Category: holidays/celebrations

Wrapping Paper – Weekly Unplugged Project

By , December 29, 2008 8:56 am

The theme for this week’s Unplugged Project is wrapping paper.  I am hoping to learn lots of neat new ways to recycle used holiday paper.

With all our indoor time due to the terrible icy, snowstorms we had all week, you’d think we’d have found an opportunity to do our project on time.  But somehow we have been too busy with holidays and sledding and playing games to get to a wrapping paper project yet.  Maybe today or tomorrow?


If any of you were able to work a wrapping paper project into your busy holiday schedules, them please put a link to your project post in Mr. Linky below.  Please link to your post, not just your blog, so we can always find your project!  If you didn’t do a wrapping paper project, but would like to learn more about the weekly Unplugged Project, then please read more here.


Next week’s weekly Unplugged Project theme will be:




Dark/Light – Solstice Napkin Rings (Weekly Unplugged Project)

By , December 22, 2008 9:44 am

Here I am, better late than never!  After a very busy day of cooking yesterday in preparation for last night’s winter solstice get-together with friends, I am finally able to post our Weekly Unplugged Project.

The theme this week is Dark/Light, in honor of the solstice (be it winter or summer depending on your hemisphere).

We made solstice napkin rings that, in all the excitement, we actually forgot to use.  Oops.

First we gathered “nature-colored” beads and pipecleaners, or at least as close to nature colored as we could find (I am not sure that that shade of green pipecleaner really exists in nature, except perhaps in Ireland!).

We strung them on the pipecleaners.

Then we twisted the ends together to form a ring (make sure the size is big enough to hold a cloth napkin).

We curled the loose ends of the pipecleaner around a pencil:

We discovered that the curly ends made a great holder for some pine needles!

This was simple, fun, and even my two year-old could do it.

You could make Christmas ones with red and green pipecleaners and tinsel or holly in the curly bit, or how about summer ones with a flower stuck in there?


Did you join in this week’s Unplugged Project?  If so, then please link to your post (not just your blog) in Mr. Linky below.  That way, readers will always be able to easily find your project post.  If you didn’t join in, but like the idea of it, please do not link, but read more about how to join us here.


The theme for next week’s Unplugged Project will be:

Wrapping Paper

What can you do to recycle some of that holiday wrapping paper after it has been ripped off the gifts?  I can’t wait to see your creative ideas!

Happy Holidays!


Thankful – Wine Cork Necklaces (Weekly Unplugged Project)

By , November 24, 2008 8:36 am

We did a fun thankful project last Thanksgiving for our Unplugged Project, but I felt we needed to find something different for this year’s thankful theme.

For a while now I have also been collecting wine corks to use for a craft.  I thought about this all week, and a miraculous inspiration came to me (for which I am thankful).  Thankful Necklaces!

Here’s what you’ll need:  wine corks, scissors, newspapers and magazines, white glue and/or Modge Podge, plus a necklace cord (yarn, string, ribbon, chain or leather perhaps?).  You’ll also need to make a hole all the way through the corks, we used a drill.

First drill a hole all the way through the corks.  The hole should be near the top of the cork:

Next comes the fun part.  Sit down with old newspapers and magazines and cut out words and small images that represent what you are thankful for.  Make sure they are small, because they’ll need to fit on the cork.

Once you have all your cutouts, use a small paint brush to paint white glue onto the back of each word or picture and stick it on the cork.  Keep in mind that there is not much room on a cork so you should start with the larger items and fit the smaller ones on top if necessary.

Don’t worry about covering the hole.  My daughter left hers uncovered but I covered mine and later poked a skewer through to open it.  If you do cover the holes though, be careful not to put anything too important over the top or it will be messed up when you open the hole later. (You could probably also drill the hole at the end after the decoupage is done and dry).

When you are done with the gluing and are satisfied with the result, cover the entire cork with watered down white glue or Modge Podge using your paintbrush.  It will take a few coats to become nice and shiny and hard.

Once the cork bead is completely dry, open the hole with a skewer if you covered it up with decoupage.

String the necklace cord through the bead and voila!  You have a thankful necklace!

This would be pretty and unusual combined with other beads.  Or how about some funky earrings?

You don’t have to stick with thankful as a theme either.  You could try colors, patterns, animals, anything!

I think I’ll make more of these.  They were so fun and the creative possibilities seem truly limitless. Plus, I really like how they turned out!


