Thursday, January 19, 2012

Babies 1st Birthday *no sew* Tutu Dress {Tutorial}

Remember this onesie dress I made for a close friends baby shower just over a year and a half ago? 

Some months ago, Ms. Peyton finally grew big enough to fit in it. How adorable and perfect does she look? It puts a huge smile on my face when I get photos of little ones wearing their dresses that I create.

The big milestone was coming up for little Peyton; her first birthday. Her parents asked if I would like to make her birthday outfit--and of course I totally agreed to! They gave me free reign in designing it. Oh, the options!! After getting the ok with mom, I knew I wanted to go for a tutu dress. Mom said go all out--pink and girly. I told her she would not be disappointed!

I found this SUPER helpful tutorial on cutting the tulle for the skirt and this tutorial for creating the actual skirt using slip knots; both are from Angie at Treasures for Tots. She has a lot of tips for creating these cute outfits. After some googling and bloghopping I decided to make a 6.25" skirt for Peyton. Most baby tutus are made anywhere from 6"-8" in length but even at 12 months, little Ms. Peyton was still wearing 6-9 month onesies, so I didn't want the skirt to be TOO long. In the end, a 6.25" skirt worked perfectly, with my cardboard cut at exactly 12.5". (Jo-Anns will give you their cardboard pieces that they wrap their fabric with--I always keep a stash of these as they come in handy for many projects!)

I really wanted a multi-pink effect and some sparkle; I used two different shades of pink with the lighter one being a shimmer 'finish.' 
You can see the lighter pink has a shimmer effect compared to the 'matte' dark pink tulle
For some strange reason the first time I make something new I ALWAYS get nervous. Either that it won't work, it won't come out right, or that I did something wrong. I got very excited once the skirt started taking shape from just the very beginning. The pattern I used with my colors was simple; I rotated using 2 pieces of each color tulle. I didn't want a striped look, but I wanted a dimensional look--this worked perfectly.

My tutu skirt came along perfectly. In the meantime, I had also fell in love with these 'necklace shirts' I saw on Pinterest. They are just so girly and adorable and I thought it'd be the perfect compliment to the tutu for Peyton's dress. I used a white onesie and pink fabric paint. I hand-drew the individual pearl strands rather than using a 'stencil' and it turned out wonderfully; a little more work, but the finished product was totally worth it. The paint dried fairly quickly and the color was perfect. Again, it was the first time I had used fabric paint in a long time, so I was nervous. The one tip I'd recommend is to definitely have a surface on the inside of the onesie so the paint doesn't bleed through to the back...not that I had to make an entire second onesie or anything. ;)

Along with the dress I made a tulle flower to pin onto the pearl strands of her onesie (similar to those in the necklace shirts) but Peyton wasn't a fan and kept pulling at it so we had to take it off--thankfully I didn't sew it onto the onesie! She also had an adorable pink bow for her hair which she refused to keep in. BUT, of all the things she totally loved the tutu and had no issue with strutting her stuff in it her entire birthday! This was the main thing her mom and I was worried about--that she would pull and fuss with the tutu, but she had no problems with it. Maybe she knew how cute she looked. :) Keeping it tied in a simple bow was all it needed to stay up on Peyton throughout the day.

She did everything from opening her presents, to riding her pony to playing with her new toys in her tutu! The only reason we had to take it off was for her cake; no one wants a dirty birthday dress!


