Tag Archives: fast and easy DIY

Easy Pink Dough Valentines for Preschoolers


An easy way for toddlers and preschoolers to celebrate Valentine’s Day!  Pink dough to play with!  Mix up a quick batch of pink colored dough and break out the heart cookie cutters!  The recipe I used is at the end of the post.  Here’s my nostalgic look back at my babies busy at work on their “Valentines”Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 008We’re going to make something!Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 007Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 005Squish that pinkness!Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 004The idea was to get them to make a Valentine on the table, then I would photograph it as their “valentines” for Daddy and Grandma and Grandpa.Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 006And that’s what we did.Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 002Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 001It was a lot of very pink fun!  I had to play a bit, too….Pink Dough for Preschool Valentines by dennasideas.com - Page 003Here’s the recipe I use for play dough:

2 and 1/2 cups of white all purpose flour   (I’ve tried it with whole wheat flour, and let’s just say…No!)

1 cup of salt  (fine, not coarse)

2 small packages of Kool Aid  (the ones without real sugar)  this is optional. if you don’t have Kool Aid, then add food coloring

3 tsp. vegetable oil  (canola oil is good)

2 cups of boiling water

Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add the boiling water.  Stir it all together very well and turn out onto a surface where you can knead it a bit.  It will be hot, so let it cool a bit before kneading.  Then knead away until it becomes smooth.  When it’s cool enough, the kids can start playing.  As soon as it’s cool enough, either play with it or seal it in plastic bags so it doesn’t start drying out.  This will last for quite awhile in a sealed bag.   Note:  the Kool Aid is just for easy color and aroma!  We used cherry for Valentine’s day.  If the kids love the smell so much that they taste it, it won’t hurt them at all, just a little salty.  If there’s worry about the flour, then I’d say don’t add the Kool Aid and then it won’t smell appetizing enough for little ones to put into their mouths!

Fun for the kids to make, and the photos are easy to send to everyone online, no mess, no snail mail! 😉  Just digital cuteness from the kids!  Happy ❤ weekend!

DIY Fall Decor

DIY Fall Decor

There are lots of easy things you can do to decorate your home for fall, autumn, Thanksgiving, all the fun October and November times!  Look around to see what you have on hand, hidden away somewhere, like baskets and birdcages, then add some nature and raffia 🙂  Here are some of the things I came up with for this year….without really buying anything new except the hens and the moose….DIY Fall decor ideas by dennasideas.comDIY Fall decor ideas by dennasideas.comA few years ago I invested in a wicker cornucopia basket, so that always comes out of storage, to be filled with flowers or fruit for our Thanksgiving table.  Started with some fake flowers, then added some small red lights, some dollar store grapes and free picked nature!DIY Fall decor ideas by dennasideas.comI loved the green vine flower things that I found on one of my walks, they really dried nicely…DIY Fall decor ideas by dennasideas.comBaskets stuffed with nature:DIY fall basket decor for Thanksgiving centerpiece by dennasideas.com

A brown feather wreath for the front door:DIY Fall decor ideas by dennasideas.com

This next photo isn’t home made, but could be….little stuffed hens on a beaded cord….our newest Fall decor addition to hang by the window and by our chore chalkboards in the kitchen:DIY Fall decor ideas by dennasideas.comAlso in the kitchen, a little gnome who doesn’t want to freeze outside (he’s also afraid of being gnome-napped), an old apple basket and our avocado plant, also afraid of freezing….DIY Fall decor ideas by dennasideas.com

Another one of my little friends who always seems to be hanging around, the blackbird.  I just love watching the blackbirds, crows and magpies out the window in the fall…DIY Fall decor ideas by dennasideas.com

