Simple Money for Kids

This holiday, I thought my oldest son, now 6, needed more help understanding that Christmas is about giving. With so many aunts, uncles, great-aunts, great-uncles, and grandparents, there sure is a lot of getting going on! Getting is easy to enjoy… but so is giving. Giving time, giving thought, and giving donations are all ways that we can help support our communities. I love this article from Yahoo sharing  6 simple ways to give back. A great place to get started when thinking about others.

I came up with a plan for him to help earn some Christmas money that would be spent on holiday gifts. He enjoyed helping, and he loved shopping. It was hard for him to pick gifts for others when there were so many cool things HE wanted. And it was hard for him to spend money he had worked for on others. But he did enjoy finding the right thing for each person, and getting some special shopping time with me.

As he gets older, I want to keep this lesson of giving, as well as an overall responsibility with money. These are great lessons to learn young.

To help teach these concepts all year long, I grabbed three mason jars, some construction paper, scissors, and pens. I made three mason jars – one for money to save, one for money to spend, and one for money to give. I know some people use a similar system, and have certain percentages of their money that should go into each. I don’t want this system to be that rigid. I’d rather my son decide where he’d like his money to go. And because the jars are glass, he can see how much money is in each.

Simple Money for kids

I traced the lids onto the construction paper.

trace lids

Cut them out, then cut a slit in each. Make sure the hole is big enough that a folded dollar can fit in.

cut hole

Each lid gets a word – spend, save, give. You can choose different words if you like.

write on papers

Remove the metal plate portion of each lid, replace with the paper, and screw the lid back in place.

put on lid

Repeat for all the lids, your jars are done!

finished savings jars

If you’re looking for more ideas for giving, check out the Yahoo article on  6 simple ways to give back.

Applique Zippered Bag

I’m on a little applique kick, making some samples, and I thought I’d show you how to make this simple applique zippered bag. Super fast and easy to make, once you get it down, you’ll be making all kinds of zippered bags!

applique zippered bag

Start with your supplies. You’ll need:
9″ zipper
2 rectangles from outer fabric – 9″x6″
2 rectangles from lining fabric – 9″x6″
Applique shape cut out with fusible web on the back.

supplies for applique zippered pouch

Fuse the heart onto one of the outer pieces, stitch in place. I used a tight zig-zag.

stitch around applique

stitch around heart

Place one outer piece and one lining piece, right sides together, with the zipper between. Stitch through all three layers. If the zipper pull gets in the way, stop stitching. With the needle down, lift up the presser foot, and carefully open or close the zipper to move the zipper pull out of the way.

Press them open, exposing the zipper. If you like, add topstitching along the top of the fabric.

press to one side

Repeat with the other set of lining and outer fabrics.

stitch on second set

Once you press open the second set, lay the fabrics so that the outer fabrics are right-sides-together, and the inner fabrics are right-sides-together, with the zipper in the middle.

put right sides together

VERY IMPORTANT: Open the zipper at least halfway. This will keep you from swearing later. Then stitch around all four sides, leaving a hole about 4″ long along the bottom of the two lining pieces.

stitch all the way around

Trim off the excess zipper, then turn the bag through the hole you left.

finish applique zippered bag

Hand-stitch the hole closed, and you’re all done!

applique bag set

 

ABCs of Blogging Free Printable

the ABCs of Blogging printableAt the end of April I went to the SNAP conference for creative bloggers – one of the fun things we do at the conference is decorate our doors. My roommate Angie from The Country Chic Cottage came up with a fun idea for our door… the ABCs of blogging!

ABCs of Blogging Door Decor

We posted pictures of our door on Instagram, and some of our friends who weren’t at the conference wanted to be able to see each of the cards better… so we turned it into a free printable! We tweaked all the images to give them a vintage look, and are so thrilled with how it turned out! You can download the ABCs of Blogging for yourself!

Most Popular Projects of 2013

Top Posts for 2013 on Always Expect Moore

I had a lot of fun blogging this year! I blogged here, over at 30 Minute Crafts, CraftSnark, CraftyHangouts, Answers.com and contributed at Craft Test Dummies. So… lots of fun posts, projects, and roundups this year. I thought I’d share with you the most popular projects here at Always Expect Moore this year. Here goes…

10. Whimsical Holiday Entertaining Recipes
One of two sponsored posts to make this year’s top 10 list… this post was so fun to create! I hung out with my husband to come up with some delicious adult beverages, and whipped up some other fun treats as well. Perfect for holiday entertaining… or just entertaining yourself!
Holiday Entertaining with Smart & Final

9. How to Make a Wizard Costume
I love that so many of the top posts were favorites of mine as well! This tutorial on making a Wizard Costume was so much fun to make, and I’m glad so many of you enjoyed it too.
Wizard Costume

8. Fabric Fest Quilts
Teaching at Fabric Fest was one of the high points of 2013, and I loved sharing all my different fast quilts with you… if you’re one that enjoyed this post stay tuned… I have more fun fast quilting to share in 2014!
three jelly roll race quilts

