It’s a Hoot! Felt Owls from Styrofoam Balls

felt_owlsInspired from Your Best Handmade Creations” on Martha Stewart and Not Just a Mommy, these chubby felt owls are a hoot and easy to make after all the cutting! These felt owls could be made around the colors of your themed party. You could use pastels or gender specific colors for a baby shower. You could also choose specific colors for a birthday or even a holiday such as Valentine’s Day!

Things you need:
2 – 4″ Styrofoam Balls
4 – 25mm Googly Eyes
Felt sheets – colors of your choice
Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
Owl One Template
Owl Two Template

Things to do for Owl One:
1. Flatten your styrofoam ball by gently pressing against a table’s surface. This will be helpful later, to keep the owl from rolling.
2. Print out the Owl One Template. Cut out each piece. Begin by tracing and cutting out your feathers (this is number 3 in the owl one template) from your felt squares. You may want to cut out two different colors of feathers, depending on the owl you may have in mind. Glue the felt feathers onto the styrofoam ball, starting from the bottom and go up. Stagger and glue on the feathers on top of one another until you have almost reached the the top of the styrofoam ball. Since owl two does not have a head covering, cover the entire styrofoam ball with feathers. One color should be used for the front of the owl and the other color should be used as the backside of the owl.
3. To make owl one’s face cut out shapes 1, 2, and 5 from the owl one template in felt of your choice. To make the beak of the owl, cut a feather out of brown felt. Place and glue the small eye piece (#2) onto the larger eye piece (#1). Glue on the googly eyes and brown felt feather nose with a dab of hot glue. Next, glue the cone shape (#5) over the glued felt eye pieces. Be sure that the point of the felt cone is aligned with the middle of the eyes as pictured. Do not round off the corners of the felt cone yet. This will come later.
4. To make the ears of the owl, trace and cut out two triangles (#4) from brown felt. Pinch the two corners of the brown felt triangles and hot glue together. Here comes the tricky part of putting together your owl… you have to glue the felt ears onto the styrofoam body first. You will have to figure out the placement of the owl’s face, then glue on the ears. After you have glued on the ears, hot glue the front of the face onto the styrofoam body. Gently wrap the remaining part of the felt cone shape around the styrofoam ball and round out the corners as needed before gluing.

Things to do for Owl Two:
1. Flatten your styrofoam ball by gently pressing against a table’s surface. This will be helpful later, to keep the owl from rolling.
2. Print out Owl Two Template. Cut out each piece. Begin by tracing and cutting out your feathers (this is number 3 in the owl two template) from your felt squares. You may want to cut out two different colors of feathers, depending on the owl you may have in mind. Glue the felt feathers onto the styrofoam ball, starting from the bottom and go up. Stagger and glue on the feathers on top of one another. Since owl two does not have a head covering, cover the entire styrofoam ball with feathers. One color should be used for the front of the owl and the other color should be used as the backside of the owl.
3. To make the eyes for your owl, cut out two of the large circles (#1) and cut two of the smaller circles (#2) from felt of your choice. Glue the smaller circles on top of the larger circles once you like the placement. Then hot glue the two googly eyes onto the smaller circles. Cut a brown feather (#3) for the beak.
4. To make the ears of the owl, trace and cut out two triangles (#4) from brown felt. Pinch the two corners of the brown felt triangles and hot glue together. Place and glue the ears onto the owl. This will be your guide for the rest of the owl’s face. Place and glue the beak onto the owl. Finally, glue on the eyes with hot glue.

Photo Credits: Your Best Handmade Creations

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DIY Wedding Decorations – Doily Flower Wedding Garland

paper_doily_garland paper_doily_garland2
Things you will need:
4-1/2″ Paper Doilies
Butcher’s Twine
Decorative Paper
Gold Foil Seals (1/2″ diameter)
Heart Shaped Craft Punch
Tiny Hole Punch
A Pencil

