O (Crafty) Paper Christmas Trees

Post by Rae Ann of Rae Ann Kelly.com

Christmas Craft: O (Crafty) Paper Christmas TreesIt might be a little late in the game to be making Christmas decorations, but there are lots of days ahead where a kid friendly craft will come in handy so I wanted to share this simple paper Christmas tree project. Here’s how we did it…

Christmas Craft: O (Crafty) Paper Christmas Trees SuppliesFirst download and print THESE TEMPLATES. Cut out and trace onto various shades of green card stock. You could also print onto white card stock and then have the kids paint or color in their trees.

Next, cutout along your traced lines, shape into a cone and glue or tape in place.

Finally, embellish with whatever decorative art supplies you have on hand (an artist’s surplus art jar would be perfect for this!). We used mini pom-poms, pipe cleaners, washi tape, buttons and a gold marker.

Christmas Craft: O (Crafty) Paper Christmas Trees 2Full disclosure, I was the main crafter of the trees pictured because most of my kids were in school. However, i left all of the supplies out for them to make their own when they got home and I have to say their trees were far more fun and creative than mine! Also an added bonus, the project kept them and a couple of their friends busy for a good hour which is always handy this time of year!

Happy crafting!

{Images by Stacy Jacobsen}

Rae Ann blogs at Rae Ann Kelly and is a kid wrangler, graphic designer, food & craft nut. Her blog features little tidbits about her day to day life & design projects, tutorials for DIY’s, free downloads, yummy recipes, lots of kid friendly ideas and outfit inspiration.

Festive DIY Holiday Projects

Post by Courtney of The Chirping Moms

Festive DIY Holiday Projects - Reindeer Milk Bottles The holidays are here and it’s time for some festive ideas for DIY holiday projects. I always enjoy decorating the house for Christmas and doing fun crafts with the kids. This year, with a brand new baby, my time for DIY projects has been very limited. I decided to order a few holiday items from The Land of Nod for both inspiration and a head start on supplies. Below are four projects I came up with using my Land of Nod picks. They are all quick and easy but still fun and festive!

Land of Nod items I started with:

DIY Holiday Project – Reindeer Milk Bottles 

Supplies: glass or plastic milk bottle, brown pipe cleaners, google eyes, red pom poms, red and white paper straws and glue

Directions: Glue the google eyes and red pom pom onto the milk bottle to make a face. Cut a brown pipe cleaner in half. Then cut about an inch off each half. Use the small piece to twist around the top of the large piece to create an antler. Glue the 2 antlers to the bottle. I used hot glue for this project, but if you want to let the kids help, use craft glue instead. Fill the finished reindeer bottle with chocolate milk and your reindeer is complete!

DIY Holiday Project - Reindeer Milk Bottles 2DIY Holiday Project – Paper Straw Garland

Here’s a fun one that the kids can help with!

Supplies: Red yard, paper straws, green loop cereal (we used Apple Jacks) and a small piece of tape.

Directions: Cut the paper straws into pieces that are about 1 to 2 inches long. Cut the yarn to the length garland you’d like. Wrap the small piece of tape around one end of the yarn to help you thread the garland. Then, string the pieces of paper straws and the green cereal in a pattern you like. Last, hang on the tree and admire you’re work!

DIY Holiday Project - Paper Straw Garland DIY Holiday Project – Personalized Stockings

Supplies: Stockings, felt, scissors and fabric or masking tape

Directions: Cut the letters out of felt and use rolled pieces of masking tape or fabric tape to stick the letters to the stockings. This is the fastest, easiest way I know to make personalized stockings! If you have time and like to hand sew, you could stitch the felt letters onto the stocking instead. This will ensure they last from year to year. A tip for cutting out the letters: print out the letter you need in block font. You can make the letter as large as you want before printing. Drawing letters and cutting are not my strong point, so I asked a friend to help!

DIY Holiday Project - Personalized StockingsDIY Holiday Project - Personalized Stockings 2DIY Holiday Project – “Deck the Halls” Instagram Banner 

I wanted a new holiday decoration to hang in our hallway. I had also been trying to think of something to do with all of my 2014 Instagram photos. I came up with a “deck the halls” banner for the hallway with some of our favorite photos. To make it really come together, I added the star ornaments. The gold and glitter really light up the hall!

