Tag Archives: DIY

Thanksgiving Activities for Kids: DIY Painted Glass Plates

If you’re looking for Thanksgiving activities for kids, how about glass painting? It’s so simple you can decorate dinner plates for all your guests in a single afternoon. In fact, you and your kids will probably want to extend your collection once you see what you can do.

Supplies: Glass painting looks impressive but requires no drawing skills or fancy equipment. All you need are cheap clear glass plates or glazed ceramics you can find in crafts stores or discount shops. Any small paint brushes will do. Depending on your design, you may also want to get stencils and sponges. Many different kinds of paints will work including oven-bake acrylic enamels or regular acrylic paints.

Painting and Design: Wash everything first so you have a clean surface for paint to stick to. Draw your design on paper or use a stencil. Then, tape it to the back of the clear plate. You can paint in the outline directly or trace it onto the front of the plate temporarily with a grease pencil so you can fill it in. Even small children can stamp on animal shapes or geometric patterns with shaped sponges and stamps. Let kids choose their own favorite pictures like turkeys or trains. They may even want to put each guest’s name on their plate.

Safety Tips: Read paint labels carefully to check if your paints are food safe. If not, it’s still easy to keep the paint surface away from food. Paint the back side only of clear glass pates so you can see the design when you look through them. If you’re painting vessels like pitchers and glasses, decorate the outside only and stay an inch below the top edge.

Make holiday gatherings and everyday family dinners more fun. Set your table with beautiful and easy crafts you make yourself. You and your children will enjoy the time you spend together, and kids will love showing off their masterpieces.

Children’s party ideas: 3 sweet cookie recipes

Looking for some easy and sweet cookie recipes for your next children’s party? Then look no further! Below you will find 3 terrific cookie recipes that will satisfy even the pickiest eater, and create leftovers that the whole family will enjoy.

Peanut Butter Sweeties

Similar to a peanut butter blossom, this cookie variation features the beloved chocolate kiss atop a peanut butter cookie, and can be made in less than an hour. Head to the store and buy a bag of your favorite candies, and follow this recipe by Miss Betty Crocker. This recipe can be used for anything from a birthday party to even a Valentine’s Day Themed affair, where you replace the chocolate kiss with a chocolate heart.

Lovely Chocolate Cake Mix Cookies

These simple (and cute!) cookies are as easy to make as they sound. It’s as easy as following baking directions for a cake. Simply, get a box of Devil’s Food cake mix, follow the preparation instructions, throw in a dash of vanilla, some sprinkles, maybe add some M&M’s for color and flair, and mix it all in a bowl. Once thickened, roll into balls and bake per the directions. Voila! Fudgy, cake cookies for all of your partygoers to enjoy.

Snickers Bar Stuffed Cookies

Gosh… did you mouth just water? This recipe takes the disguise of a regular chocolate cookie recipe (the unbeatable classic loved by generations) and replaces the chocolate chips with Snickers bars. Simply, make your favorite cookie recipe, chill for 30 minutes, remove from the fridge, press pieces of Snickers into the dough balls, form into cookies, bake. Seriously, if you thought chocolate chip cookies were good before? You must try this recipe. Definitely a crowd pleaser.

Not enough room, but an abundance of toys

Have you ever gone into your kid’s bedrooms—or playrooms—and wondered where the floor went? Dolls, Legos, puzzles, hot wheels cars—there are so many toys all over the place that it looks like a typhoon hit the room! Maybe, until that very moment, you never realized how many toys your kids actually had. But this is a great incentive to do something about the clutter and organize your kid’s abundance of toys. You could even get your children to help you!

Arrange into Groups

Separate all of your child’s toys into different categories. For example: dolls, building blocks, action figures, reading items, cooking materials and outdoor toys are just a few good category names. Any accessories—like doll clothes—could be kept with the items so they won’t get lost. Outside toys should be kept in the garage or basement away from the inside toys.

Books, movies or CDs should be stored on accessible shelves in their bedroom or playroom. Why not sort them by age and give each of your children their own shelf? If you and your kids borrow books from your local library, be sure to allocate a shelf for that as well so that the borrowed items don’t get lost or mixed up with the books your kids own.

Reachable Storage

You should provide shelves, hooks and storage places for your kids to gain access to which will not only make it easy for them to pick up their toys, but encourage them to do so. Start out by buying a toy box or you could convert a big, plastic tote which makes a terrific toy box. The larger toys will fit perfectly in a toy box and allows for simple clean-up by your children.

Stuffed animals and other bulky, but light, objects can be pulled up off of the floor and put into mesh fabric that could be hung on the walls. The toys and animals will be seen but out of the way. To store smaller stuffed animals or dolls, a shoe holder is a clever idea and it can be hung anywhere that your child is able to reach.

Toys that have tiny parts like puzzles, building blocks or Legos may be put away in transparent, plastic bins with lids; if your child is at a reading age, you could also label each bin as to its contents. Likewise, wooden wine racks are terrific storage areas and can be found at any local thrift store or garage sale; many used wine racks are just like new! Use cylinder containers—like a Pringles potato chip can—and fill it with tiny cars or other little items; then place the full cylinders into the wooden wine rack cubbyholes.

If your little ones like to play dress-up chests, old dressers or trunks are wonderful storage for old clothes and accessories. Sift through your own hats, purses and clothes in your closets—maybe there’s something you could throw in the “Dress-up Box”!

For those miscellaneous things that don’t really have a home in any category, utilize wicker or plastic laundry baskets.

Toy Library

What is a toy library, you ask? Well, it’s a toy co-operative that’s a lot like a regular library except that you take out toys instead of books. A toy co-operative buys durable, top-quality, hand-made wooden toys from a senior’s workshop and non-profit agencies for the mentally impaired. There’s a small annual fee that you have to pay to belong to a toy library; when you pay the fee you and your children are allowed to go in and pick out toys such as trucks, games, cars, gorgeous puzzles—there are all kinds of toys to choose from for young kids!

If there isn’t a toy library in your community, maybe you and your neighborhood families could start one. The children will love being able to select and play with new toys every two weeks—and the kids may even get to play with something you might otherwise not have been able to afford to buy for them.

Art Area

There isn’t a youngster out there that doesn’t like to paint or draw. If you have the space in your child’s playroom, set up an easel so they can let their imagination run wild! But what do you do with all the paints and art supplies when they’re not in use? A bathroom, wall or floor cabinet is a good choice that can be kept or hung in the same area as the easel or in a separate room like the basement or laundry room. If you purchase a wall cabinet, be sure you hang it at a height that can be easily reached by your children. Keep items like colored pencils, crayons, paper, finger paints as well as other art supplies on the enclosed shelves of the cabinet. Inform your children that when they’re done in the art area, you expect them to clean up the mess and all of the items they use to be put back in the cabinet.

Kids need to learn how to properly care for their possessions and you can not only teach them how but be a good example for them by treating your own belongings with care. Just like almost every other item in your home, toys occasionally need to be wiped down with a damp cloth. You should show your children how to do this properly so they won’t ruin their toys.

Always remember, in this case, less is more. Your children will learn to cherish their toys and belongings if they have only a few of them. Set up a frequent “sort and purge” day—maybe once a month or so—and help them go through their toys. Urge your kids to give away to charity the toys they don’t play with or use anymore.

One last thing, if you started teaching your children at an early age to pick up after themselves, chances are they’ll clean their playroom all on their own. But if you haven’t, then now is the time to teach them to pick up their toys and other belongings. It’ll teach them to be responsible as well as how to organize!

Amy Adele’s Easter

Happy Day After Easter! He is Risen Indeed!

All of us at Amy Adele hope you had a lovely Easter yesterday. After a rainy and cold Good Friday and Saturday, the sun came out and it was a gorgeous sunny warm day here in the Upstate of South Carolina. We were praising Jesus a little bit more than we normally do on Easter for the weather alone! 😉

On Easter morning we all woke early (but not really early like some of you sunrise folks) and went off to church to sing, worship and remember the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ! Then we scooted home quickly to get ready to celebrate some more with my in-laws (whom I love). It was my turn to host, which I was happy to do. When I was growing up, my parents always hosted the Easter meal, so it feels right when it’s my “turn”. 🙂 

I should back up a tad though. To prepare for it all,  I had a lot of fun this year decorating and getting the house ready. I like to keep things simple and sweet… but it doesn’t come naturally. I  take forever fiddling and thinking  through things to get it just right (or close enough). I think I may have drove my family a little crazy with all my home decor projects!

