Saturday, February 26, 2011

Beautiful Personalized Ballerina / Tutu Blanket

My daughter was invited to her best friend's 8th birthday party and when I asked what she wanted to give  as a gift, she said she wanted me to make her one of my fleece blankets. Ellie, her friend, is an amazing ballerina and my daughter really wanted to make her a blanket with a ballerina on it. I knew there was no way I could make a ballerina (since I cannot draw) but I came up with an idea that I am very proud of and I think is absolutely beautiful.

I used the same technique as my personalized fleece blankets to make this simple blanket. I purchased the large deep pink coral fleece blanket (double bed size) and 1yard of tulle. I had black felt, pink fleece, pink ribbon, Velcro circles and thread in light pink, deep pink (to match the blanket) and black on hand. Total cost $5 for the blanket (on clearance) and $6 for the tulle. If I were to have paid for everything now, the cost would have been higher at approximately $20 ($5 for the blanket, $6 tulle, $5 for 1/2 yard pink and black fleece, $2 ribbon). This project took me about 4 hours to do, but if I were to make another one I could cut the time in half.

I started by printing off some images of a tutu and body form to be inspired from. I first cut out of black felt the bust of the body form, then the post and the feet. Make sure to prewash the felt because the color can transfer.
Once I was happy with the dress form, I used that as the shape to cut the bodysuit. I didn't want the top to be too low cut since this is a gift for an 8 year old girl so I made just a small 'v' shape. I used a wide light pink ribbon (same as the slippers) to make straps on the shoulder.

I decided to remove the black felt from behind the bodysuit so that it was quicker to sew. This is optional.
I placed all the pieces on the blanket to determine where I wanted the exactly. I then lightly glued the fabric down onto the blanket using a fabric glue that dries clear. I start with the black pieces first by pulling one side back and gluing it. This allows you to glue it down without having to move the entire piece.
Once this was drying, I started to work on the ballet slippers. For these I simply printed off a clip art image that was resized (approximately 7 1/2 long) to be in proportion to the bodysuit . I then cut out the shape of the slippers in light pink fleece and sewed a straight stitch over the inner lines to make it look like it had an opening for a foot.
 I ripped off the paper and did a tight zig-zag stitch over the straight stitch to create a bold accent line.
I cut two pieces of ribbon to the length I wanted to make the ties for the slippers (I lightly heated the ends of the ribbon so they would not fray). I glued the ribbons and slippers on the blanket.

I create the girl's name in a Word file using a font that I like. I print off the letters and then cut them out of the light pink fleece. I glue these down in the exact spot I wanted them.

Next I focused on the tutu. I had 1 yard of tulle so I folded it in half length wise and did a basting stitch along the fold.
Pulling one tread from either end I gathered the tulle until it was the width of the waist of the dress. I then sewed a ribbon across the basting stitch to secure it.
Once the glue was dry, I did a zig-zag stitch around the dress form, name and the bodysuit. I always use the exact color of the blanket for the bobbin thread and match the upper thread with what I am sewing. I find this makes both the front and back of the blanket look nice.
(Back of fabric with matching thread.)
I attached the tutu to the dress with small Velcro circles. I thought it would be best that this could be removed for washing. Not 100% necessary but a nice to have.
One last look. Wow... I can't tell you how happy I am with this. Let's hope she loves it too :)
What do you think?


Thursday, February 24, 2011

One of my best blogging moments

I have to share one of my all time best blogging moments with you. I was so excited when Thrifty Decor Chick offered to show off  new bloggers on her site! Nothing could have been more exciting to me than being featured on one of the best blogs the world has to offer.  Sarah is a wonderful person with fantastic ideas that everyone can appreciate. In case you have not been introduced to Thrifty Decor Chick, take a few minutes and venture over to her site and I can guarantee you, you will love it and spend many hours going through her previous posts.

Sarah has removed the actual post from here website but has left a summary page of all the Newbies she featured. In case you missed it here is an image of the what was posted on Thrifty Decor Chick by me at Full of Great Ideas!

