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DIY Photo Booth

17 Dec

What makes an amazing holiday party even better? A photo booth! But who wants to spend $1,000 on renting one for just 3 hours when you could make one yourself for less than $5 and keep it up all night long!

My friend Stephanie just had the holiday party of the season and she decided to make her own photo booth. It was the talk of the night and made the party even more fun. The more the guests had to drink…the better the photos got! So here are all the steps you need to make your very own photo booth.

Crepe Paper
Wrapping Paper
an iPad
Construction paper and wooden dowels
Random assortment of props

“I started by covering the back wall with colorful wrapping paper (I would suggest something simple with geometric shapes or a simple pattern), and then taping crepe paper in a line so it hung down to the floor over the paper.”

photo 1-3

“For the props, I just had a wicker bench to serve as the seat, and put two tables next to it to hold a box of props on one and the ipad on the other.”


“Props included mustaches that I drew, santa hats, funny headbands, reindeer antlers and a red nose I made out of glittery foam. I wanted to include a chalkboard for people to write their own messages, or had a sign that said “I’ve been naughty/nice”, but didn’t make it that far. Another suggestion would be to have mistletoe!”

“I made a frame out of cardboard covered in glitter. This turned out to be the favorite prop of the night!”

photo 2-2

“To take the pictures, I used an app on the iPad called “Pocketbooth”, which was simple to use and had a self-timer (someone needed to hold it up because I didn’t have a stand, but if you can rig something up- that would be even better).

“It was cheap ($1.99!) and pictures could easily be saved to the camera roll, emailed or posted right to facebook or twitter.”


Thanks for sharing the ins and outs of making this awesome photo booth, Steph! It was a huge hit and super fun and easy to make. It’s definitely worth the $1.99 investment in the app.

If you don’t have an iPad- no worries! A lot of people were posing, using the props, and taking photos on their own phones or cameras as well. Definitely the perfect addition to any holiday party.




DIY Snow Globe Soaps

26 Nov

This is perfect for the beginner soap makers out there who would like to make some personalized soaps in bulk for holiday gifts. I got this idea from the Alpha Mom blog. I stumbled on it when I was searching easy soap recipes and it was just too cute not to try. It cost me about $15 in supplies and took about an hour from start to finish. This makes homemade gifts for about 30 people, so in my book- this is an amazing project.


Soap Dye
Soap Scent
Soap Glitter
Mixing Bowl
1 White bar soap (I used Dove)
Ice Cube tray
Measuring cup
Cheese Grater
Holiday buttons, toys, figurines, ect…

Don’t be afraid by the word “Glycerine”. It was actually very easy to find at the store. I made one stop at my local A.C Moore and found all of the soap materials I needed including the glycerine.

Chop up your glycerine into ice cube-shaped blocks (which is pretty easy if you get the block of glycerine like I did). Then shave your white bar soap with your cheese grater into a pile.

Put about 6 of your glycerine chunks into a mixing bowl for 1 minute.

Gloppy goo. So add your soap dye, scent, and soap glitter to the bowl. I added 2 drops of blue and about 8 drops of lavender vanilla scent. I was iffy about the soap glitter- but I’m really glad I decided to use it. It makes the end product sparkle and seem more “winter-ish”, and it doesn’t come off at all on your hands when you use the soap. So I would definitely recommend picking up a little jar (I think it was about $3 and well worth it).

So here is where there is a little guess work involved. Stick your goop back into the microwave for about 20 seconds at a time. You want it to be as liquid as possible.

Pour your soap liquid into a measuring cup so it’s easy to pour into your ice cube trays. WORK QUICK! This is another one of those projects that I wasn’t able to take as many photos of the process as I would have wanted. If your ¬†mixture solidifies, just put it back in the microwave.

Fill your ice cube tray only about 3/4 of the way up. You want to leave a little room for your “snow”. Place your fun little figurines into each cube while it is solidifying. I found little gingerbread men, snowflakes, and other fun embellishments in the scrap-booking section.

Sprinkle the white bar soap shavings on top of the soaps (which should now be turning solid) and then add pour the last bit of your liquid glycerine on top of each cube to make sure the “snow” sticks.

Pop the tray in your freezer for about 20 minutes, pull out, and enjoy!

I packaged mine with clear sandwich bags and ribbon. I’m keeping them in my fridge until I’m ready to give them as little gifts this holiday.

These would be perfect for the child who frequently skips washing their hands. Once they use up the soap- they have a little toy!

Happy Holidays!


Snowflake Window Clings

23 Nov

It is about to be that snowy time of year again, so I thought I would get my students ready with a little winter project.  I teach Art classes to K-5th graders, so I’m always looking for creative, fun, good- for- all- ages types of projects to do with them (and cheap ones too… our program’s budget is very very small). I came across this idea for window clings from Martha Stewart actually, and thought the kids would really enjoy it.

I have to test out each project before I have my classes give it a go, so I recruited my roommate and we got down to business.

3-Dimensional Fabric Paint (puff paint)
Wax Paper
Pen/Marker/Pencil…whatever is within reach
Cooking Sheet (optional)
Glitter (optional)
First we began by drawing our snowflake design on a sheet of paper. Remember to keep it relatively simple, making sure everything you draw is somehow connected to the snowflake.
Now take your wax paper and place it over the stencil you have drawn.
Begin to carefully and gently trace over your lines with your fabric paint. I picked out colors like white, crystal, silver, white with glitter…you get the idea, any type of snow-like color.
One little tip: Your first squirt of paint, do off to the side. A big glob will probably come out first, and then you’ll get a nice line.
I had some glitter left over from my Glitter Shoes project, which by the way, they got many, many, compliments when I wore them out. 
So we sprinkled some glitter on top of our wet paint.
Now to dry!
The cookie sheet is useful if you want to carry them to a different area when you are done. Otherwise, as long as you keep the snowflakes flat, they’ll be just fine.  Depending on how thick the lines you make are, they seemed to take between 2 and 4 hours to completely dry.
Once dry, carefully peel them from the wax paper, dampen your window with some water, and stick!
So I decided to give this a try with my 3rd- 5th grade students yesterday.  They really loved the project! To prep it, I made 60 different snowflake designs on white paper ( all different), and I cut out the glitter portion of the project…I don’t need any extra clean up work. The great thing is you can reuse each stencil, so you don’t have to make one for each student.
The lesson that you can do along with this project is the explanation of every snowflake is unique and different, what makes you unique, special, and different from your friends? How are you the same as each other as well? 
We decided to donate all of the snowflakes we made to decorate Children’s Hospital, along with a card one of the students made saying “We made you these snowflakes, because they are all beautiful and unique, just like you!”
Very proud of my little guys during this season of giving.
Happy Holidays!
–Emily Jo
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