Simple Halloween Craft Ideas

I love the idea of decorating for the holidays, but because we live in such a small space decorating usually isn’t something I prioritize. The issue really is that we have nowhere to store the decorations once the holiday is over…so I don’t even try to do anything. Christmas is the only holiday we have decorated for since we moved here! This year though, I realized I can still decorate to make it feel a little more “Halloween-like” here. I just have to be a little more creative in the decorations I choose.

Toilet Paper Pumpkins 2

Materials: toilet paper roll, fall colored fabric squares (20″x 20″), and felt to make the stems. Just put your toilet paper roll in the center of the fabric square, and fold the edges up around the toilet paper and into the tube. Cut out a felt stem and decorate with some fake leaves if you have them. Done!

Eye See You Nails

This is actually a manicure I posted two Halloweens ago when I was barely starting to mess around with blogging. Paint your nails black and when dry, add two medium sized white dots. Let dry for a minute, and add two black dots on top of the white dots for the pupils. Let it dry and protect it with a top coat. Cute and spooky!

Spooky Face Clothespins 2

This is a fun craft that kids can have fun with too. I used googly eyes, jumbo fuzzy pipe cleaners, and felt to decorate my clothespins. I attached everything with hot glue, so if kids are participating make sure they only do the designing and an adult does all the gluing! I’m using my spooky face clothespins to hang our Halloween cards and other letters we are getting from family and friends. Fun!

Tissue and Cotton Ball Ghosts

My mom used to make these every year and hang them from our fans in our bedrooms, so when I see them, I always think of her. All you need are cotton balls, tissues, and some kind of string (I used dental floss). Place your cotton ball in the center of the tissue, fold the tissue down over it, and tie it off, leaving the string long enough that you can create a loop at the top to hang it with. Use a sharpie to draw a ghost face, and you’re done! *Bonus* Use fishing line to hang them with to make it look like they are really floating in mid air!

Ghost Footprints

Baby footprint crafts are always tricky. Luckily, you don’t have to try to get the footprints perfect for these ghosts to be adorable! All you need is paint, paper, and a baby. I mean…I guess you don’t have to have the baby. You can do it yourself if you want to. They would just be much larger ghosts!

Aren’t these cute? Other than the dry time for the nail polish, these crafts all take less than 15 minutes to put together. They are all relatively small too, so you can still feel like you’re embracing the holiday spirit without feeling like your house is being taken over by craziness.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out my Pinterest page to see what I’m feeling inspired by this year!

Linking up with Lisa for the Halloween Holiday link up!

DIY Number Onesie

For Evan’s birthday I really wanted him to have an adorable birthday outfit. I had pinned a dozen or so ideas for a cute little outfit with dark wash jeans, suspenders, and a bow tie, but all that fanciness just didn’t really fit into our casual beach celebration. I was going to just go to the store and try to find a birthday onesie for him, but the only store I was sure I would find one at was Babies ‘R’ Us and I didn’t feel like driving 30 minutes for an overpriced onesie that he would only wear once. So instead, I decided to make him a onesie with a big number one.

Evan Jay  One year  001

This whole project cost me less than $5 and I absolutely loved the way it turned out! I don’t have a sewing machine so I ended up hand sewing the whole thing, but if you have a sewing machine I can’t imagine it would take you very long to make either. Quick, inexpensive, and adorable?! That’s my kind of project.

What You Need:
A onesie (it doesn’t have to be white)
A square of fabric in the pattern of your choice (available at Walmart for about $1)
A number in the font of your choice printed out on regular paper from your computer
Not Pictured- Fray Check (available at Walmart for about $3 if you don’t have some already)
A needle and thread or a sewing machine
A pencil, for tracing

*Baby toes not required*

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The How To:
1. Find a font you like and type the number you want to make for the onesie. Make it as big as you want it to be actually sewn on. Print it out and cut it out exactly.
2. Iron the fabric so that it lays flat. Lay the number down on the “wrong side” of the fabric and trace around the number leaving about 1/4 to 1/2 inch margin all the way around it. Make sure you are tracing it so that the number is the right way!!! You don’t want to flip the fabric over to the “right side” and realize you traced it backwards.
3. Cut out your number and put fray check over all of the edges. You don’t want it to come apart later! Let that dry for a few minutes.
4. Figure out where you want the number placed. I wanted a big number one right in the middle of the onesie. You can tack down the fabric if you’d like, but it isn’t necessary.
5. Hand sew or use a sewing machine to finish it off. I liked the way it looked to leave a margin around the edge, but if you want to you can also sew exactly around the edge for a different look.

