How to Make a Santa Hat

Ho! Ho! Ho! Tis the season for Christmas trees, lights and Santa Clause! I love Christmas. You can ask my husband, so I naturally love wearing Santa hats. The only problem I have found is that they don’t always fit and I am not thrilled with the options for colors and prints. So I said heck with it and decided to make my own. Here are the step by step instructions.

Things you will need:

  • Fabric of your choice
  • Thread to match
  • Fleece or Flannel for brim in color of your choice
  • Stuffing of some kind (polyester of even scraps)
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Sewing machine

Step One: Make the Pattern

If you are super crafty and know how to make a pattern by measuring your head, go for it. I do not know how to do that so I just used a Santa hat that fit me ok to trace for my pattern. Heads up – I am sort of a Potter fan so I wanted to make a Harry Potter Santa hat. Ergo the reason for this whole post. So the fabric you choose can be traditional or you can say heck with it and make a Santa hat that fits your style like me.

To make the pattern tape some printer paper together and lay your hat on it.

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Now trace around the hat up to the pom pom. If the hat you are using is a little small on you then set your trace a little wider around the hat to give you extra room. Then cut a piece for the brim of the hat by measuring the thickness on your pattern making hat with an over hang of about a half an inch on each side of the hat. Finally, make a circle cut out for the pom pom. You can make this whatever size you want. I like littler pom poms so mine might be smaller than yours if you like big pom poms.

So your final cut outs should something like this.

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Step Two: Cut it Out

Next it is time to cut out your fabric. Lay the hat part of the pattern on your fabric and (using pins to keep it from moving) cut around the pattern. Make 2.

Now do the same for the brim. Make 2.

Then cut out the circle for the pom pom to make your final cut outs of your fabric look like this.

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I’m a mom and my daughter wanted to supervise me while I made this. That’s the reason for the random water bottle in the background. #momlife

Step Three: Next it’s time to sew! 🙂

I started with the fabric for my brim, and the fleece I chose sheds so I ended up doing a rolled hem to keep it from snowing all over me as I wear the hat.

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I then had to add it to my hat so I pinned wrong side of the hat and the right side of the brim together a sewed it, so when I turned it over, the seam would be hidden and you get that nice hemmed look at the edge of the hat.

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After you have sewn those together flip the brim up and sew it against the hat to keep it in place. Now that I think of it, you can also have hemmed it at this point instead of earlier in the process.

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Once you have sewn both brims onto their appropriate sides, put the right sides of the hat together, pin, and sew leaving the bottom open of course since this is a hat and it has to fit on you head.

Step Four: Make the Pom Pom

Now that you have something that is actually looking like a hat, it is now time to make the iconic pom pom. Take the circle you cut out, tread and needle, and enough of something fluffy to stuff it.

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How I made a casing for the stuffing was by doing a loose stitch and weaving it on the inside of the what will be the pom pom.

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Then I stuffed it and sewed it onto the tip of my hat.

Step Five: Show it off!!!!

Yay! You have now made your own one of a kind Santa hat!

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Wear it where ever you want and show it off! You deserve it. And you will be the life of the party since everyone else will have a generic hat while you will strut in and go “see how awesome this looks? Where did I get it? Honey, I made this”. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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How to Make a Mermaid Tail

Do you love mermaids? Well, I love mermaids. I have dreamt of being a mermaid since I can remember. I mean my favorite Disney princess is Ariel and I have been able to sing her key note song since I could a hold note. So now that I am an adult I decided to make my dream a reality. Here is my step by step method I used to make my mermaid tail.

Step 1: Pick the Fabric

I used a performance fabric from the fabric store. There is something very important to check when buying your fabric though. Make sure you can stretch it FOUR ways and that it won’t pill (run) when you do. There is some performance fabric that really lack performance (pun fully intended). You can choose a pattern, shimmery or even one with mermaid scales. This is the best part really because you get to make your tail special and one of a kind just like you! As for how much, I am 5’4” and needed 2.5 yards. I ended up buying 3 yards to be safe and had enough to make some swimming leggings to wear this winter. So when in doubt buy more 🙂

Step 2: Make the Pattern

This was the hardest part and you will need an extra pair of hands. Get some paper, tape it together and lie down. Have your helper then trace your lower body (keeping your legs as tight together as possible) with the pen right next to you so that you have a silhouette of your body. Have them stop at the ankles since you will be putting the trace out of the mono fin there.

Side note: It is vital to buy a good mono fin. I bought mine at Fin Fun and I love it. It worth the money to buy a sturdy mono fin that is made to be a mermaid.  (I am not sponsored by the way. I just love their products.)

