Monday, May 24, 2010

Busy Monday: Make Your Own Seat Belt Cover with a Puppet

About a month ago, when I had some down time, I started making my girls some new car seat belt covers to replace the old grungy ones they've had for about 4 years. I cut both of them and began taking pictures, but my down time quickly faded away. They sat there for way too long begging to be finished, until about 5 days ago when I decided it was time! I grabbed my camera, finished both covers while taking pictures for all of you...and am now typing on a Saturday night with my girls in bed.

So Here's what you'll need:
  • 2 pieces of Fabric (7" x 7")
  • 1 piece of Cotton Batting (7"x7")
  • Contrast or Coordinating Fabric for Binding (2" x 35") (approx. 35")
  • 1 Finger puppet (maybe one from a mismatched set, or one with fond memories)
  • 2 - 7" strips of 3/4" - 1" wide Soft Sewing Velcro
  • Pins
  • Sewing Thread & Needle
  • Sewing Machine
  • Iron (for making binding)
And Here's what you'll do:
Step 1. Begin by cutting out your fabric. I chose a home decorator weight canvas for my selt belt covers so they would last a long time. Why make something that will be used daily and wear out quickly? Cut all of your squares, the front and back, and also the batting. Also cut your Velcro and the fabric strip for your binding.
Step 2. Lay down your batting and the front fabric on top of the batting, right side up.
Step 3. Take the soft strip of the Velcro and place it vertically on the right side of your cover 1/2" away from the edge. Pin this in place to avoid shifting while sewing. You want to make sure it is straight so it connects to the other side from top to bottom. Now sew it into place by going down one side, turning, and going up the other side.
Step 4. Now, flip the front side down so you see the batting. Place on top, the back piece of the cover, right side up.
Step 5. Take the scratchy strip of the Velcro and place it vertically on the right side of your cover 1/2" away from the edge. This will be on the opposite side from the front Velcro strip - if you did it right. Be sure when you pin it into place, and when you sew it into place, that you only sew it onto the back cover piece and the batting. Be sure to take out from underneath you, the front cover, so you do not see the stitching. When you pull the side edges apart, it will look like an accordion fold.
Step 6. Flip it back to the front, and pull out from underneath the back cover.
Step 7. Place your Finger Puppet (approx. 2" x 3") off centered 3" from the left edge, and 2" from the right edge. It should be off centered because when the cover folds over the seat belt, you want it to lay flat and not have the seam connecting in the center. (Your finger puppet may measure differently, so please be sure to measure yours out and place it accordingly.)
Step 8. After you pin the finger puppet to the front and batting, sew the lower (flatter) body portion into place.
Step 9. Using a needle and thread, sew through the batting and front cover piece, to tack down the bobbing head to keep it secure and safe from curious children! Be sure not to sew the head to the back side.
Step 10. Line up all 3 pieces, the front, batting and back. I found it useful to do a tack stitch to keep the pieces from shifting while sewing the binding. If you choose to do this step, be sure to only sew at the 1/4" mark or slightly less.
Step 11. Now for the Binding. If you have never made or sewn your own binding, please know, it's very easy and you can breathe now! To get started, warm up your iron (adults only should be doing this part). Begin by folding your strip in half lengthwise and pressing with the iron. (Heat should be set according to manufacturers recommendations and the fabric you have chosen to use).
Step 12. Unfold and then lay flat.
Step 13. Take the top half and fold it down in half and press, while taking the bottom half and folding upward and pressing. The two raw edges should meet in the center.
Step 14. Once finished, fold it in half again so the two folded edges meet and press one last time. Now you've made binding! Yeah!
Step 15. ok - now we are going to place the binding. On the back side of your seat belt cover, starting at the bottom, mark your center point with a pin.
Step 16. Open up your binding, and place it face down 3" over to the left of the pin up against the edge. (First image on the left). Sew near or on the fold line, from the pin point to about 1/4" away from the corner.
Step 17. Flip the binding fabric straight up. (as if you were continuing the length of the cover and making one long straight line. You should now have a diagonal edge from the corner to the center of your cover.
Step 18. Now, holding the corner in place, flip it straight down.
Step 19. Begin sewing that edge of the binding from the top edge all the way down and stopping at 1/4" before the corner.
Step 20. Repeat this until you have sewn down all 4 corners.
Step 21. Now we are going to connect our ends of the binding to make it continuous and pretty!
(I've tried to simplify this and make it as easy to understand as possible! For more detailed instructions - you can visit this link for Heather Bailey's Binding PDF!) (If you have sewn your binding correctly so far, your binding will be connecting on the bottom and on the back of the car seat cover. When I sewed the Panda cover, I forgot to flip it over. Either way, the instructions are the same. Just know you won't see your finger puppet, as you see it in my images.)
Step 22. OK - make sure your opening is positioned the same as in the photo (on the bottom). On the left side, fold up your binding fabric strip to create a 45 degree angle. This means it will be perpendicular to the edge. You should see the front of the binding fabric.
Step 23. Take the right side of the binding fabric and lay it straight in the same direction it was going.
Step 24. From here, you can make a crease with your ruler, nail, or marking pencil. Pin the two pieces together and sew on the line you created. Be sure the edge of the cover doesn't get caught up in this stitch.
Step 25. Once you have finished sewing that diagonal line, you can trim the excess pieces off and finish sewing the binding along the edge all the way across. Now your binding is attached.
Step 26. Curl the binding to the front of your cover.
Step 27. Fold the raw edge underneath and begin sewing the edge of the binding. When you get to a corner, push the binding all the way to the right, tucking it underneath the corner, which will give you a diagonal line, sew that down and keep going around.
Step 28. Now all you have to do, is attach it to your car's seat belt!
Have a wonderful day/night - I'm going to sleep!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Stop the Thumbsucking Habit Giveaway #2 - WINNER

