Monthly Archives: November 2009

MIY Monday: Crayon Roll-Ups

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Have you ever been on a road trip with a pre-schooler? How about two pre-schoolers?
We just returned from our Thanksgiving Family Get-Together in North Louisiana. It’s a 4 to 5 hour drive for us, depending on how many times we have to stop for the restroom, so I try to have some activities for the girls to do while they ride in their carseats.
This year, along with some other fun stuff, I made these…
crayon rollups for each girl, and packed them with some coloring books. They came in handy for doing our Thanksgiving Day craft as well.

Each one holds 16 crayons and rolls up to fit nicely in a handbag. I saw this project on another blog, and found a great tutorial here.

I made one of these a few weeks ago for a birthday party I mentioned in a previous post. I love this Thomas-the-Train fabric I found for boys. (Another little friend of ours is getting one of these soon.)
The tutorial for this was easy to follow. I just have the most basic sewing skills and was able to do it without having to rip out any seams. It took about 2 hours total, and if I were you, I’d do several in one sitting so you get more for the time you spend.
These would be great for upcoming road trips with your crew – or a fantastic birthday present or stocking stuffer!

Thomas thinks they’re loads of fun, don’t you Thomas?
Happy Monday, everyone!

Teaching Little Ones about Thanksgiving

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It’s not too late to prepare some Thanksgiving crafts for your children as you are teaching them tomorrow about the First Thanksgiving, and the reason we celebrate.

The girls and I have been doing these Pumpkin Pockets (just scroll down on the page and look on the right-hand side. Click on “I am Thankful Pumpkin Pocket.”)
I printed the document on orange construction paper, but you can have your child color or paint the pumpkin instead. And just a note: if you DO print on construction paper, you’ll probably have to trim the paper to fit the printer, as I did.
I also cut out some colored leaves for them to glue to the stem.
I had some extra photos of our family, and when Maggie and Lilly put their pictures in the pocket, we prayed, “Thank you Lord, for our family.”
You can cut out or draw pictures of food, a house, pets, friends… anything your child can thank God for, and put in their pumpkin pocket.
We’ve also been reading a children’s book about the First Thanksgiving and talking about Pilgrims, Indians, the Mayflower, and how God provided and protected. I found coloring pages on the internet that I printed out, and we colored the Mayflower as we talked about the story.
Tomorrow, on Thanksgiving Day, we will look at and thank God for all the items in our Pumpkin Pockets, and we’ll probably make an Indian headdress out of construction paper too.
My friend Jo mentioned that she made pine cone turkeys with her kids last year – I loved doing those when I was a kid – we’ll probably end up making some of those tomorrow as well. There are plenty of pine cones in North Louisiana!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

MIY Monday: Birthday Gifts for Kids!

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Happy Monday, everyone! We had a jam-packed weekend, and it was full of family fun – despite the really gloomy, dreary weather. We attended a dual birthday party for a brother and sister, whose birthdays are 2 days apart. Big Brother turned 5 and Little Sister turned 2.

I’ve been wanting to make this craft for a while, and I can’t wait a second longer to share it with you…. Here’s Little Sister’s Gift:
A Wooden Memory Game
You know the game we all played as kids – you turn over 2 cards and try to find the matching pictures… well, this is a homemade version, inspired by a post I found here.

This was one long piece before we cut them.
I found these small, wooden pieces in the craft section at Walmart – I believe a pack of six was less than $2. Then I had Jeff cut them in half for me, making six perfect pairs. I sanded the edges to make sure they were smooth for little fingers.
Next, I used paper I had around the house – whatever pretty patterns I liked. The scrapbook paper I used was thicker, and worked best, but I also used some wrapping paper and pieces of pink and brown leopard print from a snazzy gift-bag I was recently given on my birthday.
I measured off a square that would be a bit smaller than each wooden square, and cut a template from cardstock, which I used to trace on the back of each of my pieces of pattern paper. Then I cut 2 matching squares of paper from each print.
I used a solution of Elmer’s Glue and water to decoupage the paper onto the wooden squares, and it worked fine with a few coats. Next time I will use Modge Podge or just finish it off with clear varnish after the decoupage is dry.
Since Little Sister is 2, I used pretty patterns she could easily match, but if you are making this for an older kid you could use words, letters, or numbers… you could use pictures of family members or pictures cut from the Funny Pages… just about anything! I love this because you can make it so personal. And it doesn’t have to be a child’s gift – it can be for a family – add to their Game Night collection!
Once my Memory Game pieces were dry and ready to go, I needed something to stash them in, so I threw together this little draw string bag from some scrap fabric I had. But the game could be stored in a box or other container… I think a game of this size would fit perfectly in a small Chinese take-out box!! I’ll have to try that next time.
Voila! Ready for the Party.
Oh, and as for Big Brother’s present… I’ll save that for another MIY Monday. {SMILE}
Stay tuned this week for Thanksgiving crafts for toddlers…