Next it is time to trace out the mono fin pattern. Lay the mono fin on some paper and trace it out just like you did for your body. Attach it to where your ankles are. You will have a clearer view in the next step.

Step 3: Cut the Fabric

Fold your fabric together right sides facing each other and pin the pattern on top of it to make it so the fabric won’t move while you cut and your pattern will not move either. Make sure for a child you give a one inch allowance and two inches for an adult.

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Once you have cut the fabric you can remove the extra fabric and you will see this. It may not be a perfect two inch allowance but it is pretty close.

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Step 4: Pin the Fabric

Now that you have cut the fabric out, but before you remove the pattern, pin the two pieces of fabric together all the way around except for the very bottom. I left it open so I can slide the mono fin in and out that way. This is how Fin Fun does their mermaid tails so if you would prefer to just buy a beautiful mermaid tail CLICK HERE. So this was not my idea but rather the genius of Fin Fun.

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Step 5: Sew the Tail

Now sew around the tail giving an half inch seam allowance for kids and one inch allowance for adults. Leave about an inch and half at the top open so you can make the casing for the waist band next.

Side tip: One big thing to know about using a stretchy material, you need to use an all purpose thread and ballpoint needle. When it comes to stitch choice you have two options. You can use the zig zag stitch because it will give some give to the fabric and allow the fabric to stretch slightly as you take it on and off. The other option is the straight stitch. The tip for a straight stitch though is that you have to put some pull on the fabric to stretch it out as it goes through the machine. If you don’t you will break the thread as you use the mermaid tail. I like the straight stitch so I used it, but I did have an issue with the thread missing the bobbin so if yours does no worries. Just go over it again and the seam will be secure.

Step 6: Make the Waist Band

Now you have to make the casing for the waist band. I used one inch no roll elastic. Measure it around yourself where the waist of the tail will be. Make to it so it will be snug but not too tight.

Next fold over the spare fabric from the last step and pin the casing. Sew the casing with which ever technique you choose. Now use a safety pin to act as a needle to pull the elastic through the casing. Sew the elastic end pieces together and then the sides of the casing together.

Side note: I like to round off my elastic ends so it will make threading though the casing easier.

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Step 7: Try the Tail out

Turn the tail right side out and admire your handy work. you have just made your first mermaid tail! Congrats! Now try it out. Slip the mono fin in and make sure the tail is the right size. This is not the most flattering picture on the planet but it was the first moment of me being a mermaid.

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Step 8: SWIM!!!!!

Now that your tail is complete time to get in the pool! I love how fun it is to live my dream of being a mermaid and I hope you will too. To make sure you are ready to be a mermaid, here is a video from Fin Fun with all the skills you need to make sure you are ready to be a mermaid CLICK HERE. Happy Mermaiding!

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How to Build a Box Shelf

Hello everyone! I am going to do a “How-To” post today and I think you are going to enjoy it. Have you ever wanted to try building something with your bare hands but not sure how to do it? Well, today I am going to show you have to make a box shelf. I had all this spare wood in my back yard and I decided that I was going to make something out of it. I had seen these box shelves online and thought they looked pretty cool, so I decided to give it a try without any previous wood working experience.

So first, you need to get your stuff together. I got literally make this by hand since I couldn’t afford a circular saw right now. So, if you have a circular saw, I would suggest you use it 🙂

You will need:

  • A saw of some kind. (I used a hand saw and it worked but it took a little bit more elbow grease to do it.)
  • A hammer
  • Wood
  • Nails
  • Sanding Block
  • Pen
  • Tape Measure
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Here is everything I used. Please excuse the dusty table.

Next you want to cut your boards to size. I was using fence boards that had already been cut in half so my shelf was 19″ x 17″ x 5″. You can make it how ever big or small you want. Just make sure you wear gloves and glasses for safety.

Next, comes the hammering part. I like to cheat and hammer the first set of nails partially in because I didn’t have a grip or anything to hold the two boards together. Another way you could probably do this, but I didn’t think of it til later, is using wood glue to initially make the box and then nail it together. But you would need something to hold it in place while the glue dried.

img_20170201_130836891Now it is time to actually hammer them together. Take your boards and make and L out of them. I placed the bottom L between my knees to hold it steady and then place the board with the nails in it on top of it. Now hammer the nails in 🙂 Repeat this until you make a square. (I put in four nails but you can put in more if you feel you want the shelf to extra secure.)

