BEST Toddler Gifts the Whole Family Will Love


I have to admit I LOVE buying toddler gifts. The toys these days are so fun and cute. But at some point I think most parents look around and realize the kids have so much stuff they don’t actually play with.

So here is my list of the BEST Gifts for Toddlers that the whole family will love. I’ve got big ticket items to silly stocking stuffers. These are all gifts that can be enjoyed by older members of the family in some way in addition to the little ones. I think most of these (with supervision would be great for kids 18 months to 3 years).
Lit Joy Crate kids book box subscription box. Great Toddler gift idea

Lit Joy Crate

Lit Joy Crate is a bookish subscription box company that ships a box with a book and some related goodies once a month. What’s really cool about Lit Joy is that they have a box for even the little readers. Their Children’s Book box has great picks for kids 3-7 years old that even younger toddlers will enjoy. These boxes will have whole family excited to burst them open each month. And what a fun and easy way to add great books to your family library. There are different subscription lengths and you can even buy one time boxes.

Dress Up Gear

Whether it’s homemade or store bought a few dress up pieces are perfect for sparking the imagination of your little ones. I love the idea of gifting a whole dress up bin but if you already have some costumes or just don’t want to invest that much now even a few inexpensive pieces can be loads of fun. Fairy wings can be found at the dollar store most times of year, if you time things right you can catch some awesome deals on swords and fake armor too. After Halloween even the grocery stores have costume pieces for great deals. Last year we bought a few hats and Teddy will still randomly put them on and dance. Get creative there are dress up ideas all around and they don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. And if you want to make your own items I have LOADS of costume tutorials to get you started.

Awesome three sided art center for kids. Adjustable tri-side from Little Partners. Toddler gift guide

Tri-Side Art Center from Little Partners

This three sided easel has a chalkboard, dry erase board and flannel board. It has adjustable heights, slots for art tools like paint and crayons and even has a roll of paper that can be refilled to paint and draw on. This thing is awesome for kids of all ages. Teddy who is 2.5 years old and his cousins (8 and 9) use this together all the time. Did you hear that? TOGETHER. If you have the space for this it’s a great investment. The Tri-Side Learn and Play Art Center the type of piece that a whole room could be centered around. We also love our Little Partners Learning Tower too! You can get 10% off of orders at with the code RGR10.

Water Beads

Have you seen these cool squishy water beads that start off the size of sprinkles and then grow to marble sized gelatonous beads? They are super fun. Teddy loves to see the change in size and they are great for easy sensory play. They are really inexpensive and you get a bazillion of them since the beads are so tiny when they ship (can we say yay for something that takes up almost no space at all?). I’ve seen people fill kiddie pools with these which seems fun and terrifying all at once. We love to just watch them grow and feel them and sort colors and that kid of thing. Even the older cousins get a kick out of these.


I swear every toddler I’ve meet has been obsessed with chapstick. It doesn’t matter if it’s the stuff in the tube or those little EOS balls but there is something that draws them in about the stuff. As long as your little one isn’t the type to try to take a bite out of it chapstick is an easy inexpensive gift that they will totally adore. And as an extra perk if the toddler has his or her own chapstick you’re less likely to get that gross wet sensation when you go put your own on. Come on you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Great sorting toys and other gifts for toddlers. Kid gift guide.

Sorting and Counting Toys

We have a few sorting and counting toys and while Teddy doesn’t “get” every aspect yet he loves playing with them. One of our favorites that gets played with every single day is the Sorting Pie. Even the cousins love playing with this thing. I don’t force Teddy to try and sort he just bakes with it but along the way he is learning colors and shapes and numbers. And every once in a while we put it away using the guide sheets counting or sorting. We also love these counting cookies and shape cookies.

Let’s Go Fish Game

This will sound like a totally weird one because most toddlers do not have the coordination to operate the Let’s Go Fishing game as it’s intended but they still can have hours of fun with these cute fish that open and close their mouths. Teddy loves to try and catch the fish, sometimes with help and sometimes cheating haha. He also likes to put other items in the fish holes and watch them go up and down. He’s even put a fake pizza on it and told us it was baking. I know crazy right you’d never think such a classic cheap-y toy would be the gateway to so much creativity but I’m telling you we’ve had a blast playing this with the cousins how it’s meant to be played and then just letting the little guy do as he pleases!

Musical Instruments

Whether you have a whole percussion kit, just a few kazoos, or maracas, instruments can be lots of fun and they come at all different price points. It’s fun to watch the little ones march and put on productions with various instruments. We have this really fun drum kit that comes with all kinds of bells, symbols and other percussion instruments as well as a thrift store keyboard. My nieces have a harmonica that Teddy loves to play with and we even have a few of those plastic kazoos. There are so many different instruments from toy level to actual starter instruments that can get your little musician going.


Passes to Fun Places

We have a number of fun memberships to children’s museums, the aquarium, and even the water park. We use ours ALL THE TIME. I’ve read a number of articles saying these kind of passes are a waste of money but I’ve found them to be totally the opposite. It’s such a great deal and there’s always something fun to do. Just make sure you will for sure go enough times to make the membership fee worth it. Make sure to check out deal sites since they often will have specials for passes or even seasonal events.

Awesome gifts for toddlers the whole family will love

Pez Dispenser

If your kids are like my little guy they get plenty of candy and treats but there’s something special about a pez dispenser that’s all your own. I remember LOVING them as a kid and Teddy is no exception. He is thrilled when he gets to grab a candy from his Cinderella or Duck. It’s the best little bribe ever ha. As long as you are the holder of the dispenser and the kiddos can’t just go to town I think these make super fun gifts!

