DIY Pop Up Card Tutorial

We love dandelions in our house and we love a good pop up card so today I’m sharing a speedy 15 minute tutorial for making a dandelion photo pop up card.

Love this cute sassy Father's Day card idea. DIY pop up card tutorial.

This would make a darling gift for Mother’s Day or Father’s Day or really anytime you need a card. We’re using this one as part of our gift for Father’s Day. Pair it with a gift card and we’re good to go.

How to make a photo pop up card in just 15 minutes. Great DIY craft tutorial

What You Need

  • Markers
  • 2 Sheets Card Stock
  • 1 Sheet Colored Paper
  • 1-2 photos
  • Scissors
  • Paper Cutter
  • Tape
  • Double Sided Tape

What to Do

  1. Fold your card stock pieces in half to form a card.
  2. Use the markers to draw on the front of one of the pieces of card stock (what will be the front of the card). This is a great step to get the kids involved in.
  3. Use a paper cutter, I used my Cricut Explore, to cut “I Love You” on the front side of the card. I used the Scratchbook font from the Font Collection bundle on
  4. Next cut out your photo(s). Position it on the inside of your card to determine where you want your text.
  5. Print the inside of your card with “More than all the dandelions in our yard.” Or any other phrase you want. If you’re curious I used the fonts Scratchbook and Faithful both from the Font Collection bundle.
  6. Next cut two slits into the fold of the inside piece of your card for every pop up you want. These should be about 1/2 inch deep and about 1/8-1/4 inches apart. Then fold that piece in to form your pop up base.
  7. Using double sided tape (or glue) attach your cut out photo(so).
  8. Next cut your colored sheet so that it will cover your cutout front cover text and tape it to the back side of the cut out.
  9. With WRONG SIDES together tape the inner piece of card to the outer piece of card with double sided tape.
  10. Now your card is ready for a hand written note and gifting!

Fun idea for kids made card. photo pop up card tutorial

So fun and easy right?! And you can definitely change and customize this for any occasion.

how to make a pop up card using photos. Great DIY craft tutorial

Want more FAST and fun ideas perfect for Father’s Day?

See all the awesome Craft Lightning project hosted by Busy Mom’s Helper, The Country Chic Cottage, and 30 Minute Crafts!

how to make a photo card in just 15 minutes. Cute DIY craft idea

DIY Phases of the Moon Shirt Tutorial

You won’t believe how easy it is to make this DIY Phases of the Moon Shirt.

Such a cute and easy idea! DIY phases of the moon shirt tutorial.

My little boy is moon obsessed. Like every time we go outside he tries to spy the moon and sometimes his little hawk eyes even catch it’s faintest outline right in the afternoon. For his birthday I wanted to make him an awesome moon shirt. So as you know if you follow me on Instagram, the night before his party I was up making this shirt.

LOVE this cute phases of the moon shirt for little boys. Great 30 minute DIY tutorial. Also based on Eric Carle's Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me book.

Luckily it’s such a fast project I even had time to read a few chapters of my book when I was done. Speaking of books, one of our all time favorite books in our house is Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle.

Love this bookish shirt tutorial. Based on Eric Carle's Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me. Full directions for how to make this phases of the moon shirt.

The book is so awesome and it goes through the phases of the moon with the moon getting bigger and smaller. I love that the way my paint turned out on the shirt has kind of an Eric Carle feel to it as opposed to more of a smooth texture like some of the adult version ready to wear versions that I’ve seen on the internet.

I’m not going to lie. I’m pretty obsessed with this shirt. I think it turned out so stinking cute that I’m pretty sure I’m going to make myself one!

