Can You Hear The Rain? {Sensory Kids Craft}

The weather man was wrong again. (I am starting to wonder when he may be right) Last I had checked we had a forecast showing an entire week of rain and there has been nothing. Not a drop of water, just warm heat and sunshine. However I am not going to complain about the warmth since just last week we had snow, but I was a little disappointed because I had planned a fun sensory craft for the kids to make to go along with the spring showers and my plan was washed out. (tee-hee. . sorry, I couldn’t help myself) 
We decided to make our craft anyways since it does go along with spring, which we are finally experiencing here in Michigan. Well, sort of. I think we went from winter to summer and skipped spring all together. Its been a weird year for weather, don’t ya think? Either way, the kids thought it was a pretty cool craft and even found a way to turn the rain makers into weapons to hit each other with after they were bored with listening to the rain sounds. 馃檪 Aye, kids. . 
This craft is super easy and super inexpensive to make, but is really quite amazing. We loved using it as a rainmaker stick to simulate the sound of rain as it hits our roof. It is a learned skill for little ones to be able to listen. Hearing comes naturally, listening must be taught. 
To make this craft, you will need: 
– A recycled tube from a roll of paper towel
– 2 cupcake liners
– About 2 foot of aluminum foil
– 1/2 cup uncooked rice
– Tape
– Begin by scrunching up the aluminum foil to look like a snake. Not too tight though. This is what will be used to catch the rice and create the long rain effect sound. 
– Push the scrunched aluminum foil into the recycled paper towel tube so it fits completely inside. You should be able to see openings when looking through the tube. Do not completely block the tube.
– Place one cupcake liner at one end of the tube, cover the opening and tape into place. 
– Pour your rice into the open end of the tube. 
– Cover the open side of the tube with a cupcake liner and tape into place. 
That’s it. Now you can decorate the outside of the rainmaker and make it your own masterpiece. As you tip the tube back and forth in your hands the rice will fall and create a layered rain sound effect. What a great time we had tonight making this craft as a family. What do you like to do as a family in the evenings? Let us know by leaving a comment. Thanks for sharing!
Tomorrow is garage sale day! Be sure to sign up for our email list and follow us on instagram to see what were finding and picking up. Hopefully we can find some great re purposing projects within all of the goods to share with you. See ya soon!

<3 Dick and Jane
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Beyond The Picket Fence


Building a Terrarium with Your Kids #TBCcrafters

I don’t know about your kids, but mine are fascinated by the world and how it works. They love when we start our seeds in the garden and they can watch them sprout and grow. There is something “magical” about the wonder of seed sprouting. Unfortunately, it is hard for my kids to see what is happening when a seed goes from just a seed to a plant since this process takes place under the dirt out back in our garden. Since my kids were so interested in seed sprouting, Jane and I decided to create a small terrarium that we could keep indoors and watch the process from seed to plant. Creating a terrarium turned out to be a fun, easy and educational project that we just adored.
What is a terrarium?
ter路rar路i路um  (t-r芒rm)
n. pl. ter路rar路i路ums or ter路rar路i路a (-)
A small enclosure or closed container in which selected living plants and sometimes small land animals, such as turtles and lizards, are kept and observed.
What can my kids learn from planting a terrarium?
Terrariums teach kids about nature and how seeds go from a seed to a plant. Not only do terrariums teach kids about plant growth, but also about our ecosystem. Inside your container you will be creating an entire ecosystem for your plants to survive. There will be a water table, clouds, dirt, air and plants. This process can also teach your kids about recycling because we will be using an old single serve milk container for our terrarium. You can also use a water bottle or any other small clear bottle with a lid. A 2 liter pop bottle would also work.
You will need:
A small clean clear container
Small pebbles
Clean dirt (potting soil works great)
A spray bottle with water inside
Seeds (we used grass seeds)
A funnel
How to create your terrarium:
1. Begin by making sure your container has been cleaned out and air dried.
2. Fill the bottom of your container with small pebbles, about 1 inch in depth. You can talk with your kids about how the extra water will drain down from the dirt and store in the rocks until the plants need it. This is their water table.
3. Next add about 2 inches of dirt. Be sure not to let the dirt and rocks mix. The dirt needs to only layer on top of the rocks. (no shaking)
4. On top of the dirt, sprinkle your seeds. Grass seeds work great for this because they simple need to sit on top of the dirt and do not need to be buried.
5. Lastly, you will want to spray 3-4 squirts of water from a water bottle into the jar and replace the lid.
6. Place your terrarium in a sunny window.
That’s it! You have just created a small ecosystem for your plants to live in. Within a few days you will have some seeds sprouting up and your kids will be amazed. Remember to keep the lid on, place your container in a sunny window and your small ecosystem will do the rest. As long as you keep the lid on tight, you should not ever need water your terrarium.
<3 Dick and Jane
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Farm Girl Friday Blog Fest

