Tag Archives: Crafts

Faux Stained Glass

Handi-skill Spotlight: Stained Glass

Not sure what a Handi-Skill is?

Making stained glass is probably a skill better suited for the older kids. Here are two different  methods for achieving beautiful results.

Suzy’s Artsy-Craftsy Sitcom has a fantastic tutorial for making Faux Stained Glass using glue, acrylic paints, and other easily obtainable materials.

If you have a teen who is ambitious, you may want to give the real stuff a try. Creativity-in-Glass.com has graciously provided step-by-step instructions for how to make stained glass.

Or, maybe your’re like us and just want to enjoy the beauty of the glass. We have a local glass shop where they allow customers to watch the process.



Handi-Skill Spotlight: Cross-stitch

Not sure what a handi-skill is?

Source: etsy.com via Lindsay on Pinterest

Cross-stiching is an age old craft that comes in neatly packaged bags in craft stores everywhere. You can easily get started for under $10.

The sky is the limit as to the number of patterns that are available for your child to pursue.

There are towels, wall hangings, pillows, or how about the newest kid on the block? The Purl Bee has instructions for cross-stitching an iphone case. {What could be cooler, right?}

Source: purlbee.com via A on Pinterest


window painting

Handi-Skill Spotlight: Window Painting

Not sure what a handi-skill is?

Have you ever admired the window paintings in a store window? Did you ever think that people are paid to paint them?

Here’s a neat idea to start making those paintings at home.

For younger children, Hands on as We Grow has a great tutorial using soap and tempura paint which makes for easy clean-up – at least on the outside of the house.

For older kids (and for something more permanent but still removable), Glory’s Mischief has detailed instructions using a dry erase marker for the outline and acrylic paint. She tells you step by step how to create a cat in the window and pumpkins for a Thanksgiving Theme, and you could easily adapt the directions for other designs. (Note: The Window Woman warns against using acrylic paints that are advertised for glass because these are designed to be permanent on glass.)

If you have any questions, The Window Woman has free informational tips covering the types of brushes and paint to use as well as how to prep your window.

And, who knows – maybe one day you’ll have an artist who paints something like this…

Have fun!


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Handi-Skill Spotlight: Origami

Not sure what a Handi-Skill is?

Origami is such a neat little skill to have, isn’t it? From amazing your friends to being able to fold napkins for a fancy dinner party, it’s just one of those things that always surprises those who see it.

It’s really not as hard as it looks (well, some of it) – especially if you buy the specially made origami paper available at most craft stores. The key seems to be starting with a square. Also, the store bought paper is nice and thin which allows for more folds without getting bulky.

The great thing about origami is that the initial expense is very low. There are online resources with the directions, and you could even cut your own paper if you didn’t want to purchase the special kind. (Although from personal experience, I will tell you that it is much easier when using the purchased papers.)

Source:  Sean on Pinterest

Origami-instructions has some particularly easy beginner pieces for very young children or to use as a great confidence booster.

The Origami Resource Center seems to be targeted to a little bit older child – or once you’re ready for something different.

And, for something a little bit different, Tammy Yee offers Print and Fold Origami which allows you to have an end result that is very colorful.

For the adventurous types, check out the Napkin Folding Guide and be ready to amaze your next dinner guests.

Happy Folding!



A Day of A-ha!

Today I had at least a couple of A-ha moments.

The first came about as I was thinking about our newest history book. We are going to read “Roanoke: a Novel of the Lost Colony” and it just came in from the library lending program today. So, I was reading the first chapter to see if I felt it would have that “hook” to get the kids excited about the story, and I realized that is exactly what I want them to see history as – a story. This is why I don’t overly focus on dates – I would much rather them have an overall feel for the sequence of events than be able to tell you an exact date for a specific event. I think that is why I really love historical fiction. We talk about the parts that are true and the parts that are made up – and I really feel like this is why they are interested. Today we had about a thirty minute discussion on the Civil War – what it was about, how is started, etc… that was all started because of a show we watched on the history of Jazz music. Times like that are when I feel the most blessed to be part of their learning every day.
My second A-ha moment came while watching “Jon and Kate plus Eight.” Now, if you haven’t watched this show, I have to tell you – it really puts things in perspective. Jon and Kate have a set of twin girls who are six, and a set of sextuplets who are two. This family is always moving and can you imagine the amount of laundry they do! Wow – kind of helps me realize that we can do what we need to do, and I can certainly handle taking care of my family of four. Jon and Kate were asked what they thought each of their kids might be when they grew up – and both mom and dad started listing the differences of each kid and how that might relate to a career later on. I realized all of a sudden that DD and DS have really had their individual personalities coming out this week. What makes this week different from other weeks you might ask – well, we haven’t gone out to lunch. This might not seem like a big deal, but it really is. I have almost a compulsion to get out of the house during the afternoon. We leave for lunch and then sometimes don’t get back until after 5. I’ve realized this week how much less time it takes to just make lunch at home, and then we have the whole afternoon to hang out and enjoy each other’s company without the rush, rush, rush of being out in the world.
Yesterday afternoon, DD asked for the red felt and when she noticed the ribbon, she also took two rolls of that. Next thing I know – she has sewn a pouch! (I called it a bag – but she corrected me…)

Today, she started an apron, and I taught her how to sew on a button. Now I will admit that she is using tape instead of knots on her sewing because she hasn’t quite figured out how to make a knot that doesn’t pull through – but, she done all of this with techniques she has developed mostly on her own. I occasionally step in and ask if she would like a tip, but usually I let her go at it – she has a knack for seeing how to do things much better than I could ever explain to her.

Today, DS made he and DD “mailboxes” out of paper bags. Then, they spent the evening sending letters back and forth to each other. DS using a regular envelope, and DD using one of her “should be patented” homemade envelopes. (On a side note, DD has previously written a manual on how to make a mailbox. I will post further details later.)

After the kids were in bed, hubby and I heard what sounded like DS crying. I asked him what was wrong and he said that he was laughing, so I called him to come to me. (I had to know what had spawned such hilarity.) The boy was cracking himself up because of a letter he thought up to “send” to DD tomorrow. He wants to say “Beware of falling cows.” I wish I had a picture or video of him laughing at his own joke – absolutely priceless.