Category: DIY

Free printable French alphabet flashcards, from abeille to zèbre

Whether you are planning a trip to Paris or just want to sneak a little bilingual education into your day, I’m totally smitten by these adorable flashcards from our recent favorite freebie find, Mr. Printables.  With the same cute, colorful illustrations that we recently saw on their French Alphabet Poster, this set of French Alphabet flash cards can be in your hands today: Just print on card stock and cut out the set.  I love that each card includes the feminine and masculine articles “le/la” or “un/une” since this can be such a tricky thing for us English speakers. I only...

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Amazing kids’ craft kits that we might steal ourselves

This past week on a trip with a few families, I was so glad we had a few little art projects for rainy days or just quiet (forced) downtime. If you’re not familiar with Todd Oldham’s awesome craft collection, Kid Made Modern, it’s a wonderful one-stop-shop for that kind of stuff. Plus now, Target has a whole Kid Made Modern craft collection with some really creative, affordable ideas that expand the collection. I feel like a kid in a candy store browsing the Kid Made Modern craft kits–from basics like glitter paints, gorgeous colored pencils and even duct tape...

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A DIY puzzle that helps you keep the United States, united

Before the hamburgers are done, before the sparklers come out, and before it’s dark enough for fireworks, you can take a few minutes to put the United States back together with this easy printable from my favorite new DIY craft site. At Mr. Printables (cute name, right?) the Map of the USA Jigsaw Puzzle sneaks a bit of geography learning into your holiday with this totally customizable printable. Just print out the colorful map, mount onto a piece of cardboard and then cut out your pieces with a craft knife. Or do a shortcut version and just paste it...

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Fourth of July crafts and DIY projects for the family

Earlier this week it was fun finding some of the most beautiful Fourth of July printables and decor, and now for you DIY’ers, I’ve rounded up fun Fourth of July crafts so you can celebrate America’s 236th birthday party in style. Whether you’re firing up the grill or not. Independence Day is a great day for family fun: the kids are out of school, chances are there’s a parade nearby, and the sky will soon be filled with fireworks. Days like this only happen once a year–let’s make it special! –Roxanna I always suspected candy buttons were easy to...

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Free Father’s Day printables for last minute Father’s Day gifts

Father’s Day is Sunday, and while we’ve been giving you loads (and loads and loads of Father’s Day gift ideas, we understand that you may still be looking for that little special “something” that will pull it all together. Instead of scouring the stores, take a look at these awesome printables for Father’s Day, from custom gift cards to unique treat holders. Along with being unique and fun, they are all also totally free. –Christina Not surprisingly, the designers at Hello Lucky offer a few gorgeous Father’s Day Printables including the bottle labels and matching card (above) that you...

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DIY teacher gifts from the class? Reader Q+A

Help! We are trying to come up with an end of year DIY teacher gift from the whole classroom for our kindergarten teacher. Something every kid can participate in but won’t require too much work from the parents. I know Cool Mom Picks will have great ideas. Thank you so much! -Margaret B We totally understand. As easy as it is to just donate some money towards a gift card, there are some teachers who are so special to us that we really want to do something that truly comes from the heart of each and every kid. For those...

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A DIY Father’s Day gift, no crafty genes required

As much as I love to give my husband a handmade DIY Father’s Day gift from the kids, I’m not the craftiest person in the world. They make their own cards and we call it a day. But after discovering this awesome DIY gift idea, I think I might have the kids forgo the cards and help them make this instead.  This awesome photo book design project from Design Aglow is so simple even I can do it. Really. Using their Interactive Guest Book feature, designer Ashley Campbell created a unique photo book that I’m pretty sure any dad will love....

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Gorgeous Mothers Day printables – just hit print and end the angst

Thank goodness for Mother’s Day printables! With the big day right around the corner, if you haven’t ordered a thing yet, stop and take a deep breath because we’ve got you covered. First calculate expedited shipping rates on your favorite picks from our Mother’s Day Gift Guide. Next, check out these awesome free (or close to it) printables that can be ready in a flash. So perfect for that frequent-flyer mama, these printable Mothers Day gift tags from Hello Clementine look like cool luggage tags. They just need to be printed on white or kraft cardstock, cut out, and...

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If you can read this, make sure you thank a teacher this week

Though we sooooo appreciate our kids’ teachers every day of the school year, we make a special effort to thank those special ones during Teacher Appreciation Week, which happens to be right now. While a kind note goes far, we have rounded up a few delicious choices for your kids’ favorite educators to enjoy while they read that letter.  Want something you can DIY at home and have your child hand to the teacher in class? I love The Celebration Shoppe’s chevron-patterned free candy bar wrapper printables that can be customized, and would look equally cool on a healthier granola...

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You oughta draw on pictures

From the moment they could successfully maneuver a crayon, my kids have loved open-ended coloring books like Taro Gomi’s finish-the-picture Scribbles book. So, it’s no surprise that they adore a new rules-free coloring book with an interesting twist: Instead of finishing drawings, they are actually invited to draw around photos. {keep reading for your chance to win a copy} Created by photographer and teacher M.J. Bronstein, Fotoplay! is a fun blend of realism and fantasy, with enough pages to keep even the most productive artists busy for many rainy days or on long summer road trips. Each one of...

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3 new monthly gift subscriptions for kids that keep on giving

With three kids and an ever-growing number of nieces and nephews, it seems like I’m on the lookout for a “wow” birthday gift every month, and a monthly gift subscription is always a great idea. In the past, we’ve lauded the genius of Kiwi Crate craft projects, or the Little Passports “pen pal” subscription series for future travelers. Now, there are 3 more monthly gift subscriptions for kids as young as three that will have your recipient thinking you are the coolest gift-giver ever. Over and over again. -Christina BABBABOX SUBSCRIPTIONS The new BabbaBox from BabbaCo is a super-special...

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Personalized stamps that prettify anything. And everything.

Ever since my penpal days (I had 31 of them! At the same time!), I’ve loved personalized stamps. I was a preteen, so they were of the unicorn-and-rainbow variety–oh, and penguins. I had way too many penguin stamps. My tastes–and time–have obviously changed a little in the last 20 years, which is why I’m over the moon about these elegant new custom stamps. CMP favorite stationer Red Stamp has teamed up with Paper & Ink to create a line or gorgeous,  personalized self-inking stamps. They’re available in 24 different designs, from clean and contemporary to bold and beautiful. It’s really nice...

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Growing edibles just got easy. Like black-thumb-proof easy.

Grow-it-yourself is the new do-it-yourself. Unfortunately, I tend have the touch of death for plants. But you know what? I didn’t let looking awful in denim overalls stop me from wearing them throughout the 90’s, so I haven’t let being plant kryptonite stop me from growing my own juicy tomatoes and fresh herbs.  I’ve got a black-thumb-proof plan for growing edibles this season so that I can cook with homegrown herbs and produce. And, you know, hang with the GIY cool kids–also known as the hungry boy and his hungry brother. Determined to grow, too? Here’s what to do...

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Free bunny ears you’ll love to see in your Easter photos

On this Easter Sunday, may your own bunnies stay clean of melted chocolate and grass stains. . .at least until you can get a few great shots of them in their Easter finest. And while we’re sure your children will look adorable as is, we’ve found a couple of printables that will just up the “awwww” factor today. The free printable bunny and lamb ears from Ellinee Design House are the perfect topper for Easter; and they’ll probably stay on a toddler’s head a lot longer than a bonnet. With just a pair of scissors, a dot of glue...

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Making your own Easter bunny

I am not a crochet master (or even a crochet apprentice), but if I were, I would totally be buying the PDF so I could make an adorable amigurumi bunny like this one. So for all you crafty mamas, check out the amigurumi bunny crochet pattern from Etsy’s LuvlyGurumi. You pay $6 for the pattern and support a small artist, then the rest is up to you. I can’t think of a sweeter Easter gift than something made from the heart. And that includes red jellybeans. –Liz Download the amigurumi bunny crochet pattern from LuvlyGurumi – plus monkeys, birds,...

