DIY: Harry Potter Shirt Tutorial

We have a fun Harry Potter inspired DIY for you today!

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I’ve been looking for a fun Harry Potter t-shirt lately, and the ones I found online were great, but expensive, so I decided to make one myself.  It’s cheaper, personalized just the way I want it, and it was fun to make.

I found this tutorial in my search for the right DIY, and I decided a freezer paper stencil was the perfect way to make my own t-shirt.  I really love the design she did, but it seemed a little beyond my skill level (all those letters and small bits), so I decided to make my own design and go with a more minimalistic approach (it fits my style and it was easier for me to do).  Do check out her tutorial; she has great tips.

I made a simple design for my shirt in Photoshop, but I’ve seen plenty of similar versions online.  If you want to make your own shirt, you can always find one you like online and print it, or draw your own if you’re artistically talented!  (I’m so not!)

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Here’s what you’ll need to make your Harry Potter inspired t-shirt:

  • T-shirt – I picked scarlet because that’s my “house” color!  I washed my shirt before the project (that helps to prevent colors bleeding onto your design).
  • A design – If printing from a website, make sure you have permission to use the image; please don’t take anyone’s art without asking, and make sure not to violate HP copyright.
  • Fabric paint and paintbrush– I chose a gold metallic shade, again to match my house colors.  Make sure you pick a permanent paint made for fabrics.
  • Freezer paper – This will be your stencil.  Make sure you get the kind with plastic coating on one side.  You cannot substitute wax paper or parchment paper here; freezer paper is a must.
  • X-ACTO knife – It goes without saying that these are very sharp, so please be careful and make sure children do not attempt this without adult supervision.
  • Cutting mat or chopping board
  • Pair of scissors, ruler, tape, and an iron

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You’re now only 5 easy steps away from an awesome, personalized shirt.  Let’s get started!

Step 1:

First things first – pick a design.  As I mentioned earlier, if you find one you like online, you can simply print that design straight onto your freezer paper.  Since I made my design on my computer, this is the transfer method I chose.  I just used a ruler to cut an 8.5” x 11” sheet of freezer paper and fed it straight into my printer.

If you’d rather draw your own design by hand, you can do that too!  You could draw it straight onto your freezer paper, but I would suggest drawing on a regular sheet of paper and going over it with a Sharpie to make sure the lines are bold.  Then place your freezer paper (dull side up) on top and simply trace your design onto the freezer paper.

Important:  freezer paper has a shiny side and a dull side.  You want to make sure you’re printing or drawing on the dull side.

Step 2:

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Place your printed freezer paper on a cutting mat or chopping board, dull side up.  You can use small pieces of tape to secure your paper to the board, which will help it stay in place while you cut.  Using an X-ACTO knife, cut out your design.  As someone who failed cutting in kindergarten (yes, really), I can tell you that this was the hardest part for me.  I actually had to do this twice; practice makes perfect!

Important:  remember that you’re turning your design into a stencil, so if you have any “inside” parts (in my case, the inner circles of the glasses), you need to cut those carefully and save them.  You’ll be using them later.

Step 3:

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After you have your design cut out, you now have a stencil!  You’ll take this stencil and lay it on your shirt, shiny side down.  Using a hot iron, go over the paper and allow it to “adhere” to your shirt.  It will peel off easily with no residue.  Make sure all your edges, inner and outer, are sealed to the fabric, because that keeps the paint from bleeding outside the lines.  If you have bits like the circles of the glasses, add those after ironing on the bigger stencil.

Step 4:

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When your stencil is nicely sealed onto the shirt, it’s time to paint!  First put a piece of cardboard (or anything flat and solid that you don’t mind getting a little paint on) inside your shirt; this will prevent the paint from bleeding through onto the back of your shirt.  Then just add a dab of paint to your brush and start carefully filing in the blank spots.

Step 5:

When you’re finished painting, you need to wait for the paint to dry a bit before peeling off the stencil (you don’t want to smear the paint).  After that, follow the directions on your paint bottle; mine said to let dry for 72 hours and then wash before wearing.

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And that’s it!   Before I wash and wear, I’ll carefully go back over the design with a tiny paintbrush to fill in and even out some spots.

For aftercare, I’ll probably always wash this shirt inside-out in cold water and let it air dry; I find that’s a good way to keep prints on shirts, especially handmade ones, from fading too quickly.  Of course if you iron your shirt, turn it inside out or place some other fabric over the painted design beforehand.

