Mommy & Me: Coffee Filter Snowflakes

Snow is a precious commodity around our region. We get snow, just not very often. Nor does it stay around very long once it finally snows. So, we often have to make our own. Enter…Coffee Filter Snowflakes.

Coffe Filter Snowflake

Jonah still needs LOTS of practice with scissors. LOTS. He keeps wanting to rotate his hand like a contortionist to try to cut paper. The only way I know to help him is to provide plenty of opportunities to let him practice and continue to guide his hands in the right direction. Literally. There is still lots of hand-over-hand help from me in this area. The problem with doing something that can be frustrating for a preschooler (or any age, really) is that when it isn’t fun or purposeful, they don’t want to do it. So, I masked the sometimes frustrating task of cutting with making Coffee Filter Snowflakes. Instant interest from Jonah. Mommy Score!

Coffee Filter Snowflakes

Materials Needed:

  • Coffee Filters
  • Scissors

Directions:

  1. Fold the coffee filter in half several times. (Remember the more you fold, the thicker the layers to cut through. I found that Jonah had a hard time with it folded in sixths.)
  2. Cut designs on the foldsPreschool Cutting Practice: Coffee Filter Snowflakes
  3. Unfold! Jonah loved the anticipation of this step, and couldn’t wait to see the designs!
  4. Display somewhere that makes you happy. We made a bunch and taped them to our large picture window in our kitchen.Taping Coffee Filter Snowflakes

Coincidentally, letting Jonah use the tape himself was also a fine-motor skill hidden in disguise. Jonah thinks tape is fun, so he is super motivated to use it. Little does he know I was giving his little hand muscles a workout! Sneaky Mommy! We had so much fun with this activity that we actually extended snowflake cutting over a few days. Jonah kept asking to make more. That is a success in my book!

We also read lots of books about snow. Here are a few of our favorites:

Snow by Manya Stojic


Snip…Snip…Snow! by Nancy Poydar


S Is for Snowman by Kathy-jo Wargin

If you’d like to see more of our snow book “picks” you can check out our list!

We’d love to see your Coffee Filter Snowflakes! Let us know if you make some~send us the link or post them to our Happy Brown House Facebook page. Happy cutting!

Boutique Baby Series: No-Sew Pacifier Clip Tutorial {Guest Post}

Note from Sara: My friend Jenny from The Southern Institute is here today to share a tutorial with you while I snuggle up with my newest little guy. Let’s give her a warm welcome to the Happy Brown House!
Hello, everyone! It’s so good to be here today as a guest… my first time at Happy Brown House!  Sara asked if I would share a project with you and I thought this was the perfect thing.  This pacifier clip requires no sewing and it takes about 15 minutes!  It’s perfect for baby showers.

What you’ll need:
  • 1/2 inch velcro
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • grosgrain ribbon (about 12 inches)
  • one mitten clip (they come in packs of two)
Step One: Cut a piece of velcro to match the width of your ribbon.
Step Two: Apply hot glue to the edge of one end of the ribbon and fold over about 1/2 inch.  Press firmly to adhere.  This creates a “hem” of sorts.
Step Three: Take the velcro (both sides stuck together) and glue one side to the edge of the “hem”.  Place hot glue on the second side and fold the ribbon over about 1 1/2 inches.  Press firmly.
This is the side that will be attached to the pacifier.
Step Four: On the other end of the ribbon, place hot glue along the edge and fold over 1/4 inch, just as you did the first side.  Feed the ribbon up through the back side of the mitten clip.  Place hot glue along the edge, fold over, and press firmly to secure the mitten clip to the ribbon.
You now have a completed No-Sew Pacifier Clip!
Your friends will be so impressed!

Disclaimer: Please, use common sense and DO NOT leave your baby unattended with a pacifier clip attached to them.

Boutique Baby Series: Wipes Case

http://happybrownhouse.com

Boutique Wipes Case Tutorial

Materials:

Directions:

1. Lay wipes case on top of fabric. Cut fabric larger than wipes case. {Optional Step~For a truly custom wipes case, monogram on the top fabric piece.}

measure

2. Lay batting on the wipes case. Using a marker, trace around the case. Use spray adhesive to attach it to the top. While this step isn’t completely necessary, my Huggies brand wipes case had an opening tab on the top that needed to be covered up(see above photo). If yours doesn’t have this, by all means skip this step!

batting

3. Using hot glue, attach the fabric. Go slowly, working on small sections at a time. I didn’t go all the way to the edge, but don’t worry, we’ll cover it up! Once all the fabric is attached, use your scissors to trim the excess fabric.

4. Beginning at the back, attach the cording with hot glue. Once again, work slowly on small sections at a time. When you get to your beginning point, glue your cording down BEFORE trimming (it will unravel if you don’t…just trust me on this!) To prevent it from unraveling from frequent use, seal the ends with Fray Check.

trim

5. Voila!

Boutique Wipes Case

Boutique Baby Series: Ribbon Tag Blanket Tutorial

You can buy Ribbon Tag Blankets in the store, but I figure, why buy one when I can make it with things I already have in my craft stash? Seriously, I already had all of the materials. So for me, this project was FREE~my favorite kind of project!

Ribbon Tag Blanket

Materials:

  • 12×12″ square of Minky fabric (can also use fleece, flannel, or other soft fabric)
  • 12×12″ square of Satin fabric
  • Various ribbon strips cut approximately 2-3″ long
  • thread
  • sewing machine

Directions:

1.) Cut your fabric. I like to use a 12×12″ square for a “lovey” or snuggle blanket. (Optional: If you have an embroidery machine, this would be the best time to stitch the monogram.)

2.) Cut your ribbon. I don’t measure exactly, just make sure you have atleast 2-3″ inch pieces.

