DIY

Baby Prep: DIY Diaper Clutch & Diaper Changing Pad

I keep going back and forth: to cloth diaper or not to cloth diaper? That is the question. With the cost of disposable diapers and the number of kids we want to have I always thought it would be a good investment to be a “cloth diapering family”. My husband, on the other hand, needed some convincing. The “saving money” aspect was attractive but the fact that our other kids would wear their older siblings diapers was not. I told him that you wash them and that they’re clean but his argument was that his brother washes his underwear too – that doesn’t mean they’re going to share!

We have a long road ahead of us before he warms up to the idea! For the first three months of newborn diapers we’ll use disposables just to help as we get into a new-baby routine. After that we’ll evaluate but I’m pretty sure between the money-saving factor and the convenience factor I’ll be able to show him how easy cloth diapering really can be. That’s my hope anyways.

Either way, whether our son sports Pampers or BumGenius, I wanted a cute and organized way to take my diapers, wipes and changing pad on the go.

This will be the last time I do my cutting, piecing and ironing on the floor. I don’t know why I thought this would be a convenient choice but my back clearly thought it to be a bad idea.

I used some black and white striped canvas fabric that I got from IKEA a couple of months ago and some bleached muslin. I cut a rectangular piece of each fabric that was about 12″ wide and 20″ long, pinned the two fabrics, right sides together, and used a plate to guide my rotary cutter around the two top corners to give me even rounded edges.




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I sewed around the whole clutch except for a 3″ opening on the lower right side. This allowed me to turn my fabric inside out and press the seams properly. Then I used some yellow knit fabric from an old shirt I cut up to sew a pocket onto what would later be the front of the clutch. I wish I would’ve sewn a pocket on the white muslin first before I sewed it to my canvas that way the inside of the clutch could have a little pocket too.

 
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After you’ve added all of the pockets that your little heart desires, you fold the long rectangle up about 8″ or more and pin in place. You can play around with how deep you want your clutch to be compared to how long you want your front flap. When it looks how you like make sure all of your sides are lined up and that the 3″ opening’s seam is ironed in place. Then sew up the right and left side of your clutch.

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That’s it! You’re done! Cute little clutch to hold your diaper changing pad, about 4  diapers (cloth or disposable!), pack of travel wipes and a change of little people clothes. Now all I need to do is find a cute button for the front and add a little velcro on the front flap to make sure it stays closed.

 

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I also made this travel diaper changing pad to take along with me. One side is a waterproof fabric and the other side is cotton. I used the fabric I got for 99 cents/yard at IKEA which seems to make it’s way in almost all of my sewing projects. I cut out the fabric to be about 15″ x 24″, faced the right sides together and pinned in place.

 
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I sewed around all of the edges except for the bottom. I turned the fabric inside out, pressed the seams and then folded the fabric of the opening under so I could iron it flat. Then I sewed the opening shut and sewed random lines across the fabric to hold it together. Next time I should send my fabric pieces to Minnesota to have my mom make a quilted diaper changing pad with her fancy quilting machine!

 

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There you have it! A quick and easy diaper changing pad to take with you on the go! My husband thinks that I should’ve put some batting on the inside to make it a little cushy for baby’s bum which is a good point but I love that this isn’t bulky and folds up really thin, taking up hardly any space.

One more project down…many more to go!

 

 

Baby Prep: DIY Graphic Onesies

I found the sweetest little shorts and onesies at the 99 cent store a few weeks ago when I was picking up luau decorations for Grandma’s Birthday Bash! Actually, I found lots of great things there including white tissue paper with aqua polka dots: perfect for making pom-poms to hang over baby’s crib. I also found out that a trip to the 99 cent store can add up quickly with all of these great finds! Still, it’s less than I would’ve spent, getting the same things at Target or the craft store so we should chalk it up as a success. 

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I bought these newborn shorts for my DIY graphic project but also to use as a reference so I can make my own pattern and make more! I really want to make cute little knit leggings but I’m afraid it’ll be too hot for leggings when he gets here. Maybe I’ll just have to make a few pairs in the 3-6 mo. size instead.

My original plan was to paint a black anchor on the side of these shorts. I drew out the type of anchor I wanted with sharpie on wax paper and then used a swivel craft knife to cut out the stencil. I couldn’t have done this project without that tool. The knife swivels 360 degrees letting you trace your design as if you were using a pen. They’re relatively inexpensive from Michael’s, saves you a giant headache and lets you create great details on your design.

 

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Then I used this sprayable fabric paint over the stencil and that’s where everything went downhill. I had researched different types of fabric paints before I went to buy some and apparently this brand’s formula was most similar to a screen print. What I was trying to avoid was something like puffy fabric paint. I wanted my image to be soft to the touch so I could use it on clothes and plain fabric for other projects.

Well, it turns out that the paint is wonderful – I love the way it dries and sets on the cotton onesie – but the applicator was terrible! Instead of spraying in a fine, contained mist, it sprayed out huge globs of black paint that pretty much drowned my stencil and left behind a giant unrecognizable blob. There was no redeeming the shorts. The fabric washes off of your skin but not fabric (which I guess is a good thing). At least I can still use the shorts for making my own pattern!

