Easy Halloween Spider Notebooks

cheap and easy diy spider notebooks

In my LDS church ward, I am an Activity Days leader. For our activity this week, we made yo-yo flowers to decorate notebooks for a back to school craft. My kids were with me and really wanted to make some as well. With two leaders and twelve energetic eight- and nine-year-old girls who just spent their first day back sitting in a desk all day after a long summer break it just wasn’t possible to help my kids and the girls do the project. It was a crazy fun time though, let me tell you.

I promised my kids we’d make our own when we returned home…however, I have a son. He already is into girly things from being at home with me and his two sisters all day so I wanted to boost the manpower on this project and skip the flowers. So instead we came up with flipping the yo-yos upside down and making them spiders.

cheap and easy diy spider notebooks

We added googly eyes and ribbon for legs. We also added rick rack for spider web strings and attached them all with hot glue. I also had fun washi tape we used as well. It made our cheap fifty-cent notebooks pretty spiffy.

Mint Vintage Rocking Chair

vintage mint rocker

I picked up this fun little antique rocking chair at a yard sale a few weeks ago. I’m a sucker for a chair with some character and personality.

Chair before

Here’s the condition she was in when I picked her up for five smackers. It’s a kids size chair.

chair 5 WM

vintage mint rocking chair

Here’s how she’s looking after a good sanding, a few coats of Valspar’s Minty Green paint, a tad bit of roughing up, and a good glaze and seal.

mint green rocking chair

I added a little extra padding to her seat for good measure. I had purchased a floral print upholstery fabric for this project but ended up chopping up the pillow covers that came with my loveseat and used that. I say “covers” because I mistakenly covered the seat with the print upside down the first time. Whoops. My husband was genuinely thrilled. He despises decorative pillows [editor's note: they take up all of our seating!]. I despise anyone touching my decorative pillows. They are for decoration after all. :)

Yummy Ornate Mirror Makeover

ornate mirror makeover

I don’t know what it is about sitting in silence with a paintbrush, but it’s extremely calming for me. With three sweet little munchkins, that time isn’t always easy to come by but sometimes, just sometimes, I get to paint in silence. While my oldest two were at school and my baby was napping yesterday, I got that chance. I stayed up late to get that chance again. I guess I crave it once I get a taste.

Here is the mirror before:

mirror before

I have nothing against gold but this gold looked a little cheap to me. It’s a very heavy, nice quality mirror.

Here’s the new and improved version:

ornate mirror makeover

I used a cream-colored chalk paint (purchased at Joann’s) and painted the frame with two coats. Once the paint dried, I used a dark glaze to make all those yummy details pop out.

ornate mirror makeover

It’s a very clear mirror too. I set it against my bed to clean it before putting it up on the dresser and it pointed out how bushy my eyebrows were becoming. Ha! So helpful. I took a tweezing break.

ornate mirror makeover

I love how it turned out.

Sadly, I’m learning that I can’t keep every single project I do, so this one is going to a new home. I must say, my quest for de-cluttering freedom is starting to show how great my house really can look, feel, and be. If I squint I can see the light just starting to peek out at the end of the tunnel. It’s motivating.

Crafty Update – Ditching Clutter

Books

Hey all! Thought I’d check in and give you a little peek into what I’ve been up to.

I go through project stages. Does anybody else do that? Right now, I’m into de-cluttering my house, quilting, and painting/staining/up-cycling whatever I can get my hands on. I’m also finishing up my next pattern (finally) and learning new crafty, artistic things. None of that hard stuff like arithmetic.

tea pot turned planter

I set a goal for myself to downsize all of the “stuff” in our house by half. That might sound pretty extreme but if you factor in our unfinished basement it’s doable. Life was getting too crazy with so much stuff cluttering it. I made my mind up that if I was going to have “stuff” in my house it better be the kind that makes me and my family happy and serves a purpose. I has to be stuff we love, not just like or keep because one day we might use it, or we feel guilty about giving it away because it was a gift or cost a lot or we didn’t get much use out of it yet. I’ve given/sold loads of items already and thus far I’ve been remorseful about only one item…and that was because I thought of a use for it.

Since I’ve accomplished so much in downsizing, I decided to treat myself to a few fun little yard sale treats:

vintage tea pot turned planter

See this ol’ tea pot? I love it. I purchased it at a yard sale for a dollar and turned it into a planter. I got rid of everything else on the counter behind the sink or set it aside to see if it can be used elsewhere.

quilting

Quilting goes hand-in-hand with the de-cluttering. I like fat quarters. I do a lot of smaller projects and that when I buy fat quarters I can get a greater variety of fabric than when I purchase by the yard.

When doing a lot of small projects with minimal fabric, it leaves you with lots of small scraps. I’ve been hoarding those scraps. I kept my favorite itty-bitty scraps to cut into squares for quilting and gave the rest away. These scraps I cut into two-inch squares to make a postage stamp quilt.

I’ve been thinking about the kind of look and feel I want in my home. I think I’ve been waiting for “our next house.” You know, “When we buy our next house we can do this” and “When we buy our next house I want a comfy cottage.” Well, I ain’t waiting for my comfy cottage any longer. I’m going to treat this house like my dream home and make it that.

As for the furniture, the posts on that will be rolling in soon. I just can’t help myself when I find a good vintage piece.

Monster Cake Jars

monster cake jars by Stubbornly Crafty

I’ve been cutting the kids screen time down to an hour or less a day. This is a fantastic idea on paper or in my mind but once you actually try to execute the plan it’s difficult. I get a lot of “I’m bored” and “What can we do?” complaints. I guess they are tired of my replies of “read a book” and “you can clean your room!”

So instead, we’ve been doing lots of projects. Sewing projects, painting, shaped crayons, bracelets, and lots of baking, to name a few. Yesterday’s project was these fun Monster Cake Jars:

monster cake jars by Stubbornly Crafty

Here are the instructions:

  1. Mix together a white cake batter, divide it into three different bowls, and add different food coloring to each bowl.
  2. Fill a baking dish with washed baby food jars and fill each jar half way.
  3. Add water to the baking dish to give these little guys a water bath so they bake evenly. Follow the cupcake cooking directions your batter suggests.
  4. Let cool then frost. We used a simple vanilla buttercream and piped it on using a Large Wilton Open Star Tip, #8B.

monster cake jars by Stubbornly Crafty

For the tongue and ears we cut our shapes out using Airheads candy. The kids had a blast making them and then delivered a few to friends. Who wouldn’t want a surprise monster treat showing up at their door?

I need other fun project suggestions to do with the kids (ages four and seven). If you’ve got anything in mind, please share in the comments. Thanks!