Category Archives: Crafts

Try Upcycling Instead of Buying New

Upcycling is really trending now, having gained momentum over the last few years with no signs of slowing down. Upcycling is when you reuse materials to create something new. It can be as simple as giving an old piece of furniture a fresh coat of paint and a new purpose, or as crafty as creating something from what some think is junk. Upcycling is a great way to add new pieces and elements to your home for much less than buying new.

1| Jars

Old pickle and jelly jars can be reused as storage pots for makeup brushes, craft materials, and so many other things. Clean them out, and use glass paint to give it a new chic look, paint the lid to compliment them and place them around the house.

2| Cans

By drilling holes around a tin can and painting it, you can create a candle holder that shines dots of lights all over the place. Alternatively, you can attach cord through two holes and create rustic planters.

3| Bed Frame

Normally it’s the slats that give out on the bed before the rest of the frame. Use it again by cutting the end in half and fixing them to the headboard as armrests, and using the sides as the seat of your new bench. You can paint it with bright colors to really lighten up your garden.

4| Pallets

Pallets are the miracle material; they are made and discarded everywhere. You can often get this discarded wood for free of minimal money from a local delivery yard. You can make shelving, benches, a garden sofa, or even tables from these things. If you’re making a big piece of furniture, then use something like a guide to choosing a functional dining table set to help with dimensions and styles.

5| Tires

People often replace their tires twice a year – for winter and summer. But what do you do with your old tires? Why not take them home and turn them into garden furniture. Create a lid/seat and base out of plywood. Attach the base but use seating foam and fabric to cover the loose lid. If you like the look of the tire then just paint it, or you can use rope to disguise it.

6| End Table

An old or extra end table can easily be made into an ottoman. Use a thick piece of furniture foam and upholstery fabric on the top of the table. If you need to, cut down the legs to the right height and paint it.

7| Doorknobs

Interesting and fun doorknobs don’t have to be thrown out when the door is. Use them on other upcycled furniture, on the top of boxes and even as coat hooks.

8| Tiles

Chipped or odd tiles are usually thrown out by hardware stores and decorators. There are three great ways to upcycle tiles; the first is to polish them up and use them as drink coasters. The second is to tile the top of a table with them, and the third, is to use them to create a  garden path.

This is a sponsored guest post that may or may not reflect the ideals or views of Mommy Ramblings.

 


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Filed under Crafts, DIY, Home & Garden, sponsored guest post

Candy Corn Painted Rocks-DIY Craft Tutorial

It seems that rock painting is all the rage now. I certainly was ahead of my time and ahead of this craze. I love painting rocks, river rocks are my favorite. Gathering them is a fun family adventure we all look forward to.

Sometimes I know exactly what size and shape rocks I want. This is due to the fact, that I have a specific project in mind. Other times, I try to find rocks that inspire me.  You might not think rocks can inspire people, but they can!  I see them as a blank canvas and they speak to me…well, some of them do.

A few rocks I made for my daughter.

I can  clearly visualize the masterpiece they can become. Sometimes it is a fish, ladybug or owl, and other times it is a heart. One of my favorite projects was making rock candy corn.

The one that started it.

It was so much fun to find the shapes I needed. Since I wanted to make a candy corn family that represented ours, when I found the especially tall and thin triangular river rock, I literally squealed with delight. That rock clearly represented my son Michael, it was so easy to see. I asked my youngest sons, who were gathering rocks with me, and they wholeheartedly agreed. It was definitely Michael, no doubt about it.

A Trip to find triangular rocks.

All you need is some acrylic craft paint, paint brushes, paint markers for detail painting and ModPodge sealer. If you want you can paint your rocks white on both sides first. It will take at least 2 coats of paint to get nice coverage.

When the tri color rocks are dry, you can then add personality with the paint markers.

He reminds me of Bozo!

Use ModPodge to seal and protect your creations.

This guy makes me laugh!

Please let me know if you try this project, I would love to hear about your results.

