September 2017 archive

Playful Pumpkins: Part 2

| Halloween, Holidays, Toys

Getting kids excited about Halloween isn’t that hard, TBH. But as a parent that “celebrates” Halloween multiple times a year (that’s what happens when you style for print magazines), the squeals of delight truly never get old.

And these pumpkin projects that I crafted for Parents magazine had my littles even more excited than normal because they actually got to be my craft assistants. Oliver, my then 6-year-old, got to build a bunch of Lego construction vehicles for this awesome jack-o-lantern carving scene. (above)

Builder’s Special

Your family’s Lego maniac will go brick wild for this clever twist on a classic jack. Carve a face into a small pumpkin. Once you’ve finished carving, build a Lego staircase to the face and arrange the Lego people so that they appear to be doing the carving themselves. Bonus points for a few construction vehicles bulldozing the seeds!

And Sommer was excited to help me pick out the facial features for these Potato Head Pumpkins!

potato head toy pumpkin craft kids diy halloween project

Mr. Pumpkin Head

Look for unusual pumpkins and gourds to give your creation even more character. Then, simply push the Mr. Potato Head parts into the flesh.

Tip: Poke wooden skewers vertically through the pumpkins to prevent toppling!

Photos by Dane Tashima.

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5 Fall Inspired Crafts

| Decor, DIY Home, Earth Day, Everyday Crafts, Fall, Nature, Uncategorized, Wall Decor, Yarn & Fabric

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)

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Playful Pumpkins: Part 1

| Animals, Decor, DIY Home, Halloween, Holidays

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.

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School Bus Craft

| Back to School, DIY Home, Everyday Crafts, Fall, Organization, Paper, Upcycled, Vehicles

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.



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