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Look! A box! Good job! Now to sand. I used a 120 grit sanding block and it was just enough to get the roughness out of the wood without removing the natural grain to it. Once you have finished going over the whole thing, time to move on.

The next part is the part I think is the most fun and that it painting the thing to whatever color you like. I chose a nice teal for my shelf and this was the paint I used. (No money paid for advertising.)

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You can use the can and brush method if you want but I like spray paint because it dries quickly and there are no brushes to clean after. But make sure you wear a mask or you might have an adverse side effect that comes with breathing toxic fumes. Depending on the type of board you use, you might need more than one can. I wanted a more white washed (or should I say blue washed) look so I only needed one can. If your wood is really thirsty and you want it completely covered, you will probably need two or more cans.

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SO PRETTY!!!! After you paint it, you can add layers until it is the exact color you want. If you don’t end up wanting to paint it, I would still use some kind of a wood sealer just to protect the wood from spills a stuff from the things you end up putting on it.

After you have your final layer of paint, I would suggest you let it sit for 24 hours to fully set. It would be a bummer to have a colored square on your wall because the paint transferred. I know you are super excited to get it up and show it off, but you need to wait one more day. But after that, it’s finished and it will look gorgeous.

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This is how mine turned out and I am super happy with it. Want to make one? Great! Now you can, but if it’s still not up your alley but you want one of these shelves anyway, feel free to order one right now from my Etsy Shop HERE. I would love to build you one!

Happy building! Have a great day!

Is It Christmas Yet?

Ok, I haven’t done an Etsy post in a while and I know that Thanksgiving is tomorrow but I know we are all really thinking about Christmas. I know I am. I actually have almost all my shopping dine but I am really strange and start in August. So all of you how are not like me, I thought I would show you a few things that might get you into the holiday spirit from my Etsy Shop.

This one I want to show you is BRAND NEW to my shop (like seriously five minutes ago).

Owl Christmas Stocking

Isn’t it cute? I love the owl’s little flower eyes.

That is just a taste. I have so many other things in my Etsy Shop that I just love. If you love My Little Pony, Yoda, Sharks, and rugs, I have things for you. And I look forward to adding for items for next year. My shop maybe be small compared to others, but I can guarantee happiness and quality with every product I make. And I enjoy doing it. So why not make some holiday cheer and order from an Etsy shop owner today!

A Sweet Moment Sewing

I know it has been a few days since my last post, but I have a really cute one to share with you today. I have been finally able to get my sewing machine out since we moved into our new house and I have been having a lot of fun. One of the things I have been also trying to do is make my own patterns which I am not sure is going well but I will keep trying.

One of the cute things that I have made recently is something that I got to include Emma in on it. I drew out a pattern for a little horse toy and thought I would give it a try. Emma was still taking her nap when I got started, but, when she saw I was sewing, she wanted to give a hand. I then told her I was making something for her and her eyes lit right up and she really wanted to help even more.

I sewed the pieces together and turned it right side out. She then wanted to help me stuff the little horse and she was such a great help. I would cut up the strips and she would hand them to me while sitting on my lap. It was such a great moment between the two of us. I felt so connected to her as a mother and a friend and she was so excited that I was making something just for her. Most of the time it’s for my Etsy Shop and I haven’t really made anything for her.

It was such a sweet time with her. With her being two, sometimes it feels like all I do is correction but this was a moment were we got to be together without any expectations or correction needed. She just sat on my lap and helped me make her horse.

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I know it doesn’t sound like much but for a mom who wonders if she is doing anything right with this parenting thing, it was a confidence boost. I know that she will turn into a wonderful little girl and later a beautiful woman. I love her more than anything.

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Finished project! It has some things that need to be changed but Emma loves it so that’s all that matters to me 🙂

 

When Reviews Help and Hurt

So I have started to feel the effects of how one bad review can make or break something you want to sell. This has happened both on my Book and my Etsy Shop. Since I received an unfitting 1 star review of my book, it seems like it has been almost black listed. It still have 3.5 stars but my once 5 star book that was getting a good amount of hits is now trailing behind terribly. Something similar happened on Etsy too but I am still holding a 4.5 star rating. Is it just the way the site rates products? I don’t know what to do.

I want to be able to get my book into people’s hands but I really feel like they have judged it before they really got to read it. How is a new author supposed to get their name out there when a person writes a review that is completely opposite of all the others? Why does that review hold so much weight against the others? It doesn’t make any sense and it is rather frustrating.

