Wednesday, April 6

Freezer Paper Wall Stencil

The husband and I have been doing a lot of home improvements lately since we bought our first house at the end of February. We bought the house that required a lot of love, and so it's been an opportunity for me to get creative in some spots. The Kid's room was one of those places.

The Kid decided he wanted clouds in his room (similar to Andy's room from Toy Story 3). I began searching to find a way to do this, and discovered vinyl wall art. I loved the clean lines, the crisp colors against the background paint, but I was notsomuch as happy with the prices I was seeing. Instead of spending mucho dinero on the vinyl wall art, I decided to put the roll of Freezer Paper to use.

So, here's how you can do your very own low-budget version of vinyl wall art too!

You'll need:
• 1 roll of freezer paper
• Fine tip permanent marker
• A rotary cutter and mat
• 1 big honkin' straightedge, preferably with ruler lines (for proper line drawing)
• Painter's tape
• Paint (duh.)

First, decide on the shape and size(s) of the art you want to end up on the wall. I settled with three different cloud sizes: 15.5"x6", 13.6"x6", and 11"x4". Then, I took my BHS (aka: big honkin' straightedge) and started the drawing.

Please know that there are 150 square feet of freezer paper in a roll, and it is totally cool if your use at least a quarter of it trying to get the picture in your head to match what your hand has produced on the paper. (And if you get it perfect the first time, well :-P)

Finish up your stencil and get excited because here comes the cutting part!

When you're cutting the stencil out, I'd recommend to start at the straightedge end and work your way up. I used my BHS to help guide me on the bottom line (and to make sure I was straight) and then slowly (very slowly) cut out the curvy parts at the top. Once you're done, pop out the middle and reserve for later.

"Now, why save the middle parts, Danni?" you ask. Well, I found it helpful to be able to tape up the shapes on the wall to figure out what pattern I wanted to paint them in before actually painting. Once, you've figured out what pattern and where you want them, place your stencils on the wall, waxy side on the wall to prevent sticking, and tape with painter's tape.


Let the painting begin! Take your paint and begin smoothly painting over the stencils. Be careful around the bottom edges, because if you cake it on too thick, it will cause little drips under the stencil. Allow the paint to dry for about 15 minutes and then carefully remove the stencils to allow the paint to finish drying.

Ta-Da! Cloud art minus the price and you win Cool Craft Points for doing it yourself. Even better, The Kid absolutely loves this. He even bragged to his friends at school that his mom could paint clouds.

Monday, April 4

Boo Boo Bag Tutorial

To be honest with you, I'm pretty shocked my kid hasn't flown across the room via the ceiling fan yet. And the only reason he probably hasn't is because there isn't a ceiling fan in his room. If you're little one is anything like mine (or has the potential to be), this tutorial will hopefully come in handy for you. It requires minimal machine sewing skills, and could be sewn by hand just as easily.

The Boo Boo Bag is a staple in our house - it keeps nicely in the freezer and can be whipped out, ready-to-go at any moment for any ice-necessary injuries. The finished bag is about 6 in. x 4 in.

You'll need:
• 13 in. x 4.5 in. cut of fabric
• 16 oz. bag of lentils (or your favorite bean - I used lentils because no one in my house will knowingly eat them, and thus we have a surplus)

Take your 13x4.5 strip of fabric and fold it lengthwise, with the right sides facing each other, and secure with pins.

Next, sew the long sides of the fabric from the open end to the folded end using a 1/4" seam. I also went ahead and sewed across the top of the pouch, leaving about a 2-inch opening for me to pour the lentils into (the lentil chute!).

Now turn your little pouch right side out and get your lentils ready to pour in the lentil chute. (This is the part where you get to swear profusely under your breath when you can't find your funnel to get the beans to cooperatively pour into the pouch.)

Once you have your lentils in the pouch, fold in the edges of your lentil chute (the 2-inch opening you left) and topstitch all the way across the top of the pouch.

And, voila! You have a Boo Boo Bag! I store mine in the door of the freezer and spot clean it using a damp washcloth.