I’ve continued to do our monthly toddler crafts with my local Baby Bootcamp franchise (past projects here) but I have been terrible about blogging and sharing them. But this month’s salt dough ornaments are so cute I just had to share!! I thought it would be fun for each kid to make a keepsake item for their family or to give as a gift this season and decided salt dough ornaments was the perfect idea. Salt dough is easy to make; it’s just a 2 to 1 to 1 ratio of flour to salt to warm water. You mix all the ingredients until a dough is formed and then roll out and cut into shapes as you would cookies. (Official recipe: 2C flour, 1C salt, 1C warm water. Whisk flour and salt. Add water slowly while mixing. Kneed dough for 10 minutes).
You can use cookie cutters or free hand shapes – we shaped letters by rolling the dough into a snake shape and molding into letters. It’s also a cute idea to create a flat ball and get a hand or footprint of your child too. Note – if your end result is an ornament you’ll want to use a straw to make a hole in it at this point too to string and hang later.
Once your shapes are created you want to bake the dough low and slow (low oven temp, long cook time). For this dough that was about 1/8″ thick it was about an hour and a half of baking at 200 degrees. You don’t want to make the oven any hotter or the dough will brown.
Once out of the oven and cooled it’s time to decorate! You can draw with marker or get really into it (as we did here) and use acrylic paint and glue with sparkles. Be creative! These are great as gifts to grandparents but also as a gift tag on a present for someone like a teacher or friend.
Once paint and/or glitter has dried, seal with spray clear acrylic sealer. Salt dough ornaments are the perfect afternoon activity for your toddler or preschooler to keep them busy during these over-excited weeks leading up to Christmas!
I am so excited to share with you the schedule of my craft classes this fall! This term I’m doing a 3-class series called Handmade Tuesdays with Jess. Click here to sign up for all 3 classes and save! Below you can read the catalog description of each class and click through to sign up for individual classes. All classes are taught at Arlington High School in Arlington, MA. Can’t wait to see you in class!
Hand-painted Glass Vase
Tuesday, April 7 7-9pm
Glass painting is fun and simple if you know how. Join master crafter Jess as she leads you through prepping and painting a clear glass vase, perfect as a gift or for your own windowsill, with light shining through. All materials will be provided. You’ll be able to paint your vase free-hand or use stencils and painter’s tape for a more precise design. Then make more vases at home once you learn the technique. Please bring an additional $10 materials fee to instructor at class.
Tuesday, April 14 6:30-8:30pm
Try your hand at making something more demure than a statement necklace. Learn how to make delicate handmade jewelry this spring with Jess. Each student will make two pieces of jewelry (necklaces, bracelets, or one of each). Please bring your own needle-nose pliers to class if you have them. Please bring additional $16 materials fee to instructor at class. Children over the age of 9 are welcome to register when accompanied by an adult.
Handmade Mother’s Day Cards
Tuesday, April 28 7-9pm
In May 2014 one of Jess’s handmade cards appeared in Martha Stewart Living magazine, in fact it was a card she made for her own mother! Come make this “Martha Stewart Approved” Mother’s Day card, and create two additional cards using rubber stamps, washi tape, embossing powder and more. Please bring scissors suitable for cutting paper and a $10 material fee. Children over the age of 9 are welcome to register when accompanied by an adult.
I didn’t know how to best title this post so I went with “how to commemorate your newborn.” And what I mean is that sweet newborn phase flies by so quickly (unless you’re in the newborn phase at this very moment and then you feel as if the feeding, lack of sleep, spit up, feeding, and lack of sleep will last forevvvvver. It won’t!) that you often miss/forget how tiny, sweet, and helpless your little one was. I had this idea for commemorating a newborn with Z, but then poof – she was 3 and I never did it. So, I did it now for my baby M. I thought it would be fun to gather some memorable items from his newborn days and display them in a shadow box to hang on his nursery wall. I found a pretty cute shadow box 3 (maybe 4) years ago at Home Goods when I had this idea for Z so I just used that.
I gathered a few items that I wanted to display (the outfit he wore home from the hospital, a mold of his tiny baby hand, and a bib from the hospital where he was born)…
..and used the pins that came with the shadow box to display them.
I added the photo from his handmade baby announcement and mounted it on paper.
Voila, I have commemorated my (now just about 8 month old) newborn!
I love to make our Christmas cards every year but this year it just wasn’t feasible! Plus, I had so many beautiful photos from our shoot with Heater Maloney that I knew this year was a year for a traditional (EASY) photo card. Luckily, I got my homemade Christmas card fix in because we had a few people to give gifts to that required a little card to accompany the gift. I went with 2 different styles this year. One classic look and one a little more whimsical. I thought I’d share the finished products today in case you’re looking for a little homemade Christmas card inspiration.
