Category Archives: Crafts

Handprint Ice Cream Cones

It’s summer!  And what goes more perfectly with summer than ice cream?  I found the idea for these cute handprint ice cream cones on Pinterest and decided to make them with our daughter.  They turned out so cute that we also made them at preschool with our class on Ice Cream Day.  Besides, I love making projects with hand prints or traced hands.  I think it’s so fun to have projects that preserve how big kids’ cute little hands are at different stages – especially at the end of a school year.

The ice cream cones are are very simple and quick to make.  First I cut some triangles out of light brown construction paper for the cones.  I had the kids draw lines on them with brown crayons or markers to make them look more like ice cream cones.  Then we glued them onto a light blue background.  Then I had several sheets of “ice cream colored” construction paper – pink, white, brown, lime green, yellow…  The kids picked their favorite ice cream “flavors” for their papers.  You can make one, two, three or even more “scoops!”  I traced their hands and cut them out.  Older kids would of course be able to cut them out themselves, but for little ones it’s hard to cut out hand shapes with all the ups and downs between the fingers without accidentally chopping off a paper finger here and there!  We glued the hand “scoops” on top of the ice cream cones in whatever order the kids chose.  Then they got to glue a cotton ball on the top scoop for whipped cream.  The final touch was a little round circle punched out of red construction paper to be the cherry on top!  All the kids, our own daughter included, enjoyed making their ice cream cones.  All that was left to do was hang the ice cream project on the fridge and start enjoying summer!

Valentine Arrows – Part 1

Even though I say “It’s Always the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” I’ve got to admit, this winter hasn’t been the best.  Around here it’s been dreary and wet and ugly.  During the month of January all I wanted to do was hibernate.  I spent a good chunk of my free time curled up on the couch completely unmotivated to do much of anything.  On the plus side, I got to watch a few IU and Butler basketball games from beginning to end, something I haven’t been able to do in years.  On the downside, I didn’t get around to doing any blog posts or any craft activities.  But today, the sun is shining and I feel energized and ready to come out of hibernation (even if the groundhog felt otherwise).  So I’m saying farewell to the doldrums of January and greeting February with a smile and a cute Cupid’s arrow project you could make to give your friends for Valentine’s Day!

You will need chocolate bars, heart shaped chocolates, and Pixy Stix.  Cut white pieces of paper the correct size to wrap around your chocolate bars.  Wrap the bars and tape them on the backs.  If I made these again, I might also wrap some pink doilies around the bars to make them look a little more colorful.  Use glue dots to attach the Pixy Stix to the tops of the bars.  Punch hearts out of red card stock with a heart shaped punch.  Use glue dots to attach the heart shaped chocolates to the hearts then use pop up dots to attach the hearts to both ends of the Pixy Stix to be the ends of the arrows.  I finished the bars off by wrapping some red and white bakers’ twine around them, attaching little stamped tags, and tying bows.

Stay tuned for a matching Cupid’s arrow card coming soon… assuming I stay motivated and the couch and college basketball don’t start calling my name again!

Christmas in a Jar

As I’ve mentioned before, I really love to decorate with Ball jars.  Last Christmas I came up with yet another fun use for them: I made “Christmas in a Jar” favors to give as gifts.  They were really fun and actually very easy to assemble.  First I got a bunch of Ball jars, obviously.  Then I collected all kinds of “stuff” that reminded me of Christmas.  I actually took a jar around Target to make sure none of the items were too big to fit inside the jar.  I got old fashioned icicles to hang on trees, various Christmas candies, candy canes, tiny ornaments, tiny cookie cutters, and packets of hot chocolate – all the fun nostalgic things that make me think of Christmas.  Then I went home and stuffed the jars with a little bit of everything.

More Christmas in a Jar

To go with the nostalgic theme, I also found some “retro” looking Christmas paper from Stampin’ Up and punched scalloped circles from it to glue to the lids of the jars.  Finally, I tied a tag on each jar that labeled them as “Christmas in a Jar” so that people would understand what they were getting.  They were really fun gifts to put together, and people seemed to get a kick out of getting them.  They also made cute table decorations at our Christmas party last year.  If you need a last minute gift or favor, you still have plenty of time to put together your own “Christmas in a Jar!”  Merry Christmas!

