What is so good about goody bags?

Lu turned 5 on Monday! More on that later...

Back up to Sunday night.

Lu's new school just instituted a no food birthday policy. Instead they suggest your child give out a small token, a pencil or a sticker. Right. Do I really think someone was going to give out a plain old pencil. Not in this day and age of goody bags. Of course, Lu's birthday is the first of the school year and I had no idea what the protocol was and what extent people go to for these things. Yes, these are the things that keep me up at night...I know! So sad.

I racked my brain. That is when I saw a bag of Smencils at Barnes and Noble. Perfect, I though...fun, smelly, recycled and a step up from a regular pencil. I was all set. That is until about 8 o'clock Sunday night when I said to myself, "Self, you can't just give out a pencil. That is lame! It has to be wrapped, or put in a bag or have some sort of identifying label on it. Aargh!" I mean really, I write a craft blog! This is when Papa King judiciously stepped away slowly and left me to my kvetching. 

I didn't have any cute wrapping paper or gift bags on hand and I wasn't about to run to the store. I did have sticker paper on hand. So this is what I came up with. 

Of course this is the night my printer runs out of cyan ink. So my colorful flags were now black and white. They still came out cute. I cut them out into long strips and wrapped the sticker around the top of the pencil tube to create a little flag. The kids were smiling and waving them and shouting bye to Lu when I picked her up. Worth the effort? Yes. Definitely, yes! My hubby said to me afterwards, "You know, you are a great mom. I don't think I tell you that enough." Sigh!!! After 7 years he still melts my heart :-)

So here is the best part. Lu decided, after her day of stardom at school, that she had changed her mind and wanted to have a birthday party. Yes, you read right. Hmmm...so the Smencils were just the Quickfire Challenge and now I am up for the Elimination Challenge (Top Chef reference.)

Luckily, Miss Em and I had discovered the local Audubon Society the previous week. I signed the girls up for a 4 week workshop on Native American Customs and Crafts. Guess what? They do birthday parties there! AND yes, they have an opening! AND the kicker, they are super affordable!

Lu wanted to buy princess invites. I reminded her she was inviting the entire class and not everyone, mainly the boys, love princesses. So Lu suggested she make an invitation with a princess and a pirate on it. She is a chip off the old crafty block! It just warms the heart. I am completely biased, but is this not the cutest invitation you have ever seen? What is it about your own child's artwork that just turns you to mush?

So, you realize, this brings us back to goody bags. Haha! 
Don't worry. This time I am not sweating it.

Have fun crafting with your kids! Mama King

Recycled Kids Craft: Magic Wands

It is MAGIC!

Take an empty Smencil tube. Remove plastic sleeve. Uncap.

Fill it with beads, ribbons, glitter, sequins, feathers, pebbles... Add a small blob of glue and recap.

You may notice, Em added a ton of glue to her tube. If you go this route, remember it may take forever to dry. Hers is sitting uncapped on the counter drying...

Tadaa! Magic!

Finish with stickers on the outside and a ribbon if you like.

Have fun crafting with your kids! Mama King

Back to School Photo Name Tags "Frugal Family Fun" Style

Check out these cute signs we made for the girls school cubbies. 
Bonus! You get to see Papa King. A rare sighting indeed :-) 

Both girls have designated cubbies at their new preschool. The school recommended posting a family photo to help kids transition to school. I immediately thought of Valerie's Back to School Photo Name Labels over at Frugal Family Fun Blog. Definitely check out her version here!

We add our own twist by including each member of the family. If your child's name is longer and you run out of family try using the family pet or a favorite stuffed animal.

Cut out the letters for the girls names. Lucky for us their names are only 4 letters each.
Decorate the letters. I gave the girls paper scraps, ribbon, stickers, markers and glitter glue. Let dry.

Next find some bright backdrops and grab your camera. We used pillow cases. 

The fast way: 
I printed the pictures out at the drugstore and then placed them onto a sheet of contact paper to laminate them. I had to make the signs vertical to accommodate the vertical nature of their cubbies.

The slow way: 
I then uploaded the pictures to Illustrator (my design tool of choice) and placed them onto one page. I scaled them down so they would fit onto a 5x7 photo (see below - I fit 3 names onto one 5x7.) I saved the file. Uploaded it to Shutterfly and ordered several to send to the grandparents. I may even turn them into a fun bookmark.

Have fun crafting with your kids! Mama King

Kids Craft: Fall Window Hanging Collage

Lu made this beautiful Fall Collage for her Grammy and Grandpa but...
has decided she likes it too much and doesn't want to give it to them!
This is Lu's newest thing. Art hoarding! Lu won't give up any of her artwork lately. She loves it all! The piles are growing as I write this.

Supplies: plastic take out sushi lid (washed), glue, colored paper or tissue paper, glitter, markers, hole punch, ribbon

Have fun crafting with your kids!


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