Red, White and Blue T-Shirts

We had a very nice fourth of July at home this year. Terry grilled hamburgers and steaks and we enjoyed eating strawberry shortcake.

I thought I’d pass along this very popular craft that we did with the kids this year. You have probably seen it around on Pinterest, Instagram or elsewhere on the net – but I thought I’d share it anyway.

So here’s how you can make American flag tee-shirts!

You will need plain white tee shirts (we bought ours at Hobby Lobby for about  $3 a shirt), red paint, blue paint and a sponge paint brush, and some small pieces of cardboard.

Place the pieces of cardboard inside the shirt, between the layers, to create a firm surface to paint on and to keep the paint from bleeding through the layers. After that, have your child place his left hand in blue paint, coating the hand entirely. Before doing this, we practiced where we wanted the hand print to go. You’ll want it to be near the upper right hand shoulder of the shirt. Then, take your sponge brush and make red stripes coming out from the hand print and at least two stripes below the hand print, as pictured below.  Allow to dry 12 -24 hours before wearing.
flag-shirts

That’s it!

I know, it’s incredibly easy, which makes it my kind of craft!

shirts

It kinda looks like they’re all waving!

“Hello, out there in Internet-land!”

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Happy Independence Day!

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Snowflake Puzzle Piece Ornaments

Hello friends! Here’s the gift I made this year for our church ladies. Yes! I’m posting it the same year in which I made them! That’s progress, eh? 🙂 This simple little ornament turned out better than I’d hoped, which was a blessing. I’ve come to expect things to go wrong when I try to make something! There were few snags, but nothing major. This is yet another idea I found on Pinterest, and, yet another idea that wasn’t explained very well for amateur crafters like myself. I wanted to share the idea in more detail than the original post.

I’ll go through and explain the project with photos. If you so desire, you can click the green button at the bottom of this post and choose to print all or part of this post, pictures or no pictures, whatever you like! It’s great!

Let’s get started!

First, gather your supplies:

Supplies:
  • Newspaper and wax paper
  • A cereal box or oatmeal box, called “gray-board”.
  • Glue – I used both Elmer’s school glue and clear Tacky glue
  • Sponge brushes
  • Puzzle that has 1,000 pieces (this is important because I wanted the smaller puzzle pieces that come in that size puzzle).
  • Acrylic Gesso paint. I’d never heard of it, but it can be purchased in the canvas painting section of the store.
  • Iridescent glitter
  • Scissors
  • Ribbon

 

Directions:
Cut your cereal box so it lays flat.
Select a small, round object to use to trace a circle. I made my circles 1.5 inches in diameter. Trace circles onto the gray-board and cut them out.
Before we discuss the circles, let’s talk about puzzle pieces. I learned the hard way that you want only the puzzle pieces that have rounded ends. Notice, in the photo below, how every piece has a round piece on the narrow ends? Yes, that’s what we want.
Not these kinds of pieces:

 

See the difference? These pieces with flat sides are no good. They make your snowflakes look lopsided and weird. So, edge or corner pieces have to go. I made three ornaments with these pieces before I realized how funny it looked. I tossed them. I hope to spare you that time waste!
Okay, back to circles:
Put a circle of Elmer’s glue around edge of printed side of the gray-board circle, as seen above.
Arrange six of the right kind of puzzle pieces around the rim of the gray-board circle, printed side up. This is a slightly different arrangement than described in the original post. I tried her way and it didn’t look quite right to me, but feel free to experiment!
Allow this to dry. It should only take an hour or so.
Cover your work area with newspaper and get ready to paint! Yeehaw!
Get your sponge brush and Gesso paint. Lather on a thick layer over the top of the puzzle pieces. Be sure to cover up all the gray-board, too. You don’t have to be too careful here, just put it on any way you can.
Allow this to dry on wax paper. The wax paper prevents the ornament from sticking too much as it dries. You can gently peel it off the wax paper, unlike regular paper or newspaper, which sticks to the paint. Again, it should take a couple of hours.
Flip it over and coat the back of the ornament. This side should need only one thick coat of the Gesso.
Allow to dry.
Next, flip the ornament back over and paint on another coat of the Gesso. This time, as soon as the second coat goes on, sprinkle on the iridescent glitter. Allow to dry.
Turn the ornament over to the back. Fold a 6-8 inch piece of ribbon in half, and glue the ends onto the back of the ornament. Center the ribbon above one of the puzzle pieces. I used clear tacky glue for this part. Allow to dry.
Using a fine tip black Sharpie marker, write the year and/or your name on the back.

