artsy-fartsy mama: 2014

Artsy-Fartsy Mama's Top 10 Posts of 2014

Artsy-Fartsy Mama's Top 10 Posts of 2014 at artsyfartsymama.com

It's always fun to see what posts have been the most popular throughout the year. I have enjoyed sharing my recipes, projects, and free printables with you throughout 2014 and am excited to share even more in 2015!

Cheesy Potato Casserole (Funeral Potatoes) at artsyfartsymama.com

Free Printable St. Patrick's Day Bingo at artsyfartsymama.com

Easy Cake Mix Peanut Butter Cookies at artsyfartsymama.com

Free Printable Monthly Menu Planner at artsyfartsymama.com

You & Me Sign at artsyfartsymama.com

Perfect Mini Meatloaf at artsyfartsymama.com

Easy Soft Sugar Cookies at artsyfartsymama.com

Free Printable "We Belong Together" Valentines at artsyfartsymama.com

How to Replace a Shower Head at artsyfartsymama.com

DIY Winter Window Clings at artsyfartsymama.com

If you have suggestions on what kinds of things you'd like to see in 2015, please let me know in the comments or send me an email! I would love to hear from you.


Free Printable Budget Planner

It's the time of year to be thinking about new goals for the next year, and one thing on my list is to become better organized with our bills. Budgeting can be overwhelming, but if you use the right tools, it doesn't have to be so hard.

Free Printable Budget Planner at artsyfartsymama.com

My husband is fantastic at keeping on top of our bills, but like everyone else, once in a while we'll both forget about one and have to pay late fees. No bueno when your budget is already tight. So, I created this free printable bill calendar and checklist/budget planner to be able to write in bills for each month to make sure it doesn't happen again!

There are multiple boxes for each month, so you can easily organize your bills. There's also a space for you to write when each payment is due with a handy checkbox next to it so you know for sure it's been paid. Plus, it's a great way to keep a record for the future. For example, sometimes we try to guess how much we pay for heating and cooling during the summer and winter months, but now we can easily go back and know for sure how much the bills were during those times of the year.

Free Printable Budget Planner at artsyfartsymama.com


Since everyone organizes a bit differently, I created two versions of the printable: 2 vertical pages, and one horizontal page. The pages are split with January - June on one page, and July - December on the other. You can print multiple pages if you have more bills than can fit on the page. I bound my bill calendar & checklist with my weekly planner pages with menu planner so I can keep everything in one place and organized.

Free Printable Budget Planner at artsyfartsymama.com


The horizontal budget planner works the same way, but has the entire year on one page. This is easier for those who don't have a lot of space, or just want to hang it on the fridge for convenience. Just like the vertical pages, if you have more bills than what can fit on the page, just print more copies and staple them together.


Some things you should know before downloading:
*Artsy-Fartsy Mama printables are for PERSONAL USE ONLY.
*You may NOT modify, re-sell, redistribute, or claim the design as your own.
*Please do not remove the credits/watermarks.
*If you post this on the internet, credit must be given to Artsy-Fartsy Mama & linked back to my blog.

Best of luck to you in your budgeting this next year. If you have any tips for budgeting that has helped you, feel free to share them in the comments!!


Easy Kids Friendship Bracelets

This post is sponsored by CraftProjectIdeas.com/Horizon Group USA.

Easy Kids Friendship Bracelets at artsyfartsymama.com

My daughter has been having fun helping create handmade gifts for friends and family this year. Friendship bracelets have always been a fun and thoughtful gift idea, and these are easy for kids of all ages to make!

Easy Kids Friendship Bracelets at artsyfartsymama.com

To make friendship bracelets, you'll need:
Stretch Magic Jewelry Cord
Pony Beads (any colors - we used pearl white and multicolor)

Easy Kids Friendship Bracelets at artsyfartsymama.com

To make things easier for my daughter, I just unraveled enough of the stretch magic cord for her to work with and left it on the roll so when she put beads on, they wouldn't fall off the other end. Then, starting with the letters of the name, string the beads on. 

This is also a great opportunity for smaller children to learn about making patterns with beads, counting and spelling their name!

Easy Kids Friendship Bracelets at artsyfartsymama.com

Keep stringing beads on the cord, then try it on your child's wrist to check for fit. For my 4 year old's wrist, we used about 21 pony beads and 4 alphabet beads. Once it's at the right size, cut the cord and tie the ends together in a few knots. Pull tightly and they should hold just fine. If you have trouble with the knots slipping, you can pull the knot tight and add a drop of super glue.

Easy Kids Friendship Bracelets at artsyfartsymama.com

These bracelets come together quickly, and make such a fun gift for your children to give to their friends and family members!!


Artsy-Fartsy Link Party

Welcome to Artsy-Fartsy Link Party! I'm excited to have you here!!

artsy-fartsy mama

I hope you had a great week and are ready to link up what you've been working on! I'm always so impressed with the projects and recipes shared and am looking forward to reading all the new posts that you link up. Thanks to all those who linked up last party. There were so many fun posts to look through, and you make it hard for me to narrow down some to feature!!

READ MORE TO JOIN THE PARTY!


Free Printable Winter Bingo

We love playing bingo at our house. It's a great way we like to spend time together, and it has really helped my daughter's vocabulary! So go grab some cocoa and extra marshmallows, print out the Bingo sets, and get playing!

Free Printable Winter Bingo at artsyfartsymama.com

This Winter Bingo is a fun way to learn about the winter season, and to teach your child some new words. You can also play it together in your classrooms, or at a party! Since there's nothing to read, children of all ages can play!

(single PDF file includes 8 Bingo cards and calling pieces)


I've gotten a lot of requests to make more than 8 Bingo cards for larger groups that will be playing Bingo. To help solve this problem without having to create a whole bunch of card designs, I've put together a version that will make it easy for everyone to customize their own Bingo card.

Free Printable Winter Bingo at artsyfartsymama.com

Print out the Blank Winter Bingo Set, which comes with a blank card (with the "free" space already added), all 24 Bingo pieces, and the calling cards. Print the cards out on cardstock, and the Bingo pieces on cardstock or regular copy paper.

Cut the Bingo pieces by following the lines. Glue the pieces wherever you want on the card with glue stick until all the spaces (except the "free" space) are covered. This would be a fun activity for older kids to do all on their own. Younger children will need some assistance with the cutting, but my daughter had no problem gluing all the pieces down on her own.

(single PDF file includes blank Bingo card, Bingo pieces, and calling pieces)

Free Printable Winter Bingo at artsyfartsymama.com

Game Instructions
1. Pick some kind of object to mark your squares: mini marshmallows, beans, M&Ms, smarties, wrapped candy, cereal, or any other small items like buttons work great!
2. Give each player a Bingo card and markers (or put your own together with the blank set). Have each player put a marker over the free space.
3. The caller will draw a calling piece and announce the item on the card. Each player will cover that item on their card with a marker. Once a player has 5 squares covered in a row (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally), they call out "BINGO!" and win the game!

Some things you should know before downloading:
*Artsy-Fartsy Mama printables are for PERSONAL USE ONLY.
*You may NOT modify, re-sell, redistribute, or claim the design as your own.
*Please do not remove the credits/watermarks.
*If you post this on the internet, credit must be given to Artsy-Fartsy Mama & linked back to my blog.

To lengthen the life of the prints, I would recommend printing the Bingo cards and calling pieces on cardstock and laminating. All files are 8.5x11 inches and put together in a single PDF format.

Have fun!! Would love to hear from you if you play using my printable!


18 Hot Chocolate Recipes

18 Hot Chocolate Recipes at artsyfartsymama.com


Hot chocolate is one of our favorite drinks during the winter. Usually we just use hot chocolate packets for convenience, but there's just something about homemade hot chocolate that is SO much better and really isn't much work at all. Today I'm sharing 18 delicious hot chocolate recipes to warm you up!

18 Hot Chocolate Recipes at artsyfartsymama.com

1. Caramel Hot Chocolate from Cooking Classy
2. Slow Cooker Hot Chocolate from Princess Pinky Girl
3. Copycat Starbucks Hot Chocolate Recipe from My Frugal Adventures
5. Red Velvet Hot Cocoa from Heather's French Press
6. Coconut Hot Chocolate from The Crafted Sparrow
7. Pumpkin Spice White Hot Chocolate from No. 2 Pencil
8. Peppermint White Hot Chocolate Float from Your Homebased Mom
9. S'mores Hot Chocolate from Minimalist Baker
10. Peanut Butter Cup Hot Chocolate from Jade Louise Designs
11. Cinnamon Roll Hot Cocoa from Wine & Glue
13. Best Ever Creamy Crockpot Cocoa from One Good Thing by Jillee
14. Nutella Hot Chocolate from The Hungry Housewife
15. Gingerbread Hot Chocolate from Eat. Drink. Love.
16. Mexican Spiced Hot Chocolate from Gimme Some Oven
18. Homemade Hot Chocolate from One Little Project


DIY Winter Window Clings

This post is sponsored by Elmer's. As always, all opinions are my own.

My daughter is at the perfect age to help with decorating the house for Christmas and winter, and loves when she gets to help create decorations all by herself. She really loves putting up window clings to help dress up the windows, but we keep losing pieces and they can get kind of pricey when we need to get new ones. Instead, we created our own winter window cling designs with some help from Elmer's glues and glitter glue!

DIY Winter Window Clings at artsyfartsymama.com

To make window clings, you'll need:
8.5"x11" Plastic Pages/Sheet Protectors

DIY Winter Window Clings at artsyfartsymama.com

There are lots of ways to make your window clings. We started by putting the printables in the plastic pages, then made some mittens using only the Classic Glitter Glue. Outline the mitten right on the plastic page by following the lines on the pattern, then fill it in. Simple as that!

DIY Winter Window Clings at artsyfartsymama.com

You can keep the mitten all one color, or add in others to make it your own! Keep in mind that the Classic Glitter Glue, will spread a little, so the shape might not be exactly the same as when you first drew it. For example, we followed the line, but you can see how it spread in the corner by the thumb. Not a deal breaker by any means, but just something to keep in mind!

DIY Winter Window Clings at artsyfartsymama.com

Since the mittens were spreading a little, we decided to try outlining the mittens with the Glitter Glue Pens instead. It worked great! Everything stayed where it needed to, and they are easy for little fingers to use.

DIY Winter Window Clings at artsyfartsymama.com

Once you've outlined the mitten with the Glitter Glue Pen, fill it in with the Classic Glitter Glue or School Glue. We filled the bottom of the mitten with the pen only, but you can outline and fill with glue instead. Either way works great and looks fantastic! Since the mittens are all blank, it's a great way to let your kids get creative!

DIY Winter Window Clings at artsyfartsymama.com

Now, set the plastic page somewhere where it won't be bothered so the mittens can dry. If you want to make more, you can remove the paper and put it in a new page to keep creating, or print more copies.

DIY Winter Window Clings at artsyfartsymama.com

I've also made a page of mittens with patterns you can follow! For best results, outline the mitten and fill all the shapes/patterns with Glitter Glue Pens, then carefully fill in the rest of the mitten with Classic Glitter Glue or School Glue. The mittens with patterns are probably better for older kids or for parents to help with. My daughter chose all the colors, and I did the work.

DIY Winter Window Clings at artsyfartsymama.com

Once you've finished the mittens, set the page aside to dry.

DIY Winter Window Clings at artsyfartsymama.com

For the snowflakes, I found better results using the Glitter Glue Pens. The Classic Glitter Glue and School Glue work, too, but like I've mentioned before, they do spread!

Let all the clings dry for at least 24 hours. You'll be able to tell when they're done when the edges are popping up off the plastic page, and are no longer wet and tacky.

DIY Winter Window Clings at artsyfartsymama.com

Carefully peel the designs off the plastic pages and stick to your windows! If you have problems with them not sticking, you can heat them up a little with a hair dryer, or add a drop or two (not a lot!!) of water to the back and they should stick without any problem.

DIY Winter Window Clings at artsyfartsymama.com

Now your windows look ready for winter, even if it doesn't look like winter outside! This is such a fun craft to to with your kids on the weekend, or if they are home from school on break. The window clings would even be a fun gift they can make for friends or grandparents!


Artsy-Fartsy Link Party

Welcome to Artsy-Fartsy Link Party! I'm excited to have you here!!

artsy-fartsy mama

I hope you had a great week and are ready to link up what you've been working on! I'm always so impressed with the projects and recipes shared and am looking forward to reading all the new posts that you link up. Thanks to all those who linked up last party. There were so many fun posts to look through, and you make it hard for me to narrow down some to feature!!

READ MORE TO JOIN THE PARTY!