Alright back to the drawing board. I had to completely start over but this time I was prepared. I sprayed adhesive on to the back of my wax paper, lined my stencil up on my onesie, stepped very far away from anything else and sprayed the fabric paint onto a paper plate. Also, be sure to insert a folded piece of wax paper inside your onesie to keep your paint from bleeding through. I used a plastic knife to lightly spread the paint over the stencil. Crisis averted.

 
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This plastic knife technique actually turned out better than I had planned, giving it kind of an old, texturized look. This method was a lot more forgiving than if I would’ve been going for the clean lines look. It made the stencil look unique and made any imperfections a lot less noticeable.

I peeled off my wax paper stencil right away at a 45 degree angle, making sure it didn’t touch any other part of the fabric and then let it dry overnight. The best practice is to let the fabric set for 72 hours before you wash it. There you have it! As long as you don’t ruin a pair of shorts and have to start over, this is a pretty quick project!
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I was so excited about the anchor onesie that I thought I’d make another one. I told my husband it would only take me 10 minutes but all of the detail in the mane took forever to cut out. I also, for whatever reason, made this stencil on craft paper instead of wax paper. I think the idea was that the paint would dry on the paper and then I could save the stencil to make more for the other babies in my life but as soon as I saw how quickly the paper soaked up the paint it made me nervous that it might bleed through so I peeled it off as soon as I was done.

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I’m so excited about  how it turned out and I want to make more but now I need to make another stencil on a different material that will survive the painting and peeling processes. One of my friends suggested using contact paper so I’ll have to try that next time. Actually, I have a few sheets of scrapbooking vellum paper that I should use. I also had some ideas using white fabric paint and stencils but I think I’m going to have to switch up my brand since this one was a mess!

 

Any suggestions in the fabric paint/stenciling department are greatly appreciated! If you’re going to try this at home, learn from my mistakes and buy a few sheets of vellum in the scrapbook department of Michael’s to make your stencil and choose a different fabric paint. I really liked the reviews I read on this paint and it comes in a whole slew of different finishes, textures and colors for less than $2/bottle.

Have fun stenciling!

 

Baby Prep: Newborn Hats & Mittens

Several years ago, when I moved to Minnesota, I found a keyboard and that took me on a journey of learning piano chords, songwriting and leading worship.
When I moved to California I found a sewing machine!

With the baby on the way and everything changing, I’m trying to be a good steward of the time that I have. I’m getting the opportunity to do things that I only dreamed of during my busy Starbucks life. I finally have the time & schedule availability to join a small group, to meet with other women in the church, to meal plan on a budget (first time I’ve ever had to do that!), to exercise at the start of my day, to support my husband by taking care of all the different odds & ends, work on video & photo projects and…to craft! 

I’ve had so many little ideas here and there throughout the years (and a growing “DIY” Pinterest board) but I didn’t have the time or energy to actually do it myself. Now it feels like I’m “living the dream” as I wait for our baby, work on different projects and adjust to this new life.

I’m not a fan of baby things. When my Mom was asking me about what kind of fabrics I wanted her to use for the baby quilt she’s making, my only rule was “no baby blue”. I’ve never really liked the baby prints or the powder blue (or pink!) color that’s used for blankets, outfits, fabrics…it’s everywhere! When we were registering just last week I was kind of wincing at every other thing my husband pointed out for that reason. Finally he said, “you know we’re having a baby right?”.

So I’m very aware of how ridiculous it might seem that I’m so picky but it’s really just a preference issue that I need to get over since this baby has a whole gang of family members that will be dressing him up and handing down clothes. BUT if you can save money by making your own designs that are more along the style that you prefer, then go for it!

 


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These little hats and mittens were made out of old knit shirts that I had. I figured since I wouldn’t be wearing an XS for the next several months I might as well save the money on buying fabric and put it to good use! I made up my own pattern for both of these after spending lots of time researching different construction methods on Pinterest and combining all that I learned.

Some of the best tutorials I found were here and here. Just find what method works for you, what size you need and then make your own pattern from there. I drew all of my pieces out on wax paper and saved them with my fabrics for future hats. These are so easy (& inexpensive) to make and perfect for little shower gifts for all the little newborns on their way!

 

The Time I Ruined a Surprise Engagement: Elizabeth & David Actually Got Married

Two weeks ago I spent some time in the good ol’ southern country of North Carolina with old friends, making new friends & celebrating love. Elizabeth was the last of us girls to get married. All three of us had been in Redding, CA for Amy & Paul, LA area for my wedding & now it was time to venture to the heart of the south where she would tie the knot with the love of her life.

This was a pretty miraculous occasion seeing as I (almost) ruined their surprise engagement during my wedding weekend back in October.

