Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Freezer Stenciled Bean Bags Part 1

   As a teacher I am big on making learning fun.  I decided to try out alphabet bean bags as a gift for a young special someone.  I plan to come up with a some games to go with the bean bags to make learning letters and to read fun!   Today I am going to show how I painted the letters on each bean bag.

1.  Print out the letters how you like them.  I didn't use one specific font because I am big on letters looking how kids write them so I mixed and matched fonts to get each letter the way I wanted.

2.  Cut a piece of freezer paper and put it on top of the letter. Make sure the waxy side is facing down.  You should be able to see the letter through the freezer paper.  Use a craft knife to cut the freezer paper.  
3.  Take the freezer paper and carefully iron it to the piece of fabric you want to paint.  The waxy side will stick to the cloth.  Make sure all of the edges are "stuck on" so paint can't leak through.
4.  Carefully paint the letter.  I used a foam brush to do this.
5.  After the paint is dry carefully peel up the freezer paper. 

That's all!  So easy!

My next post will be the finished bean bags.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend Book Review "Sidney & Norman"

    The book I am sharing for this weekend's book review is in my top ten favorite children's picture books.  I love that it has a lesson that is meaningful for kids AND adults.  The book is Sidney & Norman a tale of two pigs, by Phil Vischer (The Veggie Tale guy).  I first heard the story in an elementary school chapel a few years ago. I recently heard it again during a talk for a high school youth group.  The book fit both ages so well!  After I heard it the last time I went online and bought 4 copies.  One for me and 3 for gifts...that is how much I like this book.
  The book is about two pigs who are next door neighbors--Sidney and Norman. Norman is a pig who has his life all in order.  He is always on time, always dresses nicely, his house is neat, and he did/does well at school/work.  He can't see why others can't just try harder and be like him.  Sidney on the other hand is a mess.  He is always late, his tie is never straight, his house is messy, and some mornings he doesn't even want to get out of bed.   Both Norman and Sidney get a letter from God telling them He wants to see each of them.  Norman assumes God is going to tell him what a great job he is doing.  Sydney equates going to see God with being sent to the principals office, he is sure he is in trouble.  I won't ruin the ending, but God has a message for each pig that day and both of them leave changed.   Whether you can relate with Norman OR Sidney (or sometimes one and sometimes the other), this book has a message of God's love for you too.
  If you are interested in getting this book, Amazon has it for $10.87 right now.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Not for camping, this Tent is for a Carseat!

I made this carseat tent for a friend's baby shower last spring. I waited to put it on my blog so I wouldn't ruin the surprise and then I forgot to share! 
These tents are nice when the baby is sleeping so people don't try to disturb your baby when you are out and about.  My friend that I gave it to shared that it is also great for keeping the baby dry on rainy days (while running from the house to the car, etc).  The handles make it so you can grip the carseat handle easily and so the blanket doesn't slide off while carrying the carseat.

 I can share a tutorial if anyone is interested.

*I would not recommend using this while in the car.

I linked up to these parties:
Feature Yourself Friday
Whatever Goes Wednesday
We Did it! Wednesday

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ginormous Fabric basket

Last week I shared my desk into tv stand remodel.  I originally wanted baskets on the bottom two shelves and spent a lot of time debating what size baskets and where to find the size I wanted at the price I wanted.  I found a basket at Joann's (at 50% off!) for the middle shelf and decided to tackle a fabric basket of my own for the bottom shelf.  I wanted the dimensions to be around 21" by 20" and 10 1/2" high.
I kind of just jumped in not knowing what I was doing, but here is kind of what I did.

I made plans for figure out how to cut fabric for the outside of the box.  I wanted the front of the box to be a patterned fabric (the new colors of my living room) and the rest of the box to be black.  In the picture the colored sections meet each other and get sewn together (so green to green, pink to pink, etc) to form the four corners a box shape.

After I had the box shape I cut out pieces from cardboard boxes to make a cardboard box the size I wanted. I hot glued the pieces together. This gives the box its shape and keeps it sturdy.
Next I fitted the fabric over the box.  I folded the top edge of the fabric over the box and hot glued it down.  I almost left the box like that since you can't see the inside while it is on the shelf.

The inside fabric is all black and was made the same way the outside was only a tad smaller since it is the inside.  I used some hot glue to keep the inside fabric in place and finish off the top with a "seam."

Here it is on the shelf.  Super easy and way cheaper than buying one!

Here are the link parties I linked to:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Desk Transformed into TV Stand Part #2 Big Reveal

You ready for it?  Here is a reminder of the before picture.  

Here is the big reveal!

It isn't perfect, but I really love the look.
If you haven't seen Part #1 check it out for the background story.  Here are the steps of what I did to transform the desk into a tv stand.

