I love to do crafts and have cute handouts and activities for church (and school, and friends, and - well you get the idea). I don't consider myself creative, but often use the help of others' talents. I decided to share what I'm doing for others just like me. It may be a link to where I found something or it might even be something *I* created. Right now I work as a paraprofessional at my kids' elementary - in special ed (autism). I started creating items for my 3rd graders this year and can't wait to share them with you. I am the 1st counselor in YW (first time in YW is this past year). I also have ideas for cub scouts and sunbeams posted, my previous callings.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Car Organization

More travel posts.  We have traveled a few times across country and one of the things that I hate the most is the mess!  Every time the doors open stuff falls out.  Coloring books, crayons or pencils scattered across the floor, headphones to the DVD player - you get the picture.  To help combat that problem I searched for ideas online.  I found this tutorial to make an organizer on the back of your van seats.  As you learned in this post, I don't sew.  Apparently I'm not too bad at it because these projects have turned out.  If I can do it so can you!

The post has great instructions, but I will tell you about the few changes I made on mine.  The seats in my car aren't as wide as the tutorials so I made them a little more narrow.  It ended up being about 16 inches wide and the same length.  
The top of my seat aren't as deep either so I added another row of pockets.  This top row is only 3 inches tall (with 2 inches between each row). I sewed it in half so each pocket is 8 inches wide.  I haven't figured what will go here yet, but some ideas are pencils, sunglasses (or glasses case since they will be doing a lot of sleeping), or glow in the dark bracelets.  My second row has 3 pockets instead of 4.  I didn't think much could fit in 2 inches so I eliminated that one.  I made one 7 inches (for a project I'm hoping to get done), one 5 inches, and one 4 inches.  The bottom row of pockets has one at 10 inches and one at 6. 
I also added a Velcro loop on one side to hold the headphones and two button holes on the other side to attach carrabiners.  This is just an extra option to hold things in cases: DS, cameras, PSP, etc.  Their pillows already hold their iPod touch, or in my daughter's case my old iPhone that doesn't have service but still has games.
Post coming soon on an item I'm making to be stored in the little pockets :).

Travel Activity Books

How do you keep children entertained in a car for days on end? Hopefully I found some helps. I stumbled across this wonderful site: Prepared Not Scared. She has some absolutely wonderful stuff (most of which I have yet to discover, but I will take the time in the future to read more)! But for my purposes today I'm going to share her road trip items. She did a beautiful job!
I decided to go with the 4x6 book. I know a lot if people are using these in an 8.5x11 binder, but I wanted something smaller that will store easier in the car. I purchased some inexpensive photo books from Dollar General, printed out her creations, cut them out, and slid them in the books. I let each cold pick out their favorite color car for the cover. 
I haven't done it yet but my plan is to attached the tic-tac-toe game to a sheet of adhesive magnet. I would have it done, but I purchased the wrong kind of magnet (one you print directly on).  I don't think it is strong enough to attract magnets. I also plan adhered the tokens to magnets. I will put them in a snack sized Ziploc bag and stuck them in an extra pocket in the back. I figured it would be easier to retrieve them without ripping the pages if they were in a bag.
There are extra pages in the book. I could search for more games, but I'm thinking that I may have some of of the pictures from our trip printed while we are there and they can look at them on the way back home.
To find the printables go to her travel post here.  For some reason the link to the multiple games in the 4x6 size only shows one game.  If you go here you can find all the travel printables.  Or you can get to them by going to the travel post and at the top right clicking on Folder Three.

The Teen's 'Stache Bash

The oldest is just a teeny tiny obsessed with mustaches.  And while I told her last year that that was her last birthday party (until 16), I got a little excited with all the mustache items out there.  While most parties I viewed were little man parties, I knew we could pull off the teen party with similar items.

First the invitations:
We began with the invitations.  And while I type this I find out I didn't take pictures of the invitations, oops.  I do have a copy of the front of the invitation (because of course it will be available to download).  I cut blue card stock in half and on the front I glued:
On the back I put in the party info and I designed it subway art style.  I can't share it though because my computer crashed and I lost all my fonts.  Now it doesn't show up the right way since I didn't save it as a PDF. 