Tried this and it turned out great. Quick and easy DIY phases of the moon shirt tutorial

How to Make a Phases of the Moon Shirt

What You Need

What to Do

  1. First make your template. I used my Cricut Explore and the basic circle design was free so I just laid out a bunch of circles in the position that I wanted. You might not know this but in Design Studio (the Cricut program) you can highlight everything and select align and it will space things evenly for you. Even if you don’t have a Cricut you can do this manually by measuring and tracing circles and then cutting it with an exacto knife. But I adore my cutting machine and use it all the time and it does make this step way way faster. Cut your template out of Freezer Paper. If you’ve never done this before check out my Freezer Paper Stenciling tutorial. It has a lot of pictures and the directions are a little more flushed out.
  2. Now you should have a piece of freezer paper with circles evenly spaced out.
  3. With the SHINY side DOWN (touching your shirt) iron your template into place. Use a pressing motion (lift the iron and place it down and repeat) as opposed to a rubbing running motion with the iron. This way you won’t risk accidentally catching the edge of the iron in one of the circles.
  4. Insert another piece of freezer paper inside your shirt with the shinny side up. This is to prevent paint from seeping through to the back of your shirt.
  5. Once your template is secure, pour out some white fabric paint onto a paper plate (or something else disposable).
  6. Tap a SMALL amount of paint onto your brush and practice pressing the paint down. When you feel confident make sure you have my picture pulled up as a guide and press the paint onto the shirt. Again I find a pressing motion works better and is less likely to snag the template or get paint under the template.
  7. Once your last moon is painted allow it to dry for 10 minutes and then VERY CAREFULLY peel off the freezer paper. The paint will still be wet so make sure not to touch the painted portions of the freezer paper to the shirt. I like to hold the shirt down with one hand and pull with the other. If you are nervous you might want to have a friend hold the shirt while you pull.
  8. Leave the inner freezer paper and the shirt to dry for at least 12 hours before handling.

DIY Stages of the moon shirt. 30 minute tutorial

When I showed the birthday boy his new shirt he was all smiles. He has worn it to death already. I made the black shirt from Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop‘s Happy Feet pattern but I should have used a better fabric since it’s already balling up. No worries since this came together so fast I will have to make him a short sleeve one and maybe a tank for me!

I need to make this! Looks so easy. DIY 30 minute phases of the moon shirt with full tutorial and supply list

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15 Minute Reversible Placemats Tutorial

These reversible placemats are SO easy that kids could make them. Well actually kids DID make them.

Great easy sewing tutorial. How to make reversible placemats in 15 minutes. Great for beginners, kids and other sewing newbies.

Last Summer when the nieces wanted to do “sewing class” I thought to myself, I really want some placemats for when they come over and eat like savages. And like the good Auntie that I am I decided to make them make the placemats themselves. 15 minute reversible placemats tutorial. Great DIY sewing project easy enough for beginners.

I’m so excited to be FINALLY sharing this tutorial as part of 100 Directions’s National Craft Week series! This project is super easy and fast which makes it a great beginner sewing project.

Perfect way to teach kids how to sew. 15 minute reversible placemat tutorial and free pattern

Since you have to turn something right side out (you know to make them reversible) that’s a good technique that builds on what they learned with my go-to starter project the basic skirt. And this is all straight lines so good practice on that front too. And if you’re interested in what machine I like for beginners it’s this one, does everything you need (I still sew on this machine most of the time), affordable, and most importantly has speed control.

Very easy DIY 15 minute reversible placemats sewing tutorial and free pattern

I think the best part though is that the girls are were SO proud the first time we pulled them out for dinner. And any time someone new joins us they get a kick out of sharing that THEY made them.

Perfect beginning sewing project. DIY reversible placemats. Free pattern and 15 minute tutorial

What You Need

I’m writing this for one but obviously multiply it by however many placemats you want! And a speed tip from a girl who sews a whole lot of the same thing over and over (ahem for my shop), cut all your pieces out at once and do the same step for all of them at the same time (as opposed to making one placemat completely and then starting another). Alternatively for motivation you might want to do one full one first or just a few so that you (or your sewing minions can feel successful and excited to keep going). 

