Tutorial: Robin Hood Costume for Stuffed Bear

Robin Hood Show Bear CostumeTutorial

It been such a long time since I’ve posted anything crafty here.  And even this Robin Hood costume for a small stuffed bear was done way back last May!  But enjoy this tutorial and let me know if you make the costume!

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My kids are involved in Spotlight Youth Theater and they have the option to purchase a Show Bear for each show they are in.  It usually has the costume of the main character.  Last spring they performed Robin Hood, so I made the Robin Hood Show Bears!  Since I was the only one making them (and made 25), I simplified the costume quite a bit.  A lot of this was done with a hot glue gun, but if you have time, sewing it will help it last longer.  :)


The Tunic:

1. Cut 2 pieces (same size) for the tunic.

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2.  Sew along the top, leaving an opening in the middle for the head.  Sew along the sides.

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3.  Cut out V’s like you see in the picture below.

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4.  Turn right-side out and sew down the front set of V’s for a collar.

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The Hat:

1. Cut 2 pieces (same size) for the hat.

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2.  Sew along the rounded edge.

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3.  Clip the 2 bottom corners.

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4.  Turn it right-side out and make a tiny cut in one side for the feather to slip through.

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5.  Slide the feather through and hot glue the inside to get it to stay in place.

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The Belt and Quiver Holder:

See these pictures for how they will look.

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1.  I used a sewable pleather type of material.  Cut out the following shapes for each costume.

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Here are the D-Rings I used for the belt.

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Here is the finished belt.

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2.  Slip the D-ring through one side of the belt and hot glue it the belt material down.

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3.  Slide the opposite side of the belt through the ring.

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4. Twist it like you see in the following 2 pictures.


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Here’s what the front should look like.

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5. For the quiver, turn the rectangular piece of material around length-wise and hot glue it down.  Hot glue one end closed as well.


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6. Then hot glue it onto the sash

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Finishing the Bear Costume:

1. Slide the Tunic onto the bear.

2.  Put the sash and belt on it.

3.  Hot glue the hat onto its head.

4. Optional: Make an arrow out of a pipe cleaner and slide into the quiver.  Tie a ribbon around its leg so you can attach a tag.


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From House to Home {Link Party}: My New Owl Purse!

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I’ve been needing a new purse for quite a while since my old one had torn zippers, etc.  I looked for months but never found anything that I liked.  So, I made one myself!  On a recent vacation to my in-laws’ house I went to a quilt shop with my sister-in-law and husband’s aunt.  I found this great pattern called the Janet Tote by Totes for Sandy and the adorable fabric.  I pushed myself really hard for a couple of days to get it done, since I knew it would be so much harder to get to once we got back home.  Do you like how it turned out?  At first I was disappointed because it was much bigger than I expected.  But then I realized how often I carry two bags.  Now I can throw the “extra” stuff in my one bag–diapers/wipes, books for read with the kids for school, mail/packages for the post office, iPad, etc.!  I love it!
Owl Bag 001 Owl Bag 011  Owl Bag 003 Owl Bag 004 Owl Bag 005 Owl Bag 006 Owl Bag 007 Owl Bag 008 Owl Bag 009


It’s time for our Link Up Party: From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!

By the way, if you have a post about your homeschool curriculum, link it up here.  (It will be open for a few months, so come back if you need to!)

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See the wonderful blogs I’ve linked up to here.
PhotobucketHearts for Home Blog Hopxoxo Rebecca


From House to Home {Link Party}: Little House in the Big Woods

Little House in the Big Woods Lapbook and Projects

As I mentioned last week we started reading Little House in the Big Woods.
We were able to get to a few projects this week.  :)

Here are some pictures of our lapbook (you can find the printables free at Lapbook Lessons.)

There is a “Making Cheese” wheel and a felt pocket sewed up (to remember when Laura’s pocket ripped.

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They decorated the little house in the woods.

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Here are some of the animals mentioned in the book.

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And booklets about the food they stored for the winter, consequences for disobeying your parents, and things they did in each of the four seasons.


