July 2018 archive

Party Animals Birthday!

| ad, Animals, Birthdays, Decor, Early Elementary, Favors, Food, Games & Activities, Older Elementary, Parties, Preschool, Printables, Toddler

Thanks to Brother for sponsoring this post and providing crafters with a cool tool for our trade! 

birthday party

I grew up with a mom that really knew how to do birthday parties. She could carry a theme from the invite (back when we sent paper invitations), to the activity, to the cake, to the favor. And this was well before Martha Stewart and Pinterest came along.

So regardless of my crafty career, there is no doubt that my kids’ parties would always be cohesive since that is what I knew to be normal. When I asked my almost six-year-old daughter, Sommer, what she wanted to do for her birthday, she said she wanted an animal party. But not one single animal…she didn’t want to hurt any species’ feelings by being left out. (Can you even stand it?)

When my friends at Brother asked me to design a party using their P-touch Embellish Ribbon & Tape Printer, I was giddy with the endless possibilities. I laid all of my ribbons and tapes in front of me and realized that I literally had the entire rainbow at my fingertips, so I dove in and used the full spectrum, creating an animal party full of whimsy and joy with animal faces that all kids will fall in love with!

Here’s how we celebrated and what we made…


tassel animal party hats project kid

To carry the animal theme, we used the adorable paw print symbol to make ribbon tassels for the tops of basic party hats. Here is a free printable that you can use to print out these cute, animal hat medallions.


punch board birthday party game prizes

This is the third time I’ve made a punch game for my kids’ birthday parties. They love the action of punching and the surprise of what’s inside!

What you’ll need:

how to make a punch board game birthday party

  • Clear cups
  • Tissue paper
  • Hot glue gun
  • Craft glue
  • Pencil
  • Sponge brush
  • Small toys
  • Foam core
  • P-touch Embellish Ribbon & Tape Printer
  • P-touch TZe ribbons and patterned tapes
  • Craft sticks (we used the big wavy type!)


Make it:

  1. Count out the number of cups you need and arrange them on your board in an interesting shape.
  2. Wrap small toys in colored tissue and put them in the cups.
  3. Trace cup onto the tissue paper and cut out as many circles (just outside of your pencil line) as you have cups, matching the color of the circles to the paper inside.
  4. Print the answers to your trivia questions on TZe tape and adhere one to each circle.
  5. Use the sponge brush to apply a thin layer of glue on the edge of the cup and gently pat the tissue circle on the edges.
  6. Hot glue the bottoms of the cup to the board.
  7. Print the trivia questions on TZe tape and adhere them to wooden craft sticks.
  8. To play, each guest picks a stick, reads the questions, and has to find the answer. They use the stick to punch through the tissue paper to get their prize!


party punch board trivia game birthday

play punch cup party game animal party


animal party free printable cupcake topper project kid

What you’ll need:

  1. Print out the animal cupcake toppers and cut them out.
  2. Print message on different tapes, making sure to feed enough extra so that the back is covered.
  3. Hot glue animal face to the top of the stick.
  4. Peel P-touch Embellish tape and wrap them around the stick, just below the animal. Trim the ends into a flag shape.



project kid animal party favor bags

What you’ll need:

  • 5-by-7-inch muslin favor bags
  • P-touch Embellish Ribbon & Tape Printer and P-touch Embellish Ribbons
  • Transfer iron-on paper
  • Printable animals faces
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Hot-glue gun


  1. Print out a message on each bag. We customized ours for each guest. They read “Thanks for coming to my party, Evie! Love, Sommer” (That extra special touch is what makes this tool so unique!)
  2. Hot-glue the ends of the ribbon to either side of the opening of the bag.
  3. Cut out the iron-on animal heads and iron to the bags, according to the product’s package instructions.
  4. Stuff with small toys and treats. (We even labeled pencils with the P-touch TZe tape with goofy messages like “Write on, Oliver!”)


If you want to decorate with the adorable animal-face garland that we made, you can print out these, cut out the circles, and string them onto a thin string. Just punch two holes at the top of each circle to thread the string through.

party decorations animal party project kid wall paintings

Thanks to Brother for sponsoring this post and providing crafters with a new tool for our trade! 

Illustrations and animal paintings by Clare Yaghjian

Photography by Michael Cohen

Video by Lucy Schaeffer

Editing by Annie Bernstein

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3 DIY Cork boards

| Back to School, Decor, DIY Home, Kids Rooms, Older Elementary, Organization, Tween to Teen

This post contains affiliate links.

