In our family Father’s Day is sometimes overlooked, lost in the hustle and bustle of summer vacations, family reunions, and other events. This year due to the Pandemic I don’t think we’re going anywhere. I doubt we’ll even let the kids go to the mall or the movies, assuming those places are even open. So making dad a cool gift will give the kids something to do to break up the monotony of staying home all summer.
I showed the different ideas to my grandsons, Dion and Devon, they both loved the comic book decoupage frames and boxes. Devon especially loved the frames and wanted to put his picture wearing his Captain America costume in them. Definitely right up his alley! Dion decided he’d make the boxes and fill them with candy, he knows how much his dad and uncles like candy. He’s filling his poppa’s box with coffee K-cups, his poppa’s a big coffee drinker.
These ideas came from Crafts by Amanda, aside from the frames and boxes she also makes comic strip magnets. She uses comic book pages from comic books she was lucky enough to find at a garage sale for a quarter. We weren’t so lucky, we didn’t have any old comic books laying around and I didn’t want to hit the garage sales in search of any. Instead I found some free images of comic strips online (there are many, just do a google search for “free comic strip images”) and printed them to use for our craft projects, they worked just fine.
I found the unfinished frames at the Walmart craft department, they cost $1.11 a frame. The paper mache boxes came from our local craft store and were $4.39 each for the large oval ones. The boxes come in many shapes and sizes and ranged in price from $1.99 on up. Mod Podge can be purchased at Walmart’s craft department and most other craft stores. We used small sponge brushes that we got from Home Depot for .54 cents each, they have them at Walmart in the craft and paint departments as well. This whole project ( 4 frames & 4 boxes) cost me less than $30 and I still have lots of Mod Podge glue and sealer left for future projects. So the average cost for each frame and each box is about $3.75. A great deal!
We pretty much followed the directions found on her site but added extra coats of Mod Podge glue(affiliate link)and a coat of Mod Podge gloss sealer(affiliate link). Thanks to Crafts by Amanda we came up with super Father’s Day gifts that didn’t cost much and were very easy to make. The boys made 4 frames and 4 boxes in a couple of hours, that’s including drying time between coats! (The boys went out to play while they waited for the glue to dry, they are very good multi-taskers!)
I found that working with comic strip pages is very forgiving, the print is so busy you don’t really notice flaws such as wrinkles and seams. A great craft for kids who aren’t always patient about gluing things together!
*Clicking on affiliate links will take you to our Amazon affiliate.
Here are instructions for the frames and boxes!
Supplies for frame:
Comic Books or printed comic strip images – if you are going to print them be sure to adjust the size on the printer so that the image will fill the page otherwise you may end up with a tiny image surrounded by white paper.
1. Position the frame on top of the comic strip page as best as you can so that you can have the images you want on the frame. The boys tried to get as much of the super hero’s image on the frame as possible by shifting the wood frame around until they were satisfied that they weren’t cutting off “vital” parts. Trace frame onto comic strip page with pencil. To get the desired images you may have to trace two “C” shaped strips and connecting them when you position them on the wood frame. We didn’t need to so we just traced the whole frame and the inside part as well. Remember the rectangle you cut out of the middle won’t be placed on the wood frame. We saved those pieces for later should we decide to make them into magnets or other craft.
2. Cut out the traced shape being careful to cut the middle opening out without cutting into the surrounding piece. Should you nip a bit of the outer piece don’t worry too much about it. You don’t need to start all over, just glue it securely in place later on, you’ll probably hardly notice it.
3. Brush a light coat of glue on the wood frame and on the backside of the strip or strips you will be using. Allow to dry for 5 minutes.
4. Carefully position the comic strips onto the glue coated wood frame (place the side of the comic strip you brushed glue on to the frame – both glue coated surfaces should be together). The strip should lightly adhere to the wood.
5. Working from the middle of the frame out, gently lift off the comic strip section by section and press onto the frame to work out bubbles and wrinkles. You may have to dab on a bit more glue so that the strip sticks to the wood well.
6. When you’re satisfied with the placement and have made sure there are no wrinkles or bubbles brush on a coat of glue over the entire surface. You don’t have to soak the paper, just be sure you get the glue brushed on evenly on the whole frame. Allow to dry 10 -15 mins, or until it’s no longer sticky. We had a fan on so it didn’t take our glue to dry, it dried in about 5 minutes.
7. Once the glue is dry check the frame, you may have to trim off excess paper at this point.
8. Brush on 3 – 4 more coats of glue, allowing glue to dry between each coat. About 10 – 15 minutes drying time between coats.
9. After your last coat of glue allow the frame to dry for an hour.
10. Spray on acrylic finish. This is a job for adults to do outdoors or in a well ventilated area. If you’re sensitive to chemicals wear a mask when applying the acrylic finish, it has a very strong smell and can’t be healthy. Allow to dry at least an hour before inserting your photo. We let ours dry overnight.
1. If you want to spray paint your box before applying the comic strip you can spray paint it in what ever color you want. Allow it to dry completely before proceeding to glue on comic strips. We didn’t paint ours.
2. Position the lid on the comic strip page, try to include the images you want to apply to the lid. Trace the shape of the lid on the page.
3. Cut out the traced shape.
4. Cut out 2 strips of the page in the width you desire – you can cut them as wide ad the sides of the box or slimmer so that you will have plain edges on the top and bottom.
5. Brush glue on the box lid, sides of the box, and on the backside of your comic strips. Allow to dry 5 minutes.
6. Position the comic strips to on the lid and sides of the box.
7. Working from the middle, gently lift off the paper and work out bubbles and wrinkles as you press it on to the box.
8. When you’re satisfied with the placement and are sure you’ve worked out all bubbles and wrinkles brush on a coat of glue on the comic strips. Don’t soak the paper, just be sure the glue is spread evenly. Allow to dry 10 – 15 minutes.
9. Once the glue is dry check all sides of the box and lid. You may have to trim away excess paper so that the comic strip is even with the lid and box.
10. Brush on 3 – 4 more coats of glue, allowing glue to dry between each coat. About 10 – 15 minutes drying time between coats.
11. After your last coat of glue allow the frame to dry for an hour.
12. Spray on acrylic finish. This is a job for adults to do outdoors or in a well ventilated area. If you’re sensitive to chemicals wear a mask when applying the acrylic finish, it has a very strong smell and can’t be healthy. Allow to dry at least an hour before inserting your photo. We let ours dry overnight.
Fill box with what ever you want or nothing at all, the boxes make great storage for cufflinks, coins, and other small stuff.
Mother’s Day is fast approaching, this year it’s Sunday, May 10th. If you usually take mom out for brunch, lunch, or dinner I doubt it’s going to be the same this year. Most of us are still quarantined, whether self imposed or mandated. But really with the COVID-19 virus still running rampant and without a cure or vaccine in sight do you really want to risk mom’s health, and yours, by dining out?
So instead of going out how about giving mom a gift instead? And what better gift to give mom than something made lovingly for her. Here are some really unique ideas that kids can make with just a bit of help from dad, aunties, or older siblings. Moms can make them too for grandmas, friends, and aunties!
And if you’re like me and don’t really want to go out to shop for supplies there are some ideas here that you won’t need to. I’m sure you have some of the supplies right at home, you’ve probably been using them to keep the kids occupied these last couple of months in quarantine. If not, then just get creative and improvise! So go ahead, have fun and get the whole family involved!
This is one of my favorite gifts, my grandson Devon made it for me a few years ago.
His mom, my daughter, helped him make the hand print tree and write the poem. She then had it framed and Devon presented it to me on Mother’s Day. It proudly hangs in our family room. Here’s the poem, feel free to use it for your projects.
I love this idea of taking a picture in a frame, my daughter did this with her kids last fall!
This pic was done by Moose Photography, professional photographers and posted by Cool Mom Picks But you can DIY it!
You’ll need the same frame in 3-4 sizes depending on how many generations you want to include. Take a photo of the smallest member, the baby, frame that. Take a photo of the next, mom, holding the framed picture of the baby, frame that.
Continue with each generation, grandma, great-grandma, etc.
Be sure the pictures are all taken using the same background.
This is too cute!
This idea came from Tips from a Typical Mom.
Just take photos of your child in 5 different poses, each pose holding a letter to spell “Mommy”. Mat and from the photos. Easy peasy! Great gift for Moms and Grandmas!
These photo flowers in a card stand are adorable and easy to make.
The holiday countdown has begun, we’re all very busy getting ready. We’re shopping, baking, wrapping, decorating, entertaining, and crafting! I know many of us are trying to get as much done before school lets out for the winter break.
Here are some crafty ideas to keep the kids busy when they’re home and gets them involved in this year’s holiday preparations.
If you’re playing the neighborhood holiday game “You’ve Been Jingled” let the kids join the fun!
They’ll love the idea! They can help make up the gift baskets and older kids can even drop them off!
They’ll love the idea of ringing a neighbor’s door way and disappearing without being seen!
For FREE game printable click here!
The Thanksgiving table can get very crowded. What with the turkey, side dishes, gravy, and sauces, there’s no place for anyone to actually sit down and eat! I solved this problem long ago by setting up a Thanksgiving Buffet Table for all the food and having an adult table as well as a kids’ table.
Depending on the space you have and the number of guests you are expecting this could take some doing. You might consider setting up different stations or bars; appetizer, sides, desserts, and drinks; or any combination there of. If you’re limited on space your stations may have to do double duty after dinner; appetizer station can be converted to dessert bar.
You may have to think out of the box and re-purpose furniture pieces to hold food and tableware. You will more than likely have to rearrange furniture to accomplish your goal. However you decide to set up the meal it will require advance planning, so much easier to move furniture without a ton of guests milling around.
Here are a few tips to help you set up a Thanksgiving Buffet Table.
