Posted in Craft Corner

Haunted Barn Halloween Cards

It’s been a while since I have made cards. I pulled out my Halloween papers and stickers last week and ended up making these haunted barn cards. I love that I live a country setting where barns are scattered everywhere. Sometimes I even dream of having my own crafting barn. 🙂

I made my own barn template, which I admit was a bit tricky!

For these cards I used the following supplies:

  • Black cards
  • Halloween and fall themed paper
  • Wood themed paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Small leaf craft punch
  • Stampin’ Up’s owl punch
  • Halloween stickers
Poor witch!

Halloween will be here before we know it! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you have a fantastic week!

Posted in Craft Corner

Around the World Crafts (Canada, Italy, Peru, China & Greece)

This is a bittersweet post because it represents the end of my fabulous SURF Club (Sweet Unique aRtsy Friends) or my craft days with my sweet neighbor girls. This was probably our last activity, a three hour craft party in August before school started back up. (I say probably because my house doesn’t appear to be selling anytime soon, so I might have a reunion at some point. You never know!) This party was a lot of fun and 22 girls participated, which was a LOT of girls to host. Because of that, I didn’t get many pictures of their crafts and my cameraman, aka, my teenage son, took more photos of the girls having fun together. 🙂

The theme for this party was Around the World. I chose five countries to represent and each country has a meaning for me and my family: We have lived in Canada and my son served a 2-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Calgary. We’ve also lived in Peru, twice, and my daughter served her 18-month mission in Cusco. I’ve visited Italy and Greece with my husband on a European cruise anniversary trip. My oldest daughter is currently preparing to move to China to teach English for a year.

Maple Leaf Craft- Canada

One of Canada’s symbols is the maple leaf. For this craft I provided the following supplies:

  • Outline of the maple leaf printed on white cardstock. Find one here.
  • Red crayons and markers (optional)
  • Red scraps of felt, craft foam, and scrapbook paper (I found red glitter paper)
  • Red pom poms
  • Glue sticks and Elmer’s glue (or try Mod Podge and a paint brush)
  • Scissors

To make: Choose from the materials available and glue each piece inside the maple leaf outline until it’s filled in. Scissors can be used to cut paper and other materials into triangular shapes to help with the leaf “points”. Red marker or crayon may be used to outline the leaf or color parts as desired.

The food we served to accompany this craft was maple bars. Yum!

Masquerade Masks- Italy

I brought back some masquerade masks as souvenirs when I visited Italy and these remind me of those. For this craft the girls used the following supplies:

  • Pre-cut paper plate masks, ready to decorate. (Use sturdy, plain white paper plates (these have a fun scalloped edge) and for eye holes, I recommend an oval craft punch or I had a cutting board with an oval stencil and cutting tool designed for that stencil. I spaced the eye holes closer together for younger girls and a little wider apart for older girls.)
  • Long craft sticks (the wide kind; I bought mine from Walmart)
  • Paint in a variety of colors
  • Paint brushes in a variety of sizes
  • Craft feathers and other embellishments, if desired (sequins, pom poms, etc.)
  • Glitter (optional; there are glitter paints which are fun and less messy)
  • Elmers glue
  • Scotch or other tape

To make: Choose one or two base colors to paint on mask, adding glitter and details as desired. Allow paint to completely dry before adding embellishments such as feathers with Elmer’s glue or tape (feathers can be added to the front or from the back). Once the mask is completely dry (or before painting if preferred), secure the craft stick to the back of the mask with tape.

A food choice for Italy could be pizza or gelato.

Fluffy Llamas- Peru

These were my favorite out of all the crafts! They really turned out darling. For this craft I supplied:

  • The outline of a llama printed on white cardstock (My daughter drew the llama because she’s an amazing artist.)
  • Cotton balls
  • Craft foam or paper
  • Craft string
  • Tiny pom poms in bright colors
  • Googly eyes
  • Markers and crayons
  • Elmer’s glue and glue sticks
  • Scissors

To make: Stretch and pull the cotton balls to fluff them out. Glue the cotton fluff on the entire inside of the llama, avoiding the feet (it might be easier to color the feet first, if desired). Glue a googly eye so the llama can see. Cut a saddle or blanket out of foam or paper and glue on. Embellish with string and tiny pom poms, if desired. (Peruvian llamas often have tassels on their ears!) Give your llama a name.

The food we served to represent Peru was Salchipapas, which in its most basic form is French fries and sliced hot dog mixed together. Add dipping sauces for fun.

Chinese Dragon Bookmarks- China

DSC07478 (2)

This is the only photo I have of this craft! For this craft, I supplied:

  • Extra long craft sticks (see photo above)
  • Pre-printed dragon heads, sized for the bookmark (found online here)
  • Scrapbook or construction paper in a variety of colors 
  • Plain paper, such as white construction paper or printer paper
  • Craft scissors (the fun kind such as these
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks 
  • Mod Podge and paint brush (optional)
  • Markers

DSC07478 (3)

To make: Choose two or three colors of paper to alternate in a pattern. Cut the paper in small strips to fit the length of the craft stick. Use craft scissors to create scallops or zig zag edges. A glue stick works beautifully for this craft, or if you’d like to seal the paper to last longer, use Mod Podge with a paint brush to both glue and seal the paper (use Mod Podge both under and over the paper strips; it will dry clear). Once the “body” is done, color and cut out the dragon head, and glue it to the “top” with glue stick. For a tail, make and color your own out of white paper, cut, and glue to “bottom” with glue stick.

Even though fortune cookies are an American and Japanese creation, my daughter made each girl a fortune cookie to represent China. She used a recipe similar to this one and she used Disney movie quotes as her fortunes. These were a big hit with the girls.

Laurel Wreath Headbands- Greece

Isn’t my daughter cute? Here she’s helping a little girl make her laurel wreath.

This is a colorful version of the green laurel wreath. For this craft, I supplied:

  • Construction paper cut into long 2″ wide strips, approx. (I found an extra long construction pad at Walmart.*)
  • Stapler
  • Glue sticks
  • Pre-cut construction paper leaves, in a variety of colors and sizes
  • Embellishments, such as little pom poms
It’s coincidence that this crown has the same colors as my daughter’s. 🙂

To make: Start with the band, made from long wide strips of construction paper. This band will be the wreath base and needs to wrap around the head comfortably. *Even with extra long construction paper, which is optional, another length of band was required to make the band long enough to wrap around the head. Use a stapler to connect the two band lengths together, but don’t staple the ends into a circle just yet. It’s easier to glue onto a flat band.

I pre-cut paper leaves for smoother sailing at this party, but your child can make his or her own paper leaves. This tutorial explains an easy way to make the leaves for this craft. Once the leaves are cut out, glue any way desired onto the band using a glue stick. Add embellishments if desired. Once everything is on the band, staple the ends together so that the band comfortably sits on the head. Band ends may overlap.

The snack we served with this Greek craft was orange slices drizzled with honey.

And that was our Around the World craft party. Thanks so much for visiting my blog today. I hope you’re having a fantastic week! It’s snowing here in Montana today. Way too early for snow in my opinion. It’s like fall barely made a show! 

Posted in Craft Corner

Summer Crafts- Tic Tac Toe Travel Game and Pool Noodle Creatures

This week at SURF Club my girls made Tic Tac Toe games and pool noodle creatures. They don’t necessarily go together, but both were super easy and inexpensive to make.

For this craft I supplied:

  • 5×7 fabric pouches (I bought these from a party store)
  • Cut up foam board, between 4×4.5″ and 4×6″ approx. (I just eye-balled it and I used a craft knife to cut the foam board; could also use cardboard)
  • Soda bottle caps and small soda/water lids (8 caps per game)
  • Fabric markers
  • Paint and paintbrushes

First, the girls painted their bottle caps/lids. I thought four “x’s” and four “o’s” were the perfect amount. Some of the caps required two coats of paint to completely cover.

