Thursday, October 27, 2011

Craft Tutorial: Easy Embellished Felt Tiara

My girls took a while to decide what they wanted to be for Halloween this year. So here I am, scrambling at the last minute! They finally decided to be a Princess and a Fairy. Last year, they were butterflies so Sarah (who will be the Fairy) will wear her wings again. But they did not want to wear the butterfly antenna tiaras that Mama slaved over last year! Time for some new tiaras.

Embellished Felt Crown

This time, I made them little felt crowns. Thank goodness, they quickly decided on what types of embellishments they wanted…Sarah wanted butterflies, fitting for a fairy, and Sophie wanted flowers, which she said is what princesses like.




This Easy Embellished Felt Tiara Tutorial is really simple and quick, perfect for mamas of indecisive princesses and fairies.



  • Felt in many colors
  • Template for crown
  • Headband
  • Fusible webbing like Steam-a-Seam2
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Disappearing ink pen
  • Scissors
  • Glue gun
  • Plus iron, ironing board, sewing machine and thread


The crown piece will be made by cutting a mirror image of the crown along the bottom edge. At that point it will wrap around the headband, and the two mirror images of the crown will adhere on top of each other with the fusible webbing.

Draw out a template for the crown. I just made it proportionate for my girls…not too tall, not too wide. Add a little bit of height at the bottom edge, for the part that wraps around the headband.

Then, fold a piece of felt and put the bottom edge of the crown along the fold. Trace the crown onto the felt with the disappearing ink pen, and cut through both layers on the fold. Set aside.



Now cut out the fusible webbing to adhere the two layers together. We want to leave room to insert the headband i.e. we don’t want the fold part to adhere, so we want the webbing to be shorter than the felt crown. Fold back the bottom edge about 1/2 an inch, trace the crown onto one of the paper layers of the webbing with a pencil and cut out just inside of your trace line (we also want it smaller than the felt crown, so it’s not sticking out of the felt, and you don’t get goo on your iron.


There are two layers of paper on each side of the webbing. Peel off the one that is looser than the other, and place it webbing side down onto one side of the crown.


Grab your felt crown piece and open it up. Press down the exposed side of the webbing with your hand, so it sticks.


Carefully peel off the other paper layer.


Fold the crown piece back up so the two crown layers match up.


Following the directions of the Steam-A-Seam2, press with your iron. The webbing also provides some stiffness to the crown.


Because the webbing was cut shorter at the bottom, you’re left with a loop at the bottom to slide in your headband.



Try it on, if the princess and fairy are willing.

EmbellishedFeltCrown12 EmbellishedFeltCrown13

To provide additional stiffness and detail, topstitch along the points of the crown. Don’t sew the opening (for the headband).


So that’s it for the crown!


You can embellish with anything your princess and/or fairy desires. My girls chose the colors and I used hot glue to adhere everything.

Here’s a quick tutorial on how I made those loopy flowers. I had seen this while watching a quilting show on TV at my mom’s house. It’s all by memory, and I wish I remembered the name of the show!

First, cut two strips of felt about 3/4 inch wide. To make one long strip, layer one end on top of the other and simply hot glue them together.


Then wrap the strip around a  ruler.


Take a skinny piece of tape and tape the loops into place along one edge. Slide the felt off the ruler.


Along the opposite edge, sew the loops into place. Remove the tape.


Then with the stitched side on the inside, twirl the strip, layering it on top of itself until you form a flower. Glue in place, and cut a felt circle in a contrasting color as the flower’s middle and to hide the stitching. Glue the circle in place.


Then arrange the flowers according to the princess’ directions.


I made a smaller loopy flower in dark blue and green (I made the felt strip narrower, and wrapped it around a thinner ruler), then I made a small yoyo flower and placed that in the middle.


For the large butterfly in the middle of the fairy crown, I used shorter strips and simply looped them into the shape of the wings. The antenna are just a short length of yarn knotted in the middle.


