Category: DIY

5 easy handmade Mother’s Day card ideas from the kids. Promise.

Yes, we’re getting down to the wire on Mother’s Day cards and crafts. You’ve got just two more days–unless you’re sending goodies out overnight, in which case get on it stat! While we’ve got some cool DIY Mother’s Day card ideas and gifts for moms in our archives, here are just a few more that I’ve chosen because…well, they’re so easy even I could do them.  Really. No MFA, no Modge Podge, no high-speed multicolor laser printer required. Watercolor Mother’s Day Card Grab one of the free printable templates here, print on decent paper, and let your kids go to...

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Special DIY Mother’s Day crafts and cards to really make someone’s day

With Mother’s Day just a few days away, it’s time to focus on the little handmade touches that make the day so special and heartfelt. Along with breakfast in bed ideas, we’ve got a bunch of ideas for very special handmade cards and little banners that the kids can help make for their favorite mama on her very special day. –Christina (at top) Mother’s Day Garland from Design Mom Momma Bird Card from mmmcrafts Handprint Card from the Craft Nest Pop-Up Card from Uschi & Kay Hand-Embroidered Cards from flax & twine Fresh Flower Banner from DIY Studio Cake Banner from Sugar Tot...

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Making your own Mother’s Day jewelry with a little help from Martha. (And Darcy.)

This week I discovered the very cool Martha Stewart jewelry craft collection while guest pinning for the Martha Stewart Living Pinterest board–which, by the way, has been so much fun. Have you stopped by yet? So I was excited to get a look at what Darcy Miller, the editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings, has been making with the kits with her own girls for Mother’s Day. [don’t miss an awesome limited time discount AND a great giveaway after the jump!] While of course you can grab a kit and make something as simple as a DIY floral resin...

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7 easy DIY craft ideas for National Teacher Appreciation Day or end of year teacher gifts

With the end of the school year looming (cue the screams of delighted children everywhere), it’s time to start thinking of ways to thank the tireless, wonderful, and inspiring teachers in our kids’ lives. And with tomorrow being National Teacher Appreciation Day, it’s a perfect moment to have the kids give them a little something they’ve made with their own hands. Keep reading for a bunch of neat (and easy) craft ideas your kids can help make to tell their teacher “thanks.” Above: Notebook paper tote from Sun Scholars   Homemade plantable paper gift from Marry This   Washi...

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Fantastico fiesta ideas for Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo is tomorrow, which means you still have time to get ready to throw a little fiesta in celebration of Mexican heritage and pride (and yummy food). So along with getting the ingredients for a Mexican dinner–including one of our delicious guacamole recipes–we’ve got the party decor and crafts you’ll need to really get the party started. (We’re also in favor of celebrating Cinco de Mayo all Mayo long. How about you?) –Christina This entire printable party from happythought is muy fantastico and muy inexpensive at only $5. Includes colorful cupcake wrappers, lime-and-chili garlands, coloring pages, and...

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Flowers for Mother’s Day, crafted and arranged by your favorite florist

I will never turn down a dozen roses, although I also have a soft spot for the handful of dandelions my son proudly presents to me as a token of his affection. But now that I’ve seen the floral creations my kids can make from our favorite Kiwi Crate, I think I’ve found my bouquet of choice for Mother’s Day. Kiwi Crate’s Felt Flowers crafting kit is a very sweet way for kids to create a Mother’s Day gift that will occupy a place of honor on the dining room table long after the holiday has passed. This mini-crate...

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Make your own Earth with these 5 cool Earth Day crafts for kids

Of all the Earth Day craft ideas I’ve seen that get creative when it comes to reusing and recycling, I love the idea of making an actual Earth on this very important day. Here are five cool Earth Day crafts for kids that we hope will encourage discussion and action. Related: A cool DIY Play Dough Earth Day project If you’re up for a challenge, this Plantable Paper Earth from Modern Parents Messy Kids (at top) is pretty fantastic. The best part? You can plant these earths in your garden and watch them grow.   Grab some green and blue food...

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How to learn origami? The ultimate resource

My daughter came home the other day asking to learn origami. Sadly, all I could remember from my youth was how to make a butterfly. And then I realized after about six tries that…um, I didn’t remember that either. After much searching, I’m so happy to have found Origami Club, or at least that’s what I think it’s called. If it looks intimidating, just skip right to the page called Easy Origami, and find a truly terrific resource for rainy-day craft projects with the kids. You’ll find tons of origami projects sorted by shape, style (like food, Christmas, or...

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Some walls like to be drawn on.

There’s something about wallpaper that feels like more of a commitment than paint. Maybe it’s the glue. Maybe it’s the hours of labor spent lining it up juuuust right. But I think I’ve found a cute wallpaper idea that might be worth the investment. The new i see you wallpaper from Cavern is covered in black googly eyes on white paper. That’s it. Sounds kind of weird, right? That’s just until your kids have at it with an array of rainbow-colored crayons. (Uh, just make sure they’re old enough to understand exactly which walls of the house they can draw on.)...

