Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Review: Top 10 Most Popular Posts

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  I had great plans of writing a Christmas post, and then...I ended up spending the time with my family instead.  Which is really how it should be, right?

So, I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas.  I know we did.  And, we have the rest of the week off, so we're having all sorts of relaxing fun!  But, before the year is completely gone, I thought I'd jump on the bandwagon and do a wrap-up post.

So, without further ado, here are the most popular posts on Jengerbread Creations this year.

1.  Harry Potter Parties


2. Sun Shades Dress Knock-off

3. Pink and Gray Necklace Tutorial

4.  Scalloped Edge Baby Quilt Tutorial

5. Sculpey Flowers and Necklace Tutorial

6. Pink and Gray Dress

7. Child's Art Portfolio

8.  The Bored Board

9.  Uchtdorf quote printable

10. Black and White Polka Dot Dress

It's been a fun year (well, not quite a year for me--I only started this spring!). I've enjoyed having a place to show off all my silly little projects. :) Thanks to my little group of followers for your support. And, thanks for the comments. I love comments. :)   Here's to another great year!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Project Past

I made this wreath several years ago, for one of my very first Christmases as a mother. It's like the one we had when I was growing up. I'm pretty sure my mom got the pattern for it out of Good Housekeeping.

By the time I made it, I didn't have the pattern, just a little instruction from Mom and my memories of what hers looked like.

It's basically just a tube of fabric with a foam wreath form inside (you have to cut the foam to put the fabric on).  And then, I tacked the bow on to the front.

It's not an evergreen wreath or an ornament wreath.  It's not yarn wrapped.  It's not trendy at all.  But I love it.  I love the bright red bow and ric-rac.  I love the ruffles.  I love the cute Christmas tree fabric.  And, I love that it is like the one I grew up with.  It reminds me of coming home from school to find that my mom had decorated for Christmas because the wreath was on the door.

Do you have any decorations in your home that remind you of your childhood?

Monday, December 19, 2011

I'm a Finalist!!

Somehow I made it into the top 12 in the So You Think You Can Sew competition over at Mommy By Day...Crafter By Night.  Top 12, out of 127 entries.  Not too shabby.  :)

There will be four weeks of competition, starting in January, with a different theme each week.  The week of January 4th I'll post my first project (theme: for the home).

Voting will begin on January 4th at Mommy By Day...Crafter By Night.  Readers will only have 24 hours to vote and then the bottom three will get eliminated.  I'd really like to make it at least through round 1, so please be sure and vote.  :)

I think this is going to be really fun.  I have big plans for my first project.  I can't wait to show you guys!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Tree Skirt (and a Mini-Tutorial)

I've never really liked my tree skirt. I bought it when I was a newly-wed and it was the cutest tree skirt in that particular store on that particular day. Plus, I like to think that my taste has improved with age.

It wasn't really bad exactly, just not really my style anymore.

So, this year, I decided to make a new one.  And, best of all, it's simple, fast, cheap, and easy.  Because, Christmastime is busy enough as it is, right?

I bought some inexpensive felt and laid my old tree skirt on top of it.  I basically just traced the old tree skirt, but with scallops.  I did the bowl trick again for the scallops, but this time I marked a spot on the bowl with tape so that all my scallops were the same size.

After doing the first layer, I shifted the tree skirt/makeshift pattern up and over to make the next smaller circle out of a different color of felt and did the same tracing thing again.  (In retrospect, I should have just done the pencil-on-a-string compass trick to make them all exact circles, but I didn't care enough for that kind of exactness on this particular afternoon.)

When I got all my scalloped circles done, I cut up one side of them all, with a hole in the middle.  I then laid them neatly around my tree.  The whole thing took me no more than a half-hour.

Perhaps before I put it away after Christmas I will sew all the layers together, but the felt layers stick nicely to each other with just friction, so I don't really need to.

I like my new tree skirt.  It's a little bit vintage and a little bit funky.  I like it's bright colors.  And it looks great with the eclectic ornaments on our tree.  And, to think, it only took me 30 minutes!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Poinsettia Headband

I went to a Christmas party on Friday night. And, I wanted something festive to wear. I wore a green sweater (because of course my clothing must color-coordinate with the Christmas theme!) and decided to make myself a festive poinsettia headpiece.  (Note:  I'm obviously not wearing a green sweater in the below picture. You think I had time to make a headband AND photograph it right before the party?)

And yes, I did make it right before the party.  Like, the babysitter is arriving and I'm still hot-gluing.

