Archive for the ‘ kids ’ Category

Halloween Ghost Cups: FamilyFun Test Drive

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Believe it or not, if I had to pick one thing that rivaled candy or chocolate in this house, it would be milk (for the kids, that is). My kids are really on the verge of being milk-a-holics. Obviously, there are addictions way worse, but when I presented them with these adorable ghost milk cups (from the October issue of FamilyFun), I knew it wouldn’t be hard to get them to indulge.

These are super easy…here’s what you need!

  • black duct tape sheets
  • canning jar
  • scrapbook paper
  • hole punch (not pictured, oops!)
  • straw
  • milk
  • scissors
  1. For each container, cut ghost eyes and mouth shapes as shown from black duct tape sheets. Stick them to a clean, dry canning jar. 
  2. Trace the center section of the lid on scrapbook paper and cut out the circle. With a hole punch, make an opening for a straw. 
  3. Fill the jar with milk, then add the paper circle, screw on the lid, and poke the straw through.
 I think I’m going to fill them with cotton balls and let them sit on the mantle until Halloween is over!
Add a Comment

Tags: | Categories: Crafts, DIY, Family, Food, Fun, Halloween, Holiday, kids

DIY Fabric Wall Decals: FamilyFun Test Drive

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Ok craft lovers, fabric lovers, decor lovers…I just might blow your mind today. I consider myself well-versed in the world of crafts. After all, I did crafts for Parents for six years, I wrote a craft book (shameless plug: Project Kid), and I have the pleasure of writing this blog. But this FamilyFun Test Drive from the September issue officially blew my mind today! I literally had to try it to see if I really believed it.

Have you ever used Heat n Bond to make patches or decals for clothing? Did you know that you can use it to make decals for the wall? Yes, you heard correctly. You can iron Heat ‘n Bond onto the wall and create a removable wall decal. Just like that. My mind was racing with things to do (and now that I know it works, I’m ready to do more!), but I settled on the idea of putting some toys on the wall over my kids’ toy bin.

Here’s what you need:

1. Print or draw your desired shapes to the right size.

2. Iron the Heat ‘n Bond to the back of the fabric (follow package instructions) and then transfer the image to the back of the heat and bond. (I do this by outlining the picture with a pencil, then flipping it over and re-outlining it, thus transferring the pencil line to the Heat ‘n Bond paper.)

3. Cut out the shapes. The Heat ‘n Bond allows you to cut cottons and other fraying fabrics with a clean edge. No fraying or sewing! <3 <3 <3

4. Peel of the backing paper and literally iron the decal onto the wall. (I used the cotton setting of my iron.) Run your hand over the decal to make sure it bonds to the wall and to check to see if it’s cool before the kids touch it. (All ironing should be done with adult hands, obviously.)

Are you as amazed as I am? And I must tell you that when my sales person at City Quilter asked what I was doing with these materials, I explained the process and she was as stupefied by the technique as I was!

Add a Comment

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

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

Add a Comment

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!

Add a Comment

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.
Add a Comment