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Photo Tutorial: How to make a mei tai doll carrier

Children love to pretend, and do just like their parents. Seeing mommy and daddy with a baby on the back is something usual for my children, and soon enough my daughter requested for a ring sling so she can carry around Victoria, her waldorf companion doll. This spring, I’ve checked on my longtime to-do list one item I really wanted, a mei tai. Both children wanted one, their size. I made two of those while they were naping at the same time…It doesn’t happen often, but today they did so I’ve jumped on the occasion and thought you might like to see how I did them.

First find 2, 3, 4 fabric you like, your child like and that goes well together.

Cut two rectangle that would be around the size of your child’s front. The bigger the easier to carry a big 18″ doll, the smaller the easier to wear for a child. This one is smaller 9×12″, I suggest to go bigger. I have an easy trick for the top strap angles later.

Cut the straps. The longer the better. I first went with 20″. This is okay for the bottom ones, but I’ve added 16″ after trying it on my boy. They are about 4″ large, so I cut them 8″ and folded them. Right side facing, sew/serge on top and the side, and flip them right side up.

Take your rectangle and place one strap in a corner. Cut. Fold vertically (on the longer) and cut the excess corner.

Take one rectangle, facing right side up. Roll your straps, it’s so much easier. Pin your longer ones at the angles.

And pin the short ones at the bottom. Leave an inch or so at the bottom.

Place the other rectangle (right side must face!) and pin around. Sew/serge the sides and top, but leave the bottom open.

Flip everything right and unpin straps. Enter the excess fabric at the bottom in and over stitch it.

If you realize, like me, that the top straps are too short, here’s how I manage to add on without unsewing anything; make straps like you first did, and tuck in a half inch inside the strap.

Inside end of strap in and overstich.

There you go! A beautiful, playful doll carrier for your little person to take his/her doll everywhere!

My son’s been carrying Albus ever since I tried it on him. He only took it out to get in the car twice and promptly asked it back both times. He also took it out to sleep, but I’m pretty sure he’ll ask for it tomorrow.

Hoping I made some of you try to make some! It’s very easy and takes no time. It’s a really good way for your child to carry around his/her doll everywhere while optimizing the chance for it to stay clean!

Please come back and share if you make one, we’d love to see it!


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What’s New, and, Well, Natural from the Natural Kids Team on Etsy

Welcome! I continue my trek backwards through the alphabet to bring to you the most wonderful and imaginative treasures. They are all handmade with natural materials from…yes! the NaturalKids Team on Etsy! This week, we feature wonderful variety of artist from who have one thing in common – they all work with natural materials!

Chimera   is the home of wool felt toys, roving and handspun yarn, accessories for knitters and spinners. Great gifts for your fiber loving friends!  Hailing from New Jersey, Kersin says, “I’ve been playing with fiber and crafting my entire life. Wool is my favorite material because it is so versatile. With wool I can make a silky scarf, spin colorful yarn, sculpt a landscape or felt a durable rug. Adding to the fun is the ability to dye wool any colors I choose, and to add in other fibers to create something truly unique.” Here is her latest…The Secret Cave Needle Felted Playmat.
 BostonBeanies specializes in practical and whimsical baby hats from, well, beantown. Rebecca is of course from Boston, and in her words, “I started knitting in grad school to keep my fingers busy so I could concentrate on the lectures. My friends got sick of me giving them scarves as gifts all the time, and then they started getting married and having babies, so I started making gifts for the next generation. I love the creative outlet of designing my own hats, and as a children’s librarian, I love the connection of wearable art and picture book art. So take a look, and enjoy a bit of whimsy!” Here is her Boston Beanies Knit Lavender Blossom Hat.

Wendy, of Birchleaf Designs in Michigan, offers you whimisical, natural wood and fabric playthings and some housewares as well. Everything from silks to swords…her shop is a real treasure trove of natural goodies from a business run by a family that literally lives off the grid! Here is her newest offering…the Reusable, Replayable, Rewrappable Trio of Playsilks for Spring!  
Those are the featured new items for this week, from one of a kind needle felted treasures, to lovely baby hat to play silks, all from natural materials and from the hands of folks who love nature, children and open ended toys. This is just a small sample of the quality and variety our customers enjoy from the fine crafters and artists of the NaturalKids team.

Thanks for joining us this week and please do return again next Monday as we continue to feature all the wonderful members of the Naturakids team on Etsy! Til then, I invite you to browse all our wonderful shops.

Rebecca aka Nushkie
Nushkie on Facebook

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Nature Table, Let’s Begin

Landscape Playsilks & Sky Playsilks by The Enchanted Cupboard

Nature Tables are used to celebrate the seasons and the rhythms of the year. As nature goes through its cycle of birth, growth, harvest, and sleep, so do we on our Nature Tables. Using a nature table is a wonderful way to decorate your home and include your children in the seasons. Spring is on our doorsteps and just around the bend but it is still winter on our Nature Table.

Before we leap into Spring, let’s look at some fun ways to celebrate these last few moments of winter. Any table will do as your Nature Table, either beside a wall or in a corner of a room. The size of your table will be determined by the amount of room you have to spare. The table you see here I got for $10 at a Junk Shop. I picked it for its size and that it had a nice shelf underneath to hold extra toys. This table is low for the kids and fits nicely on the second floor landing. Nature tables are a great way to keep a little play place for the kids without having toys cluttering up the grown-up places.

Winter Playset by Muddyfeet

Playsilks are great from ground cover or backdrops. Some soft wool also make a nice snow covering. Adding some winter landscape toys will add to the scene. A lovely collection of winter theme toy like woodland animal, felted toys,and bendy dolls add just the right touch. Having a lovely decorated table will make you get excited for the season.

Bendy Dolls by Princess Nimble Thimble, Snowman by Chimera

If you don’t have a Natural Table but would like to start this wonderful tradition in your home, then follow along with me every other week. We will be exploring some traditional and modern ways of sharing the seasons with your family.

Here are a few great items for a Winter Nature Table from The NaturalKids Team:

Snowflake – Winter Fairy
Felted Kitty
Wooden Winter Trees
Winter King
Blue Heart Queen Doll

Article by Beccijo, The Enchanted Cupboard

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Interview with DoSiDough

Today’s interview is with Cynthia of DoSiDough who makes the coolest colored chalks and play time doughs I’ve ever seen. Check out her natural and safe alternatives to the national brands!

Tell us a little bit about yourself and how and when did you get started with arts and crafts?
I am in sunny Phoenix, AZ. As I write this, I am feeling a little warm in short sleeves. We usually have Thanksgiving outside. I was born into arts and crafts. My maternal grandmother was an accomplished oil painter. My paternal grandmother did ceramics. My paternal grandfather painted as well. My mother ( worked in an art gallery while pregnant with me. I think somehow art got into my umbilical cord. She currently is part-owner of picture framing, gallery and art supply stores in Prescott, AZ (of which I managed the art store for several years). My mother also crafted all the time. She spent hours a day making and creating stuff. She can sew anything, and has had magazines feature her beautiful work. She sewed my wedding gown! So, that’s how I got started in the arts and crafts: I was born.

What is the main thing you make and sell in your store? What else do you make and/or sell?
The main thing I sell is play dough. Sidewalk chalk and watercolor paints are the only other things currently, but keep an eye out for additional art supplies in the future. Other than that, I’ve made a couple of babies (but I had a little help in the beginning).

Who if anyone has been instrumental in helping you hone your craft?
My husband puts up with an awful lot of DoSiDough stuff. I have hundreds of tins, stacks of chalk and watercolors, boxes of play dough, papers, supplies and miscellaneous boxes of glitter and glue and labels! Other than him, I must give credit to Stacey of for forcing me to sign up on Etsy.

Where do you get your inspiration?
Inspiration for my store is largely based on color. I peruse the color charts and start envisioning mashing colors together and swirling stuff and adding glitter. It all starts with color. Aside from color, it’s motivating to provide safer art/creative products for the hands of children whose bodies are more vulnerable to environmental toxins. My inspiration for life? We’ll save that for another time.

What are your favorite materials?
It would be a lie to say play dough is a favorite material of mine. I like to attempt sewing, but I’m terrible at it. I like to cook and bake, so maybe food is my favorite material…?

What advice would you give other Etsy sellers and those interested in opening up a shop?
My advice to potential/new sellers: List often, take phenomenal photos, and at least spend a few minutes a day exploring the other features of Etsy (forums, chat, treasuries, Storque, pounce, gift guides, etc.). Also, it just makes sense to be aware of what (for lack of a better word) “competition” you have. On Etsy, it’s not about competing, but I think a basic knowledge of other similar products on the site is beneficial.

What advice would you give to beginners in your main craft?
Invest in good sneakers for standing in, buy a medium sized spoonula (spoon+spatula), wear a mask when mixing up the chalk and have fun!

What is your Etsy shop address and name? Where else can we find you?
I’m in a congo on Hyena Cart:
I’m also somewhere on Dawanda, but apparently play dough isn’t a big deal there.