Using Transfer Paper to Make Freezer Paper Shirts

I went on a bit of a shirt making kick. I made maternity shirts, the baby shirts, and shirts for my husband, father, father-in-law, and brothers-in-law for Father’s Day. I learned quite a bit making them, and I like how they all turned out.

I made the baby a shirt for the 4th of July and a Finding Nemo inspired shirt, even though we probably won’t get to the movies to see Finding Dory with him.

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I also went a little crazy with Maternity shirts. I also made use of some glittler iron-on material I had for my heart and NJ shirts. My favorite is the watermelon shirt. The watermelon is in the Simply Charmed  cartridge for Cricut.

Maternity Shirts

I even made a Goonies shirt for my future little Goonie. I downloaded The Goonies font on Dafont. I think that one is Jack’s favorite.

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I created the Hockey Dad silhouette in Photoshop and uploaded it to design space. It’s my favorite! For the vintage looking dad/grandpa shirts, I found the Marcelle Script font on DaFont.com. It downloads with letters and different style swooshes.

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The thing with making freezer paper shirts is that it is really annoying putting all the tiny pieces in the proper place. (Especially with the “worn vintage” look of Marcelle Script, as well as characters like e, o, g, p, a, 4, 8, etc). When working with vinyl, most people usually use contact paper, plastic sticky paper used to line shelves, to transfer my cuts onto the surface. The problem is freezer paper isn’t actually sticky like vinyl. You have to iron the freezer paper onto the shirt for it to stick. Heat + plastic = bad,  so contact paper is out. Transfer tape is actually made to transfer vinyl to walls and objects, but a lot of brands are also plastic. I wasn’t sure if transfer paper would word or if the glue would ruin the shirts, but I figured I’d test it out and see. I made sure to get transfer paper made out of actual paper, not plastic.

Shirts 1

1 I cut the designs on the Cricut shiny side down on the mat. 2 I placed the transfer paper on the whole design 3 and rubbed well. 4 Figured out placement of design, 5 Then I ironed the design on low, dry heat. 6 After I removed the tape, 7 I ironed the design again with parchment paper, and it worked like a charm!

I was actually able to reuse the tape and transfer the design to 6 different shirts. I am sure I could have transferred more, but I only made 6 shirts at a time. The stickiness tape did not change much either. In fact, the transfers were easier the more I used the same piece.

Shirts 3

It seems obvious,  but I learned that it’s a lot harder to paint on a dark shirt than on a lighter colored shirt. I expected to have to use a few layers of paint for the dark shirts, but not as much as I actually used.  I think I’ll stick to painting designs on bright and light colored shirts, and using heat transfer vinyl on dark shirts.

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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 Big Announcement Photoshoot

Announcement

 

Jack finally spilled the beans! He will be a Big Brother in September! We tried to let Lilu be part of the announcement pictures also, but she was just eating the jelly beans.

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Oh well. I made the signs with some paint and my Cricut. The eggs were from Target, and I just used crayon to write on them. I had a great time making them even though I don’t know what I’m going to do with them now, maybe put them in the new baby’s memory box.

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When I found out, it was during one of the few snow storms we had this year. Matt was outside shoveling, so I left a note on the door that said “You make me sick!” He came in saying “What’d I do? and I told him to open the note. Inside read “Because you knocked me up.” He already had a hunch that I was pregnant anyway, and we celebrated with him drinking some wine and me having some ginger ale.
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I’m 14 weeks along right now. It still feels surreal, and I am a bit nervous still.  Jack is and this baby will be a Rainbow Baby, a term I only recently learned.  A Rainbow Baby is a baby born after a family has suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. These babies are rainbows after terrible storms. Even though I am passed the “safe zone,” I am still worried. (I have gone through two miscarriages, and it was terrible. I cannot imagine the pain that accompanies full-term loss). I have been trying not to worry too much though. I believe that keeping in a positive state of mind and thinking good thoughts while pregnant will mean a happy thinking baby, so here’s to optimism and wonderful thoughts. We can’t wait to see who has been growing inside me all this time!
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Grinch Ornaments for Giacomo’s 1st Birthday

It’s crazy to believe a whole year has gone by since my Mr. Man came into the world. I always say that the day he was born it felt like an explosion, that my heart grew 3 sizes that day like the Grinch. So for his first birthday, we had a Grinch themed party. Giacomo had such fun playing with his cousins, family, and friends.

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I would have just had pizza and subs, but my sisters and mom took over and insisted on cooking a feast of antipasto salad (Truffula Salad), chicken cutlets (Roast Beast), sausage and peppers, kielbasa, pierogies, baked beans, pasta, potatoes and peas (Who Hash), and a 6 foot sub.  For I took over and went crazy.I couldn’t have done any of this without their help. I definately have the best family!

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For dessert nieces made chocolate dipped marshmallows and decorated sugar cookies, while I went nuts making cupcakes, chocolate pretzels, Rolo pretzels, Oreo balls, pumpkin cheesecake, Rice Krispie Treats,  a regular cake and a smash cake for Jack, and Who Pudding. The kids even enjoyed a Hot Cocoa bar.

