Category: DIY

Fight boredom with the huge, and hugely fun, coloring poster from Pirasta

I’ve been fighting boredom this summer with a bunch of magic markers and one really huge (like, seriously huge) and cleverly illustrated coloring poster for kids from a new company called Pirasta. And the beauty of these posters is that there’s room for everyone to get in on the action. The recycled-content paper is sturdy enough to let it take over the dining room table for a while, spread it out at a birthday party, or hang it on the wall. And at a whopping 63″ x 36″there is plenty of room for multiple people to color together. We’ve even rolled up...

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Tons of beautifully designed, free printable bookmarks to get kids just a little more excited about cracking a book.

We’re always looking for ways to keep kids reading, especially once the school year ends and those 20 or 30 or 45 minutes a day aren’t exactly “required” any more. (Well, depending on your house rules.)  Plus, that lure of all that extra daylight after dinner can be pretty tempting. So hey, why not use it get a little more reading time in before bedtime? Related: 14 smart ways to get your young kids excited about reading this summer One of the most simple things I’ve done to get my kids excited about books is giving them their own bookmarks. No...

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Calling all makers and other indie businesses: American Made nominations are open

We love supporting Martha Stewart American Made competition each year, in part because we’ve always had the mission of helping small local brands get to the next level; and in part because it’s how we’ve discovered so many of our favorite makers over the last three years that we feature here. And now it’s back! If you’re a maker, the Audience Choice Award is open for nominations in categories of crafts, design, food and style. Win and you get a whole lot of press, a trip to NYC to attend the big MSL kickoff event, $10,000 to grow your business, and...

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Fab free Father’s Day printables for fans of great design. And making him cry.

We just keep finding more and more fun, free Father’s Day printables for you all. Which is good news whether you’re looking for a token that’s sweet but not spendy, or even if you already have some big splurgy gift, but really want something a little personal to go along with it. In this case, this free printable Father’s Day survey comes from our friend Lonela at the Tiny Me blog, who we can always count on for just gorgeous, thoughtfully designed printables that she is kind enough to offer up free to her readers. No comic sans here, my friends. This is the good stuff....

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7 Father’s Day photo shoot ideas of the kids that you can totally do.

If you missed the boat on photo gifts…no, wait! You didn’t! We all live in the land of the Smartphone Camera, after all, and if you’ve got a camera and a place to print a photo, you’ve got the makings of a wonderful surprise Father’s Day gift. Here are just a few Father’s Day photo shoot ideas I’ve found from crafty parents around the web that don’t require a $6000 camera or any crazy skills. Which is just how I like it. Hey, I love that photo within a photo within a photo multi-generation portrait as much as anyone, but...

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Turn your kids into toymakers this summer

Wow, is our email box and social media feed getting packed with parents stressing out about what to do with kids during downtime this summer. Seeing as how we can’t let kids play in the park by themselves without 8 “concerned” neighbors calling 911 (grrr…but that’s another post for another time), we’ve been actively seeking out fun crafts, projects, and educational activities that keep them busy until you can get out with them. Or even just let them have a little fun time indoor on a rainy or zillion percent humidity day. Related: summer fun Now our friends at Cate +...

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A clever, very simple reward system to keep kids reading this summer.

We just finished putting together a ton of great educational activities for kids to keep them sharp over the summer, and now of course I find one more I’d love to add to the list. This free printable paper chain reading log from Eighteen25 is so brilliant! It combines so many of the things my kids love most: reading, crafts, hanging random stuff on their walls, and reward systems. Related: The year’s best children’s books: all the lists, all in one place The idea is really simple: Print out these cute reading log strips, fill them out, and tape them...

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Educational activities for children this summer? Reader Q & A

Hi Cool Mom Picks! Any suggestions for workbooks or activities to help prepare my child–and keep them out of my hair (ha)–for the summer between kindergarten and first grade? -Chaitali   Ahhhh, summer! No school lunches to pack, no buses to catch, and yet, now you have a curious, energetic, and sometimes b-o-r-e-d child to entertain for weeks on end. We love that you want to keep your child busy and engaged with educational activities that will help them get ready for the next year of school. We’re all big believers in tucking in some fun learning activities in between beach...

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7 of the coolest printable birthday crowns for the true ruler of the household

We’ve got a lot of summer birthdays for the kids in my family, so party planning is definitely top of mind for me these days. But I realized, as I’ve looked around the web, that while there are lots of gorgeous handmade birthday crowns on Etsy or instructions for making your own out of felt if you’re super crafty, it’s really hard to find printable paper birthday crowns that are fun, modern and well-designed. In other words, Crafting Lite™. So, I kept looking. And behold! some great options, from free to just a little bit extra. But totally worth it. Related:...

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Retro-cool printable gift boxes full of summer fun. And yummy treats.

We’ve been smitten by Claudine Hellmuth’s clever gift boxes that look like ovens and popsicles for a while now. So we just visited her Etsy shop again, and wow, she has so many fun printable gift boxes at her site now that I’m tempted to give away little treats all summer. What I love best about these is that she’s made it possible for a small treat to be really memorable. With dozens of kid birthday parties and teacher-appreciation gifts to give, that’s something I really appreciate. Of course, your kids could just print these and make them as a fun DIY project that they can use for imaginative...

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