Upcycle Gardening #TBCcrafters

This year I am super excited to get my garden going, more so than other years for some reason. I don’t know if its been just because the winter was so long, or if its because I am finally starting to find my “niche” in the gardening world? Years past I would spend a fortune each spring buying plants, pots, dirt, etc.. You know how it goes. This year, I had a ah-ha moment and decided to start using items which could be considered trash items to remake my garden into an artistic space. I also started all of my plants from seeds using a recycled greenhouse method. It might be just that as I get closer to nature and put more effort into my garden space the more I enjoy it. Not sure.

I have several projects that I am working on for my garden, but with the weather still not cooperating this is the only one I have done so far. So, I will just share them as we go along during the next couple of weeks. For this project I used old wooden crates that I found in my garage to create a layered planter. I really wanted to use this planter for strawberries, but I am concerned about the spray paint that is on them seeping into the dirt and effecting my produce.
I was lucky to have crates already made that I could just fill with dirt and stack them on top of each other, but I was thinking. . this would be easy to make with pallets as well. Pallet crafts are gaining in popularity and I know several DIYers who have pallets stacked up in their garages. lol. So if you are one of those pallet hoarders, share with us if you created this project using them. Id love to hear how it turns out. If you don’t have pallets laying around, I bought these crates a few years back at Michaels craft store. However, I have seen them there still just a few weeks ago.
I cant wait to show you the planter full of plants! I will have to do an update in a few months when the weather turns and my plants can be transplanted outside. Can you help me decide what to plant in them? Will the spray paint on the wood affect my produce or should I just stick with flowers? Comment with your answer.
Beyond just planters there are so many projects I have “up my sleeve”. Ooohh! I am just so excited to share them all with you!! More posts coming soon.
<3 Dick and Jane


DIY Fairy Doors #TBCcrafters

A few years back I found a fairy door on etsy, bought it and nailed it to a tree in our yard while the kids were away for the day. The kids returned to find the fairy door and were excited by its “magic”. Ever since this day we have been finding ways to welcome more fairies to our home by making their home beautiful and comfortable. If you ever get a chance to visit Ann Arbor, Michigan it is said that there are small fairy doors hidden all over the town. I have not yet seen it myself, but I plan to go when the weather warms up and see what I can find. Until then, I will just have to create my own “Fairy Village” in my backyard. I have a set of trees that is perfect for creating a little neighborhood of homes.
I decided to try and build an inexpensive fairy door myself that the kids could help personalize themselves. We came up with a door made out of Popsicle sticks and modge podge. They turned out pretty good. I do have a few changes I would make and will note them as we go through the directions.
You will need:
Popsicle Sticks
Modge Podge
Something to use as a doorknob (button, dowel, etc)
A small hook for attaching it to the tree
How to create your own fairy door:
Begin by laying out your Popsicle sticks to the size you desire your door. I made a few wider than others because not all doors are the same. Carefully while holding the sticks in place add modge podge to the sticks to keep them in place. Be careful to not add too much your first time or you will glue your sticks to the table. Re-apply several coats to both sides once they dry.
Once the door is completely dry you can paint it and add your door knob using hot glue. You will also want to add a hook to the back using your glue gun to attach your door to the tree.  I made the mistake of trying to nail through the door into the tree. . bad idea. I lost two doors because they split and fell apart from the nail.
When you are happy with the way your door looks, go outside and find the perfect spot to build your village. Stack them to build apartments or hide them for a fun little secret passage. Don’t forget to stack up a few rocks to help create some “curb appeal”. You can also find little white picket fences at a craft store to give your door a more inviting look.
Fairy Dust
<3 Dick and Jane

