Rice Crispy Treats Without “Stuff”


My son’s preschool is awesome except for that they allow parents to bring in treats for the kids whenever they want.  Which used to be only about once a month when some kid had a birthday (didn’t they also serve cake at the party last weekend?) but has gradually become more and more frequent, as […]

How To Work At Home While The Kids Are Home: A Few Tips For Winter Break

KIa Sorento

Our winter break is long and while I am excited to time to craft and play and celebrate Christmas and ring in the New Year, I also work part-time from home and I don’t particularly like who I am when I try to work with the kids underfoot. The key for me is the divide […]

Keep Your Kids Well Fed and Entertained At the Same Time


I don’t know about you, but my son’s school is on break for three weeks.  Three weeks too long.  So I am continuing my jarring theme to incorporate something you can do with your kids.  Fortunately, this one doesn’t involve a pressure cooker (whew!).  I got tired of spending five dollars a jar at Whole […]

DIY Gifts I’ve Tried (And Some I Haven’t)

stamped tile coasters

Last year we went all DIY on our gift giving to our immediate family members. Making things gives me a real sense of accomplishment, and I figured that these simple homemade gifts would ease some of the stress of the holidays. Turns out when you’re unorganized and a major procrastinator, you can make anything stressful. But I […]

Need Help Occupying Your Kids Over The Holiday Break? Enter Our Green Kid Crafts Giveaway

N working on her craft

While all this DIY gifting and ornament crafting and canning is great, the holiday break can be daunting especially with kids. After all the fuss in the beginning, there’s a lot of time without the routine of school and new presents are not always enough to fill the hours of those of us not creatively […]

What You Need Is a Good Hot Meal


And by hot I mean spicy. Last week I wrote about how to make sweet jam, and this week I am going to tell you about how to make spicy escabeche.  In case you are unfamiliar with escabeche, I’ll sum it up: it’s hot.  Really hot, but in a good, flavorful kind of way, especially […]

The Easiest DIY Ornaments EVER

DIY ornaments paper roll poinsettias

My favorite Christmas decoration is admittedly not a fancy one.   Last year we (I, really) started the tradition of decorating this tired old mini tree with ornaments that the kids and I had made. I felt so fancy having TWO TREES, even if this one’s branches are a little worse for wear and it […]

The Best DIY Gift From A Child

Toddler Art

I am about to give you the greatest DIY gift ever. Your kids will make it. Your family will love it. You will be a star and not even spend much money or time. You can virtually hug me later. Go to a craft store or on amazon and buy an already stretched 8×10 canvas. […]

‘Tis the Season For Jamming


We’ve been jammin’ lately.  I’ve been keeping it loud and simple and listening to some old U2 and a new (to me) Thermals album.  My five year-old is all about dub-step with a little DJ mixing thrown in for fun (can’t wait to see this kid as a teenager). But that’s not the kind of […]

Craft Bloggers Never Mention These Snafus


I wanted to make the greatest Thanksgiving craft with my kids today. HANDPRINT TURKEYS! There are a thousand ways to do these from painting to markers to crayons, which translates from messy to a few washable lines to no clean-up-boring-mamas. I chose bath night so we could do it any way the kids wanted and […]

Thanksgiving Recipes: Sweet Moroccan Yams


I am already getting excited for Thanksgiving.  This will be our first year to cook for a group, and I am in full-on planning mode.  I have a list, off of which things are slowly, but surely, being checked.  Order turkey? Check.  Replace stale spices? Check.  Plan menu? Uh, still working on this one. If […]

Carrots and Coffee. Mmmmm…

carrot muffins

I am just waiting for my son to notice that the Halloween candy is disappearing.  Not because he is eating it (at his allowed rate of one item a day the candy could last us well past Valentine’s Day), but because I am stealthily sneaking it into the trash one piece at a time. It’s […]

Halloween Toddler Crafts That Look Cute Even Though Your Kid Did Most Of The Work

Halloween Pumpkin Craft

Halloween can be hard for the littlest kids. They can finally walk and talk and pick out a costume, but we can’t even bring them into the Halloween store between the terrifying masks and the sexy costumes. I’m also a parent who believes in letting my children do their own crafts and trust me, I […]

May the Force Be With You, This Halloween and Always


My son is really into Halloween.  Which is good, I guess, because he doesn’t get too freaked out when he sees gory decor all over town.  But since his birthday falls exactly one week before Halloween, there is always a bit of a conflict of interests. I want his birthday celebration to be all about […]

A Halloween Costume That Includes Sweatpants And Chickens (you’re welcome)

Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road halloween costume

For the second year in a row, my kids are cutting me out of Halloween costume gig. Up until my oldest was 5, we did family costumes. My youngest had no opinion (or wasn’t born yet) and my oldest had no opinion or once he had one, my husband and I dreamed up a costume […]

Inexpensive & Recycled Halloween Costumes for Kids

white mice costumes for twins

I usually make the kids’ Halloween costumes. I don’t bust out the sewing machine or anything, but I physically put something together as opposed to buying a premade costume. Dressing up 3 kids gets expensive, plus I get a certain satisfaction from making it myself (read: throwing it together at what is likely the very […]

Mmmm Buttah Buttah Buttah Buttah Buttah Buttah Mmmm Buttah!


