{Tutorial: How to Make a BMO Adventure Time Costume}

BMO_CoverIMG_0254Okay, this adorable little thing is BMO, pronounced “Beemo”.  If you’re not familiar, he’s from the cartoon called Adventure Time.  Ever heard of it?  My son is 8 and decided at the last minute that he didn’t want to be a devil for Halloween anymore because all of the costumes that we looked at online were either too scary or too babyish for him.  So, with the school Halloween dance only 2 days away, we started brain storming.

I have no idea how we came to this decision, but he just had to be BMO.  I don’t even like my son to watch the show because I find it sort of weird in a trippy kind of way.  But he sneaks it sometimes.  Besides, I was not in a position to argue with the kid since I had next to no time to prepare.  And to think that this year I’d be able to get away with a store bought costume.  BUT NOOOOOOOO!

I really didn’t mind though because I was in desperate need of a creative release and this was just the ticket.  Do you ever get like that?  All stuffed up and frustrated with ideas and creativity but no time to release all of that wonderful energy?  It makes me cranky.  So you can imagine how sitting behind a desk all day long can have an impact.  That’s why it is SO important for me to have an outlet.

My son and I headed down to the basement to look around for some supplies.  We lucked out and found the perfect box.  I had to empty all of our air filters out of it, but we NEEDED that box!

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I had leftover white primer and aqua blue spray paint from my summer patio set project:
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I had plenty of craft paint to work with, but to save myself some time I used a 40% off coupon at the craft store to buy a pack of 40 multi-colored sticky back foam sheets.  These things proved to be a God send!  I was able to make several of BMO’s details out of them instead of using paint and there are a ton left over for future projects.  The sticky side is surprisingly sticky!   
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Also, I sorted through my bag full of plastic caps and pulled a few out to use as the cool little knobs and buttons on BMO’s front.  If you’re wondering why I have a bag full of plastic caps…I started collecting them after I saw a gorgeous wall mural made out of nothing but paint and different colored plastic caps at my yoga studio.  One day I’d like to do a smaller scale version of it with my kids. IMG_5073

Okay, so let’s get down to the step-by-step of this project!

{STEP 1} Use a pencil and trace where you want the screen and arm holes to be.  Note that BMO’s arms come out from the middle of the “O” in his name.  Cut out the holes very carefully using a box cutter or exactoknife.

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{STEP 2}  Prime with a coat of white primer to cover the dark lettering and logos on the box.  I knew I didn’t have much blue paint so I didn’t want to risk these dark spots showing through, so I mostly focused on those areas.  IMG_5066

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{STEP 3}  Use a small angled paint brush and black craft paint to outline the screen and arm hole openings.  Allow to dry thoroughly and add a second coat if you think it’s necessary.

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{STEP 4} Use a round sponge brush to stamp circles on each side of BMO where his speaker areas are.  An easy way to configure the dots was to do the center dot first, then one to the left and one to the right of it.  So you have a straight line of three dots.  Then, the bottom two dots and top two dots are placed half way between the dots from the middle row.  Does that make sense?  This way you aren’t trying to free hand a circle of dots.  Allow to dry thoroughly and add a second coat if you think it’s necessary.

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{STEP 5}  Using a hot glue gun, adhere your plastic caps to the front of the box, using an image of BMO as a reference.  He’s got one big round button, a smaller green one, and another black knob under the screen.  I cut the blue triangular button and the yellow cross shaped button out of the sticky back foam.  Again, this stuff is really sticky!  Love it!

 

 

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{STEP 6}  Cut out one long skinny oval and two shorter ovals out of sticky back foam for the “slots” on BMO’s front.  Then cut out 5 more skinny ovals for the vents on BMO’s back.  Cut out 4 small circles, and a bunch of strips to configure the two “hatches” that house BMO’s batteries and other stuff.  In one episode they showed the inside and it contained a bunch of stuff that made reference to The Wizard of Oz.

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{STEP 7} I free handed the letters by drawing on the reverse of the sticky back foam sheets and then cut them out.  However, if you don’t want to be that daring, print out some block letters in a large font, cut them out, and use them as a template to trace around.  Stick those babies on and you’re just about done!

{STEP 8} Use a black sharpie marker to outline all of the knobs and buttons to make them POP!  This step really makes everything stand out and gives it dimension.

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{STEP 9}  I used duct tape to tape a square of very sheer light blue organza fabric to the inside of the box to simulate BMO’s screen.  If you don’t want to do this step, having your adorable face in the screen is just fine!  Keep in mind that if you’re going to be out at night trick-or-treating with a little one in this costume, think about skipping this step.  My son’s school dance was indoors and I didn’t think his safety was too much of a concern, but come Halloween night, I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do.  I might remove the screen altogether or I might cut a hole in the top so his head peeks out of that instead.

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{Step 10}  This is also an optional step, but BMO has quite a personality and many fascinating expressions.  So if you want to add some personality, get creative!  My son saw this mischievous looking mustache face and insisted on it.  The sticky back foam stuck right to the fabric perfectly.  I had to make that darn mustache three times!  The first time, my daughter grabbed it when the sharpie marker outline hadn’t completely dried and smudged the hell out of it.  Then, a couple days later she pulled half of the new one right off of the costume!

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Here is my son, in all his glory, trying it on at home and then at the school dance!  NAILED IT!

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BMO Costume DIY

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!

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{DIY Chalkboard Using an Old Frame}

DIY Chalkboard Using an Old Frame at One Cozy NestHello friends and lovers of all things painted. In today’s post, I’ll take you through a step-by-step tutorial for making your very own chalkboard, from scratch, out of an old frame. So grab a cozy seat and relax!

If you recall, a recent trash pickin’ session yielded a great looking old frame. Since the glass or mirror was missing, I immediately knew what I’d do with it. I’m sure a lot of you can relate to things lying around your house with no particular plan, and then all of a sudden it hits you. It could be weeks, months, or even years! Well, I was happy to have an instant vision with this piece. I’ve been seeing so many wonderful chalkboard art projects on Pinterest lately and I’ve been dying to try my hand at one.

This chalkboard piece was all about firsts. For starters, the day I nabbed the frame out of the trash was my son’s first trash picking experience. It was my first time making a chalkboard from scratch. It was my first time using my jig saw AND it was my first time testing out my brand new nail gun, which I ended up not using because the nails I had were too long for this application. Still, I got some practice and some confidence to use it on another project. I have a small bookcase that I want to transform into a dollhouse for my daughter, like this one over at Bliss Images.  Lastly, it was my first time using milk paint.  I’ve used latex and chalk before, but never milk.  So I figured I’d give it a try to see what all the hype is about!  The nice folks over at General Finishes sent me these products to try:

General Finishes Waterbased Milk Paint at One Cozy Nest

{Tutorial:  DIY Chalkboard Using an Old Frame}

The only material that I had to buy off of the supply list was the plywood for the chalkboard. I already had the rest of the materials at home, so essentially, this project cost me less than $4. I realize some of you don’t have a basement full of craft supplies, but these items can be purchased inexpensively at your local craft (use your 50% off coupons!) or hardware store…or borrowed from your father-in-law or neighbor. No need to go buying a whole box of nails when there’s a workshop full of things down the street at your disposal! Take advantage and save $$ where you can.

Supply List:

  • Old frame
  • 2’X2’ ¼” thick hardwood plywood (get the smoothest one you can find)
  • Chalkboard paint (not to be confused with chalk paint)
  • Sponge brushes (you could get away with using one if you clean it out really well between colors)
  • 2” wide paint brush if you prefer over the sponge variety
  • Dark base color paint, light top color paint, and a clear top coat to protect/seal the piece
  • Sandpaper (fine grit and medium grit)
  • Wood glue
  • Finish nails
  • ChalkDIY Chalkboard Using an Old Frame at One Cozy Nest

1. Prep your piece.  Grab an old frame that you love the look of, but aren’t totally in love with what’s inside. It could be a frame that you found on trash day like I did, or a picture that’s been sitting in your garage or attic for years. Get it out and give it a good wiping with a soft cloth and warm soapy water. Don’t get it too wet, just use a damp cloth. Let it dry completely before painting. Sand down any rough edges or paint drips or bird poop or dead crusty dried up worms. True story. Hey, don’t judge. It happens. That’s why they invented rubber gloves…and antibacterial soap.DIY Chalkboard Using an Old Frame at One Cozy Nest

