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DIY Valentine’s Day Treat Bags for Under $20

This week I volunteered to read to my son’s class.  Since Valentine’s day is literally just a couple days away, I decided to pick a couple of books that celebrate love and warm, happy feelings.

I absolutely love these books and they were perfect for the occasion and season!20180209_105428.jpg

Note: If you’re interested in any one of these books you can find them in the picture links below:

Whenever I visit to read to his class, I also try to bring treats that compliment the general theme of the book/season. And further, since I LOVE LOVE LOVE Valentines day, I wanted to do something a little special for the kiddies.  I made a quick trip out to Dollar Tree and found a few things:

If you don’t know what Dollar Tree is, it is the best dollar store in the world and every item there is a dollar or less!20180209_105323.jpgPictured above are pencils, erasers, bubble tubes, plastic treat bags, and tissue paper. 

On a side note, I also found these cute tote bags there:20180209_105622.jpg

I also managed to dig up a few things from my closet since I generally stock up on items in the clearance bins after a holiday.  These were the items I found last year at Walgreens and Walmart for 75-90% off:

I literally spent less than $3 TOTAL for the items pictured below:20180209_104844.jpgPictured above are plastic cups, buttons, and plane kits. 

I also like to add a few sweets in there (because it’s Valentine’s Day!!!) so I added a couple of lollipops and rice crispy treats from my local grocery store.  After I gathered all of the items, I essentially used the cups as little “baskets” to hold everything.


I then added a bit of tissue paper as well, but cut the sheets into quarters so that they would fit proportionately to the cups:


Since I was going to be transporting them from my home to their class, I wanted to make sure that the cups and contents would remain in tact, so I placed each cup into an individual bag:


If you’ve ever used the plastic cellophane bags, you’ll notice that they come with several wire twisty-ties for securing the bags–  I cannot stand these things mainly because I usually end up pricking my fingers with them and they’re a pain to get off once they’re on; so I decided to create paper tags that I could staple onto the bags to keep them closed and add a little bit of extra flair.  I had some heart-themed cardstock that cut into 3.5×4 inch rectangles and folded in half long-wise:


I basically just folded the tops of the bags and cupped them over with the paper tags.  I then secured them on with staples.  Here is the finished product:


I made a total of 24 treat bags– one for each student in his class.  This project cost me less than $20 to make and about an hour to assemble. The kiddies nearly lost their minds when they saw them!  I love how the smallest things can bring so much joy.

I’m still not done with assembling my other Valentine’s Day goodies as I’ve procrastinated just a bit.  So if you’re in the same boat as me, we’ll be burning the midnight oil together!  Cheers to you and I hope you’re having a Happy Monday!

Crafty, DIY, Holiday, Life, Nifty Thrifty

Our Middle Earth Christmas Tree


Every year since my bug’s first Christmas, we’ve had a themed tree in our home for Christmas.   Since I like to have a different theme every year, I don’t like to spend a lot of money on ornaments/tree decorations.  I also like my trees to have a personalized touch as well, so we tend to make quite a bit of the decorations that we use.  I typically let my bug choose the theme of our tree, and I also let him choose what the topper will be; this year, our theme was “Middle Earth!”  This was topped off with Sauron’s helmet!

Now I will tell you that my bug and I are major J.R.R Tolkien fans and we love love love The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings (LOTR) books and movies.  I’m not kidding– my bug has the entire collection of Hobbit toy figurines, he actually had a Hobbit/LOTR birthday party, and his entire room is covered in life-size Hobbit/LOTR cardboard cutouts and decor.  My bug has been a huge fan since I introduced him to the LOTR movies a few years ago.  He’s 7 now, and although his fandom now includes Star Wars (double win for me!), Hobbit/LOTR still reigns supreme in our house.

I had so much fun putting this tree together with my bug, and although I wasn’t able to complete everything I had planned for this tree (December was a really busy month for me!), I’m still really happy with the results:

Our tree this year.  Sauron was feeling festive too! 😀20171225_091957.jpg

I am really proud of Sauron’s helmet– I made it out of a single 24×24 inch sheet of black poster board, scissors, and glue, and using only the picture below/right as a guide:


I planned on painting it but completely ran out of time!  I’ll still finish it though and will add it to the decor in my bug’s room.

The Tree of Gondor  was painted onto black cardstock (4×5 1/2 inches) with white acrylic paint, but it could also just be printed if you don’t mind using the ink (I didn’t want to!).


For our Rings of Power, we just took a black sharpie to a few standard gold ornaments and did the best we could to duplicate elvish font/writing:


I also made a few other paper crafts/prints that I just tucked onto the tree.  The fans were made out of paper lunch sacks and were each about 3 inches in diameter; the print strips were just images I found on Google Images that I cropped and printed out on to regular printer paper.  The remaining ornaments were just some items I found in the bottom of my Christmas ornament box that I thought complimented the theme of the tree.


Because I had all of the materials on hand, this project cost me $0; however, assuming I had none of the materials on hand, I estimate that the total cost would have been roughly $15, conservatively, and would include glue, scissors, paint, poster board, etc.

Making ornaments and assembling our tree is my favorite Christmas tradition– I love that we have no idea what it is ultimately going to look like until it is complete, and best of all, we are making beautiful memories every step of the way.

We love our tree so much that we still haven’t taken it down…I’ll get on it soon enough. 🙂  In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you– what kinds of holiday traditions do you have?


Book Character Day – The Very Hungry Caterpillar


If you have small children, chances are that you’ve heard of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  This was one of my favorite books as a child, so when my bug told me he wanted to be The Very Hungry Caterpillar for Book Character Day at school, I was thrilled!

Then things got busy, and the next thing you know, it was 9PM the night before Book Character Day when I realized that I still had not prepared anything for my bug to wear!  It was far too late to go to the store for materials, and it didn’t matter anyway as my bug was already in bed.  I started to panic until I realized that I’m a parent and as everyone knows, parents work well under time and pressure constraints 😀

So I hit my crafting boxes to see what I could piece together.  By 10PM, this is what I had come up with:


This is my bug in his Book Character Day outfit:


This outfit was so easy to make, and it took me less than an hour to pull together.  Best of all, my bug loved it!

To make the shirt and hat, here is what you’ll need:

  • A Green Shirt
  • A Red Beanie (I made one out of an old red T-Shirt I had on hand)
  • Colored Foam Sheets (Construction Paper will work as well if you have that on hand, but you will likely need to double-it down to make it more sturdy)
  • Button Pins or Safety Pins (Optional)
  • Hot Glue Gun/Hot Glue

How I made the the shirt:

  1. First I cut several fruit shapes free-handedly out of the foam and construction paper (I used the fruit shapes that were in the book as reference), and then glued on green “stems.”  (*Note that I had limited foam sheets/colors on hand so I used both foam and construction paper to make all the fruits I wanted; otherwise, I would have used all foam sheets.  Also note, you can cut out any food shapes you would like– I just made fruit shapes because they were easiest for me to cut free-hand and I was pressed for time.)
  2. I then hot-glued the fruit shapes onto some old buttons that could be pinned to the shirt and removed later.  Place the pins where ever you would like on the shirt.  (*If you are OK with fully sacrificing the green shirt you’re using for this project, feel free to hot glue the shapes directly onto the shirt where ever you like.) Just like that, the shirt was complete!

Front and Backs of my Fruit Pins:

How I made the hat:

  1. Again, I cut the shapes of the eyes, nose, and antennae free-handedly out of the foam sheets and construction paper, using the pictures in the book as reference.
  2. At this point, if you have a red beanie, just glue the shapes directly onto the beanie.  Since I did not have a red beanie, I just made one by cutting a beanie shape out of a red shirt and sewing around it, leaving an opening only for the head. (If you have a beanie, you can use that as a pattern to trace and cut around. Also, you can use glue in place of sewing if that is easier for you, or if you do not have sewing materials on hand.)  
  3. Last but not least, I glued the shapes directly onto the hat.
  4. After the glue dried, I put the hat on myself to figure out where I needed to tuck and trim.

Pictures of the outside and inside of the hat:


I paired this hat and shirt with khaki pants and sneakers (it was cool outside) but this could easily pair with a variety of different bottoms and shoes.  My bug is still able to wear the green shirt, and the fruit pins and hat are waiting in queue to be added to a scrapbook I’m working on.

This was a cheap and easy project that took me less than an hour to make, using materials that I already had on hand.  Best of all, this outfit survived the whole school day, including recess and P.E.!

I hope this post gave you some ideas for your own Book Character Day project.  I’d love to hear from you– let me know if you liked this project, or have any questions!