Advent Days #6 and #7

There was no post yesterday for day #6 because the boys enjoyed painting Mary and Elizabeth so much that they painted right through the paper and it was all ripped up.


Ornament for Day #7

Today we talked about Mary’s song. Jacob enjoyed gluing on these sequins to a CD and it was an easy craft for me to set up for him. I think it turned out great!

Advent Day #4

For today’s Truth In The Tinsel craft we made a Gabriel ornament. I thought it was a really cute idea but it was not really a craft Jake could make. I think next year I will have Jacob decorate the wrapping  paper with glitter glue before I make it into a fan.

Advent Day #3

Today's Ornament: Zechariah

Today’s ornament from the Truth In The Tinsel: An Advent Experience For Little Hands ebook was Zechariah. I like how Amanda had us use a bubble from a piece of bubble wrap as the mouth and then pop it to represent that Zechariah was unable to speak because he didn’t believe God.

{Real life—> Zechariah is now missing a nose because Jacob ate the piece of dry pasta that had been glued down…}


Linked up to Holiday Kid Craft Hop

7 Handmade Ornaments {Great Gift Ideas}

Need a gift for a teacher, grandma, or a friend? How about a handmade ornament? Check out these ornaments I’ve found online. {Click the pictures to be taken to the posts}

Personalized Christmas Ornaments


Felt Christmas Ornament


Recycled Christmas Card Ornaments


Button Ornament


Scrabble Ornaments


Cookie Cutter Ornaments


Picture Block Ornaments

10 DIY Handmade Wreaths

Wreaths are an easy way to decorate for Christmas so I wanted to put together a roundup of wreaths that can be handmade. {Click on the pictures to be taken to the posts they come from.}

Initial Wreath


3D Paper Star Wreath


Ribbon Wreath


Felt Holiday Wreath


Peppermint Wreath


Christmas Card Holder Wreath


Felt Ruffle Wreath


Ornament Wreath


Burlap Christmas Wreath


Red Wreath

Thanksgiving Crafts {For Adults}

I’ve been sharing lots of kid’s crafts lately but here is a roundup of some Thanksgiving crafts for adults.

Click on the pictures to be taken to the posts they are from.

Paper Towel Wreath


Thanks Board


Turkey Placemat


Gratitude Mobile


Turkey Countdown Calendar


Thanksgiving Banner


Jars Of Thanks

Thanksgiving Crafts {For Kids}

I can’t believe Thanksgiving is almost here! I wanted to share some Thanksgiving themed crafts I found online. Click on the pictures to be taken to the posts they are from. The crafts for children are here and the crafts for adults will be posted later today. Enjoy! :)

Handprint Turkey


Cute Lil’ Turkey


Corn Craft


Toilet Tube Turkey


Leaf Feather Turkey


Colorful Turkey

Handmade Gift Ideas {For Women}

A great way to save money on gifts is to make them. I wanted to share a few tutorials for some wonderful handmade gift ideas for women that I found around the web this week {click on the pictures to be taken to the posts}:

Jersey Knit Bracelets


Makeup Roll


Custom Silhouette Pillow


Homemade Sugar Scrub


Gathered Clutch


Beaded Bracelet


Dollar Store Gloves With Buttons


Decorative Candles

Halloween Crafts For Adults {Saturday Stumbles}

This is part 2 of Halloween Crafts. Part one was posted this morning with lots of crafts for kids. Click on the pictures to be taken to the websites the pictures came from.






Halloween Crafts For Kids {Saturday Stumbles}

Last year I featured Halloween treats I’d found around the web (you can see the post here). This year I want to feature fun Halloween crafts I have found online (click the pictures to be taken to the website they are from). Looking for adult crafts? Find that post here!! :)







Shirley’s Prepackaged Crafts {Review and Giveaway}

Ever have those weeks where you plan to do a bunch of fun crafts with your child but by the time you know it, it’s the weekend and you haven’t sat down for “art” time with your child even once? I know that feeling all too well. I pin lots of fun crafts on Pinterest, I find a lot of cute ideas on other blogs, but when it comes time to preparing the craft it just doesn’t always happen. This is why, when I heard about Shirley’s Prepackaged Crafts, I knew I had to check it out!