MIY Monday: Personalized Picture Frames

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I put together this picture frame a while back, and it was the first thing I made for our lil’ guys’ room. Once I decided on a theme for his big-boy room, I went straight to JoAnn’s for my first project. Carson’s room theme is something I call “Vintage Cowboys & Indians – meets – Old American Flag.” So I picked up these supplies:

These wooden supplies at JoAnn’s were very inexpensive, and I had the glue and paints on-hand.
The square wooden frame was already primed in white, but the star was unfinished. And I’m totally busted here – I used my kids’ watercolors to paint the frame! I wanted a “wash” look, rather than a very opaque look. So I used their watercolors, and also used one color in water-based acrylic craft paint, which I watered-down to get the look I wanted.
If you want to make stripes on your frame, you can draw lines first, using a pencil and ruler, but since I wanted an old, imperfect look, I just free-handed my stripes.
Once the star was painted and dry, I attached it to the frame using Tacky Glue – love that stuff.
Voila! So easy. Now we just have to wait for him to be born so we can put his picture in the frame. You can make one for your kids’ room too, no matter the decor. I have found lots of fun wooden shapes at craft stores and Walmart: cars, bugs, flowers, hearts, shapes, letters…
If you make one of these, please share with us – I would LOVE to see it. And by the way, this would make GREAT, inexpensive, and super-special gifts for the upcoming season!
If you would like to participate in Make-It-Yourself-Monday, please do! Leave a comment telling us about something you’ve made recently. You may link to a post on your blog so we can marvel at your work. Happy Monday!

MIY Monday: Autumn Wreath

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Happy Monday, everyone! Welcome back to Make-It-Yourself Monday. Are you gals getting some inspiration for the holidays? I’d love to hear your ideas…

Well, today, I finally got around to making my Autumn Wreath for the front door. We actually don’t have much of an autumn season around here, but it’s my absolute favorite, so I have to add some fall colors in my life wherever I can. Too bad my favorite orange sweater isn’t fitting over my 27-week pregnant belly!!!
Well, here are the supplies I gathered to make this project:
I bought the “grapevine” wreath at Walmart for less than $3. The best thing about these is you can use them over and over when your wreaths start looking beat-up just pull off the decor and do something else. I have one of these hanging on my girl’s bedroom door. I wove ribbon through and it serves as a bow-holder.
I bought the flowers and other pretty fall–ish floral filler at Hobby Lobby when it was 50% off. Get online and find out which supplier is having a sale before you buy your floral-ware. It can get pretty expensive.
I also swiped my husband’s wire-cutters (I’m sure he’ll correct me later about what they’re really called) and I didn’t end up using the ribbon pictured here.
There are several ways to secure your flowers to your wreath – wire, floral foam… but I chose a hot glue gun (not pictured) because it was simple, and what I had on-hand.
After cutting the flowers free from their bundles, I began placing items on the wreath to get the look I desired. Then I would remove the piece, apply some hot glue, and re-position it on the wreath. Mine turned our very simple-looking. I’m a kind of less-is-more gal, but you can put as much on your wreath as you like – hey, it’s your front door, right?
Making it Yours
Here’s my favorite thing about this wreath: I included a few acorns Maggie and Lilly collected at the zoo on our trip to Louisiana last month. Maggie will pick these up whenever she finds them, and stuff them in her pocket or my pockets. I even found some in my purse the other day! I love that for the next few years, I’ll pull out this wreath in the fall and see those little acorns they lovingly collected.

MIY Monday: Swiffer Sheets

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Years ago, I started using a Swiffer sweeper with these nifty little sheets that would “magically” cling to dust and dirt and swiff it right out of my house. As our family has grown, as well as our living quarters, I’ve found myself using more and more of these Swiffer sheets, and even when we were buying the store brand, it was still money being spent every month that I really didn’t need to spend. So my Swiffer Sweeper went in the closet for a while… until recently.

A few months ago I pulled my trusty friend back out of the closet and decided to make my own flannel Swiffer sheets that could be washed and re-used over and over. I already had two old flannel receiving blankets that had stains on them, so I put my sweeper down on one blanket and roughly measured how big the rectangles needed to be, then cut up the blankets, plus a few scrap pieces of flannel I had in my fabric stash.

Now we have a nice pile of these to use for sweeping, and for dusting too. I put a few drops of lavender oil and dust away, or give them to the girls to use for dusting when they are helping me. I’ve been very pleased with how much dust and dirt these pick up.
So there you go – a very quick and easy Make-It-Yourself Monday project.
And here’s one more that I did not make myself, but my sweet friend Cheri made for our baby boy:

Thanks, Cheri!
If you would like to participate in Make-It-Yourself-Monday, please do! Leave a comment telling us about something you’ve made recently. You may link to a post on your blog so we can marvel at your work. Happy Monday!