Straw Garland Party Decor Kids Can Help With

Easy and inexpensive party decor!Do your kids always want to help you when you are in DIY crunch time leading up to a party?  Mine do.  And while I love that they want to spend time with me and be part of it, it sometimes slows me down.  So I came up with the idea to have them make these super easy straw and knot garlands.  You can pretty much find straws in every color so it will easily coordinate with the rest of the party decor.  And these are super inexpensive to make.  Another plus.  As for how many you will end up, well, that is totally dependent on their attention span.  I’m not saying these have to be the focal point of the party, but you won’t need to hide it somewhere either.

Super easy straw garland party decorThese straw and knot garlands are also a great way to put up some last-minute decor for a teacher’s birthday, kid’s birthday or a holiday where you want to add something to make your house more festive.

Straw garland suppliesI found a bag of sommarfints at Ikea.  Does anyone else think their word for straw is super crazy?  I do.  And are you also now going to only refer to straws as sommarfints?  I am.  This bag of straws probably cost around a dollar.  And I still have a bunch left.  I love using different kinds of ropes in crafts and this one is a cloth laundry rope I think.  But you could easily use yarn or some other kind of string you have on hand.  And then you just need scissors.  Super simple stuff.

A fun party decor DIY that kids can help with.Have the kid decide what length they want the straws to be and have them start cutting.  When cutting the straws, the unheld end will fly thus leaving the room riddled with straw parts.  This will make the kids laugh like crazy.  Just know you will most likely have to gather the pieces off the floor before you string them.

A fun party decor item kids can help with.Have the kids string on the straw parts one at a time.  And they can choose to add the knots wherever they want.  It is a great way to talk about patterns and symmetry, etc.  Once they figure out where they want it, you can show them how to knot the rope.

Just use a simple knot between the straws for a fun look.No need in making super difficult macrame type knots.  A simple knot is all you need.  Tip:  If you hold the rope where you want the knot to be and then pull the free end with your other hand you can guide where the finished knot sits.  Reading that back, it makes no sense so play around with it, but you can get the knot to sit where you want it.  And there we go, I’ve increased the difficulty of this tutorial on tying simple knots by trying to be helpful.  Never ask me for driving directions anywhere…

Straw and knot garlands are party decor kids can help with.  A good way to help them learn to knot and also good for hand eye coordination.After you tie the knot, add more straws.  Repeat for the desired length of the garland.

A simple garland of sting, straws and knots.Super easy.  Super colorful.  Super kid friendly.

Inexpensive and easy party decorHang them wherever you feel a knot garland should go.

Add some straw heart pizzaz to your garlandAnd did you see my straw heart tutorial?  These won’t be right for everyone’s party decor needs but it is another craft you can have your kids do to keep them busy.  And who doesn’t love hearts?

 

2014 CHA Show Recap

crystal ninja and swarovski crystals at CHA ShowTwo weekends ago I put my craft hat on and headed to the CHA Mega Show at the Anaheim Convention Center.  CHA is the Craft and Hobby Association and this show is a conference and trade show for the country’s largest craft vendors.  This is where shops come to do their buying, designers come to show off their new collections and everyone in the industry comes to learn via workshops.  It is enormous!  I attended as “media” and was super excited to find some awesome new discoveries that, I’m sure, will take my crafts to the next level.  I had been invited to a workshop at the Swarovski booth and that was how I started my day.  I have never had the pleasure to work with their crystals before but YOU GUYS! they are absolutely even more stunning in person.

Swarovski Crystals workshop at CHA showI made that cute little compact mirror right there.  And, of course, I am already dreaming up ways to fit more Swarovski Crystals in my life.  See that little pointy tool peeking out from behind the bag?  That is a Crystal Katana and it is magic.  The tip is made of a rubber material that makes picking up and placing the crystals crazy easy.  I don’t know about you but my fat fingers just get in the way when trying to do delicate work.  The Crystal Ninja (maker of the katana) and Swarovski gifted one of these tools to each of us.  Score!

