I found free mask printables, backed them with construction paper and then laminated them. Then I hole punched them and added ribbon for tying. They actually took a lot of time but were essentially free and I think they looked awesome!
We celebrated my daughter's 7th birthday this past weekend and it went off without a hitch! I even managed to make a cake that was not an epic fail like previous years! Check out all of the details, activities and fun below!
The theme was Flamingos and Dinos with a focus on the flamingo. The cake was one hundred percent boxed mixes in both devil's food and confetti and canned icing but, I made it look extra by making it a tier with ombre icing. I made the two paper figures on top by printing out a dino and flamingo image from the internet and backing it with colored paper and then taping it to a skewer. The rest of the food was simple but yummy with dino scales (chips), flamazing ham and cheese sandwiches, flamingled fruit salad, dinorriffic noodles and dinotastic punch.
For activities, we played flamingo ring toss, had a dino and flamingo egg hunt, did a guided flamingo painting, pinned the tail feather on the flamingo and had a competition to see who could stand on one leg the longest. We also had a tropical themed photo wall area.
For the art activity, I created cardboard easels by cutting out one side of a small packing box and creating a triangle. Then I used duct tape to tape along the cut edge. Then I taped the canvases onto the sides. You can see how I made them here. I ordered kid aprons online for each kid to wear and bought a pack of big paint brushes as well. The paint was liquid tempera purchased at Hobby Lobby and I put the paint on paper plates. The kids all got to take their aprons, paint brush and art home as party favors.
The photo booth props were something I planned on making and then I found a pre-made set in the party aisle at Wal-Mart on clearance for .99 cents! So, I just used that. It even had flamingo glasses! Perfect! I also supplemented with some items from our dress-up collection including tutu's, masks, tiaras and feather boas.
In addition to the art themed favors, kids also took home a flamingo or dino mask. The girls above are wearing them while competing in the one-legged standing competition. In the background you can see the pin the tail feather game I made. Somehow it did not get photographed! I just drew a flamingo on some pink paper and game the kids colored feathers with tape to tape onto the bird. They enjoyed it!
I found free mask printables, backed them with construction paper and then laminated them. Then I hole punched them and added ribbon for tying. They actually took a lot of time but were essentially free and I think they looked awesome!
I purchased pre-filled eggs online one set was regular eggs but the other were dino eggs! I had some other adults hide them while I corralled all of the kids inside and handed them paper bags with their names on them. Then we let them loose!
I think the party was a success and all of the guests had fun. I didn't feel too rushed the day of but I'm sure that was mostly due to staying up until one the night before. Now I have to get planning on my son's 1st birthday coming up in October! Thanks for visiting!
For my daughter's birthday we decided to have a guided painting activity. I created these cardboard easels in less than 10 minutes and they worked beautifully! Plus they cost less than a dollar a piece! Keep reading to see the full tutorial below.
You will neeed:
- small cardboard box
- duct tape
- scissors/box cutter
1. Remove one of the small sides of the box. I found this pretty easy using just scissors.
2. Pull the two cut sides together to form a triangle shape and duct tape along the edge.
3. Attach your canvas or paper using tape. You could also hot glue a clothes pin or clip. I used two pieces of rolled duct tape to adhere the canvases for the kids at the party. They were easy to remove and we had no issues with canvases falling off.
It's been a busy past few weeks at my new job and it has kept me from posting for awhile. But, I've been getting ready for my daughter's seventh birthday which is coming up this weekend! Eeeek! I hope I'm able to get everything done in time! I'm currently cutting out about a bajillion paper tropical leaves for decor along with 20+ Dino and flamingo masks for tiny people to wear.
The party is going to be mostly flamingo with a touch of dinosaur to accommodate little boys who might not love the idea of pink birds. We'll have a Dino and Flamingo egg hunt, games revolving around one leg and a guided painting activity for kids to paint their own masterpiece! I'm excited to see how it'll turn out and I hope you are too! You can see my inspiration board below and check back next week for the end result!
This week was the most popular dramatic play theme of the summer so far and the other activities were pretty popular too. You can download the lessons by clicking the image below and read about all of the fun further down.
This week they had a construction zone dramatic play area. They had a table with foam blocks next to a square of contact paper that I taped to the wall. They could stick the foam blocks onto the contact paper to build. They freakin' loved it! They also had giant foam blocks to build with and I made them diy wrecking balls using long socks and soft rubber balls. I placed the ball in the bottom of the sock and they simply swing it at their towers. It was also a huge hit. They also had regular blocks to build with. To finish off the area, I provided construction worker hats, caution tape and some signs. This was the most popular dramatic play area so far and they played for a really long time multiple times through the week.
day one: engineering
We talked about what an engineer is and what they do. We read some stories about great women inventors and watched a video. Then we discussed the engineering process. Afterwards, we made lego prints.
day two: blueprints
We learned about blue prints and listened to a fun song from Phineas and Ferb. Then Lilly did some measuring using a worksheet and followed a recipe to make mug cake. It's kind of like a blueprint in the overall idea because it is the directions for creating a cake just like the blueprints are directions for building a house.
day three: tools
We read a book and discussed different types of tools. Then we did some hammer painting using cotton pads, paint and a rubber mallet. It was a big hit. (get it? lol)
day four: machines
We learned about different kinds of simple machines by watching an episode of Bill Nye and discussed where we have seen and used simple machines in our every day life. Then we made a pendulum using a paper cup, broom stick and string. We used it to create a pendulum painting. We also made a painting using an inclined plane and discussed what that meant.
day five: architecture
We had a lot of options but, as always, we didn't get to much of it and instead simply read a book about the three little pigs from an architectural point of view, watched a few informative videos and created graham cracker houses. Then we tried to blow our housed down. They were sturdy enough to resist. Honestly, we skipped a bunch of the activities this week. I think we're all tired and would rather just have free play. They really loved the dramatic play area and spent a lot of their free time in there this week.
My daughter had her first girlie sleep over this weekend with her very best friend. So, naturally, I planned a few fun activities for them. We made shower jellies and lip gloss, painted our nails, made brownies and they had tons of fun playing dress-up, doctor, drawing, reading and trying to avoid the little brother. So, check out how we made the shower jellies and lip gloss below!
DIY Shower Jellies
You will need:
- 1/2 cup bath gel/soap
- 1 package unflavored gelatin
- silicone mold
- small pot
- 1 cup water
I followed a recipe I found online here. But, my jellies didn't stay jelly-like once they reached room temperature. I'm not sure what the reason is but, I plan on re-trying this with more gelatin next time. Anyhoo, it was still a fun project and they were pretty cute before they got too gooey.
1. Mix gelatin with one cup water in small pot over medium-high heat until fully dissolved.
2. Remove from heat and mix in shower gel. We used a peach colored shimmery dial soap and did not add coloring but you could add a few drops of food coloring if you like.
3. Pour mixture into mold.
4. Refrigerate 3-4 hours until set.
As I stated above, mine didn't retain their gelatin like shape for long once they reached room temperature. It is possible that we put too much soap in it. I'll retry it later and update this post when I do.
DIY Lip Balm
You will need:
- kool aid
This is a super simple project that both girls were pleased with. All you do is mix some vaseline with some Kool aid powder of your choice. I didn't measure the Kool aid or the vaseline. Just do what feels right. I purchased my containers at Wal-Mart on the travel soap aisle for .98 for two.
Last weekend I was invited to attend a fundraiser for Arkansas Children's Hospital that was Kentucky Derby themed. Being the crazy person I am and not knowing anything about the Kentucky Derby (or horse races for that matter), I of course hit the internet hard learning about the event. In my research I discovered that the hats are one of the biggest deals at the derby. Each year women show up with crazier and crazier hats with the goal of begin the most outrageous but in a still attractive and super bourgeois kind of style. It's all about the hat.
So, I decided to go all in on my hat and set about deciding what kind I would be wearing. I chose to go with a floral theme in hot pink tones and headed for Hobby Lobby. Still not quite sure about how I would be making the hat, I rolled up and down the isles looking for inspiration. I ended up picking the week that the floral stems were not 50% off so that was pretty unfortunate as all the flowers I liked were a bit on the pricey end. My goal was to spend no more than $25 and hopefully less.
