My one year old is going through an extreme teething phase right now and I’m willing to try about anything to soothe him and the fuss. As I was searching for teething toys, I came across these super cute DIY personalized teething pacifier clips and I decided to give it a whirl. The final product was so cute, I simply had to share.
These easy to make clips are the perfect gift or quick craft for the mama looking for a teething solution. Below I’ve included the supplies needed and step by step directions for creating these super simple and sweet DIY personalized teething pacifier clips!
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One at a time, place silicone teething beads on the cord. You may need to use the bobby pin to push the cord through the bead or tape to control a frayed cord.
Find the center of the entire piece of cord and tie a knot to create a 2.5″ loop. Slide the beads down to the knot. Then thread the needle back through the beads.
When you get to the end, loop the cord around the base of a pacifier clip. Hold it taught, and wrap the end of the cord tightly around the base of the clip and knot. Thread the end of the cord back through a few beads (to hide the excess) and trim the end.
And there it is! A pacifier clip that doubles as a teething toy. Be sure that the beads are secure on the cord and that the knots are tied tight. These beads are perfect for teething but post a choking threat if detached.
How is it that the second child’s first year flies by even faster than the first? I’m over here scratching my head trying to figure out where the time went. It feels as though we were just in the hospital introducing him to big brother and yet here we are, only a few weeks away from his first birthday. (Don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here in my feelings)
With time having left us little to work with, I decided to set up an in-home cake smash photoshoot for his first birthday so I could have the photos in time for his party. I feared that most professional photographers would be be booked by this point and I wanted to flex some creative muscles as photography is definitely a hobby of mine.
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I can only describe the in-home cake smash as a huge success! The photos are priceless. The experience was incredibly fun and it became a family ordeal, as big brother helped draw big smiles (as only a big brother can) and Dad assisted with props.
The birthday boy normally doesn’t stop moving and can be difficult to capture. However, the cake kept him anchored in place long enough to snap some great photos. Once all was said and done, we had a few bites of what was left of the decimated treat.
I want to empower other moms to have some fun with their own cake smash photo-shoots because it truly is so easy! Save time and money and capture some memories without having to leave the house. Flex full control over the shots you want to frame and print at your leisure without acquiring extra cost.
Here is a step-by-step guide explaining how to create your own cake smash photo-shoot at home!
Step 1.) Find a Location
The lighting and background of your photo-shoot will play a huge role in the quality of your photos. Select a spot in your home with plenty of natural light. Use the space in front of a big window or sliding glass door. Turn off any overhead lights to prevent orange and brackish coloring in the photos.
If there isn’t an ideal location inside, outside will work too. Be sure to choose a time of day where the shadows won’t be overpowering your subject.
The background should be plain and simple. Use a white wall or purchase a backdrop on amazon that can be hung or used as a faux white wood floor. These elements ensure that baby will be the central focus of each capture. I’ve linked one below. A white sheet will work just as well!
Step 2.) Cake, Props & Clothing
The cake, props and clothing you choose will help develop the theme of the shoot. For example: because the theme of my son’s first birthday is barnyard animal, I used a simple cake on a rustic wood platter with a few sunflowers, and added suspenders to his shorts for a farm feel. I also used a sign for the pre-cake photos simply to indicate the occasion.
Tip: Balloons are a cheap and easy prop. Scatter them around and snap photos of baby chasing after them.
To continue to keep costs low, find a toy or piece of decor around the house to boost the theme of the photos. Bake a cake or grab a cheap one from the supermarket. I purchased the cake featured in my son’s photos at Target for $10. The “One” prop used in the photos below I picked up from a craft store for $5.
Step 3.) Camera
For this step, the good old iPhone (especially in portrait mode) will do just fine. But for full disclosure purposes, I wanted to note that when capturing these photos I used my Nikon DSLR D3400, linked below.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: we were supposed to be saving money here and that camera sets me back almost $400. Hear me out: since purchasing that camera when my first child was born, I’ve used it on many occasions that I probably would’ve paid a photographer to capture. Birthdays, holidays, vacations, and everyday moments in between, the Nikon has taken some incredible photos and in the long run has definitely saved us money.
This my advice: Hire the professional for monumental family moments when mama, you need to be in there too. Invest in the camera for the smaller occasions. Or, if you’re totally cool with the iPhone quality then use the iPhone. I’ve snapped some awesome photos with my iPhone camera as well.
Step 4.) Take as Many Photos as Possible
When the shoot is all set up, the props are handy, and baby is happy and ready, start snapping and DON’T STOP! Snag as many shots from as many different angles as possible.
Focus in on the details of the cake, the messy hands and the cake covered faces. The more photos you have the more likely you are to be happy with the outcome. It’ll also be easier to select the best photos for editing!
We even let big brother get in on the action!
Step 5.) Culling and Editing
Now that you have an amazing crop of photos, it’s time to decide which ones to edit. Pick your favorites and make sure there is a solid variety with good resolution and quality lighting. Those will withstand the editing process the best.
For editing I use the Lightroom app on my phone. It’s free and will provide the best quality photos without having to pay for an expensive editing program.
Feel free to edit the photos to your liking OR you can do what I do, and use a Lightroom mobile preset to enhance your photos. Below you can see the before preset and after preset photos.
I’ve linked my favorite lightroom presets here but you can always browse Pinterest or Etsy for presets that provide the desired feel. Some are free and others may charge a small fee.
LET THERE BE CAKE (smash photo-shoots!) We hope you enjoyed our step-by-step guide on how to create your own cake smash photo-shoot at home and feel inspired to get creative! Please share photos of your DIY shoots!
My three year old is at the age where his interests change over night. One minute it’s dinosaurs and diggers, the next it’s paints and play toys. Lately he’s been dressing up in his astronaut costume, and I wanted to engage him in a learning activity that would help to explain what we understand about the universe our solar system. This solar system necklace was the perfect way to introduce these ideas and consequently, he loved it! Now I can point to each planet and he can recognize them with ease, and the best part is, he can wear his art proudly around his neck. Interested in engaging the littles (preschool and up) in a creative science learning activity? Read below on how to make a DIY solar system necklace!
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To help distinguish each planet, I used 3 different sized wooden beads. For the Sun, Jupiter and Saturn I used the larger sized bead. Earth, Neptune and Uranus were painted on medium sized beads (Technically Earth is closer in scale to the smaller planets but it was aesthetically pleasing to make it a little bigger and plus, its home!) and for Mercury, Venus and Pluto (If we’re still considering it a planet) I used the smallest sized bead.
It was much easier to place the beads on the skewer and paint from there, and also turned out to be an excellent fine motor exercise. Wait for the base paint on the planets with rings to dry before adding the stripe, and before painting the green on planet Earth to represent the land masses. Seal each bead with a clear coat for preservation. Take creative liberties with the colors of the sun & planets or use the color guide below.
Lastly, place the colored beads on the chain and clasp it tight. We hope your littles enjoy making their solar system necklace as much as ours did. Feel free to leave a comment below if you decide to try it out!
Completing this project has inspired this one to create even more! If you’re looking for more educational activities check out our Where Do I Live? Activity to Teach your Kids their Address!
When 6:30 pm comes around, our nightly routine begins with a bath. Now, I can buy all the bath toys in the world for Rylan, but nothing is as entertaining to him as a fizzy bath bomb.
Usually I get suckered into buyingthese from Target because they have little keychains in the center, but they are a tad overpriced for something that will fizz away in 30 seconds. So this weekend, we made our own kid-safe bath bombs with a hidden treasure inside! See how we made them below!
Just a few drops of essential oils provides added aromatic and therapeutic benefits.
You Will Need:
1 cup baking soda
1/2 cup cream of tartar OR citric acid
1/2 cup epsom salt
1/2 corn starch
2 tbsp jojoba oil/V6 oil/coconut oil/almond oil
3/4 tsp water
2 tsp essential oils (we used Young Livings Lavender and Peace & Calming)
Mold (Easter eggs, ice cube tray, muffin tray will do)
Little treasures (optional)
Whisk together dry ingredients
Mix and stir together water, essential oils, and oil of choice. You will not add food coloring yet.
Combine both dry and wet ingredients by slowly dropping wet ingredients into the bowl and stirring immediately. You do not want to go to fast or pour too much or else it will begin fizzing and your mix will be ruined. You want to continue adding wet ingredients in until you can pack the powder into your hand. If you need to, add sprays or drops of water to get the consistency right.
Separate your powder into bowls and add food coloring.
Firmly pack your mixture into your mold and place your hidden treasure inside once you get to halfway point of your mold. Continue to pack and fill all holes. Set aside for 24-48 hours (we did about 36 hours).
Each bath bomb is enough for one bath.
There are so many variations you can do when making your bath bombs. You can use different molds to create alternative shapes, you can change up the colors and scents as well. This is a great activity that gives your child the freedom to explore their options. Rylan decided he wanted Christmas colors (red and green), Lavenderand Peace & Calming, and a few of his favorite rocks in the center!
See how we made our surprise bath bombs below!
