Posts Tagged ‘crafting’

When my mom first moved to Austin she rented a home less than a block away from a railroad crossing. Every time we visited Granny he’s run over to the window to watch the trains go by. This would happen at least twice an hour.

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!

Then, we went to Disney World. We knew our already train-obsessed toddler would love the Walt Disney World Railroad. Little did we know just how much he would love not only that magical train around Magic Kingdom, but every single ride or vehicle that resembled a train. From the parking lot trams, to the monorail, to the PeopleMover, he was in heaven.

If we had a dollar for every time he said “choo choo” throughout our trip, we would have enough money to fund our next three Walt Disney World Resort vacations.

If you didn’t know it already, he LOVES trains.

But now that I’ve driven that point home, it explains why I’m converting his gender neutral whimsical jungle nursery into a train room fit for a mini train enthusiast.

The room isn’t complete just yet, and this isn’t a grand reveal, but I’m off to a good start and wanted to post a tutorial for making these train tracks on the wall.

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!

I first came across a photo on pinterest from an unknown source, but the blog that had shared the photo didn’t know how it was done, she just assumed it was “easily” done by bending aluminum piping. Well let me tell you, that’s not as easy as it seems. So I went my own route and found a way to get the same look for much less work, and less money.

It took some trial and error to figure this out but in the end, it turned out way better than I thought it would and my train-lover is thrilled with the choo choo tracks on his walls.

So here’s how you can make your own!

Train Room DIY Wall Train Tracks

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!

Supplies

Other handy supplies you have around your house:

  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Ruler
  • 3 sheets of paper

Step 1:

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!

Before I left the hardware store I had an employee cut the wood into slats the length I wanted. The first time I had them cut into 18in pieces but it felt way too long, so I had them cut again into 13in pieces, which I think is perfect.

Step 2:

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!

Spray paint all of your wood black. Be careful to get the front and back as well as the sides so they’re black from all angles you look at it.

Step 3:

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!

Spray paint the rope silver. Since the rope is fabric and a bit more absorbent it may take a couple coats and a second can of spray paint. I tried to keep my can of paint closer to the rope, and tried to roll the rope up so that as the paint blew all over, it was more likely to fall on more rope.

Step 4:

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!

As your pieces dry you can begin to mark where you want your track to go. I found the easiest way for me to do this was by cutting up strips of paper, and taping them to my wall where I wanted the tracks to lay. It gave me a good visual without having to draw and erase all over my walls. It was easy to move the pieces around, step back, and move them again and again. I also used a ruler to help keep my tracks evenly spaced. Just remember your track pieces will be wider than your trips of paper. Finished, mine are each about 6in apart.

Step 5:

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!

Cut small pieces of heavy-duty mounting tape and attach them to the back of each piece of track. Then trade a piece of track with each piece of paper on your wall. Don’t press too hard in case you need to rearrange a piece. Once you have them all lined up the way you want, go back and press firmly on each piece of track.

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!
(Optional: You can also nail them to the wall at this point).

Step 6:

New bed for toddler

Using more strips of mounting tape, start at one end and slowly attach your rope as the rails for your train track. I put my rails about 2.5in in from the edge of the track. I measured as I attached to each piece of track to make sure the rails would stay parallel all the way down.

I started on one side of the track, went all the way down, THEN cut the rope and used the remainder to go back on the other side. I only bought 6 yards (it was only $.99/yard) and was cutting it very close. I could have used another 3 inches.

Step 7:

Once you have your rails lined up where you want them, go back and use finishing nails to permanently attach them to the wood. (Or not, I haven’t done this all the way down yet because the tape is working just fine at the moment).

And you’re done! Now step back and admire your handy work!

DIY-3D-Train-Tracks-Wall-2

Hope this tutorial was helpful. If so, please pin and share away! If you have questions leave them in the comments and I’ll answer as soon as I can.

What do you think? It feels nice getting crafty again!

How awesome! A super easy tutorial for making DIY wall train tracks. Perfect for any little train lover!

*This post contains affiliate links! Your clicks help support my blog at no cost to you!

When I was in the 7th grade I auditioned for the dance team. It was my first real tryouts and I was so anxious and excited to be a courtside dancer in the 8th grade. Before then, as far as sports went, I had only participated in recreation league cheerleading.

I practiced all week, got the routine down pat, and felt confident. One of my friends missed a couple days of auditions, so I offered to help her learn the steps. We practiced together and I hoped that we’d both make the team. In the end she made the it and I didn’t.

I was devastated. Seriously so upset. My parents had never seen me that way. Eventually I got over it, and I tried out and made the cheerleading squad a month or so later. One thing that stuck out to me from that experience was a conversation I had with my mother.

“Don’t help someone else get what you want before you have it yourself.” I don’t know if it was that statement, or something else that set a spark of competitiveness in me.

