My 2020 Christmas Wish List

Monday, December 7, 2020

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"Braided" Wreath DIY

Monday, November 30, 2020

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I've been thinking a lot recently about how this Christmas is different, and how I can use that to create something special. One of the methods I would like to try is really embracing the theme of HOME, in all of it's cozy, cuddly glory. 

There was one specific piece of decor that embedded this idea for me, and that was this gorgeous wreath from Etsy shop King and Eye Crochet. I wanted my own simpler and smaller version for inside my home. So I made this cozy little wreath out of a surprising supply that I bet you already have in your home: cotton balls!

Cotton Balls
White Paint
Exacto knife
Clear Tape

Step one: Cut out your wreath.
On a piece of corrugated cardboard, draw a bigger outer circle and a smaller inner circle. I traced a dinner plate for my outer circle and a small bowl for my inner circle. Cut it out with an Exacto knife. In the end, the edges will be hidden, so don't stress too much about keeping your cuts smooth.

Step two: Paint your cardboard.
I knew that the cotton balls wouldn't cover the cardboard perfectly, so I gave the front of my cardboard a quick coat of white paint. I almost wish I had gone a shade darker, though, because it was hard to see the details when there was nothing to contrast with in the background. I would like to see how it looks with a beige!

Step three: Pull apart your cotton balls.
I had a little helper for this step! I thought that cotton balls were squished bits of stuffing, but it turns out they're more like a roll of fluffy cotton (at least the ones that I had were.) When I unrolled them, they were about 6 inches long, so I cut them in half so they were about 3 inches. To completely cover my wreath I used about a third of the bag.

Step four: Create your "braid."
This "braid" was created by layering the strips on top of each other at an angle, then taping down both ends. I  would lay one strip down at an angle, tape the end, then wrap it around and tape it to the back. Then I would lay another stip perpendicular to the first, covering up the tape from the first strip, and tape it down. Repeat the process until you've covered the whole wreath.

Step five: Perfect and add your ribbon.
Before I put away all of my supplies I went through and covered any tape you could see or added cotton where I thought it was looking a bit flat. Then I just wrapped the ribbon through the hole and hung it. So simple.

In the mood for something more complicated? Check out my "Hogwarts Letter" wreath!

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Thanksgiving Printable Conversation Starters

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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We all have felt the effects of this year, and as we get closer to the holidays I don't see it getting any easier. But that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the holidays... we just have to think a little outside of the box. This year I'm adding conversation starters to my printable Thanksgiving kit. In the spirit of thinking outside of the box, I tried to make sure the questions I supplied in this printable were unique. Maybe even a little weird. But hopefully, they will help you learn things about your family that you never really needed to know... like what kind of food they think should be put in Jello.

This .pdf contains three different types of cards. One page is weird questions, one page has multiple cards that ask "What are you thankful for today?" and the third page has blank cards. You can use these blank cards to fill in your own questions, or they could also be used as place cards!

These conversation starters might complete the set that I've been working on for a few years. I have linked to the downloads for all three .pdfs in the kit below!

Download the Conversation Starters printable here.

You can download the Thankful Tags here.

You can download invites, place setting wreaths, and a gratitude journal here.

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Recycled Fall Puzzle

Thursday, November 19, 2020

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I enjoyed the challenge of making my last geometric puzzle so much that I just had to design another. Maybe this blog will just be all DIY puzzles all the time. Hello, Wild Puzzles.

This beautiful puzzle is fall inspired, and it's kinda tricky to put together. But it's not impossible, which is the level of difficulty I like for my puzzles. Not impossible. 




Exacto Knife


Template (not required)

The first thing I did was measure out my puzzle. My original template was 5"x7", but I wanted it to be a bit bigger so I cut my cardboard to be 7.5"x10.5". After that, I drew a line down the center (at 3.75"), and then drew a 1.5" grid. The grid isn't necessary but it helps me line up the ruler to make drawing easier. All of this can be skipped if you decide to use the template.

After I drew all of my lines and had the look I was going for I label my pieces by the colors I wanted to paint them (DT for dark teal, etc.) and used my Exacto to cut it out.

Next step was paint! I made my browns by mixing orange, a bit of green, and a bit of red. The teals were made with blue, green, and a bit of red to tone it down. It can take a lot of mixing to get the color just right, and if that sounds daunting you can always go to a craft store and buy the exact colors you need!

Let your pieces dry and you have a puzzle!

I am kind of in love with the texture using corrugated cardboard gives these puzzles. If you prefer a sleeker look try using foam core board. 