Create Your Own Custom Wall Art #TBCcrafters

I enjoy changing my house decor for the seasons. Each spring I bring out items to decorate my home that remind me of the beach. Last year after taking a trip to Florida I came home and created one of these wall art piece from the inspiration I felt on this trip. Since hanging it in my home, I have had numerous compliments on this one particular piece of artwork. Creating this piece wall art was super easy! So today, I decided to show you how I made this piece of art and help you create your own custom home decor.
What I used.
– Canvas (any size you want)
– Fabric (large enough to cover your canvas)
– Thick, round paintbrush
– Stencil – I purchased my stencil on etsy
– Hot glue gun
 – Paint (fabric or all purpose)
How I did it.
– Lay out my fabric on a hard surface and place my stencil on the fabric where I want it.
– Tape down the sides of the stencil so it doesn’t move while I am painting.
– Using a thick, round headed paintbrush tap downward with paint to cover the entire stencil. Do not use regular painting brushstrokes.
– Remove the stencil and allow the paint to dry completely.
– Once the paint is dry, place my fabric over the front of the canvas where I want it positioned.
– Flip the canvas over and trim the fabric down leaving just enough fabric on each side to wrap around the back of the canvas and tuck in.
– Using my hot glue gun I placed a line of glue on the back edge of the canvas and pull the fabric around to stick.
– Continue the last step all the way around, pulling and gluing the fabric to the back of the canvas.
– Tuck the remaining fabric under the back tabs. Too much access fabric it will show on the front of the art piece, so trim it down.
– That’s it, its ready to be enjoyed. 
Have any questions about how I made this? Leave a comment and I will get back with you.
Thanks for joining us today! We are anxiously waiting for summer to arrive.
<3 Dick and Jane

Another {Repurpose} Project

I love finding new purposes for old items.  Almost anything can be transformed in some way to create a new treasured item. As I look around my home at all of my favorite belongings. . many of the items could have easily been trashed, but instead I re purposed them into something new that I love.
Remember last week when I turned an old candle container into a planter? If you didn’t see that post you can check it out here. This week I was given some old tea containers from a friend. I decided to do the same thing with these and create more little planters for inside my home. As spring is approaching I am always looking for more containers to move my baby seedlings to as they grow.  These were perfect!  I debated for awhile about re-covering the containers using scrapbook paper and modge podge glue, but decided that I really enjoyed the look of the containers as they were. I did, however, add little “feet” to the bottoms to give them a little something extra.
These little treasures are now the perfect home for my herb plants that have outgrown their mini greenhouses. They have room to grow and flourish on my window sill and I can enjoy their beauty in containers I love.
I want to challenge you to look beyond an items intended purpose and find what else it can be. My friend Sara is a pro at this. Her blog features daily re purposing projects that amaze me. I must say I get a lot of my inspiration from her. Just check out what she did with an old clementine crate on her blog at Thrifty Treasures.
Do you like to re purpose? Please share your ideas and projects with us for a chance to be featured on the blog. We would love to see what you are up to!
<3 Dick and Jane

Create a Hair Accessory Holder {Repurpose} #TBCcrafters

Each morning in my house is a huge scramble to get ready.
 “Come here Jane, I need to do your hair”.
“Jane, where did all of your hair bows go”?
Jane just shrugs her shoulders.
This is the missing bow mystery that we face on a daily basis in our home.  Poor mom spend tons of money buying adorable hand crafted hair bows for Jane to wear just to have them disappear two days later. This mystery may be solved if we could just find the little goblin that steals things in our house. I’ll bet that goblin who is wearing all of our socks has a pretty cute hairstyle. . all done up in beautiful bows.