Did you do the thankful Unplugged Project with us this week? If so, then please link to your project post (not just your blog) in Mr. Linky below. If not, but you think this sounds fun, then read more about how to join in the weekly Unplugged Projects here. We’d love to have you!


Next week’s Unplugged Project theme will be:


Have fun!


Cylinder – Surprise Cylinders! (Weekly Unplugged Project)

By , August 24, 2008 9:51 pm


My camera cable is back so I can join in again, hooray!!!

When I picked the theme of cylinder for this week’s Unplugged Project, I was thinking of all the toilet paper we usually seem to go through so quickly. Guess what: this week, not one empty roll of toilet paper. How did that happen? And I was counting on it!!

I did finish a roll of wrapping paper though, so we used that for our cylinder. Have you noticed that they don’t make those wrapping paper rolls like they used to? Instead of being like long paper towel rolls, they are now simply curled up, thin cardboard.

Anyhow, we made it work for the Surprise Packages that I had in mind. My 8 year-old daughter’s best friend is moving far away to Washington State next week, so she wanted to make something special to give to her. It turned out that this project was perfect.

For this, you’ll need a cardboard cylinder (toilet or paper towel tubes would work best, but as you can see here, wrapping paper inserts can work too). Also, wrapping paper, or plain paper decorated by your children with markers, stickers, etc. Plus scissors, a hole punch (fancy or plain), and either ribbon or yarn.

Since we used the flimsy wrapping paper cardboard, we had to tape it into a cylinder:

Next, if your cylinder is long (ie. paper towel or wrapping paper length), cut it to the desired length. Be sure to consider that you will be making 1″- 2″ closing flaps at both ends, so please take that into account when calculating your desired length (add about 2″- 4″ to the overall length for the closing flaps).

Wrap the cylinder in wrapping paper (or paper decorated by the kids, or newspaper, magazine pictures, anything!!). Cut four slits on each end, all opposite one another:

You will end up with four tabs on each end, like this:

Punch one hole in each tab (large enough to put the string or ribbon through). I would recommend a normal single hole punch, that way you can make the tabs shorter so they will close better. I couldn’t find mine, so I used a fancy punch which made nice heart shapes, but required a longer tab to work:

Once the holes are punched in each tab, thread the ribbon/yarn through the holes on one side to tie the flaps up. First pass the yarn through two opposite holes from the inside out, like this:

Do the start of a bow to tie up the first two flaps (an extra set of fingers to hold everything down while you tie is recommended!):

Thread the ribbon/yarn through the remaining two opposing holes in a similar fashion. Pull tight, then tie a full bow:

Fill the surprise package with whatever you like. My daughter used leftover candy from a friend’s birthday party (that hadn’t yet made it to the Candy Bank), the punched-out hearts, some “special rocks,” and a note that she wrote:

Actually, one advantage of a fancy hole punch is the punched-out confetti that you can make to put inside your surprise tube. My daughter had fun making lots of hearts from the extra wrapping paper scraps:

Once filled, tie the other end the same way as the first end.  And…the final product:

I think that these could be fun to make for any holiday, or birthdays. They are also wonderful everyday storage containers for special treasures.


What did you create for the Unplugged Project theme of cylinder? I’d love to see, and so would many other people. So if you did a cylinder project this week, please put the link to your project in Mr. Linky below. If you are merely stopping by to check it all out, please do not link, but read about the Unplugged Project here to see if it is something you might want to do.


The theme for next week’s Unplugged Project is:




Eggs (Weekly Unplugged Project)- Part 1

By , March 23, 2008 6:26 pm

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate Easter, and Happy Spring (or Fall, if you are in the Southern Hemisphere) to those of you who don’t.

I have spent my Easter Sunday dozing in bed feeling horrible with some sort of nasty stomach thingy. The last thing I felt like doing was a project with my kids. Plus the theme…eggs, well, isn’t that kind of like…food? Impossible!

I have optimistically added a “Part 1” to this title so that when I am feeling more alive again, perhaps we will do the egg Unplugged Project and post about it. We had been going to try dying eggs using fruits, vegetables, and plants. I have never tried making natural dyes for eggs, so I was looking forward to it. Oh well. Hopefully we’ll get to it later. No promises though.

I’ll put up Mr. Linky for those of you healthy people who were able to do the project this week. Please also leave a comment so we can still find you if Mr. Linky malfunctions and I have to take him down.


Next week’s project theme is:



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