All John wanted for his birthday this year was some brown brogue shoes. But after searching for weeks and not finding the right pair, I realized the birthday was upon us and I had nothing. Thus, the pie-topper/birthday card/gift voucher was born. I wish I had the real shoes for him but I did have fun making this one.
I’ve always loved the tradition of egg decorating, and sharing it with my kids now is special, but it’s more of a management job. A rock I found on the beach the other weekend inspired this project. It was nice to do some “egg” painting without worrying about someone knocking over a glass of food coloring.
I think these make really fun decorations, and they don’t get stinky if the Easter bunny hides them and no one finds them.
Tools & Tips:
- I used acrylic paints, brushes, masking tape, a utility knife, and the eraser tip of a pencil
- Larger solid shapes of color required a bit of layering to make it opaque. I had to sponge the paint on with the brush for the first layer to create a base. Let the paint dry completely between layers.
- I was able to dip the ends of the rocks into the neon paint since it came in little tubs. I really liked the smooth/solid effect.
Even though I’m a bit of a wrapping paper hoarder it seems like I never have paper for kids’ gifts. Maybe I enjoy being frazzled and late for parties, or maybe I like the creative challenge, who knows. But when this scenario came up again last weekend, I thought of a fun yet easy solution.
• kraft paper (or in this case–bag from previous night’s take out)
• tin foil
• washi tape
• felt marker
My 5 year-old didn’t seem to be able to come up with something he really wanted for Christmas this year. About 10 days before he suddenly announced he wanted a stuffed rattlesnake. After clarifying he wanted a plush animal (and not an actual stuffed snake) I decided to make him one. I wanted to strike (no pun intended) that perfect balance between creepy and cute, kind of like Vincent Gallo. I was happy that for a project I was totally winging it on, it came together pretty smoothly and ESPECIALLY that my son actually loved it (phew).
Should you ever need to stuff your own:
Step 1. Purchase some boot socks. I lucked out and found this set of two in snakey colors at Target.
Step 2. Cut one of the socks that you want for the main body in half lengthwise. Trim the elastic and heel off (save the heel).
Step 3. Sew the straight edges of the two pieces together—the toes will create the head and tail shape. Pin seam-side out and stitch, leaving the seam open on the ends and in the middle for stuffing. Turn inside-out, stuff. Stitch up the middle hole, but leave the ends open.
Step 4. Stitch the heel piece on the bottom side of the more rounded toe-end to create a lower jaw. I made a seam in the middle of that heel piece and tucked in the extra fabric to make it more flat instead of rounded.
Step 5 and 6. Roughly cut some felt and pin to the inside of the mouth. Tuck stuffing in between the pins to fill out the head. Baste the felt and trim to the shape of the head. Tuck some felt fangs in. Blanket-stitch all around the edges of the mouth.
Step 7. Snip a slit in the middle of the mouth and tuck a felt tongue in. Stitch to secure.
Step 8. Create the rattle and stuff it into the tail end of the snake. I used some hard plastic packaging from a toothbrush. I sawed the plastic tube to size with a kitchen knife, put in some grains of rice and replaced the cap. Stitch the rattle into the tail, stuffing around it as you sew the fabric closed.
Step 9. Stitch on squares of fabric to create the diamond-back pattern and make any other finishing touches. I used embroidery thread to create the eyes. I also finessed the mouth, stitching the corners tighter so it wouldn’t gape too wide, quilting the bottom half a bit, and adding some stitches to the base of the fangs to make them point downward.
Step 10. Wrap some string around the end of the tail to make it looked ridged like a rattle.
Merry after-Christmas! I am relieved to have pulled off a few personal projects, participation in much holiday cheer and the creation of unforgettably warm and loving memories for my children (including a small tantrum when I realized we left half of my father’s gift at home after a long drive to see him. Just wanted them to realize grown-ups have fits, too : /). Now I am ready to breeeathe and catch up this here blog a bit, starting with sharing the cards I made.
We had a very talented friend (more about that later) take family photos for us this year and I had an itch to do a little screen printing so I put these together. Props to the nice postal worker who pulled me out of the line of people with their packages and got me out the door with Christmas stamps in 2 minutes instead of 20, and to USPS, who delivered some of them by the NEXT DAY even though they had dark envelopes and even though it was the busiest week of the year.