Christmas Coasters!

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We have turned our dining room table into a coaster making workspace! This inexpensive and festive craft will be given to everyone in the family, so if you are family avert your eyes!

Supplies:
4 square tiles from your local hardware store (4.25″ x 4.25″)
4 pieces of scrapbook paper (3.75″ x 3.75″)
4 pieces of felt (3.75″ x 3.75″)
Mod Podge (we made our own with equal parts water and Elmers glue)
Sponge brush
Glue (i.e. Fabri-tac or other strong adhesive)
Clear acrylic sealer

  • Brush one coat of Mod Podge onto tile.
  • Place one piece of paper on center of tile.  Allow to dry.

  • Brush on another coat of mod podge on top of paper.  Allow to dry 15 minutes and repeat 2-3 more times.
  • After mod podge is dry, take tiles outside and spray with clear acrylic sealer.  Follow manufacturers instructions.  The sealer makes these tile coasters water-resistant.

  • Allow coasters to dry completely.  Once dry, glue felt squares to the bottom center of the tile.

  • Wrap four of these coasters up with some beautiful ribbon and you’ve got a gorgeous handmade gift.

 

*Bunting Flag Tutorial*

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Here’s what I used:

-     Liquid Stitch adhesive

-     3 yards of double fold Bias tape.

-      Pinking Shears (to cut my flags to reduce fraying)

-     Assorted Fabric

-     Cardboard

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Here’s what I did:

-          Cut out a cardboard template using this free printable: http://www.chickabug.com/blog/2010/11/free-fabric-bunting-pattern.html (I used the 6” measurement)

-          Fold the  fabric in half (so you can make two at once), pin it together and trace the template onto the fabric, then cut out the two pieces of fabric for each flag (I cut out two of each piece so I could glue the fabric pieces together for a  solid flag)

-          Using the adhesive (Liquid Stitch), I glue two pieces of similar fabric together (right-side facing out) to make each flag

-          I made 15 flags, but ended up only using 13 for the spacing I wanted when I glued them into the bias tape

-          Lay out the bias tape and insert each flag, spacing them as you wish

-          Glue each flag in place in between the bias tape fold and let dry for 24 hours before hanging

bf finished productnpic monkey

*Orange and Clove Pomander*

Here is our take on a traditional Fall Craft. Normally, people get a little “heavy with the ribbon” on this one.  In order to keep my 5 year old interested and participating, we picked a fun color ribbon and went “light on the ribbon.”

You will need:

Oranges

Cloves

Ribbon

Hot Glue Gun

  • If you are using ribbon, attach it with the hot glue gun in any pattern you desire. Let the glue dry before you start adding the clove to the orange.
  • Make a pattern for your little one so that they are able to get the clove into the orange, make small holes with sharp scissors.
  • Insert cloves into holes.
  • Voila! These smell amazing, put them EVERYWHERE!!

{Top 10 Tips}

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Autumn is in the air!  It makes me want to run to buy an abundance of pumpkins & sit by a bonfire sipping warm apple cider.  

Even though I’m waiting a tiny bit longer before I explode my home in Halloween decorations it doesn’t mean that I can’t get started on Jase’s very first Halloween costume.  Mums the word on what the boy is going to be for his first big holiday hoopla, but it got me thinking about Halloween from years’ past.  In our family, costumes are made, not bought, so I hope to continue that tradition.

