Archive for the ‘crafts’ Category

Alternative Valentines: Cutie Tag Freebie

2 Comments

Last year I had this darling idea (I’ll share next week), ordered a bunch of things 3 months in advance and they never came. So, day before Valentine’s I was scrambling to do something a little out-of-the-box that didn’t involve candy. 

I drew the design in Procreate on my iPad Pro and then exported it to Silhouette where I printed and cut all of the tags. I had Penelope put her name on all of hers, but Felix needed a little bit of help. It was easy, and the kids absolutely LOVED it! I didn’t know if fruit would be an acceptable offering for grade school kids, but apparently it was just perfect. PHEW!! 

I didn’t realize I forgot to share the printable here until a few weeks ago, so here you go. And hopefully this year’s 2019 printable won’t take me a year to post. ;)

I kept the shape simple enough that if you don’t have a Silhouette cutter at home, you can easily just cut around the outside with scissors. You don’t have to get a perfect cut in order for them to look darling, either. 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PRINTABLE (SANS SILHOUETTE MACHINE)

Now if you’d like to use a Silhouette machine to cut them out for you (because why would you not) see the link below to download. 

SILHOUETTE STUDIO FREE PRINTABLE

MATERIALS USED

Did you print it out? What did you think? Tag me @melissapher if you do! I’d love to see how they turned out. 

This freebie and the artwork associated with this freebie are yours to use for personal use only. Any alteration, redistribution or selling this work without my permission is prohibited. Thank you! Affiliate links used help support this website. Thank you for your support. If you have any questions, feel free to comment below or email me directly melissaATmelissaesplinDOTcom

Printer-Friendly Christmas Winter Holiday Kids Craft PRINTABLE

0 Comments

Last month I was assigned the task of treat for my kids’ respective class parties. The treat is a tricky thing. Thankfully there were no gluten allergies in the class so I really only had to steer clear of nuts. I, however, wasn’t too thrilled about the printable options I saw on Pinterest. Clever ideas, but All of them used up SO. MUCH. DAMN. PRINTER INK!!! What the heck guys? I don’t want to spend $45 on printer ink for some dumb treat that’s totally going to be tossed aside. But I also didn’t want to go so minimalist that it wasn’t going to be cute. Because cute is everything. 

I came across this Do You Wanna Build A Snowman treat idea and decided I would do my own, printer-ink pocketbook friendly version. I have to hand it to whomever thought up this particular idea in the first place. Brilliant! The kids in my daughter’s 4th grade class and the kids in my son’s life skills class LOVED IT. The fact that it not only held the attention of wiggly 10 year olds, but it wasn’t frustrating for kids with special needs to enjoy too. 

I share this with you now. In January. Because building snowmen doesn’t need to just happen in December. We even get snow the end of may, so this is an easy anytime craft when kids are bored. And they can get clever with it and do so much more than just a snowman. 

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD

It’s pretty easy to pull together too. Here’s what you need: 

  • Printable (prints 6 per page)
  • Card stock (this is my fave!)
  • Large marshmallows
  • Mini pretzel sticks
  • Craisins or chocolate chips
  • Snack bags
  • Scissors
  • Stapler

Print out the printable. It’s black and white and fits 6 to a page. Easy peasy, doesn’t use up tons of ink and has plenty of margin on the sides for your at-home printer. I used this paper to make it look nice. 

Cut out the printable, leaving white space around the pencil line. You don’t have to do this, but I think it looks nice. Don’t worry about perfect lines. Organic lines will match nicely with the style. 

Fold over the tags, not quite in half. Just so you don’t have the other side’s design peeking over on the front.

Fill each bag with 3 large marshmallows 4-5 pretzels and a small handful of craisins or small chocolate chips. Close. 

Staple the tags to the snack bags. I personally prefer the look of the tags on the top left, but that’s just me and my OCD. ;) ENJOY!! 

This freebie is free for personal use only. Alteration and redestribution of this is prohibited. 

Art Supply Organizers + Process Video

2 Comments

A few weeks ago, a neighbor of mine dropped these art supply boxes off and asked me to personalize them with her grandchildren’s names on them. Easy, right? 

They’re un-finished, which gave me a world of options for how to personalize them. Do I paint and lacquer them? Do I make vinyl decals? Ultimately I knew I wanted these boxes to be heirlooms; treasures for these kids to have forever to remind them of their awesome grandma. After all, I’m a huge sucker for sentimentality. My grandparents supported my artistic side when I was a child, so this really struck the right chord. 

I did a little bit of brainstorming and my assistant Hayley (she’s the best), suggested I get the wood burning tools out! Of course! It’s permanent, doesn’t need to be lacquered and relatively quick to do. I love when I get a win like that. Here’s what I used: 

Watch the video above to see the process from beginning to end for both of them, but let me walk you through it here, too. 

I lightly sketched out my design using the white charcoal pencil (erased any stray lines as needed) and allowed my wood burning tool to warm up. I put it on just shy of the hottest setting. I originally started it out at a low setting, but it just wasn’t getting uniform lines. The uniformity in the lines was an issue throughout this project, and I think it’s a limitation of the burning tool in general. It’s a very entry-level tool, so it’s bound to have it’s drawbacks. 

From the videos I’ve watched on pyrography (they’re quite dry, wow) and my own personal experience; I found that the screw-on “nibs” don’t heat up as uniformly as the nibs that are built in to the pyrography tool. FYI: pyrography is a fancy word for wood-burning. ;) That said, this tool is priced in the mid $30s. Whereas the next level in pyrography tools jumps up to the $170s+. It’s a pretty big financial commitment to get the next level up, so there’s that. I won’t likely be upgrading my set up any time soon as I’m only ever getting it out every 6 months or so. 

I followed along my drawn lines, but the nib kept cooling down considerably because of the debris it would pick up in the burning process. I ended up getting a scratch piece of wood to help clean it off every once in a while. That helped me achieve cleaner lines once I figured that one out. 

As far as style inspiration goes, Ella is quite a girly-girl. I added girly flourishes and embellishments to the already traditional style for an elegant “princess” look. Liam is a fun-loving boy, so I made his more of a whimsical foundational style. 

I feel like I do some of the same things day in day out, so this was a nice little challenge and switch up from the norm! Have you ever tried pyrography before?

Affiliate links are used, your support by purchasing through these links allows for more great content. Thank you!!

Post-Holiday Thank Yous for Kids

2 Comments

Finally coming up to the surface after a very wonderful, but very busy holiday season. OH wow. It was great. My kids were spoiled, too. So, how do I include them in giving thanks for their massive haul of presents? They make the backgrounds and I make the cards out of them. It’s really quite easy. I made a video about it, but I’m sure you can figure it out on your own, though, too. ;)

SUPPLIES:

  • paper (I love this stuff, you can find it at Walmart usually for $5)
  • watercolors 
  • brushes
  • Sakura brush markers (they’re waterproof)
  • -or- a Thank You stamp/sticker (I made my stamp with the Mint)

No need to cut the papers down, give them to your kids and let them have fun! But not so much fun that they totally saturate the page with water and pigment. We need the paper to still have some integrity. So try (sometimes easier said than done) to pull the paper away and give them a new one to color once they have markings in all four quadrants of the page. Teach them how to splatter their paint (only if you have washable colors like crayola watercolors!).

Once you have a collection of pages from your kid(s), let the papers dry and cut the paper in fourths (5.5×4.25). Now add your Thank You phrase! You can write it by hand with marker or use a Thank You stamp (like this or this).

Now on the back, write your Thank You on the back on the left half of the paper. Be sure to leave room for your kid to make a mark, whether it’s a scribble or part of their name. Write the recipients address on the right half and stick a stamp in the top right corner. BOOM. DONE. Postcard postage is 34 cents now, so keep that in mind. :) 

I hope you get your kids involved in expressing gratitude with us! Let me know how it goes by tagging me on Instagram @melissapher. And if you’re looking to learn how to do that fancy-pants calligraphy on the front of the card, look no further. I teach brush lettering with personal coaching (one-on-one feedback that’s actually helpful) over at calligraphy.org. Hope to see you over there! 

*Affiliate links used for products I use and love.

Random DIY: Gigantic Yard Googly Eyes

2 Comments

If you’re here from KSL Studio 5, WELCOME!! I’m excited to have you here! If you’d like to join my next calligraphy workshop in Salt Lake City, click here to register. If you’d like to learn calligraphy online, click here instead. ;)

Here’s the link to the Studio 5 segment, in case you missed it. ;)

This DIY is too simple and hilarious not to share. Last year I bought some 7″ googly eyes from amazon and hung them on my willow tree in the front yard. It rained. The googly eyes fell apart. $7 down the drain. I think those googly eyes would have been great if I had used them inside, or if I lived in a climate that never rained or snowed during the month of October. :/ BUT this year I decided I needed to keep with the googly eye tradition and just make my own. 

And honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t make a million of these bad boys before. They’re easy and cost basically nothing. I had everything on-hand because, well… I’m a craft supplies hoarder. I didn’t have black cardstock, but I did have black lined writing paper, so I used that. You can cut out your own by hand or on a craft cutter like the Silhouette (which is what I did) OR you can print out the eyeballs from the template I’ve designed by clicking the download link below: 

(more…)

mobile site