1. Plan your serveware. Know ahead of time what dishes you will be using. I usually do this as soon as I’ve planned my menu, making a note beside each dish what I will be serving it in. Be creative, make your buffet interesting by adding height, this also creates space.
I love tiered stands and racks, but you don’t have to spend a fortune buying them. Stands can easily be made from dollar store items with very little time and effort. Check out Savvy Nana’s DIY Hurricane Vases & Lamps to learn how to make your own tiered stands.
You can also stack platters on upside down stemware or bowls to create height. Or use books or boxes wrapped in pretty paper. If you don’t have time to wrap books or boxes, just place them where you want them on the table and cover everything with a large tablecloth. You can even set Plates on pumpkins to create varying heights
For some great ideas on how to set a buffet table watch Kid’s Smart Living‘s video tutorial
A table in the middle of the room allows several guest access to the table at the same time, in this case taller dishes should be placed in the middle of the table. If the table needs to be set up against the wall meaning it will be front serving then taller dishes should be in the back.
2. Once you know which serving pieces you will be using you need to decide what you’re going to put them on. Breakfast tables, sideboards, baking racks, kitchen islands and counters work well as long as at least 2 people can serve themselves at the same time without blocking the way for everyone else. You may have to move furniture to accommodate the this traffic and arrange your serving ware accordingly.
Consider setting out trays of appetizers on coffee tables and end tables in the living or family rooms. This frees up space on the buffet table for the main event.
If you don’t have enough room on the table for plates and eating utensils consider setting up another table, shelf or rack to place them on.
Dinner plates stacked neatly on a chair will work![spacer height=”-100px” id=”8″]
Make use of all the flat surfaces in your house. Setting up a bar on the mantle works well![spacer height=”20px” id=”2″]
3. Keep eating utensils neat and within reach by placing them in mason or apothecary jars, or on trays.
4. Decorate your buffet or bar with centerpieces and even a backdrop. You don’t need table cards but they’re a nice touch as is a framed photo or sign. You can hand write your own on card stock or use one of these printable.
Quilting and sewing are skills that you can use to come up with amazing fabric designs. For instance, you can apply these skills to create a self-healing fabric. This is a fabric that is quite useful in architecture, among other fields. However, for you to make such amazing stuff, you need to gain the right fabric cutting skills. To help you out, here are the 4 easy tips for cutting fabric for quilting or sewing.
1. Get the right tools
For you to cut quilting or sewing fabric, you need to invest in the right tools. Otherwise, you will cut fabric in a way that doesn’t meet your requirements, for the end product you wish to make. One of the best ways to get the right tools is to make use of reviews. Reviews give you an idea of what others are saying about a specific product. They also help out with price comparisons to help you buy the best fabric-cutting tools. For instance, a review like www.quiltersreview.com is quite detailed and has variety in the tools reviewed, including mats. Checking it out can save you lots of money and time.
2. Start with the largest fabric
To have an easy time cutting fabric, start with the largest one. This will give you a perspective on things like colors, size, and shape of the end product. Once you have cut the largest fabric, which is also the outer layer, it becomes much easier to make patterns with the smaller pieces of fabric that are overlaid on it. To avoid costly mistakes, ensure that you get all the measurements right, before you embark on cutting it.
3. Get rid of the selvage
Selvages have no use in the sewing or quilting process. They are simply a part of the fabric as produced by the manufacturer. In fact, they tend to be tighter than the rest of the fabric, which makes them impractical to work with. For a perfect end product, get rid of them before you start quilting or sewing whatever product you wish to make. However, get the right skills first before you cut it off. You can get such information online, and avoid making a mistake that could ruin the entire fabric.
4. Fold the fabric right before cutting
Once you have the right fabric, and have removed the selvage, it is time to cut the fabric. To get it right, fold the fabric once. Do not overdo the folds as this could lead to errors when cutting. For a perfect cut, hold the fabric as close to you as possible. This will help you get the right angle, and most importantly, have the cut run straight. Holding the fabric away from you means you will not have a good view of the ruler line, which is an essential guide to properly cutting the fabric.
If you follow these tips, you should be in a position to make amazing products from any type of fabric. It will be fun, especially after you build up experience in cutting fabric.
Halloween is fast approaching, decking out your home in ghostly glory is half the fun. Who says you have to break your budget to have an awesome Halloween display. With a little creativity, items you probably already have at home, and a quick trip to the dollar store you too can have some ghoulish fun to fit any budget. Here are some awesome Halloween Decor made from dollar store finds!
Take a trip to the Dollar Store for some witches hats and other gruesome stuff for this Halloween Decor.
Floating witch’s hats, like these from brooklynlimestone.com , creepy crawly spiders, spooky skeletons, and bloody hands are no problem. With a bit of fishing line, some tape, black paper, twigs, paint, and some imagination your “haunted” house is sure to get raves from friends and family.
Here’s another cheap Halloween Decor idea using dollar store spiders!
Have plastic spiders crawl on doors and walls. To see more creepy ideas check out my blog about decorating with glow sticks.