DIY candy garland craft

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Not all garland has to be store-bought, and as a matter of fact it’s likely more fun if it’s not!

This week while we were whipping up a few placesetting and craft ideas, my six-year old son grew a little restless. Imagine that! So we set him up with this simple craft. And the best part, we just used leftover candy that we had around the office. The top garland is red cherry chews and green taffy. Using a large dull needle and clear fishing line (always in my craft bag!) thread each piece. I recommend cleaning your needle with a damp paper towel between each piece of candy and using short pieces of fishing line that you can tie together at the end so that you don’t have to push the chewy candy down very far.

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And for this second one, popcorn, chewy cherry sour balls and green cross-stitch thread. Admittedly there was much more eating than threading on the kids’ part, but there were lots of giggles. My very favorite sound!

Happy weekend everyone and as always, I hope you’re inspired!

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Christmas advent calendar craft

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I love crafting with my kids and Christmas is my absolute favorite season, everything from the giggles of excitement that waft through the house (the kids and mine) to whipping up new treats to share with neighbors and friends.

So last week while we were wrapping up our final Christmas collection photo shoot, I took a little time to plan this fun and easy Christmas tree advent calendar craft. Make it over the Thanksgiving holiday and be all set to count down the days to December 25 by decorating a mini Christmas tree each day!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 24 Christmas trees (8 to a sheet of regular scrapbook paper)
  • 9′ of ribbon to hang, another 3′ for push pin bows
  • 24 mini clothes pins (wood working section of your craft store)
  • 24 stars
  • sheet of number stickers
  • ornaments (aka hole punches out of coordinating scrapbook paper)
  • 1 sheet of vellum (for the mini envelope)
  • 6 push pins
  • glue (to attach your vellum pocket and for the kids to decorate with)

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And here’s how you pull it all together:

  1. Cut out 24 trees, stars and vellum rectangles.
  2. Punch out lots and lots of ornaments (a regular office hole punch works just fine).
  3. Using stickers, number each of the stars 1 to 24.
  4. Attach the stars to the tops of the trees and then flip the trees over.
  5. Sprinkle some ornaments in the center of each tree, pipe three lines of glue (Elmer’s glue or a glue stick) leaving the top open, attach the vellum rectangle over the ornaments and allow the trees to dry for 5-10 minutes.
  6. Hang three 3′ sections of ribbon with push pins. (Optional: Tie bows in coordinating ribbon to the push pins to help hide them.)
  7. Attach the trees on the ribbon using mini clothes pins.

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Now, starting on December 1, let your little ones take down a tree each day and decorate it using the hole punch ornaments from the little vellum envelope in back. As you can see, we’ve got a jump start! As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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science birthday party crafts

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In mid-September I held my oldest son’s science birthday party (part I, part II, feature in Columbus Parent Magazine) and mentioned that I would share a few of the crafts: paper mache books for the book shelves on the dessert table, hand scanner for entry to our top secret lab and “Alex’s Lab This Way” sign.

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For the paper mache books, I simply purchased the books from the craft store, painted them with craft paint (absorbs quickly), stenciled on “Biology,” “Chemistry,” and “Astronomy” and then sealed them with a spray (also available at the craft store). The books actually open and can be used for storage so they ended up being little gifts for my son after the party and he uses them to store his collections… aka dried leaves, rocks, bugs (in mini specimen jars!). 

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The second craft was my son’s favorite. He had been planning a hand scanner for his lab in the basement so I thought it only appropriate to make one for his party. Mine wasn’t functional of course (he plans on his actually working and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it actually does), but it was fun. First I painted the board white and allowed it to dry. Next I painted his hand (yes, that is my baby’s little hand) and we stamped it in the middle of the sign. And finally I stenciled on the letters (cut out using a Cricut).

Unfortunately I didn’t get a great shot of the “Alex’s Lab This Way” sign that pointed everyone to the lab entrance, but it was accomplished in much the same way, paint and stencils.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone and stop back next week to see our new BELIEVE collection and a very fun and easy DIY Christmas advent calendar idea.

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DIY fabric fall wreath

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It doesn’t get any easier than this: a DIY no-sew fabric wreath. All you need are two to three fabrics of your choice cut into 3″x3″ squares, a straw wreath (available at any craft store) and a screw driver.

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And if you want, a little quick embellishment!

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This is how you do it. Just place your fabric square, right side out, on the tip of a screwdriver (a flathead would be best so that it doesn’t puncture your material) and push it gently into your wreath. It’s that simple. And this idea isn’t just great for holidays, it could be perfect for birthday parties, baby showers, any occasion that brings guests to your front door.

