Easy Thanksgiving Turkey Craft That Kids Can Do Too: Pine Cone Turkey Tutorial {Repost from 2009}

My home is surrounded by pine trees and at this time of year, we have an abundance of pine cones laying around the yard. I am always thinking up ways to decorate and use pine cones around the house. My latest venture is a pine cone turkey and it literally cost me nothing to make! Even if you don’t have pine cones laying around, this is a really easy, fun, and affordable craft that you can do with kids and the turkeys can be used to decorate for the holidays!

What you will need:
Pinecone
Leaves
Acorn
Wooden skewer {Painted or stained brown and cut to about 1.5-2 inches long. Make sure to keep one pointy end.}
Scrap piece of red felt or fabric.
Glue sticks and hot glue gun

Directions:
1. Choose a short and stumpy pine cone.
2. Gather a few leaves and fan them out to form the turkey’s tail feathers. Using your hot glue gun {if doing this craft with a child, use Elmers Glue}, glue the leaves together so that they stay together.

3. Hot glue the leaves onto the back of the pine cone.

4. Press firmly together and hold until the glue sets or dries. Takes about 30 seconds.

At this point, this is what you will have:

5. Stick the painted or stained skewer–pointy end down–into the pine cone. You’ll have to play around with finding the perfect spot for it. Once you find the right spot, take it back out and add some glue to skewer and place it back in the same spot.
6. Cut the wattle from the red felt. I just cut an amoeba looking shape LOL. Here’s a tip though–cut it a little longer than you need. That way you can use that extra length to glue onto the neck or skewer. It will act as a platform of sorts too and help steady the head.
7. Once you have the wattle, glue it onto the top of the skewer or neck and press firmly for a few seconds.

8. Finally, take the acorn and glue onto the top of the skewer or neck.

Voila! Meet your turkey!

Use the turkeys to decorate your home for the holidays or for your Thanksgiving table. You can even use these little guys as place card holders. Just cut out a piece of cardstock {I freehanded} and hand write your guests’ names. Tuck into the pine cone and you have a beautiful place card holder and place setting!

Easy Kids’ Craft Idea: How To Make Sand Bottle Art

A really fun and easy craft project parents can do with their kids is Sand Bottle Art. The great thing about this little project is that it’s the perfect activity for beach vacations, but it can also be done year round at home. We actually made ours on our camping trip we took this part Spring and Lucas loved it!

 

 

Materials

  • Sand
  • Sand sifter
  • Newspaper
  • Paper plates
  • Colored chalk (in several colors)
  • Clear bottles with lids (think old spice jars or frapuccino bottles)
  • Pencil

 

 

Directions:

Cover the work surface with newspaper. Sift the sand so it’s free of any little rocks or debris.

 

 

 

Place some sand on the paper plate. Roll a piece of colored chalk across the sand until the sand is completely changed to that color.

 

 

This takes a few minutes, but kids love it!

 

 

Pour the colored sand into the bottle. I just bend the paper plate and carefully pour into the bottle. Use a the end of a pencil to make dips or waves in the sand. Repeat until you have several layers of sand in your bottle and the bottle is completely filled with sand. Secure tightly with bottle cap or jar lid.

 

Rainy Day Activity for Kids: Make Some Flubber (Recipe)

For a fun, rainy afternoon activity that kids will love – try making some flubber! It is easy to make and more importantly – it is fun to play with! Flubber has the most unique texture too. It is ooey gooey, slimey and cool to the touch while still remaining relatively stick free.

If you do get it on something, vinegar will completely dissolve it. As you can see from the pictures below, Lucas pretty much looooovvvvves Flubber! The batch he’s playing with in the pictures, he actually made at Science Summer Camp and has been playing with it ever since.

