Handmade Valentine’s Day Cards Class – Sign Up Now!

I am teaching a craft class Wednesday, February 3rd to make beautiful, handmade Valentine’s Day Cards – SIGN UP NOW! If ever there was a holiday to spend time and effort to hand-make a card for your loved one, Valentine’s Day is it! Read the catalog description of the class below.

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Keepsake Valentine’s Day Card Class: Legend has it that the practice of sending Valentine’s Day cards began in this country when a Mt. Holyoke College student received one such card from her beau in England. The daughter of a stationery manufacturer, she convinced her father of the business potential behind this idea. Thus, the Valentine’s Day card was born! Come join Jess for an evening of handmade heartfelt fun. Using rubber stamps, embossing powder, paper punches, decorative tape, and more, you will create at least two one-of-a-kind cards that express your creativity. Once you learn how simple and rewarding it is to make your own cards, you’ll never again settle for store-bought. This class is ideal for friends and adult/child pairs. Please bring scissors suitable for cutting paper; tuition includes a $10 materials fee.

Toddler Craft Project – Salt Dough Ornaments

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I’ve continued to do our monthly toddler crafts with my local Baby Bootcamp franchise (past projects here) but I have been terrible about blogging and sharing them. But this month’s salt dough ornaments are so cute I just had to share!! I thought it would be fun for each kid to make a keepsake item for their family or to give as a gift this season and decided salt dough ornaments was the perfect idea. Salt dough is easy to make; it’s just a 2 to 1 to 1 ratio of flour to salt to warm water. You mix all the ingredients until a dough is formed and then roll out and cut into shapes as you would cookies. (Official recipe: 2C flour, 1C salt, 1C warm water. Whisk flour and salt. Add water slowly while mixing. Kneed dough for 10 minutes).

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You can use cookie cutters or free hand shapes – we shaped letters by rolling the dough into a snake shape and molding into letters. It’s also a cute idea to create a flat ball and get a hand or footprint of your child too. Note – if your end result is an ornament you’ll want to use a straw to make a hole in it at this point too to string and hang later.

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Once your shapes are created you want to bake the dough low and slow (low oven temp, long cook time). For this dough that was about 1/8″ thick it was about an hour and a half of baking at 200 degrees. You don’t want to make the oven any hotter or the dough will brown.

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Once out of the oven and cooled it’s time to decorate! You can draw with marker or get really into it (as we did here) and use acrylic paint and glue with sparkles. Be creative! These are great as gifts to grandparents but also as a gift tag on a present for someone like a teacher or friend.

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Once paint and/or glitter has dried, seal with spray clear acrylic sealer. Salt dough ornaments are the perfect afternoon activity for your toddler or preschooler to keep them busy during these over-excited weeks leading up to Christmas!

Wine Cork Trivet Class

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Just in time for gift giving season, learn a fun craft to make with all those old wine corks you’ve been collecting for years and years! I’m teaching a class with Arlington Community Education on Thursday, December 3rd where everyone will make their own wine cork trivet. Bring your own wine corks or I’ll have plenty of extras to use (or fill in if you don’t have enough). Grab your friends and make it a girls night out. REGISTER HERE.

DIY Hallowen Costume – Tinkerbell Shoes

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Halloween costumes are brought up months in advance in our house and so much thought is given by a certain little pre schooler as to what she will be (as with most kids her age. Or any age, really). So when it was finally decided (and confirmed about 100 times) that she would be Tinkerbell this year, I hunted around and found a great costume on Amazon for her. The costume is adorable, fits her great, and has green wings but we both felt like something was missing…and since I guess I have thing with making the shoes of Halloween costumes (ahem, ruby slippers) we decided she needed a pair of Tinkerbell booties for her costume. Thankfully they were so easy to make with just a few supplies. Here’s how I did it:

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You will need: green slipper socks (not pictured, I bought these), scissors, and white yarn.

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First, make 2 pompoms. Loop the white yarn around your 4 fingers, then tie about a 3-inch piece of yarn around the middle of your loops. I used 18 feet of yarn, I wanted a very full and fluffy pompom!