Here is a template if you want to attempt making this puzzle on your own. Or, you can skip all of the complicated steps and just cut up the template to be your puzzle! 

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Mood Boards: Houses I Will Never Own vol. 2

Monday, November 9, 2020

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You know I'm never going to stop looking and dreaming about how I would decorate houses I'll never own. Like last time, these mood boards are full of inspiration for dream spaces that I would love to live in. But if I can't,  maybe you will be able to use the ideas for your own spaces!

Our first building is a generic lodge out in the woods. With floor to ceiling windows and wood EVERYWHERE it's easy for a space like this to look too busy. So I was thinking maybe I would dial it back a bit and go for a more minimalistic look. Masculine touches solidify the "lodge" feel while adding hints of industrial elements bring it to a more accessible level for the average family. I also just wanted an excuse to share these beautiful chandeliers. They are made out of bike chains and are stunningly equal parts masculine and elegant.

Image sources: 123, 4, 5, 67

The house that inspired this relaxed mood board is an angular house that was built in 1975. Sitting on about 5 acres with sloped ceilings and a loft at the heart of it all, this house has been on my "want" list for a very long time.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

This last mood board is a bit more "vibey" than the rest of them, but it's also the look I feel like you could replicate in any house, even a generic dorm room. The soon to be released video game Cyberpunk 2077 has me all excited for neon lights and futuristic fashion, but when I come home I want my space to be chill. I want to be able to fall asleep on any piece of furniture, and I think this aesthetic hits the mark.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

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Creepy Crawlies Witches Brew Counting Game printable

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

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Help your little witches and wizards with their math skills with this creepy crawly witches brew counting game!

This printable includes a simple papercraft cauldron, 6 pre-made recipe cards, 6 blank recipe cards, and a page full of bugs to cut out and use in your witches brew!

You can use the blank recipe cards to create recipes that use things around your house! Puff balls, beads, and dry noodles make great ingredients, or you can use things like "a handful of grass," "an orange leaf," or "something blue." 

Click here to download the Creepy Crawly Witches Brew Counting Game printable!

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(Slightly) Scary Campfire Storytime

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

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It's the creepiest (and my favorite) time of the year! What better way to celebrate than by cuddling up in front of a fire and telling ghost stories? Well.... I guess if I'm being honest I don't actually like scary stories that much. But, luckily for me, I was able to find some children's books that are just scary enough to give you the heebie-jeebies, without being full-on terrifying! So if you have a child that isn't too fond of getting the pants scared off of them, this is a perfect list for you.

And to take this storytime to the next level (because that's what Halloween is all about!) I made a fake fire out of tissue paper and battery powered fairy lights. Add some comfy cushions and you have the perfect spot to read, and you don't even have to leave your living room!

So shine your flashlight under your face and let's read some (slightly) scary stories!

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Persephone Costume DIY

Monday, October 12, 2020

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I made this gorgeous Persephone costume two years ago and didn't get a chance to share it.  But this year I've been into the wonderful comic that is Lore Olympus, and man, if this costume doesn't fit those vibes. In case you aren't into Greek lore (look into it! It's super cool, and I am no expert.), Persephone is the Goddess of Spring Growth... and the Queen of the Underworld. So if you're into those kinda creepy but also historical costumes with a little bit of fashion flair, this might be the costume for you!

I'm going to start out this tutorial (I use that term loosely) with the inspiration for the costume! To come up with this idea I did what I normally do when I'm brainstorming for a character: I researched some shapes, pulled some inspiration images together, and drew out a sketch. The basic idea was a black greek inspired silhouette with flowers that peeked out when you move, almost as if you were planting flowers with your steps. I wanted to keep with a more gothic look, so that's where the crown of flowers came into play. 

The next step was shopping. I was on a time crunch so I was limited to what I could get quickly. I bought a black shirt and two skirts that I layered, giving me the draped shape I wanted. Then I bought this lace skirt for the underskirt and this crown for the base of the crown. I went to my local dollar store and bought a colorful array of fake flowers, trying to get flowers that were burgundies, blues, muted greens, and oranges. For the final decoration, I found the straightest sticks I could in my back yard.


The crown I bought was great for what I was creating because I could move the leaves and mold them into the shapes I needed. I positioned the sticks, and hot glued them on. I kept the skull pictured above on hand to help get the shape correct, also trying it on periodically to make sure it looked okay. When I liked the position of the sticks, I started gluing on flowers, keeping the bulk of the flowers on the bottom and "fading" up to the top.

For the floral underskirt, I used hot glue to attach flowers onto the bottom two feet of the skirt. I tried everything on as I worked to make sure that the flowers would peek out as I walked. If you have more time I would suggest sewing, but I wore it a couple of times and I didn't lose any flowers.

