DIY Bunny Ears Baby Teething Ring

posted on Jun 15, 2015

And the baby fever rages on.  Last week I went crazy ordering supplies to make teething rings, and this weekend the all arrived!  So as soon as nap time hit today, I scurried downstairs to see how quickly I could test out this super cute bunny ears teething ring.  Well snap, this was SO easy!!  It took me about 15 minutes, including cutting time.  I found the tutorial and free PDF pattern HERE, at Clover & Violet.  Give it a shot.  If you can turn on an stitch two pieces of fabric together, you can do this! So So cute!!

 

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Cute and Easy DIY Baby Gifts

posted on Jun 10, 2015

Being almost 37 weeks pregnant, I am DEEP into nesting right now.  Also crazy hormones, but that’s for another blog post.  I’ve pretty much given up doing real work in favor of making cute baby stuff.  It occurs to me that when I had baby #1 I didn’t get nearly as much crafting done as I would have liked, mainly because 1.) Our floors were completely ripped out on the first floor of the house (3 dogs and a cat plus 2 adults and then a newborn sharing 1 bedroom  . . .) and 2.)  I actually had no idea what things I would need or would be helpful in real life.  Most of the cute things that I made ended up being somewhat useless.  So, armed with my mama knowledge, I thought I’d put together a little list of super easy AND super useful DIY baby goodies.   These are simple enough to do for your own baby or for gifts.  I promise they will be used and loved.

 

5 Easy Projects Graphic

 

These are all really simple and really cute and really useful things for any new parent, but let’s talk a little bit about why they’re awesome.

#1.  Happy Cloud Tug Toy  This is great because babies love to explore, beginning with their mouths!  Everything must go directly into the mouth, so it’s really nice to have toys that are free of chemicals and have a variety of colors and textures involved.  Plus, this is just so simple to make if you have some really basic sewing skills.

#2.  20 Minute Burp Cloth- If your sewings skills are NOT that great, this is a nice next project.  DIY burp cloths.  First off, the burp cloths that commercial brands sell in stores are CRAP.  They are about as useless as a tissue paper would be for cleaning up a bowl full of spilled milk.  What is super useful and absorbent and easy to handle/fold/wash is a good old fashioned cloth diaper.  They sell them in packs of 5 and 10 wherever you can buy newborn stuff at Target, etc.  Unfortunately they’re not super cute.  So I made a tutorial to doll them up with a cute iron on patch and a very little bit of hand sewing.  Cute.  Handy.  Quick.

#3. 30 Minute Nursing Pillow Cover- Most mamas nowadays either use or receive a nursing pillow, and they usually come with a removable cover.  It’s really nice to have a backup cover so that when the first one gets crusty (it will happen), you can throw it in the laundry pile, where it might sit for a week or more, but HEY it’s cool because you’ve got a second one.  Also, maybe I’m a snot, but I just absolutely hate the patterns on nursing pillows.  If I’m using this thing anywhere but a nursery (which I don’t have) then I want it to fit in with my home decor.

#4. Wooden Play Gym- There is a time and a place for the plastic, sound-making, lights-flashing play gym (it’s at Grandma’s house).  But you know what?  From experience, all things get boring to babies after a little while, and I’d rather not have another bulky plastic thing to add to my hoarder’s paradise of a basement when my baby gets bored after a few weeks of blinking and flashing and annoying music.  What I love about the wooden play gym is about fifty things.  First, it’s wooden!  So soothing on the eyes.  Second, it’s CHEAP!!   Third, it’s not difficult to swap out the toys when you want a little mix it up for baby.  And Fourth, it is so much more lightweight and easy to put away when you’re done.  I love that this particular version later became a toddler tent.  Awesome.

#5. DIY Teething Ring- Okay, so here is a link to the tutorial that I used to make mine.  But I made a couple of modifications for aesthetics and safety.  What I love about these teething rings is that there’s nothing chemical or manmade or yucky about them.  It’s just fabric, thread, and wood (and mine have a bit of hidden elastic).  I also love that I can use all of my pretty fabrics and that I made my first one in less than 20 minutes.  Oh, and I can do most of the work from the couch.  That wins.  What did I change from the original tutorial?  I made a smaller version (6 beads instead of 9), I cut a 3 3/4″ wide strip of fabric (as opposed to 3 1/2″) and I pre-threaded all of the beads onto an 18″ long strip of 1/4″ elastic before slipping them into the tube.  I did that because I just didn’t feel super safe about the seams being the only thing keeping the wooden beads inside the toy.  If somehow the fabric itself, or the double seam ripped open and a bead came out when I wasn’t looking, that would be a MAJOR chocking hazard.  So in my version the beads are attached to each other with elastic as well as double stitched inside the tube.  I’ll go ahead and post a tutorial on how to do this as soon as my next batch of beads arrives in the mail.  I kind of want to make fifty thousand of these.

