Crinkly Letter Taggie

Another taggie toy? Yeah, but they’re cute and babies love them! And you can personalize them with the baby’s first initial. These are easy enough for a beginning sewist so why not give it a try?

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Aren’t they cute? The M is our little Madison’s and the J and K were for my nephews. All 3 of them are really close in age.
I had a pile of 5.5 inch squares that I had cut from scraps of fabric. It seemed like the perfect size for tiny hands. And the squares had straight edges so it was easier than randomly  drawing a letter on the fabric. Start by cutting out 2 letters…

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A piece of cellophane that’s a bit bigger than the letters(I just recycled some from a gift basket)…

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And a few pieces of ribbon…

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Layer them with the cellophane in the middle…

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Pin the ribbons wherever you want. I  chose just to put them on the straight edge. Just put them between the layers…

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Pin all the layers together and sew around the edge…

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Now, carefully tear away the excess cellophane. This is way easier than cutting out the letter and trying to keep it from slipping around while you pin it and sew it. It should tear right along where you sewed.
Then, set your sewing machine to a zigzag stitch with the stitch length at just above zero and the width all the way up. This will create a satin stitch. Sew as close to the edge as you can…

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Trim the edges with a scissor. I added a button hole so I could attach it to those little plastic links…

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And there you go! Easy peasy!

Owl Taggie Toy

Owls are the new cool when it comes to baby stuff and I am okay with that. Actually, I’m loving it! I really wanted to redo the nursery for Madison in owls but couldn’t find the stuff I wanted at the price I wanted. So I just make owl taggies and give them to every baby I come across. Here’s how…
First, download this pattern . Print it out at 200% for this project because it’s a bit small. Sometimes the link doesn’t work for me so, download and print this one instead. The owl is a bit more round    but it will work just as well.
Then cut out all the pieces. Cut out some ribbons at 3inches in length. Singe the ends with a lighter so they don’t fray. I cut a notch in 2 pieces of ribbon for the feet.

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Pin the wings on. Sew really close to the edge. Do the same with the eye pieces.

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Sew the eyes on…

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And then choose a satin stitch on your sewing machine or, select a zigzag and set the stitch length at just above zero. Sew around the eyes and the edge of the wings.

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Do the same with the beak. And sew buttons on for pupils.

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Then, pin the ribbons on and sew around the edge…

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If you want to make a crinkly owl, pin some cellophane to the wrong side of the back piece.

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Then put the right sides together…

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And sew around the edge…

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Turn him right side out…

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Tuck in the open ends and topstitch closed. Topstitch all around the owl…

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And make a few more!

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Quilted Ornaments

I’ve seen dozens of these beautiful ornaments on pinterest but, most of them lead to Etsy. I looked around a bit and finally found a tutorial in English. Following the directions in the link,  I made these:

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And my wonderful sister in law made these for me:

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The last on was made with ribbons. Here’s a side view of how i covered the middle with ribbon:

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They are a bit time consuming but totally worth the results!

Glitter Snowflake Ornaments

Okay these turned out really nice considering they’re made from glue and glitter. I found this tutorial on pinterest, glanced over it and dove in. The problem with glancing is that I forgot the really important part about rubbing dish soap on the wax paper so the hot glue doesn’t stick to it. Oops! I ended up cutting the wax paper off and it was very time consuming because of all the edges but they still turned out great.
Just follow the directions in the link and yours will turn out, too. I just used school glue instead of mod podge and did an extra coat of glue on top of the glitter after it had dried because it was shedding everywhere. And I mean everywhere! I even found a piece of glitter on the inside of Madison’s soother, like inside the part she sucks on. How it got in there will forever be a mystery. Anyway, here’s some pictures:
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I want to make some with silver glitter yet but, I’m still cleaning up the glitter from making these last week. So if you’re willing to find glitter in the weirdest places, feel free to try making these snowflakes. And while you have the glitter out, make a few of these:
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It’s paper towel tubes cut in pieces, glued in the center and glittered the same way as the snowflakes. Easy peasy!

