Tag Archives: diy

DIY Decorated Flip Flops + Gift Idea {create}

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I heard today was National Flip Flop Day, and it’s also the first day of summer, so I thought it was the perfect day to pull out this idea and post it (finally). Last summer, TG went to a birthday/pool party, and I was trying to think of a fun and inexpensive gift that wasn’t necessarily a toy. I saw a few make-your-own kits of various things in the stores, and so I decided on decorated flip flops after seeing many things like this on pinterest (picture below from The TomKat Studio here).

Adorable flip flops! Photo source: The TomKat Studio

Adorable flip flops! Photo source: The TomKat Studio

So, first up, TG and I hit up the stores to find the needed materials: flip flops and various embellishments like ribbon, stick-on jewels and flowers. I did a quick scan of Pinterest today and see other materials also being used, like pipe cleaners and pony beads and even paint, I think! Really, the possibilities seem endless. I precut the ribbon into strips (I didn’t measure, just sort of eyeballed it; ours might’ve been a touch too long in retrospect).

Precut ribbon and stick-on jewels to decorate the flip flops (excuse the poor picture)

Precut ribbon and stick-on jewels to decorate the flip flops (excuse the poor picture)

When the materials were ready, I let TG start tying the ribbons around the flip flop straps. She tied each one twice. Keep pushing the tied ribbons toward the front of the shoe as you tie so they don’t end up spread out too much. How many you put on depends on how full or bunched up you want. If you’ve got a younger child doing this step, you may want to go behind them and make sure they’re on there tight so they won’t unravel or fall off. Also, I would put some sort of fray check on the ends of the cut ribbon; I didn’t and ours started fraying after a little while.

Tying the ribbon around the flip flop straps

Tying the ribbon around the flip flop straps

This is a great way for your kids to practice tying knots as well 🙂 We made one pair for TG’s friend, and put extra embellishments in her gift to change that pair when she wanted, or create a second pair with different colored ribbon or jewels. The completed shoes really are adorable. We made another set for TG that she wore to the party, and she wore them almost the whole summer until the ribbons all fell off or frayed too much.

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DIY decorated flip flops

For TG’s friend’s gift, we got lucky in the party favor section of Wal-mart last summer. They had cute mini totes that were just perfect to hold the flip flops and embellishments we had ready. We also added some little extras like lip gloss, a nail file and polish set, hairbows and a book. It was a great gift for a 6 year old (who am I kidding; I’d like a gift like that, too!). I think you could even do this for boys as well as girls. Instead of the knotted ribbon, you could wrap the straps with a camo or other boy-friendly ribbon, or add one big embellishment in the middle (maybe a superhero or sports theme) instead of jewels.

Add a few extras to the flip flops and you've got the perfect summer gift.

Add a few extras to the flip flops and you’ve got the perfect summer gift.

As a final touch, I created a short little poem to attach to the tote to make it a little more clear what TG’s friend was supposed to do with the flip flops and random stuff inside the bag. Just in case :-). This was a fun craft thing to do with my daughter that really didn’t take a whole lot of time or money. I think the gift with all the extras ended up being about $10 or $12, so the flip flops are even less. If you’re looking for some kicked up flips this summer, head to your nearest craft store and get on it! Happy Summer!

Cute gift idea for the little (or big!) girl in your life

Cute gift idea for the little (or big!) girl in your life

Pinecone Birdfeeder {create}

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My daughter saw this project in a children’s magazine one time and has been anxious to do it ever since. So, yesterday was the day. It was a beautiful afternoon after lunch, so what better way to spend a little bit of time outside? (Well, aside from the kiddie pool, which they went for not long after this craft time!) So, I gathered up the birdseed, peanut butter, a couple of pinecones we have had in the house (I told you she’s been anxious to do the project!) and some string.

Four simple items are all you need for this kid-friendly craft!

Four simple items are all you need for this kid-friendly craft!

This craft is really easy and quick, but can get messy depending on the dexterity of your kids, so I took the project outside. My daughter, who’s 6, didn’t have trouble using a small spatula to cover her pinecone with the peanut butter. My son (age 4) wasn’t that into it, so I let her coat his, too.

Step 1: Coat the pinecone with peanut butter.

Step 1: Coat the pinecone with peanut butter.

When it was time to put on the birdseed, I had the kids roll the pinecones in a dish of seed, instead of trying to sprinkle it on. I figured it would be easier on them and a little less prone to messiness. This turned out to be a good idea. 🙂

Step 2: Roll the pinecone in a pan of birdseed until the pinecone is completely covered.

Step 2: Roll the pinecone in a pan of birdseed until the pinecone is completely covered.

After the cones were completely seeded, I tied on some string and we went off to the backyard to find a place to hang the bird feeders. This proved more difficult than I had expected because most of the good branches in our backyard trees were up too high for even me to reach, let alone the kids. So I ended up having to hang them up (and stretched up on my toes to do it), which I think was disappointing to my daughter, since she couldn’t do it. Maybe we can make some more of these sometime and find a different place to hang them up. It sure didn’t cost anything but a little time! Anyway, I was going to put the pinecones in different locations, but my daughter insisted they had to be on the same branch beside each other, because one was hers and one was her brother’s and they had to be together. I only wish the sibling sweetness lasted all day! 🙂

Step 3: Tie a string on the pinecones and find a suitable branch from which to hang them.

Step 3: Tie a string on the pinecones and find a suitable branch from which to hang them.

Resurrection Eggs {celebrate}

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I don’t remember where I first heard of this idea, but it was probably on Pinterest. Have you heard or seen about Resurrection Eggs? Apparently, you can buy the product already made, but it sounded like a super-easy idea to D-I-Y, and that’s what I did last year. I decided I wanted to do the Resurrection eggs again this year, so I pulled them out with the Easter baskets on Saturday. I still had all of my numbered eggs exept one, so I fixed that up and started filling them. I guess there are a couple of different lists of items to put in the plastic eggs, but the list below is what I used. I love that the items are pretty simple to find around the house, or easy to substitute with items you might have around (For example, no purple cloth? Try purple construction paper.)

  • bread
  • coin
  • purple cloth
  • thorn (I used a rose thorn)
  • thick string
  • cross (my husband pounded two nails together for this, but you could also use toothpicks,etc)
  • nail
  • King of the Jews sign
  • sponge
  • spear (I used a toothpick)
  • rock

In addition to those small items, you’ll need 12 plastic eggs and an egg carton–we recycled an empty one we had sitting around. The rest is easy peasy, as my daughter has taken to saying lately. Cut out the list of verses (I found them at this site), and place them and their corresponding objects in each appropriately numbered egg. Fill up your carton and you’re ready for a hands-on lesson about Christ’s resurrection! You could even make it more of a craft by having your kids paint and/or decorate the egg carton. I might add that step in next year. (I might also just write the numbers on the eggs instead of keeping the raggedy paper on there. :-))

A dozen eggs to tell the story of Christ's resurrection

A dozen eggs to tell the story of Christ’s resurrection

There’s some versatility in how you go about presenting the eggs. You can start 12 days prior to Easter and do one each day. Or, you can do like we’re doing this year, and start the week before Easter and do two each day. This works especially well for us because opening the eggs was our kids’ favorite part, and this way, they each get to open one every day. You could even do them all in one day, and repeat the lesson over several days leading up to Easter.

Each of the 12 eggs contain a small object and a Bible verse. Well, except Egg 12--it's just got the verse, because the tomb is empty!

Each of the 12 eggs contain a small object and a Bible verse. Well, except Egg 12–it’s just got the verse, because the tomb is empty!

Along with the Easter garden TG made, I think this will be an Easter tradition we’ll keep up, at least for the next several years while the kids are still in the little-and-learning stage. What are some of your favorite ways to celebrate Easter and Christ’s resurrection?

Easter Garden {cultivate}

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During last week’s homeschool art class at our church, the group did the cutest project for Easter. I had actually seen it surf by in Pinterest but had forgotten to pin it, so I was pretty excited when I arrived in class and discovered what the day’s craft would be! Most of the materials are things you’d find in your own back yard, so it’s even low cost!

You’ll need: a large terra cotta saucer (ours were 8 inch, I think), a small terra cotta pot, soil, grass seed, twigs, twine (and/or hot glue gun), small pebbles and one larger rock. I was baby-sitting a toddler for someone while the class was going on, so I didn’t actually get to see the process of putting it together (they did it outside), but it seems pretty simple enough. This site, A Homestead Heart, gives a great tutorial. I did help with the crosses on TG’s, and what we did was hot glue the two sticks together so they held and then we criss-cross-tied the twine over the twigs to help them stay put.

Easter Garden after 1 week.

Easter Garden after 1 week.

The site I linked to said it would take about 7-10 days for the grass seed to germinate and sprout, but ours took less than a week. The above picture was taken on Thursday, one week after they planted them, and look how high and filled in it is already! My kids have been thrilled to check it every day, water it and watch how high the grass is. It’s sitting on our kitchen table (to get some nice sunshine) and whenever I would check, I would see the big rock covering the “tomb” and would place it back to the side. I discovered the other day that my daughter TG kept putting the rock in front “because it’s not Easter yet!” And that, of course, is when the stone was rolled back and Jesus arose from the dead. Oh, how literal little ones can be! 🙂

I love the great reminder this craft gives that Jesus is risen! Every day we can look at our Easter garden and be reminded of that. And the science/gardening lessons they learned are pretty cool, too. 🙂 You’ve still got time to make one with your own family before this Easter holiday–sounds like a great weekend project to me!

In the shadow of the Cross

In the shadow of the Cross

“You’re a Star” Reusable Workbook {cultivate}

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I finally sat down yesterday and set our overall schedule for our homeschool year: what weeks our school will be in session and which days will be off for holidays and the like. We’ll be running from August to mid-May, but if something happens during the year (i.e., ill health, unexpected trips, we just need a short break), there are still a couple weeks of May left to be what I’m calling flex time. I’d like to be done as early as possible before the unbearable heat kicks in here, which is why I wanted to finish in May rather than June. But it’s nice to have that little bit of cushion for the unexpected. I have no idea if I’m doing this homeschool thing right, but it sounds good to me! At least, right now it does.

After I finished with the schedule, I decided to tackle something that’s been on my “To Do for School” project list for awhile. I already had my materials and I just needed to sit down and do it. So last night, I did. Have you seen any of these on Pinterest or in your web browsing?

Top row: iCandy Handmade, My Three Bittles

Bottom row: The Creative Homemaker, I Am Momma, Hear Me Roar

I am sure there are dozens more out there, but those are just a few samples that caught my eye. I’ve seen them called quiet books, fun folders, homework folders…all sorts of things. I tried to come up with a cutesy name for mine last night with no luck, so for now I’m calling it the reusable workbook. I wanted something my daughter could work through independently without having to print out tons of printables all the time or buying workbook after workbook. When I saw these ideas, I knew I’d found my answer.

First, gather your materials. You’ll need a binder (I chose the 1-inch one), clear sheet protectors (I think I started out with the 25 pack, but I’m sure I’ll get more), decorative papers/stickers, adhesive (depends on how you’re decorating the covers) and worksheets. For the worksheets, I just searched various sites and printed out a bunch of ABC writing pages, number pages, mazes, connect-the-dots, things of that nature. If you don’t have or want to use a printer, you can buy a couple of inexpensive workbooks from Wal-Mart or the Dollar Store, tear out the pages and place them in the binder. I might do that just to mix things up a bit and add some color into the book.

binder, clear sheet covers, paper and stickers…ready to go!

Next, I started laying out my decorative papers in various ways, trying to figure out how I wanted the cover to look. While I loved the look of the one above with the child’s name, for now I wanted my book to be used by either my son or daughter, so I wanted the colors to appeal to both. This part took the longest for me, because I’m so indecisive. 🙂 Then I used my scrapbooking tools to cut out the papers, sprayed on some spray adhesive and went to town. The other part that took me forever was trying to figure out what title to put on in place of a name. Like I said, I wanted a cutesy name for the book. Finally I decided to cut my losses and just go with “You are a STAR!” I’m digging it. 🙂

The binder’s front cover (sorry for the glare; that’s what happens when you work late at night and need to take pictures) 🙂

View of the back cover and spine with the front

While my spray adhesive was drying (those are the final pictures above; I waited about an hour for the adhesive to fully dry before I placed the paper in the binder covers), I searched and printed out some pages for the inside. There are so many places online and they’re just an easy Google search away, but some of the ones I used were Making Learning Fun, 1+1+1=1 and Kindergarten Worksheets. I slipped two pages, back-to-back, in each clear pocket to maximize space. I haven’t finished the inside yet, as it was pretty late and I was tired, but I’ve got plenty of room to add on.

Inside pages include mazes and color-by-number 

inside pages include math/number and letter worksheets

And that’s it! Just add dry erase markers or dry erase crayons, and your child is ready to go! I showed the binder to my daughter this morning, and she loved it. She’s one of those kids who does like to just sit and do worksheets, so I knew this would go over pretty well with her. I’ll be interested to see whether my 3-year-old will find any interest in it.

I’m starting to feel some momentum with my planning and preparation for homeschooling (good thing, right, since we’re starting *next month!*). Next on my agenda is to plan potential field trips and special unit studies for the year. I haven’t decided if that’s something I want to do every week or not yet. I don’t want to overwhelm either my daughter or myself. But I seem to be really drawn to the concept of unit studies, even though the curriculum we bought didn’t really include them. I guess it’s another thing we’ll have to wait and see how it goes when the time is here.