Category Archives: Craft

Easter Egg Tree 2016

It’s the season.. daffodils, cherry blossoms, puddle jumping and Easter Egg fun!

Want to make an Easter tree? It’s a fun project especially for older kids and the result is pretty stunning. Preparing the eggs takes quite a bit of time and effort (you will actually empty egg out of the shell through a small opening by blowing through a small hole on the opposite side of the shell), but the good news is that if you are careful, these eggs can last for years and be used on your tree again and again!

Check out our Easter “science” project from last year here – naturally dyed eggs!
And from two years ago, our Easter Tree here.

Ready to get started? See instructions captioned in each photo.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fresh white eggs
  • Something sharp (like a large yarn needle) to make small holes in the shell with
  • Small sticks (toothpicks or bamboo skewers broken into 3/4″ length
  • Sewing thread
  • Food color/egg dye, vinegar, hot water
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Use fresh white eggs

 

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1) Hold the egg firmly in one hand and using a large sharp pointy tool (I used a large yarn needle) tap the “north” or “south” end of the egg – like a bird might chip away at something, or think of a woodpecker in a tree! 2) You’ll tap firmly ~10 times and a small hole will form. Make it bigger by continuing to tap and clear some shell away. The bigger the hole, the easier to get the egg out, but you don’t want it too big. About 1/4″ or less should do. 3) flip the egg upside down and now start chipping a hole on the opposite side (this hole can be smaller). 4) Once you have two holes, insert needle about an inch into the egg to pierce the yolk (this will make getting the egg out of the shell easier). 5) You will now blow a thin stream of air into one of the holes (smaller one) and gravity should pull the egg out the other end. 6) Pour some water into hole and rinse by repeating step above.

 

 

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You’ll have plenty of egg yolks and whites – save for an omelet or cake!

 

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Let eggs air dry before dipping in dye

Ave and Anders helped with the dye process – using bamboo skewers to turn the eggs (hollow eggs float!). They loved comparing colors and watching the eggs turn deeper shades.

Note that you can get standard food coloring from the grocery store (e.g. McCormick makes a small box of four bottles: red, yellow, green, blue) and following the instructions we made some pretty cool mix & match colors.. sunset orange, jungle green, raspberry, etc. Other than dye, you’ll need vinegar and hot water.

While the eggs dry, fasten a piece of sewing thread to a small stick (e.g. broken toothpick or bamboo skewer), drop this into the egg so that the stick flips to the horizontal and becomes an ‘anchor’ from which the string is attached. Now the egg is ready to be decorated further and/or hung. Ave put colored feathers into each egg and was in charge of hanging. And yes, every step of the way there is risk of the eggshells breaking – they are eggshells after all – but make a bunch and have fun!

Beautiful, right? 🙂

Have fun! 🙂

dit-elle-Esther

DIY Beaded Bracelet…by your toddler (that you’ll actually wear!)

So I DO love the rainbow giant beaded bracelets and pasta necklaces that come home school and camps….I DO!  But…do I really wear them?  Um…no (horrible mom admittance!)

Maya had a friend’s birthday party to got to a bit ago, and I was talking with the mom about what to get her.  She really didn’t want more “stuff”, so she said if Maya wanted to make her something, that would be perfect.  Instantly I thought of a bracelet.  We asked what her favorite colors were.  I dug out my boxes of beads from storage (again…totally patting my pack rat self on the back right now!!), and…Maya made her a bracelet.  I helped with the clasp, but she did everything herself.  She picked what beads she wanted to use and strung them along.  Well…I didn’t take pictures of THAT bracelet ha!  But then Valentine’s Day rolled around.  What to give her teacher?  Oh, the box of beads were still sitting out (a week later-whoops!), so…Maya asked her teacher what her favorite color was, and we picked from my stash.  Thankfully, her favorite color was green (mine too!), so I had a few to pick from.  🙂

It’s a little hard to see, but these are an iridescent green “pearl” bead.  The bag that I had them in said $5.50, and we only used half.  So…while it looks like a really nice gift, it didn’t cost much, and it provided a fun activity.  Oh, and Maya had total pride in the fact that she made this for her teacher!!  And…her friend (that I didn’t take pictures of 🙂 )Blog DIY Toddler Beaded Bracelet-1 Such concentration!  I honestly wasn’t sure if it would be too hard for her to do, but she did it!Blog DIY Toddler Beaded Bracelet-2 Blog DIY Toddler Beaded Bracelet-3 Blog DIY Toddler Beaded Bracelet-5And obviously, had fun!  Which was the total point!!  Well…the end product was kind of the point, but her having fun making it was even better. Blog DIY Toddler Beaded Bracelet-4Blog DIY Toddler Beaded Bracelet-6So…don’t be afraid to have them make things out of real beads.  They aren’t that expensive, and they are totally wearable.  And…if you are like me and went through a total beading phase and KEPT all your beads…SCORE!! 😉dit-elle-Lauren