Easter Garden

Here is an Easter garden I created… but this one doesn’t have any dirt so I can store it for next year! I just used a little moss instead. Celebrating the death and resurrection of Jesus is the most important part of Easter for our family and I just really wanted a decoration that reminded us of this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This wreath that’s now hanging in my kitchen was a very simple creation… I  just took a store bought wreath and added little Easter eggs.

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Here are a few shots of my dining room… all decked out in its finest Easter flare. I had so much fun finding candle sticks, vases, platters and such around the house to create a little spring garden. I cut those branches from my trees in the backyard. My neighbors were probably wondering why I was running in and out of the house (in the rain) on Saturday holding branches and leaves! 🙂

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My husband and I made some big diet changes on January 1st of this year and it’s been such a success that we’re sticking to it! So the macaroni and cheese dish and a few others like it, got cut from the line up. Of course, not everyone in the family is eating like us so Uncle Jon brought over some yummy bread (that I must admit I ate a tiny piece of). 🙂 I’m not a chef but I found a simple healthy recipe for asparagus risotto that I thought I’d try. As I began putting it together Aunt Chris and Uncle Jon (who are very good Italian cooks) kept commenting on how they’ve never made risotto because they heard its quite tricky. My “simple little recipe” quickly changed to an intimidating one as 13 people hovered in the kitchen waiting to eat. Yikes! But in the end it turned out ok. Whew!! Here’s a picture of me and my sweet mother-in-law as I stir stir my risotto (I quickly learned that lots of stirring was required).

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We finished the afternoon off with my mother-in-law’s beautiful 3 layer lemon cake that was amazing! (Did I just admit to eating that too?) Also, my 10 year old daughter created a scavenger/egg hunt for the older cousins who are in high school and college. It was a hoot watching the older ones running around instead of the younger ones this year!

Family Easter pictures are a must. This tradition dates back quite sometime for my family. This is a photo of my grandparents and my father on Easter Sunday, March 28, 1948 in Washington DC taken with the national cherry blossoms as their backdrop. We don’t have very many photos of them so we think its kinda neat that this event and Corban’s birthday were both on March 28th!

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Now, sixty six years later here is a photo me and my sweet family on Easter 2014.

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Not every day is heavenly but I’m thrilled to say this one was pretty close!

Holiday Decorating: Inexpensive Ideas

Holiday Season

Part of the fun of the holiday season — besides eating all the goodies — is decorating. With budgets tight, finding ways to decorate inexpensively can lead to creative holiday decor. To get some ideas on holiday decorations, check with local stores and get inspired to make your own seasonal holiday decor and pick up some holiday deals.

Thanksgiving

The holiday for sharing and giving thanks is the perfect time to decorate with traditional Thanksgiving decor. One of the easiest and most colorful decorations is the cornucopia, also known as the horn of plenty. Filled with the “bounty of the season,” these decorative horns add a splash of color as a centerpiece or as a table or counter decoration.

Supplies needed:

  • A wicker cornucopia cone
  • 1 bag of craft moss
  • Several miniature pumpkins, squash, Indian corn, and small gourds, a handful of acorns, miniature pine cones, cinnamon sticks, and artificial grapes, apples and oranges
  • Autumn-colored silk leaves
  • Hot glue gun and clear glue sticks
  • Large platter or tray

To construct:

  • Place a layer of moss on the platter or tray.
  • Line the cornucopia with moss.
  • Situate the horn on to the platter.
  • Optional: Adults only. Secure the horn to the platter using several dollops of hot glue.
  • Begin placing fruit and vegetables inside the horn alternating and mixing colors.
  • Continue placing the items outside the front of the horn so it looks like the fruit and veggies are spilling out of the cornucopia.
  • Embellish with autumn-colored leaves throughout the arrangement.
  • Adults can carefully use the hot glue to secure items to the side or bottom of the horn and to each other.
  • Insert fragrant cinnamon sticks inside the horn.
  • Optional: add pine needles, uncooked cranberries, and fragrant potpourri for extra decoration and aroma.