Books, Books, and More Books

And of course I couldn’t do a Toddler gift guide without encouraging you to buy books. I honestly think for a kid who has all their basic needs met that books are possibly the best gift of all. And don’t just give them books that they can do themselves, give them the gift of your time; the gift of your snuggles while reading; the gift of your focused attention. There are so many amazing books. I encourage you to find a couple new ones to add to your library and take time to read them together! It also might be fun to give them a gift card and then take them on an outing to pick out a book of their choice. Want some suggestions? Here are just a few board books for the little ones that I love.

Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and Little Partners Learning Tower Review


I would eat these Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies every day if you’d let me.

New favorite freezer cookie recipe. These chocolate chip oatmeal cranberry cookies recipe is delicious for snack dessert and even breakfast

In fact I’d like to make a case that theses totally count as a well rounded breakfast if you throw in a nice glass of milk! Teddy totally agrees. If you come to my house you’ll probably be feed a vast array of imaginary and play food from my little chef. He seriously cooks ALL.THE.TIME.

Little Partners learning tower review

It was so fun having him “help” me make the cookies from his Little Partners Learning Tower. And by help obviously I mean mix up my ingredients and eat chocolate chips like they were going out of style. But really this guy loves to cook I have started letting him crack eggs by himself and he does great.

delicious breakfast cookies. Oatmeal chocolate chip cranberry cookie recipe

I do use fresh cranberries and I think they and I think they add a little something special to the recipe. In fact I usually buy a couple extra bags during the winter to throw in the freezer so I can whip up some of these yummy cookies when they are out of season. I wouldn’t substitute dried cranberries.

delicious cranberry oatmeal chocolate chip cookies recipe


  • 1 C Earth Balance (you can substitute butter I prefer the texture with the earth balance)
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 3 C Slow Cook Oats
  • 1 1/2 C Chocolate Chips
  • 2 C Fresh Cranberries
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Love these. Cranberry chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. Great recipe

What to Do

  1. Add earth balance, sugar, brown sugar,  eggs, vanilla and cinnamon to the mixing bowl (I use my Kitchen aide). Mix until creamed.
  2. Add flour, baking powder, and salt. mix until incorporated.
  3. Stir in oats chocolate chips and cranberries until evenly distributed.
  4. Bake at 350 F about 10-14 minutes. When they are done parts will look a little toasted and parts will still look wet. Remove and allow to cool on the cookie sheet they will continue to cook there so don’t overcook them or else they’ll be really hard.

Makes about 4 dozen small cookies and the dough freezes great. I like to scoop the dough out and freezes it in individual balls to bake up later.

I always keep a bag of these in the freezer. Great homemade Cranberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip recipe

For those of you curious about the Original Learning Tower, it’s pretty amazing. Teddy calls it his castle and he LOVES playing in it. I mean it’s perfect for having him cook with me since it makes him the perfect height for the counter but he seriously loves climbing in it and playing with it aside from that.

Great toddler kitchen helper.

I love that it’s designed totally with safety in mind. He can climb in and out all on his own and there is no way he’s going to tip it over. I don’t “let” him but he’s totally tried hanging on it in all kinds of ways before and it’s super sturdy actually it’s sturdy enough for me to stand in if I wanted to. I looked at this tower last year before Christmas because like I said Teddy has always loved cooking and now I really wish I had it back then when he was even littler instead of the step stool which I always had to have a hand on him while trying to juggle my kitchen tasks.

Great idea for getting kids involved in the kitchen while staying safe

This is designed for little ones as young as 18 months old and the four sides make it great for containing the their busy bodies while giving them easy access. It’s so nice to be able to actually cook when he’s up at the counter “helping” me or just wanting to see (he always wants to see what I’m doing). I don’t have to worry that he’s going to slip off a step because he’s not paying attention or tip it because he IS a wild one. Also it comes right flush with the counter so there’s none of that nerve wracking reaching or spilling between a gap that happened when we used a step stool.

We love this learning tower. So much better and safer than a step stool for little cooks and bakers.We love this learning tower. So much better and safer than a step stool for little cooks and bakers.

Sometimes I even have it in my work room and tell him if he wants to be in there with me he has to stay on his “castle”.

Little Partners Learning tower review

I do this especially when I have my heat press on, I’m trying to take pictures, or just want to sew without him trying to climb all over me. It works great because it’s so spacious (actually big enough for two kids to stand on together) that he can sit up there with toys or get up and down on his own.

This toddler step stool looks awesome Little Partners learning tower review.

If you have been wanting one of these for a little helper in your life you can get 10% off of orders at with the code RGR10. We also have the Tri-Side Learn and Play Art Center and it’s really fun too. I’ll have to share about that a different day!

Thankful Grateful Blessed

It surprises me how even though I was super open about it, one of my biggest and longest struggles is so easily forgotten. I mean I get it. It was MY life not his or hers and they have plenty of things on their mind now. But even some of my closest friends who walked it and hugged me as I cried have said things like “oh yeah I forgot” when it’s come up lately.

