Happier Easter Photos with Crafts from Dollar Tree

Product disclosureTissue paper backgroundEvery spring we take pictures of our children in their new Easter outfits. As I was looking back on our pictures, I noticed something. Our family uses a lot of props in photos. Sure we do the traditional posed photo from time to time, but my favorite shots are always the silly ones with props. I think it’s due to the genuine expressions that come from allowing the silliness to come out (we have plenty of silliness). Those are the pictures that tell our story.

Sisters Easter

Since we’ve moved, I haven’t exactly unpacked our “props” yet. It seemed kitchen utensils and bath towels were more important to unpack first.  I could have gone to unpack but its more fun to create! Dollar Tree always has great seasonal and craft items so it’s always in the budget to create something new for every season!

For this year’s spring photos, I created  Giant Tissue Paper Flowers with a few packs of tissue paper, easily found in the gift section at Dollar Tree. The were so easy to make and had a huge impact in our pictures! Keep reading and I’ll share how you can make some of your own.

Tissue paper flowers diy

DIY Giant Paper Flowers

To get started you’ll need these things:

  • 2-3 multipacks of gift tissue from Dollar Tree
  • 1 package of reindeer moss
  • scissors
  • tape
  • glue

For the center of the flowers, take 2 sheets of yellow tissue paper, fold over and cut out a circle ( I traced the lid of my starbucks cup. It worked This should leave you with plenty of circles for your project. Stack 4 circles together and crimp the edges together. Now glue a bit of reindeer moss in the center. Repeat these steps for as many flowers as you plan to make.

For the body of the flower you will use 2 sections of tissue paper. Take one color section fro the first pack and stack the sheets together. near the top, freehand draw a large petal with a scalloped edge. It should take up the entire sheet. Now cut out all of them together. Take the next section and divide it into 3 sheets and 2 sheets. Take the group of 3 and recreate the largest petals about half the size. Take the group of 2 sheets and fold in half. Now recreate the shape of the other petals half the last size.

Starting with the smallest petals, group the petals into a bouquet. Continue wrapping the next largest sized petals around the bouquet until you have run out of petals. Twist the “stem” in your hand and secure with tape. In the middle of the bouquet tape in the yellow center we first made.

It really is so easy and for only $3 we were able to make several of these for our photo props this year. I’ll be submitting our DIY Giant Paper Flowers craft into a contest at ILeaveHappy.com (we could win a grand prize of $500!) I would love it if you would vote for us!

While I was shopping at Dollar Tree I found a few other Easter items that we made into an adorable display with our flowers as the backdrop. I also picked up several things to fill our Easter baskets with this year!

Easter tablescape

 

Easy DIY Cinnamon Ornaments #McCormickBaking

* This is a sponsored post by me on behalf of  McCormick. All opinions are 100% my owneasy cinnamon ornaments

This genius-holiday-themed-non-messy-kid-friendly-makes-your-house-smell-like-a-home activity will bring smiles to your family for sure! This is so simple and I LOVE McCormick for sharing it with me-  Easy Cinnamon Ornaments! Why have I never done this before ?!?!?!?

Your kids are going to think you are amazing!  Your guest will think you’ve been baking up a storm & not 1 calorie will be added to your waistline. Promise.

JUST 2 ingredients, a few supplies, and heck, throw on a cute apron (no one will be getting messy but everyone looks good in a cute apron).  Here we go….

Easy Cinnamon Ornaments

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup applesauce ( If you use the cups like I did, just use 2 of them)
  • 1 bottle (4.12 ounces) McCormick® Cinnamon
  • Ground Cookie cutters,  Drinking straw,  & Ribbon

* a rolling pin &  plastic wrap would also be handy! 

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 200°F. Mix applesauce and cinnamon in small bowl until a smooth ball of dough is formed. (You may need use your hands to incorporate all of the cinnamon.) Using about 1/4 of the dough at a time, roll dough to 1/4-inch to 1/3-inch thickness between two sheets of plastic wrap. Peel off top sheet of plastic wrap. Cut dough into desired shapes with 2- to 3-inch cookie cutters. Make a hole at top of ornament with drinking straw or skewer. Place ornaments on baking sheet.

    Cinnamon Ornament Dough Collage

    This gives you an idea of what the dough will look like after its all mixed together.

  2. Bake 2 1/2 hours. Cool ornaments on wire rack. (Or, to dry ornaments at room temperature, carefully place them on wire rack. Let stand 1 to 2 days or until thoroughly dry, turning occasionally).

    Bakes ornaments

    Bake at 200 for 2.5 hrs- Perfect time to snuggle up and watch your favorite Christmas movie by the fire.

  3. Insert ribbon through holes and tie to hang. Decorate with opaque paint markers, found in arts and crafts stores, if desired.ornaments in tree

Here is the finished product! They really were so simple & days later they still smell fantastic. In addition to using them as ornaments you could use them as special gift tags by writing on them with a paint pen & adding them to packages.

What’s your favorite thing to bake during the holidays?

LEGO Week – DIY LEGO Party Favor Bag tutorial

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Welcome back to LEGO Week!!! Yesterday, we talked all about the easiest way to get great custom LEGO party invites done in a hurry( you can check that out here). Since the birthday boy also requested a trip to LEGOLAND Discovery Center for his birthday, at the end of the week I will give a full review of our fabulous time there. I learned a ton of LEGOLAND related info and have some great insider tips. If you are planning a trip there with your kiddos, you will want to stay tuned for that post!

As I mentioned yesterday, no matter what the birthday location or requested theme our kiddos pick, I always like to add a little DIY love to their parties. I also had to be able to accomplish this project on the cheap since I was expecting to spend most of our birthday party funds at the party location. One of the awesome things I was able to do for this party was create these cute custom LEGO Party favor bags for our party guests.  My original vision was to use  typical small canvas bags from the craft store but Dollar Tree made this a hugely affordable and perfect LEGO project with their green craft bags  if you are doing another project, they are available in a variety of other colors as well.) At 3 for $1.00, I couldn’t pass these up. Dollar Tree also had the clear contact paper roll I would use for my stencil, again for only a dollar!

Items needed:

  • Contact paper……………………$1.00
  • Craft bags………………………..$1.00 (for 3!)
  • Yellow acrylic craft paint(whatever color you like)…..$.67
  • Brushes………………$1.00
  • exacto knife/scissors…………………….free
  • Scrap cardboard or wax paper to place inside bags so paint doesn’t go through…….free

I found this LEGO mini-figure template online and cut it out to trace onto my contact paper. Lego head template

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I traced it several times onto my contact paper to make enough stencils for each bag. You could probably reuse the stencils but I wanted them all done before the kids got home from school so they would be a surprise for the birthday boy too.

I used an exact-o knife to cut out my stencils but scissors would work too.

I used an exact-o knife to cut out my stencils but scissors would work too.

 

Just apply stencils to craft bags and get ready to paint.

Just apply stencils to craft bags and get ready to paint.

Make sure to press down well around the outline where you are going to paint. This will ensure clean lines.  Don’t forget to place your cardboard into each bag before you begin painting or the paint with go through the fabric. As an after though wax paper from the kitchen would probably even work better.  When they are all done, allow the paint to dry and then remove the insert of wax paper or cardboard.  They are ready to fill with party favor thank-yous. We used a few kinds of lego candies and each party guest received their own small bag of Legos to take home. This would be another area where the building blocks from Dollar Tree would help make this a super budget friendly party find!

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Hope you enjoyed this LEGO Party Favor Bag tutorial & check out our other LEGO related posts! Please share, follow and pin us frequently!!

 

LEGO Birthday Week- LEGO invitations

Welcome to LEGO Week! We like big birthdays around here and this year our youngest asked for a Lego themed Birthday party.  I aim to please, so I quickly headed to Pinterest to scout out some of the finest Lego Party ideas around. Pretty soon I felt a little tap.tap. tap. on my shoulder…….but Mom….Can we just go to Legoland with my friends for my birthday party?

You see, this is where most parents could/would/probably should breathe a deep sigh of relief, make a phone call and shell out the cash for a worry free, no fail, great time had by all kinda party. Not me. I like the nostalgia of a good at- home party. Tons of  friends & family gathered round the kitchen table, homemade party hats, and corny birthday games. For whatever reason, I like that kinda thing. But I like my kid more. Certainly there was something that could make us both happy. Legoland must be included since that was the object of the birthday boys request but surely I could add some DIY touches as well. ( I think  DIY is my love-language. lol) Anyway…..In this LEGO Week blog series we will supply some creative LEGO party tips and later on this week get  full review on Legoland Discovery Center!!!

The first part of any great party is the invitations, so we will start there. I will often just order invites online vis Etsy or create photo ones on several of the online photo printing sites. Since we would need a good headcount for the party reservation, I needed to get our invites out asap. Pinterest was my go to on this one .  There were a ton of great ones  out there but we finally settled on using the template idea below from makoodle.com.

sebastian lego invite editLego Birthday Invitation Supplies

The Lego invite template was perfect, completely editable for our party( & free!!!). I just enlarged it to 5×7, filled in our party information, printed on photo paper to give it a glossy look and asked our sweet teacher to send home with the boys in their weekly parent folder.  While I just adored the Legos & clear pillow boxes with labels, we decided not to do those since it could be a distraction at school.**Tip: if you decide to include the Legos in the invitations Dollar Tree has “building blocks” that are great quality for something like this. I think they were 38 pieces for $1!!!

Lego Birthday Invitation Printable Downloads

 

Tomorrow’s post will include our Canvas Lego Thank You Bags!

Best Fall Find. Pumpkin Sugar Scrub

Seriously. Do this now. It will take less than 10 minutes. You can thank me later.

I just stumbled upon possibly the best fall find yet. In my own kitchen. For practically free.

You can do this too. Amazing. (when I get this excited, I apparently only speak in short sentences. Who knew?!)

body scrub

Quick backstory: During one of my busiest weeks, aka THIS WEEK,  a good friend of mine posted she was participating in a sugar cleanse. I thought “I am trying to be more healthy and could also benefit from eliminating sugar from my life for a bit. I’ll do it too.”  Enter my dilemma: I had not consulted my calendar when agreeing to this and yet I had mentally given my word.  I guess I like a challenge.  Also, I am trying to make my health a priority not just when its convenient. Or when its fall and pumpkin lattes are EVERYWHERE!!!

Bringing us to this point, I miss pumpkin flavored anything today. I will remain strong. I gave my mental word. Yet….. I have an excess of sugar in my kitchen. Dilemma…….. Solution: Pumpkin Sugar Body Scrub. Dare I say, Brilliance. Not to mention my hands are now softer than a day at the spa and I spent zero dollars.

3 ingredients :

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Coconut oil ( you can use olive oil, almond oil, probably even baby oil. We just mainly use coconut oil at our house)
  • 1.5 tsp -ish pumpkin extract ( I probably used a little more because I was craving pumpkin today and wanted it to be a little stronger)

That’s it. Mix and store in a sealed container.

I have the softest hands ever and it solved my pumpkin issue. I didn’t eat it of course . (Yes, I did briefly consider tasting it. Sugar is addicting people. Stay off the stuff.) They say half your cravings are influenced by smell.  This was perfect. You could double the recipe package it in small jars with a pretty label and it would make a great fall gift.  Enjoy!

 

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