Crafty Ideas

I'm far from a crafty person but every once in awhile I'm inspired. Taka' will ask to do something fun, like build a boat or I recall a fond childhood memory of making my own play clay. Even if you're not a craft "Diva" there are lots of fun and easy things you can do to put a smile on your kiddo :) 

Pencil Tote

posted Nov 10, 2011, 7:24 PM by K Day

Pencil caddy
As homeschoolers we aren't "tied" to a certain room or place in which we do our "work". This is often a GREAT thing but sometimes can prove challenging as we take time to gather all of our materials for any given project. Most often we are missing pencils, sharpeners, colored pencils or crayons, rulers, scissors, etc. A typical pencil case just doesn't do the trick for everything so I thought I would try a craft ~ yes, me, a craft... 

When I was in grade school, at the beginning of every school year, my mom would make me a "carry-all". At the time they were made out of Bottled Soda Pop cartons which carried 6-8 bottles of soda. Since those are no longer available I've used a carton used for 4 bottles of soda. It's quite simple to make and really does the trick. 

What you'll need to do this project:
- Carton
- Contact Paper (self adhesive)
- Scissors
- 30-60 minutes (depending on your craftiness)
-Stuff to fill it with

-Begin by laying the largest side of the carton on the contact paper and making a pattern. 
-Cut out the paper, remove the backing and adhere to carton
-Use the back of the original pattern to make another. (adjust if needed) 
-Repeat the first 3 steps for the 2 smaller sides of the carton. However, make these extra long to cover about half of the bottom of the carton. (This will help make the carton sturdier, seal seems and keep it protected from liquids.)
-Finally cover the handle area of the carton. (This can be tricky. I covered the entire handle and then cut out the hole.)
-Fill with classroom goodies :)

Play Clay

posted Sep 5, 2010, 9:31 PM by Kimber Coombes   [ updated Nov 10, 2011, 12:03 PM by K Day ]

This popular recipe produces a clay that can be used over and over again and will remain pliant for weeks. A child just learning to model will appreciate how soft and cooperative this dough feels in her hands, especially when it's still warm.


1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
Food coloring (optional)

Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until the mixture holds together (keep mixing or it will stick to the bottom of the pan). When the clay is cool enough to touch, your child can knead it on a floured board.


This recipe's long drying time makes it most satisfying as a play dough (it's easy to roll into ropes and balls), but sculptures will dry eventually.


3 to 5 days


Stored in an airtight container, this dough will last--refrigerated or unrefrigerated--for 2 to 4 weeks.

A Fist full of Dad Dollars

posted Sep 5, 2010, 9:30 PM by Kimber Coombes   [ updated Nov 10, 2011, 12:03 PM by K Day ]

Several months ago we were sitting in our Dentists waiting room and I happen across a "Family Fun" magazine. I had never seen this magazine before but found it quite a good read as a mom. One of the articles that captured my attention was the article about Dad Dollars, which you should be able to find HERE.  If the link no longer works, Google A Fist Full of Dad Dollars. The story gives readers an insight into a tool this family has found useful in helping their children achieve independence. In essence each child earns "Dad Dollars" by completing age appropriate tasks within a given time frame, which they can exchange for rewards. 

The thing that makes Dad Dollars unique is that you can custom print them with Dad's face on them. You could also call them Mom Dollars and print mom's face on them as well. At you can download a picture of your favorite parent and print out custom dollars. 

I always find it interesting to see how other parents "value" things like making the bed, feeding the animals, etc and below are a few of the example used in the article. 

$3.00 per day 

Child #1 - Make bed, brush teeth, pick up room, empty dishwasher, let the dog out

Child #2 - Make bed, brush teeth, pick up room, load of laundry, feed the dog out

Child #3 - Make bed, brush teeth, pick up room, silverware, etc.

Extra Chores 

Clean Bathroom = $5

Vacuum one floor = $5

Wash Car = $10

Clean Kitchen = $5

Reading to sibling = $2-$5

This article even gives ideas on how the kids can spend the "Dollars"

  • Friend over after school = $10.00
  • Soda with Dinner = $3.00
  • Sleep Over = $10.00
  • TV, Video games, computer = $5
  • Playdate = $15.00
There are more tips and tricks to Dad Dollars in the article and I encourage you to take a look and support a cool magazine for moms. Or check out how another homeschooling mom made Dad Dollars work for her family @ myblessedhome or HERE

 on her blog HERE. 

Milk Carton Sailboat

posted Sep 5, 2010, 9:29 PM by Kimber Coombes   [ updated Nov 10, 2011, 12:04 PM by K Day ]

SailboatJim Cooper
Most crafts couldn’t survive the bathtub, but this schooner can tolerate sizable splashes, thanks to waterproof gaffer’s tape and vellum. The body is made from an empty milk carton—even more incentive for your child to drink up.

What You Need
Scissors and utility knife, markers, ruler, rubber bands, glue, tape (transparent, duct, masking, or colored), gift wrap or decorative paper, kraft paper, half-gallon beverage carton, stapler, waterproof gaffer’s tape, vellum paper, decorative tape, 12-inch bamboo skewer, string

Total time: 1 hour


Open the top of the carton all the way around. Cut the 2 sides with a flat, nonspout flap, starting in the middle of each flap and going down to the base. Then cut around the perimeter of the base from one cut side to the other, ending up with half a carton attached to a full, square bottom.


Set the carton, cut-side up, on a table and fold the spout edge to make a point. Staple it together. Then cover the entire boat with gaffer’s tape.


Cut 2 triangles (1 small, 1 large) out of the vellum to make sails. Cut a slit in the top and the bottom of each sail. Add stripes with decorative tape.


Poke a hole in the bottom of the boat with a utility knife and stick the skewer through and stand it upright; secure with tape. Thread the skewer through the slits in the large sail. Make a small hole at the front point of the boat. Tie one end of the string to the top of the skewer, thread it through the slits in the small sail, then pull it through the front hole. Tie a knot to keep the string taut.

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