DIY Dream Catcher for Kids

May 12, 2016
Crafts, DIY, I ♥ Kids

diy dream catcher craft kids

I was so excited when Michaels asked me to guest post on their blog to talk about why and how I craft with kids. Check out the full post over on The Glue String!

Here is one of the projects I made specifically for this post!


How do you wish away your four-year-old’s bad dreams? While there’s no guarantee this will work, it at least gets them to sleep at night (and looks good on the wall)!

What you’ll need:

  1. Paint the hoop and let it dry.
  2. In the meantime, lay a 12-inch piece of embroidery floss on cardstock and apply strips of washi tape over it. Cut out a feather shape, about 4-inches long, making sure not to cut the string. Fringe the edges to look like a feather.
  3. Thread beads over the string. Set aside.
  4. Stretch cotton loops over the inner ring of the painted embroidery hoop to create the dream catcher’s web.
  5. Cut the strings of your feathers to the desired length and use a little piece of washi tape to secure them to the inside of the larger embroidery hoop.
  6. Slip the larger hoop around the inner hoop and tighten the screw.
  7. Hang on your wall with a cotton loop and have sweet dreams!


Spring Leaf Wreath

May 5, 2016
Crafts, Decor, DIY

painted leaf wreath project kid

Originally posted on the Etsy blog….

Wreaths have a reputation for being all about holidays: Spooky styles greet Halloween’s trick-or-treaters, harvest motifs welcome Thanksgiving dinner guests, and come Christmas, decking the door with boughs of holly is the order of the day. But despite their undeniable holiday appeal, wreaths can add a lot of life, love and creativity to your door during the spring and summer months, too. No official holiday needed!

For further proof, check out this bright, botanical DIY wreath. It’s made with spring and summer seasonality in mind; floral spray paint and silk leaves mean it stays fresh from year to year. I used neon colors and high-impact stripes to create a tropical vibe for this project, but you can use the same technique with your choice of colors and patterns – from polka dots and zig-zags to color blocking and Memphis-inspired shapes. Get creative!


You will need:


Step 1: Cut about ten 8×4-inch pieces of fabric and hot glue them around the wreath form tightly, overlapping to cover it completely.


Step 2: Starting with the largest leaves, tape 20-24 leaves onto the scrap paper, creating a striped pattern on each one.


Step 3: Smooth the tape down over the surface of the leaves and spray with paint. Let dry.


Step 4: Hot glue the leaves around the covered wreath, positioning each one on a slight diagonal. Continue all the way around, overlapping them until you have covered the form.


Step 5: Repeat the same technique with the smaller leaves and a second color of paint (I used yellow). Once they are dry, hot glue them on top of the first layer, working all the way around. Next, paint 6 to 10 leaves with a third color (I used orange) and intersperse them among the layer of small leaves.



May the Fourth Be With You!

May 4, 2016
Celebrate Good Times, Crafts, Current Events

star wars cake topper candle light saber

My son Oliver is SO into Star Wars these days, so this year, May the Fourth finally has some weight in this household! Tonight, I’m planning on surprising him and Sommer with some cupcakes topped with Star Wars figures and their candle light sabers. Photo by Wonderthreads on Instagram.

Here are a few more ideas, perfect for any Star Wars-obsessed kid (or grown-up)!

star wars party ideaThrowing a Star Wars party anytime soon? Check out these adorable ideas, like a Star Wars photo booth, from Pottery Barn Kids!

star wars cookies

How genius are these cookies from Sweet Sugar Belle? Just pull out your Christmas cookie cutters and repurpose them as Star Wars characters and objects.

bb8 paper lantern

I’m a huge fan of the paper lantern turned into (blank) and this BB8 latern idea from Desert Chica is fabulous!



Springtime Nature Scavenger Hunt

May 1, 2016
Ad, Games, Green Thumbs, Kids, Plant life

project kid babo botanicals nature days

It’s about a month late, but spring has finally sprung in New York, and we have taken to the park as though it were our backyard. It’s truly my one sadness of living in such an urban environment…that I have to travel to nature. But on the flip side, our local park is so grand and expansive that we really get to hike through trails, pathways, and across meadows.