  • Front Fabric 18 x 15 inches (I just use quilting cotton)
  • Back Fabric 18 x 15 inches
  • Loop Turner (optional)
  • Pins, sewing machine, thread, scissors, iron, all that basic stuff

The kids made a bunch of these. Super easy 15 minute DIY reversible placemats sewing tutorial and free pattern

What to do

  1. Start by cutting all your fabric pieces to the right size. Keep in mind that placemats don’t have to be perfect you can do bigger or smaller if that works better for you (or your fabric stash) but the two pieces that will make up one placemat DO need to be the same size.
  2. Next decide which pieces of fabric will go together (the nieces loved doing this).
  3. Then with right sides (the pretty size) together pin around the edges with the pins going in perpendicular to the edge and the head of the pin on the outside.
  4. Starting at the middle of any side (so NOT at a corner) sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance (that is the space from the needle to the edge of your fabric) and leaving a 2 inch space between where you start sewing and stop sewing. To do this sew around and when you get 1/2 inch from the corner use your hand wheel and turn it so the need is down then lift your presser foot and turn your fabric so you are on the next edge of the fabric.
  5. Clip your corners. Basically cut your corners off (this will help you get a nice point when you turn your placemat right side out). Make sure to cut close to but NOT over the sewing line.
  6. Next turn your fabric right side out. You can reach in and grab it or use a loop turner to help. The loop turner is SUPER cool but does take practice to get the hang of it. If you are a newbie that might be an unnecessary frustration but if you feel confident I encourage you to learn how to use one it will make so many things in your sewing life easier (see my video on how it works here).
  7. Make sure the corners are pushed out from the inside (I use a loop turner but you can use a pencil) and iron making sure the fabric is folded under at the opening through which you turned the placemat.
  8. Now topstitch around the edge of the placemat with a 1/4 to 1/2 seam allowance (I like the look of a smaller one but that can be harder for new sew-ers).   This time sew all the way around and over where you started sewing this will close up the whole and also reinforce that initial sewing place.
  9. Make something delicious and eat it upon you new fancy placemat. Share it on instagram and tag me #loveraegun @raegunramblings so I can do a happy dance with you!

Just used this great sewing tutorial. Perfect for beginners or anyone wanting to sew reversible placemats FAST. Easy great home decor project. Will make more.

And remember it doesn’t have to be perfect. The more you do the better you will get. In reality this is a piece of fabric to catch stray food (oh and to look pretty on the table I guess). But if your stitches aren’t straight no big deal that’s part of the fun make some more and get in some more practice!

The kids sewed some of these this weekend. Great 15 minute reversible placemats sewing tutorial perfect for beginners or anyone wanting a fast project. Free pattern.

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Sew Our Stash Floral Cardigan

Sew Our Stash is all about giving ourselves a deadline and making sewing for ourselves a priority.

DIY floral cardigan a knock off Forever 21 sewing project

We’ve put it on the calendar (the last Thursday of the month) and even if that means we’re scrambling on Wednesday to whip something up and take some pics that’s what Flamingo Toes Bev and I are doing. I have to admit this month it was definitely a scramble. I know for me this month just FLEW by and I know Bev was sewing up her top just yesterday too.

Fast DIY cardigan with pockets

BUT the point is we did it and we each have a new wearable. Mine actually still needs to be finished (sleeves hemmed) but you get the point. And SOOOO sorry for the junky photos I was trying to snap them before an appointment and the room I usually take pictures in is torn apart because I’m got a Sewing Box (eeep so excited) that is half built and totally blocking my dressform.

Floral Cardigan handmade

I live in cardigans so I tried to take the pattern off of one of my favorite Forever 21 styles. I’d say it went OK. It could have been better. But that’s fine since this was a tester. I have some awesome star knit fabric that I want to use when I fix the pattern.

