I purchased a Smash Journal for myself this past summer. I really like it and I basically use mine as a creative notebook. I can put thoughts and notes inside of it along with inspirational pictures. I mostly use mine for creativity. I saw a Pin on Pinterest for ideas on how to create Smash Journals and thought that it would be a good idea for my nieces. They are 13 and 11 1/2 years old and I thought that they might be at a good age for the Smash Journals. I also found that Michael’s Craft Stores sold a Smash Journal kit at a great price, plus I was able to use my 40% off coupon. The kit contained the journal but also a number of accessories. My favorite part of the journals is that the pen is not only a pen but a glue stick so that you are able to glue in anything that you want and you always have your glue stick handy.
These Smash Journals ended up making great gifts for my nieces and I think that people of all ages would have fun creating them. There are so many different reasons to create one…to store your creative ideas, keep ticket stubs, photographs, vacation pictures and memorabilia, just to name a few! I am having a lot of fun with mine and I hope that my nieces will enjoy their Smash Journals as much as I am enjoying mine!
It doesn’t seem like Christmas would be complete here without at least one no-sew fleect blanket! My brother is a Pittsburg Steeler’s fan and has been since he was a child. I found some great Pittsburg Steeler fleece at the fabric store and I couldn’t pass it up. It was no soft and cuddly and I knew that it would make a great blanket that not only he would use but I had a feeling my nieces would be using it too!
There are a couple of techniques for putting these blankets together and Pinterest has a lot of tutorial pins for completing the blankets. One technique is to do a form of crochet to link the fringe together or you can knot the fringe. I like to use the fringe.
I posted a tutorial here awhile ago on how I make a no-sew fleece blanket. They are super simple to complete. My only suggestion is to try to make the blanket when you have a couple of hours of time to devote to it and have a place where you can spread it out where it will not be disturbed. Once I get my fleece blanket front and back properly measured out and even I like to leave it like that and not put it away until I am finished. Otherwise, it feels like you have to start over each time with laying out the pieces and making sure they are even with each other. If you think that you may have to put the project away part way through it then I would suggest that you only cut out a fringe and knot it one side at a time. That way if you have to put the project away part way through it then the knots will hold everthing in place and you will not have as hard of a time lining everything back up again.
My best friend and I are always trying to stay organized. I have two boys and she has three boys. Staying organized seems to be very difficult! While I was on Pinterest I found a great inspiration for a home organizer binder from Organizing Homelife. She wrote 31 blog posts and in the end you have a daily home organizer binder. I made one of these binders for myself and my friend.
The binders were very simple to make and the suppies were simple enough. I used wet erase markers because they do not smudge when you close the binder, clear plastic pages, paper, tabs and a binder.
I printed off most of the printables that were given on Organizing Homelife. Some of them I did not need but I did print off almost every single one. Once I had everything printed I laid out each category and placed them in the order that I wanted them and then placed the papers in the plastic sleeves in the binder. I also purchased a clear plastic pouch which was three-holed punched so that I could keep my wet erase markers right in the front of my binder…as opposed to my boys getting their hands on them and mixing them into their own stash of markers!
I think that the binders turned out beautifully! I am still in the process of putting all of my information into the binder but I am going to be trying real hard this year to stay organized! My friend loved her binder and will be using it too. It contains pages for a daily calendar (I printed enough pages to do a week at a time), a monthly calendar, contacts, gift lists, maintenance logs, grocery lists, username and password lists, doctor information, insurance information and chore lists. This binder is a must-have for busy moms!!
I found a Pin on Pinterest for a spa kit tutorial here at Practically Living. The original tutorial was for Pampering In A Jar but I ended up using a cosmetic bag. This was a nice simple project to do but I made it a bit more difficult because I wanted to make the items match in color. At first I was having a hard time finding what I wanted but then I was at our local craft store in their gift section and I found almost everything that I needed.
I decided to go with the pink theme for my friend’s Christmas gift. I found a pink mesh cosmetic bag, super soft and fuzzy pink socks, a manicure/pedicure kit, a pair of matching nail files and some foot scrub. All I had to do then was to buy some nail polish to add to it. I was so excited because it turned out so pretty. I also gave her a journal and pen in pink. The whole package turned out so pretty I wanted to keep it for myself!!
I thought that I took a picture of it all put together but I cannot find it. Everything fit right into the cosmetic bag though except for the journal and pen so that was wrapped separately.
