Memorial Day Crafts

Memorial Day Crafts

Memorial Day crafts offer a great way to kick off summer fun and decorating. Whether your craft of choice is quilting or jewelry making, there is something for everyone to create in honor of this patriotic holiday.

Crochet Crafts for Memorial Day

Afghans and cup cozies offer two unique ways to decorate your home for Memorial Day.

American Star Afghan

This charted star afghan pattern uses a J hook and simple stitches to create a beautiful throw featuring a red, white and blue star in the center. This is a project for a crocheter with some experience and a lot of tenacity, but the finished project is fabulous.

You will need to get the following amounts of yarn for a 38 inch by 47 inch throw:

  • Light blue – 7 ounces
  • Navy blue – 9 ounces
  • Red – 12 ounces
  • White – 4 ounces
patriotic glass cozy

Cup Cozy

Keep your iced tea cold at this year’s Memorial Day BBQ with this patriotic crocheted cup cozy that is easy enough for beginners. Make a set of them; the design matches the afghan above. This also uses a J crochet hook, and you can use scrap yarn to make the cozies. Once the cover is made you apply purchased appliqués in patriotic patterns to finish the look. This is really a quick, super-simple project and would be great for bazaars and fund raisers.

 

Patriotic Apparel

Creating crafts with T-shirts, shoes, flip flops, and other apparel is a lot of fun for teens and adults alike. Wearing something that you have made is a great way to show the world your creative side as well as expressing your unique style.

 

Tennis Shoes

patriotic shoes

What do you get when you combine some fabric paint, a few stencils, and a pair of white tennis shoes? You come up with these adorable patriotic sneakers. You will need the following materials, available at most craft stores:

  • Stars and Bars stencil
  • ¼ inch stencil brush
  • Folk Art Acrylic in 641 Brilliant Blue
  • Folk Art Acrylic in 437 Lipstick Red
  • Folk Art Textile Medium

 

patriotic t-shirts

Stars and Stripes T-Shirt

Here is another stenciling project. This T-shirt has plenty of patriotism. You could even make the shoes above to match it.

You will need to purchase a plain, white T-shirt in the size you need. Other supplies that you will need are listed on the website.

 

Outdoor Décor for Memorial Day

If you are planning a picnic or get together at your home, you will want to make sure your landscape is full of Memorial Day charm. Here are a few quick and easy crafts that you can make for your yard or garden.

Signs

whimsical Memorial day garden sign

Whimsical signs to stick in your garden are fun additions to your party. Use wooden letters, acrylic paints and dowels to spell out your Memorial Day message. Consider these ideas:

  • Liberty
  • Memory
  • Memorial Day
  • Honor

Flag Banner

You can make this flag banner to hang either inside or outside in a protected area like on a patio or porch. It’s a quick and easy paper craft that you can put together in under 30 minutes.

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is more than the first picnic of the summer. It is a day that people are asked to stop and remember those who have given their lives in war over the past decades. Creating patriotic crafts is one way of honoring the fallen while enjoying a craft or two.

Memorial Day Party Ideas

Memorial Day Party Ideas

I’m always on the lookout for new party ideas, and as Memorial Day weekend festivities approach, I’ve been scouring the internet for fun, unique ideas to share with you… I’m excited to tell you that I think you will . I love some of the ideas I found in Her Royal Heinous, Queen Bee by Alm Chandler and Emily by Magnolia Creative. So cute and patriotic! !

 

IMG_0153

Colorful tin buckets double and triple as place settings, card holders and party favors. It’s easy to make something so simple look so festive just by adding some colorful ribbons, labels, and an American flag.

IMG_0169
Wrap the old-fashioned Coca-Cola in patriotic wrapping paper! Nothing says America more than Coca-Cola.

IMG_0242
I love that they keep traditional food…hot dogs, chips, cookies, cupcakes and cherry pie! Salute…so American! ! ! Wrapped in colorful ribbons and tied with twine, these hot dogs are so cute and festive…every detail has been thought out.

IMG_0202
IMG_0165
IMG_0286

To make this cute and highly creative apple wreath, they bought apples (not real apples) at a local hobby store, threading yarn through them, and adding ribbon decoration at the end. I like this idea.

Thanks for the great Memorial Day inspiration! ! ! If you don’t have a Memorial Day party, consider hosting it on July 4th or another patriotic event.

 

Flag day activity for kids

Flag day activity for kids

Today is Flag Day, and instead of sitting in and making stars and stripes, we’re scouring our gardens for them. This Flag Day activity for kids is simple yet perfect for this special day. After playing, we discussed the flag, its development, and what the flag is used for. I’m also planning to repeat multiple times before July 4th.

1. Gather your materials. You will need a container and some flags. We got everything at the dollar spot at Target and as far as I know it’s all still there! We have 8 flags and a tin bucket.flag day game

2. Hide the flags around your yard. I just pushed mine right into the ground.

4th of july activity

3. Gather your search party.

flag daya easy activity

I explained it was not a race that they are working together against the clock. This turns my super competitive 6 year old into a supportive team player and gives my daughter a chance to participate at a more equal level.

 

4. Go! I used my phone to time although really they didn’t care about the time they just liked the hunt.

flag day outside activity

5. I spaced the flags out a lot.

flag day race

I wanted them to run as much as possible .

flag day for preschool

6. As they returned the flags to the bucket I had them count and my son figure out how many more we needed to find. See what I did there? Throwing in a little bit of math.

flag day gross motor

7. All in all it took three minutes and 43 seconds to find all 8 flags. Clearly I need to hide them better …. or give fewer hints.

flag day outside activity for kids

If an inside activity is really what you are after check out these  Patriotic Crafts.

Handprint Fireworks

Handprint Fireworks

We are here looking forward to July 4th! Parades, fireworks, barbecues, beach or pool tours, all wrapped up in a lovely long weekend. I fondly remember celebrating July 4th as a child—especially decorating my bike for local parades and watching fireworks on my streets. I’m so glad my daughters are looking forward to July 4th too.

I knew I wanted to do some red, white and blue crafts with the girls this year and had a vision for a handprint fireworks display. I love a good hand or footprint project. One of the most important parts of successful handprint and footprint art is planning ahead. Gather all your supplies, including cleaning materials, before involving your child. Are you ready to make handprint fireworks? Let’s get to work!

Supplies

White cardstock

Red and blue cardstock

Acrylic paint in red and blue

Silver glitter glue

A container to hold the paint – I like to use recycled baby food containers for easy clean up!

Paint brushes – I used a small foam brush for the actual prints and a finer bristle brush to add the details

Cutting Board – I used a heavy weight plastic board

Masking tape or painters tape

Baby wipes and paper towel

Paper cutter or scissors

Glue stick

Black pen or fine tipped marker

Step One – Paper

Carefully tape a piece of white cardstock to your cutting board – this will give you a nice hard surface for your child to press their hand onto when making the prints.

Step Two – Planning

Think about how to best place the handprints on the page.  You will be cutting your handprints out later so spacing isn’t that important other than to get as many prints on a page as you can to save on cardstock.  I like to make multiple prints at a time (like 6-8) – this way I can pick the best ones once they dry or send the extras to friends and family as holiday greetings.

Step Three – Making the Prints

Make sure you have your supplies within arms reach before you start painting.  This includes extra paper, paint and your wipes and paper towel for clean up.  The key is work quickly and efficiently once you begin. I started with my youngest child who I contained in her highchair for the painting.  Using the foam brush I carefully painted one hand with red paint making sure it was thoroughly covered but not too thick. Be sure to get those little fingers good!  We made it fun – making sound effects and pretending to tickle her palm worked well.  Once the paint is applied, quickly and firmly place the hand onto the paper, pressing down gently on each finger to get good contact with the paper. Young babies have a tendency to curl their toes and fingers under.  In my infant massage training, I learned that by gently running a finger across the top of the toes, you can trigger a reflex that causes a baby to fan out their toes briefly. This also works to open clenched up little fingers. I reapply paint lightly between each print.  After the last print is done, I wipe off the hand with baby wipes and then follow up with a paper towel to remove the remainder of the paint.  I repeated the process with my preschooler by having her sit on a kitchen chair and press her hand down onto the paper on the hard surface of a table.

Using the same red and blue paint, I even out inconsistencies with the handprints to make them look more finished.  You can use your pinky finger or a cotton swab to round out finger prints that didn’t make full contact with the paper if necessary. Let the prints dry thoroughly before adding the final details.

Step Four – Adding the Detail

On a separate sheet of white card stock, I painted the fireworks.  I started by making an “X” in blue paint and then adding another “X” through that.  Next I switched to red paint adding another two “X”s to the firework.  I then add a few more “sparks” using both blue and red.  The final touch is to add some silver glitter glue to give some shimmery sparks coming out of all sides of the firework.  Glitter glue is pretty forgiving – in fact, I spilled a big glob of it on one of my handprint pictures when the squeeze tip popped off of the bottle accidentally.  I used a plastic spoon to pick up the glob and gently rubbed the rest off with paper towel.  Crisis averted!  Allow your firework to dry slightly.  Cut out your handprint fairly closely to the paint using a pair of scissors.  Stick it to the middle of the firework.  Use a glue stick to attach it if needed, but I found that the slightly wet paint and glitter glue held it on just fine.  I gently bent the fingers of the print up a bit so the looked like part of the firework as well.

Step Five – Framing

Using my paper cutter, I trimmed up my firework to my desired size and cut a square of coordinating red or blue paper just slightly bigger than the print to act as a frame.  I attached the print to the frame using just a few dabs of glue stick. Don’t forget to finish the project by adding your child’s name and their age or the year somewhere on the print.

As I have mentioned before, I just love hand and footprint art.  My girls have come home from daycare with some adorable projects.  I asked their teachers if they had any tricks for getting such great prints from even the littlest kids.  They told me they teach the toddlers to give them high fives and practice it regularly in the classroom.  Then when it comes to making a handprint they simply tell the child to give a “high five” and the child knows just what to do. How clever! My kids have gotten so used to doing these kinds of projects that they know just what to do without much fuss or mess.

I hope you enjoy making these handprint fireworks as much as we did. Wishing you and yours a safe and fun 4th of July!  Please take a moment to reflect on how lucky we are to have our freedoms and to live in this great country. Cheers!

My posts are partying at these fun Link Parties and Blog Hops!

Greek Chicken Kabobs

Greek Chicken Kabobs

These greek chicken kabobs are incredibly flavorful and a perfect option for both outdoor and indoor grilling. Chunks of chicken breast are drenched in lemon, garlic, oregano, and olive oil before being skewered with loads of colorful vegetables. Everything comes off the grill tender, juicy, and insanely delicious.

While the original döner kebab originates from Turkey, today’s recipe is a fusion with Mediterranean cuisine. And since easy meals loaded with flavor are my specialty – believe me when I say that no one can resist these light and healthy chicken and vegetable skewers drenched in the flavors of Greece.

Using my Greek salad dressing as the base for the marinade, all you need to do is thread everything onto a skewer, grill it and voila – you’re done! Serve these with my tzatziki sauce (or vegan tzatziki) for an extra punch of flavor.

 

INGREDIENTS FOR GREEK CHICKEN KABOBS

Let’s be honest, these kabobs are all about that bright and zesty marinade. Not only does it flavor the chicken, but can be brushed onto the vegetables while grilling. For the best results, you’ll need…

  • Chicken breasts: Cut into 1 ½-inch pieces, they’ll cook quickly.
  • Fresh vegetables: Choose red onion, bell peppers, zucchini and squash for their bright colors and fast cooking time on the grill.
  • Lemon: Only fresh will do!
  • Olive oil: Look for a Greek blend for authentic flavor, but any good quality olive oil is fine.
  • Red Wine Vinegar: Gives that robust, punchy flavor and helps to tenderize the meat.
  • Garlic: Fresh minced garlic cloves are best, but garlic powder will work too.
  • Dried oregano: Lends a touch of Greek flavor to the marinade.
  • Dijon mustard: My secret ingredient for adding depth of flavor.

Ingredients for Greek chicken kabobs on table.

HOW TO GRILL CHICKEN KABOBS

Skewers make this recipe easy when it comes to grilling. But first, let’s make sure your chicken and vegetables are prepped and ready to go.

  1. Cube the chicken. Cut the breasts into bite-sized pieces and place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Marinate the chicken. Whisk together the marinade ingredients and mix with the cubed chicken. Then cover and place it in the fridge to marinate for about one hour.
  3. Prep the vegetables. Cut all of the vegetables into the same-size chunks as the chicken.
  4. Assemble the kabobs. Thread the marinated chicken on metal or bamboo skewers, alternating with vegetables.
  5. Grill the kabobs. Turn the skewers and baste with remaining marinade until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are lightly charred.

The process of how to make Greek Chicken Kebabs.

CAN YOU BAKE CHICKEN KABOBS IN THE OVEN?

Absolutely! If you don’t have a grill, oven baked kabobs are just as good. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F/200°C.
  2. Prep and assemble your kabobs, then place them on a rack on top of a baking sheet.
  3. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

TIPS FOR THE BEST GREEK CHICKEN KABOBS

While this recipe is super simple, here’s a few tips to make your kabobs even better.

  • Cut all ingredients the same size. Slice the chicken and vegetables into 11/2-inch cubes or pieces so everything on the skewers will be ready at the same time.
  • Soak your skewers. To keep bamboo skewers from burning on the grill, soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before assembling the kabobs. Or better yet, buy my favorite metal skewers!
  • Thread skewers tightly. Since the chicken and vegetables will shrink as they cook, you’ll want to pack the skewers with ingredients so they stay looking full and beautiful!

Skewers of greek chicken kabobs with a bowl of tzaztiki.

INGREDIENTS

MARINADE

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

CHICKEN KABOBS

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 3 large chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces.
1 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1 1/2-Inch pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 red onion, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks
1 zucchini, sliced

INSTRUCTIONS

1. To make the marinade, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, dried oregano, salt, and pepper.

2. Place chicken pieces in a glass dish and pour the marinade over the chicken. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least one hour.

3. Light a gas or charcoal grill on medium-high heat. Thread the skewers with pieces of red onion, chicken, zucchini, and bell pepper. You can alternate the order.

4. Place the kabobs on the preheated grill, and cook about 5-7 minutes per side. The kabobs are done when the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are lightly charred, about 15 minutes.

5. Serve with lemon wedges and tzatziki sauce.

TIPS

  • To Store: Place leftovers in an airtight container and store for up to 3 days in the fridge.
  • To Freeze: Use a freezer-safe bag or container and store for up to 3 months.
  • To Reheat: Simply re-heat in the microwave until the chicken and vegetables are warmed through.
  • This is the indoor grill pan I use on top of my stove.

 

NUTRITION

CALORIES: 135kcal, CARBOHYDRATES: 11g, PROTEIN: 10g, FAT: 6g, SATURATED FAT: 1g, CHOLESTEROL: 24mg, SODIUM: 460mg, POTASSIUM: 487mg, FIBER: 3g, SUGAR: 6g, VITAMIN A: 1395iu, VITAMIN C: 77mg, CALCIUM: 42mg, IRON: 1mg

Set The Clock – It Is Time To Speed Clean Your Laptop

Set The Clock – It Is Time To Speed Clean Your Laptop

Or most of us, our laptops are filled with everything from photos (and plenty of them are double), files, big old files you don’t remember using, music, videos, work, work and more work… 

Not to mention many apps that you haven’t opened after the free trial expired – it is time to clean house. 

Laptops that are filled with old, big and unused files are still going to use memory and power to hold all of that information. 

And, when you need to search for something, the laptop will go through those files, too – making the process take much longer. 

So without taking too much time, who really has a lot of free time to clean up a laptop? Here are things you can do to quickly and efficiently get your laptop back in excellent working order – without the fuss. 

Duplicates

When you take photos, do you take three or four in a row and then never get around to choosing the best one and getting rid of the rest? If that sounds like you, then you could have more duplicates than you know what to do with. 

They take up a lot of space and pretty quickly. 

Most people don’t have the time or the inclination to find the duplicates manually, but there are great software options that can help you find duplicates at speed – and delete them. 

Most of the software options will show you all of the duplicates they have found so you can double-check them. But if you are going for speed, then you most likely won’t want to check them all. But it is worth taking a second glance if you know there are some treasured memories on there – like photos of your childhood pet or people you have lost. 

Downloads 

Do you still need the downloaded tickets from the family event you went to 3 years ago? Do you still need the brief that your client sent you a few months ago? 

Anything that is still in your emails you can do without. In which case, it is time to head into the downloads folder and get rid of everything you don’t need. 

If you diligently move everything out of your downloaders folder, then you might have to take a little extra time to find things. 

Cache

You’d probably be surprised about just how many temporary files are clogging up your computer and slowing it down. Clearing your computer’s cache is one of the longer tasks, but there are some software options that make it much quicker. 

For a windows laptop:

  1. Type Disk Cleanup in the search bar, and click Disk Cleanup when it appears.
  2. Let it work its magic – you will see a list, and you can select which files get cleaned.
  3. Tick temporary files and decide on the rest.
  4. Click delete files. 

For a MacBook: open Disk Utilities, go to first aid and click repair. This will scan and patch anything that needs to be taken care of. 

Files

This might be the longest part of the job if you can’t make decisions, but otherwise, it can be very swift. To make grouping easy, choose broad subjects like client work, household, reading, writing, art – or whatever makes sense to you. 

Start working through your files and putting them where they should go – it can be a working process; this is more about making a start. 

Once the folders are in place, it is time for you to make sure that every new thing that you add to your computer is put in the correct file straight away. This will prevent clutter. 

Any files that haven’t been opened in the last 6 months can be shipped to an external hard drive or deleted. 

Apps

If you can’t remember the last time you opened a specific file type and the app that it pertains to, it is time to say goodbye to that app. Applications take up a huge chunk of memory, and often it is a case of out of sight out of mind. Since you aren’t opening them constantly, you might forget that they are there. 

Be ruthless, even if you have a soft spot for that Adobe software that you used once or the app that is designed to help you work more productively that you never used after the first week. 

Commit to them or bin them! 

As you go, it can be pretty interesting to see just how much memory you are getting back. 

Cleaning your laptop is a great way to prepare it for your next big project, and if you’re into DIY, then check out this: Craft Room DIY for $120 or less! – Savvy Nana.