Tag Archives | mini makers



Earth Day is today and my kids have been sharing all kinds of new-to-them info about different ways to take care of this sweet and beautiful earth that takes such good care of us. So far they’ve picked up most of these tips from school so I thought it was time to do a little schooling at home… not that I taught them anything new, but we did do some up-cycling and planting!

Here’s how we made our UP-CYCLED TIN CAN HERB GARDEN:

upcycled tin can herb garden-9921

You’ll Need

  • .5-inch and/or .75-inch alphabet stickers (we used .5-inch for the water can and .75-inch for all the other tins)
  • Empty tin cans (the cilantro is in a larger ‘crushed tomato’ can
  • Drill & bit or nail and hammer
  • Acrylic paint & brushes
  • Painter’s tape
  • Rocks from the yard
  • Soil
  • Plants or seeds

To Make the Cans – Clean and dry empty cans. Use a drill and bit or nail and hammer to make 3 or 4 holes in the bottom for water to drain. Place alphabet stickers as desired on can. Use painters tape for a dipped paint look, on the opposite end of the can from stickers. Paint until can is covered, drying in between coats if needed.

upcycled tin can herb garden-9905

To Plant Herbs – Place 3 or so rocks in the bottom of can. Add soil and the plant, filling with more soil as needed.

upcycled tin can herb garden-9939 upcycled tin can herb garden-9943 upcycled tin can herb garden-9941 upcycled tin can herb garden-9976

Then water…. and try a taste of each herb.

upcycled tin can herb garden-9978

upcycled tin can herb garden-9998

Or make your big sis do it.

Clip sprigs anytime they are needed for a fancy drink, garnish or dish!

upcycled tin can herb garden-9989

It’s sweet to see their passion for the earth and environment. Until they give me a hard time about using too much water or remind me that the microwave is much more efficient than the oven. Lols.

Do your kids ever so the same?

We’ve come so far from the days of ‘Give a hoot, don’t pollute’! It was such a fresh, new concept when I was young (or at least that’s how I remember it?).

XO, Rae




We’re so excited (and just can’t hide it!), because this Saturday, Oct. 29th we’ll be crafting these cute Halloween headbands at all of the Land of Nod stores (Seattle, Costa Mesa, Chicago, + Oak Brook) . Well, I only get to be at the Seattle store (in University Village) with a side kick or two, but have sent supplies and a couple treats to all the other stores as well.

If you live in any of these areas I would la, la, love for you and your little(s) to join us, but if not you can head to the Land of Nod blog for instructions and a handy template to DIY at home or a party.


Happy, happy almost Halloween! 

XO, Rae




Over the weekend while Poppy napped, Johan had all the middles, and I had the opportunity to check a few things off my to do list, or chill out for a bit (what?), I made this fun sensory bag for Griffin and Poppy instead. So ironic how I crave an hour of two of “me” time to complete a few tasks, but when given the opportunity, all I can do is think of things to do for or with the kids. Convinced it’s a mom sickness!

In my defense, who can resist googly eyes during Halloween season? Plus, the purpose of the project is to occupy the littles while I make dinner or help the older kids with homework. So far it’s worked well, hasn’t gotten any holes and will be easy to toss when the kids are bored with it.

Simple DIY instructions below!



You’ll Need:

  • Hair gel
  • Food coloring
  • Googly eyes (I skip the trip to the craft store and order them here)
  • Ziplocs
  • Tape (packaging tape works well)
  • Decorative paper + double sided tape (totally optional)

To make add hair gel, food coloring (a couple drops), and googly eyes to a ziploc. Double seal the bag with tape and cover with decorative paper (optional). Then let them play while you cook or call for takeout :)


Now that the gloomier weather has set in, I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for new indoor activities to do. Any current favorites? Please dish!

XO, Rae



I’ve been wanting to try weaving a wall hanging (or 10), and helping the kids make pint-sized versions as well, for awhile now but haven’t made time to do the prep-work and in all honesty am wondering if it might be too time consuming for them (and me too, ha!). So, yesterday we took a baby step in the weaving direction and tried our hand at a classic summer camp craft — God’s Eyes!

Tilly (7), Griffin (almost 5) and I made a few and it was so nice to give them an activity that slowed their bodies and minds down a bit and made them concentrate. A sweet break from all the summer running, chasing and general craziness. Once I explained how to DIY, Tilly ran with it while Griffin needed a little more hands-on help. Each God’s Eye took anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. The supply list and steps are simple but also hard to explain or show in pics so we made a couple snapchat videos to share as well.

Keep scrolling for the how-to!

diy god's eye kids craft-5143 mini-makers-diy-god's-eye-yarn-craft


  • Popsicle sticks, real sticks from the backyard, park, etc., or dowels cut to the same size
  • Yarn
  • Hot glue or craft glue
  • Scissors


  1. Glue your sticks together using hot glue (or other glue), so they make a cross. Tie your yarn around the middle and secure with a knot.
  2. Wrap the yarn diagonally around the sticks, one way 3 times and then the other way 3 times and then repeat once more (see first video below). This helps cover the middle of the sticks where they overlap.
  3. Here’s the simple but hard part to explain. To make the pattern we wrapped the yarn over, then under the same stick, then back over the top to the neighboring stick on the right and repeat (see second video below).
  4. To switch colors, simply cut the thread and tie a knot to the new color.
  5. Keep going as before. Trim yarn if needed.
  6. To finish, wrap yarn around stick an extra time or two and tie off in the back. Add glue to secure if desired.
  7. Embellish with yarn tassels or pom-poms for added style.

diy god's eye kids craft-5134

We are currently packing up to go camping with friends for the weekend and I was just thinking that it might be fun to throw yarn in a bag and bring along for a kid friendly activity. Gotta love a craft that requires minimal supplies (just 3!), has endless color combos, and doesn’t make much of a mess!

Do you have any other favorites?

XO, Rae




You guys know how I love a good kid craft. and even though the drawers and cupboards around our home are overflowing with supplies I have extra love for all of the pint-sized crafting kits available in stores and online these days. Choosing a project and gathering supplies takes time and planning and has easily kept me from crafting with my kids as much as I would like. So when Sew Mama Sew + Bluefig announced their kid’s sewing challenge using one of Bluefig’s learn to sew kits, I jumped at the chance knowing Tilly (my 7 y.o.) would be especially excited about it.

She’s been b-e-g-g-i-n-g me to teach her how to sew but we’ve had the darndest time choosing a project since she would like to skip all the easy stuff and make a sundress. Ha! She’s so much like her mama sometimes.

Bluefig came to the rescue, thankfully! Here is how the project worked out for us….

rae ann kelly + blue fig u-3328

… all the materials came cut and ready to sew with instructions that were broken down into easy steps…

rae ann kelly + blue fig u-3329

… Tilly learned to measure and make marks and then sew…

rae ann kelly + blue fig u-3337

… this was of course her favorite part and even though she needed help maneuvering the felt and remembering to put the foot up and down, she did a great job using the pedal and I was thankful my machine has a speed setting :)…

rae ann kelly + blue fig u-3342

… even with all my help she felt a sense of accomplishment at the end and couldn’t wait to put her new tablet sleeve to use!!!

rae ann kelly + blue fig u-3351rae ann kelly + blue fig u-3385rae ann kelly + blue fig u-3363 rae ann kelly + blue fig u-3389

It turned out so cute and useful at the same time. Thanks to Blufig and Sew Mama Sew for the fun project and challenge! Checkout more of the learn to sew kits on the following sites:

And if you are looking for more summertime crafts to do with the kids, here are a few of my faves:


XO, Rae




Ever since the play kitchen remodel, Tilly and I have been dreaming of play food we can make together and ice cream cones were at the top of the list. Fitting since they are also at the top of our grocery list this time of year too! She’s been on a – teach me to sew – kick lately but a no-sew projects seemed like a good place to start and a strand of felt balls hanging in the family room were begging me to make them colorful scoops of ice cream.

