Spring and Easter DIY Ideas

Good morning!  I have to apologize that I’ve been M.I.A. lately.  I participated last weekend in the Flowertown Festival in Summerville, selling my baby stuff.  And lately overall, I have been more focused on getting ready for Baby Boy to arrive next month, than blogging!

But this morning, I’d thought I’d share with you some of the DIY decor and Easter ideas that I’ve done in my house and with the girls over the past couple of years.

Easter Egg and Hydrangea Centerpiece- DIY Spring Decor from Palmettos and Pigtails

This is the centerpiece that I use in the spring in our dining room.  It all came from the dollar store!  From the silk flowers, to the plastic eggs to the glass container!  Easy and beautiful!

Zucchini Nut Cookies - Palmettos and Pigtails

We LOVE making these zucchini-nut cookies in the spring.  Originally meant to be whoopee-pies, I eliminated the filling and we love them just as much!  And there is zucchini in them, so I can count them as a veggie, right?

DIY Handprint Easter card - Palmettos and Pigtails

We made these simple Easter cards using paint and our hand prints…just make sure that the paint is completely dry before drawing the face on with a sharpie!

DIY Easter Cross with gift tag - Palmettos and Pigtails

I used twine to wrap the two sticks together to form a cross, then I hot glued ribbon and a gift tag with the girls’ names on it.  The true meaning of Easter, and the ultimate gift!

Hot glue eyes and pom-pom tails to foam cut outs for an easy Spring accessory - Palmettos and Pigtails

Hot glue googly eyes and pom pom tails to pre-cut foam figures {found at craft stores}.  Hot glue a safety pin on the back for an easy spring accessory.

Baby powder and cotton balls provide an easy way for the Easter Bunny to make tracks! {Easy vacuum clean-up too!} Palmettos and Pigtails

Dip a cotton ball in baby powder to make quick and easy bunny tracks.  When the kids are done inspecting them, they are easy to just vacuum right up!

Easter Bunny Bowling Set with a free PDF - Palmettos and Pigtails

And finally, if you are feeling a bit more ambitious, check out my Easter Bunny Bowling Set tutorial.  It comes with a free pdf pattern for the bunnies.  I found the ball at Michael’s {it was actually a doll head}, and I sanded it down so it would roll smoothly, painted it brown, and modge-podged scrapbook paper flowers to the outside to make it pretty.

Happy Crafting, and Happy Easter!

DIY Spring Wreath

I was challenged about a month ago, by my mother, to make a spring wreath. And because I have nothing better to do, it kind of got pushed to the bottom of my To-Do list.  But then, I remembered that I would much rather craft, than wash windows.  So, it got pushed back up to the top!

I saw lots of cute spring wreaths on pinterest, and decided to keep it simple and cheap, with materials I already had.

So, I decided to use some foam (from Lowes) duct-taped together to make my wreath form, and some left over packing paper from our move.  My goal was to use the paper to create some shabby-chic-ish southern inspired (Magnolias, perhaps?) flowers.

I crinkled up the paper and wrapped it around the wreath form to completely cover the grey color.

And then I cut the paper into strips.  I folded the strips accordion style width-wise, so I could cut more circles out at a time.  I cut three sizes of circles.

My circles were a little sloppy and uneven, but it didn’t matter at all in the end. And as I worked, I decided that the wreath needed a little color.  But I still liked the idea of a white base to the wreath.  So I decided to color just the edges of each of the circles purple (perfect for the Lenten Season!).

After coloring ALL of those circles, I started crinkling.  I actually got Jayna’s help…she crinkled and reopened my flowers, and then I glued the three different sized circles together.  Then I topped it with a little crinkled scrap of paper in the middle to be the flower’s stigma.

I used a hot glue gun to glue each flower onto the wreath form, in close proximity to each other, so they kind of all scrunch together.

And I left a little gap at the top, so that when my mom hangs it, her wreath hanger won’t squish the flowers.  I put a little smiley on the back so it would be easy to find.

But then I decided that I needed a bow to make it look a little more complete (and elegant!).  I had a hard time finding ribbon that I liked, so I bought some thick, crocheted lace instead.  I made a bow and tacked it in place with hot glue.  Perfect….shabby chic!

Olaf You Valentine’s Day Class Gift

Every holiday, I flip flop between being a total slacker and a super mom, when it comes to class gifts.  Meaning, I either do the bare minimum {dollar store Valentines and candy canes for Christmas}, or I go way above and beyond {Turkey Cake Pops for Thanksgiving and Snow Dough for Christmas!}.  I’d love to say that I do it on purpose….keep those kids on their toes, right?  But in reality, it just depends on how much free time and energy I have around that particular holiday.