Through the years I’ve remembered that remark, and it’s come up in other conversations about gifts, jobs, and other goals I’ve worked toward. It never quite set right with me, but now that I have kids of my own I’ve realized it’s not the lesson I want them to learn. In my mother’s defense, her experiences in life could have taught her she needed to look out for herself, and influenced her decision to give me this advice. Nevertheless, it’s not the one I want my children to learn.

Help your kids find their superpower, then encourage them to share it with the world.

Ambition is one thing, but the way you treat others in your pursuit of happiness is also important. As a person my kids look up to for wisdom–A superhero in their eyes, my mission is to teach them this lesson.

I want my children to know they’re blessed with their own talents, and have unique gifts to give to the world… Superpowers if you will. When I’ve talked with my daughter about her talents and what she’s good at, she will sigh through the conversation. But when I ask her about her SUPERPOWERS she gets excited to tell me how she’s a super artist who can craft things that make others happy.

She tells me she has the superpower of kindness, to help her brother and her family. Now it’s my responsibility to help her harness those talents, and others she discovers within herself.

Like she said, she loves art, and she’ll never turn down an opportunity to make a craft, so we busted out the glitter and glue to make a special superhero cape to highlight her gifts.

Help your kids find their superpower, then encourage them to share it with the world.

Help your kids find their superpower, then encourage them to share it with the world.

I’ve started a new partnership with Barbie, and they sent us a bag of crafts to get inspired as a part of their #BeSuper campaign. All I had to do was show her the bad and Lil’ J got to designing. She asked me to help her cut out a heart, which I thought was appropriate for her kindness. We started decorating that when she changed her mind and said she’d rather a star. When I questioned why she wanted a start instead of a heart she said “Because mom, I’m a shining star!”

Lil’ J directed me on where to add the glue and she sprinkled the glitter and positioned the star. When I complained about my crooked star skills she said “It’s ok mommy, it looks great to me!” Seriously, she is good at this kindness thing.

Help your kids find their superpower, then encourage them to share it with the world.

She couldn’t wait for her cape to dry–I mean really, she couldn’t wait and she put it on before it was totally dry… So did her brother. So some of the glitter smudged a little, but she didn’t care. She was so proud to put it on and show off our accomplishment.

There must be something about a cape and mask that makes you feel powerful. I want her to always feel that way about her talents, and I want her to highlight them in a positive way.

Help your kids find their superpower, then encourage them to share it with the world.

I recently visited a local Montessori preschool for a news story and sat down and interviewed the director at length. When I turned the camera off and we continued to talk about motherhood, how we want the best for our children, how our parents want the best for us. She told me how she doesn’t push her son to be competitive. “There’s no reason to be competitive” she told me. She considers it a habit society ingrains in us that shouldn’t be. This conversation really stuck with me.

Help your kids find their superpower, then encourage them to share it with the world.

I suppose to some degree it’s natural to be competitive. Survival instincts I guess. But what if we used our talents to better each other, instead of using them to climb over one another?

Maybe back in the 7th grade, my talent wasn’t in dance (trust me, it wasn’t) but with helping someone else learn the choreography, and being a good friend. Imagine how much good we could do if we were all focused on helping one another find our superpowers, and supported each other in using them to the best of our abilities.

This is a message I want to teach my children. That yes, they should do their best, but not for the sake of winning, or beat someone else. If you must race, run with them, not against them. Be a good musician to fill a room with beautiful music, not to be deemed “the best” by a set of judges. Winning feels good, but not as good as your own delight in knowing how well you’ve done.

Help your kids find their superpower, then encourage them to share it with the world.

I think I would have spared myself a lot of heartache had I lived this philosophy my whole life. Not to mention done a lot more good. It’s not going to be as simple as flipping a switch for me. Competitiveness and jealousy is a tough tendency to kick. But it’s better late than never, and I’m really going to try to focus on being a good example in supporting and uplifting others. Especially since my little girl is already so good at that herself.

For now the cape we made together will serve as a little reminder of how special she is, and be a lesson we can expand on. Teaching my kids to do their best and using their “powers” for good… If I can somehow instill this lesson in my children, then I think I will have succeeded in my quest as their supermom.

What important lessons do you want your kids to know? How do you help them find their talents?

 

*This post was written in partnership with Barbie in an effort to help our children #BeSuper.

“What’s Milk Day?” My mom recounted my 9-year-old sister asking that question earlier in the day.

“What?” My mom asked her.

“We don’t have school on Monday because of Milk Day, what’s that?”

It then clicked with my mom that she was asking about MLK Day.

I laughed hearing my sister’s question to her, then realized I need to get on the ball with teaching my kids or else we’d be heading down the same path. It’s a part of our history. And I don’t mean just as an interracial black/white family, I mean a part of ALL of our history, as Americans.