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Making the baby shower even sweeter

I always need another reason to eat cupcakes (well, I don’t need a reason) and now I have one. All I need is a baby shower invitation and I’m all set. The edible icing cupcake topper folks at Ticings.com (a big fave around here) have collaborated with the cute t-shirt mavens Colette Kids on an adorable DIY baby shower kit.  You’ll get a 100% rib cotton onesie from Colette Kids, plus 2 dozen customizable peel-and-press, gluten-free cupcake toppers, all with the same cute image. If are you aren’t planning on serving cupcakes, you can use them on everything from slices of fruit to...

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Natural craft supplies that are as beautiful as what your kids create

As a mom, some of my fondest moments with my kids are creating arts and crafts together.  I’ve never met a kid that doesn’t like to get their little hands involved in a project–all the more reason I care about what ends up on those little hands. Introducing GLOB, makers of creative and beautiful craft supplies that are naturally made. The  paints and crayons all come from natural and biodegradable materials–even the paint cups are compostable.  So my kids will not only get a lesson in art, but one in conservation.   I also love that GLOB specializes in botanically crafted...

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A camera to carry your camera

Finding a unique yet stylish camera case can be sometimes daunting.  When I first invested in a good camera, I felt pressure to use the case that so generously came with the camera, but I hated it.  I’m never a fan of lugging around the typical black bag. Happy Sew Lucky has created the perfect solution for us. The Retrotastic camera camera bag pattern creates this iconic design inspired by the Diana camera sold in the 60’s.  And because it is a pattern, you are saving dollars and creating a fantastic product with your own hands. One fat quarter...

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Downton Abbey’s Dowager Countess puts the cross in cross-stitch

I want to live at Downton Abbey. I want a Mrs. Patmore to cook dinner and a fleet of Annas to clean up and a closet of gorgeous, beaded dresses.  Unless my husband ends up being a long-lost heir, I doubt all that’s in the cards. But at least I can have this adorable cross stitch of one of my favorite characters. We’re in love with Downton Abbey, and I’m a huge fan of the Dowager Countess of Grantham, played with panache by Dame Maggie Smith. Every week, she manages to steal the show with a perfectly proper put-down,...

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Getting kids excited about gardening

I envy those people (you know who you are!) who pick fresh tomatoes from their garden before making a bruschetta with ingredients all grown in their backyard. Believe me, I have tried to be one of these people. But, I was born without a green thumb. This has led me to unbelievably friendly relationships with my local farmers and Farmer’s Markets. But this fabulously cool idea allows me to have my cake–or really, kale salad–and eat it too, all while getting the kids involved. In the Koop packages varieties of seeds in an egg carton, all equally intriguing and...

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Arrrrrrr that’s a cute Valentine’s Day carrrrrd!

On Valentine’s Day, not every kid wants to hand out cards with Barbies and Care Bears. For the rest of them, we love these too-cute pirate themed Valentines cards that you can make yourself (for almost free!) Mer Mag’s free printable Pirate Valentines are a little more involved than the list of super easy Valentines printables I just rounded up, but not so involved as to eat up your entire weekend. In fact, after you print either the boy or girl pirate cards from the free PDF, the only thing left to do is affix a wee felt heart...

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Easy Valentine’s craft ideas that we heart

I always love seeing what’s new and fun at Martha Stewart Crafts around the holidays, and especially Valentine’s Day. Or as we like to think of it, That Day That All The Glitter Ended Up in The Rug. But I’ve taken the time to parse the ones that require professional letterpress machines and MFA degrees, to find the ones that even the less crafty among us could pull off with the kids. First of all, the sweet spot hearts craft (left) is just brilliant. All you need are sheets of candy dots cut into hearts, then some construction paper...