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We also made a needle book, like Ma gave as a Christmas present in the book.  I’m going to use mine, as I’m on the costume committee again for my son’s musical and will need to bring my sewing supplies along for emergency mending during performances.


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We made some homemade butter!  Delicious!

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We had a hard time understanding the cheese-making process from reading about it in the book, so I found this wonderful YouTube video!


(Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.)

It’s time for our Link Up Party: From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1. Link up family-friendly posts (exact post, not website) about making your house into a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God!

2. Link back to my site with the button below or a text link. Thanks! The code can be found at the top of the Link Party page. (If you don’t link back, your link might be deleted.)

I Choose Joy!


See who I’ve linked up to here.. including Hip Homeschool Hop

From House to Home {Link Party}: Fleece Baby Sheet

Welcome to our third week of From House to Home!  What have you been doing lately at your house?  We’re gearing up for dress rehearsal/performance week for my eldest’s musical Aladdin!  We also had performances of 3 kids in drama class, speeches presented at our public speaking class, and a band concert this week.  Needless to say, I haven’t had much time for “extras” lately, like my goals of growing triops and ordering ants for the ant farm for science.  Or doing our fun art project about Jonah and the whale.  Or making my daughter’s quilt (winter’s almost over!) or Easter dresses for my 4 girls.  And crochet?  I haven’t done any this year!

Well, I did push myself to finish one project this week.  I’ve only had the materials for 4 months!  :). I sewed a fleece sheet for my baby’s bed.  I’ve always felt bad about laying a sleeping baby down on a cold sheet, so I thought this would be a great idea!  I found the directions and inspiration at The Complete Guide to Imperfect Homemaking.  I bought the Fold Over Elastic at Amazon and fleece at Joann.com, and this great
Breathable Mesh Crib Bumper 
is from One Step Ahead.

Here is the finished project!

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She was not thrilled about being put into her crib to be a model with the sheet!

Spotlight, fleece crib sheet 007

It’s time for our Link Up Party:  From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1.  Link up family-friendly posts about making your house to a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God!

2.  Link back to my site with the button below or a text link.  Thanks!

I Choose Joy!
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Linked  Fox Hollow Cottage  http://twelveoeight.blogspot.com/  Courtship Connection Hip Homeschool Hop Button

From House to Home {Link Party}: Closet Curtains!

closet curtain 026 closet curtain 028I have 3 daughters who share a room, and we’re always trying to come up with new ideas for organizing their room.  It gets pretty messy and disorganized with 3 girls!  One thing that has always been so frustrating was their closet.  It had 3 sliding doors, so you couldn’t use both sides of the closet at the same time.  Also, the doors kept falling off.  So, I finally said, “That’s it!” and took the doors down.  We put up some pretty curtains instead.  I found the rod, curtains, and sliding hooks at Target.

I bought three panels and cut the middle one in half, so that it would be 2 larger curtains that could open to each side.  I think it looks better already!  (Next step–organizing the inside of the closet!)

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It’s time for our Link Up Party:  From House to Home!

Only 2 rules:

1.  Link up family-friendly posts about making your house to a home: homemaking, parenting, homeschooling, marriage, loving God!

2.  Link back to my site with the button below or a text link.  Thanks!

I Choose Joy!
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Linked to http://twelveoeight.blogspot.com/  Fox Hollow Cottage

2013 Goals and Resolutions: Do Hard Things

Do Hard Things!

It’s my “word” of the year.  :)  I haven’t read the book Do Hard Things yet, but heard the young men speak about it on the radio.  It’s a goal for all of us to follow–to live our lives for Christ and graciously do the hard things He has called us to.


Here are my goals and resolutions for this year.  I have to be honest and tell you that I’ve already changed my mind about some of them since last week!

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1.  My big goal for this year is to get back to my “wedding” weight.  It’s been a few years, but I’m ready to make it happen.  I need to lose 19 pounds, 2 sizes.

One way I hope to accomplish this is by joining the T-Tapp 60 Day Challenge, which starts on January 20.  I’m going to do a 4-day Boot Camp of Basic Workout Plus (started it yesterday) and then do that workout or Step Away the Inches at least every other day.  On the off days, I’ll do Hoe-Downs and OIP/HF (those exercises are found on the DVD included with Fit and Fabulous book.)