Here it is:

Hi, I am Stephanie from Full of Great Ideas. I am new to the blogging world; 4 months old to be exact. A baby by all standards.

I started Full of Great Ideas as a crafting and home decorating tutorial blog. At first it was a way to share my simple and inexpensive ideas with total strangers and it has turned into my way of finding myself. I have found confidence I never knew I had. Initially, I told no one that I was blogging; I am not sure if I was embarrassed or simply shy, but now I am proud and tell everyone!

I am so proud of many of my posts and the transformation some of them have had on my house. I have done dramatic and inexpensive changes like spray painting all the door hardware, stoppers and floor vents throughout my entire house for $25! To simple crafts I do with my kids, like the teachers personalized notepad gifts that cost nothing but received rave reviews. And I have transformed ugly furniture into a beautiful kitchen set with a couple coats of black paint and a little elbow grease.

Here are my three absolute favorite blog posts:

Hydrangea Wreath
I turned my (drying on the bush) hydrangea's into amazing wreaths for my front doors. Total cost $0!!

5 Finger Christmas Ornament
I make Christmas ornaments with my children every year to give to grandparents and to keep for myself. This year, I spent $0.05 on each ornament and they turned out amazing. Who would have thought, something so simple would turn out so well! Here is my five finger ornament that is great for ages 0 to 100.

How to Make Your Own Personalize Wall Art
This is my absolute favorite item I have ever made. I make this Wall Art as gifts for weddings, house warming gifts, teacher's appreciation, and any other occasion I can find. I think I have made these extremely simple and inexpensive pieces of art for every person I know. I give a simple tutorial and the site to find the letters.

I can't thank Sarah enough for sharing her amazing ideas and wonderful blog.You are an inspiration to all of us Newbies.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Bedtime Routine Subway Art - Really easy with no hand letter painting or vinyl cutting required

Oh I am so excited to share this with you. I spent most of today trying to figure this out and could not be happier. Well, except for the fact today was suppose to be my house cleaning day and that wasn't even touched. The sacrifices I am willing to make to craft :)

I have loved the subway art that so many bloggers are creating but I do not have a vinyl cutter and I cannot paint. So, I thought there was no way I could create one of these pieces of art for myself. That was until I was introduced to Mod Podge transfers. Visit The Cre8tive Outlet for an amazing PB knockoff using this technique!

I had always wanted to create something with my kid's bedtime routine on it for their bathroom and I thought this would work perfectly.

Materials needed:
Paint (for the canvas)
Printer paper to print the text or image (be sure to mirror the image)

I created the Subway Art I wanted in Microsoft Publisher (you can do it in Word too) and then saved the image as a JPEG. Take the saved JPEG and flip it by 90 degrees/mirror it so the words will print backwards. Print the  text on your home printer (I have a laser jet) on regular printer paper. I have heard (through google searches) that photocopying works great but I don't have a photocopier :)

This is how my printed image looked.

I painted the entire canvas with two or three coats of white craft paint. If you want the background to be another color, paint it with that color. Just be sure not to use a dark color otherwise the black image or text will not show clearly.

After the paint on the canvas is completely dry (be patient because it will peel off if you aren't...I attempted this 3 times before it actually worked) cover the entire surface with a good layer of Mod Podge. Carefully place the printer paper (text side down) onto the Mod Podged canvas. Be sure you place it exactly where you want it because it will NOT come off after it is placed down.