I used my Cricut to make most of the accessories/gifts.  I ordered the mustaches and glasses from the Cricut Craft Room.  I cut out a bunch of mustaches and made a curtain with them:
The colors of the party were black and white highlighted with blue and pink.  I cut most of the mustaches out on black paper with a few on white, pink, and blue.  Here is a close up of my son being silly, but you will also be able to see what I did.

I took two of the same mustache, some clear beading line, and a tape runner.  I attached the mustaches together with the tape runner, securing the clear line in the middle.  The pattern on each string was: two black mustaches and then a different color, two black, another color, etc.  I tied the strings onto an inexpensive tension rod and hung it in a doorway.  The kids LOVED the curtain.

The supplies I purchased for the party included a large mustache mold, a mustache ice mold, finger tattoos, adhesive mustaches, and chocolate sucker molds:   

 Oh, and I forgot to add the mustache sandwich cutter:

 Let's start with the gift bags:
Here is a close up of the tag on the bag (well all except one word, read on):
I actually saw this idea here.  I emailed her and she sent me her creations, but then I needed to change the colors to match the party.  So I used the same saying and created my own.  After I did so my daughter wanted it to say I instead of we.  You see the original was used at a one year old party so it was a gift from the parents and child.  My daughter wanted it to be just from her.  So I changed the we to I and we used the tape runner to put them on the front of black and white bags.

Inside there was a 12 inch mustache magnet (see below), an adhesive mustache (see picture collage above), a mustache glass filled with m&m's/reeses pieces and chocolate mustaches on a stick.
To make the glass I cut out mustaches on black vinyl and adhered them to the glass.  They now are hand wash only.  I put them where I thought it would look like they were wearing a mustache when they took a drink.  If I had to do it again I would put it a little lower.

Mustache Suckers: I also made a bunch of chocolate suckers.  The light brown ones are peanut butter, the dark brown ones are mint, and the black ones are milk chocolate with black dye.  You have to use an oil based dye for chocolate.  Each glass has three chocolate suckers in it.  I had two molds (as you see in the above collage).  One mold made four of the same thing and one made three different ones.  We ended up with lots of the one style, but that was also the style we used the most throughout the party.
12 Inch Magnet Mustache: With the cricut I also made jumbo magnets.  I bought a roll of adhesive magnet and adhesive felt.  I cut a mustache out of both at 11 inches and stuck them together.  Here is what I learned: You can't put them together before hand because it is two thick and will slice up whatever item is on top.  The cricut does not cut through felt well, but if you use adhesive felt put the paper backing up.  It will cut through it and part of the felt.  You will have to trim it up, but it is a lot easier that way.  I didn't take a picture figuring I would take one of my daughters.  Well guess what, she doesn't know where it is.  Funny since that was her favorite thing!  When it turns up I will add a picture.

With the extra material I also made some small magnets and some stick on mustaches to go with the ones I purchased.

We had lots of Mustache shaped food.  
We had a large Jell-o mustache, large Rice Krispy treat mustaches, large mustache cake, I used the mustache sandwich cutter (pic above) and cut out thick sliced ham, bread, and cheese.  The kids then assembled their own mustache sandwich with the toppings they liked best.  There was a platter of chips, and water bottles for them to 'wet their whiskers':

But we also had glasses with mustache straws:

To make the straws I used the good ol' cricut again.  I cut out mustaches, punched a hole in the middle and then slid it on a blue or pink straw.

I also made some some cup cakes to go along with the mustache cake.  I didn't take a picture of the inside of the cake, but it was a zebra striped cake - black and white to go with the color theme.  I frosted the cupcakes in white and added a chocolate mustache on top.  To make the chocolate mustaches I put some melted chocolate in a squeeze bottle.  I laid mustaches under wax paper.  I outlined the mustaches with the chocolate squeeze bottle and then filled it in with chocolate.  I also dragged the tip through the chocolate to give it texture.

