Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Star--raffia and ruffles

Some friends and I get together and do craft nights every now and then. Working full-time and trying to be a full-time mom doesn't often allow me to "plan" some great crafts to do on these evenings. But I did run across a cute craft idea on a rare "study-break" on Pinterest, where I found a Pottery Barn copycat ornament (here). Now on her post, she used dowels and made them larger. Being a scavenger to get a quick craft ready for an evening with the girls, I thought I would try it using chopsticks, as that is the closest thing I had to dowels on hand. She has all the directions, so I'm not going to repeat. Pop on over there if you want to give it a try. They are kind of time consuming, but look great. . .in my humble opinion!
Here are mine. . .I put them on a string where we hand our Christmas cards:

 Then because I got so good at them {wink, wink}, I figured I'd make them into ornaments too! Here are two that I made for ornaments:

Merry Crafting. . .and Merry Christmas!

Picture frame hair clip holder

I know these are all over blogs right now, but I just had to try one of my own for my daughter! Not only was our bathroom looking a little pink (when it is supposed to be quite blue and espresso!) and scattered with hair accessories (very hard to clean between the  clips and head bands!), but I needed a "cute" Christmas present. Seeing that I am posting this on Christmas Eve means that it was just finished last night! Right on time! Here is how I made mine. . .
Step1: Buy old frame from the thrift store. Use spray paint. When it sticks to the newspaper, peel excess off! I also added some white hooks to the bottom. (Left-overs from a jewelry holder project I did a while back).
 Step 2: Add ribbon. I decided to keep the "back" on it--I wanted the glass part so she could use it as a message board if wanted (or that I could write bible verse on it as the years go on. . .always thinking of the future!) So I used those little foam scrapbook squares to make sure the ribbon pops out a bit from the glass. I cut scrapbooking paper down to size (scrapbooking paper from the ActivityVillage website), and mounted that on the cardboard backing of the frame.
Step 3: Glue ribbon down to backing--I used double sided tape and then went over it with packing tape. Hopefully that holds the test of time and craziness of "accessory-choosing!"
Step 4: Turn it over and evaluate if it will work or not. . .
Step 5: Add a few decorations (wooden flowers at the top--from Michael's--they match a clothes/sweater hook I made for her room a few years back). And Voila--Christmas present done!

Can't wait for her to open it and spend time "organizing" her stuff! I guess I'll have to post a picture of it handing on her wall and full of the barrettes, headbands, elastics and flowers! Merry Christmas, Princess!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Advent Calendar Idea

Last year, for school, I was looking for an advent calendar type of idea that would be more on the "educational" and Bible side of things. I stumbled upon this blog/post, and LOVED it!!! I knew her idea would work better in my home, and didn't have the time to do all the searching, so here is how I changed it up a bit to work for my little school kiddos:
Here is my Christmas tree:
(star tutorial found here; the rest is just cut paper for the tree)
I used the Christmas collection of scrapbook paper from the ActivityVillage website, and mounted those on "library card" envelopes. Then I copied and reformatted the "meaning of Christmas" readings and glued them on cards to fit in the pockets.
I used some of the printable for the numbers from here and here. They worked beautifully--very talented people to make them for me to use!!! Thank you!
I popped the inserts in. . .
Then instead of having tangible things to display or put in drawers as shown in the first link, my Sped aide and I got together to collect pictures to hang on the bulletin board.
As seen in the first picture, as each day was read, the picture got to be hung up. The special helper of the day got to search for the right picture, the class got to guess what the pictures might be about, and the "high" readers got to practice reading scriptures. The students really looked forward to doing devotions and Bible in this way! I used it again this past year. . .although we never got it done as a snow day cancelled our last day of school!

If you need yet another way to do advent and teaching the "real" meaning of Christmas, here is what I did. . .