Thursday, December 16, 2010

My sons inspiration today....

My 7 yo son asked if I would dine at the new grand opening of his restaurant of course it is a pretend but they are set up with fake food, table, silverware, etc.
So he tried his best to put the rolly food on the plate that moved all over. THen my thought.....Using stryafoam plates and bowls I could draw (well at least try to) food on the plates. Using my New Bic Mark It markers(provided to me so graciously by Hosties on Facebook for a previous party) I set out to do the impossible. I am so pleased with the outcome and now they will have to change their menu to accommodate my plates. =) I am going to add texture using our puffy glue for mashed potatoes and even bowls of soup.

Memory game with bottle caps...

Yes super cheap but my kids love it...We have owned at least 4 or 5 of those memory boxes but the cards end up getting lost and the kids never like to put them away afterwards. After a recent party and an abundant amount of bottle caps came this idea bottle cap memory game. Oh the possibilities..numbers with the number itself and the word matching games. So a recent trip to the dollar store and a sticker sheet later we set out to make these little things. Use old milk bottle caps anything.

Total cost $1

I find the kids love the clanging noise of the caps and don't have a problem with the clean up. They just throw them in a little bag and its ready for its next use.

Sensory Snowman partially finished!

So we have finally finished the Michaels's store inspired craft...The total cost for this was

3 $1 wooden certificate frames
1 $1 Picture frame pack with the rounded hook style eyelets and wire
1 $1 wrapping paper
Bows on hand

Total $5

Though we didn't here I would recommend modge podge if this is going as a gift. I can't get the link working but it is the last post under Christmas Project

Snow man creation is here....

We left out the glasses in the frame to encourage my kids to touch and feel the different textures of the snowman rounds. This would be a great gift for the grandparents to proudly display winter wonderland pictures of the kids, their works of art, etc. The best thing about this is with a little of fan back and forth folding it will tuck away super nicely.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Project

As Christmas is fast approaching we have embarked on yet another craft. This idea actually was inspired by Michaels craft stores...They are doing a weekly contest where they give you 3 things to work with you create it and then post a pic. Well I was too late for this one but the 3 items were

Picture frames, wire, and wrapping paper.

My originally idea was to take 3 picture frames and cover the outside in snowflake or plain wrapping paper. Adding a few coats of modge podge to the frames. Adding those full covered hook things to the bottoms and tops of frames to link the frames together. then adding a section of a snow man in each frame.

I just had to come up with a variation for the kids to do this one. It is a great sensory tool as the touch is different on each one. What they used...

3 pieces of cardstock for background
3 alternating circle shapes
shaving cream
leftover tile for coal eyes..

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Been awhile..

Pressing back to back parties and homeschooling have left little to no time for my blog...But here is the sneak peak of the newest party that I am planning. Carnival theme party... ON limited budget and the need for all things to be circus I have attempted my hand at

SO far this is what I have.

10 4 x 6 photo invitations = on sale for $.10 each....$1.00 custom invitations (I use Facebook and evite for most of our parties)

Ticket Booth sign= Thank you to Walgreens for their offer of 3 led lights for $10 we used 1 set for the ticket sign.....= 3.33
Foam board was my daughters old science board and paint on hand =Free THanks to the brilliant minds over at for the design idea... the puppet show house/ticket booth was ours but you could use a refrigerator box. call around .

Can toss = I have tried using the special seal can openers and hot glued lids but they arent' always reliable staying sealed. So I looked online and found the plastic set of cans for $19.99 but I found an even better idea.....Slim Fast cans..they are the perfect weight and can be spray painted with some concrete poured in....

Concrete on hand....and blue and red spray paint from Walmart $ 2.00

Red and white tissue paper discount store for fair style bunting. $2.00

Buying $10 of weiners on sale right now at staters when you buy 10 ---$10
Using to make corn dogs (other supplies on hand)

homemade funnel cake.....=$4.50

Photo Booth---(I am not a lets plan this in one day person so when I saw our neighbor with a Large swamp cooler box on there lawn of course I had to have it!!
Broke it down in the garage but will have it up before the party....

This party is for my is 7 and the other is 3. My expense is $200 though I am thinking we will be going over a little.shhh..... I will have to say most of the money has been spent at Oriental Trading company for a total of $100.00....

Do presents count in my total? Nooo....of course not but i found this awesome item
for $20 on craigslist...Doesn't it fit the theme beautifully...This was the youngests present as his bday is closer to turkey day...but it will work as a great addition to our party festivities.

Grand total so far.....123.00

Here are the pictures from our famous event

The total was a bit more but I will give final tally later.

Yes balloon columns I made...get the instructional here.

Super easy helps to have lot of help blowing..try to avoid doing in a warm house the static will be crazy....Second...The first few 4s i did were lopsided and lastly, I did the wrap around with the string and this became more of a nuisance so i just twisted the balloons and they were still okay...The base I made using a 20" tile 1/4" pvc pipe hot glued to the tile. The first try was pretty good then when I tried again the tile insulated the heat of the glue gun and didnt stick very well and it wouldnt cool ( shh a little ice did the trick). Hot glue cooled and then pvc pipe added might be a better bet or using some Liquid nails.

The lollipop tree was a last minute addition...I used my daughters science board from last year and cut 3 triangle shapes to make a pyramid and hot glued the edges together. I then used contact paper to cover. Using a phillips screwdriver poke holes in foam board at an angle and put lollipops have one marked for the winner. I found the topper which was a acrobatic tiger with gumballs at the dollar tree. I cut the top of the pyramid and stuck the topper right in. No one won this as they were too many lollis. I used 3 bags of dum dums from dollar tree.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Yeah me....another project to get OCD strike that creative with.

With limited funds and the never ending of two birthdays smacked in the middle of two holidays. We decided this year to put the two birthdays together for a grand celebration. We are opting for a carnival them party. My father in law recently passed away and was soo looking forward to come to the party so we will have to make this the grandest one so he can see it from way up in heaven. Oh did I mention I only have a budget of $200 (what I normally spend on one party so I may have to go over a little) to include food, drinks, prizes, planning, etc.

I have some ideas so far....


Camera Booth---Cardboard box lined with fabric

Strike alley-Coke bottles painted white with stripes

Balloon Dart- 4-3pk darts from $1 store and bag of Balloons

Duck pond Clearance on mini pool for $5 and ducks $20

Bottle Toss-Bottles (free and I didn't drink it) and rings (11.99)

Tic/Tac/Toe (owned game previously make new bean bags) $5

Dish Throw-using various dishes provide pennies for collecting dish..

Fortune teller-fish bowl on top of a silver pet dish lined with tissue and a person mimics a fortune teller with her crystal ball and reaches in to get a fortune cookie for person.. ($1 pet dish and fortune cookies-$4)

Hula hoop toss Hang hula hoop on swing set and have mini footballs for a touchdown. For advanced kids swing hoop left and right Hoop $1

Metal can throw- Metal diet drink cans painted red and blue to create triangle with 3 rubber racquetballs

Water gun fun- Using golf tees and ping pong balls create a shape and have children knock down balls

Fish ball toss ---using different color cups toss ping pong balls into cups and the colored cup wins.

Pie toss

Clown mask craft

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Creative Learning....

Today marks the 3rd day of school and a recent poetry reading sparked an idea to let the kids build. Using Melissa and Doug Blocks the kids were instructed to build a ship. My youngest didnt know how a ship looked so my 1st grader drew one and they went to building. This is the finsihed ship including the steam coming out the top of a little poster board ( how creative my son is)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Awesome party mom

I went to a friends party recently and she has the cutest ideas for parties. A bit of an ocd'er like me she is always googling to find great themes/ideas. Then I had a thought...she should showcase her wonderful ideas for parties/cake (she is a fab baker also) Nilch no here are a few of her party ideas.

1. She threw a Wii themed party and replaced her family pix with mii characters. As a game she decorated around her fireplace a group of MII look alikes and you had to guess who they were. The highest won. THe grab bags were cardstock Wiimotes filled with goodies.

