Guest blog series2 2011

Guest blogger: se7en + 1

Hi Whip-up Readers, we are so happy to be visiting you all today!!! We are a family with se7en + 1 kids and we hail from sunny South Africa.

We are going on an epic road trip later this year… and my kids have been packing and planning for weeks. They have heaps of ideas for the hours in the car and we thought we would put together a tin can of games. We had been saving this biscuit tin since Christmas, just waiting for the perfect opportunity.

You are going to need:

  • Sheets of card cut to the size of your tin lid.
  • Contact paper.
  • We have been collecting those magnets that you get on the back of fridge flyers, they are really easy to cut with kitchen scissors.
  • Markers, paints, whatever for decorating.
  • Buttons and other necessary inspiration for game pieces.
  • So here we go se7en + 1 games in a tin can.

Checkers: We used an eraser stamp to make our board and then buttons for game pieces. We glued our game board to a piece of colorful card and slipped a piece of flat fridge magnet between the layers of card. Then we stuck a sheet of protective contact paper onto the board. We snipped a strip of magnet into small pieces and glued a small magnet to each button. Our game is ready to play and no pieces will go flying about the car because they all stick to the tin lid.

Snakes and Ladders: Make another board using an eraser stamp… we also snipped some ladders from card and some small plastic snakes. We glued teeny tiny magnets to the snakes and ladders and we were almost good to go. We just needed a dice, and I saw this brilliant idea for (a travel dice on Pinterest) this week: pop your dice in a small transparent box, shake away and place on the table… no dashing after the dice!!!

Paper Dolls: My daughters love paper dolls, so we made a couple using this (very quick paper doll tutorial), covered them in contact paper and popped a magnet onto the back of the pieces… and paper dolls are good to go.

The Dot to Dot Game: Pop a sheet of graph paper on to a piece of card and mark a dot at each corner of each box on the paper. Pop a magnet between the paper sheets and then cover in contact paper. Using fridge whiteboard pens, they come with little magnets on them… you can now play the box-dot game. Each player has a color and takes turns to mark a line between two dots at the end of the game. The person with the most closed boxes at the end of the game wins.

Scrabble or any number of word games: You can find printable (scrabble pieces for free right here). Print out your sheet of scrabble letters, cover them in a sheet of contact paper and pop a magnet onto the back of each piece. We popped some graph paper onto a piece of colored card and our game was good to go.

A Mini Road Trip: We just painted a road onto a piece of card and laminated it. We stuck a magnet onto the base of the car, so that it grips but not too tightly, and it can’t go flying and get lost. Part of the appeal for our youngest, who is the biggest fan of the mini-road trip, loved that their was a little box just big enough to store his car in.

A Tangram Game: A quick online search will give any number of printable tangrams. We made our tangram pieces and then stuck some puzzles onto the card… some were easy and some were hard!

Doodle Cards: My kids like freedom and they insisted on a couple of blank cards… So I covered a couple of plain sheets of card in contact paper and they are good for doodling with the fridge markers. And a few packets of stickers will add to the fun because they can be peeled and restuck only about a million times on a laminated sheet of card.

And that’s our can of games…

Here it is packed and ready to go: With plenty of room for some of our favorite card games and pipe cleaners… because seriously what is a road trip without pipe cleaners!

Thanks again for the chance to visit!


For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website

Stefanie Fail makes her jewelry and crafts in Brooklyn. When she’s not playing dress-up in her creations, she’s working on her Ph.D. in cognitive psychology and making the world more user-friendly. Read her blog and find her creations at A common thread.

This is a tutorial for a pom pom garland, great for adding a little DIY decor for a party, kid’s room, or just to add a bit of color around the house. This is a great project for kids or adults, and an excellent way of using up those bits of leftover yarn. I really love a mix of different colors and yarn types — fuzzy, plain, fat, skinny, metallic and bright.


  • Scraps and leftover balls of yarn.
  • Scissors
  • Cotton thread yarn (or string or baker’s twine)
  • 2″ x 3″ piece of cardboard (or any length you’d like. The length = the diameter of your pom pom; width doesn’t matter)
  • Yarn needle

1. Fold your cardboard in half and wrap your yarn lengthwise. You’ll want to wrap it until it’s nice a think. The number of wraps depends on the thickness of your yarn but about 100-200 wraps should do it. Cut your yarn.

2. Cut about a 6″ piece of yarn and thread it through the middle of the cardboard. You can use your yarn needle to make this a bit easier. Bring the piece of yarn up to where the slit in the cardboard is and tie a tight knot around the bundle of yarn.

3. On the opposite end of your knot, cut through the bundle of yarn.

4. Fluff and trim your little puff. And repeat for each of your pom poms. I like when the pom poms are a bit different, so experiment with different cardboard sizes to get different sized pom poms.

6. Thread your yarn needle with the cotton thread, and string it through each of your pom poms.

Hang your garland and enjoy!


