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.

How to Make a Spring Wreath

How to Make a Spring Wreath at The Happy Housewife

By contributing writer Jordon

Spring! Yes, it is finally here! The sun, the windows open, the walks, the colors, grilling, the birds singing, plating flowers, gardens, and much more. I love it! Winter has worn out its welcome, and I am so excited to get started on all my spring projects. But first thing is first.

I had to switch out my front door winter wreath and replace it with a bright colorful Spring one. It is the first impression of your house, you know?!  I wanted it to look natural and colorful, so I went to the craft store and started putting some foliage together. This is what I came up with, and I love it on my front door!

So, do you want to add some “happy” to your front door?!

First, a shopping lesson. I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a 18 inch grapevine wreath. I then went over to the flower foliage to pick out my flowers and could not believe the price! Hobby Lobby usually has great sales, but this was not the day for foliage. I should have looked before I went, but you know how that works! But hey, at least I could use my 40% off everyday coupon to Hobby Lobby for the grapevine wreath.

I then drove over to Michaels in hopes of a better foliage price, and JACKPOT! All the foliage was 50% off! I was one happy girl and ready to start putting my flowers together.

My whole point in giving you this extra detail of my shopping trip is that crafting is supposed to be fun and creative but also cheaper than just buying something already made. You have to hunt for it sometimes and prepare before you make it. I need to learn this! What I did was risky, and had I not found the sale at Michaels, I would have paid a lot more. So, the money I saved on my foliage I used to to do a little extra shopping….I know, I know. I have a problem. :)

Okay, now that my therapy session is over, lets get down to making that wreath!

How to Make a Spring Wreath

How to Make a Spring Wreath at The Happy Housewife

Supplies Needed

  • 18 inch grapevine wreath
  • Foliage. Yellow was my main color, so I got 7 branches of that and then 4 bunches of purple and 3 of orange. Tip: Always buy a little more than you think you need. You can always take it back if you don’t use it, and you can always keep it for another craft.
  • Wire cutters
  • Floral wire

Instructions

First, be aware that the grapevine wreath can get messy from little pieces breaking off. Just something to think about when you are setting up.

1. Lay your wreath on the table and start cutting some stems off the yellow flowers to place in your grapevine. I wanted a natural look, so I made them a little long to give a wispy appearance. Then fit the bottom of the stem into the grapevine. Make sure to weave it around in there or use floral wire to hold it into place.

Note: Even though I wanted a natural look, I had to flow to the wreath. I placed the yellow flowers in the wreath with some consistency, flowing in a clockwise pattern.

How to Make a Spring Wreath at The Happy Housewife

2. Get most of the yellow flowers in and then add the purple flowers. Keep a consistency with these as well, and somewhat intertwine them with the yellow to give it a natural look. My purple bunches had some long green grasses in them. So I cut those off separate and added them in individually.

3. Do the same with the orange flowers.

4. Go back over the wreath and add in the remaining yellow flowers.

5. Pick and play with it to get it how you want and hang it on your door. And if you are like me, you will pick and play with it some more to get it just perfect!

How to Make a Spring Wreath at The Happy Housewife

So, since you know I am pretty excited about spring, I wanted to share with you how I switched out my Christmas Greenery from my DIY stocking mantle I posted about in December, to a fun accent piece on my wall with spring flowers in it. I get to keep it out all year!

Christmas stocking holder updated for spring! At The Happy Housewife

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