Teachers Gifts: DIY Magnetic Clothespins

this week is my kiddies Teacher Appreciation Week. i wanted my kiddies to make a special gift for each of their teachers in honor of the week. i had a project in mind that i thought would be fun for them that would be fun, and not to tedious. so i came up with the idea to make decorative magnetic clothespins. by painting wooden clothespins and glueing a magnet to the back, their teachers could use them up on the white board to hold papers and reminders.

what you need
 magnetic tape strips with adhesive back
 wooden clothes pins
 exacto knife
 ruler or straight edge
 sheet of cardstock (optional)
 plastic sandwich baggie (optional)
printable baggie topper, download it here (optional)
step 1 
purchase your supplies.

my kiddies like to paint, but after our Mother’s Day project, i found they also liked to make huge messes. by using Elmer’s Painter Markers, which are actually perfect for this project, you cut down on the mess, plus they are easy for little hands to use.

Walmart now carries Elmer’s Painters Markers in individual colors for only $1.97 each. it’s great because you can pick out only the colors you need, and in the width you would like. i got the pens in medium points, but they also sell chisel tip and fine tip.

i was also able to get the clothespins for $.97 for a 50 pack which was a bargain and also picked up the magnetic tape strips at Walmart. i was very happy about that. all my shopping done in one place.

 step 2

once you have your supplies, you can get started by cutting the magnetic tape strips to fit one side of your clothespins. peel the paper off the adhesive on the back of the magnetic tape and stick it to one side of the clothespin.

 step 3

with your Elmer’s Painters Markers, paint the other side of the clothespin a single color. let dry.

 step 4

using other colors of Elmer’s Painters Markers, you can add designs and pictures to the painted side of the clothespins. you may need to wait for the paint to dry between each color that you use. once your design is complete, let dry completely. here you see my kiddies working so intently on their clothespin designs. awesome!

 step 5 

to package your clothespins, it is nice to cut a piece of cardstock to 2-1/2″ x 6″ or approximate to fit into baggie. place each clothespin neatly onto the cardboard. place into a plastic sandwich baggie. you can tie with a ribbon, or print out the bag topper i created and glue or staple it on. here is the link to download it.

 step 6
give it to your teacher! we just love how it turned out.
•  •  •  •  •  •

you can follow @Elmers on Twitter and like Elmers on Facebook. you can also follow the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #GluenGlitter and #Expressyourself.

if you would like to see more photos from my shopping trip to the Walmart craft department, click here.

 { Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™. #CBias #SocialFabric }

Kiddie Painted Canvas


so i thought it would be fun for the kiddies to make the grandmas Mother’s Day presents this year instead of just going out and buying something. i always love the gifts they make much more than anything they could ever buy.

i found these wooden canvases at Walmart for under $4.00. you could also use any sort of canvas or wooden plank you find at any craft store.


then i cut the letter “G” out of a piece of sticker paper. (we call our grandma “G”) i actually just used the label that was already on the canvas. but you could use avery label paper or even painter’s tape.  and it can be any letter you want. even a star or heart would be fab!


after i made sure the sticker paper was pressed down really good, i let the boys go to town painting the entire canvas. we used just regular acrylic craft paint.


even the little ones can participate. a fingerpainting would be just as beautiful!


they made it very colorful with flowers, dots and smears.


after the paint was completely dry, i removed the sticker paper to reveal the blank wood below.


and there you have it…..an awesome piece of kiddie artwork that is perfect for a gift or to display on your very own wall.

Homemade Bubble Wands

baby loves bubbles…actually, i think all kids love bubbles. they can go from screaming and crying to giggling and laughter with the “pop” of a bubble. in fact, bubbles also have many developmental benefits such as gaining eye contact, learning patience, hand eye co-ordination when you pop them, developing spatial awareness & exercise as little bodies stretch, reach and run to catch the bubbles.

so i’ve been wanting to make some fun bubble wands for baby to make bubble blowing extra fun! bigger bubbles are always better in my book. and since it is Earth Week this week, i wanted to show my kiddies that you can

things, instead of throwing them away.

so, i had a bunch of wire hangers just sitting around….about to be thrown away. i thought, why not make bubble wands from them instead of filling up a landfill.  so, i did. and here is how you can make your own handmade bubble wand:

what you need:
• needle nose pliers
• wire hanger
• beads with holes big enough to string onto the wire (optional)
• spray paint (optional)
• glue gun (optional)

step 1
using needle nose pliers, untwist and straighten out a wire hanger. (the whole bending process of the hanger was a bit harder than i thought, but the job got done.)

