Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Make your own CB2 inspired Cardboard Penguins

Cardboard penguins?  Who wants to make cardboard penguins?

Me!  I saw these wood penguins from CB2 and thought they looked so cute.  But then I saw the price tag and thought "Ha!  I can crapt them for next to nothing!"  So here they are... my crapted cardboard penguins.

Wanna make your own?  Read on to get the template!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Make Snowflake Window Clings

Tomorrow it's supposed to snow.  Chuck went to bed super excited because I promised him that we'd build a snowman. 

Cross your fingers that our town is dusted in snow, ok?

Although this will be the first real snowfall of the season, our apartment's windows have already been covered with snowflakes for the past couple of weeks.  Every winter I cut out snowflakes from paper, but this year I tried something new and made snowflake window clings out of tulle and fabric paint.  I think they make Chuck's room a bit more festive and fun.

To see how I made them, read on...

Monday, December 9, 2013

Make Homeamde Felt Milk Jug Cap Ornaments

Each year I try to make a couple of handmade ornaments for our tree.  Last year, Chuck and I made these hand and feet salt dough ornaments.  I would have made him a new set this year... but his feet are so big that the ornaments would end up being the size of small plates.

So instead, this year I turned a bunch of milk jug caps (gifted to me by a craft-loving aunt- thanks!) to make these mini felt ornaments.  Each one has a different design and they came out so colorful and cute.... I just want to eat them up.   But don't worry, I won't because they're made of felt...and glue...and plastic...

Can you guess which one is Chuck's favorite?  Keep on reading to find out... 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Homemade gift: DIY Felt Board

Do you remember playing with felt boards as a kid?  (Is that too old school?  Maybe kids nowadays play with fancy touch screens instead ... hrmm....)  Anyway, I remember using a felt board in school and LOVING it.   So I thought I'd try making a homemade felt board for Chuck. After consulting a couple of tutorials online, here's what I came up with:

Let's make a DIY Felt Board

how to make a DIY Felt Board

(This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support!)

Now, in full disclosure, I wish I could say that Chuck loved it and played hours and hours with it while I took a nap on the couch.  Errrm.....  It didn't quite turn out that way.  He played with the car parts for a bit, but then seemed much more interested in rolling around real cars.

But I won't call this a craft fail just yet.  I'm hoping (cross your fingers!) that he'll grow to love the felt board as much as I did.  But if not, no big deal.  The entire thing only cost about 4 dollars to make because I already had most of the materials lying around the apartment.  Score!

Now if you have a felt-loving child in your life, you can try making your own felt board too!  (I bet it would make a great Christmas gift.)  Here's how I made mine:

Materials to make a DIY Felt Board:

Directions to make a DIY Felt Board:

1.  Clean your work area.  Felt attracts stuff.  (I worked on the floor, so I swept it first.)

how to make a DIY Felt Board
2.  Take out the back of your photo frame.  Discard the glass.  Place the back on your piece of felt and trace it.  Cut the rectangle out.

3.  Optional:  If your felt is a bit wrinkly, carefully iron it.  (I turned my iron to a lower setting and placed one of those protective ironing pressing pads over my felt before ironing it so I wouldn't melt or burn the felt.)

Glue on your felt
4.  Place your piece of felt directly over the photo frame back.  Make sure the sides all line up.  To help with the gluing, fold one side of the felt over the other.  Then, use your sponge brush and brush a bit of Mod Podge right next to the fold.   Press the fabric down over the glue.  Then, spread a little more Mod Podge next to your new fold and press the felt down again.  Keep repeating this procedure until one side is fully glued down.  Then, repeat the procedure with the other side.  

5.  Once the Mod Podge dries, put your board back into the frame.  That's it!

Now comes the fun part- making your felt pieces.  Doodle your designs onto paper.  Then, trace them onto felt and cut them out.  I chose to make a set of Christmas tree felt pieces and a set of car part pieces.
Homemade Felt Board Tutorial
Happy crafting!

DIY Felt Board Tutorial

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Make mini Christmas trees from Pipe Cleaners and Cardboard

Yesterday I shared how I made a miniature Christmas village out of plaster of paris.  Today I just wanted wanted to show how I quickly made these uber cute cardboard and pipe cleaner Christmas trees for my village.

(And if you like these trees, check out my tutorial for mini paint chip trees!

mini cardboard and pipe cleaner trees tutorial

Cardboard Christmas Trees

mini cardboard Christmas trees tutorial
  • Cardboard
  • Cutting Mat
  • Pattern (see below)
  • Pen/pencil
  • Exacto knife
  • Scissors

  1. Print out the template to make one large and one small tree. 
  2. Cut out the Christmas tree parts. 
  3. Trace them onto cardboard.
  4. Cut our your parts with an exacto knife.
  5. Slide both pieces together and you've got yourself a mini tree!