General Finishes Milk Paint in Dark Chocolate

  1. Paint your base coat(s). Stir your paint well (do not shake) and use your sponge brush topaint one light coat of your base color. For this multi-layered paint look, I used a dark base coat that was the color of dark chocolate. Is it weird that my mouth watered a little bit when I opened the can? It’s from the General Finishes line of Waterbased Milk Paint and the color is called….wait for it…..Dark Chocolate. I immediately craved a tall glass of ice cold chocolate milk. General Finishes Dark Chocolate Milk Paint at One Cozy Nest

{Painting Tips}

  • Don’t saturate your brush, just get it wet enough. This prevents lots of messy drips.
  • Brush in the same direction as the grain of the wood. This frame had wood going in two directions.
  • Put the first coat on lightly and go heavier on subsequent coats.
  • Don’t’ forget about the sides! Also, some people l like to paint the backs of their pieces (especially furniture) with one light coat of paint to tie it all together, but since this is definitely going against a wall, I opted not to paint the back. No need to waste paint.
  • Allow each coat to dry according to manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Place a fan near your painted pieces to speed the drying time up a little.

multi-tasking at One Cozy NestMy middle name is multi-task, so I frequently catch up on laundry or dishes, or help with homework in between coats of paint. Sometimes….er…most of the time, my projects sit unfinished for days or weeks if I can’t find enough solid blocks of time. Let’s face it. I’m a working mom of two so it is RARE that I get solid blocks of time. I don’t put too much pressure on myself. I just get it done when I can.  Here is my Right Hand Girl in action…always willing to help with chores in her own special way.  One day this area will look like one of those Pinterest-worthy laundry room makeovers.  Oh, come on!  A girl can dream, RIGHT?!

  1. Paint your top coat(s). I painted two top coats using General Finished Waterbased Milk Paint in Linen the same way I painted the base coat in the previous step. Don’t worry about totally covering up that lovely dark chocolate color. You’ll be strategically sanding the white away to reveal it in all the right places.

distressed edges at One Cozy NestCarved detail on mirror frame at One Cozy Nest

  1. Age your piece. After you are sure your piece is totally dry, it’s not time to age it to give it that vintage, time-worn look, as seen above . When I do this, I try to imagine how the piece wasused, where people would touch it frequently, rub against it or past it, etc. Obviously the corners and around the edges of the wood should get special attention. You also want to accentuate any special details in your frame. This piece has the cute little cut-out at the top, but you may be working with a frame that has beautiful carved details. You’ll want to sand there to bring out the darker base coat and highlight the beauty of the frame.DIY Chalkboard Using an Old Frame at One Cozy NestDIY Chalkboard Using an Old Frame at One Cozy Nest

Don’t go berserk with the sandpaper here. You don’t want to totally remove your top AND base coat! Just sand until you see the dark peeking through. You can always go back and sand some more after you’ve stepped back and take a good look at it. It’s much more difficult to re-paint it and start over! I first tried to sand with a fine grit but noticed it wasn’t doing the job. With chalk paint, fine grit usually works, but with this milk paint, I needed something more rough.  So, I moved on up to a medium grit and I got a much better result.DIY Chalkboard Using an Old Frame at One Cozy Nest

  1. WALK AWAY. Look at your piece from afar.Assess your first go-round of distressing. Does it look too intentional? Does the paint job look too “new” and even still? Sand some more, being sure you get the edges and details without making it look like you’re trying too hard to make it look old. I have seen too many pieces online where people distress in a pretty obvious pattern. This is a technique that you’ll get better at the more you do it. I’m no expert by any means, but the more practice you have, the more you just know when to stop and walk away from the piece.  Save your top coat for the very last step, after you have inserted the chalkboard.DIY Chalkboard Using an Old Frame at One Cozy Nest
  1. Measure & cut your wood. Measure the opening where the wood will sit…NOT the opening of the front of the frame. Turn your frame over and measure the inside opening on the back. There should be a little ledge that prevents the glass/mirror/chalkboard from falling through to the front.  Measure twice, cut once! Use a jig saw or a circular saw to cut your board down to size.