Last year, I did dollar store Valentines.  This year, I was feeling a bit more ambitious.  And I was totally in “Frozen” mode since Valentine’s Day falls right after my daughter Jayna’s birthday, and all she wanted this year, was “Frozen” stuff.  So when I saw these adorable Olaf pencil toppers on Pinterest, courtesy of One Artsy Mama, I knew I just had to make them for Jayna’s Valentine’s Day Class Gift.  She helped cut out some of the little felt pieces, while I worked the glue gun.

Olaf You Pencil Toppers for Valentine's Day Class Gift from Palmettos and Pigtails

I started out by zooming in on the picture on my screen until the pencil proportions were right {yes, I held a pencil up to the screen!}.  Then I held up some white felt to the screen and traced around Olaf’s face.  I did the same for each of the other features….the top part of his mouth, the black part of his mouth, the tooth, and his nose.  I used twine for the hair, and medium sized google eyes.

Olaf You Pencil Toppers for Valentine's Day Class Gift from Palmettos and Pigtails

For the back, I just eye-balled a little sleeve for the end of the pencil.  And hot-glued around the edge of the curve.

Olaf You Pencil Toppers for Valentine's Day Class Gift from Palmettos and Pigtails

We found packets of Valentine pencils at the Dollar Spot at Target, and I made up these little tags to print out and attach to the Olafs….Jayna will sign her name on the back.

Olaf You Pencil Toppers for Valentine's Day Class Gift from Palmettos and Pigtails

You should be able to right click on the picture below, save it to your computer and print it out from there.  If you have any problems, leave me a message, and I’d be happy just to send you the file!

Olaf You Pencil Toppers for Valentine's Day Class Gift from Palmettos and Pigtails

Jayna pointed out that the pencil toppers the perfect size for fingers too!  BAM! Two gifts in one….pencil topper AND finger puppet {that’s how us SuperMoms roll….}

Olaf You Pencil Toppers for Valentine's Day Class Gift from Palmettos and Pigtails

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

DIY Appliqued Pajama Tutorial

In December, we took the kids to ride on the Polar Express Train up in the Smokie Mountains of North Carolina.  And in keeping with the spirit of the original book, all the kids were encouraged to wear their pajamas.  Needless to say, my Southern little girls needed some new, matching jammies!

DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

This was originally a three-part blog series on my personal blog, Palmettos and Pigtails.  So  please feel free to click over to my original Pajama Pants Tutorial for a list of materials and more details and pictures if you are confused….this is more of an overview on how I made the pajamas.

DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

First, I made the pants.  I took existing pajama pants and folded them in half.  Measure about an inch or so out from the pants, and trace the outline {this will account for your seam allowance}.

DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

After you cut out two pieces {one for each pant leg}, sew up the sides of your legs, right sides together.

Turn your pants right sides out, and lay them on top of each other.  You are going to sew the two legs together around the crotch area.  In the picture below, the arrows are pointing to the two pieces of fabric that will be sewn together.  For more detail, see my original Pants Tutorial Post.

DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

You’ll just keep sewing around the crotch area, until the pants are together.  This is really complicated to describe {and take photos of}, but will be perfectly obvious as you do it!

DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

When your pants are sewn together, the last step is to insert your elastic waistband.  First you will turn the raw edge of your waistband over about 1/4 inch and pin, and then fold it over again about an inch {just a little more than the width of the elastic that you chose to use…mine was 7/8″ wide}.  Sew your fabric down, leaving a generous “hole” for you to feed your elastic through, keeping in mind that the fabric will {and should!} bunch up.  Sew the hole closed and you’re done!

DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

The next step {and second blog post in my series} was how to make ruffles and cuffs.  Again, please click on my original Ruffles and Cuffs post in order to see lists of materials, and more detailed instructions.

DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

First up, the cuffs.  These were more complicated than I originally thought they would be.  I made them for my neighbor’s sons’ pants {they came too!}, and was happy that they other three pairs I had to make all only needed ruffles!

I used white flannel and cut it 3 inches wide and the same length as the circumference of the pant leg, plus about an inch and a quarter.  Fold and iron your strips in half, then unfold and then fold your raw edges into your original fold mark.  Iron.

DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

Open up and line up one of your raw edges with the raw edge of your pajama pants leg {right sides together}.  Make sure the end of your cuff hangs over the edge of the side of the pants leg.  Pin the raw edges of the cuff and the pants leg together.  Then pin the ends of the cuff together.  Sew the two ends of the cuff together first {fold the pants away from that seam if needed}.  Complete with a zigzag stitch to prevent fraying.  Then sew the cuff to the pants leg.  Zigzag to finish.

DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

Pull the raw edge that you see in the photo above, all the way down, so you can see you finished seam between the cuff and the pants leg.  Now, turn your pajama pants inside out.  You are going to fold the raw edge of your cuff back up {you should be able to follow your original ironed line}, and pin it to your cuff/pants leg seam that you just finished sewing.  Again, use the zigzag stitch to finish your seams to prevent unraveling.

DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

When you flip your pants to the correct side again, you’ll need to kind of adjust your cuffs to those original ironed lines again.  Feel free to steam iron or tack to keep in place.

DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

I promise, the ruffles are MUCH easier!  Click here to see the materials list for ruffles.  First off decide how big your ruffles are going to be, widthwise.  Mine were about 4 inches {big!}.  Each ruffle will need about 2 1/2 times the length of the circumference of your pant leg opening.  Fold over one raw seam twice and sew.

DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

Sew the two ends of each of your ruffles together, to form two loops.  Zigzag stitch to finish.     Then sew along the raw edges of each of your loops, with your machine’s tension setting at high and your stitch setting long.  Don’t back stitch, and leave your thread tails long.  As you stitch, it should create a natural ruffle, but if you need to adjust the loop/ruffle to fit your pants leg, just pull the tails to tighten the ruffle.  With right sides together, line up the raw edges of your pants and ruffle and sew together.  Zigzag to finish!

DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

And finally, my last blog post was on how to do a simple appliqué on a tee-shirt.  I did Christmas trees, which were super easy since they were just triangles.

DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

The first step was to use double sided iron-on adhesive to iron to the back of a scrap piece of fabric.  Then, cut out the shape of the appliqué you want out of the fabric {in my case, a triangle}.

DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

Then position your appliqué onto your shirt, peel the backing off and iron it onto your shirt.

*Sidebar:  I highly suggest making a few extra appliqués pieces, and getting some similar fabric to practice sewing it to.  You’ll want to experiment with your zigzag stitch…both the width of the zig and the length of the zag {am I speaking nonsense here?!?!}.  Obviously from my picture below, I practiced a lot.  I also originally used a scrap piece of lightweight cotton to practice, then realized that the pajama top was a heavy cotton, and needed a very different stitch.  So practice.  A lot.

DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

Once you find your stitch, slowly stitch around your appliqué, being sure to center your stitch so it hits both the edge of the appliqué and your shirt.

DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

I also found some cording that I stitched down to create the trunks of the trees.  That’s it!  Sew easy!
DIY Appliqued Pajama Set Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails Tada!

DIY Appliqued Pajama Tutorial from Palmettos and Pigtails

December 2013 Cleaning Calendar

For the past few years, I’ve made the commitment to myself, and my family, to attempt to keep a clean house.  That is easier said than done in a busy family of four, almost five!  So each month, I publish a monthly cleaning calendar on my personal blog, Palmettos and Pigtails.

Let me explain.  There are chores that I do daily.  For example, Monday is Laundry Day, Tuesday is Vacuum Day, Wednesday is Grocery Shopping Day, Thursday is Dusting, and Friday is Bathrooms.

The monthly cleaning calendars are daily chores on TOP of my daily chores, that take between 5 and 15 minutes to do.  And I consider them “deep cleaning” items…things like dusting the blinds, wiping the refrigerator shelves down, and fluffing couch cushions.  Things that seem completely overwhelming, but if spread out a little each day, can help keep your house cleaner than ever!

The latest is my December Cleaning Calendar {don’t worry, you are only a few days behind!!}, but I also wanted to give you the link to find the other cleaning calendars for the other months of the year.  They pretty much stay the same year after year, but I do put them in the current year’s calendar format, so you can print them out and stick them on your fridge.

Here is December!

December 2013 Cleaning Calendar from Palmettos and Pigtails

Click on the picture, or this link to open and print your own!

Looking for another month that’s gone by?  Click here to search all of the past year’s calendars.

And of course, if you subscribe to my personal blog, Palmettos and Pigtails, you’ll get each month’s cleaning calendar delivered straight to your inbox!  Happy Cleaning!

