Wednesday, November 6, 2013

How did you make that cute dish drying mat?


For those wondering, bath towels last exactly 10 years (or the ones we got as a wedding gift). So now I have all these towels that have frayed edges and holes in them. They are great for washing the car or drying up massive spills (like when my son fills the tub up so that it fills up the bathroom floor too). So you can see why I hate to just throw them away. But I have replaced them, so they are no longer needed in the bathroom and they are taking up valuable space in my laundry room.


I started searching pinterest for things to do with old towels. I found this cute project.


Perfect for old towels!


Now let me make this clear…I am not giving these out as gifts. If I were to do that, I’d buy a new towel, not cut up one of my old ones. If you receive a dish mat for Christmas from me, please know that I purchased a NEW towel for you!!


Ok…moving right along. This is so easy. It’s a lot like the burp cloths and bib projects I did earlier.


Materials Needed:

Fabric (WASH IT FIRST!!)


Sewing machine and thread


Cut the fabric and towel to the size you want. Mine ended up being about 16”x20”. I cut a bath towel in half, then trimmed the decorative edges off.

Place the towel on the right side of the fabric (so that you will sew it with the wrong side facing out). Pin it well! My towel sort of stretched, and it ended up curling on one side because I didn’t pin it well enough. Rookie mistake.


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Sew all sides together, leaving an opening of about 3-4 inches on one side. Cut the corners off.


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Flip it so that the right side is facing out (using that little opening…just pull the fabric through it). Pin it again. This may seem redundant, since it’s already sewn, but trust me, it will help!


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Sew all sides again.


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That’s it! Now go do the dishes!!




DIY Dish Drying Mat -


And when not in use on the counter, look how cute that looks just hanging on my stove. I’m in love with this chevron material!!


DIY Dish Drying Mat -


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What do you do with yellow yarn?


Last week, Cohen came home with a piece of yellow yarn. I asked him about it. We had a lengthy and funny discussion. I had to type it out and send it to his teacher so below is my email to Cohen’s kindergarten teacher.

Ok. So I noticed that Cohen came home with some yellow yarn in his folder. I asked him what the yellow yarn is for. He told me you did an experiment with it. I asked if we could do the experiment at home and he started listing out ingredients.

The first thing we needed was boiling water (I used hot tap water). Then he laid the yarn in the water. The next ingredient we needed was a small string "like the stuff you floss in your teeth." Because we are so worried about proper hygiene, I don't have any I gave him some thread. He proceeded to try to tie the thread to the yarn. The next step is to "stir with a comb for about an hour."

I'm thinking you guys are having an AWESOME time in class by this point but I'm totally confused what the educational value of this experiment is.
So I finally ask....what is the end result. What happens at the end of this experiment?
"The yarn explodes."
Now I realize that he's making all this I ask him to tell me the truth. What is the yarn really for? He looks at me and in a monotone voice and says "we measured our pumpkins."
I was fully entertained by this story and had to share. Hope you have a great day!

Her response…

That totally made my day to read that story!  You have got to love a Kindergartener's imagination! Oh to be that free and inventive!  Yes, we used the yarn to measure the width and height of the pumpkins.  They used the string to find the height and width and the used cubes to measure the string.  That is too funny!!!  Well I am glad that he is keeping you entertained and I love that you went along and attempted to foster his learning!  So cute!  Unfortunately, we won't be "exploding any yarn" in class!

That boy has a very active imagination. Now if we can stop trying to blow stuff up and use it to solve real problems!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What did you make for the school auction (part 2)?

So, yesterday you got to see what the kids helped me make for the auction at Cohen’s elementary school. Today, I’m going to share a couple other projects that are super easy but really make a big difference in they way the baskets look.


We made a kids art crate. For this project, I got a crate from Michaels (normally about $14, but I used my 40% off coupon and got it for cheap!). I spray painted it blue and spray painted a wooden plaque with chalkboard paint. I attached the two with some super strong E6000 glue.


