Saturday, April 30, 2011

Springtime Piggies Birthday: Fresh Flower Birthday Banner

Here’s another craft I made for my girls’ 4th birthday. Since their birthday is in the spring, I thought I’d combine some fresh flowers and some happy prints to make a birthday banner to put the Springtime in our Springtime Piggies Birthday theme (click that link for a round-up of birthday projects).

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I was inspired by a banner made by Sisters of the Wild West so I set out to find some letters. But I could not find chipboard letters in the right size, and I couldn’t find a good deal on wooden ones. So while wandering around the craft store, I saw a bunch of ladies rummaging through a 10-cent bin. So of course I had to check it out too, right? And I found a bunch of chipboard coasters for 10 cents a pack. I even had an extra 25% off coupon! The coasters are 4x4 inches.
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I drew on some letters on the white side of the coasters free-hand, and used a craft knife to cut them out. It didn’t take too long, to my surprise. I did struggle at first with cutting out the middle part of the letters, but I got the hang of it after a while. I also made sure they were all the same size as the previous letters I cut. The resulting letters are about 3.5 inches tall.
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Then using my cut letters, I traced them onto scrapbook paper and cut them out. After that, I mod podged the paper onto the coaster letters.
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I used mini clothespins to hang them from some twine.
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I then made some origami pouches to hold the flowers. Cut a 6x6 inch square of scrapbook paper. Then cut a corner of scrapbook paper and tape that onto the wrong side of the square at one corner. This will be the front flap of the pouch. That part isn’t necessary if you don’t mind the back of the paper showing, or if you have two-sided paper.
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Making sure the flap with the paper-covered corner is at the top, fold the square into a triangle.


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Then take one corner and fold it up to the opposite side of the triangle, so it forms a horizontal line. Then do the same with the other corner.
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Fold the flaps down on either side to secure the whole pouch. You’ll see the corner you covered with scrapbook paper as you fold it over. You can further secure the pouch with a little bit of tape.
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Cut the flowers so they will fit into the pouch. I used about 5 green mums. Then I wrapped the stems in a wet piece of paper towel (about a 1/4 square of a paper towel), and then wrapped that in a small piece of plastic wrap. I made 11 of these to go between each letter. You can do this the night before (or maybe more, especially with long-lasting flowers like green mums).
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But before you insert the flowers, punch a hole through the flaps on both sides for a hanging ribbon. Then insert the flowers and tie to the twine, in between the letters.
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Repeat with the rest of the pouches, and you’re done!
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Birthday wrap-up post coming soon!

This was a guest post on Creation Corner, and a Crafting with Crystal project.

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Linking: Lamb Around :: Petite Hermine :: Tip Junkie :: Sugar Bee-Crafts :: Rook No. 17 :: Tea Rose Home :: The Trendy Treehouse :: Somewhat Simple :: Momnivoire's Dilemma :: The Frugal Girls :: Tidy Mom :: WhipperBerry :: Craft Envy :: Along for the Ride :: Tatertots and Jello :: Lolly Jane Boutique :: Be Different...Act Normal

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Springtime Piggies Birthday: Crayon Favors

This craft tackled a few problems in our house: overflowing crayons, overflowing crayon artwork, and the need for a party favor for my girls’ Springtime Piggies 4th Birthday (click that link to see a round-up of birthday projects). My girls were able to help with these so that made these favors extra special.

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I found some heart and sun-shaped muffin molds. Yes, I know it says “daisy” and not sun, but it looks more like a sun to me.

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If you look back at my previous crafts, you’ll see there has been some previous sun and heart action going on, as they are Sophie and Sarah’s favorite shapes. (Left: Valentine’s Day Lollipop Covers; Right: The back of their Patchwork Pocket Totes).

valentineprintable8PatchworkTote_applique

I used mostly crayons we already had, but I did have to supplement with a bought box as I had to make them for our friends’ children, plus their 31 classmates at preschool. Most were the Crayola brand, plus there were some stray crayons from restaurant kid’s meals (this was just one of many bags!).

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I mainly followed the tutorial on Better in Bulk to make the crayons. I peeled off the wrappers and broke the crayons in about 4-5 pieces. The girls then sorted out the colors into the muffin molds. We tried to mix darks and lights for each crayon. Well, they just threw them in wherever, and Mama secretly switched some around later.

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Fill them up pretty full…unlike actual muffins, these will shrink!

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I melted the crayons in a 250 degree oven. Some crayons took longer to melt. So I think I left them in the oven for as long as 20 minutes.

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And some won’t melt at all. I fished them out with some takeout chopsticks (reason #138402870398475 not to toss them!).

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I was bummed at first that they didn’t look as rainbowy as I’d liked. But once they cooled and solidified, I popped one out and look! It’s pretty on the other side!

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The silicon molds made it easy for the girls to pop them out as well.

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And put back in. And take out. And put back in. And take out.

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To package them, I took some narrow zip top bags that you can find at the craft store. After I put in the two crayon shapes, I cut out a square of the girls’ crayon artwork, folded it in half and stapled that to the top of the bag.

