artsy-fartsy mama: January 2015

Artsy-Fartsy Link Party

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

artsy-fartsy mama

I hope you're all ready to link up what you've been working on! I'm always so inspired by 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!


Faux Valentine Piñata

Sponsored by FloraCraft Make It: Fun®

Faux Valentine Piñata Tutorial at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

Whenever I see a piñata, I immediately think "party time"! But it always makes me a little sad when the party is over and all you have left is a mangled piece of cardboard with some tissue paper stuck to it. I wanted to add a little fun to our Valentine's Day decor, so I created a piñata that will not meet death with a baseball bat. This piñata is a faux piñata - meaning no broken hearts here! (ba-dum-dum)

Faux Valentine Piñata Tutorial at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

To make the faux piñata, all you need is:
FloraCraft® Make It: Fun® Cake Form (I used a 4"x10" form, but any size will work)
StyroCutter® Plus or other foam cutting tools
Tissue Paper
Glue Gun/Glue Sticks
Glitter Paper
FloraCraft® Make It: Fun® Spray Glitter (I used silver)

Faux Valentine Piñata Tutorial at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

Draw or trace a heart onto the cake form with a marker. I printed out a heart, cut it out, and traced the edges. Try to use the edges as much as possible to use as much as the cake form as you can. Learn from my experience, and draw with the same color as your tissue paper if possible...the marker can sometimes show through.

Faux Valentine Piñata Tutorial at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

Using the StyroCutter® Plus, cut the heart shape out. Make sure to go super slow, otherwise you could break the cutter. I personally prefer this tool because it makes the cutting virtually mess free, and it heats up in less than 30 seconds. If you don't have one, there are lots of other knives you can use that will cut through the foam. It's okay if it isn't cut perfectly (just take a look at mine!). Once it's covered, no one will be able to tell.

Faux Valentine Piñata Tutorial at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

With the tissue paper folded in half, cut a one inch strip along the entire bottom edge. Starting at one end, cut small strips into the tissue paper, being careful not to cut all the way through. When you get to the other end, you'll now have a couple long strips of tissue paper fringe. I cut one to start with, then cut more as I needed. I ended up using about 3 1/2 one inch strips total for the entire piñata.

Heat up the glue gun, then measure a length of tissue paper fringe to the bottom of the heart. Add a little extra, then rip it away from the rest of the strip of paper. Add some hot glue to the foam where the fringe will go, and carefully stick the tissue paper strip on. Work from the bottom up, and layer the fringe pieces on top of each other (see image above).

**Keep in mind that you will probably doubt yourself a few times throughout the process, but just keep going!! It will look great in the end!

Faux Valentine Piñata Tutorial at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

Keep going until the entire front of the piñata completely covered. It's okay to have extra paper hanging along the edges of the piñata. This is a little time consuming, but turn on some Netflix or Hulu and you'll be good to go!

Faux Valentine Piñata Tutorial at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

Turn the piñata on it's side, and trim the excess tissue paper off with some scissors. This will really clean it up and get you ready to start the sides. You're almost done!!

Faux Valentine Piñata Tutorial at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

Starting on the bottom of one side, glue on strips of fringed tissue paper up all the way to the center. You can leave extra on the ends if you want, or you can cut them to fit. Either way will work fine. Then turn the heart over, and repeat on the other side. Trim the extra tissue paper around the edges if needed.

**I didn't worry about the back since no one would see it, but you're more than welcome to cover it if you want. If you do choose to cover it, I would do it before you add the sides.

Faux Valentine Piñata Tutorial at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

Next, I cut out "Be Mine" out of some American Crafts glitter paper with my Cricut Explore. This is the same glitter paper that I used in my DIY Valentine's Day Banner.

I laid out the letters, then attached them with some Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue. This glue really does make things stick quickly, so it's perfect for projects like these when you don't want things shifting or making you wait forever before moving on to the next step.

Faux Valentine Piñata Tutorial at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

If you know anything about me, you know I always love adding a little (or a lot) more sparkle whenever possible... So, of course, I couldn't resist adding a couple layers of silver spray glitter to add some extra shine!!

Spray the spray glitter 12-15 inches away from the piñata (just like you would a spray paint), and let it dry for a couple of minutes. Then, add another coat or two as necessary. Let dry completely before touching it to prevent any of the fringe from sticking to you and coming off.

Faux Valentine Piñata Tutorial at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

Once the spray glitter is dry, your piñata is technically done! You can put it on a shelf or mantel for display with other Valentine's Day decor.

Faux Valentine Piñata Tutorial at artsyfartsymama.com #MakeItFunCrafts

Or, to really get in the piñata spirit, you can attach a string to the top center or the top in the back and hang the piñata!! Just warn the kids (and fun-loving adults) that this piñata is candy-free!!! I am absolutely smitten with this project!!

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


DIY Valentine's Day Banner

This post is sponsored by Target. All opinions are my own.

Creating Valentine's Day decor is so much fun!! I love all the sweet reds and pinks, and of course I can't resist all the sparkles!! This Valentine's Day banner I'm going to show you how to make is super simple and affordable, and now you have an excuse to hit the Target One Spot!

DIY Valentine's Day Banner at artsyfartsymama.com #OneSpotValentine

I'm always checking Target One Spot for cute craft supplies, and now there are over 40 products to choose from - like Valentine's Day themed stickers and paper, washi tape, and kraft & chalkboard style basics for $1-3 each! They will only be available for a limited time though, so I'd hurry and stock up while you can...

DIY Valentine's Day Banner at artsyfartsymama.com #OneSpotValentine

To make this cute Valentine's Day banner, you'll need:
  • Valentine Dimensional Stickers
  • Valentine Glitter Papers (I used silver, pink, and red)
  • White Textured Cardstock
  • Quick Drying Glue (I used Elmer's Craft Bond Glue Pen)
  • Mini Clothespins
  • Valentine Burlap Bows
  • String or Twine

I cut out my banner pieces with my Cricut Explore, but you can easily use paper punches or hand cut instead if you don't have one. The Cricut cut through the glitter paper like butter, and the paper is a beautiful quality. I'm really excited to keep creating with the scraps and will seriously be stocking up on it!!

DIY Valentine's Day Banner at artsyfartsymama.com #OneSpotValentine

First, glue the red glitter piece on top of the silver glitter piece. The glue dries quickly and doesn't warp the paper at all. Next, center the red/silver piece on the white cardstock piece and glue down. Now you have one piece of your banner done! I made four of these banner pieces.

DIY Valentine's Day Banner at artsyfartsymama.com #OneSpotValentine

For the pink banner pieces, glue the white cardstock circle onto the pink glitter piece. Then, center the pink/white piece onto the silver banner piece and glue it down. I made three of the pink banner pieces.

DIY Valentine's Day Banner at artsyfartsymama.com #OneSpotValentine

To take your banner to the next level, simply add the dimensional stickers to the centers of the banner pieces. I'm loving all the adorable Valentine's dimensional stickers (cute images with foam stickies on the back so they stand out). This polaroid sticker is my favorite!! Add one, or mix it up with a few! It's all up to you, and no two banners will look the same!

DIY Valentine's Day Banner at artsyfartsymama.com #OneSpotValentine

The tops of the banners fold over, so I needed to use some mini clothespins to help them stay in place. To give them a little extra cuteness, I added some mini burlap bows to the clothespins. They had the same foam stickers on the back as the dimensional stickers, so it took no time at all to get the clothespins ready to use.

DIY Valentine's Day Banner at artsyfartsymama.com #OneSpotValentine

Once you have all the banners and clothespins put together, they are ready to put on display! Hang a piece of cute baker's twine or other string. Then, clip all your banner pieces up, alternating the red and pink banner pieces.

DIY Valentine's Day Banner at artsyfartsymama.com #OneSpotValentine

I'm so happy with my Valentine's Day banner, and can't wait to show you more of what I've made with other supplies from the Target One Spot!!

DIY Valentine's Day Banner at artsyfartsymama.com #OneSpotValentine

To see more adorable Valentine projects using supplies from Target One Spot, search the #OneSpotValentine hashtag on social media!


Artsy-Fartsy Link Party

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

artsy-fartsy mama

I hope you're all ready to link up what you've been working on! I'm always so inspired by 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 Unicorn Valentines

My daughter loves everything unicorn. Everything. So when she asked if I could make her some unicorn-themed valentines this year for her to give to her friends, of course I said yes!! I'm sure she's not the only unicorn fan out there, so I'm offering the Unicorn Valentines as a free printable for you, too!

Free Printable Unicorn Valentines at artsyfartsymama.com #ValentinesDay #Unicorn

There are the four different Valentine designs included in the printable. Just print, cut, and write in the to/from and you're good to go!

Free Printable Unicorn Valentines at artsyfartsymama.com #ValentinesDay #Unicorn

If you want to add something extra (we chose sparkly glittered pencils), it's easy to attach it to the cards! Cut carefully along the unicorn's leg with an Xacto knife and slide the pencil (or sucker, candy, etc) through so it looks like the unicorn is holding it!

For best results, print the Unicorn Valentines on cardstock.


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

I hope you have fun with this printable, and feel free to share all about the fun if you use it!


Free Printable Valentine's Day Word Search

My daughter has grown quite fond of doing word searches lately. She's been learning to read and is doing wonderfully, so being able to read the words herself and finding them in the word search has really boosted her confidence and is a fun way to pass the time.

Free Printable Valentine's Day Word Search at artsyfartsymama.com #ValentinesDay #printable

To help teach my daughter some new vocabulary words about Valentine's Day, I put together this free printable Valentine's Day Word Search. This should be fun for any kids, whether they are celebrating at home or if any of you teachers want to print them out for your class parties.

There are 15 Valentine-themed words, all hidden in the word search horizontally, vertically, diagonally, and backwards. My 5 year old needed a little help finding a few words, but did most of it on her own. If you want to share even more word search fun, hand out some Free Printable Word Search Valentines to your friends!


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

I hope you have fun with this printable, and feel free to share all about the fun if you use it!


Artsy-Fartsy Link Party

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

artsy-fartsy mama

I hope you're all ready to link up what you've been working on! I'm always so inspired by 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!


Easy Ham Fried Rice

Nothing is easier than ordering Chinese take-out, but this recipe sure comes close!! Ham fried rice has always been my favorite thing to order at Chinese restaurants, but now I can make it in the comfort of my own home when we don't have the money to go out to eat.

Easy Ham Fried Rice at artsyfartsymama.com #easydinnerideas #easyrecipe

This ham fried rice comes together in less than 20 minutes, and you can do a lot of the prep beforehand to make it go even faster. You can either cook the rice fresh (right before you want to start cooking), or make it the night or morning before you want to eat. I cooked mine in the rice cooker the morning of, and it turned out great. You can also use frozen vegetables and packaged diced ham to really save on time!

INGREDIENTS:
3 cups cooked rice (made fresh or the night/morning before)
2 Tbsp sesame oil or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups diced ham
1 cup frozen peas & carrots, thawed (optional)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2-3 Tbsp soy sauce

DIRECTIONS:
  1. In a large wok or skillet, warm oil at medium heat.
  2. Add in ham and cook until heated through.
  3. Add in vegetables (optional) and cook until tender.
  4. Move ham & vegetables to the side (or make a hole in the center of the pan) and add the eggs. Cook until egg is scrambled and firm, then mix with ham and vegetables.
  5. Add rice to the ham, vegetable, and egg mixture.
  6. Pour soy sauce on rice, then stir until combined and heated through.
  7. Serve immediately with Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken.


Artsy-Fartsy Link Party

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

artsy-fartsy mama

I hope you're all ready to link up what you've been working on! I'm always so inspired by 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 My Little Pony Bingo

My daughter absolutely loves everything My Little Pony! For her birthday, she planned out an entire My Little Pony-themed party all on her own, including some My Little Pony Bingo to play with her friends at the party. Of course, I obliged, and here is the free printable to share with you!

Free Printable My Little Pony Bingo at artsyfartsymama.com

Download My Little Pony Bingo
(single PDF file includes 8 Bingo cards and calling pieces)

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. 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 share this on the internet, credit must be given to Artsy-Fartsy Mama & linked back to this post.


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!


DIY Stamped Monogram Necklace

DIY Stamped Monogram Necklace at artsyfartsymama.com #diyjewelry

This DIY Stamped Monogram Necklace is easy to make, and can be customized for anyone you want to make one for. If you loved playing with play dough as a kid (or as an adult - I know I do!), you'll love creating this necklace!!