How To Make Flubber


Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups warm water
2 cups elmer white glue
food coloring
1 1/3 cups warm water
3 teaspoons borax

Directions:
Mix together 1 1/2 cups warm water, white glue and a few drops of food coloring into a bowl. In a second bowl, mix together 1 1/3 cups of warm water and Borax. Combine the Borax mixture and the glue mixture. Mix. Store in an air tight container or sealable bag for up to 2-3 weeks.

Homemade Winter and Christmas Scenes or Snow Globes Using Household Jars {Tutorial}

I saw something like these Christmas jars a few years ago in a magazine–maybe it was Martha Stewart, but I don’t really remember. Anyhow, I have been meaning to make them for years and this weekend–I finally did it. They are so extremely easy and affordable to make too! Kids can even help or make their own.

 

 

Supplies:

  • Miniature Christmas trees {These are from the Dollar Tree. Two trees come in each package! You can also buy them at craft stores.}
  • Miniature ornaments or figurines {These are also from the Dollar Tree. Three figures come in a package! You can also buy them at craft stores.}
  • Glue gun and glue sticks
  • 1 sheet of green felt
  • Scissors
  • Clear glass jars that have been cleaned of all labels and food, etc.
  • Marker

 

 

The first thing you want to do is make sure your trees and figurines fit inside the jars. Place everything on the lid of the jar how you want it to go and then place the jar on top. Make sure the jar will close. Now, it’s time to put it all together.

Trace around the mouth of the jar with a marker and cut out the circle. Make sure the circle fits nicely inside the jar lid.

 

 

Cut the center of the circle forming an X. You can easily do this by folding the circle in half and cutting a small slit in the center. Unfold. Then make two more cuts forming the X.

 

 

Pull the base of the Christmas tree through the slit you just cut in the felt.

 

 

Put a generous amount of hot glue all around the bottom of the felt circle and the base of the tree.

 

Stick the felt and tree onto the inside of the jar lid. Press down firmly and hold for a few seconds.

 

 

Put glue on the bottom of your figurine. Glue on top of the felt circle making sure to place it so that the jar will close.

 

 

Place jar on top of the lid and screw closed.

 

 

Voila! Pretty Christmas or Winter scene!

 

Now, you can get really creative with these. Use large jars to make more intricate scenes. Use waterproof glue and make your scene. Then, add water and glitter to make your own snow globe! These are fun, cheap, and easy to make–plus they are CUTE!

 

Easy, Homemade Christmas Card Holder

I love getting Christmas cards this time of the year. The question is what to do with all of them once you get them? With this easy, homemade card holder–you can display all of your Christmas cards and turn them into part of your decor!

All you need is:

Wooden clothespins
Ribbon
2 tacks, push pins or nails

Once you have your supplies, pick a spot to display your cards. Place one tack on the left side of where you want your display to start. Don’t push the tack all the way in. Wrap one end of the ribbon around the tack and push the tack all the way into the wall–securing the ribbon in place. Take the other end of the ribbon and go across to the other end–where you want your display to end. Make sure your ribbon is straight, place the tack at that point, wrap the ribbon around the tack and finally push the tack all the way in. Then, grab your cards and clothespins and hang your cards on the ribbon. After Christmas, it is easy to take down or keep it up and use it to display family pictures, To Do lists, and more!

FREE Printables! Superhero Cupcake Toppers (Superman, Spiderman & Batman)

For Lucas’ Superhero birthday party, I made 75 cupcakes topped with Spiderman, Superman, and Batman toppers that I designed. Lucas literally squealed when he saw them LOL!

I actually printed extra and was able to use them throughout the party for the napkins…

and to decorate the mason jar cups for the kids…

It was an easy way to add an extra little touch and tie all of the decor together. Super cute and very affordable since the only cost is really paper, ink, and the lolli sticks for the cupcake toppers.

Of course, I am sharing these cute cupcake toppers with you guys! You can download them HERE for FREE! I’ll be sharing the cupcake recipes next week so stay tuned for those…

No Sew Superhero Capes (FREE Template)

For Lucas’ superhero birthday party, I made all of the kids their very own superhero capes. There’s no sewing involved in making these capes either so they are extremely easy to make and at about $2 per cape, they are also very affordable.



