Using Acrylic Paints on Clothing: The Best Fabric Medium.

I’ve seen so many cute baby and maternity shirts online, but at $15 (on the low end) for something a baby will grow out of so quickly seems like too much for me. But there is some hope for cute onsies! I’ve seen that you can use the Cricut, freezer paper, and paint to create clothes yourself. I’ve never heard of using freezer paper before, and I know paint makes clothes stiff, so I tested out it all out on an old t-shirt before trying it out on baby clothes.

You might think that fabric paint is a paint option I’d consider, but it is a little pricey (I’m cheap), and there aren’t nearly as many colors available in fabric paint than acrylic (I love color). Now I know from unfortunate personal experience that acrylic paint will permanently color clothes, but it will make your clothes hard, stiff, and scratchy. So did some research and found that you can add fabric medium to paints so avoid the problem. There are tons of different kinds you can find online, but I decided to go with the 3 I found at Jo-Ann’s so I could use coupons (and not pay shipping).

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I found 2oz fabric medium from Folk Art ($2.99), Americana ($2.49), and Delta ($2.49). All three had the same instructions: mix one part medium to two parts paint. I made sure to use the same brand of paints for consistency. Using Apple Barrel paints and a plastic spoon for measuring, I made a mixture of each medium in a different color.

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Folk Art: Green

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Americana: Pink

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Delta: Orange

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I put newspaper inside the shirt so the colors wouldn’t bleed through, but you could use cardboard too.

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I first just free painted a few squares onto the shirt.

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I tried out freezer paper to see how it’d work. I didn’t use my Cricut to make the stencil for this practice run; I just cut a few diamonds onto the paper.

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Iron the paper shiny side down onto the shirt.

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It worked!

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Paint over the stencil, then peel it away after a few minutes.

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The paint doesn’t have to be dry, just not soaking wet.

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Now the hardest part of anything you make is waiting.

Let the paint dry for 24 hours.

After 24 hours, heat set  the paint. In order to do this, I put the shirt in the dryer for an hour. You can also do this faster with an iron, but the dryer is easier and you don’t have to worry about the paint bleeding.

I wore the shirt after this, and there was a definite winner, but just to be certain I washed the shirt inside out on the delicate cycle, and I was sure to use fabric softener. This softened all the paints considerably.

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So what’s the verdict? All three paints are wearable, but for a baby onsie I wanted the paint to feel like it wasn’t even there. The Folk Art medium has, by far, the best texture of the three. You really can’t feel the difference between the actual shirt and the painted area. I think for 50¢ more this is the best bet, especially for baby clothes.

Folk Art

The Americana Medium worked really well too. The painted area was not scratchy or tough, but you can distinguish where the painted area is on your skin. A lot of store bought shirts feel this way, and it’s not uncomfortable at all. The Americana brand is also cheaper than Folk Art, so if you don’t mind the texture or  are wearing an undershirt, this is a good choice also.

Americana

I did not like the Delta Medium at all. The painted area was a much more stiff and scratchy on your skin. However I was reading reviews for this online, and many people used this medium for outdoor furniture. I could see using this for the cushions or pillows of a patio set, as outside textiles need to be a bit tougher to hold up to the weather. This brand also is  often sold in big bottles rather than the 2 oz bottles, so you could use it for larger area projects. So for clothing, this is a definite no, but for outside things, I might use it.

Delta

My first baby onsie project isn’t perfect, but oh I love it, especially the back (doo-doo)!

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Besides my Daisy, I know 5 other babies being born this year! I’ll be making lots of custom onsies now, like this one:

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Jack’s Room: 3 Must Have’s for a Baby’s Room

Jack is on the move! Almost out of nowhere he started crawling and pulling himself up in his crib. As soon as he started, I immediately saw all the dangers in my house that needed to be baby proofed. I ran to Babies R Us, bought just about everything, and spent a weekend altering doorknobs and locking toilets – something I thought was ridiculous in the past, until stories of toilets clogged with race cars and towels were brought to my attention. I baby proofed the whole house, and the only thing I have left is to redesign the items on Jack’s bookshelf. The way they’re arranged now, he can easily pull them off and break them.

