Category Archives: DIY

DIY Beaded Bracelet…by your toddler (that you’ll actually wear!)

So I DO love the rainbow giant beaded bracelets and pasta necklaces that come home school and camps….I DO!  But…do I really wear them?  Um…no (horrible mom admittance!)

Maya had a friend’s birthday party to got to a bit ago, and I was talking with the mom about what to get her.  She really didn’t want more “stuff”, so she said if Maya wanted to make her something, that would be perfect.  Instantly I thought of a bracelet.  We asked what her favorite colors were.  I dug out my boxes of beads from storage (again…totally patting my pack rat self on the back right now!!), and…Maya made her a bracelet.  I helped with the clasp, but she did everything herself.  She picked what beads she wanted to use and strung them along.  Well…I didn’t take pictures of THAT bracelet ha!  But then Valentine’s Day rolled around.  What to give her teacher?  Oh, the box of beads were still sitting out (a week later-whoops!), so…Maya asked her teacher what her favorite color was, and we picked from my stash.  Thankfully, her favorite color was green (mine too!), so I had a few to pick from.  🙂

It’s a little hard to see, but these are an iridescent green “pearl” bead.  The bag that I had them in said $5.50, and we only used half.  So…while it looks like a really nice gift, it didn’t cost much, and it provided a fun activity.  Oh, and Maya had total pride in the fact that she made this for her teacher!!  And…her friend (that I didn’t take pictures of 🙂 )Blog DIY Toddler Beaded Bracelet-1 Such concentration!  I honestly wasn’t sure if it would be too hard for her to do, but she did it!Blog DIY Toddler Beaded Bracelet-2 Blog DIY Toddler Beaded Bracelet-3 Blog DIY Toddler Beaded Bracelet-5And obviously, had fun!  Which was the total point!!  Well…the end product was kind of the point, but her having fun making it was even better. Blog DIY Toddler Beaded Bracelet-4Blog DIY Toddler Beaded Bracelet-6So…don’t be afraid to have them make things out of real beads.  They aren’t that expensive, and they are totally wearable.  And…if you are like me and went through a total beading phase and KEPT all your beads…SCORE!! 😉dit-elle-Lauren

Non Candy Valentines with DIY Heart Glitter Cards

Daunted by the DIY Pinterest Valentine’s Day projects that you’ve been seeing??  Yeah, I feel ya.  We made play-do last year last year, and…we had a lot of fun!!  But…this year?  I didn’t have time!!  As most of you don’t!  If you do have time?  Totally make the play do!  It’s still in our fridge a year later, smells yummy, and we still play with it!  BUT…if you want something a tad bit easier…

You can still have your preschooler/kindergartner totally involved in Valentine’s Day projects even if they aren’t totally diy!  You can make them into a diy craft by involving them in the process!  I bought all my supplies from a Dollar Tree, spent less than $7, and involved Maya in every step of the way!  She helped pick out what we should buy (at $1 each, it was easy to say yes, but admittedly afterwards, I felt like we went overboard spending $7!)

Honestly, this would be a great idea for a birthday party parting bag (at least, I think so!).  At less than $1 per kid?!!?  Yet, lots of fun an useful things…score!Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card-1Two years ago, we made DIY Glitter Hearts for Valentine’s Day.  I remembered them being so easy, and that she had so much fun doing them, so we decided to not recreate the wheel.  Isn’t that the best advice ever?!!  WHY RECREATE THE WHEEL??? This year, Maya wrote her name all by herself on the back of each card.  An upgrade + Kind of a milestone! Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card-2I’m including links below to pretty much the exact same thing I bought for $1 each, but if you don’t have a Dollar Tree near you and want to put something similar together from Amazon…

What you need…

For the Valentine Bags

Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card

OR…I found a pack on Amazon that was kind of similar to what I put together.

Online Pack

What to do…

  • Yes.  You could assemble all these together yourself, and just have your preschooler work on the cards, but I wanted Maya to have a little more ownership since we weren’t doing a DIY craft for the actual Valentine.  SO, we turned it into a craft
  • She laid out how many bags that were in her class and counted them out (there were 25 in the bag, so we had some left over).Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card-3
  • Then she put one of each item into each bag.Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card-4 Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card-5 Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card-6
  • The bags came with end ties, so I tied them together with the cards at the end 🙂

For the Heart Cards

  • Card stock paper/water color paper, or I used a cardboard insert that had come in clothes I’ve bought online/t-shirts I buy for the Huz.  Yes, I save everything just in case.  Yes, I was so excited to finally use some of my hoarded craft supplies! 😉
  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • Hole Punch
  • Large sheet of aluminum foil for easy clean up
  • Cookie sheet or empty box (to contain the glitter bomb and glue :))

What you do…

  • Since we were doing this for Valentine’s Day, I cut little hearts out. You could do circles, or just squares/rectangles if you wanted to make cards for a different occasion.
  • Put the “cards” on a lined cookie sheet/box and let your toddler drizzle glue all over them.Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card-7
  • Then, while glue is still wet, have them go to town with the glitter!Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card-8I shook all the excess of some cards onto others so that the glitter was evenly distributed. Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card-9
  • Once the glue is dry, punch a hole in the corner and tie to the bags.

Have Fun!!dit-elle-Lauren

Popcorn Ball Snowmen!

Blog DIY Paleo Healthy Popcorn Ball Snowman-1I posted last week how to make these Healthy Popcorn Balls.

To be honest, I always had these envisioned in the back of my mind.  Weird?  Yes, but that’s me!

This was one of those times that I actually thought of an idea, and it ended up turning out pretty close to what I envisioned!!  Because obviously…that doesn’t always happen-proof here. 😉Blog DIY Paleo Healthy Popcorn Ball Snowman-2What you need…

  • Healthy Popcorn Balls
  • Pretzel Sticks
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Baby Carrots (cut into tiny slivers)
  • Seaweed (you could also use fruit leather!)

What to do…

  • Tightly pack 3 balls in varying sizes.  Stick all the various body parts in, and then pray he doesn’t fall over or fall apart hahaha.  Truth be told, mine kept falling over, and eventually fell apart.  Maya didn’t care!  She thought it was super cool and fun…so I’m still counting it as a WIN!!

Enjoy!dit-elle-Lauren

DIY Pinecone Tulle Turkey

Ok, truth be told, this was a bit of a failed project.  BUT…I still think the idea is good, and if it inspires someone to do something great with it, then yay! haha.

I started off having visions of orange, yellow, and brown tulle for the tail, but Maya vetoed that and wanted yellow and green.  Hmmm…ok.

Oh, and I thought we had little googly eyes, but we didn’t.  You’d think I’d just NOT do this post, but honestly.  This is how pretty much every DIY project goes for me.  I have an idea in mind.  Never have the time to truly execute it, so I just throw it all together and hope for the best.  Sometimes it turns out ok, or even better than I had hoped.  Other times…not so much 😉

I admit.  I played with the color on this first one just to see what it might have looked like a little darker and more orange 😉  If I had more time and talent, I would have just changed all the tulle to the color I wanted and added some googly eyes!!  Sadly…I barely had time to post THIS!!  Much less make it look better than it was!Blog DIY Pinecone Tulle Turkey-1 And…the true color of our turkey’s 🙂  Are you green with envy??

Ok, I couldn’t resist.Blog DIY Pinecone Tulle Turkey-2What you need-

  • 2-3 different colors of tulle.  Cut into 3×8 pieces.  I think I had 6 in each, which would be perfect if you did yellow, orange, and brown.
  • Hot glue gun
  • Pine cones (Maya always has fun foraging for pine cones 🙂
  • Clear tiny hair ties.  I thought about using paper clips, but I think these tiny hair ties are perfect.
  • Orange pipe cleaner.  I would have loved to have used a red one too to hang over the nose, but alas…didn’t have that on hand either! OR…red yarn!

Blog DIY Pinecone Tulle Turkey-3Fold the tulle pieces in half and secure with the hair ties. Blog DIY Pinecone Tulle Turkey-4 Blog DIY Pinecone Tulle Turkey-5This has nothing to do with the project other than Maya asking me to take her picture which surprisingly RARELY happens!  Of course when it does… Blog DIY Pinecone Tulle Turkey-6 Set up your pine cones to see how they naturally will sit up right.  They all topple over at certain points, so you want to make sure you put the “tail” and “beak” at the point where they naturally sit up.Blog DIY Pinecone Tulle Turkey-7Turn your back for a second to glue the tails in place and then hear a “Ta dah!!”  Ok, that really shouldn’t be in the instructions, but that’s what happened here 😉 Blog DIY Pinecone Tulle Turkey-8Glue the tail at the base, and the beak to the front, and there you go! Blog DIY Pinecone Tulle Turkey-9I’d then glue the googly eyes on, and maybe even do some yarn or another red pipe cleaner over the nose for the snood (No I didn’t know what that thing was called!  I looked it up-ha!)

