Archive for the ‘ Craft-tastic ’ Category

Stenciled Grab-n-Go Totes: FamilyFun Test Drive

Friday, September 12th, 2014

As my kids are growing older and going to more and more “extracurricular” activities, I find that managing all the stuff is an extracurricular activity in and of itself. The idea of keeping it all together is obviously the way to go, but with limited closet and drawer space in their shared room, I haven’t found a clear way to store it all and to always know where it is.

When I came across these stenciled activity bags in the September issue of FamilyFun, one word came to mind: genius. After karate, we can put Oliver’s gi back in the karate bag, and after ballet, Sommer’s shoes and tutu can go right in. (This also doubles as a prevention tool for her wanting to wear her ballet shoes everywhere, everyday.) Best part? They are really easy to do, and pretty darn cute. Here’s how…

What you’ll need:


  • Canvas tote or drawstring bag
  • Templates or your own drawings
  • Freezer paper
  • Pencil
  • Craft knife and cutting mat
  • Iron
  • Acrylic or fabric paint
  • Sponge brush

1. First, outline the design with you pencil by pressing down pretty hard.

2. Turn the drawing over onto the non-shiny side of the freezer paper, and pencil over the line, transferring the original pencil line. (You may want to tape the template to the freezer paper to hold it in place.) Discard the original template or drawing.

3. Carefully cut out the design with the craft knife.

4. Iron the stencil onto the canvas bag using the cotton setting of your iron. You are ironing the outside area of where you cut, not the object you cut out.

5. With a sponge brush, dab paint onto the bag, inside the stenciled shape. Let dry.

6. Pull off freezer paper and voila! You too have created a genius grab-n-go activity bag for your kids!

Surf's Up Shirt
Surf's Up Shirt
Surf's Up Shirt

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Cute Cork Rowboats: FamilyFun Test Drive

Friday, August 29th, 2014

When I saw this cork boat project in the August issue of FamilyFun, I knew it was one I wanted to test drive. I thought it was an amazing project, but I was also so in love with the photo—a peaceful lake, rocks, little ripples of water soft in the background. And I thought it would be impossible to beat or even match that photo (see below), especially in this urban jungle in which I live. So I decided to turn these into the ultimate, homemade bath toy! And it was a hit…I could hear Oliver and Sommer singing Row, Row, Row Your Boat across the house!

What you’ll need:

  • Template printed from FamilyFun
  • Scissors
  • Pen for tracing
  • Thin cork
  • Hot-glue gun (for adult use!)
  • Paint and paintbrushes
  • Twine
  • Craft foam
  • Wooden coffee stirrers
First cut out the template from FamilyFun online, trace it onto the cork, and cut it out. Follow the instructions on the template for gluing it together. (It’s really easy) Then, it’s time to paint!
You have to use acrylic paint (this is very important)—tempera will wash off the moment it hits the water. Sommer decided to go with a pink, green, and blue combo and Oliver went for solid silver glitter. He’s the minimalist in the family.
Once they are dry, punch a hole in the bow (the front of the boat) and thread the twine through. Then cut paddle shapes from the craft foam, glue them to the coffee stirrers, and insert through tiny slits in the sides of the boat.
After having just spent a week at the beach, the kids were insistent on naming their boats, so we went for Oliver, Sommer, and Mommy (original, right?). I used acrylic paint pens to keep it neat, but a Sharpie would probably work just fine.
And then, when bath time was over, we just hung them up to dry. And I’m loving how they look like old buoys when grouped together like this.
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Drip-Painted Pots: FamilyFun Test Drive

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

 

My kids are finally getting to the age when a lazy beach vacation needs planned activities—no more naps on mommy’s chest under the beach umbrella and no more satisfaction with simply sitting on the floor swatting at some random toys. We need outings, games, activities…crafts! And seriously, I couldn’t be happier with this turn of events.

But crafting on the fly isn’t always so easy—do you bring materials with you and if not, where do you buy them? How can you keep it simple and engaging at the same time? (I see a future FamilyFun magazine story here!)

