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Seaweed Art Cards
  • Materials:

    • Heart-shaped baking tin
    • Plastic bowl or container that is wider than your baking tin and about 2″ deep.
    • One cup sand
    • One-half cup water
    • Candle wick
    • Small metal washer
    • Wax
    • Candle dyes or crayons for color
    • Candle scent (optional)
    • Double boiler (Note: You can melt wax in the microwave or in a tin can in a shallow pan of water over low heat. Add color and scent after wax is melted.)
    • Newspaper
    • Scissors

    Fill bowl with sand and water. Press bottom of heart tin into wet sand.  Pull out leaving a heart shape. If the sides fall in, press tin in again and add some more water to sand. Tie wick to washer and place in center of the sand-shaped heart. Tie other end of wick onto a pencil and set on top of container. Make sure wick is taut. Pour melted wax into the heart-shaped hole in the sand. Position wick so it is in the center. Let wax harden and cool, about 45 minutes. Carefully lift heart candle from container and place on newspapers. Trim wick with scissors.

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  • cookies in a jarAs ubiquitous as they may seem to some in their quaint, kitschy way, who  can’t resist  homemade cookies? And if you can make the planning and preparation that much easier, you’ve got the perfect gift. Here are some suggestions for those layered cookies in a jar you can pass out to all your friends, relatives and kid’s teachers. Put all ingredients in a Mason jar decorated with some nice fabric, ribbon and a tag with recipe and baking instructions.

    Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix Read the rest of this entry »

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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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  • Create musical hanging chimes with a few simple materials  found in the hardware store.
    Materials:
    Small embroidery hoop or stick
    Large nails of various sizes
    Fishing line or sturdy string

    Cut a length of fishing line, tie one end under the head of the nail, and secure the other end to the embroidery hoop. Continue tying the nails around the hoop at regular intervals until the frame is full. When finished, strike the nails gently and listen to the bell-like chords. Then hang it outside and let the wind create soft, gentle tones

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  • You won’t need a special heart-shaped muffin tin to make these muffins.

    Materials:
    Your favorite muffin recipe
    Muffin tins
    Muffin or cupcake liners
    Marbles or marble-sized rolled up balls of foil.

    Line the muffin tins with the liners and prepare your favorite muffin or cupcake recipe. Fill the liners with the batters.  Place the marble or foil between the liner and the edge of the muffin tin. Bake as usual. As the muffin bakes the batter will pull away from the sides and form a heart shape.

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  • Pretzels are fun snack to make with your children. Why not fashion them into heart shapes as a healthy alternative to the traditional Valentine chocolates?

    Ingredients:
    1 cup warm water
    2 T sugar
    2 pkgs. fast acting yeast
    1 egg
    3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
    Kosher salt

    Stir the yeast, water and sugar together in a large bowl until the yeast is dissolved. Set aside for about 15 minutes or until the yeast gets foamy. This is called “proofing”. Afterward, stir in the flour a little at a time until the dough is stiff.  Remove dough from bowl and knead on a floured surface for five minutes. Shape dough into a large ball and place in a buttered bowl. Cover with a dish towel and set in a warm place to rise until it is doubled in size. Once the dough has risen, punch it down. On a lightly floured surface, roll it out into a rectangle. Cut fat strips and shape into heart shaped pretzels and place on a baking sheet. Beat the egg with a fork and brush onto the pretzels. Sprinkle on some kosher salt and bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

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  • If your child wants to exchange valentines at school and you don’t want to give candy, here are some simple alternatives that are quick and easy to make.

    Materials for crayons:

    • Heart-shaped candy molds available at craft stores.
    • Old, broken crayons
    • Small glass jars like baby food to melt crayons in microwave. You can also place jars in pans of water on stove over low heat.


    A few hours before you begin, place crayons in a bucket of cool water. Left to soak, the crayons should be easy to peel. Small children love this task. Sort crayons by color and place in glass jars. Melt in microwave or on stove. Let cool slightly and pour into molds. Once completely cooled, the heart-shaped crayons should pop right out. You may want to attach a note to the recipients letting them know the hearts are not candy.

    To make the heart-shaped soaps follow the above instructions substituting glycerin soap for the crayons. I purchase inexpensive glycerin soaps at the grocery store and melt them in the microwave.

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