St. Patrick's Day Frame {and free printable}

Do you decorate for St. Patrick's Day?  Well... I have a fantastic, easy and inexpensive {$2} project for you.

I made this cute frame using a frame from the dollar store, a strip of scrap felt, and a button.  Cute, right?

All I did was make a simple felt flower {per the tutorial below}, and attach it to the frame with a glue gun. 

To make the flower:
1)  Cut a strip of felt about 1 1/2 inches wide.  
2)  Use hot glue to seal the sides of the strip together.
3)  Cut little slits along the entire length of the strip {being careful not to cut all the way through}.
4)  Start wrapping the flower, using glue to secure it as you go.
5)  Finish by adding a button using hot glue.

And you can download the free 8 X 10 printable here.

Easy peasy!  Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

* You can find me on facebook here.

St. Patrick's Day {Penny} Banner

St. Patrick's Day isn't a major holiday, but it is still fun to put up a couple of simple decorations to celebrate the special day.  This "penny" banner is easy and inexpensive, and perfect for the occasion.

Want to make one?  Here's all you have to do:

1)  Gather your supplies {green card stock, twine, a few pennies, and some tiny clothespins}.

2)  Cut out some simple shamrock silhouettes.

3)  Use double sided tape to attach a penny to the middle of each shamrock.

4)  Use clothespins to attach the shamrocks to the twine.

That's it!  It doesn't get much easier than that.  :-)

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

* You can find me on facebook here.

St. Patrick's Day {treasure to share}

Last week I shared a cute "Lucky Penny Postcard" that I designed for the boys to give out to their friends for St. Patrick's Day.  This week, I am sharing another fun and easy idea... a cute St. Patrick's Day bag topper.

The bag topper says "I treasure our friendship", and it is perfect for pairing with some chocolate gold coins.

You can download a sheet of bag toppers {for free} here.  Just print the pdf onto white card stock, cut four bag toppers using a paper trimmer, fold in half, attach to a bag of filled with treasure, and secure with a stapler. 

Isn't this an easy and inexpensive class treat? 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

* You can find me on facebook here.

ECM Kids' Craft Club - #12 {Leprechaun Paper doll/Puppet}

Welcome to the 12th edition of the {East Coast Mommy} Kids' Craft Club {an easy and inexpensive way for kids to have fun crafting and to experience the excitement of getting their very own mail}.  If you want to join the club, you can find more info here, or you can email me at, and I will email you a pdf of the template for $.99.  For everyone who is already a member {and those that want to use our project for inspiration}... this month, we are making a sweet Leprechaun Paper doll/Puppet that is perfect for St. Patrick's Day

Are your supplies ready?

OK.  Let's get started:

1)  Cut out all the pieces of the template.  You have one leprechaun puppet and three shirts.  {Make sure you don't cut the "tabs" off the shirts.  A grownn up will have to help younger kids with this part.}

2)  Stick on a green or yellow nose and glue on the googly eyes.

3)  Draw a mouth, and color the leprechaun and his three shirts any way you want.

4)  Tape the popsicle stick to the back.

That's it!  You can now change your leprechaun's shirts by placing them on the leprechaun and folding over the tabs.

I hope you enjoyed making this craft and that you have a very HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY.  {Don't forget to leave me a comment, or send me an email.  Your comments help me to improve the club, and I love hearing from you.} 

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Remember... Assist young children when using scissors, and be careful of the small parts included with this kit, as they can be a choking hazard for children under three

St. Patrick's Day {lucky penny to share}

Now that Valentine's Day is over, I thought it would be fun to let you see the cute St. Patrick's Day "Lucky Penny" postcard I made for my boys to share with their friends.

Isn't it cute?  I love it because Canada has just stopped making the "penny", so it may be the last year we can do this.  :-)

You can download a free pdf version of the postcards here.  Just print the document onto white cardstock, cut into four with a paper trimmer {or by hand}, and add a lucky penny with some double sided tape.  Easy peasy!

Who wouldn't love to receive this little token of friendship?  ... and everybody could use a little "luck" now and then, right?

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

* You can find me on facebook here.

Elf on the Shelf Valentine

I had a fun idea this afternoon, and I am so excited to share it in time for you to surprise your little Valentine.  Our "Elf on the Shelf" is going to send a special Valentine to my boys.  Fun, right?

Want to print your own?  You can right click on the image above {and save and print it}, or you can download the 4 X 6 print here.

I sent mine for 1 hour processing, so this project cost me $0.25.  Not bad considering how much excitement this is going to bring when my boys find a message from our Elf on the Shelf waiting for them on Valentine's morning.  :-)

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

DIY Snowman Mugs

I have seen a bunch of "Sharpie" mugs on Pinterest, so I thought it would be fun to make my own version for my boys.  Won't these snowman mugs be adorable filled with hot chocolate and marshmallows?

