Monday, May 28, 2012

Make It Monday: Colouring Book Artfolio

I was inspired to make this artfolio carrying case for Sophie's crayons and colouring books after seeing this pin on Pinterest. I couldn't find a tutorial online so I pieced it together myself and took tons of photos to include in a tutorial here.

What you'll need:

2/3 yard medium to heavy-weight cotton or home decor fabric
1/4 yard light or medium-weight cotton in one, two or three different coordinating prints (see actual piece measurements below)
Hook and loop velcro

Fabric marker
Straight pins

STEP 1.  Cut out the pieces from the fabric.

Medium to heavy-weight cotton:
Cut 2 Large Panels: 13" wide x 21" long
Cut 2 Straps: 3" wide x 12" long
Light to medium-weight cotton:
Cut 1 Crayon Pocket: 13" wide x 4" long
Cut 1 Large Pocket: 13" wide x 7" long
Cut 1 Small Pocket: 13" wide x 5" long
Cut 1 Hook Velcro Strip: 9" long
Cut 1 Loop Velcro Strip: 9" long

STEP 2.  Iron and hem the pockets.

On the large and small pockets, with the wrong side of the fabric facing up, on one 13" side, fold over 1/4", then press. Fold over another 1/4" and press. Machine stitch along the fold. This edge will become the top of the pockets.

On the crayon pocket, with the wrong side of the fabric facing up, on both 13" sides, fold over 1/4", then press. Fold over another 1/4" and press. Machine stitch along only one of the folded sides. This edge will become the top of the crayon pocket.

STEP 3.  Assemble the straps.

On the straps, with the wrong side of the fabric facing up, fold in half, long sides together and press. Fold over 1/4" toward the centre fold on both 13" sides of the fabric, then press. Fold over 1/4" toward the centre on both 3"sides of the fabric, then press. Fold in half again, ensure all 1/4" folds are tucked in, pin and sew around all 4 sides.

STEP 4.  Attach the velcro.

On the right side of the small pocket, pin and sew one velcro strip 1" up from the bottom (unhemmed) edge and centred between the two sides.

On the right side of one of the large panels, pin and sew the matching velcro strip 1" from the top (13" wide edge) and centred between the two sides. This panel will become the inside panel of the artfolio.

STEP 5.  Attach and divide the crayon pocket.

On the right side of the inside panel, lay the crayon pocket right side facing up and the hemmed edge pointing toward the top (velcro end) of the inside panel, so the bottom edge (pressed but not sewn) of the crayon pocket is 9 1/2" from the top of the inside panel. See image below for more clarity. Pin and sew along the bottom edge of the crayon pocket.

Machine sew 1 vertical seam in the centre of the crayon pocket beginning at the top seam and ending at the bottom. Sew 2 similar vertical seams 2" from the centre seam. Sew 2 more vertical seams 2" from the previous. The result will be 6 small pockets for crayons. See images below for more clarity.

STEP 6.  Assemble the artfolio.

On the right side of the inside panel, lay the large pocket right side facing up with the bottom (unhemmed edge) and sides aligned with the bottom and sides of the inside panel. Similarly, lay the small pocket right side facing up on the right side of the large pocket with the bottom and sides aligned with that of the large pocket. 

Pin one strap to the bottom of the pockets so the strap is turned in towards the centre of the artfolio and the centre of the ends of the strap are about 4" from either side of the artfolio. See image below for more clarity.

Lay the remaining large panel right side face down on top of the right side of the inside panel with all four edges aligned. Secure in place with pins, ensure the pins go through all layers of the pockets and the strap.

Machine sew around the edges leaving a generous size opening at the top to turn the artfolio right side out and attach the remaining strap.

Trim the corners, turn the artfolio right side out and press.

Pin the remaining strap into the top opening of the artfolio so the centre of the strap ends are 3 3/4" from the edges.

Sew a 1/4" finishing seam around the entire artfolio.

Load it up with crayons and colouring books.

Happy Monday!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Make It Monday: Pocket Coin Dish

This was just a fun project that I felt inspired to do one day. My husband, Jonas has an evening routine that always involves emptying his pockets on the dresser. This little "Pocket" coin dish is just for him.

What you'll need:

Oven bake clay
Rolling pin
Jeans with a pocket
Rubber alphabet stamps
Baking dish
Paint brush
Detail brush
Foam brush
Clay glaze
Acrylic paint
Varnish gloss


Roll and imprint. Roll your clay to 1/4" thickness. Firmly and gently press the denim pocket side of the jeans onto the clay.

Trim and stamp. Trim and remove the excess clay around the pocket imprint. Using the rubber alphabet stamps write your phrase. I went with "empty your pockets."

Bake according to the clay package directions. This particular Sculpey clay bakes for 15 minutes per 1/4" at 275 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want a curved dish you can use the lid of a baking dish or similar to bake the clay piece.

Glaze. Once the dish has cooled apply 2 or 3 coats of clay glaze. This will protect the dish from softening when applying the acrylic paints.

Paint as desired. I used a a porous sponge and blue acrylic paint to achieve a washed denim look.

Detail. With a fine point paintbrush add details. I used yellow acrylic paint to enhance the stitches and lettering.

Apply varnish gloss. Once the paint is dry apply two or more coats of varnish gloss to seal and protect the dish.

Voila! A handy little coin and key dish.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Breakfast Pocket Recipe

Yes, it is camping season! May long weekend here we come!

