Friday Favorites No. 328

April is nearly over. Can you believe it? That means we're about to get smacked in the head by May, which has always been a crazy month in our house. I used to think it was because the kids had so much going on with the end of the school year, but even after they grew up and moved out it stayed a little nuts. Maybe it's the transition into better weather so there's more to do. If that's the case, I'm in. Bring on the crazy.

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If you have a kid who likes to carry around a little buddy, and all of said buddy's stuff, this backpack from Crazy Little Projects would be a great gift. Just make sure that backpack is comfortable for you to carry as well, because you know you're gonna.

These bag handles from So Sew Easy are pretty, and a great way to use up some fabric scraps.

What I like the most about these kitchen printables from The Happy Housie is that the background on each makes it look a bit like cross-stitch or embroidery, without the long hours of stitching.

I know it hasn't been very long since I featured a peanut butter dessert here, but just look at these stuffed cookies from Delish. Who could say no to those?

You really have to see the whole line of word jewelry from vanessahandmade on Etsy, but the cheerful orange of this one was my favorite.

You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!

DIY Easter Egg Fillers (that aren't candy!)

I'm making my third appearance on Afternoon Live today! No glue gun this time, so my nerves are a little calmer. My advice to anyone demonstrating a craft on live television is don't rely on a tool that has a questionable track record when no one is watching, because it's really going to act up when they are. 

(And here's the video, to prove I survived!)

Speaking of acting up, my topic today is things you can make to fill those kidlets' Easter eggs without adding to the day's sugar rush. I'm not against a few sweets, but we've all seen that flurry of Sunday clothes and plastic grass that happens when the safe jelly bean level has been exceeded. How about some ideas that not only have zero impact on their calm, but can also be fun to make? Here's a sneak peek!

Easter egg fillers you can make that aren't candy from craftystaci.com #eastercrafts #eastereggfillers

Bracelet Kit

Let's start with one that takes nothing but a trip to the craft store (or possibly just your craft room).  This is a good one for either big kids or little, just adjust your contents accordingly.

Gather beads, buttons, charms or any other trinket you can put on a string. Add some sort of twine or cord. Be sure there's some way to hook the ends, either with a macrame style loop and knot or, as I did, a lanyard hook and a key ring.  Another nice addition is a large, blunt needle, just be sure it will fit through the beads.

You can throw everything directly into a plastic egg, but keep in mind they won't know what's inside and won't open it with the care required, so you'll be looking for beads for days. I prefer to put the kit into a small plastic bag and put that inside the egg. 

Mini Paper Airplanes

There are two ways you can package these. Either fold the plane, if it's going to someone that doesn't quite have the dexterity required yet, or just cut out the rectangle and slip that into the egg for a DIY plane.  You can print the ones I used here.

You don't even have to print these. You can cut a 2 1/2 x 2 3/4" rectangle from a magazine or even the right junk mail!

Seeds and Plant Markers

This is another super-easy one, and adjustable to the age and ability level of your recipient. Simply buy a package of seeds and add a popsicle stick or wooden ice cream spoon. You can either pre-decorate the stick as a plant marker, or let the kiddo do it (my personal preference!) I have great memory of a very tall sunflower my own little one grew one Easter.

Homemade Crayons and Printable Coloring Book

My kids used to have a big container of random crayon bits. Anything that was broken or without a wrapper went into it. My daughter actually took it with her when she left home. Those crayon box rejects would be perfect for making your own crayons.

Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Peel the wrappers off the crayons. Since I didn't have the tub anymore, I started with a box of 24, which took me an HOUR to peel. They mean for those things to stay wrapped. Break up the crayons and fill the cavities of a silicone mold. I recommend placing the mold on a cookie sheet, because trying to pull the floppy thing out of the oven when the wax has melted is impossible. Fact.

Bake for about 10 minutes, but keep an eye on it. Remove the crayons from the oven when they're just melted. Cool and pop out of the molds.

You can print the mini coloring book I made here. Try not to make fun of my art. 

You can also make your own - all it takes is a piece of paper and a black pen!

Wood Emoji Eggs

You can find wooden eggs in any craft store, in a variety of sizes. For these, I just painted them yellow with some craft paint, then added the faces with paint pens and a Sharpie.

Another option is to give the kids the bare eggs and some paint and help them create something fun.

Printable Egg Coupons

These might look like a little thing, but they have some big redemption possibilities. No chores for a whole day? A new book? Dinner of your choice? Sign me up. 

You can print out the ones I made here, or these blank eggs so you can write in your own.

Washcloth Bunny

Last but not least, I'm bringing back a little guy I shared in the olden days of the first month of this blog. I added a little tail there that I'm not doing today, so you can check that out there. All you need is a washcloth, a rubber band and a piece of ribbon to get started.

A small egg fits nicely on his back, which would be fun to fill with bath crayons or soap. I like that you can take him apart after the holiday and still use the washcloth. By the way, this idea also works with cloth napkins to decorate your Easter table.

There you are, and not a chocolate bunny or Cadbury egg in sight! I'd love to hear your ideas for filling those Easter eggs while keeping the level of sweets below DEFCON 1.  

Cross your fingers for me today!

Friday Favorites No. 319

It's been a busy week! Hopefully you had a chance to check out my newest Hoop Art of the Month, which shows the temperatures here in my little town of Boring for the last year. Based on the fact that it snowed AGAIN yesterday, this year's should be just as interesting!

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Any other planner addicts out there? I don't know what I'd do without mine. Oh, yeah...nothing because I wouldn't know what I was supposed to be doing! I kinda want to caffeine mine up with these printable coffee stickers from DIY Candy.

I remember making a rubber stamp in an art class back in school. It was fun then, and I see no reason why it wouldn't still be now. This tutorial from Gathering Beauty sounds pretty easy, and imagine all the possibilities!

If you ever buy fabric, you might be with me on this. I can do math, but after a few hours in a fabric store (not just me, right?) I tend to lose some basic life skills. This printable yardage conversion card from Sew4Home would come in very handy for those times when fractions and decimals all start to blur together.

I have nothing against frosting, but there are times when it just isn't necessary, like these decadent-looking bananas foster upside down cupcakes from Flavor Mosaic.

Shortly after I joined my quilt guild, which was still new, they offered a charter member enamel pin to order. I bought one, pinned it to my name tag I wear to meetings, then had to find another pin to balance it on the other side. Lately I've found myself wanting to add to my tiny collection as other members have. I ordered this Maker pin from NightOwlPaperGoods on Etsy yesterday, and I can't wait to see it in person!

You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!

Friday Favorites No. 317

I spent this last week with my husband in Las Vegas, trying to get a little break from the cold weather and general chaos. With Valentine's Day falling on Tuesday next week, that's probably the closest we'll get to celebrating it. That works for me. I'll trade a few days in the sun for a box of chocolate any day, and you KNOW how much I like sugar.

This post contains affiliate links for Etsy

Who wouldn't love to receive a Valentine that looks like a mini bubblegum machine? Check out the tutorial from Sprinkle Some Fun.

Sweets are nice, but I also love this idea from Arts and Crackers for a Valentine gift you can plant instead.

It's a game, a craft AND a snack! Sippy Cup Mom has all the bases covered.

I wouldn't mind receiving this tasty bouquet from Creative and Healthy Fun Food. I'd even be okay with a few basil leaves tucked in there.

It would be hard to find a cuter last-minute Valentine than these printable s'more bag toppers from LemonadeDesignStudio on Etsy.

You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!

Friday Favorites No. 314

So I'm building a new website. What do I know about doing that? Just enough to get myself into trouble. But I'm powering through, because this is something I've been putting off for years and it's time. I've loved Wordpress, and their customer service during this process has been stellar in spite of the fact that I'm moving elsewhere. But I'd like to be able to have my own storefront, and maybe some control over the ads, which isn't possible with the version I've been using. Unfortunately, the other version is over my head, so I'm moving on. For those of you who follow me by email I'll move you over when the transition actually happens. If you follow this blog through Wordpress directly and you'd like to stick with me, you can sign up here to receive an email when I post. I have a couple of fun things coming up, like a new "Of the Month" project and my annual blog anniversary giveaway, and I don't want you to miss any of it.  I'll be glad when this is finished so I can get away from the computer and back to my sewing room!

This post contains affiliate links for Etsy.

Everywhere I turn this soup bowl cozy pattern from Happy Hour Stitches keeps popping up.  I can see why - the colors are pretty, and who enjoys getting their hands burned trying to hold onto a hot bowl?  These are easy to sew and would make a great gift.

These cute marshmallow softies were intended as a Christmas thing, but I could see them in a kid's room year round. Ann Le made these using glue, but you could sew them as well.  Don't you just want to squish their little faces?

I love a chicken Chipotle bowl, but I know they're not the healthiest thing I could eat. Once in a while is okay, but it's not a weekly craving I can indulge, so I'm always looking for good substitutes. This taco bowl from Lemon Tree Dwelling with quinoa instead of rice might be the one next week.

My daughter and I recently had a conversation about brown sugar cinnamon Pop Tarts.  You know, like you do.  That got me wondering if someone out there had a recipe.  Turns out Sally's Baking Addiction does, and they look better than the original.

I feel like a resurgence in paper dolls should follow the recent coloring craze. Doesn't that make sense? Especially since now you can buy them and print them yourself at home, saving on the cost of shipping and giving you the ability to replace pieces as they wear out. I really love these sets from SandyFordDesign on Etsy. You send her a photo, and she designs a doll that looks like your little one!  If you look at the outfits included, they seem like something pulled from a toddler's dream closet, which is amazing.  Want a grown-up paper doll of yourself?  No judging here, she's got you covered.

You can find these, and my previous Friday Favorites, on my Crafty Staci’s Friday Favorites Pinterest board!

