DIY – Tissue Paper Flowers

Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that delight her; I want to create fun, educational crafts for her that are made with love and will be loved! 

This week we’ll be creating paper marigolds in honor of their color and beauty, but also to begin educating Zoey on their significance this time of year. 

These supplies and instructions create two large paper flowers, but you can multiply and create as many as you like in as many color variations as you like!

SUPPLIES
  • 4 green pipe cleaners
  • 5 sheets of 20” x 20” gift-wrapping tissue paper (or similar)
  • Scissors
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Layer and align the 5 sheets of tissue paper, then fold them in half and crease.
  2. Cut along the crease line so you now have two groups of tissue sheets, 10” by 20” each.
  3. Keeping each group of tissue sheets layered and aligned, pleat the paper in an accordion fold.
  4. Holding the accordion fold closed, cut a half-circle shape from each end. (You could also cut a point or zig-zag)
  5. Holding the accordion fold closed, wrap the top of a pipe cleaner around the middle of the paper and twist it around itself to hold it in place. This will also act as the stem.
  6. Fan out the paper, then gently separate the first layer of paper from the rest, and move it up to form the top layer of petals.
  7. Gently separate the rest of the paper layers and fluff out your flower.
  8. To bolster the stem a bit more: Secure a second pipe cleaner around the existing pipe cleaner where it meets the flower, and wrap it around the existing pipe cleaner down to the base (start back up if you have extra).
  9. Repeat steps 3 through 8 with the second group of tissue sheets.
  10. Enjoy!

DIY – Bat Silhouette Pom Pom Painting

Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that delight her; I want to create fun, educational crafts for her that are made with love and will be loved! This week we’ll be creating pom pom paintings of bat silhouettes for halloween! 

I remember when I was a kid we made halloween crafts at school and my mom would bring them out every year as part of our halloween decor. It made me feel super happy and proud that she would take the time to save and display my art every year and that is the feeling I want to inspire in my own daughter.

Let’s get painting!

SUPPLIES
  • Bat silhouette pattern (see above)
  • Printer paper
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape
  • Black cardstock paper (8.5 x 11”)
  • Clothespin(s)
  • Pom poms
  • Sunset colored paints (I used red, orange, purple and yellow)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Print this bat pattern I’ve created and cut the bats out.
  2. Break off several small pieces of tape, roll them into cylinders, and use them to attach the bats where you want them on the black cardstock paper.
  3. Pour non-toxic sunset colored acrylic paints into a pie plate (or something similar) and set out a pom pom for each color.
  4. Use a clothespin to grab one pom pom at a time, or one clothespin per color.
  5. Allow your little one to dab the paint around and over the bats to their heart’s content.
  6. Allow the paint to dry and then gently peel off the bats to reveal their silhouettes!
  7. Hang it up and enjoy! 

DIY – Paper Bat Halloween Decorations

I am so bad at decorating my house for the holidays! I want to be better about it, but I’d like to create and/or collect decorations that are my vibe and that I’m proud of!

One of the looks I’ve always loved are colonies of bats flying across doorways and walls of a home. I’ve created my own bat pattern, so let’s create!

SUPPLIES
  • Bat pattern (see above)
  • 8.5 x 11 black cardstock paper
  • Scotch tape (or similar)
  • Scissors
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Print and cut out these bat patterns I’ve created, then cut each bat shape in half!
  2. Fold each piece of cardstock paper in half horizontally and lightly tape the body of the bat patterns to the fold of the cardstock paper.
  3. Cut out as many bat shapes as you like and attach them to the wall or walls around your home. **For added texture you can fold some or all of the wings up so they aren’t flat against the wall!
  4. Enjoy!

DIY – Ghost Pom Pom Painting

Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that delight her; I want to create fun, educational crafts for her that are made with love and will be loved! This week we’ll be creating pom pom paintings of a ghost for halloween! 

I remember when I was a kid we made halloween crafts at school and my mom would bring them out every year as part of our halloween decor. It made me feel super happy and proud that she would take the time to save and display my art every year and that is the feeling I want to inspire in my own daughter.

Let’s get painting!

