DIY Happy Sun Catcher

sun catcher

We love the sun even on cloudy days around here. Catching it can be tricky, but these super easy DIY sun catchers help. They cast some happy light in our home and we used items we hand on hand.  It was the perfect, simple project for a summer day. And these sun catchers are perfect for outdoors!

Supplies Needed:

Plastic pony beads-any color

Round metal cake pan


Fishing line

Three Easy Steps to Catch the Sun:

1. Put plastic beads in a metal cake pan (we also tried glass, but metal is better). We also put some beads in muffin tins to make smaller versions.


2. Heat oven to 400 degrees and bake beads for 30 minutes. (The beads do smell as they melt, but we left the back door open to let the sun in :)

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3. Cool and hang with fishing line. Some catchers had “natural” holes where there were spaces where we strung the lines. The rest, we drilled a small hole. And by we, I mean my son.



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Have a happy weekend!

DIY Easter {String Art} Cross


During (our long and sickly) Spring Break, we perked up to do a special (and easy) DIY project that we will stay out long after our Easter baskets are put away.

Easter {String Art} Cross Plaque


  • Piece of unfinished wood (Hobby Lobby $2.50)
  • Paint
  • Embroidery string
  • Small panel nails
  • Hammer

We painted our wood first:

After the paint dried, we tapped 12 nails in the shape of a cross into the wood. We did two at the top, four in the middle, two on either sides and two at the bottom.

[Kitty can’t resist The String]

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And we just started wrapping it around the nails going with the shape of the cross. It works best to loop the string around the nails multiples times to get it started. Keep string taunt and wrap away!


This was a super easy project for my kids and they really got into it.


And a simple reminder that He is Risen!


*Pallet Family Mission Statement

Why Every Family Needs a Mission Statement {Project}

I’m terrible at directions.

Getting lost is a way of life for me.

Before I drive to a new place, I print out clear instructions and program my hubby’s GPS to yell in my ear, TURN HERE.


I have to know where I’m going or I wander and turn around often, take long roads out of the way and end up lost.

If you don’t know where you are going, you might have a difficult time getting there.

I firmly believe it’s the same with our families.

Our family sat down and wrote out a family mission statement towards the end of 2009. (I shared a simple formula here, but if you don’t know where to start, Simple Mom wrote a great post about putting one together with your family.) We didn’t really have profound reasons for doing so, we just wanted to verbalize our goals as family. We decided to try and make our activities, time spent and ultimately, our lives flow from this statement.

To make a difference in the world, a single light, shining brightly in such a way that we keep Jesus our focus, listen closely to His voice & enjoy life. So that we can say at the end of the day, we’ve touched others & thrived.

Three months after we typed this up and framed it, I traveled to Kenya. I truly believe this simple exercise helped direct our family in saying yes to God. It gave us direction when big decisions were in front of us.

For months, I’ve been wanting to move our family missions statement from paper to hanging on the wall, loud and large. I thought about putting it on a canvas (which I discovered is quite expensive).  But instead, this felt right (and was nearly free!):

This project took about two hours and very few supplies. I had a lot of fun being creative with the help and input from my family.


pallet (you can usually find old pallets behind stores. We just asked if we could have one and got it for free).

paint, sponge brush

stencil letters

I thought about hanging ours on a big open wall, but once we set it on the mantle, it turned out to be the perfect home.

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” -Ernest Hemingway

So, whatever you do, be aware that you’re leading your family to a destination. Having clear instructions helps you find your way!

Family Activity: Thanksgiving Wreath

Supplies Needed:

  • styrofoam wreath (we found our orange one at the Target Dollar spot for a buck)-you can wrap ribbon around it if you can’t find a colored one.
  • fall colored card stock cut into simple leaf shapes (my 5 year old and I cut them out)
  • ball straight pins

On our Table:

Rather than hurry through this project we saw in Family Fun magazine, we decided to leave the wreath and supplies on our table and each night we write something we are thankful for on a leaf and use a push pin to attach it the wreath.

By Thanksgiving, we will have a beautiful wreath full of our gratitude for the front door!


Make Your Own Art {mini Bathroom Redo}

I don’t have before pictures. The walls were an icky yellow and the decor was polka dots from a few years ago.

We chose a beautiful shade of sea blue and gathered all the seashells we’ve collected over the years to display. I found the wooden shells on Etsy (Heartsy credit!) and got the ruffled (reminds us of waves) shower Curtain from Amazon for $20 bucks.

I even had a couple of frames of my kiddos at the beach in another room that worked perfectly in this little oasis.

I wanted kid’s art in the bathroom, so I gave my kids canvas and paint.

Supplies Needed:

  • flat Canvas panels 8 x 10 inch for painting (these usually come several in a pack)
  • 3 or 4 colors of acrylic paint (I used inexpensive Apple Barrel)
  • frame/mat (optional) but makes it look finished
We added about a tablespoon of water to our paint and shook it up to mix it well. First paint, the entire canvas to make paint slide a little easier. We painted ours white, but you could probably do any of your colors.
Next, we generously squirted all three of our colors all over the canvas:

Once, the canvas was covered in 10-12 globs of paint, we patiently turned it and the let the paint mix and move down the canvas:

Once your canvas is covered in paint, it will take at least 24 hours to dry.

I cut mats from white poster board and we added white-washed distressed frames to give the art a finished look. I think my kids art might be my favorite part of our little bathroom! I also love that we have a place to keep seashells we collect from the past and future.

We ART that family: Abide

This is probably the easiest art project we’ve done so far and it’s my favorite! I love the simplicity and significance of it. It hangs in my office:

This is easy DIY art that anyone can create!

Supplies Needed for this Mixed Media Artwork:

  • Canvas of any size (I used 16×20)
  • Magazine words torn into various sized pieces
  • Paintbrush and Modge Podge (Matte)
  • Fabric and scrapbook swatches in various patterns (I used leftover pieces)
  • Printed word (I printed a word on copy paper from my laser printer)
  • Brown watercolor paint (if you want an “aged” look like mine)

First, use the Modge Podge to glue down the scraps of magazine type. This is where kids can really get involved. There isn’t a right or wrong, but the key is in plenty of Modge Podge on the back of each piece of paper. It needs to stick well.

Once the canvas is covered, generously apply Modge Podge to the top of the entire canvas, making sure all corners are glued down. Let this dry.

Next, cut a fabric or paper tree trunk in a fun pattern. I used a mix of fabric and scrapbook paper and applied it with a log of Modge Podge.

Next, my kids helped me cut simply “leaf” shapes out of brightly-colored pieces of fabric and paper, applying each again with Modge Podge and placing around the “tree.” I printed out the word ABIDE and tore the edges and glued it into place.

Once all the pieces were in place, I painted the entire canvas again, I watered down brown watercolor paint and brushed a light coat over the entire canvas to give it an “aged” look. This step is completely optional.

When that dried, I gave the entire canvas a final coat of Modge Podge and let it dry before hanging.

We ART that family: Button Mosaic Heart

Over the holidays, we put together about a dozen puzzles. And by we, I mean my husband.

The rest of his helped him. And by help, I mean we searched for the one missing piece.

There’s just something therapeutic about it and it’s a great way to unplug and just be together as a family.

We left out our puzzle card table and decided to create art that was not only therapeutic, but something we could keep forever.

This is not an overnight project. It took us several weeks of working in 20-30 minutes spurts (short attention spans here). But we all pitched in and created something I’ll keep forever!

This is a really easy, affordable project that the whole family (children over 3) up to grandparents can do together.

We opted for a heart…not really to celebrate Valentine’s Day, I just love them. My hubby penciled a heart on a large canvas. I wanted something whimsical (which is another way of saying “this won’t be perfect”).

We wanted to make this easy enough for our preschooler to work on, so we had her color in the hearts. We chose colors that matched the buttons we found on ebay. (Large quantity grab bags are affordable).

Then we started gluing. The basic object is to cover as much of the canvas as you can, so it’s a lot like doing a puzzle. Our buttons were different sizes so we turned and moved until each button found their spot.

And then glued some more buttons.

And more.

And more.

Each of my kids and my hubby and I, worked together and separately. Each of us spending just a few minutes when we could to glue on a few buttons.

And then we were done:

I think you could do just about any shape and it would look amazing.

But this piece has a lot of heart in it.

Family Art: Create a Water Color Snowflake

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We have to make our own snow down here in Texas! Here is a really fun project that is easy for the entire family to create.

Supplies Needed:

  • Piece of paper
  • Canvas-any size
  • Salt
  • Elmer’s white glue
  • Water colors (can be chalk, liquid, or paint)
  • Paint brush and water

We set up a small table as a work area and got our supplies ready.

Steps to Creating a Water Color (Salt) Snowflake: Start here: Cut a large paper snowflake out of computer paper. My kids are actually pros at this and we didn’t use a stencil. But here are a few templates you can print and cut out. Next: Once you have your snowflake cut out and traced onto a canvas, you can follow these easy steps:

1. and 2. Trace entire snowflake with white glue

3. Shake salt over wet glue and knock off excess from canvas (we did this part outside)

4. Mix water colors (we chose to do a rainbow snowflake, but a solid color would look great too)

5. Dip paint brush into water and barely touch the water color to the salted glue

6. Repeat until it’s completed

7. Let it dry and be careful to not tip the canvas, as colors may run

Hang and enjoy! Pin It