Mother’s Day Mugs

I can’t wait till Sunday! Do you know why? It’s Mother’s Day…one of the few days a year I am commanded by my children to not lift a finger the entire day! The day that I am showered with a gourmet breakfast in bed, hand-cut flowers, and dazzling gifts galore. Well…okay…so I may be exaggerating a little bit. Usually I get cinnamon toast and OJ for breakfast, homemade cards, and lots of hugs and kisses. And you know what, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

As a mom, I now have a little glimpse of how hard my own mom actually worked to raise 4 wildly different and unique daughters (I can barely handle my own 2 boys…I can’t imagine adding 2 more!). So, on this Mother’s Day, I decided to pamper mom with basket full of things to help her relax and unwind. I filled it up with goodies such as magazines, bubble bath, lotion, tea, cookies, and of course, ya gotta always add something homemade to your baskets for that extra special touch.

This year, I made Mother’s Day Mugs. This is a fairly easy project, but it does require a very specific marker, so plan accordingly. First, you will need a set of 4 coffee mugs. Choose whatever color you think your mom (or yourself…who says you can’t treat yourself!) will like best. Next, you will need to order a special marker especially for writing on ceramic. I ordered mine from this site. Make sure you get the fine point marker for writing and choose a color that coordinates well with your mugs.

1. Wash your mugs.

2. Once your mugs are dry, you’re ready to write on them. For my mugs, I decided to write scripture that reminded me of my mom. I just free-handed the words on my mugs. Here are some of my favorite scriptures that I felt best described my mom:

  • Her hands reach out to the poor, and she extends her hands to the needy. Proverbs 31:20
  • She opens her mouth with wisdom and loving instruction is on her tongue. Proverbs 31:26
  • Her sons rise up and call her blessed. Her husband also praises her:“Many womenare capable, but you surpass them all!” Proverbs 31:28-29
  • Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord will be praised. Proverbs 31:30

3. Place the mugs in a cool oven (DO NOT PREHEAT). Turn your oven to 300°F (149°C). Once your oven has reached this temperature, bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn the oven off and allow it to cool back to room temperature gradually.

4. Now your mugs are ready to be used. As you can see, I placed mine in a prominent location in my basket.

After all of my items were added, I wrapped the entire basket in clear cellophane wrapping. I added a pretty bow and I was done! To learn how to make a gift basket, click here.

Doesn’t that look pretty! What mom wouldn’t LOVE unwrapping a basket full of her favorite goodies this Mother’s Day. The added bonus…scripture mugs made especially for her.

I hope you try this project. It’s really easy, and if you mess up while writing, you can easily wipe it off with a damp cloth. I also think this would be a great project for kids to do. Wouldn’t an ABC mug made in your kids handwriting or your kids art on a mug be super cute. Hmmm…I may have to use that for a grandparent gift.

Enjoy creating your Mother’s Day Mugs.

Getting Organized – Final Steps in Kids Room Part 1

Today was a fantastic day! After a long stretch of work and a million other little things to do, I finally got a day to catch up. It was so great to get the garden weeded, house cleaned, sew, shelves and curtains hung, and finally get my youngest son’s baseball bulletin board done.

Now this baseball bulletin board has been a thorn in my side for the last few weeks. I knew what I wanted but could never get the product I desired. First, I bought too thin of a cork board. Next, I tried many different materials for the stitching and hated every one of them. Finally, after many failures (trust me…it was ugly), I had a bulletin board I was proud of.

Baseball Bulletin Board

Supplies:

  • Thick cork board with cardboard backing (size will vary depending upon the size of your project)
  • White spray paint/acrylic paint
  • Black or Red Sharpie marker – regular tip
  • Measuring tape
  • Box Cutter or Jigsaw
  • Command damage-free hanging strips (I used the 12lb ones)

Directions:

1. First, you need to determine how large you want your bulletin board to be. I knew a size I desired, but couldn’t find a way to make a perfect circle on the board. Finally, I used the round tire cover out of my husband’s car. I place it on the FRONT side of the cork board and traced around the circle.