After the Challenge is over I’ll learn the T-Tapp Total Workout and Ladybug Workout, which I’ve had for a while but have never tried.  I plan to eat less fast food, desserts, and doughnuts and eat more salads, fruit, and veggies as well as drink 75 ounces of water daily.

If you want to join me in the 60-Day Challenge,–see it listed in the 2nd column on the T-Tapp website– there is still time to order a DVD or book.   Also, next Tuesday will be Deep Discount Tuesday–I don’t know what the special will be, but I’ll let you know as soon as I find out!  And if you don’t know what T-Tapp is, check out What Is T-Tapp!


2.  Stay more on top of the Cleaning and Organizing of my house, using the Motivated Moms Planner.  I’ve already been using it for a week and have really liked the easy way it tells me what to do each day!  I also want to look at my Pinterest Boards to get some more great ideas!  I absolutely love this post over at Confessions of a Homeschooler and would like to try to set up our upstairs schoolroom and our basement craft room to be more learning-friendly and organized!

Motivated Moms Planner


3.  Read the Bible daily.  I was going to read through the Bible, but that’s too big a goal for this year.  I’ll read through a book at a time, starting with 1 Corinthians.  And I pray that the Lord will grow me this year; I long to be more like Him–more patient, more kind, more loving. . .

4.  Learn how to use my new camera and Photoshop Elements.  Improve the photos here on the blog.  Fix my blog header and make a blog button.

5.  Sew my oldest daughter’s quilt (finally!) and make dresses for the four girls.  I have all the material for the quilt, but need to decide what to do for the girls.  I have lots more I’d love to sew, but I’m not going to stress if I can’t get to it this year.

6.  Teach the kids two songs with parts (performance ready).  We’ll work on singing at least twice a week.  It has always been a dream for my husband and me for our family to sing together!


I’ll post updates on how things are going.  Let me know about your goals, too!


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Pinterest Challenge- Rag Quilt Potholder sewing kit

I joined another Busy Bag Swap, actually, two of them!  So, I’ll be sharing lots of ideas in the coming weeks.  Here is the activity I included in the Elementary Craft Bag swap: How to sew a Rag Quilt Potholder.  See below for the instructions that were included.  These Rag Quilt kits would also be great to make for Christmas Presents or to include in a travel bag or to keep those hands busy during read-aloud time!






Sew a Rag Quilt Potholder 

**If you decide to reprint these instructions for anyone, please include my website http://ichoosejoy.org    Thanks!

Supplies contained in your kit:  8 pieces of flannel (5” x 5”), 4 pieces of fleece (3” x 3”), spool of thread, needle.


You supply:  scissors (rag quilt scissors are great for this project), straight pins, washable pencil or marker, ruler


  1.  Lay your flannel pieces out and decide where you want each color to go–four colors on top and four on the bottom.


2.  Take the top four pieces of flannel and draw with your washable pencil or marker a square one inch in on all sides and an “x” across the square.

This will be the sewing line.


3.  Layer the pieces with flannel on the bottom, then fleece square right in the center, and topped with the flannel that has the markings on it.  Pin it.



4.  Sew together all 3 pieces on the sewing line.  The fleece should be just inside the sewn square, but will be held in place by the “x.”



5.  After you have 4 pieces sewn, you’ll attach those to each other.  Sew them on the sides first and then the top two pieces to the bottom two pieces.  **For this style you are sewing “backwards” and allowing the seam allowance to show on top.



6.  Cut each seam allowance in half-inch strips.  Be careful not to cut all the way to the sewing line.




7.  Wash and dry your potholder so that it will get the “rag quilt” look.





By the way, this activity was inspired by this pin by Hearts and Trees.


Linked to I'm Topsy TurvyThe DIY DreamerFox Hollow Cottage http://www.wisewifesoaps.com/2014/10/diy-friday-102414/

Free Crafting and Sewing Patterns

Ready to start some new projects for this fall?  Here are some great FREE patterns!  And there are lots more on their site.