And when we go to the park, we really GO to the park…I try to do all I can to prevent my kids from saying “Mommy, I wish we had brought _____!” We pack multiple snacks, blankets, games, extra clothes, sunscreens (we are in love with the new Babo Botanicals line), and sunglasses for all.

nature scavenger hunt egg carton

Since this was really our first campout day in the park, I decided to make it extra special. I’m always trying to find a way to get my kids to look up, down, and all around them, so I designed this nature scavenger hunt to encourage the 360 degree view. It’s designed for preschool-aged kids and older, both readers and pre-readers.

nature scavenger hunt project kid

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Printed template
  • Empty egg carton
  • Scissors
  • Tape


How to assemble and play:

  • Print out the template and cut the full rectangle.
  • Tape the rectangle to the top of the egg carton.
  • Give each kid or team of kids a carton for the scavenger hunt. Send the kids out to find objects that match the pictures on the carton, having them collect objects from nature that match the pictures, words, or descriptions on the carton top. Encourage the kids to pick things off the ground that have fallen or that are weeds. And if your little one finds a red gum wrapper for the red category, then great! It teaches a good less in litter clean-up.


egg carton scavenger hunt

Oliver was very studious about matching his loot to the photos, while Sommer just filled her carton with yellow dandelions.

nature scavenger hunt

After running around collecting sticks, dandelions, and leaves, we enjoyed our picnic, reapplied our sunscreen, and relaxed on this beautiful day.

nature park babo botanicals project kid

babo botanicals project kid

This post was sponsored by Babo Botanicals, and received the products compliments of Babo Botanicals as part of the PreenMeVIP program.


Earth Day Craft: Penguin Book End

April 22, 2016
Crafts, Current Events, Upcycling

penguin book end craft eco recycle

It’s Earth Day and now, more than ever, we really need to sit up and pay attention. So after you reuse your Ziploc bags, turn off unnecessary lights, and vote the right people into office, I say take a break and craft.

This year, celebrate Earth Day with your kids by making a cute, and also useful craft project. This penguin book end reuses a drink bottle, a lone baby sock, and a Tyvek shipping envelope. This one comes from my first book, Project Kid.

What you’ll need:

• One 17-ounce plastic drink bottle

• 2 to 3 cups of sand

• Funnel

• 1 baby sock

• 4 to 5 cotton balls

• White and yellow felt

• Scissors

• 2 tiny black pompoms (available at Michaels Stores)

• Tacky glue

• One 2.-inch piece of wire

• One 2 cm felt bead (available from

• 1 Tyvek envelope

• Washi tape

• 2 colors of yarn

Make it:

  1. Clean out the bottle and remove all labels. Fill it with sand and replace the cap.
  2. To make the penguin’s head, stuff the baby sock with cotton balls and slip it over the top of the bottle.
  3. To make the eyes, cut two circles about the size of a plain M&M from white felt. Glue a tiny black pom-pom to each. Glue the circles onto the sock.
  4. To make the beak, fold a piece of yellow felt and cut a 1⁄4-inch triangle on the crease. Glue the crease onto the sock about 1⁄2 inch below the eyes.
  5. To make the earmuffs, bend the wire into a headband shape. Cut the felt bead in half and glue a piece to each end of the wire, rounded side facing out. Slip the earmuffs onto the penguin’s head and glue to secure.
  6. Cut two wing shapes (pointed at one end, cut straight across on the other) from the Tyvek envelope, about two-thirds the height of your bottle and about 3 inches across at the widest point. Cover the wings with strips of washi tape and glue the top, straight edge of each wing around the neck of the bottle.
  7. To give the penguin a scarf, braid three 20-inch strands of yarn (the finished scarf will be about 16 inches long). If the yarn is thin, you may want to double or triple it  to give it some thickness.
  8. Finally, to make the feet, fold a 3-inch square of yellow felt in half and cut a 2-inch-tall half heart shape on the crease. Glue it to the bottom of the bottle, rounded points facing out.



How Fun are Oversized Food Crafts?

