Santa’s Countdown to Christmas!

Action Jackson is getting to the age where visual displays help to let him know when something important is coming up. Well Christmas is only days away. I have never done an advent calendar and don’t really like the idea of all the little toys or candies in there. Mainly because they will all be gone before Christmas arrives.  So instead I went to Joann’s and found a felt santa.  Since I wanted to do a countdown somehow I thought that I get some white pom poms and glue them each day onto Santa’s beard. Here’s what we did:

Step 1: We had to glue all the pieces of Santa together. The pre-made kit can be bought at Joann’s for $10. We put it together with Glue Dots.

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Step 2: Line up all your pom poms in the order you want them. You should have 24 (Since Santa comes on Christmas Eve).

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Step 3: One by one take off the pom- poms and number with a sharpie. 24 should be at the end of the beard to make it full when it is finished.

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Step 4: Hang him up and add a pom pom each day! We have been using the glue dots and they work just fine.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS! 

Gobble! Gobble! Shake Your Tail Feathers!

I haven’t posted anything in a few weeks so it was about time we did a craft.  Finally getting settled enough to bring the crafts out and have some fun. Today was glitter explosion! I don’t know what I would do without our craft tray I got many months ago. It keeps 90% of all the glitter in the tray, rather find that 10% around the house rather than all of it!

While going through my craft supplies I found a couple of old hand prints I had cut out of Jackson’s a few months ago (I’m guessing I really don’t remember when I cut them out). Since Thanksgiving is the next holiday we will celebrate I figured I might as well turn those hand prints into some turkeys!

 

What you need:

  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Paper towel tube
  • Glitter
  • Glue 

Step 1:  Make your handprints

Trace your child’s hand and cut it out on the construction paper. Sorry I don’t have pictures of this step since it was already done. 

Step 2:  Glue

Place glue all over the hand prints, one at a time since it tends to dry fast in a thin layer.  We used clear school glue. 

Step 3:  GLITTER!!!! 

You can decorate any time you want, but we used glitter. Gold, copper, silver, blue, green, and purple is what we used.

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Step 4:  DRY

Allow your turkeys to dry other wise the fingers will bend.

Step 5: Cut your tube

Cut your card board tube from 1 1/2 inch – 3 inches. Depending on how many turkeys you are doing.

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Step 6: Glue the Turkeys! 

Glue your turkeys on to your tubes. The bottom should stand to the bottom of the tube so that it is standing straight.

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We added some  sequins as eyes. Over all I think they came out pretty cute and Jackson really enjoyed playing with glitter.  These would be great for Thanksgiving as place card holders or decorations.

 

Have fun making yours and send pictures if you want!

Thrifty Halloween Decorations

It’s a few days away from Halloween! This is one of my favorite holidays!  While I would love to decorate the outside of my house like all my neighbors, we just don’t have the money for that. Plus I like decorations very inexpensive! OR FREE!

This week we have made outdoor lanterns for the sidewalk and we have made spooky silhouettes for Jackson’s windows.  Both were made with items from around the house!

We will start with the silhouettes. Sorry I didn’t take pictures of the process since it was super simple. All we did was use Contact Paper. Yup that is it!  I heard you can even use Press N Seal paper too. For us all we had to do was draw on the back side of the contact paper our spooky shapes and cut it out!  We made ghost, pumpkins and bats.  Once you cut it out gently peel the backing off and stick it to your windows! That is it. How super simple!  At night just have a light shining through the back of the curtains so people from the street can see your spookiness!

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Spooky Outdoor Lanterns

Yes another easy and (cheap) project. I collect everything, jars mostly, but my craft room is full of random stuff. Thankfully I had several jars for this project.

What you need:

  •     Empty clean jar
  •     Tissue paper ( green, orange, white) We actually used orange crepe paper (streamers) for the pumpkin. 
  •     Mod Podge
  •     Scissors, paint brush
  •     Black construction paper
  •     Black duct tape

You might want a paper plate or something to rest your jar on while you work. 

