Archive for the ‘ FamilyFun Test Drive ’ 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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Washi-Tape School Supplies: FamilyFun Test Drive

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

I don’t think my love of new school supplies is a rare thing. Don’t you remember the thrill of picking out fresh pencils, highlighters, and notebooks? My mom would buy us letter stickers to label the sides of our 3-ring binders with the subject names—I would have gone crazy with the options available now! I haven’t had the pleasure of school-supply shopping with my kids yet, but luckily this job o’ mine give me the opportunity to start thinking about it!

Now, if you combine school supplies with washi tape, I’m literally grinning from ear to ear. Today I went through my tape bin (yes, I have a tape bin and it’s overflowing) and pulled out all of my washi tape. (I posted this pic on my Instagram account today.)

And then I grabbed some pencils, notebooks, and of course a yo-yo (obviously every kid needs a yo-yo on the first day of school), and it was like a mecca of blank slates, waiting to be striped with lovely color and happy patterns. You really can’t go wrong with this project. Stripe it, criss-cross it, tear it…and if you mess up, just pull it off and start anew.

Thanks FamilyFun for bringing together 2 of my best buds. This test drive gets 2 (or 3) pencils up!

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Tags: | Categories: Crafts, Decor, DIY, FamilyFun Test Drive, kids, School

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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Sea Creature Bread Snack: FamilyFun Test Drive

Friday, August 15th, 2014

There’s something about eating food that’s in the shape of something else that makes it super fun. Why is that? And especially if it has arms, legs, eyes, tentacles…that just adds to the enjoyment! I became the best mom on the block today when I served these octopus bread treats to Oliver and his friends. The original recipe in the August issue of Family Fun called for olives as eyes, but in order to win the Mom-of-the-Year award, I used chocolate chips. This is the easiest project in the world…here’s how you do it.

  1. Unroll crescent rolls onto 2 cookie sheets.
  2. On the short side of the triangle, cut 7 2″ slits. 
  3. Roll top point down towards the 8 legs. Then press your eyes of choice into the dough.

Bake them in a 350 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Et voila! Adorable, edible sea creatures!

Octopus Cupcakes
Octopus Cupcakes
Octopus Cupcakes

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Tags: | Categories: FamilyFun Test Drive, Food, Fun, kids