Monday, January 31, 2011

More Alphabet Wall Art

My friend Annie passed this link along to me today-it's an upcycle, uses spray paint, fabric scraps, and the alphabet. If the author would have gotten the stencil at a thrift shop, this would be the ultimate project. But, it's close enough...

Find the tutorial on Design Mom here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

DIY Party Supplies

While I was browsing through other posts on Homemade by Jill, I stumbled across this awesome tutorial for making your own printables (cupcake toppers, invitations, paper banners, etc) on Picnik. I've used Picnik a number of times, but had no idea graphics were available. This could potentially save you a ton of money, especially if you plan parties often!!
See the full tutorial from Homemade by Jill here.

A is for...

Can you tell from all of these alphabet posts that I was a teacher in my former life?

I really love these flashcards from Handmade by Jill. They would even look good printed on card stock and hung on the wall.Download them here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Photo Wall

My main decorating technique is: throw a bunch of photos on the wall. So of course, I'm loving this photo mosaic by Paislee Press.Image and instructions (including template) for making your own here.

Dreaming of Disney

Can you tell I'm going through all of my old bookmarks tonight?

I can't believe I haven't printed these posters out already and framed them. That's the problem with having so.many.bookmarks.
There are two other Disney World themed posters as well. You can see and download all of them from Greg Maletic here.

If you are decorating a nursery...

these prints would be perfect. They come in eight different colors.

And of course you can download for free--from Sprik Space.

Oddly Familiar

My house in Phoenix:

The idea upgraded: I love the floor to ceiling shelves. And speaking of the ceiling...These look like the same shelves we have-from IKEA. Unfortunately, they don't make them anymore.

Image from Elizabeth Sullivan Design via House of Turquoise.

ABC Print

I love this (FREE!) print-would look great in a playroom or kids' room!! Colorful and educational.

You can download it from Live and Enliven here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Bunting Lantern

I have a soft spot in my heart for anything bunting related. And this IKEA lantern hack is no different. A great way to use up scraps of fabric.

Get instructions from You Had Me at Bonjour.

Vintage Sheet Quilt

I need this quilt. Doesn't it remind you of spring???From Michelle DuPuis Picasa Web Album

I'm a sucker for you.

I love this Valentine.
Quick instructions from 24-7-365 here

A book case. Literally.

If only I could figure out how to make one of these.

Image from here.

Felt Dahlias

I'm not a corsage/brooch girl myself, but these would be adorable on a little girl's headband.

Find the tutorial from Not Martha guest posting at Holidash here. And some more tips here.

I'm never buying a bed frame again

Because this is awesome.

Made with two wooden pallets.From Design Sponge.

Eco Travel Lid

When I was growing up, my mom used (new) plastic shower caps in lieu of Saran Wrap. It was a cheaper option and, although they weren't that good looking, could be used over and over again. I've never gone the shower cap route myself, but I really love this tutorial by Allyson Hill for Evo Travel Lids. Basically, it is the same concept, only better looking. I think I might make myself a few.

See the full tutorial here.

Sewing Space

I found the side of a crib in the as-is section of IKEA for about $3 after falling in love with this space. Someday I'll have a room and a reason to paint and hang it. I love the clipboard in leui of an inspiration wall. I have a thing for hanging clipboards.

Image from Smile and Wave.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Easy as...cobbler

Bakerella refers to this dessert as Peach Crumb Cake, but it is always the way we've made Peach Cobbler. It is so easy and so delicious-just peaches, a cake mix, butter, and brown sugar. YUM!. Make sure you have some ice cream available!!

See the recipe from Bakerella here.

Letter Cups

The Violet Hours made knock off alphabet cups (original product from Iam Design) that would be adorable for the next birthday part you host! She provides instructions AND a PDF for personal use here.

Cardboard box town

KikiCreates turns a plain cardboard box into something a kid will play with for hours.

Wait, they already play with cardboard boxes for hours. In fact, as I write this, my daughter is playing with a box that she's been hauling around all week saying, "Okay toys, I'm giving you to Andy." Maybe we should lay off the Toy Story 3.

The difference between a regular cardboard box and this transformed one is that it LOOKS like something kids should play with.And it's totally awesome.

No tutorial, but some more details from Kiki Creates here.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Project 31 Complete

I posted a complete list of all the random acts of kindness from my birthday project-Project 31- today. If you are interested, you can read them here.