All you need to make one of these adorable mugs is a white mug {I got mine at the dollar store}, some oil-based Sharpies, and a little imagination.

Want to make one?  It is sooooo easy!

First, wash the mug well and let dry completely.  Then, decorate the mug with Sharpies.

When you are finished, bake in the oven at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, and allow to cool in the oven.  Easy Peasy!

We made snowmen, but you could draw or write anything.  They would make great personalized gifts too.  What are you going to create with your dollar store mug?

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

PS (I have had a couple of people report that their marker came off when they washed their mugs.  I can only guess that it has something to do with type of Sharpie or the type of mug they used.  I came across a bunch of tips here that might help.  Good luck!)

I also had a reader (below) share the following: I washed my cup in hot soapy water and let dry. I then wiped my entire cup where I was crafting (mostly outside) with vinegar and let it air dry. I then did my patterns with the sharpies. I put my cups and plates in a cold oven, set at 350 degrees. When the temperature reached 350, I then timed it for 45 minutes, shut the oven off and left them there until the temperature of the oven was again cold. This procedure worked well.

5 Easy Valentine's Day Treats

As a busy mom, I love making the holidays special for my boys, but I am always looking for ways to save myself a little time.  Here are 5 fun Valentine's Day treats that will make you look like you spent all day in the kitchen... even though you didn't.  :-)

1)  Heart-shaped "Kiss and Hug" brownies - Make brownies {from a box} extra special by cutting them out with a heart-shaped cookie cutter.  Add a "kiss" and "hug" {using store bought icing}, and you are sure to impress.

2)  Super-simple cupcake/brownie toppers - Take a piece of pink cardstock and cut out a circle.  Add a Valentine's Day sticker, tape a tooth pick to the back, and stick it into a cupcake or brownie.  Easy peasy!

3)  Pre-made cookies - Why not "dress up" some pre-made cookies?  Use store bought icing to make a "sandwich" and roll in some sprinkles.  So fun!

4)  Cookie pops - Isn't all food more fun if you put it on the end of a stick?  Just insert a lollipop stick into a pre-made cookie, and bake according to the directions on the package.  You can even wrap them up and give them to friends.  Share the love!

5)  Peanut butter "heart" cookies - Everyone has a "tried and true" peanut butter cookie recipe {and if you don't, you can find one here}.  Just allow the peanut butter cookies to cool about 2 minutes, and then top them with a chocolate hearts.  Yummy!

Are you hungry yet?  What is your favorite Valentine's Day treat?

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

Preschool Craft {Heart Person}

Valentine's Day is in a couple of days, and I have the perfect craft to do with your little ones -- it is simple enough for Preschoolers, but it is also great for older kids. All of my boys had fun making these adorable heart people.

Here’s how you make “Heart People”:

1) Gather your supplies (which you probably already have lying around your house)… red or pink construction paper, scissors, glue, markers, googly eyes, pom poms and/or buttons.

2) Cut out a big heart. (I drew one and had the kids trace it and cut it out.)

3) Make faces on the heart using markers, googly eyes, pom poms and/or buttons.

4) Make legs and arms by cutting strips of paper and folding them “accordion style”.

5) Glue on arms and legs. (You can also add “heart-shaped” hands and feet if desired.)

Cute, right? I made these when I was a little girl, and I had a great time making them with my boys.

Do you remember making Valentine's Day crafts when you were little? What did you make?

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you enjoy lots of sweet treats and cuddles with your little ones this year.

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Find more fantastic Valentine's Day ideas here.

And check out some more wonderful Preschool crafts here.

DIY Valentine's Day Decor {With Free Printable}

Who doesn't love fun and frugal holiday decor?  I put together this cute vignette on my hall table for less than $7 using dollar store purchases and some things I had lying around the house.

Cute, right?  Here's the way it broke down:  Felt signs $1.25 each, garland for inside glass container $1, dollar store frame $2, and dollar store bucket filled with chocolates $1 {for a grand total of $6.50}.

I think the the three DIY elements are what make it so much fun. 

1)  The "Happy Valentine's Day" sign I made using Picmonkey.  {You can download your own copy here.}

 2)  The Love Bugs my boys made last year.  {You can find the full tutorial here.}

3)  The Valentine's Day Vase that I made using an old baby sock.  I cut the foot off the sock, slipped the sock onto a vase I already had, and used a glue gun to add a felt heart and button.  {I was inspired by a project I saw here.}

I hope you love these little projects as much as I do.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)

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