Create A Chalkboard – Super Simple Idea!

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Create a chalkboard

Create a Chalkboard Sign with a Few Simple Materials!

Create a chalkboard sign with these two simple supplies: a wood remnant (cut off from a stump) and chalkboard paint! This is a really affordable way to add some new decor (and functional decor too) to your kitchen, or any other room of the house you want to use it in.

Supplies Needed Create a Chalkboard (like the one pictured above):

*Optionally, you can use a second wood round and hot glue or wood glue if your wood is not smooth enough.

Wood chips

We cut our own wood off of a stump we had in the yard. If you are not able to cut wood from yours or a friend or family members yard, sometimes craft stores will sell pre-cut (and sanded) wood rounds.

Wood Cuts

You can even order them off of Amazon here.

The trick with using a cut off stump as a chalkboard is that you will need to make sure it’s sanded really smooth if you want to be able to erase and rewrite on your sign.

The first chalkboard I made using a stump was not so smooth, and although I loved the rough look, I was never able to really use it well after this first sign that we made for a Seahawks party, so that one became a permanent Seahawks sign. The reason is that it never erased to a clean looking slate again with all of the grooves.

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Paper Flowers Made from Coffee Filters – Easy Last Minute Valentines!

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coffee filter paper flowers

If your like me, and often end up doing things at the last minute, here is a super easy idea for kids Valentines to hand out for school, using some items you may already have around the house, coffee filters!

We made these simple paper flowers, and attached them to a pack of Valentines pencils we got at the Dollar store for the stem. The pencils make it fun, but you could even just make the flower as the valentine if you did not have access to those (or use a small candy for the base).

I made 12 for my daughters class last night, and it took me about 10 – 15 minutes. The kids even helped, so its one that you could have the kids do on their own if you prefer. And my daughter loved the result, and is excited to hand them out to the class!

To make the flowers shown above you will need:

  • 2 coffee filters per flower
  • Tape (we used craft tape as it is easy to take off when the kids want to use the pencils, but regular scotch tape would work fine too)
  • Pencils if you choose to use for the base (optional)
  • Construction paper for the leaf (this is where you will write the childs name who you plan to give the valentine too). We chose to go with the traditional green color here, but any paper color cut into the shape of a leaf would work fine.

PicMonkey Collage (1)

How to make your paper flowers with coffee filters:

Step 1: (Optional) Coloring your filters

I made both all white flowers, all pink, and ones with white and pink. I loved them all, so you can certainly skip this step and still end up with pretty white flowers.

This step will need to be done one day in advance if you choose to color them, so they have time to fully dry. I added a half cup of water to a shallow bowl and about 4 drops of food coloring. I then submerged my filters into the colored water. I did all of my filters at one time, but you can do them one at a time if you want. I left them in there for a few minutes and made sure all the filters were absorbing the color. You will end up with more of a tint then a strong color, but its perfect for valentines.

I then put them on a piece of cardboard to dry overnight. Be careful of the surface you dry them on, so you don’t risk staining anything with the food coloring that drips out.

Step 2: Making the Flower

Once your filters are dry, or if you are making all white flowers, simple stack two filters on top of each other.

Next fold them in half.

Then wrinkle them up into a flower shape by twisting a base at the bottom and adjusting the filters until you get the look you like.

(Note – these are simple flowers for kids valentines. If you wanted a more robust flower you could stack 4-6 filters, or fold them into 4ths and cut a scalloped edge around the filters for a more refined flower look too). 

Step 3: Attach them to your Pencil Base

For this step you will want to have your tape handy. Wrap the bottom of the flower around the eraser of the pencil and attach with tape. Craft tape is my preferred tape, as it is easy to remove later on, but regular scotch tape will work fine too.

Step 3: Make the Leaf

Cut out a leaf shape from the paper of your choice (we used green construction paper) and write the recipients name on the leaf. Attach it to the pencil just under the flower, and thats it. Your Flower Pencil Valentine is now ready to hand out!

More Valentines Articles you might be interested in:


DIY Bubble Gum Machine (For Just a Few Dollars – Perfect for Parties)!

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Bubble Gum Machines

DIY Gumball Machines for Just a Few Dollars!

Make a DIY Bubble Gum Machine for just a few dollars! These are great for birthday parties, Valentines Day gift baskets, baby showers or just because! My kids have been begging for a bubble gum machine, and they had a blast making these.

I got most of my supplies at my local Dollar Store, but you can really use items you may even have on hand. I found the pre-made plastic bubble gum machine shown in the pictures above at the Dollar Store. While my kids loved them, they did not hold up real well as they tried to get gum out. So I decided to make these fun homemade versions, and they worked great. They are a nice alternative if you don’t have the pre-made versions at your Dollar Store too. You can use various materials for them. The key is to shop for shapes (and in various colors too if you’re throwing a theme party).

Some Suggested Materials to Use for the Gumball Machine: 

  • Round plastic bottles (ex: Aqua Water, or coke bottles if you can find the round variety). You could also use the single serve Martinelli apple juice bottles, but they are glass).
  • Small Mason Jelly Jars (this pack of 12 mason jelly jars is $10.02 (so you are getting a better deal then the Dollar Store, as that is just $.84 per jar)!
  • Small semi- round jars we found at Ikea (shown below)
  • Small Glass fish bowls found at the dollar store (you will need to use a small plate, or bottom to a terracotta pot to cover the opening if you choose to use these)

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Valentine Treats – Candy Kabobs! + FREE Printable To Make Cards With!

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Valentine treats Candy Kabobs

Valentine Treats – Candy Kabobs!

My kids love when we make these Candy Kabobs for Valentine treats! They are super easy (and kid friendly) and are really affordable as well. That makes them perfect for last minute ideas. The other thing I love is that they act as an activity for the family too. We made this set last night for an upcoming bake sale at school, and I got big kudos from the kids. They had a blast! Plus, we have a FREE Printable below, that you can use to turn these Valentines Treats into Valentines Day Cards to hand out!

Candy Kabobs Final

I got all of my ingredients at our local Dollar Store, but you can pick up candy where you find the best prices. The Winco bulk candy bins would be another great spot to grab affordable candy for these kabobs.  I grabbed 5 different types of candy, but really you could use just 3 or four. We were able to get 24 candy kabobs out of the 5 bags of candy (and we made pretty full kabobs). You could make yours a bit smaller, and get more or bigger for less.

Making Candy Kabobs

The other great thing about these Valentine treats are that set up and clean up are also very easy. I grabbed a foam board at the Dollar store too, just to create a work station for the kids (contains any mess, and makes clean up easy). To make it feel more festive, I dumped the candy in some pretty white dishes I had on hand. We chose to color coordinate our candy kabobs for a Valentines Day theme, but you can really use any colors you like.

Candy Kabob Kids Making Them

The trick with the candy is to find items that are soft enough to push onto the kabob sticks. Gummy candies or marshmallow types are perfect. I especially loved the licorice squares we found. If you bend those and push on the kabob they have that old fashion ribbon candy look that works great on these.

Ingredients you will need:

  • 3-5 bags of soft candies (gummies and marshmellow candies are perfect)
  • Wooden Skewer Sticks (I prefer the shorter ones, to make your candy kabobs look fuller)

Making these Candy Kabob Valentines Day Treats:

  • Put out the candy so you can easily grab
  • Simply add one candy at a time to a wooden skewer, until you have the look you want (we found 5-6 candies per skewer made a nice sized treat).
  • Thats it. Its that simple! Next either eat them, or show them off.