I ended up on the wedding aisle and discovered a good bit of it was marked 50% off including some pearl sprays, feather sticks, and fun, hot pink baubles. I also found the floral sprays that are only $1 - $3 each meant for bouquets. I selected my flowers from these. They were the perfect length and there were plenty of varying types and sizes to give my hat some real pizzazz.
After leaving the bridal aisle with a much more concrete plan in mind I then grabbed a roll of pink glitter tulle. Still not sure about how to form a base for my hat I hit the craft foam and felt aisle in search of something that might work when I found a blank dolls hat made from the very material that derby hats are made from, sinamay! It would make for a perfect base but, it was a boring tan color. So, I headed to the paint aisle and grabbed a bottle of hot pink acrylic paint. Knowing I already had felt and a pink headband at home I headed to the checkout ready to get started! The best part is I only spent $23!! And, that was without the floral items being on sale!
When I arrived home, I first painted the hat. It took a matter of minutes and the boring tan became a vibrant pink. After letting it dry, I began to play around with placement of the items on my hat. I also had to snip the flowers off of the stems to be able to do this. I also made some gathered tulle pieces by cutting a strip of tulle and bunching it in the middle and then stapling it in the center. If you look online there's a much nicer (and more time consuming) way of accomplishing this but, it requires sewing and I try to avoid that all costs. This worked just fine. Once I had a good idea of placement, I began to adhere the largest pieces first as a base to work from. I added the details as I went to make it balanced. To add the wired details I simply poked them through the hat and twisted them together underneath to be sure they didn't budge.
After getting it all glued (I used hot glue) and wired on. I stuffed the hat with pink napkins I happened to already have. You could stuff it with whatever you like. Then I cut a circle of hot pink felt and glued it over the hat base. After that, I glued my headband to the felt circle and cut an identical circle, snipping two slits in it for the headband ends to pass through. Then I slid the second circle over the headband and glued it down as well.
Overall, I probably spent about an hour on this project but, it was really worth it! At the party, every woman I spoke with said they loved my hat and several said it was their favorite at the event. I had a great time making and wearing it and I encourage you to get crafty and make your own if you ever attend a party where such a hat is encouraged!
My daughter's school hosted an up-cycle fair and we chose to participate. The goal was to encourage young people to think about recycling and ways to re-use items so they can help keep the Earth happy! It was done similarly to a science fair where you created your item and then made a project board to display with it. Judges then awarded prizes for each grade.
My daughter decided to make a jump rope out of plastic bags and even though she needed our help, she did most of the project on her own. It was fairly easy to make and we truly had all of the materials already. In fact, I think we have enough plastic bags to make at least 8 more jump ropes if we really wanted! She ended up winning 3rd place for her grade and was given an adorable trophy. It was a lot of fun and we look forward to participating next year!
Want to make your own? Check out the directions below!
We had a lot of fun with this project and she is loving her new jump rope! Winning 3rd place was an added bonus! Hopefully your little one will enjoy the project too! Have fun and thanks for visiting!
I've become disillusioned with vinyl t-shirt creating. No matter what I do, they never look as good as I imagine they will. They take a lot of effort and don't end up costing much less than if I'd just purchased it already made. So, when I decided to create some shirts for Earth Day I went with a new method: Freezer Paper Stencils! And, let me tell you, I AM IN LOVE! Why do you ask? Well, it was cheaper, faster and way, way, way easier! Let me tell you all about it!
You will need:
- freezer paper (You cannot sub wax paper. Freezer paper is only waxed on one side unlike wax paper.)
- exacto blade and/or cutting machine (I used my silhouette machine but, technically you could get extra artsy and use a cutting tool and free hand it. I would never dedicate that time but, to each his own.)
- acrylic paint colors of your choice
- paint brush
- pre-washed t-shirt
1. Design your stencil. I used my silhouette machine and designed the shirts using it's software. You could design it on a piece of paper or in powerpoint, print it out, and then trace over your design on the wax paper to cut it out.
2. Send your design through the machine. Place the freezer paper shiny side down on your cutting mat. The settings will depend on how detailed your design is and how sharp your blade is but for me, the settings that worked best were:
I did modify for different designs by changing the thickness or speed one or two depending. But, the blade remained at 1.
