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Beautiful Bedroom for Baby – DIY Nursery Decor on a Budget

A Beautiful DIY Bedroom for Baby - Nursery Decor on a Budget

Having a dedicated space for baby is special. Whether it be a nook in your own bedroom, a shared space with an older sibling or a full nursery, designing the space can be fun…but expensive! If you can sew (or know someone who can), you can really save money and create a space that’s beautiful and unique. I’ve collected a few of my favorite tried and tested tutorials for designing your own nursery decor on a budget.

Basics for a DIY Nursery

Design: Decide on the direction you want to go before starting any projects. Figure out a color palate and style before you buy any fabrics or decide on any patterns.

Fabrics: Find your “inspiration fabric” before you buy anything. This is going to be your main fabric that will highlight your projects and all other colors will pull from this fabric. Art Gallery Winged Wingspan Melon was my inspiration fabric and it had lots of great colors for me to use in the other projects for my nursery.

Patterns: I love the patterns on Sew4Home. They are free and range from beginning to advanced. Make sure to read through the entire pattern before starting in case it’s too complicated for you. A quick search on Pinterest can also give you a wide range of DIY projects!

Quilt

I find that starting with a quilt is a great place to gather your favorite fabric designs and colors. From here, you can run with things and decide which fabrics you want to use for the other projects in the room.

"Rainbow Blankie", made 4 years ago for my son (along with a Boppy pillow cover)

“Rainbow Blankie”, made 4 years ago for my son (along with a Boppy pillow cover)

Charm pack baby quilt from Sew4Home – 4 years ago, I sewed this small quilt for my son. It’s come to be known fondly as “rainbow blankie” and he sleeps with it every night. I knew that I had to recreate this quilt for the new baby. It’s a great project for beginners (I’d never made a quilt before this one) and goes together easily, especially if you use a pre-cut charm pack. I prefer to pick and choose and piece together my own fabrics but it definitely takes me infinitely longer to make the quilt when I’m cutting out and designing this way.

A Beautiful DIY Bedroom for Baby - Nursery Decor on a Budget

“Butterfly Blankie”, sewn for my new daughter

Changing Table Pad Cover

Changing table pad covers are very simple to sew yourself and you can probably sew up three in a day (I did!) I loved using leftover fabrics to piece them together and create a unique look that coordinates in the room. Adding a bit of Minkie Dot fabric adds softness and sophistication. I used this free pattern from View from the Fridge.

Changing table cover in my son's room, along with a coordinating banner above the table.

Changing table cover in my son’s room, along with a coordinating banner above the table.

Diaper Stacker

Space is tight in our shared nursery so I wanted to have a space to store overstock diapers. I sewed up this hanging diaper stacker that coordinates with the other fabrics in the space. I skipped the applique to save time. Follow the Hanging diaper stacker pattern from Sew4Home.

A Beautiful DIY Bedroom for Baby - Nursery Decor on a Budget

Snuggly Blankie

I had enough Minkie Dot fabric to make a snuggly blankie. One side is the soft Minkie and the other side is one of my favorite prints, that I’ve been hoarding for years! It’s framed with silky satin trim and this blankie goes together very fast. Find the free pattern for the Papa Bear Bound Edge Blanket on Sew4Home.

Art Work and Wall Decor

A Beautiful DIY Bedroom for Baby - Nursery Decor on a Budget

Artwork for the nursery side of the room

Since this is a shared room with a tween and a new baby, I wanted it to look feminine but not babyish. I chose fabrics and colors that were all-age appropriate, in a wide color palette. My older girl already had this turquoise and purple comforter so when I picked out fabrics for the baby’s quilt, I made sure to include these colors as well.

I chose artwork for the spaces above their beds that would coordinate and “grow” with them. I bought the frames and art using 50% off coupons for the craft store and printed the artwork at home from TwoBrushesDesigns on Etsy. The Cinderella Castle print was a gift, purchased at Vivid Editions and has a great splash of brightness and color. I chose frames and mirrors in a variety of shapes and sizes, then laid them out on the floor, moving them around until I had a collage that looked good to me before hanging them on the wall.

A Beautiful DIY Bedroom for Baby - Nursery Decor on a Budget

The Tween side of the bedroom

What to buy and what to make?

