DIY Decorated Notebooks

This project is part of my effort to spruce up my office and get more organized. I don’t know how organized it will make me, but these little notebooks sure are cute! The other project that I did was to cover plain file folders with scrapbook paper, and these look adorable also.

Make your own customized DIY notebooks | Jewels at Home

It seems like most workplaces generate a lot of scrap paper. From my first job out of college to my office today, I’ve usually been the one to collect the extra paper for reuse. At my first job, teaching at a small high school, I used the extra paper other teachers left in my cubby to shred for handmade paper, something I’d love to do more of again. These days, scrap paper from the office is the raw material for my three prolific little artists, as well as my own notes.

Even though we’re reusing old paper, it doesn’t have to look sloppy. I decided to make these notebooks to corral all of those loose papers. They’re great, because they can be decorated to create infinite customized looks, and it’s easy to add and remove pages.

Materials:

Instructions:
Paper-covered notebooks

  • for each notebook, cut two pieces cardboard to 8.5″x11″
  • cut paper for the front and back to 8.5″ x 11″.  I mixed scrapbook papers to make interesting designs
  • glue the paper onto the cardboard with a gluestick
  • Wrap the cover in Clear Contact Paper.  As an optional step to make the inside of the cover more finished, I added white contact paper to the inside of the covers.
  • Punch holes on the left side
  • Use binder rings to hold the paper in place
Cute DIY covered notebooks.  Jewels at Home

Wrap the notebook cover in clear contact paper to protect it.

Make your own customized DIY notebooks | Jewels at Home

As an optional step, I added white contact paper to finish the inside of the covers.

Make your own customized DIY notebooks | Jewels at Home

I rounded the edges of some of the covers to make the design more interesting. For these, cut small wedges to fold the contact paper neatly.

Fabric-covered notebooks

  • for each notebook, cut two pieces cardboard to 8.5″x11″
  • cut fabric rectangles about 12″x15″ for the front and back covers
  • Fuse Heat’n Bond Ultra Hold to the back side of the fabric, and then iron on to the cardboard
  • After cutting the corners, wrap and fuse the fabric to the inside of the covers.
  • As an optional step to make the inside of the cover more finished, I added coordinating paper to the inside of the covers.
  • Punch holes on the left side
  • Use binder rings to hold the paper in place

Make your own fabric-covered DIY notebooks | Jewels at Home

Make your own fabric-covered DIY notebooks | Jewels at Home

Adding coordinating fabric to the inside of the covers gives a more finished look.

Here are the notebooks I made for myself.  I can’t wait to whip one out during a meeting!

Make your own customized DIY notebooks covered in scrapbook paper or fabric.  A beautiful way to organize loose papers | Jewels at Home

Make your own customized DIY notebooks covered in scrapbook paper or fabric.  A beautiful way to organize loose papers | Jewels at Home

It’s fun look to make the back and front of your notebook from different papers that work well together. I love this one!

Make your own customized DIY notebooks covered in scrapbook paper or fabric.  A beautiful way to organize loose papers | Jewels at Home

These notebooks have rounded corners for added detail.

And here are the notebooks I made for the boys.  They each chose their own covers – Superman for little J, art pencils for my budding artist L, and navy for big boy K.  I wasn’t sure if the note books would catch on, but so far, the boys really seem to like keeping all their drawings organized in these!  Yay!

Make your own customized DIY notebooks covered in scrapbook paper or fabric.  A beautiful way to organize loose papers | Jewels at Home

The kids each chose the covers for their new notebooks.

Make your own customized DIY notebooks covered in scrapbook paper or fabric.  A beautiful way to organize loose papers | Jewels at Home

L is really into art right now, which is so fun for me. I looped an elastic through the middle ring of his notebook, so he can keep his portfolio together. He has been bringing it to school every day!

Make your own customized DIY notebooks covered in scrapbook paper or fabric.  A beautiful way to organize loose papers | Jewels at Home

Here’s what L is working on in his notebook. I love it!

Make your own customized DIY notebooks covered in scrapbook paper or fabric.  A beautiful way to organize loose papers | Jewels at Home

More of L’s sketches, all neatly contained in his new notebook.

