Cute & Easy DIY Easter Egg Wreath

Although it isn’t quite Spring yet officially, the last few days have definitely felt like Spring here in our neck of the woods.  I don’t know about you, but the warmer weather and sunny days have a way of lifting my mood and brightening everyone’s attitudes it seems, and I LOVE it!  The nicer weather has also gotten me in the Easter spirit, and although I’m careful to not let it overshadow the true reason we celebrate, I love the bright colors of all the eggs and bunny decor!

I’ve been looking for something new to put on the front door – a wreath or cute door hanging.  I came across the idea to make an egg wreath out of embroidery floss and so I decided to give it a try and it was super duper easy and I love how it turned out!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • several colors of embroidery floss – you’ll use one whole skein per egg
  • water balloons
  • liquid fabric stiffener
  • wax paper
  • hot glue gun
  • ribbon for hanging

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This is all there is to it:

  • blow up several water balloons (the number will depend on how big you want your wreath, whether you want it double rows or just one like mine, how big your balloons are, etc. – so you’ll probably just want to arrange the balloons into your wreath shape until you get it the way you want and then you’ll be done! :))
  • chose a color of floss to start with and apply the fabric stiffener as you are wrapping it around the balloon – wrap the entire skein around the balloon before moving on to the next color/new balloon
  • set on wax paper to dry overnight – you may have to rotate/turn them over if the other side isn’t completely hardened/dried
  • once they’re completely hardened, pop the balloon – now you have your eggs!!
  • arrange them into the shape of the wreath that you want and then one by one hot glue them together
  • attach a ribbon to hang
  • THAT’S IT!

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Now for some tips that I learned along the way!!

  • Don’t try to put the entire skein of floss in the fabric stiffener all at once.  One tutorial that I read online said to do this, except they either failed to mention or I just did it wrong, but all it did was clump together and get tangled up creating a huge mess!  So DON’T DO THIS:

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  • Instead, dip your pointer finger and thumb into the fabric stiffener and apply it to the floss between those two fingers as you are wrapping the floss around the balloon:

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  • Cover your entire working area with wax paper!  This fabric stiffener is kinda messy and unless you’re a super neat crafter (unlike me!) wax paper will make your clean up much easier and quicker! 😉
  • Wear gloves – again because of the messy/easy clean up factor
  • Wrap the floss in all different directions to create a neat spider web type of look.  Although come to think of it, you could start and the top and wrap it all one way or the other and you’d probably end up with neat eggs that way as well!
  • Less is more in terms of the fabric stiffener.  You want to use enough to make sure it sticks, but your egg shouldn’t be dripping in the stuff!
  • Buy your fabric stiffener with a coupon!  It’s only like $7 for a huge bottle, but the embroidery floss is only 40 cents each, so with a coupon on your fabric stiffener you can make this wreath for well under $10!

Alrighty, there you have it!  My quick and easy take on a cute wreath for the front door! Happy crafting! 🙂

 

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DIY Taggie Blanket

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In the last few weeks I’ve started to get ready for baby boy here and there a little and decided to make him a taggie blanket after we found out he was a he and I knew what colors to use! 🙂  I’ve made a couple in the past for M and my niece and I’m always surprised by how simple they are to make and it seems that all babies love them!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Material – I like to use the minky dot fabric that you can find at any fabric store in a wide array of colors.  I think it’s super soft and cuddly, perfect for baby!  For an 18″x18″ blanket, you’ll need 2, 20″x20″ squares of material.  A half yard will be more than enough!
  • Ribbon – I put 3 taggies per side about every 3 inches or so.  Therefore I used 12 ribbons, 4-5″ in length, depending on how far out you want them to stick from the blanket.  You can use any variety of ribbon that you’d like.  I like to try and find different widths and textures to use!
  • A sewing machine (or thread and a needle if you want to go old school!)
  • Straight pins

 

Here’s what to do:

  1. Using fabric shears, cut 2, 20″x20″ squares of material

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     2.   Cut ribbon into 12, 4-5″ pieces

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   3.   On the top side of one of the pieces of material, use straight pins to pin the ribbons in tags every 3″.  Try to not let          the corner tags overlap (if they do, move all the tags towards the middle a little bit)

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   4.   Now you’re ready to sew!  Pin the material right side to right side, in other words raised dots to raised dots (because you’ll be turning it right-side out when you finish).  Sew about a half inch in from the edge, paying close attention to the tags on the inside as you go.  Make sure they stay straight and don’t forget to pull out the straight pins as you go!  Sew all the way around the blanket leaving about 4″ open on the last side (so that you can turn the blanket right-side out).

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   5.   Flip the blanket right-side out through the opening you left while sewing, shaking as you go to ensure that all the corners are completely unfolded.

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   6.   After the blanket is flipped the right way, hand stitch or sew the opening closed.  That’s all there is to it!

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Trust me, I am NOT a seamstress/sewer/anything of that sort and so if I can manage this, you can too!!  What a perfect gift for a baby shower or new baby’s arrival – your friends and family will adore this little handmade blanket full of love!

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1 Recipe + 2 Craft Ideas…Kind of…

I’m on a recipe kick lately I guess because I have another one for you today!  It’s my favorite kind of meal: crock pot!  And on top of that, it’s pasta…which is even better!

The thing I love about crock pot/slow cooker meals is that you throw everything together, turn it on and forget about it until dinner time.  Super easy, fairly “mess less” and perfect for any night.  This particular recipe is one that both the hubby and I agreed is probably one of the yummiest crock pot meals out there!

Creamy Tomato Tortellini (in the crock pot!)

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What you’ll need:

1 bag (20 oz) frozen cheese tortellini

1 cup fresh spinach

1 can Italian style diced tomatoes, drained

3/4 block of cream cheese, softened and chunked up

1/2 lb. meatballs or sausage, cooked

3 cups chicken or vegetable broth, add an additional cup if needed

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Seasonings: garlic, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning blend

What you’ll do:

Combine all the ingredients in the crock pot and cook on low for 4 hours.  That’s it!!! MMMM!

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Changing gears a bit to craft time!  Have you even had a Pinterest fail?  That’s what happened with our craft a couple weeks ago.  Hence the “kind of” part of 2 crafts…since one didn’t really turn out so well.  I’ve seen examples of “apple stamping” all over.  Ya know, where you cut up an apple, dip it in paint and stamp it on paper?  So it seemed like a seasonally appropriate craft for M to try.  The problem?  No matter how many times I tried I apparently couldn’t cut a straight edge on my apple…therefore her artwork didn’t reveal very many “apple like” stamps.  Does anyone have any suggestions for me??  Oh well!  She still had fun!

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Last week we made these cute little scarecrows out of popsicle sticks!  I happened to already have colored sticks, so we didn’t even have to mess with that part!  But if you don’t, all you have to do is have your kiddos paint or color the sticks before you start gluing them together.  The craft is pretty self explanatory using googly eyes, pipe cleaners for hair, construction paper for the nose and a little pom pom decoration for the hat.  Just a little tip: if you glue the popsicle sticks to a piece of sturdy paper it assembles much easier! 🙂

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Check back tomorrow for this week’s craft!  It’ll be a fun one!

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Happy Fall {+ a Weekly Craft!}

Well, it’s October so that means it’s officially Fall, right?  This means pumpkin patches, bonfires, hayrack rides, apple orchards and pumpkin flavored everything.  Here in the Midwest where we’re blessed to have seasons, Fall also signifies a change.  The leaves on our trees go from green to deep shades of red, purple, yellow and orange, eventually they fall to the ground leaving bare branches, the weather is changing as well, we’re met with cool, sunny days and crisp, chilly nights.  We feel this sense of urgency to take advantage of the nice days we have spending as much time outside as we can before the weather really makes a change as winter sets in in the days ahead.  Even the smell in the air changes, a mix of burning leaves, fields being harvested and cooler air.

