DIY CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I wanted to see if I could make some Christmas ornaments using cookie cutters and air dry clay.  Guess what?  It worked.  This is going to be a great project for the weekend with my girls.

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Things I used: mini rolling pin that’s used for clay activities, toothpick, cookie cutters, and air dry clay

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I pressed little alphabet beads into the heart, spelling out LOVE, and two gold beads for Mr. Gingerbread

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According to the container, it takes about 2 – 3 days for the clay to dry.  Since I pressed little beads into the clay it did crack a bit during the drying process.  I just used a toothpick and inserted a little bit more clay in the areas that was noticeable then let the clay dry once again.  I used pink and white twine to string it up the heart.

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I painted Mr. Gingerbread a lovely Acorn color (Martha Stewart acrylic paint) with a small paintbrush.

This project has endless possibilities!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

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Personalized Paper Bows

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I’m officially obsessed with this paper bow template (http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2013/04/how-to-make-paper-bow.html) and that’s okay with me.  I’m going to my niece and nephew’s birthday party and I wanted to personalize their gift bows.  It takes a little time, but the end result is wonderful, at least in my opinion!

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I used construction paper for the first bow and printed out the name in various fonts on Word.

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For the second bow, I scanned the template and uploaded it on Word, then changed the color and inserted the name, here and there in various fonts as well.

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I love these personalized bows and can’t wait to make and use them for my Christmas presents.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Building our first Gingerbread House

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

The holidays are fast approaching and my mind is about to explode.  Please SLOW DOWN!!  Wishful thinking, I know.  Anyway, the other day we went to my mom’s house and I decided to take a gingerbread kit, which I bought at Ikea (http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90218783/), with us because we’ve never constructed a gingerbread house before and I thought my girls and I would have a lot of fun putting it together with Grandma Rose.  That was an understatement because we had a BLAST!

Along with the kit I also bought a bunch of decorating goodies:

Marshmallow fluff

Mini marshmallows

Mike & Ike candy

Fruit Snack Gummies

Twizzlers

Mini M&M’s

Skittles

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The laughter was non-stop between my youngest licking her fingers (germs galore, yikes!) and dealing with the stickiness of the marshmallow fluff.  We did our very best to stack the house, decorate it, and keep it in tact, but…

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…it didn’t work.  By the end of the night, one side of the roof was falling off and the fluff was melting causing the candies to fall down with it.  Oh well, we still had so much fun building it and then eating it.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Washi tape to the rescue…

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

Here’s an idea to spruce up any plain boxes you may have around (in my case: a cardboard red box that stores my bracelets) or even gift boxes for upcoming Christmas presents.  You can use washi tape.  They come in many designs and can be easily removed so if you make a mistake or get tired of the design, just peel it off and reposition or pick another design.

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I chose a script writing washi tape that I found at A.C. Moore on sale.  These little tapes can be expensive so when they go on sale get as many as you can.  If you’re a crafter, you won’t regret the purchase.  I just covered the top of the box and lined up the tape so it would look like a continuous design.

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I wanted to see the finished box with a gift bow so I took out my scrapbook paper, which I also got on sale at AC Moore (buy, buy, buy) and my bow template courtesy of http://howaboutorange.blogspot.com/2013/04/how-to-make-paper-bow.html.

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I love my cardboard red box now more than ever and if I was gifting this box, I would add the paper bow.

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I decorated my kids play doh accessories box with the Super Mario (brand DUCK TAPE) design (found it at AC Moore, not on sale 😦 ).  I found the birthday duct tape and glitter tape at the dollar section in Target.  Yup, $1 .  Score!  The other washi tapes that I have are silhouette birds on a wire and cloudy sky with red hearts.  I have a strong feeling this tape collection is going to be growing.  I’m gonna need a big storage box, STAT!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

DIY Minion

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I have a great craft idea that came from my darling, beautiful and very crafty 6-year-old daughter, Olivia.  With a toilet paper roll, construction paper, glue, markers, scissors, and googly eyes Olivia made her very own minions from the movie “Despicable Me.”  She came up with this idea on her very own so I’m sharing it with you step by step.  Enjoy!

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My husband put up a ledge shelf for Olivia’s Arts and Crafts finished projects.  Here are her Minions – Ballerina, Mom, Dad, and Baby Minion

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I covered the toilet paper roll with yellow construction paper.  I added the googly eyes with the glue dots.  Then traced around the eyes with the silver marker to make the goggles and used the black sharpie to make the band.

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Using the sharpie I drew the smile and hair.  With the blue construction paper I made the front of the overalls, adding a pocket and the letter G for Gru.

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I glued the construction paper using the Fabri – Tac glue because it works best for me.  I used the glue dots for the small strips of construction paper.  You can always make the Minion with one eye like the toy figure pictured.

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Here’s my finished Minion.

This is a fun craft project for your kids and it’s also a great decorating idea for any Minion party!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Happy Belated Halloween 2013

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

This year for Halloween the Mercado household dressed up as…

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…Princess Peach, Mario, Luigi, and Yoshi from Super Mario Brothers

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I so wanted to recreate that picture above with the stuff toys, but a certain little girl/Yoshi didn’t want to cooperate and get into the costume my talented husband created, so we went Yoshiless.  My oldest daughter, Olivia, was Princess Peach (costume gown and crown bought early at Target.com), my husband was Mario and I, as you can see, turned into Luigi.  I couldn’t smile comfortably with that darn moustache on my face.  🙂

We bought the white gloves, blue suspenders, and moustaches at Party City.  I ordered a set of Mario and Luigi hats through Amazon, but unfortunately they didn’t arrive on time so I took matters into my own hands…

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I took hats that we already owned and using felt, tape, glue, safety pins and a sewing needle I transformed them temporarily.

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This idea popped into my head the day before Halloween so I had to hustle in order to have them ready for pics and trick or treating, which only my husband did with my oldest ’cause turns out my youngest was running a fever that night and I had to stay home with her.  That’s why she was refusing to cooperate.  She wasn’t feeling well.  😦  I was able to put a costume on her in the morning when we took her sister to school.  At that time she was okay.

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My little forest fairy!

Several days later I was able to make Yoshi come to life…

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…here’s Sophia in a homemade Yoshi costume.

My husband purchased a green t-shirt and felt (white, red, orange, and green) at A.C. Moore craft store.  He made the shell using red and white felt and sewed it together.  He stuffed it with polyester fiberfill (Sophia can use it later as a small pillow).  In front of the shirt, he sewed a white felt circle and then attached/sewed the shell in the back of the shirt.  He constructed the head-piece on his own, using green, orange, and white felt.  He drew the eyes and nostrils with a sharpie marker and to make the nose prominent he used a little of the fiberfill and sewed it up.  There you go, it’s Yoshi from Super Mario Brothers!

I hope your Halloween for 2013 was fun and safe.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Bats, Banners, and Door Monsters…Oh My!

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

October has definitely rolled in and I’ve been busy decorating my home for Halloween.  I try to put things up in the night while the girls are asleep so in the morning they’ll have a spooky surprise.  We’ve also been brain storming on how we’re going to put together our family costumes because we’ve chosen a group theme this year.  So far, my oldest daughter is the only one who has her costume already (bought it online a while back).  I just need to buy some white, long, satin gloves and take some major wrinkles out of her dress…that’s all the hints you’re going to get.  🙂

Here’s a look at some of my Halloween decorations either taken out of storage or recreated:

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I had some bats stored away, but since I like them so much I decided to make some more.  I simply used a bat template, printed on cardstock, and then traced with a pencil on black construction and cardstock paper.  I taped them up on several walls in my living room as well as the entry wall.  As soon as you walk in your eyes simply get drawn to them.

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I made this pennant banner last year!  I placed it in the hallway outside my front door.

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I went to the craft store and found these small foam cutouts, in packs of five, and just taped them up in my living room.

I searched for ghost templates and printed these cuties out on cardstock and just added googly eyes.

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And last, but not least, my door monsters.  Last year, I was inspired by a picture on Pinterest and decided to make my own.  This year, I decided to make two of them.  One on the door in my living room and another on the small closet door in my office space/playroom.  I used party streamer paper and paper plates for both monsters.  My girls absolutely love these guys and so do I.

Happy decorating!

Take good care all.

Until next time…

Obsessing over my visual board online

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I’ve been spending a lot of time over at Pinterest browsing and creating boards for myself since I’m in a writer’s rut at the moment.  I’ve mentioned before that we’re house hunting so browsing through pins on home decor is immensely inspiring.  Putting together a visual board online allows me to see what I want for my future.  I try my best not to pin things that are out of my league, financially speaking, but if it’s an idea that can be done another way that fits my budget then it gets pinned onto my board.  So far I’m obsessed with the chevron pattern, which is weird, because I have nothing in my current dwelling with that pattern, but after seeing it as a design on a single wall complimenting a room or even on the floor as a design, I was hooked and can’t wait to try my hand at it.  Hopefully, it doesn’t turn out to be a disaster or a “nailed it” picture (type in “nailed it” in Pinterest and you’ll see what I’m talking about.)  Check out some of the pins that I’ve been currently obsessing over:

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paint colors

http://pinterest.com/pin/459578336945243811/

http://fabuloushomeblog.com/2013/01/20/colours-ive-heard-that-hawthorne-yellow-and-revere-pewter-were-the-best-colors-in-the-paint-world-good-yellows-are-very-hard-to-find-so-im-remembering-this-one/