I kept cutting out mustaches on the cricut.  This time I hot glued them onto dowels:

We used these for our photo booth.  I spray painted a large frame pink and they held the frame in their pictures.  We went outside with the woods as the background and took pictures of the girls with their mustache disguises.
Games: As the girls arrived they decorated shirts.  I tried the bleaching the shirts idea.  I bought, shirts, bleach pens, some letter stencils and then I made mustache stencils and set the girls loose.  I had cardboard or thick newspaper in between the shirt.  I also put a plastic table cloth on my table.  The girls were very creative.  Some things to note: we bought black shirts and when bleached turn more of a rust color.  I would recommend a lighter colored shirt.  Don't use too much bleach.  I think the girls thought they needed a lot and they piled it on.  That only presented problems when we washed it.  Since they had so much extra it got on other parts of the shirt.  We started with this activity so I could wash them during the party.  Sorry no pictures I was a little occupied at this point.  
The next game we played is like Headbandz (I'm assuming this is how you play Headbandz anyway).  I used to play it where you put a character or item on your back and you would walk around asking yes or no questions until you figure out who you are.  It is a good mingling game.  Well, the oldest wanted to play it where you put the character on your forehead and went around in a circle asking yes or no questions.  We chose to play it Mustache Style of course.  All the cards had a character from a movie that had a mustache.  To make it easier we mainly used Disney movies or similar animated movies(but not all the Disney movies were animated).  I had the name of the character and the name of the movie to help the girls answering the questions.  The movies in blue are Disney movies and the ones in pink aren't. Again, no pictures of the girls playing the game, but I do have it for you to print and use.
The last game was Truth or Dare.  I HATED this game as a kid because everyone chose mean/evil things.  To prevent this there were questions made up ahead of time for them to draw out of a truth bag or a dare bag.  I used the internet for ideas and then printed them out.  Some of the dares below: wrap yourself in a roll of toilet paper, eat a teaspoon of mustard (three choices she went with mustard), have the person on your left do your hair, have the person on the right do your makeup while wearing a blindfold, take one bite of a sandwich that has one ingredient picked out by each member of the group.  They had a blast.  I had this game last so they could play until parents came.
Here are your downloads:

If you choose to download, please become a follower first (on the right).  I'm happy to share my creations with my followers.  If you would like to leave a comment too that would totally make my day!

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Seat Belt (Travel) Pillow

We will be doing across country trip so I have been busy scouring the internet (and Pinterest) for ideas.  I've found many.  This post is the seat belt pillow.  The first thing you should know is that I found it here: Living Life and Loving Every Second.  Since I don't sew I'm not going to attempt to redo her tutorial.  And since I don't sew and I made one three, I know you can too (seriously, I can count how many things I have made before this project on one hand).  I will tell you what I changed in case you like my adaptions.
I let the kids pick out some soft material they wanted a pillow out of.  Next I cut it out, but instead of two pieces I cut one 12 x 26ish (it may have been a little bit longer - I didn't measure exact, but it was at least 26 inches).  I also cut out a piece 5x7 to create a pocket to hold a iTouch or iPod.

This piece I laid right side up and folded the top down twice.  I didn't sew it, but if I do it again I would sew it down.  I folded the other sides back 1/4 inch and pinned them to the bottom of the pillow.  I sewed it on using a zig-zag stitch.  

Instead of using ribbon I wanted Velcro tabs.  I made one pillow with three and then decided to make the other two with four: I cut eight strips of material out of cotton 3 x 3.5.  I ironed them in half (so I had a crease) and ironed 1/4 inch fold on one short end. I sewed 2 inch Velcro towards one end (the one that wasn't ironed, but leaving room for it to be stitched together).  I folded it in half, wrong sides out and sewed the short end (not ironed) and the long side.  Flip in inside out and pin it on the pillow.  

Sew them onto the pillow (see picture for example, but don't look too closely because my stitching isn't the best).  After the tabs are on, fold the pillow in half - right sides together - and pin.  Sew along around the outside leaving room to stuff it.  Stuff it and hand sew it closed.  I used the ladder stitch I found via YouTube.  Now it is good to go.  My daughter tested it out (in that picture it wasn't stitched closed yet because we were testing the stuffing level) and she liked it so much I may have to make me one too!

