crafting · DIY · Seasonal · Uncategorized

5 Halloween Kid’s Crafts

We all love this spooky time of year, especially kids. What better way to celebrate than with a good craft. Crafting is an important part of childhood. According to this article by PBS.org, crafting with kids grows their fine motor skills, provides opportunities for language development, strengthens problem solving, and develops visual learning. So, take advantage of this and try out some of the crafts below with your little one this Halloween.

Popsicle Stick Witch Hat

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What You’ll Need:

  • Popsicle sticks
  • Glue
  • Black Paint
  • Paper of your choice
  • Ribbon and Button to decorate (Optional)

Step One-

Glue the popsicle sticks in the shape of a witch hat, as pictured below. Allow to dry.

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Step Two-

Once dry, paint the popsicle sticks black. Allow to dry

Step Three-

Pick paper that you would like to be the back of your witch hat. Trace the inside of the popsicle stick triangle with pencil on the paper and cut about an inch away from the pencil lines. Erase the lines and glue the triangle on the back of your with hat.

Step Four-

Decorate! You can use ribbon, buttons, feathers, rhinestones or whatever you have!

Pine Cone Bat

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What You’ll Need:

  • Pine cones
  • Black Acrylic Paint
  • Construction Paper
  • Twine or Ribbon
  • Googly Eyes
  • Wire

Step One-

First you must paint your pine cones! Wrap the tops or stems of the pine cones in wire and create what looks like a ornament hook. Water down a cup of black acrylic paint. Be sure to use a cup your okay with throwing away. Find a place you can make a bit of a mess and easily clean it up. I put down some cardboard on my back patio and hung a tension rod between two saw horses to hang my pine cones on so they could drip dry. Dip the pine cones in the paint, let as much excess paint as you can drip off into the cup then hand your pine cones up to drip dry. Allow to dry for at least 4 hours or overnight, until the paint has completely dried to the pine cones.

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Step Two-

Once your pine cones are completely dry lay them down on construction paper and trace some bat wings for your new bats!

Styrofoam Spider

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Popsicle Stick Friends

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Doily Pumpkin

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Bonus: Free Printable (Spider Hand print Art)

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crafting · DIY · Seasonal · Uncategorized

Prepping Acorns for Crafts

Seasonal crafting is one of my favorite pastimes. I love collecting things I find in nature on my hikes and including them in arts and crafts. I always keep an eye out for beautiful things to pick up when I’m out in nature. Fall is one of the best times for that. With all of the colorful falling leaves and the abundance of acorns and pinecones to collect, you can grown quite the collection quickly for crafting. However, if you are going to use something from nature in your crafts, which I highly recommend, you absolutely need to preserve it. I already wrote about how you can preserve Fall leaves here, but pinecones and acorns need to be baked if you are going to bring them into your house. This prevents mold from growing and kills any unwanted guests that might be hiding inside. Below I’ll explain the process for preserving acorns for crafting, which can also be applied to pinecones.

Step One:

First of all, collect some acorns! Make sure you aren’t picking up acorns with cracks or holes, these aren’t good for crafting and holes in an acorn are a sign of bugs! Also be sure not to pick up green acorns, those aren’t ripe yet and are more likely to mold because they carry more moisture in them. You can collect just acorn caps, there are some great crafts out there for them!

 

Step Two:

Now that you’ve collected your fair share of acorns, it is time to clean and rinse them! Put all of your acorns in a colander and rinse them under lukewarm water. After you’ve rinsed all of the dirt off of your acorns, place them in a bowl filled with water and let them soak for an hour to remove any remaining dirt.

Pro-Tip: If you do not bake your acorns soon after collecting them, you risk the possibility of worms hatching. Don’t risk it!

 

Step Three:

Now that you’ve soaked your acorns, it is time to dry them. Remove your acorns from the water and place them on a towel and allow them to dry for an hour or so.

