Tag Archives: DIY

Newborn Cloth Diaper Stash

18 Sep
Our Newborn Cloth Diaper Stash

Our Newborn Cloth Diaper Stash

 

Call me crazy or insane but one of the things I am looking forward to is cloth diapering our new little girl as a newborn.  I have always loved cloth diapers and I cannot wait to see our sweet little girl in a teeny tiny cloth diaper!  🙂  We didn’t start using cloth diapers with Eli until he was 4 weeks old since we moved when he was only 2 weeks old.  Looking back it probably would not have been that crazy to use cloth diapers.  We ended up spending tons of money on diapers the first month because we had to buy expensive diapers for sensitive skin.  If we were going to use disposable diapers for the newborn stage I would definitely want to use chlorine free diapers which cost even more (twice the cost of generic disposables).  I am guessing these would set us back about $148 for the first month.  One option that I looked into was the possibility of using a newborn cloth diaper rental service but that would cost around $220.  We would like to have more children in the future so we opted to purchase a newborn stash that can be used for future children.  Our budget for our entire stash was $100.  I can honestly say that I had a lot of fun watching for sales and purchasing used cloth diapers over the summer.  That said I thought it would be fun to share what our newborn cloth diaper stash looks like.  I plan on doing an update in a few months to share which newborn cloth diapers worked best for us.

Our Stash of Prefolds & Covers

Our Stash of Prefolds & Covers

Many people choose to use either pocket diapers or prefolds with covers.  We are planning on using both systems.  Prefolds and covers are by far the most economical option.  We purchased a dozen orange edged sized newborn (6-10 lbs) Cloth-Eez Prefolds from Green Mountain Diapers and a dozen yellow edged sized small (10-15 lbs) Cloth-Eez prefolds.  Our covers include: Imse Vimse Size Newborn, 1 cover I made using the New Conceptions Diaper Cover with leg gusset, 1 handmade cover I made trying to copy the Bummis Super Brite Cover-I doubt this will really work, 1 DIY Cover using the Babyville Boutique size newborn pattern, 2 Thirsties Duo Size 1 covers, and 2 Bummis Super Brite Newborns.  To me most of the covers (except the Bummis Super Brites) look really big.  I wouldn’t be surprised if only the Bummis fit well for the first couple of weeks.

Pocket Diapers & Fitted Diapers I Made

Pocket Diapers & Fitted Diapers I Made

I made two pocket diapers using the Green Pepper Pattern F708 in Size Newborn.  On the second cover I made the elastic in the leg larger.  I also made 5 fitted diapers using the Kwik Sew Pattern 3690.  Thankfully I was able to try these on a friend’s baby and adjusted the elastic around the legs.  I did not sew a large stash of either of these since I am not 100% sure they will be a good fit.

 

The stash of All in One Diapers I made for Eli using Kwik Sew's pattern.

The stash of All in One Diapers I made for Eli using Kwik Sew’s pattern.

Before Eli was born I sewed 15 All-in-One diapers using Kwik Sew 3690.  Unfortunately these ran really small and I was hardly able to use them at all after all of that work! 😦  I don’t really know if these will fit baby girl at all unless she has really skinny legs.  I’m not actually planning on these fitting but if they do that would be great!  These diapers also took FOREVER to dry so I’m sure they will be the ones I reach for last.

Pocket Diapers or All in One Diapers are much more expensive than going the prefolds and covers route.  I chose to purchase 1/2 of our stash in AIO diapers because my husband likes them much better.  (I also got a wonderful deal on them used.)  I am also counting on having help from family when the baby comes (Brandon’s mom is coming to stay after the baby is born and I am sure my mom and sisters will help from time to time).  I wanted to make it easier for them to help me change diapers.  🙂

Our Stash of Pocket Diapers

Our Stash of Pocket Diapers

I spent lots of time researching which aio/pocket diapers worked best and I think it just depends on your child.  We have 12 Bumgenius AIO XS diapers (yellow, blue, & teal in the picture on the left and right).  The reason I bought so many of these was simply because I got a great deal by purchasing a lot of them.  In the middle column starting at the top I have 2 Grovia Diapers, 1 XS Fuzzibunz Pocket Diaper, 1 Alva Baby (a China diaper), and 2 Lil’ Joey diapers.  As you can see I tried hard to keep things pretty gender neutral for the most part.  It is so hard though!  🙂

I am also planning on sewing some fleece doublers in case any of these diapers need more absorbency.  We will also be using cloth wipes.  I have some leftover from Eli and am in the process of sewing a dozen more from scrap fabric.

