Toilet paper rolls craft: Unicorn Puppet

toilet paper rolls craft unicorn marionette
Our cute little unicorn puppet crafted out of toilet paper rolls

As we are always looking for some fun crafts with my crafty little daughter, we saw a super cute toilet paper rolls craft idea that caught our attention: a paper roll puppet!  There were so many cool ideas out there… my girl first wanted to make a horse, so we began having that in mind. While making the toilet paper rolls puppet, she changed her mind, like she does so often (creativity is strong in her!), and decided to make a unicorn instead. After all, we love unicorns, even as a unicorn pinata!!! But that was not the end of the story…

Materials to make a toilet paper roll unicorn puppet

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How to make our toilet paper rolls craft unicorn puppet

Please keep in mind that a little kid can make a lot by itself for this craft, but some things have to be done by an adult, in my opinion, especially the ones that involve making holes and tying knots!

Step 1. Preparing the toilet paper rolls for our craft

The first of the two toilet paper rolls can be kept as it is. This one will become the unicorn’s body. For the second one, you will have to cut off app. 1/3rd of it, but it’s up to you, how big of a head your unicorn will have. I think the 2/3rd length piece is ideal for that. Put the smaller 1/3rd piece aside, you won’t need it for this craft.

toilet paper roll for head
The second paper roll, cut into two uneven pieces. We will use the bigger piece for the head

Lay the crepe paper out and put the first paper roll on it. Cut out a piece that will be able to cover the paper roll with some excess on both sides, for at least three times. Glue the crepe paper onto the paper roll by rolling it around it. Set aside and do the same with the second paper roll.

Step 2. Making the holes

Now it’s time to make the holes. You can use a scissor for that, but I found it to be easier using the crafting knife. Please be very careful when doing this! You could easily pierce yourself.

Your will need to make four holes on the downside of the unicorn’s body; they will be for the legs. So you will need to make two holes at the front and to holes at the end of the body’s paper roll.

unicorn marionette 4 holes
Four legs, four holes!

Lastly, you will need to make two holes on the upper side of the body, for the puppet strings to go through. On hole goes at the front of the upper side of the body and the other at the end.

For the head, you will need to make two holes, one on the downside of the body and one on the upper side. I would suggest making the holes in the middle, but if you want your unicorn to look up or down, you can make the holes more to the front of the end respectively.

Step 3. Adding the strings to the toilet paper roll puppet

This part can be a little tricky. It’s better to cut bigger than needed pieces of embroidery yarn to be sure, as you always can cut off the excess.

First, begin by making the legs. Cut four pieces of about 10 cm. Take one of them and fiddle one end through one of the holes. Make one or as many knots needed at this end, to secure the yarn. You could also add a drop of glue, but I found it to be too difficult for us. Do the same with the other three pieces for the legs. Don’t adjust the length just yet!

unicorn marionette body and head (2)
The know inside of the paper roll, so the marionette won’t fall apart

Step 4. Deciding the length of the control strings

Now you will need to decide how you or your kid wants to play the puppet. If you want to be able to play it on the floor with you standing up than you will need two very long pieces of yarn, depending on your size. The same goes for your kid, but with shorter pieces. We wanted to be able to play the puppeton a table, so the strings needed to be even shorter, especially for my daughter to be able to play with it (you can’t play the marionette for long if the strings force you to hold them over your head!).

When you have made your decision, cut two even length pieces of yarn, like in the next picture. Fiddle one end of the first one through the hole at the end of the unicorn’s body. Tie knots to secure it.

unicorn marionette on pencil
This is how your toilet paper roll unicorn should be held, so you will have to adjust the length of the strings

Now fiddle one end of the last piece of yarn through the hole in the front of the unicorn’s body and tie knots to secure it. Fiddle the other end of the same piece of yarn through the hole at the downside of the head and make knots to secure it, so the head won’t fall onto the body. Fiddle the same end through the hole on the upper part of the head.

Lift your puppet up, holding both of the strings, you are almost there!!! Tie both ends to the pencil, so it will stand up correctly (the piece that holds the head will need to be shortened).

