DIY Cardboard Gingerbread Men

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Little O has been begging to make gingerbread men the Christmas season. So we finally got to it! – Well of the cardboard variety that is! He has so much fun making different characters, his most favorite being Santa which he now keeps at his bedside each night (this kids a solid through and through believer). MerMagCardbaordGingerbreadSantaDIY2MerMagCardbaordGingerbreadMen+PlaygroundMat1I think it would be so fun to cut up a bunch of these guys and have a little kids Christmas party crafternoon decorating cardboard gingerbread men and women. Would that be the best? I think I must do it some time.

To make these:

  • Download the gingerbread man template (I’ve created an easy 11×14 template which you can print onto two 8.5×11 sheets of paper, or you can size it smaller if you wish).
  • Trace template onto cardboard.
  • Cut out gingerbread men from cardboard. (I used a utility knife for this part)
  • Grab your fabric scraps, paint, buttons, beads and more to decorate you cardboard gingerbread men!

 

 

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I’m not kidding when I say this kid LOVED making this Santa and additional gingerbread men. He’s such a fun kid to craft with. He LOVES toys and characters and always has the sweetest and silliest things to say about it all when crafting. He was very particular about his Santa and insisted he have fur on his cap.

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And how cute are these Hanna Andersson pj’s btw? I think they are having a sale on all their pj’s right just in time for that special Christmas even pj cuddle time! (And what is it about stripes? all my kids have this same style and I die when they wear them all cuddled together for story time).

MerMagCardbaordGingerbreadSantaHannaPjs2MerMagCardbaordGingerbreadMen+PlaygroundMatAlso how cool is this leather Let’s Playground mat!? It’s absolutely our new go to mat for crafting. SO easy to wipe clean and perfect for dumping out all our fun supplies onto. Oh and a girl named Marilee is one of the founders so how can I not love it?!!! ;)

And…in case you’re wondering Olllie did get to make his own batch of real gingerbread men with grandma this afternoon. Nom nom. It’s feeling so festive around these parts!!

 

Trapeze dolls for Christmas

trapeze dolls from the book Playful | Mer MagI’ve been working on a things for some Christmas bazars, such as Bijou, and made a bunch of trapeze dolls from my book Playful. I think it would be so cute to have one or two of these hanging from the tree come Christmas morning along with the book Playful! So sweet right?! I’m working on having a bunch more in the shop soon too!

 

DIY Thanksgiving Craft Round up!

DIY Thanksgiving Round Up | mer mag

We’re getting all set for Turkey Day this week with a round up of Mer Mag Thanksgiving crafts! These are sure to keep little hands busy and creative while you’re finishing the touches to your turkey’s and pumpkin pies! I might even suggest assigning an older cousin to the craft table to gather a bunch of supplies such as recycled pringles cans (put the chips out for a snack!), paper bags, paper cups, assorted colored card stock, scraps of fabric, markers or whatever you might have on hand.

Click on the links to get templates and full DIY’s for all of these crafts!

1, Paper Puppet Turkey 2, Pringle Can Pilgrims 3, Paper Bag Thankful Place Mats

DIY Thanksgiving Round Up | mer mag

4, Paper Cup Turkey and Place Mat Downloads 5, Turkey Coloring Page Download 6, Feather Headbands 7, Autumn Leaf Crown

 

Turn a Pair of Pringle Cans into Pilgrims this Thanksgiving!

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We don’t have a lot of Thanksgiving decor. I’m one of those that doesn’t mind Christmas merging into Thanksgiving because I think the spirit behind both holidays needs to go together. But I also think the history behind the first Thanksgiving and of course the attitude of gratitude needs to be shared and fostered. So this year we decided to make a pair of pilgrims out of discarded Pringle chip cans. You can find instrux over on Minted’s Julep blog today.

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Once you’ve made your pilgrims you can keep going with a set of Wampanoag Native American’s that feasted with the settlers (and introduced popcorn, yay!). I also think it’s important to tell the true story of the Native Americans this time of year. I found this on the National Geo Kids site: “The peace between the Native Americans and settlers lasted for only a generation. The Wampanoag people do not share in the popular reverence for the traditional New England Thanksgiving. For them, the holiday is a reminder of betrayal and bloodshed. Since 1970, many native people have gathered at the statue of Massasoit in Plymouth, Massachusetts each Thanksgiving Day to remember their ancestors and the strength of the Wampanoag.”

So in addition to gratitude we talk about religious freedom, respecting cultures, working together while loving and accepting differences in others and more. All while sharing pumpkin pie and fluffy mashed potatoes with loved ones.

 

An Olive Juice Kids, Pinhole Press and PLAYFUL Holiday giveaway!

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I’m beyond thrilled to share this killer giveaway I have in store for you! I’ve teamed up with Olive Juice and Pinhole Press to bring you a REALLY REALLY great Christmas giveaway!! Finding just the right card and wardrobe for your little ones for this year’s Christmas card has never been sweeter! Because not only is Pinhole Press giving one lucky winner $150 toward their holiday cards but Olive Juice is also giving away $150 in clothing for you to pick from for your little ones! How completely cool is that?!!! (I say it’s peppermint ice cool ;)). And to make things that much more merry, i’ve decided to throw in a signed copy of my book PLAYFUL! Who knows maybe you’ll make your own twig crown or cardboard brownstone house for your family photo-shoot too!

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I’ve been a long time fan of the simple and utterly lovely design that Pinhole Press brings to the table of personalized cards and gifts. I love so many of their Holiday card designs that we just couldn’t settle on one! This JOY card design caught my eye. But I’m also really fond of this Red Accordion design.MerMagChristmasCardMerandM1

The photos from our shoot, taken by photographer Jesse Draper, work so well with the cards too. He captured so many special moments that I’ll forever treasure (such as my boys who were just playing with these nuts and bolts off to the side and he caught them in the act. So cute!).MerMagChristmasCardBoys

But let’s talk about the cutest kids clothing you’ve ever seen shall we? I’ve also loved Olive Juice for a long time and often hoped I’d have a little girl to dress up in their perfect little frocks. I’m now more than happy to have a little doll of my own to dress up in classic dresses such as this festive red corduroy Becca Dress, but who knew that I didn’t have to wait until I had a girl to enjoy what Olive Juice has to offer?! To see more of our Olive Juice clothing pics head on over the the Pinhole Press blogMerMagChristmasCardJonandM4b

Olive Juice has a “Little Brother” section filled with classic looks for little boys and I love everything they have. Little O was thrilled to learn that they had red Bailey Overalls. (He immediately felt like he was “fire Mario” when wearing them so was naturally as happy as a clam.)

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I’m also over the moon about this Wonderland Jumper in Crème Brûlée. It will be perfect this winter.

And isn’t this little polka dot version of the Becca dress on Miss M is just dreamy? MerMagChristmasCardMerandM2MerMagChristmasCardMerandM3

Mohawk Pinhole Press

 

And if you’re like me and can’t pick just one photo from your shoot, you can always go with this Merry Christmas Collage card that makes it possible to enjoy bunches of photos fun.

Little A wore the softest Playtime Hoodie over a cute pair of grey Bailey overalls. He loves how snuggly the hoodie is and wants to wear it constantly. mer mag Christmas card photosMerMagChristmasCardMerandM4MerMagChristmasCardAcrownmermagchristmascardphotos10bMerMagChristmasCardMissMmer mag Christmas card photosmer mag Christmas card photos

To enter this give away visit Olive Juice Kids and Pinhole Press for some great Holiday card ideas. Then comment below on what you think makes a great family photo. You have until Wed. Nov. 26, the night before Thanksgiving, to enter. Good luck!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

photography by Jesse Draper

Making a Simple Autumn Leaf Crown

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We had some fun collecting fall leaves and making them into simple crowns. We used some lovely vintage trimmings from the French shop Exquisite Threads which adds just the perfect touch.

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Little Miss had to have one for her “baby” doll as well so of course we made one.

If you want to make your own they are super easy and a lovely fall activity to do with your little. Simple collect a handful of large and smaller leaves. Line up all the larger ones in the back and stitch together using a sewing machine. Line the smaller ones in front and stitch a top the back ones. Then pick out a lovely ribbon or trimming and stitch to the very front. We then stitch on additional ribbon to the back to tie together as our beautiful trimmings weren’t large enough to fit around the entire head. We also cut a bit of a pointy crown shape out of the back leaves for fun.

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This fall afternoon with my little girl was really so much fun – playing dollies and dress up. It’s a fun change having a girl. I love all our family dynamics and it’s fun to have this little one’s personality added to the bunch! She loves dressing up which is a lot of fun.

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Time for another big project?

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We’ve been on the lookout for another big project for some time and we think we might have just found it in this beautiful (but desperately needing some love) Victorian.

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Aren’t the windows just grand? I’m actually loving that wallpaper too (although it’s probably going to go).

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We’ll know more on this by the end of the week hopefully! Crossing our fingers as I can see soo many more mer mag moments here.

DIY Glow-in-the-Dark Skeleton Treat Bucket! with Scotch® Duct Tape

Glow-in-the-Dark Duct Tape Skeleton Treat Bucket | mer mag

You can probably tell that we’re crazy about Halloween! And we’re crazy about about duct tape! So when Scotch® Duct Tape (one of the fabulous sponsors of my PLAYFUL book launch party!) asked me to create something from their fun new line of tapes (such as a glow-in-the-dark one!! so cool and spooky!) I said yes, of course! I immediately went to work and came up with a simple DIY skeleton trick-or-treat bucket (that glows in the dark!), complete with silly dangling arms and legs.

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Glow-in-the-Dark Duct Tape Skeleton Treat Bucket | mer mag

To make this glow-in-the-dark skeleton trick-or-treat bucket you will need:

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Make these simple Halloween Costumes with Kids 21

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We love it when a great costume uses clothing your child will wear again and has wow elements that are simple, affordable and easy to make (did someone say cardboard?). This little clown, baby bat and garden fairy costume do just that! Head over to kids fashion site Kids21 for our ideas on to put these together in no time! They even share ideas for clothing pairings making it super simple.

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Whether he’s a happy clown or a grumpy one…he’s still so darn adorable. These giant pompoms make me so happy. We’re obsessed with these Mabo Kids leggings too. He want’s one in every style they offer. And these Bisgaard silver boots I mean c’mon….

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I’m dying over how sweet Miss M looks as this baby bat. She’s a candy monster whenever it’s in her sights. We’ll have to watch out come tricks-or-treats!

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My little niece made the most perfect garden fairy. I love how this idea could work for any age.

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Prettiest garden fairy frock from Mabo Kids (I want everything from Emily’s fall line! SOOO good).

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For ideas on how to make put these together see more on Kids 21

 

photography by Trisha Zemp