#3 Easy Halloween craft Paper plate tissue paper ghost

Alright folks, here we are with #3 of our Easy Halloween craft for kids! Paper plate tissue paper ghosts. I mean is there anything a paper plate can’t do? It is a dream object for crafting that can turn into anything your little heart desires. But let’s take it easy and not go crazy with imagination, because today our paper plate will turn into a ghost head. Let’s get to it Halloween is near!

Tools For the Trade:

1. Paper plate- white preferred but you can basically use any round object, cardstock, yogurt lid, cut out a circle from a cracker box, upcycle an old CD whatever you may have on hand

2. Xacto knife or scissors

3. Glue stick

4. Tissue Paper- we used one sheet

5. Colored paper scraps for the face- we used black

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Cut out the center of your paper plate. As you can see, ours is not white but the back of the plate is, so that’s fine. Save (hoard) the external part for a future craft.

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Slather glue all over the front of your circle and smooth the top part of your tissue paper sheet around it. Secure the corners with glue on the backside as well.

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Cut out some spooky shapes for your ghost face and chop off some of the bottom to make it look ghost like. We taped string to the back and hung it on our window. Isn’t it just adorable? Perfect for the little ones. Happy Crafting!

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Card Making for Gift Giving

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Hello there! We hand made cards with some items attached, to give as gifts. I thought they were lovely and wanted share them with you all. So, here we go with Card Making! Also known as, Pretty Up Some Paper! Because that is basically all you are doing, just adding things to a sheet of paper. How easy is that you ask? Very!

The gifts are pictured in the photo above 1. A mini pin of cats hugging (Too cute!) You may purchase here from Etsy and 2. Some handmade seeded paper we made for planting. (Yay for gardening!) In this post we will cover the “Cats on a Card”. Ha! I love that title.

The beckoning, good fortune cat image, is actually a stack of sticky notes I purchased in Little Tokyo when we lived in Los Angeles. I mean come on! Why use a plain yellow Post It when you could leave notes on a Fortune Kitty!

I began by gluing down 1 sheet of the sticky note onto a piece of Lavender Cardstock and smoothing the wrinkles out with a bone folder. If you do not have a bone folder you may use a blunt knife or the edge of a credit card.

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Once my cat was dry, I needed to adhere our gift, the lovely pin! I poked 2 holes into my card stock with an awl and threaded some embroidery floss through the holes to tie onto the pinback.

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Once the pin was tied, we began to play with little bits of Washi tape and paper scraps until we decided on these gold leftover bits from our St. Patrick’s Day Gold Coin Paper Garland craft, and a strip of Washi Tape along the bottom. Penelope wanted it to look like the cat was jumping in nature, and in the final image it does.

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Pictured below are both cards, all dolled up with our little gifts! Doesn’t it make receiving a pin all the more special when on a handmade card? It’s a frame worthy little piece of art to hang on the wall now. And most importantly it was made with love, and giggles and oh so much fun!

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I hope this post inspires you to go through your magazines, catalogs, paper bits and just play with images and scraps that please you. Paper, string, tape, glue! Hooray! The possibilities are endless!

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A Pretty Little Wall Hanging AKA Pretty up some sticks! A Things To Make With Sticks Craft

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We made some pretty little wall hangings out of felted wool balls, sticks we’ve collected, bits of string and yarn, stickers, paper bits, washi tape and a little owl charm. They were gifts Penelope was giving to her teachers and, I thought they were lovely. If you have never felted before, no worries you can purchase felted wool balls at craft stores and Etsy or use pom poms instead. Pom poms come in different sizes and you can find them in any craft aisle or craft store. Dollar stores carry them as well. I needle felt (ouch! Those needles can be painful) and had a lot of these around from garland making. I love garland making, felting the balls not so much lol! We have made a variety of things with sticks this summer so I suppose this is Post number 1: Things to make with sticks! Let’s get this show on the road:

Tools For the Trade:

1. Sticks

2. String, Embroidery Thread, Yarn– For stringing the felted balls you will need a thinner thread such as Embroidery Floss or Sewing Thread so that you can push it through a needle and then through each ball. The yarn may be used for decorative wrapping but it would be too thick for stringing.

3. Needle– We used an embroidery needle with a large eye.

4. Felted balls or pom poms

5. Embellishments of your choice. We used an Owl Charm and little bits of Washi tape, a sticker, and paper bits.

6. Glue– We used Tacky Glue

The How To:

I always start out by just laying things down on the table and letting Penelope explore. Originally she wanted the balls hanging down in strands but that soon evolved into a single curve.

