Category Archives: DIY

Floating Candles and Flowers – Easy Centerpiece!

Floating candles and flowers are my go to – super easy and elegant centerpiece. This takes <60 seconds to assemble. Pick fresh flowers, leaves or herbs if you have some and add to a decorative bowl with water. The flowers and lights will float. Shown here is the centerpiece for our recent Easter Brunch.. a piece of pink depression glass and I used rosemary flowers because that’s what happened to be in bloom at that moment in time! 🙂

There’s room for a lot of creativity here, but floating candles are beautiful day or night!

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dit-elle-Esther

Easter Egg Science Project

In preparation for Easter this weekend we did an Easter Egg science project! We used bright c

olored fruits and vegetables to dye hardboiled eggs. We tried onion skins, turmeric, blueberries, red cabbage and beets. Ava and Anders dipped and turned the eggs to make sure they were covered with liquid. They also decided when to take the eggs out or keep them in the dye if we thought they needed some more time! It was an awesome DIY kid project.. just make lots of hard boiled eggs because there were definitely some smashed eggs! 🙂

Ava showed up to the party in her usual preferred attire.. swimsuit. This girl is ready for summer.

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Ingredients

  • Hardboiled eggs
  • Onion skins
  • Turmeric, you can use the fresh root or dried ground powder
  • Beets
  • Blueberries
  • Red cabbage
  • White vinegar

Directions

  • I’m sure there’s more of a science behind this and there are a ton of resources online for naturally dyed Easter eggs, but for us this was more of an art than science.. here’s what we did.
  • I boiled some beets and saved the liquid – pretty pink!
  • Microwaved frozen blueberries with some water and mashed them with a fork – gorgeous robin egg blue
  • Boiled onion skins (just peel off the outer dry golden layer of skin) – golden yellow color
  • Boiled some grated fresh turmeric root – this yielded a beautiful orange
  • Boiled some red cabbage and saved the liquid – this was the faintest color – didn’t do much for our dyeing project.
  • We put each of the dyes on bowls and stirred in a tablespoon of vinegar
  • Then we submerged boiled eggs in the liquid and let it soak for between 2-10 minutes
  • We watched the eggs turning color and made observations on what the colors were.
  • Voila! Beautiful Easter eggs

dit-elle-Esther

The Mommy Manicure

I love having my nails painted!  For some reason, I feel like even if I haven’t showered, and have no make up on…painted nails signify that I tried haha.  Weird, I know, and most days…I don’t try 😉

However, I swear even after a professional manicure, I’m lucky to get one day out of it before it chips.  Plus, who has time for that??!  It’s an rare extravagance to go into a salon for me.  I did try the gel manicure for my friends wedding, and I LOVED how long it stayed on, but hated the removal process!

Then, I saw the Sally Hansens Miracle Gel polish at Target.  And because it wouldn’t be a trip to Target without me tossing a few random things in my cart, in it went!

It boasts-

  • 2 Steps (true!)
  • Up to 14 Days of Color & Shine (the most I’ve gotten is 5, but still…FIVE?!!  I wash my hands about 87 times a day, so total win in my book!)
  • Easy Removal (you can use regular nail polish remover!!  It takes a little longer than normal polish, but still SO much better than buffing and then soaking in acetone like salon gels)
  • No light needed (Meaning no magic lamp, but you do need to dry your nails in sunlight.  I did the first time, when I got the 5 day result.  My second attempt only lasted 2 days, but then I realized I had just let it dry inside the house with no sunlight.  So…I wouldn’t skip this step)

Oh, and if you are wondering.  You can’t just use the Miracle Gel top coat on regular polish and expect it to last as long.  I tried.  It didn’t work haha.

Below, I’m wearing “Wine Stock”, which is appropriate for most Moms 😉Blog Sally Hansen Miracle GelStill…most days, I don’t have time to do this.  Mainly it’s the dry time.  Just sitting and waiting for nail polish to dry…not happening.

SO, what I’ve been doing lately?  I call it my “mommy manicure”.  I use Sally Hansen Insta-Dri (this isn’t a sponsored post, I’ve just found both of these products work and they happen to both be by Sally Hansen :))  It dries in 60 seconds, and you only need one coat!  That means you can literally paint your nails and then run out the door, pick up your toddler, wash your hands, wash their hands, make everyone lunch, scarf lunch, or any of the other 100 things that you need to do during the day.  It usually chips a little after a day, but it comes off in about 60 seconds too because it’s only one coat!  So…for those days or nights when you want to add a little extra fun, you can do it!  Truth be told, I wear it for about 3 days haha.  I’m still waiting for the “chipped nails” to become totally fashionable.  Let’s all band together and make it happen, no?!  Who’s with me?!! 🙂

Below, I’m wearing “Grease Lightening”Blog Elliott Lauren Buffalo Plaid Jacket Zara Asymetrical Tee DL1961 Joy Flare Jeans Joan David Boots-1With the time I saved NOT doing my nails, I actually had time to do my hair for an impromptu date night last weekend.  Woo hoo!  Maya was still napping, so no shots of her 😦

This would be my “Oh, hi Mom and Dad!”  They just walked up to start Maya duty, so me and the Huz could go out. 🙂Blog Elliott Lauren Buffalo Plaid Jacket Zara Asymetrical Tee DL1961 Joy Flare Jeans Joan David Boots-2I’d love to hear if anyone else has any time saving beauty tips!  Mine usually are just…throw my hair in a bun and run, so I could use some help haha.

On Me

Jacket- Elliott Lauren (eBay for $2.80!!!!! similar here)
Watch- Michele (old, similar here)
Top- Zara (similar here)
Shoes- Circa Joan and David (thrifted, similar here)
( all pictures taken with a self timer and tripod 🙂 )

dit-elle-Lauren

DIY Jell-o Play-Doh { Non Candy Preschool Valentine }

I really wanted to give a non candy option out for Maya’s Valentine’s Day treat.  Yes, I’m that mom.  :{

I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to make the homemade Play-Doh I’ve been meaning to make for ages.  Maya loves Play-doh (what kid doesn’t?!)  I found this really cool recipe online that uses Jell-O.  It dyes it, AND makes it smell yummy.  FUN!

I’ll be honest.  I’m marginally embarrassed by how much time I spent on these, but whatever… 😉Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-1What you need… (I doubled the recipe for each color, so mine will look bigger)

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar
  • 2 Tablespoons Cooking Oil (I used Olive Oil)
  • 1 3 oz pack Jell-O

What you do…

  • Mix all of the ingredients together in a small saucepan until smooth.Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-2 Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-3 Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-4I’ll be honest.  I helped her 🙂 Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-5
  • Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until it thickens into a ball of dough.  (about 10 minutes)Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-6
  • Once it has finished cooking, place the dough onto a floured cutting board and wait for it to cool (about 20-30 minutes).  While it’s cooling you can start making another batch with a different color/flavor Jell-O! 🙂Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-8We did Raspberry and Blueberry (Maya’s choice!).Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-9
  • Once it is cool, knead it, adding in flour until it is no longer sticky (about 1/2 cup).Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-10 Maya liked this part! Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-11 Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-12hahaha 😉 Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-13
  • Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container.  It will keep for at least a few weeks in the refrigerator, with daily use.  If at any time it starts to be a little sticky, just add more flour.Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-14Making it into a Valentine’s Day gift…
  • Get mini Glad containers
  • 3 Yards of Tulle
  • Ribbon
  • Hole Punch
  • Make a little card on card stock (I did mine in Photoshop, but handwritten would be super cute if you had an older child!  Or…if you have good handwriting-I do not ha ha)
  • You can write a little Valentine’s message.   I actually put the recipe on the cards in case other parents wanted to make some.Blog DIY Jell-O Play-Doh Non Candy Valentine Toddler Craft-15

Thank you so much Kaley Ann for the great Jell-o Play-Doh idea.  Go check out her blog for more great DIY ideas 🙂dit-elle-Lauren

Lantern Craft

It’s that time of year.. the days are short, the nights are long, and if it’s raining, the days just feel dark! These lanterns are a wonderful kid activity and winter decoration to bring some warm light into the house! Growing up in Scandiavia and going to a Waldorf, we would make these every November for our Lantern Festival. They are super simple to make and you can get creative with shapes, sizes and color schemes! Have fun! 🙂

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Supplies

  • Glass jar (any shape/size OK, but needs to be glass not plastic)
  • Colored tissue paper
  • Glue (watered out Elmer’s glue)
  • Brushes or sponge brushes to brush light coat of glue on outside of jar
  • Tea lights / votive candles
  • Shiny star stickers (optional)

Directions

  • ‘Paint’ the outside of the jars with a thin coat of watered out glue and rip up pieces of colored tissue paper and stick to jar
  • Repeat with multiple layers until desired color density / effect is reached
  • Let dry, and add a few star stickers
  • Light candles and drop inside the jars
  • Enjoy super cosiness! 🙂

dit-elle-Esther

DIY Toddler Thank You Cards / Art

After Maya’s birthday this year, I thought it would be a good idea for her to have a part in her thank you cards.  This is a super easy, relatively fast DIY that you can do with your toddler or…on your own 🙂  You could do these for thank you cards, or even frame them as art!Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-1What You’ll Need…

  • Blank Note Cards with Envelopes.  I got mine at Target on clearance, but you could get some at any craft store.
  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • Cookie sheet lined with tinfoil.  You could just lay out an old sheet/newspapers, but I like to collect all the unused excess glitter and save it :).