Leaf Turkeys

I always like to have our daughter make one special project to hang on the fridge each month.  While the handprint turkey is a perennial favorite for November, I saw the idea for leaf turkeys on Pinterest and decided that we had to make our own this year.   Our daughter loved making them and was quick to point out that they reminded her of a stuffed turkey decoration we have had for years because they both have leaves in place of feathers.  I thought she made a pretty good connection!

Leaf Turkeys

Leaf Turkeys

I cut out large circles out of light brown construction paper and smaller circles out of dark brown construction paper.  I cut out yellow beaks and red wattles.  I also happened to have some artificial leaves on hand that worked perfectly, although I think it would be really fun to go on a fall nature walk looking for leaves and then have kids use the leaves they found to make the turkeys.  I also had googly eyes ready for the turkeys’ faces.  Start by gluing the leaves on the tops of the bigger circles.  It takes a fair amount of glue to get them to stick.  We used Elmer’s School Glue, but I think Tacky Glue might be a better choice.  Once the leaves are in place, just leave them alone to dry.  They won’t stick well if you keep lifting them up to check if they are stuck yet (soooo hard for kids to understand)!  Then glue the smaller circles below the leaves.  Glue on the eyes, beaks, and wattles.  You will end up with super cute turkeys!

A Very Mummy Halloween

Happy Halloween!  I meant to post this much earlier, but I’ve been a bit short on time.  It turns out that Halloween time with a 4 year old is as busy and hectic as the hustle and bustle of holiday celebrations in December, so I’m only just now getting time to share these mummy ideas.  However, they are so quick and simple that you might possibly have time to use them in the remaining minutes before trick-or-treating starts.  Or file them away for another year.  Either way, I hope you enjoy.

Our daughter loves to look at old National Geographic books with her historian grandfather, and she has become quite interested in ancient Egypt.  She decided to be an Ancient Egyptian (or as she says “Regyptian”), specifically Nefertiti, for Halloween.  So I decided that the perfect theme for our Halloween crafts, favors, cards, etc. this year would be mummies to go along with her costume.  Luckily it’s easy to turn anything into a mummy.  You need gauze (I sincerely apologize to anyone shopping at Target who had an actual injury after I bought up all of the gauze on the shelves) and googley eyes.  Wrap or glue the gauze around anything and stick the googly eyes on top.  And that’s it.  Instant mummy.  Check out all of our mummy creations:

Mummy Treat

Mummy Treat

Mummy Treat Pumpkin

Mummy Treat Pumpkin

Mummy Pumpkin

Mummy Pumpkin

Mummy Craft

Mummy Craft

Mummy Card

Mummy Card

Short and sweet, but I’m in a rush… almost time to start making the mummy hot dogs for an early supper before trick-or-treating!  Fun times!

Olympic Torch Fun

The Olympics are here!  I love the Olympics.  We had fun at our house getting ready for them this week with the help of lots of neat ideas I found on Pinterest.

First, our daughter made a torch picture complete with Olympic rings and medals.  We used foil and tissue paper for the torch itself, traced her hand and arm on construction paper, and wrapped the paper fingers around the torch.  She glued on rings I had punched out of construction paper.  I thought we were done, but then she added medal stickers she found in my old box of Olympics “teacher stuff.”

Olympic Torch Craft

Olympic Torch Craft

But we didn’t stop there!  Along with out regular cookout food for dinner last night we had Cheetos in ice cream cones to look like torches.  How simple – yet cute – is that??

Olympic Torch Cheetos

Olympic Torch Cheetos

And for dessert we had still more torches.  We made cupcakes in ice cream cones and topped them with yellow and orange frosting.  Admittedly not my most beautiful culinary creations ever, but still very fun.

Olympic Torch Cupcake

Olympic Torch Cupcake

As I said, I really love the Olympics.  You might even go so far as to say that I carry a torch for the Olympics!  Ha ha.  Go USA!

Hydrangeas

Hydrangeas are the flowers that I think of in the early summer, so I like to decorate with them around this time of year.