Last Minute Thanksgiving Craft

I have gotten spoiled with my kids being in school so much this year.  Today was the first day of Thanksgiving break, and  there is no school for the rest of the week.  I have become one of “those” moms who slightly panic at the thought of an entire day of entertaining their children.  AND it rained all day.

Thanksgiving Play

But luckily, yesterday Jayna came home with a Thanksgiving project that they did in school that I thought was so cute!  It took up most of our morning, and we’ll be able to actually use them on the table today!

Thanksgiving DIY Napkin Ring and Place Card Holder from Palmettos and Pigtails

Jayna’s class made these cute pilgrim place cards, so I thought I’d give you a quick tutorial on how to make them….plus use the leftover materials from the place cards to make Native American napkin holders.

And, if you are a mom….you have all of these materials on hand.  Yes, that includes the toilet paper rolls.  You knew they’d come in handy, right?  I forgot to include in this picture, that you’ll also need some fall-colored paper and a glue stick or two.  This would be a great project to keep those little hands busy while festivities and food are in the making!

DIY Thanksgiving Place Card Holder and Napkin Ring from Palmettos and Pigtails

I confess, I cut about an inch off one end of the toilet paper roll {the small part will be your napkin ring, so save it!} and painted the big part of the rolls black last night while the kids were in bed.  Although, if you are up to the fun of painting with your kids today, it would kill another 20 minutes or so {not including the self-explanatory bath time to follow!}.  I chose not to venture into painting today.

DIY Thanksgiving Place Card Holder and Napkin Ring from Palmettos and Pigtails

This actually is a great project for your preschooler to work on their cutting skills too.  Below are the shapes that you’ll need to draw and they can cut out.  I added some silly zigzags and squiggles to keep Jayna on her toes!  Beware: If you are slightly OCD like I am, keep in mind that this is a kids’ project and the end product doesn’t have to be perfect!

DIY Thanksgiving Place Card Holder and Napkin Ring from Palmettos and Pigtails

So, once everything is cut out, here are the parts you’ll need for each place card and napkin ring.

DIY Thanksgiving Place Card Holder and Napkin Ring from Palmettos and Pigtails

Wrap the black strip of paper around the base of the toilet paper roll and glue it in place.  Then glue the small yellow square {the buckle} onto the black strip.  Glue the toilet paper roll {with the buckle part down} onto a black circle, centering it as much as possible.

DIY Thanksgiving Place Card Holder and Napkin Ring from Palmettos and Pigtails

Cut two slits into the top of the hat…..write each person’s name on a large yellow rectangle and insert it into the slits.  Then glue three feathers to the inside of the leftover toilet paper roll piece to create the napkin ring.

DIY Thanksgiving Place Card Holder and Napkin Ring from Palmettos and Pigtails

Voila!  A lovely little touch for your Thanksgiving place setting!

DIY Thanksgiving Place Card Holder and Napkin Ring from Palmettos and Pigtails

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Palmettos and Pigtails Signature

DIY: Halloween Spider Corkscrew Bows

This afternoon I have a fun Halloween Spider Corkscrew Bow Tutorial for you.  I don’t know about you, but I have been one to fall sucker for the corkscrew bows that they sell at Gymboree.  Granted, I usually buy them on sale, but I still shell out $6 or so for a pair.  Well, my friends….not anymore.  I had NO idea how easy these puppies are to make!

And use all black ribbon and add some eyeballs…viola! Spider Corkscrew Bows!  Just in time for Halloween!

Spider Corkscrew Bow Tutorial

So here is the VERY easy tutorial on how to make these little lovelies.  You’ll need: Continue reading “DIY: Halloween Spider Corkscrew Bows” »

Age-Appropriate Chores for Kids


We have a joke in our house….it varies each time it’s told, but always revolves around one of us complaining about some dreaded chore {laundry, grass mowing, etc.}, and then the other saying…”that’s why we had kids!”

List of Age Appropriate Chores for Kids from Palmettos and Pigtails

We joke around about making our kids do the dirty work {pun intended!}, but it’s really not so far from the truth.  Both Jayna and Amelia have had chores from a very early age.  And they love them!  We don’t believe in just handing out allowance, so we have a commission system...in which some tasks are just expected to be done as a member of our household {clearing your dishes from the table, picking up after yourself, etc.}.

