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More Fun with Felt: Flannel Board Doll Set

12 Oct

As promised, here’s another fun felt gift idea for the toddler in your life.

Flannel board doll set felt

It’s a felt doll set in its own travel carry case!

I would have loved this as a kid. Actually, when I was taking pictures, I wanted to keep dressing up the dolls in all the outfit variations. So I guess sometimes you just don’t grow out of that sort of thing.

I purchased this dress up felt doll pattern on Etsy – it was well worth it! The seller e-mailed me the pattern within a few hours of payment and I printed it out on cardstock and got to work.

The pattern includes one 7 1/2 inch doll (with her own little doll), four hairstyles, 12 items of clothing and four pairs of shoes.

Felt doll set

Felt doll set

Honestly, I probably could have kept going. I did at least one of each item, and a couple extra. I cut two of the 7 1/2 inch doll so Kaitlyn can play with me a friend. I was really enjoying working with the sheets of high-quality, wool-blend felt I purchased at a local quilting shop. I highly recommend using the pricier felt for this project. I cut a dress and shirt out of the less-expensive Eco-Fi felt I had on-hand from Jo-Ann, and those pieces stretch, pull and just generally look cheap. The wool blend looks durable and doesn’t stretch. With all the handling I’m hoping this set gets, I’d rather have something that will last.

I used fabric paint to add very basic eyes and a mouth. I didn’t want to get too carried away decorating the clothes – I love the simplicity of the felt and the dolls. I couldn’t resist, however, adding little pink ears and a nose to the bunny slippers.

I originally planned to make Kaitlyn a full-size flannel board, but then I realized how nice it would be for this to be a portable set. This way, we can bring it on car trips or to the doctor’s office, and when I’m nursing the baby she can play with it quietly on the sofa next to us.

A lot of the travel flannel boards I found online rolled up, which is a nice design too, but I wanted it to have handles and a place to keep the dolls and their accessories. So I drafted up a pattern for this travel case. It has batting to add a bit of thickness without being firm, and pale blue flannel on the playing surface. There is a velcro pocket on the outside to store the dolls, and a small velcro closure to close the case itself. Little handles make it easy for a toddler to carry around.

The seller of the e-pattern, luckypennymake, is generous enough to allow me to sell items created from her pattern. If you’re interested in ordering a set of these felt dolls with or without a travel carry case, let me know! Your set would include two 7 1/2 inch dolls plus the full set of clothing and hairstyles, unembellished and unpainted, for $20 (including shipping); $35 including the travel flannel case (I’ll send you fabric options to choose from). I can also do the dolls in a variety of skin tones. Contact me at

Of course you can also purchase the pattern and the felt yourself, and make your own version. Either way, your little one is bound to have hours of fun with this set!


Fabric Blocks

26 Aug

fabric blocks

My friend’s daughter just turned 1, and I was on the hunt for an age-appropriate gift that I could sew. This stylish little girl has plenty of clothing, and her crafty mom sews her adorable fleece diaper covers, so I decided to make her some stuffed fabric blocks instead.

There are loads of tutorials online for cloth blocks, but I found this one to be the easiest (and I love her fabric selection!).

I customized it a bit by adding crumpled wax paper to one of the blocks for a satisfying “crinkling” sound, and a satin ribbon on another one for grabbing. Based on the reaction from my own daughter, who will be 3 years old in a few months, these blocks are a good bet for all stages of babyhood (and toddlerhood).

fabric blocks

Cloth Blocks tutorial

Cute and Easy Tote Bag Tutorial

20 Jul

I’ve been MIA for a while, and I’d just like to blame it on a little something we’ll call “The First Trimester.”

So although my sewing, baking and other craftiness went on temporary hiatus while I moped around, felt sorry for myself and let the house go to pieces, I did have a chance to make two tote bags to give as gifts, using a tutorial I came across online. Good, easy-to-follow and consistent sewing tutorials are something to be treasured and bookmarked. This particular one makes not only a stylish and simple bag, but it can also be adapted to fit your needs. On my first attempt, a Mother’s Day gift for my mom, I used the dimensions listed in the tutorial, chose a basic woven cotton for the exterior and lining, and added a layer of batting to make it a little more substantial. I also added an inner pocket for her glasses case.

