Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bookshelf to Play Kitchen

K. is really into pretend play right now.  I've been searching for inexpensive play kitchens on craigslist, but wasn't able to find one I loved.  In my search to buy a new kitchen I came across this kitchen at ana-white.com/! I immediately fell in love and decided I (err...my husband) was going to build one for K.

We didn't really have a set plan for this.  We started by hunting at Goodwill and found this bookshelf for $15:

Our Goodwill gives a coupon for 20% off when you make a donation. With the coupon we spent $12.

We first cut the top off the bookshelf (and yes, I said WE--we had a babysitter come watch the kiddos so hubby and I could build it together.  We had a blast and I think the kids did, too). 

Next, we added some plywood to the back.  We knew we wanted the kitchen behind our couch in the family room so we based our measurements off of that. 

We shifted some of the dividers from the top and bottom shelves to make three separate parts for the fridge, oven, and sink area.  We also add shelves under the sink and in the fridge. We were able to reuse every piece of the bookshelf.  We had to add some scrap wood for the top of the fridge. 

My husband pre-drilled all the holes for the handles and hinges.  He also added a small scrap of baseboard for the oven knobs and cut the hole for the sink.  Then we primed with some leftover primer we had.

I should add about our trip to Lowe's.  We bought 6 hinges and three handles.  We also bought 6 small knobs (4 for the oven and two for the sink).  Hubs rigged the knobs for the sink and oven so that they will turn (don't ask me how...sorry!).

At Michael's we bought a wooden "L" for the faucet and a dowel for the curtain rod.   We bought all this for about $20.

For the oven burners we traced tupperware/yogurt lids and painted with acrylic paint.  We used a metal bowl we already had (we did not glue it in, but it fits pretty snug).  We used some plexi glass my husband had for the oven "window."  We are still looking for a a wire cooling tray thingee (my terms are very technical...do not question them!) for the oven, but have yet to find one the right size.

Then the REAL fun began.  I got to decorate, sew, and buy toys!!!

For the fridge we hot glued (with a tiny amount) pictures of the kids to the fridge.  We thought this would be a temporary decoration and could change them out as needed (They ended up being *very* temporary.  They didn't make it through the first play date). 

We had some stick on hooks at the house we used to hang pot holders and utensils. 

I found these frames at Ikea for 2.99 a set.  I printed pictures online (Please don't report me if I broke copyright laws!!!) The fabric I used for the curtains I found at Joanns in the remnant section! I can't remember exactly how much I used, but I know it was less than a yard.  We also cut a kitchen sponge in half for her to wash dishes.

Now, on to the best part, the TOYS!

She had some plastic fruit/vegetables and a basket from her Mamaw from Christmas.  So we added some extras from Michael's and Ikea.

From Ikea we bought: vegetables, fruit,  a breakfast set, cooking utensils.  We also bought their plastic kids bowls, plates, and cups.  We found them in the clearance section for 50% off.  I still want (hint hint grandma's and mamaw's reading this!): dessert set, cooking set, and flatware set.

Did you know that Michael's accepts competitor coupons? Did you also know that Michael's sells Melissa and Doug toys???  We used a Joann's coupon to buy this.  Melissa and Doug toys are awesome. If our Michael's carried more options for her kitchen I think I'd be broke.

In their $1 section I bought oven mitts and towels.  Also some additional cookware and a small wooden pizza set ($3).

I also bought the small cutting board at the dollar store as well as some other additional small toys.

Finally, I sewed some chef hats and aprons.

There are MANY free tutorials for the apron and hat.  I know I referenced this one, although I made my own changes to it. 
K. LOVED it.  It's definitely a favorite right now.  It took us about a week working on it after hubs got home from work.  I think we spent around $70 and about $40 of that was on toys :)  It can definitely be done for cheaper!

-Kelly M.  

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Shirt Dress

Dana-Made-It first, but we LOVE it. This adorable dress started as a plain old boring men's shirt. A few cuts, the wonderful serger, and some love gave these old shirts new life!  

They were really excited about their new dresses! 

Thanks Dana!

Kelly T and Libby

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Remembering Mimi

Almost seven years ago I married my best friend. I had known my now husband for ten years before we were married, but it wasn't until we were engaged that I met his grandmother. I was immediately embraced by Mimi and we almost instantly bonded over our craftiness. Mimi knew how to do everything crafty. Knit, crochet, sew, embroider, cross-stitch, and so much more. She was thrilled to learn that I could crochet and offered to teach me to knit. I, unfortunately, didn't take her up on the offer before she passed away.

Now, over two years after her death I can knit. I'm not fabulous, but I can knit, purl, cable, and more. An even greater gift is that her husband invited all of his daughters, granddaughters, and in laws to pick items from her World's Best craft room. I picked out some craft books, and a few other notions.

But the best gift of all has been finding her notes on the items she created. Seeing her handwriting and knowing how happy and proud she is of me for attempting these same projects means the world to me. It often leads to daydreams about how life could have been if we had lived closer and I had taken the opportunity to learn to knit from her skilled hands.