Yay for these little notebooks.  They would make great gifts, too!

Make your own customized DIY notebooks covered in scrapbook paper or fabric.  A beautiful way to organize loose papers | Jewels at Home

Some holiday projects coming up next!

“Jewels”

Advertisements

Customized File Folders

As I was making the scrapbook paper and fabric-covered notebooks recently, I was inspired to spruce up some plain file folders at the same time.

My office at work is getting a bit overwhelming, and having something pretty – like these sweet patterns – to look at always cheers me up.

Beautify your office.  Use scrapbook paper to turn plain file folders into works of art | Jewels at Home

It all started with this lovely patterned file folder that I bought a few years ago.

Beautify your office.  Use scrapbook paper to turn plain file folders into works of art | Jewels at Home

I found papers in my stash that coordinated with these folders, and I cut and glued them onto plain manila file folders to transform them into these eye-catching beauties!

Beautify your office.  Use scrapbook paper to turn plain file folders into works of art | Jewels at Home

Beautify your office.  Use scrapbook paper to turn plain file folders into works of art | Jewels at Home

I really like how all the folders work together.  Now, to clear the rest of the office!

Beautify your office.  Use scrapbook paper to turn plain file folders into works of art | Jewels at Home

I also made a folder for L, who has a lot of artwork to organize, though he now favors his DIY scrapbook paper-covered notebook .

Beautify your office.  Use scrapbook paper to turn plain file folders into works of art | Jewels at Home

I also covered all the folders in Clear Contact Paper to make them last longer.  An easy project, and they look great.  Can’t beat that!

“Jewels”

Dip-Painted Wooden Kitchen Utensils

I’m sure you’ve noticed that dip painting is very popular these days. I’m not sure that I like the look on everything, but some of those dip-painting projects do look really great.  For holiday gifts this year, I decided to make some fun dip-painted kitchen utensils. I’m going to add some recipe cards hand-written by the kids to make special gifts to give their teachers.

DIY dip-painted wooden kitchen utensils | Jewels at Home

And a while back, I used a reverse dip-painted look when I repainted a mid-century nightstand for the boys’ room.

20120903-175429.jpg

To make your own painted utensils, you’ll need:

  • Wooden or bamboo utensils.  These Oceanstar Bamboo Cooking Utensils worked very well, with their flat finish and a broad handle to show off the paint.
  • Paint – I used leftover house paint from a variety of projects
  • Polyurethane to protect the painted finish
  • Paint brush and sandpaper for touch-ups

With three kids, there are a lot of teachers in our lives, so I set up a dip painting center in our backyard.

I dipped the handles of the utensils in a variety of paint leftover from other projects.  For some, I partially dipped in a second color.  Finally, I added two coats of clear polyurethane.  Between coats, I laid the utensils with the painted edge hanging off of the work table.  The cardboard under the table caught any drips.  I did use a brush and sandpaper to touch up occasionally, but for the most part, the paint went on quite smoothly and easily.

DIY dip-painted wooden kitchen utensils | Jewels at Home

One small modification that I would recommend is to not paint too far up on the handle. The way I did it would be fine for stirring things in a pan, but hubby, who cooks a lot more than I do, pointed out that the painted handles would be harder to use when stirring a big pot of soup or stew.

DIY dip-painted wooden kitchen utensils | Jewels at Home

I started with one color of paint on the handles of the utensils.

DIY dip-painted wooden kitchen utensils | Jewels at Home

For some of the utensils, I added a second color of paint. So many options!

Dip-painted wooden kitchen utensils | Jewels at Home

These are the utensils from our kitchen. Hubby pointed out that it would be better to have painted just the very tips of the handles, so the paint doesn’t get into big pots of soup, etc.. I guess I owe him some new utensils for Christmas.

DIY dip-painted wooden kitchen utensils | Jewels at Home

You can mix and match colors and patterns to make great-looking sets to give as gifts.

DIY dip-painted wooden kitchen utensils | Jewels at Home

To make our gifts more personalized, I asked each boy to pick a favorite recipe and write it out by hand. I’m going to copy the recipes and tie them to the handle of the utensils with ribbon.  I love all the variations, and I hope each of our teachers will find a choice that’s perfect for her or him.

