Free Printable: Halloween Treat Bag Tags


Halloween is fast approaching, and if your child(ren)’s school is anything like my kids’, then you’ve been volun-told/tasked/guilt-tripped into preparing treat bags for your child’s class! A couple years ago, I made some “Ghostly Grub” for my boys’ class, which was a HUGE hit with the children. It’s super easy to make and these treat bag tags will top off your hard work perfectly!


Recipe for Ghostly Grub:

Combine the following:

Chex cereal – Monster Scabs
Pretzel sticks – Skeleton Bones (*Optional – cover the pretzel sticks with melted white chocolate or candy melts)
Candy Corn – Jack-o-lantern Teeth
Chocolate chip morsels – Witch’s Warts
Marshmallows – Ghost Poop

I put the mixture into ziplock bags, then placed the plastic bags into a cut up paper lunch bag. I wish I had had time to send the children outside to look for sticks, but living in a city without a yard or trees of our own, I realized that it was a bigger task than I could handle. I did, however, have some wooden chopsticks, which worked in a pinch to create broomsticks!


Both treat bag tags are available here for free: Just click on the image for the high-resolution jpeg and right click to download!




Ghostly Grub Tags






No Tricks, Just Treats! Tag



The tags measure approximately 2.5 inches in diameter, and I recommend using a 2.5 in circle punch to cut them out although scissors work just fine!

Happy Halloween! 👻🎃

Free Pattern: Winter Crochet Headband


If you’re a regular reader of my blog, then you know that I’m well into the process of closing up my jkwdesigns pattern shop on Etsy (and also Ravelry and Craftsy). All of my original patterns will eventually be available on my blog for free. As I’ve (very slowly) been working on getting those patterns online, this particular pattern–the Winter Crochet Headband–is the most exciting because for several years now, it has been my most popular pattern!

It is a very simple pattern and absolutely suitable for beginners, and the best part is, the finished product looks amazing!

Basic Skills Necessary:

  • single crochet
  • increase
  • decrease


Pattern Description:

This pattern is for the HEADBAND ONLY. It does not include the flower that is pictured above!

This trendy headband is great for beginners–single crochets and basic increases and decreases. That’s all! The mock-ribbing gives the headband a unique texture and also gives it quite a bit of stretch.

One size fits most, but the pattern is very easily adjustable to different head circumferences.

Click here to get the FREE PATTERN: Winter Crochet Headband

Enjoy, and happy crocheting!

Free Pattern: Little Mouse Lens Buddy Pattern

I love my DSLR—not because I’m a good photographer or even that I know how to use it properly—but because with 3 small children, I can snap endless photos with the hopes that in at least one or two of them, all 3 of the kids will be looking at the camera! The lens buddy is a wonderful way to entice them just a bit more. Whether you’re a professional family photographer or you just want to take photos of your own children, this is a great way to get kids to look AND SMILE!

This pattern is suitable for beginners who are looking for something just a little more adventurous! It includes a photo tutorial on how to begin the first round. You should know how to make a magic circle and to crochet in the round. If you’re not familiar
with making a magic circle (adjustable loop, magic loop), it’s very easy to learn. Here’s a link for a brief video tutorial.

Hope you enjoy the FREE PATTERN!!

Little Mouse Lens Buddy Pattern <– Click here to download

Fairy Princess Photo Shoot

A couple months ago, my bestie flew in from Naples, Italy for a 2 week visit. We did a bit of exploring in Pittsburgh, which is still new to me, and we road tripped down to Baltimore for a weekend, visited Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater, and we spent an inordinate amount of time watching TV, taking selfies, and giggling like teenagers.

The best part of her visit is that it was an absolute surprise. She and my husband took it upon themselves to plan this trip without my knowledge, so I had no time to prepare for her visit. I didn’t care that my house was a mess and that we hadn’t even finished unpacking all our crap, that the guest bedroom was still in shambles, or that I had no childcare plans for while she was in town. However, the big downside was that I had NO TIME to plan and style a photoshoot for my kids!!! The fabulous Zayda of Zayda Barros Photography and I had talked about so many different styled photo shoots we wanted to do with my children, and here she was… And I didn’t have a thing prepared.

Thankfully, we had 2 weeks to put something easy together–thanks to my beautiful, wooded backyard–and my daughter wanted nothing more than to become a fairy princess for a day so it was perfect. And Zayda made it happen!