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Step Four:

Preheat the oven to 175 degrees. Arrange the acorns on a cookie sheet and place in the oven.

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Step Five:

Turn your acorns every 30 minutes and bake until they turn a deep brown, about 2 hours.

Step Six:

Remove acorns from the oven and allow them to cool completely before using them. Once they are cool, go ahead and start crafting!

 

For Pinecones:

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  • Collect some pinecones!
  •  Preheat oven to 200 degrees and place pinecones on a cookie sheet.
  •  Bake for 30 minutes.
  • Allow a day to cool before crafting!

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Examples of crafts with Acorns and Pinecones!

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crafting · DIY · Seasonal · Uncategorized

Fall Leaves Canvas Art!

The most characteristic part of Fall for me is the changing of the leaves! The falling leaves are the embodiment of Autumn. So, for my first craft, I thought the perfect project would be to show everyone how to preserve the beautiful colors and shapes of the leaves, and display them in your home. For this project we’ll collect leaves and make a unique wall art display for your home!

What You’ll Need:

  • Iron
  • Wax paper
  • Leaves
  • Canvases
  • Paint/Color of your choice
  • Mod Podge
  • Brushes
  • Paper Towels

Step One:

Get outside and collect some leaves! Pick ones that have vibrant colors and that aren’t dried out yet. Collect as many that catch your eye as you can, since you’ll need a lot for this project (at least 30 decent sized leaves).

Step Two:

If your leaves are wet from rain or dew, sandwich them between paper towels to dry them off for about an hour.

Once you have enough dry leaves, place them in between two sheets of wax paper. Place paper towels on either side of the wax paper to protect your iron and your surface from the melting wax. Coating your leaves in wax and heating them lightly with an iron helps eliminate moisture in the leaf and seal in the color.

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Set your iron to the satin setting and delicately iron the leaves till they have a thin coating of wax on both sides.

Remove the leaves from in between the wax paper. Let cool for 30 minutes.

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Step Three:

Now that you have sealed your leaves in wax, it’s time to coat them in Mod Podge!

Brush the top side of your leaves with one coat of Mod Podge, don’t worry if it looks like your glue isn’t adhering, its just having trouble sticking to the wax, but its still doing its job.

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Example of the first coat of Mod Podge.

Once the top sides of your leaves are dry, flip, and repeat with the backsides of your leaves. This layer of Mod Podge will keep the leaves from deteriorating.

Pro-Tip: If you want your leaves extra flat, press them in between some heavy books for a few hours after following all the above steps. You can add a full tea kettle on top for some extra weight!

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Your leaves should look like this when your all done!

Step Four:

Purchase canvases at your local art supplier Micheals. Choose sizes that go well together and remember to always find the best deals. I happen to prefer Micheals as I can use coupons. Try to go when they are having a sale.

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Some Wall Art Ideas!

Once you have purchased your canvases, pick a base color to paint them! It can be anything you want, I chose brown to match my existing decor and to bring out the colors in the leaves. However, you can pick a statement color like teal or yellow!

 

After deciding on a base color, paint your canvasses. It may take a few coats as my canvases took 3 coats to get the deep brown I was looking for.

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Step Five:

Now that your canvases are painted and your leaves are prepped, its time to put them together.

Plan out your pattern with your leaves before you start gluing. When you’ve found a design you like, paint the backs of your leaves with Mod Podge and glue them down to your canvases. Allow them to dry for an hour or two. If your leaves aren’t flat against the surface, wait for the the Mod Podge to dry, lay down something plastic like Ziploc bags or saran wrap, and then place some heavy books on top.

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Once the leaves have glued to your canvases, paint an even layer of Mod Podge over the entire surface, even the sides. This will give everything a nice finished look and keep the leaves pressed down.

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Don’t worry if your leaves hang off the edge, you can trim off the excess when everything is dry.

You can even add extra layers of Mod Podge if you feel like you need to, just allow them to fully dry before adding the next layer.