Ami is the creator of the popular national wedding blog Elizabeth Anne Designs.  She loves fabric and paper crafting, handmade wedding ideas, and DIY gift ideas that can be used as wedding favors, birthday presents, holiday gifts, and more!

Hi Whip Up readers!  My name is Ami, and I am the editor of the Elizabeth Anne Designs wedding blog.  I’m so excited to stop by today to guest post while Kathreen takes some well-deserved vacation!

September + October means fall and fall means crisp nights perfect for campouts.  And campouts mean S’mores!  Here’s a roundup of my favorite DIY S’mores ideas:

{DIY S’more LOVE wedding favors – image by Meg Perotti, full tutorial on Elizabeth Anne Designs}

{DIY S’mores kit from Creature Comforts}

{S’mores on a stick + printable tags from Paper Stories, full tutorial on Elizabeth Anne Designs}

{S’mores kits created by Jordan Ferney, tutorial found at Project Wedding}

{Smores baggie kit and free printable from write. click. scrapbook.}

{S’mores cake in a jar, recipe at How Sweet It Is}

Enjoy and share your favorite S’more ideas in the comments!


Jennifer Perkins is a compulsive crafter, wife and mother living in Austin, TX. You can read more of her crafty escapades on her blog Naughty Secretary Club.

I think each time I go to a flea market my husband sits at home and dreads what I will be bringing home. There was the giant 4 foot tall panda head, the dining room chairs on wheels and once there was a grocery cart. When my husband and his green thumb heard my master plan for the shopping cart all was well on the home front.


  • Old Grocery Cart
  • Scissors
  • Potting Soil
  • Herbs
  • Coconut Husk Liners

  1. The first thing to do is cut your husk liners to fit in the baskets of your cart. Dirt will fall right through those small cracks so you have to line it.
  2. After the cart is lined fill with potting soil.
  3. All that is left to do is plant your favorite herbs. Be sure to water your cart frequently as it is like a big hanging basket and will dry out easily.
  4. Harvest your herbs to your hearts content. The nice thing about your herb garden on wheels is you can easily transport it around to catch the best sun and have the easiest access.

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Steph is the founder/managing editor of Modern Parents Messy Kids and mom to a 2 year old son and 1 year old daughter. She started MPMK as a resource for helping parents to engage their kids, organize their life, and add a little style to their home. For more inspiration on things to make and do, check out MPMK’s newest feature – The Make & Play Vault.

Hello there Whip Up readers, thank so much for having me today! I’m excited to be here sharing with you a new technique I recently discovered via (where else) pinterest. Once I discovered this method, I was immediately drawn to it.

It’s a very easy way to produce the type of modern prints you might find in my favorite stores (West Elm, Anthropolgie, Crate and Barrel, etc.). When done on paper and mounted in a frame, these prints make fabulous wall art for a variety of room styles.

Check out the example above here (also seen on the set of the Nate Berkus Show).

Options really start to open up when you apply this method to fabric. I’m considering a table runner, cloth napkins, or some tea towels in fall colors. And the pattern on a large throw pillow would add a great pop of color to a neutral chair or couch.

What I love most about this project is that it can be easily adapted to kids of all ages. To illustrate this, I’ll be sharing with you how I made a print for our play space as well as how I let my 2 year old experiment with the process. Ready to get started? All you need is some yarn, paint and brushes, and a few blocks.

I began by wrapping a small wooden block with yarn. Then I knotted the end and used some tape to secure it in place. If you don’t have a block, not to worry. All you really need is anything “wrappable” in a shape of your choosing. We made Easter prints earlier this year by cutting egg shapes out of cereal box cardboard and wrapping them with yarn.

Once your printing block is ready, take a brush and apply your paint. The yarn can be pretty absorbent at first so you’ll need to experiment with how much paint to apply on a practice sheet of paper. It’s also a good idea to brush on the paint in only one direction so the yarn fibers lay flat.

Once you have your technique perfected, start stamping. I made my pattern by stamping, turning my block 90 degrees and stamping, returning it to the original position and stamping, back to 90 degrees and so on and so forth. The process is a surprisingly cathartic way to spend nap time.

To add interest, I layered on some orange paint for a few of the squares. It’s a little difficult to see the effect here but it gives the print some nice depth in real life.

Here’s the finished product. I like the look of the pattern running off the borders so I made my print larger then the matte of my frame. A grouping with an odd number of prints made in the same way but in different colors would be a nice solution for a large empty wall.

This project is a great introduction to printmaking for school aged children because it’s simple enough for them to have success. You can also do a more free-form version with toddlers. One of my mantras over at Modern Parents Messy Kids is that beginning art is all about the process, not the product. With that in mind, I wrapped a circular block in yarn for my son and let him loose with a large sheet of craft paper.

At first he used so much paint that the yarn acted more as a relief. Eventually he refined his technique applying the paint and was able to make his own version of a block print.

That’s it, thanks again to Kathreen for having me! I hope you enjoyed this project and that you’ll try it soon. Please also stop by Modern Parents Messy Kids and say hi!


For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website