Category: Crafts

How to dye Easter eggs naturally: Step by step instructions and inspiration

As much as we’re fans of finding creative ways to decorate Easter eggs without dye, we have a few die-hard dyers (or dye-hards?) in my family. Specifically my stepfather, who pretty much refuses to add a single sticker, wrapper or otherwise unnatural Easter egg decoration to his pristine, colored eggs. So for him–and all of you–we’ve got a great step-by-step DIY for how to dye Easter eggs naturally, using colors from actual food, courtesy of Chris McLaughlin, the author of A Garden to Dye For now on preorder. By the way, these colors are also perfect for play dough or watercolor paints....

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The Petit Collage book of crafts: Perfect for DIYers, or those who always wanted to be.

It’s entirely possible that we are Petit Collage groupies, considering how many times we’ve gushed over their beautifully designed toys, books, and kids’ room decor. And now with Petit Collage 25 Easy Craft + Decor Projects For A Playful Home, we have even more cause to celebrate, because the marvelous artist Lorena Siminovich has written her first book of crafts and decor, with all 25 projects taken straight from her bestselling collection. Released today, this is a lovely little book that makes for such good eye-candy, you might just want to turn the pages and never attempt a single project. That said,...

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14 easy Easter crafts for kids + fun Easter printables all of which eliminate the need for vacuuming up glitter.

Easter is one of my favorite holidays, and I love that it lends itself so perfectly to involving my kids in the celebration with Easter crafts. If you’ve already bookmarked our ideas for decorating Easter eggs and are ready for some fun but fairly easy Easter crafts for kids to keep you busy over spring break, try one of these 14 ideas we’ve rounded up. One of them might just become your new family tradition. Related: 5 ridiculously easy DIY Easter treats that look amazing Easter Crafts This pretty paper Easter egg craft by Craft and Creativity is so simple to make,...

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Cool iron-ons that turn everyone into a crafter. (Kind of.)

If you’ve been thinking iron-on transfers went out of style along with your crimping iron and jelly shoes, you probably haven’t seen the adorably modern varieties out there today. We love that now, there are whole books of cool iron-ons from some of our favorite artists that provide hours of rainy day craft fun or party activities. (Provided you wield the iron.) Pages of clever, unexpected illustrations in the GamaGo Instant Iron-ons, Super Cool Iron-ons by Sukie, and Instant Iron-ons by Julia Rothman (all available at our Amazon affiliate) can be transferred easily and directly onto any fabric surface. Your kids can cut them out...

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20 of the best easy, artful Easter egg decorating ideas that look very, very impressive

Easter egg decorating ideas have risen to a whole new level what with Pinterest Easter ideas and all. I’ve been a holdout, still sitting at home with my kids popping dye pellets into cups of vinegar, mostly because I’ve been afraid of how complicated these new egg dying methods seem to be. But thanks to some amazing bloggers who’ve come up with fantastic free printables and tutorials, we can come close to achieving glossy magazine level artistry, even if we don’t have a crafty bone in our bodies. I’m planning to try a couple of these easy Easter egg decorating...

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Free, printable coloring pages for kids from real illustrators, not clip art.

The team behind  the Lost My Name personalized books for kids blew us away last year with their sophisticated, clever, custom books for kids that don’t just drop your child’s name into a template story. Instead, the main character goes on an adventure that is entirely customized for your child. We remain super impressed. Now they’ve released  free printable coloring pages for kids based on the alphabet that appears in their books. From Aardvark to Zebra, you can put together an entire book of them, letting your kids color their own name letter by letter, or any other word they’re fascinated by at...

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DIY building kit from Brooklyn, for your architect in training

Maybe you have a kid at home like mine, who is always asking about how buildings stand up, or “Mom, who made that bridge?”  This great Water Tower DIY building kit  that we found at our hometown favorite Brooklyn Makers is a creative way to take his curiosity about architecture hands-on. Brooklyn Makers curates a rad and high quality collection from local artisans and entrepreneurs, with a soft spot for super cool kids’ clothing, gear and toys. We discovered this little craft project at the perfect time, as my NYC child is currently fascinated by the structures that fill this concentrated area, including...