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 Pro-Tip:  If you want to get extra fancy and make your project really last you can add a layer of Acrylic Paint Sealer over the whole project. Be sure your entire work surface is covered (I use empty trash bags as work mats) and that you ventilate the area after using the spray.

Once your Mod Podge is dry you can hang your new art work and admire it all season long!

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Life · Lists · Uncategorized

Hiking, Crafting, Cooking and what’s in between…

Now that you’ve read My Story , let’s get to know each other a bit better! Here are some interesting facts about me, make sure to tell me something interesting about you in the comments!

1. I love to hike. I’ve only been hiking for 4 months now, but I instantly fell in love the second I started. That doesn’t mean it’s been an easy road. I went through a long phase where my feet were constantly in bad shape and I had to take long breaks to let them heal. Thankfully the right shoes, socks and TLC has defeated the problem and is allowing me to hike to my hearts content.

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2.I was raised on classic rock and it’s the music my soul loves. Play me some Led Zeppelin, Van Halen or Queen and you’ve won me over.

3.I’ve been with my boyfriend for over 5 years now. We’ve known each other since we were kids and started dating the day we graduated High School (I asked him out).

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4. I love the company of animals. I have a dog named Henry, he’s a Havanese/ Poodle mix. He’s seven years old (I cant believe it! He’s still such a puppy). He is a total ball of energy and love, all he wants is to lay on your lap.

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5. I’m interested in all things related to art , but I love crafting. I love the joy of making something from scratch.

6. I taught myself to sew when I was a teenager.

7. I do not drink alcohol, ever. I’m no fun at parties.

8. My whole family calls me Nans, I have a million nicknames in my family, including Nannanators!

9. I love cooking! I especially love finding a great recipe and adding my own twist. I cook for my whole family every night. My dad is diabetic and I’m vegan so putting together a meal can be a challenge, but it’s a lot of fun experimenting and trying new things!

10. I’m in love with movies, especially scary ones! I’m also a bit of an oldie as I enjoy black and white films and I’ve watched some silent pictures. Some of my favorite movies are Jaws and The Birds.

11. As a matter of fact, thanks to Jaws, I’m terrified of lakes, ponds, and the ocean. It’s one of my biggest fears. When I’m in water where I cannot see to the bottom, I immediately believe there’s something lurking beneath me.

12. One of my idols is Frida Kahlo, as the result of a bus accident when she was 18, Frida was in severe pain all of her life and endured 35 surgeries. Her struggle with disability has always inspired me to cope with my own problems.

13. Ever since I saw the movie We Bought a Zoo, I’ve fallen in love with the idea of opening up my own animal sanctuary when I’m much older. I want to save every animal I see, and ever since my boyfriend’s parents started fostering dogs from Lulu’s Rescue and ASF Rescue I’ve been inspired by the dedication and work they put into every dog they rescue.

14. I’m a natural redhead with unruly curly hair. It’s always been a struggle to tame my mane.

15. I can memorize the lyrics to any song I hear after one listen and remember it forever. I constantly have one song or another playing on a loop in my head and my boyfriend likes to taunt me by tricking me into singing old 80s songs cause he knows I won’t be able to stop myself from singing them too.

16. Autumn is my favorite season. I love the colors, leaves, the fashion, and Halloween. It is my favorite holiday because I love everything spooky!

17. I’ve donated to Locks of Love twice,  a total of 22 inches.

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18. I attend Get Your Rear in Gear events every year, in honor of my Uncle Pat who passed away from Colon Cancer. Our team name is Pooper for Pat and we do two 5ks every year, one in New Hampshire and another in Philadelphia.

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19. I’m a collector of  anything that tells a story. A few of the things I collect include antique bottles, skeleton keys, feathers, and old family photos.

20. And finally, my family means the absolute world to me. I love them more than anything. We’ve all been through a lot and we are always there for each other.

Please tell me some facts about you!

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