Monday, November 30, 2015

Easy Way to Do Christmas Crafts

Last year our homeschool co-op got together and everyone who wanted to participate picked out a Christmas craft that made 12 from Oriental Trading Company. We then added the cost of all of the crafts and divided the amount among everyone. In a week we all had 12 different Christmas crafts to do with our kids.

I wanted to do the same thing again this year but am no longer in a co-op. So I asked some of my friends on FB if they would like to do this with me. So of course chose two crafts and paid for two sets so both of our children could participate. Each set of 12 crafts cost less than $8.  So for around $0.60 a craft, this is truly the easiest and cheapest way to add a little Christmas fun!

To spread my crafting fun, I added the crafts to our Christmas book bags. Depending on which bag they open will determine if we get to do a craft that day along with reading our Christmas book of the day. So fun! You could also do this and add stocking stuffers as well. I may try that next year and do a mix of stocking stuffers and Christmas crafts. 

Here are the crafts we are doing this year.

Gingerbread House Craft Kit

3D Hot Cocoa Ornament Craft Kit

"Legend of the Gingerbread Man"

3D Peanuts Snoopy Christmas Craft

2015 Happy Holidays Picture Frame Magnet Craft Kit

Handprint Reindeer Craft Kit

Gingerbread Memory Box Craft Kit

Bright Gingerbread House Magnet Craft Kit

Christmas Tree Magnet Craft Kit

Layered Tree Ornament Craft Kit

Silly Reindeer Mask Craft Kit

Christmas Book Countdown Make-Over

I LOVE Christmas. I love it even more now that I have children to do fun things with. One of my favorite Christmas traditions is reading a Christmas book every day as we count down to Christmas.  My book bag countdown to Christmas has gotten a make-over this year! I made these easy and super cute bags and added a few additional things. In addition to adding a book in each bag, I also added either a craft or Christmas movie. I did a very easy and affordable Christmas craft exchange with some friends so the craft part was very easy! We will also stream a few Christmas movies here and check out a couple from the library. In fact, you could do this Christmas tradition very cheaply, almost free by checking out all your Christmas books and movies from your library. Just remember the due dates and check out more as needed.   

Books added in back, movies in the middle, and crafts in front

You can see the fabric bags folded up with rope on top ready to stuff

Don't they look gorgeous under my Christmas tree?!
More Posts You May Like!

How to Make Easy Elf Christmas Stockings

How to Make Christmas Book Bags

Christmas Traditions in 2014

Christmas Countdown in 2013

How to Sew Christmas Book Bags

I've been busy getting ready for Christmas. One of our traditions is reading a Christmas book every day of December leading up to Christmas. In the past, I wrapped 24 books and on Christmas morning we read the story of Jesus' birth from the Bible. A friend suggested that I make book bags and so this year I did! I decided to keep it pretty simple and honestly, getting the books ready after the bags were made saved so much time over wrapping them. Not only that but I can use these bags year after year and safe lots of time and money on wrapping paper.

I had bought some Christmas fabric last year after Christmas on sale. My grandmother gave me some Christmas fabric years ago and I was able to use some of that as well. I made 3 bags per yard of fabric. Then I used rope to tie the bags. You could also use ribbon and even sew the ribbon on the back of the bags to keep it together. I think they turned out super cute! 

It took me a few weeks to pull this off. I'd sew a bag or two each day. They didn't take very long to sew but we are a busy family and there is always lots of needs that need to be met! 

Because I'm lazy don't have much time, I didn't pre-measure or iron the fabric. I figured they would get wrinkly again once the kids messed with them so why bother. I cut along the natural fold lines of the fabric and went from there!

We added some fun activities in addition to the books this year. Click here to see what we added. I hope your family has fun as you prepare for Christmas!

These bags would also make pretty gift bags.

How to sew a Christmas book bag

What you need

1/3 yard of fabric per bag. 8 yards if you want to make 24 bags.
rope or ribbon to tie the bag together once the books are inside
sewing thread (I used white on all of the bags to keep it very simple!)


Cut the fabric to the size bag you want.

Turn inside out and keep the bottom connected so you don't have to sew that.

Sew the sides of the bag and turn it right side out.

Hem the top of the bag leaving it open.

Add books and whatever else you want.

Tie bag with rope or ribbon.

How to Make an Easy Elf Christmas Stocking

I made my first Christmas Stockings this year. I saw some online with elf-like toes and was very tempted to purchase some from a "professional" on Etsy. I'm a novice sewer and am teaching myself how to sew but thought rather than shelling out $100+ for Christmas stockings, I would attempt to make some myself. Mostly I just wing it when it comes to sewing and that's exactly what I did here! 

I took all three kids to Jo-Ann's, that was an adventure! Hopefully I won't need to do that again for a long time. I let the older kids pick out fabric for their stockings and I picked out another color for mine and my husbands. We all decided we would all like green stockings. 

Here's how I made some super cute and easy elf stockings. I laid the fabric out and cut out a shape of what I wanted. I just free cut it. You could always take a fabric pen and draw an outline first. Then I traced the first stocking four more times. I then sewed them inside out leaving the top open but still hemming it. I took some white felt that I ended up buying way too much of, and cutting out a cuff. Each stocking I measured it and made pointing ends. Then I sewed them to the stocking as well as a rope hook. That was it! It took me about 3 hours to make 5. This included lots of interruptions. Two neighbor kids came over to play while I was making these so I had a full house. If I had solid alone time I could probably have made these in 2.5 hours. The cuff was the hardest part to add on. I used felt for that. If you want to reinforce the stockings then I would suggest making an inner layer. I kept it simple and kept it a simple layer.  I also didn't iron or wash the fabric before hand. I may iron these next time I get my ironing board out.

