Holiday Ideas

Thanksgiving Table: Last-Minute Name Card Ideas

Simple last-minute place card ideas for your Thanksgiving table.

When I wrapped up this project for my recent guest post on Modern Parents, Messy Kids, I was feeling well ahead of the Thanksgiving curve. Our linens were hand-stamped, our turkey napkin holders were created, and we still had several weeks to wrap up any outstanding details.

Now we’re less than 2 days from Thanksgiving, and the possibility of my daughter creating place cards using post-it notes is becoming more likely. Sadly, it wouldn’t be the first time she made impromptu name cards with post-it notes.

To avoid this fate, I’ve assembled a few ideas for super simple place cards, all of which use easy-to-find materials. Now I just have to choose a favorite.

Sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8

 

DIY Stamped Holiday Envelopes

Add a personal touch to your holiday cards by creating your own matching stamp . It's super easy with this tutorial..
I haven’t carved my own stamps since high school art class, but after ordering these awesome Christmas cards from the Minted holiday collection, I decided it would be fun to create a retro star stamp and decorate the envelopes to match the cards.

Add a personal touch to your holiday cards by creating your own matching stamp. It's super easy with this tutorial.
You only need a couple of items to make your own stamps for block printing:

  • Tracing paper
  • Carving tool and carving block (I purchased this set)
  • Exacto knife
  • Pencil
  • Glue and wooden shape for backing (optional)

Creating the Stamps

Add a personal touch to your holiday cards by creating your own matching stamp . It's super easy with this tutorial.

The first step is to draw the design for your stamp. Some could probably do this freehand, but I’m not the best at drawing so I used tracing paper to draw an outline of the star shape. I repeated this step for the outer circle.

Add a personal touch to your holiday cards by creating your own matching stamp . It's super easy with this tutorial.

I pressed the paper onto the rubber block to transfer the star outline onto the block and did the same for the circle. I used an Exacto knife to cut out the star shape and I used the carving tool to carve out the circle shape.

Add a personal touch to your holiday cards by creating your own matching stamp . It's super easy with this tutorial.

Once the rubber stamps were cut, I glued them to the wooden circles so that it would be easier to handle them and press them onto paper.

Add a personal touch to your holiday cards by creating your own matching stamp . It's super easy with this tutorial.

I experimented a bit with my stamps and stamp pads to determine what designs and color combinations I liked. The card design included the star against a circle, but I ended up liking the star without any background the best.

Decorating the EnvelopesAdd a personal touch to your holiday cards by creating your own matching stamp . It's super easy with this tutorial.

To decorate the envelopes, I started by inserting the Minted liners that I ordered with my cards into each of the envelopes. Next, I started stamping. I placed one star stamp on each envelope, but mixed up the placement, sometimes I stamped on the front, sometimes on the back.

holiday-envelope-stamping8

I love how the envelopes give a hint of the design inside:

Add a personal touch to your holiday cards by creating your own matching stamp . It's super easy with this tutorial.

Disclosure: Minted graciously provided my holiday cards in exchange for writing this post. All opinions are my own.

Holiday Gallery Wall

Add an easy-to-install / easy-to-remove gallery of Christmas Pasts with this simple tutorial. We do this every year.

Christmas Photo Cards are an annual tradition in our family. Last year I framed all of our past cards and displayed them in the kitchen during the holiday months (and maybe a few months after). This year, we’re continuing the tradition, but the addition of this year’s card caused us to exceed the wall space in the kitchen. Luckily we have a living room with completely bare walls just waiting to be filled. (more…)

Slime Specimens for Halloween

Make this simple, all-natural slime. A perfect classroom activity or gift for kids this Halloween.