After I finished painting the crate, I cut out a cute saying on my silhouette machine using contact paper. I attached it to the chalkboard, and traced the letters. I removed the stencil/contact paper, and used chalk to fill in the words.


So here’s a picture of the crate, filled with our art supplies.


Art Crate with Chalkboard -


I also made a cute art smock/apron to go with the basket.


Art Apron -


Here’s the entire basket!

Art Crate with Chalkboard -


This school auction thing was lots of fun! I'm ready for next year!!

Friday, November 1, 2013

What did you make for the school auction (part 1)?

This year I was elected to be the Head Room Parent for Cohen's kindergarten class. This is a super fun and very busy job but I love it. It allows me to be very involved my child's education but not actually have to teach him.

Our school auction was yesterday. Each teacher is allowed to enter four baskets into the auction. As head room parent is my responsibility to organize the baskets and get them where they need to be on time. I have a little fun with this made some very crafty things to go with the baskets.

The money we raise from the baskets goes directly back to the teachers classroom to help her buy supplies and books for her room. Seeing as how the kids will benefit from the supplies and books, I wanted them to be involved in helping make something for the auction.

I decided to make a silhouette of San Antonio with the fingerprints of all 22 students in Cohen's kindergarten class.

This is a really easy project that you could do for grandparents gifts for Christmas or birthday.

Canvas or Wood
White Paint
Colorful Paint (enough for each child to have a different color)
Sealer (I used Mod Podge Matte)

Step 1: Decide on a shape
We decided to do a silhouette of San Antonio so that it would appeal to the most people at the auction. You could easily do a heart, flower, cross, fleur-de-lis, etc.

I actually tested it out on Cohen before I did this with 22 other children, and we did a cross as our test piece. It turned out cute…but we learned a lot from the experience. I’m glad we tested it out!

Step 2: Prep the canvas

I painted the entire canvas white before I ever let any little fingers paint on it. I did this, so that if there were any mistakes or the paint soaked through the stencil, I could easily go back and touch it up later, with the same color. Also, we found that my stencil did not stick well to the canvas, but if I painted it first, the stencil stuck much better.

Step 3: Cut the shape
I found a picture of San Antonio online and traced it on a white piece of paper. Then I scanned that white piece of paper and used my Silhouette Cameo to cut out the silhouette of San Antonio. I cut out of contact paper I had on hand (I used this lovely print to line the kitchen cabinets in my new house).
I covered the ENTIRE canvas. The green painters tape is covering where the contact paper just did not reach. I knew there would be splatters and spills (22 kindergarteners…remember?).
Here is a picture of us at the school getting the kids to paint the canvas. I got a few of the other moms to come help. This was a great idea. We did it assembly line style, the moms held the paper plate with the paint, and the kids just went from one side to the other, putting little prints all over it.
The same day we had the kids paint the canvas, I had the kids put one print on a piece of paper with their names on it, so the parents could distinguish which prints belonged to their child.
Here is a shot of the canvas with all the little prints. I waited a FULL 24 hours before pulling the contact paper off the canvas. I should mention, I did bring my blow dryer to school, and every 6-8th child, we blow dried the canvas a bit to help keep the paint from mixing. Some of the boys did a great job blobbing that paint on there thick!
You can also see the other page with the single prints.

Step 4: Remove stencil/contact paper and touch up and seal canvas
I had to go back with my white paint and clean up a few areas. There wasn’t a bunch of paint that got under the contact paper, but there was some.
After I touched up everything, I went back and added the words “San Antonio Texas” by cutting the words out of contact paper and painting the letters on the canvas.
After all the paint dried overnight, I went back and covered the entire canvas in Mod Podge to seal it. I guess this step isn’t necessarily a “must do” if you are giving a painting to grandma, but I knew there would be lots of folks at the auction that might want to touch the canvas, and I didn’t want a bunch of other peoples fingerprints messing up what the kids worked so hard to make.

So here it is…the final picture.

San Antonio Texas Silhouette for School Auction -

We got lots of complements and made a little money for our teacher at the auction.