Easy Kids Christmas Crafts – Reindeer Root Beer Bottles

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Reindeer Root Beer Bottles

Many years ago, a mom from one of my kids’ class brought in these cute reindeer root beer bottles for a holiday party.  At the time, I thought, oh man, I gotta up my game here.  This. Is. Impressive.  And, I have basically wanted to copy her idea ever since.

So, now that I have put some time between the party and today, I feel totally justified in presenting this idea like it was my own.  Ha!  Nameless mom, if you are reading this:  Top-notch idea.  The kids loved it, and I hope my readers will too. :)

Reindeer Root Beer Bottles

You’ll Need:

Bottled Root Beer
Ribbon
Small Red Pompoms
Brown Pipe Cleaner
Googlie Eyes
Glue

Reindeer Root Beer Bottles

First, glue the googlie eyes and the little red pompom nose onto the top neck of the bottle.

Reindeer Root Beer Bottles

Next, tie some ribbon around the lower neck of the bottle.

Reindeer Root Beer Bottles

Finally, grab your pipe cleaner and center it around the cap, so that an equal amount is on each side.  Twist it around the back of the cap and then form your antlers.  When you get right down to it, the whole thing takes like 3 minutes, but believe me, the kids will be wowed.

Happy Holidays!

~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.



How to Make Scented Pine Cones

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How to Make Scented Pine Cones

With Christmas right around the corner I thought I would re-publish this easy peasy How to make scented pine cones tutorial in case you missed it last year.

I can always tell winter is coming when I start to see the scented pine cones popping up the the stores. They look so festive, and smell amazing, that it’s hard to resist not purchasing them.  Here in my neck of the woods though, paying for pine cones is like paying for air–they are everywhere and it just doesn’t make sense to pay for them. Making them scented is also pretty simple, so I thought I would make some to satisfy my winter nostalgia.

pine cones

You’ll Need:

Pine Cones
Essential Oil {I used Edens Garden Essential Oils}
Gallon Ziploc Bags

How to Make Scented Pine Cones

Directions:

Wash the pine cones in warm water to get ride of any debris, dirt, insects, etc.  Then, on a foil lined baking sheet, heat them at 250 degrees for 20 minutes.  Allow them to cool completely before moving on to the next step.

Put pine cones into the zip baggie and put several drops of essential oil {I’m using cinnamon} into the bag.  Zip the bag and then gently toss around the pine cones and oil to mix thoroughly.  Leave the bag closed for 1 week to allow the scent to infuse the pine cones.

After a week, pop them open and place them in a bowl.  I think they make a really cool winter decoration and they smell amazing every time you walk passed them.  When they run out of scent, just repeat the process.

How to Make Scented Pine Cones

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DIY Halloween Mason Jar Mummies

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DIY Halloween Mason Jar Mummies Easy Crafts for Kids

Need a quick and almost brainless Halloween decoration?  I totally have the solution for you.  These Mason Jar Mummies take about 2 minutes {that’s exaggerating a bit} and you literally could not mess them up if you were in a semi-comatosed state.  Low input for super cute output.  That NEVER happens, so embrace this one people.

tealights

You’ll Need:

Tea light candles
Mason Jars
A roll of gauze
Googly Eyes
Glue

DIY Halloween Mason Jar Mummies

Wrap the gauze around the mason jar.  There’s not a science to it, just throw it on there kinda haphazardly.  Glue down the outside edge if necessary to get it to stay put.

DIY Halloween Mason Jar Mummies Easy Crafts for Kids

Glue on some googly eyes–they don’t even need to be straight.  Pop a tea light in the bottom of the mason jar, light it.  And, boom, people will be all like, “Did you make those? Those are darling!” and you can humbly reply, “Yes.  Yes I did.”

Happy Halloween!

~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.

Canning Ring Pumpkin

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Canning Ring Pumpkin

With most of the canning done, and extra canning rings lying around, I thought I would make a canning ring pumpkin for the table. It’s cute, festive, and takes about 2 minutes—my kind of craft.

Canning Ring Pumpkin

You’ll need:

  • Canning rings {all the same size}
  • String {to tie the rings together}
  • 3 or 4 cinnamon sticks
  • Some scrap fabric or paper cut into the shape of leaves {enough for 2 leaves}

cinnamon sticks

Directions:

String the canning rings together in a straight line.  Once all the rings are on, tie them together tightly, pulling them into a round pumpkin shape.  Then, stick the cinnamon sticks down into the pumpkin and add the leaves.

How easy is that?  And so cute and homesteady {that’s a word, right?}.

~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.

How to Make a Strawberry Pin Cushion

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How to Make a Strawberry Pin Cushion

Need a new pin cushion?  This strawberry pin cushion is super easy to make and turned out soooo cute. I think it would be the perfect addition to a DIY sewing kit.  If you have a wedding gift, birthday gift, etc. you could totally throw together a sewing kit with this cute little nugget in it.  Custom is all the rage.

