Category Archives: homemade gifts

Tooth Fairy Bag

Just a quick little post to show you how I organized my daughter’s “tooth stuff” so we were ready when she lost a tooth! I found a nice brown gift bag from the dollar store and glued a large tooth on it. So fancy, right? Inside the bag I added some of our children’s books about teeth as well as the tooth pillow I made for Boo. I love that everything tooth-ish is all together so when my daughter lost a tooth we are ready to go!

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Happy Teaching!

DIY Embroidery Floss Easter Eggs

Easter is soon approaching (can you believe it? i am not even ready for st patricks day!) I thought it would be fun to post a quick (and messy) tutorial on how to make some embroidery floss eggs. This would be a fun craft for kiddos (this particular set was completely mommy made however- Boo was not in a crafting mood!)

Materials:
Embroidery Floss (one small skein per egg)
Vaseline
Mod Podge
Balloons (picked these up at the good old Dollar Tree)
Blow up a small balloon until its about the size of an egg. Then coat that balloon with Vaseline. This prevents the Mod Podge from sticking directly to the balloon. 
Cut the embroidery floss into several long strands. Do this before you begin gluing, since your hands will be super sticky. Then dip the floss into your Mod Podge and wrap it around your balloon.

Helpful hint: I covered my table with old sheet protectors. They not only kept my table clean, but the Mod Podge didn’t stick to it. And then, of course, the clean up was fast!

Hang balloons to dry. I just tied a simple knot at the ends of the balloons with white string and hung them in the bathroom on the shower curtain rod.

After a day or so, take the balloons down. The balloons should be shrinking- but the embroidery floss should have kept its original shape. Pop the balloons and take them carefully out of the egg.

And voila! You are finished! And not only would these be fun for Easter, but they make a great addition to Christmas lights (how fun to hang on the deck in the Summer!) and I love the color they add to my home decor!

Have fun crafting with your kiddos- and as always, Happy Teaching!

Our Fall Apothecary Jars

I love this time of year! I decorated my apothecary jars with some fun fall items- this is a wonderful way to display all those autumn treasures you and your child find on walks! I have to be honest… my items were all found at craft stores… BUT  I love the thought of a happy mother/daughter harvest nature walk versus walking up and down the aisle with a screaming child at Michaels! 🙂

Happy Holidays!

DIY Christmas Ideas: Reposts

As I am starting to compile my list of homemade Christmas gifts to make this year, I thought I would share some of our favorite gifts we have made from the past. Just click on the name of each item to be redirected to the instructional post! Have fun!

We LOVE these blocks!
 Second set had the bible and book of mormon nativity blocks
Enjoy!

my BOO apothecary jars

Decorating for the holidays is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to do. I saw THIS idea from Uncommon on Pinterest (I seriously am obsessed with this site). Once I saw this project, I fell in love!! I made a quick run to Hobby Lobby to get the materials. I grabbed some jars and letters… but needed the candlestick bases and finials. My father in law was SO kind to make some for me. The initial plan was to paint all the wood black… but after seeing the beauty of the natural wood, I changed my mind. Aren’t they BEAUTIFUL!!! He did such an incredible job and I am so thankful for his help. I just love the way they look!  I painted the letters, filled the jars with candy corn, added the ribbon, and they were done! I found the cool orange glitter ribbon to hang the letters at Michaels… so sparkly!

Although you might have seen these jars around the web, here are some additional creative tips for this project (thanks again to my father in law and his wife!!).

~In order to use less candy corn, I put cans of tomato paste in the center of each jar. It’s our hidden stash of food storage :).

~I didn’t want the jar to break and then have to somehow remove broken pieces of glass glued to the candlestick base. To solve this problem, the base has grooves designed specifically to keep the jar in place without the glue. So cool!

~My husband wanted the ability to remove the finial- in case we wanted to use the jars for another project. The finials have magnet inserts so it easily will stick to the magnetic top of the hobby lobby jar. These magnetic finials have already come in handy when I attached the ribbon… I was able to place it right under the magnet! Love it!

There are two things that I love the most, however- first is the incredible service provided by my father in law, and second is that I can use these jars for every season! Pinecones or nuts in the fall, ornaments in December, red heart candy in February, plastic easter eggs in the spring…the list goes on!

I know this is completely unrelated to teaching- but I just had to share! We have had a little lesson on cavities after nibbling away at the candy corn….

Happy Teaching!

Nativity Dice

Part of my church responsibilities include working with a great group of 8-10 year old girls. I thought it would be fun to teach them about the nativity, and originally was going to make a nativity ornament with them- when I thought it would be more fun (OK, easier and less messy) to make nativity dice with them!

The objective of this activity is to teach about the different characters of the nativity. I wanted to see the girls dive into their scriptures to learn more about who these people were. I also wanted a project that my girls could take home and do with their families. So this activity seemed perfect!