In this season of change, where the holidays are right around the corner, what better time to reflect on the blessings in your life.  Perhaps in doing so you’ll come up with some things you’d like to change about yourself, about your surroundings, about your life.  And during this season of change it seems appropriate, don’t you think?

 

In honor of Fall, my favorite season of the year, I thought it would be fun to post weekly Fall-related crafts!  M LOVES arts and crafts so I’m always looking for cute little projects for us to do together: this week we made handprint leaves!

It was super easy and turned out so cute!  All you do is paint your kiddos palms with craft paint, have them stamp their handprints and when the paint’s dry, draw on the veins and stems of the leaves with a brown Sharpie.  Happy crafting!! 🙂  And check back next week for another fun Fall craft!

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Bzzz into Summer!

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Summer is just around the corner and I only have 3 days left with the two little boys that I watch.  Today we made a fun, “summery” craft that will bee (hehe) perfect to decorate the fridge with to welcome in summer break!

Here’s what you’ll need:

materials

Paper, yellow craft paint, a marker, googly eyes & a paintbrush

Here’s what to do:

  • Paint the bottom of your child’s foot yellow and press the footprint onto a piece of paper – I cut the paper into 5×7″ pieces.
  • Turn the paper so that the toes are pointing down and draw on the antennae and wings – your child can help with this depending on their age!!

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  • Apply 2 googly eyes to each bumblebee and then draw on stripes.  With a black crayon or marker, have your child color in the stripes on the bee.

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  • Lastly, draw on the facial features – eyebrows and mouth – to complete your little bumblebee!!  I love how they turned out – SO CUTE!!  And, they were really easy to make and the kids loved it, too!! 🙂

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Happy crafting and WELCOME SUMMER BREAK…3 days and counting! 😉

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Watercolor Butterflies

Alright mamas, I’ve got another fun and super easy craft for you to do with the kiddos today!!  It was Miss M’s first time painting and she loved it!  Hope your little ones have as much fun as she did!! 🙂

Here’s what you need!

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  • Coffee filters
  • Clothesline clips
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Watercolor paints/paint brushes

Step 1:  Paint the coffee filter.  **Be careful though because if it gets too wet, it’ll tear easily.  Allow to dry before moving on to step 2.

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Step 2:  After it’s dry, gather/bunch up the middle of the coffee filter – you can do it accordion style, or just pinch it into the middle.  Clip the clothesline pin around the center of the filter so that it makes “wings” on either side of the “body” (clip).

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Step 3:  Fold pipe cleaner in half, curl the ends and clip into the clothesline clip to make the antennae.  Ta da!  That’s all there is to it!  See, I told you it was easy!!

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Happy crafting! 🙂

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“Stained Glass” Easter Egg Craft

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What better way to welcome Spring than by doing some fun Springtime crafts with the kiddos?!  Yesterday we made “Stained Glass” Easter eggs to hang on the windows.  So cute and so much fun!!

All you need is:

  • Contact paper
  • Tissue paper in a variety of colors, cut into little squares
  • Scissors

Cut out a square piece of contact paper and lay it on the table sticky side up.  Then the kids can stick the squares of tissue paper on however they’d like:

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When they’re finished sticking on all the tissue paper they want, cut out another square of contact paper and put it sticky side down on the decorated piece.  Essentially you’ve just laminated the tissue paper! 🙂  Here’s how it will look:

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The last step is to cut out the shape of an egg.  You can make them as big or as small as you’d like! If you cut them a little smaller, you could probably get a couple out of it!  This is what you’ll end up with:

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In addition to hand-eye coordination, you can work on color identification while making the eggs or after, patterns if you have the kiddos stick on their tissue paper in a specific order, and shapes by pointing out the differences between squares, rectangles and ovals.  Not only is it an educational craft, but you’ll love getting to decorate your windows with them!  Have fun & Happy Crafting! 🙂