DIY Vintage Feather Garland

I love this simple, yet colorful and fun feather garland. The orange, yellow and browns of our garland take me back to the 70s and 80s, and the make-believe games of yesteryear, making it the perfect garland for a kid’s bedroom or play area. You could spruce this garland up a bit for the holidays though, using all white or sparkly feathers. Peacock feathers would be beautiful as well! There are so many possibilities!


Materials needed:

  • feathers
  • gold wire
  • basic wiring tools
  • string


The easiest way I found to attach the wire to the feathers, is as follows… (If you “click” on each picture, the wiring is much clearer when it’s enlarged.)

For each feather, you’ll need a piece of wire about 1 1/2 to 2 inches long.

Wrap one end of the wire twice, making a small loop.

About 1/2 an inch from the other end of the wire, wrap the wire once, folding the excess wire around the back of the mid-section. (Much easier to see in the picture than it is to explain!) Bend the loop you first made, so it’s perpendicular to rest.


To attach the wire to the feather, thread the end of the feather through the bent loop. Bend the loop, back down so it’s laying more or less flat against the feather, holding it in place. On the opposite end of the wire, hold the loop still while you wrap the excess wire around the feather. Repeat with each feather.


I’ve pictured multiple feathers in their completed state. As you can see each wiring job is a little different, adjusting to the various lengths and widths of the feathers’ ends.


The last step is certainly the easiest…thread the feathers onto your string and hang!



Our feather garland is hanging above the little one’s play area. The brightly colored feathers are constantly in motion, gently dancing as the air moves around the room. I love how it catches WB’s eye while she’s playing on her back, taking in her surroundings. Where will you hang your feather garland for the whole family to enjoy?

DIY Baby Play Area + DIY Baby Toys

Over the past few weeks I had been thinking of putting together a little play area for WB, now 7 months old. WB is definitely our laid back kid, compared to her wild-child, older sister. She is perfectly content sitting back and observing the world around her. WB can roll over and push herself up on her belly, but she doesn’t do it very often…so I thought a little play area may be fun and may encourage her to move around a little more. And boy was I right…she LOVES it! When I saw some long mirrors for a good deal at Lowe’s last week, inspiration struck and WB’s play area was put in motion!

Materials Needed:

  • comfy, colorful blanket
  • long mirror
  • 2 med-sized boxes
  • 6 to 8 bricks (or other heavy items)
  • colored paper
  • tape or glue



To hold the mirror in place, in a safe and sturdy way, I decided to fill a couple boxes with bricks. (We just happen to have a pile of them sitting outside of our house, leftover from a patio project.) You can also use heavy rocks, bags of sand, or whatever is most convenient for you! Brighten-up a plain cardboard box by taping colored paper to it. I originally planned to cover the diaper-box I was using as well, but then I remembered how much babies like other smiling babies and kids, so I only partially covered it. The box was colorful already too!



Other things you can put in or near your baby’s play area include:

Sensory Bags (DIY link here.)

Sensory Bottles for Baby (link here.)

Sparkle Bottles (link here.)

Plush Animals and Toys (DIY bunny link here.)


Colorful Garland…I put this feather one up above for WB to look at while on her back. I love how the feathers gently “dance” continuously. (DIY feather garland link here!)



What will you include in your baby’s play area??? As always, never leave your children unattended and make sure all toys you put in the play area are baby-safe! Have fun watching your little ones explore!


Play Dough Funny Faces w/ DIY Outlet Covers

When I saw a variation of this craft years ago, I stored it away in the back of my mind, just waiting for L to be old enough to make and play with these! The outlet covers I saw were made using Sharpie Markers, but I love the color we brought to ours with paint! The outlet-cover funny faces are as much fun to make as they are to play with! L and I spent one day painting the outlet covers, let them dry overnight, then the next day, we were able to glue on the googlie eyes and stick them in our play dough! So silly and so much fun!


Materials Needed:

  • outlet covers
  • paint (acrylic and/or puffy paint)
  • googlie eyes
  • jewels (optional)
  • hot glue gun and glue
  • your favorite play dough
  • egg cartons (optional)


The first thing I did, preparing our work station, was to cut off the center tips of an egg carton. I then put an outlet cover in each opening so L could paint them with ease.


