Author Archives: keepingupwiththecraftmoms
My children never make it easy for me when it comes to their birthday parties. I suppose I have created the problem because they know I will create anything from scratch to make them happy. But if you are crafty, this is what drives you, right? That being said, they always pick the most obscure birthday theme for me to bring to life and there is usually very little available from the store. This year my oldest son picked The Regular Show for his 8th birthday. This is a really funny cartoon that has very little available at the stores, just a few toys at Toys R Us. I had to sit down at my computer and start designing! Here is how I made this party happen.
I started with the invitation, which is modeled after their infamous “FREE CAKE” episode. Those of you who have been dragged into watching this show with your kids will appreciate this reference. Next, I designed the party materials to bring the theme to life. When the party theme you are doing is not readily available at the store, it can be enough to make you retreat to a more common theme. I say go for it! If you plan well and allow yourself the proper time, you can make any theme come to life for your next party. If you are having your party at home, you will be fortunate enough to be able to hang decorations up all over the walls. This year I had my son’s party at a fun center , so I had to make mobile decorations. Party centers don’t let you attach anything to their walls, so I grouped bunches of helium balloons with Regular Show add-ons attached to the balloon weight, These were place at the door entrance and tabletops. I also scattered table confetti which can serve double duty as a cupcake topper.
I always serve bottled water at my parties along with juices and other beverages. The bottled water is a great place to add your theme for a really pulled together look. I simply print the custom labels on heavy cardstock, cut them out, wrap around the bottle, and secure with a small dab of hot glue. You could print the labels on weatherproof shipping label sheets and stick them on, but I prefer the permanence of the hot glue which guarantees no moisture slippage. Trust me ,this can happen!!
Regarding the birthday cake, there are many options. You can put your favorite bakery to the test or bake one yourself if you are so lucky to be blessed with baking skills. I can not bake and do not particularly like the fondant cakes for children’s parties. I like a classic buttercream birthday cake and so does my family. I order the closest theme and colors that can work with my party and embellish it with figurines and printed signs. It looks cute and we get the cake everyone enjoys eating.
At the end of the party I handed out favor bags. You can simply use plastic baggies with a favor topper folded over or paper party bag with printed thank you notes attached. This year, I handed out the baggies to my son’s classroom on his birthday and the paper party bags to the guests as they left the party.
Regular Show Birthday Party
Elf On The Shelf Printable Jokes
I am having too much Christmas fun with our Elf On The Shelf “Mo Mo”. The children look for him every morning and look inside his secret elf door for notes or evidence of his coming and goings. While surfing the creative wonders of Pinterest, I came across these wonderfull printable jokes for the children that the elf can leave for them in the morning . You can find them free for your personal downlaod over at Over The Big Moon . I have also created a printable Naughty or Nice report card that I will post tomorrow, but in the meantime, go ahead and print these jokes from your elf.
Elf On The Shelf Ideas – Make An Elf Door
Every year our Elf On The Shelf comes to visit after Thanksgiving. The children become so excited guessing where he will be every morning. I have really done my homework this year by finding some great Elf ideas on Pinterest. I will post some of them later. For now I wanted to share a simple way you can take your family’s Elf experience to the next level.
FInally there is a way to answer the nagging question of how Santa’s scout elf returns to the North Pole every night to report on the children’s behaviour. An Elf Door of course!
You can buy a dollhouse door from any hobby shop (I bought mine at AC Moore). In the Christmas aisle there are many mini wreaths and decorations you can get to customize the look. Simply paint the door and glue gun on decorations of your choice. You can even put a mini door sign or mailbox next to the door. If you have little kids, just attach with double stick tape or command strips for easy removal. i chose to use little nails to be sure it would stay put. I have 2 boys that I knew would not rest until they got the door open, so I decided to leave it able to swing back and forth. Of course they only see a wall behind the door, but I told them that only the elf can open the passageway. This is a great addition to the elf experience and I promise it will blow their minds! I actually tucked a mini note in the door last night. I am sure they will discover it afterschool today.
Felt Applique Tutorial – How to Make Felt Appliques
I love to make cute felt appliques to add a special touch to my kids tee shirts or pants. I have honestly tried every way possible to make them and I feel i have mastered the whole process well enough to share it with you.
For this felt applique tutorial I will be making Halloween appliques. This year my family is being The Frankensteins, so I decided to make us a a set of “The Bride Of Frankenstein” and “Frankenstein” himself. You can use the craft felt found at Michael’s and Joann Fabrics or polar fleece if you happen to have some in your fabric scrap pile. These Fabrics do not fray so you are good to go once your shapes are cut out . Of course, there are many ways to make a felt applique, but for this project I chose to use a hand cut template I drew myself and then fabric glue to attach them to the fabric. Yes, I know ALL about using fusible web….but they really don’t last more than one trip in the washing machine. If you go the Heat ‘n Bond fusible web route, you really have to sew the whole applique down to the fabric after you iron it on. I have tried about five different highly recommended fabric glues over the years and the winner is Aleene’s Flexible Stretchable Fabric Glue. It is non toxic, stays put through machine washing, and leaves your applique soft and pliable once dry. A lot of the other ones dry to a stiff board texture and can feel and look too stiff, especially on a kids shirt. If you need a more rigid applique for your particular project then I suggest Aleene’s Fabric Fusion. Both glues are pictured above.
After you have set aside your different color felts, you will need to print the following full size templates. This is the actual scan of my felt shapes and the easiest method is to print theses on sticker paper.
Next, cut out the stickers and place them on the back of the matching color felt. Now, you have an easy sticker template attached to your felt. Grab your favorite scissors and cut out your shapes.
Before glueing your felt applique onto your fabric you will need to protect the inside of it with a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap. This will prevent any fabric glue from soaking through to the back of the tee-shirt, etc. Use a light coat of fabric glue on the back of your felt pieces and lightly pat them into place on your fabric. Once the entire applique is glued down, set it aside in a flat dry place for 24 hours. This method is great for anytime of the year and I hope you enjoy the Halloween templates.
Smart Scissors – Must Have Craft Tool
The first thing I thought when I saw these amazing scissors was “I have to get these!” . I don’t think I have ever used scissors without needing tape, I mean they go together like peanut butter and jelly. I am not saying you are going to replace your sewing scissors with these, but wrapping a present or doing a project with the kids will surely be made more convenient by these. This is definitely one nifty tool for any craft mom and with gift season quickly approaching us, I might be wrapping a few for presents. You can get yourself a pair of Scissortape here , where they have a lot of clever and playful items to browse. They even have a holiday edition with colorful tape.
How To Make Apple Candles
Make a beautiful arrangement straight from nature or add a unique accent to your existing Fall decor. This craft couldn’t be simpler and the end result is so rewarding! All you need to do is take your candle or votive and trace the shape onto your fruit. Take a knife and carve out the shape you traced. All that is left to do is scoop out to the depth of your candle and place it inside. This also works well with any fruits or vegetables, like mini pumpkins, gourds, or pears.
Spiderweb Balloon Craft
I wanted to share this amazingly simple and fun Halloween craft to do with your family or school kids. The directions couldn’t be easier and you can really take this idea and tweak it a million different ways to suit your decorating needs. With little ones in the house, I have been forced to tame the dark and scary decorations , so I chose to keep it classic white. My 2-year-old loved making this craft and he calls them his spider family. Some other variations include spraying the finished spiderweb with glow in the dark paint, adding glitter glue to make it sparkle, and of course using a variety of colors. I will make some more in different sizes to create a grouping and hang them from different heights. Here are the directions:
- Inflate a balloon and hang it above your table . I used a chandelier to hang my balloon.
- Pour white glue out on a paper plate. Put newspaper under the balloon.
- Dip yarn of your choice into the glue and squeeze it through your fingers to remove excess. It should still be coated with adequate glue.
- Place the glue covered yarn onto the balloon in a random fashion overlapping until you are happy with how it looks.
- Let It dry overnight .
- Pop the balloon and remove the balloon pieces.
- Marvel at your masterpiece and then hang it with toy spiders attached to the web.
Apple Shrunken Heads Craft
If you are looking for a simple and fun craft to do with the kids, then look no further than the classic Apple Shrunken Head Craft. I remember doing this in class as a little girl and getting so excited to watch my carved apple transform into a shriveled up little face. The best part is that no two apples turn out the same, it’s inexpensive, and anyone can do it. I am the room mom this year in my oldest son’s first grade class and I am going to do this with the kids next week. Here’s how to do it!
Peel your apples. I prefer Granny Smith, but a variety of apples will provide different results.
- Draw a face on the peeled apple with a pencil or marker to map out the places to carve. You can skip this step if you want to free hand cut the apple face.
- Carve away at the apple to sculpt a face. Be sure to carve off all marker or pencil. Kids can carve with a plastic knife with adult supervision. I have also let the children use Play Doh utensils for different effects.
- Next, you need to make a mixture of 1 CUP Lemon Juice and 1 TBSP of salt.
- Spoon Lemon Mixture over your carved apples
- You can use uncooked grains of rice for teeth and a bead or a seed for little eyes.
- Poke the bottom of the apple with a stick. You can use a pencil, stick from outside, anything you have available.
- Place the apple heads upright on their sticks in a DRY, WARM environment. Each day they will transform with the final process taking 1 -2 weeks.
I know the kids will be so excited to bring their creation home and display it for everyone to see. Pictured above is a simple, yet effective, way to display a group of Apple Heads. Just fill any glass bowl with river rocks and top with moss to create an eerie decoration. You could use anything in the bowl, like candycorns, pinecones, or anything your creative little heart desires.
Festive Fall Wreaths
Fall is here and it is time to treat your front door to a beautiful, festive wreath. The great thing about making a wreath , is that you can make it as simple or as elaborate as your want. I have found some amazing tutorials to inspire you to create your own Fall wreath. This is such a great project to let the kids get involved with. A handmade wreath is such an inviting way to welcome friends into your home.