Friday, June 19, 2015

{Tutorial} Birthday Party DIY + TEMPLATE!

My family went on our annual Beach Vacation last week and it completely wore us out.  (Why do vacations do that? Just make you exhausted instead of re-energizing you??)

This is the beach where we were - totally beautiful?! Seriously - BEAUTIFUL!
Anyway, we came home on a Saturday, and baby sweet niece's birthday was the following Sunday.  And she wanted a Hello Kitty party. And we had not planned on this.

Knowing her full-scale party would be the next Saturday and it was rainbow themed, I figured I could make a run to the local dollar store and turn their supplies into Hello Kitty supplies with a little work.

I purchased:
2 accordion tissue flower decorations
1 pack of (3) hanging flower decorations
1 piece of posterboard
1 bunch of bright pink carnations
1 pk of (8) party hats
1 pk of party plates
1 pk of party napkins
1 set of HK sugar cupcake toppers
*** See Template at the bottom of the post! ***

Sweet Niece sporting her HK Party Hat!

The plain but brightly colored party hats came from Wal-Mart. Less than $2 I think. I made a template of a small HK head first, then a bow template.  I laid the bow where I thought it looked best and then made another template that included the edges of the bow on her right ear.  This will give you a place to color your bow and not have to glue a bow on.  It will be part of your template for each HK head.  I place the template face down on the backside of the posterboard, traced and cut it out. Then I used my bow template to lightly sketch in my bow on the front side so I could then color it in with markers.  Add some black ovals for eyes, a yellow oval for a nose (I outlined my nose in orange) and a few whiskers on each side and you are done! 

Once the marker dried, I put rubber cement on the back of the HK heads and on the front of the party hats, let it dry and then press together.  Dried rubber cement is one heck of a hold, so don't think you'll be pulling it off and re-positioning it - oh no, my friend. It's stuck. 

The hats are what people have loved the most. 

These decorations were from the Dollar Tree.  The blue and green tissue flowers were a dollar each. The three posterboard flowers with tinsel and dangling decorations were all three for a dollar.  So that's a total of three dollars hanging up there (no bad!!). 

The tissue decorations came with a flower you were supposed to put in the middle with a cardboard stick that would run in the middle of this poof thing. But I didn't want a flower - I wanted a HK head. Once again, using posterboard I made a larger HK head template, traced and cut.  Colored.  Used a drinking straw that I cut about an inch down the length in four places to splay out like four arms.  I taped this to the back of the HK head, leaving about 2 inches sticking up and one inch taped to the head.  The sticking up part went into the center of the tissue decoration, which let the HK head be flush against the tissue flower.  I have a feeling this isn't making sense, let me take a pic and show you really quick. 

Does that make more sense now? This nub sticking up will go in the middle of the tissue decoration. 

 The flat flowers had pictures of flowers drawn onto them.  That was so easy to cover up by gluing an HK head right over, making sure I covered up all the flower petals.  The dangling butterflies and lady bugs matched the plates and napkins I picked up at the dollar store, so I left those on.  

I did try to make a mask with white felt, glued to a party hat, but it didn't start low enough down her face.  She ended up looking like a cat unicorn. Cute idea, but not executed well. So that decor was a party #fail. But I still like this cute picture. :) 

Lastly, I used another drinking straw and two HK heads, glued together back to back with the straw in the middle to go inside the flower arrangement.  I found the carnations in bright pink, pink, and white for $5 at Wal-Mart. Mom snipped a few flowers from her yard that perfectly match and added to it (Daisies, Queen Anne's Lace and Cone Flowers).  Sweet Niece enjoyed spotting HK in the middle of the flowers. :) 

I didn't take a pic of the store bought cupcakes and the sugar cupcake toppers, but that wrapped up the HK madness. She loved it, I loved making her happy, and there was just enough HK to make it feel like we planned it all that way. :)  Hope this might spark some ideas for your own DIY birthday! :)

OK - Because I know folks want a template for Hello Kitty heads and bows, I'm including one here!  Feel free to download this picture, and do with it what you will.  I left the nose and bow uncolored for you to fill it in.  Or, use the bow image for a little "Pin the bow on the kitty."  Feel free to share what you make with me - I would love to see it (and feature it here!)  beth.covington at 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

{Tutorial} Kids' Artwork as Gifts

Do you remember the toddler artwork I featured earlier on this blog where my 2-year-old niece painted the background of four canvases and I added LOVE to them?  This is the same concept, except using both of my nieces!  They worked together to make a beautiful painting for my sister for Mother's Day - a very special gift that she will treasure.

