Christmas Light Basket

Christmas Light Basket

Finished product

This picture does not do this basket justice.  It really is beautiful. Beautiful, and super easy to make. This one took about forty five minutes. It would be a fabulous gift and would be a great addition to your Christmas decorations because it adds light and a festive atmosphere wherever you put it. It can be simple, made with just a few objects, or a fun and light-hearted basket with children in mind. You could use lots of colors and ornaments with a theme in mind. These baskets make wonderful “solo” decorations for a college dorm, apartment, grandma’s house, retirement center, small apartment or office even a hospital room. If you make them as gifts, you’ll definitely on the “good list”

Plug in your glue gun so it can heat up while you stuff the basket. To begin, simply loosely roll up a paper grocery bag and push it into the basket to form a mound.

Christmas Light Basket

Pinecones and Lights

Next, begin gluing pinecones to the mound in the basket. Place them 1-2 inches apart until they have filled the basket. Leaving the plug side of the lights outside the basket, begin to wind the lights around the pinecones. Don’t worry about it looking perfect or completely filled in because you will be adding pine pieces and ornaments and berries to fill in.

Christmas Light Basket

Add Tree Branches

 

Now just cut your pine boughs off the wreath and glue them in strategically around the pinecones and lights. Add berries, ornaments, bells, small wooden toys…the possibilities are endless with themes and colors you may pick.

Make one. I make one for someone every year. It’s fun, fast, and easy. Try it. Make it merrily.

 

“Tic Tac You” Is Finally Here!

Tic-Tac-You App Icon

After much waiting, Tic Tac You is FINALLY here.

We’ve had quite a year.  Really.  We LOVED starting a blog and creating ideas.  We loved other people’s ideas and meeting together to plan what we’d do next.  We don’t live particularly close to each other.  My mom would call us G.U.’s. which means: “geographically undesirable”.  Who knew when planning what we’d do next, it would include developing an App?!

After many months, blood, sweat and tears, our App is finally available for purchase in the iTunes App store.  We are really proud of the finished product.  It is a completely family friendly game that your kids will LOVE!  Let me tell you a little bit about it:  We put a spin on the classic game Tic Tac Toe.  You play the game with your friends and family featuring pictures instead of the standard X and O’s .  Tic Tac You is a game starring YOU with anyone or anything as your opponent. Tic Tac You is an easy strategy game that can be played by the whole family. This game is so simple and fun, anyone can play! To begin a game, take a snap shot of yourself, others or objects with our in app camera or use existing photo’s from your camera roll. There is a warping feature that can turn it into a hilarious masterpiece.  You can play multiple games at once, or use the “Pass and Play” option. Search for friends via Game Center and let the fun begin.  Click here or on the icon above to be directed to the iTunes Store to buy it…go ahead, we’ll wait…

 

Memory Plates

Plates 

Wish we could say we thought this up, but it’s floating around the internet from school and crafty websites, to personal family blogs. LOVE it though. Did you know your child’s artwork can become permanent on a plain glass plate? (We even bought ours from the dollar store, to see if this DIY worked on inexpensive plates). It does. The only items you need are: Oil based or paint based permanent markers, oven-proof white plates and an oven.
The plates in the photograph were actually drawn by preschool age children, ages 2, 3, and 4 1/2. We started out with just two plates, but decided to add one more to illustrate just how much a child’s drawing changes in one short year. (That’s why the last plate says 2014).
We thought it would be such fun to have a child make a birthday plate every year, or make a plate for Santa’s cookies with their Christmas list written on the back of the plate! AHHH! I wish I had known this before my children were grown. My favorite keepsakes always involve my children’s art.
How about a birthday dinner using all the birthday child’s plates? Mother’s Day or Father’s day plates done by each child in the family? First day of school plates? Umm. Yea. There are so many possibilities, and half of them are in YOUR head. Get crackin’. Carefully though.

INSTRUCTIONS
Draw pictures on the plate with Oil based or PAINT PERMANENT PEN markers only. Place (oven-proof) glass plate in a 300 degree pre-heated oven for 30 minutes. Done.
*Hand wash only.

Good Things Come In Threes

Good Things Do Come In Threes

Good Things Come In Threes. For example. Soccer socks. After soccer they are just giant, rolled up, football-sized space suckers in the sock drawer. You can’t really use them as socks. I mean you could but….anyway. We just got dumped on here in Utah. Almost 20″ of snow in one week. The kids wanted to go out and play in the snow, over and over and over. Hence, the sock shortage. We were down to the soccer socks. Out of desperation, a great idea was born!

*Soccer socks are long. NO snow between the socks and the snow pants .

*Soccer socks aren’t quitters. (They stay up), No sliding down and jammin’ into your boot
like a hot dog bun (personal experience).

*Soccer socks are thicker than regular socks.

*Soccer socks ARE snow socks.

You’re welcome.

Good Things Do Come In ThreesMaybe this is old news to all of you, but someone shared this trick with me and I didn’t know it before. When you’re making Rice Krispie squares or anything gooey that has to be pressed down, put butter on your hands. Simple trick but look at the difference between the buttered hand and the unbuttered hand. (It does leave you with less to lick off though).

Good Things Do Come In ThreesOne day I was just wondering what would happen if I put the anti-moisture packets in my spinach and lettuce. I did an experiment just for you. Totally works. When you put an anti-moisture packet in the plastic container, when you open it a week later, there isn’t even condensation on the top of the lid. None. Zero. Zilch. It would probably work in a Ziplock bag too. That little tid-bit saves me, I don’t know about you, but I’m a greens chucker because I can’t always use them fast enough. You can buy the anti moisture packets at an emergency preparedness store, or just use one from another food product. I also freeze spinach to add to soup or smoothies. Works like a charm.

Fall Thanks

Mod Podge, card stock and Mother Nature= Fall Thanks.  An easy, fun kid-adult creative outlet. We found this craft via Wild and Precious and knew we had to share it.  You’ll love this website and the articles written. They always lift us up and make us want to be better.

Fall Thanks.  Fall Leaf thank you cards

Lovely.

Fall Thanks.  Fall Leaf thank you cards

We love this idea. It would be such fun to make cute place cards for a Thanksgiving dinner, or stationary as a gift for someone you love.  My family had a blast making thank you cards. Go on one last ride up the canyon and bring back a fun family activity in the process.

Fall Thanks.  Fall Leaf thank you cards

“Plant” this one in your to-do pile, and don’t “leaf ” it sittin’ there.

Rock Star Party

Jammin Guitar

Future rock stars of America unite!

If you want  to have a fun, inexpensive and age adaptable party, a Rock Star party might be the way to go. These guitars are a cinch to make.

What you’ll need:

  • heavy tri-fold poster display boards (3 guitars per board)
  • large paint sticks (free at Home Depot )
  • large rubber bands (Office Depot has bright-colored giant rubber bands)
  • paint or stickers
  • scrapbook paper
  • Shrinky Dink paper to make a guitar pick (available at Micheal’s or any craft store.  *You can also use any plastic “to-g0” container with a #6 on the bottom.
  • golf tees

With these easily accessible items we made rubber band guitars that 3-6  year olds went nuts for.  With an hour or two of  pre- preparation you can put guitars together that are ready to be decorated by your guests. We purchased tri-fold display poster boards at Wal-Mart but any office supply carries them. They are the same boards used for displays for science projects etc. They cost between $2.00-$3.00. You can easily make 3 guitars with one poster board. Yes. They are more difficult to cut than cardstock or regular poster board.  Yes. You may curse us if you are making more than 10 but…whip out the good scissors and trudge on my friend.

The guitars are easy to freehand with different google images you may find on-line.  They don’t have to be perfect.

Trace a guitar on the  poster board and cut it out. Cut a 1×4″ piece of the same cardboard to glue near the bottom of the guitar.  This will lift the rubber band strings up a bit so they make more noise.  (see photo).  We used a glue gun to attach it.

Using a glue gun, secure the paint stick to the back of the guitar and pull 4-6 strings up and around it.

Cute scrapbook paper cut the width of the paint sticks will really sass up the neck of the guitar. Attach 4-6 golf tees as shown in the photo.

Decorate with paint or stickers.

Strumming home made guitar

“Rock it man”

Home made guitar ingredients

We also bought regular poster boards, folded them in half, stapled the edges and cut a handle to make a guitar case. You could use colored poster board or let the children decorate them.  Optional but cool.

Home made custom guitar pick

Shrinky Dink guitar picks are sooo fun to make and watch shrink in the oven.  If you buy the kit the instructions are simple and included.  If you are using a to-go container, cut a guitar pick shape out of the plastic (there must be a#6 embedded on the bottom).  The cut shape should be 4-5 times bigger than the actual size you’ll need in the end.  Decorate the picks with permanent markers and put them on a cookie sheet (ink side up). Cook them from 1-5 minutes in a  pre-heated 325 degree oven.  They will curl up first and then flatten so don’t panic.  Try a few first.

Home made custom guitar pick materials

Ideas:

  • Send invites announcing a “Reunion Tour”
  • Take pictures of the children jammin’ or video them for a while and let them watch their music video.
  • Play music and let the kids rock out with their guitars
  • Use dollar store note books as autograph books everyone can sign.
  • Musical chairs
  • Play music and have the kids “freeze” when the music turns off.
  • Make back stage passes out of a lanyard (available at party stores)

If the children are younger, decorating the guitars might be enough.  If they’re older, the music videos or playing Guitar Hero could be added. You have tons of options.

Have fun and rock on baby!

Marvelous Marshmallow Catapult

Do you have an extra 2×4 sittin’ around your garage? If you do, take a look at this super easy marshmallow catapult! It’s a blast to play with, and costs practically nothing to make. The piece of wood you use can be cut square or at an angle (see above). Best of all there is NO exact measuring required! This would be a fun family activity, Cub scout contest, or even a birthday party take- home if you whipped up a few before the party. It’s simple to do:

  • Cut a piece of wood about twice as long as a clothes pin and sand it a  bit.
  • Glue two clothes pins together on top of each other facing the same direction, and then glue them to the wood block. The back of the clothes pin should be even with the end of the wood.
    (Wood glue is best, but a quick drying epoxy that can be used on wood will also work).
  • Using wood glue again, attach a tongue depressor to the clothes pins about an inch behind the clothes pin’s opening.
  • Next, using a glue gun, glue a milk jug lid to the tongue depressor, to act as the bucket.  Be sure to leave about 1/2 inch at the
    end for easy flippin’.
  •  Decorate with stickers, markers or paint.

Now all you have to do is dig around your kitchen for some marshmallows. Soft marshmallows? Great. Stale? Better. Pom-poms? Sure. Cereal? Absolutely. Ideally, if you have a dog that can “bark-umme” up the remnants of battle…You, my friend, are good to go.
READY. AIM. FIRE!

Popping Off

Looking for a fun activity for a birthday party, activity days, scouts or  just for fun?  This is it!  We’ve seen versions of these poppers around in magazines and other websites but they were made out of heavy plastic cups.  We made several of them to use as a possible activity for a preschool camp.  They were fun, but so flimsy we couldn’t get them to work  right even with the heaviest of cups.  Also, the big cups were harder to manage for little hands.

Searching for a sturdier way to make a popper, we went to Home Depot and bought some PVC pipe. With the help of Mr. “Depot” and his trusty saw, the cool super sturdy popper was born!  (Right in the sprinkler isle in front of everybody). One 4 foot piece of PVC ( 2 inch pipe) made 12 poppers for about $6.00.

They couldn’t be more simple to make:  Buy some bigger birthday balloons.  Tie a knot in the bottom just like you would if you blew it up.  Cut off the very top of the round part of the balloon (just a bit).  Pull the balloon over the pipe. You’re done.  Ta Da. (The balloon stays nice and tight).  Put a pom-pom or a marshmallow in the hole, pull back on the knot and stand back!  Straight up is the best.  They really fly.  You can shoot several small pom-poms at a time or one giant one.  Try to pop one and catch it.  They’re fun for everyone!

* You will have to sand the PVC if it’s rough or it may make a hole in the balloon.  Also remember to be careful if you have young children because there are small items and balloons involved.

Flip For These Flops

 Pretend you’ve never seen these before…O.K… fine, but we love them.  Kiddie flip-flops (or “bigger than kiddie” flip-flops) tied off with a cute bow. Ribbon that’s skinny or fat, two different colors or curly or straight. You can’t go wrong.  Flip-flops for girls could match their fourth of July outfit, or even their swimming suit. I can picture some pretty sassy walks  from  little girls, as they strut into the pool with cutsie footwear. Girls could have a matching bow in their hair. Boys could have Super Hero or other “manly” ribbon just wrapped around the plastic top and glued down on the end. 

They cost next to nothing and could even help your children find their own flip-flops in a pile somewhere! It might be a fun summer birthday activity or activity days craft as well.

Face the toe end of the flip-flop and wrap the ribbon from the front to the back.  Tie it around the toe separator then up and over the strap so the bow lays straight. Hey, I wear some myself , but Iwas told people don’t like to see feet in a picture…especially my kind of  feet I guess. I do have pretty pudgy toes. (Why do you think I need the bows)?

 

Let’s Go Fly A….Bag ♫

I looked out the window the other day to see a plastic bag floating up in the air over my fence. Connected to the bag was a piece of yarn.  Connected to the piece of yarn was a little boy, my cute neighbor Caleb.  He had made a kite! It worked like a charm and kept him entertained for most of the afternoon. I told him he was a genius and I was going to take his picture and put him on my blog. We would call it: “Caleb’s Creation”.  Well, he wasn’t going to forget that. I told him to bring a kite to soccer practice and I would take his picture. I forgot my camera…He didn’t forget his kite. I took this picture with my phone. What a cutie. Making the kite is easy to do, simply tie the yarn or string to the handles of a grocery bag.

Wouldn’t it be fun to have “kite” supplies in your car for entertainment emergencies? Think of all those soccer and baseball practices when your child that’s NOT on the team is going nuts.  How about a picnic in the park?  Try it just for fun, (and pick up the garbage when you leave).

Thank you Caleb!