Things to Make: Crafts & Do-It-Yourself

This sponsored post was written by me on behalf of Post. Regardless of compensation, all opinions are 100% my own.

Since I was a little girl, string popcorn and cranberries to decorate the tree was a holiday tradition. Now my little ones like to add their own special touches by suggesting new ingredients to make our garland special. This year we’re writing holiday words, messages, and phrases using Alpha-Bits cereal.

Alpha-Bits (1 of 1)Encouraging My Kids to Play with Their Food!

This is one of my favorite holiday traditions. We always make hot chocolate, along with our bowls of popcorn, and put in a holiday movie. Then, we start stringing and showing off our creations to each other.  And, of course, while we create, we eat! We snack on popcorn and cereal! It’s such a frugal activity that is great for families and fun for everyone.

Holiday Garland


  •  Alpha-Bits Cereal
  • Popped Popcorn (Plain, No Butter)
  • Cranberries (Fresh)
  • Embroidery Floss (Strong, but Not Too Thick)
  • Needles (Fat with Rounded Ends)
  • Scissors

Alpha-Bits (1 of 1)-2


Making Holiday Tree Strings is all about creativity. There’s no right or wrong way to do it. Simply cut a long piece of string and thread your needle. To help kids, you can tie the thread onto the needle, but keep your knot small. Tie the end of your thread, then begin stringing on your ingredients. Once you’re done, remove your needle, tie the other end, and place it on your tree like garland.

What Are We Learning

  • Spelling or ABC’s. Use the Alpha-Bits to spell Christmas words, message, and phrases on your string like “Merry Christmas”, “Jesus”, “Santa Claus”, and “Gifts”. For younger kids, you can simply create your ABC’s. Kids will have fun reading it and showing off their work throughout the season.
  • Patterns. Create patterns with your ingredients. You can create patterns based on letters, colors, or the ingredients themselves.
  • Counting. When creating patterns, count ingredients to make strings that include items likes 5 popcorns, 1 cranberry, 1 word, 1 cranberry, and 5 popcorns.
  • Sorting. Sort ingredients by color, letter, or even broken ingredients that won’t string well.
  • Coordination. Stringing ingredients takes a bit of hand-eye coordination, especially for little ones.
  • Teamwork. This activity is great for families. Working together to build your strings, makes it much more fun!
  • Safety. It’s important to show kids the right way to handle a needle, even if it’s rounded and less likely to hurt them, along with scissor safety.

Tips & Ideas

  • Long needles work best. For younger kids, you can use a larger, rounded-end needle so it won’t hurt if they poke themselves.
  • When threading popcorn, stick the needle through the fat puffed part of the popcorn. It won’t easily go through the kernel pieces.
  • Add other ingredients. Just make sure they won’t spoil on your tree throughout the season. Things you can include are:
    • Classic pretzels (just put the string through one of the openings, don’t try to stick the needle through them or they’ll crumble.)
    • Marshmallows
    • Gum Drops or Jelly Beans
    • Post Honeycomb Cereal, Mini-Cinnamon Churros, or Waffle Crisp
    • Food Coloring (toss popcorn or cereal in food coloring to add color)

Sponsored by Post via the Mom It Forward Blogger Network and written by In Good Cents. For more information, please read our terms & conditions and disclosure policy.

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There are some great deals on Rainbow Looms right now, but as the holidays approach it seems the price tag on this year’s hottest toy is on the rise.

While the loom makes it easier to create complicated patterns, especially for young kids, it’s not necessary. If you aren’t ready to invest in a loom, there are a few bracelets you can make without a loom. All you’ll need are rubber bands and clips, which you can get  for under $4 on Amazon for 600 assorted rubber bands and 25 clips.

Rubber Band Bracelets without Loom

I’ve found a few different ways to make rubber band bracelets without a loom, so you can find one that works best for you!

Create with Your Fingers

Create with Sticks or Pens

Create with a Crochet Hook

Create with a Fork

Have you found any other tutorials to help you create a bracelet without a loom? Share below.

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The rubber band bracelets are hot right now and, once you invest in a loom, it’s creative, imaginative, and affordable fun for kids. Even my 4 year old is mastering his hand-eye coordination and pattern-making skills while creating simple bracelets on our loom.

Right now you can grab a Rubber Band Bracelet Loom Starter Kit for only $12. It’s not a name-brand Rainbow Loom, which is now up to $28.99 on Amazon, but it’s almost exactly the same and includes:

  • (1) Loom Board
  • (600) Assorted Colorful Rubber Bands
  • (24) S-Clips
  • (1) Loom Hook Tool

Shipping of $2 will be applied to your purchase.

This sale is available through October 16, 2013 or while supplies last. Grab refill rubber band and clips on Amazon for as low as $3.59 right now.

Get FREE instructions & patterns for rubber band bracelets on Rainbow Loom’s website. Plus, find out how to make rubber band bracelets without loom!

Plum District offers limited time and one day sales for members and focuses on deals for babies, kids, and moms. It’s free to join!

Save more when shopping online with cash back shopping, plus find many more promotional codes in the Online Shopping Database.

Thanks I Am That Lady!

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Thanks to Holly of for this creative craft idea for children for the 25 Days of Christmas series.

When I was a kid we use to make Stain “Glass” Windows by shaving different colored crayons in between wax paper sheets then placing between 2 towels and ironing (warming) on a low setting. We would then make windows from construction paper and glue the wax paper sheets in between them or just cut the sheets into shapes like Christmas trees, bells, candy canes etc. and use a hole punch and ribbon to hang them on the tree or stick them on the windows with invisible scotch tape where the colors would show beautifully when the sun shined through them!

Want to contribute? Submit your 25 Days of Christmas guest post for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card before December 13, 2012.

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Get 31 FREE Halloween craft ideas in the FREE Homemade Halloween Crafts eBook. Download it as a PDF to save to your computer.

There are many easy ways to get free stuff online if you know where to look!

**Protect yourself! When signing up for freebies and other ways to save online, if you’re unfamiliar with the website you’re registering with, please use a FREE voice-only phone number and alternate e-mail address to avoid spam and unwanted calls.

More Ways to Save

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No matter how much my children grow, they never seem to tire of bubbles. Even your average, everyday bubbles thrill them for hours. We like to get creative with our bubbles though just to see what happens. Sometimes we end up with some awesome bubbles, while others times it’s a complete bust (literally!).

Homemade Bubble Solution Recipe

I know bubble solution is cheap, but it will never perform as well as homemade. Just trust me on this.

You may need to adjust the recipe slightly, depending on if you have hard or soft water and what type of dish soap you use, but experimenting is half the fun. If you realize your solution isn’t perfect, no need to start over.  Just pour it a little more of whatever you think you need!

CLICK HERE to get creative with bubbles!

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