Take you a section of tissue paper ( like a quarter of a sheet) and cut it in to strips. You will be placing them vertical on the jar, make sure they are long enough.

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Take your jar and start brushing on the Mod Podge.

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Once you get your jar covered ( or you can work in sections)  start laying your strips of tissue paper. After each strip laid coat a layer of mod podge on top and repeat until the how jar is covered.

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Once your Jar is covered with Mod Podge  draw a face on your black construction paper and cut it out.  Finally Mod Podge it on your jar as well.

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Next take your black duct tape and tape around the mouth of the jar.

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Just let dry and your are all done. Drop a tea light or a battery operated tea light inside and let it light you walkway!

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Where do I live?

As our children get older the more questions they have. A big one they might as is “Where do I live?”.  Jackson has recently become obsessed with space. As parents, his father and I are super proud. But it started me thinking he knows earth, he knows how to give me directions to Target or Publix, but does he really know where he lives? So I set out through Pinterest to see if there was somehow to give him a correlation between Earth and where we live. And thanks to Teach Mama, she did just that. Breaking down the sections to make it easy on kids.  You start at our house, to your street, city, state, country, continent, and planet.  She even gives you a downloadable file that has the different sized circles to make it easy.

What you need:

  •  Downloadable file from Teach Momma
  • Construction Paper (This is what we printed our planets off on, trimmed to size)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Whole Punch and something to hold everything together. (We used a D-ring that I was able to slide the pieces of paper in individually and then super glued it shut)

Step 1:

Print your circles out

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Step 2:

Collect your print outs for each location

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Step 3:

Color and decorate

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Step 4:

Glue

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Step 5:

Whole punch and connect.

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Now that we have finished with this location, I think we will have to do one with all the planets.

Resources where we got our maps:

Street and City maps- Google Maps

Continent- www.yourchildlearns.com

Planet – Google Images

State and Country – www.50states.com

Toy Car Storage

Little boys have cars… lots of cars. Yes little girls can have a lot of cars too, I just don’t have a little girl around me.  My son has been collecting Matchbox cars since before he was a year old.  He loves them.  For a while there I think he was more obsessed with them.  Thankfully they are fairly inexpensive.  But how do you store all the cars that your child has been collecting for over 3 years?  Matchbox has a toy car sorter, but have you really seen it? It’s pretty cheaply made for how expensive it is. But also keep in mind that if a boy has Matchbox cars then chances are he will have other cars of various sizes.

So how do we store our cars?  In a tackle box. I’m not talking a child’s size tackle box, but ours has 3 levels with a big opening in the bottom for larger or oddly shaped vehicles.   We went all out. The tackle box can hold at least 100 cars! But what’s even better is that I spent $25. It’s sturdy enough that it can be carried anywhere and I don’t have to worry about it breaking and all the cars spill out everywhere!

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(not all his cars are shown, this was mid cleaning)

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Let’s Make Memories

Baby clothes, if you have had a child before then you know how clothes just seem to magically add up.  However, they don’t wear them for very long, but you still have your favorite outfits! Photo shoots, birthdays, hitting milestones, you have those outfits that you remember everything that happens in them. What happens with the child out grows them? Well if you don’t give them away, you might save them for if you have another child, or save them to give to your child for when they have children of their own. Well I saved several pieces from newborn to 24 months and I didn’t want to keep them in a box anymore. I had some pieces I had to keep ( like his frog suit) in one piece, I just could not cut up. Some of his others I was painful to cut up but I did it. I MADE A QUILT OUT OF HIS BABY CLOTHES! This was my 1st real quilt.

My husband has a quilt that his mamaw made for him when he was little. Well that quilt is sitting right next to me. We use this thing constantly. I wanted Jackson to have something that he could take with him and have for always. Now my husbands quilt is probably a queen size, I wanted Jackson’s to be large just not that large. I was hoping for a twin size. It turned out to be in between a twin and a toddler size. Which is ok because Jack and I can both curl up with it on the couch.