My best friend gave me something like this at my baby shower. She told me that after the baby arrived I would need to take some mommy time once in a while and this would be a quick and easy way to do it. She was so right!! These would also make good gifts for a wedding shower, teacher’s gift or a birthday party. Depending on the size of the gift you need, you could always make it into a basket and add shower gel, lotion and/or bubble bath. This size, however, is perfect for a nice little gift to let somebody know you care!
Merry early Christmas to everyone! Is everyone ready for Christmas yet? I’m almost ready. I still have one more gift to make and a couple of more to buy. Yes, I have to buy a couple of gifts. I did not make my goal of one handmade gift per person…well, not exactly. There just didn’t seem to be enough time in the day to get it all done. I did find a loophole though. I am making gift bags! I think that should technically count as a handmade gift since the gift will be in a handmade bag…what do you think
Anyhow, I have decided to post 12 projects that I have made during the Christmas season. I will begin posting these projects right after Christmas. I am really happy with the projects that I have made. Check back to see posts on projects such as:
Magic Ball of Yarn
Reindeer Thumbprint Ornaments
Raggedy Ann Doll
Teacher Gift Bags
No-Sew Fleece Blanket
Hot Chocolate Stirrers
Elf on the Shelf
I really enjoyed making all of the projects and I am looking forward to sharing them with you. The tutorials and inspirations came almost entirely from Pinterest. Please check back after Christmas for the 12 Days of a Pinterest Christmas!
Wow! What a busy summer this has been! I definately need to get back into blogging and posting here. I have really missed it and am hoping to be posting some new projects soon.
With both boys in school this morning I seem to have all of this extra ambition since I have some uninterrupted time to get organized. This ambition has lead me to my next project…My Christmas Pinterest Challenge! I plan on making at least one gift for each of the people on my gift-giving list and I will make the gift using tutorials and ideas that I have found on Pinterest! I have so many pins that I want to start going through them and trying some of them. I have made handmade Christmas gifts in the past and everyone seems to like them. This year I am going to look through my Pinterest boards and find a special gift for each person on my list.
I think that I am going to have a lot of fun with this project! I will post some of the projects that I’m working on but I will not include the gift recipients name as some of the gift recipients read my blog (Hi Candice!). I will post all of my completed projects after Christmas.
So, who wants to do My Christmas Pinterest Challenge with me?!!
I’ve been seeing these little bracelets all over lately and I think that they are a great idea. It is simply a little beaded bracelet for a child but some of the beads are number beads that make up your telephone number. If your child becomes lost and does not yet know his/her telephone number they can just show somebody their bracelet so they can call you. I made up a bracelet for each of my boys but instead of using our home telephone number I used my cell phone number. Since I almost always have my cell phone with me it would be the best, and fastest, way for somebody to reach me.
I used craft elastic that I found on the children’s craft aisle at a local craft store. I also found some numbered plastic beads. I used colored beads for spacers and to fill in the ends of the bracelet.
I started out by setting aside the numbers that I needed for the bracelets and I used spacer beads inbetween the area code and first three numbers and then again in the middle of the telephone number.
Once I had my beads set aside I strung them all onto the elastic. I then put a few more colored beads onto the bracelet and knotted the elastic a few times.
I was planning on measuring the bracelets on the boys prior to knotting them but I ended up not having enough time to make the bracelets before they went to bed. The bracelets are so simple to make up that you can make them in just a few minutes.
I hope that we will never need to actually use these bracelets but it will be nice to have them on just in case.
While I was in the attic the other day I came across a dollhouse kit for a Victorian cottage. I had totally forgotten that we even had it up there so I brought it back down with me. I thought that maybe I would give it a try and put it together at some point. When the boys saw it they were so excited and started asking for the glue so that we could get started. I tried to explain that it wasn’t quite that simple so I ended up showing them how the parts of the house come in sheets that need to be separated and glued. I explained that it was something that we would have to do in steps over time.
Since we were home most of this afternoon I told the boys that we could start the dollhouse. With wood glue and glue sticks in hand two very excited boys and their mommy started dollhouse construction. At first I was a bit worried because I had not looked at the directions yet and when I did I saw that there was a lot of detail work that had to be done first.
We had to start with the two front pieces and all of the window frames and sills had to be glued on both sides. After awhile Matthew lost interest and went to play with his toy animals, dinosaurs and trucks in the family room while Gabriel and I continued working on the dollhouse construction. It was a nice time being with both boys…and of course we had on an episode of Scooby Doo.