Today I thrilled my kids with this really fun, painted pot project from the August issue of FamilyFun. They loved helping me buy the materials and then making a big mess of themselves!

What you’ll need:

  • Paint (tempera or acrylic)
  • Ceramic pots
  • Tape
  • Paper
  1. Cover the bottom hole inside the pot with tape so that the paint doesn’t come through.
  2. Turn pot upside down and squeeze away, letting the paint drip down the sides. 
  3. Let it dry for about 24 hours before turning it over.

You can use either tempera or acrylic paint—it all depends on what’s important to you. If washing clothes is important, go with tempera. If using the pot to plant in is important, go with acrylic, just know that it’s not as washable as tempera when dry. 

And then they wanted to paint everything in site…so we painted an egg carton, a Pringles can, sticks, our feet…it was endless fun!

Home Organization: Arts & Crafts Supplies
Home Organization: Arts & Crafts Supplies
Home Organization: Arts & Crafts Supplies

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Homemade Photo Memory Game: FamilyFun Test Drive

Thursday, July 31st, 2014

Raise your hand if you have hundreds, possibly thousands, of digital photos buried in digital devices. Yes, that’s what I thought. All of you!

We take more pictures than ever, share them on social media, yet our kids have little experience of holding prints in their hands. This DIY photo memory game is a great way to relive the best moments of the summer while playing a classic, boredom-buster game with kids as young as two!

Here’s how I made it:

  1. Since I needed to use square images, I just went to my Instagram and printed out 8 of my faves twice as 3-inch squares (After all, if I shared it on Instagram, it has to be good, right?). 
  2. I cut out the photos, not to the edges, but roughly leaving white space and, using a glue stick, I mounted them to the back of a patterned scrapbook paper. 
  3. After smoothing the glue-backed images onto the paper, I cut out the photos to the edges, now fully adhered to the scrapbook paper.
  4. At first I wasn’t going to take the advice of the June/July issue of FamilyFun magazine and get them laminated, but then I saw how cute they were and I just couldn’t resist! (I highly recommend this step for the longevity of your homemade memory game. Since I made them, they have been tossed through the air multiple times and survived beautifully.)

When we play, Oliver and Sommer will hunt for Sommer with ice cream, Oliver on the beach, or Mommy and Sommer making kissy faces. You can take a sweet trip down memory lane, while playing a game with your kids. Talk about spending meaningful time together! Two thumbs up, right? 

Snow Cone Cupcakes
Snow Cone Cupcakes
Snow Cone Cupcakes

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Painter’s Tape Stenciled Tshirt: FamilyFun Test Drive

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

What do you do with your kids’ T-shirts that have impossible stains? Throw them out? Turn them into rags? I have a way better idea for you—paint them! I know it seems like a stenciled T-shirt is a pain-in-the-you-know-what, but today’s FamilyFun Test Drive proves otherwise. I swear. And you know what? This project is so much fun (and easy) to do, that you don’t even have to save it for a stained tee.

When I saw this cute shirt in the June/July issue of Family Fun, I was excited to try it. It uses 2 things that I have a ton of—paint and tape. Because I know my son and his fashion preferences (yes, a 4-year-old has fashion preferences), I knew that he wouldn’t necessarily get excited about an abstract pattern. So I taped-out this little character, what we are calling a Robot Bunny. Oliver’s color of choice these days is green, so we went with that (and the green tape was just an added bonus). It’s best to use fabric paint because it stays soft and washes well. You can buy the Tulip brand at Michaels.com.

First I put a piece of cardboard inside the T-shirt to avoid any bleed-through. I used a thin painter’s tape and taped off the body of the Robot Bunny. I really just eyeballed the design and pressed down really hard on the inside edges of the tape.

Then, with a sponge brush, I let Oliver dab on the paint. (Dab is the key technique here; you don’t want to brush or else you might find yourself with some blurred lines.) Of course the waiting to peel the tape was the hardest part! We waited about 2 hours (a bit shy of the bottle’s instructions but things dry faster in the summer!) and then pulled the tape!

Now Oliver just needs to practice is Robotic Bunny Hop moves.

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