 They needed personality, so I gave them some!!!

 


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Filed under Crafts, DIY, Halloween, Tutorial

Encourage Creativity in Your Kids with Colortime Crafts & Markers

Encouraging creativity in your kids is a wonderful thing. Giving kids the freedom to express themselves by creating one-of-a kind masterpieces, is the perfect way to start.

Colortime Crafts and Markers has a wide selection of coloring pillowcases, t-shirts, backpacks, permanent fabric markers and more. They even have brand new glow-in-the-dark products too! Their products are perfect for birthday parties and sleepovers. Not only are they a fun craft activity for your next party, they double as a unique keepsake, party favor.

Special Discount Code 

Mommy Ramblings’ readers get a 15% discount on any order at Colortime Crafts and Markers when they use Promo Code FGH15 at checkout.

 

Click HERE for the latest online special offers and promo codes for Colortime Crafts and Markers. Let me know if this is something you would like to do with your kids or use at their next party. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

 


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Filed under Crafts, Discount Code, Parties, Review, USFG

Discover Bic Gel-ocity Gel Pens- Dry 3X Faster -#BicGelocity

If you have been bitten by the adult coloring book bug or love making colorful creations, chances are you will love the Bic Gel-ocity gel pens.

 

Bic Gel-ocity Pens come in vibrant colors and dry 3 times faster than other gel pens which means less chance of smudges. Perfect for kids and adults these gel pens write smoothly and produce stunning results. I tried them out recently and was very impressed. My kids loved them too. I cannot wait to use them with my adult coloring books while on vacation. See my video review of the pens below.

Bic Gel-ocity Gel Pens come in an array of colors and pack sizes. Have you tried them?

 

received this product for free from Smiley360 in order to facilitate my post. As always my words and views are 100% my own. 


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Filed under Crafts, Review, Smiley360

Get The Perfect Gifts For Your Little Princess This Easter

Easter is coming soon! You might not believe it, if you were slammed with the Blizzard like we were in the northeast but, it really is! If you are looking for quality, affordable gifts for girls ages 2 to 12, SmitCo LLC has a nice selection of diaries with lock and keys in Emoji and Diva themes, as well as several different nail art sets to provide hours of fun.

One of their new products, a Mermaid themed scrapbook kit is making a big splash! They also have 3 unique princess dress up sets that are very popular.

SmitCo products also include rose gold, gold or rhodium plated jewelry and sets, as well as very popular stretch sets for little girls – all packed in cute gift boxes.

Browse all their great products HERE! I am sure you will find some great gifts to put in your little girl’s Easter basket to make her feel like a princess.

Mommy Ramblings’ readers can take 20% Off Their Entire Cart Of Gifts when they use coupon code N3CQD6AE at checkout. Check them out and let me know what you think.

 


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Send Joy With These Free Printable Holiday Cards!

When you’ve been around for more than 40 years, Cricket Media has some best-loved annual traditions.  And a long-time favorite of Cricket fans has been FREE printable cards for the holidays!
For the 2016 holiday season, Cricket Media has selected 10 of their favorite holiday illustrations and created beautiful cards for you to share and send to loved ones.
 
To print them out, visit FREE HOLIDAY CARDS and 
follow the instructions.  
And, by all means, please share them with your friends and family!
It’s not too late to give the gift of reading this holiday season with a subscription to one of Cricket Media’s award-winning parenting magazines.  To truly embody the spirit of the season, you may want to explore Cricket’s “Double the Giving” Campaign.

Any gift-giver purchasing an annual print subscription to one of four different Cricket publications will also deliver the gift of reading to a child in an underserved community through two award-winning, charitable partners: Libraries Without Borders and Parent-Child Home Program, both 2016 Library of Congress Literacy Award Winners.  Each subscription bundle to BABYBUG (ages 6 mos.-3), LADYBUG (ages 3-6), SPIDER (ages 6-9) or CRICKET (ages 9-14) is priced at $29.95 (regularly $33.95), and is guaranteed to spark a life-long love of reading!
Best wishes for a warm, wonderful holiday season!

 


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Filed under Crafts, Creative Activities, Holiday

Stinky & Dirty Can Help Teach Kids Problem Solving Skills! #StinkyAndDirty

This post has been sponsored by Amazon Studios.

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I don’t know if you have any little boys in your house but my little guys love trucks, playing outside and best of all getting dirty. Playing with their trucks in the sand, dirt or best of all mud is just the greatest thing. What’s a mom to do besides directing them to the shower and remembering that someone said dirt is good for them? Did someone say dirt is good for them? I hope so because I could swear I heard that and that is what I am going to continue thinking.

You can imagine their delight when they watched the new Amazon Original Series, The Stinky & Dirty Show. Stinky is a garbage truck and well, the name certainly fits. Dirty is a backhoe loader that is constantly working with dirt and so his name fits equally well. The two are the best of friends and this strange duo are even what you might call heroes. They are quite creative and love challenges. They constantly ask themselves “What If” when trying to tackle issues or when obstacles are in their way. The series is based on the books by Jim and Kate McMullan and was written and developed by Guy Toube. You can stream the episodes free on Amazon if you have Prime. If you don’t you can still watch 1 episode for free.

stinky & Dirty Show

My kids loved the series from the get go and I enjoyed it as well because it teaches kids good problem solving skills. Problem solving skills are something everyone needs because things rarely go as planned and obstacles, challenges and road blocks are something we all face. In order to achieve our goals we must find ways to tackle those obstacles, overcome the challenges and remove the road blocks. Stinky & Dirty show kids that when things get tough the tough find solutions.

Kids can get frustrated when something does not go as they hoped. This series can help them see they need to think and talk about other ways to figure out the solution. They will learn the importance of negotiation and brainstorming with others. In the end they will see that when they keep going instead of giving up, they can reach their goals.  As a mom, I feel this is such an important life lesson. I come across many adults who do not have problem solving skills. If a hurdle comes across their path, they fall instead of learning what they need to do to jump that hurdle. The earlier kids are introduced and learn problem solving skills, the better off they will be.

In the Jump at the Dump episode Stinky & Dirty face many challenges creating a stunt course for Jumpy the stunt cycle who needs a new venue to perform her show. They have to figure out how to make mud that has just the right amount of “sploosh” for Jumpy. Their first challenge is to find a way to direct the water from a spigot to the dirt. When their first idea does not work, they come up with another and when that does not work, they brainstorm another way until they find the perfect solution. The way Jumpy and Stinky talk to each other and ask each other “What If” helps them find the solutions they need to complete their tasks.

stinky and dirty collage resize

In an episode titled  The Art of Trash, Stinky & Dirty clean up a vacant lot full of trash to make a park, but when they can’t remove some large items, they turn the items into a trash sculpture instead! This is similar to turning trash into treasure or finding ways to recycle and re-purpose things that might normally end up in a landfill. My kids and I just made some Frankenstein Monsters for Halloween decorating using some old scrap cut off boards that were in our basement.

With some green craft paint, we painted the boards and then added some foam embellishments to create hair, eyebrows and a tooth. We used a permanent black marker to draw the mouth and a paint marker for the nose. Then to really make it authentic we screwed two bolts into either side.

dirty and stinky

You can have a lot of fun with this and there are other monsters and Halloween critters you can create in this fashion. You can create a mummy if you wrap the board in gauze and add two googly eyes. Make a Jack O’ Lantern by painting the wood orange and using black paint or foam to create eyes and a mouth, add a green bow or green block to the top to serve as the stem.

Whatever you make, your kids will have a great time and learn all about re-purposing and recycling, another great life skill that will improve their world. Let me know if you have watched The Stinky & Dirty Show and what you think. I would love to see your thoughts in the comments.

