Round up those antsy kids for a Sharpie Tie Dye from The Art Girl Jackie.

Get ready for the sun shine with this colorful DIY.

 

Please click here to visit The Art Girl Jackie and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 – Alicia

Mission: To create a tie-dyed effect shirt with Sharpies and rubbing alcohol. Very strange, but we will try it!

 

Details:

This project is pretty straight forward. I really did not want to go out and buy materials for this so I used what I had at home.

  • The Rubbing Alcohol I used was 70% and worked fine.
  • We had 4 Sharpie colors to work with: Orange, Red, Blue and Silver
  • I found a cotton dress shirt at Target for $2 and thought, if this turns out to be a bust, it only cost $2 bucks.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Make sure to use a newspaper or wax paper and place inside the shirt to prevent running or staining. The original post suggest making your pictures very small because it will spread like gangbusters. I let the kids go crazy with it.

Make sure that the rubber band and shirt is secure and tight- you will get a crisper image.

We Tried It - Sharpie Tie-Dye!

Pros:

My kids loved it and was so quick to make.

Cons:

The design is not as cool as it is in the original post.

We Tried It - Sharpie Tie-Dye!

Conclusion:

I did not have a high expectations with this project and it actually turned out really cute. Such a creative way besides using the traditional tie-dye kits.  The final result is very cool!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: Get some tie-dye action without the hassle of… tie dye.

 

Details:

  • I had 70% Rubbing Alcohol at home, so I went with it.
  • I always have Sharpies on hand!
  • I tested this project out on a 79¢ dishtowel that I picked up at IKEA.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Instead of an eye dropper, I channeled my inner 8 year old and did the straw trick that would always get me yelled at at restaurants.

Some of my Sharpies worked much better than others.  Maybe because some of them were newer?  Regardless, you may want to test them out beforehand so that you get the best results.

When I was done, I blotted the dishtowel with paper towels to pick up any excess rubbing alcohol and then hung it on the clothesline to dry out.

We Tried It - Sharpie Tie-Dye!

Pros:

Incredibly easy.  Not too stinky!

Cons:

Not quite the real thing.

We Tried It - Sharpie Tie-Dye!

Conclusion:

This project was super easy and quick.  I think that if they can handle the smell, that it would be right up most kid’s alley.

As a gal with a little granola in her blood though, there’s nothing like the real thing!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sheri

Mission: My son is always asking me to make tie-dye shirts… I just don’t have the patience for it. When I saw this simple “tie-die” solution, I knew we just had to try it.

 

Details:

There is something about a fresh set of colored markers that makes me happy.

  • I grabbed a full 12-pack of Sharpies, even knowing my son would probably stick with just the greens and blues.

This was a learn as you go/trial and error project. The directions state to make a design the size of a quarter or half dollar using colors that are near each other on the color wheel, which make a nice transition into one another.

The first design my son made didn’t spread well. As we moved along the shirt we found that if you placed your colors a little closer together and made bolder lines and dot, they blended much more nicely together. We even added some color to the outside rim of the cup as suggested in the original post.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

If you don’t have a dropper, use a straw!  Simply immerse the straw into the rubbing alcohol and then block off the top.  This worked well.

Larger blots of color placed closely together, makes for the best “blend.”  I also recommend using different sized cups or Tupperware containers.

Don’t forget to heat set the color by tossing the shirt in the dryer for a while.

We Tried It - Sharpie Tie-Dye!

Pros:

Cute and easy!

Cons:

My son was very turned off by the smell of the rubbing alcohol and I ended up finishing the project.

We Tried It - Sharpie Tie-Dye!

Conclusion:

My son’s only complaint was that the shirt was “not filled up.” I got put back to work making more circles of fun color. He loved the fun colors and the variation of design.

I loved the easy clean up! I just tossed the solo cups into the trash and put my markers away. I know for sure that my niece is going to love doing this project on her next visit.

 

We Tried It - Sharpie Tie-Dye!


The darling
Sharpie Tie Dye and photo by The Art Girl Jackie

 


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U Create has a sweet Valentine for crafters of all abilities with the Stitchable Conversation Heart.  They made it even easier by providing a free template for your project!

 

A cute and easy project that will add a little touch of Cupid’s magic to our homes?  Count us in!

 

Please click here to visit U Create and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission: To make darling “grown-up” Valentine’s Day cards for my favorite people using my favorite fabric, felt!

 

Details:

  • I was in need of felt for this project and also to update my felt rosette wreath, so I picked up several sheets at my local JoAnn.
  • I also picked up some blank greeting cards so that I could adorn them with the felt hearts to make grown-up valentines.
  • I had needles and dental floss at home, so was all set to start once I got back with the materials.

I can’t wait to get these mailed out to my friends and family – snail mail is one of my favorite ways to let people know you love them.

Share the love – xoxo!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I first cut out the felt heart shapes using the method of folding the felt in half-length wise and then cutting a heart shape. Each of my hearts is unique in shape and I love that aspect!

I tried marking the stencil pattern onto my felt, but it wasn’t working well with my pencil, so I decided to go the free hand route using just my needle and floss thread. Though my stitched lines don’t look perfect and aren’t nearly as cute as the free stitch-able print, but I feel it adds to the handmade cuteness of these Valentine’s Day cards!

If you did want to use a stencil, a chalk pencil would come in handy!

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!

Pros:

Easy to do and pretty quick when it came down to prep and finish time.

Plus there are so many options on how to create these and you can personalize them for your valentines.

Cons:

I don’t see any – such a great way to spread love. 

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!

Conclusion:

They are so darling and I am excited to have created homemade Valentine’s for my loved ones.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: Whip up a little Valentine’s decor for my home and my honey.

 

Details:

  • I used some left over felt from our Felt Rosette Wreath project.
  • My plain white cloth came right out of my scrap bin.
  • I grabbed my frame from the clearance aisle at Target a few months back!
  • I chose white embroidery thread, which I also had on hand!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!The hardest part about this project for me, was cutting out a normal looking heart.  I don’t recall failing this part of kindergarten, but I must have.

I chose “XOXO” as my convo and used a basic back-stitch as Kari from U Create did.  I thought I would be safe free-handing my writing, however sort of wish I would have stenciled it due to my anal retentive tendencies.

Embroidery thread is made up of 6 tiny strands.  I used 3 strands for the outline of my heart, and the full thread for my “XOXO”.

To finish my piece, I simply taped my fabric over the glass part of my picture frame and put it back together!  Wah-lah!

If I did it again, I would have ironed the fabric before putting it into the frame.

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!

Pros:

A super easy and speedy project that adds a little V-day flare to your home!

Cons:

When making this project I accidentally thought about Cupid and got the damn “Cupid Shuffle” stuck in my head for the next 4 days.

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!

Conclusion:

I liked this project!  There are so many ways to make it your own, and it’s easy enough for all skill levels.

I love that I didn’t need to spend a dime, and I also like the idea of having an easy project on hand to create cute holiday decor for any season!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #3 – Alicia

Mission: The magic word for me is “felt“. I just love everything about it and have tons of it. I would be wearing felt underwear if I could, but alas – that is another conversation. I am all about creating a Valentine-themed project out of felt!

Details:

In the original post Kari used the cutest picture frames for her hearts. I have a lot of random frames but nothing that really sparked my interest for this project.

  • I decided to use 2 embroidery hoops that were collecting dust.
  • I also had a large amount of linen from some previous projects that I thought would tie in nicely.
  • I used white and red embroidery floss and used a basic stitch.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I would strongly suggest finding  several sizes of  hearts and sayings on the internet to use as a guide. The original post included a link to both, but I could not [for the life of me] get the darn images to enlarge.

I decided to free-hand everything and it turned out okay but using a guide would have been a lot easier.

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!

Pros:

So easy and looks so lovely – Felt is so inexpensive!

Cons:

None – unless you suck at using a needle and thread or cutting.

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!

Conclusion:

This project is one of my all-time favorites. I just love the end result; it was so easy to make and there are so many ways to make them.

I seriously have felt coming out of my ears, so I am super excited to make a few more of these to display around the house. This would also be a great gift for a grandparent or a child’s teacher.

Happy Valentine’s Day! Spread some love!

 
 

We Made Them!  Stitchable Conversation Hearts!
The darling Stitchable Conversation Heart and it’s photo by U Create

 


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Happy Hour Projects has a recipe for Cinnamon Dough Ornaments that will bring back nostalgia of Christmas as a kid, as well as fill your home with the spicy smell of the season.

 

Cute on the tree and cheaper than candles, we couldn’t wait to give this project a try!

 

Please click here to visit Happy Hour Projects and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Kristy

Mission: A great piece for the holidays, to bring the smell and décor of Christmas!

 

Details:

  • I used about ¾ cup Mott’s Unsweetened Applesauce.
  • I don’t have a rolling pin. I used a drinking glass to roll out the dough.
  • I used champagne flutes to cut my ornament pieces!  Easy peasy!
  • Instead of waiting for them to dry, I baked them as Adrianne had suggested.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I ended up using less than the 1 cup of apple sauce since I was worried that it maybe a little more liquid, which was a good idea.

I used champagne flutes for cutters, but you can definitely use your favorite cookie cutters!

I placed mine on a string after seeing Sarah’s finished project to make a festive garland piece!  I love it!

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

Pros:

Only 2 ingredients, can’t beat that! Easy, and I bet fun for the kids!

Cons:

Wish it smelled up my home a bit more of cinnamon, but not to worry that is why we have candles!

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

Super cute!! Easy to make! A fun festive craft to make with the kids and cheap!

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

 

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: I don’t remember making cinnamon dough as a child, so I thought I better make up for lost time!

 

Details:

I wasn’t too careful about how I mixed my ingredients.  I halved the recipe so I just dumped each of my products in the bowl and mixed; no measuring!

  • One 2 oz bottle of Cinnamon
  • One 4 oz single serving container of Apple Sauce
  • I decorated my little gingerbread people with white, puffy fabric paint and scraps of ribbon, yarn and sequins that I had in my stash!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollabI had planned to lightly flour my work surface until I remembered Adrianne’s trick to using wax paper.  I have never rolled out dough in between wax paper, but holy moly did it work great!  I learned a new trick that’s a keeper!

I used a very thin spatula to lift the cut-outs from the wax paper and then picked off the outlying dough.

I baked them at 150 degrees for an hour on each side as instructed; however instead of drying on a rack, I just turned the oven off and left them in there overnight to fully dry out.

The edges of my little gingies were a little rough.  I just rubbed off the little crispy rough edges with my finger and they smoothed right out!

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

Pros:

Ridiculously easy.  Mixing bowl to oven in 5 minutes.

Cons:

The cinnamon smell was almost overpowering at times, however left my entire home smelling cozy and festive, so no biggie!

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

Even though I’m not a kid, I did enjoy whipping up a small batch of these cuties.  They smell great and are a cute and cozy addition to my tree!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sarah

Mission: To try my hand at a tried and true childhood holiday craft.

 

Details:

  • Again, I live at Target more than I care to admit, but this was where I picked up the two ingredients needed in the dough recipe. I picked out a Market Pantry brand homestyle applesauce and ground cinnamon. I bought two of the 2.37 oz. cinnamon jars.  Once I set up shop, I mixed the ¾ cup of applesauce with both jars of the cinnamon and began mixing with a spoon. It didn’t take long before it started to firm up to the stiffness as mentioned in the directions.
  • I love bakers twine, so that was what we used for the string on the Christmas tree ornaments as well as on the stars. I used all of the stars for a garland that now adorns our fireplace mantle this holiday season. Super cute and I can always catch a scent of cinnamon as I walk by.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollabYou may want to pick up an extra bottle of cinnamon so if your dough doesn’t seem stiff enough, just add a bit more cinnamon to the mix. Plus, you can always use this spice in your baking!

I then rolled it out between two sheets of wax paper until it was about a ¼” thick as Adrianne did. I opted to use both a Christmas tree and star shape cookie cutter for the ornaments. The trickiest part of this whole process was transferring the cutouts from the wax paper to the parchment lined cookie sheets! I didn’t loose any in the process, but it sure was close.

I like a quick end result, so I opted to bake these at 170 degrees for two hours total – flipping them at the one-hour mark. 170 degrees is the lowest temperature my oven will bake at, but it worked great. After removing them from the oven, I dried them on a rack for a full day to be sure they were well cured.

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

Pros:

Affordable and relatively easy to make gifts for teachers and friends!

Cons:

The dough got a bit sticky and hard to roll after a little bit.

We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

These were pretty easy to whip up, they smell great and bought back memories of my childhood.  I didn’t love making these, but when my kids are older, I’m sure we will do them again!

 

 We Tried It!  Cinnamon Dough!  #thecraftycollab


The lovely
Cinnamon Dough Ornaments and photo by Happy Hour Projects

 


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It’s Just Laine has just the way to bring some holiday cheer to your home with her  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars.  

 
These little jars are easy to make and promise to leave plenty of jingle in your wallet for presents!

 

Please click here to visit It’s Just Laine and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 – Alicia

Mission: To create a beautiful Christmas decoration out of jars and salt- I am in!

 

Details:

  • I had a few random Mason Jar and a glass dish/bowl that worked perfectly for this project.
  • I also found mini trees and figurines at the Dollar Store.
  • Epsom Salt can be found anywhere.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Grab your jars, use a small funnel and fill them with salt.

Use a fork or long spoon to place your trees/decorations in the jars.

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Pros:

I just love this! So easy and cheap to create.

Cons:

None!

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

I am sooooo in love with these damn jars. What a brilliant idea!

