Monday, September 15, 2014

DIY: Toddler friendly fall garland

Last week, a friend of mine (hey, Rachel!) posted about a super cute DIY fall garland she did with her son. So I did what any person trying to entertain a toddler 24/7 would do - I stole her idea (muahahahahaha - no, seriously, thank you). I hadn't previously attempted anything this crafty with E because I wasn't sure he could handle it. I'm the mom that worries about her kid choking on a dry bean instead of gluing it to the paper. And yes, I realize I won't be winning the title "cool mom" in the near future ("we could've told you that" - you). But it actually went really well. So well that I don't mind recommending this project to other parents that have toddlers. Here we go!

First, put something down to protect your floor. I am a clearance nut so when Target had their Easter clearance I bought this waterproof tablecloth for a couple of bucks. It's now used to define our crafting area. Layla approves.

Next, get your materials together. I bought some foam cutouts at Target in the dollar spot. We only used the large shapes this time, but I'm sure we'll get around to doing something with the smaller shapes as well. We bought pumpkins, leaves and turkeys. I also got a box of red plastic table scatter shaped like leaves for $2. Bonus: Right now you can use a 30% off Cartwheel coupon to get your foam shapes for only $.70 each. 

This was a two day project for us. Here are the decorations we used on the first day: dried beans, ziti noodles, penne pasta, red table scatter and rice. Not pictured: glitter (which he absolutely loved because it makes the biggest mess. Good thing I could shake off my tablecloth outside).

On the second day we used stickers, more glitter, table scatter, sprinkles leftover from Easter and Valentine's Day, ball sprinkles and broken up pieces of pasta.  

All you do is put globs of glue on the foam pieces and let your toddler go to town. He needed some guidance at first, but got progressively better. Although, he let me shake the glitter (hallelujah). Then let your shapes dry. 

To hang your garland, use a piece of string or twine. I used pushpins to secure the string on both sides (tip - tie a knot around the pin and then push it in). I also had some leftover burlap in the garage so I made bows to hide the pushpins. Next, attach your shapes using clothespins. 

And voila! A super cute fall garland that shows off your artsy side. The picture really doesn't do it justice. In person, it's ridiculously adorable. 

So a big thanks to my friend for posting this idea online. And for what it's worth, E really enjoyed craft time. Every time he sees the craft box now he runs over and tries to open it. We also bought some Halloween shapes so we're going to make a garland for October as well (perfect for our upcoming Halloween party that I'm throwing because I may or may not have also cleared out the Halloween section during Target's clearance event last year...).

Happy crafting!


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