Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Girl's Crochet Cape

With fall around the corner, what little girl doesn't need a cozy cape!

Crochet Cape with flowers by Over The Apple Tree

This cape was made with a free pattern from Red Heart. One of the reasons I love Ravelry is that you can see other people's finished projects and read their comments or tips on the patterns. I post a lot of my projects there. All the comments on this pattern kept saying how small it was, small enough to fit a toddler. I thought, well, great, that's what I'm going for!

This little cape is for my 1 1/2 yr old niece. I did the whole thing with my new 5.5 mm hook and guess what? It was big enough to fit my 7 yr old! Oh, all that time wasted...I had to pull it all out and started over again. I realize the pattern calls for a 5 mm hook but I didn't really think it would make that big of a difference. Before I pulled out my project and my hair, I got my niece's measurements and compared them to what I had done. Since the hood needed to be a bit smaller, I decreased my center section to 60sc instead of 70. I added 5dc onto each of the side sections. My starting ribbing is the same 126 rows called for in the pattern.

Crochet Cape with flowers by Over The Apple Tree

Crochet Cape with flowers by Over The Apple Tree

This cape is really simple. It's all worked in one piece, then folded in half and sewed up the back. A great way to keep track of your rows when you first start is to use stitch markers. I marked every 50 rows of the ribbing so I wouldn't have to keep starting over my count. When I got to the main cape section, I used 2 stitch markers throughout the project to mark where my sc section began and ended. Another great way to use the stitch markers is to stick them in the beginning of your short row A so you don't loose track of how many sections you've done. I'm always picking up and putting down my projects, so these short rows would have gotten really confusing if I didn't mark it somehow.

I used two balls of Michael's Loops & Threads Impeccable Yarn and a 5.5 mm hook.

Crochet Cape with flowers by Over The Apple Tree

Crochet Cape with flowers by Over The Apple Tree

Crochet Cape with flowers by Over The Apple Tree

Crochet Cape with flowers by Over The Apple Tree

Crochet Cape with flowers by Over The Apple Tree


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Wednesday, August 3, 2016

DIY Cheap Tufted Headboard

My house is still a work in progress and my bedroom is the last to get any special attention. I've been scoping out headboard tutorials for a while and this project ended up using a little bit of everything from all the inspiration I found on Pinterest.

DIY Cheap Tufted Headboard- Made with a piece of $10 styrofoam insulation board and faux fabric buttons by Over The Apple Tree

If you read my blog, you know I like to find the cheapest way to make things. That's one of the reasons I chose to use Styrofoam insulation board as the base for this headboard. One board cost me less than $10. The second reason is that it's incredibly light weight which makes it very easy to maneuver by myself and I could cut it to size with a kitchen knife.

So with the pros of the Styrofoam, there are also cons. You can't really nail, tack or staple into it because everything will just slide out. I'm also not 100% sure yet how durable this will prove to be. I have to admit, halfway through this project I was wondering if I made a mistake by not just going with the wood. I stuck it out, improvising along the way, and ended up with a beautiful inexpensive headboard that I love!

The supplies I purchased:
  • Styrofoam Insulation Board $9.57
  • 2 1/2 yards of fabric $6.25
  • Batting $7.97
  • Command Strips $3.94
  • duct tape

DIY Cheap Tufted Headboard- Made with a piece of $10 styrofoam insulation board and faux fabric buttons by Over The Apple Tree

I have a king size bed so I cut my board to 78x36


DIY Cheap Tufted Headboard- Made with a piece of $10 styrofoam insulation board and faux fabric buttons by Over The Apple Tree

DIY Cheap Tufted Headboard- Made with a piece of $10 styrofoam insulation board and faux fabric buttons by Over The Apple Tree

I folded back the fabric and attached it with a staple gun. The staples were a temporary hold because they would have slipped back out. After I had it all the way I wanted it, I used duct tape to secure the fabric to the board, covering the staples.

DIY Cheap Tufted Headboard- Made with a piece of $10 styrofoam insulation board and faux fabric buttons by Over The Apple Tree

Using a level and tape measure I marked where the buttons would go with pins.


DIY Cheap Tufted Headboard- Made with a piece of $10 styrofoam insulation board and faux fabric buttons by Over The Apple Tree

I didn't use actual buttons. I had to use a needle and thread to create the tufts. Since the thread would have pulled straight through the Styrofoam, I needed something to hold it on the back side while I tied it in a knot on the front of the fabric. My daughter was crafting in the next room and BOOM, popsicle sticks saved the day. If I used wood as my base this step would have been much easier, I could have just used the staple gun to create tufts.

