Friday, June 18, 2021

How To Decorate A Coffee Mug With Sharpie Markers

Everyone loves a homemade gift, especially for Father’s Day so why not make one this year to give as a gift. Remind Dad, or the special guy in your life, every day how much he means to you with a custom-designed coffee mug you can make by yourself at home.




This post was written in partnership with Zulily. For more great posts click here. Need more DIY Father's Day gift ideas to make for dad this year - check out these 17 DIY Gift ideas you can make today.


Each morning as dad pours himself a piping hot cup of coffee in his new mug he will know how much he is loved and appreciated. 


Is there a special nickname you call your dad or does he have a favorite hobby or sport? Decorate a plain coffee mug with all of his favorite things drawn on it. Don’t worry you don’t have to be a talented artist to make your custom coffee mug look amazing instead consider using a stencil for both lettering and pictures. 


Inspiring Sayings for Dad


Here are some inspiring sayings you might consider using on your coffee cup including one for that special step-dad in your life:


  • World’s Greatest Dad

  • Ain't No Hood Like Fatherhood

  • Reel Great Dad (with a fishing rod stencil picture)

  • I Get My Attitude From My Freaking Awesome Dad

  • My Favorite People Call Me Dad

  • Father Husband Protector Hero

  • I’m The Cool Dad, That’s My Thing

  • Dad’s Starter Fluid

  • My Favorite Daughter (Son) Gave Me This Mug

  • Bonus Dad - You May Not Have Given Me Life But Your Sure Have Made My Life Better



Don't forget to Pin this post for later - when you are ready to make your own custom coffee mug! 

Hopefully, you are now feeling inspired and ready to design and decorate a coffee mug to give as a Father’s Day gift. I highly recommend you sketch out your idea on paper first before drawing it directly onto the mug. Follow along with this tutorial to make the most amazing coffee mug.


How To Decorate A Coffee Mug With Sharpie Markers


Items needed: 

  • Plain white ceramic coffee mug

  • Oil-based Sharpie markers

  • Stencils (optional)


Step-by-step directions:


01. Thoroughly wash and dry the coffee mug. 


02. Draw and color your designs directly onto the clean coffee mug. If you make a mistake use a little nail polish remover and a Q-tip to remove the marker.


03. Place the finished mug upside down on a baking sheet and put it in a cold oven. Turn the oven on to 250 degrees Fahrenheit and bake the mug for 2 hours starting your timer when the oven reaches temperature. Shut off the oven and leave the mug inside the oven until it is completely cool. 


04. Let the mug “rest” for a minimum of 12 hours before use which allows for the marker to permanently set.


Handwashing your newly decorated mug is highly recommended since the detergent in a dishwasher may cause the marker to chip or fade. 





Add some treats to the mug like your dad’s favorite bag of candy or a small bag of coffee beans before giving it to him as a Father’s Day gift.


Looking for more great DIY Gift Ideas? Check out the post I wrote for The Find by Zulily: 17 Father's Day DIY Gift Ideas.



Wednesday, June 16, 2021

6 Fun Pool Games For Kids To Play This Summer

Nothing is better than swimming on a hot summer day to keep cool. Playing fun games in the pool with family and friends makes those dog days of summer even more fun! 





This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information please see my Disclaimer page. Thanks!

Our kids love having friends over to swim and their time together always consists of active pool games, lots of splashing, and a good time. What I like about pool games is that for the most part they can be modified to include all ages and swimming abilities. There have been many times where a child who needs to wear a life jacket plays right along with those who are strong swimmers. 

I am happy to share with you our family's top five pool games that you can play this summer at your pool or a friend's pool. 


Safety reminder: all of these games require adult supervision!


6 Fun Pool Games For Kids To Play This Summer



1. TEE  

Before playing this game snag a wooden golf tee from your mom or dad's golf bag! This is a great game for all ages and abilities but it is highly recommended that lifejackets be worn by anyone who isn't a strong swimmer. 

  • Everyone stands around the perimeter of the pool with their backs turned towards the pool except one person, who is designated as "it". 
  • The person who is "it" takes the tee and jumps into the pool releasing the tee at any point as they swim to the surface. 
  • After the person who is "it" climbs out of the pool everyone, including the one who was "it"starts to look for the tee (which will eventually surface and float). 
  • The first person to spot the tee shout "tee" then jumps into the water trying to grab the tee as they jump. If they miss it the next person to spot it can yell "tee" and try to jump in and grab it. 
  • The player who successfully grabs the tee when jumping in the water gets to start the next round. 