The temperature in LA finally dropped below 100 this week.  When we stepped outside to a familiar 72 degrees, I said it felt chilly.  My five year-old’s response was, “That means it will be Halloween soon!” It’s all about the candy with these kids, and while trying not to be Mean Mommy I am fighting […]

Yes, I have loved Martha Stewart since age 11

Martha and Friends

I remember my first Martha Stewart experience vividly.  I was 11 and home from school.  There was a Christmas Special on and Martha was showing me around her house, teaching me how to make sparkling snowflakes, and showed me a recipe for chocolate modeling clay which I immediately made.  It tasted like Tootsie rolls, and I […]

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DIY Gifts I’ve Tried (And Some I Haven’t)

Last year we went all DIY on our gift giving to our immediate family members. Making things gives me a real sense of accomplishment, and I figured that these simple homemade gifts would ease some of the stress of the holidays. Turns out when you’re unorganized and a major procrastinator, you can make anything stressful. But I really thought everyone would love their gifts, and I haven’t heard otherwise, so I’m going to call them a win?

So here on Makes Fun today I’m going to give you a rundown of the DIY projects I tried last year, AND a little teaser of the things I hope to make this year. You people who have all of your holiday shopping/making done kill me. Also, most of these are not MY tutorials because I originally got them from someone else, so please click through those links for more detailed tutorials and to see their fabulous photos. I’m super careful about using images that aren’t mine, so I wasn’t comfortable using the original photos from these tutorials.

stamped tile coasters


DIY Christmas Gifts: Tried and Succeeded

Glass Bead Magnets


One of my favorites and SO easy. All you need is scrapbook paper, Mod Podge, a paintbrush, an exacto knife (must be SHARP), and some glass beads, usually found in the floral section of the craft store. Fun fact: scrapbook paper is my weakness. I don’t scrapbook, but I own a ton of it.

The instructions couldn’t be easier. Smear some Mod Podge on the flat side of your bead and stick it on your paper of choice. Once dry, cut the excess paper from around the bead, then coat the back with a thin layer of Mod Podge. Stick on a magnet, and voila!

Now. In the tutorial I’m linking to, she used little round magnets like these that fit perfectly onto the back of the bead, which she affixed with glue dots or a glue gun. Since I’m cheap, I purchased a self adhesive magnet strip like this one. So my magnet backings weren’t as pretty, and I still had to glue them on since the adhesive on the strip didn’t stick well. But I still loved this project. It was fun and easy enough to do while watching a movie. Also, don’t try to take a shortcut like my husband and slap the glue on the paper first and then place the magnets. All of his popped off before I even got to trimming.

Stamped Tile Coasters

Another super easy project that literally takes minutes to complete, thanks to its assembly line type steps. You’ll need some natural stone tiles from the home improvement store (very cheap), a stamp, Staz-On ink (I read that the actual Staz-On brand works best, and I wasn’t temped to try otherwise), clear acrylic spray, and felt or cork for backing.

There are approximately 1 million and 37 tutorials out there on how to do this, but I’m sticking with the simplest one. Wipe your tiles with a damp rag, let them dry completely, lay them out on a table, and stamp away. Once the ink is dry, take them outside and spray them well with the clear acrylic spray to seal them. Then wrap them up in pretty ribbon, and you’re done! (You may notice that these feature the same stamp that I used in my tutorial of how to turn your kid’s painting into a real piece of art — another great gift idea!)


I also made a homemade sugar scrub, but I was kinda “meh” about it. Take that how you will.

DIY Christmas Gifts I Haven’t Tried (but want to!)

Check out these other seriously cute and easy ideas for some of your gift recipients. And if my family is reading this, don’t be surprised if you get one of these from me!

State Map Art — Are Texans the only ones this crazy about their state? This website has all of the states ready to print and frame. Put a heart on your hometown or current town and place it in a nice clear frame.

How cool is this clothesline frame? It’s perfect for all those Instagram photos we’re all taking. This is a great gift idea for grandparents. You can send them new photos in the mail each month to change out!

These DIY monogrammed mugs from Design Mom are so simple and cool. Plus I have a thing for coffee mugs.


Are you making any gifts this holiday season, or have you tried any of these?


Disclosure: No compensation for mentioning or linking to any of these awesome tutorials, but Amazon links are affiliate links. Proceeds go to site maintenance.

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