Jack's Room

We didn’t know if Jack was going to be Jack or Daisy, so we chose driftwood finish for furniture and painted the room a rustic yellow which goes nicely with the pumpkin butter color of our hallways. I figure we can reuse everything whenever baby #2 comes along.

I realize I never introduced you to Jack’s bookshelf or all the work I did in Jack’s room. Initially, it was a craft room/ guest room. Now, guest sleep on the couch, my crafts take over the house, and our recliner rocking chair is no longer in the living room, but that’s OK. One day we’ll figure out where to keep everything.  At my shower, I was given an IKEA bookcase that matched his bed set, and it was filled with books from everyone. Santa, the Easter Bunny, and I have since loaded the bookcase up with more books.

This is Jack's book corner. The walls have these cute Winnie the Pooh book plaques my MIL got for her future grandchild years ago (like before we were married). I'm thinking of making some kind of book piece for the adjacent wall. 

This is Jack’s book corner. The walls have these cute Winnie the Pooh book plaques my MIL got for her future grandchild years ago (like before we were married). I’m thinking of making some kind of book piece for the adjacent wall.

The thing I love most about his room is the tree decal. I ordered it and the window tree decals from TheWhiteTreeStore by LittleLionStudio.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWhiteTreeStore?ref=l2-shopheader-name

The original tree looks like this, but there’s no law that says that’s how you have to apply it. Instead, I made the leaves look like they are blowing away. The decals are beautiful and easy to apply, and they really make his room charming. White Follow the Little Rabbit Tree Wall Decal by LittleLion Studio

The bed set is forest animals. Jack loves it. He uses the “bedspread” as a play mat, and he loves to talk to and touch the soft wall hangings as we pass them by. It has matching decals, but they were too small for the wall (for me at least). Instead, I used them to decorate his furniture. I used some of them for the sides of this storage bin I use for spare sheets, blankets and other baby odds and ends. I also decked the bookcase out with the rest of the decals that came with his bed set. I think the decals look so charming, and they can easily come off when he’s older.

Decals

I also decorated his room with my book bird houses.

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So far I’ve made 3, but I think as he gets older I’d like to make some with his favorite books.

PLP

In the meantime, I made one with one of my favorite childhood books, The Monster at the End of this Book.

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My favorite birdhouse, though, is the Peter Pan house.

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When you open the door, you can see Pan’s tree club house! Good thing I have small enough hands to do it.

Birdhouses

We have old doors which I thought about updating, but they actually match the style of our house and I’d rather spend the money elsewhere. Above his door is a simple cross, decorated with the finger rosaries I used as a favor at his christening. Next to his bed is a canvas quote I made using my Cricut and love best of all.

Jack's Room2

Now that you’ve toured Jack’s room there are a few things you should know. Every baby list will tell you about things you need for baby’s room, but here are the 3 things I always keep in here that weren’t on any list.

1) Extra blankets behind you on your chair. Babies spit up, and sometimes you don’t even realize it. Don’t ruin your furniture. Drape some receiving blankets over the backs of your chairs.

Blankets

2) A Rubbermaid bin. Jack grows so quickly and sometimes it feels like its overnight. I always keep a bin in his room so as I struggle to put on a tight fitting shirt, I can just pack it away into the bin for storage. I used to hid the bin behind the rocking chair, but now I got to lazy for that and it’s out all the time.

Storage Bin

3) Tissues and a trash bin next to your chair. This is completely  separate from the diaper bin and wipes, and it is essential. I realized their importance the day I got home from the hospital. When you bring home your baby, you will cry and for a variety of reasons. Maybe you’re overwhelmed, or maybe you’re insanely happy. Either way, you get home and you have no idea how raging your hormones are.