 

Teething Ring PD Watermark

 

Am I missing anything major?  Who’s got some awesome easy baby project tutorials to share, because I’m hungry for more projects!!

 

 

Being that I’m about to have a baby pretty darn soon, babies are on my brain.  But it’s also baby shower season, so I thought I’d put together my practical mom knowledge with my crafty skills to help you make an EASY PEASY and ultra useful DIY baby shower gift.  There are a lot of burp cloth tutorials out there.  Go ahead, go search Pinterest for “burp cloth tutorial” and you’ll get a load of really cute tutorials.  But I’m going to tell you not to waste your time with all of that fabric  cutting.  Don’t worry about sewing skills.  Who needs to turn a bunch of stuff inside out and then iron and then top stitch?  If sewing skills are not your top priority in life, or if you just want to make something different, or if you want your gift to actually be useful and loved, do not worry.  I have something better and it does not involve cutting ten thousand rectangles of fabric.

20 Minute Gift Watermarked

I present to you the semi-home made gift.  Okay, yes, burp cloths are super handy to have.  But as a real life mom, who has been through the business of cleaning up baby messes and then toddler messes, I can tell you that what really matters is absorbancy and ease of use.  I’ve made myself many variations of burp cloth, but nothing comes close to store bought cloth diapers when it comes to easily wiping up milk, poop, food, and just general messes.  So my advice to you is to help a mama out and get a pack of store bought cloth diapers (they sell them right in the same spot as bibs and blank onesies at Target and the like) and cute them up.  The pre-folds are best because they’re already layered up and sewn into a nice handy size.  Ready for the quickest, cutest, most useful baby shower gift ever?!   Let’s do this!

 

20 Minute Burp Cloth Materials

Your tools and materials:

– Pack of cloth diapers (do mama a favor and pre-wash/dry these.  She’s going to have a crap load of stuff to wash soon)

– An adorable Swallow Iron On Patch

– Needle and thread

– Iron

 

Step 1. Set your iron to high (cotton or wool), dry heat.  Don’t use steam or the glue won’t adhere.  Iron your diaper.  Peel the paper off the back of the patch and place, glue side down, onto the bottom corner of the diaper.  Using firm pressure and circular motions, iron your patch for about 10 seconds.  Wait a moment and then test the patch.  If it does not come up with your fingernail you’re good to go!  Re-iron if needed in short bursts.

20 minute burp cloth 2

 

Step 2. Go around the edge of your patch with a needle and thread, or use a sewing machine if you’re comfortable with that.  If you are not super handy with a needle and thread, try using the same color thread as the patch so that your stitches blend in more.  If you’re feeling up to it, use a contrasting thread to make a little eye on the bird.  And voila!  That’s it.  Make a whole stack of adorable and totally practical burp cloths with a variety of cute iron on patches from my shop.  Mama will love them, I promise you!

20 minute burp cloth 3

 

Resources:

Iron on Patches- The Polly Danger Shop

Cotton Diapers- Target, Walmart, Fred Meyer, or Amazon

– Needle and thread- Joann fabrics, or a friend who sews

 

Easy Burp Cloth Watermarked

You know when you meet someone and you think they are the coolest?  Well, when I met Shauna, of Lemon Kissed, I thought she was the coolest.  She is spunky and cute and talented, and bonus points, she has really cute kids.  And it turns out that she makes darn cute jewelry and lives not too far from me.  Shauna was one of the vendors at our super cute brick and mortar shop, The Crafty Fox.  Once we closed the shop up I knew that I was destined to do something fun with her.  And here we are.  Putting together a joint effort of cuteness!  At a cute shop no less.  So if you’re in the Portland/Hillsboro area on Sunday, May 3 (that’s exactly 1 week before Mother’s Day- get your mama something nice this year!) you should absolutely, positively come see what delightful treats we have for you that you won’t see anywhere else!

Join us at our Spring-tastic Trunk Show on Sunday, May 3, 2015 from 1-3 pm at B Designs in downtown Hillsboro!

Springtastic 2015 Graphic

 

Take a look at some of Lemon Kissed‘s cuteness!  I just want to eat them up!  Oh, and did I mention that she has a JEWELRY CLUB?!  Uh huh.  Get on that.

