DIY Wet Bags

As we’ve been working through figuring out what we need to keep in our diaper bag, I realized that the loose items (nasal spray, Tylenol, nasal aspirator, baby sunglasses, toys, etc.) was driving me crazy. Instead of buying bags to help organize the inside, I decided to try my hand at making them. I figured it was also probably a good idea to make them wet bags as well, so that if we needed to contain a spill, we could.

Materials

To start with, I had 2 pieces of outside material (the flamingos) and 2 pieces of PUL material for the inside (fabric laminated to be waterproof/water-resistant). I also had 1 zipper. For this project, I only had a short zipper, so I decided it would have a side zipper. You can change this, however, to fit whatever specifications you need.

Wet Bag Tutorial

To start with, I used one of each of the fabrics. You will repeat these steps with both sides.Wet Bag Tutorial

I pinned them together with the “right” sides facing each other. The PUL fabric likes to slide, so you can use a lot of pins if you want to be exact. I left an opening on the left side on of of the pinned pieces and an opening on the right side of the other pinned piece.

Wet Bag Tutorial

Wet Bag Tutorial

I then sewed up the two pieces, leaving the opening.

Wet Bag Tutorial

I also trimmed the extra material away.Wet Bag Tutorial

Then, I turned them right-side-out.

Wet Bag Tutorial

Wet Bag Tutorial

I turned the unfinished side inside itself, and sewed it shut.

Wet Bag Tutorial

Wet Bag Tutorial

 

Once the two sides were put together, I could add the zipper. For this, I turned the zipper upside-down and placed it so that it faced the right side of the fabric.Wet Bag Tutorial
It was easier to sew with the zipper open (I learned from another pouch I had made earlier).

Wet Bag Tutorial

For the second side, I lined it up and sewed with the zipper closed this time.
Wet Bag Tutorial

Once the zipper was sewed on, the sides would open like this:Wet Bag Tutorial

And with the sides together, there was a sandwich like this:

Wet Bag Tutorial

To finish the pouch, I just needed to sew the three remaining sides (the ones that didn’t have the zipper). To do this, make sure to have the right sides facing each other and have the zipper open.Wet Bag Tutorial

Wet Bag Tutorial

And voila! All finished!Wet Bag Tutorial

Wet Bag Tutorial

IMG_0958

 

You can see them in the diaper bag:

Wet Bag Tutorial

The pirate map fabric holds the “first aid” type items for the diaper bag, while the flamingos hold the toys.

Wet Bag Tutorial

IMG_0962

 

Do you have a tutorial that you want to share? Leave a link in the comment so I can check it out!

 

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Merry Monday Linky Party @ My Pinterventures

Getting Started with Pinterest for Blogs, Businesses, and Personal Use

Getting Started with Pinterest


I was recently talking to a few friends about how I have integrated Pinterest with my blog, and the success that I have received in getting traffic from Pinterest to the blog, and I realized that I’ve picked up quite a few tips and tricks to help funnel viewers to Doyle Dispatch, as well as to gain Pinterest followers and repins. I’m hoping that this post can help you either get started with Pinterest or take your pinning to the next level.

To make it easier, I’m giving instructions on how to use Pinterest on the computer. Once you understand how to get set up and pinning on a computer, the apps are so much easier to use.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a website that is similar to a digital scrapbook where you can save links to all of your favorite recipes, tutorials, quotes, pictures, and products. You can create categories (called “boards”) to organize each picture/link (called “pins”).

When I got married 5 years ago, Pinterest didn’t exist. So when I found an idea that I liked online, I had to save the picture into a folder on my computer, and then I also saved a link to that page as a bookmark. By the time the wedding planning was over, I had hundreds of bookmarks that I could then delete. Still, doing it this way was such a hassle, because unless I wrote a great description of the website when I bookmarked it, I didn’t have a clue what I was looking at (or how to find that great idea again). Pinterest has revolutionized the party-planning ability of women (and men) around the globe. You can have tons of pictures that show what you want your party to look like. Better yet, if you want to know more details, you can click on the picture in Pinterest, and it will take you to the original website where that picture originated from. Now, bookmarks are basically a thing of the past!