Printable 2017 Planner

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links. I feel like I embrace modern technology whenever I can.  I couldn't wait to get a smart phone back when they were called PDAs and didn't have access to the internet.  Between my husband and I we have a desktop computer, two laptops, two tablets and two smart phones, which doesn't even include his work phone and computer.  With all those electronics, I have access to my digital calendar everywhere I turn.  Still, I keep coming back to paper and pen. I have one paper calendar and one Lego calendar on my desk and a paper calendar hanging in my sewing room.  If I had to give one up, it probably would be the one that needs electricity.

It might go without saying, but I also have a planner.  I did give it up for a few years, but there's something so satisfying when you can write down a task and cross it off in INK.  Marking an electronic box doesn't provide me with the same rush.  This year, I decided I wanted one where each week was a full 8 1/2 by 11" page.  After some searching, I decided to make my own.  I know I'm a few days late for the start of the year, but I forgot to write "Share printable planner on the blog" in my new planner.  Irony at its finest.

As I said, each page is 8 1/2 by 11".  I sprung for some heavier 32 lb. paper so it wouldn't bleed through when I printed them or when I write in it.  I also hunted down some colorful month dividers.  I contained the whole thing in a 1" black view binder. I bought all three on Amazon, and the links will take you to each.

I printed these two sided, which I'd recommend unless you want a blank sheet on the back of each.  I followed the way my planner was laid out last year and completed each week, regardless if a new month fell into it.  That will make sense after you look at the pages.

Planner page inside
Planner page inside

At the front, I have yearly calendar pages for 2016 through 2019.  I like to be able to look at the years easily.  You know, just in case.

Yearly pages
Yearly pages

At the beginning of each month is a monthly calendar.  It might seem like overkill, but being able to see the entire month at a glance, separate from the rest of the year, can be handy.

Month page
Month page

I also added a page for menu planning and a shopping list.

Planner with menu page and shopping list
Planner with menu page and shopping list

There are two pages, so if you print it two-sided you can remove the shopping lists and keep the menu in your planner.

shopping list removed
shopping list removed

If you happen to have one of the tools shown in the photo below, originally for transferring marking to fabric, it works great to roll in down the middle of the two sides to perforate the paper.

Tool for perforating
Tool for perforating
perforated page
perforated page

Now for the downloads!  I kept each month separate to make it a little easier and not such a huge file.  The month pages are all together, as are the years.  The yearly file also includes the 2017 I used for the front.  Good luck and here's to a year of organization and marked checkboxes!

Yearly Calendars

Monthly Calendars

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Menu and Shopping List

Friday Favorites–Back to School

I cannot believe it.  After spending 18 years getting kids ready to go back to school in the fall, I’m done.  My youngest starts college near our home next month, but it’s just not the same.  He doesn’t need anything from me, and I’m pretty sure his professors won’t be asking for party parents, or help with classroom projects.  It’s the end of an era, but I’m really okay with it.  I enjoyed all those years, but I’m excited to move on to this next phase of our lives.  And avoid the giant mom-line at Starbucks on Tuesday morning.

Back to School - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

Start the new school year off right by getting organized with this School Binder with Printables from Thirty Handmade Days.

School Binder Printables from Thrity Handmade Days

If you or your kids pack their lunch, you know sometimes an ice pack makes it a little more edible come lunchtime.  Make them cute and less drippy with these DIY Ice Pack Covers from Little White Whale.

Ice Pack Covers from Little White Whale

The ruffley girliness of this Bustle Backpack from The Sewing Rabbit is so sweet.

Bustle Backpack from Me Sew Crazy

If you have kids of THAT age, you might have noticed all of the options for interior locker decoration available in the stores these days.  Why not make your own?  Sassy Style has you covered with this set of DIYs.

DIY Locker Accessories from Sassy Style Redesign

How come I never noticed that a Twinkie looks like a pencil before?  Thanks to Club Chica Circle, that’s all I’ll see now.

Back to School Twinkies from Club Chica Circle

This First Day of School Sign from Pinkie for Pink is a great way to remember what your kidlet was like each year.  You know, once they’re almost 19 and in college.  Sniff.

First Day of School DIY Sign from Pinkie for Pink

If I needed a lunchbox to head back to school with, I’d make this Bento Box from Lark Crafts.

Bento Box from Lark Crafts

This Back to School Gift for Teacher from Skip to my Lou is a fantastic idea.  You can write your phone number on the tag so the teacher knows how to contact you if they need help in the classroom. 

Back to School Gift for Teacher from Skip to my Lou

My kids were always big readers.  They got it from me, which means someone was always trying to find a bookmark.  We really could have used these Printable Back to School Bookmarks from Simple as That.

Printable Back to School Bookmarks from Simple As That

I don’t remember daily wardrobe being a huge issue for my kids, except for the phase my son went through where any camo was good and it all matched.  In his head.  These closet dividers from West Side View would have been handy to space out the Army green a bit.

Back to school wardrobe organizer from Authentic Parent

To those of you who are getting back in the swing this week, or have already braved those first few days of school, my thoughts are with you!