 

Last weekend we made slime – slippery, stretchy, silky slime. Jason and Jenna loved it, and I realized it would make a great classroom gift or party activity for Halloween. I was thinking about packaging small samples into bags or clear jars and using Halloween labels like these or these. What child wouldn’t want some chopped bat brain or fresh rat heart specimens for Halloween?  (more…)

DIY Skeleton Princess Jewelry

Easy and inexpensive ideas for making skeleton princess - or other spooky costume - jewelry for Halloween. #costumes #children #halloween

Jenna has asked to be a skeleton princess for Halloween. While past years have been filled with ladybug, kitten and other sweet costume themes, this year is the first time that something on the spookier side has been requested. Kind of a turning point, I think.

In addition to her dress (which we purchased here), she’s also asked for matching jewelry. We decided to make the jewelry ourselves, and last weekend we got started on a few rings and necklaces. I’m pretty happy with how they turned out, and even if I don’t dress up this year, I’ll definitely be sporting some matching skeleton princess rings.

Halloween Raven Wreath

 

Create this modern raven-themed wreath for Halloween. So simple.

Over Christmas, I fell in love with a set of white feather wreaths from West Elm, and after purchasing them, I realized that they would have been really easy to make using feather boas. With Halloween coming up next month, I decided to try out my idea by using black feather boas to create a raven-themed wreath. (more…)

Glow-in-the-Dark Easter Egg Hunt

Glow-in-the-Dark Easter Egg Hunt: Tips for Hosting a Night-Time Easter Egg Hunt with Glowing Eggs

Last night we held our very first nighttime Easter egg hunt using glow-in-the-dark eggs, an idea shared by my aunt in her comments to something I posted last week. Genius! I knew we definitely had to try it out.

Glow-in-the-Dark Easter Egg Hunt: Tips for Hosting a Night-Time Easter Egg Hunt with Glowing Eggs

The concept is extremely simple – glow sticks inside of eggs – so I think I underestimated the amount of prep work involved. If you’re considering a night-time Easter egg hunt, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Proportion: Consider the size of your glow sticks in relation to the size of your plastic eggs. I purchased bracelet-sized glow sticks and tried to use the mix of small and large plastic eggs I had on hand. The sticks were nearly impossible to cram into the 2-inch eggs, but fit easily into the larger 3-in eggs. I recommend using all large eggs or purchasing these mini glow sticks (wish I had seen these at the craft store yesterday). As a last resort, tape is your friend.

Material: Similar to the size issue, I had a mix of transparent/textured eggs and the more traditional solid color eggs. Not surprisingly, the solid color eggs were better at giving off a “glow” in the landscape than the transparent eggs.

Timing: Since you have to “turn on” the glow sticks, there isn’t a lot of opportunity to prep this activity in advance. It took my husband and me almost an hour to place glow sticks into approximately 36 eggs and hide them in the backyard. I had planned on having our hunt just after dusk so that there would still be a bit of natural light for photos. But the prep took longer than expected and we ended up taking the kids out just past their usual bedtime, in full-on darkness. If you’re going for optimum glow effect, however, this is the perfect time for your egg hunt. Seeing the eggs glowing around the yard was definitely a very cool sight!

 

Easter Paper Decoupage Bowls

Easy Easter Craft: Create these simple paper bowls for Easter

I’ve made decoupage bowls before and I’ve always found it a pretty messy craft. I came across this technique recently for creating little paper birds nests without ending up with glue covered hands and decided to try it out with Jenna. We made a bird nest (using long strips of paper) first, and then I tried making a couple with paper punch circles. Both were very easy and turned out super cute.

Here’s how to make them:

  1. Cut decorative paper into narrow strips or use a paper punch to create small circles.
  2. Mix glue and water (2/3 glue to 1/3 water) and paint the inside of a small bowl.
  3. Cover the inside of the bowl with plastic wrap and paint another layer of glue over the plastic wrap.
  4. Add a layer of paper, starting at the bottom and working your way up the side of the bowl. Use a paint brush to gently coat the paper with glue as you go. You can add a second layer and additional coats of glue for a sturdier bowl.
  5. Let the paper dry in the bowl for several hours. Once the inside is dry, lift it out of the bowl and remove the plastic wrap. Turn the bowl upside down and let dry completely.