It’s just a few days until Passover, and this awesomely clever craft idea offers one fun way to get the kids excited. Besides promising them matzoh sandwiches in their lunch for a week. We love this Passover Matzoh House found at Epicurious. A take on the non-denominational and universally beloved gingerbread house, it’s not all that hard, and Kosher as you want to be. You pretty much just need 5 sheets of matzoh (I’d say more because I tend to break them), peanut butter if that’s cool by your family, and those Kosher for Passover candies that kids have grown...Read More
I enjoy decorating Easter eggs with the kids so much, I don’t even mind the food-coloring-dyed fingers we all end up with by the end. But for kids with an egg allergy or who follow a vegan diet, this is one annual tradition that they’ve probably had to skip each year. So get ready to be eggs-cited (groan) with these faux, dyeable eggs that look so much like the real thing. EggNots are dyeable ceramic Easter eggs so realistic, you’d better make sure you warn your dinner guests before they try to crack them open. Packaged in a cardboard egg...Read More
My idea of a St. Patrick’s Day craft is squirting green food coloring into anything edible and calling it a day. I love looking at all the amazing multi-layered rainbow treats and hand-felted shamrock garlands on Pinterest, personally, I prefer crafts for those of us who want something fun for the kids to make, but don’t need to spend 30 straight hours prepping for it. That’s just what you’ll find here: easy crafts. Promise. And don’t forget to grab some green food coloring too. –Christina Using nothing more than a paper plate, some scissors and green markers...Read More
I’ve been fortunate to have lots of neighbors with green thumbs, who generously offer me the extra spoils of their backyard gardens. But this year, mostly due to the begging of my children, I’ve decided to give gardening a try myself, and these kits might be the perfect place to start. The new Foodie Garden Kits at Cool Mom Picks fave Poketo give you everything you need to start a little home garden, including coco fiber wafers, seeds, and the very important instructions, all packed in convenient rectangular tin planter. You can group hot peppers, tomatoes, or what I...Read More
We love finding new crafters and artists, especially when they’re just getting started. And no one seems to define that better than two talents we’ve just found–especially considering they haven’t even hit their mid-teens yet. Yes, really. Amelia (top left) is the 13 year-old daughter of Anna Fader of Mommy Poppins fame. Her Jumprings and Jellybeans blog features tutorials for many of the crafts (mostly jewelry but also some watercolor and paper crafts) that she’s making, all presented with such a charming, wry tone. A natural blogger! An excerpt for a make-your-own button tutorial intro: I keep seeing...Read More
I’ve recently found myself in possession of some washi tape, thanks to a few leftover Martha Stewart craft supplies at our recent Sealed With Love Valentine’s party. Not being the crafty mama that a lot of you are (uh, decoupaging my Scotch tape dispenser is not quite high on my to-do list), I’m not exactly bursting with ideas for how to use them. And then I saw this. I love this simple, decorative way to put pretty tapes to non-permanent use: it’s as simple as creating some basic, angular little houses and taping them up over a child’s desk,...Read More
I’ve been a long time fan of artist and designer Marisa Anne Cummings of Creative Thursday, who’s created some of the beautiful artwork, growth charts, and calendars seen on these here pages. So when I finally got my hands on her new book to help you get your creativity on too, it met every expectation. Boy, I love this book. The thing I love most about Creative Thursday: Everyday Inspiration to Grow Your Creative Practice is that it isn’t really just about illustrating or painting or for professionals or people who have their own “crafting rooms.” Really, it’s for...Read More
Happy Mardi Gras, mamas! Even if your kids won’t go near crawfish etouffee, or do anything with those shiny beads except put them in their mouths (don’t let them, by the way), you can have a fun Mardi Gras celebration at home tonight by making some colorful masks. Then, crank up some New Orleans-flavored tunes and have your own little parade around the living room. You can use blabla’s Mardi Gras Bird Mask template for a mask with lots of room for creative license. I like that the template prints out all on one page, though you could probably free-hand...Read More
With the big snowstorm about to hit the Northeast, we’re gathering activities to keep our kids busy and happy while the snow falls outside. So make sure your fridge is stocked, grab some hot chocolate, and check out these helpful suggestions. Stay safe and warm, mamas! – Here’s a round-up of cool board games beyond Candy Land that even your littlest ones will enjoy. -We love this adorable paper craft tutorial that’s easy for kids of all ages. Just grab some paper, scissors, and a bit of glue and you’ll be ready to go. -Charge up your iPad or iPhone...Read More
Next in our series of Valentine’s gift ideas, ideas for gifts you can make yourself. It’s brought to you by the US Postal Service’s new limited-edition Sealed With Love Stamp–because what’s Valentine’s Day without Valentine’s cards in the mail? And isn’t the stamp just gorgeous? (We want it on all our letters, not just Valentine’s cards!) Whether you’re super crafty, a maestro with the convection oven, or just handy with construction paper and the kids’ leftover glue sticks, here’s a great array of 17 DIY Valentines Day gift ideas you can make yourself–with varying degrees of help. clockwise from top Cupid’s Arrow Cupcakes,...Read More
