Archive for the ‘Home & Organization’ Category

The Top 7 Apps to Organize Your Life

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

If you asked me the one thing that I could not live without, it would be my iPhone. Today I want to share the top iPhone apps that have organized my life and my family. This gadget has brought more organization to my life than I dreamed possible and is what I rely on daily to tackle the day-to-day tasks as a mom. Of course, you don’t have to have an iPhone to benefit from these apps, almost all of these are available to any smartphone user. Here are my top 7 apps to get your family organized.

Cozi

Whenever I talk about the best apps to organize a family, I always think of Cozi first. Over the years, this app has evolved so much and fits perfectly into our family’s everyday needs. Cozi is a calendar app that is made with a mom in mind. It is easy to use, color-coded (for each family member), includes pictures of your sweet little ones, helps you with your grocery list, and offers text message alerts to you for appointment reminders…all from one central location.

My favorite feature that has saved our family countless fees and embarrassment is their text reminder service. When I input our family’s appointments, I can have a text sent to myself or to my husband that reminds us about that appointment. The reminders can come whenever you designate them (one hour ahead, one day ahead, one week ahead, etc..).  Does your child have jean day at school? Super silly hair day?  Little things like that are even input in this handy calendar and a text reminder goes out to me first thing in the morning to save my children from their mom’s forgotten dollar or the super exciting monthly “skip your uniform,” day.

(Free. Available for the iPad, iPhone, or Android.)

 

Mint

If you are looking to get your family’s finances back on track this year, my favorite and most reliable financial reporting comes from Mint. Mint can be set up through your home computer, your smart phone, or tablet.  An account with Mint can be set up in less than five minutes and gives you the chance to set budgets to your spending categories and track them with handy pie charts and graphs. In one glance, you can monitor your checking, savings, investments, and retirement at any moment during the day.

Most of the spending categories are immediately categorized for you while unfamiliar categories (like your favorite local restaurant or doctor’s visit) may need a quick categorization for accurate reporting. For tax purposes, you can also tag items for reimbursement so that it can help later when filing your taxes.

The best part, I have found, is that Mint will alert you via email when spending or withdrawals seem high. Did the mortgage company take out an extra payment? Did you have an unusually high amount of withdrawals in one month? Was a large deposit made? Mint sends you an email to alert you of unusual transactions happening in your account which could potentially save you from being the victim of credit card fraud.

(Free. Available for most devices.)

 

Grocery IQ

Making and sticking to your grocery lists has never been easier thanks to the Grocery IQ app. With Grocery IQ you can type, speak, or scan grocery list items into your list. The list automatically adds your items into categories and then alerts you if coupons are available for any items you might be adding to your list. Coupons can then be sent to your email when your list has been made or (if you have a wireless enabled printer) can be sent to your printer for printing. As you gather your items from your list, simply check it off and the item moves to the bottom of the list. Once your whole list is complete, everything is shifted towards the bottom and then can simply be clicked to add those repeat items back on the list for your next visit.

Since I always have my phone with me,  switching to an electronic grocery list has been much easier than I thought it would be. The coupon feature helps save our family money on items we were already planning to buy and the list helps keep our family budget on track. I also love that I can sync my list from my iPad to my iPhone so I can use whichever device I have handy to add items when we need them.

(Free. Available for the iPad, iPhone, or Android.)

Evernote

If you are trying to stop the paper pile-up from school, Evernote is a fantastic tool for  clipping and saving those papers in one spot that you can access from your phone or computer. When items come home to us that I might need to reference for our family later, like the cafeteria lunch schedule or the recess schedule, I can either take a photo of what I need or I can scan that item into Evernote and tag it with, “School,” for easy reference.

Things that I often refer back to, like our library card numbers, gift card numbers that I want to store on my computer, receipts for purchases, or even keeping track of the books my children are reading in a particular series are all housed in my Evernote account for easy accessibility when I need them.

No more scraps of paper all over the house or hanging on to newsletters for one paragraph of information, Evernote has become my virtual notebook to keep us organized.

(Free. Available on most devices.)