I find that things that take a lot of fabric (like fitted sheets) or things that take a lot of time to sew (anything with tons of ruffling) are better off being bought than made myself. There are also some items that are barely noticed in a nursery so you might as well save time by purchasing them instead. I ended up buying a simple crib skirt online for less than $15 and it would have taken me much more to purchase the fabric and sew it myself.

A Beautiful DIY Bedroom for Baby - Nursery Decor on a Budget

Do you have any favorite nursery DIY tips? Share them with me in the comments!

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Sweet, Quick and Easy Applique Valentine’s Day Heart Tee

Sweet, Quick and Easy Applique Valentine's Day Heart Tee

Need something sweet for the kids to wear on Valentine’s Day? This easy applique Valentine’s Day heart tee goes together quickly with fabric scraps and is easy enough for the beginning seamstress. I’ll even show you how to make this tee with a “Disney-twist”! Oh so special to wear on your next Disney vacation to show your Mickey-Love! I’ve included a free printable applique for the hearts and silhouette.

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Yellow Loop. Today we are sharing some fun Valentine’s Day crafts.


I’ll confess…Though I have an Etsy shop and take frequent orders that get shipped out quickly, I tend to wait until the last minute to make outfits for my own kids. I love having a quick and easy method of design that takes minimal time and can be put together in the matter of an hour or so. You’ll love this layered method of applique because it goes together fast, requires no special stitches and no hemming…and it’s totally unique. You decide the look based on the colors and the fabric mix you choose.

Sweet, Quick and Easy Applique Valentine's Day Heart Tee

You’ll need:

  • T-shirt. This is a chance for you to use a tee that might have a stain on it as you’ll be able to “save” the shirt by placing an applique over the stain.
  • Applique pattern. I used hearts in various sizes as well as a small Mickey silhouette. You can use the PDF applique here: Heart Tee Applique
  • Scrap fabrics in various sizes and colors (choose cotton or cotton knit)
  • Sharpie Fine Point Marker
  • Fusible bond, like Heat’n Bond Lite Iron-on Adhesive
  • Thread in matching colors. Gutermann thread is my favorite brand as it’s strong (doesn’t break mid-project!), wide range of colors and holds up to wash and wear.
  • Bobbin thread in color to match the shirt
  • Sewing machine needle (jersey or Ballpoint Machine Needles give the best results for applique)
  • Disappearing ink pen, like this one from Dritz
  • Iron

HeartTeeCollage-1

1. Place a piece of fusible bond (bumpy side down) onto your design and trace out each individual shape using a Sharpie marker (ball point pens or pencils will smudge or smear off onto your iron, so a Sharpie is best).

HeartTee-5

2. Cut out and set aside the Mickey silhouette.

HeartTeeCollage-2

3. Choose your fabrics and iron out the wrinkles on each piece.

HeartTee-6

Pull out the fabric that you want to use for the largest heart. Keep in mind that only the outer edge of this heart will show. Iron the fusible bond heart (bumpy side down) onto the WRONG side of the fabric.

HeartTee-7

4. Cut out only the largest heart on the Sharpie line.

HeartTeeCollage-3

5. Peel off the fusible bond backing. Save the backside of the fusible bond to use for the next heart.

HeartTee-9

Lay your shirt down and iron out any wrinkles in the design area. Lay the large heart down on the tee, make sure the design is centered and straight. Iron on securely.

6. Using a straight stitch, sew with a small hem (1/4″) around the edge of the fabric, securing the first heart to the tee.

HeartTee10

7. Using the heart template (leftover from the backside of the fusible bond), carefully cut away to the next size heart. Lay down onto the wrong side of the next piece of fabric and use your disappearing ink pen to trace this outline onto the wrong side of the fabric.

HeartTeeCollage-4

8. Cut out heart shape from fabric and lay down, centering on top of the first heart that was ironed onto the shirt. Carefully pin to the shirt, smoothing out fabric so there aren’t any bumps. Carefully sew with a small hem (1/4″) around the edge of the fabric, securing the second heart to the tee.

HeartTee-12b

9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 with the third heart.

