Ta-Da! Workshop
Where "Ooo!" and "Ah ha!" meet.
fun practical stuff
REinvented, REpurposed & REloved

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Ta-Da! To-Do (DIY)

Welcome to Ta-Da's To-Do List, a place where you can visit and take a peek at what we've been doing in our down time. A place where I post projects I've made for gifts, parties, personal home decor, organizing, you name it!

Many people have "To-Do" Lists, my hope is these ideas will inspire you to create a "Ta-Da!" List, or a file of projects you can make on your own. There's nothing more personal and meaningful than something handmade. I promise you, your work will be appreciated and loved. ;)

Most of my projects cost very little and often use resources you might have just laying around. I also enjoy creating with items that would otherwise be thrown away. So, many of these projects involve saving trash to be turned to treasure. Enjoy!

A Teacher's Gift
We love recycling here at our house and I know many teacher's apprecite it, too. So this year my boys made lovely wall hangings for their teachers as a special end-of-the-year thank you.

Crayon Plaques
I have to admit I'm a bit of a hoarder when it comes to trash that has potential. So, I had been saving broken crayons for awhile just waiting for inspiration to hit. But I'm so glad I did, because the results were great and the kids were able to help make the perfect teacher's gifts.

You'll need:
Old crayons (or you can use new, too)
E-6000 glue
Wire or ribbon (and wire snippers or scissors)
Sharpie and/or paint markers
Acrylic paints
Scrap piece of wood or MDF board (I used .25 inch MDF scraps)
Modge Podge (glossy)
Paint brushes (1" will do great)
Drill with 1/8" bit

1. First I had the boys peel the paper off any crayon that the paper did not reflect the color of the crayon (some the the cheaper brands all have the same color paper regardless of crayon color).
2. Then we divided the crayons into color piles.
3. I had each kid make their own rainbow on a workspace where it could be left untouched until I could get to the gluing.
4. Then I painted the front and sides of the MDF with regular acrylic paint and let it dry.
5. Next I glued on their rainbows with E-6000 glue... carefully keeping them just like they had arranged them originally. (You can see the difference between my 8-year-olds' and my 4-year-olds' pretty easily.)
6. After the glue dried, I added the saying and sun/clouds details with paint markers.
7. After the paint was dry, I coated it all (even the crayons) with a layer of Modge Podge (to make is glossy).
8. When that dried, I drilled holes and added wire curling the ends with pointed wire snippers. You could just as easily use ribbon and tie knots on the front side of the drilled holes. Use a lighter to fray check any strings.
9. Lastly, I had the boys sign the back of their work with their name and the year. Ta-Da!

Father's Day Fun

This year for Father's Day my boys and I made two projects for my husband. The boys played an active and important role in each gift. We made a candy bar poster and a fun photo sign to hang in our living area. Both projects are detailed below.

Candy Bar Poster
Many of you have seen this idea before. I just have a few tips to make it a project the kids can help with (to make it just a little more special). First I took my 4-year-old shopping to select a few candy bars to buy (he thought this was awesome). We just went with what we could find for the candies. We brought them home and I brainstormed what we could say using the candy we'd purchased. After I had a good idea of what we could write, I had my 8-year-old write the sentences on standard white paper. I did this so I could cut out his writing and glue it on the poster. This way the pressure was off to write everthing perfect the first time. It also allowed me to position everything and fit it on the poster nice and neat. That's it really! We glued on the words with a glue stick (so the kids could help) and taped on the candy bars. Another idea would be to allow the kids to help you brainstorm the actual saying on the poster... only you know if this is something that would work at your house. Good luck!

"We Love You" Photo Sign
For this project I photographered my boys holding signs with "We Love You" cut out of poster board. The fun part was I only photographed their shadows! The hardest part of this craft was getting the sun to cooperate on what turned out to be a pretty clouldy week.

You'll need:
poster board
scotch tape
spray paint
Modge Podge
a camera
unfinished wooden craft plaques

1. First I cut a standard posterboard in half (so each of my boys could have a sign).
2. I drew on the words freehand and then cut them out with sharp scissors. Note: the "O" needs to be cut in two pieces to keep the center in place. Take a close look at the pictures below to see what I mean. I also used scotch tape to hold the letters in place where necessary (like at the bottom of the "U" the "W". The tape barely shows up in the photos.)
3. Next, take your photos. We took ours on our back patio. A driveway or parking lot, even a tennis court would be a good place, too. My boys complained that I took too many photos and their arms hurt... but the results far outweighed any complaining in my book. :)
4. Develop photos. I had mine made into 8x10s at an hourly studio, which only printed in glossy. (Usually I like matte finish, but glossy was fine, since I planned to decoupage over the photos anyway.) My 8X10s cost $2.99 each.
5. Purchase wooden plaques at a craft store. Mine were just $2.99 each. (I did have to cut off about a quarter inch of the photo with a papercutter to get the photo to center nicely on the plaques I could find.)
6. Spray paint the plaques the color of your choice. I used what I had on hand, so this was no additional cost for me.
7. Decopauge your photos right onto the plaque. I used two coats of glossy Modge Podge to finish mine, being sure to coat the sides of the plaques so the entire piece has the same glossy texture.
8. I had the kids sign the back of the plaques with sharpies including the year, their names and a "Happy Father's Day" note. Then we gave our finished gifts to Daddy and the grandpas.

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