DIY floral cardigan collage

It’s a bit wide at the shoulders and even though the original cardigan is has a flowy band around the front/neck I might see what I think about a folded band so if it flaps back at the neck there won’t be inside seams showing. (Also, what is ALL over my pants?)
Easy pockets on a DIY cardigan

I love the pocket detail. I think My pieces are right and I put it together right I just need to make the back piece a bit smaller at the neck and shoulder. TMI? Do you really care about all those little details? Well hopefully next month I’ll be able to show you a star one that is perfect!

knock off forever 21 diy cardigan

Did you sew anything for yourself this month? I hope you did and if you posted it anywhere I’d love you to comment with a link and if it’s on social media be sure to used #sewourstash so we can see it. If you don’t have it any where feel free to post it to the Rae Gun Ramblings Facebook page. I would love to see it! And don’t forget to see what Bev made!

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.

DIY Slouchy Sweatshirt Hack + Sew Our Stash


I am still giddy at how easy it was to tweak one of my favorite patterns to make a slouchy sweatshirt.

DIY slouchy sweatshirt great tutorial

Ever since I got my Owlcrate sweatshirt I’ve been obsessed with making more girly sweatshirts. I have never been a sweatshirt girl but this one has such a feminine cut with it’s wide neckline and fitted bodice. Luckily I’ve been hording this great floral sweatshirt fabric so it was pretty much meant to be.
quick and easy DIY slouchy sweatshirt sewing pattern hack

Since it is the last Thursday of the month that makes it Sew Our Stash day. I’m so excited we’re doing this again. Since I now have TWO new sweatshirts that I love.

Love this how to take a regular raglan and turn it into a slouchy sweatshirt

I made both using the Lane Raglan pattern by Hey June Handmade. Even though my sweatshirt knits had almost zero stretch I cut the same size as I’ve made before (a large) and it worked beautifully.

Basic raglan pattern hacked into a slouchy sweatshirt

I did make a couple tweaks to the pattern to get the more relaxed look. I really love that it scoops down in the back the same as the front. I adore the black one it’s perfect. The floral one I like a lot but the print makes the fabric more stiff and it’s heavier and just a little too warm. Both sweatshirt fabrics I found at Girl Charlee the stripes have been in my stash from a trip to LA Fabric district ages ago.

Super easy sewing hack. Make a DIY slouchy sweatshirt

  1. Instead of the front and back bodice pieces of the Lane Shirt Pattern I cut two fronts. This helps to get the wider slouchy look.
  2. On the pattern the sleeve goes up to accommodate the back bodice pattern piece but you want it to fit with two fronts so cut  your sleeve pieces by folding your sleeve pattern in half and only use the “front half” on the fold.
  3. Add two inches to the waist band. I have wider hips and I new with the lack of stretch in my fabrics that I would need a little more room for it to look right. I didn’t change the bodice pieces and they stretched fine to fit the bigger band. I made sure to put the bodice piece down when I serged the two together.
  4. I did not add any length to the neck band. Okay I did at first I added 2 inches to the pattern (totally the length to 4 inches) and that was TOO MUCH. It didn’t lay right at all. So I cut it back down to size and it worked great. BUT next time I am going to try adding 1/2 inch to the pattern since I think I’d like even a wider neckline.

Great sewing tutorial for turning a regular shirt pattern into a slouchy sweatshirt

Also have I mentioned how awkward it is to take pictures of yourself? Especially when your camera battery is low and the the self timer takes FOREVER to take the 10 pictures it’s supposed too? Umm yeah well it’s awkward.

DIY slouchy sweatshirt quick and easy diy sewing hack

Don’t forget to hop over and check out what Bev made this month and keep tagging your sewing with #sewourstash we LOVE seeing what you’ve been up to.

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.


Sew For YOURSELF This Year Sew Our Stash

One of the best things I ever did for myself was accept the challenge to sew at least one garment every month just for me. When Flamingo Toes Bev and I started Sew Our Stash it was supposed to be fun and just a way to get us sewing more clothing and use up all the fabric we bought. But it became more than that.