My daughter loves knowing what holiday is coming up next. My birthday was last week and the day after she asked me “what’s next?” with a big bright excited smile on her face.

“Valentines Day,” I said after thinking for just a moment. “Oh yea, with the hearts and stuff!” She remembered. Then it dawned on me, “No wait,” I said. “Martin Luther King Jr. Day is next,” I told her.

“What’s that?” she said. Now she’s only four, and she asks a lot of questions, so I didn’t go too deep but I said “He wanted everyone to get along, because not everyone was treated the same back then.” I reminded her of a book we own that has Martin Luther King Jr. in it, and said we’d read it again when we got home. For now, she was satisfied with my answer, although I know she was probably trying just to figure out if it was a holiday that qualifies for cake-eating.

I’d imagined myself checking out a big array of library books on the topic, but I dropped the ball and didn’t account for the library being closed today (duh!). We missed the candlelight walk, and festivities downtown this morning. But I was determined to celebrate with my family.Kids MLK Day I have a Dream Craft

Instead I threw some stuff together and made a lesson about MLK. While my husband was at the gym with the kids I set aside the finger paint and downloaded a new super cute toddler and preschool-friendly book on my Kindle app called “Martin Luther King Jr. A Celebration for Children.” It uses each letter of his name to describe what he did for the world. I it was the perfect introduction for my 1-and-a-half and 4-year old.

Lil’ J was concerned as I explained how some people weren’t treated the same, just because they look different. She pointed out that she and I looked different from one another, and I said yes, but we all have feelings and want to be treated the same.

Kids MLK Day I have a Dream Craft

As I watched my daughter finger paint the planet, she mixed purple and white together. “Look! I made light purple!” she said. I told her our family was kind of like her different shades of purple, and she said “And we’re all the same!”

Kids MLK Day I have a Dream Craft

Big T didn’t have as much fun as I thought he would painting. Who knew he doesn’t like having messy hands.

Kids MLK Day I have a Dream Craft

Kids MLK Day I have a Dream Craft

When we were done painting I had my daughter tell me her dreams for the world so we can put it on top.

Kids MLK Day I have a Dream Craft Kids MLK Day I have a Dream Craft

“I want the same thing as King Jr,” she said. “I wish that everybody would be nice.” She signed her name and stuck it to the world (after decorating the rest of her hand of course.)

Kids MLK Day I have a Dream Craft

During my son’s nap I also sewed Lil’ J a new skirt. She picked out the fabric for Valentine’s Day but I told her it would work for today too.

“Yea, because King taught about love!” she said. Yes! She’s getting it!

I was hoping we’d take a walk down to our neighborhood park and pick up trash along the way to demonstrate giving back and talk about MLK Day also being a day of service, but it got dark before we got a chance. But we will probably just pick the lesson back up tomorrow.

Finally… we’re starting a new tradition and making a MLK “peace pie” because if there’s any way to get my daughter to remember a holiday it’s through dessert. In the future we’ll make it from scratch but this year we’ll just decorate a frozen pie.

MLK-Day-peace-pieI invited my sister over to celebrate with us this evening. She was sad she missed the finger painting so I pulled it out for her to make her own dreams for the world.

How’s that for last-minute planning? Not bad right? The good news is there’s no wrong-day to talk about MLK and what he represents. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t think about it until just now! There’s still time to sit down and talk about what this day means. The one lesson that’s most important for them to know is about LOVE, and learning to love one another despite our differences.

Did you talk to your kids about Martin Luther King Jr today? How did it go?

Simple

Before I knew if Big T was a boy I browsed Pinterest for style ideas for little baby boys. I love boutique-style clothing for my daughter and I wanted my son to be able to look just as adorable in snazzy clothing.

I came across this tutorial to make a cardigan onesie. And while they are SO adorable, the directions made me a little anxious. Mostly the part of dealing with knit fabrics, all the buttons holes and whatnot. I figured there must be a simpler way to get the same look and that’s what I set out to do. I am not the craftiest person in the world, and I like to make things as easy as possible.

DIY Onesie Cardigan

Not only did I figure out a fool-proof way to get the job done, and make a cardigan-style onesie that goes on line a regular onesie–Over the head so you don’t have to mess with all those extra buttons. And the best part is it only cost a whopping $2 to make this thing–If you shop like I do. Sure beats the price tags you’ll find searching Etsy for similar styles.

How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.

I went to one of our local children’s resale shop–Once Upon a Child. They have TONS of onesies, only $1 each. I picked up as many cute styles as I could find, mostly aiming for the striped or bright solid colors. I also went with mostly short-sleeved styles for now because come on, Texas is freggin HOT.

diy-carigan-onesie-price-tag

Then, instead of messing with cutting and attaching stretchy knit fabric, I decided to use bias tape. I found some from this Etsy shop. She let me split up the colors and yardage, so I got 1 yard each of 11 different colors for $11.

