Archive for the Craft Category

Planting Maters Tutorial

Planting Maters Tutorial


I am the kind of person who likes to come up with original ideas. It could be the competitor in me, or the artist. I am not exactly sure which side it comes from. Either way it has always been important to me, as far back as I can remember. When it came to hosting my #DisneySide party I have to admit I was a bit stumped, and Pinterest didn’t really have much to offer beyond sugary snacks. In my expierence other than cake, cookies, or cupcakes the kids don’t care what snacks are there, they will eat it or won’t. No, for kids it is all about the activities, so I needed to have some good ones.


After watching Cars two nights in a row the week of the party I finally had an idea. It was the line in the movie when Mater meets Lightning for the first time. Mater says his name, “Mater. Like Ta-mater, with out the “ta.” That was when I knew what I wanted to do with the kids. Plant to-maters, or tow-maters. How ever you would like to spell it. A play on words is fun, and cute, but the 3-5 age range won’t really pick up on that. To make it more Mater-like, I wanted the pots to look like Mater. Tada! Today’s craf-tiviy was born.


Planting “Maters”

You will need;

  • Seed starter pots
  • White paper
  • Tomato seeds
  • Glue of choice
  • Googly eyes (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Dirt
  • Water
  • Children willing to help


You could easily use any cup you wanted for the purpose of this activity, but I chose the seed start pots because they are already brown like Mater, and they can go straight into the ground the way they are.


The first step is to make your pots look like mini Maters. Start by cutting your white paper to look like Mater’s windshield. After you have cut out your windshields cut small rectangles for his two front teeth.


Then glue on googly eyes. I chose to use white glue because it is less toxic than other choices, but it will also dissolve with too much water. Just something to keep in mind, because they might fall off from too much watering. Also Mater’s eyes are actually green, so you could skip the glue and let your little crafters draw in his eyes, with crayons or markers.


Next attach your “eyes” to the top of the pots.


Glue on his two front “teeth.”


Honestly everything up to this point could easily be done by even the smallest crafters. Being that I did this as an activity for a party, I chose to make them in advance. Waiting for glue to dry can be hard, so I wanted to skip that step. When we do this again in the future I will have my kids do 100% of the work. I will make a template of the windshield from cardboard for them to trace.


Now onto the dirty part. Dirt being the key word.


Fill those pots with dirt!




Fill them all the way to the brim, because the soil will settle as you water it.


Now it is time to add seeds! I chose to use cherry tomatoes because they can grow easily in a pot, and I wasn’t sure what all of our guests would do with them. I wanted everyone to have a chance to watch their “Maters” grow.



Once the seeds are in place it’s time to WATER! These kids loved watering their new plants.


Lot’s of helpers.



Then find a sunny windowsill for Mater to sunbathe in and watch your tomatoes grow.


It almost looks like Mater sprouted hair!


What is your favorite activity to do with/or have kids do, at a party? What are your children’s favorite party activities?

Leprechaun Trap

Our leprechaun traps are a quite simple, yet hopefully effective design. Leprechaun Traps

This was very easy to do with a two year old and a three year old.

The Gemini Mama Leprechaun Trap


Step 1 – K1 and I painted the boxes green on the outside while K2 took a longer nap.



Step 2 – Let the outside of the boxes dry



Step 3 – We decided to paint the insides gold, in hopes that it was help to attract the leprechaun.



Step 4 – When you find painting boring seek the out of doors, and let mommy finish for you.



Step 5 – When step 4 is not enough boredom cure, find inspiration in your sisters excitement for painting.



Step 6 – STICKERS! Apply lots of stickers all over the box to create a disguise for your trap.



Be sure to enjoy yourself.

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In the last photo he was playing with this one shamrock. It entertained him for a good  minutes. No interruption from me. You and Mr Shamrock have a great time.



“No mom, I’m not done yet.”


Never. As long as there are still stickers, she will not be done.



K1 still stickering, K2 still playing with Mr. Shamrock.


End Result;



K2’s trap





K1’s trap



Both traps were made with lot’s of love, and the kiddos had fun. I think next year we will add glitter and such. Maybe K1 will even come up with her own trap design. Too soon?