SpringPad

Menu planning can be a challenge for families and keeping track of all of those recipes you want to try can be a challenge when your Pinterest boards are overflowing with ideas. I have come to rely upon SpringPad for creating our family’s weekly menu plan. I think of SpringPad as a virtual notebook where you can privately or publicly share things you want to reference to manage your life. Notebooks can be created on any topic, but I create weekly notebooks of menu plans for my family, adding those recipes into a notebook so that I can reference them later, whether I am cooking in the kitchen or I am at the grocery store and not sure if I added all the ingredients to my list like I thought.

Depending on how the recipe is input into the source, SpringPad will either pull the recipe right into your notebook so you can view it right from the notebook, you can manually add in the recipe, or a link to the recipe will be provided so you can access it from the page you found it.

(Free. Available on most devices.)

30/30

Setting a timer to get tasks done around the house is an old school method that works remarkably well for productivity that has now been brought to the future with this 30/30 app for organizing your day.  The idea behind this app is very simple: you work for thirty minutes and focus on a single task with no distractions. When your time is up, you give your mind a break and do something completely unrelated, also for thirty minutes. This 30/30 cycle is repeated until your tasks are done.

Type in what your ideal day will look like including blocking out times for a little down time like enjoying a cup of coffee, time wasting on sites like Facebook or Pinterest, or just time with a great book.  Then set up what the rest of your productive day will look like and use the 30/30 app to visualize if you are going to get your tasks done in the designated time.  It provides a countdown and a visual reminder of what you are working on and beeps when your time is done. Simple, visually pleasing, and highly effective, I can’t recommend this app enough to increase your productivity.

(Free. Available for the iPad or iPhone.)

8MM Vintage Camera

Capturing my children on-the–go is one of the main reasons I decided to get an iPhone. While I rely heavily on Instagram for capturing still images of our family from day-to-day I also love to capture movies of them.  Although we have many fancy camcorders laying around our house, the one recorder I always have with me is my phone. I am a huge fan of vintage looking film and pictures so I have found that the  8MM vintage camera app is a fun way to add a little vintage to our family’s most precious recorded moments.

($1.99. Available for the iPad or iPhone)

What are your favorite apps for keeping your family organized? Chime in here and share your family’s favorite tools!

Pin It

Take Five Fridays Meal Plans

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Looking for inspiration for your menu plans? MomAdvice has you covered! Each Friday on the MomAdvice Facebook Page, I will be sharing five meal ideas to add to your planners each week and you can share your own ideas for your week. Feel free to link to any of your family favorites, share recipes you plan to try, or what you have on your plans for the week! Feel free to use our free menu planner printable for your week!

The first list is now posted and I can’t wait to share more in the upcoming weeks! While you are visiting on Fridays, be sure to check out our other weekly post, on Fridays, sharing the latest and greatest reads! We have a very active community of readers and I am sure it will inspire you to add a few new books to your library lists!

See you there!

Pin It

DIY Command Center (For Small Spaces)

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Small spaces often come with big organizational challenges. When you don’t have spare closets, only have minimal wall space, and struggle with tiny rooms, creating a DIY command center for your home can be a challenge. Today’s tutorial offers some quick ideas for creating your own DIY Command Center in your home.

Here is what I have been struggling with in this corner of my home. The kids were driving me crazy when they came home from school because they would immediately dump everything in this corner and throw their papers all over my kitchen counter when they got home.

The real question is were they really driving me crazy or was it because they really didn’t have a place that they could call their own?

The coat rack in our entry was too high for them to reach, there was nowhere for their backpacks to go, and the paper situation needed a designated spot other than on top of my kitchen counter while I am trying to prepare the family dinner.

I headed to our local Walmart to see what organizational tools I could find and was excited to discover the perfect solution for our little corner. I found this Mainstays Pub Mirror ($22.96) for our kids to use for their coats over in the home decor section of the store. In the closet organization section, I found a Mainstays Seagrass Basket ($12.99) for storing our magazines and umbrellas.

A seldom used storage ottoman was moved underneath for housing the backpack and briefcase clutter and also offers one of my children an extra little boost to climb up and put her backpack away.

Since paper clutter was quickly becoming out of control, I found an upright file folder organizer and colorful file folders for organizing the whole family. The kids each now have an IN and OUT folder. If they need something signed, they put it in the IN folder for me for signatures and I give it back to them by putting those items in the OUT folder, that they can check before they leave for school. Special memorabilia that is worth saving still resides in their decorative boxes in their rooms.

