Archive for the ‘holiday decorations’ Category

Happy May Day!

May 1, 2008

We used children’s straw purses from the dollar store as our baskets for our May Day flowers today

I hope your day was happy!

Bunny Egg Holder

March 21, 2008

I though these would make cute place-cards or table decorations

bunny-egg-holder.jpg

Download bunny-egg-holder.pdf

Print on colored card-stock and cut out on dotted line.

Bring legs up then wrap one arm in front of legs and then bring the other arm around and place on top of the first arm. Staple where claws on bunny should be.

Want more bunnies? Check out Bunny Napkin Rings

Bunny Napkin Ring

March 21, 2008

Here’s a little something for the children’s table at Easter —- a bunny napkin ring.

bunny-napkin-ring-1.jpg

Download bunny-napkin-ring.pdf

Print on colored card-stock then cut out. Roll end toward back of bunny head.

bunny-napkin-ring-2.jpg

Staple where claws on bunny should be

bunny-napkin-ring-3.jpg

I wrapped silverware in an orange napkin then fastened with a green pipe cleaner and slipped the “carrot” into the bunny.  If you have a hard time with the bunny standing up, a cotton ball glued to the back would provide stability and be a cute addition.

bunny-napkin-ring-6.jpg

You will find a matching Bunny Egg holder here.

Window Silhouettes

March 6, 2008

We had so much fun making these window clings —–the possibilities for seasonal and everyday decorations are endless.

window-clings-eggs.jpg

You will need a roll of clear contact paper, paint brushes, paint (we used acrylic), fine sandpaper and masking tape.

window-clings-supplies.jpg

First cut a piece of contact paper from the roll. I cut squares about 5″ x 5″ because that was about the size of shapes I knew I would be cutting.

Take a fine piece of sandpaper and lightly sand the shiny surface of the contact paper where you will be painting. Wipe off any dust. This step helps the paint adhere to the slick contact paper.

Since we are often VERY messy when we paint I taped a piece of wax paper to the table. Tape the piece of contact paper shiny(sanded) side up onto the wax paper.

window-clings-1.jpg

Paint onto the contact paper square. Since my daughter is three I encouraged her to paint using lots of colors. I knew I would be cutting out Easter eggs so it really didn’t matter what or how she painted.

window-clings-2.jpg

Allow the painting to dry completely. I think she painted about 10 of these squares.

Once the paint is completely dry take another square of contact paper the same size as your painting and peel off the paper backing. Cover your painting with the clear contact paper. Smooth out any bubbles.

window-clings-second-layer.jpg

Trace around any shape of your choosing. I used an egg and bunny for my template.

window-clings-outline.jpg

Cut out the shape

window-clings-cutting.jpg

Carefully remove the paper backing. This takes some time —–make sure you are only removing the paper (the back of your painting should be sticky). If you use acrylic paint it is plastic enough that it has a tendency to peel away from the contact paper, so peel carefully! If it does peel away and it won’t stick back down just put a little glue stick between the layers.

window-clings-peeling.jpg

Once you are finished stick your silhouettes to your window

window-clings-outside.jpg

from the outside looking in

from the inside looking out

window-clings-inside.jpg

I would encourage older kids to paint their own designs and then cut out. I can imagine huge flowers and birds! Nothing is sweeter than kid’s art!

Have fun!!

Lucky Shamrocks

March 4, 2008

My 11 year old boy made these cool hanging felt shamrocks for our window. (He wanted me to make sure that you know he was VERY bored and needed something to do and he got to use the sewing machine —stressing the MACHINE part, so it was all good)

shamrock.jpg

We took two layers of felt and cut out a shamrock shape.  My crafty boy used a sewing machine to beautifully stitch the layers together and also stiched  in a ribbon at the top.  He added a few beads on the ribbon and now they our hanging in our window—hopefully bringing us lots of luck!  If you need some luck, here are the shamrock shapes we used.

Be Mine

February 14, 2008

My little girl couldn’t take any extra treats, candy or trinkets with her Valentines for preschool. That meant the lollipop lilies were out for us. So instead we made these little conversation heart garlands out of cardstock.

conversation-heart-garland.jpg

We added “pink fairy” glitter (carefully chosen and liberally sprinkled by my daughter) to each of the letters. I used a Fiskers 1/4 inch rectangle hole punch to punch a hole in each side and then strung the letters on a 1/4 inch ribbon. We included two mini clothes pins with each garland. We packaged each garland in a clear cellophane bag tied with a ribbon.

BE MINE Conversation Heart Garland

I LUV U 4 EVER Conversation Heart Garland

Wishing you a very happy Valentine’s Day!

Holiday beverage markers

December 23, 2007

Here is a quick solution for beverage markers—
place a 2-dimensional paper sticker on a metal rimmed office tag.

glass-markers.jpg
They were slightly difficult to attach to the glass, but worked in a pinch and looked really festive. If one had more time the wire ring could be changed to an actual wire beverage i.d. hoop.

Breakfast with Santa

December 16, 2007

 bws-eating-breakfast-1.jpg

For six years now we have hosted “Breakfast with Santa” for our son’s basketball team. 

bws-group-picture.jpg

I try to make it look special from candles on the table to hanging stars from the chandelier.

bws-eating-breakfast.jpg

I hot glued three candy canes together to make an easel to hold each of the boys names for place-cards.  We drink hot coca out of Santa mugs and I let these rowdy boys use the fine china for such a special occasion!

bws-name-cards.jpg

We eat pancakes, bacon and sausage ——and a few snowman doughnuts. Mini powder sugar doughnuts with a candy corn nose and candy eyes (from the cake decorating store).

bws-snowman-doughnuts.jpg

Usually we make a craft but this year I couldn’t resist playing “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader” with these fifth grade boys.  Santa graciously agreed!

bws-are-you-smarter-than-a-5th-grader.jpg

Santa takes a photo with each boy

bws-wyatt-and-santa.jpg

Hands out a small gift to each boy

bws-passing-out-gifts.jpg

In the past Santa has read “Twas the Night Before Christmas.”  This year Santa was so fabulous he said the entire poem from memory.  He also reminded the boys how lucky they were, to be good, listen to their moms (thank you Santa) and remember those who don’t have as much. 

bws-santa.jpg

I’m thankful these boys still go along and just lose themselves in the magic of the morning!

Anticipation

October 24, 2007

This Saturday is the Halloween party that I look forward to all year long.  I love Halloween, the costumes, the decorations, the tricks and treats! However,  my friend Missy loves it more.  In fact this holiday is somewhat her speciality!  Each year she hosts an amazing party.  Each detail is painstakingly planned and beautifully executed.  It is truly a fabulous evening.  I thought I would show you some  of her handmade party decorations.  I hope you will find them as inspiring as I do. 

She decorates a table especially for the kids.  I can only imagine that the kids must  feel like they have stepped into paradise.

halloween-kids-party-table-2.jpg

A wonderfully decorated cone brimming with goodies dangled from each chair

halloween-cone-party-favor.jpg

A darling paper mache  cat favor box sat at each place

halloween-cat-party-favor.jpg

The adults sat down to dinner at this spooky but beautiful table wrapped in gauze

halloween-adults-table.jpg

Our favors were held in this unbelievable mummy topped box

halloween-mummy-party-favor-boxes.jpg

We dined underneath her chandelier that she had filled with black twigs, ghosts and then wrapped in gauze

halloween-decorations.jpg

She sends an invitation that sets the tone of the party and gets everyone excited. This paper clay tombstone was found standing at our door inviting us to the party.

halloween-invitation-2005.jpg

 I love to sit at dinner in this stunning environment with good friends and enjoy their company and the fun of the season. Each year I look forward to the unique favors and decorations she has made.   Missy is so talented and creative and so generously bestows her gifts on her friends.  So if you can’t tell, I can’t wait for Saturday night!

BOO!

