December 12, 2012

Christmas BagTopper-Free Download

I love bag toppers. You can take an ordinary bag of popcorn, candies, small lotion, an ornament, anything small enough that you could imagine really and make it special by adding one of these on top. I always just staple mine right on to the bag. Nothing too fancy, but it does the trick. Here is a free download designed by myself for you to enjoy.

It is a 4x6, so you will need to find the 4"x9" baggies. They can be found in craft stores. The reason for this size is that it is so much more affordable to have printed. I just print them out on photo paper.

Click to Download
If you want a tutorial on how to make your own bag toppers or an example of how to use them, click here


Holy Places Word Art

This is the 2013 theme for young men and young women in the LDS church for 2013. What a powerful message, to stand in holy places and then to be unmovable! Feel free to use this to print out hand outs for your youth, in any color!

I made this to add to my quote wall. See my post about how to customize the colors to match your decor. If you follow the tutorial you can make this any color for the text or background. This is a 4x6 aspect ratio.

I was inspired by this subway art. But, I wanted it to be a little more graphic and customizable because the colors weren't working for me.

December 11, 2012

You can be excellent word art

I am working on a little project for my kids' bathroom. I thought I would share a png file of the word art I created. This is designed to be a 4x6 aspect ratio. You can change up the colors of the background and text any way you want. Here is how you do it.

1. Open png File
You should have a transparent background. That's what the grey and white checkers mean.

2. Make a New Layer
Go to file > Layer > New > Layer. Or on my version I just type Ctrl + Shift + N to get a new layer. Once you have your layer, drag it to the bottom in your layers pallet.

3. Choose Background Color
Click on the color icon on your tool pallet and from there you can select a color, or use the eye dropper tool to pick a color from a photo, or scrapbook paper.

4. Use Paint Bucket to add background color
Make sure you have the correct layer selected (the bottom one) and click to "paint" the background with the paint bucket tool.

5. Make a New Layer Above the png file
Make a new layer that will become the color of the png (or in our case the text). I chose white. Use the paint bucket tool to make the whole layer white. You can't see the text underneath, but that's okay. In the next step you will make the magic happen!

6. Type Ctrl + G
Make sure that you have the top layer selected and that the two layers are next to each other on the layers pallet. Hold down the Ctrl key and the "G" at the same time. This make a clipping mask. You can do this with solid colors, like we did here, patterns, or even photos. This is one of my favorite tricks in Photoshop.

So here is a link to download the png file so that you can customize your own. You could even do a chalkboard looking background and make it look like chalk art. I plan on putting this up in our bathroom right in front of the toilet so that my kids can read it while they are sitting captive for a few moments during the day. I am working on making a whole collage of word arts for this purpose. I hope to show you when it is all done! Check back for more downloads.

Click to download full res png

October 12, 2012

Halloween Costume Inspiration: Little Ladybug Hair Bows!

These hair bows are my favorite part of the Little Ladybug costume. These would also work well for a butterfly costume or a bumble bee. How cute would these be in yellow and black?!

Rather than having a ladybug headband, I opted to make two matching bows because my little one will not keep a headband in her hair. It's also a little different and very adorable.
I have to apologize for my pictures. I could not get my 22 month-old ladybug model to hold still, but I think you get the idea, right? The great thing about these bows is that the buggy antennae are removable, so after Halloween is over, you can still use them!

If you are not making a ladybug, butterfly, or bee costume, this is still a great hair bow tutorial, so keep reading. Just leave off the antennae part.

These bows are easy to make. The hardest part is getting your toddler to let you fix her hair into piggies and then actually putting the bows into her hair. If you can do that, then you can make these bows!


Ribbon (I used 7/8" red with black polka dots grossgrain and 5/8" red sheer with glitter dots--both from Hobby Lobby. You could add more layers of ribbon to your taste.)
Needle and Thread
Straight Pin
Hot Glue Gun
2 Black Chenille Stems (or pipe cleaners, I used the wider kind)
4 Black Pom-Poms
2 Alligator Clips

For the base of the bow, make a basic boutique bow. Usually when I make a boutique bow, I don't worry too much about measuring. But for these, you are making two bows that are the same size, so I recommend measuring. I made mine 4.5" wide. I have my own method for making these, and the great thing is you don't have to pre-cut your ribbon and guess how much ribbon you need for the length of loops etc. Here is my method for the first few steps.

Set your ribbon aside and thread a needle. The thread color doesn't matter much because it will be covered up. You'll want a fairly long piece of thread.

Baste stitch through the layers along center line.

Carefully pull the thread to gather and wrap around center several times. Leave thread and needle attached.

Cut out two same length accent ribbon pieces about the width of your bow. Heat seal the ends. Secure in an x with a very small (like tiny) dab of hot glue. Set on top of bow and wrap thread around to hold it onto bow.

Here you can add as many layers as you like. I only added one extra layer to keep it simple, but it's fun to add 3 or 4 (or more) layers depending on the bow you are making. I used lots of layers on my funky Halloween bow (example below). They can get thick quickly, and you need a very long piece of thread if you do this.
Funky Halloween Bow

Back to the ladybug bow...

For center of bow, tie another ribbon in a knot. Place a dot of glue under the know and attach it to the center.

Glue center ribbon to the back of the bow and then trim off the long end.

Line an alligator clip.

Glue clip to back of bow. Don't apply glue to the part of clip that you pinch, otherwise it's too hard to place in the hair.
Trim and heat seal the ends (if you haven't already done so).

Now here is the fun part, adding the antennae. For each antennae, you need one chenille stem and two pom-poms.

Apply glue to one side of a pom-pom and press tip of stem into the glue.
Repeat with other pom-pom.

Squeeze pom-poms together. This secures them to the chenille stem.

About half-way down the stem, clip the bow on the stem.
Fold stem in half, up around the top of the bow.

Twist the chenille stem around itself. This secures it to the bow, but also makes it removable so you can reuse your bow later.

Make another bow to match and you are done!

Check out my other tutorials for the skirt, wings, and trick-or-treat bag.

February 11, 2012

Freebie & Tutorial: Valentine's Printable

Here are some cute 4x6 printable Valentines. They are in png format. You can put a photo behind the opening. There are marks where you can punch out holes and add a sucker or a pencil. I did two versions. One in girl colors and another in boy colors. Continue reading to get full directions on how to add a photo and text in Photoshop. Under the images is a download link. Enjoy!!

Link to Download
Link to Download

1. Open in Photoshop

 2. Create a new layer.

 3. Drag your new layer to to bottom.

4. Find the photo you want to add somewhere on your computer. Right click and choose "Open with Photoshop"

5. Once photo is open in Photoshop. Choose the move tool in your layers pallet.

6. Drag the photo over to the Valentine. It should be on the layer beneath the Valentine layer.

7. Type "Crtl + T" to do a free transform. Hold down the shift key to maintain aspect ratio and shrink down and move your photo until it is the size you want and in the place you want it.

8. Add text. Choose the text tool. I used the font: SP You've Got Mail (which unfortunately is no longer available, you used to find it on scrap supply). The other fonts in the card are Pharmacy and Inspiration. Make sure you drag your text layers to the top.

9. You are ready to print. These are 4x6 images and like I said earlier, perfect for adding a heart shaped Valentine's sucker or a pencil.

January 5, 2012

Laundry Tip: Getting Melted Crayon out of Clothes

It is important for kids to learn practical life skills. I believe teaching these skills this is one of my main responsibilities as a mother. So, I have been teaching my 7 year-old how to do his own laundry. First I taught him how to sort. Then I taught him to check pockets. Next, I taught him how to add the soap and fill the machine with water. 

Thinking he had mastered all these steps, I asked him to get the hamper out of his room and put in a load of laundry. As he was dragging the hamper across the floor, I reminded him to check the pockets. So imagine my surprise/horror when I pulled the clothes out of the dryer, only to find them all spattered with an array of waxy colors. I counted 13 crayons, lucky, right?

After I yelled at calmly admonished my son for failing to check the pockets, I set to work looking for solutions to remove the crayon. Most of the suggestions recommended using WD-40. This seemed greasy and smelly, so I continued searching until I found this blog post on Pinterest. Sometimes I think I find better/more relevant info on Pinterest when compared to Google. Anyway, I used her "recipe" except I was unable to find the mule team Borax at the store. So I added an extra 1/2 cup of Oxiclean. And guess what?
The crayon came out of the clothes! I was utterly shocked and amazed!! Every single item in the wash was covered in crayon and they all came out clean. These pictures are not the greatest, but it gives you an idea. Here is my revised recipe:

  • 2 max amounts (line 3) of concentrated Tide (I used All Free& Clear)
  • 1 1/2 cups Oxiclean
  • 1 cup Shout liquid
  • 1 cup white vinegar
Select longest wash cycle and hot water. Fill washer, add ingredients, allow to dissolve. Add soiled clothing. Let soak in hot water and solution for one hour. Start the cycle. Check each article before transferring to dryer. If not clean wash again. Everything in my entire load came clean!
To clean the dryer, run it for about 5 or 10 minutes, then wipe it down with a clean wet towel and Lysol. The heat melts the crayon making it easy to remove. Just make sure to run a load of rags before you run good clothes so that you're sure you got all the crayon. 
Oh, and when I pushed the clothes down into the water, my wedding ring came out shinier than ever!
We will be diligently checking all pockets from now on!

January 2, 2012

Cooking with Kids: Measuring Tip and Uses for a Wet Erase Marker

I love to cook or bake with my children. It's a great way to spend time together and teach them something as well. Of course, it requires a dose of patience because they love to do everything all by themselves and don't necessarily do things exactly right. 

This is simple, but a great tip for measuring wet ingredients when cooking with children. I have also used this tip when making jam to help me measure out the fruit because I find that the red berries make the red measuring lines of my glass measuring cups quite difficult to read.

You need a glass measuring cup and a wet erase marker (the kind used on overhead projectors) or a dry erase marker works as well.

Draw a line on the measuring cup at the required amount. I like to make the line nice and long to make it easier for my kids to see. 

Stand back and let the kid pour. This makes them feel so successful and confident.

Just about done pouring. He's taking his time and being very careful. Can you guess what we are having for lunch? (see the white packet on the bottom left of the photo)

Inspecting his work. Looks good! 
Now pour it in the pot (or mixing bowl, whichever the case may be).

When you are done, the line washes off easily!

My son in these pictures (age 4) attends a Montessori preschool. They do a lot of pouring in school. He's gotten quite good at it. A great skill to have!

Other handy uses for the wet erase (overhead) markers
-Save on water in the bathtub. Draw a line inside the tub to indicate the appropriate water level and instruct them to turn off the water once it reaches the line. My little guy loves to fill a tub to the top if he can get away with it.
-Rainy day fun. Use them to draw on windows. Kids will need supervision so they don't draw on the moldings around the windows. Teach window washing skills afterwards.
-Target practice. Draw a target on a window for nerf dart guns. Endless fun for my 2 boys!
-Carving pumpkins. Before you begin carving, use the marker to draw the face. If you make a mistake it wipes off and when you are done carving it wipes off easily.

Can you think of any other uses? I'd love to hear some more ideas.