DIY Striped Straw Necklaces

Post by Christina of Just Call Me Chris

When I was a kid, my sister and I used to make beads like this out of magazine pages.  We made hundreds of paper beads. It was my goal not to let any magazine ever go wasted again. I bet my mom loved having bags of those paper beads all over the house. Twenty-some-odd years later, I’m still making things… so I guess nothing really changes.

When I remembered all the fun I had making those beads, I thought it might be fun to do a similar project with my four-year-old. She’s not quite old enough to make paper beads on her own yet, so we took a shortcut by using paper straws as our beads. The nice folks at Party Pail sent over some straws for us to use in our craft project. I love the combination of thin and thick stripes on their straws. We combined the straws with some colorful wooden beads and got to work.

DIY Striped Straw Necklaces

Want to make some necklaces of your own? You probably have most everything you need hanging around the house. Yarn, tape (not pictured), scissors (also not pictured), wooden beads, a handful of striped straws (Party Pail gave us the orangepink and green ones for this project), and a clip of some sort (or anything else you can attach to the end of the yard to keep the beads from falling off).

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Step 1: Cut up the striped straws. I didn’t measure exactly, but each straw made about 10 beads.

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Step 2: Tape one end of the yarn like the end of a shoelace. This makes threading easier for small fingers. Next, attach the clip to the opposite end of the yarn to keep beads from sliding off while you’re working.

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Step 3: Start stringing your necklace. Charlotte loved making up different patterns and she named each design. One was called “cotton candy” another was “pink lemonade” and one was the “unicorn necklace,” of course. Once you’re done beading the necklace, tie the ends together with a square knot, and cut off all but about .5″ excess yarn. You can easily tuck the ends into one of the straws to hide them.

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That’s it. Now throw on a necklace (or six) and hit the town. We made necklaces for our stuffed animals, for our friends and neighbors and we still have plenty of supplies to pull out for our next play date.

Christina Williams is a blogger and graphic designer living in Salt Lake City, Utah. She’s a night owl and a bookworm, as well as a mother to three children ranging in age from two to eight. She shares her latest DIY and design projects along with her adventures in parenting on her blog, Just Call Me Chris

Land of Nod Locations Host Camp Nod

Back in July, we held our 2nd annual Camp Nod week at The Land of Nod stores. Camp Nod was a week full of creative events for the kiddos to participate in. A camp where you can create arts and crafts projects, and then have fun playing with Nod toys in the store afterwards? I’d say it was a hit! We wanted to share a few of the craft events we hosted with our Honest to Nod readers, so you all can try these fun activities at home!

Garden Day
We provided 3″ terra cotta chalkboard planters, chalk, soil, and Zinnia seeds for the campers. At the beginning of the event, we asked each camp attendee to decorate their planter with chalk. Some drew their name, a design, or some just enjoyed some minimalism. The best part about this is that they can always redecorate their planter for a future activity. After decorating, we helped them fill their pots with soil and handed each of them three Zinnia seeds to tuck into the soil. We loved watching them “garden!”

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Make Your Own Sock Puppet
We provided the campers with kid-sized tube socks and plenty of fun supplies like feathers, fabric markers, pipe cleaners, pom poms, felt sheets, googly eyes, and craft glue dots. The crafty glue dots made this activity less messy, and the kids had so much fun creating their sock puppet masterpieces.

And afterwards, our What’s that Stand For was a perfect stage for the campers to play with their socket puppets.

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Balloon Animals with Shop Sweet Lulu
We partnered with our great pals Shop Sweet Lulu to help us host another balloon animal activity with our campers. We hosted this event last fall with them, and it was such a hit we knew we needed to bring it back for Camp Nod. The DIY Balloon Animal kits are offered on their site, and include one balloon, one 15″ balloon stick, cut cardboard pieces with the animals’ faces, and adhesive glue dots.

The campers first blew up their balloons with their help of the grownups, and attached it to their stick. Afterwards they took the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth from the cardboard cut outs and created their animals with the adhesive glue dots. Campers loves showing off their pigs, bears, and chickens they created!

Camp Nod Balloon Bash

We hope you have as much fun with these activities as we did at Camp Nod! We can’t wait for more fun next year!

Try This: Frozen Play Doh

Post by Rebecca of Not-So-SAHM. 

Frozen Play Doh Recipe My kiddos love play doh and they love getting messy. This frozen play doh combines both with the added bonus of cooling everyone off! It’s incredibly easy to make — you likely already have the ingredients on hand. We used ours to set up a little ice cream shop and they played until it eventually melted in the sun! Head on over to Not-So-SAHM for the full recipe.

