DIY Travel Checkers

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Good morning, Friday Crafthackers!

We are in the middle of road trip season,  and you know what that means? It means keeping people entertained. In a car. For hours on end. So I bring for you a beautiful little diy that can be brought with you anywhere! You can find the full tutorial here for how to make a travel checkers kit.

You’ll need some supplies: Felt – two colours, 1 piece each at 8″x 8″ for the board. Two colours, one piece each for the tokens at 4″ x 5″. You’ll need one colour of  8.5″ x 8.5″ for the board, and one more colour, two pieces of 9″ x 11″ for the bag, if you’d like to make one. Cotton:  1 piece of 10″ x 23″, to line the bag so it can slip easily in and out. You’ll also need thread, a hot glue gun and glue (optional), buttons (12 of each of two different colours), 2 one yard measured drawstrings that can be made from whatever you like. 2 Pony beads.

To make your checkerboard, cut 8 strips of each colour for your board at 1″ wide and 8″ long. Cut the background piece of felt to 8.5″ x 8.5″. On a flat surface, lay background piece flat and weave the strips together to form the board on top of the background. This can be done by weaving over and under, and centre the board on the background piece so that you have a background border of about half an inch.

Stich the pieces down with a wide zigzag strip, going around the pieces that have been woven to make the board. Make sure to test each strip when you’re done to make sure they won’t pull up, especially ones hidden by the edge strips. Give the edges a second go over if you’re finding anything pulling.

For your tokens, use a quarter or another 1″ circle and trace 12 circles on each of the two different colours of felt you chose for your pieces. Cut the circles just on the inside of your traced lines so you don’t see the ink. Attach your buttons to the circles either sewing by hand or using hot glue. The felt tokens will cling to the board and when they are kinged, you can flip them over and put the two felt sides together and they should cling there as well.

You can follow the directions on the page for a drawstring bag, and there are directions here for a fabric bag. You might also just want to stick this in a little ziplock bag, and be done with it, if you’re anything like me.

Another interesting take on something like this would be to print symbols for chess, and glue them to round buttons (instead of anything else) on the pieces. You could even make two sets of tokens, one for chess, one for checkers.

Happy crafting!



DIY: Egg Carton Spring Wreaths

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Good morning Thursday Crafthackers.

I have for you a project, this morning, that you can do with kids, though it does take a few weeks of planning to save the egg cartons you will need. Though, if you have friends nearby, ask them to save theirs for you and you should have a collection in about a week or two. You can find the full tutorial here at Homemade Serenity. I think this is a super cool idea to do, especially with kids, really anything to get kids working with their hands for something to show off on the front door. My mother used a white garbage bag wreath I made for many years when I was young and it was always one of my favourite things to see when I came up to her house in the winter.

Step one: Making your flower shapes.

Once you have a plethora of egg cartons at your disposal, you and your team of super duper crafters will need to cut out the cups and cut them into varying shapes of petals. Curved, spiky, small petals, big petals. Whatever you can think of! You can save the in between pieces for the centre of the flowers, and you can make leaves out of the flat parts of your cartons. The one piece that you will need to have, that you cannot get from an egg carton is a base for your wreath. You can use an old box, you can buy cardboard or you can just use a clean pizza box lid. All you need to do is cut a ring the size that you would like your wreath and have enough little egg cups and leaves to cover it.

Your next step is to paint these beauties. You can use any kind of paint you like, like bright tempura paints, or if you’re making your own egg carton wreath without little humans running around, you might want to get a little more detailed with the colour. Whoever is doing the painting, let it be fun and cheerful. This is a spring wreath, after all. Paint your base as well so that if there are any spots that are a little less filled, then no one will notice. If you’re working with kids (as that blogger did), you can go in after the main colours are painted to add details or secondary colours. It’s all about how much extra you’d like to do to your happy little wreath.

When your flowers are dry, using a hot glue gun (watch out for little fingers), you can choose where and how to place each flower. They might be a little stiff from painting, but you can manhandle them a little to loosen them up and get them looking how you’d like. Remember you can double them up for a layered effect, glue in the little centres that you made, and to fill in any gaps with leaves. If you want to get really creative you can add pieces of ribbon, you can add glitter glue to edges, you can add buttons to centres… you can really add anything that you’d like. Something like this needs to be super fun and playful. If you would like, you can also spray it with a sealant to keep it for the following year or make a new tradition of making a spring wreath every year! (Like pumpkins!)

When everything is dry and set, you’re ready to hang. Just make sure to hang this cheerful wreath out of the elements, so if you have a covered porch it would be fine, otherwise inside would be best as it is, after all, something that would droop and possibly disintegrate with enough water exposure. I think the finished project is so cute and cheerful that even though it’s just painted egg cartons, it would brighten up any room.


Hope you enjoyed the DIY!

Happy crafting!

~ Megan

A Sticky Sort of Craft

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Happy Sunday, all!

I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up, the summer was full of all kinds of cold treats but the most popular definitely came on the end of a stick: popsicles. Now that it’s getting cooler out, we can make the switch to caramel apples and other fall goodies but what about all the popsicle sticks from the previous season? Should they just be tossed out? Of course not!* There are much better things to be done with them, especially when they provide hours of fun for the kiddos in your life. We can add a further element of fun by making them seasonally appropriate.

For instance, with some paint, glue, and pipe cleaners, you could make these pumpkin door hangers to greet your guests:

It guarantees a gourd time!

It guarantees a gourd time!

Or if you have some leftover yarn and some spider rings, you can creep them out with some fantastic spider webs:

This is a craft to get stuck on.

This is a craft to get stuck on.

If you only have some paint and popsicle sticks, that’s still ok! Easy monster sticks are just some paint away:

I think some googly eyes would make these even better.

I think some googly eyes would make these even better.

Of course, if you and the little ones want to build an entire village of cool Halloween stick crafts, you are going to need a haunted house to complete the look:

This is pretty spooktacular.

This is pretty spooktacular.

Have fun making your own stick creations!

Stay crafty!


*Please note that if you either didn’t think to save popsicle sticks or are grossed out by the idea of using some that have had little mouths all over them, there are always packs of stick to be found at your local craft store.




Handmade Halloween Costumes

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Just like my fellow Craft Hackers I LOVE Halloween.  It is one of my favorite holidays and I try to celebrate it all month long.

On Monday, Nicole wrote about making your own Halloween costume.  What if you don’t have time, or are crafty enough to make it yourself but want a handmade Halloween costume?  Etsy to the rescue!  Here are some cute handmade kids costumes that you can buy today. Click on the photos to see the Etsy listing.

halloween1 halloween2



halloween5 halloween6\

I found these amazing costumes just by searching Etsy!  Take a look and you can find some really cool handmade things for Halloween.




Back to School Crafting

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Hi everyone and Happy Wednesday!

I’m a guest blogger on CraftHackers today!  My name is Lindsay and I own a small business called Stamps & Stitches.  I’m a general crafter as in I do a little bit of everything – card making, cross-stitching, scrapbooking, and knitting.  You can see what I’m up to on my Facebook page!

Today we’re going to talk about crafting for back to school.  It’s a great time of year for everyone to learn something new, not just the kids!  Learning different crafts is in my opinion the best kind of learning!  It’s also never to early to inspire your kids with a bit of extra creativity and get started on those teacher’s gifts that you might give out at different times of the year.

Let’s start out with the teachers’ gifts.  How adorable is this apple clay jar?  All you need is a clay pot, some paint and either some clay or a marble for the top.  And don’t forget the leaf!  It’s the finishing touch!  Here are the instructions and don’t forget to fill it with the teacher’s favourite goodies!

Clay_pot_jar_lid_fun_kids_craft_7 Clay_pot_jar_lid_fun_kids_craft_9

Next up, I am sure your teenager would love to decorate their lockers to make it their own and unique.  How about some hand-made bottle cap magnets?  You and your teen can decorate them to fit their specific style and interests!  These instructions include graphics to turn your bottle caps into super cool clocks but get out your paintbrush and any design will do!


Finally, how are you going to keep your kid’s space or even your crafting space organized?  Take some old cans (especially those that don’t have sharp edges), decorate them with some pretty designer paper and glue them together into a cool shape!  For this particular craft, all you would need is some empty cans or containers (try to gets ones that are all the same size), some decorative paper, paper adhesive, hot glue to glue your cans into whatever shape you like and your imagination!  Having each container hold a different type of item is the perfect way to keep your kids organized and have them WANT to put away their pens and markers!  I know I’ll be using this one in my craft room, nevermind the kids!!


I hope you’re all enjoying the silence with the children off to school and are getting some crafting done!

Craft on and make sure to share with us what you’re working on!

– Lindsay

DIY Clean Hands Sidewalk Chalk

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I miss coloring with chalk. Back when I did it more I wasn’t very good at drawing so I feel now is my time to shine as an adult to leave something awesome outside for all the Pokemon GO players to see. Sadly I have dry hands since I work with yarn so much so using chalk isn’t something high on the list. Well, until I found this video by Baby First TV that shows the simple and easy way to turn empty deodorant containers into chalk holders! No more mess on your hands and you can easily stick some in your kids travel bag instead of lugging a huge bucket of the stuff with no fear of it getting everywhere.


The ingredient list is very simple:

-Plaster of Paris
-Tempera Paint

Simply mix and put it in your container of choice before allowing it to dry. ^_^

Just in case you don’t want to bother watching the video on Facebook though, you can also go to their pintrest page (if you have an account) to view the steps….or just scroll down a bit more instead. 😉


Big Fun in the Backyard

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A glorious day, Sunday readers! It’s summer and those lazy, weekend days are numbered! What are you going to do about it?! How about some oversized backyard game DIYs so that you can take advantage of as many as you can? Pretty much everyone has at least seen the giant sized Jenga and maybe you’ve played giant chess in the park but what about…a giant Four in a Row:

Pretty simple design AND you get to play with power tools! Woohoo!

Pretty simple design AND you get to play with power tools! Woohoo!

The tutorial, found here, seems pretty easy to follow and won’t take long if you are pretty handy with the power tools! Want something a bit simpler? How about a game of Yardzee:

Just be careful that no one is in the way of your roll!

Just be careful that no one is in the way of your roll!

If you follow the guidelines outlined here, you can even put in an order for those snazzy decals to make it all official! Ok, ok, what if you are more of the fabric or paint oriented crafter? Have I got just the thing for you (that also happens to be one of my fave games), giant sized Trouble:

It's not pop-o-matic but it will do!

It’s not pop-o-matic but it will do!

The description of the process can be found here and there are even more ideas therein for a Trouble themed party if you wanted to take it further.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go talk my parents into letting me turn their backyard into a giant sized Twister game!

Stay crafty!




A Bit of Quiet Time

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It’s a lovely Spring day out here and the sound of kids playing in the park across the street is filtering in through my windows. What a great time to be outside getting dirty and running around (especially because it wears them out), right? But  what about those times when it’s raining or you’re on a long road trip or waiting for a doctor’s appointment? I know the default nowadays is to hand them some kind of electronic device but if you want an alternative to that quiet books are just the thing! What is a quiet book? Generally it is a bound bunch of felt or cloth pages with themed learning exercises to entertain and maybe even challenge those young minds. There are plenty of great examples out there, the largest resource I’ve found for ideas is actually an entire blog devoted to the subject: The Quiet Book Blog.

The apples and the spots on the dinosaur are moveable!

The apples and the spots on the dinosaur are moveable!

I love the ones that make learning fun and interesting that may also work on fine motor skills. There are plenty of examples for quiet book pages that teach kids to use buckles, zippers, and zippers. Many of the books targeted to the younger children feature games to help them learn numbers, shapes or colors in cool ways like sorting socks!

Look at that cute little dryer, the sock devourer!

Look at that cute little dryer, the sock devourer!

Once I started searching for page ideas, I couldn’t stop and you know me, I need some geeky versions, too. I was NOT disappointed. There are plenty of amazing fandom based quiet book patterns out there!

QuietBookStarWars  QuietBookHarryPotter

The details and difficulty levels on creating these awesome books are all up to the creator. I have to give mad props to some of the sewing skills and ingenuity on some of the ones I’ve found, though. Many are like miniature cloth works of art!

All the best to help Mario get past that wiggler!

All the little details plus a slight challenge for motor skills!

I assure you that there are plenty more where these came from! Just think of all the possibilities…maybe a Hobbit based one with a Gollum fish counting page? How about a Doctor Who one wherein they have different hats/jackets/scarf/bowtie to dress up the Doctor? What a great gift these would be for that budding little geek!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip through quiet books as much as I have. I think my to-do pile just grew another ten feet!

Have a great week and stay crafty!




DIY Easter Activities

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The holding of getting drunk and the holiday of bunnies and eggs are separated by less than 2 weeks this year, so I don’t know about you but it’s been taking my by surprise to see all the Easter candy everywhere instead of shamrocks. I decided to jump on that bandwagon today though and share some DIY printable Easter crafts for kids that you can prepare and have ready when the day comes.

First up is a super simple one that’s always a classic; pin the tail on blank. A bunny in this case obviously, but all you’ll need for this game are the printed 12×18, some ribbon to hang it with ans the bunny tails. Bloom Designs recommends more print outs, but I think using cotton balls would be much more enjoyable. 🙂

Being a yarn person, this one from Fantastic Fun and Learning definitely speaks to me as a great way to get rid of unwanted yarn! Simply cut and egg shape out of some cardboard (think cereal box kind), punch a hole at the top to start the yarn and wind away! The kids can even hang it up when they’re done if they like.

Do small things with love has a very lovely spring banner template that you can use on a large group very effectively. All you have to do is print (and cut depending on the age) the pictures out ahead of time, place them next to a bucket of crayons and let them have at it for a while. A bit of yarn of string and tape to hold it down with is all that’s needed when they’re done.

Lastly I Gotta Create! give us these super cute bunny head bands, with bonus tails! Not sure how well those would stay on, but this is a printable you’d have to take to your local copy/print location to get run off. If the kids are old enough you could even let them be the ones to cut out their own head band. 🙂

A Very Sensory Sunday

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Happy Sunday, readers! Unfortunately, due to some technical difficulties I will have to postpone my tutorial for a pin cushion cuff until next week. I do hope that the following will keep you busy until then! Some of my teacher friends have been posting about the sensory bottles they’ve been making for their classrooms…and how they may just keep some for themselves. What is a sensory bottle? Usually it’s an old water bottle filled with water, baby oil, glitter, and anything else that catches the eye. The result is nothing short of a genius way to keep a child (or adult) busy for hours!


Bubbles, bubbles everywhere!

There are a number of tutorials out there with great ideas for different inclusions to create a myriad of shapes, colors, and textures.

It’s the soothing ocean in a bottle!

Adding interesting drop-in elements can turn any of these into an instant learning tool as well, such as a “Count the Stars” game, perfect for downtime just before bed.

Just in case the real stars aren’t visible, you can still wish on these.

Sensory bottles aren’t just for the kids, they are also wonderful for a midday meditation tool when at your desk. Give them a try, you won’t be disappointed! Just make sure they are properly sealed.

See you next week when I promise to have that pincushion tutorial!

Stay crafty!