Category: DIY Projects

March 29, 2015

31 Days of Color with Ace Hardware

“Ace Hardware has provided free paint samples. I was also compensated for my time and this blog post. All opinions and positions expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Ace Hardware.”


For the month of March, I’ve teamed up with Ace Paint Studio at Ace Hardware for their #31DaysofColor campaign. Since I’m not one to shy away from BOLD color, I’ve chosen a color that really pops: Bold and Beautiful from the Clark+Kensington paint collection.


So, what could I paint to show off this fun shade? I went over to the thrift store and decided on a collection of wooden & plastic frames. None of them really went together, but a few coats of paint would make for a colorful collection on the wall!


After returning home with my thrifted frames, I set up an area on my patio for painting. The frames were super dirty, so I washed them off with a soft cloth after removing the glass. I cleaned the nooks & crannies with some Q-tips.


I used a small paint brush and applied a few coats of Bold and Beautiful. Since it was nearly 90 degrees out they dried in about 30 minutes!


…and the fun part! Display the frames like you would a cluster of artwork. I decided to stage a little nursery corner with red, black, & white accents.


My experience with Ace Hardware & Clark+Kensington paint was fantastic… & as they say, “Going to The Paint Studio at Ace is like going to your neighbor.”

Check out the Ace Paint Studio 31 Days of Color at noon EST every day of their 31 Days of Color to uncover new colors, inspiration and expert tips. Be one of the first 1,000 to get a free sample of the color of the day! You can also enter 31 Days of Color Sweepstakes daily for a chance to win a $10,000 paint makeover and daily $50 Ace gift cards. NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. #31DaysOfColor

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March 9, 2015

Ikea Bed Makeover


Just the proof you needed to see that a fresh coat of paint on an IKEA bed can really be the perfect, affordable solution for a budget friendly children’s bedroom! See more at


July 23, 2014

Washi Tape Storage


Is your washi tape cluttering up your craft closet? Or maybe you just keep misplacing your favorites, (like me!)

I saw this idea on Pinterest, via Pretty genius, and only takes 5 minutes.

P.S. use one of those heavy duty wire hangers. The flimsy ones from the dry cleaners will have a hard time holding the weight of your washi collection.

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March 17, 2014

DIY Night Stand & Bench Makeovers


This morning the kids are back to school after a week off for spring break. We didn’t do anything special- just lots of playing and quality time together. Arizona winters are so beautiful so there is no burning desire to get out of town. We’ll save our vacations for summer when it becomes scorching hot!

I took the kids with me to Goodwill over Spring Break. I was on the hunt for a stool and after finding the most amazing stool for $4.99 the kids found some fun things too. Harper got a hot pink Barbie car & new clock and Rex got some dinosaurs, a Ninja Turtle, a mini motorcycle,and some toy trees to put together. I also picked up some colorful hangers and the little green bin you see in the picture below. All in about $22!


I decided to paint the stool a minty green color and put some little crosses on it. (Inspired by the Bobo Choses Spring/Summer collection.)

Since I couldn’t paint just 1 piece of furniture, I decided to paint a nightstand that was left at our house by the original owners. It has been sitting in our garage since it didn’t really work for us in it’s present state. I went with a pink/peach color:

Both paint colors were by Behr: Aqua Bay & Full Bloom

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January 15, 2014

Valentine’s Day Sewing Project


1. Brother CS6000I 60-Stitch Computerized Free-Arm Sewing Machine with Multiple Stitch Functions
2. SINGER Conf. Stylist Sewing Machine
3. Singer 6160 Computerized Sewing Machine
4. Brother Sewing Machine JX2517 Lightweight
5. (I have this one:) Singer Sewing Machine Model 7466

Do you have a sewing machine? I really LOVE to sew even though my sewing skills aren’t much improved from my 7th grade Home Ec. days! There are so many affordable sewing machines these days and you can really teach yourself with the help of You Tube videos or a few mini classes at your local Joann Fabric store.

I use my sewing machine to hem pants/skirts, curtains, & I love to make plush toys for the kids- especially for Holidays. The following little project I just completed this morning. Other than some candy & cards, these Valentine Dolls are their Valentine’s Day presents. All of the supplies were already in my craft cabinet so the cost was like nothing!


Fabric- (I used up some of my scraps)
Paint- I used some leftover acrylic paint
Embroidery Thread & Needle
Embroidery Hoop

+ your sewing machine & sewing thread!


1. Pick your fabric. I used some scraps that I had leftover from some linen/cotton blend fabric. Fold your fabric in half. Cut out two matching hearts. I just did this free hand… they do not have to be perfect. The quirkier the better, right?


2. Put one fabric heart into your embroidery hoop. This is the fun part. Give him/her a personality! After a vote on Instagram my girl doll has been given the name Rhonda. Beside her is her french boyfriend, Monsieur Pierre. And he is an artist of course! After you are done with your doll’s face, sew the hearts together (inside out). Stuff with old pillow stuffing to save money, then sew shut.


Sew legs from more fabric scraps. I decided to paint stripes with some acrylic paint from my craft closet. Stuff the legs, sew them together, then sew them onto your body.

You could also add arms, shoes, hands – whatever! If you try this project I’d love to see your dolls so please share. Your kids will love their handmade Valentine Dolls!

December 6, 2013

Stool Redo


So, I’ve had this chippy stool for years. I purchased it at a garage sale for maybe a dollar? Anyway, Rexy carries it around the house with him. He seems to always need a stool. (we have several) He uses it mostly for brushing his teeth, washing his hands, and he prefers to stand at the kitchen table while having meals. Not really sure why he won’t sit, but as long as he is behaving I don’t mind!