I told the boys that we had a lot of gluing to do and that it was going to have to dry in between each step. They weren’t too happy about that but there wasn’t much choice. We started by using a glue stick to glue on the plastic windows. Then we used the wood glue to glue on the window frames and sills. Gabriel was working very diligently on his gluing so he was disappointed when we had to take a break but he was good about it.
Over the next couple of hours he would check our work and the glue was drying nicely. I had gone ahead and taken out the pieces that we were going to need next and sanded them so that they would be all ready. After a couple of hours we went ahead and glued the window frames, sills and flower boxes on the outside of the house.
By that point we packed it up for the day. It was fish fry time and we needed to get going. I set the pieces out of the way for the night so that the glue could thoroughly dry. I will make sure to update everyone again as construction continues. Knowing my kids I can see how this project will go…Gabriel will be totally involved in the dollhouse construction and then not bother with it once it is completed while Matthew will not bother much with the dollhouse construction but, once it’s finished, will play with all of his animals and dinosaurs in it!
I found this great “I Spy” bag and tutorial on Pinterest. Pinterest has got to be the best site! I wanted to share with you the “I Spy” bag that I made. You can find the tutorial that I used here.
When I saw this project I thought that it would be a great idea for a nice and quiet game for the kids to play, espeically in the car or in a waiting room. I used a firefighter themed fleece for my bags.
I used pinking shears when I cut out the centers of the windows. When I used the clear plastic for the window I ended up cutting a slightly larger piece than what was suggested. I found that the plastic kept slipping on me and I had to rip it out a couple of times and use extra pins. Between the fleece and the plastic everything slipped more than I realized so it made that part of the project a bit longer to complete but I finally finished the windows. When I was done sewing in the plastic I just trimmed the edges off of the plastic about 1/8″ before the seam.
Once I had the window of the bag finished I sewed on the back pocket and then I sewed the bag closed, except for a spot for turning it right side out.
The next step is to add the rice. In one bag I used brown rice and the other bag I used pearl barley. It was close to grocery shopping day and I was running low on my white rice so I had to get a bit creative. I have seen online that you can order clear plastic pellets to use as a non-food alternative. The tutorial says to fill the bag up 1/2 way with rice and then add the objects. I filled it up a little better than 1/2 way and it was too much. It made the top stitching very difficult. I ended up sewing into a grain of rice and it broke my needle!
Before I placed the objects to find in the bag I took a picture of them. The tutorial suggests doing this and then getting the picture laminated. This allows the child to use a dry erase marker and check off the items as they find it. I still have to get my picture laminated though.
In the end the bag turned out very cute. I wish that I would have only filled up each bag 1/2 way withthe rice as the tutorial suggests because, besides making it difficult to topstitch, it almost seems to be too much in the bag. When you first pour the rice in the bag it doesn’t look like much but once the bag is sewn closed and the child uses it, that 1/2 bag filled with rice goes a long way to hide the objects.
I really enjoyed this tutorial and the boys loved their “I Spy” bags. I may make more of these bags yet for gifts. Such a great and simple project!
Last week I posted about our trip to Lake Farmpark for their Discovery Days. While we were there one of the activities that we participated in was making playdough. The boys really enjoyed this activity and it was simple for them to do with a little bit of help from mom.
Here is the playdough recipe that we were given:
1 cup of flour
1/4 cup of salt
1/3 cup of water (with a little food coloring added to it)
2 tsp cooking oil
The other day we decided to make some of this playdough at home. While the boys were playing I set up the table with a bowl for each of them along with the ingredients measured out. In the picture below the shot glasses contain the cooking oil that they needed for the playdough. The glasses were just the right size to hold the two teaspoons.
When I told them that we were going to make playdough they were very excited and were happy that they each were able to make their own bowl of playdough.
We poured all of the ingredients into the bowl and began mixing them with a large spoon. It was much less messy since I had pre-measured the ingredients. After a little mixing you need to use your hands. You basically end up kneading the playdough the same way you would knead bread.
Once the playdough is all mixed it should be pretty smooth. Sometimes you may need to add a drop or two of water to it if it is a little bit too dry. It’s important though that you just add a few drops of water at a time because a little bit of water goes a long way in this recipe.
When the boys were done making and playing with the playdough I just stored the two balls of playdough in a plastic ziploc bag. Sometimes I also store them inside a plastic container also. As long as the playdough is kept sealed up in a plastic ziploc bag or a plastic container it will last a pretty long time.
I like this project because it is something quick to make up and the boys enjoy helping to make it and it provides them with a lot of playtime.