Category Archives: Crafts and DIY

Beginner Sewing Projects: Ideas And Tips! #FamilyFun

If you’re a beginner sewer, there are a few things you should know first. This guide aims to give you some great ideas and tips for your future projects. Practise makes perfect, so use them and see what you can do.

Go Supply Shopping

Go supply shopping if you haven’t already. There are a number of things you’ll need depending on what you want to make. Here’s a list that could help you:

  • Three pairs of scissors. One for fabric, one for paper, and one for, threads and seam lines.
  • A seam ripper.
  • Pins.
  • Measuring tools.
  • Marking tools.
  • Painters tape.
  • Needles and thread.
  • A sewing machine.
  • Patterns.

Understand Your Sewing Machine

When you have everything you need, it’s time to find your way around your sewing machine. You must understand your sewing machine before you even think about starting a project. You can find all kinds of tutorials and reviews online to help you if you need them, on all kinds of machines including the Brother se400. Make sure you have the right machine for your needs and that you practise with it before starting a project. It shouldn’t take you that long, and there should be a ton of resources to help you online.

Crochet Blanket
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Learn The Basics

When you’re confident with your machine, you can learn the basics. Don’t try to run before you can walk. It’s a good idea to learn how to do a perfect zigzag stitch, as well as sew a straight line. These two skills are used in many different projects and it’ll do you good to master them first. Although it’s a good idea to read plenty of books and watch videos, don’t be afraid to make up your own techniques either. Trust your instincts. You can always try it one way and re-do it if it doesn’t work. You might just come up with your own techniques that work better than the ones you’re reading about.

Understanding Which Fabric To Use

Choosing which fabric to use can boil down to many different factors. Sometimes, it’s best to use the type of fabric that the pattern you’re using calls for, as the designers will often know best. However, it can also depend on your skill level, and how you like the feel of a fabric against your skin. Consider the print, and make sure you read the care instructions first. Then you’ll know which fabric is best for you.

Projects

There are a few projects that are pretty easy to take on whatever your skill level may be. Here are a few ideas you might like:

Sewn Tote Bag

Tote Bag

Sewing a tote bag is probably one of the easiest things you can do as a beginner. This is usually a simple case of cutting equal rectangles, hemming them, and then sewing them together with a machine after deciding where your handles will go. You then create and sew your handles, as well as decorate the bag. It couldn’t be easier!

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Baby Blanket

There are a number of different ways you can sew a baby blanket. It could be a simple case of gathering fabrics you like and sewing them together. You could even use fabrics that are special, such as your baby’s first outfits. It’s up to you as to whether you want to make it double sided or not.

Cushion Cover

When many people first start sewing they decide to make a cushion cover. This is another super simple thing to make that you can show off in your home afterwards. This is a case of choosing a nice fabric and the back stitching it so you have a fold in the back for the cushion to go in. It’s a lot easier than it sounds and you can show off your creation afterwards.

Pajamas

Maybe you could even sew your own pajama bottoms when you have a little more confidence. Pajama bottoms, or lounge pants, are really simple. This is something you can try when you feel a little more confident with patterns and the like. However, it’s a great item to practise with. Using linen material can be a great way to start out before you start using materials that are a little harder to work with.

Hopefully these beginner sewing projects and tips have inspired you to get started on your sewing journey right away. It can be so much fun and you’ll love developing your new skill. If you have anything you’d like to share, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. Come back soon!

Thank you to Family Fun Magazine for these craft ideas!

 

NAME-STAMP BLOCK Tutorial #FamilyFunMag

Another fun Winter- time craft, make your own NAME-STAMP BLOCK!  Idea courtesy of FamilyFun Magazine!

