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Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
When the violets begin to pop up around our home, my children love to gather miniature bouquets for me. Sure, we can fill tiny glass jars with them, but I also like to make hanging flower boxes, so they can decorate our door knobs, walls, and cabinet handles.
I love how a rice or packaged macaroni and cheese box from your recycle bin can transform into a sweet hanging box of beauty.
1. Measure how tall you want your hanging box to be, draw a straight line (front and back) with a ruler, and cut it with a craft knife (adults should do this part).
2. Wrap the box with any kind of paper. I like to use kraft paper because it allows the colorful flowers to pop. Brightly colored paper is also a vibrant and fun choice.
3. Smooth the box with a bone folder or with the back of a spoon.
4. Encourage children to decorate the box with crafty bits (glitter, sequins), natural bits (tiny pine cones, pine needles, or even a bit of moss), stamps, or drawing.
5. Punch holes on both sides and thread a piece of yarn through. Tie yarn to make handle.
6. Fill with flowers and hang on a door knob. Change flowers when they begin to wilt (or fill with dried flowers from last year).
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Crafts, Everyday Fun, Fun, Group Activities, Nature, Outdoors, Seasonal
Wednesday, March 6th, 2013
Here in New England, we’re still kind of in the thick of it — another blanket of snow will come this evening and the mornings are still deeply cold. But, spring is surely on its way and I like to hang a cheery bird and sun garland in my kitchen to remind myself of the light and tweets that will soon fill our days.
1. Put out a tarp and have children paint the inside of brown paper bags.
2. Set it outside in the sun to dry. (Or inside by the heater)
3. Cut the painted bag into bird and sun shapes.
4. Use a sewing machine (or yarn and a hole punch) to string the birds and suns into a garland.
5. Hang and smile.
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bird, birds, cheery, cut, garland, hang, paint, smile, spring, springtime, string, sun, sunshine, yarn | Categories:
Crafts, Everyday Fun, Fun, Group Activities, Must Read, Seasonal
Tuesday, February 5th, 2013
Last February, I posted this Sew-A-Heart project on my blog and it was a big hit! My children loved making this sweet and simple project for their friends. It is easily modifiable for children of different ages: parents and teachers can punch the holes for little ones, so they can simply stitch, and older children can punch their own creative designs.
The best part? You can transform stuff that you already have in your house (cereal boxes and random bits of yarn) into cheerful messages of love.
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Crafts, Everyday Fun, Fun, Group Activities, Holiday, Must Read
Monday, December 10th, 2012
Last year, our friends Kelly and Joe gave us decorations that made our hearts sing. Beautiful, dehydrated fruit ornaments for our trees±both inside and out! It is by far one of my favorite holiday gifts we’ve ever been given.
When I unwrapped and opened the box of oranges and pinks, I truly felt as if I was holding a box of natural jewels. The kiwi feels and looks almost like thin glass, the orange slices are leathery, and the white of the dried pear flesh against the thin layer of its skin is perfection—as if it was outlined with a steady hand. Our friends made sure that each ornament hangs on a loop of wool yarn, ready for hanging. The morning they arrived, the children placed some on our (then undecorated) holiday tree and bundled up to hang the rest outside on our bare birch and maple.
My favorites: the papayas and oranges
Kelly’s favorites: the star fruits and kiwis
My older daughter’s favorites: “If we choose a favorite then Kelly and Joe might feel badly about the ones we didn’t choose.”
The holiday season can feel like a burst of color and love that comes and goes quickly. When I watch these little guys swaying and dancing on the branches outside it reminds me of how far that burst of kindness and love can travel. From Kelly and Joe’s home to my eyes to my husband Tom’s eyes to our children’s eyes to the tree’s branches to the wind to the birds’ bellies and nests wherever they might be. It is a gift that spreads joy and love in the truest of ways. And, after the snow melted and mud season began, we found little bits of Kelly’s yarn in our grass, which made us a tiny bit wistful, but mostly happy.
Kelly told me that she sliced her fruit thinly with a mandoline, dried them in her dehydrator, poked little holes in the top, and tied little loops of yarn through. It would also work to dry them slowly in an oven (on low heat) or next to a wood stove or heater for a day or so. Don’t you feel like dehydrating fruit must be so simple since you always seem to find bits of dehydrated apple and pear under your kitchen table? Or, is that just me? Maybe I should sweep a bit more frequently. Ahem.
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Crafts, Everyday Fun, Fun, Holiday, Nature, Outdoors, Seasonal
Friday, November 30th, 2012
1. These sheep ornaments were made by my friend, Susan, and they make my heart flutter. She used long yarn scraps and craft plywood. I bet you could also use cardboard or cereal box panels for the sheep. CUTE!
2. Apartment Therapy has an lovely snowflake roundup. My 5-year-old daughter is having a snowflake birthday party this weekend, and I’m so excited to offer the snowflake resist project at the party.
3. These DIY cross stitch napkin rings would help make lovely holiday place settings. (via shelternesss)
4. I love bird crafts! These made me smile. (via crafty crow)
5. Marconi & Cheese BFF necklaces. (There is PB&J and rock, paper, scissors too). Eeeep.
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5 Bright Spots, Birthday Party Games, Crafts, Everyday Fun, Fun, Group Activities, Holiday, Seasonal