Pipe Cleaner Christmas Trees
mini pipe cleaner trees tutorial

  • Paper
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Pipe cleaners (three per tree)
  • Pom Poms
  • Tacky glue

1.  Doodle out a tree on a piece of paper.
2.  Bend a green pipe cleaner around your doodle.  Wrap both ends together to secure your tree.  Trim excess bits off.  Repeat this for all three tree shapes. 
3. Tie the three trees together by wrapping the tops and bottoms together with pipe cleaner.
4.  Gently separate the branches and glue small pom poms on with tacky glue.

That's it!  Happy crafting!  (Chuck was the artistic director for this photo shoot.  Can you tell?)
make mini Christmas trees tutorial

Monday, December 2, 2013

DIY Mini Plaster of Paris Christmas Village

I've always loved Christmas.  It's the time of year when twinkly lights decorate the dark nighttime sky.  And, it's the time of year that I'm reminded to hope because of God's great love for us.

Nowadays, Chuck and I love looking at the miniature Christmas village on display at our local craft store.  We always walk around oohing and ahhing over the little houses, ferris wheel, and tiny dog playing in snow.  It's magical.

So that's why I made us our own miniature Christmas village out of materials that we had lying around our apartment.

Let's Make a DIY Mini Christmas Village!

DIY Mini Plaster of Paris Christmas Village
This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for your support!

(Psst- Click here to see see how I made the pipe cleaner and cardboard trees.)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Geometric Popsicle Stick Christmas Tree Ornament Craft

Christmas tree ornaments?  What? 

Yurp.  I know that we haven't celebrated Thanksgiving yet.... and this craft is for Christmas... but please bear with me.  I was bored one night and began playing around with leftover mini craft popsicle sticks.  After messing around with them for a bit, I came up with this easy, geometric looking Christmas tree ornament.

It was really easy to make, so if you like the design, the kiddos can certainly help out too. (Ooh.   Did you notice the sequins?  Bling bling!)

Here's what I did:

  • Mini Popsicle Sticks (I used 22)
  • Scrap paper
  • Paint Brush
  • Paint (Shades of green and brown)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Parchment paper
  • Sequins 
  • String or ribbon

1.    Cover your work area.  Paint 18 of your popsicle sticks shades of green.  Paint 4 of your popsicle sticks shades of brown.  (I only painted the front and the sides of the sticks, but you might want to paint the backs too if your ornament is going to twirl around.)

2.  Once your paint dries, begin hot gluing your sticks together.  (I made sure to hot glue on top of parchment paper so my glue won't stick to my work surface.  Cheapie crapter tip:  You can reuse this parchment paper for other project too!)  To ensure that my triangles looked the same, I made one triangle first, then traced the corners onto the parchment paper. I then used those corners as guidelines when hot gluing other triangles.)

3.  Hot glue your "trunk" sticks on.

4.  Hot glue your sequins onto the green triangles' corners.

Smaller versions would like nice as ornaments or strung together as a garland.  Right now my bigger tree is just hanging outside of our door, waiting for December.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sparkly Ombre Popsicle Stick Star Garland (using Mod Podge)

Note:  This is a post sponsored by Plaid, but the opinions are 100% mine.

Halloween is finally out of my mind and I'm now looking forward to the next set of holidays.  Even though I don't really like winter (boo, shortened daylight hours), I do appreciate that we're entering a special season filled with cozy sweaters, yummy food, family get-togethers, yummy food, twinkly lights, yummy food and of course... holiday crafting (and yummy food)! Right now I've got an itch to add more glitter and sparkle to my life.  Luckily for me, Plaid sent me a couple of holiday-themed crafting items, including Mod Podge Sparkle, which will help me to do just that.

Psst-  If you're new to Mod Podge, here's a bit of an introduction to their line of awesome products
  • Mod Podge is an excellent all-in-one glue, sealer, and finish.  It's available in a ton of different formulas, making it a perfect to use for your holiday (or everyday) gift giving projects.
  • You can buy Mod Podge at tons of retailers nationwide or directly from Plaid's website as well
  • Not sure how to start using the product?  No worries.  Plaid's website has a ton of great tips and tricks for using all their products:

So, inspired by the upcoming holiday season and my love of the nighttime sky, I made this sparkly, ombre, popsicle stick star garland. 

Wanna make this simple and sparkly garland?  Well, put on your favorite holiday song and let's get started!

  • Mini Craft Sticks
  • FolkArt Multi-Surface paint 
  • Plastic Artist's Palette
  • Paint Brush
  • Scrap paper 
  • Mod Podge Sparkle
  • Mod Podge Spouncer (an easy to use sponge brush)
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Parchment Paper
  • String
  • Scissors


1.  Decide how many stars you want to make.  Then, take that number and multiply it by 5 to figure out how many craft sticks to paint.  (Each star will be made out of five craft sticks.)  Now it's time to paint.  To create an ombre effect, first paint five stars your darkest color.  (Be sure to paint the sides of your sticks too!)  Then, add a bit of white paint to your original color to lighten it just a bit.  Paint five more sticks with this lighter color.  Keep repeating this procedure and mixing in white paint as you paint each new set of five sticks.  Your original color will become lighter and lighter, creating an ombre effect. 

2.  Once your paint dries, use the spouncer to apply Mod Podge Sparkle to your sticks.  This will protect your paint job and add just a bit of lovely sparkle.  Lay your sticks on parchment paper to dry.  (The parchment paper prevents the sticks from sticking to your work surface.)  Try to make sure that your sticks don't touch one another as they dry

3.  Once your sticks are dry, it's time to make your stars!  (If you have a bit of excess Mod Podge around the edges, use your scissors to trim it off.)  To make sure that your stars look similar, first make a practice star and then use a pencil to trace your star's five points.  Use these pencil marks as guidelines when you hot glue your stars together.

 4.  Arrange your stars in order.

 5.  Cut out your desired length of string.  Then, tie your stars on one by one to the string, starting from your darkest color and ending with your lightest color.  To make sure that the stars don't slide off, tie your string through the center of each star and not through one of the arms.   

And voila!  A lovely star garland, just perfect for the holiday season (or really... everyday!)

(To see how I painted the star painting, click here.)

If you'd like to learn more about Plaid Products, you can always connect with them on Facebook, check out their Paint Me Plaid Blog, or sign up for their Newsletter.

And.... Happy crafting!

Monday, December 31, 2012

How to make heart (and other) shaped bokeh Christmas lights

Ever wanted to make different shaped bokeh Christmas lights?  Inspired by our Christmas snowmen-light sunglasses, I thought I'd try my hand at making our Christmas lights look heart shaped.  And then, once I figured out how to do that, I had to make some other shapes as well...

How to Make Different Shaped Bokeh Photos

how to take heart, cat, star, arrow and different shaped bokeh photos
Heart, star, cat, and arrow shaped Christmas lights

Keep reading to see how I made different shaped bokeh!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

A few Christmas photos

Let me just start this post by saying that I had intentions to take tons and tons of photos during Christmas.  But, I didn't touch the camera once.

Surprised?  Me too.

I just enjoyed spending time with family.

I was also so happy to see Baby Chuck surrounded by people who loved him.  Seeing him laughing and smiling and giving sloppy wet kisses to his relatives?  Those were definitely my favorite Christmas memories from this year.

Now for those of you who still want to get a glimpse of our Christmas, hubby luckily snapped some shots of our yummy meal.  Here's what he captured:

Oh yeah, here's one more funny memory.  Our aunt and uncle also gave us a pair of glasses that would create snowmen shapes out of Christmas lights.  You just put on the glasses and stare into the Christmas lights.  Then, presto!  The lights magically turn into snowmen ligths.  Cool, right?   

Left:  Normal Christmas lights           Right:  Christmas lights transformed into snowmen

Wow.   What will they think of next?

I'm such a dork.  I spent at least half an hour staring  into the Christmas lights and rocking my head back and forth just to make the snowmen dance.  Ah-maaaa-zing I tell you.  Ah-maaaa-zing.

The lights also gave me an idea for a craft that I wanted to stay tuned.

And now I will conclude this post with a quote from my very wise friend Alice-
"May this season be bright and lovely as we celebrate the God who sees fit to greet us as a child and to send angels and songs to us on all our dark nights."

Hope you had a wonderful relaxing, and refreshing holiday break as well.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

DIY Birdseed ornaments

Today I'll be sharing how we created these lovely DIY Birdseed ornaments.

DIY Birdseed ornaments
Back in Michigan, hubby and I put up a small bird feeder to feed the birds during the winter.  Now that we live in the city, we don't have space to put a bird feeder up.  (Plus, even if we did figure out a way to do it we'd probably just attract pigeons or rats.  Ew and double ew.)

So, you might say that I was feeling a bit nostalgic after seeing this lovely tutorial from Saltwater Kids showing how to make birdseed ornaments.  Luckily we have several family members that live in nearby tree-filled suburbs, so I made a bunch of these as small Christmas gifts.  I don't know about you, but I could really just spend hours watching birds hopping or flying around.  Hopefully this gift will keep the kids (and adults) entertained as they enjoy nature.

