Foam-Mounted Quilt Block

Foam Mounted Quilt Block

Do you have orphan quilt blocks lying around that need a home? Maybe one day you might turn them into a scrappy quilt… or maybe not. Maybe you have quilt blocks given to you by a friend or relative, and you have no idea what to do with them! Here is a super simple way to turn quilt blocks into home decor – mount them onto foam! I was sent a box of foam to play with, and I’m so excited to share what I came up with!

Foamology is a brand new product, and so easy to use! You can check out the whole line on the Fairfield website. I used just one sheet of foam for this project … imagine what you could do with more! I’ll show you how I made this simple foam mounted quilt block, and you can think of more ways to use this same foam block… once the wheels start turning, you’ll come up with so many ideas!

I started with a package of the Design Foam with Stickybase soft tiles. The tiles are 12″ square – perfect for most quilt blocks.

stickybase design foam

If you have a 10″ or even a 12″ quilt block, add a border around your block. I used a block that was 16″, which gave me plenty to wrap around the back.

quilt block and foamology

The process is simple. Lay your quilt block right side down on the table, then center the foam square with the sticky side up. Peel back the adhesive strip on one side, and fold over the fabric. Then peel the strip on the other side, and fold the fabric over.

secure down other side

Lift up the center paper on one side, and pull the fabric over, then repeat on the other side. And just like that, you’ve mounted your quilt block onto a foam square! You can peel back the rest of the paper, and stick the mounted quilt block right to a wall. Bam. Done.

secure sides and corners

I decided to add some big stitch quilting to my block, just for fun. So I covered the exposed adhesive with the paper I’d removed.

Using 3 threads from a skein of embroidery floss, I tacked the thread in place on the back of the block.

secure thread in place

Then I stitched into the fabric and foam, creating a running stitch.

stitch into foam

Normally, when I do a running stitch, I load up my needle with several stitches before pulling it through. This foam was dense, though, so I could only do one stitch at a time. Which was fine. However, if you have poor strength in your hands, you might want a set of pliers handy to help pull the needle through.

To stitch the center, I just poked my needle up from the back, leaving a long tail.

poke through center

I stitched all the way around.

stitch center of block

When done, I poked the needle back through to the back, and tied a knot with my beginning and ending threads.

tie down from back

It took about 2 hours to complete the big stitch quilting, but I love the added texture that the quilting gives!

stitched foam quilt block

I’m not sure where I want to hang it yet, so to give myself lots of options, I stuck the foam mounted quilt block to a 12″x12″ canvas. This way I can lean it on a shelf, hang it on a wall, or do whatever I like.

stick foam to canvas

Wasn’t that simple? What kinds of decor would you make using Foamology? While you’re deciding on your first project, head over to JoAnns or Fairfield to order yourself some foam squares! If you order on the Fairfield site use the promo code 14FOAM25 at checkout for 25% off of your Foamology order.

Make sure to check out Fairfield on on Pinterest and Facebook, and Foamology on Facebook for more inspiration!

Thanks Foamology for sending me this fun new product to play with! It makes home decor so simple!

 

Quilted Tie Dye Pillow

Sometimes, you have a shirt that you love, but can’t wear. Either it has gotten worn out, or it isn’t the right size, or it has a stain on it. Don’t tuck it into a corner of the closet, or into a bottom drawer – celebrate your tie dye by turning your shirt into a custom decor piece! I work with the folks at Rit to come up with original dyed pieces, and was super excited to work on a quilted piece using a shirt I dyed with Rit dye.

If you’ve been following my Instagram feed, you know that I’m into quilting feathers lately… and I thought it would be fun to combine quilted feathers and tie dye in this handcrafted decor piece. I love how it came together!

Make a quilted tie dye pillow

Of course, you could use different quilting designs on your pillow, but be sure to get the how-to over on Rit Studio!

quilted tie dye pillow

How to Make a Duck Tape Dress

Making a Duck Tape Prom Dress

Yes. You read that right. How to make a Duck Tape Dress. Why? Well, besides the obvious “totally unique” aspect, and the fact that you really can make anything out of Duck Tape, if you’re in High School, making a Duck Tape Prom Dress could win you a fat scholarship with Duck Tape’s “Stuck at Prom” promotion.

