Kids’ Crafts: Homemade Father’s Day Gift Ideas

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For fathers, a homemade gift from their kid can mean a lot more than any item bought from the store. And for kids, there’s nothing more exciting than seeing Dad light up when he opens a gift made just for him. Kids get a kick out of seeing Dad using the gift they worked hard to make, especially if it is weeks, months or years in the future. Help your kid make a craft Dad can use right away with these homemade Father’s Day gift ideas.

Mr. Morning
The coffee mug is an obvious classic, and for good reason. Coffee-drinking Dads can always use a nice mug to enjoy their morning wake-up medicine. They can take it to the office to show it off on their desk or keep it at home. Get inspirational coffee mugs with a message that’s perfect for Dad, a novelty mug for his sense of humor or a personalized mug that allows you to add artwork and messages to a sturdy design.

A Thousand Words
On Father’s Day you’ll definitely be making some new memories with Dad, which makes it a perfect time to give him a gift that represents a memory you cherish. Not only will your kids get to pick out a favorite picture of themselves with Dad, they can even design the frame or add personal touches to a plain frame. Dad will love featuring his new photo on his desk. You can even sneak a note behind the photo for him to find later.

Gadget Guard
Tech savvy Dads are bound to enjoy any accessory they can use with their favorite gadgets. Upgrade his laptop or tablet sleeve with a personalized creation from the kids. Get the sleeve ready and let them get creative. It will keep his important gear safe and clean, and will be put to use every day all over the house.

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Page Turner
Bookworms like to stay organized. Dad is no different. If he enjoys relaxing with a good book, a bookmark could be the perfect gift. Because it’s easy to make with simple supplies, it’s a great craft idea for younger kids. Knowing Dad likes books enough to need a bookmark also sends a positive message about reading.

Gear for Game Day
The game just isn’t the same without his favorite beverage. Keep it nice and cool with a custom koozie. It’s easy to add a personal touch to a plain koozie. Create a loving message using his favorite team’s colors or make an entirely original design. He’ll be able to put it to use every time he cheers on his favorite team.

Car Guy Key Chain
Make sure he can see and enjoy their heartwarming gift every single day by designing an accessory for his key chain. Weave beads onto his key ring or laminate a family photo and attach it to his key chain before he gets in the car. It’s a fun way to show a car enthusiast some love while getting into the spirit of the holiday.

Hop to It: DIY Easter decor ideas

Easter’s on its way! If you haven’t put up your decor yet, you still have a little bit of time to craft some Easter charm! We have a few ideas to get you started. Here are 5 DIY Easter decor ideas.

Bunny-BuntingBunny Bunting Clean and Scentsible has a few ideas for making bunny bunting, but this one with the pom-pom tails is our favorite! The tails are easy to make with a skein of yarn. Wrap the yarn around your fingers, tie a piece around the middle of your yarn circle to create two loops, and then cut the ends of the loops to fray and you have a bunny tail! Glue that to bunny cutouts and they’re ready to hang!

Jelly-bean-treeJelly Bean Tree This might be the most delicious looking tree your kids have ever seen! Unfortunately, this Crafty Sisters project isn’t quite edible, but it is very easy to make! Basically, collect a few nice looking twigs and branches from the back yard and prune them. Then, select your favorite jelly beans and hot glue them to the branches. When they’re all cooled and dried, it’ll look like your branches are budding with jelly beans!

Tiny-pinatasPiñata Eggs It’s not quite Cinco de Mayo, but that’s not stopping Oh Happy Day from making Easter a fiesta with these tiny piñatas! She use tiny balloons to act as her Easter eggs and applied the same method for making big piñatas to these little egg-shaped ones using papier mache and crepe paper. It’s a fun little craft to keep the kids busy on a Saturday afternoon and the house decorated for Easter Sunday dinner.


Egg-terrariums
Easter Egg Terrariums If you’ve got little ones, this may be the Easter decor idea that can distract them from their Easter candy! This one comes from The House That Lars Built — and what a fun spring project to get the kids excited about the new season. She used real dirt and real moss, but for flowers that would last, she crafted cute little paper cutouts. They’re so cute and so easy, your kids can make some for themselves and a few extras to give away as gifts for the holiday or use them as favors/place settings for your Easter dinner!

carrot-centerpiecesCarrot Centerpieces Bunnies and flowers are what spring is all about! For an Easter centerpiece, carrots mask the spring flower stems to add a little indirect Easter Bunny flair. Love Grows Wild came up with this simple idea for your holiday dinner table. All you need are flowers, carrots and a good vase. Easter decor doesn’t get much easier than that!

LTD Commodities can help you make every holiday happy! From inspiration for your DIY Easter decor to cooking gadgets for your Memorial Day cookout, look to LTD to make every day more delightful.

Autumn Elegance: Crafts to Do with Leaves

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It took a while, but it looks like the leaves are starting to fall! It is one of the most beautiful times of the year, but it never sticks around long enough. The most enjoyable way to preserve its elegance … Continue reading

5 DIY Teacher Gift Ideas

teacher-giftsIt’s time to go back to school and while you’re busy trying to make it as easy as possible for your kids, so are their teachers! But those teachers need a little boost before the year gets rolling — why not give them a little gift of encouragement? Have your kids help out to make something special and keep them busy on these last few days of summer. Here are 5 DIY teacher gift ideas to get the year started right.

Daily Durability The school year survival kit is a super-easy idea to put together as well as inexpensive. Have your kids think about what their teachers need every day to get through classes — coffee to give them a morning boost, candy to treat themselves after lunch, school supplies to present lessons — anything your kids think their teachers might need or want to make the school day a little brighter.  

fairy-garden-kitNew Life Your kids’ teachers help them learn and grow — take that idea and turn it into the shape of a plant. To make it personal, have your kids paint a terra cotta planter with a cute back-to-school quote and tie a ribbon around it. For the plant, choose something easy to care for like a succulent or an air plant — with a low-maintenance plant, your teacher can focus on making your kids sharp while having a little extra life in the room.

Treasure Over Trash If you want to get crafty with a few things you already have but need to get rid of, turn them into something decorative for your kids’ teachers. Use the nubs of colored pencils to create beads for a necklace or use old crayons to create paperweights with rocks from the garden. For that one, you’ll have to heat them in your oven (be careful!) until they’re too hot to touch with your bare hands. Take the crayon crumbs and set them on top of the hot rocks and let them melt away to make a colorful gift for teacher.

lunch-totePractical Packing If you and your kids are super crafty, try something a little more elaborate like a DIY reusable lunch tote. It doesn’t require a lot of materials or time, just a bit of patience. Check out the tutorial on Camille Styles. If you want to simplify the idea, you can always make a no-sew tote from a t-shirt or pillowcase your child’s teacher can use to carry her belongings to and from school or even just to the grocery store. Or, if you don’t have the time to craft, you can always buy a lunch tote

Whatever you need to make your child’s teacher daily duties a little bit easier, LTD Commodities has a solution! Whether it’s an idea for classroom-friendly snacks or a gift for the first day of school, look to LTD for practical products and inspiring ideas.

Crafts to Ease Summer Fatigue

With just a few weeks left of summer, the kids are showing signs of summer fatigue — and you feel it every time they utter the words “I’m bored.” They’re out of ideas on how to take advantage of these last days of summer and that means you probably are, too. But don’t get too stressed out — you need to save your energy for back to school shopping. Here are a few ideas to keep the kids busy until school starts.bead-suncatchers

Naptime Crafts The Artful Parent uses her little one’s naptime as an opportunity to do simple crafts with her older child. During one such naptime, she created suncatchers out of melted craft beads. It’s a very easy project to do with the kids, but it does require using a hot oven so they need supervision. All you need are colorful craft beads and a muffin tin and you have mock-stained glass ornaments. They’ll catch the summer sun now and bring a little sparkle to your home during the darkest days of winter (but we’re trying not to think about that quite yet).freezer-banana-pops

