Browsing Category: crafts

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Nursery

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Nursery theme

Nursery themes are always so much fun to put together! Preparing a special nursery space is my favorite way to contain all the anticipation I feel for welcoming the newest member of our family.

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Nursery theme

I am due in just 5.5 short weeks with our 3rd child, and his nursery is still a work in progress. Reusing the same furniture and wall color was a must (we hate painting!), but we’re changing out all the decor. I’ll share photos off his nautical themed nursery when it is done!

Meanwhile, here’s some pics of my last nursery theme, which proved to be quite difficult in executing. At the time I chose this theme, there was almost NO Hungry Caterpillar themed decor to be found anywhere. When I did find it, it was quite expensive. That resulted in several DIYWMH (do-it-yourself-with-Mom’s-help) projects. ūüėȬ†Zulily, Amazon, and an online fabric site were my bff’s!

Enjoy!

Hungry Caterpillar Nursery decor
Hungry caterpillar switchplate (DIY, just modge podge and a fabric scrap!), framed puzzle, bookends, etc that we found on Zulily.
Eric Carle shelf decor
On the shelf: I bought a cardboard “C” at Hobby Lobby and used Modge Podge to cover it with a strip of leftover fabric from the valance my Mom and I made. The blocks were special ordered from Etsy, and the wooden toy from Amazon. On the crib: My friend found a hungry caterpillar plush at a yard sale for $1. ūüôā
Eric Carle fabric made the cutest switch plate!
Close up of the switch plate I covered in a fabric scrap – it was a sticky project, and involved a learning curve, but still holding up after 2.5 years!
Hungry Caterpillar puzzle
We found some Hungry Caterpillar puzzles at a bargain store for $3 each. I picked up the frame on clearance at Michael’s and was delighted to find it fit the puzzle perfectly! So much cheaper than the licensed prints I found online, and I love the playful look of a puzzle in a child’s room!
Hungry Caterpillar bookshelf
We found an apple shaped bank on Zulily as well as a musical jewelry box. Score!
Hungry Caterpillar changing area
On the shelf to the right: Some wooden buckets from the Target Dollar spot (from a friend), a small wooden toy from Amazon and a music globe from Zulily. Diaper basket half off at Michael’s I believe…
Hungry Caterpillar nursery theme
The Very Hungry Caterpillar rug is actually a tummy time mat, but it made a perfect, plush rug.

So that was our second child’s nursery decor! It’s a little sad to dismantle the decor after all the love I put into it, but I feel like the new little guy should get his own nursery theme. Plus, how else am I supposed to keep the ants in my pants away in anticipation of his arrival? I need something to keep me busy besides an entire house to clean, meals to cook, a hubby and two kids…. ūüėČ

What was your child’s nursery theme? Did you DIY, or buy most of it?

 

A Very Hungry Caterpillar Nursery Theme!

4 Back To School Duck Tape Crafts!

4 Duck Tape back to school crafts!

Back to School Duck Tape Crafts are so much fun!!

4 Duck Tape back to school crafts!

My daughter should be heading to preschool soon, but instead, we decided to do¬†our own back to school learning – sort of like preschool homeschool. We have a stack of¬†preschool/kindergarten workbooks, and we continue to socialize as we always do! We also purchased a brand new stack of educational¬†Usborne books. We got¬†good, quality books about our world and space, how things grow, question and answer books and many, many more!!…Somehow, no matter the subject, every single one captures and holds her attention. Her favorites are the “Look Inside A¬†Castle”¬†(even though I told her there’s no princess in this castle!) and “Look Inside Your Body” books. They have a million sturdy little flaps to lift and she wanted to read every single one!

But whether your kid is in a traditional school setting or not, they need a crafty outlet! So I was really excited when The Duck Brand gave me the opportunity to bond with my daughter over a new type of project!

I’d never attempted a Duck Tape craft¬†before, but I headed to Hobby Lobby with my Pinterest inspiration and my excited daughter in tow (actually, both my daughters¬†were in tow, but the two year old didn’t really know what there was to be excited about, haha!).

After an excessive amount of deliberation, we chose our rolls of Duck Tape and a few extra supplies. The company offers more than 250 designs, including glow in the dark tape!! Not surprisingly, my glitzy girl picked a gorgeous glitter tape!

