Posts Filed Under Crafty

BabbaCo Review

by bosssanders on October 21, 2012 with no comments

I love doing FUN activities with my kiddos – but, sometimes it’s hard to come up with activities (that we have all of the supplies for) off the cuff.  So, I was super excited to review the BabbaCo Babba Box, and when our box arrived full of activities, Lorelei and Aurora were excited too!

What are BabbaCo boxes?

BabbaCo boxes are great activity boxes that seamlessly combine both LEARNING and FUN – but, without the headache of having to run to the store to buy the necessary supplies-you-thought-you-had!

Each box has 4 main components:

- Create: 2 to 3 projects for kids to do with their hands – ALL materials included!  (Ours even came with bowls, glue, and a stirring stick!)

- Explore: A theme-based product where your child will engage with the world & nature.

- Story-Tell: Carefully curated books to stimulate your kids’ imaginations.

- Connect: Interactive learning with prepaid downloads approved by BabbaCo experts.

(Lorelei with their paper-mache moon)

Why we liked the BabbaCo boxes:

  • The BabbaCo boxes are researched and planned – meaning they are age-appropriate for kids and include activities that will encourage learning AND are fun!!
  • Each box contained EVERYTHING we needed!  –Down to the glue, stirring stick, and a bowl!  Many “kits” will have most of the supplies included but assume you have others (which they may or may not warn you about on the packaging).  It can really be a downer to get everyone excited and set down to do a fun project just to realize… the glue is dry…or, the scissors are missing/broken.  I really appreciate that the boxes have everything we need and I don’t have to run all over town!
  • The projects aren’t over-elaborate but are on-target for their ages!  They are fun and easy but require just enough skill to help them stretch and grow!  Our box was Sun, Moon, Stars and we made a model moon with paper-mache and star prints!
  • We also liked that each box connected us to the outside world, too!  We had a lot of fun using the star guides and included binoculars looking at constellations!
  • Each box also comes with a book!  We love books at our house and are always on the lookout for imaginative and creative additions for our bookshelves.  We were not disappointed!  No dinky paper “book” here!
  • I also really appreciated BabbaCo’s “Connect” feature.  My kids really enjoy technology and having a prepaid new app that went along with the same learning theme was great!

In short – the BabbaCo box was easy to use, convenient, contained quality materials, and used many methods (create/explore/story/connect) to provide learning and fun for our ENTIRE FAMILY!

Buy Your Own:

You can get a membership for the BabbaCo Babba Box on BabbaCo’s website. (use code BBL20OFF to receive 20% off your first box

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DIY Headband Holder!

by bosssanders on February 6, 2012 with no comments



It’s amazing what a little mod-podge and scrap-booking paper will do!  The HOW-TO for this project is incredibly easy:  Apply a layer of mod-podge with a sponge brush in sections to the quaker oats canister.  Wrap scrapbook paper that’s been cut to size around the canister as you mod-podge (I used two sheets of 12″x12″ paper cut to fit the height of the can).  Then, apply another layer of mod-podge on top just to help keep it water-resistant and protected.

We love our head-band holder… and, a major bonus — Store the clips and ponytail holders on the inside!


Freezer Paper Stenciling – A Tutorial

by bosssanders on July 2, 2011 with 1 comment

(Actually, this post should probably be called:  Wax Paper Stenciling – because, that’s what happens ya know, when a girl assumes that it’s one in the same.)

With 4th of July fast approaching, I thought the girls were due some more patriotic-wear.  Of course, with daddy serving, we can’t get enough of our red-white-and-blue!  I needed something fast, easy, and cheap.  This project turned out FREE…which was even better!

Rora sporting stars…

Lalas shirt says:  My Daddy, My Hero

I’ve searched and searched for some great shirts for the girls (and me!), but after shipping it’d cost around $30 or more to outfit us all.  –And, we have more important things vying for our money these days.

