Easy Recycled Appliqué in 4 Steps

Lu LOVED this shirt and being that the message is Green I thought I would recycle it. Perfect timing because Lu's preschool issues the kids the same canvas tote bags at the beginning of the year.

This stuff rocks! You need it for your appliqué.

  1. Cut out design (allow for some room around design. It is easier to trim more exactly after the No Sew Adhesive is attached.
  2. Cut out No Sew Adhesive to match
  3. Iron according to directions
  4. Peel off backing and iron onto (in this case) Lu's school bag.

Done! Next step...adding some grosgrain bows or felt flowers :-)

Kids Craft: Halloween Cereal Box Luminaries

The girls and I really enjoyed making these luminaries! Unfortunately it was hard to photograph them. Believe me, they look really cool in person!

What you need to make your own Halloween Cereal Box Luminary:
  • Box (any size is fine)
  • Pencil
  • Xacto Knife or similar & cutting surface
  • Mod Podge (Glitter Mod Podge if you have it)
  • Foam Brush
  • Wire Hanger
  • Pliers & Wire Cutters
  • Hole Punch
  • Yellow & Orange Tissue Paper
  • Glue Gun or Strong Glue
  • Battery Powered Tea Lights
  • Extras: Collage materials

Unfold box.

Cut off top flaps. Leave the bottom ones!

Have child draw face on unprinted side. Make sure the picture is contained on one panel. This will be the front of your luminary.

Have an adult cut out features. Be careful! I let my daughter pop the pieces of card board out after I was done cutting.

Cut or tear tissue into manageable size pieces. Don't make pieces too small. Using lighter colors will help the luminary glow better.

Put Mod Podge in a small container. Have child brush on Mod Podge on a section of box. Show child how to lay a piece of tissue down and lightly brush on top with foam brush. Be sure to slightly over lap as you go. You will be laying tissue over openings too. You will not be able to see through the openings until the glue dries and the box is lit from within.

Smaller children: Have your own foam brush and help them. Maybe they brush on glue and lay tissue paper and you go over the top.

Optional: decorate box with collage materials. Be mindful of where your openings are.

Let tissue dry over night.

When dry bend and glue box into its original shape. A hot glue gun works best.

To light use several battery powered tea lights. The more light the better! The picture below is not lit. I think it still looks pretty and decorative even when not lit. Top picture shows luminary lit.

Optional hanger: Take a wire hanger and cut off the top using wire cutters. Bend hanger to create an arc shape.

Punch holes in both sides of your box. You can put pony beads on to decorate handle. Insert ends into hole. Use pliers twist to create spiral. Enjoy!

This is my younger daughters luminary. She is two. If you are working with kids at different skill levels be sure to be flexible and allow for them to do the project but in their own way. Em enjoyed gluing the tissue and pompoms on. I used a hole punch to create openings for light to escape.

Ice Skating

Last week was Lulu's first ice skating class. She LOVED it and had a blast! I was a little worried because she is a bit of a DQ (Drama Queen.) I held my breath the first time she fell. (Not because I was worried she had hurt herself. Oh no...I was worried she would scream as if someone had ripped her arm from its socket. Attention all voice over people - if you need a kid to scream a blood curdling scream send me an email!) Lu looked up from the ice and had the hugest grin on her face. Ahhh...I could breath again. She must have fell 20 time and smiled her way through every fall. She even managed to skate a few feet to the cone she is holding onto in the picture. Yippee! It is so wonderful seeing your children enjoying and embracing something you know is a challenge for them.

Today is lesson number two. Hope you have fun doing something new today too!

How To Make A Sparkly Tiara Top

Lu turned four this past weekend. I made her a super sparkly shirt to match her tiara for the occasion. I included the directions because it is so simple to make and all the girls thought it was just so pretty!

I cut out 4 strips of felt. I arranged them into the tiara shape and pinned them in place. Next I sewed on the sequins. I used larger sequins on the points. Sewing on sequins is actually a pretty fast once you get the hang of it. See here for directions. Trim stray threads.

Next glue on to shirt using fabric glue. I placed some cardboard behind the shirt so glue wouldn't soak through to back of shirt. Allow to set up 24 hours before wearing the shirt. Wash shirt inside out on gentle.

Every Child Deserves A Home by NewSong

The song is called "Every Child Deserves a Home". The title comes from the quote from Holt International Children's Services founder, Harry Holt when he said, "Every child deserves a home of his own."

I found the song and video very moving and wanted to share it with you. Some of the images are very sad so if you are particularly sensitive you may not want to click on the link.