SUPPLIES
  • Ghost pattern (see above)
  • Printer paper
  • Scissors
  • Scotch tape
  • Black cardstock paper (8.5 x 11”)
  • Clothespin
  • Pom pom
  • White paint
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Print this ghost pattern I’ve created and cut it out of it’s frame, then set the frame aside.
  2. Cut the eyes and mouth out of the ghost shape.
  3. Break off three small pieces of tape, roll them into cylinders, and use them to attach the eyes and mouth where you want them on the black cardstock paper.
  4. Pour non-toxic white acrylic paint into a pie plate (or something similar) and use a clothespin to grab ahold of a pom pom.
  5. Place the ghost pattern’s frame around the edges of your cardstock page and dab the pom pom in the white paint, then dab it around in the edges of the ghost’s shape to create a dotted pattern for your little one.
  6. Remove the frame and allow your little one to dab the paint away to their heart’s content.
  7. Allow the paint to dry and then gently peel off the eyes and mouth to reveal!
  8. Hang it up and enjoy!

Homemade Play Dough Recipe

Part of the fun in raising Zoey is making things that delight her; I want to create fun, educational crafts for her that are made with love and will be loved! I see much play dough in our future, and while buying it is always a viable option, how fun and cost effective is it to make some on your own?

So let’s make some homemade play dough!

SUPPLIES
  • Large saucepan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Wax paper
  • Gloves
  • Sandwich bags
INGREDIENTS
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of salt
  • 4 teaspoons of cream of tartar
  • 2 cups of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Food coloring
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Place the cream of tartar, flour, and salt in a large saucepan and stir to combine.
  2. Slowly add the oil and water, stirring until well incorporated.
  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring consistently, until the mixture thickens into a dough.
  4. Remove the pan from the heat and allow the dough to cool slightly until it can be handled comfortably.
  5. Divide the dough into equal portions based on how many colors you would like, and roll into balls.
  6. Put on gloves and press an indentation into each ball of dough, then add 15 drops of food coloring to the indentation of each ball to start, you can always add more later. 
  7. Knead each ball of dough until the color is well incorporated. If the color is not as bright as you want, you can add more food coloring and knead again.
  8. Enjoy!

*This can be stored in sandwich bags, one for each color. Just be sure to remove all the excess air for longevity of the dough!

Family Friendly Autumnal Activity Ideas

Welcome back Autumn! Every year I look forward to the Autumn and the warmth it generates inside my home and soul. Where I live, September and October are still rather warm on some days, and turn wet and cold as the months progress toward Winter.  I cannot get enough of the rain this time of year. The cold, wet weather begins to take over outside, driving us all inside to be together and warm. There’s nothing like cuddling up with people you love, reading a good book, watching a movie or playing a video game while the weather misbehaves outside.

I intend to spend a lot of time with my family this year and came up with some family friendly ideas I’d like to experience with Zoey! Follow along and try some of these activities for yourself, this is a time we should all enjoy!

We intend to:

  • Bake bread.
  • Bake cookies for family and/or friends.
  • Collect acorns and make art.
  • Collect leaves and make art.
  • Collect rocks and make art.
  • Make nature pressings or rubbings.
  • Donate to a food bank.
  • Go on a hayride.
  • Go puddling in the rain.
  • Have an indoor picnic on a stormy day.
  • Make a bird feeder.
  • Make Halloween decorations.
  • Go trick or treating!
  • Make fresh tortillas.
  • Make homemade play dough.
  • Make stovetop popcorn.
  • Pick apples.
  • Bake apple pie.
  • Drink apple cider.
  • Make caramel apples.
  • Pick out pumpkins at a pumpkin patch.
  • Give pumpkins a bath.
  • Carve, decorate and/or paint pumpkins.
  • Bake pumpkin bread. 
  • Roast pumpkin seeds.
  • Roast s’mores.

DIY Red and White Striped Christmas Box

Christmas is nearly here and we love celebrating every moment!

What better way to celebrate than having a Christmas box! Now when I first heard of these, they were and are referred to as Christmas Eve boxes and presented on Christmas Eve for the family to enjoy, but then some of the items can only be enjoyed for one to two nights before Christmas is technically over, so I’ve decided to just call it a Christmas box and we can present it a week before Christmas to really enjoy its contents!