Erika Domesek and I at the CHA ShowThe workshop was hosted by Erika Domesek of P.S. I Made This and if you didn’t know, stripes are where its at.  She is an ambassador for Swarovski and chatted with us throughout our workshop.  She is super nice and really interesting to listen to.  Super excited that she will speaking at Alt Summit later this week so I can try to gain a little more of her business knowledge (not only is she creative, she has really made a name for herself in the business world and I think she is close to world domination…)

The Crystal Katana at the CHA ShowLater on in the show I found the Crystal Ninja booth and this huge sparkly Crystal Katana.  Of course I had to have a picture with it.  Do you see the TV behind me?!  Everything looks better with crystals…I wonder what my husband would say if he came home from work to find out TV like this…

Look how huge this scarf is!  at the CHA showThe booths were full of inspiration.  I can’t remember which booth this is (great recap Sharon!) but how awesome is that huge scarf?!  And those yarn balls instantly made me think that I’m probably going to need to recreate this for a future party.  Those balls would make perfect seats don’t you agree?   [Read more...]

Easy No Sew Fabric Heart Pillows for Valentine’s Day

Easy No Sew Heart Pillow DIY for Valentine's DayValentine’s Day IS hearts.  Plain and simple.  So I made Easy No Sew Fabric Heart Pillows.   I wanted to make tiny little heart pillows for my kids but guess what?  I hate to sew!  I have been exploring alternative methods for fabric adhering lately.  Luckily, I had a chance to check out the CHA show (full wrap up of all the cool things tomorrow!) last weekend and was given some supplies that were absolutely perfect for this tutorial. (This post is not sponsored but I do want to let you know that I was given product)  While the hold is pretty permanent, I always want to remind you that pretty much all of my crafts are not heirloom quality.  The cost is low and these can be tossed after the holiday.  Or as I am sure will happen in my house, they will be ripped apart and the stuffing will be thrown at each other like snowballs.  That is what happens when you have little boys.

No sew fabric heart pillow diyChoose your favorite fabrics, a pair of scissors and for this I used two kinds of fabric tapes: the Permanent Fabric Sheets and the Permanent Fabric Tape.  I love these tapes and will totally use them again.  Originally I had bought Fabric Fusion to use, but the dry time is too long (well, it’s not really THAT long, but I am a super impatient crafter).

grey and white stripe fabric for heart pillowsI do not free-hand so I cut several hearts out of paper until I found the perfect shape.  Then I made a smaller version to decorate the front of the pillow.  I traced the heart on to the fabric (2 hearts for the pillow and 1 small heart for the decoration) making sure to leave an overhang.  I removed the backing of one permanent fabric sheet and placed the smaller heart fabric on it, making sure to smooth out any bubbles or lumps.  Then I cut out the smaller heart following the outline (Because this is going on the front, I wanted to make sure I could see the tracing.  I just tried to cut just on the inside of the line so you wouldn’t see it on the finished pillow).

orange and red heart with grey and white stripe heartThen I removed the second side of the adhesive sheet and stuck it to one of the larger heart pieces.

Use fabric tape for easy no sew pillowsI turned over the heart and started using small section of the permanent tape.  I wanted to make sure that the fabric would hold together but leave an overhang around the edge.  I just liked that it looks a little floppy.  Once the shape was finished, I started peeling off the back to expose the adhesive.  Then I tried to match up the edges as best I could of the second heart and rubbed to get the tape to adhere really well.  See that one little open spot at the bottom?  That is where you will stuff the pillow.

use stuffing to create a little heart pillowSo then, duh.  Stuff the pillow.  I bought this enormous bag of stuffing 1) because it was on sale for half off and 2) because I couldn’t find a smaller one.  So what that means for you is that I am now going to attempt to stuff everything.  Yeah for puffy crafts!  Once you have it as full as you would like it, use another small piece of the tape to close off the opening.

Easy no sew heart pillow diyPretty cute, right?

heart pillow craft for valentine's dayHow cute would these be as a little bedtime surprise on Valentine’s Day for the kids.  Or even on your hubby’s pillow.

No sew DIY heart pillow tutorialSuper easy, no sew heart pillows.  I want these all over my house.

Valentine's Day Kid CraftHe liked them too.  If you like things all nice and neat use some pinking sheers or some of that fabric edger stuff that stops the fraying.  You know I like my stuff a little messy so these wayward strings do not bother me.  And you guys,  I heart you.  Really I do!

