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)

Kids Thanksgiving Day Craft Table

Written by Barbara Rucci of Art Bar Blog

In our family, Thanksgivings are massive. I married into a wild and wonderful Italian family where it’s not unusual for fifty (or more) relatives to gather in one place. My kids love getting together with their cousins. Their football games are legendary, as is the amount of apple pie they can eat!

Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Art BarEvery year, I set up a Thanksgiving day craft table for anyone who wants to get creative. My idea is always to let the materials invite the kids in, and to have the craft be something that is completely do-able without any adult help (or very little). Oh, and no mess!

Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - CraftsBeaded Leaf Necklaces Supplies:

  • Pony Beads
  • Wooden beads
  • Yarn
  • Markers (green & pink)
  • Watercolor paints
  • Brushes
  • Glass of water + damp sponge or paper towel
  • Leaf template (download HERE)
  • Hold punch (1/8”)
  • Scotch tape

Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf NecklacesDirections for making the necklaces:

  1. Print out the leaf template on watercolor paper. Cut out the circles and punch a hole at the top.
  2. Cut your strings into 28” pieces. Fold the string in half and push the loop through the hole. Bring the ends through the loop and pull tight.
  3. I taped the ends of the string like shoelaces to make them easier to string the beads.

Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf Necklaces 1The rest of the necklace making is all up to the kids! Some painted, some used markers. Some beaded first, some didn’t bead at all. Some made just one necklace while another made three! That is the beauty of craft like this one. It is open-ended enough to appeal to all ages. It is simple without any frustration.Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf Necklaces 2 Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf Necklaces 3Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf Necklaces 4

Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf Necklaces 5Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf Necklaces 5The Land of Nod markers were a big hit. They have this painterly tip that the kids loved. Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf Necklaces 7So vibrant and colorful. And fun for every age…even the teens!

Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf Necklaces 11Hopefully, at the end of the day, the kids will leave with a little bit of gratefulness in their hearts for the beauty of nature.

Thanksgiving Day Craft Table - Beaded Leaf Necklaces 12Barbara Rucci is passionate about two things: Kids + Art. As a graphic designer and mom to three whippersnappers, she gets to explore her passions every day. Art Bar Blog is a place where she cultivates her love of beautiful things and creative people, and shares simple tips and ideas to bring art and beauty into our everyday lives.

DIY Halloween Spider Straws

Written by Aleah and Nick of Valley & Co.

Halloween really brings out the kid in us and each year we get so excited to pull out all of the stops to decorate for the festivities. Pumpkins galore, dried corn stalks, creepy bats, aged scary silhouettes, and freshly made apple cider and home-baked goods are some of our Halloween must-haves for entertaining. This year will be our first Halloween as parents so now we can truly justify decking the halls with fun! To add the perfect dose of eeriness to a Halloween meal, surprise the kiddos with these Spooky Halloween Spider Straws. It’s a simple project that yields scary results!

MATERIALS YOU’LL NEED:
For the straws: paper straws || plastic spiders || faux spiderwebs || hot glue gun
For the glass: orange sprinkles {or rimming sugar} || water || tall glass

Kids Craft: DIY Halloween Spider Straws

Step 1. warm up your hot glue gun and dab a bead of glue towards the top of the straw

DIY Halloween Spider Straws - Step 1Step 2. gently press a spider onto the glue, holding into place while the glue dries
DIY Halloween Spider Straws - Step 2 DIY Halloween Spider Straws - 3Step 3: prepare a small piece of the spiderweb and turn the spider over. Place a few dabs of hot glue on several of the legs and secure the spiderweb onto each bead, stretching it as you go and pulling over the top of the spider.

DIY Halloween Spider Straws - 4Ta-da!

DIY Halloween Spider Straws - 5Serve up these spooky straws in a big glass of milk on Halloween morning and make it extra festive by adding a pop of edible orange fun! Pour a mound of orange sprinkles into a small plate. Rub the rim of a glass with water and turn the glass upside down, rolling the rim in the sprinkles until it’s coated. Then carefully pour the milk into the glass.

DIY Halloween Spider Straws - Step 4

DIY Halloween Spider Straws - 8 DIY Halloween Spider Straws - 6 DIY Halloween Spider Straws - 7 Party planning tip: If you’re hosting a Halloween gathering, set out a side table welcoming your guests with pre-rimmed glasses with straws at the ready. Let guests garnish drinks {whether it’s milk or other libations} with all sorts of fun elements like edible red flowers, frozen spiders {simply place plastic spiders in an ice cube tray and fill with water to freeze}, or raspberries {use them frozen if you want them to attain a dripping red look as they melt}.

Who else is as excited for Halloween as we are?

Nick and Aleah Valley, of Valley & Co., began planning and designing utterly fantastic celebrations in 2003. They also pen Valley & Co. Lifestyle, an entertaining blog, where they share their pro party planner tips, effortless entertaining ideas, recipes, and tips on how they balance family life with running a business. Their entertaining and party tips are frequently sought after for publications like Better Homes and Gardens, Sunset Magazine, BRIDES Magazine, Occasions Magazine, and many more. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram