meta content='blog about crafting, diy, recipes' name='description'/> Over The Apple Tree

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Gifts Kids Can Make

Get kids more involved in gift GIVING!
When my kids were little, we would take them to the grandparents, aunts and uncles to spread holiday cheer and of course to exchange gifts. At that time, they were still little and it was pretty much all about the kids. I found them having the attitude of, "I'm here, where's my present?" Ummm, I don't think so!


Gifts kids can make- Over The Apple Tree

How do you teach kids it's better to give than to receive? Who am I kidding, we all love to get gifts! We did it by implementing a family gift exchange. We exchange names every year at Thanksgiving, the kids exchange names with the kids and the adults exchange with the adults. It's tons of fun and it's a great way to get the kids excited about giving, not to mention way more economical than buying a present for every single member of the family! In addition to the gift exchange I have my three children get or make gifts for each other as well. The kids end up happy to get their own gift but are really excited to see the reaction that their gift they gave gets.

Another way to get kids more involved in gift giving is making homemade gifts. It gets them away from the idea of ‘material’ gifts and helps them start thinking about meaningful gift ideas instead. There are some great ways to give homemade gifts that people will really want and use. Here are a few ideas that would be great for kids to do themselves or at least help out with...


Photo Gifts
I'm a huge fan of photo gifts. I take tons of pictures throughout the year and now is a great time to get them out of your computer for everyone to see. Sites like Shutterfly have tons of beautiful photo gifts you can personalize. Your kids could absolutely help pick out their favorite photos from the year and make something like a photo book or a calendar for the grandparents, OR...hand over your camera!

While browsing through Shutterfly I was trying to think how you could make all these awesome gifts more kid friendly. Here's the secret, your photos don't have to be of people! Let your kids take photos of their gift recipient's favorite stuff! It could be a special toy, sports equipment, favorite places or even pets. Their pictures could be compiled into a holiday calendar or poster collage. They could even take one special picture and put it on a blanket, pillow or cup. There are so many possibilities!


Here's a project that my boys have been working on for their sister. They're taking her Barbies and making a calendar.

Gifts kids can make- Over The Apple Tree
Gifts kids can make- Over The Apple Tree

Gifts kids can make- Over The Apple Tree



Put Kid's Artwork On A Pillowcase
I saw this great DIY idea to transfer kids artwork on to tea towels and it got me thinking, how else could kids share their unique artwork? My oldest son loves to draw and I wish more people could see and appreciate his art. Here is a homemade pillow case he made as a gift for his brother. 

Gifts kids can make- Over The Apple Tree





Soap
Melt and pour soap is crazy easy. You can purchase the soap base and scented oil at almost any craft supply store. Let the kids pick out and experiment with different add ins. Melt base in microwave, add the scent oil and any other add ins, then pour into molds. See my Honey Almond Chamomile Recipe here. If you did clear glycerin soap you could even stick a prize inside for fun soaps for kids!

Gifts kids can make- Over The Apple Tree



Bracelets
Bracelets are fun and easy, plus they are great for girls or boys. I spent hours making friendship bracelets when I was a kid and now they are back in style. Here are some creative tutorials I found online:


Gifts kids can make- Over The Apple Tree
  1. Zipper Bracelet: BRIT+CO
  2. Friendship Bracelets: Art Projects For Kids
  3. Soda Tab Bracelet: All Free Jewelry Making
  4. Paracord Bracelet: Instructables

Sock Creatures
Make stuffed creatures out of stray socks! This project is better for kids a little bit older that can handle a needle and thread. I found this book Stupid Sock Creatures at my library and my kids really had fun with it. See the sock creatures my kids created and my tutorial for a sock monkey here.

Gifts kids can make- Over The Apple Tree



Personalized Headphones Or Phone Charger
You can't go anywhere without seeing someone on their cell or with ear buds in. My kids go through headphone like crazy! It seems like either the head phones or the phone chargers are always lost or getting mixed up with someone else's. You can easily personalize these with embroidery floss! All you "not crafty" people, never fear...it's so easy, your kids can do it! You only have to know how to tie a knot! Tutorial here.

Gifts kids can make- Over The Apple Tree



Yummy Treats
I usually go way overboard with Christmas cookies...along with everyone else. What if you gave ready to bake cookie dough instead? That way your friends, neighbors, teachers, family could bake it later after they've eaten all their other Christmas cookies! See how I make mine here. Last year as an alternative to cookies I made various flavored popcorn. There are a billion recipes on Pinterest for everyone's taste. Toss it in a cute container and it's the perfect gift! Kids love to help out in the kitchen and the popcorn especially is really easy.

Gifts kids can make- Over The Apple Tree



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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Happy Halloween

I usually go all out with costumes and makeup for my kids on Halloween. Now that my oldest is a little too old for trick or treat and the middle could not be talked out of a mask, this little lady is the only one with fancy makeup. See costumes from years gone by here


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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Time!

This week we carved pumpkins so I grabbed my camera and just started shooting. Happy Halloween everyone!

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Time, Over The Apple Tree

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Time, Over The Apple Tree

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Time, Over The Apple Tree

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Time, Over The Apple Tree

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Time, Over The Apple Tree

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Time, Over The Apple Tree

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Time, Over The Apple Tree

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Time, Over The Apple Tree

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Time, Over The Apple Tree

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Time, Over The Apple Tree

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Time, Over The Apple Tree

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Time, Over The Apple Tree

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Time, Over The Apple Tree

Wordless Wednesday: Pumpkin Time, Over The Apple Tree


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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Colorado Fall

Fall looks a little different here in Colorado than in NY where I'm from, but no less beautiful.











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Saturday, October 11, 2014

DIY Reversible Wood Backdrop

I've been wanting a wood photo backdrop for my blog and Etsy photos for a while now. After some Pinterest inspiration and a trip to the hardware store, I finally figured out a nice and still cost effective way to do it!

DIY reversible wood backdrop, Over The Apple Tree

So first of all, I came across this great tutorial on Pinterest from Love And Olive Oil for a distressed photo backdrop...check it out. If my way doesn't work for you maybe theirs will. I found the wood supplies that they referred to in their tutorial, but after I added it all up, it was more than I wanted to spend. While at Lowes, I ended up finding these square pieces of wood, 23"x23" and just under 1/4" thinkness. They were only about $5 a piece, now we're talking! With some power tools at home, I could make this work! I had some scrap wood already to use for the center pieces. Since I had paint and any other supplies I needed already, all together I only ended spending just under $10!!! 


DIY reversible wood backdrop, Over The Apple Tree

This wood is pretty thin so cut carefully because it may split. I didn't mind if the cuts weren't perfect because I was going for the rustic look anyway. I cut this into six pieces, but it's up to you how wide you want the pieces to be. 

DIY reversible wood backdrop, Over The Apple Tree

After cutting the wood, I pieced it back together in the order it was cut so if the lines weren't perfectly straight, it wouldn't be obvious. Now I just used a nail gun to attach the cut pieces to the center pieces. flip over and do the same for the opposite side. At first I thought just the two pieces for the center between the two sides would be fine, but after I had it together I realized that since the wood is thin, I needed another piece in the middle for support, especially if I put something heavy on here.

DIY reversible wood backdrop, Over The Apple Tree

DIY reversible wood backdrop, Over The Apple Tree

DIY reversible wood backdrop, Over The Apple Tree

I painted one side white and the other side is a kinda grey stain. I did this by watering down some acrylic dark grey craft paint, brush it on one board at a time and then use a clean cloth the wipe the excess.

DIY reversible wood backdrop, Over The Apple Tree

DIY reversible wood backdrop, Over The Apple Tree

DIY reversible wood backdrop, Over The Apple Tree

DIY reversible wood backdrop, Over The Apple Tree

DIY reversible wood backdrop, Over The Apple Tree

This backdrop is perfect for my Etsy photos!

DIY reversible wood backdrop, Over The Apple Tree

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Sunset

The sunsets in Colorado are BEAUTIFUL and the best thing is that it looks different every night!






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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Window

I see so many interesting photos on Pinterest that I wish I knew how to pull off! Here, I was trying to shoot through a window without too much reflection. Tricky...it came out a little fuzzy because of the low light, but I still think its a cute shot of my son.

Wordless Wednesday, Window, Over The Apple Tree



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