HeartTee-12a

HeartTee-13

10. Iron the Mickey silhouette onto the WRONG side of the fabric. Cut out the shape on the line, peel off backside of fusible bond and center the design in the middle of the third heart. Iron on securely.

HeartTee-15

11. Using a straight stitch, sew with a small hem (1/4″) around the edge of the fabric, securing the silhouette to the tee.


Sweet, Quick and Easy Applique Valentine's Day Heart Tee

Straight stitch applique advice:

Because the edges of the applique pieces are not covered, the edges of your cotton fabric may fray or curl slightly after a wash and dry. As long as you’ve properly stitched the pieces securely, slight fraying or curling should be fine and create a fun look to your design.

Taking applique to the next level:

Once your practiced straight stitch applique, try using a satin stitch (aka: a very close together zig-zag) around the edges of your applique pieces to secure them. This will create a more smooth and polished look. You’ll be able to add more detail and the look will last a long time. Cover the stitches inside (because they will be thicker and potentially more itchy to the wearer) with a soft fusible Poly-mesh backing.

Prefer to buy? I offer other Disney-themed tees (with name personalization) in my Etsy shop

For more great Valentine’s Day crafts,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Yellow | Valentine’s Day Crafts Loop:


 This post contains affiliate links

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Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Yellow Loop. Today we are sharing Halloween craft ideas.


Do you love having custom boutique clothing for you and your kids when you visit the Disney Parks? Me too! I’ve been creating and selling appliqued tees for years in my Etsy shop, The Painted Butterfly Studio. However, I know not everyone has the time or inclination to perfect satin stitching or proper technique for seamless applique. I came up with a technique for applique that anyone with a sewing machine can accomplish!

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

Supplies needed:

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

1. Take your coloring page or design and flip the page over. Outline the bold details with a Sharpie marker. This is the side that you will trace on.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

2. Place a piece of fusible bond (bumpy side down) onto your design and trace out each individual shape using a Sharpie marker (ball point pens or pencils will smudge or smear off onto your iron, so a Sharpie is best).

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

You’ll have a piece for the pumpkin, the stem, the leaf and the individual pieces of the jack-o’ lantern face.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

3. Cut around each piece of fusible bond but NOT on the Sharpie line (see image above on left). Iron them (bumpy side down) onto the appropriate color of fabric.

  • One orange pumpkin shape
  • One lime green leaf
  • One brown stem
  • One black jack-o’ lantern smile, one nose and two eyes.

4. Cut out each piece on the Sharpie line.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

5. Lay your shirt down and iron out any wrinkles in the design area. Starting with the orange pumpkin and brown pumpkin stem,  peel off the fusible bond backings and place down onto the tee. Tuck the brown stem slightly underneath the orange pumpkin. Make sure the design is centered and straight. Do not iron yet!!

Lay your coloring page down (the original side, not the one that you traced) on top of your design to make sure the pieces line up before pressing with the iron. I flip the page back and forth quickly so I can compare the design and make sure I have pieces in the correct position. Use a smooth pressure to apply the pieces to your tee shirt with the iron on a “cotton” setting.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

6. Moving on to the leaf, use the same technique, comparing the coloring page to the fabric design before ironing in place.

7. Repeat with jack-o’ lantern pieces, matching the correct position by comparing to the coloring page before ironing in place.

8. Once you have all your pieces securely ironed on, cut a piece of stabilizer slightly larger than the size of your design.

Carefully turn your shirt inside out and follow the package instructions to secure to the inside of the shirt (some stabilizers must be pinned on; I use one that can be ironed on and easily removed).

Turn the shirt right side out. Do not skip this step of using stabilizer! Stabilizer holds the design straight while you sew to avoid warping, puckering or rippling.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

9. Thread your sewing machine bobbin with the same color of thread as your t-shirt. You will start by sewing the pieces on top, the black jack-o’lantern face. When appliqueing, always sew the smaller pieces on top first to avoid puckering. Thread the machine with black thread and set the machine for a tight straight stitch.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

10. Carefully sew each jack-o’ lantern piece close to the outside edge. Change thread colors and complete by sewing the green leaf and brown stem.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

11. Taking your disappearing ink pen and comparing to your original coloring page, draw any detail lines for the pumpkin directly onto your fabric design.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

12. Using orange thread, sew around the outside of the pumpkin first, then sew up and down the design to add the details. Make sure to back stitch before and at the end of each strand to secure stitches.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

13. When all sewing is complete, spritz the design lightly with water to remove the disappearing ink lines. You may have to repeat this process several times. Do not iron until the ink lines are gone to avoid setting them permanently.

