Make Something Monday: Cardboard Castles!

Monday, November 16th, 2015

Holy cardboard castles in the sky. By picture alone, is anyone else wishing they were of an acceptable age to abandon everything, drop to castle-level and immerse yourself in this for an entire afternoon? First of all – you are always of an acceptable age. Second – believe it or not, this is cardboard and masking tape. It IS!!!! It really is – and for all of you (me included) who have felt a pang of sympathy every time you see a well-intentioned Pinterest fail – this actually works out JUST as you think it will – there is a template, and thanks to Marilee’s pics, a lot of inspiration and direction beyond that.


SO – here’s what it requires:

  • Sturdy cardboard (Marrilee used 10″x10″ pieces – so 20″ all together)
  • A Cutting Tool (good pair of scissors or X-acto knife)
  • Colored Tape (Marrilee used Duct Tape)




Find the full instructions + a template here at the very amazing (and visually scrumptious) Mer Mag site  – such creativity!

And for a totally different take on how to decorate your mini-mideval fortress, take a look at the illustrator Rob Dunlavey’s Crystal City Sculpture – if tape isn’t your thing, just draw or paint right on the cardboard. Oh MONDAY, so much to have fun with, so little time!

*Pro tip: we’ll be posting our own b&b original printable this week and it goes sooooo well with castles. Just sayin’ (check back tomorrow – we’ll also add the link in this article)! *

– love, Amanda (long-time friend of b&b’s, now permanently behind the scenes! Hi everyone!)

Make Something Monday: No Sew Beaded Tutu Bedskirt

Monday, March 18th, 2013


We saw this tutorial written by Beth of Free Stylin’ and HAD to share it.  It’s such an easy, cheap way to make your little princess/dancer/mermaid(think blues!)/fairy’s room super cool and special.



What You’ll Need:

  • A ton of tulle fabric
  • A fitted sheet
  • Beads (optional)
  • A hot glue gun OR a needle & thread (to go with optional beads)
  •  A ruler
  • A pencil
  • Scissors

Directions are HERE.

Make Something Monday: Recycled Pool Noodles

Monday, March 11th, 2013

Somehow everybody seems to own at least one foam pool noodle, even if they don’t have a pool, or live near one. They’re cheap, take up room, and usually get thrown out after one or two uses.  Not in our world though, we at b&b love to upcycle whatever we can, so here’s some of our favorite pool noodle upcycles:



Slice one noodle in half and race matchbox cars/marbles!

Chop off about 6″, slice one side, and wrap it around your door. No more slamming doors! (Especially on kid hands!)

Swirl the noodle around itself (secure with a hot glue gun), wrap it in clear plastic and stick it on a bit of pvc pipe and you have a giant lollipop for all sorts of partys and awesomeness.

Turn them into hobby horses! Tutorial is here.

Did we forget about any other ways to upcycle these? Let us know!



Make Something Monday: DIY Crib Railing Teething Guard

Monday, September 24th, 2012


I found this tutorial on Jane Marie Blog and thought it was a great, simple way to keep your baby from nomming on his/her crib railing. A few teeth marks in the railing might not be a huge deal, but it’s hard to know that your crib’s paint is 100% non-toxic.

What You’ll Need:

  • A few yards of fleece from your local (or online) fabric store
  • Scissors


The Steps:





Make Something Monday: DIY Super Bouncy Ball

Monday, September 17th, 2012

Making these at home definitely takes away the fun of using those awesome 25¢ machines at the store, but it will add to your mad-scientist playtime.


What You’ll Need:

  • Cups or bowls to mix in.
  • Craft sticks to mix with
  • Water
  • Measuring spoons
  • Borax (found in the laundry section of stores)
  • Corn Starch
  • Glue (standard Elmers’ or your favorite similar glue)
  • Food coloring (optional)


The Steps:

  1. Mix 2 tablespoons of hot water and 1/2 teaspoon Borax together until all Borax is dissolved.
  2. In a separate cup or bowl – mix 2 tablespoons of glue with some food coloring to get the color you’d like.
  3. Mix the colored glue and the water/Borax together.
  4. Add 2 tablespoons of  cornstarch and mix with a craft stick until it gets too hard to mix anymore.
  5. Take your gooey glue blob out and start kneading it into the shape of a ball. (It will be sticky, but the more you knead it, the more it will harden into a normal superball)
  6. BOOM – you have an awesome new bouncy ball. HAVE. FUN.