In any case….have fun!!dit-elle-Lauren

The Faux Fox Purse

I’ve been on a faux fur kick this past year. This summer I posted the Lion Tote – golden faux fur with dark accents. The latest creation – the Faux Fox. Faux fur, light camel colored felt sides and top closed with a zipper, and dark handles.

Making this purse was not easy. I had a vision, found the materials, and got started. The design part was easy, the construction and assembly pretty hard.. You have to think about things like what seams carry weight, overall architecture and construction.. For a while it was a very frustrating “try as you go” DIY project, several ‘start overs’, pricked fingers, but I finally got a good prototype out of it.. and I will say, this purse gets a ton of compliments!

I haven’t (yet) created a *real* pattern for this purse (that would take a little more patience and a lot more time!) but I did get some tips from this awesome DIY faux fur collar to clutch pattern which I found on Pinterest. What would we do without Pinterest!

Thanks Lauren for the fabulous photos. Despite doing a fashion/food/design blog together, we rarely see each other, but had a chance to get together on Veteran’s day for an hour or less in a park – and the kids and weather all cooperated brilliantly so we were able to get a few bonus shots!

Blog DIY Faux Fur Leather Purse-4 Blog DIY Faux Fur Leather Purse-3 Blog DIY Faux Fur Leather Purse-2 Blog DIY Faux Fur Leather Purse-1

Blog Esther Boots-2

dit-elle-Esther

Halloween 2015

I’d be lying if I said the journey leading up to this year’s Halloween was an easy one.  It was quite possibly the most stressful and tense time Maya and I have had together.  The end result was her loving her costume and having the time of her life, and I truly hope that is ALL SHE REMEMBERS.Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-1I’ll backtrack a little… October is hands down the busiest time for me at work, so I knew I wanted to get a jump start on Maya’s Halloween costume, so that I wouldn’t be scrambling and stressed out.  SO…we went to 3 different thrift stores in the beginning of October.  Maya has very strong opinions (NO idea where she gets that from ;))  We finally found a super cool pirate costume.  It wasn’t cheesy and cheap, like some costumes, and…it was PURPLE (Maya’s favorite color-WIN!!)  The minute we got home, she tried it on and ran downstairs to show daddy.

“DADDY!!  I’m a pirate!! Aaaaaaaaaargh!!!”

My momma heart was happy, and I did a silent fist pump for being all done with Halloween so soon!  The weeks leading up to Halloween, whenever people would ask her what she was going to be- “A pirate!!!  Aaaaaaargh!!”

Then…the Sunday before Halloween.  Three days before her preschool Halloween party.

“I don’t want to be a pirate!  I want to be a GHOST!”

Insert my face falling to the floor…We went back and forth, but she was stuck.  So…I started getting excited.  I still had 3 days.  I envisioned a really cool ghost costume with a bunch of white tulle, and a really cool painted face.  She could still wear a leather jacket to keep warm and it would totally still fit in with a “ghost” look.  YAY, I could do this!

“No…I want to be a PLAIN ghost!!”

Well, the forecast for Halloween was lots of rain and SUPER WINDY.  A sheet thrown over her with holes cut into it wasn’t going to fly.  Or, I guess I should say, it WOULD have flown.  Right off her body.  SO…sat in front of the computer and looked, and looked at ghost images.  Ones that involved layers.  She wasn’t buying it.

Then…the night before her party I start scrambling through costumes we already have.  Basically every single princess you can imagine has been handed down to her.  NOPE.  Two different kinds of Minnie Mouse outfits.  She actually got excited about one, until she tried it on.  “TOO ITCHY, GET IT OFF!!”

Then a witch.  I can do that!  Nope, never mind.  A bee?  Yes…no.  Wonder Woman (another little girl in her class was going as this, and her mom KILLED IT) I vetoed.  NO TIME!  A few other super heroes.  NO TIME!!!!  Me-how about Super Kitty?  Yes, I want to be SUPER KITTY.

My parents had gotten her a mask from Venice -“Super” part, DONE.  Whiskers drawn on with black eyeliner.  3 yards of tulle wrapped around her and a giant bow as her tail, plus a jacket that kept her warm.  DONE!!  And she was happy-YAY!!!Blog Halloween 2015-2 Blog Halloween 2015-3 Blog Halloween 2015-4 Blog Halloween 2015-5 Blog Halloween 2015-6Then…the day after her party (TWO DAYS before Halloween!!!).