They are really excited to catch a leprechaun. Let’s hope one finds us. (Although if they make only a small mess that would be okay too.)


Will a leprechaun be visiting your house tonight/tomorrow? What tricks do you have planned? (Seeking inspiration look here or here)

Handmade Valentines

And a tradition continues. Handmade Valentines for daddy. (I linked the last two years for those interested) We even made enough Valentines to send some snail mail love!


This may have been the easiest Valentine we have made daddy yet. I’m gonna give all the credit for making this easier to the table. Hah, but no, seriously. It makes a world of difference.

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Also noteworthy, I let K1 use scissors. That’s a big deal for me. I have been telling myself that I have not let her use the scissors that I bought specifically for her (note that they are purple) because of K2 always being too close. I decided that maybe that was a lie, and maybe I just, I dunno, envision her cutting her hair. Not that I am peticularly attached to her hair, it’s just, well, that’s what little girls do. You know, once they are comfortable with scissors. Cut all the things! “Mommy look at my new hair cut!”


The cards say “Love you to pieces, daddy!” Then you fill in the heart with “pieces.”



The hardest part of this whole craft was cutting all those squares, and waiting for glue to dry.



Yes both children got to use glue.



Provided to them on fancy Hot Wheels plates, left over from K2’s birthday party.



This went more smoothly than I actually expected. K2 did better than I imagined.



Having three containers of squares really helped out. No one was fighting over which one they wanted.



I thought that the tissue paper squares would be cute, but it turns out that the kids preferred the scrapbook paper squares.



Also I went overboard cutting squares and will have enough for next years Valentines too.



Stickers complete every Valentine in this house.



Thanks Grandma for the new stickers!



This guy. You should have seen the outtakes.


Do you hand make your Valentines, or are they store bought?


Easy Elephant Craft



This is one of the fastest and easiest crafts of all time. That is if you exclude the drying time.


Easy Elephant Hand-print Craft

Supplies needed

  • Paper for each participating child
  • Paint
  • Markers (crayons, or colored pencils would work too)
  • Love and patience


Ultra easy steps


Place a small amount of paint on a surface. I like to use paper plates, but have been known to use the lid to tupperware also. Just be sure it is larger than the hand you will be imprinting.


Place hand on paper, and do not wiggle it around. Be sure to guide your smaller little’s, because for some reason sliding your hand around on the paper is just more fun.


If you want a herd, do more hand prints.


Kids in the two and under age range need you to press their hand down for them. Other wise there will be paint everywhere, and you will have no distinguishable hand print to work with (and a bigger mess to clean up).

Elephant craft

Now wait while your hand prints dry. This step was the single hardest part for both of my children. Waiting. All parents know that the under 5 age set have yet to learn patience.


I chose for our hand prints to be done lightly so that they would dry faster. If your children are easily distracted, or more patient than mine then I would go a bit thicker and darker with the hand print.

K1 drawing ears

Once your hand prints are dry it is time to give your elephants a face. We used markers to draw in eyes, ears, tails, and some wrinkles on their legs and trunk.



Your children might want to draw their elephant throwing water or herself. Or they could even add a scene behind their elephants. Tree’s or water, who knows.


I wanted to use googly eyes for our herd, but couldn’t locate them. That might be fun too.



Ta da! You have completed your elephant! This is what our herd looked like.


E is for elephant!


I go this idea from a photo posted on an instagram account I follow. It was so easy I had to share!


Crafty Round Up For Kids


If you are a regular reader here then you know that I very recently adjusted my 2014 goals to include more crafts for my kids. It is always lots of fun for them and they are learning at the same time! This year we are trying to do at least one crafty project a month, besides your normal coloring or watercolor painting. Often times the best of us hit a slump and run out of ideas. With that in mind a few of my friends and I have put together a round-up of our most popular kid’s crafts. This way you can easy find a new to you project to complete with your little ones! We hope you enjoy. Oh, and feel free to let us know which one’s are your favorites!


If you would like to add your kid’s craft ideas, please feel free to use the linky form below.