The shift from summer to school can be a tricky one – especially when it’s still swimming weather! But one of our favorite ways to smooth any transition is to spruce up your space. Setting up a homework area with your kids that’s as fun as it is functional will help them ease back into school mode. To keep them organized, turn a standard office supply into something a little more special. We’ve pinpointed the best prickly patterns for cork boards, so follow our 3 how-tos below—or if you’ve got another sharp shape idea, let us know in the comments!


Cactus Cork Board, DIY Cactus cork board, DIY cork board, cute cactus cork board

DIY cactus cork board close up, cute cactus cork board diy

What you’ll need:

How to make it:

  1. Size the template to fit your cork, then print, and cut out. Trace template onto two pieces of cork or freehand draw a simple cactus shape onto cork placemat using chalk. (Chalk can easily be wiped off if you make any mistakes! ) Cut out the shapes.
  2. Glue the two pieces together, pressing to avoid gaps.
  3. Paint the top layer dark green and once dry add lighter green vertical stripes.
  4. Glue pom poms to the top of thumb tacks to create functional flowers.
  5. Add sewing pins along stripes and secure to the wall using command strips.


back to school cork board, cute diy cork board, hedgehog cork board, cute critter cork board

DIY hedgehog cork board, diy cute cork board, back to school hedgehog cork board

What you’ll need:

How to make it:

  1. Size the template to fit your cork, then print, cut out and trace the template onto two pieces of cork. Cut out the shapes.
  2. Glue the two pieces together with hot glue and press to secure.
  3. Cut out small black circles of felt for the eye, and a half circle for the nose then glue to the cork. For the ear, cut a larger circle from the tan felt, cut a small slice then overlap the edges and secure with glue. Glue to the cork.
  4. Add pins along the hedgehog’s back to give him his spikes.
  5. Secure to the wall using command strips.


Archery Target Cork Board, DIY Cork Board, Back to School Archery Target, Fun DIY Cork Board

DIY Fun cork board, Archery Cork Board, Target cork board, DIY cork board

What you’ll need:

How to make it:

  1. Print out template and cut out each circle of the target individually. Trace each circle on the trivet one at a time, making sure your pencil lines are visible.
  2. Starting at the center (so you can hold the edge) paint each layer in its regulation color—gold, red, blue, black, white. Let dry and add a second coat if necessary.
  3. To craft arrow pins, cut two inch long strips of duck tape and fold each piece over the top of the pin, evenly sandwiching the “T”. Cut out an upside down teardrop shape to make “feathers.”
  4. Press two skewers into the bottom edge of the trivet an to create legs; add a dot of hot-glue to secure. Add a third skewer perpendicularly on the back to create a tripod stand.
  5. Set up on desk and add arrows.

For more workspace inspiration check out our post on 10 Kids’ Desk DIYS

This post contains affiliate links!

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Classic Craft: God’s Eye

| Decor, Early Elementary, Grown-Up, Older Elementary, Summer, Tween to Teen, Unplugged Time, Wall Decor

(image above via: @artsacessvic)

If you attended summer camp at any point in the last 50 years, chances are you learned to make a god’s eye. Whether you used twigs, dowels, or popsicle sticks, the classic craft was the right blend of simple yet time consuming – perfect for keeping kids occupied and giving counselors a breather. Kids this summer are just as likely to be weaving a god’s eye as you were at their age. There’s definitely something to be said for a craft with such staying power!

Time travel isn’t the only magic that’s been attributed to god’s eyes. The objects were first made in Mexico during the 15th century by the Huichol people who used them for prayer and protection. Though today the craft’s wooden cross is sometimes associated with Christianity, the Huichol focused their worship on nature and the earth. The four points represented the elements and the hole left at the center of the weaving served as a portal to the spirit world (Sol Mexico News). Often the charms were made when a child was born and added to each year to help ensure a life of health and happiness. In a mysterious world full of uncertainty, they provided knowledge and understanding.

God's Eyes in Mexico, Mexican God's Eyes
outdoor god's eyes, woven god's eyes, sacred god's eyes

(images via Laura a Love Land blog)

In the late 1960’s, god’s eyes were adopted by the counter culture movement on the West Coast. Gigantic versions of the weavings showed up at rallies and gatherings during the Summer of Love such as the Be-In in 1967 pictured below. (Refinery29)

giant gods eye, 1967 gods eye, vintage gods eye
(image credit: Lawrence Ferlinghetti)

Though it’s hard to find any information about the craft first being adopted in summer camps, it fits right in with the era’s other woven wall hanging trends such as macrame. It’s still possible to purchase tutorials from the time, like this book found on Etsy,  ‘The Advanced Creative Ojo Book’.

Gods Eyes Craft Book, 1970 craft book, gods eye how to, vintage gods eyes

Though they may be groovy, god’s eyes are also super graphic, which stops them from feeling stuck in the 70s. Crafters and artists have continued to reinvent them in all different sizes, starting small and working up to wall worthy. Below are some examples of our favorites.

gods eyes charms, tiny gods eyes, gods eyes jewelry

Toothpicks and embroidery floss are the tools needed to make the craft charm sized. A bracelet full of these would be so fun! (via Concien cia Concentrica )


gods eyes present toppers, gods eyes gift wrapping

These layered beauties from blogger Honestly WTF are used as present toppers but are gift worthy all by themselves.


gods eye ornaments, gods eyes christmas tree

Aunt Peaches adds pom poms to cover one of the most colorful Christmas trees we’ve ever seen – she calls it granny chic.


gods eyes with tassels, gods eye charms, gods eyes decorations

Trading pom poms for tassels is another way to up the trendiness! (via Pinterest)


wall of god's eyes, Gods eye collection on the wall

Mixing a variety of sizes and colors makes a show stopping wall collection. (via ClaireabelleMakes)


god's eyes mobile, hanging god's eyes,

Hobby Craft blog moves off the wall and into the air allowing for a 360 degree view of a craft that truly looks good from all angles.


Pae White's God's Eyes, Silkscreened God's Eyes, God's Eye's installation

Pae White‘s installations aren’t made of god’s eyes but are certainly inspired by them. Her silkscreened versions float like falling leaves. Wouldn’t you love to walk through them?


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Over the Rainbow

| Decor, DIY Home, Kids Rooms, Older Elementary, Wall Decor, Yarn & Fabric

There are some projects that are immediate wins, and others that make you, or the people around you, scratch your head a bit.

When I was writing Project Kid: Crafts that Go! I named the chapters after where transportation takes place…City, Country, Water, Space, Sky, etc. And for many of the chapters I crafted projects that related to these locations rather than the vehicles themselves. So for Sky, I thought…okay, clouds, sun, rainbow. Sure. Makes sense to include.

But once the book was laid out, my editor didn’t think this project really fit. I didn’t argue because I knew it would appear here one day. I still love the idea…so I’m sharing it with you today!

What you’ll need:

Make it!

1.To make the sun, stretch the fabric tautly in the embroidery hoop. Trim excess fabric and glue-dot the edges to the inside of the hoop.

2. To create the cloud, you first need to make five large pom-poms. To make each pom-pom, wrap yarn approximately fifty times around an object about 3 inches wide (like a smartphone). Cut the bundle from the skein, slip it off of the object, then cut and tie a 6-inch piece of yarn tightly around the bundle. Snip through all loops until a pom-pom is formed. Give it a haircut to trim up the messy yarn. Repeat to make four more pom-poms.

3. Cut a 20-inch piece of yarn and thread it in a zigzag fashion through the center of all five pom-poms, stacking two pom-poms on top of the other three. Use safety pins to attach the cloud to the sun, making sure to grab the joining yarn in the pin.

4. To make the rainbow strands, cut three 12-to-18-inch pieces of fishing line. Cut about sixty 3/4-by-2-inch rectangles from all colors of felt—cut an even number of each color. Lay a row of felt rectangles, spaced 1/2 inch to 1 inch apart, on your work surface in rainbow order and add a glue dot in the center of each rectangle. Lay fishing line over the glue dots and sandwich it with another rectangle of the same color. Tie the ends of the rainbow strands to the joining yarn stitched within the cloud pom-poms.

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Popsicle Noisemakers

| Early Elementary, July 4th, Older Elementary, Outdoor Fun, Preschool, Summer, Toys

Barbecues, popsicles, fireworks…yes, July 4th is nearly here! Whether you are marching in a parade or just running through the sprinklers in your backyard, it’s a day to hang out with friends and family and celebrate summer.

Here’s a quick little noisemaker craft that will get the kids in the spirit! This project is easy enough that kids’ can make it on their own or with little supervision. You can also use these noisemakers for other holidays…think green for St. Patrick’s day, red and pink for Valentine’s day, or multi-colored for a DIY Purim grogger!

What you’ll need:

Use scissors to carefully poke a slit in the bottom of the box and press the popsicle stick through. Hot glue it in place.

Fill the box with beads, beans, or rice. (I happened to have star beads, but anything small will do!)

Put the top on the box and use the red, white, and blue tape to seal it shut, making it look like a striped rocket pop!

This post contains affiliate links!

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