Category Archives: DIY

DIY: Bird Feeders


The sun is teasing us lately. Not only is it shining on our February days, it’s warming them, too. It was 64* the other day. That’s so close to 70 which is so close to 80 which is close to 90 which means it’s basically summer.

When it’s this unseasonably warm, I have to do everything in my power to keep the young ones from putting on their swimming suits and running straight for the hose. This time, I put on my crafty pants and took a craft straight from Pinterest. This is a recipe that is ALL over and comes from many different sites…like here, here and here for example, among many others. Birdseed is incredibly cheap, especially if you buy it at Winco. The rest of the stuff you most likely have on hand (although gelatin is one of those things you have only if you’ve made something in the last year or so with it because it comes in a package of 4 envelopes).

(before we start, let’s talk about this spelling of “gelatine”….Now, I wrote it like that on the paper because that’s what it says on the package. But…I’m pretty sure it’s gelatin…am I right?? have I gone mad??)


You definitely don’t need a cookie cutter for this craft. You can totally free-hand a design or just do a ball or use something else like a jar lid or something. But I live in a house full of unicorn-animal-heart-loving girls so we just had to do it this way.

Dissolve the gelatin into simmering water. Let cool for a couple minutes then dump in the birdseed. So, I’ll be honest here and totally eyeballed the entire recipe. I think I used a little more water and a lot more birdseed. Basically, you want to make sure it’s not soupy at all. Not even stew-y.

Mix in the birdseed.


Dump it out on wax paper (more on this at the end of the post) to let cool so little hands can handle it easily.


We rubbed our hands with olive oil so the stuff didn’t stick too much to our hands and fingers. Fill up 1/2 – 3/4 of the cookie cutter and pack it down really tightly.


Fold the string in half and with the open ends, place them in a spot where the weight will be evenly distributed (so it doesn’t lean too far forward or backwards…we should have placed it in the unicorn’s head).


FIll it the rest of the way up with seed until it’s completely full and all you have sticking out is the loop of the string.

Let it dry COMPLETELY. If you do it in the morning, don’t even think about touching it until after dinner. If you do it in the afternoon, wait until the next morning. Waiting is hard.

But look what you get when you do:6 7 8

And if you decide that plain paper will work just fine, you will get this:9

The gelatin is pretty much glue. It’ll make your paper stick right to the floor. If this does happen to you, get SUPER hot water on a washcloth and wipe up as much of the paper as possible. Then, for what’s left, dab a couple drops of YLEO lemon oil on a washrag and scrub it out.




DIY: Off-Beat Party Hats

For Alice’s camping-themed birthday party, I wanted to make a party hat that wasn’t bright and over-the-top since the color scheme was brown and green with burlap and plants used as decor.

Enter: cupcake liner party hats.


1.  Go online and find a free template for a cupcake liner.  This is the basic shape of your party hat.


2.  Choose assorted stamps to fit your theme.  I had these bird and branch stamps and they happened to be perfect.  You can also have your kids color/draw on them if you’d rather.  Same idea.
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3. I have a thing for washi tape.  I love it.  I might have a full drawer of these tiny little rolls in my closet.  I’m not sorry about it, either.  Choose a roll (or 3) to use to secure the ends of your hat together.  I chose some fun prints just to mix it up a bit.

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4. Tape together the ends of your hat.  Washi tape sometimes has a hard time sticking, so you’ll want to tape it all the way around.
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5. You can get this elastic cord at any craft store and it’s really inexpensive.  I used my kids as a measuring tool (remember it stretches, so don’t make it too loose!) and cut the length I needed.alicecampout-9

6.  This is the odd part.  If you have one of those handy tools that punches a tiny hole in paper (I’ve seen them at Michaels, I think Martha Stewart brand?) you are so crafty.  I didn’t have that.  So, I improvised.  The pin of a thumbtack is the perfect size. alicecampout-10

7.  Thread one end of the elastic through the hole and tie a knot on the inside.
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8.  Repeat step 7 for the other side.

9.  Voila!  How cute and fun is that?!alicecampout-15 alicecampout-18

Now go — party on!

DIY: Cream Cheese Strawberry Bites!

Easy food is my forte.  Because, honestly, I’m lazy.  Now Danny?  He’s the opposite of me and is a really great cook and will make things that take forever but it’s always worth it.  This is not a post about that over achiever.  Nope, this is a DIY post on how to make the easiest fruit dessert treat.  Ready?




