Friday, September 24, 2010

A New Old World Favorite Felt Play Food Set

I am in love with these new vegetables! I had a great customer request some Old World vegetables that her daughter could play with in a Renaissance festival, and I think these will be a hit! I especially liked the turnip - as I have NEVER had one, and had fun searching Google for turnip pics to work from. I have heard that you either love 'em or hate 'em. I will have to try them someday. Hope you enjoy them too!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Strawberry Crepes Felt Play Food Set

Another ORIGINAL new tasty treat from Bug Bites Play food - Strawberry Crepes with Whipped Cream and a Jelly spread inside. Aubrey (my 2 year old product tester) and I had fun rolling these up and topping them with the cream and strawberries together.

I designed these to be similar to the Burrito set as I love how the velcro closure tab wraps all of the fillings up in a snug little roll. I am working on a Banana Chocolate version as well, so stay tuned!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Autumn Felt Play Food Pumpkin Pie

 I have been re-designing the old, tired version of my felt play food pumpkin pie into this sleek new version. I love how they sit nicely next to each other and are all handstitched for a nice, flat look. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

New Felt Play Food Empanada Treats

I have some new felt play food goodies to unveil in my Etsy shop today, and am really excited about this one - as it is an original item never before seen on Etsy - Empanadas!

My husband has a special love for empanadas, as he lived in Chile for 2 years, and would seriously eat these daily. So, hopefully this felt food version will ease his cravings a bit - though please don't eat these ones, Austin. They are for the kids.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gusseted Cloth Sandwich Snack Bag Tutorial

I can't stand spending money on items that are destined for the landfill. Diapers, wipes, sanitary pads, paper towels and especially expensive Ziplocs no longer have place in our home. Not only have we saved hundreds of dollars a year by not purchasing these "throw-away" items, they are also really fun to make yourself!

These bags feature a gusset at the bottom, so they open nice and wide, and don't squish sandwiches! Gussets allow the bags to hold more stuff (or wider items) and collapse flat when they’re not in use.

I designed these snack bags this past spring for a trip to Mexico, and we have a drawer full of them! I use them daily for granola, sandwiches and even our car toys.  My son is starting school tomorrow (1st grade - eek!) and he wanted his own cool bags for his lunches. He picked out this "awesome" flame fabric from the scrap bin at our local fabric store, and he can't wait to have lunches in them! Last year, his friends all told him that they wished their moms would make them some cool lunch bags too (blush!), so this is your opportunity, Moms!!

Sewing Machine
(2) 7"x 7" Cotton fabric of your choice
(2) 7"x 7" Ripstop Nylon fabric
1 each 1/2"x 5" Hook and Loop Velcro (I cut mine to 1/2", but you can leave yours whatever thickness you like)
Step 1. Cut out (2) pieces of 7"x 7" Cotton fabric, and (2) pieces of 7"x 7" Ripstop Nylon for the liner.

Step 2. Place right sides of the fabric together and stitch the two (right and left) sides together with a 1/4" seam allowance.

This will make a "tube" of fabric. Repeat with the ripstop liner fabric, so you have 2 separate "tube" pieces.

Step 3. Turn the liner fabric inside out, and slide it inside the cotton fabric "tube", so that right sides are together. Make sure to line up the seams on the sides. You can pin the fabrics together at this point if you like. (I rarely do, but that is just me)

Step 4. Choose which side will be the top of the bag, if your cloth has a top direction, and position this side in sewing machine. Sew through 2 layers of fabric - 1 cotton layer, 1 liner layer. Stitch *almost all the way around on one side. Leave a 3" hole un-stitched for later (Step 9). Make sure you don't accidentally stitch through all 4 layers.

Step 5. Pull the liner out, and lay flat, right sides of the fabric inside, aligning the side seams.

Step 6. Sew a straight line along the bottom (open) end of the liner fabric. Repeat with the other cotton fabric side.