And if did not receive the free pattern you requested from the other day, please let me know!! makealong (AT) gmail (DOT) com.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Foam Mat Makeover

Sarah.Wandering turned a foam rug from drab to de-lovely with paint and a steady hand. I can always use a good rug in my life-now to figure out how do this with little to no artistic talent.
Just to give you a little insight into this amazing transformation-these started out as primary colored mats!!

See the tutorial from Sarah.Wandering here.

A little bookish

No instructions or tutorial, but these look pretty simple to make (or you can always buy one from Etsy shop Wonderland Furniture here). I desperately need one for my nightstand.

Book Bunting

Every kid should have one of these in his room.I don't normally promote the destruction of children's books, but if you are making something this fabulous, I think I could make an exception. Time to peruse the local thrift shop to find the perfect book.

You probably don't need them (such an easy project!), but Kojo Designs was kind enough to provide instructions here.

Sailor Knot Bracelet

I'm not a jewelry person. Anyone who knows me can tell you that. In fact, I can't even remember the last time I wore my wedding ring. Don't worry-no one hits on me. I'm normally surrounded by screaming children which serves as one (there are, frankly, many) great deterrent to would be suitors.

That said, I kind of fell in love with this sailor knot bracelet. Bracelet?!? I know-maybe I should start looking married before I delve into more complicated accessories.

Nevertheless, here's the tutorial from Etsy's Storque.

And if you crochet (a talent I do not possess), this one is also awesome.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Alphabet Wall Art

Not meaning to have an alphabet theme today, but it is what it is. I have a soft spot in my heart for educational wall art and this easy and inexpensive idea definitely fits the bill. I would look for canvases that you could cover at garage sales or thrift shops to make the letter art as cheap as possible.

Personalized ABC Card

I love this idea for a birthday or other special occasion. Use the PDF included in the post to print out a set of alphabet cards and write one thing on each card that you love or appreciate about the person that correlates with the letter. This would make a great Valentine's gift for that special someone!! See instructions and get PDF from Design Sponge here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Felt Faces

One day I AM going to get around to making these felt faces. Especially since I can see them working perfectly as quiet activities during church. And of course, the fact that they are mainly made of felt scraps is also quite appealing. Get a group of ladies together to make these and split the (very minimal) cost.

See the instructions from Momtastic here.

DIY Lacing Beads

I love the idea of making your own lacing beads-these would make a fantastic (and inexpensive) baby shower or 1st birthday gift!

Get the instructions from Say YES! to Hoboken here.

For the Pot-Heads

I just made this...and you can too. Or one that says "Keep Calm and Eat a Cupcake.
Or the always motivational "Act Hysterical and Give Up"

Go to Calm-O-Matic here.

P.S. I actually made this print before Christmas and used it on a Shutterfly recipe book that I gave to my sister. You could put it on cards, books, posters, calendars....there are so many possibilities!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Project 31-UAOK #9-31 Free Patterns**CLOSED**

Update: The 31 patterns have been given away!! Thanks so much for helping me with Project 31!!

In honor of my birthday and Project 31, I'm giving away patterns to 31 lucky people. There are four patterns to choose from:
  • Reversible Pouch Sling-pattern works for all sizes (make great gifts!)
  • Flip Flop Skirt-girl sizes 12 months-5T
  • Cinch Skirt-girl sizes 6 months-8 years
  • The Favorite Skirt-a women's skirt pattern, sizes XS-XL (all sizes are included in pattern)
You can see them here. All four of them are full of pictures and step by step instructions, so even if you haven't sewn much (or ever), these are great to start with.

To get your free pattern, just leave me a comment with your email address and choice of pattern. I'll be giving away patterns to the first 31 people who comment.

Have a happy day!

Ruffled Rainbow Streamers

Use the cheap paper streamers from the dollar store to make these ruffled banners. I really want to do this for the next party I host. They are so colorful and pretty. On second thought, maybe I'll make some and hang them up all year long.See the instructions from My Paper Crane here.

Adjustable Elastic Waist

My kids are so, so skinny. And I'm normally able to find adjustable waist pants at the thrift shop (where I buy all their clothes-why spend more than $1 when the kid is just going to get paint/pizza sauce/grass stains all over?) but sometimes I end up with a pair that isn't adjustable. Which means the kids go around sagging their pants. Not a great look for a teenage boy or a toddler. Thank goodness for Julie-K and her tutorial. She shares how to add an adjustable elastic waist yourself!See the tutorial here.