Play Kitchen Reveal

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Yes the play kitchen is complete! It was even completed with enough time for me to consider building another piece. We need to build this Clara Table next. Sure it could use a few more finishing touches, a sink skirt, towel bar, maybe some hooks for utensils, but it will work great! Also those are things that can be added at any time.


First let me say that we built this play kitchen using the plans found on Ana White’s page here. Remember way back to June? You know when we started building this kitchen? It’s the first photo in the post, I’ll be right here while you refresh.


We have come a long way since then.



Putting together the fridge.



We started with the stove, and yet somehow it was the last piece to be completed. Just a side note in case you decide to build one of these; if we built one of these kitchens again we would start by building two sink boxes and move forward  from there.




At the end of it all, this was a great project, and FUN! I had a great time building it and look forward to building more.




Painting and filling holes with wood putty.



Repairing pieces that didn’t go quite right the first time.


The stove plans are not without flaws, she said that she updated them in her book, but we worked from the website.


Also while I am on a tangent I had intended for us to spray on a clear coat over the paint so that it would last longer. However once the pieces got finished I was so excited to complete them that the idea of clear coat when out of the window and my head. As you look more closely at the finished photos you will notice, on the stove in particular, that they paint has already chipped. No one has even played with it yet! I can see that in a year or two I will be repainting these. At least I have about half a gallon of paint left over.



Finishing pieces ….



One by one.

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until the job was completely done.

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Fancy refrigerator, with magnet latches and everything.

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A stove, with rubber burners that won’t get scuffed and scratched.

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And a touch light inside so you can see what your baking.

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Knobs that really turn and spin.

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Sink complete with moving faucet, and a sink bowl that is not attached, just in case they put water in there. Easy clean up!

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This is how the kitchen hid the past several months. Taking up space in mommy and daddy’s room. We didn’t cover it with a blanket until we added paint. They never even noticed it was anything special.


Over all cost;


We spent less than $100 on wood materials, BUT the stove is made completely of Douglas Fir. While the sink is only partially Doug fir and the rest is all pine. We could have kept our costs down doing pine wood from the start. Originally we thought that we were going to do stain, not paint.

$5 on 1 gal of mis-mixed paint

$6 on real stove knobs

$6 on Fridge handles

$3 on stove handle

$7 on black rubber for stove burners

$1 touch light (Dollar Tree)

$5 on non working display faucet

$5 on mixing bowl for sink

$15 on random fasteners, hinges, mirror clips (to hold in plexi glass on the stove), magnet latch system for fridge


Our total was right at $150.


We already had plexiglass, glue, and sandpaper, so they were things that we did not have to purchase.


We could have spent $150 on a wood play kitchen, but it would have been much smaller than this one works out to be. I can’t wait to show you pictures of the kiddos playing with it!


Have you built any items for your kids? Did you enjoy it, do they love it?

Insta-Sunday Update Style

Clearly I have been singing too much “Boom Chicka Boom” with K1. If you can’t see the influence in the title of my post, you must have never learned the song. It’s okay, but if you have kids, Google now. It is a fun song for the 3 to at least 31 age group. Even daddy joins in.


I have been so crazy busy lately, that I let updating you all take a back seat, sorry. I also have to confess that my laptop broke last month. Like never going to work again broke. I went to a deaf event one Sunday evening, and came back to a black screen that never went away. S has a laptop too, but it really is inferior to what mine was. It is also huge and clunky. Mine was 14.5″, his is like 17″ and basically not portable. I have to adjust, but in my heart I know that we will replace mine, just not today maybe in Jan. So it’s hard to get comfortable with his.


Any how I figured the best way to bring you up to date would be with an Insta post, which is two weeks over due and still late. Go grab a cup of something tasty while you update with me.


Last Saturday I was excited to host a “Foam at Home” (I know that sounds dirty, it is not, and I didn’t get to name it. Blame Gevalia) Gevalia coffee party. It was a great excuse for everyone to get together. We made eggs, bacon, and biscuits, which we enjoyed while sampling three new flavors of Gevalia coffee.


First, I was not paid to talk about that. Second I don’t even have to talk about it on my blog. Third …… go buy a box of the Mocha Gevalia Foamy coffee for your Keurig, thank me later. That one was super tasty, without a hint of coffee flavor. It was like foamy hot chocolate, I loved it.