There was a mad dash to order things from Amazon and visits to Michaels and Joann Fabrics. Thanks to the genius of Pinterest, I was able to put together a very easy tulle dress very similar to this one. I just loop tied long strips of tulle to a crochet chain “thread” and belted it with another piece of tulle. Easy peasy! I spray painted a cheap black lantern with metallic gold spray paint, and we ordered a beautiful pair of wings, a flower crown, paper butterflies, and a bottle of glitter from Amazon. Then through the magic of photography, Zayda transformed my little girl into a fairy princess!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And because sometimes, Mommy wants to be a fairy princess too… 😝


To see more from Penny’s Fairy Princess Photo Shoot, visit Zayda’s website: Zayda Barros Photography

Pattern: Picture Perfect Ladybug Photo Prop


Sometimes, you just want to dress up a newborn baby like a ladybug and take a photo of her all curled up, looking ADORABLE.

Back in 2012 when my daughter was born, the newborn photography craze was just starting to take off, so I took it upon myself to crochet ridiculous costumes for her while I was pregnant and miserable. And photos like these were my reward. 😆 Now that the newborn photography craze is in full effect, here’s the Picture Perfect Ladybug Photo Prop pattern for free!

To get the PDF, click here: Picture Perfect Ladybug

Enjoy and Happy Crocheting! 💞🐞💞

Free Pattern – Choco Hugs and Kisses Hat

It has been far too long since I’ve been able to post/update the blog! Since the kids got out of school for summer vacation, my life has been a whirlwind of activity. Our family of 5 traveled to Florida for my nephew’s high school graduation/family reunion, which was absolutely wonderful because we’ve been out of the country for 3 years and unfortunately missed out on lots of family gatherings here in the U.S. Plus, we were on the beach, and really, who doesn’t love being on the beach?


Right after we returned from our trip to Florida, my wonderful husband surprised me with a 2 week long visit from the BFF (the very talented Zayda of Zayda Barros Photography), who lives in Naples, Italy! We had such a great time while she was here–giggling like school girls and acting like complete lunatics and taking LOTS of selfies! 😉



Plus, on top of her visit, my 15 year old niece is spending her summer vacation with us, then we had a HUGE family gathering at our house over the 4th of July weekend, and finally… I’ve got a minute to sit at my computer and catch up on a million things.

One of the things that I’ve been planning to do/working on but haven’t had a chance to actually take care of is the closing of the jkwdesigns Etsy shop (not to be confused with the delightfuledesigns Etsy shop!). As listings expire, I haven’t been renewing them because my plan is to make all of those patterns available FOR FREE right here at! If you’re interested in any of the patterns currently available in the shop, I encourage you to sign up for the jkwdesigns mailing list by subscribing to the blog so you’ll receive email updates. You will never receive any other email aside from notifications of blog updates, and your email address will never be passed on to any other company/advertiser!

Here’s the first of many more patterns to come!


The Choco Hugs and Kisses Hat Pattern – Crochet

What better way to top off your little sweetheart than with something that inspires thoughts of sweet, chocolatey goodness! This hat makes a wonderful baby shower gift, an excellent newborn photo prop, and an adorable addition to your baby’s wardrobe.

The pattern is suitable for beginners. The hat is crochet entirely in hdc, giving it just the right amount of thickness and stretch. The “ribbon” is made in sc, then folded in half after the letters are stitched on in order to hide the yarn on the back side of the work.

To download the FREE PATTERN, click here: Choco Hugs and Kisses Hat

Enjoy and stay tuned for more free patterns!

Pattern – A Hat For Vilma Banky



I wrote this pattern several years ago, and it’s been available for purchase, but I’ve decided to post it for free! It’s a simple, pretty little hat, but the best part is that the sizing is adjustable. When my kids were younger, I absolutely loved making hats for them (and I still do!), but most hats only allow for one season’s worth of wear for kids ages 1-4 before the kiddos outgrow the hats! This particular hat can be worn for years. YAY!

The pattern suggests 2 different ways of finishing the hat: 1) with a ribbon that can be switched out as the wearer outgrows the hat and 2) with a foundation chain. The ribbon option will limit the amount the hat stretches, keeping it snug on the head. The foundation chain allows for slightly more stretch, and since the foundation chain is simply tied, it can be untied and adjusted for a looser fit.


If you sell items made using this pattern or any pattern published/written by jkwdesigns, please add a link to this site ( on your listing!

