Sunday, May 3, 2009

MOPS Crafty List

I'm SO very happy to pass on a resource of crafty ideas from my last 4 years in MOPS! (I attended the MOPS group held at the Richland Apostolic Christian Church in Richland, WA.) Though SOME of these ideas are my own, I also scour the internet & flip through crafty mags & books. I used to be a T.V. craft show junkie until we had our cable snipped last Fall. I like to choose projects that are practical & useful. This is just a small serving of crafty goodness. I have a selection of tutorials on the right sidebar that I'm constantly adding to. I hope this is a place of inspiration for your MOPS group! Have fun peeking around! And rock on with yer crafty self!

SEPTEMBER: Clothespin princess people nametags
(*Picture of nametag coming soon!)
We wrapped clothespins in embroidery floss, creating clothes & hair. We made a crown of button & sequins. A wand was made from a toothpick & a tiny star cardboard cut-out. We glued them to wooden star pieces with our name written on them. It's funny that my very first craft with the group was my least favorite.

OCTOBER: Altoid box book

NOVEMBER: Flat-backed marble magnets
There are lots of online tutorials showing how to make these magnets. I just used Mod Podge to adhere the decorative paper/stickers to the marble. A clear tacky glue would work too. A hot glue gun worked great to attach the magnets on the back. But be sure & purchase really good magnets! There's nothing more annoying than a cool magnet that slides right down your fridge.

DECEMBER: Christmas gift exchange
Each mom had to bring 1 pound of something wrapped up to give for our White Elephant stealing Christmas game.

JANUARY: Wire & ribbon bookmarks

(*Picture of ribbon bookmark coming soon!)

FEBRUARY: Valentine cards

I was surprised at how much fun the ladies had makin' their own cards. It was a great craft that didn't require ANY instruction, so that allowed for lots of discussion & chatting! Simply gather blank envelopes & cards, & random bits of scrapbook paper, embellishments, sticker, scissors, glue, tape, etc & let the moms make 3-5 cards each. Our meeting happened to fall RIGHT on Valentines day, so it was perfect for those last-minute cards!

MARCH: Boo-boo bunny
(*Picture of boo-boo bunny coming soon!)

APRIL: Bath salts & brown sugar scrub

Bath Salts: Put some Epsom salts in a small inexpensive drawstring muslin bag. Sprinkle in some lavender. Hang over tub faucet & let the mixture steep & dissolve while you soak. Aaahhh...
Brown Sugar Scrub: Combine 1 CUP of brown sugar, 1/2 cup vegetable or olive oil & 1 teaspoon vanilla in a jar or sturdy Ziploc bag. To use: While showering, apply scrub all over body to exfoliate. Rinse well. It can also be used to prep skin for a close shave: Exfoliate with scrub, rinse well, shave. Leaves skin moisturized. No need for lotions! CAUTION: May cause tub/shower to become slippery!!

MAY: Clipboard chalkboard This is made with chalkboard contact paper! At the time we made these, I couldn't find this product locally & ended up ordering it online. I think it's more readily available in hardware & retail stores now.
SEPTEMBER: Nametags: flowers with clay bees/ladybugs
This was the 2nd (& last year) I opted for nametags as the first craft of the year. Nametags, I decided, were not my favorite craft.
These were kinda cute though--& I got the idea from the MOPS forums. Each mom attached a ladybug on her flower for how many girls she had & a bee for how many boys. Clay bugs were pre-made by me.

OCTOBER: Restaurant kits

NOVEMBER: Festive outlet d├ęcor/wall outlet art Our artsy outlet covers didn't look like the ones pictured. Since it was nearing the holidays, we decorated wooden pieces shaped like angels, pine trees, Christmas ball ornaments, etc.

