Tag Archives: creativity

Easy DIY Halloween Decorations: Cardboard Tube Candles

These candles might be one of my most favorite DIY Halloween decorations so far. Plus, they are incredibly easy to make!

Halloween

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 


If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Part One in my Easy DIY Halloween Decorations series. You won’t want to miss out on the adorable pumpkin bowls!


You will need the following supplies to make these Halloween cardboard tube candles:

Cardboard tubes

Acrylic paint

Glue gun, and glue sticks

Small led tea lights

Masking tape

Glitter (optional)

Ribbon (optional)Halloween

First, let your glue gun start heating up, and then trim your cardboard tubes to be the height that you would like your candle to be.

Next, use the masking tape to make a little indentation for your tea light to sit inside the cardboard tube.HalloweenDon’t worry about it looking pretty, because you will be painting over it.

By now, your glue gun should be hot enough.

Use it to make “wax” drips at the top of the candle, and along the side.

Halloween

Once the glue cools off, use the acrylic paint to cover the whole surface of the cardboard tube, and then let it dry.

Halloween

I decided that I wanted to add a little sparkle to my candles since I believe that glitter can make anything awesome.

So, I used a little white paint and black glitter to paint over the wax drips, to give it a more melted wax look.

Add your LED tea light, and there you have it!

Halloween

I loved the black candles so much, that I had to make a few orange ones too.

Adding some seasonal ribbons helped to make them a bit fancier.

Halloween

I had no idea that it could be so easy to turn cardboard rolls into a neat candle!

Plus, it got bonus points since I was able to re-use items instead of throwing them away.

If you decide to make these  DIY cardboard tube candles, feel free to share them in my Facebook group, or tag me in your Instagram photo.

I will be back next week, with a new fun DIY Halloween decoration!

xo,

Melissa

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P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.

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Easy DIY Halloween Decorations Part One: Pumpkin Bowl

I love to make DIY Halloween Decorations, and this year I was actually prepared and got some made ahead of time, and I will be sharing my favorites with you!

DIY Halloween decorations

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 

It might be September, but Halloween is just around the corner. Every year I decide that I will be ahead of the game and make some decorations for the house.

Except, life happens, and I don’t get them done.

Until this year!

I set aside some time to look over my Pinterest board for the DIY Halloween decorations that I have saved over the years. Bean and I tested our favorites and I will share them over the next few weeks.

I do my best to use or re-use items that I have on hand in my craft stash. However, even with a trip to the store, most of these items are budget friendly. If I do have to run out, I always try the Dollar Store first. I can usually knock out most of my list there.

EASY DIY HALLOWEEN DECORATIONS PART ONE: PUMPKIN BOWL

This one is super easy, and a fun one for kids. It’s fun to see that thin tissue paper can turn into a pumpkin!

DIY Halloween decorations

SUPPLIES NEEDED

Balloons

Orange tissue paper

Mod Podge

Black Construction Paper

Paintbrush

Small bowl, or plastic container

 

HOW TO MAKE IT

First, tear up the tissue paper into small pieces. You will need quite a bit, so put on some fun spooky music while you work.

I didn’t have any orange tissue handy, but I did have leftover crepe streamers. It worked perfectly for this project!

Next, blow up your balloon, but keep it small, about three inches in diameter.

A small plastic container is helpful to hold the balloon while you work.

Grab your Mod Podge and use the paintbrush to put a layer on the surface of the balloon. You will want to cover about half of the balloon to make your bowl shape.

Then start putting a layer of tissue over the Mod Podge. Do not worry about pieces overlapping or looking messy, it does not have to be perfect.

 

DIY Halloween decorations

Next, cover the tissue paper layer with Mod Podge and add another layer of tissue.

Repeat that step a few times, you will want 3 or 4 layers to help make your bowl a bit sturdier.

DIY Halloween decorations

Once you make your layers, put one last coat of Modge Podge all over the tissue paper. It will look really messy, but just wait until it dries!

