere’s our little candy buffet. Target had shiny gumballs the perfect color for our party. And I made a few chocolate mustache lollipops for guests to take home.
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Here we are getting ready for his smash cake. I’ve seen it done a few times now and think the best part is seeing how your kid reacts. Some hate mess. Some like our boy, can’t get enough of it. If anyone is interested in repeating the  recipe for a coconut flour birthday cake, which I converted to a cupcake, go here.

Smashcake mustache

A few mustache things-plates from Target, and a mustache blindfold my friend made for our pin the mustache on the baby game.

Mustache party

 After the kids played, he was lost in a sea of mustaches.

Pin the mustache

Inside the sign-in book, I asked guest to write a few words to describe him. I just love the thought of him reading these one day.

sign in book

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I found a mustache worthy sign-in book (a.k.a. binder) and printed out my own template for folks to sign in. And on the left? A guess whose famous mustache game of course!

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I found a few templates for kids to color and a perfectly themed mustache book. Looking forward to reading the birthday boy this book when he stops tearing pages!

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So how do we measure a year in a life? In a word, Love.

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Celebrating Love on Valentine’s Day

Brilliant Earth, a company that sources ethical diamonds, contacted me to create something lovely this Valentine’s day for their Create a Little Love Campaign. I was excited by the challenge. Since this mommy juggles her time with a new baby and working as a writer, I knew it had to be a DIY idea that was fast, cheap and easy. I also wanted to create something that represented our new hometown of Hawaii.

Since we already had a plethora of hibiscus (Hawaii’s state flower) in our backyard ready to be picked. Here’s what I came up with:

{Saying it with love on Valentine's Day.}

{Is it weird that I love how the colors on the hibiscus look like veins?}

I just took a few closed buds and an open hibiscus to spell out the word.

Love on Valentine's Day

They’ll be featuring a collage of bloggers on their website come February 14th and choosing their favorites on their blog. Looking forward to seeing how others creatively infused love in their lives.

*Update: Look what I saw this morning when I woke up:

Love blossomed overnight.

Love blossomed overnight.

*An update to my update.
This morning L-O-V-E turned into L-I-V-E:

Live Hibiscus

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