"Create" Faux Pallet Sign

Sponsored by FloraCraft Make It: Fun®

"Create" Faux Pallet Sign at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

I've always been a fan of pallet signs, but have never taken the time to rip a pallet apart (or convince the hubby to get one for me). I really wanted to add some decor to my new craft room, and with a little help from FloraCraft® Make It: Fun® Foam Sheets, I was able to create this faux pallet sign with just two foam sheets and a few other materials I had on hand! Using foam is a much cheaper option in the long run. Plus, the sign weighs almost nothing at all, which means no large holes in the wall!!

"Create" Faux Pallet Sign at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

To make this "Create" Faux Pallet Sign, you'll need:
One 15/16 12in x 36in FloraCraft Make It: Fun Foam Sheet
One 7/16 12in x 36in FloraCraft Make It: Fun Foam Sheet
FloraCraft StyroCutter® Plus
Three 8 oz Smooth Finish
Brown Acrylic Paints (one darker than the other)
Mod Podge
Tissue Paper

"Create" Faux Pallet Sign at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

Using a large ruler or yardstick, mark two horizontal lines on the 15/16" thick foam sheet. I marked mine about 4 inches apart. I highly recommend the StyroCutter Plus if you'll be crafting with foam!! It heats up in less than 30 second, and cuts through foam like butter with little effort. Lightly run the StyroCutter Plus along the lines and cut down into the sheet about 1/4 of the way. This will make your foam sheet look like it's pallets, so don't stress about making the lines perfect!

"Create" Faux Pallet Sign at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

Using a spatula or putty knife (something you won't be using on food again), open a Smooth Finish container and stir it up. It should be like a frosting consistency. If it seems a little dry, you can add a drop or two of water. Spread the Smooth Finish onto the foam sheet, one section at a time, then cover the edges. Try to get it on smooth, but add a little texture like you'd see in wood. You can also cover the cut lines, but then carve them back out with the putty knife or a plastic knife. You don't want to fill them in completely!

Let the foam sheet dry overnight.

"Create" Faux Pallet Sign at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

Print out some letters, and then cut them out. Trace them onto the 7/8" thick foam sheet. If you have straight edges on letters, feel free to line them up with the edge of the sheet! One less cut you'll have to make.

"Create" Faux Pallet Sign at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

Using the StyroCutter Plus, cut out the letters. Follow the traced lines and be sure to go SLOW and let the tool do the work. For the inside of letters like "A" and "R", you can simply stab the StyroCutter Plus into the foam and it cuts right through with no problem at all!!

"Create" Faux Pallet Sign at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

I wanted a different kind of texture on the letters than using Smooth Finish, so I decided to simply decoupage the foam. All you need is some Mod Podge and tissue paper cut into small pieces.

"Create" Faux Pallet Sign at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

Paint some Mod Podge onto the letter and add a piece of tissue paper. Keep painting Mod Podge and overlapping tissue paper pieces until the letter is covered. I love how the letter has different shades of pink from all the layers!! Once it's dry, you can paint a thin layer of Mod Podge on top of the letter.

"Create" Faux Pallet Sign at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

Once the board is completely dry (if you let it sit overnight, it will be fine), lightly sand the board to get it smooth. You'll still see the texture, but it will be smooth so you easily paint it and so can attach the letters easier.

Paint the board in a brown color (mine was a chocolate brown). I only needed one coat and it covered great! You can leave the board as-is, but I added a little bit of a darker brown on top to give it a little dimension and make it look a little more like wood. You just need to paint a light coat, and it can be blotchy! You want to be able to see some of the chocolate brown color showing through. I also painted the cut lines in the darker brown with a small paint brush.

"Create" Faux Pallet Sign at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

Let the paint dry, then lay the letters on the board to get an idea of where you want them to go. Then, attach the letters with some E6000 or hot glue. Use a ruler or measuring tape to make sure your letters are on evenly.

"Create" Faux Pallet Sign at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

Since the sign is made of foam instead of pallet boards, it's incredibly light! You can hang it with 3M Command Strips with no problem at all, or make a hanger on the back with some string and hang the sign on a nail.

For more foam craft ideas, visit the Make It: Fun site and follow FloraCraft on Pinterest and Facebook.


DIY Glitter Reindeer Art

This post is sponsored by Royal Design Studio.

