Father’s Day Portrait Gifts

It’s so fun to get the boys involved in a creative project for Father’s Day. Remember when we made the mugs and aprons? Or even these simple cards?

This year, the boys and I created these portraits for Steve and their grandfathers. You know by now that I have an endless supply of scrapbook paper, which I used to create the letters. The boys were really good sports (they aren’t always!) with taking the pictures, and I love the final products.

I printed individual pictures and put them in a frame with three openings and a matte that the boys signed.

And you couldn’t take pictures of three boys and a rascally pup without some outtakes!

Wishing the best to all the hard-working and loving fathers out there!

“Jewels”

 

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DIY Kids’ Play Teepee

You’ve probably seen these adorable kids’ reading tents on Pinterest or your favorite blogs. I’ve had this project in the back of my mind for a while now and, with a little help with the boys, finally made it happen!


I browsed tons of pictures and tutorials to come up with the version I wanted for our family. Here’s what I know I wanted to include:

  • 4 poles with dip-painted tips
  • Rope at top and bottom to create the structure
  • Contrasting fabric for the door

There are lots of methods out there for making a play teepee. I decided to sew ours. Don’t get me wrong, I love my glue gun and staple gun, but since I can handle the sewing, I wanted to go with something more durable and removable for washing (not that my kids ever get anything dirty, but…).

I started with four poles made from 1″ x 2″x 8′ wood molding. These were only $0.91 each! Since we had all the other supplies already, this whole project cost us less than $4!!

Here are the steps to your new favorite hideout!

1. Lightly sand the wood

2. Paint the tips of the poles

3. Drill holes 8″ from the top and 1.5″ from the bottom of each pole. I did the pilot holes and the kids finished up. It was fun seeing them use the tools.

4. I threaded rope through the top holes and wound the rope around to create our structure. Next, I threaded rope through the bottom of the poles and knotted it to keep the poles evenly spaced. I didn’t put rope across the opening, to prevent tripping!

5. When the poles were arranged the way we wanted, I measured for the panels. I measured the openings and added 2″ to all the measurements for hems and seams and finished everything with French seams, since you can see them from the inside.

When your tent is done, you can accessorize with pillows, blankets, bunting, lights, or anything else your heart desires!

“Jewels”

Recipe for a Stylish Boy’s Room

We have two rooms for the three boys: one big shared room and a small bedroom that was J’s nursery and is now our tween’s.

The big room has been slow to come together. Little boys interests change so often, not to mention that they are tornadoes that leave a mess in their wake.

I’m now ready to make a push to polish their space. As I discussed in this post on my steps for designing a room, and inspired by the Design Cookbook, here’s my recipe for the little boys’ room.

  1. Main color palette of navy and light neutrals
  2. Natural materials like wood, metal, and leather
  3. Whimsical accents like bunting in red and other fun colors
  4. Eclectic gallery wall with elements like a paper mache bust, kids art, and quotes
  5. Hideout area
  6. An unexpected sophisticated touch such as wallpaper or a luxurious fabric

I developed this recipe by collecting my favorite images on a Pinterest board.

Here are some of my favorite inspiration rooms:

Photo by Julia Lynn design by Jenny Keenan

From Design Sponge

From New York Cottages and Gardens

And here’s a list of projects I’ve already done for our boys’ room:

I’m looking forward to showing you the latest updates soon!

“Jewels”

Star Wars Birthday Photo Booth

Our photo booth that made its first appearance at our Mad Men party a few years ago is becoming a staple at our parties.

I started with an iPad for the camera, backdrops, and props. As time has gone on, we have added more backdrops and props, as well as a tripod and a Canon SELPHY Photo Printer for instant gratification!

For L’s birthday this year, we decorated with a Star Wars theme – like everyone else, we were all just a little excited about The Force Awakens!

I found some printable Cut-out masks for props: 

As a party favor, I decorated simple picture frames for the kids, so they could display the photos from the booth. For this project, I used

Add some Star Wars stickers, and the kids were able to bring home some very special souvenirs!

I’m looking forward to trying out more fun themes at parties to come! What ideas do you have?

“Jewels”

 

 

Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments

Every year, I make personalized Christmas ornaments for our family and friends. This is usually a simple project with store-bought ornaments. This year, I’m doing a little DIY, because I didn’t find anything quite right for our retro mid-century Christmas.

I’m making some clear globe ornaments to give to our local friends. For those that live further away, I wanted something easy to mail, so I was excited to find this inspiration for ornaments covered in scrapbook paper. Besides being pretty, these ornaments are lightweight, flat, and sturdy, so they’re perfect for sending to friends!

Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home

Here’s how to do this cute project:

  • Paint the edges of the Unfinished Wood Ornaments with silver craft paint. The center will be covered in paper.
  • Print out names and the year on Clear Shipping Labels and then stick them in craft paper and cut them out. I cut matching circles for the back.
  • Use regular hole punch to cut the paper around the hole in the ornament.
  • Use Yes All-Purpose Stik Flat Glueto glue the paper to the ornaments
  • I used some very fine sandpaper to clean up the ornaments after the glue dried.

Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home
Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home To finish off, I added ribbons for hanging.

Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home
Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home  Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home
Scrapbook Paper Christmas Ornaments | Jewels at Home

What fun to be able to send a bit of holiday cheer!

“Jewels”

Laundry Labels for the Littles

So, it doesn’t matter how many kids you have (well, I am not testing that theory, stopping at three), each one will come up with something new to keep you on your toes!

Our baby J has discovered how to (almost) outsmart his parents by hiding his socks all over the place, to avoid putting them in the laundry. Under the couch is a favorite spot, where I once found a full ten pairs! Under the sink also works…

While I play catch-up chasing him to get those stinky socks into the laundry hamper, I decided to make it easier for him by labeling our baskets with signs that a pre-reader can use.

The cute labels I originally made when I set up our laundry area wouldn’t work for J, since he hasn’t learned how to read yet. I thought of using pictures for the labels, but we are encouraging him to figure out his letters, so I thought these labels, with both letters and visual cues, would be perfect.

Laundry labels to help the littlest family members pitch in | Jewels at Home  Laundry labels to help the littlest family members pitch in | Jewels at HomeIn truth, I am not sure how much these labels will motivate our little monkey, but at the very least, they are brightening up our laundry room!

“Jewels”

Father’s Day Photo Book with the Kids

So, I’ve mentioned before that Steve’s birthday always falls close to Father’s Day. This means that I either get 1) totally overwhelmed and do almost nothing or 2) get seriously motivated and make a special project for him.

Here is an example of

1) almost nothing: simple cards – easy, but still fun!

2) special project: mugs and aprons decorated by the kids

This year, we are hosting out-of-town guests during Steve’s birthday and Father’s Day, so I want to make sure that his special days don’t get completely lost in the busy schedule.

I was browsing Pinterest – as always – for ideas, and I found pins for sweet Father’s Day photo books. Unfortunately, the ones I saw are no longer available, so I made my own.

I made photo books for Steve and the boys’ two grandfathers, with blank spaces for the boys to fill in. The questions I included were:

  • My dad is good at
  • One thing my dad taught me is
  • A fun thing I did with my dad is
  • A fun thing I want to do with my dad is
  • I drew this picture of my dad and me
  • Something I have in common with my dad is
  • I know my dad loves me because
  • I love my dad because

Here’s how our books turned out.

Father's Day Photo Book | Jewels at Home  

Father's Day Photo Books to complete with the kids | Jewels at Home    Father's Day Photo Books to complete with the kids | Jewels at Home  Father's Day Photo Books to complete with the kids | Jewels at Home  Father's Day Photo Books to complete with the kids | Jewels at Home  Father's Day Photo Books to complete with the kids | Jewels at Home

 

Can’t wait to fill them out with the kids and share them with the special dads in our family!

“Jewels”

Gifts Made by the Boys

The fact that I’m writing this when it is already Christmas morning in most parts of the world tells you what kind of crazy-busy December we had this year. I’m definitely looking forward to a few days of downtime with the family.