April 20, 2016
Birthday Parties, Crafts, Decor, DIY, Food and Drink

oversized pasta pieces diy

Playing with scale can make even the most mundane object exciting. An elephant that you can fit in the palm of your hand, a slice of cardboard pizza the size of your front door, or an itty bitty plate of pancakes that can fit in your dollhouse—they all make you smile no matter what.

Check out these three ginormous food crafts that would make any kid swoon. Perfect for parties for just for silly playroom decor, they are easy to make and darling to look at. Too bad they don’t taste as good as they look!

giant pasta handmade charlotte diy craft


How flippin’ cute is this painted pasta party decoration from Handmade Charlotte? Wagon wheels, penne, bowties, ravioli…I thought I had seen it all until this appeared! So cute and simple.

honeycomb paper fruit

paper fruit decor diy


I would surround myself with honeycomb paper decorations all day long if I could. They have such a nostalgic yet modern feel. And they naturally lend themselves to transforming in to fruit like these beauties from The House That Lars Built.

oversized lollipops


Willie Wonka’s got nothing on these pops from Oh Happy Day. Made from styrofoam disks and dowels, they are so easy to make. Perfect for a Candyland Birthday party!

donut balloon craft party


If you’ve ever visited Studio DIY, you’d know she has a thing with donuts. And these donut balloons are just asking to be iced and sprinkled! Who knew these existed?

ice cream social party decor


Back in my days at Parents magazine, i worked on this adorable Ice Cream Social party. These decorations were made with styrofoam balls, tissue paper, and cardboard cones.


Modern Diorama Wall Hanging for Etsy

April 16, 2016
Art, Baby Love, Crafts, Decor

nursery wall art etsy tree craft

When it comes to decorating a nursery, it’s easy to focus on the big statement-makers: Wallpaperdecals, or even a hand-painted mural are great for setting the tone, fast. But don’t overlook the small, sweet design details — like kid-friendly art or a modern weaving — that you’ll find your eyes traveling to again and again during all those middle-of-the-night feedings and lullabies before bed. This playful, Matisse-inspired take on a diorama is just the kind of DIY that will delight in baby’s room — and might even migrate beyond the nursery walls in years to come. The best part? You can customize it in any color combination you like.

Let’s get started.


You will need:


Step 1: Use a pencil to draw leaf shapes on the balsa wood. My leaves ranged in size from 3 to 5 inches tall. (Remember that the more complicated the shape, the trickier the turns you’ll have to make with your utility knife.)


Step 2: Working over a cutting mat, cut out the leaves with the utility knife. Don’t try to go all the way through the wood on the first cut. It’s better to score it with a shallow cut and then go back over each line 2 or 3 times to make it all the way through.


Step 3: Once the leaves are cut, use the emery board to sand down the edges.


Step 4: Paint each leaf and a coffee stirrer to match. (Since balsa wood is so porous and absorbent, it’s best not to use paint that is too watery, as it can warp the wood.) Set these aside to try.


Step 5: Trace the bottom fifth of the hoop onto a sheet of balsa wood and cut out a 2-inch tall wedge with a wavy top edge. Once cut, trace that shape and cut another identical piece.


Step 6: Paint the hoop and the two wedge pieces one color. Let dry.


Step 7: Hot glue the wedges to the front and back of the hoop’s bottom edge.


Step 8: Hot glue the matching painted coffee stirrers to the backs of the leaves.


Step 9: Trim coffee stirrers with scissors to create varying heights. Hot glue the sticks to the inside edges of the wedges, gluing some inside the front and some inside the back to create depth.

Optional: Spray with a gloss varnish to seal.



Project Kid Interview with Collectively

April 11, 2016
Crafts, Digital Life, Uncategorized

amanda kingloff portrait In January 2016, I got to return to Alt Summit, the most fantastic conference for design and lifestyle bloggers. It was my second time, both as a speaker and an attendee—and I can’t tell you how much I learn about blogging and the business behind being an influencer in those three days. It’s such a warm, open community of mostly women wanting to see each other succeed.

I was lucky enough to join a dinner with the folks at Collectively Inc, an influencer marketing agency that helps brands connect with bloggers, Instagrammers, and the like reach new audiences. At dinner, I sat near Anna, the community manager for Collectively, and learned that she lives not far from me in Brooklyn. We had coffee a few weeks after Alt and she asked if our conversation could be featured in their Coffee With Collaborators column on their blog. Yes, obviously.

We talked about everything from my current work, to my books, to the fact that my kids think I play with arts and crafts all day. You can read the full interview here!




Rainbow Science Birthday Party

April 4, 2016
Birthday Parties, Party, Party, STEAM

rainbow science party activity tableWhen my almost 4-year-old daughter Sommer requested a science party for her birthday, I did a little silent cheer. This meant I didn’t have to do the princess thing (not that there’s anything wrong with it), Dora (not that there’s anything wrong with it), or a Frozen (not that there’s anything wrong with it) birthday party. And then she threw in the rainbow element which meant we could have great party programming plus great decor!


My challenge became…what kind of science can I do with 20 preschoolers? So I decided to keep it pretty simple and I stuck to a few activities…scientist apron decorating, name badge decorating, Magic Grow capsules, walking water, elephant toothpaste, and pass the parcel. (Now that I’m reading this list, it doesn’t seem so “simple” after all!)

rainbow science party decor

For decorations, I covered our big cabinet with these colorful pinwheels. The lighter ones are from Shop Sweet Lulu and the brighter ones were from my local party store. We also downloaded some science lab symbols and printed them on bright paper to add the science element to the rainbow. I also bought 2 of these tassel garlands from Michaels (they have rainbow colors in store), bright balloons, and I created her name in rainbow scrapbooking paper which was hanging over the television.

rainbow science party apron decorating

When the kids came in, they each got an apron and fabric markers, both super-affordable from We weren’t doing anything super messy, but I thought it would get them into the science lab spirit.

rainbow science party lab table

Then we headed over to Sommer’s Science Lab, and the kids put on their special scientist glasses. We talked about science and what their definitions of science were.

rainbow science party activities

In front of each kid, was a paper cafeteria tray (one of my favorite items to use at any craft event) filled with goodies: glasses, scientist name tags with stickers to decorate, a test tube, and a Magic Grow Capsule with a cup for water. The kids dropped in the capsules to see what they became. Some got vehicles, some got bugs, and some got dinosaurs. They take a little time to open up, so we talked about how all living things grow and transform and that that’s a part of science.



walking water rainbow science party experiment

Then we moved to the floor to do a few experiments. The first was called Walking Water. Just fill a few jars with different colored water (I used food coloring and created a rainbow since the party was rainbow science). Fold a paper towel into thin strips, dipping the ends into the adjacent jars. The kids talked about color mixing…how green, orange, and purple are made.

rainbow science party elephant toothpaste

For our second experiment, we made elephant toothpaste. Here is the recipe I used from PBS. For the best results, you definitely want to get the 6% hydrogen peroxide. We used the 3% because we had it, but I think the results of the stronger will get more oohs and ahhs. The kids loved it nonetheless and had a great time talking about what kind of toothpaste elephants would use.

What you need:

  • Hydrogen peroxide (see note above)
  • Plastic bottle
  • Dish soap
  • Warm water
  • Dry active yeast
  • Food coloring
  • A funnel
  1. Using the funnel, pour 4 oz of hydrogen peroxide and 2 oz of dish soap into the bottle.
  2. Add food coloring. (We probably added about 12 drops of purple.)
  3. In a separate container, mix dry yeast with warm water. And let it sit for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the yeast/water to the bottle and watch it bubble! (With the stronger peroxide it shoots ups a bit more. Next time!)

We ended the party with a round of pass the parcel (a great way to hand out party favors!) and bite-size cupcakes by Baked by Melissa.

A great time was had by all!

rainbow science scientist party activities

rainbow science party sign

rainbow science party


Special thanks to Oriental Trading and Shop Sweet Lulu (my fave party shop on the web) for some of the goodies provided for the festivities! 


Honeycomb Easter Crafts (the cutest you ever did see!)

March 24, 2016

easter craft decorations eggs bunny cute

I’m a little obsessed with honeycomb paper. It wasn’t until about last year that I learned that you could actually buy the paper and cut any shapes you want. It a little bit turned my world upside down. Easter has a history of using honeycomb paper in its decor…maybe because it is so delicate and sweet. Like spring flower petals.

Here are 3 Easter icons that you can make so easily with this awesome material (you can buy it at Devra Party). Happy Spring everyone!


cute easter egg project kid










  1. Cut two half egg shapes, about 2 inches tall, from the straight edge of the honeycomb paper (make sure the lines of the paper are always running horizontally). Cut the bottom edge straight across so that your egg can stand.
  2. Use glue dots or a tape runner to attach to sides of the egg together.
  3. Cut a piece of rick rack that will wrap around the egg. Use glue dots to attach it to the back of the egg.



honeycomb easter bunny project kid










  1. Cut a template that looks like an uppercase B. Trace it twice onto the honeycomb paper and cut both out. A good size for the height is about 2 to 3 inches tall.
  2. Glue both flat sides together to make a 3D shape with glue dots or a tape runner.
  3. Cut ears from crepe paper—one outer ear and one inner ear. Glue to the top of the bunny’s head.
  4. Glue black eyes in place and a pale nose. I used small brads for the eyes and a small wooden bead for the nose. Glue a small white pompom to the bum.



chicks honeycomb project kid easter










  1. Cut two 1-inch tall 1/2 egg shape from the yellow honeycomb paper.
  2. Glue the two sides together with glue dots or a tape runner.
  3. Glue a small feather puff into the top of each head.
  4. Glue small wooden beads as eyes and a piece of orange tissue paper as the beak.


Rubber Cement Easter Eggs

March 10, 2016

This rubber-cement Easter egg technique is one of my most favorite ways to decorate eggs. It’s a little bit unpredictable which is maybe why I love it so! From this awesome story.


Super Bowl Sandwich Stadium: The Making of

February 4, 2016
Beyond, Celebrate Good Times, Food and Drink


I truly never, ever thought that, in either my work or personal life, I would get to (or have to) make a stadium out of sandwiches. In fact, I think that before I was hired to do this, I had no idea that this was even a thing. But it is. Big time.

Last year, I was asked by an advertising agency to produce this insane Super Bowl buffet for a Skittles campaign pitch. The direction was to “Skitt-ify” the scene, which, if you’ve seen Skittles ads, you know that they are wack-a-do.

So if you’ve ever had a hankering to make a sandwich football stadium, just watch this over and over and over!


The Gifts of Gratitude

November 5, 2015
Ad, Family Life, Thanksgiving

Yes, there’s the turkey and the stuffing and the pies (oh the pies!)…but really, my favorite part of Thanksgiving is the time I get to spend with the lovely, precious people in my life.

My husband and I are both from Atlanta, Georgia and we travel down south every November to spend a full week with our families for Thanksgiving. It’s such a nostalgic time for me. The smells, sounds, and tastes transport me to my childhood and the memories of growing up in such a supportive and loving world.

As my kids grow and my role as mom continues to change, it’s begun to dawn on me that the requisite “what do you say?” question posed to them after receiving a gift or a treat is not quite enough to teach gratitude. Gratitude is also about being appreciative of love and kindness and support—and looking up from a digital device to the pupils of someone’s eyes to say Thank You.

So as the month of November begins, I feel reflective about those people in my life that have guided me, helped me, loved me and supported me. I remembered this game I used to play at the start of camp when we would toss a ball of yarn across a circle to create a web of friendship. Our counselors wanted us to notice that we were all connected and one action in the web led to a reaction on the other side. We would then snip a piece of string from the web and wear it as a bracelet for the duration of camp to remember that connection. And while my arm is not stacked with strings for all of the people in my life that have made a difference, I am grateful for them.

American Greetings has launched the #thanklist campaign…it’s like a bucket list of people you want to express gratitude towards for helping to shape your life, taking a step towards a world that’s just a little bit nicer.

Join the #thanklist conversation by posting a show of gratitude for someone who has shaped your life on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram with #ThankList. For every #ThankList created on social media channels, American Greetings will donate $1 to United Way for hunger prevention.

This post was sponsored by American Greetings.


Double Duty Costumes for

October 21, 2015
Halloween, Holidays

I’m obsessed with the idea of costumes that transform. Not like Optimus Prime or anything cray like that, but rather the idea that your costume can easily become a completely different one with a few crafty tweaks.

jon snow costume magician costume

Last year I did this fun story for Scholastic Parent & Child Magazine (R.I.P.) and this year I produced this playful one for


Look how easy it was to transform a pumpkin into Piper from Orange is the New Black, a magician into Jon Snow from Game of Thrones, and a cowgirl into a perfect picnic. Visit for all of the DIY instructions!


Build an Easy DIY Kids’ Desk

August 11, 2015
Back to School, DIY

diy kids desk project kid

You don’t have to spend a ton of cash or take up half the room with a great looking study space for your kids. This DIY kids’ desk is a great project to tackle before they need to it the books!

What you’ll need:

  • two 12- or 14-inch L-shaped brackets
  • 2 16″ x 36″ wood panels
  • Elastic ribbon
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Screw eyes
  • Elastic cord
  • Screws
  • Drill
  • Stapler

Make it:

  1. Paint both panels and let them dry.
  2. Mount both L-shaped brackets to the wall to create the desk panel. (Screw desk into the brackets for safety)
  3. To make the backboard of this desk, stretch elastic ribbon around a 16″ x 36″ wood board in a grid and staple to back. This is great for showing off an A+ or recent artwork.
  4. Insert two screw eyes into either side of the panel’s front (about 5 inches up from bottom).
  5. Thread elastic cord through the holes and knot on one side. This can hold an open textbook or notebook.
  6. Mount board using the appropriate screws for your wall.

Originally published in the September 2014 issue of Scholastic Parent & Child magazine.


City-Streets Felt Craft

August 6, 2015

car track felt road craft diy kids

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but my 5-year-old son Oliver is of the wheel-loving variety. Cars, trucks, trains…he loves it all.  This project is so easy and is an automatic winner. It’s basically 2 materials—felt and duct tape— and no drying time. Gotta love crafts that simple.

What you’ll need:

  • Cereal or cracker box
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Black felt
  • Yellow duct tape
  • Parchment paper

So the first thing to do is to measure and draw a 5″ by 5″ square onto the cardboard and cut it out.

Then, take this square and lay it on your felt to trace. You can make straight lines by just moving that cardboard piece or you can make an intersection like this one. Basically, I kept tracing and cutting until I ran out of black felt. Flip the felt over before the next step so any pencil lines are on the back.

The last step is to put the street lines on. Have you ever tried cutting duct tape? It’s a total pain in the rear—it sticks to the scissors, curls up, sticks to itself; basically, it’s a nightmare. So I came up with this quick technique. Ready? Rip off a piece of duct tape and stick it to parchment paper. Then, cut 1/4″ to 1/2″ wide strips. They peel right off and stick to the felt really well. Now it’s time to play!

Oliver and his friend Elias loved driving his cars around the streets! (Then Sommer came home from ballet, and joined in. Why not?) Bonus: It’s a great (read: lightweight), portable toy to take on trips.

Just as one extra added step, I made this little handy storage bag. I’m on a constant toy-organization rampage, and I figured it would be the easiest way to get Oliver and Sommer to put these pieces away. (It’s totally worth having a stash of these cotton bags to store small toy parts and pieces in!)


Trash to Treasure: Upcycling Craft Projects from Project Kid!

August 5, 2015
Crafts, Project Kid, Project Kid the Book, Upcycling

Trash to treasure…a phrase we’ve all be hearing for decades. Now we can just paraphrase that sentiment into one glorious word: upcycling!

As a mom and a crafter, you are a natural upcycler. Your kid says he wants to make an airplane, so you grab for that paper towel tube. She wants to make an owl? Dig through the recycling bin for an empty juice box.

These are two of my very favorite projects from my book, Project Kid! Watch how to make them in this video from Craftfoxes!