2014 In Review- Thank You!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,400 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 40 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

DIY Toddler Flutter Sleeve Dress/Top

Over the past few weeks, I have been on a Pinterest overhaul. I typically pin a lot and only complete a small fraction of those projects. I came across a pin that led me to a blog by the name of “It’s Always Autumn”. This particular post focused on a Flutter Sleeve Dress.


It included a PDF pattern that was only available in 4T, which is perfect for my little lady. She’s in 3T, but we’ve started getting some items in 4T for her to grow into.

Okay, let’s get down to the construction.

*Note: I used the blog mentioned earlier primarily for the pattern. I changed several things about the construction of the piece, the biggest change being the fact that I omitted the bias tape.*

I found some adorable fabric at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft, went straight home and started cutting! There are four pattern pieces. (Not pictured is the sleeve/strap piece). The three pieces pictured form the body of the dress.


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Here is the dress all cut out:

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I started construction by folding and pressing the edges of what will be the armholes.

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I then folded and pressed the outside edges of the sleeves.

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Then, I stitched around the edges using hot pink thread.

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I laid out each sleeve on top of the dress as pictured:

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I then stitched the sleeve onto the dress and continued down the side of the armhole.

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Next, folded the armhole so the stitching was on the inside and pressed the edges.

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Here is one complete side finished.

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Once I attached the sleeves to the other side, I stitched the front and back together. (I like to finish my seams with a serger, but since I didn’t have enough spools of thread for the serger, I decided to zigzag the edge. I will probably go back and serge it later.

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Almost done! Front and back sewn together:

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I created an elastic casing along the top (about 3/4 inch) by folding, pressing, and stitching. I use this handy elastic puller for casings that aren’t too small. Safety pins will also work.

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I pulled the elastic through and stitched the hole closed.

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I added the trim to the bottom and I was finished!

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It was so simple to create that I made the shirt version the next day! For the shirt, I included trim on the sleeves as well.

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The dress and shirt side by side:

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I will definitely make more of these, and plan to experiment with the sleeve length when it gets cooler. I don’t see it being difficult to size up as my daughter grows, so I plan to reference this pattern for a while.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think!

Superhero Wreath DIY

It’s a bird…it’s a plane…it’s a…superhero wreath?

Okay, yes it’s the middle of summer, but I’m preparing for a mission trip that’s coming in a few weeks. That means it’s time to comb the internet (namely Pinterest) and find organization/decoration inspiration for my classroom.  I’m using a superhero theme and have found tons of ideas. What better way to kick off my decorating than to make a wreath? It’s the first thing visitors to my room will see.

First, a pic of my JoAnn haul. I found supplies for my wreath and then some for under $20.

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Now, on to the actual DIY portion. First, I took the foam wreath form and marked the sides where I wanted the top color to (approximately) begin and end:

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Next, I took the red and secured the end with a dot of hot glue.

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Then, I wrapped, wrapped, and wrapped some more. It is important to make sure the layers don’t overlap so it’s as smooth as possible. I wasn’t aiming for perfection, but still wanted it to be neat.

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When the red was done, I added a small section of yellow. I secured the end again with glue right where the section of red ended, making sure the glue is on the backside of the wreath.

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Once I was satisfied with the amount of yellow, I moved on to the blue:

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And finished with the last section of yellow.

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On to the “Pow!” graphic. I used sheets of felt for this.

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I cut the yellow and white together so I could get the material closer to the size I wanted. I was aiming for an oval, but it came out egg-shaped. (You win some, you lose some.)

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Using the shapes found in my fabric as a guide, I cut the yellow and white felt freehand until I got the shape I wanted. Then, I cut out the red letters freehand:

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I thought the “W” was a little overpowering, so I cut it down a little, cut holes in the “P” and “o”, and added an exclamation mark.

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I hot glued the yellow shape to the white, placed the red letters on top, and glued in place as well. Then, I glued the whole assembled piece to the bottom right side of the yarn wreath.

