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Pin It - Did It: Sponge Balls

Sponge balls are the snow balls of summer! A great activity to cool off and have fun with the kids.

I've seen these sponge balls all over the Pinterest and decided to give them a try. Yep, they were super easy to make, my eight year old daughter actually helped me, but it was hard to find sponges. 

When we went out I looked at Wal-Marts, Dollar Trees, automotive departments, grocery stores, and finally found sponges WITHOUT SCOURING PADS at the Dollar General store in our little one horse town. Go figure. 

This past weekend we put them to use and it was definitely fun and we will be making more! I'm going to keep this one short and let the pictures below do the talking. 

If you have any questions leave a comment. 
Sponge balls are super easy to make: cut your sponges into fourths lengthwise and secure with a rubber band.A great summertime kids' activity and craft!

Erin Sipes
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DIY Fire Starters

These aren't the prettiest fire starters but they'll get your camp fire or bonfire blazing!

I'm looking forward to many family bonfires this summer and fall but getting the fire started isn't always easy. Here are three fire starters that are easy to make using supplies everyone has on hand.  

Firestarter One - Instructions are on the images but I didn't add one crucial step if you want them to burn longer. *When you stuff the dryer lint into the paper rolls add cotton balls that have been dipped in petroleum jelly.*

These are awesome DIY Camp Fire Starters - be sure to visit this post to find out a special hint at keeping them lit longer.

Firestarter Two - This is the classic firestarter. While we used leftover candles to secure everything in wax, I would recommend buying a brick of canning wax. I ended up needing more wax and it would have made it much easier than melting down new candles!

These are classic DIY Fire Starters for camp or bonfires.

Firestarter Three - This is a method I picked up from one of our Girl Scout leaders. I can't remember if she included the dryer lint but I know instead of twisting the ends she dipped them in candle wax.

These DIY Fire Starters make use of many recyclable materials! Find this and two more DIY firestarter methods on the original post!

These 3 DIY Fire Starters are sure to light your fire!

Erin Sipes
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Flea Market Flip: Painted Brass Plates

I started out thinking I'd make this a Wordless Wednesday post because there isn't much to this project, but let's be real...I don't do wordless. You can always find these brass plates at flea markets, here's how to flip them into fun pieces of art!
Brass plates are a flea market, thrift store, yard sale, antique store staple. You can find them in all kinds of styles, sizes and prices. Luckily for me, we inherited a bunch of them and as much as I dislike brass, I love these things!

I've been wanting to liven them up for some time now and finally got to it this weekend. I spray painted them white and then pulled out the paint and yes, children's paint brushes. Seriously I could kick myself for not doing this sooner, they turned out exactly as I'd hoped. 

Painting supplies

I was going for a paint-by-numbers look and though I'm not sure that's what I created I'm happy with the results just the same. Especially the white that peeks out from around all the fruit, like on the plate below.

I'll call this one, Fruit Plate! Flip those flea market plates into works of art!

I'm still considering adding a bit more to the pub scenes, I'm worried they look a little too Easter eggy. What do you think? 

I'll call this one, Pastels in the Pub! Flip those flea market plates into works of art!

Be sure to stop back by in a couple weeks as this is just the first patch of plates. The kids are eager to paint their own and I want to try out a black background. Until then, the next time you're out thrifting grab a brass plate and make it awesome!

Give thrift store brass plates a facelift!

Erin Sipes
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Craft Lightning: Fan Wedding Favors

It's Craft Lightning time again and this week the theme is Wedding Crafts. Have I mentioned before that I eloped? Even though I didn't have a big ceremony I still love the idea of incorporating as much DIY as you can into the special day! 

DIY Wedding Idea - Fans to keep your guests comfortable!

The craft I'm sharing with you today is all about the quests and helping them to stay comfortable because, let's face it, just because you want the day to last forever doesn't mean they do. In a hot church or outdoors under a sweltering summer sun, offer your friends and family these Fan Wedding Favors to keep cool!

Erin Sipes
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DIY Bubble Wands

It's super easy to make your own bubbles and wands!

I always forget how much fun bubbles are until we get outside and watch them swirl in the air and get carried across the yard. 

Because it seems like it's been forever since the kids and I made anything, we made our own bubble wands and bubble mixture. It went a little something like this.

For a couple dollars you can make your own bubble wands!

Supplies: pony beads, dollar store crafting wire, paint bottle, and needle nose pliers. 

Cheap and easy kids craft? Bubble wands

We cut about a 10 inch piece of wire and used the paint bottle to shape our wand. We chose to make a pattern with our pony beads - sorry no pic of that.

Making Bubble Wands

Be sure to save a little bit of wire on the end to loop and tuck so that there are no sharp edges exposed.

Make bubble wands with just a few supplies.

That's it! I think it might have taken us about 10 minutes to make a few wands and that includes all the times I stopped to take a picture. 

As for the bubble mixture, we used the recipe on The Artful Parent but added a smidge more dish soap because, I don't use Dawn. 

Playing with Bubbles!

Desmond thoroughly enjoyed the bubbles, well when he wasn't eating them or licking the wand.

Playing with bubbles and our own wands.

Erin Sipes
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Happy 40th Birthday Meme

Today is my 40th birthday and I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. I really hadn't planned anything, I'm not the type to make a big deal out birthdays, but the closer this one got the more I started to reflect. The more I thought how very different my life is now than I ever imagined it would be. 

There are so many more things I want to say about this but I don't know where to start or if I could possibly stop once I get going. 

Unfortunately today, like most days these months, the toddler has decided I don't have time to talk about my life, reflections, and all that mushy stuff. He'd like some milk and someone to play with...NOW! 

Maybe another time.
Erin Sipes
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Red, White, and Blue Series: Pom-Pom Sparklers

Great red, white, and blue craft for patriotic holidays! pom-pom sparklers!

Today I'm over at Sugar Bee Crafts helping Mandy kick off her Red, White, and Blue Series with these fun Pom-Pom Sparklers. Be sure to head over and see how I make my pom-poms - I'll give you a hint - donuts are involved!

Sugar Bee Crafts

For more projects like this one you can also check out our collection of 50 Patriotic Projects!

Erin Sipes
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