Wednesday, February 27, 2013

How to fix Barbie clothes

I really hate it when things get broken. We have a pot called 'the fixing pot' were anything that needs mending gets put. I fear our first born thinks that Mummy can fix anything and everything and it is always a nasty sad shock when I can't and things end up in the trash. Once in a while we go through that pot and glue things back together. Recently our Barbie clothes have been suffering from the untrained but determined hands of little people. I don't know how they make Barbie clothes fit so tightly, with such detail, in such shiny slippery materials and with such small seams! The materials they use fray so easily. The fraying means that there seems to be no fabric left to sew the dresses back together. They seem impossible to fix - so I wanted to show you my method of mending them.

Turn your barbie outfit inside out. 

Iron a small amount of fusible to some cotton or other light weight fabric - try and keep the hue of the fabric similar to that of the frayed fabric. I stuff the outfit with some rolled up scrap fabric - which makes handling the dress and ensuring you don't get burnt by the iron a bit easier. Peel off the backing of the fusible and iron a small strip onto the frayed fabric.

Now you have 'rebuilt' the fabric - sew the seam. Invisible thread will be your friend here if you don't have a whole host of different cotton colors. I use a combination of a straight stitch and then a small tight binding stitch. Trim any remaining frayed threads bits away.

When you turn your Barbie dress right side out it will look like new.

This method will also help you mend holes and rips in random places that don't have seams.


Don't be afraid to replace ribbon straps, velcro strips and hem dresses shorter where the fraying is out of control. I also can't say enough about snipping all those frayed and pulled threads away. Just tidying up a little bit - can make those barbie outfits look like new again - and give those little hands months more play with their favorite dresses.

I hope this helps you save some of Barbie's favorite outfits in your household!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Tutu Tutorial (Part 3): Recycled Plastic Bag Tutu

Using the same knotting method as you would make a No Sew Tulle Tutu you can also make tutu's out of plastic bags. It was SO quick and easy and the girls had a blast.

You will need:
- Strip of non roll elastic (please see my chart for waist sizes
- Approx 20 standard plastic grocery bags (I stuck to plain white, Target and Trader Joe plastic bags - a red and white color scheme)

1) Cut the handles off your bags.

2) Cut the bags down the middle in half.

3) Cut up the edge seams.

4) Using the same knot as I used in the No Sew Tulle Tutu knot your elastic bags onto your elastic.

5) Fluff, scrunch and fiddle with your plastic bags to get maximum volume on your tutu.

I can see some really cool Halloween outfits being made using black trash bags!

Previous Tutu Tutorials: No Sew Tulle Tutu
                                        No Sew Tutu with Crochet Elastic Ribbon

Stay tuned for my next posts:
- Tutu using Fabric scraps
- Basic Sewn Tutu

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Our Valentine Tree

I recently saw a picture of a Swedish Easter Tree and I fell in love. I have been planning to make one with the girls for Easter this year. Last weekend we had a lot of snow and we were a little house bound.

A week or so ago I had found a large branch in the garden for this project. I armed the little ones with paint brushes and glitter glue (1 part Elmers Glue, 1 part water, 3 parts glitter - you can get huge pots of glitter at Michael's.) I was amazed at the attention span that the girls had for this project. They painted the tree for at least an hour - which I thought was impressive for a 2 and nearly 4 year old.


My nearly 4 year old was so excited at the prospect of our Easter tree that when Daddy said we couldn't put up an Easter Tree up in February (ba-hum-bug) there were a lot of tears. I did feel for the little one - having painted the tree for an hour and then being told the tree would not be displayed until March - it did seem a little mean. So when Daddy finally gave in and said it could be a Valentine Tree - we could make valentines and hang them on the tree - and when Valentine's Day was over we could then turn it into an Easter Tree. The little one was made happy again.

We had SO much fun (2hrs straight - with a cookie break) making valentines to hang from the tree.


Perfect 5 minute mini projects for her - which involved a lot of glue, paper punches, scissors, gems, ribbon. She was in heaven - and I think the result looks really cute. I also made some mini tulle pom poms for her to hang too.

As with a Swedish Easter Tree we added feathers - but I glued them to ribbon and then tied them to a tree with a bow. This means we will be able to quickly change them when Easter comes along!

I'm usually a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to crafts - but I loved all the little trinkets my eldest made - with all their random imperfections. She will also be really excited to come home from school on Thursday and hang all the valentine cards she gets from class.

We put our tree into a tall vase filled with glass pebble and displayed it proudly in the middle of our coffee table.

So much fun was had - and it looks so good (the photos really do not do it justice) - that I plan to make this a seasonal tree - it will be with us all year (hear that Daddy?) and we will do seasonal projects and hang them on our tree - Easter will be next - then Summer, Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas .... can we think of anymore?

Daddy will be wishing he had just let us put up the Easter Tree in February.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine Yarn Hearts

I recently discovered a new blog - Aunt Peaches - and her entries really make me laugh. She has some great craft projects and her Yarn Hearts really caught my eye. I have lots of yarn and it seemed something easy that my littles could do with me. Here is another tutorial that uses corn starch for the glue:Spoonful: Warm Hearts, Sticky Hands.

This is so easy. I drew my hearts onto the greaseproof paper freehand. I used some red yarn we had floating around I used Elmers school glue (ratio of 1 part glue 2 parts water).

After we had had our fill of making the hearts we put them in our boiler room (the best place to dry crafts - especially paper mache) on a tray and waited for them to dry. 

Once dry we placed them on some card instead of hanging them up to make valentine cards. 

Wishing you all a Happy Valentines Day.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tutorial: Valentine Egg Carton Flowers

I've been wracking my brain for cute ideas for valentines. Last year we made Lollypop Flowers. This year I decided not to make candy gifts - but how to package a little valentine something in a cute a crafty way? My brain seems to be stuck on flower crafts - this year we made our flowers from egg cartons.

You will need:
- paper egg carton
- green paint
- colored card or construction paper
- glue dots
- green pipe cleaners
- labels for your valentine messages (we made ours with a heart paper punch and added little bit of bling)
- scissors

1) Paint the cups on your egg carton green. We found it was easier to paint the carton before cutting it up.

2) Once the paint is dry cut the egg carton up so you are only left with the cups.

Make a hole in the bottom of each cup (I just pushed the closed scissor blades through the cup.)

3) Cut your heart petals.

Score the base of each petal by drawing a curve around a egg cup

Fold the scored line carefully and the petal should curve/fit nicely into the egg cup.

Make sure any pen line is on the underside of the flower or use a pen the same color as the card you are using.

4) Put a glue dot on the back of each petal and stick into your egg cup. (NOTE: The girls LOVE to glue - but glue dots help to keep the spread of glue under control. They also instantly stick - so no sliding or holding things together until the glue dries)

5) Wrap your little gift in a little bit of tulle or netting. Pull the netting through the hole in the egg cup - securing your little gift in the middle of the flower.

6) Bend your pipe cleaner into a leaf shape and thread your label on.

Wind the pipe cleaner tightly around the tulle + trim.

They do look cute - and you could adjust this idea and put lollypops in the middle of these flowers too. Or change the color of the petals - here is a yellow flower filled with potential Easter candy!


Next year I hope to give myself more time to come up with something outside of flowers!

There are hundreds of kid friendly crafts you can do with egg cartons. Just Google 'egg carton crafts' or 'egg carton flowers' and you will come up with a whole host of wonderful ideas.