Now that I’ve seen how easy it is to do a freezer paper stencil, I have a feeling I’ll be making more of these!  And the entire project is cheap – you probably have many of the things you need on-hand already, and the rest is inexpensive.   I spent about $10:  the shirt was $4.94 (regular price!) at Walmart, the paint was $2.99 after a coupon at a craft store, and the freezer paper was about $2.00 at a local grocer.

Are you going to make your own freezer paper stencil shirts?  If so, tell us what you make or leave us a link to a picture.  We’d love to see what you do!

 

 


New Baby Giveaway from Mommy Scene!

Expecting a baby this year? A new little one is an exciting addition to any family! Babies change your life in a great way. They also can need quite a lot of gear for such a tiny little one. We’ve put together a fabulous giveaway for new moms or moms-to-be, featuring several products that help keep baby close, fed, cozy, and diapered! Some of these brands are our personal faves for nursing and diapering essentials, and also make great baby shower gifts! Enter to win this collection of featured prizes for mom and baby!

New Baby Giveaway - Mommy Scene

Lalabu Soothe Shirt

Prize: Lalabu Soothe Shirt

The Lalabu Soothe Shirt is a stylish top for mom, cozy pouch for baby, and nursing bra all-in-one that is also made in the USA. Sign up to Lalabu’s New Moms + Late Night series to learn fun facts about your newborn and get deals on the Soothe Shirt! Learn more at lalabu.com.
Soothe Shirt - New Baby Giveaway - Mommy Scene

Duo Diary

Prize: Duo Diary portable journal

A Duo Diary is a portable journal that allows you to monitor your postpartum health and wellness while you care for your new baby. Track all of your baby’s feedings including breastfeeding, bottle, formula, and pumping; monitor behaviors, patterns, sleep, diapers, and more on one side. On the other side, care for yourself with a food journal; track water intake, sleep, and exercise, plus keep notes on how you are feeling mentally and physically postpartum. It’s all here – everything you need to care for your baby AND yourself! Learn more at duodiary.com. Use code MOMMYSCENE at checkout and get 10% off!
Duo Diary New Baby Giveaway - Mommy Scene

Bun Maternity Nursing Tanks

Prize: 2 nursing tanks

Bun Maternity nursing tanks combine fashion and breastfeeding accessibility in one stylish tank top design. With shoulder straps that unclasp and a long length that covers the waistline, Bun Maternity nursing tanks come in a variety of colors. They are also made in the USA from USA-sourced soft ribbed cotton. Learn more at bunmaternity.com.
Bun Maternity Nursing Tank New Baby Giveaway - Mommy Scene

Buttons Diapers

Prize: Cloth diaper cover, daytime insert, small wet bag

Buttons Cloth Diapers is a family company that designs adorable and modern cloth diapers, wet bags and Eco-friendly wipes and wool dryer balls. Their 2-in-1 cloth diapers feature PUL diaper covers, double leg gussets, and snap-in daytime and nighttime inserts, sizable for babies 9-35 lbs. Learn more at buttonsdiapers.com.
Buttons Diapers New Baby Giveaway - Mommy Scene

Yummi Pouch Reusable Food Pouches

Prize: Set of 4 Brights reusable food pouches

When it’s time to feed your baby solid foods, look no further than the Yummi Pouch. These Eco-friendly reusable food pouches can be filled with 6 ounces of homemade baby food and enjoyed on the go or at home in the high chair, no spoon required. They are easy to squeeze and dispense through the spout, so mom can feed baby or baby can feed themselves. Yummi Pouches close with a top resealable opening and are easily washed by hand or upside down in the dishwasher. Learn more at revelae.com.
Yummi Pouch New Baby Giveaway - Mommy Scene

Lady Lullaby Music

Prize: Hardcopy CD of Road to Dreamland: Unexpected Lullabies for All Ages. Unique jazz-flavored bedtime lullabies for everyone from babies to grownups!

“Jazz singer Jane Roman Pitt’s oh-so-lovely album’s subtitle, “Unexpected Lullabies for All Ages,” is apt. Among the tender, off-the-beaten-path lullaby choices here, are the Thad Jones classic, “A Child is Born,” Neil Young’s “Barefoot Floors,” and this exquisite little art song hinting of magic and fairyland: “The Sleep That Flits (on baby’s eyes)” (text by Rabindranath Tagoe, music by John Alden Carpenter). Pitt’s original “Dance Like the Wind,” is a smooth fit; other soothing, well-chosen tracks include “Over the Rainbow,” “The Nearness of You,” and “Summertime.” The jazz arrangements and instrumentation here are A+, and the singer herself, who styles the songs with lilting vibrato and a soft vocal caress, is chief among the album’s unexpected treats.” Lynne Heffley ©2016 Parents’ Choice. Learn more at ladylullaby.com.
Road to Dreamland Lady Lullaby New Baby Giveaway - Mommy Scene