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To thank everyone for celebrating, I made Christmas ornaments of the Grinch and his heart.

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For the Grinch ornaments, I swirled green paint inside the ornaments and left them upside down to dry. After two days I had to recoat. I let them dry about a week before adding the Grinch face.

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I layered yellow vinyl over black vinyl cuts for the ornament. Using the Cricut Explore, I cut the Grinch face by uploading  as a simple image. (I uploaded it twice, once for the face and once for the eyes). grinch clipart

I’ve made glitter ornaments with Glitter-It in the past, but I finally decided to try the mop & Glo method I’ve seen on craft sites and Pinterest. It does work, and it’s super quick! Just swirl the M&G in the ornament, drain out the excess, add in glitter, shake it up to coat, and tap out the extra glitter. Glitter-It works great, but so does M&G, and the giant bottle is way cheaper.

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I feel like the heart ornaments went with my whole year’s theme. All year I’ve been writing about the joys of the heart as well as heartache. The year started with my heart growing with Jack’s birth, and since then I’ve written about the joys of being a mom, the heartache of leaving baby, The Mighty Quinn’s Heart surgery, my dad’s heart attack, and now again, the joys of being a Mom.

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I was driving home from the party, I was thinking how it was the first time I did something really “Mom,” and it was the first time I felt like Mom. Feeling like mom is subtly different than feeling like a mother or a mommy, and I’m not sure how to explain it, but giving my son a fun birthday made me feel like a Mom, and I loved it.

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.

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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.

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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

Using my Cricut Explore for Giacomo’s First Craft Project

I’ve been dying to use my Christmas gift since Christmas, the new Cricut Explore. I had a Cricut Expressions and thought it was silly to buy a new machine, but I wanted the new model so badly! It has easy material settings, can cut, score, and write on all kinds of material, and the design space online is awesome. All cartridges are uploaded into one space, and you can use multiple cartridges at once while designing each project.  I was so excited when Matt got it for me for Christmas.

I haven’t had the time to play with it until our recently. Giacomo takes up lots of time, and I had to wait for a day Matt was off of work. I started a simple design for Giacomo’s first craft project!  I saw the idea on Pinterest, of course.

Hand Sign

The phrase reads: First we had each other (12/12/00), Then we had you (12/12/14), Now we have everything.

We did the hand prints first. Matt’s first, then mine, then Giacomo’s tiny hand! How cute! I had to wait for him to sleep to do it, but it was still a bit difficult ( I see now why there are so many baby feet crafts as opposed to hand crafts). I did two signs in case one got messed up. Both came out great, so one will go into his memory box and one into his scrapbook.

After the hand prints dried I loaded the pages for the Cricut. I wrote the phrase directly on the page because I didn’t want to cut the letters and have to glue them onto the page, plus I wanted to try out the silver pen the machine came with. Loading the pen is easy. The Explore has a separate pen loading spot because it can simultaneously write and cut.

Cricut Pen

I used the design space to figure out where I wanted the phrase. In hindsight, I should have done the writing first and put the handprints around the phrases, but this happened to work out.

When designing something in design space, if you want your design to print and cut exactly as it looks on screen, you have to select all your design boxes and attach them in the layers panel.  This is as opposed to cutting to conserve paper, like if you were going to glue letters onto a bigger project.

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Just hit print and go! I think it came out great.

print Printing

I put one copy on the lid of his memory box.

Memory Box

So far, his box has his birth announcement, the box of chocolate cigars, His first little toy my niece got him, his hospital bracelets, his first Christmas hat, and the first blanket, shirt, hat, socks, and gloves from the hospital.

Memory Box

So far the box fits right on his bookshelf. Hopefully I won’t need a bigger box by the end of the year!

Memory Box

DIY Necklace: Wearing the Beach all Year

Beach Necklaces

I grew up here, ten minutes from the beach. I can’t imagine having to plan on going to the beach. It’s something I do so casually that I still forget what a special place it is. I usually go to the beach during the week, after work, and alone. We love Island Beach State Park. If you drive past their first two bathing beaches, there is some amazing scenery. I don’t think people realize there is so much beauty right in NJ. Pictures of the walk to the ocean rival some you can find on a tropical island. I love the walk to the ocean. As you walk through the trees and sand, at first all you hear are birds. Then the smell of the ocean comes and you start to hear the sound of waves, and finally you get to the view. When I head to the beach most people are leaving it, so it’s like my own private oasis. I always keep a blanket or chair in my trunk, and if I know Matt will be late coming home from work I just head to the beach and read for an hour or two.

Walk to the Beach

But I didn’t really get to do that this summer. I was afraid of going to the beach alone. I’ve never had fainting spells or anything, but I didn’t want to risk overheating by myself while pregnant. I only went to the beach a few times, and I did have to plan around it. It made me appreciate my proximity more. I don’t think I’ll ever want to live far enough away where I have to plan a beach trip. I know that with a baby I’ll have to be more structured with my beach time next year, but I’m glad that if I ever am bored and we have nothing to do we can always walk to beach to pass the time.