My girls were reluctant to model their new headbands for the camera today. Tomorrow is their school Halloween party so if I get a picture, I will add it then. (Edited with pictures, above!).

Hope this inspires you if you need a last-minute idea! This would be fun for birthday parties as well.


Happy Halloween!

Linking: The Frugal Girls :: Petite Hermine :: Tip Junkie :: Sassy Sites :: Rook No. 17 :: The Trendy Treehouse :: Tidy Mom :: Creation Corner :: Whipperberry :: Tatertots and Jello :: Lolly Jane Boutique :: Homemaker on a Dime :: The Gunny Sack :: Hazel and Honeysuckle





Sunday, October 23, 2011

Amy Butler Cosmo Bag for My Mom

My mom’s birthday was today and she’d been asking me to make a bag for her. Her requirements: roomy with lots of pockets for her stuff. We are both notorious for having so much stuff in our purses that they become a bottomless pit (or as she says, “bottom of the pits”).

I showed her a picture of the Cosmo Bag from Amy Butler's Style Stitches: 12 Easy Ways to 26 Wonderful Bags and she liked that it was an unusual shape (and there was a picture in the book of the bag with yarn in it…she is an avid knitter). So I gave myself about 5 days to make it. I definitely needed more than that! Including the interfacing (5.5 yards…thank goodness for coupons!), I had to cut about 40 pieces, most of which were curved. It took me 3 mornings to cut out all the pieces, and an all-nighter plus a few hours the next afternoon to sew. So it was fitting that she would ask why I had bags under my eyes when she saw me the next day.


photo source 

She said she can’t wait to show it off to her knitting friends. Hope this helps with the bottom of the pits situation.

While this bag was super time-consuming, and there were parts of the instructions that weren’t too clear, it was fun to make this bag and I definitely learned a lot. It’s been a while (as in high school) since I sewed something with lots of pattern pieces so it was like learning all over again. And nowadays there are rotary cutters which I didn’t have as a kid (just like totally dated myself, I know). But it’s really important to cut the pieces as accurately as you can. For the ones where I didn’t cut the pieces so well, I had trouble later while sewing. Otherwise, the sewing itself wasn’t too bad.

My mom had the main floral fabric in her quilting stash, and I chose some accompanying fabrics. I wanted something more geometric for the strap to contrast with the floral. She also liked the green fabric, so I added that here and there. I chose a plain fabric for the lining to make it easier to find things inside (rather than a busy print). To be honest, I didn’t like working with that plain fabric very much…it was thin and wrinkled so easily.


The front. I love the straps on this bag!


The side pocket, with a little contrasting trim.


The inside. I added some bias tape from leftover fabric along the side pocket edges, plus an extra small pocket with sections for her cell phone, a little pair of scissors, pens, etc.


And the back:


I wanted some more Cosmo Bag eye candy and a Google search revealed a sew-along (also with sew-alongs with many of the other bags in the book) where you can see all the participants’ pretty takes on the bag. Plus a few people who wrote reviews on the pattern, if you plan on making the bag yourself! I liked this one from AlewivesGirl blog.

Oh! And I also came across an addendum for the Cosmo Bag pattern on the Amy Butler website, which should make sewing the bag a little easier.

Have you made this bag? If so, let me know in the comments, especially if you have a picture. I love all the possibilities of contrasting patterns and colors and would love to see how you made yours!

Disclosure: Affiliate link in effect.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Vintage Pyrex Fall Centerpiece

A recent visit to the farmer’s market and my vintage autumn-themed Pyrex inspired this Fall Centerpiece for our dining table. We don’t have much in terms of shelving or cabinets in our home, so I don’t have my Pyrex displayed all year. I was so excited to finally show off these finds!


The two bentwood trays are from cb2. I ordered one when it went on sale a few years ago, then it arrived with some wrinkles in the veneer. I called them and they sent a new one right away and was told to just dispose of the defective one. Obviously I kept it!


I had meant to use just one tray for the centerpiece but I was so excited to display all these bowls (there are more actually, but we’ll keep it like this).

