Toddler Tassel Skirt

toddler tassel skirt DIY

We do a lot of sewing projects here at Little Button Diaries, but we only think to make skirts when the sun comes out. It turns out the last one I made was this time last year! So I thought it was about time to flex my skirt-making muscles again, for this playful, summery skirt.

The pattern I followed came from the excellent website made. As the skirt is basically just two rectangles sewn together, it’s really simple to make and then embellish.

To make this skirt you will need:

  • 3/4 metre of fabric
  • Embroidery thread in a variety of colours
  • 1-inch-wide elastic (to the length of the size of your child’s waist plus 1 inch)
  • 2 safety pins

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1. Begin by working out the dimensions of your skirt. For the waist measurement, measure your child’s waist and double it.

The skirt length is made up of two layers. For the longer layer of the skirt, measure down from the waist to just above the knee and add an inch and a half to this length. For the shorter layer take two inches off the longer layer length.

2. Cut out your two rectangles of fabric, one for each layer of the skirt.

Children's tassel skirt DIY

3. With the longer piece of fabric, fold right sides together and sew with a quarter-inch seam allowance. Repeat with the other piece of fabric. Press the seams out.

4. Hem the top layer of your skirt by folding down the fabric by a quarter of an inch and ironing flat. Sew in place.

Children's tassel skirt DIY

5. Turn the fabrics the right way out and place the longer layer inside the shorter layer. Line up the fabrics so the tops and side seams match. Pin and sew together.

Children's tassel skirt DIY

6. To make the waistband, sew a small hem at the top of the fabric. Place your elastic at the top of the skirt to work out how much fabric you need to fold down. You want the elastic to be able to fit into the casing but not be too loose. Pin and sew the casing. Leave a 2-inch gap at the back of the casing so you can feed the elastic through.

Children's tassel skirt DIY

7. Put safety pins on each end of the elastic and feed it through the top of the skirt. You will have to fiddle a bit to gather the skirt evenly. Overlap each end of the elastic by an inch and sew with a zig zig stitch to secure it.

8. Before the final touches are made, try your skirt on your little button. I found that the skirt was too big on the waist so I cut a section of the elastic out and resewed it back together. Also, check you are happy with the length of the skirt.

Children's tassel skirt DIY

9. Sew the elastic casing shut.

Children's tassel skirt DIY

10. Hem the bottom of the skirt by turning it over a quarter of  a inch, ironing it flat and sewing in place. I made my hem slightly bigger as I wanted the skirt to be shorter. So to finish I trimmed the excess off with pinking shears.

toddler tassel skirt DIY toddler tassel skirt DIY

toddler tassel skirt DIY

11. To make the tassels, wrap the embroidery thread around two of your fingers until you have the thickness you want. Slip it off your fingers and tie a piece of thread securely around the top. Trim the bottom of the tassels so they are all the same length.

toddler tassel skirt DIY toddler tassel skirt DIY

12. I made 20 tassels for the shorter layer and spaced them 2 inches apart. Sew your tassels in place using white cotton.

toddler tassel skirt DIY

toddler tassel skirt DIY

toddler tassel skirt DIY

 ~ Laura xx ~

A Confetti Birthday Cake

 funfetti birthday cake tutorial 16

Laura had a birthday last week so I decided to bake her a cake – and if there’s one thing Laura loves most… well, that would be tea.  But cake is definitely up there! I’ve seen a lot of funfetti cakes out there recently so I decided to make one with the help of Mary Berry. This recipe is adapted from her confetti party cake recipe, but those are tray bakes so I used 2 x 20cm round tins and upped the quantity by a third.

Ingredients
190g butter at room temperature
190g castor sugar
3 eggs
225g self raising flour
1.5 tbsp milk
1.5tbsp vanilla extract
7 tbsp 100s & 1000s/coloured sweets

for the icing:
340g icing sugar
150g butter
1.5tbsp milk
pink food colouring

To decorate:
star shaped cookie cutter
fondant letters
100s & 1000s

preheat the oven to 180c (350f).  Grease and line the tins with baking parchment.

Put all the ingredients for the cake, except the sweets, into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until very smooth and even in colour. Add the sweets and mix them in with a spoon.

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scrape the mixture evenly between the two tins and bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden brown. Set on a wire rack to cool.

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To make the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add the butter, milk and beat until smooth and pale (don’t make the mistake I did and get icing sugar mixed up with CORN FLOUR. I mean…. what a moron. I actually mixed a few tablespoons of corn flour in by mistake!). Add a tiny drop of colouring and mix well. Spread on the cake.