I’m going to be honest, I am new to freezer paper stenciling.  Quite frankly, I even whipped out the wax paper because I thought it was one and the same.  Turns out, it’s not.  (Freezer paper has a waxy coating on one side and paper on the other.  Wax paper is wax on both sides.)  Is the difference important?  Pretty much.  Both can be bought at your local grocery store (or walmart) and both have wax, but for some reason, ironing down wax paper doesn’t get the same effect as when you do it with freezer paper (one sticks, the other…not so much).

Anyhow, without further ado, here is the tutorial… how I did it and then, how you might want to do it differently!

Freezer or Wax Paper Stencil Tutorial:

You will need:

Freezer paper (unless you are stubborn like me…then use wax paper)
An xacto knife.  If your pattern is huge, you can use scissors.
Tshirt or something else to stencil on (pillows, purses, curtains, walls, etc.  Get the idea?)
Paint – I used acrylic because it’s what I had.  But, Speedball paints have been given rave reviews.
Paint brushes/sponges


1.  First things first, you are going to want to either print out or free-hand your design.

2.  Put your freezer paper over it and trace it (wax side facing down as the wax side will be what will lay against your shirt/fabric).

3.  After you finish tracing, you’ll start cutting (xacto knife)

4.  Lay your new stencil onto your fabric, waxy side down.

5.  Heat up your iron and iron it down.  It may take 30 secs to a minute for it to stick, but keep the iron moving so it doesn’t scorch.  Test a small section to make sure it’s good and stuck.

6.  Now, the fun part!  Paint!  If you used wax paper (which I warned you that you might not want to!), you are now realizing that it doesn’t stick very well or consistently (which is weird because wax is wax and should stick, right?)  I held down my stencil carefully and would brush carefully to avoid paint going where it wasn’t supposed to.  Freezer paper equals cleaner lines, though.

7.  When you’re finished (and paint has dried), just peel the paper off and VOILA!

These are really only meant to be used once, but the beauty of wax paper not sticking is that you could possibly use it again…if you really wanted to.  (I re-used the stars for mine.)


DIY Nativity

by bosssanders on December 2, 2010 with no comments

With kids around, one of my favorite nativity sets EVER is the Fisher Price Little People Nativity Set.  But, I also really like the Nativity Friends – it’s a FREE template that you just print out onto card-stock (you can print the colored or black and white version) and VOILA!  — A nativity set that your kids can play with (think paper dolls).  For more fun, glue them (or, double sided tape) to some cardboard toilet paper tubes and they’ll stand alone.

Go HERE for the free template.

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Thanksgiving – A Learning Experience

by bosssanders on November 12, 2010 with 1 comment

We’re studying about Christopher Columbus this month, and I wanted to share with you some of the great links I’ve found so far!  (I’m hoping to share pictures of our other studies and activities in a future post – we’ve been busy!)



Hobby # 1 – Day 12/30

by bosssanders on October 30, 2010 with no comments

Making pretty things.  Like…

A Bubble Dress
Paper Fortune Cookies
Felt Board
Christmas Gifts

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Secret Agent Kit

by bosssanders on August 23, 2010 with no comments

I have a special little guy that’s near to my heart who’s birthday is TODAY!  His party was “secret agent” themed….so I made him this:


The journal/spy notebook has a special birthday wish, as well as what each and every one of the contents is for.

Evidence bags – to collect evidence

Candy – You know, for when you’re on an extra long mission and you need to keep your sugar up.  It’s a necessity.

Sticky Notes – To leave people impromptu notes or to remind oneself of something very important.

Super Secret Pen – The pen doesn’t work (which I tell him in his journal).  Therefore, nobody will steal it.  It’s a chubby pen, so when he takes it apart, he can hide money or secret letters inside.  Inside this particular pen is a dollar bill waiting for him to find.

Mini and Large Brush – For dusting the fingerprinting dusting powder onto fingerprints for collecting

Fingerprinting Dusting Powder
– (see above)

– To “rope” off areas or to create booby traps or to tie up offenders.  Really, the uses are endless.

T-Shirt – To be worn all incognito-like so he can blend in AND roll in the dirt ALL. DAY. LONG.

Silly String – To stun the “bad guys”


More dresses

by bosssanders on April 15, 2010 with 1 comment



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Baby’s bubble dress tutorial

by bosssanders on April 15, 2010 with 1 comment


For Aurora, I wanted a bubble dress but was running out of fabric…so I improvised!  Here’s my “baby’s bubble dress.”

It’s basically 2 pieces.  The first piece, the chest piece, was a rectangle (see the other tutorial for Lorelei’s bubble dress) but instead of being 4 1/2 inches, I made it 9 inches wide. Then, I sewed it in half just like before.  The difference, however, is that instead of arm straps, I just added some elastic on top.

The body piece was made in exactly the same fashion as Lorelei’s dress.  Just, different measurements to fit the baby.

I might add some ribbon to the front for a halter strap, but I’m not sure if I’m down with the potential CHOKING HAZARD!  So, we’ll see.  I may add SOMETHING to just kind of dress it up later, or I may wait till she is big enough to wear it as a shirt and not try to eat everything.   I can tell you, though, this is the perfect outfit for quick changes!


Bubble Dress Tutorial

by bosssanders on April 15, 2010 with 4 comments


Yesterday, I made the girls bubble dresses.  They’re even cuter ON, but I don’t have a photo of her in it just yet.

So, the tutorial:


Basically, you’ll need to measure your kiddo over her arms/shoulders to figure out what the measurement for the straps will be.  Then, after you’ve figured out what length you’ll need for straps, you need to cut those out with a 4 1/2 inch width.  (You’ll fold them in half, plus you’re allowing for a seam.)  SO, 2 rectangles 4 1/2 in x ?? for arm straps.

Then, you will need a chest piece – which is another rectangular strip 4 1/2 inches “wide” – or long, depending on how you want to look at it.  You’ll have to measure your kiddo again for this one.  Have her raise her arms a bit and then use tape or fabric to measure her.  Add a couple of inches to that because we won’t be using buttons or zippers, so she’ll need to be able to slip it all over her head.  I actually left plenty of room and then cut off what I didn’t need later on.

The third piece of fabric is the “body piece.”  It needs to be 2x as “long/wide” as the chest piece.  We’re going to “ruffle it,” so that’s why you need the extra to fit around her body.  You can make the length whatever you want.  Lorelei’s was made to hit her right under her knees.

NOW, fold the straps and chest piece inside out in half.  Sew a seam along the long edge.  Turn them right side out.  For mine, I wanted the seam to be unseen, so I centered my seam on the backside and then sewed the ends of each piece so they wouldn’t fray.  You can do this however you want.  Heck, if you’re feeling frisky, you can even iron them!

Next, I held the chest piece to Lorelei and positioned the arm straps how I wanted them and pinned them.  Then, I sewed the arm straps to the chest piece by running a seam from one end of the chest piece to the other, keeping the strap ends to the inside of the chest piece.

The body piece is the simplest part in my opinion (no trying to get a toddler to stand still).  I folded down the top edge so there were no raw edges and sewed across.  I did the same along the bottom, but allowed for elastic to go through on the bottom.  Then, I went back to the top of the body piece and sewed a line across with the loosest stitch I could (to make my ruffle).  Next, I pulled the bottom thread on each side and used my free hand to gather up the fabric into a ruffle!  Once I had it to the right length, I just pinned it to the chest piece and sewed it on.

For the elastic, I cut a piece long enough that could fit over her shoulders.  I fed it through the bottom of the “body piece” through the seam edge I made earlier.  Then, I made small stitches on each end to keep the elastic from moving.

Last (you’re almost done!), turn the whole thing inside out again and sew up the back!

Voila!  A bubble dress!

These are fun for summer and easy breezy (for them, too!  –Especially great for potty training!).

Note:  For my “body” piece for Lorelei, I only had 1 1/2 times the length as the chest piece (not 2x) and it worked just fine.  It wasn’t as “ruffled,” but don’t feel like you can’t alter these without totally screwing them up.  They’re so forgiving!

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