Supplies: Christmas Wishes Mini Garland set (or twine and cut out own gold letters), Nightfall star ornaments, gold card stock paper, square photos printed from Instagram and tape

Directions: Cut squares out of the gold paper, slightly larger than your square photos. Tape the photos to the gold paper. Cut or punch holes in the top of each gold paper square. Thread the photos, gold letters and stars onto the string. Hang and enjoy seeing your favorite moments of 2014!

DIY Holiday Project - "Deck the Halls" Instagram Banner For more fun, festive holiday ideas, visit The Chirping Moms. Happy Holidays!

Courtney Byrne is a mother of three little children. She has two girls that are 3 and 4 and a brand new baby boy. Courtney is the Co-Founder of the popular blog, The Chirping Moms. The blog share adventures in motherhood along with great activities for kids, crafts, recipes and ideas for family travel. You can keep up with them on Facebook, Pinterest and as @TheChirpingMoms on Twitter and Instagram. In addition to writing The Chirping Moms, Courtney is also a contributing writer to the Four Seasons family travel site Have Family Will Travel and has been featured on The Huffington Post and What To Expect.

Pumpkin Spiced Homemade Play Dough

Written by Kelsey Nixon of Kelsey’s Essentials

Pumpkin Spiced Homemade Play DoughMaking homemade play dough is the perfect way to blend cooking and crafting at home with your littles. My 2 year old Oliver has recently fallen in love with play dough thanks to preschool and has been requesting that we make batches together at home. It makes my heart flutter any time he asks to be in the kitchen with his mama and we’ve had such a great time making this foolproof pumpkin spiced homemade play dough recipe together. Going beyond adding a food coloring to the dough, we’ve started adding spices or extracts so that it not only looks colorful and vibrant, but it also smells fantastic!

Pumpkin Spiced Homemade Play Dough 1With Thanksgiving right around the corner we added pumpkin pie spice and orange food coloring to our mixture to get in the spirit of the holiday. My Ollie can’t get enough of molding pumpkin pie slices, turkeys, and pumpkins out of our dough. We also like to pull out cookie cutters and a few safe kitchen tools to let his imagination run wild.

If you’re looking for a kid friendly cooking craft to entertain the kiddos this week, consider this simple and fun activity and don’t forget that you can file this recipe away and add different spices, extracts, and colors to customize your homemade play dough for any month of the year. Check out the recipe below:

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spiced Play Dough

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • orange food coloring

Pumpkin Spiced Homemade Play Dough Ingredients Directions

Heat the water and salt over your stove or in your microwave it until boiling and the salt has dissolved.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, cream of tartar, and pumpkin pie spice and mix until combined. Mix in the vegetable oil.

Pumpkin Spiced Homemade Play Dough  3Working carefully, add the orange food coloring to the boiling water then slowly pour the water into the mixer while it’s running. (be sure to help your littles with this step) Mix until fully combined and the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Pumpkin Spiced Homemade Play Dough - 4 Pumpkin Spiced Homemade Play Dough - 5Pumpkin Spiced Homemade Play Dough - Pie SlicesKelsey Nixon  is the host of Kelsey’s Essentials on Cooking Channel and author of Kitchen Confidence. Kelsey’s Essentials is also currently airing Mon-Thurs at 3pm on Food Network. Kelsey, her husband Robby, and son Oliver (“Ollie”) live in New York City. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

DIY Glitter Holiday Mugs

Written by Kacia of Coconut Robot

DIY Glitter Holiday MugsI don’t know about you, but the time from Halloween to Christmas seems to just fly by.  I find myself thinking that I have plenty of time for DIY gifts and decor projects….only to blink and have December holidays upon us!

I wanted to make gifts for Harlow’s preschool teachers this year, but I knew that if I kept saying “Oh, I’ll do it when we are closer to Christmas break” would leave me running out to buy a gift card the last morning of school before break.

Can I get an amen?

So one chilly morning, Harlow and I got our crafting on and made these DIY glitter holiday mugs for her teachers!  We will be filling them with chocolates and gift cards and some artwork from Harlow as well!  I’m seriously ecstatic about how they turned out!

DIY Glitter Holiday Mugs 2If you’ve followed any of my DIY projects and tutorials, you know that I like to push the boundaries of how materials are traditionally used.  Enter iron-on glitter vinyl and ceramic mugs!  I did some tests and found that ironing the vinyl right on to a ceramic mug….works!  And it stays!  I haven’t had the guts to put mine through the dishwasher, but after hand-washing and air-drying, they are still looking amazing!

How did we make them?  Let me show you!

DIY Glitter Holiday Mugs 3DIY Glitter Holiday Mugs 4I purchased these mugs from Amazon — they are both microwave and oven safe.*  I then had some glitter iron-on vinyl scraps left over from another project. (similar)

I have an at home vinyl cutting machine that I used to cut out the vinyl for my mugs, but if you don’t have one? Don’t fret!  I have a bunch of options and ideas for you!

I love iron-on vinyl, because it’s easy to use and apply.  Unlike adhesive vinyl, you don’t need an additional transfer sheet to apply the vinyl.  Just cut, iron and peel away the clear backing.

  • Free hand cut with a scissor.  If you choose this option, you will cut through both the vinyl and the plastic backing.  The matte side will be the side adhering to your mug and the plastic side will peel away. Keep this in mind as you are cutting letters and shapes, so that they don’t end up backwards!  :)
  • Free hand with a craft knife.  Lightly draw a design on the matte side of your vinyl.  Using a small craft, cut through the vinyl.  You won’t have to press very hard — don’t try to cut through the plastic backing as well, it’s best if that is kept in contact.  Weed away the excess vinyl, leaving only your design on the backing.
  • Use a paper punch.  Select holiday paper punches and cut out your designs.  If your plastic backing is too thick to cut, be sure to put the vinyl side closest to the blade — as long as you cut through the vinyl, don’t worry about cutting through the backing too!

There are so many ways to use iron-on vinyl for these mugs!  You could do something as simple as polka dots or stripes — both would be easy with a pair of scissors or a paper punch!

*I’m not entirely sure that it’s necessary that they are, but areas of the mug did get pretty hot as I was ironing!

DIY Glitter Holiday Mugs 5After you’ve cut out your designs, you are ready to begin ironing!  If you were able to keep the plastic backing in place, your design will look like my “JOY JOY JOY” pieces.  Remember to cut them out mirrored if cutting from the vinyl side! :)

If you are cutting through both the backing and your vinyl, your shapes will look like the snowflake pictured above.

DIY Glitter Holiday Mugs 6 DIY Glitter Holiday Mugs 7 IDIY Glitter Holiday Mugs 8Assemble your vinyl and mugs and a small iron.  I love this mini iron, but any iron will work — just be careful!  The mug can get pretty hot as you work!

Harlow worked on her drawings, giving me direction on where to place each of the snowflakes and words for both of the mugs.

DIY Glitter Holiday Mugs 9DIY Glitter Holiday Mugs 10DIY Glitter Holiday Mugs 12DIY Glitter Holiday Mugs 13Follow the instructions found on your iron-on vinyl.  I held my iron in place for at least 30 seconds on each letter.  I love using a craft iron, because I don’t worry as much about it getting gunk on it from these projects — if you are using a nice iron, I would use a thin piece of fabric between your iron and the backing.

I iron and let it cool before peeling back the transfer plastic.  When the edges are secured enough to remove, I remove the plastic and lightly iron on the vinyl to get it to stick really well. After it cools I check the edges to make sure I got every bit of the surface to adhere well to the mug!

DIY Glitter Holiday Mugs 14DIY Glitter Holiday Mugs 15DIY Glitter Holiday Mugs 17DIY Glitter Holiday Mugs 18DIY Glitter Holiday Mugs 19And that’s it!  Continue this process until you achieve your desired look!  Fill with candy or coffee or hot cider or soup or … well, you get the idea!

IMG_1582IMG_1593IMG_1607IMG_1602IMG_1610Kacia is a natural blonde, type-A and an artist: proof that God has a sense of humor.  Kacia writes Coconut Robot about her city-living family, motherhood, fashion, DIYs and really anything else that makes her smile.  She is a published quilt designer and loves dreaming up new projects and tutorials to share with her readers.  Addicted to coffee and Instagram. (@CoconutRobot)