 

Supplies:

  • At least 50 articles of clothing ( remember the smaller the size of clothes the smaller the quilt it will be)
  • Fabric for your backing
  • Fabric for your border
  • Embroidery Thread or Yarn
  • Batting
  • Iron
  • Heavy Duty Starch or Interfacing
  • Rotary cutter and mat
  • Cardboard or plastic forms (I did 2 plastic forms, 5×5 and 6×2)

I am not putting how much fabric you need for your front and back because it really all depends on the size of your quilt.  This is what I went with for colors though.

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Make sure all of your clothes are washed before you start.

Step 1:

Take a mental picture of your clothes and what size forms you have to cut them with. My newborn clothes I had use the 6×2 form on most of them just because they were so small.  It is easier when you cut just to lay the clothing on the mat and cut 2 pieces instead of one, just incase you need a few scraps for a fill in.

 

Step 2:

Stat laying out all of your scraps. You can kind of get an estimate on how big the quilt will be or if you need more clothes.

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I had some clothes that had badges or little feet on them that I cut off and would sew on top to get it some dimension.

Step 3:

Now that you have everything where you want them, you need add your starch and iron your fabric. Then go back to your rotary cutter and make sure there aren’t any odd edges and everything matches up.

Step 4:

Start sewing one row at a time. 1/4 inseam at best. Do all your rows just like this. Then once each row is sewing you can start sewing the rows together.

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Step 5:

I needed to work with a border on mine just to get it additional size.

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Step 6:

Cut your back fabric to fit to size.

 

Step 7:

    Lay your interfacing between your clothes and backing and pin so that it doesn’t move while sewing on your border.

 

Step 7:

Slip on your border. I started by sewing the sides and then the top and bottom.

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Step 8:

Start using your thread or yarn and tying your batting to your top and bottom fabric.  I did ties every 5 inches across and every 2 inches down in a staggering pattern.

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You are done.

I love how this quilt turned out. Jackson even cuddled up with it the 1st time. He knows it is his quilt. It is very japanese, but since that is where we lived the 1st year of his life I love it!

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Go Away Monster Spray!

We are at the stage of monsters. Monsters under Jackson’s bed (even though there are drawers under his bed) and in his closet (again no closet doors) are starting to go wild in an active 3 yr olds imagination. It doesn’t help when he loves Monsters Inc. We used Febreeze last night to spray the monsters last night but that was a little too strong. So we had to come up with something else…

What to do: Have a spray bottle and some essential oil (we added peppermint) and fill with water. Decorate the bottle and have your child lightly spray their room for monster’s every night.

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*** Update – We have been spraying his room for a few weeks now when he goes to bed and he always tells me ” No more monsters in here!”. That is exactly what I like to hear.  I like to know that he isn’t so scared anymore, it makes mommy and daddy’s job a lot easier at night. ***

Ohio State Burlap Wreath

Tried my hand at making my 1st burlap wreath today, and since this in this household we are Ohio State Buckeyes fans, I knew it needed to be a football inspired wreath! Even better that Ohio won their 1st game of the season! It was super easy to make and only took around 2 hours.  I didn’t take pictures of course making it so all I have is the final product.

But I will however go over how it was done.

Supplies:

  •  Metal wreath frame (mine was 18 inches so everything is determined on this)
  • 2 packs of rolled burlap garland (10 yrds each)
  • Ribbon
  • Letters (painted to your liking)
  • pipe cleaner (in similar color)

Step 1:

Get one end of your burlap and start weaving from the outside in on your wreath. Secure the end by looping under so it isn’t shown on the inside and tie with a pipe cleaner.

Step 2:

Keep weaving your burlap in and out all while scrunching so it is full. It takes a while at 1st but it gets easier. Put two fingers between the wreath and the burlap to keep it fluffed up. When you finish all the way around tie it off just like you did at the beginning.

