DIY Halloween Ghost Garland

Halloween kid's craft ghost garland DIY

Halloween is right around the corner and if you’re looking for something fun to do with the kids, this easy DIY ghost garland is a perfect activity to get everyone in the spooky spirit. It’s simple to make and you just need a few materials that you probably already have. It’s perfect for little helpers who are getting excited for Halloween and it’s a fun way to kick off decorating for October 31. All you need is some tissue paper, glue, and twine and a little bit of glitter if you like a bit of sparkle. View Post

Getting Crafty with Curiosity Box

I admit it: I’ve started my Christmas shopping. But I know I’m not the only one! Every year I try to think of gifts that aren’t just picked up from a big- box store from a selection of made- in- China toys; instead I look for ones that are unique and fun. And before you tell me you don’t have the time to shop like that, don’t forget the virtues of online shopping my friends!
In my hunt for some gift ideas for my nephews I came across Curiosity Box, an Ontario- based company that offers subscription options for your kiddos to receive craft & activity boxes shipped right to your door. And let’s face it: what kid doesn’t love getting something in the mail? Add to that anticipation the fun of creating something that encourages creativity and I think we have a winning idea. When I ordered the craft boxes for my nephews, the company generously offered up one of their Halloween Fun Curiousity Boxes for our family to try. Who could say no to that offer???

Photo: K Petrunia
When they arrived in the mail last week I couldn’t wait to dive in and get crafting! (Can you tell I’m a DIYer at heart???) Each box contains the materials and glue needed for 3 crafts, plus an activity. I noticed there were even a few bonus items to play with- all matching the theme of the box. Our box contained the materials to make a bat sock puppet, a foam haunted house, & a tissue paper jack- o- lantern; a nice variety of crafts and sharable if you have multiple kids to entertain (or in our case, 2 adults and an enthusiastic 16- month old!).
When Will came home home from work the 3 of us dug into the crafting: he took over construction of the haunted house while Ari and I started on the bat sock puppet. I really liked the instruction pamphlet that came with the box that had easy-to- follow instructions (perfect for younger kids in need of some direction) and that the materials for each craft were organized into separate bags to keep everything organized. 
We stretched the crafting over 2 nights since we wanted to allow the glue to dry on the haunted house and with a little help from some tape to hold the roof in place, it came together. On night 2 of our crafting adventure we added the finishing touches to the haunted house & made the tissue pumpkin  (you can see the finished projects below). I’d say the three of us did pretty good. πŸ˜‰
I really like that this is a fun gift idea that encourages creativity, following steps, and can be a group activity. For the variety of projects you get I don’t think you’d be able to buy the supplies cheaper at a craft or dollar store, and I think there’s a fun novelty about receiving the boxes in the mail. The only tip I have is that for older kids who can be trusted with one, a cool glue gun may be a good idea to help the projects come together a little quicker. Otherwise you simply have to wait for the glue to dry (but hey, a good lesson in patience isn’t bad either). 

All finished!
Whadya think???
Photo: K Petrunia
You can order from the Curiosity Box website, with options for a single box, 3 month6 month, or 12 month subscription. (Subscriptions start at $25.95/ month, $24.95/ month, and $23.95/ month, respectively; prices vary for individual boxes).
You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram: @Curiosityboxcrafts, and other social media sites.
A big thank you to Curiosity Box for giving us a Halloween Fun box to try out- we had a lot of fun! OXOX TPB

October posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique

Spring DIY: Easy Hanging Baskets

It’s that time of year to get your garden ready for Spring. Even if you’re not an avid gardener- or just don’t have the coveted green thumb!- you can add visual interest to your deck or patio with hanging baskets. You don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to make them, and it’s a fun DIY project to do with the kids to get them outside & learn about gardening. Have them help pick out the plants & baskets to encourage their interest- when the baskets are finished they’ll have a sense of pride from helping and the satisfaction of watching them grow. Involve them in watering and maintaining them- it will get them out in the fresh air and teach them responsibility; when they’ve participated in the process they’ll be more interested and enthusiastic to help. (These also make great Mother’s Day gifts for the Grandmas or for your hubby to make with the kids for you!)

Hanging baskets 
5 plants per basket 
(Tip: pick something tall to plant in the middle; pick 1-2 vines & trailing plants & 1- 2 low- lying plants for visual interest. Ask someone at your local garden centre for suggestions)
Watering can & water
Approximate cost for 2 hanging baskets: $25- 30

1. Select your baskets & plants
The larger your baskets the more plants you will need. I used moss- lined wire baskets with the following plants:
– 1 spiky grass (tallest plant, in centre of basket)
– 2 pansies per basket in opposite corners (low- lying plant)
– 1 petunia per basket (low- lying/ trailing)
– 1 vine per basket

2. Fill your baskets approx. 1/3- 1/2 full with soil, distributing evenly.
3. Place the plants in the baskets where you would like them arranged & adjust until your satisfied with their placement; remove your plants from their pots & loosen the dirt around their roots
4. Add enough soil to fill up to the base of the plants; press the plants into the soil to make sure they won’t shift
5. Hang your baskets & water
For maintenance, make sure you water the baskets 1-2 times per day during the Summer in the morning and/ or evening (the leaves can get burnt if you water them in the scorching heat); remove dead foliage & flowers as needed.

I’ll try and add some photos when they’ve grown to show their progress.

April posts sponsored by Gary Gallant Travel

Amazing Mom Feature: Amanda Keulen, Blink Kids

Have you ever been at a shower or birthday party and seen a gift you love so much, you ask the giver where they got it? Chances are you have. This week’s Amazing Mom, Amanda Keulen, was making items for her kids & as gifts and had so much interest she realized she had a lucrative business at her fingertips. And so Blink Kids was born! Starting out selling at craft fairs, her products are now available online (check out her website here). 
If you love quality, hand- made (and local!) products, Amanda’s are the kind of sewn goodies that you’ll love to give as gifts and probably want to keep for yourself (ahem, how about getting that holiday started and support a local Mom in the process???). Using bright patterns & fabrics, Amanda’s creations are perfect accents for your home or cheerful gifts for little ones. Read on to learn more about this Amazing Mom…
Amazing Mom Amanda!
What kind of products and/ or services do you offer?
I sew items for babies, kids, & Moms. Baby items: blankets, bibs, burp clothes, binky clips, toys etc; items for
kids: aprons, bags, pillows, games, costumes, hair accessories etc; and items for moms or around the home: nursing covers, pillows, blankets, aprons,
bags and more!
2. What
is the price point?
My pricing
is very affordable most items are under $30. Some of my more time consuming
blankets are priced a bit higher $40-$60.
3. How
long have you been operating and how did you start?
I have had
this business for 3 years now. I started at local Christmas craft fairs and
then eventually started selling online as well.
4. How
did you decide what to do?
I have
always been a sewer and once I started having my own kids I was making various
items for them, and for their friend’s birthday party gifts.  Other’s would ask where I got them from and
when I told them I made it, they asked, β€œCan you make me one too?” The more
people that asked and actually liked what I made encouraged me to start selling
these products. 
5. What
is your favourite part of what you do? What is the biggest challenge?
favorite thing is to create new items and then watch my kid’s (and their
friend’s) reaction, to see if they actually like what I made!
My biggest
challenge is everything online! Starting a website and doing all the social
media sites is not my forte. Fortunately I have recently hired someone who does
love to do all that, so I can focus on my sewing! 
Any advice to other ladies/ moms looking to start their own business?
Do what
you love! I never thought I’d be able to make a business out of my hobby, but
I’m so glad I did because I LOVE sewing in my studio. I’m so passionate about
what I do. Also network!! Finding support from other’s that have a similar
business as you can be very helpful to bounce ideas around, ask questions and
hear other’s success stories!! 

Check out below to see some of Amanda’s beautiful work!
If your lil one loves those taggie toys…

Perfect for a nautical themed nursery!

Amanda has offered a beautiful apron up for grabs (a $25 value!) to The Pampered Baby readers!
How cute would this be to give for Christmas?!
There are 3 ways to enter: 
Leave a comment about your favourite holiday baking, and/ or Like The Pampered Baby & Blink Kids on good ol’ Facebook. 

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