Make Your Own {Shabby Chic} Puppet Theater

So this past weekend I decided to take a little break from work. I turned off my computer on Friday morning, and tried to stay away for most of Friday, Saturday and Sunday. My mom came over on Friday night and watched the kids so Brandon and I could have a date night. It was so nice to be alone, without kids, no Evy’s Tree going on in the background. It was Heavenly, in fact.

On Saturday morning, I finished all the laundry and folded everything. I know this sounds crazy to most people, but I love doing laundry. At first it’s very overwhelming to look at the piles and piles of laundry needed to be folded, but usually It means I can’t focus on anything else but folding, and it’s a good break for my mind. I love the feeling of all the laundry for the week being folded and tucked away in our drawers and that we can get dressed without having to dig through a laundry basket. SO NICE.

Anyway during my laundry folding, something happened that happens most Saturday morning. Little elves {ahem, my kiddos} start moving all my chairs to the doorway between our family room and our hallway to set up for a puppet show. Blankets start coming out…pretty much things get torn apart. I endure this most weekends, but I think, since I was on such an organization kick, I had enough of it….

THAT mess above was minor compared to what it became about 20 mins after I snapped this picture. Leaving your kids to create their own puppet theater is NOT a smart idea, trust me on this one. I had been eyeing this puppet theater {HERE}, but I would need two of them to fit in my opening, which meant that was one pricey puppet theater. ugh. So I decided a long time ago that someday I would make one for ourselves. I guess this weekend was the day. :)

 I hopped in the car and with a $40 budget, ran to Joann’s {I spent a total of $34.95 thanks to coupons! Score!}. Later that evening we had this….Yes, I pretty much love it. And the kids ADORED it. They were so excited to finally be able to act out their antics. It was super easy to make and although it is a bit more on the time consuming side….most beginning seamstresses would be able to whip this up with no trouble.

*** Side note: I did use a serger. This is definitely not necessary, but really saves a lot of time. If you are going to try this project, however, please be aware that you do NOT need one. :)

Material list

Home decor fabric- this is a thicker blend of fabric, almost like canvas. There is a home decor fabric section in most fabric stores. We’ll discuss width and amount needed shortly.

Cotton print fabric- I bought Joann’s brand white polka dot on a green background. Amount needed varies according to your space.

Upholstery cording- This is to hang the theater up. You could probably use rope or any other kind of tie, but this is what I had on hand and it seemed to work really well.

Ribbon- I used about 1 yard to tie back the curtains

Fabric Scraps- This is for the bunting. I used some left over bags that the Simply Shabby Chic sheet sets come in, as well as the print from the curtains.

Step 1- Measure your door frame and figure out how much fabric you need. Add 2- 3 inches to the width and 6-7 inches to the height.

** Example: My door frame was 80″ high by 67″ wide. So I need a total fabric of 87″ high by 70″ wide. 

Once you know your measurements, then you can figure out how many yards you need. I picked a this fabric, which was 45″ wide, which meant I would need to have a seam down the middle to make the width equal 70″, and I had a remnant of 10 inches leftover on each of the sides. I needed a total of 87″, which is not quite 2.5 yards, and since I needed double the width, I would need to get 5 yards.

ugh, does this make sense?!? This is the most confusing part, sorry!


Step 2- Once you have the fabric, cut your fabric down to the size you need, if you need to do so…..

Step 3- Serge all the edges, except for the middle edges that will combine, if you have to combine two pieces.

**If you are just using a sewing machine, just do a simple hem on all sides and skip this step and step 4 and 5.

Step 4- Serge the middle seam together, if you have two piecesStep 5- Fold the edge over and create a simple seam with a straight stitch.Step 6- Once you have your seams done, fold the top of the fabric over to create a loop for the rope to hang, and sew shut with a straight stitch.

** NOTE: make the loop wide enough to get a yard stick through. Even if your rope isn’t very big, you’ll want to be able to thread it through easily enough {see more in step 7}. I made my loop 2.5 inches or so wide, which is why I added about 7 inches to the length of my fabric. Step 7- Take the rope you will use {in my case the upholstery cording}….
… double it up, and then and tie it to the end of a yard stick or something you can thread through the top loop. I doubled the cording for two reasons: to make the theater a little stronger and to make it easier to tie around the nails in the wall.Step 7- Using the end of the yard stick that DOES NOT have the cording tied to it, thread the yard stick through the loop and pull it out until the cording is through the other side.…..and tie a knot at the end.
Step 8- cut off the excess and using tape, wrap the edges and trim so they don’t fray.Step 9- Straighten the top loop so the fabric is tight over the entire amount of rope and then sew shut. I did this prevent the puppet theater from sliding around on the cording and breaking it. Just a security measure, you most definitely don’t have do this.Step 10- Hang your curtain up and make sure it fits. And then decide where you want the opening for the puppets to be. I had my kids sit down on a chair and hold their arms up with puppets, and then pinned in the center and the width, as well as the top and the bottom.Step 10- Fold your fabric in half, so you can get an even cut, and then cut out the width and height for the opening. DON’T throw out the waste from the opening. You will use that next.

Step 10- Seam all the inside edges. I used my serger and straight stitch once again, but you can seam how you like. Step 11- Taking your remnant from the inside of the main fabric, lay that down on your curtain fabric folded down the middle and cut two pieces the same as the opening. This will make your two curtains. Since you are going to ruffle this, you want at least twice the width so you can have a nice gather, so that is why you cut out TWO pieces the same length as the opening, once you ruffle the fabric you will have the same width as the opening when you put them together.

 I hope that makes sense…. :(
Step 12- Seam the curtain fabric.Step 13- Ruffle. I put my machine on the highest tension, which is a 9 for my machine….And the widest stitch length, which is a 6. At these settings, the fabric will ruffle automatically. You might have to play with it. You may have to ruffle by hand.Step 14- Attach the curtain to the opening of the theater, and sew on with a straight stitch.Step 15- Add ribbon to each side, sorry I don’t have a picture of this. I just added it to the back of the theater opening, where I would want to tie back the curtain.Step 16- Make a bunting. I decided to use fabric scraps and make a scrap bunting. You could certainly make a regular triangular bunting like here or skip this step all together, but to be honest, this bunting is my favorite thing about the theater. ….start with scraps of fabric. I used all my Simply Shabby Chic bags that my sheets came in. Super fun! Glad I kept them around all these years!…rip them into 8 inch or so {some are going to be smaller, some larger} strips. To rip, cut a small break in the top and then grab the fabric and rip it. It will make the edges frayed like shown.

….then tie them to the leftover cording, randomly, to create a bunting the length of the theater opening. I kept a pattern, or at least tried. ha.

And then attached it on the sides and in the middle with a strong stitch.

WAHLAH…… you are done! Whew. hopefully that wasn’t too confusing! Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment. Big hugs everyone and happy puppeter-ing!



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Food Friday: Cinnamon Honey Butter in Easter Jars

Happy Food Friday to you all….even more importantly, happy GOOD FRIDAY everyone!! I love Easter weekend…it is such a wonderful time for us to reflect about the death, burial, and resurrection. A time for us to REJOICE that our Savior has risen and that because of that our lives can be new and we can have a FRESH START. So beautiful! I am so thankful for this, aren’t you?

I like to send little treats to our neighbors during the holidays. I kept thinking about what to do for Easter. I came up with a couple ideas but then I remembered my favorite butter recipe that I shared on this blog the first year I started blogging. You can find that blog HERE, and it shares where I found I recipe as this is not my own recipe. Trust me when I say, this butter is DIVINE. You can even eat it plain, it’s that good. It occurred to me it would the perfect Easter brunch addition as it would taste amazing on biscuits or butter rolls. I decided it would be the perfect Easter treat to pass out!

Cinnamon Honey Butter

2 Sticks Butter, at room temperature
1 Cup Powdered Sugar, sifted
1 Cup Honey
2 Teaspoons Ground Cinnamon

Whip butter. I used my Kitchen Aid mixer which is the ONE kitchen item I absolutely CANNOT live without…then add the honey, sugar and cinnamon, whip some more, scrapping sides to make sure you get all the honey. I let the mixer whip for a while until smooth. Once mixed well, scoop the mixture into a large Ziploc bag

and then snip off the edge like so

lay out your clean jars. I used 40z quilted jars. You will want to double the recipe to fill all 12 jars

And then pipe the mixture into the jars. I didn’t get a picture of this as our neighbor stopped by and I didn’t want them to see their gift so I chatted outside with them until dark. ha. Anyway, once you pipe the mixture into the jars, tap the jar on a hard surface like a cutting board to make the mixture settle evenly into the jars.

Now to decorate the jars….I bought some pastel Amy Butler fabric and used Jake’s Batman bowl to draw circles out.

Then, using pinking shears, cut out circles, and cut a long portion of ribbon to tie around jar.

Take the top circle off the jars, but leave on the canning lid. Add the fabric circle and tightly screw the top back on

pull the edge of the fabric to make it tight on top and then add your ribbon and label. I downloaded this GORGEOUS He is Risen set from this amazing blog. Thanks Emily!!

I will cherish this to years to come, so lovely. I used the little 3×5 cards as greeting cards with our name signed on the back and the little place cards for labels. Perfect!!

The kids and I will take these to our neighbors tonight. We hope they enjoy it and that they spread the good news of Easter! We will also passed these out to Jake’s teachers at school…they loved them!

Do you do something special for your neighbors on Easter? Or maybe your family and friends at church? I’d love to know, share with us! And Happy Easter to you all!! May the good news of Christ’s resurrection bring you peace and happiness all weekend long!

“For He is not here, He is risen, just as He said.” Matthew 28:6

Don’t forget to link up your Food Friday post! Here’s how you do it:

1. Grab a button and insert it into a Food Friday post or any past food post you would like to link up with.

2. I will be pinning all your recipes onto our Pinterest Food Friday board, so please include an image of the item, if possible.

3. Make sure to visit all the link ups too! It makes it fun for all of us and it’s so nice to meet all these new people.

Thank you everyone! xoxo

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{DIY} w/ Evy’s Tree: Crackle Paint

I have always wanted to try Crackle Paint. Brandon and I gave it a whirl once upon a time on an old dresser we attempted to paint pink {which is now white and in Jake’s room} but for some reason it never took properly. But I just love the look of crackle. Old and flaky is my idea of perfection, as most of you probably know if you have followed me for a while…Rachel Ashwell Shabby chic is so me! ;)

Several months ago I bought at Homegoods a new corkboard for my kitchen. The only color they had was a green color, which I really liked, but when I brought it home I realized it really clashed with the rest of the green in the kitchen.

And yes that is WWD being used as a protector. Ignore the “partied out” caption. I didn’t even look at what I taped on until I saw these pictures, ha. 

At first I thought we needed to just white wash it, but after playing with it, I realized that wouldn’t work. So crackle paint to the rescue!

I bought mine at Lowes and just followed the directions on the back. It was super easy and pretty fool proof {not sure how I messed up before??}. Anyway, the directions are pretty clear and straightforward, you can read them HERE. I just wiped down the corkboard frame with a rag and then put a single coat of the crackle on. I made sure to follow the directions and go in one directions. I did make it a bit thick in one place, which you don’t want as when you put the paint on it, it won’t crackle properly.

I let the frame dry for an hour and took a flat latex paint in white and brushed one coat over. It started crackling immediately. The key is to keep brushing in one direction and don’t go back over a section otherwise it gets really clumpy.

When I was done I added this clear coat protectant over it. It was suggested by the sales guys at Lowes. I have mixed feelings about it. First of all, it does help with keeping the flaking down and will keep the frame looking nice for years to come. Also, its not as messy. On the down side, the flakiness isn’t there like those old pieces. It is also rather glossy, which I didn’t seem to mind on the frame, but I did add it to my little vintage stool in the kitchen and although it helped it from being flaky, it did give it a sheen which I wasn’t crazy about. Either way, I think overall it’s probably a wise choice.

So again, here is the end result on my pantry wall. I love it. Check out the whole kitchen if you’d like HERE.

Have you ever crackled anything? Love to see your crackle jobs :) xoxo

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DIY w/Evy’s Tree: Easy Gift Basket Filler

Good Morning everyone!! So we used to have DIY Fridays, remember? Yeah, well, since we’ve combined my family blog with the Evy’s Tree blog {hope everyone is still liking it combined!?!} I decided I liked Food Friday on Fridays instead…so we’re just going to have a DIY w/Evy’s Tree every now and then. Is that ok with you? Good! :)

Right after Thanksgiving I was shopping at Anthropologie and found these DARLING initial mugs. Sitting right next to them was a table full of initial stationary. I had this great idea to buy a mug and pack of sattionary for each of my sister in laws and create a little gift basket with them. I was SO excited about this gift! ha. I found some little baskets at the dollar store and put the mug, the cards and one of my favorite candles in them. I then made some little coasters from this tutorial and wrapped them up in a ribbon and put those in the basket as well. I was very proud that I had these gifts all set by, get this, the first week in December. I NEVER have gifts ready this early. Ha.

Anyway, I set them aside in my “gift closet” {that’s a closet where I hide all my gifts in case you didn’t know what that was, hehe}. On the weekend we were supposed to exchange gifts with my in laws, I pulled them out and realized to my horror that I forgot to buy gift basket filler and we were leaving for my in laws in 30 mins! YIKES. I had to think quick. I already had planned to wrap the baskets in cello wrap, but had no idea what to fill the basket with. I glanced over and saw the roll of heavy duty brown paper that my husband uses to wrap the ebay items he sells online. I quickly ripped off a couple large sheets and ran over to my shredder….Oh and I made sure my shredder was empty btw. :)

And I ended up with this……I inserted the gift items and wahlah!!So there you have it easy peasy gift basket filler. Seriously so easy. In fact, I thought to myself after I was done that I could have used a paper shopping bag from my stash, if I didn’t have the brown paper.

Oh and my sister in laws loved the baskets. They were so much fun. I hope this gives you some ideas…what do you use for gift basket filler?

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