THis would be fun. Free sewing challenge that will get you sewing at least one new thing a month. sew our stash

We are SO excited to be starting Sew Our Stash back up after a few months off due to the holidays, crazy life, and the time and hard work that goes into writing a book (Bev’s book is awesome you need to check it out). But we are back and committed and we’re inviting you to join the challenge!

This looks like fun. Great way to get more sewn for myself. Sew Our Stash

It’s SUPER easy to participate. There are lots of ways for you to take on the challenge. You can do all of them or just a few.

  • Sew at least 1 new thing for yourself each month.
  • Check in on the FIRST THURSDAY of every month. That’s when we post what we made. We’d love you to comment and let us know what you made this month too!
  • If you have a blog or social media account you are welcome to join in posting what you made. It can be on the first Thursday or ANYTIME you have a picture to share. We love using #sewourstash on our pictures so everyone else can see and more people can join in on the fun. (Bev and I also LOOOOOOOVE seeing your creations and have been known feature them too!)
  • Use #sewourstash when you share your pictures of your fabric stash, what you’re sewing for yourself, or whenever you wear the awesome things you made for yourself!

You will get so much more than some new clothes.  It’s hard to explain but taking the time for ME in that way, challenging myself to sew more for me was something magical. I got clothes I loved and wear all the time. I learned more about my body and what works and why. I learned new skills and techniques (it pushed my comfort zone in sewing). And it was awesome to have the focused time every month for a little selfish sewing.

Want to see what I’ve made in the past? Here are all of my Sew Our Stash posts in one place. And be sure to take a peek at Bev’s too!

Okay, let’s meet back here on the last Thursday of this month and share what we made for ourselves and in the meantime remember to use the #sewourstash hastag!

THis would be fun. Free sewing challenge that will get you sewing at least one new thing a month. sew our stash

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.


How to Teach Yourself to Knit

I have wanted to learn how to knit for a while. In fact I have tried a few times over the last few years. But I finally was able to learn how to knit and actually make a finished project!

This is how I learned to knit (after trying other ways a few times).

In the past I’ve tried to learn with a book and a different time I had a knitting friend sit down with me but it just never clicked. I couldn’t get the feel of it from the book. And while I could do the stitches when my friend was around I found that on my own I was hopeless. I think it was just so easy for her to correct me or start me off that I didn’t really get it enough. But this last week I finished my Downtown Snood kit from We Are Knitters, it’s a kit that comes with EVERYTHING you need for the project (yarn, directions, needle, carrying case) and gives you access to tons of online videos that walk you through every step.

the easiest way to learn how to knit

I honestly think the difference this time for me was that I was set up for success. This is why I think I finally had my knitting breakthrough.

  • I had EVERYTHING I needed. With the kit you know you have everything and enough of everything. There’s no question that you’ll have enough yarn to finish the project or got the right type and size needles or anything else you might need.
  • I could practice at my pace. It might seem crazy that I watched two videos over and over for hours that combined were just a few minutes each but that’s what it too for me. Watching and doing watching and doing. With a friend I’d be to embarrassed to have them repeat that many times.
  • I was able to review at my convenience and speed. I didn’t have a lesson and then had to remember it in my head and muscle memory. Nor did I have to worry about putting someone out asking them to show me again. I reviewed the video each time I thought I wasn’t sure. And at the beginning that was A LOT. If I had gotten stuck though I could have emailed them for help (this is something they offer all their customers).
  • It was a project I wanted to finish. The wool is SO gorgeous and soft. Even nicer than the pictures show. And the style is really cute. Before I just tried making long strips that I thought eventually would be a scarf but that didn’t motivate me.