7. Winnie the Pooh Baby Shower
A shower I put together for my Sister in Law last year, this was a fun project. I enjoyed sharing how the theme came together, and the little (and big) ways I incorporated Pooh into this simple shower.
Winnie the Pooh Shower Invitation

6. Hexagon Fabric Bracelet
I remember the night that I was inspired to create the first of these Hexagon Bracelets. I stayed up most of the night stitching them together, I was so excited by this idea!
Hexagon Fabric Bracelet Tutorial

5. Monsters University Juice Box Printables
The second sponsored post to make this list, these juice box printables were so fun to create. I especially loved this project because it was a chance to get my boys involved in crafting.
Monsters University Juice Setup

4. Dr. Seuss “Oh The Places You’ll Go” Wallhanging
This might be my favorite project of the year. I loved everything about it, and will have a hard time coming up with an encore in 2014.
Dr Seuss Oh The Places You'll Go Quilt Wallhanging

3. How to Write a Thank You Note
This post became very popular on Pinterest… which makes me so happy! I’m glad that the world wants to know how to write a good Thank You note. It is such a simple but vitally important thing to know… and I’m glad I could share this tidbit with y’all.
How to Write a Thank You Note

2. Three Printable Boy Baby Shower Games
All three of my SILs had babies in the last 14 months, these printables were created for a shower I was unable to attend, but wanted to help out with. Since they were so much fun, I shared them online.
three printble boy baby shower games - just print, grab pens, and you're all set!

1. Fast and Easy Baby Shower Games
With the popularity of Baby Shower posts, I’m guessing lots of babies were born in 2013! These were three easy to whip together games for a last-minute shower.
Super Easy Baby Shower Games

So there you have it! The top posts for 2013… I can’t wait to start 2014… I have so many fun and exciting projects and posts in store for you!

 

“Gone to the Beach” Seashell Door Hanger

Gone to the Beach door hanger

As winter settles in, forcing me to trade in my flip-flops for socks and sneakers, I long for the beach. Warm days with toes in the sand, watching the waves chase the kiddos. Although I can’t transport myself beach-side… I can pretend. With the help of my “Gone to the Beach” Seashell Door Hanger.

This door hanger is simple to make, I use a few supplies that make it even easier. Here’s what you need to make your own:
Wooden Door Hanger
White Paint
Paintbrush
Seashells
Shell Glue
Paint Pen
Beach Sand
Mod Podge

Start by painting the wooden door hanger. I added a single coat of white paint to give it a white-washed look.

doorhanger

Once the paint has dried, I wrote my saying on the door hanger. You can write whatever saying you like… I went with the classic “Gone to the Beach”.

write on phrase

Start gluing on your shells. I placed my shells on the door hanger without gluing first to get the placement, then glued them down using shell glue. Just put the glue on the parts of the shell that will be touching something – either the wood or another shell.

use shell glue

You want to keep in mind the balance of the door hanger – if you put too much weight on one side, your door hanger won’t hang straight when it is finished.

 

glue shells in place

I wanted to add some more to my door hanger, so I wrapped one side of the hole with baker’s twine, then tied a shell to each end of the twine. This is optional, but I thought it added some more beachy color.

add baker's twine

I was going to leave it, but it seemed… incomplete. I knew exactly what it needed. I mixed beach sand with Mod Podge to create a thick paste. Do this in a container that you are fine tossing when you’re done – you don’t want to rinse beach sand down the drain of your sink if you can help it.

make sand paste

Apply the paste with a paintbrush around, over, and between the shells. I put thick globs in some areas, and brushed the sand lightly over shells in other areas.

put sand paste in place

Once the Mod Podge dries, your door hanger is complete!

close up of shell doorhanger

 

Holiday Crafty Goodness at Consumer Crafts!

This post is sponsored by the lovely folks at Consumer Crafts, who fuel my crafting addiction on a regular basis. Refer a friend and see what I’m talking about.

So often I get asked WHERE I get all my craft supplies. I live fairly close to a craft store, and so some of it comes from there… but honestly, they’re not open at 2am when my crafty brain is really going. So I hop online to Consumer Crafts, and start clicking away… their site is super easy to use, and I always end up with a basket full of craft supplies that I can’t wait to use! They ship them in a big box right to my door. It is like the pizza delivery of craft supplies! Everything from big machines to basics like glue and markers, they’ve got it all…

And right now they have an awesome Refer a Friend Campaign going!

Consumer Crafts Refer a Friend

Did I mention that their prices are insanely good? Yup. I’m not saying that I’ve stood in my craft store considering the purchase of a big machine… and hopped onto the Consumer Crafts site with my handy smart phone, then seen that the item was cheaper at Consumer Crafts. But I totally could. Because that happened. So, if you’re one of the 6 lucky winners… let me tell you that that $250 will get you quite a bit!

I’ve run to Consumer Crafts for Christmas crafts, birthday party craft supplies, baby shower craft supplies, general crafting supplies… just head on over and check it out… after signing up for the Refer a Friend campaign!

I recently used their supplies to make this wreath (tutorial to come)…

all holly leaves in place

And a bunch of these snow ornaments… and even though I bought two packs of these glass ornaments… not a single one broke in shipping!

Snow Writing Ornament

Enough with my Consumer Crafts Love fest… go Refer a friend and see what I’m talking about.

Oh… and if you need some inspiration, check out all these great places you can connect with Consumer Crafts:
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ConsumerCrafts
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Consumer_Crafts
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/consumercrafts/
Instagram: http://instagram.com/consumercrafts
Blog: http://www.craftsunleashed.com/

Giant Classroom Wall Tree

One of the best things about having a school-aged kid is the fun projects. Yes, I’m going to be coming back to this post in a couple years, after drowning in school projects, and laughing at my former self who got excited when teachers asked for help. But right now, in this moment, it is pretty awesome. I love helping out in my son’s classroom, and this is one of those fun projects.

Little Moore’s teacher is a self-described non-crafty man. I offered to help out with some crafty projects, as needed. He wanted a big tree in the hallway that could be changed out for the seasons. Basically, just the trunk and branches. I told him that not only would I make it, but it would be awesome. Because I’m a lot of things… but humble is not one of them (however, awesome is totally one of them – ha!).

I’m not giving you a step-by-step here because I’m pretty sure that the demand for giant tree tutorials isn’t worth the time it’ll take me to edit the photos… but I’ll give you the highlights.

Classroom Tree with my Kindergartener

I prepped the trunk at home. I used Foamcore cut into the right shape. The “carving” on the tree is a piece of styrofoam. I carved the heart and the word “school” into the heart, then covered it in Smooth Finish. After the Smooth Finish hardened, I painted it brown, with the carving a lighter brown so it would really stand out.

Tree trunk with Styrofoam Smooth Finish Carving

At the top of the trunk, I put a piece of cork. This way the teacher can easily switch out things in the hole in the tree.

Classroom Tree Cork Board

I lined up my foam core, styrofoam, and cork pieces, and Duck Taped them together. I used some extra cardboard on the back to give some extra strength to the seams. Then I added on the bark.

The bark is crumpled up paper from a Fed Ex Box. It was already crumpled up, which was perfect. I just wrinkled it more, and used a TON of Mod Podge to secure it onto the tree trunk. Lots and lots of texture. Once that all dried, I used a sponge and some brown paint, lightly went over the whole trunk with the brown paint in spots (more texture!). Then gave the whole thing a thick coat of Mod Podge. So thick that it isn’t fully dry in these photos, and you can see some of the white!

The branches were fun to do.

Classroom Tree Branches

When I put the rest of the brown paper trunk on, I left 5 long pieces hanging off of the top, then took the trunk to school. I used a staple gun to secure the tree to the wall. Then I twisted the brown paper branches into place, using the staple gun to secure them. I tore off any extra, and added sub-branches off the 5 main branches. Once all the branches were up, they got a quick swipe of brown paint sponged on, and then a coat of Mod Podge.

It took about 5 hours at home, and about another 2-3 at the school… but this tree looks awesome.

Any volunteers to try to take it down at the end of the year?

Beating on Walls Canvas

Cool 2 Cast Quote Canvas

 

When I found this quote, I knew I wanted to turn it into a canvas. It is something that I should remember. I’m very guilty of beating on walls, trying to turn them into doors. I’m hoping I’ve gotten a little better at differentiating doors from walls as I’ve gotten a little older… but I think I still have some room for improvement!

I wanted to have something that looked a little like a brick wall – but in a fun, mixed-media way. I knew just what to use. I’d been sent some Cool2Cast to review for Craft Test Dummies, and it is perfect for mixed-media projects.

Making the canvas was actually pretty easy to do… and lots of fun since I got to play with all kinds of craft supplies in making it.

I started by getting my mold. This is a mold for making brownie bites, but I don’t use it for that. It has held different kinds of resin and epoxy, so now it is exclusively a crafting mold. I put different buttons in the bottoms of the cavities of the mold. Then I mixed up my Cool2Cast and poured it into the cavities, trying to fill each one about the same amount.

pour in cool 2 cast

I let the Cool2Cast set for the required time, then popped it out of the molds.

remove from molds

The medium was still soft enough for me to scratch off any that that covered the buttons. I dipped my finger in water to rub away any remnants of Cool2Cast, then wiped the buttons clean with a paper towel.

wet wipe away excess

I let the squares dry completely overnight. I painted my canvas with a pearlized acrylic paint, and let it dry overnight as well.

The next day, I laid the tiles out on the canvas to figure out placement for my lettering. First I lightly sketched out the letters in pencil for placement, then I used my DecoArt Glass writing pen to write out my quote.

write quote

Then I painted the pieces. I used different paints, sprays, and markers on the different pieces for a fun, mixed-media look.

spray with paint

paint

After the paint dried, I glued all the tiles down onto the canvas. That was it!

quote canvas