Homemade Pressed Flower Vase/Pencil Holder Gift for Teacher or Mom

Since we are in the middle of Teacher Appreciation Week and Mother's Day is this Sunday in the United States, I thought I would share with you a simple craft Hazel made for her teachers. To make these pressed flower vases (or pencil holders) you need to press flowers. I have a simple DIY flower press tutorial here. For some of the flowers we did not wait for them to dry out and they actually were a bit easier to handle on this project. We picked some of the spring flowers in our yard and pressed them. Then we used almond butter jars that were completely washed out. The only other things you need are Mod Podge glue and ribbon and craft glue (though you could use the Mod Podge) for the ribbon.

Spring Fever: Planting Hazel's Meadow/Garden

Spring has finally hit our area. It is hard to believe it is already May and the temperatures are just getting to be springlike. After school and gymnastics class, Hazel wanted to come home and get outside. I didn't blame her. She asked if she could plant some flowers in her garden. A few weeks ago we read Henry Cole's On Meadowview Street and Hazel wanted to do what Caroline did in the book.

In this book, a young girl named Caroline moves into a new house on Meadowview Street. While her family is settling in she decides to see if there is a meadow on Meadowview Street. On her way to see, she sees one lone flower growing in the middle of the lawn. She wants to save the flower and finds some sticks and string to rope it off. As the flower grows more flowers come up and she expands her meadow. Birds and bugs come to visit and soon she wants a tree. Eventually her whole yard is a meadow and some of the neighbors follow suit. 

Since we don't have a random flower in the middle of our yard, Hazel decided she would do it in her garden. Last year Steve dug me a new garden with better sunlight, so my old garden became Hazel's. It has my oregano and our raspberry bushes in it, but otherwise is hers to play and/or plant. Since she wanted a meadow, I bought her some butterfly and hummingbird flower seeds. We also found all the flower seeds from the past couple years that hadn't been finished. We figured we can see what will grow. The first thing we had to do was get rid of the weeds. Hazel took out her hoe, but I didn't get any pictures of it. Steve dug up some of the oregano (which has taken over this garden the past few years) and then our landscaper came and he wanted some to take home so he dug up the rest of what I didn't want. Once the weeds were up, Hazel began planting the seeds. I planted some of the milkweed seeds we found in the beginning of April. Then I explained to Steve that she wanted to rope it off like the girl in the book. He pulled out some of my stakes and I gave them some string. 

We also released her ladybugs today. They did not seem to want to leave their plastic home, so we put it in the garden.

Hazel had so much fun, digging, planning and planting. I hope some of it grows for her, but I figured we can always buy some annuals if they don't. For now the fun is just the hope and getting out there. Plus we let her do what she wanted with all the seeds. She asked for help with pouring them into her cup.

She and I discussed where to plant the sunflowers. This year I bought her pink sunflowers (Ms. Mars from Burpee). I hope they grow since she is so excited for them. I also found an old pack of yellow sunflowers and we mixed them up for her. 

Steve asked if she wanted a scarecrow for her garden and put it in for her. Then he helped her rope it off (while I took a nap). 

When Hazel came in, I ran out to get a picture of the final product. They added some more things like a "Welcome to my garden" sign and fences. Hazel also wants to put her wooden bird feeder and bird bath that she and Steve put together. That may be tomorrow's adventure.

Hopefully later in the year, we will have a butterfly and hummingbird paradise. I'll let you know!

For more of our gardening posts check out:

DIY Minnie Mouse Napkin Rings for Party

Well, Hazel's half birthday is at the end of June. Because of school ending mid-June and some of her friends take off for the entire summer the day school is out, we are having her half birthday party in the beginning of June. (We decided to have a half birthday party for her since her birthday is in the middle of December holiday season.) She decided ages ago that the theme for this party will be Minnie Mouse. (Unfortunately there many more boys in her class than girls, but they will have to deal with lots of pink.) When she made the decision last summer, it happened to be when they were changing the Minnie Mouse theme party supplies and I was able to buy a bunch on clearance. We got the invitations and thank you notes, dinner plates, plastic cups, and a banner as well as treat bags. As we were looking at what we have and do not have, we decided we could use some of the other supplies we have and do some do-it-yourself projects. Today's is a simple one. I did not buy any of the napkins and decided not to buy special napkins. I did however have some bright pink napkins left over from her flamingo party (well actually I bought them for either party). Since this is her first child-focused birthday party, it is a lot of fun to plan.

As I was looking at ideas on line, I thought of making individual silverwear settings with a Minnie Mouse head on a napkin ring. I bought one of those Mickey Mouse head punches ages ago with a coupon and when I opened it yesterday, it did not work. Ugh!! Then the idea came to me to use pom poms. I searched for black pom poms last night and found three. I found some pinkish polka dot scrapbook paper and cut some strips. Then I glued the two smaller pom poms onto the bigger one and got a Mickey head. Then I glued the whole thing to the paper. (This was my first one and of course I had the head spinned in the wrong direction, but it was actually easy to spin after it dried.) I left it out to show Hazel and of course she asked if we could add a bow to make it a Minnie head. I explained I just didn't have the ribbon yet. Today I went to Michaels and bought two pacakges of black pom poms (small and the next size), some skinny pink ribbon and I found some cell phone charms shaped as bows in a clearance bin. I showed Hazel how to make the Mickey heads and she glued most of them for me though she did say it was boring. I poked the plastic charms through the paper to add the cell phone bows.

Then I wrapped a spoon and a fork in a napkin and wrapped the holder around it and sealed it with a piece of scotch tape. Didn't they come out cute?

If you do not have the cute bow cell phone charms, a small ribbon bow works great as well. The hardest part is tying the bow. Then you just glue them on. This is actually easier than the others since the others are a pain to poke through and get to stay in (I didn't want to glue them in case anyone actually wants a bow cell phone charm) and they break rather easily. I made a few of these as well since I only found ten of the charms (five packages of two at forty cents each).

Now we are set to have the tables set for the kids and possibly for the parents though I probably will need to make a few more. Since she wanted a Minnie and Daisy theme, I used lavender plasticware.

I think they look great with the Minnie plates. What do you think?

Looking for more Minnie Mouse ideas? There will be more coming between now and the party and you can also check out:

Sharing Saturday 14-18

Sharing Saturday Button

It is hard to believe that May has started and that Mother's Day here in the United States is just over a week away. Next week is also Teacher Appreciation Week here. With all of this in mind, I picked my features from last week's Sharing Saturday. But first a thank you to everyone who shared with us!! As always I found it so inspiring!! I hope you took time to check out all the great ideas and leave some comments for people. If you haven't, I hope tonight's features inspire you to! First our most clicked from last week was a Mother's Day Round-Up. From Crafty Journal: Mother's Day Gifts for Grandma.

Staying with the Mother's Day theme, here are a few more gift and card ideas. Some of these would also work great for Teacher Appreciation Week!

1) From One Little Project at a Time: How to Make a Strawberry Rose

2) From Twig and Toadstool: Flower Print Sachets

3) From Lovely Commotion: Kid Made Mother's Day Card

4) From Sparkling Buds: Ten Crafts and Art Ideas for Mother's Day

Plus there are some other great ideas shared that were not related to the holiday. Here are a few of my favorites.

1) From ABC Creative Learning: 3-D Light Up Moon Craft

2) From Planet Smarty Pants: Building with Mud

3) From Rubberboots and Elf Shoes: Kandinsky Circles-Spring Style

4) From Bible Fun for Kids: God Made It: Outside Checklist

5) From Mini Monets and Mommies: Rainy Day Play: Make a Tissue Paper Print

6) From Sparkling Buds: Simple Science Experiment to Show the Effect of Plastic Bags

Thank you to everyone who shared last week!! I hope you will join us and share again!! If you are featured here, please feel free to grab a featured button to display proudly on your blog. 


Featured Button Code:

From Your Hostess:
This week we shared the poetry we read for April about trees and bees and a simple tree craft, our experience raising ladybugs, and simple spring needle felting projects. I guess I did not spend much time on the computer. Sorry!

Now for This Week's Party  
A Few Simple Guidelines:
1)  Please follow Crafty Moms Share via GFC (or one of the other ways that work for you).  

2)  Link any kid-friendly, child-centered post. Please no etsy shops or giveaways, etc.  Remember to link to your actual post. 

3) Post the Sharing Saturday button on your sidebar or somewhere on your blog to help spread the word.

4) I would love it if you would follow me on FacebookGoogle+, and Pinterest 

5) If you do not have a blog, but want to share an idea you can leave it in the comments or e-mail it to me with a picture (if possible).

 Disclaimer: By sharing here, you are giving Crafty Moms Share permission to use your photos for features and to pin your craft at Pinterest.

Simple Spring Needle Felted Projects

Today I have a quick post for you. I made these crafts about a month ago and was inspired by the beautiful needle felted bunnies shared at Sharing Saturday by ZingZing Tree: Needle Felt Easter Bunny (Cookie Cutter). But before I get into my crafts a few quick May Announcements!! First Happy Belated May Day!!

Virtual Book Club for Kids
The author for Virtual Book Club for Kids this month is Mem Fox!! Join us starting May 12th for posts about her books!

This month we are stopping in Croatia. Join us starting May 19th for exploring Croatia and the fun dishes we all make.

Now for my needle felting. I used some Easter cookie cutters to make these shapes. I did not have as cute of a bunny cookie cutter as ZingZing Tree, but I did have a tulip and a jumping bunny.

The bunny is very easy. You put your roving into the cookie cutter and then felt it trying to make sure the entire shape is filled in. You also will want to flip your shape (and cutter) to felt both sides. I am thinking of adding an eye, but haven't done it yet.

The tulip I made three dimensional. I needle felted two tulips from our cookie cutter and then cut one in half and needle felted it to the middle line of the first one. Then I added a green stem. I used a pipe cleaner in the stem to make it more steady, but it still bends. Of course many tulip stems bend too, so I like it.

Today feels like the first day of spring. It is actually suppose to finally warm up a bit. Hopefully the warm will stay this time!! I am not liking this cold spring. Everything around here is behind as a result. Happy May!!

For some more flower crafts and spring crafts check out: