DIY Paint Roller for Toddlers

DIY Paint Roller for Toddlers ~ Tutorial by Bubblegum Sass

Ok. So I have to admit that I actually did this project with Sam well over six months ago, back when he was a toddler. Somehow I didn’t get around to posting about it until now. Go figure.

This is a simple project for you to make when your creative time with the kiddos needs a little refreshing. Sam was getting bored with the typical paint options, so I put together his own little paint roller to add some fun.

DIY Paint Roller for Toddlers ~ Tutorial by Bubblegum Sass
Here are the supplies you will need for this project:

  • empty toilet paper roll
  • bubble wrap
  • scissors
  • tape
  • paint tray (we have cardboard trays that I saved from something, but use whatever you prefer, as long as it is wide enough for the the toilet paper roll)
  • canvas (or paper depending on what you want to paint on)
  • washable kids’ paint
DIY Paint Roller for Toddlers ~ Tutorial by Bubblegum Sass
Simply cut a piece of bubble wrap large enough to wrap around the toilet paper roll. Fold a couple pieces of tape under the edge of the bubble wrap to secure into place. Using your paint tray, pour in your child’s choice of paint colours {Sam wanted every colour}.
DIY Paint Roller for Toddlers ~ Tutorial by Bubblegum Sass
Once the paint is in the tray, it’s time to play. Have your child experiment with placing the paint roller in the tray to “pick up” different colours. When there is paint on the roller, have them try rolling it across their canvas.
DIY Paint Roller for Toddlers ~ Tutorial by Bubblegum Sass
The bubble wrap roller creates very interesting textures. Your child might like rolling it across the whole length of the canvas, or they might enjoy using it more like a stamp. Let them explore with it.
DIY Paint Roller for Toddlers ~ Tutorial by Bubblegum Sass
TIP: If colours start to get too muddy on the roller, simply give it a quick rinse and start over. Sam also enjoyed using some of his previously painted canvases and rolling new colours on them. They are some of my favorite paintings now.

DIY Paint Roller for Toddlers ~ Tutorial by Bubblegum Sass


After thoughts:

The toilet paper rolls are a nice size for the little ones to use, but you could also try empty paper towel rolls. And of course, I hope the the bubble wrap is inspiration for you to try other materials too. It’s fun for them to see what textures different things create. Here are some other DIY Paint Roller techniques to consider:

  • glue yarn around an empty toilet paper
  • stick those foam sticker shapes onto an empty toilet paper roll
  • cut your own shapes/designs out of craft foam sheet & glue to roll
  • glue leaves (or other natural objects) onto an empty toilet paper roll
  • glue buttons onto an empty toilet paper roll (just thought of this one & really want to give it a try)

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When Life Keeps Giving You Lemons

You either get sick of drinking lemonade or

choose to stop seeing things as lemons to begin with.

Small Upcycled Love Catcher by Bubblegum Sass
On the outside, I live a fairly average life. Married. One child. A cat. A house. Stay-at-home-mom. Introvert. Passion for all things crafty & creative. Learning to be a green-thumb. Dive one layer deeper and you discover that I have a very close relationship with my family, keep a small, but tight group of friends, and struggle with all the insecurities & worries that come with being a parent.

Keep going deeper… you learn that both my hubby & I balance our own small businesses, along with that close knit relationship with our family. We’re working on making our big, long-term dream of living on a farm a reality. We have a passion for happy, healthy, locally produced food and a desire to share that with everyone we meet.

Dig deeper… I’ve struggled with the health complications of massive uterine fibroid growths since 2009. Had one, highly invasive, major surgery to remove them. Except they grew back and are now bigger than before.

Keep going deeper… I started my crafty business in 2011 after being laid off from my job in Calgary’s creative tech sector. That same year I finally found myself pregnant for the first time, but sadly miscarried. A couple months later my mom was diagnosed with cancer. A week later I was pregnant again. Five months after that, my oldest brother died.

Even deeper… I witnessed & experienced the heartache of watching my oldest brother struggle with the ugly disease of alcoholism for over a decade. More heartbreaking as each year passed. I’ve gone through the uncertainty of being able to have children (going through it again as we try for baby number 2). I’ve watched my parents suffer the terrible loss of a son (it’s burned into my eyes & heart). I’ve also been watching my mom courageously battle cancer for almost four years now. The joyous birth of our own son in 2012 was seen as a huge beacon of light in my family, after much darkness.

Deeper still… my mom isn’t winning her battle with cancer. This past year her physical & mental health has declined greatly. No more chemo treatments now. Doctors just want to make her as comfortable as possible, for however long she has left. And so, after well over a decade of “lemons” being dealt our way, we go into 2015 with this very real possibility, that it will be the last year I spend with my sweet mom.

Small Upcycled Love Catcher by Bubblegum Sass ~ Vintage Buttons Shabby Chic Home

Maybe not quite such an average life after all.

A lot of people will read everything above (and even below) and question our sanity. Some might be able to relate to a few of the life challenges we’ve walked through. And I’m hoping, that others will see it the way I struggle to see it every day; a blessed life.

Dig deep to my core… you will find my belief in God, in Jesus, in the Holy Spirit. THIS is what keeps telling me to stop seeing things as “lemons”. I truly live a very blessed life. If there is one thing that I can walk into the future with, it is an appreciation for God’s timing, right down to every heartbreaking moment. I will trust in Him. Oh, how I WILL trust in him.

But you caught that part about it being

a struggle every day, right?

Every. Day.

I am by no means running through each day with the wind blowing in my hair, a smile plastered to my face, while I belt out praises and love with grace. I’m just a woman balancing her roles of mama, wife, daughter, sister, and now auntie; wanting to hold my family so close, but knowing I will have to let go one day. I love as best I can. I’m learning to forgive and ask forgiveness. But the greatest challenge of all, is learning to be thankful even in the darkest hours.

It’s how I’m starting to see things, not as lemons, but as part of His blessings. I can’t worry about what tomorrow or next month will bring, but only hope that I come right back to reading this post if I begin to see those “lemons” rolling my way. It’s mostly a reminder for me. I would love if it were a reminder for you too.

Small Love Catcher by Bubblegum Sass ~ Shabby Chic Country Kitchen Decor

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In the Shop: Spring Sale

Oh, yes. It’s SALE time! I’m ready to see a bunch of items go to a new home and finally get my shop to it’s newly curated state. It’s taken four years to discover more of what works & what doesn’t and it feels darn good to find my focus. Of course I’m happy that all of my lovely customers get to benefit from my need to clear things out.

Sooooo… starting today, there will quite a big CLEARANCE section in my shop. The items that are on sale, are clearly marked and price already reduced, by 40%!!! These are all one-of-a-kind items, so once, they’re sold, that’s it. The sale even includes some of my Upcycled Cuff Bracelets.

Bit by bit, my Etsy shop has been climbing up to 100 sales and I would be thrilled if I reached that during the sale. Would you help me out? DO take a peek at the sale, DO keep in mind upcoming birthdays, and DO pass along the sale info to any of your friends that might be interested. Thank you! Also, keep in mind, that if you’re in Calgary & would rather arrange a pickup time (and avoid shipping costs), just pop me a message before you place your order and I will give you a coupon to take off the shipping. Happy shopping!

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Celebrating 500!

Hello there! Welcome to the NEW blog. My sweet hubby breathed some fresh air into my logo and the site design. Whaddaya think? I was feeling like things not only needed a little sprucing up, but that they deserved some sprucing up.

Ummm… not sure how it happened, but suddenly realized this month that I was edging close to 500 posts on this here little blog of mine. This post officially makes 500!! Wowzaa! That feels like a lot of writing. Of course, it’s been spread over the past 4 1/2 years, but still this is a milestone to take note of.

The last time we did a bit of celebrating on the blog, was when I wrote the 200th post. At the time, I shared my top ten fave posts. This time around, I thought I would do something similar, but also include the most popular blog posts. Thanks for walking down memory lane with me. Here we go:

Most Popular Post:

Purses Grow On Trees, April 2011

DIY Purse Display with Buttons by Bubblegum Sass


Second Most Popular Post:

Button-spiration, December 2012

DIY Salt Dough Button Ornaments by Bubblegum Sass


My favorite posts (in no particular order):

And Then There Was You, March 2012

Baby Samuel Moments After Birth


Sad Goodbyes and Anxious Hellos, January 2012


Little Hands Making Rainbows
, December 2012

Non-messy finger painting tutorial by Bubblegum Sass

Sweetheart Treats, February 2014

Chocolate Dipped Wafer Treats by Bubblegum Sass

A Shirt Story
, November 2013

Upcycled Cuff Bracelet by Bubblegum Sass

Busiest Little Helper, August 2014



Into The Ground, June 2014

Happiness By the Acre Tree Planting

DIY Candy Cane Ornaments, December 2013

DIY Candy Cane Ornaments Tutorial by Bubblegum Sass

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DIY Valentine’s Day Lace Heart Garland

DIY Lace Heart Garland ~ Tutorial Blog Post ~ By Bubblegum Sass

Although we don’t typically do a lot to celebrate Valentine’s Day at our house, we do decorate a wee bit. It’s nice to have a few pretty things around the house in the dead of winter. I especially enjoy a pretty wreath on the door (I get so sad when I take down my Christmas wreath). A wreath on the door always makes me smile when I arrive home. This year, I decided to spruce up our twig wreath with a shabby chic inspired garland. Annnd… I even remembered to document the process thoroughly so I could share it as a tutorial with all my lovely readers! That’s my bit of Happy Valentine’s to YOU!

Now, the number of hearts to make for your garland is up to you (that’s why no material amounts have been given in the supply list below). I just made three (two large & one small) to symbolize my small family of three. Also, as you will see, I attached this short garland to a wreath. If you want a longer garland to hang, say from your fireplace mantel, then you will need to cut & stitch more hearts (you could alternate small & large hearts, some lace covered, some not).

DIY Lace Heart Garland ~ Tutorial Blog Post ~ By Bubblegum SassHere are the supplies you will need for this project:

  • Bubblegum Sass Heart Template
  • Red craft felt
  • Pink craft felt
  • White or light-coloured lace
  • Buttons
  • Lace trim or ribbon (to hang hearts from)
  • Sharpie or fabric marker
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
DIY Lace Heart Garland ~ Tutorial Blog Post ~ By Bubblegum Sass
Print off and cut out the heart template (or use your own preferred heart template). Using a sharpie, trace around the template onto the felt.
DIY Lace Heart Garland ~ Tutorial Blog Post ~ By Bubblegum Sass
Trace out your heart template onto the lace, as well. *For perfectionists, see note below (in sewing section) for a tip on cutting out the lace.*
DIY Lace Heart Garland ~ Tutorial Blog Post ~ By Bubblegum Sass
Cutting just inside the marked line, cut out each heart shape.
DIY Lace Heart Garland ~ Tutorial Blog Post ~ By Bubblegum Sass
Repeat above steps for all sizes of hearts in both felt & lace. For my short garland, I cut out: two large felt hearts, two large lace hearts, and one small felt heart.
DIY Lace Heart Garland ~ Tutorial Blog Post ~ By Bubblegum Sass
Lay one lace heart over a matching felt heart, lining up the edges. Pin into place, as the lace tends to stretch & move a bit. Using a sewing machine zigzag stitch, sew all the way around the heart. Repeat with remaining hearts that you wish to layer with lace & felt. *If you really want your lace hearts perfectly lined up with the felt hearts (I know there are perfectionists among us), then I suggest cutting your lace hearts out slightly larger than the felt hearts, zig zag stitching them on and then trimming the edge of the lace so it is even with the felt.*
DIY Lace Heart Garland ~ Tutorial Blog Post ~ By Bubblegum Sass
Choose your buttons and stitch onto each heart, either on the left or right upper corner of the heart.
DIY Lace Heart Garland ~ Tutorial Blog Post ~ By Bubblegum Sass
Measure and cut the length of lace trim/ribbon that you will hang the hearts from (mine was about one meter or 39″, but of course cut whatever length is going to work for your own project. A longer garland will require a longer lace trim/ribbon.) Fold this in half and mark the half-way point (with a pin). Position your center heart here and pin into place, along the back of the heart.
DIY Lace Heart Garland ~ Tutorial Blog Post ~ By Bubblegum Sass
Position remaining hearts along the lace trim/ribbon, pinning into place on the backside. Tip: Place your lace trim/ribbon on the upper part of the heart, or else the hearts tend to flip over once hung. Once pinned into place, use a hot glue gun to attach the lace trim, removing pins as you work. If you would prefer, you can stitch the lace trim/ribbon into place.
DIY Lace Heart Garland ~ Tutorial Blog Post ~ By Bubblegum Sass
Voila! A pretty lace heart garland to hang. Besides using it to decorate for Valentine’s Day, I think it would be a sweet addition to a baby room. And of course, you could make it in any combination of colours.

DIY Lace Heart Garland ~ Tutorial Blog Post ~ By Bubblegum Sass

DIY Lace Heart Garland ~ Tutorial Blog Post ~ By Bubblegum Sass

DIY Lace Heart Garland ~ Tutorial Blog Post ~ By Bubblegum Sass
My completed project, with the lace heart garland attached to our twig wreath & hung on the front door. The wreath, by the way, is one that my hubby made for fun one year out of lilac bush branches.

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In The Studio: Dyeing Lace Trims DIY

DIY Lace Trim Dyeing ~ Tutorial Blog Post ~ By Bubblegum Sass

I realized early on in my making of the Love Catchers, that I was going to need a steady supply of lace trim to decorate them. Now, I try to use as much upcycled materials & materials that I have on hand as possible, but it’s hard to resist some new embellishments. It is possible to buy ready-made colourful lace trims (which I have done), but I felt a bit limited by colour choices and widths. So often I would find a package of lace trims online that were the perfect colour (there’s hardly any trim readily available locally), but the package would contain short lengths of various widths, many too wide for the Love Catchers.

I finally decided that to flush out my selection of trims, I would purchase plain cotton, dyeable lace trim in large quantities and then dye them myself. Mostly I want to focus on making the Love Catchers themselves, and with limited time for all the crafting, I chose to purchase ready-made dyes to simplify the process. The supplies for this adventure were purchased online at the Dharma Trading Co. or were items I already had on hand. Dharma Trading Co. does offer natural plant dye options, if you would prefer to dive into that. I ordered a small selection of Tumble Dye. The fact that you could spray or dip dye with them appealed to me. Also, lovely selection of colours!

Suggested Supplies:

  • Dyeable lace trim
  • Bottles of Tumble Dye
  • Rubber gloves
  • Glass pan or large glass measuring cup
  • Flat plastic trays or baking sheets
    (For air drying the lace. I used the plastic lids from some storage containers)
  • Dryer


Hand Dyed Lace Trim ~ DIY Blog Post ~ By Bubblegum Sass


I wet the lace before applying any dye. Then I laid the lace out in the glass pan and sprayed it with the dye. Then I flipped the lace over and sprayed it a bit more. I didn’t pre-mix any dyes, but did combine some of the dyes simply by alternating which one I sprayed, to achieve desired colours.

Once enough dye has been sprayed on, wring the lace trim, allowing the excess water and dye to fall into the glass pan. Then place the lace trim back into the excess dye, rub it in a bit, flip the lace over and rub in the remaining dye. I did this step, to ensure there wasn’t any large white spots on the trim. *see note below*

Hand Dyed Lace Trim ~ DIY Blog Post ~ By Bubblegum Sass

Once you’ve got the lace trim the colour & hue you want, lay it out on a plastic try or baking sheet and let it air dry completely. Once it’s dry, pop it into the dryer for about 20min (I just used our medium heat setting). So far I have just been using the lace trim for my Love Catchers, which do not go into the wash. According to the instructions, putting the dyed items into the dryer should set the colour, but I haven’t personally tried washing any of them yet.

Hand Dyed Lace Trim ~ DIY Blog Post ~ By Bubblegum Sass

Viola! Pretty, pretty lace trims in a rainbow of colours, ready to be made into even prettier things!

Hand Dyed Lace Trim ~ DIY Blog Post ~ By Bubblegum Sass

*If you wish to a achieve a much more even dye colour, just pour some of the dye into the glass pan, and do a dip-dye method instead of using the spray applicator. I prefer the spray applicator to achieve the vintage shabby chic look, but it’s up to you.*

Keep experimenting (I know I still am) and have fun with your dyeing projects!