*Full disclosure:  I was given these permanent fabric tapes in a goody bag from the show.  Which was super awesome because I literally was going to go buy them on that following Monday so this saved me about $16.  But then bought the Fabric Fusion for $8 so I’m up just $8.  But still!  Yahoo!

Easy Party Hat Headband Tutorial

easy party hat headbandsI love a good party hat, don’t you?  But I thought they could also be cute when done as headbands.  These could be made before a party, ready for the guests, or done as an activity at the party.  And I love the versatility that fabric gives you in terms of look and texture but you could easily do these with paper.  The next question is, which one do you want to put on your noggin?

easy party hat headbandsAll of the supplies were found at my local craft supply store that carries fabric (Jo-Ann).  If you haven’t worked with Phoomph yet, you HAVE to!  I freaking love it!  (see it in other tutorials here {the HBD sign} and here).  It really gives body to fabric making it work in all kinds of new ways.  Genius.  So pick up your favorite fabric combos, some elastic and Phoomph, then grab your scissors and glue gun and you are all set.

using phoomph with fabricPhoomph is sticky on both sides.  All you have to do is peel the backing off and it is ready to go.

gold and blue batik fabricSmooth on whatever fabrics you want for your party hats then cut off the excess material.  Since the hats rise a bit over the crown of the head, I did a different fabric on the back side as well.  You could easily get 8 hats out of one sheet of Phoomph.

draw on party hat shapeNext you get your talented friend to draw the hat shape son free hand.  If you are like me and you can’t draw to save your life (no, quite literally, if your life ever depended on me winning a game of Pictionary – well, it was nice knowing you, friend) then just find a template online that you can trace.

different party hat shapesAnd just about any shape would work.  I kind of have a thing for crowns.  That is why there are so many of that kind.  But I also really love the simplicity of the triangular party hat shape.  The choice is yours.  You can get with this, or you can get with that (old school rap reference, anyone?…)

adhere party hat to head bandYou make the headband part by hot glueing the elastic ends together, totally easy.  Except for that because of the open weave elastic the hot glue came oozing out all over my fingers.  Whoops.  And ouch.  Since that part looks messy, that is where you will want to glue the crown or party hat shape.

leopard print stripes and goldAnd there you have it.  I probably should have shot these hats in more of a party situation.  But what says party time better than not wearing a shirt?  And if you have children, or have ever tried to take a picture of children when they don’t want to then you know what a feat getting this shot of three little boys together was.  I even decided to let my son’s hideous DJ tank top slide.  Pick your battles, people.

leaopard-crown-head-bandCute, right?

n-jumpingThese hats totally make your fly.  (*Disclaimer:  These hats don’t really make you fly).

 

black-and-white-striped-crownLook at that wonky front tooth!  He would absolutely not let us touch it, even though it was pointing straight out!

party-hat-headband-with-rhinestoneSo, in conclusion, you should totally make these easy Party Had Headbands.  The head’s of your party guests will thank you.

Special Day Terrarium for Kids

cats and fringeWhen we were little we had a special plate to use on our very special days throughout the year.  And I have looked for one to use with my boys but have had trouble finding one that suits our aesthetic.  So I came up with these special day terrariums to take their place.  What I love about these is they can be changed to fit a specific moment or designed to withstand the test of time.  You can tailor make them to your child’s likes or put in cute plastic cats because you think they are funny.

supplies-for-special-day-terrariumGlass vases are available everywhere so start by finding one that you like.  Add some moss, figurines, signs, etc.

cut-fabric-fringeJazz it up with some fabric fringe.

add-fringe-to-special-day-terrariumAnd put it all together.  Don’t forget a pinch of love.

special-day-terrarium-for-kidsI plan on having this show up in my son’s room before he wakes up on his birthday and then he will have it by his place at the table for each meal.

kids-terrarium-for-special-daysThe kids really didn’t understand why I went with a cat.  But they are just kids.  What do they know?

kids-have-special-days

special-day-terrariumMake the day even more special with sugar and junk food.

cat-plates-and-oreosOk, really I chose a cat because I really was dying to use these cat plates I found.  I will probably swap out the cat and use something else for my boys.  Like a Superman figure or a Ninja Turtle or something.  What would you put in here for your kids?