Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kitchen Cabinets

I finished another batch of cabinets!

Here they were before:

I filled the holes where the handles were, primed and painted the cabinets and put on new knobs. The hinges are original.

I had already completed this batch of cabinets...

...and put in a new window treatment.

(You can see the entire process here.)

Next on the To-Do List:
1. Crown Moulding
2. Black Countertop
3. Paint Bottom Cabinets
4. Black Flooring

Monday, May 24, 2010

Bathroom Makeover

And now back to our regularly scheduled programing...

Now that the party is over I can get back to decorating! I just completed a bathroom makeover for only $88! Here is what it looked like when we moved in:

And here it is now!

I'm so happy with how it turned out! It wasn't terrible before but floral prints and tassels just aren't my style. It really fits in with the rest of our decor a lot better now.

The cabinet knobs are the same ones I am using on the kitchen cabinets.

Cabinet Knobs: $21
Towel Racks & Toilet Paper Holder: $40
Behr Liberty Gray Paint: $12
Shower Curtain: Already Had
Towels & Bathmat from Target: $15
TOTAL = $88

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Nightmare Before Christmas Birthday Party

This is the last post about Jer's birthday party, I promise! Sorry if I have bored you with these. I just wanted to document as much of it as possible for anyone looking for inspiration for their own Nightmare Before Christmas birthday party. I searched all over the place for ideas and couldn't find anything except for some amazing cakes that I could never reproduce and the suggestion to put out all of your Halloween decorations.

So here is what I came up with:

Instead of using all of my Halloween decorations, I tried to stick to things that were black and white since those are the primary colors used in the movie. (Yes, the balloons are chocolate brown. They looked black in the package and I didn't pay attention to the writing telling me otherwise. Oops!)

This is Jack Skellington's dog, Zero that I showed you in this post.  Now you can purchase a pre-made hanging Zero in my shop here.

I also hung a few rubber bats from the ceiling with thread.

You can find details about the banner and utencil holder in this post. The table is covered with a white tablecloth and a gray tattered curtain I got at Dollar Tree around Halloween. (You could also make your own by dying cheesecloth. I recently found a 4yd square of cheesecloth at Home Depot for only $1.98)

It has been awhile since I have done much cake decorating so I kept things pretty simple. I gently pressed the rim of a bowl onto the top to give me the outline for Jack's head, then I free-handed the rest with a toothpick before going over all of it with Wilton's Black Icing. I then finished it off with a simple star and dot border. The black candles came from a party supply store.

I made some skull and bone jello jigglers using an ice cube tray kind of like this one. Then served them on plates sitting on a spiderweb cupcake stand I purchased at Target around Halloween.

I made an Oogie Boogie pinata using this tutorial.

You can find a tutorial for the party hats in this post. The tree I picked up on clearance at Hobby Lobby after Halloween awhile back but you could make a creepy tree using black licorice like this one. The bowl of gummy worms was a last minute addition and ended up being a huge hit!

The dining room was just decorated with some black and white streamers.

As well as some black and white (okay, chocolate brown and white!) balloons.

I didn't do anything creepy with the food mainly because of time restraints so I just served it all on black trays and bowls with skeletons on them.

I found this pumpkin cooler in the clearance section at the party supply store last month for only 60 cents! I filled it with ice and capri sun.

For treat bags, I filled up clear bags with dum dums, tootsie rolls, air heads, noise makers and ball puzzles that I found at the year-round Halloween store. I tied them with a black ribbon and added a tag that I printed out with Jack's head.

Here is my birthday boy wearing the shirt that I showed you in this post.
And there you have it! An "I'm Jack the Pumpkin King" party as my son calls it. :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Custom Party Hats

I promise I will get back to posting about something other than kid's birthday parties soon! But for now, here is another party project. Obviously Nightmare Before Christmas party hats are impossible to find but I even tried the over the hill section at the party store looking for plain black ones and came up with nothing. So I decided to just make my own!

I took a party hat I already had, opened it up and traced around it to get my pattern.

Make sure you choose "fit to page" before printing.

I traced the pattern onto black cardstock, cut it out with scissors, then used an exacto knife to cut the slit on the side. Roll them up and make sure the tab is on the inside like this:

Not on the outside like this:

I accidentally made a bunch of them like this before realizing that it was wrong. That's what happens when I try to work on projects after 10pm! :p

Print up your character of choice and use a glue stick to put them on the hats.

Cut some elastic cording about 18" long. Poke a hole on the sides of the hat using a pen or an awl. Poke the elastic through and tie a knot on the inside to secure.

And you're done!

They took a little bit of time but it was really simple and gave me something to do while watching tv (I don't know about you but I can't just sit and watch tv, I HAVE to be doing something else at the same time or I get bored). I wanted to make sure this looked like a Nightmare Before Christmas birthday party instead of a Halloween party and I think these hats will help.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Zero the Ghost Dog

You can now purchase a premade Zero in my shop HERE.

