Happy New Year Cake

Jay's birthday is close to the end of the year so we just had his party. He requested a "clock" theme for his party this year and I just made the clock face with cupcakes.

We put candles on the cupcakes counting up to how old he is now and the time it shows is the time he was born. He loved it!

But then I started thinking, that this would be a fun cake for celebrating the New Year too! It would be a YUMMY way to count down.
We're getting out our prediction jar from last year to see how many came true and trying to think of what to write for next year...
Wishing you a wonderful Happy New Year!

DIY Nativity Costumes: Wisemen

Here is another costume to make for your nativity pageant. These wisemen costumes crowns are easy to make, reusable, and fit any size!

I used this template and tutorial to make the felt crown.
Then I just added elastic across the back
and hot glued big rhinestones to the front.
Easy and fun to wear!
For some {Little Project} tips on making sheep costumes, see this link.
Merry Christmas!

Friday Favorites and Freebies-Christmas Edition

There are so many fantastic ideas to be found for celebrating Christmas. Here are a few I found this week and wanted to share with YOU! Enjoy!

I love this nativity finger puppet set idea.

These darling gift tags will come in handy and are free to print :)

Check out this easy neighbor gift with a printable gift tag too!

This list of 25 gifts kids can make might come in handy for friends, family, and teachers.
(Thanks Crafty Crow for including {This Little Project's} softie gift for a baby in the list!)

And I can't wait to make this burlap and felt nativity with my kids-pattern is included in tutorial.

Enjoy your weekend!

DIY Nativity Costumes: SHEEP

 It's a tradition in our family to read the story of the nativity from the bible on Christmas Eve. If you're like us, you might be starting to gather things for your children to wear as you read it.

Each year I make a few costumes. These sheep costumes were easy to make. I wanted them to be quick to put on, easy to make, and look like a sheep when they were crawling around. Here's what I came up with:

They are made similarly to a children's bath towel with a hood.
I used 3 pieces of "furry" fabric (A white bath towel would work great too!)
one for hood
one for sheep body
one for tail
Then I just tacked on some eyes, ears, feet and nose of black felt.

The kids look like cute little sheep when they crawl around on their knees. See the link above if you haven't made a hooded towel before. They sew up in a jiffy!
Stay tuned for more fun and easy costumes to make ;)

The Secret to Easy Gingerbread Houses

Want to know the secret for making
quick and easy gingerbread houses?

This is the princess castle we made for Miss Kay's princess birthday party.
It took all of a few minutes to make-and that's only because it was a big castle.

At this time of the year you need a few extra minutes!

So {This Little Project} secret is...
Use your hot glue gun!

The kids don't eat the graham crackers anyway-it's more about the candy, right?
And you'll still get that "snowy" frosting look when the candy gets plastered on with frosting ;)

I'm lucky enough to be visiting Elspeth right now. We're having a great time doing {Little Projects} and our kids are having an awesome cousin reunion.

And we've got 13 gingerbread houses to make for an upcoming party.
If you're like us...consider the glue gun.
(And be sure to let the parents know)

This Christmas season think: little.

If this Christmas season is overwhelming to you. Think little.

Here's what I mean:
This past year I read this article that highlights the #1 reason kids in America are failing to learn to read: most middle-income homes have 10 or fewer books on the bookshelf for their children.

Low-income families are lucky to have one book per child in their home.
There simply aren't books around calling to and inspiring their children to open the pages and learn to read them.
Children Reading Clip Art
We have the opposite problem at our house. We have more bookshelves than beds. Reading means so much to us and our children. That article cried out to me and I determined that I could do something to change that statistic. Even just a little.

Probably 75% of the books that we own I picked up second hand. I pick them up-often nearly new-from library book sales, thrift stores, yard sales, etc. We LOVE to have books to pique curiosity at our house but my husband has been a student for the past 4 years and that is what we can afford.

Because it has been such a HUGE blessing to have these little books we decided to collect children's books to give to other families.

So for the past six months our stack of books to donate has grown and been donated and grown again. There is a local community clinic where we live that also houses WIC and we leave them on their donation table for the little people that come in.

This is just a simple little project:
Little books from the hands of my little kids to the hands of other little kids.

We happened to be at our local Re-Store yesterday and found that they have a children's book section. A dime a book. We went through them all, picked out the best and our favorites, and my little kids are so excited to take these little books and go leave them for other little kids at the clinic today-just in time for Christmas!

Lots of other people do amazing things.

This is something little. I am sharing this simply because it's little.

If this Christmas season is overwhelming to you. Think little.
Thought Cloud Clip Art

Do a little project for someone else.
It will make your Christmas one you'll never forget.

Christ gave us such a BIG gift. Little by little we can each pass that on.

How to Make a Wall Map to Color

We love to color at our house. So when we were learning about where things are, it just made sense to make a wall map to color. We've made a United Staes Wall Map and World Wall Map.

Want to make one too?

I started by deciding how much room I had on my wall. For my world map, I had a long space but only enough height for three pieces of paper. When I was making my U.S. map, width was the limiting factor. I only had room for 6 paper widths which made for a map 3 paper heights high as well.

Then in my printer menu I used the option for scaling the image. I played around with this in my printer preview until it was the size I needed for my wall. The scaling for a wall map will likely be between 500% and 900%. For my world map, I scaled the image to 800% and printed out pages 1-24 making a 3x8 paper map.

Around each printed paper there is a white border. Using my glue stick, I glued the pages together; overlapping so that the map line from one page matched the next.

After glueing the pages together, I used my black sharpie to trace the map line of the page underneath onto the border of the page on top so that the map lines are continuous.

We've been using our world map with Confessions of a Homeschooler's Expedition Earth Animals.

What will you make a map of?


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