Monday, October 24, 2011

Make your own Kids Fort Kit

Trying to find a gift for all kids and a wide range of ages? Well, I kinda think this one is pretty cool! What child doesn't like to imagine big and build forts! This idea came about as we are heading to a birthday party for 3 special foster kids. What sort of gift would be fun for all 3 and not be a zillion parts. All of a sudden I went back to my own childhood and thought about how much fun it was to build forts. So there it begins, the start of a fort building kit! Click on any photos if you wish to see them larger.

I started by gathering some supplies. I've got some flat sheets (different colored ones of course, whatever will suit your gift recipients. Walmart has them in all colors of the rainbow) tiny clamps that I found at Home Depot for just 39 cents a pop, suction cups, rope/cording and then a drawstring bag to put it all in. I made my bag but use what you like! If you have a pillowcase on hand or can grab one at the store, those are perfect too and I'll show you how to add the drawstring casing. Read on for some other ideas of things to throw in.

Here is a closeup of my tiny little clamps and my suction cups.

I made my own case out of fabric I had on hand but this would be super easy if you just bought a premade one. If you want to make one, you can always follow my tutorial I've done on pillowcases. I found some grosgrain ribbon that I had on hand and just stitched it on about 5 inches from the top. Instead of stitching it closed at the seam, fold the ribbon under on each side where it meets up. Stitch it down and you will have a vertical opening.

Now take a safety pin and pin it to the cording and feed it through the casing. Cut it to whatever desired length you like so you can cinch and tie it shut.

Fill it with all your goodies, tie shut and your present is now wrapped! Would love to hear other ideas of fun things to add to this bag of family fun.

Something that would raise the fun level if you want to keep filling the bag would be some kid walkie talkies. Your little adventure guides can communicate as the fort is coming together.

And finally, just for fun, I added an extra item. I picked up a bag of dum dums to enjoy once the fort is built and added that in there. Hey, all kids like a little candy right?

Instead of a card, I made a gift tag to attach to the cording with instructions on what this was :) Please ignore my typo, just noticed that but you get the general idea.

Of course I love ALL crafty stuff so I happen to own a laminating machine so I decided to laminate my card stock card.

Voila, you are done and I hope your little fort builders have a blast and that you get a chance to join them in their fun and make some memories! We are now off to our party with our homemade gift!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fabric Flower Tutorial

Well, I thought my girls had left the stage of hair bows, but all of a sudden they are all into hair accessories again! Sometimes bows, sometimes headbands that they accessorize with do dads and sometimes the one I'm about to show you how we made. These are fun and a GREAT way to use up scrap material laying around...and I always have a LOT! If you have knit material, I've done another tutorial HERE for you to check out.

First you'll just need to gather your supplies. Whatever fabric you'd like to use, a piece of felt, your hot glue gun and glue, some scissors and anything that you'd want to use as a template for a circle. You can make your own or just grab anything you might find in your house that you can trace around. A cup, small get the idea! For my project, my circles were 2 1/2" and 3" in diameter. Feel free to adjust the size of your circles however you like to get smaller or bigger flowers.

First start by tracing then cutting out all of your circles. I have cut out 8 of each size. To make this process go faster, I folded my fabric in half and then in half again cutting out 4 circles at a time. Next cut out your felt in the shape of a circle, I'd do one the same size as your largest circle.

Take each circle, fold it in half and then in half again.

Your hot glue gun should be heated up. You will glue this in place at the tip. I use a straight pin for this step so that I can get the glue inside the tip of that petal that I'm making and pinch it together and squeeze off any excess glue. Be careful not to burn yourself! Repeat this for all your flowers.

Here is a pic of all my petals.

Now take your scissors and snip a few lines down each petal as I've shown in this pic. This will give your flower a more full and fringed look. Repeat this for all of your petals.

Now we are going to put them onto the felt which will be our backing. I'd lay them out first to get a sense of how they are going to fit. Then move them, put a glob of hot glue in the center and lay them all down tips to the center, petals facing out. Your first layer are your larger petals. If you want to take your time, you can put a dab of hot glue on the back of each petal and take your time laying them down. This is a good idea the first few times as you most likely will start rearranging them spacing them out differently as you go. After making a few, you'll get the hang of it.

Repeat this same process with the next layer of petals. For this layer, I think I ended up using only 7 petals but just place them first so you can get them how you like, and then glue them on.

I always enjoy finding something fun to put in the center. Do you have some fun buttons, rhinestones, something special from Grandma's old jewelry box? Hot glue it to the center.

These are fantastic for both kids and adults. You can add them to hats, purses, tee's, headbands, clips and more. Instead of putting a bow on a gift, maybe add one of these fun flowers instead. Have fun!