DIY Chalkboard

chalkboard

We made a fun chalkboard for the kids playroom last weekend and it was so simple and easy to make!

Have you been wanting a chalkboard for your kids, but didn’t want to pay the crazy high prices for the dinky pre made ones?  Same here, friends!  This board was so easy and inexpensive, it just doesn’t make sense to even bother with the high priced store bought ones.  Trust me, even a beginner DIYer could tackle this!

Materials needed:

  • Sheet of metal from plumbing department in hardware store (you could also use a board, but we used metal so it would also be magnetic for the kids to use their letter magnets and other fun magnets on)
  • Trim pieces (they can even cut them for you at the hardware store if you don’t have a saw!)
  • Blackboard paint
  • Screws

To start with, you will want to put several coats of blackboard paint on the metal sheet.  Let the coats dry in between.  We ended up doing about 4-5 coats.  If you want, paint the trim.  The trim pieces we grabbed were pre painted, how easy is that?  You can get fancy and do mitered corners and what not, but we went super simple and quick for our assembly.

When the chalkboard paint is dry, lay out the trim and attach.  Abe just used short screws and screwed them on from behind the board.

To attach to the wall, we used anchors and screws directly through the four corners of the chalkboard.

That is it, friends!

Before you throw the chalk at the kids and tell them to have at it, prime the board by taking the side of a piece of chalk and covering the whole board with a thin layer of chalk.  Then erase and let the kids go wild.

Our kiddos love the new addition to the playroom!  Everyday there is a new masterpiece created.  So fun!

Happy crafting, friends!

Fish Stick Snack!

goldfish

Guys!  How cute are these “fish sticks”?!

I saw this adorable idea on Pinterest and made them for a recent playdate we had.  They are so incredibly simple to make and they are so impressive looking when they are finished!  And not to mention what a hit they are with the kids!

To make these is pretty self explanatory.  It’s just pretzel rods dipped in melting chocolate and then decorated with Goldfish Crackers and sprinkles.  I used the little mini pearls for the bubbles, and mixed pink and blue colored sugar for the aquarium gravel.

This would be a great Shark Week snack!  Sure, they aren’t Great Whites, but they are awfully cute and it’s an underwater theme, so that counts, right?

Happy snacking, friends!

Felt Christmas Tree

If you have ever even casually peeked at Pinterest, I’m sure you have seen the cute little felt trees that some genius mama made for her kids to play with.  While the idea is to give them their very own tree and ornaments to decorate and thusly stay away from the real tree, I can tell you that while the tree is cute and fun, even for the older kids, it’s just not the same as the real one with the sparkly lights and dangling goodies.

That said, we made the tree and I kind of love it.  It is way bigger than I intended, but it turned out cute and the babies love it.  Sara likes to take the dump truck, drive it to the felt tree, remove all the ornaments, placing them in the dump truck and then she drives it around the whole house, squealing with joy.

It is pretty simple to make, just cut a Christmas tree shape out of felt and then ornament shapes out of felt.  I used some cookie cutters for some of the ornaments and others I just free handed.  There is no special trick to sticking the ornaments to the tree.  Felt sticks to felt.  It’s just that easy, trust and believe.  Now, hanging the tree on the wall was another story.  I originally intended on putting it on our metal front door with a few dabs of hot glue.  The glue wouldn’t hurt the metal, and I knew it would be secure.  Then I made the tree about four times bigger than intended and it wouldn’t fit on the door, so I had to think of a plan b.

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I considered using velcro, Command strips makes them with that adhesive that won’t damage walls.  Ultimately, I decided on flat thumb tacks because I knew that it would get roughly handled by the kids and I did not want to pick the tree up off the floor 900 times a day.

So far, so good!  The kids play with it every day and it hasn’t fallen down once.  The ornaments get crumpled up and slobbered on and they still stick just fine to the tree.

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I haz all the ornaments, muahahahaha!