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Kiwi Crate joins Target, making kids’ craft kits more accessible

The Kiwi Crate monthly activity kit subscriptions and kids’ craft kits have been among my favorite go-to birthday gifts for kids for the past few years. So I’m thrilled to learn that Kiwi Crate is now as close as the shelves of my neighborhood Target. Birthday party in three hours? I can swing by for four exclusive Kiwi Creativity Crates and be ready to go without spending thirty minutes aimlessly wandering the toy aisle with one of my kids. I especially appreciate that Kiwi Crate’s only-at-Target offerings remain as appealing to boys and girls, and as fun as all of their...

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The Darby Smart Mystery Box – An offer to DIY for

Last year we introduced you to Darby Smart, a super clever service that finds the best DIY craft projects on Pinterest and blogs, and puts them together in easy kits with the help of the original creators, so you have everything you need to make them yourself. No need to run out for a hot glue gun or fancy hole punch or anything. -Don’t miss an amazing offer just for our readers, below- Now, they’re back as our partner again, with a March DIY mystery box at a seriously amazing price just for Cool Mom Picks readers. So…thanks, Darby Smart!...

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The ultimate guide to snow day activities, part two: 20 more indoor ideas to keep you sane

As the east coast gets hit with yet another snow storm, and parents everywhere slowly lose their minds looking for snow day activities, you can start with our ideas for 12 fun things to do during a snow day from games to crafts to an impromptu dance party. For even more inspiration,  here are 20 ideas for activities that can get you through a long day indoors. Of course, this is the time you start hoping you have enough colored ink in that printer. Related: 20 awesome kitchen products to do with kids when you’re stuck indoors 1. Make a toy...

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Kick off the Sochi Winter Olympics with 7 excellent party treats, printables and activities for kids

The Sochi Winter Olympics will kick off this Friday night with their Opening Ceremonies, which is possibly my favorite part of the Olympics. My family loves watching this huge party on TV, but to be honest, the kids get a little bored by the time Hungary or Moldova is sending their teams through the Parade of Nations. If yours are the same way, try some of these fun Winter Olympics printables and games and treats to set the mood and keep your kids entertained (and maybe even educated a little) during the big show. Set up a fun dinner...

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10 easy-to-make DIY Valentine’s Day classroom treats for crafty kids

If there’s one time of year you’ll find me getting crafty with the kids, it’s around Valentine’s Day. But only under two conditions: 1) I get to sip wine while we craft and 2) the craft involves treats. These printables, crafts, and recipes make for perfect Valentine’s Day classroom treats and Mama stays happy. Sweet deal all around.     Printable Teddy Graham Valentine’s Day cards  Instead of  kisses, kids can be giving out bear hugs! The Big Bear Hug Valentine’s Day tags (above) by Bloom Designs on Skip to My Lou are the cutest things ever and pair...

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DIY cross-stitch patterns meet pop culture? Inconceivable.

Of course we love Westley, even in tiny yarn form. But it doesn’t stop with the crew from The Princess Bride. Whatever your favorite iconic movie is, chances are, the adorable Wee Little Stitches shop on Etsy has a DIY cross-stitch pattern and instructions ready for instant download. In fact there are more than 100, from the geeky to the 80s to a custom design of your family. So grab your needle, you’re going to need it. Does anybody want a peanut? Check out patterns from Star Wars and Doctor Who, to Labyrinth and the Goonies with a quirky shot of The...

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How to refinish old picture frames: the best tips from around the web

If you’ve ever tried to refinish old picture frames you know the look is so gorgeous. As for me, I am such a fan of the distressed frames from O’Brien Schridde, whose frames I now own quite a few of, and more recently, the stunning array of refinished frames above from The Art of Chic on Etsy. That said, my inclination is generally to buy great frames from artists like these, since I don’t always have the time to do major DIY projects. But if you want to refinish old picture frames yourself, here are a few resources to help you...

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8 of the most amazing DIY snowflake patterns, from beginner to whoa.

DIY snowflake patterns have such a place in my heart. When my grandfather would come visit from New Mexico when I was a kid, the first thing he’d do after he pulled his big RV into the driveway was grab a gin and tonic and some copy paper, then sit down with us to cut out paper snowflakes. But they’ve come a long way since then, so  I’m so glad to have found these amazing tutorials that show how truly creative you can get with paper and some scissors. But maybe hold the gin. (For the kids, at least.)...