I was sent October’s box. I opened it to find 14 different craft projects for the month. At first it just looked like a bunch of coloring pages but on further investigation I saw that it was a lot more than that. Each project consisted of multiple pages where the child colored, cut, glued, or taped things. Along with each activity is a bonus to help the project be more than just a “craft”. Some had conversation starters, some a website to check out for more information, or questions to ask your child. Shirley focuses on a color and a shape for the month and you see that throughout the activities planned.

Since today was Columbus Day, Jacob put together the Columbus Day project. In the box there was a piece of paper with the ship on it, a piece with the sails, and a half sheet of blue water with a wavy line for cutting practice which was the water. There were also craft sticks in the box. I provided the glue, markers, and scissors. I believe in letting children do as much of the projects by themselves as they can. The only thing I helped Jacob with for this one was holding the piece of paper he was cutting because he is still learning to cut. If your child is still too young for scissors you could cut the pieces out for them.

Here is Jacob’s Columbus Day project that took me only one minute to prepare (had to get items out of the box and grab my supplies:

Columbus Day craft

Shirley also includes a parent pack with a letter to parents, craft instructions, a suggested reading list, and snack ideas for the month. A monthly calendar is included as well which is a great visual learning tool for children. To encourage parents to support their children’s self-esteem she also includes a certificate of achievement. This month’s says “Way To Go” and has spaces for the parent to fill in something great their child did. Children also work on a book throughout the year and each month has a couple pages sent to complete so by the end of the year they have a book on whatever the topic is.

I also really like that there are Faith based aspects to some of these projects. {It’s easy to skip these additional projects if you do not want to do them with your child}.

Overall, I really like the concept behind these boxes. When I first saw the price I thought it was a little steep but in the end I think they are a good value considering all the time a parent will save searching for the projects and preparing a month’s worth of projects. If you would like to try Shirley’s Prepackaged Crafts out you can use coupon code MTFM to save $2 on your first order!


One reader will win the December Monthly craft box


(Do any or all of the following, leave a comment for each)

1. Subscribe to this blog via RSS or email

2. Tell me what part about these boxes you like best

3. Follow me on Twitter

4. Follow Shirley’s Prepackaged Crafts on Twitter

5. Write a blog post about this giveaway and include a link to this post

6. Share this giveaway on Facebook

7. Comment on a non-giveaway post of mine

8. Enter another one of my giveaways and let me know which you entered

 9. Stumble, digg, or social bookmark this giveaway

10. Tweet “Enter to win a monthly prepackaged craft box at

Giveaway ends on November 10, 2011 at 11:59pm Central time. US only.

(Disclosure: I received a craft box to review but all thoughts are my own.)

Autumn Themed Crafts {Saturday Stumbles}

Some of my favorite Fall crafts I’ve seen around the web.

Click on the picture to be taken to the post :)


Roses made from leaves


Pumpkin made out of a book


Fall garland


Autumn Wreath


The Thankful Tree


Flower Covered Pumpkin


Pumpkin Specimen Art


And as an added bonus….

Check out this costume!!!!!!!!

Owl Costume

Picture Schedule For Children {Tutorial}

Some children, especially those with difficulties when transitioning, benefit from a picture schedule. Seeing what their day will look like and knowing what is coming up will make transitions easier. It’s also helpful for children who are waiting for something later in the day. My son’s Developmental Therapist suggested that I make one for him.

When I was a preschool teacher I had a picture schedule up on the chalkboard that showed our day. Since every day followed a similar schedule and we were almost always in one room this worked for my classroom. As a parent that method would not work for me since our schedule varies day to day and we don’t spend all day in the same room. I wanted a daily schedule that could travel with us from downstairs to upstairs to the mall and to the Doctor. I envisioned something small that could fit in Jacob’s backpack or my purse that would show Jacob what we were doing next. I was also hoping it would stop the questions about when Daddy was coming home since I could show him what we had to do before Daddy was going to come  home.

I headed to Hobby Lobby with a general idea of what I wanted to make and after wandering down the aisles I settled on making a picture schedule using a small, hard covered scrapbook. If you want more ideas of things you can use to make a picture schedule check out the story of my shopping trip.


Items Needed:


-Small Scrapbook



X-TREME School Glue Stick



CraftBond Adhesive Squares

-Contact Paper


1. Gather pictures of your child doing everyday things. If you don't have ones you need make a game out of it by having them pretend to do things so you can take pictures.


Use the CraftBond Adhesive Squares to stick the pictures onto the cardstock.


Write a general description of what the picture is on the cardstock underneath the picture. Don't be too specific.


Cover the pictures with contact careful that it doesn't "bubble". You can smooth bubbles out with your finger. Cut the pictures out of cardstock.


Cut the velcro into small squares. Be sure to put the rough sided ones in a pile and the smooth sided ones in another.


Use the X-TREME School Glue Stick to stick the velcro on to the backs of the laminated cardstock. I suggest using the rough half of the velcro.


Adhere the other half of the velcro to the scrapbook pages using the E-XTREME School Glue Stick


Put the pictures in your scrapbook based on your day's schedule. Every morning you can take out pictures or add new ones depending on what you will be doing that day. Any extra pictures can be stored in a ziploc bag until you need them.

Suggested pictures to take/find include: Brush Your Teeth, Get Dressed, Go To The Store, Eat Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner/Snack, Take A Bath, Go To A Playdate, Go To School, Go To Church, Daddy Comes Home, Watch TV/Movie, Read Books, Take A Walk, Go To The Park, Play Outside, Bike Ride, Go To The Pool, Bake With Mommy, Clean Up, Art Project, Play A Game, Play With Your Toys, Bedtime, and any other ones that relate to something your child does on a daily or weekly basis.

(Disclosure: This project has been compensated as part of a craft recipe project using Elmer’s #collectivebias. All thoughts are my own.)

Find more projects on Twitter! Follow the hashtags: #gluenglitter #xtremeschoolglue

Mother’s Day Craft Tutorial: Picture Flowers

Materials Needed:

Elmer’s Tri-Fold Display Board

-Small pot

-Craft sticks

Elmer’s CraftBond Permanent Dot Runner

Elmer’s CraftBond Adhesive Squares

-1 piece of construction paper

-1 piece of cardstock

-Scissors or an X-acto knife

-Styrofoam ball

Elmer’s School Glue

-Green grass (flower covering or Easter basket grass)

-Items to decorate pot and flowers (We used Elmer’s Jumbo Paint Pens for the flowers)

-Pictures of your child(ren)


Cut out flower shapes from cardstock and trace them on to display board. Use scissors or an x-acto knife to cut them out.


Have your child paint the white side of the flowers.


Use Elmer's Dot Runner to stick flower shapes to construction paper.


Cut the shapes out. One side will be painted and one will be covered with construction paper.


Find cute pictures of your children, cut them down to size to fit the flowers, and then use Elmer's CraftBond Adhesive Squares to attach the photo to the flower.


Use waterproof markers to write on the pots whatever you would like to say to the person you are gifting the pot to.


Put a Styrofoam ball in the bottom of the pot


Cover Styrofoam ball with green grass.


Use glue to attach a craft stick to the back of the flowers.


Stick the flowers into the Styrofoam ball that is in the pot. Vary heights of flowers so all of the pictures can be seen. Let your little one "smell" the flowers like Jacob is doing here :)


Feel free to let your little one paint the pot and the craft sticks. They can also add sequins, gems, or ribbon to the rim of the pot for extra decoration. Jake liked the paints we used but they were pretty hard for him to squeeze so if your child is younger than preschool age I would recommend having them finger paint the flowers.


(Disclosure: This project has been compensated as part of a craft recipe project using Elmer’s. #GlueNGlitter #collectivebias)

Creating An Art Keepsake

Though my children are only toddlers I already feel like I’m being buried under tons of art collages, finger paintings, and other artwork. I know as they get older it’s just going to get worse so I decided to create a “brag book” of Jacob’s artwork from his toddler years. I went to The UPS Store with pictures of his artwork on a flash drive and they bound it into a book for me. To see how this was done you can view my whrrl story:

Once I brought my book home it was pretty plain so I wanted to decorate it. I gathered all of my supplies and got to work.