Rolls of Duck Tape And because I couldn’t pick just one¬†back to school craft….we created four of them! First we practiced covering a notebook with Duck Tape. There are several ways to do this (I think), but I decided the easiest¬†would be to cover a piece of paper with the Duck Tape, then pop that on the notebook. Cute, Mini Duck Tape Notebook

~ Back to School Duck Tape Notebook Craft ~

  1. Gather your supplies. You will need: One notebook, a roll or two of tape (any size will do, but I found the large size convenient to use as a base!), scissors, scrap paper, and a wooden or sticker initial if you want to create a monogrammed notebook.
  2. Cut white paper slightly smaller than your notebook. It doesn’t have to be perfect.¬†Apply strips of duck tape until you’ve covered your paper
  3. Make sure the Duck Tape extends the tape past your paper – leave an extra inch or two. Decide now if you like the black edge showing on your notebook. Trim if necessary, but leave enough tape to secure.
  4. Cut out the corners as shown in collage above. Put the Duck Tape covered scrap paper on top of your notebook. Fold excess duck tape over the edge of the notebook and seal on the backside. Apply your monogram if using. Ours is a sticky wooden initial from the clearance aisle! It adhered like a dream!

Note: I highly recommend NOT trimming the Duck Tape unless you absolutely have to. I’ve seen many other crafters use an Exacto knife when trimming Duck Tape so I assume that works best. The glitter tape cut really easily, but the plain color did not! I did, however, persevere and manage not to mangle it (as shown in final collage picture!). In retrospect, I now recommend just trimming the diagonal glitter strips (on picture #3 in the collage) and leaving the original edge of the plain tape as is. My paper was slightly larger than it needed to be and I had no choice but to trim the tape ever so slightly. So smaller is better in this case!

For my first ever Duck Tape project, I was very pleased with the turnout!

Past the learning curve, we decided to attempt a…

~ Beaded Duck Tape Bookmark ~

Beaded Duck Tape Bookmark And silly me, I forgot to take pictures in the beginning. It starts the same as the notebook, however…

  1. Cut a piece of card stock or thin cardboard to whatever size you think a bookmark should be. Punch a hole at the top to add ribbon later. Cover entirely with strips of tape, extending approximately an inch past the edge of the paper. Cut out the corners of the tape so you can fold it over neatly.
  2. ¬†If you want to live on the dangerous side, jab a hole thru the duck tape with the blade of your scissor. Does a hole punch go through Duck Tape? I don’t know; it might. My paper had a pre-punched hole. And I don’t own a hole punch of the correct size. If you’re not bleeding at this point, next, apply decorative strips of tape on the front.
  3. Fold strips of decorative tape over to the back of your bookmark. You might notice I added another strip of the wider, yellow tape to completely cover the plain paper on the back.
  4. Double your ribbon and thread it through the hole in the bookmark. Bring the two ribbon ends back through the loop you created when you doubled the ribbon and pull tight. Holding ribbon ends together, thread beads on. Knot.

And you’re done! Now, are you wondering how I got my hands on the perfect bookmark sized paper with a prepunched hole? Check out photo #1 on the notebook project collage…our monogrammed ‘A’ came on a nice piece of card stock just the perfect size!! Reduce, reuse, recycle! Save the earth! And for convenience sake, just use whatever the heck you can get your hands on. ūüėČ Having not lost our steam yet, we started on our next project…

~ Decorative Duck Tape Feather ~

Decorative Duck Tape Feather or Bookmark This was the easiest craft of them all!!

  1. Cut a piece of wire and lay the end at the edge of a long piece of Duck Tape (see picture #1 above). Let’s not be technical, here. Just eyeball the wire to be about the size you want your feather to¬†end up. To cut tape the correct size without guess work, fold in half backwards¬†with non-sticky sides touching. Align evenly with your pre-cut side and snip it off there.
  2. Fold tape LONG ways. Don’t fold the short sides in. ¬†Fold it over to meet and cover the end of the wire.
  3. Freehand (or trace, if you must) a leaf shape. Sort of a long oval. Don’t forget the stem!
  4. Wrap a small piece of duck tape around the wire stem to make it more sturdy and substantial looking (optional!). At an angle, cut towards the wire but stop short of it.

And that’s it! I promise this craft is easy as pie! Even the fringing was¬†simple! I am thinking this could make a cute bookmark as well, or a decorative addition to our next craft….

~ Back To School Duck Tape Pencil Bag ~

Duck Tape Back To School Pencil Bag

  1. Grab a quart or gallon size ziploc bag (I used a freezer bag for extra stability) and cut the bottom down to desired size. Or don’t – I later learned it is much easier to trim plastic following the steady, even line of Duck Tape!
  2. Starting at the zippered top, line up and adhere your first strip of tape. Keep going until you get to the end, and make sure the tape overlaps the bottom to seal up the opening you cut.
  3. Fold all the pieces over to the yet un-taped side! Then cover that side too. This time, don’t overlap the tape, just get it as close to the edge as you can. And try to cut the strips neatly – don’t rip it and create jagged edges, because these will be seen!
  4. Add your decorative Duck Tape. Wrap it ALLLLL the way around from one side to the other. I tried stopping at the ends and overlapping like I did with the yellow tape, but it just didn’t stay down as well or look as good. This way, you only have ONE end showing and it is very unnoticeable!