PinkBlush Maternity

Prize: $50 PinkBlush Gift Card

For nearly a decade, PinkBlush has proudly provided women with confident, feminine, and flirty fashions that celebrate life’s transitions. Our fashions honor a woman’s sense of style and the female form, not just during pregnancy but beyond. A family business, as understandt he pressures of ahving a raising a family and, as such, we have earned customer confidence by providing both quality products and service. We offer free exchanges and free US shipping over $50 to ensure our customers find the right look and fit. Learn more at pinkblushmaternity.com.
PinkBlush Maternity New Baby Giveaway - Mommy Scene

Cozy Sleepwear by Revelae Kids

Prize: Cozy Sleeper and Blanket Pouch – color and style of choice

Cozy blanket pouches and enclosed sleepers create a secure sleeping environment that helps babies sleep through the night, keeping hands and feet cozy. Blanket pouches cover baby from the waist down and are hard to kick off, thanks to the soft elastic waistband. The fuzzy polyester material is comforting and can’t be pulled up near the face. Cozy Sleepers feature an enclosed design that helps with startle reflex and even discourages a baby from sucking their fingers or thumb. These baby sleepers unzip from the bottom up for easy diaper changes, without having to fully undress your baby. Cozy Sleepers are great swaddle transition baby sleepers too! Learn more at revelae.com.
Cozy baby sleeper and blanket pouch by Revelae Kids New Baby Giveaway - Mommy Scene

Enter below for the chance to win these great products for mom and baby!

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Summer STEM Fun with the VEX Robotics Arm

Summer has just begun, so having a lot of free time to play is still a bit of a novelty for my kids. Right now they’re having fun staying outside and enjoying the weather, but I know it won’t be long before the boredom sets in.  You don’t need me to tell you about that; all parents are familiar with that particular summer problem area!

All year round I look for toys that have educational value (especially in the STEM areas), but I think they’re especially important for those summer months when school is out and “formal” learning takes a back seat.  To make sure my children are still exercising their minds, I’m encouraging them to play with their new VEX Robotics Arm. And it doesn’t take much encouragement: they really love this thing!

VEX-Robotics-Arm

The VEX Robotics Arm is a new robotic toy that your kids can build themselves to learn about robots and engineering. This smaller model of real-world industrial robots features four points of motion, and it gives you the ability to raise objects up to 14 inches off the ground. It also extends out to 10 inches. The claw helps you pick up many common household objects, and the crane rotates 360 degrees. This robotic arm really does work like full-sized robots. The ways your family can use the VEX Robotic Arm go as far as your imagination will take you!

Just a note: assembly of the robotic arm will definitely require adult supervision and help.  It consists of over 350 parts and will probably take you a few hours.  Even older children will likely need some assistance. It’s a small challenge, but it’s definitely worth the process.

Vex Robotics Arm Parts

My kids have been incredibly creative with how they use the arm, from incorporating it with other toys to using it as a tool to help them clean their rooms and pick up around the house. They really love the claw and the satisfaction they get when they’ve successfully moved an item to its new location.

What I really love about the VEX Robotic Arm is the educational value, which is plentiful. By assembling and using the arm, they’re learning how to carefully follow instructions, how to engineer (and reverse engineer) to get their desired results, how certain parts work together in concert to make up a robotic machine, and how to use their imaginations to find creative uses for the arm.

 

This has been a really fun item for them to use, and I can already see they’ll be returning to it again and again. It’s rated for ages 8 and up, and it’s the kind of toy that can “grow with” them as they learn more ways to use it in the future.

If you want to grab one for your own kids before the summer blues hit, the VEX Robotic Arm (along with other VEX robotic toys) is available to purchase directly from hexbug.com, and can also be found at BestBuy.com.

The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.


Celebrate National Dairy Month with BJ’s & Win a $50 Gift Card!

It’s National Dairy Month, and BJ’s Wholesale Club wants to celebrate with you!

Dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt contain nine essential nutrients, all of which help manage weight and reduce the risk of high-blood pressure and osteoporosis. Dairy provides protein to build and repair muscle tissue, boosts vitamin A to help keep your skin healthy, and it’s loaded with nutrients our bodies crave.  Of course it’s important for people of all ages to maintain the proper amount of dairy in their diet, but it’s especially crucial for kids.  BJ’s has a large variety of delicious, organic dairy products that my kids love, and my husband and I think they’re pretty tasty, too!