 


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Filed under Crafts, Creative Activities, Entertainment, kids, Review, Tutorial

Check Out These Star Wars & Harry Potter IncrediBuilds! #Giveaway

I hope everyone is enjoying their August and soaking up every minute of summer they can. I want to share some exciting news with you from IncrediBuilds. They have a new line of 3D wooden models that just launched in July! IncrediBuilds combines crafting with popular characters, animals and monuments to make 3D wood models that are unique and customizable.

Insights 2

There are a variety of model kits to choose from like; Harry Potter’s Dobby, Star Wars’ R2-D2, Finding Nemo’s Dory, the Eiffel Tower, and much more. The kits are eco-friendly and are made of FSC-certified wood that is laser cut along with step-by-step instructions to assemble the model.

There is also a deluxe book that is included with each model that gives young builders a closer look at the characters or figures they are building. These books are full of fun facts and behind-the-scenes information. The models vary in skill level and are intended for children and adults ages 8 and up.

insights-4

 

The fun does not end when the  IncrediBuilds model is complete, kids can bring it to life with paints, glitter, and any other decorations they choose to personalize their model. Decorating tips and ideas are included with every IncrediBuilds model. This is a way to really allow kids the freedom to let their imagination and creativity soar! Watch the video HERE to learn more.

We had a lot of fun building a Star Wars Ty-Fighter and Dobby from Harry Potter. It was fun to do with our kids and we love how they turned out. What do you think?

Insights

Insights 1

Giveaway:

If you would like a chance to win a kit like this, you can enter by clicking HERE. Hurry and enter because he giveaway ends August 26th. Good Luck!!!

I received these kits from IncrediBuilds to facilitate my post. As always my words and views are 100% my own.

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Filed under Crafts, Creative Activities, Family Fun, Gift, Giveaway, kids, Review

Spoil Your Cat With This Easy To Make Cat Bed #yougottabekittenme

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #yougottabekittenme #CollectiveBias

cat bed hero new

I love DIY projects, I really like the challenge and the end results. Well, usually I love the end results, we all have the fails along the way. Speaking of fails, have you ever used a cat litter that just did not do the job? That is super embarrassing.  I found the solution easily strolling the pet aisle at my local Sam’s Club. I recently purchased Fresh Step Total Control with the power of Febreze clumping cat litter.

fresh step in store collage

This product is phenomenal for really tackling ammonia odor because it has Borate Technology which also works to stop the growth of odor-causing bacteria. The lemongrass citrus scent has a fresher aroma than any cat litter we have used in the past.

I was glad to see it was available in a 42lb bag that is so easy to carry and it’s resealable. This litter is featured in the May Instant Savings Book and Sam’s Club Members get $3.50 off from 5/22 thru 6/5. The offer is already loaded onto member’s cards and offered in the Instant Savings Book.

Max even seems to appreciate the change to Fresh Step Total Control with the power of Febreze litter and we always love to show our appreciation for Max. Max is a loyal and true feline member of our family. Even though Max is an adult cat, he is still as playful as a kitten. I know that having fun toys and places to hide and sleep are fun for Max.

We got a great idea to make him a cozy little tent type bed and hideout. It was really easy and I wanted to share for our readers who may want to replicate this project for their own feline family members.

The cozy cat bed is very easy to make. You start with a base of 15” by 15”. You can use a thick corrugated cardboard or other similar material. You need to be able to make 4 holes in the corners, so keep that in mind when choosing your base.

For this project you will need:

#yougottabekittenme

Get your  15″ x 15″ corrugated cardboard base. You can glue two pieces of cardboard together for extra strength for your base. Then cover with the vinyl adhesive. It does not need to be perfect as you are not going to see this and it will be covered.

cat bed base

You need to take the wire hangers and untwist the top. The trim the wire so you have two equal size pieces. You will shape each piece to form an arch. Then you will poke each end in a corner of the base and allow a half inch to poke through. You  then take your pliers and bend that and then tape it flat against the under side of the base. Repeat with the other 3 corners.

cat bed wire

cat bed corner hole

cat bed underside tape

 

