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

Oven

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.

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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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Enjoy!


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Have a happy weekend!


DIY Easter {String Art} Cross

easter

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

Supplies:

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

We painted our wood first:
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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!

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

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And a simple reminder that He is Risen!

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*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.

Recomputing.

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.

Supplies:

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.