Friday, August 22, 2014

The Friday Four Roundup: Back to School Edition {6}

My girls and I spent the first part of the week day in and out cleaning and organizing their space to get ready for the school year. There is so much more to getting ready than just fulfilling the school supply lists and buying new clothes and shoes! I was determined to complete everything on my wish list without spending any money and we succeeded.

1. An organized closet. Kids need to be able to see their clothes easily so they can put together their outfits every day and find things quickly. We are hoping to eliminate some of this stress by laying out our outfits the night before, but it starts here. We hang all shirts, skirts, dresses and coats/jackets. Pajamas, pants, tights, leggings, underwear, socks, hats, scarves and gloves go in the drawers. Shoes go on the closet floor (I have wire shoe racks coming in the mail from Home Depot, the only thing I bought and have been needing to get for a long time anyway). As a side note, toys go in bins, less frequently used and needing-supervision-toys go up, all other go under their bed. If it sounds like I cram alot into their closet and drawers, I don't. Kids don't need 50 of everything. Some of the best advice I ever got was from a friend who has 5 kids, 4 now teenagers, who told me a major way to simplify life, space, and laundry is to only have 8 shirts, and 4 pants per kid. We have a set for warm weather and cold weather and it has greatly reduced wasted time, money and effort caring for all that extra that we don't need. I only buy what I know they like and will wear. I had them go through everything- rack, drawers and bins- and get rid of anything they don't use or want, then put everything else away nice and organized. Another side note- on top of their dresser is the only space I had to give them a "shelf"- they each have a side and space to put their knick knacks and treasures and they appreciate having their "own space" to display and keep their special things.

2. Tidy homework station. Again, they each have their own space. Boards and clips I made to hang their art and whatnot and plastic drawers to keep their supplies.

3. A place for their backpacks. I'm pretty sure most moms dislike when everyone comes home and dumps their stuff everywhere and throw their backpacks on the floor. We had hooks in the hallway, but even with anchors, they were falling out and destroying the wall (I don't know WHAT they keep in their packs to make them so heavy!) So I took them down and patched the wall. I found some heavy duty over the door plastic hooks I had that weren't being used and the girls helped me decide where to put them. We decided to hang them over the foot of their beds because they are easy to reach and it holds them well.

4. Organized bathroom drawers. This might not be as big of a deal for boys, but for my girls, HAIR is probably the number one reason we are late to school! I asked my girls to empty the bathroom drawers and go through everything, getting rid of old or unused hair stuff. I let them organize it however they wanted with what we had. They decided they each wanted their own drawer and to divide everything up between the two of them. They also decided they would pick out their hair stuff and decide how they are going to wear it the night before along with their outfits in hopes of saving time in the morning and getting to school on time. I was so proud of them for coming up with this idea on their own and will definitely be encouraging them to follow through!

Bonus #5. Chore Charts Lastly, I printed up these free chore charts found {here}, to help keep us all on track!

Happy back to school season, everyone. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Quick Fix: Family Scrabble Letter Magnets {Organization Craft DIY}

In preparation for the kids going back to school, I decided I wanted to take advantage of the side of my fridge for a "command center." I love these magnetic clips, I've had a few that I bought since we got married and I decided I needed more of them so I could quickly hang up a bunch of school papers or whatnot at once, and that everyone in our family needs their own. (That's my idea of organization, ha!) I had a $5 off any purchase rewards thing from True Value so I went and bought 4 more magnets which ended up being free. I have a box of old scrabble tiles and plenty of hot glue, so I went to work!

I love 'em. And it cost me nothing. And now everyone has their own "spot" on the fridge. Triple win.

Happy Monday everyone! Our last week of Summer~

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The Friday Four Roundup {5}

1. We had a great time during our family reunion weekend. I had the chance to go on a hot date with my hubby (thanks, K) to a Brasilian restaurant called Tucano's. My favorite was the bacon wrapped filet minon, and THIS fancy drink, a Rio de Janerio which consists of cream and passion fruit. YUM! I'd never had one before.

2. I'm thinking about getting one of those 3M Command hooks for my front door wreath. The wreath hanger is scratching the paint. I went to their website and they have hooks meant for outdoor use that hold up to 5 pounds. Have you ever used one? I'm wondering how good they work. Anyway, if you are interested, they have a ton of coupons for their products you can print out {here}.

3. If you ever had leftover chocolate frosting you should put it on a graham cracker with some peanut butter. I did this the other day and my husband was like, what are you doing and why have I never seen this before? Cause it's super yum. Try it.

4. I'm kind of sad Summer is coming to an end (10 days till school!) but also ready for fall. I made this summer banner out of cardstock and washi tape a few months ago but never shared it so thought I should before it gets packed up next month.

Have a wonderful weekend. I have my sister in law and 5 nieces and nephews coming to visit, woot! Love the summer cousin bonding time!

Monday, August 11, 2014

How To DIY a Boys' Tie Out of a Mans' Tie {Tutorial}

I wanted my husband and son to have matching ties for a family picture so I found these lovelies (handsomies?) on clearance at Target. I bought two man ties.
Here is a tutorial on how to make a boys' tie from a mans' tie.