Step 7.  Create a Gusset: On the bottom corner, pinch and slide the bottom corner of the fabric into a point, so that the seams align with each other on opposite sides. It helps to open up the bag a bit to give you some room to slide the fabric around. Pin, or iron this flat. (See the pic in Step 8 for clarification).
Step 8. Sew across this point in about 1" from the end. Note - you can make these as large or as small as you like, the larger (longer) you measure away from the point of the fabric, the wider the bag will be. Don't make it too wide (over 1 1/2") or the bag will be too small to fit a sandwich.

Repeat on the other side. Then do the exact same with the nylon side.

I like to trim the excess fabric triangle off, as it makes the bag less bulky. Be sure not to cut through the seam.

Step 9. Remember the hole we left open in Step 4? Turn the bag inside out through this hole.

If you forgot to leave a hole, gently use a seam-ripper and open up a hole.

Nice huh!
Step 10. Tuck the liner fabric down into the cotton fabric.

 Step 11. Topstitch around the opening of the bag to help it lay flat.

 Step 12. Line up the hook side of the velcro along the top, and stitch around. Repeat with the loop side. Finished!

To clean, just wipe clean with a damp cloth, or toss in a cool water washing machine and dry.

Congratulations!! Aren't you proud of yourself? By using fabric sandwich/snack bags, we can save thousands of plastic bags from becoming non-biodegradable trash filling up landfills and floating in our oceans!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Make your own Play Kitchen!

We have a lot of play food around here. A. lot. And, crime of crimes - no play kitchen. (gasp!) I have been wanting to make/buy a play kitchen for E and little A ever since she was born - especially now that her play food collection (my first designs are always hers) has grown to overflowing her little tote. She needs a kitchen. 

I absolutely detest the plastic crap that is sold in toy stores, and have long wanted a beautiful, handmade play kitchen made from natural wood. I have scoured and other beautiful models from other online sellers, but sadly cannot justify the $300-$500 pricetags on the ones that I would put in my home. 

My husband is really skilled with wood working, but sadly full-time school, work, church callings and family life in general haven't permitted him the time to make a play kitchen from scratch. SO, while reading some excellent blogs, I found some amazing DIY projects! This pink & white one is made from a simple Ikea shelf, instructions here on ikea hacker.

DIY play kitchen

Here is a great one made from an old nightstand from oh write! This is her version, and I am SO excited to use some of her amazing ideas to make our own play kitchen for the kids for Christmas this year! 

Last Christmas we decided to make Maren a little kitchen of her own. I had seen a few ideas here and there (I'm sure you have, too!), so I can't take complete credit for what we came up with.

We found this little footed nightstand on Craigslist for $15. Here's the best before picture I have. We had already sanded the top, but you can see how the piece looked in it's original form.

And, the completed kitchen:
We used wood craft circles and a square dowel for the burners. We painted wood nobs found in the craft store for the black nobs. The sink is a square cake pan and the faucet came from a salvage yard. Brett cut shelves to fit where the drawers had been, and cut and routered the back splash from a piece of shelving we had on hand. Hinges and handle for the oven came from Lowe's.

The inside of the oven is spray-painted shiny silver, and we have since added chains to both sides of the oven door to make it more sturdy. I made the little curtain rod with leftover fabric from M's nursery, and it's hanging on a small tension rod.

We estimate having spent close to $60 total, but definitely could have done the project for cheaper. Since this was a gift for our only child, we did splurge on a few things. (Namely the cost $20, but we loved the size and the 'realness' it brought to the project! We also splurged on the handle for the oven door, and again, just loved the size and look of the one we chose.)

I found some great pics of other DIY play kitchens, and am so excited to get going on E and A's!! 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Long Absence

Sorry for the delay in posting, I have had several fun posts about summer projects, trips and the like rattling around but have not been able to sit down & blog them. I have been sick for 10 days with a terrible sore throat & am finally headed to the doctor tomorrow. I am suspecting Tonsilitis or Strep Throat. I haven't touched my desk or sewing for days, and am feeling the itch to get back to work, and am definitely ready to be feeling back to normal again.