Great for new spellers—or anyone who likes to make her mark!

stamp-block

What you’ll need
Paper
Craft foam
Craft glue
2-inch wooden block(s)
Stamp pad & notebooks (optional)

Instructions

  1. Write your recipient’s name in 1¼-inch-high block letters on a piece of paper (you can also use a stencil or print out the letters in a font you like at 100 points). Cut out each letter. You can get six characters onto a block, so if she has a short name, fill in any blank spaces with a fun design like a heart or a star; if she has a long name, use two blocks.
  2. Trace two of each letter onto craft foam; cut out.
  3. Stack the letters and glue them together. Then glue each letter to a side of the block backwards. Repeat for all letters.
  4. If desired, package your blocks with a stamp pad and notebooks.

Must Have Checklist For A New Home

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Moving into a new home is busy and stressful, with all your belongings in boxes it can feel very chaotic. While it’s difficult to forget the big things, like a bed and television, some smaller more obsolete items and can get missed and neglected. Before you move, do some preparation to make sure it all goes as smoothly as possible.

Food

During the move, you probably won’t have time to think about cooking and making homemade meals. While a takeaway might suffice for your first evening, you’ll need to think about breakfast and snacks for the following days to come. Make sure you have the basics in to cover you; milk and teabags, breakfast cereal and some sandwiches. You’ll need your energy while carrying around all those boxes!

Wardrobes

Try to avoid damaging clothes by having somewhere to hang and store them as soon as possible. If your new home doesn’t have wardrobes, purchase some hanging rails as a temporary substitute. Clothes can easily become marked and ripped if left in boxes or piles, leading to replacement costs in the long run.

Kitchen Utensils

When you are unpacked and starting to settle in, you may start thinking about cooking and baking. Make sure you have the basics catered for, with cutlery, crockery and cooking utensils as essentials. Baking trays, mixing bowls and serving dishes can all be purchased as well.

Seating

After you have moved, you will no doubt have many friends and family wanting to visit. Try to provide some seating for yourself and any guests. Dining chairs or stools are needed for meal times, and some kind of seating in living rooms. Don’t rush into purchasing a sofa, though, chairs and fold out stools are fine while you are deciding on more expensive furniture.

Blinds and Curtains

You’re going to want some privacy in your new home, so blinds or curtains are a must. Blinds can be ordered from companies like westral supplier of blinds, and installed in bedrooms or living spaces. Try to choose a colour scheme in the room before purchasing, to avoid having to replace later on.

Cleaning Products

When you first move in, the house will probably need a good clean. Wipe all the tops and cupboards down with anti-bacterial sprays, and hoover and mop the floors. Try to do this before unpacking, as this will be a lot easier than cleaning around your belongings.

Toiletries

After the long days of packing, you’ll be grateful for a hot shower or bath. Try to set aside some basic toiletries while packing, so that you won’t have to rifle through all your belongings to find things. Pack a toiletry bag with the basics in, such as toothbrushes and toothpaste, shower gel, deodorant, and shampoos.

Basic Appliances

Soon after you move in, you will need to think about the essential home appliances. It can be difficult to cope with family life without some basics such as a washing machine, fridge, and freezer. There are normally good quality, second-hand items for sale, so shop around before purchasing.

Creative Ways To Teach Your Kid How To Make A Sand Castle

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Kids love to learn new things but a sand castle may prove a bit difficult to learn how to build. If your kids are having a hard time building sand castles and you want to know the secret to building sensational sand structures, you are in the right place. You can take your families sand castle creation to the next level with some simple tips. Going to the beach, down the river or even in your own backyard in a sandpit, is a great way to play and bond. Keep reading if you want to know the secret to building an amazing sand castle.

Why play in the sand?

As children begin to fully understand the physical properties of sand, they have the opportunity to expand their creativity and imaginations through the designs of a variety of buildings, towns, and castles. Once they realize the buildability of the sand, many children investigate the possibility of constructing whole cities and other areas of play. Provide a variety of common and household objects for children to use in combination with their sand creations. Exchange these objects for new ones frequently, and watch as children adapt their creations and become inspired to construct new ones. Many children find working with sand to be relaxing and non-threatening, allowing these children the freedom to express their imaginations in safety and without consequence.

