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By contributing writer Beth
Celebrate fall with this super easy and fun to make Hand Painted Pumpkin Craft. All your kids can join in the fun too.
This is a great project for a rainy day or a lazy Sunday afternoon. We were able to get these two pumpkins decorated in under 30 minutes plus drying time.
You can put these out as a welcoming addition on your front porch or as a warm touch on your fireplace mantle.
Ivory & Gold Pumpkin
Lay down newspaper to protect your work surface. Apply a light ivory acrylic paint to the first pumpkin. I like ivory better than white for fall because it’s warmer to match fall decor colors.
Add enough coats of paint to completely cover the entire surface and all surface imperfections.
Allow all coats to dry completely.
Drip the metallic gold paint over the stem of the pumpkin. Allow the paint to pool around the top of the pumpkin and use a brush to move the paint around the top so it’s not too thick.
Allow the paint to gently drip down the sides for a wet look. The shimmery paint will still have a glossy, glimmering finish, even when it’s dry.
Paint Splatter Pumpkin
Gather all three paints for the next pumpkin. This one is crazy fun for kids to do.
Gather enough paint brushes for everyone and make sure to cover your artists (how adorable is this DIY Art Smock!) and your surface. Any splattered acrylic paint can usually be easily cleaned up with a damp cloth.
You can do a base layer of color for your pumpkin, but I liked the natural color of the paper pumpkins that I picked up, so I just used that as a neutral base for the project.
Water down the paint in individual bowls so that the paint flows freely. It should be watered down enough to splatter and not clump or drip.
Dip your paintbrush into the first color and splatter away.
Let that first color dry so that it doesn’t blend with the next layer of color. If you do the next color while the first color is wet, the colors could mix together.
Continue to layer color splatters on top of each other until you’re satisfied with the finished product.
Allow to dry completely and display as desired.
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By contributing writer Beth
This Shaving Cream Paint craft is fun to do with kids on a lazy afternoon. As they dream of cooler temperatures, they can create fall leaves as sweet reminders of the beautiful colors of autumn.
You can do this with toddlers and above. The ingredients are non-toxic, but the paint can stain clothes. So make sure that everyone wears their art smocks.
If you do this craft with older kids, have them do research on different trees that lose their leaves in fall. Then let them choose the types of leaves they want to design. Then have them cut out their favorite leaves.
This is a great time to talk with the kids about how the trees are preparing for winter. The leaves change color because it’s time for the tree to seal off those leaves and stop making food. The tree grows new leaves again in spring when there is once again plenty of water and sunshine to begin the food-making process inside the leaves.
Some questions you could ask your kids:
- Are there trees in your yard that lose their leaves?
- What types of other trees grow around the area that also shed their leaves in fall?
- How are the leaf shapes different?
- How are they similar?
Oak and maple leaves have beautiful and unique shapes. Big leaves and small leaves may fall from trees, and varying sizes work perfectly for little hands.
- card stock
- shaving cream
- acrylic paint in fall colors
- popsicle sticks
- shallow pans such as pie plates (I used foil pie pans)
- cardboard or newspaper for covering your work surface
1. Trace (or draw) and cut leaf shapes from card stock. If you’d like, you can use the shapes my daughter drew. Download here and print directly on your card stock.
2. Put shaving cream in a shallow pan and spread it out to coat the pan.
3. Squeeze lines and spots of paint into the pan. Make sure to use contrasting colors to create dramatic differences and unique looks for each leaf.
4. Use your fingers or popsicle sticks to create swirls. Make sure to explain to the kids that there is a difference between swirling and mixing. We are not trying to blend the colors but to create fun patterns of movement.
If you have enough pans, it would be great fun for each child to create their own swirling paint pattern.
5. Press a leaf cutout into the swirled shaving cream. Press straight down to keep the paint from smearing or mixing too much and distorting the pattern.
6. Pull the cutout straight up out of the paint. Place it on some scrap cardboard or newspaper. Wait 30 seconds.
7. After the paint has had a chance to dry just a little, scrape off the paint from the cutout with a popsicle stick. You can try scraping in different directions for varying effects.
Allow the cutouts to dry completely.
Repeat with all the leaves.
Enjoy your new reminders of autumn and treasure the season you’re in!
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By contributing writer Beth
This Duct Tape Composition Notebook Cover is great for back-to-school fun. Your kids will love designing their own personalized journals to stand out from the crowd.
This tutorial takes from 5 – 10 minutes and doesn’t require any special equipment. The supplies are easy to find at an office supply store or any store that sells school supplies. This brand of tape comes in many designs and colors, so you’ll be able to find the design that suits each child’s personality.
Let’s get started!
Start by turning the notebook so the back is facing up. I start on the back and finish on the front so that all of the uneven finishing pieces of tape are on the back of the notebook. This happens because you wrap the overhang to the back over the spine in the steps to cover the front.
Cut off a piece of tape long enough to overhang both sides by at least an inch. Place the tape onto the top edge of the notebook so that it hangs over the top edge at least half an inch.
You can see when the book is flipped over how it overhangs on the top and sides.
Open the back of the notebook and work on the outside corner first. Cut two slits coming out from the rounded corner of the composition notebook cover.
Cut out a triangle of tape from the top side using a straight line from the top edge to the top of the first corner slit you cut. So you’ll see that a triangle of tape is now removed from the top edge and the other corner slit remains.
Fold down the slender piece of tape straight in on the diagonal angle. This will help keep the rounded edge of your notebook.