NewSong is a Contemporary Christian Music Group. I had never heard of them before this video was forwarded onto me. They are apparently very popular and have many number one hits. According to Wikapedia, "NewSong has always had a heart for abandoned and underprivileged children. They worked with World Vision (www.worldvision.org - a humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their community to rid them of poverty and injustice - for years before getting involved with Holt International (www.holtintl.org) in 2006. Holt International is a world leader in child adoption and child welfare."

I think my music knowledge froze in time 4 years ago when my daughter was born!

Card Board Tube Rocket

Simple Rocket: paper towel or toilet paper tube, card board & paint

Cut out base pieces.

Cut slits into bottom of rocket
Insert base piece into slits
Cut out a card board circle about 2X as large as tube width
Cut slit halfway through
Form cone shape
Glue or tape
Glue gun cone to top of rocket
Paint (We didn't get to this step. Lu ran off with the rocket.)

Sunday Snapshot: Good Bye Jack

We sent Jack, the cat we were cat sitting the past two months, on a plane to Hawaii yesterday. We all grew very attached to him and will miss him, especially the girls. He is such a sweet cat.

Grown In My Heart: Blog Carnival

Grown in My Heart’s is hosting its first ever blog carnival. The topic is:

What I Wish I Would Have Known Before I Was Touched By Adoption (or What I Wish My Parents Knew.)

As many of my readers know I am an Adult Adoptee (adopted in 1973 at 18 months old from South Korea) and an Adoptive Parent (our youngest is adopted from South Korea.)

I speak several times a year to adoptive parents looking for answers and insights from someone who has been through the trenches and came out the other side relatively unscathed. I share my story but make a point to stress that there are no simple answers and definitely no "right" answers. The best you can do is to continue asking questions and seeking answers in order to make informed decisions specific to your child.

The saying is true, you know your child best. Your child's challenges, gifts and heart are uniquely theirs. My experiences are not their experiences. Because I wish I went to culture camp doesn't mean your child will. At the end of the day no one can fault you for not signing your child up for native language lessons or for making your child do an oral report on their country of origin every year in front of their class or not celebrating their arrival day or for naming them after your great aunt. No matter how hard we try our children our going to love us, resent us, be embarrassed by us and love us again, and that is in just one day! When my parents worry if they did everything right or lament about the "should of's", I tell them -- You loved me and did the best you knew how at the time. That was enough.

My being adopted doesn't make me any better of a adoptive parent than any one else. I struggle and question with whether I am making the right decisions for my children. Don't most parents? I have met a tremendous number of adoptive parents through the years and I can tell you I have met some truly amazing parents.

Many people who know my story tell me how wonderful for my daughter, that we share being adopted. On one hand it is helpful that I can understand what my daughter will being feeling and anticipate what may be coming down the road. Yet, as I said every child is different, and I do not know how my daughter will process her being adopted or how she will grieve. Being an adoptee, I know I can not take a way the sense of loss and abandonment that my daughter will inevitably feel. As an adoptive parent, it saddens me to think she will feel a deep rift in her soul, yet I have to allow her to lay claim to those emotions. I don't want her to feel like my ability to empathize with her diminishes or negates anything she is feeling. I know my role is not to make her journey mine.

To read more about our adoption journeys click here.

What to do with your child's artwork: Fall Leaf Card

Fall is here (almost.) A few leaves are starting to turn colors and fall off the trees here on the east coast. Lu, Em & I love hunting for leaves, acorns and pine cones on our walks. We are collectors of all things here at the King house.

Remember ironing leaves between sheets of wax paper as child? Well here is a great way to use up some of your child's artwork and create really beautiful fall greeting card using the wax paper/leaf technique.

1. Cut and fold existing artwork into desired card shape. We used some leftover leaf prints (paint on leaf and press onto paper) as the background paper.
Using a heavy paper helps.
2. Make wax paper leaf overlay by ironing leaf between two sheets of wax paper. Be sure to use a paper towel on top of wax paper when ironing.
3. Center overlay onto front of card and trace. I left a lot of negative space so you could see the leaf when the card was closed. Make sure you add about a 1/2 inch extra paper on the fold side (this is where you will attach your overlay.
4. Cut the wax paper/leaf overlay and glue or tape it to the back and folded it over.
5. You could tie some raffia along the edge.

Sequins & Felt Flower Headband

Monday was the first day of preschool 4. I made Lu a new headband to go with her outfit.

I cut out felt flowers, stacked a few on top of each other, sewed on sequins using seed beads to hold the sequin in place, sewed the flowers onto an old headband.

A fast and cute way to dress up an outfit. If sequins aren't your thing you can use a button as the flower's center. Lu just loves all things glittery and sparkly :-)

Sewing on the sequins is simple:
Push the needle through the felt
Add a sequin to the needle
Add a bead on top of sequin
Draw needle and thread all the way through
pushing sequin and bead flush to felt
Take needle and go back through sequin hole
Bead will hold sequin in place

A happy customer!

