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Seaweed Art Cards
  • 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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  • 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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  • Fizzy bath bombsI just made these with some kids in my craft class and it was a big hit.

    Ingredients and materials needed:

    • Baking soda
    • Citric Acid (available on-line)
    • Corn starch
    • Soap molds (available at craft stores)
    • Soap scents (available at craft store)
    • Soap dyes or food coloring (available at craft stores)
    • Spray spritzer bottle
    • Water
    • 2 glass bowls, one large, one small
    • Metal spoon


    Mix 1 cup of baking soda, 1/2 cup of citric acid and 1/4 cup of cornstarch in a large bowl. Knead with your hands to get out all the lumps. Remove about 1/4 cup from the large bowl and place into the small bowl. In the small bowl, add about 10 drops of scent and 5 drops of color. Mix thoroughly with the metal spoon. Then add to large bowl and mix again. While you keep kneading with your hands have someone spritz the mixture with some water from the spray bottle. Do a little at a time until the mixture is damp enough to mold into your hands like a snowball. Don’t over mist because you don’t want the mixture to fizz up. Working quickly, pack the mixture into molds and let set until they are dry. About 30-60 minutes. Molds do not need to be pretreated. Once they are dry, turn the molds over and gently tap to remove. Let sit for another 30 minutes or so until they are completely dry.
    For best results choose molds that aren’t too intricate or large. Any excess that doesn’t fit in the molds can still be used as fizzy bath powder. Recipe can be doubled.

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  • Perfect gift for all the foodies on  your holiday shopping list.

    Ingredients:
    3 1/2 oz. brown or black mustard seeds
    1/2 cup white wine vinegar
    1/2 lb. yellow mustard seeds
    Pinch of ground white pepper
    1 tsp. ground turmeric
    1 3/4 cups of water
    Salt
    1/4 cups good quality pure honey
    Pinch of dried thyme or chili powder

    Also need: sterilized glass jars with tight fitting lids (Mason jars work well.)

    Soak brown/black mustard seeds over night in vinegar. Then grind with a mortar and pestle. Grind yellow seeds in a spice grinder or mini food processor until medium fine. Pour into large bowl. Add the brown seeds, pepper and turmeric to the yellow seed mixture and mix well. Boil the water, add a dash of salt. Slowly pour the water into the bowl with the mustard seeds. Mix well. Gradually add the honey while stirring with a wooden spoon. Season with vinegar, pepper and salt to taste. Add the thyme or chili powder. While mustard is hot, pour into clean jars and seal right away. Let stand 2 weeks. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 months.

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  • This is a wonderful gift for all the moms, grand moms and women in your life. It is quick and easy to make, but start it a few weeks before gift giving time so the herbs have time to steep in the liquid soap.

    Ingredients and materials needed:
    Fresh herbs like lavender, sage, rosemary, thyme and lemon verbena
    Essential oils that complement the herbs like lavender and lemon.
    16 oz of unscented liquid castile soap
    Decorative bottle with stopper or lid.
    Large jar with tight fitting lid like a spaghetti sauce jar (thoroughly washed out)
    Fine sieve
    Large bowl

    Funnel

    With stems facing up, put the herbs in the clean jar with lid. Pour liquid soap over herbs and add five drops of the essential oil. Put the lid on the jar and tilt the contents from side to side to mix the herbs and oil. Do not shake too much because you don’t want it to bubble. Place jar in a sunny window for 2 to 3 weeks so the herbs can infuse the soap with their fragrance. Shake jar occasionally to mix settled contents. When you are satisfied the infusing process is complete, pour contents of jar through sieve into a large bowl. Press down on the herbs to get all the good smells out. Discard the herbs. Using the funnel, transfer the liquid to the decorative bottles. Add a ribbon for decoration and if giving as a gift, write these directions on some card stock, punch a hole in it and thread ribbon through it and attach to the bottle: Pour 3 tablespoons of bath foam under running water as you fill the tub.

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  • Let your children use their imaginations on this one. This is a very creative activity.

    Materials:
    3 pounds paraffin cut into chunks
    Candlewicks
    Pencils
    Crayon bits for color (optional)
    Small beads, sparkles and sequins
    Tongs
    Newspapers
    Drying rack (use a laundry rack or wire hanger and clothespins).
    Large container filled with water for water bath.
    Cotton cloth
    Aluminum foil
    To melt wax you will need a coffee can and a deep saucepan. Read the rest of this entry »

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  • This is the perfect grandparent gift. Make them every year to record your children’s growth.

    Ingredients for Self-Hardening Salt Clay
    1 1/2 cups salt
    4 cups flour
    1 1/2 cups water

    Also need: ribbon, picture hangers or a plate stand (Available at photo shops.)

    Mix dry ingredients together in a bowl and add water gradually. Knead the dough until it forms a ball, adding water if it is too crumbly.

    Take a ball about the size of an orange and roll it out to1/2 inch thickness. Press your child’s hand into the center of the clay and press down. With spatula, place print on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake in oven at 300 degrees for 30 minutes or until hard. When the clay has cooled, write your child’s name and date on the back of the piece or have your child write his name next to his handprint. If you like, you can hang a picture hanger with a ribbon on the back or purchase a stand to include with your gift.

    Use leftover salt clay to make ornaments. Roll out dough and cut out with seasonal cookie cutters. Before baking, poke holes through the top to place hooks or ribbons. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets at 300 degrees until hard. When cooled they can be painted and decorated with sequins and beads.

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  • This project is sure to be treasured by the gardeners on your holiday gift list.

    Materials:
    Alphabet cookie cutters
    Water-based paint
    Cement that contains gravel and sand
    Container to mix the cement
    Plastic planter tray
    Trowel or small piece of wood
    Colored aquarium gravel
    Flat marbles

    Glitter

    Before you begin, plan your design. Cut a piece of paper the size of the planter pan and improvise with the aquarium stones and the marbles. If you are planning to have words on your stone, test the spacing of the letters by dipping them in the paint and stamping them onto the paper. If you don’t have alphabet cookie cutters and wish to write free hand, you should still practice the sizing. Ideas for inscriptions can be anything from “Grandma’s garden” to a simple saying like “Have a nice day”. Another idea is to use your child’s hand print and date it. This way you can make one every year as a record of you child’s growth.

    Next, mix the cement according to the package directions. Pour into the planter tray and shake gently from side to side until the cement is evenly dispersed. Smooth with the trowel. Decorate as desired. Press firmly into the cement. Once the cement has settled, but is not yet hardened, you can begin imprinting the letters. This may not work right away if the cement is imprinted too early. Trowel over and keep trying until a clean imprint can be achieved. If water rises to the top of the cement, wipe it away with a paper towel. Once the letters or hand print is set, you may sprinkle it with some glitter. Let dry.

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  • Liven up a tired, old picture frame by embellishing it with painted couscous.

    Materials:
    Couscous or other small pasta
    Mod Podge (available at craft stores)
    Small bowls
    Spoons
    Acrylic paint
    Plain picture frames (Check out yard sales and Goodwill.)

    Pour a small amount of couscous into a bowl and mix in enough Modge Podge to hold it together. Don’t allow the mixture to sit for too long as it may harden too quickly. Scoop up some of the mixture and coat the frame with it. You may layer for a thicker surface if you like. Cover the entire frame and let sit for a while. Once it is dry, you may paint the frame. Put in your family portrait and give to a loved one.

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