How To Make A Candy Train – Easy Kids Christmas Crafts

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These little old school candy trains have been a tradition in our house for years. The Girl Who Thinks She’s A Bird has been making them and gifting them to friends for as long as I can remember. I bet it’s a tradition she passes on to her kids.

Making the actual train is so simple and just requires a few pieces of candy and a glue gun. While kids can help out with this craft, I’d obviously not recommend you give your 2-year-old a hot glue gun and let him go to town. And there’s your disclaimer.
Check out the step by step instructions and you can build your very own candy train:

Start with a package of gum.  I  selected Clove gum because it was red.

Hot glue 1 roll of Lifesavers to the pack of gum letting the Lifesavers hang over 1 end of the gum.

Add 1 foiled Rolo.

Add 1 Hershey’s miniature candy to the top of the Rolo.

Add 1 upside down foiled Hershey’s Kiss.

Add 4 wrapped peppermint discs.

Viola!  One candy train.  How easy was that?

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Easy Christmas Crafts – Bird Seed Ornaments

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Easy Christmas Crafts - Bird Seed Ornaments

I love these little ornaments.  They are a great way to decorate the bare winter branches outdoors, and the kiddos will love the fact that the birds are there because of them.

Easy Christmas Crafts - Bird Seed Ornaments

You’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
  • 3 tbsp. corn syrup
  • 4 cups birdseed
  • Christmas themed cookie cutters
  • Large cookie sheet
  • Cooking spray
  • A straw
  • Waxed paper
  • Ribbon

Easy Christmas Crafts - Bird Seed Ornaments

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, water, gelatin and corn syrup.
  2. Add birdseed to the mixture and stir in well.
  3. Line a large cookie sheet with waxed paper.  Coat the wax paper and the cookie cutters well with cooking spray.
  4. Place the cookie cutters on the waxed paper pan and spoon the birdseed mixture into the cookie cutters.  Press the mixture down firmly into the cookie cutters.
  5. Cut the straw into 2” segments.  Use the straw to punch a hole into the mixture.  Make sure the hole goes all of the way through and leave the straw in the ornament, so that the mixture will dry around the hole.  This is where you will tie your ribbon to hang the ornament.
  6. Leave the molds to dry for 2-3 hours.  Then, gently remove the molds and straws.
  7. Leave the ornaments to cure overnight.
  8. Tie the ribbon through the hole in the ornaments and you’re done.

Merry Crafting,

Mavis

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Halloween Recipe and Kids Craft Round Up

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Halloween Recipes and Kids Crafts

If you’re in full-on prep mode for your Halloween party, looking for some great ideas for classroom treats or simply looking for some unique ideas to celebrate this creepy holiday, we’ve got you covered. Check out all these cool Halloween recipes and craft ideas:

Develed Egg Spiders

Healthy Halloween Treats Easy Orange PumpkinsHealthy Halloween Treats: Easy Orange Pumpkins

how to make bat cookies halloweenHalloween Bat Sugar Cookies

Reese's Peanut Butter Cups Halloween Broom TreatsReese’s Peanut Butter Cups Halloween Broom Treats

Easy Halloween Dessert Ideas- Spooky Ghost Cakes

Easy Halloween Crafts for Kids – Use Old Milk Jugs to Make Spooky Ghosts
DIY Pumpkin Tap Drink Dispenser

Turn any pumpkin {or watermelon} into a drink dispenser with the pumpkin tap kit.

Check out my Halloween Pinterest board for more goolish and spooky Halloween ideas!

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

10 Pumpkin Carving Tips

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10 Pumpkin Carving Tips

This time of year always puts me in a good mood.  There’s something uplifting about candy, costumes, candy, jack-o-lanterns and candy.  When the kids were younger, we used to spread out plastic table clothes and make a whole evening out of carving pumpkins.  I’d roast the pumpkin seeds, and we’d snack on them as we carved.  Good times, people, good times.

If you plan on carving pumpkins with the kiddos this year, here’s a few tips:

  1. Use ice cream scoops to scoop out your pumpkins.  Your arms will stay cleaner and they do a great job a scraping the sides of the pumpkin.
  2. Use dry erase markers to draw the face out first.  You can easily erase if you have mistakes and the kids will still get to design, even if they aren’t old enough to do the actual carving.
  3. Spray the inside of the pumpkin with a water/bleach mixture and then coat it with petroleum jelly.  It will last longer.
  4. Use battery operated tea lights instead of candles.  You will still get the full it effect of a jack-o-lantern, without the potential fire hazard.
  5. If you do use candles, sprinkle the inside of your pumpkin with cinnamon, nutmeg and/or cloves for a DIY air freshener.
  6. If you don’t have a dry erase marker, let the kids draw their design on with a large nail.  The nail will leave an imprint deep enough for you to see where to carve.
  7. Instead of cutting off the top of the pumpkin, try something different, cut off the bottom or back.
  8. A dry wall saw makes an awesome carving tool and handles way better than a sharp knife.
  9. Use props.  This is a perfect place for the kids to showcase all of those “treasures” they’ve collected through the summer {and the perfect opportunity for you to help the de-clutter their collection}.  Let them glue on the leaves, rocks, etc. that they’ve collected as hair, eyeballs, etc.
  10. Want to get fancy?  Try printing out FREE pumpkin patterns.  {This will probably win your best pumpkin on the block, because IS a competition, don’t you know.  Ha!