Here are my 10 tips for non-sewers when it comes to creating costumes for your own loved ones:

  1. Start with a Shell.  You don’t need to create a fantastic costume from scratch.  Buy the basic shell–or maybe your little one has a great base in their closet.  A sweatshirt hooded jacket can easily be the base for an amazing dinosaur after you add scales & plates to it.  Where’s Waldo can start with a striped red shirt.  Batgirl can be started with  black leggins & a black shirt, adding to it to bring her to life.
  2. Think Felt, Fleece & Foam Paper.  These materials can simply be cut & won’t fray if you don’t hem them, perfect for cutting superhero capes, masks, puppy dog ears, you name it.  Draw out templates on newspaper & perfect your shapes that way, creating a great stencil.  If you aren’t a self-proclaimed artist search for the shape you are looking for on the Internet & print it out to use as a template, whether that be a star, a letter or another shape or pattern.
  3. When In Doubt Use Hot Glue.  If you need buttons or elaborate netting sewn on to something & you don’t know where to start, think “hot glue.”  You fingertips might have a little less to them when the costume is done, but you’ll save yourself the trouble of tangling thread.
  4. Accessories Are Necessities. At The Little Old House of Make Believe all of our accessories (whether it is jewelry or pirate’s treasure) make dressing up even more fun.  Make sure to think of accessories for your little one’s costume.  A Doctor must have a Doctor Bag full of instruments.  What would a Spy be without all of their tools?  A Princess.  A Bumblebee.  Wonder Woman.  Last year a little “police man” came for treats on his bicycle that Dad put a make-shift siren on.  This little boy thought that he was so stinkin’ cool.  Trust me when I say your kid will thank you when you help them add little details of fun.
  5. Think Outside the Fabric Box.  Everything doesn’t need to be made out of fabric.  Materials like cardboard, brown paper, foam or glitter paper can be great resources.  You’d be surprised of the inspiration you can get just strolling the aisles of your local craft store.
  6. Get Kids Involved Although you might be trying to create a costume that would be able to grace the latest Pinterest homepage, remember that Halloween is supposed to be fun & by getting your little one involved, it won’t just create fantastic memories, it can make them super proud too.  Maybe they’d like to draw a sketch of what they want their costume to look like, and of course can help with the shopping, glueing or even more.  
  7. Something Borrowed.  Maybe a friend or family has a costume, accessories or piece of a costume that could help you get started–or finish–your little one’s look.  A cousin’s pig costume could be re-done into “Pigs in a Blanket,” “Miss Piggy,” a Piggy Bank (think chocolate gold coins to hand out to passerby!) or even Toy Story’s “Dr. Porkchop.”
  8. Use the Internet to Find Tutorials  Even if your little one has the craziest idea for something they want to be & you think you’ll need an interpretive guide to help you figure out what they mean, just search the Internet first.  You’ll be surprised that a Grown-Up probably had the very same request before from their little one.  And their finished product can serve as your inspiration.
  9. A Family Affair.  Just because you are a grown-up or your pet poodle is a dog, doesn’t mean that it can be fun for the whole family!  Is there a little accessory or thing that you can throw on yourself or your canine friend to complete your little one’s costume?  They are sure to get a kick out of it!
  10. Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help Whether your Great Aunt is a crafty one, you ask for guidance at the fabric cutting counter of your local fabric store or you post a question on a message board, there are other people out there willing to help breathe life into your little one’s costume idea, whether with advice or maybe even to help you create it.

So ask your kidlet what is it they want to be & get started finding some inspiration!  We’d love to see your DIY costumes.  Post it on The Little Old House of Make Believe’s Facebook wall or use #IMadeItMyself on Instagram.

 

*Play Dough Kit*

When we last met, we were talking DIY play dough. You kneaded. And played. Then you let your little one play a bit, as well!

Now that you have all that dough- you need a special little Play Dough Tool Kit to bring even more creativity into the mix.

First gather some of the basics, like plastic cookie cutters, kid-friendly scissors and a rolling pin. Now to get a little crazy you can add some stamps, a potato masher a child safe pizza or dough cutter and maybe some kid friendly – OK Paint Scrappers.

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One. I Two. I Three. I Four. I Five. I Six. I Seven.

Now let’s get creative! Think of what might imprint in the dough. Maybe toss in a few Legos. Or a large 8×10 laminated photo of loved ones (a green mustache for Dad…and a gorgeous new hair bow for little sis!).

Toss in some bottle tops (think of how a soda bottle top would cut dough verse a jar lid).

