Activity Mat for busy bees

diy chalk mat for toddlers

playing on activity mat with carsI have two little busy bees at home!  Every now and then we enjoy going out for breakfast or for dinner. As we all know, sometimes  it can be challenging to keep them occupied while waiting for food or when we are still eating. Sandy from Frollein S asked me if I could create something out of her chalk fabric and I immediately got the idea of the activity mat which I can take with me when we go out.Chalk Diy Activity MatThe mat is reversible! I used jersey fabric on one side and the chalk fabric on the other side. This way the boys play with their cars on the streets or draw on the other side with chalk!playing on activity mat diyThe kids are fascinated and entertained for a while. At some point we had about 8-10 cars on the mat and Liam yelled “Crash” all the time 😀diy activity matElliott is learning to write his name and the ABC’s, so he prefers the chalk fabric now. He practices writing his name. Liam likes coloring and doing anything his brother is doing– he sits down every day and colors – coloring books, blank pages, not blank pages, walls, himself etc. 🙂  He is the artiste’! diy chal matabc did activity matI’ve sewn big pockets on the chalk side this way we can add cars, chalk, cards, trains or shapes to them.  pocket diy activity matI also added elastic to the side seam and a button to the mat , hence I can fold the sides and roll it up and use the elastic to close it. Once rolled up it fits in my purse or backpack. The mat is super light even with all the pockets filled and not super bulky. rolled up diy activity mat chalk and streetrolled up activity mat with chalk fabric and jerseyJust a tip when you create your own mat: Add stabilizer to the jersey or at least the corners, this way it doesn’t stretch when sewing. I used a clean kitchen sponge to remove the chalk, you can scrub the fabric no problem.

Let me know if you need some help or send me pictures of yours and I will post it to the blog!

Fabrics by Frollein S and Pattern by me

 

Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s Day from us!crayon diy heart valentine v-dayWe hope you have day filled with small and big memories. I am planning on making heart pancakes for the boys today! It’s the first time I am home with the kids on Valentine’s Day.

Elliott and I made treat bags for his pre-K class and made some crayon hearts. We put some pencils, sharpeners, stickers and the hearts in the bags and of course Elliott’s Valentine’s card. diy hearts valentine crafts crayon crayola I tried to melt different crayons in a tin and then add it the silicon form. That took more patience than I actually had :). Also boiling water with kids, I always get a bit nervous about the heat. I ended up breaking the crayons in different small pieces and just layed them into the form and used a hairdryer to melt them. That was a lot faster than melting each individual color.crayon hearts diy wax wachsmalstifteIt’s quiet fun to see how each individual heart turns out and none of them are same. diy crafts heart melt crayonEnjoy your day! May it be filled with love and lots of crafts <3

Clear vs White Shrinky Dinks

heart earings shrinky dinks diy

shrinky dinks diy storm troopers star warsMy new favorite crafting material are Shrinky Dinks – draw on a sheet of plastic and put it in the oven and voilà you have your own hard plastic. Whaaat?! 😀 stormtrooper diy star wars earringsI’ve made my first pairs of earrings for my oldest Star Wars Birthday party. Also made the kids Jedi badges, after they completed the training at the party. I’ve tried them both, the clear and white version. Below you can see the clear version and top is the white version. I just made a pair for Valentine’s Day earrings with simply a red sharpie, again with white Shinky Dink Paper, because it will bring out the colors better. heart earings shrinky dinks diyHere are some tips, I learned from my experience with crafting with the 2 different Shrinky Dinks papers (clear and white):

  • Use sharpies,  any water content in your pens will make your plastic wave
  • The white paper doesn’t shrink as much as the clear. Make sure you test the sizing of your work.
  • Test the timing on your Shrinky Dinks. It makes a difference if you place your paper on a cool baking sheet or a warm/pre-heated baking sheet.
  • Keeping white in too long turns them yellow-brownish – I only kept mine in for 1 minute
  • The white doesn’t take as long as the clear to shrink.
  • The clear creates a structure one side, white is smooth and shiny on both sides
  • You will see glue spots on clear Shinky Dinks- I used a double-sided sheet to attach felt on my badges.
  • Acrylic paint reacts different on clear vs white shrinky dinks.

I hope the tips were useful for you!! Oh the endless possibilities! ❤heart diy shrinky dinks

Lego Valentines – Free Printable

Free Printable - Lego

Free Printable - LegoToday I am sharing my Free Printable with you. This is perfect for any Lego lover.The kids can create their own little figurine and while working on them they train their fine and gross motor skills.two lego diy printables freeWhat you need:

  • Cardstock Paper
  • Printer
  • Brass Fasteners
  • Scissors
  • whole punch

I’ve printed each out and cut them into pieces so I could get them into a bag. Depending on the age you can either already cut them out or leave them for the kids to cut. Same with the punching the wholes.

cut not attached diy paper craft printable lego

The kids can use a crayon, pencils, markers or paint. We used pencils and crayons. First we colored them and then we cut the pieces out, punched the wholes in the marked spots and used the fastener to get them attached.coloring free printable diy paper craft

You can also add stickers to the bags for decorating. I included instructions for parents  and a warning of small pieces. 2 lego figurines diy paper craft freeThese are fun and can be used as party favors or an afternoon activity. We used ours for Valentine’s! valentine s day bagsI’d love to see your creations ! Post them on my Facebook wall and let me know what you think. Free Printable Lego Puppet Made by Lili

From Inspiration to finished Product

freya ladies finelys diy sewing black

It has been pretty cold in Seattle and a lot colder than usually. I am sitting by the fire in the sun and enjoying the warm heat coming from the fire place. I am surrounded by 2 buckets of laundry waiting to be folded but I wanted to share one of my favorite pieces made by me with you.freya ladies finelys diy sewing black

Oh how much I love my Freya Ladies from FinnLeys. I wear the sweater all the time with a long sleeve shirt in Winter or 3/4 sleeve in Fall Spring. It keeps me nice and warm under my winter coat at the moment. 

When I tested the pattern for Finnleys, most of the girls would do these super cute colorful creations, which are fun and playful. My closet rather consists out of black or dark blue and I don’t wear much playful colors or patterns. Yes, I have some spring/summer colors floating around, but I tend to grab the black dress over the red one all the time. freya ladies finelys diy sewing black side view

I browsed Pinterest a bit and ended up finding some cool jackets with leather or pleather pieces. And I really wanted to incorporate that into my design. freya ladies finelys diy sewing black inspiration board

I never worked with Pleather before. The one I used is highly stretchy and reacts like any other Jersey. Took me a bit to figure out, that I needed to be to be more careful while sewing almost non-stretch with super stretchy fabric together. So one of the armholes is a bit more stretched than I usually like to, but I still love it! <3I started a second sweater out of sweater knit with my own piping, when I ironed the piece I forgot that I made the piping out of polyester and it melted away in the middle of the sweater. So sad, now I have to take the whole thing apart and do it over again!.

I’ll post pictures of the new one once it’s fixed. It might take a while because opening Serger stitches on sweater knit takes forever. Especially black on black 😀

These awesome pictures are done by Jennifer Burns from Trellis Photography. Thank you Jen <3 She also takes our family pictures!