Travel Doodle Kit

Chiara has been so insistent that I make her a “mint kit”, ever since I made Arthur’s Lego Kit. So I browsed around on this amazing site until I found the perfect one. 

My little girl is an artist at heart. She is constantly drawing or painting, so I knew a travel doodle kit was perfect!

All you need is an Altoids tin, crayons and a post-it pad, or two. I was arguing with myself about buying new crayons, but I decided to, even though I have a huge bag of old crayons. She can at least start out with fresh ones. The post-it pad was hardest to acquire. I was hoping to find one pad, but ended up finding a 4-pack of small ones. Two pads fit at a time which gives her color options.

Another positive part of this is while you’re traveling, the post-its can be stuck to the door of the vehicle while traveling, but easily removed later. Much easier than stickers anyway! She’s already started doodling on her notepads, so happy to have her own kit.

Simple, fun and ready for summer road trips! 

Lego Kit

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My son saw this on one of my Pinterest boards and latched on to the idea. He is a Lego fanatic, and this was “an amazing thing” that had to be done!

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Start simple with an Altoids tin and a flat base Lego piece. I used hot glue to attach it.

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Then you let your kid(s) pick the pieces they want in their kit. Super simple, but such a great idea!

The idea came from this site which I know I’ll be pulling other ideas from!

This little kit is perfect to take to restaurants or anyplace you may be stuck cooling your heels. It gives your little master builder something to do that has the side benefit of keeping them quiet. All that in a little, pocket sized tin? Yes please!

Constellation Wall Art

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This is not on the wall yet, because I need to buy more batteries for it. I borrowed batteries from a remote. Am I the only one who runs short of batteries and does this? I hope not!

This project has been a long time coming. I’ve had it pinned for years, but even worse, I bought the supplies weeks ago. Finally getting around to it and I love it!

I started by selecting the constellation for Arthur. I will be doing one for Chiara, but I couldn’t wait to blog about this one because it turned out so pretty! Arthur got Orion. Chiara will be getting Pegasus.

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I laid my printout of Orion over the black glitter scrapbook paper I had selected as the background, then poked a nail through the star locations. Be sure to hold your paper still or your constellation will be goofy looking.

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The messiest part of this whole endeavor was this part. To help show the shape the stars form, I used thin strips of silver glitter paper. Maybe 1/8″? I didn’t measure, just kept making them skinnier until I liked how it looked. Then you cut the strips until they are the distance between “stars”. I used Elmer’s Glue-All. It holds well, but I was sticky and glittery by the end of it!

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I may look for another option when I do Chiara’s, but I also used the Glue-All to attach the paper to the canvas. You can either do a 12×12 canvas, or like I did, a 12×16. I am still looking for the right sticker letters, but I am going to put the constellation name along the bottom.

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Once the glue has set, note the bumps the glue leaves, take a small drill, I used a Dremel to make the star holes larger. Be sure to use a drill bit approximately the size of the lights you’re using.

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Another sticky and messy part! At Tony’s suggestion I used hot glue as a way to hold the lights in place. I held the light in place and circled the base with hot glue. I hate hot glue! The stringy bits are so annoying!

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I used these battery operated lights, found in the wedding section of Walmart.

Arthur was excited with the final product and can’t wait for it to go into his room. Sadly it will have to rest on a shelf because the lights extend past the canvas frame, making hanging impossible. Oh well!

Original pin came from here. They did all of the zodiac constellations for their art.

It went rather quickly, once I actually started this. So choose your constellation and get going!

Happy crafting!

Couples Photo Map

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This was a fun project! I can’t wait to make one for Tony and I, but this particular one was a Christmas gift for my parents. You’re probably wondering, “Wow, Christmas was months ago. What took so long?” I couldn’t figure out how to get this present to them, so they didn’t get it until the kids Spring Break. I couldn’t post about it until they had seen it. So here we go!