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In the Shop: Button Hair Clips

Busy, busy, busy, that is what I have been. Managed to get a bunch of button hair clip sets photographed and listed in the shop over the past 10 days. These include some of the very pretty Fancy Hair Clips that I started making with weddings in mind. I’ve had a bunch of those just sitting around for months & months. Tsk, tsk. Gotta get better about listing product. Doesn’t really do any good just sitting in a box in the sewing room, right?

Fancy Lace Flower Button Hair Clips, Shabby Chic Wedding Accessories ~ By Bubblegum Sass

Fancy Purple Button Hair Clips, Shabby Chic Wedding Accessories ~ By Bubblegum Sass

Also, there was such interest in the Frozen-inspired clips, that I decided to make up some more and list those too. I kept thinking they were kind of seasonal because I originally made them with winter & Christmas in mind. Of course, when hubby pointed out that they looked like Frozen Hair Clips, I realized that little girl’s will likely long to be Queen Elsa year round :-) Check out the full selection of Button Hair Accessories in the shop.

Frozen Inspired Button Hair Clips ~ By Bubblegum Sass

Frozen Inspired Button Hair Clips ~ By Bubblegum Sass

Still more Love Catchers to come and longing to re-photograph some of the existing product to make the shop look more consistent. Also… keep your eyes open for a sale in the shop this spring. In hopes of clearing out old stock and putting together my curated collection, I will need to find homes for a bunch of items. Oh, oh, oh, annnnd hubby and I had a meeting the other night and hammered out the redesign of this blog!! YES! So you might notice some things look wonky over the next couple weeks or the site might actually go done for a short period, but all for the sake of good things! So much exciting stuff going on right now! Liking 2015 already.

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Treasury Love: January 2015

This weekend is the Etsy Alberta Street Team treasury blitz, which I was thankfully able to participate in. So many good treasuries being made so far by fellow teammates.

Looking forward to getting together with these crafty gals & guys next week for an Etsy Meet Up. You do not necessarily have to have an Etsy shop or be on our team to attend. We are meeting on Friday, Jan 23 at the Triwood Community Centre (the entrance is at ground level between the main hall and the hockey arena. Please look for an Etsy sign and a forest green awning over the door). Starts at 6:30pm and goes till 9:30pm. We ask for a $5 donation to go towards the cost of renting the room, but other than that, bring yourself, a treat and any de-stash items you want to find a home for. Good company & good conversation pretty much guaranteed.

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In the Shop: Love Catchers

I have not been as productive this past week as I needed to be. Looking on the positive side of things though, I DID manage to photograph & list new items in my Etsy shop. Yep, you read that correctly. New items in the Etsy shop!!!! I’m just a tad excited about that! Feels good to FINALLY be able to share my Love Catcher beauties with the rest of the world! Here are some of the small 4″ Love Catchers that are in the shop right now (with more being made weekly):

Blue & Yellow Love Catcher ~ Bubblegum Sass

Green and Yellow Love Catcher ~ Bubblegum Sass

Pink and White Love Catcher ~ Bubblegum Sass

Pink and Aqua Love Catcher ~ Bubblegum Sass

There is also a small selection of slightly larger Love Catchers. The ones below are 8″ in diameter, but I make up to 14″ (and would love to try a super-duper large one sometime… just picture a hula-hoop sized one… craziness, I know, but I still want to try).

Large Pink and White Love Catcher ~ Bubblegum Sass

Large Green and Yellow Love Catcher ~ Bubblegum Sass

Adding the new product to the shop also means, that my shop is starting to take on the look & feel that I REALLY want to capture with Bubblegum Sass going forward. I’ve had to take a hard look at my product lines and re-assess things. I’m getting closer to that curated collection that I’ve been pondering for two years now. TWO YEARS?! Actually, you could say it has been a process of FOUR YEARS. Four years of trying to figure out just what Bubblegum Sass is truly all about.

It wasn’t something that I could just sit down and decide, hammer out in a bit of brainstorming & write-up in a business plan. It has taken lots of trial and error; going too far in one direction and having to come back again. Of course, meanwhile, the rest of life happens (sometimes too much of it) too and constantly influences my work. There’s a lot of creative vomit that seems to have to happen before you can get to the really good stuff. Let me just say friends, I truly feel on the verge of the really good stuff right now. Hope you’re going to stick around to see how it all turns out.

Etsy Shop ~ Bubblegum Sass ~ January 2015

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