Baby Gift Idea: Crib Art

Awhile back, my mom made another gift for our littlest, William.  It is a bumper of sorts to put in his crib.  But it wasn’t made for the reasons bumpers are usually made, it’s like a piece of soft art for him to look at while he’s stuck in his crib.  She thought it would be a fun way to introduce some animals to him.

I thought I’d show it to you since the idea of it wouldn’t be hard to recreate.

animal bumper artFor the purposes of taking pictures I hung the bumper on the outside of the crib but normally it would hang on the inside.  Although, it could actually be used on the outside as well for the child to look at while they crawl around the room and learn to pull up on things.  This would be especially good if there was already a bumper being used in the crib.

My mom used different background fabrics for each animal but if you wanted to keep it simple you could use just one long piece of fabric cut the width of the crib.  Sandwich some batting in the middle of two pieces of fabric and you’d have your background.

As you can see the animals are basic silhouette shapes and then just sewn on with pretty stitches from a sewing machine.  You could do this by googling animal silhouette images.  Then just print out the shape and use it for a pattern.  Another idea would be to use fabric that has images on it that you like.  You could cut out those images and then sew them on.

Some of the animals also have a few details that are embroidered on.  See the pictures below of the butterfly and the cat.

To attach it to the crib there is ribbon sewn into the seam of each end to tie around the rungs.  I would recommend putting  in at least one more in the middle as well if not a couple to keep it from drooping.

You can really do as little or as much as you want with a project like this.  Even a beginner could have fun playing with the machine to see what they can do. Part of the charm of a handmade item is seeing the little imperfections and signs that it was made with love.

animal bumper art bird squirrel butterfly fish cat

Gift Idea: American Girl Doll Sleeping Bag

american girl doll sleeping bag tutorial

We have friends who have twin girls who recently turned 9.  I have seen the girls a few times with American Girl dolls and for their birthday they asked to go camping.  So, I thought, why not make the dolls sleeping bags of their own so that the next time the family goes camping the dolls can get in on the fun too?

I did a quick search online to see what else had been done before and to find out the dimensions needed for 18″ dolls.  I came across a few sites but used this one as my main resource.  I followed the dimensions but didn’t follow the directions completely.  Although, maybe I should have since mine ended up being a bit bulky at the bottom corners.

american girl doll sleeping bag tutorial

Basically, I cut out my two rectangles, sewed around the edge with right sides together.  (I used fleece for the inside and cotton for the outside.)  I turned it right side out and then folded it in half so that the fleece was on the outside.  To sew the open hole closed (that I used to turn the bag right side out) and turn the long rectangle into a sleeping bag all in one motion, I just tucked in the fabric at the hole and then sewed along the edge of the bag from about half way down and then across the bottom.

Then I just turned what now looks like a sleeping bag right side out so the cotton fabric was on the outside and it was finished.  I think the version I linked to is probably less bulky the way they did it but if I read the directions correctly it seemed you would see the raw edges of the seams on the inside of the bag which I didn’t want.

To help visualize what I just wrote here are some very basic drawings.  Hope they make it a little clearer.

sleeping bag tutorial step 1

sleeping bag tutorial step 2sleeping bag tutorial step 3

For the pillows I cut two rectangles of fleece 5″ x 6.5″.  And you just sew around the edges with the fabric right sides together.  Clip the corners, turn right side out, stuff, and then do a ladder stitch to close the opening.

I am pretty terrible about putting off sewing things until the day before they are given (even though I may have planned it and gotten the supplies well in advance) so this was a great project for that since you can’t get much easier than sewing some rectangles together.  The hardest part for me was finding some fabric in my stash that was big enough and I thought might fit their personalities.  The twins are very, very identical in their looks and general preferences but their dolls are not so I decided to give them different looking sleeping bags.

sleeping bag for 18 inch doll

To spruce up the look of the bags with a practical way of keeping all the pieces in place when not in use, I also sewed a piece of elastic in a loop (to figure out the size needed I just put the elastic around the rolled bag and pillow with a little bit of overlap) with a pretty flower on it.  If I had had my thinking cap on I would have sewn the elastic into the bottom seam of the bag like a real sleeping bag (like I showed in the instructions above) so that the elastic would always be attached and not get lost, but I didn’t think about it until I had finished the first one and I didn’t want the bags to be different in that way.

I cut out a flower and leaf from felt and made yellow yarn pom-pom and hand sewed them onto the elastic to hide where the two elastic ends met.

american girl doll sleeping bag diyI thought they turned out very cute and I loved the extra detail of the flower on the elastic.  It really made it look extra special.  I didn’t have a doll to try them on so I hope they fit, but hopefully they were fine.

This is a great sewing project for beginner sewers.  Please feel free to ask for any clarification if my instructions weren’t clear.

Does your household have any American Girl dolls in it, or other 18 inch dolls?  Have you made anything for them?  What are some other ideas that are cute and easy to help accessorize them?  My daughter is a bit young for them but I’m sure there will come a point when she’ll be into them.

 

New Print and New Size

I finally finished the latest print I’ve been working on!

I love having tangible ways to share love with others.  It is wonderful to be able to tell those you love most how you feel with words and hugs but if you can’t see them everyday to do that, a beautiful picture can be a great reminder of how you feel.  This would make a great Mother’s Day gift.  Or it could be hung on the wall of your nursery.  It’s been hanging up at my house for the last week so I could take pictures of it and I’m really loving it.  The colors are so happy but also soothing at the same time if that is possible.  It may have to find a permanent home here or be given to someone who needs a little extra love.  You can find the print here in my shop.