I definitely recommend making these skirts for birthdays, costumes or for photo shoots.  
They are totally affordable, easy to make, customizable and SO cute!
Maybe oneeee day I'll be able to make these for a little girl of my own. :)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Curled Paper Ornament {Tutorial}

So I saved this pretty awesome DIY ornament on Pinterest months ago. I know there are MANY variations on this idea out there but Christy's takes the cake in my book. Finally it's Christmas time and I have JUST the couple to make one of these for; the same friends who I created a handmade canvas for as their wedding gift, which by the way is hanging beautifully in their bedroom. Christy called this her 'Wedding Invitation Ornament' and though I used a wedding invitation for the ornament I made, I'm going for the 'Curled Paper Ornament' title because the possibilities are endless on this one. Between my second mom and I, we thought of over a handful of ornaments that could be made using this same technique; a baby's first birthday, a mini time capsule of events and outings, a milestone birthday, a vacation to remember...The idea is simple. Use paper that represents an event (doesn't necessarily HAVE to be an invitation--think scrapbook paper, clipart images, words, phrases, postcards, menu's, etc.) cut it into strips, curl the strips, then fill up an ornament and embellish!

I think I went just a little overboard and took a photo of almost every step which probably wasn't necessary. And since I've already summarized the concept above, this will be a picture tutorial.


It's fun because when you shake and twist the ornament you get different views of the bride and groom names, the venue and date, etc.


Add stickers, ribbon, charms...anything you'd like to embellish the theme you are going for!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Peacock Ornament {Tutorial}

I recently participated in a handmade ornament tutorial showcase with Sew Woodsy. In case you missed any of the 12 fabulous handmade ornaments brought to you by various bloggers for the '12 Days of Handmade Ornaments' stop on by here to see them all! There are some really neat ideas created by the lavely ladies who participated!

For my ornament, I wanted to do something different and fun, bright and colorful and something you don't see every day but almost anyone would the Peacock Ornament! She really sparkles and looks gorgeous hanging on a tree! This is a super simple ornament that almost anyone can make.

(not all supplies are pictured)

Plastic fillable ornament
Recollections extra fine 'Marine' blue glitter
Mop & Glo Floor Shine Cleaner
Peacock feathers 
Scrap piece of blue felt (please disregard to the green piece I have pictured)
Blue fluffy feather
1 orange bicone jewelry bead
Grey flat back crystals
Hot Glue

All of the above items can be purchased at Michaels craft store with the exception of the Mop & Glo. The peacock feathers were in the floral section with 5 feathers on a long stem. Any blue feather can be used for the peacock's head; I cut a small fluffy blue feather from a larger feather 'stick' found in the floral section. You can see the feather 'stick' in the supplies photo on the top right corner.

Now that you have all your supplies, let's get started!
Step 1. Squirt some Mop & Glo into your ornament. Gently swirl the product around in the ball to get an even coat all around the inside. Try not to create too many bubbles. Be sure to coat the neck of the ornament as much as you can as well. After the entire ornament is coated pour any remaining product back into your Mop & Glo bottle.
Step 2. Fill glitter into your ball. I used a piece of paper as a make-shift funnel. Tilt and swirl your ornament to get a nice, even coverage. You may have to pour glitter numerous times to fill the entire ornament. This step doesn't require near as much glitter as it seems!
Step 3. Once your ornament is evenly covered pour another small amount of glitter into the ball, cover the opening and shake the glitter to coat the neck of the ornament as best as you can. Pour any excess glitter back into your container.
Step 4. One glitter ornament complete!
Step 5. Arrange your feathers on a flat surface just as you would like them to show on your ornament--this is typically an arched shape. Cut a small piece of felt that will serve as a backing for your feathers. Make sure this piece of felt is cut smaller than your ornament but just large enough to serve as a good base for all of your feathers. (Use step 7 photo for reference as well)
Step 6. Use hot glue and attach your feathers one by one to your felt with the front of the feathers facing you. I started with my center feather and worked my way outward making sure my spacing was even.
Step 7. Apply hot glue on the entire front side of the feathers and felt and adhere it to the center of your ornament. This is what the back of the ornament will look like.
Step 8. Place your ornament hanger back on your ball. Admire your {over half-way finished} feathered friend!
Step 9. Using a small dot of hot glue, attach your blue feather to the top of your hanger.
Step 10. Attach your grey crystals as eyes and orange bead for the beak on your ornament hanger with hot glue.
Step 11. Trim the head feather and embellish the rest of the body if you'd like. I created a simple pattern with the remainder of my grey crystals. This step is definitely optional but I loved how it turned out! Strand fishing line or an ornament hook on the hanger and you're all done!