I have a few of them on my kitchen table and have gotten so many compliments. I wish I used or had more vintage looking jars, but I am happy with how it turned out.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Amanda

Mission: I set out to spread some holiday cheer using just a handful of supplies and a creative eye. Oh and a little salt!

 

Details:

  • I ended up using Coarse Kosher Salt instead of Epsom Salt because that is what I had on hand. I imagine Epsom Salt would have been a little finer and maybe looked a bit more fluffy but the Kosher Salt worked fine.
  • I had a hard time finding really tiny trees so I feel like even the small one I found felt big and took up most of the jar. I found the trees and boy pulling the sled at the local Jo-Ann.
  • I scrounged up a jar which was not as “old” and vintage as I would have liked but it did the trick.
  • I also decided to venture out a little and use a cake stand for an additional mini display for my collectible angels.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Playdough or clay comes in handy with this little project. The inside of my jar and the bottom of my cake stand were not level so I used a little squashed up playdough on the bottom of my figures and trees to help them stay put and level them out a bit too.

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Pros:

QUICK! It was crazy easy and silly fast putting these cute little holiday decorations together and really the possibilities are endless.

Cons:

Finding tiny little figurines was harder than I thought. I did discover ornaments could make a great substitute too however!

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

I will definitely use this idea in my holiday decor for years to come!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: I was excited about this project for months beforehand.  I couldn’t wait to create some tiny chilly scenes with that retro look for our holiday decor!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Don’t pre-assemble your little scene, unless you know it will fit!  I made this mistake not once, but twice.

Speaking of… for the taller jars, I think that a wider mouth works best, unless you happen to build tiny ships in bottles in your spare time.

I used a Needle Nose Pliers to place the tiny items into the jar.

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Pros:

Super easy to make and ridiculously adorable!

Cons:

None, except for the self-inflicted glue gun burns that I give myself  every damn time…

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

I am not sure that I could love these little jars more; I love having them around our home.  They will make great hostess gifts for holiday parties as well as presents for friends and family!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Sarah

Mission: To mimic the Anthropologie Christmas tree jars for far less than the cost of buying it through them!

 

Details:

  • I had one vintage blue quart size Mason Jar at home and acquired a second one from my good friend Amanda of Be Crafty Workshops, as she has a plethora of vintage craft finds! I also had another cool clear glass Atlas quart size jar that we ended up using too.
  • With some direction in my back pocket, I headed to our local Michaels crafts store to pick up the mini Christmas trees, miniature deer and other cute finds. I was super excited to search for the items needed for this project as I am obsessed with anything miniature. I have decided that anything is adorable in a tiny form! The kids and I found the last bag of the miniature deer in the store (score!) and also found some cute miniature sleighs to put in our jars.
  • We then walked next door to the grocery store as we were unable to find Epsom salt at Michaels crafts – who knew?!? Well, we came up short at the grocery store for any unscented Epsom Salt…I was feeling dizzy just smelling the lavender scented version, so that was a no-go! I ended up picking up Coarse Sea Salt for our jars and it worked perfect! It still has the snow look and the extra will come in handy while cooking.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

If you have young children, use their little silverware to help guide your miniature items in place – I used a child’s spoon.

Know that you can always substitute items within a project – the Coarse Sea Salt worked perfect instead of Epsom Salt.

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Pros:

I spent about $20 total to finish all three jars vs. the $40/large jar that Anthropologie was charging.

Cons:

A little hard to find all of the necessary items for the project, but it was just a matter of making our rounds!

It’s a little putzy to get these together – just do them when you have patience at hand. I would not recommend having your kids help with the actual creation of the project though – it was just too much.

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

An easy to create Christmas decoration project! They look adorable on our shelf and add some vintage cuteness!

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Sheri

Mission: These jars are absolutely adorable but I would never pay $40 for them. Making them myself? Why not?

 

Details:

I couldn’t get over how easy these were to do.

  • My only mistake was taking my 4-year old with me to the craft store to pick out some trees. He wanted every little animal there. We ended up getting a few deer, although I truly wanted the squirrels. Luckily all the figures were 40% off at my local Michaels craft store.
  • I already had Mason Jars on hand, so this was inexpensive project compared to those jars offered from Anthropologie.
  • I poured in my Epsom Salt first. Make sure you put a good ¾” to 1” in there so you can bed your figures in there well.

Place your figures, top the jar, and it’s done. It’s really that simple.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I used a pencil to reach down to the bottom and place my tree and deer just so.

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Pros:

Adorable and inexpensive.

Cons:

None, except cleaning up some spilled Epsom Salt.

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab

Conclusion:

I’ve already gotten wonderful compliments on my little tree jars. They’re wonderful. My kids are already asking to make more. They fit my décor perfectly.

 

We Tried It!  DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars #thecraftycollab


The darling
DIY Anthropologie Inspired Christmas Tree Jars and it’s photo by It’s Just Laine

 


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Sophisticated Yellow has an easy way to class up your glass with her darling DIY Burlap Wine Bag.

 

With the holidays upon us, what better way to add a little craftiness to the time honored gift of booze?!

 

Please click here to visit Sophisticated Yellow and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Maren

Mission: I love to gift, and sometimes the wrapping is just as special as what is inside.  This project seemed right up my alley!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

We Tried It! DIY Burlap Wine Bags!When measuring, I thought that by making mine about 14″ x 14″ that I was making the bag taller when really I was just making it wider.  Stick to Natalie’s instructions!

Fiskars Rotary Cutting Set, seriously can’t live without this, especially when dealing with fabric that wiggles around, like burlap.

After sewing my bags, I ironed the seams and made creases at the bottom to help them stand.

To keep my stencils and wine bag as flat as possible, I taped it all down to the table with Painter’s Tape.

When stenciling, it is better to have less paint on the Sponge Pouncer and just continue to lightly tap until the image is solid, rather than have more paint on the sponge and push hard.  When you go with the latter option, the paint finds its way under the stencil and your lines will turn into a blob.

We Tried It! DIY Burlap Wine Bags!

Pros:

Couldn’t be easier!

I had cracked out 5 of these in less than 30 minutes and the stenciling was done in about 10!

Cons:

The aftermath of working with burlap.

We Tried It! DIY Burlap Wine Bags!

Conclusion:

Loved it! What an easy way to make a hostess gift just a little more personal!

For the thrifty ones out there, I bet that this project is much cheaper than the wine gift bags that you can pick up in the store.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Amanda

Mission: Attack an easy sewing project that can double as a hostess gift this holiday season.

 

 

Details:

  • We Tried It! DIY Burlap Wine Bags!I purchased a yard of burlap (just in case and also in hopes I might have a little extra for a runner) that had a black zinnia print.
  • I did decide to try my Martha Stewart Fancy Script Stencils on one for a different look.
  • I chose a white acrylic paint and used a Martha Stewart Foam Pouncer to apply the paint.
  • For a closure I chose grosgrain ribbon vs. twine. I felt like it made it a little dressier.
  • I did not add the corks (although I have a serious stash of them). You could also add bells (if you were gifting during the Christmas season) or maybe even attach a gift tag instead like I did on one.
  • I started by cutting out two bags. After I made my first bag I realized I would like to see the bag be a little taller so when I cut my third I added an extra inch and a half to the height.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

 

Using a rotary blade was very handy for cutting. Burlap is a little messy and can be hard to work with so a scissor isn’t as easy and precise.

Pay close attention to the original post and the way she sewed her corners in. I did my first bag with the bag flat instead of flattening the bag so that the bottom was flat and stitching. It works but isn’t as clean as her version. I corrected this mistake with bag two and three.

I feel like Natalie’s burlap may have been a little softer than what I was working with. It would have been nice to have it look more relaxed but mine worked just fine too.

We Tried It! DIY Burlap Wine Bags!

Pros:

This project was REALLY simple with such an elegant finished piece.

I would say I am a less than average seamstress so this was right up my alley.

Cons:

I felt like I could have used a slightly longer piece than 14 ¾” which I did end up adjusting. My bag does not fold over like hers does but is still cute. This was partly due to my lack of reading and completely mistaking 4 inches for 1 when she mentions where to sew in the twine. Oops!

We Tried It! DIY Burlap Wine Bags!

Conclusion:

This is a sewing-for-dummies dream project that will have you looking like Martha in a pinch!

We Tried It! DIY Burlap Wine Bags!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #3 – Alicia

Mission: I am all about homemade gifts. These wine bags are so cute and I had to give it a shot.

 

Details:

  • I had a large amount of linen left from our leaf stamped/printed napkin project and decided to use that instead of burlap.
  • Hemp for ribbon
  • I did not thread my ribbon through the material, but wrapped it around the bottle.
  • I also decided not to use small screw eye hooks, although it looks really nice.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

The gal at Sophisticated Yellow had measurements to follow for the bags, I just eyeballed it.

I ironed my material, sewed up the bag and then added my stencil!

Pros:

A lot easier to make than anticipated.

Cons:

None- unless you cannot sew.

We Tried It! DIY Burlap Wine Bags!

Conclusion:

Who wouldn’t love a getting a bottle of wine in this cute bag?! I absolutely love it and  have decided to make a bunch more for housewarming and Christmas gifts. I will try using burlap next time.

 

 We Tried It! DIY Burlap Wine Bags!


The darling
Burlap Wine Bag and photo by Sophisticated Yellow


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CraftStylish has a project that will not only dress up your Thanksgiving table, but will have you embracing the piles of leaves in your yard as well!  
The darling Leaf Print Napkins use real leaves as a stamp in this clever DIY.

 

Since our yards were full and we can always use some pretty holiday decor, we thought we had better give this one a go!

 
 

Please click here to visit CraftStylish and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sheri

Mission: What a super cute way to jazz up the table during the holidays. I normally don’t host Thanksgiving dinner so I decided to jazz up my kitchen and use this method to make some leaf dishtowels.

 

Details:

The instructions for this project were done really well. I personally didn’t have a brayer so I just used my fingers and it worked just fine.

  • I decided on maple and oak leaves. I love the margin for variety. You can do as much as you want, and any colors you want.

I won’t lie to you. I made a bit of a mess, but overall it was easy. Just paint the leaves and transfer them to the material.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Use fresh green leaves if you can. You don’t want to use leaves that are brittle in any way.

Have a placement plan before you start putting paint on the leaves. You don’t want it to start to dry.

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Pros:

Add your own personality and flare to your dinner table and they’re super cute.

Cons:

I could just go buy a fall inspired napkins, placemats, or dishtowels….for less mess.

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Conclusion:

This little fall project was fun. The instructions were very easy to follow and I really loved the results. It has me thinking, “what else can I put leaves on?”

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission: To create a functional piece of fall décor for our home.

 

Details:

  • I chose oyster colored burlap from Joann. It is such a beautiful fabric – so simple with a natural feel.
  • I opted to do the leaf prints on a table runner vs. napkins. We rarely use cloth napkins in this house, so it just didn’t seem functional for us.  Before beginning with the project, I determined what size I wanted to make my table runner and opted to do a 3.5’ x 1.5’. It isn’t huge, but works with our table.  I was stressed out by the thought of working with burlap and sewing it, so that started this project off on the wrong foot for me. I was definitely overwhelmed but it turned out to be much easier than I thought it would be! I added a little ribbon/lace detail onto the burlap before sewing a 5/8” border to keep it from coming completely unraveled.
  • After sewing, I put my two paint colors, orange and brown, into bowls and began covering the back of my oak leaves and placing them where I wanted. I ended up only doing a few of the actual leaf prints – I’m such a minimalist with design. I do like how they turned out but know that if I had used linen or cotton that the leaf details would have been more defined.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

If the leaf doesn’t imprint as well as you intend, you can apply paint a second time and line it up again for a clearer print.

Keep calm and keep moving ahead!

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Pros:

Overall, pretty darn easy to complete and a cute idea. The leaf prints would also be a fun project with kids on paper.

Cons:

Burlap is super messy! I don’t recommend using it for this project – unless you want burlap fibers everywhere!

I don’t love the end result – it’s just a little too elementary looking for my liking.

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Conclusion:

Using this on our table this fall! We will see how it fares with my littles! It is a darling backdrop to our little pumpkins and gourds.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: Whip up some cute linens adorned with fallen leaves for our Thanksgiving table!  We’re hosting for our first time this year!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Press your leaves… sort of.  I collected my {green} leaves early in the week and put them directly into a magazine and under a book.  The following weekend was when I did my printing.  The leaves were still fresh and pliable, but they were flat as a pancake, which made them really easy to work with.

Cover your work surface really well!  I covered my table with Kraft Paper and Painter’s Tape.

I placed a clean paper towel over each leaf to keep paint off of the brayer and also off of the runner.  This worked really well!

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Pros:

Totally easy with darling results!

Cons:

Holy hell.  Burlap is the messiest thing on Earth.

This was my first experience with it and I think it may be even sneakier than glitter; I am still finding little fibers all over my house!

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Conclusion:

Great project!  I am really excited about how easy this was to do and how crisp the leaves transferred.  I am already thinking of other items to embellish!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Kristy

Mission: Super cute fall design, but instead of napkins I wanted a reusable bag for groceries.

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Iron fabric beforehand as it was difficult for me to roll over the wrinkles. I was just lazy.

I would recommend painting on a hard solid surface and purchase the brayer as it may give you a more even leaf imprint.

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Pros:

Simple, quick and cute!  Keep your leaves as they look adorable in fall decorations.

Cons:

The paint roller goofed me up, I had to push heavily down and sometimes it didn’t want to cooperate!