And you’re done.

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Stay tuned for more Springtime Piggy Birthday fun.

Linking: Lamb Around :: Petite Hermine :: Tip Junkie :: Sugar Bee-Crafts :: Rook No. 17 :: Tea Rose Home :: Somewhat Simple :: The Trendy Treehouse :: Momnivoire's Dilemma :: The Frugal Girls :: Tidy Mom :: Crystal's Craft Spot :: Creation Corner :: WhipperBerry :: Craft Envy :: Along for the Ride :: Tatertots and Jello :: Lolly Jane Boutique :: Be Different...Act Normal

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Springtime Piggies Birthday: The Pig Graphic

Over the next week or so, I’d love to share with you some of the crafty elements of my girls’ 4th birthday. The theme was: Springtime Piggies!

I’d always wanted a piggy party for them, but somehow never got around to it. Their 1st birthday was twin cherries, and then we never had a party after that (took that long to recover, I guess!). So I thought I should grab the chance to do my piggy party now, because surely in the years to come it will be Dora, Disney Princess, Tinkerbell, etc.

So I came up with a pig graphic using Picnik to use on their invitations and throughout their birthday decor.

And if you’re wondering about the significance of the pig for me, please read my about page!

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The muse for these pigs was my girls’ favorite stuffed pigs, aka “The Brown Piggies” (they also have The Pink Piggies, and The Big Pink Piggies, and The Fuzzy Piggies…all given in pairs from family members).

This was Sarah with The Brown Piggies, age 2.5 months. I wondered why Sophie wasn’t in the picture too…

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…that’s because at the moment, she was helping Dada wash bottles and pump parts. Ah those were the days.

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I used Picnik pretty much in the same way as when I made my Valentine’s Day Lollipop Covers. Those were rectangular but I wanted my pig to be on a square white background so choose the 4 squares and then pick white (which is FFFFF) and click Done which will take you to the next screen. Click the screenshot to enlarge.

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Then at the next screen, click the Create tab, and then click on Stickers. Everything you need is in the Geometric stickers (big circle on the left). The face, eyes, snout and nostrils are simply ovals, the back of the ears are squares in the same color as the face, and the front of the ears are two triangles that I flipped over (lower right corner). You just drag to position and enlarge/make smaller with your mouse. You may need to bring things to the front or back by right-clicking. Again, click on the image to enlarge and for more details.

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If you’d like to recreate the same piggy, here are the colors that I used for each part, that you would enter where it says Sticker Color (upper right corner). There will already be a code there for black, and you just replace it with the following:

  • Pig face and back of ears: ffd5b6 (peach)
  • Pig snout and front of ears: ff8f22 (brown)
  • Nostrils: 623700 (dark grey)
  • Eyes: 000000 (black)

Then you just click the Save and Share tab, save the file as a .jpg or .png, and you’re done.

Invitations:

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Birthday wreath:

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Cake:

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And an applique:

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I was really surprised how pig-like it turned out. I think the most challenging part to come up with was the ears but the solution ended up being super simple. No, I have not tried to make any other animals! But let me know if you give it a try!

More piggy birthday fun to come. Oink Oink!

Linking: Lamb Around :: Petite Hermine :: Tip Junkie :: Sugar Bee-Crafts :: Rook No. 17 :: Tea Rose Home :: Somewhat Simple :: Momnivoire's Dilemma :: The Frugal Girls :: Tidy Mom :: Crystal's Craft Spot :: WhipperBerry :: Craft Envy :: Along for the Ride :: Tatertots and Jello :: Lolly Jane Boutique :: Be Different...Act Normal

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

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and…Happy 4th Birthday to my girls, who wish you a Happy Easter as well.

PigBunny_Easter

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Cooking: Easter Egg Rice Krispy Treats

The girls’ preschool had an Easter party today and snacks were parent-provided. I saw these Easter Egg-Shaped Rice Krispy Treats on From Apples to Zucchini and thought they’d be perfect for the occasion.

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They were responsible for the rice krispies while I melted the butter and marshmallows. Smells sooooo good.

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They were also the sprinkle adders. I just bought one of those combo sprinkle thingys at the grocery store.

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Sometimes you’ve just gotta stand up to sprinkle.

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Butter up everyone’s hands and fill up some washed and dried plastic eggs (into the bigger half). Heap it up so that it will also fill the smaller half when you cap it closed, about 2 inches.

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So, a little bit less than this:

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But a little bit more than that:

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Let them sit for a few minutes…

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…and remove onto a plate. And you’re done.

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This was the first time they’ve ever made “Rice Cakes” as the girls call them, so I’m wondering if my girls will always expect them to be egg-shaped! So I’d better hang onto my eggs for now. Anyway, these were easy to make, didn’t require exact measurements, could be made ahead, and the girls were able to help. A fun and sweet afternoon with my fun and sweet girls.

Linking up at Ms. Bibi’s Foodie Wednesday @ Daily Organized Chaos.

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