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Gorgeous DIY Book Covers

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Image of Houses Seamless Pattern via Shutterstock

Now that back-to-school season is on the horizon, it is time to think about all of the ways kids can make their upcoming school year as bright and fun as possible.  Covering text books with whimsical, charming, or even funny patterns can turn your kids’ backpacks into mini art galleries.  This kind of personalization can help older kids feel more connected to their school experience.

I found the above seamless, repeating house pattern on Shutterstock, and I instantly felt like my eyes could hang out in this colorful neighborhood for days!   Seamless patterns are perfect for book covers because you don’t have to worry about centering images –  it is like wallpaper for your books!

Mustaches, because they are all the rage right now:

Image of Art Deco Mustache Seamless Pattern via Shutterstock

And, hot air balloons — to remind us of grand possibilities:

Image of Retro Hot Air Balloon via Shutterstock

Visit here and here for two fabulous DIY book covering tutorials.

Searching for your favorite images can lead to hours of fun! A nice rainy afternoon activity, perhaps?

Enjoy!

-Emily

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FamilyFun Magazine’s Sew Fun Projects

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

I was so happy to see the wonderful Sew Fun Projects feature in this month’s FamilyFun magazine! My friend Nicole Blum‘s beginner’s projects are delightful — simple and super fun to make and appealing to both  kids and adults!  Those t-shirt dresses make lovely play dresses for kids, but wouldn’t it also be perfect as a stylish tunic for an adult?

Oh, and my two daughters also happen to have participated in the shoot!  So, ahem, that is pretty darn fun too!  They are dressed in green (left and center) and had a blast romping and crafting with the group.  My little one (posed in front) was especially happy to be part of it all.  Her smile tells the story of a fun-filled day, yes?

The key chain project  from the feature is one of my older daughter’s favorites;  she is planning to make one for her back-to-school back pack.   Did I just whisper the words “back-to-school”?  Shhhhhhh.  Please continue on with your summertime fun.

-Emily

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5 Bright Spots: Toy Boat Crafts for Kids

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

 

In celebration of moving into the second full month of summer, I’ve collected some lovely boat crafts for you to make and play with. Build them and set them free on your favorite creek, pond, stream, or puddle. Surely, the boats will lead your kids on wild, summer adventures! And, while you’re sailing the high seas with an imaginary crew,  consider reading The Wind in The Willows together.  The pages are filled with woodland critters on boats, which is part of why it is one of my favorite story books!

1. This Twig Boat (pictured above)  is magical and fun!

2. A Cork Boat! Brilliant!

3. Nutshell Sailboats.  Ariana makes her sweet boats with hickory nuts.  I’ve seen them made with walnut shells as well.

4. These Milkweek Pod Boats that my daughter made in the spring!

5. Traditional Origami Boats  with a how-to video in the post!

Ahoy, captain!

-Emily

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Sewing Projects for Kids

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Since my last post showcased one of my favorite books about sewing with kids, I thought I’d share a link to FamilyFun’s website where they are featuring a bunch of really fun sewing crafts for children.  Check out all of the projects!

I find that simple sewing projects are a lovely way to connect with my children.  It feels so nice to work together to make something useful, and I love that they learn to focus on fun rather than perfection.

And, hey, that hanging seat caddy is EXACTLY what we need for our summer road trips.  I’m going to make them with my kids this weekend.

Happy day!

-Emily

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Sewing School!

Friday, July 26th, 2013

My children and I got to review the new book, Sewing School 2: Lessons in Machine Sewing and we had a blast testing out the projects!

Sewing School 2 is a wonderful way to introduce children to sewing with a machine because it encourages them to be confident in themselves while inspiring them to be creative in ways that feel fun and productive. Plus, the projects pictured in the book are made by other children, which leaves my kids feeling inspired and connected to all of the creative possibilities within.

There is a book review (and give-away) on my blog, Red Bird Crafts.

Happy weekending!

-Emily

 

 

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