Pinterest Made Me Do It

Okay, so, I saw a similar, adorable idea for a new way to make a hand print turkey with the kids on Pinterest and decided that I had to do it.  My original plan was to do it with both Noah and Sara, my 3 year old and 1 year old.  Yeah, I has the crazy.

While I was happily crafting with Noah, Sara was destroying the house.  Emptying book shelves, screaming, crying, all in all, just being a butt.  It was around the time I got a face pat from a tiny hand covered in paint that I realized the insanity of the situation and came to my senses.  We finished Noah’s turkey, but Sara?  Yeah, maybe next year.  The novelty has officially worn off.

Here are the pictures of our craft.  I think it turned out super adorable, regardless of the mess.

We started with a plain piece of paper and four different colors of paint.  Technically, I only had red, green and yellow, so that orange is custom made using my amazing kindergarten acquired color mixing skillz.  Impressive, I know.

The Noah smiles get weirder, just wait.

Basically, you paint the kiddos hand and plop it on the paper.

You are going for a fan shape, the hand prints are going to be the turkey feathers.

Yes, that’s the face he makes when we tell him to smile.  Well, it’s the most normal of the faces he makes when we ask him to smile.

After the hand prints are all in place, wait for them to dry before adding the embellishments.  I used scrap book paper and a paper bag for the body and head and I actually cut the feet, beak, and gobbler out of the ads we used for our drop sheets.  I’m a handy girl, what can I say?  We had the googly eyes on hand, but I think you could cut them out too.

How cute, right?  I added his name and the year, and I *hope* to tackle this again next year.  It’s not hard at all, it’s quick, but it is messy and near impossible to do by yourself with more than one little bit running around.  Just sayin’.

Autumnal Candle Jar

I love candles.  So many candles come in really pretty jars these days.  It seems like a waste to just throw them away, so I decided to re-use one as a pretty, autumnal jar, to place an LED tealight in for a soft glow during the cool, fall months.  It is super easy, and I love re-purposing the jar.

Start with a clean jar, one with all the wax pulled out.  (You can freeze the leftover bits to easily scrape them out, if it’s giving you a hard time.)

Sometimes the labels peel off easily, but 100% of the time in my house, it’s a battle.  I peel off what I can and then use Oops to get the rest of the residue off.

For the next step, you need Mod Podge and I used some autumn colored leaves found at the dollar store.  I just pulled them off the stems and after applying a generous coat of Mod Podge to the inside of the jar, I placed the leaves pretty side down around the inside of the jar.  I wouldn’t use real leaves because I think they would eventually turn brown and ugly.  It looks a hot mess now, but wait until it dries.

Ta da!  A pretty, fall jar, perfect for a little flameless candle or even putting wrapped candies in.  Pretty spiffy, and it was made for pennies!

DIY Ballerina Tutu!

Since we have both an existing ballerina and a ballerina in training in our house, you can bet that tutu’s are in high demand!  Heck, they’re even fun just for dress up or grocery shopping!  What, you wouldn’t let your kid wear a tutu to the grocery store?  Come on now!  They’re only little for such a short time!  And also, there’s the whole picking and choosing your battles thing, soooo….

What if I told you that you could make your very own tutu for less than $3?  Sound crazy?  How about if I told you that it could be made out of these:

Yes.  Those are stretchy head bands and shower scrubbies.  Impossible you say?  Well then prepare to be amazed!

Start by taking apart the scrubbie.  It’s easy, I promise.  Once you have it apart, cut it into 18 inch lengths.  Here is where it gets super complicated and tricky.  Are you ready?

Tie the 18 inch lengths to a headband.  And that is it, folks.  You just made a tutu for your precious little ballerina for less than $3 and in less than 20 minutes.  Wanna do it again?

I color coordinated the head bands to the scrubbies, but you can live on the wild side if you like.  It will pretty much be covered up.  I used two scrubbies per tutu and they turned out plenty fluffy.

Two tutus!  Super easy, and super popular in the fancy ballerina circles.

Doesn’t she look ready for some grocery shopping?  Or dance class, whatever.  Seriously though, these are super easy, super cheap, and you will look like Supermom (or SuperDad) when you whip one up for your little one.

