Monday, December 19, 2011

DIY Scrabble Ornaments and Name Tags

I have been picking up Scrabble games at yards sales for awhile now. I thought the letters would make cute ornaments on a tree. I spelled out some Christmas words. The kids helped me with this and they loved it! It turned into a great spelling activity for them. I glued the letters on the wooden blocks. My husband then cut them to size. I hang them with ribbon (the last picture shows you what we use to hang the ornaments) on the trees.

I thought this would be a great idea for name tags as well! It is a name tag and an ornament in one! The recipient can hang their "name tag" on their tree after they open their gift.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

DIY Dining Room Transformation!

BEFORE: Our dining room/kitchen is small. I needed to find some more room/cabinets for storage so I talked it over with our contractor (my dad) and this is what we came up with! It was fairly inexpensive but the impact/functionality is priceless!

First, we took all the "stuff" down and out and then measured. We went to our local home improvement store and bought ready-made/stock cabinetry. These were all "unfinished" cabinets they have in the store. We ran into some measurement problems and had to use laundry cabinets in the middle (which actually turned out better than what you were planning on doing - it gives it more interest), but other than that, they worked out pretty well.

We bought some molding to make it look more like a custom piece of cabinetry. We painted it all out in a creamy white and then we sanded to edges to look a little worn. I didn't want this to look like kitchen cabinets, but more like a custom buffet/dining piece. For the counter top, we just got a thick piece of wood and I stained it (instead of spending tons of money on a custom counter top). We cut the panels out of the top cabinets and went and had some glass cut at a hardware store. We then placed the glass inside with some DIY kit from the store and they turned out great! We were also able to put a light inside the top cabinets and underneath the top cabinets so the counter top can be lit.


Decorated for Christmas now, but I love that I can change things out in the top cabinets depending on the season!!!

Happy Mom!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Summer Marathon For Kids

A few summers ago, I wanted to keep my kids active so we did a marathon! The kids and I had to walk 26.2 miles throughout the summer. Each day we would walk whatever we could. Some days were longer than others, but we had fun doing it. On the last day when the kids would be finishing their last mile, I made a "lane" for them to come through and put a streamer up for them to walk through. I then had medals for each child and a certificate!

It was a great summer activity!!!

Great Homemade Reindeer Project!

This project was a perfect gift for grandparents and parents. To make the reindeer, I traced the child's foot on brown felt twice and cut them out. I then traced each hand and cut them out. I sewed the feet together with just a simple stitch. I sewed it almost all the way around, but left a small space so I could stuff it with cotton balls. After it was stuffed, I stitched up the rest of the feet. For the hands, I hot glued them on the back. I then added googly eyes, a red nose and a red ribbon on the back for easy hanging. I did write the child's name and the date on the back of the reindeer with fabric paint. These took me about 15 minutes total. They are so cute and can be used over and over. It is also a sad reminder of how fast your children are growing!

Merry Christmas Crafting!!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Ice Age Birthday Party

When Landen turned 5, he really wanted an Ice Age/Mammoth birthday party. I searched and searched online for some ideas and there wasn't anything out there, so I came up with my own ideas and know they will help you plan your Ice Age Party.

For the invitation, I thought it would be fun to send some symbols that the guests had to "decode" to find out the party information. The invite read like this: Landen is turning 5 and he wanted to travel back to the Ice Age with Mammoths and Saber Tooth Tigers! Cavemen have inscribed Landen's party information inside the cave walls. We chipped away the rocks that held the important details. Use the information above to decode the message."

I made a chart with different symbols I found on the computer. Each symbol represented a different letter and then I just "spelled out" the parties details with the symbols. (For example a *stood for a "T" and so on).

For the games/activities:

I froze little "Ice Age" animals that I found at Target in ice. I filled Styrofoam cups with water, put the toy in the water and set the cups in the freezer. The kids had to use their handmade "spears" to free the animals. We made handmade spears from sticks and triangle rocks that the kids found on a "spear hunt". These "spears" were also used to "fight the Mammoth" (to wing at the pinata I made).

How to made the Mammoth pinata: I blew up a regular size balloon and covered it with strips of newspaper and homemade glue (I have basic pinata step by step directions on another post). I let that dry and popped the balloon. I painted the pinata brown and added a long nose with a paper towel roll and then added the tusks with just white construction paper. The ears were cut out of brown construction paper and added googly eyes. I wish I still had a picture on file for this, but I don't. I filled him with candy and little toys.

We also had an igloo/cave in the yard. We used white Styrofoam coolers that I found at a garage sale and stacked them up around the sides. We then used large sized paper to fill in the sides. The kids were able to write on the "igloo/cave" walls just like the cavemen did in the Ice Age.

For the cake, I made a 12" round cake for the base and then I made a "mountain" by chiseling a stack of 3 - 8" round cakes that were placed on top of the base. I frosted it all white except for a little "stream" of blue going down the mountain and spilling over the base. I then placed Ice Age characters around the cake.

I hope this helps you with an Ice Age Party!