Category: Crafts

The 13 most outrageously awesome carved pumpkins you just have to see. Because, whoa.

Let’s be honest…I’m lucky if I can get two eyes, a triangle nose, and a mouth carved into our pumpkin each year, but for some truly talented and dedicated pumpkin carvers out there, insanely intricate carvings become a masterful work of art. If you want to try your hand at this sort of intricate, layered carving, you may want to start with a template you can find online. Just Google whatever you want to carve (Harry Potter, Star Wars, monsters, etc.), and a bunch of choices should pop up. The pros suggest using Exacto knives, clay sculpting tools, and lemon zesters as...

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6 super cool ways to decorate pumpkins with black Sharpie. Lazy? Or brilliant!

If you’ve been following our Halloween coverage this year, you won’t be surprised that we’ve been seeking out cool Sharpie Halloween pumpkin decorating ideas. After all, we’re busy! So we’re all about cutting down on fuss, days of excessive pre-Halloween parental labor, and of course, the mess of pumpkin guts. Don’t get me wrong — I  appreciate a creative jack-o-lantern as much as the next person; but I also recognize many parents have their hands full already this time of year. So I’ve gathered up 6 really fun and (mostly) mess-free ways to decorate pumpkins with black Sharpie, whatever your skill level. Just uh,...

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12 awesome kids’ Halloween costumes made with pajamas. Comfy, easy and cool.

For years, I’ve had tons of fun using plain pajama sets — like the ones you can find at Primary or Hanna Andersson — as the base for my kids’ Halloween costumes. With some head-to-toe monochromatic pajamas, all I’ve had to do is add some detail — a DIY that’s easy enough for me to pull off even with a busy schedule. I’ve cut strips of white duct tape to turn a basic black pajama set into a skeleton, and I’ve glued green triangles down the back of a red pair of pajamas to make a dragon. What I love most about kids’ Halloween costumes made with pajamas...

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Crafting with Feminism: Smashing the patriarchy with a hot glue gun.

My daughter is 10 and already bemoaning her leg hair and asking why the boy who used to be her friend now teases her mercilessly. No wonder she gravitated toward a fabulous new book the moment it landed in our mailbox. Crafting with Feminism by noted geek and author Bonnie Burton (whom you might know from Felicia Day’s Vaginal Fantasy Book Club? No? Okay, anyway she’s awesome…) has put together 25 cool, easy, and fun crafts centered on taking pride in feminism. So far, my daughter is determined to make matching NOPE necklaces (for herself and me), Monster Week Maxipad Cases, and Food...

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16 seriously creative no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas for all of the fun, none of the pumpkin guts!

Welcome to the no-stress portion of our Halloween coverage, as we track down some of the coolest, most creative no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas that are perfect for kids. After all, for me, Halloween’s swarming bats, cackling witches, and stumbling zombies provide plenty of that fun, healthy spook factor without having to add in children wielding sharp objects at pumpkin carving parties. We’re big fans of low-stress pumpkin decorating parties that are safe and fun for the whole family — and if you are going to carve, there does happen to be some really good kid-friendly carving tools you can use. But if not?...

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15 amazing strong girl costume ideas for Halloween that go beyond the expected.

I have no problems with princesses and more traditional Halloween costumes for my daughter, but I admit I do have a bit of a bias toward strong girl Halloween costumes. So when my daughter told me she wants to dress up as a Greek goddess this year, I definitely felt a twinge of pride. Not only because she loves the classics, but because she recognizes that women can be strong and powerful, something I am more than happy to help her celebrate this Halloween — or any other day of the year. And hey, maybe next year she’ll be a kitty cat. And that will...

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15 not-so-scary Halloween crafts and treats for kids who want the fun without the nightmares.

Not everyone has kids that want scary Halloween decorations around the house. Like mine, for example. Hosting a trick-or-treat party is one of my kids’ favorite traditions of the year, and they totally love Halloween, but they’d prefer we do more non-scary Halloween crafts to get them excited for the day. They’re too young to be into the whole fright-night thing, and so are their friends, so we keep things fun and light with pumpkins, silly monsters, funny skeletons, and the occasional friendly ghost. Adding some not-scary Halloween crafts for kids to your evening like these 15 we’ve found — as an...

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29 cool Star Wars pumpkin ideas we’ve found for Halloween: The internet has taught us well.

This year, with all five of my nieces dressing up as Star Wars characters, I couldn’t think of a more perfect Halloween craft than creating Star Wars Halloween pumpkins together. So I’ve searched the web for them — and all of you! — and rounded up some of the most fun, DIY Star Wars pumpkin projects for a front stoop that will impress the galaxy. We’ve got droids. We’ve got Stormtroopers. We’ve got Yoda. And if you’re still wondering, Where is Rey? Well, we’ve got her here too. Related: 13 fabulously easy no-carve pumpkin ideas for the kids. We recently spotted this little BB-8...

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Handmade Charlotte Kids: Fun activity kits and art supplies at crazy affordable prices

With the cooler weather around the corner, we’ve got one terrific way to get ready for lots of indoor play: The fun new craft kits and art supplies from our most excellent sponsor, Handmade Charlotte Kids, now available at Michael’s stores nationwide, and online. We absolutely adore this collaboration between Creativity for Kids and Rachel Faucett, she of the uber popular DIY design blog Handmade Charlotte. Especially since we’ve featured her work on Cool Mom Picks for so many years — like, even going back to before she had a blog and was selling cool handmade items at craft fairs! So now we’re so thrilled for this terrific collection of fun, colorful, creativity-inspiring craft...

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Happy Heart Kids: fun, easy, educational craft kits that teach kindness and empathy.

If you ask me, it’s never too early to teach a child about emotional intelligence. I still remember my teacher making us practice “I” statements — as in, “When you steal my Hello Kitty pencil, I feel hurt and sad.” A couple of decades later, I’m still finding this lesson crucial to calming conflict (and a lot more effective than shouting — who’d have thought?). So I was excited to hear about Happy Heart Kid, a company making craft kits for kids that teach kindness, empathy, gratitude, and other life essentials. I had my 3-year-old niece try out the Feelings & Faces...

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6 adorable pinecone crafts that go way beyond wreaths. Hello, fall!

The thermostat may not reflect it where I live just yet, but tomorrow is officially the first day of fall. And though I likely won’t touch a sweater until November, I’m still finding ways to make it feel like autumn with scented candles, apple picking, and leaf peeping. And, of course, crafting. Nothing evokes cozy autumnal feelings like sitting down with my nieces and a basket of freshly gathered pinecones, paints, and pipe cleaners, and letting our imaginations run wild. I like crafting with pinecones because they tend to be a little easier to handle than acorns, which require some dexterity to paint or glue,...

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Cool sneaker makeovers that leave the white shoes behind after Labor Day

If you stand by the old “no white after Labor Day” fashion imperative, we want to point you to this fantastic post with 9 cool DIY sneaker makeover ideas to help you — or your kids — turn those plain white shoes into something that looks great all fall long. From galaxy prints to ombre fades, even glitter sneakers in every color, click over for 9 super hip DIY sneaker styles that people pay good money for at indie boutiques and craft fairs — only you can do them yourself. Related:The coolest fun, easy fall nature crafts for preschoolers...

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The hottest new designer for kids is… your kid. Eat your heart out, Stella McCartney!

Whether your little artist is more of a Versace or a Van Gogh, they can become the hottest new designer… and wear a creation of their very own. Picture This is an awesome new mom-run business that will print your kid’s drawing directly onto a dress, whether for themselves, or in miniature for a favorite doll. Just download and print the dress template, let your child go crazy decorating it, email them a pic, and order a dress made from your very own kid’s artwork. Right now they offer a simple A-line t-shirt dress in sizes 2 to 18 that should look good on pretty much any...

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13 easy Rio Olympics crafts, printables and snacks to celebrate Team USA

I have to admit, it’s been a little difficult to get as excited about the summer Olympics as usual with all the trouble surrounding it this year, even though the Olympics are one of my very favorite sporting events to watch with the kids — I mean, when else do we get to sit back and dive into water polo or competitive trampoline on TV? So, to get us feeling more in the Olympic spirit, I’ve been looking for some fun and easy Olympics crafts, printables, and snacks. I’ll be picking a few of these to make while we watch the opening ceremonies tomorrow. It’ll keep my...

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A Harry Potter crafts book that renews your faith in magic and hot glue guns

With all the buzz about the brand new Harry Potter and the Cursed Book and JK Rowling’s recent birthday this past weekend, our kids are starting to catch Harry Potter fever all over again. And whether or not they’re ready to imagine him as a full-grown Ministry of Magic employee and dad (gulp!), get them doing more than zoning out to the first eight movies, with the brand new The Unofficial Guide to Crafting the World of Harry Potter. Jamie Harrington has put together 30 clever crafts for kids of all ages into a beautifully produced book, that help reinforce a belief in the...

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13 cool art projects for those summer seashells

If you’re feeling a bit #clambitious about that bucket of shells you and your kids collected on your beach vacation, we’ve got good news for you. Here, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite art projects for those summer seashells, good for kids of all ages, ranging from quick and easy breezy to more difficult all-day crafting. No clamshell bras, promise. Related: 9 fun, easy crafts using shells to remind the kids of your summer vacation At top: seashell garden | alisaburke 1. DIY Seashell Seahorse This one looks more complicated than it is, really—and the end result will look great in...

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4 fun DIY friendship bracelet patterns for a rainy (or just unbearably hot) day.

It’s no mystery that crafts for kids are great for when they’re feeling a little listless (or demanding to go to the pool yet again). But tons of prep work and shopping for supplies (Dremel tool. Um, no)? Not really worth the hour or two of entertainment they might provide. Thankfully, these DIY friendship bracelet tutorials require little more than colorful string and some focused attention (theirs, not yours). And hey, along the lines of the adult coloring trend, you might get a little respite and relaxation making them yourself. Ah, nostalgia.   Related: 3 DIY dreamcatchers for happy crafting and sweet dreams....

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The coolest free printable adult coloring pages on the web. Because we deserve a little Prismacolor action too!

The adult coloring trend is here to stay, and rightfully so, considering it can help you focus and give you some much-needed relaxation. And best of all, no special skills required, just some cool coloring material and art supplies. That’s exactly what you’ll find at our sponsor Staples, who’s the go-to for the popular Prismacolor art supplies that now happen to be on sale. So, snatch some up for yourself (sorry kid-proof lock not included), then check out these 14 cool, free printable adult coloring pages we found on the web that we hope will bring you some much-needed zen. Don’t miss a...

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3 DIY dreamcatchers for happy crafting and sweet dreams

As a child, I long believed that dreamcatchers capture your nightmares in their web to keep sleep sweet and worry-free. As an adult, they still have a nostalgic pull on me. Plus, they’re really gorgeous. I recently found some truly fantastic DIY dreamcatcher tutorials, and came to realize whether you’re looking for new kids bedroom decor or a way to entertain the kids on a rainy summer day, DIY dreamcatchers will work magic. (I also learned that dream catchers are a type of hair extension, which I don’t recommend kids try as a DIY project). Fun and easy, and with such a cool,...

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26 fun 4th of July ideas to make the day a fantastic one.

Happy 4th of July everyone! Oh America, you look pretty great for 240. Here’s our advice for making the most out of the holiday: (Top image: popsicle stick American Flag craft via A Pumpkin and a Princess) 1. Be safe out there. 2. Fire up the grill. 3. Make the best BBQ sauce ever. 4. Eat all the foods. 5. Make one of these 30 red white and blue recipes. 6. Distract the kids with a fun fireworks app while you eat all the foods. Chocolate dipped red white and blue ice cream cones | Cool Mom Eats 7. Get the kids in cool American flag clothes that...

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11 truly wonderful 4th of July crafts and activities for kids (and hey, maybe you too)

Since I’ve had kids, the 4th of July has become one of my favorite holidays. I like to keep it really simple with 4th of July crafts, lots of great summer food and treats to eat, maybe letting the kids run around while the grownups hang out at the pool or in the backyard. And of course, watching the fireworks when it gets dark. Since a few, fun patriotic activities can make the day even a little more special, I’ve rounded up some of our favorite 4th of July crafts and activities that you and the kids can make ahead of time to share with guests. Or, set out supplies...

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Renegade Made helps kids create random acts of kindness through crafting.

Over the years, we’ve featured loads of great craft kits for kids that flex our children’s creative muscles as they try their hand at making cool new works of art. But I’ve never seen anything quite like the brand new craft kits for kids by Renegade Made that aim to turn crafting into a larger social movement for good. The idea is that these clever craft kits for kids are designed to deliver random acts of kindness around town, through one of four kits, and kids as young as 8 (though likely younger with an adult’s help) can find one that keeps them busily entertained, all while...

