Arts and Crafts

Paper Lantern Craft for Chinese New Year

February 24, 2015

Paper lanternsChinese New Year, the Year of the Sheep, started on February 19. We always decorate the house with some Chinese New Year crafts, like these cute lanterns. They're easy and fun to make, and make great playdate, school, or scout group activities. They'll also be perfect to have on hand while you watch the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade on Saturday, March 7.

Here's what you'll need to make your paper lanterns:

  • Construction or other heavy colored paper (red is a traditional color for Chinese New Year)
  • Scissors
  • A ruler
  • A pencil
  • Tape
  • A stapler
  • Glue, glitter, stickers, markers, paint, sequins, and other things to decorate your lantern

Sewing 101 for Kids at Marinwood

February 18, 2015

sewing 101 for kids marinwoodMarinwood is excited to announce Sewing 101 for Kids taught by the creative experts from Novato's Studio 4 Art!

This class is designed to create excitement, comfort, confidence, and a love for sewing. Class will focus on back stitch, over sewing, blanket stitch, and running stitches, while incorporating art skills of screen printing and stamping to create your own fabric! Puppets, stuffies, creatures, pillows and bags are just some of the focus. Students will even gain knowledge in simple pattern making and a light introduction to machine sewing. It will be a fun and educational class for all!

Classes will be held at the Marinwood Community Center on Wednesdays from 3 to 4 pm, from February 25 to March 25. The class is designed for children ages 6 to 10. The Marinwood Community Center is located 775 Miller Creek Road in San Rafael.

To register online please visit or call (415) 479-0775. Mention Marin Mommies and receive 15% off!

Easy Valentine's Day Paper Craft: Heart Buddies

February 2, 2015

Heart buddiesAlways on the lookout for fun and easy crafts to make, I loved these cute little Valentine's Day heart people that my daughter made in her kindergarten class. My daughter, who takes after me in the craft department, spent an afternoon making an army of these little guys, who she called "heart buddies," to decorate our house for Valentine's Day.

They're easy and fun to make. If you have a heart-shaped cookie cutter, you can trace around it to make your heart shape. If not, you can cut them by hand; it's not hard to do.

To make this craft, you'll need:

Get Crafty and Create Your Own Holiday Cards With Buttons

December 16, 2014

Button holiday craft cardsMy kids have always loved to make their own cards for special occasions, and the holidays are no exception! This year, we made these cute cards using colored plastic buttons as decorations. Get different sizes of buttons and make Christmas trees, candy canes, snowmen, snowflakes, and any other design you can think of.

The results really are delightful, and they're easy enough for any child to make, with an adult's help, of course. Because you made the cards yourselves they are a neat keepsake craft, too.

To make these holiday cards, you'll need:

Rainy Day Holiday Fun: Easy Playdough Snowmen

December 11, 2014

Playdough snowmanKids love sculpting with Play-Doh, and it's easy to make at home for a fun rainy day activity. You probably have all of the ingredients sitting in your pantry right now!

We whipped up a batch of white "snow-dough" to make some cute holiday snowman decorations. It was an easy and fun craft for the kids to make. This recipe makes quite a bit of dough—equivalent to two large cans of Play-Doh. If you don't need that much, feel free to cut recipe in half.

To make your own snow-dough, you'll need:

Family Fun at the New Presidio Officers' Club in San Francisco

November 15, 2014

Presdio Officers' Club San FranciscoThe Presidio Officers' Club re-opened to the public back in October, and if you haven't had a chance to check it out yet you definitely should put it on your list of things to do with the family! This "new" destination is actually one of California's most historic buildings, with portions dating back over 200 years to when it was created as part of the Spanish colonial El Presidio in 1776.

Once a gathering spot for military officers and their families, the Presidio Officers' Club underwent a $30-million-dollar renovation and now serves as a public space offering fascinating exhibits, fun family activities and public programs, unique works of art, and more. Admission is free, too! We had a chance to visit last weekend, and it's a fantastic destination for families in the Bay Area.

Preserve Memories in Clay with Ceramic Hand and Foot Prints for Babies and Kids in Marin

September 23, 2014

Piggy Print ceramic handprintOne of my most cherished keepsakes is a ceramic oval embossed with the hand prints of my kids. We did it a few years ago with Shawna O'Conner and her wonderful Your Piggy Prints. It's beautiful, and I'm really happy that we made it. After all, the kids will never be that little again! (We profiled Shawna in an article here.)

With the holidays coming up, and since your kids aren't getting any younger, why not create one yourselves? Needless to say these ceramic hand and foot print pieces make fantastic gifts for moms, dads, and grandparents, so go make one now and avoid the holiday rush.

Here's where you can make this unique and priceless clay hand or foot print craft in Marin and southern Sonoma counties.

Your Piggy Prints

San Rafael 94903
(415) 595-8446

Run by Marin mom Shawna O'Connor, Your Piggy Prints creates beautiful ceramic keepsakes. Contact Shawna at (415) 595-8446 or to make an appointment in her home studio in San Rafael. She also appears at events throughout Marin. Prices range from $25 for an ornament or magnet to $90 for a quad print of any four prints in one piece.

A Cool and Fun Mother's Day Craft

May 4, 2014

Mother's Day Brooch CraftMother’s Day is coming up, and one of my favorite gifts that I've received is this whimsical and beautiful heart brooch made from decorative buttons and gold paint. My son made one of these for me when he was in kindergarten, and I was amazed at how creative and sophisticated it looked. We even entered it in the kids’ jewelry design competition at the Marin County Fair where it won first place! Whenever I wear this brooch, I get compliments on it, and I’m sure most moms would love one of these for a Mother’s Day gift.

Fortunately, this craft is easy, fun, and inexpensive to make, so why not have the kids make one for Mom or Grandma this Mother's Day? All you need are a few supplies, many of which you may have on hand already, and otherwise can find at any craft or art supply store.

To make this craft, you’ll need:

Easy Craft Project: Adorable Egg Carton Lady Bugs

April 1, 2014

Get a jump on the spring season with this ladybug craft made from a recycled egg carton. These ladybugs are adorable, easy to make, and of course environmentally friendly. Use colorful paints to brighten and make these cool ladybugs standout. My daughter loves to make this craft with our old egg cartons and then use her ladybugs to decorate her bedroom windowsill. 

Supplies you'll need:

  • Empty egg carton
  • Black pipe cleaners
  • Small or medium black pom poms
  • Small wiggle eyes
  • Crayola or other watercolor kids paints in black and other colors
  • Paintbrush
  • Small sharp knife
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