Free Printable Planner Stickers ~ Arrows

I kind of like being able to create planner stickers based on what I will actually use. These stickers will probably not be particularly useful to most people, but I am sharing them anyway.

Small boxes with arrows - free planner sticker printable

I have a few kids participating in our school's archery program. Now, it is not a particularly exciting sport for the spectators (it makes golf seem wild!!!) but they seem to enjoy it. I need to keep track of practices and tournaments, so I designed some planner stickers with little arrows on them. Of course, arrows are kind of trendy so they could be used for just about anything in a planner.

Archery Planner Stickers - free printable

Arrow stickers for tracking archery practice

I made mine in shades of our school colors that coordinate with my Happy Planner, but I also made some in black and white. Both are available for your personal use by clicking on the links below:

Blue and Gold Arrow Planner Stickers

Black and White Arrow Planner Stickers

I just print mine on adhesive label paper and cut them out to use as needed.

Arrow Free Printable Planner Stickers

I also have these stickers available:

If you want to learn more about how I use my Happy Planner...

How to use a Happy Planner

Free Printable Planner Stickers - Fitness and Motivation

I haven't made any New Year's Resolutions about getting in shape or losing weight. I probably should, but let's be real here... It is a record cold spell and I am not going outside to run. I could do some workouts inside, but I am just not that motivated at this point. Today, it is just not one of my priorities and I will freely admit to that. At some point, however, I plan on starting to train for another 5K. The girls and I want to try to run a few together. I am not sure how that is going to work out. They are all faster than me. I also don't really like the thought of them competing against each other and the aftermath that will follow. I suppose we will have to work on sportsmanship. :) It is ultimately just for fun, right?

However, some of you may actually be motivated to brave the cold to go for a run or perhaps you are hitting the freshly crowded gym. In honor of that, I sat here on my behind in the warm house and designed planner stickers. Now, I will definitely use these at some point. Maybe next week. Maybe in a few months when my snot doesn't freeze in my nostrils every time I go outside. Eventually.

Also, we don't have a gym membership. I just wanted "gym day" stickers for marking which days the girls have gym class and I have to make sure they are wearing sneakers. :) That is ultimately why I started designing these stickers.

The color scheme matches my new Happy Planner (LOVE IT!!!) and I got all of the clip art from Free Pik.

You can download the free printable by clicking HERE. I print mine on adhesive paper and cut them out.

P.S. If you are still sticking to those New Year's resolutions- GOOD JOB!!!

Chalkboard Succulent Pots

I am having a year full of "lasts." This is the last year of school for my oldest and the last year at home for my youngest. It is really starting to sink in that I am one of the older moms now and moving into another stage of life. (I am a little sappy these days!) So, this is my last year in MOPS. It will also be my last year helping with the steering team through creative activities. For our first meeting, we like to do some sort of craft or activity as we get to know one another. The past few years we have kind of mixed it all together with the welcome gift, too. Succulents just sort of seemed to go along with the theme this year, so we decided to plant succulents at the first meeting.

(Those aren't even the best succulents- just some that were left over after the meeting!)

First, I contacted a local greenhouse and ordered wholesale succulents. Then, I got terra cotta pots at Michaels (with a coupon!) and spray painted them with chalkboard paint. I picked up a bag of cactus soil and at the meeting each mom got to choose her own succulent and plant it in the little pot. We included succulent care instructions in the newsletter, too. Overall, this activity seemed to go over very well!

The rest of our welcome gift included a magnet with our meeting dates, designed by our awesome publicity team, a little bag of chalk to use on the pot, an index card with washi tape for an icebreaker activity, and a little print to reinforce the theme. It was all slipped into a little kraft paper bag and closed with more washi tape. (We had a lot left from last year's journal craft).

I ordered the prints with the Shutterfly app for free. They came out to 9 cents each with the shipping, though. I uploaded a few of my designs as files (also in 4x6 if you want to print them somewhere else and trim them down) and you can access them HERE. The graphics came from freepik.

