Sunday, April 15, 2012

Count Down to Disney

We have Disney issues.  Okay, to say "issues" is mild, we are addicted to Disney.  My favorite trips are when we are able to share the magic with friends.  To see Disney through fresh eyes is like experiencing our first visit all over again.

Over the years we have made several different count down calendars to anticipate the big day when we leave for the happiest place on Earth.  Our first year we made a paper chain and tore off a link every day until there were none.  A year or two later we made a calendar on the computer with pictures of different characters and crossed off a character each day.   

This year, we are going with two other families.  One family is surprising their crew the day before, so no count down calendar needed.  But the other family has the most precious little 4 year old that apparently squealed in delight when he found out they were going.  Crafting is so much more fun when you get to share it with someone, so we made two calendars this year, one for us and one to share.

My love of Pinterest led me to this adorable count down idea.
Here is my version with a few things added to make it all our own.

PLEASE VISIT my new Blog at for more Disney ideas, crafts and learning.  My new Blog is dedicated to learning about Disney but also using Disney as an Educational tool.  Your children hopefully won't even realize you are using the "E" word and will think it is all just Disney fun!

I found the chalk board flower used as the base at Target in the $1 section (discounted to $.50!).  The clothes pins were also a Target buy.  Ribbons, the Disney in the center, Mickey ears and bow were all from Michaels in the scrapbooking section.  For the numbers, I printed them off on the computer using a font called "Minnie".   Punches from Stampin Up made the clips an easy craft using a tape runner and then glue dots to attach them to the clothes pins.  

So, here was our added little touch.  As the days go by, you turn the pins over to count down.  With a little help from my 10 year old Disney fan, we added some fun trivia and activities to the back that were age appropriate for a 4 year old.  Here is a sample.

Other activities include (these were geared toward a boy):
Jump around like Tigger
Sing a Disney song
Dance to the Mickey Mouse song
Which character is mommy like? (same with daddy)
Act like you are on a roller coaster
Read a Disney book
Laugh like Goofy
Draw Mickey ears
What does Pooh like to eat?
Hide Eeyore's tail and look for it
Who lives in Radiator Springs?
Race in a circle Cars
What kind of animal is Dumbo?
Act like your favorite safari animal
Who is Mickey's dog?
Pack a favorite toy for the car
Act like your favorite character
Make fish faces like Nemo
Who is the meanest Disney villain?
Watch a Disney movie

The craft was so fun to make, but I think coming up with activities was the best part of all.  So, let the countdown begin!


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Water Water Everywhere - Girl Scout Water Bottles

My children must think that I am Wonder Woman, capable of carrying large quantities of items when we are walking around on vacation.  Totting the items they get tired of holding like some sort of pack mule.  "Mom, can you carry my lip balm?   Mom, can you carry my water bottle?  Mom can you carry the $2 I have left from shopping?"   I pictured what it would be like with 16 Girl Scouts in Savannah, and quickly decided I needed a plan.   From that plan hatched my next craft project.

I had seen a few water bottle holders on Pinterest made from jeans or various pieces of clothing.  But I needed something that could hold not just a water bottle but also small items each scout would need while wandering through Savannah.   I wanted it to be a fun keepsake the girls could pull out years from now and show their children as they tell stories of the trip.  Tall order, I know!   

Brainstorming with my husband, we came up with a similar design to those I had seen but with a pocket and made from some fantastic Girl Scout fabric I found on eBay.  The result is what follows.... keep in mind that the last time I sewed anything was YEARS ago.  Seamstress I am not.  But I gave it the ole Girl Scout try. 

The fabric is Robert Kaufman and comes in a pink with Try-It's for Brownies and the green with patches you see here for Juniors.  

The side border on the fabric had numbers and "My Troop" along with "Girl Scouts of America".  However, I decided to use only the numbers for my project. 

I found the water bottles at Target. They are BPA free and very reasonably priced for a 4 pack.

The holder required two cuts of fabric.  The larger piece at the bottom of this picture is 12" wide and 9" tall.  This is the water bottle carrier.  The second piece above that is 12" wide and only 6" tall.  This is the pocket that will wrap around the bottom of the carrier.  To the side are the numbers for our troop that I cut out of the border.

I sewed a nice clean edge at the top of each piece (the large and small).  I also sewed on the troop numbers, centering them between the middle of the pocket piece and the right edge.  Do all this while the pieces are separate and PRIOR to layering them on top of each other as you see below.  

Pictured to the left are the two pieces layered on top of one another exactly how they will be sewn.  Take two pieces and fold them directly in half.  The edges of each fabric should line up with the other side.  

Sew about a 1/2 inch in from the edge, down the side, and across the bottom as seen in the picture above to the right.  To give a little more strength, I sewed a zig-zag stitch between my first stitch and the edge.  

Place a bottle inside the carrier, being sure that the bottle is in the center of the inside pocket.   You will notice that there are little "ears" that hang over on each side.  These will be sewn to help create the bottle carrier shape.  Pin both ears while they are on the bottle so you know where to sew.

Sew the ears as shown in the picture to the right.  Again, I did a basic stitch and a zig-zag to provide additional strength.

Turn the bottle holder inside out and you should have something that looks like this.

I purchased some 1" Nylon webbing in Gold on eBay.  Cut a piece to match the exact inside of the carrier and another piece 3 1/2 feet long to serve as the shoulder strap.  Pin the pieces.

To sew the nylon, you need to be sure to have a thicker needle that can handle thinker fabrics.  Also be sure you use all purpose thread.

Sew once about 1/4 inch from the top and again about a 1/4 inch from the bottom around to attach the nylon to the carrier.  You will also want to do a criss-cross stitch shown below to make sure the shoulder strap is securely attached.

And there you have your water bottle carrier as shown below and my little scout with her own.   People raved about our carriers while visiting the Juliette Low house in Savannah and the girls loved to show them off.

As a side note, one of the best things about this project was that I thought of my grandmother every time I sat down to sew.... my grandmother after whom my little scout is named ... my grandmother that was also a scout leader once upon a time and who's leader book I still have to this day and treasure.   This project came to mean so much to me, and I hope it means a lot to these girls.     

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Count Down to Disney

We have Disney issues.  Okay, to say "issues" is mild, we are addicted to Disney.  My favorite trips are when we are able to share...