We don’t do a lot of shopping for Christmas. The adults in my family have generally agreed to not exchange gifts, and our kids get so much from their grandparents and aunts and uncles, that at most, we pick up one or two little things for them. However, on the night of December 23, I realized that I really wanted to have something to give to my dad and brother-in-law who are both celebrating Christmas with us this year. There was absolutely no way I was going to go near a mall on Christmas eve, so I wracked my brain and scoured my craft supplies to come up with a few meaningful projects that we could make at home.

We reprised the mugs that we made for Steve’s birthday and Father’s Day last year, and the boys also made these fun picture collages. We enjoyed going through old pictures to find our favorites, and I also added some extra copies of Christmas cards from the last few years. The boys did all the cutting and gluing themselves, as evidenced by the fact that there are duplicates right next to each other and other quirky touches. I think that our family is going to love these!

Gifts made by the kids: Hand-painted mugs | Jewels at Home

Gifts made by the kids: Family photo collages | Jewels at Home

Gifts made by the kids: Family photo collages using old Christmas cards | Jewels at Home

And for me, being able to stay in on December 24 was the best present of all.

Red and White Christmas | Jewels at Home
Merry Christmas!
“Jewels”

Homemade Clay Ornaments with the Kids

I love decorating for Christmas, and this year, I wanted to create a white and outdoorsy theme.  I love our collection of ornaments from over the years, but just for a change, I only put up the white ones this year, leaving our tree a little sparse.

Thanks to the kids for doing a quick and fun project with me to make some new decorations for our Christmas tree!

Christmas ornaments to make with the kids.  These are simple and beautiful!  Jewels at Home

I used this DAS Air Hardening Modeling Clay, and it worked fine, but the dried ornaments are quite fragile, so I’m going to try the next round with this AMACO Cloud Clay. The kids have used it at school, and it seems to be more durable, though it doesn’t look like the shapes come out as cleanly. We’ll let you know!

This project was quick and simple – all you need is some clay, a rolling pin and cookie cutters, and some beads and/or rubber stamps for embellishing the ornaments.  Oh yes, and some string for hanging the ornaments.  I used embroidery floss.

All the kids were able to do the project pretty much on their own.  I did help the younger ones with rolling the clay flat, but even little J did the cookie cutters and beads on his own!

Here are the boys at work:

Christmas ornaments to make with the kids.  These are simple and beautiful!  Jewels at Home

Christmas ornaments to make with the kids.  These are simple and beautiful!  Jewels at Home

And here are the ornaments we made:

Homemade clay Christmas ornaments to make with the kids.  These are simple and beautiful!  Jewels at Home

These are the ornaments I made. I used beads and rubber stamps to decorate the clay.

Homemade clay Christmas ornaments to make with the kids.  These are simple and beautiful!  Jewels at Home

L made the three wise men.. actually, I believe he called them an “army of snowmen”…

Homemade clay Christmas ornaments to make with the kids.  These are simple and beautiful!  Jewels at Home

Little J made these stars himself! I had to take them away from him as soon as they were done, as he wanted to roll them back into a ball like play dough.

Homemade clay Christmas ornaments to make with the kids.  These are simple and beautiful!  Jewels at Home

These are K’s ornaments. I like how he tried a lot of different designs.

The tree looks much better now, but I’m hoping to make a few more ornaments to fill it out.

Homemade clay Christmas ornaments to make with the kids.  These are simple and beautiful!  Jewels at Home

Homemade clay Christmas ornaments to make with the kids.  These are simple and beautiful!  Jewels at Home

Homemade clay Christmas ornaments to make with the kids.  These are simple and beautiful!  Jewels at Home

Homemade clay Christmas ornaments to make with the kids.  These are simple and beautiful!  Jewels at Home

Homemade clay Christmas ornaments to make with the kids.  These are simple and beautiful!  Jewels at Home

Homemade clay Christmas ornaments to make with the kids.  These are simple and beautiful!  Jewels at Home

Homemade clay Christmas ornaments to make with the kids.  These are simple and beautiful!  Jewels at Home

Homemade clay Christmas ornaments to make with the kids.  These are simple and beautiful!  Jewels at Home

“Jewels”

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