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Archive for the ‘crafts’ Category

Recently, we had a fun-filled week of VBS at our church!  We tried our best to deck ourselves out to coordinate with the theme of each evening.

Monday night, we went on safari!

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We dug out a plastic pith helmet for B that had been part of a butterfly catcher costume for Husband in 2007 and 2011, and a tan bucket hat for V.  V chose a tropical print sundress to wear, while B and I layered button-up shirts with rolled up cuffs over our team color shirts.  B is wearing his Peter Pan shirt, made from the Blank Slate Bookworm pattern, and I’m wearing a cream-colored cotton Blank Slate Novelista!  I sewed my headband from my team bandana fabric using the tried-and-true mmmcrafts Kinder, Gentler Headband pattern that I’ve been using for years.

On Tuesday night, the theme was animals!

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B’s class was known as the “Tiny Tangerine Tigers,” so that was our obvious inspiration for his costume.  Husband added stripes cut from electrical tape to the $1 orange t-shirt I’d purchased, and I quickly sewed up a tail and tiger ears from orange felt, adding more electrical tape stripes to complete the costume.

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V was tickled to receive a super-cute hand-me-down bee costume from a family at church, and it worked perfectly with her class color (she was one of the “Golden Gazelles” this year)

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I repurposed some fabric fish and shells from a previous year’s VBS costume and attached them to my headband to make myself into a coral reef.  I also dug out some big, wooden, fluorescent fish earrings from when I was in middle school or so to complete the look!  Haha!

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Wednesday night was color night, so we did our best to infuse as much of our team hue onto ourselves as possible!  B and I added “hair mascara” to color our hair; we had neither lavender nor orange, so I mixed pink and blue for mine and yellow and red for his.  I think his hair looks a bit like flames!

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I repurposed one of V’s dress-up princess dresses for her skirt: her Snow White costume had saggy elastic in the bodice, so I unpicked the stitching between it and the skirt, added a waistband made from a yellow t-shirt scrap and called it done!

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The Thursday night tradition is pajama night!

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I had a yellow sheet in my stash, so I whipped up a pair of yellow PJ pants for V, and then I found some $2/yd orange fabric to make a pair for B, too.  His have dino fabric at the cuff to coordinate with a pair of Daddy’s.  Both of their pairs were made from the Blank Slate Snuggle PJ pattern (I have made SO MANY pairs of PJs using that great pattern!!) .

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After several years of being on the lavender staff team (snacks!), I decided to finally make a pair of lavender PJ pants– and I even incorporated my team bandana as trim above the cuffs.  I couldn’t resist re-using my moon-and-stars headband attachments again this year (previously used in 2017 and 2016!)

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On Friday, it was “Mathletes and Athletes” night.

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B proudly wore his tee ball shirt from the program he did this past spring, and V wore her ballet class gear.  I decided to take the opportunity to tackle a project that I’d been wanting to do for a while– make a shirt with heat transfer vinyl!  It was so very satisfying, and I’ll have a post about my first shirts soon.

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But our outfits/costumes weren’t the only VBS crafts this week!  The weekend before VBS, the staff worked hard to transform our church with all sorts of decorations!  I mostly helped out with the snack area, called “Grizzly Gulch.”

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We decided to make it look like a nighttime campsite in the Rocky Mountains(ish), so we cut out bear silhouettes from black paper and attached them to a starry background.  We assembled our artificial Christmas trees from home and made a little pine grove, and made the kitchen window look cabin-like with curtains that I made from the plaid-printed plastic tablecloth material.

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I had fun making a sign and a campfire out of cardboard and paper scraps, too!

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For a fifth birthday party, you gotta have games!  Since B loves both Lego Nexo Knights and Lego Ninjago, we created a little storyline that involved both of them throughout the activity part of the party.

As the kids came in, they used Lego-shaped crayons with some coloring pages that I printed — there were Nexo Knights and Ninjago pages available!

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Once all the guests had arrived, we moved onto the first official “activity”– a craft to create their own Nexo shield.  Each kid got a white cardstock shield background and chose a colored digital border to glue onto it.  They used the Lego crayons to draw a Nexo power onto their shield, and when they were finished, I used a glue gun to attach the cardstock to a cardboard base, into which I had threaded an elastic wristband.

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We got a cool group photo at the party, but these are just the shields that my own kids made…

Now that the knights were prepared for battle, we told them that globlins had invaded our backyards, and we needed them to use their Nexo powers to defeat them!

Husband (and I helped, just a little) blew up 60(!!) red balloons and added globlin grumpy faces to each one!

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When it was time for the game, he released them onto the grass in the backyard, and the kids “CHAAAAAARRRRRRRRGE”d around the corner of the house to do battle!  It was amazing and hilarious.

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And it lasted for about 30 seconds! Haha.  After their victory, the kids made quick work of picking up all the balloon bits from the yard… Now that they were victorious Nexo Knights, it was time for the next phase– Ninja training!

I made each guest a personalized “ninja headband:” I used the font called “Shanghai” and cut the names out of vinyl using my Cameo.  I simply used blue painter’s tape to transfer the letters to 1.5″ wide white satin ribbon.  It was my first vinyl project, and now I’m hooked!

 

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Look at those awesome ninja moves!

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Husband found some suction cup throwing stars on Amazon, and he printed pictures of eight Ninjago villains, which he then mounted inside a poster frame.  The kids took turns “fighting” the villains!

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Finally, we sent the kids on a “ninja hunt” around the ground level of our house.  We printed tiny (about 1.5″ square) pictures of each of the six Ninjago ninja so that each kid had to find a complete set!

All in all, I think the kids had a good time with all of the games… and then we ate!

At the end of the party, the kids got to take home a goody bag that included their personalized ninja headband, their Nexo shield, a little set of Lego crayons, and a small Lego kit (the kind that come in the little packets).

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Lego party: crayons

For his fifth birthday, my son requested a Lego-themed birthday party!  And, as is our wont, Husband and I went all-out!

The party was a combination of general Lego goodness plus Nexo Knights and Ninjago theming.  As we browsed Pinterest for ideas, we quickly decided that Lego brick molds were going to be an important factor!

One of the first projects we did was to make Lego crayons.  The kids used some of these to color and work on a little craft at the party, and we also gave each kid a set of eight as a party favor.

I didn’t realize until we started working on this project just how many crayons I had stashed away!  We used almost exclusively Crayola crayons, and we spent a good long while one Saturday morning peeling off wrappers to prepare them for re-melting.

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V was particularly helpful with the peeling and sorting, and once we’d finished that step, we used an old cutting board to chop each color into tiny bits in preparation for the melting and molding.

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We got our molds from Amazon (affiliate link), and the blocks were a great size for crayons.  We liked the rectangles the best, but it was fun to have other shapes, too.

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We baked the crayon bits at about 300 degrees Farenheit until they were smooth and melted… it took a different amount of time for different colors!

In the end, we had red, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, black, peach, white, gray, and brown crayons, and because we didn’t separate out the different hues in each color family, we had lovely marbled crayons as a result.  I thought the pink and the green were especially beautiful.

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They’re so pretty… let’s look at some more photos!

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Last year, we went a little bit crazy with V’s kindergarten valentines and a gigantic castle mailbox, haha!

This year, I wanted to keep things a bit simpler, but I still wanted to do something handmade with her!  I’d seen some cute pencil valentine ideas, and as we discussed what she wanted to do (and browsed some Pinterest ideas together), we settled upon these cute little flags.  I made a simple printable design using my Silhouette software, and since my Silhouette SD isn’t working (I’ll be replacing it soon, hopefully!), I simply cut the cardstock into strips after we printed the sheets.

V did the rest!