2. Next, you will need to cut out your board. I attempted to use an angled box cutter (which was working just fine, thank you), but my husband came in and whisked my cork board away. 10 minutes later, my husband returned with a beautifully round bulletin board he had cut out using a jigsaw. NOTE: Make sure you cut with the right side up. If you cut from the back, you cork will chip and look choppy in the front. Also, DO NOT throw away your scraps. You will need these pieces later.

3. Wipe down you cork board with a damp cloth. Paint the cork board front and sides with either spray paint or acrylic paint. It will take about 2 coats to gets good coverage. Make sure you let the coats dry in between.

I used spray paint which gives a more weathered/aged look to the “ball”. Use acrylic paint for more even coverage.

4. Next, you will need to take your measuring tape and measure around your bulletin board to get the circumference. My board measured 65 inches. Now, for the fun part…math. You need to take your board circumference and divide it by 4 (I got 16.25in). Measure around your board, marking your quarter measurements on the back of your board. Next, take your ¼ measurement and divide it by 2 (16.25/2=8.13 which I rounded to 8.10 inch). Mark this measurement between your ¼ measurements making a total of 8 marks on the back of your board. See below diagram.

The back of my board. See all my crazy math, markings and trials before I did anything permanent damage to the front

5. Place the right side of your board on the ground, with one of your tally marks at the top (as shown above). On the sided of your bulletin board, mark the 1/8 marks (indicated by the red marks above) with your sharpie. Next, take you discarded scraps and used the curved cut out to draw a curved line from the top red mark to the bottom red mark. Repeat with the other side.

Drawing the curve from the scraps

6. Draw your stitches on the curved line. From the top, I drew 1 ½ inch lines every 1 inch down each curved line. I drew mine straight across, following the curve, but if you look at a baseball, the stitching actually angles slightly. This is totally a personal preference, so whichever you choose.

Almost done. Don’t you love the weathered look from the spray paint!

7. Finally, apply your hanging strips as directed on the package and your done!

This looks so good above his desk and goes great with his sports themed room. He came home today and immediately started hanging his “important” papers from it. Perfect solution for my little sports writer.

Finished product!

I hope you enjoy making this Baseball Bulletin board for your little sports fan!

Patriotic Wreath

Whew…what a crazy week! I’ve frantically been spring cleaning my entire house and I finally finished today. After 7 days of scrubbing, organizing, painting, and washing, I needed something fun…something like a….CRAFT! I decided that my front door needed a new wreath to welcome others into the perfection that is now my home. With Memorial Day and the 4th of July right around the corner, a Patriotic Wreath seemed like just the thing. With a few supplies, 2 hours, and less than $10, this project was the perfect reward for a week of spring cleaning.

Supplies:

  • Wreath form (You can use wire or foam. Whatever size looks good for your door. I used 14 inch)
  • Red/Blue/White Bandanas (For a 14 inch wreath, you will need 3 red, 2 blue, and 3 white bandanas)
  • Scissors
  • Ruler/Marker (optional)

Directions:

1. First, you will need to cut the edges off the bandanas. Personally, I just made a small cut at the top and then ripped the fabric. (Yes, I said ripped. It’s fast, easier, and has more of the shabby, worn look I’m going for).

2. From the edge, make 1 inch wide cuts along the top. You can measure with a ruler if you want, but I like to estimate my measurements since this project does not have to be exact.

3. Now for the fun part (great after a frustrating day at work or with the kids). From the edge, grab a cut of fabric along the top and rip the fabric till you reach the bottom. Whew…didn’t that feel great? Repeat with all of the bandanas, making sure to sort the fabric pieces by color.