Of course, Pinterest isn’t just for parties. You can use it to gather and collect recipes, DIY projects, Etsy items, educational ideas, locations to visit… any webpage that has a picture can be “pinned” to save it for later.

Signing Up

As with most new applications, you can sign up with Pinterest through your Facebook profile. I highly recommend this, as it will then integrate all of your Facebook friends with Pinterest as well. A great way to find good pins when you are starting (and very overwhelmed) is to see what your friends are pinning.

Signing Up for Pinterest

Pinterest will ask you if you want to do XY and Z with Facebook. I usually agree to these with Pinterest. They won’t put anything on your Timeline or feed without you telling them to. Still, look at your settings to be sure of this.

Pinterest Facebook Allows

 

That’s it! You’ve signed up!

If you are a business, you will want to sign up for a business account. You can also do that from the first page.

Now you are ready to log in:

Logging In to Pinterest

Install a Bookmarklet

Now that you have a Pinterest account, you need to install a bookmarklet or button into your toolbar (“Pin It”). This will allow you to browse any website you want and then “pin” a picture or that site to your Pinterest account. I have an older version of the bookmarklet installed on my toolbar:

Pin It on Toolbar

If you go to the red + and look at the bottom, you can get directions for how to add the Pin It button (new version) or the bookmarklet (pictured above) to your browser window.

Pinterest +

 

PInterest Button How ToSetting Up Your Boards

Before you go all Pinterest crazy, pinning hundreds of recipes/projects/quotes/pictures/travel sites/tips (and many other things), you will need to set up a few boards. Don’t worry, as you can always add more later or take them away (although I wouldn’t take them away once you have people follow those boards… more on that later). No surprise here, but I tend to be VERY organized with my Pinterest Boards (which equates to a plethora of boards). Here are the different boards that I have:

  • Doyle Dispatch Blog
  • My DIY Projects
  • Baby Shower Gifts
  • Crafts: Embroidery
  • Crafts: Fun for My Silhouette Cameo
  • Crafts: Misc
  • Crafts: Painting
  • Crafts: Sewing
  • Crafts: XO Gigi Fabric
  • Crafts: Wrapping Paper
  • Family Photo Poses
  • Fashion
  • Fitness
  • For the Blog
  • Gifts
  • Giveaways!
  • Hokie Love
  • Holiday: Valentine’s Day
  • Holiday: St. Patrick’s Day
  • Holiday: Spring is in the Air
  • Holiday: April Fool’s Day
  • Holiday: Easter
  • Holiday: Mother’s Day
  • Holidays: Father’s Day
  • Holiday: Summer
  • Holiday: 4th of July/Memorial Day
  • Holiday: Halloween
  • Holiday: Thanksgiving
  • Holiday: Chanukkah/Christmas
  • House: Cleaning Ideas
  • House: General Ideas
  • House: Mantle Decor
  • House: Master Bathroom Ideas
  • House: Organization Ideas
  • Inspired by Peacocks
  • Kids: Baby Clothes to Make or Buy
  • Kids: Baby DIY
  • Kids: Child Safety
  • Kids: Circus Nursery
  • Kids: Crafts
  • Kids: Cute Activities/Ideas
  • Kids: General Nursery Ideas
  • Kids: Nautical Nursery
  • Kids: Newborn Needs
  • Kids: Playtime
  • Kids: Raising Responsible Kids
  • Kids: Tooth Fairy
  • Kids: Travel
  • Kids: Twins
  • Kids: Vintage Nursery
  • Kids: Work Stations
  • Makes Me Laugh
  • My Childhood
  • Nail Love
  • No Spend Pins
  • Party Time
  • Photography
  • Pins I’ve Tried
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy: Gender Reveal Ideas
  • Pregnancy: Maternity Style
  • Recipes
  • Recipes: Allergy Food
  • Recipes: Sweet
  • Recipes: Savory
  • Recipes: Deep Covered Baker
  • Teaching: Electricity Concepts
  • Teaching: For the Classroom
  • Teaching: Math
  • Teaching: Physics Concepts
  • Teaching: Weather Concepts
  • Thirty-One Bag Ideas
  • Thirty-One Consultant Ideas
  • Travel
  • Ugly Sweaters
  • Bridal Shower (used to be a secret board until the secret shower was over and this board was made public)
  • DIY Pink Bridal Shower
  • Elf on a Shelf
  • Mom Haircuts
  • Kids: Big Boy/Girl Rooms
  • House: Playroom Ideas
  • … and many other shared boards (and a few secret boards too)

