Archive for the ‘Crafts & Celebrations’ Category

3 Ways to Encourage Creativity in Our Kids

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

3 Ways to Encourage Creativity in Our Kids from

We’ve been practicing a lot of basic math facts at our house this month. My older daughter has lost that loving feeling for math (a subject she’s run hot and cold on throughout elementary school), despite my repeated declarations that math is everywhere! and yes, she really WILL use this in real life! And somehow, between second and third grade, she’s apparently forgotten all the subtraction facts she memorized last year.

So it’s been pop quizzes over dinner, practice tests after karate, and flashcards in the car for us. Because I’ve read what feels like a million articles about the importance of emphasizing STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and math) with our kids — and especially our girls. It’s why I’ve enrolled my daughter in science and robotics classes the past few summers and why we have engineering blocks and doll sets stacked up in her room.

But it’s also why we play dress-up and pretend at our house (and why she also goes to theater camp every summer). I’m no researcher or education professional, but as far as I can tell, having the ability to think creatively is just as important to school (and life) success as memorizing facts.

As I watched my daughter try to figure out another math problem on the worksheet her teacher sent home one night, I realized she was so frustrated and confused that she wasn’t even using common sense. In a bit of a fit, I grabbed her most recent timed test and flipped it over. I drew a tic tac toe board, a carton of eggs, and a hand. “That’s nine!” I exclaimed. “And twelve! And FIVE! You KNOW five!”

My daughter had gotten so worked up, her brain had frozen. She had stopped using common sense or thinking creatively — two things that are crucial for solving any problem! (And, to be fair, I had neglected to help her with math up to this point because she is being taught in a totally different way than I was taught three decades ago. Whether or not I like this “new math,” I respect her teacher and was afraid of confusing my daughter even more with my lack of understanding of the strategies she’s being taught.)

Since that homework session, I’ve bought flash cards and begun reviewing math facts with my daughter on a regular basis. I’ve taken time to read the worksheets she brings home, in an effort to understand the way her teacher approaches math. But I’ve also looked for opportunities to encourage problem solving, to think outside the box, to help my daughter use common sense to figure out something new. It’s reminded me of the importance of creativity and the things we can do to encourage it in our kids.

As I said before, I am no expert. I have not conducted research. I’m merely a mom who’s connected a few dots for what her two kids need as they learn and grow. Perhaps creative thinking isn’t the missing piece for your kids. But if it is, here are a few easy, fun ways you can encourage it:

3 Ways to Encourage Creativity in Our Kids from

3 Ways to Encourage Creativity in Our Kids

Play dress-up. I’m a girl mom, so you will probably not be surprised to learn that we have princess dresses and a Minnie Mouse costume in our house. But we also have costumes that turn my girls into firefighters, chefs, doctors and veterinarians. Not to mention the animal hats and clown noses floating around in the toy box. And, really, anything laying around can be used for dressing up.

My girls’ current obsession is running around the house, rescuing each other, while wearing capes. Or putting on Dad’s hat or Mom’s shoes and pretending to be a grown-up.

When I first began encouraging my oldest daughter to play dress-up, it was solely a girl power, “you can be anything you want to be” thing. But eventually I realized the additional value of this playtime activity. Simply by asking a few pointed questions, I can set my girls on a journey of learning and perspective-shifting.

“What would a doctor want for snack?”
“How would a princess pick up her toys?”
“Do you think a firefighter would like to wear these shoes or those shoes?”

Thinking outside the box, developing empathy for others, learning about different types of people (not just different careers, although that’s a place to start): all of these can be outcomes of a simple costume party.

Play pretend. Last night, my two-year-old left the dinner table (we were mostly finished and just talking for a minute). She walked over to her play kitchen and then came back, saying, “I need the pink screwdriver.” I stared blankly at her for a moment before realizing what we were doing. I mimed handing her a tool and said, “Here you go!” She thanked me and ran back to her toys.

She has a giant basket of toy food and toy dishes in that kitchen, but she wanted to play mechanic. She actually has a play toolkit in our basement, but she’d rather use make-believe tools for her projects.

And so, just like the days when her sister would lay under our dining room table and pretend to “work on the car,” I play along. When she hands me a plate of that play food and tells me it’s hot, I put it up to my mouth and act like I burned my tongue. I take tiny sips and big gulps of the “tea” she serves me, and I make up scary spiders I need to be saved from so “Super Adrienne” has a reason to run to my rescue.

I sometimes think about that scene in Hook, the Robin Williams movie about a grown-up Peter Pan, when Peter and the Lost Boys get into a pretend food fight. No, I don’t think that pretending her imaginary pink screwdriver is real will make it appear in my daughter’s hands. But I do think that when we pretend we expand our minds and our world so that more is possible than would ever be in real life.

