December 2012 archive

Butcher Paper Gift Wrap (part 2)

| Everyday Crafts, Gifts, Grown-Up, Holidays, Tween to Teen

Brown paper packages tied up with string…you know the rest. I love ’em, and so do you apparently, because this is one of my most popular posts.

Here are a few more ideas all using dots as the design element. Perfectly timed for this holiday season.

Office dots. Pure and simple, and in florescent colors, so very au courant. By Chelsea Fuss at Frolic.

I love how they used the dots to form the tree and two triangles to make a star; using white makes it very cool and modern. Via Not on the High Street.


The mix of twine and big white dots is simple and lovely. Via Trendenser.


I love the idea of just wrapping a circle garland around a brown box. Take it off and hang it on the wall! Via Good Day Sunshine.

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Homemade Play-Doh

| Everyday Crafts, Family Bonding

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I know there are tons of recipes for homemade play-doh all over the Internet, but I feel I need to express how amazing it is. Ok, so maybe amazing is a little strong of a word, but it was super-fun to make with my son 2-year-old son Oliver. Plus, the immediacy of not having to go to the store was glorious on a Sunday morning. We used this very easy recipe from Modern Parents, Messy Kids.

You will need:
  • white flour – 1 cup
  • warm water – 1 cup
  • salt – 2 tbsp
  • cream of tartar – 2 tbsp
  • cooking oil – 2 tbsp
  • Jello – 1 3oz pack
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together in a small saucepan. Even though it makes for a longer process and a lot more clean up, let the little ones do the measuring and mixing. Keep mixing until most of the lumps are gone.
  2. Cook over medium heat, stirring continuously until it thickens into a ball of dough. This step does take a little while. Just keep stirring, you’ll know it’s ready when won’t be able to stir anymore.
  3. Once it has finished cooking, place the dough onto a silpat mat or floured cutting board and wait for it to cool.
  4. Once it is cool (at least 20-30 minutes) let the little ones knead it, adding in flour until it is no longer sticky (about 1/2 cup). At this point, you can add in extra food coloring to make the colors more vibrant, or even add glitter. 

This recipe makes a lot of play dough. You could easily half the recipe, and there would still be plenty to play with. When you are finished playing, store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It will keep for at least a few weeks in the refrigerator, with daily use. If at any time it starts to be a little sticky, just add more flour.

Here are photos of our fun morning in the kitchen!

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A Belated Halloween Costume Post

| Baby, Everyday Crafts, Holidays

I know it’s December, and our heads are way into gingerbread and tinsel, not ghosts and goblins, but I really wanted to share photos of my daughter Sommer’s homemade Halloween costume. At 7 months, it was obviously her first time celebrating October 31st, and she needed to come out with a bang. She was a vintage synchronized swimmer (is there really any other kind?).

The pilot’s cap is from Hanna Andersson. I cut up a $1 lei from Party City and hot glued the flowers to cover the cap. Then, I glued tiny pom poms in the center of each flower. She wore tights, a tank top onesie (the closet thing to a bathing suit that fit her in her closet) with flowers glued around the neckline, and a cardigan (had to keep her warm).

Here is my favorite photo of her…coming up for air.

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A 2D Christmas Tree

| Decor, DIY Home, Everyday Crafts, Holidays, Nature

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I’ve seen a lot of space-saving ideas over the years, but never have I seen a holiday one quite this ingenious. This Christmas tree fabric from Ikea is ideal for the city (or suburban) dweller with either little space, a distaste for the traditional artificial tree, or an intolerance for cleaning up pine needles.

A few other uses come to mind:

  • At $6.99 a yard, let the kids paint their ornaments onto it.
  • Poke holes and push LED xmas lights through for a lovely nightime effect.
  • At your holiday party, hang edible gingerbread men on it and let it serve as part of your dessert buffet.

And if you miss that seasonal smell of pine, just go out and buy Mrs. Meyer’s Iowa Pine cleaning products. I swear to you it’s the real deal.

Images via Oh Happy Day, Cote Maison, and Babble.

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A New Leaf

| Everyday Crafts, Grown-Up

Two kids under the age of two plus a full-time job equals an eternal ponytail, stock in under-eye concealer, and less time for my blog. But this is changing…


I got a book deal! I’m thrilled to announce that my kids’ craft book will be published by Artisan in the Spring of 2014. I’m thrilled/proud/crazed/nervous/giddy about their enthusiasm for my work. (Artisan has published books by the amazing Design*Sponge, Thomas Keller, Lucinda Scala Quinn, the Novogratz’, and Susan B. Anderson. I am in humbling company.)

This means that I am now working full-time on my book, but I have remained at Parents as a contributing editor, so you will likely still see my name (and doodles) on the pages of the best parenthood publication around (if you haven’t seen it lately, pick up a copy…it looks better than ever!).

This also means that my blog will come back to life with new ideas, observations, and musings over crafting, motherhood, and any place where those two things mingle.

I’m happy to be back in action and hope that my readers will find their way back!


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