Just take a soap container and I know you guys all have some cheap, print off this FREE printable HERE, on some card stock, and viola, you have a darling gift!!
Earlier in the week I showed you how to make an XOXO Valentine’s Day Bottle Vase and I displayed some fun Pom Pom Flowers in the photos. I decided that it would be great to show you how to make these simple Pom Pom Flowers. They are great for different seasons, easy to make and add a pop of color to any room.
Pom Pom Flowers
- hot glue and glue gun
- fork (optional)
- twigs of various sizes
There are a few different ways you can make pom poms. If you’re using a thin yarn and making smaller poms, a fork works great. For bigger poms and thicker yarn, I prefer to use my fingers.
Begin by cutting a length of yarn about 6″ long. Slip this through the tines of the fork or between your fingers, letting it fall along the back of your hand and your palm. This is what will tie around the yarn to hold the pom together.
Next, wrap the yarn around the fork or your fingers. The bigger finished pom pom you want, the more fingers you’ll want to use. For the large red pom pom flowers I wrapped the thick yarn around 3 fingers approximately 40 times.
Carefully slip the yarn off your fingers and tie around the yarn with the cut piece from the first step. You’ll want to make sure to tie this VERY tight.
When the yarn is tightly tied, carefully slip the scissors through each loop and snip.
Fluff the yarn and trim the ends of the yarn to make a more uniform ball.
Add a small amount of hot glue to the end of your twig and press the yarn pom pom onto the twig.
Make several colors of Pom Pom Flowers to display in a fun vase or mix with other dried or artificial flowers. There are so many great crafts to make with homemade pom poms!
Valentine’s Day is not far off. Last week I shared a craft for making your own Valentine’s Day Dishtowel. Today I have a tutorial for this fun XOXO Valentine’s Day Bottle Vase!
XOXO Valentine’s Day Bottle Vase
- empty bottle
- white or ivory yarn
- red yarn
- hot glue and glue gun
If you have any empty sparkling juice bottles left from New Year’s Eve, this is a perfect craft for one!
Use a small amount of hot glue to secure the end of the ivory yarn at the top of the bottle. Carefully wrap the yarn around the bottle, keeping the rows tight together.
You may need to use a little bit of hot glue as you go to keep the yarn from slipping. As the bottle tapers, the yarn is more likely to slip.
Continue wrapping and gluing the yarn until you’ve covered about 1/3 of the bottle. Cut the ivory yarn and secure it with glue on what will be the back side of the vase.
Use the hot glue to secure the end of the red yarn and repeat the same process as above to cover the next 1/3 of the bottle with the red yarn. Cut the yarn and secure on the back side of the vase.
Repeat the above steps to cover the rest of the bottle with ivory yarn. This time, do not cut and glue the yarn at the bottom of the vase. Instead, wrap the ivory yarn back up the bottle, adding more thickness to the ivory and a crisscross pattern over the red yarn. Continue wrapping over the top 1/3 of the bottle. Cut the yarn and secure it on the back, top of the bottle.
Next cut 6 strands of twine. Divide into 3 sets of 2 and braid together. Cut into two lengths. Use hot glue to shape and secure them into an “O”.
Cut twigs into small pieces. Bundle the twigs in sets of three and glue them together to form an “X”. You’ll need to make two of them. Wrap a short piece of twine around the cross point of the twigs.
To finish your vase, glue the “X’s” and “O’s” to the yarn as shown.
Fill your vase with real flowers, artificial flowers, or like I did with yarn pom pom flowers which are easy to make!
I like to add a little bit of Valentine’s Day to our home and this DIY Valentine’s Day Dishtowel is the perfect thing to add some love to the kitchen. It would also make a great early Valentine’s Day gift for someone special tucked in a basket with some scented soaps and candy.
DIY Valentine’s Day Dishtowel
- plain white dishtowel
- red and pink t-shirts (scraps or shirts that are no longer wearable)
- needle and thread
Begin by cutting several small hearts from the t-shirts. I alternated the pink and red across the bottom of my dishtowel. The hearts I cut are approximately 1″. You can make them any size you wish. Simply fold the t-shirt piece in half and cut the hearts as you would from paper.
Do not worry about the t-shirt fabric fraying or coming apart. The little bit the hearts do fray will add character but they will not fall apart.
Lay the hearts out across the bottom of the dishtowel the way you plan for them to be attached.
Use a simple “X” stitch in the middle of each heart to attach it to the dishtowel. Knot on the backside and trim access thread. I love how the hearts almost flutter with the stitch only in the middle.
Continue attaching the hearts until all are in place.
Use your finished dishtowel in the kitchen through Valentine’s Day or make one for the bathroom using a hand towel.
If you’re putting this together in a gift basket, pick up some pretty bottles of scented soap for the kitchen. Add a bottle of olive oil, some herbs, and a loaf of French bread for a fun kitchen themed Valentine gift. Toss in a bag of special blend coffe,some candy kisses, or special treats too. It’s an untraditional Valentine gift basket anyone would love to receive!
Are you crafting this season? If so, here are the coupons you can find right now for in store and online to save!
- 50% any 1 regular priced item with code MERRYSALE when you shop HERE through 11/22/14
- 15% off for teachers when you shop HERE - Includes free shipping on orders $50 or more. Click on “Teacher’s Discount” in the “QUICK LINKS” section at the bottom of the page for more details. Limited time offer. Restrictions may apply.
- 40% off Regular Priced Recollections Stickers & Embellishments with code NOVSTICKERS1 when you shop HERE through 11/22/14
- 25% off Custom Canvas Prints + Free Shipping with code TURKEY25 when you shop HERE through 11/22/14
- 15% off All Frames, Display Cases and Shadow Boxes with code EXTRA15 when you shop HERE through 11/22/14
- Up to 50% off yarn in stock HERE
- Shop sales HERE – up to 50% off in select categories
- 40% off 1 regular priced item with code 6586 when you shop HERE
- 40% off your highest priced item with code 9944 when you shop HERE
- 40% off 1 regular priced item with code SAVINGS8333 when you shop HERE
- Printable coupons HERE valid in store only through 11/22/14
- Sign up for JoAnn2Go and get 20% off your next purchase
Do you have somewhere else you love for crafts? Let me know and I’ll look for coupons!
Have you wanted to know how to make a homecoming mum? WAIT, back up… Do you know what a homecoming mum is?? In Texas we have this CRAZY homecoming tradition where guys give girls who they are taking to the game and dance a “mum” and the girls give the guys a “garter” which is a smaller version of the mum they got.
I really didn’t know that the rest of the country didn’t do this until I was in college. I thought everyone did.
Mums started back sometimes in the 60’s. Some guy gave a girl a small mum flower with a ribbon in it to wear to school the day of the homecoming game. Her friends must have thought it was cool and the tradition caught on. It exploded in the 80’s with tons more ribbons and larger fake mums, and is still going VERY strong now.
These are the boys during filming
Mums can be store bought or made at home. Go to any craft store in the fall in Texas and they are loaded with mum making supplies. The cool thing about making your own is that you can save some money and you can make them more personalized.
Recently, the guys have been getting together and actually making the mum for their dates. My son had some friends coming over to make theirs so ABC 13 came over to film and you can see that segment HERE. It is very typical for Moms to help their sons make the mums as well.
Head on out to your local craft store, I went to Hobby Lobby and Michaels. Don’t forget your coupons. These are some of the items I bought:
- Mum flowers
- Mum base
- Ribbon ( a med – large mum had 40-50 strands)
- Teddy Bear
- Homecoming Trinkets
- Hot Glue Stapler
- Thick cording for neck strap
- Personalized items per girl (like basketball or dance )
They sell mum bases for the top part that the mum attached to. They come in packs of 2 and I bought 1 for each boy. Then at home I cut out a piece of cardboard to go in-between the 2 in the package, this will add some sturdiness.
You will also need some solid colored ribbon in the school colors. I chose a 1 inch blue, and 1/2 inch green and white. Out of this ribbon I cut 20 3 foot lengths to start the mum off. This is the majority of the ribbon. I bought silver and some sparkly sections to add in. Do the fancier ones more on the top, so they show.
I stapled as many on the cardboard base as I could.
Like I said above, I used the solid colors more on the bottom then added the nicer and fancier ribbon and items to the top. When I got to the beads and heavy items, I had to hot glue those on.
Then I used some heavy cording for the neck strap. When I was in high school we were able to pin them to our shirts and bra strap and they were fine. These are heavy enough that you wear them around your neck. I just used myself to measure the length and stapled it on.
Now that it could hang, I can start adding on the heavy stuff. This is also where I took some Christmas garland and around the brown cardboard you see, I stapled it to give a frame to the mum section. People often use ribbon for this, but the garland was MUCH faster and cheaper even.
I took the Mum and the base and hot glued them on. Well, actually this is where the boys got home from school and started helping.
We used a zip tie to attach the teddy bear and hot glued his body in the position that we wanted it to stay in. Traditionally a lot of mums have teddy bears either in the center of hanging off the bottom. My son’s date loves dolphins and so he did a dolphin instead.
I used a LOT of hot glue!
This is when the boys really started to personalize their mum, from things the girls like to do to school colors and the year they are graduating.
They were actually pretty good at using the hot glue and were having a lot of fun. They are much more creative then I give them credit for. I had overbought on purpose, so that they had a lot of options, I just returned things we didn’t use.
The cost of a mum at a grocery store is about $40 – $250. You can have them personalized for additional money. But of course like anything, you don’t get something as nice as if you make it. They use less ribbon and they are not as big.
The mums that we made would have cost anywhere from $150 – $200 in the store. We made them for about $75 each.
Try to save some money by thinking outside the box. I shopped the dollar stores and the Christmas section at the craft stores. Many of the items sold as homecoming items are priced more but are really just Christmas garland marked up. I used coupons and looked for clearance items.
For example, above you will see the Party and Spirit basketball that was $7.99. I just bought a foam basketball from Dollar Tree and cut it in half for $1. Now I have 2 basketballs for the mums and saved $17!
The boys did an awesome job and even more fun was how proud of themselves they were. They are all so excited to give their dates their mums it is so fun!
One of the guys has not asked his date yet, he is doing that this weekend. He is so nervous and worried she will say no. I am seriously nervous for him! He didn’t put her name on the mum, but took stickers with him so he could after he was sure she said yes. How cute is that?!
If you are in Texas and need a mum, make sure to make one yourself or contact some of the Moms who make them this time of year to save yourself some serious money!
Do you have a tween or teen in school with a locker? Have you wanted to know how to decorate a school locker for less seeing all the crazy ways kids are decorating lockers now days?!
My older girls have decorated lockers for a few years. The first year I about had a heart attack and said, “no way!” and had them figure out how to do it for less!
You can see a news segment my daughter and I did for ABC 13 in Houston last year on saving money on lockers HERE.
For the expensive lockers:
- Wallpaper Sheets – Target for $15 for 3 sheets ( it will take 6 sheets to 1/2 way do a locker)
- Black Zebra Locker White Board – PBTeen $19.50
- Mini Photo Frames – PBTeen $29
- Locker Carpet – Walmart $9
- Locker Shelf – Walmart $5
- Locker Lamp – PBTeen – $24.50
For the budget locker:
- Roll of Wrapping paper – Dollar Tree $1
- Basket – Dollar Tree $1
- Locker magnetic baskets – Dollar Tree $1
- Magnets for the wallpaper – Dollar Tree $1
- Locker Shelf – Walmart (not shown in picture) $5
- Locker Mirror – Dollar Tree $1
- Locker Black Board – Dollar Tree $1
- Microfiber cloth used as locker carpet – Dollar Tree $1
Paige honestly could not tell the difference between the high end locker and the budget locker. According to Paige, either would have been just as cool at school!
One thing that we did not have time for in the video segment was to laminate the wrapping paper. In the past for the girls I have taken the wrapping to a school supply store and paid a few dollars to laminate it so that it held up better through the school year.
:: Locker on a budget $17::
We use magnets to attach the wrapping paper to the locker walls. You can use tape but Paige has told me horror stories of trying to get it off at the end of school. Magnets worked well for us last year.
This locker also had a locker shelf in it that you can find at Walmart for $5.
For Paige the most important thing to have in her locker was a mirror, shelf, and the magnetic containers on the wall to hold pens and pencils.
:: High End Locker $107::
The wallpaper sheets in the high end locker came from Target. They are really nice and easy to work with, but we used 2 packages ($15 each) on this locker and you can see we needed even more.
The thing that FREAKED me out the most was $29 for the magnetic frames. ARE YOU CRAZY!?
The other tip from Paige is that she thinks the locker lights and locker chandeliers are cute and had one last year. But it only lasted a few days. See they block the hook at the top of the locker where the kids hang their backpacks and it was a hassle to try and maneuver around the lamp and she took it down (along with all her friends) after a few days.
In conclusion, you are more then welcome to spend $100 on your kids locker for school. But acording to the kids we interviewed, they couldn’t tell a difference between items from Pottery Barn and ones from Dollar Tree!
Plus, as we were doing the segment a teacher walked by and asked about the shoot. I explained to her what we were doing and she told us that at the end of the year they line up trash cans all along the hall for kids to clean out their lockers and place trash in. After school was done and the kids were gone, the teachers would pull out all the HIGH END nice locker decorations that all the kids just THREW AWAY!
They use them in their classrooms and save them for kids next year who can’t afford to decorate at all. I almost cried. But the teacher said NO WAY would she spend more then $20 on a locker as she watches the kids just toss it all when school is out!
Do your kids decorate lockers? What so they ask for? What do you spend??
We spent the weekend being crafty. My kids are on a BIG Harry Potter kick, about 5 years behind the times, but loving it none the less. We watched most of the movies in the car on the way to and from California and all over Arizona and Texas this past month. They turn everything from straws. to sticks to granola bars into magic wands.
I love listening to them and watching the big kids get completely involved and play along. In fact, we have made up a list of our own “Ivanovsky Spells.”
My Favorite? In place of one of the more popular Harry Potter spells “expelliarmus” the Ivanovsky version is “smelly lamas.” I am sure you can see how the rest of them go!
My oldest has a “real” Harry Potter wand he got one year from Santa, it was the pricy kind at $40 that is motion activated. The little kids drug it out and have been
fighting I mean sharing it nicely all week. They had a lemonade stand earning $42 and decided to pool the money to buy another wand. Like that is going to go well…
My crafty 8 year old got online and found many different sets of instructions on how to make a wand. The other kids shook their heads and said “no!” She begged me to help her make one. Since I had just about everything I said sure, and we got started.
You will need:
- Glue Gun / Glue Sticks (about 3 large ones for each wand)
- Craft Paint (we liked metallic and glitter)
- Construction paper
- Chop Sticks or wooden dowels
- Elmers Glue
- Marble or something to put at the handle end. We found a bag of wedding gems at Walmart for $3.50 that worked perfectly.
Place glue on one side of any color of construction paper.
Take your chop stick and roll from the corner tightly.
When I got to the end, I taped the corner down and we left them to dry.
Now, when they are all dry, you will need to cut off the ends so they are flat.
Working with one end, I filled the end with hot glue and stuck the end of the gem in. I turned it upside down and held it until the glue had set.
The bigger kids started to take notice and thought we might be onto something cool, so they started making their own construction paper tubes!
Once the top was set, I took more hot glue and make rings around the gem and tube reinforcing it even more. I needed them to be sturdy!
This is where your glue gun skills come in handy! If you lived though the craft phase of the 90’s you know what I mean!
Start from the below your gem/marble and start building up a few layers of glue. I tried to spread it down, and as it would drip I would roll it around, making some kinda funky patterns.
The thickest layers need to be at the top and get thinner as you go towards the bottom. Just keep in mind what a wand might look like with a handle.
Once you have the first 1/2 of the wand done and before the glue cools, use the tip and make designs in the glue. This will give your wand cool dimensions and areas to paint when you are finishing it.
Once the glue has cooled, you will paint a coat of solid black over the wand as a primer.
