Posts Tagged ‘kids’

One Way to Recycle Glass Jars into a Fun Party Favor

So I’ve established that I’m sort of a hoarder, and my poor husband was so nice turning the other cheek when he saw I had a crazy amount of glass jars stashed away… in the basement, under the stairs. I explained to him that I had every intention to use up the glass jars – well, I thought I had a craft for them. I just hadn’t gotten around to it. I’ve seen a lot of recycled glass jar projects around Pinterest, some of them leading to non-English tutorials, but pretty easy to figure out.

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor

Friends, grab your glue gun (Note: Super Glue did not work well), miscellaneous plastic animals from the party store (or your kid’s collection from the dentist’s treasure box), and clean, empty glass jars. Get a can of spray paint. I have metallic silver, so that’s what I used.

Wash the lids well. After your lids are clean, you can swipe them with some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball to make sure they’re really clean. Using your glue gun, adhere your little critters of choice to the lids. They should all be secure after a minute. If you’re a good crafter, you’ll wipe away the hot glue “strings” before painting, I didn’t bother since it didn’t look too bad.

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor Spray Paint

Now for spray paint… Make sure you have good ventilation and a spray box (optional). If you can head outside and spray them, kudos to you. It’s freezing here, so I ended up spraying them in my (heated) garage. I gave the lids and animals three coats, 15-20 minutes in between. And, I still have a little touch-up to do.

You could wash all the glass jars while you’re waiting for the lids to dry. I took the labels off the same way I take off wine bottle or beer labels. And if the label adhesive doesn’t come off easily, grab some Goo Gone (Just follow manufacturer’s directions on the bottle.).

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor Plastic Animals Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor

I let them dry overnight, and now my daughter will fill them up candy for her buddies.

Recycle Glass Jars Fun Party Favor Plastic Animals

I’d love to know if you end up making this project!

Click for more party ideas!

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Writing for GeekMom

DIY pillow | Julie Tiu | GeekMom

I made this pillow as a gift for my nephew, and shared my how-to on GeekMom. Link here for the tutorial for this Power Button Pillow project.

11th Annual Chicago Toy and Game Fair at Navy Pier

And last month, my family and I visited the Chicago Toy and Game Fair at Navy Pier. Check out the fair through my first-timer eyes at GeekMom.

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Fun with Flashlights during a Blackout

A few weeks ago a storm rolled in and down went the lights. It wasn’t even a good, raging storm. I think it was all of 5-10 minutes with high winds – and I do count our lucky stars that there wasn’t much damage.

So in the dark for almost two hours, the kids were getting a little restless. Mind you, it was only 7 pm? It felt like midnight. I thought, OH, let’s have some fun with the camera! They LOVED it. So, here are a few tips for at least an hour of fun in the dark with your flashlights.

  • The only lighting in the room were candles and the flashlights.
  • I used my DSLR on the automatic setting, no flash.
  • Focus your lens on something dim first (you know, when you hold the button halfway first before taking the picture), and then take the picture.
  • Don’t worry about a shaky hand, but do try your best to stay still. The shutter will be open longer than normal.
  • If your photo subjects want to write something in the air, remember they have to write it backwards.

Writing in the dark with flashlights: star

Writing in the dark with flashlights: heart

Writing in the dark with flashlights: squiggle

Writing in the dark with flashlights: spiral

Writing in the dark with flashlights: 2013 (backwards)

Writing in the dark with flashlights: 2013

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Birthday Party Ideas: Book Exchange Party and Printables

My daughter turned 11. Diapers one day… eye-rolling tween, the next. I joke. She’s a great kid, growing into her own person. How do they grow so fast? To celebrate her birthday, we hosted a simple evening with a few of her close friends and a book exchange. (I give her all the credit for choosing that.) Sharing books, swapping with everyone, tearing open the wrapped books… it was like Christmas all over again! The nice part: all gently used books. Bring one, leave with one; bring two, leave with two.

Keep going for the free printables!

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Book Review: The Adventures of Little Mouse

The Adventures of Little Mouse (Williams)


“True friends are the ones you can count on to be there for you…”

The Adventures of Little Mouse: (Life outside the Mouse Hole) by Sherri Williams (AuthorHouse, 2012, 43 pgs.) tells lessons of friendship, listening to your parents, and making good choices. Williams uses a family of mice and short stories in this book to demonstrate decision-making and consequences for young readers.

The Adventures of Little Mouse (Williams)

This is unlike most of the books I review (projects and crafting), but this author is also an avid quilter and has developed quilt designs based on each story. (Her designs are also available online.) I read this book aloud with my 6-year old and felt that it was appropriate for his age group. I’d say it targets kindergarten through third grade.

The Adventures of Little Mouse (Williams)

From Julie Tiu|Picasa Web Album

The twelve short stories cover topics like being a good friend, helping others, being careful, but I feel the overall running theme is that you don’t always appreciate what’s right in front of you (i.e. your home life, family) and parents are just looking out for their kids. A theme of being cautious almost seems too forward in some cases, but definitely a good lesson for little ones.

If you’d like a copy of this book for yourself, The Adventures of Little Mouse: (Life outside the Mouse Hole) retails for $21.00 (softcover) at most bookstores and is also available on Kindle for $3.99.

Leave a comment here for an opportunity to win a copy for yourself. It makes a nice stocking stuffer for your special youngster! I’d love to hear from you and send you this book… Comments welcome until Thursday, Dec. 6, 10 pm CST.

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Making Bottle Cap Magnets: a Mini-Tutorial

Last week my daughter and I were having fun on Election Night. Here’s the long version of what we were up to. I only call this a mini-tutorial because there’s not a whole lot of science that goes into this. You can make all sorts of miniature art using regular bottle caps… clearly, you can see how much we’ve been holding onto. Stores carry blank bottle caps and bottle cap kits for art and jewelry, too. We gathered all sorts of supplies like sequins, confetti, rhinestones, glitter, scraps of cardstock and patterned paper, newspaper, glue, Mod Podge and magnets.

Just glue and stick your doo-dads… recycle cards, even newspaper ads! They all start to look like potential mini-magnets. (It’s probably easier cutting out circles with a round punch, but I went old school and used my engineering compass.)

While your art is drying, it’s a good idea to weigh them down if the paper starts curling up. Just use a little plastic wrap and coins or, if you’re nerdy like me, little scale weights.

We let our bottle caps dry overnight, then added some Mod Podge dimensional magic to get them glossy and pretty. Glue your magnets and you’re done! You could package a little set as a gift or party favor… I really like this tutorial on glass magnets for packaging.

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