DIY Tutorials

Family Pop Up Puppets



My girls love puppets! I hear them downstairs all the time laughing as they put on puppet shows for each other. Of course Finley’s version of a puppet show is just shoving a puppet through the curtain and laughing, but Rowan still thinks it’s hilarious. Kev can put on a pretty impressive puppet show too! I wanted to make new puppets for them and thought, what would be cuter than actually making family puppets? I teamed up with Canon USA to create these super cute pop-up family puppets!


Craft Cones (I bought these on Amazon)
Fabric transfer paper
Wooden craft beads
Fabric, felt
Ribbon, trim, buttons
Hot glue

I started with a cute picture of Rowan. I decided to change the color to be black and white and then printed it on my PIXMA MG7520 directly onto the fabric transfer paper. I ordered the transfer paper right from Amazon but you can also find it at any craft store. I cut just her head out and then ironed it on to some muslin fabric.





I decided to make them sort of whimsical and circus like by adding painted details to their heads. Next I cut out an outfit from my fabric choices. I kept it simple, just freehanding a basic shirt shape. You will need 2 pieces of each shape to sew a complete puppet. Remember to make the bottom of the skirt as wide as your cone. You will be gluing the skirt part to the top of the cone so make sure it’s big enough to fit around.



I sewed the head, collar and skirt to the front and back pieces of the shirt. Then putting right sides together, I sewed it all together to create the puppet. Here’s the extra fun part… the accessories! I loved picking out fun trim, ribbon and buttons to add to the puppet.




I added a tiny bit of batting inside of her head to give it some shape. Take a large wooden ball and dowel and hot glue it inside the puppet at it’s neckline to give it the support and stability to pop up. The dowel needs to long enough to go from inside the puppet, down through the cone and attach to another wooden ball at the bottom of the cone.


Time to decorate the cone! Paint it, cover it in fabric, or leave as is. Totally up to you! I decided to paint ours and to add a felt initial to the top. You can also paint the end of the dowel and the wooden ball that you will be pulling and pushing to make the puppet pop up. Cut the tip of the cone off to create a hole just big enough for the dowel to pass through. Assemble it all together.


Hot glue the bottom edge of the puppet’s skirt to the outside top edge of the cone. It doesn’t have to be exact, you will be covering the edge with some ribbon to help it have a more finished look. Once it’s glued, add the ribbon and make sure it’s hot glued to half the skirt’s edge and half the cone. Pull the puppet into the cone and you’re ready to play!!







Valentine’s Day DIY Crowns for Toddler and Baby


I’m a big fan of making headbands and crowns for my kids. I made Rowan a crown for her 2nd birthday, a flower headband for Finleys 1st birthday and special Christmas handbands for the girls this year. I can’t get enough. They just look so darn cute on them. We always have a fun Valentine’s themed breakfast on Valentine’s Day. This year I decided I would make crowns for all of us to wear and I thought it would be fun to share how you can make one at home too!

IMG_1970^^ 1. You will need lots of felt. You will also need a sheet of that extra thick and stiff felt that you can get at the craft store (usually right with the regular felt). Trimmings! Any kind of trimmings you want- buttons, ribbon, pom poms, etc… Some quilt batting and some 1″ elastic.

IMG_1972^^ 2. Using the length of the thicker felt, cut out your crown shape. I made Rowan’s a shorter crown and then cut taller peaks on mine. The thick felt is going to be the back of the crown. The stiffness of it will give it the support it needs to stand straight.

IMG_1975^^ 3. Pin the crown cut out on to the color of felt you want the front of the crown to be. Sew around all the edges on the sewing machine. If you don’t have a sewing machine you could always just hot glue the 2 pieces of felt together.

IMG_1979^^ 4. With scissors, cut around the edge of the sewn edge. I used a pair of pinking shears to give it the zigzag cut.


IMG_1984^^ 5. Chose a few colors of felt to make hearts out of. For each heart you will need 2- 2″ squares of felt. Layer between a similar size piece of quilt batting. Making little sandwiches sort of. Felt, batting, felt. Draw a heart shape on the front and then sew along the line on a sewing machine. The batting in the middle will give the heart a cute little fullness. Trim the squares to just along the sewn line of the heart. If you don’t have a sewing machine you can hand stitch around the batting or you can just cut a heart shape form the felt and be done with it. No sewing required.

