Easy Preschool Project for Mother’s Day

Sweet Sentiments

The Mother’s Day cards my preschoolers made are sooooo cute! One class decorated their cards with flowers and the other with hearts. Although me and my co-teacher assembled the cards, the two and three year-olds participated by painting, coloring and letting us know what they love most about their moms. These Mother’s Day cards are quick and easy to create, and they translate easily into cards for other people and holidays–think Father’s Day, grandparents, note to teachers, caregivers, etc.

Flower Card Supplies:

  • construction paper
  • non-toxic paint in two colors–green and whatever color the flower will be
  • paintbrush
  • markers
  • scissors
  • crayons

Flower Cards Directions:

  1. Fold construction paper in half. Inside, write personalized note in marker. Child colors inside of note with crayons.
  2. Paint child’s hand the flower color. Make a handprint on front of card. Wash hand.
  3. Paint a separate piece of paper green. Let dry.
  4. When green paper is dry, cut out two leaves. Draw stem. Glue leaves to base of stem.
  5. Write or print out, “Your love and care helps me bloom.”

Heart Card Supplies:

  • construction paper in two colors
  • scissors
  • markers
  • crayons
  • glue

Heart Card Directions:

  1. Fold construction paper in half. Inside, write personalized note in marker. Child colors inside of note with crayons.
  2. Cut a heart out of contrasting construction paper. Child color with markers.
  3. Glue heart to front of card.
  4. Write or print out, “I love you with all my heart.”

Easy DIY Kids Crafts: Spring Bling Countertop Container

Glass marble decorated Countertop Container.
Glass marble decorated Countertop Containers.

1. Measure height and circumference of can. 2. Cut cardstock correct measurements to wrap around can. 3. Glue cardstock to can with white glue.
1. Measure height and circumference of can. 2. Cut cardstock to correct measurements to wrap around can.

Glue cardstock onto can.
3. Glue cardstock onto can.

_________________________________________________________

Let covered can sit for a bit so cardstock is secure before applying glass marbles.
4. Let covered can sit for a bit so cardstock is secure before applying glass marbles.

5. Apply glass marbles in rows from the bottom up.
5. Apply glass marbles in rows from the bottom up.

_________________________________________________________

Applying glass marbles with glue gun.
Applying glass marbles with glue gun.

Creating a pattern with colors.
Creating a pattern with colors.

Fun and Easy Decorated Containers

One of the highlights in the five weeks since we’ve been quarantined was teaching a Zoom craft class. I had so much fun working with two girls who live in the neighborhood in one class, and my nieces and nephew in another. The idea for these Spring Bling Countertop Containers came from Creative in Chicago and was called “Bling Storage for the Bathroom” so, though this was a project my After School Enrichment 3-5 kids created, it’s a fun project for any age.

Need a party idea or DIY Mother’s Day gift?  Creative In Chicago recommended lining the inside of the can with cardstock paper, then covering that with Modge Podge, but we just worked on the outside of the cans.

Happy creating, hon!

Spring Bling Countertop Containers
Supplies:

–Soup Can (I took the top off with the kind of can opener that lifts the top off rather than slices it, so there were no sharp edges.) A glass jelly jar would also work if you don’t mind seeing glue lines from the inside of the jar.

–Cardstock paper

–Glass Marbles that are flat on one side (called “Decorative Fillers”in many colors at Michael’s craft stores), Other smalls objects would also work, such as pebbles, sea shells, petrified wood, pom-poms, small toys like cute erasers, Legos, etc.

–White Glue and Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks

–scissors, ruler, pencil

Steps:

1. Measure height and circumference of can.

2. Cut cardstock to correct measurements to wrap around can.

3. With white glue, adhere cardstock to can.  Let can sit until glue dries. If using hot glue instead, glue will dry instantly.

4. Apply glass marbles in rows from the bottom up.  (By applying from the bottom, can will sit nicely on a surface. If applied top down, marbles might stick out over the bottom’s edge and the container will wobble.)

6. If there’s a gap in the glass marbles, they can be broken in half to fill the space.

7. Clean up the glue strings.

Enjoy!

Show and Tell, Needlepoint Pillows

Hon, you know what feels great? Completing a project. Make that two projects!

