DIY Valentine Wooden Hearts Craft

Valentine’s Day is just a week away and I have slowly been adding a few pops of pink and red to my mantel. I decided that I was lacking something tall to balance out all of the little nicknacks I picked up here and there. After looking at several different stores, I realized I wasn’t finding what I wanted. I already had planned to purchase some wooden X’s and O’s to paint pink and red, but inspiration struck when I saw a bag of little wooden hearts. I knew that I had an old frame somewhere in the garage that would be perfect for my project, so I went home ready for a fun Friday night of crafting…and the best part is that I only spent $4.50. #CommissionsEarned

I pulled out some pink, red, and white acrylic paints, sanded down the frame, mixed up several different shades of pink, cut a piece of white poster board as the backing, and went to work on this super simple, but adorable wooden hearts craft. The only glitch was that I should have sanded the frame a bit more, because it took about 15 coats of paint to cover the old ugly brown stain. Other than that small annoyance, the project was actually quite simple and I am thrilled with how it turned out. It’s the perfect addition to complete my Valentine collection on our mantel, and I plan to use it for years to come.

This is a little trick I used to keep all of the hearts lined up straight, and the clear tacky glue worked perfectly for securing the little wooden hearts to the poster board. #ComissionsEarned

My daughter said that she wanted to pop them off and eat them because they look like Brach’s Conversation Hearts.

For more Valentine fun check out the following blogposts:

Valentine Marshmallow Pops

Valentine Paper Garlands

Valentine Craft: Cookie Cutters & Paint

Valentine Words of Affirmation for Kids

DIY Rustic Christmas Tree Banner

Each year, I try to incorporate some type of Christmas craft into our Advent activities. When my kids were younger, we would often take nature walks and collect all sorts of natural treasures. My kids are older now, and nature walks are a distant memory, but this remains one of my favorite DIY Christmas crafts that we made together.

This simple and inexpensive Christmas Tree Banner will add a rustic touch to your holiday decor and kids will have so much fun collecting sticks and twigs to use for their creations. You will need to pre-cut white or off white card stock in rectangles or pendants and purchase some wooden stars, gold paint, twine, and glue. Before your nature walk, take a few minutes to paint your wooden stars with the gold paint. #CommissionsEarned

Bundle up, grab a bag, and go on a stick hunt. Look for sticks in a variety of lengths, but try to find ones in a similar width around. Once you get home, hand each child a piece of the pre-cut banner and let them sort through the sticks, breaking pieces off to for their Christmas Tree, and working their way from bottom to top, while leaving a bit of room for a star.

Glue the sticks in place, including a vertical twig for the trunk and add one of your gold stars to the top of each twig tree. Once all of your banner pieces have dried and you have hole punched the top, thread your twine through and find the perfect place to hang your rustic Christmas Tree Banner.

For more fun Christmas ideas check out the following blogposts:

Advent

The Polar Express & Graham Cracker Trains

Turn Dad into A Snowman

Glittery Christmas Silhouettes

Graham Cracker Gingerbread Houses

DIY Board & Batten Feature Wall

It was always my plan to update our front room when we moved into our home 6 years ago, but life is busy and something else always took priority. I finally decided to go with something bold and paint the room navy blue, knowing that the color would really pop against the white shutters and white built-ins. I chose Naval by Valspar in an eggshell finish and the color is exactly what I pictured. My sweet girl offered to help me paint the room, so we tackled it together.

Around that same time we were binge watching the show “Making It” and I saw a quick clip of a board and batten feature wall that was done by one of the contestants on the show. I told my husband that we had to create a similar wall in our front room and thankfully he was on board. I am the visionary in the family for these types of projects, but oftentimes, he is the one to carry out the little details to make it happen. I drew a sketch of what I wanted the wall to look like with rough measurements, and then we took a trip to Lowes to see what we could find to make it happen. I’ll include my sketch so that you can use it as a template to create your own. The middle fold is where the wall meets because my boards cover two walls.

Our unfinished boards measure 1 1/2″ x 3/4″ and were 8 ft long, but you can go with a different size depending on the design you choose. I did have to go back at one point for a couple more boards, so I think we ended up using about 15 total. Because the room was already painted navy, my next step was to add a coat of paint to all of the unfinished boards.

While we waited for the paint to dry, we grabbed our level, a ruler, and a roll of painters tape to map out the placement of the boards along the wall. #CommissionsEarned

The measuring and cutting was definitely the trickiest part. This is where my husband came in with his mathematical mind and precision to detail. He used his compound miter saw for all of the cuts. As you can see from the photo, my rough sketch on paper made it easier to bring my vision to life with the painters tape. My husband used a nail gun to attach the boards to the wall. We started off with the outline along the sides and top, then moved on to the longest ones in the center and went out from there, measuring and cutting each board along the way. #CommissionsEarned

Once all of the boards were up, I added another two coats of paint to make sure all of the nail holes were covered up and to give this “feature wall” a finished look. Our DIY board & batten wall was a worthwhile weekend project that ended up costing us under $75 and it has added so much warmth and texture to our front room.

