Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

12 Different Easter Egg Dyes & Crafts

Saturday, April 23, 2011 1:37 No Comments

Stuck for last minute egg dying and crafty ideas to do with those hardboiled eggs before Sunday?  Here are some quick ways to dye Easter eggs – mostly with using stuff right in your cupboards, so you don’t have to buy one of those fancy kits for each of your kids.

Are you trying to avoid food coloring this year with your Easter eggs?  Here is how to make Tissue Paper Easter eggs - the tissue paper is the dye, so no messy containers full of dye just waiting to be spilled!

Has your daughter been eyeing up those fancy glitter Easter egg kits?  Here is how to make glitter Easter eggs them at home without having to buy a whole kit just for the glitter effect.

If your kids are more on the groovy side of things, make some fun tie-dyed Easter eggs!

Strive to Simplify has some great information on how to use natural vegetable dyes to dye Easter eggs. She has a great chart on vegetables for different dye colors, such as using red inion skinds for red easter egg dye and spinach leaves for green, which were two I knew about, but she also has quite ingenious ones I never would have thought of like hibiscus tea for purple and paprika for orange. Highly recommended!

Mama Knows has some fun Easter Egg holder printables… print them out, have your kids color them up, then they have their own holders for their Easter eggs to show them off!

Cynthia Schaffer has eggs made by painting eggs with chalkboard paint and then decorating them with chalk.  Pretty ingenious!

Measured by the Heart has eggs done by using your glue gun to make patterns on Easter eggs before dying them.

The Come Together Kids blog has a different spin on Easter eggs for your craftier kids.  These are not decorating hardboiled eggs, but a very clever Easter egg fabric batik which is done with glue.

Want to get in on the fun or have older kids who think regular Easter egg dying is too babyish?  Missy Polyclay has some great looking Easter eggs made by gluing embroidery thread (ie DMC or Anchor thread) onto eggs, wrapping them in a single layer from top to bottom.

Budget Barbie has these fun eggs made with water balloons for the eggs and wrapped with yarn.  I bet some boys could have a fun Easter egg water balloon fight with these!

Definitely Deals has this cute Easter egg tree.

And lastly, what is an Easter egg hunt without having a cute bag for putting those eggs in?  Purl Bee has these cute Easter Egg hunt bags that you can easily whip up if you are a sewer.

Have you forgotten how to make the perfect hard boiled egg?  Or hate when they turn out with those green yolks kids love to hate?  Here is our simple way of making green free hardboiled eggs!

Don’t forget that for food safety, you should never leave Easter eggs out at room temperature for more than a couple of hours if you plan to eat them!


This was posted under category: Crafts, Holidays

Simplicity’s Simply Teen line of home decor patterns

Monday, April 18, 2011 7:08 1 Comment

I admit that I generally don’t flip through the sewing pattern books and look at home decor… because the vast majority of it looks like something a Grandma-type would sew with a ton of lace and ruffles in old-fashioned print fabrics.  But a fabric store location closed out and they sent all their patterns – albiet in a disorganized mess – to the fabric store near me. 

So while I went searching through the patterns to see if anything caught my eye (and how can it not when you can buy the expensive Vogue designer patterns for $3.99!) I discovered that Simplicity has a Simply Teen line of home decor patterns for teens and their bedrooms.

This is one of the Simplicity patterns I got (Simplicity 5124 is the other one), my daughter is itching for me to make her a beanbag chair for her bedroom.  And at 4 1/4 yards of fabric, if I can pick up something she likes off the bargain section, it will be a totally economical bean bag chair for well under $10 (well, depending on how much the packing peanuts cost, but I hope to get them free).  It would also make a great inexpensive but pretty darn cool present for your kid’s friends, or even just to make a few for the family room for lounging around on.  I don’t know if you have ever priced out nice bean bag chairs, but they run well over $100!

If you sew, definitely keep your eyes out for this line if you are looking for un-Grandma-like home decor to sew.  It looks as though Simply Teen line had a few other patterns as well but seem to be out of print, sigh.  Murphys law!  I have a couple other sewing projects to complete, then it will be bean bag chair time… probably do it as a nice end of the school year present for my daughter.