If you'd like to make them yourself, let me just first make two notes:
(1)  The Saltwater Kids tutorial contains really lovely photos and clear directions.  I totally copied their recipe.  I'm a copycat.  I fully admit it.
(2)  I tried to be neat, but the birdseed got everywhere.  Be prepared to sweep and wipe up lots of tiny seeds and sticky birdseed mess.

Still want to make them?  Ok, here's how I did it:

Materials Needed to make DIY Birdseed Ornaments:

-3/4 C flour
- 1/2 C water
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin (Knox)
- 3 T corn syrup (I used dark... but I'm not sure if that matters)
- 4 C birdseed
- muffin tins/ molds (or cookie cutters)
- nonstick cooking spray
- drinking straws/ stirrers
- wax paper
- ribbon

Directions to make DIY Birdseed Ornaments:

1.  Combine flour, water, gelatin, and corn syrup in a large bowl.  Stir until everything is combined and resembles sticky goo.

2.  Add birdseed.  Stir until birdseed is covered.

3.  Spray muffin tins / molds with cooking spray.

4.  Pack birdseed mixture into the molds.  Use a measuring cup to pack and smooth everything down.   (I had a bit of trouble with this, which resulted in rough edges.)

5.  Push straws or stirrers through the birdseed.  (Make sure to push them all the way through so that you have a hole to string the ribbon through.)

fill molds with birdseed to make ornaments

fill birdseed into silicone molds to make ornaments

6.  Let your birdseed mixture sit there for three hours.  Then, take out your straws and slide/pop out the hardened ornaments out onto wax paper.  (They easily popped out of the silicone molds, but I had to use a fork to pop them out of the muffin tins.)  Flip the ornament upside down so the bottom gets a chance to harden as well.  Let them sit out overnight.

7.  Put ribbon or string through the holes and enjoy!

Merry Christmas feathered friends!

Update-  I wanted to hang up ornaments with Baby Chuck around town, so I stored some in our apartment for about a week.  Bad idea.  When I finally remembered them, I saw that they had grown fuzzy with mold.  So, make sure you use them as soon as you make them!  Otherwise you'll end up with fuzzy black ornaments.  Ick.

DIY Birdseed ornament recipe


Interested in other ways to create birdseed feeders?

Create your own toilet paper roll bird feeders and ice bird feeders.

Toilet Roll Bird Feeder Craft ice bird feeder craft

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Hope you have a wonderful time celebrating with friends and family.  
Here are some photos and a video from our recent Toddler Time Christmas party.



PC218897.AVI from Pink Stripey Socks on Vimeo.

Monday, December 24, 2012

DIY Felt Nativity Finger Puppets with Pattern

Last night I put the finishing touches on my felt Nativity finger puppets.  
They're now hiding under our tree.  
Hopefully Baby Chuck will like them.  

To create these little guys I just traced the different pattern pieces onto felt and used fabric shears to cut them out.  Then, I used hot glue to first glue the features onto the front of the puppet and then I glued the front and back pieces of the puppet together.   I was going to put googly eyes on them, but I had a feeling that Baby Chuck would just rip those suckers right off.  Maybe I can try drawing on them with permanent marker?  Hmm....

In case you want to make your own set, I've attached my pattern down below.  If you try making them I'd love to see your results.

Happy Christmas eve!

DIY Nativity Felt Finger Puppets Pattern

Friday, December 21, 2012

Crapty DIY potato chip bag pinata

So remember that surprise we were talking about?

Surprise!  Today our Toddler Time group is holding a Christmas party.  We're going to eat, drink, and hopefully meet Santa Claus.  Cross your fingers.

Everyone is bringing something to the party.  Baby Chuck and I are bringing a pinata.  What?  Why am I making yet another pinata?  Well, some of the moms are from Mexico and apparently it's a Mexican tradition for children to hit a pinata at Christmas.  (Side note:  I really love that there are so many different cultures represented in our toddler group.  It's neat learning about other cultures.  Added bonus-I get a chance to practice my Spanish.  Que bueno!)   

Now, a traditional pinata looks like a sphere with seven cones sticking out of it.  Here's the one I made:

Erm... I know what you're thinking.  Leslie, yours looks nothing like that.  True true, but it looks kinda like a star and there are tassels.  Does that count?  Let's just say that mine was inspired by the traditional one.  The coolest thing about this pinata is that it's a true blue CRAPT!

- several cereal boxes <-- crap!
- LOTS of potato chip bags* <-- crap!
- tape
- glue (I used Aileen's tacky glue)
- scissors
- pens
- ribbon
- aluminum foil

(*I'm slightly embarrassed by the amount of chips we eat in two weeks.)


Hope you have a wonderful weekend.


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