SUPPLIES
  • Wood crate
  • White acrylic paint
  • Red acrylic paint
  • Foam paint brushes
  • Painter’s tape
  • Matte varnish
  • Embellishments (optional)
  • Hot glue (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Paint every other beam of the crate (outside and inside) with white paint and then allow it to dry.
  2. Repeat step 1 until the desired brightness of the paint is reached.
  3. Once the paint is dry, use painters tape to tape up and protect the edges of the white beams or anywhere else where the red paint may drip or bleed.
  4. Paint the remaining beams and the sides of the crate (outside and inside) with red paint and then allow it to dry.
  5. Repeat step 4 until the desired brightness of the paint is reached.
  6. Carefully peel off the painter’s tape and coat the whole crate with varnish, this may take two coats to reach the desired coverage.
  7. If you have any embellishments like an ornament or two, carefully glue them on with a hot glue gun and allow it to dry.
  8. Fill it up and enjoy!

If you’re looking for ideas to fill your new Christmas box with here are a few to spark your imagination!

  • Candy
  • Cookie mix
  • Festive hat(s)
  • Festive pajamas
  • Festive plushies
  • Festive socks or slippers
  • Gingerbread kit
  • Holiday-themed books
  • Holiday-themed movies
  • Hot Apple Cider mix
  • Hot Cocoa mix
  • Mug(s)
  • Ornament(s)
  • Savory snacks
  • Sweet snacks

DIY Felt Pumpkin

It is Autumn, my favorite season of the year!

I want to begin creating well-made decorations that mean something to us and will last. What better way to start than by something that will go great with Halloween and Thanksgiving, pumpkins! I’ve created a pattern for fabric pumpkins and you’re welcome to use it to create your own! This will work to create either felt or regular fabric pumpkins, I’m excited to create a few different colors and sizes!

SUPPLIES
  • Pumpkin patterns (see above)
  • Paper scissors
  • Felt fabric
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing scissors
  • Embroidery floss
  • Sewing needle
  • Stuffing
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Print out the pumpkin patterns I’ve provided, then cut the patterns from the paper.
  2. Pin the patterns on the appropriate colored felt, then use sewing scissors to cut the felt.
  3. Thread orange embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  4. Align two of the pumpkin pieces and whip stitch along one side, from one point to the next, concealing the first and ending knot underneath so that the stitching will be exposed.
  5. Repeat step 3 to continue adding pieces of the pumpkin.
  6. Once you’ve stitched the last piece on, join the two ends together with a whip stitch to complete the pumpkin body.
  7. Stuff the pumpkin, then place the circles on the top and bottom of the pumpkin and secure them with sewing pins.
  8. Using a whip stitch, attach the circles to the pumpkin, concealing the first and ending knots underneath. Then remove the sewing pins.
  9. Thread green embroidery floss on your sewing needle and stitch the veins onto one side of each leaf.
  10. Once done with the veins, align the two halves of each leaf (concealing the stitching in between) and whipstitch around the edges of the leaves to make them whole.
  11. Thread brown embroidery floss onto your sewing needle and whipstitch around the outside edges of the stem, leaving the bottom of the stem open. At this point you can leave the stem as it is or turn it around to conceal the stitching.
  12. Stuff the stem, then place it on top of the pumpkin and secure it with sewing pins. 
  13. Using a whip stitch, attach the stem to the body of the pumpkin.
  14. Enjoy!

DIY – Felt Cookies

DIY Felt Cookies

What child (or inner child) doesn’t love preparing toy food in a play kitchen? 

I had a play kitchen when I was a little girl and loved baking cookies for myself, my sister and my parents. Now that I’m grown and have a daughter of my own, I want to make her some handcrafted play food so she can enjoy making meals for everyone during play, or while we cook in the kitchen next to her!

Please feel free to use these patterns to create some play food for you and yours! This pattern will make one circle cookie, one heart cookie, one star cookie, one triangle cookie, one square cookie and one rectangle cookie, each with frosting. I made one extra of each cookie shape so Zoey will have two of each. You can duplicate it as much as you want to make multiple pieces of each food!