Here’s how to DIY…



  • felt balls (4cm felt balls pictured, but you could glue 3 smaller ones together or use pom-poms or foam balls)
  • markers or paint to decorate “cones”
  • egg carton
  • scissors
  • small pieces of felt for sprinkles
  • container to hold finished play food (I used a plastic one from the deli)
  • glue (optional)


  1. Cut the cone shapes from an egg carton (see dashed line in picture above). Decorate with markers or paint.
  2. Cut sprinkles from a piece of felt. If desired glue onto felt balls.
  3. Decorate a label for the ice cream container.
  4. Take orders for ice cream cones and start playing!


These ice cream cones would make a cute Birthday gift or fun crafternoon activity even if you don’t plan on keeping them around for use in a play kitchen.

Do you have any other play food ideas?

XO, Rae

P.S. – Here is another ice cream inspired post you might enjoy.  So happy it’s ice cream season!



paper-plate-bunny-mask-1Holidays in general have away of sneaking up on me, even when I know they’re coming! Easter this year is in March which seems extra sneaky. Even though we’ll be celebrating in less than a month, it feels a little early for bunnies, chicks and eggs.

To help get in the spirit, Tilly (7), Griffin (4) and I made these fun paper plate masks that double as a fun toy and activity. They’ve been well loved around here by all so we will definitely be making more… hopefully with friends!

Keep scrolling for instructions and a template to make your own.


You’ll Need:

  • paper plates
  • popsicle sticks (or straws)
  • bunny ear, whisker and eye template or card stock
  • glue, glue dots +/or tape
  • x-acto knife and cutting mat or small scissors
  • pom-poms (optional)

Here’s How:

  1. Prep a work surface. Set out kid friendly glue options. We used glue dots for the nose and ears and glue sticks for the whiskers.
  2. Download template, print and cut out ears, circle and rectangles (or make your own out of colorful card stock). Cut rectangles into strips for whiskers.
  3. Cut plate in half and lay right side up. Use the circle template to trace eyes on the plate and then cutout.
  4. With plates right side down, let kids add whiskers, nose and ears.
  5. Once glue has dried, tape popsicle stick to the backside.

Have you started getting ready for Easter yet?!

XO, Rae




We’ve been in full-blown Valentine’s day mode for the last couple weeks and it’s been so much fan that I’ll be sad to see it go. One of our favorite activities has been these heart shaped glasses inspired by miss Tilly Jane. She is always searching for crafts and projects to do, especially when paint is involved!

These glasses took a little bit of prep work with the printing and cutting but once the templates and paints were set up and ready they were simple to paint and put together and would be a great activity for younger kids or classrooms parties.

Keep scrolling for the template download, supplies and instructions…


(Poppy’s top from my fave etsy shop!)



You’ll Need:

  • scissors/x-acto knife
  • paint and paint brushes +/or other decorating supplies (pom-poms, glitter glue, washi tape, etc.)
  • card stock and printer
  • thin cardboard (optional) like poster board for more sturdy glasses
  • glue or tape
  • cellophane wrap in different colors (optional for lenses)

Here’s How:

  1. There are a couple different ways to do this. Either print template on card stock, cutout and get ready to decorate OR print template, trace onto poster board, cutout and then prepare to decorate.
  2. Decorate using paint or other craft supplies. Let dry.
  3. Fold the tabs on either side of the heart frames and attach the temples (or arms of the glasses) using glue or tape. If making for a smaller child you might want to trim the temples so they fit better. If you have cellophane, cut to size and glue to the inside of the hearts to make lenses.

vday-2016-104Aren’t they cute?

Do you have any favorite Valentine projects, snacks or activities?

XO, Rae

PS – If you are still in need of classroom Valentines and don’t mind printables, we are still taking orders for print ready PDF files in the Design Shop for the next few days!




It’s Friday. How did that happen? The 4 day hiatus I took was not planned but I think the result of the summer wall I’ve hit and bad planning/packing while we took a quick trip to Leavenworth earlier this week. Regardless I missed posting and am haaaaaapy to be back to share this fun kid friendly craft!


I really love seeing all the styles and accessories that trend during the preschool and elementary years. One of the things that Tilly got into last year was collecting trinkets to hang from her backpack. It was cute and she had a lot of fun with it so I thought some bright and colorful handmade charms would be the perfect touch for her bag this year. She made a bunch to share with friends as well and Griffin got into it too.


(Little man can hardly wait to sport is backpack bling on the first day of preschool! Bag from the big boy section at Target)

It took us an hour or so to prep and paint everything, with a few things needing a second coat later in the day and then 30+ minutes to pick the combos and string everything. Griffin (4 y.o.) needed lots of hands-on help but Tilly (6 y.o.) did most steps on her own.

Supply list and how to, below!


You’ll Need:

  1. Acrylic paint (love the hand made modern sold at Target)
  2. Plastic animals (grabbed a bag of jungle animals and dinosaurs at the craft store)
  3. String or twine (colored hemp pictured – also used twine)
  4. 3/4 inch. wood beads (from craft store)
  5. Key rings (from the jewelry making section at the craft store)
  6. Eye screws (also from the jewelry section at the craft store)
  7. Tiny finishing nail and hammer or drill-bit and drill

Here’s How To:

  1. Using your nail and hammer or drill, make a hole in an animal. Screw in an eye screw. Repeat on the rest of the animals.
  2. Paint beads and plastic animals as you wish. Set aside to dry. We strung the beads onto wood skewers as we went to dry.
  3. Make tassels if you wish.
  4. Touch up paint.
  5. Cut string to about 12 inches long. Once paint is dry, thread through the screw eyes on the animals. Add beads and tassels as you wish and finish with a key ring. Tie a knot at the end of the string and trim excess.
  6. Add to the zippers on your backpacks or gift to friends (and aunties!)!

They turned out just as cute, if not cutter in real life as they look in pictures and would be equally adorable as a pint-sized necklace or bracelet if you have supplies leftover.

If you have any other back to school needs, here’s a few other posts on the subject:

more-bts-goodies1. BTS fashion show activity // 2. mom + mini bus stop style – dad + mini bus stop style // 3. favorite lunch combos // 5. everyday DIY, BTS series I did with mom.me awhile back. videos 1 2 3 4 5

Happy weekend!

XO, Rae

(images by Stacy Jacobsen)


MINI MAKERS: straw wind pipe

Out of all of my kids, there’s one that lives to do arts and crafts and another that will participate if there is nothing better to do, but ALL of them love to make things. Anythings and all things they can get their hands on, food, indoor forts, outdoor forts, mobiles, race tracks, mini zip lines, obstacle courses, bracelets, etc.

Here’s a simple craft using household supplies that’s for the mini artist and makers alike and with summer vacay just weeks away I’m dying for any new projects that will keep the little ones busy for a hot minute (or ten!).


You’ll Need:

  • Straws (plastic or paper but the sound isn’t very loud with paper – pictured are from IKEA)
  • Tape (any kind will work)
  • Scissors (kid scissors will do the trick with plastic straws)

Here’s How:

  1. Tear off a large strip of tape and lay flat on a work-surface, sticky side up. Line straws up in the middle of the tape, towards the top of the straws (we used 8). Keeping the straws flat wrap the tape around the straws to secure.
  2. Cut straws at an angle and making music! The different length straws make different sounds.

Unlike most real instruments in the hands of little humans, the sound from the straw wind pipes is very sweet and subtle so you don’t have to worry about irritating the neighbors or waking baby up.

 Have any fun and simple crafts up your sleeve? Please share!

Here is another straw craft from last summer to checkout.

XO . Rae