Now press in the side piece to be straight on the edge of the notebook and press in toward the binding.
(Ignore the pointy corner on this image. I had not yet cut out the triangle piece when I photographed this step.)
Leave the top edge away from the cover for now.
At the spine, cut out a trapezoid where the tape will be flat against the edge of the notebook and the sides will point slightly toward the outer corners.
Fold down the front edge. See how the angle of the spine cut allows for the tape to lay flat against the cover without getting near the paper. This will also keep the tape from causing bulk in the center.
Smooth the entire top of the front piece of tape down all the way to the corner you already prepared in earlier steps. Now the top front corner is complete.
Press down the back edge on the other side of the spine so that the sticky side of the tape has all been wrapped.
This is how the front piece will look when finished.
Continue to finish the front of the notebook with new strips of tape that slightly overlap the first piece. Thankfully, you’ll only need to smooth them over the front edge until you get them to the bottom where you’ll finish the bottom front corner the same as the top corner.
Repeat all these steps on the back EXCEPT do not make them overlap the spine. Just have the back pieces cover the back edge and slightly overlap the front piece that is wrapped around.
You’re finished! Great job!
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Do your little girls love My Little Pony? Mine sure do! Twilight Sparkle and Rainbow Dash have become household names around here. These adorable My Little Pony keychains are perfect backpack accessories for back to school! They make great inexpensive party favors too!
Each keychain takes less than 5 minutes to put together and your kids will love having their favorite pony on their backpack.
1. Open your My Little Pony toys and place your drill bit on your drill.
2. Carefully place your My Little Pony toys on your thick wood board (this will prevent the drill bit from going through the table).
3. Use your drill to carefully drill a hole through the tail of each pony.
4. Place your key chain hook through the drilled hole and hook it onto a keychain ring.
The post DIY My Little Pony Keychain appeared first on The Happy Housewife™ :: Home Management.
This post is in partnership with IKEA, all opinions are my own.
I believe most parents want their kids to inherit a cleaner, greener world. As an adult I try to live a greener life, and I want to be an example to my kids as well.
Today, there are so many opportunities for kids and adults to live sustainably, many of which are things our grandparents probably did without thinking. As a society we’ve been accustom to convenience, but sometimes that means more waste and it isn’t always best for the world we live in.
I find that the easiest way to get my children involved is to make greener choices the most convenient option in our home.
IKEA has some great inexpensive items you can use in your home to help your children learn how to live a more sustainable life. In fact some of these items are so popular you probably already have them in your house.
Use less paper products in the kitchen.
If you know me, you know I love my paper towels, but I also try to use dish cloths and rags whenever possible.
To make this happen I have a drawer of dish towels in my kitchen. We use them for drying dishes and hands and cleaning up spills.
We use two to three towels a day and I throw them into whatever load is in the wash at the end of the day.
Every few months the dish towels get moved to the rag bin and we replace them with fresh towels. Not only are we creating less waste, we are saving money by not using a roll of paper towels every single day.
Having the towels close to the sink and easily accessible encourages my kids to grab a cloth towel instead of a paper towel when they need it.
Smaller bowls = less food waste.
Most of my children have eyes bigger than their stomachs and tend to take huge helpings if I’m not watching. Usually they can’t finish their food because they filled their grown-up sized plate with a grown-up sized portion.
I solved this problem years ago by using the dishwasher safe, unbreakable IKEA plates and bowls. They are cute, colorful and small!
Kids can’t help but take smaller servings on these kid sized dishes and if they are still hungry they are always welcome to get seconds, or even thirds.
Ever since I started using smaller dishes for the kids we throw away significantly less food every week.
I also use these plates and bowls for myself! They are great when you want to track how much you are eating and make sure your portions stay in check.
Reusing bath and pool towels to save water and money.
With six kids at home, we do a lot of laundry. One way to live a little greener is to encourage the kids hang up their towels after their showers instead of getting a new one every time. (There are even hotel chains who are rewarding guests with extra points for doing the same thing!)
However, it can be hard for younger children to reach the towel bar in most bathrooms.
We install a lower towel rack in our bathrooms so the kids can easily hang up their towels after they swim or take a shower. If the towel is hung up immediately after they use it, it can be used for several days without smelling gross.
When we rented our house we used the over the door towel racks so the kids always had a place to hang their towel. We also use them for pool towels and guest towels. This rack from IKEA has pads on the hanger so you don’t damage your doors when you use it.
Make it easy to recycle.
We have two recycle bins outside, but I don’t always want my younger children going out at night by themselves to throw something in the bin.
Keeping a small bin inside the house encourages kids of all ages to recycle and makes it easy for them to put boxes and cans in the bin throughout the day.
A small lightweight container like the IKEA DIMPA fits anywhere in your home and has handles so it is easy to carry out to the recycling bin several times a week. It folds up when not in use so you can put it away if necessary.
I’ve come to realize that if I make it easy for my kids to do something, there’s a significantly greater chance that it will get done when I’m not around to remind them to do it.
Encourage outside free play.
One of the best things we’ve done as a family is live close to green spaces (or have a large yard for the kids to play). Our kids love being outside, and finding fun activities that don’t require a ton of resources or electricity.
Not only does outside free play give them the opportunity to appreciate the world around them (and hopefully help keep it cleaner) it limits their screen time.
I hope as they grow older they will continue to appreciate the environment around them and be good stewards of their resources.
The post Five Simple Ways to Help Your Children Live a More Sustainable Life appeared first on The Happy Housewife™ :: Home Management.