DIY Halloween decorations

Set the pumpkin aside and wait for it to dry. It was hard to wait, but we left ours overnight to be sure that it had enough time.

DIY Halloween decoration

Grab your scissors and black construction paper and cut out some jack o’ lantern eyes, a nose, and a mouth.

Use the Mod Podge to attach them to your pumpkin. Make sure you take the balloon out of the container and flip it over so that your face is not upside down.

The final step is the fun part.

Pop the balloon!!

Now you have a cute little pumpkin bowl. I did not mind the jagged edges of the paper, but you can also use scissors and carefully trim it up a little bit.

DIY Halloween decorations

We made a few so that we could put candy in some, and candles (LED ones for safety of course!) in the others.

Be sure to keep checking back for the next few DIY Halloween decorations posts – next up will be cardboard tube candles!

XO, Melissa

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P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.

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We Tried It! How To Make DIY Seed Bombs

A few weeks ago, I saw a video for these adorable little diy seed bombs. I made sure to save it so that Miss Bean and I could make some of our own. We soon needed some gifts for a family gathering, and I decided that these would be the perfect solution.

SEED BOMBS

Luckily, we already had most of the supplies on hand. We just needed a packet of wildflower seeds. Funny enough, we had sent away for some seeds to help bring back the honey bees, and they just happened to arrive in our mailbox the exact day we needed them!

It was meant to be!

To make these seed bombs, you just need some paper, a muffin tin, a food processor, and some wildflower seeds.

I realize that you can just watch the video, but I broke down the steps here so you could see our results as well 🙂

First take your paper and tear it into tiny pieces. We filled a small bowl about halfway with our paper scraps.

seed bombs

Next, pour water to coat your paper pieces.

seed bombs

Let that sit for about 15 minutes.

seed bombs

Next, put the paper in a colander and use a sponge or a towel to help soak up the excess water.

seed bombs

Then, put your paper into the food processor, and grind them up into shredded pieces.

seed bombs

Aren’t all of the colors fun?!

Press and pack your shredded paper into muffin tins.

I just used basic muffin tins, but if you have some that are fun shapes, those will make your seed bombs look even cuter!

Pour your wildflower seeds over the top of each seed bomb, and then add the rest of your shredded paper as a top layer, and pack the paper down.

seed bombs

Then let them sit and dry for 24-48 hours.

Once they are dry, they are ready to go!

Since they were gifts and we needed to wrap them somehow, we made little baskets out of muffin liners and used pipe cleaners to make little handles.

seed bombs

Just drop them where you would like your flowers to grow and wait for the sprouts to happen!

 

seed bombs

These were fun and very easy to make. The hardest part was just waiting for them to dry!

My daughter really enjoyed helping to create such a fun gift, and it was easy on our budget.

She was especially happy to hear from her great grandmother that her seed bombs had already started to sprout!

Happy planting!

xo Melissa

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Beginners Guide: Using a Tracker In Your Bullet Journal

Using a tracker in my bullet journal is my new favorite thing! Since I love it so much, I want to share it with all of you. I even included a little mini tracker for you to download at the end of my post! 

tracker

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 🙂

Recently, I have been dealing with some health issues. I’ve spent the past few months in and out of the doctor office. Each time, I am given new instructions or a different medicine to try, and it started to get a little difficult to remember everything that I was supposed to do.

Then it dawned on me. I should make a tracker for my bullet journal!

Are you new to the world of using a bullet journal? Before you read through this, be sure to check out my Beginners Guide to Bullet Journals.


Of course, it isn’t a requirement to have a tracker in your journal, but it has been such an awesome tool for me. It helps me keep an eye on my good habits and the places that I need a little extra work. I love checking things off, so using a tracker has been a great way to hold myself accountable.

Best of all, there are so many different things that you can track. And as always, there are so many different layout options. Mixing things up and trying different styles of trackers also helps keep me motivated to get my stuff done!

HABIT TRACKERS

The habit tracker is just a list of the things that you like to accomplish in a day. It’s basically like an everyday to-do list. To make one, you can use dotted or grid paper. Having a ruler handy is also helpful. You can make your tracker a weekly one, or a monthly one, that’s the beauty of having that customized system that works just for you.

Here is an example of the one that I just made for myself. I just set it up for a two-week period.

tracker

See? It’s pretty simple but so helpful.

Need some ideas of what to track?

  • Exercise
  • Vitamins
  • Water consumption
  • Journal time
  • Chores
  • Feeding pets
  • Watering the plants (for people like me who seem to have a black thumb)
  • Medication
  • No Junk Food/Caffeine etc…
  • Goals
  • Symptoms
  • Sleep schedules
  • Self-care/Me time (you’ve got to make sure you are giving yourself love)
  • Spending
  • Moods
  • Routines (morning and night)
  • Flossing/teeth brushing

Really, anything that you want to work on, or make sure that you do each day, add it to your tracker!

However, if you don’t use it on a daily basis, it won’t do much good.

I am guilty of thinking that I will remember to fill in what I did a few days later, but that just doesn’t work. So my solution was to work it into my nightly routine.

In my last post, Beginners Guide: Starting a New Month in a Bullet Journal, I mentioned that I changed my layout so that I could write a few sentences about my day. It was my goal to do this on a nightly basis, along with filling in my mood tracker. I am happy to report, that this has been going well for me, and I have now added filling out my habit tracker during this time.  So, just be sure to find a spot in your day that you will be sure to check off those boxes.

OTHER TRACKERS

There are other fun things that you can track, but you may want to dedicate a layout to a single thing, instead of just a list.

For example, here is my mood tracker page. Each day, I color in the boxes to indicate how I was feeling. By the end of the year, I will have a very colorful page with all of my moods.

tracker

I did mine over the entire year, but next year I think I would like to try to do a monthly mood tracker. I have seen some pretty amazing layouts that have inspired me.

I also like to track the books I read, movies that I see, and shows that I watch throughout the year. Here are what my trackers for each of these look like.

tracker

tracker

tracker

It’s fun to have a history of the things that entertained me throughout the year.

You may have one big goal that you want to work towards, such as saving up for a vacation. This is another way that a tracker would be helpful. Having that visual will really help keep you motivated.

Our family recently decided that we want to visit one of the state parks out west, so I made a page to remind my husband and me to set a little money aside each month.

tracker

I can’t wait until all those boxes are filled in, and we are on our way!

Finally, I have a page dedicated to the bills that I need to pay each month. It’s very basic but incredibly helpful.

tracker

Feeling a bit intimidated by drawing out your own tracker?

I always want to remind people that your bullet journal pages do not have to be fancy. Please do not get hung up on seeing all the beautiful layouts out there and then feel like you have to do the same. Part of the reason that I make these blog posts is to show you that I do not make perfect layouts, mine do not look like they are made by a professional artist, but I love them. And they work!

I made these handy little weekly mini tracker stickers to put in my journal, for those times that I just can’t draw one for myself. To print these, I used Avery mailing labels #8168, but you can also just print on blank paper, cut out and glue into your journal.

Feel free to download them and use for your own bullet journal!

tracker

I hope that this has helped to show you that a tracker can be a great tool to help you manage your time better, and to get those dreams and goals accomplished!

xo, Melissa

P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.

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Beginners Guide: Starting a New Month in a Bullet Journal

The start of a new month is one of my favorite times because it means that I get to add new pages to my bullet journal.

month

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 🙂

I love a fresh start! 

I wanted to share with you what I do to kick off a new month. Hopefully, this will help you to understand how to use a bullet journal.


Note: If you aren’t sure what a bullet journal is, check out my post, Beginners Guide to Bullet Journals. Using this system is the first time that I have stuck with keeping a planner and journal. There is just something about being able to customize everything that just makes me happy and motivated! I want to share the love and get everyone hooked!