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And maybe even punch up the entry way with a coordinating, but not matchy matchy throw pillow. As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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Halloween pinwheel lollipop

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When we were putting together our Candy Corn collection photo shoot I made these quick little pinwheel lollipops using two colors of crepe paper, double sided tape and our cupcake pick circles.  A quick and fun favor for all the little ghosts and goblins at your Halloween bash this year!

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At least my little sugar goblins loved them! {wink}

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DIY dish towel child apron

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I often hang out in the craft room with my mom on the weekends. (Believe it or not, hers is even more elaborate than mine!) It’s my way to relax and get the creative juices flowing. A few weekends ago while we were planning all of the Halloween crafts that I’ve recently posted about (DIY fabric Halloween masks, DIY fabric Halloween and/or birthday hatDIY ruffle cake plate), we got the boys involved and whipped up these easy dish towel child aprons. 

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My mom just got some new fall designs for her fabric die cutting machine so she let the boys crank out the designs they wanted to use to embellish their aprons. But a template and a pair of scissors works great too! 

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The boys chose pumpkins, leaves and acorns for a Halloween/fall theme. We attached Wonder Under (self-adhesive for fabric) to each design and let the boys place the die cuts anywhere they wanted… note the lack of symmetry… oh well, they were super happy. Once the designs were in place, we peeled off the backs and ironed them on.

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Next we selected our ribbon, a 3/4″ grograin, folded in each side of the towel and sewed a pocket for the ribbon. Then we inserted our ribbon, making sure it had enough room to lay flat and move up and down. I love this because the aprons are adjustable to height and make it super easy to get them on and off!

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Here’s how the back looked when finished! Oh, and of course my mom had to monogram their names on with a dripping Halloween font!

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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DIY Halloween witch hat

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I just love this little witch hat we made for our Candy Corn Halloween collection photo shoot. It was truly easy and with another fabric choice, could be fun for more than just Halloween!  

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1/2 yard fabric
  • Wonder Under self adhesive
  • Stretch rite elastic
  • Scissors
  • Fabric glue
  • Tulle
  • Optional: Interfacing for stiffness

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And here are the simple steps (apologies for the quality of the images from the craft room, they were taken with my iPhone):

  1. Make an 18″ diameter circle template out of paper (I use wax paper so that they keep better), find the center point and cut the sheet in half. Using the crown of your child’s head as a guide, overlap the paper and determine what amount you should trim away (leaving you with a shape that resembles the above) 
  2. Cut out two pieces of fabric using your template (you can use an alternate coordinating fabric for the inside of the hat if you like)
  3. Cut out one piece of Wonder Under using the template (Optional: If your fabric is flimsy, cut out one piece of interfacing, for stiffness, too)
  4. Iron Wonder Under to the “wrong” or non-pattern side of one piece of fabric
  5. Iron interfacing to the other fabric, again on the wrong side so that the patterned/good side shows when constructed
  6. Peel paper backing from Wonder Under and iron two fabrics, wrong sides together, matching the edges up exactly
  7. Cut 2″ strips of tulle
  8. Gather tulle and sew (or glue) to curved edge
  9. Form a cone, pipe the edge with fabric glue, overlap slightly and allow to adhere (TIP: Use a large paper clip to hold the fabric in place until glue dries)
  10. Punch holes in sides of cone for elastic band
  11. Insert elastic in one side and knot. Using your child as a model, place the hat on her head and measure needed length of elastic, trim, insert and tie

 And did you notice that she is also wearing a matching pumpkin t-shirt (and that both the hat and t-shirt match the fabric from the Candy Corn collection dessert table)? Using a little Wonder Under we made a quick t-shirt too (or there are iron-on kits available at any craft store). And since my mom has every sewing gadget imaginable, she outlined the pumpkin in orange for that little extra touch.

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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DIY Halloween masks

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We made a number of Halloween crafts for our Candy Corn Halloween collection photo shoot last week, including the DIY cake plate ruffle idea I shared yesterday. So today I want to share these super simple Halloween masks and for all those who’ve asked, I swear I’m sharing the witch hat (shown in the background above) in my next post!