Candy Kabobs Display

 Displaying the Candy Kabob Valentine Treats:

You can use a display as simple as laying them out on a plate for folks to enjoy at a get together. I used an apothecary jar that I had. I found these round Styrofoam pieces at my Dollar store (2 to a pack, so $.50 ea). I poked the holes in it first, then placed it in my jar and added the finished candy kabobs. This way I can keep them out for the kids to enjoy before Valentines Day.

valentine treats

For their school bake sale, we covered with cellophane bags and ribbons for individual sale.

i'll-stick-by-you-preview

FREE Valentines Day Printable:

You can also print out these FREE printables to turn these Valentine Treats into Valentines Day cards. Just put them in the cellophane bags like pictured above, and add one of these printable tags to it. They are perfect for school valentines day parties, or make a candy bouquet for your sweetheart! There are two versions. One is black and white printable, if you don’t want to use color ink. The other has a splash of red, for a little color!

Download the “I’ll Stick By You Free Valentines Day Card (In Color) here, to print!

Download the “I’ll Stick By You Free Valentines Day Card (In Black & White) here, to print!

 Other Posts You Might Be Interested In:

Homemade Gift Idea: Snowman in a Bag Kit

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Snowman In a Bag Kit

Pin this on your Winter Fun Ideas board

If you’re looking for a last-minute gift to give your neighbors or friends for Christmas, here’s a fun idea – Snowman in a Bag Kits!  This is a snowman accessories kit you can give as a fun, thrifty gift for Christmas or when we get our next snow.

Items you’ll need:

Materials for Snowman in a Bag Kit

  • A scarf  – You could use fleece and cut and glue or sew together.  Or just find an inexpensive scarf at the Dollar Tree – I found a few different colors in scarves

Santa Hat for Snowman Kit

  • Hat – also an easy one to find at the Dollars store. I found Santa hats for $1 since we are using them for Christmas gifts.
  • 7 medium sized stones about 2-3 inches in size – Have your kids paint them black (my boys LOVED this)
  • Large black buttons – I got mine at Walmart in a large pack for $2

Carrots for Snowman in a Bag Kit

  • Carrots: You can get fake carrots at Michaels – a 3 pack for $4 (even cheaper if you use a Michael’s coupon).  Or you could get a carrot with roots still attached (the roots seem to help extend their life) about a day or so before you deliver your Snowman Kit.

How to put together your Snowman in a Bag Kit:

Snowman Bag:

Parts of a Snowman Kit

I sewed a little snowman draw string bag, but you could make something similar with a white paper gift bag.  For sewing the bag,  I used an old white sheet and used Wonder Under (available at Walmart or fabric store) to applique the “carrot and coal” on.  I then sewed on buttons for the eyes.  Making  the bag took a little more time than I would probably do if I were trying to mass produce them-but I think it will make a fun and unique gift for my niece and nephews so it was worth the extra effort.

No-Sew Option for Snowman Bag

Snowman in a Bag Kit out of Paper Bag

You could use a white or brown paper gift sack and draw or paint a snowman face,  if you don’t sew and it would turn out super cute, too!

“Snowman in a Bag” Tag: 

You can then make a cute little tag explaining that this is a Snowman in a Bag Kit.

Here’s what the tag could say:

Snowman Kit: Just add snow! Includes a hat, scarf, button eyes, coal mouth, and carrot

Snowman Soup:

You could also include the ingredients for Snowman Soup inside your kit.

Recipe for Snowman Soup:

  • 1 packet of hot chocolate
  • 1 mini candy cane
  • 2 Tbsp of mini marshmallows

Snowman Soup Poem:

I was told you’ve been real good this year.

Always glad to hear it!

With freezing weather drawing near,

You’ll need to warm the spirit.

So here’s a little Snowman Soup

Complete with stirring stick.

Add hot water, sip it slow.

It’s sure to do the trick!

Find more fun last-minute homemade gift ideas here:

By Contributor Sarah from Chickie Momma Crafts

Thanks a Latte FREE Printable – Great Idea for Teacher or Friend Gifts for Christmas

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Thanks a Latte Free Printable

 

Thanks a Latte FREE Printable – Perfect for Teacher Gifts,Neighbor Gifts & Gifts for a Friend for the Holidays

We’ve got a fun, FREE printable we created that you could use for a variety of different gifts for the coffee lover in your life! It’s a fun way to dress up a gift card in a creative way, or add it to a little gift you put together for a coffee lover! This would be great for a teacher gift for Christmas- instead of giving a traditional coffee mug, give a reusable water cup, so they can use it all year long & in the classroom & fill it up with their favorite drinks.

