Sep 17

how to redo barstools

How to Redo Barstools at DecorHacks

kmart bag

I had no idea what layaway was (I mean, I have heard about it, but no idea how it works or why you’d want to use it), so I researched it, then wrote this article at Dollar Store Mom. Lots of info about what layaway is, how it works, which stores provide layaway, and more. (image: alex wiebe)

drift wooden frame

Driftwood Frame by Morning Creativity

Mod Podge Tutorials

A ton of Mod Podge Craft Ideas from Mod Podge Rocks!

Feb 14

smartphone apps for crafters

Do you wish you could craft even when you’re on your smartphone? Here are a few apps for crafty minds that will keep you near to your crafts even when you’re on the go. I’ve added links for each one so you can get to downloading right away! Not on an iPhone? Check out our 9 awesome craft apps for Android owners!

Top Phone Apps for Crafters:

 

craftgawker

Craftgawker

Craftgawker is a collective resource of inspirational images and projects to inspire your crafting. The app lets you scroll through hundreds of thumbnail images to get inspired, and you can just click on any to read more about it or visit the original posting. If you sign up for a craftgawker account, you can even save your favorites on the app for later looking. This sounds like a great way to kill time while waiting at an appointment, and get inspired at the same time. Your only problem will be picking which projects to make!

Price: FREE

Read the rest of this entry »

Mar 19

Kia at GreenChicken31 has done several cute peeps crafts. Check out these pretty rainbow peeps bunnies she used to make a mobile. [see the peeps bunny mobile here]

Kia also used felt Peeps bunnies to make napkin rings, make wall art, and she made a bunny applique quilt for her first quilt ever.

How to make a Peeps wreath at Tried and True

Oct 4

Make a Peg Family

by Heather Mann, Dollar Store Crafts

I wanted to make peg people for SO long before I made these ones — I had the pegs in my stash for at least two years!  My kids love playing with these little peg versions of our family members – and I think they’re so cute, I want to make a set of them to keep all to myself.

You can use old-fashioned wooden clothespins (find them in the craft or laundry section at your local dollar store), or buy peg doll blanks from your local craft store or on Etsy. . There are different shapes and sizes for males and females, adults, children, toddlers, and babies. I just used the male shape because that’s all my craft store had. If you want more selection, definitely go the Etsy route.

Don’t worry if your drawing/painting skills aren’t as refined as you wish they were. Your children can recognize family members with just the barest suggestion of reality.

You Need:

  • A blank peg doll for each family member
  • Acrylic craft paint
  • Fine paintbrushes (at least one super fine brush is helpful)
  • Clear acrylic spray sealant
  • (optional) Primer

To Make:

1. Prime: If desired, paint pegs with primer before you begin. Allow to dry.

2. Sketch: If you want, while you are waiting for your primer to dry, you can sketch out ideas for how you will dress your people. I decided to paint clothes that we wear regularly. My sons were really excited when they saw little peg versions of themselves wearing clothes they recognized. You can sketch features lightly with pencil on the pegs.

3. Paint skin: Paint the heads and necks with skin colored paint. (Tip: It can be tricky to mix up a good skin color, so you might want to buy a bottle of paint that most closely resembles your skin color. Or not, if you don’t care!)

4. Paint clothing: Paint bottom half of dolls (pants, shorts, skirts, etc.). Allow to dry, then paint shirts. To get a t-shirt collar look, paint all the way up to where the neck narrows. Allow to dry.

5. Paint hair. Paint hair base color and then allow to dry. Add highlights, parts, curls, etc. if desired.

6. Paint eyes: paint white dots for eyes. Allow to dry, then using the appropriate eye color, dot a teeny bit of paint on the white dots to make irises. When that is dry, dot an even smaller black dot in the middle of the iris. When the eyes are completely dry, add a white highlight dot (the smallest one yet) near the top of the irises.

7. Add detail: Now you can add detail to the clothing, hair, and faces. I added an upside-down ‘V’ on the front for pant legs in white, sleeves and arms on the sides of the body, and glasses on the people who wear them. I also painted a tractor on one boy-peg’s shirt, and jammies for the other boy-peg’s shirt. Oh, and don’t forget the mouths!

Don’t worry, if it doesn’t come out the way you want, you can always re-paint it!

8. Seal it: When you’re happy with your peg, spray it with clear acrylic sealer to keep the paint from rubbing off (as it inevitably will when kids play with it). You might want to skip this step if your kids are still young enough to put things in their mouths. Oh, and these are small enough that they could be choking hazards for those kids, too, so better just keep them away from the really-littles.

