Monday, June 18, 2012

Bassinet Mattress Tutorial

With my due date quickly approaching, I pulled our bassinet out of storage for reassembly.

I've been planning for some time to make a new mattress for the thing.....The one that came with it was just so.....pathetic.

With my last baby, I had added padding under the sheet but it was still woefully inadequate. I don't know how she slept on it. Hence my decision to make sure this baby wasn't sleeping on a wafer-thin abomination to mattresses everywhere.

I also decided I'd do a little tutorial!

What you'll need to make your very own Bassinet Crib Mattress:
 - Measuring tape
 - Foam by the yard
 - 3/4 yrd vinyl
 - Sewing machine
 - Matching thread

Step 1: Measure your bassinet.
My bassinet dimensions turned out to be 30 in by 15 in. You'll need this measurement to determine the amount of foam you'll need.

I got my foam by the yard at Joann's during their Memorial Day sale - it was all 50% off. Since the thickness I choose (which is 1 1/2 inches, by the way) was $30.99 /yd normally, I was eager to get a deal.

Step 2: Cut your foam to fit snugly into the bassinet.
I initially cut the foam to 30 in x 15 in, knowing that I would need to trim it down a little to fit. I then set the foam on top of the bassinet and used a Sharpie to mark where I needed to round the corners and/or cut off a little foam. The final dimensions were 30 in x 14 1/2 in.

Again, make sure the fit in the bassinet is snug. Safety first(!) when it comes to the kids!

Step 3: Pin your vinyl around the foam.
Place your foam on a single layer of vinyl (vinyl is located in the 'utility' fabrics area of your local craft store - available in many colors). Make sure you have a buffer around the outside of the foam - 2 or 3 inches is sufficient.

Fold the vinyl over the foam, tightening the vinyl against the foam on the folded side (creating a vinyl-foam ...taco?).

Pin the top layer of vinyl to the bottom layer of vinyl around the foam. Try to get your pins as close to the foam as possible for a tight fit.

Cut off the excess vinyl.

Step 4: Sew around the foam.
Top-stitch around the three open sides, as close to the foam as you can get. You may need to squish the foam down a bit as you go.

Note: If you're wondering why I only pinned/sewed three sides here, the reason is that I am inherently lazy and cheap. The less work I have to do and the least amount of materials I have to use, the better. You could, indeed, pin/sew all the way around (you masochist, you).

Step 5: Make vinyl binding.
You'll need to make some binding to hide your raw edges. Cut 2 inch strips from your leftover vinyl - enough to cover all your edges. 

If you need to sew several strips together, here's how to do it:

Place the two pieces perpendicular to each other at their ends. Sew across the two pieces at a diagonal.

Cut off the excess.

Fold open. Repeat if needed.

When you've got a strip of vinyl sufficiently long for your needs, fold it in half lengthwise. Unlike fabric, vinyl won't stay folded so you'll need to pin it to make it stay - do NOT iron! Vinyl is plastic, afterall - it will melt.

Fold the raw edges in to the center fold and pin. (Incidentally, this is the same method you'd use to make normal fabric binding.)

Step 6: Pin the binding to the raw edges.
Cut off the raw edges of the vinyl around the mattress to 1/2 an inch.

Fold down the end of your binding.

Apply the binding to the raw edges of the vinyl and pin.

Top-stitch around, back-stitching at the beginning and end. Again, try to keep the vinyl tight around the foam. Sew within a 1/4 inch of the edge of the binding.

And voila! You're done!

Behold! My new awesome mattress versus the old, wussy mattress:

The final product installed. Now all I need are some new sheets!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Kid's Chair Reupholster Project

I stumbled upon this tutorial from Little Green Notebook on Pinterest last year - thinking "Yes! I can do that! I NEED to do that!" - because we had a chair that was in desperate need of a makeover.