What You’ll Need:
Felt
Hot glue or spray glue
Velcro iron on strips
Download superhero cape template.

Instructions:

Once you have your cape cut out, then you will need to attach Velcro to the neck. I used the iron on Velcro, but if you have time — it is better to attach them with a few stitches by hand. The last thing is to decorate the back! Lucas got a spider for his favorite superhero–Spiderman!

For the rest of the kids, we simply cut out shields and stars from felt and attached them with spray glue. Easy peasy!

Superhero Birthday Party Centerpieces & Photo Opp Signs (FREE Printables)

For Lucas’ superhero party, I designed comic book callout signs with words like KAPOW, THWIP, and BOOM! I printed them, cut them out, and then attached each sign to a wooden skewer using scotch tape. We used these signs throughout the party as centerpieces…

And, also for kids to hold up as a photo opp…

The kids loved them! And, so did Lucas!

Truth is that we had planned or I should say–we set up an entire photo booth with cityscape outside, but then it started to rain so we had to make do with a few of the panels from the outdoor photo booth. I made the cityscape by painting four foam board panels from the $1 store with blue paint. Then, Mike glued on buildings and windows made from construction paper. Easy peasy and affordable!

I’m providing all of the callout signs for you to print for FREE! Download them HERE.

DIY Superhero Birthday Party Banner (FREE Printables & Tutorial)

If you’re planning a superhero birthday party, you’re in luck! Today, I will be sharing with you how to make a comic book birthday banner that is not only easy to make, but it’s affordable and cute to boot!

All you need are a few supplies and the FREE printables that I designed and am sharing with you today. Word of warning: I had to beg Mike to give up one measly comic book from his boxes of comic books he has stashed away. He was not happy when I told him that I would have to cut it. In the end, he gave it up, but you know…be prepared for a little backlash LOL. If not, then just head to your nearest comic book store or even check out thrift stores.



What You’ll Need:
Comic book
FREE Printables
Thin ribbon, twine, or string
Scissors
Hole punch
Glue stick

Directions:
Tear pages from comic book. Then, cut triangles from each page by cutting from two corners to the center top. Glue letters onto each triangle.

Punch two holes into triangle and thread with ribbon or string.

How To Clean Stainless Steel Pots & Pans & Get Them To Sparkle Like NEW Again!

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Before moving to our new home a few weeks ago, I went on a cleaning spree. I wanted everything to be as shiny and new as possible for the new house. One of the things I tackled was our stainless steel pots and pans. Over the years, they have taken a major beating! Some of the bottoms had gotten so discolored–they were black. Yuck! A few months ago, I discovered that oven cleaner can also be used to clean stainless steel pots and pans. It literally works like magic…with little effort on your part!

Here are a few of my pots and pans before:

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Here they are after:

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Impressive, huh?! They are like NEW!

OK, so here’s what you do. Gather all of your stainless steel pots and pans. Go to a well ventilated area and liberally spray the pots and pans with oven cleaner.

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Place the pots and pans into a garbage bag and close tight. Make sure not to put more than one or two pots and pans in each bag. Leave the bag with the pots/pans outside overnight. The next day, open the bag and remove the pots and pans–placing them on top of some newspaper or old towels to protect the surface you’re working on. Wipe away the gunk on your pots and pans with a cloth or use a brillo pad for the more stubborn spots.

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Rinse pots and pans using water and then clean as usual.

Remember: Make sure to use rubber gloves and to work in a well ventilated area! Oven cleaner can be very harsh.

Also, as you can see from some of the pictures above, I also cleaned an oven broiler pan and a non stick cookie sheet using the oven cleaner method. The broiler pan came out sparkling clean, but the process did NOT work on the cookie sheet. It messed up the non stick finish so please do not try this on anything with a non stick finish. Only use this on stainless steel items!