Valentine’s Day Craft – Heart Necklace

Post by Michelle Sterling of Avery & Augustine

Valentine's Day Craft - Heart Necklace Valentine's Day Craft - Heart Necklace 2Valentine's Day Craft - Heart Necklace  3Valentine's Day Craft - Heart Necklace 4Valentine's Day Craft - Heart Necklace 5Valentine's Day Craft - Heart Necklace 6We always like to get a head start on our Valentines since we have many to make and pass out!  Our Valentine-crafting session was made festive with these sweet garlands and an adorable elephant friend.  This year, Avery and I collaborated and decided to make a Valentine’s Day craft of heart necklaces.

To make the necklaces, we used the thick edge of these great double-sided Djeco markers to make vertical lines on a strip of card stock, repeating the pattern from one edge of the card stock to the other.  I used a heart-shaped paper punch to cut out hearts, punched a hole at the top with this tool and strung some yarn through to complete the necklace.

These Valentine necklaces along with little treats can be packaged in glassine bags, cello bags or your favorite packaging.  They can also be given out on their own.  Can’t wait to see everyone’s Valentine ideas!  Dreaming up our Valentine’s cards and crafting them is one of our favorite times of the year. Happy Valentine-making!

Thanks to The Land of Nod for providing us with garlands and the elephant friend for our Valentine’s Day craft session!

You can see Michelle’s work and read about her two young children and their first forays in cooking, art and everything in between at Avery and Augustine.

Easy New Years Eve Decorations

Post by Nick & Aleah Valley of Valley & Co.

New Years Eve is often thought of as an adult holiday, but why not create a fun and cheery celebration for the kids on New Years Eve morning to let them have a part in the celebration? It could be a fun new tradition. We staged a cozy party featuring easy New Years Eve decorations of silver ornaments from our tree and party goodies from Meri Meri at Land of Nod. The decorative pinwheels are the perfect accessories for dressing up our dining table and lending that extra bit of pizzazz to New Years Eve.

Easy New Year's Eve DecorationsOne idea, decorate with festive paper pinwheels – they make for a wonderful decorative table runner.

Think outside of the traditional New Years Eve color story of black and metallics and punch up the color by using bright cupcake toppers, party blowers and hats!Easy New Year's Eve Decorations 2Easy New Year's Eve Decorations 3Easy New Year's Eve Decorations 4Easy New Year's Eve Decorations 5Entertain kids by giving them their own noisemaker kit and cupcakes to decorate!

Easy New Year's Eve Decorations 6Easy New Year's Eve Decorations 7Easy New Year's Eve Decorations 8Easy New Year's Eve Decorations 9Easy New Year's Eve Decorations 10Easy New Year's Eve Decorations 11Photos: Dennis Wise Photography || Styling: Valley & Co. || Cupcakes and Party Room: Trophy Cupcakes || Party Accessories: Meri Meri

Happy New Year!

Nick & Aleah Valley are the husband + wife owners and operators of Valley & Co. Lifestyle, based in the beautiful Emerald City {Seattle}. They love to make life grand and believe that any occasion, whether small or large, is cause for celebration. They believe that entertaining at home welcomes memories and laughter. Follow them on their blog and Instagram.

Hot Chocolate Ornaments

Post by Cristy of Pretty My Party

The holidays and hot chocolate go hand-in-hand and if you’re looking for a fun, inexpensive gift idea or a fun holiday party favor, these DIY Hot Chocolate Ornaments from Sweetly Chic Events & Design would be perfect! Add a cute tag like the ones from Meri Meri sold at The Land of Nod and you have yourself the perfect little gift.

DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate OrnamentsHot Chocolate Ornaments Supplies:

DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments SuppliesDIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments 2Instructions:

1. Begin by removing the top of your plastic ornament. Using a funnel, carefully pour your hot chocolate mix into your ornament. We used approximately 2-3 packets of hot chocolate per ornament.
DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments 32.  Next, it is time to add your holiday sprinkles!
DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments 43.  Again, using your funnel, add the sprinkles into your ornament, evenly coating the layer of hot chocolate.
DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments 54.  The next layer will be your candy! We chose to use red Sixlets. They were the perfect shape and color!
DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments 65.  Carefully add your candies, making an even layer on top of your sprinkles.
DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments 7

6. And now it’s time for the marshmallows!
7.  Add a layer of marshmallows, still allowing a bit of room for the top of your ornament to fit in.
DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments 88.  Gently replace the top of your ornament and attach your holiday gift tag.
DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments 9You now have a colorful festive favor, perfect for all of your parties this holiday season!
DIY Holiday Gifts: Hot Chocolate Ornaments 10
We threw a beautiful Holly Jolly Christmas Party, complete with these fun ornaments, a kids dessert table, personalized cookies and more. It was such a fun and festive kids party and a great way to celebrate the holidays!
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Pretty My Party was founded in May 2012 by Cristy Mishkula, and features the most stylish parties, free printables, fun DIY projects, yummy recipes, and more! Cristy is a mom to a handsome little man and an editor for an award-winning newspaper in Northeastern Pennsylvania. When she’s not at my day job, she’s styling parties and photo shoots or sharing fabulous parties, weddings, recipes, crafts, and more on Pretty My Party!

Milk & Cookies for Santa – DIY Scrabble Coasters

Post by Kelsey Nixon of Kelsey’s Essentials DIY Scrabble CoastersOne of the simple yet classic Christmas traditions that our family always looks forward to is leaving out milk and cookies for Santa (don’t forget the carrots for Rudoph!). If you’ve got one more Christmas craft left in you before the big event, these simple DIY scrabble coasters could be a blast to make with letter loving kids on Christmas Eve. It’s a fun exercise to come up with 4-5 letter words that make up holiday sayings – and a particularly fun challenge when you only have a certain number of individual letters. Even if the kids in your house are a little to you to put together words, this can still be a fun way to work with letters. My two and a half year old Ollie loved fishing out certain letters for me. This craft is inexpensive, quick, and most importantly these can be a memento that your family pulls out year after year to perfectly prop up Santa’s milk alongside his cookies. (This is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe) See the simple directions for the coasters below.

Materials for DIY Scrabble Coasters:

  • Scrabble Tiles (found here)*
  • Craft glue
  • Cork coasters or cork board (found at a local craft store)
  • Scissors

DIY Scrabble Coasters 2 DIY Scrabble Coasters 3DIY Scrabble Coasters Instructions

  1. Choose holiday phrases or words that can easily be made up with the Scrabble letters. We found that there were a lot more 5 letter holiday words than 4 letter words, so our coasters aren’t a perfect square, but the shape didn’t bother us and I’m sure Santa won’t mind.
  2. Organize your letters before using the craft glue to glue each letter onto the cork board or coaster aligning the first letter to the upper corner.
  3. Allow each coaster to dry completely before using sharp scissors or an x-acto knife to carefully trim the edges.
  4. Hint Hint: I found that one set of 100 scrabble letters made about 4 coasters.

DIY Scrabble Coasters 5Hopefully these cheery coasters will get your kids even more excited for Santa’s big arrival and make sure that Jolly Old St. Nick is well taken care of when he stops at your house.

Happy Holidays!

Kelsey 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.