November 22, 2014

‘Christmas Present’ coin banks

I recently made some super cute ‘Christmas Present’ banks for my boys, and they (ages 4.5 & 2.5) are about to get their first lesson in saving & spending wisely!


The idea behind it is to earn money (by doing work around the house!) and save it in their present bank until it’s time to buy Christmas Presents for each other. They do have piggy banks, which are collecting quite the savings, but those are not to be opened or touched until we, their parents, deem it necessary! But these Christmas present banks are reserved for the sole purpose of buying presents for Christmas!


I know my boys are still very young, but when it comes down to it, money is a big deal (unfortunately). They love finding money & holding it. They love being able to buy candy in a candy machine. But more importantly, there are many lessons to be learned with money; instant gratification or long-term happiness, debt or savings, etc. I don’t think there is a “too young” when it comes to learning how to treat money?


Not only money (and saving) but the act of giving on Christmas. I hope these boys, with the money they earn and save over the next while, will find joy in the act of giving. No, it doesn’t have to be store bought, but there is a lot to be said about a little child that can give up hard earned, saved money in order to give a gift, especially to their sibling [trust me, I have 7 siblings]!


I hope that giving gifts on Christmas (bought, homemade or as simple and kind as a hug) will become something they look forward to every year, and all the time for that matter.


And with that, here is my ‘Christmas Present’ coin bank HOW-TO --->

{what you need}

    • wood (I used pine and my dimensions are approximately 5 1/2”W x 7 3/4”H x 3/4”D –and- 7 1/2”W x 6”H x 3/4”D)
    • scroll saw
    • sander
    • drill (handheld or press)
    • plexiglass (picture frame quality)
    • sharpie
    • Dremel (or you can use a handheld drill)
    • spray paint (colors you want & clear coat)
    • masking tape
    • tiny little screws (smallest I could find at the hardware store)
    • screwdriver

Okay, lets get started! [Beware: lots of cell phone pictures, taken at night…didn’t want to get my good camera full of saw dust!]

First I drew out a couple sketches of what I wanted the banks to look like. Not the best quality picture, but you get the idea (if you can see the lines!). I drew it the exact size I wanted it & then measured about an inch for the width of the bank walls.


I cut out those sketches & used them as a stencil for the actual bank. I like to tape it down on the wood & use a little bit of spray paint to make a quick outline. You could always just trace it thought. Take it to the scroll saw & get to cutting! Make sure the bottom edge of the bank is flat – as in, it is level and can sit on the counter.


To cut out the inside of the bank, I drilled a hole (using the drill press, but you could use a handheld drill), then I had to take out the scroll saw blade, put it through the hole I just made & tighten it back up. Then I was able to cut out the inside block.


Next came the plexiglass cutting. I laid a piece of plexiglass on the cut bank and made sure it was about 1/4” bigger than the inside of the bank walls. It was just a hand drawn line, and I made one for each side of the bank. Next, I took them to the scroll saw & cut them out too.


Then came the coin slot. I REALLY wanted a coin slot at the top, like a regular bank, but because of the height of the bow on top of the present, it made for a very difficult process. I’ll have to collaborate with Grant (my husband) to figure out a better way to do this part, but I’m not really sure there is an easier way to do it due to the width of the wood I was drilling through. What I did was, using the drill press, drilled multiple holes (slightly thicker than the width of a nickel and just over the length of a quarter). Even then, I was only able to get through about 3/4 of the wood.


The rest of the process was tackled with the Dremel (using the same drill bit). [**By the way, Back Friday is coming up and that is when we got this Dremel, years ago. Totally worth it!!]. I did some drilling from the bottom of the slot (or where I guessed the bottom would be). It doesn’t look pretty from the bottom, but the coin slot works!

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After that drilling endeavor the painting began. I always use Rustoleum 2x coverage spray paint (primer included). I painted the ‘ribbon’ parts first, on both sides of the presents (drying in between). These colors are Apple Red & Sky Blue.


Once dry (24 hours-ish later) I used masking tape to take when I wanted the “ribbon” to stay & covered the bows. Then painted the rest of the presents in the other colors – Meadow Green & Deep Blue (Rustoleum).

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Almost done!!

With the plexiglass I cut previously, I put them on the present & drilled holes through, and barely into the wood, for the tiny little screws.

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Screw on the plexiglass & DONE!


These boys are beyond excited about their new present banks! Now it’s time to start earning money!!! Which is also great, they are so much more helpful around the house now ;)




November 11, 2014

Family hand turkey of 5

Another family hand turkey, this one with handmade with 5 hands of the family. [Hands cut to actual size of person’s hand]IMG_1871IMG_1873


  • Sunshine yellow
  • Pumpkin orange
  • Apple red
  • Deep purple
  • Espresso
  • Nutmeg (Turkey head)


Find it at Remembories!