3. Weed your design and make adjustments if necessary. There were a few times where it didn't cut quite right and I ended up modifying it with scissors. You couldn't even tell when it was all done so don't stress if it's not perfect.
4. Position your paper on your shirt and apply heat with the iron. This creates a seal on the shirt with the waxy side of the paper but is easily removed with no damage making it great for painting!
5. Paint with desired colors using a paint dobber brush. I really liked the weathered look that was created by using just enough paint and not applying it evenly to all letters. I think it made the shirts look more professionally created. So, imperfection is rewarded here. Don't overdo the paint and don't stress that some letters get more than others. Yay!
6. Allow to dry.
7. Remove freezer paper stencil.
I couldn't be more pleased with how my shirts turned out and after washing they look as good or even better! I'm excited to make a ton more and am so glad that I don't have to mess with the frustration or cost of vinyl anymore! I hope you're inspired by this post and if you like my shirts you can download the silhouette files below!
My son was born in October and I have only recently finished his nursery. I figured I didn't need to rush since he is still sleeping in a bassinet beside me. Plus, we waited to find out what we were having and let it be a surprise on the big day! So, I didn't want to decorate until I knew the gender. Once I began planning, I decided on a mountain theme and am really pleased with how it turned out!
To begin I turned to Pinterest for inspiration, of course, and decided the mountain theme would be perfect. Originally I planned on painting a mountain mural similar to the ones below but, my husband was not a fan of the idea and, after painting the bedroom gray along with two other bedrooms and a bathroom, I was kind of over painting.
I went on a painting spree in our new home and took both of the boys bedrooms (they share a bath jack and jill style) from a seriously bright turquoise hue to a much more subdued and versatile gray from Sherwin Williams called "Evening Shadow". It has a tendency to lean toward the blue end of the gray scale but, from my experience, works well with any colors you throw at it. I also painted my office this color. It is almost complete and I will post about it soon! In addition to painting those three rooms, I also painted the jack and jill bathrooms, taking them from flamingo pink (I know right?! All THREE of our bathrooms were painted this color when we moved in!) to a blue gray from Sherwin Williams called "Rarified Air" and my daughter's bedroom went from boring taupe to a lovely light (almost white) purple shade called "Silver Peony".
So instead, I decided to create faux wallpaper using my silhouette machine and white vinyl. I found a few mountain shaped silhouettes and paired them with various triangle shapes, sent them through my machine and then applied them randomly on the main nursery wall. It took very little time and I love the result! In fact, if you want to create your own faux wallpaper using vinyl and a silhouette machine, you can download my file! Sweet!
After applying the vinyl, I made the name sign for above the crib by purchasing the blank sign at Hobby Lobby for $20 and painting the tops to look like snow covered mountains. Then I created a stencil using letters printed out from my computer and then cut and traced on top of the wood. It was also a quick project but makes a big impact. To finish the room, I added a gray and white striped teepee from Hobby Lobby for $45 (I used the 40% off coupon) and white faux fur rug. The crib is the same one from my other two children but I added white teething covers to lighten it and to cover the destruction left behind from my first son. I hung gray room darkening curtains on a white arrow shaped curtain rod from Ikea. The rocking chair is also a hand me down from the other two kids and the pillow cover was also a clearance Hobby Lobby find for $3. The dresser is a vintage piece from my grandfather. I found an awesome LED moon light on super clearance at Target for $15 and created the national park prints by sending free original images, found online here, to Walgreens for printing and then framed them in $5 frames from Hobby Lobby where I also found the wall vinyl tree. It has the ability to hang hooks on the branches but I haven't gotten around to it yet.
I only have one remaining project to complete for the room which is a mobile. I plan on making a mountain and tree one like the ones below. I've purchased all of the materials but haven't had the time to get it made. I'll definitely post about it when it's complete. I'm also on the lookout for a cool lamp but haven't found one I like yet. I'm sure there will be a few changes and additions once Alan gets moved into his new room but for now it is a lovely place to sit and relax while rocking him.
If you're interested in checking out my inspiration board on Pinterest, you can see it here!
