Thursday, February 20, 2014

Up Cycling Clementine Crate

Winter brings clementines. These yummy treats come in a cute wood container. I had a contest with the kids that who ever ate the most clementines could have the box and pick the color it was painted. Of course the girl won, she loves fruit. The boy? Not so much.

This will show you how one simple idea will keep me up all night because I always have to take everything to the next level.


I painted the box pink with some acrylic paints (from the craft store) that I keep in the basement. The clementine crate needs 2 coats of

paint to cover up the design that is already on the box.  I was going to do 2 different color pinks, one on the inside and one on the out then leave it as is, HOWEVER, I didn't like the fact that there were holes and gaps in the bottom. I decided to get out the Modgepodge  and some craft paper and give decoupaging a try. I bought the Modgepoge for a different project and had a little left over.

I can't resist the scrap book isle at the local craft stores. If something is on sale, I buy it for later. Who knows when you need pretty paper at 9:32 at night? The most difficult part of this entire project was finding the place where I saved that paper. If you can't find your pretty paper, wrapping paper will do nicely, or you can always print something from your computer.


One thing I've learned from wood working is measure twice and cut once.  If you want to create stuff, you have to become master of the ruler. To master something you need to practice, practice, practice!! 

My ruler experience has shown me that I always measure short.  To compensate, I always cut a little long and re-measure, I can always re-cut a little to get it perfect. I thought it was just me, but apparently its a thing for left handers. IT IS!! DON'T LAUGH AT ME!


I don't bother using scissors for straight cuts any more ever since, I received a portable rotary trimmer two Christmases ago.  I am a menace with scissors. I can never find good left-handed scissors so I force myself to go right. 

When you are in elementary school and the only left handed scissors that are provided to you are mangled and dull, you learn to use the rightie scissors but never to the mastery and finesse that a rightie can handle them.  


I poured Elmers on the bottom and spread it around with a paint brush.


There were some very large gaps in the bottom of that Clementine crate, so I cut and added thick cardboard and glue to re-enforce the parts that had no backing. I don't know if this is necessary,  but I can picture my kid driving a pencil right through it so I am better safe than sorry.

Add Detail.

This is the type of thing that keeps me up all night. I didn't like the fact that the ugly staples that held together the box showed so I decided to cover them. Cutting these all these little papers and gluing them over each staple wasn't the most efficient idea. Did I mention, I hate scissors? 

I ran out of flowers so I could not cover all the staples, If I had planned this project a little better I could have made sure I had enough paper to finish the job. I still had some staples showing.


Decoupage is the easiest thing going. You MUST give it a try.  No matter how you slop this goop on, it still looks good. The only thing you have to worry about is little hairs coming out of your brush and sticking on your project, that is why it is better to do it with a paint sponge.

The more coats the better.

Since it was 11:00 by this time, I had to get this deal finished so I stopped at 3 coats. You should let it dry completely before you add the next coat, but I don't, and it still looks good. Also the more coats you add, the better it looks.


This makes a great little tray to keep your tools in, an open shadow box, keep it on a book shelf for small toys, or stack them and make them into its own book shelf. The best idea came from my daughter, the doll bed.

Grade: B 

Skill Level: Low

Difficulty Level: Easy

Frustration Level: Low


 My second attempt at doing this turned out great using the little paper birds I created. You can click right here to get paper bird instructions and printables too! Make sure you check out all the different Paper Crafts so that you can decorate your clementine creates.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Minecraft Creeper Valentines Day Card - My Heart Explodes for You

Are your kids obsessed with Minecraft? Mine too. This year I made a printable Minecraft Valentines Day Creeper Card that either can be printed out with white paper on a color printer or green paper on a black and white printer. My daughter helped me cut these out. Where is my son? Playing Minecraft. 

See the printable below!

Print Me

Print Me on Back

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Valentines Day Kids Spa

Sometimes I am tempted to just pick up candy hearts and give them to my kid's for Valentines Day but I want them to learn that gift giving is not what you can buy in a store, its what you give of yourself. Also, when you give of yourself you are also getting something in return.

Every year I give my kids a spa day on Valentines day. They absolutely love it and so do I. A spa is really easy to recreate because it is basically an event for your 5 senses. 
Taste: spa water drinks and teas.
Sound: soothing tunes.
Smell: soothing scents.
Touch: warm back, arm and hand rubs
Sight: decorated environment. I do this by lighting the room with mini lights. Kids are easy to please.

First I hand them their spa menu for the evening as soon as they walk into the door from school. However, this all starts after homework is completed. Who ever gets the homework done first, gets to be the first spa customer. 

1) There is nothing like a hot Mr. Bubble, bubble bath with soothing tunes playing from the radio and a cool refreshing cucumber/mint water to start off your relaxing spa day. 

2)Spa's always have cucumber water available because its easy to make, slice up some cucumbers, put them in a  pitcher with ice, mint leaves (or fresh lavender and lemon) and water and VIOLA a refreshing drink!  

3) Coconut suntan oil always remind me of the beach, its safe to use on skin and it is a great olfactory experience for relaxation. Though I'd never use an SPF 4 for sun protection! That's Crazy!

4) I have rose hips in a jar, so I boil water and make a rosehip tea, let it cool until it is warm and put it in a spray bottle. It is really nice after a refreshing massage. Different smells is what really gives this the true spa experience. After a day, you are going to have to toss out the rose water and wash out the mister bottle because it gets bacteria if it sits out and goes bad. I found this out the hard way.

5) After the massage I load the kids up with hot towels. I have this towel warmer that my friend gave me one Christmas (I'm not sure how I ever survived the winter without it), but you can just put the towels in the dryer to get the same effect.

6) Hot teas are also a spa favorite. My kids love mint. Celestial Seasonings has a nice selection of herbal teas that your kids may really enjoy.

7) Paraffin wax warmer I received at my wedding shower 10+ years ago. Since the kids turned 2, I think I have used it on them more than myself.

8) My kid's favorite dinner is swordfish and broccoli. Strange and expensive, I know, but at least it is healthy.

9) Nothing says I love you like Carvell icecream cake.

10)Whats more fun than snuggling with your parents and watching tv in their big king size bed decorated with pink heart lights?

11)...Unless you are reading your favorite book and getting kisses.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Paper Birds

 I'm finding paper crafts to be addicting and even my kids can participate.  I've created a printable so that you can make the same birds!
I printed the above printable on brown card stock and cut the birds out given at the bottom of this page. I created 3 different style birds using different mediums. 

1) The blue birds were colored with a little rub of a blue oil pastel and I gave some birds a little red Faber Castell Gelato on their bellies. The beak was colored with an orange Faber Castell Gelato and the bird was sprayed with Bahama Blue Fireworks to give it that nice shiny Bahama blue color.

2) The red/white birds were colored with red Faber Castello Gelato on the belly and wings with orange on the beak and a spritz of Perfect Pearls Mists that created a "dazzling pearlescent shimmer" according to the bottle. HA! I love this stuff!! Its as good as its product description. 

3)I decided to leave some birds plain brown without a shine using striped scrapbook paper as the wings.

The wings of the birds were glued on with Elmer's glue. I always outline everything with Sharpie Marker, this time I used the color brown. The eyes were made with 
white and black Tulip Slick Paint. Remember to put the white on first and allow it to dry before putting on a dab of black. All of the materials can be found online or at your local craft store.

Give it a try and tell me how yours came out!!! 

Grade: A
Skill Level: Moderate
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Frustration Level: Low

Cost: $0 (I used the materials from the snowman project)
Print Me