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DIY Gifts

This is one of my favorite past roundups of DIY gifts. You could make these for your kids or have them help you make them. 

From that list is this a definite reader favorite - from Made by Rae

I recently found this post with 101 DIY gifts for kids.

You could make them this LEGO Pencil Holder with new colored pencils, art supplies, and paper! - from Handmade Charlotte

Kids could make their own snowglobes and you could insert giftcards inside!

Make a LEGO tray (kids can decorate) with a new set - from Somewhat Simple

And I still love this DIY balance board from Elsie Marley

For the younger kids with design oriented parents these hand painted Geo blocks are gorgeous - from Ambrosia Creative

Here's a fun (and messy) project the kids can really get into - from Heart and Habit


DIY Paper Box

Here is another activity you could do to incorporate your kids artwork into gift giving. These are also great for storage, organizing, and just for fun! 
You'll need a square of paper any size. Fold the paper diagonally both ways to make an "x" with the creases.
Then fold it horizontally both ways as well (unfolding in between)
You'll have a square that looks like this (this is upside down)
Fold each corner into the center
When those are all folded into the center, fold the top half - half way down
Do the same for the bottom - then unfold just the top and bottom half all the way
Turn the paper so the unfolded ends are pointing to the sides now
Now fold this top half - half way down to the center
Do the same to the other side
Now unfold these sides leaving the triangle at the bottom - these are your first 2 sides of the box
Next you're going to take the pointed ends and fold them in so it folds over itself making another wall
Do the same to the other side and you have yourself a box!
If your kids are anything like mine, it won't be hard filling them!
Make another box 1/2 - 1" smaller and you have a top/bottom!
We made a big one with wrapping paper so your paper doesn't need to be thick
The boys LOVED this project and already have lots of ways they want to use/give their new skill. Happy folding!

Kids' Artwork Gift Wrap Garland


This is a fun way to incorporate kids' drawings into packaging that also doubles as a keepsake AND your kids don't have to draw them over and over.

I tend to shop in the remnants section in the fabric department of our craft store so my fabric was just chosen from whatever I had on hand! But first you'll want your kiddos to draw their best little holiday pictures. They don't have to make them small you can do that on the computer!

Next you'll scan their images into the computer.  You can resize the images in your choice of software - there are SO many choices with image software so I wouldn't be able to touch on all of them. Some of the things you may want to do is resize/cut out and place the images all on one page/increase the saturation a bit if they used crayons/ and if there are words written you'll want to flip the images at this point so they are backwards usually it's referred to as "flip horizontally" in the photo editing software. 

Print the images onto Iron on T-shirt transfer paper and cut them out.

I cut my fabric into little triangles to form a garland. Then I ironed the transfers on using a sheet of cardboard underneath and a kitchen towel on top to protect my iron just in case!

Last they all get sewn together (or you can iron them into some fabric binding as well). I used a black fabric binding for mine and sewed the triangles in. I just eyeballed the spacing - not much perfection here. And if you're like me you'll be sewing late at night when everyone else is sleeping!

Then you're done!

Cute little gift wrap that can double as a keepsake decoration for the recipient. 

We've also done something similar on the reusable canvas bags. Instead of the transfer paper I used the printable fabric for that one.

How do you incorporate your kids' artwork into gift giving? Kelle Hampton made some super cute ornaments

Post contains affiliate links


Time to get Crafty: Ornaments

I'm declaring this a "crafty" week. We all love getting new crafty ideas.  I've got ornaments, gifts to craft, and just fun things to keep the kids busy this week. I hope you love it!

My boys love making ornaments - it's usually me that gets bored with the same ones all the time! I've been looking for ideas for ornaments for us to make this year and I've found some that I thought you all would like! I haven't gotten our decorations out yet but once I do I'll share 2 of our favorites that I haven't seen yet on the internet!

This helicopter from craftycounterpart on Instructables has to be one of the most unique - love it!

Cute reindeer ornaments from fingerprints by Little Bit Funky


Snowmen handprint ornaments from Meet the Dubiens

For the older kiddos - mosaic ornaments from old CDs from Creme de la Craft

Love just doing a little handprint on a clear glass ball for babies first Christmas - from a sorta fairytale

A cornstarch/baking soda/water clay ornament from the woodside kitchen (kids could get creative with the shape, stamps, or colors)

Egg Carton Folk Ornaments from Michele Made Me

The boys and I are loving this idea for an ornament/topping presents - from Creature Comforts

Magnets but you could do double sided for ornaments! from Urban Comfort

Create a winter wonderland (so many options with this one!) from Spoonful

Feel free to leave a link in the comments to your blog post about ornaments you like to make!