I hope some of these ideas are helpful to other MOPS groups! Enjoy these days! Before you know it, you will be an old mom like me. :(

Neck Warmer Rice Bag Tutorial with Teacher Gift Tags

I had a very busy end to the school year! I was asked at the last minute to fill in for a teacher who was having a baby. The last few weeks of school are a very busy time filled with lots of activities. The first week, I went on a total of three field trips (two with my own children and one with my substitute class). The second week, we traveled to the middle school for two move up days and had a school-wide fun day. Finally, we ended with three half days. I had a really great class and I enjoyed spending time with them. Teaching can be really hard these days. There is a lot of pressure to help the students perform well on standardized tests. Common core is not only new to the students, it is new to the teachers as well and can be difficult to teach. The wide academic range of students within the classroom means that you have to teach to many different levels at once, making sure advanced students are challenged and struggling learners are supported. Behavioral problems are undoubtedly worse and some students have emotional needs that will bring you to tears.

Watching that light bulb moment when a student finally gets it, having former students rush to hug you in the hallway, seeing their faces light up with happy news after dark days, seeing the class get excited about learning... those are the things that make it all worth it. One thing that I remembered this past school year is how much I have missed teaching.

On our next to last half day, my 9yo and I decided to make some gifts for their elementary teachers. One of them had a particularly challenging class this year so I came up with the idea of making a microwavable neck wrap to help ease some of the tension from a long school year.

DIY neck warmer teacher gift with free printable gift tags!I happened to have a layer cake of the fabric line "Elementary" by Sweetwater for Moda Fabrics. How perfect is that? (Although, the math on this fabric is at a much more advanced level!) So, we chose 5 fabrics that went well together and carefully cut them to make two neck warmers at once. The back is made of a solid black strip for a nice contrast and easier topstitching.

I snapped some pictures as we were making them so I put together a little tutorial.

To make two rice bags, start with five 10" squares of coordinating fabric and a 13" cut of fabric from the bolt for the back. For each 10" square, cut 6.5" off of one side, then cut that piece in half (5"). The longer rectangle can be put in your scrap bin. :)

How to make a neck wrap rice bag from a layer cake...

Repeat for the other squares so that you end up with 10 pieces of fabric measuring 6.5" x 5" each.

Neck warmer rice bag from layer cake squares

Sew the fabric together on the long sides with a 1/4" seam allowance. Press the seams open.

Sew fabric together to make a cute, quilted look rice bag!

Use squares of fabric to make a DIY spa neck wrap.

Next, cut your back piece. I like to wait until the top is pieced in case my seam allowances were off. It should be 23" x 6.5" but measure your front just to be sure and adjust if needed.

sew-pieced-strip-to-solid-back

Sew the front and back together, leaving a two inch opening in the center of one end. Clip the corners.

sew-front-to-back

Flip right side out and poke the corners out carefully. Press well with the iron. These steps make all the difference, so please don't skip them!!!

Now, it is time to fill the bag with rice. I mix mine with a few drops of lavender essential oil in an old ice cream bucket before funneling it into the rice bag. For this project, you only need to fill one section at a time, so add about 1 cup of rice and then carefully topstitch between the first two fabric squares to hold the rice in place. I used black thread to match the back.

Mix a few drops of lavender essential oil with rice for a relaxing microwavable neck wrap.

How to sew dividers in a neck warmer so that the rice stays in place...

When the last section is filled, carefully machine stitch the opening closed. You can do this by hand if you prefer.

stitch-opening-closed

TA DA!! These really don't take too long to make. I made it an assembly line with my daughter. She would hand me fabric, iron, or fill rice as I sewed the other one. I thought it was nice that she got to help with the gift for her teacher.

Neck warmer rice bags with stitched pockets to keep the rice in place and help it wrap around the neck.

Finally, we made some printable gift tags and the girls signed them. I printed them double sided on brown card stock to coordinate with the fabric. Everything was tied with bakers' twine to make a neat little bundle.

"Pain in the Neck" teacher gift bags for a DIY neck wrap!

Neck warmer rice bags for an end of the year teacher gift

You can download the free printable gift tags by clicking below...

printable teacher gift tags download

If you want to pin this for later...

Neck warmer rice bag tutorial with free printable teacher gift tags!

The kids are of course being rambunctious already, but I am enjoying the slower pace of summer vacation. I hope the teachers are enjoying their break, too! I know these two really earned it this year!

Egg Letter Matching Activity

I like to make sure that my children are able to occupy themselves. It is how I get things done around here and a good life skill for them. With only one at home this year, it has been challenging. She can get really clingy. "Mommy, take a nap with me!" really means come lay with me while I talk your ear off and keep annoyingly touching your face. She is such a tease because a nap sounds awesome! I do enjoy snuggling with her, but I can't do that all day. I keep certain toys on a shelf that only come out once in awhile to help maintain their novelty factor. (She is playing with the dollhouse while I type this post.) Puzzles, Lincoln Logs, play-doh, and other generally messy things fall into this category.

I also like to have a few "busy bags" on hand. It was something that I had to do with my 5yo before she went to school. She would not work on anything educational with me and I was concerned that she was not prepared for school. If I was sneaky and gave her a "special game," she played with it and learned without realizing it.

Use plastic eggs for a simple busy bag or learning center activity matching upper and lower case alphabet letters!

My 3yo has been working on letters, so I came up with an activity that will grow with her. I got a bag of plastic eggs (I bet most parents have a bajillion of these laying around right now) and put upper and lower case letters on them. Then, I created alphabet cards that have pictures with beginning sounds to match each of the letters. (You can download it HERE.) There are a lot options with these eggs. They can be used to work on colors, matching, letters, patterns, counting, etc.

Plastic egg letter matching activity with free printable!Alphabet Egg Busy Bag with free printable

I think it was a few minutes of prep time well spent because this will keep her busy and learning for much longer!

You might also like...

felt penguin dress-up busy bag

DIY I Spy Bottles MOPS Craft

No-Sew Felt Play Mat ~ Great kids craft!

Girls Room Collage Wall ~ with Free Printables!

collage2Bwall2BCollage2Bcopy.jpg
This summer, the girls and I did a lot of crafty projects. The biggest thing we did was a collage wall for a new bedroom. The walls are painted a light gray and the trim is a darker gray. That created a neutral backdrop and the girls each chose their favorite color for decorative accents- red and teal/aqua. I also threw in some pink and white.
This is probably my favorite home decorating project ever! I love the way it turned out.
It was a frugal project, too. Well, until I got command strips to hang everything because my husband didn't want his new wall full of holes. ;)  (I can't complain- that made it so much easier to hang everything!) We went to a local thrift store on half off day and picked out a bunch of frames. I already had a few that I picked up at yard sales for a quarter each.
We took out the original artwork and scuffed the frames up with sandpaper.
Then, I put the girls to work painting them. :)
I got some free codes from Shutterfly to order black and white prints. If the frame was a strange size, I mounted the picture to scrapbook paper or used a strip to fill in a gap.
We also got some wood frames from Michaels at a really good sale price. The laser cut frames were painted by the girls and we mod podged scrapbook paper to the other ones. The big one in this picture is an 11 x 14, so it is pretty big!
I also cut out a mustache (my 11yo loves them!) using scrap wood from an old dresser drawer that fell apart. I printed out a horse silhouette for the heart frame since it was an odd shape for photographs.
My 7yo was unhappy about the black and white pictures, so I printed out a few pictures that she liked and matched the color scheme to hang in an open frame with bakers twine and mini clothespins.
I also wanted the collage wall to include some encouraging and inspiring messages for my daughters. I found a few free printables that I liked.
Free from incourage HERE.
Find it HERE.

I also created a few of my own free printables. You can use them, too. Just give me credit if you blog and don't sell them. OK?

My 11yo chose this Bible verse. I got the clip art here: Designed by Freepik. (There is a spelling mistake, but I fixed it. It only took 2.5 years to notice it!)

Comparison is the thief of joy is something that I told my daughter when we had a long heart to heart talk last year. I hope these words stick with her. I think all of us would to well to remember them. Again, the wreath graphic can be found here: Designed by Freepik.

The words HOPE and Laugh were clearance finds. Everything for this project (besides the command strips) cost under $35.

I have another decorating project that I plan to share on the blog soon. I also plan on doing another, smaller collage wall for another bedroom. These are really fun!

Link Parties where I sometimes hang out...