DIY

Felt Vegetable Garden

DIY Felt Vegetable Garden

When brainstorming for something to get Little One for Easter, I wanted something that was springy and educational. Obviously I didn’t want to give my 10 month old common Easter treats like candy. Then I stumbled upon a picture of a felt garden and I thought, “I could make that!”. It’s the cutest little felt vegetable garden and he loves harvesting the vegetables and munching on them!

For this project I got all my supplies at JOANN Fabrics. The felt is made from recycled materials, which is a great thing. I would have preferred natural materials, but recycled materials is way better than nothing. This project took me a couple of mornings and a lot less time to make than I originally projected. I would estimate that it took me about 3 hours total.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

Check out my beginners sewing guide for terminology and some techniques.

Supplies
  • Felt
    • 6 pieces of brown felt
    • 1 piece each of colors needed for the vegetables ( I got 1 purple, 3 different shades of green, 1 orange, 1 tan, and 1 burgundy) (Amazon does have big pack you can find them here.)
  • Poly-fill
  • Wooden create
  • Thread
  • Tools
    • Sewing machine
    • Hand sewing needle
    • Pins
    • Scissors
Making the Garden Bed

The first step of this project is to create the garden dirt for “planting” the vegetables. Use the brown felt for this. I used 4 of the pieces for the rows and one piece for the bottom. The last piece is to create the sides of the rows, cutting 8 shapes that are flat on one end and curved on the other. Sew each of these pieces to the ends of the rows, creating 4 tube like rows. Then sew them to the bottom piece, leaving opening to stuff with poly-fill. I finished this up by sewing up the holes.

making the garden bed

It took a bit of maneuvering to get it all lined up, but the end result turned out great!

Making the Vegetables

The felt vegetables were very easy to make. I cut out two pieces of felt in each shape I needed for the vegetables. In the end I made 1 eggplant, 2 potatoes, 2 zucchini, 2 cucumbers, 4 carrots, and 2 beets. Use your best judgement to create the vegetables shapes. Using the sewing machine, I stitched around each of the vegetables, leaving a hole for the vegetable to be turned right side out.

I then stuffed the vegetable with poly-fill and used a hand sewing needle to stitch up the hole that was left. Using varying shades of greens to create leaves, I cut out basic leaf shapes and hand stitched them to the tops of the vegetables. Little One likes to munch on the tops…and they have held so far!

This is where you can get really creative with the types of vegetables or fruit. I plan on creating more when I get some free time (yeah, I know, like that will happen!).

Plant the Vegetables

Finally, plant the vegetables in the garden bed. I paired the felt vegetable garden with this TY bunny named Hopper, because every garden needs a bunny, right?

I’m happy to report it has been a little over a month since we gave this to Little One and he is still enjoying playing with it!

What do you think of this project? I thought it would take much more time so I was surprised at how easy and quick it turned out to be. Let me know your thoughts and/or results about the felt vegetable garden in the comments below!

DIY Felt Vegetable garden

Small Bathroom Makeover Part 3

Welcome back to Little Family on the Big Lake. Please check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this makeover if you haven’t done so already! Lets get going on small bathroom makeover part 3.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interests at heart.

Time for Paint

So far we have planned out our to do list for our bathroom makeover and started on the demo. Now it is time for paint. I wanted the bathroom to feel light and airy so I chose a light green/blue color. I also purchased this flooring paint for the linoleum floor. Even though I wanted a light gray, the flooring paint I got is in white. They only had a white and a dark gray available in this type of paint. I also have white paint for the trim and ceiling. We have a bunch of this paint already, so I didn’t need to purchase any more. Yay Reusing!

small bathroom makeover
Goodbye ugly walls!
Painting Flooring
The first coat on the floor left some patches, so it will need a second coat.

After painting the floor and living with it for a while, I decided I really didn’t like the white. It just showed too much dirt. So I mixed the white floor paint and some dark gray floor paint that I had from another project to create a light gray. I am so happy with the results!