I wanted to first make a new cover for the brag book. I chose a piece of card stock and a couple pictures. I looked through my scrap-booking cabinet and found some fun polka dot frames for the pictures.

I used my X-ACTO knife to cut the pictures down to the size of the frames.

I used my Elmer’s dot runner around the edge of the frame and used it to attach the frame to the picture.

I then used adhesive squares to stick the framed picture to my cardstock.

Once the pictures were on I added a title to my book. I could have been done here but I wanted to add a little more. I chose to add some squiggles with paper and some art-themed stickers.

I attached my cardstock sheet to the old cover page with the Elmer’s craft bond adhesive squares and liked that I had the clear plastic cover over  it to keep the photos safe.

Along with adding a cover I also wanted to label the artwork so I would know when Jacob created each piece. I cut squares out of cardstock and used the adhesive squares to stick one on to the back of each artwork print.

I then wrote a date on each one. Here’s the label for the picture of the hearts Jacob painted on Valentine’s Day:

Here are some before and after pictures:


Artwork prints waiting to be bound



Artwork bound at The UPS Store



The finished product

I’m #LovinLogistics and #GlueNGlitter :)

(Disclosure: This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for #collectivebias. All thoughts are my own.)

Storing Children’s Artwork

Artwork storage containers for Jacob and Lucas

As the boys start creating more artwork I decided I should probably come up with a way to store it. I had these file bins sitting around and thought they would be the perfect size for storing the boy’s art. I used cardstock and stickers to make labels for the bins and will use file folders to separate the art by age. I also realized I am going to have to only keep a few special pieces from each year or I am easily going  to need more bins!

I also plan to feature current artwork on our living room wall. I thought about using frames and love this idea from Ikea to put the frames on a ledge.

The Chocolate Cake Club website has a cute Art Storage Case which is a portfolio type storage. I like that it can hold papers up to 12×18 size as the one I created is only going to hold artwork up to 8×10 size.

Another way to store artwork is to take pictures of the artwork and put them in a scrapbook type book. I like this idea but think I am too sentimental to do that. I loved seeing artwork I had done as a child hanging up on the walls of our home around the Holidays.

How do you store artwork? I’d love for you to share in the comments below!

Memory Keeping

Ever go on a trip and take lots of pictures and then they just sit on your computer? Hopefully I am not the only one that does that! I really wanted to preserve my memories from my Florida trip so I decided to frame them and since it was a “crafty” trip I wanted to jazz things up a bit.

Materials Needed:



-Scrapbook paper or cardstock

-Decorative Edge Scissors

-Stickers (letters and themed ones)

-Elmer’s Adhesive Squares

-Elmer’s Dot Roller


1) Cut one piece of paper to the size of your frame (mine was 8×10). This will be your background piece.

2) Cut strips of a different colored paper. You can use plain or decorative edge scissors (I chose decorative).

3) Using glue dots adhere the strips to the mat letting part of the decorative edge peek out from behind the mat.

4) Use the glue dot roller to adhere the mat to the background.

5) Cut the photograph down to size using decorative scissors.

6) Center the photograph in the middle of the frame and use adhesive squares to attach it.

7) Use stickers to decorate the mat. I chose letters and crafty stickers (glue, crayon, scissors) but use whatever stickers relate to your trip.

8) Put the frame together and you are all done!

To learn more about my shopping trip and see a step by step guide (with pictures) for this project please view my Whrrl story.

(Disclosure: I was compensated for this shop and post by Collective Bias.)

Making A Goal Board with Elmer’s #canyoutopthis

At the beginning of this year I created goals for myself. I really want to succeed so I made a goal board to display my goals so I can look at them everyday.

To make this board I used:

-Elmer’s Tri-Fold Display Board

-Elmer’s Construction Paper

-Elmer’s Borders

-Elmer’s Letters

-Elmer’s Glue Stick

-Shape stencil



-My list of goals for 2011

I currently have this display board in my office. Every day I choose one goal from the board and spend 30 minutes working towards that particular goal. With my goals in place and my goal board in my sight daily I know I will succeed!

