May 2012 EtsyKids Desktop Background

Posted Monday, April 30, 2012

Here is the desktop calendar for May 2012! This month the theme was red, yellow, green and purple, just like a rainbow!! You can see a treasury of all these items here.

1024 x 768
1280 x 800
1920 x 1080
Featured shops: weandthebean, tinystitches, ToastieStudio, boygirlboygirldesign, Sweetchildofmine, KangarooCare, OliveAndVince, LoopySheep, allthingsforbaby, ThELaUgHyGiRaFfY, oKIDDo, myminimocs, LizzSather, CottontailKids, BabyDobbins, Grannyzann, CuckooBoo, LilikinsBaby, ClareBears, TheTrendyTotShop.

Toddler Sensory Activity: Planting Flowers

Posted Saturday, April 28, 2012

It's finally warming up here in NY and we are enjoying watching the flowers bloom! Here's a fun sensory play idea to welcome Spring.

What you need:
  • dried black beans {I used 2 bags}
  • fake flowers
  • small flower pots
  • any other gardening tools you have around the house {we used shovels and a small watering can}
  • sensory table {If you don't have a sensory table {I don't} then you can use a bowl, Tupperware, one of those disposable lasagna pans {which we used}...pretty much anything your little heart desires. There are also tons of sensory table DIYs around the internet if you are handy enough to make one yourself. We also have a water table that we like to use.}

What to do:
  • empty out your beans into the sensory table
  • trim flowers so they aren't too large for the kiddos {make sure no metal is sticking out - you may want to tape the bottom just in case}
  • have the children "plant" their flowers by filling a planter with beans and sticking in the flower{s}
  • we also have a small watering can to pretend to water the flowers

    If you like this post and want to see more toddler activities please visit my blog, Tutus and Tea Parties. You can also follow me on: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest.

    Introducing Stewey75 / Sweet Princess Bowtiqu

    Posted Thursday, April 26, 2012

    Today We Introduce You To Tammy

    Q: What motivated you to start your shop?
    In 2007, my daughter Lilli was born and I had the wonderful opportunity to be a stay at home mom. The challenge for me being a stay at home mom was to find an outlet to release my inner creative gene. I became very interested in photography and the photography props similar to the amazing Anne Geddes. I decided to make a silk flower hat and Lilli was my model and from that moment in creating, I haven't looked back and Lil' Flower Hats by Lilli was born! I then started making silk flower mats, silk flower clippies and silk flower bloomers but as Lilli got older, I expanded and Lil' Flower hats by Lilli became Sweet Princess Bowtique.

    Q: What is the story behind your shop name?
    Lil' Flower hats by Lilli was named after my daughter who was my test model for my first silk flower hat and mat! {Attached is a pictue of Lilli modeling the silk flower mat}

    Q: Do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?
    I would have to say "LoveJoyCreations". I contacted Brenda, the shop owner of, to hand draw a photograph of Lilli for my Mom as a special gift and she created this beautiful hand drawn picture. I can't thank her enough for the gorgeous picture and my mom has it hanging over the fireplace. It was a great pleasure to work with such a talented woman!

    Q: What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
    I think the biggest surprise was how fast the silk flower hat demand became about a month after I started selling them on etsy. I never thought it would be such a big part of my online shop and from that has helped me expand to hair clips and headbands.

    Q: What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
    Definitely, the competition. There are so many talented and unique children's accessory shops that as an owner, you have to always be unique and creative with your listings so the customer will notice your product. You also have to constantly come up with new and creative ideas and sometimes that can be tough.

    Q: What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
    I would have to say my personal philosphy behind my products would be that all my products are for those little ones that love feeling like a princess, who love to have fun, and love to have unique and quality hand made products!

    Q: How would someone (other then you) describe you?
    They probably would say quite, kind, generous, hard worker, and perfectionist.

    Q: What music do you have on while you are creating?
    I LOVE music so usually is pop and R&B. My favorites are Lady Gaga, Jessie J, Katy Perry, Usher, FloRida

    Q: What do you do when you aren't working?
    I'm spending lots of time with Lilli. Luckily, she loves to do crafty things like me! :) I also love to do family genealogy, I find it very rewarding to find out history of your family.