My Mom and Stepdad recently brought me an old piece of furniture from my childhood bedroom for my daughter to have. The piece was actually my Mom's first piece of not hand-me-down furniture that she actually picked out as a young girl. When she gave it to me she painted it in an antique style with rose detailing but, for my daughter I wanted to bring it back to the original white. It had lost a couple pieces of hardware over the years so I also planned on replacing the knobs and pulls. I decided to spray paint it because, honestly, I'm lazy and just didn't want to use a brush. However, I wish I had just done it with a brush, it would have looked better and I'm not sure the spray paint saved me much time. I also have the classic crampy hand from spraying too.
After wiping it down, removing the old hardware, taping the glass doors and painting it white, I headed out for some knobs and pulls. I went to Home Depot and found absolutely nothing worthwhile. (I didn't think I would, but I hated not to give it a chance.) Then, I remembered seeing vintage styled knobs at T.J. Maxx for super cheap the week before. I popped over there and found some that would be perfect. The piece, however, used pulls and knobs and there were no pulls. I knew this was a problem but after a quick consultation with my sister-in-law to get her opinion, we agreed that putting knobs in each of the two holes meant for a pull would look great. T.J. Maxx didn't have enough of any one knob for the whole piece though so, I chose two complimentary but different knobs and decided to strategically mix them.
The other hiccup was that the piece had these weird plate pieces that created another hole only about half of an inch from the knob holes on the glass doors and fold down desktop and I only had two of the three plates I needed. Obviously, I wasn't going to find a replacement plate so I had to get creative. I decided to keep one plate for the drop down desk and spray painted it gold. Then I used of the new knobs instead of the original. For the doors I used new knobs and then spray painted two of the old ones (I only had two) gold to match the plate on the desktop and put them in the weird plate holes.
I feel like it looks just the right amount of whimsical and purposeful. My daughter is excited to have it and it really helped with her room organization.
It was a quick and easy project that my daughter and I are both excited about. I'll update later to let you know how everything goes.
My daughter started expressing interest in earning money for doing things around the house so, before I jumped into the idea I decided to read up on the suggestions from people who might know a little more than me. I checked out my local library and grabbed a few titles that seemed helpful. After reading a bit of each, I decided that I would introduce a guaranteed weekly allowance that was not dependent on chores. That being said, she still has to finish the chores she has always done as a requirement for being a member of the family. I decided to give her $6 per week. The books I read suggested the number of dollars equal the age of the child with a raise each birthday. I also created three jars for her allowance: spend, save and give. She can choose how much to put into each jar but she must put some in each every week. The idea is that they learn the value of saving for something big and helping others while still having a little spending money on the regular.
When I decided to make the jars I didn't want them to be breakable. My three year old son enjoys messing with everything that belongs to his big sister and I didn't want to run the risk of broken glass everywhere. So, I found a package of three food storage containers at the Dollar Tree. I cut a hole in the top of each and lined the jagged plastic with colorful washi tape. Then I taped colorful paper on the inside of each container and, using my Silhouette Cameo, I created vinyl letter labels.
Last weekend we celebrated my son's third birthday with a "Where the Wild Things Are" themed party. I created a few things inspired by Pinterest to make it extra fun and we all had a great time. Check out my party!
I created monster claws for all of our guests using craft foam, hot glue and elastic bands. They were simple, cheap and a big hit. Guests also left with bubbles from the dollar store that I applied a custom label to as well as diy monster masks that they were able to color.
For activities I had the coloring masks as well as coloring sheets, a play dough station with wild things themed play dough mats, pin the tail on Max and we also set up a bouncy house in the garage. I also created a Photo Booth area with a boat. For the backdrop I sketched a sea scene on two pieces of butcher paper taped together. I also created a few signs with Arthur's face on Max's for extra fun.
For food we made sandwiches with the intent of making them crown shaped which didn't happen. But, I did manage to make a boat out of watermelon, bake a cake with a fondant crown and create a veggie plate with carrot and pepper trees as well as make some chocolate and pretzel covered marshmallows on a stick (with help from my family). We also had punch and chips. There was almost no food leftover which is always a good sign. I also added a few tissue poms and sketched a backdrop to look similar to the forest from the book.