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place the cookie cutter lightly on top of the centre of the cake and sprinkle a layer of 100s & 1000s on top. Finish with coloured letter sweets.

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Happy birthday lau lau.

Tia x

funfetti birthday cake recipe

Make Your Own Toddler Bird Costume

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 It was Little Button’s nursery’s summer fair recently. Children were asked to come in animal costumes to fit with this theme. This was the perfect opportunity to try out my first dressing-up costume and take inspiration from a pin I pinned ages ago on Pinterest.

You can find the full pattern on this blog. I’ve adapted the way you attach the costume to suit younger toddlers.

For this project you will need:

  • 3/4 metre of fabric for wing base
  • Strips of 10 different fabrics for feather rows
  • 80 cm of bias binding
  • 80cm of ribbon
  • Safety pin
  • Thread to match base fabric

bird costume DIY

Cut two pieces of fabric measuring 13 inches across and down for the base of the wings.  Cut them to a rounded shape, as shown above.

Bird cotume diy

 For the rows of feathers, draw a template on paper. This should be 10 inches wide, with five semicircles, each measuring 2 inches deep, as above.

bird costume diy

I used 10 different fabrics. Bright and sparkly fabric worked really well as they caught the sun. I worked out which order I wanted my coloured fabric to go in and started cutting around my template – this is the time-consuming bit!

Bird costume diy bird costume DIY

To sew the rows of feathers onto the wing base, start at the bottom of your base fabric and pin the first row of feathers to the wing. The bottom row wants to be poking out slightly over the edge of the fabric, to give a scalloped effect. Sew in place. Then pin the next row of feathers above the first so there is again a slight overlap and sew in place. Repeat until the wings are full.

   Bird costume DIY bird costume DIY

 With pinking shears, trim the vertical edges of the wings so they are even.

To attach the wings together, use bias binding. Pin the binding along the top of the wings. You want to leave a gap of a few inches between the wings, to allow for healthy flapping! Sew in place and trim any excess binding from the ends.

bird costume diy #craft bird costume diy #craft

To attach the wings to your toddler, add some ribbon at the end of each wing to form two wrist ties – alternatively you can use safety pins to attach the wings to a long-sleeved top. I also put a safety pin in the middle of the wings at neck level to stop the wings sagging.

toddler bird costume

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~ Laura xx ~

 

A Baby Sunhat Tutorial

baby sunhat tutorial

Oh dear me…I’m ashamed to say that my little one got a bit of a burnt head the other day! It was only a tiny bit… but I feel very guilty. So to make up for it, I decided to make her a nice new sunhat. I find the ones in the shops are all a bit samey and boring. This one is bright, reversible and SO easy to make (so easy in fact that I made two). I found a really lovely tutorial and template here on www.purlbee.com.

This hat is to fit a baby aged 0-3 months.

You will need:
2 contrasting pieces of fabric (about a fat 1/4 of each)
Iron on interfacing
Bias binding
Ribbon
Sewing machine

1) begin by printing out Purlbee’s brilliant template (available here). Cut 4 dome pieces from the outer fabric and 4 from the lining. Then cut the rim pieces – two of each from the outer fabric, lining and interfacing, as shown below.

sun hat 1 sun hat 2

2) Put the outer pieces together in pairs, right sides together. Pin and sew along one side with a 1/4 inch seam allowance (which will be the allowance for the whole project). Open out and press with the iron. Pin the sewn pieces right sides together and sew all the way round the curved edge to create the basic hat shape. NB its a good idea to test this out on your child at this point, bearing in mind that the finished hat will be smaller still. But if it doesn’t fit now… you want to know NOW!

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3) repeat the above process with the lining pieces, so that you have two domes.

sun hat 7

4) Attach the interfacing by pressing with the iron onto the outer rim pieces. Then pin these, right sides together, along the flat edges and sew. Press flat.

sun hat 8

5) Attach to the hat by pinning the inside of the rim to the edge of the dome, right sides together (bit confusing… see the pic below!). Sew in place. Repeat the process with the lining BUT this time, attach the ribbons along the seam before sewing, as below.

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6) Now to attach the inner and outer pieces. Place each piece wrong side together and sew a small stitch at the very top centre of the hat to hold in place. Now, lining the seams up, pin the rim pieces together. Sew along the inside of the rim.

sun hat 11  sun hat 12

7) Finally, attach the bias binding by pinning all the way along the rim as  below. Sew, fold over and sew once more. If you haven’t used binding before there are some great Youtube tutorials that can explain the process way more clearly than my brain is capable!