4. Next, take a group of 5 or 6 fabric pieces and stack them together. Fold the pieces in half lengthwise and cut in the middle. Repeat with all other fabric pieces until you have a pile of red, white, and blue fabric pieces.

5. Take your wreath form and visually divide it into 8 equal pieces. Think of how you cut a pie into 8 sections (same concept here). You can mark these sections with a marker or just visualize. Luckily my wreath was already divided for me.

6. Next, you will start tieing your blue bandanas strips to your form. I wanted mine to look like the flag, so I started in the right upper 2 sections of my wreath form. Take a strip of blue fabric, wrap it around your form, and tie a knot. For stability, I double-knotted my strips since my wreath was outdoors.

Tieing fabric strips into knots.

7. Just continue adding your blue fabric until you have filled in the right hand corner of your wreath. Make sure you push the pieces of fabric closely together after you tie them. This ensures there are no gaps in your wreath at the end. Also, I varied the location of my knot for a more shabby look (see above).

8. Now it’s time to add your red and white fabric strips. Here’s where it’s important that you divided your wreath into sections. You should have six sections left. To add the white and red fabric, you will need to place a mark (or visualize) in the center of each of your sections. This now leaves you with 12 sections on your wreath.

9. Start from the right hand bottom corner (where the blue fabric stops) and add your white strips to the first section. Work around the wreath in a white-red-white-red pattern until you have filled in your entire wreath.

10. If you want, you can take your scissors and trim any wild and crazy pieces that are sticking out in your wreath.

What a fun and easy wreath to make! This is also a great project for kids to help with (especially those learning to tie knots). If you don’t like the flag look and still want a patriotic theme, just change the pattern to red-red-white-white-blue-blue, or whatever pattern you choose. Just make sure you adjust the amount of bandanas that you need.

I hope you enjoy creating this wreath as much as I did. God Bless.

Getting Organized – Creating your own Grand Central Station

Last week I came to the realization that my family needed its own “Grand Central Station”. You know, a specific place that gives your family all the important information they need to carry out their day the best they can. This great epiphany came after I showed up for work on the wrong night…again. I also forgot my oldest had a field trip and scheduled a dentist appointment for him on the same day. Needless to say, I needed some help keeping all my family’s activities straight. I searched the stores and internet for pre-made organization centers and really didn’t like anything I saw (also, they were expensive and I’m c.h.e.a.p), so I decided to create my own. The great thing about creating your own station is that you can customize it fit your family’s needs. Here’s how I created my family’s “Grand Central Station”.

Supplies:

  • 17in x 23in Cork Framed Bulletin Board
  • 1 yd fabric (your choice)
  • 10in x 7in Plastic Mail Organizer
  • Pencil Cup
  • Pencils
  • Sharpies
  • Calender
  • Push Pins
  • Hot Glue Gun/Glue
  • Magnets/Adhesive Strips/Nails

Directions:

1. Take your bulletin board and set it on a flat work surface, face up. Place your fabric over the bulletin board, making sure the fabric overlaps the sides. Place a push-pin in each corner of the bulletin board to hold the fabric in place and cut the fabric along the OUTSIDE of the frame.

Fabric cut to fit bulletin board frame

2. Next, take a butter knife (careful with this step) and carefully tuck the fabric under the frame (between the frame and the cork). You will need to the tuck in one side, and then tuck in the opposite side. You will notice that the fabric will become very taut…this is what you want.

Using knife to tuck in fabric under frame

Fabric covered bulletin board

3. After you get your bulletin board base completed, you will need to decide how your want your bulletin board to function. For my family, we needed a calendar to help keep track of family schedules and special events, a mail organizer, and lots of extra space for various school papers that always seem to crowd my refrigerator. Some other ideas for your board: grocery list, message board, menu, to do list, chore list, etc… Whatever your family needs is what you need to include on your bulletin board.