DIY Cheap Tufted Headboard- Made with a piece of $10 styrofoam insulation board and faux fabric buttons by Over The Apple Tree

So here are my faux buttons. I just hot glued fabric onto cardboard circles then covered my thread knots with the "buttons" with more hot glue.

DIY Cheap Tufted Headboard- Made with a piece of $10 styrofoam insulation board by Over The Apple Tree

DIY Cheap Tufted Headboard- Made with a piece of $10 styrofoam insulation board by Over The Apple Tree

DIY Cheap Tufted Headboard- Made with a piece of $10 styrofoam insulation board by Over The Apple Tree

Here was another tricky part for me. I couldn't just attach this to the wall and call it a day. My room has a strip of molding I had to work around. I took some pieces of leftover styrofoam and glued them to the back. This built it up enough to work around the molding and created a little ledge for it to rest on the molding for extra support. I attached my finished headboard to my wall with Command Strips. The strips I got are meant to hold up to 16 lbs and my headboard ended up at about 5 lbs so I'm pretty confident this isn't going anywhere.

DIY Cheap Tufted Headboard- Made with a piece of $10 styrofoam insulation board by Over The Apple Tree


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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Family Camping 2016

Summer vacation means it's time to go camping! This past weekend we headed up to Grand Lake, CO for some outdoor family fun.

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Camping with a family takes some serious planning. This isn't our first time, so we already have all the camping gear we need. That just leaves meal planning and packing up the car. This isn't exactly a "how to" post, just a glimpse of some ideas I have and some I found online that worked for me.

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree


Our Meals:
Day 1 Dinner- Hot dogs and Brats
   When you first get to your campsite you have a lot to do with setting everything up. Any easy dinner is best, no need to add to the stress.

Dessert- S'mores!

Day 2 Breakfast- Scrambled eggs, sausage, and biscuits
    Cooked the sausage and eggs on our stove. I forgot to take a photo but this was the first time I made biscuits over a campfire! I got a tube of Pillsbury Grands, placed them in a foil baking pan and covered with foil. Set them on the grate over the fire. Worked great! The bottoms got a little burned but that easily peeled off.

Lunch- Tortilla Chip Tacos
   I prepared beef with taco seasoning ahead of time and I added in a can of black beans. After the meat was cooled, I dumped it in a ziploc bag. This is super fast to heat up over a fire or on a stove. After meat and beans are heated up, just dump on some pre-shredded cheese, pre-chopped lettuce and I brought along some sour cream for me. Everyone can gather around and scoop up with tortilla chips. You don't even need plates!

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Dinner- Chicken Parm Sandwiches
   So these aren't exactly Chicken Parm since my chicken isn't breaded but close enough. Like my lunch, this meat was prepared ahead of time and just reheated. I took chicken breast and cut up into small pieces. I seasoned it and cooked on the stove top with some onions and green peppers. Allow to cool and place in a ziploc bag. For both this and the taco meat, I froze them at home. It stays cold longer and helps to keep the cooler cold longer. I reheated this over the fire in a foil baking pan. Place chicken in roll with some cheese then toast over fire! These were so good,I think I'll start making them at home too!

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

My daughter wasn't down with chicken so she used the pie iron to make make a spaghetti and garlic bread sandwich!

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Dessert- Apple Crisp
   Prep the crumble mixture at home ahead of time and place in a ziploc. I don't measure stuff but my mixture contains butter, brown sugar, white sugar, flour, oatmeal and cinnamon. This takes some time to cook the apples so start prepping this one same time as dinner. Cut up apples and cover with sugar mixture. Word to the wise...in the past I packed this in aluminum foil and cooked over the fire, occasionally flipping it over so it would cook evenly. Worked great. This year I placed in a foil baking pan and covered...it burned on the bottom. because of the sugar and maybe our too large fire. This one failed this year. I would definitely go back to the foil packet that you flip.

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Day 3 Breakfast- Cereal or whatever you an find in the cooler while I'm packing!
   It's already time to go and check out at this campsite is 11am. Some of us had cereal and others decided Chef Boyardee sounded good. Anything fast and not a lot of clean up is good for me.


The Dollar Store has some great supplies you can use for camping. Here's what I bought there before we left:
Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree
  • outdoor solar lights
  • plastic table cloth
  • foil baking pans
  • kid toys(shovel & bucket)
  • plastic spoons
  • hand sanitizer
  • glow sticks
  • playing cards
  • kid flashlights
  • matches

There is wildlife everywhere here so you have to pack your food back in your car at night unless you want a visit from a bear. Rubbermaid bins are a perfect way to pack your nonperishable food. We also used another bin to pack and store our camping supplies.