Some of my family’s favorite dairy products that can be found at your local BJ’s include:

Sargento Balance Breaks

Sargento Balanced Breaks: these are a fantastic snack option, and each contains a variety of cheese, nuts, and dried fruit. These are a very satisfying snack, and I love having a combination of savory and sweet in one easy package.

Horizon Organic Mozzarella String Cheese

Horizon Organic Mozzarella String Cheese: my kids really love these, and it’s a snack I can feel good about them eating. During the school year, I often pack these in their lunches, and they also make for a great summer afternoon snack options.

Wellesly Farms Greek Yogurt and Granola

Open yogurt cup, top with granola, and enjoy! Perfect for breakfast or as a snack any time of day.

Wellsley Farms Plain Greek Organic Yogurt: my husband and I enjoy these. They’re nonfat and GMO-free, and they taste great. This is actually one of our favorite items, because it’s delicious as a snack with some organic granola added (my husband often eats this for breakfast). Also, Greek yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream, mayonnaise, and other fats in many recipes, so I love to keep it on hand.

Stonyfield Yokids Organic Yogurt Pouch

Stonyfield Organic Yogurt: I always have these on hand for the kids. I love that they love yogurt, and these organic options are perfect. They come in easy-to-pack pouches and the flavors are all kid-friendly.  My BJ’s also has the Stonyfield YoKids Squeezers and the Stonyfield Smoothies, and we always have one or all of those products in our fridge.

These are just a fraction of all the healthy and budget-friendly dairy products you’ll find at BJ’s, but they’re some of our favorites.  Any time I can find an organic product that my family loves, I’m happy sing its praises and keep it stocked in my kitchen!

For those of you near a BJ’s Wholesale Club, good news: they’re running two promotions you don’t want to miss!  If you claim these deals before July 3, 2016, you can grab either a free 90-day free trial membership, or you can get a 15-month membership for only $40 and a coupon book with over $2,000 worth of savings!  To take advantage of these offers before they expire, just print this coupon and redeem at any BJ’s Wholesale Club. To find a club location near you, visit BJs.com.

You could win a $50 Gift Card to use at BJ’s!  Just enter via the Giveaway Tools form below.  Open to US residents who are 18 and older.  Ends 7/21/16.  Good luck!

BJ's Giveaway

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Meet GrafoMap and Turn Your Favorite Locations into Art Maps

We’re big fans of sentimental gifts around our house. I think all gifts are special when they come from the heart, but there’s something about a truly meaningful and sentimental gift that goes above and beyond.  That goes without saying, really, but finding that meaningful gift is often much harder than it sounds.

On that note, my husband and I recently celebrated our anniversary, and I wanted to make sure I got him something extra special this year. After some thought, I decided that I would like to somehow incorporate the place we met into the gift.  That’s when I realized a map could be the perfect thing.

Grafomap

At GrafoMap.com you can find maps for the places that tell the stories of your life.  Maybe it’s where you met that special someone, maybe it’s where you grew up, maybe it’s the location of your child’s birth; no matter the occasion, a pretty map is a great way to keep it close to your heart.

GrafoMap uses Open Street Maps (an open source database) to allow users to create a custom, artistic map print of any city in the world. Yep, the entire world. You can choose from a range of designs and color options, as well as choose from two different paper finishes and two print sizes.

Grafomap

It was super easy to set up my map.  I just typed in a city, and it immediately creates an interactive map.  If you’re not totally happy with how the map is centered, you can drag it around just like the online maps we use to travel.  This was really useful for me, because I wanted to make sure I framed a certain part of the city in my map print.  Next I decided whether or not I wanted text to appear on my print (I did).  You can choose a title (usually the city name), a subtitle, and a tagline (usually coordinates).   You can change them to anything you want, or decline to use them at all – it’s totally up to you.  After that, you’ll pick one of four print styles, and then choose your layout. Then you’re finished!  The process is very easy, and very user-friendly.

The entire creation and ordering process only took a few minutes; it really is that easy.  We received the map a week after I ordered it, so the printing and shipping time is very reasonable.  Oh, and did I mention that shipping is free?

Grafomap

The print and paper quality is great, and I love how it turned out.  My husband loves it, too.  All in all, I’m so glad I chose this as my anniversary gift.  If you’re looking for a special, unique gift, this could be exactly what you need. It’s also a terrific idea for decorating any time. I think it would be a gorgeous “gallery wall” if you did a series of maps special to your life. There really are endless possibilities!

To learn more about GrafoMap and get started creating your own, just visit GrafoMap.com.