Babies and Book Ledges

Hola! I actually have a legitimate excuse for not posting for so long. I had a baby! Charlie Fay was born last Friday morning and she is absolutely perfect! I will post the birth story another day since I am still working on it, but I do have something pretty awesome to share today!

DIY Book Ledges

Sam has been busy on his paternity leave! I am so happy his job allows him some time off. It’s been really great for us all to bond with Charlie and for Milo’s transition into sibling-hood.  Sam built these amazing book ledges using this tutorial from Ana White’s website.  We were able to keep the $10 budget by splitting the 8ft boards 3 ways. The only thing he didn’t do was use a nail gun on the front ledge.  We don’t own a nail gun, so he just used wood glue to hold the front part in place.

DIY Book Ledges

Milo was just thrilled that all of his books have a home now. It’s more fun for him to pick which books he wants to read before bedtime with all of the covers showing.

DIY Book Ledges

I love these book shelves and can’t wait to hang some on Charlie’s wall, too! We also plan on doing some honeycomb shelving in her room to show off her girly trinkets.

Well, that’s all for today! Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

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DIY Baking Soda and Cornstarch Ornaments

Hello! I haven’t fallen off of the face of the earth, I have just been so busy with holiday activities! Also, my Milo has been a sick little boy for the past 5 days…a little goodbye gift from his last day of preschool, I guess.

Anyway, I wanted to update and let everyone know that I am going to be absent for a little while longer, but I am coming back after the holidays with a new look for Me + Three {and counting…}! I’m really excited for all of the upcoming changes and anxious to see how I manage to stay on top of it all while adding a new baby to the mix.

I will leave you with a one more Christmas DIY project that I completed yesterday. I am not sure if these have another name besides “baking soda and cornstarch ornaments”, so that is what I’m calling them.  These are probably my favorite DIY ornaments because I can be totally lazy and leave them as they are, white and sparkly, or I can paint and decorate them how I want!

Baking soda and cornstarch ornaments

Baking Soda & Cornstarch Ornaments

Makes roughly ten 3″ cookie cutter ornaments

1 cup baking soda

1/2 cup cornstarch

2/3 cup of water

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and place over medium heat. Stir constantly until mixture forms a ball of dough. Transfer dough to a bowl to cool enough to handle. When dough has cooled, knead until dough is nice and smooth. Roll out to desired thickness of ornaments (I did about 1/4″). Cut out shapes with cookie cutters, use a drinking straw to make holes (for the string) at the top of the shape, then allow them to dry overnight so they can harden. Make sure they are drying on a flat surface and if they begin to curl up, just flip them over to flatten them out again.

Mine took about 12 hours to harden enough for me to paint them. I picked up some Martha Stewart patterning tape along with some of her metallic paint in yellow gold to make the stripes. And you can decorate them however you like! These are definitely going to be an every year DIY ornament project for my tree!

DIY Baking soda and cornstarch ornament

And here’s the {mostly} finished tree! I seriously need a tree topper, but with Christmas being in a week, I don’t think we’re going to have one this year.

rustic christmas tree

Alright, I’ll see you all in a few weeks! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Crocheting for a Cause! {Preemie Hat Pattern}

I recently found out, from a fellow USMC wife on Facebook, about the Sunset Crochet’s Annual Christmas Charity.  This is such an awesome and easy way to give this holiday season if you know how to crochet. The challenge is to crochet 12 preemie hats over the 12 days of Christmas and donate them to your local NICU.  Last year, over 20,000 hats were donated to NICU’s around the US! That’s amazing, right?

Sunset Crochet 3rd Annual Christmas Challenge

Photo Credit: Sunset Crochet

I wanted to get started right away on this, but I don’t have much knowledge about how big or small a preemie hat should be. Lucky for me, there are plenty of size charts available on the internet, like this one that I used.  I know there are already plenty of adorable hat patterns out there {you even get 13 of them free when you commit to this challenge!}, but I wanted to come up with something of my own that was okay for both boys and girls.

I’m loving the puff stitch lately, along with the reverse single crochet edging technique that I recently learned, so I combined the two and made this!

Crochet Preemie Hat Pattern

I realize that this is crochet and it’s kind of hard to come up with my very own pattern since so many already exists, but I couldn’t find any quite like this, so as far as I’m concerned, this is a pattern that I came up on my own with inspiration from previous patterns. I just switched the stitches out for my preferred ones. Now get to crocheting those preemie hats! These seriously only take about 15 minutes to make.

Preemie Hat Pattern

Puff Stitch Preemie Hat (1-2lbs)

Materials:

H hook (5.00mm)

Favorite baby yarn (I used Vanna’s Choice)

Chain (ch) 3. Join in first ch with slip stitch (sl st)

R1: Ch 1.(does not count as sc) 10 single crochets (sc) in loop. Join with sl st in first stitch.

