Stamping fun with a toddler, making cards

Excited to stamp!
Excited to stamp!

I’ve been wanting to do a stamping project with Sophia for a while but I didn’t have many stamps and I know they can get expensive fast. However, yesterday I scored a ton of stamps off of a garage sale app for only $10 for it all.

I scored all these stamps from a garage sale app for only $10
I scored all these stamps from a garage sale app for only $10

Luckily I had bought an ink pad at my last outing to Hobby Lobby, so we got right into to stamping first thing this morning.

What you will need:

  • White card stock
  • Stamps of your liking
  • Ink pad(s)
  • Wet wipes (for easy cleaning)
What you will need
What you will need

I picked out several stamps I thought Sophia would like to stamp with. I found a pink ink pad that had come in an art kit Sophia had received as a Christmas present. The purple on is the new one I got on sale. We folded the card stock in half.

The pink ink pad is a bit dried out so it wasn't really working
The pink ink pad is a bit dried out so it wasn’t really working

TIP: Test the ink pads before hand. I should have tested pink one but we found out it was a bit dried out so it wasn’t really working well.

Testing out the purple ink
Testing out the purple ink

It took her a little bit to get the hang of the process. She wanted to just keep stamping with out grabbing more ink on it in between.

Pushing the stamp down with all her might
Pushing the stamp down with all her might

I told her to push the stamp all the way down since she was only pushing half the stamp, so then she pushed on it with all her might πŸ™‚

Sophia got ink on her finger and she said "I'm sooo pretty" I think she likes the ink color :)
Sophia got ink on her finger and she said “I’m sooo pretty” I think she likes the ink color πŸ™‚

TIP: Have the wet wipes with in easy reach for wiping off ink from little fingers πŸ™‚

Making butterflies
Making butterflies

After the first card was all stamped up, Sophia wanted to make another one.

Fronts of the two cards Sophia made
Fronts of the two cards Sophia made

Finished cards πŸ™‚

Insides of the cards
Insides of the cards

This is a great activity for exploring new vocabulary, a new multi-step process, listening skills and learning to follow instructions.

Depending on the stamps you use, these can be modified for any occasion or holiday. Very quick easy fun to make.

Glue Batiks with a Toddler

 

Framed Butterflies
Framed Butterflies

I found this awesome idea on All Our Days blog. They had done two different variations and I combined the two together to make it easier for my daughter and still have a bunch of fun colors.

The Cat framed and ready to hang

Here isΒ All Our Days blog’s many day project they did one with non watered down paint, instructions here.

Here is their version of making solid colors with watered down paint in a spray bottle, instructions here.

Horse framed and hung on the wall
Horse framed and hung on the wall

I combined both painting methods for a faster project. I didn’t think I could get Sophia to keep interested in a project over many days and yet I wanted a bunch of different colors in our end results. Here is the instructions I wrote of just painting the fabric. (We made these for Christmas presents so I couldn’t post about this at the time πŸ˜‰ ).

What you will need:

  • White cotton fabric. (TIP: You could use pre-made napkins if you wanted to)
  • Elmers Glue Gel (the blue kind)
  • Tin foil (for underneath the fabric while gluing)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Cups (for watering down paints)
  • Regular paint brushes
  • Foam brushes
  • Packaging tape
  • Wax table cloth (the paint will go through the fabric and on to the surface below it) Or something else to protect your table
  • A cup with water for setting dirty paint brushes in
  • Wet wipes (for easy clean up)

If you want to frame them like I did you will also need the following:

Since I already posted about how to paint the fabric here.

I’ll just go into the glue portions of the project and framing in detail.

Glue Octopus
Glue Octopus

Place a piece of tinfoil under your fabric (as the glue will eventually soak through it). You can either free hand your designs or you can opt for finding templates to trace. I did two of each kind.

TIP: Leave at least an inch blank around the edges of your design for framing purposes

Glue Seahorse
Glue Seahorse

The Ocean Scene and Butterflies I did free hand.

Finished Ocean Scene
Finished Ocean Scene

TIP: The thicker you put the glue on the clearer the lines on the finished product will be.

