Archive | fall

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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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.

diwy-candy-wrapper-bracelet-rae-ann-kelly-1

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.

diwy-candy-wrapper-bracelet-rae-ann-kelly-2

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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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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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.

fabric-button-diy-rae ann kelly-title-

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.

fabric-button-diy-armommy-projects-

/// 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…

love-banner-2

… 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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save a deer, make some antlers

since childhood i’ve spent countless weekends and summers at my parents cabin in the mountains.  it also happens to be  F U L L  of woodsy details and animal decor.  so when antlers hit the design world a few years ago they felt familiar and nostalgic and like everyone else i fell in love.

unfortunately, stumbling upon the perfect pair to decorate with can be tricky, so here is a pair you can DIY!

antler-valentine-template-1

(photo by stacy jacobsen of my little, tilly…  don’t you just want to tickle that tummy!? )

perfectly charming for valentines day, but oh so fitting for springtime too!  (tutorial below)

antler-cupcake-liner-flowers

SUPPLIES to make the cupcake liner flowers: 6 to 10 regular size cupcake liners, 8 to 12 mini cupcake liners, and a glue gun.

1. for each flower, lay one liner out on your work surface.  then fold each cupcake liner in half 3 times (see picture).  after the third time, you’ll have a point at the bottom….  fold it up so you have a little flap.

2. once all of your liners are folded, squirt some hot glue into the bottom of the main liner.  working quickly, add the folded liners by laying the flap in the glue (oh my word, i hope this makes sense….  thank God for pictures!).  continue until your flower is full!

3.  repeat steps one and two for all your flowers!  (we did 3)

antler-valentine-template-5SUPPLIES for the antlers: template (click the image to download), big piece of cardboard, box cutters or any other kind of sharp blade/scissors, paint or glue and glitter (optional) to embellish, hot glue or craft glue.

1.  trace template onto cardboard and cut out.

2. paint or glitter or embellish how you like (we painted the plaque and left the antlers ah natural).  let dry if needed.

3.  hot glue the antlers to the plaque and the cupcake liner flowers to the antlers.

holy smokes how i hope you enjoy this project as much as i enjoy sharing it with you!

please let us know where you would/will be hanging your antlers, in the comments below!

after Vday i’m pretty sure it will hang on our front door….  maybe with a little banner between the antlers.  we’ll see.

xo . rae

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glitter top & belt DIY’s

glitter…..  it used to just remind me of school dances (body glitter anyone?), but lately i’ve had a big fat crush on it.

it all started with a simple party nail and then began popping up in our design and craft projects and has now made it’s way into the lady closets in our home.  slightly unusual for me and my tomboyish ways (so a little goes a long way), but perfect for my girlie tilly.

armommy-diy-glitter-top-belt-2{image by STACY JACOBSEN}

and it makes for some simple (although messy) DIY’s and the timing is perfect with valentines day right around the corner.  here’s how we made the top & belt pictured.

T O P   d i y :  you’ll need glitter, mod podge, flat paint brush, clear fingernail polish, piece of chalk or colored pencil, piece of card stock and a top.

step 1:  slide a piece of card stock or cardboard inside your shirt to keep the glue from soaking through.  then, using chalk (which is easy to wipe away) or colored pencil, draw the pattern you would like to fill with glitter.

step 2: working in sections with a flat paint brush, apply a generous amount of mod podge and sprinkle with glitter.  dust off excess and gently press the remaining glitter. repeat until your design is filled.  allow to dry and then apply a light top coat of mod podge and let dry again.

step 3:  last but not least, brush a coat of clear nail polish over the glitter and let dry.  this helps seal the glitter so it will last through the wash, however you’ll probably want to hand-wash…  not sure it would make it through the washing machine!

to DIY the belt, follow step 2 above!  you could also cover an old bangle or the toes on a pair of shoes or hair accessory or….  any other ideas?

armommy-diy-glitter-top-belt-1

{images by STACY JACOBSEN}

just be forewarned – wearing glitter may cause side effects such as an irresistible urge to dance, stick out your tongue and act silly in general.  OMGosh!  body glitter makes total sense now!  ha!

n o t e s   &   d e t a i l s :

* i used the cheap kid craft glitter for tilly’s tops and a more expensive glitter (not powder) for my belt.

* on tilly – /polka dot top : target / white top : marshalls / sweater leggings : H&M /

* on moi – / wedge booties : target / coral top : american eagle / belt : came with a dress from the GAP / jeans :  j. crew /

that was fun!!  thanks for letting us share!

now, let us know in the comments below, where would you add some glitter!!?

XO . rae

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la la love the fringe (banner DIY)

as promised (HERE), we bring you a tutorial & template for the fringe banner!

although i’m really excited, i do wish i had a witty little story to share as an intro…. but, it’s late.  and there is a dirty kitchen calling my name.  and we have an early morning tomorrow.  and generally speaking my cell brains have been slaking off this week.  so i’ll spare you.

but, if you are feeling adventurous (i promise to proof read) keep scrolling for the toots……

love-day-banner

to make the letter banner, download this template, print on card stock, cut out, hole punch along the top (two in each letter), thread with twine and hang!

if you have colored paper that won’t go through your printer just print, cutout and trace the template onto your paper.

lala-love-bannerSUPPLIES you’ll need to make the fringe banner:  6 to 8 sheets of tissue paper (i grabbed tissue from the dollar section at target), scissors, a few pins, and thread and needle or a sewing machine.

