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Bored Jars for All

12 Mar

This was a craft I set up for our MOPS group at church – a group for moms of preschoolers and younger.  It’s time to get away from the kiddos for an hour and half, eat some hot breakfast (who does that?), socialize with other moms, listen to awesome speakers and do cool crafts.  Fun stuff.

Anywho, I handle the crafts for the group and came with a few ideas for this jar craft.  It’s a jar that can be used in a few different ways:  1) Bored Jar – during the winter or summer months, write out ideas that you or the kids can pick from on those days that need a little redirection or as a reward for good days.  2) Conversation Starter – to be used at meal time to spark conversation other than the “how was your day” or “how was school”.  This is good for older kids to get them open up.  Or 3) Memory Keeper – jot down those funny things the kids say or do and take them out at the end of the year for a fun year in review.  Or save them for each child and give them to them when they leave the house.

I took inspiration in the crafting part from my favorite blogger, Ashley Ann at Under the Sycamore and her tape vase.  Then I hopped on the WWW and Pinterest for ideas to use on the cards inside the jar.  I found a couple good sites with loads of ideas.  For the board jar, here are couple sites with lots of good ideas for the kids during the winter or summer.  For the conversation starter jar, here’s a huge list as a PDF to print and cut!  Here’s how to create one of your own!

Bored Jars 


– Empty glass jar

– Colored card stock

– Double sided tape

– Variety of wrapping items (i.e. twine, blue painters tape, ribbon, paper ribbon – found at World Market, etc.)

– Hole puncher

– Writing utensil


Get Craftin’:

1. Take your cardstock and cut it into strips. Mine were about 4″w x 1″ but you can cut them into whatever shape or size you’d like!  I have a paper trimmer but you can always use scissors.

2. Now that your strips are ready, you can start decorating your jar!  You can use whatever supplies you have around from fabric scraps, washi tape, string/ribbon of any kind.  I used the double sided tape for the paper ribbon and the rest I just double knotted.  This really is a place to make your jar match your decor, go with a season or just do whatever you’re in the mood for!

3. Now back to the paper strips.  You can come up with your own ideas for your personal bored jars that fits your family or kids or you can use the above links.  Fill out as many strips as you’d like, the more the better!  From there, fold the paper, leave it as is, punch a hole in it and string it up.  Again, open to whatever you’d like to!  If you are doing a Memory Jar, keep your cards handy and fill them out when those moments arise!

4. Fill up your jar with your ideas, add a few establishments (I found a round metal edged tag to add a little to it) and you have  a Bored Jar or a Conversation Jar or a Memory Jar.  Easy peesy lemon squeezy (as Squeaky – the 3 year old)!  Have fun with it!


The downside of being mom

20 Feb

Just say a little prayer for us this week.  We made the decision a few weeks ago to get the little one’s tonsils out after having strep throat 7 times in the last 13 months.  She’s a happy, princess loving, bright eyed, crafty little girl and the thought of putting her through surgery is weighing on this momma’s mind.  I know it’s very routine and she’ll be much better off without these things but neither me or the hubs have had surgery nor been under anesthesia before so it’s all a bit new and nerve-racking to us.  So prayers for calmness for all of us and a quick recovery!

I know it’s fuzzy, but it’s our most recent.  🙂

I Heart You – A Valentines Craft

19 Feb

I saw this Valentines craft via Martha Stewart way before Pinterest and even before I attempted to be like Pinterest on Evernote.  This was discovered when I used to print out ideas and put them in binders.  Anyone do that anymore?  Or is that a thing of the past?  Either way, I still have my binders.  Not near as full as I’ve weeded out the “what did I like about this” pages but this ideas has always resurfaced.

Anyway, now that I have a kids, a whole new world of crafting has come to life.  It may end up being about the process and materials than what we actually make but I’m ok with that.  The girls (well Miss Banana more so) enjoy it and I like to channel my inner child.  So we busted out the crayons and wax paper and went to town.  Now Martha’s Crayon Hearts are the perfect transparency and shades of Valentines pinks, purples and oranges.  Very lovely and in my perfect crafting world, would be what I wanted to achieve.  But realistically, I have a 4 year old ready to dive in with saturated color.  So here’s our spin on crayon hearts.

Crayon Heart Valentine Craft:


– Crayons in Valentine shades (or not for any other time of year!)

– Sharpener (probably not of the electric kind)

– Iron

– String

– Scissors

– Paper Bag

– Hole punch

Not shown: Sharpie and heart shaped cookie cutter

Get Craftin’:

1.  I chose crayons in different purples, reds, pinks and a few non-traditional colors of yellow and orange.  Most of them still had paper on them but you can certainly us broken crayons for this project!  Start peeling the paper and sharpening them over a plate (insert pretty pictures of crayon shavings and a little helper).

