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*

WP_20140826_16_20_01_Pro (1)

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.


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!


Bam! Did it!


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).


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.


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:


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


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 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.


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.


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.


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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Hassle Free Meal Planning using my Awesome New Menu Board

A few weeks ago while I was browsing on Pinterest, I saw a DIY that not only looked cute, but was functional and seemed to be something that would motivate me to meal plan more consistently. Thanks to The Creative Mama, I was inspired to create this menu board which I happen to be totally obsessed with now.

Awesome, right? Menu planning has been a breeze the last few weeks, and what’s even nicer is that I don’t dread doing it anymore. It’s not a tedious chore. All I have to do is flip through the entree cards and look to see what I already have in the house so I can spend as little money as possible on groceries. It took me less than 5 minutes to menu plan this morning. Not to mention, of course, that this looks pretty too! Here is a quick photo step by step on how to make one yourself:

Step 1: Get pretty paper

Step 2: Sand down wood letters, and paint any color. Use 2 to 3 coats to cover.

Step 3: While paint is drying on wood letters, cut paper into creative background pattern, and insert into frame. I kept the glass in on mine.

Step 4: Cut strips of paper to clothes pin size. I used hot glue to make sure they would stay securely on and not peel off.

Step 5: Label the clothespins with the days of the week. I chose to just use the first letter, and I just eyeballed the circles while cutting. I used just a glue stick to glue the letters on.

Step 6: Hot glue the clothespins on the frame. Leave enough space between them that the menu cards won’t overlap.

Step 7: Lay out the letters on the top of the frame however you want them. I traced on the back of the letters where I wanted to place the hot glue, and also lightly traced the frame where I wanted the letters to lay. This made it much easier for me to place it correctly the first time!

It’s coming together!

Step 8: Take some extra scrapbook paper and cut it out so that you can fold it over whatever you are using as the card holders. I used a Rice-a-Roni box cut in half.

Step 9: Glue the paper on the box. I felt that the inside needed to be pretty too, so I added paper inside as well.

Step 10: Add a decorative strip around the box, and glue it to the glass in the frame. (Note: I used hot glue for the at first, but I found that they just peeled off. My husband had some “Amazing Goop” in his stash of fix-it things, so I used that the second time. It has an extremely strong hold and has worked really well, but I do advise to use it at your own discretion. That stuff is lethal.)

Ta-da! Menu board is complete. All I did for the menu cards was brainstorm all of our favorite meals and added them to a word document I created so that each one would have a cute graphic behind it. There was probably an easier way, but this worked for me just as well.

There you have it! Simple enough, though it did take some time to get through all the steps. Right now I am using the top card holder for recently used meals and the bottom one for meals waiting to be used. Once I play around with it a little bit more, I may change that and just use the top one for side dishes and the bottom for entrees, but I am going to see how this works out for me first.

If any of you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment! Happy planning!