2. GHOST OR GO

Here is another great game for all ages and abilities, but lifejackets for those who can't swim are highly recommended though. 

  • Everyone lines up along the perimeter of the pool and gets ready to listen. 
  • One person is designated as the "caller" and their job is to say the word "ghost" or the word "go". 
  • When the caller says "go" everyone must jump into the water, the last one to get in the water is out. The caller can say the word "ghost" quickly or very slowly to try and trick everyone to think he or she said "go". If a player jumps into the water when the caller says "ghost" they are out too.  
  • Play continues until one person wins and becomes the new caller. 


3. STAR

Are you a movie lover? If so you are going to love playing this game. Follow along as I explain how to play this fun pool game. Use the shortest distance in your pool to play this game

  • Designate one person as "it". Have them stand at one side of the pool with the rest of the players a short distance across from him/her. The person who is "it" thinks of a movie and gives only the first letter of each word of the movie title to the rest of the players as a clue. For example if the movie was Mary Poppins then the clue would be "MP". 
  • Players must swim across the pool towards the player who is "it", tap their hand, and then say what they think the title of the movie is.
  • If someone guesses correctly that round ends and they become the new person who is "it". 


4. SAY WHAT!?!

This game will truly test your reaction time and is sure to elicit tons of giggles from everyone! This game is really fun if you have a diving board to jump off of but if not the side of the pool works well too. 

  • Select one player to be the "caller". Everyone else lines up to take a turn to jump off a diving board or the side of the pool. 
  • From a safe but short distance away the caller calls out a topic to one player at a time as they jump into the pool. The player jumping in must shout out one or two words to go with the topic before they go under the water. Here is how it should go: as the first player is jumping into the water then the caller says: "type of dog"  player responds "Golden-doodle" the second person jumps and the caller says: "dessert" - player responds "icecream"
Here are some great topic ideas to get you started: general food groups: fruit = strawberry, dessert = ice cream, fast food restaurants = McDonald's, color = blue, animal sounds: cow = moo, duck = quack,   I hope you get the idea! Be creative with your topics. 

  • Once everyone has had a turn jumping into the water a new caller is selected and play continues like the previous round. 


5. CATEGORIES

This is one of our family's favorite games to play in the pool! Let me tell you how to play

  • First, select one person to be it. This person will select a category for the first round of play.  
  • All players line up in the water at one end of the pool including the person who is "it" except the person who is "it" should stand out of the water with their back to the rest of the players. Then the person who is "it" tells everyone else what the category is for the round. Here are some examples of categories: months of the year, flavors of ice cream, NFL teams, school subjects, and tv shows. 
  • All players think of an answer without telling anyone or saying their answer out loud. 
  • The person who is it starts to name off possible answers and once a player hears their answer called they start swimming to the other side of the pool as quietly as possible. 
  • If the person who is "it" hears someone swimming they quickly turn, jump into the pool and swim after them trying to tag them.
  • When a player is tagged they become "it" and get to choose the next category. 


6. JUDGE GAME

Here is a game that lets you show off your serious (or goofy) pool skills. 

  • One person is designated the "judge" each round and is responsible for picking the trick each swimmer must do and judging their performance.
  • The judge says what trick everyone must do like the biggest cannonball, smallest splash pencil dive, funniest jump into the water. 
  • After everyone has completed the round the judge declares a winner. The person who won the round gets to be the judge for the next round. 

Whether these are new-to-you pool games or you just haven't played them in a while, pool games are a fun way to enjoy the water while trying to keep cool. 



Tuesday, May 25, 2021

How To Color Dye Pasta Noodles For Kids Crafts




Have you ever color-dyed dry pasta? It is surprisingly easy and inexpensive to do and requires very few supplies. Dyed pasta can be used in many different ways like: 

  • in sensory bins 
  • included in a busy bag activity
  • used in an art project 
  • use to help teach colors
  • counting & math activities

Since pasta comes in many different shapes the options for their use once color dyed are endless! My kids have used dyed pasta in art projects and even on homemade cards. 


This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information please see my disclaimer page. Thanks!




How To Color Dye Pasta Noodles


Supplies needed:

Step-by-step instructions:

  1.  Divide the dry pasta noodles evenly into zip lock bags.The quantity of bags depends on how many colors you want to make.
  2. Add about 1 tablespoon (eyeball it!) of rubbing alcohol and 10-15 drops of food coloring into each bag. Zip the bags closed and gently shake the bag to mix the color making sure all the noodles are evenly coated. Then let the noodles sit in the bag for about 10 minutes.
  3. Line a baking sheet with paper towels and pour the colored pasta onto the paper towels. Let the noodles dry completely before letting your children play with them.

Obviously, the pasta noodles are no longer edible since they are coated in food coloring and rubbing alcohol! The rubbing alcohol smell will dissipate after a little while after you have poured them out of the zip lock bag. 

As with all small objects please make sure to supervise your little ones while they are playing with the colored noodles - they can be a choking hazard! 

Fun Projects To Make With Color Dyed Pasta


Here are some great ideas for your kids to try with this new batch of color dyed pasta noodles

Noodle Jewelry 

Custom jewelry every child loves to make. String hollow-shaped pasta onto a piece of yarn or embroidery floss then tie off the ends to make a necklace or bracelet. 

Pasta Butterfly Card 

Let your child make a homemade greeting card for any occasion. Glue color-dyed bowtie pasta to the front of a blank card. With a marker add antenna and small dashed lines to show the butterfly flight pattern. 

Color Sorting Activity  


This is a great activity to help with fine motor skills for young children. Combine multi-colored pasta into a large bowl. Provide your youngster with an empty muffin tin and have them sort the pasta into the muffin wells separating them by color. Once they are done help them count how many pieces of each color they sorted.

Pasta Garland 

Kick-off the holiday season with this great holiday craft activity to do with your children. Cut a long piece of yarn and then use holiday-themed colored pasta  (red & green for Christmas or red & pink for Valentine's Day) and string them onto the yarn. Wrap the pasta garland around your Christmas tree or drape across the front of a fireplace mantel.


Colorful Rainbow Pasta Art

Let your kids make something pretty to hang on their bedroom wall! On a sturdy piece of cardstock lightly draw one arch of a rainbow to use as a guide. With craft glue (or hot glue) spread a dab of glue along one side of the pasta and stick it to the cardstock on the pencil-drawn arch. Using the same color pasta continue adding pieces of pasta until the arch is completely covered. Add a second arch under the first arch of pasta with a new color. Continue adding new colored arches until you are satisfied with your rainbow. 


Color Dyed Pasta Mosiac

via: buggyandbuddy.com


This is a great art project to do with a variety of color-dyed pasta shapes. Use stiff cardboard and cut out a large simple shape like a heart or a circle. Spread craft glue thickly over the surface of the cardboard shape. Place a variety of colored pasta into the glue completely covering the cardboard. Once the mosaic is dry hot glue a small piece of ribbon to the back and hang it up to display. 


How To Store Color Dyed Pasta

It is best to store your color-dyed pasta in a large zip-lock bag or air -tight container. If it becomes crushed and broken just toss it out and make a new batch! 


Don't forget to PIN this post for later! Also, I appreciate your comments and can't wait to hear what projects and activities you used your color-dyed pasta to make. For more great DIY projects make sure to follow me here too!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

10 Stylish Beach Coverups For A Fashionable Mom

Keep cool and sunburn-free with a stylish beach coverup this summer. 




This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information please see my disclaimer page. 

The busy days of summer don't seem to slow down for us moms as we chase toddlers around by the pool or beach making sure they are safely supervised, well-fed, and properly protected from harmful UV rays. 

With all of the focus on our children's well being it is easy to forget about ourselves and what our own needs are. I don't know about you but I find it pretty easy to focus all of my attention on my children when it comes to making sure they are regularly applying sunscreen on a sunny summer day only to find I forgot to put it on myself until it is too late. 

If this has ever happened to you don't worry I've got a great simple solution to help reduce your exposure to harmful UV rays that any busy mom can do. My secret - a stylish beach coverup! I'm pretty particular about what coverup I wear - it can't be too tight, it has to be light so I don't overheat, it should cover areas that easily get sunburned like my shoulders, back and upper arms and, of course, a coverup must look great! 

These great-looking functional beach coverups don't sacrifice protection over style but instead, look amazing while protecting your skin. I highly recommend using a sunscreen every time you go outside to protect your skin but in case you forgot to reapply regularly make sure you wear your beach coverup.  Here are 10 fashionable beach coverups perfect for a busy mom.



10 Stylish Beach Coverups For A Busy Mom 



1. Women's Swimsuit Beach Coverup Shirt




2. Harhay Womens' Summer Swimsuit Bikini Beachwear 




3. Women's Crochet Tassel Coverup





4. Wander Agio Beach Button Up Beach Coverup





5. Dokotoo Kimono Coverup





6. Pom Pom Trim Kaftan Chiffon Beach Coverup




7. Striped Turkish Kaftan Coverup 





8. Catalina Beach-Coverup Dress




9. Summer Maxi Dress Coverup





10. Black Striped Turn-Down Collar Tunic Coverup





 Be prepared this summer and protect your skin with some SPF and a beach coverup! 

Saturday, May 8, 2021

5 Easy Spring Gardening Projects For Kids

Experts say playing in the dirt is good for kids because it can strengthen their immune systems.  Spring is the perfect time to introduce your child to gardening and let them get their hands in the dirt. These fun gardening crafts will encourage your child to step away from their electronics and have some fun outside. 




This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on a link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. For more information please see my disclaimer page. Thanks!


Gardening is a great way to teach your child patience while helping them learn how to take care of when they are planting. Fostering a good work ethic and a sense of responsibility are lifelong skills you can start teaching as you grow a garden of any size. 

Remember to PIN this post for later & follow me here or on Facebook!




5 DIY Spring Gardening Projects For Kids


Creating something special to put in a garden can really get your kids (and you) excited about gardening. I've gathered 5 awesome projects your kids can do with you to spark their love of gardening and the great outdoors.


01. Seed Bombs  

Not only do these make fun craft projects but your child could give them away to friends or family as gifts. Making seed bombs is so much fun but what is even more fun is watching them grow after you plant your seed bomb.  Follow these instructions to make your own Wild Flower Seed Bombs 


02. Mini-Greenhouse 


The last day for risk of frost is different for everyone depending on where you live so starting a garden indoors is just as much fun as planting one outside. Your kids will love filling up old cardboard egg cartons with potting soil, poking a hole in the center, and sewing a few seeds in each hole. Encourage your child to water regularly and keep a gardening journal to record what happens. Find the complete instructions on how to make your own mini greenhouse here.


03. Painted Brick Paver  


Let your kids help you plan this year's garden. One way to get them involved is to let them paint their own brick paver that once dry and sealed can go in the garden to help make a clear path for walking through it. Check out the How To Make A Painted Brick Paver tutorial I posted to make your own.


04. Fairy Garden 


via: Meatloaf and Melodrama


A great way to encourage your child to love spending time outside is to help them create their own fairy garden. Let them pick out several different types of flowers from your local nursery then help them plant the flowers in a large container. Once the plants are planted go on a short nature walk collecting sticks, stones, pinecones, and acorns to add to their fairy garden. They can even add a small tin can or plastic cup as a fairy house. Let your child's imagination run wild with ways to create a special fairy habitat. 


05. Custom Seed Markers


via: Happy Money Saver


When your garden first starts to come alive do you ever find yourself wondering if that little green plant is a weed or an actual plant? Take the guesswork out by making seed markers labeled with the type of seeds you planted. There are lots of great ways to make your own DIY seed markers for example: 

  • a tin can lid attached to a dowel rod with a picture of the plant modge podged and sealed to the front

Even if all you have is a small container to plant in or a big plot of land, gardening is tons of fun for kids and adults. Go play in the dirt with your kids and have fun growing something together!

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

15 Easy DIY American Flag Crafts


15 DIY American Flag Crafts to Show Off Your Patriotic Spirit


This post is brought to you in partnership with Zulily. While I may have been compensated, as always, all opinions are my own.


Are you are looking for a great way to show your patriotic spirit this year but aren’t sure how? There are so many great DIY US Flag craft projects you could make that will solve this problem. No matter your skill level, you can create an amazing stars and stripes project to proudly display for all to see. 


No need to search on your own for cool US flag crafts because I’ve gathered up 15 of the best American flag crafts to share with you today. Guess what? Many of these projects you can do with your kids or even incorporate them into your homeschooling art lessons. 


Five Fun Facts About The American Flag 


The American flag is an important symbol of freedom for all Americans with a rich and fascinating history. Show off how smart you are to your friends and family this summer with these interesting flag facts from The National Flag Foundation.



  1. The US flag consists of 13 horizontal stripes; 7 red and 6 white stripes in an alternating manner. The thirteen stripes represent the original 13 colonies. 


  1. The top left side of the flag consists of 50 white five-point stars on a blue field. The fifty stars represent the current 50 States.


  1. Elizabeth “Betsy” Ross is credited with making the first US flag.


  1. Five American flags have been taken to the moon (Apollo 12, 14, 15, 16, and 17). Neil Armstrong’s mission is the most famous display of the US flag on the moon.


  1. From 1777 when the original design of the US Flag was adopted until the current day there have been 27 different versions of the American Flag. The current version of the flag was designed by a 17-year-old high school student. 



Easy DIY US Flag Craft Ideas You Can Make





Now that you know a little more about the American Flag you are all ready to start picking out your favorite flag craft project to get started on. 


American Flag Paper Crafts

 

via: Non Toy Gifts

01. Paper Plate American Flag Craft - Here is the perfect craft for you to do with your preschool or young elementary age child. Using simple everyday household supplies and a little paint your child will end up with a wonderful American flag themed project they can show to everyone. Follow the complete tutorial at NonToyGifts.com

 

via: Lightbulbs and Laughter


02. Paper Chain American Flag
- We all love making paper chains at Christmas time to count down the days until December 25. This American flag craft uses the paper chain concept but turns it into a cool US flag. Change the size of your paper chain flag by altering the size of the paper loops!


via: Crafting Jeannie


03. Printable American Flag Craft - This fun craft is great for a group to do together. Print off the free printable, paint the stripes and glue on the stars to finish off your flag. Thanks to Jeannie at CraftingJeannie you can make this flag today.


via: craft corner diy

04. Paper Mosiac American Flag - Small torn pieces of red and white paper are glued into the 13 stripes on the US flag onto a stiff piece of cardboard. The blue pieces are glued on next into a rectangular shape in the top left corner. Complete instructions to make this fun flag can be found at CraftCornerDIY.com.


American Flag Woodworking Crafts




05. Wooden American Flag Craft - This is a great DIY US flag craft that you can display indoors or outdoors! A simple woodworking project for the beginner but still enjoyable to make for someone with experience, the COMPLETE tutorial can be found on The Find by Zulily.


via: A Pumpkin and a Princess

06. Popsicle Stick Flag - If you didn't get a chance to make a popsicle stick flag as a kid now is your chance! These make great drink coasters on your table but first, you should seal them with a water-based spray sealer. Find the full tutorial at A Pumpkin and a Princess.


via: Redhead Can Decorate


07. America Flag Candle Log - You have probably already seen these cool log centerpieces with small votive candles along the length of them but this candle log is painted with the American flag stars and stripes. Placed in the middle of your dining table or on a coffee table with the candles lit makes for the perfect centerpiece. Check out how to make your own at the Redhead Can Decorate.


via: Crafty Morning

08. DIY Wood Pallet American Flag - wood pallets are easy to find and many times free! This large American flag by Crafty Morning was made from a wood pallet and I think it turned out amazing.


American Flag Sewing Crafts


via: The Crafting Chicks

09. US Flag Pillow - changing out accessories when decorating for the holidays is lots of fun. These cute flag day pillows from via: The Crafting Chicks are so cute and patriotic. All you need are basic sewing skills to make your own.


via: Make it and Love it


10. 4th of July Shirt - Whether you make one shirt for yourself or deck your whole family out in these adorable 4th of July shirts from Make It and Love It everyone is sure to enjoy wearing them. Ruffle the stripes for your girls and leave them flat for your little boys to add a little flair to each one.


American Flag Home Decor Projects


via: Scratch and Stitch

11. Rags & Ribbons Flag - Here is a super simple way to make a flag that you can hang inside or outside. I love how the strips of ribbon flutter in the wind. Find the full tutorial at Scratch and Stitch.


via: Crafts For All Seasons

12. Patriotic Tin Can Luminaries - Upcycle your recyclable tin cans into these painted luminaries. Painted in strips of red, white, and blue with small holes punched into a pattern these tin cans look amazing in the evening with a votive candle lit inside. Check out the how-to instructions at Crafts For All Seasons.


via: Addicted 2 DIY

13. 4th of July Mason Jars - Everyone loves Mason jars. They are so useful and can be painted to match any decor in your home. These painted mason jars in red, white, and blue are super patriotic. Pop in a votive candle, light it and place it on your picnic table for a festive party. Find the full tutorial at Addicted 2 DIY.


The Frugal Navy Wife

14. Farmhouse Patriotic Rag Wreath - Patriotic pops of color on this DIY wreath are a fantastic way to celebrate Memorial Day or the 4th of July this year. No sewing required to make this fabric wreath. Find the full tutorial at The Frugal Navy Wife.


via: Top Inspired


15. American Flag Brick Centerpiece - Strategically stacked bricks on an outdoor patio make for a beautiful US flag. Dry brush painted to give it that rustic look makes it look a little more rustic too. This idea was found at Top Inspired.




Remember to Pin these great craft project ideas too or follow me on Pinterest to see more craft projects like these.


Getting ready for a holiday should include some fun crafts. Be proud of what you made! Many of these crafts make great gifts too so make a few extra to give away to your friends and family.