Have you ever cloth diapered a newborn?  Any tips, advice, etc?  

 

DIY Special Date Personalized Art Canvas

31 Jul
Bedroom Home Décor on a budget.

Bedroom Home Décor on a budget.

One of my goals for this past month has been to put more effort into decorating our home.  Home Décor is just one of those areas I just plain stink at.  We’ve lived in our current home almost 2 years and most of the windows still don’t even have curtains!  (I have an aversion to sewing curtains because it just seems so boring compared to everything else one can sew.)  I really desire to have a cozy home that is a place of rest for my family so I decided to start making this more of a priority.

My plan is to work on one room each month.  This month I worked on our bedroom.  It’s probably the easiest room to start with.  🙂  So far I have switched out my bedside bookcase for the one that had been in the sewing room.  I like it much better.  I also added black sconces on each side of the mirror above my dresser and added candles.  My favorite thing I did this month to decorate our bedroom was to make the above sign.  Can you guess what the numbers mean?  It is the date of our wedding anniversary and no doubt my favorite day of the whole year!  🙂

When I saw this number sign on Pintrest I knew I had to give it a try.  Since all of our walls are white I knew I wanted to paint the canvas first.  (My canvas was 16″ x 20″.)  I chose a light green color that matched our curtains and bed spread.  I gave the canvas two coats of paint.  (Elijah ended up wanting to paint also so I let him paint his own canvas at the same time.)

Since I can’t actually paint anything besides a plain background, I decided to utilize my Cricut.  I thought about making a stencil but then decided to just cut the numbers out of vinyl since I already had some on hand.  (I used brown.)  I used the Plantin’ Schoolbook cartridge for the Cricut and cut 6″ numbers.  I had planned on using the transfer tape this time but cut my vinyl too deep so I ended up placing them on the canvas without the tape.  The numbers 1 and 2 were easy to place but boy did the number 3 and 7 give me fits.  Still I am really pleased with how it turned out.  I also painted a sealer that I had on hand over the canvas.

This project turned out to be very inexpensive!  I purchased a 2 pack of canvases for 3.99 at Michaels.  (I plan on using the other one in baby girl’s nursery.)  I spent 0.54 for paint and had the vinyl, sealer, and paintbrushes on hand.  Total out-of-pocket expense: 2.54!  This may be one of my cheapest craft projects yet.

The hubby seemed to really like it.  (He’s a bit sentimental himself.)  He joked that now he will never forget the year we were married.  Ha, ha!  (I still think he will forget one year but I don’t think he will forget the day because it is also his birthday!)  I would still like to add something to the wall opposite our bed but I just haven’t figured out what yet.  Maybe a wedding picture?  I’m really thankful I was able to devote more time to decorating this month.  Before you know it we will have a little bassinett in there with a sweet little baby.

What sort of home décor do you have in your bedroom?  Has anyone made a photo gallery of pictures of the hubby and yourself?

Elijah’s New Robe: Take Two on Simplicity 3584

17 Jan
Elijah was so pleased with his new robe.

Elijah was so pleased with his new robe.

My little boy has been busy growing taller and taller.  All of a sudden none of his clothes fit including his flannel bath robe I made last year.  Time to break out the sewing machine and get to work!  Not really sure if I would call it work or not since Elijah is just about my favorite person to sew for.  😉

I made my own loops and added them to the robe.

I made my own loops and added them to the robe.

I used Simplicity 3584 and made a straight size 3 with no alterations.  I considered adding a 3″ hem that could be let down like I did last year but I figured that by the time Elijah was that much taller he would really need a bigger size.  I used an adorable blue farmyard print for the outside and the same farmyard print in green for the inside.  The flannel fabric has to be some of my favorite I have ever seen for a little boy!  I made almost the same changes to the pattern that I made last year.  I lined the entire robe by cutting out all of the pattern pieces again (except the pocket) out of the inside fabric.  Then I laid the lining pieces wrong sides together against the outside fabric.

I sewed the belt onto the back of the robe at the center back.