To find out more about Elmer’s Can You Top This Campaign you can visit

(Disclosure: This is not a compensated post but it does enter me to win a Walmart gift card!)

Popcorn Crafts For Children

Since October is National Popcorn Month I wanted to share some crafts I found online (click on pictures to go to post):

Apple Tree Popcorn Art

Corn Craft

Harvest Popcorn Necklace

And this is more for adults to make but how cute is this?

Popcorn Costume

Tot School- The 5 Senses

This week in tot school we are talking about the FIVE SENSES. I had so many ideas for this theme that I almost finished the lesson plan in about 20 minutes with just ideas that I had used in the past as a preschool teacher. A lot of these activities can serve multiple categories but I chose the one that made the most sense. I will definitely revisit this theme again in the future. (Please note: this post contains a few affiliate links.)


– Smelly playdough

– Color with scented markers

– Sticker art w/ Scratch n Sniff Stickers stickers

– Smelly tubes (film canisters work great for this… put scents on cotton balls, poke holes in the top of container, and have them smell)

– Bake cookies- smell them baking

– Smell fresh flowers


– Make lemonade- taste lemon, then taste sugar, then make lemonade and taste that

– Make a trail mix w/ different toddler friendly snacks- include sweet, salty, crunchy, soft textured foods

– Have salty pretzels for snack

– Paint with chocolate pudding

– Brush teeth with different flavors of toothpaste


– Mix paint and grains of sand to make a textured paint

– Make a sensory box (I’ve used rice, sand, beans, packing peanuts, etc)

– Touch and feel box (here is one I like: What’s Inside? Soft Feely Box)

– Texture collage- cut up pieces of various textured items and have child glue on to paper

– Water play

– Squishy bags (put paint, hair gel, or something else “gel” like in a ziploc bag…make sure to tape around the edges)


– Read a book about the 5 senses like this one- My Five Senses

– Rainbow art

– Decorate a “S” w/ string

– Take a walk and talk about what you see in nature

– Blow bubbles


– Play a clapping game

– Make a musical instrument (easy idea is put beans into an oatmeal canister)

– Play the drums

– Bubble wrap fun- put a strip of bubble wrap on the ground and let the child jump on it

– Dance to music

– Listen to music while painting



Tot School- Friendship

This week in Tot School the theme is: FRIENDSHIP and the letter F,f.


Activity: Look at pictures of friends and say their names. Talk about what a “friend” is (very basic).

Craft: Fingerpaint the letter F

Song: ‘Make New Friends (but keep the old)’

Book: Winnie the Pooh- Two Friends


Activity: Decorate a card for a friend and send it in the mail

Craft: Friendship Wreath

Song: ‘The More We Get Together’

Book: The Lion King’s Best Friends


Activity: Practice sharing with mommy, daddy, and Lucas

Craft: Make a photo album with friends pictures in it

Song: ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me’ on CD

Book: The Little Mouse, The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear by Don and Audrey Wood


Activity: Go fishing (w/ paper fish and a stick w/ a magnet on the end of the string)

Craft: Glue goldfish onto a blue paper for an underwater theme

Song: Friendship Song (Barney)

Book: Alphabet Books- Find the letter F


Activity: Decorate the letter “F” using a fish stamp

Craft: Rainbow Fish Craft

Song: “I Will Make You Fishers Of Men”

Book: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister


Activity: Playdate

Movie: Barney movie about friendship

Toddler Art

The toddler years are the perfect time to introduce children to various types of art projects and to begin experimenting with different types of materials. It’s important to remember that when children are young the process is more important than the product. I love using open ended art supplies and letting children be imaginative and use them how they would like to as opposed to giving them a coloring book to “color in the lines”. I have included some pictures of my 20 month old son’s art area and the art supplies that he has to give you an example of what you can create for your child.

Art Supplies

Organized Art Area

And here are some pictures of what open ended art projects look like:



Sequins all over the floor

:) Enjoy the messy fun!