1. Sand, sand, sand.  This desk had 1 layer of stain and about 2-3 layers of  paint under that.

2. Paint.  I painted just the desk and not the drawers at first because I had no idea what I wanted to do with the drawers.
3.  Tackle the drawers.  I kept all of the side drawers and got ride of the middle one to make room for the shelves.  These were a pain to sand! 
4.  At first I was going to leave the drawer handles, but I really wanted a more modern looking piece and the handles didn't fit. They had also been stained with the desk and I didn't really want to take the time to clean them off.  Unfortunately the handles were a weird size and I couldn't find new handles that would fit in the holes.  I decided to go with knobs instead of handles.

5.  I took off the handles and patched the holes (and resanded after that.)
6.  To make placement of the knobs easier I made a template to use.  I placed the template on the draw as a guide to drill the new hole. Thanks Dad for that suggestion!

7. Shelves.  I  don't even want to talk about these because they caused me so much trouble!  I will say that part of the problem is that it is difficult to put shelves in an area that is not "square" (different measurements at the top and bottom and the back isn't straight).  The other part of the problem was me ;)   I have never made shelves myself before and learned by trial and error.

And again, the finished product :)

I linked up at these link parties:

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Desk Transformed into Television Stand Part #1

  Have you ever started a DIY project only to realize it was way bigger than you realized?  Being a beginner this is usually what happens to me! 

    For probably the past year I had been looking around for something to fix up into a tv stand to get rid of my huge tv cabinet that took up too much room.  I thought I would use a dresser and had been searching Craigslist.  I actually almost bought one, but nothing seemed "just right" and at the right price.
   My neighbor was throwing this old desk away because he had tried to stain it and it didn't really turn out right. If you look at the pictures below you can see how uneven the stain is, especially on the side.  The desk also had some deep scratches in it and just wasn't in really good shape.  When I asked if I could have the desk he laughed, but gave it to me...that's where my journey started. ;)
   I was so excited to try to make the desk into a television stand.  I started working on it bit by bit during Christmas break.  Unfortunately this desk has required a lot of sanding and painting (a little resanding and repainting too) and the weather has been quite rainy and not paint friendly the last few months.  So here we are in March and I am SO CLOSE to finally finishing.
   Here are a few before pictures from the day I started working on it.  Come back on Monday to see the big reveal!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Recycled Book Wreath

     I put up a hook on my front door a few months ago to hang a Christmas wreath.  The Christmas wreath has been packed away for a while and my front door was looking a little I decided to make a new wreath to pretty up my front door.  I have been seeing styrofoam balls or wreaths covered with "roses" made with recycled book pages lately and I love the look.  I had a few books in my get-rid-of pile so I decided to give it a try.  The idea of ripping apart a book made me cringe a little, but I got over it after making my first few roses. :)

        If you make one, be prepared to roll a lot of roses.  I estimate about 100 on my wreath.  Most of the roses I made using 3 pages put together, but I mixed it up a little by making some with 1 or 2 pages to make some looser and a bit smaller looking roses.

Here is a close-up.

I am not going to write a tutorial because I saw a great one you can use if you are interested in making your own. The blog is Under the table and Dreaming. I did not make mine the same was she did, but the results are pretty much the same.

I don't know if I will leave it on my front door or not.  I am a little worried about it getting wet.  I really like the end result though!

Linked up to these parties:
Tatertots and Jello: Weekend Wrap
Feature Yourself Friday
Sunday Showcase
Whatever Goes Wednesday
Made by You Monday at Skip to my Lou
DIY under $5

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Weekend Book Review--The Dragon and the Turtle Go On Safari

    Many of my friends have young children and giving a book is one of my favorite gifts to give.  Boy books are always harder for me to find so I was excited when I saw The Dragon and the Turtle Go on Safari.  I thought it might be a great book to read to a young, adventurous boy.  The story is about a dragon and a turtle who camp outside one night.  The boys have fun eating baked bugs, making s'mores, and using their imaginations to see different animals such as a rhino that is really a dog and a monkey that is an owl.
     I have to say I was disappointed with this book.  First of all the words and phrases used were too difficult for the age this book is intended for.  I like when books stretch a child's vocabulary, but there were too many words that needed to be explained.  Also many of the phrases seem to use British English. For example, one line says, "Cheerio.  Right jolly good spot for us."   I liked how the book portrayed friendship (the friends were supportive and helpful; didn't make fun of each other), but I don't think the theme of "the dark might be frightening, but friendship is stronger than fear," came through very well.  The last page has the Bible verse,  "Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid...God goes with you; he will never leave you." Deuteronomy 31:6.  In my opinion this would have been a better theme and could have been woven though the story.
    The one thing I liked about this book is the last page with the Bible verse and other conversation starters for a parent to discuss with their child.  I wish more books had these kinds of questions and things to ponder to promote discussion.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. The review is my honest opinion of the book.


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