I used to store the stool in his bedroom, but now that I’ve redecorated the bedroom it didn’t really go. Instead of hiding it away in the closet along with a million other things I decided to do a quick paint job. I went with some leftover Ultra White Behr paint which covered it in about 10 minutes.

Then I used my Martha Stewart Crafts Medium Punch, 1″ Circle to punch some holes in cardstock for the polka dot stencil. I had some leftover black chalkboard paint in my craft cupboard which was perfect since I wanted white/black polka dots. Super easy & now the stool kind of goes with the bedroom!

& btw, Martha Stewart makes all kinds of fun punches. They are amazing for crafting, & even better for entertaining a 3.5 year old little boy who can sit for over 20 minutes punching holes in paper! seriously… much better than any $200 toy!


December 4, 2013

Modern Children’s Nightstand


While redoing Harper & Rex’s new bedroom I was on the hunt for a small & modern nightstand. I looked everywhere online and found some unbelievable pieces of furniture but they were waaayyy too big for the small bedroom and usually had a price tag that was well over $300! I had already spent most of my budget so I decided to head over to IKEA.

To my surprise I found the PERFECT IKEA nightstand and it was REAL wood! The IKEA RAST Nightstand is made of pine wood and you probably couldn’t even build it yourself for the bargain price tag of $14.99! I love it because it sits very low, has nice clean/modern lines, and was super simple for Harper & Rexford’s little room.

I decided to whitewash it since I was looking for a nightstand that was either white or very light in color. A little trick… If you have white paint sitting around dilute it with a little water until you get the consistency/transparency that you like. Then just brush it on with a paint brush. To even it out use baby wipes to wipe the wood until you get your desired look!

August 28, 2013

DIY Drop Cloth Rug

Well hello there Spearmint Baby readers!

When Shari commented on my Instagram photo asking me to share my rug DIY here I just about died. You could say I’m excited to be here #understatementofmylife


The idea came about because we had a rug in our living room which didn’t fit the space and drove me nuts! BUT we don’t have the budget to buy a new rug. And since the size is pretty awkward we haven’t been able to find a rug to paint over so I chose the next best thing: a drop cloth!

First I washed it (to avoid sizing changes in the future) and cut it to size for the space.


Then I gave it a layer of polycrylic paint, which serves as a primer and prevents bleed through. This does make it stiff, but I lightly sanded it all over and it made it softer than before! It sounds so weird, but it’s true.


Here comes the tedious part, but it’s also (obviously) the most worth it: I painted it. I used the mod triangle stencil from Olive Leaf Stencils and the same paint that we used in our dining room. Painting with a stencil isn’t tedious in itself. I tried it out on cardboard beforehand and it was easy and came out perfectly! The problem is that drop cloth moves so make sure to secure that sucker down!


After it dried, I applied another layer of polycrylic, let that dry, and sanded again. I noticed that after the kids were playing on it, it was getting faded and I was just about ready to freak out but I realized that I probably should have heat set it. So I did and to my immense relief there has been no more fading! The bit of fading that is there was obviously on purpose to give it more character (you all in on this?)


And now we have a custom-sized, custom designed rug for our living room!

You can see a more detailed tutorial on my blog, Shoes Off Please along with more DIYs and home decor inspiration. Thank you so much for having me, Shari!


Categories: DIY Projects
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June 25, 2013

DIY Plush Snake

This past spring I got the sewing bug! I purchased my sewing machine back in 2008, and had only used it a handful of times. My new year’s resolution for 2013 was to learn how to thread it properly and possibly take a few classes. Right before we moved across the country I signed up for a beginner class at Joanne Fabric. It was really helpful! Have you taken any of their classes?

I like trying to sew/copy cute things that you can purchase online. I started with a few projects for Harper. There is DIY Kitty Cat, DIY Cloud, & his friend the “raindrop!”

I promised Rexford that the first sewing project I’d work on once we settled in AZ would be a little friend for him! On Sunday I finally got all of my sewing accessories together and found my bag of scrap fabric. The first thing that came to my mind was the HUGE snake we saw out in the front yard the week we moved in. I thought Rex would LOVE a HUGE snake!

For snake inspiration I revisited my favorite plush snake, Mr. Snake by Ferm Living. I love this snake so much that last year I designed a children’s bedroom mood board inspired by his colors!

What I love about a DIY snake is that you can use any fabric scraps you have in your stash. If you sew often, you probably already have most of the supplies for this project. The only thing I had to purchase for my own snake was the felt. I went over to Michaels and bought black, white, & hot pink felt. ($0.29/sheet) I also LOVE & recommend Heat’n Bond Iron on Adhesive. I used it for the eyeballs and whites of the eyes. Since my kids are hard on things, I also reinforced the whites of Mr. Snake’s eyes with an embroidery stitch. (hard to see it in the photos) This is a BIG snake that requires quite a bit of stuffing. I always save the stuffing from old pillows because store bought stuffing can add up quick!

All in all with fabric scraps, thread, felt, adhesive, & stuffing I spent no more than $5 on my 60 inch snake!


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June 5, 2013

DIY // Personalized Dyed Noodle Garland

With the summer break practically here (already here for many of you) thoughts of… what in the world am I going to do with my kids all day are crossing many minds around these parts. Well, here is a fun, super easy, inexpensive DIY project perfect for any age, a dyed noodle garland complete with their name! It can be completed in less than a day, needs little supervision (depending on your child’s age), and is able to be hung by the child afterward giving it a wonderful function! What more could you ask for in a children’s project right??

I won’t lie, it was rather interesting helping my boy string the noodles since he is only two but he was able to get the hang of it. But seeing the excitement in his face and hearing him giggle when he crawled into bed and saw his garland hanging there in his room made all the work totally worth it!!

The garland was unbelievably easy to make… There are two different parts to the project but really if you keep at it you totally could do the entire thing in a day.

 I used these instructions to dye the noodles. I used rigatoni noodles because they are large, columnar, and have a huge hole allowing my two year old to string them very easily. A few other tips you might want to remember… the longer you let the noodles sit in the food coloring the darker and more intense the colors get. I let mine sit for probably 30 minutes or so in the dye, flipping and shaking the bag every so often to make sure the color was evenly spread. PS… they dry quite quickly too since it is rubbing alcohol not water they’re soaking in.

Once you have you colored noodles, it is time to string your garland! Are you ready??


Dyed noodles (you could totally use really big beads honestly… the noodles are just fun because they’re super cheap! We’re talking like $2 for more than enough for a garland)
Hole Punch
Letters to spell your desired word (I don’t have anything to cut the letters out for me so I simply printed them and cut them out by hand.)

Punch holes in each of your letters. You want each letter to have two holes so that they will hang straight and flat.

Cut your string so it is the length you would like the garland to be.

Begin stringing your letters onto the string. I would recommend stringing the letters from the front down and then back up through the second hole. This makes the string along the letter in the back not the front. Trust me… you’ll want it that way…

Center your letters so they spell your word on the center of your string.

String your noodles onto the garland on either side of the word keeping the number of noodles even on both sides.

Once you have strung your desired amount of noodles, hang it up!! Enjoy it!! Let your baby feel proud of his hard work!

And there you have it!! Super easy right?? So… is this super cute or just super tacky? I can’t decide… Christopher loves it though so I think it will stay up for awhile for him. There is something special in letting your child see his work and be proud of creating something I think.

For more super fun DIY projects to keep you and your kiddies busy this summer be sure to drop by and visit me over on Just Dawnelle!

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May 8, 2013

DIY Painted Hex Nut Bracelet

I’ve been on a pink and yellow kick lately. I’ve made these bracelets in the past, they take a little bit of time to get the hang of braiding in the hex nuts, but with a little patience and practice, you can easily get it done in about 20 minutes. I put a springtime spin on it by painting the hex nuts-and I looovveee how it turned out!

xo, d

Hex Bracelet


I had most of this stuff around the house, so I only had to purchase the craft paint for $1.75 per bottle.


I painted the hex nuts using a foam brush and did about 3 thin coats, with about an hour of drying time in between coats.

Hex Bracelet

Be sure to tape the ends of your twine to make it easier to string on the hex nuts. See a full tutorial for how to braid in the hex nuts here.  The key to making this bracelet is to take it slow, and always keep the hex nuts pointing up towards the top of your bracelet as shown in the below pictures.

Hex Bracelet

Wrap it around your wrist a couple times…and you’ve got a trendy and fresh new bracelet!



April 24, 2013

Digi-Scrapping // My New Geek Chic Hobby

I always fancied the idea of scrap booking. The pictures, the memories, channeling my inner creativity to create beautifully perfect pages full of memories…but when it came down to it, I just didn’t want to go out and buy a ton of paper-stickers-stamps-and-who-knows-what just to make a book. Call me lazy, call me cheap, or call me both…

Then I discovered digital scrap booking…and I was instantly hooked. I am by no means a Photoshop expert, but downloading a template, adding some pictures and text?  This I can do.

So I’m officially a digi-scrapper. But you know…in a geek-chic sorta way.




April 23, 2013


Anyone else super obsessed with the Teepee trend? I’ve been bookmarking my favorites forever & last month I stumbled onto this one. Ashley from has come up with this genius technique for a no sew teepee!

A few things to note: the project cost Ashley only $7! (it would cost more if you do not already have a fabric stash.) She only had to purchase the wood & jute. She was able to complete her teepee in 1 day, but recommends spreading it out over a weekend. The “no sew” technique involves simply wrapping fabric as you go with the help of hot glue.

There are all kinds of clever tips and tricks on the blog & after reading the entire post you’ll be as convinced as I am that you can actually do this! Now I just need to start collecting more fabric. HA!


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April 22, 2013

DIY Kitty Cat

To those of you that sent me sewing tips last week, “THANK YOU!” I’m really enjoying my new found hobby & have loved the process of sewing my first doll.

If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you have already seen that my doll has somehow transformed into a Kitty Cat. (Cats are on the brain, I tell you!) I’m super inspired by the cats that Donna Wilson designs and my cat has the eye of Mono Cat & the whiskers of Mog!

From start to finish this cat took me a long time…Maybe 3 weeks! The process went like this:
-pick out some fabric from my scrap pile
-draw a doll outline. I didn’t make a pattern, just kind of free handed the outline right onto my fabric.
-pin the fabric together/cut out…

Then, several weeks later I finally figured out how to thread my sewing machine:
-sew doll fabric together, leaving 1.5 inches un-sewn between doll’s legs. (i remembered this from 6th grade Home Ec. class!)
-inside out (or right side out) the fabric
-stuff with stuffing from an old pillow that I was going to throw out
-sew fabric between legs together
-cut out and hand sew the ears
-go over to fabric store to buy embroidery thread + embroidery needles. (this is the part that = $5!)

So, now that this is done I am anxious to try more projects. I’ve learned A LOT in the process of making this cat including the fact that you really must do your embroidery work BEFORE sewing the fabric.