    Q: Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
    As a child I was diagnosed and conquered a cruel illness called Leukemia. I grew strong and realized that if I was determined, nothing could stop me. Fast forward through college, work, and marriage, I'm a strong woman living a normal life and with Lillianna being born my world was changed forever. It was a pleasure to have the opportunity to start out as stewey75/ Lil' Flower Hats by Lilli and now we have grown to become Sweet Princess Bowtique. Selling products to over 10 different countries, featured on zulilly and now being able to offer our customers a MyRewards program. Seeing my visions become finsihed products makes it all worthwhile. If you put your mind to something, you CAN accomplish it!

    Mural, Mural on the Wall ...

    Posted Wednesday, April 25, 2012

    From Cindy of CooperCreations

    Here are a few things to think about when deciding on a mural...

    When having a mural painted in your child’s room, the first thing you should consider is how long you want to keep the mural. That will help determine your theme. Most people like to paint their nursery theme and then repaint when they transition their child into a big kid bed. If that is the case then your theme can be very specific to your bedding which will give you a very custom feel. A great thing about painting a mural is that it can match your décor exactly. You don’t have to settle for something that is “close enough”. When it comes to nurseries, if you know that you will be repainting in a two or three years then take this time to make the nursery your own sanctuary – heaven knows you will spend a lot of time in there. The nursery stage is a good time to decorate with characters. If you always loved Peter Rabbit as a child now is your chance to paint it before your child has their own likes and dislikes. Some people opt not to paint their nurseries the traditional pink and blue because they know there will be a lot of that stereotypical color down the line. Lavender or lime are fresh alternatives.

    If you are on the other side of things and you know that you want your mural to last through a big bed transition or from big kid room to tween-dom, then you want to go with a more general theme. For nurseries, you can not go wrong with flowers for a girl’s room or a nature theme for a boy’s. Be sure to note where in the nursery you may be placing the big kid bed so that you keep the room balanced even after transition. If you don’t plan to re-paint, then stay away from too much of one color or characters that they will outgrow. Some themes that last a long time in older children’s rooms are butterflies, flowers, space and sports. Use a bold accent wall and repaint that one wall every now and again to spruce things up.

    Placement of the mural is also very important. I always tell people to position the bulk of the mural the first place your eye goes to when you walk in the room. This anchors the room and gives you a nice full feeling without painting every wall. Use small coordinating murals to fill space that would be too awkward to place furniture or hanging pictures. For example, paint a baseball bat leaning behind a door or a butterfly above a light switch. Another place that is always a big hit for a mural is above a changing table. Not only are babies fascinated with that area while being changed, but it is also a safer way to decorate than hanging something they can grab. Place your mural at eye level and wrap it around the room if you don’t have a lot of things to hang. This will fill the space for you and will alleviate having to find misc things to hang just because the space is there. On the other hand, if you have a lot of hanging items, then incorporate them into the mural. Paint a frog jumping from picture to picture or a butterfly resting on a frame. Avoid positioning murals at the bottom of your wall in a play room. Most toys get pushed up against the wall which ends up covering your mural. I know a lot of people love picket fences but unfortunately most rooms are not conducive for it. The best place to paint a picket fence mural is to find an awkward place in the room - a wall that cannot be utilized works well. Flower that area up with a little fence and a tall blossoming tree.

    A popular alternative to painted murals these days are the vinyl stick ons. These work well in small areas or accents but to get that wow factor, only a mural will do the trick. With a hand painted mural, you can match your décor exactly and target a specific need in the room. The stick ons work well as accents or later additions to a childs room. If your son is into Buzz Lightyear, stick the character on his muraled space wall, then next year when he outgrows Buzz take him off and add a realistic looking astronaut. Just remember, less is best with stick ons.

    Whether your budget is $100 or $1000 a mural is always a perfect addition to your child’s room. It is amazing how much life the smallest painting adds to your room.

    You can find Cindy and her CooperCreations online at facebook and Etsy:

    Ice Cube Painting

    Posted Tuesday, April 24, 2012

    By Cori of Peace, Baby! Batiks

    My son really likes to paint, so I’m always looking for different methods of painting. I don’t always want to get into the messiness of finger painting – especially indoors -- and water colors aren’t always as much fun as the bright colors of poster paint.

    I saw ice painting demonstrated one day while we were watching Sprout, and I was intrigued. I modified our activity a bit from the directions posted online, using watercolor paper instead of paper towels and cardstock. I like the heaviness of watercolor paper; it can take a lot of paint!

    The night before you want to paint, prepare your ice cubes. Put a little poster paint in the bottom of the cubes of an ice cube tray. Fill with water and mix well. Add half of a craft stick to make a handle. Pop into the freezer and let them set overnight. We’ve had success with solid colors as well as glitter paints.

    When you’re ready to paint, take the ice cube tray out of the freezer and let them sit for a few minutes before trying to get them out of the tray.

    Pull the cubes out, give each kid a piece of watercolor paper, and let them go! First, the kids rubbed the cubes on the paper.

    When they were fresh from the freezer the colors were lighter.

    Then, as the cubes thawed, the color went on thicker and darker.

    Then, the boys discovered pieces of the ice cubes fell off if you hit them on the paper or pressed them like a stamp. By the end, we had soaking wet, colorful pieces of art!

    Variation: In honor of Earth day, I made green, blue, white, and silver glitter (just for fun!) paint cubes and cut our watercolor paper into circles.

    My son discovered it was fun to paint his hand and then stamp it onto the paper.

    My son told me his painting shows Earth right after it was formed. (He’s a bit of a space and planet nut.) Mine shows Earth later in its developmen, or so he tells me. J

    EtsyKids Design Challenge: It's time to Vote!

    Posted Saturday, April 21, 2012

    It's time to vote for your favorite item! Voting will be open until April 27th. This month, EtsyKids members were challenged to create an exciting new item based on a theme "Show Me Your Baby Blues". We received a bunch of fantastic entries from some talented people. Please vote for your favorite item from the list below.

    Introducing Things by V

    Posted Thursday, April 19, 2012

    Today We Introduce You To Vianca from Things By V

    Q: What motivated you to start your shop?
    Well, it was between opening a shop on ETSY or probably be featured in the next episode of Hoarders! When ThingsByV first opened in Aug 2011 it was mostly home decor. I was in the middle of trying many different types of crafts so there was a bit of everything. All my stuff was taking over many parts of the house so I made myself a craft room. Then, every corner of my craft room was full of things. So, my walls, shelves and mantels where all full and now, so was my craft room. Instead of taking over another room, I opened an ETSY shop ;)

    Q: What is the story behind your shop name?
    I have played and made so many different types of things that I thought "Things By V" would be a pretty simple way to explain the randomness when I started my shop. When it first opened you would be able to find from book marks to Vintage window frames. Now, I have been able to bring it in a bit. I focused on Marble Coasters, Burlap Banners and my newest most addicted addition Needle Felted things.

    Q: Do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?
    Oh I have several! I try to support our ETSY community as much as I can so If I can find it on ETSY I will get it from ETSY! This shop would be my #1 with VERY cute accessories I can't get enough of this shop And I love the rustic primitive feel this shop has

    Q: What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
    That strangers thought that things that I made and loved were good enough to pay for! I think many of us do think that the things that we make are nice but when someone comes along, that is NOT related to you ;P and pays you their hard earned cash for it, give you a pretty nice sense of pride.

    Q: What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
    The most challenging part would be being able to find the time to share/promote my shop to the world! It's a combination of trying to figure out what the best places and types of promotions are and having the time to do those promotions having also a full time job. I do think I'm getting the hang of it though!

    Q: What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
    I LOVE nature and I love making things out of natural products. I especially feel very strongly about natural toy, games and play. Natural toys are very basic, non plastic or electronic. The child has to actually use his/hers own imagination to play with them! Sadly, I feel that this is no longer the norm with our children.

    Q: How would someone (other then you) describe you?
    While you always hope that others will see you in a positive light, I think most see me as a very straight forward person. What you see is what you get!

    Q: What music do you have on while you are creating?
    Right now I am LOVING Adele! I think she is one of the true singers right now. She will sound as awesome live and on cd. I have many playlists on hand depending on my mood. I think you will find most types of music in those with the exception on heavy metal and punk music. Just was never able to get into that type of music.

