Archive | DIY RSS feed for this section

A Wedding Portrait for my Sister

29 Jan

If you remember all the way back to last month, I shared all about my sister’s fabulous wedding cruise. Once we returned, I planned to make her a special wedding portrait (like the one I made my brother) and I kept putting it off for a bit. I finally sat down and sketched out the plan based on her beautiful wedding photos.

I love that you can personalize every bit of the portrait so for Katie and Craig, I made sure to mirror their hairstyles, height difference, styles and colors of their wedding outfits, and Katie’s bridal bouquet. I was terrified that I was going to run the whole thing by trying to freehand a bouquet, but their wedding was held at a botanical garden… so I really wanted to include the flowers if I could.

I’m so happy with the finished project!

And here it is compared to my brother’s wedding portrait. It’s it amazing how distinctive you can make the little guys?!

I’m already looking forward to doing another one for my sister Kelsey after her May wedding!

Like what you see? Share me with your friends!

Are you Obsessed with Tidying Up with Marie Kondo?

17 Jan

Netflix is brilliant. I mean, think of how many people have New Year’s resolutions to purge stuff out of their house and then BOOM Tidying Up with Marie Kondo shows up on their Netflix account. Brilliant!

In case you are in the dark, here is the trailer:

Isn’t she adorable?!

This little sprite of a lady comes into your house and helps you tidy up your life. It’s basically like Hoarders, but less hoarder-ish. And yes, it is the biggest first world problem to have too much stuff…

I LOVE purging, so this show totally sucked me in. I’ve only watched three episodes so far (and wanted to throw things at my television during the first one), but every time I start watching I find myself making notes in my phone like “purge DVDs” and “go through unused Christmas décor items”.

I’m not going to go full Kondo and start rolling my clothing, but I am certainly taking away some of the lessons from the show. Already I have attacked my pantry, my storage container cupboard and the great abyss of random kitchen crap that lives in my kitchen island. Oh, and I went through my underroos drawer and threw out anything that gives me a wedgie!

Next up on my list is:

  • The playroom (again). As Jack grows out of toys, I’m really good at donating them or giving them to friends. It’s TIME again.
  • The Christmas decorations in the basement. I still haven’t taken down our Christmas décor this year (it makes me happy and I need all the happy I can get this month), but we have some stuff that I haven’t put out for the last few years. I think it is time to go through the unused stuff for a purge while I’m packing things away.
  • Our DVDs. We basically never watch our old DVDs, so I think it’s a good time to go through and get rid of 90% of them. I’ll probably check eBay to make sure we don’t have anything that we could resell, but I anticipate I’ll just drop them all off at the thrift store.

How about you? Have you been watching Tidying up with Marie Kondo? Are you currently ripping apart your house in a purging frenzy?

Like what you see? Share me with your friends!

A Last Minute DIY Pete the Cat Costume

23 Oct

I had thought I’d lucked out this year when Jack wanted to wear a previous Halloween costume again. But I forgot all about ‘dress like your favorite book character day’ at school… Sigh. Because what working parent DOESN’T want to throw together a second costume the week before Halloween?!

Last year for Halloween Jack was Batman, so he used his monkey costume (from the previous year) to be Curious George for character day. Well, this year he wanted to be a monkey (again) for Halloween… but didn’t want to be a monkey twice.

Which brings us to Pete.

Pete the Cat is Jack’s FAVORITE book character right now. We literally have a dozen Pete the Cat books that we read on regular rotation and still tend to pick a few more up each time we visit the library. So, Jack decided he needed to be Pete the Cat.

First I did a quick online search to see if there were any cool (and inexpensive) Pete the Cat costumes out there. And found this, which is horrifying.



Yeah, that’s not happening. Also, it was $50. So… no.

I then did some pinterest searching for homemade versions. Most of them were also kind of weird and creepy. Finally, I found one where the Pete face was on a baseball cap.

THAT I can do.

Jack actually had a blue baseball cap from a previous Halloween costume of Fix-it Felix… so I ordered some felt, bought some glue and assembled my supplies.

I started by cutting out some vague eye shapes and when I found a set I liked, I copied it for the other side.

Then, I cut out a triangle nose, some whiskers and started gluing.

It’s kind of Pete-ish…right?

I let it dry for a few hours and had Jack try it on when he came home from school:

For character day, the plan is to have Jack wear the Pete hat, a blue school hoodie, blue track pants and his chucks. So, basically his normal school clothes and a baseball hat.

I’ll go ahead and call this a lazy DIY because I know you’re already thinking it! However, it cost less than $10 (I had to buy the felt and fabric glue) and used stuff we already had around the house, so I’m going to call it a win!

What last minute costume ideas have you thrown together? Does my hat look close enough to Pete the Cat to pass?

Like what you see? Share me with your friends!

Sewing is Not Scary

25 Sep

First off, I am not what you would consider a great sewist (I was going to say sewer, but the internet tells me that sewist is now the proper word and less likely to be confused with the place that takes water and waste away in the city). I’m not even a good sewist. I’m more like a problem solver by way of sewing sewist.

As you all know, I loooove thrifting. But occasionally there may be a bit of a fit issue. So, I figure I can try to fix it myself. What’s the worst that can happen?!

It is SO easy to hem a dress that is too long or even tighten a cuff of an otherwise great pair of jeans. So, I figured I’d write up little blog post showing you JUST how simple it is to do.

Easy Sewing Project #1: Hemming

It is the easiest because you literally are just measuring and then sewing a straight line. I hemmed a dress a few weeks ago and took a couple quick photos:

The purple patterned dress is the length I like. The blue patterned dress is too long. So, I measured the distance and then used the pins to pin the blue dress up about 3” shorter.

I sewed a straight line.

Then, I cut away the extra fabric.


It’s so easy that I felt kind of silly adding photos. {Click here to see the before/after from my outfit post in Instagram}

Easy Sewing Project #2: Adjusting the Fit of Pants

Over the weekend, I did another little fixer project with a pair of thrifted jeans. I found a pair of black jeans back in June that fit great… but the bottom of the leg was more of a straight leg fit, which made it hard to wear them with boots. You can see them by clicking the arrow on this post. I tried cuffing them, but they looked silly. So I packed them away for the summer and figured I’d deal with them when the weather got cool again.

Which was on Sunday. So, I decided to take less than 10 minutes and make them awesome.

First, I grabbed a pair of jeans that fit the way I like them to and laid them on top of the black jeans that I wanted to fix.

I turned the black jeans inside out and used a silver sharpie to mark the extra fabric by tracing my good jeans.

Then, I sewed a straight line.

I turned them back right-side-out and tried them on:

After a couple small adjustments, they fit perfect, so I went ahead and cut off the extra fabric.


You guys. It’s so easy.

My sewing machine was a gift back when I was in college and I still use it regularly to do some easy sewing. You don’t really need anything fancy – I checked around and there are some entry-level sewing machines for just $85. Here’s one at Walmart and here’s one available on Amazon.

So now I want to know… do you sew? If not, why?


Disclaimer: This post contains a Shopstyle affiliate link and an Amazon affiliate link. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.


Like what you see? Share me with your friends!