Friday, April 18, 2014

Fingerprint Bunny Canvas

According to my awesome, Facebook fans, it seems that crafts that children make for parents and grandparents are at the top of their "must see" list. With that being said, here is a sweet and simple fingerprint bunny that children of all ages can make to give to all of their favorite people! And, with two days remaining until Easter, it is fortunately quick, too! Here's how it's done...

Materials:

-small canvas (mine was 5"x5" and stands up on its own)
-acrylic paint (child's choice)
-cardstock (in a color that corresponds to your paint choice)
-scissors
-glue gun/sticks
-google eyes
-white pom pom
-Sharpies in various, spring colors
Instructions:

1. Spread a thin layer of acrylic paint on your child's pointer and middle fingers. Spread the child's two fingers onto the canvas and press the fingers down, leaving two finger prints (ours are a bit of a hot mess, but what can I say...toddler+paint=insta-trainwreck).
2. Cut bunny shape out of cardstock

3. Draw a bunny face, hands, and claws on the bunny cutout in the  Sharpie color of your choice.
4. Decorate canvas using Sharpies
5. Adhere the bunny shape onto the canvas using hot glue
6. Hot glue google eyes and white pom pom onto canvas to complete.
For parents and grandparents with multiple kids/grandkids, multiple canvases could be used or bunnies could be placed on one, large canvas!


Hoppy Easter, Peeps!!!
(puns very much intended!)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Burlap Bunny Wreath



How is it even possible that Easter is in 3 days?!?! While I have not slacked on creating lots-o-stuff for the Easter holiday, I am finally getting around to posting them, now that the month has (hopefully) died down a bit! Up first...a cute, burlap, bunny wreath! Here's how I created it:

Materials:

-burlap ribbon (about 20 feet)
-wire wreath form
-scissors
-pink tulle
-wire (mine was a very thin gauge, as that's what I had on hand, but I would recommend a thicker wire)
-wire cutters
-Scotch tape

Instructions:

1. Weave a burlap ribbon through the wire wreath, as shown in this tutorial.
2. Bend and fold a piece of ribbon 20" long, as shown in the pictures below.
3. Thread wire through the point of the folded ribbon and twist to secure, as shown in the pictures below
4. Place wire the entire length of the ribbon down its center. Thread wire through the bottom of the folded ribbon (pictured below) and twist/secure, leaving a tail of about 4" of wire at the end.
5. Repeat the process of threading wire through another piece of 20" ribbon.

6. Wrap the extra wire from both pieces of folded ribbon around the wreath about 8" apart (creating bunny ears). Keep in mind the ears may be floppy, so you will need to reinforce with tape when hanging.
7. Tie pink tulle into a bow and thread wire through the back of it. Wrap the wire around the wreath so that the bow sits at the bottom of a rabbit ear.

8. Hang up the wreath and reinforce the ears with tape (place on the wire behind each of the ears so that it does not show) so that they stay up.

My favorite element of this wreath is that, once Easter is over, the ears can come off and flowers, ribbon, bows, etc. can be added for a beautiful spring wreath to last you through the remainder of the season! How cool is that?!?!

Here's hoping the Easter bunny brings you everything your heart desires!


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Autism Awareness Rag Wreath


April brings the promise of Spring...flowers that have waited all year to bloom, children's laughter when it is finally warm enough to play outside, enjoying friends and family at Eastertime, just to name a few. For myself, and for the incredible families and staff members I have the pleasure of working with, it brings awareness to a cause very near and dear to our hearts...Autism Awareness month! As a special education teacher in an Autism Support classroom, I can say with complete confindence that it is, by far, the most challenging job I have ever held. With that being said, I also find it to be the most unbelievably rewarding and fulfilling job a girl could ever ask for, as it creates in me such a sense of pride in the progress my students continue to make, in spite of the obstacles they encounter every minute of every day. Going into teaching, I assumed I would be doing exactly that...teaching; however, I find myself humbled each day in how much these students teach me and will take those life lessons with me into the future.