Last week, we shared an adorable DIY Valentine Card Kit and–wow!–so many of you wanted to grab a set, the artist had to temporarily shutter the shop while she made more. Happily, there are now a few more kits back in stock, but we also decided to find some more awesome Valentine’s card kits that are high on fun, but low on mess and effort. No need to send us a love note in thanks. –Christina This Robot Valentine’s Card Kit from Etsy’s NickWillJack is such a nice break from all the frill and foo-foo out there. Designed by...Read More
I’m never going to be the mom who looks at the DIY Valentine’s craft project for kids on Pinterest–the one that requires a Cricut and a hot glue gun and six trips to the craft store–and says aha! That’s the one for us! But still, I’d like my kids to put a little bit of effort into their own Valentine’s cards for the class besides just handing out the store-bought ones. So I think I’ve found the perfect compromise in this cool Valentine’s kit on Etsy. The DIY Valentine Card Kit from Miki of Fresh Lemon Blossoms (love that name!) is...Read More
One of my resolutions this year is to be a little more diligent about getting kids to write thank-you cards. So the first thing I did was order some that they got to pick out themselves. They were so thrilled to see them arrive that they jumped at the chance to start scribbling sweet notes of thanks. Here are the cards my girls picked out, along with some others that might strike a chord with your own kids; boys or girls, little ones to teens. The thing that matters most of course is that they love their thank-you notes....Read More
No sooner are the holidays over that I need to get on that thank-you note writing for all those generous gifts. And when I saw this stamp, I thought, ooh…that could help. A merci hand lettered rubber stamp would not only add elegance to the outside of your envelope, it can honestly turn any notecard into a thank-you note. Just stamp the outside of that floral card, plain stationery, or even a photo of the kids, and voila…instant gratitude in lovely paper form. You’re welcome. –LizFind thank you rubber stamps and more hand-lettered beautiful stationery supplies online at Etsy’s...Read More
I love the idea of using this first day of the year to reflect back on 2012 by creating a keepsake that we’ll be able to look back at someday. And when the idea is as easy as this one, I know I may even be able to handle pulling it all together even after staying up past midnight. This Time Capsule idea is so great because it uses an empty 2-liter bottle of soda (which we have plenty of after the holidays), a couple of free printables, and then whatever other little things you want to add to personalize your...Read More
If your kids are anything like mine, they’re dogging your heels and sneaking under the Christmas tree to peek at presents any chance that they can get. So I’m desperate to find anything to keep them occupied for the next 24 hours until Santa arrives–and frankly, through the rest of winter break. Here’s a handy round-up of some of the crafts, activities, fun apps, holiday movies, and other ideas we’ve featured that are sure to keep your kids entertained while you finish up your gift-wrapping, or start your own thank-you note writing. Which, by the way, is one of...Read More
Food-allergy suffers and vegan families, fret no more at Christmas! You, too, can experience the joy (and balancing act!) of gathering around the table to assemble a candy-covered gingerbread house. This year, an allergy-free bakery in Orange County, California, will save you the extensive labor and time of whipping up your own allergy-free, vegan gingerbread and icing. They’ll send you the pieces, and you and kiddo get to assemble the sweet abode, safely and simply. How cool is that? Sensitive Sweets Bakery is a dedicated gluten-free, nut-free bakery in Fountain Valley, California. Lucky for everyone not local to Sensitive Sweets, the...Read More
Both of my kids are craft junkies. Like, major craft crazies. They could create arts and crafts all day, every day. I’m constantly rummaging through drawers and closets, trying to figure out what I could I use to create a “handmade” craft. Which never really works out for me. And unless you are a craft queen, I’m guessing that you can probably relate. So you’ll be glad to know I’ve got some good news in this particular department Thankfully, sites like lullubee have done the dirty work for us! Lullubee craft kits are designed for basic to intermediate crafty levels....Read More
After spending a few minutes on Pinterest at this time of the year, I start to feel seriously inadequate in the crafting arena. I don’t mind stretching a little bit to make something awesome, but I’d rather not lose my mind in the process. If you too get the itch to go handmade for the holidays, but aren’t sure you have the time or energy to tackle something too over-the-top, we’ve got a bunch of ideas from which to choose. No design degree required. –Christina Christmas Olliblocks make an adorable toy to either toss in the stockings or wrap...Read More
The potatoes are peeled, the menorah is polished and the kids are sniffing around for the gift stash. Yes, Hanukkah is kicking off and excitement is in the air. So we’ve got the perfect little Hanukkah craft project to keep the kids busy long enough for you to wrap those last few presents. We found this adorable little handprint menorah craft over at Kiwi Craft Studio. We have previously raved about this online craft resource, which is chock full of hundreds of ideas and activities. This one couldn’t be any simpler–a piece of paper, some finger paint and your cutie’s hands, and you...Read More