(Just requires a simple sign-up.  I have a separate hotmail email address for sign-ups like these. :) )

Cute clutch to sew:


For the fall sports events–throw and tote:


Get Ready for Christmas:




Sunbonnet Sue:


Crochet and Knit:

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Nursing Cover–Pinterest Challenge

A while ago I saw this unique pin of a nursing cover on Pinterest, so I decided to make one!  (If you like it, you can get one from her Etsy shop.)   I haven’t had a chance to use it yet since I’m still anxiously awaiting the arrival of our new little one.  Hopefully soon!  Today is my due date!

I’m linked up to the Pinterest Challenge.

Pinterest Challenge


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I Spy Bag–Pinterest Challenge

Here are the I Spy Bags I made for a Busy Bag Swap. I sewed 25 of these! They are filled with Poly Beads and lots of little objects. Most were found around the house: pennies, paper clips, pieces of ribbon, brads, beads, broken crayons, buttons, safety pins, etc.

I used gauge 4 clear vinyl, which sewed up great with my Bernina and jeans needles. The outside fabric was a very soft fleece.




These were inspired by this pin and this pin.

I’m linked up to the Pinterest Challenge.


Pinterest Challenge

See here for my other Busy Bag posts.

Getting Ready for Baby

Things have been focused on getting ready for the baby around here lately.  I’ve been nesting–and one thing we did was get the windows cleaned!  I had a Groupon for it, so it was a really good deal to get them cleaned inside and out (and the screens).  We’ve lived here for 11 years and never had them cleaned before!

I’ve washed all the baby clothes, bought tiny newborn diapers, and fixed my nursing cover (it had shrunk, so I added some material to the sides).  I bought a new carseat (not everything lasts from previous babies) and made a cover for it.  I’ve also been practicing my breathing, relaxation, imagery, and verses for labor.

Yesterday I finished packing my suitcase and brought up the co-sleeper from the storage room.  I still need to make another nursing cover.  I need to buy some batteries for the hat I wear for nursing and changing diapers during the night and for the baby swings.  And I think I’ll pack an emergency bag for having the baby in the car (pray that won’t happen!)  I want to clean out under my bed and vacuum it really well.

I’m still hoping to get some sewing projects done before she’s born, because those will probably be laid on the back burner for quite a while:

* Finish “I Spy” bags for a busy bag swap, due next Wednesday

* Make picnic quilt (already cut out)

* Make my daughter’s rag quilt for her bed

The quilts will only get done if I have a major spurt of energy in the next few weeks.

Recently, I’ve been thinking that I really wish I knew more about my sewing machine. I know nothing about changing the tension and have never used any of the fancy stiches.  I got a walking foot for quiliting but have never figured out how to use it correctly.  Then, I found out about this FREE online sewing machine class! I’m not sure the timing is right for me at the moment :), but I definitely want to do this!

Become a Sewing Machine Master for Free!  Learn how to handle your sewing machine with the brand new, free, online Craftsy class, Sewing Machine 911, taught by Claudia Miller, sewing machine MD.  In this class, learn how to diagnose your machine’s symptoms and how to easily fix the most common issues, including jammed machines, top thread breaks, needle breaks, and more.  Claudia also explains the basic parts and functions of every machine.  Whether your machine is still in the box, you’re working on a hand-me-down, or even if you’re an experienced sewist who still struggles with tension, this is the class for you!  Plus, it’s free, so there’s nothing to lose.  Sign up for Sewing Machine 911 now!


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Car Seat Cover–Pinterest Challenge

I’m so excited that I was able to get this cute carseat cover made!  I love the sweet summery fabric with butterfiles and bees.  It will be perfect for covering up our little girl when we’re outside this summer. I found the tutorial for the cover here.





I’m linked up to Pinterest Challenge.

I'm Topsy Turvy


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Pinterest Challenge- Ribbon-Petal Flower T-shirt tutorial


Ribbon Petal T-Shirt Tutorial


I saw this pin on Pinterest last fall, and thought I’d adjust it for a spring shirt.  Here’s what I came up with.  Enjoy our flower t-shirt tutorial!