14. Turn shirt inside out and remove all pieces of stabilizer. Turn shirt right side out.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

14. When disappearing ink lines are gone, press the design with iron to sink and tighten the stitches. Your shirt is ready to wear!


Straight stitch applique advice:

It is important to stick with cotton or knit fabrics only when straight stitch appliqueing. Because the edges of the applique pieces are not covered, there is a chance that the edges of your cotton fabric may fray or curl slightly after a wash and dry. As long as you’ve properly stitched the pieces securely, slight fraying or curling should be fine and create a fun look to your design.

Halloween DIY Disney Mickey Pumpkin Appliqued Tee

Pumpkin shirt with satin stitch applique

Taking applique to the next level:

Once your practiced straight stitch applique, try using a satin stitch (aka: a very close together zig-zag) around the edges of your applique pieces to secure them. This will create a more smooth and polished look. You’ll be able to add more detail and the look will last a long time. Cover the stitches inside (because they will be thicker and potentially more itchy to the wearer) with a soft fusible Poly-mesh backing.

Prefer to buy? I’ve got you covered because this design (with name personalization) and others are sold in my Etsy shop 🙂

For more Halloween craft ideas,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Yellow  | Halloween Crafts Loop:


 This post contains affiliate links

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DIY Gifts (and Save!) – Make Your Own Cloth Napkins

DIY Christmas gifts - Make your own Cloth Napkins

I love a pretty table setting, don’t you? Since we eat at home 99% of the time, it’s important to me that my table look inviting and lovely (even if we’re just eating yesterday’s leftovers!)

One of the ways I set a homey table on a budget is by making my own cloth napkins. Not only do I save money by not purchasing paper products, I also have a pretty presentation for every home-cooked meal! I have about a half-dozen napkin sets that coordinate with my basic colored place mats and I just simply toss the napkins into the wash with my dishtowels after dinner.

These cloth napkins are super-simple to make and are a lovely hostess gift. Coordinate them with your seasonal decor. Tie up a set with a raffia-ribbon to gift during the holidays!

DIY Christmas gifts - Make your own Cloth Napkins

I recommend using high-quality cotton quilting fabric for your napkins. Stains will come out more easily in the wash and you won’t have to press them after a tumble in the dryer.

I have been using the same pattern for years, from seamstress and fabric designer Heather Bailey. Her template for easy-to-do mitered corners is so helpful! And if you need beautiful fabrics, she sells them on her website too.

CLOTH NAPKIN INSTRUCTIONS

DIY Christmas gifts - Make your own Cloth Napkins

Looking for fun and creative napkin folding techniques? I have culled some on my Pinterest board This Life.


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Halloween on a Budget – Make Your Own Adorable Costumes (and Save a Ton!!)

Make Your Own Halloween Costumes

I’m a crafty girl so of course, I always make my kid’s Halloween costumes. But even if you don’t have a crafty bone in your body, I know you can make a costume this year (or at least vow not to spend an ungodly amount of money on a crummy costume at the store, okay?). Want to make your own Halloween costumes? I’ll show you my 100+ tips, tricks and ideas to make your own Halloween costumes.

Please note that I use affiliate links in this post. Clicking through and making a purchase helps in a small financial way, thank you!

Tons of tips for making your own Halloween costumes, all on a budget!

Make a Halloween Costume Plan Early

A few months before Halloween I ask the kids to start thinking about what costume they want. Sometimes it takes them a few weeks to decide but this year they’ve been firm and have stuck with their original ideas. Two of the three have a Disney-theme, go figure! *wink*

I’m starting the Halloween planning a full 60 days in advance, which will give me plenty of time to make three kid’s costumes. I highly suggest starting early so you have plenty of time for planning and crafting and avoiding the night-before cram session (been there, done that!).