Great reminder not to forget the journey. Thankful shirt

Thankful.Grateful.Blessed. from Cents of Style

If you forgot or if you just weren’t around back then I’m talking about getting/having Teddy my little boy. It was a journey. It started with a miscarriage and then years of living life in two week cycles of trying and being heartbroken that we weren’t pregnant. It was lots of doctors visits. Being poked and prodded and what can only be described as being bone weary. If you’ve dealt with infertility you know what I mean. It is exhausting. I have NOT forgotten.

Teddy Birth - Rae Gun Ramblings

But we know how the story ends with a sassy little boy who gets assaulted with hundreds of kisses a day. Who still doesn’t really sleep but who couldn’t make me feel any more Thankful, Grateful, and Blessed. The hidden (or in my case ‘forgotten’) struggle is something that’s been really on my mind lately. Whether it’s infertility like in my case or some other struggle I’ve really been thinking about how we just don’t know the whole story. I feel like with social media and memes and the endless judgey news stories it’s become the norm to take for granted the different paths we’ve all traveled and where many of us have come from.

Thankful Grateful Blessed. Love this shirt

I see images of seemingly “perfect” family moments on Instagram or wherever and it’s hard on those days that you’re flailing to keep your head above water or those of you who were like me a few years ago just wanted a baby of my own not to compare and be jealous. And this is not one of those “people should show us the bad” posts because guys I LIKE TO SEE THE GOOD. I mean I don’t mind honesty and a peek at the bad but I like to focus on what’s going right and what we can celebrate because I believe even when things are the worst and the lowest there is always something to be thankful and grateful for.

Reminder to be grateful and that you don't always know someone's path.

So happy Teddy has his cousins!

I am in a phase of life that is every easy for me to FEEL Thankful and Grateful and Blessed. That hard journey is still very fresh on my mind. It’s there every time someone asks if we’re going to have another baby (which they do ALL.THE.TIME). It’s there like a relative to PTSD telling me I don’t think I could ever go through the “trying” again regardless of whether I could handle the lack of sleep starting all over with a newborn. I know this is totally rambly but I just hope when you see me share my happy moments with my little guy that you know that I KNOW how crazy blessed I am and I seriously appreciate it so much. Even when I’m whining about him endlessly trying to pick my moles or not sleeping, I love him so crazy much.

thankful-shirt-002 Appreciating the little things. Be thankful grateful and know you're blessed

And if you’re not in a phase of life where you FEEL it all the time I hope you can reason it with your brain. I remember some nights laying down and having to reminding myself to be thankful for the family I did have, my nieces, a warm bed, a warm shower, that I made enough money that I could order soda with dinner or buy popcorn at the movies. That lots of people didn’t have those things that I took for granted. That I didn’t always have all of those things. That’s part of what really drew me into this shirt from Cents of Style I feel like it really captured this niggling in the back of my head and heart. This crazy appreciation for where I have been and where I am now.

Love this Thanksgiving shirt. Such cute style idea and festive for the holiday.

If you are feeling the same or if you feel like you need a concrete reminder that even though you might not feel it right now that you know you are still blessed and have things to be grateful and thankful for it’s a good day to shop at Cents of Style. Today for their Fashion Friday they are giving away one of these cute shirts for FREE with every order of $25 or more.

I thought it would be fun to share what YOU are thankful for. I honestly would love you to leave a comment with your own story so I can read it.

Ten MORE Things No One Tells First Time Moms and Dads


My very most popular post is my list of Tips and Tricks People Forget to Tell New Moms. So I’m super excited to bring you even more things I’ve learned the hard way that people should tell first time moms and dads!

These are spot on! Why didn't anyone tell me these things with my first baby? Helpful things to know as a first time mom (or dad).

Thanks for stopping by, we hope you were able to read Sydney‘s article yesterday on making baby’s bed safe for sleep. I’m teaming up with Owlet to share some safety (and otherwise helpful) tips for first time parents as well as a huge giveaway (scroll down for details). #ad #spon

After that first post of things no one tells new moms I had lots of readers share the other things they wish someone had told them and  in my own daily life I kept finding myself thinking I should have put this on the list. So in no particular order here are More helpful tidbits I wish someone had told me as a new mom.

1. EVERYTHING is a Phase

I didn’t get this when I wrote my first list. I was so stressed about sleep. I wasn’t getting any of it and once we figured out night time sleep I was stressed that Teddy wasn’t napping on his own. But since then I’ve realized that IT IS ALL A PHASE. Like really. They grow up so fast and the things we’re tempted to agonize about will be over before long. Why was I so concerned about holding my baby for nap? My days of holding a baby (or kid now) who will let me hold him are numbered. When they are babies and toddlers things change so fast. You can stress about figuring stuff out and get things down but soon after you do, things will be completely different so honestly try not to stress that much.

Great list of helpful and strange things no one thinks to tell new moms and dads.

(not a sticker but this was about the age when I tried the “sticker fun”)

2. Babies Eat Stickers

Did you know this? Umm yeah because they do. When Teddy was smaller I thought he’d have fun with stickers so I stuck a few on him only to find him trying to shove them into his mouth. I relayed this experience to my girlfriends thinking it was so silly and they said “oh yeah they do that”. What!? That’s like a thing? It would have been nice for someone to warn me. I was totally paying attention so Teddy wasn’t in any real danger since I snatched them away before he got them in his mouth. But still that is kind of dangerous. I wish someone had mentioned it to me before.

