Tag Archives | diy



So excited to bring back an old favorite today, homemade hand warmers, with a new design and bigger size. Just in time for Holiday gifting and the cold winter weather that has kicked in around here!

The hand warmers pictured are available in my Spoonflower shop as a cut and sew fabric pattern (perfect project for beginners or asking a friend that sews for help!) and takes a week or two to ship, so I recommend ordering ASAP if you want to make some before Christmas! Of course you can use whatever fabric you have on hand at home too. More details, links and instructions below.


All tied up and ready to make someone cozy-warm.




  1. Cut around gray lines and patterns on the cut and sew fabric or cut 4-inch squares from other fabric. Place fabric wrong sides together. Leaving 1-inch open at the end (to pour rice through – see pic below), and using a 1/4-inch hem, sew around the two squares. Back stitch when you start each.
  2. Pour rice into a small ziplock and cut a small hole in one of the bottom corners. Funnel rice into each warmer until approx 3/4 full. Place a pin next to each hole to keep rice from spilling out and sew closed.
  3. Trim around each hand warmer with pinking shears… it keeps them from fraying and looks extra cute! Trim loose threads too.

To use, place in microwave until warm (about 30 seconds). Just be careful when handling or handing over to little ones.

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One of my favorite parts (although at times an embarrassing part) is reading through old posts to see what I was thinking or feeling at that moment. One of the things I loved reading from the original hand warmer post that inspired this little DIY project was this:

“There is one thing I take very seriously… that my kids feel loved. Everyday. It would be easy for this task to become overwhelming, but luckily my kids have taught me that it’s the little things that matter.  Just one act of love goes a looooong way.”

It’s so, so true. Especially this time of year when the hustle and bustle is real and our calendars are full. The little things go a long way.

Happy 18 sleeps before Christmas!!!

XO, Rae




It’s no secret how easily kids are entertained by simple objects such as cardboard boxes, car keys, or just about anything in the Target dollar isle. Leaving us all to wonder why we spent money on the leap frog gadget… :)  Just this past week Poppy has been attached to the tackiest stuffed animal, from our trip to the fair, over all the other adorable plush stuffies laying around the house.

Todays mini maker project — DIY Toilet Paper Roll Binoculars — takes advantage of kids appreciation for simple things and (BONUS) gives them the perfect toy to take outside for a nature walk, bird watching, or looking at clouds!

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You’ll Need:

  • Toilet paper rolls
  • Small scraps of cardboard
  • Ribbon or string
  • Craft paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Glue gun (or craft glue)
  • Hole punch

Here’s How:

  1. Paint and decorate 2 toilet paper rolls. (Or use craft paper, or washi tape, or skip this step altogether)
  2. Put a thin strip of hot glue down the middle of one roll and stick to the other to make binoculars. Cut a small strip of cardboard and glue across the top-middle of the binoculars.
  3. Punch a hole in the outside of each of the tubes and thread with ribbon. (PSA: Leave ribbon off for younger kids and always supervise!)


Hours of entertainment from a couple TP rolls…. #winning!

XO, Rae




Baskets are my favorite way to store kids toys for one very simple reason. There is no real organization required when putting the toys away. I (or the kids on occasion) just toss everything in and call it a day. So when we needed a place to put all of the books that were accumulation in the boy’s room, I pulled out a trusty wire basket and pilled them up inside. In addition to being functional, the basket looked really cute full of books. But there was one problem. Pages and covers were starting to get bent and even ripped since being stored so haphazardly. It’s rare that I give a second thought to beat up or broken toys, but  books are different. They are such a sweet and important part childhood and ours definitely needed a better home. So I asked my handy husband to help make a fancy bin for them and loved how it turned out.

Sharing the DIY along with some of our current favorite books below…



You’ll Need –

  • 1 sheet of 4 x 8, 5/8 inch thick wood  (good quality and smooth)
  • Table saw  or bring measurement to local hardware store
  • 4 legs (found ours at Lowe’s)
  • Tape measure
  • Wood glue
  • Brad nail gun
  • Drill with drill bits
  • Stain &/or paint
  • Painters tape
  • Paint brush

Cut Wood Dimensions – (for an 8 x 30 x 13 inch book bin)

  • 1 bottom piece 13 x 30
  • 2 side pieces 8 x 13
  • 2 front / back pieces 8 x 31-1/4
  • 2 dividers 13 x 7-3/8 (8 inches minus 5/8 inch)

Here’s How –

  1. To make an 8 x 30 x 13 inch book bin, cut wood (or ask someone at the man store) to dimensions above. For a different size, carefully map out the measurements you need, taking the thickness of your wood into account, and cut.
  2. Lay your bottom piece flat on your work surface. Glue the sides of your bin to the edges of the bottom piece and secure with a small nail gun. Both sides should now be flush along the bottom of the box and flush to the front and back of the bottom piece.
  3. Next glue the front and back pieces in place and secure with a nail gun. These pieces will be flush to the bottom (like the side pieces) and flush to the sides, covering any cut edges of the bin.
  4. Place dividers in desired spots and nail them in. *TIP: Before adding the dividers, we grabbed some of the kids books and figuring out what sizes we needed to be able to fit. In the end we decided to make the middle section an inch or so bigger than the two side sections to accommodate bigger books.
  5. Drill a hole in the bottom 4 corners where you want your legs. Make sure your hole is smaller than the screw in the legs, otherwise your legs will be loose.
  6. Lastly, paint and/or stain your fancy new wood box to desired taste! Ours is stained and then we added a strip of wide painters tape along the top edge of the box and painted below – including the legs – for a “dipped” look.

Start to finish this project cost approx. $50 and took around 5 hours of hands-on time over the course of a few days– because deciding how and what to paint the bin was a struggle!!! Too much pressure after all that work of putting it together! Beyond happy with how it turned out tho.



Maya Angelou (Little People, Big Dreams) / The Book With No Pictures / The Day the Crayons Quit / The Dark / Danny and the Dinosaur / Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

rae-ann-kelly-book-bin-diy-8695 rae-ann-kelly-book-bin-diy-8728

Please share any current favorite kid books in the comments below. I asked a couple weeks ago on Instagram and got some great responses. Always looking to add new ones to our collection!

I’ll also do my best to answer any follow up questions about the tutorial if you have them.

XO, Rae



With Mother’s Day approaching quickly on the calendar, I thought it would be fun to to play with flowers! Not only are they an easy way to bring the outdoors inside but they add life to a space or someones day. Since I know nothing about choosing, cutting or keeping plants alive I asked my stylish and adorably pregnant friend Teressa (the brains and beauty behind Teressa Johnson Studio) for backup. She obliged and brought over a selection of flowers from her yard while I DIY-ed some tin can vases to put them in.


And here is how they turned out! Pretty cute I think. The vases of blooms (and succulents) can be grouped together for a centerpiece and then broken up and given as party favors or made as gifts for mommy friends on their big day.

Here’s how to make the vases but be sure to keep scrolling! At the bottom of the post, you’ll find a few really good and simple tips from Teressa about how to make floral arrangements.



  1. Rinse and dry tin cans.
  2. For a dipped look, use painters tape to tape-off the part of can you don’t want painted.
  3. Use acrylic paint to cover the untaped side and let dry. Repeat until the can is covered.


  1. Click to download the patterned paper and print on card stock.
  2. Rinse and dry tin cans. Measure the height and outside of the can and cut paper to size.
  3. Tape or decoupage the paper onto the can. If you choose tape, be careful not drip water on the paper or the pattern will smudge.

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Group the painted vases with the ones covered in fun patterns all together…

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… Or pick your favorite DIY (dipped or covered) vase and keep it simple.

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Clip “HEY MAMA” tags to the vases for a graphic touch or use as a gift tag.

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  1. Cut your stems at an angle so there is more surface to soak up water.
  2. If deciding on a color palette feels overwhelming, keep it simple by sticking to two colors. Greenery is considered a neutral.
  3. When blooms are sparse create an organic look by using only foliage.
  4. Use what you have or, what your neighbors have! Don’t be shy. If you spy something pretty in the neighbor’s yard, bring over a plate of cookies, compliment their blooms and ask to forage a few stems. It’s a great way to meet the people living around you and strike up a conversation.
  5. Last but not least, don’t take it too seriously — it’s not a science and should be fun and playful!

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So helpful, Teressa!