Teachers' gifts.  Dip-painted wooden utensils with your child's favorite recipes on cards | Jewels at Home

Teachers’ gifts. Dip-painted wooden utensils with your child’s favorite recipes on cards.

I’m looking forward to sharing our gifts with the wonderful teachers in our lives, and I’m also glad these wooden utensils will be a lot lighter to carry around school than last year’s pancake and hot chocolate mixes in glass jars!

“Jewels”

 

Seeing Silver for the Holidays

I love decorating for Christmas and the winter holidays. There’s something about all that sparkle and warmth at the darkest time of the year that just lifts my spirits. I have a lot of traditional red and green decorations with a more natural feel, because our last house was an old Craftsman, and that theme fit it well, but in recent years, I decided to shift towards bright and silver! I set out to do this while reusing as much as possible. You can see how it turned out in last year’s 2012 Christmas house tour, and in this post, I’ll give details on how to add silver and shine to your holidays without breaking the bank.

I bought very few new decorations, but I used a few simple elements to transform things we already had:

  • Silver spray paint. Rustoleum metallic spray paint in “chrome,” and Krylon “bright silver” which I already had.
  • Silver craft paint. I used this to touch up some decorations and ornaments we had and add some sparkle.
  • Silver ribbon – Michael’s had an array of ribbons at 60% off when I was there, and I had some in my craft closet as well.
  • Silver bells – also on sale at Michael’s

Paint it!

I’ve had these “PEACE” and “JOY stocking holders for many years now. They were a lovely antique bronze finish that got refreshed with a spray primer and a few coats of Rustoleum chrome paint. It has a very bright and reflective finish that looks like real metal.

Tips on adding the glow of silver to Christmas decorations you already have. {Jewels at Home}

I painted these stocking hangers with metallic paint for a shiny new look.

Tips on adding the glow of silver to Christmas decorations you already have. {Jewels at Home}

I also painted these mercury glass look-alike ornaments in silver.

Tips on adding the glow of silver to Christmas decorations you already have. {Jewels at Home}

Two easy steps to get a faux mercury glass look on your old ornaments.

And finally, I painted some pine cones with the Krylon bright silver  paint and used the on their own, as vase filler, and on wreaths.

Spray some pinecones in silver paint to brighten up your holiday decor.  {Jewels at Home}

Spray some pinecones in silver paint to brighten up your holiday decor.

Spray some pinecones in silver paint to brighten up your holiday decor.  {Jewels at Home}

Wrap it in ribbon!

I had three wreaths in traditional greens and reds. This pomegranate and magnolia wreath from Restoration Hardware got a new look with some simple silver ribbon wound around it and used for hanging.

Transform a Christmas wreath with ribbon.  Plus lots more ideas to add silver sparkle to your holidays.  {Jewels at Home}

For my oversized wreath with pinecones and berries, some silver bells and ribbon gave a whole new look.

Transform a Christmas wreath with ribbon and silver bells.  Plus lots more ideas to add silver sparkle to your holidays.  {Jewels at Home}

My third wreath was this plain wreath that wore a burgundy velvet bow for more than a decade, and now it’s ready for the next decade with new ribbon and pinecones painted in silver.

Transform a Christmas wreath with ribbon and painted pinecones.  Plus lots more ideas to add silver sparkle to your holidays.  {Jewels at Home}

;

I did splurge (as much as one does at Target) on this silver beauty for our front door. It sets the silvery tone right when you enter our house!

Silver Christmas wreath.  Lots more ideas for a sliver-themed holiday.  {Jewels at Home}

And here’s what some more silver ribbon and bells did for this tabletop tree:

Decorate with silver ribbon and bells, plus lots more ideas for a sliver-themed holiday.  {Jewels at Home}

Wishing you a bright and merry holiday season!

“Jewels”

Superman and Batman Costumes

Here’s a quick summary of the recent Superhero-related posts:

Our preschooler is really into Superman. I mean really. As in, he walks up to random kids at the playground and says, “Hey, boy! I’m Superman!” which should be clear from the fact that he’s almost always wearing a Superman shirt. Sometimes, one of our homemade capes also.  It’s actually very sweet to see the reactions he gets from strangers big and small.

