Sunday, January 5, 2014

Make Your Own Coloring Book Fabric From Your Child's Drawings

If you are visiting today from the Two Bee's Sew-Along...Welcome!

I am sure many of you have seen the very cool IKEA coloring book fabric that has been popping up on many sewing blogs.  You can color it one of two ways...with washable Crayola markers, and it will wash away when laundered, or, with fabric paint for a more permanent solution.  I recently used it to make a crayon apron for a customer.  I absolutely love the drawings on the fabrics!  It got me thinking...why couldn't I put my kids drawings on fabric!  How cool would that be!  So authentic!
Today I would like to share with you the technique I use to transfer a child's sketches to fabric, enabling you to create your very own personalized design.  As an art teacher, I love the idea of using your child's creativity to make a project unique.  Children's drawings have an uninhibited freedom, that as adults, many of us simply can't mimic.    

I hope you have fun with this technique.  There are just so many possibilities to it's uses!  You could create a custom pillow case, bag, apron, dress or other article of clothing.  I have used it to transfer to mounted canvases as well.  
Let's get started...First you will need a little artist, a big pile of regular white computer paper, and a sharpie (deep breath mom, it's ok to give the youngin a sharpie...if closely monitored and the rest of the surrounding areas are covered up!).  If you are working with a theme, share that with your little artist and help them brainstorm some ideas of things that they might like to draw.  I always tell my kids it would be helpful if they could make the drawing as big as their hand opened up ( therefore reducing the risk of them drawing teeny tiny little drawings which is very common with young artists!)  My son, Brock, helped me out with todays art.  We decided on a space theme.  He is a fifth grader and to keep it simple, I told him to make his drawing as though he were about a second grader.  The more drawings the better...but for starters let's just say a minimum of 9-12 sketches would be great!
Once your little artist has completed their masterpieces gather up your supplies.  You will need:
- fabric:  lightweight canvas, Kona cotton, Broadcloth, a Bed sheet, etc. If your fabric is very lightweight you may need to line it, but this is up to you!
-  Black Fabric Marker (I like Plaid brand the best, but this was all they had at Michael's today...we will see how it launders)
- Painters Tape ( if you are using the window transfer method)

And if you are planning to paint in the designs yourself...
- fabric paint
-water cup

The first step in putting your drawings on fabric is looking at the size that they are versus the size you need them to be.  Brock did a great job of making his drawings as big as his hand, but a few still need enlargement to change up the variety on the fabric.  To accomplish this you have a few options.  If you have a phone that takes pictures pretty clearly, just snap a picture of the drawing, filling as much of the screen on you phone with the image as possible.  Upload to your computer and use your favorite photo editing program to print.  Most program allow you to choose a size to print,  I went with 4x6.

Another option would be to scan the photo into your computer and print it larger.

Or, if you don't have a computer to do this, you could always take them to a copy store and just have photocopy enlargements made.

The next thing we need to do is set up a "light station".  For most of you, this will probably be a window.  This is what we always used when I taught middle school art!  To hold your images in place, use a little roll of painters tape on the back of the image.  With this method, use a long piece of painters tape to hold up your fabric.  As you trace new images, move the images, NOT the fabric.  It will make life much simpler for you!  

For those that might have a glass table or coffee table, you have a ready-make light box!  Simply grab a small lamp, place it under your table and you have a flat, lit up space to trace away on!  I have a glass coffee table that I will never get rid of (despite it's impracticality with two boys) for this very reason!

Let's start tracing!  Place your image under the fabric and use your fabric marker to start putting your childs drawing on your fabric.  Once finished, grab another sketch and start puzzling them together so that the overall look of the fabric has uniformity.

Keep going.... and going..... and going....

 .....until you have your own coloring book fabric!  To fill some blank space I added some 5-point stars and planets.

Just to be safe I would lay a scrap piece of fabric over the top of your design and press with a hot iron, even though my fabric marker says heat is not required to set the ink.  If you are worried about fading of the ink with laundering, just give lines a second or third coat to your black lines with your fabric marker.

And there ya go!  Now you are ready to move on to your project!

This is a picture my, at the time, 3-year-old son drew for his baby sister's room (before she was born).


I love this picture.

I showed him how to make the flowers, and then off he went with his little sharpie.

When he was finished I painted the colors in it to match the baby's room.  This technique would be darling if applied to your coloring book fabric.

I put together two quick videos to demonstrate how to achieve this look with fabric paint...
and for a more detailed view...

Monday, March 25, 2013

Jellybean Bunny Bags Tutorial

At Easter the jellybean "Bunny Bags" as they were called in my house growing up, were a tradition in your Easter basket.  When I was 3 and my brother 1, my mom needed something to keep us quiet in church Easter morning and thus, the Bunny Bag was born.  Easter morning the Easter Bunny would fill our bags with jellybeans that we were then allowed to take to church with us. I am pretty sure this might be where my small obsession with gingham began...thanks mom.

