Thursday, April 25, 2013

DIY Cupcake Toppers!

This week was Ava's turn to celebrate her "un" birthday at Preschool.  We decided on donuts as the treat! 

We bought some donuts and frosted them and added sprinkles.   We also thought it would be fun to box each of the donuts individually for each student to take the treat home from Ava.   We also made her some toppers to stick in the donuts!  Here are the donuts all boxed up and ready to go..

Here's a peek inside the top of the box.. Caution, Ava wanted Hot Pink and Green so they are just that!

When they opened up their treat boxes they were greeted by all kinds of love from Aves..

I made the sign in Silhouette Studio.  I made the circle lollie by resizing her photo to about 1 1/4 in. circle and wrapped it with some washi tape. I also made some little pom-type toppers too.  (I'll show you how to make them below)

I was also asked to help my friend Gabby with some toppers.  She is running for Secretary for a group she belongs to, so this is what I came up with for her...

I couldn't resist, I had to make some poms for her to stick in these cupcakes too for accent!

I  also thought these pom  toppers would be fun for 4th of July or Football games!!!  I know here in Utah we have a huge Football game between Utah and BYU every year.  How fun would these poms be in cupcakes for the game?? Or different colors for different teams or sporting events!

I"ll show you quick how I made the poms, soooo easy!  Take a regular sized single Cupcake wrapper...

Fold it in half...

Fold in half again and again until you reach a triangle like this...

Next take some scissors and starting at the circle edge,  cut some tiny strips about 1/2 of the way up...

next unfold it one fold and place a lollie stick in the lower portion of the pom...

Glue the stick to the wrapper, pinch the wrapper closed around the stick...

You can cut your lollie stick to a desired length!

Super easy and fun!

It has  been a cupcake topper-filled week around here!!! When we finished making Ava's treats, later that night she said, "Mom Thank you for helping me with my treats, I Love them!"  

 Awwww, that made me stop and enjoy the moment, I love that!

With Much "Sweet" Love & Gratitude,

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Monday, April 22, 2013

A little... Inspiration!

Do you have things that Inspire you?

I have many things that Inspire me!  Lately it has been this group of Fabric!  I have a couple different projects I am going to use this for.  

Right now, it is sitting in my Laundry room on the shelf.  Every time I walk in there, I feel inspired by it and smile! So I thought I would share it with you!

I'm  off to work on a couple different projects.  I always seem to load up on projects/ events at this time of year and I love it!  I'll share them with you when I get to that point, promise!

Have a fabulous Monday!
With Much Love & Gratitude,

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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Silhouette Vinyl Promotion!

I'm excited to announce that Silhouette is running a Promotion of  25% off all Premium Vinyl!  With this discount,  a 9 in. roll of vinyl will come out to be $7.50 a roll!  That's a steal! 

They also have some great Bundles too that you can see in the ad below...

It starts Today, April 18-April 26 
To Access the Promotion you can do that here or by clicking on  this ad below.  

Use My Code: CHALKBOARD at Checkout to receive your 25 %  discount on vinyl!

To help with this promotion, Silhouette sent me a roll of their Strawberry colored Vinyl to demonstrate with.  I really like this color.  It's bright and Cheery!  I came up with a couple ideas  that I used it with...

I made a simple little sack that could be used as a gift or party favor.  I personalized the clothespin with the vinyl and also put a little design on the sack to dress it up...

I also made a  pallet-style sign that Madi could use to keep her motivated.  Its a 3-D sign using an old book glued open and glued to some pallet boards with a vinyl saying...

I took an old book,  found the place where I could keep the pages open.  Tacked the pages down and glued the book down to the pallet boards.  I cut the vinyl on my Silhouette and adhered it to the open pages...

This is how it turned out.  She can keep this in her room to remind her that she can do anything!

I really enjoyed using this vinyl and look forward to more projects I can accomplish with it.  Don't forget to  pick yourself up some vinyl during  Silhouette's Vinyl Promotion and use 

Code: CHALKBOARD  at checkout to receive your discount!

*Disclaimer:  I was given a roll of vinyl from the Silhouette company for the purpose of demonstration only and to inform my readers of the Silhouette Vinyl Promotion.  I was not compensated for it and all opinions of the vinyl are mine.