3. Balloons are Really Dangerous for Babies

Speaking of trying to eat things. Let’s talk about balloons. For the record I knew this one but I’ve been shocked at the number of people I’ve met who don’t know that balloons are very dangerous to babies and toddlers or who tried to give my baby a balloon but not watch him with it or were about to let him try and chew on one. Not counting food, balloons are the most common cause of choking death in babies. The flimsy latex contours to the airway and blocks it off. Don’t let babies have balloon unless you can give them 100% of your attention. And by all means do not let them put balloons (inflated or deflated whether waiting to be blown up or popped) in their mouths. Since most babies put everything in their mouths I vote to keep them completely away from their faces and in your own hands just to be on the safe side.

4. Try and Read All the Books While You’re Pregnant

This relates to #1. Everything is a phase and it moves so fast. You go from one thing to another and you’d think you’d have time to research your parenting options and decide how you feel about different things but you guys it all happens so fast and if you’re like most people you won’t be getting much sleep so your brain isn’t going to be working. I WISH that I had read a few parenting books on the big topics like sleep, and eating, and maybe a catch all first two years what to expect type of book while I was pregnant. Not that I think you can totally plan but I would have liked to know a few of the different approaches to the whole sleep thing and ideas to try BEFORE I was in the throws of extreme sleep deprivation. You think you’ll have time since you’ll be feeding them a lot but if you’re like me you’ll wish you had checked out some books sooner. I’d recommend taking a peek at things you think might come up through the first 2 years.

Owlet baby monitor and other tips and tricks people don't tell new moms

(photo courtesy of See Kate Sew)

5. You Don’t Have to Be Paranoid of Sleep

I’ve already mentioned (and if you’ve been around here from a while you KNOW) we got terrible sleep while Teddy was a baby. Like until he was around 2. I’m a natural worrier and let me tell you nothing makes you worry more than the possibility that your baby is not safe. There are so many sad stories about babies dying in their sleep. Every year 3,500 babies while they are asleep, that’s more than 10 times those that die in car accidents. I think almost all moms remember that first time their baby slept through the night mostly because we weren’t asleep ourselves. We were all stressed that something might be wrong but not sure if we should check on the baby and risk waking him or her.

I wish wish wish that I had an Owlet Baby Monitor when Teddy was an infant. I have a number of friends that have used it lately and I’ve been totally jealous. If you’re not familiar with the device it is the only baby monitor that uses hospital technology—pulse oximetry—designed to alert you if your baby stops breathing. All that amazing technology is placed into a tiny, snuggly baby sock that the little one wears to bed. It’s totally wireless and connects via bluetooth to a base station and Wi-Fi to any smartphone so you can view live vitals. I did not have many opportunities to sleep since my baby was a “bad sleeper”. But even when he did actually sleep I was filled with anxiety that something would happen which made falling asleep (for the short periods that he was down) really hard. I think I would have slept so much better and easier if I had one of these to ease my worries!

6. Swim Diapers Don’t Hold Pee

Is your mind blown because mine was! I must have just been lucky because I put Teddy in swim diapers on the way to the pool MANY times. But it wasn’t until he totally soaked his outfit at the children’s museum, when he was almost 2, that I realized that swim diapers don’t hold in liquid. That is how they keep from getting heavy in the water. They are just meant to keep poop out of the pool. I guess it makes sense in retrospect but really why didn’t someone tell me this!!!? So there I told you.

Random but helpful info about diapers people forget to tell new moms

(pool time with the cousins, he was SO small)

7. It’s Easy to Mix Up Swim Diapers and Pull Ups

So this is a sillier one but really, why do swim diapers and pull ups have to look SO similar? Color and all. Let me tell you how you can tell the difference when you’re in the water: the diaper will swell to about 10 times the size of normal, get heavy, and the absorbent beads can burst out of the diaper. I’ve been guilty of the mix up and been around to witness more than one other mom who managed to mix up the two diapers. If you pay attention when getting ready to swim you’ll be fine but it’s so easy just to go fast and mix them up.

8. You Might Want to Hold Off On Some Gifts

Especially if you receive a lot of newborn sized clothing you will probably be tempted to wash those puppies up and get them all cozy in a drawer but some babies are born too big for new born sizes. Maybe wash a few and wait to see just in case you want to return some of the itty bitty clothes. The same goes for toys and other gear. You might think you want it before baby is here but once you try it out it might not be your thing. Keep the packaging and gift receipts just in case.

I totally agree these are really helpful for new parents but for some reason no one things to tell first time moms and dads. Great list.

9. The One Month Mark Is Hard

Maybe it’s not exactly one month for everyone but there will be a time near the beginning where you think oh my gosh we’ve had this baby for a while now and it’s still SO HARD what is going on. It makes those very first newborn days seem like cake because in comparison they were. You’ll have less help, if you had visitors or people coming in, or if you or your partner partner that had baby leave and have to start working again. You’ll just feel like you ought to be able to “do more” or that things should be easier but they aren’t yet. But you know what you’re probably all sleep deprived and it’s had all that time to compound. But I promise it will get better. I just want to warn you that there is this point for most of us where it feels like it should have gotten better by now and it hasn’t. Don’t be discouraged that is totally normal and it’s still coming it WILL get better.