Your puppet is now ready for the fun part!!

Step 5. Decorating the paper roll unicorn

Your unicorn will need some rainbow hair made out of the rainbow yarn for the head and its tail, googly eyes, and beads for the legs. After securing the beads, adjust and cut the length of the leg strings if needed. You could add whatever you like to it, stickers, ears, glitter, gems; your imagination, and that of your kids is the limit!

little toilet paper rolls unicorn marionette
Isn’t this unicorn marionette cute? But something seems to be missing!

Now you would assume that a unicorn needs, well, a horn! Ha, not at our house! My girl decided it would not need one, because it’s just an extraordinary, maybe even magical horse!

But then again, no, it’s a sad little unicorn without a horn, that’s being teased by the all the other little – perfect of course with horns and all –unicorns. 

And so, the story of the little hornless unicorn’s quest to find its destiny begins….!!!

Other toilet paper rolls animal puppets

This technique is perfect to let the imagination fly! You can make almost any animal out of toilet paper rolls! Just add ears, tails, different colors and shapes to make a dog, a horse, a cat and whatever else you can think of to make a farm or zoo!!!

Simple String Art Ideas: Lovely Heart

As you know, I am always looking for

which do look good enough for us to enjoy! In that spirit, I wanted to try making some string art for ages! People are sharing so many great projects, and I love how creative this hobby can be! Finally, the time came, and I and my little girl made one of our first, really simple string art ideas come true: a heart!

simple String art heart
Our first string art ever: a heart!

Materials

You don’t need a lot of things to start making your very own string art, especially if its an easy as the one we made. Chances are that you already have these materials at home:

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Instruction on how to make our easy string art heart

I used a simple heart that I printed out in the size that would fit my wooden cutting board. You can easily draw your own, if you have the talent, or search the internet for something you like. In fact, you can find templates not only with the simple shape but with the indication of the points where you have to put the nail in, which really helps to keep the correct distance from each nail to the next.

easy string art heart
The nails don’t need to be straight, but being of even height is important

Once you have your template, cut it out, but be careful to leave the outline intact. Next, secure your template onto the cutting board into place, using some self-adhesive tape.

Hammer and Nails are essential for realizing your string art ideas!

Now it’s time for the hammer and nails. Try to drive every nail into the wood with the same depth, without them getting out on the other side, so they will be even in height, and try to keep a regular distance between them. Hammer and nails aren’t that good to be used by small kids, so I would let the adult do this job. When you have nailed all your nails, carefully rip the template away and remove it all.

Simple string art ideas
Simple string art: Great for wall decorations!

For the string, we used some pink string I had on hand, perfect for our heart! First, we made a knot tying the string to the first nail and went to the next, wrapping the string around it. We continued this way until we made the outline of the heart with our string.

Then, we just went from there rather intuitively. You go from one nail to another that is further away, wrap the string around each nail, trying to get to all nails and to have a nice outcome. In the end, we did another outline of the heart shape with the string, tight the end of the string securely to the last nail and cut what was left. You can push the string down a little to achieve a better look if you like.

That’ s it! We hang our string art in my girls room and it really looks awesome! There are so many ideas out there to try!!!

DIY Dice Rolling Tray How-To

One thing I love about board games, among other things, is that you can always combine your love for crafting with them. You can build inserts for your board games, beautify them with upgrades, paint the miniatures, and so on. Since dice rolling is a part of many board games and DnDs games, I soon realized that they make a lot of noise and that you often have to chase them since they tend to fall off the table or make a mess of other components on your board. The best way to resolve this problem is by using a felt-lined dice rolling tray. You can buy them in any shape and color, and some of them fold, too! But I wanted to make my very own DIY dice rolling tray, and in a cheap way!

How to make a dice rolling tray for your board games!
How to make a dice rolling tray for your board games!

First of all, let me tell you that my photos will use a different sized canvas frame than the one I used to make my dice tray, since I missed taking photos from that one! So, here we go!

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Materials to make a dice rolling tray

A painting on a canvas you can use

Instructions

  • If you only have a canvas with a frame, your first step is to remove the actual canvas from the frame, keeping the frame intact. We have loads of them since my kids love painting with brushes!
  • Turn the frame over onto its backside and place the piece of cardboard over it. Cut the cardboard into the appropriate size.
  • Use your cardboard as a guide to cut the felt into the needed size.
  • Glue the felt onto the cardboard.
  • Glue the cardboard with the felt onto the back of your frame.
  • Turn the frame over and there you have you DIY dice rolling tray!!!

Details to add to the DIY dice rolling tray

You can choose any color of felt that you want (there is no need to buy any fancy sewing felt for this craft)! I had a red one, so I used that. You can paint your frame with some wood stain to make it look better. It’s something I want to do, but I am afraid that I will stain the felt, so I guess it’s better to do such a thing before assembling your dice roll tray.

DIY dice rolling tray board games
My DIY dice rolling tray can roll a lot of dice!

Another thing that one could do to make this wood dice rolling tray look more professional, is to line the inside sides of the tray with some same colored felt.

I was very happy with the results and the dice rolling tray gets a lot of use when we play our beloved board games!!

For more of our easy DIY and crafts ideas, click here!

Rapunzel Tangled Birthday Party Ideas

After some years of small birthday parties for my girl, the time had come to organize a bigger, princessy party for her with all her friends from school and some other friends outside of school. The theme she chose was a Tangled Birthday Party – otherwise known as Rapunzel.

Naturally, I went on Pinterest to get inspired. And boy did I get inspired! There were so many ideas out there, that it became really difficult to choose from… of course, as so many times before, I went for the easier ones, since time is something I don’t have so much of.

What every birthday party needs

There are three things essential for all my kid’s parties (other than the guests, ha!). The birthday cake, the pinata, and a thank you present for the kids! So let me start with the easy part, the cake! It was easy because a really talented friend of mine made it! I only provided the Rapunzel doll. It turned out really great for our Tangled birthday party and my girl loved it!

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Tangled Birthday party Rapunzel Doll Birthday Cake
Our Rapunzel Doll Birthday Cake

How to make the Tangled Tower Pinata

Tangled Rapunzel birthday Party Ideas diy pinata
Tangled/Rapunzel Birthday Party Ideas

I, on the other hand, started crafting the ou Tangled birthday party pinata. We chose a Tangled Tower for it. The technique we used was the same as for the Star Wars Pinata we made for another birthday party.  As a first step, I cut out two round disks (I used a plate as a template) for the bottom and the top of the tower. Then I made a tube-shape out of cardboard, high enough to make a nice tower.

After that, I used tape – a lot of it – to tape the tube shape to the bottom disk. I made a hole through the center of the disk and secured the rope. My husband crafted an “x” an out of two small wooden pieces to tie the rope to, to make sure that the pinata wouldn’t fall down.

Next, I filled the pinata with the necessary candy and treats. I taped the top disk to the upper end of the pinata, making sure to make a hole at the center of it, too and to pull my rope through it. Now it was time to decorate the pinata.

I used purple crepe paper for the tower and decorated it with some artificial flowers. I also printed out Rapunzel, peaking out her window, and glued it in place.

Making the Pinata’s tower top

The next step was to make the cone for the top of the tower. To make it I just cut out another fitting sized triangle from the cardboard and rolled it into a cone, taped it to secure it, and then cut the excess away. The good thing is that it doesn’t need to be perfect since you always can make some adjustments when placing the cone into place and hide imperfections with crepe paper.

Once the cone was ready, I decorated it with pink crepe paper and some felt flower stickers I had, and hot glued it to the tower.

As for the pinata stick, to stay with the Rapunzel theme, I used a small frying pan I had in my kitchen which I decorated with a little yellow string!

The wooden "x" to secure the rope
The wooden “x” to secure the rope
Cone and tube rapunzel pinata
The Rapunzel tower out of a cardboard tube and the top out of a cardboard cone

The pinata was almost ready, and I moved on to my next project… making Rapunzel’s Hair for gifts!

