Posts from the ‘Crafts & How-To’s’ Category

Make a Christmas Countdown Calendar With Your Little One!

We’re happy to have Sarah Bouvier, guest blogger from New England’s Sweet Lil You, sharing with us how to make a “Christmas Countdown” calendar that can be re-used each Christmas! This is such a fun project that you can get your little ones involved in!


Before becoming a mom I didn’t realize just how quickly babies grow, especially during their first year.  Now I see that they grow and change seemingly overnight.  Because of this I’m always looking for fun ways to capture who my daughter is at every age and stage.

My daughter was 8 months old when she experienced Christmas for the first time.  We were still struggling with erratic sleep schedules as well as teething, food allergies, reflux, and everything else that goes with being a first time mom.

Needless to say, we didn’t create as many keepsakes as I would have liked.  I do have a few mementos from her first Christmas. We made a handprint ornament, and a footprint reindeer; we also made some salt-dough plaques with hand and footprints. However, there was so much more I wanted to do. I’ve been trying to make up for it this year, so we’ve been working on a bunch of projects! One of those projects is a Chalkboard Christmas Countdown Calendar, complete with handprint Santa! Avery finished calendar Gerber This is a fun project that you can use year after year! Ours has already become a big part of our holiday traditions.  My daughter loves moving the magnet each day as we get closer and closer to Santa’s arrival! Craft instructions handprint gerber For this project you’ll need a large magnetic chalkboard.  I purchased ours at Target, in the stationary section, but your can find them at most office supply and craft stores. You’ll also need paint (I use acrylic because it’s easy to clean off little hands and non-toxic), a paint pen to draw your lines, and letter/number stencils if you’re like me and have awful handwriting! calendar grid gerber handprint craft Step 1: Measure out your calendar grid, and use chalk to mark it. Step 2: Trace over your chalk lines with the paint pen, and let dry. Stenciling numbers Gerber craft Christmas Step 3: Stencil or write your numbers in the grid. If you’re using a stencil, use a foam brush or a stencil brush. Use a very small amount of paint (the brush should feel almost dry) and dab/sponge the paint on gently. (If paint is “bleeding” under the stencil you’re using too much paint.)   Make sure that you let each number dry before moving on to the next. You don’t want to smudge or smear your work. Step 4:  Apply paint to your child’s hand.  Not too much, and not too little. Toddler baby hand print craft Gerber Step 5: Help your child press their hand onto the chalkboard. If you’re not happy with how the print came out, use a damp cloth to wipe off the paint and try again.

Step 6: Allow the handprint to dry completely. handprint santa gerber craft chirstmas calendar Step 7: Paint on Santa’s hat and face! Step 8: Using your stencil, or freehand, add holiday wording to the top!  I used “Santa Claus is coming to town!” but you use whatever you’d like! Other examples include “_______’s Christmas Countdown” or “Countdown to Christmas” Handprint Santa Christmas Calendar Gerber Craft Baby's First Christmas My daughter and I had a lot of fun working on this project together, and I think it would be perfect to make for your baby’s first Christmas. It’s definitely a keepsake that we will display every Christmas and I’ll smile seeing that tiny handprint!

Handmade Gifts for Mom and Dad from Little Ones

The best gifts are the handmade ones. And every mom and dad loves to get presents made with love from the little ones who have stolen their hearts! Plus, making gifts is a wonderful way to spend a day together with your toddler. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

Memory Scrapbook — Gather up photos and cards from the year and make a memory scrapbook. Mom or dad can pull it out in the years to come and relive the memories!

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Homemade Chia Pets — Remember chia pets? These are so much cuter! If your little one likes gardening and playing outside, this is the perfect present for him or her to give.

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Block-Printing Art — Toddlers will love making fun artwork with mom or dad’s help — and the recipient will love it too!

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Tea Wreath — If mom or dad is a tea fanatic, this pretty little wreath is as tasty as it is beautiful! The cutting will require some assistant from a parent, but your little one will love gluing the fabric on and picking out the colorful teas.

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Picturesque CorkboardsThese unique corkboards make an ideal place to hang photos or artwork.

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Note: Always be sure to use child-safe materials, and supervise your little one carefully.

With these ideas, you can skip the mall and help your little one give a gift that will be treasured forever!

10 tips for Baby’s First Christmas Card

Tiffany Dahle is the founder and managing editor behind the popular lifestyle blog, Peanut Blossom. Her blog features inspirational tips that help readers develop everyday opportunities for creativity in the kitchen, through photography, and on the road!


One of the things I most looked forward to during my daughters’ first year of life was celebrating their first Christmases. No matter which holiday your family celebrates, this season is filled with a joyous vibe that you’ll want to capture in memorable images to share with family and friends.

If you’d like to share your baby’s First Christmas as part of your holiday card, you’re facing special challenges for setting up a sweet scene everyone on your card list will adore. All you need to do is arm yourself with your camera, these simple tips, and then go play!

10 Tips for Capturing Baby’s First Holiday

  • Before you start, make sure everyone involved (including YOU) has recently had a snack. Hunger sneaks up on us and can quickly cause meltdowns, tantrums, and grumpy faces. The best smiles come from satisfied tummies.
  • Use safe and comfy props like stuffed chairs or blankets (and siblings!) to position baby for the photo. Get everybody comfy, and the whole shoot will go so much better.
  • Don’t use your camera’s flash. Use natural light whenever possible, babies do not respond well to bright flashes in their eyes and their sweet skin is so much more flattering with real light.
  • The best time to capture the twinkly lights of the Christmas tree are before the room has gone completely dark. Try late afternoon just as dusk is setting so that your child still has enough light on their face to avoid the camera flash.

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  • Capture your images by shooting at eye level to your child. Squat down low or even lay on your tummy on the floor to get the proper angle.
  • If baby can’t sit up yet, try shooting straight down with baby lying flat on the floor looking up. Use a solid color textured blanket to make a pretty backdrop but make sure it fills the entire frame. This means you’ll want to crop in closely and try to engage baby for some eye contact.
  • Give baby a safe holiday themed prop to hold and inspect. Think child-proof ornaments, a shiny bell, their stocking or a festive toy.

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  • You will have the best luck keeping your photo shoot in your own home. Babies are more comfortable in their familiar surroundings and you can break for naps as needed
  • Siblings are perfect for keeping baby in the right spot. Set them up with an activity where they will interact with one another like reading a story together.

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  • Let go of “perfect”. Getting more than one child in a photo at the same time with everyone smiling perfectly and looking at the camera can be darn near impossible. This is supposed to be fun for you all, not anxiety inducing. Even the imperfect image will be heart melting when you look back in the years to come.

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Keep this simple check list handy as you head into your photo session.

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Looking for more photography ideas for your family holiday card? You might also be interested in:

Keeping it personal! Christmas cards that tell your story.

 

Make sure to follow Peanut Blossom for more photography tips and inspiration:

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Get Your Little One Involved With DIY Craft Gifts for Grandparents

Trying to think of the perfect gift for the grandparents this holiday season? Why not make your own, and get your little one involved? You can create personalized gifts they’ll love so much better than anything you could get from a store! Here are some ideas to get you started:

I Love You Book This sweet book lets you and your little one share the love! You create the book, and then help your toddler fill it with ways he or she loves Granddad and Grandma!

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Art Trivet—Let your little one paint away with kid-safe paints, then use the artwork to make a pretty trivet!

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Handprint Mosaic Stepping Stones —Design a stepping stone for Grandma’s garden! When you’re finished setting the mosaic, get baby involved by pressing a handprint into the clay.

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Send a HugThis mailer is the cutest! When Grandpa opens this package, it will bring endless smiles!

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Chalk Photography—Grandparents love photos of the grandkids! But when you get tired of the same old poses, try something different. Draw a chalk drawing that you can include baby in, snap a photo, then just print and frame!

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What DIY gifts have you created that have been a hit with the grandparents? Please share your ideas!

 

Photo credits: I Can Teach My Child, Pretty Prudent, Hub Pages, Paging Supermom, Pinterest

Twice as Sweet: Mom and Baby Duo Costumes

Whether you’re staying home on the 31st and passing out candy or heading to a little-ones-welcome Halloween party, you can win best costume with matching mom and baby set! Here are a few ideas.