Tissues

I remember hearing I’d be hormonal and emotional during pregnancy, and I really wasn’t at all. It came after. For me they were all happy tears, and I cried over everything from feeling such deep love for my baby to Suburu commercials. Even reading baby books brought on tears. (Oh my God! He says he loves his puppy! *sob* *sob* That’s so beautiful!) You’re body is going nuts, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Eventually you’ll stop crying and you’ll need those tissues to wipe up baby boogers, but until then wipe your happy and your sad tears, toss the tissue in the trash bin, and if you’re lucky enough to get a colicky baby like me, rock on until the sun comes up.

Jack was always cryingRocking all night long

Diaper Bouquet

Here are some quick and easy instructions on the diaper bouquet I made a few weeks ago.

Bouquet

First, set aside your skewers. You will want most of the skewers full sizes, but make sure to break 4 or 5 skewers in half so you have flowers in varying height. Roll the skewers in green tissue paper. Roll your diaper around the top of the skewer and secure with a rubber band. I like Luvs because they are purple and green, so they kind of look flowery.

Diaper Flowers

Now, cut your green tissue paper in long strips about 4″ wide. Lay the skewered diaper on the tissue and roll, being sure to cover the rubber band. Twist the bottom of the paper to secure and, Tada! You have a diaper flower!

Stems

Now, put some tissue paper in the jar so you don’t see the sticks, and arrange your flowers.

For a finishing touch, use some tissue paper to fill in space and make some flowers. I’ve used dark pink for a girl baby and orange for a boy. Just tear the paper into thirds. Now gather in the center fold and twist. It’s a simple flower but it works. Stick the flowers in the open spaces of the bouquet to fill it in. It really is adorable.

Flowers

I used some craft paper in      the jar lid as the name tag. I also gave some bath accessories in a regular gift bag, but afterwards I was thinking that with a bigger package of diapers and a bigger vase as a base, I could have put the bath stuff in the vase.

Name Tags

Diaper gifts are so useful, especially at 3 am when you’re all out of your regular diaper stash. Really, wipes and diapers are practical and useful, but it does look boring to just wrap up a pack. I like to give a larger size diaper, too. Babies seem to grow out of their size overnight, and it’s nice to be prepared with the next size up. I know Jack was growing so quickly, and it was a Godsend to have a variety of sizes ready.

Bouquet

The Cutest DIY Baby Gift Ever: A Book Birdhouse

Lately, the baby showers I’ve been to have encouraged guests to use a children’s book with your own message on the front cover in place of a card. I think it’s such a fantastic idea. The earlier we can encourage kids to read, the better.I like to put my own twist on this request. Along with one of my favorite children’s books (usually either The Monster at the End of this Book or I Love You Forever), I make the cutest baby gift ever: my Book Birdhouse.  Please note that the birdhouse is an indoor piece, and shouldn’t be used as a real, outdoor birdhouse.

Book Birdhouse

Supplies needed:
Small children’s book (Golden Books work well)
Craft Birdhouse . You can get one at any craft store, like Michael’s or A.C. Moore
X-Acto® Knife
Scissors
Staple gun
Foam Brush
Modge Podge®
Modge Podge® mat & smoother

Birdhouse Supplies

If your birdhouse has a chimney, you first need to take it off. They come off pretty easily if you turn it sideways and hit it off with the hammer. Don’t throw it out – you can put it back on later.

Use the X-Acto® knife to cut out all the pages on the book. Save the cover, it will be use for the roof.

Cut out all the pages of the book

Pick the pages with the best pictures to use. Also, pay attention to the text and cut out the best phrases.

Pick your pages

Press the pages against the sides of the house and figure out where each picture will go. You want to know the placement of the pages before you start gluing. Mark the page placement with a pencil on the back of the page (back, bottom, right side, left side, etc.)

Figure out where to place your pages

Prep the pages for gluing my folding over any corners that overlap the edge of the wood.

Cleanly fold over the corners

Carefully cut a small hole for the bird ledge to size your page over the front of the birdhouse. Once you get your page in place, use the knife to cut the birdhouse entrance.

