Thursday, May 11, 2017

Father's Hammer Gift and Other Tool Gift Ideas

I have loved making personalized gifts for my family using my Silhouette Cameo, it just adds that professional clean cut touch.  I made this hammer for my dad for Father's Day.  On one side it's serious and touching, the other side is more funny and to the point. 

I used Oracle 651 vinyl to make it more permanent.
For little kids, it would be really special to cut it out in their handwriting by using the trace feature on your Silhouette Cameo.

If you do not have a Silhouette Cameo or Cricut, ask a friend or there are plenty of people online that will cut personalized vinyl for you, at a minimal cost.  If you really can't use vinyl, then paint or a sharpie marker might be an option.

Other Tool Gift Sayings for Dad:
(or change Dad to Grandpa, Papa, Stepdad, Husband, Brother, Boyfriend, Mechanic, Soldier, Student, coach, teacher, partner, employee, etc.)

Best Dad I Ever SAW!

Best PLIER on the Team!

Nobody MEASURE's Up to Dad!

Best TOOL in the Shed!

Thanks for giving me the tools to be a good father/husband/etc.

We love building memories with you!

Building BRIGHT futures!

Thanks for giving me a BRIGHT future!

Building our life together since (marriage date, child's birthdate or adoption date)

The Dad that can fix anything!

If Dad can't fix it, nobody can!

If Dad can't fix it, we're all SCREWED!

Thanks for all you hard work Happy Retirement!

Thanks for MAKING my dreams come true!

Couldn't PICK a better Dad!

Couldn't AX for a better Dad!

I'm NUTS about you!

No one MEASURES up to you Dad!

In Case of Zombies!

You're TOOL- rific!

Saw Dust is Man Glitter!

Don't get SCREWed, just AX Dad!

In Case You SCREW up, AX Dad for Help!

Just AX Dad!

No if, ands, or NUTS about it, You're simply the best!

When in doubt, AX Dad!

The most LEVEL headed person I know!

You NAILED being a Dad!

Love beyond MEASURE!

You're a FLIPPIN' awesome Dad!

DIY Expert!

This is not a DRILL!

It takes a big heart to help shape little minds!

It takes a big heart to help build little minds!

This TOOLBOX belongs to child's name's Daddy!

My TOOL is bigger than yours!

A CUT above the rest!

Love you to BITS!

Love you to PIECES!

You've been there for me every INCH of the way!

If you can't be the sharpest TOOL in the shed,
you can always be the HOE!

Career ex. mechanics have the best TOOLS!

Career ex. farmers have the BIGGEST TOOLS!

We'd love to hear about how your gift turned out.
My Dad loved his!

If you liked this post, you might also like:

Daddy's Beard Game

Father's day gift

Hand print

Military Gift (other branches too)
Father's Day Gift

Friday, May 5, 2017

Mother's Day Gift-Great Grandmother Pillow

A few years ago my husband bought me a Silhouette Cameo for Christmas.  I have just recently gotten the bug to figure out all the neat things you can make with it.  Originally I wanted it for scrapbooking.  Honestly, I have gotten way more interested in cutting vinyl for signs, walls, and such. 

I decided I wanted to try making some shirts for our family.  With three girls, our clothing bill is getting extreme.  The girls love to make stuff, and with this machine the T-shirts look like you bought them.  So, we decided it was time to buy a heat press.  A heat press makes this process so much easier and quicker than an iron.  It offers equal heat preventing spots that don't stick the vinyl completely to the shirt. 

I've been wanting to make my 91 year old Grandmother a gift, but what do you make the woman who has everything?  I wanted to make something she'd actually use, but also be meaningful.  I am really close to my grandmother, so I really wanted it to be special.  Her life's work and purpose was raising her family.  I wanted her to know that she is still loved.  Sometimes she needs a reminder of the people who love her, when she's having a bad day.  Which when your 91, there aren't many days she isn't in pain.  I thought this pillow would offer her comfort, remind her of her family, and just be something beautiful to look at.  I put a cute saying on the front about great Grandmas and all the names of her great grandchildren on the back.

I started by designing the pillow on my Silhouette Cameo.  I like to find fonts on  They have tons that are free for personal use or very little cost for commercial use.  Don't forget to mirror your image.  I then cut out my design on HTV (Heat Transfer Vinyl) with my Silhouettte Cameo.  I personally like Siser Easyweed, but there are many products out there.

You could change the pillow to say:
Just when a mother thinks her work is done, someone calls her Grandma.

I decided the cheapest place to buy good quality pillows and pillow covers was at Ikea.  I settled on these.  They were about $5.

They offered the choice of a cotton pillow or feather pillow under $5.

 I opened the pillow cover and ironed it.  I then, stuck the cut HTV on top of the pillow centering it.

I put the pillow cover with HTV onto my Heat Press.  You could use an iron if you do not have a heat press.  Be careful not to burn yourself, and follow all safety instructions.

I always cover my HTV with a Teflon or Parchments paper to prevent it from coming off onto the hot surface.

I set my heat press to 315 for 15 seconds.  You might have to adjust the settings according to your particular heat press.

After the 15 seconds, I carefully removed the slip cover form the heat press.  I then removed the backing form the HTV, leaving the vinyl behind.  Check over your final product to make sure it is completely sticking to the pillow cover.

If you are not satisfied you can put it through the heat press one more time.  Don't forget your Teflon cover.

Time for the back side.  Since you have already put vinyl on the front side of the pillow cover you will need to put either a Teflon sheet or parchment paper on both front and  back of your pillow to keep the HTV from sticking to the heat press.

Repeat the steps for the heat press you used for the front of the pillow cover.

Once you are satisfied with your HTV, open your pillow and give it a good fluff.

The pillow has a huge annoying tag on it, so I cut my tag off.

Insert your pillow into the pillow cover, and there you have it a great gift in under 10 minutes.

Hope your Grandma loves her gift.

We'd love to hear how it turned out for you, so leave us a comment.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

Hand print

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Power Pressure Cooker

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Kids Summer Bucket List

Our family lives to play and have fun in the summer.  We really try hard to fit the most activities in that we can.  Some are a little costly, but we really like to find free or really cheap things to do.  We try to have new experiences and get out in the community.  Get those kids off the couch and away from their phones. 
*Take safety precautions for all activities.
What is safe and fun in one community, might not be in another. 
Adult supervision is recommended for all activities.
Enjoy them at your own risk!

Our Most Favorite Summer Bucket List Activities
With Links from our Earlier Blog Posts

First off, check your city and neighboring cities' calendars for upcoming events.  You'll be surprised how many fun or even free activities your community holds.  Put the ones you're interested in on the calendar or you'll forget.

Outdoor Movie Night
We like to shine our projector on the side of our neighbors garage, but your house, garage door, or hanging a sheet would work great. They also sale outdoor screens and inflatable screens.
Divergent Party

Drive-In Movie 

If you have one in your community, you are very lucky.  Take your family at least once while you have the chance.  This is such as retro thing to do, and so much fun!  The one close to us offers two movies for the price of one.  You can put your kids to sleep in the car and if the baby starts fussing no one can hear them, but you.  Kids are almost free and you can bring your own snacks.  We like to bring the truck and put lawn chairs in the back, but you see all sorts of stuff.  When our kids were little we'd open the back of our SUV and put a mattress for them to lay on with all their pillows and blankets.  We'd dress them in their pj's, so we could put them right to bed afterward. Bring a picnic and games to play while you wait for the movie. A summer must!

Movie in the Park-DVD
Take a Tablet (Kindle), Portable DVD player, Projector or Laptop to the park and watch a movie.  Or attend an organized event with an inflatable screen.

Free Concert in the Park
Many parks offer free concerts during the summer, what a great time to expose your family to a little culture.  Check to see what your local parks offer, you might have to check a neighboring town.

Feeding The Ducks and what to feed them.

Ice Blocking like sledding in the summer.
*A family favorite!
Pioneer Day

Catching Frogs or Tadpoles

Fishing/Catch minnows
Check your local area for good fishing spots.  As children we used to take a 8" net and catch minnows at the creek behind our home.  You could also use a butterfly net.

Catch Crawfish
As children my brother made a net out of a T-shirt to catch crawfish.  we had a lot of fun playing in the creek and catching crawfish.  We always caught and released.  We never took them home to eat.  Our creek didn't have any dangers other than drowning.  Know your creek and dangers it might posses and as always adult supervision is recommended.

Catch Butterflies
Buy some cheap and fun butterfly nets.  Please release after capture.

Catch Fireflies
If you are lucky enough to have these beautiful bugs, you can catch them in mason jars, but please release afterward.

Hatch a preying mantis pod or butterfly cocoon. 

Giant Bubbles 

Fun Elephant bubbles 
bubble snake

Decorate/Race Airplane Gliders
We like to decorate these fun foam gliders and race them.
Plane races

Run through the Sprinklers
My mom let us do this all the time in the summer.  We once got kicked out of the zoo on a fieldtrip for running through their sprinklers, lol make sure it's ok where you play.  Our teacher got in trouble.

Trampoline Fun
We made several games on our trampoline and spent numerous hours everyday.  My mom let us put a sprinkler under the trampoline and play, it's a bit slippery but super fun!  She also let us sleep on the trampoline quite often.  Trampolines are dangerous and many home owners insurances don't cover them, so take adequate precautions if you decide to buy a trampoline.
The net came down.
Picnic in the Park
Sometimes we just like to grab some cheap pizzas and head to the park.

Slip'n'Slide in your clothes
Our air conditioner was broken. It was over 90 degrees and our house was over 100 degrees.  We looked at each other and decided to cool off with the slip'n'slide in our clothes.  Totally random thing that our kids absolutely loved.  Be the fun spontaneous mom 

Slip'N'Slide kickball
You put a small baby pool for the bases, and a slip'n'slide from third base to home.  Be careful not the slip while running into the pools.

Splash Pad
These splash pads are popping up at all the local parks in our area. 
The best part is ours are all free.

Swim Noodle Fight
We like to buy some cheap pool noodles and have a battle.  They are pretty soft, but they do hurt if people hit hard.  Make strict rules!

Silly String Fight
Who doesn't love Silly String?  Turn it into a family fight and just have fun with your kids.

Jump Rope/Double Dutch
Jump Rope is such a fun way to exercise.  Shh, don't tell your kids that.

Chinese Jump Rope
I loved playing Chinese jump rope as a kid, and the jump ropes are so cheap.
I love to teach my girls things from my childhood.

Old Fashion Games (red Rover, three legged races, egg toss, etc.)

Build Rockets

Soda and Mentos Fountain
We like to get different 2-liter flavored sodas and see which flavor goes the highest or longest.  Unscrew the lid and drop in one or more Mentos and see how far they shoot into the air.  Looks like a geyser.

Night Games
Capture the Flag, Tag, Hide and Seek, Freeze tag, Kick the can, Sardines, T.V. Tag, toilet tag, etc.  One summer we got all the kids in the neighborhood to play every night.

Glow in the Dark Hunt
It doesn't have to be Easter to have a hunt in the backyard!

Watch a Meteor Shower or Star Gaze
Check to see when the next meteor shower or special space related event is happening in your area.

Climb a Tree
It amazes me how many children have never done this!
Wear a helmet and take safety precautions.

Roller Skate/blade
Helmets, helmets, helmets!

Fire Pit
There's just something about sitting around a fire.  Sing songs, play campfire games, tell scary stories, or roast marshmallows and hot dogs.  We like these retractable roasting sticks, they are easy to pack around.  Take all safety precautions around fire.

Camp in the Back Yard
Growing up we often slept on our balconies or our trampoline.  When our youngest was a new baby my brother invited us to camp on his farm, since they also had a young baby.  We pitched tents and had a fire pit.  The kids had a blast.

There are camping sites for all types of people.  Cabins, KOA, National/State Parks, off the grid, etc. Get outdoors, it's good for your health.

Visit a National/State Park

Road Trip


Take a walk

Fly a Kite/Make a Kite
We love the double stringed stunt kites by WindNSun.  They are so easy to control and get into the air.

Bike Ride

Demolition Derby
We attended our first demolition derby last summer.  It was so much fun!  There's just something about watching cars wreck each other.  I recommend you attend at least demolition derby I your life.

We love Karaoke in our house.  We like to sing Car-aoke in the car on long road trips.  You can use your mounted screens, portable dvd player, tablets (kindle), phone, or laptop.  Here is a fun microphone you can use with multiple devices by AOBO. We have a large library of CDGs, but you can find songs with words on

Pink Flamingo Prank your friends and neighbors.

Flip a Coin Car Adventure
Have the kids flip a coin for a set amount of time and see where it takes you. Heads you turn left, tails you turn right.  The driver should not be the one flipping the coin.

Geo Caching

Scavenger Hunt

Funny Pictures
Get your friends together and take some funny pictures.  We like to raid the Halloween and dress up bins for really great combinations.

Father's Day Photo Shoot
We got together everything we could find that had to do with Dads.  We made a gift basket with a cute or funny matching picture attached to each item.

Crazy Shopping Trip
Dress in funny clothes and go shopping or out to eat.  Get out those Halloween costumes or just completely mismatch everything and do your hair crazy.  You can have a lot of fun with this activity.  My friends and I once dressed up like we were pregnant when I was 16.  We ran into my friends old stuffy church teacher who gave us some very shocked looks, but we never said anything, it was pretty funny.

Swim Lessons
It's one of the most important lessons you can give your kids or family.

Backyard Pool

Put a hose on your swing set's slide and a kiddie pool at the bottom.
This can make the slide really fast, so take precautions.

Swimming in Nature

Swim at the swim beach of your local lake or ocean.

Hike to a Swim Hole or Hot Pool

Cliff Diving

Take precautions of rocks and dangers below.

Tube Down a River

I recommend a life jacket and water shoes. 
Wait until the river slows down after spring runoff.


Build a sand city at beach or backyard sandbox. 
Or you could build sand sculptures and have a contest. 

Fairy Sand Village

We once built a fairy village in our sand box.  That night I put glow in the dark sticks in the houses and had the kids look through the window of our home to see the fairies.

Mud Pie Kitchen
Make a spot in the backyard where the kids can make mud.  Give them old pots, pans and utensils to play in the mud with.  Purchase supplies at your local thrift store if you don't have old kitchen supplies.

Water Parks

Water Balloon Fight
These Bunch O Balloons are so much easier than your average water balloon.  No more tying balloons.

Paint fight

 Make Marshmallow guns and have a war.

Start a Garden or try growing something new.


Enter or Hold a Side Walk Chalk Contest

Tie Dye Shirts

Make Towel Swimming Bag

Drink Pouch Bags

Build a Totem Pole

cut your own long hair

Sharpie tie dye

Sharpie Tie Dye
Draw on a white cotton T-shirt with a sharpie marker.  Spray your design with rubbing alcohol and watch it bleed into a tie dyed looking design,

Bleach Art T-shirts
You draw on a colored T-shirt using a bleach pen.  Let sit a few minutes then wash off.  The bleach pen will either remove the color, lighten the color, or change the color depending on your shirts color.  Great idea for a camp shirt.
Bleach shirts

Paint Rocks

penny bracelet

Make Corn Husk Dolls.  Fun craft for Heritage Days.

Make Candles

Faux Stained Glass

Nature Crafts
Go on a scavenger hunt and make a craft with the items you find.
It might be a picture, a sculpture, or even a Fairy Garden.

Start a Craft Club
You can take turns being in charge and holding a craft day.

Rainy Day Activities:

Dancing in the Rain
How fun is it to dance and play in the warm summer rain. 
Do not play in rain with lightening or other dangers.

Build a Mega Fort
Blanket Fort

Have a Nerf War
nerf party

Make a YouTube Video

Either a tutorial or something for fun.  My girls favorite thing to do with their cousins.

Spa Day

Get those kids to read this summer.  Check your local library, most offer fun activities in the summer.

Make Paper Dolls

Camp in the family room
With a fake fire and sleeping bags in a mega fort.
Make S'mores using marshmallow fluff and Nutella on graham crackers.

Indoor movie night in your sleeping bag.

Crazy Comix

Board Games
Our favorites are SkipBo, Sequence, Uno Attack, Spoons, etc.

Party Games

Pie Eating Contest

Leg Wrestling

Volunteer Ideas:
It is so very important to teach your kids to give back to the community when they are young.

volunteer kids

Lemonade/Snowcone/Candy/Popcorn Stand for Charity
Earn money for a charity of your choice through selling items.  We found that candy actually sells better then the traditional lemonade in our neighborhood.

Book Exchange

Have everyone bring their old books and then they can take a different one.

Uniform Exchange

Hold a uniform exchange for your local school.  Set up tables and people can put out their old uniforms and take others.

Pick Weeds for a park, City, or Neighbor

Mow lawn for a neighbor in need

Visit Grandparents/or Nursing home, if you no longer have grandparents

Feed the homeless/give water/kits/sunscreen

Pay for the car behind you at a drive-thru

Random Acts of Kindness

Neighbor Treat

Take a treat to someone you don't know well, make a new friend.

Secret Service Mustache

We took our local church group out and all wore mustaches.  We walked around our community and just did random acts of kindness when we saw a need.  We put newspapers on porches, put away garbage cans that were still on the curb, picked and killed weeds, picked up dog poop, swept the sidewalk, picked up rocks that were in the road, etc.  Now our neighborhood is pretty close and we know all our neighbors, so we knew they would be ok with our small acts of kindness.  Not everyone appreciates your kindness, so take precautions on what you decide to do.

Find places to volunteer through


slow cooker peanuts

Homemade Ice Cream

Ice Cream in a Bag

Roast Marshmallows and  more

Dutch Oven Cooking

Campfire cooking

Tin Foil Hobo Dinners

Homemade Popsicles

Homemade Salsa


Have a Great Summer, but be safe and smart about it!

*Take safety precautions for all activities.

What is safe and fun in one community, might not be in another. 

Adult supervision is recommended for all activities.

Enjoy them at your own risk!

We'd love to hear any of your ideas, leave us a comment.