For how beautiful and unique this costume was, it was pretty simple to make. The most difficult part was the crown, but I really loved how it turned out. So much so that I actually just keep it displayed on the skull in my bedroom all year round. Someday, if I get time to create this costume with all of the attention to detail that it deserves,  I would love to have a train with flowers so it looked like I was leaving a trail of spring behind me. Also, embroidered flowers on tulle? I think so. And to really take the costume to the next level I think it would be such a great touch to carry around a goblet full of pomegranate seeds. This could be a really unique couple's costume as well. Hmm... what kind of Hades costume could I create for my husband?
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Spooky Fish Bowl Decoration DIY

Monday, October 5, 2020

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Amazing your friends with this spooooky fish bowl! This is a craft that I had had in mind for a while, but I never got around to making. I had a plan, I had the supplies... and they sat on the shelf. Then when I did create it... well let's just say maybe I gave myself too much time to think. Turns out my plan was over complicated. But I simplified everything and the project is better for it.

Black Fish Rock
Model Magic
Pipe Cleaners
Small Fish Bowl
Clear Tape
Gray Permanent Marker or Paint

1: Make your fish. 
You can follow along with the step-by-step instructions in the photo below. Take your Model Magic out of the bag and work with it until it is easy to squish. Pinch a tiny piece off and roll it out to create the spine. Take the end of the piece and pinch it flat, creating a tail. Next make the head by shaping another piece of clay into a triangle. Attach the head to the spine. Now roll out one thin coil and cut it into three pieces. Lay these pieces across the back to create the rib cage. The Model Magic will let you work with it for a while, so feel free to tweek until your fish looks how you want. I must warn you, though, that once one part sticks to another it is hard to pry apart.

2: Create your gravestone.
This is a little simpler. Roll out a small flat piece of Model Magic, about 1/3 inch thick, and mold it into the shape of a gravestone. Using a pointy object, gently carve your message into your gravestone (RIP is easiest). Roll out another small section of model magic, thinner this time, to create your base. Attach your gravestone to your base and let dry. Once it is completely dry paint or color the stone gray.

3: Make your plants.
Cut your pipe cleaners in half and wrap them around a pencil. Gently pull them off and mold them until they are a spiral shape you like. Bend the pipe cleaner to a 90-degree angle on the end you would like to be the bottom. Tape the plants to the bottom of the fishbowl.


5. Add your gravestone and your gravel.
Place your gravestone where you want it to be, taping it down if you feel it needs to be secured. Gently pour your fish rock into the bottom of your bowl, being sure to cover the base of your gravestone and any tape.


6. Add your fish.
Gently wedge your fish onto the pipe cleaners, using the space between the rib bones.

With that step your new adorable pet is all set up in it's new home! Be sure to feed it plenty of air and spooky vibes. Please do not actually submerge your pet in water. Please do love your pet with all of your Halloween lovin' heart.

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Busy Board Engine DIY

Monday, September 28, 2020

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If you have been around I'm sure you know, but in case you are new here let me tell you a little secret... my kid is into cars. Like REALLY into cars. So when I fell into a hole of awesome car toys and found this amazing toy for $300 I said what every crafter around the world has said at least once in their life... "I can make that." Of course, mine is made of cardboard and recycled things, but it's a great solution for our situation.

I looked into other toys that let children tinker with motors and they all had something in common that kind of bugged me... they were mostly gears and nuts and bolts. And while that is really cool, I had dreamed of a toy that could actually introduce some VERY basic car tasks, like changing a tire or charging a battery. So I ended up researching a bit about car care and basic repair tasks, and came up with a small list of things that I thought I could create with supplies I had at home. Then I modified all of these ideas to be able to keep my kid entertained for more than 5 seconds, drew up a diagram, and started collecting supplies. 

So here's what we've got going on under the hood:

- A car battery that you can clip cables to.
- A belt that you can turn and change out.
- Fuses and a fuse box.
- An oil tank with a dipstick and a place to "drain."
- Spark plugs.
- Fun decorations that could be called pistons?
- Two changeable tires with hubcaps.

I realize that these are ridiculously incorrect when it comes to actual engine repair, but I kept in mind the audience (a three-year-old) and focused on making it fun over factual. I would also like you to know that everything I used to make this I already had in my house. So feel free to modify anything to fit in with what supplies you have on hand.


Car Battery Supplies: box, dowel rods, yarn, clothespins, paint, tape, scissors, and hot glue.

