December 2, 2014

Sharpe Mugs

Coffee, tea and hot chocolate go over well in our house. And making custom mugs to drink from is a lot of fun. 

For this craft all you need is a plain white mug, some sharpie markers and an oven. 

My princesses get extra excited to make these mugs because they get to use the forbidden markers. 

Once my princesses are finished coloring on the mug, place the mugs on a cookie sheet and bake them at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Then let them cool. The baking process will bake the marker onto the mug, making it permanent.

This project is great for a snow day or to give as a special gift.  

"Find It" Ornament

One of my Lords and Ladies favorite quiet games is called "Find It". It's basically a clear tube filled with tiny plastic beads that hide objects. The goal is to find all of the objects. We decided it would be fun to make our own version of this game using a large clear plastic Christmas ornament. 

To start gather as many small objects as you can find to hide in the ornament. Since this is a Christmas themed game, we decided to use rice to hide the objects to give the illusion of snow. Also, make sure you use a plastic ornament. Since this game is hands on, there is a chance it could shatter if you use glass. 

Pour a small amount of rice into the ornament and then add a couple of the objects. Keep layering the rice and objects until the ornament is mostly full. You don't want to fill it up too much, you want to be able to move the rice around. 

Once the ornament is full, use a little hot glue to glue the top of the ornament on and then start playing.

Caution: this ornament may be too heavy to hang on a tree. But since it's so much fun to play with it won't spend much time there anyway. 

Hand & Foot Print Christmas Crafts

What can I say, I am a sucker for hand print crafts. I love nothing more than to go back through the years and see how tiny my princesses hands used to be. 

This year my Lords and Ladies are making several hand print crafts to give to their parents for Christmas. Below are a couple of the crafts we have been working on. 

Hand Print Christmas Tree

To make this craft, we used a 16x20 canvas and some acrylic paint. 

I brushed green paint onto their hands, starting with the oldest Lord or Lady. 

Then we placed their hands in a pyramid shape creating the look of a Christmas tree.

Once the hand prints dried, we painted a star at the top and painted red circles for ornaments.

Hand Print Ornaments

For this craft we used a clear glass ball ornament and some acrylic paint. 

First I painted my princess's hand and then placed her hand on the glass ball to leave the hand print. 

Once the paint was dry I then placed a piece of tulle inside the ball to give it some color. 

Mistletoes Foot Prints 

This craft is great for younger Lords and Ladies who sometimes have a hard time with the hand print crafts. 

I used a piece of card stock, and printed "Mistletoes" on the bottom. You can hand write this, but my handwriting isn't as fabulous. 

We painted this little Lady's feet with green acrylic paint, and then left her foot prints on the paper in a V shape with the heels touching. 

Once the paint dried, I hot glued some embellishments I picked up at the craft store onto the picture. Then I placed it in an 8x10 picture frame. 

All three of these crafts make great personal Christmas gifts that can be enjoyed for years to come. 

December 1, 2014

Cinnamon Ornaments

The two smells I associate with Christmas are cinnamon and pine. It seems only natural to combine the two with these incredibly easy to make cinnamon ornaments. You probably even already have the supplies to make them in you house. 

Items needed:
- 1 Cup Applesauce
- 1 1/4 Cup Cinnamon
- 1 Tbsp Ground Cloves
- Ribbon

Mix the applesauce, cinnamon and cloves in a large mixing bowl with a spoon until it becomes a nice dough.

Sprinkle some cinnamon on the counter and on the rolling pin to prevent the dough from sticking. Place the ball of dough on the counter and roll it out. 

Use cookie cutters to cut shapes in the dough. 

Using a straw to cut a hole in the ornament so it can be hung on the Christmas tree.

Bake at 200 degrees for 2 hours. Your house will smell amazing even hours after the ornaments have finished baking. 

Once the ornaments are cool, string 4-5 inches of ribbon through the hole and place on the Christmas tree.

Salt Dough Ornaments

For Christmas this year I decided to have my Lords and Ladies make all of the ornaments on our tree. The first ornaments we made were salt dough ornaments. I remember making these when I was little and it was always so much fun. And, everything needed to make them are basic household items.

Items needed:
- 4 Cups Flour
- 1 1/2 Cups Salt
- 1 1/2 Cups Water
- Cookie Cutters
- Paint
- Ribbon

To start, mix the flour, salt and water in a large mixing bowl. Don't even bother with a spoon, this dough is not at all spoon friendly. This is where it gets fun for my Lords and Ladies, it's their chance to dig in and mix the dough with their hands. If the dough is too dry, add a little more water. If it's too wet, add a little more flour. 