Because navy is such a dark color, I wanted to make sure to add plenty of contrast, so I created a large gallery wall of photos of our family on the other side of the room and I updated the decor on our built-ins. You can find similar matts and frames on Amazon, and Shutterfly is a great place for oversized black and white prints. I love that this is the first glimpse people get when they enter our home and I am thrilled with the way our Christmas decorations look in here as well. This room has definitely become my favorite in our entire house. #CommissionsEarned

For another fun and easy DIY project check out one of my recent blogposts : Oversized Scripture Scroll: Ephesians 3

DIY Lemonade Stand

My daughter has been asking to have a lemonade stand since last summer, so it was a must on our 2018 Summer Bucket List.  I saw some cute DIY ideas using wooden crates and thought that we would give it a go.  I found the best deal for wooden crates at our local Michael’s Store.  My husband had a 36″ x 10″ board cut at The Home Depot.  I purchased two different sizes of nails,  1-1/4 inches for the thicker parts and 3/4 inches for the thinner wood slats, and went to work.  You can watch my video tutorial for more details on the building process. #CommissionsEarned

Hobby Lobby recently had a huge clearance on their summer stock, so I was able to get two giant yellow pinwheels for just $4 each.  They made the cutest sides to hang a LEMONADE banner on.  I used my Cricut Expression 2 to cut out the letters for the banner and hung it with twine.  A few material scraps cut into triangles made for a mini pennant banner to hang along one of the crates.  I created an “Ice Cold Lemonade” sign, a price list for some treats that we made, and lemon cupcake toppers that you can print off here  Lemonade Stand Printables PDF

My daughter loves to dance, and every summer her dance studio holds a week long dance camp.  We decided that selling lemonade & treats would be a great way for her to earn the $125 tuition for camp.  On a Friday evening, we made a batch of cupcakes and marshmallow pops.  I have included the lemon template I used for the candy melt lemons.  Lemon Template pdf  (See some of my marshmallow pop videos for instructions on how to create themed mallow pops)

On Saturday and Sunday, my girl held lemonade stands in our driveway, and not only did she have the best time selling lemonade and sweet treats, she earned $129 in two mornings thanks to the generosity and support of our amazing friends and neighbors.  I will never forget the joy on her face when she walked into the dance studio on that Monday morning and paid her entire tuition in full with money she had earned herself.  Lemonade stand success!!!

I am so pleased with the way our DIY Lemonade Stand turned out, and have been thinking of other uses for it.  Of course she can always use it for imaginary play, but I’m sure we will also use it for birthday parties in the future, bake sales, donuts and juice during our garage sale, and of course, many many more lemonade stands.

fullsizeoutput_d081fullsizeoutput_d082IMG_3019IMG_3020fullsizeoutput_d096IMG_3026IMG_3037fullsizeoutput_d0b4IMG_3045CpohFBkzScqu%hG4tm4PggIMG_3044IMG_3047IMG_1231

IMG_30577516772496_IMG_7966IMG_31407516772496_IMG_79637516772496_IMG_7977IMG_3065

DIY Magnetic Marble Track

At the beginning of this summer, we spent a day at The Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, CA.  If you’ve never been there, it is such a fun experience with tons of hands on exhibits.  One of my daughter’s favorites was a wall with plastic magnetic tubes to create a “marble track” and little balls to test it out on.  She spent quite awhile rearranging the tubes to make different tracks and trying them out.  As I watched her, I started thinking about how I could make something similar at home, and this idea was born.

I began saving toilet paper and paper towel rolls and waiting for just the right time to create our DIY Magnetic Marble Track.  This Saturday was the perfect day!  My oldest was away at camp with his youth group and my two younger kids were having a pajama day.  My husband was taking a nap and the kids were getting “bored,” so together we created this super fun “boredom buster!”

Check out my daughter’s “Craft Time With Karis” video tutorial (above) to learn how to make these with your own kids.  It took some trial and error, but we figured out the best way to keep the tracks up and the best balls to use.  Here are a couple of tips:

  • make sure your magnets are strong enough…we tried some at first that would not hold
  • use light weight balls: we found my son’s Nerf Rival Bullet Balls to be the perfect balls for this project.  Small bouncy balls were a close second.  Marbles were too heavy and knocked the tracks right off.  Experimenting with different options is part of the fun!
  • even though we used magnets that were sticky on one side, it is best to hot glue them as well for a stronger hold

IMG_9122IMG_9123IMG_9167IMG_9204

For more “Craft Time With Karis” videos click on the following:

DIY Kids Magnetic Puzzles

Colored (RAINBOW) Rice

Tricky Hopscotch (with a twist)

Valentine Craft: Cookie Cutters & Paint

 

DIY Kids Magnetic Puzzles

Coloring pages, painting, and puzzles…three things my girl loves, all combined into one  project.  This is a super simple craft that your kids can do at home and you only need a couple of items, most of which you probably already have.

To make DIY Magnetic Puzzles, you will need:

  • adhesive magnetic tape
  • white card stock
  • paint, crayons, or markers
  • scissors or a paper cutter

Your child can print a coloring page from the computer or create their own art.  The possibilities for unique puzzles are endless!  This activity can be modified for very young children by cutting fewer puzzle pieces, and can be made challenging for older children by cutting a variety of shapes.