November 10, 2014

Sunshine in a box

I’ve seen something like this pinned on Pinterest quite a bit, and I decided to send my friend a Box of Sunshine. It was to make up for missing her birthday, her son’s upcoming birthday, and the upcoming birth of her 2nd child (yes, I’m quite the slacker of a friend!!).


What I included in this Box of Sunshine:

  • Duck onsie (gender neutral)
  • Yellow tissue paper
  • Yellow book, “Big Dot, Little Dog” (for new baby)
  • Yellow hot wheels truck (for birthday boy)
  • Yellow star cookie cutter
  • Goo Gone
  • Yellow star post-it notes
  • Chocolate money


More of what I put in the Box of Sunshine:

  • Charleston Chew
  • Burts Bees Chapstick
  • Wet Ones
  • Yellow Sharpie
  • Duckie bath toy
  • Yellow bow tie (for birthday boy)
  • Yellow Sunshine card
  • Yellow stickers


And the rest of what was in the Box of Sunshine:

  • The yellowest Target gift card
  • Yellow sugar sprinkles
  • Dove chocolate (Carmel filling)
  • Yellow snack cups (for the kiddos)
  • Lemon Drops, old fashioned hard candy


And then I packaged it all up. Such a fun yellow box!!


It was pretty fun shopping for YELLOW things, centered around her birthday, her son, & a new baby. Most of what I found was at Target and the Dollar Store. I think I’m a fan of themed boxes now ;) Hopefully it brightened her day and made up for all the stuff I have, and am now, missing in her life.

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November 8, 2014

Family Hand Turkey of 6!

I love the color choices! Dad, mom & 4 kids, makes for a very colorful turkey!


Colors: Sunshine yellow, navy blue, deep blue, pumpkin orange, apple red, espresso & nutmeg.

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I made this for my sister and her family (suppose to be for last year, but things got a little busy)
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*You can purchase a personalized hand turkey at Remembories


October 9, 2014

Kid Friendly {and super fun} Gender Reveal

I am pregnant with my third baby and I had yet to do something fun like this for a gender reveal. With our first kid, we had the ultrasound tech put it in an envelope and we opened it for Christmas. Our second kid, we just had the ultrasound tech tell us during the ultrasound. But with #3 I wanted to do something fun, mainly because our two kids are old enough to get excited about it. So I came up with a modified version of a gender reveal that a friend of mine suggested.


I had the ultrasound tech, once again, write the baby’s gender down and put it in an envelope! Then on my way home, I stopped by a friends house and had her help me with the next part.


First project in this project! – SQUIRT BOTTLES. I turned these $.97 squirt bottles from Wal-Mart from clear to black ‘secret keepers’ {how to: sand the bottle a little, spray with primer, then black (maybe two coats just to be safe), done!}


The only other items I bought were blue & pink kool-aid packets = $.20 each, and a white shirt (to fit my husband) = $3 at Joanns.

When I stopped at my friends house on the way home, I handed over the squirt bottles, kool-aid, and the envelope with the gender in it. She hid in the kitchen and opened the envelope, then proceeded to fill the squirt bottles with the correlating kool-aid (and water). It’s was exciting to see how excited she was about it!! I carefully hid them from sight until my husband got home from work for the reveal. That was hard!!


With the white shirt, I used my silhouette to cut out ‘it’s a’ from heat press vinyl. It was a really easy shirt to make, but I did have the tools on hand. If you don’t have a silhouette or heat transfer you could always use a sharpie, or if you are really interested let me know. I can make more!!


Then came the fun & super-duper exciting part!! The reveal!

We went outside & gave each boy a squirt bottle. We told them what was up and what they had to do. I think they were more excited to spray their dad than care about the color/gender it was!!  


On the count of three, start spraying him (well…his shirt). 1……2……3!!!

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And if you couldn’t guess by the color…it’s a girl!!


Such a fun (and pretty easy) gender reveal. They boys loved squirting their dad, we loved the surprise of the color, I loved not getting squirted or eating cake (call me crazy)…and we’re all excited it’s a girl!


What you need for this gender reveal:

Squirt bottles (for however many kids/people you want in on the action) ----> $.97 each
Spray paint if you buy clear bottles like I did -----------------------------------> $4 each
Kool-aid packets (depending on how many squirt bottles you have) -----------> $.20 each
White shirt (with heat press vinyl) -------------------------------------------------> $3 on sale
A good friend to help you out --------------------------------------------------------> priceless ;)



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