R2: Ch 1. 2 sc in each stitch around (20 stitches). Join with sl st in first stitch.

R3: Ch 1. 2 sc in first stitch, 1 sc in next stitch. Repeat around. (30 stitches). Join with sl st in first stitch.

R4: Ch 1. Sc in each stitch around (30 stitches). Join with sl st in first stitch.

R5: Ch 2. Puff stitch (see below) in 2nd sc from hook. Skip 1 SC and puff stitch in next sc. Repeat patter around. (15 puff stitches). Join with sl st in top of ch. 2.

R6: Ch 2. Puff stitch in first space after chain 2, then puff stitch in between every puff stitch from the previous row. (15 puff stitches). Join with sl st in top of ch. 2.

R7 – 9: Ch 2. Puff stitch in each space between puff stitches of previous row for a total of 15 puff stitches in each row. Join with sl st in top of ch. 2.

R10 (edging starts). Ch 1. Sc in each stitch (spaces and top of puff stitches). (30 stitches). Join with sl st in first sc.

R11: Reverse sc all the way around. End with sl st in first stitch of row. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Puff Stitch Preemie Hat (3-5lbs)

Ch 3. Join in first chain with sl st.

R1: Ch 1. 10 sc in loop. Join with sl st in 1st sc.

R2: Ch 1. 2 sc in each sc. (20 stitches). Join with sl st in 1st sc.

R3: Ch 1. 2 sc in first sc, then 1 sc in next. Repeat pattern all the way around. (30 stitches). Join with sl st in 1st sc.

R4: Ch 1. 2 sc in first sc, then 1 sc in next two stitches. (40 stitches). Join with sl st in 1st sc.

R5: Ch 1. Sc in each stitch around (40 stitches). Join with sl st in first sc.

R6: Ch 2. Puff stitch in 2nd sc from hook and every other stitch around (20 puff stitches).

R7-10: Ch 2. Puff stitch in spaces between previous row (20 puff stitches in each row).

R11: Ch 1. Sc in each stitch around, spaces and top of puff stitches.

R12: Ch 2. Reverse sc in each stitch around. Join with sl st, fasten off, and weave in ends.

Puff Stitch Instructions:

*Yarn over. Insert hook into next stitch. Yarn over. Pull back through stitch (3 loops on hook). Repeat from {*} two more times (7 loops on hook). Yarn over once more and pull loop through all loops on hook. Chain one. This counts as one puff stitch.

Crochet Preemie Hat Pattern

Look how tiny the 1-2lb hat is!

Have a happy Thanksgiving to all who observe the holiday and eat tons and tons of yummy food!

DIY Easy Christmas Stocking {DIY Christmas}

DIY Christmas

Welcome back to Me + Three’s DIY Christmas! Sorry I skipped last week. I had made this stocking the day before I was planning to post it, but it totally didn’t work out the way I wanted it to, so I took a little more time, tweaked the pattern, added and subtracted a few steps and finally got what I had been going for!

Easy Christmas Stocking

Alright, so first of all, you can use any stocking pattern that you have. I drew up one of my own just because I didn’t feel like spending the money on one and I couldn’t find one that I liked on the internet. So, if you’d like to use mine, then you are more than welcome! Oh, and don’t mind the duplicated 4th page. It’s extra.

Christmas Stocking Pattern

Make sure that if you are using fabric that has a right side and a wrong side, that you flip the stocking pattern over to make the opposite side. I used some of the fabric leftover from my couch covers along with some pretty burlap interlaced with gold.  Also, if you are using burlap for the accent pieces, make sure your stocking fabric is heavy enough or just double up with a liner if it’s a super thin fabric. 

Materials:

stocking fabric and accent fabric (You could probably get 4 stockings out of 2 yards of fabric. You only need half a yard or less for the accent pieces).

Pellon 805 Wonder Under Fusible Web

Embellishments

Twine for stocking hanger and embellishments

Sewing and cutting tools (sewing machine, matching thread, scissors, pins, etc…)

So your first step is going to be to cut out the pieces. Don’t forget to use the toe and heel pieces to cut out the wonder under pieces.

Next you’re going to follow the steps on the wonder under and fuse it to the back of the accent fabric.

If you don’t have the directions then you simply put the rough side of the wonder under and the wrong side of the accent fabric together and press with a hot iron for about 8-10 seconds, or until it’s fused to the fabric. Next, damped a dish cloth or towel, peel the other side off of the wonder under, place on top of the stocking where it is to be fused to the fabric, cover with the damp towel and press with the iron for 10-15 seconds or until fused to fabric.

DIY Christmas Stocking1

Then it’s time to do a decorative stitch over the edges of the burlap toe and heel. You only need to do the stitch on the inside sides of the burlap because the other two sides will be hidden in the seam.  I switched my stitch to zigzag, set the length at 0, and stitched over twice.

