Monthly Archives: September 2013

Paper Bag Gift Holders

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Got the perfect present for someone you love? Well, we have the perfect way to wrap it…in our adorable paper bag gift holders! The simple DIY craft uses those old school brown paper lunch bags I remember from my own childhood, but in a totally new way. Enjoy!

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What you will need:

Brown paper lunch bags

Baker’s twine

Hang tags

Hole punch

Initial stamps

Ink pad

Scissors

Instructions:

Step 1: Place gift or small items into the bottom of the bag.

Step 2: Starting roughly four inches up from the bottom, punch six holes along each side of the bag.

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Step 3: Cut a three foot length of baker’s twine.

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Step 4: Tie a knot at the end.

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Step 5: Thread the twine back and forth through each set of holes, crossing in the middle as shown.

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Step 6: Use an initial stamp to personalize a gift tag for each bag.

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Step 7: Tie on with loose end of twine, then make a bow and cut off any excess.

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Her Space

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Over the summer, we redecorated my preschooler’s room. It was a fun project. And as I shared with friends the results I had one tell me, “I think it is so cool you let her choose. My mom never let me decorate my own room.”

Personally, I can’t think of a single reason NOT to allow my child to decorate her room. There is so much in her world she has no control over. So many situations daily where she cannot choose.

She wants to be independent. She pushes for it every moment of every day. Her bedroom should be her special space. Her sanctuary. The place she can’t wait to escape to after a long day. We all need that.

It was a successful project. Here are some tips I gleaned from our experience:

  • Choose a theme – Redecorating a room is a lot easier when you have a focus. Choosing a theme can help you find and select the items you need. The theme could be your child’s favorite color, animal, place, TV/movie character, or sport for example. The possibilities are endless. Narrowing it down gives you direction and helps things come together.
  • Set a budget – It’s never too early to teach your child about budgeting and spending money wisely. Set a budget for the room redesign and tell your child what it is. As you work together to locate items for the room, help your child understand how the expense for each contributes to the overall cost of the project.
  • Let go of control – This is your child’s opportunity to create her own space. It isn’t about your tastes or style. It is likely you have had the opportunity to make your imprint on every room in your home, including your child’s when she was younger. This is her turn. That said…
  • Don’t budge on boundaries – While your child is creating her space, it is still your house. If you have rules about no TVs in bedrooms, for example, stick to them. If there are materials your child chooses you feel do not reflect the standards of your family, put your foot down and explain why. Use it as an opportunity to discuss what matters to you. Help her find something different. You can set limits without completely stifling your child’s ability to express herself.
  • Get creative – You don’t have to go big in order to create a great new space for your child. A few small, personalized accents can make a significant difference. My rules were: no painting and no new furniture. So we got wall decals and new bedding. Accessories like lighting and artwork were great fun to select and also helped transform the space.

Lastly, the project should be fun. For both of you. Enjoy watching your child express herself. My daughter was thrilled to have the ability to design her own space. And she proudly shows it off to anyone who comes to our home.

I can’t give her all the independence she wants. Not yet. But this was one easy way I could help her feel in control and demonstrate she matters.

Beach in a Box

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The minute conflict erupts in my house, I quickly suggest an art project or activity to distract…

My 9 year old came up with the idea of using old shoeboxes to create a beach in a box… “we can take summer and the beach with us everyday!”

My 6 years olds agreed, as this was a great Polly Pocket backdrop.

My girls gathered shells & sand from our summer beach adventures, along with pipe cleaners, fabric, paint, glitter, pom poms…miscellaneous odds and ends and went to town…

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Tiny fingers swirled together sand, glitter & glue to create a sandy multi-colored ocean floor. Dark blues and purples are painted on the inside panels of the box for the water, sea glass is glued together in groups to create hiding places for magical ocean creatures, hammocks made of fabric scraps are held up by wooden sticks on either side…umbrellas and beach chairs sit in the sand… the possibilities are endless.

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This post originally appeared on Kimberly Muller Words.

Rolling Pin Gift Wrap

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Wrapping gifts with a personal touch has become a ritual in our house. It’s so much more fun to create our own designs and gives every present a hand-crafted look that the kids feel proud of. This easy rolling pin stationery craft is super colorful and fun (even if it gets a little bit messy!)

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What you will need:

Wooden rolling pin

Foam stickers

Paint

White or solid, light-colored paper

Craft paper or newspaper

Instructions:

Step 1: Apply stickers to the surface of your rolling pin.

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Step 2: Pour paint onto newspaper or craft paper.

Step 3: Gently dip the rolling pin into the paint, making sure to cover the stickers evenly.

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Step 4: Lay down a piece of plain paper (cover your work surface first.)

Step 5: Roll the rolling pin across the paper, using even pressure.

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Step 6: Repeat, wrap and enjoy!

DIY Personalized Coasters

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Make your next party or event extra special by personalizing coaster for your guests! This is such a great way to kids involved in party prep–they’ll feel proud to be a host or hostess, and this easy craft will keep them occupied while you’re busy getting party ready.

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What you will need:

Paint

Paintbrushes

Alphabet stencils

Coasters (we found these cute cork ones at our local Target)

Instructions:

Step 1: Choose which names or initials you’d like to use for your coaster and line up the stencil.

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Step 2: Paint letters onto your coaster.

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Step 3: Allow paint to dry, then use them to help guests or family members feel extra special!

Origami Hearts

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We’re bringing a little Tokyo romance home this week with our Origami Hearts craft. The folds may look a little tricky but they’re really super simple…my girls quickly got the hang of it and started making these adorable paper hearts for all their friends. Enjoy!

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What you will need:

Origami paper in various colors/patterns

Your fingers!

Instructions:

Step 1: Starting with a 6″ by 6″ square of origami paper (printed side down,) fold in half to make a triangle. Press firmly along the crease.

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Step 2: Open the paper up again and fold into a triangle the other way, pressing again along the crease. Now you’ll have two folds in the paper that intersect in the middle.

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Step 3: Holding the paper like a kite, fold the top point to meet the middle crease.

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Step 4: Fold the bottom point to meet the top point.

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Step 5: Now fold the right side to meet the middle crease.

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Step 6: Fold the left side to meet the middle crease.

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Step 7: Your origami heart is almost done! Flip the paper over and fold the side points in.

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Step 8: Fold the top points down to “round out” the top of the heart.

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Step 9: Give your origami creation to someone you love!

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