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Pinterest Projects

Pinterest Projects

Here’s round-up #1 of some of the fun projects we’ve done this summer.


Ice Cream Art with Real Sprinkles!

This turned out really cute, and it was fun to see the different ways each person customized the original idea.  Using real sprinkles was fun (instead of glitter).  Maybe I will make a smaller version for the front of a birthday card someday…  The downside?  Sprinkles bleed a little in the glue, and now they occasionally fall off the artwork and roll all over the floor.  (And no, I don’t require kids to dress up for crafting–the kids were playing butler and queen before we did the project above, hence the unusual artist attire…)

A great deal on tape from Sam’s Club put me on the hunt for duck tape crafts.  Our best use so far was covering the fronts of our summer journals.  On a different afternoon, we tried using the tape for various boats.  We tested out Sponge and Duct Tape Boats and Origami Duct Tape Boats.  The sponge ones floated better and are cuter, but the origami ones required less in the way of additional equipment.



I got some liquid watercolor paints for us this summer and we have used them in lots of ways.  My favorite is painting this modern house kit that we got from Target.  It turned out really cool and I had fun doing the project with the kids.


We have also used our paint for Crumpled Paper Art, traditional watercolor resist painting (painting over white crayon drawings), rubber cement resist, even shooting watercolor at paper using little pipettes.  Katya displays her favorites as an art gallery on her bedroom door.


Katya and I had a fun morning creating Ladybug Rocks which are now hiding in my garden.  We didn’t follow the instructions exactly, but ours turned out great.  It is so fun to find them peeking out of the garden wall around the patio!



In the “mommy only crafts” department, I worked with my new Sharpies (thanks, mom) to create these cool Kaleidocycle paper toys.  They are kind of mesmerizing to play with, although they did take a long time to color.

Wow, that’s a longer list than I thought!  I have a few more projects to share–some that worked, and some that really didn’t, so I guess I’ll make one more post.  Hooray for summertime crafts (and for actually DOING some of the things I so abundantly PIN!)


Summer Crafts

Summer Crafts

Why do I take pictures of my kids doing craft projects?  Who knows!  I’m not dedicated enough to photograph each step of the process and post good DIY instructions like so many of the blogs I read, and I sometimes I feel annoyed and inadequate when reading other moms’ glowing reports of their brilliant ideas, but here I am doing that anyway.  Sorry, and remember that certainly not every day is like this, nor does every idea turn out!!!

Disclaimer aside, here are some of the things I enjoyed doing at home with my kids this summer…


Baking-soda vinegar volcanoes in the garden


Beanbags in the basement


Circle prints on the back porch


Our circle prints colored in with markers, colored pencils, and watercolors.  Eventually we turned them into notecards!


Sun prints, an activity I remember from my childhood (thanks, Bonzo, for sending the special paper all those years ago!  I found more at a toy store this spring and knew we should try it out.)


The sun prints eventually became notecards too, my favorite way to enjoy but use up cool kid art.

Of course I had tons of other fun things planned as well.  Most of them didn’t ever happen because we were busy with who knows what else.  Some of them we tried but didn’t photograph, some of them were really not as fun as they looked, and a TON more never made it off of a Pinterest idea board.  Oh well, I’ll take the creativity however it comes and all of those things are part of the process too!

Here are links to many of the things we did, in case you want to try any…

Popsicle Stick Harmonica

Summer Reading Board Game (with a Dollar Store prize for each one completed)

Lego Board Game

Laminated Photo Faces (good on our car trip, I just used black and white 4×6 family photos)

PomPom Fairies (adorable, even if they weren’t very durable)

Melted Bead Hair Clips (Katya wears one almost every day to school)

Circle Paintings

Canvas Art (this was one of my favorites)


Car Travel

Car Travel

The older my kids get, the more I enjoy long car trips with them.  Here are a few favorite things we did on our recent spring break road trip:

Treats–I love an excuse to get a few fun snacks that I don’t normally buy to enjoy in the car.  I also have fun picking out two or three small toys, packages of stickers, new markers or crayons–mommy shopping time!  Mini stuffed animals are favorites.


Books and CDs–Nathan now enjoys reading to himself in the car, and Katya took advantage of the time to practice her reading skills too.  I do a little reading out loud, but we never seem to get through a chapter book.  Adventures in Odyssey CDs (from the library) are great ways for driver and passengers to pass the time.


Timeline–On the way to St. Louis, I made a list of interesting places or sights we passed along the way.  On the way home, I wrote each one on a little scrap of paper and taped them to the roof of the car.  As we passed things we could rip down the paper and see our progress.  Nathan enjoyed watching for upcoming sights and Katya did better knowing how close we were to home, without having to continually ask “how many hours left?”


Crafts–I always bring way too many craft supplies along, but it keeps me and the kids amused so I guess that’s OK.  I enjoyed trying out some of the folds from my Practical Origami book, and they doubled as useful containers for passing snacks to the back seat.  I also experimented with Zentagle drawing.  My favorite kid craft was the decorate-a-doll packet I made using patterns from the diy network.  Katya had a great time making her girls look fancy with sparkly sticker jewels and various clothing pieces cut from scrapbook paper.


Games–Nathan is more of a game person than a craft person, so he and I had fun tracking down license plates (a classic) and doing other verbal or pen-and-paper games I downloaded from 123 Homeschool 4 Me.  I also have several laminated games from a road trip PDF book purchased a few years ago, and we like drawing on them with whiteboard markers.

I always have way more projects planned then we actually get to, and some things are much more popular than others, so I’m looking forward to our next trip to try out some more new ideas!


Pinterest Project Post 2

Pinterest Project Post 2

Some more updates on Pinterest projects that worked, and some that didn’t work so well…


I first saw this tent idea posted here.  It sounds easier than it was for me to do, that’s for sure!  The kids helped a little, but lost interest after a while because I didn’t know what I was doing.  When I finally got it to stay up, they played inside for a while.  Eventually the wind blew it down so I re-constructed it in their secret play area behind the garden bushes.  It stayed up for a few weeks there, providing some extra shade even though it wasn’t really big enough for both kids to fit in at the same time. When we took it down, we saved all the parts so the stakes will be recycled into the garden and the sheets repurposed to protect our tomatoes from the fall frosts.  I would say we did get our money’s worth out of the $3-$5 package of bamboo stakes, but it wasn’t quite as glorious as it looked in the pictures.


OK, this one has nothing to do with the above photo but I didn’t take pictures of a few of these things, so just pretend!  We tried water balloon target practice, an easy and fun activity.  Just throw water balloons or wet sponges at targets drawn on the pavement with sidewalk chalk.  Not quite as fun as it could have been, since my kids are too afraid of losing to actually keep score, but still amusing.

Since a new Goodwill store opened up at a nearby shopping center, we stopped in one day to drop off some excess stuff and I gave the kids permission to each choose one electronic item that cost less than $5.  The idea was they could take it home and deconstruct to their hearts’ content, unscrewing and taking apart and exploring just like this mom described in glowing terms.  Turns out they both picked old computer keyboards, and then (after arguing about who had the coolest keyboard) they had so much fun pretending to type on them that neither was willing to take theirs apart.  Oh well, so much for my creativity–who’s to say my idea was any better than theirs!


This rock idea was prompted, not by Pinterest, but by a visit to our botanic gardens.  Their children’s garden has a pile of rocks with letters written on them in Sharpie marker.  I decided vinyl would be even better, so I used a bag of polished decorator stones and stuck on a bunch of letters cut with my Cameo.  I’ve had lots of fun spelling words in my flowerbed, and Katya has finally come around to the idea of sounding out my messages.  I store the extras in the geranium pot.  The kids don’t use them as much as I had imagined, but I’ve had fun 🙂


My final project for this post–vinyl Mr. Men on our everyday glasses.  A fun way to keep track of who’s glass is whose.  We had to post a picture of all the characters inside the cupboard door so the kids can identify who is who!

Pinterest Project Post

Pinterest Project Post

I am attempting to break the Pinterest cycle of finding a good idea, saving a good idea, going back to Pinterest to find the good idea, and spending 2 hours looking at other good ideas instead of getting anything done at all!!  This summer I have chosen 2 kid-friendly Pinterest ideas for each week we are planning to be home.  I printed out photos of them, and stuck them in my old-fashioned paper calendar.  I’ve also collected any necessary supplies for all of these ideas in the hopes that maybe we will actually have more fun DOING things than just THINKING about doing things!!

(As a side note, here is an interesting and challenging article for me with my love of Pinterest.  It’s called “God’s Board.”  Hmmm….)

