Dear Stay-at-Home Moms of Little Ones…

Standard

Dear Stay-at-Home Moms of Little Ones,

There is a specific moment I can clearly remember from just a few short years ago. It happened on a late fall day that was quite ordinary for me at the time. There was nothing especially new or different going on.  My oldest son was in afternoon kindergarten and I sent him out to our driveway to wait for the bus. I was standing in our front doorway to keep watch as I was unable to actually walk him out that particular day. You see, I had a LOT going on at the moment. I remember holding a baby in each arm, both fussing loudly to be nursed and me trying to hold them off until their big brother was on the bus. My second oldest was in our upstairs bathroom yelling, “Mom, you need to come up and wipe me!” Oh yeah, and then there was my daughter,  2 at the time, who had spilled something all over the floor while this was playing out. Not a fun or really endearing moment, but one that I have held on to these past years.

Now you may wonder, whoa, why would this lady remember such a moment? A normal person may try to blank that one out! I can recall it so clearly because as it was happening, I was thinking to myself, “You need to remember this. It is not going to be like this forever. Someday you may actually look back and be able to laugh at it.”  Believe me, at the time I was NOT laughing at all. In fact, I’m sure I really was on the verge of tears and praying just to make it to nap time.

So, dear Moms of little ones, particularly those of you who are home with your babies, I can tell you that I’ve been there. I’ve been in your shoes at one time and wore those shoes for a number of years. Whether you know me personally, have read my blog for awhile, or just stumbled upon this article in a search, I have some things I want to share with you all. I don’t claim to be any kind of expert on anything, but these are just some things I wish someone had told ME while I was in the thick of it. I know I really looked up to Moms who were in the stage ahead of me and really appreciated any wisdom they had to impart. I still do! So hopefully you read this and take something away from it, even if it’s just a spark of encouragement. (Warning: It may read like a list, but these are just little tidbits that randomly came to mind when I pictured all of you sweet Mamas.You may agree or not agree with some of them, but hey, some of these are just taken from my humble experience. Also, I can assure you that I certainly did not excel at all of these as a young Mom!)

-Enjoy each snuggle, toothless grin, and sweet moment. Treasure them. Each one is a gift.

-Live within your means. Be content with what you have and don’t complain about what you can’t afford.

Me with my 2nd born, Andrew.

Me with my 2nd born, Andrew.

-Don’t compare yourself with other Moms. On that same note, don’t compare your children with other children either.

-Don’t feel pressured to go out and get a job so you can “be something other than a Mom” Being a great Mom is a big enough job.

-Respect your husband and don’t be a nag!

-Exercise regularly as much as you can. Drink plenty of water.

-Don’t ignore your own health.

-Keep your kids on a schedule. Everyone typically functions better that way:)

Our only girl!

Our only girl!

-Don’t feel pressured to hop on the bandwagon with some parenting trends. Examine each one and pray about what is best for YOUR family.

-Don’t judge other Moms who do things differently than you do.

-Don’t make sweats your everyday outfit. If you make an attempt to dress cute, you will likely feel more confident and motivated. (PS-I’m sure your husband will appreciate it too.)

-Take advantage of nap time, whether it’s to catch a quick cat nap, drink coffee with your feet up while watching Netflix, or to give the house a once-over. Nap time was always golden to me!!

-Find a good balance of being home and doing activities that are outside the home.

-Make time for a hobby that interests you. Sometimes doing a little something fun that puts an extra pep in your step helps keep ya sane!

Our oldest, Daniel, as a toddler.

Our oldest, Daniel, as a toddler.

-Get the kids outside (and yourself too!) on a daily basis. Fresh air and sunshine does wonders.

-Pray for your husband and children. Spend time in the Word regularly, even if it’s a really quick devotional.

-Pray with your husband and children as well.

-Get away from your kids once in a while. Whether Daddy keeps watch or you drop them at Grandma’s, a little time alone or away from littles is not something to feel guilty about. Enjoy it.

-Don’t feel pressured to sign your kids up for activities and sports too early.

-Carve out some time to be alone with your man, even if it’s after the kids are in bed.

The youngest two, Joseph and Joshua, in the arms of their Dad.

The youngest two, Joseph and Joshua, in the arms of their Dad.

 

-To go with the above statement….Your hubs still finds you beautiful, even though you’ve birthed some babies. You may not think so, but he does. Mine told me he thought I looked “pretty cute” and made bedroom eyes at me on the way home after having our twins! I was like, “For real dude?” Yup, he was serious.

-Don’t attempt to have a perfect house. I hate to burst your bubble, but it ain’t going to happen. No one does, at least for longer then like 5 minutes.

-On the same note, I personally feel better when mine is regularly picked up and at least passably clean. I know it seems like a never-ending cycle, but don’t let it get too far out of control.

-Don’t let your little ones turn into mini dictators. You are the parent, not them.

-Don’t spend too much time on the computer or phone, especially when they are awake. On the same note, don’t let them spend too much time on electronics either.

-Strive to be kind, courteous, respectful, and generous. Some things are caught, not taught.

-Read to your babies.

The whole crew back in the day.

The whole crew back in the day.

Our quiver full of blessings. Love them to pieces.

Our quiver full of blessings. Love them to pieces.

-Don’t overindulge. They really don’t need 50 bazillion toys to make them happy.

-Learn to be a planner. Being at least semi-organized makes a world of difference and makes your home a calmer place.

And last but not least…….

-Teach them about Jesus.  Live out your faith.

Whew! I know that was an exhaustive list, and I’m sure I could add about 50 more things to it if I wanted to. Hopefully you took something away from this and know that it was written with good intentions. As I mentioned previously, I certainly didn’t do great at ALL these things. Some were lessons learned along the way and some I’m still learning as I go. I hope you feel encouraged in your parenting and know that you will one day be able to look back and maybe chuckle at some of the crazy moments you had. You are doing just fine. I totally respect and affirm your decision to be home for your little ones. They are well worth it. Know that I am praying for you all as you love on those babies God has entrusted you with.

Rock on Mama.

 

 

My Life Verse for 2015

Standard

I have some exciting news!

Well, it may not be that exciting for you, but it definitely is for me.

I found my personal verse for 2015. It just about jumped off the page of my Bible at me yesterday as I was actually reading over a passage on the opposite page.

b40b59fc48510b833e329a7a4b905d2c

Last year I didn’t really have one verse that I focused on.

I’ve had ones in years past, and once I had the same verse for 2 years in a row. (1 Timothy 6:6, look it up!)

This particular verse from Colossians is one that I’ve always liked and had memorized a long time ago. I even have had it written on a note card and stuck in my Bible along with some others that I’ve accumulated over the past few years. At the end of 2014 I had been praying to find one verse that really spoke to me to focus on for this year.

A good one, isn’t it?

“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men.”  -Colossians 3:23

To me this means that I need to try my absolute best at whatever jobs the Lord has given me. No half-hearted stuff. Do it with passion and give it 100%. Don’t get caught up in being busy with so many “good things” that I am not doing my best at any of them.

Do it for God, not for man’s approval. Because really, that’s what matters anyway, isn’t it? I’d much rather please God than worry about what so-and-so thinks of me.

Honestly, I think I’ve gotten slightly better at not caring what others think, especially as I’ve progressed well into my 30’s. I think I know more about who I am, what I believe, and what I do or don’t stand for. I’m definitely more confident in who I am than I was maybe 10 or 15 years ago. No longer am I the meek, mild doormat that I probably was at one point.

Even my husband told me recently, “You know, you’re a lot more aggressive than you were when we met.”I was like, “Is that a good thing or a bad thing??” He assured me that it was a good thing.

Well, as long as I am pleasing to my Maker, then I am doing okay.

Pray for me this year as I try to live out this verse. I know I will likely stumble along the way, but I know my God gives me grace every day.

Blessings to you this 2015!