If you are local to the Seattle area I highly recommend checking out her latest brainchild, wild + gathered, recurring seasonal floral arrangements delivered right to your doorstep. And just like the arrangements from this post, the wild + gathered bouquets can be divided and shared with friends or spread out around the home or workplace.

Flowers make everything better. Yes?

XO, Rae




//Black brush stroke and teal tribal fabric from my Spoonflower shop//

I’m sure there are 100’s of these tutorials floating around the blogosphere, but it’s also one of those projects that saves money, can be done over and over again, get’s easier every time and always looks cute (even if the seams aren’t perfect) so figured it was worth sharing. Plus, we’ve probably all seen a yard of fabric or old curtain, shirt, sweater or blanket and thought, “Gosh that would make a cute pillow!” Amiright? Here is an easy way to make that thought happen…

SIMPLE THROW PILLOW (with an envelope close back)

You’ll Need –

  • Pillow insert (ikea or amazon is a great place to find these)
  • 1-yard of heavy fabric or less of two different fabrics (home dec weight or cotton canvas)
  • Fabric scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread and bobbin (color isn’t as important. You’ll only see a line of it on the back of the pillow)
  • Small piece of paper and pencil
  • Sewing pins
  • Iron (helpful but not necessary)
  • Yarn for pom-poms (optional)


Here’s How –

  1. Measure your pillow insert. Add 1-inch to the height and width and write it down. Cut fabric to the size you just wrote. This will be the front of your pillow.
  2. For the back of the pillow. Using the dimensions you wrote down earlier, divide the height in half and then add 3 or 4-inches. Using the same width as before, write down the second set of dimensions and cut two pieces of fabric to that size. (Example: if you have a 19-inch pillow form you’ll want to cut one 20×20-inch piece for the front and two 20×24-inch pieces for the back.). Next, fold the width of both back pieces towards the wrong side of fabric about a half inch. Run a warm iron over the top to hold in place. Fold the edge another half inch and iron in place. (If you like skipping steps, the second fold isn’t necessary.) Stitch along the folded edge using 3/8-inch seam allowance and repeat with the second back piece.
  3. Lay your front piece patterned side up. Lay your back pieces, overlapping and patterned side down on top of the front piece. Pin in place (I usually pin each corner and where the back pieces overlap).
  4. Stitch all four sides of the pillow with a 1/2-inch seam.
  5. Turn right side out and stuff with your insert
  6. To add pom-poms, use a seam ripper to make small holes in the corners of your pillow. Thread long pieces of yarn through the holes and hand-sew into place

If your pillow doesn’t come out perfect, don’t fret. Layer it with another pillow or two and I bet you won’t even notice! Or add to a kid’s room. Quirky things have away of fitting right in, in little kid spaces.

Of course this post wouldn’t be complete without Poppy on a pile of pillows being a ham…

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When it comes to pillows, do you like to buy or DIY?

XO, Rae

PS – if buying is more your style you might enjoy this post from yesterday :)




I like a little bit of Christmas in every room of the house and although it doesn’t always (or ever) happen that way I do try to find a few ways to bring Christmas vibes into the kids’ rooms.

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A festive garland, mobile made from ornaments, countdown chain, cozy sheets, kid made artwork (like Espen’s snowman he painted a couple years ago that makes my mama heart melt), does the trick when displayed together or alone.

Another option and one of my favorites (other than the kids art, of course) is decking the walls with a seasonal art print. A few weeks ago I started making a “FA LA LA” poster to put above Tilly’s bed and ended up making 3 other designs. Of course, what’s the point in designing stuff if I’m not going to share so you can download all 4 below!




And if there aren’t any unused frames laying around the house or you would like a fresh, new way to hang up a poster try turning it into a wall hanging using a couple pieces of wood and a leather string or ribbon.


  • 8 foot 1×2 inch piece of lumber
  • leather string or ribbon for hanging
  • drill and drill bit the size of the string your using
  • staple gun (really strong glue might work?)
  • cute art print


  1. Cut 2 pieces of the lumber about 1/2-inch wider than or the same width as the print. If you don’t have a way to do this at home, ask someone at the hardware store to do it for ya.
  2. In one of the cut pieces of lumber, measure 1/2 to 1-inch in from the edge and drill a hole your string or ribbon can snuggly fit through… remember you can always make it bigger if it doesn’t fit.
  3. Thread the string or ribbon through the holes and knot the ends.
  4. Staple lumber to the top and bottom of your print and hang!

