DIY Caution Sign for Child Safety

By contributing writer Jordon

Summer break is almost here! I know this because my boys have been counting down the days since Christmas. Summer is great, but I never understood why they call it the “lazy days of summer.” Yes, there are summer vacations, but summer can also be very busy with activities, even more so than the winter. Can I get an amen?!

You know what else gets busier during the summer? The sidewalks and streets. Kids are out and about heading to the park, the pool, or a friends house to play. It got me thinking about making people more aware on my street. There are some who fly down my road, never giving a thought to a child who forgets to look both ways before crossing the street.

Bottom line – people need to be aware, but sometimes they just aren’t.

DIY Caution Sign for Child Safety at The Happy Housewife

So, I decided to make my own Child Safety Caution Sign to put in my yard or better yet, the middle of the street when kids are playing outside. It will help people slow down and possibly even think about it a little more when they are driving elsewhere.

Yes, kids need to be responsible and look both ways when entering a street as well. Putting out a sign like this, does not mean that the street is an open playground and they no longer need to be aware. I feel putting a sign out just helps the situation. Teaching kids safety rules and reminding drivers to slow down is a good mix to me!

You can buy child safety signs at a lot of places, but…you can also make your own, for half the price! The wood I used for my sign was just an old piece of plywood we had. It is nothing pretty, but after slapping some paint on, it began to come around. And getting my kids involved while making it was a great way to start talking about safety.

So saddle up and lets make a Safety Sign!

DIY Caution Sign for Child Safety (Supplies) at The Happy Housewife

Supplies Needed:

  • 48 x 32 inch piece of plywood (old or new, or two pieces 24 x 32)
  • Primer
  • Neon yellow spray paint (this color was only available in spray paint)
  • Red latex or oil based paint
  • Polyurethane
  • Paint brush
  • Foam brush
  • Black Sharpie (big and regular size)
  • Two caution signs
  • Stencils
  • Pencil
  • Hinges
  • Measuring square
  • Electric drill
  • Tacks
  • Small chain (optional)

Instructions:

1. Cut the plywood in half, so the size of each piece is 24 x 32.

2. Prime each piece or plywood on both sides and let dry.

3. Spray paint each piece with neon yellow. You can do both sides or leave the back white. The outside needs at least 3 coats to get good coverage. Allow to dry.

4. Use the measuring square to outline the space for the red border. Use a pencil to make your lines.

DIY Caution Sign for Child Safety (drawing border) at The Happy Housewife

5. Use the foam brush to paint the red boarder. You will need 2 or 3 coats here as well. Allow to dry.

6. Use the measuring square to outline the border with a black Sharpie. I used the big thick Sharpie to do this. Allow the lines to dry.

7. Use the paint brush to apply the polyurethane. You can also use spray polyurethane. I did 2 coats. Allow to dry.

8. While poly is drying, stencil “KIDS” on your caution signs. I did not have enough room to write children, or at least enough room to write children in bold enough letters for drivers to see, so I went with kids.

9. Attach the hinges to connect the two pieces of plywood.

DIY Caution Sign for Child Safety (hinges) at The Happy Housewife

 

10. Attach the caution signs with tacks. You can also use short nails if you have them, but the tacks worked great.

11. If you want, attach the chain underneath and between the two pieces so they do not fold out.

DIY Caution Sign for Child Safety at The Happy Housewife

You have made your very own children safety sign! It wasn’t that bad, was it?

And, you are helping make drivers more aware. But again, putting this sign out does not mean that kids should feel comfortable to just run free without practicing safety. They still need to be aware.

Please remember when you are driving through a neighborhood, to slow down and be aware yourself. Taking just a few extra precautions can really make a difference and help prevent accidents.

Now go out and enjoy your day! :)

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Mother’s Day Salt Dough Ornaments

Mother's Day Salt Dough Ornaments at The Happy Housewife

By contributing writer Beth

Nothing melts a mommy’s heart like a homemade craft from her little ones. This Mother’s Day salt dough ornament/plaque is perfect for kiddos big and small to show mom they care. 

We use this salt dough recipe. It’s easy to create with only flour, salt, and water. Half of that recipe was plenty for us to make four of these ornaments.

Supplies Needed

Instructions

1. Prepare the salt dough as directed.

2. Roll. On the non-stick baking mat, use your rolling pin to roll out the dough to 1/4-inch thickness.

3. Cut out hearts with the cookie cutter, and remove extra dough from around them so the hearts don’t get moved at all.

4. Cut holes. Use the straw to cut out ribbon holes in the top corners of the dough. We found it best to get about 1/4 inch away from the heart’s edge. If you cut the hole any closer, the dough on the top edge could be too flimsy to hold the weight of the plaque.

5. Press. With clean hands, press a palm or set of fingerprints into the dough to form a solid impression. When helping a child do this, I hold their wrist in place with one hand so they don’t wiggle. Then I gently press each finger solidly to form a nice impression without making the dough too thin.

6. Bake. Carefully move the baking mat and dough to a cookie sheet. Bake at 200 degrees for 4 – 6 hours until they are completely dry. After they’re finished baking, remove from the oven and let them cool completely before painting.

7. Paint. Using your favorite color of acrylic paint, cover the top and sides of the plaque completely. I use the same non-stick mat to paint on because it’s super easy to clean.

Mother's Day Salt Dough Ornaments (painting) at The Happy Housewife

Now mix a very little bit of the white with your favorite color. Use this to highlight the upward edges of each impression.

Mix a tiny dot of black paint with your favorite color and apply to the very middle part of the handprint. Now firmly press the child’s clean fingers onto the print to accentuate the ridges and valleys of the little ones handprint. Their hand will pick up some of the paint and leave a nice, detailed impression.

For a finishing touch, gently brush the very tops of the area between each finger with pure white paint. This will give a great highlight to the area and keep it from getting too muddy looking.

Mother's Day Salt Dough Ornaments (painting) at The Happy Housewife

8. Label. Use paint or a sharpie to write the child’s name, age, and the date on the back of the plaque to commemorate the event. Allow the paint to dry completely before going to the next step.

9. Add ribbon. Tie a bow in one side of the ribbon.

Mother's Day Salt Dough Ornaments (ribbon) at The Happy Housewife

Now lace the untied end through the plaque so the bow ends on the front.

Mother's Day Salt Dough Ornaments (ribbon) at The Happy Housewife

Next, lace the other end of the ribbon to come through (back to front) on the other hole. Tie a bow on that side and pull the slack up to the back.

Mother's Day Salt Dough Ornaments at The Happy Housewife

Your Mother’s Day salt dough ornament is ready for gifting! 

Mother's Day Salt Dough Ornaments at The Happy Housewife

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Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock at The Happy Housewife

By contributing writer Beth

This cute, easy-sew waterproof art smock took less than an hour from beginning to end, and it’s completely adjustable so it will fit your child perfectly. There is no pattern to print – just use one of your child’s tank tops for sizing!

I used a remnant of fabric that I found in the clearance rack at my favorite hobby store. It’s flannel backed vinyl which makes this smock perfectly water resistant and great for painting projects. It’s super cute while keeping her clothes clean and safe from spills.

Money Saving Tip: Use an old vinyl tablecloth to create several smocks for all the kids.

Supplies Needed

  • Scissors or pinking shears
  • ~½ yard flannel backed vinyl (you can also recycle an old vinyl tablecloth)
  • thread
  • sewing machine
  • 2 yards grosgrain ribbon
  • marker or pencil (for tracing pattern onto flannel backing)
  • child’s tank top (for creating the pattern)

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Supplies) at The Happy Housewife

Instructions

1. Cut the ribbon into two 12-inch pieces and two 24-inch pieces.

2. On the flannel side of your fabric, trace out the pattern of the tank top you’re using (or trace onto the front if you want to center the pattern). Add 1 inch to the arm opening area and  2 inches all around the rest of the tank top.

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Step 2) at The Happy Housewife

3. Cut out the fabric according to your outline.

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Step 3) at The Happy Housewife

4. Hem the edges. Starting from the top of one shoulder strap and using a zigzag stitch, sew a ¼ inch hem around the arm area and down the side. Sew the same hem from the shoulder down on the other side. Sew another hem along the neckline and then also along the bottom hem.

Now all edges have been finished except the very top of the shoulders.

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Step 4) at The Happy Housewife

5. Attach the 12-inch ribbon.

Pin the right side of the 12-inch ribbon to the right side of the smock.

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Step 5) at The Happy Housewife

Then sew a zigzag stitch ¼ inch from the edge to secure the ribbon.

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Step 5) at The Happy Housewife

Now turn up the ribbon and sew a straight stitch ⅛ inch from the edge of the shoulder. This is a simple way to finish the shoulders so that only finished edges are showing.

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Step 5) at The Happy Housewife

Repeat on the other shoulder.

6. Attach the 24-inch ribbon.

Pin the right side of the 24-inch ribbon to the top of the wrong side of the smock where the arm area begins. (The unfinished ribbon edge should be on the back of the smock.) Attach the ribbon to the smock with a zigzag stitch.

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Step 6) at The Happy Housewife

Repeat to attach the final piece of ribbon to the other side of the smock.

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Step 6) at The Happy Housewife

You’re all finished!

I really like this smock and it was very simple to put together. The only thing I would change next time would probably be to trace out the pattern onto the front of the fabric. That’s because this print is so cute and I would much rather have it centered than off to the side like it turned out.

Easy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock (Back) at The Happy HousewifeEasy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock at The Happy HousewifeEasy Sew Kids Waterproof Art Smock at The Happy Housewife

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DIY Outdoor Games

We spent last weekend in Pennsylvania enjoying family, friends, food and fun. My sister’s in-laws hosted the event and did a great job arranging activities for over 30 people.

DIY outdoor games

They are the ones responsible for the dunk bucket, as well as putting together several other yard games.

Dunk Bucket

Many people have asked for the dunk bucket instructions. My brother-in-law just kind of made it without writing down instructions. Here is a very basic version of what to do:

1. Take some wood and cut out a target
2. Take wood and cut out base for 5 gallon bucket
3. Use hinges to attach bucket to tree and to attach target to tree
4. Use washers or some other mechanism to hold bucket up
5. Use piping as a delivery method to fill the bucket
6. Buy/find tennis balls
7. Sit person in front of bucket
8. Throw ball at target (repeat if necessary)

Also, a reader sent the following instructions:

Dunk_Bucket

  1. Take some wood and cut out a target
  2. Take wood and cut out base for 5 gallon bucket. Make sure the bucket is well attached to the bucket platform or base.
  3. Use hinges to make bucket and target move sideways and attach bucket and target to tree or fence.
  4. Use washers, doorknob or some other mechanism to hold bucket up. The knob will be pushed behind rim of the bucket closest to the tree/fence.
  5. Use piping as a delivery method to fill the bucket. Attach to tree/fence.
  6. Sit person in front of bucket and throw tennis ball at target (repeat if necessary).

Dunk_Bucket_2

The homemade corn hole game.

The cornhole game was pretty easy to make with some wood, paint, and a sewing machine. This game was a huge hit with everyone at the event. My arm was sore from playing too many times one afternoon.

Ring Toss

This game is really fun for little kids. This was a wooden box with a coffee can screwed to the bottom of box. We used washers for the rings. I almost beat my brother in this one, but not quite.

We also played Hillbilly Golf.

This was the one game they didn’t make themselves because it was cheaper to buy the kit. I have included a link for those DIY people out there if you are interested. It looks like it would be easy to make if you were so inclined.

My sister’s in-laws did a great job with these activities. The dunk tank was made the biggest splash with the kids last weekend! If you look close at the next two pictures you can see the tennis balls that were thrown at the target.

Hosting a great party doesn’t have to be expensive! Try a few of these homemade games to stay under budget and have a great time!

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.