PS. If left out, the ball will probably get misshappen, but you can always knead it back into a ball…or make a new one!



Make Something Monday: Toddler Scribbles into Fine Art

Monday, September 10th, 2012

You always want to keep and treasure every work of art your kids make – but when they’re making you an entire reams worth of scribble art, you quickly realize you can’t hold on to everything. So here’s a good way to turn your toddler’s art into something you can proudly display for years to come, and not have to worry about buying extra refrigerators to hang everything on.

What You’ll Need:

  • Completely original art created by your kiddo
  • Canvas
  • Paint
  • Modpodge
  • Paintbrushes (foam ones work a little better for this, but any type will do)
  • Scissors
  • An idea or pattern to follow. Google “stencil pattern” , there’s some really good ones floating around.


The Steps

  • Paint your canvas and allow it to dry completely.
  • Cut your pattern out and stencil it onto the back of your scribble art. Then cut the scribble art into the shapes you need.
  • Use Modpodge to glue your scribble art pattern onto the canvas and allow it to dry completely.
  • Coat the entire canvas in Modpodge. Allow it to dry and repeat this step until you’re satisfied.
  • Hang on the wall and enjoy.







PS. I bet my mom still has some of my scribble art somewhere.



Make Something Monday: Jet Pack

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Yes, you read that right. Jet pack.

A friend sent me this tutorial from and we both already want to make our own, and wear them while riding bicycles. And yes, we’re adults.

Head over to the tutorial here.




Make Something Monday: A Smart Use For Paint Chips

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Some of the most common writing errors in English stem from the misuse of apostrophes and contractions—especially when it comes to words like it’s vs. its and you’re vs. your. Giving your child a solid foundation in how contractions are formed and what they actually mean—that is, which letters the apostrophe replaces—will go a long way in helping him or her avoid these common mistakes in the future.

I saw this picture on Pinterest and thought it was such a great way to make a visual aid to teach contractions. It’s pretty, it’s simple and it recycles all those old paint chips you have cluttering up your junk drawer. All you need is those standard 4-shade paint chips, a pen/marker and to write out the words and their contractions as in the picture.





Make Something Monday: Upcycled Styrofoam Prints

Monday, July 16th, 2012

This is a genius way to teach your kiddos (and yourself) printmaking without carving into tiles with sharp tools (which I learned the hard way can get very dangerous and hurty). It even has the added bonus of making use of those Styrofoam containers you wind up with and hate getting stuck with.




Make Something Monday: DIY Moon Sand

Monday, July 9th, 2012

…or Moon Dough… Cloud Dough…. Sand Dough…. I’ve seen it all over the internet under all of these names, so just pick your favorite. Let me know if you or your kids come up with a good name for it. Anyway, whatever you call it, it’s super easy to make and will keep your children entertained for hours.



What You’ll Need:

  • Flour
  • Oil (most tutorials online suggest baby oil, but if you’re worried about your kids putting this in their mouths, apparently coconut and vegetable oils work exactly the same way… and are at least edible)
  • A bin or large container
  • Toys


The Steps:

  1. You want an 8:1 ratio of flour to oil. So 4 cups flour and 1/2 cup oil, 8 cups flour and 1 cup oil, etc. Mix them together until the flour still feels silky and sandy, but will hold a shape if you squeeze it in your hands.
  2. Dump it into a large bin
  3. Add toys.




  • While clean-up is easy, you will have to deal with loose flour and oily hands. This is probably better for outside playtime.
  • Store your moon sand in an airtight container to play with later.
  • You can dye it all sorts of fun colors with food coloring.