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Conclusion:

Cute, fall project!  Must admit it wasn’t my favorite to do but it came out great!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #5 – Alicia

Mission: Fall is my favorite time of year. To create a beautiful leaf print anything, I am in!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I decided that I wanted to make a runner for my table. I found this giant leaf at the park down the street and thought that I would stamp/transfer 3 of these to the center of my runner. HUGE FAIL!

First – be sure to practice on paper. Second – cover your surface. Paint ran through my linen onto the table. Lastly – get more than one leaf.

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Pros:

My napkins (yes napkins) turned out okay. Had to totally scrap the runner.

Cons:

Waste of material if you don’t know what you are doing.

Leaf Printing - We Tried It!

Conclusion:

This project was a total bust for me. Looks nothing like the original, beautiful post.  I had high hopes and was really excited for this to turn out. I took the time to sew a nice runner and the image did not transfer or turn out at all – so I scrapped it and made napkins out of my remaining linen. Bummer!

 

 Leaf Printing - We Tried It!


The lovely
Leaf Print Napkins and photo by CraftStylish


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If you have been searching for a gourd-free way to give your porch a festive punch, Bullfrogs & Bulldogs has your ticket!

 

The DIY Jack O’ Lantern Planter looks like just the way to get your Fall flowers into a holiday frock!

 

We couldn’t wait to give this surprisingly simple project a try!

 

Please click here to visit Bullfrogs & Bulldogs and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 – Alicia

Mission: To create a Halloween themed flower pot is right up my alley.

 

Details:

I used the same items that were used over at Bullfrogs & Bulldogs, except for the orange or rust-colored spray paint.  I skipped that step.

  • I had Terra Cotta Pots in my garage – although you could use a plastic pot
  • I picked out some Mums to plant in my pot.

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I free-handed a pumpkin image and then drew this on my pot in pencil.

Next, I painted right over the image with the black paint.  It dried very quickly and I felt that 1 coat of paint was perfect. You could certainly download an image from the web or I have also found stickers at Michael’s or Joann that could be applied directly to the pot in place of paint.

 

Pros:

This was so easy and cheap. I had most of the items on hand and clay pots coming out of my ears

Cons:

None!

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Conclusion:

Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday! I just love it. Pumpkins, spiders, bats, witches – you name it, I am in heaven.  The more rustic decorations are what I gravitate towards and this project had that rustic feel. I think it turned out great. My painting skills are not the best but it totally adds to the charm.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Maren

Mission: Add some festive charm to my front stoop that won’t be begging to get tossed in the street!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

It might work better to use a non-gloss finish.  I noticed that the glossy paint got a funky texture on the pots that didn’t entirely resolve after drying completely.  Next time, I would either go for a less vibrant color that could just be dusted on, or use a paint that could be brushed on and then sealed (also with a brush). Patience really is a virtue.  My pots have a few fingerprints on them because I just couldn’t wait to touch them.  This seems to be a recurring trend for me.

I was a little worried that the fresh paint might transfer from the bottoms of the pots to my steps, so I put a cork trivet from IKEA under each one.  Problem solved!

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Pros:

I love them!

I like the way that they brighten up our front steps while being perfectly suited for a family sans kiddos.

Cons:

It took a lot of paint to cover those pots!  I went through one whole can on two pots and two dishes.

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Conclusion:

I really like these little pots even more than I thought I would!  They look so cute on our steps.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sheri

Mission:  When I first saw this pin I thought it was a really cute way to spook up the front porch. I was hoping I could get out of carving a pumpkin this year.

 

Details:

Although I found this to be a really cute idea, I didn’t think the instructions were very well laid out. Just paint it?

First I wanted to know what kind of paint. My kids have painted terracotta pots before and when left outside they didn’t last. For a person that is not the craftiest, you need to do some research and find the right products. I went forth and found my own instructions, which of course I’ll share with you.

  • The first thing I did was sand the pot down a little bit. Scuff it up. I then wiped it down with a damp rag and let it dry.
  • Next, for those of you who plan on planting something in the pot, I applied a clear coat of spray paint. This will help prevent the pot from absorbing moisture from the soil.
  • Then the fun part, paint as you see fit. I used an Americana Gloss Enamel Paint in Black which is good on ceramics. A Valspar or Rustoleum spray paint will also work. I thought of painting the pot green and making a Frankenstein but I stuck with the traditional Jack-o-lantern.
  • Lastly, a clear coat. I sprayed the entire pot with a clear coat. After drying, I added a nice fall mum.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Sand and clear coat your pot.

Use a paint that adheres well to ceramics.

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Pros:

This is super cute and I’m hoping is lasts for next fall season as well.

Cons:

No instructions.

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

Conclusion:

Overall I really love how this project turned out. It really added a little more character to the front porch. We’re ready for some trick or treating!

 

We Tried It!  DIY Jack O' Lantern Planters

 

The darling Jack O’ Lantern Planter and photo by Bullfrogs & Bulldogs


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This Little Life of Mine has the cure to the ever popular, “Mom, I’m bored” heard from time to time in homes across the entire universe. 
Her darling Sandpaper and Crayon Transfer Designs use only one electronic device, and it’s not a computer!

 

We are always on the hunt for creative and fun activities to do with our little ones.  As the summer hours tick away, we thought we better test this clever project out stat!

 

Please click here to visit This Little Life of Mine and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #1 – Alicia

Mission: Who knew that sandpaper, crayons and an iron would create a fun project for my crazy kiddos?! What a creative idea!

 

Details:

We rolled up our sleeves and dove right into this project.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I would recommend using old crayons like Amnah mentioned, because the sandpaper will really wear them down.

Make sure you push down on the crayons and color hard on the sandpaper to make sure the transfer is vibrant.

Also, remember to run the iron over the sandpaper and cloth a few times to make sure image has transferred. I made the mistake of not doing this and had to go back and re-do it.

Caution- sandpaper and shirt are hot!!!!

Alicia - Sandpaper 1
Pros:

What a great idea!

The kids were super excited to see their masterpieces. In fact, my Son told me that we need to make “Hundreds” of them.

Cons:

If your coloring is light, it is hard to see it on the shirt.

Alicia - Sandpaper 2

Conclusion:

This is a great craft project for any age! My kids had a blast creating their T-shirts and have been hounding me to make more. They also informed me that they prefer to wear these shirts to bed over their regular PJ’s.  Oh boy!!! (Insert eye roll). I might also mention that they are still currently wearing their T-Shirts and it is the next day. This will be a long, stinky week!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Amanda

Mission: Keep my daughter busy with a craft she can proudly wear!

 

 

Details:

  • I purchased a white, cotton V-neck shirt from Target (my favorite place to find cheap but quality kids clothes).
  • We used Crayola Crayons and medium grit sandpaper.

I instructed my daughter to choose a design that didn’t have any letters or numbers (since they would be backwards) but let her have creative freedom over the design otherwise. She went at it!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Choose crayon colors that are deep and vibrant. It seemed like the lighter and even medium tones didn’t really show as well.

I cannot stress enough that it is really important to color heavily on the sandpaper in order for the transfer to come out clear.

Amanda - Sandpaper 1

Pros:

This project is SO perfect for a rainy day or a project on the fly.

We almost always have sandpaper on hand and you could really use any lightly colored shirt or surface (think pillow cases or canvas bags).

Cons:

Our design wasn’t as bright as expected and even though I did the additional blotting with the paper towel and 20 minutes in the dryer to “set” the color, it still ended up on the sleeve and back of the shirt.

Amanda - Sandpaper 2

Conclusion:

This would be a really fun activity for a birthday party and then the kids could take them home as the favor. We will definitely do this again!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sarah

Mission: To find a fun craft project the kiddos and I can do together!

 

Details:

sandpaper_6_afterironThis project called for minimal elements, which always makes for a good kid project.

With the three kiddos, we have a TON of crayons in this house, so it was a given that we’d try this one out. My husband said we had sandpaper in the garage, but I could find it NOWHERE – go figure! And, the kids and I decided we’d do the project on canvas bags, so we visited our local JoAnn Fabrics store to find blank canvas bags and sand paper.

  • We chose tan canvas bags and found 240 grit sand paper – who knew you can find sand paper at a craft store!

The kids began the project by coloring on their sheets of sand paper – the only ones that JoAnn Fabrics had were pretty small, so the art area wasn’t too large.

I used the third sheet of sand paper to color an “M” and “S” for the kids bags.

When the kids were done with their images, I set to work ironing them onto the bags.

I had my iron on the hottest setting and set a piece of cardboard under the bag as recommended. I also used an old t-shirt on top to protect the sand paper from the heat. After about a full minute of ironing over the image area, I removed the sand paper to see how the image transferred. It wasn’t as amazing as we all had hoped. The colors were very muted and the image wasn’t very crisp.

After we were done, the kids set to work on stuffing their new bags with goodies. They are obsessed with bags these days – always filling them with toys, books, and trinkets and taking them with us everywhere!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

In hindsight, the kids didn’t push very hard when coloring, so maybe that would have helped?

Sarah - Sandpaper 1

Pros:

Purposeful item when complete – who can’t use a bag!

If the kids get tired of these, they are great for heading to the grocery store.

Cons:

The colors were very muted and the image wasn’t very crisp.

Sarah - Sandpaper 2

Conclusion:

Though a fun project for the kids to try, we didn’t have great end results, so I’m not sure that I’ll have us try it again.

I am curious as to whether using a different sand paper grit weight would bring about a better end result.

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Sheri

Mission:  I love finding fun crafts for the kids that inspire their creativity. This looked like the perfect little project, most especially for my oldest who LOVES to draw.

 

Details:

One thing I loved about this project is that it was very inexpensive and it gave the kids the chance to express themselves.

They were first surprised about sandpaper. “You mean it’s like sand on paper?”

My son decided to draw a sting ray. He was excited for our upcoming trip to the aquarium. I made sure he pressed down with above moderate force to get the crayon wax embedded into the sand.  As noted in the post, letters and numbers get transposed, do them backwards.

After he did all of his work, I went forth and did mine. I warmed the iron up on the highest setting. I found some cardboard and followed Amnah’s directions precisely. I did at least ten strokes with the iron over the design.

It transferred better than I thought it would. I then set it by putting two paper towels over the design and ironing it again. This really does help pull up any extra wax.

Into the dryer it went for 20 minutes and then onto my boy. He was thrilled to see his own design on his shirt.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Press down and really get the wax into sandpaper.

Sheri - Sandpaper 1

Pros:

The smiles were priceless.

The fact that it wasn’t a messy project, even better.

Cons:

Not sure how many washes it will hold up to (one wash and we’re still good).

Sheri - Sandpaper 2

Conclusion:

This was a fun project. My oldest already has more ideas of designs he wants to make. I better get some more sandpaper.

What I personally love about it the project is that it was inexpensive and it wasn’t messy. I also love seeing the creativity and the personal representations of themselves in their artwork.

 

 Sandpaper Conclusion


The darling
Sandpaper and Crayon Transfer Designs and photos by This Little Life of Mine


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Do you remember making forts when you were a kid like we do?  Our hearts fluttered when we saw the A-Frame Pup Tent by Lindsay & Drew thinking about how much fun it would have been to have a fun little spot like that!

 

Time to bust out some power tools and make a tent!  Next stop, a campfire with cowboys in the desert, or maybe we’ll be astronauts building a house on the Moon!

 

Please click here to visit Lindsay & Drew and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: Put my hubby to work (and his power tools) to create a playful little hide out that my kids will enjoy and will be easy to store.

 

Details:

  • I busted out an old flannel flat sheet of my daughter’s for this project. In our house flat sheets are not our friends so we put it to good use. It was twin size and perfect for this project.
  • I put my hubby in charge of purchasing the other supplies and although I was VERY specific he still felt the need to deviate and purchased a larger PVC tube. He of course gave that a try and realized that as usual I was correct in my original request. Never cross a momma on a mission!
  • We ended with the same materials used in the original post plus a little coupling to hold the wood in place and keep the tent a little more stable.

Amanda - Tent 1

Tips & Tricks Learned:

The coupling made a huge difference! I highly suggest it.

Also, it is key that you attach the inner wood piece to the inside of the A-frame and not the bottom. It will keep the whole thing more stable and may actually reduce the need for the coupling.

You may need to sand the inside of the whole slightly in order to fit the PVC inside it. That was our experience anyway.

Amanda - Tent 2

Pros:

The materials needed are fairly cheap and easy to find.

I felt it was such a bonus to use old sheets but I bet you could find them on the cheap at a second-hand store!

Think of all the fun your kids could have inside on a rainy day or outside when it is hot.

Cons:

I am not all that comfy with power tools so I left that part up to my hubby.

I would be very interested in learning how to use them…maybe in my next life.

Amanda - Tent 3

Conclusion:

This was a huge success.  Now to build two more so my kids will stop fighting over the one we have already built.

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #2 – Alicia

Mission: Create a cool, foldable tent for my kids!

 

Details:

I was super excited to give this a try- how hard could it be to make an A-frame tent?! Apparently HARD!!! Holy-heck this project was a pain in my rear.

I carefully read all the directions and set out to Home Depot for supplies.

  • I guess I was totally not paying attention and purchased 3 1×1” boards (which required 1×2),
  • ¾” PVC pipe, caps and my hubby’s brawn to saw and attach. Yeah right!

So we begin to drill and noticed that the PVC pipe is ¾” in the middle and about 1” total in diameter. My hubby has a ¾’ drill bit and there was no way, even with wiggling the drill bit back and forth, it would fit. Back to Home Depot to purchase a 1” drill bit at $15 bucks- oh gesh! At this point I think Mark is about to leave me- seriously!