Basic Skills Necessary:

  • single crochet
  • double crochet
  • increase
  • join in the round

Pattern Description:

This hat was inspired by the beautiful and elegant hats from the 1920s…–with a cute, whimsical twist! As a mother of small children, I am a big fan of hats that will last longer than one year, so this pattern allows for a great deal of growth and looks adorable as a slightly loose hat on a younger child, and it doesn’t lose a bit of style as it gets more snug. The flower can be attached to a brooch pin, allowing for a lot of versatility in an easy-to-make hat! The hat pattern is suitable for beginners. A photo-tutorial for the flower is included.

The pattern is written for two sizes (Small and Medium), which range from age 1 – adult. Small can adjust to fit ages 1-4, Medium can adjust to fit ages 4-adult.

Sizing / Finished Measurements:

  • Adjustable sizing Ages 1-adult


  • worsted weight yarn
  • 5.00mm/size H crochet hook
  • tapestry needle

You Will Also Need:

  • ribbon (optional)
  • brooch pin back (optional)

Click here to download the PDF file: A Hat for Vilma


DIY My Little Pony Themed Bedroom – Ikea Hacks!

Rainbow Dash Drawers

My 4 year old daughter is absolutely obsessed with My Little Pony, and before we moved into the new house, she told me that she wanted a My Little Pony bedroom. When we were living in Korea, I didn’t do much to her room. She was only about 10 months old when we moved in, and she rarely slept or spent time in her room anyway, so I just didn’t put in the time and effort. However, in our new “forever house” as the kids call it, I’m excited to make a space that she will love spending time in. Primarily because I would love for her to actually sleep in her own room!

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Ikea since I bought my first piece of Ikea furniture back in 1999 when I moved out of the dorms into my very first apartment. I love the minimalist, easy-to-construct designs and the prices, but I hate the cheap, particle board covered in laminate quality. Even when I moved beyond the least expensive Ikea items and purchased higher priced Ikea furniture, the quality never impressed me. HOWEVER, over the years, I’ve discovered that the best Ikea products are actually their absolutely cheapest ones–the nondescript, unfinished wood pieces–because these pieces are made from REAL WOOD. None of that particleboard laminate crap.

My latest DIY projects are a strange homage to crappy Ikea particleboard/laminate (which I hate) and their more sturdy but super cheap unfinished wood (which I love). First up is the crappy Lack side table. It was surprisingly easy to paint. I removed the old stickers, unscrewed the legs, lightly sanded the surface and primed with a spray paint primer. As a side note, I LOVE SPRAY PAINT.


I did two coats of latex paint, which I had to mix (Rust-oleum white and navy blue) because they don’t make “Rainbow Dash blue.” I probably could have found the exact color in a spray paint, but I had to paint the entire dresser as well in the same color, and that’s an awful lot of spray paint fumes so I mixed a batch in a disposal plastic container.

Once the paint was dry, I printed out a stencil of Rainbow Dash’s Cutie Mark. Thankfully, there are only 4 different colors in the Cutie Mark. I cut out the stencils (one sheet for each color), then spray painted the Cutie Mark. I finished with Rust-oleum Crystal Clear Enamel rather than using polyurethane or any other top coating because… Well, honestly, I didn’t know how the polyurethane would work on cheap, crappy laminate.


Overall, I’m very pleased with how the table turned out. There are a few imperfections, but it’s for a 4 year old. She doesn’t care!

Next up, the dresser. I started with the Ikea Tarva. Plain, simple, unfinished drawers.


The color choices were easy because my daughter is so stubbornly clear on what she likes. I primed, sanded, then painted the top, sides, and legs in Rainbow Dash blue using latex paint and the drawers with spray paint. Two coats of polyurethane and some rainbow prism drawer knobs later…


I’m very happy with how the drawers turned out! I decided not to stencil on Rainbow Dash’s Cutie Mark for the sake of time. I have some Star Wars themed drawers to work on for the boys’ room, which I really need to get to work on soon because I can’t stand the piles of folded clothes sitting on the floor of their closet. Oops…

Anyway, Princess Penelope’s room is slowly but surely coming together! Can’t wait to share the finished room with you–but for now, here’s one little corner! 😉


Disclosure: This post contains links to products on These are products that I purchased and used for my own projects with no compensation. However, if you click on the link and purchase the product, I will receive a small fee from
* * * * * * * * * is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to
* * * * * * * * *

DIY Spray Paint Glass Jars and Plastic Planters

Before After

It’s been about a month since we moved into the new house, and there are still piles of boxes everywhere. Unpacking is slow-going, especially since the daily mommy grind of waking up- getting kids ready for school-packing lunch for the kids and the husband-taking kids to school-doing mountains of laundry-ironing shirts-cleaning kitchen-picking kids up-overseeing homework-reading with kids-cooking dinner-taking kids to martial arts class-getting kids bathed and to sleep won’t stop!! Plus, I can’t seem to get over the absolute novelty of having a yard and a garden after years of city living and the fact that so many craft/DIY supplies are just a short drive away.