“I don’t want to be Super Kitty.”

The whole process all over again with about 4-5 more ideas.  Finally on Friday, she says.  I want to be Darkmare Moon!!!  Huh?  I googled it, and nothing came up. Then I see an image of black My Little Pony, and she points and says “THAT!!!!  That’s Darkmare Moon!!”  Oh…Nightmare Moon.  So, we spend about 30 minutes looking at pictures to make sure she REALLY wanted to be Darkmare Moon, and then we head out in search of black wings.  I figured I could keep the same basic black costume, add wings, do a different tulle tail, switch out the jacket for a black one, and then make a horn.  Noooo problem-the day before Halloween.  Honestly, it wasn’t that big of a problem.  We found some super cool wings right away at a thrift store.  I knew I had to work most of Saturday, so I needed to finish the horn Friday night.

I did a variation of the tulle bow, but added a few more colors.  Insert meltdown when the tail wasn’t long enough.  “I want it to floooooat.”  Deep breath in….deep breath out.  Ok.  I had to give it to her.  It did actually look better that way.

I was half way through making the black tulle unicorn horn at about 7pm (after about 3 failed attempts), and Maya goes…”I want to be a RED unicorn!”  And I lost it.  Like had to walk away and hide in the kitchen and cry lost it.  I should also mention that the Huz was out of town this whole time, and again…I’m totally overwhelmed at work, so it wasn’t all the costume changes.  And there were a lot of other things that happened, but this blog post is long enough as it is.  Maya came running in crying too, saying she was sorry and that she just wanted me to be her best friend again.  CRUSHED MY HEART.  We just sat in the kitchen hugging.  I kept telling her, that I just wanted her to be happy.  I wanted her to have an amazing Halloween, and I wanted her to get to be what she wanted, but that she needed to decide and stick with it.  Ok.

After that, it was smooth sailing.  She was super excited about her costume, and had the BEST time trick or treating and telling everyone “I’m DARKMARE MOON!!!” haha.

And it was all worth it.

You can see how I made the unicorn horn here.Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-2I wish I’d had more time paint her face, but it was a race from the time I got home from work at4:00  til the time it started pouring.   She liked it, which is all that matters!  You can see it raining in the background if you look closely…Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-3 Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-4 Then after trick or treating…with sucker and a witch finger 🙂Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-5 Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-6And…my last minute costume.  The hat lasted one house before it blew off too many times, and no…I didn’t wear these boots trick or treating 😉 Blog Halloween 2015-1Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!dit-elle-Lauren

DIY Tulle Unicorn Horn

I made a crown for Maya’s Pumpkin Princess Halloween costume last year (tutorial here) and loved how it turned out.  So, I knew I could make this pretty easily too.  Given the time constraints (made it the night before Halloween, since she decided on this costume the night before!), I think it turned out pretty well.  Maya liked it, and that’s all that matters!

Honestly, once I figured out the base, it was pretty easy and came together fairly quickly!Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-1Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-1-Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-3What you’ll need…

  • A party hat.  I tried making my own out of various cardboard and stock paper, even a paper towel roll, and didn’t work so well.
  • Tape
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Tulle (about 4 inches long and the entire width of the fabric)
  • Bamboo Skewer (or if you have metal ones that would work too)
  • Hole punch
  • Elastic (about a foot and a half to be safe)

What to do…

  • Cut the hat up the middle and roll it tighter to the shape of a horn.  Cut the excess off, and tape shut.Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-7Push the skewer through the tulle and push it through the open end of the horn. Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-8 Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-9Pull the tulle all the way leaving about 1/2 an inch in the hat.  Glue it in place. Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-10Then keep glue gunning about an inch at a time and wrap the tulle around the horn until you get to the bottom.  Then tuck the end under and glue in place. Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-11 Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-12Do two hole punches and thread your elastic into one.  Tie a knot, and then thread the other end through.  Make sure you put the horn on whoever is going to wear it and make sure it’s not too tight or too loose before you tie off the other end. You want it to stay on, but not hurt.  I actually used a extra large rubber band at first (shown below), but it was too tight on Maya’s head.  So, I used a black piece of elastic that was a lot longer than I had originally planned, measured it on her head, and it was perfect. Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-13 Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-14More Halloween pics coming tomorrow!

Enjoy!dit-elle-Lauren