Looking for a way to upcycle those baby clothes you can’t part with? When Dub got his first loose tooth, I decided to use his baby clothes to create a tooth pillow – a tradition my parents started with me. The concept is that the tooth pillow makes it easy for the Tooth Fairy to find baby teeth and deposit money (I’ve heard she hates to loose those first baby teeth!).
To make the pillow, I combined a chambray shirt and a little plaid shirt, with snap button pockets, that Dub wore as a baby. He actually helped me dig through his baby clothes to find just the right combo.
Here he is at just 3 months old sporting one of the shirts.
My mom used her fancy sewing machine to embroider some letters and voila! An easy, free tooth pillow that he absolutely loves.
As a kid, I absolutely loved Advent Calendars. You know, the little paper calendars with the perforated doors. Sometimes there was a Christmas picture behind the little paper door and sometimes a bible verse. It didn’t matter, I loved the process of opening on each day. I wanted to create an Advent Calendar tradition with my own children, but I wanted to create a keepsake – something they would look forward to getting out each year.
So, I went to the interwebs to find something to inspire me – and the pickings were slim. This was in 2008, a pre-Pinterest era, and there just wasn’t a lot out there I loved. Enter Stitchcraft Creations with her super cute felt calendar. With her pretty version as my guide, I embarked on “adventures in Advent Calendars.”
For Dub’s first Christmas years ago, I decided I wanted to start the tradition of making something homemade for my kids for each Christmas. I ambitiously took on an activity book project to kick off the tradition, knowing I could add pages to it each year.
I drew inspiration from the interwebs and used a few patterns But mostly, I just winged it. Ididn’t want it to look perfect, I wanted it to look inviting and fun!
I did a lot of web surfing for inspiration. I used a few patterns from one of my favorite bloggers, Homemade by Jill.
From there, I narrowed down the pages and activities I wanted tobe in the book and madea list of the supplies I needed. I was patient with this and used 40% off coupons at Michael’sand JoAnn’s for several weeks to avoid paying full price on the more expensive supplies. Pre-planning is the most important step to any project, because having allthesupplies on hand means fewer half-finished projects laying around that were never picked back up after the inspiration left!
As a working mom, I made it my goal to complete at least two pages every weekend. This made the project much more manageable for me to take on. Looking face-on at a full weekend of sewing probably would have killed my motivation to start!
After all of the pages were complete, I paired pages two-by-two and sewed twosheetstogether back-to-back.
I then punched three grommets into each set of pages, like you would if you were going to add them to a binder.
Finally, I used loose leaf rings to secure them together. I chose to do it this way so I couldrepair pages or continue to add pages as I had kids.
White felt pages from the craft store (around 25 cents each)
Additional felt pages in various colors
Scrap fabric and notions, like a zipper and ricrac,
Assorted buttons I had saved over the years
Metal snaps (these are easier for little hands to use vs. the plastic snaps)
Finger puppets from Ikea for the Noah’s Ark page (pictured below). These are no longer available through Ikea but they pop up on ebay all the time!
I’m happy to say that 4 years later, this book still gets used by Dub and now Eve, too. It’s held up and only needed 1 small repair.
In retrospect, I wish I had more carefully documented the sewing process and made patterns for each page. It took me a long time pull this book together and it would have been so much easier if all the patterns had been in one place. I often wonder if I should go back and make the patterns to share for the next person. If you would like to see that in the future, please be sure to tell me in the comments below!
I was so excited for Eve’s first birthday and I knew exactly what the theme would be – Pink Lemonade, for my sweet and sour little girl 🙂
Well, then there was an out of state family wedding the weekend of her birthday which meant significantly toning down the birthday plans. Which was hard for me, because I just love a good themed party. Side note: do you know what else is hard? Accidentally deleting all the photos in my camera from said party, and then racing to take just a couple to prove my baby had a party. Ugh!
So to plan the un-party, I started with the basics. One of the things I’ve done for all of my kids is purchase just a few birthday items that we bring out every year, including a pendant banner, centerpieces with photos of them over the years, and a “My special day” seat cover.
We also use this seat cover for all special occasions, from birthdays to the first day of school and other milestones. It’s a tradition that has become very meaningful to us – when the kids come downstairs in the morning and see their seat cover, they know we’re celebrating them that day.
Next, I added some cute polka-dot napkins, cups and cute paper straws from Target. I served a basic lemonade some frozen strawberries. Yum!
I made these adorable cupcakes. I’d scoured the interwebs for the best pink lemonade recipe and landed on this one. Unfortunately, they were just a bit too tart for us! No problemo – that just left more room for the homemade ice cream we made (and Mmmm does our family love homemade ice cream!).