Thursday, February 2, 2017

Crafting: Vintage Valentine Placemats (free printables)

Making Christmas placemats from old cards got me thinking about vintage Valentine's...  I thought placemats composed of old school valentines would be really cute. And so easy, as it turns out!

Because they are laminated they are easy to wipe off and perfect for a kids' table. My girls love reading the valentines on their mats and sharing the often silly greetings with the rest of is. Keeps them occupied, but these are also great conversation starters for adults. For instance, it was interesting to see the traditional role models reflected in these vintage cards. Some of these would never fly now!

Rather than finding or duplicating vintage valentines to print out, I found a bunch of free vintage images online and composed some layouts. I've got four different versions, each with unique valentines. If you'd like some vintage valentine placemats for yourself you can download these images (they are very large files!) and print them at 12"x18".  Costco photo conveniently prints images at that size. 

Then just laminate and trim, and enjoy!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Crafting: Holiday Card Placemats DIY

Have you found a use for that beautiful stack of Christmas cards? It seems such a shame to throw them away...  When I was a little girl my grandmother gifted our family a stack of placemats she'd made from holiday cards she's collected. On the reverse side you can see handwritten notes from the senders. They were from the old days when greeting cards were purchased in boxed sets and each addressed and signed by hand. I remember my mother struggling to find just the right Christmas card to send. I confess I miss those days a bit but, it's pretty great that we can now design our own perfect greeting cards and send and receive updated family photos. 

In any event, you may have a stack of holiday cards you can't part with. Or you may just enjoy the look of these kitchy placemats and want some of your own. In either case, I've got a quick how-to for you.

These placemats could be really cute, and entirely different looking made with pictures of your family and friends, but I wanted to duplicate the old school Christmas card look. So I ran out after Christmas and purchased some boxed cards on clearance. In addition I searched for vintage Christmas card images online and printed some of those on cardstock. 

The first step is to gather those cards and images and punch them out in circle shapes. I used a Martha Stewart Crafts Simple Circle Cutter tool and some Uchida circle punches in 2.5" and 3" sizes. I found that bigger is better so the circle cutting tool was really handy.

Once you have all your images cut out, the fun part begins! This is a great project to do with your kids! Have them sign and back the reverse side.

You'll need a 12"x18" sheet of paper as the background for this project. I used a finger painting paper pad, which was the perfect size.

I found it easiest to start with the bigger images, glue them down (glue sticks are perfect!) and then fill in with the smaller circles, but it's a good idea to try a layout first to plan your design.

You'll want to cover all the white space with your holiday card images but leave a scalloped oval shape overall.

The next step is to trim the background paper around the scalloped border.

Then laminate the placemats to protect them and make them easy to wipe off. I used a local school supply store but office supply stores also provide lamination. Or maybe you have your own laminator at home.

After laminating you'll need to trim the excess plastic close to the scalloped edges of each placemat. Be sure to leave about a 1/4" border to ensure the lamination stays sealed.

Now you're all set for next Christmas with some cute and slightly kitchy placemats!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Sewing: Game Day Jersey Sleeveless Dresses

I don't know about you, but we are still occasionally faking summer. The temperatures warm up for a few days to justify sleeveless dresses so I took the opportunity to snap some photos of these.

I sewed a pair of Game Day Jersey Dresses for two of my girls in this reversible striped fabric from Jo-Ann.  (It's got polka dots on the other side.)  It's extremely soft and stretchy and I love playing with the direction of the stripes on this pattern.

These dresses remind me how much I love this pattern and all it's possibilities. I need to pull out some Fall knits from my stash and sew some long-sleeved Game Day Jerseys and dresses!

You can find this pattern in my Etsy shop.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Sewing: Boho Drawstring Dress from Burda

Oh where did the summer go? I'm still around, but blogging is definitely not at the top of my list. I miss sewing and sharing, but I've been deck deep in other creative projects (interior design). I'll share some of that soon because it's been really fun. But it's been important to save time for the things that really matter: my family.

But I decided to hop on the blog for a few minutes to share something I did sew this summer. An easy little dress from Burda #6732. As I've mentioned before, I think dresses are the only way to go in the summer. You've just got one decision to make and you can throw it on! 

This isn't the most figure-flattering but it is comfortable!

I found these great boho cotton prints at the going-out-of-business Hancock Fabrics and used some velvet ribbon for the tie. You can't see them through the grass but I think this dress was perfect with some camel leather clogs. In fact it will take me right into Fall.

Hope you are all doing well and finding time for creative things!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Craft: Spray Dye Swim Towels (Kids' Craft)

I love taking advantage of summer to get creative with my kids. I especially love an activity that is easy for them to do, and not a giant mess for me to cleanup. Though the idea "dye" might cause concern, this dying project can be done on your lawn where there's little chance of permanent staining. 

Because my girls love swimming, and they love playing with color I thought this would be the perfect craft to keep them busy for an afternoon. Adding a monogram acts like a signature on their art and is handy for keeping track of which belongs to whom. And now they have colorful towels to take to the pool and beach to show off their creative work!

Click through for the how-to.
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