How To Dry Orange Slices

dried oranges, dried fruit, Christmas displays
I love for my house to smell good all year.  During the holiday season, I love drying oranges and apples.  I love burning candles and making displays in my home with natural materials.  They usually include orange or apple slices and cinnamon sticks.  Today I’ll show you how to dry orange slices.   It’s easy and they look and smell great in display.

You will need the following:

  • oranges (use large or medium oranges, the slices will shrink)
  • cinnamon sticks

The first step is to preheat your oven to its lowest setting.  Mine is 170 degreesSlice your oranges medium to thick,  you don’t want them to be  too thin.  You also don’t want the slices to be too small.  The slices will shrink as they’re drying and will fall through the cracks of your racks.  If you have a large cookie cooling  rack you can layer your slices on the cooking rack.   Otherwise your oven rack will work just as well.   A cookie sheet will also do. 

drying orange slices, dried orange slices


Allow the slices to dry for 2-3 hours. 
I usually dry my slices on a Saturday when I don’t have to rush or run errands. I set the timer for 2 hours and determine if they’re dry enough or if I want them to dry longer.  If so, I set the timer for another 15 – 30 minutes.

Once I’m satisfied with the texture of the slices I add cinnamon and or cloves.  You can also add fresh greenery.  Spruce, Pine or Cyprus will work great.  You can also add cinnamon pine cones.  Be creative and enjoy this wonderful smell.  

dried fruits, Christmas greenery, dried orange slices

Painted Pine Cones Crafts

pinecones, crafts,

I love using pinecones for crafts and decorating. I think they make the room festive during the holidays and bring a touch of nature into your décor. If you have pine trees on your property, gather a few to add your décor or to use for crafts. I love free. 

I decided to paint a few to use as a center piece during the holidays to give my table a pop of color and I love how they turned out. I displayed these on an antique milk glass cake plate, but the possibilities are endless. You can fill a basket or glass container with the pine cones painted in your favorite colors, on the mantel for a fall or winter display or paint them in spring colors for Easter. 

You will need the following items:

  • craft paint brushes
  • craft paints in your favorite colors
  • paper plate
  • newspaper to paint on
  • container for display

I found it easier to pour a dab of paint onto the paper plate. Paint the edges of the pine cone in your favorite colors or you can paint the entire pine cone and allow it to dry. Drying time is quick for this project, 30 minutes will definitely be sufficient. Display in your designated place.

 

How To Create A Fresh Greenery Display

 

 

fresh Christmas greenery, greeney display, Christmas displays


I love making fresh greenery displays during the holidays.  The fresh greenery smells so good and they look great as center
pieces.  I also love it on the mantel during the holidays.   Purchasing fresh greenery from garden centers or your local nursery can be expensive.  I have resorted to making my own using the greenery on my property.  I’m not a professional decorator or florist, but I’m happy and I save money on displays that I will only use for a few weeks.
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How To Decorate A Vintage Sled

vintage Christmas decorations vintage sleds, lightning guilder sleds

 

Do you love my vintage sled?  It’s dressed up for Christmas and bringing back so many memories.  I found this beauty in an antique shop in Lancaster, PA.  They had several sleds in the shop, but I was looking for a special sled.  It had to be a Lightning Guider and I just wasn’t going to settle for less. Luckily the owner was in the shop and heard my conversation with a few of the girls that I was traveling with.  She came out and said I have a Lightning Guider in the back if you would like to see it.   It was exactly what I was looking for, and the owner sold it to me for far less than its value.  

When I was growing up we had plenty of snow in the winter and plenty of Lightning Guider sleds to use.  We jumped for joy when school was canceled because we knew  we would be sled riding all day and eating King’s Syrup sandwiches.  They were so yummy and we didn’t have to bother mom to fix our sandwiches. We grabbed the bread, the syrup can and fixed all that we wanted. Anyway after our syrup sandwiches, we would bundle up and head across the street for hours of fun sled riding.  We would stay out until we just about froze. I remember my father pulling off our boots and sitting us beside the wood stove so we could  thaw outI also remember him using sandpaper to sharpen the blades so the sleds would go faster.  Old the good ole days. 