Collect some seashells at the shore. Pick through your kitchen cabinets looking for things that could make interesting additions to your brand new kit (a garlic press! A potato ricer! vintage biscuit cutters! It is a creative birthday or Christmas present.

Now gather all your goodies & put them in a basket, lunch box or whatever it is you deem fit & get ready to get creating!

Just remember to leave some dough for the kiddos you creative fool ;)

We’d love to see your creations! If you make something great with play dough, make

your down dough or put together a fantastic tool kit, let us see it by posting it on The

Little Old House of Make Believe’s Facebook wall.

*DIY*

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Play dough is one of those things that can span a great divide with children & adults. Like it’s long lost cousin, Silly Putty, it’s just plain fun. Turning dough into anything from
cookies, to a fire-spewing monster is just plain therapeutic to the soul. (Like my foremothers before me who needed to knead to take out a day’s frustration, I think it’s
the cheapest stress reliever… and if you don’t believe me, go whip up some homemadepizza dough!)

While it’s fun to open up a brand new container of play dough, sometimes at The Little Old House of Make Believe, it’s fun to make too! (Grown Ups & kids at our place really
like it & we often get dozens of requests for the recipe so I thought you might like it too!)

For our play dough, you might have all of the things you need in your kitchen cabinet.  Grab the little ones & let’s get going!

You’ll also need some bowls, a mixer, a pot (it always washed out of our pots…you don’tneed to set aside a special “play dough making” pot), maybe some rubber gloves (Ididn’t use them & am alive to tell about it) and of course both big & little hands ready tomake play dough!

First you are going to heat water, oil & jello/food coloring in a medium pan on medium heat. The more vibrant you want the dough the more color you add. You CAN add more color afterwards, but keep in mind that it might stain your hands being soconcentrated. (NOTE: My hands were stained from experience so yours don’t have to!)

Beat flour, salt & cream of tartar. You can wait for the water to cool off a bit. Then slowly add the heated water to the flour mixture and mix well until mixture forms a ball.
Add more flour or water to get just the right consistency for play dough. Let dough cool. Knead. Play.

To to make 4 colors per batch- simply put the flour mixture into four separate bowls. Then mix 1/2 cup hot water with 1/2 Tablespoon oil with one of your four color options, adding the cooled heated water mixture to each of the four bowls.

You can add water to hardened dough to give it new life, and be sure to keep it in an airtight container or bag.

Be sure to let the kiddos have fun making it too!  They can do pre-measuring, mixing & kneading.

We can’t wait to share with you ideas for a homemade play dough tool kit!

Re-Purposed Puzzle!

Step 1
Select an old puzzle, that is still in good shape and has all of its pieces!
Step 2
Put the puzzle together and then paint the entire puzzle with acrylic paint (we selected white, but any color will work just fine). You can use acrylic or tempera – whatever you have around the house!
Step 3
Once the paint is completely dry (although acrylic paints are fairly quick drying, I waited a few hours to be sure the surface was dried thoroughly), draw/sketch your image.  If you painted your puzzle a light color, feel free to use pencil; however, if you painted your puzzle a darker color, try using a white or yellow piece of chalk.  Encourage your mini artist to fill the entire space with some sort of image – it isn’t fun or easy to complete a puzzle that is just empty space.
 Step 4
Begin PAINTING with your acrylics!  Try to encourage your mini artist to refrain from using too much paint – it will leave large blobs on the puzzle’s surface (taking longer to dry and makes it tougher to put the puzzle back together!) and it could lead to the puzzle becoming too absorbed with paint (this won’t make reconnecting the pieces easy later on).
Step 5
This step can be skipped if you don’t have the materials handy, but it does help extend the life of your “masterpiece”!  Once the puzzle is completely painted and dried, give a quick coat of gloss/varnish.
 