What to do…

  • Lay the blank cards out
  • Let your toddler drizzle the glue all over.  I had to rotate the cookie sheet a few times and guide her around so that there wasn’t just a big puddle haha, but she got the hang of it.  The best part is that it’s her design!Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-2 Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-3 Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-4
  • Sprinkle glitter over the top and then shake off excess.Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-5 Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-6 Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-7 Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-8
  • Let it sit until it dries.
  • You can write your thank you message on the back with a note “Handmade by…”

The above images are the 2nd set we made recently.  Here’s the ones she made for her birthday.  I love that she’s super proud of them, and that she has a part in the actual “Thank You” process 🙂Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-9 Blog DIY Toddler Glitter Thank You Card Art-10Have fun!dit-elle-Lauren

DIY Glitter Cap Toe Shoes

When I saw these shoes at the thrift store from far away, I died!!  When I got closer, I noticed they were pretty beat up.  The fronts of the toes were shredded, but for a $1(!!!!), I knew I could do something fun to try and save them.  Haven’t we all had that moment of “Noooooo not the shoes!!!” when our toddlers stumble a little, or as Maya likes to do someitmes…drag her feet.  Grrrr.  Anyway, this wouldn’t work for all shoes, and it does take some time, but…I love how they turned out!  Maya loves them too!

“Glitter shoes!!”Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-You can see below what they looked like…Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-2Here’s what you’ll need…

  • Painters tape (it’s not as sticky/won’t ruin the shoes further :))
  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • (You could also just paint the toes!)Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-4Tape off the cap of the shoe in the amount you want to do the glitter toe cap.Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-3Cover the area in glue.  I did a pretty heavy coating to make sure it covered up the shredded areas of the shoe.  I put an apple container under haha, but you could line a cookie sheet with tin foil 🙂 Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-5Then, I let Maya go to town pouring the glitter on.  I actually did these shoes back in September, but am just now blogging them.  I promise, she wasn’t freezing outside in a tank top 🙂 Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-6Voila!Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-1And…here she is wearing them the other day 🙂 Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-8 Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-9 Blog DIY Glitter Toe Shoes-10Have fun and happy glittering!dit-elle-Lauren

Happy Little Ghosts Kid Craft

Looking for a super cheap, super fun Halloween craft that you can involve the kids in? My soon-to-be 4 year old and 18 month old had a blast making our “Happy Little Ghosts” craft. All you need is a box of tissues, cotton balls, thread and a needle (you do the thread and needle part, kids can do the tissues and cotton balls part)! 🙂

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Supplies (makes 10 ghosts)

  • 10 tissues
  • 10 cotton balls
  • Spool of white sewing thread
  • Needle (for sewing thread)
  • Scissors (for cutting thread)

Directions

  • Thread needle with 2 feet+ of thread, and center the needle in the middle of the thread
  • Tie the ends together in a knot, so that you now have a double thread
  • Lay a tissue on a flat surface (kid activity!)
  • Place a cotton ball in the center of the tissue (kid activity!)
  • Gather edges and pick up tissue, holding it so that the cotton ball is completely covered and cinch up the tissue where the ghost neck will be (kid activity!)
  • Stick needle just below covered ball and make two circles around head and cinch up (parent activity here and rest of craft! :))
  • Stick needle into ‘neck’ and up into cotton ball, so that it comes out on the top of the head
  • Pull upward, cut needle off string, tie strings together with a knot
  • Voila! One done! On to the next one! Ava was running such a little ghost craft factory that I could not keep up. Anders meanwhile was having lots of fun pulling tissues out and tossing cotton balls all over.