My mom and I sewed my dress for my Senior Prom, so making a dress out of Duck Tape for a potential scholarship would have been right up my alley. But I’ve already gone to my 10 year reunion, and am well on my way to my 20 year reunion, so I missed the boat.

But, Duck Tape sponsored an “80’s Prom” at a conference I went to, and I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try my hand at making a Duck Tape dress. I looked up the official rules to make sure that my dress would be Stuck at Prom “legal” (besides the obvious fact that I’m not in High School), so that I could share any Duck Tape Prom Dress-making secrets.

Before you decide that you want to make a Duck Tape Dress, here are some things that you might want to consider:
Duck Tape is not Breathable
Wearing a Duck Tape dress is very hot and sweaty. It keeps in all of your heat. I had a sleeveless, short dress, and my cheeks were red the entire night. Consider this as you design your dress.

Duck Tape is not very Flexible
There is a little bit of “give” to Duck Tape, but once you’ve made an entire dress out of it, it isn’t very flexible. If your skirt is going to be snug, you might want a slit up the back. And you can forget about bending over if you’ve dropped something.

Duck Tape Display

Duck Tape can be Expensive
Your Duck Tape dress will be more work than buying a dress off the rack, and may be expensive. I used about 9 rolls of tape for my dress. Some rolls (like the glitter rolls) have a lot less Duck Tape on them. When you decide what colors and patterns to use for your dress, look at the label to see how many yards are on the roll. The glitter and prism tapes are awesome, and will add great sparkle to your dress, but they will also increase the cost.

Duck Tape isn’t always Flattering
You want to look good at your prom, and if you don’t have any experience making clothes, or you already feel self-conscious, a Duck Tape dress might not be for you. I’m over 30, and while other gals at the event said that I looked good in the dress (one specifically told me that Duck Tape made my butt look great!), I felt very exposed. The dress didn’t really hide any flaws, and I didn’t feel like it played up any assets, either! But, a 17 or 18 year old going to a high school prom probably has a better body than me, right?

If you’ve read all of that and you still want to move forward (yay!), I’ll tell you how I made my dress.

How to make a Duck Tape Dress

The Stuck at Prom rules don’t say that your outfit has to be entirely made out of Duck Tape. You can see in this clip from Season 11 of Project Runway that some of the designers did use a sewing machine to make their dresses. What you don’t see is that some also used a muslin underneath the Duck Tape to help it keep its form.

Duck tape is sticky on one side, and you absolutely don’t want to stick it directly to your skin for your dress. So your options are to either make a sheet out of the Duck Tape by making a double-sided sheet, with the adhesive in the middle, or to stick the Duck Tape to fabric.

To make my Duck Tape dress, I went to a discount clothing store and bought a plain dress. I double-checked the 2014 rules (don’t just take my word for it, make sure you read the rules carefully for yourself), and you can use other materials in your dress. However, you cannot use someone else’s design. I read this to mean that I couldn’t just Duck Tape over an existing dress and call it “original”, I had to truly make it an original piece. And I couldn’t look online to see a dress I liked and re-create it in Duck Tape. The finished product had to be one-of-a-kind. That was my interpretation, but don’t take my word for it – read the rules to make sure you understand them. Really, the biggest benefit was having a base to stick the tape to – and that the base had a zipper so that I could get in and out of the dress easier.

The dress I picked to be my base was not a style or color I would wear. But it had the basic shape I was looking for – and everything else was going to be covered in Duck Tape, so what I saw in the mirror wasn’t the deciding factor.

Base for Duck Tape Dress

Once I bought my dress, I started adding the tape. The dress I bought was a knit fabric, which stretches. I would have preferred a woven fabric (which doesn’t stretch as much). Because it was a knit fabric, I had to have the dress on while adding the tape. Because once the tape was applied, the dress didn’t stretch. However, any areas where the dress stretched while I was in it (think: stomach, hips, thighs, chest, etc), as soon as I got out of the dress, the fabric would start to un-stretch, which made the Duck Tape less smooth. If you plan on using a fabric base for your Duck Tape dress, a woven fabric, rather than a knit, is your best choice. If you have access to a dress form, that would be a big help as well.

Note: I did overlap the strips of Duck Tape to make sure there were no gaps.

bottom of the Duck Tape Dress

I mentioned before that Duck Tape has almost no stretch, right? While taping the dress on my body, I filled my lungs with air to expand them as much as possible. This sounds like the opposite of what you might want to do – because this will make the dress bigger. However, getting in and out of a tight dress with almost no stretch is very hard. Expanding the top of the dress by filling my lungs with air made it much easier to get the dress on and off.