Some kids have a hard time deciding on a final theme so allow about a week of waffling before you tell them they have to nail it down. Once the planning process starts there is no changing of minds!

Dozen of Halloween Costume Ideas with Tips & Tricks on How to Make Your Own Costumes on a Budget

Draw Out a Basic Design

I draw a quick and simple design of the costume idea and present it to each child for approval. Make your drawing very simple and direct (don’t forget to show both front and back). Allow input from the kids about the design as they often come up with the most creative ideas!

I stress this…do not make them a costume as a surprise! This quite often will backfire. Kids want and need to approve what they wear. I believe that they should be involved in choosing their own theme. After all it’s the child that will be bringing the character to life! You want them to be happy and comfortable with what they are wearing (and not refusing to put it on!).

Dozen of Halloween Costume Ideas with Tips & Tricks on How to Make Your Own Costumes on a Budget

One of my favorite years was when my kids decided together that they wanted to be pirates. My son had a pair of glow-in-the-dark skeleton pajamas that became the base of the design. One child chose black and the other red as their main color scheme. I used the same skull and cross-bones design on the backs of their vests (drew out a image, traced it onto white fabric, cut it out and sewed it on).


The costumes had a similar look but each one unique with the choice of accessories. My son had a simple sash tied at his waist and a loose vest. For my daughter I made a tighter top (that laced on the sides) and a sash that laced with ribbon in front. I accented her outfit with inexpensive gold braid trim. These costumes look fantastic and I truly only spent about $15 total on the striped and black fabrics.

Argh! Brother and sister pirate Halloween costumes {Saving Up for Disney}

Know What You Have & Buy Only What You Need

As a seamstress, I have more than enough fabric and notions in my bins to costume a Broadway production! For this year’s costumes, I don’t think I’m going to have to purchase much of anything. But perhaps you’re starting from scratch? Save those fabric and craft store coupons now.

Figure out what fabrics you’d like to use for the costume (be practical about what will be easiest to work with and what washes up the best) and watch for sales. Dig through your odds and ends including buttons, ribbons and leftovers from previous craft projects. You might just find a diamond in the rough that will be the inspiration of your design!


Take a look at your closets and see what can be tweaked or reworked for a costume. In many cases I only have to make one main piece or an accessory to complete the look. The rest is straight from their everyday wear. I recommend Fabric.com online if you do need to purchase fabrics or supplies.

Like this adorable gnome. My son already had the corduroy pants so I just made a basic tunic (trimmed with white bias tape). Felt is so cheap and it was appropriately stiff so the hat stood up all on its own. I attached an elastic chin-strap and a strip of fur for the beard. This costume cost less than $10. It took only a few hours to create and he looked absolutely precious!

Dozen of Halloween Costume Ideas with Tips & Tricks on How to Make Your Own Costumes on a Budget

Keep An Open Mind & Creativity Flowing

I haven’t purchased a new pattern since 2007 because I use and reuse the classic styles that I already own. Don’t get hung up with needing a specific “princess” costume pattern. And you don’t have to exactly match the design on the cover.

Don’t let yourself get distracted by a dull or outdated design on the packaging. Simply changing up the fabrics and adding trims can make that style a true gem.

Scour the sale pattern bins and look for classics that can be manipulated for your design. A basic tunic pattern and elastic waist pants and skirts are the basis for countless costume designs.

Halloween spider costume on the cheap {Saving Up for Disney}

What do you have around the house that can be recycled for a costume? My son came up with the idea of “Hollywood Super Star Spider” when he was five. He knew he wanted a cane and a top hat. My dad made the cane with leftover PVC piping. I made the top hat from the thin cardboard of a cereal box, hot glue and leftover fabric strips.

I spent very little on the actual fabric for the costume and batting to fill in the spider arms. Mono-filament (fishing line) strung the arms together. He wore his own black pants with the tunic. My son was over the moon when his design and character came to life!


Tons of tips for making your own Halloween costumes, all on a budget!

A homemade cupcake, Sorcerer Mickey and a Marine

Less is More (Thinking Cheap)

Specialty fabrics can be very expensive so try to use them minimally instead of in excess. They generally have a greater impact when used strategically, like in the bodice of a dress instead of in the entire skirt.