So, it was pretty obvious what he was going to be for Halloween, and his brother completed the theme as Batman. These costumes served double duty at J’s superhero birthday.

When I was little, my mom always made our costumes, and she usually made them out of things that we could wear again. Even in this age of readily – available store-bought costumes, I’m used to doing things this way.

Superman

  • blue pajama set or shirt and pants
  • red fabric for cape and logo
  • yellow fabric for logo
  • Heat’n Bond Lite Iron-on Adhesive
  • Velcro for the cape closure
  • optional: black puffy paint

I actually made this Superman costume back when our oldest was three, so it has seen a lot of use, and it’s still going strong. It’s made from a set of plain blue pajamas, and I added the Superman logo and made a cape. This year, I added a yellow belt, too.  The pajamas have gotten lots of wear, outside of Halloween, but they’re ready for saving the world a few more times.

To make the Superman logo, I used red fabric, yellow fabric, and some Heat’n Bond Lite Iron-on Adhesive.

I started by sketching a superman “S” onto the paper backing of the Heat ‘n Bond. Remember to do it backwards!  If you don’t want to draw freehand, you can print out the logo and trace it onto the Heat ‘n Bond, using a lightbox or a window.

I then ironed the pattern onto the red fabric, and cut it out. (see below). I ironed the red “S” onto the yellow fabric, added Heat’n Bond, and ironed it onto the shirt. Finally, I finished the raw edges with stitching. on one version, I also outlined the design with some black puffy paint.

Homemade Superman and Batman costumes for your little ones | Jewels at Home

This is the finished Superman costume:

Homemade Superman and Batman costumes for your little ones | Jewels at Home

I also made extra shirts in a few colors to give us some variety, since J wants to dress like superman pretty much every day.  I sewed this logo onto an older shirt, and I like the worn retro look it has.

Homemade Superman and Batman costumes for your little ones | Jewels at Home

Sweet vintage-looking Superman T made from a faded shirt.

The funniest is when he layers his hero shirts, like this day when he wore the Ninjago shirt I made for L’s Ninjago party under his red Superman shirt, so he could make a quick transformation whenever he needed.

Homemade Superman and Batman costumes for your little ones | Jewels at Home

He couldn’t decide whether to be Superman or a Ninjago today.

The cape is very simple, with a Velcro closure. I have more details on how to make the cape in this post about the party favors I made for J’s superhero birthday party.

Batman costume

  • Gray shirt and pants. We already had a shirt with the Batman logo, but you could make one using the same instructions as the Superman costume above.
  • Black satin fabric for the cape and hood
  • Black bias binding to finish the bottom of the cape
  • Velcro for the cape closure
  • Yellow fabric and Velcro for the belt
  • Black puffy paint to do the Batman logo on the belt
  • Heat’n Bond Ultra Hold Iron-On Adhesive-17″X10 Yards
  • black elastic for the mask

L already had a Batman shirt in gray,so I bought him a pair of matching plain gray sweatpants that he can wear again. I bought some black satin to sew a cape and the hood and mask and used yellow fabric I had to make the belt.

Satin is very slippery, so it was harder to sew than I planned, but with the help of a lot of pins, it turned out alright. I cut the cape using a similar pattern to the other superhero capes, but this one is wider and the bottom edge is scalloped like bat wings.  I used bias binding to finish the curves on the bottom.

Homemade Superman and Batman costumes for your little ones | Jewels at Home

The first picture below shows the basic shape of the hood. It has a couple of darts (shown with arrows in the second picture) to shape it around the head. The ears are triangles filled with batting, and I hand – sewed them to the outside of the hood. I decided to make the mask separate, so that he could wear the hood more comfortably.

Homemade Superman and Batman costumes for your little ones | Jewels at Home

Homemade Superman and Batman costumes for your little ones | Jewels at Home

The belt is a simple strap with an oval in front for the bat symbol painted in black puffy paint. The closure at the back has elastic to make it snug and Velcro to fasten the ends.  The mask is made with satin fused to felt with Heat’n Bond Ultra Hold Iron-On Adhesive and a black elastic strap.