This small compartment organizer for keys, sunglasses, and other things that seem to get misplaced rests on this half moon table for easy finding and grabbing in the morning. Above this table is our family calendar so we can keep track of important events. Just like every other family I know, the calendar is filled to the brim and we have a lot to keep track of these days.

We moved our clock to the other wall  and I decided to add a frame to this wall with some new art work. I found this awesome free printable (literally) over on the Funky Polkadot Giraffe. I printed it on cardstock at home (free) and then framed it in this Canopy picture frame that already included a matte.  I really love how this turned out and that it adds another fun decorating addition to our walls.

This room has been going through a bit of a transformation now that we are finally figuring out what we really love and are starting to get our own sense of style.  We gave our glider chair to our in-laws, sold our two checked chairs through a community Facebook group, and donated our old couch. We kept the same neutral color on the walls, but decided to update our accessories and add some much needed furniture back into this room.

This is my absolute favorite room in our house. It has replaced my other favorite room in our house (our home office) thanks to the addition of the record player, the comfy chair that I found on deep clearance at a furniture store, and I just love the nautical feel of this room which makes me oh-so-happy!

Now that we have a Command Center, albeit a small one, this room now makes me even happier and renews my commitment that even if you have a small home, you can make any space a functional space for your family. As our reminder to our commitment to enjoy living small, I added this print to our wall. It makes me happy every time I come down the stairs and reminds me of what is important.

Small homes do come with challenges, but they also come with many rewards!

Do you have a command center in your home? How do you organize the after school chaos? Feel free to share here!

 

 

 

Pin It

How to Organize Board Games

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Now that Christmas is behind us, I find myself inspired to get my home organized again. One area in our home that always needs attention is our disorganized board game collection. Organizing your board games  and card games is easier than you think, it just requires a few organizing tools, a little patience, and the ability to let go of the things that are taking up valuable space to make space for the good stuff in your home.

My project challenge this month with Walmart was to pick one area in our house and freshen it up with some organizational solutions from the store. I have a feeling you are going to love this one and will be running out to your store to replicate this.

In full disclosure, here is my SCARY before picture. This was supposed to be a beautiful little closet for my kid’s toys, our games, and our art supplies. Each time the closet was open, I covered my head. I am a very petite woman so when I would reach for a game, I would find a leaning tower of games attacking me and often found myself in an avalanche of games and toys. 

I decided to do some research to see if I could find some ideas from other bloggers on how to rectify this situation. Although there were a lot of great magazine ideas, I didn’t find very many real family solutions until I happened upon this great post on board game organization from Raising Lemons. I used that as a template to get started and then headed to my store to create my own solutions for our problematic areas.

Here are some pictures of the items that I picked up at our Walmart store (feel free to click on them to expand).

Sterlite Large Three Drawer Units ($12.97 each)

Sterlite Medium Three Drawer Unites ($8.47)

Document Boxes ($7.92)- available in the office supplies section of the store

Avery Labels ($1.00)

Rubber Bands ($.67)

Snap-It Storage Container ($9.97)

Ziploc Freezer Bags ($4.38

All games were removed from their boxes and then each game went into a designated drawer. Larger games that had a lot of parts to it (like Blokus, Rummikub, or Monopoly) fit well into the large Sterlite drawers.

Smaller kid’s games fit easily into the medium Sterlite drawers as well as games where the board would not fit into either container (more on that soon). For really small games like Memory or Rush Hour, we found one drawer could fit two or three games, which helped to maximize this storage solution.

For larger board games, I labeled boards that we wouldn’t easily be able to figure out what they were, and set those to the side along with a couple of those irregularly shaped games (like Operation, our deluxe Scrabble, and our Hungry, Hungry Hippos). By removing the useless boxes, this tiny little pile of boards really doesn’t take up very much of our space.

We had oodles of card games, many that were dusty and had been forgotten on that top shelf, so I used two Document Boxes that I found over in the office supplies to create storage for these games. This was a great place to not only store these games neatly, but I also dedicated a little section to the odds & ends pieces that we might need for future games. The odds & ends spot houses marbles, a few extra game pieces, decks of cards, and several dice.

Large games like Apples to Apples had to use two spots, but it still beats having the boxes. I like that all of these odds and ends are concealed neatly, and it will make taking a box of games a lot more fun since there are several in just one box!

Our puzzle collection had also gotten out of control. I found a Snap-It organizer (over by the drawers/plastic bins) that has a handy handle and it all snaps together for easy toting. We divided our puzzles into two categories (holiday & other). It will make finding our Christmas collection a little easier. I cut the front of the boxes and labeled heavy-duty freezer bags with the puzzle name or description so we could locate them easily.

Since I was on a roll in that closet, I decided to get the rest of the kid’s stuff organized. I whittled their toy collection down to half and organized their art supplies into the same drawer organizers (these were all things we already owned). I had old-fashioned labels in my craft supplies so I hung fresh labels with a little bakers twine and labeled our canvas bins so the kids knew exactly what they were pulling down.

Each child now has their own coloring book drawer and all of the random boxes of markers, crayons, and pencils were all condensed into one drawer organizer.

After losing countless library books because they are mixed in with their own books, we now have one basket designated. The other books were moved down to our downstairs game cabinet because (you won’t believe this!) all of the games from our downstairs cabinet all fit in our upstairs cabinet so I could turn the other cabinet into a spot for all of their books. That is a huge storage bonus for us!

It feels like Christmas all over here again. We have loads of fun things to do, we can find them, and (in my son’s words) “We don’t have to move so many things around to get to the good stuff.” You know it, kid!

The big question is, “Do you miss the boxes?” I can’t say I do! For the games we travel with to our friend’s house (Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, etc..) we have a couple of boxes stored in the basement. The rest of the games stay at home and this solution is so ideal for our space and offers oodles of visual appeal. 

Have any tips for organizing your game collection or toy closet for the New Year? I would love to hear them!

I am a part of the Walmart Moms program, and Walmart has provided me with compensation for these posts  My participation is voluntary and opinions are always my own.

 

 

Pin It

“Use What You Have” DIY Advent Calendar

Monday, November 26th, 2012

 

It is that time of year again and that means another Advent season.  You don’t have to have a fancy advent calendar to celebrate the advent season, in fact, I have a DIY Advent Calendar made from items you already have in your home. This free DIY Advent Calendar is the perfect way to celebrate the holiday season without breaking the bank.

Today I wanted to share with you a “use what you have” Advent calendar that we created last year. It was such a hit that I plan to make another one for this year! This requires no pricey materials and is based around what the holiday season should be all about… being together!

In the years past, we have always had a Christmas Jar of activities. Each day we would randomly draw from a set number of activities and enjoy a holiday activity together as a family. This year, our life with our two children has become increasingly busy and scheduled. We have two school schedules, extracurricular activities, homework, holiday programs, holiday family events, and so much more going on. Our life of leisure seems to have taken a detour and I have had to be more thoughtful in our approach towards carving time out for what we would hope to accomplish this year.

I wanted to create our own countdown to Christmas in a creative way, but I didn’t want to spend any money on it. I decided to use what I had to create our homemade Advent filled with fun activities and wanted to share with you what we created!

 

Homemade Advent Calendar

Supplies needed:

A large circle punch (in scrapbook supplies at craft store) or a jar or glass for tracing
Tape
Scrapbook or festive holiday gift wrap
Ribbon
Marker
2 Muffin Tins
A picture frame stand or a place to prop your finished tins


I began this project by punching out 48 circles. On half of these write the numbers 1-24 and on the other half you can write fun activities to do with your children in anticipation of the big day.

Stick your holiday activity folded up inside of each muffin tin and then attach the numbered circles to each individual muffin tin. Secure with tape on both sides to hold your activities in securely.

Break out your trusty calendar and jot down the activities for each day to remind yourself what you need to plan for and what supplies will need to be purchased to accomplish the activities.

Add a little festive ribbon to the top of your muffin tin. Display the muffin tin by using a picture frame stand or finding a sturdy wall to prop it up with. Have your child draw an activity each morning to complete as a family.

