Celebrate Toy Story at Walt Disney World With A Fun DIY T-Shirt

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Jessica’s family went to Walt Disney World this past spring. We went as children with our parents, and when she went back, although there are new, awesome additions, it felt like that world had remain untouched. Yes, there were notable differences – everyone is on smart phones now (their app is amazing), security was more intense than she remembers (a good thing nowadays), FastPass is wonderful (makes lines more bearable), and it was more painful being the one actually paying for it all. But, precious memories came flooding back. The matching neon Mickey shirts our mom made us wear, the famous Mickey flower garden (and photo opp), a pretty Main Street, U.S.A., animated characters brought to life, Splash Mountain, happy vibes, and yes, It’s A Small World looked and sounded exactly the same.

Disney has certainly made it a magical world for generations, and Jessica was happy to share that magic with her kids. Despite having blown out his back earlier in the week, Jessica’s husband was a total trooper, and rode every ride (and stood in every line). The kids loved every minute of it. We felt the pure exhaustion after all the excitement and crowds at the end of the day! So happy we stayed for the fireworks show – worth it (near the back with a quick beeline to the Monorail). She can share tips of the day if y’all are interested – it’s a compilation of tips from great friends, and first-hand experience. Let us know at hello@jsorelle.com.

Jessica and her family missed the opening of Toy Story Land on June 30th, and her kids say it’s another reason to go back! It’s a story all our children adore, and it was even an animated film we grew up with, too. Before she left, Jessica made DIY t-shirts to celebrate the opening of Toy Story Land at Walt Disney World. She went with classic phrases by the lovable characters, Woody and Buzz. The boys took it to the next level by Disneybounding, which is dressing up as the character without wearing a costume (basically wearing everyday clothes inspired by favorite Disney characters). They love their shirts, and it was a great DIY project anyone can do. Tulip ColorShot Instant Fabric Color paint was amazing to work with – we can’t wait to work with it again! See the full tutorial on Momtastic.

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DIY Rocket Popsicle Piñata

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Jessica’s kids birthdays are close to July 4th, plus we love to celebrate America, so it’s always a really busy time of year and we are in the party mode. This year, we’re celebrating with all things red, white and blue. A party just isn’t a party with young kids without the joy of hitting a piñata. We couldn’t find the perfect (and affordable) red, white and blue piñata, so we made one with the iconic patriotic popsicle in mind. It’s DIY rocket popsicle piñata! It only took a couple hours from start to finish, so you still have time!

Materials:

  • Red, white and blue tissue paper
  • Scissors
  • Pinata, frappuccino shaped
  • Glue stick, or
  • Strips of cardboard
  • Packaging tape

Directions:

Step 1: Remove all existing tissue paper from the pinata. We found a frappuccino shaped piñata at Walmart for less than $15, left the cardboard shape and stripped it of all pink and white tissue paper. Remember to fill the piñata with goodies before you cover it with new fringe.

frappuccino pinata

Step 2: Cut strips of red, white and blue tissue paper.

Step 3: Cut fringe on each strip of tissue paper.

Step 4: With 12 inch strips of cardboard scraps (about 3-4 inches thick), position them from the lid of the piñata frappuccino shape, and angle them up. This is hard to explain, and sorry for our poor photos, but the 4 cardboard scraps will be used to made a little square (or for lack of better words, nipple) on top of the popsicle, to look like the real thing. We used packaging tape to keep it in place. We added the white cardboard tube on the bottom of dry cleaner hangers to create that indention affect along the side of the piñata, but it didn’t really work, so don’t worry about that!

craft with cardboard

Step 5: Starting from the bottom, glue the fringe onto the cardboard. We found it’s best to do two layers of fringe on each layer. You can glue the strips of fringe on top of each other before gluing onto the pinata.

Step 6: Continue layer by layer, blue on the bottom, then white and finally red. Cut a piece of cardboard the shape of a popsicle stick, and with an X-acto knife, cut a slit on the bottom of the popsicle. Insert the cardboard popsicle stick. Hang and have fun!

Enjoy…and then grab a real Rocket popsicle from the freezer to ring in this 4th of July!

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Reading Must-Have For Kids: DIY Bookmark

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Our kids love to read. But, we know those days of reminding them to read over and over again can be frustrating at times. Summer can be especially difficult, and we understand; they spend all year learning in the classroom, and they just want to play. At the same time, it’s important they read. So, we have a few tricks up our sleeve to get our kids reading in the summer.

First, we find good books. No one likes to read a boring book. So, it’s important to pinpoint our child’s interests, and then find books with that subject matter to keep their nose in a book.

Second, make a nook where they are comfortable and feel cozy. This doesn’t have to be an expensive thing. Our kids love their Blankie Tails, and a stuffed animal on the couch when they read. We try to keep the reading environment calm, too.

Third, make crafts related to their books. It’s always fun to read a book with interesting characters, and imaginary worlds. So, we try to incorporate crafts/art with the book they are reading.

Finally, entice them. We haven’t figured out what the reward will be after they read a certain number of books, but kids love a challenge. It can be an ice cream date, or a treat from a store!

Today, we have a project for all the reading we plan to do this summer – DIY confetti bookmarks.

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We like our kids to read from actual books. We know the days of a Kindle are in our near future, but before our kids get electronic with their reading, they need bookmarks to keep their spot on a page. One of Jessica’s kids went on a field trip of his dreams this year, so this idea stemmed from his end of year gift to his friends. He developed wallet size photos of his entire class at the field trip, and made DIY bookmarks with the same method we’re showing you today. For my daughter’s class, we added a lot of sparkle and glitter. It’s a party in a book! Gotta love that!

Materials:

Directions:

Step 1: Cut the size of the bookmark you want with a piece of cardstock.

Step 2: Once the tool is hot (about 10 minutes), set the sheet protector on top of the bookmark and begin to press down with the tool along the edges of the paper bookmark. Don’t press directly onto the bookmark, but make a tight outline of it, along the edges. Remember to leave the top of the bookmark free from any fusing because you need to insert confetti.

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Step 3: Now, you should have shapes of bookmarks on the sheet protectors. We were able to make 4 bookmarks per sheet. Next, cut the bookmarks out. Cut close to the edging, but not along the fused “dots.”

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Step 4: Fill the bookmark with confetti. Leave the top open for a hole punch and yarn tassel.

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Step 5: Fuse the top of the bookmark, and then use a hole punch to punch a hole on the top. For small confetti, you will need a smaller hole punch.

Step 6: Cut yarn, and add a cute and colorful yarn tassel.

CONFETTI-BOOKMARKS-YIPEE-HOORAY

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Now, all you have to do is find a good book, and read, read, read!

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DIY Chalkboard Planters For Summer Herbs

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It’s planting season again. Our favorite herbs to plant every year are Basil, Mint, Rosemary and Italian Parsley. We are not known for having a green thumb, but we always try and hope for the best each and every summer. Our luck (and planting skills) have better odds every year we try, right?!

This year, we made DIY chalkboard planters. Now, we’re not going to forget what we planted, and if the plant does happen to wilt and die (we are going to do our best to prevent that), we can easily change the name of the herb on the planter. It’s gonna be a good thing for us, and you, too. These planters are fantastic gifts for friends, teachers and neighbors, too!

Find the full tutorial at Momtastic.

basil-mint-diy-chalkboard-pots

Find the complete tutorial at Momtastic.

Celebrate Mom This Mother’s Day With A Sweet DIY Paper Cake

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Being a mom is one of the hardest, and most rewarding jobs in the world. Between the three of us, we have 8 children, ranging from 9-years-old to 2-years-old. Nothing could have prepared us for the ups and downs of motherhood (and all the priceless memories in between), but one thing’s for sure – we had the best mom growing up. She was the greatest example for us to learn what it means to be a mother, and how impactful a mother’s love can be. Our mom, without a doubt, takes the cake as the best mom (and now Nani to 8 grandkids) ever!

This year, we’re treating our mom to a sweet slice of cake, a beautiful DIY layered cake. This cake won’t cause any cavities
though, because it’s inedible. It’s made of paper, and decorated with the best, most colorful paper, ASTROBRIGHTS®  Papers.

We like to do most everything as a family, so we didn’t just stop at just one cake. Our mom gets the grand, three-layer cake, and we made three additional “baby cakes” to celebrate our own motherhood. Just like our personalities, they are all vibrant, but different and one-of-a-kind. All the how-to details for the 3-tier cake is available at Astrobrights.com. It’s worth checking out!

We hope you COLORIZE your Mother’s Day as you celebrate your own Mom, you, or any special Mother’s in your life, this year.

boy-mom-black-and-white-paper-cake-mama-bear-rainbow-cake

Materials:

  • Astrobrights Papers, see colors below
  • Scissors
  • Paper mache boxes (found here or here)
  • Glue dots, mini and regular
  • Glue stick
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Hot glue gun and hot glue

Directions:

Step 1: Determine the colors of the cakes.  For the three-tier cake, we used Rocket Red™, Gamma Green™, Solar White (found in the Spectrum Pack) and Terra Green™ cardstock. You can use the text weight instead of the cardstock weight, but we found that the cardstock weight was more durable when opening and closing the box. For the middle layer, we printed a free watercolor printable on the Solar White paper. To get the size you need, re-size as needed in Microsoft Word.

For the black and white baby cake, we used Eclipse Black™ and Solar White. For the confetti and rainbow baby cake, we used Plasma Pink™, Pulsar Pink™, Solar Yellow™, Cosmic Orange™, Blast-Off Blue™, Lunar Blue™Stardust™ White, Terrestrial Teal™, and Terra Green™. For the mama bear cake, we used Fireball Fuchsia™ for the melted frosting on top, and we painted Stardust™ White with gold leaf paper for the base of the cake. Follow directions on the gold leaf packaging to add this fun touch of glam to any paper.

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gold-leaf-paper

Step 2: Measure the size of the box, as well as the lid.

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mache-box-ruler

Step 3: Cut the paper according to box measurements. Important note: add 1-2 cm. to the lid width measurements, because you will want it a bit higher than the actual lid to cover the edges of the lid.

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Step 4: Add glue dots to the edges and corners of the paper, and begin to wrap the box with paper. It’s best to leave the lid trim for last, so you can make sure the entire rim of the box is covered.

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Step 5: Cut any embellishments, or designs you choose to add. Our cakes are pretty and somewhat simple, which best suits us. The embellishments worth noting are the DIY paper flowers, the Boy Mom topper (and the classic white “pleats” on the cake), the mama bear and rainbow.

To make the flowers, first print flower petals from a template you can find online. Trace onto Rocket Red paper, and then cut. We used a Poppy flower template through our Silhouette Cameo software. But, most petals you find online will work. Next, cut a small triangle on the bottom, center of the petal. This is where you need your hot glue gun. Press hot glue on one side, and gently place the bottom side of the other piece of the petal on top. Continue to do this until you have four petals. Now, just glue each petal on top of each other. Once you have the petals, begin to create the center. We free-handed one small circle in Terra Green, one mini circle in Gamma Green and then leaves in both greens. For extra texture, cut slits in the larger Terra Green circle. Glue that textured circle in the middle of the flower, and then glue the mini Gamma Green circle in the center. Finally, glue the leaves on the bottom of the flower. You can place these all over the cake, or use a couple – it’s up to you!

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To make the bear, trace and cut the image of a bear onto card stock paper. For the words, you can use an electronic cutting machine to cut the words Mama Bear inside the bear. If you don’t have a cutting machine, you can use an X-acto knife to cut the words, or use a Sharpie to write them.

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To create the rainbow, free hand one small arch (the last layer of the rainbow) with a pencil on the bottom of Astrobrights cardstock paper, and then cut five additional arches, each other larger in size than the one before it. Glue each layer on top of each other, beginning with the largest. Next, free hand cut clouds, and glue them to the end of each rainbow.

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To stand the bear and the rainbow on the cake, use small wooden toothpicks (with square ends, not pointed) to create mini DIY easels. Dab hot glue on the ends of the wooden toothpicks to keep them in place on top of the cake. You will need 2 toothpicks per “cake topper.”

Finally, to make the black and white cake, cut small pieces of Solar White paper (2 inches wide by the length of the mache box), and glue one end of them on the box one by one (sliding each one under the one before it) until the entire box is covered. Because we only glued one end of the white paper on the cake, it left the other end open, which created a  beautiful pleat effect. As for the Boy Mom words, we used an electronic cutting machine to cut the words (you could easily cut the letters with stencils, or use sticker letters) and glued the back of the letters to two black and white straws. We punctured two small holes in the top of the mache box to stick the straws inside. Voila!

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Step 6: Fill with gifts, and give to Mom (or yourself).

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Our family of cakes will make for one sweet Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day to all you amazing, hard-working moms out there!

This post is in partnership with Astrobrights. We were crafting with and coloring on Astrobrights paper long before this post. It’s always been a fave product of ours. Thank you for supporting the brands that support j. sorelle. Astrobrights was one of the first, so we are very grateful. 

Affiliate Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means j. sorelle receives a small commission from the sale of certain items; however, the price is the same for you, whether it’s an affiliate link or not.