Father’s Day Portrait Gifts

It’s so fun to get the boys involved in a creative project for Father’s Day. Remember when we made the mugs and aprons? Or even these simple cards?

This year, the boys and I created these portraits for Steve and their grandfathers. You know by now that I have an endless supply of scrapbook paper, which I used to create the letters. The boys were really good sports (they aren’t always!) with taking the pictures, and I love the final products.

I printed individual pictures and put them in a frame with three openings and a matte that the boys signed.

And you couldn’t take pictures of three boys and a rascally pup without some outtakes!

Wishing the best to all the hard-working and loving fathers out there!

“Jewels”

 

DIY Ribbon Leis

It’s graduation season! Somehow (well, I guess we know how), I ended up with boys graduating from middle school, elementary school, and Kindergarten all in one year. This calls for some crafting. I decided to make graduation leis for the boys and their friends using ribbon.

I researched a ton of ideas, which you can browse on my Pinterest page.  Some of those ideas are definitely for the expert level lei-maker, and I am a humble beginner. However, I did find inspiration for something that is both easy and pretty over at Sakacon.com.  These spiral ribbon leis don’t require advanced skills, but they do take some time. I modified the method a little, and I love how you can mix and match so many ribbons for infinite ideas!

Materials:

  • wide ribbon 7/8″ to 1.5″ (8-10 yards). This is the ruffle-edge ribbon I used.
  • narrower accent ribbon(s) 3/16″ to 1/2″ (same yardage). This is the picot ribbon I used.
  • embroidery floss to match the accent ribbon
  • clear nail polish to finish the ends of the ribbon
  • needle, scissors

Instructions:

First, go to your local craft store and go crazy! I actually feel like I have accomplished a project just by getting supplies (…but I realize this isn’t quite true). Since the design of the leis is simple, you can add a lot of detail by picking interesting ribbons. You can see i found some ribbons with ruffled edges and picot ribbon (apparently this is what you call the ribbon with the little loops in the side) that really make your “flowers” look more realistic. For fun, I bought some rainbow stripe ribbon, and the possibilities are really endless.

To make the lei, thread three strands of embroidery floss onto your needle. I used about 18″ of floss at a time. Tie a secure knot at the end of your floss.

The Sakacon version has a long tail you can use to tie the lei on with a bow. I decided to make a continuous round lei, because I thought it would be more comfortable for the boys. I still staggered the length of the wide and narrow ribbons – ie left a long tail of the wide ribbon before starting my lei – so there would not be an obvious join in the lei.

I lined up the narrow ribbon to one side of the wide ribbon, folding under the edge to avoid fraying, and sewed a few stitches in place to secure it. I then started doing a long running stitch, with stitches every centimeter (3/8″) or so.

Once you have sewn a few stitches, pull the thread to make the ruffles and guide them into a spiral shape to look like a chain of flowers. This really feels like magic!

You basically continue this for a long, long time. To make the lei a continuous loop, I cut off the wide ribbon first, and picked up the section of wide ribbon I had left as a “tail” at the beginning, continuing I until I reached the start of the narrow ribbon.

I bought spools of craft ribbon, which comes in 3-6 yard sections, so there are several joins in the lei. These aren’t visible, because the ribbons are staggered, and there are so many ruffles. At the ends of the ribbon, I used clear nail polish on the wide ribbon and just folded under the ends of the narrow ribbon. I also changed embroidery floss a few times, being sure to tie secure knots and hide the ends.

Behold! Here are the finished leis. I’m still making more and will add the pictures when they are done, to give you more ideas for ribbon combinations. I can’t wait to share them with my boys and their friends in a few more weeks!

Aloha!

“Jewels”

DIY Kids’ Play Teepee

You’ve probably seen these adorable kids’ reading tents on Pinterest or your favorite blogs. I’ve had this project in the back of my mind for a while now and, with a little help with the boys, finally made it happen!


I browsed tons of pictures and tutorials to come up with the version I wanted for our family. Here’s what I know I wanted to include:

  • 4 poles with dip-painted tips
  • Rope at top and bottom to create the structure
  • Contrasting fabric for the door

There are lots of methods out there for making a play teepee. I decided to sew ours. Don’t get me wrong, I love my glue gun and staple gun, but since I can handle the sewing, I wanted to go with something more durable and removable for washing (not that my kids ever get anything dirty, but…).

I started with four poles made from 1″ x 2″x 8′ wood molding. These were only $0.91 each! Since we had all the other supplies already, this whole project cost us less than $4!!

Here are the steps to your new favorite hideout!

1. Lightly sand the wood

2. Paint the tips of the poles

3. Drill holes 8″ from the top and 1.5″ from the bottom of each pole. I did the pilot holes and the kids finished up. It was fun seeing them use the tools.

4. I threaded rope through the top holes and wound the rope around to create our structure. Next, I threaded rope through the bottom of the poles and knotted it to keep the poles evenly spaced. I didn’t put rope across the opening, to prevent tripping!

5. When the poles were arranged the way we wanted, I measured for the panels. I measured the openings and added 2″ to all the measurements for hems and seams and finished everything with French seams, since you can see them from the inside.

When your tent is done, you can accessorize with pillows, blankets, bunting, lights, or anything else your heart desires!

“Jewels”

Recipe for a Stylish Boy’s Room

We have two rooms for the three boys: one big shared room and a small bedroom that was J’s nursery and is now our tween’s.

The big room has been slow to come together. Little boys interests change so often, not too mention that they are tornadoes that leave a mess in their wake.

