Sunday, November 30, 2014

DIY: Safety Pin Pins

This project requires you to pull out that giant glass jar of things I like to call "bits & baubles". Oh, you don't have one of those? Mine is an old massively large pickle jar. A friend gave it to me, filled with goat's milk. (Such a random tidbit to include in this crafty post. haha!) It is now filled with a mess of broken necklaces & bracelets, earrings with lost mates, brooches with missing gemstones, outdated accessories, pearls that have lost their lustre, & lots of shiny, bedazzled jewels. 
The trick to this project is purchasing inexpensive safety pins—the kind sold at dollar stores. They are very easy to work with & require less manipulating with pliers than some safety pins I've purchased from craft stores. 

Be careful when making this project. There's the whole "prick your finger" aspect. 
Dump your supplies on the table & start creating! You're basically a jewelry designer now. Have at it & show your style!

Here are examples of other Safety Pin Pins, with a quick how-to described in each slide. The first two samples do not require you to untwist the safety pin at all—just leave it as is!

The Crazy Crafty Christmas Countdown is a D.I.Y. project every day from Black Friday through Christmas Eve.
So be sure to check back often!
Click HERE (or the logo on the sidebar) for a list of all the current Crazy Crafty Christmas Countdown posts.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

DIY: Happy Acorn Necklaces

I went on a late-night acorn hunt for these little brown-capped nuts. Walking in the dark on a drizzly, wet October evening with a friend, flashlights in hand, we scoured the ground for these treasures. My boots were soaked all the way to my socks. Sadly we came up empty-handed. But the story has a happy ending: A neighbor of my friend learned of our acorn pursuit, via Facebook, & gifted us with a bucketful on his porch. 
Score one for random acorn suppliers on social media!

Immediately after making these Happy Acorn Necklaces, the girls each chose two of their favorites: one for themselves & one for a friend. When they returned home from school that same day, they reported that all their friends wanted one. So when you make these necklaces, just make a slew of them to give away, because giddy girls across the land will want one. Promise.

Or...make them on a shorter string & hang them on your tree as an ornament. Because, I think your tree wants one too.

Before crafting with acorns, you'll need to make sure they get a little bath. Wiping VERY well with a wet paper towel works, but you can also soak them in a bowl of water, lightly scrubbing to get rid of dirt. Next, dry both the tops & bottoms in an oven. This helps to get rid of any bugs. Spread the acorns on a foil-lined cookie sheet & bake at 175 degrees F for an hour. Be careful when you take them out---the acorns will be HOT! Let them cool before handling.
I didn't have any bugs in my acorns, that I could see anyway. If you have, like, loads of little critters start crawling out of your acorns, then I don't know what to tell you. That's gross. I would run screaming, & just crank that oven to 500 degrees F & let those suckers burn up. And then get a new oven.

The Crazy Crafty Christmas Countdown is a D.I.Y. project every day through Christmas Eve.
So be sure to check back often!
Click HERE (or the logo on the sidebar) for a list of all the current Crazy Crafty Christmas Countdown posts.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

DIY: Thanksgiving Turkey Tracks

Add some silly last-minute Thanksgiving decor to your home with this super quick tutorial. 

•Computer + printer
•double-stick tape (optional)

1. Print out clip-art images of turkey tracks onto cardstock.
2. Cut out images.
3. Toss the turkey tracks on your floor. (Or use double stick tape if you'd like.)

Use the tracks to lead your guests from the front door to their place of honor at the dining table.
Let kids follow the tracks to a special prize...or the dessert table.
Sprinkle the tracks across the dining table.
Or make a game of it: Hide the turkey tracks & whoever finds the most, wins!

--->Size: 3.5 to 4.5 inches long; 3.75 to 4.25 inches wide
--->Stride: 8 to 14 inches depending on speed
--->Turkeys have a fourth toe, which faces backward. But this does not always show in the tracks because they don't always place the foot entirely flat on the ground. Sometimes there will be a mark from the claw.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

DIY: Balloon Advent Calendar

Welcome to a preview of the Crazy Crafty Christmas Coundown! Yes, that's what I have decided to call this. It was either that or The Do It Yourself Crafty Christmas Countdown Blog Extravaganza. (Or T.D.I.Y.C.C.C.B.E. for short.)

I'm soooooo excited to share with you an array of original projects & activities, just in time for Christmas. Every day, from November 29 through Christmas Eve, I'll be posting a handmade tutorial on this here blog. 
Yes, you heard me right: EVERY. DAY. 
That's a total of 27 projects!
I hope it makes you oh-so-happy. I hope you comment & share & pin. I hope you are inspired. 

This first project HAD to be an advent calendar. I love advent calendars. And surprises. And the countdown to Christmas. This year, due to family budget cuts, I thought I'd skip the prizes usually found inside our advents, & stick with surprising the children with special outings, & making messes in the kitchen, & creating memories as a family, & the like. 
And though "balloons popping" is on my top ten list of things that scare the bajeezies out of me, I obviously made an exception. As long as the children give me fair warning, it's all good.

*On a side-note: I added the numbers onto the balloons in that first picture with a photo editing program. The lighting was horrible & washed out my hand-drawn digits. 

The prizes listed in the SUPPLIES are definitely optional. If you do choose to add prizes to your balloons, make sure they are teeny-tiny. (The necks of the balloons are tricky to stretch.)

Besides the ideas listed in the picture above, here are some other activities I will be surprising the girls with in their advent balloons. (I tried to think of things that were free or almost free.)
• Tonight: stay up as late as you want!
• Breakfast in bed!
• We're heading to the park with a cozy blanket & a thermos of hot cocoa!
• Pajama's. All day.
• On today's agenda: Make an ugly Christmas sweater.
• Let's go visit some reindeer! (A local gardening center showcases reindeer every year. Check for local free fun things in your area!)
• Dinner for breakfast. Breakfast for dinner.
• Let's make our own marshmallows!
•We're surprising a neighbor with some holiday treats!

This tip is not necessary, but I found it useful so I didn't schedule appointments or meetings on days when the advent read "Grab a jacket. We're going to the movies!" And also, so I could remember when it was that I planned a special "Fancy tea with Mimi". You get the idea. 

Gather your advent balloons in neat little rows as I have. Or string them in a cluster, hang them across a room like a garland, or toss them in a basket.
Happy counting down!