Friday, March 30, 2012

DIY Daytime Constellations

Last week I recreated this Cloud identification tool that I saw on Pinterest and my son has loved it! Almost every day he has been outside trying to identify what clouds are in the sky. I am not sure if he is correct every time, but it has really entertained him and sparked an interest I never expected him to have.
So I thought I would recreate another Pinterest inspired educational tool that you can do with your kids, the daytime constellation activity.

I created the following 5 common constellations in a Publisher file using little circles and lines:
  • Canis Major (the Dog)
  • Ursa Major (The Big Dipper)
  • Leo (The Lion)
  • Hercules
  • Orion (The Hunter)
I found the constellations online on various sites to create each of the constellations. I found it odd that there were different designs for the same one..so I think some sites include surrounding stars. I saved the file as an image and printed it on card stock paper.

 I carefully cut around the outer line to create 5 circle constellations.
Using a 1/8 inch circle hole punch with a 2 inch reach (this is important) I punched out each of the dots where a star appears in the sky.
The reason you need a 2 inch reach punch is so you can punch the holes in the middle of the circles.  I bought this 2 inch reach punch at Micheal's a while ago for around $5. If you find a coupon you might be able to get it for less. See how it is able to reach the middle of the large circle?
This is a regular hole punch; it doesn't reach the middle spots.
I punched each of the small dots on the 5 constellations.

Next is the fun part; head to a dark room or outside in the sun with your constellation cards and shine a light through them. You get to see what the constellations will look like up in the sky but during the day. I apologize this image is so bad, I was hiding out in my walk-in closet trying to take this photo. You get the idea though.
I created a few different versions of this file. The first was the one you see in the pictures above, all names, dots and lines are printed. The second, only has the names and dot, so you can have your child connect the dots to draw his/her own constellations. And the last one only has the dots.

UPDATE: I have saved the three images for you to download. Here are the links


Please leave me a comment with and let me know whether or not you were able to get this to work. Again, please keep this for personal or classroom use only. 

If you find any major errors, please email me and I can correct it for future emails. I am by no means an expert in this so any help is appreciated.

Happy star gazing!
Stephanie

Nail polish stand and stamping tool - Preteen/Teen gift idea

My beautiful and amazing niece had a big birthday this year...she turned thirteen. I know this isn't monumental as far as things that change as a result of her age (i.e. driving, drinking, etc.) but it was big for her mom and I. How can she be 13 already!?

Well for her birthday, I knew she was at an unusual stage and I would have a tough time finding something she would love. I didn't want to get her something to mature because she is still is a child and I don't want her to grow up too fast. So I did what any good aunt would do...bought her something her mom probably would not love but I know she would, nail polish. Isn't that the best thing about being an aunt!

I made her a nail polish holder/stand and filled it with some really amazing things. I started with an old spice rack that I got at a local thrift store for $1.99. I wish I had taken a picture of it. It was oak with some hideous flowers and leaves painted on it. After removing an inch of grease, covering it with a few coats of white spray and gluing a piece of scrapbook paper, that matches her bedroom, to the back of the spice rack it was transformed into a pretty little nail polish rack.

To fill the rack, I bought some dollar store nail polish remover, Q-tips (to clean up nail edges), makeup pads and bright color nail polish. I then added an amazing nail polish tool called Konad Nail Art. I am not one to do product reviews or encourage you to buy something, but I needed to share this because it is so amazing for teens and any woman who likes images on her nails. I am personally a clear nail polish type of girl...but that might be because my nails just never grow nicely.

If you have not seen Konad nail art , please take a minute (but come back) and see how cool this system is. Here is a great video on Anna's Nail Art on how this stamping tool works.

I did two of my nails just to show you how well it works. No, I did not use the gift before I gave it, I also bought my daughter a set :) You start with a plate that has designs on it.
You then paint nail polish over the design and scrap off (with the Konad tool see below for image) the excess polish. Using the Konad stamper (see below for image), you remove the image from the template by pushing the rubber edge of the stamper over the design and place it on your nails. The image is transferred to your nail. It really is that easy.  Sorry my nails are horrible...just remember to look at the stamp and not the nail :) The stamps are really cute when you have a colored nail polish on the nail to start out with. You can get any type of image you can image, entire nail patterns, french manicures, flowers, seasonal, etc.

