Fall Pinterest Challenge: Magnetic Message Board

craft ideas, a homemade gift

Last week, Young House Love announced their Fall Pinterest Challenge and I was excited to get crafting! Last Pinterest Challenge, I made this kindle case.  This time around, I wanted to make something that I could use as a budget-friendly gift and that would be super easy to craft (no tricky button holes this time!).  I decided to make a magnetic message board like this one from Cinnaberry Suite because I bought the cookie sheet a few months ago and just hadn’t gotten around to doing anything with it.

This craft was, indeed, super easy and, since I already had mod podge, paint, sandpaper, and scrapbook paper on hand, I only spent $1 on the cookie sheet (Gotta love the Dollar Tree!).  I think I actually worked on it for about an hour, plus some time waiting between coats for the paint and mod podge to dry.  Doesn’t get much easier than that.

After much deliberation, I decided to use fun bird-themed paper… and to keep it for myself, haha. I realized I’d be ruining someone’s surprise if I made their gift and posted it on my blog!

I didn’t want to have to mess with multiple layers of paper so chose one that looked interesting on its own.  And, since I didn’t want the message board to look completely like a cookie sheet, I decided to paint it before mod podging on the paper.

craft ideas, a homemade gift

I sanded the entire surface of the cookie sheet to rough it up a bit in hopes that the paint would stick better.craft ideas, a homemade gift

Usually, I tend toward more neutral/traditional colors in decorating, but I’ve been wanting to branch out into bolder colors, so figured this little message board would be a good opportunity. I mixed up green, blue, and white acrylic paints (because that’s what I had on hand) until the color matched one of the tones from the bird paper.

Next, I painted anywhere on the front of the cookie sheet that wouldn’t be covered by paper and let it dry overnight.

craft ideas, a homemade gift

The next night, I went to mod podge the paper. I just cut the paper to size, leaving a little border between the paper and the rim of the cookie sheet (the cookie sheet is taller than the 12″ piece of paper). I put the mod podge on the back of the paper and very, very carefully laid it on the cookie sheet, making sure to smooth out any bubbles. Then, I let it dry for a little bit before spreading a layer of mod podge on top of the paper and around the lip of the cookie sheet.

I did a few layers of mod podge, letting it dry a little between each layer, and then left it to dry for awhile.

As it dried, it looked absolutely terrible. It seemed like the mod podge was drying white over the paint and somehow, bumps appeared in the paper all over the place. I was thinking I’d have to trash my project and post about my total failure of a Pinterest challenge. But, somehow, the next morning, the paper looked perfectly flat and the mod podge dried clear, even on the paint. Woohoo! So, if you’re doing this project and it looks awful, take heart – it still might turn out okay!

craft ideas, a homemade gift

I’m pretty excited about how this turned out! I feel like I still see a cookie sheet when I look at it, but the colors are bright and fun, and hopefully I’ll get over it’s cookie sheet shape once it’s all set up in my kitchen.

You could drill holes in the top before you paint and then hang it by a ribbon (like this one), but I had an extra plate stand on hand, so am just using that. I’m going to use the leftover paper to make little coordinating magnets, but ran out of time for now.

craft ideas, a homemade gift

Mod podge is officially my favorite craft supply. There are so many fun things to do with it! What’s your favorite mod podge project? Tried anything on Pinterest lately? I’d love some more inspiration!

I’m thinking I’ll make another couple as Christmas gifts and you’ll be sure to see this gift idea in my “Give Great Gifts on A Barebones Budget” series soon!

To check out some other Pinterest-inspired fun, you can visit: Young House Love, Bower Power, Our Fifth House, and Ugly Duckling House. I’m also linking up to Homemade Ginger, Life as Mom, Feature Yourself Friday, At the Picket Fence, and Sundae Scoop.


Repurposing a Crib Bumper

easy sewing projects
Has anyone else ever wondered when you’re supposed to use the crib bumper that’s included in all the cute coordinated crib bedding sets?  Some people warn against using a crib bumper with newborns because babies can get entangled in it.  Others recommend avoiding the crib bumpers with older babies because they can use the bumpers to lift themselves higher in their escape attempts.  After I got my super cute bedding set, I realized there’s not really a time that is “safe” to use the bumper.  But, I really liked the look of the pink and brown matching set and especially love tulips, so wanted to find something to use it on.

When Beach Baby was born, I came up with a great solution.  I repurposed the crib bumper to serve as a teething bumper along the top of the crib rail. We’d tried other store-bought brands of crib teething guards and they didn’t work at all.  Our crib is heavily marked up from Beach Girl’s teething days and I was hoping we could avoid any further damage with Beach Baby… and I got a cute crib accessory to boot!

This is seriously the easiest sewing project possible (no button holes required!).  The crib bumper comes ready to repurpose (it even already has straps to tie it onto the crib!) and has worked perfectly for us for over a year now.

Here’s how to make your own crib bumper turned teething guard:

First, hold the crib bumper up to the top railing of the crib to get the proper length.  I kept one of the finished ends intact so that I could sew as little as possible and use the straps that were already there.

easy sewing projects

Cut the crib bumper to the right length, cutting an extra amount of batting out from the inside so that it doesn’t get bulky at the end.

easy sewing projectsIf there aren’t straps at the unfinished end of your teething bumper, cut straps off from an unused part of the crib bumper.  Then, sew them onto the very end of your new teething bumper with the top pieces of the straps inside the crib bumper.

Fold the ends in so they look finished and then stitch up the side. This doesn’t need to look very pretty because it will be flush up against the crib post.

Tie your new crib teething rail on tightly and you’re done!easy sewing projects

I still have 2/3 of the crib bumper left; any ideas for how to use the rest of it?

How to Make A Dress Out of A Dress Shirt

I came into the kitchen the other morning and opened the trashcan.

How’s that for a great start to a story?

Inside, I found my husband’s old button-up shirt that he has had since high school. Since I’m a total sewing novice and don’t want to spend money on fabric just to completely botch it, I texted him and was excited to find he’d ripped the sleeve and did intend to throw it away! I texted back “don’t throw clothes away without asking… I might want to sew with them!” and got to work. (Don’t worry: the shirt was the only thing in the trashcan!)

I decided to merge two tutorials (here and here) and added my own lazy steps short cuts to make a cute toddler dress for Beach Girl.

Instead of a pattern, I used a dress that fits her well as my guide.  I traced the dress onto the shirt, adding a couple extra inches around all sides to allow for the seams and for room to grow. I made sure to keep the bottom of his shirt as the bottom of the dress to save myself some sewing.

I used the existing buttons from the front of his shirt as the back of her dress and then sewed a strip of fabric along the chest for a little extra flair. To reassemble the shirt as a dress, I simply sewed up both lengths (with right sides facing and then turned it right side out), finished the top of the dress, and added straps.

For the straps, I just cut the cuffs off the shirt and sewed them on as shoulder straps, using the existing button holes to attach them to buttons that I sewed on the front of the dress.

Super easy! I finished the entire project in one day and… Voila! Just like that, I have sewn my first independent project.

I’m linking up to: I Heart Naptime.