Category Archives: Crafts

Baby Footprint Keepsake

 

Blue Footprint Keepsake | Money Savvy Liivng

 

Little newborn baby hands and  feet are so cute.  Funny how, as we get older, feet aren’t so cute anymore…  Anyways, I know that bringing each of the boys home from the hospital, I would just look at that little, tiny life in amazement and marvel at how each little finger and toe were just perfectly formed.  I think any new mother can relate to that feeling of wanting to keep your baby that little forever… although, I will admit that the middle-of-the-night feedings do get a bit old after a while.

Sooooo, since your baby won’t stay little for long, you have to capture those little footprints (and handprints!) while you can.

Here is an easy way to capture you little one’s footprints! In these pictures, I used my youngest son’s little feet to make the butterfly and my two older children made the thumbprint ladybugs and the fingerprint flowers.  This was a great way for all of my children to be included in the picture.  So you can definitely get creative to add more than one child without taking a full handprint or footprint, especially when some of your kids are older and a full hand or foot would take up too much space.  A calligraphy pen is great to add the accents. Use any colors you like and then frame it!

*Tip: When working with newborns, you will probably have better luck with footprints because tiny babies tend to want to close their hand, so getting a clear handprint is quite a bit harder than a footprint.

 

Footprint Keepsake | Money Savvy Living

 

This is also a very inexpensive way to make a keepsake of your precious little one. I used a frame that I already had and cardstock. I did have to buy the washable ink pads (make sure it is washable and safe to use on children) and calligraphy pen (less than $10– and you will have these items to use for other crafty projects), but still spent much less than the keepsake plates (shown below) which were done at a studio, and cost at least $25 each.

However, it was my babies’ footprints… and I really wanted to have these keepsakes for display, so I allowed myself to splurge on these for each of the boys.

 

Golf Footprint Keepsake | Money Savvy Living
My husband loves to golf. This is a gift that I made for him when our son was about 18 months old. A great way to give a meaningful keepsake to any dad or grandpa. This was painted on a ceraminc plate, coated, and fired at a local paint-your-own pottery studio.

I would have never come up with the idea for this on my own, but attended a workshop where they walked us through how to do the footprint as a golf green and how to complete the scene.  So after I did this one, I wanted to make plates for the other kids, but not the exact same thing.  So I got creative and below you can see my designs:

 

Football Footprint Keepsake | Money Savvy Living
This is one of my favorite footprint pieces that I have done. The design came out good, even though I could have used a few more coats of paint to even it out! My son was 3 years old when I did this, so I needed a little bit longer plate to make it work. After placing his footprint on first, I drew the football outline with pencil (pencil marks disappear during the firing process) and filled in.  Drew in the field hash marks and done!

 

Baseball Footprint Keepsake | Money Savvy Living

I figured to round out the trio of sports plates, I would do baseball next.  The green came out a bit darker than I had hoped, but my little guy’s footprint stands out, and that is most important!

Christmas Ornaments that Your Kids Can Make that You Will Actually Want on Your Tree

Christmas Ornaments Collage |Money Savvy Living

Okay, let’s just start off by admitting it: some of the ornaments that your kids make at school are not exactly what you want on your Christmas tree. Of course, they are from your child, so you love them and every single gift that they make for you; however, they don’t always match your Christmas décor.

For example, last year, my oldest son brought home, wrapped as a Christmas present, a square of orange paper with his school picture on it, framed with orange and green crayons. Now, I’m not exactly sure what green and orange crayons have to do with Christmas, but of course, we hugged him and thanked him for the gift. Maybe all the other kids got the red and green, who knows. But I didn’t want to question him too much and make him feel like I didn’t like it, so I said that this would be a great ornament for the “kid tree.” This is a tree that my husband set up on our basement that has colorful, blinking lights and all sorts of colorful ornaments—the ones that don’t match my traditional tree in the living room. Orange and green fit right in on the kid tree.

Now, I know that some of you are starting to think that I am a horrible mom for not proudly displaying every ornament on the main Christmas tree. But, I know that you probably have a place for these ornaments too: maybe the back of the tree, perhaps you gifted it to Grandma and Grandpa last year because you know they will put it on their tree and it gets you off the hook… but you know what I am talking about.

If the stuff that your kids bring home isn’t always the most festive of Christmas ornaments, you can make some that are easy, inexpensive, and ones that you will want to put on the Christmas tree.

 

Applesauce & Cinnamon Ornament

Some of my favorite ornaments in the tree are the cinnamon and applesauce ornaments.  You can find the recipe for these ornaments here.  Not only can you make any shape that you want, but you can decorate them in any way that you would like as well… and the cinnamon makes your house smell wonderful!

Cinnamon Glitter Ornament

 

Cardboard Ornament

I love this ornament because it looks nice but it is simply cardboard with photo copied background (in this case, the Bible verse from Luke 2 about the birth of Jesus) with a simple nativity being cut out and glued on top. The entire ornament is coated with Mod Podge.
Cardboard ornament

 

Paper Plate Angel

This paper plate angel is so cute with a picture of my son for the angel’s face. A doily is cut in half and glued on the back for wings, a pipe cleaner halo, and glitter and sequins to decorate.
Paperplate angel

 

Painted Wooden Ornament

These wooden ornaments can be bought at your local craft store (very inexpensively!). Your child can paint them any way they’d like and can also be decorated with glitter to add a bit of sparkle.
paint and glitter wooden ornament | Money Savvy Living

 

Pipe Cleaner Candy Cane

So quick and easy! Your child will have fun putting beads on a pipe cleaner to make a candy cane. Just turn the ends of the pipe cleaner up at each end and you have a cute, homemade ornament!
pipe cleaner and bead candy cane

 

Paper Angel Ornament

This angel ornament is made, much like cutting out a snowflake. Fold the paper in half and create your (half) outline of the angel and allow your child to cut the different patterns on the angel. Open up and run a pip cleaner through some of the holes in the design. Of course, these angels could be painted with silver, gold, or decorated with glitter if you’d like.
Paper Angel and pipe cleaner Ornament

 

Fingerprint Snowmen

Using white paint on your child’s fingers, these snowmen will show up perfectly on any red, blue, or green ornament. Just let the pain dry and then decorate the snowmen by drawing on faces, scarves, hats, etc.
Fingerprint Snowmen | Money Savvy Living

 

Handprint Ornament

Of course, you can make the plaster, or by a handprint kit, like this Child to Cherish Handprint Ornament.  This is a wonderful keepsake that you will cherish for years
Handprint Plaster ornament

 

Iridescent Cellophane Ornament

Again, just a simple wooden ornament, but instead of painting, this one is decorated with iridescent cellophane. Just add glue and then sprinkle the iridescent shreds on top.

Iridescent Cellophane Glitter Flakes on Wooden Ornament | Money Savvy Living

 

Porcelain Painted Ornament

You can make a Christmas tradition of going to a local pottery kiln or simply paint and bake your own ornaments at home, with a kit like this by MindWare.

Porcelain Painted Ornament | Money Savvy Living

 

*This article does contain affiliate links, so if you choose to purchase through here, I will make a commission, although it does not increase the cost to you, the consumer. However, I highly recommend that you get an activity tracker whether you purchase through here or elsewhere.

Homemade Christmas Gift: Etched Cookie Jar

Guest post from Michele at Bella Home Goods.  This is a great holiday craft that is easy on the budget, is a breeze to make, and tastes great too!

Etched Cookie Jar and Homemade Oatmeal Cookies

Happy Holidays Money Savvy Friends!

Everyone knows the holidays can be busy and before you know it they pass us by so lets enjoy the reason for the season and take on some true meaning of the holiday spirit. Take some time out of your busy schedule to create something special this month, like a homemade craft and delicious warm baked cookies.

My children get so excited with our tradition of baking homemade Christmas cookies and decorating them with sprinkles, and who can resist the smell of home baked deliciousness? They make winter feel like the holidays, especially after eating a few warm and freshly baked cookies with a tall glass of cold milk. Yum.

The gift giving craft is a Glass Etched cookie jar and then add your favorite homemade holiday cookie recipe to the cookie jar. Below is one of our family favorites, Old Fashioned Homemade Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. They bake perfectly each time, we make them and I know your family will love them too.

My wish for your family and ours is to make the best possible memories for them so they can look back and think, I remember growing up how wonderful our family holidays were, and have those warm and fuzzy feelings that they will one day repeat with their children and grandchildren.

Best Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredient List :

  • 1 1/2 cups of flour
  • 1  teaspoon salt
  • 1  cup butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1  teaspoon hot water
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 (12 ounce) package  semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2  cups quick oats

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Sift together flour, soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, cream together salted butter and sugars; add eggs, one at a time. Stir in hot water, vanilla and flour mixture.

Add remaining ingredients; mix well.

Drop two teaspoons of cookie batter using a Pampered Chef medium scoop onto baking sheet.

Bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes.

Now onto the fun part, the crafting!