The Horse image I found for a template
The Horse image I found for a template

This is the Horse picture I used as a template to trace with glue.

TIP: While tracing an image you will want to tape down the paper image and the fabric over the top of it so they don’t move.

When you are happy with your design allow it to fully dry before moving onto painting it.

Again instructions here for painting.

Painting the Butterflies
Painting the Butterflies
All painted and waiting for the paint to dry on the Ocean Scene
All painted and waiting for the paint to dry on the Ocean Scene
All painted and waiting for the paint to dry on the Butterflies
All painted and waiting for the paint to dry on the Butterflies
The Cat paint dried
The Cat paint dried

Don’t worry if you can’t really see the glue like in the cat picture above.

Fully dried paint and ready to soak in warm water
Fully dried paint and ready to soak in warm water

Once the paints have fully dried put the fabric fully submerged in to a bucket of warm water and let sit for about 20 minutes. The glue will begin to melt away. You can speed it up by rubbing the fabric together or scraping it with your fingernail. This is my favorite part, you get to see the art you just created with your little one!

Glue removed from the Ocean Scene
Glue removed from the Ocean Scene

Just washed Ocean Scene, still wet.

After you have all the glue removed hang up your fabric to air dry.

Once dry they are ready to frame. If you chose to make napkins this is where you need to follow an extra step of heat setting your paint.

 

Ironed and ready to frame
Ironed and ready to frame

Since it took me several months to figure out how to frame the fabric pieces, I needed to first iron all the creases out of them. Follow your irons guidelines for your fabric. I used misting and low heat for mine.

TIP: don’t let the iron sit in one spot too long as it may damage the paint.

Cut foam poster-board to size
Cut foam poster-board to size

I finally settled on using poster-board for the framing. Use your razor knife and cut a piece to size. You will want to leave about an inch on all sides for wrapping.

Cut a small "V" to the corner
Cut a small “V” to the corner

Put a bead of hot glue down the first edge of the poster board push the fabric firmly on it. Glue a second bead on the opposite side and pull the fabric taught before pushing it down on the glue bead.

Next cut a “V” in to the fabric where the corner of the board is. That way it wont bunch up when you glue the corners down.

Fold the over hanging piece and glue down on the board.

Gluing the second corner
Gluing the second corner

Next glue the second corner, the side of the unglued fabric, and fold down and glue. After both corners are glued as shown above put a bead across and pull the fabric taught and push into the bead. Glue other side.

Figure out where you want to place the self leveling picture hanger. As close to the middle is best. I hot glued mine on top of the folded over fabric. Once satisfied with the location put generous globs of hot glue on both ends of the hanger.

It is then ready to hang.

Horse framed and hung on the wall
Horse framed and hung on the wall

 

Painting wine glasses with a toddler!!

Sounds scary right? But it’s not since they don’t hold on to the glass. We had so much fun with this one! We did three different sets of glasses for Christmas presents this year. Below I’ll show you two of the 3 we did, a “Frozen” set and a “Deer” set. These could be modified for all other occasions as well, from graduation, weddings, birthdays, and even Valentines day.

Finished "deer" glasses
Finished “deer” glasses

What you will need:

    • A pair of glasses ( I got ours at the Dollar Tree)
    • Paint brushes
    • Cup with water for setting dirty paint brushes in
    • Wet wipes (for easy clean up)
    • Rubbing alcohol
    • Paper towel
    • Dish soap
    • A few Q-tips
    • Shaped foil stickers
    • Oven
    • Painters tape
    • Razor knife
    • Acrylic paint made for glass painting. I used these:

Plaid:Craft Martha Stewart Pearl & Metallic Acrylic Craft Paint Set-10 Colors

First, wash the glasses with dish soap and dry them well.

Second, tape the parts you don’t want paint on. I chose to tape off the stem of the glass and the rim.

Tape overlap did not line up
Tape overlap did not line up

Press the edge of the tape on tight so the paint won’t be able to seep under it.

TIP: the easiest way I found to tape the top rim is to hold the tape in one hand and slowly spin the stem so it just barely sticks to it. This was the best way I got the tape to stay at the same height around the rim.

TIP: If it doesn’t line up totally like in the picture above then use the sharp razor blade knife to trim it to your liking.

Put the glasses next to each other to line up the tape about the same height
Put the glasses next to each other to line up the tape about the same height

Put the glasses next to each other, to line up the tape on the second glass, to get the two to be about the same height.

After taping take a piece of paper towel and put some rubbing alcohol on it and wipe the area you will be painting. You want to make sure it’s totally clean or the paint wont stick as well and may chip off.

Different shaped foil stickers
Different shaped foil stickers

You want to use shaped foil stickers.

TIP: Notice that you will only see the outline of the sticker after you remove it from the glass. So if you look at the Santa stickers above, if I had used them when removing the stickers they would have only look like random blobs πŸ™‚

Stickers placed and ready to paint
Stickers placed and ready to paint

After cleaning your glasses place your stickers on as desired.

Ready to paint the "Frozen" glasses
Ready to paint the “Frozen” glasses

I would recommend sticking with two complimentary colors for painting with a toddler. For the “Frozen” glasses I chose two shades of blue.

Excited to paint!
Excited to paint!

For the “Deer” glasses I chose a green and blue paint.

Pure concentration
Pure concentration
Painting the "targets"
Painting the “targets”

It helps to tell your toddler to paint the “targets” (the stickers). You want to make sure that all sides of the stickers are covered in paint or their shapes won’t show up when removed.

Painting the "targets"
Painting the “targets”

When she got tired of one color I let her move on to the next. I didn’t wait for the paint to dry in between but allowed them to get mixed up.

Painted the "Frozen" glasses
Painted the “Frozen” glasses
All painted and ready to peel off stickers and tape.
All painted and ready to peel off stickers and tape.

Once they are painted, don’t allow the paint to completely dry before peeling the stickers and tape off (if it dries completely the paint may peel off with them). I pretty much started peeling the one that was painted first as soon as the second one was done with and I had Sophia cleaned off.

Very carefully peel the stickers off trying not to scratch off the paint around them.

What happens when you don't test the stickers first
What happens when you don’t test the stickers first

I didn’t think about how hard the snowflake stickers would be to peel off and they came off in tiny pieces, as you see above.

When you have them all peeled off, take your Q-tips and dip it in rubbing alcohol and wipe off the sticker residue and undesired paint that may have smeared on to the shapes left by the stickers.

Baking "Frozen" glasses
Baking “Frozen” glasses

Once you have the glasses cleaned off to your liking, follow the instructions on your paint for baking them. The Martha Stewart paint curing instructions said to place the glasses in a cold oven, heat the oven to 350F and bake 30 min and then leave in the oven until the oven has cooled off on it’s own. After that the glasses are finished, ready to use and top rack dishwasher safe.

"Frozen" glasses finished!
“Frozen” glasses finished!
Finished "deer" glasses
Finished “deer” glasses

(I have tissue in them so you can see the designs)

Gingerbread Cookies and Houses!

Decorated gingerbread house
Decorated gingerbread house

What better to do while counting down the days to Christmas than do some baking. My mom, Mummo (Grandma in Finnish), really wanted to make a gingerbread house with Sophia this year.

Rolling out gingerbread dough
Rolling out gingerbread dough

There are many different ways to make gingerbread houses but this recipe is fairly close to what Mummo makes. For recipe click here. If you want to make the yard and all the trees and animals then double the recipe.

Cutting out cookies while Mummo cuts out the gingerbread house parts
Cutting out cookies while Mummo cuts out the gingerbread house parts

Sophia used cookie cutters to make some cookies while Mummo cut out the gingerbread house pieces.

Tasting the cookie dough
Tasting the cookie dough

The best part of baking is taste testing πŸ™‚

Bake the house pieces and cookies as the recipe states. After the pieces are cooled off you can glue the pieces together.

Mummo glued together and decorated the house a bit
Mummo glued together and decorated the house a bit

Mummo used melted sugar to glue the house together. She also did a bit of pre-decorating of the house pieces.

So excited to decorate and taste it all
So excited to decorate and taste it all

Decorating with candied cherries, candies, sprinkles, and icing. Use the icing to “glue” the decorations on.

Placing green and red cherries on
Placing green and red cherries on
Eating a cherry
Eating a cherry

Of course it’s important to taste all the decorations πŸ™‚

Decorated gingerbread house
Decorated gingerbread house

Sophia’s and Mummo’s finished gingerbread house.

TIP: You can even dust it with powdered sugar for a light snow effect.

Decorated gingerbread house
Decorated gingerbread house

Pine Cone Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Pine Cone Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Pine Cone Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

What you will need:

  • Small and Large Pine Cones
  • Hot glue gun and glue stick
  • White and Red Felt for making a hat (or buy a hat pre-made)
  • Googlie eyes
  • 3 Brown pipe cleaners
  • Red pom-pom
Santa Hats
Santa Hats

I was planning on making a Santa hat out of felt for our pine cone Rudolph, until I found these cute Santa hats on sale at Hobby Lobby for 50% off.

Things needed
Things needed
Placing the leg
Placing the leg

Weave/wrap the first pipe cleaner through the pine cone in the spot you want the legs to go, when the two ends meet leave them about an inch apart.

Weave through
Weave through

Fold back the end of the pipe cleaner back up to the pine cone (so you have shorter sturdier legs) the finished legs should be about 2-3 inches long.

Fold up
Fold up

Weave/wrap the second pipe cleaner about an 1.5 inches down from the first legs.

Weave the pipe cleaner through the pine cone
Weave the pipe cleaner through the pine cone

Once the legs are on there make sure that it balances well.

TIP: You can re-adjust them as needed since they are only pushed in the pine cone cracks and not permanently attached in any way.

Once the legs are on there make sure that it balances well
Once the legs are on there make sure that it balances well

Weave the remaining pipe cleaner to one end of the small pine cone. Cut off about 2 inches off the end of the pipe cleanersΒ  and then twist them on to the antlers as desired.

Weave the remaining pipe cleaner to one end of the small pine cone
Weave the remaining pipe cleaner to one end of the small pine cone

Squeeze hot glue to the large pine cone to where you want the head to sit and put the smaller cone into place. Glue the hat on behind the antlers.

Gluing the nose on Rudolph
Gluing the nose on Rudolph

On the tip of the small pine cone put glue and put the pom-pom nose on.

Lastly glue on the eyes
Lastly glue on the eyes

Lastly glue on the eyes.

Reindeer hugs
Reindeer hugs

Your reindeer is ready for some love πŸ™‚

Reindeer kisses
Reindeer kisses
Pine Cone Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Pine Cone Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Pine Cone Holiday Penguin!

Holiday pine cone penguin!
Holiday pine cone penguin!

What you will need:

  • A Pine Cone
  • Black tempera paint
  • Paint brush
  • hot glue gun and glue stick
  • Black, White and Red Felt for making tummy/face, wings, and a hat (or buy a hat pre-made)
  • Googlie eyes
  • Orange pipe cleaner
  • Wet wipes (for cleaning)
Santa Hats
Santa Hats

I was planning on making a Santa hat out of felt for our pine cone penguin, until I found these cute Santa hats on sale at Hobby Lobby for 50% off.

Paint the pine cone black
Paint the pine cone black

First paint the pine cone black and let the paint dry.

TIP: If you the squeeze the paint directly on the pine cone and then spread it with a brush, it is easier to do than putting the paint on a plate and having to scoop it up with the brush.

Things to make a holiday pine cone penguin!
Things to make a holiday pine cone penguin!

Cut the white felt in a oblong 8 figure as shown in the picture above. Cut two wings out of the black felt. If you are making your own Santa hat make it before you start on the penguin.

Penguin's beak and feet
Penguin’s beak and feet

Cut a small part off the orange pipe cleaner and bend it in a “V” shape for the beak. Then take the remaining piece and bend 3 toes on each end as shown in the above picture.

Ready to hot glue!
Ready to hot glue!

Plug in your hot glue gun and let it heat up.

Gluing the face first!
Gluing the face first!

Start with gluing the face first on to the white felt piece.

Then take the pine cone and glue the white felt piece on as desired. After that glue the hat and wings on as desired.

Penguin's feet glued on
Penguin’s feet glued on

On the bottom of the pine cone glue on the feet as shown above.

Pine Cone Holiday Penguin!
Pine Cone Holiday Penguin!

Enjoy your new Holiday Penguin πŸ™‚

Penguin love
Penguin love <3
Pine Cone Holiday Penguin and Rudolf!
Pine Cone Holiday Penguin and Rudolf!

Instructions for Rudolf here.

Our holiday pine cone friends πŸ™‚

Holiday pine cone friends
Holiday pine cone friends

Instructions for pine cone Santa click here

Instructions for the painted tree click here

Instructions for the salt dough ornaments click here

Potato Stamping Christmas Cards!

Toddler Potato Stamping Christmas Cards
Toddler Potato Stamping Christmas Cards

It’s the time of year to get your Christmas cards sent. We decided to make some this year. I figured for the most toddler participation, potato stamping would be the best option. (I didn’t want to have Sophia only be interested in making one or two cards and all the rest left to me)

Free hand Christmas tree stamp
Free hand Christmas tree stamp

What you will need:

  • A large potato
  • A large knife (to cut the potato in half)
  • A small knife (for carving)
  • Cookie cutters
  • Tempera paints
  • Foam brushes
  • Card stock paper for cards
  • A paper cutter
  • A cup with water for setting dirty paint brushes in
  • Wet wipes (for easy clean up)

First cut your potato in half. Then cut out designs as wanted. I wanted to use cookie cutters on both but the tree cookie cutter I have was too big for the potato, so I ended free handing it.

When using a cookie cutter press it in to your potato half about a quarter inch. Then take your knife and cut away the potato to the cookie cutters edges.

Use a cookie cutter to cut out the stamp
Use a cookie cutter to cut out the stamp

Cut the card stock paper in half to a desirable size card. We decided we wanted our cards to fold open with a stamp on the outside and a stamp on the inside.

Ready for Potato Stamping Christmas Cards
Ready for Potato Stamping Christmas Cards

Put some tempera paint on your stamp with a foam brush. You don’t want to put the paint on too thickly or it will just smear.

TIP: Practice a few stamps on a scrap sheet of paper to figure out a good amount of paint for the stamp.

Excited to start stamping!
Excited to start stamping!
So amazed! :)
So amazed! πŸ™‚

Place the stamp on the card and press firmly down on it before removing from paper.

Allow the first stamp to dry before stamping the inside of the cards.

Ready to stamp candy canes
Ready to stamp candy canes

I tried to make striped candy canes with red and white but it just blended together in to pink candy canes.

Stamping the candy canes
Stamping the candy canes

Allow paint to dry. Then they are ready to write in or decorate further if desired. Sophia drew pictures and added some stickers to ours πŸ™‚

Painting fabric!

Painted fabric!
Painted fabric!

This is so much fun! It’s all about the process and experimenting with paint and new textures.

What you will need:

  • White cotton fabric. (TIP: You could use pre-made napkins if you wanted to)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Cups (for watering down paints)
  • Regular paint brushes
  • Foam brushes
  • Packaging tape
  • Wax table cloth (the paint will go through the fabric and on to the surface below it) Or something else to protect your table
  • A cup with water for setting dirty paint brushes in
  • Wet wipes (for easy clean up)
Painting acrylics on fabric
Painting acrylics on fabric

Set up:

Cut a piece of fabric to a manageable size, this is about 12″x18″. Then tape down the 4 corners to the work surface.

Since I have 4 foam brushes, it made sense to me to dilute 4 different colors for Sophia to use. So in a cup squirt a dime size amount of paint and then add about 1/4 cup of water and stir together to mix the paint into the water. You can add more paint if you want the color to be more vivid.

Repeat until you have several cups of diluted paints.

Have all the supplies in easy reach and you are ready to let your little one experiment and paint.