10. Decide What You Want Your Hospital Visits to Look Like

Things happen fast (even if they happen really slowly) and you are so tired after giving birth and the hormones and emotions are raging. I really regret not telling (or having my husband tell) people to get out of the room. I had been up ALL NIGHT birthing a child with a super long pushing periodd and people were around and I could not rest. I just wanted piece and to be able to try to sleep. But I felt rude and selfish not to mention totally awkward getting up in my open flap gown all bloody and groggy crossing the room in front of people to go to the bathroom. But you know what everyone else could see the baby later. They could peek in for a quick hello but they did not need to be there in those first hours. I wish I had thought through that stuff before I was there and set some ground rules. In addition to the sleep I needed time to try and figure out nursing WITHOUT AN AUDIENCE. Related to the hospital visitors I really regret not taking my photographer friend up on her offer to come do some birth photos. She didn’t push because you know I had just given birth but I wish that I had decided before I went in that that was just one of the things we were going to do because in the moment I felt disgusting, exhausted, and the idea of being photographed sounded horrible but now I feel like I really missed out.

funny unsolicited advice meme for moms and 10 things people forget to tell first time moms

11. You Get to Determine the Type of Parent You Want to Be

If you’re not already getting bombarded with unsolicited advice from family, friends, acquaintances, and random strangers be prepared. For some reason a pregnant woman or really anyone with an infant is like a magnet for the “experts” to “share” their “advice”. Some might actually be helpful, some might be well meaning, but others will be rude, obnoxious, and flat out wrong. Just remember you are the one who gets to decide how you want to parent. Even if it’s not the same way all your friends and family have chosen it doesn’t matter. Go the way your gut and your own research leads. You can even question the doctors and honestly I encourage you to do that if anything feels wrong check things out do research and ask them to explain their reasoning. There are SO many ways to parent that helps you keep your children safe and grow into awesome adults don’t feel bullied into one way from other people. And remember you can change your mind and try different things out as you learn and experience more. See what works for you, your family, and this particular baby. Even within the same family different things might work for different kids. And above all make sure you let yourself enjoy your little ones.

Now how about an awesome giveaway!


We will have 4 winners total with about $850 for the prizes! So there more chances to win. Enter with the rafflecopter widget below.
  • (1) Owlet Baby Monitor ($249.99)
  • (1) Kinsa Smart Ear Thermometer ($49.99)
  • (1) Evenflo SensorSafe Car seat ($149.00)
  • (1) Burley Solstice Jogger  ($399.99)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to stop by Alyssa’s tomorrow for tips for keeping baby safe outdoors! And if you have any other tips for first time moms please share in the comments.

Harry Potter Wand Holster Tutorial

I have wanted to make a wand holder for a long time not but totally put it off. So I’m SUPER excited to share this tutorial today because I adore how it came out!How fun a wand holster to carry your harry potter wands. Great sewing tutorial and how to make DIY wands too.

Too fun! DIY Harry Potter Magic wand holster. Sewing tutorial.

Get the Harry Potter Shirts here

This tutorial is a little more complicated sewing than I normally share because of the zipper and all the steps but it’s still not that hard of a project but if you prefer to just purchase one you can get one here. Oh and if you don’t already have a wand to put in your holster I have a super fun and super easy Wand Tutorial.

Have your wands at the ready at all times with this Harry Potter inspired DIY wand holster. Sewing tutorial

My little guy has been carrying a wand around since we made them. He took one on a walk today and it made my geeky Harry Potter loving heart explode.

What You Need

  • Holster Fabric
  • Strap Fabric – adults will need two strips of 3″x44″ fabric, one strip for the kid size.
  • Small Zipper (optional)
  • D- Ring (optional)
  • Snaps (optional)

What to do

Before I start I just wanted to say I wanted mine to be adjustable and have a zipper pocket so that makes things a little more complicated. BUT you could leave out the zipper and just make your strap the right size for the wearer or even use a safety pin instead of snaps and that would save some work.

1. Cut your fabric out. You can see the general shape I used. I meant to make a free pattern but I totally forgot. I will update this post with a pattern that can be downloaded if you want to save it or pin it and check back later.

2.  Make the straps. For the adult size sew the short ends together. Iron your strap fabric in half  (so it’s skinnier) and sew down the length.  Turn right side out and iron.

3. Make the Wand Pocket. The wand pocket fabric should be about 3″x 7″ depending on your wand length. Do the same as you did for the strap.

Steps to making a wand holster

4. Tuck in one side of the wand pocket tube and sew closed. Position on the holder piece and sew down along both sides. Make sure it’s just one layer of fabric NOT folded.

5. Open both holster pieces and with right sides together sew across the V to connect them at the bottom edge.

How to make a Harry Potter wand holster tutorial

6. Mark where your zipper should go and then with right sides together sew the the raw side edges closed of the non- zipper and and up to where the bottom of the zipper will go. You do want to leave the top edges open. (If you want to skip the zipper just sew it all and leave the top openings.)

Make a zipper pouch wand holder

7. Sew in the zipper.

8. Turn right side out and tuck under the top edges on both sides.

How to make a Harry Potter wand holster adjustable. sewing tutorial

9. Cut off 3 inches from your strap, loop it through the D ring and tuck it into one opening. Sew closed. (If you are making a fitted strap you can skip the D ring and just sew a strap that is the correct length tucking in top openings)

Sew an adjustable magic wand holster perfect for harry potter fans.

10. Sew the raw side of the other strap in the other opening. At this point you can use a safety pin to make your strap adjustable or put in snaps. Just mark where you want your snaps and add them.

How awesome, magic wand holsters. Perfect for Harry Potter lovers. This would be great to take to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.