That’s fun — and it also helps us think creatively later when we’re trying to solve problems that seem impossible.

Don’t forget to say, “Yes, and…” Using the most basic rule of improv, whenever I can I try to say, “Yes, and…” when my girls play dress-up or pretend. By extending the pretend game or story, I encourage their imaginations to run wild and their brains to keep growing. [You can read more about this strategy here.]

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not always game for imaginary friends or pretend games. For the past several days my oldest daughter has been carrying on a game of “balloon ball,” a highly competitive [made-up] sport of which she is, reportedly, the world champion. I love seeing her creativity and confidence, but OH MY WORD am I ever tired of listening to her drone on with the play-by-play of this pretend game!

So, even though I love pretend and dress-up and all things imaginary, I have my limits, too. So I say yes when I can, and then I pull out the flashcards or a basket of books when I can’t stand it anymore.

How do you encourage creativity in your kids?

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket

Wednesday, October 19th, 2016

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket from

This post is sponsored by Ever. All thoughts and opinions are my own! 

There is a lot of pressure, as a mom, to capture all of these precious moments that we get to experience with our kids. I am never without my phone for this very reason. Today’s craft is something I have had brewing in my head for years, but didn’t think I could easily execute it. I am so excited because I’m showing off an EASY DIY no-sew scarf that you can create that has a hidden pocket so you have your phone with you at all times.  Since I am constantly taking pictures of my kids, I love having the Ever app for all of those moments!


Not only am I showing off this scarf, but I’m also showing off this INCREDIBLE (and I mean it!!) phone app called Ever that you can use to backup all your photos, saving you precious room on your phone so you never get that pesky message that forces you to remove so many of those special memories.

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket from

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket from

Let me explain a little bit about Ever and why you should be using it!  This app automatically (and securely) collects and organizes your photos and videos from everywhere they live. You may not realize how many places you are taking photos, but Ever does. It grabs all the photos from your camera roll, social media accounts, emails, and texts then catalogs them for you in the correct order so you can quickly make photo albums in just minutes. The best part is that it keeps all my photos safe and encrypted so that I can rest knowing that my family’s  meaningful moments are only for me!  

This year I decided to get an iPhone with less storage because I thought it would help hold me more accountable to deleting and only keeping what is precious on my phone. My minimalist attitude makes me feel passionately about things like this, but I quickly realized the error of my minimalist ways.

I constantly had messages that the storage was full and then I would have a daily Sophie’s Choice moment where I was forced to choose the images that were most precious.

It’s no way to live, friends.

Ever iPhone App


When Ever reached out, I couldn’t believe how much one app could help my life so much. No more warnings and  tough decisions on what to keep because this app automatically frees space on your phone and backs up all those precious moments so you don’t have to.

Ever is also like hiring a personal organizer who can make sense of all your visual clutter and package it up in a way that finally makes sense.  I, honestly, never make the time to sort and organize photos, but this app is intuitive enough that it can do it for you automatically. No more excuses to not share those memories with grandma now that Ever is doing the hard part.

It also makes adorable albums that allow you to time travel and reminiscent about the good ol’ days with your kiddos.

Ever iPhone App

Oh, and did I mention that the app is FREE? Yup, unlimited free storage with security for all of your precious photos.

Dang, that’s a lot cheaper than buying an iPhone with more storage.

I might be able to help my kids with tuition after all!

For those of you who want your pictures backed up in full resolution, Ever Plus is also available by monthly subscription for $9.99 — or you can use their optional referral program to earn free credits for this full-res storage by sending invitations to your friends. Not to worry though, you can use all the other features without signing up for Ever Plus, thanks Ever!

Ever iPhone App

Please download the app right now- it’s a game-changer for sharing, printing, and storing all of those sweet memories. I promise you won’t regret it! I know I’m looking forward to our upcoming holiday even more because I can make an album of all our memories so quickly and easily. No more excuses for not getting these printed!

In honor of this app, today’s DIY is a scarf that offers a hidden pocket so you never miss (or lose) a photo opportunity again!

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket from

Supplies Needed

2 yards knit sweatshirt material (you need the material to be thick enough to hide the pocket! This price is EXCELLENT- I paid $10 a yard at my local craft store)

1-2 yards tassel trim (I find the most affordable trims over here)

Coin Purse large enough to hold your phone (this is the style I purchased. As you can see, the bottom is not completely flat, but it was the ideal size for my phone), alternatively you could purchase an all purpose zipper and craft a pocket out of the scraps from your scarf

Hemming Tape- 1 roll is plenty!!

