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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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!

Bathroom Topiary

As promised, here is a tutorial for the cute little bathroom topiary you got a sneak peek of over in my Finished Wall Art post.

I originally got the idea from Greenbean’s Crafterole (her’s are way cuter than mine!), and decided it was time to put my own spin on the cute decoration for my mini-bathroom overhaul.

First stop was good old Target.  I was able to pick up 50% of my supplies there…the rest I had lying around the house.  Here’s what you need:

All of the supplies I purchased came from the $ spot at Target, woohoo!  Bucket, ribbon, and Loofah (2/$1).  I actually purchased the ribbon for another project, but it fit right in.  Now for the supplies I had lying around – Chopsticks (which I used for a dowel, you can use anything.  If you remember from my last topiary project, I used an unsharpened pencil), glue gun, tissue paper, and colored gems.

First step, cover the dowel in ribbon.

Cover dowel (chopstick in my case) with ribbon

I added a small dot of hot glue, attached the ribbon and started wrapping.  I only covered about 3/4 of the way down the chop stick because the bottom half will be covered inside of the bucket.  Once you get down as far as you need to go, end with another dot of hot glue to secure everything.

Now, make a rather large glob of hot glue on the uncovered end of your dowel (chopstick in my case) and attach to the center of your bucket.  Hold in place for at least 30 seconds while the glue cools down and firms up.

You should then be able to let go and your dowel will be securely in place.  Because I didn’t have any empty ribbon rolls hanging around, I just rolled up tissue paper to use as space fillers.  Again, this step is so that you need less of the gems to fill the bucket.

I then attached the Loofah.  Cut off the excess loop of rope. (this is so you can hang a loofah in the shower, but you don’t want it hanging down from your topiary.  Just be careful not to cut it too close, because this is also what holds to Loofah together!)  I then found the center, added a generous amount of hot glue, and stuck on top of the dowel (chopstick).  Hold in place for at least 30 seconds to make sure the glue has cooled down and firmed up.

If necessary, add more glue to make sure everything stays in place securely.  Once everything seems fairly solid, it is now time to add the decorative filler to the bucket in order to cover up the tissue paper.  I happened to have gems lying around that were the perfect complimentary color to my bucket.

Excuse the blurriness!

Now, your topiary is complete!

 Don’t you think its a whimsical but cute accessory for the bathroom?  I love how they turned out, and I think the added pop of color brighten up the room immensely!  And the best part?  This project cost my $2.50!  I did end up making two, which came out to $4 (buckets – $1/each, Loofah – 2 for $1, ribbon – $1, everything else I already had at home) talk about a bargain!   Here they are in place:

 Stay tuned for another bathroom spruce up project later this weekend…and the full bathroom reveal next week.  Thanks for stopping by!

Simply Living

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Yet another Wreath!

I decided to keep my Valentine’s related creative juices flowing today.  As I’m sure many of you know, I gain a lot of my inspiration from reading other people’s blogs and seeing what kinds of projects are out there.  One trend that I have been seeing lately are yarn wreaths and felt flowers.  We all know what a sucker I am for wreaths, and after making some festive yarn balls yesterday, I knew I just had to give this one a whirl.  Take a look at what I came up with:

There are very few materials involved: wreath form, yarn, glue stick, felt, ribbon.  That’s it!  I was lucky and only had to purchase a wreath form, so once again my project cost less than a few dollars.  I love when that happens!

Wreath form, glue gun, glue sticks, yarn, and felt

Making the Wreath
Step 1: Tie the end of your yarn onto the styrofoam wreath.  I chose to start at the seam, but anywhere would be fine.

Tie on your yarn

Step 2:  Begin to wrap your yarn around the wreath.  This was an extremely time consuming process, because with each wrap you need to pass the ball of yarn through the middle.  For the first layer I chose to make mine pretty even and organized.

Keep wrapping…having Pandora running in the background doesn’t hurt either!

Step 3:  Continue wrapping the yarn all the way around the wreath.  This process will take a while, but is so rewarding in the end!  Here I am at the end of the first layer.

One layer of yarn

Step 4:  By the time you have successfully made it around your entire wreath form you can decide whether or not to do a second layer.  Because there were some gaps where I could still see green I decided that a second layer of yarn was pretty important.  For this layer I did however decide to go for a “messier” look, and did not try to keep all of my rows straight.

Second “messier” layer of yarn

Step 5: Once you have completed all of the wrapping that you want, tie off the yarn the same way you started.  I then took the extra minute to weave in the end so that it wasn’t sticking out, but since this will most likely be the back of your wreath it isn’t necessary.


Making the Flowers
Step 1Cut a circle out of your felt.  The bigger the circle, the bigger the flower.  I chose to make a straight circle, if you want your flower to have a more petal effect, then make the edges wavy.

The bigger the circle, the bigger the flower

Step 2:  Cut into your circle.  I cut in about half an inch and was pretty happy with how the flower turned out.