And I didn’t mean to use this much fruit, but my girls, who were excited to help (and remembered picking out the fruits at the farmer’s market), kept piling it on!


They also helped me with the cinnamon sticks. I tied them together with long fabric scraps.


I made the rick rack-trimmed napkins, and the blue crochet-trimmed ones are a thrifty find.


Love this little pumpkin with the curly stem.


It was so much fun to create this centerpiece. It didn’t take long at all, and I love using edible elements. I also loved getting my girls involved.


Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Linking: Apron Thrift Girl :: The Thrifty Groove :: The Frugal Girls :: Petite Hermine :: Tip Junkie :: Sassy Sites :: Rook No. 17 :: The Trendy Treehouse :: Tatertots and Jello :: Lolly Jane Boutique :: Homemaker on a Dime :: The Gunny Sack :: Her Library Adventures


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Banana Sushi on Multiples in the Kitchen

For those of you who are new to The Silly Pearl, I write the Multiples in the Kitchen series once a month on the Multiples and More Blog Network (I have 4 year old twin girls). Since I started writing this series this past Spring, I’ve been able to have a lot of fun with my girls in the kitchen while teaching them some basic cooking skills. They haven’t cooked on the stovetop yet but they’ve learned to do things like use a rolling pin, food processor, and a crock pot, for example.

This month, we made Banana Sushi. Thanks to Candi @ Scrapbooks Etc. (via The Brave Girls Club) for this fun and yummy idea.


This time, the girls learned how to use a knife for cooking. I used plastic knives and had them cut the bread and bananas. They also practiced spreading peanut butter and Nutella on bread. Now you girls can make your own lunch, right?

Please visit the Multiples and More Blog Network today to see how we made Banana Sushi!


And click here for my other Multiples in the Kitchen posts from the last few months. As you can see, we’ve tried a mix of cute kiddie recipes (like ice cream cake) and more grown-up recipes (like quiche). 

I feel like my girls don’t have to always make cute kiddie dishes just because they’re kids. Of course, colorful candy and fun shapes are attractive to the little ones, but I also think learning skills and making something grown-up can be fun, interesting and rewarding for kids too. But this can definitely vary by personality/food preferences/mood/positions of the moon/etc. But with my girls, so far so good (knock on wood).

Have you cooked with your kids? Do you do it often? Can you share any tips? Let me know if you have any suggestions for recipes!


Monday, October 10, 2011

Craft Tutorial: Butterfly Costume Antenna Tiara

These were the antenna I made for my girls’ butterfly costumes last Halloween. A pic of our two tentative butterflies trick-or-treating at a local mall.:



Craft Tutorial: Butterfly Costume Antenna Tiara

Not just Butterfly Antenna…


Butterfly Antenna Tiara. *Bling!*


This is definitely the girliest thing I’ve ever made. We’re not even that much into princessy stuff, but I couldn’t resist.

The girls will be butterflies for Halloween this year. For a few moments, they wanted to be pirates. We were at the fabric store and I showed them a pattern for a butterfly costume and asked if they liked it. Instead of answering my question, they found a pirate costume pattern and said “Here it is! ARRRRRR!” Actually it wouldn’t have been that bad to make a pirate costume…but I had already ordered the wings.


Once the wings arrived, they were set on butterflies. They loved them so much that they almost trashed their wings and I had to put them away in order to survive until Halloween.

How to make a Butterfly Antenna Tiara



  • Headband
  • 9 feet of Craft Wire (20-24 Gauge…I used 20 Gauge wire from Michaels, which comes in an 8-yard coil)
    • Note: 20 Gauge is strong and the antenna will hold up, but it’s a little more difficult to work with. 24 is easier to work with but I thought it might break with all the twisting plus rough handling by my girls!
  • Beads (I just used what I had on hand…pinks, purples, and clear, between 4 and 8mm, plus some accent beads – I happened to have butterfly-shaped ones!)
  • Pliers
  • Wire cutters
  • Water-soluble pen
  • Not shown: Ruler, scrap of felt, glue gun


1. Cut your 9 feet of craft wire in half into two 4.5-foot pieces. 4.5 feet is enough to make half the tiara. It’s just easier to work with a smaller piece of wire.