We’ve all had fun running around with our wands this Summer. And yes the kids love it as much as I do ;)

Must make these! DIY Harry Potter Magic wand holster. Sewing tutorial. Fun gift idea.

I’m excited to be sharing this as a part of Nap-Time Creations‘ Summer Fun Series! See all the other awesome projects being shared today. And make sure to scroll all the way down for the HUGE Harry Potter giveaways.

Summer Fun #6 Make a treat, bookmark, wand holster or stacking dolls. Learn kids photography tips all on Nap-Time Creations

Photography Fun for Kids – Sugar Bee Crafts

Milk Dud Cake Mix Bars – Kleinworth and Co

Turtle Bookmarks – Lulu and Celeste

Wand Holster – Rae Gun Ramblings

DIY Stacking Dolls – Nap-Time Creations
Head over to Nap-Time Creations/Summer Fun to see all the posts in the series.

And don’t forget to enter the giveaways!!!

Harry Potter everything. Great book nerd gifts and book swag.

See more about each prize and sponsor at this giveaway post and be sure to enter the other equally awesome prize pack while you’re there! Winner must have a US address or be willing to pay for international shipping.

Prize Pack #1

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So many awesome Harry Potter gift ideas. Great for readers

Prize Pack #2

See more about each prize and sponsor at this giveaway post and be sure to enter the other equally awesome prize pack while you’re there! Winner must have a US address or be willing to pay for international shipping.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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.

If you liked this you should also check out these!

The secret to hemming knits. It's the type of thread you use! Rae Gun Ramblings

Have you ever wished hemming knits was easier? Wait until you read this trick it IS!

this is how I always do chocolate covered strawberries!

How to get perfect chocolate covered strawberries every time!

Hands down the best Harry Potter crafts, diys, tutorials, recipes and more

Love Harry Potter? Here are over 50 magical Harry Potter projects? Want even more, see all my Harry Potter projects, travel tips and book recommendations here!

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

Easy DIY Bunny Costume and Easter Outfits

Some of my favorite creations have been made at the very last minute. This cute bunny costume is definitely one of them.

Love this easy bunny costume tutorial. Great fast sewing project for Easter or Halloween.

Last Easter I was running behind with everything and all of a sudden the church Easter egg hunt was the next morning. Luckily my fabric hoarding self had everything I needed on hand to make a cute little bunny outfit for my little bunny err bear.

Sweetest bunny costume and only takes 1 hour to sew. Fun for Easter, Halloween or just a cute hat during colder months.

I am especially in love with the little bunny outfit because it reminds me of one of our favorite books I Am A Bunny by Ole Rison and Illustrated by Richard Scary. We discovered it around Easter last year but it has stayed a favorite! It is the sweetest tall board book. I love the story and so does Teddy.i am a bunny fabulous book for little ones for Easter (or really all year around). Plus easy DIY bunny costume

Last year Teddy was just under 1 year old when I made it and I did the smallest size of the All in One Hooded Scarf PDF pattern (so I had immediate access gotta love digital patters!). This is the same pattern I used for Teddy’s crocodile hood for our Naked and Afraid costumes last Halloween. He is still comfortably wearing the hood now at 2 years old. The sizing is pretty generous which works great for a hood but just in case you want a more fitted look you might want to compare a the pattern piece to a hood your kiddo is wearing now before picking your size.

1 hour DIY bunny costume. Easy sewing project for Easter, Halloween, or just a cute anytime hat.

Make A Simple Bunny Costume

Just cut up the pattern and sew according to the pattern. It’s very easy. And to make more of a caplet like I made just add one button and buttonhole at the top corners instead of the two down the front that is shown in the pattern directions. For the bunny tail I made a little circle pattern by tracing a circle from a glass (you could totally free hand it). Then I cut a circle of fleece and safety pinned them onto Teddy’s pants. If you want more of a poof style you could make a large pom pom out of matching yard.

I need this baby bunny hat. 1 hour sewing project good for Easter, Halloween, or any time sewing.

We get comments on this sweet little hood every time Teddy wears it. And I just think Teddy looks SO stinking cute in it so I put it on him all the time. He wears the hood down sometimes while we’re in a store and when we’re about to walk back outside I tell him to “bunny up” to keep his head and ears warm.

1 hour DIY baby bunny hat and tail. Such a cute costume for Easter, Halloween or any time with the hat.

And while I’m sharing last year’s Easter creations I thought I’d share the official Easter outfits. That I made everyone. If you’re still hoping to whip up some festive outfits these are great ones that can be made really fast at the last minute. Ask me how I know ;)

Cute handmade Easter outfits for all the kids. Sewing patterns used listed.

What I used for everyone’s outfits:

Made this bunny outfit the morning of our Easter egg hunt. Little one wears the bunny hat all the time. Easy 1 hour sewing project.

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

How to Applique Tutorial

This is the best tutorial for how to make and sew on fabric appliques.

I love making my own appliques. One of my favorite parts is that you can make whatever image you want. For us geeky folk it’s a way to have fan gear that they don’t sell in stores. Recently I made a appliqued My Neighbor Totoro tunic set for my niece.

DIY Totoro and Catbus outfit

I’ve mentioned before her love for Totoro like her mermaid Totoro birthday party, her Kindergarten Totoro cape, and of course her awesome Totoro costume (to name just a few). So when Crafty Con announced that September would be Studio Ghibli (the animation studio behind Totoro) I decided that I would compete. You can read an interview they did with me they had some fun questions.

