Tag Archives: DIY

Kids’ Cupcakes (That the Average Parent Can Actually Make!)

We’ve all seen them—those amazing cupcakes on Pinterest that you decide you just HAVE to do for your child’s birthday party. Until you try to actually make them and they turn out like this:

For the record, those aren’t my cupcakes nor is this my picture, but it made me laugh out loud because it’s so true! Oh, I am still going to try to make the Cookie Monster cupcakes for my daughter’s 2nd birthday Sesame Street party, so we’ll see which of these pictures I get closer to.

But for the average parent (i.e. those of us who aren’t professional bakers or even good amateurs), here are some adorable cupcakes that are actually DOABLE. Enjoy!

By Good Housekeeping

By Frilly Milly Events

By Better Homes and Gardens

By Disney Family Fun

By marthastewart.com

By Better Homes and Gardens

By Disney Family Fun

By Better Homes and Gardens

By ericasweettooth.com

By justcallmechris.blogspot.com

 


Homemade Playdough

Shockingly enough, I decided to try making my own playdough out of pure laziness. I didn’t feel like hauling my cookies to Target in 105° weather, so after Googling a few recipes, I decided it was easier to just make the stuff myself. I had all of the ingredients in my pantry already, so I gave it a shot.

I followed the recipe on Musing from a Stay at Home Mom, which was a little more complicated and involved than some of the other recipes I found, but I thought that lent it some credibility.

It was seriously so easy—I don’t think I’ll ever buy Play Doh again! I made the full recipe in two batches so that I could create two different colors. The whole process only took about 15 minutes. We played with it after dinner last night, though it might have been more fun for mommy and daddy than it was for Olivia. She just thought it was dessert.

Homemade Playdough

1 cup flour

1 cup water

2 tsp cream of tartar

1/3 cup salt

1 tbsp vegetable oil

Food coloring

In a small saucepan on medium/low heat, mix flour, cream of tartar, and salt. Add in the water and vegetable oil and stir well. The mixture will be a bit clumpy at first; just keep stirring.

Once the playdough starts to thicken, quickly mix in your food coloring. Continue stirring as the mixture solidifies. When it starts to gather around the spoon and stick together, you know it’s done.

Remove the playdough from the saucepan and allow it to cool on wax paper. After it’s cooled, knead it a few times to soften it up and work out any remaining lumps.

Store the playdough in a Ziploc bag or an airtight container.


Free Printables for Kiddos at Mr. Printables

A friend recently turned me on to Mr. Printables, a web site that has tons of free printables for kids. There’s everything from flash cards to coloring pages to party decorations! You just select, download, and print—super easy!

How cute are these French alphabet flash cards?!

Via Mr. Printables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I also love the ice cream color matching game.

Via Mr. Printables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re looking for some quick coloring pages or new activities to do with your little one, definitely give this site a peek!


Bathroom Redesign for Under $1,000!

When we bought our house four years ago, we knew we wanted to redo our upstairs guest bathroom at some point. It didn’t look awful, but everything in the room was original to the house (i.e. from 1979) except for the lovely press-and-stick flooring, which covered the original linoleum.

While we worked our way up to a complete redo, we decided we would at least get a new WaterSense toilet to help with our water usage. What we didn’t realize was that the wax seal had pretty much disintegrated, and we ended up with some serious water damage to the floor. Whomp whomp. So since we had to pull up the flooring and replace the sub flooring, we figured we might as well jump in with both feet.

Our guest bathroom before:

It’s not a great picture, but our hard drive is holding the others hostage, so this will have to do. What you can’t see in this picture is the beautiful unframed mirror covering the entire wall and the nostalgic light fixture.

As we had just plunked down all our cash on our house, we were working on a budget. Luckily, the shower tile and tub were in good shape, so we didn’t have to touch that part. Our biggest penny-saver by far, however, was that my handy husband did every bit of the work himself (painting, tile floor, new crown molding, the works).