I sewed the belt onto the back of the robe at the center back.

The pattern called for the belt and loops to be made out of bias tape.  Unless you are really a beginner when it comes to sewing I would advise against this.  I really think that would look tacky.   To make the ties I cut 2 pieces of fabric 3X30″.  I sewed the two pieces together to make one large strip.  Sew a tube, inside it out and press.  (If you follow my notes and make the ties you will only need 1 package of bias tape.)  I also skipped using bias tape to finish the sleeves.  I also made Loops which measured 2 1/4 X 3/4 when finished.  Unlike the instructions I sewed them on very last and placed them right along the finished side seam.

If you are looking for a baby bath robe up to size 18-24 months I would recommend Simplicity 3711.)

Sweet boy & another sweet memory for this mama.

Sweet boy & another sweet memory for this mama.

I made lots of changes to this pattern but was very pleased with the final result.  Sewing robes for Elijah might just be a lasting tradition in our home.  🙂  I have a feeling I will be sewing another one next winter.

 

Frugal Things I Did Last Week

16 Jan
The little man & I had a great time playing at our house this week.

The little man & I had a great time playing at our house this week.

I took a free Photoshop class from the local library.  My sister was kind enough to watch Eli since I had to work.  I learned so much!  Now I just need to find a good deal so I can buy Photoshop.  Any suggestions?

We went to Sam’s Club for their free health screenings which included BMI, glucose, cholesterol, and vision ($100 value each).  Brandon also received a free hearing test.  (When Eli had one done last year it cost well over $100 with insurance.)  We also received free samples of Pedia Sure, Children’s Advil, Vitamins, & Dog Treats not to mention all of the food samples Elijah ate.  😉

I had my aunt and cousin over for a play-date.  I served Tomato Bisque, sandwiches, and oranges.  We also made Snow Paint for a fun craft activity.  I used some of the hubby’s shaving cream and part of a bottle of glue purchased in August.  Eli ended up painting his arms with it so I’m not sure if we will make it for a while.  😉

I made a t-shirt necklace out of an old t-shirt my mom gave me.  I think the shirt belonged to my brother.  He was really thrilled when he saw the necklace.  🙂  I watched this video.

My favorite Valentine's Day Decor: A Simple Banner I handstitched.

My favorite Valentine’s Day Decor: A Simple Banner I hand stitched.

I sewed myself a sweater using knit remnant fabric and a pattern I bought on sale.  The entire project cost less than $5.

I spent some time doing research on my garden for this year.

The hubby and I had a nice at-home date.  We made Root Beer Floats and just sat and talked. (Every girl’s dream right?)  We also borrowed a friend’s Gotta Dance for the Wii and had a dance off.  😉  Brandon beat me bad.  🙂  I’m a firm believer in the fact that you don’t have to go out on a fancy date night every week to have a great marriage.

My Aunt’s birthday was last week so I baked her Chocolate Zucchini Bread (in a bundt pan so it looked fancy).  The zucchini was from our garden last year.  I also gave her a card purchased at the Dollar Store.

I purchased a replacement laptop cord from Amazon.com for $8 (including shipping).

I hung up Valentine Decor that I had made: a wreath, a LOVE garland, and a hand-stitched felt banner.

Our Valentine's Day Wreath

Our Valentine’s Day Wreath

I cleaned scrubbed our fridge from top to bottom.  I rearranged the shelves in an attempt for things not to get lost in the back.  I also purchased a $3 basket from Dollar General to store condiments and salad fixings.  That way we can just pull the basket out for lunch.  I am tempted to add these cute labels to the bins.

Eli wore free diaper samples overnight a couple of nights this week.  (He still sleeps in a diaper at night.)

I took a Water Aerobics class at our gym.  (My husband is a pastor and the gym gives us a great discount on a membership.)  Afterwards I ran all of my errands for the week.

I made dinner for a dozen youth & college students at our church for only $18.

I purchased 6 educational books for Elijah at the thrift store for $2.  Each book is about a different letter of the alphabet.  We save tons of money by not sending him to preschool or an expensive play group.

My mom gave us a ham which we froze.

I’m super impressed by my hubby’s frugal accomplishment this week.   He went to the Christian bookstore where they were having a fill a bag sale for $10.  He stuffed and stuffed and was able to buy 7 brand new books for $10!  Two of the books were on our wish list.  As I’ve mentioned before he is a pastor and we buy A LOT of books.

