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!


Friday Favorites and Freebies

Welcome to a Favorites and Freebies Friday! I hope your day has been great. Here are a few favorites this week, including some things to think about as well as make at this beautiful time of year!

A neat story about following Christ from the NY Times

Free Christmas printables (tags, card, etc.) here :)

Check out this neat Scrabble game advent calendar!

It's not too late to do handmade gifts, here are 20 free patterns!

If you made the list today be sure to grab an "I've been featured" button from the left sidebar. Happy Friday!

Advent Projects

I'm thinking back to last year when I didn't have a single advent calendar and set out to change that. This year we will have a few to count down to Jesus' birthday. Last year Jay and Kay were so excited to open their Christmas gifts on Jesus' birthday and I'm hoping some of our new advents help us get ready for that special day.

#1 I am excited about this advent that I am just finishing. I picked up a felt Christmas tree at Dollar Tree and then some felt nativity stickers (40% off of $3.99 at Hobby Lobby). I'm just cutting out some animals and other felt pieces so that we have enough for the whole advent. This was a very budget friendly advent. We'll just put the pieces on like we are decorating the tree.

It's easy to make your own envelopes with wrapping paper. We will find a felt piece in each one of these. Just start with a square piece of paper, fold all the corners to the middle and tape or put a cute seal and number the envelope.

I've been working towards keeping Santa out of the picture. He gets way to much credit and doesn't deserve it! Yup, I'm a strict Mom this way. The whole "He sees you when you're sleeping, He knows when you're awake. He knows if you've been bad or good.." Doesn't that sound like more of something we should be thinking of our Savior doing? Santa doesn't save us. He's temporary. Santa isn't very real. Christ is. So we will be focusing on the gift of Christ and His love and power to save instead and I'm hoping our advents help us stay on track...Now I'll get off my soapbox :)

#2 I also found this open-the-door advent at a thrift store and will fill it with fun activities that remind us that 'Jesus is the Reason for the Season' and things we can do together as a family to celebrate.

#3 We will also be doing a Book Advent, see last year. I don't wrap these like I've seen others do. All the books go into a treasure chest box and the kids close their eyes to pick one out. That way we sill have the surprise without the paper waste :)

#4 We will also be turning the our play Village into Bethlehem with an advent. Here are a few of the animal characters...more on this to come.

#5 and last, but not least, this easy Button Advent I made last year, with a tutorial for you coming tomorrow! All you need is 25 buttons, some wire, a wood frame, a nail, and a little clay. Get ready for a fun way to decorate a Christmas tree each day!

I know it doesn't bother everyone, but I'm determined not to get bogged down in the commercialization of Christmas. The shopping's pretty much done, the gifts are nearly all sent. Now just to wrap the rest! Then I hope that we will have time to cherish friends and family and enjoy traditions without so much stress!
Here's another site with ideas for keeping a Christ-centered Christmas. I'm always looking for ideas for a Christ-centered Christmas, so please share yours too with a comment below!

Happy start of December tomorrow!

Thanksgiving Kid's Crafts

We've done a couple more kid's crafts that would also be fun the day of if you are hosting a big group with kids for Thanksgiving so I thought I would share them with you.
This paper plate turkey is easy to make and also great for little fingers to practice their coordination with the clothespins.
I used packing tape to wrap the end of each feather onto a clothespin and they've held well. Then just have the kids draw their turkey face on the plate.

Thanksgiving is a great time for This Little Project's Doodle Rubbings. If you haven't seen the past post on these, check THIS out. They are EASY to make and cost next to nothing too.

We rubbed Happy Thanksgiving (you only need to make one rubbing sheet since the kids can share that)
Then traced our hands in the middle and turned them into turkeys by coloring the feathers.
Then glued colored fruit cereal on with elmer's glue.
Set aside to dry.
Easy and fun! I'm hosting Thanksgiving for the first time this year and finding that it's a whole lot of {Little Projects}. Wishing you and your family a VERY Happy Thanksgiving!

My Little Turkey (T-shirt)

I whipped this little shirt up in no time for my Little Turkey (aka Kay) to wear. It had a stain on the front and I love that she can wear it again now thanks to the turkey and all its feathers. I included two pink "feathers" because I knew she would never wear it otherwise-she is such a silly turkey!

To make yours, use 3-4 inches of ribbon for each "feather" and the turkey is made of orange knit (cut from an old t-shirt) roughly the shape of a drumbone. I used french knots for the eyes and stitched a little beak too before pinning the turkey to the shirt. Use a pin for each ribbon and they won't move on you. For a feathered look, use pinking shears around the turkey's body once you have the shape cut out. A cute little zig zag stitch is the perfect touch to sew it on with. EASY if I can do it-you can too!

Then let your favorite Little Turkey wear it :)

Friday Favorites and Freebies-Thanksgiving Edition!

Enjoy this extended list of Thanksgiving Favorites and Freebies. I hope you find something to fit your fancy. If your blog "made the list" today be sure to grab an "I've been featured" button from the left sidebar. Note: if you were featured in the past and have an older button, grab the new code!
Wishing you a Fantastic Friday!

I LOVE this turkey softie idea!

A fun group game for Thanksgiving here.

Learn more about Thanksgiving history here.

This is a simple and sweet kids craft for Thanksgiving.

Another fun way to count your blessings.

This hand print shirt is a precious too!

Take a look at these pretty printable napkin bands.

This is a great way to give a new look to your decor/table setting without spending much-all thanks to some paper!

Looking for a fun way to do Thanksgiving breakfast-without a lot of work? These will be on our table :)

A beautiful way to put the "thanks" and the "giving" together here.

Thanksgiving Kid's Game

I'm getting some games and crafts together got a kid's Thanksgiving party this week and made this game board. It is just a variation on one of our VERY FAVORITE games: "Don't Eat Pete."

We love this game because any age can enjoy it. Even little Kay has it totally down.
The images are from the internet-they aren't mine so just use them for home use :) Just click on the image to see it full size and then print. You will want to print it on heavy paper, laminate it, or use a page protector.

How to play "Don't Eat Tom Turkey"
Cover each of the turkeys with a small snack or treat (cereal, trail mix, m&ms, etc.)
One person in the group goes out of the room.
One of the Turkeys on the game board is chosen by the group to be "the Tom Turkey."
The person comes back in the room and chooses a snack and eats it from off of each turkey. When they get to "the Tom Turkey" that was chosen by the group, everyone else yells, "Don't eat Tom Turkey!!"
That person's turn is over and a new person goes out of the room to repeat the game.
You can play as many rounds as you like, or print off multiple boards if you have a big group.

This would be a great game to play to keep the kids busy on Thanksgiving day. Since they each take turns, no one will get to full of snacks :)

Thanksgiving Blessing Mix

I love treats with meaning (probably because I don't feel so guilty eating them!)
This Thanksgiving Blessing Mix is perfect for your candy dish, a family get together, or gift for a friend or neighbor.

Here's what's in the Blessing Mix: (If I was super photoshop smart I would make this all cute so you could print it out cute on a card...but I'm not :)

Bugles: Cornucopia or Horn of Plenty: a symbol of our abundance

Candy Corn: Sacrifices of the Pilgrims' first winter. Food was so scarce that the settlers survived on just a few kernels of corn a day.

Pretzels: Arms folded in prayer, a freedom sought by those who founded our country.

Sunflower seeds: Promis of a future harvest, one we will reap only if seeds are planted and tended with diligence.

Cranberries: Harvest gifts of our bountiful land.

M&M's: Memories of those who came before us to guide us to a blessed future.

Enjoy a tasty reminder of how blessed we truly are!

Felt Turkey Toy

I have wanted to make this one for a while. Jay insisted that our turkey had a wing and not just feathers to button on. I used different colors of buttons to match the feathers so it's a matching game too. It has been a great manipulative for building fine motor skills and a fun way to enjoy turkey :)

Tom turkey in all his glory!