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Seaweed Art Cards
  • Yesterday I mentioned where to buy promotional products for your business for items like custom notepads. These are great selling tools for any business mainly because the products are useful and have staying power. I’ve been to many trade shows over the years and I can tell you from personal experience I have used the pens, water bottles and key chains I have received and they definitely work in terms of brand recognition. What does not work for me  is the edible cookie with the company logo on it. Who came up with that idea? Once you’ve eaten it, it is no longer a reminder of the trade show booth you visited with that great product you meant to remember, but forgot because you ate it. For more information on Trade Show Success stories visit the trade show blog.

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  • If you are in the market for promotional items to promote your business, you might want to consider purchasing them online at Go Promos.com. All those really cool items you see at trade shows like a custom notepad with your company’s name and logo on it are available here. There’s even a pens blog with information on how to collect Mont Blanc pens.

    I’m mentioning this because many business owners who purchase promotional items for their companies don’t realize how much their kids identify with having some swag of their own. And, they make great birthday party favors too. BTW, SWAG stands for Something We All Get. My kids love it.

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  • Now that the kids are out of school you will need fun activities to entertain them and keep them busy and occupied. When my children were small they loved to finger paint, which, as you all know, is  messy. When the weather got warmer, I would put my girls in their bathing suits and give each of them a paper plate “palette” with several  dollops of finger paint colors. Then I would put a  white  shower curtain liner on the driveway and let them paint away. More often than not they ended up painting each other, but I didn’t mind. At the end of the day I hosed them down along with everything else.  They had a blast. It was moments like that, watching my children experience sheer creative joy that I thought to myself, “Do not for one minute ever tell me that you did not have a wonderful childhood.”

    Note: Make sure the finger paint is washable. I have learned from experience that certain colors, like green, don’t always come out. Just in case, make sure you and your kids wear clothing that you don’t mind getting a few stains on. Happy painting! If you try this project, please write in and leave a comment so we can all hear about how much fun you had.

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  • Another great group activity for a birthday, play date or class project.

    Materials:
    Small clay flower pots
    Tile grout
    Trowel or knife to smooth grout
    Decorative objects like tiles, sea glass, sea shells, beads, acorns etc.
    Damp cloth

    Give each child a small flower pot and some tile grout to smear on the outside of the pot. Explain to them that they are going to decorate the outside of the pot with the objects. They can cover the entire pot or make a pattern. It is up to them to use their own imagination and creativity. Once the tile is set and the objects are secure, gently wipe away any tile grout that is on the decorations. If you have time, you can take this project one step further by planting flowers in the pots.

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  • This is a great activity for kids to do at a birthday party, especially a sleepover, and it also makes a wonderful gift for grandparents. Can be transferred onto a sweatshirt too.

    Materials:
    Plain white T-shirts (cotton/poly blends work best)
    Fabric crayons (available at craft stores)
    Plain white paper
    Iron and ironing board
    Piece of cardboard

    Using the fabric crayons, have the children draw a design on the piece of paper. Set your iron on the cotton setting and place the cardboard between the front and back of the T-shirt. Place the design on top with the drawing side down. With the iron, apply an even pressure across the entire design. Remove the paper and the design will be transferred onto the shirt. Tip: Remind the children that the design will be reversed so if they are writing words or a message they should write it backwards because the finished result will be the mirror image of the original. Caution: Children should be warned that the iron is hot and adults only are to touch the iron.

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  • These go very nicely with the Button Bracelets.

    You will need:
    Decorative shank buttons
    Pipe cleaners in assorted colors
    Scissors

    For each ring, cut a pipe cleaner about 4 inches long. Thread it through the hole in the back of the button, placing the button in the center. Wrap the ends of the pipe cleaner together to form a ring, lengthening or shortening depending on the size of your finger. You may need to trim it a little bit. Be sure to twist the ends securely so that you don’t pinch your fingers. Wear them and be glamorous!

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  • This is a quick and easy fun project you can do with all those extra buttons you have lying around the house. If you need more, you can always buy them in bulk at craft stores like and Beverly’s. This project is also a perfect birthday party activity. Can be adjusted for a seasonal activity using season themed buttons like heart shapes or Christmas trees.

    You will need:

    • 1-inch wide elastic
    • Strong needle and sewing thread
    • Scissors
    • Assorted buttons in various shapes and colors

    Cut a piece of elastic about 2 inches longer than your wrist. Before you start, think about a design or theme idea. You may want buttons of similar colors like all primary colors, all pastels or just black and white. Buttons in the shapes of flowers or bugs could be a garden theme. Try all square or all round buttons. You get the idea. When you have a plan, start sewing the buttons onto the elastic leaving an inch blank on either end. Overlap the edges of the elastic and sew the ends together. Make sure you use a lot of stitches so your bracelet is secure. When you are finished, sew on more buttons to cover the stitches.
    Note: You can use 2 or 4 holed buttons as well as shank. Sew the holed buttons on first and then fill in the blank areas with the shank buttons.

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  • Planning a birthday party at home and stuck for an idea for a theme? How about having a “crafts party”? Begin your party by having the children decorate their own party hats.

    Materials:
    Plain cardboard party hats
    Decorations like sequins, beads, jewels and stickers
    Markers or crayons
    Ribbons, long fabric strips and lace (optional)
    Scissors
    Glue

    Give each child a hat, some glue and an assortment of decorations. Watch them have fun using whatever materials are available to make really inventive, creative hats. It is a good idea to write each child’s name inside the hats so there aren’t any mix-ups. If you cannot find plain party hats you can always improvise with oak tag (available at art and crafts stores). Older children can cut out their own hats either cone-shaped ones, crowns or tiaras.

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