Fresh paint small bathroom makeover

Wow, the magic of paint! It is already looking so much better. In total, there are two coats of paint on the walls and trim. The floor ended up with four coats, two of the white and two of the gray. For consistency’s sake, I applied the paint with a brush around the edges and with a roller in the middle. Even though the floor paint dries in a couple of hours to the touch, I would recommend letting it sit for a couple of days before using the bathroom.

Check out the progress we have made so far…

Small Bathroom Makeover part 3
Building Projects

A decor (and practical) element I wanted in the bathroom was some type of shelving above the toilet. There are many options, from over the toilet units to brackets and shelves. In the end I decided to make something more custom. I came up with this basic box design as shown below (my goal was to have it look a bit like wooden crates.) Also, I liked adding a natural element to the bathroom design. To make these shelves I purchased 1*6*6 pine boards from Home Depot and used stain and lacquer that I already had to finish them.

Using a saw, I cut 4 pieces to 18 inches, 4 pieces to 5.75 inches and 2 pieces to 16.5 inches. The longest pieces are for the top and bottom, the shortest for the sides and the other 2 for the back. This will make two shelving units. I used glue and clamps to assemble the shelves and nailed them together once they dried.

To finish the shelves I sanded them with small grit sandpaper. Next, I stained the wood with the dark walnut stain that I typically prefer. I gave it a couple of days to fully dry before applying two coats of lacquer (but can be more depending on the level of protection you want.) I will be installing these into the wall above the toilet using screws and drywall anchors.

Check out Part 4 of our Small Bathroom Makeover to see the finishing touches and to see if we stayed on budget!

Small Bathroom Makeover Part 2

Small Bathroom Makeover Part 2

This is Part 2 of our Small Bathroom Makeover: the demo! Check out Part 1, where we planned out this makeover. In this post we will be covering removing the wall paper, preparing the walls, and painting. We will also be painting the floor!

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an Amazon associate, I earn money from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my reader’s best interest at heart.

Step 1

The first step in the small bathroom makeover part 2 was to peal of the painted wall paper, which was on two of the walls. Luckily, once I got a corner off with my putty knife it came up pretty easy. I used an old putty knife that I have had forever, but you can find a new one here on Amazon or in most hardware stores.

Personally, I love discovering the layers of colors underneath. During the whole project I found this orange (pictured above), a sky blue, and an olive green. Overall, the wallpaper removal took me less then 30 minutes! The next step was to remove the wallpaper residue from the walls. This took a little more time and both my husband and I worked on it. It took us around an hour to get the wall clean by our standards. Using hot water, dish soap, and rags, we wet the walls and simply rubbed off the glue.

Small Bathroom Makeover Part 2
Step 2

Second, I needed to take off the grout tape (I’m actually not sure what it’s called, but that’s what I’m calling it). I eventually got it off using a putty knife and utility knife. Honestly, it put up quite the battle and took pieces of the wall with it.

Small Bathroom Makeover Part 2
Step 3

The final step of the demo process was to sand the walls and trim. Normally when painting wall I wouldn’t do a lot of sanding, but in this case, there were too many drip marks all over the walls. They had to go! I used a palm sander like this one. The bag on the back of the sander helped control the dust.

Next, I cleaned off the walls and patched any holes with spackle. In particular, I needed to fill in some larger holes where the grout tape was taken off. It took a couple of layers of spackle to get it level with the wall. I then sanded the dried spackle and checked that the walls were ready for paint.

Small Bathroom Makeover Part 2

Check out my Bathroom Makeover Part 3 to see the paint color and the newly painted floors!

Beginners Guide to Sewing Terminology

Beginners Guide to Sewing Terminology
Beginners Guide to Sewing Terminology

So this post has come about in an unusual way. My husband was proof reading a post for me (thanks, honey!) and he came across some sewing terms that he didn’t know. Consequently, he said I should explain them, but I was worried about the flow of the post. So instead, I am writing this one that will have a guide of basic beginner sewing terms.

I have been sewing as long as I can remember. My first experiences with sewing were taught by my mother. As a beginner, I didn’t get too technical, just a basic stop and go on the foot pedal and hold the fabric straight. I learned more in middle and high school in multiple Family & Consumer Sciences classes that I took. But the majority of my advanced sewing skills came from my experiences in college, where I landed a job as a seamstress in the costume shop for the theater department.

