crafty friday

Mother’s Day DIY gift, a cute Popsicle Puzzle from the heart…


Mother’s Day is almost here and we have the perfect DIY gift idea. A Popsicle Puzzle…. Personally I don’t want my kids spending money for a present or need a big gift. The perfect present would be a long nap by myself followed by something small and meaningful from the heart that is cheap or free.

My kids love to color and paint. A couple weeks ago I had asked my 8 year old and 11 year old to draw something nice for our art wall. Both of my kids were not sure what to draw, so I gave them some inspiration. Paint something special for me, Mami. Something that I would like or has something to do with me. The result was two beautiful drawings that mean so much to me.

We decided to use these paintings as inspiration for our puzzle and Eva drew a third picture as a free template to use. But it could be anything, a coupon for a nap for example, a photograph, a card or a copy of a ticket (don’t use the original).


We copied the original pictures because they were part of the art wall, but you could also use the original masterpieces. Other than that you only need popsicle sticks or craft sticks, pencil, ruler, scissor, glue and an envelope.


We used 17 popsicle sticks which measured:

6 3/4 inches x 4 1/2 inches or 17.5 centimeter x 11.5 centimeter

We measured in centimeter and cut the masterpieces in 1 cm stripes (make sure that your craft sticks also measure 1 cm or change accordingly)

We glued the paper stripes on the sticks and let them dry overnight.


Happy Mother’s Day to all the amazing Moms everywhere. Not just one day a year, let’s celebrate every day.

Here is our free template for you:



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Crafty Friday – DIY Confetti Cupcake Toppers – soooooooooooooo cute


cupcake toppers

One of our favorite party decorations are cupcake toppers. They make cupcakes or other food “instant-party ready”. Most of the parties we do, have a theme and the cupcake toppers are like the extra cherry on top…. Most of the time, we design the cupcake toppers and wrappers to go along with the theme. They just need to be cut out, glued together and they are ready to party….


Not all of our toppers are round, we like to use shapes, glitter and embellishments too. There are so many options. Some of my most favorite toppers we made are the ones for the French Chic Elegant wedding set. The way they sparkle, I love it….
We like creating and crafting things that go along with the current theme we are working on  or an upcoming holiday….
You can make cute cupcake toppers yourself. Here is the tutorial for our

Confetti Cupcake Toppers

You need:
– dyed and colored paper or dyed coffee filters
– scissors
– construction paper
– glue
– toothpicks
– glitter
– stencils or circle punch
– embellishments like tulle, diamonds, crepe paper, lace, feathers etc.
Because we had some dyed coffee filters leftovers in all hues of pink and some orange that we didn’t want to throw away, we came up with the confetti cupcake toppers. essentially it could be also done with tissue paper or any other kind of paper, but we wanted to use our leftovers.
This is a pretty fast craft, which is perfect for making with kids. It would be lovely to make some toppers for a birthday of someone special and to involve the kids this way.
We folded several layers (three) of coffee filters 3 times (as many times as you want to still be able to cut through) and fringed one end. The next step was to cut the fringes off to make small confetti pieces. The more shades of color, the prettier the confetti….
We started by adding glitter to the confetti to give it extra sparkle. Punch out circles with the circle punch or use a stencil and cut them out. Spread a thin layer of glue and dip the circle into the confetti. After the circles have dried, you might need to cut some extra confetti off. Glue the sticks on the back and let dry completely.
Voila, you just made a cupcake topper. They are pretty awesome like this, but we do like to embellish them even more and used crepe paper, diamonds, glitter, tulle and feathers to make them even more spectacular.  We also wrapped the cupcakes in crepe paper for a quick and cute wrapper.
And what is better than a cupcake with a cupcake topper? A cupcake with THREE cupcake toppers. It was a joke, but it actually looks AWESOME. So now, let me have a cupcake….
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Make a DIY housewarming basket – house piñata tutorial with free printable



In 2012 I decided to make my sister a symbolic housewarming gift basket with gifts to bless her and the new house. Growing up in Germany, it was a custom to give bread and salt as a housewarming gift, which my Mum did when I moved out for the first time.. I researched other symbolic blessings around the world and made tags to explain the meaning. For a special twist, I also made a house out of a cardboard box because it was a housewarming gift (which I thought was so clever). It turned out beautiful, very special, unique and just perfect. I actually found the old pictures with a really small Luca….