Christmas

Making holiday decorations is a project the entire family can do together. Children will enjoy decorating pine cones.

Supplies needed:

  • Small, medium and large pine cones purchased from the craft store or gathered from the backyard or local park
  • Gold or silver craft paint
  • Artificial snow
  • Glue or hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Red, gold and silver glitter
  • Red, blue, and gold ribbon
  • Miniature decorations such as bells and ornaments
  • Scissors

To construct:

  • You have two options to decorate the cones. First, paint the tips and a portion of the petals with gold paint. Once dry, brush a tiny dollop of glue on the tip of each petal and sprinkle a dash of gold glitter. Second, apply artificial snow to the cone, let dry, then brush the tips with glue and apply silver glitter.
  • Insert miniature bells and ornaments to petals and secure with glue.
  • Cut a piece of ribbon in the appropriate color, tie in a bow, then use regular glue or hot glue (adults only) to adhere the ribbon to the top of the pine cone.
  • Place cones in crystal glass vases, in baskets lined with seasonal colored tissue paper, or fill a clear bowl with the colorful cones.
  • Glue a gold, red or white pipe cleaner behind the bow, create a loop, and use to hang the pine cones on the tree, a decorative garland, or a mantle piece.

Holiday Decorations

Halloween Costume Ideas You Can Make With Your Child

Halloween with your child can be one of the most fun times of the year. From pumpkin carving to trick-or-treating, the holiday is full of enjoyable opportunities for a great time with the kids. Going to the local department store and picking out a costume is fine, but you miss out on an exciting activity with your child. Plus, have you ever looked at a Halloween costume thinking that you could have made something better for a tenth of the price? Making your child’s Halloween costume together is an opportunity for your children to learn valuable skills, have fun with their mom or dad, and will give them a sense of pride when they wear it on the big day. Here are some easy Halloween costume ideas that are fun and simple to make.

Halloween Costumes:

  • mummy Halloween costume takes little more than some light colored, tight fitting clothes (try PJs), and a few rolls of gauze. Use glue to make a permanent costume, or wrap it on the day of. Be ready for giggles as you begin to wrap!
  • bat costume can be made by detaching the head of an umbrella and cutting it in half (be sure there are no sharp edges), making wings (black cloth can also be used). Sew these to the back of a plain black sweatshirt, and cut ears out of black felt. Make a mask by cutting a piece of construction paper and gluing it to sunglasses.
  • An artist costume is easy to make. Cut a paint pallet out of cardboard and paint splotches of different colors onto it. A brush to hold and a bandana to wear are the only other essentials, but it might be fun to think creatively about which clothes would represent an artistic personality. A great follow up activity is painting!
  • A flower costume can be made using an all green outfit topped with felt petals. With some safety scissors and a chalk line (depending on his or her age), your child can cut he petals his/herself.Face paint is optional.
  • A simple knight costume can be created with a base of grey sweatpants and a grey hooded sweatshirt. An art smock or vest (worn backwards) can be adorned with a painted or sewn emblem, designed by your child. Tuck the pants into high boots (snow boots should work fine) and there’s just one more step. A sword can be made from wood or cardboard, using a saw or scissors to cut a blunt tip and attaching a small piece of the material at the base as the hilt, or cross-guard. Use silver spray paint to give it a realistic sheen. A shield can be cut out of cardboard and decorated by your child (use string to make a handle to slide the arm through).
  • Make a Lego Halloween costume using by painting a cardboard box and cutting a home for your child’s head. Glue colored plastic bowls to the front to make it complete, and make sure the sweatpants and sweatshirt matches the color of the box.

This list is just a start. Think creatively with you child and you are sure to come up with the perfect Halloween costume ideas to fit you both. Enjoy your crafting and happy Halloween!

Black Spider Halloween Costume Invitation
This spooky black spider is the perfect way to invite all of your friends over in their Halloween costume!