This also makes a great gift for dad or grandpa for Christmas! Grab a Starbucks card or better yet, find their favorite coffee stand and buy a gift card (my husband prefer this as he can then earn his stamps towards free drinks). You can just give them the card with the gift card attached or give them a little gift set with the reusable drink as well!

Free “Thanks a LATTE” Printable Card:

Free Printable for Coffee Lovers

You could just print this out on cardstock at home for a quick, simple gift or if you have  time, you could upload the PDF  to a photo site & print it off at a place such as Costco, Walgreens, etc. so that it will be glossy & professional looking. I just printed mine on cardstock and I think it turned out great (I used cream cardstock since that’s what I had on hand).

How to Make the Card:

This card is so simple to make – if you want to make it really easy, just print off the FREE printable on cardstock or photo paper and then glue your coffee gift card right on there. That makes a unique card right there!

Or you can add a few more touches to it:

  • Add the cardboard to look like a sleeve holder for gift card (I just used the inside of a coffee sleeve cover from Starbucks & cut it to fit)
  • Add twine or baker’s twine
  • Punch a hole & add a ribbon to attach to the straw of your reusable drink cup

Coffee Lovers Gift Set:

For the gift set, I had a cute plastic, mason jar reusable cup that I got from a friend a few weeks ago & I thought it was the perfect cup! They sold similar ones at Costco in 3 packs in fun colors this summer & Fall (not sure if they are still available?)  – just $19.99 for 3 reusable mason jar cups.  I also found out from a friend that Walmart carries these same type of mugs in various colors & they’re around $5 for the 16 oz cups & there are even some smaller ones in 4 packs, too.  I’m sure other stores carry these too.

I added in some Starbucks Via ($5.95 for a 5 pack of Iced Coffee or Refreshers; $6.95 for a 5 pack of Vanilla Latte or Caffe Mocha, $9.95 for a 12 pk of coffee or $10.95 for a 12 pk of Decaf coffee) as well as some yummy chocolates!

Free Printable Thanks a Latte for Coffee Lovers

You could also use a Starbucks reusable cup, which are $8.95 for the regular size (shown above) & $10.95 for the tall size.  These cups hold up so well – I love mine!

Starbucks Chalkboard Mug

Another fun idea for a Coffee Gift is to pick up this Starbucks Chalkboard mug – not the most frugal at $14.95, but you can all sign it with the special pen (or just have the kids sign/decorate the mug) & then you bake it so that it sets it & what a unique Christmas gift. Add our fun FREE printable card along with a gift card & some chocolates for a unique, personalized gift for Dad!

There are some many fun uses for this FREE “Thanks a Latte” printable, so make sure to pin it now so you don’t forget about this fun gift printable for those coffee lovers in your life!

If you’re looking for more  teacher gifts, make sure to check out all of these Teacher Gift Ideas we have.

Homemade Thanksgiving Table Decorations & More Frugal Thanksgiving Decor Ideas!

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Homemade Thanksgiving Table Decorations & More Frugal Fall Decor

 Homemade Thanksgiving Table Decorations &

More Frugal Thanksgiving Decor Ideas

If you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year & are still debating about how to decorate your table  & around your home on a budget, we’ve got a variety of different ideas for you to give you some inspiration. Many of these are homemade / DIY ideas you can do at home & others involve frugal items from the stores to compile together to make a beautiful table display for your Thanksgiving table as well as add some other fall touches around your home.

We’d love to hear some of your favorite ways to decorate for Thanksgiving too!

Frugal Thanksgiving Decor & Table Decorations:

 

Burlap Fall Leaves Table Runner & Other Fall Tablescape Ideas from Architecture of a Mom

DIY Wooden Crate Centerpiece for Fall from DIY Inspired Home

Easy Fall Candle Centerpiece from Albion Gould

Fall Table Decor from A Mitten Full of Savings

Fast & Frugal Fall Decor from One Creative Mommy

Fall Tablescape with Pressed Leaves  from Thrifty Jinxy

Starbucks Bottle Fall / Thanksgiving Place Card Holders from The Grant Life

Easy Fall Decor Idea from Ann’s Entitled Life

” Thankful” Burlap Canvases  from The Love Nerds

Fall Nature Vase & Autumn Paper Tree from Happy Deal Happy Day

Rustic Give Thanks Sign from Homemade Interest

Fall Table Decor Ideas from A Mom’s Take

DIY Glitter Pumpkins from A Dose of Paige

Fall Wreath from Second Chance to Dream

Dry Erase Thankful Frame from Happy Deal Happy Day

Rustic Fall Pumpkin Decor from Thrifty NW Mom

Pine Cone Mason Jar Centerpiece from Robyn’s Online World

Glittered Fall Leaves DIY from Typically Simple

Fall Flower Table Centerpiece from A Dose of Paige

Turkey Relish Tray from Neat Nest Organizing (this is more of a food item, but would be a great display for table too!)

Fall Foliage Mason Jar Luminary from Raking in the Savings

5 Frugal Fall Entertaining Ideas from Thrifty NW Mom 

Blessed Thanksgiving Decor from Coffee with Us 3

Wall Thankful Tree from Digital Mom Blog

Pumpkin Centerpiece Ideas from Thrifty NW Mom

Let us know if you have any more great Thanksgiving decor ideas you use in our home!

Make Disney’s Olaf (From Frozen) Using Pumpkins this Fall!

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Olaf Pumpkin

We recently took the kids out to the pumpkin patch, and found so many beautiful pumpkins in all kids of shades of orange and white! Like many other kids, my girls want to be the Frozen characters this Halloween (Elsa and Anna), but they needed an Olaf! A good friend looked at the white pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, and had the brilliant idea of turning those into Olaf. He turned out so cute, and was so affordable to make that I thought some of you might want an Olaf for your front yard this Fall!

Supplies Needed:

  • 3 white pumpkins (that will stack on each other like a snowman). We picked ours up at the Pumpkin Patch
  • Googlie Eyes ( or you could just draw these on with a black sharpie paint pen too)
  • Carrot for the nose
  • Branches for the arms
  • 3 Black Buttons (or again you could just draw these on). We skipped this step, but you could add them!
  • Hot Glue Gun and glue sticks

Frozen pumpkins

To Make Olaf out of pumpkins:

1) Stack the three pumpkins on top of each other so they balance well and make a snowman figure.

2) Hot glue on the Googlie eyes to the top pumpkin (or you could draw them on, or if your kids love to carve pumpkins you could carve out the eyes and whole for a nose, and mouth from the top pumpkin).

3) Hot glue on the carrot for the nose to the top pumpkin (or insert into hole if you carved your pumpkin). This step was tricky in that the carrot had some moisture in it so it did not want to glue on directly. I ended up sticking a tack in the carrot and then attaching the glue to the tack and the pumpkin (and then gluing all around the carrot as seen in the picture above).

4) Either carve holes in the side of the 2nd pumpkin, and insert twigs for arms (or you could hot glue these too). I hot glued the arms to the top of the second pumpkin and then stacked the top pumpkin on top of the arms for added stability.

5) Glue or draw on the black buttons down the center of the 2nd pumpkin. Draw on the mouth of you want to include one of those. I used a paint pen, as the oils on the pumpkin can make it hard for markers to stick.

Its that easy. My girls LOVE their Olaf pumpkin, and it was the easiest pumpkin project I have gotten away with (we opted not to carve this year), so it worked for us all!

Simple Halloween Crafts for Kids – 20 Fun Fall & Halloween Ideas!

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Simple Halloween Crafts for Kids

Simple Halloween Crafts for Kids 

Are you looking for a fun & simple Halloween or fall harvest craft to do with your kids? We’ve got a variety of ideas that we’ve compiled for you – everything from spiders, bats, pumpkins, black cats & more!

Make sure to check out our Fall Family Fun page with even more great ideas for this time of the year – delicious fall recipes, Halloween party ideas, family fun activities & more!

Simple Halloween Crafts for Kids:

1. Paper Plate Spiders from I Heart Crafty Things

2. Lego Stamped Pumpkin Craft from Crafty Morning

3. Hand Print Spiders from The Chirping Moms

4. Masking Tape Mummy from No Time For Flash Cards

5. Bat Slime from Little Bins for Little Hands

6. Monster Mobile from Toilet Paper Rolls from Happy Hooligans

7. Spooky Spiders from Simple as That

8. Scissor Skill Pumpkin from Nurture Store

9. Kool-Aid Pumpkins from Housing a Forest

10. Water Bottle Pumpkin Jack-O-Lantern from Motherhood on a Dime

11. Q-Tip Skeleton from How Wee Learn

12. Halloween Surprise Eruption from Simple Fun for Kids

13. No Sew Ghost Hand Puppet from Mama Smiles

14. Toilet Paper Black Cat from Easy Child Crafts

15. Easy Dress Up Hats from Reading Confetti

16. Glow In The Dark Trick or Treat Bucket from Not Just a Housewife

17. Halloween Wreath from No Time For Flash Cards

18. Water Color Resist Spider Web Art from I Heart Arts n Crafts

19. Fingerprint Bat Silhouette from Crafty Morning

20. Candy Corn Man craft from Meaningful Mama

Rustic Fall Pumpkin Decor Using Reclaimed Wood!

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Wooden Pumpkins

 

I love rustic decor, but shopping for many of these rustic fall pieces in the stores can get pricey. This year we got creative and made these fun rustic fall wooden pumpkins from scrap wood. It does not take a large amount of wood for each pumpkin, so its a great project if you have a few boards laying around (old pallets would be perfect)!

My mom lives on some property, where wood is ample, so her and my husband helped me with these pumpkins.

What you will need to make these wooden pumpkins:

  • Jigsaw
  • Scrap wood (the amount you will need depends on how many pumpkins you want to make, and how large (one plank from a pallet could make a smaller pumpkin)
  • Large Staple gun, or small hammer and small nails
  • Wood Glue
  • Stick from outside for the stem at the top of the pumkin

How to make these Wooden Pumpkins:

1) Line up the slats together to form a square around the size of the pumpkin you want to end up with.

how to make wooden pumpkins

 

2) Take another slat of wood and run it horizontally across the other slats (like in picture above)

3) Staple the horizontal slat of wood to each vertical slat of wood (see image above)

4) Once you have the vertical slats held together with the horizontal slat, you can draw your pumpkin shape on the wood (use a paper template to draw it on if that is easier).

Note – if you plan to create a base for them to sit on (see step #7 below) then you will want a flat bottom of your pumpkin, vs rounded, so keep that in mind when drawing your pumpkin.

5) Use the jigsaw to carefully cut along the lines of the pumpkin you drew on each set of wood

6) Once you have your pumpkin shape cut out, you can use wood glue to attach a branch/stick as the stem to the top of your pumpkin

7) You can now either add picture hanging wire to the backif you want to hang them on your door or wall, or you can build a base for them to stand up on (thats what we have in the image above so they can sit on flat surfaces. To build the base cut one of the slats approx. 1 inch longer then the base of your pumpkin (so it is 1/2 inch longer on each side). Staple it to the bottom of each pumpkin base.

Pumpkins on mantle

 

Pumpkins on mantle 2

And here is what they look like sitting on my mantle! The best part is that since we used scrap materials they were free to us to make, and so not only do I love them but they can be a very frugal option to Halloween or Fall decorating!

Credit: We got our inspiration from Finding Home Online here. She made hers a little different then we did, but be sure to check out her reclaimed wood pumpkins too for more ideas!

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Pumpkin Centerpieces Ideas – Use A Pumpkin As A Vase And Add To It!

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DIY Scarecrow

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5 Frugal Fall Entertaining Ideas