About 6ish years ago, my husband, our first two children, and myself, were really struggling. I think, by many standards, we still are. But in my eyes, by the grace of God, we have come such a very long way.
6 years ago, my husband was going back to school after having been laid off from two different jobs in less than a year. I had been a stay at home mom since our first child was born, with no career opportunities on the horizon, and nothing that made the childcare expense worth it. We had just moved back to New York State from North Carolina (with a brief stint in Pennsylvania), so we didn't qualify for welfare. We hadn't been residents long enough. We were on a 3-year waiting list for Section-8 (low income housing). We were on Food Stamps and Medicaid, and the only other assistance we qualified for was HEAP, which helped with our gas bills in the winter. All of this was greatly appreciated, but the fact remains that if not for the generosity of our own parents, we would have been homeless. They helped with vehicles, rent, and keeping our children clothed.
But we also benefited from the generosity of many others along the way. One of which was my grandmother. I had been crocheting gifts for my children, and really wanted to be able to do more. She gave me her sewing machine! I had never used one before, and truthfully, it sat collecting dust for a long while because I was so intimidated. One Easter, I wanted to make bunnies for the kids. I found some knee-high socks for $1, and only one tutorial on the internet at that time for a sock bunny, and I'm pretty sure I did it wrong.
Sure, they have been well-loved, but I promise you, they never looked much better than you see this one above. In fact, many times, in my own embarrassment, I have asked the kids if I could get rid of them.
"You have plenty of nicer stuffed animals," I've told them. "I have even made you much nicer things since then!"
"No, Mommy!" they yell, while clinging to their respective bunnies. "We loooooove them!" is the response, with no hesitation. They nearly cried at the idea.
A few years later, I had gained a bit more confidence with the sewing machine, and still had some knee high socks lying around. I decided I could make them much better, and even use nearly every scrap of the pair of socks! Today I will share that process with you!
What you need:
1 pair of knee high socks
Polyester Fiberfill for stuffing
thread, colors are a personal preference
buttons for eyes
felt for nose
Notes: I am not an expert sewer, or versed in writing sewing patterns. This is written out exactly as I figured it out on my own. Basic knowledge of your sewing machine and its functions will be helpful. Become friends with the manual! I am still getting to know mine, but find the manual to be very helpful! I tried to capture pictures of nearly every step, but some may be left more to the imagination. Don't be scared! Just have fun!
For the eyes, as you can see in the finished picture at the top of the page, I just used buttons. Have fun with this! I like to give mine a little character, by adding a large felt button behind the other button. My kids seem to love this look. Add your own flair!
Are you in need of a last minute Valentine's craft for your kiddos? Possibly with supplies you already have? Or maybe you are super on top of your Valentine's game. That's ok! Save it for later!
Does anyone else have an obscene amount of crayons in their home? I'm talking like ice cream bucket full of every crayon the kids have ever used; crayons of all sizes and shapes. Just me?
Well, I'm a mom on a budget, and we have never, and I do mean never spent money on Valentine's Day. It's not a big deal here. Then, last January, we decided to stop homeschooling and send our older two children to school. Now they have Valentine's Day parties where they need to bring a little something for each kid in their class, and this can get costly.
So I put together some of my best (and worst) crafting skills for this one, and the kids are pretty excited about them! The only thing I had to buy was the silicone mold, and it was only $3.97 at Wal-Mart! Check their seasonal section!
Items you'll need:
Heart shaped silicone mold - Mine was different, but I couldn't find that model online.
Card stock print paper
Black and color printer ink
Obscene amount of stray crayons
Hole punch (optional)
Thin ribbon (optional)
To fit on the cards, our molds made approximately 2 inch hearts. And making them was super easy!
I helped the kids peel the paper off the crayons. This was the hardest part. Old crayons don't peel very well, so if you want to buy some new crayons at the Dollar Tree, you might have better luck with those. We tried soaking ours in cold water, and it actually made most of them worse. But put the kids' fingers to work there, if you can!
Break your crayons into small pieces, and put them into the molds. Make sure each mold is pretty full. Blend all the colors you want! I even threw in some browns and grays because we had some, and they are still very colorful!
Place your mold on an old baking sheet (you don't care gets ruined, just in case), or a baking sheet covered in foil. Our oldest baking sheet is nice and rusty, saved only for times like these! Bake in the oven at 275 degrees for only 10 minutes.
They will be good and runny when they come out, but don't worry! Within 30 minutes you will start to see them firming up!
Once you use these molds for crayons, they will never be food safe again, so don't even worry about cleaning all the crayon marks out, but they can be used for crayons, candles, chalks, or soaps, if you're crafty like that!
I made this simple printable for a card! When I mentioned my worst crafty skills, I was referring to graphic design. Theses are REALLY basic, but they get the job done, and the kids really love them! The heart is open for coloring too! Click on the title below or the image, to get the FREE printable! It prints 6 to a page.
I See Your True Colors FREE Printable!
This part is completely optional. You can package your cards and crayons however you'd like! A pretty, clear snack bag, tied off nicely would work. I happen to have a heart shaped hole punch I've been using for my business for years, so I punched holes on the side of each heart and tied a thin ribbon around each crayon heart.
I hope you enjoy this craft, whether you try it now, or save it for later! Use different mold throughout the year just for fun with the kids. They love seeing the colors blend together!
Happy Valentine's Day from ekayg!