They stopped manufacturing the Lightning Guider in the 1990’s.  What a shame, it was the fastest and the best quality sled on the market.  It is now a classic, and I will hold on to it forever.

I decided to pull the sled out of storage and use it on my front porch for the winter.  I needed fresh greenery for a few center pieces that I want to work on for my tables  so I decided to add it to the sled as well.   Luckily I have plenty of pines, spruce and other greenery surrounding my property.  If you’re not as lucky, check out your local Christmas tree lot.  Most are more than willing to give you a few bundles for free.

I love combining different greenery in my center pieces.  I used 2 varieties of spruce and pine cuttings in this bundle. I tied the bundle together with gardening twist ties and than tied the greenery to the sled with additional gardening twist ties.  The bow was already on the sled so I just fluffed it out and readjusted it.  The bells are from a wreath that I purchased at the local Goodwill.  A friend found the ice skates at a local in Pennsylvania and shipped them to me, lol.  She knew that I would use them for Christmas, lol. The greenery will stay fresh in the cold air through the holiday season.

Did you have a Lightning Guider when you were growing up? If not, share a memory from your days of sledding.

 

 

Fall Leaf Frame

fall crafts, fall leaf projects

 

I love making crafts with natural items, especially in the fall.  Making a leaf frame with a few of the pressed leaves that I had stored was at the top of my craft list.   Don’t you love how it turned it out. It was a perfect project to do while sipping a cup of coffee and listening to the news. Here’ what you will need:

  • Pressed leaves in various colors and sizes
  • Frame with flat sides (I forgot to take  picture of the actual frame that I used. The one below is just to show you the type needed).
  • Mod Podge  (I have seen miniature bottles at Five and Below for a $1.50, which will be sufficient for this project).
  • A brush or sponge

 


modge podge projects, fall picture frames

 

Creating your frame is simple.  However, the hardest part is waiting for it to dry so you can add your favorite fall picture. If you don’t have pressed leaves available, set a day aside to go on a nature hunt.  Collecting leaves with your children or grandchildren is the perfect fall activity.

Once you gather the leaves and other materials here are your next steps:

  • Start at the bottom and place your leaves around the frame so you can get a feel of where you want them before you coat them.
  • Once you’re satisfied with the placement, coat the front and back of each leaf and place it where you want it on the frame.
  • When all of the leaves are in place, cover all of them with a good coat of Mod Podge.
  • Allow the frame to dry about an hour.
  • Add your favorite fall photo.

 

 

leaf frames, fall decorating, fall crafts

 

This was a fun activity, and I’m sure your littles one will enjoy creating a frame and placing their favorite picture in the frame too.  You may also like:  Fall Kindergarten Activity Pack.

 

 

Toilet Paper Roll Turkey Craft

fall crafts, turkey crafts

 

Looking for fall or Thanksgiving crafts for your preschooler or elementary school crafter?  Make this toilet paper roll turkey in no time and with little materials.  It’s a great project to make with the kids.  Save several tubes from the toilet paper.  Also, take a day and spend time with the kids gathering leaves on a nature hunt or a walk around you neighborhood.

You will need to press the leaves once you get them home.  Pressing the leaves is quite simple. This is another fun project to do with the kids.  Give them 2 pieces of wax paper.  Place the leaves between the two sheets of wax paper.  Place the sheets between the pages of a heavy book.  I actually used an phone book, and placed the book under my Kitchen Aid mixer.  After a few days, check the leaves to see if they are dry.  All moisture should be removed.  Once the leaves that you want to use have reached this stage, you are ready to assemble your turkey.   

You will also need the following items:

  • toilet paper roll
  • brown paint
  • paint brush
  • yellow construction paper
  • Googly Eyes ( I found these at the Dollar Tree)
  • leaves

Paint the toilet paper roll brown and allow it to dry thoroughly, approximately 15 minutes.  While the toilet paper roll is drying, spread 4-5 leaves into a fan. Make sure your center leaf is a little higher than the others, you want it to be higher than the tube.

Glue your leaves together with a hot glue gun or Elmer’s glue pen. Next, make the feet and a nose with your construction paper. Be sure to make your legs and feet long enough to hang from beneath the tube. I glued the legs on the inside of the toilet paper roll. Once the toilet paper roll is dry, glue your leaves, eyes, nose and feet to the tube. 


You may also like: 16 Mom Approved Beach Crafts 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16 Mom Approved Kid’s Beach Crafts

kids beach crafts, kids crafts, summer activities, summer crafts for kids, crafts for kids, crafts

Summer is in full swing and families are heading to the beach. When we go to the beach there are days that we don’t head out, we stay inside and enjoy a day or 2 of crafts and movies with the children. I decided to do a roundup of mom approved kid’s beach crafts that will be easy and fun to make.   

Here’s my roundup selections. Click on the link to check out the blog and instructions on how to make these adorable crafts or use the images as inspiration and create your version: 


1.  Dr. Seuss Crafts (Mrs. Thompson’s Treasures) 


2.  Fish Hands (Mom To Two Plush Lil Divas) 


3.  Grandma’s Sea of Love (Flickr Photo) 


4.  Shells and Shimmer (A List Maker’s Life)


5.  Fish Bowl (Walking By The Way)


6.  Construction Paper Fish (Buggy and Buddy)


7.  Celery Stamping Fish (Crafty Morning)


8.  Bucket & Shovel (Learn Create Love)


9.  Cupcake Liner Fish (I Heart Crafty Things)


10. Paper Lemonade (Pitter Patter Art)


11.  Paper Plate Whale (In The Play Room)


12. Egg Carton Ocean (The Imagination Tree)  


13. Paper Plate Shark (Almost Unschoolers)


14. Beach In A Bottle (Country Chic Cottage) 


15. Bears At The Beach Snack (The Chickabug Blog)


16. Under The Sea (Daisy Cottage Designs) 


These crafts are mom approved and have been shared so you can enjoy them with your little ones too.  Pick out a few for your beach trip or have a little summer fun at home. I had a hard time selecting a favorite, but I do love number 15 – Bears At the Beach Snack. What a great idea.   What’s your favorite?  Leave us a comment.  


  

15 Summer Activities For Kids

summer activities, summer ideas for kids, summer games for games

 

School’s out!  This time of year can be stressful, but joyful for the kids. The kids will be home all day and they will need to be occupied in a fun and healthy way.  Finding activities that they will enjoy and won’t break the bank is essential.  

Checking the local newspaper, subscribing to local sites like the zoo, the aquarium, family fun centers, can help you come up with activities.  Kids love to be outside getting fresh air and enjoying the sunshine too.  

Here’s a few activities on my list:

1.  Crafts and Coloring – I’ll occupy the 5  year old with crayons and printables that I collect all year. My grandson loves to do crafts.  He’s very artistic, so he enjoys drawing and painting. Stay tuned for my kid’s craft posts series.   

2. Matinee Movies – Matinees are a great summer activity with the kids. They’re much cheaper than evening shows.  

3. Family Fun Center – I can occupy them both at the water park, nature center, train rides, jungle gym, and games etc. 

4. We’ll spend a day at Shenandoah Caverns in Virginia – They have beautiful caverns, an area that houses props from Presidential Inaugurations, floats from Macy’s and the Rose Bowl parades, and an original 1957 Cafe that serves old time shakes, burgers and fries.  

5. Day At The Park – I will be planning an old fashioned picnic where you pack a basket with sandwiches, drinks etc. and find a spot where we can just enjoy nature, the swings, take walks, feed the ducks, paddle boats etc.  No grilling on this day.     

6.  Story Hour At the Library – I’m still partial to actual books and I’ve started a library for both of my grandchildren. I think it’s important that the kids be exposed to books and family friendly stories.  Our local library also offers other activities, so I’ll have to see what’s on the calendar during their stay.  

7.  Baking Day – We’ll make Mawmaw’s famous funnel cake and bake cupcakes.  The kids love to cook.  I found a kit that has flower pots that we can bake the cupcakes in.  A delicious cupcake baked in a flower pot makes a yummy day.   

8.  Berry Picking Day – We’ll spend a few hours at a local farm picking berries to make homemade jam.  They love it on toast and biscuits.

9.  Home Movie Day – We’ll spend the day watching movies from the home DVD collection and eating popcorn. I also have Infinity on Demand. I can found shows or movies that we didn’t see at the theater.  

10. Sprinkler Day & Sleep Over – I’ll invite a few of their cousins over to spend the day running through the sprinklers and a sleep over.  I have issues with public pools and the things that happen in them.  They can’t add enough chlorine for me! I’m debating on whether or not I want to put a pool in my backyard.  Once I retire, we’ll be able to enjoy it during the summer.   

11. Fishing  – We’ll spend the day fishing and throwing back the fish at one of the stocked ponds in the area.  Life jackets for this one.  

12. Summer Reading List –  We’re all avid readers in my family, and this summer I will be introducing a summer reading list to my grandson. I will be downloading a few books on his Kindle, but I also want him to enjoy handling a good old fashion book. 

13. Nature Hike – Set up a day to go on a small nature hike.  Give each kid a backpack with water, snacks, a magnifying glass, and disposal camera. You can look for bugs, birds, and flowers.  

14. Bird Watching – Buy inexpensive binoculars for the kids and find them a shady spot in the backyard where they can watch the birds from a feeding station. Let them fill up the feeders, and than wait for the birds to retrieve the treats. 

15. Sea Shell Hunt – If you live close to the beach, set up a day to go on a sea shell hunt. You can use the shells to make crafts. 

What activities do your children like to do or participate in during the summer?

 

18 Mother’s Day Crafts

18 Mother’s Day Craft Ideas For Kids

Mother’s Day is around the corner. I’ve been searching for a few projects to make with the kids for their mother and grandmothers.  I found quite a few adorable projects that would be perfect gifts for this special occasion. 

I always try to find a variety of crafts to offer the kids, because I never know what will inspire them. One day they love markers and crayons, the next day it could be finger paints. I also look for projects that require materials that I have on hand or that I can purchase from the Dollar Tree. You how much I love that store.

I wanted to share my roundup with you in hopes that you will be inspired to make a few Mother’s Day gifts with your children or grandchildren: 

1.  Picture Flower Pot – The Daily Craziness. My thought is to the create the flower pot as shown and than place a pot of tulips inside of it that can planted in the yard after Mother’s Day. The pot can be used later for herbs and placed in the kitchen window.  

2.  Button Bouquet –  Pinterest, but I was unable to locate it on the site referenced. It seems pretty simple to make, so bring out that jar of buttons, make a pretty bow and a few stem and start gluing. I think the kids will have fun placing the buttons to make the bouquet.  

3.  Heart House  –  Crafty Morning Great way to show mom how much you appreciate the home she has made for you. I found the idea on . A few craft sticks, buttons, cut out heart, some glue and you’re good to go.    

4.  Hand Print Flower – Nifty Mom. Simple enough to make with a toddler, finger paints and some card stock. 

5.  Teacup –  Mr. Printables.  It’s actually an invitation for a t.ea party, but it was so adorable I thought it could be adapted as a Mother’s Day gift.  What’s better than a tea party invitation from your son or daughter.   

6.  Hand Print Vase –  Love Bugs and Post Cards.  This could be a fun project.  Coming up with reasons why the kids love mom or grandma and tracing little hands can be a great way to start a Saturday. 

7.  Watering Can Mother’s Day Card –  Crafty Morning.  This project is at the top of my list. I will be changing the blue hearts with water drops. This blogger has several other Mother’s Day projects on her site, so be sure to check them out. 

8.   Mother’s Day Coupons –  Penny Pinching Mom. I love this idea. You print the coupons, color them, and than give them to mom. The coupons are for 1 breakfast in bed and 2 loads of folded laundry. How cute is that.  

9.   Mom Deserves A Hand – Happy Home Fairy The card is a free printable. Head to Bath & Body and let the kids pick out their favorite scent for mom. Clever idea. 

