Wednesday, January 26, 2022

No Mess DIY Winter Sensory Bin




Winter is in full swing and I don't know about anyone else, but my smalls are getting a bit stir crazy and are very easily bored.  Keeping them occupied has become a real challenge.

My almost 4yr old is no longer napping either, which means my few hours of afternoon quiet have gone out the window too.  As soon as my youngest goes down and I'm ready to breathe a sigh of relief, this guy's hot on my heels looking for entertainment.  
So what to do?  A No Mess DIY Winter Sensory Bin.


Sensory bins are a fantastic way to keep kids busy and stimulated, but most of the ideas I've seen = huge mess.  Fillers like beans, rice, shaving cream, actual ice/water just aren't realistic for me.  My littlest one is not quite 2yrs and she & her brother tend to drop, spill and throw just about everything (my older 3 tween/teen kids aren't much better despite my nagging). It would take me years to clean up the runoff from afew pounds of rice they'd spill around my living room while playing in a single day, let alone a full week table time.  We live in Michigan so taking things outside isn't an option right now either.  
 
So I came up with this quick & inexpensive way to make a fun bin that is also no-mess (cue the sound of angels for tired moms):  


Santa brought the kids a table & chairs set with a removable lid that opens to be a storage bin.  It's the perfect height for them to stand or sit at:


It was a bargain on Amazon since it included removable side bins, a reverse Duplo-style side and set of blocks too (find it here), but if you don't have something similar, a big plastic tub or storage bin works well too.


I measured the inside dimensions and then cut a piece of long white faux fur I had left in my stash to make a snowy, fluffy base (a fuzzy blanket could be used as well).


I rounded up some plastic Arctic & Antarctic animals we had in our toy bins:


I repurposed some of the yarn snowballs I'd made years ago for my Indoor Snowball Kit.  These are super simple to make (get the how-to here):


For the "ice", I wanted something they could play with that would be safe in case my daughter tried to taste them and also not be small enough to swallow.  I found some clear reusable ice cubes.  They're food safe and ideally sized.  

They have a bit of weight since they're filled with water, which also makes them feel a bit cool to the touch.  You can stack a few and they make fun sloshing sounds.  And, worst case scenario, if they somehow break a few, it's just a few tablespoons of water.  Which I can live with over an entire table full.


My smalls were wowed when they clapped eyes on it.  They loved how everything had a different texture and they could make the critter frolic, roll the snowballs and stack the ice:


Even my older kids sat down with them and played a bit.  Fun times don't have to be elaborate or expensive:)


A few items have been tossed out, but tossing them back in is so easy.  For over a week they've enjoyed it every day and requested I open it if it's closed.  And every night I just need to put the top on to clean up, no sweeping, wiping up or searching under furniture for tiny stray bits, which is SO nice.  


It's also bought me some much needed moments of quiet time and a lot less whining, which is a huge plus.  I'm planning out some other themed bin ideas to keep the good times going while we count down to spring.  Sweet wintertime relief!!    




Sunday, January 23, 2022

Craftastic Monday Link Party


 Happy Monday Crafters!  A new week is here and it's never been a better time to share those crafty creations.  Come inspire us with all your latest projects, especially those winter & Valentine's day themed makes.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Here are this week's Craftastic Picks:

Hello Sewing created these DIY origami fabric butterflies:


My French Twist showed how to make these charming heart macrame coasters: 


Flour On My Face shared how to make these pretty pink ombre spritz cookies:


Creatively Beth made this adorable kawaii fortune cookie valentine softie:


If you're one of this week's features, be sure to grab my Featured On button over on my Buttons Page to share the good news. 

 Want a Chance to 

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Party rules are simple: 
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  • Grab my party button & put it on your post, party page or blog somewhere.  If you want the chance to be featured, this is key.  The button code can be found HERE.
  • Check out some of the other fabulous links and share some crafty comment love.  We all love getting comments!!



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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

10 Minute Budget-Friendly Winter Burlap Wreath


Finally, after a bit of a forced hiatus, I've got some crafting going again!  Thank heaven!!  I've really missed making things, but it also made me realize a key factor.  For me, 2022 is going to be all about the crafts that are easy.  Stuff that's fun, quick and frustration-free.  
Like this 10 Minute Winter Burlap Wreath:


Many of us are busier than ever, and getting free moments is a bigger challenge.  As is finding extra $$ for things like decor and craft supplies thanks to all the economic issues everywhere you look.  Being able to create something in that little window of time should relieve stress and bring joy, not make you frantic.  I wanted some inexpensive winter-themed wreaths that I could hang on the front doors pre-Christmas, but could also stay up as long as the snowy weather was in season.  This cold humdrum time before spring always feels a bit bare and lackluster after seeing decorations everywhere.  I wanted something cute, but still wintery.  And also wouldn't cost much since January is new year new budget time.  These babies have not disappointed:


They have some winter sparkle thanks to my shimmery ribbons,


but aren't over-the-top post holiday, thanks to the rustic burlap and natural wood elements:


These are also really affordable when you have double doors like we do.  


