Crafting with Kids: Easy Stenciled Valentines

Don’t let the title fool you, this project is for us old folks, too.  It’s just so easy that I labelled it as a kids’ project.  For some reason, this year, I’ve had Valentine’s Day on the brain much more so than in the past.   I guess that’s why I managed to get this little tutorial put together in time to actually use it.  Honestly, it’s a cute project that has many uses, not just Valentine’s Day, so go ahead and let your imagination run wild.

First, this is what you’ll need:

  1. Construction paper
  2. Scissors
  3. Paints (we used cheap craft paints)
  4. Cups, plates, etc. for mixing & thinning paints, as needed
  5. Freezer paper (NOT waxed paper)
  6. Iron & ironing surface
  7. Various items for applying paint.  We used sponges, brushes, string, and old toothbrushes

Step 1:

THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT-  if you are doing this with smaller children, and would like to get started in a timely manner & not go completely INSANE, then I would suggest you assemble all of your materials BEFORE you tell the kids what you’re up to.  Otherwise, you may just have to hear the phrase, “Please, can we start painting, please, please, PLEASE?????” only about 56,802 times.  Additionally, if your kids are too small to cut out shapes or handle a hot iron themselves, then I would also suggest doing the next step before you clue them in, as that, too, can make their waiting more unbearable.  Since I did neither of the above, I decided to keep my design pretty simple.

Step 2:

Cut your shapes out of the freezer paper and arrange them on your folded construction paper (if you’re making a folded card) shiney side down.  We chose different sized hearts, but you can do just about anything.  The nice thing about freezer paper is it can be used like tracing paper, so go nuts with those royalty-free printouts:


Step 3:

** Disclaimer-  this seems obvious, but irons are hot!  Please use your judgement and closely supervise the little people during this step **

With your iron on a medium heat setting, and your card on an ironing board or other protected surface, press down on each piece of freezer paper for a few seconds, until all pieces are securely adhered. 

 You should be left with something like this:

(please ignore that hideous dark blotch across this photo- it wasn’t on my card, and I’m too lazy to Photoshop it out right now).

Step 4:

Now you’re ready to paint!  Gather your paints and other accoutrements and work some magic all over the surface of the card.  Be sure to cover over all of the freezer paper edges with paint to achieve the nicest images.  I personally was quite fond of the sponge technique:

Step 5:

Once the paint is dry, it’s time to peel off the freezer paper pieces.  This  can be tricky, as they tend to disappear a little under all that paint.  Once you get the edge started, though, they peel right off:

And you should be left with something like this:

From here, you can either be done, or continue to decorate them with stamps, glitter glue, etc.  and of course include your personal message.

Freezer paper is a very versatile material, and it’s something that I use all the time in my sewing projects.  The above technique can also be used to paint on t-shirts, pillows, etc. as a “poor man’s silkscreen”. Maybe we’ll cover that project next time.  Until then, have fun, & catch ya on the flip side.


Resolutions (I.e.: a Bloggy Mission Statement)

Hi there.  I know, it’s been a while.  I should’ve called, but….  I’ve been really busy.  I know, lame excuse.  If you really meant that much to me, I guess I would’ve prioritized.  But, you see, as of late, I seem to have developed a severe aversion to any kind of time management and all things organized.  Allow me to present exhibit A- the title of this blog post.    Resolutions?  Hello, it’s February!  Please don’t take it personally, it’s me, not you.  Really.

Seriously, I know I have been extremely lackadaisical in my bloggy responsibilities for the past… well, since the third little munchkin burst onto the scene.   It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write, more like I haven’t felt much inspiration in that department.  It doesn’t come naturally to me, and, to be totally honest, I only started the blog to promote my wee little business.  But without much real focus or foresight, I floundered regularly trying to come up with content.  Is it about art?  Is it about my life?  The kids?  Is it my side of the Poop and Boogies coin?  After Jackson was born, it became clear to me that my time was needed elsewhere until I could figure things out & how to make it all work.

So what did I come up with?  Resolutions.  Resolutions to be more organized.  More focused.  More… passionate.  I know, artists are supposed to be free, not strapped down by a mundane daily monotony.  But what I’ve come to realize is there is freedom in structure.  Order is a necessary component in nature, why did I ever think I could somehow be above it?   

