Giant Paper Mache Moon…

DSC_1654 DSC_1409 DSC_1422 DSC_1426 DSC_1432-2 DSC_1441 DSC_1476 DSC_1443 DSC_1485 DSC_1509 DSC_1609 DSC_1627 DSC_1636 DSC_1649 Recently, I had some giant pieces of cardboard laying around, that I just couldn’t part with. You know, it’s not everyday you have giant pieces of cardboard, so I asked Jacks, “Do you want to make a giant moon?” And that’s exactly what we did!

You’ll need the following supplies for this project:

Giant cardboard
Plastic grocery bags
Masking tape
Cereal boxes or other thin cardboard
Paper towels
Acrylic paint (Black, white, grey, glow in the dark)
Mirror hanging wire
Hot glue
Paper mache paste (equal parts flour/water)

To start, draw a large circle on your giant cardboard and cut out. Next, begin shaping your moon by building layers of plastic grocery bags. Attach bags with masking tape. We started with a ring around the outer side of the circle and just kept building. We ran out of grocery bags, so we started using kraft packing paper, the kind that comes with your Amazon packages. I love that stuff and keep it always! Keep layering and building until you have a small hill. Make sure the entire moon is covered in masking tape. If you have any openings, then the paste will leak through and you could end up with mold issues. Keep taping!

I had Jacks look at pictures of the surface of the moon to get and idea where he wanted to put the craters. Cut think pieces of cardboard from cereal boxes and loosely form a circle. Attach to the surface of your moon with tape. Randomly place other sizes on the surface, until you have enough to your liking. Fill the craters with crumpled paper towels, then tape over the entire crater, so nothing is exposed.

Mix up a batch of paper mache paste and start adding layers of newspaper. We did about 3 layers total. You’ll need to let it dry thoroughly between layers. We placed it out in the sun and it was dry within 30 minutes.

Once all layers have dried, add the hanging wire. Poke two holes on the back side of the moon, then add the wire. I kept the tension pretty tight, because I didn’t want it to lean out from the wall. Once you have the correct tension, secure the wire by adding hot glue to the hole and the surrounding area. Leave to dry.

Now, it’s time to paint! First add a base coat of white paint. After that, there is no rhyme or reason to the paint method. Play around with mixing your colors. If you look at pictures of the surface of the moon, there are dark and light areas. Try to replicate that look. A good tip to pick up all the bumps and imperfections on your moon is to do a final dry brush coat, with whatever color you choose. For a final fun touch, we added dots of glow in the dark paint. It really does glow! Just have fun with it, no two moons are going to be the same! 

When everything has dried, hang your moon in your room!

Soft Pretzel Letters…

DSC_1264 DSC_1157 DSC_1129 DSC_1139 DSC_1141 DSC_1173 DSC_1224 DSC_1221 DSC_1208 DSC_1238 DSC_1261 DSC_1286 DSC_1250 It’s been a while, since I did any baking with my kids. I’ve said it before, I’m not the biggest fan. “Frazzled,” just barely describes how I feel after a baking session with them. But, they love it, and I love that they do, so I suck it up.  I promised them we would bake together once a week, instead of just once in a while. Obviously, I have a death wish. 

For our first baking sesh, it was just me and the girls. That made it a little easier. Not really. We decided on soft pretzels because they are a favorite. Also, it’s a fool proof recipe. They honestly did all the work. I just read the recipe and gave them some pointers, such as dusting your hands with flour to stop the dough from sticking. 

Instead of just regular pretzel shapes, they wanted to do letters. So we decided on the first letter for everyone in our family, plus 2 bunnies. We ended up with a C, K, J, A, W, S, M, and L.

In the end, there was a mess. Um, flour gets everywhere when left for tiny hands to measure. My circuits were on overload and I was starting to twitch. However, I had two little girls who were so impressed with their baking skills, they are in talks to open shop and become professional soft pretzel bakers. It was worth it. 

This is the soft pretzel recipe we use. It really is easy and they turn out perfect every time we make them! My kids love them as is with the buttery, salty topping. I prefer to dip mine in mustard. They are delicious and they will keep for a few days, but they never make it beyond an hour here!

Camp Banners…

DSC_1073 DSC_0915 DSC_0932 DSC_0930 DSC_0966 DSC_0981 DSC_1007 DSC_1014 DSC_1082-2 DSC_1107-2 We are smack dab in the middle of one hot summer, down in South Florida. Couple that with the intense humidity and it’s torture being outside. Like our Northern friends during the winter, we do a lot of indoor activities during the summer months down here. This past week, we have been working on these camp banners. I thought it would be fun for them to design a banner for a camp they would want to attend. I never went to sleep away camp growing up. I always kind of wanted to go, especially after watching Parent Trap a bazillion times. I imagined camp would be just like it was in that movie, until of course, I watched Friday the 13th.  

For this project, you’ll need the following materials:

Kid’s drawing
Fabric marker
Embroidery thread
Embroidery hoop
Sewing machine 

To start, have your child draw a design on fabric or trace one they have already drawn, onto the fabric. After they are happy with their design, have them paint it, then set aside to dry. Once dry, cut out the design.

Draw a shape similar to that of a baseball home plate. I just free handed it, but feel free to get fancy and measure. Pin the design into place and have them write out the name of their camp. Next, they will embroider the name. Use the felt and write out the word, C-A-M-P in sort of a block letter. Cut out the letters and attach using the embroidery thread.

Once all the embroidery is complete, cut out the shape of the canvas banner. You’ll need a front and a back piece. At this point, if you don’t have a sewing machine, you could just glue down the artwork. However, if you do, I did an appliqué stitch all the way around the design, leaving an opening near the top. Now, they can add a little stuffing to make the design stand out from the banner. Make sure they do not overstuff, so you can stitch the opening closed.

Finally, stitch the front and back pieces together. Again, if no sewing machine, either glue them or embroider a large running stitch around the perimeter to attach the front and back pieces. Next, cut two small holes near the top and thread yarn through, then knot to secure. I’m teaching myself crochet, so I got a little fancy and crocheted a chain for all three banners. 

I love how they turned out! Of course, Savannah did a horse camp and Annie did a fossil camp. The girl loves her dinosaurs! Jacks wasn’t really into this project. I think he’s losing interest in my kid crafts. He’s going to be nine next month, so it’s to be expected. But, he threw his poor Momma a bone and obliged. He was undecided on his camp, but ended up with Space Camp. Love that movie, too!