We’re off to Disneyland!


We surprised the kids with tickets to Disneyland on Easter Sunday. We hid them under their plates at brunch. I had made Mickey Mouse necklaces (from my Playful wooden doll face necklace DIY) and given them to each child. We asked them why the Easter bunny would bring these to them and they just shrugged. So we prompted them to look under their plates to find vintage tickets that I had printed out for them (as place holders of course). The went crazy! We then told them that we were leaving that night…which was followed by looks of unbelief and squeals. So much fun!



Excited to share more when we return. In the meant time feel free to follow along with me on Instagram. xo

Fill your Easter basket with Playful goodies this year!

Cardbaord Easter Bunny Ears | Mer Mag

We’ve been having fun playing with PLAYFUL at our house as of late. You might notice that I love to use holidays and celebrations as great ways to encourage creativity with kids. So why not make a Playful themed Easter basket this year!?

Playful Easter Basket | Mer Mag

Start by filling the baskets with little DIY goodies from the book, such as a few paper puppets (which you could make on the small side such as we did here with the cake toppers) and have them poking out of the basket. Fun DIY materials such as wooden balls and a disc for your little one to paint their own doll face necklace would be so cute too! Add a few other fun trinkets (we love vintages finds such as this sweet bunny, plastic plane & car and necklace), creative supplies (such as these fun Yoobi pencils and clay) some tasty treats along side the book Playful: Fun Projects to Make With and For Kids, and your little bunny will be all set for a creative and playful Easter! Playful Easter Basket | Mer Mag

All the kids in our house have been crazy about our bandit bunny mask so it was only natural that our Playful trapeze doll get one too! You can download a template for mask sized just for her here! (and of course if you decide to make your doll a different size than the patterns in the book adjust the mask accordingly).

Trapeze Doll Bunny Bandit Mask | Mer Mag

Playful Easter Basket | Mer Mag


We like to have one fun “wow” item in each basket so this doll would be perfect. There is also a little bunny pillow DIY in the book (more…)

Make a Bandit Bunny Mask for Easter

Bandit Bunny Mask | Mer Mag

My boys are getting older and therefore getting more opinionated about what they will and will not wear/do/etc. Anything cutesy is pretty much off the table. Bunny ear headbands are in the banned group. Solution? Put a bandit mask on the bunny ears and suddenly it’s no longer cutesy but cool! And I get to still see him as a cute little bouncing bunny. Win win.

Bandit Bunny Mask | Mer Mag

To get the template and full DIY instructions for this bandit bunny mask head over to Julep.

Bandit Bunny Mask | Mer Mag

I termed this a bandit bunny mask but he quickly informed me that he was a ninja bunny. Way cooler…

Bandit Bunny Mask | Mer Mag

(oh an he’ll still wear overalls thanks to Mario. Just don’t call him cute or he’ll go all ninja on you ;))

Bandit Bunny Mask | Mer Mag

Pencil Holder Heads from PLAYFUL

Pencil Holder Heads from Mer Mag's book PLAYFUL

To get my kids to more excited about doing their homework I put a set of freshly sharpened pencils into one of our Pencil Head Holders from my book Playful: Fun Projects to Make with and For Kids. It totally works! They pick their favorite pencil and get down to business! You can also store your kids (or your own!) set of colored pencils into each head making for a fun and colorful addition to your art station! You can learn more bout how to make these in my book Playful.


photo by Nicole Gerulat for Playful

Out of the Mouth of Babes

bansiter house sillies and snuggles | mer magbansiter house sillies and snuggles | mer mag

My little O said the silliest thing to me the other day after I asked him to finish his food. He responded with “Mom, I can’t eat anymore right now. I have to wait until the food in my stomach finishes downloading.” Ha! What a little goof. Silliest kid I know.

The Banister House



If you’ve been following me on instagram you’ll know that at the beginning of the year we purchased a historic home we lovingly call The Banister House (after it’s standout banister-photos of which I’ll show at a later time). It’s been a long time coming for us as we’ve been housesitting for in-laws for the past year and a half, and renting and constantly moving from state to state prior to that. So having a place to really call home (hopefully for more than 2 years?) has been priceless for our family. And we LOVE it. Like love it. I don’t like to admit sometimes that i’m so influenced by my immediate surroundings but I am. A lot. I know we are all are and that is why good design is so important for moral, but I know that I’m extra sensitive to it. And really we all need a place to call OURS, right? I know it’s also been so good for the moral our kids to have a place that they know is theirs too.


The house has incredible bones. Over the Christmas break we painted and plastered up a few walls (after knocking down 70’s paneling, closets, tearing off moldy wallpaper, and much more). We got to work on the upstairs rooms first as well as the dining room so that we had places to live. I’m in love with the tall arched ceilings and the tall baseboards.


We’ve since settled in a bit while still working on the downstairs rooms.


It’s been nice for the kids to have a space to spread out and play (oh and do boys ever make their beds?).

banisterhousepProcessed with VSCOcam with t1 preset  banisterhousejthe banister house

Jon and I are in the room just across the way from the kids.


I’ve had to put my office (which is already so messy! eep! Works waits for no home renovator right? ;)) in our room for now as we try and figure out how to plaster our crumbling walls downstairs.