My goal was to make an 80’s dress, so I wanted to have an off-the-shoulder top. I cut off one strap, then used some Duck Tape to hold it all in place while I taped up the top.

making the top of the dress

While doing this, I managed to get some Duck Tape stuck to my armpit. OH MY! Getting that off was painful!

The final step was taping the back. I couldn’t reach the back myself, so I had my friend Gina from Mom’s Lifeboat tape the back for me. She taped on either side of the zipper, so that I could still use the zipper to get in and out. On the night of the event, my friend Angie from The Country Chic Cottage added a vertical strip of tape over the zipper to cover it.

Finished basic Duck Tape Dress

The plain dress was fine, but I wanted to give it a more 80s look with ruffles. I would have loved to add lots of ruffles, but they take some time (and quite a bit of Duck Tape) to make.

If you want to add ruffles to your dress, here is my secret: use your bed. I used the bed at the hotel to make the ruffles. I lifted the sheets off the bed to expose the fitted sheet. I taped long strips of Duck Tape to the fitted sheet, overlapping them a little. Once my ruffle was wide enough, I peeled it off, and lay it on the bed tape-side-up. Then I covered the tape with fresh strips of Duck Tape, overlapping the seams.

Duck Tape Prom Dress

I added some sparkle with glitter Duck Tape on the ruffle and the bottom of the dress.

I used a similar strip to add a bow to the back. Very 80s.

back of Duck Tape Prom Dress

Here are a couple photos of me at the event in the dress. In this top photo I’m hanging out with Angie, who is wearing a vest made out of Duck Tape.

80s Duck Tape Prom

In this bottom photo, I’m posing with Kimberly from Stuffed Suitcase, who also made a Duck Tape dress for the event.Wearing Duck Tape Dresses

My Duck Tape look was finished off with some fun accessories. I dressed Trusty the Duck (the Duck Tape Mascot) in matching lapels and tie, added Duck Tape to my shoes, and added some Duck Tape jewelry.

Duck Tape Prom Accessories

If you want some detailed instructions on making accessories, here are some tutorials:

Duck Tape Bracelet
Duck Tape Bangles
Duck Tape Earrings
Duck Tape Necklace
Duck Tape Flowers (if you want to make a Duck Tape Corsage)
Duck Tape Cat in the Hat’s Hat (you can modify these instructions to make a top hat)

I hope these details help you make your own Duck Tape outfit for Prom! Look around online for inspiration and ideas, and save your pennies for all those rolls of Duck Tape!

Rit Dye Pearl Necklace

Rit Dye has compensated me for this post.

DIY Faux pearl necklace with dyed wood beads

When the folks at Rit Dye contacted me to come up with a project using their new Pearl Grey dye, I knew I wanted to make a pearl necklace! I love the look of dark pearls, and an homage to real pearls made out of dyed wooden beads would perfect.

The challenge I had to overcome was that dyed wood takes on a very flat look, and pearls are not. They have a luster that comes from inside the pearl itself – and I found a way to replicate that look with wood! Check out how these Rit dyed pearl beads are made.

To make the necklace you will need:
RIT Dye
HOT water
Small containers
Large Wooden Beads
Ribbon
Wooden Skewers
Darice Americana Decor Wax
Paintbrush
Soft Cloth (I often use an old sock)
Jewelry Clasps and Jump Rings
Krazy Glue

Put the hot (almost boiling) water in the small containers, and add a little of the Rit Pearl Grey dye. With this color – a little goes a long way! Mix, then add your wooden beads.

dye the beads pearl grey with Rit

Once the beads are your desired color, rinse them until the water runs clear, then lay them on a towel to dry overnight. The beads will have a stripe through the middle, as a result of the grain of the wood absorbing the dye. Don’t worry about this – it will virtually disappear by the end of the project!

allow beads to dry

Time to wax the beads! Pour a small amount of wax into a disposable container. Add a dash of dye and stir to mix.

add dye

Using a paintbrush, paint each bead with the dye-wax mix. I found the best way to do this was to thread them onto skewers and paint several at a time.

paint wax onto beads

Paint on three coats of the dyed wax, allowing it to dry for a few minutes between each coat. Then let the beads dry completely.

Time to bring out the shine! Using a soft cloth (I used an old tea towel), buff each bead until it glows.

buff beads

Here you can see the difference. The bead on the left has been waxed and buffed. The bead on the right has only been dyed.

buffed bead vs non waxed bead

 

Once the beads are buffed, start stringing them onto the ribbon, tying an overhand knot between each bead.

string and knot beads

Once you have your faux pearl string at the desired length, add a jewelry finding to each end. I threaded one side on.

add lobster clasp

Then tied it in place with an overhand knot.

add overhand knot

I tucked the tail into the hole of the last bead using the pointy end of a skewer, then cut off the excess.

poke excess ribbon in

I repeated this process with the other side, then added a bow to cover the clasp.

faux pearl necklace with ribbon

I dabbed some Krazy Glue at the knot, and ends of the cut ribbon. This will keep the ends of the ribbon from fraying, and keep the knot secure.

glue on ends of ribbon to prevent fray

Let the glue dry, and you are all done!

make a diy dyed pearl necklace

 

dyed beads no longer look like wood

 

dyed bead pearl necklace

 

wooden beads are made to glow like pearls

 

Sight Word Board Game

Erasable Sight Word Board Game

My Kindergartener loves playing board games. There is something about rolling the dice, and moving his playing piece that he just loves. Since we are working on sight words, I thought I’d make a sight word board game. The problem is – depending on which list you pick, there are hundreds of sight words! This game is great for working on just 6 sight words at a time. Once your child has mastered those six, you can erase the words and write in new ones. You don’t have to re-make the game for each set of words, just use a wet-erase marker and in a few minutes, the game has been re-made with new words! Let me show you how…

Supplies:
supplies for sight word board gameFoam Core
Duck Tape Deco Dry Erase Laminate
Solid Color Duck Tape (I chose red)
Wooden Block
Scissors
Craft Knife
Pencil
Permanent Marker
Wet-Erase Markers (Vis-a-vis)
Favorite candy (to use as playing pieces – my son’s favorite are red Mentos)

Start by cutting the foam-core into a board-game-ish size. You don’t have to be super perfect, just two pieces that are the same size will do.

Stack the two pieces, and tape together with a piece of Duck Tape along one long edge. Trim the excess.

tape pieces together

Cut a piece of the Duck Tape Deco Dry Erase Laminate that is roughly the size of the entire board when open. Open up the taped together foam core, carefully peel off the backing paper, and cover the inside of the board with the Dry Erase Laminate. Then cover all the edges with the duck tape. Before folding over the edges, clip the tape at the fold.

tape edges of board

The board is all put together!

board ready for game

Using your permanent marker, draw a big squiggle on the board, then a second line about 1.5″ from the first. Segment off the lines into boxes. I drew a star at the end to represent the finish.

draw board game

I counted the number of squares, then divided by 6. I wrote the numbers 1-6 randomly this number of times in the boxes. This helps when changing out the sight words.

Now to make the dice! Wooden blocks are inexpensive, so you can buy several, and write a sight word on each face of all the die, using different die when you want to practice different sight words. Or you can make erasable die to go with your erasable board. Start by cutting 6 squares slightly larger than the face of the block.

cut six squares

Peel back the paper and put a square on each face, trimming away the excess.

trim off excess

Cut twelve 1/4″ strips of Duck Tape.

quarter inch strips of Duck Tape

Put the strips along each of the edges of the dice. This will make sure all the edges stay in place through lots and lots of sight word practice!

finished erasable dice

To play, select 6 sight words. Write one on each side of the dice. Pick one side, write that word in all the boxes labeled with 1. Pick a second side, write that word in all the boxes labeled with 2. Repeat with all 6 sides.

write in words

Grab your favorite candy.

Use favorite candies to play a sight word game

Assign each player a piece, and start playing!

Sight Word Board Game played with Candy

Help your young learner out. Make sure all the words are facing their direction to make them easy to read. After the die is rolled, turn it to make it easy for them to read each time.

Each player takes turns rolling, then advances their candy to the next matching word on the board. When they get to the end and roll a word that there are no more of, they put their candy on the star, and win! When each player reaches the end, they get to eat their candy – everyone is a winner!

If you’re playing with a child who has sticky or sweaty fingers, you might need to keep your marker handy so you can re-write in the words as you play.

sight word dice after playing

Jumping Frog Sight Word Game

happy playing with sight words

My oldest is in Kindergarten, and they are doing a big push on knowing sight words. I’ve been flipping through sight word flashcards with him for a couple months with little progress. Who likes sight word flashcards? Nobody. Especially wiggly 5-year-old boys! I was reading an article about including more play in a kindergartener’s education, so I decided I would come up with some fun sight word games. And I enlisted my friend Abigail from Lovin our Chaos to join me this week! When she’s not blogging, she is a kindergarten teacher, so who better to talk about letters and sight words?

Today I’m sharing a super simple Sight Word game, you just need two things – some jumping frogs and a pack of Vis-a-Vis (wet erase) markers.

supplies to make jumping frog sight words

Write your sight words on the frogs, then try to jump the frogs into the bowl, as normal.

play jumping frog sight words

While playing, use the words on the frogs as if they are the names of the frogs.

“You got THE in!”  “Try to get HE in!” “Wow THE jumped super far!”

My goal wasn’t to replace paper flashcards with pastic frog-shaped ones. The goal was to include sight words in a fun activity. Making the words fun, no-pressure, and approachable.

frogs hopping into bowl

With a wet paper towel, I can wipe off the words, and switch them up for new ones.

If you’re looking for more, check out these Alphabet Letter Cards with Sound Pictures that Abby is sharing today!

DIY Hoodie with Rapture from Art Gallery Fabrics

Rapture Zippered Hoodie

I was one of the lucky bloggers who was sent a fat quarter bundle of Pat Bravo’s newest line, Rapture. This is such a fun line, and everyone I know who has seen it has fallen for the fabrics in it. I love that it has a great variety of larger prints and smaller prints, making it a great choice for almost any project. Which is where I ran into a problem…. what to make? Of course I could put together a quilt using Rapture, but while I wanted to be able to wrap myself up in the fabric, I wasn’t up for making another quilt in 2013. So I found a great compromise – a zippered DIY hoodie using Rapture from AGF. I spend most of the winter in jeans and a hoodie, so this way I can wrap myself in the fabrics all day long – and still get my errands done!

My inspiration came from the appliqued sweaters quilters of the ’80s and ’90s made… but an updated version. I wanted my DIY hoodie to be a modern take on those sweaters.

If you want to make your own quilted hoodie, here is what you need:

Fabric (I used FQs of Rapture by Art Gallery)
Zippered Hoodie
Freezer Paper
Fusible Fleece
Pen
Basic Sewing tools, such as a Seam Ripper, Pins, Iron, Sewing Machine

I started by prepping the sweater. This meant using a seam ripper and scissors to carefully remove the front pockets. Then I ironed a large sheet of freezer paper to one of the front panels of the sweater, then used a pen to mark the outline, making a template. I turned the hood wrong-side-out, and made a template of the hood shape as well.

I prepped the fabric by selecting the fat quarters I wanted to use. I cut a variety of different sized strips, including a wide strip of one of the larger patterns. I stitched the strips together to make what looked like a striped piece of fabric.

I ironed the templates onto the fabric. The large front panel was ironed onto the right side of the pieced fabric, and the hood was ironed onto the wrong side of my chosen fabric.

patterns made for quilting hoodie

I trimmed around the outside of each piece, adding a seam allowance as I cut.

I stitched the hood on first. I cut two of the hood pieces, one in reverse of the other. I put the two pieces right sides together, and stitched around the curve (the back seam of the hood), then pulled off the freezer paper. Then I cut the curve and pressed the seam open.

stitch and clip curves

I pinned the hood piece to the inside of the hood.

Pin fabric in the hoodie lining

All the raw edges were turned over and pinned under.

I stitched the fabric on all the way around, then stitched down the center seam (through the sweater and fabric), to make sure the hood would stay in place even after washing.

stitched hoodie lining

On to the body piece! I put it on the sweater, and using my fingernail put a slight crease along the seam lines. I was then able to take the piece to the ironing board, and easily press the raw edges over.

mark edge with fingernail

I pinned the piece in place all the way around.

Pin panel in place

After stitching the body piece in place all the way around, I quilted it down. I did a “stitch in the ditch” on each seam, stitching down each seam where two fabrics meet. On the large strip, I stitched around the motif to secure the large piece in place.

panel stitched in place

top stitch in place

Next was the pockets. I put the pockets I had taken off in place, to gauge the size. I knew I wanted to add larger pockets, so I cut rectangles the size I wanted the pockets. I then cut a second set of rectangles for the inside of the pockets. Using a pen, I drew a curve for the pocket opening, and trimmed the fabric along this curve.

check pocket placement

Two layers of woven cotton don’t provide a whole lot of warmth on a windy day, so I put a layer of fusible fleece on the lining piece of each pocket.

To make the pockets, I put the outside and inside pocket pieces right sides together, then stitched all the way around, leaving a hole for turning. I clipped the corners to reduce bulk.

stitch around pocket and trim corners

After turning, I added two lines of topstitching around the curve to give it a finished look. I also quilted down around the flowers, just like I did on the body of the sweater.

top stitch pocket

I pinned each pocket in place, then topstitched them down, making sure to go back and forth at the beginning and end to secure the stitches.

Rapture Fabric on a Zippered Hoodie

For fun, I trimmed off a piece of the selvedge from the fabric, and top stitched it onto the label.

selvedge on the tag

Once it was done, I ran it through the wash. The washer and dryer softened the fusible fleece so that the pockets were perfect instead of stiff, and the fabric washed beautifully.

My friend Gina from Mom’s Lifeboat was over, so she took some photos of me in my new sweater.

Zippered Hoodie with Rapture Fabric

We also discovered that I have no future as a fashion model. I can’t say that I’m that broken up over it.

I have no future as a model

Zippered Rapture Hoodie

We did manage a few decent photos.

Sweater with Rapture Fabric

I’ve already worn my new DIY hoodie out and about, and gotten tons of compliments on it! I think this is a great way to have some fun with beautiful lines of fabric – ones that are worth living in.

Most Popular Projects of 2013

Top Posts for 2013 on Always Expect Moore

I had a lot of fun blogging this year! I blogged here, over at 30 Minute Crafts, CraftSnark, CraftyHangouts, Answers.com and contributed at Craft Test Dummies. So… lots of fun posts, projects, and roundups this year. I thought I’d share with you the most popular projects here at Always Expect Moore this year. Here goes…

10. Whimsical Holiday Entertaining Recipes
One of two sponsored posts to make this year’s top 10 list… this post was so fun to create! I hung out with my husband to come up with some delicious adult beverages, and whipped up some other fun treats as well. Perfect for holiday entertaining… or just entertaining yourself!
Holiday Entertaining with Smart & Final

9. How to Make a Wizard Costume
I love that so many of the top posts were favorites of mine as well! This tutorial on making a Wizard Costume was so much fun to make, and I’m glad so many of you enjoyed it too.
Wizard Costume

8. Fabric Fest Quilts
Teaching at Fabric Fest was one of the high points of 2013, and I loved sharing all my different fast quilts with you… if you’re one that enjoyed this post stay tuned… I have more fun fast quilting to share in 2014!
three jelly roll race quilts

7. Winnie the Pooh Baby Shower
A shower I put together for my Sister in Law last year, this was a fun project. I enjoyed sharing how the theme came together, and the little (and big) ways I incorporated Pooh into this simple shower.
Winnie the Pooh Shower Invitation

6. Hexagon Fabric Bracelet
I remember the night that I was inspired to create the first of these Hexagon Bracelets. I stayed up most of the night stitching them together, I was so excited by this idea!
Hexagon Fabric Bracelet Tutorial

5. Monsters University Juice Box Printables
The second sponsored post to make this list, these juice box printables were so fun to create. I especially loved this project because it was a chance to get my boys involved in crafting.
Monsters University Juice Setup

4. Dr. Seuss “Oh The Places You’ll Go” Wallhanging
This might be my favorite project of the year. I loved everything about it, and will have a hard time coming up with an encore in 2014.
Dr Seuss Oh The Places You'll Go Quilt Wallhanging

3. How to Write a Thank You Note
This post became very popular on Pinterest… which makes me so happy! I’m glad that the world wants to know how to write a good Thank You note. It is such a simple but vitally important thing to know… and I’m glad I could share this tidbit with y’all.
How to Write a Thank You Note

2. Three Printable Boy Baby Shower Games
All three of my SILs had babies in the last 14 months, these printables were created for a shower I was unable to attend, but wanted to help out with. Since they were so much fun, I shared them online.
three printble boy baby shower games - just print, grab pens, and you're all set!

