I'm a crafter by nature in a big way and I love dreaming up little ways to add character and uniqueness to our home, but my favourite is creating sweet little details for our children's spaces. This summer I spent lots of time doing this, finding ways to add layers of charm so that our kid's rooms feel more gathered and cozy. Here are just a few of the things I crafted that took the least amount of time, tiny projects made with love-maybe some of you too might feel inspired to do the same! More cute ideas to come on the blog as well-sharing a few more of my creations soon....
1. Collection jar
I absolutely adore this idea, and to say it's quick is an understatement. Plus, one of the best things is that it's one your child gets to add to over time and change over time as frequently as they wish. We took a little bit of time gathering some of our favourite items that were in keeping with our little guy's likes and arranged them inside the jar, including a deck of vintage cards, a wooden figure, seashells from vacations, seashells from the dollar store, a rock from his rock collection and a few toys.
Now the part that gives it just that little bit more charm is the addition of fabric to the top of the jar. You could actually do this one of two ways, by wrapping the top of a twist off lid jar and tying a cute ribbon around it (similar to how you see jars of jam sold) or as I did, cutting a circular piece of fabric and placing it under a latch jar lid. Then it's just a matter of choosing a place to display it, I put our son's on a shelf under his side table atop a stack of books.
Materials: Jar, fabric, collected items, ribbon
Step 1: Get a jar and gather items you wish to display
Step 2: Fill the jar and arrage items
Step 3: Cut a circle to the size you wish on fabric of your choice
Step 4: Place the fabric ontop of the jar lid or under the lid (as noted above)
2. Framed Applique
This idea came after pondering what artwork I could swap into our daughter's entrance to her bedroom without having to invest big bucks. It was previously a framed vintage print from a book but something was lacking. Eventually I decided it was colour and pattern in order to balance out the layers in the rest of the room (there wasn't much going on in this area and it seemed so stark). So Immediately I thought of framing an applique design, my favourite clothing detail for kids outfits-why not frame one! It would be nothing too fancy, just layered patterns with a simple silhouette would do the trick.
Once I decided on a bunny I pulled out the cookie jar (yes a cookie cutter was what I decided to use as the template and it worked perfectly!). Simple steps on how to do this applique are below-it takes next to no time or money to complete.
Materials: fabric, scissors, glue stick, picture frame
Step 1: Chose fabrics for your deisgn (background and the shape)
Step 2: Trace the shape using whatever template you have decided to use (cookie cutters, printed shapes etc.). I flipped the fabric over so that the bottom side is up in order to avoid pencil lines on the front side. *If you do this be sure to trace the shape in the opposite direction that you want it to face as once you flip it back the direction reverses.
Step 3: Cut the shape out and the background fabric piece as well, glue the shape onto the background fabric. Glue sticks work best as liquid glue seeps through the fabric. You could even sew the applique onto the other fabric if you wanted to add that much more detail. The background fabric does not have to be cut neat and tidy (as pictured mine is definitely not), as the edges will not show, but of course if you want to by all means take the time to make it tidy:).
Step 5. Place in a frame, mounting with tape as needed to keep the fabric from sliding around. Be sure to centre the design (knowing how it will fit in the picutre frame before tacking it down).
Pictured you can see the attention it brings to that wall now and how it ties the room colour schemes together-artwork on a dime!
3. Framed Children's Silhouette
This was not a project I tackled this summer, it was actually an idea I came across many years ago right after our daughter was born, I found the DIY "how to" that I used online, and unfortunately I cannot recall this source. I made one for her and then did the same for our son when he was the exact same age. Where I got the initial idea for this art I'm not totally sure either, but I do know that Tessa from nine&sixteen has similar of her children hanging in her home and I have always adored them, so it very well could have been from there!
These are how to get the professional look for nothing, and from a far you would never know the difference. Here in close up photos you can see some of the method used, but that's only because I have now told you they're homemade;)
Material: Scissors, plain paper, picture frame, black permanent marker, camera, printer
Step 1.Take a fairly close up profile picture of your child on a blank background (white wall is best)
Step 2.Download the photo to your computer and enlarge or shrink to the scale you desire using your computer photo editing program and print out that photo.