If you have questions, let me know.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

I Love My Whole Family (Primary Manual 1, Lesson 25)

Sunbeam Lesson #25, I Love My Whole Family

I was recently called to the Sunbeams.  My team teacher and I were formally nursery workers, but when both the sunbeam teachers were released they moved us up to Sunbeams.  I was very sad to leave my nursery class ~ I had a bunch of cute kids!  My Sunbeam class is cute too, they are just more challenging.  We are working hard at getting them to stay in their seats (Any suggestions?).  They have a short attention span.  I guess I should state that I have taught Sunbeams (and then the 4 year olds) for YEARS.  It has been awhile, but it is the calling I've had the most and the longest.  This bunch is a little harder to keep their attention and to keep seated.  I must say we had a great week last week, but we were also a little smaller.  I tell you this to let you know that I like lots of interaction and hands on.  I always search for ideas and hardly ever come up with my own.  Often I will borrow someones idea and recreate the same thing or something similar.  My first source is Sugardoodle.net (and I try to share back with her since I use so many things).  If you know any great site with ideas, please share.

Here is what I plan to do:
First we are going to make a family chain.  I found the original idea here, but made a few more chains and added color.  Each chain has a family member listed: me, parents, brother(s), sister(s), cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and a box to draw their family in.  At the bottom of this post are the downloads for black and white or color.  I chose to print the chains in color and the heart in black and white using red paper (which is a little thicker than copy paper, but not as thick as cardstock).  I also cut out and put each child's chain in an envelope (the same envelope will be sent to mail their letter - see next idea).  If they had multiple siblings I used the brothers or sisters, but if they only had one then I used the singular chain - brother or sister.

We are also going to mail hugs to an extended family member.  This idea I got here and I didn't change a thing.  I sent it home in an envelope already containing a postage stamp.  Hopefully the parents will just add an address and mail it off!

While at Costco we sampled a cereal that I hadn't heard about before:

Quaker Whole Heart is much like Cheerios, but heart shaped.  How fun is that?  Anyway, we are going to make bracelets with them.  They will have fun edible heart shaped bracelets that we will make as we talk about loving our whole family.

If you choose to download, please become a follower first (on the right).  I'm happy to share my creations with my followers.  If you would like to leave a comment too that would totally make my day!

Download Family Chain Here - Black & White
And since my daughter FINALLY colored in the stick people (I knew I should have done it myself) on the chains so I could have an example for the kids (and pictures for you), I decided that the chains would look better longer.  So I went it and fixed the documents so that they are.  If you wanted the longer chain version download below.

Download the Longer Family Chain Here - B&W
**Make sure you click landscape after the document comes up to print or it won't print correctly!**

If you have any questions or problems, let me know!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I Have Feelings (Primary Manual 1, Lesson 21)

Sunbeam Lesson 21: I Have Feelings 
Behold Your Little Ones: Nursery Manual, Lesson 19: I Can Be Happy
I moved the tab so it wasn't right under the mouth.
I made this to go with my lesson in Sunbeams.  However, I was meaning to make it for Nursery during singing time for the song Smiles:
If you chance to meet a frown, 
Do not let it stay.
Quickly turn it upside down
And smile that frown away. 
No one likes a frowning face. 
Change it for a smile.
Make the world a better place
By smiling all the while.  
The kit I bought (I mentioned in my first singing time post that I have pictures for singing time) has something similar and the kids ALWAYS wanted a turn to do it, but since there was only one the singing leader always held it.  So when I came upon the Sunbeam lesson: I Have Feelings ~ and you were supposed to have a happy/sad face ~ I knew what I was going to make! {For those of you that teach Nursery it also goes with lesson 19 : I Can Be Happy.}
All you need to do is:
  • download (link at the bottom of this post), 
  • print (I recommend cardstock), 
  • cut (don't forget to cut out the two windows), and 
  • poke a brad through the star (line up the circles first so it goes through both sheets) ~ Teacher Tip: if you lay it on the carpet first it is easier to poke the brad through.
  • hold the top circle and use the tab to move the bottom circle.
If you choose to download, please become a follower first (on the right).  I'm happy to share my creations with my followers.  If you would like to leave a comment too that would totally make my day!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Itsy Bitsy Spider Song for Nursery