I received a free wipes container (& wipes) in the mail.  I also received baby coupons & a newborn diaper that I will be passing on to an expecting friend.

Sew a Knitting Needle Case: McCalls 4728

2 Jan
My sister's knitting needle case.

My sister’s knitting needle case.

There are so many wonderful sewing projects out there that would be perfect to sew for my younger sister.  I mean have you seen pintrest lately?  It was very hard to determine exactly what to make her for Christmas.  I finally settled on sewing her a knitting needle case.  She has really gotten into knitting in the past couple of months.  It would be easy to come up with your own pattern for this but if you can catch McCall patterns for 1.00 why bother?  The concept is very similar to a number of projects I have made in the past: a crayon rolls, a drum stick holder, colored pencil roll, and a crochet hook case.

I did use a pattern MCalls 4728 for this project that I would highly recommend!  I had made it in the past for a good friend of mine so this pattern was a cinch to whip up!  I had all of the materials on hand so I’m not sure where they came from.  😉

I did add the following notes to my instructions for sewing Case A or B.

  • At Step 12 you are sewing back sections right sides together.
  • At Step 13 I would recommend first trimming the corners before turning right sides out.  This will reduce bulk in the corners and make a nicer finished project.
  • You could trace the stitching lines onto the material.  I don’t though!  Instead I mark the first one and then sew a total of 10 lines each 1″ apart.  Then I sew 4 more lines each 1.5″ apart.  I just try to keep my material straight and sew along. You could also measure it at the bottom.  I have found that when sewing the pockets if you begin at the bottom the finished project looks much better than if you sew from top to bottom.
The knitting needle case has pockets perfect for storing all of your knitting needles!

The knitting needle case has pockets perfect for storing all of your knitting needles!

Overall this was a wonderful project that I highly recommend!  If you can’t sew and would be interested in purchasing one please let me know.  I would love to make one for you.

Frugal Things I Did Last Week

1 Jan
Just some of the appetizers and treats served at our Christmas party.

Just some of the appetizers and treats served at our Christmas party.

Christmas has come and gone can you believe it?  I hope you all had a blessed Christmas celebrating our Savior’s birth!  I have been crafting and sewing like crazy this past month.  🙂  I am so thankful that I was able to sew more Christmas presents this year than any year yet!  I had a great time blessing my family in this way.

I made my sister a checkbook cover using this tutorial.  I used scrap material leftover from other projects so this project was practically free!  I couldn’t get the ruffle part of the tutorial to work out for me so I appliqued a K on it instead.  I am so pleased with how it turned out.  I might just have to make one for myself.  🙂

Katelyn's checkbook cover.

Katelyn’s checkbook cover.

I made the hubby a homemade vanilla milkshake instead of him heading to Sonic.

My handsome man modeling Bekah's new hat.

My handsome man modeling Bekah’s new hat.

I made my sister Bekah a fun fleece hat using this tutorial.  I used scrap fleece fabric I had on hand.

We ate soup for three meals last week.  I made Sneaky Potato Soup (with broccoli instead of cauliflower) and Crock Pot Tortilla Soup.

The eyeglass cases literally took minutes to make!

The eyeglass cases literally took minutes to make!

I made my mom and sister eyeglass cases out of a Vera Bradley purse (the zipper was broken beyond repair).  It literally took minutes!

I made a nightgown for my cousin Katie for Christmas.  I also made a matching one for her American Girl Doll and a sleep mask, sleeping bag, and pillow.  I hope she enjoys playing with it as much as I enjoyed making it.  I can’t believe how many creative sewing and DIY ideas there are out there for American Girl dolls.  🙂

Our Christmas open house was so much fun!

Our Christmas open house was so much fun!

We had a Christmas open house at our home that was lots of fun.  Besides the shrimp that we purchased everything else was homemade.  As shown in the picture above we served vegetables with Red Pepper Hummus (both from Aldi).  I also made a cheese tray using fancy cheeses and crackers from Aldi.  (Aldi continues to be such a blessing to my family!) We also served: deviled eggs,  popcorn balls, yum-yums, Pecan Tarts, Peppermint Kisses, Chips & Dip, Potato Chips, cupcakes, m&ms, bacon wrapped water chestnuts, fudge, and nuts.  For drinks I served: homemade hot chocolate (kept warm in a Crockpot), water, and punch (my late Poppie’s recipe).  We ended up with lots of leftover cookies which I froze and took to my parent’s house for Christmas.  (They still tasted great!)