Gather Your Tools

Whether you are down the beach or playing in kids & childrens sandpits, you are going to need the right tools. Tools can make your life so much easier once you start to build your sand castle. Sandpits are great for kids to get creative whenever the feel the need. Having a sandpit out the back encourages creativity and play. When it comes to tools, the most important tool is definitely the shovel. A lightweight shovel is good idea. Shovels with a wooden handle are also great because that are less likely to crack or break under strain. Kids can tend to get excited so you want to ensure their tools are going to last.

However, for your littler kids you probably want to go with a plastic spade. When building sand castles ensure there is enough tools to go around, you don’t want any fights. In addition, don’t forget the buckets! You’ll need at least two, one for carrying water and one for mixing the water and sand together.

Decorations

This part of the building process is an adventure in itself. Ensure you gather plenty of decorations and start gathering decorations before you start building and can continue once you have started building your sand castle. When you have your sand castle, discuss what sorts of things you want to include in, on and around your sand castle. Make a list, for example, if you want a flag for the castle, what materials do you need to construct it?

Kids have a natural longing to play in the sand. It can be a peaceful and therapeutic way for them to relax and play alone or with friends. Sand play is great for skill building and it is important that you invite children to make sand castles and get creative. Provide them with the location and the right tools and watch them explore creative ways of building sand castles.

Want A More Energy Efficient Home? Then This Helpful Guide Is For You

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In this day and age, we are always looking for ways we can save on our energy bills. Having a more energy efficient home is one of the ways we can do that. While it doesn’t require you to do too much, there are some changes that you can make to your home to help it be more energy efficient. So with that in mind, I thought it would be a great opportunity to share with you some of the ways you can do that.

Change light bulbs to more energy efficient ones

The light bulbs you use in your home can have a big effect on your energy usage. So switching them to more cost effective and energy saving can have a big impact on the amount of energy you use daily. You could consider a lower voltage or switch from a more energy using halogen bulb to an LED alternative. However, they may cost more from the outset that could save you a lot of money in the long run.

Consider solar panels

Applying solar panels to your roof tops can be a big energy saver in your home. The solar panels provide you with energy to heat your home, heat your water, light your home and cook. Anything that electricity would use. Again they may be a costly investment from the outset, but overall the money saved will far outweigh your initial investment.

Change windows and doors

Many homes can lose heat and energy through the windows and doors they have installed. This is due to them not being efficient enough. So considering charging them can be a big energy saver. Checking online from www.cardinal-homes.com/windows/ could be a great place to start. It could provide you with some valuable information. The more heat you can keep in your home, the less energy you are likely to use.

Insulate your home

On the point of not losing energy in the home, another alternative would be to make sure that your home is insulated. This is another way to keep heat in rather than letting it escape through your roof or the walls.

Replace older appliances

Sometimes older appliances in the home like a washing machine or dishwasher can use more energy than newer models. Also, many new appliances have an energy efficient ranking. This is to ensure to you that the appliance you fit in your home is as energy efficient as it can be. Keeping the costs down. Checking out websites like https://www.energystar.gov/products/energy_star_most_efficient could help.

Collect rainwater

Collecting rain water can be beneficial, rather than letting it go to waste. The water collected can be used for things such as watering your lawn or plants. You could also use it for things like washing your car. It means you are not paying for those simple things where as you would be if you ran the tap to fill a bucket or switched a hose pipe on from an outside tap.

I hope this guide helps you make your home a little more energy efficient.

Adorable & Affordable Ideas to Improve Your Kid’s Playtime

Children do some of the funniest things. They are interactive, innovative, daydreamers and are just fun. We look at them and see so much innocence that it’s so hard to be annoyed at them. Even when there naughty, you just can’t be mad because they are just learning their way through the world. However, what is the most important thing to remember when you have children is the responsibility to keep a safe and positive environment for your children to be productive.

Whilst we love our children to run around and enjoy life as much as they possible can, there has to be restrictions and a safe environment for them to do so. It’s the worst predicament to be in for a parent to see their child hurt, and knowing that the accident could have been prevent. Almost 3 million children were sent to require treatment in an emergency room due to unintentional falls, and a majority of these injuries happen at home.

Children at play

When children climb on furniture and are near unsafe pieces in the home, the chances of injury dramatically increased. However, knowing what kids furniture needs to be used within the household and what changes may need to be made to current furniture pieces to create a safe environment for your children.

  1. DIY

Specialized pieces of Kid’s furniture from stores can be incredibly sturdy and well-made products, however sometimes they can be incredibly unsafe for your child. Wood is a great example of a high quality material that is used for kid’s furniture. However, it can be unsafe as the sharp edges of products made from hardwood can be incredibly dangerous if your child unintentional falls. Using your DIY initiative, creating your own piece of kids furniture or adjusting your current piece of furniture is an easy solution.

DIY Kids Furniture

To amend kid’s furniture with sharp edges, using an electric sander or manual sander can help create a different edge to your furniture. Creating a curved edge to your kids furniture piece can help in creating a safer environment for your child. Also, implementing cushioned fabrics onto wooden seating will also create a safeguard for your child, if any accidents happen.

  1. Heavy Furniture

Another issue with kid’s furniture when it comes to their health and safety is the heavy furniture that may be in your home. Kid’s furniture such as drawers and toy boxes are great for children, as they are able the learn the concept of putting your clothes and toys away into a space where they are protected and put away.

However, when using these furniture pieces, it can be incredibly easy for children’s fingers getting jarred and jammed. When buying these items, they should be lightweight and have slow-closing hinges, giving the child ample of time to remove their hands. Another issue that can become apparent with toy boxes is with smaller children becoming stuck inside, causing suffocation. Providing ventilation holes within your child’s toy box can allow your child to breathe whilst stuck and prevent suffocation as a result.

Whilst it is easy to have affordable and adorable pieces of kid furniture in your home, the main priority of any parent or guardian is to keep your child safe. These techniques are inexpensive to implement, and can be used on any furniture piece, creating a safe and happy environment for your child.

Tips And Tricks To Save Money When Decorating Your Child’s Bedroom

Our children become a huge priority in our lives. So there is no reason to think that where they spend their evenings will be a less of concern to us. We want to make sure they have a fantastic bedroom space filled with lots of lovely things. But of course, like anything, there is a cost involve. Sometimes we just don’t have the cashflow to do everything we want. However, that doesn’t mean you still can’t decorate your child’s bedroom to a high standard. So I thought i would share with you some tips and tricks for decorating that will save you some money.

Idea Plan Action
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Have a plan in place

Planning will be key to making sure you don’t go over your budget. You need to make a note of exactly what you want to achieve and how you plan on doing it. Where Money needs to be spent and where it needs to be saved. It can be a difficult process but further down the line you will be thankful for the time you spent working out all the details. Being logical with your decisions will open your eyes a little. You may find that certain things don’t need replacing at all, but with a bit of creativity can do the perfect job.

Kids Room

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Stick with feature walls

Decorating a whole room can get a little expensive with paint costs or wallpaper. So if you are lucky to have decent walls already then take advantage of that. A feature wall can take less time and most importantly cost less to create. You don’t even need to consider painting. You could get create by creating a photo montage wall or using children’s artwork. They will love how they have had a hand in creating their room. If you are quite artistic, then you could consider purchasing test pots only. Creating a wall yourself by drawing up a picture or making something more contrast.

Only buy key pieces of furniture

It’s fair to say that the furniture is where most of the cost in decorating ca go. This might mean new beds, drawers and storage solutions. But the best bit of advice would be to work out what you have and only spending money on what you need. Sometimes a bed needs to be replaced because a child has outgrown it or happen to be sharing with siblings. If that is the case, then consider checking out triple bunks from Cuckooland. The rest of the furniture could be upcycled to match the new room.