2. She threw a water themed party for her daughter. SHe had a series of cups (clear and 4 red plastic) taped to her coffee table with the 4 scattered around. THe kids threw ping pong balls and if they got the red...they won a betta fish. She had 4 betta fish in bowls decorated with some curly ribbon and marbles. Some decorations she made were from water bottles twisted in the shape of fish and tissue paper (these were so cute!!!) The kids craft of course was water theme also. Using mineral oil and colored kool-aid water (no sugar) they made little aquariums in small water bottles with lil fish beads and glitter inside. Another smart ltttle game you know those little fishy games that the kids fish for their color fish. Well she took all the fish and put them in a water/sand set and blindfolded the kids and gave them a net to go fishing..The person with the most fish wins...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Colored rice tubs

  1. As a tie in to the crazy for pasta theme...I have been itching to try this with rice. A recent purchase of a 50 lb bag of rice and voila....we have colored rice. Now the how to.

    I took enough rice to cover a cookie sheet and poured rubbing alcohol on top just to get slightly wet. Then had my daughter place drops of color on the rice. Using a rubber spatula slowly stir together the rice to mix the coloring throughout. Towards the end we added a little more alcohol and set it out to dry. We did this 4 times for the different colors. When the rice is dry I took a small tupperware about 12 x 24 and filled it up with the rice. We will be rotating various goodies inside the rice for the kids to sift through the rice. Aside from being a great sensory tool, the kids have a blast. This week we have dinosaurs buried deep within and a few paintbrushes they become mini archeologists.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bird watching

My kids aren't very intrigued when bird watching out in the wide open because they can't see them. But I found the greatest little site....Thanks to they had a great urban/rainy day solution. Using toilet paper/paper towel tubes. We made binoculars and wrapped them in construction paper then decorated them with stickers. My daughter tied ribbon around them knotted around a hole punch and secured with a rubber band. To keep the tubes together I placed a bobby pin in the center of the two tubes. On the above link she made some great bird printouts to stick throughout your house with a bird guide. Take them on an adventure they won't forget.

Friday, July 9, 2010

crazy for pasta... Total cost $4

A recent post by about National Macaroni Day and the coloring pasta has given me such a frenzy today...I can't get enough pasta. So my kids and I embarked on making colored pasta for necklaces at a later time. They look so beautiful. Here are some pix.

2 bags of Penne Pasta from dollar store

1 box of food coloring from dollar tree

and lastly alcohol (I had but you can get at the dollar store)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The beginnings to a Alice in Wonderland Party

This will be my first party since I was is on a Alice in Wonderland theme. I will be posting pictures along the way...

This is a combination birthday party for my husband and I. Our budget ius $200 which includes the food. So naturally thrifting and the 99c store came in first place for us. The mushroom is made with 3 tee ball practice balls wrapped in foil for form and then duct taped to secure the base was a lamp shade. The bottom was a boa that we had and broke. A little paint and voila.. The next treasure was this cute little watering can with great colors from the thrift store for $2. The flowers were from the dollar store and they had the greatest eyes. which I glued to them for the talking flowers..

Total cost for these items $7...Keep in mind I have extra product left over.... We will try to cut cost by shapping mushrooms out of newspaper

Update....I have just finished the madhatter hat and bunny ears thanks to for the how tos... Remember this is all on a budget so for the


Poster board $1

Heavy fabric for top $1

White fabric for base $1

Wire from walmart $3.50+ I have a ton left over Used maybe 1/16 of it.

glue stick for glue gun full package $1

sash fabric $1

Hat button pins - free used leftover buttons

Total= 5.21 still needs some spray paint

The Jacket is from Salvation army which was $5.50 and the pin striped pants were mine...(yes he lost weight and fits my pants)

For the bunny ears I used the leftover fabric and scrap wires I am sure metal hangers would probably work also... For the body I found a great hoodie when turned inside out has white fluffy hood and bodice so I will add the ears to the top of the hood. Found some great whit fluffy slippers for. 1.99 i have to make some white drawstring pants but I will use the fabric remnants from above.

My daughter is going to be Chesire cat and will wear a striped shirt with pink shorts and some striped tights...I am hoping to make a mask for her.

Hat total.......$3.43peach fabric
$1 Ididnt use it all not even half
.33 for 1 posterboard
.10 for ribbon trim $1 bag thrift store find
1.00 ream for the floral fabric
1.00 can of spray paint

Friday, April 16, 2010

The outside is my farm.....

There was a time when children lacked educations and learned everything from home. The amish are quite familiar of these lessons of life for their children. My mother learned on the farm with her family of 9. I find every opportunity for my children to grow and learn no matter where I am: The grocery store, the post office, the drs. office, etc.

Here is a great idea I came up with today. M-F My kids and I wake up to take my daughter to school in the mornings. This has been the routine for years but today.. yes finally today it dawned on me the possiblities of learning. On our less than 5 minute drive we pass a college where many cars are parked on the st. So starting tomorrow my kids will have to pay attention to the cars and count the "color" of the day car.

Counting Cartons...$2

I recently found a 10 pack of dice at the $ store. I thought I would replace my Yahtzee dice that the kids have lost but then had a bright idea. My son came home yesterday and was so excited to share that he learned subtraction. So I gave him 2 dice and had him roll. I then arranged the dice to show a subtraction problem that he could count and answer. He LOVED it.
The following morning I used a foam egg carton and placed the dice where the eggs go. Bella and James gave a light shake and opened the cartons to reveal the dice with their numbers (not hard or dice will combine...good lesson for addition) Using a bag of beans the first thing they had to do was match the number on the dice with the beans on the table. So for 3 on the dice the placement of bean would be the same. My 4yo did this successfully but my 3yo had a little hard time so I drew some dots on cardstock to represent each face of the dice and he had to match the dice with the paper then place the beans on the correct dice. The last part of this lesson was the counting. Once they had the beans arranged they needed to count the beans and place them in the carton with the dice. They played for hours. I used pinto beans which were everywhere because of their size so I would recommend maybe a fava or lima bean for lil hands. Will post more pix later.

Have tried updating since know the cyber lost and found

I have had a few crafts but have had them all go to the cyberland and was to lazy to retrype everything again. Been MIA lately because of some medical issues but will be back posting some more thrifty ideas for learning...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Valentines mailbox

With creative inspiration from we had a great rainy day project for the upcoming Valentines Day. Although, they had craft instructions and downloads on their site I couldn't blow it up so I had to improvise and make my own templates

What I used.
1 12x12 cardstock
Corragated colored cardboard
Red paper(I used corragate cardboard) for the mailbox flag and heart decorations
those things that you push in and flatten pins??

I cut the cardstock to match the size of my pink corragate paper and then folded the ends up with a ruler. we stapled the corragated paper to the card stock which resembled a wagon (hmm can you see where my mind is going on this one...oregon trail next project) Then I traced the ends out of the remaining pink cardstock and glued them inside the mailbox. The kids cut hearts to cover the staples and glued on a flower bead for the mailbox knob.

Dinosaur eggs

We recently went to the Western musuem which exhibits fossils. Of course, I had to have a craft and something fun to tie it in with what they learned. I decided we would try making a paper mache egg. Then the bright thought of maybe stuffing it with a toy dinosaur to actually hatch. It worked with a lot of fumbling. This is time intense so it will take a few days to allow for drying.

What you need:

Mache mixture 1 part flour 5 parts water cooked to paste.

shredded newspaper


plastic dinosaurs

grey paint

shaving cream

First I had to try to squeeze a dino into a balloon without poking a hole. Then I blew up the ballon and knotted the end. The kids then painted the glue around the balloon and began placing strips of newspaper around the balloon. When they were done we let this dry for about a day.

The next day the seemed relatively dry so they began to paint. I wanted to create a texture for the eggs so I mixed equal shaving cream to paint to get a thick pastey paint and the kids painted over there eggs. DO NOT LET THESE DRY NEXT TO EACH OTHER. I had one resting on a bowl and the other two became a little contorted. So we used the two as our newly hatched eggs. I poked a hole in the ballon and it was pretty neat. You could hear a cracking as the mold began to crack and break open as the balloon let out its air and pulled away from the side. When we waited another day to crack the other egg it wasnt as neat to watch we had to help crack the egg. I think it was because it was drier than the other when the ballon whipped away from the edges. Well I hope you like this or can use this craft.....