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My Best Advice

posted on Apr 8, 2015

You know when people say things like, “It will all change once you get married” or “Wait till you have kids” or “Things will be different when they’re older” or “Running your own business is almost impossible”?  Well I used to hate shit like that.  And I still do.  But it’s unavoidable.  People have life experiences that you don’t have and they want to share.  It’s hard to get real, true, honest sharing into casual conversation.  We’re not used to examining our lives at regular intervals and processing the stock of our lives and then shortening the results down into snippet sized chunks of useful information to share with people.  The lady at the bank probably isn’t going to give you core-gripping, tear-inducing advice that will serve you for the rest of your life and stay with you till your dying day.  She might.  But probably not.  Even your closest friends and family might not give you that kind of advice, but they’ll want to.  They’ll try to impart their deepest wisdom on you and what will come out might be gunk.  You might get some really amazing pieces of advice mixed in with an awful lot of gunk.  I hope that I can give you some good advice.  But I’m no expert.

When I got married everyone wanted to tell me how things would be different.  It didn’t matter that we had seen 10 whole years of relationship intensity.  People felt they had to share their advice.  They told us that we’d stop caring about how we look and that we’d get bored of each other, and that the romance would disappear, that they knew a couple who had been together for ten years and then got married and instantly got a divorce, blah blah blah.  And were things different once we got married?  Yeah, they were.  But Eric and I didn’t suddenly become different people.  We didn’t get bored of each other and 18 years into our relationship we’re still not sick of being together.  Have we had hideous fights?  Hell yeah.  And have we been hurtful to each other?  Yes, we’ve been there.  And have we seen the ugliest sides of each other?  Yeah, man.  We’ve been to some dark places.  And we still like each other.  We still rock it as a team.  We are still each other’s biggest fan and best support system.

As soon as we got married people wanted to know when we were going to have kids.  Before the answer was even out of my mouth I was getting advice about kids.  People really wanted me to know that things would change when we had a baby (thank you for that insightful advice, by the way).  They wanted me to know that I would stop caring about how I look (just in case I already didn’t care now that I was married), and how much work it would be, and how much energy kids suck out of you, and how much harder everything is when you have kids, and how you can’t travel, and on, and on, AND ON.  Here’s where I got kind of stuck.  Because I was totally certain about my relationship with Eric when we got married.  It wasn’t hard to say, “yeah, whatever” to people’s advice.  But with a kid, everyone who had kids kind of had a one up on me.  I really had zero experience with babies.  Or even friends with babies.  So I knew it would be tough, but I had no idea whether or not I’d actually be wearing yoga pants for the rest of my life.

In case you’re wondering, I’m wearing my usual work from home getup today:  Jeans, a floral sweater with elbow patches, a pink scarf, and slippers.  I’m wearing makeup and my hair is decently cute.  I’m wearing a pair of my bird earrings.  Even though no one but me will see.  Because that’s the kind of mom I am.  That’s the kind of person I am.    I knew, early on in my pregnancy, that I didn’t want to be all of the things that people told me being a mom would be.  But I was afraid.  I was afraid that the minivan would suddenly become the most appealing method of transportation and that without noticing, I’d stop caring what I saw in the mirror, that I’d have no hobbies other than what directly involved my kids.  What no one told me about being a mom was that I would still be me.  No one told me that it was going to be a difficult and complicated ballet of getting shit done, but at the end of the day I would still be fucking awesome and so would my kid.

So now that I’m really starting this count down to baby #2 (we’re due in July), I realized that I’ve had this same fear building, unspoken, in the back of my mind.  As I nest like crazy while also rebranding my business and prioritizing morning snuggles and navigating tantrums and menu planning, and still managing to accomplish craploads every day, I’ve actually been feeling super low.  Super complainy.  Despite the fact that I am doing massive amounts of awesomeness every single day, I’ve been feeling less than.  I’ve been feeling underwhelmed with my own efforts.  Really what I’ve been feeling is fear.  Fear that  . . .?  Fear that I’ll be a different person, that my world will implode, that I won’t be able to cope with a second kid.  Fear that I’m spending time, energy, and money on a business that will actually just collapse the moment this child comes out of my body.  And then I look back at my history of being me and I feel like I can actually take a deep breath and realize out loud that I am still me.  I will still be me when this baby comes.  I will still be me with two kids.  I will still get shit done, I will be awesome at my job, and I will take this business to a whole new crazy ass level.  When I think about where I was when I had baby #1 and where I am now, I can honestly say that I am way, way cooler.  I am way, way more badass.