DIY Glitter Reindeer Art at artsyfartsymama.com #royaldesignstudio

Creating holiday art is so much fun! I also love that this DIY Glitter Reindeer Art can also be on display throughout the year, which makes it a great gift idea if you are looking to make something handmade for family or friends!

I love bringing patterns into my wall art, and the best way to do that is with stencils! There are so many different stencil designs at Royal Design Studio, that there is really something for everyone. One of my favorites is the Get Ziggy With It Christmas Stencil. What's great about herringbone patterns is that it looks great on both holiday projects or for dislpaying year-round!

DIY Glitter Reindeer Art at artsyfartsymama.com #royaldesignstudio

To create your own DIY Glitter Reindeer Art, you'll need:
Get Ziggy With It Christmas Stencil
10x10 Wood Canvas Panel
Metallic Gold Spray Paint (or acrylic paint)
White Acrylic Paint
Chipboard
Sharpie Marker
Black Glitter

DIY Glitter Reindeer Art at artsyfartsymama.com #royaldesignstudio

Spray the canvas with 2-3 coats of metallic gold spray paint. For best results, paint each coat lightly and let each coat dry completely before adding another. Let dry completely.

DIY Glitter Reindeer Art at artsyfartsymama.com #royaldesignstudio

I lined up the stencil with the canvas panel and taped it down with some washi tape since it's not super strong and will pull off paint. You could also use a light coat of spray adhesive to hold the stencil down. Nothing like starting to paint with a stencil and have it shift on you!!

DIY Glitter Reindeer Art at artsyfartsymama.com #royaldesignstudio

When it comes to painting with stencils, I'm the type of person who enjoys doing it, but I don't always have the best of luck. After trying a few different methods, the best advice I can give is to paint in light coats, and offload the brush on a paper towel before applying it to the surface to remove a lot of the excess paint that can/will seep under the stencil. I ended up painting about 4 coats.

DIY Glitter Reindeer Art at artsyfartsymama.com #royaldesignstudio

Once you're done with the middle section, you'll need to move the stencil to paint the upper and lower sections. The stencil has perforated guides to help make sure you've got everything aligned! Re-tape the stencil down with the washi tape, and finish painting your pattern. Just make sure your paint has dried before you move the stencil on top of it!!

DIY Glitter Reindeer Art at artsyfartsymama.com #royaldesignstudio

If you happen to have any paint bleeds, you can fix it!! I just carefully used my fingernail or an Xacto knife and lightly scratched the paint around the edges and it all worked out fine. You can also touch up areas with a small paint brush.

DIY Glitter Reindeer Art at artsyfartsymama.com #royaldesignstudio

To make the reindeer, I cut out two reindeer images out of thin chipboard with my Cricut Explore. Spray the front of one of the deer with spray adhesive, then carefully lay the other on top. This will thicken up the chipboard (or just use thicker chipboard to start with) and make it a little more durable.

DIY Glitter Reindeer Art at artsyfartsymama.com #royaldesignstudio

Even though the deer is about to be covered in glitter (yay!), it will look best if the background is at least a similar color to the glitter (in this case, black). Keeping in mind that chipboard is like a thicker cardstock, I didn't want to load it up with paint. That would cause all kinds of problems, like making the paper wavy or bubbling. So, I colored the deer with a black Sharpie marker and let it dry. Easy enough, and it gave me a good excuse to play with markers!! 

DIY Glitter Reindeer Art at artsyfartsymama.com #royaldesignstudio

For the same reason as not using paint, I didn't opt to use Mod Podge or liquid glue on the deer. I simply sprayed a light coat of spray adhesive on top of the deer, and then placed it on a scrap piece of paper. Pour the glitter all over the deer and let sit for a minute or two. Then, I like to lightly tap my finger across the whole deer and kind of press the glitter in to make sure everything is sticking.

Carefully stand the deer up and tap off the excess glitter. You can reuse the glitter, so roll the paper up and funnel the glitter back into its container. Then, spray the deer with some clear spray paint to seal in the glitter for a mess-free design!!

DIY Glitter Reindeer Art at artsyfartsymama.com #royaldesignstudio

Figure out where you want the deer to be placed, and attach it to the wood canvas panel with some E6000 or hot glue. Now your Glitter Reindeer Art is ready to display or give as a gift this holiday season!