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Hunt out bargains in thrift shops and local facebook groups

Finally, use thrift shops and local facebook selling groups to get some bargains. The thing about children is that everyone is in the same boat. They outgrow things or become to old, but these things will often have plenty of life left in them. You can pick up some great things for very little money. You just need to have patience and keep your eyes open for the perfect items.

I hope this helps you decorate your child’s bedroom on a budget.

Your Ultimate Guide To Creating A Perfect Newborn Nursery

When you’re expecting a new baby, the wait for his arrival can be quite an anxious time. The instinct to nest can lead you to the desire to create the nursery well ahead of time. And you want it to be perfect. Even if you don’t yet know the gender of your child, you want his room to suit his personality and stimulate his imagination. Here’s your ultimate guide to creating that perfect nursery for your little bundle:

Toys

Newborns aren’t able to see much in the same way as we do, but they can feel different textures. Aim for a variety of toys that stimulate his senses. Lights that change, lots of different materials, and patterns can all intrigue and fascinate a little one. No toys should be in his bed at this age, but any mobiles and dangly toys he can pat will be perfect. There is also a good range of wrist buddies with safe velcro straps for him to enjoy when he’s awake.

Newborn Nursery
Jeltovski provided the pic

Bed

Your newborn will probably be sleeping in a Moses basket in your room with you for six weeks or so. They are convenient because you can carry the baby around the house without having to disturb his sleep. That way he is always with you wherever you are. In the nursery, make sure you have some space for the Moses basket alongside his cot bed. A cot bed should be adjustable so it can be lowered as he starts to sit and stand. Eventually, it will convert into his first bed.

Baby in Crib
Fviggiani provided the pic

Changing Station

A changing table or cabinet in the nursery is very handy for those non-urgent nappy changes. However, make sure you have a second mat for those occasions when it can’t wait, and you’re not in the nursery! Leaks happen, and they can be quite messy. Your newborn will need only cotton wool and warm water for clean-ups at first. Soon you’ll be ready to use baby wipes. You’ll also need a stash of nappy sacks and spare nappies. Powder doesn’t suit everyone, but there will undoubtedly be a time when some nappy rash cream will come in handy.

Changing Table
Phaewilk provided the pic

Decor

Many Moms choose neutral colors like whites, yellows or creams for the nursery walls. You can then add wall decals and pictures suitable for a small child. Cute animals and bears are popular. You can buy rugs bearing cute characters for him to lay on as well. Lighting should be as dim as possible. You might want to install a dimmer switch. You may also want black out curtains for daytime naps.

Electrical Items

It can be tempting to install lots of high-tech equipment in the nursery. You’ll want to know what the temperature is and have some soothing lullabies. Most nanny-cams or baby monitors have all this in one. That way you can watch baby sleeping while you get on with some chores. Some systems even monitor baby’s movements.

A fresh coat of paint and a new carpet are often the first things to go into a nursery. However, there is no rush to get it perfect, even after the baby is born. Take your time to enjoy creating your dream nursery.

A Haven for the Young Ones: Give the Kids a Cracking Bedroom in Your New Home

Kids Play Room

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They say that an empty canvass is the scariest thing for an artist. Well, it’s almost the same dilemma with new homes. As parents, we usually have more interest in designing our kids’ room than our own. I myself love the idea of picking out soft colors and furnishing for my little ones.

Science has also proven that he environment helps kids grow, which is why it is important to give them a bedroom that helps their imagination fly. Here are some tips you can do that will make your kids love you and your new home even more.

Be Creative

Transforming your angel’s room into something magical does not require a lot of money, but a lot of creativity.

  • Pick a Theme

A child’s surroundings play a vital role in inspiring his or her dreams and inspirations. The first thing you should do is think of a setting that you want your child to grow up in. whether it be a pirate themed room, a space explorer room, or cowboy setting; your choice will affect how your child’s creativity will be sharpened. Pick a theme that best suits your child’s personality and then do your research on the possible design approach to achieve the theme you want.

