Tag Archive: children

princess hat (hennin)

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 6

Okay, as of five minutes ago I had no idea the correct name for these conical princess hats. Now I do, thanks to the internet! Hennin. I learned something new today!


My daughter turned twenty last month. She’s a wonderful, kind, silly, lovely, funny, odd (in a good way) person. What did she want for her birthday? Anything odd or weird or strange. Anything you’d see in the store and think, “who the heck would want that?”

So that’s exactly what she got: a box full of odd and funny and strange gifts. One of them was a ‘make and decorate your own cardboard pony’ which she had seen at a store and got excited about, as silly 20 year old girls do. When I saw a felt princess hat at the dollar store, I knew it’d go great with her pony (which I instructed her to turn into a unicorn, because unicorns are cool!). The hat was pretty, purple with a bit of ribbon hanging down from the point. But…

I decided it needed more. While spending the evening on the sofa watching people select their new house (one of my favorite past-times), I added some decoration using more ribbon at the point, and embroidery thread in different stitches around the hat. The results were perfect (if you don’t look too closely to see that some of the rows of stitches are not perfectly straight).

She wore this beautiful one-of-a-kind princess hat while opening her other presents the morning of her birthday and sent me picture of her in the princess hat while ‘riding’ her cardboard pony later that day.

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 1

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 2

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 3

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 4

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 5

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 7

twisterfishcrafts princess hat 8

Christmas Holiday Fabric Chain

twisterfishcrafts fabric chain (1)

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I made this fabric chain last year. I love it! I plan to shop for more fun Christmas fabrics and add to the chain this year.

My original intent was to have 24 links in the chain, and to use it as an advent calendar, but I like it so much as is, that I decided not to do that. (You can see what kind of advent calendars I did make in this post.)

This project would be easy for teens who know how to use a sewing machine (or who can learn to sew straight lines with a sewing machine).


I purchased fabric quarters at a craft store for only $1 each. I think I got ten of them in total, in six different patterns. (This also gave me enough fabric to make pillow covers.)

I cut them into strips about 8.5 inches long and 3 inches wide (this allowed me to use most of the fabric with very little waste).

Next I ironed on a strip of lightweight fusible interfacing (8.5 inches by 1.5 inches) to each one.

After folding the strip lengthwise, I used a zig-zag stitch to sew it on all four sides.

Using a straight stitch, I then sewed the small pieces of velcro, one of each side of the strip.

Linked them together, and it was done.

Easy. Fun. Cute!

animal magnets

twisterfishcrafts animal magnets


I’ve had this project pinned to a board on pinterest for a long time. When I was making other animal projects (you can see one of them here) I also made some of these.

Here’s the link to where the idea came from on the site Lovely Indeed. (Click on that link to see her instructions.)


I found inexpensive plastic animals that had a visible seam. They divided in half easily by working a straight edge around the seam.

Then I painted each half of each animal a different color. Spray paint worked best, but I did use craft paint on a few of these.

My animals were hollow, so I didn’t need to drill a hole for the magnets. At my large home store I found super magnets in a few different sizes. I stacked a few of these super magnets together then used super glue to attach to a flat magnet. Then super glued the back of that flat magnet to the plastic animal.

Ta da! Tell me, who wouldn’t want a blue dinosaur’s butt as a magnet?

Advent Calendars

twisterfishcrafts advent calendar bags (1)



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After years of Lego advent calendars, it was time to do something different.

I decided to make an advent calendar so I did a little online searching for ideas — I liked the ones that had an activity to do each day.

Using blank business cards I had leftover from another craft, I printed an idea for each day. I used a large font and printed them in red.

At a big box store I found packs of colorful paper goodie bags in the clearance section. Some of the packs were only 90 cents each while a few were almost $2. I purchased a few different colors and patterns. All totaled less than $10, and there are enough left over to do another set for next year.

With my star and snowflake paper punches I took scraps of paper in white, green, and gold, and punched out a bunch of these shapes.

Using scrapbook paper with numbers on them, along with a few number stickers, I was able to find enough numbers from 1 to 24.

Assembly was easy: I put a card in a paper bag and sewed it closed using my sewing machine, sewing the number and some of the snowflakes and stars along with it.