2. Mark the middle of the headband on the underside with the pen. Then measure out 1.5 inches, which is where the antenna will go. Then go out about another half inch, which is where the end is. Do this on both sides of the center mark.


3. Wrap one end of the wire piece at one of the end marks (note…perhaps it would have been better to start in the middle and work to the sides. Didn’t think of this until I was making it! Oh well…either way works, but starting in the middle would have made it easier to make sure the tiara was symmetrical on both sides).


Wrap it twice and flatten with pliers to secure.


4. Thread a few beads onto the wire and stretch it across the headband. The number of beads you’ll use depends on your headband’s width and the size of your beads. I used between 3 and 4 beads.


Bottom view:


5. When you’re happy with the number of beads, wrap it around the bottom and repeat two more times. You can use different sized beads or just use the same for everything. That goes for the entire tiara.

After you wrapped the third row of beads, wrap the wire around one more time to secure.


6. Now we’ll start the first antenna. Thread on about 8 beads. Thread them all the way down the the headband. These 8 beads will be the ones along the stem of the antenna. You’ll see what we do with them in step 11.


7. Then, thread on about 25 more beads. These will form the top loop of the antenna.


8. Measure about 3.5 inches from the headband along the wire. That’s where the loop will start.


9. Take your first bead of the 25 and put it at the 3.5-inch mark. Push all the other beads against it so that there is no wire showing in between and form a loop. Meet the first bead with the 25th bead and cross the wires.


10. Twist a few times to secure: Grasp the loop in one hand, and the stem in another, close to where the wires are crossing. You’ll twist with the hand grasping the loop. For more details on this technique (on a smaller scale), please see my bridal hair pin tutorial.


11. Now we’ll secure the beads along the antenna stem: Push up one or two of the 8 beads all the way up to where you twisted the top loop. Cross the wire under the two beads. Grasp the two beads and twist.


Push up one or two more beads and twist. Then repeat until you have two beads left at the bottom.


12. Thread on two more beads. To secure the antenna to the headband, make sure the two strands are straddling the headband, and twist.


Wrap the wire around the headband to secure. Here’s the first finished antenna. You can see that the twists all along the stem are still a little loose, so go back and gently twist them a little more.


13. Thread on a few beads like in step 4-5 to make one row of beads, then wrap the wire around again to secure.


14. Now we’ll start the first of five “points” of the tiara. Thread on two beads and push them down to the headband.

Then measure about 1.25 inches from the headband. Thread on a bigger bead or accent bead (here I used a butterfly) at the top.


Bend the wire straight back down and straddle the headband with the “up” and “down” strands and twist, grasping the butterfly bead. Thread on two beads and twist to secure. Wrap the wire around the headband to secure.



15. Repeat steps 13 and 14 twice, adding another row of beads and then making the second tiara point slightly longer (1.75 inches) and the point which will be the middle one, about 2 inches. I used a teardrop bead and then another butterfly bead for the middle.


You can use your pliers at the base of the bead to help twist if you need some help.


16. Now we’ve made the third/middle tiara point which is about 2 inches from the headband. And now you’re almost at the end of the first 4.5 feet of wire.


Trim off the end and flatten against the headband to secure.


Half-way there!


17. Take the other 4.5-inch strand and wrap it around just like you did at the beginning, and continue where you left off.


18. Repeat steps 13-15, creating two more tiara points with rows in between. Repeat the antenna and three rows at the end (so you’ll just work backwards, basically). Trim and flatten the end of the wire when you’re done.


All done, except for adding a piece of felt to the underside of the headband to cover the wires using hot glue. I haven’t done this yet…will do it tonight when the girls are asleep.


A preview, on a pair of skeptical-looking butterflies.


That’s a little better.



Happy Halloween!


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