From a gift for her last born grandchild. The magazine she found the book with a pattern in, the book the pattern was in, a photocopy of the page with a few notes, her graph paper interpretation of the pattern, the receipt for the book, the handwritten receipt for the yarn, and the register printed receipt.

A cross stitch pattern for a pillow she made for my sister-in-law.

She kept samples of everything she made.

Thanks Mimi!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Going to the Chapel...

...and we're going to need a Guest Book

Okay, so I'm not the one going to get maaarrried, but I was given the task of choosing a guest book. Now, my own guest book was easy to pick, because it was for me, and I wasn't crafty enough at the time to make my own. But my LOVELY sister-in-law is getting married in a few months and she said, "Kelly, can you also help my Mom with decorations and the guestbook and things like that? She (needs) someone helping her that is happy to make a decision without my approval!" I responded with being glad to find a guest book and pen for her. After a few hours of searching the web and etsy.com I found some amazing options. Ten to be exact.
Which one do you like?

The Traditional Choices:

Romancing Juliet's Etsy Shop

All 4 Brides Store's Etsy Shop

Luly 612's Etsy Shop

The Somewhat Less Traditional Choices:

Creatively Kept's Etsy Shop

Agent Kat's Etsy Shop

The Even Less Traditional Choices:
R Frantz Design's Etsy Shop

Lovliday's Etsy Shop
And the Nontraditional Choices:

Say Anything Design's Etsy Shop
A Stitch in Lime
Purple Peony Couture's Etsy Shop

And crazy enough she actually asked me to help with something else! I am very excited, as I LOVE getting a chance to be crafty. For those of you lucky enough to be attending the beautiful ceremony, I'll save it as a surprise.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Selfish Crafting

Now that Christmas (the season of crafting for others) is over I get to be selfish. For a few weeks at least, then I have baby gifts to get started on. I wanted to make a few things for myself and my crafty hobbies. The bag is one I made a while back, but I used the leftover fabric to make a few new accessories.

First up is a pin cushion/ stash bag/ tool holder/ paper weight. The pattern comes from SewMamaSew's website and we've been dying to make it for months. It is the perfect caddy for knitting, sewing, and many other crafty hobbies.

Next is my own creation. I wanted a "jacket" for my sewing machine that had pockets for the necessities and allowed the handle to be held for carrying it between houses. I defined "necessities" as the plug, pedal, my bobbin ring, and my pins case. Luckily- I had bought a ton of these fabrics a few weeks back when it was all $3 a yard.

 I love how it all matches!
I was inspired by a gift from my husband. He bought me a table and two chairs to put in my crafting corner. Now it is my own little workspace that I don't have to clean up everytime someone wants to eat. YEA. Good work husband.

Thanks for looking.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Crafting for Christmas


As many of you know our little group's main mission has been making Christmas presents. Making each gift in bulk as a group gives us a chance to be something other than just a mom/wife while doing something we love. I have been incredibly lucky to have my husband home for four day weekends three times in the last two months. And while we are all  SAHMs, there is nothing like having a husband stay at home for four days. It generally means there is a bit of a break for us always on duty moms. I was able to get a lot done during the long weekends- mainly Christmas presents or Christmas decor, but a few things that have been waiting patiently for months. 

I made this table runner using the pattern at Crafts by Abby. It is a gift for my MIL along with matching placemats and coasters (some still to be completed). No photos because while she does know what she is getting and picked out the fabric I want to save some of the surprise.

I also made two aprons from Sew 4 Home. I changed the pattern a bit to avoid the bias tape, but the same general idea (Fans of HIMYM- in my head I am saluting "General Idea"). I won't mention who these are gifts for, as they don't know yet.

This messenger bag is for my son and daughter to share. They are getting Leapsters for Christmas and I wanted a nice little bag to store it all in. I used this tutorial with a few modifications to fit everything I need without being too big for a child.

I finally recovered this tiny rocking chair I picked up for $5 last April with corduroy. No tutorial, just craziness. But boy does he love it!!!

I adjusted this pleated skirt so it would actually stay up on my tiny daughter's waist. Libby and I made them a few weeks back, but it required some alterations. The pattern is here. We also appliqued matching shirts. The girls are adorable in their new outfits.

I made this tree skirt, also from Sew 4 Home. I loved the fabrics from JoAnns at 60% off. I am going for the blue and silver winter Christmas.

With the leftover fabric I made this advent calendar. My own creation, but very easy. Just a little time consuming. All those buttons and pockets. But my daughter really liked the final product and thanked me for making it, "I love it Mommy- you are the best!".

With the cold weather coming I made a couple of hats. They are both crocheting- A's was very basic, just double crochets all the way around, but I's was this adorable pattern I found through Ravelry. I heart Ravelry.

Last, I made two of these adorable crocheted headbands. They took maybe 20 minutes for both of them. Perfect for a last minute gift if anyone is looking. Less than two weeks until Christmas. Yikes!