{Day 23} Newspaper Snowflakes

IMGP1704These are the only kind of snowflakes I want to have this time of year.  I could tell you that I’m dreaming of snowflakes tenderly falling to the ground blanketing the world in white wonder, but the truth is I hate the cold and am glad I can wear my t-shirt today.  The grass is still green, the wind is blowing, but it’s not chilly.  The sun peeks its head out every now and then but otherwise it’s lovely.  But whether you’re shut in because of blizzard conditions or wish you could see real snowflakes in your window, do this craft with the kids and I promise you’ll have a good time!

All you’ll need is a newspaper, a ruler, a pencil, scissors, and string or ribbon.

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With your ruler measure out a perfect square (mine was 6″ by 6″) and cut it out.  Find some interesting pages of your newspaper, maybe with bright colors or an interesting picture.  Fold your square in half down the diagonal so it makes a triangle.  Do that two more times.  Then cut out interesting shapes along one of the open edges and along the folded edge.  Open and enjoy your snowflake!

IMGP1706It’s fun to see how your shapes turn into designs on the paper.  Experiment with different shapes and patterns on each piece of newspaper so each snowflake will be unique.

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Hang your snowflakes on a ribbon or string in a window or on a wall and as you do remind your kids (and yourself) that just like each snowflake is unique and no two are the same, so God made you unique and special.

 

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Pinecone Birdfeeder: Inviting Backyard Birds to a Picnic

Today was the most beautiful Fall day.  The air was bright and clean.  It was cool and crisp, a little chilly in fact.  This time of year always amazes me, surprises me.  I forget how wonderful it is.  Last week I took Marlee to the pet store to see the animals.  Just a little fun, free way to spend some time.  She loved seeing the birds and that gave me an idea.  Fall is the perfect time to create bird feeders for the backyard.  I found these birdfeeder crafts for kids and was inspired.  I decided we would do the pinecone bird feeder.  

Earlier in the week we gathered pinecones and I gathered the rest of the supplies.  Marlee was all too eager to go outside and play.

We just used what we had around the house: a pinecone, some string, scissors, peanut butter, a bowl and spoon and bird food.  We used oats and nuts, but I loved this website that explained what foods to use to attract certain kinds of birds.  Or you could use store bought bird seed.  

First I tied the string around the top of the pinecone and made a knot.  

Then I scooped some peanut butter into a bowl (so we could double dip the spoon and not ruin our jar of peanut butter! Or you could just dedicate a jar of peanut butter for crafts and not for eating.)  Just a little helpful hint on the peanut butter:  The kind we buy is “natural” and therefore doesn’t contain thickening agents.  I found this makes for a pretty messy peanut butter application, but still works.  Next time, I think I will buy regular peanut butter just for this purpose.  

Then I showed Marlee how to spread the peanut butter on the pinecone. 

Next I showed her how to sprinkle the oats and nuts onto the pinecone.

She loved playing with the peanut butter on the spoon and made a big mess! We got peanut butter everywhere!  With toddlers it is not the end product that matters but the experience, and for this project it is definitely true.  There were many different textures and shapes for her to feel, and mediums with which to play.  In the end, I made sure the pinecone was bird worthy and I hung it proudly in our backyard.  

Afterwards we stayed outside for a little picnic and waited to see if any birds might join us.  Unfortunately they didn’t (although we did hear a nearby woodpecker) but Marlee didn’t seem to mind.

festive birthday banner

I just love this project so much.  It is so easy and in no time you will have a fun, festive, colorful banner to hang for any occasion.  It is sure to put a smile on your face!  I made this one for my nephew’s first birthday party and it looked just adorable hanging on the gift table.  In this picture, it is hanging above our roll top desk in the study.  I wanted to see what my finished project looked like before I gave it to my nephew, but I really love the idea of just hanging this banner somewhere in the house- even if there’s no occasion.  Everyday can be a reason to celebrate!

This project is great when you want to re-purpose materials that might end up in the trash.  The blue striped fabric was actually an old t-shirt, and the bright red flag in the middle was a half of a piece of red felt that I had.  At first I thought I’d like to add more red, but then as I looked at it, I realized it looked great with one special piece right in the center!  Be creative, re-use and re-purpose!

How to make:

1. Take a paper grocery sack and draw a good looking triangle, then cut out.  This is your pattern.

2. Use this pattern and trace and cut triangles out of scraps of fabric. (The tops of my triangles are about 8″ across. I made 10 triangles or 20 triangle fabric pieces) Make sure to cut two triangles out of fabric for every one finished triangle.

3.  Right sides together topstitch the two sides of the triangles, leaving the tops open.

4. Pull right sides out, using a chopstick or end of a paintbrush to push the corners out. Press.

5. Arrange the triangles the way you want, then pin the bias tape/binding tape to the top.

6. Sew all the way across the tape making sure that you are catching each triangle fully inside that bias tape, and make sure to leave tape at the ends so you or the recipient can hang it up.  (I left about 10″ on either side) Now you’re done!

You can celebrate everyday!

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