$250 Shopping Spree Giveaway!

I've been trying hard to give back to you all this season! I have a new giveaway for you today!

One person will win $100 to Target and $50 to Lowes, Jo-ann, and Amazon.com! Can we say shopping?! 

Some of my blogging friends and I have gotten together to bring you this awesome giveaway (I couldn't do it myself at this point SO glad to partner up!)

Photobucketworley housePhotobucketPhotobucketA Night OwlSee Vanessa Craft

To Enter:

Use the Raf­fle­copter form below to sub­mit entries. (if you're in an RSS reader or email you'll need to click over) To enter, click the but­ton that says, “Do it!”, and then com­plete that spe­cific task. Each time you do this, you get one entry. Then con­tinue on, and do as many (or as few) tasks as you like. ONE LUCKYWINNER gets the $250 in gift cards!! *Please note this give­away is open to US res­i­dents only and ends at 12:01 EST on Tues­day Decem­ber 4th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck!!!


Fort Friday!

Is it Friday? I'm so confused! Love these Holiday weekends. So who braved/is braving Black Friday? I bought 1 thing on Amazon that I was waiting for last night and that looks like it's going to be it for me.

It's Fort Friday! We celebrate here at all for the boys with fun fort inspiration. If you'd like to participate by sending in your fort you can email it here.

We'll be at home enjoying family and the time off! My boys have been regularly setting up a tent in the backyard that they got from a friend whose son has grown out of it. If you have a chance to get a small easy to set up and take down tent - do it!

The Little Paper Dog made a newspaper tent - we posted about those here

Love this topsy turvy set from Monstrum

How creative is this cardboard log cabin - decorated gingerbread house style from Mrs. Butterfield's First Grade

Here's a DIY tent from On One Hand

This DIY fort made from foam and fabric is just genius - from Weekday Carnival


Black Friday Deals

I have a few more gift guides I want to post but thought I'd alert you to a few of my favorite online Black Friday deals in case you ARE online shopping today!

LEGO is offering Free Shipping, 10% off, and a free exclusive set through the 26th (they have items on sale too!)

10% OFF + FREE Shipping + Exclusive Holiday Set.  Valid 11.23.12 - 11.26.12

Hearthsong is a REALLY fun store (we used to love the catalogs when we were kids) and they are having a sale, free shipping, and a $10 reward for every $30 spent through the 24th - I'll be sharing some of my favorites from here next week, but you'll definitely want to check out their sale!

 The Land of Nod is another favorite - so many fun/unique toys

All-You-Can-Ship on Holiday Decor

And if you are an Amazon shopper like me - they have Black Friday deals going all week.

What are your favorite online shopping sites?!

Disclosure: this post contains affiliate links. We always post links to products or sites we use personally!


Happy Thanksgiving! Just Dance 4


Thank you to Ubisoft for sponsoring this post. Please click here to learn more about Ubisoft. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective. #UbiChamps


First of all Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I am so thankful for all of you and this blog. It's become so much more than I envisioned and can't wait to see where it goes from here. Thank you for your support, comments, and participation!


(love this quote seen on the very talented Design Editor's blog)

We love Thanksgiving - the family, the food, the thanks. The boys really love getting their family together all at once. They are the only kiddos in the family right now so they like to get us involved in fun games and activities with them. 

2 years ago they convinced a handful of us to play turkey tag with them. When you're tagged you have to stand with one leg up and your arms folded in like wings. As adults tend to do we got a little competitive and this is how I ended up

Last year we started teaching the grandparents to play the Wii so this year the boys are ready to show them a brand new game Just Dance 4

This game is so much fun - for those playing AND watching. They have a workout (Just Sweat It Out) option as well as a new Bring Your Crew option where each member has some different choreography. My youngest (8) LOVES this new option and cracks up every time I have to interact with him during a song. On Jailhouse Rock I had to grab his leg and play it like a guitar and it took a long time to recover after the laughing fit that ensued.

You can also download additional songs (Gangnam Style just came out yesterday!) if you want more added. The boys are excited to have their great grandma dance to Elvis! They have it all planned out. I think it's great because you don't have to push many buttons so it's easy to get everyone involved without having to "teach" them how to use it.

Just Dance 4 gets a big 2 thumbs up from all of us. We can't wait to burn some calories dancing AND laughing after our Thanksgiving dinner today!

Happy Thanksgiving!