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After lining the balls up she decided she liked the single curve so we went with that design.

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I threaded the needle with embroidery floss, blue was her color pick, and she went to work threading.

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Penelope wanted the owl bead hanging down the middle, so it was an opportunity for me to dust off my jewelry making tools and put in a silver bead to act as talons and use a head pin to make a hanging loop. It had been many years since I had used these supplies and it felt good to have them in my hands again.

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She wrapped the ends of the Embroidery floss onto the stick and slathered with glue. She then wrapped yarn around the stick and hung the owl. An Ice Cream sticker finished it off and our gift was complete and ready for giving.

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This is the second one we made later that evening, no owl just little bits of paper, tape, and a sticker.

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I think they are just darling! And most importantly they were made with a lot of love and thoughtfulness.

I hope you enjoyed this craft, and I hope that it inspires you to go out and pretty up some fallen sticks! Happy Crafting from our home to yours!

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Paint Some Pots!

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Mine looks so boring in comparison to Penelope's masterpiece!

Hello! I hope summer has been lovely for you all so far. My daughter has been out of school for almost a month now, and it feels like time is just flying by!

We made a variety of painted pots for our growing indoor garden, and I wanted to share this How-to. Especially because, it is my first time doing it this particular way. I have been painting on pots since high school and normally I would use a Multi Purpose Acrylic Paint, let dry completely, and then bake the pot in an oven to seal it. However, now that I no longer have a home of my own, I also do not have an oven! I needed to find a way to seal the pots, paint them, and seal them again without an oven, and I didn’t want to ask for help, so this is what I came up with, and it has been great! No seepage, no flaking paint, just lovely perfection. Woo hoo!

Tools For The Trade:

1. Terra Cotta Planters and Saucers- I got ours from Lowe’s

2. Multi Purpose Acrylic Paint- There are so many brands out there. I got ours from Michaels

3. Paint brushes

4. Design Masters Pottery Sealer

5. Newspaper for Spraying Pots

6. Jar with water for cleaning brushes

7. Prang Metallic Bullet Tip Marker- I used this for finishing my rough edges.

The How To:

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1. Start out by placing the pots on newspaper outdoors.

2.  Spray even layers of the Design Master Pottery Sealer on all of your pots and saucers, both inside and out. Be sure to use long sweeping motions, to avoid an uneven application.

3. Wait for the pots to completely dry, then give them a second coat if you wish. Do this outside! The is sealer is stinky. I let the pots dry outdoors over night and then gathered our painting supplies.

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4. Using Craft Smart Multi Purpose Acrylic Paint and a variety of brushes, I came up with a geometric design. I originally used tape on my pot as a stencil, and was painting cautiously around it. But, after failing at that, I scrapped the tape and just freehand painted my triangles. That worked even better for me and I was all happy and free to make my own natural lines.

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5. Because I wanted to clean up my edges, I took a piece of Cardstock and my Prang Gold Marker and drew straight lines between the pink and blues using the cardstock as a flexible straight edge. The marker was a random item to use, but I had it from making my wedding invitations seven years ago and they still worked! Problem solved!

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6. Once the paint was completely dry, I took them back outdoors on to some newspaper, and sprayed them with sealer once again. I let them dry at least 24 hours before I filled them with new plants. And there you have it! A fun craft to do with your child that will add color and charm to your indoor garden. Enjoy!

Some notes: You do not have to use the Multi Surface Craft Acrylic Paint. We used inexpensive craft acrylic paint by Craftsmart on some of our pots and after sealing they are doing just fine. I have a variety of brands and honestly they all work just fine.

If you prefer the oven method to avoid spraying sealer. You may place your painted pots in a COLD oven and bake them at 350F for 30 minutes, leave them in the oven until cool to touch. This process can take several hours, but it works well. You may do this to cure acrylic paint onto glass as well. Check with your specific paint before you try. There should be directions on the bottle or company website.

Layering colors: When using multiple layers of colors be sure each layer dries completely before adding more. For Penelope’s pot she painted the base yellow first, then went in and did details the next day. I used 2-3 coats of paint for my triangles because I did not uses a primer and I wanted the colors to be opaque.

Have fun!

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Teacher Appreciation Week and Mother’s Day gift idea

Happy teacher appreciation week everyone! Our school suggested that the Children give their teachers a small gift each day. I have enjoyed watching Penelope come up with ideas and create things to give to her teachers.

