April 2017 archive

Simple DIY Party Ideas

| Birthdays, Decor, Favors, Food, Gifts, Parties

Everyone has their own threshold when it comes to DIY’ing birthday parties…some want to start from a totally blank slate, while others choose one thing to craft to make the party special. I have run the spectrum with my kids, but I must say admit that it does get exhausting (even for a seasoned crafter like myself) to DIY everything!

In the May 2017 issue of FamilyFun, I got to explore tons of DIY birthday party ideas using balloons, paper party hats, streamers, and cupcakes. Here are four highlights, but be sure to visit FamilyFun to get 13 more awesome DIY ideas!

Pizza hat above: Cut out red “pepperoni” and green “C”-shaped “peppers” from red and green paper. Cut out mushroom shapes from gray paper. Attach to a yellow party hat with glue dots. Twist brown kraft paper and secure around the edges of the hat with hot glue to make the crust.

balloon number wall installation birthday party decoration

Using painter’s tape, plan out the shape of the number on the wall. Blow up a collection of 5” mini dart balloons and 11” party balloons, knotting each (we used about 50). Use loops of white gaffer tape (get it on Amazon) to attach them to the wall. Layer and tuck in extra balloons on top for a fuller look.

Attach a tabletop celebration arch (available at party supply stores) to your table. You’ll need about 80 fiveinch balloons. Inflate two balloons and knot the ends together. Repeat with another pair, then twist both sets together so you create a clover. Set aside and repeat with remaining balloons. To assemble the arch, twist each clover set onto the frame. Use doublestick tape to attach additional balloons.

Make It Yours: Go with black, gray, and red for Star Wars fans; yellow and blue for Minion lovers; or green and black for little Minecrafters.

checkerboard cupcake decorating birthday party diy

On top of iced cupcakes, arrange Starburst Minis in lines with alternating colors. Swap in any favorite mini candy and colors.

streamers tent birthday party decoration

Cut 60 strips of streamers about 54 inches long (for a three-color pattern, buy at least one roll per shade). Measure three equidistant points around a hula hoop and tie on three 2-foot-long pieces of fishing line. Knot them together about 18 inches from the top of the hoop, and hang it in your work area. Loop the end of a streamer around the hoop, and use double-stick tape to secure it. (Be sure to tape the loop to the paper and not the hoop so it slides.) Overlap each one slightly and alternate colors. To make the top, cut about 30 strips about 24 inches long. Tape each streamer to the outside edge of the hoop—but this time, use one strip for every two on the bottom, matching the colors if you prefer. Once you’ve attached four or five, gather and layer the ends and tape together; then secure to the center fishing line. Repeat all around the hoop. Tie a ribbon or short streamer around the top.

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Magic Marker Easter Eggs

| Easter, Holidays

If you are looking for a new way to dye eggs with your kids this Easter, this is it. This egg dying technique passes every test that I can think of…

  1. Accessible, non-toxic materials that you already have. Check.
  2. Quick and attention grabbing. Check.
  3. Easy clean-up (of the kitchen and the kid). Check, check.
  4. Moment of magic. Check.


magic marker easter egg dying kids

This marker transfer method has all of the above and more. Click here to watch my how-to video or read below…

What you’ll need:

  • Eggs
  • Paper towels
  • Washable markers
  • Spray bottle with water and vinegar (1:1 ratio)
  • Rubberbands
  • A plate


1 Color on the paper towel in any pattern. You can do stripes, polka dots, plaid, etc. Make sure to color a large enough area that it will wrap around the egg.

2 With the paper towel on the plate, spritz it wth the vinegar/water solution.

3 Wrap the paper towel around the egg, and cinch in the back with a rubber band.

4 Spritz the egg again, and rub the surface of the paper towel to help transfer the ink.

5 Once it’s dry, about 20 minutes or so, unwrap the egg to reveal the masterpiece.

marker vinegar easter egg dying crafts

marker easter egg crafts

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11 Brilliant Borax Uses

| DIY Home, Everyday Crafts, Jewelry and Fashion, Nature, STEM

Like most of the internet, we haven’t been able to escape the recent slime craze. After trying out all sorts of slime recipes (which include everything from shampoo to yogurt) we came to the clear conclusion that Borax is the magic slime ingredient. But when you reach your slime limit before the box is through, what is there to do with the extra Borax? A lot actually! Borax is just as handy for making nontoxic cleaners as it is for crafting pretty crystals. Instead of leaving it in the back of your cupboard, get inspired by all the wonders it can work.

1. Borax can be used to create a super realistic geode that’s the perfect topper for a jewelry box. Though it was designed as a stylish DIY friend gift—you might just want to keep it for yourself.

rose bouquets diy flower drying                                                  (image via Style Me Pretty)

2. Allow flowers to have eternal life with a mixture of borax and cornmeal. Maybe the Beast wouldn’t have been in such a pickle if he’d followed these simple instructions from 20 Mule Team

diy glitter bouncy ball borax 3. Give those toys from the quarter machine a run (or bounce) for their money with homemade glitter bouncy balls. Hello Wonderful shows you how to conduct this cool “science experiment” that your kids will want to make over and over.

DIY Borax Crystal pipe cleaner stars

DIY completed Borax rainbow crystal stars4. Creating crystals has a similar science-experiment appeal and can be used with all sorts of fun shapes. One Little Project turns colorful pipe cleaners into rainbow stars, but you could also make hearts, snowflakes, or even words. Another more organic option is to use crystals to cover natural materials like stones, or  seashells for a sparkly snowfall effect.

DIY colorblock crayon candles5. If you’re someone who likes making homemade candles, creating wicks using Borax will help them burn longer with less smoke and ash. Latitudes 21 shares an infographic with the how-to, along with other Borax ideas.  To craft the color-block candles shown above, check out the DIY from Brit + Co—it uses crayons!

flower foot bath                                                  (image via The Motherhood)

6. One of Borax’s useful properties is that it works as an anti-fungal and can actually be found in store-bought Foot Soap Soaks, such as Johnson’s. Leaf shares an easy recipe for a sweet smelling foot bath.  

DIY non toxic goo gone                                                            (image via Pop Sugar)

7. A sticky label that won’t budge is an annoyance that can easily take up more time than it’s worth. With a few drops of vegetable oil, borax will leave a formally gummy surface crystal clear. Find the recipe over on Creative Homemaking.

blue patterned china plates and cups

(image via Veranda Magazine)

8. For china that has lost its shine, a soak in Borax will bring back its luster—no scrubbing necessary. DIY & Crafts shares the how to. 

diy homemade all purpose borax cleaner

9. Borax works wonders as an all purpose cleaner—there isn’t a stain that scares it! Mix up a lemon scented batch from this Pop Sugar recipe and use it to fight grime.

DIY floam with borax

10. For an alternative to slime that’s less slippery and more sculptural, try floam. Parenting Chaos walks you through the steps that little hands will love helping with.

DIY cleaning slime with borax

11. Finally, if your heart is still set on making slime, at least make a version that’s useful! Those hard to clean cracks in your keyboard are no match for cleaning slime. Solution Insider  shows you how. 

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