Here is my first (of a few) projects to celebrate Autism Awareness, along with how to make one of your own...

Materials:

-wire clotheshanger
-puzzle piece fabric (to learn the reason for the puzzle pieces, check this out!) I used about 1/2 a yard in total
-scissors or a rotary cutter and mat
-wooden puzzle pieces (most thrift stores sell them very inexpensively)
-acrylic paints (I used red, yellow, blue, and green to go along with the color scheme)
-black ribbon
-glue gun/glue sticks

Instructions:

1. Using a rotary cutter or scissors, cut strips that are 1" in width (typically, once a small cut is made, the fabric can be ripped the remainder of the way)


2. Cut long strips into 4" strips.


3. Bend the wire hanger into a circular shape for the wreath form.

4. Double each strip of fabric and place under the wire hanger (as shown in the picture)


5. Thred the open ends of the strip through the folded end and pull to form a knot (pictured below)


6. Continue to repeat step 5 with 4" strips until the wire hanger is covered


7. Paint 16 wooden puzzle pieces using acrylic paint (I made four of each color)


8. Once the puzzle pieces have dried, use hot glue to place 12 of them around the wreath)

9. Cut ribbon into 2-6" pieces and 1-8" piece. Hot glue one puzzle piece to the end of each 6" ribbon and two pieces at the end of the 8' piece.


Interested in a wreath you can make with your child? Check this out! For more information on Autism, please check out the Autism Speaks website, an incredible resource that I would highly recommend!

















Sunday, March 30, 2014

Pennsylvania State of Mind



If you haven't yet signed up for Pick Your Plum, DO IT NOW!!! The items they sell are at a ridiculously reduced price and unlike other items you've seen before! Recently, they sold unfinished, wooden plaques shaped like all 50 states. Since my sister lives in Virginia but will always call Pennsylvania her home, I knew I had to decorate a state for her! Since she also loves Chevron patterns, I decided I would incorporate that, as well! Here's the simple way I decided to decorate this plaque...

Materials:

-plaque
-scrapbook paper (I used a Chevron pack I found at Michael's and used purple and green Chevron, but the options or limitless)
-Mod Podge
-foam brush
-scissors
-glue gun/sticks
-ribbon (about 6")


Instructions:

1. Using a foam brush, coat a thick layer of Mod Podge onto the plaque

2. Lay purple Chevron paper on top of the Mod Podge, making sure to smooth out the paper so that there are no bubbles (I had to use two pieces of paper and match them at the seems but would highly recommend using a piece larger than the plaque itself


3. After the paper has adhered completely to the Mod Podge, use scissors to cut the excess paper around the small details on the plaque to maintain the state's shape


4. Cut out a small heart in green Chevron. Place Mod Podge on back of heart and adhere to center of plaque (or, if you'd like to designate a specific part of the state, place it in the corresponding area).

5. Paint a layer of Mod Podge over the top of the plaque. Let dry.

6. Using hot glue, make a loop with the ribbon and adhere to the back of the plaque. Be sure to use a large amount of glue to allow the ribbon to stay in place and hold the weight of the plaque when hanging).




Wednesday, March 26, 2014

$1 Elmo Bucket (template included!)

The time has finally come...my child is officially on the Elmo bandwagon! Don't get me wrong, we still love Disney Junior and all of the characters that come with it, but after a few times watching that furry, red monster on tv and one Ipad app later, Claire is now one of so many millions of children who simply can't get enough of Sesame Street's cutest resident! When I discovered this cute red bucket at the Dollar Tree, it took me just seconds to figure out exactly what I would use it for!
Using felt scraps and a low-temp glue gun, I cut out eyes, a nose and mouth and adhered them to the bucket. I am including a printable template for those of you who would like to make an Elmo bucket of your very own! 
Once the bucket was hers, Claire has used it for everything imaginable...storing crayons and coloring books, a hat for herself and the dog (who was not a fan), a chair, a boat...you name it, she's done it! Stay tuned in the upcoming months for other Elmo-themed crafts, as it will be our 2nd birthday party theme!