Thursday, August 30, 2012

Growth Chart Mini Polaroids Freebie

My last post was detailing the steps to make a DIY Growth chart.

For marking the heights I decided to use Mini Polaroid photos and push pins:



Step 1:
Designed a Polaroid printable in Photoshop that I could print out on a 4x6 photo at my local CVS or Walmart. You can download the template I used here: Polaroid PSD

File is PSD format you'll need 
or
to edit it.

Step 2:
Printed the 4x6, cut out each child's mini Polaroid and used cute push pins to mark the spot on the board.

I plan to continue this at the beginning of each school year with an updated photo. The Polaroid method seemed best because I knew it was something simple I could have printed each year and also if a photo gets old or damaged it is easy to replace. I also liked being able to leave the photos up to watch how the kids grow and change every year.


*Push pins were simple silver thumb tacks which I covered in glue and dipped in flower shaped glitter.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

DIY Wall Hanging Growth Chart



Such a simple project and there is no "right" way to make one. I bought a $12 5 1/2"x6' pine board from Lowes and all the decorating was done using scraps left over from other projects.


Painted the board white with spray paint


Getting the math right: We have 9' ceilings and I wanted to center the board on the wall. This meant that my numbers would run over 7'....obviously we'll probably never need that height ;)

I just made up a small drawing and did the math 9' wall minus 6' board = 3', divided by two = 1 1/2'. So basically to center my board on the wall it would need to be 1 1/2' from the floor and 1 1/2' from the ceiling. Simple right? So then I just started at the bottom of the board marked 6" up and there was my 2' mark. Continued marking all the feet 2,3, 4, 5, 6,7. Once that was done I measured in between and marked all the inch marks. Nothing to it. Now to the hard part....painting the lines.


I made a plastic template however I still had to free hand it in the end since paint was running under the stencil. 


Painting those lines took forever. If you're smarter than I am you'll think about just cutting vinyl instead......save yourself a lot of trouble! I never think of the easy way first......


I went to my trusty silhouette SD and cut out the numbers in vinyl. If you don't have a cutter, then look for large house number stickers at the hardware store or sometimes craft stores carry large number stickers. I used the font "French Script MT" for the numbers


I only had some basic colors on hand Brown, Red, Yellow, Blue, White.... had to get creative with mixing the colors together to get the right shade.


Paint the numbers


While the paint was still wet, sprinkled glitter on top. After it dries take it outside and shake all the glitter off. You'll probably need to take a slightly damp rag and clean off the excess glitter.

All Done! I'm still thinking of putting a clear coat of spray paint on mine.






UPDATE: Finally found the perfect spot to hang (using a simple saw-tooth hanger on the back). Will update once I add the kid's heights. Planning to use colorful push pins and mini polaroid black & white photos.

              
UPDATE:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Keep Apple Slices Fresh Using Sprite

Would you believe these apple slices have been sitting at room temperature for 16 hours when this photo was taken? Amazing huh? They're Red Delicious Apples which makes the fact they aren't brown a miracle. Usually those start going brown at my house within an hour or two. The photo isn't the best, but they are basically the same color they were. Maybe a shade darker, nothing you wouldn't normally see within 30 minutes of slicing.

I saw all the posts on pinterest about prolonging apple slices with pineapple and other things. None of which sounded very tasty. One pinner had the idea to use 7-up or Sprite, which actually sounding pretty good. Maybe I'm just craving soda? Who knows....

Soak slices in cold water 3-5 min, then in Sprite 3-5 min. save in fridge until ready to use.

Well, since mine obviously never made it to the refrigerator this little Sprite trick definitely works. Actually, my husband just ate them today, we're talking a total of 30 hours and he said they were still wonderful for lunch and looked perfectly normal, just a bit darker.
* Please Note: I do not recommend eating food left out for 30 hrs, this was a simple test to decide if the apples could keep fresh for lunches and road trips. However, my husband will eating anything and wastes nothing ;) It's been 4 days and he is still alive, the apples must have been fine*

This is going to be a life saver for my preschooler's lunch  :) Now if I can just find a way to prolong those banana slices......


Saturday, August 18, 2012

School Lunch Bag Organization

It's been crazy around here while we get ready for our oldest to start Pre-K. There are many more rules and items to buy now than back when we were kids :) Here are a few of her things and the lunch organization technic I'm attempting this school year:

Firstly her chevron binder (Big Lots). Added her name using vinyl and my trusty Silhouette SD.


Something I wasn't aware of is now they make all the kids eat breakfast. When I was in school the kids who ate breakfast at school showed up earlier and the rest of us got to sleep in later and eat a pop tart in the car ;) Sooo I had to come up with a simple system to pack a Breakfast, Lunch and Snack. The teacher also wanted everything clearly divided up so she knew which is which. 

