Easter Week

It’s hard to believe that today is the last day of March. This year is passing by much to quickly. But one thing that I am not sad to see go is Winter! I am craving some warm spring weather and it looks like it is starting to peak around the corner. As today is Easter Sunday, this past week I wanted to do some Easter type crafts and activities with the boys that I babysit. Well, technically I only did the activities with the older boy as the younger is still under one. But only for a few more hours because his Birthday is tomorrow!

I started searching for some cheap or free activities that we could do together; so of course I took to Pinterest to explore what others had come up with for toddlers. There was a wealth of ideas out there, but the crafts that I settled on, came from This Site.

For Monday, I made an Easter Egg matching game.

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It was super easy to put together and I didn’t have to purchase anything to make the cards. I simply drew an egg shaped template, traced around it onto scrapbooking paper, and cut out the eggs. Once I had all of my eggs (I made a total of 10), I cut pieces of card stock into 4th’s and glued the eggs onto the cards. Once the glue had dried, I cut the cards in half. The first time we played, I kept all the cards turned face up and he just matched them together. But every time after that, we turned the cards over. He liked to turn one card face up and then go through all the other cards to find its match. He seemed to really enjoy the game and I found him asking if we could “do eggs” again! We played several times on Monday and again the next day.

On Tuesday, we made the classic paper plate, cotton ball bunnies.

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(After I took this photo I realized that they looked a little more like kitties than bunnies… but oh well, it gave us something to do and he had fun with the “puff balls!”)

I didn’t have all the things that you would normally use to make these (like pipe cleaners and google-y eyes) so in order to keep the craft free, I improvised a little with strips of pink paper, black dots that I colored and cut out of card stock, and a Sharpie Marker. The night before I cut out all the little pieces so that it would be easy to just glue everything together. This craft went really well, he enjoyed it and just giggled through the whole process! And then he had fun taking pictures with my phone after we had finished them.

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For our Thursday activities, (I have Wednesdays off, and actually this week I had Friday off as well) we made and decorated sugar cookies and played with plastic Eggs. I just used a Betty Crocker Sugar Cookie mix because I thought it would be easier for him to work with. He loves to bake and so he really enjoyed this activity! We had fun adding and stirring the ingredients together, rolling out the dough, and cutting it into circles using the rim of a cup as our cookie cutter. I wanted to do actual Easter Egg cookies, but I didn’t have an egg shaped cookie cutter and didn’t want to buy one specifically for the occasion, so I thought circles would be just as good! After we baked them we had to let them cool for a while then we decorated them with Betty Crocker cookie icing and sprinkles. (And by the way… the younger boy was not neglected during any of these activities, they were all done in his nap times! So we baked the cookies in the morning nap and decorated them in the afternoon nap. It worked out really well.)

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And of course we had to make train tracks and Mickey Mouse in our icing designs! They may not be the most dignified looking cookies, but for a mix and store bought icing, they were pretty tasty!

I bought a package of plastic eggs at Target a few weeks ago for $1, but couldn’t decide what I wanted to do with the eggs. I thought about an Easter Egg hunt, but I didn’t know if it would be nice enough outside to do it. So I decided to go for an inside counting game. I put a penny in each egg, and put the eggs in an egg carton that I had cleaned out and saved, and thought we could make a game out of it. And it turns out we could!

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He liked hearing the pennies shake around in the eggs and giggled every time I opened an egg to reveal another penny.

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We took the pennies from the eggs and put them in the compartments of the egg carton, counting them while we did it. And then put all the pennies in one egg to make a really loud shaker or “a big one” as he called it. And so on. He did really well with counting them out and putting them back in the eggs. It seemed to be a pretty good game for only spending $1.12 on it!

So other than the eggs, I only paid for the cookie mix and icing, which was about $6 for both. Pretty good for a week of Easter activities! He did so well with the crafts and games, I plan to continue to search for some other cheap crafts that we can do together.

 

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Bed Skirt Alternative

Something you should know about us here at weaving and weather is we are pretty frugal. In our opinion, there is no reason to not be frugal. Like why buy name brand foods when the off brands taste just the same and are $1 less. Or why buy something that you can make yourself! So in lieu of my confession for today, I wanted to share a project that I had been wanting to do for a while and finally got to. (I did this 2 weeks ago yet I am just now posting it as it’s been a busy past couple of weeks.)

When we were packing up everything in Oklahoma to move here, we bought some white plastic zip up cover bags for our mattress and box spring so they would stay nice and clean throughout the moving process. After our things arrived at our new apartment and we were getting unpacked and settled in, we just left the cover on the box spring of our bed being that it was white, didn’t look terrible, was mostly covered up by our comforter and no one would really see it but us, and we didn’t want to spend the extra money for a bed skirt on top of the expense of getting a comforter. And I hadn’t really worried about it too much until we got one of these…

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And she did this…

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Our sweet little Gabby tore open the bottom of the cover and enjoyed crawling up in there and running around and tearing it up even more. We tried at some point, to trim some of the excess off and tape it up but it was a failed effort. I thought about just getting a queen sized fitted sheet to put on the box spring to make it look better, but then I saw a tutorial on Pinterest of wrapping fabric around your box spring as an alternative to a bed skirt. I really liked the look of it and knew that I could find a cheap, durable fabric and make it look just as good, if not better than simply covering the box spring with a fitted sheet.

It did take some time and effort, but I am pleased with the outcome. Here is where I derived the idea from. I didn’t follow the directions exactly or do nearly as much work as she did! So if you are considering this as a bed skirt alternative I suggest you look at the full instructions.

I first measured the length, width, and height of our box spring and added the lengths and widths together to get the total inches all the way around. It came out being 276 inches long by 7 1/2 inches wide. I added 4 1/2 inches to the width of the fabric to give me extra at the top and bottom to wrap around and staple it to the box spring, making it an even 12 inches.

For my fabric, I bought 3 yards of a natural canvas fabric. Like what you would make a canvas tote bag or something of the like. It was on sale and I thought it would be more durable and stand up a little better to wear and tear than just your everyday regular cotton fabric. I also thought the neutral color of the natural canvas would still work great if we ever decided to change our bedding.

Before I started cutting and sewing, I washed, dried, and ironed the canvas. I figured up that I could get 3, 12-inch strips out of the width of the fabric and then I just sewed those together to make one long strip of fabric. Next comes the really time consuming part. I zig-zag stitched around the whole strip so it wouldn’t fray or unravel. The original plans called to do that and I almost didn’t, but my husband advised me that I probably should. ( I’m just lazy and wanted to take the easy way out… but I’m glad that I didn’t because I think that it will hold up better in the long run.)

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After all the sewing was done, my husband helped me disassemble our bed and staple the fabric around the box spring. We flipped the box spring over and stapled the fabric the the bottom first, then flipped the box spring back the right way and stretched the fabric over the top side to staple again, the same way we did the bottom.

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The corners are not the prettiest, and I’m sure that the original plans had a neat way to staple the corners, but I wasn’t too concerned about it since it will be covered up but the mattress and bedding.

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Gabby was a big help. And if you’ll note the ugly corners… like I said, I didn’t follow the directions 100%, but my main motive was to cover the box spring and make it look better than the torn plastic cover we had on it before! Overall, I think I achieved what I was going for.

We went from this…

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to this…

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I don’t recall the price of a plain fitted sheet, but I know that this fabric cover solution is much cheaper than a bed skirt. I think it gives our bed and bedroom a nice clean look. We completed the project all in one day (maybe 2-3 hours, I can’t quite remember) and it was relatively basic the way we approached it. Like I mentioned before though, we could have put much more effort into the project had we wanted to, but I am very pleased with the end result.

After two weeks, our kitty has not bothered it so hopefully that will continue to be the case!

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