Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Craft: Frozen Snowflake Favor Bags (Tutorial)

I love putting a lot of effort into my girls' birthday parties, but I've learned to pick and choose what I DIY and what I buy. This birthday tea party inspired by Disney's Frozen movie came between some deadlines and I found myself in a crunch (seems to happen all too often now). So I decided to purchase some small gifts and beautiful blue organza gift bags and decorate the favor bags with a Frozen snowflake and an adhesive backed rhinestone to personalize the party favor.

There are of course a lot for official Frozen party decorations and favor packs out there, but I wanted to do something unique and use materials that aren't so disposable. I found these 4"x6" blue organza bags at Amazon. That's where I also purchased some small items to put in the favor bags: Frozen bottlecap necklaces, aqua and white swirl pops and Snowman charm bracelet DIY kits. Those bracelet kits would be a great party activity too.

To decorate the bag I created a somewhat Art Deco Frozen Snowflake design (.svg) file and used my Cricut Explore to cut it out of Cricut Vinyl in "Linen", which I had first spayed with Krylon Glitter Blast for a bit of a shimmer.

This was one of those late night (last minute) projects and I should have had some Cricut Vinyl Transfer Tape on hand to make the process easier. As it was I picked all the shapes off the vinyl backing and placed them on the bags by hand. Um, a bit time consuming. The bags looked fantastic however! But, the vinyl wasn't a good match for the organza. It didn't stick well. I was afraid to use an iron-on vinyl because I thought it would adhere the two layers of the bag together. In retrospect, cutting fabric backed with HeatN' Bond would be a better solution. 

Or another way to achieve this look would be to cut out a template from cardstock and then sptray paint or dab in a snowflake on the bags. I've shared this snowflake template jpg file in case you'd like to do this.

The important thing is that the bags were finished and placed by the side of each girl's plate when she arrived and they looked beautiful. Even if the snowflake peeled off quickly afterwards.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Craft: Frozen Birthday Party Invitation (Free Cricut file)

I was in an Art Deco frame of mind while planning our next birthday party so I decided to add a bit of the 1920s vibe to a Frozen birthday party. I don't relish the idea of a character party so having a creative angle on it really helped!

I took the Roaring 20s invitation I created for the Cricut Design Space Star competition and modified it to invite a bunch of princesses to a Frozen Tea Party.

I can't wait to share all the details of this event. It was so much fun. But in the meantime I've got free templates and a tutorial to share with you for the inviation.

Is there a Frozen party in your future? If so click, through for the tutorial.
(I've got a "Frozen Birthday" version of this inviation too if the tea party isn't your plan.)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Craft: DIY Frozen Elsa Wand (Tutorial)

I've done it. I've given in to the princess thing. And I'm going for it, Elsa wand and all! 

Similar to most girls their age, mine love Disney's Frozen movie. So we're having a Frozen themed birthday party for them. I purchased the McCall's winter princess sewing pattern so I could sew their costumes, but then I decided to concentrate my efforts on other things, so I purchased the Disguise Elsa costume for Tess and the Butterfly Craze Elsa costume for Scarlett (which I really love by the way because; it's a very pretty dress). Since Halloween is on it's way I figured these party costumes would work for trick-or-treating as well. So I ordered the Elsa wig to go with the dresses (it's a great wig, but on the smaller side so better for smaller heads).

They needed snowflake wands too of course. In fact, I thought every princess at the party needed a wand. I couldn't find the perfect (perfectly priced) solution to purchase so I decided some DIY was in order. I realized snowflake ornaments and dowels would be the perfect supplies for crafting an Elsa wand.

Add to that some ribbons and a bunch of good glue and they work beautifully!

Does your Frozen princess need a snowflake wand? I've got a simple tutorial for you after the jump.

Please note that this post includes some affiliate links. These are the products I use and endorse. If you purchase from the links I would receive a small commission to offset my costs. Thanks.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Craft: Roaring 20s Birthday Invitation (Cricut Explore tutorial and template)

My Cricut Design Space Star Team (#DesignStar12Love) ‬is at it again. This month Cricut has challenged us to come up with designs for a celebration and we decided to be a bit selfish and design a party we'd love: a Roaring 20s Birthday celebration.