While looking at the invites for Jeremy's party, my husband jokingly suggested that I make a "Zero" decoration. I couldn't get the idea out of my head so I finally decided to give it a try and came up with this:

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Nightmare Before Christmas, Zero is Jack Skellington's ghost dog. Here is the picture that I referred to while I was making it:

It's not perfect but I'm pretty happy with how it turned out! It actually looks more like Zero than I thought it would.

In case you ever need to make your own Zero, here is a basic rundown of how I did it:

For the head, I drew out the profile on a sheet of paper until I was happy with it. Then I cut this shape out of two pieces of white fabric, sewed them together leaving the neck open, turned it inside out, stuffed it and sewed the neck onto a 24"x24" piece of white fabric.

For the ears, I cut out the basic ear shape then hot glued 24 gauge wire all around the edge with the fabric wrapped around the wire a bit to cover it. I left about 1" of wire sticking out at the base of the ear and stuck it into the head I had made and then hot glued the ear to the head to make sure it stayed in place. I then bent the ear wire into my desired shape.

Finally, I glued on black felt for the eyes and a large orange pom pom for the nose. Then I sewed on a thread to hang it from the ceiling and threads on the back three corners that I taped to the walls.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pumpkin King Shirt

For Jer's birthday shirt I had thought about making my own applique but I ended up doing it the easy way and made an iron-on transfer instead. (Doesn't he look happy to be modeling it?)

I had picked up some Quick Fuse Iron-On Fabric Sheets when they were on sale awhile back and decided to give them a try.

I printed my picture out on regular paper first to make sure I had the size right and the picture was cleaned up enough. Then I printed it on the Quick Fuse fabric.

After the ink dried, I cut out Jack's head and ironed it on for 15 seconds.

And it's done! I would definitely recommend these sheets for anyone who wants a customized shirt but is lacking time or sewing skills. The iron-on fabric sheets are a little pricey (I think they are regularly about $8 for 3 sheets) but depending on the size of your images you can probably get two or more shirts out of each sheet.

Now there is my silly boy!

I haven't tried washing it yet so I'm not sure how well it will wear though. I will let you know if I have any issues in that area.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Italian Sausage Lasagna

I have tried several different lasagna recipes but was never quite happy with any of them. So one day I decided to come up with my own and it turned out to be the Best Lasagna EVER! If I do say so myself. ;) Seriously though, this lasagna never lasts long in our house because it is so addicting. You have been warned.

Italian Sausage Lasagna

16oz Ground Mild Italian Sausage
26oz Jar Mushroom Spaghetti Sauce (I use Market Pantry)
6oz Jar Sliced Mushrooms
9 No-Cook Lasagna Noodles
16oz Small Curd Cottage Cheese
8oz Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Brown sausage in large skillet (if using sausage links, remove from casings first). Stir in spaghetti sauce and mushrooms. Simmer for about five minutes.

Spoon 1 cup of sauce mixture into bottom of 9x13 glass casserole dish. Place 3 lasagna noodles over sauce. Top with 1/3 of each: remaining sauce mixture, cottage cheese and mozzarella cheese. Repeat two more times.

Cover dish with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Makes 12 Servings.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Birthday Banner & Utencil Holders

Jeremy's birthday party is in ten days! Eek! I am so excited for him and can't wait to see what he thinks of his party. Things are really starting to come together but there is still so much to do!

I made a "Happy Birthday" banner using the same basic method as my Christmas banner. Although, this time instead of adding the glitter myself, I used glittered scrapbook paper that I picked up at Target awhile back.

I'm not really sure how appropriate glitter is for a boy's birthday but I think it looks pretty cool!

I also made these utencil holders by forming boxes out of cardboard and decoupaging on some spider web tissue paper that I had.

Then I put some floral glass pieces in the bottom so they won't tip over or blow away.

I'm sure most of you will never need to plan a Nightmare Before Christmas birthday party but you could use these ideas for Halloween or an Over The Hill birthday. You could also use the same methods just using different colors and characters to create custom birthday decorations.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Superhero Cape

Today my SuperJeremy finally got his first real cape! No more bath towel capes for this boy. He is flying in style now!

I don't have any photos of the process because my camera is lame and won't hold a charge. It was pretty easy to do though and it was all from scraps of stuff I had laying around.

First I cut a piece of fabric to the height and bottom width that I wanted it. Then I measured the width of his shoulders to figure out how wide the top would be. I marked that measurement in the center of the top of the fabric (this one is 10" wide so I marked where the center of the fabric was and made marks 5" out on both sides). Using a cutting guide and rotary scissors (or yard stick, pen and regular scissors) start at your mark at the top and angle to the outside corner at the bottom. Do this on the other side as well and you will have the basic cape shape. Mine is 10" wide at the top, 21" wide at the bottom and 23" long.

I used double-fold bias tape on the edges and an 18" scrap of belt webbing for the neck strap with velcro on the ends to fasten it.

I made the applique using scraps of fabric and Heat n Bond iron-on adhesive to hold the pieces in place while I sewed them on.

Now my superhero is properly attired. :)

Apparently his new cape makes him fly down the stairs. Look at that smile! It was definitely worth the twenty or thirty minutes it took to put this together. :)