To add additional cuteness, I bought letters for each stocking with our first initials. I really wanted monogrammed stockings but don't have a machine that can do that. So I thought about sewing the first letter of our names on the cuff but then considered getting wooden letters and having us paint them. That was until I saw these cute letters by the stockings at Jo-Ann's. I decided to just buy these and be done. I think the stockings turned out super cute! If I hadn't over bought fabric, I wasn't sure how much I would need, I probably made all of these for around $15. The letters were on sale for $5 each. So for around $40, I made 5 super cute stockings. You'll notice one of the lighter green stockings needs to be fixed a little on the bottom to give it more of a curved shape. I may have sewed that one with a child on my lap. I hope to fix that soon. 

Fabric Supplies:

1/4 yard of pretty fabric per stocking, I used cotton fabric
12in x 6in of felt per stocking for the cuff

Thanksgiving 2015

Cute smile! Love his dimples!
We have sooo much to be thankful for this year! I'm still so excited and blessed to have three beautiful and healthy children. A few years ago I never would have thought I would have 3! Also I realized that Blue Knight has dimples like me! What a wonderful discovery! His smiles are getting bigger and he has a cute little laugh. This Thanksgiving was Blue Knight's first Thanksgiving and Princess's second. Blue Rock seemed to have a good time as he had Princess to play with. In fact he didn't want to sit with the adults in the dining room. He wanted to sit at the kitchen table with his sister.

We hosted and had a smaller group than normal. My parents, grandmother, and uncle came. We were hoping my cousin, her daughter, and my aunt and other uncle would be able to make it but they didn't. It was still nice and wonderful to be with family. We really wish my mother-in-law was with us and my husband and I both missed his dad a whole lot. My siblings all celebrated with their in-laws. If traveling wasn't so difficult and we didn't have so far to go, we would have loved to have spent Thanksgiving with my husband's mom.

Here are some pictures we got. We were so busy socializing that we didn't get pictures of everyone. 

3 generations!

My grandmother, Blue Knight and I

Family selfie

I seriously have some cute kids!

Handsome baby has some cute dimples!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Blue Knight is 3 months old!

Dear Blue Knight,

You are now 3 months old. What a sweet 3 month old baby you are! You are staying up for longer periods of time, are grabbing things, focusing in on different people and objects, and are talking more and more. I love your coos and baby squeals. When you see me, Dad, Blue Rock, or Princess, you smile really big. Catching your sweet smile on camera, however,  can be rather difficult. 

You like music and overall are a very calm and laid back child. I can lay you down awake and you peacefully will fall asleep. It's amazing! Your napping and bedtime schedule ebbs and flows based on what else is going on but here's the rough schedule. You tend to sleep from 7/7:30pm to 8:30am waking up to eat 2-3 times. You usually take a morning nap for about 30 minutes to an hour and an afternoon nap for 2 hours and sometimes an early evening nap for 20-30 minutes. You are nursing great but are starting to spit up more. You also have started drooling which means you are hitting the early part of teething. You are starting to sit up and enjoy standing on our lap while we hold you up. You also enjoy your play gym and swing for short amounts of time. Mostly when we're eating or I need to make a meal.

You wear a size 3 diaper and 6 months clothes. You still don't like the car but are tolerating it a little better. You love to be hugged and kissed and snuggled with. You also seem to like getting a bath.

Your first family trip was a one night camping trip to Fort Griffin. You did great! You slept next to me on a queen air mattress all night long.  

This week you went to a Mommy and Me event. Princess and I made a pilgrim hat and turkey. You slept through most of it but woke up toward the end. 

We love you, Blue Knight! You are such a sweet and handsome boy and I love your blue eyes!



Thursday, November 19, 2015

I Published My First Children's Book!

I wanted to share some very exciting news with you all. I wrote, illustrated, and published my first children's book. It's called In My Garden. It's available from Amazon. Please buy it, read it, share it, and write a review. Let me know what you think! This is the first in a series of children's books I'm writing. Writing books has been a dream of mine for a long time. Blue Rock decided on the cover photo. I hope you enjoy the book! As I write and publish more books, I will let you know. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Our Fall Garden

Our Fall garden is growing great! We have an abundance of kale and leafy greens. We have lots of tomatoes too and a pretty cabbage. We lost our peach tree due to the excessive rain we got last Spring but God provides. We have a new tree that started growing last Spring and looks healthy and strong. We are planning to pull up the peach tree and plant our new tree in its place.

Princess is at the perfect age for learning so many things. She's super smart and knows most of her colors and is enjoying learning about the plants in our garden and bugs. She loves helping Daddy water our garden. In the mornings she looks out our window during breakfast to see if our wild bunnies are in the yard. Most of the time they are! The other day I had a fun project for her. She got to play with some Fall window decals of different color leaves and other Fall things. We talked about the colors and pictures as she pointed to the same colors in our backyard. We even saw a bumble bee get nectar from our pickling cucumber plant. 

Our lovely tower garden, filled with lettuce, greens, spinach, and herbs.

Mostly kale on this side

If you look closely, you can see the bee on the flower.

Pretty girl

Cabbage plant

I love our Red Oak in the Fall

Tomatoes, spinach, peas, onions, and other random things growing

Banana tree

Tree that starting growing

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...