Author Archive

Inkblot Tote Bags

| ad, Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Gift Wrap, Gifts, Grown-Up, Jewelry and Fashion, Older Elementary, Preschool, Toddler, Tween to Teen, Uncategorized, Unplugged Time

This post is sponsored by our friends JOANN Stores

In my gazillion years of spreading the joy of crafting, the one statement I hear all the time is I’M NOT CREATIVE. (This is usually from adults, mind you. Not kids.) But if you define the word CREATIVE, it literally means having or showing an ability to make new things or think of new ideas.

inkblot rorschach totes

If you are feeling stuck, whether it’s creatively, emotionally, or even in a challenging work or school project, sometimes the best way to get unstuck is to simply just MAKE SOMETHING. Easier said than done, but if you take away the pressure to be perfect, you might discover something surprising in the process. These easy-to-make inkblot tote bags are the perfect project to help you create something beautiful with super low stakes. 

Rorschach inkblot prints

Our friends at JOANN sell all the materials you need to make these beautiful bags. I suggest buying a few bags and an assortment of paint…you won’t want to stop at just one!

top-notch-paint

What you’ll need:

Make it:

inkblot Rorschach tote bag diy

1. First put a piece of scrap cardboard inside tote bag to prevent the paint from bleeding through.

inkblot Rorschach tote bag diy

2. Place your plastic sheet, file folder, or cardboard on top of the tote bag. If you are using plastic or cardboard, make a crease in the center. Make a mark on the top edge to show the boundary of where your paint should go. Remember that it will bleed out a little bit once you fold it.

inkblot Rorschach tote bag diy

3. Squirt paint onto one side of the folder or board. Have fun and make a mess! You can be generous with your paint squirts.

inkblot Rorschach tote bag craft steps diy how-to

4. Fold over and press so that the paint transfers to the other side. Open up to see your Rorschach, or inkblot, design!

inkblot Rorschach tote bag diy

5. Flip the design over and lay it on your tote bag. Smooth out to transfer the paint to the bag.

Peel the folder or board off the tote bag and let it dry!

Fun, right? Now you want to make another, don’t you? These prints would look great on t-shirts and aprons too!

Thanks again to JOANN Stores for supporting our creative projects!

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Cute DIY Desk Organizer

| ad, DIY Home, Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Fall, Grown-Up, Kids Rooms, Nature, Older Elementary, Organization, Paper, Upcycled

This post is sponsored by our friends at Stonyfield

I’m one of those people that LOVES shopping for school supplies. I love the fresh pencils (even when we rarely need to buy new ones), the crisp, spiral notebook covers, and the perfectly pink, trapezoidal erasers. Now that everything is bought and the backpacks are well broken-in, there’s a little room for some creativity for how to arrange and organize the materials at home on your kids’ desks.

When Stonyfield asked me to make a back-to-school craft by upcycling one of their sturdy yogurt tubs, the only question was…Ok, how will I make this into a desk accessory? There are SO many ways to give these Stonyfield quart-size containers a stylish makeover, but here at ProjectKid, we like to try to think outside the container.

Introducing…the Cute as a Button (Mushroom) Desk Accessory. (Do you think I can trademark that?) I batted around lots of ideas of what materials to use from fabric to pom-poms, but I landed on something that is so basic and accessible: paper. I used some newsprint sheets left over from our last move, but you can also buy a pad of newsprint for not a lot of moolah (or just use some scrap copy paper). It’s also a nice material to have on-hand as a quick solution to throw down on your table before the kids start painting and crafting.

Here is what you’ll need to make this cute mushroom pen holder:

  • Quart-size Stonyfield yogurt tub
  • Newsprint paper
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam brush
  • Scissors
  • Masking tape
  • Paper cake plate
  • Paper bowl
  • Red paint
  • Paint brush

Here’s how you make it!

Mushroom stem:

1.Cut strips of newsprint about 1-inch wide, and slightly taller than the tub. You’ll need approximately 20 strips. (If you are doing this with kids in the 4 to 7 age range, you may want to cut or rip smaller, chunky pieces, as they are less fussy to handle.)

2. Coat a section of the tub with Mod Podge, and place a strip on top. Paint Mod Podge on top of the paper and repeat to cover the entire tub. Trim off any excess ends, and while the Mod Podge is drying, set the tub aside.

Mushroom cap:

3. Flip your paper bowl upside down and tape it to the plate.

4. Crumple up some extra newsprint paper to round out the top; use masking tape to stick it down.

5. Wrap a piece of newsprint around the whole mushroom cap and tape underneath.

6. Paint the cap red and let it dry.

7. While the paint is drying, cut circles in varying sizes from newsprint paper. Attach circles to the red cap with Mod Podge, and then coat the entire mushroom cap in Mod Podge to give it an even sheen. Let it dry.

8. Hot glue the original lid of the Stonyfield yogurt tub to the underside of the mushroom cap.

Of course I had to make a baby mushroom too…I used a Stonyfield yogurt single-serve cup and flipped it over. For the cap of this ‘shroom, I used an extra lid from another quart that I had recycled.

Many thanks to our friends at Stonyfield for continuing to challenge us with fun ways to craft with their packaging!

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DIY Birthday Name Garland

| ad, Birthdays, Decor, Decor, Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Grown-Up, Older Elementary, Parties, Preschool, Uncategorized, Unplugged Time

This post is sponsored by KiwiCo.

SPOILER ALERT: Discount offer below…but you have to keep reading!

How familiar does this sound…your kid’s birthday is approaching and you’ve planned the party, wrapped the gifts, but you haven’t bought any special decorations for the home celebration! The next few days are jam-packed with soccer games, zoom meetings, and dance classes, with no shopping time to spare. You are left with no choice…you have to raid their crafts supplies! 




diy birthday name garland

Or, if your child likes to join in on their own decoration making (perhaps you wrangle the sibling to help), you have a win-win scenario of a bespoke DIY birthday craft plus a screen-free activity you can enjoy together! 

 

Now…what to make? Let’s be real…do not sweat over trying to draw their favorite cartoon character or attempt a life-size cut out of their Roblox avatar. Keep it simple and make it special with an easy-to-craft DIY birthday name garland that you can repurpose with a quick edit year after year. Use your kids’ favorite colors or swirl some together to make a marble look…experiment and play!

diy birthday name garland clay swirl

Kid and parent favorite, KiwiCo, has expanded beyond their amazing kit line to craft supplies for kids (and people that used to be kids) to explore freely. From air-dry clay to vibrant paint markers, their high quality materials are bound to encourage your kids’ creativity and innovation. They sent me a bunch of goodies to play with, and the quality is just what you’d expect from them.

 

So whether you are sneaking into the craft stash when your kids are asleep or you are bonding together in the fun, the opportunities that the KiwiCo line of crafts offers is endless!

diy birthday name garland

And wait! Click this KiwiCo link and you will get 20% off your order of $50 or more, or enter PROJECTKID at checkout! Go stock up for the kids and get a few things for you too! We won’t tell!



What you’ll need:

KiwiCo Embroidery Floss Set

KiwiCo Wood Bead Set

KiwiCo Rainbow Air-Dry Clay

KiwiCo Letter and Number Cutter Set

Parchment paper

Sewing needle

Scissors

diy birthday name garland

Make It:

1. Cover your work surface with parchment paper. 

2. Make a pancake with clay and flatten onto the parchment paper. 

3. Press letter or number cutter into the clay and wiggle to release. Set excess clay aside.

4. Grab a pinch of white clay and mix it into the original color (in this case, blue) to make a lighter shade. Adjust with white or blue clay as needed. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for each letter. 

5. To make a striped letter or number, roll three to four pieces of clay into a stick and line them up. Press down, joining the colors, but not mixing them. Make a pancake and repeat step 3. 

