Make a felt owl bunting (a free pattern!)

I made the cutest felt owl bunting for my cousin’s baby boy. It turned out so cute I had to share!
I created a pattern, and I’m sharing it for free!

Here’s the pattern!
I’ve included the PDF of the pattern below, however, feel free to email me at twostartwins{at}{gmail}{dot}{com} to request that the PDF be emailed to you directly. I’d be more than happy to email it to you.

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Tutorial: Lavender Sugar Hand Scrub

Here’s a tutorial for Lavender Sugar Hand Scrub!
My hands have been quite dry lately as we’ve suddenly been thrown into a winter snap around here. It was so mild but suddenly the wind changed and now it’s bitterly cold. My hands get very chapped and dry when it’s cold. This hand scrub does the trick – it smooths out the rough spots and leaves my hands feeling silky smooth.
It’s quite easy to make this hand scrub if you can find the ingredients! I go to a specialty store to find the oils. You could buy them online though; I’ve provided links below.
Here’s what you’ll need:
A mixing bowl
1.5 cups white sugar
1 cup oil 
Essential oil
For my scrubs I use Now Solutions’ organic sweet almond oil. I like it because it doesn’t have a scent and it isn’t too oily. {You can find it here if you want to purchase it online.} You could use olive oil as a substitute. For my essential oil, I used lavender oil from Aura Cacia; it can be found online too
Simply mix the sugar and almond oil together. The consistency you’re going for is wet sand. If it’s too dry, add a drop or two of oil; if it’s too wet add a little bit of sugar until it’s just right. Then add the essential oil until it’s scented how you want it. I usually go heavy on the oil because I want my scrubs to have a heavy scent.
Put it into a tightly sealed container such as a canning jar. 
I added a sticker to the top of the jar and a little tag with the ingredients listed and directions. 
I’ve made other scrubs too – a brown sugar scrub and a lemon sun tea scrub. I can’t decide which is my favorite!  

Paper heart garland tutorial

This paper heart garland can’t be any simpler or cuter! I love paper garlands because they’re quick and easy to make. This one is super simple!
Supplies needed:
8 sheets of craft paper {I use scrapbooking paper and I prefer the paper that has a coarse finish because it’s sturdier, but you could use any paper for this project}

Heart-shaped cookie cutters to trace or my pattern {PDF is below}. I used two different sizes of hearts.

Sewing machine and thread
First, trace the hearts onto your paper with a pencil. I trace onto the smooth side of my coarse paper.

Cut out each heart.

Erase any pencil marks.

Decide what your pattern will look like and stack the hearts in that order.
Sewing the hearts:
Use a straight stitch and run the paper hearts through the machine. Sew with the coarse side of the paper facing up. It helps to have a relatively new needle in your machine so it can punch through the paper.
Leave about a four inch tail at the start and start sewing a straight stitch. My first garland was stitched horizontally through the hearts. You don’t have to worry about being perfectly exact with stitch placement.

When you get almost to the edge of the heart, keep gentle pressure on the paper heart with your hand to glide it all the way to the edge.

Keep slight pressure and pull very gently so that your thread doesn’t get tangled up.

To keep the spaces even between the hearts, I pulled each heart to the very back edge of my machine then started stitching the next heart.

You may have to bring up your needle to get the paper heart to slide in.

I decided to make a vertical garland of hearts too. They are stitched the same way.

The banner is so lightweight it can be hung up with scotch tape.

I hung the vertical banners on the windows beside our front door.

I got fancy and sewed a heart doily behind the paper hearts and hung it on our mantle!

Cute, right?

I’ve included the PDF of the pattern below, however, feel free to email me at twostartwins{at}{gmail}{dot}{com} to request that the PDF be emailed to you directly. I’d be more than happy to email it to you.

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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How to: puffy felt heart garland

For the Pinterest Challenge I hosted last week, I made this puffy felt heart garland:
I had originally pinned this idea from this web site. Their tutorial was very good. I thought I’d make my own tutorial too, since I had taken some in-progress shots, and I have a couple of tips to share.
Here’s what you’ll need to make these puffy felt hearts:
* 6 or 8 sheets of felt depending on how many hearts you want to make and how long you want your garland to be. Get at least two sheets of each color. *
{You will be doubling up the felt sheets and cutting out two hearts at a time, a front and a back.}
* White cotton yarn *
* An air-erase tracing pen *
* White DMC floss – get the big roll *
* A stitching needle *
* A plastic needle *
* Fluff to stuff your hearts *
* A heart pattern *
* Scissors*
First, make your heart pattern.
{I made my own heart pattern – just draw a heart and cut it out – I cut my pattern out of a file folder. You could trace a heart cookie cutter too.}

Then, trace your heart pattern onto one piece of felt. Get as many hearts onto one piece of felt as you can, leaving yourself room to cut them out. My pen disappeared quickly on the felt, so I only traced one sheet at a time.
This is important!  Make sure to cut out two hearts at a time, the front and back, by cutting through two sheets of felt at a time. At first I was cutting out all of the hearts individually and then matching them up, but they weren’t matching up exactly right due to imperfections in my cutting. It’s easiest just to cut out the front and back of the hearts together!
I doubled up my floss and used a blanket stitch for the hearts. {for a great blanket stitch tutorial, watch this video
Hide your starting knot inside the heart and stitch all the way around, until you have about a one-inch gap – which is where you’ll stuff the heart.

