Palmistry Plaster Hands

October 20, 2018
Age, Decor, DIY Home, Grown-Up, Halloween, Holidays, Tween to Teen

Halloween is a holiday with multiple personalities—It can be silly, gory, spooky, sexy, or—especially this year—mystical and elegant. That’s the aesthetic that inspired this DIY, which taps into the current divination-centric decor trend.
project kid palmistry plaster alginate hands
These hands were featured on the Etsy Journal! 
You will need

Step 1: Scoop alginate compound into a large bucket or bowl. To cast an adult hand, you’ll need 6 cups.

Step 2: Add an equal amount of room temperature water to the alginate powder.

Step 3: Stir the ingredients together with a wood stick. Then eliminate any remaining lumps with one hand, making sure to keep the other hand clean for casting.

Step 4: Quickly pour the paste into the 2-liter bottle.

Step 5: Insert a clean hand, held in the pose that you want to cast, into the mixture. Keep your hand submerged and in position, remaining as still as possible, for 3 to 5 minutes.

Step 6: Tap the top of the alginate with your free hand to make sure it’s fully set. Once the alginate has hardened, gently wiggle your submerged hand and fingers to get them loose. Carefully remove your hand. Congratulations—you’ve just made a mold!

Step 7: Set your mold to the side and mix up some plaster according to package instructions, stirring thoroughly until smooth.

Step 8: Pour the plaster into the mold you created. Depending on the humidity, it can take 30 minutes or longer for the plaster to set.

Step 9: Once the plaster has set, tap the top to loosen, then begin cutting away the plastic bottle using a craft or utility knife. Continue cutting carefully, now through the alginate, being mindful not to cut into the plaster fingers you’ve made. Keep removing alginate until your plaster hand is revealed. If there are any air bubbles or mistakes, use extra plaster to fill in the holes.

Step 10: Let the hand dry for at least 12 hours before painting, and sand off any rough spots before you begin. You can also sand the bottom of the hand into a flat base so that it can stand upright.

Step 11: Paint the plaster with an opaque acrylic paint and let dry.

Step 12: Using a fine-tip paint pen in a contrasting color, follow a palmistry diagram to draw markings on the painted hand.

Step 13: If you want to make a flat plaster hand into a candle holder, use a small chisel or a flat clay sculpting tool to carve out a hole in the plaster to fit the candle. Work slowly, carving just a little at a time, until you’ve made a shallow well that matches the candle’s diameter.


Halloween Cake Poppers

October 15, 2018
Food, Grown-Up, Halloween, Holidays

pumpkin cake pops project kid bluprint

After many failed attempts at making cake pops (how are there so many bad instructions out there?), I finally watched Kris Galicia Brown’s Cake Pop Decorating Class on Bluprint. It was not only super informative, but it had debunked so many false “rules” of cake pops that I had been using…the biggest being that candy melts should only be melted in silicone or plastic (that’s the true statement).

When Bluprint asked me to make these Jack-O-Lantern cake poppers for an article on their site, I used all of her genius tips!

I swear they are easier than they look!


Fighting Brain Drain

August 7, 2018
ad, Early Elementary, Older Elementary, Paper, STEM, Tween to Teen

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BackToSchoolGoals18 #CollectiveBias

All summer long I worry about brain drain. I mean, it doesn’t keep me up at night or anything, but I think a lot about how their every-day habits of learning 9 months of the year halt during the summer months.

teach language project with wall safe tape around the house

Our school sends us homework packets to do over the summer (not to turn in, but just as practice—which is really what homework is, after all), but it’s always just math and literacy. One of my favorite things about my kids’ school is that they start them on Spanish in Kindergarten. Oliver and Sommer have come away from these classes with the cutest little accents! Because they learn in a totally immersive way from teachers whose first language is Spanish (they don’t think their teachers even speak English!), they have adopted the best pronunciation when speaking.

So this summer I decided to do a little exercise in keeping the language recognition going by making labels for common household objects. So when we refer to these objects, my husband and I say them in Spanish and that reminds the kids to do the same. Since we are spending the last part of our summer in Scandinavia, I made the labels double-sided to introduce them to a little Swedish. I wanted to make them “flippable” so I used this amazing product from 3M— Scotch® Wall-Safe Tape—from Walmart so I could (A) attach a string securely to the wall and (B) not damage the paint in the process!

What you’ll need:


Print words in both languages on cardstock. Punch the works with a circle punch. I used yellow for Spanish and teal for Swedish.

Cut a 2-inch piece of string and sandwich in between the two circles, using a glue stick to attach them back to back.

So that I didn’t damage the paint on our walls, I used Scotch® Wall-Safe Tape that I bought at Walmart to attach the string to the wall.

Visit Scotch/3M for more clever inspiration for back-to-school ideas!


Party Animals Birthday!

July 19, 2018
ad, Animals, Birthdays, Decor, Early Elementary, Favors, Food, Games & Activities, Older Elementary, Parties, Preschool, Printables, Toddler

tassel animal party hats project kid

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









3 DIY Cork boards

July 19, 2018
Back to School, Decor, DIY Home, Kids Rooms, Older Elementary, Organization, Tween to Teen

cute DIY cork boards, cactus cork board, hedgehog cork board, archery cork board, back to school cork boards

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!