Alternately: Instead of paint, you can use fine-tipped markers to draw on your pegs. This is a great option for kids, since it’s not quite as messy as paint.

Additional Resources:

Heather Mann is the mom of three boys under 4, and is the founder of DollarStoreCrafts.com, a daily blog about crafting on the cheap, and CraftFail.com, a community blog devoted to sharing our own crafting blunders.

Sep 18

Tomorrow, September 19th is International Talk Like a Pirate day! How will you celebrate? Here are some suggestions:

Fun Food:

Make a Treasure Map Quesadilla

Make a Pirate Ship Sandwich

Make a Skull Sandwich

Little Nummies: Make Pirate Sword Snacks

Little Nummies: Make Tricorn Hat Snacks

Have a Party:

Have a Pirate Birthday Party

Clothes:

Make a Cutout Skully Top

Make a 15 second Pirate Tricorn Hat at Dollar Store Crafts

Make a Pirate Do-Rag at Obsessively Stitching

Crafts:

Make a Paper Bag Pirate by Amanda at Kaboose

Printables:

Jun 15

During any given week, I do at least two or three craft projects. I am posting them here, there, and everywhere, and sometimes it takes a month or more between when I make the project to when I can post about it. There are a few things I value in a craft tutorial: it uses fairly common household items, it isn’t complicated to do (anyone can do it), and is compelling enough that it excites people to actually make the project. Here are some of my recent projects.

Make a Mod Mobile: This paper mobile is based on one of the talented artist Jenn Ski‘s giclee prints, and it has to be my favorite thing in my house right now. Instructions at Dollar Store Crafts.

Make a Peg Family: I wrote a tutorial for making peg dolls of your family members. This is a super-cute gift for kids (ages 3 and up. My 2 year-old put his own peg in his mouth and destroyed the paint job!). Find it at Skip to My Lou.

Make Paper Lanterns: I updated the traditional paper lantern craft project with a double layer of pretty scrapbook paper. I love this because it helped me bust into my stash of scrapbooking paper. Check out my guest post at Salty Pineapple.

I am a regular contributor at AmazingMoms, too, so here are some of my recent projects for them:

Make Bike Streamers
(This pic is my 2 year-old son posed on his brother’s bike. He totally can’t ride it! Ha!)

Patriotic Tablecloth Weights
Painting rocks is fun! They make super cute table cloth weight clips.

Recycled Clothing Crinkly Baby Toy
I used some stained clothing and a baby wipes container to make this crinkly baby toy. It was my infant son’s favorite toy for a long time.


Victorian Flower Cones
I love how these cones turned out! So pretty. I made them from party hats and used leftover broken jewelry and ribbon scraps from my stash.

And, sometimes crafts don’t work out, which is why I founded CraftFail as a place crafters could share their not-so-awesome projects. Check out my first draft of reusable cloth pads. Not pretty. I’m not posting a pic because I want you to be surprised when you check it out.

Apr 16

As a busy mom of three little boys, I don’t always have time to do my hair. (Like, never, actually! I try to sneak in sessions with my flatiron while the boys are distracted with a cartoon… IF I have to leave the house. If I don’t, my hair looks like the bus driver from South Park’s… i.e., bird’s nest. Hmm, a bird’s nest headband sounds kind of cute and funny, actually!) I think I need some headband action to disguise my less-than-perfect hair!

Notes from a very red kitchen just hosted a Headband Tutorial Roundup, and there were some super headbands represented!

The roundup was full of inspiration, but this rose and pearl headband by Whitney was one of my favorites. The grey roses are pretty – and grey is such an elegant and unexpected color choice for roses!

This scrappy leather headband by Missie Krissie is super cute, too! I love the texture of the different leathers used for the leaves. I have a few leather garments I’ve purchased at the Goodwill bins ($.99 a pound!) that would work well for this!

Other Headband Resources:

  • I loooved this yarn braided headband when I saw it a few months ago at EvaForeva (don’t you just LOVE the styling of the pic, too?)
  • Holly has a bunch of ways to bust your stash by making cute headbands at Art, Meet Craft

Mar 7
recycling at Burgerville – photo by MikZ

We’re used to recycling: paper, glass, aluminum, soda cans, plastic — we’ve even gotten used to the idea of composting (sometimes even at fast food restaurants). Reusing is easy — shopping at thrift stores isn’t a stretch, and we might even refill old yogurt containers with leftovers instead of using plastic wrap or a zip-top bag, or bring shopping bags to the grocery store to reuse again and again.

Some of us are more vigilant than others.

And most of us have forgotten the cardinal command of the 3 R’s: REDUCE. Sure, we reuse and recycle, but what about minimizing our need to do those things?

I'm giving away some recycled goodie packs for crafting goodness - see bottom of post for details

We’re Americans (I know not all of my readers are), and we do what we like to do and have been conditioned to do: consume! We buy things whenever we want them, usually with little regard to the waste generated by the simple process of unpackaging them, and without a thought to all the waste that went into making them and shipping them from factory to store.

So, reducing.

Pam at Gingerbreadsnowflakes has been saving her packaging for awhile. She is doing a series on making things out of trash, but she posted some photos of just how much she has saved and started a discussion on how much stuff we buy only to turn around and throw most of it (the packaging) away. Sure, we can reuse some of it, craft with some of it, but in all honesty, there’s more than we can reuse and we have to dispose of the rest.

Pam said it best:

And think about it – just how many oatmeal boxes, glass jars, tin cans, or plastic bottles can we realistically repurpose?

The answer seems to me to be – not very many and certainly not as many as pass through our hands in a years time.  Don’t misunderstand – I am all for repurposing!  But there is a limit to how many items even the most energetic among us can repurpose.

I’m not preaching to you because I’m as guilty as anyone. I have high intentions, but often my tiredness/laziness/need to just get it done outweighs my desire to be kind to the earth. Being idealistic doesn’t do anyone any good; action is what makes a difference.

There are a lot of things I do wrong. A lot of things I can change without much impact on my current lifestyle. And a few things I can do with a slight impact on my lifestyle. Not that I’m opposed to changing my lifestyle, but baby steps are usually more effective than making grand pronouncements that I have no chance of living up to immediately. You have to train before you can run a marathon.

Playset I made from recycled box

Things I currently do:

  • Recycling almost all packaging (cardboard, cans, plastic containers, glass)
  • Buy in bulk sometimes
  • Reuse some containers
  • Go out of my way to recycle plastic (it isn’t accepted in the recycling bins in our neighborhood)
  • Buy used if possible (no packaging)
  • Buy from local outlets (farmer’s markets, mostly)
  • Make crafts from recycled materials (sometimes)

Things I could do without even breaking a sweat:

  • Look in my recycling bin first before buying new (paper, cardboard, containers, or for craft supplies)
  • Design projects around recycled items instead of new
  • Buy less stuff (ask myself if I really need it – the answer will often be no)
  • Buy bulk more often
  • Cook from scratch with bulk items (instead of using readymade stuff: cookies, other baked goods)
  • Avoid buying overpackaged items or items with unrecyclable packaging
  • Reuse certain packaging I throw away (washing zip-top bags)
  • Buy toys and other items that are made from recycled materials

Thanks for your post, Pam, and for getting me thinking about reducing (instead of JUST reusing and recycling).

Fun ways to Reduce-Reuse-Recycle:

Thanks for sticking with me this far! I want to share some amazing scrap packs I got from SCRAP with two of my readers, so comment here with your favorite recycling crafty idea (with a link if you like) and I will choose a winner via random.org on Tuesday.

The giveaway booty:

I super-love these packages the kind folks at SCRAP have put together with random goodies for your crafting pleasure (LOVE those recycled labels they used to close up the bags).

Cute ingredients label.

Once again, to win one of these goodie bags, comment here with your favorite recycling crafty idea (with a link if you like) and I will choose a winner via random.org on Tuesday.

Mar 6

I’ve never been one to celebrate St. Patrick’s day beyond the wearing green to avoid getting pinched thing, but this year I made a couple of cute St. Patrick’s themed crafts that have been making me happy.

leprechaunmirror1-sm

Did you see my Leprechaun Magic Mirror at Dollar Store Crafts? I thought it turned out super cute (and that’s my little oldest little leprechaun peeking out of it).  Here’s another one of my other leprechaun.
ev-lepmirror
Check out all the great St. Patrick’s Day ideas from the All Things Family Blog Carnival, which is over at Projects for Preschoolers this week.