Alicia - Tent 1

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Make sure, absolutely sure that you get all the correct boards and measurements for this job. It is pretty intense.

If you do purchase smaller boards, be careful not to split the wood with your drill (which totally happened to us). Home Depot loved us that week.

Alicia - Tent 2

Pros:

The final product is really cool.

Cons:

It is a little advanced for me. Not as easy as I thought.

Also, this tent is huge. I mean 5 feet long HUGE, but it does fold up.

Alicia - Tent 3

Conclusion:

I think I bit off a little more than I could chew with this project. Mark pretty much took this project over from start to finish. I think I attached the caps and helped staple on the fabric. My kids’ absolutely love it, though. My son has been under this thing for days; he has even been sleeping under it.

 

 Tent Conclusion


The darling
A-Frame Pup Tent and photo by Lindsay & Drew


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Sick of the pastel pile on that is the current Bunny repertoire?

 

Oh Joy! has given the Easter egg-dying tradition a makeover with her {EVERYDAY PARTY} NEON DIP-DYED EGGS…

 

Please click here to visit Oh Joy! and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Sheri

Mission:  Make some fun, vibrant neon eggs…with going to the drugstore to get a PAAS kit.

 

 

Details:

I have to admit, I didn’t include my kids in making these. I didn’t have the patience.
I ended up using gel food coloring, instead of regular food coloring. 1 tsp of gel food coloring did the job. Just make sure you whisk it well.

  • ½ cup of hot tap water
  • 1 tsp of white vinegar
  • 1 tsp of gel food coloring

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Don’t rush; make sure the eggs are dry and cool.

Definitely wear rubber gloves!

Clear Plastic 9-Ounce Party Cupswould be perfect for this project.

Sheri - Eggs 1

Pros:

Very, very easy to do and inexpensive.

Cons:

Feeling guilty for not including my kids.

In order to get a vibrant half-colored egg, you have to stand there and hold the egg straight up for quite a while.

Sheri - Eggs 2

Conclusion:

I will definitely be doing this again with my kids…when I don’t want my eggs looking picture perfect.

It was easy and inexpensive. Yes, it can be messy, but any kind of dyeing of Easter eggs is!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Kristy

Mission: Have some fun on an activity I haven’t done since I was a kid!

 

Details:

  • Bought a package of liquid Neon Food Color and the old school egg dying kit
  • Used a cake rack for drying
  • I didn’t have regular vinegar on hand so I used Apple Cider Vinegar

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Have patience…I failed at this!

Wear gloves, my hands looked a mess after! Be careful on anything you touched…the dye may stain (although then you could try out the Homemade Shout Stain Remover)!

Kristy - Eggs 1

Pros:

Fun and easy project! Can’t wait to do this once I have kids.

Loved the vibrant, neon colors and the vinegar is supposed to make it even brighter!

Cons:

If you are looking for perfection you must have patience!  I didn’t have patience to wait for a deep color or to let the eggs dry 15 minutes between dipping.

 Kristy - Eggs 2

Conclusion:

Definitely had fun with this project!  Mike joined me and was getting into the different colors!

Great project for kids…just be careful with the dyes!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sarah

Mission: To create some adorable Easter eggs with the kids.

 

Details:

First off, my son was beyond excited to try this – he had been asking to open the dye for days! So, once my youngest went down for her nap, we set up shop and got going.

  • fingerstainingI was able to find the PAAS Color Cupsand the neon food coloring easier than I expected and of course found them both at my second home, good ol’ Super Target. Seriously, I live at this place and sometimes more than I am at home. It is one of the few places I can take all three children and keep them contained as I shop.
  • After placing a paper bag on the table and taping it down with masking tape, I prepped the colors as specified. The neon food coloring I found was a four pack of purple, pink, teal and orange. The kids dunked their eggs all the way under for an all over color result while I tried unsuccessfully at making mine more mod with white space and such.
  • I hadn’t expected the neon dyes to stain – but should have read the label on the food coloring a bit further. My son put almost his entire hand into the teal dye and will have Smurf fingers for a few days.
  • When we were pleased with our dying job, we then set the eggs on a cookie rack over a muffin pan to dry.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Follow her directions and use rubber gloves if you want to avoid any staining of your hands. If I haven’t mentioned before, I am sometimes horrible at following directions to a “T”, and I grazed over this mention somehow! Oops!

Sarah - Eggs 1

Pros:

Beautiful and intense colors when finished – just gorgeous!

These bright colors make me so excited for spring and the Easter holiday.

Cons:

The food coloring will stain your fingers and clothes, so be prepared for that if you are working with wee ones.

I tried using the egg dipper at first, but it just wasn’t working well for me so I resorted to my hands…hence more staining.

Sarah - Eggs 2

Conclusion:

These don’t look like my momma’s Easter eggs! This project was such a fun spin on a tried and true tradition for this holiday. You must give this one a try! Plus, having fun colored hard-boiled eggs helps to get your kiddos to eat them up!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #4 – Alicia

Mission: To create beautiful vibrant Easter Eggs with a few household ingredients.

 

Details:

This was very easy to follow!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I happened to run into Easter egg dipping cups for $.99 at Menards. These cups were great for holding the vinegar, water and dyes and can be reused!

The original directions called for t-pins, foam and brown paper bags. I do not use any of these items. I covered my work surface with wax paper and used my cake drying rack. This worked perfectly!

Also, the longer you leave the egg in the dye mixture, the more vibrant your color will be. I left my eggs in the mixture for about 10 minutes max.

Alicia - Neon Eggs 1

Pros:

Very east to follow the directions. The eggs turned out vibrant and colorful.

Cons:

The dye mixture stains! Be sure to wear gloves and cover your work area. The tips of my fingers were purple for days.

Alicia - Neon Eggs 2

Conclusion:

I couldn’t be more pleased with how my eggs turned out. I love bright colors. It reminds me that Spring is on its way!

Although, my kids were desperate to get involved and help, I decided that this project was best left to the adults because of the staining factor.

Happy Easter!

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Katie

Mission: Create Easter eggs in Spring’s hottest hues: NEON!!

 

 

Details:

  • Gather supplies, most of which I had at home: white vinegar, eggs, Neon Food Coloring, containers to place eggs in for dying, a drying rack, newspaper, and gloves to protect your fingers from becoming neon, too!
  • Boil the eggs, let cool and then get to dipping!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Follow suggested amount of dye…I used probably half as many drops as suggested and my neon colors were muted…but still pretty!

Martini glasses used to hold each dye color worked really well for this project!

Katie - Eggs 1

Pros:

Who doesn’t love dying eggs for Easter?

Cons:

NONE!

Katie - Eggs 2

Conclusion:

This childhood favorite is still fun! The possibilities are endless…let your creative juices flow!

 

 Neon Eggs Conclusion

 

The lovely NEON DIP-DYED EGGS and their photo by Oh Joy!


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Move over Pottery BarnThe Crafting Chicks have made the most adorable Felt Valentine Envelopes to fill with sweets for their sweeties this Valentine’s Day.

 

Since we a.) love felt b.) love holidays and c.) love our sweeties, this project was right up our alley!

 

Please click here to visit The Crafting Chicks and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: Get my hot glue gun out and make something purdy that my kids will love year after year.

 

Details:

This little project was fun because I recently finished another felt project (mermaid tails for my kiddos) and it inspired me to go wild and pick up some embellishments like sequins,  ric rac, felt hearts and felt heart stickers.

  • I purchased all of my supplies at Joann and since some of them were purchased previously I could only estimate that I spent roughly $15.00.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

HelpersA toothpick will save your life. Okay maybe not your life but for sure your fingertips! I decided after the first few lines of rick-rac that my fingers were not going to make it through this project so I busted out one of my fancy appetizer toothpicks (they are thicker and more sturdy). It worked beautifully and allowed me to really push the embellishments into the felt without severe burns.

I also advise that if you have not worked with felt and a hot glue gun before beware of the amount of glue you use. Less is more! You will find that if you have too much glue when putting your envelope together it will show through and you will then be forced to cover it with some kind of decorative embellishment.

I used my handy Rotary Cutter whenever possible and it worked SO WELL! I am really anal about this and found that it created the easiest straight line with little effort and zero frustration. After the first round of measuring and cutting I had it down pat but since I had two helpers my concentration was limited. Good thing this was pretty easy to fudge if I measured incorrectly in some areas. I ended up cutting one of the envelopes down just a little to get everything to line up and it was just fine!

Amanda - Valentine 1

Pros:

Cheap, cheerful and really just a sweet tradition to fill every year for Valentine’s Day.

I am considering making one for each of my kids teachers too, since I still have felt and embellishments left over.

Cons:

The only con I can come up with is just the hot glue gun being a little messy but I think if I upgraded to a proper crafting glue gun, things would be so much easier!

Amanda - Valentine 2

Conclusion:

Loved this project and the idea behind it. I think it would have been nice to have had stiffer felt but using some that I already had was just so handy.

I recommend this to anyone with a loved one that they like to give goodies to on Valentine’s or any holiday really. You could change up the colors and embellishments. It would be fun to do a birthday envelope too!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission: I always find wonderful and fun things for the kids when I am skimming through the Pottery Barn Kids catalog. They always have the best holiday gifts. I always tell the boys that the best gift ever is love. Not toys…just love. We like to have a little valentine celebration each year to remember that. These envelopes are perfect for our party. Much like Christmas stockings and Easter baskets, I can fill these envelopes with notes of love, and remind them how special they are. I might even sneak in a couple of chocolates.

Details:

While embarking on this project I really wanted to make my envelopes a little more masculine. I found this great red felt that had an alligator skin texture. The boys loved it!

The instructions provided by The Crafting Chicks were easy to follow. A bit tedious having to measure everything seeing I was making 3 envelopes, but it went by faster than I presumed.

Once the envelopes were put together (thank you hot glue!), we got to be creative. I let the kids pick out their own decorations.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Don’t try gluing the entire envelop at once… one half at a time so the glue stays hot.

Sheri - Valentine 1

Pros:

Now need to sew! Thank you hot glue gun.

Cons:

Pulling all the little spare hot glue strands off everything! Darn you hot glue gun.

Sheri - Valentine 2Conclusion:

I actually really enjoyed making these and the kids love them! They can’t wait for our Valentine’s Day party. The project actually got me missing cross-stitching. I haven’t done that since I was kid. I can’t wait to hang them and fill them with little notes and some Hershey Kisses. They are now requesting I get more alligator felt to make stuffed animals…I’m frightened, that requires sewing.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Sarah

Mission: To create a darling Valentine envelope for my kiddos’ sweet valentines.

 

Details:

inprocessI LOVE felt! So, this project was one I was pumped about from the beginning! And, I LOVE using my glue gun, so again, a great project!

  • I picked up all of my felt supplies and adornments at Joann. I grabbed the traditional Valentine colors for the felt and I found some great gold sequins, felt sticker embellishments and ric rac.
  • I began the process by cutting out my felt to the correct shapes according to the directions. I was unable to find the larger sheets of felt, so our envelopes were made of three 9 x 12” felt sheets, which worked great!
  • After prepping the envelope forms, I let the kids go to town with the felt stickers – they would place them and then I would adhere them with the hot glue gun. The kids then picked out what ric-rack and sequin details they wanted and I helped by gluing them on as well.
  • These were done in no time, though the kids wanted to continue to add stickers to theirs which is why some of them turned out a bit chaotic. After we were finished, I added lace to the back so they could be hung in our home.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Felt is very forgiving, so don’t stress if things are cutting perfectly.

If you want to do this with your children, pick up some of the felt stickers – this allowed the kids to have a big part in the creation.

Sarah's Sweeties

Pros:

You can use your hot glue gun – I have an addiction to mine!!

And, these turn out adorable and are a great parent & kid craft project!

The kids had a BLAST with this project and have been toting them around the house since we made them. Though my kids won’t receive many Valentines this year since they aren’t school age, it was a great project!

Cons:

I honestly can’t think of any. If I were more skilled in hand sewing, I would have tried the hand-stitch for another cute finished look.

Sarah Valentine 2

Conclusion:

I absolutely LOVE the end result and even made an extra one to send to my niece for Valentine’s Day!

 

 

Alicia - TCCReviewer #4 – Alicia

Mission: Felt project again? My lucky day!

 

envelope openDetails:

This project came together very quickly and very inexpensive.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

This project is pretty straightforward. You could certainly use your sewing machine to create smooth edges, but not necessary.

Pros:

Quick and easy and the different possibilities are endless!

Cons:

None! Although I am not great at making a straight line with hot glue.

Alicia Valentine 2

Conclusion:

What a great project! Who doesn’t love getting mail, especially in a cute envelope! I have decided to make one of these envelopes for each of my kids, 4 Nieces and 2 Nephews. 8 total! Well, maybe that might be a lot of work.

 

Valentine Conclusion

 

The lovely Felt Valentine Envelopes and it’s photo by The Crafting Chicks


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PlaydoughRecipe.org has a nearly 20 recipes for homemade playdough to share.  We were excited to learn about their Jello Playdough which uses the fruity gelatin to add light color and a yummy aroma.

 

With cold temps outside and antsy kids inside, this sounded like a recipe for a fun afternoon!

 

Please click here to visit PlaydoughRecipe.org and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sheri

Mission: Attempting to make my own play-dough for the first time ever. The boys’ school has sent a homemade play-dough recipe home with us every year but we’ve never made it. However, this recipe was different, this recipe called for Jello. It’s going to smell yummy. I must admit I was a bit frightened after our disappointment when we made our own finger paints.

Details:

I read the instructions multiple times before starting. I decided NOT to include the kids in this one. The recipe scared me a bit. It let me know that there was a large margin for failure. What I got out of it…keep stirring and don’t burn it!

  • I chose Melon-Burst Jello. It smelled good and was a light color that let me make the dough blue and green dough, as the kids requested.
  • I first combined all of the ingredients in a bowl.
  • I then put the ingredients in a sauce pan and kept stirring, and stirring, and stirring some more. Sip of wine, stir some more. Finally it started to tighten up and form a ball.
  • I dumped it onto wax paper to cool. As I examined the blob I began to think I should have let it cook a little bit more, it looked a bit sticky. Well it didn’t just look sticky, it was sticky. I ended up adding quite a bit of flour to it to tighten it up.
  • Then I added gel food coloring. I was worried that this would end up staining the kids’ hands when they played with it, but it didn’t.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Adding flour while kneading will help to tighten it up, also gel food coloring works fantastic for this project.

Sheri - Playdough 1

Pros:

It smells really good and it wasn’t difficult to make.

Cons:

If you don’t get it just right, it’s rather sticky and a waste.

Sheri - Playdough 2

Conclusion:

Well we definitely have some great melon smelling play-dough! Logan keeps putting it up to his nose.

I’m not thrilled with the consistency, I think I should have left it on the heat a little longer, but they don’t seem to mind. They were able to work with it and build their snowmen and reptiles.

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission: To create some fun with my kids and have an activity to entertain them.

 

Details:

This household LOVES playdough – seriously, my kids are infatuated with it! We have made lots of homemade playdough before and I always keep some in the fridge on-hand for them to play with. My tried and true playdough recipe uses Kool-Aid as a color addition – and it adds great flavor for those kids that eat it! Come on, who hasn’t tried it before?!? I was excited to try this version using Jello instead of Kool-Aid

  • I had everything on-hand already the day we made this, which always gets a project going on the right foot.
  • We had Black Cherry Jello, so our playdough turned a deep pink hue.
  • The steps were very easy to follow and it came together very quickly and easily. My kids were playing with their new playdough in no time!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Let your playdough sit a bit to cool before you begin kneading it into the floured surface – it is very hot!

Sarah - Playdough 1

Pros:

Quick, easy, cheap and a fun activity for you and your kids.

Cons:

The use of Jello made our playdough a bit softer than we are used to.

This isn’t necessarily a con, but something I noticed as a difference to our previous playdough.

Sarah - Playdough 2

Conclusion:

So much fun! My kids played with it for at least an hour using their fun rolling pin, cookie cutters and their darling imaginations. We will be making it again!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Amanda

Mission: Try out a new playdough recipe that the kiddos can enjoy and that isn’t too much work to make.

 

Details:

  • I used Strawberry Jello, although the flavor really didn’t matter since I was already planning to add food coloring, too.
  • My kids (and by “kids” I mean me) LOVE color so I kicked it up a notch by adding a couple drops of Wilton Neon Gel Food Color in Magenta. As you can see we are talking BRIGHT folks!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I did not dirty an additional bowl by pre-mixing all of my ingredients before putting them in the pan and deeply regret this. I think it added a lot of extra stirring in the cooking process. I definitely suggest following the instructions precisely!

Amanda - Playdough 1

Pros:

The texture was lovely as was the smell! Sweet and fruity thank to the Strawberry Jello.

Cons:

I did not enjoy the stirring process that cooking on the stove required.

My go-to playdough recipe involves the microwave and my KitchenAid mixer. I do prefer that method but really wanted to give this one a shot.

Also, after only a couple of weeks the playdough grew some fiercely disgusting mold and I had to toss it. My go-to recipe has NEVER molded.

Amanda - Playdough 2

Conclusion:

I do not think I will be making this one again only because I already have a recipe that I have had great success with in the past with much less work.

I did like the idea that all of the ingredients were edible. My go-to recipe happens to call for baby oil, so that would be a point for the Jello version!

 

Playdough Conclusion

 

The lovely Jello Playdough and it’s photo by PlaydoughRecipe.org


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While searching for terrific gift ideas, we stumbled upon The 36th Avenue’s darling Number Stenciled Mugs!  This terrific tutorial looks like it has truly gift-worthy results!

We couldn’t wait to give stenciling a try!

 

Please click here to visit The 36th Avenue and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: Throw my hat in the ring with all the other fools and make myself a mustache mug (numbers are cool but mustaches are cooler).

 

Details:

Products that I used: 

I knew from the start that I wanted to create something quirky and fun. Morning coffee just better with a chuckle! I was inspired to create my own stencil from this post on Young House Love. They were making their own stencil for a glass etching project but I figured this would work similarly for this project as well.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be prepared for a little clean up. Also, don’t hold your breath as you pull the stencil off. You might pass out! It gets a little intense for a moment as you peel the tape back but as I learned, using a pin head or the end of your X-Acto knife you can clean up any mess in no time at all.

Amanda - Mugs 1

Pros:

You could seriously customize anything with this method! I love the idea of creating a simple gift on the cheap.

The 36th Avenue did a fantastic job on writing up this little DIY so I didn’t encounter anything unexpected.

Cons:

Not really a project con but my own personal con. I used a Martha Stewart paint that essentially self-cures in 21 days. This is way too long for me! I already went out and purchased a new ceramic paint and plan to use that on future mug projects.

Keep your fingers crossed that my mustache mug doesn’t get some serious grooming on its first wash (in 21 days of course).

Amanda - Mugs 2

Conclusion:

The next stenciled mugs are already in the works! I plan to make one for my daughter’s teacher, my grandma and also one for my sister. Mug love all around!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission: I thought this would be a great way to personalize our mugs, and an even better idea for a holiday gift with a personal touch. A personalized mug filled with chocolates!?

 

Details:

I read the directions. And then I read them again. I really didn’t want to screw this up, but somehow I managed to screw it up on the first try.

  • I cleaned the surface of the mug and applied the stencil. I think the key is to have an adhesive stencil. I used these great stencils by Folk Art. I can’t imagine trying to do a curved surface any other way. Make sure it’s applied very well to prevent any bleeding.
  • Next, dab the paint. I purchased the same paint used by The 36th Avenue. As Desiree says, “tap, tap, tap.”
  • Remove the stencil IMMEDIATELY. Yeah, I was too busy reading the back of the paint bottle and tending to the whining dog. When I removed the stencil…the paint came up with it. Darn it! (that’s not actually what came from my mouth)
  • I got it right with my second go around. Seriously easy.
  • The pin trick – super awesome. Works great, but you really need a steady hand.
  • It only takes 30 minutes in the oven at 350° to cure it. Then it’s washable!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Rubbing alcohol works great to remove the paint from the mug. If you make a mistake, you can quickly fix it and try again.

 Sheri - Mugs 1

Pros:

Easy, inexpensive, and didn’t take much time at all.

Cons:

Not really any…unless the paint bleeds under the stencil. Working with a little pin can cramp your hand.

Sheri - Mugs 2

Conclusion:

Overall this was a pretty quick and easy project, aside from my little mishap of course. I must admit I was a little nervous about washing them, but they turned out just fine. I’ve added a little laughter and love to my morning coffee. I’m thinking of getting some more mugs and putting dinosaurs on them for the boys to enjoy with their hot chocolate! I think they would just love it.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: Whip up some cute, personalized drinkware to enjoy some holiday cheer!  If this project is a winner, guess what you’re getting for your next gift… everyone!!

 

Details:

DIY Stencil a la Young House Love (Amanda told me about this great tutorial after I told her that I was longing for a doxie mug):

Tips & Tricks Learned:

OoopsiesOkay, so since I did this project a couple of different ways, I have a few tricks to share for each variation!

Sticky stencil: These work the best when you rinse them off after each impression.  A pain, but you’ll love the results!

Non-sticky stencil: I don’t recommend it!  Even when securing with painter’s tape, it didn’t work.  Boo.  If you don’t believe me, check out the “snowflake” blob example at the right.

DIY Stencil a la Young House Love: LOVED this!  Such an awesome idea!  It worked like a charm, but make sure that you use your fingernail to super-press down along the edges of your design.  If you don’t do this, the paint will bleed out of the perimeter of your design.

ALL Methods: While The 36th Avenue’s pin trick worked well, I preferred to clean up my edges with a small, lightly dampened angle brush.  I was able to remove goofs as well as sort of “push” the goofed paint back where it belonged!

Less is more!  You’ll get more bubbles in the paint the more paint you use, as well as the more that you “Pounce”!  Go easy on it!

Clean your surface first with rubbing alcohol, as we learned from our Enamel Vase project!  Having said that, it is really hard to keep from touching the mug all over after you clean off the surface.  Fingers crossed that my paint doesn’t peel off.

Maren - Mugs Doxie 1

 

Maren - Mugs Doxie 2

Pros:

Any way you try it, this project is awesome!  It didn’t take very long and looks great!

These suckers are gift-worthy!

Cons:

As my first go-round with stencils, I biffed the sticky stencil method about 4 times before it passed the OCD test.

This isn’t even a “Con” because you can just quickly wash the paint off, wipe with more rubbing alcohol and try again!

Martha!  Why do you make me wait 21 days to wash this?  I sure hope that they really are dishwasher safe!

Maren - Mugs White

Conclusion:

I love stenciling!  I can’t wait to make more mugs and stencil all sorts of things for our new house!

Also, as a huge fan of the monogram, I am really looking forward to making some truly personalized gifts for housewarming parties, wedding showers and new neighbors!

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Kristy

Mission: To spice up my boring white coffee mugs with a little simple design.

 

Details:

  • Headed straight to Michaels with my 50% coupon on hand for vinyl stencil stickers. Yay! Now the hard part, I loathe making decisions….Martha had a huge stencil selection so I stayed for about 15 minutes trying to decide which one! I decided on letters that match my cute monogrammed kitchen towels. Luckily I had the coupon, those vinyl stencils were $16.99. Ouch!
  • I went to my handy dandy stash of black Folk Art paint in Licorice and a small paint brush.
  • Stressing again on my design, Mike suggested using both our initials. So I ended up with an E and an H. We will both be equally represented in this household!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Use rubbing alcohol on the mug before painting and to clean your stencils after painting.  We learned this very important trick when we tried and failed and tried again at our Enamel Painted Vases.

I wasn’t the best at removing the stickers so I had a few mess ups.  Quick fix: once dried…just take a paper clip end to remove extra paint. Now be careful when painting don’t put too much or the paper clip may take off more than you would like.

Kristy - Mugs 1

Pros:

Simple, quick and cute! Loved it!

Cons:

I am a dishwasher type of gal and I think these mugs may no longer be safe for this.

Despite the baking, I am nervous they make scratch so I’ll be sure to hand wash.

Kristy - Mugs 2

Conclusion:

Overall this was an easy project and quick to complete.  The most time consuming part was centering the initial.  Now I am considering doing Christmas mugs for gifts!  This would be perfect gifts for my clients, as well as, friends and family. Being a Louisiana gal, I think some cute Fleur de lis mugs would be my next project for my place…maybe even on bowls!  Just a thought!

 

Mug Conclusion

 

The lovely Number Stenciled Mugs and their photo by The 36th Avenue


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I’m With Cupcake has shared a terrific tutorial on mitered corners with their DIY Napkin tutorial.

With the help of Lindsey from Hot Polka Dot, I’m With Cupcake lets us in on the secret to perfect corners!

 

Please click here to visit I’m With Cupcake and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: To ACTUALLY sew. Just saying that makes me sweat.

 

 

Details:

I decided that since sewing is not really “my thing” I was going to make the most out of this while also being incredible lazy (pattern forming here…). I opted to create the “Perfect Edge” on a piece of fabric I was using for another Crafty Collaborative project. So I basically created a little rectangle with very little purpose but it was just the right size for my first attempt.

  • I used a cotton fabric (fat quarter I acquired from a random fabric store visit with my mom and sister who are much better at this than I) with an adorable elephant print.
  • I attempted to measure properly for each side but ended up sort of eye-balling it (I am actually very accurate this way).
  • I was also using a Singer sewing machine, that is older than, me from the 70’s (I am still quite youthful so this is saying a lot!).
  • My thread choices were light but didn’t match perfectly. I chose a pale lilac and white. Again being lazy I made these choices based on the fact that I would have to attempt to fill a new bobbin if I didn’t just go mismatched (I actually did attempt and pictures are featured in this post about my epic fail).

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be PATIENT. Also it is okay to throw out an f*bomb here or there. In fact I highly recommend it otherwise you might actually get physical with the machine and that never ends well. Definitely read the directions and look closely at the pictures because they really do give you the best idea on how things should look step by step. I didn’t realize I could let the corner overlap a bit creating a smoother, more polished finish.

Pros:

Not NEARLY as hard as I thought it would be! Written well, even for a novice like myself.

Cons:

There really were not any cons. I found this project to be very realistic and the instructions very clear. Visuals are key though!

Conclusion:

An excellent first sewing project for someone like myself and I may venture into doing a few little cloth napkins next. Watch out kids because matching jammies could be on the horizon!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Janet

Mission: Whip up a little something for my home with a perfect corner!  It’s always great to learn new (and easier) ways to get great results!

 

Details:

  • I read the instructions, and decided right away that I would have no use for fabric napkins. Instead, I would make a dish towel for my kitchen.
  • I have a lot of extra fabric scraps from past sewing projects, so I dug through those first before running to the craft store. Alas, I came across a floral linen fabric that would be perfect for this project!! Sweet success!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I would suggest eye-balling (a technical sewing term) the ¼” fabric press, as it can be cumbersome to have it measured out perfectly. If you’re a perfectionist, which I am not, use a small ruler.

Have fun! Sewing can always be frustrating when you are a beginner, so go into any sewing project with an open mind and be sure to know that it probably won’t be perfect, but that just means it has character.

If you want to make a kitchen towel like I did, I cut the fabric to 17” x 24”.

Pros:

Such a great sewing technique to learn, I’m sure I will use this technique again.

Super easy, definitely a good project for a beginner! Good way to use extra fabric.

Cons:

The fabric I used isn’t ideal for a towel, but I was successful at not having to make a trip to the craft store!

Conclusion:

Overall, a quick and easy project to whip out. I don’t see any use with fabric napkins, but could see it would be fun to make them for a special occasion or a holiday meal.

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Katie

Mission: Make napkins in any print/fabric of your choice

 

 

Details:

This was my very first attempt at sewing….ever.

I received the fantastic brother as a birthday gift. I got very frustrated trying to create the mitered corners per the instructions…it’s me, not the instructions…I’m terrible with anything resembling math, especially geometry and so I modified the way that I cut the corners. They are not the “perfect edge” but look just fine from the front side of the fabric.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I didn’t use the pins. I forgot all about them.

Pros:

There are endless possibilities for fabric choices; great décor piece to customize for party themes, gifts, etc.

Cons:

For a truly beginner sewer, it seemed like a lot of effort for a napkin.

Conclusion:

I’m sure with more practice, this would be a super quick and easy project to make for any occasion.

 

 

 

The darling DIY Napkin and it’s photo by Lindsey of Hot Polka Dot

 

P.S.  Try kicking this project up a notch by adding your own touch.  Check out our Stamped Napkins Review


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Calico Skies has shared a super neat tutorial on how to create your own DIY Screen Print Tee.  With simple materials, your own design can grace your garb!

Always searching for new ways to inspire our inner fashionista, we were ready to give screen printing a try!

 

Please click here to visit Calico Skies and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Amanda

Mission: Create a semi-professional looking screen print for my dino loving middle child.

 

 

Details:

  • 6″ Plastic Embroidery Hoop
  • Mod Podge Original Gloss Finish
  • Martha Stewart High Gloss Beetle Black
  • Bing image of T-Rex
  • In the original post she used nude panty hose but all I had was black and with the help of a metallic pen that worked out just fine.

    Tips & Tricks Learned:

    The Mod Podge application goes on the side of the embroidery hoop that will lay flush with the item you are printing on. I think that doing a couple of coats may help make the image a little more clear too.

    I would suggest picking a basic shape for your first attempt. I think the image I chose was a little more advanced for this amateur screen printer.

    Getting the nylons really tight on the embroidery hoop is key! I feel like my first attempt it was a little loose. I plan to correct this issue the next time I try this.

    Pros:

    Not too many supplies needed that you may not have. I did have to purchase the embroidery hoop but that was it. Not bad for creating a unique looking t-shirt.

    Cons:

    Live and learn. Sadly if you LOVE the shirt you are printing on you may be disappointed with a less than perfect result. I felt better after doing a little test print on a piece of paper before making it “happen” on my little guy’s shirt.

    Conclusion:

    I already have a unicorn in the works for my daughter and niece. I can’t wait to see if my little adjustments make a difference. This could be an addicting craft for sure…I may run out of surfaces!

     

     

    Reviewer #2 – Sarah

    Mission: To doll up some plain T’s and try my hand at screen printing!

     

    Details:

    • I was racking my brain as to what I should do for a t-shirt design and finally landed on going with a CrossFit inspired design. If I haven’t mentioned before, I CrossFit and I am OBSESSED!!! After a bit of research, I landed on a design with a kettle bell – I love me some kettle bell!
    • Outside of purchasing the embroidery hoop, the Mod Podge and the t-shirts, I had the remaining elements on hand.
    • I used the Martha Stewart Crafts satin all-in-one paint and my favorite Martha Stewart paint brushes.
    • Maren had lots of panty hose handy (don’t ask!) so she supplied those.

    Tips & Tricks Learned:

    A few of us Crafty Collaborative gals got together to start this lovely craft, though we weren’t able to finish them together since it was a bit of a time suck. I tell you – that Mod Podge takes a hell of a long time to dry!!! And, if you want your edges to be PERFECT…you better plan on doing a few coats.

    After completing this craft, I’d recommend using a fabric only paint vs. an all-in-one paint. The Martha Stewart Crafts all-in-one paint is fantastic, but I had a bit of trouble with my red heart bleeding (no pun intended!) after the first wash.

    In addition, I would recommend not putting the paint on super thick if you are using a thin shirt/fabric as mine bled through causing it to become rough and folded when I was wearing it.

    Make sure when you are doing this that you put the Mod Podge on the side of the hose that will be lying flat against your fabric surface. AND, most importantly, if you are doing any sort of typeface, make sure you place it on so that when you screen print, it will read correctly and not backwards – this took me awhile to figure out.

    Pros:

    A fun way to dress up an old t-shirt or show off your favorite things in a wearable form!

    Cons:

    This project took longer than I had planned due to the application of many layers of Mod Podge as I was pretty finicky in applying it wanted to end up with clean edges.

    Conclusion:

    I was excited about this project and enjoyed doing the process, but wasn’t as excited with the outcome as I had hoped. I’d love to try this again sometime, but will modify a bit. And, if I for some reason I plan to do a lot of screen printing in the future, I may just find myself a Gocco screen printer online!

     

     

    Reviewer #3 – Janet

    Mission: First thoughts on the project: Looking at the instructions, I figured that Lauren on Calico Skies was making it look way cooler/easier/beautiful than it really was going to turn out. Honestly, I wasn’t looking forward to this project.

     

    Details:

    • I had an embroidery hoop, but thought it would be too small for my project. I purchased a humongous one, which I actually didn’t even end up using, because the small one worked perfectly.
    • Thanks to all of the other TCC projects, I already had acrylic paint (Martha Stewart’s Wedding Cake in satin), Mod Podge, and brushes on hand.
    • I used a green tee that I already had in my closet from this summer and Maren provided the hosiery at our TCC gathering!

    Tips & Tricks Learned:

    Figure out your design before you buy an embroidery hoop so you know what size to get.

    I suggest three to four layers of Mod Podge so you don’t miss any spots.

    Don’t select an intricate design…you will drive yourself crazy trying to get the Mod Podge on just right.

    Pros:

    Actually was very easy (though I didn’t believe it would be from the looks of the instructions) and had minimal mess.

    Cons:

    The lines didn’t turn out as crisp as seen on the blog. I think if I would have put a little more time into painting the Mod Podge on smoothly, it might have helped.

    Not sure how well the shirt will go through the wash, but it was so cheap to make that I won’t be upset if it doesn’t make it out alive.

    Conclusion:

    Gotta love not having to spend 1 penny on a project! (blessing in disguise that I didn’t have to make yet another trip back to the craft store…I never come out of there without an impulse buy!) This is a great way to spice up an old T, or even make a festive outfit, like my shamrock that I will be rockin’ on St. Patty’s!

     

     

    Reviewer #4 – Maren

    Mission: To learn how to screen print!  This seems like a really neat and cost effective way to transfer images at home.

     

    Details:

    • I’m from Minneapolis where some of the bad-a$$ kids have “612” tatts, which is the area code.  Since I’m more of the “work-from-home” bad-ass, I decided to emblazon one of my favorite sweatshirts with the digits.  LOL
    • I found a great neon orange fabric paint called Neon Fiesta Orange.  So… it’s glittery.  How did I not notice that when I bought it?  This might hurt my street cred.
    • I used a Small Wash Brush to paint on my Mod Podge Hard Coat in Satin Finish.
    • I happened to have a lifetime supply of those knee-high panty hose that you buy in the little plastic bubble at the drug store for a buck from my days in the salon (I would stuff them to use to fill out elaborate updos.  These came in handy for our project!

    Tips & Tricks Learned:

    It took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to figure out which way to draw the design on.  I way over-thought this step.  Just make sure that you are able to put the nylons down flat against the transfer surface.

    It also took me a couple tries to get the nylons really taut.  I think that this proved to be really crucial in getting a good print, as Lauren from Calico Skies mentioned in her instructions.

    I think that I applied 5 or 6 layers of Mod Podge  to make sure that the edges of the design were perfect.  You do need to wait a few hours in between coats, so be prepared.

    When I was done transferring my image, I hustled to the sink and gently rinsed the paint off with warm water.  The Mod Podge looked a little gummy, but I let it dry out and it’s ready for the next 612 screen print!

    I washed my beloved sweatshirt inside out in cool water and dried on regular for the first time and it the design held up perfectly!  It may have even looked better!

    Pros:

    LOVE IT!  I also really like the way the fabric paint turned out!

    This project was easy to do and super inexpensive!

    Cons:

    To get a crisp print, you’ll need to take the time to get it right.  This project took me a total of about 4 days.

    Conclusion:

    I really liked this project!  Even though it took a few days to complete, I was very happy with the results.  I am already thinking of other projects that could benefit from a little screen print action!

     

     


    The lovely
    DIY Screen Print Tee and it’s photo by Calico Skies


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Ever wish your pretty little pumpkin wouldn’t end up as squirrel food?  Crafts by Amanda has shown us a fun new way to create a Halloween masterpiece with her Halloween Painted Jar Luminaries!

A cute project that is said to be a hit with the kiddos?  We’re in!

 

Please click here to visit Crafts by Amanda and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Maren

Mission: Okay, let’s just get it all out on the table.  I have a major love/hate relationship with Holidays.  The love part… decorating!  I get so excited about making my home feel festive and cute!  I also love the warm glow of a glass votive or luminaire, so I was really excited to try these little lanterns out.

Details:

After my first attempt at this project, I had to start over.  I then used the following products:

To finish my festive little darlings, I dropped in a few LED Flameless Tea Light Candles and screwed the lids back on!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

If you are anal retentive, just admit it (I hear that’s the first step) and use spray paint.  I did really love this look in the end, but if you are doing this project with kids, that would sort of take the fun out of it for them.

Be careful with your jar before spraying with the clear gloss, as the paint can easily scratch off.

Pros:

Fricking love these things.  They are so cute!

A super plus – acrylic paint washes easily off of glass, so if you screw up you can just wash it off and start over.

Cons:

None, unless you think you have the ability to paint without brushstrokes.

Conclusion:

Despite my initial frustration with the brush stroke situation, I really liked this project!  I am already excited to put these out next Fall at our new house.  I also really like that you can put an LED Tea Light inside and forget about them!

My mind is already thinking of other cute jars to paint such as snowmen for Winter (would be super fun for kids on a too-cold day) or even American Flags for the 4th!

 

Reviewer #2 – Amanda

Mission: Make a great Halloween craft with my kiddos.

 

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Don’t fret! The paint really does look best when it is sort of rugged and imperfect. My kids did a great job at achieving this. Only one coat was needed.

Also, I didn’t have them do the faces (the Type-A in me couldn’t let the entire project go) so I waited a solid day before painting on the faces. I didn’t draw the outline first though. Just threw caution to the wind and freehanded it.

Pros:

Simple. Truly easy to create and a really fun project to do with kids.

Cons:

Don’t expect perfection when working with kids and remember these are glass. VERY breakable.

Conclusion:

I plan to make some myself that are a little more detailed! This could be a great project for every season and with a flameless candle in them they are ideal for use around kids or pets.

 

Reviewer #3 – Sheri

Mission: A fun Halloween project to enjoy with the kids. Enjoy being the key word. Some are just easier to do together than others. It is also a great opportunity to use up some of the mason jars that we discovered in our basement when we moved in.

 

Details:

  • A simple project really. We painted the exterior of the jars with acrylic paint, and they dried surprisingly quickly. Maybe not quick enough for a five year old, but not to the point where I was completely annoyed.
  • We then drew faces on the luminaries with a Sharpie.
  • A quick spray of Krylon Clear Spray and they were done. Time to wait till dark to light them!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

A little tip…use a sponge brush. Works so much better than a regular paint brush. I got a bag full of them for only $1.50. I just tossed them after the project.

Pros:

Super easy and the kids can each do their own. No arguing!

Cons:

None!

Conclusion:

The whole family enjoyed doing this project together. We planned it all out together. We wanted a pumpkin, a ghost, a witch, and a bat. We truly had a ton of fun.  There was no arguing about who’s cracking the eggs, or who gets to lick the last bit of batter. We each had our own jar and did our own thing. It was super easy and our neighbors love them! The kids were thrilled! Another great thing, we can pack them away and use them again next year. We also talked about making reindeer and snowmen in winter.

 

Reviewer #4 – Sarah

Mission:  To deface my beloved Mason jars…in a fun way of course!

 

Details:

  • A few of us Crafty Collaborative ladies did this craft together as well – it’s always more fun in groups!
  • I have a TON of Mason jars in my house – I always keep them around, they are great drinking glasses. Did I mention that I love whiskey and it goes great in Mason jars?!?!?Anyway, the jars I have on hand are pretty standard Mason jars with lots of ornate design on them. Since we were to be painting these, mine weren’t really of use as there was not a flat surface on any of them. All we needed were some “clean” Mason jars, and luckily Kristy was on her way over so she quick grabbed those up for us!
  • I used the Martha Stewart Satin Acrylic All-In-One Paint for this project, as well as my handy dandy Martha Stewart Paint Brushes. I am a sucker for great packaging…it will get me to buy a product over another any day.
  • Because I always like to put a spin on things, I opted to do my jars as more of a fall feel vs. the jack-o-lanterns. I painted my jars in a reddish-orange tone and a yellow and then painted them with freehand leaf patterns. This is NOT my best quality…freehand painting that is. My leaves look like crap, but it was all in good fun.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

If you desire a very clean paint job, you may want to try cleaning the Mason jars before you start painting them. I opted for the more “rustic” look so did one coat of paint on each of my jars and honestly didn’t even think about cleaning them prior.

Have long matches (the kind you use to light fires in your fireplace) on hand to light your tea light candles once your jars are dried and ready to adorn your home. I tried using regular matches first and almost burnt my hand!

Pros:

Cheap, easy and could be a great kid project – though I opted to do these on my own.

Cons:

If you like perfection in your projects, this project just might drive you crazy!!

Conclusion:

Cute way to add some décor – but I don’t foresee myself doing this one again. It was easy and fun, but not my favorite end result.

 

Reviewer #5 – Kristy

Mission: I couldn’t pass up more décor for Halloween! Loved the ghost and pumpkin ones!

 

Details:

Fun group project!  I love it that I live close to a couple of the Crafty gals so we can have a girl’s night with booze and crafts…perfect combo!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I recommend only one coat of paint to have a more translucent jar for the light to shine.  If you decide to do two coats…let dry overnight before adding the second coat of paint.

I used a sponge brush for one jar and then I used Maren’s awesome paint brushes which I think turned out the best!  The brush gave the jar a more even application of paint! Loved those brushes!!

Don’t travel with them before spraying with gloss or glaze as these scratch too easy. They need that protective coat!

Pros:

Easy and there so many ways to change up this project with various pumpkin or ghost expressions! Just be creative!

Cons:

Scratch easily before the clear coating so be careful!  Also very streaky and I want it to look perfect!

Conclusion:

Perfect way to dress up your house for the holiday!  Line the pathway to your front door to light the way for your little trick-or-treaters!

Happy Halloween!

 

The darling Halloween Painted Jar Luminaries and their photo by Crafts by Amanda


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Finding a great kid-friendly project is always a win-win, so we were excited to test out Homemade Finger Paints by Easie Peasie!

 

Please click here to visit Easie Peasie and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission:  To do a fun craft project that both my kids and I could enjoy!
 
 

Details:

  • This project started out great – the ingredients and finishing items were inexpensive (less than $8) and it seemed to be going great from the beginning.
  • We followed the recipe exactly and I ended up making two batches (each separately) so that I could fill up the four darling Ball Jars I had purchased.
    The mixture firmed up quickly and was ready for the food coloring to be added soon after it was done. I opted for yellow, green, a vibrant orange and a deep purple shade.
  • We waited until the next day to try out the paint – my kiddos didn’t nap the day we made them, so were both down for the count by 7:00 pm. They were pining to try these out since I mentioned making them!!
  • When we opened up the paint to get going, it was very apparent that it was going to be clumpy. I did try thinning one of the colors out at this point, but that only made it more clumpy and didn’t do what I was hoping for – turned more into a mashed potato type texture. Needless to say, this was frustrating, but I honestly didn’t know what to expect for the final texture.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I used the gel food coloring tubes and they worked great – the colors were vibrant and we had no problems with staining.

Due to the final texture of our paints, we tried using Sponges for painting, which worked fairly well.

Pros:

Looks beautiful and we were so excited to give them a try!

Cons:

Ended up being very clumpy/goopy and didn’t work like actual paint. We were really bummed.

Conclusion:

I want to love these, but have to say that I can’t.  I do want to try this again and maybe cut the amount of cornstarch a bit or add some additional water during the initial preparation process. The colors are great and the idea is fantastic – my kids were going batty just wanting to try it out!! All in all, we had fun giving these a try!

 
 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission: I must admit I was a little apprehensive with this project. I usually have to put my brave face on when doing a “messy” kids project. However, after reading the simple ingredients I figured how hard can it be? My kids normally don’t finger paint; we’re a tempura and watercolor kind of household, so I figured this would be a fun change.

Details:

  • Simple ingredients. Heat them up together. Stir, cool, add color and transfer into jars.
  • Well! Very simple but the consistency is Vaseline goop.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Cut down on the corn starch so the consistency isn’t such a goopy mess.

Also, transfer the mixture to a separate bowl to speed up the cooling process or your kids are going to drive you bananas!

Pros:

It was fun and they look cute in the little jars.

Cons:

They don’t work well. The consistency is goopy and slick. The kids weren’t too pleased.

Conclusion:

Well I think this project was a fail for me. Although we had fun, the resulting product just isn’t what I imagined it would be.

Cutting down the corn starch produces a better consistency, but it’s still not the consistency I expected. The boys basically ran some colored Vaseline on the paper and then walked away. Deacon looked at me crossed and said, “Mom this is NOT finger paints.”

On the flip side, my boys now have an obsession with food coloring and want me to color everything! Last night’s request was for green and blue ice cream.
 
 

 

The colorful photo of Homemade Finger Paints taken by Easie Peasie


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As soon as we laid our eyes on Shannanigans’ Stamped Napkins, we were hooked!

Always on the search for personalized gifts and unique home decor, this project seemed nearly too good to be true!

 

Please click here to visit Shannanigans and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Kristy

Mission:  This was a perfect addition to a closing gift I gave to my clients when we closed on their first home!

 

Details:

  • Instead of acrylic for the stamp which is pricey I used the glass from a picture frame
  • Black charcoal fabric paint
  • Pack of simple white kitchen towels from Target
  • Reusable stamps  (rustic looking)

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Be sure to practice on a paper towel first! What a frickin mess I would have made! Originally, I strayed from the instructions and dipped the stamp into the paint but it turned out to be a gob mess on the paper towel.  I found painting the stamp with paint worked the best for me.  It still didn’t leave the desired thickness of paint so I had to go over my strokes with a paint brush.

Pros:

It was super simple!

Cons:

Truth, it wasn’t as simple as I expected, I thought I’d dip and stamp. It took a little more time to paint the stamps each time then touch up.

Conclusion:

Makes a great gift and there so many things you can stamp!  Great way to personalize a gift by adding an extra special touch!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission:  To create some darling stamped dishtowels for a useful craft that I can use in my own home, or gift to friends!

 

Details:

  • To get this project going, I had to do some serious searching for the letter stamps – they were HARD to find! I ultimately found them at my local JoAnn Fabrics and did have to splurge a bit…good thing they have their frequent coupons! I think I ended up spending about $25 for the stamps, paint and acrylic forms. I had the kids in tow and didn’t feel like heading to another location to find the acrylic cheaper, so just went with it.
  • I purchased my dishtowels at Target and honestly bought the cheapest ones I could find. They ended up being $1 each.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Have fun with this! Use any color of fabric paint you want and be creative with the words you use. I tried using upper case with a mix of lower case and enjoyed adding in some punctuation.

Pros:

A useful outcome! And, pretty darn cute – you could get really creative with your stamped words.

Cons:

Slightly expensive to get all of the materials, but if you took the time to shop around enough, I imagine it can be done for much less.

I do really wish I would have done this on a canvas bag – which I could have easily sewn first. I think I personally would have found that the most useful – like for our library book bag, produce, etc. But, dishtowels are always handy and make cute hand-made gifts!

In addition, I did have a hard time getting the paint to press evenly when transferring from the stamp to the cloth, but all in all, they can’t be perfect 🙂

Conclusion:

Great project to do – easy and fun! And, the tools to do this project will be utilized again and again, so well worth the initial cost

 
 

Reviewer #3 – Mandy

Mission:  Come up with an easy, cute holiday gift. (Yes, I’m one of “those people” that make my presents… ha.)

 

Details:

  • I went to Michaels and JoAnn Fabrics and could NOT find acrylic letters. I even asked around. This may be an item you have to search around for (or maybe I just had bum luck…) or you may want to consider shopping online for some.
  • I ended up buying some wooden letters and shapes that I thought might work as well. Just call me MacGyver.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Give yourself time to find the correct items and do the project. I always try to do thing fast and, therefore, couldn’t get quite what I had in mind.Although they did still turn out cute.  The wooden letters worked just fine – maybe just not the “stamped/blocky” look I had in mind.

Pros:

Didn’t take a ton of time and could end up being super cute gifts!

Cons:

Finding the letters. My fingers were covered in fabric paint, so a tad messy.

Conclusion:

Love the concept. I just need to find these letters so I can see if I can make some super cute worded towels!

 

The lovely Stamped Napkins photo taken by Shannanigans


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The Imagination Tree suggested their absolutely cute Salt Dough Footprint Keepsakefor a quick and cost effective Father’s Day present!

Intrigued by the allure of a personal and thrifty gift, the girls of The Crafty Collaborative rolled up their sleeves and dove in!

 

Please click here to visit The Imagination Tree and the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Mandy

Mission:  Bond with my nephews and make a cute (and cheap) keepsake that they can give to mom, dad, grandma and grandpa!

 

Details:

  • I followed the recipe as written except for being strict on the time. Well, actually used Kosher salt as that’s what I had available. 

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I used more water than the recipe called for so make sure you plan accordingly.

Mine didn’t look as smooth as the photos in the original recipe did. Maybe it was the Kosher salt?? It is a bit grittier than normal table salt.

Pros:

Easy and kid-friendly! Plus, when I put my pup’s (Ruthie) paw in it, she totally didn’t mind as I think it tasted good to her when she got to lick it.

Cons:

Takes awhile to cook. Make sure you are not in a rush and can be at home while it’s cooking. Also, don’t forget about it like I did.

With such a long cooking time, I totally spaced on watching the time! Whoops.

Conclusion:

When I finally remembered to take the creations out (which I still think ended up being around 3 hours later), they cooked up just fine and didn’t burn at all. They could have maybe even gone longer as the centers were still a little moist. Definitely will make these again with my nephews for fun, affordable gifts for the fam!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission:  To create a keepsake of my children’s footprints with salt dough.

 

Details:

  • Salt
  • Flour
  • Water
  • Darling kiddos!
  • Acrylic paint

Tips & Tricks Learned:

You have to push the kids hand or foot into the salt dough a bit firmer than you may think to make a good impression of their print.

Pros:

SUPER easy to do and we had all of the materials on-hand.

Awesome keepsake for yourself or a gift for a loved one. 🙂

Cons:

My kids are a bit young to really understand the acrylic painting technique – but it all turned out great.

This project is somewhat time consuming – due to the bake time and then paint and dry time. We did the project over the course of two days.

Conclusion:

The kids and I had a great time making the salt dough forms – they turned out really cute too!

This is a sweet family project that you can cherish for years to come – and you could even do this as a yearly project. It would be a great project to do as a new mom with your infant as a keepsake of those cute tiny hands and feet 🙂

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Amanda

Mission: To turn dough into art! I am creating shapes for my kids to paint on a rainy day.

 
 

Details:

  • I went into this craft knowing there would be some things I would change and may do differently.
  • I decided that I would use my KitchenAid Artisan Series 5-Quart Mixer
    instead of doing the work manually. At first this seemed like a great idea but then I could tell that no amount of mixing, adding flour and water was going to make it smooth. So I opted to take the dough out of the bowl and knead it like bread dough. This was the trick!
  • I lightly floured the counter and kneaded for about a minute and then used the roller to make it smooth and about 1/4 inch thick so I could cut out shapes.
  • I used small cookie cutter in various shapes. 3 of each to keep it fair with my kids of course!
  • I also used Kosher salt since the recipe didn’t call for specifics. I wonder if that may make a slight difference in texture.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Hand kneading is key and adding just a little water and just a little flour at a time is best. I only ended up adding about 1 tablespoon of water and about 2 tablespoons of flour to get the desired texture.

Pros:

This recipe requires cheap ingredients in small amounts so it is extremely economical and fairly readily available if you need a rainy day project.

Cons:

It is clear that you need to perfect the amounts and your kneading technique to make this a “quick” project.

Plus the amount of time it has to bake might make the waiting unbearable for little ones.

Conclusion:

I still think this will be a fun project to surprise my kids with and I KNOW they will love decorating them. I even cut out some small shapes that we could add magnets to.

I will definitely try this again but may try heating the water and salt together to make the dough smoother. Much like you would with a playdough recipe.

 

 

Reviewer #4 – Maren

Mission: The second I saw this project there was just one thing was one my mind.  Pawprints!  I couldn’t wait to stick my pup’s paw in some dough!

 

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I don’t think that there really is an exact recipe to make this stuff.  Having said that, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how to make it work.  You just have to wing it.  I tried to keep track, but in the end, I have no idea how much salt, water or flour was in the bowl.  I did use warmer water though, in hopes that it would help the salt dissolve.

After over-thinking everything, I finally just approached the dough as if I were making cookies.  I floured my work surface, and rolled the dough out to an even thickness.

Make sure that you wipe your pups paw off after pressing into the dough.  I think that Rosie’s paw was like a mini salt-lick in the end.

My paw print ornaments were not more than 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick, however they felt moist and soft in the center of the underside after baking for 3 hours.  I decided to bake for another hour, and then leave in the oven overnight.  The following morning they still felt damp on the underside’s center (I wonder if it’s because I used parchment paper?).  Since the top part was totally dried out, I flipped them upside down and baked them for another hour at 200 degrees.  Wa-lah!  Perfect!

When they were done baking, the ornaments looked like they were a little grainy, but they were totally smooth to the touch.

