Friday, March 4, 2016

DIY Christmas - DIY Gifts

As I mentioned in the last post, I had a blast doing DIY projects for Christmas. Most I made gifts, but I did complete 2 Christmas activities for Lottie.

First, I made her a felt Christmas tree to decorate on her own. Basically, the same craft that everyone did and posted all over Facebook.

The Minnie Mouse ornament was an especial favorite.

I also made an advent calendar of the names of Jesus. Each night we flipped one and read the related verses. I hope it helps us remember the Lord of Lords each Christmas.

Now for the gifts. I made 2 busy books. I bought pencil bags and filled them with various fun activities--velcro sticks, pom poms with catepiller counting cards (not shown here), lacing cards, and a puzzle.

I ended up making one for Lottie, too, for the plane ride to RI.

As a stocking stuffer for Chris and Brian, I made Daddy relaxing/play time shirts from A Thrifty Mom. I painted/drew a car town on the back of t-shirts, so Dad can lay down and enjoy having hot wheels rolled all over their backs. Daddy gets a rest and massage, and kiddo gets play time with Daddy. Genius.

For Luke's first birthday, I made him a birthday hat. He wasn't much of a fan, but I didn't take it personally.

Finally, the main feature--the road mat for Luke. I got the idea from How Does She. This was one of those projects where I even impressed myself with how well it turned out. I wasn't completely sure how cute it would be in the end, but I must admit I love it.

I had a blast personalizing it: Waits Grocery, Atteberry Airport, Cameron Park Zoo, and Zoey's Car Wash. I also made it interactive. The barn is a pocket of farm animals closed by velcro.

The car wash has a towel to wash the cars.

The zoo animals come out of their cage.

And, finally, all the houses hold pictures of his family. I even figured out how to make them removable, so they can be updated.

And check out this cutie enjoying it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

DIY Christmas - Lottie's Reading Nook

I had so much fun making gifts this Christmas. And as a stay at home mom, I actually managed to get all the gifts done on time.

Well, for the most part. Lottie's gift was assembled and set up for Christmas, but I just finished adding the accessories. Awhile back I spread a blanket in the corner of Lottie's room with some pillows and told her it was her reading corner. She loved it. Chris and I would find her curled up there flipping through a book or "reading" to herself out loud. We decided to make her an official reading nook for Christmas. Lottie loves it.

I am pretty happy with how it turned out. And I built it! All by myself. Though I have to give Chris credit for hanging it, which may have been the most irritating part of the whole project.

I followed the instructions posted by Jenna Burger Design. I made mine square (30x30). I also attached the curtains to the toe kick board with a staple gun then I covered the front in purple fabric before hanging the whole thing. I did not use paint stirrer sticks on the back of the toe kick board, but it would actually help the top and bottom board line up better than they do.

I added curtain tie backs, so Lottie can open and close the curtains easily.

I decided to frame three pictures of Lottie reading and 3 fun quotes. I plan to print the quotes in color and decoupage them to wood plaques or something similar.

Don't you love the picture of Lottie reading her big airplane book? Actually, here is the real thing because I love it so much.

I found purple crystal lights at Ikea to hang inside. I don't love how I hung them, but it was the best of 4 attempts. Lottie loves to ask for her "wights on."

Finally, I made the huge round floor pillow. It was a no sew project--made just like the no sew fleece bankets. I just stuffed it with a full sized comforter. I got the idea from The Kichen and the Cave. However, she didn't explain how to tie the knots, so I found a great explanation of the knot at Craft Elf. The coolest trick I learned was how to cut a circle out of fabric from My Poppet. It worked like a charm.

The pillow is about 36 inches in diameter, and has 2 sides.

A Lottie side (fabric picked by her)

and a mommy side (picked by me to match her room)

I plan to add a couple of throw pillows at some point, but I consider it finished. And a success. Lottie sits there several times a day reading and loves inviting Chris or me to join her. I think she will enjoy this for years to come.