jute lumbar pillow Portable Tea Party customized gifts for mom

This morning I surprised the girls with a tea party linen set…; placemats, napkins and a tablecloth. The whole thing is reversible…;And the best part? The tablecloth gathers up into a tidy little bag to contain all those tiny cups and treats and spoons.If you have a gal between one and four years old, you KNOW what I’;m talking about. These tea parties can get wild and before you know it, you have this on your hands!This is a FUN project for experimenting with trims and decorative stitches because you really can’;t go overboard. I mean, It’;s a tea set! What’;s more fancy than that!?!Click here for the DIY Porta-Party (sometimes I can’;t help myself)

A few of you have emailed asking out our playfood, most of it is Melissa and Doug brand and we highly recommend it. The cake stand was from Pier 1 Imports a while back.

customized gifts for kids

And remember that the “;best”; comment of the week will win you that adorable train fabric!

Gather yee supplies

1 yd each of 2 fabricsjute lumbar pillow, washed and ironed. They can be matchy like I used, or totally different! Can you tell that we adore Heather Ross Far Far Away yet?4 yds ribbon for drawstring4 –; 9″;x9″; squares (or circles) of thick felt. This is a nice thick wool/poly blend.Various trims and fanciesBasic Sewing Tools –; Read through entire DIY before you start to make sure you have everything!


1. Measure your two fabrics against each other and start with the smaller of the two.

2. Measure the short width of the fabric, the selvage edge. It should still be close to 36″; but doesn’;t have to be. For our purposes here we will assume it is 36″;. Find the center.

2. Tie a chalk pencil or disappearing ink pen to the end of a string and then measure 18″; length of the string (or half the width of your fabric) and tie the other end around a pin.

3. Make one mark 18″; in from the side (center) &; 18″; down from the top. Stick your pin in that point and pull the ribbon tight. Holding the pin in place, draw a large circle with the pen.

4. Use a rotary cutter (or scissors) to cut out your large circle. Set aside the extra fabric, you will use that for your napkins later.

5. Lay your circle (right side down) on top of your second fabric (right side up) and pin in place in several locations.

6. Use your top fabric as a template and cut your second fabric circle. Set aside the extra fabric for your napkins.

7. Don’;t be scared, we are going to make a button hole!Open the edge of your pinned fabrics and on the right side of your “;outside”; fabric, measure in 3/4″; from the edge and then another 1/2″; and make a little line between the 2 points.

8. Make a button hole the size of the line you just drew. It’;s best to use your machine manual to learn to make a button hole. They are so easy to do on new machines! But if you would like to see a tutorial, let us know. We can definitely put on together. You can also use grommets if you prefer.If you use a seam ripper to open your button hole, place a pin across the top of the hole so you don’;t cut through the stitches.

9. the circles back together and sew almost all the way around the circumference of your circle with 3/8″; seam allowance. Leave about 6-8″; open for turning.

10. Remove pins and turn right-side-out.

11. Iron flat, turning in the edges at the opening. I discovered that a non-greasy pizza cardboard works great for pushing out the edge of the circle for ironing. Pause while I feel like a genius.

12. Sew all the way around, 1/8″;-1/4″; in from the edge. Back stitch at start and finish.

13. Now for a fun decorative stitch if you fancy. Test some out on a scrap until you find a good one!

14. Find your button hole and, starting below the button hole, sew your decorative stitch all the way around your circle. This leaves a pocket for your drawstring. Approximately 1″; wide.

15. Attach the end of your drawstring ribbon to a safety pin and run it into the button hole, all around the circle through the casing you have created, and back out of the button hole. Tie the ends together in a tight knot.And there you have your tablecloth/drawstring bag.


1. The remaining fabric from your tablecloth should leave you with a 36″; x 8″; strip along the bottom. From this, cut 4 squares approx 8″;x8″;. Cut 4 squares the same size from your second fabric.

2. Fold and iron the bottom edge under 3/8″; on both pieces.

3. If you are using the pom-pom trim (which was VERY well received by the girlies) it facing in approx 1/4″; from the edge.

4. Baste stitch (the longest straight stitch, usually a 5) close to the inside edge of the “;ribbon”;. Remove pins.

5. Put your 2 squares together (fronts facing) and pin all around.

6. Sew the three sides leaving the bottom open (the side with the folds). When you sew the “;Pom-Pom”; side, be sure to sew on the basting line or even just inside it.

7. Snip the corners being careful not to cut the stitching.

8. Turn right-side-out and iron flat.

9. Sew all the way around the outside 1/8″; from edge.

And there you have your reversible napkin!

Placemats (or Plates, as Clare calls them)

1. Use a plate as a template and trace a circle onto the felt. I used 4 –; 9″; circles.You can also make them square but (1) Circles look good with the round tablecloth and (2) if you decide to do the scallop stitch like I did, the corners are annoying. Cut out your circles.Note: if you would like to make these reversible/2-tone, cut a duplicate set of circles and pin them together.

2. Use a decorative stitch 1/2″;-3/4″; in from the edge all the way around. I love the scallop but anything will work.

3. Pull all the threads through to the back side, trim, and add a dab of clear glue to secure.

And now you can be done but you can also trim a fancy edge outside your decorative stitching. It would look something like this. Very cute! but is it worth the work? I couldn’;t decide so I left mine alone.

And there you have it! This would make an awesome handmade gift for any little girl. Throw in a cute tea set and some of these and you are golden!

Tea time!Search Amazon.com for melissa and doug

Susan Dwyer of Up In The Air Somewhere, is one of our favorites. A local designer who creates elegant ceramics inspired by the positive and negative spaces around her. After graduating from the Art Institute of Chicago where she studied sculpture, Dwyer focused primarily on ceramics and papier-maché vessels inspired by the clean, minimal lines found in industrial architecture. These took off without a hitch and got attention from the likes of The New York Times, Design Sponge, Food Wine, Real Simple and Chicago Social, just to name a few.

Bringing home a new puppy can be a very challenging and exciting experience, often all at once. With wet kisses and wagging tails, it’s easy to let them into our hearts and homes. Before you make the leap, be sure you’re prepared to make that transitional puppy period a comfortable—and stylish—one for all involved. Check out our new puppy checklist to make sure you’ve thought of everything.

To me, January represents a clean slate. After the color and chaos of the holidays, I like to restore my home to a more neutral and calming state. It’s been a blanket of white outside for days and now inside as well. For the most part, the main level of our home is neutral in color. It provides a beautiful backdrop to any hint of holiday and seasonal decor I add in through the year. It easily transitions. In January, I don’t have a lot of added decor, just a few paper whites and succulents to brighten the space and add a beautiful fragrance. Our home feels so fresh, clean and almost new again. By February, I’ll be adding in touches of red and pink, but for now, I’ll relax and enjoy this new beginning with winter white January decor.