DIY distressed jeans

By Emily.

My journey through distressing my own jeans is long and treacherous. If you can, imagine a pre-teen Emily hunched over a treadmill. Her hands inside two pant legs holding the knee areas down on the treadmill belt at 10 MPH speed. Hands on fire from friction, but determined to get that all-natural distressed look. Long story short is I’ve tried everything. And this is what works, so for those of you who’ve inquired, here’s what you’re gonna do! DIY Destroyed Jeans

1. Grab a pair of denim (either yours or your kiddos!) that has minimal stretch. Jeggings are not going to work for this. The spandex doesn’t distress all that great, so I’ve found using a denim that is mostly cotton is your best bet.

DIY Destroyed Jeans

2. Next time you’re at the grocery store grab yourself a Pumie. Yes, the hard water toilet bowl scouring tool. That’s why you’re getting it at the grocery store, brand new in packaging. ;)

3. Try on your jeans, bending at the knee, and mark with a small pen/marker where your knee caps protrude. Also mark any other points you want to distress.

4. Take the jeans off and put a piece of cardboard or thick plastic under the points you’re going to distress.

5. Take the Pumie and start pulling at the fibers of the jeans. It will start to pull up cotton and after a few minutes you’ll have your perfectly natural looking holes!

DIY Destroyed Jeans

I love this method because you can’t tell that it was done by hand. I don’t like the obvious scissor cut marks, hand ripping or tearing. Just a natural distressing is what I’m going for! I love being able to do my own distressing because I can choose where the holes will go and how wide and long. Lastly, I love that I don’t have to wash and dry them to get the fraying started. These are ready to wear as soon as you’re done distressing!

DIY Destroyed Jeans

On Quincey:

1% Spandex Jeans via Target // Nico Nico Sweatshirt

How Monsters Can Save Your Car Ride

This content was created in partnership with Ford to help make creativity a part of every drive.



We live only a handful of minutes from the most beautiful waterfall called Bridal Veil. Even if you’re just driving on the highway past it on your way up the canyon, you can almost feel the mist touch your face, it’s incredible! We took a whole car full of our boys up the canyon to see the changing leaves and as usual commented on Bridal Veil as we drove past. When we looked to the back row, we saw three glazed faces watching a movie on one of our tablets. That was when we knew it was time for a change! With school back in session we’re spending more time than ever in the car so we wanted to come up with a project to entertain our kids while we’re driving, but not zone them out. To be able to have conversations and interact and find ways to enjoy our time together even if it’s just running errands!

For this project we put together a free Monster Magnets printable (download below!) and here’s how you can put it together as a family!

Start by printing the download onto a heavy card stock. Then have your kids color the monsters!Unplugged Car Ride Monster Magnets

We are definitely on a monster kick here at Small Fry for two reasons: Halloween is just around the corner, and one of our little guys came home one day suddenly knowing all sorts of gruesome facts about monsters that for sure lived in his closet. We’ve found making these types of things more familiar in a fun way helped undermine his monster fear. Double win!Unplugged Car Ride Monster Magnets

Once they’ve colored the monsters cut each monster element out together!Unplugged Car Ride Monster Magnets Then use thin magnet sheets and glued them to the backs of the elements.

Unplugged Car Ride Monster Magnets

Now that you have everything assembled you’ll need something to stick your magnets too! A small cookie sheet is perfect for this, because then there’s a small ridge to keep all the pieces from moving around or sliding off! You can also find actual magnet boards, pictured here. We found this at a local craft store. It is the perfect lap size with a little extra overhang that lets it balance on the car seat!

Monster Magnets for the car!

Now you’re ready to build your monster! This is the perfect craft for even quick thirty-minute drives. We love this because it encourages creativity and is nice and quiet. We have the boys tell us a story about the monster, where they’re going, what they like to eat, and what they’re good at. Then we take turns telling a story about the monster. And as most things with four and five year olds, things get silly pretty fast!

Monster Magnets for the car!

Monster Magnets Printable | Small Fry

Download your own monster magnet printable below!

FRYday : Emily

You guys, I’ve written three different Frydays, attempting to be inspirational or profound when really, I just want to talk about poop* for a second, is that cool?

Tales of Potty Training

We potty-trained our little guy Cal this Summer and it has taken me months of simmering enough to want to share something mortifying with you. But first, some back story. This poor kid, since the day I weaned him at sixteen months old, has had a rough go of… the topic* of this post ever since. I avoided potty training for months, and it consumed so much of my thoughts I could’ve learned another language with the brain space I reserved for his digestion. Getting enough fiber into his diet, fresh produce, trying different kinds of milk and milk substitutes. Doing everything the pediatrician recommended plus everything holistic thing I could find. Stirring diuretics into his applesauce, literally everything minus a rain dance. The point of this is to say that the least of my worries was a #2 accident when we were out and about. The kid offers AMPLE notice before that train ever leaves the station.

Then one day we were at a sports store that will forever remain nameless. We had a gift card and were walking the aisles trying to decide what we needed. My boys were wandering (running) around as they always do, when Cal was quiet for approximately one minute. I called out to him and he said a muffled “I’ll be right der!” Hayes, Russ and I followed his voice, Hayes several steps ahead when I hear him say “It’s poop!” (He really said the S word but I am trying to hold onto my last scrap of dignity as a failing mother.) Russ and I make the flushed embarrassed emoji face as Cal confirms Hayes’ statement, that statement had somehow fallen out of his shorts onto the ground. Cal then offered a very matter-of-fact “I pooped in the spoyts stoy.” (Still no Rs.)