Upon painting my little paw prints, I noticed the dough sucking the paint into tiny air holes, the surface was pretty porous in some areas.  Lightbulb!  A porous surface should be sealed first with gesso!  After this brilliant idea, and after trying one with and one without… it was determined that they looked almost exactly the same in the end.  Damn it.

In terms of these bad boys being kid-friendly – it should be noted that I dropped one of mine [unpainted] onto the granite countertop from about 2 feet above, and another one [painted] from my hands onto the wood floor and neither one of them broke.  Yay!

Pros:

Totally easy.  Super cute!

My doggie was a good sport.  We were both happy about this being a pet-safe activity.

Cons:

There was a lot of guesswork in the bake time, but since it was such a low heat – it wasn’t a scary thing.

Conclusion:

This was an easy, fun project!  I am happy with how my puppy keepsake turned out, too!  I am already thinking of other things that I can make with this quick and easy dough!  I think that I might have to steal my nephew’s hand or foot to make a keepsake like The Imagination Tree’s!

 

 

Reviewer #5 – Sheri

Mission: Okay here’s that word that I’m not too comfortable with… “Dough.”

Dough needs the right flour to water ratio to work right. Dough gets sticky. You add more flour and then dough get crumbly. I often have a problem with dough. This project should be interesting…especially seeing the boys will be helping me.

Details:

  • After reading the instructions I was a little more at ease. 1 cup salt, 1 cup of flour, and half a cup of water. Easy. I let the boys help. They were super excited.
  • You simply combine the three ingredients and form a ball of dough.
  • The boys flattened their dough and of course wanted to make dinosaurs instead of handprint keepsakes.
  • We put them in the oven at 200°F for two and a half hours.
  • Logan decided to get creative and make a dinosaur egg fossil. Seeing he put plastic bones in it we couldn’t put it in the oven. I think it’s going to take weeks to dry.
  • The following day, they painted.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I found that the dough was a little too sticky. The predicament I hate to be in.  I added a quarter cup of flour and the consistency was much better.

Also, don’t use your kids tempera paints…you really should use acrylic.

Pros:

First and foremost the kids had fun. Clean-up was easy. Only 3 ingredients!

Cons:

Kids asking if they’re ready yet 50 times over a span of 2.5 hours.

Conclusion:

I have to admit it was a really easy dough to make. They boys had fun. Big bonus was that the clean-up was easy. I’m already thinking of things we can make with the stuff as gifts.

 

Adorable shot of the Salt Dough Footprint Keepsakes taken by The Imagination Tree


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Heather Hales Designs suggested a Hand Embroidered Felt Bookmark as the perfect last minute gift!

After seeing her cute creations, we were inspired to start stitching!

 

Please click here to visit Heather Hales Designs and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Maren

Mission:  A cute last minute gift?  Here, here!

 

Details:

I didn’t use wool felt for the entire project, as recommended. I chose a white cotton canvas for the top. I used baby blue polyester felt for the backing instead of wool felt because JoAnn rearranged their entire store and I was having a meltdown and just had to get out of there.

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Make sure that you select a pattern that can be easily stitched after you resize it.  I made a vintage pattern really tiny, then realized that was not such a great idea when I tried to do some of the stitches.

Pros:

This was easy, and i am happy with the finished product!

Cons:

Only easy if you have all of the equipment handy… if you’re not set up to sew on demand, then this might be a bigger project than you signed up for.

Conclusion:

I liked this little project.  I enjoy embroidery and sewing, so this was a quick, happy project for me to do.  I am looking forward to using this as a binder band, and making one or two for gifts as well!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission:  To try embroidery for the first time and hone in on my sewing skills.

 

Details:

  • Elastic
  • Embroidery Floss
  • Embroidery Pattern
  • Felt
  • Scissors
  • Sewing Machine

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Not sure I have any to share.

Pros:

When complete, a super cute and handy tool!

Cons:

Definitely a craft project for the more skilled…or patient-minded kind 🙂

Conclusion:

Let’s just say this one was challenging for me! First off…for those of you that can embroider – I bow down to you. I definitely gave it a try and would LOVE to be better at this some day as I always ogle over the beautiful embroidery work I see out and about.

In addition, I was challenged even further as my sewing machine was having technical difficulties, so I had to hand-stitch the elastic and felt pieces together, which I am horrible at and it shows. All in all, I’m not overly happy with the outcome of this project, but want to try it again as I envisioned this as a darling craft!

Loved the idea of this craft – just not the execution I ended up with. Maybe next time!

 


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Fossil.Life.Style created some seriously cute D.I.Y. Matchbook Notes that we just had to get our hands on!

 

Please click here to visit Fossil.Life.Style and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Sheri

Mission:  Okay, I have to admit they’re just super cute. The question I had was, “Are they easy to make and worth the effort?”  I was anxious to see how I would fare.

 

 

Details:

The instructions were easy and you didn’t really need too many supplies to complete these cute little notepads. I had everything I needed in the house:

  • scissors
  • rubber cement
  • paper
  • cardstock
  • ruler
  • stapler
  • sandpaper… for the added “matchbook” touch

I like to recycle so instead of going out and purchasing cardstock, I just recycled notecards I had and an old wall calendar.

The dimensions for the cardstock is 1.5” x 4.25”; and for the note paper 1.25” x 1.75” (I didn’t enjoy cutting the note paper…tedious without a paper-cutter)

A quick fold and a staple and they were assembled. And of course that finishing touch of a sandpaper strike-board on the back made the piece just more adorable.

 

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I recommend using the edge of the ruler to help create a crisp fold. The use of old notecards was perfect. My brilliant idea of using my old wall calendar posed not to be so brilliant. The paper really wasn’t thick enough to hold good form, but it still worked.

Pros:

Super easy to assemble and they were not very time consuming.

Cons:

I found the dimensions were a bit small to get any “notepad” use out of them.

Conclusion:

Overall the matchbook notepads were really easy to make and not very time consuming. I could definitely see myself making them as party favors. Just make a quick little assembly line and they’re a breeze. My only recommendation would be to make them a little bigger. I think I might even make myself a few for my office with some of my scrap paper. Much better than my cut up pieces of scrap paper I have held with a binder clip at the moment. Again, it’s a great project for recycling! Get out your scrap pieces of paper and cardstock. Heck, you can even use your tissue boxes, those always come in pretty patterns. Grab a stapler and make some matchbook notebooks. It’s so easy and unique! I have to say this one was a success!

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sarah

Mission:  To make super cute notepads!

 

Details:

  • Paper
  • Sandpaper
  • Rubber Cement
  • Scissors / Paper Cutter
  • Stapler
  • Embellishments

 

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I LOVE rubber cementJ It is a great glue!

Pros:

Super easy and fun to create and adorable too!

Cons:

Not sure of the true end use…a cute gift, but short shelf life.

Someone may mistake these for an actual book of matches, and will turn up disappointed when they find none!

 

Conclusion:

This is a super easy craft that honestly, anyone can do! It took me back to my days of elementary school where the smell of glue and the sound of scissors was the highlight of my day! I had a lot of fun creating these – and though I am not sure exactly how I plan to use them now, they sure are cute!!

 

 

Reviewer #3 – Maren

Mission: Want to make cute little notebooks for my handbag?  Yes, I do!

 

Details:

 

Tips & Tricks Learned:

I completely failed to follow the instructions.  My tip would be to read the entire post prior to beginning the project.  I guess I got excited.

Pros:

Easy to do.  Cute.

Cons:

Not the kick-in-the-pants good time that I was hoping for.

Conclusion:

This project was easy and turned out cute.  It just wasn’t for me.  Maybe if I was more into the paper that I was using or something… I bet it would be cute to use photos and stamps, etc.  I also think that this would have been better if I had one of those mega thick-staplers and perforated paper… because since I’m so anal retentive, it will probably drive me crazy that I have to tear the pages out and they won’t be perfect.  See the problems I have?  😉

 

 

Adorable Matchbook Notes photo taken by Amy Gizienski


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Sueños Encantados has shown us how to Make Your Own Crayons!

Where there are Crafty Collaborators, there are often Crafty Kids!  We’re always on the hunt for fun projects to do together!

 

Please click here to visit Sueños Encantados and see the instructions that we followed!

 

Reviewer #1 – Sarah

Mission:  Utilize broken crayons and make them new again.

 

Details:

  • Broken crayons
  • Mini cupcake pan(s)
  • Olive oil
  • Kids

Tips & Tricks Learned:

If some broken crayon pieces are still too big to fit in the mini cupcake pan, use a knife to cut vs. painfully hurting your fingersJ

Pros:

A great way to re-use broken crayons vs. tossing them out.

Cons:

Breaking the crayons into smaller pieces was a bit hard on the fingers, but nothing this lady couldn’t handle. We had included some broken Melissa and Doug brand crayons as well, but they did not melt as well as the Crayola crayon pieces.

Conclusion:

The make your own crayon project was a hit! My kids and I had a great time getting the crayons ready for melting and found the directions easy to follow. Overall a great activity!

My son was so excited about them after we were done that he took them to show his friends at daycare!

In addition, the final size of these crayons are great for younger toddlers as they are much easier to hold.

 

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission:  Today’s project…I just call it the Melted Crayon Thing…you can call it whatever you want. You see it all over Pinterest, mostly as school gift ideas for classmates.

 

Details:

  • The first step, aside from pre-heating the oven to 250°, is peeling the paper off the crayons. Let me tell you Crayola crayons paper sticks the best. It was easier to get the paper off the cheap crayons we got from the restaurant. After about 5 minutes of peeling crayons I had to grab the wine. This SUCKED, and it wasn’t even something I had thought of. I was too worried about my pan and oven.
  • A few sips of wine and then there was clarity. Pocket knife!! Worked like a charm. I plowed right through that pile of crayons.
  • Major thing to NOT forget is to liberally oil the muffin tin. I just used regular vegetable oil. After the pan is oiled you pile in the crayons like so. Make up any color combo you like. I tend to like the warm colors with the warm colors, cool with cool. You get it, right?
  • Put them in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. I kept an eye on them because as I stated previously I was very afraid of the “blub-blub-blub” and having to scrape melted crayon out of my oven.
  • When they were done aka melted completely I let them cool. Then came the moment of truth…would they be stuck in my muffin pan… please no. I took a deep breath, flipped the pan and plop, plop, plop, everyone single one of them came dropping out onto the counter. Success!

Tips & Tricks Learned:

This looked like a cute idea. What home of kids doesn’t have broken crayons? I mean my three-year-old his breaking the things all.the.time! Maybe it makes him feel like Superman? I always end up with a pile of broken crayon pieces, for which my other two boys refuse to use.

I finally started buying the twist ones and still seem to end up with some broken pieces of crayon because they often twist the crayon up too high. However, for this project I needed more than just a couple of broken crayons so I snuck into Grammie’s stash.

I figured this would be an easy project that wouldn’t take much thought and time to come out great. My only worry was my muffin pan…would it get ruined? Oh, and the “blub-blub-blub” factor. If crayon bubbled over and melted all over my oven I would be in tears.

Pros:

Really easy and not very time consuming. You can’t really fail esthetically; Martha’s would look the same way!

Cons:

Peeling the paper off the crayons was a pain in the butt, but if you use my little tip it makes it less painfully tedious.

 

Conclusion:

I might actually do this with the kids come the next school year. It really wasn’t difficult and you can make a ton at once. Big factor for me was that my pan and oven survived and clean-up was a super easy. The “melted crayon thing” – a success.

 

Adorable Handmade Crayon photos taken by Providence Handmade


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House of Earnest showed us some seriously stylish kitchen tools.

We can’t wait to try this project out!

 

Please click here to visit House of Earnest and see the instructions that we followed!

 

 

Reviewer #1 – Maren

Mission: To make super cute color block cooking utensils that make me feel like a cooking fashionista!

Details:

Tips & Tricks Learned:

Sand your [cheap] utensils before you paint! Also – be careful to keep them away from each other after spraying with the shellac – they’ll stick together!  I also re-taped prior to spraying with the shellac.  I did this to make sure that there wasn’t a big ridge of paint that would look bad, and make it so the tape couldn’t totally come off.

Pros:

Super easy and cute – I think that they would be a cute way to color coordinate a hostess or shower gift.

Cons:

None – I loved this!

Conclusion:

It was easy and they turned out super cute! Now that I have the huge can of the Shellac Spray, I am looking forward to making these for every housewarming and shower gift for the rest of time! I hope my friends and family are as excited about these as I am!

 

 

 

Reviewer #2 – Sheri

Mission:  When I saw these on Pinterest I fell in love. They’re adorable and looked easy to do.

Details:

  • First I grabbed the kids’ paints and tried painting the utensils. That was a quick fail. The paint did adhere very well. I then broke out my acrylic paints and made some progress. I tried getting fancy…another fail. It just wasn’t one of those creative kind of days for me

Tips & Tricks Learned:

What I learned while making these today…stay with simple, and don’t leave wet painted spoons out where the three year old can reach them. Be cautious when removing the painters tape. Don’t apply the paint too thick there.

Pros:

Really not that difficult to do.

Cons:

Not something to do when the kids are around. All kids love to paint!

Conclusion:

They’re cute. Although I had a few fails and my three-year-old ruined a couple of them before they were dry, I think I would still make them again…Minus the peanut crew. I think these would pair really well with a cook book wrapped in a table cloth (another Pinterest fave) for a shower gift. Just stick these on top.
 

 

Fabulous and fashionable shot of Painted Utensils by House of Earnest


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