I’d love to hear about YOUR sewing projects, recommendations/tips, favorite places to shop for fabric/supplies, favorite sewing websites/blogs, etc. I officially have the sewing bug!

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April 19, 2013

DIY Stenciled Leggings

Last week I received a really fun package from Handmade Charlotte. If you follow me on Instagram (@thespearmintblogs) you already got a sneak peak! Handmade Charlotte & Plaid have teamed up to create these amazing/sturdy paper stencils.

You can purchase the sten­cils in both Jo-Ann Stores and Jo-Ann online. They cost only $5.99 for the more than 40 sten­cil designs included in each set! (there are 6 themed sets to choose from.)

They package they sent for me to try out is called the FolkArt ® Handmade Charlotte™ Stencil Patterns. I was anxious to get started & had a few ideas in mind. On my list of projects was to experiment with fabric paint. So I decided to take a pair of Harper’s $5 Target leggings & get started. I went with the chevron pattern on one leg and raindrops on the other. I decided to keep the design from the knee down since Harper loves to wear her leggings with her new spring dresses.

After applying paint over the chevron stencil I quickly realized that there is a lot more skill to this than I had anticipated. I was applying my coats of paint WAY TOO HEAVY. The pattern didn’t turn out as crisp as I had wanted. I almost tossed the leggings, but decided to keep practicing. On the right leg I went with black raindrops. When I applied my paint I used REALLY light coats and was much happier with the result. After the paint dried they actually looked better. Not perfect but still wearable and cute. (My husband even asked me where I bought them so that was a good sign!!)

I also painted the grey leggings you see below. This time I went really light on the paint. The white on grey is super subtle but I think they turned out cute. Next week I’ll practice some more on some onesies. (I’ll post pics on Instagram.)

What is your experience with fabric paint? Was it a success or complete failure? Will you try again? I have to admit, I almost didn’t share this project because I thought that perhaps it wasn’t good enough. Ultimately I decided that it is an important reminder that all of those perfect Pinterest projects take practice and skill! So keep on trying. I definitely will!

** Harper’s dress is from Target (only $12!) & her sandals are by POM D’API from

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April 10, 2013

Parisian Chic Shared Bedroom

Designing for my family is a passion of mine. I thrive on making a space special for each of them… To see their faces light up in a room that reflects their individuality, decoratively. Redesigning Soph and Charlotte’s room was no exception. It began with a brilliant Craig’s List find of two mint condition Jenny Lind beds and evolved into an eclectic mixture representing both of the girl’s personalities. By blending newer elements like an Ikea desk spray painted hot pink and older relics like the industrial sign letters above each bed, a naturally delicate balance was achieved. Without hesitation, both girls have settled into their new stomping grounds flawlessly, which in turn makes for a very happy mommy.

xo.j >>








*Design by J + Photography by D >>

Source List >>

Beds: Craig’s List / Paint color = Graceful Grey by BEHR, Bedding: Target, Pillows: Target, Urban Outfitters + Home Goods, Industrial Letter ‘S’ and ‘C’: Etsy, Vintage Dresser: Ebay, Floral Rug: Target, Wall Lamps: Ikea, Chandelier: Ikea, Eifel Tower Vinyl Decal: Etsy, Curtains: Ikea, Armoire: Shabby Chic for Target,  Yellow Rug: Home Goods, Desk and Chair: Ikea, Wall Color: African Violet by BEHR

March 25, 2013

DIY Washi Tape Bunny Silhouette

Good Morning! How was your weekend? We went to the Amerikick Internationals on Saturday night. Anyone else have kids in Karate? See a few pics of Harper at the show on Instagram.

Sunday the kids were super tired from the show and they took long afternoon naps! (so RARE) I had a few hours to myself so decided to work on some Easter decorations. I’ve had this idea for a washi tape bunny silhouette after seeing this washi tape heart card that Anya made.

It is really pretty simple to make. You can tape your bunny on the wall or frame it for the nursery when Easter is over!


Take your white paper (i used printer paper) and trace your round object onto it. I used this small green bowl. Try to center your round object the best you can.

Fold your paper in half and then draw 1 large bunny ear. I kind of sketched it out until I had the desired shape for my ear. Once it looks good to you, cut it out. When you unfold your paper you will have 2 symmetrical ears! Trace your bunny template onto a piece of cardstock. Use your exacto knife to cut along the bunny outline of the cardstock. This is the hardest part. Take your time to make the cardstock bunny outline as smooth as possible. *see the result 2 photos down

Take another piece of cardstock (I am using recycled cardstock purchased from Michaels) & cover it with rows of washi tape. Create a repeating pattern of rows or be totally random. Up to you!

Now you have your washi tape background & your bunny silhouette outline. Trim your washi tape background so it is just a tad smaller than your silhouette. You don’t want it to hang out of the edge of the silhouette. Use your double stick tape/glue/or mod podge to stick the silhouette on top of the washi tape cardstock. (again I used double stick tape because I already had it in my craft drawer- plus, way less messy!)

Hang on the wall to enjoy. Or even frame it for the nursery!


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February 19, 2013

Diesel in Bloom ♥♥


I am a HUGE fan of handmade, and especially LOVE supporting working mamas! One of my FAVORITE handmade discoveries this month is Diesel in Bloom. Cassandra (the owner/creator) makes the most adorable cardigan onesies with the CUTEST prints! Wouldn’t you love to have your baby photographed in one of these? Which is your fave?


Cassandra also has a darling blog that talks about family as well as some of her DIY projects. One of my favorite projects is her DIY Valentine’s Day arrow leggings. She teaches you how to make your own with a stencil and fabric paint. Anyone else dying to try this!?