Then, paint away! I tried to paint mouths and noses on the outlet covers, while I let L paint hers however she pleased. I figured the ones she painted could be used to glue on the eyes and jewels later on.



After the glue dries, you can go over some with puffy paint too! I thought it was a fun effect for big, puffy lips!

Using a hot glue gun, attach some googlie eyes and jewels to a few of the other outlet covers.


Now it’s time to play! Just push the outlet covers into your favorite play dough…the funny face possibilities are endless!






I love how the play dough doesn’t stick to the outlet covers, rather it just falls off, making clean-up a breeze! Please share pictures of your funny faces…we’d love to see them! Enjoy!

Tie-Dye Napkin Painting

I remember first doing this activity at a friend’s house when I was in Kindergarten. It’s so simple, yet so much fun! Even as an adult, I enjoy painting these with L…the finished painting always looks so much better than I expect it to!

Materials Needed:

  • white napkins
  • watercolor paints

Keeping it folded up, paint the napkin with the watercolors. Make sure the paint is plenty wet and soaks through the napkin completely.



Once you’re done painting dots, patterns, or whatever you fancy on the napkin, open it up for the surprise ending! See…so much cooler than you anticipated!!!





L could paint these all day long! If you don’t have paper napkins on hand, paper towels work too. Enjoy!



2-Ingredient Gooey Dough

L and I are always looking for new play dough recipes, so when I came across this one I just knew we had to make it! We call it “Gooey Dough” because it’s so stringy, smooth, and gooey! It feels good to squish through your fingers and fun to strrrrreeeeeetch as long as you can!

Materials needed: 

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups, hair conditioner
  • 2 cups, cornstarch

Using a large mixing bowl, put both ingredients together and mix, mix, squish, mix!



I have to admit that after about a minute, I thought this was the messiest, worst play dough ever made…BUT as I washed my hands, L kept squishing it together and a couple minutes later we had this wonderful concoction!!! I’m so glad she kept at it, because Gooey Dough has become one of our favorites! L has played with it for hours, day after day.



You can add some food coloring if you like or toss in some glitter, but we were happy with the Gooey Dough the way it is…it’s so white, smooth and the conditioner gives the whole kitchen a fresh scent! It’s truly the most luscious dough we’ve ever made!




By day two, I came up with a couple tips…

-Store the dough in a sealed plastic bag or storage container (I’ve read that it keeps for months).
-It’s best for your kids to take their clothes off to play or wear a smock shirt! It can get messy fast!
-This dough just asks to be squished all around, so tape down a plastic/silicone chopping mat on the table or work surface.


Get messy and have fun!!!

Bubble Blobs and Bubble Worms

Here is a super-fun activity made with materials you already have! L and I started making bubble blobs after breakfast this morning and we were still making them in the shower tonight! (I may or may not have bribed her into the shower with her bubble blob blower.) It’s definitely a good summer activity, but there’s no reason why it can’t be done in the bathtub on a rainy, cold day.




Materials needed:

  • plastic drink bottle
  • old sock (Thick socks work best!)
  • rubber band
  • dish soap
  • food coloring (optional)
  • a small bowl
  • scissors



First, cut the bottom of the plastic bottle off and unscrew the lid.



Turn the sock inside out (so the fluffier side is outside), and pull it over the bottom of the bottle. Secure it in place with a rubber band.



Next, put some dish soap in a small bowl with a little bit of water. If you want your bubble blobs and worms to be colored, add a few drops of food coloring too!



Now for the fun part…put the newly-made, bubble blob blower in the dish soap, then blow through the bottle top!




Instruct your kids to blow as if they’re blowing up a balloon and not to suck in!!! L made that mistake once and got a mouthful of bubbles. Ick!






It’s fun to see who can make the longest bubble worm! 🙂 What other bubble inventions have you made? Please share in the comments section below!


Imagination Box!

I don’t know about you, but our kids always seem to have too much stuff….too many stuffed animals, too many dolls, too many plastic play sets, too many puzzles, etc. When L is going to a birthday party, I hate to buy a toy that her friend will play with for 5 minutes and then toss to the side. Homemade gifts are truly the best, most heart-felt to give and I love making them, but I just don’t have the time some days. The IMAGINATION BOX is my gift-giving solution!!! It is quick and easy to put together and kids of all ages LOVE it! The Imagination Box makes for a fun birthday gift, as well as a perfect “Get Well Soon” gift, plus it guarantees hours of entertainment!