Pinterest Boards

I would suggest starting out with the basics. Think about what YOU are interested in. Pinterest will give some suggestions for boards, so you can always go with that. I would suggest probably starting with:

  • Home Ideas
  • DIY Projects
  • Recipes
  • Fashion
  • Fitness

From there, you can add boards or create separate categories to elaborate as you see fit.

 

Following Boards vs Following People

To get started, let’s assume that you signed up via Facebook, and it has imported all of your friends (it will update this list as your Facebook friend list grows). I would recommend telling Pinterest to follow all of your friends. You can always stop following them later.

Once you have people that you follow, you will see something like this when you log in:

Pinterest Page

 

These are all of the pins that your friends have recently pinned. You will notice at the top of the picture that it says “2 New Pins.” That will update in real time as your friends/those you follow add pins.

You can choose to follow either all of the boards by one person (so when they add boards, it will automatically add those boards to the ones that you follow), or you can pick and choose individual boards to follow. I’m going to use my mom as an example for this. When you click on the name of any person (whether you follow them or not), you will see this:

Other Profile Page

 

This is my mom’s Pinterest “profile” page. It has her name at the top (and a description can go below that, if she wants to put it there). It will also show her “stats:” the number of boards she has, how many items she has pinned, how many she has liked, how many people  follow her ,and how many people she follows. If you click on any of those, you can see more details too. As you can see, I am one of her followers, because in the center of the top bar, it gives me the option to unfollow her (Don’t worry, Mommy! Not gonna happen!). If I didn’t follow her, it would show “Follow,” and I could then click to follow her.

Now, let’s say that I just wanted to follow one of her boards. If you look at her boards (Exercise and Grandma Stuff), down below, I have the option to follow/unfollow (depending on if you are already following her) the individual board. So if something doesn’t interest me, I can be picky with the boards I follow.

Here’s a reminder that you can also follow total strangers. If you like what they pin (or a certain board), you can show them some love and follow that whole board or person.

 

How to Pin/Repin

Ok, so we are now following friends (and in the future, probably some strangers… does that sound stalker-ish?), and we want to pin some things ourselves!

Once you sign in to Pinterest, remember that you are going to see this:

Pinterest Page

 

Remember, these are the pins that the people you follow have recently pinned. If you like one of them, you can pin it to one of your boards. Here’s how:

Click the specific pin that you like. You will see more information on that one pin:

Pinning

 

In the top left corner, click “Pin It.” That number next to the words “Pin It” shows the number of times other people have repinned this pin.

Pick a Board

 

Now you have to pick a board for this to go on. Obviously, it won’t work in my “Recipes:Savory” board, so I will choose the correct board from the drop-down list. I also have the option here to add a new board as well.

Before you pin that link to your own boards, check out the description. Is that what you want it to say, or do you want to change it? You would be amazed at the number of times that someone has just used the description that is already there… usually it is obvious when the description is personalized and you know that the person didn’t write it (talking about kids’ names that aren’t hers is the biggest red flag).

You can also choose to post this pin to Facebook. With as often as I am repinning items, I would lose a ton of Facebook friends out of annoyance, so I never repin to Facebook. It can be a handy tool, however, if you use it sparingly.

