New school supplies always helped to soften my childhood back-to-school blues. I loved decorating my pristine new notebooks, binders, and folders with stickers, doodles, and tape. In that spirit, I created some back-to-school crafts for Parents magazine! In the photo above are some fruit-themed items: tape and marker-decorated folders, stamped pencil cases, and washi tape-covered pencils. Super easy!Read More
Valentines Day has always been a favorite crafting holiday. I’m just a sucker for pink, red, and hearts! I’ve gathered a few of my favorite projects from over the years, like these freezer paper stenciled muslin bags I made for Martha Stewart Living magazine a few years ago. Slip a love note, some candy, or even a gift of jewelry inside for your sweetheart. Click here for full instructions!
*By the way, freezer paper stenciling is one of my favorite techniques! You can find freezer paper at most supermarkets (or here). It is paper with a plastic coating on one side. After cutting a shape out (ie. a heart) you iron the paper onto your bag (shiny plastic side down) and you have an almost foolproof one-use stencil. If you use a craft punch to make your stencil shapes, as I did with the small hearts here, it is a breeze!
Soapmaking is a simple, fun, and satisfying project; perfect for when winter weather keeps us indoors. There’s not much to it; you use a store-bought soap base, melt it, tint it with a colorant, and pour it in a mold. I have used clear glycerin soap base, such as here, but had never used an opaque soap base and I loved the bright colors that can be achieved! Once you get set up, it’s easy to crank out a bunch of soap bars. I made these for Bluprint and we shot a fun video to show how easy they are to make!Read More
Gingerbread houses are fun to bake and build, but these little 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 pretty Valentine's centerpiece or mantle decoration, too. For a great playdate or snow-day activity, pre-make the house bases, one for each kid, and set out bowls of candy for decorations.Read More
I recently made some safari animal cupcakes for Thomas & Friends to promote their movie Big World! Big Adventures! . I used mostly easy-to-find supermarket ingredients like cookies, marshmallows and pretzels to make these along with candy melts...which you can find at craft and party stores nowadays! Start off with your favorite cupcake, homemade or store-bought. I love this recipe for One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes. If you prefer to buy them, you can call most supermarket bakeries and ask them to make you some unfrosted cupcakes (or frosted, in the color of your choice).Read More
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!Read More
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.
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.Read More
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!Read More
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)
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!Read More
I've compiled a list of gift ideas for the creative kids on your holiday shopping list. The ideas may seem basic, but when paired with one or two other things, become a simple (but fun!) craft or activity kit!Read More
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!Read More
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!Read More
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!Read More
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.Read More
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!Read More
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!Read More