String Easter Eggs

I am very excited that I have a new neighbor that loves to do crafts. We got together this week while the boys were napping and made string Easter eggs. I think they are so cute and they were simple to make, although a little time consuming (which is find when you are getting to know a new neighbor). I found the idea on Pinterest (of course) and it linked back to this site with all the instructions. But I did have a few things to add after making them:

-You must have strong lungs to be able to make these. Blowing up the water balloons had to be the hardest part of the whole thing. Maybe it was just the balloons we had (since they did not break last year when we threw them and they were full of water), but it was no easy task.

-I think next time I do it I am going to try not to add the flour to the fabric starch because they did not mix well. All the flour seemed to be either on the bottom of my bowl or clumped on my string when it dried. I have found similar projects done just using the fabric starch.

-I also want to note that it is important to carefully unwind all of the string into the bowl and not just dump it in. I started out following the instructions, but decided that it seemed unnecessary so I tried to just place one of the skein in all together. It really seemed like it would work, but it definitely got knotted very quickly. Just goes to show I should learn not try to take the easy way out.

-Also try to wipe all the excess liquid off of your string as you wrap it around the balloon. I did not do that every well and it took over 15 hours for my egg to dry and there are lots of clumps on the string that I am not fond of.

All and all it was a fun project and I think they look very festive sitting on my table. (I just wish I had the perfect size glass  jar to hold them.)

Spring Wreath

Ok, so yarn wrapped wreaths can be pretty addicting to make. Its a simple project that can make a huge difference to the front of your house. My new wreath makes me smile every time I drive up to the house. I bought a 16 inch straw wreath with a plastic cover. I read on another blog not to take the plastic off and I am so glad, because it made the wreath much easier to wrap without getting caught on the straw. When I finished wrapping the wreath in the yarn I was just a little short so I would recommend a 14 inch wreath or two bags/skeins of yarn.

I was really excited when I was shopping because I came across Doodle Yarn on sale for 50% and thought it would make the wrapping easier because its so thick. I was able to get the whole wreath wrapped in about 10 minutes (which is much better then the hour my first one took me).

I used hot glue to hold the beginning of the yarn in place on the back of the wreath. Then as you are wrapping you will need to go back and fill in a gap from time to time. Just put a little hot glue on the back where you finished and move across the back of the wreath put a little more hot glue to start where you need to fill in the gaps. Then repeat to get back to where you left off. Hold the end of the yarn in place with a little more hot glue.

For the flowers I bought one foot of three different fabrics. There are lots of different very similar tutorials to make hand twisted fabric flowers but I used this one. I used different lengths and widths to make the different sized flower. The first few flowers that I did I spent a lot of time on them trying to make them like I wanted but I found that the faster I did it the more I liked the out come. I attached them to the wreath with hot glue.

Angry Bird Birthday

I can’t believe it, but my oldest son turned five this weekend! He (like his father and brother) is addicted to Angry Birds so it was an obvious choice for the theme of the party. I have to say that I went a little crazy with this party because it was our first “real” birthday party. In the past we have had some of the boy’s friends and their families over for parties but this year we let the birthday boy pick five friends to be dropped off. (aaahhhhhh!)

I started by hand making the invitations. I found my idea on Pinterest and it linked back to this website.

When I made the invitation the birthday boy got very excited about making his own paper angry birds. Ok, so he was actually a little obsessed with it for a few day, but I am really glad that he loves to create. Here is a picture of him right before his party with all the decorations he made.

The first thing that we did when your guest were dropped off by their parents (a little scary) was to let them each have a turn playing angry birds on the ipad. A few of our guest had not played before and we wanted them to understand what the whole party was all about. Hopefully we did not send them home begging their parents to play angry birds all the time (like my boys do).

Then we play pin the beak on the parrot angry bird. This is one of the birthday boys favorite angry birds and it was his idea to play the game. My wonderful husband made the parrot angry bird.

Next up was an egg hunt. I explained to the boys that the angry birds were angry because the pigs stole their eggs and that we need to help get them back. I was so glad that it was warm enough for us to go outside for the egg hunt. I was also happy that I had been able to find angry bird tattoos to put in the eggs, because I knew the boy’s moms would not love to for me to send them home with lots of candy. I think the egg hunt was probably the hit of the party.

Once outside we broke out the sling shots that Josh made and my boys had painted and had a pig shoot out. I made these cute pig cans that I made based off the idea I found here.

After everyone had a turn with the sling shot the boys wanted to try throwing the angry birds. I had bought a few of the small stuffed back pack clip angry birds and cut off the plastic clip and they were the perfect ammo.

Then lunch! I spend a good chunk of time the morning of the party making bird sandwiches and kiwi pigs.

I think this is one thing I will really have to think about before I do something similar for another party. It took a little too long to make for the amount of time it took the boys to eat.

And of course the thing the boys started asking for the second the party started….CAKE!

I found the idea for these here, and the boys were every excited about them.