Beach

September is a great time to go to the beach. There aren’t many people and the water is super warm. Matt and I went recently for no reason other than we were bored.  We collected seashells, put our feet in the water, and watched as the tiny clams and sand crabs burrowed into the sand. It made me sad that summer is pretty much over. I can still walk the beach in the fall and winter, but it’s not really the same.

SeaShells

So I’m going to wear the beach all year long. I made these simple beach bottle necklaces to keep the sand close to my heart. I found a set of tiny bottles at Michael’s. Attach the ring to the cork (You might have t trim the metal with some wire cutters. put some sand in the bottle. It’s easier to scoop the sand rather than pour it. Then I used needle nose tweezers to put in a tiny sea shell, apiece of sea glass, and a piece of faux moss (to look like seaweed). Use some leather cord as the necklace, and you viola!

beach necklace

I made a second charm as a message in  a bottle. With less sand, I added some small shells, and I wrote a note on a piece of scrap paper (I ripped the paper so the edges weren’t so straight). I realize I could have just scribbled or not have written anything at all, but I like an ocean quote for my ocean necklace. I know it’s there, after all.  My message is from Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic.” I rolled up the scrap and put it in my bottle. How sweet!

message in a bottle

If you don’t live near the beach, you could make your necklace with sand and shells from your favorite vacation destination and keep it close to your heart too.

Gardening Wreath

I’ve been behind posting my wreaths, but here is my gardening wreath I made to hang before and after my flag wreath.

Gardeoning Wreath 2

So cute! The base of the wreath is a 10ft. leader hose in a wire wreath. You also need twine, gardening gloves, flowers of your choice, and a toy gardening kit.

Use twine to tie the hose in a circle.

Then tie the hose into the concave part of the wire wreath.  You can add a dab of hot glue for reinforcement. You can also cover the twine with the flowers and gardening tools.

tie to wire wreath

 

The flowers I chose pop right off their stems.

pop flowers off stems

 

Just hot glue them onto the hose.

 

The base of the flowers fit nicely in the hose crease.

 

flowers!

For the opposite side, I used the gloves and the toy kit. The handles are bulky and hard to attach, so I unscrewed the heads off the shovel and hoe.

detach heads from handles

I screwed just the heads together and used glue because I didn’t have a small enough washer.

use glue as a washer

Tie the toy tools to the hose.

tie down tool heads 

Glue the gloves down to cover that the handles were removed.

glue down gloves

The toy kit I bought had flower markers, so I used white nail polish to write in some flowers before I glue them in.

sprinkle in flower tabs

Finished! And adorable! Happy gardening!

Gardening Wreath

 

Toadstool Planter and Lilu’s Big Announcement

Toadstools are adorable. Last summer I made these ceramic toadstool houses and a toadstool bird feeder. 

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To bring the toadstools outside, I made toadstool flower pots. They are really easy and cheap to make. I used inexpensive plastic planters and painted them red.

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Then I used white caulk to make the spots on the planter.

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The caulk dried overnight and the planter was ready to go. I planted red Gerbera Daisies surrounded by little white flowers.

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Easy and sweet looking!

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In other news, Lilu made a big announcement this week. She’s going to be a guard dog/big sister!

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We’re expecting the little one on December 5th. We’ll find out if it’s a he or a she then. In the meantime, Lilu’s very excited about the position

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Easy Flag Crafts

It’s been a little over a year since I started my blog, and I feel accomplished  having a second post about the 4th of July.

Flag Crafts

Between Flag Day and Independence Day, I keep the patriotic decor up in my house from the middle of June to a little into July. Last year I made a flag wreath out of a flag rag streamer that Michael’s sold It was really easy, and took less than 5 minutes. As embarrassing as this is, I can’t get into the attic because I’m too short to reach the pull down cord on the ceiling, and Matt has been so busy building a rock wall in our backyard that I feel bad bothering him to get the decorations down. So the house hasn’t really been festive for these holidays this year. Eventually I’ll post that the other flag wreath, but for now I made an even prettier one plus a USA letter display.

Supplies

The wreath is made with a grape vine wreath, red whit and blur “berry” sprigs, and an “aged” American flag. I bought the flag and berry sprigs at The Christmas Tree Shoppe for $2 each piece, and the Wreath at JoAnne’s for $5, so this is a super cheap wreath! It’s super easy too.  First I separated the  berry sprigs.

Separate the twigs

Then I glued them around the wreath.

Berries glued on

 

I detached the flag from the pole and put it in the dryer so it wasn’t so stiff. Then I attached the flag, gluing down the top left and bottom right corners first to make the flag look longer, then folding and gluing some of the edges for a ruffled look.

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Very easy! And so are the letters. I just painted the U and S, and Modge Podged the A with a blue and white star paper. I wanted the letters to match the aged look of the flag on the wreath, so I used a deeper red and an eggshell white.  I also made sure to paint the edges of the letters, even the A!

SA

I was originally going to add the USA to the wreath, but I then I thought they were each was pretty enough on their own. I think I may attach the letters to some wood for a different type of display.

USA!

Super easy, super cute, and super cheap flag decor.

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