“So, what do I put in the box?” you ask. Anything and everything!

Paper plates and cups, brown paper bags, construction paper, crepe paper, straws…


Cotton balls, clothes pins, colored craft sticks, paper clips, sponges, markers, googlie eyes…


Buttons, rubber bands, glue, beads, shoe laces, pipe cleaners…


Egg cartons, kid scissors, mini-staplers, felt squares, a few sandwich bags (for lil pieces with opened packaging)…


Just about anything that will fit in the Imagination Box, that kids can use to create art, works! I usually go to the Dollar Store, walking up and down every aisle, and look for items with crafting potential. It certainly looks like a lot pictured here, but the box can be filled with less than 25 dollars!


Last, but not least, you need a cardboard box to put everything in. Try to leave the box mostly undecorated, so the child receiving the gift can use it too! The box itself will make a perfect rocketship, firetruck, castle, table, bed, gnome house, etc.


When putting together an Imagination Box, you need to consider the child’s age. It’s best to put things in the box that the child receiving it can create with independently and safely. After all, the box is designed to keep kids busy creating (so mom and dad can cook dinner in peace)! For instance, if you’re making an Imagination Box for a 2 yr old, you may not want to include scissors or a stapler, but an 8 year old would have no problem with them. Always make sure you give parents a heads-up of anything that’s questionable.

Some ideas to get kids started…

  • make a little town or fairy village using paper bags
  • paper plate masks
  • pipe cleaner bracelets, necklaces, glasses
  • puppets
  • robots
  • make pretend food
  • cotton balls for clouds
  • clothespins to make people
  • egg carton flowers
  • egg carton caterpillar

Get messy and have fun!!! Let the kids’ imaginations soar!

Acorn Cap Treasures

L and I were so excited the other day when we noticed that acorns were starting to fall from the Oak trees. We collected as many acorns and acorn caps as we could carry and rushed home to make “acorn cap treasures” with them. This craft is so much fun to do and to observe that we’ll probably be doing it every summer when the first acorns begin to fall.


Materials needed:

  • acorn caps
  • markers (any kind should work)
  • Elmer’s Glue
  • a medium container
  • rice or dried beans or lentils



First, color the inside of your acorn caps with the markers. L loved this part, but being only 2 yrs old she wasn’t the best at coloring the entire cap…so I helped filling in any missed spots.





Next, pour some of the rice or beans into your container…it only needs to be about half an inch deep.  Have your child lay all the caps on top, one by one. Press down gently on each cap making sure they are upright…well, bottoms-up.



Now, fill each acorn cap with the glue. This was our favorite part, watching the colors bleed out into the glue.

Wait and watch your acorn caps for a couple days as the glue begins to dry and the colors change. L loved checking on her treasures throughout the day, observing all the color variations. They take a full two days to dry!





When your acorn cap treasures are dry, the insides will be nice and shiny like true jewels. Now it’s time to play!



L likes to pretend that her acorn caps are fairy treasures and coins. She tried giving me a couple of my favorite colored ones, the orange, in exchange for a cookie this afternoon. Ha! I love seeing L’s imagination at work!


We also have fun playing matching games with them. We turn all the caps upside-down on a blanket. Then, one of us says a color and we take turns trying to find it. With the same set up, you can also take turns trying to find two of any matching color. So much fun to make and to play with! What games did your kids come up with???



Fairy Furniture

It wouldn’t be fair for me to tell you how to make a “fairy door” without showing you how to make some fairy furniture to add to your garden as well! These tables and chairs are super easy and quick to make and, like most of my favorite crafts, they can be made with things you already have!


 Materials needed:

  • bottle caps
  • little sticks and twigs
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun and glue

First, have your kids help you collect sticks out of your yard and select some colorful bottle caps. (Bottle caps are another item we hoard in our house…they can be used for so many crafts!)


Using your scissors, cut a stick into four equal pieces…each about an inch long. These will be the legs of your chair.