So here it is.  This blog will remain in existence for the purpose of promoting fun, creative outlets that hopefully other people can relate to.  And yes, I will use it as a tool to sell my wares.  But I will do my best (no guarantees, here) to keep it fun, interesting, and to update regularly with recurring features such as diy crafts, many for the little people (kids, not gnomes… although I like to think they’ll be user-friendly to all, including those who might be vertically challenged, or, “space efficient”, if you want to see the glass as half-full). 

For the other stuff, I’ve started a new blog, which I will dedicate to my boys.  See, as crafty as I think I am, I am not a scrapbooker, and I have to admit I do feel some anxiety that one day they will look back at the 823,568 or so photos that are stored on our computer’s hard drive and curse us as parents for never organizing their childhood memories into neat and pretty little books, complete with snazzy thought-bubble stickers, et al.  So this way, at least I am giving them something to look back through, and probably curse us anyway for telling the whole world embarrassing stories of how they used to dance around in their birthday suits or blow bubbles in the tub.

So there you have it.  I’m not making any promises, but I do feel hopeful that by putting it out there, I am basically giving anyone who cares permission to get on my case if I don’t do what I’m intending.  Coming next time:  a wee little valentine project for the kiddies.  Stay tuned.

Turkey, Murkey, Fo’ Furkey

Today is the day we give thanks.  Today is the day we relax, kick back, enjoy family, and stuff ourselves like no other day all year.  Traditionally, Thanksgiving was celebrated as a way to give thanks for the bountiful harvest that nature afforded the early settlers.

I do not even attempt to cook Thanksgiving dinner.  I usually do my part by bringing some type of side dish and a dessert.  This year, I opted for the candied sweet potatoes and this bad boy:

Yes, that is a pie.  Nothing says “Happy Thanksgiving” like an apple pie on ‘roids.  Eight, that’s right, eight extra large Granny Smith apples were stuffed into this thing, and, while it did settle down a bit after baking, it still carries with it quite a presence:

Ahhhh, let the gluttony begin…

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Show Schedule


I’m in full craft show mode right now, and the next couple of weeks are going to be so busy!  To anyone who stopped by my booth at Mt. Carmel last weekend, thank you! 

Sorry for the late notice, but tomorrow (11/14/09) I’ll be showing at the Reserve at Gwynedd’s Fine Art & Craft Show.  Proceeds benefit Laurel House, a women’s and children’s shelter.


Next, Ladies Shopping Night at Immaculate Conception Church in Jenkintown, PA on Friday, November 20th, from 7:30-10.  This show is a lot of fun, because not only is it free to come in & shop, but they give you free food and wine, too!  What’s not to love?


Finally, on December 5th, I’ll be at the Abington Friends School 3Rd Annual Holiday Craft Show.  I did this one last year, and really enjoyed it- what a beautiful campus!

Of course, my Etsy Shop still exists, although I’m really not good about updating it!  Please contact me if you see something that you would like to purchase, chances are, it’s available, or I can make one like it. 

Gigglepotamus now officially has a fan page on Facebook!  Stop by and join to stay updated on shows, announcements, and special deals (or to just make me feel good 🙂 )


Have a great weekend everyone!

Halloween 2009

I’ve always been a fan of more classic costumes, so I was happy when my older two wanted to be a skeleton & a mummy… the little guy rounds out the ghoulish trio as frank… 



Happy Halloween everyone! 



Mmm… Mmm… Mmmmmmm

After some screaming and tears this morning, we managed to get out the door in time to get Wyatt to his first Pre-School Halloween parade.  I have always been a fan of the homemade costume, but this year I decided I was going to give myself a break and not stress out over making costumes on top of all the craft show stuff I’ve got going on.   That is, until Wyatt told me he wanted to be a mummy….

Sounds fairly simple, just rip up some old sheets and wrap him up in it.  I won’t go into details, but it was NOT that simple!  I was able to put something together last night, and wouldn’t you know it, this morning he refused to wear it!  Once I convinced him to try on the pants, he was more willing to put on the rest, and all was right in our spooky little world again.

Lost in Translation

Max:    “Dad, you missed the gecko.”


Bill:    “Huh?”


Max:    “You missed the gecko.”


Bill:    “I missed the…. gecko?”


Max:    “Yeah.”


Bill:    “What the heck does that mean?”


Max:    “Well, you see, me, mommy, and Wyatt are all wearing red shirts… you aren’t…. so you missed the gecko.”


Me:    “No, Max.  It’s memo…. you missed the memo.”


Max:    “Oh.”