Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Turn Leftover Valentines into Toddler Match Game




Ever wonder what to do with a ton of leftover valentines? Can't pass up a reason to buy heavily discounted valentines after Valentine's Day has passed? Fear not, my friends! If you've got a toddler always in need of something to keep his or her hands occupied (like I do), you're in luck. Here's how to turn those leftovers into a cute match game using a few materials and very little time...

Materials:

-2 matching sets of valentines (my set had 8 different valentine options, so I used 16 valentines total)
-scissors
-construction paper or cardstock
-laminator and laminating sheets
-Velcro



Instructions:

1. Cut characters out of two sets of valentines so that the words are no longer showing.



2. Place one set of valentines onto heavy cardstock.


3. Laminate cardstock and other set of loose characters and cut out. Place soft Velcro on each of the characters placed on cardstock. Place rough Velcro on the backs of the loose characters.



That's it! A few short steps lead you to a few brief but wonderful moments of free time while your tot enjoys his or her new, exciting match game!


Clothespin Panda Valentines


If you know me at all or have gotten a sense for the goofy things that make me laugh in reading this blog, you know I love a good, cheesy pun! Its one of the reasons I insist on having my daughter make her own valentines. That, and, I recently came across the valentine below in my local store and the grammar police inside of me went a little crazy! This year, we decided to channel our love for pandas into valentines for our cousins. While I'd love to say I came up with this adorable clothespin idea, I was actually inspired by these shark valentines and decided to use the same concept with pandas. The options are really limitless, as far as the animals you choose, and I'm actually hoping to try using pictures of the people I love to create the next set, so stay tuned...




Find out how you can make your very own panda valentines here...

Materials:

-white cardstock
-panda images (I searched for "free clipart panda face" through Google images and copied and pasted onto a Word document)
-scissors
-glue gun/glue sticks
-green cardstock
-fine point, permanent marker

Directions:

1. Print out pandas onto white cardstock.



2. Cut out pandas. Then, cut across the face of each panda and around the mouth, creating two separate pieces.


3. Turning the clothespin on its side, use hot glue to adhere the top of the panda face to the side of the clothespin facing upward. Place the bottom half of the panda face into the bottom of the clothespin.


4. Using the green cardstock, cut out leaf shapes. Place your valentine message on the leaf using a fine point, permanent marker.



5. Clip the leaf in the clothespin and send the valentines off to your faves! We will also be adding a small bag of Valentine's Day treats to our valentines.



Wishing all of you a happy and cheesy, pun-filled Valentine's Day!!!


Friday, January 2, 2015

Magnetic Play and Decorate Snowman


Recently, I had the opportunity to be a guest host at My Craftily Ever After, where I shared a tutorial for this Magnetic Play and Decorate Snowman. Not only is it a great decoration to get you through the winter, but it also doubles to give your little ones the opportunity to manipulate its parts in any way they choose. If that's not enough, most of the materials used for this project can be found at home or purchased at your local dollar store. In fact, the entire project cost me under $3.00! Here's how you can make one of your very own...

Materials:
-stove burner cover set (I found mine at my local Dollar Tree and got a 2 piece set for $1 in 8" and 10" diameters!)
-white, acrylic paint
-foam brush
-hot glue gun/glue sticks
-3-5 large buttons
-1 sheet of black foam
-felt sheets or scraps-orange (nose), red (trim of hat), black (eyes and mouth)
-material for scarf (approx. 18" in length)
-brown, pipe cleaners (3)
-magnetic strips or discs

Instructions:

1. Paint the insides of the burner covers with white paint (they actually are already off-white in color, so you could leave it as is, if you want. I chose to make them more of a snowy white).




2. Using black foam, cut out a top hat for your snowman. Embellish the hat with a strip of felt in any color your little heart desires.



3. Cut out a carrot nose using orange felt. Create eyes and a mouth out of black felt (or any color you'd like-Its your snowman, Go nuts!)


4. Cut two, brown, pipe cleaner in half. Wrap one half around the end of another pipe cleaner to create a branch-like arm. Repeat this step to create the opposite arm. Hot glue the arms to the front of the large, burner cover, placing felt scraps over the ends of the cleaners to adhere.