I made the classic card extra simple by using just red and silver throughout the card, the message is even written in silver sharpie inside the card! These snowflake stamps are just fabulous.
For the more whimsical card I used a few different color ink pads to make a tree with ornaments. To fill the white space, I made a border from a red/white striped washi tape and I think it came out adorable.
PS. I inadvertently took last week off from blogging, – just too busy and too much going on. But I’m baaaack!
I am teaching a class Thursday, February 5th to make beautiful, handmade Valentine’s Day Cards – SIGN UP NOW! If ever there was a holiday to spend time and effort to hand-make a card for your loved one, Valentine’s Day is it!Read the catalog description of the class below.
Legend has it that the practice of sending Valentine’s Day cards began in this country when a Mt. Holyoke College student received one such card from her beau in England. The daughter of a stationery manufacturer, she convinced her father of the business potential behind this idea; and thus, the Valentine’s card was born! Come join Jess for an evening of handmade heartfelt fun. Using rubber stamps, embossing powder, paper punches and more, you will create at least two one-of-a-kind cards that express your creativity. Once you learn how simple and rewarding it is to make your own cards, you’ll never again settle for store-bought. Please bring scissors suitable for cutting paper and a $10 material fee.
Sign Up Now!
I have one last post for this series on Z’s Minnie Bowtique birthday party! And with this one you’re going think I’m totally nuts, but I can live with that. The last step of every party is write thank you notes! Z received awesome, thoughtful gifts from all of her “fwends” so we thought we’d send out on-theme thank you notes to thank them for their gifts and for coming to her party and making it the best. day. ever. Here’s how I made them…
I used blank white cards, washi tape in pink polka dot, black polka dot, and silver and a thank you stamp with silver ink.
I stuck the tape on first, then stamped the thank you message.
Voila – quick easy thank you notes to coordinate with the Minnie Bowtique party theme!
Ps. Minnie Bowtique party hats and invitations and Minnie Bowtique Cupcakes
The final class in my fall series is next Tuesday evening – SIGN UP TODAY!
You spend so much time and energy finding just the right gifts for the holiday season, it’s only right to wrap them in something equally personal. You’ll be delighted with how fun, easy and satisfying it is to make your own gift wrap and gift tags. We will focus on holiday-themed paper and tags, but once you learn the process, you’ll be able to continue the fun at home for any occasion. A $10 materials fee is payable to instructor at class.
Z is about to turn 3! And with that we’re throwing her first friends-only birthday party. We’ve been talking about it daily for MONTHS – MONTHS people! To say the very least, she is so very excited and wants to be involved in every aspect of planning. As I always say, the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree… Anyway, the past 2 years I’ve gotten away with coming up with the theme for her birthday party but not this year. From the start of birthday party discussions (that started in July) she knew she wanted a Minnie Bow-tique birthday party (in case you’re not familiar, on the show Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Minnie Mouse owns a shop called Minnie’s Bow-tique where she sells hair bows). So! I dove right in to plan a Minnie Bow-tique party without everything being covered in Minnie Mouse’s face (no offense Minnie). Here are a couple details (more to come post-party):
Simple invites this year. I used Photoshop and typed the lyrics to the Minnie Bow-tique theme song and drew a simple Minnie Mouse shape. Once printed I used foam sheets and cut out bows to make the front a little 3D. I did a hand stamped back to the invite and wrote in the details of the party.
One must on Z’s birthday party list has been party hats.
For these, I just ordered black polka dot hats from amazon. I cut out circles from black construction paper and taped them on the sides of each hat to create Minnie ears.
Then I used the same foam sheets to make bows. No free-hand drawing here, I traced a downloaded “official” Minnie Bow-tique bow to get the cartoon-y shape just right.
Voila – party hats that aren’t too character-y but still look like the Minnie Bow-tique theme. More to come next week!
My Handmade Card Class is next Tuesday evening – SIGN UP TODAY!
In May, one of Jess’s handmade cards appeared in Martha Stewart Living magazine, so we are not fooling around when we say that she is a local gem. Come join her for an evening of handmade fun. In time for the holidays, learn to create cards that express your creativity by using rubber stamps, embossing powder, paper punches and more. Once you learn how simple and pleasurable it is to make your own cards, you’ll never again settle for store-bought. We will make at least two cards each. A $10 materials fee is payable to instructor at class.
For a full listing of all the classes I’m teaching this fall see this post.