Archive for the ‘ Group Activities ’ Category

Decoden: A New Craft Craze!

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Cupcakes, cell phones, Hello Kitty, and BLING! What do these things have in common, you ask? The answer: decoden! And what is decoden? It’s a Japanese-inspired craft trend that is sweeping the nation. Deco is short for decorate and Den is short for denwa, the Japenese word for phone. The technique started as a cell phone decoration, but now you can see it on everything from compact mirrors to picture frames to even finger nails! In short, decoden is just another form of mosaic, but instead of using tiles, you use rhinestones, pearls, clay charms, and, of course, glitter!

Until now, the supplies were a little hard to come by here in the US. You could buy them on Amazon or Etsy, but it was cost-prohibitive because they are mostly coming from Japan. Now, Mod Podge (my favorite craft supply ever) has come out with product line that will make DecoDen a hit here in the States (check your local Michaels Stores for availability). Visit Cathie & Steve’s Handmade Happy Hour to read about the products and to watch videos about how the products work. They were kind enough to send a heap of supplies for my friend Sophia’s 12th birthday party, and I can tell you first hand that THIS IS FUN. I loved it and the kids were obsessed!

To start your decoden projects, you need a few basic things—collage clay (commonly called whip), the object that you want to decorate, and your embellishments (charms-commonly referred to as cabochons, rhinestones, beads, mini-erasers, glitter). You can also use dimensional paint as the adhesive to stick the items to the object. Most of the charms that you see in the photo above are plastic trinkets that I pulled off of inexpensive hair rubber bands and clips, but kids can make their own with polymer clay or with Mod Podge’s new product called Mod Melts. You use the melts with a glue gun and silicone molds to make your own cabochons.

 The Collage Clay goes on like icing (but don’t eat it!) It comes packaged in a piping bag and comes with 3 different tips. Here I am showing the kids how you can apply the clay in different patterns, and Victoria is practicing her technique before applying it to her frame. 

And then, the decorating began. I offered very little design direction—the kids just went for it full speed ahead. Some went for broad strokes with big, overlapping chunky decorations, and others spent the entire 3-hour party painstakingly applying tiny rhinestones like a mosaic to the back of their phone cases. It was so insane to watch!

If you want to learn all the ins and outs of decoden, check out this brand new book, DecoDen Bling by Alice Fisher. Jump on this craft train people. You’re looking at the next Rainbow Loom explosion!

Birthday girl Sophia was more than pleased with her unique decoden birthday party! I might venture to say it is one of the first of its kind around these parts!

Create and customize the perfect birthday party for your little one with our Birthday Party Planner!

Birthday Party Ideas: Star Candy Cake
Birthday Party Ideas: Star Candy Cake
Birthday Party Ideas: Star Candy Cake

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Cooking and Crafting with Kids Made Easy!

Thursday, March 20th, 2014

My son is obsessed with cooking. Whether it’s dropping a piece of bread in the toaster, dumping the noodles into the hot water, or making cookies from scratch, he drags his chair over to the kitchen counter so he can lend a helping hand. (I only wish that his enthusiasm for cooking matched his enthusiasm for eating, but that’s another story.) He’s always saying, “Mommy we need to read the constructions,” (meaning instructions or recipe, of course), and I’ve always craved a more visual guide that would allow him to follow along and even tell ME what to do next!

Well, enter Raddish…a new subscription services that delivers an awesome box of cooking (and crafting) goodies to your doorstep each month. Here’s what you get:

  • 3 family friendly recipe guides (They are slick and wipeable…no more spills on the iPad or bleeding ink on a computer print-out! The illustrations are adorable and easy to follow.)
  • 2 creative family activities (They give you everything you need for the crafts!)
  • A grocery list (thank goodness…someone to do it for you!)
  • A skill card that teaches kids (and parents) culinary techniques
  • An adorable Raddish patch to be ironed on to the Raddish apron
  • Table talk cards to ensure fun dinner table conversation

Here’s the thing: children who explore in the kitchen are much more likely to become adventurous eaters (yes, please). Tasks as simple as washing and peeling veggies can empower kids and get them excited to eat wholesome foods. Plus, countless studies prove that families who eat meals together raise healthier, safer, and more successful children. No brainer, right?

Raddish is designed by teachers who believe the kitchen classroom is the tastiest place to learn. Each box incorporates math, science, nutrition, geography, culture, and history. Raddish provides culinary instruction that cultivates a diverse palate, increases self-confidence, and helps build a solid foundation for a healthy future.

(That’s my little Oliver, wearing his Raddish apron proudly, rollin’ out his pizza dough!)

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Last Minute Christmas Crafts

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

The kids are home from school and you either need…

  1. Something to entertain them or
  2. A way to put them to work wrapping or making those last minute gifts!

Here are a few crafts you can do at the 25th hour while having a bit of fun! I featured all of these original crafts on my blog, Project Kid in a 10-craft, 10-day Countdown to Christmas. Visit Project Kid for even more ideas for ways to spend the day crafting tomorrow!

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FamilyFun Feature: Storytelling Crafts

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

Hello lovely readers,

The September issue of FamilyFun is very special to me because my book, Show Me a Story, is featured, along with my sweet pies and my pregnant self!  I am so honored to have the chance to share some of my projects with FF readers, and thrilled that it is during the back-to-school storytelling season.

The pages feature some inspiring projects for encouraging storytelling, some more shots of my kiddos, and extra details about my book.

In the above photo, my girls and I are playing with Story Stones, one of my favorite projects from Show Me a Story.





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Make: Printing with Apples

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Those three things pictured in the above photo?  These supplies are all you need to make adorable wearables.  Apple season is fast approaching, so I wanted to share this project with you so it is on your mind when the sweet, crisp, beauties start rolling in.

Cut an apple in half and coat it with a thin layer of paint before printing.  I cut the leaf shape out of the other half of the apple.

Use your new stamp to decorate onesies

or t-shirts

or anything that is begging to be printed on (napkins, tea towels, stationary, cloth bags, etc.).  Just be mindful to heat set the fabric paint after it is completely dry.  You’ll find directions on the back of the container of fabric paint.

Perfect for giving as gifts, these are easy and so fun to make with your little and big ones.



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