Once the dough is a good consistency (similar to homemade play dough), split it in half or thirds, whatever is most manageable, and roll it out. Tip: sprinkle a little flour on the counter and on the rolling pin or the dough will stick. 

When the dough is about a quarter of an inch thick, use cookie cutters to cut the dough into shapes. 

Place the shapes on a baking sheet and then use a straw to cut a hole in the ornament so it can be hung on the Christmas tree. It's important to do this before baking the dough, otherwise it could be tricky hanging the ornaments.

Bake the ornaments at 300 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Once the ornaments are cool, they are ready to paint.

Use some ribbon, 4-5 inches per ornament is plenty to hang the ornaments on the Christmas tree. These also make great homemade gifts or party favors.

Mini Pumpkin Pies

It has become a yearly tradition for my little Lords and Ladies to make personal mini pumpkin pies to celebrate Thanksgiving. I almost forgot to make them this year and they were all quick to remind me that we had not done them yet. Luckily I happened to have all of the supplies on hand. 

Ingredients needed:
- Pie Crust
- 1 15oz can of Pureed pumpkin
- 1 Tbsp Pumpkin Pie spice
- Sweetened Condensed Milk
- 2 Eggs

I always buy the refrigerated pre-made pie crust. I should probably someday learn how to make my own, but for now, pre-made works just fine for me. If you cut the dough just right, there is just enough dough to make 12 mini pies, plus a little extra left over to make fun little leaves to garnish the pies. I used a plastic storage bowl as a template. I found one that fit over the mini pie tin so there was enough dough to cover the rim. If you don't have mini pie tins, you could use a muffin pan.

Next, I rolled out the leftover dough and used a fun leaf shaped cookie cutter to cut out my leaf garnishes.

For the filling, mix the pumpkin, pie spice, eggs and sweetened condensed milk together until well blended. This is usually where I have my little Lords and Ladies help. It's a really great way for the little ones to practice counting and older ones to practice fractions. 

Once the filling is mixed pour enough filling into the pie crust to almost reach the top. Then place the leaf garnish on the top of the pie. 

Place the pie tins on a cookie sheet and bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes.

Once the pies are finished baking, let them cool for at least an hour or two. 



November 18, 2014

DIY Washer Necklaces

All princesses love jewelry, really who doesn't? The only thing more fun than wearing jewelry is making jewelry. My Princesses and Little Ladies all made washer necklaces today. These easy creations are perfect for birthday party crafts, BFF gifts, Christmas gifts or just to make for themselves.

Most of the items needed to create these necklaces are probably already sitting around your house. All you need are some metal washers, we happened to have two sizes (though I can't tell you what sizes, they were the ones sitting in the plastic tub in the garage), fun colored nail polish, some ribbon and wax paper.

Place some wax paper on the table to protect it. And unlike regular paper, the wet washers won't stick as much. 

Then let your Little Ladies go to town painting the washers with the nail polish. I prefer using nail polish over paint, because there are more sparkly options and it gives the necklaces a shine that paint just can't achieve.

Once the nail polish is dry use a piece of ribbon to create your necklace chain.

My Princesses and Little Ladies had so much fun making these and I enjoyed listening to them talk about who they were giving each necklace to as a gift. I do love these generous girls. 


Snowman Pancakes

Today was the first snow day of the school year. To celebrate I decided to surprise my Princesses and little Lords and Ladies with snowman pancakes for breakfast. Snowman pancakes are a lot like regular pancakes, the only difference are the warm hugs you get afterwards.

Ingredients needed:
- Pancake Mix
- Vanilla
- Cinnamon
- Chocolate Chips
- Fruit Loops
- Powdered Sugar

To start follow the directions on the pancake mix just like you were going to make regular pancakes. Then add a splash of vanilla and sprinkle in some cinnamon and mix thoroughly. These additional flavors give it an awesome and almost magical taste. 

Then using a preheated griddle, pour a small amount of batter to make the head and then overlap the first circle with a larger amount of batter to make the snowman body. I find using a 1/4 cup measuring cup works great to pour your batter onto the griddle. However, I did not use a full measuring cup of batter.

When the batter gets all bubbly, flip the snowman over to cook the other side.

When the snowman is fully cooked, place it on a plate and decorate it. I sprinkled powdered sugar "snow" on top. Then the kids used chocolate chips for the eyes, mouth and buttons and an orange fruit loop for his nose. 

This was a really fun and easy way to start our day. I realize this isn't a recipe totally from scratch, this recipe isn't about the pancakes, it's more about the smiles you get from your Lords and Ladies and the memories you make on a day where you are snowed inside. 


For more breakfast ideas, check out how to make homemade instant oatmeal