So this is how it looked. See how you see that the text is now the correct way.
 Wait a few minutes and then start carefully wiping off the back of the paper with a damp cloth. I used a dish cloth that was wet but not sopping to gently rub off the back of the paper. The paper will almost dissolve and the text will be stuck in the Mod Podge. Don't rub too hard because you can scrub off the text too.
I removed the first layer and then let it dry a bit and then repeated the process again. If the letters seem to peel off, don't worry too much.As I said this was my third attempt so I kept going and this is what I ended up with. You can see many of the letters are off.
Let it dry and then take a black Sharpie to fill in the letters. If you want the text to be rustic, don't fill in cracks or missing pieces. If you are like me and want a solid letter, draw in the missing pieces with your Sharpie.
You can do a few thing now. You can do a glaze with a stain or white wash. I loved the look of this so I put a layer of Mod Podge on it and left it alone.
I love how it looks on the shelf in my kids bathroom and I could not be happier!

Total cost for this was $2 for the canvas. I had the paint, printer paper and Mod Podge on hand.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

My version of the (ever so popular) burlap wreath and burlap flowers

My sister gave me this idea when I saw her last weekend.  She told me that she used the free burlap sacs and a dollar store wreath to make an amazing burlap covered wreath with burlap flowers. I thought it was a fantastic idea.  Since she didn't send me the photos of the one she made... I thought I would make my own. :)

This is extremely simple but a little messy. Here is a shot of my jeans while I was doing it. So be prepared to vacuum and clean yourself off.

I made the flowers first. You can find detailed tutorials all over the web on how to do this so I wont' bore you with great details. Start with a long strip of the burlap folded in half (I used a piece that had some color so it would show in the flower) and start rolling it. As you continue to go around, twist the burlap to make petals. Once it is to the desired size, glue the back with hot glue to hold in place. I then covered the back with a flat burlap just to make it pretty.
I then took another strip of the burlap and attached the one end to the wreath form using hot glue. Wrap the burlap around the wreath overlapping slightly. 
Once you have covered the entire wreath it may be a little messy (like mine) from burlap fraying. If you like the messy look, leave it this way or if you are like me and want it neater, trim off these pieces.

Attach the burlap roses to the wreath with hot glue. I used small strip of burlap to hang the wreath.
The total cost for me today was $0 since I had everything on hand. I guess if I am honest with myself, I did buy the wreath a few months ago for $ it cost me $1 to make.
Thanks for looking.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

When life leaves you an ugly plant...create a beautiful arrangement

This needs to be filed under the "Please tell me what he was thinking" category.
We have had this long skinny plant in our formal living room that I was hoping would die for years. I really hated the plant but my husband loves plants and cannot part with any of them. This plant got so ugly that I decided it was time to get rid it of. I broke the news to my husband and he really did seem to be fine with it. At least that is what I thought....UNTIL I came home and found this on my kitchen counter.

Isn't it beautiful! Don't you love how the long branches stick gracefully out of the extra large mayonnaise tub! So by "lets get rid of the hideous plant" my husband heard "lets cut off the tops of the amazing plant and try to root it in a wonderfully convenient mayonnaise tub!"

I was stumped with what to do with the plant shoots.  Then I had an 'ahaa' moment. You know that moment you think of the best idea and wonder why you have never thought of it before. Well, my 'ahaa' produced this.
Now isn't that pretty!?! This solved so many problems.  Firstly, I have had all these items laying around my house with no home because they just never looked right. Secondly, I have a really awkward pie shaped ledge behind my kitchen sink that is big and I can never find items that look good there. And lastly (and most importantly), I found a home to my husbands green thumb experiment.

Do you remember a few month ago when out in the blog world someone came up with the ingenious idea of gluing a Dollar Tree hurricane vase to a glass candle stick? I can't link to the person who created it because there are hundreds of blogs that feature it and I do not know where it originated. I had some hurricanes left over from my last trip to the US and I had a short rounded candlestick from the Canadian Dollar Store and I hot glued them together. The reason I used hot glue is that I wanted the option to take them apart in the future if I ever needed to. I tied twine around the hot glue seam to hide the glue. Perfect!
I purchased the bell jar on clearance at a local home decor store and the accessories under it are from Walmart.  The covered dish was from a local thrift store. Originally the base was light oak with hand painted peppers on it so I spray painted it with ORB and called it a day!

One last look. WOW do my windows need to be cleaned.


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