Tag Archives: fast and easy DIY

Easy Pink Dough Valentines for Preschoolers

Standard

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!

Advertisements

DIY Fall Decor

Standard
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

Standard
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….

Thanksgiving printable for your fall decor

Standard
Thanksgiving printable for your fall decor

Thanksgiving is almost here for us Canadians, are you ready?  I’m still housecleaning and baking like a crazy.  Kind of.  I keep getting distracted by little fun things, like decorating or going through boxes that I haven’t seen for a while.  I saw a list yesterday that said countdown to Thanksgiving, and shows you what to do each week, for 4 weeks before the event!!  Things like start baking, send out invitations, etc.  And it says 4 weeks before: finish major housecleaning!  I figure that if I changed weeks to days, I’d be right on schedule.

Decorating is so much more fun than cleaning and de-cluttering.  I have a frame in my living room that is for changing, with the seasons, or with the birthdays, whatever.  It’s easy to pop out the picture and add something new.  I was looking around for a “free Thanksgiving printable” to print and frame, and I found lots of nice ones, but they were in color.  And even if I switched them to black and white, they’d be all grey and use up tons of ink.  I think I’ve mentioned before that I’m down to only black ink, so I made up something myself to print out for my frame, and thought I’d post it here, in case anyone else with a black-ink-only printer problem would like to have one for their Thanksgiving decor.  All the fonts I used are by Kimberly Geswein,  I really like her stuff!  Ooh, I just saw some new ones on her blog that I want, nice very nice!  There are links on her blog to download all her fonts, and she has examples, so you can see what the fonts look like in a paragraph form.  The  border is artwork by the Gypsy Chick, that I had for commercial use.  (warning: blurry photos ahead!)Thanksgiving printable by dennasideas.com, easy Fall Decor ideas from denna's ideas! Thanksgiving printable by dennasideas.com, easy Fall Decor ideas from denna's ideas!

The printable is for a 8 1/2 by 11″ page, but my frame takes 12×12″, so I printed off 2 and cut one up to go behind the other.  My printer also didn’t print to the edge of the page, so I had to shave some off.  The printable should go to the edge of your page, if you can set your printer to do that.  So this is what I did: Thanksgiving printable by dennasideas.com, easy Fall Decor ideas from denna's ideas!

Thanksgiving printable by dennasideas.com, easy Fall Decor ideas from denna's ideas!Trimmed.Thanksgiving printable by dennasideas.com, easy Fall Decor ideas from denna's ideas!

Added some dollar store leaves behind the main page.Thanksgiving printable by dennasideas.com, easy Fall Decor ideas from denna's ideas!

I don’t like the placement of the red leaf, but am trying to tell myself to just leave it, to not take everything down to rearrange!!! grrrrr.  Oh well.  So this is what it looks like, and you can click on the folder below to download a zipped folder.  Unzip and print!  Let me know if it’s not working, since, ahem, it’s been awhile since I’ve uploaded a printable….  This photo below is just the example, and somehow one of the words is cut off and there’s a watermark that says personal use only, so that means it’s just for you to use in your home, y’know, no copying or selling or that kind of thing!

Thanksgiving printable by dennasideas.com, easy Fall Decor ideas from denna's ideas!Find the original copy for your personal printing use here:

Easy DIY No-Sew Fabric Pumpkins for Fall Decor

Standard
Easy DIY No-Sew Fabric Pumpkins for Fall Decor

Easy as pumpkin pie….actually, much easier and faster than that!  Fasy, easy, temporary decor:  I’m all about these three this year.  These pudgy pumpkins are so easy to make, you can have a pumpkin patch in your living room in 10 minutes.  The “ingredients” for the pumpkins are materials that you probably have around your house….and if you don’t happen to have cinnamon sticks, maybe you could substitute something else….like small rolls of cardstock or cardboard.  And the best part is that you don’t have to sew anything!fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasMaterials:  (new or clean) dish towels, rubber bands or hair elastics, plastic shopping bags, some sort of string or yarn and/or raffia and whole cinnamon sticks.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasI was so happy to find a use for these tea-towels (that’s what I call dish towels, is that Canadian, eh?) that I bought for a fun Christmas project last year.  I had meant to use them for drying dishes after Christmas, but they ended up downstairs in the craft basement….and didn’t come to light until recently….hmmm, they’d make cute pumpkins!!!  Find the rest of the ingredients:fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasNow grab the narrower end of a dish towel and accordion pleat it, but not perfectly, remember this is supposed to be fast.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasPleat the other end, too, and fold in half.  You might have to hold one pleated end, while pleating the other end with one hand.  Don’t be perfectionist, it will all be fixable in the end.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasLay the pleated ends out in a heart shape.  The idea is that the ends will be rubber-banded together, with the ends inside the pumpkin.  Now add a rubber band or hair elastic.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasYou can vary how much of the end pleats are going to be inside the pumpkin, and so vary the size of the pumpkins.  Now pull the bottom of the “heart” down….fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasAnd tie with some string, yarn or raffia.  Just a couple of regular knots will do to hold it.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasStart fluffing out the sides of the dish towel a bit.  You can add the stem of the pumpkin now, or later, it doesn’t really matter too much.  Grab a couple of sticks for a larger pumpkin, or just one stick for a smaller pumpkin, and insert them into the top, in the middle of the rubber-band “knot”.  Now stuff the pumpkin with loosely balled-up plastic bags, opening up the pleats a bit, and arranging them to cover any plastic bag that peeks out through the side cracks.  And that’s it!!fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasLater, I decided to tie some raffia around the cinnamon stick stem, to give the look of leaves and vine tendrils.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasIt took about 10 to 15 minutes to make 7 pumpkins for my “patch”.  The yellow pumpkin is a table runner, folded in half.  The two smaller brown pumpkins were bits of fabric from Walmart, those ones that are smaller than a fat quarter, something like 18″ by 21″ or whatever.  They were from last year’s project, too.  I had been looking at fabric pumpkins, but didn’t want to sew, or permanently use up my small stash of fabric, so this worked out perfectly.  I can pull them apart and use my tea-towels for drying dishes (if I want, ha) or anything else.fast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideasfast and easy DIY fabric pumpkins by dennasideas.com, Fall Decor ideas by denna's ideas

10 Minute Wall Art from Shopping Bags!

Standard

Here’s a quick piece of art that you can make to hang on your wall…and it only takes 10 minutes!!  If you are weird and save shopping bags, that is.  I am obviously one of those people (to the despair of my family!)  I just love the plastic bags they used to give out at the Disney store!!  (I don’t know if they still do because someone moved our Disney store…the last time we went, it was gone without a trace!!)  So I had saved this cute bag with Mickey on one side and Minnie on the other.  And one day I saw frames on sale at Michaels.  Seemed like a match!  denna's ideas: 10 minute wall art from plastic shopping bagsSo if you also have saved Disney bags, or other cool shopping bags, grab your shopping bag and a frame right now!!  This will only take 10 minutes, even for perfectionists!  And you will be beautifying your home and getting rid of your pile of clutter!  (that’s the idea, anyways)denna's ideas: 10 minute wall art from plastic shopping bags

This was the slightly larger size square frame.  They are made for keeping old LP albums…..or shopping bags.

denna's ideas: 10 minute wall art from plastic shopping bagsTrim around the plastic bag.  This bag has two different sides, so I was using them both.denna's ideas: 10 minute wall art from plastic shopping bags

Flip the frame over and open it.  Pull out the glass.denna's ideas: 10 minute wall art from plastic shopping bags

Hold the glass with the plastic bag over it up to the light, so you can center the design the way you want it.  Then hold it steady and plop it down into the frame.denna's ideas: 10 minute wall art from plastic shopping bags

I put the original paper back on top of the plastic bag, with the white side facing the bag, just to give the bag a whiter background.  Fold the bag’s edges in and add the backplate of the frame and snap it all together.  (This type of frame has metal clips that slide into the edges).

denna's ideas: 10 minute wall art from plastic shopping bagsAnd there you go—cute Mickey and Minnie Mouse Art!!  Now hang it on your wall….denna's ideas: 10 minute wall art from plastic shopping bags

I had thought that the bathroom might be a nice place to hang this art….but Mickey ended up in the boys room and Minnie in the girls’ room….denna's ideas: 10 minute wall art from plastic shopping bags

Right beside the cute Hello Kitty that Tia Lesly made!!  🙂  We like bright colors at our house, and Mickey and Minnie fit right in!