Turn a bottle cap upside down and glue the four legs into place. You can either put the glue onto the leg and push it into the bottle cap, or put the glue directly onto the cap and push the stick in. Whichever method you decide on, make sure you do it quickly so the chair legs are super-secure!





Cut two more sticks, about an inch and a half to two inches long. These ones do not have to be exactly equal in length or straight! Cut two or three more sticks about an inch in length.

These sticks will resemble a ladder-back chair. One by one, glue the inch-long sticks to the longer ones, attaching the two. (Easier to see in the pictures below than to explain!) I prefer the small, horizontal sticks to be a little crooked…gives the chair more character!



Once all the sticks are attached and the glue has dried, flip the chair over and decide which side will be the front and which will be the back. Glue the back of the chair to the seat with two more dots of glue. All done!!!



If you’ve made the chair, the table is super easy…essentially it’s a back-less chair!



I just love the color and character the bottle caps give the fairy furniture! Have fun playing with this one! They are so quick and easy to make, you might as well make a few for your neighbor’s garden as well.


Homemade Paper and Seed Paper

Last night, while cleaning up from dinner, I told L not to throw away her pudding cup because it can be recycled. She replied, “What’s recycle? What’s it mean?” So as I was doing my best to explain to a 2-year-old how plastics are melted down and made into new containers, I remembered how I used to make paper as a kid…it’s the perfect activity to teach kids of any age how things are recycled! I lost my paper-making kit years ago, but it didn’t take long to locate and piece together the materials needed for homemade paper. I love this activity because your kids can help with each of the steps, keeping them busy and entertained the whole way through!

Materials needed:

  • old paper
  • water
  • blender
  • 2 small window screens
  • felt (or thin cloth like a cloth diaper)
  • sponges
  • plastic tub or wide container
  • seeds (optional)



First, dig through the recycling basket for colorful paper. (I always save colored-on pieces of construction paper for projects like this!) Have your kids help you tear it up into 2-inch pieces and throw it all into a large bowl.



Add some water to the bowl, covering all the paper pieces, and let it soak thoroughly for a few minutes. Your kids can now reach in the bowl to see how the wet paper feels compared to the dry.



Next, scoop and dump the paper and water into your blender. There’s no exact amount of water needed since it’ll all be squeezed out in the end. Blend the mixture for about a minute. The pulp should resemble the consistency of oatmeal.


Now for the fun, messy part!!! Lay one of the screens over the plastic tub or container. (You could use your sink, but it’s easier for kids if the project is done on the floor!)



Next, dump the paper pulp mixture out on top of the screen. Let your kids help you spread it around gently.



Then lay a large piece of felt on top of the mixture and next, the second window screen.



Using sponges press down on the felt, squeezing most of the water out. We started in the middle of the felt and worked our way out, pressing the paper underneath nice and flat.



Next, take off the top screen and, placing one hand on top of the felt, quickly flip the other over. Remove the screen and leave the paper on the felt to dry. I did this last step outside on our picnic table so the paper could dry in the sun and summer heat. It takes about a day to dry on its own. When I was a kid, doing a similar paper-making project, the paper and felt pieces were much smaller and I’d pop it in the microwave to dry. The paper would curl a little bit sometimes, but it was quick and easy.




Here’s our finished paper! It doesn’t look like your typical paper, but it is beautiful with all the bright yellows, reds and oranges mixed in! It’ll be perfect to paint on later in the day!


Making Seed Paper: 
To make seed paper, add a handful of flower seeds to the pulp before squeezing all the water out. After the paper dries, you can cut it up into squares and gift it to friends. They can plant the paper strips in soil in the Spring, water and wait for their flowers to grow! We used our leftover, perennial Balloon Flower seeds…they’re easy to grow and look beautiful anywhere!



Other Ideas:

  • Before squeezing the water out of the paper-pulp mixture, add some flower petals to the pulp for a fresh and colorful look!
  • After squeezing the water out and removing the screens, use cookie cutters to carefully cut the paper into shapes. After they dry, you can punch a hole to hang the paper shapes and make ornaments! We may do this around the holidays, using holiday-colored paper.
  • You can also add glitter to the paper pulp, before squeezing the water out, to give your paper a little sparkle!


Have fun and get messy! Your kids will love you for it!!!