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Almost done! I could have hung it using ribbon, but what better way to tie in the fabric I’m going to use inside than to include it on the wreath? I cut a strip of fabric:

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I folded it length-wise and sewed it into a tube. It literally took no more than two minutes. (It was time to put baby girl to bed, and I promised Hubby it would take no longer to sew this than it took for him to get her pajamas on. I was right.) I turned the tube inside out, placed it around the wreath and secured it with a safety pin until I can get it on my door to figure out exactly how long it needs to be.

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That’s it! My superhero wreath, and my reminder that summer is speeding along! *insert sad violins here*

As always, I hope you enjoyed the post, and maybe even learned a new trick. If you liked what you read, please share, and be sure to check out my other DIY posts. Thanks for reading!

Sewing/craft room DIY

Over Spring Break, better known as Masters’ week where I live, I decided to start working on my sewing room. Quick history: Hubby and I bought our house November 2011. We (I) decorated our bedroom and nursery since I was already a few months pregnant with baby girl. The third bedroom quickly became the “storage/whatever we don’t need right now/whatever baby girl has outgrown” room. We kept the door closed most of the time, and went on about our business. Last summer, I got the “I need to paint something” itch, and created the office Hubby had been desiring. That blog post is here.

Hubby was happy, I was happy. Good, right? Well, yes, at first. Making the curtains for the office awakened a sewing/crafting maniac that I did not know was hiding inside of me. I began churning out skirts, scarves, and wreaths. Hubby’s computer-programming room had become an office for two. We dealt with cohabiting the space, but my craft materials quickly began to outgrow the office. I knew that I was going to have to do something about the space issue, but the idea of tackling the neglected room was very daunting.

Fast forward to March, when we finally got the “storage” room cleared out. I picked out fabric from my trusty favorite, Carousel Designs, that matched my DeniseMay Creations logo. I then went to Lowe’s and picked out a matching gray (I’ve been looking for a reason to paint some walls gray) color in Olympic One (eggshell finish). The rest is (soon to be) history.


This is the view from the door. That ceiling fan up there? This lady installed it! As I mentioned in the past, the previous homeowner took all lighting fixtures when they moved out. We usually just kept a lamp hooked up for light, but for sewing, lots of light is needed. You can also see the rocker that was previously kept in baby girl’s room. I don’t use it much, but baby girl and Hubby like to sit in it sometimes while I’m working. Okay, now a quick run-down of the different areas of my room. My sewing desk came from Walmart.com. It was super inexpensive, and is super functional. It stores all three of my machines. Pictured here are my Singer sewing and Brother embroidery machines. Inside the side cabinet is where I store my Singer serger. photo 1 (14)   Next is my Closetmaid cubeicals organizer. I literally have one of these in just about every room in different sizes. I use one as a shoe rack in our foyer, there is one in our entertainment room, two in the office, one in the living room, one in my daughter’s room, one in the Master closet, and one in the Master bath. They are relatively inexpensive and can be customized for whatever your needs may be. For this room, I bought the largest one in the house because I know I have a ton of odds and ends to keep up with (cloth, thread, shipping supplies, paint, etc). We either purchase ours from Target or Walmart. I have also seen them at Lowe’s. DSC_5132 I was going to stage the organizer and make it look pretty for the picture, but I wanted to be real with y’all. It’s a work room, and therefore, looks worked in. 😉 Next is a different view of the desk. You see a hanging plastic mannequin my parents had leftover. Also hanging on the wall is a huge board I found at Hobby Lobby for a steal (with a coupon)! I can’t find the exact one, but here is one that is about the same size. Mine has a wood trim, and I don’t think it’s magnetic. I covered the edges of the white area with painter’s tape and painted the wood a pretty blue to match my logo. I use it to list the open orders I have, as well as any business-related tasks I need to care of. Having it in plain view helps a TON.photo 2 (13)DSC_5114     Above is a picture of how I organize my embroidery thread, as well as a few spools of sewing thread. Since I embroider several times a week, it helps me to be able to have it within easy reach. I found the rack at Walmart. It is meant to be propped up, so I drilled one hole at the top of each side and secured it to the wall with large nails.   The following pictures are sewing-inspiration-related pictures I found online. The first: “Periodic Table of Sewing Elements”, came from The Scientific Seamstress’s blog. Her blog is full of functional cuteness for sewers/crafters. I just printed, trimmed the edges, and stuck it in a frame. DSC_5131 Next, is a printable from KooserDesign on Etsy. “She turned her can’ts into cans and her dreams into plans” is my new motto regarding my small business. DSC_5129