The We Are Knitters Kits really set you up so that you will be able to and excited to finish your project. If you have been wanting to learn how to knit I HIGHLY suggest picking up the Downtown Snood kit. I’m so excited because they have LOTS of kits kits from beginner through expert (they have 4 skill levels). I have the little bear hat and scarf waiting for me now. The projects are all very on trend stylewise too which I reallllllly like. You can buy them without the needles if you already have your own stash.Teach yourself to knit. THis is how I did it and loveeed it!

And if you have been wanting to learn how to knit I HIGHLY suggest picking up the Downtown Snood kit. I’m so excited because they have LOTS of kits kits from beginner through advanced. I have the little bear hat and scarf waiting for me now. The projects are all very on trend stylewise too which I reallllllly like. You can buy them without the needles if you already have your own stash but I love that you can buy them with (no risk of not having enough yarn or the wrong needles).

These knitting kits are so cool and would make awesome gifts for knitters or people wanting to learn how to knit.

I’m so used to speedy crafting but knitting is out of my comfort zone and it took me a while to “get it”. I watched the “casting on” and basic stitch videos, just replaying and retrying the stitches for about 2 hours before I felt comfortable going on. Once I got that though I was good to go. Still not as fast as you knitting pros but I was able to make this awesome infinity scarf that I’m totally obsessed with.

These knitting kits are super cool. Make great christmas gifts or fun for people learning how to knit or who already love knitting

Any ways if you are interested in learning to knit, a new knitter, or even a seasoned knitter who doesn’t have to time to dig around for awesome patterns and go to the store to find the best yards and supplies you should definitely check out these kits. You can enjoy 15% off through Jan. 1st if you use the coupon code RAEGUNWAK when you check out at We Are Knitters. And one lucky person gets to win their choice of kit (up to $149 value most are by far below that!) GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love these great knitting kits makes learning to knit so easy and learning new skills after too

Thanks so much to We Are Knitters for providing the awesome kits for me to review and sponsoring this giveaway!

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.



Harry Potter Quidditch Jersey Tutorial

Did you hear? They announced the opening date of the new Wizarding World at Universal Studios Hollywood! Epp I’m so so excited. I think that requires a Harry Potter post to celebrate!

Love this. Easy DIY Harry Potter Quidditch jersey. fast sewing tutorial

But really I think it’s been way too long since I’ve had a Harry Potter post. I’ve been going through withdrawal since my trip to Universal Orlando this Summer (did you catch my HUGE Wizarding World photo tour). Today I am sharing a SUPER EASY Harry Potter quidditch jersey tutorial. See the golden snitch tutorial here.

Love this! Adorable Harry Potter couple costume (works for pregnant costume too). Golden Snitch and quidditch player costume tutorial

A few years back (when I was pregnant with Teddy) I made Daniel and I Golden Snitch and Quidditch Player costumes. As always it was SUPER last minute since I was so busy making all the orders (many of them Hogwart’s Student Costumes) for my shop. So I threw together my Snitch costume and with the hour I had left made Daniel a crazy easy jersey to be my quidditch playing and easy harry potter costume. DIY quidditch robe tutorial

Trust me you if you have basic sewing skills you can totally make this. I’d say this is an advanced beginner level project (not hard enough to count as intermediet but you need to be comfortable using the sewing machine).

Make a Harry Potter costume in 1 hour. Easy DIY quidditch robes jersey tutorial

What You Need

  • Loose fitting shirt for your pattern
  • Large paper for tracing your pattern (kid drawing paper or even tissue paper works well)
  • Knit Fabric (maroon and goldenrod unless you want to do one of the other Hogwarts Houses) make your pattern first and then you can see how much you need
  • Iron-on Vinyl and a cutting machine (like a Cricut Explore)

What To Do

Start by making your pattern:

  1. I used one of Daniel’s T-shirts (men’s Large from Old Navy) and the jersey works great for him and for me. After all it’s a loose vest thing it doesn’t have to fit perfectly. Fold it in half. Trace the basic shape of the bodice (not including the sleeves.
  2. Instead of doing a curve for the neck I just angled the line down from the shoulder.
  3. Cut out your pattern 1/2 inch outside your tracing line so that you have a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
  4. Now cut out your main color fabric (maroon).

