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Category: crafty

Christmas Countdown Activity Chain

Christmas Countdown Activity Chain - Kids Craft Project One of the things we love to do at my house is a Christmas Countdown Paper Chain to help countdown the days until Christmas. It’s a neat way to help young kids understand how many days are left until Christmas. We make it an activity chain by putting a “Christmas” activity on the inside of each link – such as have hot chocolate by the fire, bake cookies, sing a Christmas song, etc… The kids look forward each day to tearing off a link and seeing what we will be doing that day.

At my house, now that the kids are old enough, they make the chain. I am still the one who makes the numbered activity list on the computer. That way I make sure that the more time consuming activities fall on weekends.

This project is great because it’s more economical than the normal advent calendars, and the kids can participate in the making of it. However, what I love most about adding the activities to the links is that it helps us to be sure to do fun family activities even when things get really busy as they always tend to at this time of year.

Supplies

  • Paper
  • List of Activities – I like to number mine to correspond to the day so that the more involved activities can be scheduled to fall on a weekend. The kids put them in order based on my numbers
  • Glue, scissors, pencil

Steps

  1. Cut strips of paper for the chain. We usually use the width of a ruler to measure the size, tracing with a pencil and then cut.
  2. Cut your list of activities into strips.
  3. Glue activity strips onto links.
  4. Start with the link for one end of the chain and glue it into a circle.
  5. Take the next link, put it through the middle of the first one, and glue it into a circle.
  6. Continue until the chain is complete

Then, just hang it up and tear off one link each day to countdown until Christmas. Enjoy the family activities!

TIPS

  • I like to number my activities as I type them onto the list so that activities that take more time (like baking cookies or watching a movie happen) will be on links for the weekend. It also gives the kids a challenge to make sure they have them in order.
  • Get the kids to help suggest family activities that they would like add to the chain
  • If you have a little one who is practicing counting, while putting the chain together, have him count while holding the link until it sticks.
  • We usually use construction paper for our chain, but scrapbook paper can make a VERY cute chain.
  • Suggestions for activities (we repeat favorites more than once)- dance to Christmas music, decorate, make ornaments, have hot chocolate by the fire, make a Christmas card for someone, watch a Christmas movie, play a board game, make a reindeer family (hand and foot reindeer), draw a Christmas picture, read a Christmas book, go around the neighborhood and look at Christmas lights, make cookies, have Christmas cookies and milk, read “The Night Before Christmas” or whatever else your family might enjoy.

Christmas Kid’s Craft – Reindeer Food and Holder + (Printable)

This  is a fun Christmas Craft of  reindeer “food” to sprinkle on the lawn for Santa’s reindeer to eat, and a cute little reindeer holder to hold the bag of food until Christmas Eve.  Here’s instructions for both projects:

Reindeer Holder to Hang onto the Reindeer Food ’til Christmas Eve

This reindeer holds your bag of reindeer food until Christmas Eve.

Supplies

• 1 piece of construction paper (brown or tan or funky reindeer color of your choice)
Smart and Trendy Printable for eyes, antlers, etc
• Crayons or markers, scissors, glue, tape

Steps

1. Fold the construction paper lengthwise, and cut down the center.
2. Fold in the corners at one end

3. Make a fold about an inch down from that

4. Print the Smart and Trendy Moms Reindeer Food Printable (click here for the printable)
5. Color and cut out the pieces on the printable.
6. Glue the pieces onto the reindeer (antlers are glued behind so they stick up over the back)
7. Tape the bag of reindeer food into his mouth so the reindeer can hold it until Christmas Eve when it’s time to spinkle the reindeer food on the lawn.

Reindeer Food

You leave cookies out for Santa every year. Why not make some “reindeer food” to sprinkle on the lawn for Dasher, Dancer, and the rest of the team?

Here is the recipe:

• 1/4 cup oatmeal
• 2 teaspoons of cake decorating sugar ( It’s coarser than regular sugar. You can also use glitter – it looks pretty, but it’s not as environmentally friendly)
• a paper heart for love (a heart printable is included in the reindeer holder directions)

Add the ingredients to a plastic sandwich bag and shake to mix.
Then on Christmas Eve, you head outside before bed and sprinkle it on the lawn for Santa’s reindeer to eat.

Smart and Trendy Moms finds products, ideas, projects, recipes, and other information that we have personally found helpful or interesting.  As always, it is up to you to determine what is appropriate for you, your children, and your situation.  See our Disclaimer

{Boutique Baby Bib Tutorial and Pattern}

Making a fun and functional boutique bib can make a great gift for a friend or for your own baby! I love to to mix and match fabrics to come up with something really unique and special. You can use chenille, fleece or backing of choice. Everyone knows someone having a baby, skip the registry and make that special gift! I have included my pattern for you to use. As well as instructions to make it!
 Here is what you are going to do. First print both pieces of the pattern found here and here. Cut and trace onto fabrics you are going to use.
Place right sides together and iron then pin all the way around. I use a 1/8 and sew all the way around leaving a 2 inch hole for turning. Before turning I carefully cut all corners all the way around,
Turn inside out and carefully make each corner as crisp as you can. I use my scissors but I would not recommend this as I have on one or more occasion blown a hole right through the fabric. I find an iron is really good as I find it helps with the detail of the topstitching.
I use about a 1/8 inch top stitch all the way around, starting and ending with the turn hole. I find this is the best place to show detail, you can be creative using decorative stitching, contrasting stitch colors. Choose a great contrasting thread if you are confident in your stitch abilities.

These are super adorable and durable. I love making these for my friends and family and even my own babies.

The pattern available here is my own, use this for gifts and personal use.

Make a Flannel Board

My kids always loved the flannel board at library story time. You know, the boards with the felt shapes that stick to them.  I mentioned this one day when talking to my pre-school-teacher sister.  Her response was Oh yeah, the kids at school love the flannel board that I made. 

Project!   I made a flannel board for my kids, and over the years we have used our flannel board to tell stories, play games, and as they got older even to study spelling words with flannel letters!  It was inexpensive and easy to make.

Here’s how:

Supplies:

  • piece of foam board or heavy cardboard
  • piece of flannel a couple inches bigger than the board on all sides
  • clear shipping tape
  • felt pieces in various colors
  • fabric glue or rubber cement, optional ( use if glueing paper to felt to create your pieces.

To make the board:

1. Wash the flannel first to rough it up a bit so the felt clings easier.
2.  Cover the board with the flannel.  You can use spray adhesive to keep the fabric in place if you want  mine worked just fine without.   Folding the fabric over the edges of the board and secure it with clear packing tape on the back on all edges.

More Ideas for the Board:  I chose to make mine on the foam board so the kids could easily move it around from room to room.  They just leaned it against the wall or couch to play, and then I could put it away in a closet when they weren’t using it.   If you want to attach the board to a wall, you can use a large frame (without the glass) or a wooden board.  
You could also use a small piece of foam board to make travel boards for use in the car.

To make the pieces for your flannel board:


Use the pieces of felt to cut out shapes to use on the board.  You can get rectangles of felt at any craft store and there are tons of ways to make great cutouts (even if you can’t draw).
Felt Pieces
  • You can simply cut out basic shapes of various sizes (Our first set was just basic shapes as seen in the picture).  
  • You can do a search for free applique patterns, trace those onto felt and cut them out.  They usually have simple lines and which makes them easy to work with.  You can draw in the details with a sharpie marker or even decorate pieces with a few sequins or google eyes (a word of caution: if you attach too much to them the pieces will be too heavy to stick to the felt so you don’t want to get carried away)
  • You can trace pictures from kids coloring pages or books.
Paper Pieces
  • For pictures from coloring books or online, you can glue the paper onto a felt backing.  You will need to use fabric/felt glue or rubber cement. (White school glue just soaks into the felt and doesn’t seem to hold well.)
  • You can also use heavier paper or laminate your paper and then attach course sandpaper or the hook side of velcro to the back.

More ideas:

Print out pictures of your child’s favorite items or cartoon characters. 
Print out letters or numbers and glue them to a larger circle of felt.
Let the kids color pictures to cut out or even draw them themselves. (Some of my kids favorite pieces were cut from coloring pages and then colored by the kids.)

You can also purchase pre-made sets – just search for “felt board sets”.  You can find letters numbers and tons of story sets.

Hope you have as much fun with your flannel board as we’ve had with ours!

 

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{Easy Modern DIY Wall Decor Tutorial}

I often find myself redecorating areas in my house. More times then not its me grabbing something off a shelf or wall and doing something to it to make it a new piece for a different area in my home. Today I started off with a few frames that were set aside for a rainy day. Basically really simple frames that were plain wood and really had no place in my house.

 I painted them black. I then chose a really great black and white print scrapbook paper. Measured and cut and now I have a really fun modern piece of wall art…Yay!!I totally love it!

I decided to take a chance and go with a bright yellow ribbon to hang them. I used just a touch of hot glue to adhere the ribbon to the corners of the back of the frame. I actually made a set. One for each side of the mirror in our restroom. They came out great and added that punch of color to my black and white decorated bathroom.

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{Flower and Ribbon Wand Tutorial}

I made this Ribbon and Flower wand to match my daughters Halloween costume. She is a Monarch butterfly so i knew it had to be beautiful and full of color! It was really easy to make and can also be made to match with any color you need. I also think this would be great for a fairy costume or just for fun. You can embellish them with anything. I chose to embellish mine with black hand tied bows. It matches perfectly and came out wonderful!

Here are the few things you will need.
Foam Balls(Any size you want, mine are 4inch)
Fake Flowers
Wooden Dowel
Glue Gun
Ribbon to wrap the dowel
Choice of embellishments

I chose to start with my dowel and wrapped it in a sheer bright yellow. I wrapped from bottom to top trying make it as nice as i could. I hot glued the ends of the ribbon to secure to the dowel.

I am loving this wand at this point so on with the flowers. I chose oranges and yellows to match her costume. I did not arrange them in any particular order. I hot glued each one on(Let glue cool a little on flower before placing on foam-it melts it).

I filled all the spots in and even added a few fake leaves for color. I then put the dowel about half way and hot glued. I then took some of the yellow ribbon and made a long bow at the top of the wand. But it still needed something when i was done. I decided to add some ribbon.

I hand tied about 20 bows in black. I placed them in various areas of the arrangement. I also included bows on the ribbons that dangle down from the bow on the dowel.

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{Light Switch Cover}

Today i made this normal light switch into something a little bit more fun and girly for my daughters room. I had so much fun making this and it came out great, totally matches the room. I have made them before just using scrap booking paper and my imagination. This time i decided to add a little embellishment with hot pink ribbon. I think the sky is really the limit here. Next time i think i will add some bling with rhinestones or something. If you have tried this or have any suggestions feel free to leave a comment! 

Here is how i made mine!
Supplies
*Used or new switch cover
*Mod Podge
*Ribbon for embellishment
*Paper or Fabric shapes for embellishment
*Hot Glue Gun, optional
*Clear Acrylic spray
Step 1-
I mod podge the zebra print star shape into positon and let dry all the way, repeat.
Step 2-
I just wrapped the ribbon around with no glue until i got it perfect, then put a few hot glue drops on the back of the switch cover holding down the ribbon. Once i got it stable i then mod podge the ribbon down. I did not do this at first, but glad i did! The ribbon was the best part and makes it different.
Step 3- 
I coated 3-4 times and the coated with a clear acrylic.

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D.I.Y. Gift Embellishments

Wrapped presents no longer have to be boring! I like making my presents loud and exaggerated. This time i am decorating gifts for my daughter. The color scheme of the party is black and pink. And as you can imagine there is no pink and black wrapping paper available.

All you need is some simple gift/craft tissue, scrap gift ribbon and your off! I am a pretty simple gal so i chose to make bows and some flowers for their gifts.

I used approx 18×20 black gift./craft tissue(3 or 4 stacked). Fold in half and half again and back the other way. I then drew a simple flower shape and cut out. Punch 2 holes half inch apart in the middle-Set aside. I took simple black streamer paper used about 20 inch and folded about 1.5 inch segments. Punch holes the same way. I cut and rounded the edges of the black center.Place a ribbon through each hole with the black in the center. You can then tape, glue, or your choice to secure to gift!

Yay i love these bows! They are kinda a funky tacky. But i like them:) Ok with the same 18×20 gift/craft tissue fold in half, then again till you get a good rectangle(3 or 4 stacked). Pinch it up in the center. Wrap with ribbon and tie to secure.

