January 2010 - Rachel Teodoro

Pre-school Craft using Rice as Alphabet

Pre-school Craft using Rice as Alphabet


Owen's artwork framed

Owen's pre-school is on the letter R this week. When he came home with this sweet lowercase r (my initial) on red (my favorite color) construction paper, I knew I needed to frame it. The r is made out of rice and is just glued down. Cute, right?!

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Re Purposing a T-shirt into a Scarf

Re purposing a t-shirt into a scarf

No question why this Reebok shirt was heading to Goodwill but I thought I could at least try something before this t-shirt was doomed. So I did.

I took the t-shirt and then made a 4x4 template out of an old card. I then started cutting out squares.

I made about 60 squares out of the t-shirt.


Then I placed them all diagonally and pinned the top in the center of the one underneath it. I only pinned the first 5 or so, then I just fed them into the machine individually. The jersey likes to wrinkle up on the edges so I would have to sometimes stop, pick up the presser foot and make sure it was down before stitching again.



And here's the finished product. The perfect new life for that nasty old Reebok shirt.



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Re Purposing a Mans Shirt into a Girls Ruffle Skirt

Re purposing a mans polo shirt to a girls ruffle skirt
I have a pile in our room of clothes that are bound for Goodwill. I won't let my husband take them just yet though because I am sure I can find a new use for them. This polo has been calling my name for a few weeks now and I finally got the inspiration to do something about it. Owen was at pre-school this morning so I had some time to do some sewing. Really the skirt only took about an hour to make and that's only because I had to take out a couple of seams that I messed up on. So here is the process.
Raid your husbands closet and find an old shirt. The bigger the better. I will be keeping my eye out this summer at garage sales for some XL castoffs.
Cut the bottom hem off and save for the drawstring. Then cut three 4 inch strips all the way across the shirt and then open them at one seam so you have long strips of fabric. Cut about 7-10 inches on the top around where the sleeves are depending on length. Cut the sleeves off leaving yourself with a rectangle of fabric that will become the underside of your skirt that the ruffles are sewn to. Sew the two pieces together to make one long piece. Fold over about an inch of the top part of that piece to make a casing for the drawstring.

Make gathers on your three strips of fabric and then lay the first layer on the bottom of the long 7-10 inch piece. Then sew about 1 inch up placing the next ruffle on making sure it's the same length as the base layer. Do that with the third layer. My third layer was on the same sewing line as the casing line.



Here it is with all three layers and the casing done. Now put the right sides together making sure all your ruffles are laying flat (I usually shake it down while holding the edges together) and sew together. Make sure you leave the top inch open so you can insert your drawstring. Cut off the extra material at the seam. Thread the drawstring through with a safety pin and Viola a new skirt!







So I am sure I will regret using my 4 year old son as a skirt model later, but he is what was at home at the time. My daughter (who is nearly 8) is the same size as he is and I wanted to check on the length as well as the fit. For the record, I will be happy to pay the therapy bill later.


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Using a Pattern to Sew

Following a pattern...but not really
A few weeks ago inspiration (as well as a sale) struck and I bought a few patterns. I'm pretty sure I haven't bought a pattern since my sewing class in High School. I bought a few vintage patterns from goodwill and a few McCall's patterns (or was it butterick?) from Joann's. You won't see too many more pictures of me using a pattern because really, I think they are just too expensive. I would prefer to make my own pattern or re purpose something I already have. I did come up with this vest and scarf duo sort of following the pattern. I cut the length down, didn't add sleeves (not because I don't think it needs some, it does, but because I am not very good at doing sleeves and I didn't like the huge ones that the pattern had), serged the edges, and added some flowy lettuce stitching on the front. I didn't like it very much until I walked into Nordstrom (rack of course!) and saw a zillion shirts just like this. Who knew I was being fashion forward? I used the extra material (probably intended to be sleeves) and made a scarf from it.
I must also take the time to apologize for the pictures on the blog. I am an amateur everything and on top of that I am not a perfectionist. I like when it's nice but I don't love the work that goes into it. It's on my to do list of things to work on, until then, it's sub par pictures on the blog. Sorry!








make it wear it

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Using Paper Shreds to Decorate

I lied...another Valentine's day craft

I love antique stores. I often don't have enough time alone to try to hit them and if any of you know my youngest child you would know that Owen (who was banned from storytime at the library) would not be the best child to tag along for a fun trip of antique shopping! I happened to be out with the two older kids and was driving past an antique strip mall I hadn't stopped at in quite awhile. I thought I can do this! So I pulled up my big girl panties and told the two older kids that we were stopping in for a quick trip. My oldest son was less than happy about the detour...and let me know about his dislike for the shop THE WHOLE TIME! I managed to make it a quick trip (Aidan would tell you that an hour is NOT a quick trip!) and picked up some fun little glassware for the house. Which inspired me to make a little Valentine's day thingie...not sure what to call it.