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February 13, 2013

How To Add a Sprinkle Number To Your Cake


This is such a clever idea from Amnah…

Use a cookie cutter as your stencil to add a sprinkle number to your birthday cake! Her advice:

Gently place a cookie cutter on top of the cake. Pour in just enough sprinkles to cover all the frosting inside of the cookie cutter. Gently press the sprinkles down so that they stick to the frosting and don’t spill out on to the surrounding area once you’ve removed the cookie cutter.

The possibilities are endless. Try Alphabet Number Mini Cookie Cutters for birthday cupcakes!

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February 13, 2013

4 Easy Last Minute DIY Valentines

Little A and I have managed to do a Valentines project every year since he was just a couple of months old, but we are always out at the last minute. If you too have been procrastinating, but still want to DIY something, here are 4 easy last minute Valentines you can still do in time!


This year we made Easy Salt Dough Necklaces – pendants and beads and threaded them onto ribbon necklaces to send to Alec’s friends. Salt dough uses stuff you DEFINITELY have at home. Easy peasy!


Last year we had our first adventures in finger painting. Since Little A was only just past a year old, we made our own 100% edible finger paint out of yogurt. All you need is yogurt and food color.


Our first Valentine’s project was a cute cupid photo to email to Dad who was abroad at a congress. Click here to make your own!


Potato stamping is something you can do for any occasion. It’s easy and you can stamp all sorts of things for Valentines Day, like cards, envelopes, gift bags and wrapping paper.

Happy crafting!

Mini Piccolini

Click here to visit Mini Piccolini – all the best stuff for Moms, Babies, Kids & Families!

And visit us on Facebook and Pinterest as well!

February 1, 2013

Little Girl’s Ruffle Apron

kiko apron 570One of the toys that my daughter enjoys the most now is her tea set.  She has tea pot, stove, saucers, tea cups, and spoons. She pretends to pour the tea, stir and serve it to’s the cutest thing! I made this apron for her so she can use while she plays with her tea set.

I had about half a meter of this blue cotton fabric left over, so I cute small square for the bust part, and rectangle for the skirt part. The edges are finished with stripes bias tape I made out of some scraps.  I made this using my new industrial sewing machine, which works so fast.

playing with tea set by vivat veritas 570kids apron and tea set by vivat veritas570kiko apron round by vivat veritas630


What is your child’s favorite toy?

Chie  {find me elsewhere: blogshopfacebooketsytwitter}


Categories: Apparel, DIY Projects
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January 30, 2013

DIY – 1st Birthday Party Hat

In the run up to my daughters 1st Birthday I will be sharing some tutorials with you all. With only a few months to go, I’d better my craft on! Today I will be showing you how to make your very own super cute party hat. These are perfect for any birthday party and also for adorable cake smash photos!

How to make your own party hats:

Supplies Needed:
-Glitter cardstock (or your choice of colour)
-Glue gun and sticks
-Paper Party Hat template
– Marabou Fur Feather Trim
-Decorations of your choice

Step 1. Lay out your paper hat template and trace around it onto the back of your choice of card stock. I used a pink glitter as I’m doing a pink theme.

Step 2. Reassemble the card the same way of the template and using your hot glue gun glue the edges together. Also take off the elastic from the party hat and attach it to your new one. You can also use ribbon here if you wish.

Step 3. Now glue on your Marabou fur around the bottom and make a ball at the top. (or any other trimmings your are using)

Step 4. Using some other card stock cut out the number 1 and glue that down on the center of the hat. You could also print out a template to use if you don’t have steady hands.


And there you have it! Easy peasy! Now go and take some adorable photos!

I’ll be back soon with another tutorial. In the meantime – are you planning a birthday party or baby shower?

I’d love to know!


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January 28, 2013

Valentine Olliblocks


I just purchased & downloaded the Valentine Olliblocks. I’m obsessed with these! The kids are going to use the cute characters on their Valentine Cards this year. & as soon as I get some cardstock I’ll print out a set for some wooden blocks.


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January 18, 2013

Mother & Daughter Style: At Wedding

mother daughter style by vivatveritas570Left: Lace wedding dress, Right: Made to order (contact

Hello Spearmint Baby readers! How was your New Year? My year 2013 didn’t start off so well. My sewing machine and laptop broke and I had to replace them both..sigh.

Today, I wanted to show the dresses I made for a lovely lady from Sweden. She is getting married in February, and her little daughter is going to be her flower girl. According to her request, I made a matching dress for her daughter. The sleeves, fabric and the neckline are all mini-version of her mother’s wedding dress! I thought the idea of matching dresses was so special.

little flower girls dress by vivat veritas 570 little flower girls dress2 by vivat veritas 570Chie  {find me elsewhere: blogshopfacebooketsytwitterpinterest}



Categories: Apparel, DIY Projects, style
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January 16, 2013

Decorate Your Plates


Super fun idea! Imagine a collection of these cute faces decorating your child’s nursery/bedroom…

Decorate ceramic tableware using cure-on decorative film. The film is easy to use, so even the youngest family members can cut out decorations. Cut the film into the desired shapes, let them soak in water for a while and then remove the backing paper. Let the plate dry for 24 hours. Harden by curing in the oven in 180 degrees for 30 minutes. Please note that the decorated tableware must be hand-washed.