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Harry and Hedwig: We love this Harry Potter-inspired idea! Who knew Hedwig was such a cutie?

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Rainbow Bright and Twink: We watched hours and hours of Rainbow Bright growing up, and we love this set! Now you can have your own little sprite! 

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Tony the Tiger on a Frosted Flakes Box: This is a kid’s cereal that comes with a kid on the front!

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Woody and Jessie from Toy Story: Does your little one love Toy Story? This set is easy to put together, and so adorable! 

Your costume will be twice as nice with baby involved! 

photo credit: Dabe Murphy via photopin cc

Who’s This? Learning Family Through Scrapbooks

Babies come into the world with a lot to learn — everything is new. There are so many different colors, shapes, sounds, smells  . . . and people!

Immediate family members are easy to learn, and little ones quickly pick up who is “Mommy”, “Daddy”, or siblings. But extended family can be a little trickier for those so new to the family circle. 

A great way to teach who’s who is to use a scrapbook! Photos of family members can remind little ones of Grandpa, Grandma, Aunt, Uncle, and others. Make it a game by pointing to a photo and asking, “Who’s this?” 

Over time, little ones will learn everyone’s name and will be able to identify who comes to visit!

How do you teach who’s who? Share your ideas!

photo credit: Your Secret Admiral via photopin cc

2 Ways to Get Your Little One into the Team Spirit on Game Day!

Everyone can join in the game day fun, even baby! Try one of these fun ideas to bring a smile to your little one’s face!

  1. Customize a Gerber Onesies® brand bodysuit with your favorite team’s logo or colors Our white Onesies® brand bodysuits make the perfect canvas for showing your enthusiasm for your team. It’s super easy! Just get some fabric in your team’s print and Heat’n Bond® iron-on adhesive. Cut a shape or section out of your fabric, then follow the directions on the Heat’n Bond® package to adhere the fabric to the bodysuit.
  2. Create a ‘Get in the Game’ team centerpiece for your tailgate party using Gerber Onesies® and accessories — Invite your mom and dad friends over with their little ones for a baby tailgate! You can create a team-themed centerpiece that has a practical use after the party’s over! Check out the tutorial.

With these ideas, your little one can cheer along with you!

Organizing the Nursery the DIY Way!

We’ve all drooled over the fancy custom furniture and organizers designed to keep the nursery neat, haven’t we? But there are so many ways to make your own cute nursery organizers! Here are a few to try.

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Create drawer dividers with small baskets. Baby clothes are tiny! You can make them easier to find by dividing up your drawers with baskets to separate items.

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Use a shoe organizer to store small items on the back of a door. Shoe organizers are perfect for accessories. And they come in fun colors that you can match to the nursery!

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Make storage bins from diaper boxes. You don’t have to buy expensive bins for storage! You can make your own from empty diaper boxes.

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Get great use of your wall space with adorable bucket-shelves. These precious little shelves are created from plastic buckets, and they’re so easy to make!

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Design a pretty clothes-hanger. Baby clothes are so cute, why not show them off?! By hanging a branch from the ceiling with colorful ribbon, you can increase your storage stylishly! Find a tutorial here.

You can craft your way to a sweet and organized nursery without breaking the bank! What DIY solutions have you created?

Photo credits (from top): Apartment Therapy, IKEA, Amazon, Positively Splendid, Ohoh Blog, The Sweetest Digs

Make a Hide-away Tent for Naptime or Playtime!

Making tents is a part of just about everyone’s childhood. Whether pretending you were camping, playing house, or imagining you were in an ancient land, you likely loved making tents when you were small.

You can help your little one make happy memories of his or her own by building a tent together! If you want to go beyond the standard sheets-and-blankets tents, check out these fun ideas we found on the web:

A Crafty Tent — Make your tent into art!

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A Collapsible Fabric Tent — You can take this one outside!

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A Reading Tent — For little bookworms!

Share your tent-making memories! We’d love to hear them.

Photo Credits (from top): KidsomaniaWhat Does She Do All Day?, Stitched by Crystal,