Step 3:

Decorate your letters how you want them and hot glue them onto the burlap. Easiest way to do this is just put hot glue on the back of the letters and gently push down on the burlap.

Step 4:

Finish off with a ribbon!

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I love the final product!

 

If you don’t want to make it and would rather buy it. This is listed on my ETSY shop. https://www.etsy.com/listing/161300263/ohio-state-university-wreath?ref=pr_shop

Sock Puppets

Today was craft day today with my mom’s group.  The theme was sock puppets. I don’t think Action Jackson was very interested in it after he colored on the sock. Maybe he will grow to really like his sock like he did with Mr. Pickles (his Muppet).  He usually runs around the house though with socks on his hands, which is silly since more often than not they aren’t clean.

 

Supplies:

EVERYTHING IN YOUR CRAFT ROOM! No, seriously, anything and everything works to make sock puppets, but if you need a list here you go:

  • Socks
  • Pom-Poms
  • Google eyes
  • Fabric Markers
  • Beads
  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Buttons
  • Sewing Kit
  • Felt
  • Yarn
  • Hot glue

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As you can see from all of our mom’s we had a lot of items!

Step 1:

Choose your sock. Slide your hand into the sock so that your fingers are where you toes go.  Open your hand at the toe of the sock and push the sock in to your palm.  This will be making the mouth.

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Step 2:

Cut your felt out to the color that you would like your mouth to be. We chose green, and later cut out just enough red for a tongue.  Hot flue the felt in.

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Step 3:

Decide what kind of eyes you want either the google eyes or if you want to sew on buttons. Mark and make your sock puppet see!

Step 4:

Design. Have fun with your puppets. Give it a nose, hair, scales, anything you can think of. Here is some inspiration!

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Our lovely mom Elizabeth made a dragon for her little one.

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She ended up adding her google eyes to the pom pom’s so that they stand up more!

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Jackson’s and mine needs some help, but it was still fun making it

 

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All of our socks!

 

No sock puppets are perfect. They are supposed to be silly and a lot of fun to make. It’s the memories made that are more important than a physical appearance.

 

I hope everyone has fun! 

 

Alphabet Crayons

You have kids, you have crayons, you end up having broken crayons, am I right?  Last week I bought a bunch of crayons thanks to a free deal through Target. I stockpiled. Well now I am thinking what am I going to do with 8 boxes of crayons plus the ones we already have.  My dear husband suggested the other day to take a box and melt them down into a few big crayons. Well I took his suggestion and made 3 larger crayons, but I also made some Alphabet crayons. Since Action Jackson knows most of his alphabet, he still needs help. I am hoping this helps.

What you need:

  • 24 pack of crayons (or a lot of broken pieces)
  • Alphabet mold (these can be found in the soap section of Michaels)
  • Muffin tin and liners

Step 1:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line your muffin tin with liners.

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Step 2:

Start removing the wrapper from all crayons. After doing several of these by just my fingernail, I had the bright idea to run them under hot water. This was much faster! As you remove the wrappers start breaking the crayons ( or using the broken ones) and placing the pieces into the muffin tin.

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Only have a few crayons in each liner for the alphabet (We refilled another time to make the whole alphabet)

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However, if you want big blocks for crayons fill the liners to almost the top.

Step 3:

Bake for the alphabet for roughly around 4 min.  Until they are all melted.

Bake for the larger crayons around 8-9 minutes. Until all is melted.

Step 4: 

For the alphabet: Once you remove your melted crayons from the oven, carefully pick up one liner at a time and pour it into the alphabet mold.  Allow them to cool completely in the mold. Repeat until the entire mold is full.

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Bottom, still allow to cool.

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Front.

For larger crayons: Allow the crayons to set for roughly 5 min. Remove from tin and allow to cool completely.

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Top

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Bottom.

Step 5:

For the alphabet:  Once the crayons are cooled flip the mold over and lightly push on the mold to release the crayons.

Step 6:

Enjoy!

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