Tag Archives: DIY

Personalized Photo Coat Hooks {DIY}

Here’s a quick (and cheap!) craft I did in an attempt to solve the ‘backpacks & lunch sacks all over the floor’ issue.  Now my boys know exactly where their coats and backpacks go after school. I hung these above our shoe organizer seat in the foyer, so it’s the first thing they see when they walk in the door.

2 coat hooks with photos

I found the hooks on clearance at Hobby Lobby for less than $2 each, but I wasn’t crazy about the design.

Coat hook from Hobby Lobby

Let’s be clear… I LOVE Fleur-de-Lys. Because of my French name, I’ve been decorating my home with them since 1992. Back then I had to import them from France because the only fleur-de-lis I could find in the US had Boy Scout stuff on it.  Fortunately I studied in France briefly, so I brought a bunch of the decor home myself.  AND taupe is probably my favorite color. But this design just didn’t resonate with me.  So it had to go.

Because the design was 5″ square, I printed a photo of each child in a 5″x7″ size (38c each at Sam’s Club – best price out there)!  Then I trimmed the photos with a paper cutter, and applied Mod Podge onto the face of the existing design and placed the photo on top. The next day I coated the top of the photo with Mod Podge, and let it dry.

Coat hook with photo decor

Then it was just a matter of hanging them, and explaining to the boys the consequences for putting their coats and rucksacks on the floor instead of on the hooks (which ranged from extra chores, to grounding, to locust swarms and other pestlience in their bedrooms).

The entire project cost me less than $5 (though I already had the Mod Podge, because really, who could live without it)?!

Cheers,

Valentine Pocket tutorial

{Tutorial} Valentine’s Day Heart Pockets

My mother, a retired teacher, used to make these with her students every year. She hung them on the bulletin board for February decor, plus during the Valentine’s party, classmates could add valentine cards to the pockets.

Here are some examples of the finished product. My mother, the most creative person I know, made all but one of these (you will note that I am missing part of that creativity gene). She challenged her students to incorporate hearts into everyday items (notice the butterfly and ship below).

2 decorated paper heart valentines day pockets

It’s going to be painfully obvious here, which one was made by me…

2 paper hearts used as pockets for valentines day at school

You can see better on the red heart above, how these open and act as a pocket.

Mom made hers more than 40 years ago, and after about 20 years she decided to extend their durability by  laminating them (then you need to use a craft  knife to cut the pocket open again).  Mom hangs these on the mantel every February even now, and they have held up just fine.

I have also done them with younger kids, too (first grade).  I just help them with the stapling, so they won’t staple in such a way that it prevents it from being used as a pocket.  And for any age group, you can use a salad plate or manila folder template to help them draw the half-circle that becomes the top of the hearts.  Use a toddler plate or something that is approximately the same distance across as the folded paper, otherwise your heart will look cut off.

Use reusable adhesive aka mounting putty to attach it to your walls, mantel, desks or chairs (Scotch and Elmer’s make the putty in the US, and it’s called Blu-Tack in Australia).  You could use tape in a pinch, but in a classroom setting, these pockets can get a little heavy for that.

Here is the tutorial. Click the photo to save or print a PDF version to use as a reference (but trust me, these are NOT hard to make).

Instructions on how to make a heart pocket

I think it’s the coolest thing ever, that I hang (on my bannister, with a heart garland) the very same pocket that my mom used to put my Valentine’s Day card in when I was a kid. And I intend to pass along the ones I made for my kids as well.

Hope you liked this Valentine’s Day craft, and I’d love to see your finished products! (Obviously I need serious help on the decorating portion.)

 

This project featured on:


Tip Junkie handmade projects


A red basket full of baggies with gingerbread playdough inside

{FREEBIE} Gingerbread Playdough Topper

A red basket full of baggies with gingerbread playdough inside

I decided to make some homemade Gingerbread Playdough for my son’s classmates as soon as I saw the idea on Pinterest. But I knew it would be cost prohibitive to buy 20+ mason jars to package them the way she did. So I made this printable topper that can be printed and stapled to the top of any snack or sandwich-sized baggie.

I am also going to take these to Christmas dinner to put on the Kids Table so the kids have something to keep them busy while we’re in the kitchen. And I’ll give them along with my traditional pumpkin bread gift to my neighbors (or at least the ones with kids or grandkids).

The best thing about this version of playdough is that your house smells like holiday cookies are in the oven every time the kids play with it!

 

zip top bag with gingerbread playdough inside and a printed topper

This topper will be free until Christmas Day (25 December). And next holiday season, it will be in my Etsy shop.

2 ziplock bags with paper toppers that say Gingerbread Playdough

See below for the recipe and the topper download. By the way, this recipe is very forgiving!  I pulled not one but two blonde stunts while I was making it! First I lost track of how much cream of tartar I had added (which affects how thick it will be) and secondly I got distracted by two little men and burned it on the stove. But I crossed my fingers and stuck it in a plastic container in the fridge, and sure enough, it had the perfect texture the next day!

Download the playdough toppers HERE.

I usually print toppers in color on 65 lb cardstock at a local copy store, and borrow their paper cutter while I’m there. I rolled the dough out pretty thick (1/2″ or more) and cut them out with a gingerbread cookie cutter. But you could just as easily roll them into balls and put them in the bag that way.

I’d love to see photos or links showing how you used these!

Resources:

Recipe for Gingerbread Playdough (if you double it you will get 7 or 8 snack-sized baggies worth)
More holiday ideas on my Pinterest board

 

Candy turkey placecard holder with Fall placecard attached

Thanksgiving Printables

If ever there was an occasion for a beautiful and coordinated TABLESCAPE, it’s Thanksgiving!

Never fear! I have several different place cards available in my Etsy shop, and they come with coordinating buffet labels.

Here is a food tent / label, with the ‘Mixed Leaves’ print. There is also a damask background and a striped one.  Some of the labels are pre-filled with common Turkey Day foods, and some are blank for you to write on or type on in your paint or graphics-type program.

Food tent labeled Mashed Potatoes on a Fall table

Below is a name placecard with the Damask background. There are two wording options: “So blessed that John is here,” and, “So thankful that John is here.”

Table setting with edible turkey placecard holder

3 sets of Thanksgiving placecards

 

We also made a few other fun Thanksgiving foods…

Honeydew melon with skewered fruit that looks like a turkey  kids thanksgiving table

I made Turkey favors for our guests out of Moon Pies, and my 5-year-old wanted to make one, too. Although he had a very different interpretation of ‘turkey’. Based on his dinosaur face (maybe you don’t recognize it, but a Mother knows these things), I’m guessing he was making a dino with two big teeth. LOL!

2 different moon pie turkeys

Food label on a Fall table

Now the only issue is, which of the beautiful centerpieces on Pinterest to use on the big day?!

  • Turkey Moon Pie adapted from La*T*Da
  • Turkey melon idea from Family Fun Magazine
  • Directions for the Popcorn-stuffed paper bag turkey (on kids table) here
  • Can’t remember where I got the Candy Turkey idea from, but they are pretty self-explanatory.  I turned them into placecard holders by taping a toothpick to the back of the name tag, and sticking that inside the Oreo filling.  Low-tech but the kids were thrilled when they walked in and saw their table.  🙂

 

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