Continue reading “Age-Appropriate Chores for Kids” »

Recycled Brown Paper Basket

In the midst of babies crying, toddlers whining, and dogs barking, I hear a beautiful sound…the doorbell.  Normally, I curse this sound because it makes my baby cry, wakes up my toddler, and makes my dog bark.  But that was already happening, so I welcomed the distraction.  But when I peered out the window, no one was there.  Now, this has happened to us before during various holiday seasons with a candy version of Ding Dong Ditch.  But this time, when I opened the door instead of candy….BOXES!  Pampered Chef and Thirty One boxes to be exact!

So as exciting as opening all those boxes was (and no, it wasn’t all for me….I’ll have to redistribute to all the lovely ladies who bought all that stuff and allowed me to get all of my stuff for FREE!!), the packaging in these things was ridiculous!

And since I made a pledge to my good friend The Lorax, to speak for the trees, I thought maybe I’d find a way to upcycle some of this packaging.  A long time ago (before the days of Pinterest unfortunately!), I had seen a cute use of recycling newspaper…..cutting into strips and weaving it into a basket!  Reminded me of Girl Scouting….

So, I decided to try it with some of the brown paper from my Pampered Chef boxes.  It was in pretty rough condition, but I found some good strips, and cut those into approximately one inch strips.  Then, I folded each of those strips in half and used white thread to sew down each side with 1/8″ seam allowance.  I figured that would make the brown paper look fabric-like when the basket was finished.

Upcycled Brown Paper Bag into Basket from Palmettos and Pigtails

Basket weaving the bottom was the easy part.  Just make sure you are adding strips equally on all sides to keep you basket even.  I started with strips that were about 4 feet long, having no idea how big the basket would end up being.

Upcycled Brown Paper Bag into Basket from Palmettos and Pigtails

Upcycled Brown Paper Bag into Basket from Palmettos and Pigtails

About halfway through making the bottom, I realized that I only needed the strips to be about half that big (I wanted my basket to be about a foot squared, to hold my fabric scraps).  So I slid everything over and cut about two feet off the end of each of my strips.

Upcycled Brown Paper Bag into Basket from Palmettos and Pigtails

When I decided that the bottom of my basket was big enough, I started on the sides.  I bent all the strips upwards, and then took a new strip and weaved it around the side (under, over, under, over….just like the bottom).  I used a little piece of tape to hold the end of the strip to make it easier to weave.  Let me tell you, it wasn’t pretty.  Upcycled Brown Paper Bag into Basket from Palmettos and Pigtails

I thought about quitting.  The strips were everywhere except for cooperating.  But I used tape liberally for those first couple of strips around the sides.  (I did take the tape off later, so just use it to tack).

Upcycled Brown Paper Bag into Basket from Palmettos and Pigtails

But after about the third layer of weaving around the sides, everything kind of fell into place and starting looking like a basket!

Upcycled Brown Paper Bag into Basket from Palmettos and Pigtails

With every layer I added, I was able to adjust the lower layers and make everything a little tighter and neater.  I was also able to take off the tape, as the other layers helped hold the ends in too.  I just tucked the ends into the weave.  When I decided the sides were high enough, I stopped adding strips around the sides, and just tucked the ends of the basket into the weave.  You can see some of the places where I did that in this picture.

Upcycled Brown Paper Bag into Basket from Palmettos and Pigtails

Upcycled Brown Paper Bag into Basket from Palmettos and Pigtails

It ended up being the perfect size to hold all of my fabric scraps!

Upcycled Brown Paper Bag into Basket from Palmettos and Pigtails

Upcycled Brown Paper Bag into Basket from Palmettos and Pigtails

Upcycled Brown Paper Bag into Basket from Palmettos and Pigtails

Upcycled Brown Paper Bag into Basket from Palmettos and Pigtails

Upcycled Brown Paper Bag into Basket from Palmettos and Pigtails

What do you do with your old newspaper or paper bags?

Palmettos and Pigtails

DIY Marshmallow Shooters

Whewy! It sure has been hot here lately!  And humid too!  I guess that’s the definition of August in the Lowcountry though.  If I can endure it another month or so, then I’ll relax into the perfect Lowcountry season: Fall.

But for now, we are trying to enjoy the last few weeks of summer.  The girls are always wanting to bike/run/sweat outside.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against being outside….it’s the sweating that I can’t take.  So I compromised last week.  I made a game for the girls to play out in the heat, while I sat in the garage in the shade!

DIY Marshmallow Shooter from Palmettos and Pigtails

Continue reading “DIY Marshmallow Shooters” »