Two little things that have made my life easier:
Did you know you can make things using fabric, and not sew at all? A few weeks ago it was Chicken’s third birthday. She really got some great gifts, including a little kitchen play set. Look at all the little pieces to play with! And step on! And lose! And drop in the bottom of the toy basket and never find again!
I am not opposed to toys with little pieces, but in my experience if the pieces don’t stay together than they don’t get played with. She won’t pull out the one spoon at the top of the toy basket and have a blast with it. She will play for a long while, however, when she pulls out the the spoon AND the teacup AND the teapot AND the plates. All the pieces together- see?
I usually store all these pieces in big ziploc bags but then I saw some cute napkins when I was having dinner at a friends’ house and decided to make some fabric drawstring bags instead. Just $10 at Bed Bath and Beyond (minus 20% because of course I had a coupon).
Start with these and pick your color:
Cue the Heat N Bond.
Just iron this stuff on, fold the fabric and iron again. No sewing necessary! (More detailed instructions on the back of the packaging- but seriously it couldn’t be easier).
A few minutes later, a cute fabric bag for the various kitchen toys. (Or puzzle pieces… or blocks… or whatever).
I say “cutting corners” because it is so very simple. And you can watch your shows on Hulu while you do it. And you know you’ll always have more toys with little parts to stuff in these little drawstring bags, so just get comfortable and make a few. This is also how I made the curtains in our bedroom and in the kids’ bedroom, just so you know. The beauty of this product does not start and stop at childrens’ toys.
Finally, another way I like to cut corners. My husband suggested this the last time one of the kids was teething or had a fever or something that required frequent medicine administration from those little droppers. You know- when your kid is coughing for a few days in a row and you’re handing out cough medicine left and right?
Keep those little droppers, which tend to get sticky and leave sticky messes on surfaces, in a glass until the sickness has passed and you are ready to wash them once and for all and put them away. I guess this reveals the truth- that we don’t thoroughly wash them every time we give the medicine- sort of just rinse them off until next time, then wash them really well when the sickness has moved on for good.
Now go in peace, enjoying your drawstring bags and medicine-free surfaces.