Non Candy Valentines with DIY Heart Glitter Cards

Daunted by the DIY Pinterest Valentine’s Day projects that you’ve been seeing??  Yeah, I feel ya.  We made play-do last year last year, and…we had a lot of fun!!  But…this year?  I didn’t have time!!  As most of you don’t!  If you do have time?  Totally make the play do!  It’s still in our fridge a year later, smells yummy, and we still play with it!  BUT…if you want something a tad bit easier…

You can still have your preschooler/kindergartner totally involved in Valentine’s Day projects even if they aren’t totally diy!  You can make them into a diy craft by involving them in the process!  I bought all my supplies from a Dollar Tree, spent less than $7, and involved Maya in every step of the way!  She helped pick out what we should buy (at $1 each, it was easy to say yes, but admittedly afterwards, I felt like we went overboard spending $7!)

Honestly, this would be a great idea for a birthday party parting bag (at least, I think so!).  At less than $1 per kid?!!?  Yet, lots of fun an useful things…score!Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card-1Two years ago, we made DIY Glitter Hearts for Valentine’s Day.  I remembered them being so easy, and that she had so much fun doing them, so we decided to not recreate the wheel.  Isn’t that the best advice ever?!!  WHY RECREATE THE WHEEL??? This year, Maya wrote her name all by herself on the back of each card.  An upgrade + Kind of a milestone! Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card-2I’m including links below to pretty much the exact same thing I bought for $1 each, but if you don’t have a Dollar Tree near you and want to put something similar together from Amazon…

What you need…

For the Valentine Bags

Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card

OR…I found a pack on Amazon that was kind of similar to what I put together.

Online Pack

What to do…

  • Yes.  You could assemble all these together yourself, and just have your preschooler work on the cards, but I wanted Maya to have a little more ownership since we weren’t doing a DIY craft for the actual Valentine.  SO, we turned it into a craft
  • She laid out how many bags that were in her class and counted them out (there were 25 in the bag, so we had some left over).Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card-3
  • Then she put one of each item into each bag.Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card-4 Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card-5 Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card-6
  • The bags came with end ties, so I tied them together with the cards at the end 🙂

For the Heart Cards

  • Card stock paper/water color paper, or I used a cardboard insert that had come in clothes I’ve bought online/t-shirts I buy for the Huz.  Yes, I save everything just in case.  Yes, I was so excited to finally use some of my hoarded craft supplies! 😉
  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • Hole Punch
  • Large sheet of aluminum foil for easy clean up
  • Cookie sheet or empty box (to contain the glitter bomb and glue :))

What you do…

  • Since we were doing this for Valentine’s Day, I cut little hearts out. You could do circles, or just squares/rectangles if you wanted to make cards for a different occasion.
  • Put the “cards” on a lined cookie sheet/box and let your toddler drizzle glue all over them.Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card-7
  • Then, while glue is still wet, have them go to town with the glitter!Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card-8I shook all the excess of some cards onto others so that the glitter was evenly distributed. Blog Non Candy Preschool Valentine Bags DIY Glitter Heart Card-9
  • Once the glue is dry, punch a hole in the corner and tie to the bags.

Have Fun!!dit-elle-Lauren

Halloween 2015

I’d be lying if I said the journey leading up to this year’s Halloween was an easy one.  It was quite possibly the most stressful and tense time Maya and I have had together.  The end result was her loving her costume and having the time of her life, and I truly hope that is ALL SHE REMEMBERS.Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-1I’ll backtrack a little… October is hands down the busiest time for me at work, so I knew I wanted to get a jump start on Maya’s Halloween costume, so that I wouldn’t be scrambling and stressed out.  SO…we went to 3 different thrift stores in the beginning of October.  Maya has very strong opinions (NO idea where she gets that from ;))  We finally found a super cool pirate costume.  It wasn’t cheesy and cheap, like some costumes, and…it was PURPLE (Maya’s favorite color-WIN!!)  The minute we got home, she tried it on and ran downstairs to show daddy.

“DADDY!!  I’m a pirate!! Aaaaaaaaaargh!!!”

My momma heart was happy, and I did a silent fist pump for being all done with Halloween so soon!  The weeks leading up to Halloween, whenever people would ask her what she was going to be- “A pirate!!!  Aaaaaaargh!!”

Then…the Sunday before Halloween.  Three days before her preschool Halloween party.

“I don’t want to be a pirate!  I want to be a GHOST!”