First of all, yes, I know that we are already a few days into the month of April.

My daughter had surgery, and my crazy life put me behind.

Again.

But, that didn’t stop me. I am trying to be kinder to myself, and reinforce that I don’t have to be perfect, so I went ahead and still got it done.

This might have to be my new mantra: It’s okay to get started late, at least I still got it done!

Remember, you do not have to make fancy pages or layouts for your bullet journals. Simple lists or just a page with each day written on it is fine. Start out that way if you are feeling intimidated. You can always switch it up and add more as you find your routine and get more comfortable with the bullet journal system.

Ideally, here is what I do each  month:

GOAL PAGE FOR THE MONTH

First, I sit down and think about and what my main goals for the month will be. I review the past month to see what I did not get done, and if needed, I move it forward to the current month.

As hard as I try, I don’t always get everything done that I planned on accomplishing, and that’s okay. See my new mantra above 🙂

Usually, I like to write the month and then break it up into four sections; Self Care, Health, Blog, and Projects.

Here is what my page for the month of April looks like:

I like to use a color theme, and April makes me think of spring. This brings to mind the arrival of blue skies and the pretty greens returning, so I used blue and green to decorate my pages.

Typically, I like to add a quote for each month at the top of my page. I still haven’t found the perfect one for this month yet, so I have left a blank space to add one.

I also try to make a point not to overwhelm myself with too many goals. If I do that, I tend to just shut down and not accomplish anything. So, I only choose 2 or 3 things that I want to work on that month for each category.

For example, in the health category, I want to make a point of eating more fruits and veggies. I also need to remember to take my iron pill, so I added that to my list.

WEEKLY LAYOUT

Once I get that accomplished, it is time to set up my weekly pages.

Many people like to do just one week (or day) at a time in their bullet journals. You can totally do this, but for me, it is easiest to set up weekly pages for the entire month. It helps me be to be able to plan ahead a bit.

Remember, one of the fun things about using a bullet journal is that you can try different layouts to see what works best for you. Mixing things up helps to keep it fun. So this month, I’m trying a different layout.

month

In the past, I have used vertical boxes for each day. However, I made a goal this month to try and write a few sentences about each day. I decided that horizontal boxes might work a bit better for my diary entries.

I also added small boxes in the corner so that I could make a little drawing about what the weather was like each day.

ADDITIONAL PAGES

I like to incorporate my menu plan into my bullet journal. In the past, I have just written down what we are eating somewhere on my weekly pages.

This month, I thought it would be fun to try something new, so I made a page dedicated completely to our menu.

month

If you recall, I wanted to add more color to my journal this year, and the little doodles are the perfect way to do this!

I also home school my daughter and have been working on planning ahead a bit more. This month, I created a page dedicated to our lesson plans and theme.

month

I think that having a visual for the crafts, reading, and experiments that we will be doing alongside our usual daily work will be helpful. I can fit our whole month of activities on one page (front and back) since we focus on each theme over a period of two weeks.

Finally, I made a lettering practice page. You may have noticed that most of my lettering in my journal is done in the same style.

At this point, I am ready to branch out and I know that I will need some practice.

month

It might not be a super fancy page, but it gives me a visual reminder that I need to work on my lettering, which is a goal of mine this month.

There you have it. See, it isn’t too scary or overwhelming, right?

This is what I do each month for my bullet journal. I really enjoy creating my layouts and pages because I feel like I am taking some time for myself to be creative, but I am also being productive as well. It’s a win win for me!

Do you have any favorite layouts or pages in your bullet journal? I would love for you to share them!

Stay tuned for my next post, where I will discuss different trackers that you can use in your journal. I will also have a neat little sticker that I have been working on available as a download.


xo, Melissa

P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.

 

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8 Books That Will Help You Keep A Journal (even if you are busy)

I’ve been writing about my passion for using a journal quite a bit recently.  I have even had a few people say that I have inspired them to start using a journal of their own, and that makes my heart so happy!