Halloween Kids Craft: Witches Hats

Edit: I am making 16 of these for Lu's preschool class. I will make the hats & spray paint them black at home. I will provide the collage materials for the kids so they can decorate their own in class. So far I found some glitter glue in the Target $1 zone (4 tubes for $1), I order a ton of googly eyes and gems from Oriental Trading Company on the cheap. I think I'll pick up some Halloween curling ribbon and pre-tie bundles of curls for them to attach. I'll post pictures afterwards.

I can't help it...I know it is still September. I just love Halloween.

We still had a bunch of Elmo Birthday Party hats sitting on the "I'll deal with it later pile." Lucky for me I am a procrastinator. I picked up the hat and thought up this fun little craft.

Take a small paper plate. Make pie shaped cuts in the center circle. Fold up. Tape or glue to inside of hat. Paint or spray paint black. Decorate. Lulu and I both had fun decorating ours. We used googly eyes, sequin stars, glitter and ribbon.

When dry you can tie ribbon around the hat or even better glue feather boa around the brim!

Technical Difficulties

Hello! I am sorry I have been MIA for several days now. My computer up and died on me last week. All is fixed now. I just got my "baby" home tonight. I have some great posts lined up. It helps being unplugged for a while. Thanks for your patience. Mama King

Happy Labor Day

Time to paint the kitchen! Goodbye to the girls makeshift growth chart.

Feed the Birds

You may have noticed we have been doing a lot of outings and not a lot of crafts. As soon a s school starts we will go back to our regular routine. I will be posting a craft project every Monday and Wednesday starting September 14th.

Until then we have been enjoying the beautiful weather. One of our favorite sunny day places to go is our local children's Zoo. We have a membership which makes going less of a commitment. We can go and visit a few exhibits, have a picnic and ride the little train and go. We know we are coming back so no need to see the entire Zoo and traipse all over mankind. We go year round and the girls never tire of it (maybe 6 times a year.) I have them pick one paying activity each time. Nothing costs more than $2 but I want these activities to be special and not expected that we ride the carousel, ride a pony, and feed the birds every time we go.

I let Lulu choose the activity this time because she had acquired 10 big sister stickers on her rewards chart. These stickers were given to her if I saw her helping her sister, making good choices, walking away from potential conflict and being kind to her sister. Lulu was really motivated by the chart and I saw her think twice a couple of times without me saying anything.

Lulu chose the Aviary as her activity. For $2 you get a stick with bird seed stuck to it. The birds (Australian Budgies) will fly down and eat from your stick. Pretty cool!

Have a great day!

Historical Farm Outing

We went to visit a historical farm yesterday. The girls had so much fun washing clothes (*gasp!*) We may have to find ourselves a washtub and washboard.

Rinsing the clothes.

Hanging them up on the clothes line. They even had a little basket so you could take the clothes off the line and start all over again. They could have done this all afternoon but some other kids came along and I saw my chance to move on!

Next came watering the garden. They got to fill up kids size watering cans with a real water pump.

Big sister helping little sister!

45 minutes! They went back and forth countless times. It really is the simple things that get kids so excited.

Of course there were animals, barns and historic homes on the farm but this was the highlight!

We are enjoying our last days of summer before school starts. Hope you are (did) too!

Corn Husk Dolls: Part 1 Update

As my daughter Em would say, "Whon Whon. " My husband taught her this sound effect for when things go wrong. It is actually very hysterical when something really does go wrong and my husband and I are tense (usually involving directions.) All of a sudden we will hear "Whon Whon" from the back seat. You can't help but laugh.

Back to the corn, "Whon Whon!" They shriveled up! I did see that you can buy nice flat husks at the craft store or use tamale wrappers. So much for being resourceful -- off to the craft store we go!

Fall is in the Air: Corn Husk Doll, Part 1

Went to a local farm for peach picking yesterday. Bought some gorgeous corn. Decided to save the husks to see if I could attempt to make a corn husk doll for the girls.

Step 1: Start saving your corn husks (about 20 per doll.) This is the husks from 4 ears. Plenty to make two dolls or extras to make lots of mistakes and end up with one doll. Let dry 3 days.

I will be using the tutorial from Family Fun.

Making A House A Home

Lu went to her first Build-a-Bear birthday party this past weekend. The box her panda bear came in was as exciting as the panda bear. It is shaped like a house with windows and a door already cut out. We decided to spruce it up a bit. 3 sides got painted today. We hope to finish painting it and adding some decorative touches later this week.

Emme wanted to get in on the action so I gave her an extra box and didn't she have fun!


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