Susanna Vento / photo Kristiina Kurronen / via

Categories: Decor, DIY Projects
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January 4, 2013

DIY Lace Flag Garland

DIY lace garland by vivat veritas 570Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Since I had some time off from work, I worked on some craft projects during the holiday. One of them was this lace garland. It’s easy to make, and is a great addition to a nursery. I made one with cotton lace, a left over fabric of making this casual wedding dress. I decoarated my daughter’s ceiling with it.

what you need to make lace garlands by vivat veritas 570step one of making lace garland by vivat veritas 570step two of making lace garland by vivat veritas 570Depending on the length of the garland, cut as many triangle pieces as you want. I cut 12 to make a little over a meter of the garland.

needle foot by vivat veritas 570

Now you attach the triangles pieces to the string. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can handsew each triangle. If you are using a sewing machine, use the piping foot.

sewing the lace triangle by vivat veritas 570step three of making lace garland by vivat veritas 570DIY lace garland by vivat veritas 2 570Chie  {find me elsewhere: blogshopfacebooketsytwitterpinterest}


Categories: Decor, DIY Projects
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January 4, 2013

Marshmallow Faces


Leave it to Color Me Katie to come up with this clever idea! I’m hoping to make some cute Marshmallow Faces for our hot cocoa this weekend. The weather has been BRUTAL this week!

Katie used a paint brush + icing + food coloring. If you involve your kids in this activity it may be easier to use Edible Color Markers

December 7, 2012

DIY Little Girl’s Skirt

I love, how little fabric, it takes to make small kids’ clothes. With less than half a yard, you can make an adorable little skirt! I sew clothes for adults (for my clothing line, Vivat Veritas), but sometimes I like to take a break and sew for my daughter. It takes much less time , and gives me some instant gratification.

I had an wool plaid wrap skirt that I was going to take to a thrift store, but decided to try and reuse it. The construction of the original skirt was very simple so it made it very easy to deconstruct and remake. I wrote up a little diagram below to show how to make this simple square elastic waist skirt.

You will need to measure your child’s hip and waist measurements. Cut two square fabric sections with the width of half of your child’s hip multiplied by 1.5. The length can be however you want the skirt to be plus 2″ for seam allowances (1″ on top and 1″ on bottom). Then sew the side seams, and hem the skirt. For top, fold once and sew to make a loop to insert an elastic band. Make sure to leave 1-2″ space so you can insert the elastic. After inserting the elastic (the length of the elastic should be your child’s waist measurement), sew the space you left.

With the left over fabric, I made Christmas stockings too.

Chie  {find me elsewhere: blogshopfacebooketsytwitterpinterest}


Categories: Apparel, DIY Projects
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December 2, 2012

Mini Piccolini – DIY Potty Training Chart

We recently potty-trained Little A (using the 3-day method). One of the things we found helpful was having a potty chart as a reward system for Alec.

We definitely wanted to give Little A a ton of praise and really celebrate his little potty successes along the way, but I’m not crazy about using edible treats as a reward, and we didn’t feel like we could give him a present for every single success. It would end up being too much stuff and too much of a distraction.

So I made Alec a star chart.Alec was just shy of 23 months old when we potty-trained him, but he immediately “got” the potty chart and how it worked. We decided that he would earn one gold star for each potty success, and that four gold stars would equal a present. Alec likes the number four and it felt like four stars was achievable for him.

I made the chart using a piece of cardboard I ripped off an old moving box, some leftover black flannel, colorful felt scraps, a piece of ribbon, and my trusty glue gun. It’s really important that the background is made of flannel fabric because felt doesn’t stick to felt, felt sticks to flannel.

Here’s how you make it:

  • Cover the cardboard with your flannel fabric using glue gun
  • Cut out shapes and decorate using ribbon if you wish
  • Glue the shapes to the background
  • Cut out as many star shapes as you have decided to use (I used a star-shaped cookie cutter to get the shape right)
Then I wrapped up a bunch of books and some other little trinkets, like cookie cutters and molds to use with playdough. And then Alec started earning his stars!

For more fun DIYs, click here.

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November 11, 2012

DIY Playdough Gift Box

The holidays are coming up and it’s time to start thinking about gifts! It’s always extra fun to give something you’ve made yourself. Here is a play dough gift set we recently put together for Little A’s friend Rebecka when she turned two:

Mini Piccolini - DIY Playdough Gift Box

We filled our gift box with homemade playdough (see recipe below), the mat, some plastic cookie cutters and molds, a little rolling pin and a butter knife (which is Alec’s tool of choice when he is “working” with playdough).

Mini Piccolini - DIY Playdough Gift Set

This is a really doable project with a fun end result.

Mini Piccolini - DIY Playdough Gift Set

Alec was proud to hand over our homemade play dough gift set to Rebecka and we hope she has had a great time playing with it!


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • gel food coloring
  1. Mix all of your dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add your wet ingredients and mix well.
  3. Divide into as many bowls as you have colors. We made four colors out of this recipe and actually gave away half of the playdough, so you will definitely have enough for 6-8 colors or more. Now add your food coloring. The end color will be pretty much the same as what you see now, so add as much color as you want to get really bright, saturated hues of playdough. Or use less color for soft pastels.
  4. Place a small sauce pan your pan on the stove top over medium heat. Start with your lightest color (so you won’t have to clean out the sauce pan between colors). Pour the mixture into the pan and stir continuously until it starts to get chunky. Keep stirring until it forms a big dough ball. 
  5. When all the wetness is gone, remove the dough from the pan and leave it to cool. Once cool, knead it a bit until it is soft and smooth.
  6. Repeat for each color. I just did yellow first, then green, then blue then purple, without cleaning out the pan in between.
  7. Store play dough in an airtight container at room temperature. We’ve been playing with the same batch for a few weeks now.
November 5, 2012

DIY Colored Pasta

DIY Colored Pasta Play by Mini Piccolini

The last few days have been mostly grey and chilly and wet and fall is in the air. After his first three days of “schooling in” at nursery school, Little A came home with his first nursery school cold and had to be kept home. So we had to think of a new indoor activity to keep us a bit busy.