The second time around, I chose a heavier fabric from the Home Decor section at my local Jo-Ann, with a contrasting liner in cotton. I also increased the size, and added a second row of stitching around the top and an inner pocket. I had trouble parting with this bag. The pink lining just made it, in my humble opinion. Thankfully I had the foresight to buy some extra fabric and will be making my own soon enough.

You can find the tote bag tutorial here. If you haven’t explored Skip to my Lou in the past, do it now! You will go crazy with gift ideas and new projects. It’s almost guaranteed to send you running to the fabric or craft store.

The finished product:

More Father’s Day Gift Ideas – Framed Poems

13 Jun

If your budget is a little tight this year – perhaps so tight it’s cutting off your circulation – this next homemade Father’s Day gift idea is right up your alley. Lyn from Washington made these framed poems last year and estimated the total cost to be around $2.50. That’s cheaper than most store-bought cards, folks. And a store-bought card isn’t likely to make your man tear up like this will.

Plain wooden picture frames from a craft store
Paint and brushes
Wooden shape cutouts
Construction paper
Vellum paper (sold individually at many craft stores)
Other embellishments as desired (i.e. felt)


  1. Paint the wooden frame and the cutout shapes, or have your child(ren) paint them. Set aside to dry.
  2. Cut a piece of construction paper to fit inside the frame.
  3. Paint your child’s hand or foot and place it on the construction paper; set aside to dry.
  4. Print a poem (or note from your child) on a sheet of vellum paper, cut to the same dimensions as the construction paper.
  5. Once dry, glue the wooden shapes onto your frame, and embellish as desired.
  6. Place the vellum on top of the construction paper and place inside the frame.

Need some inspiration? Here’s the poem Lyn and her friend used in their frames:

Walk a Little Slower – author unknown

“Walk a little slower Daddy,”
said a child so small,
“I’m following in your footsteps
and I don’t want to fall.

Sometimes your steps are very fast,
Sometimes they’re hard to see;
So walk a little slower, Daddy,
For you are leading me.

Someday when I’m all grown up,
You’re what I want to be;
Then I will have a little child
Who’ll want to follow me.

And I would want to lead just right,
And know that I was true,
So walk a little slower, Daddy,
For I must follow you.”

So, so sweet. Lyn, thank you for sharing this idea and the photo!

Father’s Day Gift Ideas – Homemade Spice Rubs

12 Jun

spice rubs
Chances are, there’s at least one guy on your shopping list this Father’s Day who loves to barbecue. Whether it’s your husband, dad, or grandpa, these homemade spice rubs fit the grill – I mean, bill.

This project can be as simple or as challenging as you choose to make it.


  1. Choose your containers. In the past I’ve used a set of three magnetic spice tins from The Container Store (shown as a set of five with a spice rubsmagnetic plate; you can buy the set of three without the plate for $5.99 in stores or online). The Quattro Stagioni Spice Jar, also sold at TCS, lends an Italian flair for $1.49/jar. Crate and Barrel sells these Mini Slanted Jars and Glass Spice Jars for $1.95 each. Essentially any smaller jar will do; I strongly recommend purchasing the containers first, labels second as the shape and size of your container will dictate the kind of label you can create.
  2. Your labels can be as simple as the name of the rub handwritten on a piece of cardstock and tied on with twine, or you can design your own and print them spice rubsout. I wanted my labels to have a rustic, Western feel, so after printing them out, I dabbed on a mixture of instant coffee grounds and water with a paper towel to “age” the labels, then singed the edges with a safety lighter.
  3. Choose your recipes. See below for a few to get you started. Make a note of the quantity your recipe makes in comparison to the size of your containers. You can always put the extra in a labeled plastic baggie so they can replenish as needed.
  4. Buy ingredients in the bulk spice section of your local natural foods store. Some stores that offer spices in bulk include Henry’s Farmers Market and Sprout’s Farmers Market.

These rubs are best used within three months and stored in a cool, dark place. With summer fast approaching and grills firing up across the country, they’ll be lucky if they last that long.

Hot and Sweet Rub (scroll down)
Oregon Herb Rub
BBQ Dry Rub

spice rubs

Photos courtesy of maria renee: photography and design.