DIY Star Photo Christmas Ornaments

Today on the blog i've got this cute and easy tutorial for DIY wooden star ornaments made from your family photos! :) This is a cheap craft, especially if you already have some of these items on hand at home or you can print your own photos at home.

PS: If you don't want to make these yourself, I can make them for you. Just click here.

Before we begin... To keep this even cheaper I bought a tiny can of metallic spray paint because I knew i wouldn't need a large one. I would have bought a small bottle of Mod Podge as well but they were out of stock, so I had to go with the larger bottle. I also printed my photos at home off my Canon photo printer on my own photo paper, but if you can't do that you can print at a kiosk. Walmart was my store of choice - they sold EVERYTHING I needed for this craft.

Because I have 3 children, I am doing 9 of these ornaments - 3 for me, 3 for my mom, 3 for my mother in law. Each child's face will be on an ornament, but feel free to get a small group photo and use that on a single ornament instead if you'd like :)

  • Mod Podge
  • Metallic spray paint for wood / crafts
  • Bakers twine or ribbon
  • Small photos 
  • Sponge brushes to apply modge podge with
  • 3.25" Wooden stars, mine were from Walmart (6 for $1.67)
  • Small wooden letters,  optional - (mine were from Walmart $2)
  • Drill or some other tool to make a small hole in the stars
  • Scissors, a pen, paper, hole punch

1. Go outside or to a well ventilated area and lay out your wooden stars and small letters onto a large sheet of paper (I used freezer paper but anything will work). 

Spray your pieces, coating them evenly. Allow to dry then flip over and spray the reverse side as well. Allow to dry completely.

2. If you're using your home printer and also using the exact wooden stars I used from Walmart, now it's time to print ONE - 3.75" photo onto each 4x6" sheet of photo paper. I have a Macbook so I used Pixelmator to create these as shown below.

**If you're using a kiosk simply take your photos to the kiosk and print there. Make sure the face(s) on the photo will fit within a 3.5" x 3.5" area with some excess around the edges to cover the star points. If using a 4x6" print ensure the face isn't too large on the photo - try to get it directly in the center if possible.

3. Using a wooden star, place it on the top of each photo then trace the edges with a pen and cut out with scissors. Ensure the face is roughly in the center of the star as shown below.

Next, use a hole punch and punch out a hole at the top of your photo as shown below. This will be the guide we use to determine where to drill a hole in our stars.

4. Coat one side of each star with Mod Podge using your foam brush. Place your photos ontop of each star and smooth down. Allow to dry completely.

*Additional step: You can also add a thin layer to the  top of your photo once it is on the ornament to "seal" it and give it a nice finish, I bought Mod Podge with a matte finish exactly for this reason - it gives the photos a nice antique look, especially with the gold paint underneath.

5. Using a drill of some sort , make a hole in each wooden star where your hole punch is as shown below. My husband did this for me :)

Finish Up: Using a 6-8" piece of twine, create a loop through your ornament hole and your small letter, making sure the letter is facing the correct direction - then knot on one end.

You're finished!

EXTRAS: Any wooden shape will work if you cant find stars, twine can be substituted for ribbon, jute, etc and you can use paint or a permanent marker to write the year and name of each person on the back of your ornaments. If you've got leftover wooden pieces, have the kids paint their own ornaments as well to use them up.

Tutorial: QAYG Scrappy Baby Bib

After working on my son's Spell It With Moda quilt (ill blog about this at another time) using a Modern Mini's Jelly Roll by Lori Holt I decided to use two of the leftover jelly roll strips (2.5" by WOF) to make a cute quilt-as-you-go bib that has a customizable length! 

These bibs are a great scrap busting project and not much measuring is involved. Plus if you've never tried the QAYG method this is a great way to test it out!

Alright, let's get started!   Or purchase the pattern PDF to view later :)


*Please note the pattern costs $5 and can be purchased here. This posts serves as a "stitch-a-long" or tutorial for those who need it. The pattern purchase comes with printable bib patterns to cut out, as well as printable instructions.

Materials Needed:
  • Jelly Roll strips, Batting & Backing (sizes as noted in pattern)
  • Metal snaps or velcro hook & loop
  • Printed pattern pieces
  • Basic sewing supplies
Print and cut out pattern piece(s)

Start by laying your fabric strips or scrap pieces across your batting piece and cutting them off at each side (they should overlap your batting edges by approx. 1 inch to ensure there is enough fabric.)

Lay your first piece down in one corner of your batting. Stitch in place using a 1/4" seam allowance. 

Put second piece of fabric down with wrong side facing up ontop of your first piece (as shown below) and stitch in place. Flip over and finger press or quickly press with an iron if needed.

Repeat this process with remaining fabric strips until the entire piece of batting is covered, stitching 1/4" away from each seam to secure all pieces.

Flip over and trim any excess batting off. Now you have a nice quilted rectangle :)

Lay backing fabric (I chose lime polka dots) with wrong side facing up ontop of your quilted rectangle. Place printed pattern piece at the top of your rectangle and trace with fabric marker or pen. *You do not need to trace the bottom line of the pattern piece, all we need is the neckline and shoulder straps traced :) (see below)

Use circular pattern piece to round of your bottom corners if you want. I chose to do this with mine, but I think it would look just as cute with straight edge corners!

Once all pattern pieces are traced, pin in place and get ready to sew!

Stitch all the way around the bib with a 1/4" seam allowance starting at one bottom corner, moving all the way around the bib and stopping approx. 2 inches from the beginning stitch as shown below.

Green pin marks starting point. Red pin marks stopping point. Leave opening!

Trim off any excess fabric about 1/4" away from your stitch. Clip all rounded edges and corners to ensure the seams look nice and smooth when turned.

Turn right side out, making sure all corners are pushed out and top stitch all the way around the entire bib. 

Add the final touches! Sew on your own custom label if you want and add some metal snaps or velcro strips. I chose metal snaps because I don't like the roughness of velcro and how it can warp over time and become hard to use.

You're done!!

Enjoy your super cute quilt-as-you-go scrappy bibs!! I hope this tutorial was easy enough for you to follow. I'd love to see anything you make! Feel free to tag me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter! :) and use the hashtag #qaygscrappybabybib

And don't forget! - Adding a few inches to the length of this bib makes it easy to customize for older children, which is why there is no full size pattern piece! The size is up to you!

Gooseberry Jelly Roll Racer Quilt

I have had a Gooseberry Jelly Roll (by Lella Boutique for Moda) sitting around for quite some time now. I bought it during a sample spree sale from one of my favorite fabric shops at a super awesome price and decided to hang on to it until I knew for sure what I wanted to do with it.

All of my kids have had a quilt made for them at some point in time but my 3 year old daughter Lily's was a simple rag quilt that she ended up taking to preschool for nap time. Long story short it got worn out and ripped and she was really wanting a new one. In comes the Gooseberry Jelly Roll :)

You can order a quilt just like this one from me in my shop! Just click here.

I have made one for Zoey before - this quilt is made using the Jelly Roll 1600 Quilt method by Heirloom Creations. There's even a neat little video tutorial you can watch :) Its ridiculously fast and easy, I finished the quilt top in 2 hours (I stopped twice to do other things) and the whole quilt itself came together in a matter of 3 days, including basting, quilting, and binding! My favorite method to quilt these with is either straight-line or wavy line quilting along each seam. It gives it just the right amount of drape!

Although I generally love everything about this quilt, the backing and binding really get me. These Gooseberry prints are just beautiful and vibrant. One of my all-time favorite fabric collections. I actually made 12 yards of binding from one 1/2 yard cut of the pinwheel fabric LOL. I obviously didn't need that much but it was fun to make and I've got so much left over I could definitely use it on a baby quilt, or some bibs or other projects. (Maybe a long awaited Sew Together bag??)

You can order a quilt just like this, or in other colors / prints from my shop!

NEW! Fabric Bows

Ive added the first fabric hair bow to my shop today!! Im very excited about this and i plan to have matching bows for each teether & bib set in my shop, as well as bows from other fabric designs like this one featuring a print from the Hello Darling fabric line by Bonnie and Camille for Moda!

Like all of the items in my shop, they're one-of-a-kind and i won't duplicate them (unless requested in multiples) so everyone is getting something unique!

Each small bow is $3.00 and approx. 2 1/2" x 1 1/2" and is attached to a small alligator clip (with teeth) which can be clipped onto a headband or knit/crochet hat for various way to wear them. :)

You can grab THIS bow (there's only one!!) right now in the shop before someone else does :) And as always, email me at for custom orders!

Bunny Ear Teether Tutorial & Pattern

Today I'm bringing you another new pattern! This modern bunny ear teether features square edges instead of the traditional "bunny ear" shape and the detailed tutorial includes 2 sizes of printable patterns! 

One size works for wooden rings that are 1 3/4" or smaller and the other works for wooden rings that are 2 1/2" or larger in diameter. You can get it on Craftsy or in My Shop.

This pattern was really born out of necessity. I couldnt find ANYWHERE on the internet (yes, even Pinterest) where I could purchase, or get for free, a template using square edges for these bunny teethers. And the other templates I found were way too large for the rings I had. They made absolutely massive "bunny ears" that were floppy and hard for my son to actually get in his mouth to chew on.

I created these templates to work with multiple ring sizes and they're not to long - they're just the right size to stand up nice and straight when your little one is chewing away :)

The tutorial is super detailed with pictures for every step and beginner sewing skills are needed - if you've got a sewing machine you can make these teethers!

Thanks so much for reading. You can purchase the patterns and tutorial on Craftsy or in my shop!

Button Up Bib

All right, i told you i was bib crazy. They're just too easy and quick to make and there is so much variety. Plus what parent doesnt use bibs for their babies and toddlers? Its a must-have.

This particular bib idea i found on Pinterest, but it's from an over sea's blogger (French i believe?). I had to translate the blog post then convert measurements over to inches. But because my translator didn't do that great of a job not much of the post made sense at all :(

So what i did was make my own rough measurements and basically do a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants type project.

This bib is multi-functional. Button it up to create a food catching pocket, or leave unbuttoned for an extended bib that protects more of your child's clothing.

I started out by piecing my bib front together so the bib itself and the pocket were two different prints (both from the Riley Blake Flutterberry collection) then i use a single cut of white terry cloth in the same size, grabbed 2 buttons and some white bias tape and went to town!

I really love this bib style. The ribbon tie neckline allows it to be used on all shapes, sizes, and ages of babies and toddlers and the fact that its so versatile is great too. Leave this bib buttoned up to create a food-catching pocket then unbutton it to wipe clean (this would be especially great if oil cloth was used) or simply leave it unbuttoned when worn to use as an extended bib to protect more of your child's clothing.

You can view the original tutorial here. My sizing is not the same but you'll get the general idea :)

NEW! Strawberry Ruffle Bib

This one-of-a-kind bib was just listed in my shop! I won't be making 2 that are the same, so if you like it, grab it up! :) Click here:

Charm Pack Patchwork Bib Pattern & Tutorial

I have a new pattern release for you today! I have been writing up this pattern for a few days, literally. Pattern making is hard work... lots of photos to take a steps to detail and I'm always impatient to finish them but want to be very specific also.

I'll admit I've been in a bib making frenzy ever sense my son was born 6 months ago. They're quick, easy, and we go through a ton of them a day since he's teething and in my opinion you can never have enough. I'm sure you can imagine I've tried lots of free bib patterns but i haven't quite found one i really love, you know what i mean? They're either too round, too square, or too wide. So i've combined my love for quilting and bib making in this super cute
Charm Pack Patchwork Bib Pattern! Its VERY detailed and includes lots of photos for you!

You could make several infant size bibs from one charm pack and it doesn't take much batting or backing, so these are cheap and really cute to make! Let me know what you think of the pattern :) OR if you're interested in being a pattern tester and have a blog please email me at

Click here to purchase the pattern on Craftsy or my Shop!

*Pattern and tutorial was created by me. Please do not reproduce or distribute this pattern for free or sell it for your own profit. All rights belong to Hilltop Custom Designs. 

DIY Upcycled Mini Ironing Table

I have been sewing a lot lately since taking up quilting. Im on my 5th quilt of the year and i still don't have an ironing table. I really need one. So i got an old folding TV tray from my mom and used some leftover Ambleside fabric cuts from my Grandma's Window quilt for the top. It took about 45 mins to put the entire thing together (i scrubbed and dried the table first). 