Step 3.Cut out the child's profile from the shoulders up (be very careful and super precise, including every little detail such as hair curls, hair edges, collars, lips, nose, chin etc.)
Step 4: Colour in the whole profile (keep all colouring strokes in the same direction) with a black permanent marker (place plain scrap paper below so as not to mark your counter surface). Be sure to cover the whole image and not leave any white spots. Let dry.
Step 5: Place in a frame (I used a matte for our son's and unmatted for our daughter’s, both look great).
I think that this would also be darling in a small version framed as an ornament on a Christmas tree.
4: Bunting Flag Banner or Garland
In our son's room hangs a wool bunting flag banner I purchased from Pottery Barn Kids a few years ago and I have always loved the simple whimsy it brings to the room-it inspired me to make this mini version for our daughter's doll house. This could easily be made on any scale, enlarging or shrinking the shape you decide to use as needed.
Material: Fabrics (at least 2-3), thread and needle, ribbon or yarn, pencil, scissors
Step 1. Decide on fabrics, thread and ribbon (or yarn) you will use.
Step 2: Cut out a shape template you will use for the banner or garland (I chose a simple flag).
Step 3: Trace and cut out the shape onto as many pieces of fabric as you will use.
Step 4: Sew each shape onto the ribbon or yarn by hand using a loop over technique. Ensure that you leave the same amount of space between each shape.
Then find an adorable little spot to hang it!
5. Hanging Doll Dishes
This summer while checking out my favourite antique store I came across a set of doll dishes and a cup that I ended up snapping up for a total of $15.00. I adored them but knew I wanted to do something other than have our daughter use them for tea parties. Ah-ha! I would hang them on her bedroom wall-I had always planned to add additional artwork to that space and it was just a matter of finding the right pieces (or dishes!).
Materials: Superglue, mini plates, ribbon
No list of steps required, just cut ribbon, glue in place, let dry and hang!
Upon returning home I immediately set to work cutting small (2 inch) pieces of plain ribbon and super gluing them into loops onto the back sides of all of the plates (I didn't want to have to invest the time and money into searching out and purchasing mini dish mounting hangers). Be sure to put the loop in the direction you want any pattern to hang.
After letting them dry for 24 hours I then hung them on the wall in a gallery arrangement and done-adorable display complete!
6. Quote Bookmark
While I didn't actually make these quote cards (I bought them for 75 cents each at an antique store) I thought "how easy would it be to create your own?". All it would take is finding a quote you liked and writing or printing it out-so simple.
Material: Paper and/or heavy cardstock, pen or computer and printer.
No direction necessary, just copy quote onto paper noting the source at the bottom.
Pictured above is the quote I purchased for both of our kids, I love the message that it gives to them. That you should never be in pursuit of some impossible idea of "perfection" and that everyday holds something to be treasured. Using them as bookmarks was an idea that appealed to me rather than framing them. I wanted it to be a part of the way they begin or end the day, when they open a book to settle in, during those quiet moments when they truly can ponder the meaning it holds for them.
7. Framed Doll Dress
Can you tell I love fabrics yet? Any chance I can get to utilize it I jump at! This idea came to me as I was trying to come up with some way to organize our daughter's dresser but keep it cute. I gathered all of the bows and clips I could find in her closet (where they normally reside) and instead put them on display in two cups (the silver one was mine, it was a baptism gift and the other mini one is the cup from the matching dish set on her gallery wall by her bed).
Next I knew I wanted to add art to the display-but what....as I wandered around searching for something to inspire me I saw this adorable little dress (from a Calico Critter doll) lying there, rarely being used, I knew I had found the answer. I found a small picture frame, took out the photo that was in it and added a small piece of fabric to be the background-I had instant sweet mini art, perfect for this spot!
Materials: Doll clothing, fabric, picture frame
How cute would this be if you added little pearl top pins to hold the dress in place too! And equally as sweet, try framing an article of your child’s baby clothing, a bonnet, a little pair of socks, a tiny dress or sweater....the options are endless.