Back when I had a 5 star rating my book would sell rather well for a no body author like me. And if I did a free promo it would do even better. Now it has hardly moved and it has been on a free promo for an entire day. Has anyone else had this problem and if so how did you fix it? I may not a “professional” author yet but NO book deserves a 1 star review. The time, effort and guts for an author to put out a very personal part of themselves starts the lowest with me as a 3 star. It’s just disrespectful in my opinion to rate someone so low when what you have to say is just out of spite.

So once again, I am asking for help so please comment. I don’t want to close my shop or pull my book when there is something I can do to help it. And if you have bought my book or a product on my shop, I do love to see reviews and comments. I can take constructive criticism but not if it done in a way that is only meant to hurt me and others like me. So don’t be afraid to review but make sure that whoever you review, every word is 100% true. And remember that the person who you are writing about does have feelings. If you wouldn’t say it to their face then maybe it isn’t best to put it in a review.

Any way, hope everyone is having a great day and I will see you next time. Bye!

“That’s Not a Real Job”

I was talking with someone the other day about what I do for a living and I couldn’t believe whatI heard. I told them that I am a stay at home mom and I have an Etsy Shop. What did they do? They laughed and said “It’s a good thing your husband has a good job because that is not a real job”. I was so mad I could have spat in the person’s face. What part of that statement did he mean wasn’t a real job? The stay at home part or the Etsy Shop part? Either way, it was a complete blast to my face.

Being a stay at home mom is not cupcakes and glitter. It is a lot of hard work chasing after my child (I can’t even imagine how moms do it with two or more), keeping her out of trouble, tantrums, discipline, cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and anything else that has to be done in a week. Heaven forbid something comes up where a friend is sick and needs a meal, or your family comes for a visit. All in all, it is a full time job and, the worst part (if there really is one) is that you don’t get paid for it! I do so many things as a stay at home mom that the person I was talking to probably doesn’t use at all. When was the last time he cooked a meal from scratch? Or when has he had to use long division to figure out if the price per pound will be worth it in the long run?

So for all us stay at home moms, we need to form a union or something because we work twice as hard as anyone who works… except for working moms which I have been as well up to a year ago and that was only part time. Still, it was nuts because I would be out of the house all day, then come home and do all the mom duties, and the wife duties when my husband got home. I was so happy that I was able to quit my job, not because I didn’t like it but rather I just couldn’t do it all. Since becoming a stay home mom, I have been able to actually gather skills that I would never have the time to do working outside the home like making so many things from scratch (coconut milk, flour, cookies) and dehydrating foods. But the one thing that being a stay at home mom did for me was give me the chance to start my Etsy Shop.

That has been an adventure in itself. I opened my shop back in December and my world has been turned upside down. Now I am not just the mom in the house, but, with the shop, I am the owner, marketer, sales person, customer service, campaigner, consultant, and so many other things that I would never end this post. How the person said that having an Etsy Shop isn’t a real job, I will never understand. Yes I am on PinterestTwitter, Instagram and Facebook off and on all day but it is 100% for work. When I “clock out” (hahaha) the last place I want to go is on social media.

Why might you ask? Because I am interacting with people, tweeting, pinning, and following all day long. It gets really tiring having to look at a little screen all day and still try to run a house and raise a child. Then when an order does come in, it can get really fun. Thankfully my daughter is starting to get to the age where she can just sit and watch so for my smaller projects like my Bird and Butterfly Infinity Summer Scarf I can do them more often in the middle of the day instead of after she goes to bed. But if it’s like one of my Crochet Baby Blankets or my Shark Blanket or Shark Baby Cocoon, I have to do those at night after all my other work because she wants to help me by playing the “push the yarn ball around the house” game.

I didn’t even mention that I am also an author with my Debut Novel “Potholes of Hope”. Lord knows what he would have said to that one. That there has it’s own set of craziness because marketing a book and marketing a handmade business can be similar but is usually a completely different audience. So I have two marketing circles that I am in. So that means using all the social media sites above but I also to have a separate Facebook page for my book. It’s a lot to keep track of.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my life! I wouldn’t trade it for the world so please don’t think I don’t want orders and stuff. I am just pointing these things out that it is just a walk in the park to be a stay at home mom and it isn’t like I sit and crochet all day and roll in the cash. There’s a lot more to having a successful handmade business that many people don’t realize. I don’t do the work in marketing and social networking, I don’t make any money. So the next time you talk with someone and they say they are a stay at mom mom or have a hand made business, please don’t write them off. More than likely, they are more talented than you are.

Have any stories like this? I would love to hear them! So comment below and have a great day!