These would almost always be super cheap to make, even if you don't have a folding table around you can shop local flea markets or yard sales for one. You can download the tutorial here!

Fabric is Ambelside by Moda - 10" Layer Cake
I'll definitely be using this a lot. Most of the seams or pieces I need to iron during quilting are small, less than 10", so this little table is perfect to whip out only when I need it and I can easily hide it away somewhere when I won't be using it for a while.

Thanks for stopping by, hope you liked this little DIY. You can download the tutorial on Craftsy!

New Products + Our Shop Has Moved!

Hello! Long time no post :) After the birth of our third child we became VERY busy. Now we've got a 7 yr old,  3 ½ yr old, and 5 month old baby. School and cheerleading practice is starting, its getting closer and closer to Fall (YAY!) and i've delved back into sewing on a regular basis.

Our Hilltop Custom Designs shop has moved to ShopEnvy and i've listed hand sewn quilted baby bibs, burp cloths, and loveys in there! Some items are ready-to-ship and others can be customized. Please go check it out here. :)

Check out some stuff I've been making....

Grandmas Window Quilt

Simple Cuts Crazy Quilt

1600 Jelly Roll Quilt

Potty Training Chart & Travel Cards

Grab these cute and useful sticker charts for your potty training kids on sale for $1.00 right now :) You'll get both files in printable 8.5x11" PDF format. Print as often as you want.

As soon as payment is made you'll be taken to the page to download the files. If you have any problems email me at 

DIY No-Sew Applique Newborn Layette Set

Pending the arrival of our little boy, I made a DIY crib set a few weeks ago, and today I finally finished this really easy DIY appliqué layette set. Most of my time invested in this project was spent cutting out letters - I do have an embroidery machine and could have appliquéd these that way but I didn't have a font i really liked, or an embroidery hoop big enough for the layette and wasn't willing to invest in those things JUST for this project. 

I purchased the blank layette, hat, and burp cloth from ARB Blanks (they also come in other colors) and everything was cheap and AMAZING quality! Ive purchased from them a few times before when making Big Sister shirts or Birthday shirts for my girls. They also ship super fast.

 *Just an FYI: In my haste to make this set I didn't take pictures of the entire process, lol. Sorry about that, but I did include incredibly easy (but very detailed) instructions below.


  • Clothing items of your choice
  • Fabric in various patterns / colors
  • Heat N Bond Lite 
  • Iron
  • Scissors and x-acto knife (if needed)
  • Pencil or fabric marker/pen
  • Letter stencils
*I printed my own letters using a font called Hiragino Kaku Gothic Stdn that is already loaded onto my Mac Pro. I used 500-700 pt. lettering on a 8.5x11" sheet of card stock (for stability) then cut them out.


  1. Grab clothing item(s) of your choice as well as any fabrics being used.
  2. Wash and dry clothes & fabrics on gentle/delicate cycles, then iron them to remove any wrinkles.
  3. Place your washed & ironed fabrics print side down (with backside facing you) on a table or ironing board. Iron an equally sized piece of Heat N Bond Lite to each fabric piece (glue side down against your fabric, with paper side facing you) until they are well bonded.
  4. Place your letter stencils on the paper side of the HNBL you've applied to your fabrics and trace around them with pencil or pen. Cut out using scissors - you may need an X-acto knife for getting inside tight corners or letters (like a lowercase "e" or a "B").
  5. Once you've cut out your letters, you may remove the paper backing from the fabrics.
  6. Arrange the letters on your clothing items. Make sure everything is smooth, wrinkle-free, and straight before continuing.
  7. Apply your iron (medium-high heat for cottons, no steam) ontop of the lettering to bond them to your clothing. If you've got any edges sticking up or not bonded when finished, go back and try to get those pieces.
You're done! Ofcourse, if you'd like to go over any lettering or shapes you appliquéd to your clothing with a sewing machine for extra security, that's totally up to you. I just didn't feel like doing it with this project.

Remember to continue washing / drying these items on the gentle or delicate cycles to ensure they last a long time :)