These gifts look great and are totally custom. I used recycled brown paper to wrap the gifts. I had a lot of fun making these and am already working on some others;)

Smart and Trendy Moms finds products, ideas, projects, recipes, and other information that we have personally found helpful or interesting.  As always, it is up to you to determine what is appropriate for you, your children, and your situation.  See our Disclaimer

Handmade Party Favor Bags or Lunch Bags

I have a super fun birthday party coming up for my 2 girls and by the time all has been said and done I still needed some party favor bags for our little guests. Looked everywhere with no luck in the colors and theme i wanted.

What is the theme you ask- Well the theme is there is no theme! I just know that the colors of the cake and decor is set to black and pink. I finally decided to make my own! I spent 5 bucks including all the paint needed and the bags.
I started with recycled brown bags-40/1.00:) and then used a black sharpie to create different things, Lady Bugs, Butterflies, Hearts, Swirls and a few boy designs. I love black so i start with solid black and used paint with a fine brush to add color and detail to the bold black designs. I then stuffed with goodies and rolled the top under and used hole punch about 1.5 inch apart to create the ribbon holes. I again used black ribbon scraps to close with a bow.
What i really love about this is that no 2 are the same, You can even use these to pack your kids lunch. Your only limit is your imagination! I love the way these turned out and will forever custom make my goodie bags:)

Smart and Trendy Moms finds products, ideas, projects, recipes, and other information that we have personally found helpful or interesting.  As always, it is up to you to determine what is appropriate for you, your children, and your situation.  See our Disclaimer

Gift Tags, Product Tags Any Kind of Tags Tutorial

Before sewing and a few years before my youngest I loved to scrapbook. Nothing serious just a few here and there. I have had a scrapbook stash for years put away until this afternoon. I got it out and found some really cute scrap booking paper and and decided on making a few things. I made some really cute and unique tags.(Or at least I like them)!

Its hard to come up with your own product branding without spending a fortune. So I decide to make some handmade tags to go along with my handmade items. But I didnt stop there I also found some other really great uses for these. Like I used them for Holiday tags that with simple paper and time can be a great bonus to that gift your giving this year.
I am thinking these are worth the time and the money you will save on tags would surprise you. You can use these for birthdays,christmas, branding, inserts or anytime some uniqueness is in order!
I have never really made anything like so I decided to give it a shot! I took some cool pictures and will show you how I did it.
What you will need
*Label Template(Find them for free on google)
*Scissors
*Printer
*Glue Stick
*Hole Punch
*Ribbon(Optional)
*Scrap booking Paper with light colored designs
*Solid contrasting cardstock
*Helps to have a ruler

So I used a general label template that with finished size was about 2 inches tall and 1.5 inches wide. Your message can be anything. Happy Holidays, Happy Birthday, To: Fr:, Thank You, Label for your handmade items. You will want to trim or make sure your printer is set for the designed paper or trim it to standard printer size as I did, I also used a border around each one. More to help me with cutting more then anything.
The label templates are cool because you can make different things on each label and print multiple sayings on one page . The only limit is your creativeness.

Cut out all label or tags. I used a contrasting cardstock black in my case and used a ruler and cut out black squares that were 2.5×2, used a glue stick and lightly glued to contrasting card stock.
Here are many examples of how I use these. I used them on a simple yet fun blank card and used the thank you tag as a special personal touch. I used them as unique holiday to and from tags. I made brand tags to bring a little more to my handmade items. I even made some simple yet festive Happy Holidays one.

 

Smart and Trendy Moms finds products, ideas, projects, recipies, and other information that we have personally found helpful or interesting.  As always, it is up to you to determine what is appropriate for you, your children, and your situation.  See our Disclaimer

Fun and Trendy Gift Wrapping Tutorial and Project

I love everything about the holidays, and I am one that loves to wrap presents. I am by no means an expert but as the head gift wrapper in my house I have learned a few cool things that I would love to share with you guys!

This is a simple easy project that you can even have your kids do. I call it my Busy Bow Theme..It is made with all gift wrapping.
All you are going to need is a gift that needs a little rockin, scissors, tape,wrapping paper(1 or 2)styles.

I chose this really great colorful paper to start with. I love the holidays and love gift giving altogether so please use any wrapping theme, colors, ect..This idea is great for any gift giving occasion.


 
 
But I cant just stop with that….Can you? Check out how cute easy and creative this is……