I made Elijah a fleece no-sew blanket with fabric I purchased on Black Friday.  He loves it!

About half of the Christmas presents were purchased or made before the month of December.  I hid the majority of them on the tallest shelf of my closet.  Anytime I would find something at a great deal that I thought a family member would love I picked it up and added it to my stash.  By purchasing presents at stellar prices I am able to minimalize our Christmas expenses while maximizing our giving.  🙂

I sewed a Christmas sleeper for my son Elijah.  This wasn’t an incredible savings but such a fun memory!  I made my first sleeper for Eli-pictures coming soon!

How did you save money this past week? 

Sew a Drawstring Nightgown (or dress): Simplicity 1722 Review

28 Dec
Simplicity 1722 Tween Drawstring Nightgown

Simplicity 1722 Tween Drawstring Nightgown

This has to be one of my favorite Christmas presents that I made this year!   I used Simplicity 1722 to sew a nightgown for my eight year old cousin.  I sewed a straight 8 no adjustments.  She wears a size 8 in ready to wear so that is what I made.  I didn’t measure her but this fit her perfectly!  (I wish I had taken a picture of her wearing it!)

I sewed View B with lace trim purchased on a spool from hobby lobby.  The flannel was from Hancock’s.  This pattern used single fold bias tape for the casing for the elastic under the bust.  I had never done this before but it was pretty easy.  What was neat about this pattern was that it is one of Simplicity’s “Learn to Sew” patterns.  It has the most detailed instructions I believe I have ever seen on a pattern as well as helpful hints.  I even learned something myself!

The only difficulty I had with this pattern was getting the elastic in the waistband to look uniform.  I”m still not sure exactly why.  I ended up just playing with it until it looked more uniform. Although the pattern calls for 3 1/2 yards of lace for size 8 I was able to get by with just 3.  😉  This project only took 2 hours top to bottom.  How could you not love such an adorable pattern that comes together so fast.  Overall this pattern is wonderful!  I think it would also make a lovely dress for summer time!

Since it was for a little girl I couldn’t resist sewing up a cute little matching dress.

A sweet little matching nightgown for my cousin's American Girl doll.

A sweet little matching nightgown for my cousin’s American Girl doll.

Frugal Things I Did the Last Two Weeks

21 Dec
My frugal Christmas decor.

My frugal Christmas decor.

I don’t know about you but December tests my frugality more than any other month of the year!  I think it’s all of the sentimentality attached to the Christmas coupled with a big desire to give to others.  😉  We had a bout of sickness a couple of weeks ago that derailed us for a few days but we are all doing well now. 

We put up Christmas decorations that we already had and avoided purchasing any new items!  🙂  I wanted to jazz up the top of the piano so I wrapped extra Christmas lights we already had around garland.  I love the result!  The Advent Christmas tree was a gift from family and the Nativity was a wedding gift.

So far the majority of our Christmas gift giving have been homemade.  My goal was to make 50% of our gifts.  I made a handprints wreath for Brandon’s parents, a Baby Bath Robe for my niece Zuzu, and a clutch for my sister-in-law Renee (pictured below).

The clutch I made for my sister-in-law.

The clutch I made for my sister-in-law.

I visited a friend and she gave me all sorts of things they were giving away!  A box of jars, a huge rug, and a printer in excellent condition.  We didn’t need the printer but I knew that my parents could use it so I passed it on to them.  The rug had some stains on it so I cleaned them with carpet cleaner.  I also borrowed my mom’s carpet cleaner and cleaned the entire rug.  Our entire basement is finished but has tile flooring so this rug will be perfect down there!

I made two Deco-Mesh wreaths.  One for my parents and one for my Momolene.  (I had already made one to give my other Grandma.)

The Deco-Mesh wreath I made for my parents.

The Deco-Mesh wreath I made for my parents.

There was a mistake with Elijah’s Christmas pictures and I was given the slightly out of focus pictures in addition to the correct pictures.  I am using the out of focus pictures for Christmas ornaments.