 

And you’re done! Hang and enjoy.
Merry Christmas!

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Decorative Magnets

I think I deserve to be placed into the “World’s Worst Blogger” category for what I’m about to admit. Oh well. Here goes: It is December 5, 2012, and I’m just now posting about the gift I gave to our church ladies last Christmas. As in 2011. A year ago. I know. Disgraceful. I decided that Christmas is Christmas, so why not just come clean and share it now, a year later? Yeah. Why not? So I am. I hope you can forgive my laziness and can see the gift for what it was. Okay, it wasn’t much, but perhaps you can see it for what I hoped it would be.

Just to set the stage, I should say that last year was my first year to delve into Pinterest. I was new; I was still in the learning phase, but I was in it and loving it. I found THIS project there. I gave it a whirl.

I am now a Pinterest addict. But that’s another post for another time.

Supplies:
  • Scrapbooking paper 
  • Tiny, clear jewels used in vases
  • Magnets – small enough that they won’t show
  • Scissors
  • Clear Tacky glue

Directions:
  • Hold the flat side gem against your favorite paper, pattern side up, and cut around it using sharp scissors. Don’t leave any excess hanging off the edge.
  • Place a dot of clear Tacky glue onto pattern side of paper and adhere to the flat side of gem.
  • Allow to dry overnight.
  • Next day, peel backing from the round magnets, and place a drop of clear Tacky glue onto the back. Adhere to bottom of gem.
  • Allow to dry overnight.
  • Stick to a metal surface (not sure you’d know what to do with a magnet…lol! Just kidding!) 
  • Enjoy.

I used the scrapbooking paper as well as wallpaper from a sample book my mother gave me. I loved the thick texture of the wallpaper, but any paper will do. A repetitive pattern is best, so that the image will be clear and entire after glued to the magnet.  I will say that I was disappointed in the size. I looked for larger gems but couldn’t find them. Because they were so tiny, I had to buy tiny magnets. And, the smaller the magnet, the less the “sticking” power. These are not strong enough to hold up much of anything on the fridge. You just have to use these small ones for “pretty buttons” on your metal surface. Oh! And they are not safe to have around a toddler. Yes, I learned from experience. 
I’m not sure if these will help much, but here are some photos of my project:

I cropped a photo to show it close up. This is not the actual size, and I apologize for the grainy photo quality. 
The finished product! I wrapped a set of four up with a ribbon to give to our church ladies. 
So, there it is. A year late, but it’s on the blog nonetheless. Thank you for reading my belated posts. And, if you find the larger gems, please let me know where, and how large your city is. Thank you. 😉

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Christmas Sock Wreath

I found this idea on Pinterest months ago. It looked easy and cute, the two requirements that any craft must meet before I attempt it. The original post was adorable, but lacked specific instructions, which, if you come here often, you know that “exact” is in my top ten favorite words list. I did a bit of Googling and found more clear directions.

Here’s how mine turned out. Not as cute as I had hoped, and it cost a bit more than I intended to spend, but once I got started, I had to finish it.

The original blogger said she got all of her supplies at the dollar store. She must live in a larger town, because my dollar store didn’t have the foam wreath form. I had to buy it at Hobby Lobby at a much higher price. Also, I couldn’t find the rounded kind of form; mine had square sides. That was awkward for this project. I also wish I’d used more socks. I may go back and add more later. Another problem I encountered was the bow. The original blogger didn’t describe how she made a bow out of a sock! I’m not a bow maker, so I needed directions. I had to buy a bow at Walmart and trim the ribbons. Despite all of this, I forged ahead. I think it turned out okay, but it wasn’t as adorable as I’d expected.

Here are the steps I used to make this wreath. You can also read more about making it HERE.