Stuff your heart. Stuff it just so that it’s a little plump. My hearts were just a little squishy. Stitch up the remaining hole and tie off the floss. I hid the knot inside the heart when I was all finished.
Stitch and stuff those hearts! 
{I stored mine in a plastic bag}
Finished hearts!

Once they are all stitched up, figure out how long you want your garland to be, and cut a piece of the cotton yarn that length.
Figure out your pattern if you’ve made different colored hearts, then thread the cotton yarn through the plastic needle, then poke it through the top of the heart, through the heart, and out the other side. There is no need to tie knots around the hearts, they will stay put on the yarn.
{I ran my yarn through the top of the heart so that they would lay flat and not twist around.}
{Also, the great thing is that you can re-string the hearts if you want to make a new pattern or make the garland longer or shorter.}
String up all the hearts, then admire your garland!

We baked! Pie pops!

I had been drooling over these pie pops …
… ever since I saw them on Pinterest a month ago. Just the idea of pie on a stick? Yum, I’m IN! The Pinterest link led to this tutorial and I also found this recipe online. {There are a lot of recipes online for various pie pops!} Both recipes seemed simple, simple enough for ME to do (I am not good in the kitchen, trust me) so the girls and I gave it a go this past weekend. They came out GREAT!
Here’s the recipe:
* 1 package refrigerated Pillsbury pie crust
* Pie filling 
{any kind of pie filling – you could also use jam}
We found strawberry rhubarb at Kroger! YUMMMM! Rhubarb is my favorite kind of pie!
* Sanding sugar 
{we bought ours at Hobby Lobby – you could use regular sugar too}
* Sticks 
{we bought cookie sticks at Hobby Lobby}
* Circle cookie cutters
*Little plastic candy bags {purchased at Hobby Lobby in the cake isle}
* Ribbon to tie the plastic baggies
* A cute container for displaying!
* Flour your surface lightly, then roll out one of the pie crusts 
{Put the other half of the crust in the fridge ’till you need it}
*Use a small circle cutter to cut out the shapes
The girls thought they had to press hard {teehee!}
*Lay the shapes on a cookie sheet
*Press a stick into each shape 
{Press it firmly but not too hard so it goes all the way through.}
*Put a teeny amount of filling in the center of each crust 
{Not too much or it will squish out the sides!}
*Put the tops onto each crust
*Press the crust layers together.
{Umm, those are Lydia’s hands – don’t they look like big girl hands?!  Geez. My babies aren’t babies no more!}
*I used a little wooden skewer to press into the sides of the crust to seal it and to make it look more pie-like!
*Brush the tops of each pie pop with egg white. 
*Add sanding sugar to the tops.
*Poke teeny vent holes into the tops of the pie pops {I used the little skewer to poke the holes.}
*Put them in the oven!  400 degrees for 10 minutes.
Look how good our first batch came out!  YES!

Kid tasted, kid approved!
We had leftover crust after our first go-round, so we tried to roll it out and use it.
Rolling, rolling, rolling ….

More rolling, rolling …
But what we discovered is that we rolled the dough too thick, so they came out all weird looking! 

But they tasted good! So we ate them up first.
We used the other half of the crust {the crust that was in the fridge} and made up pretty pie pops. {I rolled out the remainder of that crust really thin the second time-round and they turned out much better. So remember, thin crust is key!}
We had such fun baking! There has been one other time when I baked with the girls {we made cupcakes} and I need to do it more often because it was fun and we didn’t mess it up!{I did burn my hand a little, I touched the really hot cookie sheet on accident, whoops!}
They’re just so dang cute! And good!  

I put them in a mason jar – extra cuteness!

I bagged the pie pops and tied them with ribbon to keep them fresh. Extra, extra cuteness!

We used teeny tiny cookie cutters to cut out a few of the centers. When we make the pie pops again we’ll do more this way! 
Also: we tried to use a star cookie cutter shape to make the pops but it didn’t work too good – the sides didn’t seal properly. Circle is the way to go!
They are tasty! You can’t add too much of the filling, so the pops are heavy on the pie crust, but that’s OK by me, I like pie crust! 
Fun, fun, fun!  Fun kitchen times, go figure!  