I’m now ready to make a push to polish their space. As I discussed in this post on my steps for designing a room, and inspired by the Design Cookbook, here’s my recipe for the little boys’ room.

  1. Main color palette of navy and light neutrals
  2. Natural materials like wood, metal, and leather
  3. Whimsical accents like bunting in red and other fun colors
  4. Eclectic gallery wall with elements like a paper mache bust, kids art, and quotes
  5. Hideout area
  6. An unexpected sophisticated touch such as wallpaper or a luxurious fabric

I developed this recipe by collecting my favorite images on a Pinterest board.

Here are some of my favorite inspiration rooms:

Photo by Julia Lynn design by Jenny Keenan

From Design Sponge

From New York Cottages and Gardens

And here’s a list of projects I’ve already done for our boys’ room:

I’m looking forward to showing you the latest updates soon!

“Jewels”

Hot Wheels Birthday Party

Vroom! Vroom! When JJ turned four, we celebrated by playing with Hot Wheels!

Decorations: To set the theme, I decorated our house with balloons and a Hot Wheels birthday banner. IMG_2889.PNG

Activities:

  • Car Wash: bubbles, bubbles, and more bubbles!
  • Race Course: the kids used sidewalk chalk to create their own race tracks

Food:

We managed some themed food, too:

  • Traffic light – strawberries, green grapes, and pineapple
  • For the cake, a giant chocolate bundt cake made a great tire!

IMG_2887-0.PNG
Party favors:


IMG_2888-0.PNG

Happy birthday, big boy!

“Jewels”

Kids’ Upcycled Easter Garland

We had a great time celebrating Easter with my sister’s family last year. I had wanted to make a garland with the kids, and a stack of drawings was the perfect starting point! Why leave all those creations hidden in a pile when we could hang them up to enjoy?

Kids' Upcycled Easter Garland | Jewels at Home

I made two templates out of cardboard: an egg and a bunny face. With older kids, you could add more shapes, but our three- and four- year olds barely managed with the egg, so this was perfect for us.

J and his cousins chose drawings and created some new ones. We traced the shapes and then cut them out. I made two small vertical slits at the top of each egg or bunny, and we threaded some ribbon through.

It was great to see these preschoolers practicing their fine motor skills and helping each other to put together our Easter decorations.

Kids' Upcycled Easter Garland | Jewels at Home  Kids' Upcycled Easter Garland | Jewels at Home

Hoppy Easter!

“Jewels”

Star Wars Birthday Photo Booth

Our photo booth that made its first appearance at our Mad Men party a few years ago is becoming a staple at our parties.

I started with an iPad for the camera, backdrops, and props. As time has gone on, we have added more backdrops and props, as well as a tripod and a Canon SELPHY Photo Printer for instant gratification!

For L’s birthday this year, we decorated with a Star Wars theme – like everyone else, we were all just a little excited about The Force Awakens!

I found some printable Cut-out masks for props: 

As a party favor, I decorated simple picture frames for the kids, so they could display the photos from the booth. For this project, I used

Add some Star Wars stickers, and the kids were able to bring home some very special souvenirs!

I’m looking forward to trying out more fun themes at parties to come! What ideas do you have?

“Jewels”

 

 

Rainbow Pom Pom Trim Scarf

Sometimes I get into little craft obsessions. For a while, I couldn’t stop sewing appliqués on things, and then there was felting… Ever since I made the pom-pom wreath for our retro mid-century Christmas, I’ve been obsessed with pom-poms. It feels like there isn’t anything that wouldn’t be improved by some pom-poms!

At K’s soccer game, I saw one of our friends had a cute scarf with pom-pom trim, and I thought it would be fun to make my own! Of course, it would not be a true obsession if I made just one… The first set of scarves I made were for my nieces for Christmas. These are pink wooly scarves with rainbow pom-pom trim. So cute! I have enough trim left over to make myself an infinity scarf after Christmas, if I’m feeling bold enough for these colors.

Living in California, I don’t need a lot of warm scarves, but the girls live on the East Coast, so I wanted to find them something cozy. After looking at a lot of different fabrics, I decided to buy these inexpensive solid-colored scarves to use as a base for this project.

The scarves are much bigger than I needed, and they’re also very thin, so I cut off the fringe and doubled the thickness. For the girls, the finished size is 6.5″x49″. Adding the fringe was pretty quick. I recommend using the zipper foot for your sewing machine.   

 
Off to add pom poms to something else!

 “Jewels”

Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments

Every year, I make personalized Christmas ornaments for our family and friends. This is usually a simple project with store-bought ornaments. This year, I’m doing a little DIY, because I didn’t find anything quite right for our retro mid-century Christmas.

I’m making some clear globe ornaments to give to our local friends. For those that live further away, I wanted something easy to mail, so I was excited to find this inspiration for ornaments covered in scrapbook paper. Besides being pretty, these ornaments are lightweight, flat, and sturdy, so they’re perfect for sending to friends!

Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home

Here’s how to do this cute project:

  • Paint the edges of the Unfinished Wood Ornaments with silver craft paint. The center will be covered in paper.
  • Print out names and the year on Clear Shipping Labels and then stick them in craft paper and cut them out. I cut matching circles for the back.
  • Use regular hole punch to cut the paper around the hole in the ornament.
  • Use Yes All-Purpose Stik Flat Glueto glue the paper to the ornaments
  • I used some very fine sandpaper to clean up the ornaments after the glue dried.

Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home
Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home To finish off, I added ribbons for hanging.

Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home
Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home  Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home
Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home

What fun to be able to send a bit of holiday cheer!

“Jewels”