Chair Backs into Picture Frames

This would have never occurred to me, but I am loving this idea. Take some old chairs, remove the wicker, and turn them into frames. Now to just find some cheap chairs at Goodwill or a garage sale.
All Things Thrifty shares the tutorial here.

Project 31

Friday is my birthday. I won't tell you how old I'm going to be, but I'm sure you can guess by the title. This year I'm going to do something a little different--as in it's not going to be all about me. We have been so blessed by others the past couple of years and I want to pay it forward. So, I commit to do 31 acts of unexpected kindness during this week-Project 31. As Gandhi said, The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.

The idea isn't new by any means, some people I've read about have done all of the service in one day, some have spread it out over a month, but the week time line works out best for our circumstances. I'm also going to be doing some of the random acts through this blog, my family blog, and the Screamin' Deals Facebook page, just to mix it up a little and keep people on their toes. Next Saturday, after finishing 31, I'll be posting a list for record's sake.

I'm so excited-I have a feeling this is going to be the best birthday week ever.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Peanut Butter Brownies

I'm only baking treats once a week (dang New Year's resolutions). As a result, I've had to get really choosy about desserts. I was having a craving for peanut butter and Zak was wanting chocolate, so after an extensive internet search I decided to try the Peanut Butter Brownies (from Smitten Kitchen).They were so very good. I changed the recipe up a bit and it was perfectly suited to our cravings.

Peanut Butter Brownies

For brownies

2 sticks (1/2 pound) unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup creamy peanut butter
2 large eggs plus 1 large yolk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (9 ounces)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees with rack in middle. Butter a 13- by 9- by 2-inch baking pan.

Beat together butter and sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until mixture is light and fluffy, then add peanut butter and beat until incorporated. Beat in whole eggs, egg yolk, and vanilla. Reduce mixer sped to low, then mix in flour until just combined.

Mix in chocolate chips (1 1/2 cups) then spread batter in baking pan, smoothing top. (It will be thick, almost like cookie batter.)

Bake until brownies are deep golden, puffed on top and a wooden pick inserted in center come out with some crumbs adhering, 40 to 45 minutes.

The original recipe uses a ganache topping, but I changed it up. I really liked the way it turned out.

2/3 peanut butter
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips

Melt together and spread over the baked brownies. Cool and serve.

Photo courtesy of Smitten Kitchen

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Last Minute Frock

There are so many fantastic (free!) little girl dress patterns out there. And I have bookmarked all of them. Not gotten around to making many, but they are all filed away for future use.

This one is from Grosgrain (have you seen this blog-Kathleen is an amazing seamstress!)-The Last Minute Frock. I love it. Especially the color combination.Get the full pattern (scroll through the post and you will see the link to download) here.

Play Tent from Sheets

Oh, the possibilities! I've seen a lot of little tent tutorials, but not one has used something upcycled to make one-and we all know I love a good upcycle project. Living with Punks uses 4 sheets to create the tent. And a hula hoop. You could even make this out of vintage sheets for a completely different (and totally awesome) look. Living with Punks gives you all the instructions here.

Burlap Word Art

Burlap is all the rage right now. Though, I'm not exactly sure why... (Disclaimer: not that there is anything wrong with burlap, but it's been around FOREVER so why is it cool now?)Tattered and Inked combined burlap with the ever trendy alphabet to make an adorable piece of wall art perfect for a kids' room. Doesn't every kid love to see his or her name on the wall??

This is a super cheap and easy project (maybe that's why burlap is so popular? We are all suffering from the bad economy but still want to be crafty?). See all of the instructions from Tattered and Ink here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Thinking Halloween?

I realize that it is way too early to start thinking Halloween costumes, but....I'm already thinking Halloween costumes. I saw this one a few months ago and immediately knew, I'm making this for Halloween 2011. Call me a freak, but my daughter is going to be adorable. There's not an entire tutorial for the costume, but Early Bird Crafting tells you where to find the instructions for each piece and the changes that she made. You can see her post about it here.

Book Pockets

Awhile I posted a similar idea for storing books near a child's bed (see it here), but this one attaches right to the bed-perfect for a top bunk or an IKEA loft bed (like my son's!). Great for storing books and other little treasures your child insists on having in bed.

There's not a full tutorial for this project, but Betz White gives some tips for making your own here.

The BEST Chicken Enchiladas

For a long time I made the same old chicken enchilada recipe. Don't get me wrong, it was good, but a few weeks ago I wanted to change it up a little so I went searching for something different. In my search for greatness, I came across Angela's Awesome Enchiladas.And awesome they were. Even if you have a fantastic enchilada recipe, I suggest you take a break from it for one night and try this one. So good. It's my new go-to recipe.

Angela's Awesome Enchiladas
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast meat -shredded
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) package mild taco seasoning mix
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped, divided
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 5 (12 inch) flour tortillas (we've used corn tortillas as well-very good)
  • 3 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
  • 1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
  • 1 (6 ounce) can sliced black olives (we're not olive people and left these off)
  1. Place the chicken in a large pot and add water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chicken pieces are no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Shred chicken by placing two forks back to back and pulling meat apart. Set the shredded chicken aside. Meanwhile, combine the cream of chicken soup, sour cream, and chili powder in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, then turn off the heat and cover to keep warm.
  2. Heat the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the shredded chicken, chopped green chilies, taco seasoning, half of the bunch of chopped green onion, and water. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the lime juice, onion powder, and garlic powder; simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
  3. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Stir 1 cup of the soup mixture into the skillet with the chicken mixture. Spread the remaining soup mixture on the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish.
  4. Fill each tortilla with chicken mixture. Sprinkle Cheddar cheese over the chicken filling before folding the tortillas, reserving half of the shredded cheese for topping the enchiladas. Fold tortillas over the filling and place seam-side down in the prepared pan.
  5. Pour enchilada sauce evenly over the enchiladas. Cover with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of Cheddar cheese. Sprinkle the reserved chopped green onions and the sliced olives on top of the cheese. Bake in the preheated oven until filling is heated through and the cheese is melted and bubbling, about 25 minutes.
Photo and recipe from here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Morning Routine Cards

Download the set of morning routine reminder cards (in girl or boy colors) for FREE! My son has autism, so visual helps like this are HUGE in our house. And, also provided is an afternoon routine poster for download too. Functional and good looking!

Get the cards from Living Locurto here. Be sure to check out the rest of the printable she provides on her site!!

Wrapped Wreath

Love the color blocking on this wreath! Perfect for spring and made from (wait for it)..... vintage bed sheets!! Of course, you could do the same thing with your favorite fabrics instead if you don't have any vintage sheets around.

See the full tutorial at Vintage Sheets here.

Camera Strap with a Lens Cap Pocket

When I get around to making another project for myself-this is going to be it. I really like the handmade strap I have currently on my camera, but this one is so much more practical!! It has a little pocket right on the strap for the lens cap. And I'm always losing my dang lens cap (I need to start putting it in the same pocket every time). Fantastic solution from HoneyScrap!! See the tutorial here.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Homemade Butter

I've been really intrigued lately by skills that teach you how to get back to the basics. Like "pioneer", "I can live off the land" skills. Today, I found a recipe for making your own butter that sounds so easy, kids can get involved! I wonder if it's cheaper to make your own butter or buy it?

Get the recipe and ingredient suggestions from Maize in Montana here.

Party Dress Pattern

I don't normally love "froofy" dresses, but this one is just right-formal but still simple lines. And I love the wide sash!! I can imagine it in so many fabrics for so many occasions. Bookmarked it for Storey's Easter dress this year.The full tutorial (and pattern) from The Cottage Home here.

Ruffle Headband

I love these little headbands. You could even make the ruffle portion as a slipcover for an existing headband (I don't love the elastic going around my neck). A great project for fabric scraps!

Polka Dot Mobile

Storey is almost too big for her crib at this point, but I think this mobile would be adorable over a "big kid bed" too. So simple, so cute.

See all of the instructions at Sew She Sews.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Wooden Pallet Reading Nook

I keep coming across these amazing furniture tutorials that I really want to build in our next house (when we have more room and the majority of our stuff is no longer in storage). This reading nook was built from wooden pallets. Amazing.

Instructions from Kojodesigns in two parts here and here.