How about YOU, what tricks have you learned over the years?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Top Ten Must Have Sewing Tools

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Ten Must Have Sewing Tools

Now that fall is here, I feel like I finally have some time to get to some of my sewing projects.  With all of the cool stuff on Pinterest, I don’t know how people can resist taking up sewing.  And, I don’t know about you, but all things are soooo much easier if you have the right tools to do the job.

If you plan to take up sewing this year, or get back to it after a long season of digging in the dirt, here’s 10 must-haves for your sewing basket:

  1. Good shears.  Seriously, this will save you a lot of heartache, misery, and fabric.
  2. Pins.  Lots of them.  And a pin cushion to hold them.
  3. Measuring tape.
  4. Seam ripper.  Just in case–I’m sure I never make any mistakes, but I like to have it just in case. {Okay, I use it pretty much EVERY project!}
  5. Needles.  Get a package with a couple of different sizes.  For small projects or finishing a seam–unless you’re taking it old school and sewing everything by hand, in which case, I wish  you the best.
  6. Pattern cutting board.  At the very least, it gives you a huge flat surface to work on, and at the most, it really helps take the guess work out.
  7. Fabric marker.  That way you can mark your fabric to your hearts content and it washes right out with cold water.
  8. Rotary cutter.  This thing is a bit of a luxury, but it makes cutting so much faster and cleaner.
  9. Cutting mat and ruler.  If you are only doing small projects, you can get away with omitting #6 and just getting these.  They make cutting accurately a breeze.
  10. Fray check.  Oh, Grandma would be jealous of this stuff.  It is basically a clear glue that keeps frays at bay.  {It works awesome on ribbon.}

What sewing projects are you working on right now?  Did I miss anything?

~Mavis

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Easy Crafts for Kids – Wooden Gnomes

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Easy Crafts for Kids wooden gnomes

These are the gnomes that we made with the kids at St. Jude on our trip.  Minus the sewing, the kids were able to do these all by themselves.  We had so much fun making them with the kiddos, I thought I would share how to make them with you.  They would make a perfect rainy day activity, don’t you think?

Crafts for Kids - Wooden Gnomes

Supplies You’ll Need:

  • Water colors
  • Wood dolls
  • Paint brushes
  • Felt
  • Needle and thread
  • Sharpie marker {fine or medium tip}
  • Cup of water {for the water paints}
  • Q-tip

Directions:

Crafts for Kids - Wooden Gnomes

Start by painting the base of the wood dolls different colors.

Crafts for Kids - Wooden Gnomes

Then, using your sharpie, add dots for eyes and buttons on the dolls.  Dab a little red water color with a q-tip to make rosy cheeks on the gnome.

how to make a toy doll hat

Cut out 3″ x 5″ triangles out of the felt.  {I made a pattern, just to simplify things.}

how to make a toy doll gnome hat

Fold the felt triangle in half and sew along the long side of the triangle.  Place the hat on the gnome and you’re finished.

Easy Crafts for Kids wooden gnomes

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How to Make Ruby Red Slippers

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How to Make Ruby Red Slippers

Since we were headed through Kansas on our way to St. Jude, I thought I’d better whip up some Ruby Red Slippers.  I know, I know, cliche, but who doesn’t love the chance to glitter anything?  Plus, when I am done, I’m pretty sure I know some neighbor kids that would welcome the addition to their dress-up clothes.

ugly brown shoes

I found these high heels on clearance at Target.   So, I grabbed enough for The Girl,  Amberlina, Lola and myself.  Lucky for me, they had all of our sizes.  I laid a board covered in tissue paper out in the lawn to work on–because I really don’t want to  explain to guests why there is glitter all over my house.

How to Make Ruby Red Slippers at the Last Minute

I grabbed a can of high strength adhesive glue.

How to Make Ruby Red Slippers at the Last Minute

And a container of glitter.  Now brace yourself, because here’s where things get really technical:  I sprayed the shoes and then dumped sprinkled the glitter onto the shoes.

How to Make Ruby Red Slippers at the Last Minute

And while it’s true, there’s no place like home–now we can at least make the most of Kansas.

