(Photo Credit: Dave Cooper)
We have entered the (pre)school years where Valentine's Day is a pretty big deal. And while we are still deciding on the perfect notes and treats to hand out, we've got the wardrobe covered. I have wanted to create a freezer paper stencil for years and I finally found the perfect excuse. I also can't believe I waited this long, it's so easy and the results are nothing short of amazing!
I created this hip, not too "cute" arrow design that (sort of) met Jude's approval. He said he didn't want the heart (I added a heartless version to the template download) but then he decided that the heart could shoot lasers at bad guys, so it's pretty much the coolest shirt ever.
Along with the free template I have included some very simple instructions. However, for a very detailed and beautiful freezer paper stenciling tutorial you must check out my friend Sara's blog: Bonzo, Chooch, Mushy & Me.
Valentine T-Shirt Tutorial
* Please note this post contains affiliate links, if you make a purchase after clicking these links I make a tiny commission - thanks so much for your support!
Ladies and gents here is that tutorial for the DIY pillow sword and shield I promised. I've even thrown in a free pattern for the sword!
Quick note: As I have explained many times, my best creations (mini lounger, shark bag, etc.) are made in a mad dash. It is as if a flurry of inspiration takes over and I simply must figure out how to make something. It's really quite fun, although it leaves no time/energy for step by step pictures and meticulous notes. If I were charging you for this pattern it would have fully digitized pattern pieces and step by step photos. Instead, you get it for free and I will do my best to explain every step. I think it's a pretty fair deal. Plus, I'm only an email (smallfriendly at yahoo) away if have any questions!
All right, let's get crafting!
Update: Full tutorials and free sword pattern HERE!
You didn't think I let Jude's Christmas and birthday pass without at least one mama-made gift did you? Well, to be honest this year I came close. Thank goodness I had the day after Christmas to make his birthday present: a soft sword and pillow shield for my little knight. There will be full tutorials for both items in the very near future. But first, I thought I'd show you just how much he likes his them.
Now, I'm warning you. These weapons may be harmless, but they have the power to turn your sweet little boy ...
... into a fierce warrior.
Bad guys be warned ...
... Knight Jude shows no mercy.
Here's to the magic of make believe.
Since Jude's birthday is right after Christmas I love doing a gift guide with the things he's loved most in the past year. This year's installment is Jude and I's recommendations for the Top Toys for 3-4 year olds (AKA preschoolers). You won't find anything that makes obnoxious noise or breaks easily (my requirements) or that is boring or only briefly cool (Jude's requirements). You can find our other guides here: Top Toys for 1-2 and Top Toys for 2-3. Most of the items on those older lists are still very much loved and played with regularly, now that's what I call value! Read on to see this year's additions to the playtime line up.
Please note, this post contains affiliate links to Amazon, but as always I encourage you to check out your local, independent toy store.
2. Tangrams. If your little one loves puzzles, tangrams are sure to delight. This is one of those awesomely educational toys that is also super fun.
3. Train Set. We have had a train set for quite a while, I think I have as much fun building track and surrounding block buildings as Jude does. I will say that this got a lot more play when we made the train table.
Since I wanted to stick with toys there are a few great gifts that didn't make the list but are very much worth mentioning. Jude loves a magazine subscription: our top two are Crafting Connections and Ranger Rick Jr.. Books are always great gifts. Oh, and last year I mentioned art supplies, this year I would add more "grown up" supplies such as clay and oil pastels.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, if you had a little Amazon shopping to do anyway I greatly appreciate your support.
I noticed that while the front sides of our preserved leaves were quite stunning, the backs were a bit lack luster. Since I plan to hang them from my mom's dining room chandelier on Thanksgiving, I decided they needed a little flair. Nothing a little glitter and a very agreeable little helper couldn't fix. Want to make your own?
On the back of you your leaf, line the veins with glue.
Sprinkle with glitter. (Glitter tip: use a paper plate for each color so that you can save all the excess)
Let dry and enjoy!
I hope everyone (stateside) has fun plans for Turkey Day! I'll be back Friday with another fall craft, just in time for your holiday table!
I love the idea of a dress up item that is made of natural materials and celebrates the season. Last spring Jude loved his crown of clover, so this fall we decided to make a leaf mask. It was really simple to create and the results, if I do say so myself, are quite stunning. Jude had a blast playing "leaf man" and I think your little one would too!
Want to make your own? Read on for a full tutorial.
Preserve your leaves. We skipped this step and I wish we wouldn't have because after a few days the mask got all curly and crunchy.
Using hot glue, apply the leaves. Start with the largest leaves on the outside and move towards the center with the smaller leaves.
Happy Fall Crafting!
Okay, I am as excited as the next gal for the upcoming joy that is the holiday season. In fact, I can't resist all the awesome ideas on Pinterest and I already have a pretty long list of winter to-makes. But, it's still fall folks. And fall is my favorite. I love the changing leaves and the call to craft without the Christmas frenzy. Plus, Thanksgiving is such an awesome holiday, all about gratitude and food. I'm not ready to trade in my pumpkin spice latte for an eggnog one just yet. So here at small + friendly we are going to savor the autumn season a bit more before switching into snowflake and holly high-gear.
See those beautiful leaves? I've got more than one project in the works for those beauties. But today I thought I'd share a fun process-based art project that turned out surprisingly pretty and fallish.
This little project couldn't be easier to set up: Dig into that wine cork stash, grab a piece of cardboard, a bottle of good old Elmer's, and let your little one get building. I ended up putting a pool of glue on a paper plate so that the corks could simply be dipped and stuck.
Once the glue dries, extend the fun with paint in a fall palette. Jude really enjoyed this simple project and I imagine older children could create some pretty elaborate sculptures.
I hope you'll join me in savoring this crisp and crafty season.