The past few weeks, I’ve been dying to share some crafts that I’ve been doing in preparation for my sister’s baby shower. We finally had it this morning, so I can post the baby crafts that I made and the baby shower theme!
Project 1: Hooded Animal Towels
So, my first project was a baby gift idea that I found (of course) on Pinterest (if you haven’t figured it out yet, most of my ideas do!). From crazylittleprojects.com, I found the instructions for hooded towels for babies shaped like animals. I thought it was perfect, because my sister’s ‘baby theme’ is forest animals, specifically owls. It was too cute to pass up, and seemed easy enough to do, so I bought towels and got pointers on sewing machine use from my mom (and used her sewing machine), and got to work. I decided to use Amber’s guide for the owl towel and the frog towel. For a beginner sewer like me, I think even the ‘easy’ instructions listed on the frog towel page are a bit hard to follow, but I managed to get everything together. Anyone who knows their way even a little bit around sewing machines and patterns would probably have no problem. I did have my mom applique the eyes of the animals on, I wasn’t confident I’d be able to get an even applique. Here is the result:
I think they turned out pretty cute!
Project 2: Themed Homemade Coasters
My second project really started out of my desire to clean out some things in my room. I had bought thin cork board to make a note pin board for my mom over the summer (shadow box frame, two cut sheets of thin cork board– super easy). I had several sheets of cork board leftover, and wanted to figure out something to do with it. I found some Pinterest ideas for mouse-pads and wall decor, but then saw a coaster and knew that was the project for me! After all, for a neat-freak like me, you can never have enough coasters when there are guests over! I didn’t use a pattern or instructions, just played around with what I had, so I’ll put the steps I did here. I will warn you, this is VERY time consuming because you have to let several layers of mod podge dry, but it is very easy.
- #2 Xacto Knife and #2 Blade
- 4.5 sheets cork board
- 4.5 sheets scrap booking paper (optional)
- 4.5 sheets (to make 18) of select theme image
- Mod podge (either matte or glossy, but make sure it’s CLEAR)
- Paint brushes
- Glitter (optional, but who doesn’t love glitter?!)
First, I used an Xacto knife to cut out 18 4 in. x 4 in. pieces of cork board this should take 4 1/2 sheets of the cork board. I then created the images I wanted for the top of the coasters and printed them out on regular printer paper, then cut each image out in 4 in. x 4 in. squares. For the bottom of the coaster, I wanted to decorate with patterned paper, so I used scrapbook paper and again cut it into 4 in. x 4 in. squares. I used two different patterns so there was a little variety.
Once everything is printed and cut (I used a ruler and my #1 Xacto knife and blade, but you can easily use plain scissors), set the cork squares out on newspaper to keep from getting a mess everywhere. Then break out the mod podge! I used a paintbrush, and painted one layer of mod podge on all surfaces of the cork squares. Read your mod podge labels and make sure to allow everything to dry sufficiently so it doesn’t stick to the newspaper!
Once the first layer of mod podge is dry, start applying the paper. I did the scrapbook paper side first so that I could make sure I was good at it before starting with the theme paper. I learned some lessons I’ll share that will make this easier for you and keep the bubbles out: make sure to paint a THIN layer of mod podge on BOTH the paper and the cork board. I thought it would be better to just put it on the cork, but that makes them bubble more. Also, try not to get mod podge on the top of the paper, so that once you attach the paper to the cork, you can lay the cork square paper-down , pressing lightly to make sure all the air bubbles are out and letting them dry upside down to let the paper dry evenly. When the scrapbook paper is applied and the mod podge is mostly dry, go ahead and paint a layer of mod podge over the scrapbook paper and let it dry. Make sure to make it a thin layer and be careful of soaking the paper too much. It will dry quickly so don’t worry too much about it, just don’t soak it.
When that layer of mod podge is dry, you can flip the coasters over and use the same process to apply the themed paper to the other side. Remember, light layers of mod podge on both the cork and the paper, turn over and press then leave to let dry. Again, when the mod podge is dry, turn them over and paint your first layer of mod podge over the theme paper. BE VERY CAREFUL. Since this is printed, the ink can smear with the mod podge. Allow enough time in between printing and mod podge-ing for the ink to set, and keep the layer light.
The next step is completely optional. I added glitter to the edges of the coasters for two reasons: first because I didn’t cut the paper exactly right for each coaster so it covered even edges, and second because I love glitter and it made them coasters just a little more fun! This part is pretty messy, so be ready to see glitter around your craft areas for days. Put the glitter on a flat surface with a lip to hold it (a paper plate, a plastic container lid, etc.) that is longer than the sides of the cork. Put a lot of glitter down, you want to coat the edges well. Make sure the two sides are fully dry, and be careful holding the paper (a couple of mine tore slightly as I was holding them and pressing the coasters into the glitter). One at a time, paint a layer of mod podge on all four edges of the coasters (a bit thicker than you did on the paper sides) and then press each edge into the glitter to coat heavily. Set carefully back down on the newspaper to reduce the amount of glitter spill. After you’ve gone through each coaster, let them dry a bit longer than you did the sides, then one at a time coat the glittered edges heavily with mod podge.
The coasters are almost done, you just want a few more layers of mod podge to ensure that they will be fully waterproof. After the glitter edges have completely dried, cover one of the paper sides and the edges with two medium-thin layers of mod podge. Don’t worry about getting them fully dried before you do the second layer, and don’t worry if the glitter spreads a little bit over the paper (it looks nice once dry). Wait for this layer to dry, then flip them over and do the same on the other side. You can repeat this as many times as you want, but the more layers don’t do much after the mod podge has fully covered the coasters.
Here are my final Theme Coasters. They will stick together and to cups a bit even after they are dry, but it won’t hurt them or any surfaces.
Project #3: Baby Shower tidbits
My younger sister and I planned the baby shower for our older sister to follow her forest animals theme and green/yellow/brown color scheme. We also added in blue because the baby is a boy! My mom baked all the food (with some help from the mom-to-be!). Here are some photos:
Other than the coasters, the towels, managing the guest list, and general planning, my other contribution to the shower was making theme cupcake toppers. I found some cute images of owls and frogs online, and drew similar images, cutting them out with my #1 Xacto knife, coloring with colored pencils (lines in thin sharpie), and used a glue stick to attach them to toothpicks. I made them two sided, cut out of folded paper to make the size perfectly line up. Here’s the final product: