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Free Printable Butterfly Valentine’s Day Card

Free Printable Butterfly Valentines Day Card from The Nesting Spot

Today I thought I’d share a free printable with you all!  I created a simple little butterfly valentine with the cute saying, “You make my HEART FLUTTER”.  Get it?!  It’s not in your face obvious but the wings are made up of 2 hearts stuck together.

You can use any lollipop as the butterfly’s head and body.  I love blow pops so we went with those but Tootsie Pops don’t have the twisted wrapper hanging off the top so that is another good one to use.

After you cut out the shape of the wings, fold the butterfly in half so the wings are together.  That makes it very easy to cut the slits for the lollipop stick and also gives the wings some dimension.

Free Printable Valentine from The Nesting Spot

I designed them as simply as I could, and here’s why:

I tried to make it all as customizable as possible by not adding my own colors with ink so that you can do whatever you want. By printing it on different colored pieces of card stock you can stick to traditional Valentine’s colors or do the whole rainbow.

I also kept the font simple so that even new readers can read them, as opposed to using a pretty cursive.  I was trying to keep my 1st grader in mind and thought it’d be silly for someone his age to have to have help reading the valentine.

I also left a lot of blank space so that your child can go to town decorating it.  We just used crayons on these but of course markers, paint, and stickers would all be great.  We also used a little heart punch that Audrey got for Christmas since she had asked for lots of art supplies.  So any decorative punches would be fun.  We glued googly eyes onto the lollipop.  First, we used Elmer’s glue which was nice so that Audrey had full ownership of the project but some were falling off (she might not have used enough glue) so then I used hot glue.

Free Printable Valentine from The Nesting Spot

You can click here to download the butterflies.  I put 4 to a page to save on paper.

Printable Butterfly Valentine

Free Printable Valentine from The Nesting Spot

And last, but definitely the cutest, are a couple of the ones that Audrey worked on while I photographed the others.  I kept mine super simple but she went all out and made each one very different.  She also liked choosing different colored eyes for each one.  She really enjoyed getting to do each step herself, from cutting them all out, to coloring, glueing the eyes (with Elmer’s) and then putting the lollipops in the slits.

Free Printable Valentines from The Nesting Spot

I hope you like them!  If you use them I’d love to see how they turn out.  Please send me a link to where you post your versions on the web.

Tutorial: Easy DIY Zebra, Horse, or Unicorn Costume

 

DIY zebra costume tutorial

Every year for Halloween I try my best to make the biggest impact I can with the costumes for the least amount of work and money – it’s a necessity with 3 kids.  Some years I’ve found great deals on Ebay or at Goodwill and gotten a store bought costume (my littlest will wear his big brother’s skunk costume this year which was an awesome Ebay find).  Other years I’ve made key elements paired with some items we already had to make a really fun costume.  You can see the costumes I’ve made in the past here.

DIY Zebra Costume

This year my 4 year old daughter asked me to turn her into a zebra.  I had planned on finding a white hoodie and sweat pants to paint but wasn’t finding anything.  I ran into Walmart to see if they would happen to have some and instead found the perfect thing…someone else already did the work for me and made a fleece zebra sweat suit!  I am not a big fan of most animal prints and zebra print particularly can be hard on my eyes unless done in small doses but for actually dressing up to BE a zebra, it’s perfect!  Of course my daughter was content to just wear that to pretend to be a zebra but I knew we could do a bit more work and make it really cute.  And she was using a snake plush stuffed into the back of her pants as the tail…and that wasn’t gonna work long term.

DIY zebra costume from The Nesting Spot

A great thing about this costume is that by changing the color and making the mane longer it could easily become a horse costume.  And then if you make a horn and add that on top it can be a unicorn!

 

To make a zebra costume you’ll need:

Zebra hoodie and pants  I found mine at Walmart for about $13. If you can’t find ones already made you could find a white outfit and either paint black stripes or use black duct tape to put stripes on.

Comfortable black shoes

1/4 yard zebra pattern fleece

1/4 yard black fleece

Small amount of white fleece

Black thread

Hot glue gun

Safety pins

Cardboard…can be from cereal box or anything from your recycling can

1 sheet white card stock

Templates for head, ears, eyes, and muzzle

Zebra Template 1

Zebra Template 2

 

Cut everything out.

From the zebra fleece:

-2 ears facing opposite directions

-1 tail rectangle – 8″ x 3 1/2″

-2 faces, with one cut about an inch bigger all the way around so it can fold over to the back of the cardboard.  (It doesn’t have to be perfect, just eye ball it.  The edges will be hidden.)

From the black fleece:

-1 tail tip -5″ x 5″ piece

-1 mane -10″ x 20″ piece

-2 muzzles

-2 eyes facing opposite directions

From the white fleece:

-2 ears facing opposite directions

From cardboard:

-1 face

From card stock:

-2 ears cut a bit smaller than the fleece ones

 

Make the Ears

zebra ears inside out

Place one white piece and one zebra piece right sides together.  Stitch around, leaving the straight edge at the bottom open.  Repeat one more time for the other ear.  Clip the curves and the top of the ears seen in picture above.  Turn the ears right side out.

zebra ears

Cut out two ear pieces in card stock making them about a quarter inch smaller all the way around.  I had to cut a little extra off the bottom making it about 4 inches tall.  Place each piece inside the ear.  It will make the ear bend a bit and help it to stand up straight when worn.  After the card stock is in I put a big dot of hot glue at the bottom middle to press hold the sides together and give it that zebra ear shape.  I waited to do this until I was glueing the face together.

Make the Mane

Zebras’ manes are actually striped but I thought the black would be a nice contrast so it wouldn’t just blend in with all the other stripes.

zebra mane

Fold the large black rectangle in half (hot dog style as seen above) then fold it in half again.  Sew a line along the edge of the folded side.

zebra mane

On the side that was not sewn there will be a folded edge and two raw edges.  Cut the fold open so that there are four raw edges.  Then cut slits all the way down to make the hair.

Make the Tail

zebra tail pieces

Roll the small black fleece square onto itself.  Lay the zebra tail fleece rectangle right side up and put the rolled black square on top of it in the middle with the edges lined up.

zebra tail step 1

Fold the zebra fleece over the black fleece with right sides together.  It will make a little burrito.  Sew carefully along the long open edge and the side where the black fleece goes to the edge.  Make sure to not sew the black fleece in the long side, only the bottom edge where the two ends are.  Leave the other end open.

zebra tail step 2

Turn it right side out.  Cut slits in the black fleece to make the hair and shape it to come to a point if you like.

zebra tail step 3

Make the Face

zebra face materials

zebra face cardboard

I used cardboard from toy packaging but a cereal box would work great too.  Just something to help the face not flop down over the child’s eyes.  Bend the cardboard to make it rounded.

zebra face

Glue with hot glue the bigger zebra fleece onto the front of the face.  Glue the black muzzle and black eyes.

Note:  Please be careful with the hot glue!  I have been using hot glue forever but burned three of my fingers doing this and one of my thumbs has a big blister!

zebra face step 2

zebra face step 2

Cut slits around the fabric that is hanging past the cardboard.  You can see this in the pictures above.  This will make it easier to turn it over and glue it down on the back without lumps.  Use the hot glue to glue all those slits down on the back. Do the same thing with the muzzle.

finished back of zebra face

Glue the smaller zebra fleece on the back to cover up all the overhang on the back.  Glue the muzzle down on the back and trim the extra off.  This way if any of the bottom is showing it will still look nice.  (The picture above is of the back.)  This was also helpful because I was able to attach the head to the hoodie using safety pins to attach the fleece on the back.

Assembly Time!

Now that you have all the pieces you can choose how to assemble it.  I had thought about sewing the ears and mane on but decided to try just safety pinning them and it ended up working great.  Hot gluing is an option as well.  It depends on if you want to be able to use the clothes again for another purpose.

First, I put the hoodie on my daughter to see where the face should be on the hood.  Once I got that I used two large safety pins going through the hoodie and the back fleece of the face to hold it on.

Then I could play around with the ear placement.  I just played with it until I found a spot that looked natural.  At this point I also just had the hoodie sitting on my knee so that my daughter didn’t have to keep standing there and I could work it easier with all that maneuvering/pinning.  I used 3 safety pins per ear to make them stand up the way I wanted them to.  This took some trial and error but only took a few minutes.