DECEMBER: Christmas gift exchange

FEBRUARY: Love notes, Valentine coupon booklets & love "checks" The moms all received pretty stationery to write a love note to their hubby or kids. I also printed out some "Pay to the order of" LOVE checks. And finally, we made quick little love coupon books. I printed off a simple coupon & precut scrapbook paper that was a little bigger than the coupons for the front & back covers. Sandwich it all together, staple & embellish with a heart sticker. The moms could fill in the coupons with things like: "THIS COUPON IS GOOD FOR:" ice cream date with "maid service" in your bedroom.......a "get out of time-out" night of dessert BEFORE night with chores for one day.......etc. Of course you'd adjust the coupon lingo to apply to the recipient: aunt, granny, brother, hubby, etc.

MARCH: Hershey’s Spa chocolate milk bath I actually never tried this one out. Although terrific smelling, I heard from a few moms that, after bathing, their tubs were covered in a chocolate film. Supposedly this is a real recipe used at the Hershey Spa in Pennsylvania.
(A great craft to leave on a table & let moms casually make while Spa Day festivities are happening & you can enjoy the morning!)

MAY: Take home craft kits: Gift tagsThis was the first year I did "Take Home Craft Kits" & I LOVE doing this! The last meeting of the year doesn't allow a whole lot of crafty time. So, I made up some really cute baggies for each mom, filled with enough random supplies to make 8-10 gift tags: blank tags, papers, ribbons, buttons, bottles of glitter glue, sticky foam dots, twine, gems, charms, etc. 

SEPTEMBER: Cell phone charms/zipper pulls

OCTOBER: Apple crisp

NOVEMBER: Placemat purses

JANUARY: Mini matchbook photo albums

This was the most time consuming for prep work of all the MOPS crafts I've done. But, it was a favorite among the moms!

The link to this project seems to have broken & I can't find the instructions online anymore. It's pretty simple to make though. Here is a brief how-to: •Carefully remove the staple & matches from your matchbook. •Cut a strip of decorative scrapbook paper that fits around the matchbook. Start gluing from inside the small flap, all the way around. •Cut a strip of cardstock that will glue inside the book, & fold accordian-like. (You'll put your photos on these. You can decorate them with different colored squares if you'd like.) •Finally, attach a brad in the same area the staple was removed. (This will take some careful work.) •Embellish as you'd like.

This birthday plate craft was the mom's FAVORITE craft EVER!!

NOVEMBER: Chocolate chip cookie jar mix

DECEMBER: Crazy Christmas gift exchange

JANUARY: Flat backed marble magnets We did this craft in November 2005, but they were so popular I decided to bring 'em back! With a constant cycle of moms rotating through the group, I knew we had some new moms who'd have fun with it.

FEBRUARY: Photo Tag Book

MARCH: Photo contest
We had 5 categories: People, Places, Objects, Nature & My Life as a Mom. The moms could enter a maximum of 3 categories. We announced the contest a few months in advance & even had a photographer come & speak at our February meeting so the moms were all prepped with great tips to take awesome photos! All the moms voted on their favorite photos by secret ballot, including a category for BEST IN SHOW. For fun we had the photographers hide their names on the slips of paper they filled out for each picture entered in the contest. It was a lot of fun & a perfect addition to our Spa Day!

APRIL: Terrariums At craft time, I had the moms completely clear the tables & had them lay down newspaper. It made for SUPER easy clean-up as it was probably our messiest craft ever!

MAY: Take home craft kit: felt take-along play mats
EXTRA STUFF:**I think it's important to keep up on the crafty trends & find creative projects that are current, hip & fun!
**At the end of each year, I put out the remaining craft supplies in my stash & sell them for cheap. It helps clear my MOPS crafty shelves & puts a few coins in the non-profit pocket.**If there are extra crafts at the end of the meeting, I sell them for a buck or 2 or 3, depending on the cost of the craft.

**The last month of the meeting, our group hands out a survey for every mom to complete & turn in. It asks questions & opinions on every topic of every meeting & even each role of leadership. It gives us GREAT ideas, & some things to think about when we are planning for the next year's MOPS. My favorite section, of course, is to hear about the mom's ideas for creative things THEY'D like to learn about.

**You can mix up your meetings with crafts AND other creative activities. This helps because not EVERYONE is crafty. (You mean some people don't like crafts?? WHAT?!) My first year attending MOPS, we had a produce guy from a grocery store speak to our group. Someone who cuts hair came & did a demo on two kids. We also had a very fun meeting on cooking with a pressure cooker (like a live cooking show!) & members of the steering team also brought crockpots full of food that we got to sample.

