For my daughter’s 3rd birthday, I wanted to keep it simple and home-made.  I’m pretty sure that this will be the last ‘low-key’ birthday as she is already making plans for 2013! 

I decided that she needed a puppet theater and after my Pinterest and Google searches turned up nothing that I wanted to copy, I designed my own experiment.  I finally found a use for those tri-fold science boards.  For under $10 at Michaels, I got everything I needed:  Science board (about $2.50 with coupon), 6+ bottles of acrylic craft paint, foam brushes and some decorative paper.  I choose a pink/garden look but I did contemplate a barn which would be cute in red with some animals on the outside.  I painted the ‘brown’ side of the board so the inside would be clean and white and the unit would stand in the correct direction.  The true key to painting cardboard is NOT to oversaturate it.  This will cause it to warp severely.  It took me 2 tries because my original green paint was too wet.  I happened to have the cut-out flowers left over from a recent birthday gift from my sister.  There were plenty, so I had a lovely garden!  She cut them out on a cricut and having these on hand probably saved me 2 hours of cutting them myself.  After the paint dried (overnight) I glued them on with craft glue.  You can create various openings.  I wanted mine to look like windows, so I trimmed them in white scrapbook paper.  Use a VERY sharp #11 exacto knife for this task.

My last homemade gift was a pillow bed inspired by Southern Disposition.  This was too cute!  I did find the .99 pillows at IKEA, and the Duvet was $15 or $20, I can’t remember…It was fun to sew and not be too concerned about measuring, etc.  She loved it!  She’s sleeping on it tonight and it gets a lot of use for naps.  The .99 pillows are not exactly something that I want to sleep on, but 3-year-olds are pretty resilient.

$10 worth of IKEA finger puppets topped off the gift and find their home in a cardboard ‘American Girl’ craft box.  All of it stores away very compactly and it was so fun to make!  I’m back…

  1. outonthelawn posted this