While the caps were drying, the girls put their unpainted boards inside their fabric pouches so they could color the outside with fabric markers. One option the girls had was to add a tic tac toe board directly on the bag. That could eliminate the board, but the board still served a purpose (to keep the markers from bleeding through to the other side of the bag).

The last step was to paint the boards. Most of the girls chose to paint a solid background color and once that had dried, they added the lines. I had to remind some of the girls what a tic tac toe board looked like: two evenly spaced parallel lines and two evenly spaced vertical lines, making 9 spaces in total.

For this craft I supplied:

  • Cut up pool noodles (I just sawed them with a bread knife, eye-balling it)
  • Craft glue (We used a hot glue gun, supervised of course)
  • Googly eyes
  • Chenille stems
  • Feathers
  • Paint and paint brushes (optional; my girls just love to paint!)

There are not really steps for this craft. Just put out the supplies and let the kids use their imaginations. 🙂

These were fun and simple crafts the girls of all ages enjoyed. Thanks so much for visiting my blog! Have you been crafting with your kids this summer? How about having a family crafting party! I think crafting together is lots of fun, and a great way to get away from screens.

Posted in Craft Corner

Summer Craft- Ocean Creatures

Continuing with our ocean theme, this week my SURF Club girls made three kinds of ocean creatures- jellyfish, crabs, and sea turtles.

Jellyfish, sea turtles, and crabs, oh my!

The idea for the jellyfish came from my husband’s desire to use up left over bowls after a family event. When I showed him a similar picture from Pinterest, he exclaimed, “Someone stole my idea!” So I’m giving him the credit for these as he had every detail planned out in his head. 🙂

For the jellyfish craft I supplied:

  • foam bowls
  • paint and paint brushes
  • string
  • large googly eyes
  • craft glue (we used a hot glue gun to attach the eyes easier)
  • ribbon gift bows and curling ribbon
  • scissors
  • scotch tape

First the girls painted the outside of their bowls. Then they glued on a pair of big googly eyes. To string the top, I poked a pin-sized hole in the middle and created a loop, taping the ends to the inside of the bowl. I had both premade ribbon bowls and curling ribbon for the girls to attach to the inside, allowing the ends to dangle down. Easy peasy! Great for all ages.

For the sea turtle craft I supplied:

  • dessert size paper plates
  • paint and paint brushes
  • craft foam
  • scissors
  • googly eyes
  • craft glue
  • brads

First the girls painted and decorated the outside of their plates. I had pre-cut some green craft foam for the younger girls. Older girls could choose to use my templates to cut their own head, flippers, and tail. I thought it’d be fun to attach the front flippers (at least) with brads so they could move. Other parts were attached with glue. Googly eyes were glued to the head.

For the crab craft I supplied:

  • snack cups (I bought these from the party store)
  • paint and paint brushes
  • googly eyes
  • craft glue (we used a hot glue gun to make it easier)
  • chenille stems
  • scotch tape (optional)

Note- I’ve seen these made with cut foam cups and that might be more durable for little hands, but I thought I was being so clever with the nut cups, and for the most part they worked great. I told the girls to paint them lightly and one thing I learned was that it was easier to poke the necessary holes before painting. First the girls painted the outside of the cups. Then they cut pieces from chenille stem. Each crab needed six legs and two pinchers. Googly eyes were glued to the top of two more pieces of chenille stem. I found that taping the chenille stem ends on the inside of the cup made it more durable for playing.

All my girls of all ages enjoyed making these sea creatures and the supplies were pretty simple. Sometimes the simplest crafts are the best!

Posted in Craft Corner

Mermaid Tail Art For Kids

This week my SURF Club girls created mermaid tail art!


For this craft I provided:

  • 10×10″ pre-cut foam board squares
  • two mermaid tail templates
  • construction paper
  • scissors
  • craft glue, including glitter glue
  • paint (ocean colors- blues, turquoise, green, pink, purple, etc.)
  • paint brushes
  • glitter foam in various colors
  • embellishments such as miniature seashells, colored pebbles, mermaid glitter, miniature pom poms, sequins, and ocean stickers, craft sand, etc. (all optional!)

The first step was to paint an ocean background and I instructed the girls to only use one paint brush and blend a few colors together. That worked out really well. Some girls added a little sand/beach with tan paint. Some girls added details to their ocean floor. 🙂

Once the ocean was dry, the girls glued on their mermaid tails and decorated them any way they wished.

♥ How’s your summer going? I’m having so much fun with my daughter who is now home from her mission. She is adjusting well to “normal” life again and has set up her courses and housing for another semester at her university, which she will begin in September. This will finish her generals and then she will transfer to a university with a Marine Biology program.

This sign got a lot of attention and random pics from strangers at the airport. And yes, she knew she misspelled a word, but couldn’t change it once it was glued on. 🙂


Meanwhile, my oldest child is working in Texas as a mud logger and my second oldest is preparing to move to China this fall to teach English! We are going in all directions now. I’m extra thankful to have two more years with my youngest child and in a later post I’ll be sharing our plans for another successful homeschool year together. 🙂 I’d start now because I’m especially excited for a unit study we will be tackling, but he’s working at a scout camp this summer and that is a good experience for him. As for our house, it’s still on the market (no bites yet), but I’ve decided that even if it hasn’t sold come September, Marcus and I will move to Montana to be with his dad there. This living apart is for the birds! Thanks for visiting my blog! ♥





Posted in Craft Corner

Fun Fourth of July Crafts for Kids

This week, my SURF Club girls made Fourth of July crafts. These are fun, inexpensive crafts that appeal to most ages.


Miniature pallet flags, fire crackers, and patriotic butterflies!

Who doesn’t like something in miniature? I once painted a pallet flag and that is what gave me this idea. For this craft the girls used the following supplies:

  • Jumble craft sticks (8 per flag)
  • Craft glue/Mod Podge
  • Red, white, and blue acrylic paint (I had two choices for the blue)
  • Paint brushes and small paper plates
  • Painter’s tape (optional; can help create a straight line for the blue square)
  • Star punch and white paper
  • Or silver star stickers

First I glued the jumble craft sticks together to look like a mini pallet. I set six sticks in a horizontal row with a little space between each one. Then I glued two more sticks vertically across them, one on each end (see right photo above). I used a hot glue gun, but craft glue works just as well. And, don’t strive for perfection. I’ve never seen a perfect pallet.

I helped the girls mark off a space with painters tape for the Canton or Field (the blue square). I reminded them that the top stripe is red and that the red and white stripes alternate. By the way, this would be a great time to learn some facts about Old Glory. 🙂

I think it’s easier for kids to paint one color at a time, allowing each to fully dry before moving to the next color. I also told the girls to focus on painting the top side of the craft sticks, leaving the back side unpainted. The blue paint should be fully dry before adding stars. Some girls punched out stars from white craft paper. Another option is to use silver star stickers.


Our next craft was firecrackers. For this craft the girls used:

  • Empty toilet paper, paper towel, or wrapping paper rolls (3 t.p. or cut rolls each)
  •  Red, white, and blue acrylic paint
  • Foam paint brushes and smaller brushes for detail work
  •  Red, white, and blue tissue paper
  • Silver, gold, and red sparkly chenille stems (these came in a package from the Dollar Tree)
  • Or red and blue paper straws (I found 4th of July straws at the Dollar Tree)
  •  Craft materials for decorating, such as glitter (red, white, blue, gold, silver), 4th of July ribbon, star punches and 4th of July scrapbook paper
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue and scotch tape (Mod Podge worked well for the glitter. Glitter can also be added directly on wet paint.)

