Easy Bunny Candy Pouch

I wanted to do something simple and fun for Easter baskets this year that I could use over and over again. We love using our bunny nesting dolls to place little snacks and treats in and then hide away in a grand Easter hunt. This has become a special tradition for the boys and they look forward to finding them each year and discovering what treasure they might hold inside. I wanted to add to our arsenal of reusable treat containers this year so I made this simple felt bunny bag.
In fact, you can make these so fast, you won't want to stop at just one. Make a slew of them (trust me, you can totally make these before Easter weekend!), fill them up with candy or tiny toys and contribute them to an Easter egg hunt or to place them on plates for your guests to enjoy as they arrive for Easter dinner. Family and friends, young and old, will sure to love this little cutie (not to mention the treats & treasures inside!).

1. To make this little bunny friend, begin by downloading my simple template.

Use the template as a pattern and place it on two pieces of white felt (or whatever color you choose to make your bunny out of). Pin the pattern together with both pieces of felt and then cut them out.

2. Take one of the pieces of felt and create a simple bunny face on it. To do this I used thread to make a delicate sleeping bunny face- but you could also use embroidery floss if you prefer. Feel free to use my template for the eyes and nose or get creative and make another face of your choosing. In fact, this is a great craft to bring the kids in on! Have them embroider their own little bunny faces. It would be so fun to see what they came up with!


3. Once the face in on, place the two pieces of felt together (with the piece with the face on it facing up and out). Pin and sew them together from ear to ear, being careful to leave an opening at the top to insert treats and treasures. (Again, you could have little beginning sewers help you out with this part too!)


4. And now the fun part! Fill up your bunny with candy or little gifts. If using candy, and it's not prepackaged, I would suggest placing it inside of a little plastic bag before inserting into the felt bunny (not show here).


3. Once your bunny friend is full, pull together the ears and tie them together with yarn, ribbon, string, you name it. This keeps the candy tucked tightly inside and makes the ears, just Oh so cute.


4. Share your bunny friend with your loved ones!!

I love the idea of getting together with family and friends for a delicious Easter feast. I think we will be going to Jon's parents this year. Most of the time we are not able to meet up with family for Easter and I have always wanted to host an egg hunt and dinner party for friends. A pretty big endeavor, but well worth it I'm sure.

What about you? Have you ever had an Easter dinner party with just friends? Have you hosted? Did you split up the responsibilities? And if you are meeting up with family, do you have any fun traditions you do all together? I'd love to hear some tips!


DIY Pop-Up Puppet

After Jon and I had been married for a few years Jon's parents went on a trip to Europe. Knowing our love of theater, puppeteering and European toys in general, they returned home with two pop-up puppets for us. I have loved having them around (as have the boys) and have often looked over at them, and thought, "you know, I really need to make my own version of one of these". And after I made these Halloween paper mache puppets, I knew right away, I wanted to do a version of these in pop-up form. So for Easter this year, that is just what we did.



1. To get started on this, I created the paper mache rabbit head using the same technique I used in my Halloween puppets. I liked the sort of rough, vintage look of things so I kept the head a little imperfect. If you want to spend time smoothing the paper mache down, you can get a more refined look to yours.

2. When the rabbit head was dry and painted I then cut out a neck hole, making sure it was just slightly larger than the wooden dowel that I would be using to pop this puppet up and down. For this puppet I used a 5/16" round wooden dowel and cut the length to be 19 3/4" long.

3. I then stuffed the head with knit fabric (you could also use newspaper) on the sides, and a bit on the top, so that the dowel would fit snugly when it was placed inside the head. I then put gobs of hot glue on the top part of the dowel (about 1 3/4" from the top) and quickly placed it in the rabbits head. I then let this dry and sit for a few hours.

4. While the head and dowel were drying and setting, I created the salmon pink knit jumper in the same fashion as I did for the cat and pumpkin puppets. I then decided that our little hopper needed a bow tie and created one out of the fabric I would be using for the cone.

5. Once the dowel was securely set in the head, I placed the gathered end of the knit jumper onto the base of the rabbit, and hot-glued it securely to the head and dowel. I then hot glued the bow tie on afterwards (yes, I am kind of obsessed with hot glue - but you could hand sew the bow tie on if you wish). I then let that dry and set while I worked on the cone base.



1. To make the cone, I created a template based on the European pop-up puppets I already had. To make your own, you can start by downloading my template for this here:


(The template is larger than an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper and was created for an 11x14 size paper. If you don't have a large format printer you can print it out on more than one sheet of paper and then piece it together.)

After printing the template I then traced it onto rigid chip board (actually taken from a stay flat mailer I use for shipping my prints in my shop, but you can use any sort of rigid chip board you might have lying around, such as a thick cereal box, etc.). Once the template was traced onto the board, I then cut it out and chose the piece a fabric that I wanted to use to cover my cone.

2. I then trimmed the fabric to be about 1/2" larger than the cone template on all sides.

3. Then using hot glue, I glued down all the sides of the fabric to the back side of the chip board.

4. I then shaped the board with my hand to form a cone like shape.

5. To adhere both sides of my fabric covered cone board, I ran a strip of glue down the side of the flap and quickly adhered the flap to the back of the other side of the cone.

6. To make sure everything set well, I clamped down the "seam" and let it sit overnight.
(I might suggest making the paper mache head and cone on one day, let them sit overnight and then paint and assemble the puppet on the next day).



1 Once the rabbit puppet and cone base were complete, I was ready to assemble it all together. I did so by placing the bottom end of the wooden dowel (with the rabbit head and jumper attached up top) through the cone. I did this by starting at the wide end of the cone and pushing it through the smaller hole at the bottom of the cone.

2. I then, once again, grabbed my hot glue and simply placed a ring of glue on the inside of the top of the cone and glued on the base of the rabbit jumper. I let this dry and sit for a bit.

3. I then added a piece of velvet ribbon around the top of the cone.

4. Let everything sit and dry for a couple of hours.

5. Once everything is set and dry, bring your Littles out and have fun, fun, fun with your new "hop-up" bunny puppet!

And fun, fun, fun is just what the boys had with our new little bunny friend. I love how easy it is for Little O (3) to puppeteer our new friend. He's really become quite the master.
And little A is quite the fan as well. They love taking turns creating puppet shows for one another.
The possibilities for pop-up creatures are endless and I'd love to have a go at a few more of these. I'm thinking a little bear, a squirrel and an elephant would be so cute.

What sort of creature would you have popping up out of your puppet?


a Happy 6th preview

Little A turned six this past week and we had lots of crazy fun celebrating this fine little gentlemen on Saturday. I will share pics from the party soon but here is just a little teaser of more things to come.
We also have lots of Easter crafts and sewing endeavors to share. And as Easter is coming fast and furious, we might be sharing those first. But rest assured, a fun 6 year old birthday party is coming soon!

(and didn't we just have his 5 year old cereal mixer? Seriously...)


Springtime Kimono Pj's & Designing with Spoonflower

Hello friends! Sorry I have been so MIA lately. We have been sick, sick, sick. Basically every virus going around, we caught it...and one right after the other. But I'm happy to say, that we are seeming to be more or less in the clear and feeling much much better. Which is great, because I'm super excited about spring and Easter this year and have loads of ideas.

To get things started, I thought it would be fun to gift the boys spring time pj's in their Easter pails this year. Like so many, we have the tradition of gifting warm and cuddly pj's on Christmas Eve but I've found that as Easter rolls around, warm and cuddly needs to be swapped out for light and airy, in anticipation of the warmer months ahead. So what a better time to gift a set of spring time jammies, but at Easter?