Our guest bathroom today:

The toilet is the Kohler Cimarron ($248), which can flush an entire bucket of golf balls. We decided to spend a little more on the toilet since we knew we wanted to have kids one day. That day has come, and believe me, that toilet was worth the money.

Our vanity is from the Estate by RSI Boardwalk collection at Lowes ($180). The mirror is allen + roth ($99) and the vanity light is Portfolio ($59), both from Lowes. 

We found our floor tiles on clearance at Lowes for $0.68 a square foot. The paint color we chose was Behr Manhattan Mist, and we found our shower curtain on sale at World Market ($15).

Our grand total for the entire bathroom. . . $964!


How to Get Rid of Corner Protectors (No Drywall Required!)

When we bought our house four years ago, every single corner on the first floor had a faux wood corner protector. This is the only picture I could find that shows them. It’s not great, but you get the gist.

We didn’t think it would be an issue to take them off—until we discovered that there was nothing but metal underneath. What we thought would be a simple touch-up paint job turned into a somewhat pricey drywall project. We took care of half of the corners when we knocked out one of the walls, but we still had two entryways that had them. We painted them to match the wall color, which helped, but we still couldn’t wait to get rid of them.

Fast forward to this spring, and we finally got around to doing something about the ugly corner protectors. We didn’t feel like dealing with everything that a drywall project entails, so my oh-so-smart husband got creative. Using three 1×6 planks of finished-grade wood and some decorative molding, he built a new entryway that completely covered the nasty metal corners that were left after we yanked off the corner protectors.

If you’re looking for a quick, easy, and relatively cheap way to get rid of corner protectors, or you just want to dress up your entryway, this little DIY project can be done in a weekend. Simply measure and cut the planks so that they essentially box in the existing entryway. Cover the facade with the molding (if you’ve never hung molding before, you’ll need a mitre saw to get the angles right). Use wood filler and caulking to fill in any nail holes and gaps, and then paint with a couple coats of gloss paint. Voilà! A brand new entryway with all the character of original architecture!

 


Valentine’s Day Crafts for Kids

My friend Stephanie is probably one of the craftiest people I know (in a creative way, not a devious way!). She whipped up this adorable felt heart garland one weekend to decorate her cube at work and since the tops of our work spaces are glass and I sit directly across from her, I get to benefit from it as well.

 

 

 

 

 

It made me think what a fun activity this would be to do with the little one—when she’s a little older and can sit still for more than 28 seconds, of course! But if your little one(s) are static enough to tackle this project now, you can find the  tutorial here. Here are some other fun Valentine’s Day crafts I have pulled together to do with your kids.

Teach Mama, another DC blogger, had her children create a love tree, which is not only sweet but allows for lots of practice with fine motor skills. I love this idea and can’t wait to make one with my daughter when she’s a bit older!

Via TeachMama.com

For easy valentines, get paint color strips from your local hardware store in varying shades of red and pink, and use rubber stamps to spell out messages like “XOX” and “I♥U” in black ink. Honestly, I think this idea is more for my designer friends than for my daughter, but it was too cute not to include!

Via Country Living

For Valentine’s Day crafts that my one-year-old and I can do together now,  heart stamps seem to be the way to go. You just need some paint, paper and a little creativity.  Rust & Sunshine used a toilet paper roll to create a perfect heart stamp for her artsy toddler, and Homemade Serenity helped her kids get creative with a celery heart to make rosy valentines!

Via Homemade Serenity

Via Rust & Sunshine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you come across or done other fun Valentine’s Day craft projects with your kids? Please share—I would love some other ideas!


For Future Gryffindors

I recently made this shirt for my daughter for Christmas and couldn’t resist making one for my friend’s little boy as well, since she’s a huge HP fan too. I used the Harry P font from dafont.com (a free download) and had the shirts printed at CafePress.com on the toddler t-shirts in pale yellow. With the reddish font color, the combo was the closest I could get to the Gryffindor house colors. The shirts came out to about $15 each, including shipping. We’re already making plans to hunt down a toddler-sized Hermione-esque wig and tiny round glasses so we can take their picture together! And if you didn’t already know how much of a nerd I am, well, there you have it.

