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I just thought I would share an easy idea for a Halloween craft for kids.   If you are a room mom for your child’s class and they are going to have a Halloween party you might be looking for ideas.   My youngest son’s class is having a contest this Halloween party.   It’s decorate a CAN contest.   Use a coffee can for the base of the project.

My son is loving his ATA karate so he wanted to decorate his can somehow karate.   Pictured is his coffee can and I think he came up with a great idea.    He did a karate mummy with the eyes lighting up.   He came up with the eyes lighting up himself and I was worried we would not be able to find anything.   Well, the Dollar Store had our solution…battery powered tea lights. You can get them in square shape or circle shape.   Great to know for all the upcoming holiday crafts 🙂

Halloween Coffee Can Craft

Halloween Coffee Can Craft

What you will need:

  • battery powered tea lights (Dollar Store)
  • coffee can
  • gauze rolls (about 3 yards)
  • karate belt
  • nunchucks (Dollar Store)

Honestly, you could do all kinds of creative ideas for Halloween with a coffee can.  I liked the idea of doing a pumpkin too!

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DIY Sharpie Mugs

My youngest son making me a Sharpie Mug.

If you are new to the DIY Sharpie mug craze it really is very simple, take some Sharpies, a cheap mug, write on the mug and bake the mug for your own homemade personalized mug.   Now, after trying this craft with my boys, I wanted to share with you some tips I learned along the way.  Plus, if I can help you make a great mug first time around…great!

The boys mugs before baking

The boys mugs before baking

  • Get a ceramic mug.  This may sound easy but I think everyone over thinks this one.  Go to the Dollar Store and buy a mug for a dollar.  I promise these mugs work best!
  • You will need permanent markers.   Sharpies seem to work the best hence the Sharpie Mug 🙂  I also have found that some colors fade and change colors after baking.   Colors my boys and I found to work best: black, brown, blue, orange and yellow.  Red will fade to light pink or even a mustard yellow.  Green is not too bad but we really didn’t use a lot of green to get a true test of the color.  Purple turned grey!
  • Did you mess up? Did the marker run a bit? Use a Q-tip dipped in rubbing alcohol to clear the mistakes. Be careful not to let the alcohol run onto the other designs.
  • I recommend letting your mug dry completely after you have designed it.   I have found it bakes better.  I let our mugs dry over night.
  • Baking:  Well every website that posted this craft recommends baking at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.   This does not work.  Baking at 350 is not hot enough for the marker to take to the mug.  You need to bake at 425 for 30 minutes.   I put my mug right in the oven as the oven was preheating.  Plus, I let me mugs stay in the oven once they were done baking until completely cooled.  Otherwise, if you take your mug out when it’s piping hot, the mug could crack.
  • When the oven has cooled completely you can remove your mug. Test it by running a wet rag over it. Did the image stay? If not, it may need to go in for round two. If it did stay, awesome! The next test is the dishwasher. If it passes the dishwasher, congrats on your DIY Sharpie mug!
Sharpie mugs after baking

Sharpie mugs after baking

Now it’s time to go make a Sharpie Mug!  This is such a great gift idea for family members, friends and teachers.   I hope all these tips help you make the most perfect gift! Of course this craft also works great on plates and bowls too.

Baseball String Bracelet

Baseball String Bracelet

Take me out to the ball game

Take me out with the crowd
Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks
I don’t care if I never get back
Let me root, root, root
For the home team
If they don’t win it’s a shame
Aahh.
For it’s one,
Two,
Three strikes you’re out
At the old ball game

It’s that time of year…baseball season.   I just love baseball season and it’s not because my husband played Major League Baseball either.   It’s just something about baseball and summer.   Maybe because it’s the lazy days of summer and the kids aren’t in school.  I don’t know what it is but I love it!

It’s also little league baseball time around the country.  Now, here in Arizona we are finishing up our little league season because it’s just too hot to play in the summer.  My youngest son ends his season this week and we will have the year- end season party this weekend.   Since my husband is the manager, I wanted to do something special for the boys at the party.   My friend, Erin, posted a picture of these baseball string bracelets she made for her boys today.  I just knew I had to make them for the party.

Do you have a baseball fan in your house?  This would be a cute and fun gift for them.

Here is how to make the baseball string bracelets:  I made two today!

You will need a baseball (you get two bracelets from one ball), a Xacto knife, plus a scissors helps too.

First you will need to cut out the stitches all the way around the baseball.  Try to get your cuts as close to the stitches as possible without cutting them.  When you are all finished you can use the scissors to cut any uneven parts.  You will have to apply a fair amount of pressure, and maybe even go over each line twice to cut all the way through the leather.

Once you have cut all the way around the stitches you’ll need to remove the leather pieces.  The leather is stuck onto the ball inside with some adhesive, so it could take a little elbow grease to get it off.

Once you take both leather pieces off you’ll need to remove the strings.  They will still be in once piece and should be easy to pull off.

Here’s is what your baseball should look like at this point:

baseball string bracelet

You won’t need the ball or leather any more for this project.  Locate the point on the seam where the stitching begins/ends, this is where you should cut the remaining leather.  You will see the extra string at this point.   Be careful not to cut off the excess string, you’ll need every inch!

Find the middle of the seam and cut it in half.  Each piece should be around 8 inches long.  Begin unraveling the stitching at each end of the bracelet until you have about 4 inches of string unwound.  This should leave about 1 to 1 1/2 inches of leather sticking out.

Cut off the excess leather without cutting the strings.  You should now have two ends that have 4 inches of string and 5 inches of seam in the middle.

baseball String bracelet

The best closure I found for this bracelet is simply tying the two ends into a knot each time I wear it.  To do this you will need to braid each of the loose strings and secure with a knot.  The strings will be gummy in the beginning from the adhesive used to attach the leather to the ball, but this will go away after you wear the bracelet a few times.

You will notice the leather is formed into a circle; the leather will flatten out as you wear your bracelet.

Good luck!!

Who are you rooting for this summer?  It’s “Go Cubs” in this house 🙂

About Me:

Hello and welcome! I am a 40 something year old mom of two boys, living in Scottsdale, AZ with my husband Al. I started My Baby Pajamas in 2007 and have watched it grow and mature. I love to blog but am not much of a writer per say. I am a avid runner and love to compete in races. I like my yoga HOT and love to hike with my family and our pit bull mix dog, Chance. My favorite time is hanging with my family and cooking homemade dinners and hearing about everyone's day while my husband and I enjoy a glass of wine.

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