I loved the variety that came out with this craft! Each girl started with three empty t.p. rolls which she painted red, white, and blue. Once the paint was dry, each roll was decorated with more paint or embellishments such as glitter, ribbon, paper or sticker stars, etc.


Once the t.p. tubes were decorated and dry, tissue paper was folded, cut, and stuffed into the center hole. I had pre-cut big squares of red, white, and blue tissue paper. I had the girls fold the squares into half, and then half again, similar to the photo above. This is not rocket science, so just eye-ball it! Once the tissue was folded, the girls used scissors to make slits along one long end (see photo above).


The folded, cut, rectangle tissue was then loosely rolled, from short end to short end, and gently pushed into the tube center. The result is something like the photo above. The final step was to insert a cut piece of sparkly chenille stem or paper straw. Some girls chose to tie the three firecrackers together in a little bundle. 🙂


Our third craft was patriotic butterflies. I got the idea for this craft when I saw packages of butterfly shaped paint trays at the Dollar Tree.


These came six to a package. For this craft, I supplied:

  • Butterfly paint trays
  • Red and blue acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Red, blue, and silver or white glitter
  • Craft glue such as Mod Podge
  • Embellishments such as tiny pom poms, sequins, bits of craft thread, cut up paper straws, “unicorn glass” (mylar bits), etc. (all in red, white, and blue colors)

First the girls added blue or red paint to whichever sections of the butterfly they wished. Then they added the embellishments. Glitter can be added to wet paint. Mod podge works great for adding embellishments once the paint is dry.

♥ I want to wish all of my readers a Happy Fourth of July next week. I’ll be busy enjoying time with my beautiful second daughter, Marissa, who returns home from an 18-month mission this Saturday. She has faithfully served the delightful people of Peru in the Cusco mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am so proud of her! Missionaries work hard! They live and breathe their mission. Marissa will be returning to her university to finish her generals this fall. She plans to earn her degree in marine biology. ♥




Posted in Craft Corner

Summer Craft- Wind Chimes

This week my SURF Club made wind chimes. I got the idea for these from Crafts Unleashed. We added buttons to ours for some extra pizzazz. 🙂


For this craft we used the following supplies:

  • Drift wood (I found these at Hobby Lobby, near the sea shells in the craft section)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Painter or masking tape (optional)
  • Glass and wood beads
  • Craft thread and twine
  • Scissors
  • Small eye hooks
  • Buttons

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I prepared the drift wood ahead of time by poking holes for the eye hooks. After the girls painted their sticks (some kept theirs completely natural), they twisted in the eye hooks.

Floss threaders work great for threading beads onto string! You can buy these in the floss section. They work like giant, soft needles.

Once the girl threaded three or four strings of beads and buttons, I helped them tie the top to the eye hooks. The twine was tied to one or two eyehooks on the top or side of the drift wood for a sturdy hanger.



These were really fun for the girls to make. Next week, the girls will be making 4th of July crafts (I won’t be holding craft days the week of the 4th).


♥ I am so excited because my daughter, Marissa, will be home from her mission in 8 days! She has served an 18-month mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, in the Cusco, Peru mission. I am so proud of her, especially because she has suffered from stomach issues most of her mission, but she has hung in there because of her love for the people (and the dogs!). ♥ How is your summer going so far? Marcus and I finished up his 10th grade year and now he’s working at a scout camp for 9 weeks. Zach, my oldest, moved to Texas to work as a mud logger. And, Darcie is planning to move to China in September to teach English. With our house on the market and my husband working in Montana, everything seems to be happening at once. I had the funniest dream not too long ago. All of my teeth fell out at once in a pile on my bathroom sink. I awoke and was so relieved my teeth were still in place. I read that one interpretation of dreams of teeth falling out signify “a period of transition”. Ha! ♥