Kermit the Frog I-Spy Bag {Scribble Shop Challenge}

Hello my friends!

I have been almost giddy to share today's tutorial with you. Recently, I participated in a craft challenge from Scribble Shop. At the Scribble Shop, you can find 75,000+ crafting supplies.  I was sent a mysterious box full of very random supplies and asked to create my own project--using every possible supply!   (Think "Iron Chef" for the crafting world!)  This was a fun challenge that forced me to be creative!

So here is what I came up with:

I just love making projects for Little Man!  Since we saw The Muppets movie 3 months ago, Little Man has become obsessed with Kermit the Frog.  He tells me almost every day, "Mom, my name is still Kermit the Frog."  At our house, we do a lot of hopping. We watch Kermit the Frog on You Tube.  We dye our fingers green.  We wear Kermit the Frog t-shirts.

You might remember these themed I-Spy bags I made a while back.  For a while now, I have wanted to make color-themed I-Spy Bags.  I realize that the season of green is over, but it is Little Man's favorite.  And what better shape for a green I-Spy bag than Kermit the Frog?!

 

Anticipation was high when my box finally arrived and I ripped it open!  In fact, I made a video when I opened up the box! You can check it out here on YouTube. Please be kind.  This was my very first video!  Trying to tape, open up a box, and talk to Little Man was a balancing act!

Here are the supplies that Scribble Shop sent me as well as the supplies I used from my own craft stash:

Scribble Shop Supplies

Glitter brads

Martha Stewart glitter

Chalkboard paint

Feathers

Blue and green fabric squares

Green roving

Ferrero Rocher Truffles

Supplies on hand

Felt (green, white, and black)

Poly pellets or rice

Small wood/chipboard sign (I used a shamrock)

Ribbon (like this one)

Green acrylic paint

Green thread

Spare buttons, foam stickers, or other knick-knacks

Let's get started!

1 - First, using a rough outline that I made, I cut out 2 Kermit heads (front and back) from green felt.

2 - I took one of those shapes to create Kermit's face.  I cut out a very wide mouth by folding the shape in half. This would be the window of the I-Spy bag.

3 - I cut out large eyes from white felt.

4 - I cut out eyeballs and the mouth from black felt and sewed all of that together to create Kermit's face.

[Read more...]

Roll a Turkey! {With Printable}

Thanksgiving is sneaking up on me this year!  My big plans for turkey day projects are quickly giving way to big plans for traveling, cooking, baking, and perhaps even a Disneyland trip!  Time is flying by way too fast.

Little Man and I had so much fun with our Roll a Jack-O-Lantern game at Halloween, I decided to make this "Roll a Turkey" game the very same way!

If you are interested in creating your own game, definitely check out this post where I described how to make the Roll A Jack-O-Lantern game.

Here's the quick rundown:

I covered a magnetic burner cover from the dollar store with cardstock and a protective coat of mod podge for the turkey body.  Then I raided my scrapbook paper stash, cut out and laminated the different body pieces, and applied magnets to each piece.  For this game, you will need:

At least 2 googly eyes

 At least 2 feet

At least 1 head

 At least 1 beak

 At least 1 gobbler

At least 5 feathers

The fun part about this game is that because you are likely to roll a number more than once, your turkey may end up with 3 eyes, 8 feathers, and 2 beaks!  So having extra parts comes in handy!

By the way, I store all of the parts in a ziplock baggie on the underside of the burner cover.  Because of the magnets on the backs of each piece, they stick nicely all on their own!

 

Want to play?

You can download your own "Roll a Turkey" game sheet here.

I printed mine on yellow cardstock and laminated it.

We are using the same dice I created for the jack-o-lantern game, although you can definitely use a regular game dice!

Gobble, gobble!

Felt ABC Mat

Just this once, I'm skipping my weekly Wednesday's Wowzers.  Consider yesterday's roundup of gratitude projects my wowzers!  Instead, I wanted to share the ABC mat I shared at Brown Paper Packages a few months back.

Alright, my friends.

As far as I'm concerned, this is go-time for Christmas.  This year, my husband and I are saving up to buy our very own home!  So I am attempting to create a more meaningful, handmade Christmas this year.  I am hoping that I can whip up some fun handmade gifts for Little Man and Mr. Oopsey Daisy (although I must say that the hubs is much more difficult to create gifts for!)

A while back, I created this ABC mat to help Little Man practice his ABC's.

Even though I created this months ago, wouldn't this make a fun handmade gift?

We are enjoying our ABC mat so much!

In fact, Little Man begs to get it out each and every day.  We play all kinds of games so that he can stretch, run, hop, and jump all over the alphabet!  (Think hopscotch mat for ABC's!)

I whipped up this ABC mat in one afternoon.  Want to make your very own?

Let's get started!

Last year, I made a quiet book, and I still have plenty of felt to go around!  So I picked out some of my favorite colors to highlight each letter.

I wanted the mat to be bright and colorful.

 

I purchased 2 yards of turquoise felt on sale at JoAnn's.  I cut out a large rectangle that was approximately 43" x 73".

This would be the main base of the mat.

 

To cut out the circles, I traced several tupperware lids that were all different sizes.  I used disappearing ink to trace them.  I wanted a variety of colors and sizes to make it interesting.

 

Here is my stack of 26 circles (one for each letter of the alphabet), ready to go!

I wanted to space out all of the circles in an interesting way, so I pinned them roughly where I wanted them before sewing.  I was also careful not to pin them too close to the edge so I could add a border later on.

Then I got to work sewing all those circles on!  It became a little cumbersome to sew circles in the middle of a lot of fabric.  I was careful not to let the felt bunch up as I was sewing along!

I love polk-a-dots!  So I hot glued this polk-a-dot ribbon as a border all the way around the entire mat.

 

Now for the letters!!

I cut the letters out of fabric using my Cricut.  To make the cutting process easier, I had already ironed on Heat 'N Bond and peeled away the paper layer.

 

Then I ironed each letter on a circle.  Because I had already ironed on the Heat 'N Bond, they ironed on very easily.  I was sure to spend plenty of time ironing the letters on.  I wanted these to stand the test of time!

I really love that I didn't have to sew these on.  They have held up just beautifully!

And that's it!  Fold it up, roll it up like a sleeping bag, and you can store it away and pull it out for special occasions.

Here are a few ways that we have used our ABC mat:

* Ask your child to find a letter and perform an action.  (Hop on the letter "J")

* Ask your child to put a different body part on a specific letter.  This ends up looking a lot like Twister! (Put your nose on the letter "N")

* Play a "Simon Says" game.  (Simon says to hop to the letter "B")

* Play music and let your child hop from letter to letter to the music.  Stop the music and ask child to identify what letter he/she is standing on.

* For more advanced children, hop from letter to letter to spell out entire words.

Little Man loved playing, and putting his hand/foot/nose, etc. on different letters!  Here he is with his ear on the Letter J!

TIP:  If you prefer a no-sew version of this project, no problem!  I used a shower curtain liner as a teacher.  I drew the letters and circles on the mat with a sharpie.  The children in my class could slip off their shoes and spell out their spelling words on this spelling "mat."  It was one of their favorite activities.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you might also like my felt car mat.

What are you up to this week?

Roll A Jack-O-Lantern {Creative Carousel}

I hope you've been enjoying The Creative Carousel this week!

Fall has really inspired me!  As the temperatures have dropped just a few degrees, I have hit a huge surge of creativity.  I am knee-deep in several fall projects!  Today I decided to share the project that best defines me.

No matter how hard I try to make something just for me--I am always so much more motivated to make a project that the whole family (specifically Little Man!) can enjoy!  So once again, the Mom AND the Teacher in me have joined forces on this little project.

Let me introduce you to our brand spankin' new Roll A Jack-O-Lantern game!

And guess what--I only spent $1 on this project. {Insert husband's congratulations here!}

PLUS there are some downloads at the end of this post to help you create your own game at home.

This game is versatile.  You can adapt it however you would like for your own family!

The idea of the game is to build a jack-o-lantern, with the help of the dice!

I started out with a $1 burner cover from the Dollar Tree.  Yes, there was a rooster on it.  But most importantly, it was magnetic!

I quickly covered that rooster with some orange scrapbook paper.  I added a layer of protective mod podge over the top (because it will be getting plenty of use!), and distressed the edges a bit, too.

Next, I got to work creating the jack-o-lantern pieces.  You will need....

At least 2 eyes (I made 6!)

At least 1 nose

At least 1 mouth

At least 2 teeth

[Read more...]

Scrappy Color Book

When it comes to craft supplies, I'm a hoarder.  I have an insane amount of scraps that I just can't bear to throw away.  I even collect scraps that other people are willing to donate to me!  I love when I don't have to buy a single thing for a craft... I can just put it together with what I already have on hand.  (Not gonna lie... Mr. Oopsey Daisy is a huge fan of these kinds of crafts too!)

Lucky for me, I organize my scraps by color... which worked out perfectly for this project!

Today, I want to show you my scrappy Color Book.

As I considered what to do with my many scraps, I immediately remembered Everyday Celebrations' color book.  It had been on my to-do list for a few years now, so this was the ideal opportunity for me to create my own scrappy color book!  Little Man is learning about colors right now, so the timing was perfect.

I not only raided my stash of fabric scraps... I also threw in some ricrac and ribbon, too!  I searched high and low for scraps of all different sizes and textures. 
I'm a dork, I know.  But one of my favorite things is to organize by color.

Seeing my rainbow of scraps really makes me happy!

Last year, I made 2 gigantic quiet books.  I used the leftover muslin to make the pages for this book.

Now for the fun part!

I arranged a page of scraps for each color, careful to leave a good inch around the edges for seams.  I adore ricrac, so I included it on every page.  I used different shades of fabric, and even used a bit of burlap on this page for texture.

I cut the words out of fabric scraps using my Cricut.  Because the letters need some stiffness in order to be cut, I applied Heat 'N Bond before cutting them on the Cricut.  Once cut, they are all ready to be ironed on!

Now for the sewing... nothing too technical!

This is a scrap book, after all!  (I still consider myself a sewing novice, so scrappy projects are perfect for me!)

Once the pages were complete, I pinned them right sides together, and sewed all the way around, leaving an opening.

I flipped it inside out, punched out the corners, and then top stitched all the way around the edges.

Once all the pages were sewn together, I inserted grommets in each page, and tied on some scrappy ribbons to add some punches of color!

The entire project only took a couple of hours, and I LOVE how it turned out! It's a rainbow of scraps!

Here are just a few of my favorite pages:

As for Little Man, this project was a definite success!

He loves to name the colors on each page and feel the different fabric textures.

And another quiet book I can toss into our church bag for instant entertainment!

Have a happy week, friends!!

Linking up to Today's Creative Blog, Whipperberry,

Family Match Game

If you have followed my blog since the beginning, you will remember a not-as-cute version of this same idea.  Family match was created as a way to show Little Man the familiar faces of the people he knows and loves.  Because my husband's family lives in another state, we also needed a way to help him remember the faces he doesn't see quite as often.
Little Man absolutely adores this game!  We throw this into our church bag, and he loves to look at the pictures.   But with 2 new sisters-in-law and a few new additions to the family, we needed to update our old game.
I created simple cards by pasting scrapbook paper and cardstock to each other.  The cards are about 4" x 3".
I distressed the edges of the cards just slightly.  Don't you love distressing?!  It adds the perfect touch of character!

Owl Game

Happy Thursday, friends!!  
I had several questions about the owl counting cards that I used during O is for Owls Week.  I have to admit that I am a bit of a sucker for digital designer Crystal Wilkerson.  Anticipating owl week, I bought her adorable owl rub-ons and stickers using a bit of fun money.  I used them for TONS of projects and have plans for even more, so I think I am definitely getting my money's worth!  You can buy your own set here.

I thought I would share another quick and easy activity I made using this awesome kit!  I love repurposing trash!  I now collect frozen juice lids, among other things.  I used these frozen juice lids to make a little owl matching game for Little Man.

This is definitely an advanced game because the owls vary by colors and pattern.  I also used the same kind of background paper for each matching set so that would help identify a match.  We used this a bit last week, but he will grow into it even more as he gets older.  
I just printed off a bunch of these adorable owls.  I used my 2" hole punch to cut them out, and mounted them on scrapbook paper circles.  But not before distressing every edge I could get my hands on!
Then, I used mod podge to glue the owls on to my frozen juice lids.  I also added a layer of mod podge over the top to protect those cute lil' owls!
Is this little guy cute or what?!  
I just made 6 matching pairs, so there are 12 owls total.  I didn't want to overwhelm poor Little Man!
Now we're all set to play memory!
One last thought.... don't forget to bust out your Halloween advent calendars.  Tomorrow is the first day of October!  Bring on the Halloween fun!
PS I frequently receive questions via comments.  However, I can't reply to your comments because your account preference keeps your e-mail private.  You can find out how to change this here in Michele's amazing tutorial.  It kills me to leave you hanging!!  I try to reply to each and every question!

Themed I-Spy Bags

In case you missed my guest post at Blue Cricket Design here are my I-Spy bags!
It might be the teacher in me, but I adore the idea of I-Spy bags!  What a clever idea to keep those kiddos quiet and happy in church, at the doctor's office, or in the car.  Plus they are educational!  That makes Mom happy, too.  My Little Man can always use some fresh ideas to help keep him quiet and occupied.  

Supplies
You will need:
* Vinyl.  Just a few inches will be plenty.
* Fabric scraps.
* Poly pellets.  
* Small toys or items to be "spyed."
* Wonder Under (not pictured).
* Sewing machine and supplies.
First, cut out your fabric.  I chose to make themed I-Spy bags, so I cut out a barn to spy farm animals.  I folded my fabric in order to cut out a front and back for my barn.
To create the window, I folded the front part of the barn in half and cut a square shape.  You can make this as large or small as you choose.
Now cut out a piece of vinyl that is at least an inch or two larger than the window on all sides.  This will make sewing the vinyl much easier!

In order to hold the vinyl firmly in place while sewing, I ironed Wonder Under scraps all along the areas where the vinyl overlapped the fabric (shown by arrows).  Without the Wonder Under, the vinyl will simply stick to the foot of your sewing machine!  The Wonder Under will become your best friend.
Next, sew the outer edges where the vinyl meets the fabric.  I sewed a straight line and reinforced it with a zigzag stitch all the way around.  To prevent fraying, I also sewed the inner square right around the window.  Again, sew a straight line followed by a zigzag line.  You will need to do all of your sewing on the wrong side of the fabric.
Now for the fun part!  I decided to embellish the front and back of my barn.  I used some ricrac, ribbon, felt, and fabric scraps.
Let's make a barn!  Pin wrong sides together, and sew all the way around leaving an opening to turn the barn inside out.  Be sure to sew a ribbon scrap into the seam.  This will hold your "I Spy" list. To turn your bag inside out, use something long and pointy like a pencil to punch out the corners as much as possible.
Now, add your toys to the bag.  Be sure to keep a list of what you add because you'll want to tell your child what to look for!
Add the poly pellets.  I think the easiest way to do this is by using a funnel.  Less mess, less stress!  You don't need to fill the bag too full, but you do want to cover the toys inside!
Now, sew up your opening with a blind stitch.
Now create a list of items inside the I-Spy bag.  I laminated mine for extra durability.  Punch a hole in the corner and thread it through the ribbon.  Sew a ribbon loop to keep the list nice and snug!  All done!
This entire project took me about 45 minutes from start to finish, with a few "oopseys" in between and documenting the process as I went along!  This project was so simple and so fun, I had to make another one!  I made a fish I-Spy bag with ocean animals inside!  I already have plans to make an ABC bag and a transportation bag in the near future, too.
Helpful Hint
You can vary the difficulty of a I-Spy bag by varying the following:
*The size of your window 
* The size of the toys inside (very small toys and very big toys are harder to detect!)
* The amount of toys and poly pellets
Happy crafting!

Transportation Number Flashcards

Even though I am not teaching this year and still have years to go before my kids are in school, I am LOVING all of the fabulous Back to School ideas out there!  I have been drooling over all of the cute flashcards I've seen...
I saw this ABC post at The Crafting Chicks, and I got to work right away!!  I made these same adorable ABC flashcards, and even printed extra sets for cousins for Christmas gifts.  (Yes, I am getting an early start!)  I paid for a digital kit, but it was definitely worth it!
Next, I found these adorable ABC flashcards from Homemade By Jill.  Stinkin' cute!
But I really wanted some number flashcards for my Little Man... so I decided to make some of my own!!  Of course I created them with a theme Little Man can relate to--transportation!  After creating them in Photoshop, I sized them as 4x6 and printed them out at Costco.  Little Man discovered these all on his own after we picked them up, and he was going nuts over the ambulances, fire trucks, cars, motorcycles, etc.!  Hopefully these will help us begin to lay a foundation for learning numbers!  Here is a quick sneak peek:
I used some clip art from DJ Inker's and some freebies from the World Wide Web!  I used the adorable flashcards from Crystal Wilkerson at Jessica Sprague.  Too cute!

**Unfortunately, these images are under copyright, so I cannot offer them as a free download.**

Have a fabulous weekend!

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom File Folder Game

I should have declared this week "Ideas for Kids Week."  As I scroll through this week's posts, I am realizing that I featured tons of ideas for kids!!  But with summer in full swing and our pursuit of keeping our kids happily entertained, I think that's appropriate.  But just to keep myself balanced, I have several decor crafts prepared for next week.


I am slightly enraptured with file folder games.  I had oodles of them as a teacher.  And I am proud to say that I just finished Little Man's first file folder game.  I can hardly wait for him to wake up and see it!  I am also excited to share it with you today!  

One of my favorite books is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin, Jr. and John Archambault. I think that this a fun way to introduce the ABC's. This book was my inspiration!  Portrayed by my all-time favorite DJ Inker'sclip art, I created this little beauty:


The goal of this file folder game is simply exposure to the ABC's.  Using velcro, the coconuts can be affixed to the coconut tree.  They can be pulled on and off and creep their way to the top of the coconut tree!  And chicka chicka boom boom--those letters can come off, too!

I created a beach scene with the iconic Chicka Chicka Boom Boom coconut tree that I downloaded at DJ Inker's.  I made one for each side of the folder to hold all 26 letters of the alphabet!  I can't stop singing "I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts..." when I look at these happy little ABC coconuts!  

See why I needed TWO coconut trees to fit all 26 letters??

Aren't those coconuts so happy and fun?!


For easy storage, all of the coconuts can be stashed in a ziplock bag and adhered (also with velcro!) to the back of the file folder game. If you laminate everything, this little goody will last you a lifetime! 





And yes, I am willing to share!  To assemble your very own file folder game...
* Download the ABC coconuts, available here.  I printed my coconuts on cardstock to give them a bit more stability.  But that's up to you!
* Download the palm tree page here.  Print two--one for each side of the folder and paste the entire pages on.  Thanks for the beautiful clips and fonts, DJ Inker's!  Clip art designs &/or fonts copyright Dianne J Hook. Used with permission from DJ Inkers.  
* With the folder opened up, laminate the folder and the coconut page for extra durability.  (If you live near a Lakeshore Learning Center, they offer cheap laminating!)
* Cut out the coconuts.
* Adhere velcro on the backs of the coconuts.  I like to use the heavy-duty velcro because it adheres easily and won't come off!  Trust me.  Adhere coordinating velcro onto the coconut trees.  You will need 13 velcro spots on each tree.
* Adhere velcro to a ziplock bag.  Place coconuts inside and adhere coordinating velcro to back of file folder.
* Enjoy!

This little coconut tree is just waiting to be filled up with more letters! :)

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