Math, engineering, home ec and Motrin.

And coffee. Lots of coffee.
Today I thought I’d be a “cool mom” and turn this toddler tent craft into our schoolwork for the day.
It seemed simple enough. Take a set of old sheets, make some rectangles, sew them together, and drape over a card table.
There would be measuring, math, home economics, engineering, design, graphic, learning to scale, and…
Motrin. Lots and lots of Motrin. And Coffee. Let us NOT forget the coffee.
Taderbug got to use my new machine since it has the ability to step along really really slowly.
Doodlebug was all work on my old machine. She impressed me today! She paid attention to measurements, did the math, and spent 20 minutes rethreading the machine when it jammed.
We also learned that hand me down measuring tapes that are SO old that they aren’t even plastic tend to shrink over time and will ruin your measurements by a lot. We’re talking 1/2 ” here! I hated to toss it but I didn’t want to accidently use it.
Even Lil Man got in on the action! It’s not child labor if it’s educational right?
Well, here’s our tent. Two doors, two windows and tons of fun. The girls put a couple books on the table to the top would stick up like a princess castle. I’m pretty sure there is a camp out planned for tonight.
Hubby thinks I should make them (without the child labor) and sell them. I think that means he likes it. I like it when he likes my stuff.
Blogging from my Android….probably from the bathroom.

Recycling Cereal Boxes – Works For Me Wednesday

I love to save a buck don’t you?

Pair that up with my disproportionate LOVE of tubs, boxes, cubbies, and organizers and I’m in a bit of a pickle.  See, those things cost money. Money that Mr. TaderDoodles won’t let me spend.

As I was straightening up our school space, I stumbled upon a stack of empty cereal boxes, flattened, that our daughters had been stashing.  I called them at my mom’s house to ask why they had kept them.  “For craftin’ Momma!” (Yea, they get it from me!)

Well, a couple of ideas crossed my mind.  The first, was turning the boxes into drawer organizers.

I cut the boxes down so they would fit in my plastic drawer then taped the bottoms back together.  This drawer is now happily storing a variety of our craft supplies: poms, wooden sticks, feathers, etc.
The second idea hit me when I was starting supper.  I went into my drawer to get a crock pot liner and my drawer was stuck from all the boxes of foil, wrap, and baggies.  I can’t mount a nifty rack in the cabinet because we rent and hubby won’t let me put screws in the door.  Not to mention, that would but those serrated edges in Bubbagirl’s reach. So here it is:

It fit four across PERFECTLY!  I can either leave it on the counter, slide it in a cabinet or even lay it back in the drawer. It keeps all the flaps held closed and keeps them from catching as I open the drawer.

I have another crazy idea over here!

One more thing I like to do with them?  I cut shapes for Taderbug to trace, like a reverse stencil!

Let me know what works for you!  I love a great reuse, recycling tip!

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Frugal Crafting – Fridge Pen Holder from Scraps!

It’s the Second Coming of the Snowpocalypse in Virginia,
After kicking the kids out to freeze play,
I decided I’d do a little frugal free crafting.
(That’s what I call it when I grab stuff and just start gluing…only this time I took pictures)
What I ended up with was a Magnetic Pen Holder for my refrigerator.
Just the perfect size too!  The ones I see at the store are always too big for me, and I find my pens and pencils falling out or falling down and getting lost.
Here’s what I grabbed:

  • Old cereal box
  • Aileen’s Tacky Glue
  • Scrap Fabric I picked up on
  • Magnet Rounds w/ sticky backs
  • Scissors
  • Pens
  • A Marker
  • 2 Paper clips

(yeah, cookies and a soda… I’m bad!)

Next I had to decide how big I wanted my holder, so I flattened the cereal box, and used my pen to eyeball how big I wanted it to be.
I wanted to make sure that if my pen was all alone in there it wouldn’t fall down, or fall out. So I went a bit above the middle of the pen, and then tilted it from one imaginary corner to the other and made a rectangle with my marker.
Then I used another box (yep, too lazy to find my ruler) and drew a line all the way across the box.  I cut out the entire bottom of the box.
I went over about a quarter of an inch from the red line and cut the box open flat.

Then I cut the bottom flat, right at the red line.  You’ll see why in a bit.

I flipped it over and laid it flat.  I marked where the folds should be. It was easy to score the lines with my ball point pen for easier folding. (the line between “flap” and “front” is where my red line is on the other side)
The last red mark is where I cut it off. 
After folding on the lines I was able to make my box.
I applied some glue to my flap and used paperclips to hold it together until the glue was good and tacky.

Aileen’s Tacky Glue takes no time to get really tacky, so within minutes I was ready to fold down the bottom flaps and glue them in place.

Now to start the fun part! Essentially I glued fabric onto my ‘box’ in the same way I would wrap a present with wrapping paper.  Bottom first, then sides, then front, then back.  Here are the pictures:
*ignore the magnet, i tried putting in inside the fabric, but it was a big’ll see the new magnet later*
There are those handy paperclips again!
Make sure to use a little extra glue on the edges this time!
The magnet on the inside didn’t work out to well, so I stuck one on the outside.  The first one  is useless!  You only need one, if you keep your box small, but apparently it needs to make direct contact with the fridge. 
and VOILA!!  Maybe now I can make use of all those  nifty magnetic fridge notepads I received for Christmas!  
I even managed to make this with my Bubbagirl helping:
 yep, we got crazy snow day hair 🙂
You might have noticed that I have quite a few empty boxes in that first picture! I think I’ll make a few more of these in different sizes to hold chip clips, pencils, mail, maybe even some tall skinny ones to hold wooden spoons!  Anything to clear something off my counters 🙂
Hope you liked my little frugal scrappy craft!  Please let me know what you think! And if you have a frugal crafty of your own, link it in your comment!
Happy Snowpocalypse!
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