Place the edge of the burlap right in line with the needle.

Place the edge of the burlap right in line with the needle.

DIY Christmas Stocking3

Next, cut 3 strips of your accent fabric that are about 2 inches wide, and the length of the top of the stocking (about 8 inches).   Lay one strip a the top of the stocking and sew, using about 1/4″ seam allowance (if you are sewing an embellishment on, like I did, then try to sew it on now. For mine, I just cut a 4″ piece of twine, threaded two cute snowflakes onto it and sewed it with the strip, then when I hemmed the top, I reinforced it by sewing it into the hem). Flip the strip up and measure about an inch from where you sewed the first strip. Sew your second strip there and repeat for third strip.

Now that the front of the stocking is finished, hem the top of the stocking. For the back of the stocking, cut a 4 inch piece of twine, loop together, and sew into the hem at the corner (this is the stocking hanger), about a half an inch into the stocking piece (the side that the heel is on). I did about 1/4″ hem on both pieces.

DIY Christmas Stocking4

Now you’re ready to sew the 2 pieces together. Simply lay the right sides together, pin, and sew, using a 1/4″ seam allowance (right in line with the edge of the presser foot).

Turn right side out, trim any random threads, press the stocking, and enjoy your handy work!

DIY Christmas Stocking

I know I normally do a weekly dinner menu on Monday’s but I’m only cooking tonight and tomorrow night for my family, so I’m going to skip this week and take some time to be extra crafty!! Have a wonderful Monday and don’t forget to check out the other posts from my DIY Christmas series!

DIY Rag Ball Bulbs

DIY Cinnamon Garland

Last day to enter November’s giveaway!

Hi loves! Sorry I have been away this whole week. Seems like life had other plans than for me to diligently post every morning, like I normally would. The giveaway is still open until midnight! The winner will be selected and announced tomorrow morning, so come back to see if you’re the lucky winner! Also, I have an awesome DIY Christmas stocking project coming up! Still tweaking the design, but it should be up soon.

Have a wonderful Thursday and come back tomorrow to see who will win the handmade Christmas wreath from Alicia Rose Crafty Creations and a $25 Etsy gift card!

DIY Cinnamon Garland {DIY Christmas}

DIY Christmas

Welcome to the 2nd post of my DIY Christmas! Last week I made some Rag Ball Bulbs with cute little wooden snowflakes. This week, I’ve made a decoration that takes me back to my childhood – cinnamon ornaments {made into garland}! My house smelled amazing as these were baking.

DIY Cinnamon Garland

Cinnamon Ornament Recipe:

1 cup applesauce

1 1/2 cups cinnamon

Preheat oven to 200F.

In a bowl, mix together the applesauce and one cup of the cinnamon. Mix well with a spoon, then add the extra 1/2 a cup a little at a time until the consistency is right. You just need to be able to roll the dough out with a rolling pin, so that is where the consistency needs to be.

On a piece of parchment paper, spread some cinnamon and begin to roll the dough out to about 1/4″ thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out your shapes and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Use the end of a chopstick or a skewer or something like that to poke holes in the upper part of the shape(Make sure whatever you are using will make big enough holes for the string to pass through). Bake for 1 -2 hours, or until they are hard.

DIY Cinnamon Ornament Garland

Now your going to string your string through the cut-outs.  I strung together 8 {about 6 inches apart} at a time since I don’t really enjoy super long garland {it gets on my nerves to have to walk around and around the tree while hanging it}. I say wait to do the embellishments until after the string is finished because I had a bit of a hard time getting my twine to go through in one piece.  I made the mistake of not checking to see that the chopstick hole was big enough for the twine to move through, so I had to work around that.

Now you can add whatever pretty embellishments you managed to find. I found these textured sticker things at Wal-Mart {of all places?!}.  Let it dry before hanging on the tree.

DIY Cinnamon Ornament Garland1

Come back tomorrow for that Christmas-themed giveaway I’ve been talking about! And don’t forget to check out the other post from this series:

DIY Rag Ball Bulbs

DIY Rag Ball Bulbs {DIY Christmas}

DIY Christmas

I’m really excited about Christmas this year. Especially since this is our first Christmas in our own home and Milo is old enough to experience all of the joy and excitement that comes along with this wonderful holiday. Also, I have decided that I am going to DIY all of my Christmas tree ornaments, stockings, and most of the decorations! It should be a fun process and by DIYing everything, I will be able to get the exact look I am going for without having to spend all of my husband’s hard earned money at Pottery Barn.

I’ve spent countless nights tirelessly searching Pinterest for DIY Christmas tree ornaments and have narrowed it down to about 10 projects, all of which will be shared here, with my lovely readers!

