Tag Archive: playtime

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

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!

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.