I bought a pack of 16 x 20 canvases at Hobby Lobby (my favorite craft store) for super cheap.  Loaded up on acrylic paint, brushes, palettes, and water bowls. We were ready to rock.  The 2-year-old used three shades of blue for the background and went to town painting.  Once I convinced her painting her knees wasn't a good idea - to just stick with her hands - we got things moving.  Baby niece used a large craft paint brush and her hands to cover the canvas.  We flipped it around a few times to get all the white area covered (and helped just a little).

While baby niece was painting, teen niece used the back of wrapping paper to draw an artistic Palmetto Tree.  Next: cut it out, dry the massive amount of paint baby niece used on the canvas, and use the wrapping paper tree as a template, lightly tracing the tree onto the canvas in pencil. CAREFUL: you don't want to poke a hole in the canvas or make too dark of a mark.

Teen niece painted over the outline with dark blue...

Filled it in and then got crazy artsy with it. By mixing colors she had shades of blue for dots inside the tree.  She added a crescent moon in the corner, and gray "moonlights" to one side of the tree.  White/yellow dashes in the gray just to make it interesting.

She did such a good job, I love all the fun and unique things she added that created texture and movement to the piece.  Love it!

Since teen niece will be at her mom's house for Mother's Day, we celebrated a week early and surprised my sister with this coolness! She's a SC History teacher and she LOOOOOOOOVED it.  (For you non-South Carolinians, the Palmetto Tree is part of our state flag.  We are very proud of it!)
The best part is this gift is nice enough to be displayed in the living room; both girls feel a sense of pride and "ownership" in seeing their talents displayed in the house and for creating something so nice for their mom/stepmom; and my sister treasures a gift from her girls.

I really do encourage you to try it and share your experience with me! I'd love to see what you create.  Please don't think it has to be perfect - that's part of the special uniqueness of the artwork! Just let them go for it and see their pride when it's all complete. :)

Wanna pin it? Use this:

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Painted Pottery

I had to wait to post until I gifted this new craft - it's a hand-painted over-sized mug! LOVE these types of things and the size is perfect for soup, cereal, whatever you wanna chow down on. A new paint pottery place opened up about 35-45 minutes from me and I had to try it out. And try it out. And try it out! This is the most recent piece I completed and gifted to my friend in Alabama when I went to go visit with her.

The cool thing about this place is they save the dried up paint from where people have squirted out too much paint for their object and turn it into paint chips. Then you can apply a layer of wet paint and "glue" the chips to your pottery.  When the paint is unfired, it looks NOTHING like what it does once it is fired, so you really don't know what colors the paint chips are - it's just a luck of a draw kinda thing.  So I knew I had to use that obnoxious yellow green, wanted it pair with blues and figured - heck, the paint chips can't make it any weirder looking so let's go for it!

I'm so glad I did because I LOVE IT! The paint chips melt down the curve of the mug and just makes such a cool effect.  My niece tried it on her pottery - one piece was a flat cross and one an owl figurine.  The cross paint chips melted but made colored spots where they were.  Only in the places with lots of chips in one small space did they mix together.  Her owl figurine had the colors melting together as they ran down the curve of the owl's back, so it was really cool.

On the outside I etched swirlies just to make it cute and girlie.  They aren't super noticeable but I'm still glad I didn't try to paint them on. That would have made  mess, I think.

Anyway, you can always use Pintrest for tons of ideas on what to paint on all types of pottery - from your child's handprints and feet prints, to just trying your hand at something that interests you.  If I find some more pics from our painting trips, I'll come back and post them here.  Until then - go try your hand at some creativity! :)

Friday, March 6, 2015

Beachy Scrapbook for Teen

Isn't life funny the way it works out?  One of my blog friends mentioned the other day she was helping out with an auction to help her local women's center purchase an ultrasound machine. This sounded pretty important to me and I had just uncovered a gender neutral baby scrapbook I had finished and never gifted/sold. I shipped it out to her to be a help to the auction - I figure every penny is one step closer!