Add in some of my favorites: pumpkins!DIY Fall decor ideas by dennasideas.com

And if you can’t find real pumpkins, make some chubby stuffed pumpkins, no sew! fast and easy  no-sew DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasTiny colored frames from Michaels can be filled with black cardstock, then written on with chalk for a chalkboard look, add a big-eyed owl…
4x6   - Page 004Some table decor:
DIY Fall decor ideas by dennasideas.comFruit and veggies always make colorful decorations.  This year’s splurge: a pomegranate!  And how about some fresh cranberries floating with some apples stuffed with candles….this was a combination of ideas that I pinned on my Fall Ideas Pinterest board.DIY Fall decor ideas by dennasideas.comMy Guatemalan textiles always come out for fall….ok, they’re always out, all year around!  And Pies are a great fall decor idea!!  And they are good for so many things….
DIY Fall decor ideas by dennasideas.comPumpkin, a tradition.cherry pie by dennasideas.com, DIY Fall Decor ideasMy first cherry pie and dollar store ceramic pumpkins.A Canadian Thanksgiving by dennasideas.comA very old painted Canadian flag made by one of my kids a long long time ago.  Something else made by my kids: a clothespin wreath hanging on a chalkboard!DIY Fall decor ideas by dennasideas.comMy last DIY Fall Decor Idea: plant sunflower seeds in the spring and transfer them to your backyard for super Natural fall decor! 🙂  Doesn’t seem like ours bloomed early enough to get the seeds for eating, though…
DIY Fall decor ideas by dennasideas.comHave a great rest-of-the-fall!!  Looks like it could snow in a couple of days around here…..so soon I’ll be packing up and disassembling my fall decor…..Christmas is coming!!! 🙂

DIY Fall basket decor for Thankgiving

DIY Fall basket decor for Thankgiving

So I’ve been rushing around, cleaning and decorating.  But this year I decided to try and only decorate with things that I already had….to squeeze my brain for budget-friendly decorating!  Ok, I admit, that I did buy a few very small things for Thanksgiving before I decided to try out this plan.  But they were very few, heh heh.  For this rather awesome crafty decoration, I used some nested baskets that I bought at Ikea about 8 years ago.  The the larger ones usually hold fruit and the smaller ones lurk in dark corners of the basement “holding things”.  So I dug up a nested set.  And then I went for a walk to “gather things”.  They say the best things in life are free, and my  autumn walk was a best thing for sure!  I found a few small pine branches, some little black berries of some sort, and some orange berries, which I should know the name of the tree they are from, but am hopeless at tree-knowledge.

I found this idea on Better Homes and Gardens  for this basket tower.  They used mismatched baskets, which looked cute.  They also used lots of expensive floral foam, which I don’t have.  A temporary tower sounded good to me.  Since it was looking rather large, I decided it wouldn’t be a table centerpiece, but just a decoration, that will be up out of the reach of little hands….so I didn’t do much to anchor it.  It’s another one of my “temporary” ideas.DIY fall basket decor for Thanksgiving centerpiece by dennasideas.comDIY fall basket decor for Thanksgiving centerpiece by dennasideas.comThese baskets dip down in on one side, so that would be the front.  I found things to stack in between, cans, jars, stuff like that.  DIY fall basket decor for Thanksgiving centerpiece by dennasideas.comI just left the heavy things as is, but duct taped some of the lighter things for a bit of stability.  Ta da, my not too wobbly tower!DIY fall basket decor for Thanksgiving centerpiece by dennasideas.comNow to fill it with nature….start with the pine branches, just some small ones.  Then clumps of berries.  Then a few pine cones.DIY fall basket decor for Thanksgiving centerpiece by dennasideas.comShove everything in….I’m not sure how long this arrangement will last, but it will just turn into a dried fall arrangement!  The example I was following had some really cute kumquats (whatever those are) and some lovely cloved oranges, that I did want to add, but the baskets were full!  No room for oranges.  No prob Bob.  I think it looks nice just like this….DIY fall basket decor for Thanksgiving centerpiece by dennasideas.comUgh, except for the color of that wall!!!  The wall is not supposed to be pink, it’s orange, but for some reason my photos never show the right color!!  I like orange stuff….. 🙂

Anyways, I hope that this little post gives you some ideas for using stuff that’s sitting around your house, and some bits of nature (real or otherwise) to decorate for Thanksgiving or fall in general.  I know not everyone has berries popping up everywhere at this time of year……use lots of pinecones and clove some oranges!!  Some ribbon would be nice, too….oh, and you can put a candle in the top like the Better Homes and Gardens version….but then it would have to be a stable tower…..I could go on and on.  But maybe you should go decorate something….