I don't know about you but I've been seeing a lot of great Art Deco out there. From furniture to fashion to weddings. How great would it be to sew up a flapper dress and an throw yourself, or one of your best friends, a Roaring 20s party?!

Well, stay tuned, because Team 12 has a suite of great Art Deco design ideas to help you host 1920s style. I'll be linking up their posts below.

My contribution to the effort is an art deco inspired party invitation. I took advantage of the Cricut Explore to create layered geometric cutouts on an invitation and invitation sleeve. Because why just have an invitation in an envelope when you can have an invitation in a sleeve in an envelope? Sometimes more is more!

This invitation is designed to fit in a 5"x 7" envelope and includes a .svg file for the sleeve and a second .svg file for the invitation.  I printed a 4.25"x 6.25" insert card with all the party details using free fonts "Connie" and "Broadmoor."

Interested in making one of your own? Well, here we go:

(Cricut Explore Tutorial)

You'll need:

Import the .svg files (or open the projects) within Cricut Design Space. The elements within the file are already grouped for you. You can simple press "Go" to get the Mat Preview.

Select the number you would like to print, place the cardstock on the cutting mat and go!

To assemble the invitation sleeve, use the cut-out guides to score lines for folding using a ruler and a bone folder or the blunt edge of the scissors. Score the division between the front and back (shown above), the bottom flap and the side flap of the invite sleeve.

Apply glue to the sleeve flaps, and fold and stick to assemble. I recommend having the side flap folded inside the sleeve while the bottom flap is folded up on the outside so it is easier to insert the invitation into the sleeve.

Score and fold in half the invitation. Print out an inner card measuring 4.25"x6.25" with the invitation details and insert it into the slots cut into the invitation.

Cut out a piece of gold foil, or gold cardstock, the same dimensions as the inner card and glue it to the inside of the invitation so the gold peeks through the cut out letters on the front of the invitation.

Insert the invitation into the sleeve, tuck it into a pretty envelope and invite your friends over for a Roaring 20s celebration.

And then check out the other great 1920s celebration projects from Team 12:

Three Little Monkeys Studio: DIY Tuxedo Shirt
P.S. Are you following along with the Design Space Star competition? You can see all the projects on the Pinterest board.

P.S.S.  Cricut has just announced the second phase of the Cricut - I Made It! contest and this time they’re awarding one winner their own Make it Now™ project line to be sold in Cricut Design Space™. To enter the Cricut - I Made It! contest, all you need to do is enter a photo of an original project by September 30th.  Visit cricut.com to enter.  

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Crafting: Elvis Iron-on Sweatshirt (Cricut Explore project)

We've got quite an Elvis fan in our household. I'm not sure how it happened really. While I like the King, his music isn't often playing. We have no paintings of him on velvet (though Audrey painted one of her own on canvas this past summer). 

Perhaps learning "Hound Dog" on her ukulele did it. Or discovering the Elvis station on satellite radio. In any event, she thinks he's pretty cool.

So now that I have a Cricut Explore I thought I'd make her an Elvis sweatshirt for school. The standard grey sweatshirt is just her thing and an Elvis silhouette in black glitter makes it pretty perfect.

I found an Elvis image online and traced it with Adobe Illustrator. (Note that I am aware Elvis and his image is protected, but one-off home us if fine. I'm not selling this sweatshirt or the file I created in his likeness.) Then I saved the silhouette as a .svg file and imported it into Cricut Design Space™. I cut it out on some Cricut Iron-on Black Glitter, which I then ironed on to the sweatshirt. The whole project probably took 15 or 20 minutes. Brilliant!

I love that Audrey loves it. 

She wore it to our State Fair hoping to find some Elvis memorabilia. Seems like a good place to ind it but no luck.

They did have some nice-looking farm animals, good snacks and caricature artists though.

Disclaimer: Cricut provided me with a Cricut Explore machine and invited me to participate in their Design Space Star competition. This post contains affiliate links. The opinions expressed here are genuine based on my experience. I only review products I use and believe in.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

FYI: Contributor in the Jo-Ann 2014 Fall LookBook

I have been so excited about this project, and have been keeping it a secret since last Spring! I was asked to contribute to the Jo-Ann Fall Trends and Ideas LookBook 2014, which was unveiled this week! It's full of great sewing, knitting, crochet, and crafting ideas for the Fall based on four big trends for this next season.