5. Place magnetic strip or discs on the backs of the carrot nose, eyes, buttons, and mouth with hot glue



6. Using hot glue, create a loop at one end of the ribbon and glue to the back of the felt hat. Below the hat, place hot glue on the ribbon and adhere the front of the smaller burner cover to it.




7. Below the small burner cover, tie the material around the ribbon to make it look scarf-like. Under the scarf, place hot glue on the ribbon and adhere the front of the larger burner cover to it. Trim any excess ribbon below the large burner cover.


8. Encourage your little ones to arrange the magnetic pieces to the snowman however their little hearts desire and hang to display!


Hope you've all enjoyed a wonderful, holiday season and are ready to begin a crafty, new year!!!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Wedding Invitation Keepsake Ornament



With all of the weddings I have attended, I have a surplus of wedding invitations lying around that I can't bring myself to throw away. On the other hand, my house is cluttered enough, and I certainly don't know where I'll store them with the limited storage space we've got. Finally, it dawned on me (about 25 weddings too late)...I could give the invitations back to the bride and groom in the form of a keepsake ornament that they could hang up around Christmastime year after year. With my friends Sarah and Steve getting married this Saturday, I thought they'd be fantastic guinea pigs to receive the first edition of this gift! Here's how it's done...

Materials:

-wedding invitation
-scissors
-round pencil or pen
-clear, glass ornament
-ribbon
-lighter
-charms
-split ring




Instructions:

1. Cut invitation into thin strips so that there is one line of script per piece cut (refer to picture below). Since this particular invitation had cardstock 
    behind it, I decided to separate the cardstock from each of the strips and use them for added color inside of the ornament.


2. Using a rounded pencil or pen, curl each strip of paper tightly around it and slide off the pen or pencil to avoid unraveling



3. Place each of the "curls" inside of the glass ornament.


4. Cut about 8" of ribbon in a corresponding color and tie to the loop at the top of the ornament, creating a way to hang the ornament from a Christmas 
    tree. Fray the edges of the ribbon using a lighter.

5. Cut about 14" of ribbon and tie around the top of the ribbon, creating a bow in the center of the ornament. Trim off excess ribbon. Fray the edges of 
    the ribbon using a lighter.

6. Place the charms on a split ring and close the split ring around the center of the bow so that the charms dangle in the middle of the ornament for 
    added embellishment.

Here's to a lifetime of happiness and wedded bliss!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Frozen Birthday Party


I have no idea how, but, before my very eyes, my sweet niece Camdyn is turning 4! Crazy!!! Like most four-year-old girls her age, she is completely obsessed with Frozen, so her party theme was a no-brainer. What was not so simple, however, were all of the little details her mom put into this adorable party for all of us to enjoy! Check out all of the funsies in the pics below...



The almost four-year-old humoring her aunt by taking a picture by her food table



Drink options included "Melted Olaf" (aka-ice water) and "Melted Snow Monster" (a fun and fizzy blue concoction that was quite tasty)


Frozen snow castles created by pouring water and food coloring into beach pails, freezing them and placing them on a cotton ball-covered cookie sheet


Each food item offered went along adorably with the theme! Sno-Cap candies became the Snow Caps of Arendale, Anna and Elsa's kingdom



Green rock candy resembled Anna's frozen coronation gown



Blue and clear-colored rock candy on a stick served as Elsa's frozen fractals all around



No party is complete without powdered donut holes, aka "Snowballs"



Chicken and ham salad sandwiches were served as the main entreƩ and went along with Anna and Hans' favorite food choice



Who doesn't love frozen grapes???



Pretzel sticks were adorably labeled "Sven's antlers" to pay homage to everyone's favorite reindeer (besides Rudolph, that is).



And let's not forget everyone's favorite character, Olaf and his removable (cheese puff-like) nose



The pretty birthday girl posing by her Olaf poster...



My sister-in-law frosted a Blue Velvet (for obvious reasons) cake and embellished it with beautiful, blue, rock candy and Frozen character figurines



How cool is that light-up birthday candle??? And how sweet is that birthday girl?



Playing "Pin the Nose on the Olaf"---stiff competition





The bar has been set very high for Frozen-themed parties after this little shindig!