my etsy gift shop, with lots of goodies for new babies and mommas

Monday, October 31, 2011

Owl Treat Bags

It's a tutorial, y'all!

I made these treat bags for P's pre-school class Halloween party. I saw these on Pinterest (by Lisa Storms) and thought they'd be perfect. So I decided to make it about eight steps harder. Because, apparently, I am a glutton for punishment. (See: Rapunzel costume)
Sheesh! The girl's gonna have to wear that costume until she turns 20. Sorry, kiddo, you're not allowed to grow yet. You haven't gotten full use out of your Rapunzel dress.

And here's how to put together some little owl treat bags:

1. Get some of the brown paper lunch bags - the ones I used are the 11 inch by 5 1/2 inch ones. (Do they come in different sizes? I don't know.)

2. Print out this template on full-sized 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper:

You can either print it directly onto the cardstock or patterned paper that you're going to use for the owls, or print it out and cut out the pieces to use as a template. I used all scrap paper for mine, but it would be easier to use big pieces and just print on them. I used three different patterned papers per owl. One was the head, wings, and tail; one was the body and eyes, and one was the belly and brow (or noggin topper, if you wanna get technical about owl anatomy). The eyeballs were cut out of white cardstock, the feet and beak were orange cardstock, and I just used a hole punch to get small black circles out of cardstock for the centers of their eyes.
* You can print the template on the front of the paper and have a black outline when you cut it out, or print it on the back. This guy's pretty reversible.

3. Cut out all the owl parts & lay them out how you want them. Now, at this point you could get really creative with inking edges, and stamping, and embossing, and glitter and sequins and paint. . .
I didn't. But feel free to go nuts.

Here is my army of owl minions.

4. Cut the top of the paper bag into a triangle and fold it down, so when it's closed the top is a little V.

Glue the noggin topper on top of the folded-down part. (But be careful to not glue the bag closed.) Hold the top of the bag folded down so you can place the rest of the owl according to where the top of his head is.

5. Put glue on the top of the head and glue it to the front of the bag, under the folded down top.
Then glue the tail at the bottom of the bag, and the body overlapping the tail and under the head.
Add the wings and tummy, on top of the body and under the head.
Add all the eye parts and the beak.
Cut a strip of white cardstock and stamp the recipient's name on the bottom. (Or you could stamp the owl's name. That would make him feel special. Or stamp "thanks for coming to Luke's birthday bash." Or whatever.)
Glue that across the bottom of the body, over the tail and under the wings.
Then glue the feet over the top of the cardstock strip so it looks like the owl is perched on top of it.

6. Fill with goodies and staple the top shut! That's it! Okay, if you don't want to put a staple through the owl's head, you could also punch two holes and thread some ribbon through the top and tie it like a bow. That would really girl these up. Or you could just not overthink the staple.

These were perfect for a classroom party goody bag - festive enough for the kids to be excited to get them, and small enough to hold just a few treats. They would work well as party favors, too, if you're having an owl-themed party. Or any fall-themed thank-yous that need to go in a bag. Or for taking some pumpkin bread to a neighbor. Yum.

Happy Halloween, everybody. Today is a special anniversary for me - three years ago I signed up on Etsy. Can't believe it's been three years! I'm feeling especially blessed today to be a stay-at-home working mom.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Gotta Put on Some Pants. . .

Any other New Life Ranch alums out there who sing this song EVERY SINGLE TIME they're trying to wrestle their kids into pants? And why is it so hard to keep pants on these kids? At any given moment, there's a pretty good chance that at least one of my children is pantless. I have no idea why.

I'm hooked on Pinterest. Could spend hours and hours and hours there, except I keep getting pulled away to do things like, you know, laundry, and going to the post office, and raising children. But I found this tutorial from Simply Modern Mom on how to take a pair of pants, make a pattern from them, and sew really easy pajama pants.

I tried it out, and it's really the simplest pair of pants I've ever made - and because I made the pattern from pants that the kids already had and that I knew fit perfectly, I didn't have to worry about the weird sizing of commercial patterns! Amazing. P got pants out of hot pink leopard print flannel, and Mr. Man's are made from a (very loved) flannel pillowcase. (One pillowcase is the perfect amount of fabric for a pair of pants for up to an 18-month size.)

The tutorial is completely great, so I didn't change anything. Here are a few tips, though, if you're going to try it:

Be sure that the curve on the back of the pants - for the crotch - sticks out more than the one on the front. This part is important, because it allows for some booty room. And especially for the littles - those diapers need extra space back there!
When you're tracing around the pants to get the pattern, be sure to allow plenty of space for the seam allowance, and even more for the hem at the bottom and the elastic casing at the top. And the pants fit better if the rise is higher in the back than it is in the front. That's all.

I love making clothes for this one. He's more than happy to model. Not like his big sis. This one gave me lots of poses and looks, and even walked the coffee table like a runway! Perhaps he watches too many TV shows with Tim Gunn. . .

For his last pose, he really wanted to show off the waistband of the pants. :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

October Urns

Good Monday morning! It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood! Mr. Man is on hand to help me blog about the new fall-themed urns we just put out front.

He loves to sit in my lap while I'm on the computer. That's his no-nonsense editor face. He will not let me get away with any grammar infractions!

These urns are from Sam's Club. They have great seasonal outdoor items, and they're cheaper and higher quality than lots of other places. We got them in the summer - they had ivy topped with ferns. The poor ferns had given up (I don't have the greenest of thumbs), so I was looking for a replacement for the fall.
I left the ivy and just cut out the ferns. I got some big ol' pumpkins, and tucked some dead hydrangeas from the backyard in around the base of them. I love the colors of the hydrangeas - this summer, they were a pretty lilac, but as they've faded, they've turned into a great deep purple - perfect for Halloween!

And the new decor even enticed our friendly little spider, who's been camped out in the bushes in the front yard for months, to leave his cozy web and check out it out! He looks pretty Halloween-y, don't you think?

So, wander around your yard and see what blooms are past their prime, but still beautiful enough to do some fall sprucing up.
Happy decorating!