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{Tool Tip}

When first starting out on DIY projects, your best bet is to borrow tools from family, neighbors, or friends. Eventually, if you find that you absolutely need your own, yard sales are excellent sources. I nabbed a miter box and this jig saw, complete with the original box and instructions for a whopping $3 last year at my local city-wide yard sale. Once I turn professional blogger/DIYer/Home Improvement Show host (wink wink), I’ll go ahead and buy my own heavy duty, top o’ the line tools. For now, though, my father-in-law’s garage and shed are my playground!  I just load my project into my 31 Bag and carry it down the street (my in-laws live 5 houses down).31 Bag for Toting Craft Projects at One Cozy NestIMG_9197

  1. Prep your chalkboard. Wipe it clean of any saw dust. If you need to, fill in any knots or blemishes with wood filler. This board came already filled in. This one knot looks like a cute little bear head, doesn’t it?! wood knot bear or foxThe next time I make a chalkboard, I will likely use a man-made board toavoid this step and to avoid seeing the wood grain in the finished product. No big deal though, just a minor irritation. I’m a perfectionist even when trying to make something look imperfect! I have issues, I know.IMG_9191
  1. Paint your chalkboard. Going with the grain of the wood, paint one light coat of black chalkboard paint. Not chalk paint, actual chalkboard paint made for chalkboards. IMG_9189IMG_9182I bought an inexpensive kind at the craft store, but they sell more high-end brands at your hardware store. I’m sure there are Pinterest tutorials on how to make your own! Let dry. Add more coats as desired. I painted this with three coats. If you want and happen to have it on hand, a primer could be painted on first, then the chalkboard paint.

{Tool Tip}

Always keep a roll of plastic wrap in your workspace.  Wrap up your brushes tightly in between coats so they don’t dry out.  This trick works overnight too!wrap paint brushes up with plastic wrap in between coats at One Cozy Nest

  1. Assemble your chalkboard. Lay a small bead of wood glue around the edges of the inside ledge of the frame. wood glueThis is just an “extra” so the chalkboard doesn’t move or wiggle in the frame when you’re writing on it. Then using small finish nails, secure the board in the frame by nailing them as close to the board as possible. IMG_9228Do not hammer them in all the way.You want the nails to act as stoppers. I placed the frame, face side down on a piece of clean cardboard, then loaded up the back with some heavy stuff from around the garage to make sure the wood glue had good contact with the chalkboard. Makesure no wood glue blobs came out on the other side onto your chalkboard. Placing a small bead will avoid this….so don’t go nuts with that either. I left this overnight.
  1. Paint your topcoat. The next day I used blue painters tape to protect the chalkboard and I painted two coats of General Finishes Waterbased High Performance Top Coat to protect the piece and seal all that vintage-y goodness in. Let dry.
  1. Season your chalkboard. Have you ever seasoned an iron skillet or a wood chopping block? Well, if you don’t season a brand new chalkboard, the first thing you write on it will be “burned” into the paint and will be hard to erase. IMG_9265Chalkboard paint is porous, so you need to fill in all the tiny nooks and crannies with chalk dust. To do this, take a stick of chalk, lay it flat, and cover the entire board in one direction. Then the other direction. I went a step further and colored it in diagonally and scribbled into any spots that looked like it wasn’t accepting the chalk well.  Wipe the chalkboard free of all chalk, using a dry cloth or chalkboard eraser and you’re ready to start expressing your deep thoughts to the world…or telling your husband that you need milk and bread.IMG_9109
  2. This piece already had screws in the back for hanging but I need to add some wire. An alternative hanging method that I love is using removable strips that won’t damage your walls if you decide to move the chalkboard to a different location.DIY_Chalkboard4
  3. Use bakers twine, cotton string, or jute string to tie a fresh piece of chalk to your chalkboard so it’s always on hand. You never know when an inspirational quote like this one will hit you.DIY Chalkboard Using an Old Frame ~ One Cozy Nest ~ Chalkboard Art