Materials:
- Burlap wrapped wreaths - mine were 18 inches 
- 2.5 inch  & 1.5 inch wide metallic shimmer ribbons
- Styrofoam ornaments or embellishments
- Flat round wood ornaments
- Greenery and/or dressmaker's pins 
- Hot glue 
- Twine 

I found my wreaths for something like $5.99 each at Hobby Lobby on sale.  You could also get plain foam or straw wreaths and wrap them with burlap ribbon if you can't find this pre-wrapped version.  I also grabbed a multi-pack of styrofoam snowmen ornaments, a flat wood bead circle ornament and a spool of shimmery ribbon for each one too.  I bought them all in December, pre-Christmas, and they were already 50% off.  You could use any lightweight knick-knacks though, or buy some plain foam shapes or wood circles & beads and embellish them up yourself.  Whatever you can find that you like!  


Cut some 7 inch long strips of ribbon and tapered the ends about an inch on each side.  I cut about 12 strips from my 2 1/2 inch wide ribbon and 3 from my 1 1/2 inch ribbon for each wreath.


Grab the first strip and pinch it at the center and accordion fold it like this:


Attach it to the wreath on an angle with a greenery or dressmaker's pin in the center. 


 My bows were off to one side rather than than at the center top of each wreath, so my first piece of ribbon started there.  


The next piece went in right next to it, but perpendicular to it:


I kept doing this until it looked full.


Then sprinkled in my 3 silver ribbons in randomly to finish:

 
If you're using fairly flat decorations you could skip this step, but my snowmen were in-the-round, so I grabbed a cutting board & knife:


And cut off the back 1/4 of each snowman and the twine hang loop on the tops.


Then a swirled some hot glue onto the back and placed them around the wreath front.


I found the center of the top back side of each wreath and used a greenery pin to attach the hang loop of my flat round ornament there.


 That made it dangle just below the top part of the wreath.  I then looped a strand of twine to hang them and in just a few minutes, my wreaths were done:


Two cute wreaths, made in next to no time, and for about $25 total.  A fun & functional project to make a great crafty start to the new year:) 


Sunday, January 16, 2022

Craftastic Monday Link Party


Hello Crafters!  It's a fresh new week and now that everyone chez Sew Can Do is finally healthy again, I'm ready to turn my eye to crafting again.  Come inspire with all your latest makes, DIYs, recipes, sewing, crochet, holiday crafts and whatever else you've been creating.

Bonus Feature:   
 This week's feature is from reader Danni F. in Australia, who made this sweet heart dress (from bedsheets!!) and was her FIRST EVER sewing project:

She used my beginner-friendly FREE Sleeveless Sunday Girl's Dress Pattern to make it:
This dress pattern is available in Tween size and now in 12mos-2T little sister size too!

If you've made something with one of my tutorials, send a photo to cheryl@sewcando.com and I'll be happy to feature it here.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
Here are this week's Craftastic Picks:

Bird's Party created these fabulous DIY knitted air dry clay vases:


Crafts A La Mode put together this pretty paper flower embellished wire letter sign: 


Trick N' Treat gave us this tasty (and vegetarian friendly) strawberry no Jell-O cake recipe:


Satsuma Designs shared how to make some handy reusable waxed cotton food wraps:




If you're one of this week's features, be sure to grab my Featured On button over on my Buttons Page to share the good news. 

 Want a Chance to 

Be Featured Next Week?  

Link back to the party somewhere on your blog.

I can't feature your post if you don't share the party.

  
Ready to link up your crafty creations?
 
Party rules are simple: 
  • As long as it's crafty, and made by you, it's Craftastic (no links to other people's work or to businesses/shops).  
  • Add the link to your specific post. Product reviews, plagiarized or sponsored posts for random items will be immediately deleted.  
  • Grab my party button & put it on your post, party page or blog somewhere.  If you want the chance to be featured, this is key.  The button code can be found HERE.
  • Check out some of the other fabulous links and share some crafty comment love.  We all love getting comments!!


You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter

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