Things to do:
1. To make the gold seal strand, cut your desired length from the butcher’s twine and tie a knot at each end. Begin at one end of the twine and stick two gold seal’s together, back to back, making sure the twine is running between them. Repeat this process about every 3″ or 4″ until you reach the opposite end.
2. Using your heart craft punch, punch out about 25-30 hearts for a 6ft garland from a sheet of decorative paper. Punch a small hole in each heart on the top right or left side using the tiny paper punch. Cut your desired length from the butcher’s twine and tie a knot at one end. Take one of the punched out hearts and thread the twine through. Slide the heart all the way down, meeting the knot at the end. Tie another knot about 3″ to 4″ from the first heart and thread another heart through. Repeat this process until you have reach the other end of the twine and tie a final knot at the end.
3. Hold your pencil eraser side up in the center of your paper doily. Slow push the paper doily towards the pencil point. Keeping the doily pinched, slowly remove the doily from the end of the pencil. Fold the edges outward a bit, creating petals. Repeat this process until you have enough paper doily flowers for the garland ( 12 flowers is enough for a 6 foot garland).
4. Cut your desired length from the butcher’s twine and tie a knot at one end. Tie another knot about 4″ to 5″ up from the beginning knot. Keep this knot really loose, leave the knot opening to about a 1/2″ wide. Take one of your paper doily flowers and slip the loose knot over the point of the flower. Pull the knot tightly closed, tie another knot to secure the paper doily flower. Continue this process, placing paper doily flowers about every 4″ to 5″ along the twine until you have reached the other end and tie a final knot at the end.
5. To join your garlands, it is best to wait until you have ready to hang them as they can easily get tangled together. You can keep them from getting tangled up until you are ready to use them by wrapping them around a paper towel tube or cardboard scrap. To join them, carefully take one or two of each strand and knot the grouping at both ends. Use these beautiful garlands to trim table, mantles, or even windows!

Project and Photo Credits:

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DIY Wedding Invitations – Message in a Bottle

“Love washes in like the tide, soothing the parched sand”
wedding_message_ina_bottleAre you planning a destination wedding? Are you in the need of a fun and unique invitation? If you are a bride that wants nothing but sand in between your toes as you walk down the aisle way and the sound of ocean waves crashing in your ears then we have got the perfect idea for invitations. You can create DIY invitations, messages in a bottle! All you need for this unique wedding invite is glass message bottles, small seashells, ribbon or natural raffia, uncoated printing paper, an oil scent of your choice (optional) and sealing wax (optional). Of course you can add your own embellishments and make them with your own personality in mind but this is just for the basic idea.

1. Before you print out your invites you may want to test a few pieces of paper for the correct size to ensure that they will fit in your glass message bottles. To make your paper look authentically old and worn out you will want to tea dye your paper. Print out everything you would like to have printed on your invitations before you begin the tea dyeing process. If you wish to hand write on your invitations you should do this after you have tea dyed your paper. Please make sure that your paper is uncoated. To learn how to tea dye paper click here!
2. Once you have printed out and tea dyed your paper it is now time to make sure that your guest are able to get out your invitations out of the glass message bottle without any frustrations. To ensure this you could try attaching a pull mechanism on the center of your invite. You can use ribbon or even natural raffia. You can glue or hole punch a hole and loop your thread through. To make your guest can retrieve your invites worry-free you should also roll your invitations tightly and tie it off with your choice of ribbon or natural raffia. This is to make sure the invitations will not expand, making it nearly impossible to recover, once it has been placed inside the glass message bottle.
3. Now that your invites are inserted into the glass message bottles, it’s time to be creative and have a little fun! You can now insert your sand. A little can go a long way, an inch is enough. You can of course play around with the amount but if you are planning to ship these, remember more sand equals more shipping cost.
4. After you have figured out the right amount of sand it’s now time to add some small seashells and your invites. When you place your invites in the glass message bottles make sure your pull thread is outside the bottle before placing the cork, so that your guest can retrieve their messages with ease. You can of course add personal touches like making a custom label for your bottles, you could also add a tropical scent to the bottom of the cork (the part that will go inside the glass message bottle) by adding a few drops of oil scent. Make sure the oil scent that you choose is not too overwhelming. You could also leave the bottle and cork as is or you could seal the glass message bottles by using sealing wax.
5. If you plan on shipping your glass message bottle invites to your guest, you should make sure that you find a tough, heavy duty container when mailing them out. You should also use plenty of decorative packing material like natural raffia to cushion your glass message bottles.
You are now ready to send out your message in a bottle invites!

Click here to print out your FREE beach wedding invite template!