But enough about me…below is the Beginners Guide to Sewing Terminology and what you need know to start out sewing

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers’ best interests at heart.

Types of Needles

There are many types of needles and sometimes it is hard to know which needle to use for which situation. First let’s break it down into two categories: hand sewing needles and sewing machine needles.

Sewing Machine Needles

Sewing machine needles come in two main types. The first type is the regular needles and is used in most situations. They are numbered – the higher the number the stronger the needle. For cotton fabric a 10-12 size is ideal. For delicate fabric it is better to move closer to an 8, and thick fabric like denim requires a 16-18. (Here is a variety pack) The second type of sewing machine needle is the ball point needle. They use similar sizing guidelines, with the major difference for a ball point needle being that it has a rounded tip. These are used for knit fabrics. The ball point is designed to loop around the fibers instead of piercing the fibers like a traditional needle.

Hand Needles

There are many options for hand needles – sharps, yarn, embroidery, tapestry, quilting, the list goes on. The internet has some excellent guides and most craft stores have descriptions to help you pick out the right needle. There are 4 variables in picking a hand needle: the sharpness of the needle point, the size of the eye, the length of the needle, and the diameter of the needle. For many projects a middle sized sharp needle will be okay. If the project is using special fabric or technique it is best to get a needle suitable for the project. In terms of size, hand needles are opposite of machine needles – the larger the number the smaller the needle. Here is a pack that a good variety.

Beginners Guide to Sewing Terminology

Fabric Terms

There are two types of composition styles – knit and woven. The kind of fabric used for each has a right side and a wrong side.

  • Right side – the side the print is on
  • Wrong side – the side the print is not on
  • Right sides together – placing the side of the fabric that has the print together, so when you stitch it and turn it back right side out the printed side is on the outside
  • Seam allowance – the distance from the edge of the fabric to the line of stitching
  • Grain – the horizontal direction of the fabric
  • Cross grain – the vertical direction of the fabric
  • Bias – the diagonal direction of the fabric.

It is important to know the grain of the fabric when sewing due to the sturdiness and elasticity of the fabric. When pulling on the grain or cross grain, the fabric may stretch one way or another. This shouldn’t happen when pulling on the bias. Depending on the result that is needed, patterns will call for different pieces to be cut in certain directions.

Beginners Guide to Sewing Terminology

Tools

  • Shears – scissors used to cut larger amounts of fabric
  • Thread Snips – smaller scissors used for clipping threads and for intricate cuts
  • Pinking Shears – scissors with a saw-tooth blade instead of a straight one, used for finishing edges
  • Pins – used to hold fabric together before sewing
  • Chalk – sewing chalk is used to trace out a pattern on a fabric to know where to cut or sew, and should dissolve with water
  • Rotary Cutter – has a long handle with a circular blade. It’s used to cut fabric with the assistance of a ruler and cutting mat. The blade is retractable for safety.
  • Clear Ruler – a measuring device that has lines on a ruler for accurate measurements. It’s clear in order to see the fabric underneath. They come in different sizes and shapes, but you can’t go wrong with a basic rectangle. There are specialty rulers for quilting and apparel.
  • Cutting mat – used with the rotary cutter and ruler to protect your counter when cutting fabric. It has measurement lines to help with accurate cutting.
  • Measuring tape – a circular measuring tape allows you to take accurate measurements on long curved surfaces
  • Thimble – a tool placed on your thumb while sewing to assist in pushing the needle through tough fabric as to protect your fingers from being needle pricks
Beginners Guide to Sewing Terminology

Sewing Machine Parts

Most sewing machines have similar parts that have similar functions. That being said, every sewing machine is different. So when you’re first learning to sew on a new machine it is best to consult the owner’s manual. Here are some basic terms that every sewing machine should have:

  • Foot pedal – think of it as similar to a gas pedal in a car in the sense that it makes the sewing machine go. It’s usually placed on the floor and connected to the sewing machine via an electrical cord.
  • Presser foot – this holds the fabric down when sewing. These can be interchangeable based on the project; for example, a zipper foot or button hole foot.
  • Feed Dog – two toothed metal feeds that move under the presser foot to move the fabric along while sewing
  • Spool Pin – located on the top of the machine, this holds a spool of thread so the thread can come off the spool when sewing
  • Bobbin – a small metal or plastic spool that thread is wound on and placed in the bottom of the sewing machine to create the bottom row of stitches when sewing (see manual on how to install)
  • Reverse/back stitch – bottom that reversed the direction of the feed dog to create a locking stitch or back stitch in a row of stitching
  • Thread cutter – sharp cutter near the presser foot designed to cut threads after taking fabric out of the sewing machine
  • Balance Wheel-used to advance or retract the sewing needle.
Beginners Guide to Sewing Terminology

I hope this beginners guide to sewing terminology serves a a useful tool to help with sewing projects in your future. Have any questions or comments, let me know below.

Check out some of my sewing post… DIY Hammock Swing and Felt Vegetable Garden

Harry Potter Growth Wall Ruler

Harry Potter Growth Wall Ruler

When planning the decorations for Little One’s nursery, I came across wall growth charts. I thought, “what a great idea!” Instead of using a door frame or the wall like I did when I was little, this ruler could be portable. My second thought was “I can make that!” Also, I wanted to include a Harry Potter element to the ruler. I found the quote “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be”, as stated by Albus Dumbledore in Goblet of Fire. So I made this Harry Potter Growth Wall Ruler.

This growth chart ruler was incredibly easy to make, so the tutorial below will be fairly quick…and the result turned out so cute! An idea I’ve been contemplating is putting heights on the ruler of some of my favorite Harry Potter characters. I may have to take to the internet to see if I could even find the heights of the characters, or at least the heights of the actors that play them. Do you think that would be a cute idea? Let me know in the comments below!

You can check out our full nursery post here.

Supplies

1 piece of 1″ x 8″ x 6′ of pine. I got mine from Home Depot. When picking out the board check that it is straight and doesn’t have any large holes or gashes.

1 wood stain of your choice. I went with a lighter stain so it would be easier to see the height marks.

Sharpie marker or paint to write the quote and numbers

Sander (electric or hand) and sand paper

Screws 2″ in length

Ruler or measuring tape

Pencil

Drill

Step One

Step one is measuring the piece of wood and making sure it is 6 feet in length. Trim the ends, if needed. Next, give the piece of wood a good sanding, starting with a high grit sand paper around 80 and working toward a low grit around 200. Once all the edges are smooth, dust it off to prepare for staining.

Step Two

Stain the wood using the wood stain of your choice. Use a paint brush or a clean rag to rub the stain on the the wood, going with the grain of the wood. Once complete, use another clean rag to wipe off any excess stain and allow it to dry completely.

Step Three

Using a ruler and a pencil, measure and lightly draw out on the left side of the growth chart the ticks at every inch from bottom to top on the board (6 feet in all). The 6th tick, which should be 12 inches from the floor, should be longer and a number 1 can be written next to it to indicate 1 foot. Keep measuring up every inch and then draw in the ticks with paint or a sharpie. (Keep in mind that because the growth chart will be secured into the wall 6 inches off the floor, and the bottom edge of the board will be the start, the first tick an inch up from the bottom edge will measure at 7 inches high). Continue marking ticks at inch intervals until you reach 6 feet at the top of the board.

Step Four

Using a pencil, lightly draw out the quote vertically on the right side of the board. Next, using paint or a sharpie go over the pencil. This writing part can be customized to your style. You could go with bold lettering, script lettering, or something completely different. For mine, I chose a book text that looks Harry Potter-esque.

Step Five

Drill pilot holes toward the top and bottom of the growth ruler in its center. Mount it to the wall using the 2″ screws and drywall anchors, if needed.

Finally, measure your little ones for years to come!

Let me know what you think of this Harry Potter Growth Wall Ruler in the comments below.

