Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Cutest Sock Animal Craft

You're going to hate me...but I wish we had a little more snow this winter?  Before you boo and hiss, I know, it makes driving horrible and it's cold and miserable, but there's nothing like kids sledding or making snowmen and seeing their rosy cheeks when they come in out of the cold, am I right?  But, we've had a (wonderfully) mild winter with barely any snow, which means less bundling (thank goodness, because can we talk about how someone always needs to pee as soon as the snowpants are on?!) and I've gotten the kids out to the park a ton, so I'll stop my whining!

This is my daughter's masterpiece!  She drew on the smile with a marker.  It's cute, but my Martha Stewart side is slightly mortified that it isn't stitched or glued on.

In lieu of actually making snowmen in the snow, my daughter made a sock snowman at a preschool program.  It was so easy and cute that it inspired me to design some other sock animals.  The base is the same for each one and I used a variety of crafty materials for all the features.  You can let your littles go wild with felt and googly eyes.  Just let them lay out all their pieces, and then you can go in and hot glue everything.

elmo craft
I squished an orange pom pom into an oval shape for his nose!

The best thing about this craft is that it uses up all those single socks that have lost their pair!  I had a few lying around because the washing machine seems to be consuming our socks at an alarming rate, but I've lost hope in ever recovering the pairs so they've been put to good use.  Of course now that I've cut them up into pieces, I'm sure the other pair will turn up and I'll be hitting myself.  Sigh.  Anyway, I also bought some socks from the dollar store, so if you feel that you must hang onto the lone socks in hopes of a sock-pairing miracle, there's a solution.

If you're looking for a good source for the stuffing, may I suggest stealing some from the rejected stuffed animals that are hiding in the toy box?  I sacrificed one of those cheap toys that you win at carnivals.  Gosh, this craft is amazing at getting rid of rejects!

Um, also, can you imagine how cute this craft would be at Easter?!  With blue and pink fuzzy bunnies, or yellow chicks?!  Pin it now and dig it up in a few weeks when you're looking for an Easter craft!

  • socks in various colors
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun + hot glue sticks
  • quilt batting or some other stuffing
  • rice or beans
  • elastics or twist ties
  • embellishments (felt, googly eyes, feathers, fun foam, yarn, pipe cleaners, markers, pom poms...whatever your imagination desires!) 
  • tall glass or container (optional)

Basic Method:
  1. Take your sock and open it up over the edge of a tall glass.  This will help you to keep it open while you stuff it.
  2. Bunch up some quilt batting for the head of your animal and stuff it into the sock.
  3. Use an elastic or twist tie to cinch the sock closed.
    Use a matching elastic color so it's less visible!
  4. Open up the sock over the edge of your glass again, and take enough stuffing for the body of your animal and stuff it into the sock again.
  5. Put in a few handfuls of rice or beans to weigh down the bottom of your sock animal.  The amount you need will depend on the size of your animal.  I put in 3 handfuls.
  6. Secure the end with an elastic and trim off any extra sock material.  Press the end into your animal so it sits flat.  You'll see that the panda, snowman, bear, Elmo, bird and dog were made using just this base (with a skinny neck).

  7. If you're looking for a "plumper" animal, use another sock and place this base inside.  I cut off the excess material at the bottom and didn't even bother closing this outer sock.
  8. Decorate to your heart's content!  My daughter liked having creative control of her snowman and actually had it covered in stickers at the beginning, but they've fallen off since and you'll see it's pretty simple.  You can see some of our suggested ideas below if you're looking for a place to start.
totoro craft
Have you seen "My Neighbor Totoro"?!  It's such a cute movie!

Seriously, go grab that pile of single socks and go wild!  What animal or creature did you end up making?  Tag us on Instagram (@smocksandsprinkles) if you try this craft!

I stole the hat off my daughter's snoman and I used a different part of the sock as a sweater!

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Reflecting on Motherhood | Love Begets Love

Guess I have been feeling pretty sentimental these days (maybe cause Valentine's day is fast approaching?). I was holding my 18-month-old son this morning and as he lay on my chest napping sweetly I became teary-eyed thinking about him growing up and facing the world. Somehow, I was able to capture my thoughts into words. Thought it would be nice to share on our blog.

Rest assured little one 
Your cries will not go unheard 
Your tears will always be wiped 
Your fears will always be soothed 
Your pain will be kissed away 
You will be enveloped with love, kindness and understanding 
Because even if you won't remember 
These early acts of love and kindness will be etched onto your soul 
And one day, you will reflect this love onto the world 
Quietly, fearlessly and passionately 
Because it's what you felt at such a tender age 
And it's everything you know 
~Smocks & Sprinkles

Happy Valentine's Day!
Feel free to pin and share!

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Valentine's Puzzle Gift and Bag Topper Printable

We wanted to share an idea for a non-chocolate, non-candy, non-tooth-decay-causing Valentine's treat that your child could give out to their friends.  Not only is this gift sugar-free, it's educational!  Enter heart-shaped puzzles!  We found these puzzles randomly while browsing for art supplies and thought they'd be perfect to give away.  They're just over a dollar each, so it doesn't break the bank.

You can leave them blank so the receiver can decorate it, or have your child colour and personalize it with the person's name (if you don't have a crazy number of kids in your class).

My daughter loved pulling the puzzle pieces apart to put them in the bags, and she also loved re-assembling them!  I daydreamed about the day she'd have the patience to colour in 25 of these puppies and all the free time I'd have...and then my bubble burst when she complained that she was tired of coloring the first one.  Sigh.  I think we'll stick with giving them away blank so the other kids can decorate them!

  • your favorite coloring utensils (markers, paint, crayons, pencil crayons, etc.)
  • puzzles
  • cellophane bags (the dollar store has Valentine's ones that are perfect)
  • bag topper printable (links at the bottom of this post) and white cardstock for printing
  • stapler
  1. If you're decorating them before you give them away, color the puzzles using marker, paint or pencil crayon or crayon.  To personalize them, write your friend's name on it at the end in a darker color.  Don't do it at the beginning like we did, initially.  The name ends up disappearing under all the coloring!

  2. Print out the bag toppers and fold them in half along dotted line.
  3. Break up the puzzle and put it in a cellophane bag.
  4. Roll down the top of the bag and then put the bag topper over the top.  Staple both sides.
  5. Voila, a cute little gift for your friends!
  6. Use the outside frame of the puzzle for photos or other crafts.
I love fast, and I love easy.  This gift is both of those things!   Hope you have lots of fun getting ready for Valentine's day.  Share all your lovely crafts and gift ideas below, on Facebook, or on Instagram!

Printables (click on the image to download it - the pdf has 4 bag toppers on each 8.5" x 11" page):

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