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What to do with Easter Peeps (besides eat them all)

Every year at this time, I get lured into buying way-too-many packages of those brightly colored Easter Peeps. And though I have no problem consuming sugar, even I can only eat a few of them before I get the jitters.  So, I’ve pulled together some adorable—and easy—Easter crafts that use Peeps for some sweet decorations this month.   This centerpiece idea from La Jolla Mom (above) just screams “Easter” and is so simple to create. I love how the yellow Peeps bunnies look with sunny chrysanthemums, though you could chose to do multi-colored bunnies around an assortment of flowers too.  ...

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Hop to it and get crafting for Easter!

Though Easter is coming up quickly, for my kids it feels like Peter Cottontail is taking his sweet old time getting here. While we wait, I’ve found a bunch of cool Easter crafts that will keep them busy…and not make you crazy with prep or clean up. –Christina With some strips of colorful paper and Minted’s Easter egg template, you and the kids can make a framable work of art for the hallway. Looks so neat with nice straight strips, though I’m sure my kids would create something nifty even if they didn’t follow the rules. Even if you’ve...

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9 ways kids can decorate Easter Eggs without dyeing them

Decorating Easter eggs is a tradition in our household, but after doing it the same way for over ten years, we’re thinking of changing things up. Instead of dropping white eggs into colored dye, I’ve rounded up a bunch of non-dye Easter egg decorating ideas that look fun (and pretty easy) to do with the kids. So grab your hardboiled eggs, your wooden crafting eggs, or even your vegan-friendly ceramic eggs from EggNots and get cracking. I mean, crafting. –Christina Grab a few rolls of colorful tape, and that’s all you’ll need to recreate Washi Tape Easter Eggs from...

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A Passover craft idea that you can eat when you’re done. 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. 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...

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We’re egg-static over these dyeable, reusable faux Easter eggs (ha)

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...

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5 easy St. Patrick’s Day craft ideas that don’t require the luck of the Irish to do

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...

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Grow your own vegetables with these cool new garden kits

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...

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Born to craft: two amazing artists not yet old enough to drive

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...

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How to decorate with washi tape, without the design degree

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,...

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How to get creative, and get your kids creative too

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...

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Celebrate Mardi Gras at home with these great DIY masks for kids

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...

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15 of the best free printable Valentine’s cards for the classroom (no cheesy ones, promise)

With Valentine’s Day on Thursday, many of us will be getting our kids ready for the Annual Valentine’s Day Card Exchange, held in classrooms all over the country.  Get ready with this carefully curated list of attractive printable classroom cards. With just a color printer and some paper–and a few minutes of cutting time–voila! Your kids can all have beautifully designed, modern cards for their classmates. And they are all free! Isn’t it sweet that so many artists spread the love freely this time of year? -Christina and Liz   Book lovers will adore Positively Splendid’s Free Printable Valentine...

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What to do with your kids during a snowstorm

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...

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Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas: 17 sweet gifts you can make yourself

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,...

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How do you spell “excitement” for tonight’s Downton Abbey? “B-I-N-G-O”

It’s Sunday which means another episode of Downton Abbey airs on PBS tonight, and you can bet that I’ll be on the couch, ready to see what happens next in the lives of the Crawley family and those around them. For those of you who gather around with friends to watch the show, you can make things even more exciting with Downton Abbey Bingo!  {Don’t miss these free printable bingo cards after the jump!} These four Downton Abbey Bingo cards from Paste Magazine with spaces like “Daisy Gets Jealous of the New Kitchen Maid” and “Thomas Checks Out The New Footman” are ready-made for...

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9 DIY Valentine card kits for crafty kids

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...

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Free printable paper dolls: the ultimate collection, from Betsy McCall and beyond

I’ve never let go of my love of paper dolls, ever since I played with them myself. (No, not last week with my kids; I mean a loooong time ago.) While our paper dolls apps on my iPhone get a ton of play, so do the regular old paper variety. A little more mess, but also a lot more creativity. It’s funny that recently the New York Times covered them like a new trend, even though we (and plenty of design blogs) have featured plenty of paper dolls over the years. In any case, nice to be validated! Since...

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DIY Valentine card kits for the semi-to-not-very crafty

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...

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Free Valentines printables that beg the question: How much for a triple word score on VALENTINE?

You’ve officially got one month til Valentine’s Day. And the word nerd in your life is going to adore this free DIY Valentine’s Day message that takes a little bit of scrabbling to puzzle out. The clever folks at Oh Happy Day have a delightful little present for you: a free printable PDF to create Valentine’s Day Scrabble Grams. Simply download, cut along the lines, and slip the right squares into an envelope for a just-challenging-enough-to-be-cute message for your honey. You can go with their pre-made selections, which are refreshingly kid-safe, or combine the available letters for your own...

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Cool thank you cards from kids (that they’ll actually want to write)

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....

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Merci pour les cadeaux

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...

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