Silly Sock Snowmen

Our MOPS group fills Operation Christmas Child boxes to be sent around the world to needy children, and this year we added a personal touch to each gift by creating these adorably silly snowmen using socks and basic craft supplies.  Each one made me smile and giggle more than the one before it.Silly Sock Snowmen 10Supplies:

  • Chenille socks ($1 per pair at the $1 store)
  • googly eyes
  • scissors
  • yarn
  • buttons
  • hot glue gun
  • batting/polyfillSilly Sock Snowmen 1Step 1: Cut the toe off of the sock (about 3 inches or so) and set aside.  Then turn the sock inside out.  Using a little yarn, tie one end tightly and turn right side out.Silly Sock Snowmen 3Step 2:  Fill sock with lots of polyfill.  That’s right, just stuff it in there!Silly Sock Snowmen 4Step 3:  Tie the open end closed tightly (you don’t want those snowman guts oozing out!).Silly Sock Snowmen 5Step 4: Using several strands of yarn, tie the snowman around the middle to divide his “head” from his “body” and attach his hat.  It was nice to have a variety of socks and mix up the bodies and hats. Silly Sock Snowmen 6I mean silly and cute sum up these homemade snowmanSilly Sock Snowmen 8Silly Sock Snowmenr 7I hope these cuties make the children receiving them as happy as they made us while we were making them.  WAY TO GO MOPS MOMS!!

Recycled Christmas Card Ornaments

Recycled Christmas Card ornaments 2Every year after Christmas I feel guilty about throwing away all those beautiful Christmas cards.  Here is a craft that will help relieve some of that guilt.  You can make beautiful Christmas tree ornaments with a few items, a little know-how, and your old Christmas cards.Materials:

  • old Christmas cards
  • large hole punch (mine is 2 inches; the larger the punch, the larger the ornament)
  • pencil
  • ruler or straight-edge
  • scissors
  • craft glue or hot glue gun
  • string, wire, yarn, or some other means to hang the ornament

Directions:

Begin by punching circles from your Christmas cards.  You will need 20 for each ornament, regardless of size.  Make one extra to be your pattern (see below).

Now you have to make an equilateral triangle on the back of one of the circles.  If you are a geometry whiz, you may know exactly how to do this.  I found that folding the circle to make an even triangle was what worked for me.  This is the hardest part, I promise!  Now cut off the three sides of the circle, and you have your pattern.

Trace the triangle on the back of each circle.  Now fold each circle along the lines so that you are folding the picture toward itself to make 3 “flaps” on each circle.

You are now ready for assembly.  The top and bottom of the ornament are each formed by gluing 5 triangles together.  They should form a kind of dome shape.  The middle of the ornament is made by gluing 10 triangles together to form a straight band.  To do this you will have to arrange them point up, point down, point up, etc.

Now you have 3 pieces that need to be glued together.  Simply match up the flaps to assemble the entire ornament.Recycled Christmas Card ornaments

If you start now, you can have all your teacher gifts, neighbor gifts, etc. done before next Christmas season rolls around.

 

Gratitude Tree

Put on your blinders and resist the urge to join retailers in the pursuit of Christmas.  We still have Thanksgiving on the horizon.  Before you encourage your family to make wish lists, have them jot down what it is that has them so GRATEFUL this season.Gratitude Tree 2

I used good old construction paper to make this tree and its leaves.  Over the next several days each member of our family is welcome to add his or her own appreciation for life’s blessings.  By Thanksgiving we will have a maple tree bearing all our gratitude.  Gratitude Tree 1Gratitude Tree 3This one was written by Emily (pretty sure she meant to add an “e” on everyone, but she was in such a hurry to add her leaf to the tree – so sweet!

Baseball Treats

I live in a household full of baseball players.  That means that between birthday parties and end of the season parties, I’ve made quite a few baseball themed treats.  Now, in the midst of baseball playoff season with the World Series quickly approaching I thought some of you might be interested in trying your hand at some of these treats.  Whether you want cupcakes, cookies, or cakes, feast your eyes.

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Baseball Party cupcakesDSC_0196DSC_0181DSC_0370GetAttachment[1] (2)

Gift Card Holder

My niece wanted help putting together a fun basket for displaying several gift cards she bought for a friend.  She wanted all of her money to go into the gift cards and NOT the wrapping.  With a few items from around the house this is what I came up with.Gift Card Bouquet close up

Using some foam from a swimming kick board, I made a bed in the bottom of a $1 Store bin to hold several skewers. Grift Card Bouquet prep 1

I had mismatched straws and mini cupcake wrappers that I used to complete the look of “flowers in a garden”.  The flowers?  I just used a flower-shaped cookie cutter as a template on printed paper.  Gift Card Bouquet prep 2

I assembled as shown below.  I used tissue paper to cover the foam and taped the gift cards to the stems.  Gift Card Bouquet

Pretty cute!