Happy Thursday + hall decking + merrymaking + Christmas and oh, my I’m glad it’s almost Friday!

XO, Rae


PS – For Christmassy kids room inspiration and ideas head HERE. It’s an oldie but goodie!




(My friends little girl, Bellamy with one of the blankies)

Shortly before Poppy was born I splurged on a couple jersey knit baby blankets. Partially because they seemed more swaddle friendly than the muslin version and partially because I adored the fabric patterns they came in… (justifying purchases comes easy to me in the 3rd trimester). But I had no idea just how handy they would be. I used them for everything from swaddling to nursing (because of the generous size) to wiping spit up and everything in between.

I also had no idea just how simple it would be to make a few. The ones I purchased were finished with a serging machine but I’m going to show you a no-fuss way to finish the raw edges with a regular sewing machine.

(I’ll share a NO-SEW version below as well!)



  • about 1 to 1-1/2 yard of cute jersey knit fabric (stretchy legging type material – I made these designs bows/brrr/bears for a collaboration with Hen&Co. and they are available in my Spoonflower shop now!)
  • coordinating or contrasting sewing thread and bobbin
  • sewing machine
  • scissors (if you have a designated pair for fabric it helps!)



  1. If needed, trim fabric to the size you want your blankets. Mine are 36×42 inches which is a generous size but could be a little bigger.
  2. Thread sewing machine and set to: zig-zag stitch, stitch length 3, stitch width 7, and normal tension (mine is between 3-4). This is honestly the hardest part, LOL.
  3. Practice sewing a 1/8″ seem along the edge of one of your jersey knit fabric scraps. If you don’t have a needle plate with measurements on it (see pic), feed the fabric through the middle-right of your presser food. The raw edges of the fabric bunches and rolls a little which gives it a rick-rack looking edge.
  4. After a little practice, repeat the same technique, sewing a zig-zag stitch along all the edges of your blanket. Tie loose threads, trim and your done!

NO-SEW OPTION: Jersey knits don’t usually fray so you can actually just cut and use without sewing. The difference is that the edges will roll up and might get annoying so try brushing cut edges with a liquid stitch to see if that helps!


How sweet is little Winnie Wilde  all swaddled up? You can also find leggings in the new winter fabric designs in her mama’s shop at Hen&Co on Etsy…. More on that soon!

Hopefully you have a babe or mama-to-be on your shopping list to gift one or more of these to. They really are so useful. Let me know if you have any questions about the DIY instructions or sewing in general.

XO, Rae




Happy (cyber) Monday! Thought I would interrupt all the shopping with a really easy to make Christmas decor DIY inspired by these handcrafted houses by Threshold from Target. A trip to the man store and a little paint is all you need!


I had purchased a couple of the Threshold version (shown above on instagram) for the built-ins in our family room and wished I could get a bunch more to decorate our mantel with at Christmas but I also wanted them to have a pop of color. Instead of buying more and then potentially not liking how they looked with a little paint, I asked Johan to help with a DIY version and these cute little houses were born.

decorative-wood-house-diy-2To make your own, YOU’LL NEED:

  • 1 – 2×6 piece of lumber (usually 8 feet long)
  • 1 – 2×4 piece of lumber (usually 8 feet long)
  • Chop saw or a really helpful employee at the man store
  • Sand paper or sanding brick
  • Paint and small paint brush (optional)


  1. Decide how tall you want your houses — Ours are about 8, 7, 6 and 5 inches tall from bottom to peek.
  2. Measure on wood and cut (either at home or at the hardware store).
  3. To make the roof, set the chop saw to a 45 degree angle and make a cut to the middle of the top of your wood. Repeat cut on the other side.
  4. Smooth out all edges with sand paper or brick.
  5. If desired, paint roof tops. I used the hand made modern acrylic paint from Target but any kind of craft or interior paint will do.

Let me know if you have any questions. They look really cute bunched together, alone under a glass dome or in a kid’s room with some bottle brush trees. Now I’m off to check a few things off our shopping list!