I was working away this past summer on my projects, which was pretty interesting for me since I'm usually playing catch-up instead of thinking ahead a season. It's so nice to have some fun things ready to share this Fall.

I can't wait to wear this ribbed maxi scarf. Isn't that particular shade of lilac beautiful? Such a great color for the Fall Pastels trend. It's a very simple pattern to knit too.

I have been a fan of paper-covered composition books for some time and was so happy to find this fun, masculine paper at Jo-Ann. I added a leather cord too for a stronger Masculine Statement.

My daughter, Scarlett, was the recipient of this plaid taffeta wrap skirt for Sewing with Style. I love the emerald green and sapphire blue hues in this fabric. She can't wait to wear it!

And, lastly, I've got a throw-on-and-go costume for myself for this Halloween! For Chic Halloween I created a satin opera collar cape and added extra embellishments to a sequined mask.

I'll be sharing tutorial for all these projects in the next few weeks, but in the meantime you can check them out in the Jo-Ann Fall Trends and Ideas LookBook 2014 and link to all the instructions by clicking on the project photos. You can see the amazing projects from the other contributors too: Delia Creates, Simple Simon and Company, Girl Loves Glam, and Brit+Co. Such a list of talent! I can't believe I'm sharing the pages with them!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Crochet: Triple-Strand Earflap Hats for the Family (New Pattern)

Aren't the seasons the perfect length? Each one lasts just long enough for us to savor it while not taking it for granted and then the next one is peeking around the corner. I love the changes. Especially the transition to Fall. 

I'm ready to start thinking about getting cozy with rich colors and textures and some extra layers. Which is why I'm releasing this crochet hat pattern now. So there is plenty of time to make some comfy earflap hats for cooler weather. 

This Triple-Strand Earflap Hat was designed to be an instant gratification project. It's worked with three strands of yarn at once and a big fat crochet hook (Q 15.75mm!) so it goes really quickly. And I've designed it to be worked as one continual piece--no annoying (to me anyway) fastening off and re-attaching your yarn for the earflaps. No seaming in the end! In a few evenings you could have hats for your whole family! Or all of your friends.

These crochet earflap hats are great for siblings. There are so many ways to make them unique: different yarn combinations, contrast edging, embellishments. The possibilities are endless.

They work for babies too. Everybody's ears will stay warm from Fall to Spring.

The Triple-Strand Earflap Hat Crochet Pattern includes nine different sizes for heads measuring 14" to 24":
  • Baby sizes small, medium and large
  • Child sizes small, medium and large
  • Adult sizes small, medium and large

Of course heads come in all shapes and sizes so while it's best to start with head circumference, the height of the head will affect the fit too. I've provided circumference measurements for every size as well as hat height to help you find the best fit. This hat will certainly stretch too, especially if you have a little one like mine who enjoys tugging on the earflaps. I think it's cute fitted as well as a bit oversized. 

I've also included several options for embellishing these hats. You can make a basic earflap hat or add:
  • contrasting edging
  • tassels
  • pom-poms
  • braids
  • a flower embellishment such as a felted crochet flower or a Ruffled Rose (pictured above), which is included in the pattern.

Pair it with an Arm Knit Infinity Cowl, or a matching crochet scarf. You could gift it as a set with an Easy Baby Afghan too. (The afghan calls for a bulky yarn but you could substitute the yarn you used for the hat and follow the same instructions.)

To make an earflap hat you'll need:
  • 3 skeins of worsted weight (category 4/medium) yarn. (I like to use a mix of different fibers because I love the texture it creates and the mix of hues.)
  • A size "Q" 15.74 mm crochet hook
  • An evening!

The pattern has concise instructions to print for each size as well as full-color photo tutorials for the construction techniques and embellishments.

Lots of gift ideas coming your way. This could be the year you and I are ahead of schedule. For once!

You can purchase the Triple-Strand Earflap Hat Pattern in my Etsy Shop.

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