Tuesday, June 30, 2009

4th of July T-shirts

For the past few years we have been making 4th of July t-shirts with our kids. It is a great way to spend an afternoon, and the kids just love wearing them to the festivities on the 4th. Last year we tie-dyed white shirts with red and blue dye. This year we let our kids pick out plain shirts (they chose white and black) and let them decorate them with fabric paint.

We cut sponges in the shape of stars, stripes and squiggles. The idea was to let the kids stamp the shirts with red, white, blue, and gold fabric paint.

They had more fun squeezing the fabric paint onto their shirts then using our stamps. The results were way more creative than we could have planned. The hardest part is waiting for our shirts to dry! They can't wait to wear them.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Photo Cube

We found this cute project idea just in time for Father's Day! And since this was going to be a gift for Dad, we wanted to let the kids make as much of this project by themselves as possible. We started with a cube of wood that we bought at the hardware store (because it was basically a scrap, we got it for free!) and pictures to place on each side cut down to size.
Next the kids painted all over pieces of paper with watercolors, which we then used to cover the block of wood. Using the scraps of painted paper, we made photo corners and attached the pictures to the cube. Then the boys went to town decorating the cube with glittery puffy paints and sequins.
Our version may not be as polished as the original, but it was made with lots of love and laughter. And it now holds a place of honor on Dad's desk at work!
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Monday, June 15, 2009

Bleach Cleaner

We love (and use daily) the homemade all-purpose cleaner we shared, but sometimes you just need a good bleach cleaner. Especially when you have a white sink that seems to need a good brightening almost every day! So after much looking and experimenting, we found a great recipe for making your own bleach cleaner! Simple mix 1/8 of a cup of bleach with 4 cups of water in an empty spray bottle.

This won't keep indefinitely, as bleach will quickly lose it's disinfecting properties (who knew?). But if you are like us, you'll use the stuff up before that happens. but if you are concerned, just make a smaller batch. And as you can see for the "recipe", this is super-cheap to make - way cheaper than the commercial brands. And it works great!
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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Spray Hair Gel

We've seen many recipes for spray hair gel, but found that our modifications made it just perfect! It is wonderful for people with dry hair because it contains no alcohol, unlike most commercial brands. And because it's a spray, it is quick and easy to apply! This gel works great and cost about $1.75 for 96 oz. of gel (depending on the cost of the box of gelatin).

What you need:
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 3 drops of your favorite essential oil (optional)
Simply mix the ingredients in an empty spray bottle. Let sit for about 5 minutes, then you are ready to style. You can add a tiny bit more gelatin to make a stronger hold, but too much will clog your bottle. Store your gel in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fabric Brooches

There is nothing like a cute accessory to make you feel great - and if it's practically free, even better! We found these great instructions for making a brooch out of "yo-yo's" and we promise that not only are they incredibly easy to make but will only take around 10 minutes (or less!). Plus, they are a great way to use up your scrap fabric! First, select the fabric you would like to use and cut them into circles, one larger than the other (a cereal bowl and large mug are great to trace).
Next, sew a simple basting stitch around the outside of both circles. Pull the thread so that the fabric bunches together and knot your thread. Then flatten your circles and arrange the pleats.
Select a button for the middle of your small circle. You can use and found button, or cover a button with a fabric that matches one of your circles. Sew the button onto the smaller circle, then sew the smaller circle to the larger one.
You can now flip your circles over and attach a brooch back.
Finally, you can add ribbon or any other embellishments you wish! We also thought that these might even make cute magnets or would be pretty tied to a package. However you decide to use these, we feel they make great gifts!
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Monday, June 1, 2009

Puffy Paint

Here is an easy way to make your own puffy paint. The kids will have so much fun making 3D pictures. Be prepared, we started out using paint brushes and ended up finger painting. The kids just cant resist this fluffy paint! If your kids are like ours, you might want to schedule time for a bath.

What you need:
  • shaving cream
  • school glue
  • liquid food coloring
This is not a recipe that you need to be exact. Squirt about a 1/2 a cup of shaving cream in each bowl for each color you want to make. Next squeeze about 2 T of glue into each bowl. Now add the food coloring to the bowls until you reach the color that you desire. Mix and paint. You can use paint brushes or your hands. Older kids might like to put the paint in zip lock bags, snip the corner and squeeze the paint out for more precise pictures.
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