Since I just cannot seem to find that dear little goblin, I will have to take a different approach. Today, I am going to help prevent this mystery and create a new, safe home for Jane’s hair bows. This way we will always know where to look for them. It a pretty easy little project and did not cost me more than $10 to make.

What did I use?
– Spray Paint
– Empty Oatmeal Container
– Fat Quarter of Fabric
– Old Plate (or a cheap one from the dollar store)
– Candle holder for a base
– Glue (I used hot glue and modge podge)
How did I make it?
1. I Began by covering a empty oatmeal container in modge podge glue and carefully rolled my fabric around the container. Smooth out any creases or bubbles along the way.
2. Using modge podge again, I folded in the fabric under on each end. One side will fold into the container and the other side can tuck the fabric up underneath the bottom. Allow to dry.
3. Using spray paint, I coated the plate and candle holder until completely covered. I allowed it to dry. 
4. Once everything has dried, I glued my candle holder to the bottom of the plate using hot glue (or any type of glass glue). Second, I glued the covered oatmeal container to the top of the plate.
5. I also added fabric to the top of the oatmeal container top using modge podge. To do this I simply cut a circle out of fabric and press inside the lid.
That’s it. It looks adorable and keeps everything neatly in place!
Thanks for joining us for Thrifty Thursday!
<3 Dick and Jane

{How To} Create a Chicken Wire Frame #TBCcrafters

There is something about a piece of hand signed artwork that I just can not resist. The fact that someone poured their heart and soul into a project and felt proud enough of their work to sign and date it means a lot to me. I love collecting artwork. I really love displaying artwork in my home. The same art piece can inspire me in different ways each day.
As many of you know, I am not much of a winter person. Once winter begins I am pretty much counting the days until the sun arrives again and I can get back outside. Now that we are getting closer to spring here in Michigan I am getting antsy for it to begin. Right about now I am filling my life with as many things that remind me of spring as I can. It is almost as if I need to remind myself what is coming so I have the strength to wait a little bit longer. So when I came across the artwork from The Art of Jamie Barks I was smitten. It is beautiful and inspiring. Just what I needed right now.
When my artwork arrived I wanted to find a unique way to display it in my home. A standard frame would just not do it justice! So I decided to create my own original frame using a basic untreated frame and some chicken wire. What I created was perfect. I might even sign and date it 馃檪
So follow along and I will show you how I made it.
Chicken Wire Frame {How To}
1. I bought a standard wooden frame from my local Michaels store. If you have old wood laying around you could also make your own, but I did not have any spare wood nor the time to spend creating my own frame so I bought one.
2. I had some left over spray paint in robins egg blue that I used to lightly coat the wooden frame. I wanted a touch of the wood to show through the paint, so I did only one light coat.
3. After the frame dried I cut (or had my husband cut) a section of chicken wire to fit the frame size.
4. He then stapled the chicken wire to the back of my frame.
5. Finally I attached my piece of artwork to the front of the frame using paperclips. I didn’t want to damage the print at all and this seemed like the best option. It actually looks quite cute as well.
Now you can display your artwork in an “artsy” way in your home. What? You have no artwork that you love to display? Well, no problem. Ive got you covered. Jamie Barks, the talented artist from this post, is giving away a free print to one of my readers! Wow, right? So take a look at her artwork and see what inspires you. Once you find one that you love you can create your own unique frame to display it on.  Now enter the giveaway using the rafflecopter entry below. I know your ready to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
I also got this sweet little print to hang in my daughters room. Isnt it lovely?
Choose to Be Happy – Jamie Barks
<3 Dick and Jane

Disclosure: I was provided with two prints to review and one for a giveaway for this post. My opinions of the art was not pursuaded by this generous act. Thank you.

Picture Perfect Artwork #TBCcrafters

I am so proud. Both Dick and Jane are very artistic; just like their momma. However the daily art projects can leave me with a full fridge door and a messy looking kitchen.  So I got a little creative to try and bring harmony to my kitchen once again while still displaying their artwork proudly.