 

Rope Vases

This is the perfect time of year to deck out your table in a nautical theme.  These rope vases were a cinch to make and turned out great.  I originally made them for a nautical-themed bridal shower, and now I can use them for my own home.Rope vases 2

Supplies:

  • cans of various sizes (rinsed with labels removed)
  • rope (I picked mine up at the local hardware store)
  • hot glue gun
  • sharp scissorsRope vases prep 1

To Do:

I started gluing at the top of the can.  I simply squirted some glue and attached the rope until the entire can was wrapped.  Yup, it’s that easy!

Rope vases prep 3

Rope vases 1

Buoy Wreath

I was helping out with a nautical-themed bridal shower and wanted the perfect thing to hang on the door to set the mood.  Voila!  The buoy wreath was born.Nautical Wreath finished 2Supplies:

  • Styrofoam wreath (I used the flat kind)
  • crisp white and navy blue fabric
  • pins
  • wooden letter
  • paint brush or foam brush
  • paint of your choice
  • sandpaper
  • paste waxNautical Wreath suppliesDirections:

To give this wreath a shabby touch, I tore the fabric into inch wide strips instead of cutting it.Nautical Wreath prepThen I wrapped the wreath in the fabric to get the desired buoy effect, using pins to secure.  For the wooden letter, I painted it in this fun raspberry (in keeping with the color scheme of the bridal shower).  When it was dry, I used the sandpaper to distress the edges.  When I was happy with the antiquing effect, I applied paste wax then buffed it off.  See other projects done with this technique here and here.Nautical Wreath finished 1

The Great Hiking Party

The leaves are budding, the birds are singing, and the sun is shining.  Spring is here and what better way to enjoy it than to host a Great Hiking Party?

We’re not talking mountains and grappling hooks.  We mean head out to your backyard or visit a local park and enjoy all that nature has to offer.

Sweet & Salty Trail Mix

Children love to prepare their own snacks, especially when M&Ms are involved!  Give each kiddo a bag and let them create their own nutritious trail mix.  The sky is the limit, but here are a few of our favorite “Trail Mixers”.

  • Goldfish
  • Peanuts
  • M&Ms
  • Cherrios
  • Raisins
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Pretzels
  • Teddy Grahams

Water Bottle Lanyards

  • water bottle (we used 12 oz bottles)
  • grosgrain ribbon (4 feet length for each bottle)
  • thick rubber bands (we recommend the strong, thick ones that you find on produce)

Earth Friendly Nature Caddy

Encourage kids to explore the world around them by gathering objects that they find on their hike.  Use these recycled materials to create their own collection caddy.

  • used tissue boxes (the ones shaped like cubes)
  • brown paper
  • old newspapers
  • double-sided tape
  • stapler

Cut the top off of each tissue box so that you have an open cube.  Using the brown paper, make a rectangle (approx. 5”x 19”). Cover the four sides of the box with double-sided tape.  Attach the brown paper to the outside of the box.  There is no need to cover the bottom and you need to leave the top open so that the little ones can fill it with treasures.

Cut a full newspaper sheet in half on the vertical fold.  Each caddy will need 1/2 of a full page.  Fold each half in 1 1/2″ folds until the entire 1/2 of the page is folded into a long narrow rectangle. This will be your handle.  Staple the edges of the handle inside the caddy.  You can adorn your caddy with an adorable label or you can go all natural!

Now you are ready to collect some of nature’s gifts.

If you want to go even greener…

Try Reusable Water Bottles from Tupperware.

and

Try Reusable Snack Bags from ReUsies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Star Wars Party Under $50

My son wanted a Star Wars party for his 7th birthday.  My efforts to pull off the theme met my little man’s expectations and that’s the most important thing (oh yeah, and that I was able to entertain for less than $50).Star Wars Party light saber wars 3The cake was simple.  Just a good old boxed cake mix, frosting and some clip art.  Also, adding Popems around the perimeter made all the kids salivate. Who knew?Stars Wars Party CakeThe rest of the food was simple.  A few munchies and some Star Wars gummies I scored at the grocery store.Star Wars Party buffetStar Wars Party gummiesThe best part of the party was definitely the Light Saber Battle using light sabers I made out of pool noodles.  I bought pool noodles from the Dollar Store and cut them in half.  I wrapped duck tape and black electrical tape about one end of each of the noodles to look like a handle.  The kids had a ball and there were very few casualties.  Star Wars Party light saber warStar Wars Party light saber war 2At the end of the night the kids watched Return of the Jedi.  Voila! A Star Wars party.  One little guest was quoted as saying, “It was the best party EVER!”

Easter Egg Wreath

Wreaths like this retail for $30-$40.  I made mine for less than $10!!Easter Egg Wreath 2 (3)

Easter Egg Wreath 2 (1)Supplies:

  • 1 styrofoam wreath
  • hot glue gun
  • approx. 72 plastic eggs
  • paper Easter basket grass
  • decorative ribbon

Fire up that glue gun and start hot-gluing on those eggs.  The key is to keep them as close together as possible.  After your first layer, go back and add eggs to cover up the holes.  Repeat the process until the majority of the wreath is not visible from the front.  Where small gaps still exists, add a dollop of glue and attach a few strands of paper grass to add a bit more whimsy. Easter Egg Wreath 3 Hang and enjoy!