DIY Rag Ball Bulbs

Now I’m sure you’ve seen a tutorial for a rag ball bulb floating around the DIY section of Pinterest. I read a few of them and decided to cut out a few steps from the other tutorials, so this is what I came up with.

For your supplies, you will need:

3″ styrofoam balls (or you could go bigger). You will find these in the floral section of the craft store.

fabric of your choice (I went with the fabric from my two couch covers and burlap)

scissors

glue

twine

embellishments

Alright people, it doesn’t get much easier than this. Simply cut 6-7 one inch (roughly 12 inches long) strips of fabric for each ball. You can fray the edges by ripping the fabric if it’s thin enough or by pulling the threads from the edges (make sure you are cutting along the grain). Then glue them to the ball.

DIY Rag Ball Bulbs1

Make sure to leave an inch or two at the top so you can tie the strips together with twine. After all the styrofoam is covered with the strips of fabric, cut about 10 inches of twine, and tie around the top to secure all of the strips together. From here you can add the embellishments by stringing them onto the twine and tying a double knot in back to secure again. Then simply tie one more double knot near the ends of the twine so you can hang the ornament! Easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy.

DIY Rag Ball Bulb2

Come back next week for my November giveaway {which is Christmas-themed!!}

Have a great Thursday!

Also, check out other posts from a DIY Christmas:

DIY Cinnamon Garland

Brag Post! {Ana White Camp Loft Bed}

My father-in-law scored major Grandpa points this past weekend when he delivered a big boy bed for Milo made by him!

bed1

Milo was a little unsure about the steps at first, but they were quickly mastered when he figured out he could reach his books and stuffed animals that I keep on the shelf.

Bed

You can find the plans here on Ana White’s website. I love looking through her plans and adding things to our ever growing to-do list. Sam especially loves it when I add new projects. Haha.

bed3

He did such a great job, even rounded out the sharp edges for safer play!  It’s really a cool thing because Sam’s grandpa built him a bed too, so it’s kind of like Milo’s grandpa is starting a tradition.

Happy Milo

Milo is pretty darn happy about his new bed and will be able (whether he likes it or not) to enjoy it until he’s 18! Haha. Thanks, “Paw”!!

Sofa slipcover {update}

I have been so terrible with this slipcover, but I finally sewed the skirt on yesterday! I just need to hem it at the bottom then trim the random threads and I’m done!

20131031-105500.jpg

I’m pretty excited about my upcoming DIY projects! For November I will be doing DIY Christmas tree ornaments since I have nothing for my Christmas tree…come to think if it, I don’t even have a tree yet.

What Christmas DIY’s do you have planned?

Oh! Don’t forget..today is the last day you can enter the giveaway to win 4 bars of handmade goat’s milk soap from MilkNMore!

MilkNMore giveaway

Easy DIY Compost Bin

IMG_4961

Have one of these laying around? Well, I have about 10 sitting in the garage, so I thought I’d put them to good use and make a few compost bins! Why do I want to collect food scraps, yard waste, cardboard, and other compostable items in a pile in my backyard?  I’m glad you asked! Instead of laying it all out myself, I’ll let this lovely infographic from WellHome.com do the work!

How-to-Compost-infographic

So, now you have a few good reasons to start a compost pile and are familiar with some different methods. The next step is to find a spot! You can really start a pile anywhere, you don’t actually need a bin. I live in a subdivision, have a fairly small backyard, and have a toddler and a dog, so I thought a bin would be my best bet. I also suspect a neighborhood cat of eating some of my front yard flowers, so I opted for a bin with a lid.  It’s really so super easy to make your own compost bin.  Just find a container with a lid, something big enough {this bin is 30 gallons} so you can easily turn the pile when needed.

IMG_4962

After working my husband to death this weekend {he installed 2 ceiling fans and painted the rails to the futon}, I batted my eyes and asked, in the sweetest voice possible, if he would drill some holes in this plastic bin for me. Basically, you want any excess liquid to be able to drain out, so drill some holes in the bottom of your container. He also drilled holes all around the container so more air could move through.

When you’re finished with that, add your compostable items! I’ve read that you should cover the bottom with “brown” items then  add “green” items and try to keep the ratio at 3 parts brown to 1 part green, and to turn the pile once a week or so. I’m new to all of this, so we will see if this advice is correct. The stuff is going to break down regardless, and I think it’s pretty easy to correct any problems along the way.

I do want to add one more photo. While I was trying to take photos, my son insisted on getting inside the box, so I snapped some photos of him in there, but he didn’t realize how flimsy the bin was and immediately fell face-first into the dirt. This is the photo of the moment he realized it was over:

Yep, I'm about to eat dirt.

Yep, I’m about to eat dirt.

**Don’t forget to enter my current giveaway!**

Have a happy Thursday!