Tape up the sides of the box, cut your dowel rods, and glue them on. Paint your dowel rods and your clothespins to match, attach yarn to box and clothespins with tape.

Now you have a battery! My family asked what the three charges were about. It was really to provide an extra color learning experience, but we decided it was a positive charge, a negative charge, and a magical charge. 

Serpentine Belt supplies: Empty wide ribbon spools, cardboard, scissors, tape, pipe cleaners, wide elastic, needle, and thread.

Cut your cardboard to match the size of the tops of the ribbon holders, then cut two holes in the middle. Thread the pipe cleaner through the holes, then down through the hole in the ribbon spool. Tape it to the cardboard underneath, then cover the top with tape. This should allow the spools to rotate. Tape down all of the spools you have, then wrap your elastic around and trim, leaving excess. Sew your elastic into a loop and wrap it around your spools.


Fuse Box supplies: Corrugated cardboard, floral foam, Exacto knife, wooden appetizer picks, colorful paper, duct tape, hot glue, and a permanent marker.

This was one of the parts of the project that took a few tries to get right. To make the fuse box I cut cardboard to make a box that would fit where I needed it to, trimmed some floral foam to fit inside, and once it was in I covered the whole thing with tape. To make the fuses I found it was best to draw out a guide of where I wanted the prongs to be placed in relation to the paper. I put the paper down, put hot glue on one half, placed the trimmed prongs and folded over the paper. When I had them all made I use an Exacto knife to cut holes into the box and lined them with a permanent marker to show where the holes were. The object of this activity is for the child to match the number of prongs the fuse has (two or three) to the number of holes in the box.

Oil Tank supplies: Milk carton, plastic carton with large screw-on lid, zip tie, scissors, and hot glue.

I didn't get any good pictures of this, but the "oil tank" has two lids. One (the milk carton lid) is on the top, and the other (larger lid) is on the bottom. This way the child can fill the oil tank and unscrew the lid on the bottom to "change" the oil whenever they want to! To do this, I cut off both the lids and the pieces of plastic they screwed onto. I flipped the milk carton over and cut a hole in the bottom for the milk carton lid. I glued this on with hot glue. Then I flipped it back the right way and glued on the larger lid parts to what was now the bottom. I glued a zip tie to the inside of the milk carton lid for a "dipstick."

Spark Plug supplies: Plastic nuts and bolts (like these), water bottle caps, straws, skewers, metallic silver marker, and a hot glue gun.

Cut holes where you want your spark plugs to be and glue on the "nut" part. Test to make sure the bolt will screw into the nut and the cardboard underneath. To make the spark plug I put hot glue into the bottom of the bolt, (the part that actually screws in is hollow) then I stuck in my skewer that was inside my straw. When all of those parts were dried, I cut a hole in the water bottle cap and glued it to the top for stability. Then I colored the exposed part of the skewer with a metallic silver marker. All of this is a visual thing, I just Googled spark plugs and tried to make them look like the pictures I saw.

The "Piston" supplies: T.P. rolls, plastic caps, and hot glue.

This is the part of the build that I think might win the award for most unrealistic. I had a little room so I added in these "pistons" to have some more things to play with. They are just made of a smaller T.P. roll inside of a wider half of a T.P. roll with a cap glued on top. Glue them to the cardboard and you have a movable ring that I'm sure has a very important purpose for this engine. Maybe it has something to do with the magical charge?

Tire and Hubcap supplies: Plastic nuts and bolts, paper plates (2 big, 2 small), black paint, silver paint, and an Exacto knife.

Cut a hole in the centers of the big plates then paint them black on both sides. Cut the edge off the smaller plate, a hole in the center,  and cut out sections to resemble a hubcap. Paint these small plates silver. Position your tires where you want them, mark where the center is, and cut a hole for your bolt. Put the bolt through from the inside of the "car" then add the nut to the other side to secure your tires.

To make the base for the engine I used an extra box hidden in the bottom for support. I also just did a lot of weird duct tape magic to make it all stay up. I have no advice for this, the whole engine is held in place with hope and a whole roll of duct tape. Which is a lot like some of the real cars that I have owned through the years, now that I think about it.

This project was time-consuming but worth it. It is sturdy enough that we have had it for about a month and it still hasn't broken permanently, which is amazing as it has also doubled as a cat bed. Ro has enjoyed playing with the components, but there are still a few improvements I would like to make. I think I want to buy some ribbon or beads that have an "oil slick" look about them so he can put something in the oil tank besides leaves or whatever toys he finds on the floor. All in all, if you have a little one who can't get enough of cars, this is an inexpensive (and eco-friendly) alternative to an expensive toy.

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