Author Archive | rae

tassel necklace DIY

Like it?  Love it?  Wanna make one?  (Fashion DIY’s get me so giddy.)

All you need is:  a swatch of leather (cut to 5 x 2.5″), a small piece of the leather to make a loop (cut to 1.5 x .25″), a necklace chain of your choice, a loaded hot glue gun or craft glue, ruler, & pencil.

STEP 1:  Cut leather.  Using your ruler and pencil, draw a line lengthwise 1/2″ inch from the top of your leather.

STEP 2:  Cut fringe up to your pencil line.

STEP 3:  Use your small piece of leather to make a loop at the top left corner of leather swatch, glueing into place.  Make a line of glue along the top length of leather and roll up.

STEP 4:  Hang on necklace chain and wear!

I found a good size piece of leather and chain at our local craft store at a great price.  Or, if you are feeling thrifty, try swinging by Good Will (or the like) and grab an old leather purse to cut up and necklace.

Also, note that if you use craft glue instead of hot glue, after glueing you will want to wrap a rubber band around the tassel to hold it in place until dry.

If you have any questions about the steps in the video, let me know in the comments below!

Now for a little bonus for the kidlets….  IMG_9817

Since returning from my L.A. trip, I’ve been wearing the tassel from the video almost everyday & Tilly has been requesting we make one for her.  So, we scheduled a play date and made a kid version out of fabric.

To DIY you need small pieces of fabric and string for the necklace.  We used leather string, but ribbon or shoe laces would work great.  Cut swatches of fabric 8.5 x 6.5″.  Then, fold them in half lengthwise and cut fringe up to the top 1/2 inch.

Flatten the fringed piece of fabric, wrong side up, and begin to roll.

Then fold in half and tie with a small strip of the fabric to hold it in place.

The project doesn’t need to be exact to come out looking cute, so it’s perfect for kids.

Even our smallest guest (a new 2 year old) got involved.

Thanks for visiting us!  Pin or share with friends if you love.

X&O, Rae

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painted doormat DIY

Last week I had the privilege of traveling to L.A. & working with KinCommunity, a fantastic & new youtube channel.  If you haven’t subscribed, I highly recommend it.  I’m partial to their DIY and EATS, but I also love (with a capital “L”) the BEAUTY & STYLE tips (faves:  cat eyessummer up-do & 1 trend 3 ways) .  If you are visiting us from Kin, welcome!  Make yourself at home and feel free to email with any thoughts, questions or just to say “hello”(rae.at.armommy.com).

Enjoy the first of several videos below:

So, what do you think!?  The doormat in the video is now adorning my front porch, ready and waiting to greet family & friends into our home.

If you are more of a written instructions type of person, I have typed them out below…

SUPPLIES:  2″, 1″, & 3/4″ painters tape, scissors, natural fiber doormat (Ikea has them for $10), acrylic art paint, sponge to dab paint, & a drop cloth or similar to protect work surface.

STEP 1:  Using the tape and scissors, make a border around your mat.  Then, create your monogram and arrow.  I used 1″ tape for the border, 2″ tape for the letter, 1″ tape for the arrow, and 3/4″ tape for the feathers on the arrow.

STEP 2:  Next get out your paint and sponge.  Dip sponge in paint and scrape off excess.  Then go to work dabbing the paint onto the mat and over the tape until the mat is evenly covered.

STEP 3:  Depending on your patience levels, let dry & then peal tape.  Or vise versa.

If you are having a hard time finding a plain doormat, try one with minor accents….

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I used this one (above) for the sample before my trip and like how it turned out.

My dearest Kin peeps….  Thanks so much for having me!  Looking forward to seeing the rest of the videos and doing it all over again in the future!

As a total side note, I also extended my trip to L.A. and was able to enjoy a short mom hiatus while spending time with my bestie, her husband and 2 amazing kids.  It was lovely.  In other trip news, as captured by instagram:

I was reunited with another old friend that goes by the name of coffee bean, (yum)

was treated to the best sushi ever at Starfish in Santa Monica, (double yum)

& rocked my first party nail….  have you tried that yet?  It actually did make me feel more partyish.

