Wednesday, March 30, 2011


This morning I received a message from Judy at DIY by Design

Today she featured my upcycled glider project that I posted last week at her "Swing Into Spring" Party! I am thrilled! Head on over to her blog and check out all the gorgeous things she has done to her home, and the projects others have linked up as well.

And fair warning, you might drool with envy over her gorgeous kitchen remodel! {SWOON!} :)

Superhero Towel Cape: A Tutorial

A few weeks (months?!) ago I posted this post before we headed off to Florida...with a small teaser on a few projects to come. Here is one of them!

My 3 year old nephew loves superheros. When his Mom first told him about our trip to Disney, his biggest concern was which superhero costume was he going to wear! I think in his little head he believes he is one. Which is awesome because who doesn't want their kiddo to have the confidence of a superhero?

I had originally wanted to make him a superhero cape, but I decided a new beach towel would be a fun and sunny Florida idea. Then I thought...why not do both?
(I am by no means claiming to have invented the hooded towel! This is just how it made sense to me, and how I embellished it to be Superhero worthy.)

For this project I used a bath towel, hand towel, and wash cloth. 
Any sized towels would do, but mine were 30x54, 16x28, and 12x12.

Start with the hand towel. Fold it in half lengthwise, right sides together.

You're going to cut a curved shape out of the towel from the finished edge to the folded edge. This will be the hood of the towel.

The size you choose to cut really depends on the size of your child. (This towel seemed to be just the right size for a 3T wearing kiddo) I just eyeballed this...but my measurements were about 9 inches up from the botton on the finished edge side, and 7 inches up from the bottom on the folded edge side. The highest part of the curve was about 10 inches from the bottom. The picture is easier to see what I'm talking about:

Ok, now sew the hood closed along the line that you just cut out. I used a regular straight stitch, then went over the edges with a zig zag to help stop any fraying.

Turn the hood right side out. Fold in half so outer side edges meet. Mark the center of the back with a pin.

Next, grab your bath towel. Fold in half, lengthwise. Mark the center with a pin.

Lay the bath towel with right side facing up. Match up the center pin on your bath towel with the center pin on the back of your hood. Your hood should be "open side" up. Pin together.

Sew the hood to the bath towel. Both edges are already finished from the original towels, so this seam wont fray. (Ie, no need to zig zag stitch...woohoo!)
Hooray, your hooded towel is done! But we are going to SUPERHERO this up and embelish a bit further.

Grab a yellow wash cloth. Iron on some iron-on-adhesive onto one side. The washcloth is thick, so I found it worked best to iron on the paper side of the adhesive, instead of on the back side of the washcloth. This goes against what the directions say, but trust me. It worked fine.
I printed a Batman symbol off the web, and used it as a stencil. Trace your stencil onto the adhesive paper backing.
Cut it out and peel off the paper backing.

Place the batman symbol, adhesive side down onto the back of the towel. I let the hood hang down on the back of the towel, and placed the batman symbol under it - to be sure you can still see it when the hood is down. The hood will also help you figure out where the middle of the towel is.
Iron on. I used HIGH heat and pressed down really hard. The terry cloth is thick and so you'll need lots of pressure to get that adhesive to work.

The adhesive is really just a temporary fix, to hold the symbol in place while you're sewing it on. You will need to sew around the edge to secure permanently. Zig zag stitch all along the whole edge of the symbol. Since the terry cloth frays quite a bit, I set my stitch length to the widest setting, to ensure that the stitches would grasp the terry cloth firmly.

Finally, I wanted this to be able to be warn as a cape as well. (It is for a superhero, afterall.) I took a short length of black 1/4" elastic and sewed it to the edge of the towel, just under the hood, making a loop. Just use a straight stitch, and go back and forth over it a couple times.

Next, on the opposite edge, I sewed a large button. I made a quick fabric covered button out of some scrap yellow fabric, but you can use any button you have on hand. (Sorry...forgot to take pics of these last two steps...but luckily they are easy peasy!)

Now you have a way for your little guy to keep the towel securely around his shoulders.
Now your little superhero can save the universe! All while staying toasty & dry.
Don't let the straight-face fool you. Being Batman is a very serious job. 
I promise he liked it! (And your little superhero will too!)

Linking up to:


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Nursery Projects: New Life for an Old Glider

I never thought the day would come! A few weeks ago, I posted about our Craigslist glider purchase. This was our first baby room purchase and I had a great vision to restore the chair, save some money, and have a beautiful little resting place to soothe our new baby.

To be honest, this project proved to be a bit of a bear for me! 
But I am finally finished and quite pleased with the result...

Remember what we started with? The wood was very dirty and the cushions were worn, torn & very stained. {I think this chair lived in a barn for the last 10 years!} Not to mention I was not a fan of the "seashell-esque" back cushion!