step 2
using needle nose pliers, twist the wire hanger into the desired shape. make sure one end is at least a 12″ long straight length for the handle, and the other end has a 1″ straight length that you will connect. to make curved shapes, it helps to use a metal canned food can to shape the hanger around.
step 3
connect your shape together like the picture below. use yourneedle nosed pliers to twist the wire around, making sure that there are no sharp edges sticking out.

step 4

if you would like to spray paint your bubble wand…now is the time to do it. once dry, move onto step 5.
step 5
string beads onto the handle of your wand. i found these great colorful painted wooden beads at Michael’s Craft Store.
step 6
using needle nosed pliers, twist the end of your bubble wand into a spiral to keep the beads on. make sure the end is not poking out too scratch anyone. see the picture below.

step 7
if you put beads onto your bubble wand, it’s a good idea to glue them down….or at least the top one so they done slide up and down the handle.  i just lifted the beads up, put some hot glue onto the handle and slid the beads down again. then they were stuck.
step 8
tada! you are finished. now enjoy your bubbles. you will need quite a bit of bubble solution though. i bought a huge jug at Target for $3.50.  even two would be better.  you can make your own solution by finding a recipe online though too. and when your done blowing bubbles, use a funnel to pour the unused solution back into the container.
wrapping a pipe cleaner around the entire shape on the top of your bubble wand can allow the bubble wand to hold more bubble solution. which = more bubbles.

Back to School: Melted Crayon Art

since i am having to completely redo the house from the flood we had a few months back….i have been trying to create a more playful atmosphere around here. i like things eclectic, and a bit quirky. so the boys and i made these melted crayon art pictures to hang on the wall. what kid doesn’t like to see things melt into beautiful streams of color. seriously cool and super simple.

make your own 
melted crayon art
what you need:
got glue gun
cardboard cut to size
 blow dryer
 frame (optional)
 glue crayons to the cardboard using hot glue
 lay your cardboard at an angle (approximately 45º)
 using the lowest speed and hot/warm setting, start melting the crayons.
you can manipulate the wax drops as they start to fall by angling the blow dryer or adjusting the angle of the cardboard.
let cool
 the great thing about this art piece is that you can make it any way you want, and no two are the same.

{participating in  i heart naptime, funky polka dot giraffe, ta da tuesday, get your craft on, tatertots and jello & skip to my lou linky parties}

Sand Footprints

last week we spent the entire week camping at the beach. i had planned a few crafts for the kiddies in case they got bored….which they didn’t.  they rode their bikes, played at the beach, went surfing, played in the dirt and did a few of the crafts i brought.

i thought it would be fun for them to make footprints in the sand and to pour plaster of paris into them.  we found the idea on Tori Spelling’s blog. love it.

it ended up being a little trickier than i thought, but by day two, i figured it out.  after realizing that you can not use ocean water (i should have followed the directions on using CLEAN water) and that you can not just keep on adding water to keep the plaster pliable, i managed to get the cutest little footprints of baby.

the boys made handprints and round thingy-m-jiggys that they added shells and sea glass too.  they had fun, and unfortunately i didn’t get a pictures of the creations they made.
here is how to make your own print in the sand:
Sand Footprints
what you need:
CLEAN water
disposable cup or bowl
 rope or twine (optional)
shells, rocks & sea glass (optional)
 make your footprints, handprints or shape in the sand, making sure it is deep enough to hold your plaster. (slightly wet sand makes the best prints)
 if you want to add shells & rocks…nows is the time. place them along the bottom of your sand print holes. sea glass makes pretty fingernails in handprints.
 in a disposable cup or bowl, mix your plaster of paris according to the directions. you only have a very short window of opportunity to make your prints before it hardens up, so be ready to pour!
 carefully pour the plaster into the sand molds you made.
 gently press in rope into each print to make a hanger (optional)
let the plaster sit for at least 20 minutes to completely harden.
whala! sand prints.
the baby prints turned out adorable….much cuter than i thought. i am going to hang them in our travel trailer to remind us of this years camping trips. hope you can try this fun project….you could do this at a park as well.  but beware….it does create a bit of a mess (or maybe i am just messy).
happy crafting,
jill, jack, kyle & baby
(p.s. did you see the sneak peak of my new kitchen cupboards….the only good thing that came out of the house flood.)