Tag Archive: teens

nailed it

twisterfishcrafts nailed it (6)

My ten year old wanted to make his big sister a special Christmas gift. A few weeks before the holiday they were both saying “nailed it” over and over and over to each other. Together we decided to get a piece of wood at the craft store, spray paint it, then hammer nails to form the words ‘nailed it’. He chose the font, and I did the nailing, because it was a lot harder than I thought it would be to nail those little things into the wood and he just couldn’t manage the hammer. This project took a few days and many sore fingers, but it was well worth it! His sister loved the present and it’s now displayed in her college apartment for all to see.

twisterfishcrafts nailed it (1)

twisterfishcrafts nailed it (2)


twisterfishcrafts nailed it (4)

twisterfishcrafts nailed it (5)

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?

life advice canvas art

My teenage daughter likes to get creative in the kitchen and will bake often, but she usually doesn’t do many crafts. Then one day recently she asked if she could use my supplies to make art for her bedroom. Of course!

She had purchased posters and decided to add homemade art by recreating a poster she had seen online. She took the words from the poster and used Sharpies and stickers to make her art on canvas. For the word “tree” she used one of my stencils and some craft paint and put it on newspaper.  It looks great!

The best part — though it wasn’t intentional — was her personal touch of painting “Make Mistakes” on top of some of the other words. The reason she did this is because when she completed the bottom line and looked at the canvas, she realized she had done one line twice. While she and I were talking about painting over that section, a friend of hers suggested writing “make mistakes” and that was the perfect solution!

life advice canvas

stencil tree on 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

a place to display earrings

So you’ve heard of pinterest? Turns out it’s easy to get in a pinning habit, but not do anything about it. I was overwhelmed by pinterest when I started — mainly wondering how the whole thing worked in the first place — but quickly figured it out and decided to only pin ideas I’d actually attempt to accomplish, whether it be a recipe or craft.

I had viewed many items on pinterest, without pinning too many of them, but one stayed in my head and I thought of it often. It was a way to display and store earrings. So one day I was at the grocery store and saw something that made me think, “hey, this could work for a project like that one”.  I purchased the item, came home and made it. One day, start to finish.

The earring holder I originally saw on pinterest was so pretty it looked like art as well as being useful. But it involved a trip to the hardware store (I do try to avoid that place), a $10 item, wire cutters, a few other tools, molding or a frame, etc. Too much. That’s why I didn’t pin it. But once the idea was stuck in my head, I starting looking at items in stores wondering if any of them would work. This one day in the grocery store got me thinking, yet again, that I could change things a bit and still create a useful and pretty earring holder.

My grocery store had a large selection of grilling items. My eye caught a disposable grill pan. At first I thought I would pick one up to actually use on the grill (what a concept!) but quickly realized it would also be perfect for this earring holder project that has been growing in my head. Best part: $1.99! And no wire cutters needed.

Once I got home I needed to make it pretty. I wasn’t going to use a frame around it, mainly due to the cost… I wanted to keep this as cheap as possible, in case it didn’t work out. I remembered that at the dollar bin at a big box store I had picked up some cute ribbon a few weeks prior, and weaved some of that around the edges. Used about 50 cents worth of ribbon. Perfect!

From my tool bin I got out two picture hanging hooks and used those to hang it on the wall. By the time my teenage daughter came home from school, the new earring holder was on her wall, waiting for her to display her many earrings.

This project was less than $3 and it’s cute and functional.