**Your crafts don't necessarily have to match the theme of the meeting--or even the theme of the year. It's fun when it coincides, but don't beat yourself up trying to make it all so perfect.

**If you're feeling overwhelmed, have a crafty MOPS prep night & invite any other moms who want to join you in helping to organize for an upcoming meeting: cutting papers, separating supplies, putting crafty kits together, etc.

**Once I took on the role of Creative Activities Leader, the MOPS meetings became very different. I didn't attend the meetings to relax & kick back like I used to when I was simply "a mom in the group". That's something to consider if you are thinking of stepping up, or have been asked, to play the role of the Creative Activities Leader. I sure didn't know how much the Steering Committee put into each meeting until I became part of it.


  1. Nikki, this is WONDERFUL! I wish I would have seen it before I started my year in my MOPS Creative Activities role! (I'll be stepping down after 4 years on team). I will be sure to pass it along to next year's coordinator - what a resource (and wise personal advice too)! Thanks for sharing your God-given talents!

    P.S. We made your placemat totes at our last meeting and they were a hit! :)

  2. Bless you! I've been Coordinator of a group started from scratch but being Creative Activities Coordinator somehow seems more difficult to me -- but not any more!!!

  3. OMG. This is a great and comprehensive list. There are so many great ideas! Thanks for sharing all of them. Now I just need to see if there is a MOPS group in my area....I honestly had never heard of MOPS before finding you!

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. You are such an overachiever! Great work!

  5. Nikki...THANK YOU! I am loving all of your ideas and am definetly going to use some this year at MOPS!!!

  6. I wish we had a MOPS group here!

    They are blessed to have you involved.

  7. Very cute and fun ideas! Looks like a lot of fun! =)

  8. Came here from Crafty Crow. The crafts are great, there are a ton of fun ideas here.

    I did find the music on the sidebar a bit frustrating. I don't like to have music play on my computer unless I request it to (it can be very distracting if others are in the room, or little ones are asleep), and I had a hard time finding it buried halfway down the page.

  9. Wow, I'm sure you will be missed! What great crafts! =)

  10. Love the crock pot idea! You go girl.

  11. WOO HOO! Thanks for posting all this stuff! I had emailed you for some ideas and here you are...with TONS! I can't wait to use some of them this coming year at MOPS here in Northern Cali! We did the Birthday plate one and everyone loved them! Thanks a million. You are such an inspiration :)

  12. hi!
    I was planning to do flower nametags, but not sure how to attach a pin or clip to the back. Would you mind sharing how you attached yours?

  13. Hi Tammy--
    I just attached the pin on the back using a hot glue gun.

  14. We are doing beaded serving spoons for our next MOPS craft. ANyone done these? We want to buy the spoons for less that $2, but also don't want them flimsy/cheap. Any suggestions about where to purchase large quantity of spoons? I also want the spoons to have a hole on the end...easier to bead.


  15. Just found your blog and am so glad I did! I just accepted the Creative Activities Leader for my MOPS group and was wanting to see what others have done in the past :) Love all of your ideas!

  16. How did you create the matchbook mini albums? I couldn't find the directions. Thanks you for this!!

  17. Thank you so much for posting this!! What a blessing you are to the thousands of MOPS members who stumble upon your page for inspiration! I have bookmarked you and I will be back. We are going to start with the restaurant kits, but I really love the little Altoid mini albums too! THANK YOU for sharing and blessings to you and yours.

  18. Such a great resource! Thank you!! I've just taken on the creative activities role. I'm really interested in the mini matchbook photo albums, especially since you said they wer such a hit. The link just goes to a DIY page. What all was involved in the craft/what supplies did you need? Thank you!!

    1. Hi Joi!
      Oh, that's a bummer---the link used to work. I've edited the post to include a very brief how-to of putting the matchbook scrapbook together. Hope that helps! And have fun in your new role as Creative Activities Director!!


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