The cupcake canvas flew from New Jersey to Florence and back. I bought it for my daughter when she was studying abroad and, though she finished the cupcake, she ran out of steam to fill in the background. The unfinished needlepoint sat and sat and sat, along with my partly-done dandelion canvas, until I decided it was time to finish both. It was off to Wool & Grace to decide on pillow background colors. I love how they came out!

Now it’s time to finish a market bag, an infinity scarf, a sweater, a handmade paper collage…

Related Post: Unfinished Business

Ravenclaw Knit Scarf

Ravenclaw scarf.

My kids are crazy for Harry Potter and if my youngest went to Hogwarts, she’d be in the Ravenclaw house. She asked if I’d knit her a scarf for Ravenclaw Pride Day. It was easy, peasy and I learned how to carry up yarn.

Happy knitting, hon!

Ravenclaw Scarf

Materials:

–blue and tan or goldfish yarn, (I used Red Heart Soft, colors Navy and Wheat, 256 yds/234 m each. In the end, I used approx. 1 1/4 skeins of Navy and 1/2 skein of Wheat.)

Tips about yarn: The yarn I used was 100% acrylic which, it turns out, did not block, so the sides of the scarf curl in. If wool or cotton is used, the scarf can be blocked. If you  used acrylic, I suggest adding a seed stitch or some other stitch on each side so that the scarf lays flat.

Straight or circular needles: size of needle will be determined by the weight of yarn used. (I used size 8/5mm circular needles.)

Tapestry needle

Gauge: not important, the scarf can be either fine, chunky or in between.

Finished size: 7 inches x 8 feet (I wasn’t planning on the scarf being that long, but when it didn’t block and I steamed it, it grew!)

Instructions:

Cast on 32 stitches of blue yarn.

Using stockinette stitch (alternate rows of knit and purl stitch) and carrying both color yarns up while knitting*, create scarf following pattern.

Pattern:

  • blue yarn, 6 inches
  • tan yarn, 4 rows
  • blue yarn, 4 rows
  • tan yarn, 4 rows

Repeat pattern 8 times total (or less depending on desired length of scarf).

After repeating pattern 8 times, end with 6 inches of blue yarn.

Bind off on knit row.

Block and add fringe*. I alternated between blue and tan fringe on each end (blue, tan, blue, tan, blue, tan, blue).

*Click here to watch a video on how to carry yarns up.

*Click here to watch a video on how to make and add fringe.

P.S. Use different color yarns for other schools, real or imagined.

DIY Graduation Party, Mason Jar Centerpieces

Mason jar centerpieces.
Mason jar centerpieces.

I admit it. I love mason jars!

I’ve decorated mason jars in the past and will use them again in the future. I collected centerpiece ideas on Pinterest, then Grad #1 and I put ours together.

Graduation Party Mason Jar Centerpieces How-To

  1. Figure out how many mason to use, and use your own or purchase jars at a craft store.
  2. Measure diameter of jars to figure out how much burlap, or other trim, will be needed. I decided to use a wide burlap ribbon on a tall mason jar to balance the size of the pennants.
  3. Design pennants and print out on card stock. My in-house graphic design guy, aka Hubby, used Adobe Illustrator. There are also sites that offer free, downloadable graduation designs. We found a variety of graduation designs on the site Lil Sprout (Greetings).Cut out pennants.
  4. Hot-glue dowels to back of pennants. Trim pennants to desired height with garden clippers.
  5. Decide on additional decorations. Red Gerber Daisies were a must for our centerpieces, and we added foam graduation sticker-decorated dowels. (Tip: I ran out of dowels but created new ones by hot-gluing craft sticks together. Call me resourceful!)
  6. Weight the mason jars and anchor the pennants with glass marbles. (Tip: I added a small amount of water to each jar so the Gerber Daisies wouldn’t wilt.)
  7. Set tables and enjoy!

Pennants printed on card stock and dowels.
Pennants printed on card stock and dowels.

Decide on which width ribbon works on what size jar.
Choose ribbon based on size of jars.

Measure and cut burlap ribbon.
Measure and cut burlap ribbon.

 

Wrap burlap ribbon around jar and hot glue ends together.
Wrap burlap ribbon around jar and hot glue ends together.