Family Tree

I love any craft or project that uses hand prints, feet prints, etc because it is a constant reminder of how tiny the kids hands and feet were at one time.  Dirty hand prints and feet prints smudged around the house don’t count.  It’s not the same.

While perusing Pinterest, I came across several similar projects that utilize the entire family’s hand prints.  I decided that our home required one, and thusly, a craft was born.

I started with a large piece of poster board.  The one I got was actually more like nice paper, a creamy color, but it was found at Michaels by the poster board and it was less than a dollar.  With my favorite chocolate brown paint, I painted a tree trunk and branches.

Are you in awe with my tree making skillz?  Me neither, but it will work.  Trust me.  It’s just going to look dumb until the leaves are in place.  Now, for the leaves, we are using hand prints!  I bought several colors of Martha Stewart Craft paints that coordinated to use as the leaves.  You can choose any colors you like.  I wanted something light and able to be used year round so I chose lighter colors, but again, use whatever colors you like.

It’s a jazz hands tree!  Those are rare, you know.  For the hand prints, you are going to want to slather the paint on the hands pretty thickly.  Like, a lot more than you would think.  Really glop it on.  The kids loved it, and it washes off very easily.

I was worried how the little kids hands would turn out.  Slapping paint on a 2 year old and at the time a 9 month old…..well, it seemed like a recipe for disaster.  I definitely needed help.  Abe held on to the kid and I used their little hand as a squirmy little stamp.  Surprisingly, they turned out really well!  I think I got lucky.  It could have easily gone awry at any moment.  It’s not a hard craft, so it could be done again if need be, but that could get annoying.

To finish off the family tree, I used lettering and then I framed it in a large frame I used a 40% coupon on at Michaels.

I love it!  I think it turned out adorable, and I love being able to look at the tree and see how small the kids hands were.  It can also be easily added to.  Heck, I even know what paint colors I want to use for the next hand prints we will be adding.  No, not an announcement.  But the tree could definitely use a few more “leaves”.

 

DIY Hair Clip Holder

I have a baby cousin that is about the same age as my Saraphina.  We just celebrated her birthday this past weekend, which was super fun.  I knew months ago that I wanted to make her a hair bow holder, even though, as I have come to recently find out she doesn’t like to keep things on her head.  D’oh!  But babies can be trained.  Mine are.  And some day, she will wear them.  And she will have a spiffy place to store them, because I am awesome.  And modest.  Very modest.

I started with a wooden plaque from Michaels.  I drilled a hole in it for the ribbon to hang it, and sanded it very smoothly.  Then I added a few layers of paint.

I chose some pretty scrap book paper and cut it just slightly smaller than the inside oval and then used Mod Podge to hold it in place.  (Note I use Mod Podge, not Modge Podge.  There is a difference.  Crazy, anal crafters never use Modge Podge.)

I added letters for her name, and then I added several more coats of Mod Podge.  Once dry, I added the cutie patootie little owl and flower as embellishments.  Her birthday party was owl themed, so it was a perfect fit!

I glued a ribbon to the back of the plaque for the hair clips to get clipped to and I also added a ribbon to the top for hanging purposes.

I think it turned out super cute!  I also made the little flower hair clips, including one with a “C” for Celia, and the others had pretty jewels.  The flower clips are super easy, I’ll have to put up a tutorial for them soon.  My girls wear them all the time.  With Sara, I just clip them to her head bands, because her hair isn’t quite long enough to hold the clips yet.  It will get there soon enough.

Pretty simple, but a nice little decorative way to store those hair clips.  I had fun making it, I hope little Celia enjoys it!

2 Liter Soda Bottle Doll Project

Mattman is in fourth grade this year, and was recently assigned his first “big” school project.  He brought home a list of famous Missouri people and was to write a paragraph about what made them famous and then, and here comes the fun part, make a doll of said famous person out of a 2 liter soda bottle.

Huh?