Using Shredded Paper as Decoration



I had Owen help me shred some red and pink scrapbook paper that I have had for ages! I used three pieces of paper.

Origami Hearts



Then I borrowed my daughter's origami set and made 5 origami hearts (I would like to say the 5 hearts represent each person in the family, but that wasn't my intention). I put the hearts in first followed by the paper and after some swirling of the crystal ball, I got the look that I was hoping for.





I'm excited to try it at Easter with a nest and some eggs.


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Little Black Shirt Upcycle with Ruffles

Little Black Shirt



I went a little crazy a few weeks ago and got super inspired to try making my own clothes again. I bought a few patterns and grabbed some fabric at the fabric store and set to work only to remind myself why I quit sewing in the first place! It's so expensive and you don't always end up with what you want. I am a HUGE garage sale shopper. In fact 95% of our families clothing comes from garage sales. I rarely pay more than a dollar for any article of clothing, which leads me to why I love repurposing so much. Since it isn't garage sale season, I picked up this little racer back tank at Old Navy for $1.49. I knew it had more life in it than to be just a racer back tank, and thus the story of the little black shirt.

Once upon a time, there was a little black shirt. The little black shirt met another black shirt and a new super fun black shirt was made.

Here's the shirt that was sacrificed. I liked the detail on the top, so I cut just below it. I think I see a dress in it's future.


Here's one idea that I thought of. I cut the sacrificial shirt into 3 inch long pieces and gathered both sides. I placed it down the middle and thought that I would sew it on this way. But instead a happy accident happened and the strip got messed up and became this...




A funky little wave of a shirt! I just placed it on in a sort of zig zag pattern, pinned it down and sewed it on the front of the shirt. What do you think?









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Using Coupons to Save on a Shopping Trip

$7 shopping trip

I love a good bargain. I know my shopping trip today doesn't qualify as a craft, but man you sort of have to be crafty to get a good deal! The kids have been begging for a taco Tuesday night and I didn't have any pico de gallo on hand. I always make ours but was thinking it might have been cheaper and easier to buy it tonight. Thus, the reason I headed into Safeway this morning. I really just wanted to brag about my finds. Here's a picture of all the yummy goodness I got for only $7!

And here's the list:
1 Whole pineapple, 1 dozen eggs, toilet cleaner, jar of salsa, apple juice, peanut butter, 5 pounds of organic onions, 1 box of organic spinach, ice cream, 1/2 pound of black forest deli ham, french bread, safeway selects minestrone soup,and a bag of tortilla chips

How can you save money at the grocery store?

I use coupons and purchase items on sale so that my savings will go even farther.

Download the store apps to get even more discounts and see their current and secret sales.

Check the trash. No really, I get many coupons from the trash bins and cast off. The library will even offer them to you if you ask.

What are your tips for saving money at the grocery store?

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Fused Plastic Bag Made From Target Plastic Bags

Fused Plastic Bag


Normally I bring my own bags with me to reuse (you get 5 cents off your order for each bag you use at Target so it's totally worth it for me), but this time, I had SO many items that I ended up just getting them in plastic. Plus I had seen this cool tutorial so I had a crafty motive behind it. Here's the tutorial from MADE

I changed a few things from Dana's tutorial like I made my bags 14x14, and I used wonder under on my lettering. I also learned to make sure you read the WHOLE tutorial before jumping in. Her tutorial doesn't tell you to serge the edges of the top BEFORE putting the handles on. In her instructions it's listed after the instructions on how to apply the handles and after all that work to put the handles on, I didn't have it in me to take them apart and redo the top. Live and learn for next time.

Essentially, you take plastic bags, use some wax paper and fuse the layers together to make a new fabric. I really like her use of only the white side of the bag, but I got a little excited with the project and just wanted to do it rather than wait to collect more bags (we are talking like 25 more bags) and I didn't have any more major shopping to do at Target. So the first thing I did was lay the bags out flat and cut the tops and bottoms off of them. I saved all the extra that I cut off and used it to make the sides and bottom of the bag.


I had some red canvas material left over from when I hemmed Aidan's IKEA curtains 5 years ago and used that to make the lettering and handles. And of course, I got to try out my new serger that I picked up at a garage sale this summer for $50! LOVE IT!


Aren't they cute?!
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Lunch Box Love Notes

Lunchbox Love Notes



I recently made these lunchbox love notes and trivia facts for my kids and have been having so much fun with them. I make sure I write a little note on each one. Sometimes it's a random thought to go along with the trivia fact, sometimes it's a little word of encouragement or just a little note to let them know I am thinking of them throughout the day. My oldest son tosses his everyday, but I often find a stack of my daughters old lunchbox love notes in the most random places! So here's how to make them.



Copy and paste some fun trivia facts from the Internet. It really shouldn't take too long to find a list of things that would be interesting to your kids. Just use your old friend google and have at it! I saved them into a word file and then printed off two copies. I wanted each kid to have the same set of trivia facts, but put them on different paper. As much as my older son things I try to do whatever I can to embarrass him, I wouldn't send a note on flower paper in his lunchbox!

Take the facts and use your paper cutter to trim them down. I then sorted the facts into small (some were only a few words long) and large. The smaller facts could be put two to a page, the bigger ones would fill up most of the page. Then I took scrapbook paper that I had laying around at home and cut it to 3x4. Use double sided tape to adhere it and viola, lunchbox notes for your school bound kiddos!










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Valentine's Day Craft Project Topiary and Felt Heart Wreath

More Valentine's Day Craftiness

I am officially done decorating for Valentine's day. In fact, I think I have done more decorating and crafting for this holiday than I ever have done in my whole life. Here are a few of the projects I worked on today.


The gummy heart topiary



I used toothpicks to insert the gummy candy into the styrofoam. The whole toothpick was too long, so I channeled my inner hulk and started breaking them in half. I found it easier to insert in deep into the styrofoam first, and the push the candy on top and position it that way.


I doubled up on candy to make it look a bit fuller and not show the white. After three bags of candy and $4 total on the project (probably more if you want to count the gas for the extra trip I had to make there today) I wasn't buying another bag just to fill in the bottom. I'm not a perfectionist, so it doesn't really bother me. I am cheap though so I prefer more bang for my buck!

Here is a picture of the two topiaries I did yesterday and today. I like them, but someone who would be bothered by seeing the white from the styrofoam would have major issues with this one!


Felt Heart Wreath


I saw this wreath on this blog http://theidearoom.blogspot.com/2010/01/felt-heart-wreath.html and knew I had to make one! I have only recently started sewing with felt (I use them on my superhero capes for the lettering) and found that I love it. Felt is definitly my favorite fabric. It's so easy to work with...it doesn't slide around, it doesn't fray, it cuts nicely...really, whats not to like?!


Here are the pictures of my creation. I followed The Idea Room's tutorial as well as this tutorial to figure out how to pin the felt into the wreath. http://www.designspongeonline.com/2009/12/diy-project-kristens-ruffly-felt-wreath.html


I made around 200 3 inch circles using this handy container as my guide. I drew them onto the felt with a brown marker and then used at least 3 layers of felt at a time to cut through to make it go a little faster.
Here are the supplies: About 1/2 yard of felt (buy it in bulk, it's cheaper than the small squares), a box of 250 stick pins and a styrofoam heart (I had a coupon for 50% off at Joann's so it was $2). Total for the project: Around $4.50

I had a hard time figuring out how to position the circles on the wreath. I found that if I put them in all in the same direction, it looked better.

And here are the finished Valentine's day decorations in my front entry. I never realized how bare it looks until I photographed it.




Love it!

Notice I didn't do the back. You can only tell at certain angles when you look at it so it really is best to just do the front and most of the sides. Happy crafting!


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Using Candy Hearts to make a Valentine's Day Cone Decoration

Using Candy Hearts to make a Valentine's Day Cone Decoration


I made a stop at the dollar store and found some fun supplies that inspired me to make some valentine's day topiaries for that blank spot in my entry way. One bag of gummy hearts and another of conversation hearts and two Styrofoam cones and I was out the door with my $4 total.

I set to work on my conversation heart topiary. I started with my low temp glue gun, but really needed to upgrade to my industrial high temp glue gun instead. It seemed to adhere to the styrofoam better. I tried to make a pattern with the colors, but after about halfway through I found that my bag of conversation hearts had a disproportionate amount of green hearts so then my mission was to get those spread out without clumping them together. Hearts are an awkward shape and it leaves gaps that I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with. I thought about glueing more hearts in the gaps overlapping hearts, but I didn't like the random dimension of it. Maybe if I did it completely to cover the cone again? For now, not being a perfectionist who cares, this is what I am left with, and for $2 and twenty minutes, I am happy with it...for now!




More to come on the red heart topiary. Not sure if it was a happy accident that I ran out of gummy hearts and only did half of it, or if I just need to head back and get another bag to finish the rest. Hmmmm...what do you think?



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