Hi, friends! I hope that you are having a lovely day so far! I am super excited to look back on my most popular craft posts of 2013 today with you. As I mentioned yesterday in my Top 13 Food Posts of 2013 post, my blog has seen enormous growth this year, and so have I personally, and it’s all thanks to YOUR support. This creative outlet helped me crawl out of a deep pit of seemingly never-ending postpartum depression, and it is continuing to help me grow in confidence and skill level. I am so grateful. Thank you for sticking with me. You’re awesome.
Now let’s take a look at the non-food projects and posts that you enjoyed the most this year here on this lil’ ole’ blog o’ mine. 🙂
#13 – Front Porch Mummies
I love Halloween. Like, I am OBSESED with Halloween. It’s a problem. It’s probably my only obsession that can rival my s’mores obsession. I have problems. 😉 These mummies were a last minute idea that popped into my head when I needed to meet a deadline, but they ended up being my favorite Halloween project of the year, and I had many. (Check out my Halloween archives HERE.) I’m glad you guys liked them as much as I did!
This wasn’t my personal favorite jewelry tutorial of the year (I prefer the more flashy and complex Ombre Earrings and Crystal & Pearl Bridal Earrings), but I will tell you that these are very simple to make, elegant, and my best-selling bridal and bridal party earrings by FAR in my Etsy shop, Bombshell Bling Jewelry, since they are both lovely and inexpensive. I have made them in many colors over the years.
My friend Stephanie made her little girl a felt birthday crown, so I stole her idea (she’s not a blogger—don’t worry, I’m not a jerk), and then I blinged it out. It was so simple to make, and the Little Princess wore it around all day long and people went nuts for her. She’s way too cute, don’t you think?? This tutorial includes a free PDF pattern.
#10 – Turkey Leaf Placemat
My son and I had a ball making these turkey placemats with fall leaves from around our neighborhood, and must to my surprise this post became a huge hit! It was featured all over the place, including BuzzFeed. Fun!! We made multiples of them and used them to decorate the kids’ table at Thanksgiving. I think I may start sharing more kids’ crafts and activities on the blog. What do you think?
Last fall we went to Disneyland and my little gal met Minnie Mouse. As you can see, I planned an outfit especially for this moment. All of my plans and dreams came true when I got this picture. Jade was stroking Minnie’s face and has been crazy obsessed with all things Minnie Mouse since that time. I have made a LOT of baby headbands for the Little Princess (see my archives of them HERE), but this is still my favorite. I think it’s largely the happy memories.
I love these flowers. My friend Emily taught me how to make them a few years ago and I’ve been making them like it’s my job ever since. Well, not really, but I do make them often. They are one of my go-tos when I make baby shower gifts for little girls, and my friend Steph and I even taught all of the ladies at church how to make them last winter. So fast and simple, yet so elegant.
#7 – Homemade Baby Gate
We are living with my dad to save money right now, and, as you can see, he has a grand, curving staircase. I loved gliding down it in my prom dresses as a teenager, but I did NOT love how my stair-loving crawler could sneak up them 10X a day since I couldn’t find a baby gate that would work in any way. My friend Steph had seen a picture of a “gate” like this on Pinterest, but tried as I might to find a tutorial, the picture was a dead end. So I decided to “wing it” and then share the tutorial with all of you! It was very simple and cheap to put together, but an absolute lifesaver!
#6 – Firecracker Bows
Firecracker bows were one of my mom’s signatures. She made them for my sisters and I for every holiday, and she and I even made them together for my entire drill team to wear with our uniforms at football games. So fun! My sisters and I are all a bit dorky, and we are teachers by trade, so we wore them well into our adult years. Don’t judge. 😉 Halloween Firecracker Bows (using fabric scraps) were actually the very first tutorial that I shared EVER. To this day it is one of my most popular posts, and I used the same adorable red haired model. She is my friend Stephanie’s daughter, and I’m hoping she will be my future DIL. Steph calls her a “mini-Sarah.” 🙂 And since my son is a LOT like his daddy they should have a very happy marriage. 🙂
Want to take a guess as to who taught me how to turn dollar store socks into baby leg warmers? You got it—my friend Stephanie. Sheesh. Apparently I would have no blog success without her! Maybe I need to convince her to be a contributor!! This is one of the cheapest and easiest sewing projects that I have ever done, and I love that I can make new baby leg warmers for each season using festive socks!
Of all of my posts, my parties are the ones that I have worked on the hardest. My sweet mama (who is deceased) was the creative birthday party QUEEN, and all before the age of blogs and Pinterest! She was the bomb. For real. I have been meaning to do a Sunday Spotlight on her since this summer. I wanted to post it on the 10 year anniversary of her passing, but I was too bummed out that week, understandably. My husband is working a 30 hour shift tomorrow, so maybe I will take that time to finally put that post together.
Anyway, back to the parties. Truth be told, only my How to Train Your Dragon Party made the cut for the top 13. However, I had thought that despite my loving it that it had sortof flopped as a post. Imagine my delight upon discovering that it was in the top 4 posts of the year! Yay! I’m hoping that it will inspire lots of birthday parties this summer when How to Train Your Dragon 2 comes out in theaters. We are all super excited to see it!
Please indulge me as I tell you a bit about each party. My son was OBSESSED with How to Train Your Dragon this year, and that was fine by me! It’s one of the least annoying animated films by far. If you haven’t seen it then you should definitely make it a priority. It’s awesome. I set out to do a creative but simple party for my boy, but it turned into a major event that took me a TON of time. And you know what? I don’t regret a MINUTE of the time spent on it. He was soo happy that day. He’s so young that he won’t remember it, but I will never forget the joy that he exhibited that day! See all of the pictures HERE.
I was given the opportunity by a sponsor to create a Minnie Mouse Dream Party. Well, naturally I jumped at THAT opportunity! I decided to throw a Minnie Mouse Bowtique Dream Party. It was a small affair, but it was so fun and I love the pictures that I got of my girl from that party. Check out the pics and ideas HERE.
My mom loved Halloween like I do, so she used to throw us epic Halloween parties. Every year we had a cousin Halloween party, and we had several friend Halloween parties as well. I miss those parties and wanted to find a way to make Halloween more “eventful” for my kids, so I decided to throw a Kid Craft Halloween Party. It was a ball, and luckily quite a few of my friends stayed with their kids, because they needed more help with the crafts than I had anticipated. We also played games and ate lots of Halloween-y treats. See the pictures HERE.
Last but not least, I threw my little lady a Minnie Mouse Birthday Party. It didn’t go exactly as planned, to say the least (deets on that story in the post), but the pictures are funny and now that I have some distance from it I can laugh about it instead of just wanting to pull out my hair. 😉 Read all about the day and see the pictures HERE.
My free baby sleep sack PDF pattern and sewing tutorial has gotten more attention and views than I could have ever imagined! We had been given a sleep sack for my son, but I wanted a pretty one for my girl, and I wanted to make some adjustment in the arm holes and the length, so I made up this pattern and used some delightfully pretty and soft minky to make it.
My blogging bestie Courtney from Sweet C’s Designs told me that she was doing a bunch of Elf on the Shelf posts and encouraged me to do the same since we are both in the toddler stage of life. I’m so glad that she did! You guys LOVED these posts, especially the Marshmallow one! I am a marshmallow lover (as evidenced by my s’mores obsession), so I decided to go with that and make up lots of Elfy marshmallow shenanigans. Our Elf isn’t naughty or messy, but I did go the extra mile a teensy bit with my marshmallow fun. The marshmallow pics were picked up by lots of other blogs and even by BuzzFeed. Here are my Elf posts: Elf on the Shelf Ideas Using Marshmallows, Elf on the Shelf Ideas Using Toys, and Elf Ideas Using Household Chores.
This isn’t a craft post, but it is one of my favorites, and it is my blog reader’s ALL TIME favorite. Last spring I kept seeing cutesy teacher gift ideas on Pinterest, and although they were all maginificently made and super creative, I just kept thinking back to my days as an elementary school teacher and my favorite gifts that I had received. I made a list of them and then asked my sisters (both teachers by trade as well) to make a list as well. Without conversing about it we all made THE EXACT SAME LIST IN THE EXACT SAME ORDER! In this post I used lots of stories and examples of meaningful moments that the three of us had during our years teaching. I loved remembering the great things about teaching and putting this post together with my sisters. Check it out to see what your child’s teacher REALLY wants. You may be surprised by what made the cut!
My personal favorite post from this year was this one: A Multigenerational Holiday Home Tour. It is my favorite because it is our home and because of all of the memories associated with my mom and my grandmother that our Christmas decorations bring into my mind. My mom’s 13 year battle with breast cancer and eventual passing was a great trial that our family went through together, but she still made our lives so happy and fun and full of joy. I am getting choked up right now thinking about what a truly magnificent mother she always was to us. I want to be like her when I grow up.
Thank you again for all of your support on this blogging journey of mine. My readers are the BEST. xoxo