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear “2 liter soda bottle doll”?  Something fugly, am I right?  Me too.  I groaned at the thought of the poor ugly thing before it was even made.  Also, what ever happened to just writing reports?  Or drawing a picture to go along with the report?

The name that stood out on the list, for obvious reasons, was Walt Disney.  Um, yeah.  We are Disney freaks in this house.  This was a no brainer.  No Daniel Boone, no George Washington Carver, we wanted to pay our respects the the man that created Mickey Mouse.

Last weekend we gathered supplies from Michaels, my regular supplier for all my crafting fixes.  We grabbed lots of felt, a big, way overpriced styrofoam ball for the head, and a tub of buttons that I had been wanting to get for various projects.  Two birds, one stone if you will.

I already had yarn and glue and lots of other things for inspiration.  I have to say, the fugly little doll, along with Matt’s awesome imagination, turned out….well, cute.  Really.  He decided to give it big button eyes, like a LalaLoopsy doll, and so of course it needed a stitched mouth.  Here’s what it turned out like:

We took artistic license, obviously.  But he has the dress pants, dress shirt and tie he was always seen in, along with Mickey Mouse ears and a folksy little stuffed Mickey in his arms. On the front of the hat, Matt made a Mickey Mouse Logo that Says Disney Land 1955, which is the year Disney Land opened.  On the back of the hat:

(sorry for the crappy, blurry picture) It says “Walt”, made with red yarn and glue, to look like the awesome personalized stitched ones that are so popular.

Okay, come on.  It’s not as fugly as you thought it would be, is it?  It’s even kind of cute.  Also, I learned a few things while helping with this project.

5 Things Mama Learned Whilst Assisting In The Fugly Doll Project:

1. Hot glue melts styrofoam.  Like, really, alot.  We’re talking massive craters.

2. Hot glue melts soda bottles.  Like, really, alot.  We’re talking crazy, warping.

3. Hot glue melts skin off of fingers.  Like, really, OWWWWWWWW!!!!  Holycrapballs!  I have only had my hot glue gun for a few short months, and I have always followed Martha Stewart’s advice of having a bowl of ice water handy, just in case.  Except this time.  The time I decided to get my very first hot glue gun burn.  And holy crap, does that hurt!!!  Alot!  Lesson learned.

4. Hot glue does not work well on felt.  Maybe I was just so annoyed and in pain from my burning flesh that I didn’t give it time to work well.  But we went to my old standby, E6000.  That glue is AWESOME.  And I have been using it for over 10 years without any injuries.  That’s the kind of track record I can appreciate.

5. Don’t doubt your kid.  I envisioned fugliness from the very beginning of this project and had tunnel vision, not able to even imagine a doll that didn’t suck.  But Matt amazed me with his creativity, as he always seems to do.  Sure, it’s not an exact replica of Mr Disney.  But who cares?  It was creative and it got the job done.  I love it.

So we survived the first “big” school project.  I’m sure as the years go by the projects will get harder and less fun.  But in the meantime, I enjoyed being proved wrong by my awesome kid.  He’s cool like that.

Teacher Appreciation Day!

Teachers are awesome.  They are underpaid, under appreciated, and they spend their days molding the minds of the precious little germ muffins that they call their students.  I always like to send the kids teachers little gifts throughout the year, and as the end of the school year approaches, so does another Teacher Appreciation Day.

This year I scored some cute little things on clearance after Valentine’s Day to use as gifts for the teachers.

The clear apple shaped candy dishes had candy in them for Valentine’s day, and the two little flower boxes are Forget Me Nots.  Adorable and appropriate, don’t you think?  The tea I actually got for free with coupons, and the filler and bags are things I already had on hand.

I filled the bags with the tea and the apple caramel taffy, and decorated them with free printouts found on line.  The candy dishes were filled with the shredded paper and the Forget Me Nots and then tied closed with the original ribbon.  The kids both also made a card for their teacher which will be given along with the gifts.

Simple, inexpensive, and cute.  Yes, I shall deem this idea awesome.