In an attempt to get both of my kids excited about their new sibling who is about to make his grand appearance, we have been on the hunt for “Big Sister,” and “Big Brother” shirts.  They aren’t too hard to find, being the most versatile.  My son, who is 23 months obviously didn’t have much of an opinion about what his shirt looked like.  My four (almost five) year old on the other hand had tons of ideas.  The shirt should be purple, have her name on it, be sparkly, include something “princess-ish.”  You get the idea. 

Every shirt we found was in some way a disappointment.  I’m not usually one to give in to every whim, but this just seemed so important to her.  She takes her role as the big sister very seriously.  Our solution was to head over to our local fabric and craft store.  They have an aisle dedicated to creating your own t-shirts, bags, aprons, you name it.  It was nearly overwhelming.  Lucky for us, we were able to find all of my daughters requirements.  Including jewels, and lady bugs.  In fact, we found a jeweled lady bug.  This was something that I thought she would be able to help a ton with, but it turns out I needed to be in charge of just about everything.  However, she had a great time helping to “design” the shirt and choose where everything went. 

After we made that decision, it was time to bust out the iron.  My iron is relatively cheap, so I noticed that I had to turn it up about one setting higher than the directions told me to, and hold the iron on (with good hard, steady pressure) for about 10-20 seconds longer than the directions.  With each item, I followed the directions first, checked to see how well it was sticking, then made adjustments accordingly.  It was slightly a trial and error type of process.  Lots of the iron on appliqués instructed to turn the shirts inside out and do a second ironing.  I warn you to be careful with this step.  Our jeweled lady bug had a tragic accident.  Half of her shell came off and stuck to my ironing board.  This resulted in many tears.  I was able to save the day by using tweezers, and loads of patience.  After I replaced all the jewels, I very carefully re-ironed her back together.  The finished lady bug may not be perfect, but she gets the job done.   Plus, she seems to be sticking together fairly well.  The next step were these fancy pink jewels.  They came together in one long strip.  I didn’t think that would be very cute, so instead we used our craft scissors to snip bunches of the jewels out together.  Then we just stuck them where we thought they looked the best. 

Our finished product is pretty darn cute if I do say so myself, and it only cost us about $15 because lots of the supplies were thankfully on sale.  The only thing we are waiting to add is my daughter’s name…In puff paint of course…Pink, sparkle puff paint.  What a girl. 

-Stephanie Wright

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