Archive | Summer

Pool Bag Tutorial

Summer is the perfect time to sew!  Sewing things for your kids and family or WITH your kids can always fun.  I’m so excited to be included in the Summer Sewing Series with Polka Dot Chair.  There are some great ideas this year!  Today I’m showing how I made my new Pool Bag.  I just got it made and I can’t wait to take it to the pool to try it out.
summer-sewing-seriesDIY Pool BagLet’s get started!  Here’s what you need.

  • Fabric – 1 yard of thick fabric that is 60 inches wide.  I bought this cute striped fabric at Ikea for under $8 a yard!
  • Thread
  • Straps (optional) I used 60 inches (30 for each strap) but you can make them longer or shorter.  You could also use leftover fabric.

Bag Fabric

Cutting – Cut 2 sides, 2 ends, 1 bottom, 2 side pockets, and 2 end pockets.  See measurements above.  I have coordinated which way my stripes go, so pay attention to that if you are working with stripes.

DIY bag

Hem the top edge of all the pieces EXCEPT the bottom piece.  My favorite way to hem is to serge the edge and fold it over once.  I folded it over 1/2 inch and then sewed it down.  If you don’t have a serger, you can alway zigzag the edge OR roll your edge under (fold over 1/4 inch and then fold over another 1/4 inch.)

Bag TutorialPin your pocket pieces onto all the bag pieces (except the bottom piece).

Canvas Tote

Mark and Sew where you want your pockets to be on the side pieces.  I chose to have 3 pocket sections on my long sides of the bag.  I marked my pocket lines 6.5 inches in from the edges.

Beach BagSew your bag sections together with right sides together.  Sew in this order:  End, Side, End, Side, and then hook your first end piece to your last side piece.

Pool BagYour bag is coming together!  This is how it should look now!

Sewing TutorialSerge or zigzag your inside seams to help prevent fraying.

Sewing ProjectPin and Sew your bottom piece into place.  This is the trickiest part.  I like to sink my needle and pivot each time I hit a corner seam.  My seam along the bottom looks like a big rectangle.  I also serged the edge of this bottom seam to finish it off.

Towel BagTurn and Press – Turn your bag right side out and press your corner seams to one side.  You are almost done!

How to make a bag

Handles – Using the handle material, cut each handle to be 30 inches long (or your prefered length).  Pin into place.  I measure in 4 inches from the corner seam.

Bag with PocketsReinforce seam so that your handles are nice and strong!

Beach Towel Bag

Load up your bag!  I love all the pockets around the sides.  I use them for water bottles, sunscreen, goggles, snacks, pool toys, my phone, and wallet.  Nothing gets lost at the bottom of the bag anymore!  I hope you love your bag as much as I do.

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40 Picture Books For Kids

I love to read books with my children.  Reading a bedtime story together every night is the best way to end the day – spending quality time together.  In the summer months we make it a point to visit the library often.  My kids love to go there almost as much as I do…. almost.  It was so fun to make this list of picture books for kids for you.

40_fun_picutre_books

40_fun_picture_books_boys_reading

Last year I was given a list of 100 books to read with your child before kindergarten.  We took that challenge, and read every book on the list in the two months before my son started kindergarten.  Some of those books were awesome, and some were just okay.  Since then we have discovered more fun picture books, so I have just kept a list of all the ones we like best.  So now I can share our favorites with you in this one awesome list of 40 Picture Books For Kids.

40_fun_picture_books_some

 

I organized this list by author’s last name to make them easy to find at the library!

Click on the image below to print or save the check off list:

Summer_Reading_List

I hope you enjoy reading these fun books this summer!

 

Also, I recently heard a wonderful song by Jay Richards that touched my heart.  The lyrics are, in part:

Read Me a Memory

Read me a memory, tell me a tale,
Speak of wondrous adventures,
together we’ll sail off to forests enchanted and lands far away.  
Fairies and kings, and magical rings.  
My heart has wings
When I sit at your knee and you read to me.  
Years turn like pages, and soon I’ll be grown.  
Maybe someday I’ll read to a child of my own.  
Though I may not remember the stories we shared,
I always knew through time spent with you that you loved me too;
For I sat at your knee and you read to me.

You can download the sheet music for this song HERE.

Here are a few more Summer Reading Tips!

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Family Reunion Cup Holder

Our summers usually have several family reunions.  This weekend we are headed to another one!  One of the trickiest parts of having a large group together is cups.  There is always tons of cups all over!  Ashlee has come up with the perfect solution to help us out this year!  It’s the perfect Family Reunion Cup Holder!

cup_holder

These are very useful at large gatherings, and they are simple to make!  Just follow the steps below to make a cup holder that holds 20 cups (5 on each side).

#1 Buy your materials
You’ll need one 4″ x 4″ post about 25″ long, twenty 4″ long nails, and one base board (about 12″ x 12″ x 1″)

#2 Sand the boards

#3 Paint the boards

#4 Mark the nail locations at 5″ apart (depending on your cup size)

#5 Drill holes on the marks to prevent the board from splitting.  Remember to drill at an angle!

#6 Insert nails

#7 Attach post to base

#8 Drill a hole in the top for a marker holder, if desired.

#9 Wipe off the nails so they are clean and enjoy!

Use the marker to write names on the side of the cup and put initials on the bottom.  That way each person can quickly find their own cup.

Oh, and remind everyone to rinse their cups out before they hang them on the holder (especially if they were just drinking any beverage other than water.)

We hope you enjoy all of your family reunions and parties this summer!

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