I started the mane a little bit on the forehead of the zebra face and then followed the seam on the back of the hoodie.  I made my mane long enough to go onto the back a bit but if you’d like yours to end at the neck you could just make it shorter.  I put a safety pin through the hoodie and edge of the mane every few inches.  To keep the “bangs” of the mane attached to the face I ended up hand sewing them onto the face fleece since I figured a safety pin would show.

Lastly, pin the tail to the back of the pants.  I pinned mine just below the waistband.

simple zebra costume DIY zebra halloween costume

And that is it!  It looks like a lot when all written out step by step but it is actually pretty simple.  Please let me know if you have any questions.  And remember that fleece is very forgiving and hides lots of flaws.  I didn’t pin anything when cutting or sewing it and didn’t cut perfectly straight lines and you’d never know.

And just because she’s too cute I’ll add a couple more pictures.

DIY zebra costume DIY zebra costume

zebra out take
Ha, the donkey wanted to get a little taste of the zebra ear I think! Thought this was pretty funny.  Congrats for making it this far in the post.

And this tutorial is part of a Halloween Craft Tutorial Link Up with 12 other Halloween crafty ideas!  Thank you Alicia from Felt with Love Designs for organizing the link-up!

Halloween Crafty Tutorial Link-Up

Bugs and Fishes // Family Living on a Budget // Felt With Love Designs

Good Critters // GYCT Designs // House Full of Boys

Hugs Are Fun // Knot Sew Normal // Mommy in Sports

My Pinterventures // The Nesting Spot // Woods of Bell Trees // Year of Sarah

Free Children’s Valentine’s Day Printables

valentines

1.I Only Have Eyes for You 2.Tiny Animal Valentines 3.You A”Maze” Me 4.Pirate Valentines 5.Yoda Best Valentine

We’ve got a week until Valentine’s Day. With my son in Kindergarten we’ve got our first official party that he’s got to bring cards for. I’m still debating whether to print one of the many pretty options on line or just grab a pack at the store. But while I think it over I thought I’d share a few of the fun printables available on the internet. Here are just five but you can see more on my Pinterest site.

Do you have a personal favorite?  Do you give the traditional candy or do you try to give some healthier or non food all together?  Please share in the comments!  I’ll take all the ideas I can get from more seasoned parents.

Free Printable: Watercolor Baby Shower Invitation

baby shower invitation

I had the honor of co-hosting a baby shower for a sweet friend last month.  I was asked to make the invitations and other printed materials.  The theme was kind of a classy/French country/all white flowers type of thing.  I was unsure how to do the invitations since I didn’t want them to be all white.  I love the look of cards and invitations that are done with watercolors and are handwritten so I went with that.  I did end up putting a little blue bow on it as well as a way to further let people know the shower was for a baby boy.

The picture above is a sample of what I came up with. I painted it and then scanned it into the computer so I could add the text.  Instead of trying to use my own handwriting I used a handwritten font to achieve the same effect.  The two free fonts I used are Sail and Mountain Retreat.

I am sharing my invitation with you to use if you’d like!  I have made two blank versions so that you can download them and add your own text. One, is completely blank on the inside and the other I left the little decorative dots if you want to try and use the same format as me.  I also made a fill in the blank version if you aren’t great at computery things.  You can just write all the info in with your pretty handwriting.  Of course, if you are using the blank version you don’t have to use it for a baby shower.  It can be for whatever you like.  You can even crop out the bow if you don’t want it.

The key to making it look like it really was painted is to print it out on quality paper.  (And this digital version really doesn’t do the final product justice.)  I used Epson Fine Art Velvet paper (which is what I print all of my artwork on) and it was so thick and soft.  They are sized at 5×7 but I cut my invitations in an oval shape around the design.  I also added the extra special detail of hand painting all of the envelopes with a pretty and simple leaf pattern on the front and back flap.  I think that was a really nice touch.

download fill blank invitation

download blank invitation

download blank invitation with dots

p.s.  I’ve been wanting to post this for a while but have been unsure what the best method is for sharing something to be printed.  Hopefully this will work. Click on the links above and then when the image appears you can right click on it and save it as a picture.

OH, and if you happen to use them I’d LOVE to see what you did with it.  Please send me a picture via email or on my facebook page.

©2013 Jocelyn Naquin  All rights reserved.  These are for personal use only.