I pretty much made it up as I went, comparing it occasionally to the poinsettia plant my sweet friend gave me for my birthday.  I wanted the middle to be authentic (because that's how I roll) and have the tiny yellow flowers that real poinsettias have amongst their red and green leaves.  But, I didn't have any yellow beads.  So, dear readers, you know what I used?  I used a pair of pliers to cut the heads off of some of my sewing pins and then I hot glued them to the flower.  Yep.  I'm a little nuts.  But, hey, they look cute, right?  Mission accomplished.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

How do you display your Christmas cards?

Growing up, my parents always sat the Christmas cards they'd received on top of our piano. My husband's parents taped theirs to the wall. I've seen card wreaths and garlands. There seem to be hundreds of ways to display your Christmas cards. This is mine.

I use 3M tape to attach three ribbons to our basement door and clip the cards to the ribbons as we receive them.

Years ago, I found a bunch of cute, Christmas-themed, tiny clothespins.  That's what I use to attach the cards.

The ribbons are fairly short because I still have a little guy around the house who would love to yank them down.  But, as my family grows, I may replace the ribbons with longer ones.

It doesn't really matter, though, because I can fit quite a few cards on those ribbons.  The early-birds get the best, and most visible, spots though.  :)

Speaking of Christmas cards, have you gotten yours ready to send out yet? If not, you may want to check out the adorable holiday cards at Tiny Prints. I used Tiny Prints for my youngest's baby announcement and I think their stuff is super-cute.

Aren't those cards cute?!  Check out more of their cards here.  

Disclosure: I was given a set of holiday cards from Tiny Prints for this review.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Too Cute Tutu

I have two nieces with birthdays this week! I'm not doing a homemade item for niece number 1 (there are just not enough hours in the day to do homemade for everybody...), but I did make this cute little tutu for the other birthday girl.
Her mom is doing a "dress up box" theme for birthday gifts this year and this tutu is my contribution to the dress up box. It's not too often that this mom of boys gets to make something so frilly and foofy. :)  I didn't even have anywhere girly to display it for the picture, so it's hung from the very BOY shelf in my youngest's bedroom.  :)  Please ignore the light switch in the picture.  It's hard to find spots in the house to hang a hanger on that have good lighting!

I just did the simple tutu where you loop lengths of spooled tulle around an elastic waistband.  It's nothing special, and I don't even have a source to link to, since this idea is so pervasive on the internet right now.  I've seen it a hundred different places.

I think it's cute, even if it's red and blue, not a more "fairy-like" color.  I think my soon to be 2 year old niece will like it, at least I hope she does!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rain Shower Baby Shower

I'm having a lot of fun getting to use a bunch of different shower ideas for all these baby showers I've been throwing! This time I used a more literal interpretation of baby "shower." :)

I hung rain clouds over the food table (using Martha Stewart's tissue pom tutorial, with some added raindrops hanging from fishing line).

And, the cupcakes were topped with clouds!

Lemon drops went with the rain-drop part of the the theme.

And, we had little umbrella cheeses, too!  (Idea from Cute Food for Kids, there are so many cute ideas over there!)

It was another fun baby shower!  Though, I am a little glad to be done throwing parties for a little while.  :)  They can take a lot out of you.  :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bert Costume

Since I went as Mary Poppins, of course I needed a Bert!  My husband was happy to oblige.

Most of his costume was pretty low-key.  The white pants are a pair of scrubs from Walmart.  I made him a quick felt bow tie.  He wore his own white dress shirt.  And, we bought him a skimmer hat for about a buck at a costume store.  I took the patriotic paper ribbon off of it and put on a red ribbon to match the jacket.

He needed some white shoes to go with it, but didn't have any, so I made a pair of very quick and dirty spats to go over his shoes. They're not hemmed or finished, there's no button closure, they're just a quick tracing of the shoe, with some elastic across the bottom of the shoe to hold them on.

The jacket was the trickiest part of his costume.  I bought a $6 sport coat at Goodwill, in the lightest color I could find, that was close to his size.  I tried bleaching it.  It is (I'm pretty sure) wool, and I read online that Clorox bleach would dissolve it, but that hydrogen peroxide would work.  I soaked it in H2O2 for 24 hours, and it might have gotten a tiny bit lighter, but didn't turn white.  The H2O2 did, however, dissolve the thread that held most of the buttons on.

I looked into dyeing it, but there's no such thing (that I could find, anyway) as white dye, just color remover.  And it contained sodium hypochlorite, or the same ingredient as Clorox bleach, so I figured it wouldn't work.  I tried painting it with fabric paint, but it was too light and didn't cover the gray.

Finally, I gave up and just painted it with craft paint.  Well, most of it, anyway.  I sewed on the ribbon stripes first, in case the paint made it too hard to sew through the fabric.  Then, I painted between the ribbons with a foam brush and craft paint.  I ran out of craft paint on the sleeves and rather than buying more, I just used up a can of white spray paint I had on hand for the back and the sleeves.