  With Much Love & Gratitude,

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

How to build the Barn Wood Style Fold-n-Go Tote...

Need a fun tote for Summer BBQ's?  I've got my Barnwood fold-n-go tote instructions for you right here… 

This tote is designed after this Pottery Barn Kid's Art Cubby below...

I Designed this particular tote a little bit smaller and more compact, making it easier to use for travel and different occasions than the Pottery Barn Kid's version above.

I also modified my design to have Handles,  Hinges and a Latch for the convenience of folding, closing and storing it as demonstrated above.

I also modified the cubbies on this design to accommodate larger items such as plates.

Finished measurements:
Unfolded: 29 1/2 in. Long x 8 in. High  x 3 3/4 in. wide
Folded: 14 3/4 in. Long x 8 in. High x 7  1/2 in. wide

To see more photos of this tote and another white tote I built and the many different ways you can use these totes, you can see that here or by clicking on the photo below:

*There are also more photos of this tote and some ideas of the different uses for it at the end of this tutorial...

This is how I built the smaller Barn wood tote:

2 - Pieces of 1/2 in. thick plywood.  Cut at:  8 inches high by
     14 3/4 inches long
3-  8 ft 3 in. wide Pine Boards   (These boards will be cut at 
     different lengths)  I also did not use all of the boards, I had 
     some extra left over from the third board.
1 pkg. 1 1/2 in hinge (The one I purchased had 2 hinges.  You 
    will need both hinges)
1 pkg of 1 inch hook and eye latch
Stain of your choice
Paint of your choice
      1 1/2 in Brad Nails

Miter saw
Table Saw
Jig Saw
Brad nailer
Air compressor
Palm Sander
1/2 in drill bit 
Stencils for numbers 

***Note Before I made any cuts to my pine boards, I pre-painted them white, sanded them down lightly, and next stained them to make my tote look like barnwood.  I did this before I made all of my cuts because it is easier to do all of the painting, sanding and staining before the tote is assembled.  I highly suggest doing this if you are doing a barn wood look.  If you would like to see a tutorial on how to make a barn wood look, you can see that here on a Cubby organizer tutorial. 

Once the 2 pieces of plywood were cut and the handles were cut into them: I also painted, sanded and stained them too at the same time I worked on the pine boards.

Once all of the boards are painted and stained its time to make some cuts.

Here is a Picture of all of the Cuts you are going to be making:

***** One other big note!  The 3 in. wide pine boards technically measure 2.5 in wide from the factory cut.  Do not make any cuts on the width of the pine boards except for 2 pieces that I will tell you about later.  All other cuts of the 3 in. pine boards will just be cut in lengths.

Cut List:
From the 3 in wide pine boards you will need:

4- Pine Boards cut at 14 3/4 in long.  Keep the width of the board.
7- Pine Boards cut at a 45 degree angle at 5 1/2 in. long.  
    (The 5 1/2 in. is the HIGHEST  point of the 45 degree cut for
     each of the slots.) Remember no cuts to the width of these 
      boards also!

Now this is the part where you will need to cut the width of the pine boards:   :)

2 - Pine Boards cut at 14 3/4 in. long  AND 1 1/8 in. wide.
       (This is How I did this: I ripped one 3 in. pine board on the 
         table saw  1 1/8 in. wide at least 30 inches long.  From this 30
         in. long board, I cut 2 boards measuring 14 3/4 in long.  
         These 2 boards will be the top front boards of the tote.)

Cutting out the handles:

I next cut the handles into each of the plywood pieces.  (I will say, this was the most time consuming part of this project for me, BUT, I LOVE the handles!  They make the whole project.  They are just a little stressful.  Once you get passed this point, its really just all assembly!

So you have your two pieces of plywood that you have cut at 8 inches high and 14 3/4 wide:

On the long side of the board, I found the center of the board near the top.  I measured down from the top 1/2 in.  I made a rectangle measuring 3 1/2 in. wide by 1 1/8 in. tall.    I next drilled a couple holes inside this rectangle with a 1/2 in wide drill bit so I could get the jig saw blade inside this rectangle to cut it out.  Next I cut the rectangle out with the jig saw.