 

Here are 24 Ideas for Advent Activities

1. Decorate the Christmas tree.
2. Big bubble baths with holiday music playing.
3. Go to the library to pick out holiday books.
4. Special popcorn and hot cocoa snack with a holiday movie.
5. Head to a holiday concert.
6. Decorate gingerbread houses.
7. Make Christmas cards for your special friends.
8. Watch a holiday movie.
9. Color a holiday coloring page.
10. Bake Christmas cookies.
11. Go see holiday lights.
12. Go see Santa in your local downtown.
13. Write a letter to Santa.
14. Pop popcorn & play a board game together.
15. Host an ornament decorating party.
16. Make gingerbread waffles or gingerbread donuts for breakfast.
17. Wrap holiday gifts while listening to holiday music together.
18. Go to the dollar theater and see a movie.
19. Go see the Christmas lights in your pajamas.
20. Deliver holiday treats to your friends & the firefighters in town.
21. Watch your favorite holiday movie.
22. Open one gift early.
23. Go caroling.
24. Do a holiday puzzle together

Total cost for this project was zero and very little money will be spent to do these activities together. The memories I hope to create with my children though, I hope those will be priceless!

Do you do an Advent calendar or have a special way your family celebrates the countdown to Christmas? I would love to hear your ideas!

Pin It

How to Set the Perfect Thanksgiving Table

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Setting a great Thanksgiving table is something anyone can do with the right tools in their entertaining supplies, a few new additions, and a little bit of thriftiness. Today’s perfect Thanksgiving tables is particularly important to me because today I am sharing with you a way that you can make your table and earn money for your favorite charities in the process.

This month I am partnering with Pure Charity to share about their incredible mission to give back to charities through the holiday shopping that you already happening to be doing. 

What is Pure Charity?

Pure Charity is a simple, but awesome concept for giving back to those causes you care most about. Basically, you install a simple toolbar into your web browser and then it alerts you with a small banner at the top when a store you are shopping with has a partnership with Pure Charity. Click on that little button and you are making a percentage deposit into your Giving Fund. Your Giving Fund can then be applied to the charities that are important to you and that you have a desire to support.

Pure Charity asked me to show everyone what could be done via their partners and gave me a small budget to get started. This month I am sharing ideas for setting the perfect Thanksgiving table, to sharing Thanksgiving recipes with you, and showcasing some fun ideas for keeping the kids entertained. All supplies were ordered through their partners and I have created a Giving Fund for the charities that are most important to our family. At the end of this series, I will share with you just how much I was able to earn through this spending.

How to Set the Perfect Thanksgiving Table

Mix Texture and Color Into Your Basics- I have always had a fondness for my white dishes simply because they match everything that you want to layer on top of them.  (West Elm Napkins)

Spice up your basics with a bold colored napkin in a fresh autumn shade. I love to mix texture in by tying napkins off with scraps of burlap instead of buying napkin holders. If you don’t have any burlap, a piece of twine or yarn would be just as lovely. 

Mix in One New Element to the Tableware- In a perfect world, we would have loads of storage and dishes for every season. Most families just don’t have this type of limitless space in their kitchen. Instead of buying new dishes for each holiday, focus on adding one new element each year to the existing pieces you already have.

My white dinnerware is perfectly paired with these elegant Thanksgiving dessert plates (West Elm Dessert Plates) as a nod to the season and they take up far less room than an entire set of dishes.

Have Your Kids Create the Centerpiece- My kids love helping me in the kitchen and one way they can assist with the Thanksgiving table is to help create the centerpiece.

I have been dying to have a chalkboard in my kitchen and using this as a centerpiece for our table was the perfect excuse for the purchase. Center this chalkboard (Pottery Barn Small Chalkboard) on your table and then give your kids the assignment to fill this with all of the things that they are thankful for.

Once Thanksgiving is over, this will be proudly hanging in our kitchen for all of our family announcements!

Decorate With Nature- Right now there might not be a lot blooming, but if your yard is anything like ours, there are plenty of rustic and beautiful elements that could be added to your table.

I pruned one of my flowering bushes and used the clippings as a filler for three vases.  (West Elm Vases). I love how these branches add dimension to my table and skip the expensive vase fillers.

Add Your Own Personal Touch- Everyone has their own personal touch that they can add to their centerpieces. For you, it might be your mad spray painting skills. For me, it is the ability to knit yarn into leaves and flowers. It might not sound like a very useful skill, but it certainly helps when it comes to fall centerpieces. I relied upon this knitted leaf pattern and these easy garter stitch flowers for knitted embellishments to my sticks.  It will take me awhile to knit all of this, but I promise to share more once it is done!

My husband may or may not have made fun of me when I said the branches needed “whimsical leaves,” but even he agreed that they looked pretty sweet once I finished this project.

After these purchases to dress up my Thanksgiving table, I was able to bank $7.22 in my Giving Fund for my favorite charities through Pure Charity

I hope you love these ideas for setting the perfect Thanksgiving table and I look forward to sharing more about my partnership with Pure Charity in the coming weeks.

I am working with Pure Charity, and Pure Charity has provided me with compensation for these posts. My participation is voluntary and opinions are always my own.

Pin It

Preparing for the Holidays

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

Photo Credit: Nancy Lary Studios

Preparing for the holidays can be a stressful time for families Planning ahead and breaking the preparation down into manageable steps is key to holiday survival.

This year I will be hosting our family’s Thanksgiving, launching a book, celebrating my daughter’s birthday, celebrating Christmas with two sides of the family, and trying to ring in the New Year. Am I scared? You bet!  Just the very thought of all this could make me break into a sweat and cause me to want to throw the covers back over my head until this is all over. I am already working on my timeline to still have a wonderful holiday and accomplish all I need to and I wanted to share it with you.


This week I am sharing my timeline for preparing for the holiday season over on the Kenmore blog! I am offering an easy timeline to help you get things done and actually enjoy your holidays this year!

Head on over to check out my ideas for accomplishing that holiday to-do list! I hope you’ll join me over there!

How to Make Chalkboard Pumpkins

Monday, October 15th, 2012

If there is one thing you know I love around here it is chalkboard paint. Chalkboard painted pumpkins are a fun way to avoid the pumpkin carving and allow your kids to unleash their inner Picasso. Chalkboard pumpkins are easier to make than you might think and today I wanted to show you how to transform ordinary pumpkins into Chalkboard Pumpkin People that lets your kids be creative while creating a unique accessory to your front step!

Let’s get started with creating your very own Chalkboard Pumpkin People.

Supplies Needed (all found at Walmart):

1 real pumpkin

1 can of chalkboard paint (over in the hardware department)

Masking or electrical tape (this is optional, I ended up not covering my stem)

Wet wipe

White Chalk

1 Skeleton or Witch Body (these are found in the Halloween supplies by the pumpkin carving tools, $7.97 each)

How to Create Your Chalkboard Pumpkin

1. Wipe down your pumpkin well with a wet wipe or damp paper towel to remove any dirt or debris.

2. Hold your can 10-14 inches away from your surface and spray in a sweeping motion side to side with a slight overlap around your entire pumpkin. Follow this pattern horizontally and then vertically. Wait fifteen minutes or so and then apply another coat. You need two coats to create your chalkboard surface.

3. Allow your pumpkin to cure. Do not use any chalk on this for 24 hours! The chalkboard paint will need to harden and will not be ready until then. If you try it before it is ready, it will just scratch the paint through, creating marks and exposing the orange on your pumpkin.
Let your little artists go to work with their chalk. Before giving it to them, make sure to rub down the corners so that they don’t scratch their pumpkin’s surface. I also reminded them to draw gently on these so their paint would remain intact.

Mistakes made? No problem! These can easily be erased and started over again. We had many false starts before deciding on our perfect faces.

Here are our finished faces that the kids drew (the witch’s creator might have had a little help from her Dad). We really loved these cute little faces and couldn’t wait to put them on the pumpkin bodies.

The best part about these though is that you can erase these and use them over and over again through the Thanksgiving holiday with written notes of thankfulness or a countdown to the holidays.

Of course, if you are more of the carving pumpkin type, Walmart has you covered with loads of great carving tools this year!

 

Don’t know what to do with the rest of that can of chalkboard paint? How about a DIY Lunchbox Creation Station, Chalkboard Food Label Frames, or Conversation Bubble Cookie Jars…just to name a few!

 

I am a part of the Walmart Moms program, and Walmart has provided me with compensation for these posts. My participation is voluntary and opinions are always my own.

Pin It

How to Make a Duct Tape Pumpkin

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Carving pumpkins isn’t for everyone and I am so excited to share with you this easy craft for a duct tape pumpkin that you can pull out year after year. You may have never even noticed the patterned duct tape lurking in the craft aisles, but this is one easy & inexpensive craft material with endless possibilities for a customized duct tape pumpkin that can match any room in your home.