You’re done!

Finished onesie

If you decide to make one, let me know how it turns out! Tag me on social media and use the hashtag #mariasmilingdiy.

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DIY Bow Back Shirt with Lace

Bow Back Header

Front and Back

Bow Back 1

It’s no secret around here how much I love Old Navy. (I know, I know…enough already, right?) Sorry! But not really. I love a good deal, and their clearance is hard to beat.

A few weeks ago I found this adorable Eiffel Tower graphic tee and I loved it. I instantly had a few outfit ideas in mind, so I scooped it up and was excited to bring it home. When I got home and re-tried on everything I bought (everyone else does that too, right?) I realized there were two small holes in the back. Ugh. I was kinda upset, but I only paid a few dollars for the shirt…so I realized I couldn’t be that bummed out. I looked the shirt over and decided I was going to try to save it.

Now…I’m a total novice when it comes to anything sewing. I know pretty much absolutely nothing. I don’t own a sewing machine, and I’m pretty sure the sewing I do by hand is wrong. Can sewing be wrong? I really think mine is. Anyway, I decided I loved the idea of doing a bow back shirt because it can usually be done without sewing anything at all, which instantly sold me on the idea. When I looked at the back of the shirt again, I realized that the holes were a little too far down for a bow back to work and still be modest enough…so I went back to the drawing board. I came up with this! I love love love the lace with the subtle pink color behind it, and I still get to have the fun flirty bow I originally wanted! Plus it is still plenty modest and I don’t have to worry about being too exposed. And the best part…I did this all without sewing it.

So, here is how to do it! You will need:

What You Need

A t-shirt, lace, cotton fabric, a pair of scissors, and liquid stitch (original). Oh, and a ruler or tape measure of some kind will help you out a ton, but I guess it isn’t essential.

I got all of my supplies at Walmart, other than the shirt. The lace and cotton fabric were in the fabric section and were only a few dollars a piece, and the liquid stitch was just a few aisles over in the sewing section and was about $3. I love inexpensive DIYs!

The how:
Just to reiterate…I’m no expert, so I might be doing this wrong. I decided to just wing it, and I like how it turned out!

I went ahead and measured to find the middle of the shirt and lightly drew a line down the middle in pencil.

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See the holes? They’ve gotta go!

Next, I decided how high up I wanted the lace to come. There was nothing technical about this. I eye balled it. Once I decided how high I wanted it, I lightly drew a horizontal line across the back where I was going to stop cutting to allow for the bow. Then, I cut it. Actually it took me like 3 minutes to convince myself to do it. I was nervous I was going to mess it up!

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Bam! Did it!

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You can’t see it here, but I DID NOT cut off the sides of the shirt. They are folded under, about 3 inches on each side.

After I cut the shirt, I decided how much lace I wanted showing in the back. I knew I wanted the shirt taken in about an inch on each side in addition to the alterations I was doing, so I decided I wanted about four inches of the lace overlay down the middle. I made sure to take into account the three inches of t-shirt on each side that I had measured as well.

To make the lace and pink cotton fabric a little easier to work with, I glued one end of the lace down to the top of the fabric strip, and cut them both to be about 6 inches wide so I had some room to work with (aka in case I messed up a little).

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Fancy angle photo! Haha, sorry y’all…I did this late at night. Sleepy Maria was the one taking the pictures.

Once I had that somewhat secured, I made sure my shirt was the right side out…not inside out. I folded under the three inches of fabric on each side, just like you see in the picture above this one. I was going to attempt to do this all with the shirt inside out, but I knew I would mess it up that way. All I did from here was place the pink and black lace piece underneath the back of the shirt, lined up the lace pattern as I wanted it, and began to glue it down.