And you, my friend, now have a cute new bag!! I was skeptical about this one, but the bag seems like it will hold up very nicely and is extremely functional! It ended up being our favorite of all four projects! My daughter loves carrying it around with all her new crafts tucked inside. ūüôā

For more  creative ideas, follow the Duck Tape board on Pinterest! You can find it here.

duck tape giveaway-2

Now, as an EXTRA incentive for you for you to break into the wonderful world of Duck Tape crafts, I am hosting a giveaway for you, my lovely readers! Enter below (USA only, please) and be sure to leave a valid e-mail as I will be e-mailing the winners!

Duck Tape Craft Supplies Giveaway!

Now, if you DON’T win, you can find all kinds of Duck Tape patterns at Hobby Lobby, Michael’s, or Joann Fabrics, as well as other retailers!

 

Thank you to The Duck Brand for sponsoring today’s post and inspiring me to bond with my daughter over these fun Duck Tape crafts!

Fun, Easy Water Play Ideas for Toddlers!

Fun, Easy Water Play Ideas for Toddlers!

Water play activities are a MUST in the Summer! Squeeze every ounce of fun you can out of the warm weather!

Fun, Easy Water Play Ideas for Toddlers!

 

This water play post is actually a companion to one I just wrote for Bree at Family As We Go. You can check it out on her blog, here, and find more easy water play activities! In that post, similarly entitled, “Easy & Fun Water Activities For Toddlers!” you will find:

Giant Ice Cube, Hidden Toys

Washing the (Little Tikes) Car

Washing the (real) Car

Sink or Float.

But don’t forget to read and pin this post before you head over! I’ll provide the link to Bree’s blog again before you go. ūüôā

The first water play idea I’m going to share with you today is:

“Painting” with Water

Water play activities - "painting" with water
This was actually my work of art right there. Even adults can join in on the fun!

This could not have been easier to set up. Grab a bucket of water and various size paintbrushes. Clean up is a breeze, too! Just dump whatever water is left over and put the bucket and paintbrushes away.

Water play activities for toddlers - painting with water!

My kids mostly just wanted to cover as much dry concrete with water as possible. And make very, very long lines all the way down to the street to run along like a giant rat race, lol!

For the next water play activity,¬†you’ll need to plan ahead a tad. Check the dollar store or yard sales for a cheap pool float. Have you seen the diy water blobs going around Pinterest? This is the same idea, but less likely to become your next “Pinstrosity”!

“Water Blob”

First, buy a pack of water balloons. Open it and use the thingamabob that screws onto your hose or faucet to fill your pool float full of water instead of air! Mind blown, right?? Keep in mind, the bigger the float, the heavier it gets! Fill it where you plan to leave it for awhile, lol.

Water Activities for kids - filling up a water blob!

Keep in mind, the bigger the float, the heavier it gets! Fill it where you plan to leave it for awhile, lol.

IMG_4540

Everyone enjoyed this, from the 4 year old to the 15 month old neighbor boy! It was so cute seeing him try to stand up on the wobbling float. He did surprisingly good for his age!

Make a water blob - easy, fun water play activity!

The water blob was like a water bed that you’re actually allowed to jump on! When we were done with it, hubby dragged the water blob to our walkway where I popped open the valves. After letting it sit overnight, most of the water had dripped out by itself. We draped it over something to continue to drain and dry, so I think we can still use it again!

Now that you bought a package of water balloon just for that little hose fixture, what in the world are you going to do with all those water balloons?? Hmmm….

Fill a wading pool with water balloons!

Water activities for toddlers - fill kiddie pool with water balloons!
Yes, my four year old is gnawing on a water balloon. We were constantly on the kids’ case for doing that, so please don’t judge me!

The 15 month old neighbor boy especially enjoyed this. He sat in the kiddy pool playing with water balloons almost the whole time he was over!! Hubby and I sat “poolside” filling the water balloons. In between balloons, the excess water flowed into the pool, filling that up, too. The great thing about this is, that it’s really hard to break water balloons in a pool full of water. Makes them last a lot longer!

When we were done filling the balloons (finally!) we did a…

Pop the Water Balloon Race

Water Activities for kids - water balloon race

On your mark, get set, go! The kids raced to smash the water balloons!