4. Next, lay out your items on your bulletin board. As you can see, I placed a calendar and mail organizer on the top portion of my bulletin board. Then, I added a pencil holder on the bottom. To attach these items to my board, I used a hot glue gun. Make sure to let your items dry before you place your bulletin board upright.

5. Flip your bulletin board over and attach either the magnets (with hot glue) or adhesive strips (these usually come with the bulletin board) to the back, if you are not hanging the board up with nails.

6. Now add all your fun accessories. I wanted to keep our board simple so I added different colored sharpies (each color for a different activity), pencils, and metallic push pins.

Let the creative juices flow and bling your board however your choose…fun pics of your family, ribbons, funky fabrics…anything that displays your family’s personality.

We have really enjoyed this ‘Central Station Board”. My oldest is a schedule nut, so he loves knowing when I have to work and what’s for dinner that night. So far, it’s helped keep us organized and on track.

Chore Charts

Every year it seems like my family gets busier and busier. More sports practices, more after-school activities, more homework, and more friends means very little time spent at home and even less time keeping that home clean. Everyday, the kids would come in, fling their backpacks, coats, and shoes all over the living room and rush off to play. Beds were left unmade, bedrooms declared disaster areas, and everywhere this mom went, it seemed like the toys were breeding. After about a month of living in this chaos, I was D.O.N.E!!! Thus, Chore Charts were made.

Supplies:

  • 8.5 x 11 Document Frame
  • 8.5 X 11 Scrapbook Paper
  • Black Sharpie
  • Dry Erase Markers
  • Yarn
  • Scissors
  • Glue Gun/Glue Sticks
  • Ruler
  • Round Magnets

Directions:

1. Place your scrapbook paper horizontal. I let the kids pick their favorite. From the top of the paper, use your ruler and mark down 2.5cm and draw a horizontal line. From that line, mark down 1cm and draw another horizontal line.

2. Next, line up your ruler on the first line your drew. From the left hand side of your paper, place the edge of the paper on 21cm. You will then make tally marks every 3cm (18cm, 15cm, 12cm, 9cm, 6cm, 3cm, 0cm). This marks out the spacing of your days of the week. Move down to the bottom of the page and repeat the same tally marks. Next, place your ruler and connect the tally marks, making sure you do not go past the top horizontal line that your created, except the line at the 0cm tally mark (see below). Write the days of the week in blocks and label your chore chart.

3. Turn your paper vertical, with the days of the week turned to the left. Place your ruler on the line closest to the bottom of the page. Line up your ruler at the 0cm make with the line below the days of the week and make tally marks every 3cm (3cm, 6cm, 9cm, 12cm, 15cm). Move you rule to the top of the page and repeat the same tally marks. Next, place your ruler and connect the tally marks the entire length of the paper. Fill in your child’s chores to the left of your chart.

4. Place your completed chore chart in the document frame. Next, take your round magnets and hot glue them to the four corners on the back of the frame. Take a dry erase marker and place hot glue about 1cm below the cap. You will need to turn the marker and make a complete circle to attach your yarn to. Then take a 12in piece of yarn and carefully wrap the yarn around the marker, covering the glue. Be careful with this step because you can burn yourself and third degree burns are not worth any craft project! Finally, place a dab of hot glue to the back of the frame and attach the other end of the yarn, attaching your dry erase marker to your chore chart.

5. Now, hang completed chore charts on the fridge and get ready for some fun cleaning times.

Completed Chore Chart

My kids have really done well with this system. They enjoy marking off each chore they complete, and really enjoy the allowance at the end of the week. I like the fact that I don’t have to fuss at my kids to pick up after themselves. You do have to make rules when setting up this type of chart system. We have it stipulated that if you do not complete a chore, you don’t receive as much allowance. Our youngest was the first to challenge this rule, and he was really annoyed when his big brother got more money than he did one week. Needless to say, there have been very few chores not completed since that lesson. I hope you enjoy creating this chore chart for your little ones and that it helps your busy life flow just a little more smoothly.

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