Nov 12, 2013

DIY Rustic Garden Party Place Cards

I know what you are all thinking...'Finally, a use for those teeny tiny clay pots at the craft store!' (Not to mention all that moss in my backyard.)

It must be the holiday and entertaining season that has place cards on my mind. I seldom throw or attend parties where place cards are used, but I have always loved them. My little pumpkin place cards are happily awaiting Thanksgiving. Despite the fact that it is winter and not the time of year for garden parties, I thought I would share these anyway. And I might be crazy, but I think these guys are pretty versatile. I can see them on a rustic Thanksgiving table, a lovely outdoor wedding, or a backyard BBQ. This one is currently sitting on my kitchen windowsill an making me smile while I do dishes.

A note about the moss: I used live moss as I have tons of it in my backyard where the grass is supposed to be...sigh. You can also used preserved moss. With live moss I would not make these more than 2 weeks in advance. Although perhaps if you spritz it with a little water it would keep longer.

Tiny terra cotta pot
Styrofoam ball with a diameter slightly smaller than pot opening
Live or preserved moss
Small stick
Brown textured paper
White paint pen or chalk marker
Tape or glue
Small stick

1. Put the styrofoam ball into the clay pot. The ball should stick partially above the top of the pot for that nice 'rounded' look.
2. Cut a piece of the moss and cover the styrofoam ball. Trim the edges as necessary.
3. Cut a rectangular piece of the brown textured paper and write the name with a white paint pen or chalk marker. I used textured paper and kept the edges of the paper a little uneven to make it look like a tiny wooden sign.
4. Adhere the paper to the small stick with tape or glue.
5. Push the stick down through the moss into the styrofoam.

FREE Pattern - Washable! Bunny Ear Teether Toy

These little bunny ear teethers are great on so many levels.

Multiple textures to interest baby? Check.
Absorbent materials for all that 'adorable' slobber? Check.
Machine washable? Check.
Something natural and hard for chewing? Check
Easy for little hands to hold? Check.
Inexpensive and easy to make? Check!

And bonus - these little guys are great for traveling. Just attach a pacifier clip to the ring and clip to baby. Baby won't drop it on the plane or car floor.

Chenille - 5" x 20" strip (pre washed and dried)
Flannel - 5" x 20" strip (pre-washed and dried)
3" Diameter Wooden Ring - Organic, unfinished or finished with beeswax
Sewing Machine and Thread
Point Turner (Optional)

I use chenille and flannel for these teethers because that is the same fabric I use in my favorite burp cloths (read absorbent). The wooden rings I source from Etsy (link above). I get organic, all natural, etc as this toy will spend lots of time in the baby's mouth.

1. Cut printed pattern piece.
2. Fold the flannel strip in half and pin pattern piece to the fabric lining up the 'fold' line with the fold in the fabric. Cut out pattern piece. Do not cut the fold.
3. Repeat step 2 with the chenille fabric.
4. Lay flannel and chenille right sides together and pin.
5. Sew with a 1/8" seam allowance around the edge of the fabric EXCEPT for one side of the thinnest middle section (this is left open so you can turn it right side out). With such a small seam allowance it is important you go slowly and carefully while sewing to ensure the fabric stays in place. Every now and then I get a piece of flannel that wants to stretch on me and I have to reduce the foot pressure and make sure I keep everything lined up.
6. Turn the material right side out through the open section. Use a point turner if necessary.
7. Fold in the fabric at the un-seamed section to match the adjacent seam and pin.
8. Top stitch around the entire piece of fabric (I also do a 1/8" seam here), ensuring the open section is closed by the seam.
9. To attach to the ring, make a 'U' out of the fabric strip and place it over one side of the ring. Then pull the bunny ears under the ring and through the thin section of the strip and pull tight.

To clean, simply remove the fabric portion, wash and dry with your other baby clothes, then reattach as in Step 9.

Want to make a matching burp cloth? Try this.

{This template is intended for personal use and gifting. Please do not reproduce for sale.}