This is what I started with:
 Also, you will need: needle, thread, measuring tape and/or ruler, fabric scissors, iron and board, and elastic the length of the neck.

1. Measure on your boy where the tie normally sits at the top of his collar to your desired length. For us, it is about to the top of where he wears his pants, 12-13". You do not need to add length for a hem but you might want to cut extra just in case, and check as you go. The second tie piece will be about 2" shorter. Cut straight across.

2. Undo the stitching up the back of the first tie piece.

And down the sides just to before it angles.

3. Cut each side 1" and cut the inner (white) fabric 1/2" on each side.

4. Fold edges over inner fabric and press with iron on low or silk setting. Fold over first side, then iron a small hem on the other side about 1/4" and then iron over that side.

If the side is too long (as mine was), determine where it needs to be (about the middle) and cut more as needed.

5. Hand stitch together, it doesn't have to be tight, just to keep it in place. You can do a few, or do it all the way up, as I did.

6. Somehow I lost the picture, but next you pinch the tie at the top middle, making a "dimple"and stitch it in place.

7. Cut another piece from your tie, this is going to be the "knot" piece, rip the seam, remove the interfacing, and iron it flat. This is about 4" x 3".

8. Re-use the interfacing and place it back in your fabric. I ironed the fabric over it leaving about 1/4" extra on each side between the white and the fold to get it the size I wanted for my knot.

9. Fold the fabric at an angle and press. You can determine where to start the fold at the bottom by holding the top of your tie here and folding over it. This is the back of the knot.

10. Unfold and at the top of the pressed fold line, fold down the edges and put a little stitch to hold it in place. This keeps the edges tucked so they aren't longer than the top when you fold it in. Do this on both sides.

11. Unfolding the bottom of the knot piece, stitch the bottom front knot piece to the front top tie piece, right sides together, just over where you stitched the dimple.
  12. Fold back the knot piece then stitch down the top and sides, being careful not to stitch through to the front of the tie.

13. Measure, cut and stitch your elastic to the back of the knot. I stitched it 1/2" from the top but I should have stitched it at the top. I figured out the length of my elastic by having my son put on his white collared shirt then putting the elastic around his neck where it would go under the collar. We have no trouble stretching the elastic over his head to his collar. If this doesn't work for you, you can cut the elastic in the back or make pieces from left over fabric and sew velcro to the backs.

14. I like to put a little stitch to keep the front and back tie pieces together so the back stays in place.

And then you're done!

He's SO exited to have a big boy tie that matches daddy's!

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Friday, August 8, 2014

The Friday Four Roundup {4}

1. We cheated and made our fall favorite, pumpkin bread. Yes, I know it is still a good month until Autumn begins. We made some "Pumpkin Pie" Croc pot oatmeal from a recipe I got off pinterest (that was disgusting by the way #pinterestFAIL) but it left us with a half can of pumpkin puree so what's a girl to do? My daughter had the cute idea of using their little metal loaf pan from their play set of dishes so they could have thier own little loaf. And we still had enough for two big loaves. YUM and I'm almost ready for fall :)

2. We are getting ready to go on a road trip. There are tons of great ideas on pinterest for helping everyone survive. I found some {here}.

3. The road trip is so we can go do a family reunion. Fun times! Here is a great article with some helpful ideas on building unity in family reunions {here}.

4. Take a look at this cuteness I created! (the tie, not the boy, although he's pretty dang cute too.) Tutorial to come...

Have a fabulous weekend! ~ Rebecca

Sunday, August 3, 2014

DIY Grainsack Style Stripe Pillows

Remember the sneak peak I gave you of my latest project {here}?

Welp, here it is in full. I love these cushion covers, but they just needed that little extra something. You know? I started with my washed and dried six dollar H&M cotton canvas cushion covers {here}(say THAT five times fast!), some painter's tape, a paint brush, tons of plastic grocery bags, and my leftover paint from my coffee table project {here}.

I simply folded the cushion covers in half vertically and hand pressed them to find the middle and make a crease. I put plastic grocery bags inside the covers and in between them and the table for protection in case the paint went through. Then I put a strip of tape down the middle, left a space half the width of the tape on either side, and then put another strip of tape, pressing down well each time along the edges to make sure the paint didn't spread. Then I just dipped my brush in the paint and went to town.

I did two coats, one right after another, to make sure it was a nice thick coat. I tried to take a picture (below) to show you the double coat on the left versus the single coat on the right.

Next was the fun part: removing the tape! Make sure to do this while it's still wet.

(Bags inside the cushion cover).

I let them dry for a couple hours. (As you can see I just washed them and didn't bother ironing them, once I out them on the pillows, they smooth out pretty well.)

And the finished product!

(...Aaaand a boring picture of the other couch....)

And my picture-taking began disrupting my sons play with Spiderman, so...

Here is a final before and after as a reminder of what they looked like before and how much better they are now; Boring brown pillow covers


So pleased with this no-cost-to-me project!

Have a great week!

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