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Wayfair Homemakers
Wednesday
Jul302014

Upcycled Camping Lanterns: Endless Summer Projects

This post is sponsored by Bing.

Summer is the perfect time to travel, even if it's just to your backyard. Last weekend, we even perched our tent in my son's bedroom so that he could have a special sleep over with his sister. Since then we've had camping on the brain. Staycations are always great on the budget, and here's an idea to up the imagination on your next adventure at home. I'm delighted to share my last (how can summer possibly be coming to a close?) Endless Summer Project for this season: an upcycled camping lantern.

Using oatmeal containers that a friend had given to us for our crafting, we painted and doodled our way to a working camping lantern. To create, grab:

  • A battery-operated candle (pull out a few from the Christmas stock)
  • An oatmeal container with the wrapper and plastic ring around the top removed
  • Acrylic or poster paint and paintbrush
  • Wire, rope, or heavy string
  • Transparency sheet
  • Construction paper

1. Hole punch one hole on either side of the top of the canister.

2. Cut large rectangular holes on either side. This is an easy job for an X-Acto knife, but even child scissors can cut through the cardboard cylinders with some assistance.

3. Put little hands to work on painting. We chose campy green to make our lantern look like official camping gear.

4. Cut a large circle out of the construction paper. Cut a line into the center. Overlap and glue the excess paper to form the cone top of the lantern.

5. Cut a letter-sized transparency in half. With a permanent marker, doodle your design. Remember that the light will shine through these two panels so color to your heart's desire. Consider even making shapes to create special shadows on your tent wall.

6. Attach the transparency to the interior of the canister with invisible tape.

7. With double-sided tape or a hot glue gun, attach you candle to the bottom of the canister. *If your candle has an on/off switch at the bottom, cut out a small hole to reach the switch before gluing into place.

7. String wire or rope through the holes punched on the canister and through the cone roof.

The warmth of the candlelight makes a charmed evening feel like one of the best of childhood.

The kids are excited to use theirs inside and outside. We haven't yet done an overnight in the tent (outside), but these upcycled camping lanterns might be the inspiration we need to stay brave in the dark.

We've had such a blast sharing these creations with you throughout the summer, and there's still more to enjoy! Join in next Wednesday for another great Endless Summer Project! Here's the entire list in case you missed them:

Here's to the last glorious weeks of summer, friends!

xoxo, MJ

 

Monday
Jul282014

Back to School Geometric Initial Totes

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® Elmer’s and Wet Ones, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #CraftandCleanUp http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV

We are getting excited for school around here, and, to celebrate, we created geometric initial tote bags to hold the after-school supplies. Backpacks, lunchbags, and school shoes of all sorts are filling the store shelves and catalogs in our mailbox. Ready or not, summer is coming to a close and a new school year is about to begin. Quite honestly, it's one of my favorite times of year. The beginning of school is like New Year's, with better Midwestern weather. So much potential bundled up into fresh pencils and new notebooks.

For once, we're ready with school supply purchases. I like to hit Target early to see the entire landscape of what they're offering. I grabbed up this Elmer's and Wet Ones combo pack in the Back to School section. The pairing of these two is genius.

This year my girls, now in second and fourth grade, are involved in a full schedule of after school activities. We purchased some awesome backpacks, but we were still in need of something to hold the piano books, soccer balls, Daisy folders, choir schedules, and more. Little hands tire quickly at the end of the day and carrying all of the other equipment in their arms just isn't practical anymore.

So, with the help of some Elmer's glue and a pack of Wet Ones to clean up our smudges and messes, we got crafty and transformed some plain tote bags into geometric initial totes that the girls can use every day.

We purchased durable canvas tote and drawstring bags, found some acrylic paints in colors that the girls loved, grabbed our Elmer's glue and a paint brush and went to work.

To begin, I drew in a very light pencil, each girl's initials on the bag. I freehanded ours, but you could easily transfer on a large letter image from your favorite font. I'd recommend something simple and bold since the detail of this craft comes through in the geometric shapes.

Next, trace over your lines with glue, trying to maintain the same thickness in each line. Sometimes you'll catch an air bubble or make your own goober so be sure to keep a Wet One wipe close by to clean up your mistake in no time.

Once you have your initial outlined, the fun begins! From the edge of a letter, draw a small triangle and then another and connect them. Be silly, go geo-crazy, and surround your letters with shapes. Be sure to leave the inside of the letters clear of any glue. Make sure that the layer of glue you paint is thick and dimensional.

Let glue dry for a good 2-4 hours.

Grab your paints. We chose just two colors for each bag and mixed different shades together to create an analogous palette. Paint each shape right up to the glue, allowing the glue to act as a barrier to the next shape.

My ladies were quite happy with their new, personalized bags. Fingers crossed for a cleaner minivan.

These bags are getting a workout already with soccer practices nearing and piano lessons every Monday. I love that my ladies are so well rounded and involved, and I'm happy they have some place to keep all of their stuff for these busy times as well!

So many possibilities with this technique! Find a bottle of Elmer's gel glue to create a washable design for your bags that might need more laundering.

We're on the countdown to school with just over three weeks to go. How about you?

xoxo, MJ

 

Thursday
Jul242014

Peach Lemonade Slushie

Summer fruity drink cocktails are such a treat! This peach lemonade slushie can be ready in five minutes for an impromptu cookout or a lazy evening on the porch.

On Monday, I made up a wonderfully fresh new fruity recipe (a spin on this one from the past). I had all the ingredients fresh from the store, my lighting and backgrounds all set (fellow bloggers/photographers can relate), and I was delighted with how everything tasted and came together. As I began to write this post and upload photos, I realized I had no memory card in my camera... and no great photos featuring great recipe with great lighting and backgrounds. Fail.

Well, guess what? I returned from the oops to an even better. Using some of the remaining fabulous ingredients I created this new recipe for a peach lemonade slushie that's even better than what was going to be here, had I remembered to put in my SD card. So, take that, Monday.


Mix the ingredients listed below together in your blender. Combine until they are mostly blended. For serving, you can either freeze for 24 hours and make a hard slush, or serve immediately for a softer version.

Combing one half slushie with one half Sprite/7 Up type of beverage and stir.

Caution: these go fast. This recipe comfortably serves 4 for a toast on the deck.

Enjoy, friends. And cheers to turn around those Monday fails!

xoxo, MJ

Wednesday
Jul232014

Vacation Mobile: Endless Summer Projects

This post is sponsored by Bing.

I stink at scrapbooks and photo albums, but a vacation mobile? I can get behind that. Today's Endless Summer Project is a sweet one from Jen over at Classic Play. It's a three-dimensional way for your kids to put together the images, words, and memories of their special trip, and I know my kids are excited to give this one a try.

We had our first visit to the ocean this summer. Living in landlocked Indiana, we rejoice at sport lakes and adore Lake Michigan, but wide-open, amazing ocean space is a whole different story. They were clearly blown away in the most positivie ways. During our long drive and leisurely dinners, we wrote down and sketched our memories so that they would always remain fresh in the pages of our journal. I'd love to see how they'd turn these doodles and writings into a creative mobile like this.

There's still plenty of time to soak up all of the Endless Summer Projects:

Next week we'll be hosting Endless Summer Projects with an outdoor project that you can enjoy well into the fall!

And thank you for your patience with my two posts-a-week schedule lately. Summer is so full, and it's been a wonderful one, but I almost miss investing time here. But that, too, will soon change! Lots of great ideas coming your way in August.

xoxo, MJ

Wednesday
Jul162014

Outdoor Cooking with Kids: Endless Summer Projects

 

Summer to us means a whole lot of outdoors. Playing, swimming, chalk, bubbles, and eating! I'm delighted to try out the incredible recipes and ideas that Melissa of Lulu the Baker has for us today on the Endless Summer Projects series.

We use our grill a ton in the summer for kabobs and corn and s'mores in the summer, and Melissa is taking this to a whole new level... Chicken and bacon for dinner! Peach cobbler! I can't wait to try these out.

Here are all this year's Endless Summer Projects:

What do you love to cook outdoors? Isn't there something just grand about the experience?

xoxo, MJ