Paper House Crown Template and DIY

Paper House Crown | Mer Mag

If you want to make the paper house crown from our house cookie decorating party (spotlighted on Camille Styles last week) it’s really quite easy! You can freehand one yourself from a poster board or use our template which you can download here.


After downloading the template 

  • You can enlarge to desired size or just use it as a guide for creating your house crown from poster board.
  • If using the template be sure to extend the sides when transferring/tracing onto your poster board. You might even need to add an extra piece in the back depending on the size of the child’s head.
  • Cut out around the top of the house. Use an X-acto knife to cut out the windows and door, being sure to leave the “hinge” of the door for the fold.
  • Wrap the house crown around the child’s head and tape on the backside (adding extra paper if needed as mentioned above)
  • Make a number of these for guest at a birthday party or a housewarming party! Grab some markers and paint if you wish and have your party goers decorate their houses for a fun interactive craft!

Paper House Crown | Mer Mag

Kids Craft Camp Badges


If you are looking to put on a Kids Craft Camp of your own tune into Studio 5 today to see some of my tips on how to make it easy and fun from you very own Kitchen table!



And if you want to follow along with our Kids Craft Camp units, Camping, Painting, Nature and Portraits, then these badges will come in handy. Just click on the image above to download the pdf of all the badges. And be sure to tag your camp images and projects with #mermag and #kidscraftcamp in IG and FB so we can all enjoy.




House Cookies and an Entertaining spotlight on Camille Styles today!


A little while ago Camille Styles asked me to be a part of her Entertaining With series and as I always love a good excuse to celebrate i say yes of course! Deciding on a fanciful kids House Party as the theme, I put together a spread of fun finger foods, fruits and salad and finished it all off with a house cookie decorating party. And we held it in our new industrial studio, Hinterland Workshop!



Mer Mag Cardboard House and Crown

CSEntertainingwithMerMagHouseSpreadWe share my kids favorite summer salad recipe straight from Grandma Mary! Head on over to Camille Styles to get this tasty salad and dressing recipe (that even your kids will love!) and read more about my philosophies for entertaining with kids and more.CSEntertainingwithMerMagMarysSummerSaladDressingCSEntertainingwithMerMagHouseSpread0

I asked Erin, of Dolce by Erin, to make these oversized house cookies for the kids to decorate. She supplied a few blank houses for decorating and then painted a few more based on a two house illustrations I gave her. She used a paintbrush and food coloring and I love how they turned out! (She did the lion and tiger cookies for my Playful book launch party too). The kids loved decorating the blank ones with food markers and even Jessica, our photographer, had to give it a try once the shoot was over. SO fun!

CSEntertainingwithMerMagHouseCookieDecorating3CSEntertainingwithMerMagHouseCookies5 CSEntertainingwithMerMagSummerSalad4KidsFeet

photography by Jessica Peterson

Playfully Made By YOU!


Time for another Playfully Made by YOU! post. I get so giddy and happy when I see your little ones exploring the world of creativity, art and play through my book Playful: Fun Projects to Make with + For Kids.

Like how perfect is little Miette in her twig crown? I love that she collected dried rosemary and lavender twigs for this. Must have smelled amazing. And that lavender color! I’m smitten. Her mom April did the gluing but if you get a low-temp glue gun you can have your little one join in on the gluing fun (the kids used glue guns every day in Kids Craft Camp!).


This image of Lisa’s boy’s with their paper plate lion masks is an all time favorite. I love it when you and your littles take these crafts and run with it. Lisa had them paint with watercolors for the manes, noses and cheeks. LOVE this idea! There’s really no ONE way to do these crafts.


This dreamy light-filled scene, taken by mom Danielle, brings me back to serene moments of childhood. And how fun and playful is the cardboard brownstone in the background? This image just evokes so much imagination in me. I want to jump in and play house right now!


There are slew of templates in the back if you are one for templates but don’t be afraid of winging it either! Quilt maker @asdrexler just freehanded these paper puppets and stuck them on popsicle sticks. No need to make a fuss really – and they turned out so cute!


And speaking of templates, how sweet is Anastatia’s Polly (also pictured in the first image on this post) as she’s looking through Playful and holding up the templates!?



A word on the templates. They aren’t as daunting as you might think. You can trace them or also take them to your local copy shop and have them enlarged and or digitized in just one visit. Then you have them at your disposal in the format you want forever! It’s really worth it I think. I would have LOVED to have added the templates in cd form but that just wasn’t possible for this book. But really this has proven to be the next best thing and works out really well!


Keep sharing your crafts and toys made from Playful! We are all so inspired by them! If you share on FB or Instagram just be sure to use the hashtag #playfultoysandcrafts and perhaps we’ll spotlight you and your little one here!

KIDS CRAFT CAMP Unit 1: Camping

Mer Mag's Kids Craft CampKid Craft Camp Saches + Badges

I’m so excited to share a recap of our first local summer Kids Craft Camp with you! Starting with our first day/unit – CAMPING!Mer Mag's Kids Craft CampMer Mag's Kids Craft CampMer Mag's Kids Craft Camp

We had seven of our nine campers arrive on our first day, suite up in their make-a-face aprons and get right to work getting messy and creative.Mer Mag's Kids Craft Camp

To start things off I thought it would be fun to do a summer Camping Unit so the kids made paper popsicle stick campgrounds (found in our online Kids Craft Camp) and painted little peg people to go inside the tents.

Mer Mag's Kids Craft Camp  Mer Mag's Kids Craft Camp Mer Mag's Kids Craft Camp

To paint the peg people (which were just cut down from thick wooden dowels – the DIY for which is also found in My book Playful under the Playful Village project) the kids taped off the top face portion and then painted the lower portion the color they wanted for the clothing – adding patterns – such as polka dots – if they wished. When that had dried they took the tape off of the top and proceeded to paint the hair and face, etc.

It was so fun seeing the little campers get creative with painting their tents and characters.

Mer Mag's Kids Craft CampMer Mag's Kids Craft Camp

To keep the kids interest for the full three hours of craft camp (which ran from 10-1) we were sure to take breaks. We had a popcorn break at 11:00 where we put popcorn in the middle of our Let’s Playground mat. The kids loved it! (big thanks to my friend Barbara of Art Bar Blog who recommended this and who also helped me with ideas for camp scheduling, etc. She runs such inspiring camps that you should definitely check out!). We then took a lunch break at 12 pm where they kids ate their sack lunches brought from home.

Mer Mag's Kids Craft Camp

Mer Mag's Kids Craft Camp

I also set up creative play areas for the kids to tinker around at if they were (more…)

Playing with Dolls


I’ve been working on my series of oversized craft-along dolls and have been having lots of fun! I’m planning on three different hair styles, starting with this two bun version – so we’ll see how it goes. Each face is hand painted, so each are different, and I’ve loved getting to know these dolls in the process. I think it would be so cute for each doll to come with a necklace that the child could paint or string along themselves. I also love the idea of doing DIY projects for the dresses they come in (like stamping patterns, drawing on them with bleach pens, etc.). And of course you could do many of our crafts here for the dolls as well – such as the cardboard wings, etc.MerMagCraftaLongDolls

I’m still in working on ironing out a few things on these dolls but hope to have my first batch out soon!

Our Week

Lion Pinata from Mer Mag's Kids Craft Camp

As I mentioned yesterday, we held our fist local Kids Craft Camp this week! It was a hit complete with four units, 1) Camping, 2) Nature, 3) Portraits 4) painting/printmaking. The kids sewed their own sashes and created a badge each day to go along with the unit of that day. With finished off with a bang in our painting unit with a piñata party! (the kids helped to paint the mane of this treat holding lion). I’m excited to do more detail recaps next week but be sure to check out our @kidscraftcamp IG feed, as well as @mer_mag for more photos in the mean time!

More things from this week:


Speaking of Kids Craft Camp, having a great discussion here on how instruction in kids art is valuable. What are you thoughts?

A Matisse dress? Yes please

maybe my favorite application for paint swatches

how sweet would a cardboard brownstone doll house be with these row house book shelves!

I’m seriously considering a giant glass corner window like this for the Banister House

more giant woodsy pencil art!!!

This swim suit

This dress

These sandals

This location

Kids Craft Camp this week!

Leaf Crown & Cloak | mer mag

Friends our first local KIDS CRAFT CAMP finished up to day and goodness me I’m beat! It was such great creative fun. We made leaf and twig crowns, splatter painted capes and cloaks, made puppets out of cardboard, and set up camp for little wooden peg friends and more! I’ll be giving a play-by-play of each craft camping unit next week (can’t wait) but for now here’s a few teasers of what’s to come!

Kids Craft Camp | mer mag Kids Craft Camp | mer magKids Craft Camp | mer mag

(colorful markers and coolest glue via Yoobi)

Cardboard Brownstone Dollhouses from PLAYFUL

Cardboard Brownstone Doll House | mer mag

It’s seriously impossible to pick a favorite project from my book Playful: Fun Projects to Make With and For Kids, but i have to say that this cardboard brownstone doll house just might be a crowd favorite. I’ve absolutely loved seeing all the houses you are making from this pattern! Have a look on instagram under the hash tag #playfulbrownstones to get inspired by what everyone is doing! (And if you have made one already, or have plans to do so, make sure you tag it with #playfulbrownstone as well as #playfultoysandcrafts so we can all enjoy! xo).

Cardboard Brownstone Doll House | mer mag

Cardboard Brownstone Doll House | mer mag

I also wanted to share with you a few more of the seriously sweet photos Nicole Gerulat took that never made it into the book. There was SO MUCH good stuff, but seriously….we really had to edit out tons, so the book didn’t go on for days! Had they left it up to me you’d probably be hauling around a webster dictionary sized book of Playful (it was too hard to choose!) so we can thank my fabulous editors who made it possible for Playful to easily fit inside your tote bag!

Cardboard Brownstone Doll House | mer mag Cardboard Brownstone Doll House | mer mag

It’s crazy fun decorating and styling these little houses – you’ll probably get as big of a kick out of it as your little ones do! Meta had the most adorable Maileg Mice on hand at the shoot and I just love that they felt so at home in our brownstones.

Cardboard Brownstone Doll House | mer mag

And speaking of Meta, didn’t she and Brittany knock it out of the ballpark when it came to styling this book?! Particularly on this shoot. Meta found this bed, painted it grey and put together this entire enchanted little girls oasis – and all inside her living room! I’m obsessed. A little girl seriously need to have this as her bedroom. Brittany’s wardrobe outfits are too perfect too. I want them all for my daughter now!

Our little model was a dream too and she seriously got lost in play on this shoot. She loved playing with the dollhouses so much we didn’t really have to tell her to do anything!

Cardboard Brownstone Doll House | mer mag

Once you’ve copied the template it’s crazy easy to keep on making these (and fair warning, you might get addicted! You can see I made two more for our Playful trailer!) Now I want to make a firehouse from these brownstone templates and put a fire pole down the middle of it! Wouldn’t that be the coolest? My boys (and my daughter!) would go nuts for that.

Happy Fathers Day Weekend!

Kid Craft Camp Play Station with Paulo's | mer mag

We’re so excited to for Kids Craft Camp to start next week! We can’t even believe it’s here already. I’ve been working hard on getting everything together for your little ones and have had lots of hands to help. I’ve recently discovered that Jon is the good luck charm when it comes to thrift shopping (second only to Meta of course! she’s got the serious touch). We found SO much great stuff such as these wooden clip boards below (pics from my IG feed). We’re going to use them on a little nature walk Plein Air drawing/watercolor activity and I’m crazy excited about it.

Setting up Kids Craft Camp

I’m also crazy excited about these things I’ve found around the web this week. Check out these Weekend Links:


i HAVE to get this wooden play makeup set for my daughter who’s obsessed with all things pigment, makeup, and lotions

and speaking of makeup, have you ever thought of carving out shapes from your lipstick? tricky but totally awesome

these shadow words are a great drawing activity for older kids! I’m super impressed with the results

Ana’s tiny dancers have my heart

chatting about why we don’t have more natural playscapes in the US for kids here. Any thoughts?

now this is a the kind of glass house I could get on board with!

and this dad wins the prize for awesomeness. and speaking of which…

Happy Father’s Day weekend!