Posted in Craft Corner

Summer Kid Craft- Beach/Ocean Scenes

To kick off my little girl mini craft parties for July, we created ocean and beach scenes with watercolors, sand, and embellishments.

This was one of my favorites. The creator wanted an ocean floor scene

This craft was especially fun to create in my beach themed craft room. This room is my calm, happy place, and the little girls just love it, although I have heard there needs to be more pink. 😉 We have set three simple rules to keep chaos at bay when we craft:

  1. Keep the mess at the table.
  2. Share the supplies.
  3. Clean up after yourself.


For this craft I gathered together:

  • sturdy paper plates (dinner size) with no pattern
  • watercolor paint
  • assorted paint brushes
  • clear plastic cups for water (I reuse these)
  • craft sand (I had pink, blue, white and a little bit of beige sand on hand)
  • miniature seashells and pebbles (I also had a package of colored starfish)
  • Elmer’s clear glue
  • scratch sheets of paper for testing colors or doodling

Those were the basics. I also pulled out of my craft cupboard:

  • ocean themed stickers (I had mermaids, seashells, and sea creatures)
  • ocean themed paper punches (I had a seashell, fish, seahorse, dolphin and shark)
  • colored paper for the punches or anything else
  • glue sticks
  • scissors
  • Another option is to find a free printable ocean creature coloring page online and reduce the size to scale if necessary.


The only instructions I gave the girls was to paint the ocean first, and let it dry, before applying the sand. We found the easiest way to glue on the sand was to sponge brush the glue over the entire area and then gently shake the sand over the glue.


For the past couple of weeks we’ve been trying to come up with a fun name for our craft club. We haven’t came up with any winners yet though. If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear them.


For the snack I planned ahead and had my son make up berry blue jello in clear cups. Once it set (after approx. three hours) the girls added crushed graham crackers to represent sand, whipped topping (sea foam?), and Swedish fish. I didn’t think to do this, but Nerds can be added to the bottom before the jello to represent pebbles. I did find some neon sour octopus candy and added one at the bottom of some of the jello cups before setting. It was kind of creepy, haha, but the girls told me it was yummy.

My son created this scene. 🙂

♥ Are you and your kids crafting this summer? I hope you’re staying cool! Temps here this week (northern Utah) are in the 90’s. Perfect timing for my AC to go out in my car, right? The mechanics have yet to find the leak so I’ve got to take it back in one week for a recheck. I’ve also come down with a fun head cold. Ah, the fun surprises of life. Thanks for visiting. Happy July! ♥

Posted in Craft Corner

Summer Kid Craft- Leis


I’ve been hosting little girl mini craft parties all month long. This week the girls in my crafting club made leis. I thought they turned out pretty cute.

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My daughter’s garnet ornament

These craft parties all began with a Christmas craft party my daughters and I hosted back in December 2015 with five neighbor girls. They made birthstone ornaments, snow globes, and decorated sugar cookies.

These fairy gardens were a big hit with the girls.

That party led us to host more craft parties, usually around a holiday or in the summer months, and with each party we held, another girl or a couple more girls would join us. Each party would be three to four hours long and include lunch or dinner. And they were a blast for everyone involved.

Painting kindness rocks was our first summer craft.

This summer I decided to host mini craft parties once a week in June. They were two hours long and held in my new craft room. I chose one simple craft per session and included a snack, which the moms of the girls provided as a contribution. I had to hold two separate sessions, one in the morning and one in the afternoon to accommodate all of the girls as my craft room comfortably seats 10 at my table. This turned out to be a brilliant idea because I started this summer with 13 girls and I now have 19 girls in my craft club.


We ended June’s crafting with lei making and these are the supplies we used:

  • Fabric lei flowers. I bought mine off Amazon. It was an inexpensive party pack of 30 Hawaiian-style leis. Their quality isn’t great, but good enough for this craft.
  • Paper straws in a variety of colors and patterns. You can find these in the party section of Walmart or Hobby Lobby and also at Michael’s.
  • Pony beads in a variety of colors. I just grabbed what we already had on hand.
  • White string
  • Sewing/crafting needles
  • Scissors


My preparation for this craft included taking apart the party leis and separating the flowers by color. I then cut the paper straws by fourths or fifths so that each straw came out to be 1.5″ to 2″ long. I cut the string to 40″ lengths. That seemed to work out just right for a medium-length lei after tying off the ends.