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12 awesome toys you can actually make from cardboard boxes. (Because we all know the best part of the gift is often what it comes in.)

With all the empty cardboard boxes that may still be around your house post-holiday, don’t throw them out! Take a lesson from my kids, who have never seen an empty box they didn’t turn into a playhouse, a race car, or a doll cradle. Since we all know the boxes are often more fun for kids than the stuff inside, here are a whole bunch of toys you can make from cardboard boxes — and I promise, they’re actually doable, unlike some of the ridiculous things I’ve seen on Pinterest. (No offense crafters, but I don’t have six days...

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12 Fun things to do during a snow day with the kids: Great ideas to keep you warm and sane

If like lots of us, you’re snowed in and not quite feeling intrepid enough to brave the frigid temperatures for an icy sled run, we have you covered with some ideas for fun things to do during a snow day, besides turning on the new PS4. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) Stay warm! And try to enjoy the time with the kids.   1. Play one of our 7  favorite classic board games for families. 2. Cook or craft, using these 5 great indoor activities with kids for inspiration. 3. Try origami. 4 Print free paper dolls. We have loads of...

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DIY New Year’s Eve party favors full of good fortune

I’m all for noisemakers and bubbly to ring in 2014, but I love the idea of infusing a little inspiration into the New Year’s Eve celebration as well. That’s where these adorable — and very easy — DIY new year fortune cookie messages come in. All you need is some paper, scissors, and a bit of glue to make these adorable fortunes, which you can fill with typed or handwritten messages for the new year. Round up your favorite inspirational quotes, or just share your own resolutions, good thoughts, or well wishes for the year ahead, whether you’re throwing...

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A DIY Christmas tree dollhouse, also known as “how to put those Amazon boxes to good use”

If your house is anything like mine, you’ve got two energetic kids trapped inside by nasty weather and a huge stack of shipping boxes waiting for the recycling truck. Put them all to good use with this DIY project that creates an adorable Christmas tree dollhouse out of supplies you already have on hand. You can even build in a jail, if your Elf on the Shelf is particularly naughty. Our pals at Mr. Printables have found a simple way to turn those plain cardboard boxes into something extraordinary — and useful. All you need are their free printable...

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Create Your Own Monster for Christmas

When my kids saw the Create Your Own Monster Kit, they couldn’t wait to open the lid to unleash more than a dozen creatures into our living room. Fortunately, these colorful, snarling, lurching creatures don’t leave a mess and are actually pretty good houseguests. These aren’t your average monsters with blue fur and big teeth. All 12 of them are very snazzily designed, each by a different illustrator, like the Berlin art collective Klub7 and Swedish artist Camilla Engman, whose gift tags we’ve featured on CMP. And then three of them come “naked” as a blank canvas for your...

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Crafty gift kits for the creative people on your holiday list

Have a budding Martha Stewart on your holiday shopping list? Go ahead and check them off — these sweet little craft kits from Purl Soho (the folks behind The Purl Bee) are just perfect. Knitting, embroidery, and other craft projects are all packed in perfect kits ready for holiday gifting. You’ll find  coasters and tea towels, even iPhone covers you can make yourself. I happen to dig the coin purses, embroidery kits and DIY barrette kits, which make excellent stocking stuffers. And oh my goodness, the tiny felt animals (look at the penguin!) are also pretty freaking adorable too. The felted dove craft kit is...

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Stocking stuffer alert: Rx Art coloring books support kids most in need of art.

A coloring book can make a fantastic holiday gift for kids: It doesn’t require batteries, it’s portable for the trip home, and you can start using it right away. Now here’s a new one that’s fantastic for another reason besides the fact that it’s just so darn cool. We’ve written about Little Collector before, a great shop whose artwork from major artists supports the nonprofit Rx Art which gets amazing pieces into hospitals and facilities whose patients can use a little inspiration. Their new Rx Art Coloring Book Vol IV was designed by Matt Murphy Design and underwritten by Warby Parker (yay,...

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This Mixtape Stamp Activity Kit is even cooler than the mixtapes of our youth

My kids complain because we never use wrapping paper at Christmas. We’ve been using the same reusable fabric for all our gifts since they were born, but I think I’ve found a little something from CMP Fave Yellow Owl Workshop that might make me reconsider. The Mixtape Stamp Activity Kit is begging for presents to be wrapped in brown craft paper. Wrap ’em up, skip the ribbons, and decorate them with one of these awesome natural rubber stamps and the included blue ink pad. Adorable. Plus it’s just so darn cute to imagine filling in the “to” and “from”...

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14 creative gift wrap ideas to make your nice list feel super special this holiday season

The simplest handmade gift can feel like it’s worth a million bucks if you’ve taken the time to wrap it with love. So we’ve pulled together some stunningly creative gift wrap ideas from the best of the Web to help you make your loved ones feel extra special this Christmas.And they don’t have to be hard! My grandmother was my style icon. She believed that, although what’s on the inside matters more, what’s on the outside still matters quite a bit. In other words, she taught us not to be lazy with details. I think that’s especially true when it...

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The Thanksgiving holiday cookie contest: great activity idea for kids!

This year, we’re going to have quite a few kids at the Thanksgiving table and so my oldest daughter came up with what I think is a great idea: A Thanksgiving holiday cookie contest. 1. Get Cookie Cuttters My daughter and her sister were debating whether the motif should be leaves or turkeys, so fortunately I found this Fall Copper Cookie Cutter set at Williams-Sonoma that lets us have both. And a pumpkin too. There are always cheaper ones (like this maple leaf cookie cutter from Cookiecutter.com–just $1.25 each! Steal!) but I’m a sucker for handcrafted copper cookie cutters designed to last, and...

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Cool pumpkin decorating idea: Use candy!

We are T minus less than a week to Halloween, which means the pumpkin carving and decorating can begin! (I tend not to carve too early or we end up with saggy pumpkin eyes and mouths by the 31st.) So I love this idea which looks great and can save you a little time.    At the Food Network website, they have a bunch of ideas on how to decorate pumpkins with candy, but I happen to like the ones that my six-year-old can help me do without professional stylists. It’s pretty easy: Cut a mouth, then use toothpicks to secure...

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The impressive genes of super crafters

I am so inspired looking at the finalists of the Handmade Charlotte Family Craft Challenge, mainly because I would never in a milion years come up with any of them. Or, I might, but they’d never come out this amazing.  The fun part is you can click over and vote for your favorite family craft project in the comments, and the winner will get some pretty sweet prizes from Michael’s. I’m kind of torn. I’m so taken with those felt planters, but the nature art kit and felt badges are so perfect for my kids. The stenciled map kit makes lovely...

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DIY handmade cards, just a stamp and ink pad away

I really love the idea of making my own greeting cards, but the time and skill involved have always seemed way beyond what I am capable of, especially for card designs that suit my taste and style. Not anymore, thanks to these cool, so-not-your-grandmother’s handmade stamps. The hand-drawn rubber stamps at karamelo are unlike any I’ve seen before, actually, which is probably why I love them so much. They’re funky and minimalist, which happens to be what generally catches my eye with cards.   {Star Set} {Botanical Set} While they’re a bit pricier than your typical rubber stamps, keep...

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A monstrously fun activity book, just in time for Halloween

My kids have always preferred “open-ended” coloring-and-activity books like Fotoplay! or Let’s Make Some Great Art over ones that ask them to just stay within the lines. So it’s no wonder they’re roaring for an imaginative new kids’ activity book that is monstrously fun…and just in time for writing spooky Halloween notes.  My Monster Bubblewriter Book by London illustrator and designer Linda Scott shows kids how to make letters with monstrous personality like that of the patchwork Sock Monster, Gooey Brain Monster, or the Super Furry Dude. Sound weird? Oh, yes, it’s weird, but really fun for kids who like...

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Chalk on the walls? Go ahead, kids!

I really love the idea of chalkboard paint, but I’ll be honest that I’m not a fan of dark walls, particularly in my house that’s not well lit to begin with. But white chalkboard paint? I’m crushing hard. These days, Benjamin Moore is offering chalkboard paint in a rainbow of pretty colors, but white seems the most practical for me and my little kids. And wow, the possibilities are endless. Just paint the lower half of your walls and let your kids go wild, or create strategically placed shapes for calendars, menus, even inspirational quotes. Or if you’re like...

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