Finally, is one I picked because it’s pretty self-explanatory! I found this on Etsy as well at Heart Impression’s shop. DSC_5128

“Do more of what makes you happy”

   Shot of the whole wall with the organizer, chair, and artwork:DSC_5127I have my rotary cutter mat hanging behind the door: DSC_5125And I found this frame online at Michael’s. I originally bought it to put around my thread rack, but #1: it’s not big enough for it to fit, and #2, it’s cut to hang vertically, not horizontally. I refused to take it back, though, so I painted it pink, hung some hooks in the wall, and hung my rotary cutter and extra pair of scissors inside of it above the dresser that holds my infinity scarf fabric stash. DSC_5123I found all of these organizers months ago at the dollar section in the front of Target. I randomly bought 1 or 2 at a time, with no real original use for them, I just thought they were cute. Turns out they match the overall color theme pretty well (or at least close enough to live with). DSC_5122 The following dresser is very near and dear to my heart. It’s the dresser I used when I was growing up. My parents bought all three of their kids one, and I took mine with me when I moved out during my second year of college. It was a much lighter color than this originally, and the handles were gold. I had it in the corner, and when I called my husband to come look at the progress I was making, he said “That dresser has to go!” He meant it in the nicest way possible, though. 🙂 I totally agreed that it didn’t match, but I couldn’t part with it just yet. I did what any paint lover would do: bought a couple of cans of a brown-black color spray paint (I think I used Dark Walnut) from Jo-Ann, and a can of chrome-colored silver Metallic paint and painted the dresser and handles. It looks brand new! DSC_5121Shot of the wall from top to bottom:

DSC_5120A copy of my logo that my Hubby had framed in glass for me hangs above the closet:


**Update** I forgot to include a shot of the curtain valance! This is one of the last things I did, besides painting the dresser. I found the silver curtain hooks and rod at Lowe’s. It may be a little hard to see all of the detail, but I linked the fabric at the beginning of the post.


That’s pretty much it! I still can’t believe I finally did my room. It’s so peaceful to work in and makes me feel really productive! Thanks so much for visiting my blog and reading my ramblings! 🙂

Minnie Mouse 2nd Birthday Party: DIY Recap

On April 12, we held the long-awaited (at least, for me) 2nd birthday party for my little toddler. Here is a recap of how it went and what I did. I’m not including pictures of everything, just the DIY items.

Here is Nadia wearing her fabric/tulle tutu and applique tee I made her. She is also wearing her Minnie Mouse ears. Every child got a set to wear. The tutorial for them is here.

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The next two pictures show how the centerpieces from this tutorial were used. I put them on the two 8′ tables I pushed together, as well as on the mouse ears/bubbles table.

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In the previous picture, I used this tutorial from a blog called Crackers and Carrots as a guide to make the info poster. It now hangs on her bedroom wall. The original does have our last name on it, but I edited it out for privacy purposes.

I made these goodie bags (with a little help on assembly from my Mom) for each kid guest. They were very easy and fast to make (sorry, no tutorial). They were filled with age-appropriate gifts since we had several ages present. I used things like: crayons, Play -Doh, stickers, baby board books, jump ropes, sunglasses, ball and paddles, pencils, Rubik’s cube, etc. All were Mickey/Minnie theme with the exception of the Play-Doh, and were found at Party City, Michael’s, and Target.



The back had the following sticker, found from this shop on Etsy.

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Next up is one of my favorite touches from the party: the food signs! I used this tutorial from Laurel Lane crafts to get myself started.





Nadia LOVED the dipped cookies! She kept sneaking away to get them.


A friend made this cake, but it was so adorable, I had to share!