Don’t forget to subscribe to Kin and share the project with your friends!

xo . rae

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build a fort kit DIY (update)

We originally posted this tutorial a year ago in September, & it quickly became a favorite online, at Birthday parties, & in our home.  So I was thrilled when given the opportunity to make a video tutorial with KinCommunity featuring the beloved fort kit.  Click the video below and find out why! Irresistible, yes?  Doesn’t that make you want to scribble a list of all the young children in your life to make kits for!?

Here’s the scoop (you prob already know this)…  kids love building forts, but doing so typically leads to tearing apart every bed in the house & the inevitable tears that come when blankets collapse.  That is why the kits are so great.  The ties help it stay up & it’s far more pleasant to fold a couple sheets and wrangling some clips than put all the beds back together.  Plus sheets, being so light weight, are the choice of fort building champions.  For sure.

Bonus; they are fun to put together outside for playtime, summer reading, a picnic or family photo ops.

Enough chatting your ear off….  Written instructions are below and  you can download the coral tags (HERE) & green tags (HERE).

Before those of you that don’t own a sewing machine let it stop you from putting one together, think of someone you know that DOES have a sewing machine, give them a call & ask if they have 15 minutes to help you sew ribbon to the corners of a sheet.  Most likely they will be delighted to help, curious about your project, & answer with a big, “hellz, yeah!”build-a-fort-kin-rae-ann-kelly

Continue to read for written instructions, pin for safe keeping & let me know if you have any questions!

XO . Rae Want to receive goodies like this in your inbox?  Sign up below….  (it’s free).( R E P O S T )

our boys + their friends and building {weather with legos or blankets} go hand in hand.  so when espen’s friend brady invited him to his 6th birthday party, a fort building kit seemed fitting.  it ended up being a big hit with the boys and was quick and painless to put together.  you can head on over to brady’s mom’s blog to see pictures of the built fort + read below for the tutorial.

first, gather the supplies.

INCLUDED IN THIS KIT WAS:  2 flat sheets, a lantern, laundry clips, rope, hefty ribbon (for ties), tags (click to download coral or green) and a bag, pillow case or tote to hold all the goodies.  i purchased a sheet set from target for $14, but exchanged the fitted sheet for a flat one from our linen closet.

next, cut 6 to 10 long strips of heavy ribbon or strips from an old t-shirt, 16″ long.  then, find the center of each strip and pin to the corner and sides of your sheets {see drawing above}.  then sew each strip in place going back and forth several times.

lastly, stuff the goods into your bag, write a thoughtful note to the recipient and head out the door with a handmade gift that kid-os and mamas are sure to gush over!

please let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for items to include in the fort kit by leaving a comment below….  i would love to hear from you!

xo . rae

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our little adventure (traveling with kids)

happy day after father’s day weekend!  hope you were able to spoil the important men in your life.  we facetimed with family on the east coast, made (and devoured) yummy food, and had a couple little adventures at my parent’s house.

i’ve missed you the last couple weeks…  despite my best intentions and a list of fun posts we wanted to publish i had trouble finding time to get them up!  however, tilly and i are back from so-cal, life has settled down and i’m excited to get the belated posts up!

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let’s start with this little travelers map we put together (before leaving for LA) so we can start keeping track of our adventures together as a family.  it’s still hanging up in the kitchen, but will probably be moved upstairs to the hallway outside the kids’ room.

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we cut triangles from patterned scotch tape (washi tape would work) to mark the places we’ve been with the kids.  our map is pretty bare….  looks like we have some traveling to do!

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—-> a little peek inside tilly’s carry-on:  trail mix, string cheese with crumbled tortilla chips to dip them in, ipod touch & headphones, colored pencils & a journal, candy wrappers to make this bracelet, sunnies for when we get off the plane, & some DIY postcards (download below).

—-> not pictured, in my carry-on: blow pops, gum & a copy of the friendship show.

(side note – no matter what kind of outing we go on i find that snacks or treats that take a longer time to eat are always a good idea…  keeps em busy & content longer!)

 i had fun putting together a carry-on for tilly’s first plane ride.  so much fun in fact that i totally failed to prep my little girl for what happens during take off.  she’s so daring and wild by nature and i was so excited to dig into her bag and play that it didn’t even occur to me!  well.  there was a minor freak-out episode involving threats of puking and wanting to get off the plane NOW.  ooops.  luckily she settled down quickly once the plane leveled out and barely acknowledged the takeoff on the way home.

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 a-few nights before our trip i stayed up late making a new messy bag out of drop cloth and this cute peacock fabric.  i fully intended for the body of the bag to be the peacock pattern, but i guess that’s what i get for sewing at 1am.  instead of getting my seam ripper out i opted for some painted polka dots to add some color and like how it turned out with such a pretty lining.

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we included these DIY postcards with the map poster download, but wanted to share them here (for freeeeeeee…. guess that movie?) to use during summer travels.

C L I C K   H E R E   T O   D O W N L O A D

speaking of summer travels, do you have any trips planned!?  road trips?  camping?  weekend getaways?  or maybe just lots of trips to fro-yo….  totally counts!

xo . rae

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play dates and picnics

before i begin this post, just want to say thanks you so much for all the sweet and encouraging comments regarding our morning show segment – you guys are the best!

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a few weeks ago, before the summer sunshine had made it’s way to the PNW, i got together with my friends trina (and her two littles – audrey & fin) and kim (who took all these great snaps!) for a picnic play date and test run of our new snack bags.

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the rain was an issue, so we planned on bringing the picnic indoors but ended up turning a boat over and sticking it under a tree – problem solved – no wet hineys!

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play dates are like a life line – “want to phone a friend!?” – don’t you think?  especially durning the summer months, so i thought it would be fun to share our calling cards as a free printable (play date cards and work for hire and babysitting cards for older kids to usetoo!).

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links to  D O W N L O A D  are at the bottom of this post.

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the girls were especially  s p i r i t e d  (ehem) that day so in addition to snack bag pics, kim took a generous amount of fun outtakes…

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the boys, on the other hand, were super chill.

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(rolly pollie finder…)

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(turned streaker…)

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(these two are sorta made for each other – audrey and tilly – so cray)

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(ozzie had recently taught us a funny hand jive about lamas, a moose and an awkward turtle.  it only felt right to pass it along to friends)

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(oh, have you guys tried honest kids juice pouches!? they are amazing and have half the sugar.  i picked these up at traget, but i’m sure they have them at other stores)

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(a picnic tote bag {with leather stripe} my mom put together that i’ve been using for almost all of our summer outings lately…  we’ll share a tutorial soon.  thanks mama!)

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now for the calling cards!  click on the links to download:

// have your people call my people, boy // have your people call my people, girl // let’s play // word bubble, boy // word bubble, girl // yard work // babysitting //

we also have some cute cards for us mamas, but the file was too big to upload, so feel free to email me and i’ll send you the file (rae at armommy dot com).

happy friday!

xo . rae

(images by kim charie) 
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throwback candy wrapper bracelet

hope everyone had a wonderful mama’s day with lots of spoilage going on!

our oldest (ozzie) had a baseball tournament (of all things, i know….  but it was really fun) so we split our time between family and the fields.  however, sometime around 2 yesterday, it was clear that the littles had hit their, busy weekend without a nap, limit – so i took them home for some R&R….  and a little paper craft.

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do you remember making things from candy wrappers as a kid?  maybe something similar to the bracelet above using starburst wrappers?  so fun, right?  well, i was hoping to get the same sort of look without actually unwrapping packages of candy, so i put together this template (you can download here).

matilda (4) was able to do most of the folding and then hand the pieces over to me to put together.  it’s always nice to have a project handy that doesn’t require a mess or tons of supplies!

to make your own, you’ll need this template or candy wrappers (if you really want to go old school), a printer, text weight printer paper, and scissors.

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1. print a couple pages of the template and cut the rectangles out.

2. pick a rectangle and fold it in half to make a crease, and unfold.  then fold each side into the middle.

3.  (excuse the change in paper….  just pretend it’s still the teal dots) fold each side in again, and fold one more time in half.

4. fold in half, lengthwise.  then just for the starting piece, fold the ends inside to the center.