Fabric Ornaments

This is the first year we’re having a Christmas tree after being tree-less for over 9 years. We had a makeshift tree out of a plant stand and poinsettias when I worked at a greenhouse that grew poinsettias and I got them at a discount. But since Rachel was born we haven’t had anything but a few simple decorations. So when some friends moved across the country and gave their tree to us, I decided to come up with some unique ornaments.
I wanted it full but didn’t want to spend too much. I bought some ornaments and tinsel from dollarama along with some Styrofoam balls, glitter, ribbons and tulle. I got some dress maker pins from Wal-Mart and the rest was stuff I already had at home; like fabric, sequins, scrapbooking paper, paper towel tubes, more ribbons and some pine cones from the park.
Let’s start with the easy ones:
Wrap a Styrofoam ball in fabric, tie with a ribbon and trim the extra fabric. Add a ribbon for hanging with a pin or hot glue. You can pre-cut the fabric if you want, just cut circles about 4 times the diameter of the Styrofoam ball or wrap a ball, trim it and use it as a template. I used ice cream and margarine lids and traced around them. This is what mine looked like:

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The best part of these is you can use fabric with sentimental value like leftover fabric from wedding dresses and bridesmaid gowns. Or a favorite outfit that your baby outgrew. The star fabric was leftover from my son’s swaddling blanket and the white was from the sashes for our dresses from my brothers wedding. I’ll post more ornaments in a few days!

Taggie blanket

Okay. I know this has been done like a thousand times but, they all have unnecessary steps like topstitching and turning it inside out and close up the opening, blah blah.
Why not just start with something that already has finished edges, is made of cotton so it’s hypoallergenic, is pre-cut and it’s something you probably have if it’s your baby you’re making it for? What is this mysterious thing? Wait for it… a washcloth. That’s it. It comes in a rainbow of colors you have more than you need from your baby shower.
Start by pinning loops and straight pieces of ribbons to the back of a washcloth.

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Then sew them all on in one shot by sewing around the edge.

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Then pin another washcloth on top and sew around the edge again.

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Now your done. Wow! That was easy!

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Birthday Cake

Somehow home made cake tastes better than the pre-made cakes from the grocery store, even when you use a boxed cake mix. For this reason I make our kids’ birthday cakes. I usually rent a cake pan from bulk barn for $2 a day which is a great price. But if they don’t have your daughter’s favourite princess you have to resort to other methods.
I saw this technique on pinterest(again with the pinterest) but can’t find it now so I’m sorry for not giving you credit whoever came up with this. So if you want to make a cake like this:

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Follow these steps…first print off a coloring page of whatever character you’d like. The less details, the better. Then tape it to something flat like a smooth cutting board or a picture frame glass.

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Then tape a piece of parchment paper to the picture. You tape it so it doesn’t shift around when you trace it.

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Then with black icing, trace all the lines. Tip: use chocolate icing to make black because it doesn’t work really well with white. It just gets a weird purplish grey and uses a ton of icing coloring. That’s right, icing coloring. NOT food coloring! It thins the icing too much and you don’t get the vibrant colors as with the icing coloring. It’s a gel and comes in tiny little jars. Use a Wilton #2 or smaller tip for tracing.

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Now color it in with icing. Fill it in once and then go over the top once more. The layer of icing should be between half a centimeter to a centimeter thick. If it’s too thin it won’t come off the paper very well (I speak from experience here).

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I also iced a rectangle shape around the picture. It’s a more finished look and any oddly shaped edges are a bit more difficult to get off the paper. TIP! if you want a number on it somewhere write it in reverse or put it on when the cake is  done! (Again, experience). Now put it in the freezer overnight or till it’s hard and bake your cake while you wait. Then put a thin layer of icing on the cake just so the picture has something to stick to.

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Take the picture out of the freezer and remove it from the board. Then flip it onto the cake and carefully peel off the paper. Do this as quickly as possible because the icing warms up and it won’t come off the paper then.

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Notice how she’s looking the other way? Any numbers or letters will be backward unless you wrote them in reverse or print the picture out with the mirror image setting. Now ice the rest of the cake. I used a Wilton #1M for the chocolate stars and a #18 star for the pink.

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Add a number and some candles and a birthday girl and you’re done!

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