October 2, 2007

boo-cone-2.jpg

Here it is, a Booing Poem Download. After many years I have decided this is the simplest way to Boo my friends. There is no need for them to make photocopies. Your friends just fill the cone with goodies and pass it from friend to friend. Now, there is one big problem——-those friends who refuse to pass the cone along because they want to keep it (you know who you are– hehe). I usually make about 5 cones to get everyone started and hope somebody passes one along.

I made a large cone out of black posterboard. I printed the poem on cardstock. I cut it out and glued a ruffle of orange crepe paper to the back. I backed the whole thing with a piece of poster board to make it more rigid. I hot glued the poem to the front of the cone. I embellished the top of the cone with a paper fringe I purchased at Hobby Lobby. I painted polka dots over the cone and added a touch of glitter here and there. I wrapped wire around a large dowel to make a curly handle and then attached it to the top of the cone. These are all just ideas for inspiration. You can make these cones however you want and with whatever supplies you have. You can also include a ghost cut-out if you want them to have something to hang in their window. It might be cute to hang a bunch of ghosts from the bottom of the cone so everyone can take one.

If you would like the Booing Poem with black letters  you can download this version.

Please let me know if you are not able to download the poem. Here it is if you would like to copy and paste.

Since this is the time for goblins and bats

Halloween spirits and ghosts and cats

Happenings are weird and witches make brew

The following are the things I wish for you.

May the only spirit you chance to meet

Be thee spirit of love and friends that are sweet.

May the only goblin that comes your way

Be the neighborhood phantom, the breeze takes away.

So by tomorrow, pick a friend down the street

And give to them a Halloween treat.

Fill this cone with goodies galore,

Then hang it on their front door.

You only have one day to do this, so hurry

Leave treats on their door and run in a flurry

As this cone moves along from friend to friend,

All good wishes go on and never end

HAPPY HALLOWEEN

 

I have also made a sign instead of a cone.

boo-sign.jpg

I layered black cardstock, then a piece of brown paper sent through the crimper with some crepe paper fringe taped to the back, then the poem copied on cardstock. Punch two holes at the top and run a cord through the holes for hanging. I embellished the sign with a little glitter and a wooden pumpkin.

Boo Sign Download

Boo Sign Download with black letters

boo-sign-on-door.jpg

Happy May Day!

May 1, 2007

may-day-1.jpg 

My favorite holiday is May Day. I love the sweet unexpectedness of goodies. Usually May Day is a very elaborate affair around here. This year we have too many projects with our house and too much going on to give May Day it’s usual attention. To make matters worse Kansas experienced a very late frost and most of the flowers are gone. So we borrowed a fabulous idea from our friend Jenni.

We used plain brown drink holders from McDonald’s.

may-day-2.jpg

A little paint.

These could also be decorated with rubber stamps, stickers, crayons, markers, collage items, etc……….

may-day-3.jpg

We filled them with  garden flowers,  candy hot glued to floral picks and a tag.

may-day-4.jpg

We are ready to “ding” and “dash”—– My boys favorite part!

From my nest to yours

April 4, 2007

nest-1.jpg

This is my last minute solution for simple Easter table decorations. I purchase mini grapevine wreaths, bundled in a 6 pack, from the craft store. They are really inexpensive and can be found even cheaper this week at Hobby Lobby—-50% off! (I used the same wreaths for the chalkboard eggs.)

nest-2.jpg

Fill the center of each wreath with Easter grass and then a few foil wrapped chocolate eggs. I place one nest in the center of each guest’s plate.

nest-3.jpg

Bon Appetit!

Chalkboard Easter Eggs

March 23, 2007

I was totally inspired to see Martha make her own chalkboard paint. This could be the start to limitless crafts. I already loved chalkboard paint, but to have colors—wow. I think these chalkboard painted eggs would be unique place-cards for Easter dinner or just fun for kids to decorate over and over again with chalk. I used wooden eggs but you could also use blown-out real ones. They might be fragile when decorating, so I would probably fill them with plaster to make them more sturdy.

You will need:

Eggs, Acrylic or Latex Paint, Primer, Non-Sanded White Grout, 220-150 Sandpaper, Foam Paint Brushes and something to mix the paint in.

chalkboard-painted-egg-1.jpg

I first gave my eggs a coat of primer

chalkboard-painted-egg-2.jpg

I then mixed 1/4 cup of acrylic paint with 1 1/2 teaspoons of non-sanded grout. Mix well. Paint two generous coats of paint, allowing each layer to dry before adding the next. Once the two layers are dry, LIGHTLY sand the entire egg. Wipe away dust with a damp cloth. I repeated this process until I had 6 coats of paint.

chalkboard-painted-egg-3.jpg

Once the egg was completely dry I was able to draw on the egg with chalk. Most colors rubbed away easily, however a few needed a damp cloth to be removed. Plain black store bought chalkboard paint would also make for dramatic eggs.

chalkboard-painted-egg-5.jpg

I used a miniature grapevine wreath (sold in a bundle at the craft store) and a little bit of wooden green grass to display the eggs.

The Toymaker

February 23, 2007

I think this is the most wonderful site filled with beautifully illustrated toys ,boxes, books, games and cards. We made this sweet dancing Irish Fairie, you put her on a pencil, blow gently and she will spin and dance.

dancing-irish-girl.jpg

I think this magic fairie box would be so cute filled with chocolate coins for St Patrick’s Day. After we cut out our fairie and box we gave them plenty of clear glitter to make them sparkle.

st-paddys-box.jpg

There are holiday ideas and plenty of toys to keep us all busy. Many of the toys use a marble so they move easily—how clever. Check out the marble mice or bunny bowling. Too fun! This site has so many ways to add pizazz to a parties and holidays but most importantly it is the perfect solution to, “Mom, I’m bored!”

A Celebration Of Hearts

February 11, 2007

I went to the most fabulous party on Saturday.  My friend Missy created the most magical atmosphere.  The invitation set the mood———–it was beautiful!

missy-party-1.jpg

Every detail was totally and beautifully carried out.  The kids were greeted with this amazing table. Hearts hung from the ceiling dancing over their heads.  Plates were sat on handmade heart place-mats.

missy-party-2.jpg

Each child received this handmade (by her) cone filled with treats and trinkets.

missy-party-6.jpg

The children played fun games like eating sugar cookies off of a string and a conversation heart relay.  They shot darts at hand-painted heart targets while the moms crafted homemade valentines.

The moms sat down to this dramtic and stunning table. 

missy-party-3.jpg

 We each recieved a hanging heart box (made by her) filled with a giant chocolate bar re-wrapped in a Love wrapper.

missy-party-35.jpg

We dined on delectable goodies like creamy potato soup, chicken salad served over fresh greens and fluffy heart shaped blueberry muffins.  Trays of the yummiest sugar cookies could be found everywhere.

missy-party-4.jpg

We finished  with a delicious double layer pot de creme served with whipped cream and a strawberry sliced to look like a heart.

missy-party-5.jpg

It is truly a dreamy party every year.  Love is in the details and I  leave this party feeling loved!

Please Wipe Your Feet

February 9, 2007

It is really cold around here and they say snow is on the way. We thought our front door needed this.

doormat-1.jpg

To make this doormat you need a carpet sample , ours were free from our local store. Since we repeat this craft all year round he knows us! He didn’t have the rectangle size (or texture free) we like so these square ones had to do. It is best to try to get the regular pile-not Berber, shag or textured carpet.

We made our own stamps by cutting shapes out of foam sheets and rubber cementing them to a bock of wood.

doormat-2.jpg

Each stamp needs two layers of foam, so be sure to cut two for each stamp you make. Once you have the foam shape glued to the wood, put something heavy and flat on top of your stamp while the glue dries. This keeps the foam from curling.

doormat-3.jpg

We paint (we use acrylic) the paint on the stamps with a foam brush. This is easier than dipping and keeps the area around the stamp clean—which is very important. Use a lot of paint.

doormat-4.jpg

This is probably the only time that rocking and jiggling your stamp is okay. You are trying to work the paint into the carpet. I suggest asking for one extra carpet sample and give a few practice runs to get the feel of the amount of paint, pressure and jiggling you need to do. Kids love to use both hands and press really hard (an important reason you want to keep the surrounding wood of the stamp paint free). An adult probably needs to give the stamp a final press –depending on the age of the child.

doormat-6.jpg

If your print comes off light, simply take your foam brush and work a bit more paint in those areas.

doormat-5.jpg

Once you are finished the stamps can be rinsed off with water. Allow them to dry completely before storing.

