Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First Day of School 2014

My kids like many others across the nation started school today! I miss him like crazy but well they were gone this really awesome treat for them! With the help of my three-year-old we baked cupcakes and then made these super easy toppers out of fondant.  

They were really easy. First I rolled out the white fondant and then used a circle cookie-cutter to cut out circles.  I used the Wilton's decorator Preferred brand box.  You can find it at Michael's or Joann's for around $7 and use a 40% coupon. I've also seen it at Walmart.  The box looks small but goes a long way! I still have some left over for a future project!

  Then with food writer food coloring pens I made the blue lines then the red lines and then personalize them with the black marker.  I learned this little tip the hard way... Make sure you hold the pin straight up and not at an angle like you normally write. The ink bleeds that way as you can see in the top right circle.  It doesn't look terrible but it is definetely not the best either. 
To stick them to the cupcakes first I put a little frosting on the cupcakes (that's the glue) and then just popped the toppers right on top! Done!! Could not be easier!

For the apple ones, I just used red frosting, a pretzel stick for the stem and a sour candy Strip I cut into leaf shapes! The boys loved them!! And because it's also my hubby's bday, there was a special one for him. 
But even cuter than these cupcakes are my little sweethearts! 2nd grade, freshman and a senior! Baby is still home with me but I made him a sign too so he won't feel left out! :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Science week 2014

It's a tradition I started when my older kids were little and we look forward to it every year! Every summer we do a science week full of fun experiments!  This is out lesson plan for the week:
Monday we taught the littles all about rain clouds and how storms are formed.  We used dollar store shaving cream, a clear container filled with clear water and a small bowl filled with water I dyed blue which was our "rain".
We took turns dropping the rain onto our cloud with a dropper.  When the cloud was full of rain, the rain started to fall out of the cloud and formed a storm. Even my 3 year old was completely fascinated by watching our storm form!

Tuesday day 2: I bought a kit at Joann's to make a Tin Can robot.  This was super cool! It did however take quite a bit of time and the littles lost interest in the building portion fairly quick. But once it was built they loved it!!
Day 3: we made flubber!! The recipe was pretty simple.  All you need is:

2 bottles of Elmers Glue (equaling 1 cup)
1 cup of cold water 
Food coloring
Mix those together in 1 bowl.  Then in a second bowl add:
1 TBS of Borax Laundry Detergent
3/4 cup of warm water
Stir the contents of bowl 2 until the Borax is dissolved and then dump that into bowl 1. Mix until it's a rubber consistency.  
**Note** the glue I had on hand was not Elmer and I'm not sure but I think that may have caused it to be a little too sticky? Or I should have stired it longer. It was still fun either way! :)

Day 5: we skipped thursday because one of my sons had a day long birthday party to attend. On friday we did this cool water experiment.  We had 3 cups. 2 were filled halfway with either yellow dye water or blue dyed water. The middle cup was empty. We added a paper towel from the blue cup up and into the middle empty cup & did the same with the yellow. By the end of the day the 2 have combined into the middle cup to make green water!! Honestly this one took a long time to work but it was so worth the wait!! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Chalkboard homework table tutorial

This is a great idea for a back to school project!

Let me start out by saying that I bought this little side table at Ikea a few years back for $7.  It was cheap and I really had no specific perpose for it at the time but over the years it has become where my little ones eat, craft and play games.  It's safe to say it has taken a beating and up close it looks pretty bad.  But hey! It was $7!!!! 

I cleaned the table up then sanded down any rough edges.  In hindsight I should have probably sanded the entire top because it was a shiny white laquar.  Once it was clean. I removed the links from the top.
  I took the top outside and using chalkboard spray paint I did 2 thick coats.  Once it was dry I put the legs back on and it was done!
Now it's ready to be scribbled all over!! My son can use it when he does his homework and we can save on scratch paper because he can do his math problems right on the table!! It's also going to come in handy on game nights as we can use it to keep score!!

There you have it...within hours a perfectly new looking homework station/game table completely redone!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DIY bat signal tutorial

In honor of Batman's 75th anniversary and we decided to make a DIY homemade bat signal! All you need is:
*1 container with a plastic clear lid.  Any size will do.  In this case we used a small 6oz container of peanuts we bought at the dollar store.
*1 piece of black cardstock or construction paper
*1 battery operated tea light.  I also purchased this at the dollar store in a 2 pack.
Step 1: empty and clean the canister and remove the label. 
Step 2: draw out your bat symbol onto the black paper.  It's kind of hard to see but we used pencil.
Step 3: then we cut it out and taped it to our lid. 

The last step is to put the light inside the canister turned on.  There you have it! Your DIY batsignal! It makes a perfect personal nightlight too!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Star Wars Otter Pop cozies

I saw this super cute idea on Pinterest awhile back & then again in Family Fun Magazine.  I thought it was super cute and being the mom of 4 boys, a must do!  They were inexpensive and easy to make.  They also help little hands stay warm while holding an ice cold otter pop! 

The first step is to cut out your felt pieces.  I bought a square of grey felt and was able to cut 4 hilts out of the one piece. I wrapped the felt around the bottom of the pop to get a rough measurement of how big to make my square.  Family Fun magazine says they made theirs 3x4.  I cut black strips and sewed them onto the grey showing machine.

Then I folded my square inside out and sold all around leaving the top open to make a pocket.

Once I sewed the bottom & the side closed I flipped the pocket inside out. When that part was done I cut out circles in blue, black and red and I hot glued those "buttons" on.
This is what they looked like when they were done.
All that's left to do now is grab an ice cold auto pop and slip it into your cozy! Tada!! Otter Pop lightsabers!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Super dad Father's Day cake tutorial

For Father's Day we wanted to make a superhero themed cake so to begin I made a cake using a 8 x 8 square pan that I usually use for brownies.  It's a two layer cake.  Once they were done baking I stacked the two layers one on top of the other with a layer frosting in between to hold the two together.   What's the two layers were stacked one on top of the other I turned the cake so that it looks like a diamond and cut the top corner off to make that Superman emblem.  Then with blue frosting I went around all the edges.  The one problem I did find is that the edge that I cut off crumbled a bit so I had to put an extra layer of frosting over that just to make sure it stayed smooth. It wasn't the best frosting job but it was good enough.

Once I was done with all the sides, I got some yellow frosting and covered the entire top of the cake making sure that the edges were completely smooth and not overlapping each other. 

The last step in the process is to do the red frosting. I filled a lunch bag with the red frosting, cut a corner off and began to trace around the edges with the red.  To do the letters I found it was best if you do the a first and then do the d's so that you can make sure that your word is centered.  Initially I attempted to do this part with some Wilton red sparkle gel but it began to drip onto the blue sides and it didn't look very good.  Here is what it looked like...
Too bad because I had hoped to have that little sparkle for some extra pizzazz. When I used real frosting it looked so much better! Here's what my final result look like! 

And the side view looks like this...
 I know has been is going to love this cake!!  I can't wait to show it to him on Sunday!! 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Pop can teacher gifts tutorial

I saw this idea a few years back and I don't remember where but I absolutely LOVE this idea!! It's always a teacher favorite and a wow moment as the recipient tries to figure out how you got the goodies into the can. It's actually pretty simple.  You start out by purchasing any 15oz can with a pull top. In my case, I bought fruit cocktails, peaches and madarin oranges because I figured it would be easiest to go through those but it really doesn't matter what the contents are.  We're only going to use the cans.

Step 1: To empty them, open the cans from the bottom instead of using the pop tops.  We want to preserve those.  I use an old fashion can opener and try to keep it attached at the very end just a little.  The newer can openers that cut the lids off on the outside are harder to glue back together. They don't quite fit back in.

Step 2: once your cans are empty, make sure you carefully clean them out and dry them.  Just remember there will be sharp edges. Also, pull the label off at this point.

Step 3: fill the cans about half way with whatever candy you choose.  I used hershey kisses and starbursts.  Then to add some pretty, stuff a little tissue paper to fill the other half.  

Step 4: once your cans are filled, push the can bottom back down and hot glue them shut.  This part won't look pretty but that's ok! No one will even see it!  

Step 4:  use the label from the can as a guide and cut some scrapbook paper the same size.  Wrap the paper around the can.  I hot glued them since I already had the gun warmed up but you could also use tape or gluedots. For the label, I just typed up the cute little saying and added each of my children's names.  I glued that to the paper before gluing the paper to the can just to make sure I centered the arrow with the tab.

Step 5: add some colorful ribbon to the tab just to give it a little more flair.  I tried to use ribbon that matched the papers.  
And then your done!! Your final products sure to wow your child's teacher! Total cost is around $1-2 a can depending on what kind of candy you use and whether you already have ribbon laying around.  I already had most of the supplies in my craft drawers.