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.




Make Something Monday: Wall Art!

Monday, May 21st, 2012


Toilet paper, Paper towels, Gift wrap… they all leave you with cardboard tubes. Everyone has them. Most of us try to come up with things to do with them after we’ve pulled all the paper off. Back in September, I posted these nifty toilet paper roll owls, but as much as Kyle tries to deny it, you can only make so many owls before your house looks like a strange enchanted forest.

I found a nifty collection of paper-roll wall art that is complete with tutorials. Go here it out HERE.

And feel free to scroll down through my favorites. And send us pictures of what you wind up making!





Make Something Monday: Bookcase Dollhouse

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Every little girl wants a dollhouse. Trust me, I was the tommiest of tomboys and I was still jealous of my friends old fashioned dollhouse that her dad built her. But, not every little girl’s dad can build her one, and not every little girl’s grandma has an old fashioned, Victorian dollhouse to pass along.

I’ve noticed a growing trend on the DIY side of the internet, where people are taking old bookcases and turning them into some pretty cool, space saving, upcycled dollhouses. All you need is a bookcase or shelving, some paint/scrap paper, etc to decorate, and a tiny doll moving company to get your little ones dolls to move in.











PS. This DIY is a great excuse for you to play with the dollhouse as you build it 😛

Make Something Monday: Oversized Abacus

Monday, May 7th, 2012

Jenny over at AnythingPretty was inspired by an oversized abacus she saw in a catalog, and took it upon herself to build her own for her son’s nursery. I absolutely love the idea of this. It’s not only a striking piece of wall art, but it’s a functional developmental toy that helps teach counting and colors(depending on how you make yours).



Head over to her step-by-step tutorial here.



Make Something Monday: Recycled Piñata

Monday, April 30th, 2012



A couple of days ago, Kelly over at StudioDIY blogged a great tutorial on making a piñata. You can check it out here , or read my version below. I’m pretty much using her pictures and instructions, but making it a little bit greener (in true Barley & Birch fashion)


What You’ll Need:

  • Old Tissue Box
  • Old newspaper (or magazine) pages.
  • Ribbon
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Treats!!! 😀


The Steps:

1. Cut your pages into about 1″ strips, and snip them to create a fringe. You’re going to need a lot of this. Put on that show that’s been sitting in your DVR for weeks, and have at it.

2. You also need to cut ribbon for your handle and decorative ribbon for the bottom (optional). Kelly’s were all 18″ lengths. Make a big loop out of one strand for your handle, and tie the rest of the strands together to make a tail.



3. With your scissors poke a hole in one top corner of your tissue box, then poke another hole in the opposite bottom corner. Pull your ribbon through the holes you created, making sure that the knots you tied are large enough not to slip through each end.

4. Fill your piñata with treats! Once filled, seal it up with scrap paper.



5. To adhere your fringe, start with the sides of your box. Run thin lines of glue around the box and gently wrap the fringe around and around. Make sure each layer of fringe is very close to the previous layer so you prevent any of the box from showing through.

6. Once the sides are completely covered, you’ll want to add fringe to the top and bottom. Do this in the same manner as before, but instead of wrapping you’ll cut your fringe at the end of each line. (Optionally, you can do ALL sides in this manner. It would probably be better if you’re using magazine pages, or shorter strips)

7. Wait for glue to dry.

8. Hang up and admire.

9. Destroy.

10. Eat treats. 😀




Make Something Monday: Chalkboard Paint in Any Color

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

I saw this tutorial for multicolor chalkboard paint over at and had to share it. Elsie’s blog is outstanding and has all sorts of great entries like that one.


What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup acrylic paint in the color of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon unsanded grout (this is a powder, so make sure to work in a ventilated area!)
  • mixing cup or bowl
  • spoon
  • paint brush
  • object/board/wall you plan on painting.

The Steps:

1. Mix your paint and grout until it’s a smooth, non-lumpy consistency.

2. Paint your surface.

3. When the paint is completely dry, “slate” the surface by rubbing chalk along the surface and then lightly rubbing it off. This will help prevent “staining” when you write/doodle on your new chalkboard.



Make Something Monday: Melted Crayon Art

Monday, April 16th, 2012

This is another craft sensation that is all over the internet. It’s fairly simple to make, easily customizable, and quite striking.

What You’ll Need:

  • Crayons
  • A canvas
  • Hot glue
  • A blow dryer
  • A tarp/old newspaper in case of a mess

The Steps:

  • Pick out the colors you want to use, and figure out your layout.
  • Using the glue gun, adhere the crayons onto the canvas with the tips pointing down.
  • Prop the canvas up, with tarp/newspaper under it.
  • Use your hair dryer to melt the wax. Experiment with the setting to see which works the best for what you want. >>>WARNING: The wax CAN splatter, so make sure to protect the surrounding areas, and wear long sleeves just in case<<<

Here are some examples of variations of melted crayon art.

Black or colored canvas.

Cut out initials or shapes.

Use different shades of blue to create a rain or water effect.

Shades of green can create a grass effect.

And this one is just simply my favorite of all time.


Make Something Monday: Recycled Newspaper Gift Bags

Monday, March 26th, 2012

A friend sent me this tutorial from How About Orange and I thought it would be a great thing to share.

What You’ll Need:

  • Newspaper
  • A ruler
  • Gluestick / Your favorite glue
  • Scraps of cardstock/chipboard or index cards.
  • Holepuncher
  • String/Ribbon
  • Eyelets (optional)

Got those gathered? Good. Now head over to the tutorial here.


Make Something Monday: Recycled Silverware

Monday, March 12th, 2012

I’ve been seeing a lot of recycled silverware projects, so here are some of my favorites.

Flatten spoons with a hammer and curl the handles to make hooks.

Curl fork tines for more decorative hooks.

An edgier version.

Make the hooks this way to store small items.

Flatten spoons and engrave to use as garden markers.

Remove the handles to make gift tags.

Make a wind chime for your kitchen.

Use as decorative door handles/drawer pulls.

Use the decorative handles of vintage silverware to make a bracelet.

Or a ring.

Or the classic re-purposing of a fork as a dinglehopper!