If you don’t want to make your own stamps you can always use the large foam die-cut sponges found at craft stores.  Make sure to dampen your sponge and then dip into paint.  You will find an especially nice selection of these sponges around Halloween.

I have asked for 25 carpet samples at one time (give the carpet store some notice so they can collect them for you) so we could do this for the craft at a holiday party at school with 1st and 5th graders. It actually worked out beautifully. I was able to die-cut the shapes out of foam so I had plenty without me having to cut them all . I had parents each with their own stamp and color of paint and walk around the room allowing the children (who stayed at their desks) to stamp their carpets. The parents would paint the stamp each time. We set the carpets out in the hallway to dry. We did this at the very beginning of the party so they had time to dry before heading home (on the buses -oh my I am sure I was popular with those drivers that day!).

doormat-7.jpg

Crayon Shaving Hearts

February 2, 2007

Crayon shavings melted between wax paper and then cut into hearts make a beautiful display in windows. This is an oldie but goodie craft that we love. Here are ours made with lots of kid help! I can’t think of anything more cheerful or happy hanging from a window.

crayon-hearts-1.jpg

We made lots of crayon shavings with a pencil sharpener.

crayon-hearts-2.jpg

Place shavings on a piece of wax paper.

crayon-hearts-3.jpg

Either place another piece of wax paper on top or fold over the edge to cover all of the shavings.

crayon-hearts-4.jpg

Iron on the lowest setting for about 1 second. You can go always go longer after checking to see if the shavings have melted. Be careful to not burn the wax paper. It is a good idea to do the ironing on a piece of newspaper. Some shavings could leak out of the sides and it does leave a residue underneath the wax paper. If you are worried about your iron, just place your wax paper between two sheets of newspaper or scrap paper.

crayon-hearts-5.jpg crayon-hearts-6.jpg

I think it is easiest for kids to trace around cardboard so I took cereal boxes and cut out heart shapes to be used for patterns. This is where you get variety so let the kids draw the hearts.

crayon-hearts-7.jpg

Draw around your pattern.

crayon-hearts-8.jpg

Cut out, hole punch and tie on ribbon, thread or fishing line. Hang!

crayon-hearts-10.jpg

Martha has directions and a gorgeous display at her place.

gt076_crayheart01_l.jpg

Heart Garland

January 30, 2007

I love hanging decorations from my ceilings.

 heart-1.jpg

I took a few different colors of cardstock (construction paper works too) and cut out different heart shapes. I did have access to a die-cut machine but don’t let that stop you if you don’t!  Hand cut hearts would probably me much more charming!

hearts-2.jpg

I sewed through them on my sewing machine with clear thread. Pull out a foot or so of thread before you start sewing so you have plenty to hang your hearts with.

heart-3.jpg

I could never have too many of these hanging around!

heart-4.jpg

Valentine Soaps

January 25, 2007

Even the bathroom needs a little holiday cheer!

soap-1.jpg

Paint Glycerin soap with acrylic paint. One side of the soap needs to be non-imprinted, so you have a nice area to paint on.

soap-2.jpg

Melt paraffin in a double boiler situation. I used a metal measuring cup set in a pan of water. An old food can could also be used. Wax is highly flammable so it is best to melt it in water. DO NOT allow any of the water to get into the wax!

soap-3.jpg

Brush a thin coat of melted wax over your painting. Do not paint the sides or bottom of your soap. The wax must be very hot to give a clear coat. It is probably best for an adult to do this step while wax is still at the stove so it remains very hot.

soap-4.jpg

soap-5.jpg

When you use your soap the wax will protect your paintings.

soap-6.jpg