Okay, while there is a lot of excitement around here as camping season approaches there is also a great deal of anxiety. I often question my sanity in the things that I do, but sharing a tent with a rambunctious toddler, 8 month old baby, and snoring husband is by far the biggest sanity-buster yet. So I'm always game for prepping things before hand to increase the likelihood of a smooth camping trip.

I came across a recipe for Breakfast Pockets from Budget Gourmet Mom. She makes these pockets to keep in the freezer for quick grab and go breakfasts during the week, but when I saw them I immediately thought "camping sanity saver!"

We're cereal eaters around here. Yes, even on the weekends. Don't get me wrong I love a good bacon and egg breakfast, but it takes time, the dishes pile up and we like to get our days started quickly so we can have some fun. Camping is generally the exception. There's nothing like a warm breakfast on a cool morning in the campground. So, these breakfast pockets will be my saving grace.

Breakfast Pocket Recipe - this has been adapted from Budget Gourmet Mom


1 1/2 tbsp yeast
1/2 cup warm water
3/4 cup warm evaporated milk
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 cup bread flour (if needed)

1 tbsp cooking oil
1 1/2 cups frozen hashbrowns
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 orange, yellow or red bell pepper, diced
3 cups cooked ham, cubed
4 green onions, chopped
4 eggs
1 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated


1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Fahrenheit and then turn it off
2. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water
3. Add milk, oil, sugar, egg, salt and 2 cups of the flour, beat until smooth
4. Add the remaining 1 1/2 cups of flour and mix until a soft dough forms. 
5. If your dough is still a bit sticky add the additional 1/4 cup of flour or as much as needed. Cover the bowl with a damp towel, place in the warm oven and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

1. Heat oil in a large skillet and saute hashbrowns over medium heat until thawed.
2. Add the garlic and bell pepper, cook about 5 minutes. Add the ham and green onions, cook another 5 minutes.
3. In a separate bowl mix eggs with milk, salt and pepper. Pour mixture over the cooked ham and vegetables. Stir until eggs are set.

4. Remove the pan from heat, add the cheese and stir until the cheese is melted and all the ingredients are combined.

Assemble the pockets:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with foil.
2. Punch down the dough and divide it into 16 equal balls.

3. Roll each ball into a 7 inch circle. Top with 1/3 cup of the filling, fold and pinch shut.

4. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the pockets are slightly golden.

 Pack them up for camping:
1. Wrap each pocket in parchment paper and then in foil.
2. Warm up over the fire or BBQ. I enjoy these cold too!

This is a very versatile recipe. Change up the filling to whatever you desire. I think I'll be trying a pulled pork version of these. Once I do I'll post it here.

Happy Camping!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Make It Monday: Formula Can Upcycle

Yes, well, this is how it goes. As a mom of little ones I ultimately end up with a ridiculous amount of baby product containers that I just can't bring myself to recycle or throw away. You may recall the DIY Craft Storage Containers which were made from baby wipes containers.

So here it is. More craft storage made from empty baby formula cans.

What you'll need:

Empty formula can
Scrapbook or construction paper
Mod podge
Scissors or rotary cutter
Printed labels - plain printer paper & ink
Craft punches (optional)


Measure the height and circumference of the formula can to determine how much paper you need. Standard size scrapbook paper does not wrap all the way around the can so you'll end up piecing it together at the back.

Glue the paper to the can by spreading a thin layer of mod podge all over the can and wrapping the paper around it. Seal the edges of the paper with mod podge.

Embellish to your hearts content. I added a coordinating strip of scrapbook paper to the top and bottom of the can. I cut luggage tag shapes out of another coordinating strip of paper and affixed the craft labels to them with mod podge. I also punched out some flower shapes and glued them to the can. 


Bonus: Chalkboard Formula Can

If you're looking for another formula container upcycle idea, here's a quickie. Simply remove the paper from the can, layer on three coats of Chalkboard Paint, condition as directed and there you have it the perfect storage container for sidewalk chalk.

 Happy Monday!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Make It Monday: Paper Windmills

A fun project for kids and crafty mom's alike!

What you'll need:

Art medium  - paint, crayons or markers work equally well
Scissors or cutting wheel


Paint. Have your little one colour or paint a sheet of paper to their hearts content. Let it dry. 

Cut it to size. Cut a 6" x 6" square out of the little artists painting.

Fold. Align two opposite corners and fold the square in half. Repeat with the remaining opposite corners. The result will be a creased X when the square is unfolded.

Pierce a hole in the centre of the X.

Cut slits. Following along each of the four creases, cut a slit until it is one inch from the centre hole.

Pierce corner holes. Imagine your square as four triangles that meet in the centre. Pierce only the right side of each triangle that meets at a corner of the square. Refer to the image below.

Form the windmill. Slide a pin through each of the pierced corners so they meet in the centre and push the pin through the centre hole. Note: If the painting is one sided, such as this, you can choose whether you want the painted side to be within the windmill blades or on the outside meeting at the centre pin.

Assemble. Thread a large bead onto the back of the pin. Following the bead, pierce the pin through a plastic straw. Finally thread on a second large bead and pierce the end of the pin into a small piece of cork.

Voila! Now your little one can proudly watch their masterpiece function as a whirling windmill. We put ours on display in a vase for a fun spring art piece.

 Happy Monday!