Good evening everyone,

Once again, I used to generate a number for me and it was:

Comment #4 (twinzmama)*

And....since the winner from April never claimed their prize - I have great news....

Comment #7 (J,B,A,P Hatch)* also wins a thumbcover! How cool is that?!!!

Thank you for all that entered, you can try again next month or purchase your "ME Thumbsucking Cover" guard now and get free shipping.**

Have a great day! I'm off to make more thumb sucking covers and get orders ready that are shipping off tomorrow to some little thumbs out there! - kg

*twinzmama & j,b,a,p hatch, have 48 hours to respond to this post or my email to claim the prize or a new winner will be chosen.
**Free Shipping is offered only to those who had previously entered the giveaway via comments on the 2nd giveaway post before the midnight deadline (please enter your google name in the message to seller at check out for verification). Free shipping offer, as mentioned, is valid until May 20, 2010 midnight.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Stop the Thumbsucking Habit Giveaway #2

My ME Thumbsucking Thumb Covers work alone and just simply cover the thumb! When my girls were needing to stop for age and dental reasons - I took it upon myself to make them something to help them kick the habit, after researching and scouring the world wide web and not finding something suitable. I found other thumb covers that were extremely outrageous in price, too hard (plastic ones), too flimsy, made with velcro (meaning my child wold most definitely take it off), and the nasty nail polish that wouldn't work and was therefore not an option.

With all that I [didn't] find - I knew I'd have to make my own. I knew I wasn't the only one out there with the same concerns - and then wanted to help kids and parents gain control and break the habit by offering my product on Etsy. When I made this stop thumb sucking cover for my girls (M & E), I did it 1) to help them stop sucking their thumbs, and 2) to help me stop nagging them to stop. Once it was on - it was "game on" and there was no taking it off.
Are you at this same point. Do you want to help your child stop the habit before it gets worse and costly? I have had pediatric dentist offices contacting me to share my awesome ME Thumbsucking Thumb Covers with their clients. I've had parents telling their friends who tell their friends and so on because it works. I've had parents email to tell me - their child's thumb sucking days are over! Be prepared to be happy and sad when they do quit, because I can assure you, it is a very bitter sweet moment!