For the dining room downstairs we had to remove old 70’s wood paneling and shag carpet. I painted one of the walls with black chalk board paint. This room is fun because it’s actually part of the very first original house witch was just cabin. The front 2 story victorian portion of the home was added years later. The old kitchen is now the bathroom and the patio is now the kitchen.

banisterhouseothe banister housebanisterhouseSnuggles

This last photos shows a bit of what we’re up against with our downstairs rooms (which consists of our living room, dining room, kitchen, bathroom and my office). You can see that when trying to tear off the old wallpaper the plaster walls just started to crumble down (a few more before’s here). There is no lath – just adobe brick – so we’re trying to get in a plaster expert to see what our options are. It’s a bit of a longer road ahead of us for these rooms than I had hoped but I’m excited to get it taken care of and done right. We also have a big bathroom remodel in our future which will be exciting. ;)


Stay tuned as I continue to share more before and afters of our Banister House progress! (and please if you have any tips for historic home owners we’d love to hear them!).

DIY Flower Stamps


Spring is just around the corner and we can feel it in the air! So we’re celebrating by getting our DIY stamp making on and creating and playing with a new set of floral stamps – made just for the occasion! (and you can me over on Studio 5 presenting these stamps today too at 11:00).


I pulled my little 2yr old in on this project with me and let me tell you she LOVED it. It was really fun to experience her excitement and involvement and definitely left me giddy with anticipation for the many more mommy-and-me crafts that await us!


We made these DIY flower stamps the same way we made our geometric and silly face stamps sets. Got here and here for the full diy on how to put together these simple stamps with just wood blocks and craft foam found at your local craft store. And to make this flower set, you’ll need to download the flower stamp templates here.


I’ve found that stamps are such a great craft for ALL ages. Toddlers and preschoolers just be introduced to color and shape and be left to just play and experience. Older kids can start become more intentional in their approach and design, even adding their own touches with pens and markers, such as what my boys did with our geometric stamps. And let’s be honest, us moms will be playing with these long after the little ones are in bed! I know I did!


This particular set of floral stamps is great for so many things. I love the idea of encouraging your little one to make a simple work of art or even a card – say for Mother’s Day?! But I’m also crazy about the idea of making patterns which can be applied to fabrics and totes bags and more! I say this so much on this blog but I truly mean it when I say, “the options are endless!” ;).


And how about this little flower fairy? Can you tell she’s a big fan of all things pigment? She loves colorful paints, inks, markers and yes even (if not especially) make-up. This is her own handiwork on her sweet little face. We had to buckle down and get her her own set of kids play make-up because she would go on a full scale mole hunt for mine almost all day every day. Like Seriously. So we try to run with the playful dress up side of make up – making it all apart of the fun art we create. And she’s pretty thrilled with it.


Isabel Garretón Spring Easter Dress and Doll


We love finding sweet little dresses, especially around spring/Easter time, so when Isabel Garretón contacted us about their line of dresses we were so excited to find this darling coral pink Color Block dress just perfect for little M. And then when we discovered that they offer a service where your little one can design their own matching doll, well…Little M and I were all over that!


Little M is a great combination of free spirit, stomping and romping wild child and sweet doll loving delicately dancing sprite. (Yes I was a lot like that too but I’ve learned to never assumed your children are like you ;) The surprises they bring to the table are the most exciting of challenges that we wouldn’t change for anything). She loved picking out her doll adorning her with long black curls and matching little coral pink dress.



One minute she’ll be quietly sitting and playing sweet songs for her doll…and then tossing her up in the air the next. I’m so excited for Easter with her this year as I think she’ll really get into the egg hunt and all the fancy dress wearing.


DIY Arsty Scrap Paper Necklace


We had fun turning simple colorful paper scraps into a sweet little necklace. It’ so easy and I love the fun and artsy vibe in the end.


Head over to Minted for the full DIY.

paperscrapnecklace1mermag  paperscrapnecklace3mermag paperscrapnecklace4mermag

And how sweet is our little neighbor Mia? She’s a dream.

paperscrapnecklacemermagmabo kids dress

sweet dresses by Mabo Kids. Sweater from Aymara knitwear.

PLAYFUL Puppets for Birthday Cake and Cupcake toppers

PaperPuppetCakeToppersfromMerMagsPlayful1bWhen I was making the various toys and crafts for my book Playful: Fun Projects to Make With and For Kids, I was constantly thinking of alternative ways of using each one them. It was sometimes hard to pick just one solution for the book! So I often gave a couple of tips along the way to show you how you could vary it up. One of those tips was to use my paper puppet parade animals for birthday cake and cupcake toppers! I’ve been dying to do this for sometime and with my son’s birthday coming up and after Good Things Utah was kind enough to invite me on their show yesterday, I knew it was the perfect time to do just that!




I love the versatility of these puppets. I show them in my book as oversized animal puppets which would also be so great at a birthday party. You could put on a play or a giant puppet show or just run through the grass with these critters!

Playful Puppet Parade from Mer Mag's book

(above photo by Nicole Gerulat for my book Playful)

Or you could scale them down and use them to top off cupcakes & cakes and then pass them out as take home favors for your little guests! Just make sure to string a sheet in a hallway for quick shadow puppet play after all the cake and ice cream is eaten! Seriously SO fun. I even love how Reagan, Good Things Utah host, mentioned using these as cards too! How cute would this elephant be for the perfect birthday invitation?! Just place it in an envelope and drop it in the mail. Done!



Another thing I love about using my paper puppet templates (found in the back of my book PLAYFUL) for cake toppers is that they easily dress up any cake, homemade or store bought! This particular cake was made by my friend Lydia of Vintage Cakes by Lydia from scratch and it is DELICIOUS!!! (she makes the prettiest and yummiest cakes ever! If you have an event coming up definitely check her out. Naturally this baked beauty was quickly devoured by my little animals post shoot).


PaperPuppetCakeToppersfromMerMagsPlayful9And if you’re interested in seeing me on Good Things Utah and getting more inspiration you can see the segment here on online. (I alway feel so self conscious on camera but I do love to chat about my obsessions with kiddie crafts!!)