Insert my face falling to the floor…We went back and forth, but she was stuck.  So…I started getting excited.  I still had 3 days.  I envisioned a really cool ghost costume with a bunch of white tulle, and a really cool painted face.  She could still wear a leather jacket to keep warm and it would totally still fit in with a “ghost” look.  YAY, I could do this!

“No…I want to be a PLAIN ghost!!”

Well, the forecast for Halloween was lots of rain and SUPER WINDY.  A sheet thrown over her with holes cut into it wasn’t going to fly.  Or, I guess I should say, it WOULD have flown.  Right off her body.  SO…sat in front of the computer and looked, and looked at ghost images.  Ones that involved layers.  She wasn’t buying it.

Then…the night before her party I start scrambling through costumes we already have.  Basically every single princess you can imagine has been handed down to her.  NOPE.  Two different kinds of Minnie Mouse outfits.  She actually got excited about one, until she tried it on.  “TOO ITCHY, GET IT OFF!!”

Then a witch.  I can do that!  Nope, never mind.  A bee?  Yes…no.  Wonder Woman (another little girl in her class was going as this, and her mom KILLED IT) I vetoed.  NO TIME!  A few other super heroes.  NO TIME!!!!  Me-how about Super Kitty?  Yes, I want to be SUPER KITTY.

My parents had gotten her a mask from Venice -“Super” part, DONE.  Whiskers drawn on with black eyeliner.  3 yards of tulle wrapped around her and a giant bow as her tail, plus a jacket that kept her warm.  DONE!!  And she was happy-YAY!!!Blog Halloween 2015-2 Blog Halloween 2015-3 Blog Halloween 2015-4 Blog Halloween 2015-5 Blog Halloween 2015-6Then…the day after her party (TWO DAYS before Halloween!!!).

“I don’t want to be Super Kitty.”

The whole process all over again with about 4-5 more ideas.  Finally on Friday, she says.  I want to be Darkmare Moon!!!  Huh?  I googled it, and nothing came up. Then I see an image of black My Little Pony, and she points and says “THAT!!!!  That’s Darkmare Moon!!”  Oh…Nightmare Moon.  So, we spend about 30 minutes looking at pictures to make sure she REALLY wanted to be Darkmare Moon, and then we head out in search of black wings.  I figured I could keep the same basic black costume, add wings, do a different tulle tail, switch out the jacket for a black one, and then make a horn.  Noooo problem-the day before Halloween.  Honestly, it wasn’t that big of a problem.  We found some super cool wings right away at a thrift store.  I knew I had to work most of Saturday, so I needed to finish the horn Friday night.

I did a variation of the tulle bow, but added a few more colors.  Insert meltdown when the tail wasn’t long enough.  “I want it to floooooat.”  Deep breath in….deep breath out.  Ok.  I had to give it to her.  It did actually look better that way.

I was half way through making the black tulle unicorn horn at about 7pm (after about 3 failed attempts), and Maya goes…”I want to be a RED unicorn!”  And I lost it.  Like had to walk away and hide in the kitchen and cry lost it.  I should also mention that the Huz was out of town this whole time, and again…I’m totally overwhelmed at work, so it wasn’t all the costume changes.  And there were a lot of other things that happened, but this blog post is long enough as it is.  Maya came running in crying too, saying she was sorry and that she just wanted me to be her best friend again.  CRUSHED MY HEART.  We just sat in the kitchen hugging.  I kept telling her, that I just wanted her to be happy.  I wanted her to have an amazing Halloween, and I wanted her to get to be what she wanted, but that she needed to decide and stick with it.  Ok.

After that, it was smooth sailing.  She was super excited about her costume, and had the BEST time trick or treating and telling everyone “I’m DARKMARE MOON!!!” haha.

And it was all worth it.

You can see how I made the unicorn horn here.Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-2I wish I’d had more time paint her face, but it was a race from the time I got home from work at4:00  til the time it started pouring.   She liked it, which is all that matters!  You can see it raining in the background if you look closely…Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-3 Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-4 Then after trick or treating…with sucker and a witch finger 🙂Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-5 Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-6And…my last minute costume.  The hat lasted one house before it blew off too many times, and no…I didn’t wear these boots trick or treating 😉 Blog Halloween 2015-1Hope everyone had a Happy Halloween!dit-elle-Lauren

DIY Tulle Unicorn Horn

I made a crown for Maya’s Pumpkin Princess Halloween costume last year (tutorial here) and loved how it turned out.  So, I knew I could make this pretty easily too.  Given the time constraints (made it the night before Halloween, since she decided on this costume the night before!), I think it turned out pretty well.  Maya liked it, and that’s all that matters!