And here is the finished Batman costume:

Homemade Superman and Batman costumes for your little ones | Jewels at Home

Here are our favorite heroes making appearances all about the neighborhood. We had a lot of fun!

Homemade Superman and Batman costumes for your little ones | Jewels at Home

Homemade Superman and Batman costumes for your little ones | Jewels at Home

You can definitely adapt these instructions to make any superhero, including ones you dream up yourself.  Look at the variety of capes for J’s party”

Homemade Superman and Batman costumes for your little ones | Jewels at Home

“Jewels”

DIY Superhero Cape Party Favors

Here’s a quick summary of the recent Superhero-related posts:

For J’s recent superhero birthday party, I decided to make capes as party favors. I always try to make one bigger gift instead of goody bags with lots of small items.

DIY Superhero capes for a birthday party! Jewels at Home

The capes were very simple to make, though I will admit that making them for 10 kids took longer than I anticipated. It all worked out, though, and it was adorable to see all the little heroes running around our house and yard in their super capes! J and L wanted to be Superman and Batman, so I made them capes specifically for that, but the rest of the capes were a mix of fun colors and patterns.

You can make your own cape pattern that fits kids from about two to seven years old:

Materials:

  • For the body of the cape, I cut a piece of fabric that was 32″ long. It was 29″ in wide at bottom, tapering to 19″ wide at top, and I cut a curve for the neckline.
  • The neckline is finished with bias binding in a matching color to the body of the cape.
  • For the accent fabric, I cut a strip of fabric that was 5″ wide and 29″ long.
  • I used a short section (about 1 inch) of velcro for the top.

Instructions:

  • I ironed down a 1/2″ hem on both long sides of the accent fabric strip and sewed it to the body of the cape, near the bottom edge.
  • I finished the neckline of the cape with bias binding
  • I hemmed the bottom and sides of the cape
  • Finally, I added velcro to the top corners to close the cape.

I love the variety of each of these. I even made a little baby version for my “niece” C.

DIY Superhero capes for a birthday party! Jewels at Home

DIY Superhero capes for a birthday party! Jewels at Home

DIY Superhero capes for a birthday party! Jewels at Home

C’s baby cape is so cute!

DIY Superhero capes for a birthday party! Jewels at Home

Birthday boy, also known as Superman!

DIY Superhero capes for a birthday party! Jewels at Home

DIY Superhero capes for a birthday party! Jewels at Home

The kids have been wearing their capes all around our home and beyond.

DIY Superhero capes for a birthday party! Jewels at Home

DIY Superhero capes for a birthday party! Jewels at Home

Super baby!

DIY Superhero capes for a birthday party! Jewels at Home

You don’t have to make the capes yourself to have a fun costume party. I have found great costumes of all kinds at low prices on Zulily:

Have fun saving the world, little ones!  Happy birthday, J!

“Jewels”

Superman Birthday Party

Here’s a quick summary of the recent Superhero-related posts:

The passions of a toddler are as fleeting as they are deep. At the time of last year’s party, I was convinced little J was going to grow up to become a firefighter, and he still is mesmerized by those trucks, but his current obsession is with superheroes, especially Superman. This theme for the party worked out, since J’s birthday falls a few weeks before Halloween, and J and L wanted to dress as Superman and Batman to go trick-or-treating.

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

To set the theme, our family dressed in costume, and we invited our guests to do the same. I had extra capes for all the little ones to wear at the party and take home as party favors.

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

Besides the superhero capes I sewed for our little guests to wear, I also had a photo backdrop. The backdrop is made from a blue queen-sized flat sheet with a black skyline appliqued to the bottom. Most of the skyline is random buildings – I actually cut two skylines at once to be efficient (pictured below).

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

Basic skyline for the photo backdrop. I cut out two copies (one in reverse) and used them to assemble the background.

To customize the skyline, I added the Transamerica pyramid and Coit Tower. Up in the sky, I sewed some clouds, and ta-da!

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

Photo backdrop with San Francisco skyline.

We used the photo backdrop two ways – hung up for action poses and, later in the party, laid out on the floor for some “flying” scenes. I tried to set up the photo booth I created for our Mad Men party, but the pictures didn’t turn out that well outside. If I had had more time, I wanted to re-decorate it as a telephone booth, to fit with our Clark Kent-Superman theme. That would be so cool, I want to throw another superhero party just to do it!