 

 As Always, Stay Cozy,

Mandy

xxxooo

{Zippered Doodle Pouch Tutorial}

This tutorial is in the works, and will be updated shortly.  My sister is an artist and I am a seamstress.  I always feel funny about calling myself a seamstress because it’s not actually my profession, just a hobby, really.  But my sister most definitely is an artist.  A very good one, I’d like to add.  For this tutorial, we decided that we are going to collaborate.  My sister will be using permanent fabric pens to doodle on the pattern pieces before I sew the zippered pouches up.  fabric markersThe artwork is optional, though.  Instead, just cut the pattern pieces out of regular fabric instead of the white fabric that we used.  If you can use a pair of scissors and sew a straight line, this is the project for you!

{Tweet, Tweet!}

This is the latest creation my craft group made for the upcoming Spring season.  With the exception of the silver German glass glitter, all of the materials were gathered from either the dollar store or the dollar bin at the craft store.  The glitter can be found at a lot of places online, but I got mine from Etsy.com.  It’s pure silver and is made from actual little shards of glass, so you want to be careful not to get it all over your workspace.  I glitter things over an open plastic tub like a rubbermaid shoe box-sized container.
First we used mod podge to decoupage vintage sheet music from a hymnal to a paper machet bird form.  This, to me was the hardest part because of all the curves on the bird.  You had to use such tiny, sometimes pea-sized, scraps of paper.  Once it was dry though, my sister added beads for eyes on all of our birds.

Next was the moss.  As we broke it apart it released a very earthy dust and it was kind of strange in a way.  We had a little clear plastic bowl and just spread hot glue in small areas and smashed the moss to the glue.  We did this inside and out, making sure to cover all of the plastic.

My sister had gathered some branches from a neighbor’s lawn and we glued little flowers onto them to make them look like springtime blooms.  The branches were hot glued onto the nest and then our bird was placed on the edge.  We also made little tiny pennant flags that read “SPRING” and glued them to branches as well so that Mama bird had something to celebrate with.  

Finally, we added some colored eggs and a spring-colored ribbon to make the Mama bird happy.  A lot of us thought the eggs would look stunning glittered in silver so that’s just what I did when I got home.  I didn’t stop there, though.  I also glittered the bird’s beak and tail, the pennant, and the centers of the flowers.  I think she came out quite pretty!

Happy Spring everybody!  Credit for this craft idea and execution goes to my wonderfully talented sister, Tracy.  You can read her blog here.  She’s pretty awesome.  🙂

As always, stay cozy!
Mandy

{I Heart You}

One of my Craft Night companions, Pat, came up with a brilliantly crafty idea. She took a previous project, mentioned in the last post, and gave it a little Valentine’s Day spin!

Using the cover of Martha Stewart’s magazine as inspiration, she decided to make hers out of paper cupcake liners. Martha’s was made from real flower carnations. Pat’s can be used over and over again! Thanks for the great idea, Pat. For mine, I used four different varieties of liners all in shades of red and white.

I cut out a piece of cardboard into the shape of a heart then covered it with some cute striped fabric.  This is the back…not that anyone will ever see it, but I couldn’t leave it plain brown cardboard, now could I?

I glued the edges of the fabric around and then started hot gluing the liners to the form, starting at the border.  I used the eraser side of a pencil to press into the center of the liners, then used my hand to fold the sides down onto the pencil.  I squirted some glue onto the end and again, used the pencil to press it onto the cardboard form.  The pencil saves your fingertips from getting burned too! 

Here is the finished product.  You’ll have to forgive me for the quality of the photos.  I took them with my iPhone so the colors are way off.  The finished product looks more pink than red.  You can see I added a silk rose as an embellishment as well as a red polka-dotted hanger. 

As Always, Stay Cozy!
Mandy

{4th of July in January!}

If you talk to any creative type, they’ll tell you that they have tons of unfinished, half-started, well-intentioned projects lying around their house.  Well, I’m no different.  Case in point…my wedding day scrapbook.  I was married for about 8 years and have been divorced for over 2.  While I don’t forsee myself finishing THAT project (ha-ha!), I have the itch to finish a lot of others! 