I was careful to put easier activities (such as “make a card for your grandparents”) on days I knew we’d be busy with school and piano practice and other obligations, and more complex activities (such as “make a bird feeder for the winter birds”) for the weekend days when we’d have more time.

Tied the stack of these bags up with a ribbon, and now they’re ready for December 1st!


But …

My almost 9 year old told me that advent calendars must have chocolate. I don’t know where he got this idea since the advent calendars he’s had in recent years (Lego) didn’t have chocolate, but he was insistent.

So I made a second advent calendar using a 24 mini muffin baking tin. We put 2 chocolate kisses in each of the 24 spots. Then we numbering circles I punched from card stock and used glue dots to adhere them to larger circle tags. I put ribbons on those tags, and two small pieces of sticky-back magnets on the back of each one, to keep the chocolates in and the numbers in place.

Ta-da! Advent calendar #2. With chocolate.

twisterfishcrafts advent calendar tin

abc canvas

After making word art canvases with advice and quotes and one for my anniversary (it has our names and our wedding date along with a line from our favorite song that we danced to), I had planned to make one with the ABCs and finally finished it this week.

What I love about this one is that I used a few different fonts as well as a mix of upper-case and lower-case letters. The final piece is so cute and will be perfect for a baby’s nursery.


First I placed raised (3D) stickers onto a canvas. I used what I had leftover from other projects.

abc canvas 1

Then I applied a few coats of Mod Podge (allowing each coat to dry completely before adding the next one). I made sure to get the Mod Podge into every nook and cranny of each letter. Below is what it looked like after applying a generous coat of Mod Podge.

abc canvas 2

As seen below, the piece was nice and shiny after all the Mod Podge had been applied and had dried.

abc canvas 3

I used spray paint to cover the canvas. It took at least three coats of paint (again, I allowed each coat to dry before spraying on the next coat).  I also made sure to paint the edges of the canvas.

I attached it to a wooden frame and put on a clip for hanging.

abc canvas 4

And the finished piece!

abc canvas

Valentine’s Day puzzles

My 1st grade son is having a Valentine’s Day party at school and I offered to plan a game or craft for the party. I wanted something that was not a Valentine card, and something that could be used again and again (or at least more than once!). While searching the internet, nothing new popped out at me, except for a piece of art made out of wooden shims. See the art here.

I thought, hey, I can do this on a smaller scale by using Popsicle sticks and use Sharpies to draw hearts on them. No glue or adhesive is necessary, since the sticks will be used as a puzzle. After making each heart puzzle I put a small rubber band around the sticks. Now at the party the kids can put them together like a puzzle, and then each child can take one home.

Making 25 of these didn’t take me long at all — maybe an hour or so. If this was for older children, I’d have them design their own hearts on the sticks, but for these younger children, making them ready to go was the better idea.

I’m happy with how these came out (I made each puzzle unique), and best of all they were easy and cheap to make. And fun!

heart puzzle (1)

heart puzzle (2)

heart puzzle (6)

heart puzzle (7)

heart puzzle (4)

heart puzzle (5)

heart puzzle (3)

heart puzzle (9)

heart puzzle (10)

heart puzzle (11)

Edited to add these pictures of my 7 year old making his own heart puzzle. He did a great job! I think his first grade class might just be able to make their own at the party — but I’ll have them use magic markers rather than Sharpies!

7 year old making heart

7 year old heart


Updated again: We made a few more of these using magic markers and they worked great!

felt Christmas tree ornaments

The first felt Christmas tree ornament I made was back when my oldest son was in preschool. He is now in college. The ornament was not as polished as these more recent ones are. Instead it was big and bulky and I apologize to whomever I gave it to as a gift. They must have thought I didn’t like them. Sorry about that.

Shortly after that first one I got in the groove of making these so that they come out nicely each time. Each tree ornament is slightly different from the next, and that’s one of the reasons I love them so. Lately I’ve enjoyed making them more narrow and pointy, rather than fat and rounded. Sometimes I put a star at the top (either a star button or a star made out of a yellow craft foam sheet). I like to add a couple jingle bells to each ornament so that when they are touched, they give off a lovely holiday sound.

As for the buttons, I’ve used regular buttons that I had around the house (you know, those extra buttons that come with shirts and other clothing items) and have also purchased colorful buttons for this project. In past years I’ve also purchased star and heart shaped buttons, and this year I got colorful mini buttons from the craft store, in both round and star shapes.

These felt tree ornaments are nice to hang on your Christmas tree, of course, and also make nice gift toppers. Wrap a gift then use rick rack to tie on the felt ornament. Very festive and adds a homemade touch to the gift.


Supplies and some tree ornaments from previous years:




STEP #1: Fold a 9×12 piece of green felt lengthwise.

fold felt in half

STEP #2: Use a permanent marker to draw a tree shape.

I used an ornament from a previous year as a guide.

I wanted it shorter than that tree, so only traced the top 2/3 of the ornament.

using a finished ornament to trace the tree shape

trace the tree shape

STEP #3: Cut it out.

cut out

STEP #4: Flip the remaining felt to make more trees.

Doing it this way produces very little wasted felt.

Continue this and you should get 4 trees out of the one piece of felt.

flip for another tree

cut out four trees

An easy way to make each tree symmetrical is to fold it in half and cut it using the left side as a guide.

fold to cut

four trees from one piece of felt

STEP #5: Cut a strip of brown felt, about 1-inch wide.

To make tree trunks, cut this strip into 2-inch sections, and fold each piece in half.

brown felt for tree trunk

about 2 inches of brown felt per tree

ready to decorate

STEP #6: Using colorful embroidery floss (split into 3 strands), sew on the buttons and jingle bells to one side of each piece of tree-shaped felt.

start sewing on ornaments

one side done

the back

STEP #7: Place the two pieces of green felt together, buttons on the outside, and sew them together using more of the embroidery floss (use any color you prefer).

I start and finish at the tree trunk.

Attach the rick rack to the top also using embroidery floss.

Add a star button, if desired.

on tree

wooden story cubes

Here’s another pinterest find that I made.

You purchase wooden cubes at a craft store and put a design/picture on each side. When you’re in need of something to do with a young (or semi-young child), such as at a doctor’s waiting room, restaurant, etc., these are easy to pull out of a purse or child’s backpack. Each person takes a turn rolling and makes up a story out of the pictures that come up. You can make it as simple (roll only 2 dice) or complicated (roll all 6) as you’d like, depending on the time you have and the age of the child.

The idea is so simple, and the cost very low (with the 40% coupon from my local craft store, these wood cubes were less than $1), and easy to keep in my purse … very successful indeed! So glad I did this one. Here is the link to the original post about these:   wooden story cubes

Notes on this project:

  • 3/4-inch dice are very small. Like OH MY GOSH I HAD NO IDEA HOW SOME OF THESE DESIGNS ARE IMPOSSIBLE TO DRAW ON SUCH A SMALL SPACE kind of small. If I were to do it again (and I will … for gifts), next time I’ll make them out of 1-inch wooden blocks. That extra 1/4-inch will make the drawing a whole lot less stressful.
  • Very fine line permanent markers work well, as long as you’re okay with them bleeding a bit.
  • 6 dice with 6 sides each means you have to come up with 36 designs. At first I thought that wouldn’t be a problem. Oh, it was a problem. Took me a couple hours to think up enough things, mostly because the item had to be simple enough to fit on the small dice, and clear enough so that the child knows what it is. (After completing all 36 pictures, we ended up with about 4 that turned out to be mystery pictures … when these are rolled, the child gets to use his/her imagination about what the picture really is!)
  • On the site this idea came from, they recommend putting some sort of coating on the dice after the drawings are done, to protect it. I will do this at some point, but they work fine without the coating.
  • Another suggestion was to lightly sand the edges to give them a softer, rounded feel. Again, I might do this, but it’s not necessary.
  • I will be making a simple draw-string bag to hold these story cubes. A plastic zipper baggie works too.
  • If you don’t have drawing skills, you can cut out small pictures from magazines and use clear glue to put them on the cubes. If you do it this way, put a clear coating of the glue on top to protect the picture.