Oh, and here is a family shot with Hubby and I wearing the Mickey and Minnie Mouse pocket tees I embroidered that morning along with the birthday girl. His tee came with the pocket, but I made mine from a fabric quarter I bought at Hobby Lobby:


I think that pretty much covers all of the DIY projects for the party. Simple, but full of pink, black, and white. Baby girl and her guests had a blast, and I was really happy with how it all turned out! Thanks for reading! Which was your favorite? Have any questions? Leave a comment below!

Minnie Mouse Centerpieces

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If you’ve clicked on this post hoping to get a tutorial to make this adorable centerpiece, you won’t be disappointed! This was super easy and cheap to make, so keep reading if you want to make them too!

I started out with these cute pink pails from Target. They were on the cute aisle when you first walk in that’s full of treasures and goodies if you’re crafty, a teacher, or a Mommy. In my case, I’m all three!DSC_4783

Black paint and paintbrush from Joann:


Cute hot pink/white polka dot wired ribbon and floral foam (Joann):


Small and large Styrofoam balls (Joann):


Pink and white polka dot paper straws (Target) and black tulle circles (Joann):


Toothpicks (Kroger)


First, I protected my table with an old tablecloth and laid the balls out like this:DSC_4799

I grabbed the brush and acrylic paint and got to painting!


They took a while to try. A couple of days later, I had time to get back to work. I cut the floral foam in half using a dull kitchen knife, and inserted a paper straw in the center. I used “StyroGlue” to help secure it to the bottom of the pail.

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Next, I took several tulle circles, folded them, and pushed them down around the green foam. Poof! The foam is invisible!

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Just a few more steps! Take one of the large foam balls and push it on the top of the paper straw. Stick toothpicks on either side of the “Minnie head”, and attach the small balls on either side for the ears. If you prefer larger ears, simply purchase larger styrofoam balls instead of the smaller ones. 🙂

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I made a bow, and used a stick pin to secure it to the top of the head. I hesitate to use hot glue on styrofoam, which is why you see me trying out styrofoam glue and pins and alternate methods to attach things to it.

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That’s it! I have 5 more to make for the party and I’ll be set.

We’re going to have 3 tables for food, and one of these will go on each side of the table.

Since the party is now almost a week out, I will probably put up only one or two more posts before then. I’ll take lots of pictures of the decor and put it all in a handy dandy post for you to recap the festivities. Thanks for reading!

Minnie Mouse Dress Applique DIY

Hello all, it is has been some time since I posted a DIY project. Instead of going into detail about ice storms and toddler and grown-up sized sinus infections, I’m going to dive right into the project for this post! 🙂

Baby girl’s party is just a few weeks away, so I decided to get her dressed up for pictures for invites, thank you cards, gifts, etc. I knew I wanted her in a Minnie Mouse outfit, but I wasn’t sure what. I came across this adorable pink tutu dress at Target on clearance! It was perfectly pink, and already came with a bow!

 Target tutu dress

The rest of this post is going to walk you through the steps for creating an applique’.

When I get ready to embroider anything, I always like to use these stickers to mark where I want the center of my design to be sewn.

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Once the sticker was in place, I use spray adhesive found at Hobby Lobby to attach the tear-away stabilizer and hoop it. My embroidery machine is the Brother SE-400.

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I selected the Minnie Mouse design I uploaded to my machine and stitched out the design. You can see the bow being stitched below:

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Once the design is stitched on the dress, I prepared the applique’ fabric to be stitched. I used this Stick-N-Washaway stabilizer because I thought it would make it easier to place, but I think I will be sticking with the tearaway stabilizer and spray adhesive.

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I used this fabric for the Minnie Mouse head:

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And this fabric for the bow:

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Once the design is stitched out, I cut it out and  used the adhesive to place it over the already-stitched outline on the dress.photo 3 (5)photo 1 (8)

The machine then sews around the parameters of the design to secure it, and it’s finished!

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We took baby girl outside to take pictures, and her new dress was one of her outfits. Adorable!



Did I mention she’s turning 2? She loves the outdoors and would not stay still!!!