1. Fast and Easy Baby Shower Games
With the popularity of Baby Shower posts, I’m guessing lots of babies were born in 2013! These were three easy to whip together games for a last-minute shower.
Super Easy Baby Shower Games

So there you have it! The top posts for 2013… I can’t wait to start 2014… I have so many fun and exciting projects and posts in store for you!

 

“Gone to the Beach” Seashell Door Hanger

Gone to the Beach door hanger

As winter settles in, forcing me to trade in my flip-flops for socks and sneakers, I long for the beach. Warm days with toes in the sand, watching the waves chase the kiddos. Although I can’t transport myself beach-side… I can pretend. With the help of my “Gone to the Beach” Seashell Door Hanger.

This door hanger is simple to make, I use a few supplies that make it even easier. Here’s what you need to make your own:
Wooden Door Hanger
White Paint
Paintbrush
Seashells
Shell Glue
Paint Pen
Beach Sand
Mod Podge

Start by painting the wooden door hanger. I added a single coat of white paint to give it a white-washed look.

doorhanger

Once the paint has dried, I wrote my saying on the door hanger. You can write whatever saying you like… I went with the classic “Gone to the Beach”.

write on phrase

Start gluing on your shells. I placed my shells on the door hanger without gluing first to get the placement, then glued them down using shell glue. Just put the glue on the parts of the shell that will be touching something – either the wood or another shell.

use shell glue

You want to keep in mind the balance of the door hanger – if you put too much weight on one side, your door hanger won’t hang straight when it is finished.

 

glue shells in place

I wanted to add some more to my door hanger, so I wrapped one side of the hole with baker’s twine, then tied a shell to each end of the twine. This is optional, but I thought it added some more beachy color.

add baker's twine

I was going to leave it, but it seemed… incomplete. I knew exactly what it needed. I mixed beach sand with Mod Podge to create a thick paste. Do this in a container that you are fine tossing when you’re done – you don’t want to rinse beach sand down the drain of your sink if you can help it.

make sand paste

Apply the paste with a paintbrush around, over, and between the shells. I put thick globs in some areas, and brushed the sand lightly over shells in other areas.

put sand paste in place

Once the Mod Podge dries, your door hanger is complete!

close up of shell doorhanger

 

Gilded Holly Holiday Wreath

Gilded Holly Wreath on Always Expect Moore

Wreaths are a great way to spruce up any part of the house that has a door… but especially the front door. I love having a wreath on my front door. I think it makes it welcoming and inviting… before my guest even crosses the threshold. For the last 10 years or so I’ve used my jingle bell wreath… so this year I thought it was time for a new wreath. I whipped up this Gilded Holly Wreath in about an hour… it was simple to make, and has just the right amount of shimmer and glam, while still being simple. Totally my style – and a great way to welcome guests at my front door!

gilded holly leaf wreath suppliesTo make your own wreath you need:
Grapevine Wreath
Holly Leaves (I got mine at Consumer Crafts .com)
Martha Stewart Gilding adhesive & Gilding
Martha Stewart Decoupage in Opal
Paint brushes
Hot Glue
Ribbon

 

 

 

Start by laying out the Holly Leaves – they stick together, so make sure you get them individually laid out. Then run a line of gilding adhesive down one side of the leaf.

paint edges with gilding adhesive

Once the glue goes clear, press the leaves to the gliding sheets.

press leaves to gilding

When you lift up the leaf, if there are any bald spots, just press it back onto the gilding sheet. Once all the bald spots are covered, rub the leaf between your fingers to rub away any extra gilding.

rub off gilding

Once you have all your leaves gilded, put a light coat of decoupage over the leaves. This seals in the gilding and adds a little extra sparkle.

Decoupage over the leaves

While the decoupage dries, which won’t take that long, tie the ribbon around one side of the wreath.

tie bow

Then start gluing the leaves into place.

Hot glue on the back of leaves

I start with the leaves closest to the bow, and then move out, lifting the leaves and adding others underneath.

place leaves

To give the wreath some balance, I added some leaves on other parts of the wreath.

glue extra holly wreaths

And it was that easy!

all holly leaves in place