Watch my daughter’s “Craft Time With Karis” tutorial (above) to learn how to make some DIY Magnetic Puzzles of your own.

IMG_7057IMG_7060IMG_7062IMG_7177IMG_7180IMG_7182

For more “Craft Time With Karis” fun, check out these other blog posts:

Colored (Rainbow) Rice

Tricky Hopscotch (With A Twist)

Valentine Craft: Cookie Cutters & Paint

 

DIY “My Little Pony” Capes Tutorial

My Little Pony Capes Template

This week I finally made the time to create a tutorial for the My Little Pony Capes that I make for my daughter’s ponies.   While she was in school the other day,  I made 3 new capes and when she came home she was thrilled!  Just a couple of scraps of material, some pretty embellishments, and a little bit of my time has led to hours of imaginary play with ponies the past 2 days.  Definitely time well spent!

To see more ideas for “My Little Pony” Capes, you can read my original post here.  To learn how to make some of these tiny capes for your child’s own My Little Ponies, watch my tutorial above.

fullsizeoutput_de76IMG_7466IMG_7469

DIY Spring Book Page Banner

This past Monday was the first day of Spring, and boy am I ready for some sunshine!   This weekend, in anticipation of the arrival of the new season, I made this simple “Book Page Banner” and I absolutely love the way it turned out!  Book Page Banners are great, because they are so inexpensive to make and you can modify them to fit any occasion.

For this Bunny Rabbit and Carrot Banner you will need…

  •  pages out of an old book (I got mine from the dollar store)
  •  bunny & carrot template (google bunny silhouette & carrot silhouette to find ones you like and size them to fit your book pages)
  • white, orange, and green card stock
  • scissors
  •  ruler
  •  pencil
  •  paper cutter
  • glue stick
  • scotch tape
  • twine

Watch my tutorial above to make your own Spring Book Page Banner.

Happy Spring!

DIY Tinkering Workshop for Kids

My son Micah is that kid who is always trying to figure out “how things work.”  He absorbs information like no one I know and often amuses us with the most off the wall, interesting facts that he “read somewhere in a book.”  He also loves science and technology.  We always say that he’s going to be a famous inventor someday!

For the last couple of years, Micah would often say, “Mom, I wish I had a workshop of my very own!   I wish I had a place that I could just go and build stuff.”  Whenever he said this, I was left feeling like I didn’t even know where to begin, so I’d look up a project on Pinterest or try to get him engaged in a creative activity.  I never really thought it would be possible to make his dream a reality.

Recently,  I started talking to Micah about what he wanted for his 11th birthday.  He didn’t have a specific gift in mind.  Then inspiration struck!  I started dreaming about how we could make a special workshop just for Micah in our house.  We have this random, small utility room between our living room and garage that had basically become a storage space for all kinds of  random things.  I realized that this could become a perfect tinkering space for Micah.

I knew that I wanted to start with large pegboard on one wall, so we took a trip to Lowe’s to see what we could find.  In a matter of days, Micah’s workshop came together, and I was very pleased that we were able to keep the cost down to under $60 by using a bunch of thing we already had in our garage and in our house.

I put together this little video (below) of “The Making of Micah’s Tinkering Workshop” which includes a cost breakdown and a few fun moments with Micah too!  Micah is thoroughly enjoying his “place to go build stuff.”  The first day it was finished, he spent over 4 hours in there working on building a robotic arm that was given to him by a friend.

BEFORE

IMG_6354IMG_6427IMG_6428IMG_6451IMG_6623AFTER

IMG_6634

We would love to hear from you!  If you know of any cool building projects for kids or ideas of what Micah could do in his workshop, leave us a comment and let us know!

Octagon (Geometric) Bulletin Board

I have had this huge stack of cork tiles in my son’s room for several years… just sitting there…  taking up space!  So this week, I finally decided to do something fun with them!  I created a geometric bulletin board for my 10 year old son’s bedroom wall and I am so happy with the way it turned out.  It was a bit tricky getting the right cut to create the octagons, but with a little help from my husband, (who measured and cut the template for me) I was on my way.  A couple of coats of paint and some command strips later, and these cork tiles became a really cool memo board for my son to pin up a “few of his favorite things.”

Watch my tutorial on how to create your own Octagon Memo Board.  This would be perfect in a bedroom, a dorm room, or an office.

Here are a couple of tips:

Use different textures of paint for contrast

Paint at least 2 coats on each octagon

Leave some octagons unpainted

Lay out your tiles on the ground and play around with different configurations before hanging them up

Use command strips to hang each tile on the wall

Also featured in this video is a collection of my son’s amazing origami creations, strung up across the top of the Octagon Bulletin Board.  He has spent hours making these incredible creations, one intricate fold after another.  I love seeing them all on display in his bedroom.  For those of you who love origami, check out MicahsToyReviews to learn how to make some origami creations of your own.

img_5750fullsizeoutput_d731img_5763img_5781img_5880img_5887fullsizeoutput_d860