Front

Back


DIY Decoupage Ornament

My friend and coworker, Stephanie, is just so creative and crafty! She saw this picture of a Christmas ornament on Pinterest from the blog Flea Market Style and decided to make each of us at work a decoupage ornament for Christmas. Katie and I (the editors) got book print (Pride and Prejudice to be exact!), Brandi and Ariana (our web ladies) got fun origami paper, and Stacy (our resident insane Duke fan) got a Duke ornament. How cute are these?! It’s hard to tell in our lovely fluorescent office lighting, but they’re each covered in glitter and twinkle in the lights!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since the original inspiration image was just a picture of an ornament from a store, Stephanie has very graciously shared with me her DIY tutorial, which I now happily share with you. You can use any type of paper (books, scrapbook paper, etc.), so if you decide to do this project with or for your kids, the possibilities are endless!

DIY Decoupage Ornament
(By Stephanie Patterson) 

  • Any size clear glass or plastic ornament (I used 3-inch plastic ornaments)
  • Mod Podge® or any decoupage medium
  • Paint brush (I used a small sponge brush)
  • New/old/recycled book pages or scrapbook paper
  • Crystal glitter
  • Yarn or string (I used Martha Stewart Eyelash yarn)
  • Glitter card stock for the letter or you could really use anything that you want to use as tag-like adornment
  1. Tear book pages into 1- to 2-inch pieces.
  2. Remove the silver cap on the top of the ornament.
  3. Using the Mod Podge as glue, paint some onto the ornament and then place the paper down on top.
  4. Apply more Mod Podge over the paper to moisten it and flatten over the rounded surface.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with overlapping pieces of paper until the ornament is completely covered.
  6. Let dry for approximately one hour.
  7. Apply another coat of Mod Podge over the whole ornament and pour glitter over it, turning the ornament to coat the entire thing. Shake it to remove any excess glitter.
  8. Let dry overnight.
  9. Wrap the neck of ornament with yarn and add any adornments (to create the letter tag, I used my Cricut® Cutting Machine with glitter card stock and punched a small hole to thread the yarn through).
  10. Replace the silver cap on the top of the ornament.
  11. Use another bit of yarn to create a loop for hanging the ornament.

 


The 20 Minute, $12 Christmas Wreath

This post is a little late, considering Christmas is in just a few days, but better late than never! I decided to make my own Christmas wreath this year for the front door because I’m too cheap to pay for one (those things are EXPENSIVE!). So I went to Michael’s and bought two tubes of large ball ornaments (14 total), three tubes of small ball ornaments (21 total) and a wreath form. Because everything was on sale, it only cost me $12! Using a hot glue gun, I glued the ornaments onto the wreath form, making sure to alternate the colors and patterns. It might not be perfect, but I think it turned out pretty good! And it’s totally doable for a busy mom, or it could be a good project to do with your little one. The only change I would make is that I recommend getting four tubes of small ornaments rather than just three to help fill in any holes.

 

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Aaannnnd We’re Back. . . With an Ornament

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. To say that things have been pretty nuts around here this week would be an understatement. My husband has  a sinus infection, my daughter is fighting a cold, and we had a death in the family, so we’ve been out of town for the past few days. But we are home now and back to blogging, so without further adieu. . .

One Christmas tradition we have started with our daughter is to give her a new ornament on Christmas Eve to add to the tree. This year, I thought we’d do a DIY ornament, since she’s so little, it’s not like she’s going to remember opening it anyway. I found a cute thumbprint reindeer ornament on Pinterest (from Little Bit Funky) and figured we’d give it a shot. It was surprisingly easy! I found the ornament itself at Michaels for $1.99. The paints were Martha Stewart Multi-Surface Satin Acrylic and were $1.99 each, also from Michaels. I decided to add my daughter’s name and the year to the ornament. It will be fun to one day look back and remember just how tiny her little fingers once were!