Thanks for reading! More posts are coming soon.

Minnie and Mickey Mouse Ears DIY

photoLast week, I finally sat down to begin working on these Minnie and Mickey Mouse ears for my daughter’s 2nd birthday party in April. Below, I describe how I got to work on creating them. I started out with everything you see in this picture. The 8 packs of headbands had 3 in each pack and were $1 each at Dollar Tree.  I found the sticky back foam, ribbon, and glue sticks at Joann, and the felt at Walmart (made from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles). There was only a yard and a half in stock, so I got all of it. *note: Anytime you want to shop at Joann, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc. bring coupons!!!!! Joann has an app, emails you coupons, and will mail them to your home. Michaels emails and texts coupons to you, and every time you shop at Hobby Lobby, you can either print a 40% off coupon and bring it in, or pull it up on your smart phone. It’s too easy to save additional $$ on your purchases at these stores. Take advantage! DSC_4085 I referenced The Surburban Mom’s tutorial for making the ears, but you will see some differences, as I will point out later. I found a template for the ears on the site, which helped take some of the guesswork away. To start, I measured the headband by loosely wrapping it in the felt to determine what size the pieces of felt needed to be. Then, I went ahead and cut all the strips of felt I needed.


To cover the headbands, I took a strip of felt and placed a little bit of hot glue at the end. I rolled the headband along the strip, adding more hot glue as I went.


Then, I folded one side of the felt across the inside of the headband and glued in place. As expected, the glue was very hot, and “ouch!” was uttered plenty of times. After securing the first side, I overlapped the remaining side and glued in place. The first few I did had more visible glue than I really cared for, but the more I made, the better they looked. Once the felt was secured, I trimmed the excess off of the ends, squeezed just a drop on the inside of the ends, and pinched them together. I repeated until I had this nice stack of felt-covered headbands:


It was then time to cut the foam for the ears. I used the template referenced above to get the right size. I was able to fit 6 circles on each piece of foam.


Since I bought sticky back foam, I peeled the paper off of the backs and stuck the two circles together. Note: you only need to take the paper off of one of the circles at this point to stick them together. You’ll remove the other piece of paper when you place them on the felt. Now that the circles were cut, there was one last thing to cut in bulk: the felt covering for the ears. Also found on the previously mentioned website, I used a template to trace the shape (use fabric chalk) onto the felt and cut. And cut. And cut. (In case you haven’t noticed, there’s a lot of cutting that goes into this project!)


This is where you will want to remove the remaining piece of paper from your stuck-together foam circles and place them on one side of the cutout felt. The tutorial I found called for more hot glue, but I was all glued out at this point and figured it couldn’t hurt to try and sew it. I’m so glad I did! I spared my fingers from further pain, and I think they look much cleaner than they would if I were to glue them.


Whether you glue or sew, make sure you leave enough room at the fold to slide the ear onto the headband.


Slide the finished ears onto the headband, and you’re done! Since I sewed the ears, they fit snugly on the headband. I didn’t feel the need to further secure the ear to the headband, but you can secure it with more glue if the fit is too loose for your liking. If you are making Mickey Mouse ears, you can stop here. For Minnie Mouse ears, you’re almost finished.


For the Minnie bow, I cut a few inches of this wired ribbon (use whatever color you need). I overlapped the ends and pinched in the middle. I cut a small piece to wrap around the middle and tied off. Hot glue it to the middle of the headband, and you have your Minnie Mouse headband!

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I decided to hold off on making the rest of the bows until we get closer to the party. Once we get RSVP’s I’ll be able to add the rest of the bows to make sure we have enough Minnies and Mickeys running around!

Next blog: 3rd Friday of February. Topic: Minnie Mouse centerpieces. Be sure to check out the other posts, including the post where I share how I planned and budgeted the whole party before I spent a dime! Thanks for reading!

Birthday Party Planning: DIY

As mentioned in the first post, this special young lady turns two in April!


Well, April is just around the corner! The party is 12 weeks away from tomorrow, which sounds like a lot of time. However, if you’re like me (wanting to create a lot of personal touches), 12 weeks is just enough time to create the Minnie Mouse party I see in my mind.