As many of my readers know, I love to garage sale , thrift store, garbage shop.  I love taking something that was destined to be thrown out and turning it into a new prized possession.  One of my favorite items to pick up while browsing thrift stores, etc is frames! I love old wooden frames, especially the ones with a lot of texture or design. It doesn’t matter if they are missing their backs or glass, I still pick them up. There is so much you can do with them!
So when I wanted to find a way to display my kids artwork in the kitchen I turned to my salvage frame pile and pulled out a few of my favorites. First, I cleaned them up with a light sanding. This helps to remove some of the old paint so the new paint will stick better.
Once the frame is lightly sanded, take a damp cloth and gently wipe off any dust from the frame. After it is dry, spray paint the frame with your favorite color(s). Always remember to paint the back first so the front doesn’t smudge or stick to your table when you flip it to paint the other side. Its better if the back is messed up a bit rather than the display side.

After my frame was completely dry I can choose to either lightly sand again to create a distressed look (as I did on the teal frame) or leave it saturated with paint (like the orange frame). Finally flip the frame to work on the back side and using hot glue permanently adhere round heavy duty magnets all the way around the frame.
Now, I can pick my kids favorite artwork to showcase and let it shine! The frame will stick magnetically to the fridge.  
tip: before putting the magnets away test your frame out on the fridge. if your frame is too heavy you may need to add more magnets to keep it from sliding down the fridge.

Magnets should ALWAYS be kept out of the reach of Children! They are dangerous and harmful if swallowed!

<3 Dick and Jane
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Thursday Craft – DIY Holiday Table Runner #TBCcrafters

This week I have been busy creating table runners for a local craft show that I take part in each year.  I have been working on a new runner to showcase which is made with reversible sides and a hand painted snowflake on the ends. It turned out so pretty that I decided to share how to make this runner with all of you. Hopefully you will enjoy its beauty in your home during the holiday season as we have in ours.

To make this craft I used the following items

Martha Stewart Stencil Brush Set 3/Pkg- Plaid Crafts
Martha Stewart 32250 Cut Your Own Adhesive Stencil Paper
Martha Stewart 32226 Transfer Paper (optional)
Martha Stewart 32014 2-Ounce Acrylic Satin Paint, Pool
Martha Stewart 32185 2-Ounce Acrylic Glitter Paint, Sugar Cube
Martha Stewart Crafts Knife
2 yards Premier Prints unprinted birch fabric
2 yards ZigZag Girly Blue/Twill fabric
With the above items I was able to make three identical runners if I cut the materials properly. 

The method I used:
  • Begin by folding your fabric with the selvage edge together. Cut about 1″ off and discard the selvage edges.
  • Measure 18″ width and make another cut. You want your fabric to be 18″ wide by 72″ long. You should be able to yield 3 fabric strips.
  • Repeat the first two steps with the second fabric pattern.
  • Choose one strip from each fabric pattern, place them with the right sides together.
  • Sew a 1/2″ seam all the way around the fabric, leaving one short end un-sewn so you can turn the runner the right side out.
  • Turn the fabric right side out and iron both sides to press your seams.
  • Fold the open ends inward to create a seam and iron to hold.
  • Sew another 1/2″ seam all the way around the runner on the right sides.
Painting my Runner
  • Begin by making your stencil.  I made a snowflake but you can do any pattern you choose.
  • Print the pattern of your choice on regular printer paper (I found my design by using a search engine for “snowflake stencil printable”)
  • You can either use the transfer paper and transfer the image to your stencil paper to cut out or simply place the paper on top of the stencil paper and trace the image with your craft knife.
  • Once your stencil is cut, place it on your runner where you choose.
  • Using your stencil brushes, tap the paint straight down over your stencil making sure all of the open spaces are painted.
  • Follow your main paint with the glitter paint in the same manner.
  • Repeat to the other end of the runner. The stencil can be used many times.
  • Carefully remove the stencil and allow to dry.
That’s it! Now you can showcase your work on your table for your holiday feast and everyday up until then. If for some reason you don’t want to make this beautiful runner yourself you can always hop on over to our store and just buy one.  馃檪
Happy Crafting! <3 Dick and Jane
Do you have a Thrilling Thursday craft to add? Add a link to your blog post in the linky below after you’ve left a comment on this post and add this button to your blog post!”