I counted approx. 16 flowers for each flower-straw-flower lei.

I had each girl tie a bead at the end of her string as she was beginning and most of the girls used a sewing needle to thread the flowers, beads and straws onto their strings. Most of the girls chose a flower-straw-flower-straw pattern, and some girls inserted beads after each flower or on each end of the straws.

♥ The finishing touch was having the girls make cards for each lei recipient. These leis and cards were given to grandmothers and cancer patients in our neighborhood. Some of the moms were willing to take their daughters to deliver these in person. ♥ From feedback received by some of the girls and their moms, I’ve decided to continue my weekly craft parties in July, with a break for the holiday week of the 4th. ♥


Posted in Craft Corner

Summer Kid Craft- Paper Sack Nature Journals

This month I’ve been holding weekly two hour craft sessions in my beach themed crafting room with several neighbor girls. I hold a morning session and an afternoon session because I have as many as 14 girls showing up to craft and my table comfortably seats 10.

This was my favorite journal cover.

So far we’ve painted kindness rocks and miniature crates. This week the girls decorated their own summer nature journals. This is a great example of how easy and inexpensive kid crafts can be. I have done elaborate kid crafts before, such as fairy gardens (I’ll have to post on that another day), but this craft reminded me how simplicity can be golden. I honestly think this has been my favorite craft yet with “my” girls. 🙂

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There are only four main supplies needed for paper sack journals: lunch sacks, blank paper (such as copy paper), something to bind the two together (we’ll get to that in a minute), and coloring tools, such as markers, colored pencils, and/or crayons.

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I also supplied a few nature-themed stamps I had on hand, black ink pads, some nature-themed stencils, and washi tape (some of the girls used washi tape to cover the staples and give a book a bound look).

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I did not take pictures of the assembly, which my daughter and I did beforehand (to save time). For each journal we simply folded a lunch sack in half. That made the cover. We then folded two 8.5 x 11″ sheets of paper in half length-wise, and then into fourths. We cut along the longest folds, leaving the short folds in-tack. That gave each journal eight blank pages. We cut the edges with scallop scissors, centered them inside the sack and then stapled it together.


Another option for binding would be using a hole punch and then threading ribbon or yarn through it. By the way, eight pages, with one paper sack, proved to be just enough for our stapler to handle.

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Here’s an example with the washi tape. The dragon fly was made with a stencil, water color pencils and sequins.

My sketch of a Lilly

After the girls decorated their journal covers, inside and out, I sent them outside for a nature hunt. We made up our own nature hunt and chose descriptive words such as soft, hard, smooth, bumpy, fast, slow, high, low, red, exquisite, etc. The girls found items to fit each category and some wrote them in their journals, while others chose one item to observe and sketch. We then discussed some of the items they found.  I suggested that the girls write the date on their journal page.

♥ Have you ever made a paper sack journal? My daughter told me that for some of her girls camps, they were given paper sack journals to record their camp experiences. So this could be something your kids make up before a family vacation. And it’s so simple! ♥

Posted in Craft Corner

Summer Kid Craft- Father’s Day Themed

This month I’m hosting little girl mini craft parties every week. The kick off craft was painting kindness rocks. The second craft was in honor of Father’s Day- The girls painted mini crates as key or candy holders for their fathers. They also decorated sugar cookies because what dad doesn’t like a sweet treat?

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I bought these cute little crates from Michael’s for a dollar each.


I also purchased an assortment of nuts for the finishing touch. I supervised the glue gun of course. This craft party was a good opportunity to teach the girls that “less is more”. It’s kind of a tricky line for me because I want the girls to be free to craft by their personal style, and some girls instinctively prefer simplicity, while other girls gravitate to impulse and flair. I am teaching these girls to pour paint sparingly (as the excess usually gets wasted), and to share supplies. I’m also teaching them to clean up after themselves, washing out their paint brushes, throwing away trash, and returning paint to my craft cabinet, etc.


The cookies turned out great. I used the recipe in a Better Homes and Garden cookbook and made them up the day before. I made sure to have plenty of frosting and sprinkles on hand, as well as food coloring.


I found the cookie cutters at Hobby Lobby. One set was the bow tie, tie, and mustache. The other set was a cowboy hat, cowboy boot and a cowboy (I didn’t use the cowboy shape, however).


The Cheez Wiz crackers were a hit with the little girls.

Since I do not charge for my craft parties, the moms take turns providing the snack. This was the most gourmet snack we’ve ever had! There was also a fruit bowl. And of course the girls had to sample some of the extra sugar cookies.

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The girls also made Father’s Day cards, and this one was my favorite.

♥ I wish all the dads out there a Happy Father’s Day. I am missing my own daddy today. I haven’t seen him in several years. I sometimes hear from him on my birthday and at Christmas, but mostly it feels like I don’t have my father in my life anymore. Sometimes I struggle with that, but then I remember that I will always have my first father who is my Heavenly Father. I know He is always here for me, even thought I can’t see him or speak to him face to face. I pray to Him and I know He hears and answers my prayers. I’m also deeply thankful for my husband because he is an amazing father to our children. ♥

Posted in Craft Corner

Summer Kid Craft- Rock Painting

For the month of June this summer I’m hosting weekly mini craft parties, as I call them, for some of my young neighbor girls. Our first craft was today and the girls painted rocks. I wanted their focus to be on Kindness Rocks. The main idea of kindness rocks is to spread cheer and sunshine through thoughtfully painted rocks. These rocks are painted brightly and often contain a positive affirmation or just one powerful word. And then they are placed around the community- in public places- for anyone to stumble upon. I also told the girls they could paint a rock with a specific person in mind.

Some of the girls snuck a kindness rock into my fairy garden. 🙂

For this craft I gathered clean rocks with a fairly smooth surface on one side, acrylic paints in assorted colors, paint markers for writing (optional), paint brushes in assorted sizes, and a clear sealer to help make the rocks weather resistant. I bought Krylon DIY sealer at Hobby Lobby.


I first prepared my craft room table by covering it with a plastic tablecloth and had paper plates (for the paint) and baby wipes on hand. The girls used sponge brushes for the base paint and smaller brushes for the detailing. I had four colors of fine tip paint markers for them to use- gold, silver, white, and black. I bought these at Hobby Lobby also.


Some like to paint the whole rock, but I think it looks great just to paint one side of a rock and leave the sides and bottom natural.



When the rocks were finished, I sprayed them with the sealer (outside) and then we hopped in my car and drove a little ways to a nature park in our neighborhood. The girls placed some rocks in random spots there, and then we drove to a woman’s home and the girls placed rocks on her porch. This woman is battling cancer and she is a member of our church congregation. The girls thought of her because she had been a leader/teacher to them before she got sick.


♥ Have you ever made kindness rocks? Do you and your children like to craft together in the summer? ♥

Posted in Craft Corner

Tulip Garden Craft

On Saturday, my daughter, Darcie, and I hosted a little girl spring craft party with 14 girls from our neighborhood. Our original group consists of nine girls, but often we end up with someone’s cousin or neighbor, making ten. This time, we ended up with one cousin and four neighbors (three which are sisters). It meant an extra shopping trip, but with Darcie’s help, we managed to keep the group contained to my craft room, kitchen and living room. We simply set a few rules and divided the girls into two teams. They even gave their teams a name: “Blue Penguins” and “Camie’s Awesome Owls”, which I was not expecting. 🙂

Darcie and I set up three craft stations- tulip gardens were made at my craft table; sugar scrubs were made at the kitchen table; and stamping cards and paper sacks took place at the kitchen island. This way, when a girl finished her scrub or tulip garden before the others, she was allowed to stamp and color a card and a paper sack (as a gift bag for the sugar scrub) where she was out of the way and still busy. We also set up an extra table for the girls to keep their crafts once they were finished. We taped a sheet of paper with their names on them to the table.


Inspired by the tulips growing in my yard which I planted last fall, I came up with a tulip garden craft which was fairly easy and turned out wonderfully.


