Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Zoo Animal Paintings: Giraffe, Lion & Zebra

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When I found out I was pregnant with my son, we began to think about how we wanted to do his room. I thought about just buying a blue fitted crib sheet to match the pillow and blanket my grandma had made but then I came across a safari bed set on a yard sale site for only $40. It had barely been used and came with a fitted sheet, comforter, diaper holder, crib skirt, bumper pad (we didn't use) and curtain (we didn't use); plus it matched the extra fitted sheet we already had and the blanket my grandma made the only thing missing was wall decorations. I had three blank canvases I had bought to make paintings for my daughters room but never got around to doing it so decided to just use those and paint safari animals for my son's room. I chose to paint a giraffe, lion and zebra to match the crib set.

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All you need are some canvases, paint and paint brushes. I used cheap acrylic paint from Hobby Lobby, sponge paint brushes I already had and a small tip paint brush for the details - eyes, mouths, etc... First I painted the canvases a solid color and let them dry. I mixed the solid color I chose with some white paint to make them lighter. I matched the backgrounds to the crib sheet colors and choose theses animals because we bought a Giraffe wub-a-nub and a blanket that had a Zebra on it for my son.; the Lion matches the blue safari blanket my grandmother had made.You can paint any safari animal you prefer and use any color background you prefer.

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Next I painted an outline of the animals using the main color of the animal (yellow, white, orange/brown). You can sketch it on your canvas with a pencil if you prefer, but I like to just go with it. Fill in the animal's body and let dry. I used a sponge brush because it was faster. Once everything is filled in I used a thin tip brush to go over the outline, making everything as straight as I could and to add the details such as eyes, mouths, whiskers, etc... Let dry. Once the canvases are dry you are finished and have three super cute paintings for your baby's room! You can cover your finished canvases with a canvas sealer if you prefer but I haven't and they are still in great shape.

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These three paintings took me two days to complete but I also had a one year old running around and was pregnant so got tired of painting. You could probably finish them in one, especially if you aren't chasing around a little one.


***Check out the Safari Baby Mobile I made to match my son's Safari nursery!


Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Monster Smash Cake Tutorial


For both my daughter and son's first birthdays I made their smash cakes and made cupcakes out of the rest of the cake batter. I personally think it is a waste of money to spend $15-$35 on a smash cake for your one year old that is going to play with the cake and only eat about one fifth of the cake while the rest usually goes to waste. If you can afford that then more power to you but I prefer to spend $3-$5 and make my own smash cake and cupcakes to go with it. It is a lot easier than you would think and I'm going to show you how I make my children's smash cakes.

Monster Smash Cake

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Supplies:

  • Cake Mix plus ingredients on the box (usually 2 eggs, vegetable oil, water)
  • 1-2 containers of Icing - this depends on if you need icing for the cupcakes as well
  • #21 Piping Tip
  • Ziploc bag, freezer bag or pipping bag
  • 4" Small Circular Dish - I use a Pyrex Simple Storage glass dish we have

How To:

1. Preheat the oven and make the cake batter according to the directions on the box. 

2. Grease the pan you plan to bake your smash cake in and pour the cake batter into the pan filling it  ¼ of the way full.

3. Use the rest of the cake batter to make cupcakes or a cake.

4. Bake. I set the timer to about 5 minutes shy of what the cupcake time is and check the smash cake. Keep an eye on it because every oven and pan cooks differently so yours may cook the smash cake faster. Let cool.

NOTE: If the top of your smash cake rose like cupcakes do you can cut it off so it is flat if you want to. 

5. Once your cake is cool it is now time to decorate it. I recommend quickly icing the cake to set a base for your decoration and incase you miss a spot so the cake won't show through.

6. Optional: Pour the icing into a mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until the icing looks smooth. This makes the icing easier to work with and makes it last longer. Cut a small hole in corner of your Ziplock bag and add your #21 piping tip. Once your bag is set you can spoon the icing into the bag.

7. Start at the bottom of the cake and go around dabbing the icing onto the cake until you make it back to where you started. Repeat dabbing the icing onto the cake on the row above the one you just did. Continue doing this until your smash cake is fully covered.

8. Create monster eyes for your cake. You can do this several different ways. I was originally going to use the candy eyes but I didn't want my son to choke on them so I attempted to make monster eyes out of mini oreos and white icing. You can also make fondant eyes, marshmallow eyes, or paper eyes attached to a kabob stick and have the eyes sticking out of your cake. Make any monster eyes you prefer and stick them on the cake wherever you want them placed.

9. Add a candle, take a picture and let your little one enjoy!


I essentially made the monster smash cake the same way I made the Pink and White Smash Cake. I used a 4" pan for the monster smash cake instead of the 6" pan. I also used blue raspberry icing from a container and a piping tip. There is a lot more icing in the containers than the Wilton Decorating Icing Bags, plus the container icing is cheaper so if you have a piping tip I recommend using the container icing. If you are in a hurry and money isn't a problem then the Wilton Decorating Icing Bags will probably take less time and make less of a mess. 

Below are the Monster cupcakes I made with the left over cake batter. I iced the cupcakes the same way I iced the smash cake. Once I was finished icing the cupcakes I added candy eyes I bought at Micheals to make them look like mini monsters.