We started to sell the gift tags in our etsy store shortly after and got tons of requests for different colors. And that’s what we did. We now have the tags in 10 different colors available and are working on a new design. Here is our etsy store with all of the tags as printable and ready made versions:


We are planning to make different basket themes/ideas for each color and just made a beach themed basket with the teal housewarming gift tags. If you are interested in pictures and more information, stay tuned until next Wednesday when we will feature the basket.


DIY House Piñata with free printable template


We also recreated the original house piñata for a unique housewarming gift. This is one of my favorite ways to actually present the gifts. It is cute and clever, because it is a house.

We used a packaging box that we found in the Dollar Store and received for free. I wanted to have low sides to see the actual gifts but you could make the side walls as high as you like. This particular piñata is 12 inch high.

You need:

box, ruler, marker, cutter, streamers in different colors, scissors, glue, free door and window template (see below), housewarming gifts as well as our housewarming tags


After I measured and marked my box, I used a cutter to cut off the sides I didn’t need and make the shape of a house. We used yellow and grey crepe paper streamers for the fringes. To fringe the streamers, fold them several times over to get layers and cut evenly, parallel lines halfway into the streamer. Carefully unfold the streamers to get the fringe.



Start at the bottom of the piñata and work your way up. Draw a thin line of glue along the side from one end to the other and glue the fringe line by line.


Cut out our door and window template and glue them on the piñata. After all the sides are fringed in the wall color, finish it off with a second color to simulate the roof.


After the piñata is dry, paint or fringe inside. I used yellow paint to match the outside.


And now for the filling of the Piñata:


We bought little glass containers in the Dollar Store and a list of the items we needed for the presents. We used our tags as guidance, but you could fill it with all kinds if things.

Here is the complete list for each tag, which has the traditional gift along with the meaning behind it.

Bread – May those in your home never go hungry
Salt – May there always be flavor and spice in your life
Rice – May the love in your home multiply
Wine – May you always have joy and never go thirsty
Candles – May you always have light through the darkest times
Honey – May you always enjoy the sweetness of life
Olive Oil – May you be blessed with health and well-being
Plants – May your home always have life
Coins – May you receive luck and good fortune
Broom – May your house always be clean and free of evil spirits

Fill your piñata, attach the gift tags and voila, a beautiful and unique housewarming gift.




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Beginner Simple Paper Clay Recipe




After a rather long break, crafty Friday is back and better than ever. We have lots of crafts and projects that are ready to be shared. A couple days ago, we posted about our candy theme this year and got lots of questions about how to make the paper clay/ paper mache from the candy tutorial. This is the beginner recipe which is pretty simple and only uses 2 main ingredients, paper and water. We have used this clay recipe in the past for example to make the mushrooms for our forest Christmas theme.


We also made various props for our Halloween Circus theme like the giant snake of the snake lady, the knifes of the knife thrower and the weights and medal of the strongman.


Lets get started:


Paper, Glue, Paint

You also need a paper shredder (optional), bucket, hand blender, kitchen towel/cheese cloth and a bowl

How to:


With our photo props, we accumulate a lot of waste paper which we love to recycle into paper clay projects. You can also use regular paper, envelopes (without the plastic windows), newspaper, brochures or any old scrap paper. All plastic and staples need to be removed before it can be either shredded or ripped into very small pieces. (the smaller, the better)



We usually fill a medium bucket about three quarters full.


For each  3 to 4 cups paper pieces, we use about 1 cup of glue. Paste should feel like a play dough consistency that shouldn’t be too dry or too wet.

We used the clay in molds as well as shaped it by hand. Depending on the size, it can take several weeks to dry. We have let the clay air dry as well as  let it dry in the oven at the lowest temperature. But be aware that the paper could brown or even burn if it gets too hot.

The texture of the clay is rough and grainy, which worked out perfect for these projects. To get a smoother surface, the dried clay object can be sandpapered. Afterwards it is ready to be painted.

We will share a couple of other clay projects in the upcoming month…..


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Crafty Friday – our new series First Project – Toilet paper roll pencil organizer


We are always busy crafting together with and without kids, but I never take the time to actually post our creations. My kids already love crafting and making stuff as much as my sister and I do, so I decided it was about time to share it more regularly. When starting this blog, I wanted to write about everything we do, not just the photo props and lately (as I said before) this was the only topic we were posting about. Photo props are still our number one topic or bestseller and we will continue to post our latest creations, but crafty Fridays start NOW….

( It will be a challenge for me to post it on time, but I will try my best. )

Colored Pencil Organizer made from toilet paper rolls



We are using our colored pencils literally every day. Eva is drawing and coloring the props with her pencils (the first stage of our props) and Luca and Giorgio have a crafty corner in the living room with all their pencils, crayons, scissors and more.  So we both were looking for a new way to organize them, because Eva’s were stored in the original box, since she is using a better quality of colored pencils (prisma) while ours were originally mixed up altogether in a plastic bin, but because Luca could never find the correct color, we sorted them in plastic cups. Not very pretty, but better.


Giorgio is 2 1/2 right now and he loves to take the cups and mix all the pencils together. We always had a mess and that’s when we decided it was time for a new solution and because Eva needed one two, we decided to make them all together.

You need:

A container to hold the toilet paper rolls, we used a plastic bin (from Ikea) and a shoebox

toilet paper rolls and/or any other rolls like empty tape rolls for crayons, empty bubble wrap rolls or paper towel rolls

acrylic colors/ paint brush

hot glue


colored pencils


We started coloring all of our toilet paper rolls in different colors outside and about half way inside and let them dry. Luca did the first coat, while we made touch ups and second coats. I wanted to have separate compartments for the crayons, so we also colored the tape rolls. Because they are pretty big, I had the idea to use a different color inside and store red/purple, yellow/orange, dark green/light green, dark blue/light blue crayons together. It also looks pretty nice….


Neither Eva nor I measured the boxes or checked beforehand how many rolls we needed. When fitting the rolls, we had some extra space.


I decided to use a bigger roll for the regular pencils, because we have tons of them. We also both needed a compartment for erasers, sharpeners, scissors and other stuff, so we cut some paper towel rolls and bubble wrap rolls to fit the boxes. While Eva and I were busy with the new rolls, Giorgio took the plastic bin and started working too…

He had other plans with the colored rolls and sorted, stacked and organized them. The tape rolls for the crayons work also perfect as bracelets. He spent a good hour playing with the rolls, so we might paint some more for playing only…


We cut them in the desired length and started painting. I painted the outside of the new rolls in grey and inside in turquoise, while Eva used the color of the shoebox – lilac and a powder blue


After the other rolls dried, we tried several different layouts and this was the final result.


While Eva started to embellish the shoe box, I glued the circles with hot glue to the bottom of the box to avoid Giorgio from dumping all pencils together. I guess this would be optional, but it helps making the rolls sturdy.


The box for the boys was basically finished with that. I might make a sign that says “Color Corner of Luca and Giorgio” or something similar. To match the rolls in the middle of the box, Eva painted blue stripes on the shoebox and finished the design with a black fleur-de-lis and black borders.

Both the boxes look so different, but equally wonderful. I am really happy we did the project. It was easy, great to do with the kids and it is actually very useful in both of our houses. My kind of project:

box1finished and here:


Let us know your craft ideas for toilet paper rolls?

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