You can also use this same concept for beach or tropical themed parties and events!
Click here to print out your FREE beach party invite template!

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Ribbons and Bows – Korker Ribbon with Grosgrain Ribbon

korker_ribbonKorker ribbon is simply a curled ribbon and is often used to make bows. Korker bows are often seen on young children to add a little flair to an already adorable outfit. Cheerleaders wear them to show a little more spirit and bounce to their peppy routines. You can make korker ribbon out of any type of ribbon such as grosgrain, satin, or even organza ribbon. You can add korker ribbon onto any ribbon project for a fun little curl!

Things you need:
Grosgrain Ribbon (I would recommend a 1/4″ or 3/8″ ribbon)
1/4″ Wooden Dowel Rods (Once you get some practice in you can play around with different sizes)
Fray Check (You could also use clear finger nail polish) or a Lighter

Things to do:
1. To begin making your korker ribbon, preheat your oven to 275 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and be sure that your oven is clean so that your korker ribbon does not get dirty.
2. Clamp one end of the grosgrain ribbon onto the dowel rod with a clothespin.
3. Slowly begin spinning the dowel rod, wrapping the ribbon around the dowel and not overlapping the grosgrain ribbon. You can leave spaces, or you don’t have to leave any space at all, just depends on how tight you want your curl to be.
4. Wrap your ribbon to the end of the dowel rod. Once you have reached the end, cut your ribbon and clamp the end with another clothespin. You may want to give the clothespin a little twist so that you know its all the way around.
5. Wrap as many dowel rods as you wish for your project.
6. Lay each wrapped dowel rod onto your baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes (depending on your oven).
7. After your ribbon is done baking, take your dowel rods and slip the korker ribbon off. Use fray check (you could also use clear finger nail polish) or a lighter to be sure the ribbon ends don’t fray. Now you have korker ribbon curls ready for any project!

Project Notes:
For a different method of making korker ribbons, soak the ribbon in water and then spray with starch. This will make your korker ribbons more durable and stain resistant.

If you are wanting to make mini korker ribbons, then just use a smaller diameter dowel rod along with the narrowest ribbon you can find.

The newer your dowel rods are, the more difficult it will be to slide off the korker ribbon once they are done baking. This will get become easier the more you use your dowel rods.

You may need to repeat the baking process if your korker doesn’t seem to be tight enough or if it seems to be still damp in spots. Repeating the baking process for another 10 minutes until the korker is tight and dry.

Remember the lighter the ribbon color the longer it will need to be in the oven. If you are using white, light pink, or any other light color ribbon, it is more likely that your ribbon will show burn marks from being in the oven too long. Just be sure to keep an eye on them while they are in the oven, checking on them periodically and letting them air dry if needed after the initial 20 minutes.

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Craft Project – Little Stork’s a Coming with Loopy Chenille

Things you need:
1 – 10″ Styrofoam Disk
1 – 8″ Styrofoam Disk
1 – 3″ Styrofoam Egg
1 – 8″ Styrofoam Wreath
1 – 9″ x 4″ Styrofoam Cone
6yd Hank – White Loopy Chenille
1yd Hank – Blue or Pink (Or color of your choice) Loopy Chenille
2 – 1/4″ Wood Dowel Rods
1 – Gold Felt Square
1 – Black Felt Top Hat
1 – 4″ Teddy Bear
2 – 25mm Googly Eyes
1 – 3-1/2″ Doll Glasses
White Netting Tulle Spool
Floral U Pins
Hot Glue Gun
Hot Glue Sticks
Poster board
Ribbon and Flowers as Desired

