Flower Rings

I made these crepe paper flower rings with my daughters one rainy afternoon, using various materials I had on hand — crepe paper streamers, pipe cleaners, beads, washi tape, embroidery floss and a hot glue gun.

I’m keeping the instructions short and sweet as it’s a pretty simple and straight forward project….

Fold a 20″ piece of streamer to create eight layers.  Draw a flower and cut out the shape.

Attach the bead to the crepe paper using  a needle and some embroidering floss (or regular thread).

Make a ring out of the pipe cleaner.  Wrapping it up with washi tape isn’t necessary — I just do it to hide the sharp ends of the pipe cleaner.

Attach the crepe flower to the pipe cleaner using a hot glue gun.  Let the glue dry before scrunching up the crepe layers.

And there you have it – a cute little flower ring.


Chalkboard Lunch Box

When my oldest daughter was in preschool last year,  I left little notes in her snack box every now and then just as a reminder that I was thinking of her.  For this upcoming school year, I thought I would incorporate a little message board right inside her lunch box using some chalkboard decals.

All you have to do is trace the lunch box shape onto the decal, cut it out, and adhere it on.  These decals can be found at any craft store and can be applied to plastic or metal.  They’re also a much cleaner and safer option than using chalkboard paint inside your kid’s lunch box.

Here’s something I always want to ask my daughter at snack time…..

Kids Crafts – Bird Houses

There’s nothing novel about painting wooden bird houses, but it’s a project that’s definitely worth doing with your kids if you’re looking for an end product you can actually keep and display (versus having it just sit in an “art” pile collecting dust).  The other great thing about this project is that it keeps the kids busy, entertained and quiet for at least 30-45  minutes (I’m sure you can appreciate the beauty in that if you have little ones around the house!).

I found the bird houses at Michael’s for $1 and my favorite paints to use these days are the Martha Stewart multi-surface paints.  They’re great to work with because they go on smooth and dry fast, and I also love that they come in so many bright and fresh colors.  The colors I used for this project were:  habenero, yellow jacket, surf and summer linen.

Mini Chalkboard Signs

I love knowing that every object has its own little home and I love the idea of using chalkboard signs to help keep things organized.  I’ve had these clothes pins and wooden rectangular signs for a while, but have just recently decided to turn them into something useful — mini chalkboard signs!

The signs are 3″ x 2″ and the clothes pins are 1 3/4 ” in length.  All you have to do is apply 2 to 3 coats of paint to the wood (leaving a little border around the edge if you like) and attach the clothes pins to the back sides using a hot glue gun.  This is a really quick, inexpensive and simple project, and everything you see here can be found at Michael’s.

Speaking of Michael’s, I was there a few days ago and saw these adorable wooden elephants.  I thought of my little niece, who has the Zutano elephant bedding, and thought a few little elephant chalkboard signs would be a fun addition to her nursery.  Instead of using black chalkboard paint I went with the gray (also from the Martha Stewart line at Michael’s), and this is what I ended up with….

I thought about outlining the elephants with some orange paint, which would give them a very modern and fun look.  In the end, I couldn’t decide which I would like better…. I kept them as is and figured the paint could always be added later.

Anyways, I liked the elephants so much I decided to make one for myself….

Perfect for my basket of bills and other time sensitive material!

An Apple for the Teacher

No, not your typical apple, but a chocolate apple….

I saw these apples at Purdy’s Chocolates and thought I would use them to show how you can take a simple, store-bought item and easily turn it into a more personalized gift.

By placing the apple inside a wooden basket and adding items such as raffia, colored twine and a matching card,  I was able to add some interest and create a fun little presentation.

Since my oldest daughter had so many teachers this year, I ended up putting a couple of these baskets together (along with the galvanized buckets I had done from the previous post) for year-end gifts.   I joined in with a couple of wonderful moms from her class and the final product included the apple, some cookies, and a gift card to Starbucks — it  was adorable!

Thank You for Teaching Me My ABCs

Another school year is about to end and it’s time to say good-bye, and thank you to some amazing and talented teachers…..

The families in my daughters’ classes all chipped in towards some lovely gift cards for the teachers this year.  Instead of just presenting them with the gift card envelope, I put together a little alphabet bucket using some galvanized pails I found at Target and some ABC ribbon I found at Michael’s.

I also made Thank You cards to match by incorporating  the same ABC ribbon into the design.   My friend Jill, from The Uncommon Cake, was kind enough to make the adorable ABC cookies in yellow to coordinate with the cards — thank you Jill!

Each bucket was personalized with the teacher’s name.  If you can’t find pre made chalk board labels, do what I did and purchase some Martha Stewart chalk board paint and some Avery oval sticky labels — you’ll need to apply at least 3 coats of paint.  The trickiest part for me was to find chalk small enough to write their names with!

Thank you again Miss Valerie, Miss Joyce, Miss Ria and Miss Michelle for making PlaySchool and Terrific Twos so much fun for our kids!  We hope to see you back in the fall!

PS  Thank you to all those who checked out my first blog entry and for all the great comments you’ve left!  You are all so wonderful!