Fun-To-Make Balloon Birds!

Fun-To-Make Balloon Birds!

These little balloon birds are from our book, Paper Goods Projects, and are so much fun to make! Water balloons and cupcake papers are the main materials, so you may even have these on hand! (Tissue paper or another lightweight paper for the wings would work too if you don't have cupcake papers.) They're perfect for a birthday party or shower decoration. We hung them from helium balloon "clouds" with a little adhesive dot, so easy! 

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Recycled Cardboard Zoo Animals!

Recycled Cardboard Zoo Animals!

Oh, the many uses of cardboard! Thanks to online shopping, we often have several flattened boxes in our recycle bin. Sturdy corrugated cardboard it is one of my favorite materials! It can be turned into a box town, a lemonade stand sign, a candy ATM, or these colorful zoo animals that I made for Family Fun magazine. They're easy to make (using the templates, below) and fun to paint and play with!

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Veggies Taste Even Better When They Look Like Trains!

Veggies Taste Even Better When They Look Like Trains!

A few months ago I made some veggie trains for a video for  Thomas & Friends! They're fun for any occasion, whether it's a train-themed birthday party treat to a playdate craft activity or an afterschool snack. As I usually work with candy it was so nice to have some healthy "craft materials" to share with my boys when they poked their heads into the kitchen to see what I was doing!
*IMPORTANT* In these photos I attached the wheels with toothpicks but in the video, I "glued" them on with cream cheese. Toothpicks are fine if the trains are for decorations only but if you're giving them to a child to eat, leave off the toothpicks. 

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Yummy (and Gluten-Free) Petit Four Treats for your Valentine

Yummy (and Gluten-Free) Petit Four Treats for your Valentine

Rice Krispie Treats are not only yummy but a good option for a dessert to serve to gluten-free friends. Making them into mini "cakes" is such a fun crafty food project! You can use square and round cookie cutters or hand-cut them. They work well if you cut into with a pretty thin layer, around 1", so spread them a little thinner than you usually do. (You might need to spread it into two baking dishes.) I use the classic recipe right off the box.

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Easy Cupcake Paper Valentines to Make with Your Kids

Easy Cupcake Paper Valentines to Make with Your Kids

Cupcake papers, which come in fun colors and patterns, make for a fun collage material. These little Valentines, party invites, and tags take advantage of their ruffled texture. After baking, I always seem to have a few stray cupcake papers left over from various packs, and this is a nice use for them!

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Best Use of a Cardboard Box Ever: Candy ATM!

Best Use of a Cardboard Box Ever: Candy ATM!

I recently had the pleasure of working with the super talented photographer, Lucy Schaeffer. We were shooting a craft story for Family Fun magazine involving large cardboard boxes (which I am excited to share as soon as it comes out!). Lucy told me about the candy ATM (Yes, a candy ATM!) that she and her two daughters made together using a giant cardboard box.
(All photos by Lucy)

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A Favorite Family Tradition: 'Elf' Viewing Party!

A Favorite Family Tradition: 'Elf' Viewing Party!

Elf is one of my family's favorite movies. We could watch it all the time, but, for the last few years, we established a policy to do so only once a year, with cousins, right before Christmas. When we finally do get to watch it, it feels really special event! Last year, a few nights before Christmas, we had an Elf Night with our extended family. My younger son and I made these cardstock invites together during a sick day.

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Fun Gingerbread House Kit Hack Videos!

Fun Gingerbread House Kit Hack Videos!

I recently worked with Bed, Bath & Beyond to make a series of gingerbread house kit hacks. We had so much fun coming up with different themes using the candy decorations from the kit and some easy-to-find extras like candy canes, pretzel rods, and marshmallows. I will update this post soon with the third video, a snowy palace!

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How to Make a TinkerToy Kid's Christmas Tree

How to Make a TinkerToy Kid's Christmas Tree

I love to have a little side Christmas tree for my kids to decorate with their own ornaments...the ones that don't really match with what I had in mind for our big tree. :) Sometimes they'll keep it in their room or we'll have it on a side table in the living room. This little Tinker Toy tree is easy and fun to make, never drops needles, and turns back into a toy after the holiday!