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Everything all lined up…

I put one thin line of glue down one side of the pink and black lace piece at a time, and lightly pressed down. Once I had both sides secure, I folded both the top and bottom flaps over and secured them with the liquid stitch as well. I glued down the seam at the top (which would become the bottom of my bow) just to give it a more polished look, and then I gathered the material at the top so the bow would look a little pleated. I wrapped a piece of lace around the bow to secure it, and then I did sew that by hand just to make sure it was completely secure (I didn’t trust the glue for that part). It turned out like this:

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Pretty bow! Oh, I also used my needle and thread to tack down the sides just at the top of the lace to make it lay nicely.

The glue needs to dry for at least 30 minutes, but as I mentioned before, I did this just before bed so I let it dry overnight. Full disclosure: I’m almost positive that I’m going to bring this to one of my friends with a sewing machine so I can go over all of the seams, just to be safe. I really like the way this turned out and I want it to last! From everything I read online about the liquid stitch, it seems to be pretty common for it to loosen or detach in the wash. It seems like it’s a solid hold for things that wont be worn/washed all the time though. I wore this today though just being held together by the adhesive with no problems at all.

So there you have it! Finished, and no more pesky holes!

Finished back

Ta-da!

You can dress this both up and down depending on how you’ll be spending your day. I wore it to work with nice black dress pants and some white heels, and then came home and got a little more comfortable with some cute skinny jeans and my favorite flats.

If you try an alteration like this I’d love to see it! Find me on social media (all my links are at the top right hand side of this page) and tag me!

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DIY Monogrammed Tote

If you follow me on Instagram, earlier this week you probably saw me post about this easy peasy DIY tote.

Monogrammed Tote

I was inspired by this tutorial I found while browsing Pinterest one day, and decided it looked easy enough to do. The tutorial also got me thinking about a DIY t-shirt idea, but it requires me to use a sewing machine. Not only to I not have a sewing machine, but I have no idea how to use one. I have plenty of friends who I can call on to help me, but it will take just a bit more planning on my part than being able to sneak in a quick craft during nap time.

Anyway, here is how you can make your own monogrammed tote!

Oh, also, I should probably mention that you can do this all for under $10. If you already have fabric paint and brushes at home, it is even less expensive! I love being crafty for cheap, y’all.

What you’ll need:
Doilies (I used 10 inch because that worked best with the size of my tote, but you can use whatever size you’d like)
A tote (This one was about $3 at Walmart)
Paint brushes (No special kind! Whatever works)
Fabric paint(s) in the color of your choosing
An X-acto knife or cuticle scissors (Just something to cut out the stencil you make)
A pencil (for tracing)

What You Need

Preparing the doily:
I went on dafont.com and found a really pretty font I liked (I think it was called Monogram KK?) and traced it onto my doily. If Walmart hadn’t been sold out of every single x-acto knife they carry I would have then cut the stencil out using that, but instead I used a cuticle scissors and it worked just fine.

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Note: Make sure you have the letters traced on straight and aligned with the way you want the doily pattern to lay. I may or may not have needed to do this twice to get it just right. Haha I also may or may not be a complete Type A perfectionist…so maybe you won’t be quite as crazy as I am.

The How To:
I ironed my tote to make sure it was laying flat and there were no wrinkles or ridges from where it had been folded. You don’t want bumps or an uneven pattern! The tutorial I had read said something about a spray on adhesive that I could use to help position the doily without allowing it to move around, but I didn’t have anything like that. I just laid mine down and was really careful while paining. Once I started to put the fabric paint on, it didn’t move around much.

I painted small sections at a time, making sure to dab the paint on more than using long brush strokes. The doily is after all, just paper, and I didn’t want it to tear or to move and ruin the pattern. I did the outside perimeter first and then worked on the letters in the center.

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Once everything was painted in, I carefully picked up the doily and saw my almost finished work. I had to finish the swirls of the letters by hand because I wasn’t able to cut out such a skinny section using cuticle scissors. I just eye balled it to finish the letters.