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Entertainment is essential with kids. It takes about five minutes for them to get bored. Before we left I printed them maps to color in for the license plate game and a scavenger hunt list. I should have also printed them a real map to where we were going so they could follow along the route. I can't tell you how many times I was asked "How much longer?" We've stayed at this particular campsite before(Elk Creek Campground) and we come back because it's perfect for us. Besides the perfect location right outside of Rocky Mountain National Park, they have awesome bathrooms, a game room, playground, and small stream running through the property. My kids had a great time panning for gold and trying to catch minnows.

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Family Camping 2016- Over The Apple Tree

Going on a long car trip? Make a seat belt travel pillow!


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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Seat Belt Pillow

Traveling long distances in the car can be fun but also uncomfortable! Get ready for your next road trip by making a comfy seat belt pillow.

Seat Belt Travel Pillow, Over The Apple Tree

A few days before we took off for our family camping adventure, my daughter was complaining about her booster seat and how there was no way she could relax her head against anything in the center seat. I remembered these pillows I saw on Pinterest(visit Pin for more detailed instructions). Perfect and easy enough to whip up before we go.

Seat Belt Travel Pillow, Over The Apple Tree
I purchased a very cheap pillow and used the stuffing for my pillow
Seat Belt Travel Pillow, Over The Apple Tree
Use an iron to mark center sew lines
Seat Belt Travel Pillow, Over The Apple Tree

Seat Belt Travel Pillow, Over The Apple Tree

Seat Belt Travel Pillow, Over The Apple Tree

I hear all the time from people I know or comments here on the blog... "I could never do that", "I'm a bad seamstress", "I'm not crafty". This is two squares of fabric, some stuffing and sewing straight lines, you can do it. I'll tell you what, I had about 10 brain farts while I was sewing this and I still managed to make it work!

For size reference, my daughter is 7 and I went with the 17x17 measurement for the fabric.



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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Harry Potter Spell Shirt

I used Elmer's blue glue and Rit dye to make this super cool, if slightly nerdy Harry Potter inspired shirt. I love all things Harry Potter, checkout my Potter inspired crochet projects!

Harry Potter Spell Shirt. Easy project using Elmers glue and Rit dye. Over The Apple Tree

This project is actually Pinspired. I pinned this dye resist project from Holly Hox and had so many repins and questions about it, I finally decided it was time to test it out myself!

In this tutorial, it specifically says to use the blue gel glue so that's what I used. I've actually seen other tutorials since then where they used regular white school glue. I'm not sure what the difference is, but it looks like they could both work.

Harry Potter Spell Shirt. Easy project using Elmers glue and Rit dye. Over The Apple Tree

Harry Potter Spell Shirt. Easy project using Elmers glue and Rit dye. Over The Apple Tree

Harry Potter Spell Shirt. Easy project using Elmers glue and Rit dye. Over The Apple Tree

Harry Potter Spell Shirt. Easy project using Elmers glue and Rit dye. Over The Apple Tree

So it's pretty simple, you take a clean, dry, white t-shirt and draw a design with the glue. I printed mine and placed inside shirt to trace. Make sure you use something like cardboard inside shirt until glue dries so it doesn't bleed through to the back side. Allow the glue to fully dry. This can take several hours, I just waited over night. Now follow the direction for the Rit dye. I used black dye and my stainless steel kitchen sink.

My only question while doing this project is, how long before the glue starts to dissolve?

Harry Potter Spell Shirt. Easy project using Elmers glue and Rit dye. Over The Apple Tree

Remember that after you wash it, it will fade a little. I meant for this to be a dark grey color and it turns out I didn't add enough of the dye power to the water. I would have added more but then I got worried if I messed around with it for too long the glue might start to dissolve the longer it's wet and the letters might start to get dyed also. Well, if I had read the original tutorial more thoroughly, I would have seen that she soaked hers in the dye for 30-45 minutes! Leave it to me to find a way to overthink a simple project and make it more complicated than it has to be. I washed it, re-glued it and re-dyed it. Even though I dyed it very dark the second time, added salt, and left it to dry before washing, it still faded significantly more than I would have liked.

I'm very happy with my shirt and this is a really easy and fun project. Next time I need to work on my dye method and try to get it darker.

Harry Potter Spell Shirt. Easy project using Elmers glue and Rit dye. Over The Apple Tree

Harry Potter Spell Shirt. Easy project using Elmers glue and Rit dye. Over The Apple Tree

I'd love to hear about your experience using this dye method! Feel free to leave comments.


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