5. next, fold a second piece of paper, but skip the second part of step 4.  instead, slide the ends through the folds in the previous paper and then fold the ends up to make a place for the next piece.

continue until your chain is long enough to make a bracelet…  we used almost two pages of the template.

diwy-candy-wrapper-bracelet-rae-ann-kelly-4what do you think!?  might be a good craft to bring on a long car or plane ride….  we’ll have to print some out for out trip to cali in a few weeks!

can you think of any other simple crafts you did as a kid?  we’d love to hear in the comments below!

hope your week is off to a fabulous start!

xo . rae

p.s. – thank you to everyone for your sweet, lovely and heart felt replies to my last post.  i was so blown away by your words and encouragement.  xoxoxoxo

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adventures in dress(ing)

a few years back i recall making a statement to my friend that went something like this…

“i almost never buy dresses because you can’t mix and match them…  you are just stuck with the same outfit that looks the same everytime it’s worn.”  (um, opinionated much? ha!)

truth be told, i was talking about dresses for tilly who was probably 18 months old or so, however i believed the same for myself.  tilly has since insisted on wearing dresses almost everyday and i have eaten my words more than once.

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//striped dress is a target sale find//pics by stacy jacobsen//thanks girl//

including TODAY because, i heart dresses.  heart wearing them.  heart how effortless they are to throw on and how put together i feel when i’m in one.  and (like any good “eat your words” story) i’ve found all sort of ways to mix and match.

just one or two of the following will do: tights, leggings, heels, flats, chunky sweater, cardi, belt, up-do, down-do, scarves, knee socks, crew socks, boots, jean jacket, blazer …..  what else?

now that we’re on the subject, what are your dress obsessions or hangups (i know, real deep, uh!)?  let us know in the comments!

xo . rae
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DIY did i do this?

ever see something at the store and think, i could totes (save money &) DIY that?

diy-floating-bookshelf-2then did you head to the man store to buy supplies and realize (a little too late) that, um your not really saving much?  ttthhhhheeennnnn, did you start putting things together, hanging, leveling, drilling, etc. and want to punch yourself for not just buying the store version?

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that’s what happened with the floating bookshelves we just put up in espen and tilly’s room.

i first saw the clever bookshelf (HERE) at urban outfitters for $14 each and decided that i wanted atleast 4 and maybe 6 for the middles’ room.  BUT for whatever (#imcheap) reason didn’t want to spend the $60-90ish that would take.

(you can also find them at the land of nod, here)

that’s how i wound up at the store buying 8 brackets for $5 each, saving me a total of $16.

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which is all fine and dandy, except that because we hung two brackets for each shelf, there was a lot of extra measuring and leveling and wall anchoring going on and it was at least twice as much work as the urban outfitters version would have been.

oh, and i still need to find big books at good will to glue to the brackets so you can’t see them….  something that isn’t necessary with the non-diy version.

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and (one last thing) the brackets are taller than the shelves at the store so you need to keep more books stacked up to hide them from view. (if that makes sense?)

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i am thankful however, that they still look pretty cute.

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here is a glimpse of the wall before the book stacking began.

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and what i swept out from under the kids’ cabinets.  their room gets a little out of control sometimes.

(as was griffey’s diaper at the time of this picture, LOL)

diy-floating-bookshelf-3so, there you have it…  a DIY gone DI-Y did i do this?!  it’s not the first, i’m sure it won’t be the last and definitely could have been worse!

howbout you?  ever had a similar experience?  or just assume when you see other people’s projects that they always turn out perf?  we’d love to hear your thoughts below!

oh and if you need an extra laugh today, here is a link to some funny pinterest fails…  should do the trick!

hope you have a beautiful friday, friend!!!!!

<3 . rae

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the cutest fabric easter eggs (a project i did with my mama)

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 my mom (aren’t they the best?) put together this clever little tutorial just in time for easter.  well, she put it together with plenty of time and i’m just now posting it in time.  aren’t they cute?  and they are a quick project to complete!

for this project, you will need:

the printable pattern you can find here,  fabric scissors, iron, fiber fill (stuffing), needle and thread, sewing machine optional, fabric of your choice (each egg uses 9 x 6.5″ piece or you can get about 5 from a fat quarter – 18 x 22).

 cut out your pattern.  there are two included on your printable.  for this tutorial we are going to use the one pictured above.  trace 2 of the patterns on the wrong side of your fabric.

cut them out.

iron the bottom tab up.  

place pieces of fabric right sides together.

sew around the pattern using a 1/4″ seam, back-stitching at each end.  leave the bottom open.

turn right side out and stuff with fiber fill.  this is a great job for the kids in your life.

once your egg is stuffed full, thread your needle, tie a knot at the end of the thread and make a running stitch around the open end of your egg.  pull the thread taught and tie, closing the opening.

now you have an adorable egg!  repeat the steps to make a collection.  you can also tie a thread through the top of the eggs so you can hang them.  my little ones have had a fun time sorting the easter eggs or hiding them throughout the house for someone else to go find.

to make the mis-matched egg, trace and cut the pattern and fabric as described.  then, right sides together, sew the top fabric to the bottom fabric using a 1/4″ seam.  then follow the remaining steps, starting with “iron the bottom tab up”….  outlined above.

as always, let us know if you have any questions!

xo . jane + rae

ps – don’t forget to tweet, pin or share what you like!

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making buttons with spoonflower

a couple years ago when my mom and i were developing threads (our video sewing classes), our minds would often wander to the world and possibilities of fabric design…. we contemplated what it would take to develop a few fabric collections and shop them around hoping to get picked up by a big textile company?

seeing as how we didn’t have the time & money to invest or the connections, we decided to put our little dream on hold…..  (sniffle)

until (that is!) just a couple weeks later when we stumbled upon SPOONFLOWER, and all our dreams came true.  no really, it’s like disney land for the crafty designer type.  we could design as we had the time and inspiration along side a talented community of indie designers.  you can read more about them HERE….  amaze-balls.

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needless to say, when they contacted us about featuring our hand warmer post, we were ecstatic.  when they asked if we had any other fat-quarter projects to share we answered with a resounding, “cha, do we ever!” and quickly started designing the buttons you see pictured above.

we would love it if you stopped by the spoonflower blog to check out the button making tutorial and some project inspiration for the buttons you make.

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/// C L I C K   T H E   I M A G E   to head there now ///

if you are joining us from spoonflower, (WELCOME!!!) below is one more idea to use the fabric covered buttons….  simply add them to a boys shirt!

fabric-boy-button-diy-armommy-cute, right!?  and perfect for adding some handmade charm to a store bought top!  easter maybe?  they’d be fun as cufflinks or a tie pin, too!

we’d love to know (in the comments below) what you think and how you would use your fabric covered buttons!

xo . rae

PS – oh, forgot to mention one more thing…  spoonflower also prints wall decals and wallpaper.  so even if fabric isn’t your thing, you should totally go check them out, HERE!

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fabric arrow banner DIY

i had the sweet privilege of designing a family photo card for my homegirl jaimie this past holiday season.  she had sent me a darling picture of her 2 boys and wanted the theme to be “all you need is love”.  so i cooked up a fun design that included the text and arrows you see below.  the card turned out supa cute, and i couldn’t wait to use the design again…

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… and decided to turn it into a  n o – s e w   f a b r i c   b a n n e r  you can  D I Y .

the project took about 15 minutes with 30 minutes of drying time.

S U P P L I E S :  you’ll need  a fat-quarter of our design on spoonflower here (or get a yard and make 4), fabric glue, no-frey fabric sealant, small dowel, a q-tip, and twine or ribbon for hanging.

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D I R E C T I O N S :

1.  cut the banner from the fat quarter of fabric and iron if needed.

2.  follow the directions on the no-fray sealant and let dry.  meanwhile cut the dowel a little wider than the banner (i used a steak knife….  prob not the best, but is worked!).

3.  turn the banner face down and lay the dowel on top about an inch from the top.  then squeeze a line of fabric glue an inch below that, smear with a q-tip and fold the fabric down over the dowel, leaving a little wiggle room.  press down along the glue and let dry.
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4.  then, all that’s left is to cut and tie twine to each end of the dowel….
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… and find the perfect place to hang it!

if you like the banner idea, or want to see more designs or maybe a template to make your own design or use with a patterned fabric, let us know in the comments!

xo . rae

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