The next several minutes are a blur, and I wish I had the security footage on tape for the laugh: Russ covering the evidence with tissue from the shoes we were now apparently buying, standing guard, trying to look nonchalant. Me sprinting across the store, less nonchalantly, to the bathroom telling any confused shoppers “Just testing out these running shoes.” Grabbing paper towels, sprinting back. Cal proudly retelling, “Member when I pooped in the spoyts stoy?” as if it didn’t just happen seven seconds prior, and Hayes laughing hysterically. Me sprinting back to the bathroom again with the parcel, while Russ scrubs every inch of the area with a travel size anti-bacterial spray. A trusted brand that will also remain nameless because they no doubt want nothing to do with this story! All the while I can’t help but be totally stoked that he just pooped with relative ease, and if that doesn’t make me the biggest mom on Earth, I don’t know what does! Once we had the perimeter under control we turned to Cal, still pleased as punch. His shorts miraculously unscathed, unlike our pride.

Moral of this tale is for any of you parents who felt like you were failing this week, I assure you, you’re doing a great job. And even if you did fail a little, the Frames brought the average way down so, you’re welcome. To those brave souls who are potty training this weekend, my heart is with you.

xo Emily

layering pieces

It’s that time again…Thursday Threads! Today is all about layering pieces. The weather is just cooling off where we live, and there is a real bite in the air in the mornings, but by mid-day it feels like Summer again. So here are our favorite light jackets and layers to help get your kids through the whole day, no matter what the temps!

Layering Pieces for Fall

1. Is there a more quintessential jacket than the yellow raincoat? Via Gap. // 2. Maybe the cutest sweater we’ve seen all season for girls. Likely. Via Cotton On. 3. Canvas jackets are such a great option and are pretty classic style wise. You can find a version of this jacket at just about every store on Earth, this navy with the gold snaps caught our eye! Via Jcrew. (25% off!) // 4. Peek has some awesome sweaters this season, this cream cable knit is so cozy and goes with everything. Via Nordstrom. (30% off!) // 5. Leather can sometimes feel too mature or like your tiny gal is in a costume. This Moto Jacket has quilted cotton sleeves so it’s overwhelmingly leather, but still super cool. Via Target. // 6. Ponchos are super hot for us big girls this Fall, so it’s sort of hard not to drool over this tiny version! Picturing this with a skirt, knit tights and booties. Via Nordstrom. // 7. Vests are a great option for added warmth without bulk. This pop of red and feminine detailing on the shoulder are too cute! Via Nordstrom. // 8. A sweet little heart sweater. Enough said? Via Jcrew. // 9. Another Peek sweater, this henley version would be a great layering piece with a collared shirt peeking out. Via Nordstrom. // 10. This sweater is actually for boys but how cool would it be on a girl? We’d wear it, is what we’re saying. Via Jcrew.


Layering Pieces for Fall

1. With all the itchy sweaters coming out of storage, long sleeved tees are a must as a little barrier between their soft skin and that scratchy wool. This tee is great for layering or on it’s own. Via Cotton On. // 2. This sweater comes in a bunch of amazing Fall colors and it’s at a great price on sale this week! Via Jcrew. // 3. Elbow patch sweaters aren’t such the cutest, they’re actually really utilitarian, when sitting at a desk all day, those elbows are the first to get worn through! Via Jcrew. // 4. We love when hoodies and sweatshirts still show some personality! Via Jcrew. // 5. Denim jackets aren’t exactly comfortable, but this one with its cotton sleeves changes all that! Via H&M. // 6. Cotton On has a million graphic hoodies for boys, all fun and colorful and we can attest, the coziest! // 7. This 3-in-1 jacket is great for fickle weather. Removable cardigan, removable hood, so many uses! Via H&M. // 8. Another great canvas option! This one is such a great price! Via Gap. // 9. The Varsity Jacket trend is alive and well this season, this black and grey one from Target is super cool, and cheap! // 10. Nothing is more handsome on a little guy then a well-fitted pea coat. We can’t resist! Via H&M.


boo banner

This time next week it is officially Halloween season! Here is one easy decor piece that you can use on outdoors or inside, the Boo Banner! Here’s how you’ll do it:
Boo BannerStart by cutting out your piece of black felt. The easiest way to create this shape is to mark the center of the felt, choose the angle you like and mark both sides so you know how steep to cut. Then take a wooden dowel and hot glue it to the very top of the back of your black felt. Do a little extra glue on both sides and then glue down twine, yarn or cord of your choice. We chose an orange cord for this for a little pop of color! Also, use a pencil or something small to tuck the cord into the glue, glue gun burns are no joke.
Boo Banner

Once it’s dry, do another strip of glue below the dowel and roll the dowel over it, making a nice clean covered and finished look on the back! Then taking a contrasting color of felt – we went with white – cut out your letters! Small, like really small dabs, of hot glue are hardly noticeable through the white felt! Let it dry and hang.

Boo Banner


Find all our Halloween crafts, parties, and costume ideas right here!

For more Halloween decor check out our Felt Ball Witch Garland and 3D Halloween Balloons!