The kids and I have started seedlings for our vegetable and herb garden, which my husband will need to fence in because we apparently have a herd of deer living in our backyard. We’ve seen as many as 7 doe lounging around at one time, and though it’s pretty neat to stand on our deck and deer-watch, it’s going to be all out warfare in the summer if they come anywhere near the garden!


So aside from standing around and staring at deer, I’ve also been standing around staring at things in Home Depot and Lowe’s, pretty much screaming, “PLEASE, TAKE ALL MY MONEY!!!” because I want to buy all the things.

However, I feel pretty good about my trip to Lowe’s this morning, not because I left without spending any money because I totally bought stuff, but because I came home with some sad, scraggly houseplants from the Clearance Rack for $1 each that I will lovingly nurse back to health and that is good for the world. And for my wallet.


I also bought cheap-o plastic planters for $1.29 each and a can of Rust-oleum Hammered Spray Paint (because I just had to see it for myself) and a can of Valspar Premium Finish Spray Paint in Satin Encounter (because I loved the color).

My plan was to spray the cheap plastic planters with the hammered finish spray paint, just to see what happens…


And despite the can saying that it’s paint + primer in one, I think my results would have been much nicer had I primed the planters first. I’m not disappointed with the results, but during the spraying process, I could see that the spray paint wasn’t adhering to the plastic surface very well. The paint seemed to slide down the plastic rather than sticking to it.



I’d say that it looks good from afar, and you really wouldn’t be able to tell that it’s a plastic planter until you hold it, and since it’s highly unlikely that anyone who comes to my house will pick up a plant to inspect the pot, I think the facade will work.

In addition to experimenting with the hammered finish spray paint, I needed to do something with these two glass jars that have been sitting on the kitchen counter because they’re totally not my style, but my mom gave them to me so I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of them.


I wanted to plant two of the small, pathetic pothos in these jars, but because the jars don’t have drainage holes, I would be placing about an inch of rocks at the bottom, and I needed to be able to see the water level. I marked the jars with blue painter’s tape to apply paint over the section with the flowers and the top portion of the jars.


After watching the spray paint slide off the plastic planters, I decided to prime these first. I used a spray primer, waited about an hour and sprayed two light coats of the Valspar. It turned out lovely! And I definitely love the color and the satin finish.

IMG_5667There’s a lot more painting and spray painting in my immediate future, so I’ll have new projects to share soon! I’m currently working on an cheap-o Ikea side table hack for my daughter’s My Little Pony themed room. Can’t wait to share!


Disclosure: This post contains links to products on These are products that I purchased and used for my own projects with no compensation. However, if you click on the link and purchase the product, I will receive a small fee from
* * * * * * * * * is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to
* * * * * * * * *

Bento Box Love!


When my family left Korea, we traveled with 6 suitcases, and the rest of our worldly possessions were packed up and put on a (very) slow boat back to the U.S. Six weeks later, we are living in a tiny little apartment with only the things we brought with us in those 6 suitcases and the random things we’ve purchased since we arrived in country. I miss my crafting supplies, my yarn stash, my sewing machine, MY PRINTER (because I had to buy Valentine’s Day cards for my boys’ class when I had some great ideas for making some myself!), and most of all, I miss my bento box making supplies!!

It’s not necessarily because I love making cute lunches more than any of my other crafting endeavors, but making the boys’ lunches is something that I do on a near-daily basis. Although I brought their bento boxes with us because I knew I would need to pack lunches for a few weeks before our household goods arrived, I didn’t pack all the cute accessories I’ve collected over the past year and a half of lunch-packing, so I’ve been missing out on dressing up their lunch boxes.

Since I don’t have any fun lunches to share lately (somehow, sandwiches packed in ziplock bags just don’t have the same appeal), here’s a round-up of the lunches I packed for my boys during the fall semester before we left Korea!

Can’t wait to get all my lunch-making supplies as well as move into our new house where I will have more than 12 square inches of counter space! 🙂