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Easy Activity Advent Calendar For The Most Fun Holiday Ever!

Easy Activity Advent Calendar For The Most Fun Holiday Ever!

Christmas is quickly approaching! What a better way to celebrate each day of Advent than with a fun handmade countdown. These paper bags double as cute decor and a functional Advent calendar. You could fill them with treats, small toys, or slips of paper with quotes, or fun family activity ideas! 

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Fun Last-Minute Thanksgiving Crafts You Can Make Together!

Fun Last-Minute Thanksgiving Crafts You Can Make Together!

A couple of Thanksgivings ago I teamed up with my friends at Marley Spoon to create an easy kid-friendly Thanksgiving craft and I came up with this turkey napkin ring. In my sketch, above, I used a dyed coffee filter and a toilet tube, two of my favorite materials!

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Easy Kid-Made Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Easy Kid-Made Thanksgiving Centerpiece

Thanksgiving is coming! I always want to use fall leaves for my decorations, but I find that they are usually dried up by the time the holiday comes around. This is a fun way to get fresh-looking leaves that don't crinkle or crumble and it gets your kids involved in decorating!

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Halloween Cookie Houses

Halloween Cookie Houses

Gingerbread houses are fun to bake and build, but these little Halloween haunted houses, a variation of the Valentine cottages from my book, "Candy Aisle Crafts," are made from graham crackers, allowing you to skip the baking and get to the best part -- decorating! They make a spooky Halloween centerpiece or mantle decoration, too. For a great playdate or fall afternoon activity, premake the house bases, one for each kid, and set out bowls of candy for decorations.

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5 Easy DIY Dessert Stands for Etsy Studio

5 Easy DIY Dessert Stands for Etsy Studio

I am so happy to have recently contributed some ideas to Etsy Studio, Etsy's new-ish craft supply market where makers can find unique (and basic) materials as well as project ideas and inspiration. My first post is all about making homemade dessert stands, like this multi-tiered castle stand! I was so inspired by Etsy's wide selection of unfinished wooden blocks and shapes! 

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DIY Farm Animal Cupcake Video for Fisher-Price

DIY Farm Animal Cupcake Video for Fisher-Price

Fisher-Price's Little People Farm was one of my most-loved toys when I was a kid and was a favorite of our boys when they were little too so I was thrilled when they asked me to come up with cupcakes inspired by their farm animals. Check out the video we made and you'll see that the cupcakes are super easy to make. Snip some supermarket candy, no piping or cake-decorating skills required! Your kids can help make them and they're great for a barnyard-themed or piggy party, Easter, or even just a rainy day!

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Bonbon-Inspired Floral Easter Eggs

Bonbon-Inspired Floral Easter Eggs

My friend, Margaret, and I like to work on craft projects together. (She's a brilliant illustrator and surface designer, by the way. Check out her website!) We've gotten together the last couple of years to decorate Easter eggs, like these neon highlighter eggs, inspired by a series of highlighter pen drawings she made. 

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Sweet Easter Peeps Treats to Craft With Your Kids

Sweet Easter Peeps Treats to Craft With Your Kids

In this month's Parents magazine, I shared a few Easter treat ideas using Peeps, a candy that I have long loved for their bright sugar coating and chubby cuteness....perfect for decorating desserts! These little Peep chicks are in nests made from chow mein noodles in a marshmallow mixture. (click here for directions and a recipe).

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Eco-Friendly Easter Crafts in Parents Magazine!

Eco-Friendly Easter Crafts in Parents Magazine!

Last year, I crafted some eco-friendly Easter crafts for Parents magazine. They're easy to make and utilize items that you probably have in your recycle bin! These little felt-eared egg bunnies are sitting in grass cuffs made from toilet paper and paper towel tubes. You can find the instructions here (and a video here).

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