I can't believe I haven't had time to blog about what I have done in nursery.  The reason I can't believe it is because I have already been released (a couple months ago).  I LOVED this calling.  It was great to play with the "babies" since my "baby" is 8.  I was only the nursery leader for about 7 months, but I must have matured quickly because they moved me up a level: The Sunbeams!  I will share things I did in there (I have lots of pictures I took before I turned everything over).  Hopefully I can prepare my lessons a little sooner and share what I am doing with my Sunbeams too.
One thing I learned at my training was to help the kids sing ~ or at least stay with you during singing time ~ was to give them something to hold.  I already had many things made from when I my kids were little, but this idea I'm going to share was genius.  It is so much more fun to hold an object instead of a piece of laminated paper - no matter how cute the paper is. 

I present, The Itsy Bitsy Spider:
The kids absolutely LOVE wearing a spider ring when singing the song!  Ever since I brought the rings to church guess what song they ALWAYS want to sing first?  Yep, the Spider Song!
On my way out I had to leave everything nice and tidy so I made some signage for the spiders.
I recycled a container from our favorite Chinese Food Restaurant formally carrying Sweet and Sour Sauce.  If you don't have one of these nifty containers to recycle you can use Ziploc or Rubbermaid containers:

For my followers, I will share this printable with you!  Oh and I almost forgot.  I know some people sing it Eensy Weensy Spider so I made labels for that too.  Just. In. Case.

If you choose to download, please become a follower first (on the right).  I'm happy to share my creations with my followers.  If you would like to leave a comment too that would totally make my day!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Baptism Hair

Here is a little about how we styled Boo's hair.  Her hair for her pictures turned out so much better than her baptism.  I had a little more time for the pictures and took time to put it into a bun.  Here are a couple pictures showing off her hair taken during her photo session.


Hopefully you can figure it out by the pictures, but I'll try to describe what I did, but you can also check out one of my favorite hairstyle blogs: Girly Do Hairstyles. First I made a part going all the way around her head (along the outside like a crown - but with the back too).  I pulled up the extra hair in a pony tail to keep it out of the way.  Then I made a bunch of small pony tails all the way around.  Then I did another part all the way around.  This time I made the pony tails half way in between the ponies on the first row.  I added half of the ponies on the first row to the new row (there should be a half from two ponies added to the new one).  If your child has lots of hair you could try this (same idea, but there is an extra row of elastics without adding more hair).
That is all the room I had for her hair, but if you have lots of hair you could do more rows.  

Those last three pictures I took at a different time (I don't remember putting pearls in for her baptism, but this do is different because her bangs are down and it isn't in a bun).  I like it much better with the bun.  To do the bun I split the hair in half.  Half to curl up and half to curl down.  I divided each side (top & bottom) into threes.  I curled it around (with my fingers) until it was the size I wanted and curled until her ends were in too.  Then bobby pin it - at least two bobby pins making an X to hold it in.  Use as many as you need to hold it, but keep them in the bun so you can't see them. Then you get a bun look.

 Her dress has pearls on it.  If you look at the top of her dress and the front waistband you can see the pearls.  At Michaels I purchased some Bling on a Roll:
It is a bunch of half pearls on an adhesive roll.  I cut off the larger pearls and stuck them on each rubber bands.  They stayed in okay, but would never last getting wet or with play.  I had to reattach a few during pictures.  When it was in the bun you couldn't see the big elastic, but when I just pulled it partway through I wrapped small pearls around the elastic.  
Hopefully that all makes sense.  If you have questions, ask.  If there is enough interest/confusion I can make a step by step tutorial.

To see more posts about the baptism click here or the baptism link on the right under labels.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Baptism Decorations and Food

For the program table I wanted a picture of my daughter in her baptism dress.  Originally I was going to do a picture in her blessing dress and in her baptism dress, but somewhere along the way that was changed.  In my search for subway art I also came across an editable one here at Oopey Daisy.  You are able to change the name and date.  I had a 5x7 printed up when I ordered the photos for the programs.  I also ordered a couple other pictures from her photo session.  And while I'm confessing I actually ordered a 11x14 collage of some of her pictures that I was thinking about using.  Well, I wasn't to thrilled with that and I still had the 8x10 of my favorite photo I definitely wanted to use and the cute little subway art to display.  Then I remembered a frame I had that had 2 5x7 openings and one 8x10 (currently holding outdated pictures of my kids - all three in the middle, the boy on one side and the girls on the other).  I was even more excited when I realized that the faced the correct direction.  I only had one problem - what to put into the other 5x7.  If I would've had more time I would've printed another picture, but I was didn't.  So I did the next best thing, I mounted a 4x6 picture on paper and threw it into the frame.  It didn't turn out too bad:
I love that 8x10!  It would look better with a 5x7 instead of 4x6, but since the subway art is framed with a pink border, it doesn't look too bad.  Her other photo that I loved (which was the big photo on the collage I didn't use) was the photo on the program.  That was on the table too so I had enough photos displayed (at least all my favorites).

I wish I had better pictures of the refreshments and room, but I was busy playing mom and host so here is what I was able to get my tween to take. I kept the decorations simple for the food tables.  I put out round tables and used table cloths in the colors we chose: the bright colors of blue, yellow, purple, pink, and green.  In fact the decorations were so simple my 8 and 13 year old were making them as I loaded up the car:
All you need is tissue paper and wire.  We layered two sheets of a color and rotated colors (2 yellow, 2 purple, 2 yellow, 2 purple).  Accordion fold the stack (over, under, over, under).  When it is folded wrap a wire around the center (we used a pipe cleaner).  Trim the ends - round or pointy - I did round.  Gently (so you don't rip the paper) peel each layer up at a time.  Soon it will look like a flower.  If you can't follow those instructions search Martha Stewart and she can help you out better.  So I didn't take step by step photos, but like I said, the girls made them on the way out while I loaded the car.
On the table we set out clear cups.  I had purchased what were supposed to be clear labels.  I printed out labels that matched the pop cake toppers (I made those first and you can read on about them shortly).  On the cups I had Congratulations and her name or It's great to be 8.  I changed up the colors (below happens to be the same colors and again, not a very good photo) to match the colors we picked out and I also changed the fonts.  Right now you can download the 8 labels below.  Since I used fonts not on everyone's (or all my) computers I had to save it as a PDF to get it to print correctly.  I think I started to convert the other to a font in word, but until that is finished I only have the one for you.

Now it was towards the baptism date that I decided to serve food.  In fact I hadn't decided how much food when I made the invitations so I worded it as refreshments.  Turns out it was enough for dinner.  In trying to figure out the goodies I thought along the lines of her colors and what I could make that would bring in the colors (since I did little decorations this really tied it all together and made it look nice). I ended up using candy melts to tie in the color to the food.  We had pretzel rods dipped in chocolate, cake balls on a stick with a cupcake topper.  The cupcake toppers had her monogram & date of baptism, Congratulations & name, and 8 is great.

Another treat I made are mini turtles.  Go here for the recipe.  I set them out on color coordinating plates or tied ribbon around jars to tie it together.  I also bought a sliced ham (she was baptized the day before Easter so a bonus that they were all on sale), rolls (sliced for sandwiches), a cheese tray, we also made veggie and fruit trays.  I froze fruit in ice cube trays for the ice and set out pictures of water.  I had lemon, strawberry and raspberry ice cubes.  It added some fun color to the water.

To see more posts about the baptism click here or on the baptism link to the right under labels.

If you choose to download, please become a follower first (on the right).  I'm happy to share my creations with my followers.  If you would like to leave a comment too that would totally make my day!

*NOTE* Below are the other labels & cupcake toppers. The fonts will not work on your computer (unless you have happened to have downloaded the same ones) so you may have to play around and change them to fit your style/needs.