Rainbows and Pots of Gold in Preschool!

There is nothing like an upcoming holiday to get Preschoolers over the moon excited.  One of my favorite ones is St. Patrick’s Day.  Even if you don’t celebrate holidays at your school, or in your home, there are so many awesome themes that can be incorporated into a March curriculum.  The first round up I did was on Rainbows and Pots of Gold.  Enjoy!

slide_405688_5064572_free
One Artsy Momma’s fruit loop Rainbow

One Artsy Momma creates a super simple but really fun Fruit Loop Rainbow!  I’m sure kids would love snacking away as they create, but this is also a great way to practice sorting colors, following the order of the rainbow, and strengthening those fine motor skills.

DSC_0187edit_zps8e33800f
Shamrock Necklace by Mamas Like Me

Still have fruit loops left over?  Try making these awesome personalized Shamrock Necklaces by Mamas Like Me.   Your children will definitely strengthen their fine motor skills as they work to string fruit loops on a necklace.  And what a fun necklace it is!

slide_405688_5064566_free
Q-tip painting with Make and Takes

I love this adorable and, relatively, mess free Q-tip rainbow painting!  Make and Take taped together q-tips and added paint for a simple way to create the rainbow.  You could use q-tips individually to, but this is a neat way to swipe just like a paintbrush.  And think of how mess free it can be compared to finger painting!

slide_405688_5064554_free
Pot of Gold from B-inspired Mama`

This is a great little Hand Print Pot of Gold from B-inspired Mama.  Definitely starts to get messy when you add in painting hands, but kids love to see their handprints turn into art work.  If you don’t have the foil wrappers it would be super easy to make the gold coins out of something else as well.

slide_405688_5064586_free
Pot of Gold from Babble

Here is another, less messy, take on a Pot of Gold from Babble.  Using pre-cut pieces of tissue paper is a super simple way to create the rainbow.  Children will again have the opportunity to sort by colors and follow the pattern of the rainbow.  Instant art!

slide_405688_5064548_free
St. Patrick’s Day Book Mark from Teaching my Friends!

This is such a simple but adorable bookmark!  Paint chips that you can find at any Hardware store are great for projects.  Children will also get to see the various shades of a color and how the all come from the same family.  You could use hole punches, stickers, stamps, or anything you want really to decorate.  And then a little rainbow ribbon flare at the top, ta-da!  Children would love creating book marks to use!

end-of-the-rainbow-pot-of-gold-st-patricks-day-craft-for-kids
End of the Rainbow Twirler by Crafty Morning

There are so many things you can create from paper plates, and this one is great!  Crafty Morning painted a paper plate rainbow style first, and then cut it in a spiral.  Children can have a blast painting, and when it dries, you can help with the cutting.  It would look awesome hanging from the ceiling!

slide_405688_5064550_free
Streamer Rainbows by Happiness is Homemade

Another great project to hang from the ceiling or windows!  Happiness is Homemade uses half a paper plate, streamers and cotton balls.  Almost all of the materials you probably have hanging around the house!  It’s a simple project with a great end result!  Children of all ages will love the 3D effect and the moveable streamers.

Flower Pomander

Hi Everyone!  I decided to record a quick video tutorial so that I could link up with Mandy @ Sugar Bee Craft Edition’s VBlog link party!  Head on over and check out the videos!  I love her idea of getting to see what some of the bloggers look like “live”, we usually only get to see static pictures on blogs!

If you remember from my Stuff I like Sunday #5 post, yesterday, I featured the cute Pomander Balls Courtney made.  They were super easy to do, so I made a couple in spring colors…bring on the nice weather!  If you are unable to watch the video below, I decided to also do a text/picture tutorial, so just keep scrolling down!

Hopefully you can see the video, check out the horrendously ugly wallpaper I so frequently mention!

All the supplies you need:  Craft paper, Flower hole punch, styrofoam ball, push pins.  That’s it!  How simple!

Step 1: Punch out a bunch of flowers!

Step 2:  With some of your flowers, fold up the petals, this will help give it some texture in the end.  I recommend doing this ahead of time with a bunch of flowers, that way you don’t have to keep stopping.

Step 3: Grab your styrofoam ball, hold a flat flower down in place:

Step 4:  Take one of the flowers with the folded petals, layer this on top of the flat flower:

Step 5:  Stick in the push pin to secure in place:

Step 6:  Continue adding flowers on in the same fashion.  Try not to leave too big of a gap, you don’t want styrofoam showing through!

 Step 7:  Continue to cover the entire ball.  I left about a 2 inch gap on the bottom so that my ball would not roll around.  Feel free to cover the whole styrofoam ball if you want to add the Pomanders to a vase or dish.

 Step 8:  Sit back and admire your handy work!  Love how cute they are!

Try a couple different sizes, I think they would be adorable!  If you want to check out the tutorial for the painted shelf I created, that they are sitting on top of, click here!

Also, please be sure to stop by and enter my first ever giveaway!

Photobucket

Simply Living

Simple Patty’s Day Decorations

Alright all, letting the big secret out…I’m not Irish at all!  Not even a tiny bit.  But that’s ok, because I still like to celebrate St. Patty’s day!  I don’t usually go all out, considering the whole not Irish part, but decided to do something small this year.

Off to the Target $spot it was!  Look at the goodies I found:

I picked up two $1 tins, .50 cent ribbon, and two sets of hair barrettes for a buck each.  Not bad!

The hair barrettes had the clip seriously attached, so rather than destroy the back I decided to leave them on:

I took the pink and green ribbon off the spool, since they matched the barrettes perfectly.  Attached a dab of hot glue, and started attaching the ribbon:

I added a dot of glue at each corner to make sure the ribbon stayed secure.  When I got to the end, I was short by a couple inches.  Shucks!  Good thing I’m not a perfectionist!

I then attached the pink ribbon in the same fashion, and it was even shorter!  Darn!

I attached the barrette, clip and all, with hot glue…attempting to cover the gap in the ribbon.  That will be the backside, no biggie.

I flipped the tin over and attached the second barrette to the other side.  Ahhh, much better:

I repeated the process with the second tin:

Added some decorative yummy smelling potpourri (is that spelled right?) and spiced up my shelves a little bit!

I love the little touch it adds!  That’s about all the St. Patrick’s Day decorations you’ll be seeing around my neck of the woods.  But hey, everyone’s Irish on St. Patty’s, right?

On to other news, my favorite part about working in the public school system is…school vacations!  This whole week is school vacation week, and it feels amazing!  I’m loving getting to sleep in, and get caught up on grad school.  I passed in a fairly large paper this afternoon, and filled my home hours for one student, which means for the rest of the week, I really am on vacation!  Woohoo!

I also finished filing my taxes last night.  Hello $2000 in returns!  Half will go straight to our moving savings, the other half will go straight to the credit card.  That’s enough to pay off the full balance!  Happy Dance!

In even more exciting news, B’s wrestling season is officially done-zo!  While we wish the team made if farther in the finals, I can’t say I’m disappointed to end my wrestling-widow months, and gain my man back!  Happy Happy!

To celebrate/cheer up the bummed coach, we went ice skating this weekend.  I haven’t been ice skating since I was a kid.  Not going to lie, I was pretty nervous about wiping out the entire time.  But I only fell once!  And it was a result of trying to avoid running into a little kid…overall it was fun, and B had a blast!

Here’s a quick photo recap!

Can you tell that mountain man doesn’t shave/cut his hair all season!  Outta control!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful week…check back later for some of the fun things I get to finish while I have some time off this week!

Cheap 2 Shelf Bookcase Makeover!