Sew your jersey together:

  1. With a 1/2 inch seam allowance sew your shoulder seams together.
  2. Then sew down your side seams. I used a serger but you can just sew it on a sewing machine. Since you’re using a knit you don’t have to worry about finishing your seams.

Next cut out your accent fabric (goldenrod):

  1. You want 5 inch strips the width of the fabric for the front band and 2 inch strips for the armhole bands.
  2. Lay it along the front edge of your jersey you just sewed.
  3. You might need to sew two strips together to make it long enough if so do that. Cut a length the right side for the front.
  4. Next lay it around the armhole and cut to the right size. Make a tube for each armhole by sewing the short ends together. Repeat for the other side.
  5. Iron each piece in half and then sew (or serge) to the jersey.
  6. You should now have the basic jersey made. All that is left is decorating it.

Make your iron-ons:

  1. If you’ve never used heat transfer vinyl it’s one of my FAVORITE craft supplies you can learn more with my How to use Iron-on Vinyl post but for now I’ll just assume you know how to use it.
  2. I just searched for an emblem I liked and then typed out what I wanted it to say on the back, cut it out of my vinyl and then ironed it on.

1 hour Quidditch jersey tutorial. Great Harry Potter costume idea

It really was just as easy as that. And I was left with a darling jersey that has been worn for Halloween, races, and even traveled to Universal Orlando with us earlier this year. I wore it then :)

So fun to wear to the wizarding ward. great diy harry potter quidditch robes in just 1 hour. easy sewing tutorial

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And the Harry Potter fun doesn’t end there. I’ve teamed up with a bunch of Potter loving blogger friends to share even more projects check out these scrumptious Harry Potter inspired recipes and creative DIY’s below!

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DIY 1 hour Quidditch jersey tutorial. Easy Harry Potter costume tutorial

Want more HARRY POTTER? See TONS of Harry Potter projects, recipes, party ideas, book read-a-likes and more just click here!

Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.


DIY Advent Calendar of Giving

create the good disclosureI LOVE this easy idea to teach about giving time and energy. DIY advent calendar tutorial

It is SO hard not to get caught up in giving and getting STUFF this time of year. We work hard as parents to be able to have fun and give our kids cool things but sometimes I think what they really need is the opportunity to experience giving themselves, their time, and their energy.

How to make a DIY Giving advent calendar and great activities to include

That’s why I really love the idea of Create the Good‘s 25 Days, 25 Ways to Give campaign. The idea is to take on one small positive action each day for 25 days to do a little good for your community. Volunteering was something I was good at when I was younger and I want to get back into that. I remember growing up, my high school would have a service week where we traveled to a poor part of Thailand and did various service projects. We’d play with kids, give performances, help clean, and do helpful chores. It was SUCH a good experience and I loved that it was an annual thing. In college I would regularly feed the homeless and think to do little gestures like save food I wasn’t going to eat to give away or just smile and chat with strangers in annoying long lines at the market.

This is such a great idea. Teach kids about giving time and energy with an easy DIY advent calendar of giving

I like the idea of doing an Advent Calendar of Giving every year to help remind the kids (and us grown ups) that giving is about more than just stuff. And I’m hoping that it will give me the boost to be more giving minded through out the year.