Supplies Needed:

1 craft pumpkin

1 roll of patterned duct tape (Duck Brand)- available in the craft section of Walmart

1 roll of solid colored duct tape (Duck Brand)- available in the craft section of Walmart

Hot glue gun & glue sticks

Scissors

To create your chevron pumpkin base:

1. Twist off the pumpkin stem to create an even surface on top for covering your pumpkin with tape.

2. Pull a strip of duct tape off the roll that will cover the entire pumpkin. Attach it to the pumpkin, doing your best to try not to wrinkle it.

3. Continue covering the pumpkin until it is fully covered with the duct tape, doing the best you can to line up the patterns. If you have wrinkles, overlap the duct tape to cover any minor flaws.

4. Place a dab of hot glue on the top and reattach your pumpkin stem, holding it  in place for a couple of minutes to secure it.

To create duct tape rosettes for the top of your pumpkin, you will need to do the following:

1. Measure a 10″ strip of your solid-colored duct tape and cut it off the spool.

2. Fold the duct tape in half (sticky sides in), doing your best to line the tape up evenly. If you don’t get the tape perfectly even, just trim the edge until you don’t see the white anymore.

3. Twist the tape to create a tight center to the rosette.

4. Begin twisting your tape as tightly or as loosely as you would like to create your rosette. Add a dab of hot glue periodically between the twists to secure it all together.

5. Once you have finished your rosette, add a dab of hot glue to the bottom and secure it to the top to create a rosette “leaf.”

6. Repeat this process again and create one more rosette. Secure the second rosette next to or slightly overlapping the first rosette to add your second rosette “leaf.”

Create your own pumpkin with your family and you could win $1,000 in the Stick or Treat Duck Brand Jack O’ Lantern Contest. The company offers over 100 colors, prints and licensed prints such as Hello Kitty and each roll of tape retails for $3.37 at Walmart stores!

Looking for more pumpkin crafts? Be sure to check out my tutorial for my Painted Address Pumpkin Topiary and Decoupaged Pumpkins that you can do with more of these fun faux pumpkins!

 

 

I am a part of the Walmart Moms program, and Walmart has provided me with compensation for these posts. My participation is voluntary and opinions are always my own.

 

Pin It

Painted Milk Allergy Mugs

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

In our family each family member seems to need to drink a different variety of milk. I wanted to create these painted milk allergy mugs for our family and wanted to show you this easy fifteen minute craft that might help your own family with the dinner hour.

Without going into an annoying list of all of our health issues these days, we have all had to make some dietary changes for our health and that means three varieties of milk in our fridge. I recently snapped a picture on Instagram (find me on there under momadvice!) and commented that our family doesn’t need an additional fridge in our garage for beer, but one just for all of our milk. It is a game of milk tetris in this fridge. I knew we weren’t alone, but it surprised me just how many friends commented that their fridge looked just like ours.

Pouring three varieties of milk each dinner hour can get confusing. One mix up could really ruin someone’s day… literally.  Since one of us would rather not spend the afternoon in belly pain if they grab a cup of whole milk instead of their almond milk, I thought it was time to make labeled cups for each of us. I had been dying to try out Martha Stewart’s new line of paints at Michael’s so I headed over there to grab the supplies and found some inexpensive glasses at a local discount store to complete the supplies for this project.

How to Stencil Your Glassware

1. Clean your glasses with soap and water, then rub with rubbing alcohol to remove any remaining residue on the glass.

2. Apply the reusable adhesive stenciled letters for your milk labels. If you have a shorter cup, feel free to substitute words like, “almond” or “coconut” with the word “nut,” to save on space.

3. Pour a small amount of paint on a disposable plate. Using your brush, apply a thin layer of paint, doing your best to stay within the stencil. If needed, apply a second coat.

4. While your paint is still wet, carefully peel off stencil.

5. Allow the paint to dry for one hour and then place the glasses on a cookie sheet.  Set the glasses in a cool oven.  Set oven to 350°F and bake for 30 minutes.  Glass must heat gradually with the oven to avoid breakage.  Do NOT place glass in a hot oven.  After 30 minutes, turn the oven off.  Allow glass to cool completely in oven.  Wait 72 hours before using.

6. Clean all stencils, rushes, and tools immediately after using them, before the paint has dried. You can use a stencil cleaner to clean. Let dry. Attach backing to stencils and then store for another use.

It’s that easy, friends! I hope it helps another family struggling to keep track of the milk cups! Of course, I can’t wait to do some other fun projects with these stencils! Have a great day!

Pin It