Tangled Birthday party The DIY Rapunzel Pinata
The DIY Rapunzel Pinata

How to make easy Rapunzel Braid Hairbands

To make these, all you need are plain plastic hairbands for girls, hot glue and a lot of yellow string. The thicker your string is, the thicker your hair will be. I used some yellow string that is supposed to be used for kites since I had lots of it. This string is not as thick as I wanted it, so I had to use more of it to get the result I wanted.

So the first step was to cut the string into appr. 1 meter long pieces. If you are going to make them, do a sample first and keep your guests hight in mind – I didn’t want the braid to become too long, for safety reasons. Also, don’t forget that the final braid will be shorter than the pieces of strings, due to – well – braiding it! About 15 pieces where enough to achieve a braid thick enough for my hairbands. Again do a sample to find out what fits. Next, I divided the strings into three lots. Now I was ready to make the braid like you would make a simple braid with your hair.

Long Rapunzel Hairbands
Long Rapunzel Hairbands

To make it easier, I first secured one end of the strings with a small rubber band, then braided, and then secured the other end with another rubber band. I used some hot glue to secure the rubber bands a little more.

Then, I hot glued the braid to the hairband. I did that for about 15 hairbands so you can imagine the time it took… but it was worth it!

Tangled Birthday party Rapunzel Hairbands
Rapunzel Hairbands

A final touch to complete the Pinata

I did, however, have one braid leftover (the first sample I made) and it was just perfect for completing our Pinata! Simple enough, I glued the braid to Rapunzel’s hair and it really did the trick!

Some more extras to complete our Tangled Birthday Party

To complete our guests’ entertainment for our Tangled birthday party, I prepared photo props, Rapunzel and Princess themed for the girls, mustaches, and hats for the boys. These ended up being also presents for the guests as they left the party with them.

Of course, for an extra treat, I prepared some of my all time favorite Strawberry Oreo Cream Cheese pops (recipe I am using here).

So, that was our Rapunzel themed birthday party! We had a lot of fun, and my little girl was so happy with it that it was totally worth the time and effort!


DIY Christmas Ornaments out of homemade white clay (recipe!)

Each year I try to find time to make some DIY white clay ornaments together with my kids. It’s a kind of tradition. Once we made ornaments out of citrus fruits, but mostly, we make DIY Christmas Ornaments out of clay. But I really didn’t like the salt dough most people recommend. The shapes would not be clean and the colors weren’t what I wanted. So, I tried a white clay, which only needed three ingredients and they really turned out amazing! Exactly like I wanted them to. Here is how we made them…

DIY White Clay Ornaments
DIY White Clay Ornaments

For the DIY Christmas Ornaments out of white clay you will need:

– white clay (you can find my recipe further down r buy some hobby clay)
– ribbon (I used a red one with white dots)
– snowflake cookie cutter (or whatever shape you like more)
– plastic straw for making the holes
– baking paper
– sealer (optional, I used a spray sealer)
 
 
This post contains affiliate links of products I recommend, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something. Thank you!

 

To make the white clay you will need these easy to find ingredients:

– half cup cornstarch
– one cup baking soda
– 3/4 cup water
– 1/3 cup glitter (or more if you want) – optional
– damp paper or fabric towel
 
DIY White Clay Ornament

How to make the DIY white clay ornaments dough:

  • To make the clay, just take a pot and mix the cornstarch with the baking soda and the glitter. Now, add the water and stir the mixture until you will have a smooth but still runny cream. Take the pot and put it on your stove on low to medium heat and stir all of the time. As you stir and time passes, the mixture will start to get thicker.
  • As soon as it resembles a dough consistency (more like mashed potatoes) take the pot from the heat and cover it with a damp fabric or paper towel.
  • Wait for 10 to 20 minutes (or more) until it has cooled down. When it has cooled you can take the dough and knead it until it becomes a smooth, soft dough. Now you can roll it out (I lined some baking paper on my working surface) and cut out your snowflakes (or whichever shape you chose).DIY White Clay Ornament

DIY White Clay Ornament

  • Don’t roll it out too thin or your DIY Christmas ornaments will break easily, but don’t make them too thick either, since they will take longer to dry and they could also break easier because of that. 1/4′ thick should be good.
  • Make holes using the straw. Transfer the snowflake ornaments to a pan which lined with some baking paper.
  • Now it’s time for drying. You can either let them overnight air dry (as I did) or maybe you could try drying them in the oven on low temperature for a couple of hours (didn’t try this, so I don’t know for sure!). As they dry, you will need to carefully turn them over from time to time.

Some more tips

Once they are dried you can use fine sanding paper to smooth out the edges and you and your kids can paint them, stamp them or leave them white as they are like I did and you can add a sealer to make them more resistant.

You can find lots of videos or step by step photo tutorials on how to make this white clay online if you want to do more research.
 
My kids painted them and added their own ribbons and used theirs as gift tags for their Christmas presents, as well as for decorating their cookie treat bags we would leave out for Santa!
 
Add the ribbon you like and there you have your very own Christmas ornaments!
 
As I love red and white Christmas decorations, I bought some red and white Christmas balls for our tree and these white snowflake ornaments with the red ribbon are just perfect. The white snowflakes with the red ribbon make a great contrast and they look great on the tree!! I think this year, after making these wonderful foam glitter photo ornaments, I will make some of the other ideas I found on Pinterest as well, using the same recipe. I would really love to make some of these angel ornaments with my kids! Aren’t they cute?
 

Easy DIY Kids Advent Calendars

Every year as December begins, we prepare one or two easy DIY advent calendars for our kids. Sometimes we take the easy road and get some of those chocolate countdown calendars as well, what can I say!

1. Easy DIY Kids Book Advent Calendar

It has become kind of a Christmas family tradition to make a book advent calendar, just as making Christmas cookies and DIY Christmas ornaments are! It’s easy and kind of inexpensive since we use a lot of loved and treasured books as well as a few new ones. You can find our 5 favorite books for the Christmas Advent Calendar here. I also include some Christmas activity books and even a Christmas Recipe booklet for kids – we will be making a lot of cookies I can tell you! You just wrap the books up and number them and open one book each day! It’s super fun and the kids really love it!! And so do I to be honest!!

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Our book advent calendar

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You can use whatever paper you want to wrap them…after all, it’s the book that counts!

2. Activity DIY Advent Calendar for Kids

The other DIY Advent Calendar for our kids we made this year was my husband’s idea and he did all the work! He used cardboard and toilet paper tubes to make it! In each tube, he placed a couple of treats, chocolates mostly, and a small piece of paper. On the paper, he added a variety of “coupons” and activity suggestions that we can do on that day. The first was to decorate the actual calendar! So, we have coupons to watch a Christmas movie, make some Christmas tree ornaments, bake Christmas cookies, sleep all together in the big bed, make some fun Christmas crafts and so on. The kids are really excited and can’t wait to open all of the surprises!

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These calendars are really easy to make and all you need is some inspiration and to put love into them! Here are some other ideas to make DIY Kids Advent Calendars, there is still time!!!

diy advent calendar
Rustic and easy DIY Advent Calendar (image source: Pinterest)

advent calendar buckets
DIY Advent Calendar using cute buckets (image source)

Χειροτεχνία με κοχύλια

Ήρθε η ώρα για τη δεύτερη καλοκαιρινή χειροτεχνία που είχα στο μυαλό μου φέτος: μια χειροτεχνία με κοχύλια! Είναι πανεύκολη κατασκευή, όπως και η προηγούμενη καλοκαιρινή χειροτεχνία μου με τις πέτρες-καρδιές σε κάδρο. Το μόνο πράγμα που άλλαξα είναι ότι πήρα για φόντο έναν μικρό καμβά που είχα ζωγραφίσει παλιότερα και δεν είχα τι να τον κάνω. Έτυχε και ήταν ακριβώς στο μέγεθος που χρειαζόμουν και τα χρώματα που είχα χρησιμοποιήσει ήταν μπλε, πράσινο και άσπρο ώστε να μοιάζει κάπως με τη θάλασσα. Που να φανταζόμουν ότι θα το χρησιμοποιούσα τελικά με κοχύλια!

Καλοκαιρινή χειροτεχνία: Καρδιά από κοχύλια σε κάδρο
Καλοκαιρινή χειροτεχνία: Καρδιά από κοχύλια σε κάδρο

Έβαλα τα κοχύλια στη σειρά ώστε να μοιάζουν με το περίγραμμα καρδιάς. Έπειτα πρόσθεσα και από ένα κοχύλι σε κάθε γωνία του κάδρου. Τα κόλλησα όλα με το πιστόλι σιλικόνης για ευκολία.

Το αποτέλεσμα ήταν τέλειο! Η χειροτεχνία με κοχύλια ταιριάζει απόλυτα με το άλλο καλοκαιρινό μας κάδρο! Τώρα μένει να φτιάξουμε το τρίτο και τελευταίο κάδρο μας με τα γυαλάκια της θάλασσας που είχαμε βρει. Πραγματικά δεν έχω ιδέα τι θα τα κάνω, τα κομμάτια είναι εντελώς ανόμοια σε μέγεθος και σχήμα. Όμως, όπως είπα, στόχος είναι να φτιάξουμε κάτι που θα μας θυμίζει το καλοκαίρι που μας πέρασε, οπότε δεν ψάχνουμε την τελειότητα! Αυτό που με κάνει να αγαπώ αυτές τις χειροτεχνίες, είναι η χαρά στα μάτια των παιδιών μου! Νομίζω ότι αυτό είναι απλά ανεκτίμητο, έτσι δεν είναι?

Sea Glass Craft Idea: Framed Dolphin

Finally, the beach treasures we gathered have all found their destination. Seashells became a wonderful heart, our cute heart stones were put on display, and lastly, the sea glass pieces we gathered did find the ideal sea glass craft idea for them… it was rather hard to find out, I have to admit! But now I understand something I often heard or read about when somebody would find something and just pick it up saying: “I’ll figure out later what I want to do with that!”.

This post contains affiliate links of products I recommend, which means I may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something. Thank you!

If you don’t live close by a beach, or you have difficulty to find sea glass, don’t be sad! You can buy beautiful sea glass pieces on Amazon, take a look at our picks:

Sea Glass Craft Idea_ Framed Dolphin
Sea Glass Craft Idea Framed Dolphin

Our sea glass pieces were oddly shaped and in different sizes. Especially the two biggest pieces were puzzling me. I washed them, put them in vinegar to lose some of the salt, and shined them with a little baby oil as good as I could.

sea glass pieces
So many pieces of sea glass in different colors, shapes, and sizes… what can somebody do with them?

Ideas for using your sea glass treasure

There are many people that have finding sea glass as a hobby! You can find tons of ideas online and in books!

There are even guides, lists, and tips for the best beaches for sea glass out there!

Other crafts to make with sea glass

Many people also drill a hole into sea glass pieces, but that’s too intimidating for me. Once drilled though, you can make beautiful necklaces or bracelets out of them. There are some already drilled sea glasses beads available online if anyone would want to try this out! Keep in mind though, that not everything called “sea glass” is actually found on beaches. There is a way to turn any glass piece or bead into a sea glass looking one, by sand wash them, but it’s a procedure you can’t easily do in your home.

I saw some summer craft ideas on Pinterest… they made super-cute frames with seahorses, trees or flowers with them, but to do something like that I would need much more pieces and more uniform ones… and then suddenly I realized that, putting the two big pieces together, they would resemble a big fishtail… but what kind of fish? Maybe a shark? Or a dolphin? My kids went for the dolphin and slowly it really all came together! All of the seashell parts seemed to belong in a certain dedicated spot. The fins, the beak, and the eye, they were all there. I really was impressed.

Framed sea glass dolphin
Our framed sea glass dolphin

Our own little DIY beach craft gallery

The three frames, the sea glass dolphin, the seashells that became a wonderful heart, and our cute framed heart stones, found their place above my kids’ desk… And the most important thing with these projects is that we gathered all the pieces together! They will always remind us of a wonderful summer! I for one, love them, and so do the little ones!!!

I think that the result is really cute and they make a great themed set.

beach craft ideas framed sea treasures
Our three framed beach craft ideas

Travel ideas and tips on how to find beaches with sea glass

If you want to search for sea glass by yourself, try some of these 15 must know tips to find beach glass like a pro by Travel Inspired Living!

Visit some of the best sea glass beaches in the U.S. as proposed in this article by Simple Most.

And even travel the world to find some of the best beach glass beaches as proposed by Far & Wide!

For more great information on sea glass and travel ideas, look at this bucket list about sea glass by Seatail!

Stone Hearts Craft Idea

While summer is coming to its end – slowly here in Greece, thankfully – I am starting to implement some ideas I had before we started going to the beach. I love beach decor in houses and I saw some super cute heart-shaped craft ideas on Pinterest that were perfect to make with the kids. We gathered a lot of beautiful stone hearts and I thought that they would make some great summer keepsakes as well.

framed beach heart stones
Framed beach heart stones

I am not that much of a swim-in-the-sea person but I just love days at the beach. I spend most of the time – when I am not enjoying the sun and sound of the ocean – walking along the beach and looking for things worth picking up. Such things are mainly sea glass pieces, heart-shaped rocks, seashells, driftwood, and so on. My son comes along when he is not in the sea playing, as he is a collector of all things rare and special! So we managed to gather a few pieces and they are just enough to make the things I wanted. Here is how to make the first of the super-easy summer crafts! You can check out the other two DIY summer decors we made here:

The most time-consuming part is finding some nice pebbles in the shape of a heart, naturally. My sweet boy always comes running to give me his hearts as soon as he finds them (and of course my heart melts every single time he does it). And I make sure to give both of my kids a couple of heart stones when I find some. So we ended up with nine colorful heart stones, perfect for our craft idea.

stone hearts from the beach
The heart-shaped stones we used for our craft

Craft materials needed to make framed stone hearts

  1. A simple box frame (I preferred a white one, cause: beach!!). It was a very cheap one, to be honest!
  2. A hot glue gun or some other strong craft glue
  3. Heart-shaped stones or pebbles you found on the beach (you can buy some online, but I prefer imperfect self-gathered ones!)
  4. White sturdy cardboard and scissors
how to make framed pebbles
Easy how-to make framed pebbles instructions

Instructions on how to make framed heart pebbles

  1. Take apart your boxed frame. There should be a filler board inside the frame. Use it as a measure to cut the cardboard to the same size.
  2. Align your pebbles on the cardboard. You can try to divide it into a grid if it helps you place the pebbles nicely apart.
  3. Heat up the silicon gun. Glue each pebble to its selected place (this should be made by an adult to keep those little fingers from burning!).
  4. Reassemble the frame, without using the glazing in front. I inserted the glazing behind the cardboard to keep the whole thing from moving too much.
  5. And that’s it! You can decorate your frame with some beach decorations, but personally, I like it simple and clean!
diy framed stone hearts
DIY framed beach pebbles

I love how this stone hearts craft turned out, it’s really so simple but beautiful and so full of love and memories! The next thing I want to make is a sea glass craft and a seashell craft, both framed to make a set (I bought three identical white frames!!!). So stay tuned for more!!!

How to Decoupage A Plate And A Bottle – A Beginner’s Story!

First time decoupage
First-time decoupage

The first time I tried decoupaging (is that a word?) was a few days ago in a beginners class and we started decorating a plain plate and an old bottle and they turned out quite beautiful, although I really need a lot of practice in order to get it right! We used the materials described below. You don’t need to use special decoupage supplies, just experiment a little to find what other things work for you. My little one helped, too. But make sure to use child appropriate materials if you want your kids to help! So, as you can imagine, I don’t claim to know anything about decoupage! I will try to describe how we went about it on our first try, following our teacher’s instructions!