When I sat down to plan her party, I came up with the following categories:

  • Party theme
  • Party date and time
  • Guest list
  • Invitations
  • Decorations
  • Favors
  • Activities/schedule
  • Menu
  • Cake
  • Photography

Once I had the categories, I researched to see how much each should cost, as well as when we need it by. I split the total cost up over January-April budgets, and will slowly purchase everything needed between now and then. My motto for this is: “Slow and steady wins the race”.

Last year, we had her first birthday party at our house. While it went well, there was a LOT to be learned from the experience. I spent a lot of time of Pinterest (and I do mean a lot), and came up with ideas for each category listed above. I have started enlisting the help of those who are needed to pull this off, and I have made my list to DIY projects for the party.

The posts over the next several weeks will show the process behind completing those projects. They include:

  • Pin the bow on the Minnie like this:

Pin the tail

  • Centerpieces like this:


  • Minnie/Mickey ears like these:


  • Favor bags like these:

goody bags

  • Birthday outfit like this (I think….I may do a cloth tutu):


  • And, info board like this:

Info board

I plan to tackle the Minnie/Mickey ears first, so expect to see how those turned out on the next post (1st Friday of February). So that’s it, y’all! A (very) brief synopsis of how I get the ball rolling when planning a small event. I’m sooo looking forward to digging in to all of the DIY awesomeness!

Home Office DIY (old project)

This is a post outlining a DIY that took me a little over a month from start to finish. Yes, it’s old, but it’s one of my favorite rooms in the house. This summer, I decided that I was a little tired of the way our office looked. It is really a dining room, but we use it for a work area. It had an old, small chandelier, off-white paint on top, brown paint on the bottom, and painted squares on each side.

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It wasn’t ugly, but it wasn’t reflective of our style, either. We have a brown palette throughout our house, but I wanted something that was different, but wouldn’t clash with the rest of the house either. I ended up selecting white for the bottom, and this color in Olympic One for the top:


I’m in love! I love this blue, and the squares are gone!! This paint has built-in primer, and covers any color in 1-2 coats. It is on the walls of every redone room in my house.

Now that the walls were finished, I decided to reupholster this chair:


I bought this back when Hubby and I were still dating (we’ve been married 4 1/2 years, and were engaged 9 months, so this chair is pretty old-ish). I was doing this on a budget, which did not have room for a new chair. So, I decided I wanted a gray and white chevron to compliment the new colors on the wall. I first ordered chevron fabric in cotton jersey (not sure what I was thinking), but it was definitely not the right fabric for upholstery. I decided on this fabric from Carousel Designs:



It’s beautiful, sturdy, and perfect for covering a chair! I got to work taking the chair apart. It’s funny how much you learn about how an object is assembled when you disassemble it. After I had taken it apart, I measured and cut the pieces and used my new handy dandy staple gun to secure the fabric. Then, it was time to put the chair back together!



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I didn’t let Hubby sit on it for a day. I wanted it to stay perfect forever! I eventually gave in. **Insert two out of town trips somewhere in here**

When I got back in town and unpacked, it was time to move on to the curtains. I used more fabric than I anticipated for the chair, so I made curtains by splitting the width of the fabric (about 60″) in half and going from there. Once those were up, I spent about a week or so looking at wall decals on Etsy for a phrase that applied to both Hubby and I. I settled on “Dreams don’t work unless you do”. We both thought it was perfect! Once I got that on the wall, we were good to go! Oh, and somewhere in there, I found matching frames for our degrees, and we got a very simple desk from Ikea. Hubby is a programmer, so the drawers and shelves that make the ordinary person happy do not impress him. He wanted lots of space and room, and I found him the perfect Ikea desk for a great price!

Here are the final pictures:

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Other finishing touches I didn’t mention: Hubby installed a new ceiling fan, and I found him a dry erase board for writing down his work projects. I also found a cute desk lamp at Target.

Thanks for checking out my post! Hopefully you got a little inspiration from this room that was so fun to put together! More DIY goodness coming your way soon!