You’ll need:

6-8″ square of strawberry looking fabric {I used velvet}
Small piece of green felt or wool
Thread
Needle
Scissors
Stuffing {I used wool scraps}

two circles cut in half

Directions:

Draw a 6-8″ circle on a piece of paper.  This will serve as your pattern.  Cut it out and pin it to your fabric.  Using your pattern as a guide, cut a circle from the pattern.

Cut the fabric circle in half.  {Each half will make one pin cushion.}

Take one half of the circle and fold it in half, right sides together {it should look like a triangle with a rounded top now.  Pin it down.

make a berry pin cushion

Sew along the straight side of the fabric, curving your stitch around the point of the triangle to create a more strawberry like bottom.

making a strawberry pin cushion

Flip the fabric right side out.  Now, sew the top with a gathering stitch about 1/4″ from the top, leaving a hole on top to stuff the strawberry.  Fill the strawberry with stuffing and then pull the gathering stitch shut.

how to make felt berry leaves

Draw a little three or four leaf pattern on paper and then use it to cut out the leaves on the felt or wool {or if you are brave, just go rogue with your scissors}.  Sew the felt down on top of the strawberry.

How to Make a Strawberry Pin Cushion

Repeat the process with the second piece of fabric, if you want two. {I personally think the strawberries look better with two “leaves”}. If you want to add a stem simply roll a 1 inch by 3 inch piece of felt or wool stitch up the sides and sew it on top of the leaves.

Way cute, way simple.

~Mavis

How to Make a velvet Strawberry Pin Cushion

* I just posted two sets of strawberries on my Etsy page if anyone is interested. :)

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.

15 Ways to Boost Your Creativity

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15  Ways  to Boost Your Creativity

You know how some people are just naturally creative?  I am always in awe of that.  I kind of have to work at it.  I like doing creative projects–but they take a little effort.  I am always glad I put the effort in, though, because creativity is therapeutic.  It makes you kind of feel original and unique, even if it is just for a minute.

So, if you want to get your creativity on, whether it is at work, home, or otherwise, here are some easy ways to give yourself a boost:

  1. Read.  Yep, sometimes the best ideas come from being informed.  You may get an amazing idea to fill a niche that you’ve read about, or an idea on tweaking an already existing idea to make it better.  Either way, “the more you know, the further you’ll go”–or at least, that’s what the commercial on the Saturday morning cartoons always said.
  2. Meditate.  It sounds all new wave, but sitting in complete silence takes effort, and when you actually achieve it, it opens up your mind to possibilities that would have been silenced had you never given yourself a moment of peace and quiet.
  3. Exercise.  Exercise releases stress and endorphins.  The better you feel, the more apt you are to come up with original and doable thoughts.
  4. Listen to music.  Ever heard of the Mozart Effect?  Studies have shown that listening to Mozart boosts people creativity and concentration.
  5. Get out and socialize.  New people bring new perspectives.  New perspectives bring new ideas.  Keep your social circle fresh.
  6. Start a new hobby.  Challenging yourself with something lends itself to creativity.
  7. Eat anti-oxidant rich foods {think:  blueberries}.  They boost your brain function, which leads to…drumroll please:  creativity.
  8. Practice.  Sometimes, you got to put a little work in to perfect your “creativity.”  Write everyday, play an instrument religiously, paint, whatever, just make sure to practice and hone your skill so that you have the ability to get creative with it.
  9. Block out time for creative endeavors.  Whether you’re crafting or dancing, carve some time out of your day to pursue it.
  10. Drop your expectations.  Try, if possible, to drop any expectations you have of an outcome.  It will lead to disappointment.  Leaving your mind open for any possibility makes pretty much any attempt a success {in that you can learn and adapt from it}.
  11. Research.  Learn everything you can about your creative activity.  The more you know, the more you will find ways to be innovative.
  12. Jostle your routine.  Try to do something everyday that is a little out of the ordinary.  Start shopping in the back of the grocery store and work your way forward.  Try a completely new dish or food each week.  Expand your mind {imagine me saying that in a very Yoga-like way}.
  13. Brainstorm.  When  you are stumped on how to move forward, brainstorm with someone.  Don’t feel like you are using their creativity to “be creative.”  You won’t implement it exactly as they would have anyway.
  14. Give yourself restrictions.  For example, as an exercise, if you are  a painter, try painting with only 2 colors.  The restrictions will force you to see your outlet in a new way.  It will force you to get, well, a little creative.
  15. Consider other people.  When you create, imagine  you are doing it for someone else.  It spurs you to bend the limits and push past just okay.  Studies show that when people are doing something for someone else, they tend to put more effort it and demand more from themselves.

How do you get your creative on?  What helps you when  you hit a creative wall?

~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.