For my son’s spider costume I used only a small amount of the priciest fabric (the sheer, sparkly red spiderweb design), choosing to place it only on the front of the tunic. Same goes for fancy trims: Instead of edging the entire hem of a skirt, use a pricey trim only around the neckline or sleeves.


When I want to create drama without the expense on a costume, I pull out my fabric paints. A little glittery fabric paint can go a long way to making your look more professional! When my nephew got a hold of this Spiderman costume it had already been through two previous Halloweens over the course of 8 years but the paint pen marker that I’d used to draw the web was still holding up!

Spiderman costume on the cheap {Saving Up for Disney}

For the cost of a few plastic buttons and some stretchy knit fabric, you can have your own Mickey in the house! Check out my DIY Mickey Mouse costume tutorial.

mickeycostume

Face Paint Can Be a Costume

Keep your outfit simple and go with dramatic face paint. This is an awesome way to dress up as a wild animal.


Turn That “OOPS” Into “I MEANT TO DO THAT!”

See my daughter twirling in her lovely fairy butterfly dress? When I tried it on her for the first time it completely fell off her shoulders! I needed a fix and I needed one fast! I improvised by sewing strips on the dress inside the neckline. This created a unique bejeweled collar that became the signature look of the design. When something doesn’t work it’s time to pull out all the creative stops and look at it a different way.

Halloween butterfly fairy costume {Saving Up for Disney}

Outside the Box

My son is nothing if not imaginative. He came to me with the idea of being a bush for Halloween when he was 6 years old. His idea was that he wanted to hide in corners and then jump out and scare people who thought he was just part of the landscaping!

After pricing the cost of fake leaves we had a discussion and I convinced him to be a tree. The cost of completely covering his entire body with leaves was going to be prohibitive. But one strand of fake greenery was acceptable. He could still be in disguise and if he squatted down, he’d still look like a bush. He went for it!

We used an old shirt and I hot glued on the leaves. A bucket hat received an overlay of green fabric, more leaves and even a tiny nest and bird that we had in our craft box! He wore brown pants for the “trunk” and everyone loved his creative costume. And he got the biggest kick out of jumping out at people along the trick-or-treating trail.

Halloween costume - A tree with a bird's nest {Saving Up for Disney}

Give Yourself Enough Time (and Know Where to Cut Corners)

This zebra jacket took more time than you’d ever know! Seriously, I worked for hours and hours cutting out strips and sewing them in place. I made the headpiece with a firm piece of latch-hook plastic. I looped the black and white yarn through it and then sewed the plastic in place onto the hood.

But by the time I got to the bottoms I’d run out of time! I’d planned on making black pants and adding the stripes but instead had to resort to tweaking an old pair of soccer shorts with a few stripes sewn on and having him wear a pair of his sister’s black leggings. It all worked out in the end, he loved the costume and he still wears this jacket!

Zebra costume made from a hoodie {Saving Up for Disney}

My point is to judge how long you’re taking on a particular project and know whether it’s worth your time to keep going or to amend the project to suit your time and needs. In the case of my daughter’s fairy butterfly dress, the skirt fabric was two silky layers and I didn’t have the time to hem it in the traditional way.  I serged the edge in a contrasting thread so it was still finished off. The pretty threads added a colorful charm to the design.

Very Hungry Caterpillar baby costume {Saving Up for Disney}

For the baby’s first Halloween, I knew he’d been spending the night in his stroller, probably asleep. I didn’t need to make him anything fancy, instead opting for fabrics I already had in a theme he loved from his favorite book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. A simple elastic tube of green fabric trimmed with colorful ribbons up the spine and a quickly appliqued knit cap was enough for his first Halloween.

Costume From the Closet

Rather than full out costume, see what you can use from your own closet to create. I made a DIY Vanellope Von Schweetz for my daughter using items that were from her closet or easily purchased and that could be re-worn as clothing. Hooded sweatshirts are so easily manipulated into a costume with a few inexpensive trims.

 

If you really don’t want to spend much (or any) money, take a look at what you already own that can be finagled into a costume. My little guy loved the Wizard of Oz a few years ago (and his sister was already dressing as Dorothy) so I easily put together his scarecrow costume with a plaid shirt, overalls, a bucket hat and some raffia. Adorable…and free!