Behold, the sorry state of this (otherwise cute) little chair:


I ordered this chair from Target almost two years ago for my first born's 3rd birthday. Lets just say that the fabric failed to hold up under the pressure of being loved/abused by a rambunctious child (who likes to stand on the arms and seat, rather than sit it in like a normal person). It became discolored very eyesore to the Husband and myself.

This project made the list of 'things we need to fix/replace during spring cleaning' so I committed to getting this done when I had some free time. My husband, bless him, even came in to Joann's with me to help pick out some acceptable fabric.

And so, last week, armed with pliers and screw driver I ripped into this thing and knocked it out in two days.


A closer look at my handmade welting (super easy):

Something extra I needed for this project (that wasn't in the tutorial I linked to above) was small nylon cord to attach the buttons to the wood frame. Also, I didn't make new buttons, I just hot-glued fabric to the old ones, but if I'd needed to make new ones, they sell cloth button 'kits' at Joann's in the notions aisle. In fact, everything I needed for this project I was able to get at Joann's.

Arm welting detail & button


Ms. Pants, lounging

I am very pleased with how this turned out.....And so is everyone else in the family, as you can tell.....

 The girls sharing (for once)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Bean Bag Fish

I made these for my 2-year old's mermaid birthday party. My intention was to have them be a game - a fish-bag toss, but we didn't end up using them that way. Oh well, they turned out cute anyway.

They're super easy to make, too! Just cut out fish and fin shapes and raid your fabric scraps box. 

I used felt for the bodies and fabric scraps for the fins.

I also used ribbon and a little embroidery to liven them up! 

Overall, I think they turned out pretty cool.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mending a purse lining

What really annoys me is when I buy something and then a month later it's broken. In this case, my purse's lining had separated in the main pocket, creating quite the unseamly hole (hehehe).

So naturally I had to fix it. The edges of the fabric were very frayed, so it didn't think it wise to just sew it closed. I used a couple layers of Stitch Witchery and a hot iron to seal the hole closed and reinforce the seam (I covered the purse fabric with a cloth diaper before ironing, since I didn't know how the fabric would react to direct heat... the process produced an interesting smell that stayed on my hands for quite some time.)

Then I slip stitched over the newly closed seam to create a more attractive finished seam.  Done and done!

Monday, March 12, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Hair-bow

Do you need a spot of green for Saint Patrick's Day? A great idea (you know, if you're under 10) is a little hair bow.

I got some lovely themed ribbon from Joann's for 50% off, and a St. Patrick's Day four-leaf clover lei from Michael's (for $0.59) - which I then harvested for the clover shapes (below).

(Consult any one of a million tutorials out on the internet for a how-to on bow making - you'll need a glue gun, hair-clips, ribbon and about 10 minutes. It's easy and fun!)

The end result is this - a lovely little hair-bow for my little girl.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mermaid Birthday Party

For my daughter's 2nd birthday I decided to do a Mermaid/Ariel theme for her and she absolutely loved it.

I got most of my ideas from Pinterest. There were so many good ideas I couldn't use them all!

Here are the finished seaweed streamers I made. I used two different shades of green, white, and light blue. I stapled the streamer strips over a piece of string. And then I made the lovely construction paper fish to hang among-st the seaweed. It was an easy and fun project and the girls though they were super cool.

Here is the balloon octopus. I should have gotten a bigger bag of balloons because I ran out of red! Oh well, it was still a fun little decoration.

The spread - 

Swedish Fish -

I used melting candy and molds to make these seashells -

Swedish Fish Jello - I used the recipe at but I wish that I had just used regular blue Jello - it would have tasted better. 

Dessert sushi!

Starfish calzones - I used pepperoni and turkey.

The cake! This was my first attempt at using fondant (which I made myself, which was super easy and fun!). I think it turned out well -

Treasure chest - what can I say, all our guests thought this was pretty sweet (you know, the ones under five) -

I also made bean bag fish to play with but I'll save those for another post.

Overall, the party went off without a hitch and my oldest keeps telling me that she wants to have a mermaid birthday, too.