Hang and enjoy your new feathered friend! On a lit Christmas tree she really shines!! 


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Sew Woodsy's 12 Days of Handmade Ornaments

Need some ideas for handmade ornaments this year?

Go check out Sew Woodsy as they celebrate

'12 Days of Handmade Ornaments' with 12 fabulous bloggers posting handmade ornament tutorials for 12 days.

Today, my 'Peacock Ornament' is being showcased. Hop on over to check out the tutorial along with all the other fabulous ornaments! Don't forget--there are still 5 handmade ornaments left!


Friday, October 28, 2011

Kitty Litter Cake {Recipe}

Who's ever heard of a kitty litter cake? I know I have. Though I have never sampled one, let alone made one. I took on the task of creating one for my office Halloween party. Dessert hour allows us to get really creative with food decorations and the whole Halloween theme. After our lunch hour of monster eyes mac-n-cheese balls, skeleton stew, mummy wraps and other Halloween creations we were ready for dessert. Everyone was excited to see and try my kitty litter cake. At least, we thought we looked creepily real...

After staring at it and discussing it along with the other desserts for at least 10 minutes, someone was finally brave enough to dig in.

"This is the best kitty litter I've ever had."

Well, that was good to know. :) 

 It was definitely a success. Thankfully. I was afraid it'd taste as bad as it looked. We even used the scooper to serve ourselves. :)

This was so simple to make. It took some time, but nonetheless, it was very easy to make. I made my own variation from the below recipe found on My comments/changes (based on other reviews and my taste) are in purple. The end result was a super moist white cake. Not too gooey, and not dry at all. Very similar to a cake pop consistency--with almost the taste of raw cake batter. YUM!! 


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package German chocolate cake mix ((I used a Funfetti mix))
  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package white cake mix
  • 2 (3.5 ounce) packages instant vanilla pudding mix ((I used one small package of White Chocolate instant pudding))
  • 1 (12 ounce) package vanilla sandwich cookies ((Golden Oreos))
  • 3 drops green food coloring
  • 1 (12 ounce) package tootsie rolls ((I used Little Debbie Brownies))
  • Kitty litter box and scooper adds the perfect touch!! Oh, having a cute kitty doesn't hurt ei'her. :)


  1. Prepare cake mixes and bake according to package directions (any size pan).
  2. Prepare pudding according to package directions and chill until ready to assemble.
  3. Crumble sandwich cookies in small batches in a food processor, scraping often. Set aside all but 1/4 cup. To the 1/4 cup add a few drops of green food coloring and mix.
  4. When cakes are cooled to room temperature, ((I didn't wait--I'm impatient)) crumble them into a large bowl. Toss with 1/2 of the remaining cookie crumbs, and the chilled pudding. You probably won't need all of the pudding, you want the cake to be just moist, not soggy.((This is why I only used one box of pudding, and for the fact that Funfetti mix has pudding in it))
  5. Line kitty litter box with the kitty litter line. ((I did not use a liner as many reviews said it was actually more difficult to deal with. I had no issue not using the liner)) Put cake mixture into box.
  6. Put half of the unwrapped tootsie rolls in a microwave safe dish and heat until softened. Shape the ends so that they are no longer blunt, and curve the tootsie rolls slightly. Bury tootsie rolls randomly in the cake and sprinkle with half of the remaining cookie crumbs. ((Many reviews recommended not using tootsie rolls as they harden and people tend to not eat them. Little Debbie brownies worked PERFECTLY, they didn't harden over night...oh, and I don't like tootsie rolls)) Sprinkle a small amount of the green colored cookie crumbs lightly over the top.
  7. Heat 3 or 4 of the tootsie rolls in the microwave until almost melted. Scrape them on top of the cake and sprinkle lightly with some of the green cookie crumbs. Heat the remaining tootsie rolls until pliable and shape as before. ((Oh, and you don't have to heat up Little Debbie brownies to shape them)) Spread all but one randomly over top of cake mixture. Sprinkle with any remaining cookie crumbs. Hang the remaining tootsie roll over side of litter box and sprinkle with a few green cookie crumbs. Serve with the pooper scooper for a gross Halloween dessert.