10.  Bottle Cap Flower –   Crafty Morning This is an easy craft to make in little time.  You will need to collect beer bottle caps, stock card, glue and a Sharpie. I saw this card on another site with a twist, the word MOM had been added to the top 3 caps for a personal touch.   

11.  Love You Bunches   – Crafty Morning This one is perfect for toddlers. It requires finger paints, stock card, and the joy of sticking your thumb in the paint. I would suggest making dots on the stock card and using the dots as a guide for the shape.  

12.  Folding Craft Stick Flowers –  Danielle’s Place  I loved the idea of the gift folding and being wrapped with a simple ribbon. My initial thought was to put a magnet on the back and stick it on the refrigerator after grandma or mom opens it or hang it with a pretty ribbon. Be creative.  

13.  Fingerprint Flowers – Crafty Morning  I think this is adorable for little fingers and you don’t need a lot of materials to complete the project.  If you don’t have scrapbook paper, stock card or construction paper should work.   

14.  Picture Monogram –  BHG  Be creative and use either M for mom, G for Grandma, or N for Nana if that’s what they children your mom or mother-in-law.  

15.  Lion Card –  Crafty Morning  This little card will be easy to make with a fork, marker, a piece of stock card, and eyes from your local craft store.  I actually found a bag of eyes at the Dollar Store for a buck.

16.  Love You To Pieces –  Clip Zine.  Have a puzzle laying around with missing pieces?  Recycle it and make this adorable gift for mom or grandma.  

17.  Hand Print Towel –  This Simple Home. This is a great idea for Mother’s Day, Christmas or a birthday present.   

18.  Hand Print Bouquet –  Simply Sweet Teaching  I love the idea of using hand and foot prints children’s art. This idea could be framed or a background other than black used. I do love adding the year to the print. 

I hope you have been inspired by a few of the craft ideas for Mother’s Day gifts. Please leave me a comment and let me know your favorites. 





9 Paper Plate Craft Ideas For Kids

paper plate crafts

April Showers Bring May Flowers! They also bring the children inside and along with that comes boredom, fights, and too much free time.

My grandson loves to do crafts and I love paper plate crafts.  So, I decided to do a round up of paper plate crafts that I thought he would be interesting in creating.  I focused more on crafts for boys in this roundup.  I have found that there a tons of crafts and other projects for girls, but not much for boys.

Furthermore, I think we forget that little boys need and want to work on their creativity too.  This roundup does have a few crafts that girls may be interested in.  However, they may love the Spider Man, pirate and police car too.

Also, I love the simplicity of most of the crafts.  Paper plates, paint, numbers etc.  Most of the items if not all can be purchased from the Dollar Store.   Let’s check out the roundup:

1.  Giraffe –  First, I found this giraffe on Zayit and Ziva.  I love the little spots on this guy. Looks like a fun craft to make with kids of any age.

2.  Pirates – Ships Ahoy!  I found these pirates on How Wee Learn. This would be a great craft to make at a Pirates birthday party.

3.  Clock – I found this clock idea at Storytime Kate. I loved this idea. It’s a great way to start teaching my grandson how to tell time.

4.  Owl – I found this little guy on Crafts by Amanda. This looks easy enough for a toddler to work on also with assistance.

5.  Police Car – I found this police car on Terrific Preschool Years. I love this idea. It’s a great time to have a conversation with your child about the police and their importance.

6.   Saw – Sixth, I found this saw idea on Easy Preschool Craft. This is a perfect idea for Father’s Day.

7.  Sun – I found this ray of sunshine on About.com.  I think this would be a great craft to make with my granddaughter. The little hand prints for the rays are perfect.

8.  Spider Man – I found this Spider Man plate on In the Playroom.  This is a great craft idea for all the little guys who love Superheroes.

9.  Paper Plate Goose – I found this swan on Making Learning Fun. This is a great site for craft ideas for kids of all ages.

Last, I hope you like my paper plate craft ideas, and find something to make for a rainy day. Which is your favorite?

You may also like: Kid’s Garden Crafts Roundup