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7 of the coolest craft kits for kids

As much as my older kids love their electronics, good old-fashioned crafts still hold some appeal for them, especially if the finished product is something really worth making. And with summer vacation fast-approaching, I really want to find smart, interactive projects for them that don’t require a battery life. So, I’ve rounded up 7 of the coolest craft kits for kids ages 10 and older that are sure to impress. Related: 3 brand new nature-themed activity books will keep kids busy…without screens. CMP is an rstyle affiliate If your kids already get basic origami, they’re probably love this adorable Origami Playhouse by illustrator, author, and teacher of...

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10 really cool activity books for kids. For summer travel, or for regular boredom, which knows no season.

From books full of creative DIY projects to endless coloring pages, I have tracked down some of the absolute coolest activity books for kids, that I think your kids are sure to love as much as mine this summer. After all, I adore the warm weather and the break from routines, but I am admittedly not ready for summer vacation. With just 3 weeks left until school lets, I’m hoping these kids’ activity books will keep my brood entertained — and off screens — from the minute they wake up. Which is well before I’m able to crawl out of bed, because what is it about...

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9 sweet, easy handmade Mother’s Day cards your kids can make (with maybe just a little help)

While there are tons of amazing, store-bought Mother’s Day cards these days, I love when my kids take the time to create a handmade Mother’s Day card for me. It gives them an opportunity to be creative, and feel that pride that comes with having made something special by themselves. It’s a money saver too. But beyond that, you can pretty much guarantee that any handmade cards created just for Mom or Grandma will be the kinds of special keepsakes you save even after the flowers and the chocolates are long gone. top image: I Heart Crafty Things I hope you enjoy some of these neat handmade...

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An edible Passover craft idea. How’s that for easy clean-up?

It’s just a few days until Passover, and this awesomely clever craft idea offers one fun way to get the kids excited for the holiday. Besides promising them matzoh sandwiches in their lunch for a week. We love this DIY Passover Matzoh House found at Epicurious. An inventive take on the non-denominational and universally beloved gingerbread house, it’s not all that hard to make. And, it’s as Kosher for Passover as you want to be. You pretty much just need five sheets of matzoh (I’d say more because we tend to break ours in the process), peanut butter if that’s cool by your...

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The adult coloring book that’s perfect for Mother’s Day

Just when you think you’ve seen every adult coloring book concept on the planet, along comes another made just for moms — or those who love them. My Mother, My Heart: A Joyful Book to Color is so much more beautifully designed than I, admittedly, was expecting from the title alone. As a typography geek, I appreciate Eleri Fowler’s exquisite hand-lettering that she uses throughout the book to bring to life inspirational quotes and poetic messages of love for mothers, from the likes of Robert Browning, Louisa May Alcott, and Marcel Proust. But of course the star of the show are the fabulous, intricate illustrations that cover 96 pages....

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15 pretty Easter flower crafts for kids of every age, from easy to whoa!

There’s nothing quite like bright bursts of color dotting the landscape to wake me up and out of winter’s hibernation. And you can bring all the colors of spring into your home with these 15 pretty flower crafts you can make with the kids,even if the real ones aren’t blooming in your neck of the woods just yet. From easy fingerprint projects to more advanced crafting like weaving and stamp making, we’ve found some amazing DIY crafts that are getting us all excited about the warmer weather and good things to come. And don’t miss our newly updated post with 11 more fun, easy flower craft ideas for kids....

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How to create an organized craft space for kids: 7 expert tips to change your world

If you’ve ever wanted to create an organized craft space for kids, whether it’s a whole room or just a small area where they can get their creative on, well we’ve got some fabulous tips for you. After all, I think that as parents, we’re all praying we don’t have an Olivia on our hands who thinks it’s a brilliant idea to Jackson Pollock our dining room walls — we want the artist, not the mess, am I right? Enter Megan Schiller of The Art Pantry, an ace at creating kid-friendly craft spaces for homes and schools. She’s also the author of...

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Making natural Easter egg dyes perfectly: 2 expert methods and step-by-step tips

My kids have shown more of an interest in making natural easter egg dyes this year. It’s like part science experiment, part craft project, and there’s something kind of cool about not entirely knowing how the results will come out. So as much as we’re fans of finding creative ways to decorate Easter eggs without dyeing them, we have a few die-hard dyers (or dye-hards?) in my family who will be excited to check out this cool, easy step-by-step DIY for making natural Easter egg dye, using colors from actual food, courtesy of Chris McLaughlin. She’s a long-time garden columnist and home agriculture magazine editor, as...

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