1.  Cut the ribbons all the same length.  Mine were about 6 1/2 inches long.  (Next time I think I’ll make them a little shorter.)


2.  Cut out the circles.  I used my glue container as a pattern.


3.  Tacky glue the ends of the ribbons together.


4.  Tacky glue the ribbons to the underneath of the circles.


5.  Hand baste the circles onto the shirts.


6.  Zig-Zag stitch the circles onto the shirts and cut out basting threads.





Linked up to The Pinterest Challenge.
I'm Topsy Turvy


(Contains affiliate links.)

Free Crafting and Sewing Patterns

Have you been looking for a new sewing or crafting project to do?  Check out the sites below for FREE patterns!

1,200+ crochet patterns
450+ knit patterns
425+ quilting patterns
100+ sewing patterns
400+ card making projects

Free quilting patterns - download today!

Free crochet patterns - download today!

Free sewing patterns - download today!

Free knitting patterns - download today!

Free card making projects - download today!

Here are a couple of cute ideas:

(Contains affiliate links.)

Pinterest Challenge- New Shower Curtain

A year ago, my husband began a renovation of the kids bathroom.  The two main changes we wanted to make were to replace the carpet with tile and add a second sink.  Here are the “before” pictures.  He finished his part last year, including repainting the walls a pretty yellow/ gold color and replacing the inner door with a beautiful oak door that he finished.




So, my job was to do some redecorating.  The shower curtain and window valance no longer matched.  I thought blue would be a pretty contrasting color and decided to go with an ocean theme.  I found this pin on Pinterest, which inspired my design of the curtains.

Here is the finished product, which I linked up to the Pinterest Challenge for this month.




The Pinterest Challenge
I have another idea for wall decoration which will go in that big blank space next to the window, but those will have to be posted for next month’s challenge.   All my spare time crafting/ sewing for the rest of February will be focused on finishing my Quiet Book pages! I have 220 more snaps to sew on!

Quiet Books

Ever since my first child was born, I’ve wanted to make a quiet book.  When I started pinning things on Pinterest a few months ago, I renewed my desire.  However, every time I started to think it though I’d get discouraged by how much work and time it would take to complete a full book.  But now I have now found a way to do it!  Rebecca at Better Life Bags blog has put together a Quiet Book Page Swap.  So, I just have to make 15 copies of only one page!  The others will make the rest of the pages, and in March I’ll have a completed book!

Here is the page I’ll be making.  It’s a tree with snap-ons for each of the different seasons, green leaf, autumn leaf, snowflake, and blossom.

I started a new Quiet Page Pinterest Board if you’d like to follow me!  See the sidebar for the P logo or the place that says “Follow Me on Pinterest.”

By the way, if you’d like to join the Quiet Book Page Swap, it might not be too late.  Head over to Better Life Bags and check it out.

And, if you’d like to file your taxes for free, below is an affiliate link for H&R Block.  As always, thanks for supporting I Choose Joy!


Sewing goals–Wow!  Some of these have been on my list for years!

Well, we’ll see how many I can get to this year.  It sure is easier just to sit on the couch and crochet than to get upstairs and sit at the sewing machine.  (And that reminds me, I do need to crochet an afghan for my husband!)

Have the supplies already:

Kids’ bathroom shower curtain and window curtain

Kitchen window curtain

Niece’s butterfly quilt

Daughter’s bed rag quilt

Princess dresses for 3 daughters

Need supplies:

Son’s bed rag quilt

Master bedroom quilt

Sewing Butterfly Quilts

Last month I made some time in my schedule (usually sacrificing sleep :) )to sew an adorable rag butterfly quilt for my niece.  It’s from this pattern: Simplicity 2935

Here are some pictures.




Now, I’m going to make another one for her new sister, who is at this moment on a plane from Ethiopia to her new home in the United States!  The next butterfly will be sewn in bold colors instead of the pastels I did before.  I’ll post more pictures as soon as I get I get it made!  If you’d like to read about my sister’s adoption, here is her blog:  theduprasproject.blogspot.com.

Christmas Tree Skirt

I FINALLY made a tree skirt for our Christmas tree!  I’ve been using an old sheet for the last 10 years!