I liked the crisp white that the glider was already painted, so first I cleaned it up with soap & elbow grease.
New foam purchased with my trusty 50% off Joann's coupon was well worth the $20 for new cushions...
I knew that I wanted a tufted look, which I created using buttons that I covered in the same fabric. And since this was going in a nursery, I used big 2 inch buttons to add a bit of whimsy.
The fabric was a remnant at my local fabric store, which I purchased for around $10. It is a velvety microfiber, in a soft neutral gray color. It's super soft, perfect for snuggling up with a new baby.
Padded arm covers created using left over foam & batting will be perfect for resting Momma's arms...
And a matching ottoman is a soft place to put tired feet...
There are so many of these gliders for sale second hand on Craigslist and thrift stores. When you add a little hard work, elbow grease, and imagination you really can save a lot of money and rescue a tired old chair!
And create a soft & cozy place for snuggling that new baby of ours...

{And the way I see it, the more dollars you save on nursery furniture, the more you can spend on those adorable itty bitty outfits...right?!}

Linking up to the following Link Parties this week!

Transformation Thursday

Friday, March 18, 2011

Copy Cat Chic

This morning through my blog clicking travels, I came across the blog Cop Cat Chick.

Please tell me that I haven't been living under a blogging rock & I'm not the last person on earth to find this? Anyway, just in case I'm NOT, I wanted to share it so that others can enjoy the goodness.

What is so great is that Reichel will take an expensive decor item...dresser, bed, area rug, lamp, etc...and tell you where you can buy it for a fraction of the price. It's genius really. She also has a section for kids, which I have been drooling over all morning in my quest for nursery decor.

So grab your morning coffee, and check it out for yourself! But be warned, you might be there for hours. (It's addicting!)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Some Projects...

Some projects make you want to do this...
And force you to eat lots of this...

And make you buy yourself a bouquet of these at the grocery store...
{To feel better about being a crafting failure, of course.}

By "some projects" I mean this project. It sure is taking a lot more time {and patience} than originally expected! But don't WILL be finished!

Oh! And Happy St. Patrick's Day! 

I don't have a drop of Irish blood in me, 
but maybe the luck of the Irish will help me to finish this chair before my baby turns 18!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Simple Solutions: A Large Area Rug on the Cheap

Our master bedroom here in our rental has beautiful hardwood floors. This I love. But I didn't love how cold the floors were on my bare feet in the morning. We needed an area rug to go underneath our bed.

I decided I wanted something roughly 10x12 feet so that it would fit under the bed and have a nice overhang on either side. There was just one problem. Area rugs this large are not cheap! And not to sound like a broken record, but when furnishing a temporary inexpensive is the answer to every problem.

So when walking through Home Depot, I spotted a bin of 6x9' shag area rugs for $29.99 each. They weren't the highest of quality, but really, who could pass up such a deal?

So we bought two, brought them home and duct taped them together!
You can hardly even see the seam in the middle, since it's basically hidden underneath the bed.
So for $60, we have a 9x12' area rug that does a great job of keeping my toes nice & toasty in the morning.
A simple solution to what could have been an expensive problem.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

First Baby's Room Project

A Glider. 
What every new momma needs (or so I'm told!)

Greg and I bought our very first piece of nursery furniture today! Ok. So she needs a little TLC. {I spared you the close ups of the dirt, stains, and wear.} But she's sturdy, was only $40 on Craigslist, and for over $200 new, I figured with a little work I can make her sparkle again!

Oh, do I have grand plans for this chair. 
Check back soon to see what I come up with!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The LBB Minnie Dress: Revisited

Remember the LBB Minnie Dress I made a few weeks ago? I got the chance to snap a few pics of the little miss wearing it before we headed off to Disney for the day...

Since I don't have kids of my own (yet!) I don't often get to see my creations in actions. It was fun to be able to for a change!
The sizing of the pattern proved to be right on.
And the dress proved to be a comfy, carefree outfit for a day of chasing her Uncle Greg around Disney!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Disney Recap

So we're home from a great vacation and I'm having a little trouble getting back in the swing of things...
The break from the cold winter skies of Pennsylvania was great...
I wish I could have brought all the beds of flowers home with me!
Is there a TSA regulation against checking a thousand boxes of pansies on an airplane?
And as we were traveling through "Africa" in Animal Kingdom, I found these adorable little puffs. Loved them!

We met some furry friends...
And some not so furry ones...

Those of us without a baby in our belly rode some daredevil rides...and got a little soaked in the process!
Don't worry, I didn't mind staying high and dry. :)

And what trip to Disney would be complete without seeing a few characters?
Though they weren't all as "animated" as I thought they'd be...
...I was still quite impressed with these topiaries we found throughout the park.

We all had a great time. 
In fact, I loved the Magic Kingdom so much that I wanted to walk up to the front door of Cinderella's castle and see if there was room for one more.

Back to reality {and crafting!} tomorrow.