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chevron wall

http://pinterest.com/pin/459578336945124253/

http://www.ruthiehart.com/2012/05/diy-chevron-wall_09.html

chevron floors

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http://pinterest.com/pin/459578336944920275/

http://pinyourhome.com/

laundry room

small laundry room makeover

http://pinterest.com/pin/459578336944725069/

http://www.viewalongtheway.com/housetour/

There are so many talented people in this world and I’m so happy they want to share their ideas and creativity.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

DIY Moving Announcement

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

I’m currently hooked on the HGTV channel and learning a lot about homes, renovations, design and concept.  I’ve been watching shows like Property Brothers, Love It or List It, House Hunters, and My First Place.  It’s great to see homes that need some TLC or more come to life with the right renovations and design touches.  I also like the advice and tips that are given, for example, in kitchens today the soft closing feature on drawers and cabinets enable you to close them without a loud banging sound or pinched fingers.  When you have kids this is definitely a feature you want in your home.

We are currently house hunting and all this newfound information (open concept, travertine floors, neutral colors, etc.) is going to come in handy once we find and settle into our new home.  When that happens I thought of a crafty way to announce our new address.  Here’s a DIY moving announcement that you can make and it’ll be a nice keepsake for yourself, your family and friends:

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I found this cute, little house cut out made out of wood at AC Moore craft store.  It’s less than a dollar and weighs less than an ounce so mailing it won’t be a problem.  I also bought a couple of Martha Stewart acrylic paint and I already had a booklet of rub on letters, which is going to make the wording on the house a whole lot easier if you’re not comfortable with your hand writing skills.  If you are, then you can always use a fine point sharpie marker.  The sand paper came in handy to make the house a little smoother around the edges.

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I gave the house two coats of this great color, front and back.

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I used the second color on the edges of the house, which made it look like snow.

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Using painter’s tape I painted a door.

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I outlined the door with black paint using painter’s tape as well and with a red pen, drew a heart for the door knob.  Of course, if you’re more artistic than I am you can add more details to your house.  Just leave enough space for your new address.

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Using my computer, here are two examples of wording for your moving announcement.  Again you can write it in yourself with a fine point sharpie marker or use rub on letters.

I think this is a unique and fun way to tell your family and friends about your new address.  You can also drill a hole at the top, add a ribbon and make this an ornament or hang it on your wall.

I can’t wait to make some more of these moving announcements once we close on a house, fingers tightly crossed.

Take good care all.

Until next time…

DIY felt Goomba, Bullet Bill, and Mario Star

Hello everybody!

I hope you guys are well.

My daughters absolutely LOVE Super Mario and friends.  They’re always looking at videos on YouTube and love seeing the cartoon on Netflix.  Two weeks ago my oldest found a tutorial video on how to make your own Super Mario star using felt.  Inspired by that video, my husband and I decided to make a couple of star buddies for our daughters.

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Fortunately, I already had a foam star from my daughter’s birthday decorations, which became a perfect template.  I traced four stars, front and back, on yellow felt with a disappearing ink pen (found in the sewing aisle at the craft store).  I cut those out along with four little rectangles using black felt for the eyes.  That was my job.  The sewing part went to my husband who’s better at sewing.  We used cotton balls for the stuffing since we didn’t have anything else.  Once the stars were done and presented, the squeals that ensued were proof enough that they came out great.

Then my daughter declared that she was going to make Bullet Bill.  She told me that she needed black, red, and purple felt.  And tape!  Those aren’t exactly the colors of Bullet Bill, but I indulged her anyway.  With her scissors she got to work and asked me if I could cut out two big circles from the red felt and two smaller circles from the purple felt.  These circles were going to be the eyes.  She tried her very best and taped something up that was supposed to look like Bullet Bill, but wasn’t quite holding up since she used tape.  My husband soon stepped in and improvised with what we had in hand (supplies were running low).  Without a template, just a picture of Bullet Bill and their creativity, a felt buddy/villain was created.

But that wasn’t the end.  Oh no, another request, and a trip to the craft store (cotton balls finished), was made several days later.  Why stop now?  Let’s make one more.  Let’s make Goomba!  Again, with the help of a picture of this little villain as well as a sketch template of the body, which my husband did, they got to work and had a lot of fun seeing this little guy come to life, especially with its new stuffing (we purchased a 12 oz. bag of Poly-Fil 100 percent Polyester Fiberfill).

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Here are the newest additions (missing a star) to my daughter’s plush Super Mario and friends toys.  They absolutely love these guys.  As you can see my husband added some red and pink felt streamers to Bullet Bill (not part of the original picture, but creative).

I know more characters are going to be requested and we’re going to do our best in bringing them to plush life because it’s a lot of fun.

Take good care all.

Until next time…