    Q: What do you do when you aren't working?
    Work some more! ;P when I'm not making creations I'm either spending time with family or working my "day job" I work in education with ELL children (English Language Learners). In the summer time while school is out (means no work! Love working in education!) I volunteer at our local children's theater making set and props.

    Q: Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
    I live in a suburb of Chicago called Oswego and I'm married to a pretty cool guy ;) We have 2 boys. Jeremy is 9 and Tim is 13. I have recently entered the parent of a teenager world and I really hope I can come out of this alive! Its like when he turned 13 a switch of attitude and opinions was turned on!

    5 Harmful Effects Of Disposable Diapers And Training Pants

    Posted Wednesday, April 18, 2012

    From Anthony and Steph of SuperSkivvies

    Because our company is an eco-friendly and sustainable company we feel that it is necessary to help people make an educated decision when it comes to choosing which products to use for their children. This is for the benefit of you and your child, as well as the environment.

    It still amazes us how many people out there give no thought or regard to how the products they use are destroying the very Earth we all call home, even after being educated and shown the truth about harmful products. Unfortunately, a lot of people want to sweep these problems under the rug and forget about them. However, I think we can all agree that we need Earth in order to survive and give future generations the basic necessities of clean air, clean water, and healthy food. Simple right?

    Take a look at some of the information we found about disposable diapers and training pants:

    1. 18 billion disposable diapers end up in landfills every year in the U.S. alone, adding 5 million tons of untreated human waste to the soil. And did you know that it is illegal to put human fecal matter in your household garbage? The American Public Health Association and American Academy of Pediatrics have advised parents that “fecal material and urine should not be allowed to be co-mingled and disposed of as regular trash. This contaminates ground water and spreads disease.” Yes, you must remove all of the fecal matter from disposables before you throw them out. (Click here for information on disposing of disposable diapers)
    2. Sodium polyacrylate is a chemical that makes disposable diapers so absorbent that it can absorb up to 100 times its weight in water. However, it can stick to children’s genitals and cause allergic reactions. In the U.S., this chemical was removed from tampons in 1985 when it was linked to toxic shock syndrome. And when this chemical was tested and injected into rats, it caused hemorrhaging, cardiovascular failure, and ultimately death.
    3. 500 years! This is how long it can take each disposable diaper and training pant to decompose in a landfill. That means that every disposable diaper and training pant ever used in the world is still decomposing in a landfill somewhere. And almost 30 percent of each disposable diaper and training pant consists of non biodegradable products such as absorbent vinyl layers, Velcro, absorbent gelling material, and plastic packaging that will never break down.
    4. Dioxin is a by product of the paper bleaching process used in the manufacturing of disposable diapers and training pants. It is the most toxic of all the cancer causing chemicals and causes birth defects as well as liver disease in laboratory animals.
    5. As many as 100 viruses can survive in soiled disposable diapers or training pants for months. This includes the live polio virus and hepatitis excreted by recently vaccinated babies. These viruses constitute a potential hazard to sanitation workers and garbage handlers. No to mention the critters that will crawl into the landfill to find a meal and the birds that will pick through this garbage and fly to who knows where.

    This is obviously not an exhaustive list of harmful effects. Ultimately, the choice is yours.

    Later this week, in honor of Earth Day, we'll showcase some of the amazing fitted cloth diaper options available from EtsyKids shops.

    SuperSkivvies can be found online at their blog, facebook, twitter and of course on Etsy:

    EtsyKids Design Challenge for April: Show Me Your Baby Blues

    Posted Tuesday, April 17, 2012

    "Show Me Your Baby Blues" is our challenge for April, picked by our last month's winner maddywear. This month we'll be featuring a variety of items that are for BOYS!  Prints, applique, fashion, accessories, room deco, art, greeting cards etc.  

    EtsyKids members will have until April 20th to submit their entries, and voting will be open to everybody from April 21st to April 27th. So, be sure to come back to the EtsyKids blog for a new post on the 21st to see all of the entries and VOTE!  In the meantime, please click here to get a sneak peek at some exciting entries so far!

    Handmade Business 101: Choosing A Price Point For Maximum Profit

    Posted Monday, April 16, 2012

    Business 101 is a new monthly series from Sarah of CuriousWorkmanship designed to help you improve the success of your handmade home business.  

    Last month we learned about the difference between revenue and profit. This month we're going to focus on profit and learn how to make the most profit we can.

    If you want to make more money, you might think you should just sell more crafts. And if you had an unlimited amount of crafts to sell and a steady supply of materials at the same cost, you'd be right. But you don't. There are only 24 hours in your day, and a large number of those are spent eating, sleeping, cooking, cleaning, traveling, shopping, and (if your life situation is like mine) wiping noses and behinds. So the amount of product you can make has a maximum. You might think that if you sold that maximum amount of product, you'd make the maximum amount of profit. But you'd likely be wrong. Your profit depends not just on how much you sell, but the price at which you sell.

    If you can sell your goods at a higher price, you make more profit per item. And if you can sell all your items at a higher price, then you should do that. But, as my dad always told me, the price of an item is precisely that which the market will bear. If I could get people to buy my baby booties at $100 a pair, I'd be selling them for that much-- but few would be interested at that price.

    It's widely known that people generally buy more of stuff when the price is lower, and less of it when the price is higher. But allow me to illustrate how selling more items might actually mean LESS money for you. (I'm going to pick some nice round numbers to make the math easier, so bear with me if they're not 100% realistic costs and prices. We're also going to disregard labor as a cost, just to make it easier to illustrate the point.)

    Suppose you make hair bows. The materials for these bows cost you $1.00 per bow. You sell them for $3.00 each. Each hair bow you sell profits you $2, so if you sell 50 of them today you've made a profit of $100.

    Now suppose you raise your price to $5. Your customers are looking at these hair bows and saying "Gee, it's cute, but is it $5 cute?" Some, the ones who think they're so cute they'd have them at just about any price, are plunking down the $5. Some are not. At the $5 price you're only selling 30 of them today instead of 50. "Oh no," you say, "I've driven off nearly half my customers!" But how much PROFIT have you earned? At the $5 price point, your profit on each hair bow is $4 ($5 minus the $1 cost). So your profit from today's sales is $4 times 30 or $120. That's $20 MORE than you earned selling them at a lower price!

    Now you're thinking, "Wow, that was cool! Why don't I just raise the price to $20?" So let's try it. You raise the price to $20 and now you have only 3 customers. Each hair bow makes you $19 and so you've profited just $57. You can't keep raising the price forever; at some point your profits will drop off. Somewhere between $5 and $20 is a price that will maximize your profit on these hair bows.

    Now if you're into calculus, you can use this information to create a mathematical model and calculate the price you need to charge to get maximum profit. But you don't have to do any advanced math to figure out (more or less) what the price is that will give you maximum profit. Just give it a try! Sell at different price points at similar craft shows (or similar times of year on Etsy). If you notice you make less money at a higher price, go lower. If you notice you make less money at a lower price, go higher. But now you know a business secret: selling more doesn't always make you more money!

    Next month we'll discuss how to calculate shipping and handling charges and make them work with Etsy's system.

    April Showers Umbrella Craft

    Posted Friday, April 13, 2012

    By Cori of Peace, Baby! Batiks

    We all know April showers bring May flowers, but too many rainy days can make you a little stir crazy. These umbrella mobiles  from Ramblings of a Crazy Woman are a fun, easy craft for a rainy day that even little kids can do.

    For each umbrella you’ll need:

    Paper plate
    Stickers, markers, crayons, or paint for decorating
    Several blue rain drops cut from blue construction paper (we used eight)
    A “J” shape cut from contruction paper for the umbrella’s handle
    Glitter and glue (optional)
    Thread or fishing line
    Hole punch
    Tape or glue

    Cut the paper plate in half. Cut a slit in each plate, at the top of one and from the bottom of the other. I made my slits about half the width of the plate. Don’t cut all the way through!

    Set your kids to decorating their umbrellas on all sides, leaving the area around the slits clear. If necessary, let them dry. My son is going through an ocean and “Finding Nemo” phase, so he opted for sea creature and fish stickers.

    Punch holes along the straight edge of your umbrella pieces. I did two on each side of the slits. Slide your umbrella pieces together at the slits to form an “X”. I taped ours together to keep the shape.

    If desired, glue glitter to your raindrops to make them sparkle. When they’re dry, tie them to your thread or fishing line and then attach the opposite end to the umbrella. Tie another loop of thread at the top of your umbrella.

    Hang and enjoy!

    Introducing Mini-Mocs

    Posted Thursday, April 12, 2012

    Today We Introduce You To Annie from Mini Mocs

    Q: What motivated you to start your shop?
    Well my business actually started as a joint venture between my sister (who's also my bestfriend) and myself back in 2006. We incorporated that year and decided to do large national baby expo show that were open to the public. We had pretty good success at introducing our Mini-Mocs to the world at these shows but learned quickly we needed something to help sustain us when we weren't doing shows. I decided to build a website for on-line sales and the following year we joined the shops of Etsy.

    Q: What is the story behind your shop name?
    Not much of a story really...I've always loved the barefoot feeling of moccasins and quickly fell in love with designing our soft sole moccasin shoes. They are for little feet...hence the name Mini-Mocs!

    Q: Do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?
    Too many to choose just one! but I find myself often attracted to art, blown glass, lampwork glass & ceramics shops.

    Q: What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
    How sometimes people seem to find my shop out of thin air.

    Q: What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
    In all honesty I have not yet mastered the Etsy world but the thing I find most troubling is the removal of the promotions forum thread. It has been a long while now since it has been available but it still bothers me. I have found that by doing away with that avenue for shop promotion the Etsy admins have made renewing and relisting and renewing and relisting an absolute must in order to have your shop seen which in turn makes them a boat load more money...don't get me wrong I BELIEVE in being in business to make money but I also believe in "you wash my back I'll wash yours" and Etsy seems to have a REALLY clean back these days! LOL

    Q: What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
    Three words best describe my products...QUALITY, QUALITY, QUALITY! I could make my Mini-Mocs products at a fractions of the cost if I would compromise on the quality of leathers, suedes and materials I used, but my company name is on each of my products and I can confidently stand behind every item I make.

    Q: How would someone (other then you) describe you?
    I had to think about this I cheated and asked my mom! She described me as someone who is willing to take chances. Someone who puts others before themselves and someone who rises above difficult situations and doesn't allow the negativity of others to sway my direction.

    Q: What music do you have on while you are creating?
    I listen to a VERY wide variety of music styles while I'm working but mostly music from the 70's & 80's.

    Q: What do you do when you aren't working?
    I absolutely love to cook, spend time with family, enjoy the pool & work in my flower the winter the yard work and pool gets replaced with a bit of walking on the treadmill and watching movies.

    Q: Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
    I'd like to thank you for the invitation to do this interview. I would like to say to all of the EtsyKids Team shop owners stay focused, be true to your vision and support one another when the opportunity presents itself. WE WERE CREATED TO CREATE...SO GO FOR IT!!!

    Bring the Outdoors In: Nature Collage

    Posted Monday, April 09, 2012

    By Christine of Belly Bear Baby Gear

    Looking for a way to enjoy and capture the color and beauty found in early spring?  Then this fun, simple activity will be a perfect experience for you and your children.  Not many materials are needed. Clear contact paper (as a side note, this is not as easily found as I was anticipating.  When looking for clear contact paper, do not go to your local grocery store, drug store or Staples as I attempted.  After 5 miserable failed attempts, I finally found the apparently illusive contact paper at Home Depot of all places), items from nature: grass, flowers, leaves..., string or ribbon, a hole punch, and a basket to collect your nature items.

    While outdoors with your children offer them a basket and often all you'll need to do is take a step back and watch.  Children are natural collectors of beautiful, natural items and will make quick work of finding things to place in their baskets.

    I was inspired to write about this by my 17 month old daughter.  Upon arriving home recently, she climbed out of the car and immediately bee-lined for the lawn where she quickly plucked a tiny acorn lid from the grass.  She was amazed by this beautiful item and insisted on bringing it indoors.  This moment reminded me of the many nature collages I have made over the years with the preschool aged students in my class.

    Once their baskets are full, this is where the clear contact paper comes in.  You may now begin placing the natural items directly onto the contact paper.  Flat items work best for this.  Izzy's little acorn cap would be a bit challenging to use in this application.

    If you are working with young toddlers as I was here, they will not only enjoy sticking items to the contact paper, but will want some time to simply enjoy the tactile experience of the paper itself!

    Now that you have filled one piece of contact paper with your beautiful things, you can either place a new piece of contact paper on top to sandwich the items in between, or you could simply fold the paper in half as I did here.

    This project is so open ended you can make any size collage you would like. Once your collage is complete, there are a variety of applications for it.  If you made a small collage, punch a hole in the top, put a piece of string through and instant book mark!

    These nature collages also make lovely window hangings.  They truly are a sight to see when the sun shines through.  Be creative and use your imagination (2 things young children are great at).  The variety and beauty found in nature will provide brilliant works of art.

    Christine can be found online on her blog Bellybearbabygear, facebook, and her etsy shop:

    Tutorial:: Faux Frosted Glass

    Posted Friday, April 06, 2012

    From Kayce of WorldofWhimm and On a Whimm.  

    It's hard to tell that it's Spring here in the Northwest. The sun is finally out, but the wind whipping through makes it feel like it's still below freezing. So I need to do things to bring Spring indoors. I need something that would make me smile and help me hold on to hope that warmer weather is just around the corner. So I decided to do a little spring version of a mirror decal that I came up with for my daughter's birthday party. Her party was Alice in Wonderland so I made the decal to go with the theme. It was so much fun that I've decided keep one up in the bathroom for special occasions and holidays.

    Here's how to do it:

    • Contact paper (also called shelf paper - I used white)
    • Scissors
    • Exacto knife
    • Cutting Mat
    • Measuring tape
    • Pencil
    • Clip art, printed and cut around edges (optional)

    Step 1: Plan your design. I did this on a separate piece of paper. Just a quick sketch of what I wanted.

    Step 2: Measure your mirror and cut the contact paper to fit (for the Alice in Wonderland piece, I used two vertical pieces).

    Step 3: Turn it over and on the back draw your design (in reverse). I recommend pencil for this step... I used pen so that you could see what I was doing. Either way, it won't show since the back piece of paper will be removed. I also drew my design freehand. If you aren't this confident, you can print some clip art on your printer, cut around the outside of them and trace the silhouette onto the back of the contact paper (I did this for some of the Alice in Wonderland design).

    Step 4: Cut out your design. If you have pieces that are islands, be sure to keep track of them when you cut them out, or don't completely cut them out - leaving it attached to the larger piece with a thin strip (see my letter "A" and "R"). I used scissors for the larger parts and an exact knife for the details and inside pieces. I also used a hole punch for the bird eyes.

    Step 5: Clean your mirror. Then start on the straight edge of your contact paper, if you have one, and fold it back so that only an inch is exposed. This will make it easier for you to line it up and make sure it's straight before you peel it all off.

    Step 6: (I recommend having two people for this step - one to peel, one to smooth) Slowly peel away the back as you press the sticky side of the paper against the mirror, doing your best to push out all bubbles. I found it difficult to get rid of all bubbles - but I didn't have a helper. Beware that if you pull the paper off, do it carefully as it will stretch slightly which will only add to the number of bubbles you have.

    Step 7: Clean the mirror one more time if you have fingerprints all over - and your done!

    The contact paper comes off fairly easily when you are ready to remove it. I did have to pull it off in several pieces and it left some glue in a few spots. However, the glue washed off easily with a mixture of vinegar, lemon, dish soap and water. I'm sure a glass cleaner would work as well.

    Happy Spring!

    Kayce can be found online on her blog On a Whimm, facebook, and her Etsy Shop: 

    Introducing Marissa V

    Posted Thursday, April 05, 2012

    Today We Introduce You To Marissa of Marissa V

    Q: What motivated you to start your shop?
    I started my company, from marissa v., in London in 2005, because I wanted to start my own business, and my hobby was making clothing. Initially it was just women's apparel. I had my own online shop as well as selling to stores. After I moved back to the US in 2008, and had my first daughter, I added a baby line. I subsequently found out about Etsy and created my Etsy shop. My Etsy sales soon surpassed my personal website sales so I closed my online shop. It's great that you don't have to pay a monthly fee on Etsy!

    Q: What is the story behind your shop name?
    My company's full name is 'from marissa v.' It's a bit awkward to say and write! But I wanted a sort of personal feel to the name - from marissa v. to you.