DIY Stamped Monogram Necklace Supplies at artsyfartsymama.com #diyjewelry

To make this necklace, you'll need:
Polymer Clay (any brand will work, I personally prefer Sculpey)
Rubber Alphabet Stamps (I found mine in the dollar section at Michael's)
Large Jump Ring
Chain
Lobster Clasp

DIY Stamped Monogram Necklace at artsyfartsymama.com #diyjewelry

Grab a small piece of clay and roll it into about a 1" ball. Try to get it as smooth as you can. The ball doesn't have to be perfectly round.

DIY Stamped Monogram Necklace at artsyfartsymama.com #diyjewelry

Using something smooth (I used the stamp kit lid), smash the ball down until it's the size and thickness you want. I usually try to get mine to a little less than 1/4" thick. Try not to use your fingers too much or your pendant will be covered in fingerprints.

If it ends up being too big, take off a little bit of clay and start over. If it's too small, add a little clay until it's the right size. After making a few, you'll be able to tell how much you need.

Sometimes the clay can get really sticky and/or too soft if you've been handling it too much. If this happens, just set it aside for a minute to cool down. You want the clay soft, but still firm.

DIY Stamped Monogram Necklace at artsyfartsymama.com #diyjewelry

Next, take the stamp and lightly press it into the clay where you want the letter to be. I am not the best at getting it centered, so I usually put it slightly to the right of the center. You can certainly place it wherever you want. Just don't put it near the top.

If you mess up, just roll the clay back into a ball and start over. If you accidentally press the stamp too hard and leave corner marks from the stamp, you can lightly rub the marks and they should smooth back out.

DIY Stamped Monogram Necklace at artsyfartsymama.com #diyjewelry

Using a pin or small skewer, carefully poke a hole in the center top of the pendant and kind of swirl it around to smooth it out and make the hole a little bigger. It might seem easier to pick up the pendant and pierce it, but don't! You can leave fingerprints and/or mess up your stamped letter.

Carefully put the pendant onto a pan and bake it according to the polymer clay package directions. Let it cool completely.

DIY Stamped Monogram Necklace at artsyfartsymama.com #diyjewelry

With a small, damp paint brush, water down some white acrylic paint. Paint over the stamped letter. Lightly wipe the pendant with a damp paper towel, and the most of the paint should stay in the stamped area and the rest will wipe clean. If you need more, keep repeating until it looks the way you want. You could also use a tiny paint brush, and paint in the letter itself instead. It's not perfect, but I like to think that's part of the charm!!

Once the paint has dried, you can spray the pendant with clear spray paint or polyurethane spray to protect it and give it a little shine. This step is optional, but I like how it looks.

DIY Stamped Monogram Necklace at artsyfartsymama.com #diyjewelry

Open a large jump ring and hook it through the hole in the pendant. Close the jump ring.

You can even make these necklaces for kids! The "Z" pendant is one I made for my daughter. All you have to do is make a smaller ball, but the rest of the steps are the same.

DIY Stamped Monogram Necklace at artsyfartsymama.com #diyjewelry

Slide the pendant onto a chain and add a lobster clasp and small jump ring to the ends of the chain to finish your necklace. You can also add a bead or two with a headpin and a small jump ring to add a little more flair to your necklace.


Free Printable Word Search Valentines

I look forward to designing new Valentines cards for kids every year. This year, instead of the more traditional Valentine, I decided to create a Word Search Valentine! The word search is really fun for kids (and adults) of all ages, so share the love with friends and co-workers!

Free Printable Word Search Valentines at artsyfartsymama.com

These Word Search Valentines have 14 Valentine-theme words for the kids to find, and come in two colors for you to choose from. Your child can give these Valentines as-is, paired with a treat, or go the non-candy route and add a cute pen, pencil, or crayons!

Free Printable Word Search Valentines at artsyfartsymama.com


Free Printable Word Search Valentines at artsyfartsymama.com


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 watermark.
*If you share this on the internet, credit must be given to Artsy-Fartsy Mama & linked back to this post.


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 wonderful Christmas & Happy New Year! Get 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!