I'm a fan of kimono style pajamas and the Littles love them too. They are simple and pretty fast to sew and the boys love the fun element of the ties on the sides. I use Amy's pattern, from Habitual, for the kimono top (she no longer has the instructions on her blog but you can email her for them if you wish). And for the pants, I typically just grab a simple pj bottom pattern from my archives. For this set, I used the pants from Simplicity's 3584 pattern.
I've made kimono pajamas for the boys in the past and have really enjoyed using a variety of fabrics. This year, however, I thought it would be fun to design my own fabric to use this Easter. And I'm so glad I did. I like minimal motifs so I decided to start with a simple line drawing of a sweet little rabbit. I then used Spoonflower to create my fabric, which allowed me to choose just how I wanted my repetitive rabbit motif to look. I then ordered a couple of yards and waited anxiously for my fabric to arrive. When the fabric did arrive, I couldn't have been happier!
And if you want to purchase some of this bitty bunny fabric, you can! Just hop on over to Spoonflower and shop away. I also have a couple of other Christmas motif patterns up for sale now and a number of additional fabric designs are spinning around in my head that I just can't wait to share. I'm thinking a corresponding line of fabric to accompany these bitty bunnies would be a fun start and great for a little baby quilt. I can't wait!
And in the mean time, Little O is head over heels for his new bitty bunny pj's. He loves to put them on and snuggle in our quilt with his cuddly "Darth Bunny" (named by Little O as this little bunny has his very own Darth Vador costume...a true dream come true for Little O).
He knows he's not officially allowed to wear them to bed yet (as it's not Easter yet) but he steals every chance he can get to sneak them on and pal around.
I'm not sure if I'm going to make matching or corresponding kimono pj's for Little A but I'm excited for the possibilities. And I'm excited for spring! I need me some green grass, some springtime sunshine and breeze and some serious spring cleaning!
So what about you? Do you do add any fun surprise in your kids Easter baskets? I remember one year my mom gave us all swim suits and I was in heaven. I think this is a really great idea too (helps get your kids out of the winter rut and looking forward to summer's sunny days!). I'd love to hear what you do! Or what are some things you remember your parents added to your Easter basket to make things extra special?

I'd also love to hear if you have ever used Spoonflower before and what you think of it. Have you designed your own fabrics? Purchased designs by others? What is your experience?

And now I'm off to finish up plans for Little A's birthday party. He turns 6 tomorrow, and on the first day of spring! So happy spring!


Turn the record player up, for that sweet sound...

While we been making a more concerted effort to unplug the TV we've simultaneously decided to plug in Jon's vintage record player and have been collecting a very fun selection of our favorite tunes and stories ever since. The result - a most enjoyable atmosphere of crackly tunes, singing, dancing and happy happy faces.
I started collecting vintage kids records (as well as some show tunes, a little Neil Diamond here and a little Temptations there...and anything else that spoke to us) the late part of last year when we found Jon's record player in storage. In fact, we've sort of started a new tradition of taking the family to thrift stores every other week to look for vintage record treasures. (We've also made it a point to stop at thrift stores wherever we travel to see what their vinyl selection is.) And we've been thrilled with what we've found.
The boys favorites are the Chipmunks see Doctor Doolittle (we have the Christmas album too), the Smurfs Sing Along and the Return of the Jedi record and book read-along (we think we might have to go to ebay for the rest of the Star Wars collection as we've not been able to find anymore in stores).
My personal favorites are Annie, Mary Poppins (the vintage cover art is just to die for), Peter Pan and Robin Hood (I was seriously head over heels for Robin Hood when I was younger and was convinced that to be Maid Marian would be the most exquisite thing in the entire world. I mean, does it get any better than Disney's waterfall scene? I think not.)
We recently had some needle disrepair so we are waiting for a new one to arrive in the mail, and let me tell you, I'm going through some serious withdrawals. Our home is just not the same without that old time vinyl sound vibrating throughout its walls. On a recent trip to see my sister, we found a treasure trove of records at her thrift store that we are still waiting to listen to. I seriously can't stand the suspense.
I can tell the boys miss it too. If they aren't singing and dancing along to the records, they are sitting and playing quietly while listening to suspenseful or silly stories.
What about you? Do you own a record player? Where do you find your records? Thrift stores? Online? And has it made a difference in your home? I'd love to hear your stories as well as which records are your favorite (and that I just might need to add to our collection)!