How to make a 25 days of giving advent calendar

What You Need

  • Paper
  • Scissors
  • Pens (or printer)
  • Tape
  • Ribbon
  • Decorations (snowflakes, bells, ribbon, etc.), optional

What to Do

  1. Come up with a list of 25 giving acts. Make sure they are doable for an average day. The easiest way to do this is to sign up for the 25 Days, 25 Ways to Give since they have a super convenient list of activities all listed out already. As a bonus if you sign up and log your giving acts you have chances of winning one of 25 $100 Gift Cards or a grand prize trip to Smuggler’s Notch Resort in Vermont,
  2. 25 days of giving simple ways to get the whole family into the giving spiritNext either type up your giving acts or write them onto strips of paper. If you have kids old enough to write it would be fun to get the whole family in on writing the giving acts on the strips of paper.
  3. Then make a count down chain by looping the strips of paper into circles and taping them around each other to form a chain. Make sure the giving instructions are on the inside of the loop. And write the number of the day on the outside of the loop.
  4. Tie a ribbon to the top (onto day 25) and decorate if desired. It’s fun to decorate the chain with snowflakes or other seasonal details.  You can let the kids do it if yours are old enough or even cut out fun shapes with a Cricut or other cutting tool like I did.
  5. Then for the next 25 days you tear off a link in the chain to find out what your giving act will be for that day.

Cute 20 minute advent calendar with good acts to do as a family. great Christmas project. Do you have any fun giving traditions that you do with your family? I’d love to hear what you guys do. And make sure to check out Create the Good for more easy ways to give back to your community with just one simple act each day. create-the-good-007s

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15 Minute Square Maxi Skirt Tutorial

This skirt REALLY only takes 15 minutes. It's so easy. Great tutorial for a square maxi skirt

I’ve been feeling SO busy lately and even though I’m tempted just to throw on yoga pants I feel so much better when I’m wearing something a little more put together.  And this is why I’m such a fan of maxi skirts.  They are just as (if not more) comfy as yoga pants but also feel like real clothes if you know what I mean.

Super cute and easy square maxi skirt tutorial.

I have a ton of but I wanted something a little different so I came up with this fun twist on the traditional maxi. This Square maxi skirt is SO fast and easy and different I can’t wait to make myself more.

Aztec Square maxi skirt tutorial

What You Need

  • 58 inches of knit fabric or whatever length you need to make it a square (I used Aztec Black Knit and love it)
  • Wide elastic (just enough to go around your waist)Super easy and fast DIY square maxi skirt tutorial
  1. If your fabric isn’t already a square make it a square. I did this by folding the width diagonal across my fabric and cutting it. This gave me a square that was 58×58 inches.
  2. With your fabric folded in half to make a triangle fold it in half again it should now be a smaller triangle.
  3. Next measure 3 inches out from the folded point of your triangle and cut the a curve. If you are making this for a child or someone very slim you might want to do some math and find the radius of waist circumference measurement. But since this is knit it will stretch some and if you need to you can always cut the hole a little bigger.
  4. Try the skirt on and see if you like the length and to make sure the hole is the right size. It should rest comfortably at your waist when stretched a little and go over your hips easily. If you want to change the length you can trim the sides accordingly.
  5. Fit your elastic by wrapping it around your waist to what is comfortable. Remember that when you where it the elastic will loosen and the weight of the skirt will make it feel less tight as well. I like to do my waist measurement minus 4 inches. Next sew or serge your elastic into a tube. And zigzag the seam down into place.
  6. Pin the the elastic to to the outside of the skirt and serge or sew around. Flip the elastic up and you should have a skirt. You can leave the edges raw for a more relaxed look or finish the edge with either a rolled edge on the serger or my favorite knit hemming technique.

such a fun twist on the normal maxi skirt. easy 15 minute DIY skirt tutorial

Super easy right? I cannot wait to make more!

My new favorite DIY skirt tutorial so fast, easy, and cute

Want more easy skirt ideas see these other quick and easy skirt tutorials! I shared the square maxi skirt on 7/22/2015 on the Riley Blake blog.

20 Minute Maxi Skirt Tutorial at Rae Gun Ramblings

Traditional 20 Minute Maxi Skirt Tutorial

30 Minute Skirt Tutorial-014s text

30 Minute 1 yard of fabric Skirt Tutorial

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