DIY Ribbon Hair bows

DIY-hairbow-13

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:

DIY-hairbow

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).

DIY-hairbow-2

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.

DIY-hairbow-3

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.

DIY-hairbow-4

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.

DIY-hairbow-5

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

DIY-hairbow-10

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.

 DIY-hairbow-9

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.

DIY-hairbow-15

Adorable, right?

DIY-hairbow-11

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).

smiley-face-birthday-party-7

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

smiley-face-birthday-party-4

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.

smiley-face-birthday-party-5

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

smiley-face-birthday-party-6

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.

smiley-face-birthday-party-1

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

smiley-face-birthday-party-2

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…

smiley-face-birthday-party-3

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

DIY Burlap and Ribbon Table Runner

Ribbon-woven-table-runner-15

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.

Ribbon-woven-table-runner-1

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.

Ribbon-woven-table-runner-3

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.

Ribbon-woven-table-runner-4

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.

Ribbon-woven-table-runner-2

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

Ribbon-woven-table-runner-14

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

Ribbon-woven-table-runner-10

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.

Cross-stitch Update

It’s been over 2 months since I mentioned my new crafting hobby – cross-stitch! Not only cross-stitch but designing my own patterns and cross-stitching them. I thought it was time for an update and to give a few tips if you’ve decided to try designing patterns and cross-stitching them.

Cross-stitch-update-7

1. When sketching out your design using graph paper is easiest where one square in the graph paper equals one square in the cross-stitch, pretty simple. When I did my practice cross-stitch design with Z I used standard graph paper for my sketch – I actually just bought the only graph paper notebook I could find at CVS (who knew graph paper was so hard to find these days?). What I didn’t take into account was that the squares of my graph paper were MUCH larger than the squares in my cross-stitch cloth (aida cloth) – standard graph paper is 4 squares across per square inch whereas the standard aida cloth is 14 squares across per square inch. No big deal other than you have to make massive drawings that turn into tiny cross-stitch projects. I found a 5 squares across per square inch notebook at Staples but you can also get much smaller squares per square inch in an engineering notebook (although that comes at a much higher cost).

Cross-stitch-update-1

2. You use embroidery floss to cross-stitch (children of the 90s, what we used to make friendship bracelets!). Embroidery floss comes as 6 tiny strands twisted together, for your standard stitch, you’ll want to split those strands in half and stitch with just 3 strands at a time (increase to 4 for a thicker stitch, decrease to 2 or even 1 for a light stitch as I did with my necklace above).

Cross-stitch-update-4

3. Do the quick math and properly scale the people in your cross-stitch. You’ll never get exact shapes with your cross-stitch (our heads are round and you’re stitching squares) but at least everyone’s proportions can be correct. The drawing I did of myself, once stitched onto the aida cloth seemed so out of proportion and it was. I had to go back and make my legs and torso longer which required un-sewing and resewing quite a bit. I started our family cross-stitch with my husband and adjusted all of us to his height accordingly. Learn from my mistake and do your math first!

4. The hardest part for me was getting our skin, eye, and hair colors accurate. There is a vast wall of embroidery floss at Michaels (where I bought mine) and I spent too much time agonizing over colors. I am off a bit on eye color for my husband and myself and Z’s hair is just wrong. It’s hard because I was using a family photo as a guide for outfits, etc… and I know next time to take more creative freedom in the details rather than trying to exactly replicate a photo.

I’m going to let this cross-stitch continue to flatten under a book (it has the lines from where it was stretched in the embroidery hoop) and then I’ll personalize it, frame it, and add it to the gallery wall in our living room. After this project I realize that I do prefer designing my own pattern but I think I’ll do something a little more abstract for my next project….I’ll do another update then!

Toddler Craft Project – Construction Paper Salad

toddler-craft-vegetable-salad

For March’s toddler craft for our local Baby Bootcamp Stroller Friends play date the theme was vegetables since a rep from a local farm was coming to teach the kiddos about vegetables and “eating a rainbow,” so I had to think of something veggie-friendly for our craft. Then I thought if you ask any toddler and they will call lettuce “salad,” as if there’s nothing else to salad!

toddler-craft-vegetable-salad-1

So, I thought it would be fun to cut a bunch of vegetables out of construction paper and have the kids make their own, very colorful construction paper salad. I pre-cut all the veggies (and had the plate in the first photo as a key of sorts for the parents to know what each color/shape was supposed to be) but had the kids tear up the green construction paper to prep their own “lettuce” for the salad. You can have your toddler help cut the veggies if they’re good with scissors.

toddler-craft-vegetable-sal

Everyone’s salads were so colorful and unique! After the craft the farm rep shared some vegetables from the farm and the kids could eat an actual salad, too! A great way to learn about vegetables – I hope you try this one with your kiddos!

Spring Craft Classes

I wanted  to share the links to my craft classes for the spring again, now that it is sort of (some days) actually feeling like spring. This term I’m doing a 3-class series called Handmade Tuesdays with Jess. Click here to sign up for all 3 classes and save! Below you can read the catalog description of each class and click through to sign up for individual classes. All classes are taught at Arlington High School in Arlington, MA. Can’t wait to see you in class!

hand-painted-vase-1

Hand-painted Glass Vase
Tuesday, April 7 7-9pm

Glass painting is fun and simple if you know how. Join master crafter Jess as she leads you through prepping and painting a clear glass vase, perfect as a gift or for your own windowsill, with light shining through. All materials will be provided. You’ll be able to paint your vase free-hand or use stencils and painter’s tape for a more precise design. Then make more vases at home once you learn the technique. Please bring an additional $10 materials fee to instructor at class.

handmade-delicate-necklace

Handmade Jewelry
Tuesday, April 14 6:30-8:30pm

Try your hand at making something more demure than a statement necklace. Learn how to make delicate handmade jewelry this spring with Jess. Each student will make two pieces of jewelry (necklaces, bracelets, or one of each). Please bring your own needle-nose pliers to class if you have them. Please bring additional $16 materials fee to instructor at class.  Children over the age of 9 are welcome to register when accompanied by an adult.

flower-card-11

Handmade Mother’s Day Cards
Tuesday, April 28 7-9pm

In May 2014 one of Jess’s handmade cards appeared in Martha Stewart Living magazine, in fact it was a card she made for her own mother! Come make this “Martha Stewart Approved” Mother’s Day card, and create two additional cards using rubber stamps, washi tape, embossing powder and more. Please bring scissors suitable for cutting paper and a $10 material fee. Children over the age of 9 are welcome to register when accompanied by an adult.