Pinning Shortcut

You can also use a shortcut to repin something that you like.  When you see a lot of the pins on one page, you can hover your mouse over that pin (don’t click), and you will get the option to repin from there. This is great if you know you like what you see.

Pinterest Page

 

You can still edit the description like before, but this is just a shortcut to pin items, if you don’t want to go to the larger pin like this:

Pinning

Searching for Pins

Now, you don’t have to just wait for pins to come to you in that feed. You can find them yourself! There is a search box at the top of every page (no matter where you are in Pinterest), so you can plug in your keyword and see what you see! From there, you can repin whatever you find, and you can also be introduced to new pinners (this is where you can follow strangers’ boards).

Adding Pins from Websites

All pins get started by someone pinning from a website, and you can do this too! However, you need to have the Pin It bookmarklet or button installed first. If you see something that you like, just stay on that page, click “Pin It” or the button (whichever you have installed), and this will pop up:

Pin from Website

 

It is all of the pictures that are on that page. Pick the one that you want to be the image that represents that page (or the one you want to remember for inspiration), and click on it. You will then be able to pick the board and change the description (if you want).

Pin from Website 2

If you like a lot of pictures from one page, pin them all!

A Word about Pinning from Blogs

If you see something you like from a blog, make sure that you have first clicked on the title of that blog post to open up that particular page. The nature of blogs is that it’s an ever-changing website, so if you try to go back and look at that pin again, you may only be directed to the home page. For instance, if something is pinned from www.doyledispatch.com, when someone wants to go to my blog, it will take them to the most recent post (which is always changing). Instead, if you like something from, say, this post in particular, you would want to pin from http://doyledispatch.com/2014/02/11/getting-started-with-pinterest-for-blogs-businesses-and-personal-use instead of www.doyledispatch.com. That way, it takes you back to this post, instead of the whole blog (where it will be difficult to find the original source).

Going Back to the Original Source

Remember one of the reasons I love Pinterest is because you can go back to the original source of the material. You just have to click the picture/pin a few times, and you will be directed back to the original page where that picture originated on. Fantastic!

*A reader reminded me of the following: “Pinterest is littered with pins that were pinned incorrectly or maliciously wrong (i.e. sleazy lingerie store on EBay hijacking pins) and they do not go back to a legit source. Something to warn newbies about so they don’t learn the hard way.” Thank you so much for this warning and reminder, Skye!

Future articles about Pinterest:

Once an article is written, I will link to it here.

Adding Boards

Deleting Boards

Secret Boards

Group/Shared Boards

Organizing Boards

Moving Pins

Integration for Your Business

Getting Started

How It Can Help my Business

 

Do you have a tutorial that you want to share? Leave a link in the comment so I can check it out!

Want to join in on Tutorial Tuesday? Grab the button below:

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Easy Felt Garland Tutorial

I’ve now made a couple of felt garlands for various reasons. One of them, I can’t share with you… yet.

The other is one that I made for our playroom. To be honest, I saw it on Pinterest, loved the idea, bought the felt (I love how cheap felt is!), and then realized that I really didn’t have a place for it. I only found a home for it after it was made. More on that later.

The tutorial:

  • Cut the circles (or whatever shape you want to use).
  • Figure out the color pattern you want.

Felt Garland Tutorial - DoyleDispatch.com

  • Sew through the circles in whatever color you want to use (I chose slightly off-white).

Felt Garland Tutorial - DoyleDispatch.com

  • Overlap the circles slightly.

Felt Garland Tutorial - DoyleDispatch.com

Felt Garland Tutorial - DoyleDispatch.com

  • Leave yourself extra thread on either end to use to help hang it up.

Seriously, you can’t get much easier than that! The hardest part is cutting out the felt! I recommend to use a good pair of sewing scissors/shears that are meant for fabric. So. Much. Easier!