These days, the last thing I want to do is spend a ton of money on new furniture, particularly when they are things that I don’t necessarily need.  But, some of the cheap furniture out there looks just that, cheap.  Which isn’t the look I’m going for either.  So I’ve been trying to find ways to get the cheap furniture, and make it look more appealing.  Check out the $8 Ikea table I spruced up here!

With all these recent snow days, thank you New England, I wanted a project to work on while being stuck at home.  I took a quick trip to Ocean State Job Lot (for anyone not from around here, they have great prices, but not always the worlds best quality) and found a pretty sturdy looking 2 shelf bookcase, singing to the tune of $10, I was sold.  Next stop was good old home depot where I picked up a paint sample of Martha Stewart Living in Anvil.  Less than $3 for the sample…and that was all the paint I would need!

Check out my process of turning this:

Before

into this:

After

 while spending a grand total of….$13!

First thing I did was to assemble the bookcase, then I took out my sanding block and some medium (100 grit) sand paper.

Sand paper, and a sanding block, which I like better than just using sandpaper folded up in my hand

It was important to rough up the surfaces to make sure my paint would stick.  If you were working with unfinished wood that was smooth you wouldn’t have use this step, but because my wood was already finished, I needed to scrape off the smooth veneer.

One side, sanded down

Next I took out the screws and made sure to sand down all the inside surfaces I couldn’t reach while it was put together. (Since the bookcase came unassembled you can just sand all the surfaces without putting it together first.  I chose to assemble it first to see how it looked before spending all the time painting.)

Here are all of my pieces laid out, sanded, and ready to be primed!

Ready for priming!

I had a left over Grey primer from a kitchen table and chairs I painted years ago before moving into my first apartment.  That was the perfect base for my darker grey paint.

 I have a little key for popping off the top of paint cans, but a flat screw driver would work fine too

Before priming I used tiny pieces of painters tape to cover up all the screw holes, so that they wouldn’t get painted shut.

Co

I decided to use a small paint roller instead of a paintbrush in the hopes it would cover up brush lines.  So into the tray my primer went, and I was good to go!

Here is what my shelves look like primed:

Read the back of the paint for dry time!  My primer was dry to the touch in 30 minutes, ready for a second coat in 1 hour.  So an hour later I did a second coat.  Waited a couple hours….flipped all the boards over and primed the other side, and edges!  Then I waited over night for everything to dry thoroughly.

Next it was time for paint.  As I said, I chose the Martha Stewart Living in Anvil.  This is a really nice rich grey, originally I thought that I was going to go with Graphite, but after looking at the paint chips Anvil stole my heart.

Each paint tester comes with 8oz. of paint, which I knew would be just enough for my small bookcase.  The guys at Home Depot mix it right up for you, and for less than $3 it’s perfect for a small project or testing paint on your walls at home before taking the plunge.

I followed the same steps as I did for priming my shelves, except this paint took 3 hours to dry!  So 2 coats on each side later…it took most of the day!

After the final coat was on I let things dry overnight just to be on the safe side.  Then I removed the painters tape covering the screw holes, and was happy to see them safe and unblocked.

Now I had to decide on what pattern to paint onto my shelves.  I had seen the fabulous painted wallpaper Emily did over at Jones Design Company and was sold.  I printed her template, but adjusted the size by quite a bit, since my tiny bookshelf was much smaller than her expansive wall space.

Cut out template, and chalk for tracing

Since I had such a dark surface I used chalk to trace my template, rather than pencil.  Here’s what it looks like traced and ready to be painted.

Then I grabbed my white acrylic paint, a brush, and my make shift paint palette.  (remember how I talked about saving all the plastic inserts from my Christmas ornaments here.  This is what I was saving them for!)

Now it was time to get to work.  I followed the chalked out lines, and tried to stay on the inside of the lines.

Again, avoid filling in the screw holes!  Here is what my first side looks like finished:

Now I lined up the top to try and make my patter flow evenly.

I followed the same steps for the top and other side.  Trace outline in chalk, fill in with paint.  After allowing the paint time to dry, I assembled my bookcase.

