• Home Decor,  Kids

    Clipboard Art Display

    Two kids in preschool = lots of artwork. Did we have to get a second refrigerator to display all of those papers? Well, no, but I am glad you asked. We let the kids decide on their favorites and we hang them up on clipboards. Our wall can showcase six projects at once. For all of you that don’t like doing math in your head, that means three projects for each child. Don’t worry, I let my husband do all of my math for me.

    This display has been up in our house for a while, pre-blog even. I get so many compliments on it, I decided to share it.

    Clipboards 4

    First, I took six regular clipboards, primed and painted them black. If I were to do this again, I think I would probably use chalkboard paint. Because, who doesn’t love chalkboard paint?

    Clipboards 1
     

    Then, I used a black sharpie to get the very top edge that I couldn’t reach with a paint brush.

    clipboards 2

    Finally, I hung them up on the wall. I know you’re smart, so I won’t insult you any further by explaining how to use a hammer and nails.

    Clipboards 3

    These clipboards make it so easy to rotate the works of art. This way, the current favorites are always on display. The rest of the pictures get filed away, to be pulled out at future graduation parties and on days when I want to be in denial about my boys growing up too quickly.

  • Kids,  Tips & Tricks

    Keeping Toddlers Occupied

    I am not claiming to be the brilliant person who came up with the genius idea for using a cardboard box as a toy.  Until recently, I had never seen or thought of the idea of giving my kid crayons for coloring inside of a box. Crayons and boxes are two of my son’s favorite things. So combining them together worked like magic. This is such a great way for keeping toddlers occupied.

    Step one:
    I let my toddler climb into a large, ordinary, cardboard box. (I am not sure why it looks like he doesn’t have feet in this picture, but he does. Two of them.)

    box1

     Step two:
    He was given a few crayons.

    box2

    Step three:
    I sat back, relaxed, and enjoyed my free time.

    As expected, he just had the best time playing in there.

    box4 

    To keep the fun alive, the sides were reinforcement with duct tape.

    box5

    Crayons in a box is such a simple idea. I just wish I would have found this idea sooner.

    If you had a box large enough, do you think adults could have this much fun?

  • Kids,  Sew

    Octonauts Costumes and DIY Sailor’s Hat

    The Disney Jr. show, Octonauts, is a favorite in our house. So it was no surprise to me that our little ones choose to be Kwazi the cat and the polar bear Captain Barnacles for Halloween. There are not commercial costumes for these characters, but lucky for my two, I love any DIY challenge.

    Costume 13

    An orange shirt and pants were the base of the Kwazi outfit. Felt triangles were attached to a headband for the ears. My little guy made sure I even cut a tiny chomp in one of the ears just like Kwazi’s.The eye patch was also felt. This worked great for a 3 year old because he was able to shift it slightly to see while still maintaining the pirate look. I used felt for the tummy and collar. The tail was a awesome find from the dollar store.

    Costume 11
     

    To make the hat, I drew the pattern for the main portion of it on the fold of a piece of paper. Next, I traced it on to felt and cut out four equal pieces. The rounded triangles are about 4 inches wide and 5 inches tall. Assume a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

    Costume 2
     

    Then, I pinned the pieces side by side together and sewed them to form this cone like shape.

    Costume 3

    To make the brim of the hat, I cut a strip of felt 15 inches long and 3 inches high. The dark blue piece was cut for the stripe around the hat. It measures 15 inches long and only 1/2 inch high.

    Costume 4

    With the cone still inside out, I attached the brim to the hat with pins.

    Costume 5

    Using a sewing machine, they were sewed together.

    Costume 6

    Costume 7

    To hem the hat, I turned the whole thing right side out. I folded the edge up, pinned and sewed.

    Costume 8

    After that, I folded the brim up.  That’s when it starting looking like a hat.

    Costume 9

    Finally, using my trusty hot glue gun, I attached the stripe and the Octonauts logo. (The Logo, I found here and printed it out on printable fabric.)

    Costume 10

    This hat could work for so many different costumes, without the Octonauts logo of course. With different fabric it could make a cute hat to accessorize a sailor’s costume.

    A little blue sweat suite is what I snagged at Target for Captain Barnacles.  His belt and collar I cut out of blue felt. His Octonauts hat was a much more complicated variation of the Kwazi hat. I’ll spare you the frustrating details of making that one. Using a white hat we already had, I attached two felt half circles with safety pins for the ears.

    Costume 12 
     

    The boots for both costumes are their winter boots I covered with, you guessed it, more felt. I took two pieces of felt pinned them together along the outside and hot glued them. Once dry, I flipped them right side out and slid them back onto footwear.

    Costume 1
     

    Although it was a lot of work to get these costumes together for my boys, I am very pleased with how they turned out and more importantly, so are they.

  • Home Decor,  Kids

    Fringed Streamers

    We are planning a little birthday soiree’ for our daughter this coming weekend, so I wanted to stop in quick and share a fun party decorating idea. As you probably already know, streamers are super inexpensive, so this project totally helped the birthday party budget. All you need is crepe paper streamers, scissors and a little bit of time. I whipped about 40 of these out in an hour while watching the series finale of Gossip Girl on Netflix with a tear in my eye. Don’t worry. None of them got wet.

    Fringed Streamers 1

    First, start out by figuring out how long you want your streamers to be. I wanted mine to hang from the ceiling and pool on the floor, just a bit, so they ended up being a little longer than 8 ft. each.

    Fringed Streamers 2

    If you are lucky, you will have a helper to keep you off on task and make you a spot of tea while measuring.

    Fringed Streamers 3

    Next, fold the streamer in half a bunch of times until it is a manageable length to work with.

    Fringed Streamers 4

    Then, working along one edge, make cuts almost half way into the middle, about every 1/4 inch.

    Fringed Streamers 5

    After that, turn it around and fringe the other edge, lining up your cuts with the middles of the fringed pieces on the opposite side, but still not quite snipping to the middle.

    Fringed Streamers 6

    Lastly, unfold the streamers and admire your new party embellishments.

    Fringed Streamers 7
    The party girl loves them!

    Fringed Streamers 8