Supplies:

  • A foam wreath form – with rounded edges, if possible.
  • Christmas socks from the Dollar store.
  • A bow, or ribbon (or extra socks) to make one if you know how.
  • Hot glue or large twist ties (to attach bow)

Directions:

  • Cut the toe and heel off of socks, so that you have a tube that’s open on both ends. 
  • Slice through the wreath form with a knife in one place.
  • Bunch socks around the wreath however you like. You may try to follow a pattern, or go random. It’s up to you! 
  • Attach bow.
  • Hang. 
  • Admire. 

Merry Christmas!
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Thanksgiving Crafts

Our little Leslie is in Kindergarten this year. We have been using Abeka materials for her, and I think her favorite subject is art! I wanted to share some of the art projects she’s gotten to make for Thanksgiving.

My little pilgrim girl! 🙂 This hat is from the ABeka art book.

Another ABeka project, her “Thanksgiving Picture Book”. It tells the story of Thanksgiving (obviously) and has the child draw something for which they are thankful on the last page. (I don’t know why this photo is purple…probably because I’m a terrible photographer!)
Tada! 🙂
Leslie in the pilgrim hat (for boys, but hey, we hated to just leave it in the book.). Any 5 year old boys out there (with small heads) who would like a pilgrim hat?
The last project was the most fun! It was making an Indian vest out of a brown paper sack! When we started to make it, I thought “You know, I should photograph this and share it with other home schooling moms out there!” All you need is a brown paper grocery sack and some colors, markers or paints. If you desire to photograph your vest, please be sure you do it on a very cluttered surface, just like I did. lol! 🙂
Indian Vest – Perfect for Thanksgiving!
(Photos below each written step)

Step 1: Cut the bottom off the sack, so it looks like this:
(Yes, this is an Aldi sack. No, we don’t have an Aldi here. I haven’t been to Aldi in five years. Yes, I actually kept this sack for that long.)
Step 2: Spread out and flatten the tube of the sack. Draw and then cut the vest, making the top of the vest on one of the closed ends. In the photo below, I had already cut the left hand side of the sack before it dawned on me that I hadn’t photographed the vest I drew! Not that it was a masterpiece or anything, but I wanted to show you kinda how to do it. So, here’s a photo of a partial drawing/cutting. Sorry. Hope you get the idea of how to draw from this. And please ignore the letter J – it is not there for any specific reason, other than the fact I just left it there. 
Step 3: After you have cut out the shape of the vest, cut the bottom open, like so:
Step 4: After you cut the bottom open, you will be able to turn the vest wrong side out, so that you no longer see the commercial printing. 
Step 5: Once you’ve turned it wrong side out, glue or staple the sides together. Be sure you get a photo of the glue running down onto your desk! 
Step 6: After gluing sides together, cut open the center front of the vest.
Step 7: Cut fringe at the around the bottom, approximately 1/2 inches wide.
Step 8: Ask an adorable child near you to decorate the vest with crayons, markers, glitter, paint – tell them to go wild! After all, your desk is already cluttered, so what’s a little bit more? 
Finally, have the child model the vest. The Indian headband was made from the ABeka art book materials.
Do you have special projects you do with your family this time of year? I’d love to hear about them. Please comment and link to your blog or tell me about them! 
Enjoying Thanksgiving crafts and clutter,

Valerie

An Autumn Decoration

I wanted to share this very cute and easy way to adorn your Thanksgiving table. I have made these for a ladies meeting as well as for our family Thanksgiving celebration. These add a warm, homey touch to your family gathering, but make no mistake, nothing can replace smiling faces of loved ones at the dining room table. 🙂

Items needed:

  • Large red apples, Honey Crisp work the best.
  • Small disk candles. (These can be purchased at craft stores.)

Directions:


Place the disk candle on top of the apple and trace around it. Then, using a sharp knife, cut that circle out. Use a spoon to carve out the flesh of the apple until the candle fits down inside it. The candle should be level with the apple once it’s pushed inside.

Put one at each place setting, or however you’d like to decorate. Light, and enjoy with your favorite people around you.

Thanksgiving blessings,
Valerie