This meant our cute Skiphop Mouse lunch box had to go in the closet :( But in it's place I found a upright pink Igloo lunch box (Big Lots) and it just so happens to have an awesome drawstring divider top built inside. So I can stick the lunch in the bottom and place the breakfast on top of the drawstring divider in a small monkey purse (Walmart). This makes carrying it easy for my daughter and dividing the meals simple for her teacher. Just incase though I did add tags which will be removed once I'm sure my daughter has the hang of things (never been to daycare so keeping up with her belongings is definitely going to be a new experience!).

Now I know some would say "why not just stick the breakfast in a paper bag and be simple about it?". Well, honestly I just can't do it. Something in the very fabric of my DNA demands customization and cuteness, just can't help myself.....


Two bags - one set of handles, makes it easy on small hands

Temporary tags to help her teacher


The drawstring divider, breaking up lunch and breakfast.


Feel free to share your school lunch organization tips! I'm sure mine isn't the most efficient but with only a day to spare I didn't have much time to think on it. For those wondering where the snack goes, the teacher requested it be placed in the front of her bookbag.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Reusable Fabric Snack Bags

My daughter starts preschool in the next couple weeks so we've been trying to get ready for school. Saw a cute tutorial on Pinterest for reusable snack bags: Snack Bags Tutorial

My tutorial below contains most of the same information but I did everything in bulk to make a set of 6 bags. I found these are much easier for little kids to open and you can squeeze more in the lunch box with bags rather than tupperware. They are not water tight though.


Approx. 5/8 yard of outer fabric (I dug through the remnants bin and found this cute bunny flannel)

Approx. 5/8 yard of inner fabric (found a coordinating pink glitter flannel, I wasn't concerned with glitter since it would be underneath the vinyl, so far it's worked just fine)

Box of fusible vinyl (my box said "great for lunch bags")

18" of velcro

Thread

It cost me approx $2 per bag by using a coupon for the Vinyl and getting the fabric from discounted remnant bins.




Prewash and Iron your fabric. I began by ironing my vinyl to the inner fabric covering the whole piece, only takes a few seconds to fuse. Follow the directions on the box.


Then I made a template that was 6 1/2" x 14". Cut out 6 pieces of inner and 6 pieces of outer fabric using the template.



Place a 3" piece of velcro (soft side) on the vinyl side of inner fabric, about 3/4" down from one of the short sides.


Sew the velcro on


Place the inner and outer fabric right sides together. Sew around all the edges, leaving a 3" gap in the middle of one of the long sides for turning. Clip the corners. Turn right side out. * I use 1/4" seam allowance on everything*


Fold up the end without velcro about 5.5", pin in place


Attach the stiff side of velcro to the soft side, fold the flap down and mark where your other piece of velcro needs to be sewn.


Sew the velcro in place.


Sew around all the edges to finish them. Start and stop sewing underneath the flap, to hide your stitches. Do not put in dryer, vinyl will melt.













Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Vinyl Organization Labels Download - Freebie!

Awhile back I posted photos of my vinyl organization labels.
Here
Here
Here
&
Here

Well I finally got around to saving the file. You can either download the Adobe Illustrator .ai file: Download A

or

I also made a SVG file: Download B

These files are each about 2MB each, the document size is 8.5x115", quite large. I tried to place all the labels I used in there. I've never worked with SVG files before so hopefully the file works.



If you don't already have a cutter I highly recommend Silhouette products, they are very easy to use:


This is the new Cameo by silhouette, I just upgraded to it. It can cut, draw and cut around things you have printed from your printer. The possibilities are endless!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Free Christmas Card Printable

I've been in the Christmas spirit lately.
I blame it on Hobby Lobby putting out their Christmas items already.

My very, very early Christmas gift to my readers is this 5x7 FREE Christmas Card Printable PDF. You can use photoshop or another program to add your photo to the center, print at Walmart or any other printer on 5x7 prints (that's the cheapest way I've found).

Download PDF Here: Christmas Card


Blue Glass Soap Dish Bath Tub

Ever stumble across one of those items in an antique store that's so oddball you just have to find a place for it in your house?

Well, when I saw this blue tub I just knew it had to come home with me. Now don't ask me what I plan to do with it....haven't figured that out just yet ;)

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Betta Fish Apothecary Jar

Today the kids acquired a new pet "Fishy Fish" (our 4 year old named him). He's a crowntail Betta. I had an empty apothecary jar that occasionally holds snacks or cookies but usually is empty. Seemed like the perfect new home for "Fishy Fish".

Few rocks in the bottom, little plastic grass for comfort and tada a fish bowl that you won't mind staring at. This one sits on our kitchen island and is the perfect distraction while I'm cooking, no more kids playing "lets ride mom's feet" around the entire kitchen.

The lid has plenty of space for air to circulate and keeps little people from throwing toys in with the poor fish.

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