Cut out the entrance and the bird ledge

Use a Modge Podge® mat and start gluing. It’s important that you don’t skip the bottom of the birdhouse, and you always want to start there. Don’t skip the bottom! It gives the house a finished, polished look. And anyway, just because you won’t see the bottom of the house when it’s on the shelf, that doesn’t mean baby won’t see it when he wants to play with the house. – Rant over.

Brush a thin layer of Modge Podge® on the bottom of the birdhouse, and glue down the book page.

Base coat of glue

Paper is porous, and the glue will make the paper expand, so you WILL get some air bubbles. Don’t worry, just use the smoother to push out any air bubbles, always smoothing from the center to the edge.

Smooth out your bubbles

Now, use another thin layer of Modge Podge® over the paper and very gently smooth again. You’ll have to wait about an hour or two for the glue to dry so you can finish the birdhouse.

Another coat will serve as a protective layers

Repeat the gluing process on the rest of the house, starting with front and bottom of the roof. You don’t have to worry about the top of the roof. Once all the pictures are glues on the house, glue on some of your favorite phrases. Remember, this is a book house – there should be some text!

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If you plan on using the chimney, don’t forget to glue some pages on that, too.

Chimney

Now that the walls are finished, staple the book cover as the roof.

Cover Roof

If you’re using the chimney, hot glue it in place, on the cover.

Glue your chimney on!

Isn’t that the sweetest birdhouse you’ve ever seen? If I ever have children, I am going to have a ton of these (and a ton of books) in their rooms.

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Baby Clothes Wardrobe Giftbox


lovely cousins

My cousin Maggie is having a baby!  She’s due to have Brodie at the end of November. I can’t wait to meet him, but first things first. We have to first shower her with gifts! Her shower was last weekend, and me and the TR crew all pitched in and got lots of gifts for Brodie, including lots and lots of clothes. Instead of stuffing clothes in a gift bag or box, I have the cutest way to display your baby clothes gift.

wardrobe and birdhouse

It’s perfect for a shower or a baby’s birthday, and it’s super simple: build a wardrobe.   All you need is a long cardboard box, a 3/8″ wooden rod (you can get one at any craft store), some paint, an X-Acto knife (or scissors), doll house knobs (or buttons, beads, hooks, or any small charm will work), and a hot glue gun.

wardrobe supplies

First, cut off the two short flaps off the box. If your box is long enough, you can use the flaps to create a small shoe shelf at the bottom of the box by just gluing or taping the cardboard on the inside of the box, about 3 or 4 inches from the bottom. If your box is too short, that’s ok (mine was).

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Next, add the rod for hanging. Measure 6 inched from the top of the box, and the halfway point of the depth of the box. You want to make sure you mark in the same spot on both ends of the box so the rod is level. Once you mark both sides of the box with a pen, cut an X over the marks with your X-Acto knife.

wardrobe score side

Now, you will be able to push the rod through the cut X and through to the other side. If your rod is too long, mark  where you need to trim the rod, take it out of the box, and score and cut it.

wardrobe before paint

You can score the rod with a shape knife, saw, or I used scissors. (It was dark outside, and I was too lazy to venture out in the shed for the hand saw. I utilized Matt’s man-strength to do it with scissors).

wardrobe rod

All the hard stuff is over. Now for the fun of decorating! I Let my sister take over with the decorating for Maggi’s wardrobe box. Nancy first spray painted the box green (inside and out). She then used a round sponge brush to add some yellow polka dots and swirls.

wardrobe dots wardrobe swirls

We used tiny wooden knobs we found at the craft store, painted them yellow, and hot glued them on for the wardrobe’s handles. You can paint and decorate the wardrobe however you like. If you have time, two toned paint might be nice to mimic the look of beveled wood. You could also use some craft stickers or ribbons to jazz it up.

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Everyone loved the wardrobe. It’s such an easy way to make your gift stand out, and it’s always a hit. Give it a shot the next time you give a gift of baby clothes, and let me know how it goes!

Maggi and Wardrobe

Texas Craft House

blood, sweat, and glitter y'all