Monday, October 22, 2012

Paint Sample Wipe-off Calendar

I wanted a dry erase calendar to hang in our kitchen to keep track of family events, holidays, birthdays, etc, but I didn't want a tacky home-office looking one from the office supply store. What is a girl to do? Make her own!

  • 11x14 canvas (I reused one that my son used for finger painting. I know, bad mommy! It wasn't a masterpiece or anything.)
  • paint samples from the home improvement store (FREE!)
  • frame that will hold your canvas (The canvas I used was about 1/4 inch thick.)
  • dry erase marker
  • glue stick
  • square puncher, paper cutter, or just plain old scissors (if you can cut straight)
  • paint (I used a little leftover paint from the kitchen wall color.)

Paint your canvas the background color of your choosing. Let dry. 

Punch out 35, 1.5 inch squares with a square puncher. Or, you can use a paper trimmer or scissors to do this. 

Once the paint is dry, lay out your squares in the pattern that you like. I tried a few different ways before settling on this layout (colors aligned along the diagonal). Just play around with it and see what is pleasing to your eye. You can use just a couple of paint sample colors, or you can use a bunch. I ended up using 7 different colors in the color scheme of my kitchen. 

Adhere the squares with glue. 

It looks plan now, but once you put it in a frame behind glass and use your marker on it, it'll come to life. 

I could see also using this for...
  • a child's responsibility chart
  • lesson planning for homeschooling families
  • a weekly calendar with each family member having a different row
  • posting daily/weekly objectives for classroom students

How could you adapt this idea to fit your organizational needs? Leave me a comment below!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Glass Jar Jack-o-Lanterns

We loved making these last year so much that we just had to do it again this year. Now, at age 3.5 years old, L was able to do more of the cutting and gluing himself this year, compared to last time where I had to help him quite a bit. 

Previous year's completed jack-o-lanterns. L's is the one on the left. Not bad for a 2.5 year-old.
  • glass jar (any shape or size)
  • orange tissue paper
  • black construction paper
  • elmer's glue
  • water
  • paint brush
  • scissors

Mix a small amount of elmer's glue with water. You will want it fairly runny. I eyeballed this, but it was probably about 2 parts glue to 1 part water. 

Cut the orange tissue paper into strips or squares. You just want the pieces to be small enough to manage gluing onto the jar. They don't need to be perfectly shaped by any means. We made squares roughly 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" in size. 

Cut out eyes, a nose, and a mouth from the black construction paper. 

Make sure your glass jar is clean and dry. Paint the glue/water mixture onto the jar and cover with the orange tissue paper, working in small sections and overlapping paper so there are no bare spots. This part is messy and you really can't make any mistakes. The paper does not have to go on perfectly flat. It can will wrinkle, fold, tear. No big deal!  

After the entire jar is covered in orange tissue paper, adhere the black pieces to resemble a face. 

Give the entire outside of the jar another good top coat of glue/water mixture. 

Let dry. Then, place a tea light inside your jar and enjoy your new luminary. 

Where this post is linked up:

In Lieu of Preschool

Friday, October 5, 2012

Fall Treat: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

The name is deceiving, as these cookies turn out super moist and more like pumpkin chocolate chip cake bites. Mmmmmm, delicious.  

14 oz. solid-pack pumpkin (about 1/2 a large 29 oz. can)
1/2 c. oil
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
2 1/2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/8 tsp. ginger
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

Beat oil, egg and sugar in mixing bowl. Add pumpkin, beating well. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt together in separate bowl. Add to pumpkin mixture, beating well after each addition. Fold in chocolate chips and vanilla. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Cookies will still be gooey looking, but will set more as they cool. Let cool on cookie sheet for 3 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. 

*Starbucks is in no way affiliated with this recipe. But, they make my favorite coffee mug, which on this day was holding my not-so-favorite homemade pumpkin latte. I'll post a recipe once I perfect it! 

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