SUPPLIES
  • Cookie patterns (see above) 
  • Paper scissors
  • Pale tan felt material
  • Pale blue felt material
  • Pale brown felt material
  • Dark brown felt material
  • Pale pink felt material
  • White felt material
  • Pale yellow felt material
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Embroidery floss (pale tan, pale blue, light brown, dark brown, pale pink, white)
  • Sewing needle
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Print out the cookie pattern I’ve provided, then cut the patterns from the paper.
  2. Pin the patterns on the appropriate colored felt, then use sewing scissors to cut the felt.
  3. Align and pin the pale blue circle of frosting to one half of the circle of pale tan felt, then thread pale blue embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  4. Begin sewing around the outer edges of the frosting using a whipstitch, concealing the first and ending knots underneath the layer of cookie.
  5. One at a time, thread three of the other colors of embroidery floss onto your needle and create randomized stitches within the frosting to make sprinkles. Conceal the first and ending knots of each color underneath the layer of cookie.
  6. Thread a sewing needle with pale tan embroidery floss and pin the bottom cookie layer over the stitching on the back of the frosted top half. 
  7. Using a whipstitch, begin sewing around the edges of the circle cookie, concealing the first knot and end knot in between the layers.
  8. Align and pin the pale pink heart of frosting to one half of the heart of pale tan felt, then thread pale pink embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  9. Begin sewing around the outer edges of the frosting using a whipstitch, concealing the first and ending knots underneath the layer of cookie.
  10. One at a time, thread three of the other colors of embroidery floss onto your needle and create randomized stitches within the frosting to make sprinkles. Conceal the first and ending knots of each color underneath the layer of cookie.
  11. Thread a sewing needle with pale tan embroidery floss and pin the bottom cookie layer over the stitching on the back of the frosted top half. 
  12. Using a whipstitch, begin sewing around the edges of the heart cookie, concealing the first knot and end knot in between the layers.
  13. Align and pin the pale yellow star of frosting to one half of the star of pale tan felt, then thread pale yellow embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  14. Begin sewing around the outer edges of the frosting using a whipstitch, concealing the first and ending knots underneath the layer of cookie.
  15. One at a time, thread three of the other colors of embroidery floss onto your needle and create randomized stitches within the frosting to make sprinkles. Conceal the first and ending knots of each color underneath the layer of cookie.
  16. Thread a sewing needle with pale tan embroidery floss and pin the bottom cookie layer over the stitching on the back of the frosted top half. 
  17. Using a whipstitch, begin sewing around the edges of the star cookie, concealing the first knot and end knot in between the layers.
  18. Align and pin the white triangle of frosting to one half of the triangle of pale tan felt, then thread white embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  19. Begin sewing around the outer edges of the frosting using a whipstitch, concealing the first and ending knots underneath the layer of cookie.
  20. One at a time, thread three of the other colors of embroidery floss onto your needle and create randomized stitches within the frosting to make sprinkles. Conceal the first and ending knots of each color underneath the layer of cookie.
  21. Thread a sewing needle with pale tan embroidery floss and pin the bottom cookie layer over the stitching on the back of the frosted top half. 
  22. Using a whipstitch, begin sewing around the edges of the triangle cookie, concealing the first knot and end knot in between the layers.
  23. Align and pin the dark brown square of frosting to one half of the square of pale tan felt, then thread dark brown embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  24. Begin sewing around the outer edges of the frosting using a whipstitch, concealing the first and ending knots underneath the layer of cookie.
  25. One at a time, thread three of the other colors of embroidery floss onto your needle and create randomized stitches within the frosting to make sprinkles. Conceal the first and ending knots of each color underneath the layer of cookie.
  26. Thread a sewing needle with pale tan embroidery floss and pin the bottom cookie layer over the stitching on the back of the frosted top half. 
  27. Using a whipstitch, begin sewing around the edges of the square cookie, concealing the first knot and end knot in between the layers.
  28. Align and pin the pale brown rectangle of frosting to one half of the rectangle of pale tan felt, then thread pale brown embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  29. Begin sewing around the outer edges of the frosting using a whipstitch, concealing the first and ending knots underneath the layer of cookie.
  30. One at a time, thread three of the other colors of embroidery floss onto your needle and create randomized stitches within the frosting to make sprinkles. Conceal the first and ending knots of each color underneath the layer of cookie.
  31. Thread a sewing needle with pale tan embroidery floss and pin the bottom cookie layer over the stitching on the back of the frosted top half. 
  32. Using a whipstitch, begin sewing around the edges of the rectangle cookie, concealing the first knot and end knot in between the layers.
  33. Enjoy!