But what if you feel like you are way too busy to keep a journal? Or maybe you just don’t know where to start.

As a solution, I’ve made up a list of some great books for you to check out that might help give you a little help in finding the time to make using a journal part of your day.

Most of these would make good companions to your daily planning, and a lot of them have short and quick exercises that you can do. Many of them can even happen right in the book itself!  There are so many wonderful options out there, and if you are looking for a little inspiration, I’ve got you covered.

books

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 🙂

START WHERE YOU ARE: A JOURNAL FOR SELF DISCOVERYbooks

This is one of my favorites. It is an interactive journal that contains beautiful images and hand lettering. It will help inspire you to become self-motivated and show your creative side a little love.

HOW TO BE HAPPY (OR AT LEAST LESS SAD) A CREATIVE WORKBOOK

booksThis book contains a series of prompts that can help readers see things in a different perspective.

THE HAPPY BOOK

booksThis is a book that can help show you how to practice happiness by using different prompts and activities. There are places to make lists, paste pictures and fill in the blanks.

WRECK THIS JOURNAL

booksThis book is fun because it challenges readers to make mistakes, be messy, and to destroy things. It is a fun and different way to get creative!

THE LIFE ORGANIZER: A WOMAN’S GUIDE TO A MINDFUL YEAR

books

This book gives you a more in depth way to explore your needs and dreams by using daily prompts and strategies. It isn’t a fill in the blank type book, and helps you delve a bit deeper. It is a wonderful guidebook to use as a companion to your daily planning.

CREATIVE DOODLING & BEYOND: INSPIRING EXERCISES, PROMPTS, AND PROJECTS FOR TURNING SIMPLE DOODLES INTO BEAUTIFUL WORKS OF ART

books
Maybe you don’t feel like writing – don’t forget that being creative is a fun way to add to your journal. This book will inspire you to get your creative juices flowing with its projects and prompts.

DOODLING FOR CAT PEOPLE

books

Here is one just for doodling fun. This is an entertaining way to experiment with ways of drawing furry friends. Yes – they have a dog book too 🙂

MY BOOK ABOUT ME

booksThis is one that I loved as a kid and is a fun way to introduce kids into exploring the world of self-discovery and writing about themselves.

I hope at least one of these might be a fun tool to pair with or help you to start using a journal. Do you have any favorite books about journals? If so, I would love to hear about it in the comments.

xo, Melissa

P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.
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7 Self Care Pages For Your Bullet Journal

 

self care pages

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 🙂

Self-care is an important part of life but can be hard to find the time to fit it in.

A few months ago I wrote about a few simple ways to sneak self-care into your routine. This month,

I will show you how you can use your bullet journal as a tool to help you with your self-care.

Self-care is all about being in tune with your own personal physical and emotional needs.

It is about nurturing your mind, body, and soul.

It is something that should be done regularly, so it makes it a great thing to incorporate into your bullet journal pages.

Here are seven different self-care pages that you can make that will help keep you on track with taking care of yourself.


JOURNAL OR BRAIN DUMP PAGE

Keeping a journal is one tool that you can use to take care of yourself.

Simply taking the time to write about how you feel is important. It will help you clear your mind, and discover the things that are bothering you, or better yet, inspiring you.

If you have the time, try to set aside a time in the morning or evening to write a few pages.

Just start writing your train of thought, working to empty out everything that is on your mind.

You might be thinking that you do not have a big chunk of time to spend writing.

I totally get that, and I have a solution for you.

The brain dump page. 

I covered this wonderful page in my post about how bullet journals can help with depression and anxiety.

The brain dump page is a good quick substitute for writing a few journal pages.

You may not have the time to pour your heart out into a journal.

Instead, try pouring a cup of coffee and jotting down a few words or sentences about what is on your mind.

It will help you approach the day with a clear mind.

self care pages

Plus, participating in that little morning routine counts as self-care!

GRATITUDE PAGE

This is another page that you can add to your journal that will help you keep a good perspective.

It is easy to get overwhelmed with all that is going wrong or bad in your life.

Eventually, if that is what you focus on, nothing seems to go right!

Keep a page in your bullet journal where you write the good things that happen to you.

It doesn’t matter how big or how small, just try to find ONE thing that you can be grateful for.

Maybe it is a compliment from a friend or a nice text message you received.

It could even be that the sun decided to shine.

self care pages

Refer back to it often, and remember those good things that happened. They are good for the soul.

SELF CARE PAGE

This is an easy one. It serves as a good reminder to take time to care for you.

Make yourself a reference page in your bullet journal where you list ideas for self-care activities.

self care pages

Since you will always have it handy, try to refer to that page each week and pick something that you can do to show yourself a little love.

DOODLE PAGE

I like to doodle. I find it calming and relaxing, and it definitely counts as self-care.

Make a page in your journal to doodle, or sketch.

Breathe slowly while you color, and be mindful as you make your lines.

self care pages

The result will be a page full of doodles that make you happy and might cheer you up on a day that you feel down.

REALITY CHECK PAGE

This page is a good way to help put the negative thoughts that run through your mind into perspective.

There are times in my day where my brain starts freaking me out and I perceive things in a way that are not true.

When this happens, I use this page.

There is one column to write my fear or the irrational thought that I am having.

Then, there is another column to replace it with a more positive thought and perspective.

self care pages

Using this page is similar to the gratitude page, as it helps to refocus negative thinking into something more positive.

AFFIRMATIONS PAGE

Fill a page with positive thoughts and affirmations about yourself, or about life.

self care pages

Start out slowly if you need to, but set aside a time at least once each month to light a candle, put on some good music and say these affirmations out loud.

Ideally, working towards saying them at least once a week, and then every day, would be best.

YOGA POSES PAGE

One of my goals this year was to work on fitting yoga into my self-care routine.

I know by doing this it helps me stay relaxed, and it is another good way to clear the mind.

However, I don’t typically have a ton of time to watch an entire video or attend a yoga class.

I remedied this by making my own little page illustrating a mini yoga routine for myself.

self care pages

Now it is always handy in my bullet journal, and I see it often, so it reminds me to take a few minutes and stretch it out.

I hope that some of these self-care pages might help you find a way to making self-care a priority in your life.

Remember, these are only examples. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. You WILL make mistakes. If you don’t like to draw and prefer lists, just make lists.

The main point of a bullet journal is to have a system that you can customize for yourself. 

If I happened to inspire you and you would like to share, I would love to see it. Or if you have favorite self-care pages that you like to use,  please share them in the comments!

Check back in soon,  or better yet, sign up for my mailing list, because I will be sharing about how my use of a mood tracker is working out, and I will be sharing more information about how to use trackers in your bullet journal.

xo, Melissa

P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips.

 

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How To Make Reading Wands – Another Quick and Easy Craft!

reading wands

We have been working very hard on learning to read in our homeschool classroom.

Sometimes, my daughter starts feeling overwhelmed, distracted or bored. She has trouble keeping her place while reading out loud.

To help combat this, I decided that we should make some magic reading wands with our craft sticks.

As you know I am a fan of quick and easy crafts, and this one doesn’t disappoint.

They are the perfect way to add a little excitement and sparkle to our reading practice.

To make these reading wands, you will need the following supplies:

reading wands

Modge Podge

Glitter

Medium Sized Craft Sticks

Buttons

Craft Glue

Paint brush

Sharpies (for decorating – opitional)

Washi Tape (for decorating – opitional)

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 🙂

Reading Wand Instructions:

First, place some glitter in a small container to make it easier to paint on the craft sticks.

I have discovered that muffin liners are perfect for this purpose!

Dip your brush in a bit of modge podge, and then in the glitter, and paint onto your craft sticks. You can also dab the glitter to help get a good thickness so the reading wands are nice and sparkly.

Set aside and let it dry for a little bit.

reading wand

It is also fun to try a few different ways of decorating the reading wands.

Sharpies, stickers, washi tape, and paint, would all work. Just dig into your craft stash and see what you can find.

If you use sharpies to decorate your reading wands, I recommend painting a layer of modge podge on your craft stick first. It helps the ink not bleed into the wood.

reading wands

The final step is choosing the perfect button for the top of the wand. Use a little craft glue to secure them to the top of the wand.

If you don’t have buttons, but have craft jewels or foam stickers, those would also work as a good accent.

reading wands

Once the glue is dry, your reading wands are ready to help make reading time fun.

They are a great way to help keep young readers focused on keeping their place while reading.

Best of all, they are super easy to make!

reading wands

Happy reading!

xo Melissa

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How to Make a Puffy Heart Pin – Quick and Easy

Today I am going to show you how to make a puffy heart pin with felt.

puffy heart

I needed a cute, but quick craft for Valentine’s day because we had some unexpected medical stuff come up in our house that put me behind.

These little hearts fit my need perfectly, and I even had all the supplies on hand!

Of course February has Valentine’s day, but it is also heart month. I have always had a fondness for hearts, but they took on an additional special meaning when my daughter had open heart surgery.

I will proudly wear this pin, not just for the holiday, but to honor my strong heart warrior, Miss Bean.

puffyheart


To make these puffy hearts, you will need the following supplies:

puffy hearts

Felt

Scissors

Embroidery thread (or regular thread)

Safety pin

Polyfill stuffing


First, you need to cut a heart shape out of the felt.

puffy heart

I used a scrap piece of paper to create a pattern. Then I used it as a guide and cut two heart shapes out of my felt.

puffy heart

Next, cut a small rectangular piece of felt. This will be used to secure the safety pin to the back of your heart.

puffy heart

Place the felt piece over the base of the safety pin, but make sure that you can still open up the pin to secure it to your clothing.

Use your thread and stitch all the way around the small piece of felt. Now your pin is attached, and you are almost ready to wear your puffy heart.

puffy heart

Take your two hearts and place them together, with your safety pin at the back. Begin stitching the two pieces together.

Be sure to leave a little hole so that you can stuff it with the poly fill.

Fill your heart with the stuffing, and finish stitching it closed.

puffy heart

There you have it! It is a fast and easy craft, but is a perfect accessory for Valentine’s day. It would also make a great gift as well.

puffy heart front puffy heart

If you are feeling adventurous, try making other shapes. I made these cute cat pins with little beads for their eyes too.

puffy heart
Enjoy creating and spreading the puffy heart love!

Xo Melissa

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How Using A Bullet Journal Can Help With Anxiety and Depression

 

anxietyanddepression

*Disclaimer: This post may contain some affiliate links. That means I might receive a small commission if you make a purchase by using my link. This happens at no additional cost to you, and it helps provide a few supplies for our homeschool classroom. Miss Bean and I thank you for it! 🙂

Anxiety and depression are something that I often deal with.

Last year, I started a bullet journal in hopes that it would help me ease my busy mind. I am happy to report that I have noticed a huge improvement.

While I still have my moments, I now know that I now have a good tool to help me cope and work through things when I start feeling overwhelmed.

I want to show you that creating a routine with your bullet journal can help you deal with anxiety and depression. It will help you feel more stable and give you a more positive outlook.


Not sure what a bullet journal is? Check out my beginners guide to bullet journals


Here are some ways to put your bullet journal to work for you and your mental health.

BRAIN DUMP PAGE

This is one of my favorite pages to create.

Each morning, as I am drinking my coffee, I take some time to breathe and think about what is on my mind. Things that are bothering me, things that make me happy, and things that I want to do.