Some of the highlights:

happylittleshamrock

Happy Little Shamrock craft project from Projects for Preschoolers

St. Patrick’s Day Craft Ideas at Party Elf

st-patricks-day-coloring-page-231x300
St. Patrick’s Day printables at Printables 4 Kids

5 Classic Irish Recipes for St. Patrick’s Day by Raising a Healthy Family

St. Patrick’s Day poems at Classroom Jr.

cootiecatcher
(Not St. Patrick’s Day, but a great idea): Learn to Read with a Cootie Catcher at Quirky Momma

If you would like to participate in the blog carnival next week, you can submit your link here. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the “submit an article” link).

Mar 1

March 2nd is Dr. Seuss‘s birthday! He would have been 106 years old in 2010. Don’t you think the man who wrote Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat (and one of my favorites, but much lesser known Mr Brown Can Moo! Can You?) would have enjoyed a whimsical party? Celebrate this beloved author’s birthday with these fun activity and snack ideas! (Or use these ideas to celebrate Dr. Seuss all year long, or on your child’s birthday!)

Snacks:


Thing 1 and Thing 2 Cupcakes
by Kitchen Dough Dough:
Mmm, these red velvet cupcakes with cotton candy tops look sooo good. What a brilliant idea!

Green (Key Lime) Cupcakes by Kara’s Party Ideas:
Kara made these cute cupcakes for a baby shower, and three other kinds of Dr. Seuss-themed cupcakes.

Green Eggs & Ham:
When I was a kid, the cafeteria at my grade school served Green Eggs & Ham once a year – I wonder if it was on Dr. Seuss’s birthday? If you want to serve the titular meal from Dr. Seuss’s most famous book, I think all you need is food coloring and some ham and eggs cooked your favorite way. Of course, that doesn’t sound very appetizing OR particularly healthy. How about getting your kiddo to eat some extra veggies by making the GREEN part out of spinach, like in this food network recipe that uses Spinach Pesto.

Or Paint some Toast green to look like ham.



Green Deviled Eggs by So Wonderful, So Marvelous
:
Okay, brilliant combination of green eggs and deviled eggs! Love this idea, and they look so cute! Michelle made these for her son’s 2nd birthday party. She doesn’t give a tutorial but she says “green deviled eggs dyed green” so I think that’s everything you need to know! :) You can also use these for the upcoming St. Patrick’s Day!

Green Jello Eggs by RootsAndWingsCo:
Find out how to make these out of blown egg shells! Cool! Another activity you can also use for St. Patrick’s Day or even Easter.

greeneggcookies

Green Egg Cookies by My Paper Crane:

Frosted sugar cookies with candy egg yolks!

Activities:

Thing 1 & Thing 2 Pegs by Zakka Life:
Oh my goodness, is this not the cutest thing? You can always count on great projects from Zakka Life.

Truffula Trees (The Lorax) Craft by Craft Jr:
My friend Wendy came up with this adorable craft, and I absolutely LOVE the use of stripey chenille stems (aka pipe cleaners). So cute, simple, and fun!

Cat in Hat’s Hat by No Time For Flash Cards:
Here’s a fun and simple craft for kiddos using a paper plate as the brim of the Cat’s famous hat!

Thing 1 & 2 Pencil Toppers at Skip To My Lou:
These are yet another cute craft with the Thing 1 & 2 theme… they might just be my favorite characters for craft and food!

There’s A Wocket in My Pocket Activity at Make & Takes (by Alison):
Let your kids draw pictures of items, and hunt for pictures in catalogs to create these fun collages inspired by the funny rhymes in Seuss’s book, There’s a Wocket in My Pocket.

Dr. Seuss Fish Craft by Michelle at Muffin Tin Mom:
Let your child practice matching colors with this fun activity based on One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.



Make a Cindy Lou Who Hat with Craftastica:

Okay, so there isn’t really a tutorial, but you can use this cute idea to make antennae like Cindy Lou Who’s – use chenille stems (pipe cleaners) and attach to a headband or stocking cap (get one at the dollar store or use one from your stash). From the book, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Other Resources:

Create your own Dr. Seuss printables with the Grinched font at dafont.com
Fun activities at the official site: Seussville

Seussical: The Musical Original Cast Recording CD

Book: Your Favorite Seuss: A Baker’s Dozen by the One and Only Dr. Seuss:
Find all your favorite stories in one volume!

Dr. Seuss Sculptures
Did you know there are some fantastic Dr. Seuss sculptures? I saw some in a gallery in Santa Fe. You can also find some sculptures based on Seuss’s work in the Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden in Springfield, Massachusetts.

What’s your favorite Seuss book?

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