I made these colored pasta pieces several weeks ago and since we were stuck inside, we brought them out to play.

DIY Colored Pasta Play by Mini Piccolini

DIY Colored Pasta Play by Mini Piccolini (more…)

November 2, 2012

Painting Plastic Animal Toys

Remember the cute plastic animal toys I was painting? I finished them last night. I used a few coats of white spray paint + blue acrylic paints. You can purchase a 48 pack at Party City for $9.99. I only painted about 15 of them. They’ll be used for a little event I am hosting on Sunday. The rest I saved for my kids to play with.

Have a great weekend, shari


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October 28, 2012

Mini Piccolini’s DIY Personalized Stroller Bunting

Our new Little Baby L is such an awake and aware little boy. When he’s not sleeping he always seems to be intently focused on something or smiling and laughing and trying to get our attention and he’s especially into his mobile at home.

During our long walk the other day, Louis was quite awake for awhile and I felt bad that he was just staring into the roof of the black sun shade. So I decided to make him something to look at. We ended up with a personalized stroller bunting – little flags with his name.

Mini Piccolini - DIY No-Sew Personalized Stroller Bunting

As I’ve said before, I’m obsessed with bunting right now. So I got some felt scraps, ribbon and fabric glue out and made some bunting for the stroller. Here’s how it turned out!

Mini Piccolini - DIY No-Sew Personalized Stroller Bunting

For more fun DIYs, click here.

Mini PiccoliniClick here to visit Mini Piccolini – all the best stuff for Moms, Babies, Kids & Families!

October 26, 2012

Origami Crane Mobile for Nursery

Today I wanted to show you a craft project I finished recently. When my daughter and I went to a mall the other day, they were giving out these paper origami cranes. They gave us three pretty cranes in pink and red; it was too cute to throw them out. I decided to enjoy them a bit longer by making them into a mobile for my daughter’s nursery. Although I did not make these cranes, it is easy to find many different origami tutorials online (Youtube is great for that), and you can follow this instruction for cranes. There is a custom to bring a mobile made out of 1000 paper cranes for someone who is sick or is hospitalized, to wish them to be well and for a long life. The crane is good luck here in Japan.

What you need:
– Thread
– Wire
– Pliers
– Origami cranes
First I made cut a wire of about 50cm, made three little circles by bending the wire. The circles are to be used as hooks to hang the cranes. Then I made the wire piece into a big circle as a base to hang all the cranes. It helps to have some kind of circle object as a guide to make this big circle. I used my husband’s weight.

After that, I simply hung the cranes with a thread, and added another thread in order to hang the mobile from the ceiling.

Chie  {find me elsewhere: blogshopfacebooketsytwitter}

Categories: DIY Projects, Mobiles
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October 26, 2012

Friday Painting

Off to work on these guys. Down in my new office…come downstairs and check it out!

Have a great weekend!

Categories: DIY Projects
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October 25, 2012

Funny Face Blocks

I saw these blocks on Pinterest & cannot for the life of my find the original source. (the one thing I do not like about PINTEREST!) Anyway, I LOVE the idea of painting your own faces on blocks.  What a fun DIY project.  Wouldn’t these be cute to stack on baby’s dresser?

50 Natural Wooden Toy Blocks

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October 22, 2012

Plastic Safari Animals

Good morning! Harper & Rex had some fun with these little safari animals yesterday. They are super cute, and I wanted the kids to play with them before their makeover.

Stay tuned. I think this is going to be a fun project!

Categories: DIY Projects
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October 22, 2012

Mini Piccolini’s DIY Playdough Recipe

Little A is crazy about playdough right now. Cannot get enough. He asks to play with it several times a day and it keeps him busy for ages.


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tbsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • gel food coloring
  1. Mix all of your dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add your wet ingredients and mix well.
  3. Divide into as many bowls as you have colors. We made four colors out of this recipe and actually gave away half of the playdough, so you will definitely have enough for 6-8 colors or more. Now add your food coloring. The end color will be pretty much the same as what you see now, so add as much color as you want to get really bright, saturated hues of playdough. Or use less color for soft pastels.
  4. Place a small sauce pan your pan on the stove top over medium heat. Start with your lightest color (so you won’t have to clean out the sauce pan between colors). Pour the mixture into the pan and stir continuously until it starts to get chunky. Keep stirring until it forms a big dough ball. 
  5. When all the wetness is gone, remove the dough from the pan and leave it to cool. Once cool, knead it a bit until it is soft and smooth.
  6. Repeat for each color. I just did yellow first, then green, then blue then purple, without cleaning out the pan in between.
  7. Store play dough in an airtight container at room temperature. We’ve been playing with the same batch for a few weeks now.

The set we are using right now is a batch I made a few weeks ago.


Making your own playdough is super easy – it literally just takes minutes. And it’s nice to know you have a natural end product. The recipe that we use makes a soft, lovely, pliable dough with fantastic colors and it keeps quite well too in a sealed container.


visit Mini Piccolini – all the best stuff for Moms, Babies, Kids & Families!

October 19, 2012

So Many Projects, So Little Time

Rexy just laid down for a nap and I started this Washi tape bunting. I thought I’d be farther along by now. Only 45 minutes until I leave to pick Harper up from preschool. My “to do” list is overwhelming me! Do you ever feel that way?