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

The fun comic word photo props added a lot of excitement to the photos. I bought the downloadable images from Etsy – there are lots of options. I printed mine out, mounted them on adhesive craft foam, and glued large craft sticks to the back to make handles (pictured below).

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

It took a while for the kids to figure out how to do the flying scenes, but then they started having fun with it.

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

Another cool photo prop for our little superheroes was this fake barbell, made from a paper towel roll, bubble wrap, and duct tape.  I couldn’t decide which of these heroic expressions I loved the most, so I posted them all.

Superman birthday party with lots of DIY ideas, including this "barbell" | Jewels at Home

I thought it would be clever to have the kids toss balls to knock over this “kryptonite” made from empty green plastic bottles, but I admit this one went over the head of the three-year-old crowd.

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

Inside our house, I customized our birthday banner, but it didn’t feel quite festive enough, until I hung up some of the birthday pictures that L drew for his little brother J.

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

These drink wraps were also purchased on Etsy.

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

Finally, the cake… I found this Superman cake topper in one of our toy boxes. I have no idea where it came from, but I washed it up, and it worked out perfectly!

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

And so, another fun year has flown by!

Superhero birthday party with tons of DIY ideas for your little one | Jewels at Home

“Jewels”

Elegant Ottoman Makeover

Okay, so I will admit that I had a very low starting point with these inexpensive storage cubes that I found on sale at Target. In their original colors, they’re so garish that it’s hard to imagine how anyone would have chosen to manufacture and sell them to begin with. I believe they were marketed towards the back-to-college dorm crowd, but I have more faith than that in the youth of today.

DIY storage ottoman makeover.  An elegant transformation for these $9.99 storage cubes.  Jewels at Home.

Not surprisingly, there were a large number of these fabric ottomans on clearance for $9.99 each at our local store. I had been looking for some storage cubes to serve as toy storage and double as seating in our family room. Even though the fluorescent colors were far from what I wanted, the size and functionality were perfect! Luckily, I had also just purchased a large remnant of beautiful ikat fabric to do projects in that room, and so this project was born!

DIY storage ottoman makeover.  An elegant transformation for these $9.99 storage cubes.  Jewels at Home.

I measured and cut fabric to cover the bases and lids of the cubes with extra allowance to fold under the edges. Because of the large-scale design, I was careful to match the pattern, so that the two cubes would work well together. Because of the very bright color of the original fabric on the cubes, I also cut out plain white fabric to go behind my print and hide the original color. For the base of the cubes, I sewed a tube that would slip over the cube (pictured below).

DIY storage ottoman makeover.  An elegant transformation for these $9.99 storage cubes.  Jewels at Home.

I wrapped the top edge of the fabric around the top of the cube, folded under a small hem, and used a staple gun to secure it to the frame on the inside of the cube. I started by placing a staple in the center of each side and then worked towards the corners. I then did the same to secure the bottom edge of the fabric to the bottom of the cube (pictured below) and to the lids of the cubes.  It helps to trim fabric from the corners, so it doesn’t get too bulky.

DIY storage ottoman makeover.  An elegant transformation for these $9.99 storage cubes.  Jewels at Home.

And here they are, full of boys… I mean toys!  Our family room seems to be constantly changing as the kids grow, but I’m happy with this bright and comfortable space for now.

DIY storage ottoman makeover.  An elegant transformation for these $9.99 storage cubes.  Jewels at Home.

DIY storage ottoman makeover.  An elegant transformation for these $9.99 storage cubes.  Jewels at Home.

DIY storage ottoman makeover.  An elegant transformation for these $9.99 storage cubes.  Jewels at Home.

DIY storage ottoman makeover.  An elegant transformation for these $9.99 storage cubes.  Jewels at Home.

DIY storage ottoman makeover.  An elegant transformation for these $9.99 storage cubes.  Jewels at Home.

DIY storage ottoman makeover.  An elegant transformation for these $9.99 storage cubes.  Jewels at Home.

DIY storage ottoman makeover.  An elegant transformation for these $9.99 storage cubes.  Jewels at Home.

