Category Archives: Projects & Activities

Handmade Graduation Cards

Graduation Card - The Crafty Mommy

Greeting cards are not only expensive, they can sometimes be super cheesy. This year, I know a lot of students graduating, whether it be from preschool, middle school, high school, or college so I have a lot of cards to give.

Instead of spending an arm and a leg on traditional greeting cards, I decided to make my own and give them a little personal touch.

Graduation Card with Gift Card - The Crafty Mommy

I cut out mortarboards times two and made a tassle in the school’s color. I added a pocket on the back, wrote on them with a gold marker, and added a gift card to the pocket to complete the gift. You can make them on your own or purchase them here.

Graduation Card - The Crafty Mommy

Mermaid Silhouette Artwork

Way back when I created a silhouette of H to hang in one of our many gallery walls. It was so simple and I loved how it turned out, I ended up making a few as gifts for the grandparents.

Recently when our friends moved to another state, my friend was putting together her daughter’s new room and this older project inspired me to create something for her new room.

mermaid silhouette artwork framedShe loves mermaids and that was going to be part of the them in her new big girl bedroom so I created a mermaid silhouette in turquoise (one of the colors used in the palette of the room) and mounted it on white card stock and framed it in a white, modern frame.

The end result is sweet, simple, and will go perfectly in this little girl’s new room! I hope she loves it as much as I loved making it for her. If you like what you see you can purchase your very own or customize a silhouette and I will make it and frame it for you, just message me here. 

DIY Father’s Day Card Ideas

I love working with H on different projects, especially around the holidays. It is especially fun and important to do nice things for those we love for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

This year for Father’s Day, I searched high and low for some personalized cards that we could make together (truth be told, I made most of the below cards, but H definitely had a hand in signing his name and decorating them).

Because I found so many cute ideas this year, I was able to customize the cards we made to the interests of each of the dads or grandfathers.

I made a golf-themed one for Grumps, King of the Grill aprons for GPa and Grandpa, and a tool belt for Daddy. All can hold some type of gift card or present that is specific to their own personal interests. I simplified these projects a bit and did my own interpretations of them, and you can definitely do the same.

golf card for dad

Golf-Themed Card from SassyDealz.com

apron card for dadKing of the Grill Card from Playing with Paper

tool belt card for dad

Tool Belt Card from Angel Street Mom

For the last one, instead of a gift card (because I had already purchased presents for my hubby), I included little sentiments on each of the “tools” like “Good for one snuggle” or “Good for a BIG breakfast.”

How do you like to celebrate Father’s Day and what special thing do you have to celebrate dad?

End of the Year Teacher Appreciation Gifts

personalized wine bottles with labels

I can’t believe it’s the end of the school year already! H finishes his first year of preschool this Wednesday and I’m always looking for new and cute ways to show his fabulous teachers our appreciation.

They get plenty of gift cards and we usually give them some sort of class gift, but I wanted to do something just from H.

I found these fabulous wine labels from Evermine.com that you can customize with your child’s photo and I thought this combined with a nice bottle of wine for each of them was a great way to say “thank you.”

Personalized Wine Bottle Labels

The labels come in a six pack and only cost $9.99 and they say “Our child might be the reason you drink so enjoy this bottle on us!” I bought my favorite bottles of white and rose wines for them and am putting a nice note with each. Here’s to hoping all of the awesome teachers and kids out there have a great summer!

Shark and Fish Valentines for My Toddler

Fish and Shark Valentines - the crafty mommyI was inspired by some valentines I saw on Pinterest and thought “I have to make these for H.” He is infatuated with sharks and all things aquatics. He visits the aquarium at least once a week (and gives the volunteers there a run for their money in terms of shark facts) but he also loves Octonauts, Finding Nemo, and anything underwater related.

So for his little friends, and H himself, I decided to make these adorable aquatic valentines. They’re perfect for taking a “bite” out of candy or a special note.

Fish and Shark Valentines Supplies - the crafty mommy

Materials
Clothespins
Scrapbook paper in various colors and textures
Scissors
Craft glue
Googly eyes (optional)
Fine tip markers (optional)

How to Make the Shark and Fish Valentines
1. Start by cutting out a fish or shark. You can find templates all over online, I used this shark template and this fish template although I sized the shark one down to fit my clothespins. Just make sure whatever template you use is slightly bigger than the clothes pin itself.

2. Starting from the mouth, cut the fish or shark down the middle about half way.

Clothespin Valentines - the crafty mommy

3. Turn the clothes pin on its side. Glue the top half of the cut to the top of the clothes pin and the bottom half of the cut to the bottom half. Make sure you don’t get glue in between the two sides of the clothes pin or it won’t open.

4. Glue a googly eye on or draw an eye with a marker.

Shark Valentine - the crafty mommy

5. Open and close the clothes pin to insert a bag of candy, a sweet note, or other special treat.

Artwork with a Twist

octopus in central parkThis past Christmas I made a trip into the city to visit the holiday market in Bryant Park. I came across this amazing artist Naughty and Nice who uses photographs of real buildings (think the Empire State Building) and then adds amazing and whimsical illustrations.

monster on empire state buildingI bought this print for H’s room for $20. The artist also had these amazing frames which were painted in these bold and saturated neon colors, but they were $300+.

Monster Artwork and Frame - the crafty mommy

I decided to do a little searching and I found two similar ornate frames on Ebay. They were gold and ugly at first sight, but I thought they would work when painted. Turns out I was right! All it took was a can of paint and some patience to ensure all of the nooks and crannies were covered in blue and I had my own version for under $20.

 

DIY Valentine Wreath

Valentine's Day Wreath - the crafty mommyI don’t normally get into Valentine’s Day, but for every other holiday this last year I’ve made a wreath for our front door and garland for our mantel. Because I had some time the other day during one of the many winter storms we’ve had recently I thought I would do the same for Valentine’s Day.

 

Valentine's Day Wreath in Process - the crafty mommy

I started by wrapping a styrofoam wreath form with pink grosgrain ribbon. Then I cut out two different shaped hearts from felt in four different shades of red and pink. Although you could totally hot glue the hearts just as they are to the wreath and it would look adorable, I wanted mine to have some dimension and movement. So I sewed the hearts (two of the same color and size) together down the middle. Then I folded them open and started gluing them randomly on the wreath I had covered with ribbon.

Heart Garland - the crafty mommy

I had some leftover hearts so I decided to use the same idea and glue them to a skinny red grosgrain ribbon for a garland.

DIY Joy Holiday Wreath

Joy Wreath - the crafty mommy

I had seen some adorable yarn-wrapped letters that spelled out “JOY” in a holiday catalog I recently received, however, they were $70.

I decided that I could easily make some of my own and bought cardboard 3D letters online (you can also get them at Paper Source) and some inexpensive red yarn from Michael’s. Other than being a little time-consuming, it was a simple project that anyone could do in front of the TV.

Joy Letters Step 1 - the crafty mommyI anchored the end of the yarn to the letter with some hot glue and secured it with hot glue every so often. Especially around the edges. To ensure all parts of the letters were covered, I wrapped yarn vertically as well securing with glue, then I hid the ends of that yarn with the horizontally wrapped yarn. You could also paint the letters the same color as your yarn to do away with this step.

Joy Letters Step 2 - the crafty mommy

Joy Letters Finished - the crafty mommy

Joy Letters Finishing - the crafty mommy

When I was finished, I loved the result, but decided to use the letters on a plain wreath for over my mantle. To secure the letters to the wreath, I just wrapped them with another piece of red yarn and tied that around the wreath.

 

Simple Thanksgiving Favor and Table Decoration

paper turkey leg - the crafty mommyWe are hosting Thanksgiving this year for the first time at our new home. We have around 12 adults coming and 6 children so I decided to make a table for the adults and a table for the kids.

I’m going to have kraft paper covering the kids table with crayons so they can draw before, during, and after their meal. I also made them Indian and Pilgrim hats to wear.

When thinking about a centerpiece for their table, I wanted something fun that they could enjoy after the part was over as well. I was inspired by a few images I saw on Pinterest, which looked like turkey legs or full turkeys made out of kraft paper and stuffed with goodies like popcorn and candy.

I didn’t see any instructions for these, so I decided to make my own. Here is how you can do the same for your little turkeys this Thanksgiving.

Materials
Kraft paper
Scissors
8 1/2 x 11 White paper
Craft glue
Hot glue gun
Candy or other treats

How to Make the Paper Turkey Legs

diy chop frill step 1 - the crafty mommy
1. To make the chop frills, take a piece of white 8 1/2 x 11 and cut in half lengthwise. Take each piece and fold it in half lengthwise.

diy chop frill step 2 - the crafty mommy
2. Using your scissors and being careful not to cut all the way through the paper, make small slits on the folded side of the paper about halfway down all the way across the length of the paper.

diy chop frill step 3 - the crafty mommy
3. Keeping the paper folded, roll it. When you reach the end, use craft glue to adhere the end.

diy chop frills - the crafty mommy

4. Next, cut a piece of kraft paper so it measures approximately 8 inches by 8 inches. You can make them bigger or smaller depending on what you want to stuff inside of them.

paper turkey leg step 1 - the crafty mommy

paper turkey leg step 2 - the crafty mommy5. Take the treats (candy in my case) and place it in the center of the kraft paper you just cut. Pull the corners of the paper up around the candy and twist making a cone-like shape.
6. Take the chop frill you made earlier and put hot glue inside of it then place it around the kraft paper you twisted. Pile them high and serve on a platter for a festive centerpiece the kids will enjoy.

Our Halloween Party Hits the Suburbs

Every year for the past several years we have hosted a Halloween party. This year was very different because there were children involved, which meant no scary or disgusting details could go into the decorations, food, etc. and we are in the suburbs in a house.Orange and Black Halloween Decorations - the crafty mommy

Each room had a different theme. The entryway had spiders and webs galore, while the living room was all black, white, and orange with pumpkins, my painted funkins, witches hats hanging from the ceiling (my personal favorite), and jack-o-lantern treat bags. The dining room was glitter-themed, with glitter pumpkins, candles, and glitter bats and spiders hanging from the ceiling.

The witch hats were strung from the ceiling on thick white string.

The witch hats were strung from the ceiling on thick white string.

I drew jack-o-lantern faces onto plain orange treat bags and filled them with goodies for little guests.

I drew jack-o-lantern faces onto plain orange treat bags and filled them with goodies for little guests.

Mummy Door - the crafty mommy

I bought the spooky eyes at Michael’s and then tore a white bed sheet and wrapped it around our front door to make a mummy.

The front entry was spider themed with a large spider that spanned the entire entryway and miniature spiders and webs everywhere.

The front entry was spider themed with a large spider that spanned the entire entryway and miniature spiders and webs everywhere.

Glitter Pumpkins - the crafty mommy

The dining room had a glitter theme. There were store-bought glittered pumpkins, candles, and hanging spiders and bats all in purple, green, and black glitter.

Just one of the cute and festive party goers.

Just one of the cute and festive party goers.

This guest was dressed up as spider prey. Scary!

This guest was dressed up as spider prey. Scary!

And here we are dressed up as Woody, Buzz, and Jessie from Toy Story.

And here we are dressed up as Woody, Buzz, and Jessie from Toy Story.