Baby scarecrow costume with items in the closet - totally free! {Saving Up for Disney}

Alright, Okay…So, You’re Going With Store Bought

Remember when I said I always make my kids own costumes. I lied. One year I bought my son a Jack Sparrow Pirates of the Caribbean costume. In all honesty, I had been listing a hand painted pirate costume in my Etsy shop that year and I’d made a half-dozen of them and just didn’t have enough time for my own kid’s costume!


So we splurged and went with store-bought. It was a nice quality Disney store costume and he “made it his own” by pairing it with my brother’s vintage pirate hat. It was a nice enough costume that it was handed down to my nephew the following year and then I sold it the next year on Ebay!

Halloween costumes on the cheap {Saving Up for Disney}

My Hollywood SuperStar Spider and his cousin, wearing the store bought Jack Sparrow costume the second year.


If you do go with store bought, keep a few things in mind:

Quality vs. Price.

  • Is the fabric so cheaply transparent that kids will have to wear a second layer underneath for modesty?
  • How many times after Halloween night will the costume be wearable?
  • Could it be resold either on Ebay or to a friend afterwards? There are some really precious costumes out there. But is it really worth it to you to spend $80 for a one-day outfit?

Dozen of Halloween Costume Ideas with Tips & Tricks on How to Make Your Own Costumes on a Budget

Shop the Thrift or Resale Shops First

It’s what everyone did with last year’s costumes: They donated them and they are yours for the picking! I found my daughter’s Wizard of Oz Dorothy costume at the thrift store last year for a whopping $4! The ruby slippers were $10 and she wore them for every Christmas event and school dance that year so I say that is one bargain Halloween costume!


Start with Accessories Before Buying the Head-to-Toe Costume

Can you get away with buying a store-bought accessory and using items from your closet for the rest? I present to you, Indiana Jones! An accessories set included the Indiana Jones Child’s Hat and Whip Set and Indiana Jones Satchel (which was of course, his trick-or-treat bag).

It cost me about $15 total and I pulled a khaki shirt and brown pants from his closet to complete the look. He added the smolder on his own!

Dozen of Halloween Costume Ideas with Tips & Tricks on How to Make Your Own Costumes on a Budget

Is it Comfortable?

  • Itchy fabric? Too tight elastic? So many store-bought costumes are sealed up inside their packages and can’t be tried on first.
  • Some of the retailers have very strict return policies in regards to Halloween costumes so make sure that you are able to try it on completely before making the purchase.
  • If your child isn’t comfortable wearing the costume in the store, they will be miserable trick-or-treating and who wants those kind of memories?

Dozen of Halloween Costume Ideas with Tips & Tricks on How to Make Your Own Costumes on a Budget

Will This Costume Ever Be Worn Again?

Will your kids wear their costumes to play dress-up through out the year? Invest in nice quality pieces that won’t fall apart in the dress-up bin. The hours of entertainment they provide are worth it. Every item that I’ve made has either been handed down to another child or has been worn again for dress-up and pretend play. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice Mickey hat that I made for Halloween became the theme of my son’s birthday so he wore the hat for the party too!

Tons of tips for making your own Halloween costumes, all on a budget!

On a final note, I think Halloween costumes are a wonderful way of expressing creativity and style. Not only just for the person making the costume. The child who chooses the theme and helps design makes the costume come to life with their own personality.

This final shot of my nephew and son, rocking their individual looks perfectly reflects that. Choose a costume that transforms you and makes your character come to life!

DIY Cheap and Easy Pillow Covers to Brighten Your Home!

DIY Pillow Covers {Saving Up for Disney}

One of the cheapest and easiest ways to brighten your home is with fabric. Less of a commitment than painting the walls, a simple yard of cotton fabric can make at least one pillow cover (depending on the size of your pillow form) and will only cost you a few dollars.

I found a DIY link on Pinterest for sewing up Envelope Pillows. Super easy and super fast! I had three pillow covers done in baby-nap time (approximately 2 hours). You only need to know how to measure, cut and sew straight lines so it’s perfect for beginners.

For this project I didn’t have to buy a thing. I used pillow forms I already had (from Ikea) and fabric I’d purchased about three years ago and never got around to using. You can also buy cheap pillows at a home decor shop and cover them to match your own decor with fabric of your choosing. Nice quilters cotton will cost about $7-10 per yard.

DIY Pillow Covers {Saving Up for Disney}

Look closely at the dark blue and cocoa brocade print on the right…those are goldfish in the center of the design!

DIY Pillow Covers {Saving Up for Disney}

And the backsides are cute too.

The tutorial recommended using plain fabric on the back but I know that my pillows will never just be sitting pretty on the sofa. They will be tossed all over (in fact they are laying on the floor right now, as my husband was taking a nap with them!) so I wanted them cute from all angles.

Warning…these tend to be addictive and you might find yourself making a set of pillow covers for each season! At Christmas time, I used some winter-themed fabrics with reindeer and snowflakes. My sofa was so bright and whimsical!

Sheri Berry Christmas Sheri Berry Holiday Michael Miller Yule

You could also make a toss pillow for the kid’s bedrooms in a favorite fabric to coordinate with their room (or use an outgrown tee for the front).

Of course, you could also make Disney-themed pillows in anticipation of an impending vacation…I plan on it! I am going to choose one main Disney fabric for one pillow and use coordinating prints to go with it. You want your look to be livable so make sure these are colors and designs that blend with the rest of your decor.

  

I recommend purchasing quilter’s cotton for any home projects that are going to be getting used and washed frequently. Unfortunately many of the inexpensive cottons sold at the craft stores are going to wear poorly or fade, so invest a few dollars more a yard for nice quilter’s cotton that will be smooth to the touch, wash up nicely, keep color and last for a long time. If you don’t have a quilt shop in your area, you can find plenty online (just pay attention to the scale because you might receive it and realize that the print is larger or smaller than expected!).


Some of my favorite fabric links:

Heather Bailey – I cannot wait to buy Up Parasol, I love every piece in this collection!

Michael Miller fabric – The Sarah Jane line is so sweet and whimsical. Lots of fun chevron prints too.

Kaufman fabric – The Dwell Studio collection is perfectly sophisticated for home decor.

Emmy Grace – Love the subdued colors and intricately detailed art in these designs.

Amy Butler – Bright and bold and perfect for adding pops of color, I use her prints frequently.

Kona Cotton – The best solids around, in tons of gorgeous colors!

Why DIY?

I’m a do-it-yourself-er at heart. For as far back as I can recall, if you could buy it in the store, I’ve been trying to make it better at home. I never bought a birthday card when I was a kid, they were all made by me (complete with a hand drawn “Hallmark-style” crown on the back!). I started hand sewing when I was young and making whatever I could with whatever fabric I could get my hands on. Sketches and watercolors made nice gifts for friends and family.

There was always a project (or two…or ten)…and there still is!

Handmade baby quilt and nursing pillow cover.

Handmade baby quilt and nursing pillow cover.

My craft space is currently a flurry of multiple juggling projects, from a quilt that I plan to make as a Christmas gift, watercolor art that I hope to someday get printed, a personalized t-shirt, some half-painted picture frames and a stack of hot-off-the-sewing machine pillowcases for the sofa.

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Why buy, when you can make it better at home?

Handpainted wooden figures for a Small World birthday party.

Handpainted wooden figures for a Small World birthday party.

I understand that perhaps crafting isn’t your talent. Maybe you’ve never held a needle in your life. Or you don’t consider yourself an “artist”. I truly believe there is a craft for everyone. Maybe if drawing isn’t your thing, woodworking is. Or maybe you can decorate beautiful cakes using a piping bag. How about gardening, you just have that magical green thumb? Are perhaps computer technology is your craft and you know how to code functional websites.

Appliqued shirts for a Disney trip.

Appliqued shirts for a Disney trip.

In any case, doing-it-yourself can be a rewarding way to share your talent with others. It’s a stress-reliever and often times (if you don’t get caught up overstocking supplies), DIY can be a great way to save money. I have found that my best projects come from what I have on hand because I’m forced to get creative with my supplies instead of simply going to the store and buying it.

DIY… I hope you’ll try!

DIY girl's princess blouse.

DIY girl’s princess blouse.

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