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Carefully cut the loops at the center on both sides of the middle tie.

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Fluff to make a full pompom and trim so all yarn pieces are (roughly) the same length.

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To secure he pompom to the green slipper socks I just cut 2 small holes into the sock and tied to pieces are yarn through the holes.

Ps. Final costume reveal on Halloween, sorry!.

Fall Craft Classes at Arlington Community Education

I am pleased to announce online registration has officially opened for my fall craft classes. I’ll be teaching 2 courses this fall at Arlington Community Education, links to register are below.

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Wine Cork Trivets – Pop those wine corks and create a trivet loaded with character. Framed in wood, our cork trivet protects surfaces from hot pots while displaying corks from your favorite wines. Corks will be supplied but feel free to bring a few of your own to add personality. Please bring a glue gun if you have one. A $12 materials fee will be collected at class.

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Festive Table Runners – Change up the decor of your table for the season with a custom-made table runner. Create an eye-catching centerpiece using a long piece of burlap with colorful ribbon woven throughout. This is a simple way to customize any holiday or event! Please bring sharp scissors to class. A $10 materials fee will be collected at class.

Ain’t No Party Like a Flamingo Party…

We had been wanting to have some little friends over this summer and settled on this morning as a date and it just so happened to be our first week home from vacation. You know how being home from vacation can be kind of a bummer? Well, we decided to theme our little play date party with friends so we had something to plan and look forward to. Side-note, my little Z has definitely inherited my love of party planning – she’s really an excellent hostess and has an eye for detail, a true event planner in the making. Anyway, we threw the details of our little plate date together in a matter of days so I thought I’d share some of our ideas in case you’re having a last minute event this summer that you’d like to take to the next level with a party theme – ours was a Flamingo Party!

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When I asked Z what I thought our party theme was we arrived at flamingo because she and I both have flamingo shirts already, so it seemed like a natural fit.

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We bought some truly adorable flamingo straws from Amazon that added a nice pop of color to everything.

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We made flamingo cookies dying our favorite sugar cookie recipe pink and using a cookie cutter. Note – did you know Sur la Table sells cookie cutters $1.25? And they have almost any shape you could ever want, that’s my secret spot for finding random cookie cutter shapes and not spending a lot for them.

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We also printed out flamingos, colored them, and hung them up as decor.

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Add friends, watermelon, a sprinkler, applesauce squeezies, some bubbles, and a couple juice boxes and you have yourself a fun backyard play date!

Ribbon Hair Accessory DIY

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I have another great DIY craft for you today using Offray ribbon. Last month I made some hair bows, but sometimes you want something a little less dramatic for your little one’s (our your) hair so I came up with this super easy, super cute idea for a simple ribbon hair accessory made with a barrette.

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To make this ribbon hair accessory you will need: about 2 feet of 2 colors of 1/4″ or less width ribbon, scissors, barrettes with an open center, I bought these on Amazon.

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Cut your ribbon and lay the ribbon on top of each other in the center of the top of the barrette where the seam of the barrette is (opposite of the opening).

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Start weaving the ribbon through the open center of the barrette. Weave each side through and when you do the next weave the second color will show.

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Continue weaving until you get to the other side of the barrette. Adjust ribbon as needed so no metal is showing through.

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Tie in a knot at the end to secure in place and cut ribbon to desired length. So cute!

 

Thank you to Offray for sponsoring this post! And thank you for supporting the brands that support Styled by Jess.

DIY Ribbon Hair bows

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There’s nothing cuter than a little girl wearing a big, colorful bow in her hair, right? But after a while they get a little pricey (especially when she loses them all the time, ahem!). And I bet you never guessed how easy it is to make your own DIY ribbon hair bows. I partnered with my friends at Offray Ribbon to bring you a tutorial on making your own hair bows, here’s how:

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You will need: about 2 feet of ribbon per bow, a needle and thread, a hair clip, sharp scissors, and a glue gun and glue (not pictured because my glue gun is not attractive).

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Create the bow by folding the ribbon over itself, making 2 loops with the ribbon and sizing the bow to your liking. Then, stick your threaded needle through the center.

