Thursday, January 17, 2019

Homemade Easter Pinatas

My girls were obsessed with piñatas when they were little.  I was talking to the girls, telling them that I have made several Paper Mache animals before, and that is basically what a piñata was. 

I should have kept my mouth shut, because of course they wanted to make them to.  My youngest at the time was only three, so I wasn't quite sure how this was going to turn out.

We decided since Easter was coming up, that we'd make Easter eggs.  My thinking behind this is that they'd only have to paper mache a simple balloon for the egg shape.  

All you need is a balloon for each person, torn up strips of newspaper, and the paste.  

There are many different ways to make the paste.  
The first one is just flour and water mixed together to a watery consistency.  You can use wall paper glue and water mixed together to a watery consistency.  Or you can just buy it premade.

It makes a mess so be sure to use a plastic tablecloth, and even an apron or old clothes.

Drip the strip of newspaper into the paste, pull it between index and middle fingers to get the majority or the paste off, leaving just enough to stick.

Do two or three coats, you can do them all at once, but I find it works better to let them dry in between.

After it's completely dry you can paint or use tissue paper.

The girls used the tissue paper cutting them into 1" strips, twisting them on a pencil and gluing it to the egg.

This is as far as they got.  Yep, they gave up and never finished them.
Oh well, it kept them busy for a few days.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Giving Tuesday

Did you know some of the thrift stores give out vouchers to families in need to pick out gifts in their store for free?

If you can't afford to make a monetary donation this Giving Tuesday, we all have good quality stuff we can donate to charitable thrift stores.  These donations might become Christmas gifts for struggling families and others in need.

Don't forget to check and make sure you are donating to non profit thrift stores where all the proceeds go to charity.

If you keep stuff you aren't using and don't need, you are denying someone that item who could really use it.  Ask yourself if you've worn that outfit or used that item in the last six months, if not it's time to go.  Decluttering is also very therapeutic to your well-being and health.

For other family friendly volunteer ideas from our blog click below:
Volunteer Ideas

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Letters to Jesus

One year I was teaching a church youth group around 8 years of age. 
The girls in my group kept talking about writing Santa Claus letters, and what Santa was going to bring them.  Being a church activity, we talked about Santa but how Christmas is really about Christ.  So, the next activity I put together a lesson on the true meaning of Christmas.
Part of the lesson included writing letters to Jesus.

I gave each girl an envelope and a blank piece of card-stock.

I told them Christmas was about the birth of Christ and how special that was.  We talked about some of the important things Christ did for us, and why it was important for him to be born.  I let the kids fill in the reasons, but helped them out when they got stuck.

I told them instead of writing letters to Santa, we were going to write letters to Jesus Christ.

These letters might include:
A thank you, or appreciation for the things Christ has done for us.
A Birthday Message
What Christmas Means to the Child
A Drawing of Christmas
A Testimony of Christ

Here are a few my girls did when they were ages 3-8, with some details kept private.

I told the girls to seal the envelope and leave it on their Christmas tree.
I didn't make them show me their cards, because their individual testimony of Christ is theirs.  Some girls were excited to show off their cards and some wanted to keep what they wrote private.

Would be fun to collect a new letter every year and read them when the kids are older.

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Thursday, August 23, 2018

Personalized Pumpkins

We love, love, love Halloween at our house.  Our house goes from crazy Halloween decorations filling our house to a few small items for Thanksgiving.  I wanted to make Thanksgiving a little more special.  I found these fake pumpkins and tried to think how I could make them special.

I decided to personalized them.

I decorated this huge pumpkin with my Last name and year I was married.

Then, I made these smaller pumpkins and put mine and my husbands first names.  Of course, my kids were like "Where's our pumpkins?"  Not all decorations have to be about the kids.  My whole house has the kid's pictures and artwork all over it.  I just wanted these pumpkins to be about me and my husband.  However, if you want the whole family included you can make even smaller pumpkins for the kiddos. 

The Awesome thing about these pumpkins is that you can decorate both sides of the pumpkins for the different holidays.

I used my Silhouette Cameo to design and cut Oracal 651 gold vinyl.

I played around with different fonts and ways of writing our names.  My sister in law wanted one that said "Give Thanks."  I made one for a friend that had her address number on it for her porch.

I put our Last name on a large 9 inch white pumpkin, sorry no pictures.

I put our first names, address number and "Give Thanks" on 5.5" orange carvable faux pumpkins.

Cut out the design and add the transfer paper.

Measure out on your pumpkin where you would like it placed.
I set the pumpkin on the table and used a ruler to measure it out.  With my pencil I marked where to place the bottom of the vinyl. I like to use a pencil, because it is erasable.

You do have to be a bit careful when applying the vinyl.  The pumpkin is bumpy and curved, making the vinyl a little trickier to apply.  Which is why I don't have a picture applying the vinyl.  I folded the vinyl almost in half on the non sticky side.  You don't want to crease it.  Then I carefully rolled the vinyl over the pumpkin, pushing the vinyl into the grooves as I went.  I removed the transfer paper, and rubbed the vinyl to help adhere it to the pumpkin.  If you have bumps and the vinyl looks a little off, you can use a blow dryer to heat up the vinyl and push it down in the problem areas.  Be careful not to get it too hot though, the pumpkin is Styrofoam and will melt or off gas.

And you have a beautiful pumpkin!

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