How to Make a Personalized Baby Blanket

Did you know making a personalized appliqué blanket is really quite easy? Can you hear the ooohs and ahhhs at the shower? :) I whipped one up the other day for my soon-to-be niece, Juliana. A couple years ago I made a similar blanket for her big brother Blake (check it out here). This time I made things even simpler, and used pre-made receiving blankets rather than hemming a blanket from raw fabric. Easy peasy. This technique can also be used on almost anything you want to add something personalized to... doesn't just have to be blankets. Matching windbreakers for you and the hubs perhaps? :)

Here's an example picture of some things you could use to make some personalized baby awesomeness. Receiving blankets and burp cloths on the left, fabric scraps from my stash on the right.


Print out whatever name (or shape) you will be adding to the blanket. Print it out the exact size you want it to be when it's sewn on the blanket. I'd also suggest using a very simple bold font. Doesn't matter how many letters fit on a page, you'll be cutting them apart in a sec.

Step 2:
Iron a sheet of Heat N Bond to the back side of your fabric (not your blanket). You just need enough to fit all of the letters you just printed out. Follow the directions on the package of Heat N Bond for this. It's pretty easy.

Step 3:
Cut out the letters fairly close to the edges (doesn't have to be perfect) and make sure they fit on the fabric/Heat N Bond combo piece you just ironed.

Now, flip the letters over. If you can see through your paper to your printed letters, you're good to go. If you can't, you're going to need to cut the letters out precisely. I could see though just fine.

Step 4.
Tape your letters down and cut them out. Remember, your letters should be facing down so you see the backs. The front will the the fabric.

Step 5
After all of the letters are cut out, peel off the white backing from the Heat N Bond. Then arrange the letters how you'd like them on your blanket.

Step 6
Iron those suckers in place. The directions say to hold the iron on for about 20 seconds. Now, you could be done at this point since Ultra Hold Heat N Bond is technically "no sew". However, I know how often baby blankets get washed. They might hold up great, but there's only so much baby puke and Tide anything can tolerate. I'd keep going and add a stitch. Plus, it looks fancy.

Step 7
Add a decorative stitch around each letter. Letters with holes in them (like this A) are a bit tricky. Just make sure you sew the center edges too.

I chose a blanket stitch.

And that's it, you're done. You could probably have one of these done in an hour.

I'm kinda sad I never made anything personalized for my kids. haha At 6 and 4, you think they'd still like a name blankie from mom? Might have to whip a couple up. :)

Here's a few other's I did using the same technique. Click on the pics. :)


Super Bowl Beer Tasting Party Ideas

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Rubbermaid and Sharpie but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #RubbermaidSharpie  http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO
Anyone else gearing up for the big game? We are and our team wasn't even remotely close to making it anywhere near the Super Bowl. (My husband is from north east Florida... I'll letcha guess what team that could be) So why the hubbub? Because each year we host a beer tasting (my husband brews) that we conveniently integrate with the Super Bowl-- 4th annual this year! So even if our team, or any of our guests' teams, aren't playing, we still have liquid libations and funny commercials to lure them... this is how I make friends. Don't judge. Today I thought I could show you what we're planning for this year's bash. A dress rehearsal if you will. :)

First off, I'm getting a bit crafty. Shocking, I know. Kaley and I hit up Target and got a couple supplies to make a quick banner. Felt, Sharpies, letter stickers, and some ribbon are all ya need. And -- thrifty tip alert!-- before you go, if you text the word COUPONS to TARGET (yep, "TARGET" is the number you send the text to) they will send you the latest coupons to your phone. There will be a Sharpie coupon and a Rubbermaid coupon available Jan 25 - Feb 8th. Seriously convenient. Love it.

We cut felt into triangles, she stuck the letters on, and decorated each one with the Sharpies. (Great after-school kid craft)

Then I punched small holes in the corners and strung them onto the ribbon.

I also picked up these football cutouts ($1 for the whole pack) and we used a few of those as spacers.

Really quick, simple, and festive.

Next I found these small wood footballs for about .50 cents each at the craft store and thought they'd make great food labels. You know, like when people stick signs on the cheese plate so you don't accidentally smother your cracker in goat cheese when what you really wanted was brie. (True story)

I just hot glued wooden skewers to the back.

Ta-da. Not sure yet what's going to need labeling at the tasting, but I'm probably going to use chalk so I can reuse these next year. No more accidental goat cheese.