Clearly, Andy did not appreciate the importance of his bunny bag that first year!
 When my oldest was born, my mom passed my bag on to Brock, and ever since, bunny bags are the number 1 thing my kids talk about getting out at Easter.  Brock turns 10 in a week and Bryce is 6...even at these ages they are still their favorite!  You can imagine my panic this week when I went to get out Easter decorations, only to discover that the Bunny Bags are MISSING!  Yes! Panic!  I know they are some place logical...but when I packed everything away last year I was teaching full time and had a 10 month old baby...things are ummm....a little foggy from that time period to say the least.   So instead of making two bunny bags, one for Kate and one for my niece Julia, I got to make four :)!
I had wanted to share this little keepsake on the blog, and this is the perfect time to do it since I just had to whip up new one's this week!  This is a fast, easy little project that I know your little one's will treasure! 
 To begin, just select your favorite color of gingham (I get mine at Hobby Lobby) and cut two 6 x 7 inch squares.  The 6" is your width the 7" your height.
  Using felt, cut out the bunny face, eyes, nose, and inner ears. You can print the template of the bunny here.  When printed, it should measure roughly 4 inches by 4 inches.

Trace around the pattern pieces with a fabric marking pen and cut out.  I use a little tacky glue to hold my eyes, nose and pink ears in place. 

When dry, applique them using a straight stitch.  Go slow!  These little pieces take lots of turning, but it's totally do-able.

 Using a small straight stitch, add pink whiskers (3 straight lines) - this can either be embroidered or machine stitched.

 Last, hand stitch on the mouth using your favorite hand embroidery stitch.

 Pin bunny onto one of your face pieces of gingham. 

Machine stitch the bunny to one piece of gingham using a small straight stitch - sew around the entire exterior of the bunny.

Ok, now you are ready to assemble the bag...
The tutorial to make the drawstring bag is the same as the candy corn bag I did this fall. You can find it here.

   I used satin ribbons instead of grosgrain on this one...they are much easier for little finger to pull the bag open and closed...I guess it you want to challenge your little bunny, go with grosgrain! 

That's it!  The Petelin Easter Tradition is officially passed on to you!  Now hop to it and go make some bunny bags!

Nothing like trying to take pictures with camera in one hand and baby in the you can see when the photographer(s) went in for a little close-up the props were too much for little fingers to resist!



Friday, March 8, 2013

Julia's First Birthday: Pinwheels, Balloons, and a Vintage DressRe-make and

This past weekend we celebrated my niece's first birthday.  My sister and Julia's mom, Emily, put together the most adorable party and didn't miss any details!  I wanted to share a few of my favorite things with you...and it was hard to narrow it down so please excuse all the pictures! 

First of all I just have to brag on my little sis a minute.  She is a full-time accountant, in the middle of wrapping up their busy season and was able to put together all of this in a very productive two days off!  Really, she's incredible....and clearly got all the good stuff in the family gene pool seeings how she is a super-duper accountant AND creative too! 

Emily started with the theme...Sarah Jane Fabric "Children at Play" line.  She loved the white panel that you see stretched on a canvas behind the cake.  From there it just made sense to incorporate pinwheels and balloons into all the decorations.  She made mini and larger sized pennants that were strung all over featuring an assortment of the Sarah Jane line and a few other complementary fabrics.

She made all the little pinwheels you see in the cake and cupcakes out of coordinating card stock and then glued them to little toothpicks.  The party hats you see in the background were all different patterns of paper, rick-rack, bows and ruffled fabrics.


For food she had little one's favorites in cupcake liners along the edge of the table: goldfish crackers, sliced vegetables and cheese sticks, and fruit.  The birthday cake dip with teddy grahams was a huge hit with the kids!  There were triangle wedges of PB&J, tortilla pinwheels, fruit salad, Grandma White's spritz cookies in pinwheel shapes, and some cute pinwheel cookie that I can find the recipe for those HERE.

Em made the smash cake and 40+ cupcakes...trying two different recipes in search of the "perfect" cupcake!  Honestly, they were both wonderful! 

Helium filled balloons covered the ceiling of the party area. It was adorable to watch the 10+ little ones reaching for the balloons. 

And about this little dress...

Since the fabric panel had a very vintage feel to it, we decided to hunt through 50's patterns on ETSY...We picked this one...

We worked off of view B...with a few changes.  We lengthened the skirt to knee length, and instead of the sash it suggested (store bought ribbon), we made our own following the patterns ties. I just added in the waistband piece, edged it in white piping so it would stand out against the background fabric.    To keep the sash in place, I did an invisible stitch to the sash/dress along the front bottom edge.   
The other big change I made was to scrap the whole bodice and recreate my own pattern. The existing bodice just was not fitting Julia well, darts on a one year old perplex me!  It must be a 50's thing!   I used a top from Janie and Jack that fit Julia well along with french curves, the old pattern, and a little dash of throwing caution to the wind, to recreate a bodice that fit muuuch better.  We ended up having to bring my version in a bit on the sides, but overall the fit was much more what we were going for.  In my pattern, I dropped the neck-line a bit, from what you see pictured in the pattern.
We used a fantastic shirting fabric found at Jo-Ann's for the base of the dress.  It hardly even wrinkled and is so soft and light weight.  I used a very old (prob from the 50's or 60's) scrap of pillowcase that I had, for the collar and sleeve trim.  The finishing touch was to sew on tiny pale pink buttons from Grandma White's button collection.
And are those shoes cute or what!!? 

