5 Fall Inspired Crafts

September 21, 2017
Decor, DIY Home, Earth Day, Everyday Crafts, Fall, Nature, Uncategorized, Wall Decor, Yarn & Fabric

walnut totem pole, nature craft,

Tomorrow is the first official day of fall! We are always sad to see summer go, but autumn brings a whole new collection of natural crafting materials. The best way to celebrate the shifting seasons is to use these free supplies! Sticks, leaves, stones, and nuts are all perfect for creating projects that will last long after fall. We’ve been inspired by color palettes that will span seasons too. Rather than getting stuck in the orange, yellow, red rut – try adding a brighter rainbow of shades to make your fall crafts even more modern!


Stacks of walnuts (above) make whimsical totem poles when you add fun painted patterns. Check out the easy how-to in our book “Project Kid: 100 Ingenious Crafts for Family Fun”.

fall craft, leaf craft, bakers twine leafThese lovely baker’s twine banners from Dream Green DIY look a little like Matisse don’t you think? This technique would be a sweet way to decorate muslin goody or gift bags for a reusable party treat.

3.gods eyes, gods eyes crafts, yarn craftsSticks make an ideal frame for creating God’s Eyes. This classic woven craft feels fresh when made with bright colors and hung in a group. Extra points for adding pompoms! Check out Hobby Craft for instructions. (Image via Claireabelle Makes)

painted leaf mobile, fall leaf mobile, fall crafts, leaf crafts, nature mobileIf watching leaves fall is your favorite part of the season, make a mobile! This painted version from Hello Wonderful is so graphic and bright that it would look amazing hanging in front of any wall color. Mixing patterns and styles makes it more fun so collaborate with your kids to give the leaves personality.

5.painted rock craft, rock photo holder, painted rock photo holderGive your kids’ park treasures some purpose by transforming stones into photo holders. Patterns are cute, but rainbow rocks are too, so let your kid add her personal touch. Adding a cluster to your desk takes up less space than frames but is twice as cheerful. (via One Little Project)


Playful Pumpkins: Part 1

September 18, 2017
Animals, Decor, DIY Home, Halloween, Holidays

pumpkin toy craft for kids

Pumpkins, meet toys. Toys, meet pumpkins.

Give your Halloween pumpkins a different twist by introducing them to your kids’ favorite or discarded toys. Excerpted from a feature I styled for Parents Magazine, here are two clever ways to turn pumpkins into creative homes for plastic animals.


Boo Zoo

To craft this miniature zoo cage, cut a rectangular opening out of the pumpkin’s front, discard, and scoop out the insides. Stick in an animal figure and use painted wooden skewers to make the cage. For the sign, top a toothpick with strips of craft paper.

mouse and cheese pumpkin diy

The Big Cheese

Inspire a few squeals of disgust with this toy-mouse-infested “cheese.” To make it, scoop out the pumpkin’s guts, carve circular holes into the flesh, and coat on yellow acrylic paint to make it look like Minnie’s favorite snack.

Check out the October issue of Parents for more awesome Halloween crafts! Photos by Dane Tashima.



School Bus Craft

September 8, 2017
Back to School, DIY Home, Everyday Crafts, Fall, Organization, Paper, Upcycled, Vehicles

school bus craft for kids

With school back in full swing around the country (finally!) there’s ample opportunity to get the  kids involved in crafts. New pencils, markers, and crayons need a place to live, and to get your elementary school kids excited about all that’s ahead of them this fall, pick up a few craft supplies—and a few items from the recycling bin—and make this handy and adorable school bus supply holder!

ps…If you like this project and want more vehicle crafts, check out my book, Project Kid: Crafts that Go!

What you’ll need:

Make It:

  1. Unfold the cracker box and paint the inside yellow. Paint the outside of small jewelry box yellow (set aside the lid—save it for another project). Let both dry.

2. Trace the open ends of the yogurt cups about 1 inch apart on one side of the box. Have an adult use scissors to puncture a small hole inside each circle and let the child cut the shapes out (staying about 1/8 inch inside the line).

3. Restore the cracker box to its three dimensional shape with the yellow side showing, and have an adult hot-glue it back together. Insert the yogurt cups into the holes you cut on the roof (if your cups don’t have a lip to hold them in place, stuff some newspaper underneath for support). To make the bus’s hood, glue the jewelry box, open side down, to the bottom half of one of the short sides of the cracker box.

4. Paint six windows on each side of the bus; paint two doors, the front windshield, and a front bumper onto the bus with chalkboard paint (refer to page 49 for placement). The bus windows should be about 1 inch square and the doors about 1 inch wide by 2 inches tall. The windshield should cover most of the area above the hood, leaving just a slim yellow frame. To make the bumper, paint a thin black stripe along the bottom, open end of the jewelry box.

5. To make the bus’s wheels, paint the Cabone rings in chalkboard paint and let dry.

6. Have an adult hot-glue one end of the yarn to the ring. Wrap the yarn around each ring, turning the ring to create an asterisk wheel pattern. After four to five wraps, cut the yarn and have an adult hot-glue the loose end to the ring. Hot-glue each wheel about 1 inch in from the front and back of the bus on both sides.

7. Add the brake lights and parking lights by pushing two red thumbtacks into each corner above the windshield (secure with a dot of glue if needed); to make the headlights, glue the snaps on the bumper.

8. Draw the bus’s grille by making three horizontal marker lines on the front of the hood, just above the bumper. Draw two horizontal lines along each side of the bus, under the windows.

This post includes affiliate links! 

Excerpted from Project Kid: Crafts that Go! by Amanda Kingloff (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2016. Photographs by Alexandra Grablewski.





Universally Awesome Crafts

August 18, 2017
Everyday Crafts, Jewelry and Fashion, Nature, STEM, Summer, Upcycled

solar system necklace, diy planet necklace, wooden bead solar system necklace

In case you haven’t heard, something pretty spectacular is happening Monday August 21st – a total solar eclipse! And it’s not just any eclipse, it’s being called one of the events of the century. Though a total solar eclipse happens approximately every 18 months, it is only visible from limited areas on the planet, which is why most people will only see one in their lifetime (unless you’re an eclipse chaser ). The path of this eclipse will cut across the U.S. so everyone in the country will be able to see it – though some spots will be better than others. You can enter your zip code on this page for the exact percentage of the eclipse you’ll be able to see and your peak viewing time. You don’t want to miss it because the next chance to see one in the U.S. will be in 2024!

This is a great opportunity to have a summer time science lesson with your kids and do some fun solar themed crafts leading up to the big day. We’ve collected 11 projects that embrace the sun, moon, and even the stars – because when the sky goes dark in the middle of day you’ll be able to see them too!

1. You can hold the whole world, and the rest of the planets, in your hand with this solar system necklace from Handmade Charlotte. With a little paint, wooden beads become a festive addition to your eclipse viewing outfit. (above)

2.diy water garland, sun print garland, sun print nautical garland Before the eclipse begins, harness the power of the sun to make some amazing art. You can create prints with all sorts of items – natural objects, toys, or crafts supplies. For instructions to make this nautical sun print garland, check out our second book, “Project Kid: Crafts that Go!“. 


easy diy cereal box solar eclipse viewer

Make your own solar eclipse viewer! First things first, it is important to remember that it is extremely dangerous to look directly at the sun – even when it’s being blocked by the moon! You can still enjoy the moment though by crafting a simple pinhole viewer to project he shadow of the eclipse. Check out our video to learn how to make your own.

4. diy sun soft toy, hand sewn sun plush, If you prefer a softer, less scorching, sun, this pocket-sized softie is a sweet option. It’s so simple to sew that your kids may want to make enough to share. Wouldn’t this be a cute alternative to friendship bracelets? via My Poppet

5. diy moon mobile, lunar phase mobile, clay mobile, handmade mobile For a themed craft that you’ll be tempted to keep up year round, check out this lovely moon phases mobile from The Merry Thought. It’s both easy and elegant.


diy mini pinata, mini moon pinata, handmade pinata, moon phase pinataTo really make this cosmic event a party, craft some mini piñatas! Follow Oh Happy Day’s lead to turn circles into moon phases, or for a sweet treat to match, try cupcakes from the BBC’s Good Foods blog.

(For more mini piñata fun, check out Project Kid’s book collaboration with Klutz, “Make Mini Piñatas“, which is full of ideas for all-occasions.)

7. geoboard diy, constellation geoboard, Babble Dabble Do reinvents the classic math tool as an educational object worthy of display. Help your kids learn about constellations using pins and rubber bands and then let them come up with their own starry designs.


diy constellation lampshade, star light, diy star lightFor a dreamier way to bring the stars inside, Martha Stewart shares instructions for a constellation lampshade. Give any shade star power with a coat of blue paint and a few punched holes.

9. diy glow in the dark stars, homemade glow in the dark starsAnother way to make your own starlight is this diy version of the classic kid’s room staple: glow in the dark stars. Your child’s ceiling is a galaxy waiting to happen, all you need is clay, cookie cutters, and command strips. via Make+Haus


diy star crown, star accessory, diy sparkle star crown

Kids never need an excuse to wear a crown, but this is certainly a stellar occasion. Mermag shows you how to turn cardboard into a glittery headband worthy of a princess.


diy solar oven, solar smores over, A tastier way to utilize the sun’s strength is by creating a solar oven! No need for a campfire to make outdoor s’mores, plus you can slip in a lesson about the greenhouse effect while you wait for your treats. Butter with a Side of Bread shows you how.






DIY Eclipse Viewer

August 18, 2017
Everyday Crafts, Nature, STEM, Upcycled

easy diy cereal box solar eclipse viewer

As you likely know, the August 21st solar eclipse is fast approaching! (Read more about the rarity in this post!) If your town has sold out of eclipse viewing glasses and Amazon doesn’t have time to deliver them, grab a cereal box, tape, and aluminum foil and make your own pinhole viewer!

Watch the video to see how easy it is to make your own!

This is a monumentally important celestial occurrence, but make sure you explain to your kids that they must NOT look directly at the sun. It is extremely damaging and must be taken seriously.

What you need:

  • Cereal box
  • Aluminum foil
  • Safety pin
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Black Masking tape
  • 1 sheet white paper
  • Glue stick
  • 3 to 4 sheets black construction paper
  • Wax paper
  • 2 colors of dot stickers  (I used 1 1/2-inch)
  • Washi tape

How to make it:

  1. Trace the bottom of your box on white paper, cut out and use a glue stick to attach to the inside bottom of box
  2. Cut off the two short tabs on the open end. Then, cut the ends of the long tabs to form two squares, approximately 2 inches wide.
  3. Tape aluminum foil over one of the openings and cut off excess.
  4. Use the safety pin to make a small hole in the center of the foil square. (You can also use a thumbtack, straight pin, or sewing needle.)

To decorate:

  1. Trace the all sides of the box and top center section onto black construction paper and cut out. Set these aside.
  2. Lay out eight red dot stickers and 1 blue in a 3×3 grid on a sheet of wax paper with the blue one in the center. Following the diagram below, layer blue stickers on top of the red to create phases of the eclipse. Cut off the excess from the blue sticker to create one circle for each phase. For the center blue sticker, just trim circumference by about 1/8-inch and center on top of a red sticker.
  3. Transfer stickers to construction paper on box in the same grid and you’re done!

solar eclipse phases

Using the viewer:

  1. Bring your viewer outside and stand with the sun behind you. Aim the viewer so that the sun shines on the aluminum foil and the pinhole.
  2. Look through the viewer to adjust the box until you can see a clear circle of light – NEVER LOOK AT THE SUN DIRECTLY, it is extremely dangerous and can cause serious eye damage.
  3. When the eclipse begins you will see the spot of light begin to have the shadow of the moon move across.