I have other big news.  I am finally offering 11″x14″ sized prints!  I can make any print in the shop that size.  Just purchase this listing and let me know which one you want.  I am very excited to finally be able to offer this.  When I got my own printer last year I got a large format one so I could sell larger prints.  I had put it off because of the extra expenses that come with offering another size, but no longer!  I have two 11″x14″ prints over my kids’ twin beds and the size is nice and substantial, especially framed with a mat.  You can see the size in the picture below.  I leave a white border on my prints to make it easier to attach it to a mat.

11x14 size

I plan on offering an even larger size soon, so be on the look out!  And if you just can’t wait, feel free to contact me about details.

It’s Good to be 35

Well, it happened.  I turned the big three five.  And of course life feels no different than when I was 34.  But I thought I’d pass on some goodness to you guys to help celebrate.  So, for a week you can purchase all the prints in my shop for 35% off using the code below!

birthday code

Picture Source

I’m going to temporarily take the ornaments and the bulk sales listings out of the shop so that people don’t try and use the code for those.  But they’ll return when this sale is over.

This has been a week of sick kiddos but it looks like they are on the mend.  I took my little one to the doctor to confirm Roseola which thankfully is no longer contagious.  Hopefully he’ll be back to himself soon.  And after listening to my daughter’s cough the Dr. thinks she might have had RSV which apparently has been going around.  So as you can guess I haven’t really left the house in a while.  But I have gotten lots of great snuggle time in, so that’s been nice.

Okay, enough about that.  Please pass the word on about the sale!  Valentine’s Day is coming fast and a sweet print might be just the thing to show someone how you feel!

P.S.  For those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook, I post sales there that aren’t  mentioned anywhere else!  So, it’s a smart idea to “like” my page.

Going to Space

Well, I was just about to sit down and write a post about how I was one of three people selected to travel to outer space!  I was so excited and was looking forward to this amazing opportunity, and then I woke up and discovered it was just a dream.  I know,  what  a bummer!  I wish I could have slept a little longer to get to experience it, but maybe next time.

In the meantime I have two new prints in the shop that I haven’t shared on here yet.  The first one I just realized is coincidently spacey.  Maybe it’s a sign!  You can find my “I Love You to the Moon and Back” print right here in my shop.

I Love You to the Moon and Back art print from The Nesting Spot

The next print is new to my shop today, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Faux Bois has been a trend for awhile now and it is sweet to stumble across someone’s love declared on the trunk of a tree (although I always feel a bit sad for the scarred tree). But if you get my print then there won’t be any tree scarring happening…ok, well, the paper is from a tree. Sorry.
But let’s get back to declaring our love! You can keep the print as is or I can personalize it for you. It’d make a great gift for the love in your life or even to hang on the wall of your wee one’s nursery.

You + Me = Forever, Faux Bois Print from The Nesting Spot

By the way, I have 6 prints in my shop now that help you share your love with others. Come take a look. It’s not too early to be thinking of Valentine’s Day. It’ll be here before we know it!  And don’t forget there are discounts for buying more than one print!

Baby Gift Idea: Stuffed Animal

I’m surrounded by people having babies right now and that is a great thing!

handmade stuffed rabbit from The Nesting Spot

My cousin recently had a beautiful little girl and so I wanted to send her a handmade gift. I had been told that the nursery has lavender and light green in it so I decided to make a little rabbit using those colors. I cheated a little and used my pattern from The Black Apple Doll and just changed it up a bit. (You can see my previous posts about the dolls I’ve made here and here.)  All that was needed was to make an ear pattern. I have also found that when using this doll pattern that I like to add a seam allowance to the arms and legs so that they aren’t too skinny. I embroidered the eyes and nose on so that there wouldn’t be any choking hazards. Safety eyes would have also been a really cute option though. I also added a cute little wool felt peter pan collar.  An added bonus is that it is machine washable if done on delicate and laid out to dry so it is very practical as well as cute.handmade stuffed rabbit from The Nesting Spot

I had a lot of fun making it and am happy that there is a little piece of Texas over in her Arizona nursery now.

handmade stuffed rabbit from The Nesting Spot

This type of project is great because it uses very little fabric and comes together fairly quickly. I used fleece for the bunny fur and all of the materials were ones I already had on hand.  So, not only is it fast but economical.  But of course even though I didn’t spend an arm and a leg on it doesn’t mean it isn’t worth much.  On the contrary, it is a one of a kind gift that will hopefully see many years of love.

Baby Gift Idea: Baby Quilt

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Here’s another peak at a fabulous handmade gift given to one of my babies.  This time it is from my lovely mom.  She is oh so talented and decided to take on the challenge of making baby #3 a little quilt without knowing the gender.  The results are really great.

05 11 13_9151

She ended up making it a very personal theme by having the quilt represent our two etsy shops….The Nesting Spot and Starlit Gardens.  She did this using two of her favorite things batiks and applique.  The batiks represent the stars and then at the bottom corner is a little bird with a little nest.  You’ll notice the three eggs for the my three babies.

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04 16 13_8083

My mom loves to play with lots of color and patterns.  She is so bold and it really works with this blanket.  I know this is a gift we will always treasure.

There are so many types of blankets and quilts in the world and thanks to the internet and craft blogs there are tons of tutorials to teach you exactly how to make them.  The next time you have someone close to you having a baby, consider making them a keepsake that is beautiful and useful.