Quick and Easy Candy Jars

Mason Jar
Candy Jar

Little Shop of Horrors Congratulations Goodies

In my last post, Creative Cupcakes (Little Shop of Horrors), I experimented with fondant. I admit it. It’ll be awhile before I make cupcakes as elaborate as those again. If you want quick and easy favors, give-aways, congratulations goodies or party activities, these DIY Candy Jars are a cinch to put together.

In lieu of gift cards for my middle schooler’s friends, I decided to make my own Congratulations Goodies. I already owned the mason jars, ordered the candy, and asked my in-house graphic designer (aka Hubby) to print labels.

The result? Sweet gifts for a creepy show–creepy in a good way!

Hon, you know what this means? I LOVE a theme!

Here’s what you need to make your own Quick and Easy Candy Jars:

Mason Jars–available at craft stores

Candy–candy and colors to go with your theme, I used green M & M’s and Frankford Gummy Body Parts Candy

Labels and Ribbon (optional)

That’s It.  Happy DIY’ing! (and enjoy some show pics)

Gummy body parts.
Gummy body parts.

Labels.
Labels.

Fill the jar.
Fill the jars.

 

Audrey II, the man-eating plant, in Little Shop of Horrors.
Little Shop of Horrors’ man-eating plant, Audrey II. See what I mean by creepy?

Seymour and Urchins.
Seymour and Urchins on Skid Row.

DSC_1251

Curtain Call.
Curtain Call.

My little Urchin!
My little Urchin!

 

 

DIY Clean-Lines Centerpiece

DIY Centerpiece
DIY Clean-Lines Centerpiece

Last month, Hubby and I hosted a big family event.  Hon, you know what I love about a party besides celebrating happy occasions with friends and family?  The theme!  I love coordinating colors and carrying the theme through the details. It fires up my imagination.

Since the theme of the party was Broadway shows, the Manhattan skyline became a design element on the favors, large scale decorations and the centerpieces. I created the vessels and then handed them off to florist Kristen Carlberg*, who brought my vision of happy, bright, colorful bouquets to life.  I must give a shout out to my good friend, Ina Wallman*.  Not only does she have an exquisite eye for design, she helped me focus my many ideas into one cohesive plan.

Each table was set with cream tablecloths and fuchsia napkins.  Round tables featured one larger (6 inches by 6 inches) centerpiece while larger oval tables featured three smaller (5 inches by 5 inches) centerpieces, lined up in a row.

*If you are interested in getting in touch with florist, Kristen Carlberg or interior designer, Ina Wallman, please leave a comment or email me at bmoreenergy@gmail.con and we’ll exchange contact info.

Happy decorating, hon!

Supplies:

–Unfinished wooden boxes. I bought mine at G & G Distributors, a wholesale floral and craft store and website.

–White paint.  I used leftover water-based wall paint, semi-gloss.

–Paintbrushes or foam brushes.

–Drop cloth.

–Decorations to wrap around the boxes.

–Varnish, optional. (I didn’t varnish the boxes, but wish I did.  Water-based paint tends to run when water touches it.)

–Glass inserts for flowers and water. The florist supplied these.  She measured the insides of the boxes ahead of time so she’d know what sizes to get.  The unfinished wooden boxes came with thin, plastic liners.  If I was using floral green foam, then the plastic liners might have sufficed, but they wouldn’t hold cut flowers in water.

Steps:

–Gather supplies, including wrap-around stickers or whatever you are using for decorating the boxes.  Hubby has a talent for graphic design so he worked up a Manhattan skyline and ordered the custom-designed stickers an online site.  Or a paper design (not on paper that’s too thin) that coordinates with your theme can be used.  Paper designs can be secured around the perimeter of the boxes using craft glue.

–Measure designs by wrapping them around boxes and cutting them to fit.  They’ll be ready to apply once the boxes are painted and dry.

–Paint boxes and dry thoroughly.

–Apply designs.

–Varnish, optional.

–Add glass inserts and flowers.

–Set your tables and enjoy!

1. Unfinished wooden boxes were painted white with leftover wall paint.
Unfinished wooden boxes were painted with leftover water-based, semi gloss wall paint.

2. Custom-designed stickers were wrapped around each fully-dried, painted box.
Custom-designed stickers were wrapped around each fully-dried, painted box.

Boxes decorated with wrap-around stickers.
Boxes decorated with wrap-around stickers.

Three 5" x 5" boxes were lined up on oval tables. One 6" x 6" box was set in the center of round tables.
Three 5″ x 5″ boxes were lined up on oval tables. One 6″ x 6″ box was set in the center of round tables.

The florist measured the insides of the boxes, so she could pick up the correct sized glass inserts.
The florist measured the insides of the boxes, so she could pick up the correct sized glass inserts.

I love the contrast of the colorful flowers against the white box.
I love the contrast of the colorful flowers against the clean lines of the white box.

Bright, pretty, happy!
Bright, pretty, happy!

Spring Bling Countertop Container

Glass marble decorated Countertop Container.
Glass marble decorated Countertop Containers.

1. Measure height and circumference of can.  2. Cut cardstock correct measurements to wrap around can. 3. Glue cardstock to can with white glue.
1. Measure height and circumference of can. 2. Cut cardstock to correct measurements to wrap around can.

Glue cardstock onto can.
3. Glue cardstock onto can.

________________________________________________________________________

Let covered can sit for a bit so cardstock is secure before applying glass marbles.
4. Let covered can sit for a bit so cardstock is secure before applying glass marbles.

5. Apply glass marbles in rows  from the bottom up.
5. Apply glass marbles in rows from the bottom up.

_________________________________________________________________________

Applying glass marbles with glue gun.
Applying glass marbles with glue gun.

Creating a pattern with colors.
Creating a pattern with colors.

Creative Minds with their new Bling Storage Containers.
Creative Minds with their new Spring Bling Storage Containers.

Trying to come up with a new idea for my Creative Minds after-school class, I found this DIY craft on Creative in Chicago.  It was called “Bling Storage for the Bathroom,” but I don’t think these third and fifth graders are into makeup yet, so they will have the prettiest pencil cups in their grades.

These Countertop Containers were so fun to make!  We thought they would be a great party craft, party favors, or Mother’s Day gifts.  Creative In Chicago recommended lining the inside of the can with Cardstock paper, then covering that with Modge Podge, but we just worked on the outside of the cans.

Happy creating, hon!

Supplies:

–Soup Can (I took the top off with the kind of can opener that lifts the top off rather than slices it, so there were no sharp edges.)

–Cardstock paper in a color to coordinate with Glass Marbles

–Glass Marbles that are flat on one side (called “Decorative Fillers”in many colors at Michael’s craft stores)

–White Glue and Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks

–scissors, ruler, pencil

Steps:

1. Measure height and circumference of can.

2. Cut cardstock to correct measurements to wrap around can.

3. Glue cardstock onto can.

4. Let covered can sit for a bit so cardstock is secure before applying glass marbles.

5. Apply glass marbles in rows from the bottom up.  (We applied top down and bottom up, and bottom up is better because if the marbles stick up over the edge of the can it’s okay.  But if the marbles, stick over edge of bottom, the container will wobble.)

6. Sometimes there was a gap in the glass marbles, so I broke marbles in half to fill in gaps.

7. Glue Gun glue hardens instantly, but gets stringy.  We cleaned up the strings when container was done.

DIY Fall Wreath

Inspiration Wreath
Inspiration Wreath at Michael’s.

A new session of After School Enrichment started and I’m so excited to be teaching two classes.  One is called Creative Minds for 3rd to 5th graders.  Last week, we made Fall wreaths inspired by one hanging at my local Michael’s.

Here’s what you need and how to make your own.

wreath supplies
wreath supplies

Supply list:

Foam wreath form, whatever size you want

Burlap, we measured 6 feet of burlap for each form

Coiled Wire, used to secure floral spray before gluing

Wire Cutters, we used two sizes, one to trim the floral sprays and one to trim the coiled wire

Hot Glue Gun

Floral Decorations, we used colored beads, leaves and floral sprays (leaves with fruit and berries)

Ribbon

Twine, knotted and looped for hanging

Steps:

1.  Unroll burlap and guesstimate how much you will need to cover your wreath form.

2.  Wrap burlap around wreath form, tucking ends in on what will be the back of your wreath, hot glue ends.

3.  The floral sprays had long stems so I cut the ends off with a large wire cutter.

4.  Use coiled wire to secure floral spray to burlap covered wreath form.  We used a fairly long piece of coiled wire, wrapping it around spray stem in a criss-cross fashion and twisting in back of wreath.