****Note My handles did not turn out perfect.  I did sand them down with my sander and sandpaper.  I think even one handle is different in size than the other handle.  I just made sure they were lined up as best as they could could be once they were cut so they could be used as handles.  So don't get discouraged if they don't come out perfect.  As long as they line up when the two boards are placed back to back and you can use them as a handle then you will be just fine! Now that your handles are cut, you can paint, sand, and stain the plywood to have the barn wood finish.

At this point, this is all of the cuts you will have made:  

***Notice that there is only 3 slot pieces cut for the right half due to the fact that one of the slots is going to be wider when it is assembled.  If you do not want a wider slot, then you will need to cut one more pine board at a 45 degree at 5 1/2 in. tall.

Now that you have all of your pieces ready and the handles are cut.  It is assembly time!


Left Side Half Slot Assembly.

Take one pine board cut 14 3/4 in. long.  You are going to nail 4 slot boards to your bottom board. Space your slot boards 3 7/8 in between slots and nail them to the top side of the bottom board. This is what the slots will look like nailed to the bottom board.

I marked mine with a pencil so they stayed inline while I glued and nailed them.  (Some of my pics are from a white tote I also made, sorry to confuse)  ***note  the slots are just laying on the back piece in this picture below.  They are not nailed to it.  They will be nailed to the piece with the pencil markings on it, the bottom piece, they are just laying there for spacing at this point***

Place some glue on the bottom of the slot and nail it to the bottom board...

I nailed my first slot onto the end.  I measured over to the right 
3 7/8 inches and nailed my second board.

From there, I measured over from the right side of the 2nd slot board another 3 7/8 inches and glued and nailed my 3rd board.

Next the last slot board was placed at the end and the left half looks like this.

Now that this is assembled, nail these slots to the Back Piece.  Take your slots you just nailed to the bottom piece, line them up against your Back Piece. From the Back side of the Back piece, use the brad nailer to secure the slots to the back piece.

Make sure you line up your brad nailer with the slots so you do not shoot nails through that will show in the front of the tote. Your nails want to go into the slots from the back of the back piece. (Again, the pic is from my white tote)

When finished with that step, the Left side should look like this:

Now you can do your Right Slot Assembly:

For the right slot side assembly do it just like you did the left side, except you need to make one slot very wide for plates or larger items.  I measured the largest regular sized paper plate and made my slot 10 1/4 inches wide.  Leaving 2 1/4 in. wide for the last slot.  Perfect for straws etc. 

Once the slots are nailed to the bottom board for the right side.  Now you can nail it to the Back Piece just as you did for the Left side above.

When Finished with that step, the Right side should look like this...

Now all you have left is to nail your front boards on to the front of the tote for both sides. Take a long pine board cut at 14 3/4 in. long and 2.5 in. wide and nail it to the front at the bottom of the tote.

Next take one of the boards you ripped to 1 1/8 in. wide and cut at 14 3/4 in. long and nail that just above the lower front board.

Repeat the last two steps for the Right Half and both tote sides will be assembled.  Next you will need to anchor them together with your hinges.

I turned both tote halves over face down butted right up tight to one another and placed the hinges on the Back side in about the middle to lower region  3 inches down from the top.  You can see the placement of the hinges by noting the handles in the picture below. 

Here is a wider shot of the hinges:

A shot of the hinges close up folding:

Once the hinges are placed.  The tote should be able to swing open and closed at this point! hooray! Also, my totes do not line up exactly due to the hinges, but they are close enough, so if yours do the same thing, don't be discouraged!

At this point, do some touch up stain on all of the rough cut ends on the tote such as where you cut the slot pieces at a 45 degree angle and anywhere else you may have un-finished boards showing.

I next swung the tote closed so the back pieces were back to back and chose a place to anchor my hook and eye latch.

Next unfold the tote and lay it on its back.  I cut my numbers on my Silhouette Cameo using Contact paper and placed the numbers in front of the tote cubbies.

I next painted them in and my numbers were complete!  Project Compete!

So thrilled with how these totes have turned out!  We have been using ours everyday!!!

We have been using them for different purposes too!  Crafts...

Baby Items...


or used together with the white tote...

If you would like to see a tutorial on how I built the Larger White Wooden tote, you can see that here or by clicking on the photo below!

With Much Love & Gratitude,

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