Gift for Teachers Tutorial: Sweet Tea Lemon Sugar Scrub

The girls’ Kindergarten teachers have been really great this year, the girls love them. We were talking about the end of the school year (which is this Thursday!) and Arlene got teared up and said that she’s really going to miss her teacher. Awwww!  
We wanted to make a little end-of-the-year thanks-for-being-great gifts for them! For Christmas, we had made the teachers Brown Sugar Hand Scrub, which you can read about here. The teachers all commented how much they loved it, so, we decided to do a summer version!  I found a recipe online at for Sweet Tea with Lemon Sugar Scrub, so that’s what we made! It’s a good craft to make with kids because it can’t be messed up.
Here’s the recipe:
Sweet Tea with Lemon Sugar Scrub
{I put the scrub into little Mason jars, the 4-ounce size. Paula Deen’s recipe was for the bigger pint jars. I halved her recipe and modified it a little in other ways.}
8 4-ounce glass jars with screw-tight lids
2 cups almond oil
3 tea bags
Zest of one lemon
Juice from 2 lemons
Lemon essential oil
White sugar

{We made our scrubs two containers at a time.} 

Pour the almond oil in a container {I used a glass measuring cup} and add the tea bags. Let soak in the sun for at least an hour. My sun ray kept shifting but I wasn’t paying attention to it, so I had my oil tea outside for probably about three hours total – I kept having to move it around. When it was done, it didn’t smell overpowering like tea, just a hint.
Remove tea bags from oil and squeeze excess oil out of the bags and into container.

In a separate bowl, measure out one heaping cup of sugar.
Add in the tea oil … we added in 10 spoonfuls of oil. Mix well. The consistency should be like wet sand. 
Add in five or six good size pinches of lemon zest.  Mix well.
Add in four spoonfuls of lemon juice. Add in the lemon essential oil, about a dozen drops.
Mix well.  The scrub should be wet but not too wet. It should be like wet sand and be able to pack into a ball if you press it together. If it’s too wet, add more sugar. If it’s too dry, add more oil by the spoonful or add in more lemon juice.
When it’s just right, scoop it into the jar. Add a pinch of zest to the top, then tighten the lid.
We added little flower stickers to the tops of our lids.
The girls wrote their teachers’ names on tags, then wrote “I will miss you!” on the backs. So sweet.
I added a tag with the ingredients, tied a bow and voila, done!  So cute!
To use the scrub: rub into skin, then rinse off completely. The almond oil leaves my skin super soft! I like using it on my hands and feet. Be sure to tighten the lid on the scrub when not in use. If you keep it in the bath, make sure to not get any water in the container. The scrub will last for a couple weeks. If it starts to get funky stinky, throw it out and make some more! 

Tutorial! Moustachio’d {and kissable!} Valentine lolliops!

Here’s how you can make Moustachio’d {and kissable!} Valentine Lollipops! 

I came across the idea for the lollipops on this web site and also on this blog . I drew my own moustachio shapes and made personalized sticker labels. They came out so cute I decided to provide this tutorial!
Supplies needed:

Craft foam in pink and black (available at Hobby Lobby in big sheets)
Permanent marker
Wrapped lollipops
Printable label sheets, plain adhesive paper or regular copy paper and tape
Hole punch

    I found Valentine tootsie roll suckers at Hobby Lobby – they are the girls’ favorite kind of sucker!
    First, print the stickers using the PDF at the bottom of this post.  I used 2″ x 4″ white shipping labels to print the stickers. The pattern below prints perfectly on the Avery shipping labels which you can buy from any office store or big box store. You could also use a plain sheet of adhesive-backed paper, or use plain copy paper and clear scotch tape. However, I found that the labels worked pretty good – we pressed them together and they stuck right to the sucker stick and stayed in place and helped to keep the foam shapes in place.
    Next, have the kids write their names on the stickers.

    The girls told me they didn’t want to say “Love” to the boys in their class, so all of the tags say “From Your Friend.”
    Next, print out the shape pattern from the PDF below and cut out each shape. Trace the shapes onto the craft foam and cut out. I used a disappearing fabric ink pen to trace the moustachios onto the black foam because it showed up better than a black marker but you could use any type of felt-tipped marker.
    The girls each have 25 kids in their kindergarten class, so we had a lot of shapes to cut out! I took this task on myself because the girls are still a little too young to cut out the shapes. They watched a cartoon while I traced 32 moustachio shapes and 18 lips. {I forgot I was using my Twilight cup while I was making these – haha that looks silly!}

    Next, punch holes into the centers of the lips and moustachios.
    Then, push the shapes onto the sucker sticks. The kids can do this step!
    Next, cut the labels into strips evenly, fold them in half and stick them onto the sucker sticks. The girls pressed the halves together. 


    PDF pattern for tags:

    var docstoc_docid=”132762995″;var docstoc_title=”Tags for Valentine’s Day lollipops”;var docstoc_urltitle=”Tags for Valentine’s Day lollipops”; Tags for Valentine’s Day lollipops

    PDF Patterns for Moustaches:

    var docstoc_docid=”132762937″;var docstoc_title=”Moustache Pattern for Valentine Lollipops”;var docstoc_urltitle=”Moustache Pattern for Valentine Lollipops”; Moustache Pattern for Valentine Lollipops

    Have fun!