Step 6
Ta – Da!!!!  You have now re-purposed your old puzzle into one that is new, usable, and inspiring!
Here are two examples from my 5 year old twins, Samantha (the face) and Natalie (a scene from Lion King – yup, that’s Scar on the left and Simba on the right!!!).
I enjoy how differently these two puzzles came out and I really like that my one mini artist even signed her name!
This craft is from Khara Levy, the craftiest momma we know!! Thanks Khara!!

*Memory Box*

Here is a very simple craft that we did on vacation last week and we were able to use some of the 8 Million tiny shells that we have been hoarding from every vacation we have EVER taken.

  • We found a highly inexpensive jewelry box.
  • We put a thick layer of glue on the lid.
  • We placed the tiny shells on the layer of glue and then waited for the glue to dry.
  • We placed all the “treasures” we found on the beach- in the box.

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*Pistachio Flower Craft*

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I do not have a crafty bone in my entire body.  Lucky for me both Nana and Grammy do.  And, apparently, the crafty gene skips a generation.  This fun spring craft was created entirely by my 7-year-old, Ella!

 

  • First, enjoy a snack of pistachios. (Sorry for those with allergies, maybe dry shell macaroni would work?)Anna bday and Keys 058
  •  Spread wax paper to hold your completed “flowers”.

 

  • Paint the shells whatever colors you’d like.067068
  •  Put a bead in the middle of the flower.

 

  • Be sure bead and shells are all touching, and then fill with clear glue.  (Be generous)

 

  • Allow about 4 hours to dry.

 

  • Carefully remove from the wax paper and Voila!Anna bday and Keys 062Anna bday and Keys 072
  •  Add magnet to the back if you’d like, or, glue to a picture frame.

 

        Easy, springy, cute, and fun!

 

*Egg Tutorial*

photo(8)We used this technique last night and not one egg was cracked! Check it.

Preheat your oven to 325.

Put your eggs in a muffin tin.

Cook for 25-35 minutes.

Place eggs in a bowl of ice water for 5 minutes.

Easy Peasy!!

* Natural dyed Easter Eggs*

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Used:
1 can cherries and juice – red/purple
3-4 Tbsp. Chili powder – orange
3-4 Tbsp. Chamomile tea – yellow
6oz. bag spinach – green
1 package frozen blueberries – blue

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I added 3 cups of water to each color.

For the fruits, the kids mashed them up.

I boiled the spinach on the stove for 20 minutes to get some of the color out.

Finally, I added 2 Tbsp vinegar to each color before adding the hard boiled eggs. We let the eggs sit in the in unstrained color for about an hour, stirring occasionally.

The colors are more “natural” and so pretty!

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Terrariums

terrariums
Materials
– Glass Containers (I found mine at Michaels & AC Moore)–  Rocks or Activated charcoal pieces– Potting soil

– Gloves

– Succulents or otherTerrarium-appropriate plants

–  Moss

– Watering can

– Trowel

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  1. Install approximately 1-2 inches of rocks or charcoal at base of container.
  2. Combine remaining rocks or charcoal with Potting Soil.
  3. Fill your container one-fourth to one-third full with the charcoal-and-soil mixture. Gently pack the soil every 2 inches to avoid large air pockets.
  4. Remove your plants from their containers and place them on top of the soil to ensure proper spacing. Allow enough room between the plants for additional soil
  5. Pack soil in and around plants. Tuck plants deep enough into the soil to cover all plant roots and to keep the plants from reaching too far above the top of the container.
  6. Position moss on top of the soil and between the plants.
  7. Water plants and place container in a well-lit area with indirect light. Test the soil for moisture before pulling out the watering can.
  8. The best part is that MAINTENANCE IS MINIMAL. oh yeah!

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*Turkey Time*

Looking for some last minute Thanksgiving crafts for the kiddos? We have rounded up our favorite “no hassle” crafts for those of you who have waited until the last minute. Do you have any turkey crafts to share? Please send them our way!

*DIY Halloween*

*Apple Craft*

We were so inspired by this simple apple craft from Martha Stewart that we decided to let our little ones give it a try!