6. Let clay dry overnight.

7. To make the garland, thread a needle and embroidery floss through the top of the letter—this air-dry clay dries with a spongy feel, so it’s easy to pierce. 

8. Thread wooden beads in between words and on either end to finish! Get a head start on next year by making the next number so you can swap out your child’s age!

 

diy birthday name garland

Remember, get 20% with code PROJECTKID at checkout with carts over $50!

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Funny DIY Teacher Gift

| ad, Older Elementary, Tween to Teen

As with any gift-giving efforts, there’s no “one size fits all” when it comes to end-of-the-year teacher gifts. Some teachers like apples, some don’t. Some like pencil-patterned zipper pouches, most don’t. This year, Sommer and I are coming up with funny book titles for her favorite 4th grade teachers to make little notebooks.

What I love about this project is that it’s SO easy to draw a book spine! It’s just a rectangle with a curved top edge. Add some details to the spine and write the titles in playful handwriting styles! Plus you can draw these onto tote bags, notebooks, or even just make a cute thank-you card. This year was a real doozy for teachers and any nod of gratitude is going to go a long way!

Here are the materials and very basic steps:

  • Notebook or journal with blank cover
  • Paint markers
  • Ruler and pencil

 

Draw your book spines using the ruler and pencil.

Color in the spines with paint pens. Let the paint dry.

Add little details to the spines like lines, swirls, or whirly-gigs.

Use a black permanent marker to write the titles.

As this school year comes to a close and the gratitude for these hardworking teachers swells around me, we have another practice of gratitude that you can try out: Thank with Google. I’m excited to be one of Google’s paid early testers for their Thank with Google pilot program. Thank with Google is a new experimental feature that you’ll see here on my website (see that little floating blue button below?). You can click on it and send me a little wink of encouragement via a virtual sticker.

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Upcycled Flowers for Mother’s Day

| ad, Everyday Crafts, Grown-Up, Holidays, Mother's Day, Older Elementary, Spring, Tween to Teen, Upcycled

This post is sponsored by our friends at Stonyfield.

Sometimes it can feel like “Flowers for Mom” is a little cliche as a Mother’s Day gift, but for me, a lover of all things nature and color, I simply will never tire of them. And when you are given flowers that will live forever, it seriously does not get any better than that.

upcycled flower craft mother's day

These upcycled, DIY flowers are made from a plastic Stonyfield yogurt tub. Yes, you heard right…they are plastic! If you hate tossing these as much as I do, then this is the project for you and your littles. This a great project to make for mom, grandma, or another mother in your life, plus it reuses something that might otherwise end up in a landfill. They can live on your mantle all season long, and, bonus: they’ll never wilt. 

 

diy homemade flowers spring mothers day tulips

This post is sponsored by our friends at Stonyfield.

Please note: I use hot-glue in the video and photos, but these can also be made with tacky glue…perfectly safe for little hands!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  • Stonyfield yogurt quart
  • White and colored acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Scissors
  • Green straws, skewers or floral wire
  • Pom-poms
  • Hot-glue gun or tacky glue

 

  1. Paint Stonyfield yogurt quart white. Let dry.
  2. Cut 4 petal shapes from the white-painted Stonyfield quart. They should be about 2 inches tall and about an inch wide. Cut long leaf shapes.
  3. Glue pom-pom to the end of the straw. (If you don’t have straws, you can paint a skewer green or use floral wire.)
  4. Glue 4 petals around the pom-pom; glue the leaf to the stem. Gluing the unpainted petals and leaves to the stem first make it easier to hold for painting.
  5. Paint the petals in the color of your choice and the leaves green. Stand them up in a glass to dry.

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Striped Easter Eggs

| Early Elementary, Easter, Holidays, Older Elementary, Preschool

I have forever been a fan of Pysanka, Ukrainian Easter eggs decorated with a wax-resist method. The intricate, delicate designs are so detailed, and for anyone that has attempted to turn an egg into artwork, you too will be amazed. Pysanka artists often use a tool called a lathe, which allows the artist to rotate the egg, keeping the egg level and off the surface of the table.

I was thinking of the lathe when I made these eggs, using a basic lazy susan.  Really the only similarity is the spinning action, and while these eggs are not at all intricate like Pysanka, they are super fun to make!

 

I used wooden eggs from Oriental Trading that had a flat bottom. If you use real, blown-out eggs, just rest the egg in a lifesaver candy, using glue dots to hold it in place.

Here’s how I made these:

  1. Before you get started, mix a little water into your paint so that it’s about the consistency of a milkshake. If the paint is too thick, it won’t distribute around the egg evenly.
  2. Paint the wooden egg. I painted mine white so that the stripes would be vibrant, but you can choose any color you’d like (or leave them natural).
  3. Glue-dot the wooden egg to the center of the lazy susan and spin!
  4. As it spins touch the side of the egg with a brush loaded with paint. Repeat with different colors to make as many stripes as you’d like. You want to keep you hand as steady as possible so that the line remains straight.
  5. After they dry, you can add this optional touch! If you want a more mod design, take a black marker and move the marker around the surface of the egg as it spins. Experiment and try lots of things!

 

Here’s a before and after comparison of how these eggs looked with and without the black. I appreciate both versions!

 

diy striped easter egg ukrainian

Here’s something fun for you (and me)! We are one of Google’s paid early testers for their Thank with Google pilot program! Thank with Google is a new experimental feature that you’ll see on my website (see that little floating blue button down below?). You can click on it and send me a little high-five of encouragement.

I can’t speak for all content creators, but I share these ideas because (A) I love to craft and (B) I love to encourage folks to get creative with their kids. Sometimes I’m paid for the content that I make—maybe by a magazine or a brand that has sponsored the post, but so much that I share is just because I believe encouraging kids to take risks, experiment, and create is so vital to their futures as confident, self-directed humans.

By clicking the Thank with Google button, you can just send me a sticker as a sign of appreciation, and some of the stickers translate into direct revenue that support our work and allow us to serve up more clever craft ideas!

If you try it out, let us know what you think! Thanks, as always, for your support.

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DIY Flying Bird Puppet

| ad, Animals, Everyday Crafts, Nature, Older Elementary, Spring, Toys, Upcycled

This post is sponsored by Stonyfield.

As we wrap up National Craft Month, we slide right into April, which puts Earth Day on the forefront of the brain. And while Earth Day and Craft Month don’t naturally correlate for everyone, they are like besties in the land of Project Kid! Rarely does a craft project leave this studio without at least one upcycled or reused material. And our mission is beautifully two-fold—we get to spare the landfills of more plastic waste while also showing kids that the materials they need to craft are right under their nose…or spoon in this case!

Once again, my friends at Stonyfield put our maker-brains to the test to come up with another craft reusing their yogurt tubs and containers. We wanted to bust out of the obvious container projects and really show you how creative you can get with some basic materials that you have around the house.

bird puppet craft diy kids

This cute DIY bird puppet uses one quart-size tub (plus the lid!), one individual yogurt cup, duct tape and cupcake liners! (You know you have extras of those laying around from birthday parties of the past.) This is a great craft for the springtime, and I challenge you to think of what other animals could work with this construction. I asked my 9 year-old daughter and she said that all she sees is a bear doing jumping jacks! Maybe that’ll be next.

Remember…don’t just toss those Stonyfield yogurt containers. Your kids will squeal with delight when they see how they can quite literally bring them to life.

Imaginations…get ready, get set, take flight!

bird puppet craft

What you’ll need:

  • Stonyfield quart size containers
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Cupcake liners
  • Glue
  • Black paper
  • Hole punch
  • 3 bendy straws
  • Black cardstock
  • 2-inch styrofoam ball
  • Single-serve Stonyfield yogurt cup

 

MAKE IT:

Cover Stonyfield quart-size yogurt tub with duct tape. If you don’t have duct tape, there are many great substitutions! You can paint the tub or cover it with paper!)

bird puppet craft DIY kids

 

Punch holes about 1 inch down from the top on either side of the covered container. The easiest way to accomplish this is with a long-reach hole puncher, but if you don’t have one, poke a hole with an Exacto knife, then use the end of a scissor to make it bigger. (This is definitely a job for an adult.) Also, make a hole in the center of the bottom of the container.

 

bird puppet craft diy kids

Set the yogurt container aside. Extend your three bendy straws and wrap a piece of tape around the flexible part. Insert the middle straw through the bottom hole and the two side straws through the side holes.

bird puppet craft kids diy

Cut the Stonyfield quart-size lid in half. Flatten cupcake liners and fold into quarters. Glue them on the lid halves as feathers. Make sure to overlap them to get a fluffy feather look! If you don’t have cupcake liners, you can use painted coffee filters, tissue paper, or actual craft feathers. Repeat to cover the second lid half.

bird puppet craft diy kids

Use a piece of duct tape on the back to attach the wings to the side straws.


Fold a few more cupcake liners and glue to the front of the Stonyfield yogurt tub as the chest.

bird puppet craft diy kids

Glue a small cardboard ball into the bottom of the single-serving yogurt cup. If you don’t have a styrofoam ball, you can create a ring of padding with newspaper. You just need to leave space in the middle for the straws to go through (see final step). 

bird puppet craft diy kids

Cover the small yogurt cup in duct tape. 

bird puppet craft diy kids

Punch two circles from black cardstock and glue them to the front as eyes. Cut a circle from the black paper and cut out a wedge. Roll the paper into a cone shape and glue together as a beak. Glue just below the eyes.

bird puppet craft diy kids

Fold more cupcake liners into fourths and eighths and glue them to the top back edge as the birds tk. Use scissors to cut fringe to create a more feathery look. 

bird puppet craft diy kids

Poke a hole in the styrofoam ball with a scissors and tape the end of the straws together. Glue the straws into the center of the ball. 

bird puppet craft diy kids

Push and pull the bottom straw to make the bird flap his wings and peak his head out!

flying bird puppet craft

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DIY Springtime Easter Bird Craft

| Animals, Decor, DIY Home, Early Elementary, Easter, Everyday Crafts, Holidays, Older Elementary, Preschool, Spring

Which came first—the bird or the egg? In the case of these sweet, springtime feathered friends, it was definitely the egg! To make this DIY Easter craft, you only need basic materials. This craft is a fun one to make with kids of all ages, both for the Easter holiday or to celebrate the arrival of Spring! With simple craft supplies like pom-poms, felt, and feathers(of course!), make this beautiful bird craft from unfinished wooden eggs with your kids to celebrate the season.

I made this cute and easy bird craft for Oriental Trading’s Fun 365 website of amazing craft and party ideas! Head over there to check out the step by step and get links to all of the materials that you’ll need!

And if you like this cute DIY Easter craft, consider making these cute birdcage to go along with it!

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Easy DIY Stamped Gifts on a Budget

| Christmas, Decor, DIY Home, Everyday Crafts, Gift Wrap, Gifts, Holidays

If you are looking for DIY gifts on a budget, this project is the answer for everyone on your list! And here’s why: endless options!

You can basically create any pattern on any object from tote bags to coasters to bandanas to tea towels. Plus, you can basically be any age to make these.

First gather your materials:

DIY printmaking gift ideas

  • Craft foam
  • Cardboard
  • Fabric paint
  • Tote bags, gift bags, tea towels
  • Paint brushes
  • Glue
  • Fabric markers

 

  1. Cut out a shape from craft foam that you want to appear on your material.
  2. Cut a piece of cardboard that’s slightly bigger than your shape.
  3. Glue your foam shape to the cardboard; let the glue dry before stamping. (Remember, your image is going to be a mirror of what you see, so if you are designing anything that relies on direction, like letters, make sure you glue it onto the cardboard backwards.)
  4. Brush a thin layer of fabric paint onto the foam shape. It’s good to do a test print on scrap paper before going right to your item. Press the inked stamp onto your surface and remove.
  5. Repeat step 4 until your pattern is complete. If you want to change colors, make sure you stamp off the excess paint before applying the second color.
  6. Let dry completely.
  7. Optional: You can add little details with fabric markers once the paint is completely dry.

 

A few commonly asked questions answered:

  • Wash, dry and iron? Yes! You can wash a fabric item in warm water; fabric softener keeps the paint flexible. It’s best to iron inside out or on the back of the fabric.
  • Acrylic paint or fabric paint? Acrylic paint will function similarly, but the reason we like the soft fabric paint is because it prevents the pattern from feeling rough and stiff. If you are stamping on a notebook or notecards, acrylic paint is just fine.
  • Benefits of printmaking as gift making? The reason we love this method for DIY gifts is 2-fold. First because you can create a custom pattern that appears professional and crisp. And secondly, if you are making lots of gifts, you can basically become a little print factory and mass produce your gift items!
  • Skill Level? You can create a dynamic pattern with a simple circle, square or triangle! You don’t have to be an expert artist to make something that is really beautiful and textured. Play with colors, layering and juxtaposing shapes to create something really unique.
  • Play with other household objects that can become stamps. Think pencil erasers, wine corks, forks, a cut potato, a leaf and more!





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Make an Upcycled Cornucopia for Thanksgiving

| ad, Decor, DIY Home, Fall, Holidays, Nature, Thanksgiving, Upcycled

This post is sponsored by Stonyfield

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays to craft for—the rich colors, the dance between natural materials and traditional craft supplies, and the meaning behind it all give me the warm fuzzies. I love making crafts that combine all of these things, celebrating nature, gratitude, and family.

diy homemade cornucopia craft

When Stonyfield asked me to create a Thanksgiving craft idea reusing their yogurt containers, I knew immediately that a cornucopia was in my future. Once I figured out how to achieve the shape, the outside material was the real challenge. Paper? Too sharp. Burlap? Too obvious. Felt? Too perfect. So I closed my eyes and tried to channel the autumn vibe of Thanksgiving. And that’s when it dawned on me…a nubby, cable-knit sock! You can take advantage of one of life’s greatest mysteries and use a single sock survivor from the laundry room, or shop for the ideal specimen, giving you two socks to make a lovely set. Use the quart-size container to make a centerpiece, and the single-serve cups to make minis that can sit at each place setting.

diy homemade cornucopia

You can fill your cornucopias with small fruits, pumpkins, nuts, and leaves, or make your own with wooden beads, twigs, and berries. If you have young kids at home, you could also use their playfood to fill your horns of plenty!

diy cornucopia materials craft

What you’ll need:

  • Stonyfield quart-size yogurt containers
  • Scrap paper like newspaper or butcher paper
  • Masking tape
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Sock or leg-warmer
  • Wooden beads, twigs, leaves, and berries for DIY fruit

 

Make it:

Check out the post over on Instagram to see one made in real time!

(1) Crumple up scrap paper into baseball-size balls.

 

(2) Tape one ball to the bottom of the yogurt container. Repeat with a second ball.

(3) Twist your paper to form it into a cone-like shape and tape it to the second ball. Use tape to make an exaggerated point.

(4) To give the front of your cornucopia an angled edge, cut off about ½” of the top rim of the container.

(5) Slip sock over the paper, and fold it into the opening. Glue to secure inside if needed.

(6) Trim sock at the pointed end of the cornucopia, and hot-glue in place.

(7) Fill with your homemade bounty or spoils from your local market!

This post is sponsored by Stonyfield

 

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