“Jewels”

“Thankful Leaves” Fabric Garland for Thanksgiving

At Thanksgiving, I love the idea of creating a record of what we are thankful for, to help us reflect and to look back at over the years. I’ve seen this done on tablecloths or paper leaves hung on branches or strung in a garland. To make out garland more durable, I wanted to make it out of fabric.

A charming fall garland made of fabric leaves.  Over the years, each family member can record a Thanksgiving reflection on the back of a leaf to create a special tradition.  Jewels at Home.

Materials:

Instructions:

  • iron the Heat’n Bond to the felt or fabric and then iron on to the muslin or canvas, according to the instructions on the package. (left picture below)
  • make paper templates of a variety of leaf shapes. (right picture below)
  • trace the leaves with pencil onto the muslin and cut out.

Tutorial for Thanksgiving felt leaf garland, with muslin backing for writing what we are grateful for { from Jewels at Home}

20131107-193859.jpg

Let each family member choose a leaf and write their message with Sharpie or fabric markers on the muslin.

Tutorial for Thanksgiving felt leaf garland with muslin backing to write what we're thankful for.  {from Jewels at Home}

The boys writing on their “thankful leaves” to hang on the garland.

To hang the leaves, I used this sweet print that I bought on a birthday shopping spree. I didn’t even know what I would use it for when I bought it (don’t judge!), but it’s perfect for this project, with the orange-y red color and the tree silhouettes.

Charming print used for a Thanksgiving garland.  Jewels at Home.

For each garland, I cut two strips of 4.25″ wide fabric and joined it into a long strip. I folded and ironed it in half length-wise, with the right sides facing. I used pins to mark every five inches where I would leave an opening to insert a leaf, with room for 15 leaves on each garland.

I sewed around the edge of the fabric, leaving a gap at each pin a 10″ opening in the center.

I then turned the hanging strip right side out, and slipped in the leaves. I sewed in the ones we had already written on, and I pinned the rest with safety pins, so we can take them down to write on before sewing into the garland in years to come.

Here are the garlands in our dining room, getting us in the mood for fall ,though the weather is decidedly warm!  Together with the metallic painted pumpkins I created last year, the garlands are bringing the colors of the season into our home.

A charming fall garland made of fabric leaves.  Over the years, each family member can record a Thanksgiving reflection on the back of a leaf to create a special tradition.  Jewels at Home.

A charming fall garland made of fabric leaves.  Over the years, each family member can record a Thanksgiving reflection on the back of a leaf to create a special tradition.  Jewels at Home.

A charming fall garland made of fabric leaves.  Over the years, each family member can record a Thanksgiving reflection on the back of a leaf to create a special tradition.  Jewels at Home.

A charming fall garland made of fabric leaves.  Over the years, each family member can record a Thanksgiving reflection on the back of a leaf to create a special tradition.  Jewels at Home.

A charming fall garland made of fabric leaves.  Over the years, each family member can record a Thanksgiving reflection on the back of a leaf to create a special tradition.  Jewels at Home.

A charming fall garland made of fabric leaves.  Over the years, each family member can record a Thanksgiving reflection on the back of a leaf to create a special tradition.  Jewels at Home.

Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving! Hope you have as much to be thankful for as we do!

“Jewels”

 

Collecting Card Binders

As the kids get older, their parties have evolved. These days, there are no streamers and balloons, but there is a pack of tousle-haired tweens holed up wrestling and trading jokes over cards games.

Last year, we did an outdoor movie party for the big boys, and I made fleece blankets for each of them. Since we had a similar crowd this year, I wanted to change up our special party favor, so I made these binders for the boys to organize their Yugioh and Magic cards.

Personalized collecting card binders for the boys | Jewels at Home

I printed out their names on colored paper and pieced together done fun patterned paper to make each cover unique.

I then wrapped each insert in clear contact paper. This isn’t necessary, but the printer ink will often transfer to the binder cover, if you don’t.

The inserts slipped into be front of binders, and I included some Ultra Pro 9-Pocket Trading Card Pages in each.

Personalized collecting card binders for the boys | Jewels at Home

The boys were very excited to get their binders, and I think it might even be making a dent in the piles of loose cards around our house!

“Jewels”