Scissors or Rotary Cutter

Tape Measure

Thread to match material

Your Favorite Scarf as a Guide For Width & Length

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket from


1. First, find your favorite scarf in your closet and use this as a guide for the length and width of your scarf. The reason I am not telling you my scarf length is because I am a wee woman and my favorite scarf length might look silly on you. Do note that the width does need to be wide enough to completely hide that pocket. I actually love a wide  scarf that mimics the coziness of my favorite blanket scarves so I made mine very generous in width- it’s so wide that it can almost double as a shawl.  Cut the material to the same width and length, doubling up the fabric so that you have two pieces that are exactly the same size.

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket from

2. Take the two pieces of material and have the pretty side facing each other so the ugly side of the fabric is on the outside of both pieces.

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket from

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket from

3. Between these two pieces, you are going to be lining up your hemming tape. Use your wallet as a guide for where to start and stop the hemming tape, on one side, making sure that you have a little edge of the fabric above it (like I have show in the first picture) so you can fold it in a bit to support that pocket.

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket from

4. Use your iron to iron the whole side of the scarf, taking your time so that you can make sure you have a good seal on the fabric. Repeat this process on the other side, but make sure to run the hemming tape all down it, unlike the other side where we made a space for our pocket. This takes time so be patient. This material is a little thick so you may need to go over it a few times to seal it fully.

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket from

5. Flip the scarf out and then, slip the wallet inside. You are going to need to fold that hem back a bit to line up with where the hemming tape was so you don’t have a raw edge hanging out. Using a needle and thread stitch it into the material (I know I said NO SEW, but we do want that pocket in there nicely. Alternatively, you could try fabric glue, but I think it won’t be as secure!).

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket from

6. Fold in the rough edges of the scarf and slip a strip of hemming tape between these two folded sides. Take your time and seal this to finish the construction of the scarf.

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket from

7. Finish with a strip of trim on the front of the scarf (make sure you know where your pocket is before you are adding the trim). I am only trimming the front of the scarf so I can remember where my pocket is! You can definitely add more trim all the way around or anywhere else you would like to trim it. If you have a grosgrain trim like I do, take a lighter and pass it quickly over the two sides of the ends of your trim to seal both sides so it doesn’t come unraveled. Another alternative for sealing the edges is a little fray check- I’ll let you pick! To finish,  I slipped hemming tape under the trim and then used this, once again, to secure it by ironing it in place. Repeat on the other side of the scarf.

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket from

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket from

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket from

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket from

No-Sew Scarf With Hidden Pocket from

I am already dreaming up ways that I can make these for holiday gifts for others and no one will ever know that I didn’t whip out a sewing machine for this craft. Wouldn’t this be such a great gift even for your kiddos to tuck their hat and gloves in? I’m thinking of pairing one of these for my daughter with knitted ear warmers for the pocket. It could even be made more masculine in a beautiful plaid fabric, just like my DIY blanket scarves, for the men in your life.

Honestly, I can’t think of anyone who couldn’t use a scarf with a pocket. Can you?

I hope you find today’s DIY inspiring and I hope you also have a blast getting those photos organized, backed-up, and printed for your family this year, thanks to Ever.

This post is sponsored by Ever. All thoughts and opinions are my own! This post contains affiliate links that help support our website- thank you! 



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How to Enjoy Autumn to the Fullest

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

Tips to Enjoy Autumn at

Every year, as I sprint (or limp, depending on the year) toward Labor Day and long for routine and cooler temperatures and colorful leaves and pumpkin everything, I vow that this will be the year I really enjoy fall. Summer is, quite simply, not my favorite season — but my reward for surviving it each year is autumn. So you’d think I would enjoy it, right?

Ahhhhh, autumn.

Brisk air and comfy sweaters and crunchy leaves and hot drinks and apple picking and pumpkin carving. Autumn, the season of change and preparation as we gently roll toward the holidays and a colder, more hectic time of life. Right? It sounds so romantic, doesn’t it?

[Speaking of romantic, don’t forget to date your husband this fall…]

But the reality of September and October and [hold me] November is that this season is just as crazy chaotic as every other one. We have practices and games and rehearsals and concerts to add to the calendar, not to mention dentist appointments and counseling sessions and family dinners and book club and Bible study and craft projects. (Seriously. Is there another non-Christmas season with SO MANY craft projects?!)

In my family we have a birthday on top of all of the “usual” stuff, and more often than not, as we dive bomb into the holidays I realize that I missed it. I missed my favorite season, the best season of all (in my unbiased opinion!). I missed autumn. Again.

