I'll be the first to admit that I came ridiculously late to the Pinterest bandwagon. For years I did not understand what all the fuss was about. Then last October I started planning Toddler O's 2nd birthday party. I knew we wanted a Thomas & Friends theme so I started poking around on Google for party ideas. All of a sudden Pinterest made sense: instead of bookmarking a thousand different sites with one idea each or trying to remember which recipes I wanted to recreate, I could have it all in one place. I could even compare a few different ideas right next to each other and decide which one I liked better! I was a convert overnight and I created my first Pinterest board full of Thomas & Friends party ideas.
Since then I've created a few other boards too (although I still don't understand some boards that people create! I'm sure I'll eventually get it - I'm just a slow learner, I guess!). I have a bunch for recipes and a fashion board that I created for my Stitch Fix stylist. It occurred to me a few weeks ago though that I could create a board for Father's Day because there was no chance that Husband would be poking around on Pinterest and have all his gifts spoiled!
I knew what big gift I wanted to get Husband for a while now. Back when I was pregnant he got a bike for his birthday and he has literally been talking for the last 3.5 years about getting a trailer to take Toddler O out for a spin. We finally invested in a tricycle (and helmet) for Toddler O and Husband, of course, has his bike and helmet so all we needed was a trailer and he'd be good to go. I will admit that I had extreme reservation in purchasing the trailer for two reasons: (1) I'm not the greatest bicyclist and the idea of riding with such precious cargo makes me very nervous! and (2) Husband has accidentally lost 30 pounds the past year by inadvertently being on Weight Watchers (since I was doing the program and the cooking). There is definitely more than a little bit of me that will be enraged if he starts actually exercising again and loses more weight! Ugh men!
Several of my girlfriends have (and use) bike trailers though so I've been assured of their safety. I checked different brands and styles for a while but couldn't find one that fit my requirements of being not crazy expensive (i.e. a Baby Jogger pod which looks awesome but - holy guacamole - $450???) and fitting a child as big as Toddler O is (more than 3 feet tall and 33 pounds). I didn't want something that he'd grow out of by the end of this summer. Finally, I randomly got an email from Amazon that they had marked down some trailers. The first one on the list was a brand one of my girlfriend's had and liked (Schwinn) and carried up to 50 pounds! For $100! The reviews were all very good so I bit the bullet and snagged it. We're actually out of town for the next week without Husband so I told him he could open the package when it arrives a full week before Father's Day. I mean it's not like he can use it without us (unless he goes out and rents another toddler!) Now he'll have an extra reason to be excited about us coming home!
So the big gift was out of the way but Husband is meeting us out of town (we're at my mom's house) next week. I wanted to do something small to celebrate Father's Day here so enter Pinterest!
First, I made this beer caddy. Adorable, right? I sewed it all by myself (this is actually prototype 2.0 as the first one was too small to actually fit a beer bottle. Ooops - live and learn, right?) I followed this tutorial from Pinterest, which looks a lot more complicated than it actually is. The hardest part was finding all the specialty fabric at Joann's! And I had to make my own stencil since I never did find an iron-on stencil that wasn't glittery! After I made it, I made my brother-in-law model it for us, complete with a beer bottle. It looks so cute! I figure Husband can wear it for cookouts, golfing, even mowing the lawn! I have tons of fabric leftover so I made just start a side business making these silly things now that I'm such a pro!
Here's the back. I actually sewed a little belt loop that you can put around your belt! So cute! If you do decide to try it yourself, I went rogue and sewed the ripstop nylon liner first by pinning it around an actual beer bottle. Then when it came time to create the outer layer (of canvas and fusible fleece), I knew exactly how big it needed to be to still fit the bottle. Just a little tip so your first version doesn't end up in the garbage like mine did!
My second project was actually more complicated and time consuming than the beer caddy was! I had seen a cute print-out on etsy (via Pinterest) of a tree with hand prints in place of leaves. Very cute. Toddler O has never really been big into crafting but after 8 weeks of "school" where he "painted" every week, I thought maybe he'd be ready for it. The PDF from etsy was $10 and since I am ridiculously cheap, I refused to pay that and figured I could recreate the look on my own. Initially I had construction paper, a mat and a frame but then I realized that a canvas could actually be nicer (and cheaper!) so I bought that instead. I also invested in some tempera paint in six primary colors, figuring I could mix a wide variety of shades for the project. First, I got to work on my own while Toddler O was sleeping. I painted the tree trunk and ground line. Then I stenciled "Happy Father's Day 2014" in a purple ombre color scheme. The stenciling alone took forever because I had to wait for each individual letter to dry before I could do another one!
I was so nervous to turn the project over to Toddler O! Obviously he was going to be supervised, but it was up to him to not completely destroy my beautiful branches and stenciling! He was very excited to have paint on his hands and right away knew that he had to press his hand onto the canvas. It certainly didn't hurt that the previous day we had been to a craft program at the history museum which just so happened to involve making hand print cows! He did great for the first four hand prints. The fifth one got a little crazy: he changed the position of his hand at the last minute and then wiggled his fingers a bit. I consulted with my artist adviser (i.e. my sister) who recommended doing a sixth hand print to try to cover up some of the damage. That helped significantly and I had to remind myself a few times that he's only a boy of two and his art projects shouldn't be too perfect! I did manage to sneak in two extra hand prints for a second present for Pops (my dad)!
Finally, I spotted a super cute mason jar filled with Reese's Pieces. Husband is a big fan of peanut butter and always puts Reese's Pieces on his Sweet Frog creations so this seemed like an appropriate candy treat to give him. The mason jar is decorated with a tie, which he doesn't actually wear to work anymore but it was cute so I did it anyway. Because I had my new collection of tempera paints, I painted the tie rather than coloring it or creating it with construction paper. On the top I stenciled "love you to pieces" (ha!).
So there you have it: even a big Pinterest newbie like me can find and actually replicate some pretty adorable ideas! Ultimately I changed the name of my board from "Husband" to "Gift Ideas" and now I'm going to use it year round to keep track of all sorts of cute possibilities for friends, teacher gifts and family. Husband has already received his trailer and seemed excited by it so I hope he's super surprised when he gets into town and has more gifts to open! It was fun making them, particularly the tree which got Toddler O involved. I think we might have to do some more crafty things now that he understands not to eat paint or smear it all over the place! Guess I'll have to use Pinterest to get some ideas for that too!