This was the remainder of the cake after dessert hour. Only one 'nugget' was left over--I guess the word got around that it tasted pretty good! :)

After making this for the first time it's safe to say I'll definitely be making one again in the future for other Halloween parties. It was a hit. Now, if you want to go less gross, you can create cute desserts like Francesca and Rebecca did...

 'Tombstone' and 'Ding Dong the Witch is Dead' cupcakes!!

They were SUPER yummy too!!


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Make Your Own: Fred & Wilma Costumes

Halloween is right around the corner so if you haven't purchased your costume yet and the racks seem to be getting a little bare, consider making a costume for yourself. I put together a couples costume for both Larry and I for a whopping $20!!

Here's the cost breakdown:
$10 on my white satin 'leopard print' fabric
$4 on my styrofoam balls
$4 on felt for the Fred costume
$2 on red lipstick
I already had elastic, ribbon, fishing line (or thread) and earring backs on hand
*Side note--all of my fabric was purchased at Jo-Anns. Coincidentally BOTH fabrics were marked down to half off and I had a 40% off a cut and a 50% off a cut coupon. Felt always seems to be 50% off and coupons come out on a weekly basis!

:How To:
Fred: After some googling I knew creating Fred would be easy. I made his entire costume from large pieces of felt. Simply create an over-sized extra long shirt with a fairly large hole for the neck. Cut up the edges for a torn effect. I cut a long piece of turquoise felt into the shape of a tie--a very OVERSIZED tie. Larry really wanted this piece to be dramatic. He tied it on like a real tie and I hand-stitched it on in a few places to make sure it was secure. Cutting out the black shapes was actually very simple; stitching them on was the most tedious part. I used my machine to create a few stitches on the corners of each of the spots rather than stitching around the entire piece of fabric. ALL DONE! 

Wilma: I was originally going to use a white knit material for Wilma's costume but when Larry spotted a satin 'leopard print' white fabric for a great price I couldn't pass it up. The downfall = it wasn't stretchy. I didn't want to go through the hassle of adding a zipper just for a halloween costume, so I made a simple one-sleeve design for my dress and added an elastic band below my bust for some shape. Here is a tutorial I skimmed over to get a jump-start on my dress design. I made MANY changes in my design compared to this one, but it was a good reference. The dress shouldn't have too much of a shape and should be just big enough to fit over your head to wear. Now, to create some shape! How to create an elastic waist: Sew a piece of ribbon (larger than your elastic) measured to the dress (not your waist) to the INSIDE of the dress just below your bust--edgestitch the top and bottom of the ribbon, leaving each end of the ribbon open, creating a casing for the elastic. Push the elastic through the ribbon casing using a safety pin, decide on how much stretch you like (making sure it can go over your head) and sew the elastic together on the ends. From here, adjust the gather around your waist and stitch over the dress, elastic and ribbon casing along both side seems to keep the gather even and the elastic from rolling. Cut up the hem of your dress and you have a Wilma!!

Strand your styrofoam balls onto some fishing line (or thread) with a needle and glue two balls onto earring backs...add some red lipstick and you're good to go! An orange wig would totally complete the look, but that was the one splurge I wasn't willing to make. :)

Hope this might inspire you to make your own costume for this coming Halloween!

Need other ideas for a DIY costume? 
Check out my $5 mini poodle skirt, lace masquerade mask or Sew Woodsy's mad scientist costumes!