Kid-Friendly Casino Night Birthday Party!

Kid-Friendly Casino Night Birthday Party!

Birthday party ideas for older kids can be difficult to come up with, so when my younger son requested a casino night for his 11th birthday party, we were really excited! We love playing cards and thought a game night was a great idea, but at the same time had some reservations about introducing kids to the concept of gambling or glamorizing it. My husband, a psychologist and addiction specialist, decided he wanted to write up custom "cautionary tales" for each kid to put in their favor bag where the character had to overcome a difficult struggle with gambling after being lured by the rush of an early win. The kids played with chips but there was no prizes or money to be won. (Do we know how to party or what?)

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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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Fun, Easy Upcycled Crafts on Naturally, Danny Seo

Fun, Easy Upcycled Crafts on Naturally, Danny Seo

Tune in to NBC tomorrow (Saturday, February 18th) at 11:30 AM to watch Naturally, Danny Seo Danny and I had so much fun making jewelry, toys, and decorations out of items that you probably have in your recycle bin right now, like these flower necklaces made out of squeeze pouch caps and felt scraps!

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More Wintry Candy Crafts To Try With Your Kids!

More Wintry Candy Crafts To Try With Your Kids!

This little seal is a favorite from our book, Candy Aisle Crafts. That sweet face! In this shot, he is sliding around on some (aluminum foil) ice surrounded by sugar "snow". You can see him here atop a delicious chocolate cake along with some other arctic friends, along with the penguins below.

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Cute Marshmallow Arctic Animals for a Winter Birthday Cake

Cute Marshmallow Arctic Animals for a Winter Birthday Cake

When Amy and I were working on our book, Candy Aisle Crafts, her nephew was celebrating his first birthday with an arctic-themed party. We made him a cake topped with a marshmallow polar bears and penguin mommas and babies, and a couple of marshmallow seals. The cake itself is chocolate and we used this recipe, a longtime favorite!

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Easy Holiday Pop-Up Cards Made From Recycled Packaging

Easy Holiday Pop-Up Cards Made From Recycled Packaging

This card-making project is the perfect cold day kids craft. You don't need any special supplies, just some recycled packaging, glue, and scissors. (I'm always digging around in my recycle bin for materials!) Use colorful packaging like cereal or snack boxes or old Christmas cards. 

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Pretty Personalized Party Cups

Pretty Personalized Party Cups

One of my party pet peeves is setting a drink down and then losing track of which cup is mine. For a recent gathering I revisited a cup ID’ing idea I crafted a while ago for Martha Stewart Living. Set out markers, labels, paint, tape, stickers, or anything your guests can use to customize (and personalize) their cups. Bonus: the cups are a good conversation starter!

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Quickest DIY Cards for Father's Day and More!

Quickest DIY Cards for Father's Day and More!

This group of cards was made using leftover cupcake papers. With their ruffled texture and fun colors, they make a cool (and cheap) craft material. Also, after baking I'm often left with a few from each pack and I've started collecting them for just these kinds of projects. 

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Fun-to-Make Wooden Bead Bird Necklaces

Fun-to-Make Wooden Bead Bird Necklaces

I made these little bird necklaces with Tracey Stewart when I was helping out with crafts for her sweet, gorgeous, and informative book, Do Unto Animals. I had so much fun working on everything with her and the Moomah gang, but the necklaces were one of my favorites. They are really easy to make and, like most people, I love birds (real...and fake-wearable)! They're made from felt and wooden beads and you can find the how-to over on her website, Moomah

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Fun (and Easy!) Twisty Balloon Sign for Father's Day

Fun (and Easy!) Twisty Balloon Sign for Father's Day

My husband always makes sweet Mothers Day signs and messages for me. In the past he's covered the kitchen in sticky notes on which he and kids wrote sweet things about me, taped construction paper "stained glass" in our windows also with sweet messages on them, and even made me a paper note necklace. For Father's Day this year, I am planning a yummy brunch for him, and of course, I need a fun decoration so I thought I'd make balloon letters, inspired by the balloon letters in our book, Paper Goods Projects.

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Cookie Crafting, Activity and Snack in One!

Cookie Crafting, Activity and Snack in One!

Winter seems to be lingering here in NY. Because we are still somewhat stuck inside, I thought I'd share some cookie crafts, an indoor project to cheer us up! The following ideas utilize classic supermarket cookies and other edible items that you probably have around the house like candy, peanut butter or chocolate hazelnut spread (like Nutella), fruit, nuts and seeds, and chocolate chips. (By the way, the above image is the chapter opener from our first book, Candy Aisle CraftsAmy and I shot them with our brilliant designer, Robin Rosenthal.)

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Fruit Stripe Gum Letter Cake Topper

Fruit Stripe Gum Letter Cake Topper

Many years ago, when Amy and I were working on our first book, Candy Aisle Crafts, we shot a few ideas using Fruit Stripe Gum. We both love the colors (and the stripes)! I remember pining for it as a child! One idea was to use the gum to make letters to top a cake inspired by paper letters in one of my all-time favorite craft books, Creating With Paper. We loved how they came out but then we happened upon these really cool gumpaste letters and thought they looked way too similar so we pulled the idea from the book. Unfortunately I don't see the gumpaste letters for sale anymore but figured that I'd finally share our Fruit Stripe gum letters here.
If you want to try making them, make sure to use fresh gum if possible (not that you can really tell when you buy it)! 

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Tube Letters: An Easy Birthday Garland Alternative!

Tube Letters: An Easy Birthday Garland Alternative!

In our house we have a tradition of leaving birthday messages for each other as a birthday morning surprise. They're usually in the form of garlands or banners, strung across doorways or along the edge of the mantel. These tube letters, from our book, Paper Goods Projects, are a fun way to display a message, no tape or string required! And they marry type and cardboard tubes, two of my favorite things!

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Great Kid Gift!: Easy-to-Assemble Imaginative Play Kits

Great Kid Gift!: Easy-to-Assemble Imaginative Play Kits

One of my favorite gifts to give to kids is a handmade (well, hand-assembled) imaginative play kit. I'm excited to share a fun story that I developed for Parents Magazine about this very topic in the March issue (on newsstands right now) with gorgeous photos by Zoe Berkovic!

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How To Throw the Ultimate Pee-wee Herman Party!

How To Throw the Ultimate Pee-wee Herman Party!

In honor of the soon-to-be-released movie, Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, I am sharing my son’s Pee-wee-themed 5th birthday party from a few years ago. We are all BIG Pee-wee fans and very excited for his new movie, which starts streaming on Netflix on Friday, March 18th at 12:01 A.M.!! Use any of these ideas to throw your own Pee-wee viewing party!

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DIY Lollipop Ideas...for Celebrating National Lollipop Day!

DIY Lollipop Ideas...for Celebrating National Lollipop Day!

This Monday, July 20th, is National Lollipop Day! Yeah! To celebrate, we are sharing a roundup of our easy-to-make lollipops. They all involve melting store-bought candy which means they are easier than "from-scratch" candy-making. 

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