What you’ll need for this craft is the following: apples, brightly colored acrylic paint, plastic knives or forks, bowls for paint and some cute kid sized fabric bags or aprons from Michaels (we found ours in the clearance bin for .10 cents each).

Half the apples. Fill the bowls with paint.

Stick a knife or fork about halfway into the round side of the apple (so you can get the apple out of the paint bowl).

Have Fun! Your little one can easily make the apple imprints alone.

Voila, now your little one has a super cute bag for APPLE PICKING!!!!

*Vegetable Bags*

My 5 year old recently inquired as to why we re use our plastic veggie bags at the farmers market and at the grocery store. She informed me that cute bags ARE easy to make and they are NOT plastic. Point taken.

I welcomed this cute idea because since becoming pregnant, crafting in our house has become almost nonexistent.

Here  is how we made these cute, reusable, veggie bags.

We used:

  • Mod Podge for fabric.
  • Old scrapbook paper.
  • Some old totes (from Michaels), leftover from a craft over a year ago.

We(my 5 year old) traced veggie outlines on the scrapbook paper and then cut them out.

We applied a base coat of Mod Podge before applying the cutouts and then let them dry.

Two more coats of ModPodge on top of the cutouts and Voila!

Easy Peasy!

Reusable Veggie Bags.

 

*New and Improved*

Thoughts?

*Project Gone Awry*

This picture does not even do this gorgeous color any justice.

In the midst of “my” nesting, “we” have finally decided to refinish the hutch we bought a few years ago.

The color was supposed to be a deep country blue/green… NOT sea foam green! I was going for that antique chalkboard color. The man at the hardware store said the paint would dry darker.

It’s not that I don’t love this color for a CANDY SHOP, or even for for my daughters bedroom.  It’s simply not right for our earthy, 200 year old dining room.

We ( my husband) obviously need to repaint.  Maybe we could just hang on to this in case we ever decide to open an ice cream parlor?

Thoughts? Color suggestions?? I’d love ANY.

A lovely shade of sea foam green.

 

 

*Easy Summer Craft*

Hi! Here is our take on the popular Garden Dream Flags craft. These little beauties are inspired by Tibetan prayer flags and they will add a little fun to any outdoor or indoor space. We used fabric we had lying around (think UPCYCLE) but you could certainly make them more durable by purchasing some duck canvas.

1 Cut six 8 by 8 inch squares of the fabric of your choice.

2 Using brightly colored acrylic paint, let your little one “get to town”. Asking for specific designs may be a little far fetched for the wee ones,  just embrace their “unique” painting style on all 6 squares of fabric.

 

3 Take 1/2 inch of the top of the fabric (after it has been painted) and wrap it around a thick piece of canvas twine, then adhere with gorilla glue (or something of similar strength).  Find some small heavy items (we used cups and rocks) to hold the fabric in place, while the glue dries( We left a little slack on both ends of twine and spaced the pieces of fabric about 6 inches apart). Please do this for each piece of fabric.

4 We used some hot pink duct tape (naturally) to hang these little beauties up, but you can use whatever your sweet little heart desires!

5 Voila!

 

 

 

For this craft you will need scissors, fabric, acrylic paint, paintbrushes, twine, gorilla glue (or similar substitute), small heavy items (to hold fabric in place while glue is drying). Have fun!

 

 

 

 

Footprint Craft!

Here is an adorable footprint craft from our favorite mama, Khara Levy. This is a great craft for Mother’s day that doesn’t take much time at all.

You will need:

Acrylic paint.

A paint pen to outline.

Khara used 3 tiles (perfect if you have some sitting around somewhere), you certainly  could use paper.

If you are using a tile, paint the entire tile the color of your choice. Next, paint the bottom of your little ones feet. When they make make their foot impressions, make sure their feet are crossed so the big toes face out. Paint the body of the butterfly (the middle black part). Finish up by outlining the painting with your paint pen and make a simple border.