1. make two stacks of 3 to 4 sheets of tissue paper in the same order.  lay one stack on top of the other so they overlap (about an inch) and fold in half.

2. use a a couple pins in the center and sides to keep the tissue paper together.  then sew a 1 inch seam along the fold to the tissue paper.

3.  using scissors, cut fringe, stopping 1 inch from the seam.  then gently scrunch the tissue so it looks a little messy and fun…  and ready to celebrate.

i meant to try making a version that didn’t require sewing, but ran out of time.  i’m guessing that there is someway to create one using tape or glue or staples.  if you have any ideas or suggestions, please let us know in the comments below!

la, la, love ya . rae

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my poor kids + a DIY

small confession.  i have 4 kids and none of them have a baby book.  i feel guilty every time i see one that has been diligently filled out by a really good mom (you know who you are!).  my poor kids.  sometimes i feel for them, but most days i’m cool with being the mom god gave them and that mom is not good at filling in charts or making a list of their favorite baby foods or keeping a lock from their first haircut.

there are however days when they say something funny or i notice something new about their personality or i want to tell them just how madly in love with them i am without it going in one ear and out the other.

and then there is my husband and oh my gosh i want him to have silly love notes from me during this season in our life and i want to remember our dinner table conversations and well i think you get the point.

problem is, i didn’t really have anywhere to record all this wonderful stuff until this happened:

printable-calendar-journal-note-card-10a little journal made out of index cards, mini file folders to keep things divided by months and a felt “box” to hold them in while they sit on our family room shelf.

it’s been so nice to have….  and would make a cute gift for the new year.

{keep reading for the instructions and download!}

printable-calendar-journal-note-card-6

SUPPLY LIST:  ruler, piece of felt, piece of cardboard, 400 – 3×5 index cards, tacky glue, 4 clips, scissors, the file folders & card stock

STEP 1: download and print your file folders.  cut your cardboard to 5-1/4 x 3-1/2 inches.  cut a piece of felt to  8-1/2 x 6-3/4 inches.

STEP 2:  ( s e e   p i c t u r e   b e l o w ) 

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STEP 3: fold the long sides of felt up around the cardboard and then the short sides…  you should have a little flap.  put a generous amount of glue on the flaps and wrap them around the sides of your felt.  use the clips to hold them in place.

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STEP 4:  allow to dry, remove clips and fill with index cards and dividers.

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then, place it somewhere handy or maybe even in the way so you remember to jot things down.  it would also be cute and fun to print and add photos to your journal!

so, how do you save memories?  journals, baby books, scrapbooks???  let us know in the comments!

we’ll see you on thursday with one of my favorite breakfast recipes and trust me, you don’t want to miss it.

xo . rae
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fall felt & banner

Fall is in the air…..  actually, not really.  It’s been in the 80’s around Seattle (80’s!).  While I appreciate the extra sun before the rain, I can hardly wait for the seasons to change.  Cozy sweaters, pumpkin patches, comfort food, apple orchards, hot cocoa, and the list goes on.

felt-fall-banner-rae ann kelly-1

Even thought it may be a few weeks before I can indulge in my list of favorites, it seems like the perfect time to get my home ready and festive for fall.  And by my home I mean the chalkboard wall in our kitchen (that I really hope you aren’t getting sick of seeing, ha!) and maybe a few pillows.  At least until the pumpkins are ready to pick.

About a year ago I hung a felt ball garland in the window of our family room and felt in love.  As it turned out, most everyone that walks through our door falls in love as well.  So, when it came time to look for inspiration for a fall banner & garland, I didn’t have to look too far.  (love when that happens)

A few days after deciding on the project, I “bumped” into Ruth of Felt Foxes on etsy and she totally hooked a sista up with some of her bright + whimsical felt balls. Good news is, she sent enough for me to share with you!  You can visit her shop (HERE), and find deatails about the giveaway at the bottom of the post.  It’s been so lovely working with her!

Now for the short  and sweet (30 to 45 minutes) garland & banner tutorial:

To make the garland you’ll want a generous amount of felt balls (I used about 12 per strand), twine or embroidery floss, a needle, scissors, and pliers or something to help pull the needle through the felt. (unless you have freakishly strong fingers)

1.) thread the needle (i had to feed the twine through one strand at a time).

2.) push the threaded needle through the ball and pull through using the pliers.

3.) repeat until you are happy with your garland!

To make the banner you’ll want 10 old book pages, twine, scissors, hole punch, & our happy fall template.

1.) open the template and place your book pages upside down in the printer.  The letters are mirror image so you’ll want to make sure an print on the side of the pages that you don’t want to be seen.  Then hit print.

2.) cut out the letters and hole punch twice at the top of each letter (the “H” will need 4 punches).  Thread the twine through.

To finish up, hang the garland and banner and arrange letters and felt balls until you are happy with them!

So charming and simple, right!?

To make your own you can head to Felt Foxes and add Ruth’s beautiful felt balls to your cart, OR leave a comment below, letting us know where you would like to hang your garland and win 100 felt balls, a bundle of twine and 10 pages from my book pictured in the middle of the post.

I WILL PICK A the WINNER is: Kelsey Arnett!  ON FRIDAY (9/21).

Excited to hear what you think!!!

xo . rae

P.S. – did you know that it’s Talk Like a Pirate Day!?  I plan on watching Goonies to celebrate.

It’s also my dad’s bday….  (Arrrgg ye daddey, happy birthday! … Now go walk the plank!! ha!)

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