Hallie has had these white Pottery Barn Kids frames in her room since she was a baby. Last year we did an overhaul on her room when I built her a new queen size bed and we learned that she had no insulation in her room!
The pictures came off the wall and we leaned them against the wall – they stayed like that for 8 months until we finally got around to painting her room. We were putting the pictures back on the wall and they just didn’t seem to work anymore. The walls were a light gray and the pictures got lost. So the frames and mats got a little update with some gold spray paint and some wrapping paper.
This was the easiest and cheapest upgrade. All you need is a photo mat, some wrapping paper, scissors, tape and an exacto/craft knife.
Remove the mat from the picture frame and cut a piece of wrapping paper a little larger than the mat. Cut a large X in the photo cutout.
Use tape to secure the inside tabs to the mat and pull tight as you tape the outside edges.
We put the frames back together and hung them on the wall and Hallie and I both agreed the white frames needed a facelift. We found the perfect gold/bronze made by Rustoleum that matched her lamp perfectly. It was the perfect touch to her updated “tween” room.
It’s time to start dressing the house in red and pink! A while back, I showed a rag banner I made for Hallie’s birthday party in navy and gold. It was surprisingly easy and cheap enough that I’ve made it again for Valentine’s day.
Here’s how to make it:
1. Buy 1/4 yard of four different fabrics.
2. Cut 9 one inch strips of fabric. (I folded it and used a rotary cutter to make the process quick)
3. Take each one inch strip (which is the width of the fabric you purchased) and cut them into fourths. I take all the strips of one color and hold them in my hand – fold it over and cut and take each half and cut it again. This will give 36 strips of each fabric.
4. Choose what material you want to tie the fabric to. It could be ribbon, baker’s twine, string, etc. Fold a piece of fabric in half with the twine sitting on top of it. Take the ends and put them through the loop and this will create a knot.
5. Continue alternating fabrics, tying knots, pushing the fabrics together until you have the fullness and length you desire.
It really is that easy. This is a sit-on-the-couch-and-watch-a-movie project which is just what I need sometimes!
Hallie was so disappointed last year when her class made “boring paper sacks” to collect their Valentines. I assumed fancy boxes were no longer in her future. Too old for something so cutesy.
She came home Monday this week excited as could be saying she was supposed to make a box. Really? 4 days notice? She has such grand ideas (it’s hard to live up to the gumball machine of 2nd grade!) and I knew we were short on time. I presented a couple ideas that would require little effort on my part and she jumped on the first idea; a bucket of popcorn.
I asked Steve to stop by a local movie theater on his way home from work and pick up an empty popcorn bucket. Much to our surprise, they don’t sell buckets of popcorn – only paper bags. But the cashier let him know that the dollar store by her house sells a popcorn bucket.
This morning I found myself at that store making a purchase. When Hallie got home from school, she popped some microwave popcorn and I cut out a styrofoam top with a hole to put Valentine’s through.
Then the boring process of attaching the popcorn. I ran the hot glue gun and Hallie carefully placed popcorn on one piece at a time. Although it seemed like an eternity, it took less than an hour before the entire bag of popcorn was glued on top of the bucket. And Hallie declared it as awesome. She then stated we should’ve done an icee cup to go with it. That girl has high standards – Steve is always reminding me the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
Here’s a round up of my homemade Christmas gifts this year for the kids.
Cannon – Noah’s Ark animals
This has been an idea a long time in the making and I’m only semi-disappointed with myself that I didn’t get the ark made in time. Another year…another homemade gift. This year, he got the animals; 12 sets, 24 in total. Based on a set by Holztiger – a company from Germany which I talked about here.
My patio was a disaster for far too long. This was a labor of love and I was counting my lucky stars that I had all my fingers in tact when I finished. Scroll saws can be a little intimidating! They’re made of 1″ hard maple which was a little difficult to cut out but they’ll be much more durable than making them out of pine. I spent many weeks watching Survivor and painting all the animals with basic craft paint (all of which was left over from a homemade gift last year, the nativity puzzle). I finished them off with a couple layers of clear coat and called it good.
They turned out better than I expected and I’m pretty much in love with them. So is Cannon.
Bennett – Wooden Robots
I found these darling robots (Ollibots) at Caravanshoppe.com. These require absolutely no skills. I purchased the digital file which gave me the artwork (printed them at staples) and all the instructions as well as the part numbers to buy from an online hobby store for all the wood pieces (precut).
They suggested different options of attaching the pieces together – I went with low-profile industrial strength Velcro from Amazon and it’s worked like a dream.
You can mix and match to your heart’s content – and Bennett has!
Hunter – Lego Print
Check out Hunter’s Lego artwork gift on a previous post.
Hallie – Fancy circle skirt
I’m realizing the older my kids get the more creative I have to get with their homemade gift. It’s much easier when they’re younger!
Hallie was in need of some skirts. Typically, I’m able to find something at a store that fits her just right but we’ve had some trouble lately. She getting taller and she has a fairly skinny waist. We couldn’t find a skirt long enough with a small enough waist. I turned to danamadeit.com and followed her circle skirt pattern. It was so easy, I made one for her to wear before Christmas and surprised her with another on Christmas morning. I’m tempted to make one in my size.
I’m ready to start brainstorming this year’s gifts. (aside from Cannon’s ark which has already made the list!)
Check out more homemade gifts from previous years:
My homemade Christmas gifts come in all shapes and sizes. I had the idea for Hunter’s homemade Christmas gift almost 6 months ago. I was working to redo his room and after I got the furniture and bedding placed I knew I wanted a picture hanging between his beds. Almost immediately the thought came to me to take a picture of his legos and hang it on the wall. The idea morphed into Lego wall art – making a quote out of his Legos and printing it for his wall.
I chose a short quote to make sure I could make it fit and look uniform. I spent an afternoon with his legos while he was at school and was done in no time.
I made a 20×20 print and put it in an Ikea Ribba frame.
Christmas morning he opened it and gave me the exact reaction I was looking for. Excitement.
We promptly hung it in his room and it was just as I had envisioned many months ago. “It’s awesome mom, I didn’t know you could make words out of Legos!” Yes son you can, and it’s much easier than the instructions that take 300 steps to build a ship!