Next, I came up with a beer charm station. Basically, I'm going to have my guests create their own tags for their drinks. Not only will it be hilarious to read what people come up with, it will also let you know which drink is your's. (I love that Kaley made the purple one below... "I'm here for the fun". So cute!)

We created a few to give guests the idea.

Last thing I'm really excited about is covering all of my tables in craft paper. (I might cover the entire house if someone doesn't stop me) This is going to make it super simple to sort the types of beer. I can just use the Sharpies to write "Stouts over here", "Ales here", etc. Plus, we're going to score the different beers this year. By numbering each one on the table, guests will know what to mark down on their sheets (more on that soon!). PLUS, can you say super simple clean up? Score.

I did buy real glasses for our beer tastings too. They are small (maybe 6 oz?), were really inexpensive, and I've used them for the last 4 years. I probably would have spent more on plastic disposable cups at this point had I not bought them. So if you host regularly, might be something to consider.

I picked up a few festive napkins too.

And, got a ton of new Rubbermaid glass containers. Since I'll probably have to make 80% of the food ahead (#workingmama), it's really nice to be able to go from the fridge, to the oven, to the table all in the same container. They look nice, will cut down on the dishes, and will reduce my stress level which is good for everyone. ha.

Did I mention the lids stick to the bottoms too? LOVE!

So while we still have a couple weeks until the game, it's nice to get the plans in motion. I'll be sure to post a follow up of all the party details when the day's here. So what are your hosting tips and tricks? I'd love to know how you streamline the stress out of hosting.


Old Dresser Makeover

You know that dresser that you had when you were 12? The one you covered in stickers and the one mom let you bring to your college dorm? Yep, we had one of those still in our bedroom for a LONG time. In this case, it was my husband's. Does that scream 1980's kid or what? I'm pretty sure my brother had the same furniture.

The thing is, you have it for so long you kind of get immune to its ugliness. That's what happened to me. It was real wood, solid, and held t-shirts. I never gave it a second thought until Creating with the Stars happened in March of 2013. 

Each week I had to complete a new project based on a theme and then it would be voted on. Bottom 3 got booted out each week. Well, since I have this little gig on the side called a full-time job, not to mention children that depend on me for food, I had like 12 minutes each night to actually work on my projects. So, each week I pretty much started the next week's theme not even knowing if I made it through to that round. That's how this dresser happened.
(Slightly scratched, eh?)
After round 3, I redid this dresser in preparation for round 4.  Spoiler alert, I didn't make it to round 4 with the map table. It's all good though. I got more than 20 minutes of sleep that week and a re-fabbed dresser out of it.

So here's where I started. The things I really did not like were the handles, the feet, the way the sides stuck up past the top, and those lovely decorative notches chainsawed out of the front edge. The size and shape were good.

So I removed all the drawers and went to town with a saw.

First thing I did was chop off both of the tall side things. Sorry, couldn't saw and take pics at the same time. Safety first! :)

Then, I smacked each handle numerous times with a hammer until they fell off. That part was actually really fun. If you're having a rough day, I highly suggest. There were a few staples to pull out once the handle fell off.

Then we removed the feet. They were just held on with a few screws.

Then I gave the whole thing a really good sanding. Especially the top. (I sawed off the front edge of that "decorative" board right after this part, then sanded that really well too)

Here you can see all the handles missing, the front edge of the top is flat, and how the top is sanded much better than the rest.

I still wanted to see some wood on the piece so it didn't look like a giant hunk of cement. That's why I white washed the top. I pretty much just used my chalk paint recipe and really watered it down. Then wiped the surface with a cloth as soon as I painted it on.

The rest of the dresser was painted with light gray chalk paint normally.

Then I did the drawers in an ombre look making the paint darker as I went down. However, no matter how much black I added, drawers 2 and 3 kind of pretty much look the same color. Whatayagonnado?

After all was painted and dry, I was ready to wax 'er up. I used the same Minwax Paste Finishing Wax I used on my other dresser, my deskthis table, and this table. (I am Sarah and I have a furniture waxing problem).

Buuuuuut.... it was missing something. I know, I can't just leave it alone.

I broke out the DIY Moroccan stencil and traced it onto the drawers.
Then I painted over that with some teal paint and a craft brush. Then waxed.

Ahhh, better.  Last step! I bought some Besta Legs from IKEA and 3 Lansa Handles.  Took a bit of measuring to get the handles perfect but it looks so much better!

Ta da! Total cost for this project was $37!

So before you think there is no hope for your old middle school furniture, see what you can change! You might be able to remove/paint enough to make it awesome!