  • Mini Art Galleries

Create a mini art gallery specifically designed for your child’s artistic taste. Post the photos of their previous artworks, their portraits and other memorable items. Choose a bright colored frame or any ornamental frame to help the items pop out from the wall. You can also recycle cardboard boxes by cutting them to letters, coating them with paint and adding them to the mini art gallery. Set a corner of the room to display their works of art.

Discover the wonders of websites with interior ideas

Interior ideas are shared today by designers on their blogs, if you do have a specific theme, you can easily search for your preferred design and pick the ideas that can be applied to your kids’ room.

  • Big Wall Decals and Vinyl Tiles

This is a constant design applied by designers. I saw the interior design transformation of my friend’s home. On one side of the room was the scenic view of the property, and on another side a big wall decal with pastel colored trees and bamboo grass were posted. It created a magnificent contrast with the windows making the room seem magical. My friend also gave the room a luxurious look with vinyl tile and the two things combined gave the whole house a very unique look.

Make them a part of the decorating process

Kids love to take part in anything you do. They are curious about the world and it would mean the world to them if you let them paint a corner, or pick the wall decal you plan on putting. There are a number of small tasks that can be delegated to your toddler. For a more magical feel, let them join in the adventure of decorating so they can fully appreciate their new  room. Let them hang the frames you picked, let them pick which photos to put.

Your angels will love whatever it is you give them, but they will feel loved more if you personalize a space that is fit for their own character and style. Your family is sure to enjoy a space made with love and care by each family member, because there’s no better way than doing things together.

Help Your Kids Learn to Love Their Bedrooms

Kids Room
Image Found at Flickr.com

If you’re a parent, you’ll be able to attest to the fact that there’s nothing more difficult than trying to convince your kids to go to sleep. No matter what you try to do, it seems like the time they should be flagging is the time they suddenly come to life. All of a sudden, they want to play games, sing songs, and perform dances with you. This, as you already know, is a total nightmare. Your kids being in bed is just about the only time you can get stuff done.

You simply haven’t got the time to wait around for them to wear themselves out. Don’t worry. There are things you can do to make sure they go to sleep on time. Not only that; they could even look forward to going to bed. Does that seem like a foreign concept to you? It doesn’t need to be. All you have to do is invest a little bit of time and money into their bedrooms, and they won’t be able to wait for bedtime to roll around. Don’t believe me? Try some of these ideas on for size.

The Water Bed

There’s something strangely alluring about waterbeds, even amongst adults. For reasons I’m not quite sure of, they just seem so inviting. And it’s the exact same for kids, too. They’ll be filled with excitement at the prospect of going to sleep on their very own water mattress. It’s worth keeping in mind that you’ll need to keep on top of its maintenance, though. You can buy waterbed accessories at BoydWaterBeds.com/Blue-Magic.php.

Just remember to make sure that they don’t jump up and down on it quite too much!

The Themed Bed

There’s nothing kids love than an array of colours, shapes and characters that they recognize. Think about it. They’re surrounded by vivid imagery and their own bold imaginations all day. Of course, bedtime seems like a bore by comparison. How can you translate that feeling of fun into the rooms? That’s the main thing you need to consider.

One of the quickest ways to achieve that is by incorporating a themed bed. Think about the things that your child loves. If they’re anything like my little one, they’ll have one favourite show above all others. That’s the holy grail of their obsession. Use it to your advantage. Do they love Disney Pixar’s Cars, for instance? Then turn his or her bed into Lightning McQueen. Pick one up from Walmart.com/ip/Disney-Cars-Lightning-McQueen-Twin-Bed-with-Lights

Redecorate

I know, we always dread when it comes time to redecorate, but putting together your kids room can actually be a lot of fun. Getting in touch with your inner child will free your mind of your boring adult worries for a few days, at least. It’s crucial that you keep on top of decorating in kids rooms, as their tastes change rapidly as they get older. That could go some way to explaining why they aren’t so interested in their old bedrooms anymore! Check out my kids bedroom design tips.