I’m hoping to be productive this weekend. Have a great one, Shari

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October 18, 2012

Halloween Costume: Minnie Mouse

Have you decided what you or your little ones are going to be for Halloween? I’m more excited about Halloween this year than any other year in the past because I have my little girl to play dress-up :)

This Minnie costume is not for my daughter, but I borrowed it for the sake of taking the photos. I made this for my friend’s daughter. She has a tradition of going to the Tokyo Disney Land with her daughter every fall, and dresses her daughter with a little Minnie mouse costume. Last year I made this dress for her. This year, she sent me her sketch, so I made a dress based on it. Her sketch has a white round collar, big polkadot baby doll dress with puff sleeves and tutu underneath of the dress to fluff it up.

I didn’t use any patterns; I traced an existing dress that fits Kiko well and added a bit more room and seam allowances. For round collar though, I did make a paper pattern so that they fit accurately. I like this tutorial on how to draft round collar patterns.

My friend emailed me that her daughter loved the dress. I’m thrilled!

Chie  {find me elsewhere: blogshopfacebooketsytwitter}

Categories: Baby Gear, DIY Projects
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October 12, 2012

Cute Maternity Sewing Patterns

When I was a pregnant, I had a hard time finding a cute and comfortable maternity clothes at local stores available around my place. Most of them were too shapeless for my test, making me look like I was wearing a big garbage bag. So I either wore regular non-maternity clothes and cinch the waist (or the skinniest part above the belly) using a sash or a belt, or made my own clothes. Megan Nielsen, an Australian clothing designer, offers several different maternity sewing patterns, so you can create your own maternity clothes! Her design is cute, and sure to flatter the maternity figure. I’ve used her wrapped maternity top sewing pattern, and modified into a dress. You can see my variation on my blog, here!

Chie  {find me elsewhere: blogshopfacebooketsytwitter}

October 8, 2012

Painting Bed

A little peek at the bed I am painting for Harper. It is my LAST furniture project for her bedroom. I cannot wait to finish it- hopefully on Wednesday. (the kids are off again this Monday, today!)

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October 5, 2012


This printable has always been my favorite for baby/kids rooms.  The illustrations and colors has a vintage appeal.  I’m planning to print these out on card-stock  paper and make customized clips to go with it as a gift for an expecting friend.

To download and print, go here.  Enjoy! –ijinku

Categories: Decor, DIY Projects
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October 1, 2012

HQ’s Bedroom

Good morning! My kids are off of school AGAIN today. It seems like we haven’t had a full week yet!

So, we are off to pick up some MUNCHKINS, then to the park to celebrate with our friend Addy who turns 2 today. This afternoon I hope to do some more work on HQ’s room. Over the weekend I finished her dresser. Moving it from the basement up to her room was not fun. Now I just have to paint the headboard/footboard. I am pretty sure that after this project I am swearing off of furniture makeovers. I have a whole new appreciation for people who do this for a living!

P.S. See Harper’s bedroom mood board HERE

Categories: DIY Projects, Furniture
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September 26, 2012

Finishing up some DIY work

Harper’s new furniture is almost finished. I am just lining all of the drawers to the dresser and this nightstand.

The dresser just needs 1 more coat of polyurethane:

Categories: DIY Projects, Furniture
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September 7, 2012

DIY: Reusable Nursing Pads

These pads are super easy to make! I used cute cotton prints that I found at a quilting section of a fabric shop. I nursed my daughter for six months, and I needed a ton of these pads. The cute prints on the pads really brightened my days.

You will need:
– flannel (you can also reuse flannel shirts or blankets if you have them!)
– Some fun cotton print fabric
– vinyl or thick zip lock bag (or shower curtain) – (This is not necessary if you don’t want to use it. This is to avoid milk leakage)
– bowl or cup, 4-5 inches in diameter (mine is 4 inches in diameter)

1. Using the bowl, cut out 4-5 inch diameter circles of flannel, vinyl, and cotton. For one nursing pad, you will need 3 flannel, 1 vinyl and 1 cotton circles. Vinyl will prevent leaking.

2. Pin the circles in the following order – 3 flannel, 1 vinyl and finally 1 cotton on top.

3. Sew them together with sewing machine. I first sewed with straight stitch and then serge the edge.

4. You are done!

Chie  {find me elsewhere: blogshopfacebooketsytwitter}

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September 3, 2012

DIY Peg Rack Hook

Our old, rotting, broken deck gate… We never got around to throwing it out! (& I knew there was a reason why.) After putting together this Pinterest board last week, I was ready to do something crafty. So, I got started on a DIY peg rack for Harper’s room. The inspiration for the project was the peg rack hook on the left. (found via

Total cost of project = $14.08. Most of the supplies were already in my basement.

Wood Plank from Home Depot (or recycled wood from an old project or deck!)
Paint or spray paint
Paint brush
Painters Tape/Duck Tape
Measuring Tape

Keep reading to see the entire DIY project… (more…)

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August 31, 2012

Trick on Wearing a Non-Maternity Skirt as a Maternity Dress

Hello all! Today I wanted to show you the trick I used when I was pregnant to wear non-maternity skirt as a maternity dress. This is the skirt I scored for $6 at a thrift shop. Although I was 34 week pregnant, and the skirt would obviously not fit, I found this bright orange skirt with yellow and teal tulip print so cute, and I had to grab it.

The skirt waist measures out as 66cm. My trick is to make a loop with an elastic band, and attach it to the skirt using safety pin. I threw on a cardigan to hide the opening part in the back. I felt like I’m wearing a moo moo with just that, so I added a belt under bust. Now I have a baby doll style dress:)

Chie  {find me elsewhere: blogshopfacebooketsytwitter}

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