It was a fun time and I was really happy with how everything turned out. I hope you found some inspiration! Thanks for visiting!
I don't know if you feel the same way but, framing art can be expensive! So, when it I needed to put art up in my sons room I looked into ways to get it up for waaaaaay cheaper! A quick trip to the hardware store, a glue gun, some twine and your print are all you'll need to whip up a cheap hanging method that also looks pretty cool!
Inspired by my gallery wall hanging frames, I set out to get a similar but more permanent look. The prints I used were made at Walgreens for less than $10 each and could easily be reprinted so, I didn't have a problem with permanently adhering them to a frame.
I grabbed two "hobby boards" for around $3 each from Home Depot and hot glued the print to the boards at the top and bottom. I recommend measuring and drawing a line down the board on the side you plan on gluing so it is even. Then, I wrapped twine around the top board creating a string to hang from a nail on the wall. It only took a few minutes and I love the result! Plus, if my son knocks it in the future there isn't any glass so I don't have to worry about potential danger. I'm pleased and will probably use this method again. So easy!
Hopefully you're inspired to think of new ways to hang your art! Enjoy!
I was looking for some cute and simple flower arrangements to give a nice spring feel to my home but, everywhere I looked they were way out of my price range. So, I decided to get crafty and make them myself. However, when I visited my local craft store I left discouraged about the cost there as well. But, when I visited my local Dollar Tree I found exactly what I was looking for and only spent a fraction of what I would have elsewhere. Check out how I did it!
You will need:
- Several bunches of the most realistic looking flowers at your dollar store. I chose some soft pink flowers that look like a peony and an azalea had a baby. They weren't overly colorful and they looked light and airy.
- Short, glass vessel. I selected the round bubble like ones. They have a simple and expensive feel but are still just $1.
- 1 bag of white rocks.
- Sharp scissors for cutting the flower stems
Once you have all of your items, simple cut the flowers into varying lengths that cause the flowers to sit at the top edges of the glass vase. Fill the vase with your white rocks and then arrange the flowers. The biggest note I can give is to make sure you put plenty of flowers in your vase. if it is not filled fully it will not look quite right.
Who doesn't love a good excuse for day drinking and getting dressed up?! Ever since the invention of Galentine's Day by our friends at "Parks and Rec" we now have a perfect reason to listen to the Spice Girls, eat yummy food and day drink! I hosted a Galentine's Day party this weekend with a few of my closest friends and you can too!
It doesn't take much to have a fun time with the girls. Simply select a few food items, throw together a photo booth for next to nothing and provide supplies for creating Valentine's.
I decided to make paleo egg cups, breakfast potatoes, vanilla baked donuts, chocolate covered strawberries and a fruit salad. I also had the choice of a raspberry champagne or mango champagne floats (inspired by the raspberry ones using white bubbly and mango sorbet). It was all relatively easy and everyone enjoyed it!
I've been looking for an excuse to purchase a gold sequin tablecloth forever and finally had a perfect excuse! I got it for only $17 on amazon and I'll be able to use it for a million other things in the future. I also picked up some Valentine's flowers at Kroger. Then I sprinkled some fake flower petals and some golden confetti on the table with some red candle holders for the center. My co-host also made a few paper heart cone trees that I added. I purchased a fringe banner and dangled it around the chandelier above the table and that completed the table decor.
For the photo booth I taped a plastic red and white polka dot table cloth on the wall width wise for the background and then printed off these free Photo Booth props and hotglued them to skewer sticks. I also added a few feather boas and some tiaras to the dress up table for extra fun.
I created a Galentine's playlist to listen to while we visited and got crafty. Then I set up a Valentine making table with colored paper, scissors, glue, stickers, pom pom balls and more for us to create Valentine's for our loved ones.
It was a fun excuse to hang with my favorite ladies and I think everyone enjoyed the festivities. Good luck with your party planning and let me know if you use any of my ideas!
Rachel is a mother of three, high school Spanish teacher and part-time blogger who loves crafting, creating fun and engaging activities for her children and students and hanging with her friends and family. She blogs about what she's doing and her interests at any given time which vary. She's a little OCD and always looking for her next project. Her husband calls it, "focusing her crazy", but she just calls it fun.