Candy Bouquet-great gift!

A friend of mine made the cutest candy bouquet for me for Christmas, but it is the kind of gift that is great anytime of the year.

For {This Little Project} you will need: bamboo skewers (at least 10), mug, styrofoam that fits inside the mug, cellophane, and your choice of candy bars and treats. You will also need hot glue or tape to secure the treats.

To make yours:
1-Place the styrofoam inside the cellophane and put it down into the bottom of the mug.

2-If you want some variations in the height of your skewers, you will need to cut some of the skewers shorter.

3-Tape or glue the candy wrappers to the skewers. If you are sneaky about hiding the top of the skewer under the wrapper it looks even better :)

4-Poke the skewers into the styrofoam to create a bouquet look.

5-Add a little ribbon and note-and YOU'RE DONE!

These sell for about $18 each at a nearby store. You just made a great gift to share (for a lot less)! What a FUN Little Project! Enjoy!

Easy Ornaments

We made a fun ornament just before Christmas that I have to share. Yes, I know it's after Christmas now, but there's always next year :)

For {This Little Project} all you need is: a styrofoam ball, plastic pony beads, curling or other ribbon, and 1/2 of a chenille stem.

To make yours:
1-The pony beads push right into the styrofoam ball and stay pretty well (as long as you use it as an ornament, not a ball :)

2-Tape the curling ribbon around the ball and secure at the top and the bottom.

3-Adult: Use a kabob skewer or other handy sharp thing to poke a little hole into the top of the styrofoam ball where the ribbon crosses for the chenille stem. Push the chenille stem in a little way to secure it.

4-You can string beads on the chenille stem and bend it to form a hook.

5-You're done! Hang it up and enjoy!

Candy Topped CHOCOLATE Pretzels

I discovered a new button on my microwave recently. I can't believe I've been looking at microwaves nearly my whole life and not known about what it does. The button? It's called, "POWER." It's magic when it comes to things like CHOCOLATE. Do you know how much chocolate I've scorched trying to make s'mores and other chocolate treats in the microwave?

But no more!

I recently made 85 of these chocolate covered pretzels. Then another hundred little ones and 50 covered donuts as well as other chocolate covered treats. The success of {This Little Project} had a lot to do with that magic button (and maybe the fact that I wore my PJ's all day since it took me forever to make a million of these treats.)

You can find some handy hints on making them HERE.

They are a fun {Little Project} for friends and teachers. They're gender neutral, great for any occasion, and all ages can enjoy them.

You can top them with a variety of treats to match the occasion, which makes them extra fun.

I hope you have fun with the "magic power button" on your microwave too :)

Thanks Whip Up!

Whip up featured our {This Little Village Project} in their gifts to make for kids guide. THANKS so much for the honor! Of course, right now the village looks more like Bethlehem :)
Be sure to go by and see all the great projects featured in list!

Friday Favorites and Freebies

Welcome to Friday Favorites and Freebies. Be sure to grab an "I've been featured" button from the left sidebar if you made the list today. There are lots of holiday choices for you to enjoy!

Are you familiar with Jan Brett? If not, take a look around her site and enjoy her work and send a free postcard too!

These easy-to-make gift bags are darling!

Try these handmade button snowflakes!

If you like to sew and have a little one that likes to cook these would make a great gift! Lots of great patterns and tuts to check out!

If you like free digital clip art, I just bumped into this site that you might enjoy :)

Happy Friday!

Homemade Ornaments

I think there is something so fun about homemade ornaments. I love to look at ornaments from past years that have been made by people I know. Maybe it's remembering the person that makes it so special. Maybe it's the memories. Maybe it's the process.

For the past few years I've made an ornament to give to my piano students at their Christmas recital. The theme is music, of course. I enjoyed my new hobby of reusing some materials like cardboard for the back and buttons from a shirt.
Here's how they turned out:

I printed and cut out this tree silhouette to get started.

Then photocopied some Christmas music on brownish paper and placed the tree over it to make sure I got some music/words on each tree.

Then I held it to the cardboard and cut around it. The cardboard is a fun texture and also stabilizes the tree.

Then the fun comes with decorating the tree :) You can use what you have: ribbon, ric rack, buttons, brads, etc. My hint is to decorate the tree BEFORE you glue it to the cardboard. That way you can wrap the ribbon around on the back side of it easier.
Have fun creating a homemade memory to share!

Christmas in the Village

We spent this past summer creating a village. It is still one of Jay and Kay's favorite things to play with. For Christmas we made a Bethlehem Village with many of the same pieces (our family lives there for this month) and then a few extra.

I planned to make more peg people for the nativity characters, but found a similar set already in our Christmas box from years past.

The village gets all kinds of visitors from the jungle as the kids add all kinds of animals to the stable. It's fun to watch them interact with each of the people represented.

The village is in a corner and has small cardboard boxes covered with a piece of burlap. I had a piece of starry night scrapbook paper to put up behind, but haven't yet :)

So many of our decorations are not very kid-friendly. This Bethlehem Village has been a fun way to interact with the meaning behind why we celebrate Christmas at our house. I have a feeling it will become one of the favorites as the years go by.

DIY Holiday Mailers

We just sent some gifts to family members in our DIY Holiday Mailers. These are a fun way to re-use your paper grocery bags and it was fun to use a zig zag stitch with red thread for the holidays.

To make yours, check out {This Little Tutorial} here.

You can use any color of thread on your sewing machine and we love to add stickers or fun stamps to decorate the outside.

These hold up really well in the mail. Just be sure to clip your threads carefully and make sure your seams are secure.

A fun, easy, good-for-the-earth way to send a package.
Makes you want to send a gift, doesn't it?

Friday Favorites and Freebies

Enjoy these favorites and freebies! Be sure to grab an "I've been feature" button from the left sidebar if you're up today!

A simple ornament for kids to sew here.

A felt Mr./Mrs. potato head? Brilliant! And a great gift!

Need more ideas for handmade ornaments? Check these out :)

Wonder how we got our traditions for the holidays? Learn more here.

Need a tasty homemade hot cocoa recipe? Try this out-yum!

Happy Friday!

Kid's Kitchen Cookies

It's holiday baking time. If you have little ones around the house you may not want their "help." But the truth is that they love to be involved in the kitchen. Here is a quick cookie they can help make and then you may get the kitchen back to yourself to really get something done :)

Remember that time spent together in the kitchen is memories in the making :) Be sure to check out our Survival Tips for having kids in the kitchen so you will enjoy your memories!

To make these cookies you need:
Why use a mix? If you are going for the cooking satisfaction of a toddler/preschooler you have to be fast! They will love to help stir, put the cookie dough on the cookie sheet, and unwrap the kisses and put them on the cookies.

Make the cookies according to package directions. Kids can help put the little balls of dough on the cookie sheet. Then have the candies unwrapped and ready to put in RIGHT when they come out of the oven.

Friendly for Kids.
Fun for the family!

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