I took a step back to look at the finished product, and I’m not gonna lie to you guys…I loved it. I even did a little dance. You can ask my husband. He was laughing at me, haha.

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Tote with outfit

There you go! The fabric paint I used said to let it dry for at least four hours, and since I did this just before going to bed it had plenty of time to dry overnight. I’m sure you could spray some kind of scotchguard protector on the bag to help it to become more stain resistant, but I didn’t have anything like that nor did I want to wait longer to use it, so I didn’t do anything else to it.

Some tips:
Tip one: Don’t use a white bag like I did. I only picked this one because it was only a few bucks on the shelf at Walmart and I figured if my DIY was a complete disaster at least I wouldn’t have wasted a lot of money. But it did turn out well, and now I wish I would have used a nicer bag. Oh well! This was simple enough to do…I’ll probably end up doing it again in the future.

Tip two: Make sure you use fabric paint. I would hate for you to finish your project, eventually wash the bag, and see your design disappear or get ruined.

Tip three: Be sure to put something–like a piece of paper or cardboard–inside the tote to make sure the paint doesn’t bleed through and stain the back of your tote! Luckily this didn’t happen to me but I’ve had this issue with fabric paint before, and it can ruin a whole project!

Okay, I think that’s it! I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial and can go get creative monogramming things of your own! If you do, tag me on Instagram so I can see your awesome creations!

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Moonlight and Mason Jars//Tattered to Taylored//Your Whims Wednesday//Wow Me Wednesday//Whip it up Wednesday//Inspire Me Wednesday//Treat Yo’ Self//Made By Me//The Project Stash//Crafty Thursday Obsessions//Artsy Corner//What You Wish Wednesday//Whatever Goes Wednesday//Worthwhile Wednesdays//Pretty Wednesday//Work It Wednesday

 

DIY Beaded Necklaces

When you’re on a budget, it can be much less expensive and way more fun to get creative and make jewelry rather than buy it. And why not? These necklaces are so easy to make! I will say, I am completely new to the jewelry making world, so it is completely possible that there are much easier or more correct ways to do this. That being said…this process seems to have worked for me. I also know that there are lots of tools dedicated entirely to beading and jewelry making, but I don’t have any of those. My husband, however, has a wide variety of tools…and now they are used to both work on the car and make necklaces. Haha. Hey, it works.

What you’ll need:

What you need

Beading wire, seed beads, crimp beads, jump hooks, clasps, and a pliers of some sort. You’ll also need scissors, but I forgot to add them in the picture!

I didn’t know how these were going to turn out since this was my first attempt at jewelry making, so instead of buying everything separately I bought this “value pack” that had most things included. Next time I’ll just buy crimp beads, jump hooks, and closures separately. By the way, I got all of this stuff at Walmart, so you don’t need to live by a craft store to find these things–I certainly don’t! Hawaii could use some good craft stores…

Anyway, I started by deciding how long I wanted the necklace to be and cutting off a section of beading wire. I taped off one of the ends and then strung on all of the beads; for the bright green necklace this was simple! I made all of the strings of beads the same length and all the same color, so there really wasn’t much guesswork. For the layered necklace it was a bit trickier getting everything the right length and spacing the beads correctly. I really don’t have advice for this part. It was just a lot of guesswork. If any of you have a good way to do this, I would love to hear your tips!

After I had everything beaded and taped off, I threaded the ends through a crimp bead, looped it, and fed the ends through the bead again, like so: Crimp bead loop collage

Once the loops were formed and the beads crimped, I threaded them onto a jump hook so I could attach the clasps. I only took pictures of the green necklace for some reason. Note for the green necklace: I wanted it to be braided, so after the loops were on the hook, I braided the three “sections” I had made (each section has three strands of beads), and was sure to put the loops on the second jump hook in the right order for it to stay braided properly.  Finishing necklace

I wanted to make the green necklace adjustable, so I added quite a long chain to it. After I took these pictures and actually wore the necklace, I realized I had made it slightly too long, so I took off a few of the chains and made it shorter. The white necklace I wanted only one length, so I attached the clasps directly to the jump hook instead of a chain.

