Category: Craftiness

General craft ideas, including sewing projects, kid-friendly ideas and VBS inspiration.

Happy Fall Blocks with a Winter Twist

Happy Fall Blocks with a Winter Twist

fall blocks

Wow, summer decided it was not going quietly this weekend as we posted temps in the 90s here in the Midwest. My son got out of school three hours early on the first day of fall last Friday, so we headed to the zoo. . . let me just say I’m awfully thankful for the indoor penguin exhibit!! Tonight promises rain and much cooler temps, so it should finally start feeling like autumn, at least for several days.

zoo penguins

Okay, so I just had to share a fun penguin pic with you from our summer-feeling fall day at the zoo. We pretty much had the place to ourselves.

As I have been slowly pulling out my autumn décor, I came across this fun little fall blocks project I made at one of our awesome MOMS Club® events. My friend, Stephanie, did all the legwork for this one, so all we had to do was ink, paste and Mod Podge. That’s about as easy as it gets for such a cute little craft. Thanks, Stephanie! Today, I’m going to share the process with all of you so that you can assemble your own at home, but there will be some sawing involved, because I’m afraid Stephanie doesn’t come with the directions.

Supplies Needed:

  • 1 2×4 piece of wood (one 8 ft length will make several of these projects)
  • 1 2×2 piece of wood (one 8 ft length will make several of these projects)
  • Coarse sandpaper, with or without an electric sander.
  • Letters (you can buy them precut, use a Cricut machine or even store-bought stickers) — You will need an F and two Ls. You will also need the word “happy” or enough small letters to spell out the word.
  • Paper leaf (you can buy this precut, use a Cricut machine or even store-bought stickers)
  • Coordinating background paper
  • Mod Podge
  • paintbrush for applying Mod Podge


  1. The first step is to cut the pieces of wood down to the correct size. Cut the 2×4 down to the following sizes: two pieces 2 3/4″ wide, two pieces 2 1/4″ wide and 2 3/4″ tall. Note: these were sizes for the letters and leaf we used, so you can measure your letters and cut accordingly, if you choose.
  2. Next, cut the 2×2 to size. Our piece was about 4 1/2″ long, but measure the distance of your other blocks pushed together and check your measurement before cutting. Naturally, if you cut your 2×4 blocks different sizes, this block will also be a different size.
  3. Once you have all your blocks cut to size, use your sander/sand paper to round off all the edges and corners for a smooth finished look.
  4. This step is optional, but I like to ink all my edges for a bit more interest with a coordinating color. Do this before you start pasting down things, because you won’t have any luck after.
  5. Now it’s time to start assembling your blocks. We used Mod Podge on the backside of our paper, letters and leaf as an adhesive. Once everything is pasted down, put a nice coat of Mod Podge on top of everything. This will make sure all your elements stay put and add some protection.
  6. After everything dries, you are ready to welcome autumn with your cute handmade blocks!

Okay, so here’s the winter twist I promised for this project. If you want your blocks to pull double duty, simply add a backside that nods to cooler weather. Use coordinating papers and letters and add a little snowflake to welcome winter with just a simple flip.



Missing Tooth Monster is a Tooth Fairy Pillow

Missing Tooth Monster is a Tooth Fairy Pillow

tooth fairy pillow

My little guy lost his first tooth Sunday afternoon after a couple of weeks of some serious wiggling. He was so excited about his first visit from the Tooth Fairy and asked all sorts of important questions like, “How big is she?” “How does she get in the house?” and “What does she do with the teeth?” Sorry Dwayne Johnson, my son assumes the Tooth Fairy is a she.

Anyway, I wanted to make this event special for our son, so I decided to whip up a Tooth Fairy pillow before bedtime, which required some serious Pinterest inspiration and a quick trip to JoAnn’s (oh, darn). When I was a girl, I had a soft pillow with a tooth-shaped pocket on the front and I loved to place my lost tooth in it at night and awake to see what had taken its place.

tooth fairy pillow

I found so many great ideas on Pinterest for this project, but settled on a lost tooth monster pillow and combined a few ideas for my cute little creation. While I created my own pattern for my son’s monster, I did use Leslie’s Art and Sew post as a great tutorial. She walks you through this project step by step, but pay special attention to the teeth placement in relation to the pocket fold.

tooth fairy pillow

I think our son was tickled to have his little monster pillow as a safe spot for his itty bitty baby tooth, but I think he was more looking forward to a visit from the Tooth Fairy. I, on the other hand, was simply excited to carry on a family tradition. I sure hope he remembers his little missing tooth monster thirty years from now. . . and I hope it makes him smile (with all his teeth).

Apple for the Teacher

Apple for the Teacher


My little guy started school this week and amid all the hurry and scurry that comes along with adjusting out of summer mode and into full-on “my child is growing up way too quickly” mama mode, I managed to create a cute little something for our son’s first grade teacher.

Thanks to Oriental Trading, I had some great wood slices on hand that were intended for a fun fall project (coming soon), but when I saw one of the oddly shaped pieces my brain translated it into an apple instead. In my opinion, one should always keep the teacher happy (and yes, cool gifts and kind words are always a good thing).

apple for the teacher

To create this super cute project I started with some bright red acrylic paint and a medium brush. I used the dark inside line of the wood slice as a pattern instead of painting all the way to the edge, I gave it about three coats for some solid coverage and I let it completely dry.

For the name, I created and printed a template on my computer and trimmed it close to size. Then I covered the back of the template using a piece of chalk turned on its side. I placed the template on the painted wood chalk side down and traced around the words using a sharp pencil, and when I removed the template I had a near perfect outline on my apple. The good thing about this process is that if you mess up or don’t like the placement, just wipe off the chalk line and start the process over again. Thankfully I got this one right the first time, so I immediately started painting in the name using a standard black permanent marker. After the marker dried for a few hours I wiped on a coat of furniture wax, let it dry and wiped it back off for a bit of shine and protection.

I used a chip of drift wood (super cheap and sold in a bag) for the apple stem and a bit of green burlap for the leaves. I lightly coated one side of the burlap with Mod Podge before I cut out the leaves to add some stiffness to the material . It also keeps the burlap from fraying so much. I glued the leaves and the stem on with some heavy-duty craft glue and let it set overnight.

apple for the teacher

Before I sent it out the door with my little one, I hammered in a sawtooth hanger on the back and this teacher gift was complete. Although my husband thinks I’m trying to butter up our son’s teacher just as the year gets going, I did get a super sweet thank you note, and I think it’s fun to do a little something for our educators. . . goodness knows they have such an impact on the future of our children.

If you’re looking for some great teacher gift ideas of your own, try visiting Oriental Trading’s Learn365 page for all kinds of supplies and ideas.

Oriental Trading sent me some of these products used in this project for review,
but all opinions are my own.

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