I had Elijah paint plain brown paper bags with red and green paint (we had on hand) to make cute wrapping paper.  It was also a fun project for him.

I made homemade hot chocolate for our young adult Christmas party at church.  They drank every drop!

We watched movies from the library instead of getting a Redbox.

I received some nice samples in the mail: shampoo, lotion, men’s body wash, etc.

I received another book to review in the mail.

Elijah made a birthday card for his Poppy Steve.  We gave him a gift subscription to Golf Digest.

I took some items to our local consignment store that Elijah no longer needs.  I received almost $20 from items that had already sold.

I washed a dry clean only blazer of Eli’s in the Washing Machine on the Handwash cycle.  I hung it to dry and it worked great.  ( I’ll admit it was a risk but I had picked up the blazer at a thrift store dirt cheap.)   Usually I wash our dry clean only items (except for suits) with Dryel but I haven’t been able to find it in the store lately.

What frugal activities have you been able to accomplish lately despite the Holidays? 

Sew a Baby Bath Robe: Simplicity 3711 Review

20 Dec
Front View

Front View

I decided to sew a sweet little baby robe for my niece Zuzu for Christmas this year.  I used Simplicity 3711 which is a baby bath robe pattern which includes a hood.  I made a size Large for my 1-year-old niece.  I think she wears a size 18-24 months in ready to wear.  The robe was plenty big on her so I think this pattern must run a little big. 

Back View

Back View

I used a soft flannel fabric purchased at either Hancocks or JoAnns (I can’t remember.)  This robe is lined with a soft flannel solid fabric and includes a hood which I thought was adorable.  It is a little bit harder to find a robe pattern that includes a hood.  Flannel will fade overtime but I almost always choose it when making baby gifts-just remember not to iron it.  I did find that this pattern was much more time-consuming than Simplicity 3584 that I made for Elijah last year. 

Prior to this project I had never sewn a flat felt seam.  It was nice to learn a new sewing technique!  The seam was very easy to sew and looked wonderful along the hood. 

The rick rack along the front and hood really adds a sweet touch.  I also included a label with the size.

The rick rack along the front and hood really adds a sweet touch. I also included a label with the size.

I absolutely loved the rick rack which I attached along this robe.  If I were making this for a little boy I would probably skip the rick rack and try piping instead.  I skipped the applique on the front as I thought the flannel print was plenty busy enough.  One thing that I didn’t do on this robe that I should have been to attach the belt.  On Eli’s robe I sewed the belt onto the back of the robe so that it doesn’t get lost.  You could also add belt loops. 

Overall I loved how this project turned out.  I will probably add it to my baby shower possibilities list.  😉

Crafting with my Cricut: Christmas Time!

30 Nov

The Christmas tree is up and the stockings are hung by the window with care (no fireplace here).  I don’t know about you but the weeks before Christmas put me in the biggest mood for sewing and crafting.  😉  Anybody else feel that way?

Usually I turn to sewing when I am feeling creative.  Earlier this week I decided to turn to my Cricut instead.  Last Christmas I was surprised (& I mean surprised) with a Cricut.  It’s a type of die-cutting machine that can do crazy cool stuff.  Honestly I’m still not very good at using the Cricut but I was so pleased with how this craft turned out I thought I would share.  🙂  I really wanted to create something to remind my family of the Joy of Christmas.  It’s so easy during the hustle & bustle of December to lose sight of the real meaning-Jesus!

So thankful that Christ endured the cross for the JOY set before him. What a great reason to celebrate!

 

First I took a piece of finished wood (purchased at JoAnns) and painted it with two coats of acrylic paint.  I used Martha Stewart’s acrylic satin paint for multi-surfaces.

I used the Winter Wonderland cartridge and white vinyl.  I cut out the “Joy” phrase at 3.5″ and the snowflake at 2.5″.  Then I removed the sticky side from the vinyl and attached it to the wood.  Then I painted the plaque with Poly Acrylic sealer and let dry.  I thought about attaching ribbon but decided that since it is so small I will probably just place it on a windowsill.

A simple way to add some Christmas cheer to our window.

 

Elijah had a wonderful time helping me with this craft but I also wanted to do something special just for him.  I had some leftover vinyl so I cut out a snowman and a couple of snowflakes.  He loved them!

 

What type of Christmas crafts do you have planned?