how will you be kind today?

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February is filled with hearts, candy and lots of talk about love and romance. We love to make Valentine’s Day fun for our kids with heart shaped treats, DIY valentines and decorations, but we also like to use this time of year to talk about kindness. There are a million ways to be kind, and even a small act can make a big impact. We are excited to partner with Primary to be part of their How Will You Be Kind Today? project. For the month of February they are focusing on small acts that equal big kindness.

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We asked our kids to think about acts of kindness they could do for neighbors, friends and family. We loved the things they said. “I will share my toys with my brother.” “I will help my mom put away the dishes.” “I will write a note to my grandmother.” “I will bring my teacher a flower.”  We cut out hearts on colored card stock using our heart template and asked our kids to write their acts of kindness.

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We have also found some great books that talk about kindness or illustrate acts of kindness in a ways that kids can understand. A few of our favorites include A Sick Day for Amos McGee, My Color is Rainbow, Pete the Cat Valentine’s Day is Cool, Little Blue Truck and The Little Engine that Could.

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Whether it’s saying something nice to a friend, helping around the house, or writing a thank you note; spreading a little love and kindness is always a good idea!

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Hallman + Ashley

 

Mia: Capri Leggings, Twirly Skirt, Long Sleeve Shirt Henry: Cargo Pants, HenleyHoodie Charlie: 4 Pocket Pants, Henley, Hoodie

 

i heart u card

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Who doesn’t just love opening the mail to find a handmade Valentine? No matter who the card is from, it can really brighten anyone’s day. While we think our kid’s DIY Valentines are almost too cute for words this year, we wanted to come up with a fun Valentine craft that could double as a card.  We created our own version of 3-D Valentine card the kids can help make. To make it even easier, we’ve created a printable valentines-day-card template for the “Be mine” card!

Supplies:

Start by printing our valentines-day-card template onto the card stock. Then cut out each card and fold them in half.

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Next, punch a hole on the outer edge of the front and back flap of the folded card. To get the small hole, we used a Martha Stewart hole punch, which we like because it has three different punch sizes, but you can use a regular hole punch if that’s what you already have.

Let the kids help make several large heart punches using the heart hole punch and pink card stock. Then cut several pieces of baker’s twine that are 12 inches long.

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Now you’re ready to make the “eye-heart-u” portion of the card. We started by placing the heart on the baker’s twine first because that made it easier to make sure the google eyes and letter U were placed in the right position. Let the kids place glue dots on one side of one of the heart punches. Then lay the baker’s twine on top of the glue dots, so that the heart is centered in the middle of he piece of twine. Next, place a second heart punch directly on top of the first.

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To attach the google eye, let the kids place glue dots on the back of one google eye. They lay the google eye on the table with the glue side up, and place the baker’s twine on top of it so that the google eye is bout 1/2 inch to the left of the heart. Then place a second google eye on top of the first google eye, sandwiching the google eyes between the twine.

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Lay a “U” sticker with the sticky side up o your work surface. Then place the baker’s twine on top too the “U” so that the “U” is 1/2 inch to the right of the heart. Place a second “U” sticker on top of the first.

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Open the Be mine card and place the “eye-heart-u” baker’s twine on top of the card. Tie the right side of the baker’s twine to the hole on the right side of the card so that the knot is about 1/2 inch from the “U”.

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Next, thread the left side of the baker’s twine through the hole on the left side of the card and then fold the card shut. To finish off the card, tie the two ends of twine together in a bow and place it in a festive colored envelope!

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For more Valentine’s Day craft ideas be sure to check out our kid’s Valentine themed crafts from last year and the year before. There are so many to choose from that you’ll be able to keep those little hands busy all week long!

Happy making!

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Ashley + Hallman

how to make your curls last longer

Do you ever wish that you could curl your hair the way that stylists do at the salon? It seems almost impossible trying to hold a curl that lasts more than half an hour when you’re doing your hair at home, while other ladies are rocking beachy waves all day. Thankfully, there are a few secrets to perfecting those curls, secrets that work on even the finest of tresses.

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Gal Meets Glam

Here’s what you need to do for long lasting curls:

1) Find out which curling iron works best for you

As Lauren Conrad shares with her readers, “Having the right tools makes all the difference.” How well someone’s hair can hold a curl depends on her hair type. For those that have really fine hair, it’s best to use a ¾ inch barrel to tighten the curls without making them look like ringlets. Anyone with thicker hair than that can use a 1-inch barrel or even a flat iron for beautiful beachy waves. Another thing to look out for in your curling irons is their quality. Just like with blowdryers, salon-grade irons are much more efficient than drugstore brands, making curls last much longer and are often safer for your hair.

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A Fashion Love Affair

2) Work in sections

Sectioning can seem time consuming, but in reality, it streamlines the curling process. By working in sections, you’ll be able to curl every strand, rather than having to randomly search through your mane to find all the uncurled pieces. This technique also creates a consistency in the overall style. Invest in alligator clips to help divide your hair into 3 or 4 sections, leaving the top half of your hair last.

3) Apply hairspray before curling

It’s a given that you should be applying heat protectant before applying heat to your hair, but did you know that spritzing hairspray before using the curling iron is more effective than after? In a demonstration shown on The Scene, beauty expert Theodore Leaf sections off his model’s hair and uses hairspray before applying heat. The product dissipates as he curls her hair, which ends up holding the curl for much longer than if it’s sprayed after styling. Natural oils (from not washing your hair for a few days) will also work in prolonging the life of your curls, but if you’ve just washed your hair, hairspray or dry shampoo will be needed.

4) Pin your curls in place

One mistake that women make when curling their hair is letting the curl fall before it has completely cooled. If you’re not in a rush, what you should do to ensure your curls stay intact is to pin them to your scalp. As professionals from Luxy Hair explain, the heat changes the shape of your strands, so if you let go of a section while it’s still warm, the curl will lose its form. Pinning each section will allow your curls to cool down in the desired shape. To help speed up the process, you can use the cool setting on your hairdryer.

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Be Modish

5) Finish your hair with some product

For the final touch and the ultimate hold, finish with hairspray or mousse, whichever one you prefer. Pomades, gels and waxes may work better, depending on your hair type. For these, spread it onto your hands and then carefully scrunch the product into your hair.

The key is patience, taking that extra time in your styling regimen in order to get the most out of your curls.

Happy styling!

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Ashley + Hallman

diy kid’s valentines

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Now that February is a mere 24 hours away, our kids are just itching to get started on their classroom Valentine’s cards. They love handing out their Valentine’s to friends, and get especially excited about the little party favor attached to each one. Our kids like to use anything from fun toys like silly straws, mini paint sets and bubbles to colorful lollipops. This year we found these lip whistles and we just knew they would make the perfect Valentine, and with our printable lip whistle template they are a cinch for anyone to make!

Supplies:

  • Lip Whistles (we found ours at Party City, but you can also find them on Amazon)
  • White card stock
  • Scissors
  • Glue Dots

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Start by printing our lip whistle Valentine template onto white card stock. Then cut out each card along the dotted line.

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Let you or your child write their names on the bottom line next to the heart.

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Secure a lip whistle to each card using a glue dot, and voila! Your classroom Valentine’s are ready to go! For more printable class Valentine templates and ideas feel free to check out our posts from last year and the year before.

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Ashley + Hallman

baked doughnuts with strawberry glaze

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On Saturday mornings we often make a trip to our neighborhood doughnut shop to get a special treat for the kids. Our kids love doughnuts, so we knew they would have fun making them at home. Since Valentine’s Day is a few weeks away, we thought we would make a pink strawberry glaze to go on top. These doughnuts are easy to make and can be topped with any kind of glaze, frosting or toppings .

Recipe

  • 2 Tbsp of butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs

Strawberry Glaze

  • 3 cups of powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped strawberries
  • 3/4 cup of freeze dried strawberries

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Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter doughnut pans with room temperature butter, then sprinkle lightly with flour and shake upside down to remove excess flour. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda and salt and set aside. In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla and eggs (mixture will appear to curdle a bit which is normal), then pour into the bowl of dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, stir mixture until combined. Spoon 3 tablespoons of batter evenly into each well of the doughnut pan. Bake in a preheated oven 11 – 13 minutes until toothpick inserted into center of doughnut comes out clean.

Allow to cool several minutes in doughnut pan then invert onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Once cool dip top halves of doughnuts into glaze and allow some of excess to run off, then return to wire rack, glazed side facing upward. Transfer doughnuts to freezer to allow glaze to set, about 5 minutes.

For the Strawberry Glaze:

Wait to make the glaze until the donuts are cooling. Place the freeze dried strawberries in a plastic bag and pound them into a powder, set aside. Using a mixing bowl, combine 1/2 cup finely chopped strawberries and a cup and a half of the powdered sugar. Stir until mixture starts to become moistened, then allow to rest 1 minute. Add in remaining cup and a half of the powdered sugar and the freeze dried strawberry powder and stir until well combined (at this point mixture should have the consistency of a thick glaze. If the glaze is too thick allow it to rest another minute or two until some of the liquids have been extracted from the strawberries then stir again. Use glaze immediately.

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Happy Baking!

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Hallman + Ashley

Our favorite posts of 2016

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What a year! This year has flown by in the blink of an eye. Before we get with new posts for 2017, we thought we would look back at some of our favorite posts of 2016.

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Jane Can Make

We love to DIY. This year one of our favorite posts was our DIY embroidered denim. We had so much fun adding monograms to our favorite jeans. We also loved making our moss wreath and are starting to think we need to bring some more green in our homes now that the holiday decorations are down.

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Jane Can Celebrate

Everyone knows how much we love a holiday. We love to decorate, make special treats and get crafty for every holiday. While you won’t be thinking about Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas for awhile, the Superbowl and Valentine’s Day are just around the corner.

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Jane Can Decorate

We have both been very focused on updating our homes this past year, so we are always looking for home ideas, from front doors to outdoor spaces to interiors. There is no such thing as too much home inspiration!

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Jane Can Cook

We tend to make a lot of special snacks for school and sweet treats for our kids. Our kids love to help whenever they can so the simpler the recipe the better. Our marshmallow pops have been one of our most popular post this year, because they truly are the easiest snack ever!

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Jane Can Play

Our No Carve DIY Pumpkins was one of our favorite posts this year. You probably won’t be making pumpkins for awhile, but you would have fun doing some of these washi tape projects.

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Viva Luxury

Jane Can Dress Up

If you are like us, we are always looking for style inspiration. We are still using our  All Dressed Up post outfit ideas until the weather starts to get warmer.

We are looking forward to new projects and new ideas in 2017. Thank you to everyone who has continued to follow along on our journey.

Here’s to a great year!

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Hallman + Ashley

 

 

Photos:

sweet holiday treats

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There is something about this time of year that makes you want to be in the kitchen. We love to find new things to make with our kids and these holiday treats are so fun!

Snow Globe Cupcakes

Cupcakes are always a hit with kids and there are so many great ways to decorate them. This year we were inspired by Aww Sam’s  Holiday Snow Globe Cake and decided to make snow globe cupcakes. To create these cupcakes you can make (or buy) vanilla cupcakes and add shredded coconut to look like snow. Next, add holiday candy to the top. We found ours at Target and Michael’s. Once the cupcake is decorated add a mini acrylic cloche to make it look like a snow globe.

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Snowman Marshmallow Pop

One of our most popular holiday snacks are our variations on the marshmallow pop. Whether it’s for Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, or even a festive kids’ party, marshmallow pops are always a fun and easy snack to make! Our little top hat clad snowmen are just as easy to make as our other marshmallow pops and are a tasty snack for the holidays.

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Supplies:

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Start by drawing the snowman face on each marshmallow. We use the black pen to make the coal eyes and mouth, and the orange pen to make the carrot nose.

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Place several candy melts in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 45 seconds. Stir chocolate with a spoon several times. If the candy is not sufficiently melted you may need to heat the chocolate again for another 20-30 seconds. The key to making usr you don’t over cook the chocolate is to remove it from the microwave when you still have a few pieces of unmelted chocolate in the mixture. But staring the mixture well the chocolate will melt.

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To make the snowman’s hat, place a dollop of chocolate onto the bottom of a marshmallow and then place the marshmallow on top of the chocolate wafer.

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Once the chocolate used for the hat has cooled you can then place a dollop of melted chocolate on the bottom of the hat and place it on the top of the snowman’s head. One the chocolate has cooled completely you can then insert a straw through the base of the snowman’s head until it meets the hat.

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elegant and rustic diy ornaments

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Each holiday season we try to come up with a few fun and easy diy ornaments to do with our kids, but this year we decided to make a few just for ourselves. Each of this year’s ornaments were inspired by a few of our client’s rustic holiday decor from last year, which is so classic that it translates perfectly from one year to the next. What we love most about these ornaments is their elegant simplicity and that they could not have been easier to make!

Rustic White Tree

Even though we focused on colorful holiday decor this year, we just couldn’t resist these monochromatic tree ornaments. We were able to whip these up with a few left over cones from our diy advent calendar and some sticks we found in the back yard.

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Supplies:

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Wool Roving is what is used for felting crafts. We decided to use wool roving because we couldn’t find the chunky wool yarn we wanted and found that wool roving was the next best thing, as well as being a lot less expensive! Wool roving comes in rolls, so you will want to start by unrolling the wool and cutting it into long strips that are about 2-3″ wide. There’s no need to be precise when you’re cutting, slightly messy edges looks best.

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Once the wool is cut, hot glue the end to the tip of the kraft paper cone. Then begin twisting the wool and wrapping it around the cone. Stop every inch or so to add a drop of hot glue to the kraft paper cone to make sure that the wool stays in place. Continue twisting and wrapping the wool all the way down the cone until you have reached the bottom. Then add a dot of hot glue to the inside base of the cone and fold the end of the wool to that it covers the glue. Trim any remaining wool from the end of the strip of wool inside the cone.

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We decided to add a touch of sparkle to our tree by wrapping it with thin gold thread. Start by placing a small dot of hot glue to the inside base of the cone and placing the end of the gold thread in the glue. Once the glue cools, begin wrapping the thread around the outside of the cone in a haphazard way until you reach the tip of the cone. Then wrap the thread back down to the base of the cone. Trim the thread so that the end is one inch longer than the base of the cone. Place another dot of hot glue on the inside base of the cone and lay the end of the thread in the glue, releasing the thread once the glue has cooled.

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Break your stick so that it is about an inch longer than the cone. Then place a large dollop of hot glue on one end of the stick and insert it into the cone so that the stick fits right up into the tip of the cone. Let the glue cool slightly before letting go of the stick.

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To make the star on top of the tree, start by cutting a 4 inch piece of twine and then fold it in half. Place a dot of hot glue on one if the wood stars and lay the ends of the twine in the hot glue. Cover the same wood star with a thin layer of hot glue and place the second star over the first to sandwich the twine loop in between them. Last, place a large dot of hot glue on the bottom of the star, on the opposite end of the twine, and then attach the star to the tip of the cone. Hold the star in place until the glue cools.

See Through Ornaments

Of all the ornaments that we’ve ever made, these have to be the easiest. And even though we made these ornaments for us, our kids loved helping fill them with feathers and leaves.

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We started with several clear plastic ornaments, white and gold paint pens, our favorite greenery and a few white feathers. First we had our kids place a sprig of boxwood or a feather in each ornament. While our kids were having fun placing goodies inside the ornaments, we wrote festive words such as “joy,” “noel” and “peace” on the outside of the ornaments with white or gold paint pens.

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These ornaments were so quick and easy that we churned our several in a matter of minutes. But the best part was how fun they were for all of us to make!

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Ashley + Hallman

colorful christmas decor

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Decorating our homes is always one of our favorite parts of Christmas.  Every year we like to mix it up and try something new. We have done traditional red and green decor and black and white decor, so this year we decided to decorate with lots of color!  Charlie, who is 4 years old, informed us that pink and blue are not Christmas colors, but we loved the way they looked with red and green. We made tassels, painted ornaments, used felt balls, and bottle brush Christmas trees to create our colorful Christmas decor.

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To make the ornaments for this year’s theme, we bought plastic ornaments at Michael’s and filled them with craft paint in the colors of our choice. To make these ornaments, follow the instructions from last year’s colorful DIY ornament post. We wired the ornaments to a boxwood wreath and finished it off with a pale pink ribbon.

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Mantel

We added color to Hallman’s neutral stockings by making a collection of tassels for each stocking. We decorated the mantel with our DIY painted ornaments, a collection of green bottle brush Christmas trees that we found at Michaels and Target, and a felt ball garland from Paper Source.

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To make the tassels, we started with a few skeins of yarn in the colors of our choice. To make the large tassels, we wrapped one color of yarn around 4 fingers 40-50 times depending on how thick the yarn was. Then we cut the  yarn and carefully removed the looped yarn form our fingers. We then cut a 12 inch piece of yarn from the same skein, folded it in half, thread it through the middle of the looped yarn and tied it in a double knot very tightly. This became the top of the tassel. Next, we cut another 12 inch piece of yarn in the same color and tied it tightly in a double knot around the looped yarn, about 1 inch down from first knot we tied. Finally, we cut the looped ends at the bottom of the tassel so that they were even. To make the smaller tassels, we wrapped the yarn around 3 of our fingers 20-30 times, depending on the thickness of the yarn. Then we followed the same steps we used for the large tassels in order to finish the small tassels.

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We tied varying colors and sizes of the tassels together, and then tied each tassel group to the loop on each stocking.

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Table

We continued our theme to the table using the same ornaments, bottle brush trees and felt balls to create a centerpiece. On each place setting we tied the napkins with a set of three handmade tassels. to add a pop of color to our neutral linen napkins.

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Happy Decorating!

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Hallman + Ashley

 

 

counting down the days until christmas

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The Christmas countdown has official begun, and our kids favorite way to tick off the days is with their Advent calendars. Each year we come up with a few fun new DIY advent calendars, and this year was no exception. This year we were inspired by one of our kids’ other favorite holiday traditions…Elf on the Shelf, so we decided to come up with our own little Christmas elf advent calendar.

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Supplies:

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Start by placing a small red circle sticker at the base of each cone for the elf’s nose. Then, using the 3/8″ paper punch, cut 48 circles out of the white sticker sheet to create the eyes. Place a small blue circle sticker on the bottom of each white sticker eye. Place two sticker eyes just above the red nose on each cone.

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Cut 8 circles out of the assorted red and white paper so that each circle is 6.5″ in diameter. We used a circle cutter, but you can also use a compass and pair of scissors. To make the circle 6.4″ in diameter, you will want to set the circle cutter or the compass to 3.25″.

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Using the scissors, cut each paper circle into three equal parts so that you have 24 wedges.

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Using the tape runner, place tape on the back side of a wedge of red and white paper. You will want to make sure that you place tape right along the edges of the paper so that it adheres to the paper cone. Then, with the tip of the wedge at the same side as the tip of the cone, wrap the paper wedge around the paper cone so that the base of the wedge sits over the elf’s eyes just a bit. Once the paper is wrapped around the cone, press down on the edge of the paper to make sure the tape is in place.

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Thread the yarn needle with a 2 foot length of white yarn and tie a knot at the end of the yarn. Run the needle through the cone from the base out though the tip. You will need to place the thimble on your finger in order to push the needle through the inside tip of the cone. Once the needle is through the tip, pull the needle so the yarn runs all the way through the cone until the knot stops the yarn from moving any further.

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Now thread the white pom pom onto the needle and pull the pom pom along the yarn until it stops at the top of the cone. Next, place the black number stickers, 1 through 24, onto the front of each elf hat.

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Print our advent calendar activities template and cut out each activity. Fold the activities in half and place one in each cone. Cut a stack of white tissue paper in half. Crumple a sheet of tissue paper and firmly press it into the base of the cone to hold the activity in place. If you’d like you can add a small treat, such as a Hershey’s kiss or small chocolate coin to the cone before you seal the cone with the tissue paper.

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Now your little elves are ready for the Christmas countdown! You can tie each elf to a long piece of yarn and hang them from your mantle like a garland, or tie them to a 12 inch embroidery hoop and hang the hoop from the ceiling like a mobile!

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Ashley + Hallman