I jokingly call it his "cement suit" as it's a little stiff.  :)  But, it loosened up as he wore it, and wasn't so bad.  :)

And here's Bert and Mary Poppins together:

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mary Poppins Dress

I've always wanted to be Mary Poppins (in her Jolly Holiday dress) for Halloween. This year, I made it happen.

I wish we'd (my hubby and I) noticed during our photo shoot that my hair had been blown into the tulle around the hat and got stuck, but we didn't, and I'm too lazy to do the shoot again.  So, this is what you get.  :)

I used Simplicity 2813, the Cinderella pattern I used last year, for the bodice and skirt.  I shortened the skirt considerably (Mary Poppins' dress is tea length, but I liked the just below knee length better on me.) and added an overskirt made of tulle.  If I had the time and money, I would have used organza or something for the sleeves, overskirt, and neckline, but as this is a costume I will only wear a few times, I went cheap and used tulle.  It's  "inspired-by" if you will.  :) I gave the hemline a tuck to add a bit of visual interest in the all white skirt.  I added to the fullness of the skirt by wearing a petticoat with it, which I'd previously made to go with my White Christmas dress.   I drafted the tulle neckline myself, and the sleeves were from a blouse pattern I had laying around.  

I also drafted the waist cincher (complete with boning) myself.  The jabot is just a bunch of ruffled tulle tacked on to the bodice.  I threaded ribbon through lace and trimmed the neckline and sleeves with it.  I tied the neckline in the back with ribbon, as I had already added the zipper in the back of the dress, and needed a way to close the tulle.  :)

And, I tacked on several bows on the overskirt.  The hat and parasol were from a local costume shop, though I spray painted the hat white (it was natural tan when I bought it) and added the tulle to it.

My husband went as Bert (which I will blog about in an upcoming post) and we were the hit of our church Trunk or Treat--we won Best Couple Costume.  :)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Easy Harry Potter Costume

My son is obsessed with Harry Potter right now, and insisted that he be Harry Potter for Halloween. I obliged and made a very quick robe for his HP costume.

I made it the same way as I made the Dumbledore robe, but without the trim.  I planned to put a Hogwarts crest on (by finding an image online and using iron-on printer paper), but I realized that I forgot to do so before taking the pictures.  You can imagine that it's there in the picture, right?  :)

The tie is a cheap (ugly knit) tie I found at Goodwill.  I added stripes with some puff paint.  Easy peasy.  The rest of the outfit is just his Sunday clothes that he already owned.  And, of course, we drew a little lightning-bolt scar on his forehead with some eyeliner.  And, he doesn't need glasses, since he already wears glasses!  This is possibly the easiest costume I've ever put together for my kids.  Yay for easy!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Halloween Card

This is the card I made for my September card group.  I was feeling like making something simple.  I'd seen a couple items of pin-punch art on pinterest, and thought this would be a simple way of making a quick Halloween card.  

I just printed out "Boo" in a font I liked, laid my card and the template I made on top of some left over cork board I had laying around and punched an outline around the letters with a push-pin.  

My inspiration was a ghost--all white and says "boo!" right?  :)  

Friday, October 7, 2011

Dumbledore Costume

This may be my favorite costume I've made my kids, ever. Well, maybe second best--last year's Captain Smith, of Titanic fame, is up there, too.
My kids are going through a definite Harry Potter phase.  J wanted to be Dumbledore for Halloween this year, which I think is awesome.  I mean, every kid wants to be Harry, but how many do you know who have dressed up as Dumbledore, the awesomest wizard ever?

Using this photo as inspiration, I created a Dumbledore costume.
For the robe, I bought some cheap gray broadcloth at Walmart and traced a robe shape around J's body as he laid on top of the fabric.  I cut it out and sewed the back to the front, adding trim along the front and sleeves.  Though you can't see it, the front has a frog-type button clasp to hold it closed.
I'm pretty proud of the beard and hair.  Last year I made a beard out of felt for the Capt. Smith costume, but I wanted this one to be more flowey.  I thought of batting, but it wasn't quite what I wanted.  Instead, I used one of those fake spiderwebs they sell with the Halloween decorations!  Rather than stretching it out into a spider web, as it's meant for, I cut it into lengths and stretched it just wide enough to be hair-like.  I sewed the beard and mustache to a felt base, which ties around his head (and over his ears) with ribbon.  The hair is sewn onto the hat.
For the hat, I just sewed a length of fabric to a circle roughly the size of the top of J's head.  I trimmed it, of course, and even made a little tassel for the top out of a few inches of fringe that I bought in the trim section at Walmart.
Total cost?  About $10.  Cuteness factor?  Priceless.

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