Activity Mat for busy bees

playing on activity mat with carsI have two little busy bees at home!  Every now and then we enjoy going out for breakfast or for dinner. As we all know, sometimes  it can be challenging to keep them occupied while waiting for food or when we are still eating. Sandy from Frollein S asked me if I could create something out of her chalk fabric and I immediately got the idea of the activity mat which I can take with me when we go out.Chalk Diy Activity MatThe mat is reversible! I used jersey fabric on one side and the chalk fabric on the other side. This way the boys play with their cars on the streets or draw on the other side with chalk!playing on activity mat diyThe kids are fascinated and entertained for a while. At some point we had about 8-10 cars on the mat and Liam yelled “Crash” all the time 😀diy activity matElliott is learning to write his name and the ABC’s, so he prefers the chalk fabric now. He practices writing his name. Liam likes coloring and doing anything his brother is doing– he sits down every day and colors – coloring books, blank pages, not blank pages, walls, himself etc. 🙂  He is the artiste’! diy chal matabc did activity matI’ve sewn big pockets on the chalk side this way we can add cars, chalk, cards, trains or shapes to them.  pocket diy activity matI also added elastic to the side seam and a button to the mat , hence I can fold the sides and roll it up and use the elastic to close it. Once rolled up it fits in my purse or backpack. The mat is super light even with all the pockets filled and not super bulky. rolled up diy activity mat chalk and streetrolled up activity mat with chalk fabric and jerseyJust a tip when you create your own mat: Add stabilizer to the jersey or at least the corners, this way it doesn’t stretch when sewing. I used a clean kitchen sponge to remove the chalk, you can scrub the fabric no problem.

Let me know if you need some help or send me pictures of yours and I will post it to the blog!

Fabrics by Frollein S and Pattern by me

 

Clear vs White Shrinky Dinks

shrinky dinks diy storm troopers star warsMy new favorite crafting material are Shrinky Dinks – draw on a sheet of plastic and put it in the oven and voilà you have your own hard plastic. Whaaat?! 😀 stormtrooper diy star wars earringsI’ve made my first pairs of earrings for my oldest Star Wars Birthday party. Also made the kids Jedi badges, after they completed the training at the party. I’ve tried them both, the clear and white version. Below you can see the clear version and top is the white version. I just made a pair for Valentine’s Day earrings with simply a red sharpie, again with white Shinky Dink Paper, because it will bring out the colors better. heart earings shrinky dinks diyHere are some tips, I learned from my experience with crafting with the 2 different Shrinky Dinks papers (clear and white):

  • Use sharpies,  any water content in your pens will make your plastic wave
  • The white paper doesn’t shrink as much as the clear. Make sure you test the sizing of your work.
  • Test the timing on your Shrinky Dinks. It makes a difference if you place your paper on a cool baking sheet or a warm/pre-heated baking sheet.
  • Keeping white in too long turns them yellow-brownish – I only kept mine in for 1 minute
  • The white doesn’t take as long as the clear to shrink.
  • The clear creates a structure one side, white is smooth and shiny on both sides
  • You will see glue spots on clear Shinky Dinks- I used a double-sided sheet to attach felt on my badges.
  • Acrylic paint reacts different on clear vs white shrinky dinks.

I hope the tips were useful for you!! Oh the endless possibilities! ❤heart diy shrinky dinks

Lego Valentines – Free Printable

Free Printable - LegoToday I am sharing my Free Printable with you. This is perfect for any Lego lover.The kids can create their own little figurine and while working on them they train their fine and gross motor skills.two lego diy printables freeWhat you need:

  • Cardstock Paper
  • Printer
  • Brass Fasteners
  • Scissors
  • whole punch

I’ve printed each out and cut them into pieces so I could get them into a bag. Depending on the age you can either already cut them out or leave them for the kids to cut. Same with the punching the wholes.

cut not attached diy paper craft printable lego

The kids can use a crayon, pencils, markers or paint. We used pencils and crayons. First we colored them and then we cut the pieces out, punched the wholes in the marked spots and used the fastener to get them attached.coloring free printable diy paper craft

You can also add stickers to the bags for decorating. I included instructions for parents  and a warning of small pieces. 2 lego figurines diy paper craft freeThese are fun and can be used as party favors or an afternoon activity. We used ours for Valentine’s! valentine s day bagsI’d love to see your creations ! Post them on my Facebook wall and let me know what you think. Free Printable Lego Puppet Made by Lili

DIY Tutorial: Paper Stars made out of Ads

Everyday when I open my mailbox it’s filled with paper ads. Credit card ads, Roofing companies, pizza deliveries etc. My stomach turns when I think about how much paper we throw away on a daily basis and how much it goes to waste. So why not use the paper ads and turn them into something fun and beautiful?!

Here is a quick and easy, especially cheap tutorial on how to add charm to your room.paper star reflecting santa in snow

This also reflects the last blog post I did on how to save money. I spend about 1-2$. And here are the the things you need:paper crafts , free, cheap, easy, stars

  • Your paper ads – use the carton ones, glossy, non gloss, doesn’t matter how much text, you will not know what it says afterwards. There are a couple election ads in there too 🙂
  • Exacto knife or scissors
  • Ruler to create the shape you like
  • Glue
  • Transparent paper, parchment paper, vellum paper

I created a star template and traced those on my ads,  cut out the shapes of the stars and then the inside. I used different sizes to use as much paper as possible and to minimize the waste. You can easily involve your kids on this too, it’s not that difficult.tutorial stars

Then I added glue to the outside and placed it on the transparent paper.

tutorial star

I put something heavy on the stars while they were drying, so they wouldn’t wave and stay flat.8After cutting of the outsides, I used double sided tape and put them on every window. Depending on the weather, the light creates a magical Winter Wonderland in our house.6

Or from the outside – we did get snow this week. I might have been a bit more excited about the snow than the kids. Almost couldn’t sleep and woke up our oldest a couple times 😀window outside displaying star

I also created these little villages out of paper for the windows. snow star,reflection

Elsa and Bob {Part 2}

In the previous post I’ve showed you the tutorial for  Bob the builder belt and today I am showing you Elsa. E’s little girl friend loves Elsa from Frozen (which girl doesn’t l<3ve Frozen) and so I sewed her a shirt with a long tulle train.elsa frozen diy tutorial

She was singing “Letting Go” the whole time, it was so cute. I made the shirt a little bigger because it was the end of winter and I wanted her to be able to wear it in Spring or Summer with Leggings. I’ve made the shirt a bit longer and added a big hem to the bottom.

elsa frozen diy tutorial back view

The tulle train was just added between the two pieces of fabric. Below you can see a detailed description on how to create your own

elsa frozen diy shirt

The shirt is super easy to sew and every little girl who receives it will love you forever. <3 elsa frozen diy tutorial front view

Let me know if you have questions & the cold never bothered me anyway..

 

Pattern for the T-shirt was provided by Made by Tara (available in German)