Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Homemade Wreath - Cute and Easy!

I sat down to make something I had seen in a magazine. It didn't work because I had to use wrapping paper and I was trying to do it with scrapbook paper. The scrapbook paper was too strong - it didn't fold like wrapping paper would. So, I started messing around with what I had and I think I came up with a cute little wreath that is simple to make!

You will need: an embroidery hoop (any size), 4 sheets of 12x12 scrapbook paper - (I had a big hoop to work with so you may need fewer pieces of paper if you have a smaller hoop. You can use any color/pattern)

The first thing you need to do is cut your scrapbook paper into strips. You don't need to be precise on this. I just started cutting them into strips without a guide. I got about 10 strips per paper. Then, I cut the strips in half. I folded them over and stuck them between the hoop. I had to keep adjusting the hoop and opening it while I put more paper in it.

I alternated colors/patterns with each paper I placed. I tried to keep the "hoop" as tight as I could while I did this. If I found it hard to put the paper in, I loosened the hoop a little.

I did this around the entire hoop (you can make it as big or small as you need - depending on the size of your hoop). After I had all the paper in place, I tightened the hoop as much as I could and then added a ribbon at the top (see top picture) and hung it on my front door.

I have had so many compliments on this wreath! I hope you have fun doing this wreath. I found it to be so easy and it turned out so cute!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Santa's Helper Night

I have had this idea for a few years now and I have decided to do it this year. I am offering a "Santa's Helper" Night at my house. Parents can bring their kids to my house for 3 hours to go and get some Christmas shopping done. We are going to read Christmas stories, make Christmas crafts, have a snack and play Christmas games. At the end of the night, we are going to watch a Christmas movie. We are hoping that Santa can take time out of his busy schedule to make an appearance. I charged a small fee for this event. I think it will be a lot of fun and a big help to those taking advantage of it!!!!

Tis' The Season to be Santa's Helper!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Homemade Salt Dough Ornaments

The recipe for this project is:
1/2 c salt
1 c flour
1/2 c warm water

Mix salt and flour..... add water until dough like. Knead until smooth. Roll out the dough and use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Bake in oven at 200 degrees until firm (about 2 hours). Cool and paint.

This has been a tradition for us and we have used it for grandparents (homemade) gifts. The kids love to see these ornaments on their grandparent's trees every year.

Fun, cheap and creative way to celebrate the season!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Easy To Make Booklets to Help Teach Shapes and Colors

Color and Shape Booklets:
A Fun Tool to help teach your child shapes and colors!

These are two booklets I made to help teach colors and shapes to the kids. They were really easy to make and the kids love to do them! For both booklets, I cut white paper in half. For the "Color Booklet", I wrote the color word on the page and then made some blocks of that color at the corners of the pages. I cut out squares of colored paper to go along with the color of the pages. I lay the colored squares on the floor and the kids need to put the right colored squares on the corresponding color page. For the "Shape Booklet", I colored a different shape on each page. I cut out shapes from black construction paper and they play it just like the "Color Booklet". I put the shapes on the floor and they go through each page and put the right shape on its match. I put these books together with a brad so that the pages were easy to move back and forth. These are a cinch to make and the kids love them! I store them in gallon size Ziploc bags. Another great thing about these booklets is that the kids can do them on their own!!!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Tis The Season to be Thankful

It is that time of year again when I try and get my family to reflect on all the blessings we have to be thankful for. It is so easy to dwell on the things we don't have or things we want, but we have so much more to be thankful for that it is important to refect on those things. This year, I wanted to do a "Thankful Tree" so we went down to the creek by our house and got a big branch. I set it behind the magazine rack I have in the corner of the living room. I cut out leaves from scrapbook paper and punched holes in them. At dinner each night, each one of us writes what we are thankful for on the leaves, we share them and then we hang our leaves on the branches. It is a great family tradition I started a few years ago that my family looks forward to every year! Cheers to all the things we have to be thankful for in our lives!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Six Year Old Princess Party

Gabrielle turned 6 on November 29th. She wanted another Princess Party (we had one a few years ago for her). For the invitations, I printed them out on 11x17 paper. The invite read:

King Matt and Queen Lindsay
Request your appearance at
A Royal Celebration

Princess Gabrielle’s
Sixth Birthday

To be held on the 20th day of November, 2011
Drop Off: 2 PM
Pick Up: 4 PM
At Castle (then our last name and address)

I rolled them up and taped them shut. I put them inside a paper towel roll. I took some scrapbook paper and rolled them up on a diagonal and folded in the ends so the invites couldn't fall out. I tied a pink ribbon around the middle of them and wrote the guests names (Princess Madelyn, Prince Ethan, etc.) on tags tied to the ribbon.

For the games/activities:

As soon as the guests arrived, I had them come to the table and decorate a crown. I bought jewels that had sticker backs so they didn't have to wait for glue to dry and could wear them right away.

Game #1: I bought a princess crown pinata this year because I found one on clearance for $8! I got the candy on clearance from Halloween and filled the pinata with that. We made a "wand" to hit the pinata with. We took our child sized broom and unscrewed the handle from it and wrapped it in pink fabric. On the top, I attached a star cut out of strong construction paper (I put silver glitter all over the star so it wasn't just cardboard).

Game #2: Find the Lost Princess so she can get to the ball. I found Cinderella "wall decorations" at the card outlet store for 50 cents! They were perfect because they were only about 8" tall and there were 4 in a package so there were 20 princesses hidden around the house to find. You could easily replicate this game with pictures of princesses printed off the computer.

Game #3: We played Poison Apple. I took an apple out of Gabrielle's play kitchen and wrote "Poison" on it. I had all the guests sit in a circle and I started playing some princess music. The one who had the apple when the music went off had to lay down and "sleep". At the end of the game, whoever was still "awake", had to go around and wake all the other guests by giving them a kiss (a Hershey kiss that is).

Game #4: We drew a picture of a princess on poster board and printed off some tiaras that we laminated. The guests had to "pin the tiara on the princess".

Game #5: Princess Bingo! We made our own Princess Bingo cards with pictures like crowns, castles, wands, dragons, carriages, etc. For the markers, we used purple coins.

Take Home Bags:

Throughout the party, we listened to Gabrielle's favorite songs from her favorite princess movies. We downloaded the songs and gave each guest the "Soundtrack from Gabrielle's Sixth Birthday Party". I also put in the bags princess erasers, bracelets, lip gloss, wands and lotions. They also got to pick things from the prize baskets after the games and those were added to their bags.

The Cake:

For the cake, I made three round cakes. The bottom one I made in a spring form pan and the top layer were 2 - 8" round cakes. For the base cake, I covered it with white fondant and then made a quilted pattern using a straw. I added pink edible pearls to the corners of the quilt pattern. For the top layer, I frosted it pink and then added pink glitter sprinkles to it. I topped it off with a crown and a wand and her candle. She loved it and it was pretty simple.

I hope some of these ideas help you in your "princess party" planning! May your party be pink and perfect for your little princess!!!

An Experiment That Teaches Different Colors

I was trying to come up with some more ideas that parents could do at home to help teach a child colors. Children love experiments, messes and things that change - so I thought what about changing plain white marshmallows into different colors??? In bowls, I mixed food coloring with a little water. We then put the marshmallows into the bowls and stirred them and let them sit for about 20 minutes. When we came back to check on them, they changed into the different colors!!!! The kids thought it was magic!!!

Try this at home and experience the "magic"!