DIY – Felt Pizza

DIY Felt Pizza

What child (or inner child) doesn’t love preparing toy food in a play kitchen? 

I had a play kitchen when I was a little girl and loved preparing pizza for myself, my sister and my parents. Now that I’m grown and have a daughter of my own, I want to make her some handcrafted play food so she can enjoy making meals for everyone during play, or while we cook in the kitchen next to her!

Please feel free to use these patterns to create some play food for you and yours! This pattern will make four slices of pizza with sauce and cheese. Toppings include 4 slices of bell pepper, 4 slices of mushroom, 12 slices of pepperoni, and 6 slices of olives. You can duplicate it as much as you want to make multiple pieces of each food!

SUPPLIES
  • Pizza patterns (see above) 
  • Paper scissors
  • Light tan felt material
  • Red felt material
  • Dark red felt material
  • White felt material
  • Off-white felt material
  • Green felt material
  • Black felt material
  • Stuffing
  • Sewing pins
  • Sewing scissors
  • Sewing needle
  • Embroidery floss (light tan, red, dark red, white, off-white, green, and black)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Print out the pizza patterns I’ve provided and cut them from the paper.
  2. Place the patterns on the appropriate colored felt and pin them in place, then use sewing scissors to cut out the felt pieces.
  3. Align and pin the two halves of pizza crust together and thread light tan embroidery floss onto your sewing needle. Then, with a pencil, lightly sketch a curved line along and about 1/2 inch in from the arc of the crust.
  4. Starting to one side of the pizza slice’s point, whipstitch along that edge and the top arc of the crust, stopping at the far end of the arc and setting that thread aside for a moment.
  5. From the open edge of the pizza slice, use a running stitch along the pencil line to seal off the crust, concealing the first and ending knot between the layers, then use a little stuffing to inflate. 
  6. Pick up the previous thread and continue stitching down the remaining side of the pizza slice, concealing the end knot in between the layers.
  7. Repeat steps 3 through 6 to create the three other pizza slices.
  8. Align and pin the two halves of pizza sauce together and thread red embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  9. Begin sewing around the edges of your pizza sauce using a whipstitch, concealing the first knot and ending knot in between the layers.
  10. Repeat steps 8 and 9 to create the three other pizza sauces.
  11. Align and pin the two halves of cheese together and thread off-white embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  12. Begin sewing around the edges of your cheese using a whipstitch, concealing the first knot and ending knot in between the layers.
  13. Repeat steps 11 and 12 to create the three other cheeses.
  14. Align and pin the two halves of bell pepper together and thread green embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  15. Begin sewing around the outer and then inner edges of your bell pepper using a whipstitch, concealing the first knot and ending knot in between the layers.
  16. Repeat steps 14 and 15 to create the rest of the bell pepper pieces.
  17. Align and pin the two halves of mushroom together and thread white embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  18. Begin sewing around the edges of your mushroom using a whipstitch, concealing the first knot and ending knot in between the layers.
  19. Repeat steps 17 and 18 to create the rest of the mushroom pieces.
  20. Align and pin the two halves of pepperoni together and thread dark red embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  21. Begin sewing around the edges of your pepperoni using a whipstitch, concealing the first knot and ending knot in between the layers.
  22. Repeat steps 20 and 21 to create the rest of the pepperoni pieces.
  23. Align and pin the two halves of olive together and thread black embroidery floss onto your sewing needle.
  24. Begin sewing around the outer and then inner edges of your olive using a whipstitch, concealing the first knot and ending knot in between the layers.
  25. Repeat steps 23 and 24 to create the rest of the olive pieces.
  26. Enjoy!
DIY Felt Pizza
DIY Felt Pizza