Hydrangeas are really fun and quite simple to make.  Just get a styrofoam ball and lots of pins with pearl heads.  Then get several shades of papers to use for your hydrangea.  (It’s hard to see, but he hydrangea in the picture below has light purple and light blue paper.)   If you are making a blue hydrangea, get several shades of blue.  If you are making a pink hydrangea, get several shades of pink.  You get the idea!  I think a variety of shades looks much better than just one, although you could certainly use just one color if you prefer.  Punch lots of small flowers using a punch.  I actually have a hydrangea punch from Martha Stewart that I got years ago at Michael’s, but I’m sure any small flower shape would work.  Then punch a tiny hole in the center of each flower.  Pin each paper flower to the styrofoam ball with the pins.  Be sure to mix up the different shades of paper as you fill in the ball.  Add leaves or ribbon, and you’re all done!

Hydrangea

Hydrangea

My mom recently redid her bathroom with hydrangea towels and accessories, and I loved making some hydrangea pictures for her.

Hydrangea Pictures

Hydrangea Pictures

For the pictures, I had my dad cut the styrofoam balls so that they would be flat on the backs and still fit inside the frames.

These hydrangeas are a fun and easy project that look great everywhere.  And they are perfect for summer!

Curious George Birthday Party

We recently got to celebrate our daughter’s birthday with some of her little friends.  I absolutely love planning her birthday parties which have so far (lucky me!) all been based on classic children’s books.  It’s like getting to do a whole author study or mega book report in one afternoon – with cake!!  I know that I’m on borrowed time with this before she picks a theme unrelated to children’s literature, but my fingers are crossed that I can hold on a little longer – I have great ideas for both Pigeon and  Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse parties that I’m dying to use…

This year she chose Curious George (or Crazy George as she calls him) for her birthday theme.  I found lots of fun ideas on Pinterest, and came up with some of my own as well.  For food, I served Curious George fruit snacks, Gerber Banana Cookies, cutout cookies in the shape of puzzle pieces (since Curious George eats a puzzle piece in one book),

Puzzle Cookies

Puzzle Cookies

Rice Krispie treats in the shape of monkeys (I used a monkey cookie cutter and both regular and Cocoa Krispies for the heads along with chocolate chips and Twizzlers Pull and Peel for the faces),

Rice Krispie Monkeys

Rice Krispie Monkeys

and yellow hat cakes (Twinkies cut in half and stuck in cake dessert shells).

Yellow Hat Cakes

Yellow Hat Cakes

To decorate the tables, I used banana Runts and puzzle pieces in apothecary jars along with various Curious George toys I found at Barnes and Noble and on Amazon.

Curious George Centerpieces

Curious George Centerpieces

Each child had a newspaper boat (since Curious George makes boats out of newspapers in another book) with his or her name on it to mark his or her spot at the table.

Curious George Party Tables

Curious George Party Tables

The kids also had supplies to make monkeys out of construction paper and got to play yellow hat ring toss (made out of yellow cones and strips of black electrical tape).

Yellow Hat Ring Toss

Yellow Hat Ring Toss

At the end we handed out Barrels of Monkeys for favors.  I thought it was a fun birthday theme – lots of possibilities!  I hope the kids enjoyed attending the party as much as I enjoyed putting together all of the Curious George themed stuff for the party!

May Daisies

So excited that May is almost here – such a fun (and busy) month to celebrate the end of the school year and bring on the start of summer!  For May I like to decorate our kitchen with daisies.  They are cheerful and fresh, and they seem to capture the feeling in May that summer is just around the corner.  I fill jars with daisies and put pots and vases of daisies out.  They go with just about any color, so it’s a nice, quick update that works anywhere.

Daisies Craft

Daisies Craft

I even had our daughter make a craft with handprint daisies in a construction paper ball jar for the fridge.  So easy and cute.  So put out some daisies and welcome the month of May!

Rainbow Hands Craft

There are so many cute craft projects using kids’ handprints out there on Pinterest.  I found this one last year, and I made it with our daughter to hang on the fridge during the month of March.

Trace your child’s hand.  You only have to trace it once – a good thing if your toddler is less than thrilled about staying still long enough for multiple tracings!  Cut out the hand shape and use it as a pattern to make a hand print in each color of the rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.  Glue the handprints so that they overlap in a curved rainbow shape in rainbow order on a light blue background.  Add a black pot with some gold glitter on the top.  Hang it up to display during March and enjoy!