Things to do:
1. Take your styrofoam wreath, measure and mark 5-1/2″. Then cut the piece for the stock’s neck.
2. To make your stork’s body, round the sharp edge of the cone base by rolling and pressing the end along the table.
3. To connect the stock’s body with the neck, cut out a 1″ piece of the cone at the base so that the neck fits into the body. Be sure that the rounded part of the neck is flush with the base of the cone. Adjust the neck so that it is turned at a slight angle and secure with hot glue.
4. Take the styrofoam egg and push the large end onto the neck at a slight downward angle. Glue the styrofoam egg in place.
5. Cut a 7-1/2″ strip of white loopy chenille and wrap lengthwise around the egg from the back of the neck around the middle of the styrofoam egg and under the chin of the stork. Glue in place with hot glue.
6. Cut two – 13″ strips of white loopy chenille and wind each strip into two spirals. Glue each loopy chenille spiral onto each side of the head.
7. Wrap the white loopy chenille around the styrofoam cone beginning at the point and ending at the base. Secure the white loopy chenille with hot glue and floral pins.
8. Cut one – 17″ strip of white loopy chenille and wind into a spiral. Glue the white loopy chenille spiral onto the chest of the stork.
9. Cut one – 6″ strip of white loopy chenille and bend in half. Glue the loopy chenille piece onto the pointed end of the styrofoam cone, covering the tip for the stork’s tail.
10. Cut a 28″ strip of white loopy chenille and wrap it around the neck starting from the cone, wrapping the loopy chenille up to the start of the styrofoam egg. Secure the loopy chenille with glue and floral pins.
11. Cut one – 5″ by 2″ triangle from the poster board for the top of the bill and one – 5″ by 1-1/2″ triangle for the bottom of the bill. Wrap the poster board triangles in the gold felt. Be sure to cut the felt so that the edges are flush with the center of the bill. Glue and pin them together with floral pin to the bottom of the head.
12. Cut two – 13″ strips of white loopy chenille to make the wings. Coil each loopy chenille strip into a circle. Glue and pin each coil onto each side of the body right below the stork’s neck.
13. Cut two – 20″ strips of white loopy chenille to make the feathers. Fold each loopy chenille strip accordion style into a 4″ feather, a 3″ feather, and a 2″ feather. Secure the wings onto each side of the body, under the edge of the loopy chenille coils and pointing to the back of the body towards the tail, with glue and floral pins.
14. Cut two – 20″ strips of blue loopy chenille (we used blue on our stork but you could also do pink or another color of your choice) and repeat the process in step 13 to make another set of wings. Place each blue loopy chenille wing on each side of the stork’s body, just under the first set of feathers. Secure with glue and floral pins.
15. To make the stork’s legs, cut two – 9″ pieces from the dowels rods. Cut two – 9″ by 1-1/4″ strips of gold felt. Wrap and glue the felt around the two wood dowel rods. Push one end of the dowels into the body of the stork about 3″ back from the front of the chest and 1-1/2″ apart from each other. Push the remaining ends of the dowels into the 8″ styrofoam disk. Secure each end of the dowel rods with hot glue.
16. Center and glue the 8″ styrofoam disk on top of the 10″ styrofoam disk. Glue on the googly eyes and place the glasses onto the stork so that they rest on the bill. Secure the glasses with glue.
17. Finally, glue on the black felt top hat. Cut a 6″ by 14″ piece of tulle. Fold the tulle in half and tie in a knot. Slip the teddy bear inside and glue the tulle to the storks bill. Add and glue on desired ribbons and flowers.

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DIY Wedding Decorations – Apple Chair Swag

apple_swag_weddingHere is a quick DIY wedding decoration and they are easy to create. In weddings, green’s got a feel all its own, and that feel is fresh, slightly preppy, and above all, modern. Green apples could be easily incorporated into any spring or summer wedding for that fresh modern feel. You could use green apples as the centerpieces, place card holders or even part of the actual decorations. These apple swags are easy to make, just wire the apples together and use decorative ribbon on the ends. These could be used to decorate the new couple’s chairs during the reception or order by the bushel and do the whole room up. The best part about using apples as part of the decor is that they can be made a couple days in advance!
Things You’ll Need:
8 – 10 Small Apples (picture shows Granny Smiths)
19 Gauge Wire
6 yards of ribbon or trim (3 different styles)
Wire Cutters

Things To Do:
1. Decide on how many apples you would like use for the swag and line them up with the smaller ones at the ends and the bigger ones in the middle.
2. Cut about 3 feet from the wire with your wire cutters. Make a loop at one end and twist it to secure the closure.
3. Take the first apple, centered at the stem, push the wire through the upper half and slide the apple all the way down to the loop.
4. Carefully, one by one string the apples onto the wire in the order that you placed them in step 1.
5. Once you have finished stringing the apples, complete the swag with another loop at the end. Twist to secure and trim away any excess wire that there might be.
6. Finally, cut six pieces of ribbon, about 12″ each. Gather three ribbons and tie them to one end of the swag. Do the same for the remaining end.