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All finished! Whoop di doo, no more burning. And it looks more complicated to make than it actually IS, which is always a bonus.

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Ginger Button Cookies

Two of our favourite things are baking and buttons (particularly our little buttons) so when we were sent these delightful cookie stamps from Emma Jane’s Bakery we were thrilled. Emma Jane’s Bakery is an online store specialising in cookie stamps and design-led cakes. All products are designed and hand finished by Emma Jane herself.

button biscuits 5 button biscuits 6

Along with the stamps, Emma Jane sent along two recipes and care instructions for the stamps. We love the  styling of her range, the attention to detail and the wooden finish of her products. There are eight designs to choose from and personalised stamps are available too.

We decided to test out the stamps using Emma Jane’s deliciously spiced ginger biscuits.

To make approximately 50 biscuits you will need:

  • 350g plain flour
  • 100g butter
  • 2tsp ground ginger
  • 2tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 3 medium egg yolks
  • 3tbs golden syrup

1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C, line and lightly oil three baking trays.

2. Rub the butter into flour, cinnamon and ginger to create a breadcrumb-like texture.

 button biscuits 2

3. Stir in the caster sugar, add the egg yolks and golden syrup and mix into a firm dough.

4. Lightly flour a clean work surface and roll the dough to a thickness of approximately 4-5mm.

5. To help prevent sticking, dust the stamp with flour and tap the excess off. Stamp the dough, then cut out the biscuits and arrange them evenly spaced on the baking trays (they won’t spread much so they can be near to one another).

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6. Transfer the baking trays to the fridge to chill for 15-20 minutes.

7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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Alongside her online shop, Emma Jane writes an inspirational baking blog called Cakes and Catwalks and we’re very happy that she will be doing a guest post for us very soon.

For more information and to see the full range of products Emma Jane’s stocks you can:

Visit her website
Like her on Facebook
Or follow her on Twitter

~ Laura & Tia xx ~

30 Any Weather Activities for Toddlers

30 toddler activities

Whether the sun has got his hat on or the rain is pouring down, entertaining a toddler can sometimes be a bit of a challenge. Not everyone (us!) has the imagination to come up with engaging activities all the time, so, with a bit of googling, we set about creating a little list of things we could do with our tots.

activities 6We came up with the idea of putting all the activities into a jar, blue paper for rainy day activities and yellow for the sunny ones! When you’re feeling stuck for ideas, simply reach for the jar and ask your child to pull out a colour depending on the weather. Our activities are listed below – we picked ones suited to our 1 and 2 year old children.

 activities 3  activities 2

Sunny Day Activities:

1. Rainbow bubble foam
Simply put 2 tbsp washing up liquid, 1/4 cup water and some drops of food colouring into a mixer (or you could whisk them) and collect the colourful bubbles as they’re created! Pile into a box or bucket and play away (NB remember food colouring stains clothes so this is a good nappy/nuddy activity!)

2. Balloons with water
Who doesn’t love a water balloon? Fill with water, tie up and roll or bounce around the garden until they pop.

3. Toy treasure hunt
Hide toys around the garden – we found trains worked really well – and ask your toddler if they can find them.

4. Moon sand
Create this wonderfully textural “sand” by mixing 4 cups of flour with 1/2 cup of (any) oil. We added glitter for extra sparkles.

5. Nature picture
Go on a hunt round the garden or park and pick up leaves, sticks and flowers. You can then use them to create a beautiful picture when you get home.

6. Coloured ice cubes
mix food colouring with water and freeze. Let your toddler make a painting with the ice or just enjoy the sensation of melting them and mixing them up. Again, remember that food colouring stains clothes!

7. Bug hunt
Get outside and find lots of creepy crawlies to play with. Kids are fascinated by bugs, you’ll just find you say “ooh, don’t squash him!” a lot…

8.Mud pie kitchen
Not one for those who don’t like mess, but a great way for children to explore their love of muck in a more controlled way. Ish. Strip them down to their nappies and give them some compost, containers and water.

9. Teddy bears picnic
If you go down to the woods today…

10. Washing line play
Set up a mini washing line and give your little one some pegs, socks, pants and anything else little enough for them to hang up on the line. Cute.

11. Water tray
Use a large plastic container (preferably without too high a side) and fill it with warm water. Kids will love playing with buckets, cups, balls and so on. Ours spent a lot of time simply emptying the water!