Materials:

  • Halloween mask templates from Good Housekeeping magazine 
  • 1/3 yard fabric (for front and back)
  • Stretch rite elastic for strap
  • Wonder Under fusible web (self-adhesive available at any craft store)
  • Sharp scissors or cutter
  • Iron

Easy steps:

  1. Print and cut out your mask template
  2. Cut your mask out of fabric, twice, and out of Wonder Under once. We chose to use this self-adhesive and two layers of fabric to give the mask stiffness
  3. Place the fabric in place and then look for any Wonder Under that might be protruding out of the mask. You’ll want to cut that off so that it doesn’t ruin your iron and so that your edges are smooth
  4. Following the instructions on the Wonder Under package, iron your mask and set the glue
  5. Hold the mask up to your child and then snip a tiny hole/flap on one side of the mask for the strap. Make sure you don’t snip too closely to the edge. Now fold your mask in half and snip a hole/flap in the other side in exactly the same place
  6. Measure your child’s head for the elastic strap
  7. Insert the elastic on either side and tie

I chose a fabric that matched my dessert table, but this mask could also be adorable in a fall pattern too since it looks like leaves.

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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DIY cake plate ruffle

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For each collection that I style, I try to come up with something unique to make the photography pop. For our new Halloween Candy Corn collection, we enlarged our ghost from the invitation (part of our printables available in the shoppe) to hang above the dessert table. He’s just so darn cute I wanted him to have more of a starring role (you can see him in the announcement post). Then as I was prepping the table, I decided that I wanted to bring our color palette up to the cake plate.

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Using black crepe paper and double sided tape, I created a ruffle around the edge of the plate.

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I love this because it was so easy, more than cheap and can be recreated in a multitude of colors for any type of party!

As always, I hope you’re inspired!

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toddler to teen Thanksgiving table

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So this year my beautiful neices and nephews are joining my family for Thanksgiving dinner. We all know I love to decorate a table, but because my hubby and I both are the babies of our families our children are much younger than their cousins. My Thanksgiving kid’s table will run the gammet from a three year old toddler to a sixteen year old… oh yeah!

So I decided to look for some modern color combinations (light blue, brown, orange) with a little glitter for sparkle and pair it with some traditional kid type decor (teepees and turkeys). This is what I came up with and I hope they (and you) like it as much as I do. {wink}

I started by going to the fabric section of my craft store and then took my selection to the scrapbook cardstock section. I was able to find beautiful blue, green and brown shimmery cardstock and complementary fall tree design (on the vase). I used the blue for the “give thanks” centerpiece background and the napkin rings. I used the green for the letters on my “give thanks” centerpiece, and I used the brown as my placemats (wish I had gotten a shot of that for you).

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The centerpiece is a simple vase with a cardstock band and glitter branches embellished with a scallop punch “give thanks.”

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With a few swipes of the surger I made napkins out of the fabric, as well as these very fun, and slightly modern, teepees. Here’s what you’ll need to make a few of your own:

  • 22″ x 18″ swatch of fabric (makes two)
  • 6 thin dowels (3 for each teepee)
  • fabric glue
  • fabric pencil
  • surger
  • scissors

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And here’s how you make them:

  1. Cut four small 1/4″ slits of your fabric.
  2. Arrange your teepee poles (aka dowels). Note: Mine are two differnt heights.
  3. Wrap the strips of fabric around your poles and tack them down to the pole and the poles to each other with fabric glue. Allow the poles to set for at least 10 minutes before applying the teepee fabric.
  4. The teepee itself is a fourth of a circle. My tallest one is 11″ and my shortest is 7″.
  5. Using your teepee poles as a guide, mark your height for each teepee. Make sure that the top of your teepee poles are placed at the corner of the fabric and stick out like they will when your craft is completed.
  6. Surge the fabric all the way around.
  7. Gently set it on your teepee frame and tack it closed at the top with fabric glue.

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For the placecards I made little turkeys with real feathers. My boys loved picking out which ones would be at their plate… but my five year old kept calling them chickens… {wink}! Here’s what you’ll need from the craft store:

  • pack of brown/black/tan feathers
  • large and medium brown/black/tan pom poms 
  • brown pipe cleaners
  • brown cardstock
  • hot glue gun
  • wire cutters

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And here are the super simple steps to pull them together:

  1. Start by choosing your pom pom color combinations and your feathers. You’ll want a tall feather for the center and one or two, depending on how dense they are, for each side.
  2. Hot glue your feathers onto the back of your pompom and set them aside.
  3. Cut your turkey legs and turkey toes using a wire cutter.
  4. Hot glue your turkey toes to your turkey legs (and don’t burn yourself like I did!).
  5. Cut out circles, or scallops in my case, as your turkey base.
  6. Hot glue your turkey legs pointing outward slightly to the base.
  7. Hot glue on your turkey body and feathers.
  8. Finally hot glue on the turkey’s head, just on top, closer to the feathers than the feet.

I hope you have a beautiful Thanksgiving!

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