I create little mind maps with all of these things that accumulate in my head, and once I do that, my mind feels a little more at peace.

self care pages

It doesn’t have to look pretty, and it can be in any form, just find what works best for you.

The goal is to quiet your mind.

TO-DO LISTS

I usually have a brain full of things that I want to do and need to accomplish. It can get a little cluttered, so being able to have a running list written out, helps me clear my head a bit and have a visual of what I want to do.

However, those lists can also get long and become overwhelming, which leads to shutting down.

One solution would be to make short to-do lists for each day, or for the week.

Choose two or three main things that you would like to accomplish, and start with that.

Use your brain dump page to jot down other things on your mind. Then, when you sit down to work on your goals for the day, pull items from that page to add to your list.

anxiety and depression

Another suggestion would be to create a DONE list, instead of a to-do list.

Write down thing things that you did accomplish.

This can help turn a negative thing, such as a long overwhelming list, into a positive thing.


However you create your lists, just make sure it is achievable. Do not set yourself up for failure.


GRATITUDE LISTS

Sometimes, when anxiety and depression strike, it can make everything feel so hopeless. Like there is nothing good happening.

Take some time each day to think about and write down 1-3 good things that happened in your day.

Even if it is just something like just getting out of bed, or that the sun came out for a few hours. I found once I practiced this, that over time, the good things became easier to think of.

Here is a peek at my current gratitude list page for my journal.
self care pages

Need a little more inspiration?  I explain a little bit more here, how keeping a gratitude list can help focus on the positive and put things into perspective.

SELF CARE PAGE

Make a page that lists various activities that you can do to take a few minutes to focus on yourself.

When you start feeling overwhelmed and need a break, refer to your list.

Often, when I start feeling really upset, my brain doesn’t seem able to think of what I can do to help get out of that rut. If you have a list, it makes it easy to just pick something and go with it.

anxiety and depression

If you need some ideas to get you started, check out my post about quick self-care ideas.

HABIT TRACKERS

These have everything that you need to do on a daily basis available at a glance. Use grid paper and track things like exercise, food, medicine, housework, or vitamins.

A good one to start with is water intake, as staying hydrated is important for the mood.

Trackers are handy because they can help put things into perspective for you.

You might discover that you need to work harder to make something more of a habit, or better yet, you may realize that you are doing a great job and that things aren’t as bad as you think!

Again, just remember to set realistic goals for the things that you want to track.

MOOD TRACKERS

I wrote a little bit about starting to track my mood last week.

Even though this is a tracker as well, I feel like it deserves its own category. This one is helpful to see if there are certain times which you are prone to feeling depressed or anxious, it gives you the big picture of how you are feeling.

I have enjoyed tracking my moods so far. When I grab my colors to fill in my box for the day, it gives me a moment to think about and recap my day.

Often I think I had a bad day, but once I think about it, I realize that it is usually a mix and that something positive typically happens. (of course, I try and remember to add that to my gratitude page!)

anxiety and depression

At first, I was worried that all my squares would be gray for sad, or dark blue for anxious, but I discovered that wasn’t the case.

QUOTE OR MANTRA PAGE

Finally, I like keeping a page with inspirational or motivational quotes that I like. I can glance at them when I start feeling dark, and usually, there is some kind of quote that will help uplift me.

It doesn’t need to be fancy, I just keep a page in my notebook so that I can just write it down when I find a quote that I like.

anxiety and depression

Mantras or affirmations are also nice to add, work them into your morning routine and start the day right. Remind yourself that you are a strong, capable, and smart person.

self care pages

I hope that this shows you that organizing and creating a system in your bullet journal can be therapeutic and can help when emotions start feeling out of control.


Do you have a favorite page that you use to help combat anxiety and depression? I would love for you to share it in the comments. I am always trying to find inspiration for new pages to add to my journal.

xo Melissa

P.S. Are you new here? Follow Disco Bumblebee on Pinterest and be sure to join my Facebook group for more journaling ideas, quick and easy crafts, and other lifestyle tips. 

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