Friday, June 25, 2010

Wooden Magnets

Last Thanksgiving, we were in my mother-in-law's house. She had some wood rectangle magnets that my little boy loved. He thought it was so great that he could stick something to the fridge then take it back off.

I decided that I would make a set of magnets to give him at Christmas. I didn't take step-by-step pictures so here's a basic list of how to make these magnets:
1. Find some stickers that you want for your magnets.
I found some I liked from Hobby Lobby. The dinosaurs and vehicles are Karen Foster stickers (Dinosaurs #10646, Little Boy #10600). The zoo animals are WeR (Wild Things 60702-1).
2. Draw some shapes on paper that will fit your stickers.
3. Cut (or have a nice husband cut) out the wood shapes.
4. Sand the shapes. Fill in any gouges or marks with wood filler and sand again.
5. This step is probably optional, but I sealed the wood.
6. Paint the wood in colors that coordinate with the stickers.
7. Put your stickers on the blocks. Apply 2-3 coats of Mod Podge glue.
8. If your child is still in a "put this in my mouth" stage, try applying a few coats of polyurethane. This has helped protect the ones we made.
9. Add magnets with a strong glue. I used E6000. I had pretty weak magnets, so I had to put two on the big ones.
Voila. Kids love them. Now to make that magnet board I've been planning for his bedroom...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

How to Make a Diaper Changing Pad

There are a lot of free patterns out there for diaper changing pads. I recently saw one made from a placemat, but it was too small for my tall babies. I saw another made from fabric and chenille, but I couldn't bear the thought of having to deal with baby blowouts on chenille (blech). I decided to make up a tutorial that combined some of the ideas I saw with a few additions I needed.

So here you go...

I have a diaper changing pad that came with my diaper bag. I always thought the size was great, so I used that to measure my fabric. It's about 25" long and 13 1/2" wide. It's not as compact as some, but it's sure nice to have a big enough protective area in public restrooms. You can round the corners if you want. I saw someone trace a CD to do that once.

If you want to put a pocket on your changing pad, cut a piece of fabric for that. I cut the piece big enough to hold a diaper and some wipes. Leave an extra 1 1/4" of fabric for a hem.

Another thing I liked about my previous pad was that it could be wiped clean. Finding cute waterproof fabric for babies can be a challenge, though. One of the tutorials I saw suggested using iron-on vinyl to make your fabric waterproof. I had never heard of it, but decided to try it. I found mine at JoAnn last week. (My fabric came from there too.)

I cut the piece of vinyl to match the size of my fabric, then followed the instructions on the package to iron the vinyl on to the fabric.

Now, take the pocket piece and iron the top edge down 1/4". Fold down another 1" and press. Stitch across the fabric. If you want to add Velcro, sew that on now. I sewed one side of the Velcro to the top of the pocket (on the inside). I lined up the pocket to the changing pad piece and sewed the other side on it.

Now, you might be one of those people who have a gift for sewing on bindings using a sewing machine. I am not one of those people. I always like the outcome better if I sew my bindings by hand. So that's what I did. I pinned the three layers together (the vinyl covered side, the batting, and the side with the pocket) placing the binding around the outer edge. When I came to the end, I just folded it over and pinned it. You have to be careful to keep the pocket in place as you do this.

Hand stitch (or use a machine) around the edges of the binding. You'll have to bunch it a bit at the corners if you made them round.

When you're finished, you can attach another bit of Velcro to keep the whole thing shut.

More Burp Cloths

A while ago, I posted some burp cloths I made. See the posting here.
I decided to make a few more using items I had in my scrap pile.

This time, instead of chenille, I tried using red dish towels (new) and a cut up fuzzy blue shirt (used). I picked out matching pieces of fabric for the front.

My favorite new addition to the project is the embroidery embellishments I added. I got all the designs from Baby Stuff. See this post for more on that book. You can pretty much use whatever little picture you want. It's such a cute touch on something that has such a dirty job.

How to Make a Padded Case

I promised a while ago that I'd take pictures when I made a case for my husband's Light Wedge. You can follow a similar pattern for any item that needs a protective cover.
First, you need to select a fabric for the outside of your case and one for the lining. I wanted to a soft lining to keep the Light Wedge from getting scratched. I found a piece of green felt in my leftover bin. I then picked out another scrap that matched. My husband's only request for the cover was that it wasn't too "girly." so I did what I could.
Second, you need to place the item you're protecting on a folded piece of fabric and measure the size of fabric piece you'll need. I kept my fold along the bottom. I cut the fabric about an inch bigger on the sides and two inches bigger on the top (to leave room for a Velcro closure). Then I cut a piece of batting that was the same size. I cut the fabric for the lining just a bit smaller. The first time I made a pouch, I cut the lining to be the same size as the outside and it bunched a bit when it was all put together.
Third, pin the sides of the lining, right sides together, and sew.


Fourth, pin the outer fabric and the batting together, keeping the right side of the fabric to the inside. Sew the sides.


Fifth, turn the lining right side out. Pin wrong sides of the bag tops together. Sew, leaving an opening so you can turn it right side out. Be sure to think this step out before you sew. It's really easy to sew one side or the other inside out.

Sixth, turn the bag right side out. Pin the top. press, and topstitch. This can be pretty thick, but it'll help keep your lining from coming out.

Seven: If desired, sew a piece of Velcro or a snap on the bag to help keep it closed.

Eight, add embellishments. (That's not too girly, I hope.)
Happy Father's Day, Lance.