Where the wire pieces intersect on the top you want to place some duct tape around that to hold it together.

cat bed frame

Once all that is secure, take your t-shirt and with the open end place it over the structure so that the opening for he head is situated in the lower center of the front to create the entrance.

cat bed t shirt

cat bed t shirt over

You then use the safety pins to secure the sleeves and bottom of the shirt to the bottom of the cat bed. This will give it a tidy, finished appearance.

cat bed pins

Last but not least add a nice cozy blanket or thick towel for kitty’s comfort.

cat bed done

cat bed max

The nice thing is you can take the t-shirt off to wash or to switch it out if it becomes worn or you want a new look. Max just loves his new cozy hang out.

Max has it pretty good but we know a lot of cats don’t and that is due to overpopulation. That is why we donated $100 to The Animal Rights Alliance Inc., T.A.R.A.  They are a not-for-profit organization providing low cost spay and neuter services. They serve Sullivan, Orange, Rockland, Putnam and Dutchess counties in NY state. T.A.R.A  is able to help animals only through generous contributions. Their fees do not cover the cost for our program services. They rely on grants and public donations to subsidize the amount needed in order to make spaying and neutering affordable to everyone. If you would like to learn more about T.A.R.A. you can visit their website HERE.

Max is having a blast with his new bed. I hope you will let me know what you think of this easy way to spoil your four-legged family member and if you are using or plan to try Fresh Step Total Control with the power of Febreze litter. Please let me know in the comments.


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Filed under Crafts, DIY, Home, Mommy Ramblings, Pets

A Smart Way To Inspire Creativity In You Child! #SocialBttrflyCo

I guess I would consider myself a pretty creative person. I love trying my hand at new things, enjoy art projects, crafts, DIY and more. I would say it has rubbed off on just about all of my 5 kids in some way, shape or form. We love painting river rocks, making ornaments, tackling a new DIY project together and making all kids of things. My daughter is a champion knitter as well.  My husband joins in too and so I think all 7 of us are a creative bunch.

If you have a creative child or maybe you want to do your best to inspire some creativity, I have something great to share. Smart Art Box is a month subscription art box. Every month it arrives filled with the instruments and supplies to inspire the artist in us all!

Each month, your box will feature a range of top-shelf FULL SIZED art supplies – from acrylic paint to polymer clay – plus a project to go along with it to help teach and inspire your inner artist.

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PROJECTS FOR EVERYONE

The project’s are unique and cultural. We create projects that give a quick step by step to help those who are new, and guide those that are seasoned. We also provide tips to help new and old artists gain invaluable new skills.

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THE TOOLS YOU NEED

With each medium come the tools to manipulate it and bring out the strength that each style can achieve.

smart art

Smart Art was created by a small group of friends, driven by the desire to see the world and experience the culture created by historical visionaries. Along the way, they found inspiration in the many mediums found everywhere, from the poorest of villages, to the most prestigious of cities. Each medium expressed the artist’s individual communities, heritage and personality. For this reason, inspired by the passion portrayed in their art, a new determination was born to pursue and discover the many exciting art mediums across the world.

Together, they are committed to ensuring artists understand art and it’s many mediums throughout time in order to create a better understanding of the world around us. Their mission is to deliver products that kindle creativity, stimulate exciting new techniques and establish a deeper connection with art for everyone.

We received our Smart Art Box and were so impressed with everything inside, full size products, everything we need and instruction to guide and inspire us. I will be updating very soon with our masterpieces. This is certainly  “Happy Mail for a family like ours and I would bet it would be for yours too!

smart art mine

smart art mine 1

You can visit Smart Art on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.  Let me know if you do try Smart Art Box of if you are already receiving monthly creativity delivered to your doorstep.

 

 

I was provided with a Smart Art Box to facilitate this post as a blogger working with @SocialBttrflyCo.  As always my words and views are always 100% my own.

 


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Filed under Art, Crafts, hobby, kids, Review