This pin has been on my photo display board for a while now. Honestly, until today, I didn’t even look at the actual blog. I had seen the picture on Pinterest and fell in love with the concept. The original blogger used push pins, attached to the back of her photos to hold the pictures in place, giving the map more depth. Not having read the blog, here is what I did:

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I started with this 24×36″ map from Amazon. I love Amazon! If they don’t have it, it’s not to be had! I went with that size because I wanted to be able to see the pictures when they were all in place. Then the fun started. I had to sift through my pictures, thousands and thousands of pictures, to find pictures of my parents in different states. I wanted pictures with just the two of them, but the Missouri picture included my kids (mom still loved it!).

Then the tricky part. Cutting the pictures into the shape of states. Certain ones are easy, like Ohio. Others, like North and South Carolina can be difficult. Especially considering you have to cut the photo in such a way as both people are still visible.

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Some states, like Hawaii, there is nothing you can do, so make up your own mind what to do with the special states. I just did a cutout around them and put it by the state.

Once I had placed all of the photos I had, I framed the map and considered it complete. There is always the option of adding more photos, I definitely want to add a picture of them from Alaska when I find one!

Mom was very happy with the gift. I haven’t heard what dad thinks yet, but I picture a smile, a nod and a “looks good”. Sweet and a little shy about it, just like he’s always been.

If you travel, if you take pictures, even if you wanted to do a family map instead of a couple map, this is a fun, and only slightly complicated craft!

Happy crafting all!

DIY Lego Table

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Arthur got this table for his 8th birthday. That was almost a year ago. Wow. It has been a long time, but Tony and I just figured out how to attach the top to the drawer units. I couldn’t settle on an idea for a while, then I had to wrangle Tony into using power tools for me.

I found a picture on Pinterest, but the link was broken, so I was stuck staring at a picture, then drawing my own conclusions.

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What you need to start are three of these drawer units, inexpensively found at Walmart (where I get almost everything). I used two 3-drawer carts and one 4-drawer cart. I liked the 4 drawer cart to allow a place for Lego books, although they now take up a full sized drawer, and a drawer for the mini figures. The other small drawer currently holds his Lego magazines.

Then all you need to do is select a material that you want for your surface. We chose an MDF board from Home Depot. Measurements of the board will depend on if you choose to go with the standard size drawer units or the wider ones.

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Here we are, almost a year later, Tony drilled holes through the top of the unit and through the board. Then you insert the screws and attach the washer. The third cart is meant to rest under the table, where the child’s legs normally go, when the table is not in use. When they’re using the table, the third cart slides out and can sit on the side for easy access.

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Ta-da!

Arthur loves his Lego table, it is in a constant state of use, whether he’s building on it or using it to display current creations.

Do you have a Lego lover in your house? If so, this is (about) a $40 project that will help save your sanity by keeping the mess contained! Ever stepped on a Lego? Ouch!

Happy building!

In this house we do Geek

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I know I just did a Disney version of this, but both apply to our family, so yes, I did both! They were both so much fun, and they perfectly describe me. After all, how many people are out there that love both Disney and the Fandom life?

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This one features the following movies:
We believe in Magic – Harry Potter
We go on Unexpected Journeys – Hobbit
Going where no man has gone before – Star Trek
In galaxies far, far away – Star Wars
We assemble and defend – Avengers
We know the answer to everything is 42 – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Family don’t end in blood – Supernatural
We’re all mad here – Alice in Wonderland
The odds are ever in our favor – Hunger Games
All the stories are true – Mortal Instruments
We aim to misbehave – Firefly

I had the second frame from Goodwill, so now I have a beautiful pair of pictures, just waiting for me to find the right spot on my walls…..

What fandoms inspire you? Which quote would you choose for your print?