Tip:  You get a different effect if you wrinkle the tissues a bit (which is why this is such a great kid craft) and you can do this at the first step or even after the ghosts are hung! 🙂

dit-elle-Esther

DIY Toilet Paper Roll Glitter Crown with Tulle

Blog DIY Toilet Paper Glitter Crown with Tulle-1Maya is obsessed with “princesses”.  Every dress is a “princess dress”, and her obsession with Elsa and Anna is (like most toddler girls) a bit out of control 🙂  I had brief thoughts of making her an Elsa costume, but then reality slapped me in the face.  Esther, on the other hand, IS making Ava one, and I cannot wait to see it!!  I went the easy route with Maya’s costume and found a cute orange and black tutu looking outfit at Goodwill for $4.  It’s supposed to be a witch, but I called it a Pumpkin Princess outfit, and Maya’s in love haha.

But…every princess needs a crown, no?  The DIY lace crown I made before was super easy, but I wanted to try something a little more complex and fun.  I had the idea of using a toilet paper roll for the crown, putting glitter on it, and somehow having tulle shoot out.  Honestly, I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it until I started making it ha!

As luck would have it, Mother had a post that very morning on Toilet Paper Roll Crafts.  I had originally just cut my crown straight across, but their gold crown with the points was so much cuter!  Saved just in the nick of time!

What you’ll NeedBlog DIY Toilet Paper Glitter Crown with Tulle-2 Blog DIY Toilet Paper Glitter Crown with Tulle-3

  • Toilet paper roll
  • Sharp scissors
  • Glitter
  • Marker that is either the same shade or complimentary to your glitter
  • Glue
  • Small Hole Punch
  • Elastic
  • Tulle (a yard should be plenty, although if you want a longer train use more)
  • Large Cookie sheet lined with tin foil for easy clean up
  • Toddler (added bonus :))

Instructions

  • Cut your toilet paper roll in half
  • Cut jagged design in one half
  • Cut the other half into a fourth and then cut up one side so it slides inside itself to be smaller and will fit inside the jagged crown piece.
  • Color the Crown piece with your marker.  That way when the glue dries, you will see that color vs the brown toilet paper roll.Blog DIY Toilet Paper Glitter Crown with Tulle-4
  • Punch holes in opposite sides at the bottom of the crown.
  • Lightly coat the crown with glue (I put a little too much on and it started dripping :{Blog DIY Toilet Paper Glitter Crown with Tulle-5 Blog DIY Toilet Paper Glitter Crown with Tulle-6
  • Have your toddler help with lightly pouring the glitter on.  I used both black tiny ball glitter and gold dust glitter.
  • Set that aside to dry.  If you lightly coat it with glue, it should be fine standing up right.
  • Next, cut your tulle into 6 inch squares.  I had probably 8-10. Stack all the tulle with the corners at varying vs being all lined up.  I think it would look cool if you did longer pieces and they were flowing down the back too!
  • Place your cut 1/4 piece of the roll in the middle of the tulle stack and fold up, securing with a rubber band.  Secure the excess with more rubber bands so it’s easier to feed through the crown.Blog DIY Toilet Paper Glitter Crown with Tulle-7
  • When your crown is dry, feed the tulled inner crown up through the middle and place some glue around the bottom to secure.Blog DIY Toilet Paper Glitter Crown with Tulle-8 Blog DIY Toilet Paper Glitter Crown with Tulle-9
  • Cut the rubber bands and fluff the tulle.Blog DIY Toilet Paper Glitter Crown with Tulle-10
  • Tie the elastic through the punched holes, and your done!Blog DIY Toilet Paper Glitter Crown with Tulle-11Have fun!!

dit-elle-Lauren

Easter Egg Tree

A beautiful, inexpensive, and FUN activity with kids! Only about a few weeks late, but figured I’d post it as inspiration for next year! 🙂

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What you need

  • Eggs
  • Dye
  • Toothpicks
  • Thread
  • Fresh tree branches (Forsythia, dogwood or other work well)

How to make your Easter Tree

  • Select fresh white eggs and blow them out. Here’s how: 1) make a small hole in each end by tapping/chiseling with the tip of a sharp knife, 2) poke a toothpick inside one of the holes to break yolk, 3) then blow the egg white/yolk out into a bowl, 4) wash off egg and let try. This is a tricky process and not recommended for kids – you should do this first and then you can have the kids help with dyeing the eggs. More tips here.
  • Dye eggs and decorate as you wish – some metallic paint brushed on dyed eggs is a fun way to add some sparkle or shine!
  • Hang by tying some sewing thread to a 1/2 toothpick inserted into the egg to create a stopper.
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Ava quickly became a pro egg dyer!

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My Easter Tree via Instagram!

dit-elle-Esther