Sunday, April 29, 2012

Creating a Birthday Card

      I am excited to share with you a Birthday card that I made for my Mother-in-law's Birthday. I wanted to make something that was personal .  When thinking of creating a card, I think about a color scheme first and what supplies I have on hand. . 
    Next, I think about what I want on the outside and  inside.  I knew on the front I wanted it simple since I had unique plans for the inside.   I made 1 small traingle and then traced 4 more on different types of paper to make a banner.  I added 1 piece of confetti that says "Happy Birthday."  I found cardboard letter stickers at Wal Mart for $.99 and used those to say "happy Birthday."

    For the inside, I wanted to have a picture of C eating a cupcake (that we made in honor of her Grandma a few days earlier)  above the candles.

Here's how you make the candle part

     For the inside, I knew I wanted to have candles and use a picture of C blowing out a candle.
    To create the candle insert, I used the wrapper from the stickers.  Cut out  a rectangle 3 x 4.

Take double-sided tape and tape down the wrapper on 3 sides. 

Leave the top open and insert 2 Birthday confetti pieces and candles.  Next, tape the top of the wrapper.

At this point, I was creating and didn't think about seeing the tape lines of the candle insert.  I took some pink ribbon that I had from my scrapbooking box and glued around all the edges using fabric glue. 
I brought the ribbon all the way up to the picture and decided to cover those edges also.   

      On the other side, we wrote "This cupcake is made in honor of you."   C drew on the card for Grandma.
     After I finished the card, I realized that I needed an envelope to place the card in.  I grabbed a manilla file folder that I had in my closet (crazy, I almost got rid of those last week) and stared at it and said "There is no way I can put the pretty card in this ugly envelope" so I decided to beautify the envelope. 

I took some paper and just played around until I got a layout I liked.

     I am thrilled with how the card turned out. It adds a personal touch to her Birthday Box.  It took me about the same amount of time to make the card than it would have to go to the store and buy the card.

Thanks for stopping by!


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Friday, April 27, 2012

Alphabet Buttons Equals Hours of Fun Learning

     Over the weekend I was at Wal Mart and I saw a bag of alphabet buttons for $5.  I was excited because I knew there were a ton of fun activities we could do with them with little to no prep or other materials.  That's my kind of activity! 
Activity 1:  I poured the buttons in a muffin tin and let the children explore with them for a few minutes.  They grabbed them with their hands and moved them from place to place. 

Next, each child was given a letter card and they had to find their matching letter button.

Activity 2: Sort the buttons by color.

Activity 3:
     Toddlers love pouring items from container to container. 

Activity 4
     Spelling.  If the child is a beginner... put the letters that they will need with a couple extra in one container or laid out in front of them  so the child does not become overwhelmed.  C wanted to spell cat so she found a C and A and T.  Then she wanted to spell mat so she removed a letter and added  m.

     Do you see the B, S, and H?  I pulled these letters out of the muffin tin after she made Mat to help guide her to make more AT words besides cat and mat.  This is the first time that she was spelling so I didn't want her to be overwhelmed by digging in the tin for the letters.

Activity 5: Letter Hunt
     I called out a letter and C would pull it out of the tin!  She was so proud!  For a modification, you could have them focus on one muffin slot or to make it more challenging you could have them look at the entire tin. 

Activity 6:  Color Hunt
     I called out the color orange and the children searched in the tin for an orange letter and pulled it out and showed me.
Activity 7: Putting the buttons in ABC order. 

     Things to keep in mind when using the buttons are the letters are all uppercase and they are small. We had so much fun exploring with them and they beg me to play with them everyday!

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Creating artwork using Child's Art

  I am always looking for ways to reuse C's artwork.  I made 1 large frame with her artwork here.  I get rid of PLENTY of her artwork. But sometimes I find it difficult to part with.  I like the idea of reusing my child's art to make new art for our home.  Best of all, I had everything on hand!  
Here's what you need to make your own
  • canvas (optional)
  • black matting or poster board or spray paint(if you do not want a white background)
  • letters
  • child's artwork
  • scissors
  • spray adhesive
  • mod podge
* If you have paint on hand, you can paint the canvas before gluing letters on. I used the back of one of my frames that fit the canvas perfectly to mod podge the letters on. I did not have black spray paint, otherwise I would have done that. 

Here's how you make your own

1.  Trace your letters on your child's artwork.

2.  Cut out the letters

3.  Arrange the letters on your canvas or poster board. 

4.  Once you like the placement, mod podge the letters to the canvas or poster board.

5.  Press the edges of the letters down.

6.  Let dry for a couple of hours, then mod podge over the whole surface.

7.   I let it dry overnight, mod podge over the whole surface again.

8.  You can put another layer on but I felt like mine was nicely covered.

9.  Use spray adhesive to attach poster board to canvas (if you did not paint canvas).

     I love how it turned out!  C was so proud to see her artwork on a canvas and loved putting it in a box to be shipped to Grandma for her Birthday.  Grandma will love getting wall art from C that says "I love you" in her granddaughter's scribbles.  I adore the canvas!  I feel less guilty about tossing out some of her artwork now. 

   I made another piece of art with C's  artwork and have a tutorial with pictures coming soon! 

Thanks for stopping by!


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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wrapping up the banner

     I  made a banner for my Mother-in-law for her Birthday.  (read more about that here).   She lives far away and we could not make it for her Birthday.  I wanted to send her a box that she could open on her Birthday and be reminded of how much we love her.

   It is bright, personal, and beautiful.
     Here's how I wrapped up the banner to put in the box:
    I folded up the banner carefully 1 triangle at a time so that it would unfold from left to right and not get tangled. Then, I wrapped it with jute and tied a bow.

I was going to send it like this and then I decided she needed to be warned to use with care. 

         I attached a mini clothespin to the jute with a little note saying to handle with care.

         Then, I set it aside to pack in the box.  I love the attention to detail that the jute and the note add. 

         Have you made a banner for a loved one?  Did you ever mail one?  

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Happy Birthday Banner

     Today is my mother-in-law's Birthday. We were unable to travel for her Birthday this year.  I wanted to make her a special box filled with things C and I created and mail them (more to come soon!) so she would have something to open on her Birthday.  
     The banner is the first of several items that I created for her box. 

     Here is how I made the beautiful banner. I used this tutorial for guidance. I had 8 x 11 colored paper in my closet so I used that where the tutorial uses scrapbook paper.

  • paper for your pennants
  • ruler
  • paper cutter or scissors
  • jute
  • letters (you can make your own or buy them)
  • 3 pictures (optional)
1. Decide what paper you want to use.   I chose 8x11 paper in green, blue, yellow, orange, and purple.

2.  Measure a 4x6 rectangle on a sheet of paper.

3.  Cut it out.

4. Fold your paper in half hot dog style (lengthwise).

5. Open up your paper and at the top left corner, top right corner , and bottom center fold line mark an x.
6. You will make a cut connecting the upper left x with the middle x and the upper right x with the middle x. I used a paper cutter. If you don't have one, scissors will work, but your cut might not be as straight. Label that triangle Sample.

Label that triangle Sample.

7. Grab a sheet of paper you chose to use and fold it in half hamburger style or greeting card style. Place your sample on the fold and trace. Then cut out where you traced. Do not cut the fold. You are done if you want 1 layer!   If you want more than 1--continue reading.


8. After looking at it, I decided to make another layer. This time I measured 3 x 4.5 on a different colored paper. I used the same technique that I did for the first one but smaller measurements. Use steps 2-7.

9. I attached the smaller pennant to the larger pennant using a glue stick.

10. For lettering, I chose to use Alphabet stickers that I bought at Wal Mart for $3.  I chose a letter and placed it on the banner.  I wanted it to say Happy Birthday.

11.  After I finished attaching the letters to the pennants, I wanted to add a picture of C eating a cupcake that we made especially for Grandma.  We put a different picture on each pennant, 1 in the beginning, middle, and end.  I love the special touch that it adds to the banner. 

12. I attached the pennant with jute. The tutorial used double sided tape.   I tried using the tape and my pennants were falling off  so I got out the hot glue and attached the flags with glue.   I took the banner all over the house, hung it up outside, and it even withstood love from my 2 year old so I am confident with the banner staying in 1 piece.

13. Hang it up and stand back and admire your work of art.

I love how it turned out! Grandma will be thrilled to receive it. 

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