In This House We Do Disney

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Another Pinterest success! I love things like this, and I’m happy that it suits our family. I can’t provide credit because my pin tells me the Etsy listing is no longer valid. I did change a lot of the sayings to suit my own preference, so here’s what I ended up with:

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Just keep swimming – Finding Nemo
Let it go – Frozen
All it takes is faith and trust and pixie dust – Peter Pan
We’re all mad here – Alice in Wonderland
At last we see the light – Tangled
Never lose sight of what’s really important – Princess and the Frog
To infinity and beyond – Toy Story
Giving up is for Rookies – Hercules
Want adventure in the great wide somewhere – Beauty and the Beast
The right path isn’t the easiest one – Pocahontas
Hakuna Matata – Lion King
Bear necessities – Jungle Book
Makes the world go ’round – Sword in the Stone
Life’s no fun without a good scare – Nightmare Before Christmas
Our fate lies within us – Brave
There’s always a way to turn things around – Inside Out

Yes, I did use fun fonts. I went to fontspace.com which has a ton of amazing fonts. I think I downloaded about 15 different fonts!

Then it’s just print it out, I used some very fancy paper I had leftover from my Happily Ever After couples project, and frame it up. I raided some thrift stores this afternoon and found two like this. There were some flower paintings in the frame, but I cut those right out. Now I have this fun project to hang on the wall, I just need to find the right place…..

If you decide to make your own, feel free to use my wording, or make up your own. What from Disney inspires you?

Balloon Valentine

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Wow, it’s not even February and I’m done with the kids Valentines. Go me! I’ve had this site pinned for a little while and I decided this is the year is the right year for this.

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To do this Valentine, you need your pictures, with or without added text. Have your kid hold their hand up, as if holding a balloon. Then you need a straight blade, I used my trusty work box cutter, and balloons.

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When you are cutting, cut your lines above and below the fist. You don’t need wide cuts, like the picture on the left. Thin, almost invisible lines, like those on the right, work just as well.

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Then you thread the balloon through the cuts. The easiest method for this is to gently bend the photo and thread through both cuts in one motion.

Then you have your finished Valentines. Ready to offer balloons to your children’s classmates.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

Water Bottle and Travel Mug Storage

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If you’re anything like me, you have a cupboard or cabinet that is filled with water bottles or travel mugs. I actually have two such cabinets.

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It starts with a travel mug or two, throw in some water bottles. Then they accumulate. For all I know, they mate at night and make more bottles! Going through my cabinets, I see bottles I didn’t know we had. These don’t even include my Starbucks cups, which get tucked into the pantry.

My kitchen is currently trapped in the 70s. I have ugly cabinets and no storage space. I need my space back! Enter Pinterest.

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I saw a picture on Pinterest of this. All you need is an over-the-door shoe organizer. I have mine hanging over my basement door and it cleared so much space in my cabinet.

The only problem with this is the noise it makes when opening or closing the door. *clunk* We’ll be adding industrial strength double sided sticky tape soon. I need to make the noise stop before Tony chucks the whole thing down the stairs.

Definitely love this idea for additional kitchen storage! Happy organizing all!

Christmas Card Book

I don’t think it’s come up yet, but I am a bit of a pack rat. I save stuff that I will probably never need again, but I don’t like letting go. I’m not talking about collectibles either, like my Star Wars toys, still in the package, I’m talking about cards. Birthday cards, Christmas cards, even get well soon cards. I like holding onto them.
Along came this brilliant pin that showed me exactly what to do with them!

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Start by punching holes in your cards. Do a little planning and make sure they’ll all be going the same way. Using a three hole punch will be the easiest way to do this, just so the holes are spaced evenly.

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Next up, make yourself a snazzy cover for your card book. I just dug into my scrapbook paper and my fancy scissors. The original blogger has a link to some fancy cover templates, but I like going my own way most of the time.

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I used note card rings to “bind” my book together. I had our family Christmas card as the first card in our book.

I was super pleased with how this came out! Even Tony was impressed at my new ways of hoarding. Huge accomplishment today! If you’ve been keeping your Christmas cards, with no apparent use for them, this is the craft for you!

Happy crafting!