5.  Hot glue floral spray to wreath:  We glued the spot where the coiled wired secured the floral spray and also under the leaves so they would lay flat.

5.  Hot glue colored beads and individual leaves.

6.  Tie ribbon and glue if needed.

7.  Find the top of the wreath and create a hanging loop with twine.

Coiled wire wrapped around stem in a criss-cross fashion.
Coiled wire wrapped around stem in a criss-cross fashion.

Hot glueing, watch your fingers!
Hot glueing, watch your fingers!

Pretty!
Pretty!

Seasonal!
Seasonal!

Love it!
Creative!

Spa Birthday Party

Tissue paper flowers in the ,kitchen
Tissue paper flowers in the kitchen.

What kind of a party is perfect for girls of many ages?

A spa party!

If you read my post Lemons and Limes Inspired Party Decor, you’ll know 1) I love to throw parties, 2) I prefer to throw them at home and 3) why I prefer to throw parties at home (three words: I’m in charge).

So, when I came across the birthday party my good friend threw for her daughter on her blog Three Different Meals, I just knew Tween Daughter was going to like it.

We set up spa stations and I hired Teen Daughter and her friend to be beauticians. The guests loved getting their own white waffle weave robes to wear at the party and take home as favors.

Tween Daughter, Teen Daughter and Hubby all agreed:  this was one of our nicest parties yet.  The girls loved the theme and getting pampered.  They didn’t even mind the classical music playing while they got facials.

Decor:  tissue paper flowers and balloons in bright colors and my own paper lanterns.

Snacks: yogurt-covered pretzels, dried fruit and sparkling lemonade

Dinner Menu:  caesar salad, baked ziti, garlic bread, plain pasta for picky eaters, pink lemonade, cake, and ice-cream sundaes

Spa Stations:  Mani/Pedis–set up in family room. I put a big sheet down on top of the carpet so I wouldn’t have to worry about spills. Homemade Body Scrub–set up in kitchen. Small glass jars* and ingredients were lined up.  Girls wrote their names on tops of jars with a Sharpie. Pre-printed and ribboned labels were tied around jars after scrub was made.  Mini-Facials, Hand Massages and Face Masks— set up in a bedroom near a bathroom for access to a sink.  I had a pile of washcloths and towels handy so girls could wash off the mask after 10 minutes.

Favors:  robes, Scrunchies and jars of homemade body scrub

Lanterns and tissue paper .flower in the dining room
Lanterns and tissue paper flower in the dining room.

Table set and ready.
Table set and ready.

Glass jars set up at "body scrub station."
Glass jars set up at “body scrub station.”

Ingredients for body scrub.
Ingredients for body scrub.

body scrubs with labels
body scrubs with labels

consistency of body scrub is  gritty and moist
consistency of body scrub is gritty and moist

Brown Sugar Body Scrub

Indredients:

3 cups dark brown sugar

1/2 cup Extra Virgin olive oil

4 Tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon Vitamin E oil

15 -20 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Directions:  Mix all of the ingredients. Stir well.

Yield: approximately 3 ounces (in a 4 ounce jar) and the measurements above yielded enough for 5 girls’ jars.

Directions on labels:

Use a washcloth to gently apply scrub to wet skin in a circular motion.  Avoid using on sensitive skin, in cuts, or on irritated or sunburned skin.  Sugar scrubs are not recommended for the face.  Thoroughly rinse with warm water.

Caution:  the oil in the sugar scrub can cause the tub to become slippery.

*Source:  Specialty Bottle Supply

Mani/ pedi station.
Mani/ pedi station.

snacks by mani/pedi station
snacks by mani/pedi station

facial station
facial station

Tween Daughter with avacado mask
Tween Daughter with avacado mask.

girls in robes
girls in robes

robes wrapped and ribboned
robes wrapped and ribboned with body scrubs in gift bags

chocolate-covered strawberries
chocolate-covered strawberries

cake and ice cream
cake and ice cream