If you score not-so-high on the Official Scale of Craftiness (which, I swear, should be a real thing), fear not. You and your kids will have a blast making these eight super-easy, super-cute holiday crafts we’ve rounded up just for you. This Christmas tree craft by LooLeDo is so very cool and colorful–and, best of all, it’s made entirely with things you have lying around the house anyway, like paper clips, a paper towel tube, tape, construction paper, a paper plate. The prettiest solution in the kajillion holiday catalogs clogging up your mailbox? Gorgeous DIY paper snowflakes...Read More
DIY handmade ornaments make some of the most lovely Christmas gifts. Our own Christmas tree is filled with handmade holiday ornaments, some from flea markets and craft shops on our travels, and some DIY ornaments from crafty friends. (Save for those few Redskins ornaments that I can’t get the SigOth to part with, sigh.) Here, a few DIY ornament tutorials for you crafty folks who want to rock more of a handmade, cozy style on your tree–or add a thoughtful “I made this just for you” appeal to your gifts this year. Or hey, make a few to tie...Read More
Recently we found a wonderful pin on Pinterest that our followers loved too–an editorial photo of a dozen shades of crayons all labeled flesh. Awesome! We’ve been actively trying to track down the creator of the photo (any help is welcome). And it’s not just a pic: we’re delighted to see that you can indeed buy fleshtone crayons from Crayola now. Gone are the days of one-skin-fits-all, icky peachy-orange. Now, it’s not like they’re perfect–I have yet to see a snow-white person who wasn’t made up for kabuki theater, and I have yet to see a shiny licorice-black person,...Read More
They say every snowflake is unique, but snowflakes featuring Star Wars Stormtroopers and Clone Troopers may just take the cake. If you’re into Star Wars, you won’t want to miss this collection of 19 DIY snowflakes featuring your favorite characters. After all, it’s beginning to look a lot like Hoth! Matters of Grey is a geek collective specializing in social media and nerd-excellent DIY, and they’ve improved on last year’s collection of snowflakes with even more free Star Wars templates. Whether you’re into spaceships like Boba Fett’s Slave 1 and the Millenium Falcon, or you want a room glittering...Read More
Hanukkah comes early this year, kicking of the Festival of Lights on December 8th (or the 25th of Kislev if you want to be technical about it). Which means for some gifts, you need to start getting ready now already (eek!). For parents that means planning, shopping and wrapping ahead of all the regular holiday madness. There is an additional challenge though. With an early calendar date it can be hard to get the kids as excited when their holiday doesn’t line up with that of all of their friends. Well, the oh-so-reliable CMP favorite Kiwi Crate has a plan...Read More
I am not the craftiest of the bunch at Cool Mom Picks, so when I see something that looks like, “Hey, we could do that!” I’m all over it. And this kids’ Thanksgiving table craft that you can do super easily fits the bill perfectly. From our friends at NYC’s Moomah, the wonderful family art space turned online “do it together” magazine, this idea is so wonderful: 1. Print out this cornucopia printable 2. Print out these collage shapes (or find your own from printables on the web, magazines, or old greeting cards) 3. Print out the “I am thankful...Read More
Kids may need to wait until their 11th birthdays before they can start looking for a Hogwarts acceptance letter, but there’s no reason to keep the magical world of Harry Potter away from our youngest wizards. If you’ve got some good ol’ muggle sewing skills and a penchant for the Boy Who Lived, here’s one quiet book for which you’ll want to yell, Accio! Created by Julie Gillrie, whose quiet books we have loved for quite a while, Harry Potter and the Quiet Book has totally put a spell on me with its special little details and hands-on tricks. With...Read More
My son has a very special lovey called Meow that he sleeps with every night. She is still his happy bedtime companion, but after being hugged tightly night after night for almost eight years, she is starting to look a little worse for wear. Gulp. The good news: I recently read the most amazing story about the sweetest little girl and her mother who are doing all they can to make sure all of those beloved–and well-hugged–loveys get the fixing they need to last as long as necessary. Started by Brooklyn’s Rebecca Benghiat and her little girl Amalia, NYC...Read More
Sharing science, superheroes, Tolkien and more, Geek Mom style. (What, you think that stuff is just for dads?)
What’s faster than a speeding Mario with a star, stronger than a Wookie with a grudge, and able to build a lava-lamp egg timer in her kitchen? It’s Geek Mom, and she’s here to entertain, educate, and spread the fun of geekery to families everywhere, thanks to this fun new book. The Geek Mom crew at Wired.com are a coterie of gals after our own hearts, and we’re excited to share the fun of their new book, Geek Mom: Projects, Tips, and Adventures for Moms and Their 21st Century Families. Most of the project books we see are dominated...Read More
I realize it’s not even November yet, but since I’m a fan of DIY holiday gifts–especially for my family from my kids–I try to start early. And in my search for easy, affordable crafts that my daughter and I can make, I found these lovely little needlepoint kits from Red Gate Stitchery. I snatched up a bunch of these affordable DIY embroidery kits that include everything you or your kiddo needs to make a pretty holiday gift. These are so small and easy that your child can finish one in only a sitting or two, like the pretty DIY bamboo pendant...Read More
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