Friday, May 25, 2012

Oatmeal Box Storage - A Tutorial

Organized storage of craft supplies is a problem for me. It seems as though my stash keeps growing but ways to store it well are super limited in my workspace. Also, being thrifty by nature doesn't help .. I don't want to spend a bunch of money for plastic containers! I was looking for a way to store my packets of vintage buttons a few months ago in a way that would be cute and hold them well. I happened to be recycling an oatmeal box and noticed that it was the perfect width for button cards. Oatmeal box storage was born! See below on how to make your own. I've also used this folding technique to wrap boxes for more attractive storage (see last photos).

What you'll need:
An oatmeal box
2-12" pieces of pretty scrapbook paper
Scissors and tape

Why, hello empty used oatmeal box.
Cut it in half .. no need to be exact here.
Tape up the open end.
Place one box half in the middle of an piece of scrapbook paper. The paper should be facedown and there's no need to be exact here either. 
Fold up and tape the short ends. The paper doesn't need to come up to the top of the side (you can see about a half inch uncovered on mine). It'll get covered up later.
Now fold up the long sides of paper and fold over the short end(see the next couple photos).

Now cut down the paper to the corner of the box.
Fold end inside
Do the same thing with the other long side of paper to make a clean looking end. 
When you have both short ends done, it should look something like this. Now just fold in the long sides and tape all the inside flaps down.

Now just do the same with your other oatmeal box half and you'll have two ready to go. I didn't line these boxes or make them look nice on the inside because it wasn't necessary for my purposes. Here are a couple other ways I've used this folding technique with some larger boxes and postal paper purchased at the dollar store.

The favor box for the monster baby shower was out of a used box with the flaps cut off and the dollar store postal paper.
I used wrapped boxes to organize all of the laundry supplies on the dryer. You would not believe what a mess this was before!
I've also used them to organize miscellaneous hardware and tools on a shelf under the basement stairs, and to organize the mess of the junk drawer. It looks better than having plain ol' boxes to hold things! Hope you can find some uses for them too!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

I Made This Swimsuit

You may remember this photo from my post ... yesterday :).

I also noted that I made this swimsuit! Honestly, I didn't know that it was going to be possible to make a swimsuit that I would feel secure enough in to wear in public. But, I can assure you, I received no strange looks and nothing came peeping out while in the water or on the beach. And I mostly winged it! Crazy, right?

I found this mustard striped swimsuit fabric on clearance at JoAnn's for $3.50 a yard. I had no idea how to make a swimsuit and had no pattern to go off of, but I love a challenge (especially one that only costs $3.50 .. and works out well in the end!). So I bought a yard of it.

I saw a cute swimsuit at the store that seemed easy to make, so I somewhat shamelessly took it into the dressing room and took these measurement photos.

Body parts are the best for measurements! I also picked up this pattern to get the front piece right. I used the top front piece from the center top image.

And then .. I winged it. I cut out two of the top front pieces from the pattern. I used my measurements and trial and error to make the tapered back pieces, using a swimsuit clasp from JoAnn's (super cheap) for closure. Since I didn't want to be all hanging out there .. you know what I mean .. I used some lining cups from an old swimsuit and made the ends of the swimsuit so I could insert them and take them out.

I made a long tube and tapered it to make the front tie. I put the strapless suit on to measure to add the halter string. Top stitched everything along the way. And .. boom. Top done. The bottoms were much more straight-forward. I used a bottom that I liked to trace a pattern and cut out an outside and lining piece. Sewed it all together .. done. If I hadn't been super lazy, I could have serged the seams to make it look better. But I only see that so it's okay.

Here's how much it was to make a swimsuit that was around $40 in the store:
Fabric - $3.50 + $3.50 lining fabric for bottom = $7.00
Swimsuit clasp - about $2.00
Pattern - $1.00 on sale
Total - $10.00

Moral of the story: Don't be afraid to make swimwear, if you know how to sew. A pattern more than likely would be easier to use than what I did, and although these patterns are in short supply (I only found one in the McCall's book at JoAnn's), they can at least get you started.

I'll end with this photo .. the photo I was considering not posting because I have horrible burn lines, the one I adjusted the color to so those burns wouldn't look so bad, and the one I decided not to photoshop to cover up my burns :). This photo is also (ironically) the best one from vacation of me having the swimsuit on!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Last week was spent sun loving (and hating after horrible sunburn) on vacation in Clearwater, Florida. It was a beautiful week, filled with beaches, water park, amusement park, and visiting towns in the area. And to be honest, one of the best parts about it was that I was so excited to come home at the end. I know, it's strange to not be loathing coming back, but being away made me so grateful for my home, friends and family, cats, and my job. I missed it all, but it was so great to have a mental break from everything. See photos below!

Florida Botanical Gardens:

The beach (we went to Indian Rocks Beach, Clearwater Beach, and Honeymoon Island Beach):
p.s. I made this swimsuit! More on this in a later post!

Tarpon Springs:

Busch Gardens:

Breakfast at the Wildflower Cafe

What a cutie :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Monster Baby Shower

I had the great honor last weekend of throwing a baby shower for my friend Kristyn. And the theme? Monsters! Kristyn didn't want a set theme for her baby boy’s room, so she has done an amazing job mixing monsters, robots, owls, and other cute ideas into his new nursery. I decided to take one and run with it! Take a look at the photos of her pretty party below.

This was the start of my planning. I made the poster and went from there. Making up little monsters is so fun!
Little monster water bottles with different coordinating colored paper made these little bottles super cute. I drew out these monster circles on Adobe Illustrator, and made five different designs and changed colors.
Monsters everywhere! For favors, I made cookies from this Cowgirl Cookie recipe and put them in bags with ribbon and little thank you monsters.
I made this banner from some inexpensive, thin fabric I bought at JoAnn's (the table runners in the other photos are also made from this).  
Food! Cake stands (thanks, Amanda!) were perfect for adding height to the table and displaying garlic parmesan pull-apart bread, veggie cups with dressing in the bottom, coffee cake, and petit fours.  Thanks for the help with food and set-up Amanda, Cathy, Mandy, and Shauna!

I also added a couple signs to the food that wasn't self-explanatory (see under the garlic parmesan bread). And coordinating plasticware, napkins, and plates!
Counter space was used for drinks (that's a punch dispenser) and food overflow.
Super adorable petit fours by Amanda
Look how excited the momma to be is! :)
Momma and Poppa to be

A few of the guests .. Ladies from our church small group!

End of shower! Momma takes home the decorations!