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Make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids

Unbelievable that it´s soon Halloween again! Today I am showing you how to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids.

I don´t know about you, but I love Halloween even though for us it´s an imported holiday! Before the best time of the year used to be carnival. Everyone get´s dressed up, is in a good mood and we kids got tons of sweets. It´s a whole week of fun, normally starting with the women having their day, storming the town halls and taking over the regime. If you ever go to Germany on carnival Thursday as a man: do not wear a good tie, because it will be cut off! Men usually wear either their oldest ties or the ones they got as a present and don´t like at all. 🙂 The same day, we kids went from house to house singing and getting our bags filled with sweets. Then there are the street parades where they throw sweets, flowers for the women and some hand out hot red wine to the adults to warm up…

Then I moved to Spain and carnival here is totally different. Here it´s more like you see it on TV from Rio. It´s warmer, people can show more skin when dressing up and the only ones dancing are the ones taking part in the parade. And no sweets, they throw confetti instead. At least confetti doesn´t hurt when you get it on your head… But here, through a lot of British residents, Halloween get´s celebrated. And when my son started pre-school we got dressed up and joined others to go through the streets…

Back to subject. I didn´t want to write about carnival and Halloween, but how you can make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids!

Make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial

* Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything using them, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I only provide links to products of which I think they are useful to you and I try to link to eco-friendly products at the same time. For more information please read my disclosure & privacy policy.

What´s needed:

  • A wooden slat (if possible reclaimed), big enough for you to write and decorate;
  • Sandpaper;
  • Wood stain dark; use one that is safe for earth and pets (like this one), I used Teak;
  • Acrylic paint: Black, red, white and green;
  • An old piece of cloth and gloves;
  • A piece of white chalk; optional
  • Artist brushes;
  • A few bits of inlet of an old cushion or cotton wool;
  • Liquid glue or glue gun and glue;
  • 2 screws, if your slat doesn´t have nails in like mine and
  • String or cable.
  • Optional to hang it outside: clear wood sealant.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids – step by step

I found this lovely, but very dirty piece by the bins and decided to take it home. We wanted to make some Halloween decorations for this year anyway, so this was ideal.

Looking at the slat, it had nails in which looked quite nice from the front, so I decided to just hammer them down instead of taking them out. This way, there was no need to put screws in at the back either and I could use the nails to attach the cable.

My piece was extremely dirty, so I had to give it an extremely good rub down. Even if your wood looks much better, still sand it and then clean all the dust off before starting with the next step.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - wood

I wanted to try something new with this sign, so I got an old cloth, the wood stain and the black acrylic paint out and covered the table with an old bed sheet. Next, I put some of the paint into a big bottle top, dipped the cloth into the stain and then into the paint.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - painting method

Now apply both with the cloth onto the wood in a circular motion. This way, you get an uneven coat of the colours over the wood you couldn´t achieve with a paint brush, which makes it look much better. Best, If you use a glove while doing this! I don´t like gloves, so I had stains under my fingernails for a few days after… 🙂

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - varnished

One other good side effect of this painting technique is that you don´t have to wait too long until you can continue, so your Halloween sign can be done in a day. Take the piece of chalk and pre-write the word Halloween to see if you are happy with the way it looks.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - chalk writing

Want to help protect the environment, but don´t know where to start? Download my FREE pdf 15 tips on starting a greener life“!

Then go over the chalk with the red paint. Apply at least 2 to 3 coats. The shaky lines make it look a bit more spooky.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - writing first coat

The decorating is totally down to your own and your kids imagination. We decided to add red scratch marks, green eyes and black bats. Last add the white lines to make everything stand out more and add a 3D effect.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - bat

Before we added the smaller details, I took out the inlet of an old cushion that I stored to make a new cushion one day or maybe use for padding furniture. If you don´t have any, just go in the bathroom and get out your cotton wool. I took a few pieces, spread them and then glued them onto the wood. We used normal glue, as this way my son could glue them hisself. Plus, It´s staying inside, so it was not important that it will stick for extremely long. If you have and want to put it outside, better use a hot glue gun.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - spider web

Staying with this: if you want your sign to be outside, do the above step last! Once you are happy with the painting and the details, then apply a coat of the sealant. Let everything dry and then add the “spider webs”.

You are nearly there! 🙂

The only thing left now is to screw the screws into the back, attach the string and hang it up! