Garanimals Blog

Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

May 3rd, 2013 at 5:00 am

Teacher Appreciation Ideas

Did you know that Teacher Appreciation week is May 6-10? Even if you have little ones who aren’t in school yet, take some time out to acknowledge the teachers in their lives. That could be a daycare teacher, swim teacher, or sunday school teacher. They do so much for our children and it is nice to say thank you every now and then.

I am going to share some amazing ideas I’ve been seeing on Pinterest, but first I want to show off one of the teacher appreciation ideas I put together for our teachers at my sons school last year. This can be adapted in so many ways. We made one of these wordles for each of our teachers using words and sayings that the children in their class used to describe them. The one pictured was for our principal. I used the site Tagxedo because it was so customizable. It was easy to make, print and inexpensive to frame. The teachers went wild about these and proudly hang them in their classrooms.

Some other ways to show your Teacher love is through Flowers, Cookies, or who doesn’t love a gift card? Two years ago, I shared this great soap dispenser that I made too!

Be sure to peruse the Garanimals Pinterest Board for ideas and you can check my Teacher Appreciation Pinterest Board too for even MORE great ideas!

Use next week to show your teachers some love!

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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April 5th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Making a Hanging Jewelry Organizer

I don’t know if you have the same problem as me, but my necklaces are constantly getting tangled in my jewelry box. It happens again and again and I have had enough. So, I made myself a hanging jewelry organizer. I just use mine with necklaces, but certain earrings would work great on this also.

No, if you are thinking that you aren’t crafty at all, I promise if you know how to shop then you can attempt this craft. You will only need the following supplies:

  • Empty Picture Frame
  • Sheet of Decorative Metal (Found at your local hardware or craft store)
  • S Hooks
  • Tin Snips (only needed if you are cutting the metal down to size)

The first part is the remove the glass from the picture frame. You can then use the tin snips to cut the metal down to fit the frame. I attached the metal to the frame using packing tape or duct tape.

You simply turn the frame around to hang. With mine, I hung it the long way, but you can also hang it wide and have the necklaces hang down over the frame. (Right, now mine fit this way, but I definitely may switch it around in the future.) Then hang some S hooks onto it, place your necklaces and you are set to go!

I have loved the ease that this has given me with my jewelry, plus my dresser top is always clean!

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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March 27th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Fun Easter Egg Decorating for Kidds


Decorating Easter Eggs is often one of the highlights of the holiday for kids and it’s a great way for them to express their creativity through art! Egg decorating has truly evolved over the years, there is nothing that can’t be done! Gather some craft materials…googly eyes, glitter, jewels, tissue paper, pipe cleaners, felt, crayons, you name it…and have some fun! Here are some unique egg decorating ideas for you try with your kids this year.

No Dye Decorating:

Polka Dot Glitter Eggs

Easter Egg Chicks

Edible Rice Krispy Eggs 

Dye Decorating:

Stencil Eggs

Speckled Eggs

Striped Eggs

Themed Decorating:

Animal Eggs 

Superhero Eggs

Angry Birds Eggs

Scuba Eggs

My favorite is the scuba egg… how cute is that!? What’s your favorite way to decorate eggs for Easter?

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March 23rd, 2013 at 5:09 pm

Treats for Easter

With all the baskets you may have to make for Easter, it is good to have some homemade treats included in them. Not only is it cost-effective, but it adds a personal touch to the mix.

One of my favorite treats is pictured. This is great to put in baskets or send as a school party treat. Think Orange – Cheese Puffs, Cheese Balls, Goldfish crackers or even an orange candy can be used to fill the “carrot.” The bag is simply a plastic disposable frosting decorator bag. You can find these in the grocery store or craft store. Check if the ones you are buying have printing on the bags, as you will want clear ones. Use some green ribbon for the top and you have your own carrot to hide in the basket!

Another fun treat I have done before involves white powdered donut holes. Simply put two or three in a plastic snack bag. Then attach a fun topper like this one. These “Cottontails”  will bring a smile to any little ones face.

Krispy Treats are an easy to make treat, but have you ever thought about adding a Peep on top? Freeze the Peep first and after your warm treats are spread in a pan, push the Peeps on top. I love to use the bunnies and lay them down on top. They won’t melt because of being frozen but will stick into the treat. Remember to think about spacing as you lay the bunnies down so you can later cut them into squares or rectangles.  Wrap them in some plastic wrap after they have cooled.

Also, think about the treats you make for the Holiday season in December. Make chocolate candies, chocolate covered pretzels or truffles and add some melted pastel chocolates to drizzle on top. If you are good at decorating cookies or cupcakes then make Spring themed ones. They sell some adorable boxes to package your homemade treats in.