Ok - so here's the scoop! I want to help people. I would like to help the children realize they can comfort themselves without putting their thumbs in their mouth, and I want to help you - the parents of these great children before the battle begins - or end the battle if it has already started! In order to do that - they need to know about my product and about Kid Giddy. For the rest of this year, I am giving away 1 Kid Giddy ME Thumbsucking Thumb Cover away every month (on the first Saturday of the month - I know - this is the 2nd Saturday - but I was happily watching my daughter turn 7 all last week!) to a lucky Kid Giddy Blog follower. Here's what you have to do:

1) You must be a Kid Giddy Blog follower - it's ok. I always do my best to put up the most amazing yummy recipes, fun activities for kids...and fun tutorials, crafts, photos, eye candy, and busy business kind of information!....Leave a comment here - letting me know you are a follower (aka "friend"!).

2) (Extra Entry) Add the Kid Giddy blog button to your blog and leave a link here in the comment. (Eventually I will create a blog roll of friends - so if you want to be added to the blog roll - let me know!)

3) (Extra Entry) Become a Fan on the Kid Giddy Facebook fan page and leave a comment here (with your facebook initials).

4) (Extra Entry) Tweet about this giveaway and mention @kidgiddyetsy ...Leave a comment here letting me know you did.

5) (Extra Entry) Blog about this giveaway on your blog...Leave a link with your comment.

6) (Extra Entry) Blog about your favorite product from my Kid Giddy Etsy shop (doesn't have to be the ME Thumbsucking Cover!...just your favorite.)...Leave a link with your comment.

So there you have it - 6 chances to enter your name to win!

Are you ready now? Are you really ready? Your child doesn't have to be...but you do! And you have to have patience and compassion in your pocket for when it makes them sad to not be able to suck their thumbs. You'll have to stay strong - when they are weak, give lots of hugs and kisses and praise! On your mark, Get Set....GO!

(Good Luck)

All entries in by Wednesday May 12th 11:59 pm will be considered. Number will be picked at random using a number generator. Winner will be notified the next day on Thursday afternoon. Please be sure your email [at] wherever [is] included in each comment. If winner cannot be reached or does not contact me by Friday evening - a new winner will be chosen!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Giddy Up Friday: Sequin Ball Work

Back when my first little monkey girl started Pre-K at a Montessori school, I loved going in the classroom and learning about "works" and activities that the kids were allowed and able to do. They have the practical life area, science, art, math, language, sensorial and more! When I set up "my craft room" I was sure to set up "works" for them to do in there too. So really it became "our craft room". This is one of the works I set up for them....the Sequin Ball craft...

I'm saying this for safety purposes...this craft is not intended for children under 5. Adult Supervision is highly recommended! Kid Giddy cannot be held responsible for any injuries resulting from this craft/blog post! OK - with that said, done and out of the it is:

You'll Need:
A Styrofoam ball - about 3-4" around (not too small - you'll need room for pins)
Ball pins (has a little ball at the top)
Package of Sequins (use a coupon!)
Ribbon for Hanging
Pencil for poking hole for Ribbon
Tray for any spills (Cookie sheet works well)

What to do:
Step 1: Begin by poking a hole straight through the styrofoam ball.
Step 2: Fold a piece of ribbon in half (approx. 20-24" long - 10-12 folded) and using the pencil again - poke the folded end into the ball.

Step 3: Tie the loose ends of the ribbon together to form a large knot to "sit on". You can tie a small knot on top, but I think it's prettier without it. Just know it can come out without a knot on both ends.
Step 4: Take 1 pin in hand (holding the ball of the pin head) and choose a small sequin to "thread' onto the pin.
Step 5: Then take a larger sequin to thread onto the pin.
Step 6: Poke the pin into the styrofoam ball anywhere you want. Be sure to poke it straight in towards the center and not off to the side where it can potentially come outward to poke fingers or hands! (The pin would have to be seriously bent to do this - but you never know!)
Step 7: Repeat steps 5 & 6 as interest, supplies and space allows.
Step 8: Hang. (Unless of course you want to keep it forever - then I would suggest a little modge podge or E6000 to glue them all in place!)

This is a great craft for kids with a good level of Fine Motor skills (not a beginner level). Again - please - supervise your kids if you are letting them do the crafting! Have a great weekend...See all you thumbsucker parents tomorrow for your chance to win a free ME Thumb Cover to break the habit!