—Rachel

Weird, Wild, or Wonderful Things from 2014

Standard

Hey y’all. To wrap up my 2014, I’m reflecting on the good, bad, funny, or just plain random things that happened to either me or my family this year. Hope you enjoy!

snow days Feb2014 ebay2-6-14 007

Snow, snow, ice…and yet more snow. This was what the first several months of the year looked like for me and most others from my neck of the woods. Lots of snow. Very cold. Ice storms and many, many days off school for my kids. A tough winter overall, but we made do!

download (2)

I taught my first ever grown-up Bible study to a group of ladies from my church this past Spring. Though I am pretty comfortable and experienced in teaching kids Bible lessons, I had never led a group of adults. I would highly recommend this study, and not just to females! Through it I learned a lot, but the thing I most took away from it was that I needed to work on building the “walls” that have been placed closest to me.

photo

This Spring my Mom signed her and I up for a one day rug braiding class. She knows how I love anything hands-on and that I enjoy learning new skills. It was a fun day of learning an old-time craft and getting to know some other ladies we had never met. (Surprise, surprise: I was the youngest person there.) I took the circle she made and turned it into a cool braided wool basket.

10514764_10152338309363439_8773761215606014258_n

All five of my children attended some kind of camp this past summer. This is a photo of one of my littlest guys taken by a camp staff member. (For the little guys it was a “mini-week,” a 3 day, 2 night intro to camp.) They all LOVED camp, so we’re already planning on it for this coming year.

We celebrated our oldest son’s 13th birthday.  Though it was back in June, I still feel really weird typing that. Can’t believe I am the Mom of a teenager.(This pic is him at maybe 6-7 months old?) In a few more years we will have five teenagers at one time. Lord help us is all I can say.

We celebrated 15 lovely years of marriage together. Many ups, plenty of downs, and more blessings than we could ever count. So, so thankful for this guy and glad he puts up with me! I appreciate him more and more every year.

A major highlight is that our garden totally rocked this year. We put away tons of fruits and veggies, whether frozen, canned, jammed, etc. Our kids are getting to be excellent helpers with it all.

While browsing the clearance racks at Wal Mart one day, I happened upon THIS awesome tank. I once shared that I had a childhood aspiration of being Wonder Woman, so you know I had to scoop this baby up and wear it! You have no idea how happy it made me that day. Love this shirt. (If you see me sporting the gold headband, a lasso, and gold cuff bracelets along with it, feel free to tell me to tone it down;))

This picture represents one of the Best Pranks Ever in my household. My dear, dear husband is the one behind this freak-o-rilla. He was planning to borrow this costume to be a mascot for a fundraiser at my kids’ school. I didn’t know he had acquired it yet, so he came home from work and parked down the road so we wouldn’t see or hear him. Then he proceeded to put on this thing and creep up to our back sliding door, which was open. I heard a kid scream from my kitchen, came around the corner to investigate, and had the you-know-what scared out of me. He scared every single one of us with this thing. Priceless.

My friends think I live at the school and the kids think I work there. Hmmm, I wonder why?  The life of a PTA president.

One of my greatest joys AND challenges has been stepping up to the role of President of our PTO at school. Our one and only fundraiser for the year is little over a month after the school year starts, so my fall was consumed with this job. I am usually pretty organized and had good people to help along the way, but I definitely had some challenging moments to deal with. However, I think we’ve done some pretty neat things and I am glad to serve the kids/parents/teachers in this capacity.

photo

This is just a random “weird but cool” tidbit that I wanted to share. A gift given to us from my best friend’s family, this “game” has been a hit with my gang. Made by Jelly Belly, you spin a spinner that points to a certain jellybean you have to eat. It is either really good or really gross, but they look exactly the same. For example, a black one that is either licorice flavor or skunk spray. Juicy pear or booger flavor. Chocolate pudding or canned dog food. You don’t know until you put it in your mouth. I had to eat one that ended up being rotten egg and spit it out! I only had one kid dry heave on me, so I guess that’s not too bad;) Fun times my friend, fun times.

Well, I could bore or perhaps amuse you with many more random things from our year, but I’ll stop there.

Thanks for tuning in, and I hope you have an extra special New Year.

—-Rachel

Creative Ways to Display Christmas Cards

Standard

So I have to confess that I literally just put up the Christmas cards we’ve gotten so far late this week. Honestly, with Thanksgiving kind of late this year, we hadn’t gotten that many cards until this past week/week and a half. I also confess that I did nothing creative as far as displaying them. So, if you sent me a card, it is currently scotch-taped to my wall. It’s a chalkboard wall, so I guess that makes it slightly more creative? Maybe?

Anyhow, I thought it would be fun to share some ways others have displayed their cards. (And if you haven’t yet, never fear, no judgement here!)

First off, a cool bicycle rim from Organized Clutter. (Lots of other super cute Christmas ideas on here too!)

Who would’ve thought an old bed spring could be used for this? A novel idea from Sugar Bee Crafts.

An easy little idea from Thyme is Honey. Kind of like my taping cards to the wall, just much cuter.

DIY Christmas & Holiday Card Display

An adorable display utilizing chicken wire–from Lolly Jane.

A pretty use for an old shutter, from A Diamond in the Stuff.

This one is simple, but I absolutely love it above the bench. Check it out, along with some other beautiful ideas, at The Painted Parsonage.

25 Ways to Display Christmas Cards

We don’t have an open stairwell in our house, but if we did, I would be tempted to display my cards in this way. (From Martha Stewart.)

25 Ways to Display Christmas Cards

Love this cute idea using a wire tomato cage–from Family Fun’s website. My kids would really like attaching cards to this.

Bring an element of the outdoors inside with this branch tree. Hang cards on the branches using a bit of twine. (Source: Shutterfly)

There’s tons of other ideas out there, but these are a few that really caught my eye. Who knows, maybe I’ll try one of them next year??

Merry Christmas everyone!

How We Do (and Don’t Do) Christmas

Standard

Today I am digging into my blog’s archives and bringing up this little article again. It’s one I wrote last year right before Christmas day and I totally hold to it still. Happy reading!

************************************************************************************************************************************************

I realize that every family has their own traditions and ways to celebrate this season. The signs of Christmas are everywhere as it is less than two days away.

Lately I’ve been pondering this and thinking about how we celebrate Christmas as a family. Please don’t take this post as a personal assault or think I’m getting all judgmental on you. Really, I’m not. Try not to judge me and I won’t judge you, okay?? However, I am really fed up with how commercialized Christmas has gotten and, to be completely transparent, fed up with parents who have bought into this and spoon-feed their children the commercialized version of Christmas.

So, before I go on a huge long rant about Santa, Elf on a Shelf, and people going in to debt to buy their kids a bunch of junk they don’t even need, I’ll just share what we personally do–and don’t do.

What We Do:

-Each child gets around 3 gifts, not a whole pile. Usually I give them each one main thing they really want, followed by two small items they need or something just for fun. (Just as an example, we are giving Andrew a Plasma Ball that he had been asking for, along with an origami book and one other small item.) They also each have a stocking with a couple of little items, usually something like stickers, a new toothbrush, or candy.

download (2)

-On Christmas Eve, we attend our church Christmas Eve service. It is typically about an hour long and not late at night. At the service there is usually Bible readings, special music, and we also have communion together. After coming home, the children get to choose one thing out of their stocking to open.

-Christmas morning we typically have a nice hot breakfast before opening any gifts. One or two kids will help Daddy cook for everyone. Our kids are always early risers, so they don’t really get up earlier than usual.

-Before opening gifts, I like to have someone read out loud about the birth of Jesus from the Bible.

-When opening presents, I sort them into piles. Each kid gets to open one gift, then the next one will open one, and we keep going around until all are eventually opened.

-The rest of Christmas day is spent visiting our families and enjoying meals with all of them.

-This next one is new, but something I know some other families do: My children requested just the other night that we make a Birthday cake for Jesus and sing to Him. Sure, I said, so I guess we’ll be baking a cake on Christmas Eve.

What We Don’t Do:

-Make a huge deal about presents. Sure, we exchange them, but the emphasis of our celebration is not about getting stuff. It’s just not.

-Spend a lot of money. I just shake my head at how some Americans indulge their children in material things, but especially on the holidays. I shop ahead during the year, hunt for sales, and even buy yard sale or thrift store items if I think it’s something they will really like. We have never gone into debt or seriously compromised our budget due to Christmas shopping. And yes, we have 5 children and one income. It can be done.

download

-Santa. Or Elf on the Shelf. I grew up in a household where Santa was pretty much forbidden. No Santa anything. My parents are absolutely wonderful and I thank them for not putting an emphasis on Santa, but instead placing it on why we really do celebrate Christmas. I won’t go off on a huge tangent about Santa here, but I could. I won’t, and I’m not judging anyone who does do Santa with their kids. I’m not quite as strict as my Dad about Santa and we do have a few Santa decorations and stuff that has been given to us, but we make it clear that Santa is just a pretend character based on a generous man who lived long ago.

-Try to make things perfect. This one’s mostly for the Moms out there. It’s great to try and make things nice for your family. Things like magazine articles, blogs, and Pinterest make me want to have everything “just so” for the holidays. You know exactly what I mean–a perfectly decorated house and tree, perfectly wrapped gifts arranged just right, a perfect Christmas card to send out to friends and family, a perfect array of Christmas goodies and succulent holiday meal, and a sparkling new outfit to wear on Christmas day. Really, do you ever wonder if we just set ourselves up for disappointment when thinking this way? We are imperfect people and nothing is going to be picture perfect when we plan it that way. Sorry to burst your bubble, but it’s just not. I have gotten lots better about this over the years. Seriously, you may just laugh if you saw my kid-decorated artificial tree, not-too-decked-out halls, and non-planned Christmas outfits. But you know what? It suits me just fine and I have embraced my more relaxed approach.

That’s my “in-a-nutshell” version of how we celebrate Christmas. Basically, we try to not emphasize what this world can give us and focus on what God already gave us, over 2,000 years ago.

Nativity Scene

The one perfect gift. Jesus.

God in human form, sent here to save us from our sins. All of us imperfect people, undeserving of His grace and love. Not even able to fathom His love for us.

Emmanuel, God with us.

May you have a blessed Christmas and, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the season, remember why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.

Handmade Christmas 2014: Personalized Initial Pendants

Standard

As of this moment, nearly a week before Thanksgiving, I am proud to say I am well over halfway done my Christmas gift shopping.

I also have a lot of gifts made and at least most of the way ready to go. What a good feeling!

Today’s handmade gift idea is one I just did for my 3 nieces as well as my daughter. All are between the ages of 6 and 9.

nov 2014 014

Each pendant has their first initial, along with a little charm that contains a pearl and their birthstone.

Though I have a lot of experience making jewelry, this is one style I have not done yet, so I have a learning curve to go through.

nov 2014 004

For starters, I picked up a package of these pendant backs and clear fronts at Michael’s.

I typed out each girl’s initial in a couple different fonts, using a fairly large font size. I had to experiment with several before getting one that I thought looked just right for the round pendants they were to go on.

nov 2014 007

I then cut out a margin around each letter and glued the flat side of the clear topper, pressing it down onto the paper so the letter was centered. I used a clear tacky glue that’s supposed to be multi-surface, but I’m not sure what the best kind would be. It looks a little foggy while still wet (like pictured above), but clears up once dry. After it feels pretty dry, trim the paper to the edge of the circle so nothing is sticking out. Then use the same glue to bond the back and front together.

nov 2014 010

I added a jumpring to the top of the pendant, then strung it on a necklace cord.

I also beaded a crystal with each girl’s birthstone color along with a faux pearl onto a headpin. Then I used pliers to make a little loop to attach it to the cord or the jumpring as well. One could also do this onto a necklace chain of whatever quality you choose.

Overall I liked how these turned out and would love to experiment more with this style of jewelry.

Made with love and hopefully a hit at Christmas!

Handmade Christmas 2014: Glittered Lightbulb Ornaments

Standard

Well, here I go again with the colored glitter. Lots of it.

This time around I used up some old style light bulbs that we had kicking around in the garage and gave them a completely new look.

fall 2014 584

Add some twine and a little charm and the result is a pretty, repurposed Christmas ornament.

fall 2014 579

fall 2014 586

As you can see, I did them in a variety of brilliant colors.

fall 2014 581

The process for these is fairly straightforward and you don’t need a ton of supplies either.

To make one of these pretties, first dig up an old style light bulb, either one that burnt out or one you don’t plan on using.

fall 2014 577

I used a sponge brush to apply a thin layer of Mod Podge over the entire surface of the bulb.

While it was still wet, I held it over a plain piece of paper and shook glitter over the whole thing. It takes a LOT of glitter to cover one of these. After a minute or so, shake off the excess onto the paper, then funnel it back into the glitter container. I allowed my bulb to completely dry on a piece of paper towel while I glittered others.

To finish, cut maybe 12″ of twine or jute, tie a loop in the middle (to hang ornament), and wrap around the top of the bulb. Hot glue a thin layer as you go. As I did this, I placed a charm so it kind of hung down the front a little.

fall 2014 583

I had bought a pack of charms that look like old keys, but you could use whatever.

Overall a semi-quick and simple little project. Very easy to make a bunch at a time as well, which you know I love!

Not sure which one is my favorite yet, but I think they turned out kind of adorable.

Fall 2014 in Pictures

Standard

If I could choose a brief description of this fall, I would say it was “busy but beautiful.”

Here are a few pictures I have chosen that show a little of what we’ve been up to:

sunset pic

I’ll start with my absolute favorite one. This I snapped with my phone camera one evening a couple weeks ago. I had a crazy day and took a little walk right near sunset. The sight of this literally stopped me in my tracks. I just had to capture the Stop sign in the foreground with the beautiful sky in the back. I felt more than a nudge from my Creator telling me, “Rachel, you just need to stop right now and worship me.” So I did.

Race for Ed 2014 006

A lot of my time has been taken up with leading our school’s PTO. Though I had a couple of years in as Secretary, this was my first year as President with a completely new group of officers. Our one and only fundraiser for the year is a Race for Education, which we do in early October. To say I put a lot of time and effort into this is an understatement. But it is worth it.

Race for Ed 2014 011

Our theme was “Wild Safari,” so our group had a lot of fun with making it all themed out for the kids. It was an awesome day!

10698545_10205081035695298_3710090885776103313_n

My poor husband dressed up as a gorilla and stayed in this costume most of that day. The kids loved it and enjoyed chasing him around.

I’m told he must really, really love me for doing that. He does.Thankfully.

photo (3)

Our family has been really into hiking whenever the opportunity presents itself. We have had a number of gorgeous weekends to take advantage of and lots of pretty trails within reasonable driving distance. This is just a little snapshot of the kids checking out something on one of the trails.

house rock

A shot of my husband sitting atop a huge rock at the end of one of those trails overlooking the Susquehanna River. It is named “House Rock,” due to the fact that it’s huge.

photo (6)

My daughter is in her second year of violin, which she is pretty into. This is my sweet girl serenading us one evening.

10646970_10205220088931542_5509601595624361912_n

Not a very good picture, but this is my oldest son flipping acorn pancakes. Yup, you read that right. Acorn pancakes–as in, made from acorn flour. We took it upon ourselves to experiment with making acorn flour. A long process, but it turns out good! Next fall I would like to do more when the acorns first start dropping. We have a bit left that I put in the freezer to use in another recipe.

Well, that’s all folks. A brief snapshot into just some of what has been shaking around here. Like I said, busy but beautiful. I have LOTS to be thankful for!

Handmade Christmas 2014: Folded Antique Music Ornament

Standard

Hey everyone!

So I am slightly obsessed with things made out of either vintage sheet music pages or book pages.

I have done a number of previous crafts on here using this as a medium, usually for Christmas.

This is my latest trial set of projects and I have to say that I made quite a few.

hymn ornament 2

Oct 2014 033

Oct 2014 038

Definitely one of those things that once you make one, you are eager to do more.

They are fairly simple to pull off, and I promise that those who are supposedly “uncrafty” can still make these.

You can buy old books or hymn books at yard sales, used book sales, thrift shops, etc. I scored several antique music magazines from the 1920’s-1930’s at a local antique store for a couple bucks. They are awesome! I could seriously frame some of the ads in them for decoration, but that’s for another day.

Here’s the process I followed:

Oct 2014 029

I ripped out some pages and cut same-sized rectangles out of the paper. I stacked three together, lining up the edges, and folded them accordion style, or like a fan. It’s important to keep your folds approximately the same width.

Oct 2014 031

Next step is to separate them and fold each accordion in half, like in the above picture.

Glue together the middles of each so they all turn into a one-piece fan shape.

Oct 2014 032

Finally, to complete the circle, glue the three (or you could do a fuller one with 4) fan shapes together where they meet.

Oct 2014 046

You could leave them plain, but I chose to put some kind of embellishment in the center. Some have a bit of burlap with a sparkly snowflake on top, others have a glittery word like “Joy,” and some have little pictures from that old music magazine that are backed with cardstock. Cutouts from vintage Christmas cards would be really cool too I would think.

Oct 2014 039

Another option that looks neat is to make another layer that’s larger and place it underneath. Just use much larger pieces, or even a full page, to fold. I love the look of these, and you could go really big to make a wreath.

For any size you choose, just make sure to back it with something for stability. I used canning lids that had been used and washed, hot gluing them to the back. For the larger ones I used a round plastic lid that had been on an ice cream pail. You could use a circle of cardboard or something else that’s sturdy though.

Happy crafting! Stay tuned for more handmade Christmas ideas.

Handmade Christmas 2014: Glitter Magnets

Standard

If I’ve seemed rather sparkly lately, there’s a clear explanation for it.

(No, for those of you who tell me I need another baby, I am NOT pregnant!!)

I have been testing out a few Christmas projects that involve glitter.

Inevitably, no matter how careful I am, I always sparkle for the rest of the day. Glitter ends up on my face, in my hair, and on my clothes.

This is one of the projects I really have had fun making.

Oct 2014 018

They are a snap to make and end up looking downright amazing.

The process is such that you could knock out a bunch of these in one sitting.

For starters, you need to purchase the flat backed glass gems that come in mesh bags. I usually get mine at the Dollar Tree.

You also need Mod Podge, a foam brush, and different colors of glitter!

Oct 2014 006

Lay out the glass gems so that the flat side is up. I like to glitter over pieces of scrap paper so I can salvage unused glitter back into its container (and so my table doesn’t end up looking like a sparkly mess).

Brush the entire flat side with Mod Podge, then sprinkle heavily with glitter while it’s still wet. This is where you can do a bunch of one color at a time. Give it a few minutes, then tap off the excess and lay glass onto another sheet of paper. Funnel the first paper into your glitter jar so all that extra good stuff gets saved for another use.

Oct 2014 014

Now is the time to fire up your hot glue gun. I buy packs of round magnets at Wal Mart or the craft store to glue on the back.

Oct 2014 017

When all are dry and ready, flip them over so that the rounded top is up.

Oct 2014 020

The result? The sparkliness is magnified and looks really cool.

Oct 2014 024

This is a great project for kids to help with–or at least to shake on the glitter.

I have packaged these in groups of 4-5 stuck to a canning lid, then bagged in a cello bag with ribbon. They would be a cute, easy, and inexpensive little Christmas gift.

Shine on!

Rachel