Cream Cheese Frosting

Graham Crackers


I know that you can just hull the strawberry straight from the get-go, but unless you have a special tool, it’s not always easy!  I just start by cutting the tops off in a straight line.

step2 step3 They won’t hold a ton of frosting, but this is exactly what you want.  You just want a little bite of frosting, not a mouthful!


I had little helpers, so I dividing the crackers among a few sandwich sized bags.  What should you do?  Put 4 or 5 crackers in a gallon sized ziploc and use a rolling pin.  You won’t have big chunks (see below).

step5 step6 step7

I suppose if you wanted to, you can top each of them with whipped cream or do something cute to display them.  I know they aren’t stunning to look at, but they are pretty delicious and so crazy-easy! Kids gobble them up!

Happy Monday!

Photo Prep 101: Dressing Baby Girls

Hello again from Elle and myself, bringing you part 4 of our collaboration:

rock the shoot.

While Elle will be giving you some advice and examples of how to dress your baby boy, I’ll be sharing with you some adorable baby girl options for every price range.  Under the photos, you’ll see links to each piece of the outfit so you can a) buy the entire outfit from top to bottom, b) pick and choose from different budgets or c) fill in what your little’s closet is lacking!

Before I show you pictures, I’ll just run through a few basics.  I’m always very conscious of dressing too ‘seasonally’ for family photos.  I find it really hard to hang up pictures of us in bulky sweaters and mittens when it’s 90 degrees outside.  This is why I try to schedule my family’s photo sessions in the early Fall or in Spring.  Why?  Jeans or another pant/trouser is always appropriate and you won’t be sweltering hot or freezing cold during sessions.  You can wear a cardigan or a short sleeved top and it won’t be painful to look at in the heat of the summer or the cold of the winter.

That is my very personal opinion and I understand those of you who love the magic of snow pictures.  That’s completely okay!  But for these examples, I’ll be sticking to clothing that would be appropriate for a Spring or Fall session.

Popsicle Budget:


The romper is from Old Navy and is $16.94

The sweater is from Target and is $11.90

Try this headband from Sprinkles for Sprouts at just $11.99 to add a little ‘fun.’

Total spent on this outfit: $40.83.  If that’s still over budget, consider leaving out the headband all together.  Maybe you have a sweater that will work just as well?  It’s ok to not buy anything new at all!

Ice Cream Sundae Budget:


We were able to add a few things to the Ice Cream Sundae Budget.  Sprinkles, if you will.  (I’m so clever)

The dress is from Zara and costs $35.90

The shoes are from Zappos and are $36.00

The cardigan is from Boden and is $32

The headband is from Lemons and Lace and is $9.99

(EEEEK!  You guys!  Lemons and Lace is giving you guys a discount on her headbands!  Use code FAIRYWINGS10 to receive 10% off your purchase!  L&L is the best)

The total for this look is: $113.89

The French Macaron Budget


The tunic is Nili Lotan New Generation from Jcrew  and is $84

The leggings are Tea Collection and are $22.50

And the moccasins are, of course, Freshly Picked and are $60.

Add a couple of Little Hipsqueak headbands in to complete the look at $33

The total for this little fashionista is:  $199.50

Each look is adorable without going overboard.  It’s subtly perfect.  Pick and choose elements from each look to create your own!  Check out these brands and maybe you’ll find a similar print or product that you like even better.  Now….go shop!

And if you have baby boys instead of baby girls, go look at what Elle has done with baby  boy style!

DIY: Pallet Fence

If you have ever in your life been on Pinterest, you know that pallets are….kind of a big deal.  Yeah.  I’m definitely talking about those wooden box-like things that you seen in warehouses.  They aren’t much, but you can turn them into pretty much anything.  Beds, frames, herb gardens, fences, the next heir to the British throne…..anything.

Danny happened to know a guy who had pallets laying around so he grabbed a few and set out yesterday to build a fence.  He rocked it.  Seriously, it looks amazing.  He saw some pictures online and then tweaked it a little bit to make it exactly how we wanted it.  That Danny.  He’s so crafty.

So here it is:



Take  your pallets.  On the top of it (the part with all the boards, cut the tops off of all the boards like so:Photo Mar 16, 12 43 50 PM


Flip it over.  Now cut just the sides of the TOP portion of the pallet.pallet-1 pallet-4

You’ll be left with a fully intact front and a back with the upper portion cut off.  Look:pallet-6

We lined them up like this:  2 pallets, then a post.  2 pallets, then a post.  And so on (duh).  We connected the pallets with a scrap piece of wood and drilled a portion of the wood into each of the pallets.


For the posts, we used the top piece of the pallet that we cut off and stood it on its end.  Then we used stakes and little metal hook thing and drilled it on in there.  Seriously.  So easy.paddysday14-33

(this was kind of a corner so we also drilled scrap wood on each side over the stake)paddysday14-34

For the gate, Danny just used a pallet fence panel and secured it to the pallets on either side about 6 inches up.  Then we added a latch.


I can’t wait for warm weather.

I took the cafe lights that were on our deck overhang and put them around the fence, hanging from plant hangers.paddysday14-22

You’ll also see that the inside of the fence is full of these openings that make PERFECT planter boxes!  I just drilled some scrap wood to the bottoms of the openings so I can fill them with dirt.  I’m thinking flowers, herbs….


Easy.  We made the entire thing in 3 1/2 hours.

Go on….fence stuff in!  Kids…pets…gardens……If you use these instructions, link back to this DIY and let everyone know how you did it!

Happy Monday!






Sometimes even when you want to finish up the laundry that is scowling at you from behind the door, when you want to finish wiping down the countertops or when you just wanna sit down and do nothing for more than 90 seconds, an adorable long haired little girl comes up and says


And if you aren’t used to that kind of talk, you might not know what she said.  But luckily I’m not new to it and I knew that she was saying, “Hi Mama I was thinking if we have any of those, like, empty stuff — like cereal boxes?”

And since one of my Lenten promises is to give my kids more undivided attention I figured I might as well start by searching for empty stuff.

Alice and I scoured the house for empty boxes and containers and tubes and anything that looked really useful and glue-able.

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About 80% of those items were on top of our washer and dryer — things found in pockets, empty detergent containers, etc.  Oh, and that prescription bottle is an old empty one from our dogs.  Just an FYI.

“Mom.  I wanna make a robot.”

So for a solid 50 minutes we glued.

kitchen-10 kitchen-13

And we colored.

And we

And we

Obviously, the robot’s name is Taxi.  I think that’s clear.

And had I known just how happy and excited my 4 year old would be to create this horrific junky robot….I may  have started Alice-led arts and crafts long before today.

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DIY Valentine’s Day Collar

Not everyone has a pink shirt with hearts on it.  Socks with cupid shooting an arrow?  Not in our drawers.  Sometimes, the best way to dress for a holiday is by accessorizing.  And it’s even better if you can do it yourself for hardly any money and spend very little time on it.



These are the colors I went with:collar-2 That really light one is a light pink.

I spent maybe 10 minutes cutting out lots of little hearts in various sizes (although none bigger than a 1/2 dollar).


Then I put a Mumford and Sons record on my tiny little turntable.  Because jams make everything more fun.


Take a piece of regular paper and cut out a pattern for your collar.  This took me a couple tries to get it just how I wanted it.  The basic shape is similar to a really fat and tall Nike swoosh if that helps at all.  Once you get it just right, cut it on a fold so you’re left with this:


I chose grey as my base color. It doesn’t matter at all.

Get your glue gun hot.  I mean…obviously.

Start with the top of the collar and layer little hearts of the same size up each side. Before putting the last heart on, glue the end of a 12″ piece of ribbon to the collar.  Like so:collar-10 collar-11

Glue a heart right on top to cover up the ugly end.collar-12

Now take the rest of your hearts.  The ones of various sizes.  Start gluing them to your collar randomly, just to cover up the collar itself.  Layer it different ways so that edges of the hearts peek out.  It’s cute.collar-14

Ta-Da!  You’re done!


Just kidding.  You’re not done.

Now take smaller hearts.  Maybe 2 different sizes?  Gather them all up.  We’re going to use these to glue on top of our base layer of hearts.

Glue them to pieces of the collar that look boring and blah.

Perfect!  If you want to stop here, you totally can.  It’s cute as-is. See?collar-20

But my girls like a little bling.  I recruited Alice to help me with the sparkles since she is pretty much an expert.

I just found glitter I already had and some random glue.collar-21 Alice helped me trace around the collar with the glue and we sprinkled it with gold glitter.

(Uhhh…if you want it to look really good, do this yourself.)collar-22

Make a little bow out of the ribbon, glue it to the center of your collar and tie it around your adorable subject.collar-24

Honestly….freaking adorable.

Make a collar and post it to the Fairy Wings and Dinosaurs Facebook page!

And if you think this DIY is fun and cute and easy, pin it!

Happy Thursday!