Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Decorated Purell Bottles by Nanny Gael Ann and her very creative assistant.

Decorated Purell Bottles by Nanny Gael Ann and her very creative assistant.

These make great gifts for parents, grandparents, teachers, friends & co-workers.

Just start with a bottle of hand sanitizer. I got mine with the handy red tops for less than a dollar each at a local discount store called Christmas Tree Shop. Then remove the labels on the front and back. This is probably the hardest part of this project. I found that the front label peels off nicely but the back ones take some soaking and a little rubbing with some kind of solvent. I like a product called Goo Gone.
With a trip to your favorite craft store or a look in your crafting supply stash round up some fun Valentine's Day stickers and scrapbook paper. Grab a roll of double sticky tape and some ribbon for the top(s) you are ready to get started.

To make each bottle a little different (for three preschool teacher in the same classroom)using regular scrapbook paper I cut out, free- hand, a heart shape for bottle, a rounded corner rectangle to fit the front of the second bottle and a strip of paper about 2 inches wide that fit all the way around the last bottle. I used the word processing program on my computer to print out Valentine messages and a "from ___ " note for the back of each bottle. I chose a fancy font and printed in red and purple to coordinate with the scrapbook paper and attached with double sticky tape. You might have to experiment a little with the font and font size to see what looks best on the size and shape of your bottle. You can skip the scrapbook paper part if you wish, they look just as cute with all stickers.

Now for the super fun part attaching the stickers! Kids of all ages can help with this part.

With a little curly ribbon or a bow tied around the top you have a cute and practical handmade gift to give someone special on Valentine's Day! Personalized hand sanitizer bottles work great for other occasions too. Examples: Snowflake design for our kitchen counter and a smiley face design given as a get well gift.

Since we wanted you all to have the time to make these great projects we are giving two project ideas today and another one next week so that you can make lots of great creative projects for Valentines Day.

Here is your bonus project today!
Click to play this Smilebox greeting: candy hearts
Create your own greeting - Powered by Smilebox
Make a Smilebox greeting

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Uses for Old CDs

Have you ever wondered what you could do with old CDs that might be useful or creative?
Kellie from the Regarding Nannies team asked me if I could find some ideas for what to do with old CDs.
Last year I went to the Mastadon Art and Science Fair (which is by the way the largest combined art and science fair in the nation, so if you live in the St. Louis area, you definitely don't want to miss it) and we did a fun project where we took Sharpies and decorated our CDs with beautiful designs. Then we took the tab from a pull top can and inserted it into the middle hole, it fit perfectly and thin you had a spinning top that made a beautiful pattern out of your art as it was spinning. You could make several of these and have races or contests to see whose top spins the longest.

We also took old CDS, strung them with fishing line and hung them from the gutters of our house to keep the birds from flying into our atrium windows.

I found the following sites that offer more creative ideas for recylcling used CDs.
The last one that shows the video on how to make the hover craft is my favorite!
If you have additional ideas on how to recycle used CDs please feel free to add them in the comments section.
This blog has a lot of great ideas!

Here are some more you might want to check out.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Snowperson in a Jar by Nanny Gael Ann

I am excited to tell you that Nanny Gael Ann has agreed to share one of her wonderful craft ideas with us on a monthly basis in 2010. Her craft for January is simple and fun and guaranteed to put a smile on anyone's face.
Snowperson in a Jar

You will need:
empty clear plastic jar with a lid (we used an old large peanut butter jar)

stuffing (or cotton balls)

4 buttons (2 small (eye size) buttons & 2 slightly larger for body)

small piece of orange craft foam cut into a carrot shape

1 brown pipecleaner cut in half and shaped like arms (real twigs would work too)

bow for hat

Loosely fill the jar with stuffing and then slide the buttons, nose and pipecleaners right along the inside of the jar. When arranged to your liking add more stuffing to insure all the pieces stay in place. Finally, screw on the lid and add the bow for a hat. Now you have some winter fun that won't melt away!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Wednesday's Creative Nanny: A Year in the Life

A Year in the Life
by Alice Shaffer

Over the past year several of my friends have taken a monthly birthday photo of their newborn. The child is in the same chair and holds a piece of paper that says "Today I am 1 month old- January 6, 2010" I thought this was a great way of showcasing the way the child grows and develops in the first year of life. It got me thinking...why stop at the end of the first or second year-why not include older kids in elementary school, middle school or high school even. I am going to try this with my charge who is in middle school this month. I am not too sure he will go for it, but I can only try.

What you need:
a camera-digital
a notebook-70 page spiral works (one for each child)
your child(ren) or nanny charge(s)

How to Document a Year in the Life:

1. Decide on a date each month to work on your book. Like the 2nd Tuesday of each month.
2. Take a monthly photo with the child holding a sign with the date on it. For an older charge, you can have them decorate the page with various drawings.
3. Have the child write their full name on the page marked "January"
4. You can then print their photo and put it under their signature.
5. Have the child write the answers to some of the following questions or others that you think of. If you child is not old enough to write, ask them the questions.

  • What did you eat for breakfast today? (or whatever meal just passed)
  • What is your activity schedule for the day? (school, classes, activities, sports)
  • How tall are you?
  • What size is your shirt?
  • What size is your pants?
  • What size is your foot?
  • What is your favorite color?
  • What is your favorite activity to do?
  • What is your favorite computer game/website etc?
  • What is your favorite food?
  • What book are you reading now?
  • Who is one of your good friends?
  • What is your favorite sport to play?
  • Did anything new happen since last month? (new pet, braces, new car, new nanny etc)
The list is unlimited in what you want your charge/child to answer. Have your child come up with some questions as well. When you get to December you will have a great "Year in the Life" of the child. This is really neat to look back at the photos to see how they have grown and changed. The handwriting samples are exciting to look at as well. You can also make a "Smilebox" of this to send out to the family members at the end of the year.

Happy 2010!