3.) Fold ribbon pieces in half to form a loop. Leaving a small amount hanging over the edge, pin the ribbon around the edges of the main fabric. The loop should be facing the inside of the square. (By leaving a little hanging over the edge, we will be sewing over the ribbon at two different points to ensure they stay inside the blanket.)

4.) Tack down the ribbon loops with your sewing machine.


5.) Place the other fabric pieces right-sides-together. If you are using Minky and Satin as I did, pin very well! The minky and satin will slide around as you sew. Also, minky has lots of stretch to it. If you don’t pin well, it will be very wonky!


6.) Leaving a 3 inch opening, sew around the edges. (Leaving an opening is important!)
7.) Clip corners.


8.) Turn the fabric right side out. Push out the corners.
9.) Pin the hole shut and topstitch around the edges.


10.) Admire your work. Give to a little one to snuggle.

Ribbon Tage Blanket 2

Asher is still too young to appreciate the soothing powers of a tag blanket, but isn’t he cute?

Boutique Baby on a Budget Series

I love boutique baby items…my budget does not.

Plus, most of the time, I leave the store saying “I could soooo make that.”

So, what’s a girl to do?

Make it herself…on a budget.

And that’s what I did.

But what kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t share?

http://happybrownhouse.com

I can’t wait to share a few projects I made for Asher’s arrival with you!

Mommy & Me: “My” Sight Word Book (Printable)

We’ve entered the world of “Sight Words” around here!

I’ve recently taken notice of some readiness for sight words with Jonah and decided to give it a try. I wasn’t very scientific in choosing a word to start with, it sort of randomly happened one day as we were preparing dinner. Jonah was looking at a book called “My Cats” (a repetitive High-Frequency Reader from Scholastic that I had just found at the local discount bookstore Clearance Sale). He wanted desperately to read it on his own.

I grabbed a piece of paper and a crayon and made a quick “rebus” style poster for him. (I know, I know…you’re impressed with my 2-second drawing. Aren’t you? Hey, it worked!)

"My" rebus poster

We practiced a few times before dinner, but he didn’t seem to show tons of interest. I hung it on the fridge at eye-level and later heard him practicing reading it. Success! It’s still on our fridge and now we read it every time we pass it. He’s confident now and has started going on a “word hunt” in other books.

While “my” is a common word in books, I wanted to extend the learning. There are lots of “sight word” books online to print, but I wanted to start with something more personal that he would be interested in. So, I whipped up a quick book in Microsoft Word, printed it out, and grabbed my favorite illustrator.

Here’s a glimpse of our book….

my name (sight word book)(Do you see the progress on writing his name?!?! So proud of that orange crayon writing!)

my hands (sight word book)

my feet (sight word book)

my house (sight word book)(Jonah started with the door and Mommy helped with the house outline)

my toy (sight word book)(Can you tell we’re STILL obsessed with cars around here?)

my friend (sight word book)(Jonah added even more friends after I took a picture of this. )

After we were done assembling the book, we practiced reading it a few times and finding the word “my” throughout the pages. I showed Jonah how to use a highlighter to highlight the word “my” and he eagerly found them again.

Since I made the book, the least I can do is share…

Click to Download the “My” Sight Word Book Printable for FREE

Tutorial: How to Applique Without an Embroidery Machine

Ok, so I know that I have an embroidery machine to make most of my cute appliques for my Etsy Shop. However, I know not everyone has a fancy embroidery machine to do all the hard work. Fear not, my friends, you too can add a cute applique to clothing, pillows, or anything else you can think of that needs some extra cuteness without an embroidery machine!

How to applique without an embroidery machine

How to Applique Without an Embroidery Machine:

Materials:

  • Shirt (or item you are adding an applique to)
  • Fabric for applique
  • Heat’n Bond Lite Iron-on Adhesive (says “sewable” on the package)
  • Pattern for Applique (mine is an outline of Africa straight off the internet)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine
  • Thread

Directions:

1.  Gather your materials (Forgive me, I switched shirt colors after I took this picture)

2. Iron the Heat-N-Bond Lite on the wrong side of the fabric. Make sure you are ironing the side with adhesive to the fabric…if not, you’ll have a mess on your iron! The smooth paper side should be the part you are ironing. (A word about Heat-N-Bond Lite: There are different kinds. You want to make sure you get the kind that is sewable. If you don’t, it will be really stiff and will get your needle all “gunked” up. Make sure it is the LITE version.) Read the directions if it’s the first time you’ve used Heat-N-Bond.

ironing

3.  Cut out your pattern (if you haven’t already).  Flip your pattern and trace your pattern BACKWARDS on the paper of the Heat-N-Bond. If you trace your pattern right side up, your pattern will be backwards when it is time to place it on your clothing. Trust me.

4.  Cut out your applique. Flip it over…see, told you it would look right in the end. :)

5.  Peel the paper backing off the fabric. There will be a “sheen” from the adhesive that transferred to the fabric. Find the proper placing for your applique.

6.  Using the proper heat settings (refer to the packaging), iron the applique in place.

**Oops! I missed this picture….imagine an iron :)

7. In order to make it easier to maneuver my shirt, I removed the bottom portion of my sewing machine. Now I can slide my shirt over the arm of the sewing machine.

8.  Topstich around the applique. Go slowly and stop as needed to turn your needle or adjust your shirt. I did a simple straight stitch, but you can get fancy if you’d like depending upon the stitches you have on your machine. Zig-zag is always fun, but might be hard to control the first time using this technique or if your applique is curvy…like my Africa shape.

9.  Voila!

Love For Africa Ribbon Ruffle Shirt

See, it is easy to applique without an embroidery machine!

Any questions? Ask it in the comments!