The black really pulls out all the 3D of the glue. They start looking really cool at this point.
By now, I have all 7 kids making a wand
Once the black has dried, you can start painting your wand. My kids liked the glitter and metallic paint for theirs. We used gold a lot for the accents.
They took a few coats because of a few mind changes. Plus a few hours of drying time. But once they were done I thought they looked REALLY cool!
The kids were really proud of themselves as well. The big kids were so impressed they wanted to have friends over to make some with them!
These are our finished Harry Potter wands. They are very sturdy and really neat looking! When you feel them it is hard to imagine that they are made of chop sticks, construction paper and hot glue!
I added a few more lines of hot glue at the end on the wands where I painted the gold you can see to give them more of a 3D look then they already had.
For the other end, the kids went out and grabbed a few little rocks and we glued them in. One of the kids use a small gem for theirs, and one of the kids didn’t want anything and I filled the end with hot glue. These really feel like they were made out of wood.
They spent all day playing with them.
One final step that I have not done yet but will when I can get them back is to take a few small drops of black paint and mix it in a lot of water to create a wash. I want to “antique” them some and so I will brush the paint water on and then wipe it off so it creates an antiquing effect.
Cost of a fancy Harry Potter wand: $40 x 7 kids = $280!
Total cost of our Harry Potter wands: $21 for 7!
If you want to keep your kids (and husband) busy for a while, you can try this cute candy snack that we make for the 4th of July each year to take with us as we watch the fireworks!
All you need are some lollipop sticks or skewers and soft candy. I used mostly gummy candies. I also tried to just use red, white and blue for the 4th of July to make it festive. It would also be cute to do them to match birthday parties with different colors.
I was able to buy ALL the candy at our local convenience store this year. They carry all kinds of bagged prepackaged gummy candy, salt water taffy, and gummy lifesavers. I placed them all in bowls on the table, gave each child/Dad a lollipop stick and let them at it!
This is the one Paul made, actually one of the 10, he really got into it with the girls! We packaged ours in little gift bags with ribbon tied around the top. The sticks and bags we put them in cost $1.75 each at Walmart. You can find these in the craft section at your local store.
On the ones for the girls we have little necklaces for the 4th to go with them, turned out really cute!
Do you have any cute crafts for the 4th?
Making a candy card is a really easy and fun way to say thank you! My girls made a few for teachers to go with a little gift they have for them today.
First, take a poster board ( I cut this one in half) and lay out your candy bars on the paper. With a pencil write out the wording you want to use. I just made up mine with the candy bars I could find.
Once you have penciled out your wording, take a marker or paint and do the final draft. Then mark along the side where you want to add your ribbon. I didn’t have a big round punch so I used a hole punch and made a few holes for the ribbon to go through.
Take a ribbon and measure it around the outside leaving extra room for the bow and some “poofs” along the way! Then weave the ribbon around.
Lastly I taped the candy bars on. I have hot glued them before, but it has melted the chocolate and makes it hard to take them off!
They don’t have to be perfect!! Just make it fun!
Drug Store Deals
Meet My Litter
Baseball Star DudePart comedian, part Dad, part athlete. He will boss around your children while they play ball.
Baby Sitter Doll!Just as angelic as she looks, this girl could easily raise a Village by herself, and all the children would grow up to be President.
Webkinz Pup!Self proclaimed, she would be a webkinz dog. Because, "they're cute, and puppies are too. And they're sweet and they always get along with other puppies."
PrincessThis mini-Martha Stewart can handle ANY craft you send her way. She isn't all bows and rainbows, she's got karate kid moves!
Pick-Me-UpNot "Pick-Me-Up" like caffeine, she wants you to pick her up! AND NOW!
Supercute DestroyerAnything that can be destroyed WILL be destroyed!
Mary PoppinsPractically Perfect in Every Way for now! Nicknamed "The Panda" she is rolly polly and lives by the motto, "the little one, is KING!"
Miller DogThe resident Labradoodle, Miller got his name because Mom won and got to name the baby! Need something chewed up? He'll take care of it. Especially if it's expensive..