Overall, I am super happy with how the dress turned out!  It was my birthday gift to Julia, so I wanted it to be a special keepsake! 
P.S - Yes, as both our husbands and mother told us girls, we are crazy.  We go a little nuts-o with party planning, but it is sooooo much fun!!  I keep trying to talk my little sister into retiring from her day job to come blog with me, but so far no takers...
I'll keep trying...
P.S.S  On the "you are crazy" note...I did make Kate's dress too.  She didn't have anything to wear and I had a new pattern (super simple) that I was itching to try out.  I had a scrap of Just Stay Little Sarah Jane fabric that came from a Cottage Mama de-stash, and it was just to perfect with the theme not to use it on the bottom band of Kate's dress.  So the morning of the party at 5 am...... yea, I know, c-r-a-z-y!!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Color Outside The Lines...

 Color outside the lines.  I am an art teacher and I give you permission. Go ahead.  See, doesn't that feel great!  Now, put that crayon your apron!

I have to confess.  I am not your typical art teacher.  I like to get messy, try new things and be creative, buuuuut, there's this other side of me (I am pretty sure it originated on my maternal side - sorry mom, love you) that feels the world is off tilt if things aren't organized.  I think the crayon apron is a total reflection of it's designer:  art teacher meet organizational nut.  I am really proud to offer this item to customers because it is completely my own design.  There are hundreds of crayon aprons out there (314 on ETSY to be exact) but my design is straight out of my head :)...all mine, unlike anything else I have offered yet.  I first came up with it for my niece's 2nd birthday.  My sister-in-law kept telling me I needed to sell them, and I kept procrastinating because they aren't super quick to whip out, but I looove how full and twirly they are...just so girly! 

This past two weeks I have sold 3 crayon aprons on ETSY...this is a new record of ETSY sales for Two Bee's.  It's so exciting!  It is so much fun to send these little Two Bee's creations all over the US.  The boys and I are thinking about putting up a map and plotting all the places Two Bee's goes.  It has been a little tricky juggling another big project I have been working on, as well as getting orders out, but it's a wonderful challenge to have.

And in the past few weeks Two Bee's Crayon Apron has jumped from being on page 8 (the last page) to being between the 1st and the 5th most looked at crayon apron on ETSY...which makes me smile!

Perfect for Eater Baskets and little girls age can find it HERE.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Think Spring

We are just closing up Day 2 here of Snowmageddon 2013.  While all of Kansas City is walering in snow up to our ears, my mind is twirling with tons of ideas for spring!  There is a very cool new web site I have been playing around with called The Inspiration Board.  It is a crazy fun, visual way of putting the ideas in your head into one little spot.  I've been thinking a lot about new products for a spring open house.  In order to see what it might look like with all things constructed together, I organized a little board...

Now isn't that a much nicer way to see what's spinning around in your me...this version is much more organized! 

I think my next task is a board of spring sewing projects for Kate!

Well, back to reality...there's a pile of wet snow clothes as deep in my laudry room as the snow is deep outside. 

Stay warm.....Jenny

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Winter Garden Themed Baby Shower

On this cold, chilly day in January, I thought I might share a few pictures from my sisters baby shower that two of her best friends and I threw her exactly a year ago this month.  I ran across the photos the other day going through files and realized we did the shower before I was blogging, so I had never shared these before.  The theme was a winter garden.  As a child, my sister had collected Beatrix Potter dishes, books, and such.  We wanted to incorporate some really cute little Peter Rabbit post cards we had of Beatrix Potter characters in winter settings.  I wish I had a close-up of the framed prints...somehow I don't think I got one.  In one of the pics you can see it sitting on the table amidst the branches, moss and paper whites.

I really loved this theme for a winter baby shower.  It was simple and elegant...totally the mother-to-be.  The little touches of spring were so nice to see as it was very cold that day!  We served Pink Mixer Cupcakes ( a neighbor of mine owns and bakes)  which were amazing and so beautiful!  As well as brownie pops, creme puffs, heavenly chocolate mouse, fresh fruit, cucumber sandwiches, and iced sugar cookies.  For drinks, there was warm Chamomile Tea (a nod to Peter Rabbit himself), and a hot chocolate station.

As a thank-you to the hostesses, my sister had made little bags for each  of us with gardening gloves, Loccataine' hand lotion, herb garden labels, Anthropology mug's and some tea.  What a sweet surprise!

I can't believe it was almost a year ago! 
Have a great Wednesday everyone!