Toy Storage Ideas, Kids Storage Ideas - DIY Inspired
18th Apr2013

Refurbished Radio Flyer Wooden Toy Horse

by Dinah Wulf

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One of my best friends has a Radio Flyer Wooden Toy Horse that all three of her kids played with.  Her youngest, Taylor, absolutely LOVES this horse and uses it practically every day.  Over the years, since kid #1, the horse has taken its toll.  It lives most of its life outside and the weather has taken a beating on it.  When I asked little Taylor what color she wanted Auntie to paint her horse she said pink and white. Happily, I took home her horse for a couple days to refurbish it for her.

Here are the materials I used:

  • WD-40
  • Sanding block and 150 grit sand paper
  • Clean cloth
  • White spray paint for metal and outdoor use
  • Pink paint
  • Paint brush
  • Screw driver
  • Wrench

I had difficulty taking off the old screws and nuts because of the rust, so I sprayed on WD-40 to loosen it.

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It worked perfectly.  I had to use the wrench to secure the nut and use the screwdriver to unscrew each one.

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Note: I soaked the screws and nuts in lime away and used an old toothbrush to scrub them clean of rust.  It worked great and I didn’t have to buy new ones!

Once the wood and metal were apart, I sanded the horse.

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I looked online to find replacement caps for the wheels because from experience, they usually get ruined once you try to pop them off.  I couldn’t find the right size so I decided to keep them on and cover the wheels in plastic to protect them from the spray paint.  I sprayed the metal base with spray paint.

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Meanwhile, I took off the rubber handles and painted the wooden horse pink. I also painted the rubber handles white with the spray paint.

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Once all the paint was dry, my friend Jenny highlighted the groves with a light purple paint and small paintbrush.  Here are some before and after photos.

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This project makes me want to look for more toys to refurbish the next time I go to an antique swap meet.  When I brought it back to Taylor she was so excited and rode it immediately.

 

15th Apr2013

Recycled Straw Necklace Craft for Kids

by Dinah Wulf

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Lucky for me, I get to spend at least two times a week with my best friends and their kids.  We try to schedule play dates every Tuesday and Thursday.  Our little ones have become so close they treat each other like sisters (AKA, an occasional hit or raised voice).  Often times we try to come up with a craft the girls can do together.  Most recently we made these cute recycled straw necklace craft.  I got this idea from Jamie over at hands on: as we grow.  She is one of my main resources for the activities I do with Mia.  This kid’s activity in particular is great for fine motor skills.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Yarn
  • Straws
  • Scissors
  • Craft Punches
  • Paper scraps

We chose some of our favorite colored yarn. Cut different lengths for bracelets, anklets, or necklaces. We cut them extra-long for the younger kids.

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We also used various craft punches to create our own “beads” with circles and flowers from scrapbook paper scraps I had left over from other projects. Make sure the hole is large enough for little fingers to maneuver.

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You can pre-cut the straws, or if your child is old enough you can allow them to do it with safety scissors.

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Here are our little ones in action.  Please ignore the dirt on my daughter’s face and shirt… oh and the disheveled hair…they were playing outside I swear!  Ha!

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The girls (ages 2-5) had a great time and were happy to take and wear them home from our play date.

10th Apr2013

Cardboard Box Photo Booth

by Dinah Wulf

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I know Easter is officially over (hope you had a great one!), but I wanted to share this fantastic Cardboard Box Photo Booth idea from a friend of mine.  This is such a great upcycle and it’s perfect for any party, especially for kids.

My friend had a box from a large flat screen TV which was the perfect size for a photo booth for small children.  She saved it and realized that she could make a two sided photo booth for an upcoming spring party she was planning.  The larger the box, the better, of course!  She cut out one side, and covered the entire box in white paper.

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On one side, painted an Easter theme with a bunny, egg tree, grass, and Easter eggs and cut out holes for your head in the shape of a balloon and an Easter egg.  She painted more Easter eggs and glued them on to add dimension.

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On the other side, she cut out two sections and used two picture frames as a border.  She decorated it with bows and pinwheels from the dollar store.

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The party guests had a great time posing for pictures.

This Cardboard Box Photo Booth could go with any type of theme party, the possibilities are endless!  Consider draping it with material, covering it with patterned gift wrap, or painting it.  You can also place a box or basket of photo props like hats, boas, funny glasses, and masks.  I may have to steal this idea for my daughter’s birthday party this year!

 

28th Mar2013

SmartStrand: Getting Down To Play With Your Kids

by Dinah Wulf

Mohawk After

My daughter and I have been really enjoying our kid-friendly SmartStrand carpet rug.  Getting down To play with together is so important to our family.  Over the past several days we’ve had a tea party, did puzzles, played games, and watched movies.  Did I mention we also ate chicken, cookies, chocolate milk, juice, and more with no worries at all?  Enter to win one below {CLOSED}!  But first, check us out in action!

Getting Down To Play With Your Kids

It even survived a play date with Mia’s best friend, Becca and the twins!

Getting Down To Play With Your Kids 2  

About SmartStrand

#1—SmartStrand has permanent stain and soil resistance that will never wear off. Most carpets have stain and soil treatments that are applied topically to the fiber.

Over time, in the face of foot traffic, and due to wear and tear, the topically applied stain and soil treatment wears off. This can leave ordinary carpets looking worn out and dirty sooner than you might expect for such a large purchase. With SmartStrand, you don’t have to worry about that. For as long as you have the carpet, it will have stain protection because it is built into the carpet fiber itself.

#2—SmartStrand is extremely easy to clean.

Say goodbye to carpet cleaners! You don’t have to use any harsh chemicals or carpet cleaners to remove stains from SmartStrand carpet. All you need is a dishrag, some warm water, and mild detergent, like dish soap. Even tough stains, like ketchup, mustard, red Kool-Aid, even red wine will clean easily out of SmartStrand carpet.

#3—SmartStrand is very durable.

So durable, in fact, Mohawk held a SmartStrand Zoo Challenge. Mohawk carpeted the rhino enclosure at a popular zoo in Birmingham, Alabama. Ricko the Rhino lived on this carpet for 2 weeks! When all was said and done, Mohawk removed the carpet from Ricko’s home, had it professionally cleaned using only hot water extraction… and the carpet looked good as new! The next year, they took it even further and had six African elephants at the Dallas Zoo live on SmartStrand carpet for two weeks…and the result was the same!

Getting Down To Play With Your Kids 1

Enter To Win! {CLOSED}

You can win your own 6’ X 9’ SmartStrand bound carpet rug. Go to the contest page to enter. SmartStrand carpet is rated #1 in consumer satisfaction… Experience it for yourself!

The contest is going on now and ends April 8th. Please see the registration page for legal rules.

A big THANK YOU to Mohawk Flooring for sponsoring this post!

18th Mar2013

Stuffed Animal Toy Storage

by Dinah Wulf

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Today I had to share my obsession with reuse and repurposing… either that or I’m a hoarder I haven’t quite figured that out yet or at least come to terms with “hoarding”.  I turned literal trash into a centerpiece and then into stuffed animal toy storage.  Yeah I know. I have issues.

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I originally found this plant hanger next to the trash by the side of our house when we first moved in last year.  I ended up cleaning it up, painting it, embellishing it, and using it as an outdoor chandelier for my daughter’s outdoor summer birthday party.  It was hung in the center of a tent with a nice adult seating area and turned out quite lovely.

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I didn’t want to throw it away so I ended up hanging it in my daughter’s room for stuffed animal toy storage.  It worked out perfectly because it matched the butterfly wall art, stenciled burlap butterfly wall art, I made and ceiling fan that I installed.  Since I used the pearls and beads sparingly when decorating the chandelier, small stuffed animals can easily be taken in and out.  My daughter loves it and calls it her hanging zoo (and sometimes her hanging jail, but zoo is much nicer).

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When I first saw that pile of unwanted trash, I would have never thought I’d be hanging it in my toddler’s room, but it worked out!  This old plant hanger, once dirty and trashy, is now a sweet treasure that I think my daughter will have for several years to come.

01st Mar2013

Kid’s Craft Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

Thank goodness I enjoy crafting!  I say that because sometimes the trials and tribulations that come with raising a toddler seem less stressful when I can break out a craft activity for the two of us to do.  I have found some fun resources for kid’s craft ideas that I want to share with you today.

hands on: as we grow

Jamie is a mom of three boys and has art projects, crafts, and activities for kids from newborn to three years old.  From parenting tips to teaching phonics, Jamie’s website is full of amazing ideas for parent and child to do together.  Two of my favorites are a snowman wind chime made out of tin cans and a Dinosaur Fossil Excavation that is a hands on sensory experience.  You can follow Jaime on Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest for more inspiration!

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{Via}

Kid’s Activities Blog

Holly and Rachel are some quirky mommas who have collaborated with several creative moms to create a one stop resource for activities, crafts, and fun educational experiences for your kids.  You can find indoor and outdoor games, holiday crafts, and even jokes for kids of all ages from babies to middle school aged children.  A couple of my favorite posts are Homemade Toys from Your Recycle Bin and Word Family Tic-Tac-Toe reading game.  You can follow Holly on Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest for more inspiration!

DIY-Toys

Powerful Mothering

Last but definitely not least, Heidi and Nicci’s parenting website, not only addresses important pregnancy and birthing information, they share fun topics such as starting family traditions and Toddler friendly healthy recipes.  Of course, their kid’s activities and craft and DIY section is my fave, including How to Make Shelves out of Cardboard Boxes and How to Sew a Toddler backpack.  Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Pinterest!

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Be sure to check out these lovely ladies and their fun and useful sites!  Do you have any kid’s activities you’d like to share?

 

28th Feb2013

Reading Nook for Kids

by Dinah Wulf

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I saw this fantastic idea using spice racks to hold books on Pinterest.  I love this reading nook idea because it takes little space, and adds charm and character while encouraging good reading habits to our little ones.  When I went to IKEA however, these wooden spice racks were nowhere to be found.  I decided to keep looking and stumbled upon some photo ledges that I thought would fit perfectly for a reading nook I had wanted to make for my daughter for her room.

Here is what her wall looked like before.  It was plain and sad with an off centered organization board I made last year. Blah and boring!

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I found a fun cherry blossom decal and added it to the plain walls along with two photo ledges at a height that would make it easy for my toddler to reach. I hung them off set from one another.

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Here is a close up.

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I purchased and painted some wooden letters to spell out “books” and “read” with acrylic craft paint.  I didn’t originally plan on it saying “read books” but I found an old curb side pick-up frame that I thought would look cute around the words.

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Here another photo.  It turned out quite nice.

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My daughter actually picks up and reads her books more often now because they are displayed.  No longer hidden in her organization cubes, her books are now easily accessible and a constant reminder that she has them!

11th Feb2013

8 DIY Girls Room Ideas

by Dinah Wulf

My daughter and I were playing in her bedroom the other day.  She wanted me to lie down on the floor and tuck me in, just like Mommy and Daddy does.  She brought me her pillow, her blanket, and two of her dolls.  As I laid there I looked around at her room and realized that I have made a lot of the things in her room so I thought I put together a roundup of 8 DIY Girls Room Ideas and tutorials that I have done.

DIY Girls Room Ideas

  1. Stenciled Butterfly Wall Art – I made this out of an old (ugly) painting, burlap, stencils and craft butterflies.
  2. Plant Hanger Chandelier- Every girl, especially tween girls who walk into Mia’s room LOVE this chandelier and thinks it’s so cool.  To think I made it out of a plant hanger I found in a trash pile on the side of the house when we first moved in!
  3. Butterfly Wall Art-  I made these one day literally out of boredom from left overs in my craft closet.
  4. Lampshade Update – OK, so I didn’t technically make the lamp shade but I did dress it up a bit with ribbon and a butterfly J
  5. Ribbon Organization Board – Another recycled project, I made this out of an old painting and my daughter’s first baby blanket.
  6. Refurbished Play Table – This was an old Disney princess table that was about to be thrown away.  I picked it up and re-painted it and added cushions and fabric to the seats.
  7. Updated Storage Bins- Thought I’d give these otherwise boring bins an inexpensive facelift.
  8. Updated Sconces – Just add the desired paint to some thrift store sconces and voila!

There you have it!  I made most of these from unwanted items and turned trash into treasure…well, at least for my daughter!

 

30th Jan2013

Storage Ideas for Kids

by Dinah Wulf

The older my daughter gets, the more toys and books she has.  I’m always looking for inventive and fun storage ideas for kids.  There are so many inspiring ideas out there that I thought I’d put together a round-up of my favorites.

This clever book sling from Etsy made from a double curtain rob is great.  I would have never thought to do that.  I love the fabric as well.

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I love this!  It looks like stacked tables with drawers for added storage… and it’s purdy too!

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This is one of my favorites!  Being an organization freak, I thought these personalized file crates are a brilliant way to organize art projects, report cards, certificates, and more for each child in the house.

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This is great for older kids.  Using clear glass jars for storage adds color and style while making it easy to see what’s inside.  You can print out these labels here from BHG.

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Another fantastic and ingenious idea from BHG are repurposing plant hangers as wall toy storage.

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A clever way of saving space, this is perfect for nursery with limited space.

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This is from one of my favorite sites, Apartment Therapy.  This DIY project uses pillow cases and embroidery hoops!  I love this!

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Argh! Why didn’t I think of this!  These are wooden spice racks turned book shelves.  You can find these at IKEA for about $4.00 apiece.

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A brilliant trash to treasure idea, this old dresser turned wardrobe storage or dress up station is adorable!

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This is a great way to reuse baby wipe containers and a great way to stay organized!

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Hope you enjoyed my round-up of Storage Ideas for Kids!

 

28th Jan2013

DIY Candy Valentines with a Free Printable

by Dinah Wulf

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Even though my daughter is not yet old enough to be in school, I thought it would still be fun to come up with some DIY Candy Valentines with a Free Printable for my DIY Inspired readers.  I figured my daughter and I could pass the ones I made for this post out to friends and loved ones.  I have done a candy sayings post in the past to help cheer up my husband when he hurt his foot last year, so if you need more inspiration or want to use different candies check out that post.  If you like these, please help yourself to this free printable!

DIY Candy Valentines with a Free Printable

Here are the sayings that I used this time.  I tried to be creative and funny.  Let me know what you think!  If you have other ideas, I’d love to see your sayings in the comments below.

  • Fruit Snacks – “Orange you berry happy I’m your Valentine?”
  • Blow Pop- “Life without you would blow.”
  • Almond Joy- “You bring me so much joy it’s nuts!”
  • Chiclets- “You’re a sweet chick.  Will you be my Valentine?”
  • Pop Rocks- “You Rock, Valentine!”
  • Whoppers- “You’re a Whopper of a Valentine.”

I used favor bags, scrapbook paper, and ribbon to embellish them.  Double sided tape makes it easy to assemble.  Here are a couple more photos.  I had a lot of fun making them.

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I hope you print them out! Enjoy and don’t forget to leave your candy sayings!

***Bonus alert! I am so excited to share two more bonus Valentine’s Day crafts from my friends, Loren from Pandora’s Craft Box and Barbara from Chase the Star!***

Here is Barbara’s adorable Valentine’s Day Banner!

Vday Banner Cover

And here is Loren’s cute Cupid Felt Valentine’s Snow Globe!

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Happy Crafting!

 

 

27th Dec2012

DIY Craft Organization Board

by Dinah Wulf

This painting I found was in a pile of unwanted garage sale items about to hit the trash.  Lucky for me, I was able to salvage a few of them before their journey to the garbage dump and ultimate demise. I am re-doing my office into a craft room…yay… and wanted to turn this old painting into a craft organization board.  I made an organization board for my daughter’s room with an old painting and her first baby blanket, but for this one, I wanted to make it a little different.  With a little tender loving care I literally turned this piece of trash into my treasure.

Here is a Before and After shot.

Materials You May Need:

  • Old Painting (best if it’s free!)
  • Paint or spray paint in the color of choice
  • Paint brush
  • Painter’s tape (optional)
  • Material (amount depends on the size of the frame)
  • Ribbon
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Hammer and nails (depending on frame)
  • Pliers
  • Imagination (this one is free too!)

Step One: Disassemble your frame.

For this particular frame the canvas popped right out.  It was nailed to the frame, so I had to carefully remove the nails.  At this point I cleaned both the canvas and frame as best as I could.

Step Two: Paint your frame.

This frame has a fun natural fiber edge to it (score!) so I had to use painter’s tape to protect the edges.  I used left over paint I had from other projects. Otherwise, I would have spray painted it because it would have been easier and faster.  I applied two coats of paint.

Step Three: Cover the canvas.

While I was waiting for the paint to dry, I covered the canvas with some utility fabric that I bought using a staple gun.  I added a pocket for extra storage, and ribbon as well.  I played around with the ribbon until I got my desired pattern.  I attached the ribbon using the staple gun as well.

Step Four: Reassemble the frame.

For this particular frame, I had to nail the canvas back onto the frame.

Here are a few After photos.

 

That’s it!  This project was so fun for me, and now I have a fun piece for my new craft room! Sneak peek coming soon!

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26th Dec2012

Potty Training Chart with Free Printable

by Dinah Wulf

Like every other Mother out there with a toddler, I am working on a new rite of passage… potty training.  Ugh.  First of all, I think I started too early.  My best friend’s daughter who may be the same numeric age as my little one, however is actually this amazing super talented and smart 4 Year Old in a Two Year Old’s body, was the reason I started so early.  I tried a few tactics here and there and my newest one is a reward chart.  Since I thought I’d share my story, I might as well turn it into a blog post on how to make your own potty training chart!

What is strange is that we went on vacation for two weeks and she was practically potty trained. She woke up with a dry diaper almost every night and sat on the “big girl” toilet seat almost every time.  We get home from this successful vaca and nada.  We were back to square one.  So, I digress, to a potty training chart.  Here is what you need:

  • Two pieces of 12X12 scrapbook paper
  • Paper cutter
  • Cutting mat
  • Straight edge
  • Computer (or feel free to handwrite)
  • Exact-o Knife
  • Double sided tape
  • This blue chart or pink chart printable

Step One:  The printable is 7.5” X 10.25”.  Using an exact-o knife and straight edge, cut out the 7.5” X 10.25” window in your desired area.  I positioned mine in the center bottom to leave room for a title.

Step Two: Create your title.  I printed it on a computer and cut it out, but you can simply write your title or use stencils, whatever you prefer.

Step Three: Using double sided tape, attach your top piece to a second piece of scrap book paper. Leave the right and left side of the window unattached so that you can slide and change out your printable when necessary.

Step Four: Print and slide in your printable. By the way, I got the image of the star on Google Images because Mia loves stars!

Step Five:  Hang in at eye level, near your child’s potty.

I use fun and unique stickers to cover each space as my daughter hits the achievement.  So far it’s kind of sort of working maybe?  Ha!  We’ll see!  Do you have any potty training advice?  Here is some advice from Facebook (some funny, some serious):

“Glue” – T.N.

“Be patient. It’s doesn’t happen overnight.” – T.W.

“Aim for the center.” – P.S.

“I was going to say bribery.” – J.H.B.

“It usually will happen when she is ready. Make her as familiar as possible and try all you can think of and when she wants to and is ready she will just do it.” – K.T.Y.

“Buy a potty chair and have her sit on it when she watches TV and then make a big deal out of it when she goes.” – J.W.

“Just show her the process, ask her if she wants to potty in the toilet when you go and once you think she gets the concept just ask her every morning if she wants to wear a diaper or not…. when she is ready she’ll say no. I don’t recommend kid potties, totally unnecessary, more work, more things to clean and when there isn’t one available, they have a harder time going in a regular toilet.” D.R.