Well, not this year! I’m determined to enjoy every bit of fall this year, and I want to encourage you to do the same. I have a few ideas for making this happen, and I’m happy to share them with you. Just in case you have missed an autumn or two, but long to truly enjoy this beautiful season.

2 ways to enjoy fall to it's fullest at

2 Ways to Enjoy Autumn

1. Pick three things. We all know the temptation of bucket lists, and heaven knows I’ve made my share. But this fall, instead of adding every fall-type activity to your to-do list (not to mention printing it out and putting it on the fridge), why not keep it simple? We’ve already discussed how busy regular life is before we begin adding field trips to the apple orchard. So just pick three things. Pick one special autumn food to make (my all-time favorite is this DELICIOUS pumpkin bread), pick one craft to make (I’ve already bought the supplies to make this wreath from Amy), and pick one trip to take (and if it just happens to be the church fall festival, THAT’S STILL GOOD AND FUN AND ENOUGH!).

Pick three things – a food, a craft, and a trip.

And then? Use all that extra time you’ll have (hahaha!) to simply walk outside and breathe in the crisp air. Or watch a football game. Or let your kids buy pumpkins on your next run to the grocery store. (Believe me, they are still festive when they come from the grocery store and not the pumpkin patch.)

2. Count your days. Time flies when we’re busy or when we’re looking forward to big events, and fall is full of both those things for me. So this year I’m going to make sure I am intentionally taking note of each individual day. (I mean, probably not EACH and EVERY day. Let’s be realistic and accept that even every other day is still better than letting an entire season pass in a blur or parties and costumes and crafts and meetings!)

A few ways you might make your days count this autumn are with a daily photo challenge, reading a seasonal quote or a scripture each day, or keeping a gratitude journal. Or, if you’re feeling really ambitious (or unable to make a choice…something I am quite familiar with!), you could do one of those each month of the season. Start reading a Bible verse each day this month, then take a photo challenge next month, and finish up with a daily gratitude exercise in November.

However you do it (and, really, keep it as simple as you need to), just do something to intentionally appreciate your days.

When it comes to enjoying every season, I sometimes struggle between committing to carpe-ing the diem out of life and remembering that, more than likely, there will be another opportunity to carve pumpkins if we don’t do it this week, this month, this fall. But this year, I’m determined to let all of that struggling and striving and regretting go.

I am going to LIVE and LOVE and ENJOY this autumn. Will you join me?


Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints

Friday, September 30th, 2016

Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints with

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

Have you ever painted pumpkins with acrylic paints before? This was my first time painting our pumpkins this way and it could not be easier. I wanted to create a pumpkin display that would be perfect for the entire fall season and wanted to show you a cute way to display your pumpkins this year!

I am not big on decorating for Halloween and would prefer to skip right on over that part of the fall decorating. This month’s challenge was to create a Halloween display so I wanted to create a minimalistic display that would give a nod to the season, but complement our decor until it is time to deck the halls.

Let’s get painting!

How to Paint Pumpkins With Acrylic Paint

Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints with

Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints with

Supplies Needed (all of these supplies can be found at Walmart!)

Any size you like of their faux pumpkins- the small ones are just $.98!! (you could also do real pumpkins!)

Waverly Inspirations Acrylic Paints in Elephant, Plaster, Pool, & White

Waverly Inspirations 4-piece wide brush set

Cup with water, paper towels, and something to cover the surface while painting

Wooden Crate (I got this one with a chalkboard on the side)

Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints with

Directions for Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints

1. Remove the labels from the pumpkins and protect your surface with cardboard while painting.

2. With a clean wide brush, begin painting your pumpkins,using the stalk of the pumpkin as a handle to work around the surface. Paint the entire pumpkin and then set it aside to dry. Drying time can take anywhere between 15 minutes to one hour, depending on how thickly you applied the paint. Repeat this process as many times as you like to achieve the hue you are going for. I found the gray pumpkins only required a single coat, while the white pumpkins required two coats. Once dry,sprinkle these pumpkins throughout your house or create a crate display like I have done.
Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints with

Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints with

Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints with

Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints with

Painting Pumpkins With Acrylic Paints with

I love how these pumpkins spill out onto some of my favorite childhood reads. The chalkboard side on this crate gives me the chance to make this display feel a little more Halloween and then can be replaced with a different label later in the fall.  I added my knitted leaf centerpiece to the side of the table- I can’t believe how well these branches have held up over the years!

For a corner in our home that used to have nothing, this has quickly become my favorite focal point in our living room.

Do you want more craft inspiration from Waverly? Try these!

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions

Fabric Wreath & Matching Garland

Fabric Bulletin Board Tutorial

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

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How to Make Elephant Toothpaste

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

How to Make Elephant Toothpaste from

This post was sponsored by Bayer. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

If we are only doing science with our kids when the science fair rolls around, I feel like we are missing the boat. Every day is an opportunity to teach something about science with our kids through simple routine moments throughout our day. From baking bread to why their bath tub toys float to how swinging at the park really works…that’s all science (and pretty amazing!).

Simple daily activities are a great way to incorporate science into our daily routines and most parents have a desire for that. In fact, in Bayer’s recent back-to-school survey, nearly all (95%) parents surveyed agree that it would be helpful to have tips for turning simple activities into science learning opportunities for their children, which is why Bayer decided to create a program to address this need.

So many of these teaching moments are overlooked in our house so I am excited to partner with Bayer as they work to improve science literacy in kids through their award-winning program, Making Science Make Sense (MSMS). In this program, Bayer creates hands-on lessons to kids to seriously think about science and fostering the seeds of science in our kids even when they are small. It inspired our family to take a science challenge of our own and gave us a TRULY fun moment with our daughter while teaching her a really important science lesson in the process.

I honestly don’t know who was more excited- my daughter or my husband.

Who doesn’t love a crazy chemical reaction?

If you don’t want to take on our experiment, you can tackle so many easy and fun experiments through the MSMS science library exploring topics like what happens when water boils, where the light from sun comes, and why do oil and water not mix. Not only are these fun things to talk through together, they could also definitely round out a homeschool curriculum.

Since we have middle school kids, we have found it takes a lot to wow them so I wanted to create some science fun that they had never seen before. Grab your safety glasses and dive into a fun science experiment with us as we make Elephant Toothpaste and learn a heck of a lot of science in the process.

How to Make Elephant Toothpaste


How to Make Elephant Toothpaste from

How to Make Elephant Toothpaste from

Supplies Needed:

1 Cookie Sheet

1 Empty 2-liter container

1 Tablespoon of Dry Yeast

3 Tablespoons Warm Water

Small Cup For Mixing

Liquid Dish Soap

1/2 cup 20-volume hydrogen peroxide liquid (20-volume is a 6% solution and not available at drugstores so make sure you get the type we are linking to)

Food Coloring

Rubber Gloves


Safety Goggles (we bought these and they fit perfectly)

How to Make Elephant Toothpaste from

 Directions for Making Elephant Toothpaste

 Please note: We advise parents do the pouring of the hydrogen peroxide as it can irritate the skin and eyes.

1. In a clean 2-liter bottle add 8 drops of food coloring. We picked blue to look like toothpaste!

2. Next have an adult add the hydrogen peroxide to the mixture. A funnel really helps with this step!

2. Add one tablespoon of your liquid dish soap to the bottle. Have your child swish the bottle gently.

3. In a separate cup, mix together the dry yeast and warm water. Mix, mix, mix for 30 seconds.

How to Make Elephant Toothpaste from

4. Place the funnel on top and then pour the yeast mixture into the bottle.

5. Watch in amazement as this starts foaming and overflowing from the bottle. Be sure to put your gloved hands around the bottle to feel the heat that the bottle is giving off.

How to Make Elephant Toothpaste from

Doesn’t that look like toothpaste? We were all amazed at this chemical reaction.

What’s the Science Behind This Elephant Toothpaste?

Each foam bubble is filled with oxygen. The yeast acts as a catalyst to remove the oxygen from the hydrogen peroxide. Since we did this process so fast, it created lots of bubbles quickly.

How to Make Elephant Toothpaste from


We also created an Exothermic Reaction which means you created heat with this reaction. How cool is that? We thought that part was almost as amazing as the foam that we created!

How to Make Elephant Toothpaste from

She was absolutely miserable.


Science is awful.

Just look at that face!

Just kidding, she was in science heaven in our backyard lab.

Although experiments are grand, I hope the takeaway is that we have the opportunity to share science with our kids every single day. I hope this idea and the many, many ideas from Bayer’s Making Science Make Sense give you lots of chances to talk about science each and every day.

Do you have any tips on how to share science at home with your children? What hurdles do you experience in encouraging STEM learning beyond the classroom? I would love to hear them!

This post was sponsored by Bayer. All thoughts and opinions are my own!

Handmade Autumn Burlap Wreath Tutorial

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

Handmade Autumn Burlap Wreath Tutorial

I am so excited to be sharing another tutorial for how to make a burlap wreath today! I can’t begin to tell you how happy this wreath makes me hanging our front door. The pop of orange is just what our door needs for the holidays and this wreath is perfect for all fall through Halloween and Thanksgiving.

If you haven’t made a burlap wreath before, this tutorial is for you! It outlines step-by-step how to recreate this wreath with my picture tutorial.

Handmade Autumn Burlap Wreath Tutorial

The crisp coolness of fall is moving in here in the Midwest and with it comes the urge to decorate every square inch of my home to honor it. Dare I say that we do more fall decorating than we do Christmas decorating? With simplifying as our goal, though, instead of decorating for Halloween and decorating for Thanksgiving, I am trying to create pieces that can double for both holidays and be appreciated until it’s time to break out the Christmas decorations.

The best part is that this burlap wreath requires no crafting skills, no cutting, and is very inexpensive to create.The one thing I will say with making burlap wreaths is that you need to have a little patience with yourself in the beginning. My first wreath, I took apart three times before I got the hang of it. Once you get the bubbling of the burlap down though, this really is a quick and easy craft and such a great way to dress up a door. (Note: affiliate links are included)

How to Make a Burlap Autumn Wreath


Supplies Needed:



1. Begin by folding your burlap in half, like I have shown above, and keep the fold going as we go along. Select one section of the wire wreath to start in. Feed the beginning end through the wreath as shown above: over the outer ring, under the next, over the next, and under to finish. Leave a little loose end to tuck in or you can wire it to the wreath with a little floral wire in the back. Now you have started your wreath- super easy!  This is the technique we are using throughout.

Note: I am showing it to you tightly so you can see how this will work, when you do this, you will actually be pulling out the burlap a bit to give it to that bubble effect that we are going for. 

2. Using the working end of the burlap (the working end is the side that isn’t the final end of the burlap, but the end you are working with), we are going to begin making the bubbled burlap right next to this row, within the same section of that metal wreath, but we will begin weaving in the opposite direction, continuing to pull out and bubble the burlap as we go, moving the working burlap into each section, weaving one direction than weaving the other direction.

4. When you run out of burlap (it should be when you are about halfway through covering the wreath), tuck the end towards the back and pick up where you left off. Again, you can wire these ends with a little floral wire on the back.

5. Once the entire wreath is covered, secure the final end with floral wire on the back of the wreath to make sure everything is held into place, twisted around one of the metal strands of the wreath.

6. Now you can fluff your burlap out to create that bubbly effect and to cover any of the metal you can see peeking out..

7. Clip small stems of your greenery to weave into your wreath. Starting with the front, add bits here and there, but not in a pattern, to make it look natural. Repeat this process with the middle layer and then finally attach a few towards the back to add texture to this wreath.

Handmade Autumn Burlap Wreath Tutorial

I don’t want to brag, but doesn’t this look like something out of a magazine? Weaving in the texture of the greenery really makes this wreath pop and looks professional. Thanks to catching some half-off sales at our local craft store, I was able to make this beauty for less than $20 which also makes me very happy!

Handmade Autumn Burlap Wreath Tutorial

I hope you can dress your home up simply and beautifully for the fall holidays with this fun idea!

 Disclosure: affiliate links are included in this article, if you use them, thank you -they help support the site!

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DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 

I am so excited to share with you these DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions I made today for our kitchen. While we have loved the aesthetics of our metal chairs in our kitchen, some of the bony bottoms in this house haven’t wanted to spend too much time in them. Lest you feel lead astray, it is not my rear that is struggling, thanks to a healthy dose of Sir Mix-A-Lot genes. I just get to hear from other people in my house about their discomforts.

Since I don’t sew (and struggle with exactness and measuring of materials) I wanted to create a DIY chair cushion to comfy up your metal chairs AND I wanted that chair cushion to be able to have two prints so we could switch them around. Not only does this give you two choices, but if you get tired of the print, you can reuse your cushion materials inside and recover them again with a fresh print.

I don’t want to brag, but I also think these are SUPER cute too!

Grab your glue guns and let’s get to work!

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

Supplies Needed (everything including these gorgeous fabrics are found at Walmart!!)

Your choice of matching Waverly Inspirations Fabric (measure the dimensions of your chairs to figure out your yardage)

Trim (I purchased two yards for each chair, but this will also depend on your own chair size!)

Fabric Glue

Fabric Rotary Cutter

Rotary Mat

Hot Glue Gun & glue sticks

Foam Cushion


DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

Directions for No-Sew Chair Cushions

1. Begin by place a large piece of parchment over your chair seat to create a template of the sizing of the seat of your chair. Mine had a lip that outlined around it that I followed for tracing. Cut this out and use this as your guide for cutting your foam. Using scissors, cut to the size of your template (Note- if you are worried about your template holding up, you can trace it on heavier paper and then use that as your guide).

2. Grab one of your fabrics and place the foam cushion on top. Cut (with your rotary cutter and on your mat) around the cushion, giving yourself 2″ of wiggle room around the cushioning. Repeat this same step with your second piece of fabric.

3.  Now it is time to glue your pieces. You want one fabric with the print out and one fabric on top with the print in. We will be turning these inside out once they are dry so you want to be sure your fabric is facing the correct direction. Also be mindful what direction your print is going so you can repeat that on each cushion.

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

4. Using your fabric glue, glue around the entire square, leaving an opening to slide in your cushion on one side. Repeat this on all of your cushions. Set the cushions aside and let them dry for 24 hours.

5. The next day, carefully open up and turn the cushion covers to the right side. Slide your foam cushion in and then either sew the opening with a needle and thread or (this is my lazy girl way!) line up the fabrics folding it in to match and hot glue that seam shut.

6. Grab your trim and carefully apply your hot glue and then secure your trim. Do this all the way around your cushion. If you have any excess, line the cushion up and figure out where to secure a tie (or two!) for it. You can either secure this to the cushion with a bit of hot glue or you can grab a heavy thread and needle and stitch it to the back.

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

DIY No-Sew Reversible Chair Cushions from

I hope these fun cushions bring your bony butts as much joy as they have to our house. We all agree that this also warms up the space a bit and makes it feel a little more homey. I added these coordinating pillows to the end chairs to add a little more warmth to them.

Do you want more fabric craft inspiration? Try these!

How to Make a Blanket Scarf

Fabric Wreath & Matching Garland

Fabric Bulletin Board Tutorial

This post was created in partnership with Waverly Inspirations. Thank you for supporting the companies that support our site! 


DIY Personalized Stamped Pencils

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

DIY Personalized Stamped Pencils

I hate to say it, but it’s back-to-school time! It’s always bittersweet for me. I enjoy summers with my kids so much and love the lazy days, but I also look forward to fresh starts and routines.  In honor of the season,  I created these cute DIY Personalized Stamped Pencils for the first day of school to remind your kiddos just how much they mean to you.

I always try to do one special thing for my kids on their first day of school to remind them how much they are loved. When my daughter started Kindergarten, I made hair bows that had a heart center, reminding her that my heart was with her on her big first day. For my son, it was always lots of jokes and comics tucked away in his lunchbox to share with his friends.


This craft was inspired by one of my favorite books, “The Help,” if you haven’t seen the movie or read the book, you really must. In one particular scene, the sweet character Aibileen gives the little girl she cares for a self-esteem boost each day saying, “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” These encouraging words are what help shape this little girl and help her grow and thrive.

I wanted to create personalized pencils for my own little girl for her first day of school that would capture why she is so special to me and capture a little of that self-esteem magic that I found so endearing in the film.

I jotted down a list of words that I think of when I think of my little girl. Kind, smart, funny, sassy, and joyful are just a few examples of what I think makes her so special. I wanted to create a project around these words and thought a pencil could remind her daily of why her mom thinks she is so darn wonderful.

How to Make Stamped Pencils

How to Make DIY Personalized Stamped Pencils from

Supplies Needed

(affiliate links included, if you use them, thank you -they help support the site!)


1. Jot down a list of words about what makes your child so special that you can use to stamp on your pencils.

2. Begin by sorting out your metal stamps into alphabetical order. I wrote a letter on the side of the stamp so it would be easy to find the stamp I needed while creating these. For me, the sorting was the most consuming part, but once you have this done it will make this project a lot faster.

3. Stamp your letter stamp into your black ink pad several times, until the letter is completely covered in the ink.

4. Then align your stamp, checking to make sure it’s about centered on one of the pencils’ flat sides, and also that it’s right-side up. You will want to give the end of your stamp a tap or two with the hammer. Keep in mind that wood is soft so you don’t want to pound it too hard, just hard enough to make that impression. Keep repeating this until you have spelled out your word.

5. Finish by dabbing your paper towel with rubbing alcohol and rubbing swiftly across the top of it to remove any excess ink that may have carried over from the stamping pad.

6. Wrap these in ribbon and give them to your child for their first day of school!

How to Make DIY Personalized Stamped Pencils from

I hope this project inspires you to create a little bouquet of pencils for your child’s first day of school. Older children might enjoy assisting with this project or love stamping their own name. Not only is this a great activity for mastering spelling, but it is also a great way to use their imagination to create words of their own.


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DIY Snack Station

Monday, August 15th, 2016


This post has been sponsored by Jack Link’s in partnership with Ahalogy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

When I became a mom, I began to realize the beauty in one-handed snacks. When my babies were small, I had a hard time holding a baby and feeding myself so I created a basket of one-handed snacks that would keep me fueled throughout the day.