IMG_1991^^ 6. Attach hearts to crown with either hot glue or stitching on a button. Add any kind of embellishments you want. I debated adding pom poms to the peaks but ended up just leaving them plain. I do think it would be cute though! I hot glued the green pom pom trim to the bottom. Measure around your kid’s head and see what length of elastic you need to add to it. It should be snug but not too tight. The elastic should have to stretch just a little to fit their head. Either hot glue to sides of crown or run a quick stitch across on the sewing machine.






IMG_2041^^ 7. Sew a few extra hearts to create a little headband for your baby. You will need the hearts, some cute felt rosettes and then either some extra elastic or if you want you can cut across a leg in a pair of tights. That is what I always use when I make headbands for Finley. It’s soft and super stretchy. You can learn how to make felt Rosettes by watching this You Tube video I found. I apologize for the cheesiness of the video. Haha. Isn’t the music awesome? You will not need a lighter for felt. It won’t fray. Just shows you the basic idea of twisting the felt to create the flower though. Cut your felt about 1/2″ to an 1″ wide and then follow how she makes hers with ribbon.


^^ 8. Then I just hot glued mine all together. I glued the hearts in the row, then glued the little strip of elastic (or tights) to each end of the hearts. Then hot glued a few of the rosettes to each side. Totally up to you how you arrange it all.



Rowan and Finley’s supremely awesome varsity letter cardigans were a gift from The Wishing Elephant. Aren’t they just the cutest?

Screen Printed Family T-Shirts (with Freezer Paper)


Alright! You guys asked for it. Here’s a tutorial on how I made our family t-shirts. If you follow me on instagram you know I made everyone a shirt for Kev’s birthday back in October. We surprised him that day and when he came home from work we all had our shirts on. Kev and I have always loved screen printing. When were dating we use to screen print shirts and sell them at art markets in the area. Then we bought a 4 color screen printing press. When we moved to Hawaii, Kev had big dreams of starting a t-shirt company with his designs. It still to this day is something we talk about from time to time.

When I made these shirts I was running a bit short on time. I did the cheat version of screen printing and instead of using real screens used freezer paper. Which is awesome for you guys though because that means pretty much anyone can make these shirts!! They are so super easy.

You Need:

1. A printer (or a staples near by)
2. Freezer paper
3. X-acto knife
4. Masking tape
5. Iron
6. Water based screen printing ink. Craft paint works good too- it will just be pretty stiff whenever you wash it. An iron will help soften it before you wear it. So if craft paint is all you have then go for it. Rowan’s and Finley’s shirts are made with craft paint. We love Martha Stewart brand craft paints. Such pretty colors.

Step 1:

In photoshop or a word document type out all your names. I chose to use DAD, MOM, ROWAN, FINLEY. Layout it out how you want it printed on the shirt. I decided to change each one slightly to have that person’s name on top. Print out in a variety of sizes to see which one will be the best fit for your shirts.


Step 2:

With your print out taped to a cutting mat, place a sheet of freezer paper over top (shiny side down). You will be able to see the words from the print out through the freezer paper. Tape down freezer paper so it doesn’t move while you cut. You can use a ruler if you want or you can just free hand cut out each letter. Be very careful to only cut where the letters are. You are creating a stencil for your shirt.


Step 3:

When everything is cut out. Take the stencil (and with the shiny side down) iron it onto your shirt. Make sure to line it up as best you can so that it’s straight on the shirt. Press down hard on all small thin lines between the letters to make sure they are attached well. You don’t want paint getting under there.


Step 4:

Time to paint. You can do a few things here… With the craft paint, I used a sponge brush to lightly paint and “dab” the paint. This isn’t fool proof so you kind of have to roll with the punches here. The freezer paper works really great but it isn’t perfect. Sometimes paint will get under the edges a little. Just be gently as you paint along the edges. If you are using screen printing ink, you can use a palette knife like a little squeegee and spread the ink across the stencil. This way worked really well for me on my shirt.


Step 5:

The craft paint might need a few coats. Depends on what color paint and what color shirt. Make sure to let each coat dry before you apply another one. Be sure to add in thin, even coats. I got a little a head of myself with Rowan’s gold accent color. I globbed it on so it would cover better. It has been flaking off in the wash now because it was too thick. If you want to add a second color or patterns to the letters (like Finley’s, Rowan’s & Kev’s shirt) make sure you do this before you pull off the stencil. When all is said and done you can pull the paper off and marvel at your finish product.