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Fold the ribbon in the center like an accordion to get the right look and wrap the thread around and tie in back to hold in place.

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Next, make the tail piece of the bow. Cut the ends for the tail look and again stick your threaded needle through the center and wrap around the ribbon.

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Use the thread to tie the tail ribbon to the bow ribbon.

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Next, sew your hair clip to the back of the bow. I used these snap hair clips because my daughter has thick hair and these stay in well.

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And finally, to finish the project you want to wrap ribbon around the center of the bow. Take coordinating ribbon (I used the plain orange reverse side of the chevron orange ribbon) and fold into thirds (or fold in half, depending on the width of the ribbon). Use your glue gun to secure in the back.

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Adorable, right?

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Once you know the steps to make your own ribbon hair bow you can make them in all shapes, sizes, colors, and patterns. And leave off the tails for a tinier/simpler bow, too.

Thank you to Offray for sponsoring this post! And thank you for supporting the brands that support Styled by Jess.

A Smiley Face Birthday Party

My little M is about to turn 1 year old and while I’m not ready to really believe that, I am ready to throw him an adorable birthday party. Since he has always been the happiest baby ever I decided long ago that a simple smiley face would be the theme of his first birthday party (we had a very small party this past weekend for local family, his actual birthday is still over a week away). Of course I was willing and excited to make a bunch of the decor I was surprised that there was minimal options out there to buy smiley face decor. In fact, M and I spent a good 1/2 hour one morning traipsing through every aisle in a party store and came up empty on smiley face birthday party decor. So! Here is how to throw a smiley face birthday party with some handmade decor and some decor purchased from a store (well, Amazon actually).

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As with any good party, I sent a little handmade invitation to set the date AND the party theme.

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I found a roll of smiley face stickers on Amazon and made a few items…these plates where I simply found clear plates at Target (in the paper plate aisle where they were $6, not the party aisle where they were $15!) and taped a sticker on the bottom of the plate using clear packing tape.

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I made little toothpick decorations by sticking 2 stickers back to back with a toothpick in the middle.

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I ordered a shirt on etsy so he would coordinate with his smiley face theme. I couldn’t find a smiley face shirt so I worked with Jen, owner of the Bowdacious Baby shop and she customized one for us, it came out perfect.

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I made a cake for the adults and these little cupcakes for M, Z, and their cousins.

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My niece got really into the theme and helped me decorate with the smiley faces! With some balloons, a simple yellow pennant banner, and these pinwheels stuck in the ground, it was a pretty happy day…

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….I mean – cutest (almost) one year old ever, right?!

DIY Burlap and Ribbon Table Runner

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I am so excited to introduce you to a new sponsor at Styled by Jess – Offray Ribbon. I’ve used their ribbon in the past (here) and love, love it! They’ve recently launched an online shop for their ribbon so you can shop for any color, size, pattern you need right online. I recently used some bright, summery Offray ribbon to make my own table runner. I always like to freshen the look of my kitchen table every season and/or holiday so I thought this Burlap and Ribbon Table Runner would be perfect for a bright summer look.

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To make your own Burlap and Ribbon Table Runner you’ll need: a roll of burlap (I found a role that was 2 feet wide and perfect to make a table runner with), very sharp scissors, glue gun, measuring tape, and ribbon – I chose 2 of different size and color/pattern to make it look more interesting.

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Start by measuring and then cutting holes into your burlap that you will weave the ribbon through. For example: the green ribbon is 1 1/2″ thick so that is the width hole I cut in the burlap. You can make the distance between holes however large you want – I like the look of a long amount of ribbon between weaves so I went with 2″. Cutting into burlap is very forgiving so don’t worry too much if you end up cutting too much on any of the holes.

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Once your cuts are made for that row of ribbon, cut a piece of ribbon to the width of your burlap, and weave through each hole.

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Use your glue gun to glue down each end so the ribbon doesn’t slip out of the holes.

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Continue cutting, weaving, and gluing until desired pattern is reached.

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And voila – an adorable, colorful handmade burlap and ribbon table runner.

Thank you to Offray for sponsoring this post! And thank you for supporting the brands that support Styled by Jess.