Felt Garland Tutorial - DoyleDispatch.com
Now, back to what we are going to do with them. We will be using them in our playroom as a border to go around the chalkboard wall. They fit perfectly! I can’t wait to show it off when we are finished!

 

Do you have a tutorial that you want to share? Leave a link in the comment so I can check it out!

Want to join in on Tutorial Tuesday? Grab the button below:

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Personalized Beach Spikers

We just got a ton of snow dumped on us (and I do love a good snowfall), but my brain is dreaming of warmth and beaches!

We are going to be bringing Audrey and David to beaches and lakes and pools galore this summer, so I took some time during naps to make these Beach Spikers for our family.

Family Spikers - DoyleDispatch.com

What is a Beach Spiker? Check out my review and explanation.

Want one already personalized for you? You can purchase them in my Etsy shop!

Want blank ones so you can personalize it yourself? You can also purchase the blank Spikers in my Etsy shop as well!

Not planning a beach trip anytime soon? That’s ok! You can use them in between the cushions on your couch or in your garden as well!

SpikerPlant-n-Spike - DoyleDispatch.com

Drink Spiker: Hokie Bird

Drink Spiker: Hokie Bird

One Pot Chicken Lemon Pasta

One Pot Chicken Lemon Pasta Recipe - DoyleDispatch.com

Ever since we have had Audrey and David, we haven’t had a lot of time or energy to cook. So, we HAVE to do quick, easy recipes, preferably with little cleanup afterwards. Thankfully, there is a new craze in one-pot meals. Here is a recipe for our One Pot Chicken Lemon Pasta.

Ingredients:

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minched
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
2 cups penne pasta
2 lemons: 1 zested and juiced, 1 sliced for garnish
1 cup of parmesan cheese (fresh shredded is best)
1 cup chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Season the chicken as you like with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil over medium/medium-high heat.

2. Brown the chicken in your pan. Cut into 1-inch cubes.

One Pot Chicken Lemon Pasta Recipe - DoyleDispatch.com One Pot Chicken Lemon Pasta Recipe - DoyleDispatch.com

3. Lower heat and add garlic for about 1 minute.

4. Add chicken broth, water, and uncooked pasta to pan.

One Pot Chicken Lemon Pasta Recipe - DoyleDispatch.com

5. Bring to a boil. Then, turn down the heat to low. Cook covered on low for 15 minutes.

6. Remove cover and let simmer for 5 minutes until liquid is reduced by half.

One Pot Chicken Lemon Pasta Recipe - DoyleDispatch.com

7. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, lemon zest, juice, and basil. One Pot Chicken Lemon Pasta Recipe - DoyleDispatch.com

 

8. Season as needed with additional lemon, garlic, salt, or pepper. We chose to use more lemon.

One Pot Chicken Lemon Pasta Recipe - DoyleDispatch.com

9. Serve and enjoy!One Pot Chicken Lemon Pasta Recipe - DoyleDispatch.com

 

Like this recipe? You can see more of our recipes here.

Pimp My Ride: Car Seat Edition

A few weeks ago, I became quite ambitious during Audrey and David’s naps, and I decided to start a new project called Operation Pimp My Ride: Car Seat Edition.

You see, now that I am medically cleared to carry more weight than just a baby, I realized that carrying those car seats can be awkward and hurt your arm. So, instead of spending $25+ each on a handle pad, I made my own! I used the tutorial from How Does She? to create them. They were incredibly simple to make, and I loved the ease of these directions.  Since I really copied the directions exactly, I’m not going to rewrite a tutorial here. Just go there and you’ll be in luck! One quick tip: it was difficult to sew the final velcro in place with the foam inside. I might recommend making the entire fabric pocket a little longer than were on the directions to make this part easier.

Car Seat Handle Cushion

Car Seat Handle Cushion

If you look at the Instagram picture, you will also notice, however, that the babies have cute blankets around them. These are custom-made carseat blankets made from cute flannel. I used the tutorial from The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking with just a few alterations. Let me explain why these blankets are so amazing.