Image Credits:
The Bride’s Cafe

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Wedding Advice – Planning the Guest List

guest_listWho should I invite? How many people should we invite? These are things to think about when you are building your guest list for your special day. Once of the most stressful steps in planning your wedding can be putting together the guest list. Here are a few steps to make the planning process a little bit easier on everyone.
1.) Who will be paying? You should take into consideration which party is paying for the reception, to be fair. Whoever is paying for reception should ultimately have the final say in the number of guest. If you and your “soon to be” are paying for the wedding you may want to talk to each of your parents and see if they can cut down their list to what you consider reasonable. If one of the parents are paying you may want to speak with them about who they think is necessary to have there. If both of the parents are paying then it is more of a compromise. Once you have figured out who is paying for what and you have figured out the budget, the list should be a little easier.
2.) What is your dream list? Make the list of your dreams, as if money was no object. Have each member that is involved in the wedding planning make their list of people they wish to invite. This would include the parents of each side, the “soon to be”, and yourself. You would cover your entire family and the “soon to be” would cover their side. I would recommend doing these in a program such as excel, or word document, it will only make life easy later on.
3.) Combine the List and Talk it Over: Take each list and combine them together. Try not to panic, as the list may look large and very overwhelming, but relax it will go down. To be sure you are comfortable with who is invited, take a minute and reviews everyone’s list. You may also want to consider the “plus ones,” and only invite those who have been in a long term relationship. As terrible as this may sound, make an A and B column of those who are invited and of those who are not. You could also consider using a three column method. Column A would be those that are absolutely invited to the wedding, column B would be those who are probably invited and column C would be for those that would be nice to invite if you could. This will give you flexibility to move people back and fourth as the list gets narrowed down.
4.) Weed Through the List: This part can be very stressful, but it is necessary. This is where you start narrowing down your list if you have a specific number or budget in mind. Start thinking about those you don’t really need to be invited… perhaps people that you haven’t seen in years. Is it necessary that they be invited to the wedding? Some people may not be the best fit for your special day.
5.) Take a Deep Breath and Relax: This part may seem very stressful but it is needed. Do not stress over those who you could not invite. They will understand. If you feel that you need to explain to them, just say it wasn’t in your budget and over time people won’t be hurt. Just be sure that everyone communicates with each other. This can become a touchy topic but with communication and making sure that every one is in the loop, it can go much more smoothly.

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Ribbons and Bows – How to make a Rosette Bow

A decorative bow can turn any ordinary gift into a work of art. Extravagant looking bows are very deceptive in that many bows are easy to create yourself. Impress your friends and families by showing your decorative bows skills. Bows can often be used for more than just gifts. Bows can be used for decorations such as napkin rings or even fancy chandeliers! Just follow these instructions to make fancy rosette bows to adorn all of your packages.

1. Take your color choice and size of ribbon and wrap it around your hand 10 times. To make your bows fuller then just wrap the ribbon around your hand a few more times. To make a smaller rosette bow, just wrap around a few fingers instead of your hand.

rosette_bow12. After you are done wrapping the ribbon around your fingers, slip the bundle off, pinch it together and cut a small notch in the middle on each side. Bind the ribbon together at the notches with a small piece of string.

rosette_bow33. Finally, spread the loops outward, and twist, shaping them into a puffy ball.


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Spreading Our Holiday Cheer this Year by Donating – See the Reactions

We had over 2,000 coloring books, pencil cases, and erasers to donate. We narrowed our choices down after our first appearance on our local news station, WDTN. It was very hard to choose from the many request we received, but we finally narrowed it down for kid’s in Afghanistan, Children’s Medical Center, and a native American Indian reservation. We are already looking for items to be donated next year and we hope we get can continue the gift giving. Do you know of a charity or know of a group that is in need? Please let us know!

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Ribbons and Bows – How to make a Tuxedo Bow

Learn how to create the tuxedo bow at Martha Stewart Weddings. The tuxedo bow is such a simple and classic bow. It is perfect for any gift or even a hair accessory such as a headband or hair clips!

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