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Print your own Super Bowl championship shirts, right from home

No matter what the outcome of today’s game (go New England!), I hope my kids see a game that reflects the best in sportsmanship (beat the Giants!) and a commitment to trying really hard (whoo! Tom Brady!). Oh, and I may care a little bit about who wins. Which is why I’ve got my eye on a super-cute printable, iron-on image that my kids could wear with pride if (when?) their team wins the big game. And, yeah, there’s one for that other team too. Love Party Printables has a whole roster of cartoon kids holding a little banner for...

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Ever wanted to make your own stamps? Me too.

Ink stamps give everyday notes just the right amount of pop. I’ve always been interested in making my own designs but until this ridiculously cool product was created, that seemed just way too complicated. Yellow Owl Workshop puts all of the pieces in The Print Workshop Carve a Stamp Kit, which is just too cool. A linoleum cutter with six blades is perfect for carving owls, elephants, and so many more. There’s even a handy book included to give you great ideas and templates to get you started.  Keep in mind that this is not a kids’ toy–while there...

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Vintage suitcases that need never travel again

I have always had a major love for vintage bags and suitcases, and am so lucky to have some inherited from grandparents and great aunts. A few are in use (so great for gloves and scarves!) but none quite like this totally awesome DIY nightstand. When I saw this vintage suitcases nightstand project at Cupcakes + Cashmere I thought, WANT. (Really. Just one word. It was kind of primal.) It’s as simple as stacking several suitcases and placing a beveled mirror on top. You might want to stuff the suitcases with old blankets or tees though–I’ve found that some...

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Adorable printable chore charts. Whining not included.

I’ve used, and subsequently retired, countless chore chart systems for my family, mostly because they end up being just a bit too involved for my busy life. But these simple, printable charts might just be exactly what I’ve been looking for. I figure if mom of four Gennifer Bursett designed these printable chore charts, then they’re worth giving a try with my own foursome. What I love about these in particular, aside from the direct DO YOUR CHORES reminder (which I find myself saying all too often), is that they’re a blank slate, allowing you to add or remove different chores whenever you...

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A stitch in time makes a great Valentine’s Day gift

My husband and I do Valentine’s Day Lite, meaning that we will not be forking out $200 for a fancy meal, or buying each other expensive jewelry or electronics as a sign of our devotion.  But that doesn’t mean I am totally comfortable with handing him a greeting-store card and calling it a day. Which is why I love this little token of my affection that is personalized, handmade, and won’t break the bank. Cozy Blue’s “I Love Us” cross-stitch pattern reminds me of initials carved in a tree, but this version is a lot easier to hang on...

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Your fortune: A very sweet Valentine’s Day

As Valentine’s Day creeps closer, I’ve been looking out for treats that don’t list corn syrup or “chocolate-y” filling among the ingredients. One ingredient I do like: Felt. And that’s pretty much all these adorable fortune cookies are made of. The Valentine’s Fortune Cookies from Helen of CMP favorite Curly Birds is ridiculously adorable. You can tuck your own fortune inside and send it off in your kid’s lunchbox on the 14th, leave one at each place setting at breakfast. The box of 3 cookies plus fortune slips is only $8, but Helen, being as awesome as she is,...

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Student by day; Jedi by night

Labels are a necessary part of school life, but don’t go to the dark side and use marker on masking tape. With these free Star Wars printable tags, you don’t have to. Whether your kid goes to the Jedi Academy or PS 81, these labels will look sharp hanging from a backpack or lunchbox or taped to the tag of a coat. All you have to do is download the PDF from Living Locurto, add your kid’s name in the white box, and print. Tada! Your padawan is ready to go. There are hanging tags, which would be great laminated,...

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A printable 2012 calendar that does more than track the days

When we discovered French site Tiny-Us last year, we were taken with their mission to sell paper dolls and other printables as a fundraiser for a local school for children with disabilities. And now I’m just as taken with their new 2012 printable calendar. You pay whatever you want, and get a PDF of the calendar to print. What’s really sweet is that after each month is through, your children will have two new paper doll outfits to look forward to. Give generously–every bit of your donation goes right to the Présence charity. Nice way to start the year. –Liz...

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