Now the thing that I spent the most time on leading up to the party…masks. I found these adorable masks on Pinterest, but was not able to find the original source. I had felt left over from the fort that I made my youngest for his birthday so although it took me some time I was proud that I only had to spend $1.96 on elastic to make these.

I think the boys all loved the masks and I loved that I was able to get a picture of everyone at the party and did not have to worry about getting them all to smile at the same time.

And of course everyone went home with a gift bag that held their mask, tattoos, some bubbles and angry bird gummies.

It was a wonderful birthday and we survived out first “real” birthday party.


Foam Bath Tub Paint

A while back I came across a recipe for homemade bath tub paints. My boys always love having activities to do in the bath so I decided to give it a try. The recipe called for corn starch, dish soap, and food coloring, so one night before bath time I whipped up a batch. The boys had a great time playing with it. They paint the tub, their bath toys and themselves. Then one of them rubbed their eye with a hand covered in paint and it was no longer fun. The dish soap from the paint really stung his eyes. As we tried to wash them up and get them out of the bath it just got worse. I think that these paints would work well for kids that are a little older, but they were not good for my then two year old.

I decided that I could make something similar without the burn. I had some washable crayola finger paints so I added it to our tear free soap and it worked well. The colors were not as bright as the first batch, but they still got to paint themselves so there was no complaining from my boys.

The next time they asked to paint during bath time I decided to try something a little different. I added the same washable crayola finger paint to shaving cream. I just filled the containers I was using up with shaving cream and stirred in the paint till I like the color. Again the color was not as bright, but my boys loved the foamy texture.

The “paint brushes” they use in the tub are kitchen basters from Ikea. (I love going there with one of my good friends, because she always comes up with great ways to use things that is different from their intended use.)

The boys have a great time and it easily washes off them, the tub and their toys when bath time is over.

Wooden Dowel Accent Wall

On his way to work Josh used to drive past this old apple barn that had been demolished. Every time he went by he thought about all the “treasures” he might be able to find in the heap of old wood.

One day when he drove by there was a group of men working on the old barn site so he stopped and got permission from the job foreman to take anything he wanted. Sadly, he decided that most of the wood was not useable, but he did find 48 wooden dowels from an old conveyor belt (like this one).

Then the dowels sat in our garage for the next two and a half years. I was so happy when we were able to add a guest room/office in our basement, because we really needed the space and we finally had a use the for dowels. It was my husbands idea to cut the dowels down and make the feature wall. I have to admit I was a little skeptical at first, and even more skeptical while we spent hours cutting, sanding, staining and mounting the disks.

The 48 dowels were cut down into 1020 disks using a miter saw. The dowels ended up being made of three different types of wood: oak, poplar and pine. We cut them down into four different sizes and used three different types of stains on them. It took many, many, many hours to cut them, roughly sand them, and individually dip them in the stain. I even had our four year old helping me sand and stain one day.

Then it was time to figure out how to attach them to the wall. We decided to use hot glue.  It held the disks on tightly, but they can also be easily removed with a quick hard tug. Which was good because we ended up trying them in three different configurations before we decided on the final arrangement.

We had a garage full of dust, a room that took a while to air out the smell of stain and hands covered in hundreds of stings from the hot glue, but we are very happy with the unique outcome of our accent wall.

Desk to Kitchen

I have wanted to make my boys a cute DIY kitchen ever since I saw them on pinterest. They are just so darn cute and you can completely customize it to fit your tastes and needs.

A few months ago my husband and I were trying to clean out the garage and getting ready to make a salvation army drop off. We had a small students desk that we did not need and were about to load it into the car when we realized it could make a cute little kitchen.

The idea was awesome but then we waited and waited. On December 16th we realized that we had better start working on it if we really wanted to give it to the boys for Christmas. My husband had the great idea to cut down one of our old original kitchen cabinets (yes that was what was in our kitchen when we bought the house and believe me I am so glad we were able to renovate the kitchen) to make a microwave.

Josh started by cutting off the bottom trim to give it a nice clean line on the bottom. We also wanted to make it a little shorter so our boys can reach everything.

Josh lowered the drawer on the left to be under the oven and removed the drawer on the right. Then he added the top shelf and the cut down cabinet to make the microwave. He even found a small metal rack in the garage that he was able to use at the baking rack in the oven.

Josh was able to use the other door from the kitchen cabinet as the oven door and cut a hole for the facet and sink. Up to this point we had spent $0 because Josh was able to do it all with scraps we had around the house.

I bought paint, replacement oven knobs, hardware, wainscoting, the cheapest faucet I could find, and a metal bowl for the sink.  I think the whole kitchen probably cost us about $40. I used leftover vinyl to make the “windows” for the microwave and oven and the microwave numbers.

I am so happy with how it turned out, and the boys have been loving it.

The boys love “cooking” for everyone that has come to out house since Christmas. And you never know what you will find in the oven.