Anyway, here are a few things we have enjoyed so far…

Original Post from “Inner Child Fun” about creating a Fairy Mural

Our fairy mural…


The reality of making a fairy mural…

To my surprise, Nathan jumped into the project enthusiastically, so I imagine that Katya’s reluctant response was a reaction to his enthusiasm.  She was annoyingly grouchy for half of the activity, but finally she gradually came around.  We left it up for about a week and they both enjoyed adding more details later.


Original Post from “Irresistible Ideas” about snap painting

Our snap painting…


The reality of snap painting…

This was the perfect project for the day we were staying outside while the kitchen counters got redone.  Both kids had fun, and I did too.  We got quite messy, and the results were more subtle than the photos in the original blog post, but the process was quite satisfactory.  After we tired of snap painting, we used up the rest of the paint on our palettes to make paint blog butterflies.  I had pre-cut the paper to fit on the front of a greeting card, so a few days after our artwork dried we mounted it to make thank-you notes.


Original Post from a Danish website “Badut” about perler bead tops

Our perler bead tops…


The reality of perler bead tops…

I was the only one who actually made a top, since the kids preferred to use the dog and cat and turtle bead forms we have.  Oh well!  I had fun designing them, and they work GREAT.  Both kids enjoyed watching them spin, and we have played with them a few times since we made them.  (It turns out that grown-ups also like tops.  Just ask Daddy or Uncle Nate or Grandpa!)


Tune in later this summer for some more Pinterest Project results!


Christmas Crafts

Christmas Crafts

There is plenty of creating going on around here!!  I won’t bore you with photos and descriptions of it all, but Katya and I had lots of fun with this one…

At Thanksgiving, Katya fell in love with this unusual homemade rabbit at Bonzo’s house.

She was heartbroken to leave it there, so I promised we’d make one when we got home.  Now she and Nathan are both proud owners of similarly unusual bunnies–go figure!  I also enjoyed making the cereal box gingerbread house (based on instructions from Inner Child Fun) that has velcro on it for decorating, re-decorating, and decorating again.  (I think I like it more than Katya does.  Maybe I need to make myself one!!)

An Update for My Workhorse

An Update for My Workhorse

Of all the small appliances in my kitchen, my Kitchen Aid mixer is the one I love the most.  I can’t imagine cooking in large quantities without it!  After seeing several pictures on Pinterest, I decided mine was due for a bit of a face lift.  Here’s how it turned out…

No matter how many Fridays in a row I make pizza, I still can’t seem to remember the recipe so it is finally out where I can see it!

Speaking of appliances, I must sing the praises of my husband.  My oven stopped working in the middle of all my baking for the recital last week!  He patiently hauled my remaining cookie dough over to his mom’s house and baked it all, then returned home to research the oven problem.  He found a part warehouse in Denver, got the part, replaced it, and I had a functional oven again before suppertime!  Wow!

Since it seemed silly to take a photo of the oven, here is a photo of my new seed box instead–I found the red metal toolbox at a thrift store and couldn’t pass it up!  I wasn’t sure what to do with it, so this is what it will be for a while until I come up with a better idea.

Random Quote

Random Quote

“Why does man have creativity?  Why can man think of many things in his mind, and choose, and then bring forth something that other people can taste, smell, feel, hear, and see?  Because man was created in the image of a Creator.  Man was created that he might create.  It is not a waste of man’s time to be creative.  It is not a waste to pursue artistic or scientific pursuits in creativity, because this is what man was made to be able to do.”  –Edith Shaeffer, The Hidden Art of Homemaking

A bit of an explanation for the joy I find in cooking and craft projects, that’s for sure!

A Few Projects

A Few Projects

A few random craft projects, just because it makes me happy to make them and then photograph them and then give credit to the people who had the creativity to think them up in the first place!!

When I saw the photo here of these 3D stars, I wanted some of my own!!  They turned out smaller than I anticipated, but they were easy and fun to make.  Of course I needed something to put them in, and I found this paper bowl that I had pinned quite a while ago.  Another easy paper craft, and I think they look good together!

A friend passed this link along to me, and the photos had me hooked!  Katya always loves an excuse to paw through the button jar, so we spent a happy time playing with buttons.  I made this little arrangement, and also did a handful of mixed color button flowers that look very cute stuck in my herb pot in the window garden.

If you have a minute, you really should click on the links that go to the original ideas–their photos are so much better than mine!  Hooray for creativity.