So no, Polly, you will not implode.  I am positive that it will be difficult in ways that I cannot fathom right now.  I am positive that I will cry and I will complain and I will say bad words and I will feel like it will never be better again.  But it will.  So I’m saving my future self the trouble of giving in to “advice”.  I’m saying to you, Polly, that you fucking rock it.  It will be a difficult and complicated ballet of getting shit done, but at the end of the day you will still be fucking awesome and so will your kids.

If I have any advice to give to other people out in the world, reading this, about going away to college, about starting a new business, about changing careers, about getting married, about having a baby, about having another baby, about whatever big giant thing you’re approaching right now, my friends, it is this:

Complicated Awesome

 

 

Little Birds Everywhere!

posted on Mar 31, 2015

Spring is in the air and I am loving watching tiny birds flutter outside my window every day.  I just knew that I had to celebrate their cuteness Polly Danger style.  And so I bring you a cute collection of bird treats!  Chubby Bird Hair Clip Sets and Chubby Bird Earrings are now in the shop.  Tweet!

These cuties come in a variety of my absolute favorite shades:  Coral, aqua, mustard, hot pink, and gray.  So. Darn. Cute.

 

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My $2 Foamcore Play Kitchen

posted on Mar 26, 2015

I love when I feel justified in hoarding supplies.  Nothing feels like walking into the basement and grabbing that wacky doodad that I’ve been saving for years, and bringing it back up the stairs to finally fulfill its purpose.  Ah.  And this, my friends, is how I was able to build my toddler a play kitchen for 2 bucks in the spur of the moment.  From start to finish this project took me about 3 hours, and I only said about 2 curse words the whole time (more from my lack of hardware organization than because I was actually frustrated by the project).

PDKitchenMain1

I will start by saying that I looOoooove play kitchens.  You can head over to my Baby and Toddler Spaces Pinterest board and you’ll see what I’m talking about.  I’ve attempted a few play kitchens in the past, but really, if I’m honest with myself I don’t gel with power tools.  High five to women who can actually use their jigsaws to accurately cut a sink hole (or get their husbands to do it for them), but I am just not there.  Me?  My strengths are using a box cutter and a drill.  Enter foamcore, pine shelves, a hand saw, and a hot glue gun.

 

Here’s basically what I used:

– Pine shelf from Fred Meyer (similar to the Ikea Gorm unit), with legs shortened to about 18″ tall

– Wood cabinet door that was laying around (for the back “wall”)

– Removeable wallpaper from Target that I picked up at Goodwill a few weeks ago (score!)

– 2 Foamcore sheets from the dollar store (here’s where I spent my whopping $2 on this project)

– Black contact paper for the stove (dollar store purchase, but I already had it stashed)

– Self cover buttons in orange

– Wooden wheel beads, washers, elastic, and paper clips to make the turnable knobs

– Odds and ends and bits and bobs

– Hot glue gun

– Lots of Command Strips

 

PDKitchenCurt3

For the “oven” I just used a wooden paper tray and some mini muffin tins.  I secured it to the shelf with Command strips- I love those things so much.  The curtains you see were just fabric scraps that I roughly hemmed and staple-gunned directly to the shelf.

PDKitchenStove4

The stove was probably the most work.  The hot plates were easy.  Just traced and cut black contact paper (from the dollar store, already had stashed).  But the knobs were a little bit trickier to figure out. Once I figured it out, however, they were really simple to put together.  I wanted them to actually turn, and real hardware would have been too cumbersome for my foamcore.  So I improvised.

PDKitchenKnobsHowTo

I started out with an orange self-cover button and threaded a piece of elastic through the shank.  Next I used a triangle of contact paper to make the point on the wooden wheel.  I threaded the elastic through the wheel hole and added a washer.  I can’t remember why I did it, and maybe I didn’t need to, but I did.  Next I threaded the elastic through my stove foamcore (in which I had pre-made holes at even spaces).  I added another washer, to protect the foamcore hole, and then I tied the elastic in a knot over just 1 wire of a paperclip.  When that was all done, I snipped the elastic about 1/2″ from the knot and cover everything with clear shipping tape to keep it from wobbling loose.   I used a label maker to make the Hi Lo stickers, and hand drew the little dots directly onto the foamcore. Once the whole stove portion was in place I used double sided poster tape to adhere it to the countertop.  I did the same for the oven knobs.

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I had so much fun adding the little details.  The play food and utensils and pots and pans were things we already had, but I also made a little tea towel from a fabric scrap and used cup hooks under an Ikea shelf to hold the dowel (totally hot glued together).

PDKitchenSide2

All in all I’d have to say not bad for starting with an ugly wood shelf and some foamcore!