Crafting Con Geeky Craft competition

You heard that right today I’m doing my very first sewing competition eep. I would love you to hop over to Crafty Con check out my full look and vote! In the meantime I thought I’d break down the steps for making your own applique like I used to decorate the pieces of my Crafty Con entry which was made with the Norah Tunic and Lollipop Leggings patterns from The Mouse House and Peek-a-boo Pattern Shop respectively).

How to Make Your Own Fabric Applique

My favorite technique for how to make fabric appliques at home and how to sew them on.

DIY applique tutorial

Start by ironing your heat’n bond to the WRONG (that is the ugly, back side) of your fabric.

How to make a fabric applique

Now your fabric will be backed with paper that once your shape is cut out you will peel off to reveal more adhesive. This paper can be drawn on to add your design but if you do that make sure to mirror your image or any text since the fabric side will come out reversed.

Transfer your design to your applique fabric. You can use a stencil, draw it on, or use a cutting machine to run it through a Cricut or similar cutting machine. To use a cutting machine I’ve found if you run it through on the vinyl setting with the FABRIC side up (that is the paper side down). For the Totoro and Cat Bus designs I just drew them onto the paper backing.

Cut your fabric either by had with scissors, exacto knife or with a cutting machine.

How to sew appliques tutorial

Peel the paper backing off of your paper and lay it onto whatever you want the applique on and iron it with a press and hold motion as opposed to a dragging motion. In my case the tunic and leggins. I find it helpful to add the applique before assembling your project or in the middle if you need to put pieces together. Really just think through what steps there are and what access you’ll have. For my tunic I sewed the whole thing up then added the applique. For the leggins I did the first few steps of sewing and then added the applique before sewed the leg seams since it would have been impossible to get my sewing machine into the leg hole to top stitch.

the best easy applique sewing tutorial

If you are layering or have different colors do that and assemble your design. For Totoro did the gray first then the white then the black and green.

How to sew appliques at home. Great DIY tutorial for making and sewing fabric appliques

Top stitch. If you use the ultra hold strength heat’n bond it’s supposed to not require stitching but I like the look of top stitching. The ultra hold kind stays stiff so if you want something more flexible stick to the light kind. I prefer to do a straight stitch around the edge of any large pieces then I just leave the smaller pieces to stick with the heat n bond. I also like to just pick up my needle and move it form place to place and then trim it all at the end. For a more classic look you can use a zig zag stitch or a satin stitch a very close set all around the edges. It’s just a matter of preference.

How to applique Totoro and Cat Bus

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


Marvelously Mod Dress Tutorial

Easy mod dress sewing tutorial

Once upon a time I made L this Marvelously Mod dress to wear to her Beatles themed birthday party. It is still one of my all time favorite pieces and while going through old pictures I realized that I had never shared the tutorial like I intended.

30 Days of Sundresses 2015 tons of sundress tutorials

Thankfully my friend Melissa of Melly Sews is doing her awesome 30 Days of Sundresses Series again this year and I thought this Mod dress would be the perfect contribution. I’ve already been drooling over all the sundresses that people are sharing as a part of this awesome series you’ll have to go check it out. Also she has been doing a giveaway every week and this week she’s giving away a mystery box of awesome sewing goodies! You’ll want to enter for sure.

Darling DIY Mod Dress. Great easy sewing tutorial.

Now more about this dress. First I wanted something funky so I chopped a basic Aline dress to make it 2/3 one fabric and 1/3 another. And I used a third fabric on the back. The bib ruffles added great texture, were super easy, and L loved them.

Cute girls mod dress tutorial. easy sewing project with step by step instructions

She wore this dress a ton. I might have to recreate it this Summer. Or better yet help her do it now that she’s gotten into sewing. Goodness they grow Way.Too.Fast!

Easy to follow tutorial for DIY mod dress. Great sewing project

Marvelously Mod Dress Tutorial

What You Need

  • Basic Aline Dress pattern
  • Back Fabric
  • Front small fabric
  • Front large fabric
  • 3 pieces Bib fabric (mine were 12×9 inches but this is flexible and it is totally a matter of preference)
  • Button or zipper how ever your pattern has you or you want to close up the back

What To Do

Before I start this is a very sloppy tutorial. Sewing teachers all over the world will probably cringe at the way I put this dress together but it was fast, held up and got worn A.Lot. Was it perfect and every seam immaculate. Heck no! And you are welcome to just take this as inspiration and do things “properly” but this fast and sloppy worked for my purposes. Normally I would have lined the dress but L is always SO hot I figured the less material the better. Okay disclaimer over no need for the sewing police here right?

  1. Start by cutting your pieces out. I used a basic Aline dress pattern. Instead of cutting on the fold I just cut my pattern a little off center as you can see for the large piece. Then I gave myself an extra 1/2 inch seam allowance and cut the remainder of the front piece from my other fabric remembering to add 1/2 inch for the seam.
  2. Cut the back piece like normal.
  3. Sew the front seam together so you have a normal front piece of your dress.
  4. Set the dress pieces aside and make the bib ruffles. Fold each piece in half right sides together so that you have pieces 6×9 inches. And sew down each short side. Turn right side out and press.
  5. Gather the top edge and finish. I used my cheater serger gathering technique which let me do that in one step but you can do use basting stitches and a zig zag or serger to if you like.
  6. Next just put the dress together like normal. You can follow your pattern or if you want to do it just like I did, with right sides together sew the front piece to the back pieces at the shoulders.
  7. Then serge around the neckline and arm holes, fold under and sew down.
  8. With right sides together sew the side seams.
  9. Position  your ruffles on your dress front piece. I folded the gathered edge under and just sewed it right across where the top of the dress.
  10. For the second and third ruffle under and just sewed a straight stitch right over my gathering stitches.
  11. Finish the back (I just serge up about 2/3rds of the way and then serge the top 1/3 of each back piece separately fold them under and sew the edges under. I sew back and forth about right where the opening starts to reinforce things a bit. Then add a buttonhole to one side, sew a button and call it good) But you can finish the back however you like.
  12. Finally hem the bottom edge and you’re good to go!

