DIY Valentine’s Crayons: Fun&Easy
Do you have a toddler? Kid? Then perhaps you have a lot of broken crayons in your house too? Turn those broken crayons into Valentine’s Day gifts with my simple tutorial. This is seriously a no-fail, simple activity. Low on time-investiment and high on super cute outcome!
1. Broken crayons (I used multiple brands and sizes)
2. One silicone heart mould tray
4. Baking tray
1. Peel the papers off of your crayons if they still reside there.
2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
3. Break crayons down further to fit into the moulds. Great stress relief — snap! snap! crack!
4. Put broken crayons into moulds. There does not appear to be a right or wrong way to do this. I stacked some vertically, others horizontally, and most were a little of both. I piled them as high as the top of the moulds.
5. Place your heart moulds onto a baking tray and place in oven for 15-18 minutes. We have a baking tray that is too gross to use but have not parted with it yet, so I used that in case there was spillover. There was no spillover.
6. Take tray out of the oven after 18 minutes and put it on the stovetop to cool. The crayons in all but two center hearts had completely melted after 15 minutes. I would not exceed 18 minutes of oven time.
7. After an hour of cooling, pop those hardened hearts out of the mould.
That’s it! Now you have fantastic gifts! I’m going to give one to Phee’s friends along with a Valentine’s Day sticker sheet! Simple, fun and satisfying to make, and a cute way to share the love with the littles on Valentine’s Day and beyond!
Being Punny: Teacher Gifts
My daughter goes to a small preschool with one main teacher, an assistant teacher, and 5 undergraduate intern-teachers.
While I’m obviously gifting the teachers, I wanted to get all the interns little gifts to say thanks for making Phee’s transition to preschool so smooth and enjoyable. So I came up with an affordable, simple, punny little idea you may like too!
Step Two: Write a punny message to each teacher intern.
Step Three: Remember that rushed trip to Target to get Burt’s Bees lip balm, bread and milk early this morning? This is where those emergency lip balms come in…And those favor bags you snatched from the $1 section.
Step Four: Have your preschooler assemble them with you! Easy peasy!
Step Five: Admire your punny little intern-teacher gifts!
That was so easy! Now you have time (and bread) to make sandwiches too!
Pumpkin Science and Roasted Seeds
*Fool-proof roasted pumpkin seed recipe at the end of this post*
Sharing all my fall favorites with my preschooler is the best thing to have happened to me ever. We’re spotting leaves, baking pies, tripping on crab apples, cuddling on cold days! All the fall things! She is so interested in everything this season and I love talking to her about what she sees.
A few days ago we explored a pumpkin. It was the first time in her little curious life that we could carve a pumpkin together and talk about it. So I majorly milked the moment.
We first made observations about the pumpkin–one of the four small pumpkins she had selected at a little farm over the weekend.
Phee noted the pumpkin was:
- had a brown stem
- was hard
When I asked her what she thought it would look like on the inside she said the pumpkin would:
- have carrots in it
- be red inside
- be soft
Then we (I) cut a lid into the pumpkin. I armed Phee with a butter knife so she could help cut. She loved being part of the process!
Her face was priceless when she lifted the pumpkin lid by the stem! She was so impressed to see all the seeds and pulp inside!
She didn’t want to stop there. She asked if we could make a jack o’ lantern. Obviously, I said yes. I scooped out the seeds and cut out triangle eyes and a smile and let her pull the pieces out.
I roasted the seeds (recipe below) and Phee pretty much talked to and played with the jack o’ lantern uninterrupted for 1.5 hours. It was the best!
How To Roast Pumpkin Seeds:
- Preheat oven to 300F.
- Scoop pumpkin seeds out and into a bowl separating seeds from pulp the best you can.
- Put seeds in a colander and rinse with cold water to remove pulp.
- Spread wet seeds out on a non-stick or oiled pan and place in oven for about 15-30 minutes to dry out. (I did for 15)
- Remove dried seeds from oven and place in bowl to cover in your favorite fat and seasonings. I’m old school and drizzled olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt.
- Place seasoned seeds back on the pan and roast for 20-30 minutes until they get lovely golden brown.
- Try to let them cool before you eat them. Or just go ahead and eat them right off the pan like a barbarian. Me and my slightly burned fingertips are not here to judge.
Happy Fall y’all!
DIY Kids’ Placemats
I know it is only October, but holidays are coming up and in an effort to help you prepare (while helping myself procrastinate the start of my daughter’s Halloween costume), I decided to return to the blog with this super easy and surprisingly satisfying kid snack mat tutorial.
Kid-sized placemats for home or on-the-go are so useful, can be super cute, and are super simple to make. A bundle makes a perfect gift for the holidays, housewarming, or just because! These mats are great for snack stops anywhere: restaurants, play groups, preschool, daycare, after gymnastics class (that is where I got this idea — my daughter’s friend had a cute cotton placemat that her grandma made! genius, grandma!).
Let’s get started! Here is a list of things you will probably need:
- Sewing Machine
- Cutting mat
- Cotton fabric (enough to cut two 14″ x 10″ rectangles)
- Optional PUL fabric (enough for one 14″ x 10″ rectangle)
- Quilters ruler
- Rotary cutter
- Water soluble fabric pen or pencil
- A third eye to watch your toddler while she plays with all the sharp things in your sewing room. “That’s not a music shaker! That is a box of sharp pins!”
First, Measure and cut your fabric into two 14″ x 10″ rectangles. I used a quilters ruler, rotary cutter, and pen.
Measure and draw a rectangle on the wrong side of one rectangle. If using PUL, I suggest you do this on the wrong side of your cotton fabric. I used a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
Place right sides of your two rectangles together and pin.
Now trace the rectangle with your thread! That’s right, cozy up to your sewing machine and sew over the lines leaving a little 1.5-2 inch hole to turn your mat right side out!
Clip the corners and turn your mat right-side out! It is like opening a present!!
Now iron out your lovely placemat and sew on the top stitch.
Yes! It was that easy! You are finished!
Don’t feel like making any yourself? They are available in my shop as well with many print options!
$7 for the reversible cotton placemats:
$9 for the mats with waterproof PUL backing:
Okay, now go make some and let me know how you did!! Leave a note in the comments if anything was unclear in this tutorial. Or drop me a note and tell me what patterns you’d like to see on a placemat. I’d love your ideas for the next time I go fabric shopping!