I finally finished up did this craft. All painted and glued. After this photo I added white letters down the left side of the K to spell out K2’s name. Now he will should have his name on their bedroom wall. I mean he’s only two, it has taken me a long time.


I also used the finished product as a decoration at his birthday party yesterday. Because it isn’t on his wall yet, details.


When sleepy boys won’t sleep. I really needed him to take a nap, like I need to breathe. He didn’t nap for two days, so mama didn’t get much done for two days. Naturally he could sense that I needed him to nap, so he laid in bed trying to sing his “ABC’s”. All he did was sing A, B, C, D, over and over and over, keeping himself awake.


He did eventually fall asleep that day, thank you. Once he was asleep his sister tried everything she could to wake him up, while staying in her bed. I guess that’s life. If it’s not one it’s the other.


Last Saturday was K1’s dance recital. Daddy and I decided that it was a special occasion and should include a special breakfast. While he got the kids to clean up their bedroom, I snuck downstairs to slice strawberries and make french toast.


Side note;

If your curious, thinly slice strawberries, and sprinkle them with sugar. Place them in a container off to the side. They will make a saucy syrup. I usually do this before making pancakes, waffles, or french toast, and it is usually ready by the time they are done cooking.


The lovely lady after her recital. They danced to “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus. Due to privacy I can not share a video of it publicly, because naturally it wasn’t a solo performance.


What I can tell you, is out of every performance that afternoon, K1 was the only girl to almost run off stage. Her class went on first. They came out and started their routine. Two jumps in I guess she realized that a lot of people were watching her, like a whole room, and she didn’t recognize any of them. She stopped, turned, and almost ran. Instead she just stood there for a few seconds, then for some odd reason, she decided to stay, turned back and finished the rest of the routine.


It was good, and entertaining. Naturally for reasons other than being an amazing performance, but still. I’m glad I went behind daddy’s back to sign her up. (It might not always work out this way I know. There could be a day where he says “I told you so”, but not this day. This day he told me it was a good idea.)


While daddy thought that we would leave early, K1 wanted to see all the performances. She even asked to go again.


Is this true for your family holiday? It was too entertaining not to share. Mostly because for us, it is true.


Friday night preparing for K2’s birthday party in the morning. Cupcakes, and cleaning called for mommy to have a beer.


Apparently it is a trend for me to stay up past midnight the night before one of my children’s birthday party. It’s weird how traditions come about, isn’t it? Just kidding, kind of.


Me with wet, un-brushed hair, and a little guy who wouldn’t smile. Even still I really wanted a photo together before the day started and those types of things get forgotten or pushed to the side.


Last year K2’s party was too much for this mama to handle, mostly because he was teething, and it lasted all day. This year I invited less people. I failed to realize that the week of Thanksgiving less people would join anyway. Our party started out slow with several cancellations, but ended up great. A couple of my kids little friends came, and they crafted and had a great time together.


Bonus non insta-grammed party photo’s;


It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to! This happened before anyone actually showed up, all because mommy said no pretzels. Sorry dude. For the record I did offer him one, he didn’t want it, he really just needed to get his cry out.


I made up a craft for the party. I think kids like to craft, and I have learned that some friends don’t craft at home. To me, a party is the best time for crafts. Lot’s of kids, and lot’s of parents around to help, win!


K2’s party was a “Hot Wheels” theme and so I literally just made up a car inspired craft. If you want to do one too, cut out “car” shapes from construction paper. (I say “car” because my first draft looked like a VW Bug, and daddy didn’t approve. I think that the kids would not have cared, meh.) Then we cut out tires from black construction paper, and windows. Supply glue sticks, stickers, and crayons. Wala! Ten minutes of happy kids, or longer if you have crafty kiddos.


Extra craft bonus, if you want daddy’s to help or participate in the kids craft, have them help with the templates. Since daddy cut out all the construction paper parts, he was right there to show the kids how to do it. First time I wasn’t the craft leader. Make that work for you mom’s.


If you follow my insta stream you know that I left a few photo’s out. I have decided that I will do one big play kitchen post, once it is completed.


What have you been up to? 
life rearranged

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