Honestly, once I figured out the base, it was pretty easy and came together fairly quickly!Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-1Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-1-Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-3What you’ll need…

  • A party hat.  I tried making my own out of various cardboard and stock paper, even a paper towel roll, and didn’t work so well.
  • Tape
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Tulle (about 4 inches long and the entire width of the fabric)
  • Bamboo Skewer (or if you have metal ones that would work too)
  • Hole punch
  • Elastic (about a foot and a half to be safe)

What to do…

  • Cut the hat up the middle and roll it tighter to the shape of a horn.  Cut the excess off, and tape shut.Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-7Push the skewer through the tulle and push it through the open end of the horn. Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-8 Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-9Pull the tulle all the way leaving about 1/2 an inch in the hat.  Glue it in place. Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-10Then keep glue gunning about an inch at a time and wrap the tulle around the horn until you get to the bottom.  Then tuck the end under and glue in place. Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-11 Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-12Do two hole punches and thread your elastic into one.  Tie a knot, and then thread the other end through.  Make sure you put the horn on whoever is going to wear it and make sure it’s not too tight or too loose before you tie off the other end. You want it to stay on, but not hurt.  I actually used a extra large rubber band at first (shown below), but it was too tight on Maya’s head.  So, I used a black piece of elastic that was a lot longer than I had originally planned, measured it on her head, and it was perfect. Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-13 Blog DIY Unicorn Horn Halloween Costume-14More Halloween pics coming tomorrow!

Enjoy!dit-elle-Lauren

Chalkboard Pumpkin Signs

I love just about anything chalkboard.  And…I love just about anything pumpkin!  So, what two better things to combine??! 🙂

What you draw on them is totally up to you, AND…you can change it later!Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-1What you need

  • Pumpkins (any size or color!)
  • Chalkboard Paint (can be found at any hardware store)
  • Paint Brushes (I used the foam kind, so I could just throw it away afterwards)  Maya used little paint brushes we’ve gotten in water color kits)
  • Chalk Pen (got mine on Amazon)Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-2Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-6Having a cute little helper is nice too 🙂 Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-3 Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-4 Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-5 Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-7The best part is you can wipe these off and do a new face after a few days! Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-8 Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-9 Wouldn’t these be fun for place cards at a wedding or party?  Guests could take them home as favors too!Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-10 Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-11 Blog DIY Chalkboard Pumpkins-12Enjoy!dit-elle-Lauren

Pink Tulle for End of Summer

“Bear Hunts”, puddle jumping and running through the woods.. that’s what end of summer is all about! 🙂

So I’m working on a photo book that follows the theme of “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt“. This is the kids’ favorite book right now, so much so that I know every word by heart. Even after the lights are out and I’m getting the kids settled, I will sometimes sing or narrate the story. Despite the somewhat wild dash at the end of the book, it settles them right down..

Anyway, we’ve been out and about enjoying the last days of summer doing our photoshoot and of course what better to wear than pink tulle for a Bear Hunt!?

Thanks to my very patient husband who took the pictures!

Bear Hunt (1)

Bear Hunt (2)

Bear Hunt (16)

Time for a snack!

Bear Hunt (8) Bear Hunt (20)

Bear Hunt (28)

Bear Hunt (51)

Bear Hunt (31)

Bear Hunt (40)

Love the early fall colors in the background!

 

Bear Hunt (41)

Trying not to fall off the log!

Bear Hunt (61)

Good thing we brought a change of clothes!

My obsession with tulle actually started a few years ago when I saw this beautiful pink tulle skirt on Pinterest. It was paired with a black knit turtle neck and I thought “Oh that looks totally gorgeous, totally easy, and I can totally make that..” It was NOT easy, but it IS doable! Tulle is actually somewhat forgiving when you’re working with it. I found this DIY Tulle Skirt pattern which is a great guide. Don’t want to make one? No problem.. do a search on Amazon or other online retailer – there are plenty of cheap options out there!

For some reason my tulle skirt turned out super poofy (at first) and I had to adjust the slip underneath to lay flatter by removing some fabric instead of doing a full circle.. I’ll call it a success though because even if I did not achieve the original look I was going for; it was fun, we had a lot of laughs and Ava was happy that we could have matching skirts. Plus, who doesn’t like a little pink tulle now and then.. perfect with rain boots and for a “bear hunt”! 🙂

On me

  • DIY tulle skirt DIY Tulle Skirt pattern
  • Dalmatian Boots from JCrew (5+ years old)
  • Gray shirt from Banana Republic (3+ years old)

On Ava

  • White knit sweater with fake pearl buttons (saved from my wardrobe, 30 years old)
  • T-shirt with lavender print flowers
  • Mini tulle skirt from Carter’s
  • Pink rubber boots

On Anders

  • Blue button down shirt
  • Cargo shorts
  • Rain boots

dit-elle-Esther