XO, Rae



hanging-plant-diy-2The girls shared room makeover has been  s  l  o  w   going since my last post (in february! oh, my!). We had decided not to paint the walls but the grey-ish, tan-ish color, although pleasant, was really killing the vibe I was going for. So last week we got the tape and rollers out and painted the walls white and now I’m all in decorating mode and can’t wait to finish up. Nothing jumpstarts a home dec project like a fresh coat of paint!

Here’s what Poppy’s wall looked like pre-paint:


Still love the sleepy eye decals but will need to pick a different color (any suggestions?).

The hanging plant turned out super cute too exempt the paper planter I made (with a plastic cup insert) isn’t holding up very well. Think I’ll opt for hanging a few of these planters from IKEA in front of the girls’ window and away from a sleeping babies head instead. Plants make a big difference in a room but I am always hesitant to add them to little kid spaces… actually I’m really bad at adding them anywhere but especially in the kids’ rooms. However, I love the look and function (away from little hands) of hanging one or a few up and it literally took just a few minutes to make…. Instructions below!


You’ll Need:

  • 30 feet of para cord (check your local craft store or etsy!)
  • key chain ring
  • small planter
  • scissors

Here’s How:

  1. Cut the cord into 5, 5-1/2 foot pieces and fold them in half to make a loop.
  2. Place the key ring over the loop and pull the ends through to make a knot and pull tight.
  3. Take two cords and make a knot 11 inches down from the ring. Pull tight. Repeat until you have 5 knots and sections.
  4. Now take the left cord from one section and right cord from the next section and tie them together in a knot about 6 inches down.
  5. Place the planter in between the cords and gather the cords together at the base of the planter (extra hands or a hook to hang the ring from are helpful for this part!). Grab the longest cord wrap and tie it around the rest and pull tight.
  6. Lastly, (I missed this step!) trim the ends of the cords and leave as they are or fray.


Super cute, right!? And I’ve seen them made with yarn too if you don’t want to track down para cord.

Can’t wait to finish the room and share pics with you!

XO . Rae


MINI MAKERS: straw wind pipe

Out of all of my kids, there’s one that lives to do arts and crafts and another that will participate if there is nothing better to do, but ALL of them love to make things. Anythings and all things they can get their hands on, food, indoor forts, outdoor forts, mobiles, race tracks, mini zip lines, obstacle courses, bracelets, etc.

Here’s a simple craft using household supplies that’s for the mini artist and makers alike and with summer vacay just weeks away I’m dying for any new projects that will keep the little ones busy for a hot minute (or ten!).


You’ll Need:

  • Straws (plastic or paper but the sound isn’t very loud with paper – pictured are from IKEA)
  • Tape (any kind will work)
  • Scissors (kid scissors will do the trick with plastic straws)

Here’s How:

  1. Tear off a large strip of tape and lay flat on a work-surface, sticky side up. Line straws up in the middle of the tape, towards the top of the straws (we used 8). Keeping the straws flat wrap the tape around the straws to secure.
  2. Cut straws at an angle and making music! The different length straws make different sounds.

Unlike most real instruments in the hands of little humans, the sound from the straw wind pipes is very sweet and subtle so you don’t have to worry about irritating the neighbors or waking baby up.

 Have any fun and simple crafts up your sleeve? Please share!

Here is another straw craft from last summer to checkout.

XO . Rae


crafting with the land of nod (paper christmas trees)

happy, happy friday friends! if your looking for a break from the christmas hustle and bustle or need an easy craft to keep the kids busy while you wrap gifts, head over to the land of nod blog for this fun tree project. the ones pictured below are my handiwork, but my littles made a bunch more later in the day that turned out far more creative and cute and now add a nice christmassy touch to their rooms.

paper-christmas-trees{HEAD HERE FOR FULL TUTORIAL}

just got 4 out of 5 kids out the door this morning for their last day of school before christmas break and i can hardly wait for them to walk through the door this afternoon. we don’t have any fancy outings or trips planned but i’m looking forward to finding activities close to home and am realizing more this year than ever that family time doesn’t have to be a big deal to be special. maybe we’ll invite friends over (in jammies) for breakfast or get bundled up for a hike or drive around and look at lights…

as we head into the holidays, i’d love to know what simple but festive activities you have planned?

xo . rae

{images by stacy jacobsen}