12. Paint with water
Simple yet effective! Give your child a bucket of water, a paint brush and let them paint the pavement. They can paint round their hands and feet too.

13. Frozen toys
This takes a little advance preparation, but is a great sensory experience for kids. Freeze small toys in ice cube trays and let your child pour warm water onto them to defrost. This one isn’t suitable for small tots, due to the choking risk.

Rainy Day Activities:

14. Fruit and Veg stamps
Use up nearly old potatoes by carving shapes into them. Then let your toddler loose with the stamp and paint and use it to create interesting patterns. Other fruit and veggies work well for stamping, such as cauliflower, apple and aubergine.

apple printing

15. Zip lock bag painting
This mess-free activity is a great way to explore paint without the clearing up. Squeeze paint into a zip lock bag and tape this to a window. Let your child move the paint around and create patterns against the glass. You could even try putting a few colours in one bag and see what happens.

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16. Cardboard tube and pom poms
Make a maze of connecting tubes on your wall by attaching cardboard tubes with Washi tape (it doesn’t mark the wall). Toddlers will love feeding pom poms into the top and catching them at the bottom.

17. Baby doll bath times
Give dolly a rub a dub in an old baby bath or big plastic container. This is a great activity, particularly if your child is a bit bath averse! You can snip a small sponge from a new kitchen scrubber and add bubble bath too.

18. Painting with shaving foam
Spray some shaving foam on a tray and use different instruments (or fingers) to draw shapes into it. Once you’ve finished your pictures you can start again by wiping the shaving foam off.

little button diaries painting

19. Masking tape painting
Before you give your little one the paintbrush, use masking tape to mark off lines, write words or create shapes on your paper. Then once all the painting is done and dry, peel off the masking tape for a cool effect.

20. Make your own crayons
A great way to use up all those broken crayons that might end up in the bin. Place your broken crayons into a silicon baking mould and cook for 10 minutes on 225c (or until they have melted). Once cooked, remove from mould and leave to cool.

21. Play doh
Its a staple, but it still keeps kids occupied for ages, which makes it a winner! Its so easy to make from scratch – check out this great recipe from the imagination tree.

play-dough 2

 

 

 

 

 

 


22. Cornstarch, water and colouring
When you add small amounts of water to cornflour, wonderful things happen. It goes all sort of…wet and dry at the same time. Add a blob of food colouring and you’ve got yourself a great sensory activity.

23. Build a den
Who doesn’t love a good den-making session. Pull out as many sheets and blankets as possible and get constructing. It’s a great place for reading, storytelling and cuddling.

24. Make biscuits
Get your toddler to be your little helper in the kitchen while you make some yummy treats (to eat in your den). They can get involved with mixing and adding ingredients in.

little button diaries baking activity

25. Colour hunt round the house
Pick a colour, give your child a basket and ask them to find as many small objects as he or she can in that colour. A really great way to get them to learn colours.

26. Play cooking or shops
Pretend play is brilliant for toddlers, they just want to be little adults! Get the pretend food out or even just cereal boxes and let their (and your) imagination take over.

27. Make toilet roll monsters
Use an empty toilet/kitchen roll and your imagination to create monsters to play with. You’ll need a few craft supplies such as pipe cleaners, glitter, glue, feathers and tissue paper for your child to stick on, or simply use colouring pens if you don’t have these things to hand. If your child is old enough you can get creative cutting bits out to stick on.

28. Make a crown
Measure your child’s head. Draw a crown template onto card to the same size. Lay the template flat out and let your child decorate it. You could use glitter, colouring pens, pom poms, stickers, felt or coloured card. Once they’ve finished, sellotape the crown together and let the pretend play commence.

29. Pasta Jewellery
To turn your pasta into rainbow colours you need food colouring, a resealable food bag, and hand sanitiser (with alcohol in). Put the pasta, hand sanitiser (3 squirts) and food colouring (enough to cover the pasta) into the bag and gently massage the colour into the pasta. Leave the pasta in the bag for half an hour then remove and place on a baking tray to dry. You can then use the pasta to thread onto string and make colourful jewellery.

30. Make your own band
Get the saucepans, wooden spoons, tins and anything Little Button can safety bang on, or with, and let the music begin. You can also put rice or pasta into an empty plastic bottle to create a shaker.

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What are your favourite sunny and rainy-day activities to do with your toddlers? Please share in the comments… we need all the inspiration we can get!

Laura & Tia x