Christmas Wreath

I was very excited to hang a wreath on my door for the first time this Christmas season. I am even more excited because I made it and I love how it turned out.

I bought a styrofoam ring and then wrapped it in yarn. It did take a little longer then I thought it would but did it while hanging out with some great friends so it was more fun then work. Next time I will definitely use a straw wreath though because the yarn kept sticking the the styrofoam. Then I made the felt flowers using the tutorials on this blog, they too take a little time but are fairly easy to make. I am also really happy with how much I spend on it. I was able to get the styrofoam ring, yarn, and white berries 50% off so all together the wreath only cost me $9. Can’t complain about that!

Felt Fort

I can’t believe it but today is my little man’s first birthday! I have no idea where the last year has gone? But he sure enjoyed his first taste of chocolate cake!

What do you get your third son for his first birthday? We already own every toy a little boy could want or need. Then I remembered that about a year ago I had seen a really cute felt fort but sadly I could not find the site I originally saw it on. I did some searches and found a few that were for sale on Etsy, but none that were exactly like what I was looking for (and I did not want to spend $200 on it). So I decided we could do it and I sat down and sketch up what I had in mind.

Luckily for me my husband also likes to sew and is very creative so it made this project so much fun. We spent some nights sitting on the sofa watching tv and hand sewing cute little forest animals.

Want to see the outcome? I am so excited about how it turned out!

This is the side that my husband made. I love the dragon! There are slits in the rock to hold the boys swords and the fire coming out of the dragon can be removed making it safe to get into the treasure chest.

Our veggie garden has corn, carrots, beets, tomatoes, and potatoes. They can all be moved around and put into the little veggie crate.

I have to say I love the little potatoes.

I love the little forest animals and all the little hiding places they have. The apples are also removable and can be placed in the little basket.



Christmas Stockings

I am not sure what I was thinking but last year I decided that I wanted to make our family new Christmas stockings. It was not the decision to make the stockings, but the timing. I started them the first week of December, gave birth to our sweet third child on December 16th and then finished them on Christmas Eve eve. It may have been crazy but I love them!

When I started planning them I thought I would be able to use hot glue, but I found out that glue showed through the white. I think that I am happy that I ended up sewing them because it gave them a more finished look.

I also really love the “mantel” that we made for them. We had no where in our house to hang up our stockings. We found this piece of wood in my Dad’s junk pile and did a light white wash on it. I added a few fresh cut evergreens and pin cones and it turned into a beautify place to hang out stockings. Now I am really sad when its time to put way the stockings and “mantel”.

Our New Old Nightstands

Ever since we finished the new bed and headboard for our room we have been trying to find new end tables. My husband kept complaining that he was hitting his elbow on the old ones since we had moved from a high queen bed to a low king. However, I could not find anything that I like in my price range. We also needed tall and skinny to fit in the little space we had next to the bed. I really wanted to make nightstands out of old stumps, but after some research I decided it would be too hard to find wood that was already dry and the size I wanted it.  I was also not patient enough to wait for fresh cut wood to dry. I was also little worried that they would be really heavy and did not want to chance them tipping over on my boys.

One day we had a wonderful morning where our kids had spent the night at their grandparents, so we thought it would be fun to walk through a local flea market that we had never been to. After a little while of browsing I told my husband that I really like all the old wooden crates. We found a very cute little California Raisin crate and bought it thinking we could use it as a shelf somewhere in our house. Then Josh said we should try to find a matching box and mount them on the wall as nightstands. We were not able to find another one that matched our little raisin box, but that worked out for the best.

When I went to pick my boys up at their grandparents house I remembered that my Dad stored a lot of his tools in old wooden crates that came out of my Great Grandfathers barn. After a little searching through some beat up boxes we found two that were in good shape and even matched. They were both “stumping powder boxes” and one side says “danger, high explosives”. I loved the way the old wood looked but decided it would be best to seal them and make sure nothing that might be living in the boxes would come out and get into our bed. I put two heavy coats of Min-wax satin polyurethane on them and they got a little darker in color and a little shinier but I love the way they look next to the bed. They make the room look a little bigger because they are floating and you can see the floor under them. I also love that they are just the right size for the few things we need next to our bed and are not big enough to become a dumping zone.

With the new nightstands we decided we also needed a new paint on the walls. We got rid our our brown stripe and went for a light gray that ended up looking a little blue, but I like how it looks with the brown. The pillow on the bed is a work in progress and is currently just fabric tucked around a body pillow but soon(cross my fingers) I will be making it into two large decorative pillows.  I am also hoping to find some metal artwork to hang over the bed.

I am very proud of our little nightstands and I think its really cool that my Great Grandfather and his brothers used the use the boxes on their watermelon farm

We used large screws to attach the boxes to studs in the wall. We have instructed our boys that they are not stepping stools to get into the bed so hopefully they will last a long time.

And don’t worry I still have plans for that little raisin box on another wall in our room, more to come.