Then, I visited my brother and sister-in-law this week for dinner one night.  Before I left, my SIL gave me this bag filled with stickers, paper and a scrapbook.  Her teen niece had bought all these supplies and never used them, so she asked my SIL to pass along to me if I would use them.  SCORE! Of course I don't turn down all this free scrapbook stuff! But as I went through it at home, I could easily see what she had wanted to do - make a beach themed scrapbook.

I haven't scrapped in a while (quite a while!!), but since I was home sick the next day anyway, I put together a beachy scrapbook that I'm going to send back to her.  There is a ton of stuff left over for me to use and I know starting your first scrapbook can be intimidating sometimes.  This will give her a place for the tons of beach photos I know she has (because I see them on instagram! haha).

There are most of the pages.  I hope they are teenish enough to catch her attention!  I do miss scrapbooking but became a bit overwhelmed with all the supplies and such.  And I have the attention span of a rabid squirrel so I'll move on to something else pretty quickly (lately it's been quilting and sewing).  

Isn't that funny?  I've been out of scrapbooking for ages and I get several reminders back to back like that.  It's like a secret message that I'm missing or something. :) 

Well, there you go - a beachy themed scrapbook for teens - enjoy!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Toddler Friendly Gift Tags

I don't know about ya'll, but to me it seems those who want to be most involved in all the excitement of holidays are also the ones who can't read yet.  Our toddlers.  They want to be part of giving out the gifts and watching people open them, but when you can't read the gift tags, it makes it a little difficult. Yes, you could have an adult crouched down at the tree on Christmas morning handing out gifts and telling them who to deliver them to, OR you could take this idea and run with it.

Toddler Friendly Gift Tags

I love it! This is the second time I've done it, but the first time I was much more fru-fru about it.  I found cute tie-on tags and printed everyone's pictures out and glued them to the tags so they looked framed.  This Christmas was total chaos and the cuteness didn't happen.  

But guess what.  The toddlers still knew who to give the gift to without the fru fru tags.  Yup.  So fire up the computer, pull up some photos, print, cut and tape to the gifts (I printed on plain copy paper).  Now ALL your family can get involved in the gift-giving excitement while you prop your feet up in the recliner. :) 


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

{Tutorial} Buttons & Burlap Heart

My weekend project to help decorate my house for Valentine's Day! Very simple, quick, and cute idea for those of you with tons of buttons lying about the house.  Let's dive in and I'll tell you how to make your own!

What you need:

--Burlap Canvas - I purchase a two-pack of flat 8" x 8" burlap canvas board at Hobby Lobby for $5. This however, means it can't be hung unless you glue a ribbon hanger on it, so I'm using an easel.
--Paper to draw a template heart
--Scissors to cut out the template
--Pencil to trace on the canvas
--Buttons. I used tons of red and pink together. Old and new, too.
--Hot glue (I used high temp, but it did singe my fingers a bit!)

Since my canvas was 8x8, I used a sheet of 8x8 paper, folded in half, to make a heart template that would fit well in the middle of my canvas.  Cut it out, make sure you love it and then trace it in the center of your canvas very lightly.  I just eye-balled the center but you can get OCD and measure if you need to do so.

Thankfully, I had sorted out pink and red buttons from my piles, but Sweet Niece #2 helped mix them all back up... but get your buttons together and get an idea of what works by laying it out first on your canvas.  I promptly messed up my layout as I was gluing, but it still came out ok.   Then, grab those buttons with the tabs on the back because they fit in all the bare cracks well and start gluing a second layer.  If you see burlap peeking through, glue more buttons on top.

It really takes NO time at all to finish this! And hot glue dries so fast, it's set and ready to decorate your house as soon as you are done! I watched TV and glued like nuts and finished in about an hour. Not bad for such a cute project.

Hope you enjoy! If you try it, send me a pic, I'd love to see! B_covington (at)  Thanks ya'll!