Mini-Treats What kid doesn’t want to make her own chocolate covered treat? These freezer banana pops from Kids Activities Blog is a scaled-down version of chocolate covered bananas you get at the county fair. The idea is so simple — cut a banana into bite-sized pieces, dip them in chocolate and sprinkles, let them chill and you have a grand, kid-sized sweet treat that isn’t so bad for the little ones.bird-feeder

Bird Treats Another simple treat keeps the kids busy for hours and keeps the neighborhood birds fed comes from Growing a Jeweled Rose. It’s a DIY bird feeder that requires next to no planning, very few supplies and minimal supervision. All it is is a toilet paper tube, smeared with peanut butter and rolled in bird seed. It takes just a few minutes to put together, but watching the birds flock to their creation, it holds kids’ attention until it’s time to go to the pool.gumdrop-bridges

Double-Duty Craft Test your kids’ engineering energy by putting them to work on a gumdrop bridge. Galileo Camps offers this idea to set your kids loose with a box of gumdrops and toothpicks and see if they can come up with a structure before they eat all the gumdrops. It tests their critical thinking skills and the gumdrops are their incentive to come up with something awesome. As a bonus, it gets their brains working again to warm up for the first day of school.bubble-paint

Bubbling with Talent If your kids have a long day of doing nothing ahead of them, perhaps some bubbles are in order. Meet the Dubiens put together a tutorial on bubble painting. Mix a little paint with dish soap, use straws to blow out a few bubbles onto paper and you have art! It’s pretty hard to mess up and the results are almost always gallery-quality art.

LTD Commodities has ideas and products to keep every member of the family busy any day of the year. From summertime crafts for the kids to Christmas gifts for your parents, shop LTD for great products and practical prices.

 

Cinco de Mayo: Our Favorite DIY Piñatas

We’re ready to celebrate Cinco de Mayo here at LTD! It’s a holiday that’s only celebrated in certain parts of Mexico, but Americans have made it into a big day to celebrate everything Mexican and all that we have adopted from Mexican culture. One of the things we adopted is the piñata — the papier-mâiché animals that we bat with a club until it bursts with candy. They’re fun for parties, but they can also be a fun craft — and there are some pretty crafty people out there. We’ve picked out some of our favorite DIY piñatas.

pinata-ice-cream-coneEasy Ice Cream Check out this ice cream cone piñata from Six Sisters Stuff! They always have something cute to contribute to the craft world — and they make it look so easy! This one actually might be. They did the regular papier-mâiché method using balloons and made a paper cone to shape it into our favorite summer treat. The secret to making it look edible (and adorable!) is all in the positioning of the crepe paper.

pinata-strawberrySimple Strawberry Oceans of Notions gets a big high five for this strawberry! It’s amazing how many types of food piñatas you can make with a balloon! Pink and green tissue paper and black construction paper and that ice cream cone becomes a berry! You don’t have to be a super-crafter to make an adorable piñata, you just have to have the right idea.

pinata-angry-birdBasic Bird The right idea for Cindy Derosier was an Angry Bird piñata! What joy her boys must have had at their party with that! The process is so simple and the end product is so clever! We’ll probably be seeing Candy Crush candy hanging from her trees next year!

pinata-captain-americaStraightforward Shield Maureen Wilkinson strayed from using a balloon for her Captain America shield piñata and instead fashioned the shell of the shield from craft board. A couple of circles and a good strip to connect the two is what she used as the base. To make the signature shield she used feathered crepe paper, a little imagination and a lot of patience!

pinata-minionPapier-Mâiché Minion Le Coin de Mel used two balloons to pull together a minion piñata. What she did with them is pretty clever — she tied the two balloon knots together and bridged the gap between them by wrapping it in paper to make one long torso just like they’re drawn! Instead of using crepe paper, she painted her piñata, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make yours with the traditional tissue paper. Either way, it makes a fun party activity for Cinco de Mayo or a birthday party.

LTD Commodities has hundreds of products and ideas to make every holiday this summer a backyard celebration. Check back with us every season for new inspiration for any kind of party.

Last Minute Easter Decor Ideas

Easter is just a few days away. That means if you haven’t started your Easter decor, you’re going to have to scramble! But don’t worry — there are plenty of cute ideas you can put together yourself in no time — you can even enlist the kids to help! Here are a few last minute Easter Decor ideas.

egg-buntingEgg Garland The easiest Easter egg garland to make is using pastel paint chips — if you happen to have paint chips leftover from your last home makeover. Modern Parents Messy Kids makes it look so easy! Just create a template of an egg so all of your eggs are the same, trace them onto your paint chip, cut them out, poke holes in the tops and string them together with fancy baker’s twine and you have Easter egg garland. Of course, you don’t have to do egg shapes — you can do the garland in the shape of bunnies and you don’t even have to use paint chips — just use construction paper and you can have your kids decorate whatever Easter shape you choose.

pussy-willow-treeEaster Trees Pussy willow branches in vases are used as accent pieces year-round, but you can tailor them to suit your Easter celebration. You can use the paint chip egg garland idea to make eggs or bunnies but instead of stringing them together, you can tie little loops of twine or ribbon through the holes so you hang them on your pussy willow branches. If you don’t have pussy willow branches, a few bare sticks from the yard will do the job just as well.

Eggshell-planterEggshell Planters This one isn’t new, but it’s a favorite! Eggshell planters are super easy to make and small succulents are relatively inexpensive. Just cut the top off  of however many eggs you want to use, poke a hole in the bottom for drainage, fill it with soil and a succulent and you’re done! They’re so cute and you’ll be able to enjoy them long after Easter.

peep-vaseVases and Jars There are so many pretty, little things you can do with vases and upcycled jars to enhance your Easter decor. An Affair from the Heart has, by far, the most clever curation of Easter vases. With a small jar inside of a bigger vase, she filled the bottom with a layer of Easter candy followed by a layer of Peeps — reserving the inner jar for water and Easter flowers. It makes an impossibly adorable center or accent piece. If you want to simplify the idea, you can layer different colors of jelly beans and instead of flowers, use the center for a candle. If you don’t want to use candy, you can fill large jars with Easter basket grass and top it with colored eggs. There is no end to what you can do with a jar!


We’ve got ideas and products for every season at LTD! From Easter to the Fourth of July, shop LTD for products priced for fun.

6 Ideas for Upcycling Your Old Sweaters

Less than a month until spring and we’re ready for the new season — even if the cold weather isn’t ready to go quite yet. Spring cleaning is underway and the first things to go — as soon as the weather permits — is that big bag of sweaters. But before you decide to give send them off to the thrift store, consider getting a little more use out of them in another form. Here are 6 ideas for upcycling your old sweaters.

sweater-blanketBlanket While your sweaters may be taking up too much closet space, you can never have too many blankets! Right now is the perfect time to get started on projects to get ready for next winter. Seamstress Erin has an excellent, detailed tutorial on how you can spin your old sweaters into a new throw!

sweater-bootsLeg Warmers Here’s an easy-peasy way to make use of that sweater you desperately want to replace: leg warmers! The Farmer’s Nest has a super-cute, super-easy, fashion-forward tutorial to take the sleeves of your sweater to add flair to your boots. With the weather ahead, you might be able to use these now for your rain boots! And, as a bonus, she has a quick how-to on using the rest of the sweater to make a throw pillow cover.

Mittens Here’s a favorite for LTD — because we’re in Chicago, our winters are brutal and there are never enough mittens or gloves to keep up with the cold weather. The Renegade Seamstress gives stitch-by-stitch instructions on making super-snug mittens out of that favorite sweater you don’t want to let go of… but have to give up. Armed with this pattern, you will never run out of mittens!

sweater-bagShoulder Bag Get ready to start crossing off people on your Christmas list now! With an old sweater, you can make a stylish shoulder bag that costs little to nothing to make with an old sweater. Sweet Grace takes you through the steps to create a one-of-a-kind bag that so awesome you’ll want to keep it for yourself, but it’s a secret you’ll want to share. The trick to what makes this idea so fashionable is that it’s felted. That means, if you want to make this exact bag, the sweater you use has to be made of 100% wool (this one is alpaca wool).

 

sweater-heartsSweethearts Of course your upcycled sweaters don’t necessarily have to be wearable. Jess from If Only They Would Nap made her old sweaters into adorable felted hearts. She hangs them from a branch, but there are other ways you can use them: wedding shower or party favors, stocking or Easter basket stuffers, bunting for Valentine’s Day, or everyday decor.

sweater-slippersSlippers Here’s another idea to get started on for next winter: slippers! Kat at We Can Re-Do It put together an easy, step-by-step tutorial magically transform a striped sweater into adorable striped slippers. Comfy and cozy for cold nights — these will come in handy especially if next winter is anything like this winter or last winter!

Upcycling sweaters is just one of the things we’re thinking about here at LTD! Keep checking back on our blog and the website for more products and ideas to get your home projects started.

St. Patrick’s Day Crafts to Get You Through February

Winter is winding down and we’re warming up thinking about spring and all of the fun holidays that come with it. While we’re stuck indoors for a few more weeks, we’re all about crafting for spring! With St. Patrick’s Day and spring on their way, we’re thinking green… here are a few of the crafts we’re using for inspiration.

shamrock-braceletPlayful Pipe Cleaners When life hands you green pipe cleaners, make shamrocks! Lacy from Catholic Icing twists and shapes pipe cleaners to make adorable favors to hand out on St. Patrick’s Day. To take it a step further, turn the shamrocks into something wearable! Beinglds.blogspot.com has a sweet step-by-step on how to make shamrock bracelets with those pipe cleaners. With these awesome accessories, no one will get pinched on St. Patrick’s Day.

3-d-shamrock3-D Magic If you got a lot of practice cutting out hearts for Valentine’s Day, you’re primed for a fun and easy shamrock craft! Crafty Morning came up with a simple way for children to craft paper into a piece of 3-D art! All you need are green construction paper, glue, scissors and a paper mount for your masterpiece.

shamrock-menShamrock Whimsy If the idea of spring has you feeling a little whimsical, help your little ones change toilet paper rolls into little shamrock men! This will keep their hands and brains concentrated on carving shamrocks out of green construction paper to dress up the cardboard tubes for playful decor on St. Patrick’s day. Follow Sweet and Lovely Crafts detailed instructions for a craft-filled afternoon.

pot-o-gold-hatPot-O-Gold This is probably the most fun craft-turned-party-favor you’ll find for St. Patrick’s Day! It’s a leprechaun hat that doubles as a pot of gold! A few plastic food containers, paint, construction paper, and a bag of chocolate gold coins will make you look like a crafting hero and entertainer extraordinaire. For a tutorial, check out Paper Plate and Plane’s blog.

shamrock-votiveSt. Patrick”s Day Glow Extra jars or upcycled glass candle holders can be the object of a delightful St. Patrick’s Day craft! With craft glue and green tissue paper, your shamrocks will give your St. Patrick’s Day decor a warm glow! Mess for Less takes you through each step to make these simple yet classy crafts that children will love to make.

felt-shamrockPinch Protection For easy pinch-protection, a felt shamrock is the go-to embellishment for any outfit! This is another craft that will make use of your heart-making skills. Splendid Amy guides you through a few snips, a couple of stitches and the tiniest bit of hot glue to make the sweetest shamrock to put on a hat, a headband or to wear as a pin! This craft will have you counting down the days to March 17!

shamrock-cardShamrock Salutations For faraway Irish friends, send some shamrock salutations with homemade cards! A heart rubber stamp, glue, glitter, and paint turns a simple piece of paper into a St. Patrick’s Day keepsake for loved ones you want to reach out to on March 17. Child Made Tutorials lays out all of the instructions on how to make a heart into shamrock as well as shows you the sparkling finished product.