DIY Garden Markers Using Bricks

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DIY Garden Markers Using Bricks

If you plant herbs {or any other edibles} right  into your garden beds, these brick garden markers make an awesome addition to the overall look of your beds {and they are, of course, totally functional}.

You’ll Need:

  • Bricks {super cheap at Home Depot}
  • A sharpie
  • Pencil
  • 5 minutes

DIY Garden Markers Using Bricks

Directions:

Using a pencil, sketch out the name of your plant {this will allow you to play with the size and safeguard you against any mistakes}.  Try to take up as much of the brick as possible–they look better that way.  Go over the penciled letters with the sharpie, once you are satisfied with the lettering, placement, and size.

Set the bricks in the beds along side the plant.  Cute, easy, done.

~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.

How to Make a Sponge Ball

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how to make a sponge ballLooking for a fun activity to keep the kids busy this summer?  Ever try sponge balls?  They are basically sponges that you cut and tie, then plunge over and over again into a bucket of water and throw at each other.  They take the place of water balloons, which are a pain in the behind to fill and tie, and don’t hurt at all when they hit bare skin.  Plus, if you wring them out and let them dry each time, they will literally last all summer.  I don’t want to call them the perfect summer activity, but let’s face it, they pretty much are.

how to make a sponge ballYou’ll Need

Sponges
Scissors
Strong String or Yarn

green spongeDirections

For each sponge ball, plan on three sponges.  Stack the sponges on top of each other, and cut them into five strips {about 1/2 inch wide or so}.  Place the string underneath the stack of sponges in the center.  Wrap it around the top of the sponges, like you are wrapping a present and tie it tightly.  Double knot.  Presto!  Sponge balls.

Now, get outside and toss a couple at the kiddos, trust me, it’s like painless therapy.  Ha!

~Mavis

how to make a sponge ball

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 Plant Markers From Broken Pots

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turn broken pots into plant markers

I don’t know about you, but I have amassed a pretty large terra cotta pot collection over the years.  I love them.  They  naturally regulate water to the plant, and as long as you take care of them, they will last for years.  The only downside is that they do occasionally break–after all, they are clay and exposed to the elements year after year.  It kind of kills me to throw them away, so when I decided to make a few of them into plant markers.

terra cotta flower pots

You’ll Need:

Terra Cotta Pots
Black Sharpie
Hammer

broken terra cotta pots

Directions:

Break off portions of the mouth of the pot.  You will want to use the top portion of the pot so that you have nice smooth edges, rather than jagged broken ones stick up waiting to attack you in your garden.  I broke the pots into desired pieces with a hammer.  I just lightly tapped where I wanted to break the pot to even it out a bit.  Write the name of your plant with a sharpie and then bury the base of the broken portion of the pot in the dirt along side the plant.

DIY Plant Markers From Broken Pots

Waaaay better than throwing out the broken pots, don’t you think?  {If you totally love the idea, but don’t have any terra cotta pots, the little ones are cheap, so you can still make the markers.} ;)

~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.

DIY Hanging Flower Basket Made with Chicken Wire and Moss

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Cone Shaped Hanging Basket

One of my favorite things about living in the Pacific Northwest is the moss. Weird, I know. So when I was asked to do a Mother’s Day segment on New Day Northwest I was reminded of a moss lined hanging basket I saw earlier this year at the Northwest Flower and Garden Show. The vendor was charging $99. I made mine for a fraction of that {under $10!}.

Luckily we have about as much moss as one could ever want growing in our backyard, so putting together a few moss lined hanging baskets was a snap.

Moss Lined Hanging Flower Basket Made Chicken Wire

Supplies

  • Chicken Wire {Home Depot sells it}
  • Wire Cutters
  • Garden Gloves
  • Moss
  • Potting Soil
  • Flowers
  • Pattern Piece {Draw out a large circle, make an X in the center and cut it in to 4 pieces}

Moss Lined Hanging Flower Basket Made Chicken Wire

Directions

Put on a pair of thick garden gloves. Place your 1/4 circle pattern piece on top of the chicken wire and cut along the edges {give yourself about an 1″ allowance}.

cone shaped basket made from chicken wire** Notice how I left the edges squared off? If you do that you will have a little extra wire to work with. You don’t have to do it but I find that shaping the basket is a little easier when I do. chicken wire hanging basket for mothers dayFold chicken wire into a cone shape.

cone shape chicken wire basketTuck the pointy bits of wire over one another to create a cone shape.

moss lined chicken wire hanging basketStuff wire cage about 2/3rd full with moss.

moss lined hanging basket cone shapedAdd a wee bit of potting soil to the center and then tuck small bedding plants {alyssum and lobelia work great} out of a few of the chicken wire combs.

making a cone shaped chicken wire basketAdd a larger, more showy flower to the top {geranium, gerber daisy, etc} and viola!

Cone Shaped Hanging Basket
An inexpensive but awesome looking masterpiece!

Now, how easy was that?

~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.

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