Rebecca and Suzanne are bloggers, graphic designers, and event stylists living in Washington, DC. Rebecca is a mom to two young kiddos and, in her spare time (ha!), likes to pretend she’s a back-up dancer, craft cocktails, and run long distances. Suzanne is a big fan of good design, good wine, and her two rambunctious little boys. They share DIY lifestyle and event styling projects at A Feteful Life. Rebecca also blogs kid-friendly projects at Not-So-SAHM.

Kids Science Club

Post by Rebecca and Suzanne of A Feteful Life

Summer Activity: Kids Science Club

Hello friends! We had so, so much fun with our recent book club that when The Land of Nod asked us what else we had in store for our kiddos this summer, we knew instantly that we had to expand our group to include science. All of our kids have an interest in the subject and we knew once we put together a little party for the club, they’d be all over it. And they were — despite the sweltering afternoon summer heat (btw, how cute is our motley crew!?!).

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Fortunately for us, The Land of Nod carries the most stylish party goods perfectly suited for our club: The Meri Meri Fundamental Party Collection. The bright colors and graphic prints are right up our alley and the incorporation of real scientific principles, concepts and theory make them much more than just pretty partyware. Good looking and smart — a combo we can get behind.

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In addition to the party collection, we decorated the entrance to our gathering with a fabulous customizable Pennant Garland spelling out the name of our club. We hung Land of Nod’s gorgeous periodic table of elements Science Banner front and center over our lab for the day. Suzanne’s son Brady is a bit chemistry-obsessed and was over the moon to see the periodic table! We were equally impressed with the quality of canvas and beautiful colors of the artwork. We also draped a graph paper bunting, which we made using our free pennant bunting template, along the top of the elements banner. And even though a table full of sweets was sitting nearby, our kids wasted no time in getting right to the experiments.

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We set up three relatively straightforward experiments: making slime; mixing colors; and creating “snow” (you can download free printable blank experiment labels over at A Feteful Life).

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I was surprised that the color mixing seemed to be everyone’s favorite. The kids used their custom periodic element initialed lab notebooks (we had to make them after the book club notebooks were such a big hit!) to hypothesize which two colors they needed to mix to achieve their desired result. They took it very seriously and even experimented mixing different ratios of two primary colors to get what they wanted. The “snow” was another messy hit and Suzanne and I were grateful we held the meeting outdoors!

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While we waited for the slime to finish congealing, we turned to snack time. I set up a drink as an experiment itself by prepping one of my favorite party drinks: cotton candy + lemonade (a little trick I learned from Sweet Paul awhile ago). When you add lemonade to colored cotton candy … it changes color! Well, the party decided to take it a step further for us. It was so HOT outside that the cotton candy had lost all its moisture and completely solidified. The kids thought it was a hysterical “experiment.” No worries, the lemonade still changed color when we poured it over the petrified candy and earned oohs and aahs from our crowd.

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I added periodic element flags to the awesome graph paper straws, which we slipped into the beaker cups. The kids all loved finding their own initialed straw. We served puffed corn snacks and berries in clear cups, which we decorated with leftover stickers from the party collection. For some more sweet, we served up a plate of “whoopie pi,” which sat on a cake stand decorated with a handmade graph paper mini bunting.

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We obviously can’t resist DIY accessorizing, so we put together cute labels to wrap around chocolate milk boxes and custom confetti, too. You can find all of the items, including the periodic element flags, in our printable party pack.

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To keep the science going after the club adjourned, each kiddo took home an edible experiment: DIY Rock Candy (you can download the free printable favor tag at A Feteful Life). The favor kit included all non-grocery items needed to grow your own rock candy. And I used the bright cupcake wrappers from the Meri Meri kit to top a mason jar containing it all.My kids can’t wait to try it!

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It must be obvious from the photos, but we so loved our Science Club. And we think you should have one too! To get you started, we designed an invitation to go with the party pack. Hope your own little scientists are staying busy this summer. Fete on!

Rebecca and Suzanne are bloggers, graphic designers, and event stylists living in Washington, DC.  Rebecca is a mom to two young kiddos and, in her spare time (ha!), likes to pretend she’s a back-up dancer, craft cocktails, and run long distances. Suzanne is a big fan of good design, good wine, and her two rambunctious little boys. They share DIY lifestyle and event styling projects at A Feteful Life. Rebecca also blogs kid-friendly projects at Not-So-SAHM.