Decoupage supplies you need for decorating a plate and bottle

  • Paint brushes (a wide brush and a small brush preferably)
  • Paint (mocha color) – you can use acrylic paint or some other liquid craft paint
  • Paint (white color) – you can use acrylic paint or some other liquid craft paint
  • Clear Crackle paint
  • Mod Podge or clear, liquid decoupage glue
  • Old newspapers to protect our working surface
  • Paper towels
  • A small bowl with water
  • Paper napkin with bird motif and paper napkin with butterflies’ motif (or choose whatever motifs you like). Try to get napkins where the motif is on white background for better results. You can use special decoupage napkins and decoupage paper, but it is more expensive
  • Clear sealer paint
  • An old, clean and plain plate and an old clean bottle
  • Twine

First time decoupage
First-time decoupage

Instructions for decoupaging a plate and bottle

The steps might seem like too many, but they repeat themselves 🙂

  1. Lay out the newspapers on your working surface and arrange all your materials in front of you. Open the mocha paint container or empty some paint into a separate container.
  2. If your paint is thick and you can’t work well with it, first dip the brush into some water, strike off the excess water and then dip the brush into the mocha paint and paint the surface of the plate and of the bottle. Don’t use to much paint, just enough to cover the surface with a nice layer of paint. If your plate or bottle has any details or tough to get to spots, use the small brush to paint them.
  3. Let the paint dry completely. Use a gentle hair dryer if you are in a rush. While drying rinse your brushes under running water. Dry them with a paper towel as good as you can.
  4. With the clean, wide brush, apply to the plate’s and bottle’s surface a thin layer of the crackle paint with quick strokes. Use the small one if necessary, too. Again, let it dry completely. Use a hairdryer if needed. Rinse your brushes and dry them.
  5. While waiting take your napkins and carefully rip around the motifs you want to use. Don’t let any straight edges unripped and don’t use scissors. Separate the napkin’s layers (if you bought a 3-layered napkin, make sure to separate all of the layers). Keep only the layer with the motifs and set them aside.
  6. When your plate and bottle are dry, dip your wide brush into the white paint and with very quickly strokes apply one single layer of paint. Try to not repaint a spot, rather make quick small strokes to cover the whole surface. Use the small brush if necessary. Once again let it dry. As it dries, you will notice that small cracks are formed on the surface. That is the effect we were going for. You know the drill by now… use hairdryer, wash brushes, dry them, and wait a little longer. Close all paint containers or wash the containers you used. You won’t need the paints anymore.
  7. Once dry, it’s time to apply the napkin motifs. Empty a small amount of glue into a clean container, or just use it directly from its container. Arrange your motif onto the plate to decide where you like what. When you are satisfied, lift one motif from the plate and apply glue to the spot you want the motif to go. Use any brush works for you. Apply only a layer of glue, not too much, but you don’t need to worry about the area you apply it to. Just make sure that you cover a little more area than your motif needs. Lay down the brush and pick up the motif, face up. Gently lay the motif onto the area you applied the glue. Using your fingers or a sponge, carefully straighten it out, making strokes from the center to the edges. Be careful not to rip the napkin, it is very delicate.
  8. Repeat the same thing with the other motifs and let everything dry. Apply another layer of glue over the motifs. Let everything dry. Do the same with the bottle. Rinse brushes and containers. Use glue and twine to decorate the bottle.
  9. Now it’s time for the final step. Just apply a layer of the clear sealer paint on the plate’s whole surface. You can apply a second layer after letting the first one dry completely for better protection. Let everything dry. As you can imagine, these are not to be used with food or drinks, since we didn’t use food-grade materials.

And there you have it! A nice plate to beautify your home or to give it to somebody who you care about!  The whole thing took us about two hours to complete. Isn’t the end result nice? Other decoupage ideas I am thinking of are decoupage on wood, furniture, boxes, vases and on Christmas, I will try decoupage ornaments!