For the longest time Amy lived in California, I lived in Minneapolis & Liz lived in North Carolina. The easiest way for all of us to keep in touch consistently was to have an ongoing “group text” where we updated each other on daily life happenings. I still remember the day when we discovered “the power of group message”! I was sitting on the kitchen floor of my little home in Minnesota, drinking one of my favorite Midwest brews (R.I.P…) and laughing as my phone was just shy of literally blowing up from the speed and frequency of incoming text messages. Us three hadn’t been this accessible since we all lived in the same town! Oh wait…that never happened, actually.

Liz moved into the country’s best kept secret of a home town, Marquette, MI, just as I was moving out. She became a part of Amy’s family during her time up at Northern Michigan University and developed a kindred-spirit type friendship with my childhood best friend (Amy). When I would come back to town to visit we’d  spend time with Liz. Meeting her for the first time felt like a reunion with a friend that I had known for most of my life. We hit it off and spent that summer night coloring cement stairs to her house with sidewalk chalk & encouraging words and laughing (obnoxiously) loudly as we laid on the beach and watched for shooting stars.

Fast forward to my wedding weekend. Amy & Paul were coming in town for our backyard DIY (God bless Ruby) wedding. Liz & her boyfriend (who we all knew she would end up marrying) David wanted to come but he had other plans which left Liz flying solo out to LA. A couple weeks before the wedding David called and asked if he could fly in to surprise Liz and propose to her a few days before we tied the knot. I was ecstatic! What an honor to have one of my sweetest friends get engaged to the love of her life in the same place where I would marry mine! It was going to be a weekend of LOVE!

We continued on preparing for the weekend with a little spring in our step, just knowing what was around the corner. Amy & I went to great lengths  to “sheep dog” Liz to make sure she was in the right place at the right time. We had our own set of text messages that contained our virtual girly-giggles of excitement (this would sound so dumb to someone from my Grandpa’s generation) & where we coordinated the secret operation from a distance.

So the day before Liz is supposed to be arriving in town I’m running around the back yard talking with friends and family, working on crafts, introducing people, the whole nine yards of pre-wedding craziness. I quickly check my phone and reply to Amy in what I THOUGHT was our private text conversation with “Yes and David will be here at 4 to propose”.

I went about the rest of our wedding to-do list blissfully unaware for the next…two minutes until everything just stopped. It was like in those Visa commercials where everything is going swimmingly until someone whips out a checkbook and screws up the rhythm of life.
That was me. Screwing up the rhythm of life. I had just blown David’s brilliant, elaborate engagement plan by carelessly replying in the wrong set of text messages.

My life was over.

A few swear words and a moment of shock later, I was unraveling with inconsolable sobs over our wedding crafts as everyone just froze not knowing how to fix this situation. Our friend Ruby was coming up with strategic options (maybe David could change his flight and surprise Liz on the plane?) and my almost-husband called David to break the news while I tore my sackcloth and rolled in ashes.

BY THE GRACE OF GOD, David was forgiving, understanding and worked with us to create a Plan B, Operation: Recover the Element of Surprise.

I think only a few minutes had gone by at this point so I was able to do the lame “Ha! Just kidding!” move and hope that Liz was blonde enough to fall for it. That sort of didn’t work…sort of did.

The next day we pick Liz up from the airport take her to Venice beach, listen to her talk about the ring that she wanted and how she hoped David would propose soon and wait on pins and needles hoping and praying that she doesn’t suspect a thing.

During all of this David is already in town, standing by, ready to walk into the backyard as I’m touring Liz around the “reception area”. He walks in, she starts crying, they share a beautiful moment, she says yes and thankfully my group texting nightmare becomes a thing of the past that we just laugh at.
Thankfully…

So there was this time where my life was over and David & Liz almost didn’t get married and our friendship was ruined forever but then here I stood, on this beautiful property in North Carolina, watching a miracle unfold; keeping my friends & seeing them finally tie the knot.

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This is Amy & Paul at the wedding rehearsal. We’ve been friends for 13 years and in that time I’ve managed to never unknowingly sabotage her marriage.

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I’ve been trying out some new filters for post-processing my photos with a more filmic element. I’m glad I shot around a little bit during the rehearsal because once the day of the wedding came I didn’t have time to dig out my camera.

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A sweet burlap banner I made for the flower girl to carry up and down the aisle. The front says “Uncle Dave, here comes your girl…”

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This is my new friend, Brian. He was the photographer for Liz & David’s big day and did an absolutely incredible job! You can see the first post from their wedding here.

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We spent the day after the wedding hanging out by the pool, getting sunburned and enjoying THE BEST BBQ I’ve ever had in my life! I grew up in Memphis so that should be saying a lot! This family-friend of the bride provided lunch for everyone, complete with his own homemade BBQ sauce and sweet mustard canned in Mason jars. Mmm…and I’m not even a meat person!

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It’s so fun to look back on the wedding and see how a lot of what Liz imagined for decorations and color schemes actually came to life! It looks just like the photos from Pinterest that we’d send back and forth during our months of planning.


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YAY! WE’RE MARRIED!