Here are the finished products!

Finished necklace collageI really like the way the turned out! I still have a lot to learn, but I’m having so much fun doing it!

I have a feeling that I’m going to be spending a lot more time browsing Pinterest now for more ideas. And I’d love to hear your suggestions as to what I should make next!

 

All About Accessories

Sometimes a very simple outfit can look complete and tied together just by adding jewelry, a cute bag, or a nice pair of shoes. Accessories really have this transforming power that make simple pieces become so versatile! Personally, I don’t have it in my budget right now to accessorize quite like I want to sometimes, but I am grateful for that because it has helped inspire me to get creative instead! I have been really into making my own jewelry lately–it is way less expensive and it has been so much fun creating things. This necklace was super simple to make and barely took any time at all. My ring was a little trickier, but I made it forever ago so I don’t really remember exactly how I did it. I’ll try and re-vamp my process so I can share it with you soon!Necklace close up

I love this outfit. The top is such a pretty color and I love the flowery detail at the top! This look transforms nicely from work to play as well–this morning I wore it to work with a nice skirt and belt, and when I came home I switched to jeans and was ready to go. I forgot to take a picture of the work outfit…but I’m sure I’ll be wearing this again, so I’ll make sure to do it next time!Whole outfitBag and nails

Come back tomorrow for my easy DIY’s for both this necklace and the bright lime green braided necklace from last week’s outfit post! See you then!

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DIY: Baby and Daddy Bow Tie Set

I think these bow ties are adorable. I was so excited when I thought about making matching father/son bow ties for father’s day! They were relatively simple to make and I found the fabric at Walmart for a pretty good price. The nice thing is that you don’t need much fabric at all! I don’t claim to be an expert by any means, but I’ll share a bit of step by step info with pictures if you would like to go ahead and make your own.

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These are the fabric squares I found at Walmart. I got a bunch in all different colors and patterns! Each piece of fabric measures 18 in x 21 in and is the perfect size to make two small bow ties and two large bow ties (depending on what size you want to make them). Best yet, each square was only a dollar or so!

Bow Ties Step 1

Once you have chosen your fabric, iron it well. This step isn’t absolutely necessary, but I found that it makes it way easy to work with. For the big bow tie, I cut out fabric roughly 4.5 in x 10.5 in, and for the baby bow tie 4 in x 7 in. Again, you can change up the measurements depending on what size bow ties you want.
Next, fold over the top and bottom edges and iron flat so they stay put. I folded over probably just about an inch on each side. Lastly, fold the sides in until they meet in the middle and overlap slightly.

Bow Ties Step 2

1 and 2) Begin to sew the fabric right up the middle. I folded it a bit first and then sewed through a few times so it stayed scrunched up. (Like all of my technical terms here?)
3) I failed to take a photo of cutting out the “loop” for the middle piece (sorry!) but you basically just cut out a rectangle as you did for the bow tie itself, only smaller. Fold the edges over as you did before and iron so they stay flat. You can decide how wide you want the middle piece to be. I sewed the tie and loop together, but if you’d like you can sew them separately. I sewed them together to make sure my loop wasn’t going to slide around.
4) There you have it! Your bow tie, big or little, should look like this. Simple, right?

Bow Ties Step 3

For the baby onesie I purchased sew on snaps and just sewed them in place. I liked this idea much better than trying to clip something on that I’m sure baby could easily tear off, and I didn’t feel like a strap around his neck would be safe. Picture two is big bow tie next to baby bow tie. (I did end up making an around the neck strap for the big one…but it wasn’t at all elegant and I kind of just threw it together. If you can find bow tie clips, I’m going to assume that to be much, much easier.)

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Ta-da! A matching set!
If you want a more in depth tutorial, my original inspiration was from this site that I found on Pinterest. I used her tutorial as a guide and found it to be quite helpful!

There you have it! Father/son bow ties in a few easy steps. It takes a bit of practice at first, but once you figure it out you can really speed through them. Now all that’s missing is baby boy…I know Brinton wants him to hurry up and get here so they can finally wear them to church together!