This was so simple and fun to do together that I don’t think we will be spending anymore money on those ones at Target. And…with a few small adjustments, I’ll probably be making some Lush-inspired ones for myself!
Do you think you will try this project? Let us know if you do!
PS. If you enjoyed this fun activity with kids, you might likethis one too!
I’m going to explain the inspiration for the DIY Scrabble Tile Ornament in the hopes that if you’ve found yourself in a similar predicament I can solve it for you. While browsing the personalized “named”ornaments in the Target Christmas section I couldn’t find any for my sons Finley and Pace. Although I love that their names are unique (for now) it does make finding personalized products more difficult.
Thats when I turned to Pinterest and found a similar craft, but decided to put my own spin on it. I’m thrilled with how cute they turned out for how easy they were to create. Cute, spirited and perfect for anyone in your life with a special name (like a term of endearment for Grandma, etc) the DIY Scrabble Tile Ornament is a simple craft that you can keep for yourself or gift to someone else. Also, I love that it pays homage to a timeless game that I grew up playing!
You will need:
1 in. Ribbon
Bows with twist tie
Place the tiles for the name you’ve chosen on the ribbon so you will know how long you need to cut it. I left about 3 inches from the first letter to the top of the ribbon to have plenty of room for the bow. I gave about 2 inches at the bottom to provide space for the bell. Use the glue gun to adhere the tiles to the ribbon. Space them as desired. No need to steal scrabble tiles from the game. You can purchase them here.
For the bow, I purchased a swath of ones similar to this that I found at Michael’s. I would imagine you could get them from any craft store, just be sure they have the twist tie because that is the piece that will be used to hang it on the tree. Once the glue has dried for the tiles, glue the bow to the top of the ribbon and the bell at the bottom. Make sure the twist tie is at the top so it can be used as the hanger.
Viola! The DIY Scrabble Tile Ornament. An excellent small gift for a friend or coworker and great as a quick stocking stuffer.
Since the school year began, our family has put some extensive structure into our days – something we never had to do before. And to make sure our new routine runs smoothly during the week, I have been working on ways to organize our time and schedule accordingly. One of the newest projects I have implemented is this weekly menu board, which I am sharing below.
It has only been a few weeks since using this and it has been really helpful. We’ve saved a fair amount of money by planning our dinners in advance and we are never asking ourselves, “What should we have for dinner?” when 5 o’clock rolls around. As a result, creating our grocery list each week has been a breeze.
I modeled my weekly menu board from this projectby The Thinking Closet, but with significant changes. It was super easy to make and one that I am excited to use each week. I hope you enjoy this project and see if it helps you!
As a result, creating our grocery list has been a breeze and we are never asking ourselves, “What should we have for dinner?”
Here is what you will need:
Chalkboard (I just used one that was sitting in our storage needing to be repurposed)
Matte vinyl & transfer paper (or you can use chalk paint marker and write yourself)
Silhouette/Cricut (if you are using vinyl)
Gather your supplies.
Create a list of all your favorite family meals using this template. I made sure to include “take out”, “leftovers” and “eating out” as options for the times we aren’t cooking at home.
If you happened to look at the weekly menu board that I referenced, they actually color coordinated the meals by category ( i.e. chicken, seafood, beef, vegetarian, etc). I didn’t feel this was necessary, but it’s a great idea if you want to get more detailed.
Print this list on regular 8.5 x 11 card stock and cut into strips.
Self-laminate the meal strips, cut and punch holes in the top left-hand corner. When finished, hang on binder rings for later.
Use this template to create bigger meal cut outs and you can print the recipes on the back!
Create a file in Silhouette or Cricut with the weekdays, “recipes/meals”, “The ___ Family Menu” and anything else you want to add. From here you will just create, cut, transfer and place on the chalkboard where you see fit (here is a helpful tutorial), but if you are just using a chalk paint pen – this is the step you would write these on the board.
BONUS: Use this template to create bigger meal cut outs and you can print the recipes on the back! I regret not doing this myself and have since contemplated remaking my cards.
Hot glue gun the clothespins to below the days of the week and tape the command hooks to the right, as shown in picture.
Now, just put your meals for the week under the weekday and the rest will hang on the binder rings!
And there it is! Altogether, the project took me about 30 minutes. I hung the weekly menu board on an empty wall in the kitchen that I plan to turn into a command center when all is said and done.
Each Sunday, we look through our favorite meals from the board, decide what we want throughout the week and write out our grocery list. It makes our lives so much easier!
Do you create a weekly meal plan? How do you like to keep it organized?
PS. If you are interested in more home organizational projects, be sure to visit here!