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!!)

Printable Valentine Faces to Decorate!

Candy Hairbow & Glasses Valentine Face

I threw together a few last-minute Valentines for your little love bird to download and pass along. We had fun decorating these with tootsie roll candy bows and heart shaped glasses. Heart Glasses Valentine Face

I think a candy bow tie would be darling to. You can really have fun with these! Candy Hairbow Valentine Face

Click here to download the printable here and get decorating!

Smarties Flower Valentines


We put together some fun and simple flower Valentines made from Smarties candies. They were so easy and fast and the perfect thing for you little one to pass out to their classmates.

Smartie Flower Valentines

Head on over to Julep for the full diy.

Smartie Flower Valentines

My Little Sugar Plum Fairy

Sugar Plum Fairy | Mer Mag

Sugar Plum Fairy | Mer Mag

I’m loving this stage in Miss M’s life. Two is so cute (if not extra challenging at times). This girl is such a little performer, like her dad. She loves to make you laugh, to dance, to sing and more.

We’re so in love with this tutu from the darling French company Bonton. It’s made to stick straight out and it’s simply the cutest darn thing you ever did see. Perfect for my little Sugar Plum Fairy (I can’t wait until she’s older and I can take her to see the Nutcracker ballet!).

DIY LED Star Strand


We’ve been having a lot of fun getting festive with LED light strands, paper stars and perler beads. Learn how your little one can make this simple star strand over on Julep!DIYLedStarGarland2 DIYLedStarGarland4 DIYLedStarGarland5 DIYLedStarGarland6b cardboard house with LED star strand

DIY Cardboard Gingerbread Men


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!




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.


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!


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.

MerMagPringleCanPilgrims2 MerMagPringleCanPilgrims3

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.