Cute DIY ruffle bib mod inspired girls dress. Full sewing tutorial.

Okay that’s it I’m for sure making the girls more of this style it’s just too cute!

How to easily put a ruffled bib on any dress. Sewing DIY tutorial

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


How to Stamp Nails: Tips and Tricks for Success

Have you ever tried nail stamping? It’s a fun and easy way to cute nails for those of us without a steady hand. I have just updated this post to add even more awesome tips and tricks after a year of doing my nails every week. Make sure to pin this post so since I’ll be updating it as I continue to learn new tips and find new awesome products.

Nail stamping can give awesome details to nails. These tips and tricks make it doable at home.

There’s just something about Summer that makes me want pretty nails. Maybe it’s the flip flops and all the exposed toes but the nieces and I love doing our nails together and one of our favorite things is Nail Stamping! Have you ever tried it?

Love these nails. Done with nail stamping and polish not nail wraps or jamberry. Fabulous step by step tutorial and resource guide.

If you don’t know, nail stamping is a way to get fun designs on your nails. I love it because it doesn’t require any artistic ability or steady hand. Plus as long as you get a design plate with small images it works great for tiny kid nails too!

Watch the video or read the steps below!

Step by step guide to nail stamping art and a huge list of resources for best products and supplies. Great beauty tutorial.

I’m sharing how to stamp nails and some of the tricks and tips I’ve learned from trial and error.

What You Need to Stamp Nails (you don’t need all of them I’m just giving options)

When you shop through my links I get a small percentage. The prices will always be the same as regular prices (or sometimes lower). These are what I use I didn’t swap any products for a cut but when they offered one anyways I linked it. Also note I have been updating this post as I learn more and find products I love so some of the pictures might not match my current favorite products. 

How to Stamp Nails

  1. Start with painted and fully dried nails. Start with a base coat and end with a top coat on top of your colors. Use a toothpick to take of polish that strayed into the side of your nail. This is also a good time to use the clean up brush and acetone to remove stray polish from your skin.
  2. Paint a coat of contrasting nail polish onto your design plate.
  3. Scrap excess off with scraper.
  4. With a rolling motion press the stamper onto the stamp plate to transfer the design to the stamper.
  5. Stamp onto the desired nail also using a rolling motion.
  6. Use tape to pull of any stamped polish that got on your skin (it works like magic).
  7. Use acetone with cotton pad to clean up your plate between each stamping.
  8. Allow to dry and top with a coat of clear polish make sure it is stamping friendly some top coats will smear nail stamping polish.
  9. Use your clean up brush to get any stray nail polish off of your skin.

Loving this nail stamping guide. It has everything trick and tips and where to find all the products. Great step by step tutorial

Some Tips and Tricks for Nail Stamping

  • Practice, practice, practice. This is definitely an activity with a learning curve. It takes time to figure out but once you do it’s really fun.
  • MOST IMPORTANT Use a nail stamping polish. You want your stamping polish to contrast with your base coat. I’ve found lighter colors tend to work better. You want a thick polish and metallic seem to be a little thicker and work better if you want to give regular nail polish a try. Some regular polishes will stamp (like Walmart’s Ice metallics) BUT the stamping polishes work SO MUCH BETTER and are way easier to work with. they are 100% worth the extra coast.
  • Be patient and paint your nails allowing them to dry full complete with a top coat. That way if your stamp doesn’t turn out you can quickly wipe it off. Be prepared to do this especially when you are starting out! It’s not you, it’s just a tricky thing to get down.
  • Have all your tools set up so you can move quickly. Once you scrap your place you want to move fast.
  • Consider just doing an accent finger. While stamping is really fun it is finicky. Sometimes I think trying to get 10 fingers perfect (or good enough) on 3 people (me and both nieces) just takes too long.  But a few accent fingers are just the right about of fun. UPDATE: now a year into it and exclusively using stamping polishes I can easily do all three of our hands without getting too frustrated and having to do too many re-dos!
  • Know that not all designs are created equally. Different plates and different designs work differently. Unfortunately there is not great way to know which will turn out but the brands I listed I have had great success with. Just buy a plate with designs you love and give it a shot.
  • Have fun!

Must try this! Tips and tricks to nail stamping success. Great detailed tutorial and resource guide.

I originally posted this as a part of Nap-Time Creations awesome Summer Fun Series, going up today!

summer fun part 1
Fairy Magic Fun on Nap-Time Creations by XOXO Grandma
Nail Stamping Fun by Rae Gun Ramblings
Mini Minion Bowling Set Craft by Boy Oh Boy oh Boy Crafts
Cookie Butter Ice Cream from Kojo Designs
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So cute. Nail tutorial inspired by Grease Lightning
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this is how I always do chocolate covered strawberries!

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