For this craft, I chose the following supplies-

  • Clear, plastic bowls, labeled “garden bowls”, from the craft section of Dollar Tree
  • Floral Styrofoam disks, also from Dollar Tree (2 per package)
  • Brown or green paint, and sponge brush, to paint the disks to look like dirt or grass
  • Craft moss, from Dollar Tree or a craft store
  • 4″ x 6″ foam sheets, from Dollar Tree and Walmart (32 sheets per package in assorted colors)
  • Green or green patterned paper straws, from Michael’s and Hobby Lobby (in the paper/craft and party sections)
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks (I found the high-temp gun worked better than the low-temp)
  • Elmer’s Craft Bond glue (I love this brand of craft glue)
  • Cotton balls, as filler (optional)
  • River rocks or glass rocks, from Dollar Tree or a craft store (or from outside)
  • Craft thread, from Dollar Tree or a craft store, and a large sewing needle (optional)
  • Stickers or washi tape (optional) to decorate the outside of the bowls


I did do some prep work beforehand for a group this size. Otherwise, I would’ve involved the child in each step, supervising the hot glue of course:

  • I cut the straws in half because I felt this was the perfect stem size
  • I painted the foam disks brown to resemble dirt (allow time to dry)
  • I hot-glued the painted disks to the bottom of the bowls
  • I made a tulip template out of cardstock and used it to cut several tulips out of various colors of foam (but I left plenty of uncut foam for girls to make their own designs)


Most of the girls chose to decorate the outsides of their bowls first with washi tape. I tried to get them to apply the tape in small pieces, but they thought it was more fun to roll out long lengths at a time, haha. They turned out adorable even if the tape didn’t go on evenly due to the shape of the bowl. 😀


For every tulip, each girl either cut her own tulip design out of the foam or used my pre-cut ones, or a combination of both. Each basic tulip took two matching parts, one for the front and the other for the back, with the straw-stem glued in between. Then the front was glued to the back, with a little cotton fluff as filler, if desired.


Some of the girls chose to create their own, more intricate design, and some girls were up to stitching their flowers with craft thread, which was great sewing practice. I overheard one girl ask, “Why don’t we just use a sewing machine?” 😛


I supervised the girls with the needles and hot glue gun, of course. I ended up helping several tie their ends and I tried to show them two different ways to stitch. Once the tulips were finished, the girls placed them in the Styrofoam disks and glued down moss and river/glass rocks as desired. One girl made a caterpillar and rock totem.


We could’ve added foam leaves, but I didn’t think of that in my prep work and I kind of like the simplicity of the stems alone. The important thing is that what I gave the girls to do sparked their creativity, which is the goal. I’ve heard it said that art is more open-ended than craft projects, but I disagree. I think crafts can be open-ended, too!


♥ If you or your child makes this craft, I’d love to see it. Thanks for visiting my blog, and Happy Spring! ♥

Posted in Craft Corner

My Craft Room Reveal

I have the sweetest husband and sons in the world! For most of March they were hard at work transforming our den into my craft room. One Saturday they began by taking every single item out of our giant junk drawer, a.k.a the family den. Then they ripped out the carpet and took down a wall counter that was attached to one end of the room.

I was allowed to choose two paint colors and the vinyl flooring, but that was it! My guys designed this space top to bottom, in secret, and mysterious packages were delivered and hid from me. The big reveal was on the 26th.

Drum roll please!



I chose paint colors that remind me of the beach and ocean. Based on that, my guys decided to run with a beach theme.



The dark blue panels are chalkboard paint, which was my youngest son’s idea.


I chose a warm walnut-finish vinyl flooring, which is waterproof and ideal for messy creativity.


My husband designed and built this craft table for me. It’s just the right size for ten little girls (three on each long side, two on each short end). Every two-to-three months, I host a little girl craft party with nine neighborhood girls. We always have a blast together and they are excited to have our spring crafting party in this fun room. They will sit on bar stools which I still need to spray paint white.



All of the decorations were chosen by my husband with the kids’ input.


I’ve owned this WorkBox 3.0 from The Original ScrapBox for almost a year now and I absolutely love it. It’s perfect for keeping and organizing all of my crafting treasures from glitter to ribbon to decorative papers to paint. It fits perfectly in this space!



So there you have it! There’s even extra space in the closet, but I haven’t done anything with it yet.


♥ Thanks for visiting my craft room with me! Do you have a devoted space for creativity? I’d love to see it if you’ve posted about it. I hope you’re having a fantastic day. ♥