How about you?  Any tips or tricks?

 

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24th Dec2012

Silent Night: Christmas Eve Sleeping Tips for Kids

by Dinah Wulf

Christmas Eve Sleeping Tips for Kids

For children, going to sleep on Christmas Eve can be difficult. After all, there is much to be excited about. For parents, it may be difficult to remember those days when all you could think of the night before Christmas was what Santa may possibly leave under the tree. If you are having difficulty in getting your children to sleep on Christmas Eve, there are a few tricks that you can try.

During the Day

  1. Keep them active – Keeping children active during the day will help to ensure that they are tired enough to actually go to sleep despite all of the excitement. Plan activities for the day of Christmas Eve and ensure that they get plenty of exercise.
  2. Don’t Overdo – Your children are bound to be excited but you can help to curb that excitement just a bit. Try not to overdo stimuli that could promote anxiety. Moderate your activities and try to avoid anything that may make your children, particularly younger children, a bit more anxious than they need to be.

During the Evening

  1. Warm bath – A warm bath is just the thing that your children need to relax them before bedtime. If you have a normal bedtime routine, stick to it. Altering from that routine can cause even more excitement which can be difficult for children to overcome.
  2. Warm milk – Warm milk is another great way to make them sleepy before bedtime. Milk has tryptophan in it that causes sleepiness so offering them a glass with a Christmas cookie after dinner can help them to fall asleep sooner.

At Bedtime

  1. Let them sleep – You may be tempted to keep reminding them that Santa is on his way but this may only lead to their restlessness. Try to avoid bringing on any more excitement. Simply close their bedroom door and allow them to drift off.
  2. Let them start early – It is customary in many households to open a gift on Christmas Eve. If this is feasible, allow your children one gift before bedtime to help curb their excitement. They will be thinking more about the gift that they opened than those that are soon to come and will fall asleep faster.

There is no right or wrong way to put your children to bed on Christmas Eve. If you are concerned about them falling asleep, get them up early on the morning of Christmas Eve or use any of the steps above to help calm their excitement and promote a better night’s sleep.

This article was provided by The Odd Mattress Company. Get more tips for a good night’s sleep by visiting their website today.

 

 

 

13th Dec2012

Recycled Christmas Card Ornaments

by Dinah Wulf

I don’t know about you but I receive a lot of Christmas cards in the mail.  Don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE receiving them, especially the ones with the family photos.  I love seeing my loved one’s kids grow up, seeing new additions, and even seeing what funny costumes their pets will be wearing.  You can always make recycled bottle cap magnets out of them but that was SOOOO last year!  Just kidding ;)  This year, I decided to make Recycled Christmas Card Ornaments.  This is a fun and easy kid-friendly craft.  Here’s is what you’ll need:

  • Christmas Cards
  • Paper Cutter or Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Hot Glue
  • Embellishments (I used a scrapbook embellishment and plastic rhinestone gems)
  • Ribbon

Step One: Gather your Christmas Cards! I chose by color… red and green of course! Oh yeah… plug in your glue gun.

Step Two: Cut them up.  I cut them in one inch strips.  I cut two lengths just depending on the size of the card. I cut 16 strips all together (8 in two different lengths).

Step Three: To make them easy to maneuver, I stapled four groups of four together.  I also creased a few to make the shape more interesting.

Step Four: Put the four pieces together and pinch with your fingers.  This is the easiest way to apply the glue.  Apply your hot glue and hold it for a few seconds to allow it to harden slightly and then add your embellishment.

Step Five: Add a ribbon.

Step Six: Hang it! So easy AND your Christmas cards don’t get thrown away AND you just made your kid happy by doing a craft with them! P.S. Notice my recycled Scrabble tile ornaments in the background? :)

Bonus!  Guess what?  Here are two other fun ornament tutorials done by my friends and favorite Bloggers over at Pandora’s Craft Box and Chase The Star.

Here is Loren’s DIY Snow Globe from Pandora’s Craft Box!

Here is Barbara’s DIY Ornament from Chase the Star!

I hope you try them out!

 

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