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You can check out my son's first birthday party here: Monster Birthday Party


Check out some other Smash Cake Tutorials:

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

No-Sew Outdoor Pillows

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Ever since we built our Patio Benches last summer I have wanted to make outdoor pillows to help decorate our patio furniture and make sitting a little more comfortable. I wanted a bright design but wasn't able to find any in the stores being that it was the end of summer. I finally found a bright design that I liked this spring and eventually got around to making the pillows. The No-Sew Outdoor Pillows are super cheap, super easy to make, and make a nice addition to our patio. I know you can buy outdoor pillows but they usually cost $15+ a piece and I personally don't think pillows should be that expensive. These pillows cost me a total of $4 to make. I made two outside pillows but had enough material to make three pillows; I saved the last piece to make kid spools chairs to match (blog coming soon) the pillows. 

Supplies:

  • 60 x 102 Outdoor Rectangle Vinyl Tablecloth - if you find a bigger size buy it! I bought my tablecloth for $3.98 at Walmart. They usually have cheap ones at the beginning of every season so if you want a bright design you will have to get it in the spring/summer.
  • A ton of Plastic Shopping Bags
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun & Glue Sticks


How To:


1.  First you need to collect a ton of Plastic Shopping Bags and make them into the shape of a pillow. You can make your pillows any size or thickness you want. I stuffed a ton of plastic bags into one bag until I was satisfied then I took another bag and covered the bag in the opposite direction to hold all the bags in.

You can get Plastic Shopping Bags from any grocery store. I started saving them when I decided I wanted to make a water repellent outdoor pillow. You can use an old pillow, pillow stuffing, foam, etc... for the inside of your pillow. I chose Plastic Shopping Bags because they are free, I'm recycling them by turning them into a pillow, and the plastic acts as a water repellent and since the pillows are staying outside I didn't want to use a material that would absorb the water and get moldy over time.


2.  Lay out the tablecloth, place your "pillow" on the fabric and cover it like you would when wrapping a present. Cut the tablecloth. The piece I cut was 60" x 40".

I probably could of got by with a 60" x 35" piece thou, especially since the plastic bags squish together easy.



3. Place the "pillow" in the center of your tablecloth. Fold the edges inward till they meet in the middle and tack it with hot glue to help hold the tablecloth in place.


4. Fold the ends of the tablecloth into points like you would when wrapping a present. Tack the point with some hot glue to help secure the points. This will make it stay together for the next step.


5. Take the two pointed ends and cross them like you are tying a knot.


6. Tuck in the ends and hot glue them down to keep them from coming untucked. Secure any loose areas with the hot glue.


7. Set your new No-Sew Outdoor Pillows outside and enjoy!

You can make your outdoor pillows anyway you prefer. You can sew a pillow cover, use an actual pillow, buy fabric from the fabric section, etc... but I made my No-Sew Outdoor Pillows using plastic shopping bags and a cheap outdoor tablecloth. The plastic bags and the tablecloth both are considered water repellent's so the pillows won't hold water or get moldy, at least not for a long time. These No-Sew Outdoor Pillows are super easy to make and super cheap (I could of made three pillows for $4). They will make a great addition to your patio furniture and the best part is there are so many cheap tablecloths out there to choose from so you are guaranteed a cute design!

NOTE: You can very easily use this tutorial to make cute throw pillows for your house. I recommend using an old pillow or pillow stuffing and a cotton fabric for the indoor pillows.

__________________________________________________

UPDATE (July 2017) : These pillows are NOT water proof so you may want to bring them inside if a storm is approaching. The pillows ended up holding some water after rain storms thus making them heavy and wet. The pillows also faded a little due to the sun by they held up pretty well. After a year they were tear free. 

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Here is how we made the benches pictured above  My husband also made a third bench (not pictured) for the other side of our patio. It looks like these but does not have a back on it.


Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Jim Beam Apple Gift with Sayings


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This year for Father's Day my children and I made my husband a Scribble T-Shirt. He loved it so much that he wore it to church and around all day. 

Along with the Scribble T-Shirt, I gave him a fifth of Jim Beam Apple with the saying on it, "You are the APPLE of my eye and the BEAM of sunshine in our children's smiles!".

My husband has liked Jim Beam Apple ever since I bought it for his birthday last year. I noticed he was out so decided to grab a fifth and I couldn't resist adding a cute saying to go with it! I also made another label that said, "Thanks for being an Amazing Father!" but our son pulled it off in the giving process so you can see it sitting in the picture below.

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This is a fast and easy gift to give to your husband, boyfriend, father, or anybody that enjoys Jim Beam Apple. Buy a fifth of alcohol, add a cute saying and you're done! Here are a few more sayings to go with Jim Beam Apple; not necessarily for Father's Day:

- "You are the APPLE of my eye."
- "APPLES fall from trees like I'm falling for you."
- "I find you AP-eeling."
- "An APPLE a day keeps the Doctor away, but if the Doctor is cute keep the fruit away."
- "You can tell you're an Awesome Dad because the APPLE doesn't fall far from the tree." (This is meant to mean that the children are spitting images of their parents, not in an offensive way.)
- "BEAM me up, I'm in cloud 9."
- "You are the BEAM of sunshine in my/our children's smiles."

Feel free to comment below with more sayings to go with Jim Beam Apples!

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