Materials:
6 images of different Nativity characters
foam cube (I saw these at Michaels for five dollars, but they are only a buck at the Dollar Tree!)
cardstock
glue sticks/ hot glue/ scissors

How to make the Nativity Dice:

  1. Trace one side of the foam cube on the cardstock. Cut out square and use this as a pattern to cut out 5 more squares. Hot glue cardstock on foam cube.
  2. Cut out nativity characters and glue one on each side of the foam cube.

That’s it! Unless you want to embellish. I kept mine simple.

How to play the Nativity Dice Game:
  1. Roll the dice.
  2. Name the character and describe the role they play in the nativity.
You may also want to do one of the following:
  • Research this person in the bible.
  • Share any connections you may have with this person.
  • Share any questions you may have for this person.

This is the perfect addition to our family’s nativity kit !

Happy Teaching!

Easy Jingle Bell Tutu

I love Christmas! And nothing sounds like Christmas more than the jingling of bells. This year I had the idea to make my daughter a special Merry Christmas skirt to help her practice her dance moves (more on that another day) and spread the jingling sounds of this holiday season!
Here is the finished product. It was SO easy to make. And my daughter loves it- she runs around the living room in circles wearing this!
Step 1: Google “no sew tutu”. Find a site that has a cute tutu (I used this site and this site, but there are SO many great tutorials out there!)
Step 2: Go to the craft store and purchase rolls of green and red tulle. I used four rolls (2 red and 2 green) because I like my tutus nice and fluffy!

Step 3: Follow the steps to make the tutu- basically just stapling (for people like me that really want NO SEW!) or sewing the elastic in a waistband about 3 inches smaller than your child’s waist. After the elastic is ready, simply tie a series of knots until the skirt is as full as you like! (great site here for the basic steps in tying the tutu knots)
Step 4: Cut several ribbons twice the length of the skirt. Tie small jingle bells on to both ends. It may help to use a strong adhesive to ensure that the bell will stay on the ribbon. I just tied a double knot and it has been holding up fine. Then attach the jingle bell ribbons to various places throughout the skirt using the same knot as the tulle.
You could use this tutu for so many things- Christmas parties, family night dance performances, or just plain fun around the house!
Happy Teaching!

Popsicle Tree Ornaments DONE and Santa Dice Game goes South

We are finished with our ornament gifts and I thought I would share a picture of our final work. We didn’t have sequins so I just hole punched different colored paper and that seemed to work just fine! My daughter was a trooper and helped me glue the ornaments on about half the trees (why did I think we needed to make 6????) I also glued yarn on the back so they can be hung on the tree.

We played a Santa dice game today that I read about here. Basically, you roll the dice and put that number of small candies (like M&Ms) on a cute Santa printout (check here if you want to download it!) It didn’t go as planned- my daughter just wanted to eat the treats. It is a really cute game and I think my Boo is just not quite ready for an activity like this. I did find a cute little Santa Claus & reindeer that I just COULDN’T stop myself from buying- and my daughter had fun w/ the Santa visiting her little people (and snacking on one to many M&Ms from aforementioned dice game).
Gotta run- hear my baby girl crying! Happy Holidays!!!

Do It Yourself Christmas: Nativity Blocks

About a year ago I came across this post on DIY Nativity blocks and I fell in love! They are great for kids (and cheaper than a toy nativity set) and made from their heart. I set out in my mind that I would be making them as gifts for my nieces and nephew!
I came across a few snags- I couldn’t find the nativity stickers that Hilary used in her post. But I LOVE clipart and was blessed to find 2 really cute Nativity clip art sets. One is from Lori Wenerstrom (her clipart was highly recommended and she was kind enough to send me a copy of her nativity clipart since it’s hard to find– it’s sooo cute! ) and Amy Dott Harmer (cutest stick kids! I have purchased many of her sets!!!)

Set One (Lori’s)

I made this set for my daughter. They were originally created as nativity puppets (but they make the cutest blocks, too!) I love that this set incorporates the Nativity story from the Book of Mormon as well as the Bible- visit her lesson plan here for more info)


blocks: Sun(other side star), Samuel the Lamanite, Nephi, Angel

three wise men, Joseph, Mary, star (other side sun), Shepard

Set Two (Amy’s)

These are the blocks I made as gifts (and of course I made an extra set for me!) This is your more typical Nativity set… with Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus in a manger, donkey, stable, angel, star, innkeeper, shepard w/sheep, three wise men and a camel. I bought some 2X4 and 2X6 boards at a home improvement store, had them cut into blocks, sealed them, and then modge-podged the clipart on!
Since this is for little kiddos, I also created some coloring pages to go along with the blocks in their “Nativity Box”. (I also found a little story book to go in their box to complete the Nativity learning time fun!) I can’t wait to give these Nativity Boxes to some of the CUTEST kids I know!!!

Happy Holidays!
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