Fabric Bulletin Board Makeover

Sometimes it’s all in the details, don’t you think? An inexpensive fabric bulletin board makeover can transform the walls of a bedroom, especially in military housing where you can’t always paint.

This bulletin board project can be done for under $5, especially if you shop the sales or use remnants. Don’t forget to save your Michael’s and JoAnn’s coupons for projects like these.

Bulletin Board Makeover

Materials

Cut your fabric about 3 inches wider and longer than the bulletin board. Cover the board with fabric and hot glue the edges of the fabric to the back of the board. Then add two eye hooks to the top of the board, one on each side.

fabric bulletin board

Attach ribbon to the eye hooks and adjust the length to your liking.

fabric bulletin board

Hot glue the ribbon around the edge of the board. You can also add ribbon to the top and bottom instead of the sides, or skip the ribbon altogether if you are making it for a boy. Camo, cartoons, superheros, or plain fabric would be great for a boy.

This is super easy bulletin board makeover was borrowed from my sister-in-law, Amy. I can’t wait to get home and make a few for my own children. I might even make one for the kitchen. I am almost giddy thinking of all the fabric possibilities!

See more DIY projects:

This post is linking to Works for Me Wednesday.


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Kids’ Clothing Storage

Summer is here and the winter clothes are packed away. Swapping out the summer and winter clothes is a dreaded chore around my house, or at least it was until I found a better system of organizing winter and summer clothing.

1. Use Plastic Totes

For years I used cardboard boxes, but I like that most of my totes are clear so I can see what is inside them. I also think the plastic totes hold up better over time and sometimes clothes would smell funny after sitting in cardboard boxes for years. Totes are also waterproof, so if you end up with a leaky basement or a flooded storage area, your clothes are protected.

2. Three Pile Sorting Method

My piles are giveaway, throw away, and save. Clothing that my kids will not wear, or doesn’t fit (and I’m not saving it for another child) is given away. Torn, stained, or clothing with old elastic or broken zippers is thrown away. Clothes that can be worn next year are saved.

3. Kids Remain Close to Try On Clothes

Before the “new” clothes are put into the closets my children try them on to make sure they fit, and to make sure they like them. Sometimes items are too big, or are made from a fabric they don’t like to wear. These items don’t go into the closet.

4. Store by Season not Size

Clothing sizes vary from brand to brand. A Target size 6 is very different than a Gap Kids size 6. I found that organizing the clothes by season, for example Winter 2011, ensures that when I pull out clothes next year they are the correct sizes. If I know that a dress labeled 3T really fits a two-year old it would go into the Summer 2011 box for Cora.

5. It’s Alright to be Picky

We receive lots of hand-me-downs. For many years I felt guilty if I didn’t use them. That guilt disappeared recently when I realized I had 27 totes of clothes in my basement. 27. It was time to downsize. While I still love to receive hand-me-downs, I learned that it is okay to tell someone you don’t need clothing right now. This simplifies your life and another family will be blessed by receiving the clothes. Also, remember to ask someone before showing up on their doorstep with 3 Hefty bags full of clothing. They might not need them.

6. You Don’t Need to Save Everything

My youngest boy is 8 years old. There is no reason to save his clothes for another child in our family. Clothing breaks down over time and goes out of style. Pass items along that you won’t use in the next few years.

7. When You Are Finished Leave the Totes Out

I keep the totes stacked in my room for about a week because we are always finding stray items under beds or in the laundry. In some of my houses the storage was very difficult to access, so once I put away the totes it took a while to get them back out. Leaving them out for a few days helps to make sure everything gets stored for the next year.

This year my clothes storage and organization went much smoother and I was able to get rid of 200 items of clothing.

Last month I got rid of 116 items in the  730/365 Challenge. At the end of April my total was 148 items for the year. I ended up over doubling my total in one month!

May total: 200

Total for the year 348! Only 266 items to go.


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How to Make a Purse from Jeans

My daughter seems to wear the knees out of her jeans quicker than my boys ever did. I can cut them off for shorts, but many of her jeans have very cute designs on the legs that I didn’t want to go to waste.

A few weeks ago I took the jeans in the above picture and turned them into this adorable child’s purse. It was so simple to make I decided to make a second one for a photo tutorial. The first purse I made is a little different from the tutorial. Instead of closing the coordinating fabric I left it open and threaded a ribbon through the fabric for a drawstring closure. I think it looks cute either way.

This purse is definitely a low sew design, you only need to know how to sew a straight stitch. It is so easy too, I made the purse in less than 45 minutes and that included trying to figure out exactly what I was making and ripping it apart twice because I changed my mind.

To start, cut off the bottom of a pair of jeans just below the knee. These are kid’s jeans size 6, so adjust your cutting accordingly.

Turn the jeans inside out and sew the bottom together. I used the bottom hem as a guide for my line.

When it is finished you will have stitched the bottom of your purse together.

Flip your jeans right side out and measure around the top of the jeans. Add an additional centimeter to your measurement and then cut a strip of coordinating fabric the length of your measurement and about 6 centimeters wide.

Sew the ends of your strip of fabric wrong sides together.

Flip the jeans inside out and match up the right side of the fabric to the wrong side of the top edge  of the jeans. You also want to insert your handles. I used ribbon for the handles, but you can make them out of fabric too. The right side of the handles should be facing the right side of the coordinating fabric.

Sew around the entire top edge of the jeans.

This will create your finished top edge as well as attach your handles.

Once the coordinating fabric is attached flip the purse right side out. Fold the coordinating fabric over the top of the purse and press with an iron.

Fold the bottom edge of the coordinating fabric under approximately 1/2 centimeter and press again. Then stitch around the edge to secure the coordinating fabric.

The purse is finished! I added another straight stitch around the top of the purse because I wanted to make sure the handles were securely attached, but it isn’t a necessary step.

As I was making these I thought they would make perfect party favor bags for a little girl’s birthday party.

 


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Kids Love I-95

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Danna our winner! Visit the Kids Love Travel website to order your copy and for some great travel tips!

Last year I told you about the wonderful Kids Love Travel books. Featuring thirteen different states and now two Interstates, each book is filled with tips, places to visit, restaurants, and more. My Kids Love Maryland book is well worn and I love having it as a resource to plan day trips and weekend adventures.

I was thrilled when I caught up with the author Michelle last month at a curriculum fair and found out they have a new book, Kids Love I-95. Considering we have spent the majority of our Navy career on the East Coast, I have spent many hours traveling I-95 back and forth to Florida where our family lives.

This summer will be a bit different. When I load up the kids for our I-95 adventure next month I will be bringing along my Kids Love I-95 book to make the trip a lot better. Finally some places to stop other than South of the Border!

Here are a few of the book highlights.

  • Maps for each I-95 state that highlight exits with attractions and things to see.
  • Visitor Centers and Rest Areas are marked and it is noted whether it is a northbound or southbound exit.
  • Chick-Fil-A, McDonalds, and Chuck E. Cheese Play Lands are highlighted as well. When it is too hot or rainy to visit a rest area I love finding an indoor play land for my kids to get the wiggles out.
  • Chapters for each state profiling the many attractions that are located just minutes off I-95. I love that they share websites, admission prices, hours, and helpful hints and tips for making the most of your side trip.
  • Activities at a Glance Pages. Each activity is listed with corresponding exit numbers for quick reference. This book is so user friendly that it only takes a few minutes to plan out your entire vacation!

What I love most about these travel guides is that were written by people who have actually experienced and visited these places with kids!

If you aren’t traveling on I-95 this summer they also have Kids Love I-75 as well as 13 state books. If the budget is tight and your vacation will be spent at home this year, these guides can help you plan a great staycation right in your own area.

Michelle has offered to giveaway one of their travel guides to one of my readers.  To enter leave a comment telling me which book you would like to win. For an additional entry you can “Like” Kids Love Travel on Facebook (which is filled with great travel tips and information). Please leave a comment for each entry. Giveaway ends May 21, 2010.


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