Today is Wednesday, day 3 of the week and I haven’t had a whole lot of time to craft but I managed to put this vase together in about 5 minutes….literally. We had a different gift planned for today but had to put it off for tomorrow because we didn’t finish it in time. I didn’t know what to do for a gift today and then an idea just came to me while gazing at our blooms in the yard. I think it came out quite nicely and wanted to share. All of these ideas would also make lovely Mother’s Day gift ideas as well.

Day 3 gift idea: Fresh flowers from our garden, in a glass jar, decorated with ribbons, paper and stamping.

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The inspiration for the craft

Tools for the trade:

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Listed Clockwise:

1. Glass jar- We used 2 Ball canning jars. You may use any glass container. Upcycle, recycle, spaghetti sauce, jam, olive jars, there are so many shapes and sizes to play with!

2. Ribbon- We used 2 different types of ribbon. You can use ribbon, strips of fabric, or printed colorful paper such as wrapping paper, scrapbook paper, specialty paper etc.

3. Tacky glue- or a hot glue gun. I was out of glue sticks for my hot glue gun so I used Tacky glue and it worked just fine.

4. Scissors

5. Paper punches- We used 2 different sizes of circle punches. You can cut out shapes with scissors of you do not have punches.

6. Ink pad

7. Cute stamp

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8. Paper- We used white and lavender card stock to match the flowers.

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The How To:

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1. Take your wide ribbon and wrap around jar, overlapping by 3/4 inch or so. Trim off spool. Use your hot glue gun or if using liquid glue like me, Overlap the ribbon ends and glue in place. Hold for a minute. Do the same with your thin strip of ribbon on top. I did not glue the ribbon to the jar but you may want to do that.

2. Punch your large and small circles out of your paper.

3. Stamp your image onto the paper and let dry.

4. Once your ink is dry glue the small circle onto the larger one. Slather glue onto the back of your large circle and place onto the front of your ribbon jar, hold for a minute.

5. Add your stems and some water. And voila! A lovely gift is born.

I will continue post our personal gift ideas and a recipe for Friday’s potluck that is super yum!

How have you been showing appreciation to your teachers? I would love to know!

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Paper fish wall decor

Hello everyone! I hope you are all enjoying spring! Her in Chicago, everything is budding and blooming. The colors of spring are just so inspiring, as is spring itself, reminding us of rebirth, regrowth and new beginnings. So beautiful.

This post is part 3 of our little wall decor. We started with the paper garlands then went on to our ribbon and paper cloud craft and now we have Miss Fish, what a cutie pie!

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This is our original fish on the wall.

This craft was inspired by the book “Hooray for Fish” By Lucy Cousins . It would make a great Mother’s day gift, because it celebrates a child’s love for Mommy. On the cover is Mommy fish and little fish. We love Lucy Cousins here at home and have a number of her books. She is the author of “Maisy” series of books, which have all sorts of wonderful pulls and flaps and are just downright fun to read and explore. Our favorite is “Maisy’s Book of Things That Go” it has a surprise ending!

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I’d like to begin be saying that when you are crafting and creating with your child, you are teaching valuable math and science skills. Glue drying, is a lesson of evaporation, liquid turning into solid. Placing the circles on the fish not only uses fine motor skills, you are teaching counting, how many dots do we have on the fish? Is the total an even or an odd number? The small dot is 1/2 the size of the big dot etc. Math and science is everywhere in our lives, why not make it fun!

The tools for the trade:

1. Pencil- To draw out your fish shape

2. Scissors

3. Glue- We used a glue stick and white glue

4. Colorful paper- We used Orange for the fish body, Yellow for the spots, scraps of white and black for the eyes.

5. Glitter

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The How To:

1. First I freehand drew a fish onto our Orange sheet of paper. You….can…..do…..it! A fish is just an oval and some curvy triangles, it is not fine art.

2. I cut a circle for the eyeball out of white paper and the used the black paper scrap to make the pupil of the eye. (Anatomy! Science opportunity: )
I also made little eyelashes with the black scraps.
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3. I made the spots out of yellow paper all different sizes.

4. Before we glued everything down we took a moment to play with the paper bits. See photo above. That is me in my wheelchair shooting a basketball, or a cat, or a man with a mustache with pancakes. Just play!

5. Then we took our glue stick and my daughter put it all together.

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We made the original 2 years ago this is one we made for the blog post

6. In the end she decided to squirt white  glue on to the fish and add glitter, to represent water, so feel free to do so if you wish. Glitter makes everything magical doesn’t it?

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This is our original fish on the wall.

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And that concludes the little wall series. I hope you enjoyed these crafts. I certainly enjoyed making them with my child and then sharing them with you!

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