    Q: Do you have a favorite Etsy Shop (non-child related)?
    I like looking at the weird, intricate art of Lisel Ashlock

    Q: What surprised you most about having your own craft / online shop?
    It takes a long time to dispatch orders, unless you have a bunch of orders at the same time! I don't have enough room to leave out all my packing/tagging/etc supplies so it takes a while. I don't really build that time into my prices.

    Q: What do you find most challenging about being an Etsy seller?
    That there is so much stuff on Etsy, I feel like it's hard to get potential customers to notice you. Once they do find me, I get a lot of repeat customers!

    Q: What's your personal philosophy behind your shop / products?
    The products reflect my modern, often minimalist aesthetic. Many of the baby items are unisex, which reminds me of a more Scandinavian way of dressing children.

    Q: How would someone (other then you) describe you?
    Motivated but lazy. My husband thinks I'm disorganized, but then he's never cleaned a bathroom.

    Q: What music do you have on while you are creating?
    Music? I'm so out of touch with what's going on in music! My two girls are listening to an album of Australian kids' songs.

    Q: What do you do when you aren't working?
    Reading, jogging and crossword puzzles! During holidays, my husband and I torture ourselves by taking our 1 and 3-year-old daughters camping. We also go to England for long periods to visit my husband's family.

    Q: Anything else you'd like to tell us or share?
    I'm thrilled to appear on the blog!

    Tutorial:: Bunny & Egg Garland

    Posted Tuesday, April 03, 2012

    From Peggy at ComfyCozyKeepsakes.
    [This craft makes an excellent after school activity for older children .]

    Your crafty decorator is baaaaaaack….. with another fun project to replace those adorable Shamrocks that hung from your windows for St. Patrick’s Day. Today we’re making bunnies and eggs! The concept is the same as the Shamrocks, so go gather up a few simple items and we’ll be hopping down the bunny trail.

    Materials needed:

    • Bunny and Egg clip art or draw your own to suit your taste.
    • 2 sheets of paper or cardstock. Cardstock works better.
    • Scissors. For this project I used pinking shears because it looks cuter.
    • Hole punch or awl. I have a punch with a very small hole, which is better than your average hole punch.
    • Glue
    • Fabric marker or permanent marker
    • Yarn – white
    • Felt or Craft Foam. I like the “natural” look of felt over foam. I chose pastels and ecru. Darker colors don’t show up as well from the street as pastels.
    • Craft pompoms, large and small sizes. Coordinating colors for your bunny nose and tail.
    • Tape

    Now, let’s get started:

    1) Copy or trace the Bunny & Egg shape onto the paper/card stock. Cut them out. I have 2 sizes of bunnies on mine.

    2) Trace bunnies & egg onto Felt or Foam. If your bunny shape is symmetrical, you can fold the shape in half, fold the felt and place the shape on the fold before cutting it out – see picture on right, below. Don’t cut the fold. 

    3) Cut them out. Pinking shears give a more festive look to these shapes instead of straight-edge scissors.

    4) Glue a pompom on one side for the bunny tail. I used small pompoms for my little bunnies and large ones for the big bunnies.

    5) Glue small pompom on the OPPOSITE side for bunny nose.

    6) Cut TWO very SMALL holes with hole punch or awl, evenly
    spaced about an inch from the top and bottom of shape. I chose
    to make them right at the tail and nose of bunny shapes.

    7) Cut yarn to desired length for windows or doors. I wrap a piece of tape on the end of the yarn so it doesn't fray and is easier to slip through the holes.

    8) Slip yarn thru holes in bunnies & eggs. Tie a knot at the bottom so the bunny doesn’t slip off.

    9) Hang with tape on windows or doors. TA DA!

    If you are REALLY creative, add glitter or other adornments to your “egg” shapes. You can cut circles or other shapes from the felt and glue onto the eggs. I think I’ll be embellishing mine for next year!

    So now you have these for St. Patrick’s Day and Easter. I’ll be back with another one soon. I’m considering creating a kit to sell and/or taking orders for completed decorations. Let me know what you think. Would you rather go the craft store to buy all the materials and make this yourself (with your kids), or open up a box with a set for your favorite holiday?

    Now I’m going to break into the speckled eggs and celebrate a little early! Happy Easter!!

    Keep up with ComfyCozyKeepsakes on facebook and at her Etsy Shop:

    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...