Thursday, January 22, 2015

Toy Spice Container DIY Tutorial

My funny little niece received a beautiful play kitchen from my sister and her hubby this year for Christmas. My sister asked for the other gifts from the family to go with it. Play dishes, food, etc.

In the midst of making dinner (and consequently, a grocery list…) I emptied a few spice containers. Thought about washing them to use for herbs from this year’s garden, and then realized I really have enough. So I thought about tossing them.
And then I remembered Christmas.
I did wash them.
And here’s what else I did with them.

I could’ve left them as-is, and it would have been fine, but I just can’t help myself sometimes. So I got out the construction paper, mod podge, marker, stencil, and a couple other fun things.

I had asked my sister whether her daughter would have fun with little things to shake in the spice containers (I’ll never forget the little toy salt and pepper she and I had growing up- they had little plastic bits you could see shaking around as you “salted” you play-food. It was delightful.), or whether she’d be frustrated at a glued-shut lid. My sister replied that her daughter loves to open things and would probably either get frustrated that it wouldn’t open, or break it open, one of the two.
Since I wanted neither to happen, I came up with a compromise, as you’ll see below.

First, I have a very technical way to measure the paper.

Lay the container next to it, make a little mark where I want to cut. Then roll it around to see how big it should be to go all the way around, and make another mark. Cut accordingly.

Told you it was technical. Ha.

When I had all the papers cut, I wrote on them. I used the Tupperware alphabet stencil I found at a garage sale. It made such adorable letters! I could have freehanded it, but I was happy enough with the stencil that I decided to go the easy route and stencil it.
I went for “Sugar”, “Spice”, and “Everything Nice”… because that’s what little girls are made of.

Not that she’ll be cooking up little girls any time soon…

I hope.

For the pepper container, since it wasn’t round, I looked at the faint folds in the paper from when I wrapped it around to see where I ought to write the words. And I wrote it on both sides. You can do yours however.

I mod-podged them on (See my newsprint tray tutorial for tips on mod podge if you’ve never done it before, so you don’t end up with wrinkly labels on your play-kitchen spices.) and then added some little paper-punch stars. I used a scrapbooking star punch, and punched various colors. I even used the construction paper packaging from the store (The one that is on the top, like the label for the pack of paper. “250 sheets! 8 colors!” or whatever… Yep I saved that.) to punch stars with. It made some of them have a fun color pattern. (I must not have gotten any pictures of that part.)

I modpodged the stars on as I did my second coat of mod podge. By the time I got to the fourth spice thing, the first was dry enough for me to add a third coat. I have no idea if it really needed that much mod-podge but I thought more is probably better when it’s going to be a toddler toy. More durable that way.

So about the shaking/opening dilemma. I really really wanted to put something in there to shake around, but wanted to honor my sisters request to just leave them all openable. Here’s my compromise.

The two “Spice” containers and the “Pepper” container I left openable and empty. They weren’t really see-through enough to warrant shaky little pieces inside anyway.

But the more clear one (from parsley or something?) also had the two-way lid (pour and shake) so the lid opened with a flip top, instead of just the screw-off. With me so far? After punching a decent amount of fun-foam confetti and putting it inside (actually I gave up on using the hole-punch and just cut little tiny pieces with scissors. It was faster)  I cut a circle in the fun-foam the same size as the lid and superglued it inside. Then I superglued the lid onto the container over that. So you can still open the shaker, but no pieces come out.

And that’s all I did! You can go easier or more complicated- totally up to you. You could do more writing on it, or cut out some pictures from magazines to mod-podge on there, or whatever!
I’d love to see pics or hear your ideas of what you did.

Friday, January 2, 2015

What I’m collecting this year

For the last few years I’ve tried to pick a word for the New Year in lieu of making any resolutions. The idea is to be able to focus on forming new habits or traits and not being overwhelmed with a list of hard-to-achieve goals. I’m all for goals, don’t get me wrong, but finding a single word to work toward makes it a lot easier to focus.

Here’s the way puts it:
The challenge is simple: lose the long list of changes you want to make this year and instead pick ONE WORD.
 This process provides clarity by taking all your big plans for life change and narrowing them down into a single focus. Just one word that centers on your character and creates a vision for your future.”

In the fall, through some excellent studies I’d been participating in, one theme kept sticking out to me in the verses I would read.
Wait on the Lord.

But my soul kept asking me, ‘what does that really even mean?’

So my word this year is wait.

And it will become a matter of deeper study and reflection for me as I discover what God meant when He tells us, yes, urges us, to wait on Him.

From time to time you’ll see a post here delving into some of those reflections and discoveries- like today! What better way to start the new year than to be in God’s word?

Today, as often happens, I went on a daisy-chain search through the Bible, finding what I wasn’t really looking for. I was looking up the cross-reference listed in my Bible to one of the Jesus Calling daily devotional verses for today. (I highly recommend Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, by the way! You'll probably see me reference it a lot in times to come.) When I arrived at the cross-reference verse, I started looking at all the verses on that two-page-spread that I’d marked or underlined. And that’s when I landed on this verse:

Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!
Psalm 27:14 NKJV

 And I cried. God does know His children.

He knows me.

I decided to look up the word wait in Strong's and was very blessed. I think you will be too.

To wait, look for, expect
Waiting (participle)
To linger for
To collect

What if I linger a little longer, and my collections were God – could I gain more enjoyment from collecting God than any other thing collected?

I linger at the window when my husband goes to work.
I linger a little longer in the coffee aisle at the grocery store than the other aisles.
I linger at the doorway when I lay my sleeping sons in their beds.
I linger to witness the sunset, sunrise, clear stars or breathtaking sky.

Would I linger at God’s word and allow Him to offer me strength in return? Will I linger in prayer a little longer instead of becoming distracted with my to do list for the day? Would I linger in an attitude of worship before moving on to the next thing?

And what if God was my favorite collection?
And why do we collect things in the first place?

Because we really like them.
Because we can’t get enough.
Because looking at them makes us happy.
Because we like finding them at all the places we visit.
Because there are so many varieties and we just love all the different kinds.

And aren’t these all great reasons to collect God?

Let’s develop insatiable appetites for Him! Let’s take joy at looking at our collection. Let’s look for Him everywhere we visit. Let’s be in awe at all the different marvelous facets of Him.

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