IMG_4539

The kids either stomped or sat on the balloons! Lots of fun to watch! Unfortunately, the freshly cut grass popped quite a few of the water balloons…I found the concrete driveway to be a superior option.

Before you head over to Family As We Go to see the rest of my fun water play activities, please plan to keep in touch!

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Thanks for stopping by!

Sun-Shaped Crayons

Recycled Sun-Shaped Crayons

Recycled Sun-Shaped Crayons

My daughters and I made recycled sun-shaped crayons a couple weeks ago out of our old, broken crayons! Over the past few years,¬†we’ve acquired a baggie full of broken, paper-torn-off crayons. I hate throwing things away, so I kept them. I knew they could be recycled¬†by¬†melting them down on the stovetop. But the mess that melting crayons was sure to make did not sound appealing, so it never happened.

But then I saw this! Sun-upcycled Crayons from MaryAnne at¬†mamasmiles.com¬†. (MaryAnne actually guest posted for me not so long ago with this article, “Is it One and Done? Or the more the merrier?“).

In her post about making Sun-Upcycled Crayons, MaryAnne described the process,

We cut the tops off of some plastic cups, added pieces of crayons, put everything in some left over aluminum foil. We covered it with plastic wrap at the suggestion of my mechanical engineer brother, who happened to be visiting when I decided to try this.

I set up exactly as she did, with great success! I used our leftover medicine cups from our Doc McStuffins Birthday Party ¬†and helped my kids break the crayons into even smaller pieces to fit into the cups.¬†Within about 15 minutes, the crayons were melted, or nearly so (I can’t remember how long it took, exactly… all I know is, I was planning on this activity taking all afternoon but my kids were coloring with their new crayons in no time at all!).

Recycled Sun-Shaped Crayons
I used my oldest pan- just in case! The broken crayons are in plastic medicine cups, the entire pan covered in plastic wrap.
Recycled Sun-Shaped Recycled Crayons
Look at the excitement on my oldest’s face! “The crayons are melting!”, she says!

About 15 minutes after setting our pan outside in 80 degree heat, my oldest dashed onto the back porch and said, “The crayons are melted! Oh, I am so ‘cited about my new crayons!”. I walked out to show her, no they are not not melted, they still have a long ways to go…but¬†she was right. The crayons were already melted!!
Recycled Sun-Shaped Crayons

I put the melted crayon molds into the fridge for a bit to harden them up faster because of my kids’ great excitement to use them.

Coloring with new recycled crayons Coloring with new recycled crayons

 

 

 

I noticed my kids were having a hard time holding onto these round crayons, and I also thought they looked a little…well, a little too homemade, let’s say. This was fun, and this was cool, but the aesthetics could be improved upon.

Homemade Recycled Sun-Shaped Crayons
My daughter stacked these up for the perfect photo op! Looks cool, but it’s funny you can see measurement marks from the plastic cups we melted them in….Back to the drawing board! (Ha!)

 

So I texted my friend and asked if I could potentially ruin her silicone mold I’d recently borrowed (originally to make bath fizzies) if I promised to replace it. She said yes, so off we went outside again with our not yet depleted baggie of broken crayons.

Putting broken crayons into a mold to melt in the sun
My kids are serious crafters.

One piece of advice, if you chose to put the crayons into your cups or molds outside, do it in the shade. Yikes! That sun is blinding when it hits aluminum foil.

Melting Crayons in the Sun!

Again, in no time at all, the crayons were melted! I noticed, as MaryAnne did, that some melted better than others. Our triangle shaped Melissa and Doug crayons did not melt as quickly as Crayola, and the lighter colors took longer as well. There were just a few random crayons that didn’t melt completely, but they still melded with the other crayons into a new shape!

New Sun Melted Heart Crayons!

I did stain my friend’s silicone mold…she said she didn’t care because it is still usable, but I am still thinking I should probably buy her a new one.

But look at these gorgeous crayons!

Homemade Recycled Heart Shaped Crayons

These new crayons have more of a matte look. Gone are the glossy crayons we carefully arranged into molds, but these are much cuter than the broken ones doomed for the trash can!

This could also be a fun homeschool project! My kids learned that crayons are made of wax, which melts in the heat. Lighter colors don’t attract the heat like the darker colors, so those crayons didn’t melt as fast. They learned that the aluminum foil¬†reflected¬†the sun and the plastic wrap trapped the heat. This was a great little science lesson and the girls had no idea they were even learning!

I added this post to the “Life is Lovely” linkup at¬†http://gracelovelife.com¬†.