Here’s a closeup, which shows that there was quite a bit of touch up work to do!

The bookcase did come with these little circle stickers to cover up the head of the screw.  I decided to stick them on and see if I could paint over them.  That way I don’t have to live with unsightly screws on the side of my bookcase, and if I ever decide to take apart the bookcase again, I don’t have to worry about scraping paint off of my screw first.

I then pulled out an angled brush to do my touch up work:

Here it is after, you can hardly see the circle sticker any more!

You can hardly see the circle sticker!

And here she is all put together, with a few space fillers on the shelves.

I’ll be sure to update when I find a permanent home for her.  Most likely next to my bed, but we shall see!  I’m thrilled with the outcome, what do you think?  It was a time consuming process (mostly waiting for paint to dry) and as I stated here, I don’t have the worlds steadiest painting hand, but overall I think my $10 bookcase looks much improved!  I’d say it was $13 well spent.  Maybe I need to go back for a matching one…

Simply Living

Valentine Topiaries

Hi All!  With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I have a couple more Valentine related crafts up my sleeve.  And I can’t wait to share them with you!  First up is a cheezy yet cute Valentine Topiary.

All the materials I used were terra cotta flower pots, paint, paintbrush, pencil, scissors, two unsharpened pencils, yarn, glue gun, two empty ribbon rolls, two Valentine Pillows, and heart fillers.  You can substitute materials, or leave out others, totally up to you!

The first thing I did was paint my pots, I decided to paint the actual pot white, and paint the saucer underneath pink.

Paint the pots white

I used a patio paint that is specifically for ceramic and other outdoor type materials, this was perfect for the terra cotta pots.

I used patio paint, which was perfect for the terra cotta pots

Make sure that you paint inside the rim, at least a few inches, just to make sure that no unfinished pot shows through in the end.

Paint just inside the edge

Next I printed each word I wanted to use, in a special font on the computer.  I chose Love and Hugs.  Once I had printed it, I cut out the word, and used transfer paper and a pencil to trace the word onto my pot.  Here is how it looks with the word love.

I used transfer paper to trace my letters onto the pot

Then I used my pink paint, and a very thin paint brush and filled in the letters. 

Itty bitty paintbrush and pink paint

Make sure to let the paint dry before doing another layer, I used about 3 layers of pink paint.

 I used the same technique for my pot that says Hugs.

 Then I took my unsharpened pencil, and glued the yarn onto the end.  I then wrapped the yarn around the whole pencil and glued the other end to the eraser.

I wrapped an unsharpened pencil in yarn

Now it was time to assemble.  Here are all of my supplies laid out.

All my supplies

The first thing I did was to lay my pot on the saucer, and make a pencil mark through the hole, to mark the center.

Make a mark with your pencil through the hole so that you can find the center

Now I took the pot off, and made a dot of glue with the glue gun over my pencil mark.  Stick the yarn covered pencil in this dot of glue.  If necessary you might also need to do a layer of glue around the pencil to make sure it is secure.

Stick the pencil onto the saucer with hot glue

Hold the pencil in place for a few seconds while the glue solidifies.  Here are what mine look like.

Slide the pot over the pencil so that it rests in the saucer.

Slide on the pots

Next I slid the empty yarn holder over the pencil and inside of the pot.  This just takes up more room so that you have to fill less space inside the pot.

I used an empty ribbon spool as a space filler

Now I took my pillow (thank you dollar bin at Target!) and cut a small hole in the bottom.

Cut a hole in the bottom of the pillow

I then slid the pillows onto the top of the pencil.

Slide the pillow onto the pencil

Then I grabbed the purple hearts I was going to use to fill to pot. (again, thank you dollar bin at Target!!)

I used purple hearts from Target as a space filler

Now I filled in the pots.  One box of filler was enough for both of the pots.

Here is my finished product and a couple of close ups.  Cute huh?

 I love how they turned out, even with my incredibly unstable painting hand!

Simply Living