Harry Potter Nursery

With unlimited ideas available to us for our Little One’s nursery, we were originally set on Winnie the Pooh…wait, what? Yes, Winnie the Pooh, due to the fact that I have a giant Pooh from my childhood. We were both excited because we had a lot of ideas. Excited, that is, until my husband was standing in the future nursery and said (with a grin and magic in his eyes) “What about Harry Potter?”. Well it didn’t take much and I was sold! So I took to Pinterest to find ideas for a Harry Potter Nursery. I did’t want anything too over the top and preferred something that could fairly easily transition into different themes, if Little One chooses to do so.

In the end we went for a Harry Potter/owl/starry night direction. I’d like to share some of our favorite elements of Little One’s nursery, which we have since named the Owlery.

Disclaimer: This blog post contains affiliated links. As an associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you use them, I might be rewarded credit or a commission of the sale. Please note that I only recommend what I personally use and love and I always have my readers best interest at heart.

Projects for Nursery

Some of the projects for the Owlery were DIY efforts while other items were purchased…follow links and descriptions below if you find something you like!

Harry Potter Nursery

Craft Projects

Flying Key Mobile. Any Potterhead should be familiar with the flying keys from the end of Sorcerer’s Stone. Little One loves laying in his crib watching the keys fly around! See a tutorial here.

Hogwarts Painting. After believing we were all set with Little One’s Owlery, we noticed that it needed something more. For a solution, I created this painting of Hogwarts with extra canvas that I had.

Dumbledore quote. I love this Dumbledore quote – “In dreams we enter a world that’s entirely our own”. I’ve had this frame for many years and with some water colors, I created this image for the Owlery.

Quilt. I created this lap quilt with triangles channeling the design of the Deathly Hallows.

Harry Potter Nursery

Woodworking Projects

Growth Ruler. To track the height of our Little One as he grows up, we created this growth chart. We chose an inspirational quote by Albus Dumbledore that reads vertically – “It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be.” See a tutorial here.

Toy Chest. This toy chest is an heirloom from my husband’s childhood. In order to keep its integrity, we just sanded it down and gave it a coat of stain.

Dresser. I have had this dresser for years. To freshen it up, we painted it white and put the changing pad on top of it.

Wall Decals/Pictures

You Are So Loved wall decal. We found this fantastic decal on Etsy. I love this quote from the books because this is a statement that Lily says to Harry when he is a baby, even though they were in a tragic situation. We both believe it is important for our Little One to have a constant reminder that we love him.

I Solemnly Swear I Am Up To No Good. We found this awesome decal on Target. This is a classic Harry Potter quote. I have a full review of the wall decal here.

House Animal Pictures. We found these prints on Etsy via Pinterest. Unfortunately, these prints are no longer available from this particular seller. Luckily, there are many other prints available elsewhere on Etsy that are very cute! We printed them on our home printer and put them in classic white frames from Michael’s.

Lumos/Nox Light Switch Cover. We found this light switch cover on Etsy, it adds a bit of whimsy to detail that might get over looked. You can find a similar one here.

Harry Potter Nursery

Decor Items

Crystal ball curtain rod. We purchased this one from Target. I thought the crystal balls on the ends of the rod were relevant nods to divination classes at Hogwarts.

Hufflepuff-themed rug. We found our striped, gray and yellow, 100% cotton rug on Wayfair. Although aesthetically I love this rug, I probably wouldn’t get it again if I had the chance. I found that it is difficult to clean, especially considering it stains easily (the instructions say to get it professionally cleaned, but who has the time for that?). Also, the instructions say to sweep debris off with a broom instead of vacuum, although we do use the vacuum cleaner without the brush roll. Overall, it’s an extra effort to keep clean.

Star sheets. You can purchase these adorable star sheets at Target.

Curtains. We found these simple black out white curtains at Wayfair.

Dobby socks. My co-workers created this as a gift at the Harry Potter-themed baby shower they hosted for me…thanks ladies!

Triwizard Tournament night light. When we found this night light at Target, we just had to have it! It gives a great low light, which is perfect for those midnight diaper changes.

We love the Owlery and spend a lot of time playing in it. Our design has created a calm environment with a hint of magic that will hopefully stay with Little One for years to come! What do you think of this Harry Potter nursery, comment below.

Harry Potter Nursery