I already had buttons and thread, plus scrap fabric for the bow ties, and I was good to go. Want to make your own? I’ll walk you through it.How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.

How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.

How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.

First, here’s what you’ll need:

How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.
Onesie
Scissors
Pins
1yd Bias tape–I like the double fold 1/2 inch tape
Coordinating thread
And a sewing machine to attach the bias tape
Buttons

Step 1 (pictured below)
Create a point at the center of the onesie, parallel to the under-arm area of the sleeve. That’s going to be the point of the v-neck. Using a straight-edge, draw the lines of the V up to the shoulders. Then draw a line down the center of the onesie.

How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.

DIY-cardigan-onesie-step-1.2

How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.

Step 2 (pictured below)
Cut along your lines. Then cut the onesie trim around the collar area.

How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.

diy-cardigan-onesie-step-2.1

diy-cardigan-onesie-step-2.2

Step 3 (pictured below)
Open your bias tape and slide the cut edge of the onesie inside to the center fold of the tape. Pin. Note: You don’t need to go completely around the onesie with the bias tape because we’ll overlap where the V connects.

diy-cardigan-onesie-step-3

diy-cardigan-onesie-step-3.2

diy-cardigan-onesie-step-3.1

Step 4 (pictured below)
Sew the bias tape onto the onesie. I stitch all the way around to connect it, starting at the bottom. Then when I get to the opposite side of the straight line, I top stitch the other side of the bias tape, closing the onesie again.

diy-cardigan-onesie-step-4

Step 5 (pictured below)
Add buttons. You can do this carefully using a hot glue gun, or stitch them on with needle and thread.

diy-cardigan-onesie-step-5

Step 6
Spice it up with a coordinating onesie and/or bow tie (super easy tutorial for those coming soon!)

How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.

How to make a onesie cardigan for $2. A super easy tutorial. Seriously, it's like sewing for dummies. Perfect baby shower gift.
Using different colors and embellishments could totally girlie it up, but my girl is too big for onesies now so these are all for my little guy.

Like the tutorial? Have any questions? Leave them in the comments section. And please share with your friends!

I haven’t had as much time to sew lately because I’ve been busy with a million other things. So my vacation to Utah gave me a chance to relax and do some things I normally don’t have time to do, but of course I couldn’t bring my machine.

Luckily, my husband’s family is full of seamstresses and conveniently, a family-owned sewing machine store, so coming across one to borrow wasn’t too hard.

Patriotic DressOne of his cousins lent me one of her extras (funny, I know!) so I could whip up a pattern I’d been dying to try.

I bought a bunch of patriotic fabric on sale for $4 at Hancock Fabrics and was saving it in hopes to make an easy dress. Adelaide’s Boutique, which I LOVE and have bought numerous dresses from just started releasing her patterns, and her first one came out just in time.

This is her Strappy Dress Pattern. I love it because there’s no crazy cut outs I needed to make before starting, the pattern was all rectangles so I just went by her measurements. If you’ve been thinking about sewing or are intimidated by the thought, let me tell you, if I can do it, so can you. So give it a shot!

I altered it a little to add a hem band to the bottom since I had a 4th fabric I wanted to use, and I think it came out great!

Oh, and this was my first time (successfully) experimenting with shirring. The pattern has excellent step-by-step directions to get through it. It was nice to try it this was versus stringing elastic through the bodice.

It still took me about 4 hours total (I always underestimate my speed) but it wasn’t hard at all.

Whatcha think?

If you couldn’t tell, we had a blast in Utah. All these were taken on one day. We went to a hot air balloon fest, watched a parade, and watched fireworks that night (which she fell asleep during, silly girl). The next (5) day(s) she kept describing the few fireworks she did see by jumping up and down and saying “Works go BOOM! Up in the skies! Say BOOM! … I cover my ears.” It was so cute, I’ll have to video record it. More on my birthday girl soon. But it’s good to be home!

I went fabric shopping Saturday and was so excited to get home and… No, not sew, put my fabric on the shelf. It’s a little sad, I know. I’ve started to hoard the stuff. Just when I think I have enough I get a new pattern and then want to get new fabric and start the vicious cycle all over again.

I fell in love with some cardboard fabric folders but they are something like $6/ board. I decided I’d cut up some cardboard boxes to the sizes I want, until I realized that would take forever. After a few Google searches I found some comic book boards that would work. I got 100 for about $11 on Amazon. I thought I’d give a little fabric folding tutorial.

I had scrap fabric stuck in a corner of my living room and decided to wrap them and conserve space by settling them on my book shelf.

Here are some photo demos of how I did it for fabric and scrap fabric, let me know if you have questions.

 

 
 
I hope this was helpful! If you did a craft this week, link up, I’d love to see!
Was my fabric folding tutorial helpful? Let me know if you have any questions!

 

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget



I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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