Herringbone Hoodie

Since Zander outgrew his favorite grey hoodie from Baby Gap, our options were to:

1. Shell out another $45 for a similar one


2. Make an even better one for much less

As you can see, I went with option 2. I started with this pattern and adjusted it to be one-sided. I also added in the herringbone around the hood and elbow pads which aren’t part of the pattern.  Zander now has a one-of-kind grey hoodie with a hint of herringbone.

Cost of materials: $12

Seeing my son wear something I made: Priceless!


Let’s Play

Zander is ready for some serious play time in his new, custom-made playroom.

Here’s a breakdown of what was purchased vs. made:

Bookselves – purchased from Ikea. We added paint to the back for color.
Rug, pendent light and magnet boards – purchased from Ikea
Framed Prints – I made various prints and framed them, but only the “So many toys so little time..” is pictured
Wall Prints – The frame of animals around the magnet board and alphabet squares were printed on 8.5×11 cardstock, cut and assembled on the wall using masking tape.

Memory Board – This is a custom-made, open frame with metal wire suspended across. Clothes pins can hold anything from photos to artwork. We’re using it now to show Zander photos of his family he can’t see everyday. All parts for this can be found at the hardware store. The wood came in long pieces and were cut, assembled and painted. Zander has Daddy to thank for this one.

Reading Corner – Zander loves books. There’s no denying it. For this reason, I wanted to make a cozy little reading corner for him. I made the pillow chaise – at least that’s what I call it. It’s open on the opposite side with velcro to secure the pillows. This makes it super easy to remove the pillows and wash just the cover.

The fabric book holder is made from scratch. I sewed 2 pieces of fabric together and inserted mat board inside to make the backing. Using a contrasting fabric, I made the pockets for small, light weight books. As you can see, it’s already sagging and not meant for heftier books.

The portion underneath the book holder is also made from scratch. Not gonna lie. It took me forever and it made me never wanna do it again. It’s made of 2 pieces of fabric sewn together, then I sewed a grid pattern, stuffed each square with poly-fill and a piece of mat board to keep it stiff and straight. By this time it’s huge and way to stiff to fit underneath my sewing machine to sew the open end. This is where my trusty hot glue gun came in. Worked like a charm and voila – Zander’s got a nice wall to lounge against and even better, something to cushion the blow when he makes a leap for the pillow chaise.

Storage Boxes – Zander loves animals so I wanted to incorporate them into his playroom. The boxes were purchased from Ikea. I printed these animal illustrations on paper and transferred them onto foam sheets (by pressing firmly on the paper while tracing the face). Cut them out with an exacto knife and hot glued them to the box. Simple, but it completely changes the look of the boxes and adds personality to the playroom.

There you have it! Hope this inspires you to make a fun space for your own kiddos.

3 Tees = 1 Reversible Hoodie

As you all know, I have lots of t-shirts from my husband’s collection and my own, as an Inker. I couldn’t think of anything better than to make my muse, Zander, a reversible hoodie. For once, I purchased this pattern instead of trying to figure it out myself. Smart choice considering it took me 10+ hours to figure it all out WITH the pattern and instructions in front of me. Using bits and pieces from 3 different shirts, I had enough material to make him this sweet hoodie:

Zander is officially ready for Spring in his new reversible, color-block hoodie. Hope this inspires you to make something new for your Spring wardrobe.

[Long Sleeve] Tees for Tykes

After looking around for some new (stylish) long sleeve shirts for my ever-growing baby boy with very little luck I was on a mission to make him some myself. This, in addition to my Upcycle project was a good excuse to get my hubby to go through his overflowing dresser full of clothes – mostly t-shirts. He has the largest t-shirt collection of anyone I know. Considering I’m an Inker, it’s pretty astonishing I’M not the one with the larger t-shirt collection. Making a small dent in his collection, he let go of about a dozen shirts. Using the 90 minute shirt tutorial from one of my favorite blogs, I transformed my husbands old shirts into brand new long sleeve shirts for my sweet Zander. The first version I made (navy with white trim) took MUCH longer than 90 minutes (more like 300 minutes), but I’m thrilled to say I can make him a shirt in LESS than 90 minutes now! Hope this inspires you to think twice about your next Goodwill donation.

Leather – 5 Ways

It all started with a piece of scrap leather. Super soft, white, and beautiful. My mission was to make as many things with this 1 piece of leather as I could. This is what I came up with:

To do this yourself:

1. Elbow pads:
– Wear your sweater on, mark where the center of your elbow is (don’t guess and sew it crooked like I did the first time around)
– Cut leather into desired size
– Stitch your patches on. I used about 4 strands of thread for a thick stitch.

2. Earrings:
– Draw outline of leaves onto leather
– Cut the leaves out
– Cut slits into leaves
– Attach to your desired earring chain

3. Magic Braid Bracelet:
– I found this pretty tricky. I couldn’t follow any of the written tutorials, but this video was straight forward and easy to follow. I braided all the way until the very end without backwards braiding (that part was a bit confusing).
– There’s a download for a printable template here.

4. Bow Bracelet:
– I followed this tutorial and it was super easy.

5. Shredded Bracelet:
– Make a paper template first.
– Measure your wrist. Cut a rectangle with rounded corners about an inch or 2 longer than your wrist, depending on how you want it to fit.
– Leaving 1 inch on each end, cut strips down the length of the bracelet with a knife and ruler.

Adding Buttons to Bracelets:
– Most leather bracelets typically close with metal snaps but I didn’t have any so I improvised with buttons. I actually prefer the look of buttons now. It’s an opportunity to add color and character.
– Hand sew button in desired location.
– Cut a small slit on opposite side of bracelet for button hole. I kept my slits pretty small and stretched the leather over it for a snug fit.

I actually have lots of leather left to do a few more small projects or one large project – still on the fence. Stay tuned for more leather creations.

Dress Shirt – Upcycle

Inspired by this photo on pinterest, I transformed one of my own shirts into something similar:

You Are Loved

I surprised my family with this Valentine’s Day set up the other day. I wanted something simple and from the heart. This is what I came up with:

How to do this yourself:
– Mailboxes are from the dollar section at Target
– For the initials on the mailboxes I used scrapbook stickers
– The banner was made using cardstock craft paper. Divide an 8.5×11 piece of paper into 4 equal parts and print 1 letter/heart in each quadrant. Hole punch and weave twine through to make garland.
– Finish it off with some fresh flowers and your done!