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Easy Crafts for Kids – How to Make a Pinwheel

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How to Make a Pinwheel Easy Kids Crafts

When I was a little girl, I used to watch a show called Pinwheel.  The theme song went something like this:  ”Pinwheel, pinwheel, spinning around. Look at my Pinwheel and see what I’ve found.  Pinwheel, pinwheel, where have you been? Hello, how are you, and may I come in?”  Do you remember this song?  Did you watch the show?  To this day, whenever I see a child blowing on a pinwheel or pass one in a store, I sing that little song.  Ah, good times.  In honor of my reminiscing, here’s a cheap, simple pinwheel you can make on your own, and feel free to sing along as you do. ;)

How to Make a Pinwheel

You will need:

how to make a pinwheel directions

Directions

First, fold a piece of paper diagonally.  Keep your paper folded in a triangle.   Fold it again, into a smaller triangle.

Now unfold the paper, so it looks like a square.  Your paper will have crease lines in an “X” shape.

Cut about 3/4 the way up towards the center of the paper on each fold line and hole punch a hole in each corner of your paper.

Now, bring each corner with a hole in it towards the center of the paper.  You will start to see the pinwheel shape taking form.

Once you’ve gathered all of the hole punched corners to the center, put the brad through the center to hold them down.

Finally, open the brad and wrap it around the tip of the bamboo skewer to attach your pinwheel to its handle.

The last step is to pray for wind so that you don’t spend the rest of the day blowing the pinwheel straight into light-headed bliss just for the delighted giggles of your kiddos.

Happy Crafting,

Mavis

how to make a pinwheel

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

DIY – 4th of July Paper Sparklers

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DIY  4th of July  Paper Sparklers

I love the fourth of July.  It means BBQ’s, friends, and sparklers.  Paper sparklers are a totally safe way to help the little ones feel involved in the festivities, or if you live or are traveling to one of those no-burn areas for the 4th, to still add a little spark to the holiday.  Plus, they are super inexpensive and easy to make.

4th of July  Paper Sparklers

You’ll need:

  • Festive straws 
  • Red, white, and blue card stock {silver might be fun too}
  • Scissors

cutting paper

Directions:

  1. Cut the card stock paper into 4″x3″ rectangles.  Make several thin fringe cuts all the way up the paper, leaving 1/2″ uncut at the top.  
  2. Holding the uncut 1/2′ portion at the top of the paper, roll the paper up tight.  It is going to need to fit inside the straw, so super tight is key.
  3. Stick the end of the rolled paper into the straw, leaving the fringed side out.  If you want it to be extra sturdy, you can add a little tape to ensure it stays in the straw.
  4. Bend the paper a bit to make the fringes look more sparkler like.

Easy Kids Crafts 4th of July  Paper Sparklers

How easy is that?  I think these would look cute in a vase as a cute centerpiece too.

Have a Happy Fourth!

~Mavis

DIY  4th of July  Paper Sparklers

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How to Make Kool Aid Tie Dyed T-Shirts

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How to Make Kool Aid  Tie Dyed T-Shirts

I have a ton of Kool Aid packets left over from my extreme couponing days, and while I don’t plan on drinking them, I can’t stand to see them go to waste.  The Girl decided she was going to have some friends over to do some Kool Aid Tie Dyed T-Shirts—I am so glad someone is willing to put my waste-not-want-not  mentality at ease.

Kool Aid Tie Dyed T-Shirts

These are seriously so cool, I am going to have to resist the urge not to go out and buy MORE Kool Aid.  Ha.  Even if you don’t have a stockpile of Kool Aid lying around, these would still make a great, inexpensive summer activity for the kids.

How to Make a Kool Aid Tie Dyed T-Shirts

You will need:

Small Plastic or Glass Bowls
Kool Aid Packets {assortment of flavors for different colors on the shirts}
White Vinegar
Plastic Gloves {unless you want to look like an Oompa-Loompa for the next several days}
Rubber bands
T-Shirts
Iron

How to Make Kool Aid Tie Dyed T-Shirts

  1. In the plastic or glass  bowls, mix two packets of Kool Aid with 1 cup of vinegar.  Stir until Kool Aid is dissolved completely.  {You will need a separate bowl for each flavor/color}
  2. Twist the t-shirt and secure with the rubber bands.  Do it several times, all over the t-shirt.
  3. With gloves on, dip twisted ends of the t-shirt into the bowls of the Kool Aid mixture.
  4. Let shirts air dry a little {we let ours air dry for 2 hours for two hours}
  5. Set the color by ironing the shirt on medium high.  Make sure to use an old towel or ironing cloth between your iron and t-shirt to make sure you don’t stain your iron. 
  6. Let the shirts sit a full 24 hours before washing.

How to Make a Kool Aid  Tie Dyed T-Shirt

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