Toddler abstract art in process
Toddler abstract art in process

The process:

Start with undiluted acrylics, and let your little one decide the colors and how much they want to paint on. We use regular paintbrushes for the undiluted acrylics. These will show up the best and be the most vivid in the end result.

Diluted paints spread easier and will soak through the fabric
Diluted paints spread easier and will soak through the fabric

Once your little one has decided they are done painting with the non-diluted paints, move on to the diluted ones. Use the foam brushes for easy painting.

Painting watered-down acrylics on fabric
Painting watered-down acrylics on fabric

Sophia was amazed to see the paint “grow”, as she called it. πŸ™‚

You will want to cover all of the fabric piece with the diluted paints, even in the corners you have covered with the tape. For the corners theΒ  paint will spread under the tape and it will release itself off the fabric once its wet. Remove the tape and allow to dry.

Allow to dry completely.

If you chose to make napkins this is where you need to follow an extra step of heat setting your paint.

 

Painted fabric!
Painted fabric!

The Painted Tree

Our pastel painted branch!
Our pastel painted branch!

I saw this fun idea on Babble Dabble Do blog for a rainbow tree.

From that day I was on a constant search for a branch that would work. It took several weeks since around where we live right now 99% of the trees are pines.

What you will need:

  • A branch of your liking
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Cup with water for setting dirty paint brushes in
  • Wet wipes (for easy clean up)
All set up to paint
All set up to paint

Cover your work surface. I tape (with painters or packing tape) the wax cloth directly on to the table so it doesn’t move around while we work.

Excited to paint :)
Excited to paint πŸ™‚
Painting our pastel tree
Painting our pastel tree

TIP: The foam paint brushes are the best for toddlers to work with on this project

Ready to flip over
Ready to flip over

Sophia was more interested in using a fewer colors over all covering larger areas.

It's great for hanging up crafts
It’s great for hanging up crafts

I placed rocks in a vase to hold up our tree. The tree is a really fun way to display some of our art work we do πŸ™‚

Snowflake the Elf all ready for mornign for Sophia to find her
Tree with our salt dough ornaments

(I painted the vase pink since I wasn’t a fan of the brownish red color it was before. )

How to make:

Cookie cutter salt dough ornaments here and decorating them here

Pine Cone Santa here

Counting down to Christmas with Elf on the Shelf with a toddler friendly version here

Counting down to Christmas! Book a day and Elf on the Shelf (modified version)

The fun of counting down to Christmas, with a book advent mailbox and Snowflake the Elf
The fun of counting down to Christmas, with a book advent mailbox and Snowflake the Elf

Instead of doing the traditional advent calendars I really liked the idea of getting a book a day instead. I saw an idea posted about (not able to relocate it now :/ ) where you wrap 25 books and have them in a basket and have your child pick a new one every night before bed. Well that concept, I felt, was a bit complex for a 1.5 year old so instead I crafted this mail box (with the help of my dad) last year. Every morning she would wake up and go get her mailbox and bring it to our bed and she’d unwrap the book and we would read it as a family in bed. She would check the mailbox after her naps too but to her disappointment the books only manifested in there in the mornings πŸ™‚

25 Christmas themed books ready for Christmas count down!
25 Christmas themed books ready for Christmas count down!

I chose to do all Christmas and winter themed books. You could do any topics that interest your children.

Next year I think I will pick through all our most favorite Christmas books and re-wrap them and only get a few new ones to add to the bunch. I don’t need to end up with hundreds of random Christmas books after all. πŸ˜‰

Snowflake the Elf all ready for morning for Sophia to find her
Snowflake the Elf all ready for morning for Sophia to find her

We also started Elf on the Shelf last year with Sophia. She named her elf Snowflake. We are doing a modified version of Elf on the Shelf and sticking with only part of the story. For us she tells Santa about all the good things Sophia does but not the bad. We don’t focus on any negativity with her, shes just for fun. We move her to a new location every night for Sophia to find. We did keep her up high and out of reach last year as we didn’t think she’d remember not to touch her… she might be staying high up this year too.