You can use both Konad nail polish or any thicker type of nail polish you can find. Honestly, some of the dollar store stuff works just as well for my daughter and I really prefer the price.
 
I purchased the started kit from Anna's Nail Art at a craft show, but for those of you in the US, here is where you can find the Konad stamping/scrapping tool on Amazon for Under $6:

Source Amazon.com
I did order a bundle of stamping plates (Monster brand) from Amazon and I find they work just as well as the pricier Konad. You get 21 plates (a total of 139 images) for under $18.
Source Amazon
I made a box with my Cricut to hold the plates and added a small piece of the matching paper to the flap of the box.
I secured all the items on the nail polish rack with glue dots and wrapped the entire gift it in cellophane.

This gift was a huge hit! So for any of you struggling for a gift for a preteen or teen gift (or even younger- my 9 year old loves it) this is a great option and it really does not cost too much if you order it off amazon and buy the other items from the dollar store. I would say you could probably make almost this exact gift for under $30.

Have any of you seen or used nail stampers before? What do you think?

Have a great day,
Stephanie

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Birth Announcement Art - Step by Step Tutorial


I have received so many wonderful comments on the wedding date art I did last October I thought I would share with you exactly how I created it. Rather then recreating something I have already done, I thought I would share how to create a birth announcement version of the wedding date art.

So I created a step by step tutorial on how to create these in Publisher.
Here is exactly how I make these in Publisher. Be prepared there are a lot of photos...but I found that to be the easiest way to explain how to make them.

Open Microsoft Publisher and select your desired size. I have used an 8x10 size in this tutorial.
Select 'Insert' and 'Picture'.
Locate the image you want to use and re-size it to be approximately 5 inches wide.  To center the image, slowly drag it to the middle of the page and a light pink line will appear when it is in the center of the page. I put the image in the upper third of the page.

Friday, March 16, 2012

To the Cloud! DIY Cloud Identification Tool

I am sorry for being away from here for a few weeks. I truly appreciate all the emails I received from readers asking where I have been and if I was returning. Don't worry, I have no plan on stopping Full of Great Ideas.  No one has been sick and unfortunately, we have not been away, I just can't seem to find time to post anything. My projects have continued as normal, but finding the time to sit down and share them with you has been difficult.
So I am starting with a small post that I did with my kids this past week while they were on March break.

I pinned this Cloud Identification Tool kit idea a really long time ago and had always intended to make it. You can buy a kit online for a pretty reasonable price; however, they are intended for a classroom use so you have to buy at least 25 of them for $35. I have no need for 25, so I made my own.
I started by going online and found free images of the different types of clouds. Using Publisher (you can do this in any format), I arranged the clouds by the way they appear in the sky. The lower ones, are low clouds, the upper clouds are high in the sky...well you get the idea. I added the name of the cloud type below the image.
I printed the design out on photo paper with my color printer as a 5x7 and carefully cut out the middle rectangle. (I don't love the quality of my printer, so I think I might send it to Costco for a nice, professional print.)
 I then cut a piece of white card stock to the exact size.
I glued the two pieces together with a wooden stick secured in the middle to be used for a handle. To be honest with you, I have no idea why I have tongue depressors in my house, but I had a few of them. I was expecting to have to eat a Popsicle just so I could get a stick..but nope. I still ate a Popsicle though :)
 We are having the best March break weather ever, so we went outside to test it out. Unfortunately, we only had a few clouds in the sky.
 Here is the only cloud, but you get the idea though how it works.
 My son loved it...my daughter wasn't as interested. It always amazes me how different two kids from the same parents can be.
If you would like this, leave me a comment with your email address and I can email you the 5x7 high resolution jpeg. 
Here is the full size image. To download it:
  • Right click on the image and select open in a new window or tab
  • On the full size image, right click again and select 'save as'
  • Save it to a place on your computer where you can easily find it
  • Send it to your favorite photo developer
  • Please only use these for personal use!
  • Enjoy!!
As usual, I just ask that you use it for personal use..or classroom use :)
What do you think?


I hope everyone has/is having a great March break.

Stephanie at Full of Great Ideas

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