I went to HomeGoods and they have a big selection of cookie jars shaped in a cylinder or the old fashioned glass cookie jar, and either will be fun to decorate. The cylinder jar I found at HomeGoods was $5. Next, I stopped off at Michael’s craft store and picked up some Martha Stewart glass etching cream and the tool to apply the etching cream and then picked out an adhesive Martha Stewart stencil.

BHG collage

Clean the surface of the glass that you would like to etch with rubbing alcohol and then you can apply the adhesive stencil to where you would want to apply your etching design. When you apply the etching cream apply it heavily on top of the stencil and you leave the cream on for 15 minutes. Any less, and the cream will not mark the glass. After that, you wash the cream off under water in your sink and you can reuse your stencil again by rinsing that off as well.

Place your glass in the dishwasher to sanitize  it and then it is ready to  be filled with your fresh baked cookies! It looks gorgeous– and it’s simple!  Your Friends and Family will be happy with this gorgeous and thoughtful gift for the holidays.  Enjoy!

 

**When you apply the cream you do have to wear protective gloves so as to not irritate your skin.

michelle_1326

Michele, Creator of Bella Home Goods is a wife, mother, blogger, crafter, and decorator. At Bella Home Goods, she shares recipes, ways to up-cycle furniture, and how her home is getting a makeover.

Homemade Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments

cin ornaments1

You won’t believe how simple these ornaments are to make… and they fill your home with the wonderful scent of cinnamon! These are a great craft for kids to make. Not only can you put them on your own tree for years to come and remember the fun Christmas memories of making them, but they make great gifts for the grandparents too.

My kids just love helping make these– and we make some nearly every year!  The good news is, they are pretty inexpensive to make.  I bought generic cinnamon (2.5 oz) for $0.88 and the name brand cinnamon was $4.68!  So right away, that is a savings of 80% on ingredients!  To make 24 of these ornaments only costs around $3.

Cinnamon Christmas Ornaments

  • Time: 24 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

3 Ingredient recipe
2 c. applesauce
2 c. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. Elmer’s school glue

That’s all you need! Just mix together until dough forms, roll out (to about 1/4 inch thickness) and use your favorite cookie cutter shapes to make your ornaments. Just remember, if your dough is sticking as you roll it out, “flour” your rolling pin with cinnamon.

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce Christmas Ornaments | Money Savvy Living

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce Christmas Ornaments | Money Savvy Living

Once your ornaments are cut out, you must use a toothpick, a craft stick, or even a straw to poke a hole in the top so that you can put a ribbon through to hang on tree. Or, if you want to string them for garland, you will want to place 2 holes in the middle of the ornament, at least 1/2 inch apart.

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce Christmas Ornaments | Money Savvy Living

Homemade Cinnamon Applesauce Christmas Ornaments | Money Savvy Living

 

Optional:  lightly press glitter onto the ornaments while the dough is still moist and let it dry into the dough for decoration.

Once the ornaments have dried for at least 24-48 hours, use glue to decorate after the ornaments with glitter, sequins, or whatever your choose.

Put ribbons through the holes and decorate your tree!

 

Dec 2012 045

Merry Christmas!

*Money Savvy Tip*
Shop at the dollar store or an overstock store for these ingredients, or even ask your local grocery store for damaged containers of applesause or cinnamon, you may be able to save a bit of money on these items. Also be sure to look for generic brands of these ingredients for extra savings.

Keepsake Journal

Keepsake Journal | Money Savvy Living

 

The best gift a Mother can receive is something made by her children. Of course, I like jewelry and flowers too! But this year, my husband bought a journal in which each child wrote a Mother’s Day message for me. He let them write whatever they wanted… totally unprompted.

 

I have to say, these sweet, heartfelt messages from my kids just make me smile:

 

Keepsake: Mother's Day Journal | Money Savvy Living

 

The idea is that for Mother’s Day, or my birthday, or any other holiday throughout the year, the boys can write a message, draw a picture or whatever they want, and I will have a journal of their messages to me over the years as they grow up. Not only is it nice to have it all compiled in one book, but no need to buy expensive cards that get misplaced or thrown away.  Saves money AND I have something homemade from my kids…. win, win.

 

It will be interesting to see how the boys’ handwriting and pictures change over the years.  I’m pretty sure one day, they will look back through this book and smile at some of the cute things they wrote when younger.

 

This keepsake journal idea would also be a great gift for Father’s Day (yes, we definitely started one for my husband too!), or for a parent or grandparent’s birthday. A gift from the heart, for any occasion, that is money savvy too, doesn’t get much better than that.