She folded the flags, cut the banner ends, added stickers, and addressed and signed every single one.  She took particular care to select pencil designs for each friend and classmate that she thought that they would like best, and she taped them with washi tape on the inside of the flag before using a glue stick to seal the ends.

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I really think they turned out well!!

She also did a wonderful job on her valentine box.  We went very simple this year, and we used some color-your-own wrapping paper that a friend had given to us.

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She worked very diligently on coloring it, and she even had Husband and I get involved on some of the hearts (we both enjoyed spending some peaceful coloring time with her :)).

Husband took great care to cover her mailbox with the finished paper…

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…including finishing the edges of the mail slot opening:

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…and covering the flaps that open on the side to get all of her cards and treats out at the end.

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We added her name on a strip of pink vellum so as not to cover up too much of her coloring, and the box was done!  Simple, but still really pretty!  She was proud to take it to school with her.

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Cardboard truck

It all started because my four year old came up to me and said that he wanted to make a cardboard truck and paint it.

And so, Mommy decided that it should be a cardboard truck big enough to play in. And it should have moving parts.

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B advised as I built it, and he made his own control panel (he told me exactly the function of each “button” and “lever”).

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After the cardboard pieces were cut out, he painted them on the back porch.

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(he even used some splatter painting techniques he’s seen on some crafting videos with me!)

When they were dry, we assembled the truck, and he’s been having a great time pretending to work at a construction site!

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Ever since we came up with the nautical theme for my son’s room (before he was born), and we’d chosen his name, I’ve wanted to make him one of these banners!  I guess that now that he’s almost four, it’s about time.

A few weeks ago, rather out of the blue, my daughter asked me to put up a banner on her door.  I’ve put this banner on her door in the past, and she’d remembered it.  As I did, my son asked why he didn’t have a banner for his door.  Since it was spring break, and I thought I had lots of extra time (ha!), I told him that I would make him one.

And I did!

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I did an image search for “nautical flag alphabet” to figure out which flag corresponded to what letter, and I constructed the flags out of colored cardstock, based on 4″ squares.

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I went old-school with hand-set eyelets in white textured cardstock strips along the top of each flag.  I threaded them onto off-white yarn to mimic the look of rope.

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I think my son is pleased to have a banner of his own, and it makes me happy to see it hanging on his bedroom door!  It also feels really good to make a project that’s been on my wishlist for years!

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Valentine castle mailbox

I’d like to share a couple projects that V did recently for Valentine’s Day at school.  I’m really proud of her!

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This first project is her Valentine mailbox.  The instructions that were sent home said that this was a family project, so we made it one!  (They also said that the only limit was our imagination…and it had to have the student’s name clearly marked on the front!)

I did a little pre-searching on Pinterest to gather some options from which V could choose.  As soon as she saw our short-list, she immediately chose a castle.  What we made is based on THIS and THIS.  Husband went searching for cardboard parts and oversaw V drawing out some crenellations to then cut with scissors.

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I glued all the parts together and then spray painted the whole thing purple (well, as much as I could with an almost-empty can of paint!).  B watched this process with great interest!

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After the structure dried (and aired out–wow! I forgot how pungent spray paint is), I brought out a bunch of embellishments, and Vivian decorated her castle.  I was impressed with her choice of design– simply doilies and flowers, with some rick-rack trim.  She wrapped the cardboard tubes with paper, and then we got out the glue gun!

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Since I have a low-temp glue gun, I thought this would be a great opportunity to start teaching her how to use it.  She attached spirals of ribbon to each of the towers, and then used the glue gun to attach the towers to the main structure.  I was really proud of V– at first, she was understandably a little scared to use the glue gun, but she gained confidence as I helped her, and by the end, she was using it by herself (I was right next to her, of course!!).

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…and here are the “glamor shots” of the finished castle!

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V’s classmates were able to put their valentines into the box via the little drawbridge.

It looked like her kindergarten Valentine’s Day party was a lot of fun!

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