Begin to cut into your circle

Step 3:  Continue to cut in a spiral motion.  Do this until you reach the center of the circle.

Continue cutting in a spiral motion

Your end result should be one long strip

Step 4:  At this point start at an end, and begin to wrap the felt in a circle.  In order to keep the bottom flat, I found it helpful to have it on the table and rotate the felt.

Start at the end and begin to roll your felt into a circle, try to keep the bottom flat.

Step 5:  Continue to roll until you reach the end of your strip.

End of the strip…I used the pink bowl as a background color since my flower was blending in to the table top

Step 6:  Flip the flower over, add a small dot of hot glue, and attach the loose end.

Step 7:  Cut out a circle of felt, just a little bit smaller than the bottom of the flower.

After attaching the loose end, cut out a circle just smaller than the bottom of the flower

Step 8: Using the hot glue gun, attach the circle to the bottom of the flower.  This will help to keep each layer in place and your flower in a firm shape.

Attach the circle to the bottom of the flower.

Step 9:  Continue this process with as many colors and sizes as you like!

Attaching the Flowers
For my wreath, I decided that I would primarily stick to Valentine themed colors (pink and white) but at the last minute I decided to throw a blue flower in there for a little extra oomph.

The 4 flowers I picked out for my wreath

Step 1:  I arranged the flowers on my wreath so I had an idea of placement.  Then I attached the first flower with hot glue.  I held down for about 12 seconds, so that I knew the glue was not going to slide around anywhere.

After attaching the first flower

Step 2:  Attach the second flower in the same manner.

After attaching flower #2

Step 3:  Repeat step 1 and 2 for as many flowers as you decide you would like to attach

3 flowers later…

Complete

Step 4:  Once I had all of my flowers attached I took some green felt and cut out a couple small leaves.  I attached these with the glue gun as well.

I chose to add a couple green leaves

Step 5:  The last step is to decide how you would like to hang your wreath.  I decided to attach a small piece of ribbon and hang it from a hook.  I cut a small piece of ribbon and attached it to the back of the wreath with a couple thumb tacks.  Because the back of my wreath will be facing the wall, the tacks aren’t even visible, but you can always use glue.

Here is a final far away and up close look at my pretty little wreath:

I love how it looks up against the lime green walls of Sister #2’s bedroom.  I now have yet another wreath to add to my ever growing wreath repertoire…oh boy!

**Please click on my Linky Party tab at the top of my blog, or click here, to see some of the parties I participate in. Also check out all the other fabulous projects going on!**

Love Bug

If there’s anything I hate more than shoveling snow…it’s shoveling snow that also includes an hour’s worth of rain…I did a pitiful job on the tiniest part of our driveway this afternoon, but man, that slush got the best of me.  I got probably the hardest upper arm work out since dislocating my shoulder in September…and I’m the cool kid in bed with a heating pad right now.  My poor back…

Onto more fun and exciting things, the Valentine Bug has finally bitten me.  I decided to start a couple Valentine-esque crafts this week.  Today’s was super cheap because I had almost all of the materials hanging around the house!  Check out what I threw together:

All you need are styrofoam balls, hot glue gun, yarn, decorative ribbon, and a glass container.  The only things I had to purchase were two bag of styrofoam balls.  I went for one bag of 6 medium size, and one bag of 12 smaller size.  Overall, with my coupon, I only spent a few dollars.  Win!  Here’s what I did.

First I went scouting through my yarn collection and came up with a couple different colors that reminded me of Valentines Day.  I came up with white, pink, maroon, purple, and turquoise.  The turquoise was more of just an added color pop, but I like how they all look together.

Step 1:  Add a small dot of glue to the styrofoam ball, and attach the end of your yarn.

Styrofoam ball, this is the medium size
Attach the end of your yarn to a small dot of glue

Step 2:  Begin to wrap your yarn around the foam ball.

Start wrapping the yarn around the ball

Step 3: Continue to wrap the yarn.  You can make yours nice and neat, but I chose to go for a messier look.

Continue wrapping until you can no longer see the foam underneath

Step 4: I just continued to wrap until you could no longer see any of the styrofoam underneath.  At this point I cut off the yarn and added another dot of glue to attach the end.  You want to make sure that the end is secure and will not unravel.

Step 5:  Find a glass, or plastic see-through, container.  I chose a Hurricane jar that I had lying around.  Here is what all my different colored yarn balls looked like:

At this point the project is complete.  I felt like my container needed a little something extra, so I went in search of some ribbon.  I decided to give it a little sparkle.

Sparkly ribbon

 But I still felt like it was missing something!  For a final touch I decided to add a little stripe of extra pink.

Extra splash of color with the ribbon

I’m pretty happy with the end result.  I think it gives the corner a nice little pop of color, and the Valentine’s/Spring color theme is getting me ready for the upcoming holiday!

Stay tuned for more Valentine themed projects this week!

**Please click on my Linky Party tab at the top of my blog, or click here, to see some of the parties I participate in. Also check out all the other fabulous projects going on!**