Step 6:

Then have a ridiculous family photo shoot in all your finished t-shirts.










Step 7:

It’s probably time to stop taking pictures when someone in the family looks like this…


Instagram Photo Wall



Don’t you just love photo walls? Is is by no way a new thing but I have always just loved thousands of photos all in one place. The walls of my bedroom growing up were always covered floor to ceiling with pictures. I would say I’m a pretty nostalgic person. After a lot of research and one failed attempt at Walgreens, I decided to go with Printstagram to get a crap load of our instagram pictures printed. I could not be more pleased with the quality of the printing, paper or service. It’s quick, easy and relatively cheap (and there is an app!!).

I tried out like 3 different tapes, tabs, etc… to adhere the pictures to the wall. In the end, the thing that worked the best was 3M blue tape balls on the back. I didn’t want to use anything that would damage the wall or the pictures.

I started out with a level line of tape that I used as a guide for the first row of pictures. After that I just eyed balled all of them. Here is the first progress shot…



Rowan loves sitting on the stairs telling me about each picture. Always saying “Member that Mommy?”. I will be the first to admit that i’ve become completely obsessed with getting instagram pictures printed now.





If you don’t already follow us on Instagram, you can find us @jenloveskev or Kev’s @encrgothers

Super Cute Crochet Bunting!

Crochet Bunting |

A while back I decided to crochet a blanket for Rowan’s room. I wanted it to be made up of a ton of colorful granny squares. Well, 5 months later all I had finished was 9 squares. Story of my life. I thought of a useful way to use those squares to add a little color to our living room gallery wall though. Crochet Bunting! I had a few more pictures of the process that I some how deleted but it is pretty self explanatory. I am not going to go into how to make a granny square here. You can youtube that or look it up on pinterest if you want.

All I did was…

1. Make granny squares
2. Fold them in half
3. Hot glue them closed around a piece of yarn
4. Repeat in a line with remaining sqaures, hang, done!

I’ve learned that you can just as easily crochet a triangle granny square which I guess would be easier but I like the shape the folded square makes. It’s squatier than if you just crochet a triangle.

How cute would this look in a nursery or hanging in front of a crib. Hmmm speaking of that… I need to get on decorating Finley’s nursery.

Crochet Bunting |

Crochet Bunting |

Crochet Bunting |

Nail & Yarn Wall Art pt. 2

Family Room |

Remember the mural I made in our old apartment? I decided to make an updated version in our new house. I picked a new saying & jumped right in. Hammer. Hammer. Hammer. I picked a font and traced the letters off my computer (yeah, we don’t have a printer). Then I used our projector to enlarge the letters on the wall. I didn’t trace exactly but used it as a guide. I did use a level to make sure everything was lined up right and did make some adjustments. You could also free hand the letters if you wanted too. That is how I made the first version at the apartment.

Then the fun part! You nail about a million nails in the wall. I kept having to go to Home Depot to get more nails. I severely underestimated how many nails you need. There is no right or wrong as to where you nail. Especially if you are just going to be wrapping the yarn all over the place instead of in a particular pattern. The more nails you use the more options you’ll have to create patterns with the yarn.

I love picking all the yarn colors. The sky is the limit. I went with brighter colors to add some pop to our family room. All in all I would say it took me about 4-5 hours to do.

nails ^^just the nails. It’s a tad bit hard to take photos of nails in a wall





Have fun!

DIY Chalkboard Wall Calendar

I have always been a huge fan of this Ferm Living wallsticker, although I was never a fan of the price. With this summer filling up fast with events, bbqs and weekend trips, keeping track of everything was getting tough. It dawned on me that I could create our own chalkboard wall calendar with some painters tape, a level and chalkboard paint. It turned out awesome!! It almost creates a piece of artwork on the wall. I love having a large family planning center in the kitchen that we can keep track of everything. You could create it any size you wanted to depending on what size space you have to work with. I painted ours rather large so there was plenty of space to write in. I hand painted “This Month…” on top, but you could just as easily add a block to write which month it was too. Half the fun is planning out how you want it to look and function.



DIY Chalkboard Wall Calendar

DIY Chalkboard Wall Calendar


Hi, I'm Jen!

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Jen Loves Kev