Easy Santa ornaments

santa belt ornament Let Santa’s jolly belt decorate the tree this year. The ornament is easy enough to make that you can get the kids involved. Make sure you cover your work surface if you are making these with the kids.  If your kids are anything like mine you might want to cover them too.  These ornaments are fun and easy to make  and look very nice on the tree.

Materials for Santa ornament:

  • Dow STYROFOAM Brand Foam Ball, 3”
  • Polyform Sculpey III Black Oven-Bake Clay
  • Silver bead
  • Black glittered ribbon, 7/8” wide, 10” length
  • Silver metallic cording
  • Polyform Sculpey: Acrylic Roller, Clay Tool Starter Set, Clay Mat
  • DecoArt Americana Tuscan Red Acrylic Paint
  • DecoArt Metallic Lustre Silver Spark Wax Finish
  • Parchment-lined baking sheet and oven
  • Beacon Adhesives Gem-Tac Permanent Glue

Basic Supplies for Santa Ornament

  • straight pins, paintbrush, ruler, newspaper (to cover work surface)

Directions for Santa Ornament:

1. While holding ball in your hand, paint the top half of the ball Tuscan Red.  Stick pins into painted surface to make tripod or stand. Set the ball on pins.  Paint other half and let the ball dry.
2. Pinch off one segment of clay; condition with fingers until soft and pliable. Using roller, roll clay to 1/4” thickness on mat. ( you can stack paper up on each side of roller to get the 1/4″ size)
3. Using knife from Starter Set, cut out 2” square. Cut and remove 1” square from center of 2” square, creating the buckle shape. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, bake buckle on parchment-lined baking sheet in oven.
4. Remove the clay pieces from oven. Let the clay cool completely.
5. Adhere ribbon around center of ball then trim ends.
6. Using fingers, apply Silver Spark to buckle.
7. Adhere buckle to ball, covering ribbon ends.
8. Insert silver cord through bead; adhere to top of ball for hanger. Knot the ends.
Make as many Santa ornaments as you would like.

gummy worm brownie dirt cups with realistic earthworms

gummy worm dirtGummy worm brownie dirt cups with realistic earthworms are on my menu this Halloween season.  Most kids would love to creep out adults with these realistic gummy earthworms. Not me!  I like to gross out my kids and these gummy worms look so realistic.  I ordered the realistic gummy earthworms from Oriental Trading and they sent the product samples in exchange for my honest review. And let’s be honest…THEY ARE AWESOME!!!  They smelled and tasted like root beer.  My kids loved the flavor.   My version is different from the normal recipe you will see online.  I am probably in the minority but I despise chocolate Oreos.  The only thing they are good for is scraping the center filling from.  My kids would completely disagree.  They love them and when we were picking food to serve for their class party we agreed to a new version that I would create.  This is my version of the traditional dirt cups.

Ingredients for gummy worm brownie dirt cups with realistic earthworms:

  • realistic gummy earthworms
  • chocolate brownie mix and ingredients listed on box
  • chocolate pudding and ingredients listed on box
  • chocolate sprinkles
  • clear plastic cups

Instructions for gummy worm brownie dirt cups with realistic gummy worms:

  1. Make brownies and pudding according to directions.
  2. Let the brownies cool and then crumble. Add to bottom of cup.gummy worm brownies in a cup
  3. Spoon in pudding on top of brownies.gummy worm pudding
  4. Repeat step 2 and 3 until cup is full.gummy worm sprinkles
  5. Add chocolate sprinkles to a jar.gummy worm sprinkles blended
  6. Chop the sprinkles with a submersion blender. gummy worms earthworms
  7. Remove the gummy worms from their packaging.gummy worms dusted with chocolate
  8. Drop half of the gummy worms into the jar and shake to coat. I cut the worms in half and inserted them into the top of the cups. Make sure you have at least one worm going down the side. gummy worm dessert
  9. Add the left over chocolate sprinkles and some brownie crumbs to the top of the cups.

If you would like to pin this recipe use the image below.  You can also follow my FUN FOOD board on Pinterest.

Gummy Earthworm brownie dirt cups made from easy to find ingredients and taste great

My kids like this time of year.  These are the things I have made in years past. Check them out your tummy will thank you.

