Friday, January 28, 2011

My Fruity Valentine

At the beginning of the school year (during a moment of weakness), I voluntarily agreed to be the room mom for my son's class. One of the responsibilities of being a room mom is organizing classroom parties. My son's teacher recently approached me with a request for the upcoming Valentine's Day party - please provide fruit, lots of fruit. So here are some hopefully cool ways to serve fruit to a bunch of first graders on Valentine's Day.

Idea #1: Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter, simply cut out the shape in a slice of watermelon...

You can also cut out a heart in a different type of fruit (in this case cantaloupe) and place it inside the watermelon cutout. My little guy thought this looked, and I quote, "awesome"!

Idea #2: You can psych the kids out by giving each of them heart-shaped candy boxes filled with grapes...

Idea #3: What child doesn't like things that come on a stick? Again using the heart-shaped cutter, you can make fruit kebabs.

Idea #4:
My husband thinks this is cheating because it involves chocolate, but I still think it's a good idea. First cut out 'x' and 'o' shapes in different types of fruit (I used cantaloupe and bananas) and then lightly dip them in melted chocolate - yum!

Good luck to all the other room moms out there - hope this helps!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Love Notes

I decided to be creative this year and make homemade Valentine's Day gifts for my son's teachers. So I once again turned to the internet for inspiration and found an incredibly simple craft to make - custom notepads.

Here is the original post from Skip To My Lou that explains in detail how to make the notepads. I decided to put a Valentine's Day spin on them by cutting out hearts in the paper. I used a Cricut machine, but there are punches like this one that can achieve the same look.

I alternated cutting hearts at the top and at the bottom of each page so that the paper design would "bleed" through the hearts.

One thing that I changed from the Skip To My Lou tutorial was to extend the length of the cardboard backing so that a little extra was at the top. I then punched holes in the cardboard and added ribbon to dress up the notepad a bit.

Finally, I glued a magnet on the back of the cardboard so that the notepad could be hung on a refrigerator, filing cabinet, etc...

Not only were the notepads super easy to assemble, they cost next to nothing to make. I might have mentioned that I'm kind of a hoarder, so I used leftover scrapbook paper for the pages. By the way, this is the craft that I was working on that became the inspiration for this post. More Valentine's Day crafts on the way - I just can't stop myself!

Monday, January 24, 2011

I Heart Hershey Kisses!

While creating another do-it-yourself Valentine's Day craft (future post), I was left with a ton of small cut-out hearts. My first thought was to go against my hoarder tendencies and toss them out, but they were too stinking cute to throw away!

I just bought several bags of Hershey kisses to make Valentine's Day cards for my kids (look for a future post on this as well). So I thought it would be fun to try to make the kisses look sweeter than they taste. Here's my best attempt...

This turned out to be one of the easiest things I've ever made. Simply tape the cut-out heart onto the Hershey tag - that's it!

Please check back for more easy Valentine's Day crafts soon!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Home Improvement-inspired Valentine's Day Ideas

I have spent the past 2 days trying to de-clutter my house...with very little progress I'm sad to say. I don't know if the creative side of my brain was working overtime or if I was just incredibly bored with cleaning, but somehow I kept finding inspiration for Valentine's Day crafts as I came across basic household items. So, I felt compelled to take a small break from cleaning to put together some of these ideas - and I emphasize the word 'small' because each item took very little time to make. Sorry in advance for the sappy titles for the ideas - I get a little caught up around Valentine's Day!

Idea #1: Stuck on You Card

Household Item Used - Duct Tape

I really love simple designs on cards, so I cut out a heart from a piece of red duct tape and attached it to a white card - easy!

Idea #2: Hugs & Kisses You Won't Want to Wipe Off

Household Item Used: Sponges

A while ago I read an article about making custom stamps using sponges, but never tried it until now. I cut out an 'X' and an 'O' from the sponge freehand, but after seeing them I would definitely recommend using a template!

Dip the sponge in paint and apply it onto whatever you want to embellish - in this case I used gift bags.

Idea #3: I Heart You Frame

Household Items Used: Shelf Liner & Spray Paint

I have a stash of pictures (like of the kids sitting on Santa's lap) that I only pull out at Christmas time to decorate rooms. Instead of having to change out pictures each holiday, I thought it would be cool to embellish the glass in the picture frame and change that out instead. First I cut out a heart shape using adhesive shelf liner that I found buried in a cabinet. Attach the heart-shaped liner directly onto the glass.

Then apply spray paint over the entire surface of the glass and let it dry. Once dry, remove the shelf liner heart and place the glass back in its' original frame - that's it!

That was fun, now back to cleaning...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Baby Shower

Sorry for the repost - even after doing this for a year I still have technical blogging issues!

I recently had the opportunity to help throw a shower for a friend who is expecting a baby girl. I have two little boys who I love and adore, but it was an absolute blast being surrounded by nothing but pink while planning this event! Here are some of the items I made for the shower.

The Invitation

I stumbled across an adorable design for an invitation while surfing the web. This is the version that I made...

You can find the directions to make the invitation pictured above here. Unfortunately, shortly after I made the invitation I realized that they're pretty labor-intensive and that I would never finish all of them on time. So, I decided to tweak the design a little without sacrificing the cuteness. Instead of making the onesie out of cardstock, I cut the shape out using scrapbook paper and attached it to a folded card. Much easier!

The Favor

I once again turned to the web for inspiration for the shower favors and one of my favorite bloggers did not disappoint. Bakerella, who comes up with some of the most amazing baked goods I've ever seen, created a gift of dry cookie mix for a friend - here is her post. I thought this would make a great shower favor, so I simply added a nipple and a ribbon on top of the jar to make it look like a baby bottle...

Bakerella graciously included printable baking instructions in her post - I printed them on clear label paper and attached it on the back of the bottle. Also, per her post, I used smooth Ball canning jars that have a two-piece cover: a flat metal lid, covered by a screw-on ring. To secure the nipple, place it on top of the metal lid and then put the screw-on ring over it - no adhesive required!

The Decor

Due to a limited budget, I decided to make the decorations for the shower. I hung banners made out of various colors of pink scrapbook paper around the room. To make the banner, first cut out a triangle in the scrapbook paper. Then you can either adhere a string to the back of the triangles, or punch 2 holes at the top of each triangle and thread a string through the holes.

I also made tissue paper pom poms that were hung down the center of the room over the dining table. These are super easy to make and inexpensive - here are the directions.

To decorate the walls, I made a baby carriage holding the new arrival (again inspired by the web) out of foam paper. Stay tuned for more information related to this design coming soon!

I also made an enlarged version of the invitation onesie to hang on the wall. Who knew you could buy mega-sized snaps!

I could see each of these designs easily being adapted for a boy shower or a unisex shower, so I hope they help if you're looking for ideas!

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