One last fun treat is made with popcorn. Mix up some pastel M&M’s, popcorn and small pretzel sticks together. Melt white chocolate and mix until everything is coated. Use pastel colored sprinkles to cover it a bit. Spread on wax paper and allow to cool. Put in a bag and tie with a ribbon and you have some “Bunny Bait.”

Easter Treats don’t always have to be store bought, use your imagination to add some fun Homemade treats to the baskets you may be delivering!


Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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March 21st, 2013 at 5:00 am

Spring Crafts


With winter officially over, it’s time to take down the hand-crafted snowmen, snowflakes and penguins and make flowers, butterflies and bunnies!  Celebrate new life with these fun and easy springtime crafts:

  • Sunshine Flower Pot – A pretty homemade flower pot for the aspiring gardener!  I love how bright and festive this looks on the windowsill.  You can fill the pot with either homemade Fingerprint Flowers or potting soil and seeds to grow real and beautiful flowers!
  • Caterpillar Craft – This colorful craft is very easy to make and I bet you won’t be able to stop at just one!  Make an entire family of caterpillars to decorate your home.
  • Pine Cone Bird Feeder – The birds are out and about again, and they’re probably pretty hungry after a long winter!  You can help feed them by taking a pine cone and covering it in seeds and other foods our flying friends love.
  • Easter Egg Napkin Rings – Easter is just 10 days away, and these napkin rings will really brighten up your table when family comes over!  For more patterns, cut different shapes from the foam like squiggly lines.
  • Cotton Bunny – Who could resist trying to make this precious bunny?  He’s cute enough to leave out long after Easter Sunday!  Depending on how much cotton you have, make him as large or as small as you want!  Or, make a mother and baby!

What are some of your favorite spring crafts?

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March 18th, 2013 at 1:35 pm

Decorating Easter Eggs

One of our favorite things to do this time of year is decorating Easter Eggs. I wanted to share some traditional and non-traditional ways that you can decorate eggs with. If you aren’t a fan of using hard-boiled eggs, pick up some wooden or styrofoam eggs which some of these techniques can be used on. One of my favorite tools to use when dying eggs with little ones is a wire whisk. Stick the egg in and the child has a easy way to dunk their egg in the dye. A life saver for broken eggs!

Kool-Aid Dyed Eggs – Instead of the traditional packs of egg dye found, use different colors of Kool-Aid drink mix to dye your eggs. Use each packet with 2/3 cup of water. It is amazing how vibrant some of the colors will come out. It may smell fruity at first, but as the egg dries, that fruity smell will go away.

Crayons – Use crayons to color right on the eggs. Decorate with words, polka-dots, or even pictures. Have you even written on an egg with a white crayon and then our the egg in dye to reveal a hidden message.

Paint - Paint used with rollers and brushes is fun for adventurous moms. Feel free to add glitter too! They sell some great painting machines in your Egg decorating aisle. Use them year after year with a little paint from your craft closet!

Stamps - Use stamps or stamp makers to put fun designs on the eggs. This is an easy way for young children to decorate their eggs.

Stickers – Pick out favorite stickers to cover the egg. You could even put words in stickers, and then dye the egg and remove the stickers after the eggs dry! Rub on’s, decals and tattoos are other fun ways that work the same as stickers!

Duct Tape - Using some of the new patterned duct tape, cut strips to decorate your eggs. Imagine the possibilities ~ Camouflage, Zebra Striped or even glow in the dark eggs!

Fabric and Ribbon – Use scraps of ribbon and fabric to cover your eggs.

Chalkboard Paint – Use chalkboard paint to cover the egg and you can recreate your design as much as you want!

Be creative when decorating eggs! Take a walk down the scrapbooking aisle at the store and find all kinds of fun things to cover your Easter Eggs!

For more fun ideas check out The Incredible Edible Egg or Tip Junkie where you will find some more great decorating and also some great Easter Egg Hunt Ideas!

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.



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March 15th, 2013 at 10:35 am

St Patrick’s Day Crafts

Even though my family does not have an Irish bone in its body, we love to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. We aren’t the green beer partying types, but do like to make it a fun family event. You may remember my post last year about some of the fun we have! This year we are decorating the house with some crafts inspired by leprechauns, shamrocks, and the rainbow! I wanted to share some of the fun things you can make to decorate your home.

Pictured above is an easy craft that requires only a few supplies. Some green paint and paper help to make some great painted shamrocks. Just draw a shamrock shape and have the kids go crazy painting them. I like them whole, but you could easily cut them out also.

We are also hoping to fill the house with rainbows. An easy way to do this is to take a paper plate and paint it gold or yellow. Then take leftover crepe paper strips in different colors and glue or staple about a foot at the end of the plate trailing off. In addition to a decoration this makes a great item to hold and dance. Another fun craft involves your child handprint. You can find the instructions and a photo here.

A cool craft that you can use as a gift involves jars and skittles. Have your child sort the skittles by color, then layer in a jar to make a rainbow. Attach a fun tag saying Here is a little St. Patty’s Day in a jar for you! Distribute to teachers, grandparents, friends or neighbors. Who doesn’t love a bright colored rainbow of candy to brighten their day!

Feel free to check out other St. Patricks Day ideas on both Garanimals’ board and my board on Pinterest! Everyone is a little Irish on St. Patricks Day!

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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March 13th, 2013 at 5:00 am

St. Patrick’s Day Activities


St. Patrick’s Day is this weekend and we’re going green! This is an easy holiday to enjoy with your kids… you don’t have to worry about cooking for family or wrapping presents, so there’s no excuse not to celebrate (and you DON’T have to be Irish to do so)! Here are some great St. Patty’s day activities:

Plan a Leprechaun Visit

The leprechaun is the “mascot” of St. Patrick’s Day, so it’s fun to get kids excited about the mischief he causes during his “visit” to your house. Much like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, the Leprechaun often leaves evidence that he’s been at your house. Green food coloring in the toilet where he’s done his “business,” tiny little letters, chocolate gold coins left throughout the house (be careful of your pets eating them!), green footprints, “magic milk” and more. A leprechaun visit is always tons of fun!

Read a Holiday-Inspired Book

We recommend:

Make (and Eat) Some Green Treats

Family Craft Time (St. Patrick’s Style)

St. Patrick’s Day Treasure Hunt

Use cute limericks as clues to direct your kids and help them fine the hidden pot of gold!

There once was a little green guy,

Whose rainbow was high in the sky.

To find his gold,

Before he got old,

He looked where the sleeping dogs lie. 

(Next clue hidden in dog’s bed.)

You can use this St. Patrick’s Day Scavenger Hunt Guide as a reference.

What are your plans for St. Patrick’s Day?

Photo Credit: Rust & Sunshine

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March 11th, 2013 at 11:31 am

Ideas to Fill that Easter Basket

Easter is just around the corner and it’s always fun to fill Easter Baskets for the children, friends, and family! I wanted to give you some ideas to make your basket filling a little easier. The most important part is finding a “basket” to fill. Think outside the box – use a pail, special bowl or serving dish, a gift bag or tote bag, or even a laundry basket. Once you have picked that, you can either go with a theme idea or just put in a bunch of little things. One thing I like to consider is the amount of sweets that are included. Easter Baskets can be filled with fun things like favorite snacks, nuts, drinks or alcohol for adults.

Ideas for Babies and Toddlers
Baby food
Cute T-shirt or Onesie
Sippy Cup
Stuffed Animal
Board Books
Bath Toys
Garanimals Toys and Books are great stuffers (and don’t cost a lot!)

Ideas for Kids

Lego Figures
Small Card Game
Playdoh or Silly Putty
Swim toys
Swim Goggles
Swim Towel or suit
Sandbox toys
Jump Rope
Coloring Book and Crayons
Fun Socks
Lip Gloss
Baseball Cap
Sports Equipment

Ideas for Women
Cooking Utensils
Kitchen Towel
Scrapbooking Items
Sports Equipment
Office Supplies
Lip Gloss or Nail Polish
Gardening gloves and Tools
Seeds, bulbs or an actual plant
Gift Cards
Magazine Subscription

Ideas for Men
Sports Equipment
Baseball Hat
Office Supplies
Gift Cards
Lottery Scratch of Tickets
Grooming Products
Magazine Subscription

Think about the person and what they enjoy doing in their spare time. Theme the basket around that! Also, think about special stores in the area – do a basket filled with sausage, cheese and crackers, or cupcakes and cookies. The fun is getting items together to make a beautiful basket!

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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March 6th, 2013 at 4:01 pm

DIY Projects for Moms-To-Be


New babies are a huge expense, from diapers and clothes to formula and crib furniture, so it’s understandable that many moms-to-be look for do-it-yourself projects that will save some money. You don’t even have to be crafty to make these great items that will help you take care of your newborn baby!

Baby Wipes

Newborns go through a lot of diapers per day, and that means even more wipes! This DIY wipes tutorial will help you make your own.

Door Latch Cover

There’s nothing worse than finally getting your baby to sleep, only to have them wake up crying when the door closes too loudly! Muffle the sound with this cool door latch cover you can make from almost any material.

No-Sew Floor Pillow

This is a great one for those of you with no craft experience. So comfy for baby!

Diaper Clutch

When you’re on the go and your baby is crying for a fresh diaper, you need those diapers and wipes RIGHT AWAY. This diaper clutch will keep them together and in an easy-to-spot pouch.

Nursing Cover

Nurse your babies in style with this pretty nursing cover!

Stacking Rings

Once the baby is old enough, these stacking rings are great for developing motor skills. Make them out of fabrics in pretty colors and prints that will catch their eye!

e any DIY projects for your upcoming bundle of joy?

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