Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

Family Coasters

Posted on: October 11th, 2012 by ssteinruck No Comments

You know when you go to a party, and you put your name on a plastic cup so you (and everyone else) knows whose cup is whose? Well, I need to do this in my house. My kids will easily fill up the top rack in the dishwasher in one day if I don't catch them and tell them to reuse their cups.

One of my latest projects solves this problem. And as usual, I found the idea on Pinterest and shamelessly copied it. It's a family coaster tray. And my first attempt at this project was for my BFF and her family.

Problem solved...that is...if they remember to use it! Definitely making one for my crew too!

Yarn Letter

Posted on: January 19th, 2012 by ssteinruck No Comments

I was curious. I've seen all the fabulous yarn wrapped letters on Pinterest. But I can't find the letters at any of my local craft stores. I've heard Hobby Lobby has them, but sadly, I do not have a Hobby Lobby nearby. (sniffle, tear.) Then I found this tutorial using cardboard to make the letters. I can do that. I have cardboard boxes.

I printed my letter (S) and cut it out. I traced it twice on a piece of cardboard and cut them out too. My exacto knife is now dull.

And now I have a bonus cardboard stencil, should I ever need one.

Then I used the scraps of cardboard to make "sides" and taped them to the letters, making a 3-D letter. I did not do sides all the way around - just enough to add support and create a relatively solid letter to wrap around. I'm also fairly confident in saying that my letter - S - is one of the harder ones. An "L" seems like it would be way easier, without all the curves. I bet B's are hard too.

I cut short pieces of yarn to go over the ends, and hot glued them in place.

Then I just started wrapping. And wrapping. And wrapping. I wasn't going for a super tailored look. I just wanted the yarn to cover the cardboard and look neat, but casual. A dab of hot glue on the back side secured the end.

Not sure where I'll put it yet. I'm thinking about hanging it with ribbon from the mirror over the fireplace. Or possibly setting it on one of our ledge shelves along with the photos there.

It was a very easy project. I'd like to do more letters and make a yarn wrapped "LOVE" and maybe "JOY" for other holidays. I could do the kids' initials too.

How would you use your letter?

Ribbon Storage

Posted on: January 11th, 2012 by ssteinruck No Comments

I recently spent some time in my studio (a.k.a. our dining room) taking inventory, which is another way of saying it was such a mess I had no idea what I had in there. Now it's organized. I have a lot of ribbon. I'm a recovering ribbon addict. I fully admit to buying ribbon on sale with no specific project in mind. I can't stop myself when ribbon is on sale. (Help.) There are tons of different ways to organize ribbon - some would work for me, some would not.

Source: http://minimozblog.blogspot.com/

Source: http://shannonjaredwight.blogspot.com/

Source: http://www.amazingpapergrace.com/

The system I use seems to be working, so I'm not going to mess with it. Nothing fancy. Just plastic shoebox size bins, somewhat sorted by color.

I use a pin to hold the end in so the spool doesn't unravel. Ribbon gets used to make hair bows and headbands, mostly. Occasionally I'll use some to tie a label or tag on something, if I'm trying to be all "Martha".

 

I do sell these headbands and/or hairbows (though I don't have the bows pictured). Headbands are $7. Bows range from $3-5, plus shipping. If you're interested, contact me, and we can figure out colors. They make very nice gifts and can be custom made to match outfits, holidays, etc.

 

Christmas Cone Trees

Posted on: December 16th, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

Whew! What a couple of weeks! I think, as of this very moment anyway, we are all on the way to good health....several trips to the doctor and multiple antibiotics later. I finally feel like maybe - just maybe - I can get my craft on once again. So here's a quick, easy, and inexpensive Christmas craft that even the kids could do.

Cone Trees. You've seen them. On Pinterest. Right? The styrofoam cones wrapped in yarn or with sparkly goodness glued on them? Yes, those. Well, I am trying not to spend money (perfect time of year for it, right?!) but I really wanted to try one of these trees. So I got creative and went digging through our recycle bin.

Cheerios. Fruity Cheerios. The kids' favorite.  And I guess because it's "Cheerios" it seems healthier than Fruit Loops. (?) A few cuts and folds of the cereal box and some bright orange ductape, and I had 3 cone trees ready to be wrapped.

In keeping with my free project goal, I went to my stash of yarn and found this fuzzy white yarn that would be fun. It's actually a little hard to knit with - it sheds - so I had no problem using it for this project. And with my love for jute, I had to try a tree with the all-natural-earthy look too. I used hot glue for the beginning and the end. I don't think it really matters, but I started at the top and worked my way down. For the white trees, I went from top to bottom back to top, to fill in and make it look fluffy and snowy.

You like?! I got 3 trees from one cereal box. I just might have to do some more. Easy. And free. For me - since I eat cereal and have a stash of yarn and jute.

Here's hoping no one in our house gets sick over the weekend! Is all your shopping done? I'm done and ready to start wrapping! Ho ho ho!

Teacher Gifts

Posted on: December 6th, 2011 by ssteinruck 3 Comments

This year when brainstorming for gifts for my kids' teachers, I went to the best source around. You guessed it: Pinterest. There are so many creative and inexpensive gift ideas out there - it was tough to pick one. The Post-It Present, from Paper Wings, stood out to me as being both useful and cute, not to mention easy and inexpensive. I have done gift cards in the past, but now with everyone in school with 2 teachers each, it's just too expensive.

Walmart had 5x7 plastic frames for 97 cents. I picked up some pretty scrapbook paper and cut two 5x7 pieces out of each for my six frames. I had ribbon to go with each design, and I purchased a pack of colorful post-it notes. I actually took a scrap of each paper with me to see if I could coordinate colors. I had trouble keeping the post-it notes on the frame with just the sticky part of the post-it. So I used some double-sided tape and that seems to be holding.

Teacher gifts. Check!

 

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Road Trip Activities for Kids

Posted on: November 28th, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

Many people travel around the holidays to visit family and friends. We were in that group this year, and took a long torturous adventurous drive to NYC for Thanksgiving last week.  (Once we were there, it was great - it's the getting there - and getting home that's rough.) But this year, I took the bull by the horns. I searched for car-friendly kid activities to help us get through the 12-ish hour trip. I went to my go-to, Pinterest.

Of course, I was not disappointed. There are lots of ideas on there! My favorite ones involve bingo and magnets. Oh how I love the idea of things staying put and not flying all over our car. Road Trip Bingo, compliments of Kimberly, the Homemaking Expert, is fabulous! She has six different printable bingo cards -  for free! (Thanks Kimberly!) The Alphabet Search and Slug Bug games are also free at Prepared Not Scared - her travel bag ideas are fantastic!

The idea for the magnetic activity tray came from the girls over at Ladybird Ln. They made several magnetic activity sets using mostly dollar store finds! So the Bear and I went on a mission to make some variation of these for our trip.

We found inexpensive cake pans at Dollar General. I like these because they are deep and can double as a tray for meals on the go, so less things end up on the floor. (Very old french fries, gummies, and goldfish have formed a colony under the back seat of our van.) At the Dollar Tree, we picked up magnetic wooden letters. For $1. Love it! So I got 3 pans, and 3 sets of letters.

  

Knowing that we take these long trips occasionally, I wanted the activity trays and games to last. So I splurged and got self laminating sheets at Walmart and laminated all of my print outs. This would also allow you to use a dry erase marker to play, but I do not want my kids in the car with an open marker of any kind. I'll stick to magnets for now.

After laminating all the games, I put self adhesive magnet strips on the back of each. I just cut the magnetic sheets I had in my stash. The kids picked from my scrapbook paper and I punched out circles using my Creative Memories small circle punch. Which, by the way, is a  perfect fit for those 3/4" round craft magnets. I used my glue gun to attach the paper circles to the magnets. Not sure if that was the best option - Mod Podge may give you smoother results. Next time I'll try that.

Next I trimmed down an plain manilla folder and used double sided tape to attach coordinating scrapbook paper to fit the bottom of the pan. I sealed up the sides with packing tape - to create a pocket for the extra game cards. Then I attached the manilla folder to the bottom of the pan with double sided tape. My last step was to place a small self-adhesive magnetic strip on the inside of the pocket to hold it closed so game cards don't fall into the colony thriving under the seat.

The magnetic letters are not that strong - they kept falling off the pan. So in an effort to save them from the colony as well, I used very random scrap fabric and some string to create little pouches to hold the letters. Side note: I often wonder what other blogging moms do with their kids while they work on all their projects. In case you were too, the Bear was right by my side. She was my product tester.

So each child has their own pan, set of games, their unique color of magnet, and a pouch for letters. Do you like how I used tissue boxes and library books to prop up the pans for my photo? Nice. Ha!

Everyone has their own. Everyone can identify their own. No arguing over who's is who's. Bliss.

Mod Podged Bowl

Posted on: November 18th, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

I'm still a beginner Mod Podger. But I really really like it! I posted about repurposing plastic food containers awhile back. Well here is another project I did with a small container.

I used a scrap of fabric, and just folded it up around and inside the bowl, trimming where I needed to. I Mod Podged it to the plastic, then sealed the outside with Mod Podge so it's smooth. The pattern on the fabric is very easy to work with - no stripes to match up or anything. And it matches my first Mod Podge project. A few more things done in this fabric, and I'll have a complete matching set of organizing containers!

Happy Friday! Have a great weekend!

Hydrangea Flower Ball

Posted on: November 15th, 2011 by ssteinruck 1 Comment

A few weeks ago, I posted about the flower "kissing ball" I made to hang on the Bear's door. Well, after that project I was so excited to try different variations! One of my favorite flowers is the hydrangea. I love the dainty petals and variety of colors and shades even on one bloom.

I picked up Martha Stewart's Hydrangea punch, pretty scrapbook paper, and some white headed pins. Then I punched and punched and punched out what felt like a million of those little petals. I was going for variation on the flower, so I used two colors, and stacked them, alternating which color was on top.

I had a 6" styrofoam ball in my stash. So once I had a bunch of flowers assembled, I pinned them into the styrofoam. Again, this was pretty time consuming. And I did not do the whole thing in one sitting. Or two. But I love the result! I plan to incorporate this into one of the girls' rooms - not sure which yet!

This idea has been featured on lots of blogs like this one, and here too. So I don't claim originality on this one. I just love being inspired by fellow bloggers!

(Re) Using What You Have

Posted on: November 14th, 2011 by ssteinruck No Comments

Our family likes applesauce. We usually make a huge batch in the fall and freeze it in hopes that it will last the year. It never does. So we inevitably end up buying jars from the store with whatever coupon we have at that time.

I was rinsing one out for the recycle bin when I noticed how nicely my scrub brush fit inside - concealing the ugly brush part and making it easy to grab the handle. Hmmm...

So I took off the label and cleaned off the sticky stuff. Then I shook up a can of cream spray paint I had and gave the jar a few coats, with drying time in between coats. I don't have one of those amazing Silhouettes for vinyl, so I used what I had - some basic letter stencils - and traced an "S" (for our last name) onto the jar. A pro probably would have taken the time to paint on the stencil. But I took my black sharpie and filled in the outline of the letter.

To finish it off, I wrapped jute around the top. (I know, jute. Again. I love this stuff!) Now it sits beside my kitchen sink with my scrub brush at the ready. No more hunting around a pile of dirty dishes and mucky water in search of that scrub brush!

I had everything I needed, so the cost to make it was free! Well, we had to buy the applesauce initially, but even that was inexpensive with a coupon. Have you reused jars for something fun? Please comment and share - I'm always looking for new ideas!

 

Picture Frame Wreath

Posted on: November 10th, 2011 by ssteinruck 2 Comments

My front door was severely lacking in Fall spirit - my favorite season. Something had to be done. My mom gave me an 8x10 frame - no glass, no back, just a frame that needed some gluing to repair the corners. I'm pretty sure she was going to pitch it. But I gladly took it off her hands, gave a little TLC, and it was ready for its transformation into a wreath.

First I cut and wrapped batting around it. Nothing neat and tidy, because it wasn't going to be visible - the batting was just to give the frame wreath a little bulk.

Given my new found love of jute, I started wrapping it around - not too tight because I wanted to keep the bulkiness. The wreath base looked good - very natural, which was the look I was going for.

But it needed a little pop. Naturally, I went to Pinterest to look for ideas and tutorials. I found amazing pictures and some excellent tutorials on how to create flowers on Miles of Sunshine and on Holidash. Ahh Pinterest. It's my new Google. So I picked up some felt pieces at Michael's. Yes, it's a bit tedious, cutting out all those little pieces and gluing each one individually. It's a good "while you're watching tv" project. But I think the final product was well worth it!

The best part is that I attached these flowers with a safety pin, which means I can use this wreath for just about any holiday or season, just by switching out the embellishments. I'm starting to think Christmas...ornaments? Small wrapped presents? Snow flakes? Lots of fun Christmas/Winter ideas to think about!

Repurposed Food Storage Containers

Posted on: November 9th, 2011 by ssteinruck 8 Comments

Recently, I decided to purge several plastic food storage containers due to scratches, stains, missing lids, etc. I made the switch to Pyrex when they went on sale at Kohls, and I had that coveted 30% off coupon. But I had a hard time throwing away those old containers. Surely they could be used for something!

So I got my craft on and hot-glued jute around them, inside and out. Starting at the bottom of the outside, I worked my way up and around to the bottom of the inside. The jute (and the glue - lots of it) added weight to the bowl, which is now reborn as a little basket. After I finished the first layer of jute, I added some handles and extra weight around the lip of the former container. So then I did a square one too. And I have a pile of old containers just waiting to be repurposed into fabulous little baskets and bowls.

Oooh! Aren't they cute!? No more left-overs in these babies! I can't decide what to put in them or how to display them, but I know I'm going to do more. I may try using a chunky yarn too. Or I could do a stripe. So. Many. Possibilities!

What would you do?

 

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About Susan

Susan I am a stay-at-home mom with three great kids, a fabulous husband, a cat, and a dog. I enjoy making things (but not cooking), painting, rearranging furniture (that one is genetic), organizing, purging, and most things DIY. Thanks for stopping by! More »