Now that my kids are older, you would think that I would have loads more time to care for myself.  I have found though that although my children aren’t necessarily as demanding as they were, their activity schedule certainly is. I am still struggling to keep myself fueled as we run from activity to activity.

If you struggle with keeping yourself AND your kids fueled, I wanted to share with you a fun snack station we created to encourage ALL of us to grab healthy snacks more regularly. This diy snack station was made with a basic small bar cart and is fully stocked for our whole family.

DIY Snack Station Tutorial







I headed to my local superstore to gather up four metal pails that had chalkboard labels on front for our little diy snack station and found this sweet little bar cart on summer clearance for 75% off. This is the perfect time to stock up on this summer entertaining accessory and keep it on budget for your family.

We then headed on over to Kroger  (check out the store locator to find one near you!) to grab some healthy options for our snack cart. The beauty in the chalkboard labeling is that you can switch snacks based on what’s in season, what’s on sale, or what you are craving that week. Have your kids be in charge of the labeling to work on mastering their spelling!

Our four pails had bananas (separated for easy grabbing), raisins/nut mixes, Jack Link’s in a few varieties, and crackers with peanut butter. On the bottom tier, I added apples and oranges, a variety of flavored waters, and some fun straws for sipping.

diy-snack-station (2)

Snacks with lots of protein are my favorite because they stop the HANGRY from coming on.

Tell me that you know a little about hangry moments too please! I need to know I’m not alone in this!

As someone who fights low blood sugar (as do my children), I have found that protein keeps me from fighting those sugar highs and lows.

Beef jerky can be a great protein-filled option and Jack Link’s is protein-packed with a whopping 12 grams of protein.  I like that you don’t have to be limited to just one flavor because it comes in tons of varieties. From the soy and ginger combo in Teriyaki, to a layer of coarse pepper in their Peppered option, to the smoky mesquite flavoring of their Original turkey, to the bold and savory offerings of their Jack Link’s Original. We are big fans of these options for keeping the hangry at bay.


For a sweet and savory combo, pair your jerky with fresh fruit for a balanced snack. Bananas always offer a good bang for your buck, apples can be sliced for eating on-the-go, and easy-to-peel clementine’s are always a big favorite in our house. Be sure to look for fruit that is on season for the most affordable (and freshest) options.

We are also really big fans of flavored waters in our house. It makes drinking water a little bit more fun.

A pretty papered straw doesn’t hurt either. What can I say? I am a blogger and paper straws are kind of a requirement over here.



We hope this post inspires you to create a snack station for your own family! We are thankful to have one at our house as we head back to the grind of school and activities. It is so nice to know that one-handed snacks are on hand for life’s busy moments!

This post has been sponsored by Jack Link’s in partnership with Ahalogy. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

How to Make a School Supplies Cake

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

How to Make a School Supplies Cake from

It is hard to believe that school is just around the corner, but the school supplies have appeared in the stores! In honor of this I’m going to show you an adorable craft you can create for your kids as a back-to-school gift, a centerpiece for a back-to-school dinner together, or as a teacher gift to get the year started off right. The best part about this craft is that you can take full advantage of all of those back-to-school sales and make this for around $20!

School supplies cake-items needed.

Supplies Needed For Your School Supplies Cake: (affiliate links provided for more information)

1 8″x4″H cake form (or “dummy”)

1 box of 50 Crayola Markers

1 box of 12 yellow pencils (unsharpened or sharpened- your choice)

3 packages of colored rubber bands

1 package file folder bands

2 packages of Post-it Notes

2 skewers

Washi tape, chalkboard clip frames, and scissors (or any variety of fun items you have in your craft room- make this your own!)

School supplies cake tutorial


1. Place your cake form on a cake stand or on a cardboard cake circle to begin. This will help hold your project steady while preparing it.

2. Wrap one file folder band around your cake form. Remove markers from packaging and insert them in, between the band and cake form. Once you have your markers all inserted, add a second band to secure everything together.

3. Take your pencils and begin inserting these between your markers (every four markers or so) to fill out the rest of your cake. Save four of these and use them to frame your Post-it notes.


4. Slip your Post-it Notes in the space leftover, tucking them securely under the bands, as shown in the picture above.

5. Top your cake with rubber bands. Finish with flags made from washi tape or purchase clip-on cardboard labels to write a special message to your kids or teacher. Push the skewers into your cake form to secure.

How to Make a School Supplies Cake from

How cute is this?

And if you’d like another take on a back-to-school supplies cake, here’s another version we created when the kids were younger:


Click here for the steps to create this cake.

Here’s to another great school year!

*this post contains affiliate links- thank you for your support!

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