Gift Tags from Paint Chips

Gift Tags from Paint Chips

It’s about that time of year: I need to start thinking about teacher gifts. Usually, I like to do a little homemade something-something. I have an inkling of what I’m going to do this year (maybe not homemade, but I’m OK with that). These photos are from last year. Here’s how it went down…

I went to the paint store and got some paint chips. I glued them to white paper, then cut them into squares. Then I took colored sharpies and sketched some flowers. I punched a hole, put in some ribbon, and sealed them in a glassine envelope with a sticker. A little time consuming, but not hard…and quite fun for me since I got to doodle!

Tip: If you don’t have the time to doodle, don’t worry…just hand the little squares to your kiddos and let them at it. The end result will be even more charming.

Warning: Rubber stamps do NOT work on paint chips. I tried it. The paint chips are coated and the ink will not dry, like, ever.


Pujaki: Paper Chandelier

Pujaki: Paper Chandelier

I’ve become a little obsessed with making a Pujaki. The word Pujaki is polish and translated it means “spiders of straw”. There is a strong folk arts & crafts tradition in Poland. In the winter, when much of the outdoor activities were suspended, Polish peasant families would spend their time preparing for on of their biggest holidays – Christmas. Made from colored paper and straw, the Pujaki would hang over the Christmas table and stay there through New Year’s when it was carried on visit’s to friends’ houses. It was a symbol of good luck for the coming year! I read about these on design sponge and also on decor8.

You can buy them online, like the one above, at the Polish Art Center. Or try your hand at making one, like Lena Corwin or The Small Object did here below.


I think I will put this on my summer list! Although traditionally made from straw, I think I might try making mine from pipe cleaners. I’ll let you know how it goes!


Ministry of Letters

Ministry of Letters

Have you discovered the Ministry of Letters yet?

There is a secret world that not many of us know about!  Inside an ordinary post box in London, there exists a top secret government department, The Ministry of Letters.  It is here where all the words in the world are made.  Every word you’ll ever read!  But shhh, don’t tell anyone…this is highly classified information!

Ministry of Letters is a clever website that is the best thing I’ve seen in ages. They call themselves the “official department in charge of inspiring children to love words”. The letters are the stars, and they all have their own personality. “M” wears heels, her favorite word is marmalade and she plays the mandolin. Each letter also has their own personnel file where they share a selection of their favorite words, keeping your child entertained for hours.

Their book, Operation Alphabet, is truly a beautiful, beautiful book. Besides being a great story about a daydreaming boy and his boring homework, it has a wonderful underlying message about how learning can be fun and that letters and words are more then just school-work!

They’ve also just introduced their new iPad App, The Singing Alphabet! It’s FANTASTIC and you and your child will be dancing in your chairs. See their trailer here on their blog.

The Ministry of Letters has a manifesto, which is set to a catchy tune. Here is an excerpt:

At home, in dens or simply school,
We letters are a splendiferous tool!
Make a new word every day,
Then use it every possible way.

Use us wisely, use us for fun,
One at a time or by the ton.
And every time that you open a book,
Just think of how many letters it took!