2.  Rip a piece of wax paper to about 18″ and fold in half.  Keep the shavings to one side of the paper.

3.  Fold the empty side of the paper over your pretty sprinkles.  Carefully transport to your ironing board.

4.  For me, I put down a bath towel on the dining room table to iron on.  Then layered the brown paper bag, folded wax paper and paper bag.  Set the temp on the iron to low/medium.  Once the iron is ready, run the iron over the bag a little and check how the crayons are melting.  Repeat this process until you get your desired look.  On one I melted it a little more than I wanted but it’s crafting after all!

5.  I initially was going to freehand hearts for us to cut, then I thought, nahh…. Lets make this more uniform this time.  I was channeling my left brain I suppose.  I busted out a couple heart cookies cutters and a black sharpie and started tracing.

6.  Gave the wee one a scissors and we got to cutting.  Once they were all cut out, I punched holes in the top and strung them with red bakers twine I had on hand.

7.  I had plans to make a string for each of our front windows, but this project was a bit intensive and decided to do it for just one window.  I think they turned out great and had so many compliments on them!  Make a banner for a holiday or any day or change it up all together and cut out your kids name.  This can be anything you want it to be.

Don’t forget, it could just be about the process or using the materials.  The kids can peel the paper off the crayons, make shavings, feel the shavings, work on their cutting skills and stringing the shapes.  All great things for the kiddos.  So have fun and enjoy!


From the living room couch…

7 Feb

It’s been a strange winter here in West Michigan, a very mild and snowless winter as compared to our 100+ inches of snow and wind chills of 5 degrees.  I’m not really sure if it’s the weather that really throws us into sick mode, maybe it’s being cooped up most of the time but we’ve been struck with sick for the last 2 weeks.  The short story is my oldest has had strep twice in the last 10 days and 7 times total in the last 13 months along with me having the flu and my youngest has had an ear infection.  My husband has escaped it all!  Whew.

Anywho, that brings me to my observations from the living room couch.  Movies.  Kids movies.  Over and over again.  Luckily we have a lot of kids movies with adult humor so repeated watching is tolerable.  So one of the movies our girls love is Princess and the Frog.  Now before I get to what I noticed is the fact that this movie (and all Disney movies for that matter) have quite the sinister side, which isn’t really necessary.  Princess and the Frog adds voodoo and magic around every corner.  It takes away from a couple really cool messages that this movie illustrates, so here’s one I thought worth mentioning despite all the fluff.

I, by no means, am a theologian but the song that Mama Odie sang “Dig a little deeper” talks about how all the material things in life don’t matter (Don’t matter what you wear
How many rings you got on your finger… Money ain’t got no soul, Money ain’t got no heart…), how much money you have, you need to dig a little deeper to find what really matters.  I’m not sure if my 3 and 4 year olds get that at all, but it’s one of their favorite songs and if they walk around singing that, maybe one day it’ll click.  I hope each day we can show that to them in little ways that mommy and daddy try to run our house that way, how God provides for all our needs and gives us the ability dig deeper in ourselves to realize what really matters.  In the meantime, I love that song, I love the visuals, the colors and we’ll watch it a hundred more times.

Winter Watercoloring

4 Feb

I would love to say that I have a great plan each for the girlies and I to craft together every week, but I don’t.  Crazy, huh?  Ha!  But this day a craft needed to be made.  I’ve seen this idea of taping off our intials, coloring around it and pulling off the tape to reveal our art!  Well I pinned this idea a couple times here and here, one using fingerpaints and the other using markers.  Both very cute!  I also put it out on Facebook and a friend said to do this type of art using watercolors.  Perfect!

The girls got new watercolors for Christmas, a few sheets of watercolor paper left in the pad and off we went!

Blue Tape Letter Painting


– Watercolor paints

– Large bristle kid paint brushes (holds a lot more water and paint than the little ones)

– Watercolor paper (or thicker drawing paper)

– Paper towel

– Blue painters tape

– Cup of water

– 2 willing little people

– and of course Disney radio on Pandora

Get Craftin’:

1.  Decide if you’re going to initials, shapes, random lines, etc on the paper.  Grab a scissors (or tearing for those brave enough….) and start laying the tape out on the paper.

2.  Give the littles their own paper, a paint brush, a cup of water, paper towel to dry their brush or not and a set of paints.

3.  Let them go to town on their painting!  My 3 year old loves to have a lot of water to move the paint around and my 4 year old prefers the bright color with a dryer brush.  Very distinguished artists, these 2 are.  Ha!  Actually the younger one got frustrated with the order of putting water on the brush then paint instead she kept putting the paint on, adding water to the brush then painting.  It was fun teaching them the process even if it was over and over again and see them really get into painting.

4.  After you’re finished, let the paper dry, remove the tape (it will remove really easy as it’s painters tape, not more adhesive tape like masking) and wa-la!

So fun, so easy and what a colorful piece of art!