  1. Babies love to poop. They especially love to poop when you are out and about (Murphy’s Law). You could put a burp cloth at the bottom of your car seat to catch the explosive poops, but that’s not pretty! Plus, they slide around, bunch up, and don’t always do what they need to do.
  2. Parents like to keep babies warm on cold days. You could wrap Baby in a blanket, but those can get bulky and Baby could get warm quickly. Plus, Baby likes to kick them off. Oh my! Baby can’t be warm if he kicks it off!
  3. Hats don’t like to stay on Baby’s head when she is in the carseat. They pop off or they fold down and cover her eyes. No good! She likes to look around.

My mother-in-law told me about how she used to cut holes in a hospital receiving blanket and put it in the carseat. Brilliant! Then I found the tutorial listed above The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking, and I knew that I had to make this. I only did a couple of changes to the pattern listed.

Car Seat Blanket - David - DoyleDispatch.com

  • I took out the batting for a few reasons: to save on cost and a step, as well as to reduce the safety risks (you don’t want extra bulk underneath of Baby in the car seat because of safety standards.
  • I made a slightly larger hole (a rectangle) where the rectangle clip comes through, because in our car seats, that part can move to different settings depending on size.
  • I extended the vertical strips where the shoulder harness comes, because of the 5-point harness alignment.

Car Seat Blanket - Audrey - DoyleDispatch.com

These changes make for a flimsy blanket if you were to hold it up by itself. Once you set it in your car seat, however, it is quite comfortable and wonderful at keeping Baby warm and cozy (but not too warm and cozy). I even convinced Tim as to how wonderful it is (he loves playing around with the babies and the blanket).

Tutorial Tuesday with Doyle Dispatch

Painting Wooden Signs with Vinyl Stencil

Painting Wooden Signs with Vinyl Stencil - DoyleDispatch.com

 

In an effort to get right to the point of this tutorial, I wanted to go over a method for painting wooden signs. Most of the signs that I have made before have been painted wood with vinyl overtop of them. Some customers, however, like a cleaner look of it all painted. This is extremely beneficial if you are going to hang the sign outside.

1. Start with a painted surface. I used a chalkboard paint and then “distressed” it with a light blue overtop, so it looked like a worn chalkboard.

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.com

 

2. Cut your vinyl. I used black vinyl (confusing, I know), because it’s what I had the most of. I used an outdoor vinyl, because I needed it to be a strong stickiness. Peel off the letters, leaving just the background and inside of the letters o/e/d/g/a/etc.

In addition, for this project, I didn’t use my good transfer tape (since I didn’t really need it). I used Press and Seal wrap instead as a cheaper alternative. I don’t like to use this all the time, but it worked for this project.

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.com

 

3. Press the vinyl “stencil” onto the wooden board.

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.com

 

4. Carefully peel off the transfer tape. It’s ok if you have some uneven bubbles, but it’s best if you get get them out.

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.comUsing Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.comUsing Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.com

 

 

5. Using Mod Podge (matte finish), paint a layer onto the wood, where you will put the paint. I didn’t do a thick layer on this project, but I think that it would be best to do more than a thin layer.

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.comUsing Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.com

 

 

6. When it is mostly dry (but not all the way), you can get ready to paint the letters.

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.comUsing Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.com

 

 

7. Paint the letters using 2-3 coats (depending on the paint).

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.comUsing Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.com

 

 

8. Before the paint is completely dry, peel off the vinyl carefully. Look at the great, clean lines.

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.com

 

9. Peel off the insides of the letters

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.com

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.com

 

11. Overall, it is a clean look. There were only a few places of bleeding paint, and that was due to the vinyl bubbling. You can easily fix this with a paint brush and steady hand.

Using Vinyl as a Stencil on a Wood Sign - DoyleDispatch.com

 

 

Tutorial Tuesday with Doyle Dispatch