Candy Corn Cookies

Spider Cupcakes

You can also follow my FUN FOOD board on Pinterest.

Mermaid Tutu Tutorial

no sew mermaid tutu tutorial tallA no sew Mermaid Tutu Tutorial for your little mermaiden.  Make a mermaid costume for Halloween or cosplay.  My daughters 5th birthday party was mermaid themed and while they are little I like to go all out for birthday parties.  If you are going all out you might as well have a cool mermaid dress to wear too. Am I right?  Don’t  answer that.  LOL   Link to the MERMAID PARTY GAMES

mermaid tutu

If you would like to see other parts of the Mermaid party :

Materials for Mermaid Tutu Tutorial:

  • 9 inch pre-made crochet head band material
  • scissors
  • Aqua and Glitter Teal Tulle I used 5 rolls
  • one starfish for rosette
  • one tank top to match the tutu
  • paper towel roll to use as a form
  • Clam shell bra from the Dollar Tree
  • Needle and thread in coordinating color

Tulle for tutu

Instructions for Mermaid Tutu Tutorial:IMG_7329

  1. Measure your tulle into strips of fabric twice the length of your desired skirt. I cut the tulle into strips  that are 36 inches long.  Wrap the tulle around a yardstick and cut if you are using 36 inches.  Fold the strip in half.  Use the center point of the tulle and push through a gap in the crocheted material.IMG_7330
  2. Put two fingers in and create a loop on one end and two loose tails on the other.tulle tutu
  3. Then fold the tail ends around the waistband and pull them through the loop.no sew tutu instructions
  4. As you pull the strips through the loop, tighten them and slide them down the waistband to make room for other strips. Keeping the tulle knots tight will stabilize the skirt.DIY tutu skirt
  5. Add more and more strips around the waistband to fill out the skirt. Push them close together for a more full skirt, or leave them more spaced apart for a skirt that is a bit more flat. Stop adding the tulle strips when you reach the end of your waistband.
  6. To create a small row at the top of the tulle repeat steps 1-5 using a smaller strip approximately 12 inches long.
  7. I added a waistband with a rosette to the tutu dress and hand stitched it in place.  The headband tutorial is the same as the rosette. Starfish Headband Tutorial
  8. Gigi wore a tank top under the tutu and the clam shell bra went over it.  The pearls and head band finished off the costume.

Some more images of the DIY mermaid tutu.

gigi the wild child mermaid party

The apple does not fall far from the tree.  Totally a pose I would strike.
mermaiden gigi untouched

Images from the phone were not the greatest but you can see the full length of the tutu dress. 
no sew mermaid tutu tutorial
Check out other costume inspiration.

DIY Pineapple – Sugar Bee Crafts

Pinata Shoes – Morena’s Corner

Easy Mime – Ginger Snap Crafts

Skein of Yarn – Dukes and Duchesses

Caps For Sale – Blue I Style

No Sew Mermaid Tutu – 365 Days of Crafts

Disney Frozen – Foster2Forever

Plants v. Zombies – Twin Dragonfly Designs

Inside Out Bing Bong – Desert Chica

Princess Anna Apron – Ruffles and Rainboots

Modern Mother Earth – BumbleBree Blog

Easy DIY Cow T-Shirts – Wait Til Your Father Gets Home

Panda Costume for Teens – Three Mint Balloons

10 Minute Charlie Brown with Football Treat Bag – Just JP

Vintage Circus Strong Man – Life Anchored

Make a Fatboy Inspired bean bag chair

Make the ultimate bean bag chair with basic sewing skills and in under an hour.  If you have a kid or two a bean bag chair is the perfect play or lounge area accessory.  My 12-year-old son has perfected the art of lounging.  He enjoys reading and gaming and can use this comfortable bean-bag chair for both.  The sumo style bean bag chair can be used in multiple ways.  The kids have made up names for the way the Fatboy style chairs are sat in.  The bags are actually filled with polystyrene pellets, making the chair light-weight and moldable. You can adjust the size to make either a child-size or adult-size bean bag chair.  Mine is a tween size.  Not quite as big as the regular Fatboy and not as small as the Fatboy Junior.  My kids are in love with cuddle fabric and if you don’t know what it is you are missing out!  The first time Shannon fabrics sent me some to work with my kids begged me to make things for their use.  It is so soft and silky.The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

Giant Bean Bag Chair DIY

Materials for Fatboy Inspired bean bag chair

    (size 60 x 45 x 10) Affiliate links below. I make a tiny commission if you purchase the supplies.

Tools for Fatboy Inspired bean bag chair:

Scissors, sewing machine, straight pins, thread in a coordinating color, plastic cup and duck tape

Instructions for Fatboy Inspired bean bag chair:

  1. Sew bias tape along the longest shortest edges to help keep its shape since cuddle fabric is stretchy and has lots of give.  Fold right sides together and sew the two edges with bias tape together to form a tube.
  2. Sew bottom selvage edge closed and sew top selvage edge closed leaving an opening for funnel.
  3. Cut bottom of a plastic cup to use as funnel. Cut a corner of plastic bag.
  4. Use duck tape to hold cup in place.
  5. Pour Poly-fil beans into opening.  Repeat until bag is desired fullness.  5 bags were used for this size.

Poly-Fill bean bag chair filler

I found the best way to fill add the Poly-Fil bean bag was to create a funnel.  You could use a plastic cup, a paper towel tube or something similar.

how to fill a bean bag funnel

Fairfield Processing and Shannon fabrics both sent me the products to use for this project.



Easy Book Thongs Instructions

Easy Book Thongs book thong butterfly



Book thongs?  No, they are not anything offensive… lol and they are really quick and easy to make.  They are a fun and easy way to keep your place while reading books.   My kids lose the paper book marks and get frustrated when they lose their place in a book.  That is why I came up with a book thong using Oly*Fun and novelty buttons.   You can use a button that is pleasing to your child.  These particular buttons came from Buttons Galore and More.  They have a great variety of novelty buttons.  Oly*Fun craft sheets can be found in Joann Crafts stores.  Most big box stores carry the Craft packs and some even carry it by the bolt.  It is a really functional material.  It is tough like a fabric but can be cut and treated like paper because it does not unravel.

book thongs instructions

Supplies for book thongs:

  • Oly*Fun
  • Novelty Buttons
  • Hair elastics
  • scissors, pencil, ruler
  • Needle, thread and sewing machine

Instructions to make book thongs:

  1. Use the pencil to draw one inch lines across the crafts sheets.
  2. Cut along the line to create 1×12 strips of  Oly*fun.  You can trim them to a variety of lengths for different sized books.
  3. Fold one end of the strip over the hair elastic.  Sew a straight line using an 1/4 inch seem allowance.
  4. Repeat step 3 and trim the edges.
  5. Hand sew on a button on the other end of the strip.
  6. Place around a book and enjoy.



I made about a dozen book thongs in just around an hour.  They are really quick and easy to make.  If you would like more ideas for back to school check out the links below.

An InLinkz Link-up

Quick Teacher Gift

Back-to-School-teacher gift


Preschool – Back to School backpack

Back view of Rit Dye back pack

Sand art necklaces for kids

Sand art necklace

Sand art necklaces make a great activity for a beach themed birthday party. My daughter turned 5 and we had a mermaid party. Mermaids sit on beaches so I sort of combined the two. As the mom of the party girl, I took the liberty to make  it beach and mermaid. While looking through the Oriental Trading online store for party supplies I saw the necklaces and decided that would be the crafty activity because it was fun, easy and something the kids could take with them.

I ordered an 8 pack of sand, a dozen necklaces and two dozen little aqua buckets. The aqua buckets served two purposes. One to hold the sand so the children could scoop it out easier and also as their party favor. My mom wrote their name on a bucket with an Elmer’s pen. (also from Oriental Trading) The little party favor buckets I will show in another post because they were filled with fantastic candy from the candy bar. Oriental Trading supplied me with the candy, buckets, shell necklaces and colored sand. I ordered the other supplies used for the party.
The content below may have been sponsored, contain affiliate links or free items for use. Know that this will not sway the opinion no matter what. (Even though they may want to!) This costs you nothing and helps pay for this blog's overhead. Click Diclosures to learn more.

sand art necklace station

Supplies for sand art necklaces:

Instructions for sand art necklaces

To create the sand art activity station I poured sand from the large jars into the buckets and place them on a wood tray. I placed two spoons for each color in the buckets. Tiny funnels are needed to get the sand into the shell necklace.
We placed the tray on a card table in the middle of the yard so that the kids were able to make a mess and so I would not worry about cleaning afterwards. We simply dumped the excess into the yard.
My biggest tip would be to make sure they fill sand to the top of the container. If it is packed full the pattern they create will stay in place when they shake it. (Trust me when I say YES they shake it.) You might need to tap it once or twice before the cap is placed on. Once they filled the shells, I wanted them to be a bit more secure. To seal the shell containers, I placed a drop of permanent glue on the cap to prevent them from opening. This step is up to you but I would recommend it highly.

The kids had a blast making them. Some pictures of this part of the party.

sand art summer activity






gigi the wild child mermaid party sand art  IMG_7595

beach themed Candy bar decorations

Beach Themed Candy Bar Decorations

Beach themed candy bar decorations were a hit at my daughters 5th birthday party. She had a mermaid themed birthday party. I took liberty and included beach type things too. We had a candy bar buffet with different candy types that were given beach themed names like – Salt Water taffy, Golden Sea Pearl bubble gum balls, Green Sea pearl Sixlets, Fish Bait Gummy Worms and Gold coins. The candy and the buckets  were sent to me by Oriental Trading Co. and I received product samples in exchange for my honest review.  The beach themed Candy bar decorations were delicious according to the kids in attendance.  It is candy, what’s not to love?  I created the decorations for the outside of the jars using this tutorial and the labels for the candy were made from art I purchased from Ann Krier at Whimsyville and this tutorial.

The names for the beach themed Candy bar decorations if you want to copy and paste the list:

Salt Water taffy (Taffy)
Golden Sea Pearl bubble gum balls (Gum balls)
Turquoise Sea Pearls (Chocolates)
Fish Bait Gummy Worms
Gold coins

Beach Themed Candy Bar Decorations taffy

Supplies for beach themed candy bar decorations:


Beach Themed Candy Bar Decorations sea pearls

The candy from the buffet went home in personalized mini beach buckets and the shell sand art were the other favors. I tried to keep it as junk free as possible. I try to keep the piles of plastic crap to a minimum in our house so we picked something that could be reused. My daughter uses her bucket on her desk with pens in it.

To personalize the mini bucket – have someone with neat handwriting (my mom – not me) write the names of the children on each bucket as they arrive. If you do it in the beginning it will give the names time to dry. I think the extra time helps it to stay on better and prevents smearing. I could be wrong.. LOL but I will still stick with my theory.

To decorate the jars my mom and I made a ton of Polymer Clay Star fish using the same technique that was used on the headband. ( link) Unbleached muslin is one thing I pretty much always have on hand. It is really inexpensive. I purchase it by the bolt I use it so much. One reason I use it is because I love how it frays. To create an awesome frayed edge, snip one edge of the fabric about an inch and then rip it off of the main fabric. Do that for as many strips as you need. I think I used about an 1/4th of a yard for the entire party. When it is only $1.20 a yard it comes to about $0.60 for all the strips on the jars. I am totally positive I used less than a $1 of muslin. To top of the frayed muslin strips after tying them on anything and everything, I hot glued on starfish.

My secret to making parties look extravagant is to use one decoration and place it on everything. When I say everything I really mean it. I add it to baskets, serving dishes, serving trays, light fixtures, ice buckets and anything else I can. I reuse the same dishes and containers for most events. I keep my basic pieces just that basic. The extra details come in the less expensive things to change like linens and little decorative accents.

mermaid tutu

This was her outfit for the party.  Mermaid Tutu Tutorial Here

DIY Mermaid themed cupcake tower

Mermaid themed cupcake tower

mermaid themed cupcake tower Make a mermaid themed cupcake tower for your mermaid themed party ideas

Make a mermaid themed cupcake tower to coordinate with your mermaid party decorations using Olyfun and a few other pieces.  My daughters 5th birthday party was mermaid themed and the invitations were my inspiration for the mermaid themed cupcake tower.  I used Oly-fun to cut into scallops to imitate the scales on a mermaid tail.  The invitations  shown here are very whimsical and creative and I tried to imitate that feel with the tower.  I was so proud of myself for actually being able to keep it random.  It was all I could do to keep myself from making a color pattern for the scales.  I found the lids to stacking boxes were cheaper when purchased as a set.  This is my little mermaid hamming it up for the camera.
 mermaid party ideas
If you would like to make the starfish headband click here.

Supplies for a mermaid themed cupcake tower:

 mermaid cupcake tower diy

Instructions for a mermaid themed cupcake tower:

  1. Paint the rims of the lids of the stacking boxes.  I use the 3 largest. Allow the lids to dry.
  2. Cut a 150 to 200 scallops.  Mix the colors up randomly.
  3. Use the low-temp glue gun to adhere the scallops around the edges of the lids. Add as many layers as you would like around each layer.  I added more layers at the bottom than the top
  4. Hot glue jute cording around the rim of the lids to cover the raw edges of the scallops.
  5. Add a generous amount of melted glue around the rim of the metal buckets and press them onto the under side of the rims.  Make sure you center them before they dry.

mermaid party ideas

Make a Quick teacher gift

Teacher Gift

Make a teacher gift that is quick and thoughtful.  Place a gift card with a personalized note from your child inside the gift box.  The box can be used on their desk if there is enough room after all the greatest teacher mugs.  I could not help myself on the apple buttons.  I would only give this too an early education teacher.  Not cool enough for the over 10 kids to see.  Make sure it is a gift card to a place that is on their wish list or to a place  you know they love.
Back-to-School-teacher gift

Materials to create a dyed wooden gift Teacher Gift box:

  • Wooden box available at local craft stores. Generally around a dollar
  • Dye in Aqua
  • Adtech Adhesive Glue Gun and glue sticks
  • Back to School ButtonsTutti Fruity
  • Misc.  Paper towels, plastic grocery bag, sand paper, disposable container for dye.

Directions to make the wooden teacher gift box:

  1. If the box has rough edges you can sand them smooth with sandpaper.  Wipe off dust with a damp paper towel or tack cloth.
  2. Dip the box in heated dye bath.  Tap to remove excess.
  3. Place a paper towel on a plastic bag.  The paper towel is used to gather excess dye.
  4. Once the wood is dry you can add the button embellishments.
  5. Always cover your work surface when working with dye.  Gloves are a great option too.  I use metal tongs to keep my hands clean.Enjoy the process.You can change out the buttons for any occasion too.  Spring flowers for Easter maybe?  If you want to see other quick and awesome Teacher Appreciation crafts click on the link below.

Cuddle Cake Pillows

Cuddle Cake Pillows CollageCuddle Cake Pillows are a huge hit at my house.  When the cuddle fabric arrived my children instantly picked out their colors. So much for what I had planned.  I was overruled and I was okay with that.  When working with the Cuddle Fabric I learned that the more pins you use the better.  It holds the fabric together.
cuddle cake challenge

The challenge has ended but you can enjoy the tutorial. 

Materials for Cuddle Cake Pillows:

Instructions for Cuddle Cake Pillows:

Choose the background colors for the front of your pillow.  Gigi chose the bright pink light pink, yellow and orange.   You’ll also need to choose a color for the back of the pillow. The back of our pillows is orange dimple cuddle fabric.  Maxx picked shades of blues and greens.

Sew your four squares together to make the front of your pillow.  If you’ve never sewn with Cuddle Fabrics before, be sure to read the Cuddle tips on the Shannon Fabrics Website before you start.  The basics are that you need to pin A LOT especially with the dimple fabric.  Use a walking foot if you’ve got one, and I sewed with a 3/8 inch seam.

  1. cuddle pillowTrim your front and back pieces to fit the size of your pillow insert.  I was using a 18-inch pillow insert, to I  allow for a 1/2 inch seam allowance on each side.
  2. Once your front and back are finished it’s time to finish up the pillow.  Pin REALLY WELL around all four sides of your pillow.  Stitch with a 1/2 inch seam leaving a large opening on the bottom of the pillow so you can add your pillow insert.
  3. Trim the corners.
  4. Turn right side out.
  5. Add your pillow insert.
  6. Pin the opening closed really well.
  7. Stitch closed.  You could stitch it by hand, so the stitching is invisible, but I wanted a quick project and I just sewed it closed with my machine.

cuddle fabric cuddle cake