This was posted under category: Crafts

40 Thanksgiving Day crafts & activities for kids

Tuesday, November 25, 2008 3:54 1 Comment

Need some crafts and activities to keep the kids occupied and busy while the turkey cooks?  Or some easy decorations they can make for some frugal Thanksgiving decor?  We have scoured the web, and here are 40 of the fantastic Turkey Day crafts we have found.

  1. Make salt dough gingerbead boys & girls ahead of time, then the kids can decorate them for the tree.
  2. Pumpkin pie playdough
  3. Playdough turkeys (cute and you can use the above pumpkin pie playdough with it!)
  4. Construction paper & feathers turkey
  5. Handprint turkeys (I remember these from when I was really young!)
  6. Turkey spoon craft & more turkey spoon crafts
  7. Rice Krispie turkeys – great for those who love rice krispie squares!  And you could use them as bribery that they get to eat them after they have had their dinners!
  8. Really cute turkey finger puppets
  9. Paper bag turkey
  10. Thanksgiving coloring pages
  11. Make turkey counting books - great for toddlers.
  12. Thanksgiving memory game
  13. Coffee filter turkeys
  14. Thankful can & thankful turkey
  15. Make your own candy canes – do this craft to get ready for Christmas!
  16. Cereal box turkeys
  17. Turkeys made from paper plates
  18. Indian Corn artwork
  19. Thanksgiving Day place cards
  20. Corn placemats and thankful tree
  21. Recycled turkey placecards
  22. Turkey pops
  23. Vintage Thanksgiving cards to print
  24. Inexpensive Thanksgiving decor
  25. Thanksgiving Day “Thankful” nature banner (great way to get the kids outside!)
  26. Turkey nut holder
  27. Draw pictures of the Macy’s Day Parade floats – then use them for Christmas cards
  28. Adorable Thanksgiving tree
  29. Turkey hats
  30. Handprint turkey softie
  31. Thanksgiving placemats to color
  32. Pinecone turkey
  33. Patchwork trivet
  34. Pipe cleaner turkey table favors
  35. Thanksgiving Day skits – great for your budding actors and actresses
  36. Make crayons in harvest colors
  37. Turkey cookies & more turkey cookies
  38. Turkey centerpieces out of old gloves
  39. Tampon turkey Thanksgiving centerpiece – this is hysterical!

And lastly, the top five Thanksgiving Day movies from Reader’s Digest, if they get to watch a bit of television.

Have more crafts to share?  Please include them in your comments so we can share them with our readers!  Don’t forget to sign up for our RSS, and you’ll also be entered to win a free exclusive MomsBudget Holiday Planner – draw is on November 20th.


This was posted under category: Crafts, Holidays

Make cookie cutter gift tags

Monday, November 17, 2008 2:47 No Comments

These cookie cutter gift tags look great on presents, they add personality to your gifts, and they can completely dress up those plain inexpensive gift bags too.

To make them, buy a set of inexpensive Christmas cookie cutters… you usually see them sold in plastic tubs of 25 or 30 different cookie cutters for anywhere between $3 and $10.  Make sure they are the shaped cookie cutters, and not the ones that imprint the design on the top of the cookies when you cut them.  Or you can buy the single sale ones, which is nice because they have the top on them so you can attach them easily to the gift bag (like ours above).

Now, does your cookie cutter have a back on it, such as a handle?  Or is it completely cut out?  In other words, is there something on the backing you can use to secure the tag to or not?

If there is a backing: Place the cookie cutter on construction paper or thicker plain paper and lightly trace the outline on the INSIDE of the cookie cutter with a pencil.  Then using scissors, carefully cut just inside of your traced line.  Write the name and anything else on the tag.  If there is NOT a hanging tab, hole punch the tag near the top (you will put ribbon through this to secure it to the bag).  Then glue to the backing to secure.

If there is NOT a backing: Place the cookie cutter on construction paper or thicker plain paper and lightly trace the outline on the OUTSIDE of the cookie cutter with a pencil.  Then using scissors, carefully cut just inside of your traced line.  Write the name and anything else on the tag.  If there is NOT a hanging tab, hole punch the tag near the top (you will put ribbon through this to secure it to the bag) . Then put glue lightly along the edges of the cookie cutter and carefully secure the tag to the back of the cutter.

If you have hanging tab on the cookie cutter, you can string the ribbon through and secure it to the gift bag.  If you made a hole punch, string ribbon through the whole to secure it.

These gift tags are really unique, and both kids and adults will love them.  Try and chose the best cookie cutter to suit each person, such as a tree shape for someone who works in construction, the train for your little budding train engineer or an angel for your fairy-loving little girls.


This was posted under category: Crafts, Holidays

Quick inexpensive way to wrap baked breads for gifts

Friday, November 14, 2008 14:43 1 Comment

One way to make a great present without spending much money is to bake a loaf of holiday bread, and then wrap it up using a wonderful plaid dishcloth (new, of course!). Try and pick festive colors, both reds and greens are easy to find, even when it isn’t the holidays. You can usually get them in large packs – the one this came from was a pack of 15 for $5 or so. Or if you are a knitter, you can knit your own, just make sure they are large enough to wrap the loaf.  Plus, you won’t get those pesky grease marks showing like what tends to happen when you wrap baked goods in paper.

Wrap the dish cloth around the bread (we had a baked pumpkin spice bread inside), and then do the ends as if you were wrapping a present.

Then tuck both ends over, then secure with butcher’s twine or ribbon. We had extra twine from doing a turkey, so it is an easy thing to use to tie it together. You can also use raffia if you have any leftover from other crafts. Loop it around the loaf and tie a bow, just as you would with ribbon.

Then add the gift card, and you are done! You can then place it in a gift bag if you wish, but it is good enough for gift giving as it is!

This also works great for a hostess gift when going to someone’s house for a holiday dinner or party, and it isn’t nearly as expensive as bringing a bottle of wine!  If you make fruitcake, this wrapping technique will also work well for that too.

Also, here are some various pumpkin spice bread recipes you can use!
Spice Bread
Gluten free pumpkin chai bread
Pumpkin cream cheese bread (this one is making me drool!)
Rosemary-Polenta Pumpkin Spice Cake (this one struck me as so unusual!  Recipe Girl has a great commentary about it, you can find her link to the actual recipe at the end of her blog post)
Ginger Pumpkin Bread (token healthy version from WebMD blog!!!)


This was posted under category: Crafts, Holidays Tags: , ,

Make your own Reusable Sandwich Wrap

Saturday, October 25, 2008 1:16 2 Comments

Do you like the idea of Wrap-n-Mat so you don’t have to use so many plastic baggies, use up plastic wrap or wash as many plastic containers? Unfortunately, Wrap-n-Mats can be hard to find – I have yet to actually see one in a store!  They are quite economical to purchase, but you can also make your own version for lunches if you want some different fabric styles.

There are several tutorials available online. Crazy Mumma has intructions along with photos of her version of reusable sandwich wrap, CraftZine has one (which totally reminds me of the unbleached earth-friendly fabric with a bit of a print on it and eHow has one too.  Blog with Alex used a vinyl table cloth, red checkered of course, to line hers with, so it was very easy to wipe down and reuse. 

And, there is an added bonus, these also act like a placemat, which is good if your child (or hubby!) tends to be one who drops crumbs all over the place!


This was posted under category: Crafts, Make your own Tags: , ,

Things to do with all those wine corks you are saving

Friday, October 24, 2008 12:38 5 Comments

Do you have a habit of saving the cork from bottles of wine to remember special ocassions, or simply keep them because you know there has to be a great idea out there to recycle them?  I have some corks saved (and am now wishing I had even more!) because this is one of the most ingenious ideas I have seen to do with corks!

Re-Nest, (via Craft Gossip) a blog with plenty of ideas for those wanting a “green home”, has the instructions here.  Inspiration turn Design has another style of corkboard, but on a much larger scale.

And just as much, I love these wine cork trivets, another great way to show off your wine corks, and I like that this one takes advantage of the sides of the corks too.  Here is another cork trivet from Martha Stewart, but I like the first one better!  And Darning Diva has another kind of cork trivet which is super, super simple to make, so you can even get your kids to do or help with this one.

You could also make a wine cork wreath to hang on your door or for decoration.

Another really interesting idea, and one your younger kids would probably have a lot of fun with, is using corks to make button stamps from Her Cup Overfloweth .  You can then stamp cards/paper/etc with all kinds of unique buttons you have collected over the years, or you can buy a mixed bag of buttons fairly inexpensively at places like WalMart and craft stores.  You can also carefully carve a design into the wine top and use the top itself as a stamp.

Chica and Joe have a cute wine cork basket they designed using an old wicker basket.  This would be perfect for making up a gift basket for any wine lover on your list.  Add a couple bottles of wine, some glasses, wine charms, bottle toppers, etc, and you have a fabulous gift basket to give someone for Christmas, a birthday or any other special event.  It would also make a cute hostess gift too!

eHow has a couple crafts with wine corks - a Christmas tassel ornament and a few others.  And there is this cute Rudoph the Red Nose Reindeer made out of wine corks.

Not sure what to do with your wine bottles in the mean time?  La Petite Chic shows off what she does with her wine corks to turn them into a great home decor piece.

And last, not a craft per se, but a cute idea… a wine cork USB drive, for the wine loving geek in all of us :)

So next time you have a bottle of wine, save the cork for one of these great projects.  If you are impatient, ask around, because a lot of people tend to save them, then don’t know what to do with them afterwards!


This was posted under category: Crafts Tags: , , , , ,

Make pencil pockets for your notebooks & other notebook cover crafts

Thursday, October 23, 2008 17:06 2 Comments

I use notebooks all the time, but those spiral bindings don’t easily hold pens, and in my purse it seems I either have no pens or about eighteen of them!  I was on the Knitting & Sewing & Other Stuff blog and saw she had made these awesome pencil pockets for notebooks. Basically, they are fabric with some elastic, made into a long sleeve-like pocket for holding a pen or pencil in, so they attach right to the cover, or around the entire notebook if you also want to use it to keep the notebook closed.  She found it on Whip It Up, another great place to find crafting ideas, if you don’t already read it.

The tutorial to make them is on Flickr, and they are amazingly easy to make.

Also reminded me of these cute Denim Pencil Pockets I saw on Kid Crafts Magazine this summer, the instructions are on the Family Fun site. Essentially, you cut out the denim pocket (and the backing on the jeans, so you still have the “pocket” when you cut it out)  from  a pair of old jean, decorate it up with embroidery, glitter glue, etc, and attach magnets and they magnetize for a locker. I remembered these because I thought it would be a cute way to keep a few pen in the kitchen, and put on the fridge so I could always find them!

And along the same lines is this Notebook Cover from the Craft Blog.

I am also knitting the Knitted Notebook Cover (Ravelry link) from the book 101 Designer One-Skein Wondersalthough I am making it slightly different size to fit the same size of books as beginning chapter books (ala Magic Treehouse book size).   If crochet is more your thing, there is the Crochet Book Sox / Cover and Stylish Book Cover.

I have this Creative Journal from the Dreams of Yarn blog on my to-do list to give my daughter for Christmas, since she loves all things journalling right now, I am going to buy a notebook and a set of those sparkly glitter pens to put in the pen slots. I might do a matching one for her best friend too. The full instructions are here on One Red Robin, it is an incredibly easy gift to make.

And there is the Patchwork Paper Notebook Cover, which uses scrapbook paper to make a nicer notebook cover than the one that was on it when you bought it.  This is also a great one for your kids to make, because they can personalize it themselves. nd it is also a good project to put all those little pieces of leftover scrapbook paper to use.

Like patchwork quilts? If you are a quilter, I like these notebooks from Craft Apple, and Southern Knit Wit has shown how hers turned out.

If I have linked to any of your projects, I am happy to include a picture of your project here, just comment below and I will add it :)


This was posted under category: Crafts Tags: , , , , ,

Halloween Trick or Treat Bags to Make

Thursday, October 23, 2008 3:13 3 Comments

Halloween is just over a week away, and if you have kids, they are very likely awaiting the big trick or treat event!  Want something a little different than the same old plastic Halloween bags that you pick up each year at someplace like Target for your kids to put their candy in?  Here are some different things to use and make for a Halloween Trick or Treat bags this year.

Boo Bag
This is what I am making my daughter this year… and see that white?  It is GLOW IN THE DARK!   It is a fairly easy pattern to follow, and the glow in the dark yarn isn’t that much more expensive.  And the pattern is free from Bernat.

Not quite up to doing the switching colors mid-row?  Why not do a stripe black and white pattern instead, changing colors every 4-6 rows, and follow the pattern for the shape? 

The Bernat Glow in the Dark Yarn comes in white (shown in the pic), pink, blue, purple, green and yellow.  There are some other free patterns there that use this same wool, including a cute crochet star in the glow in the dark yellow that I am sure will make it on many Christmas trees this year!

Cowboy style Trick or Treat Bags
These bags are so cute!  They are sewn out of cowboy-ish fabric to give them quite the rustic look.  Any tote pattern could be used to make something like this.  And I really like how she lined them in red, made a great contrast.

Easy Trick or Treat Bags at Crafty Mom Blog
She gives us some great ideas for making trick or treat bags, including fabric tote bags, such as the Cowboy style ones, along with using different ideas, such as a bucket or a decorated gift bag or shopping bag.

Trick or Treat Spider Bags
These are kind of small, but perfect for the few houses a toddler is likely to last through!  There are instructions for these cute spiders at Ramblings of a Crazy Woman and Blissful Kids.

Quilted Trick or Treat Bags
These bags are favorites of mine too, and I might have done this if I hadn’t seen the Boo Bag first!  And this will last for years to come as a trick or treat bag, or even for bringing in Halloween treats to the office for your co-workers.  Extremely detailed instructions are here, so if you are still relatively new to quilting, there are instructions every step of the way.  Isn’t Halloween quilting fabric just the cutest?

Collection of Trick or Treat Bags
Two different styles here, one a regular tote, one a decorated large tin can.  Be sure to scroll down to where she has her Fall and Halloween themed scrapbook layouts, if you are a scrapbooker in need of inspiration!

Halloween Gift Bag
This one is done in a regular gift bag, but it could be easily transfered onto a slightly more sturdy style of gift bag, to be used for trick or treating without any mishaps.

Scrapscene Halloween Scrapbooking Projects
And not trick or treat bags, per se, but I couldn’t help but share ScrapScene’s Halloween Scrapbooking Projects lists with a ton if pics and ideas… good if you are trying to figure out a design to put on a sturdy gift bag for trick or treating!

Do you have any Trick or Treat bag patterns?  Share them here so we can check them out :)


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How to harvest & roast sunflower seeds – and some other fun things to do with them

Wednesday, October 22, 2008 3:13 2 Comments

It is just towards the end of sunflower seed harvest time.  If you still have those giant sunflowers standing in the garden, you can harvest the sunflower seeds and toast them, or save the seeds for next year’s planting as well as to give to friends and family as gifts this holiday season.

First, The Big Red Kitchen made an excellent post on how to harvest and roast sunflower seeds, she includes just about everything you could possible want to know about doing the task, including a ton of very detailed photos she took of the process.  Brambleberries in the rain is just starting the process and included some good “work in progress” photos.  I am always amazed at how large some of these sunflower heads can get, although might were much closer in size to these ones this year!

Dianes Dishes has a great recipe for making whole wheat sunflower bread, which should give it a really unique flavor, especially for kids who tend to tire of whole wheat bread, especially when they are begging for white bread!

Love, Honor & Cherish has adorable Sunflower Seed Favors that can be used at weddings, but you must look at them because they have so many great ideas you can use them for, such as for place tags at Thanksgiving dinner.

Eat Real has pumpkin muffins with plenty of sunflower seeds used on top… they are making me hungry!  The recipe is on Barbaric Gulp but the pictures on Eat Real are fabulous.

RecipeZaar has a brand recipe for making your own honey roasted sunflower seeds… and these are still less expensive to make even if you buy your own sunflower seeds, than buying the seeds that have already been honey roasted.  And these would be great for giving out to trick or treaters that you know well (such as kids and family friends).

Speedvegan made sunflower pate… I admit, this was the first time I had even considered such a thing, although I knew there was such a thing as sunflower butter (in the style of peanut butter), so pate isn’t that much of a stretch!

Kopiaste has photos of Whole Wheat Rolls with Sunflower seeds, with the recipe originally from Canadian Living.

And don’t forget the birdies!  Milkweed Diaries shows some different ways to use the entire sunflower as bird “Feeders” of sorts, such as tying them on a trellis.

And just because, I follow the Getting Stitched on the Farm blog, and while I follow it for the crafty side of things mostly, she does have some awesome pics of the Moulin Rouge sunflower… a sunflower that is a deep wine color.


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