As us homebodies do, we like to hibernate in the winter inside our little caves.  I’ve got plenty of time to craft now that the cold, cold winter is settled in.  So, I pulled out this project that I’ve had half finished since last summer.  One of the Craft Night projects at my sister’s house was making wreaths out of patterned paper cupcake liners.  

Mine was a take on “stars and stripes”.  I couldn’t find starry ones so polka dots would have to do.  Well, I underestimated how many liners I’d need so I had to quit early.  Since I ordered them online, it wasn’t like I could run to Michael’s or AC Moore to grab more.  They do, however have a nice selection there, so if you’re interested in doing this project, they’d be a great resource.  Months later, even after I ordered more, they just sat in their package on my craft table.  When I finally finished the wreath portion, it sat un-decorated for yet more months!! 
Finally, this past weekend, I went in my craft closet to find something and there it was….staring at me…mocking me.  “You’ll never finish me.”  So I grabbed it, plugged in my hot glue gun, and dug into my vintage button and ribbon collection.  One nasty hot glue gun burn later, here you have it! 
As Always, Stay Cozy!
Mandy

{Vintage Fabric & Button Rosettes}

My sister holds a monthly Craft Night at her home for some lady friends and these beauties were this month’s project.  They’re made by twisting and winding vintage strips of fabric and attaching it to a round of felt.  Add a cute vintage button to the center and voila!  You have an adorable way to showcase your stash of favorite vintage fabrics and buttons.  Some ladies attached theirs to headbands, others to barrettes and pins.  I am going to make some decorative throw pillows for my cozy guest bed!

Here’s a link to a wonderful video tutorial by a woman named Erin Bassett.  We used hot glue for our Craft Night but she uses fabric glue so you can wash it if you happen to put it on a garment. 
As Always, Stay Cozy!
Mandy
xoxo

{Blogs, Blogs, and more Blogs!}

This week, I’ve had the high honor of being featured in two, yes, TWO other blogs written by fellow Etsy sellers! To me, this is such a huge compliment and I am always so grateful. So let me thank them both in today’s post…

First, the lovely Audrey over at Pink Sunrise featured my handmade felt heart brooches.
Audrey is a knitter and she also sells supplies on her Etsy shop. She also designs banners and avatars for fellow Etsy sellers. Check out her stash of supplies, like this pretty ribbon:

Next, the talented Emily over at Tea and Laundry featured my vintage green bingo cards.
She plans on using them in a shadow box for her daughter’s room. I have a young child too and I can remember how fun it was decorating his room. Emily’s favorite things to make and work with are jewelry and paper goods . Check out her adorable resin charm!

Thank you Audrey and Emily, for making me and One Cozy Nest part of your day.

{Latest Project ~ Bingo Madness}

My husband hosts a poker game at our house once a month, so a lot of bottle caps are generated as a result. For years now, he has been “collecting” them in a bin next to the recycling container. When I ask him why he’s collecting them, he doesn’t have an answer, really. He just likes to collect things, what can I say? The other day I decided that I was going to put some of them to good use! I’m all for recycling things and turning them into new lovely things! So I picked some out and made these adorable, kitchy fridge magnets using some of my vintage BINGO cards.
You can find them for sale up in my Etsy shop called One Cozy Nest. They are backed with super strong rare earth magnets so even though they are small, they really hold tight. I also have a ton of vintage road maps lying around and I plan on using them to make more bottlecap magnet sets. Stay tuned and check my shop regularly!

{Latest Project ~ Puffy Felt Hearts}

Last night, I was finally able to escape to my craft room and get creative. After a trip to the craft store with my sister and a well needed therapy session, I made these three puffy felt hearts. I used some of my long neglected vintage fabric stash, buttons, and embroidery thread. After making these, I discovered that I really like hand sewing! It’s relaxing and theraputic and when you’re done, you even have something like these cute hearts to show for it. I turned them into little pins you can wear on your coat or sweater by sewing a little pin onto the backs. Check them out in my Etsy shop, One Cozy Nest.

My sister has also been a busy little thing over at The Vintage Sister Studio. Just look at her adorable Valentine’s Day nest head.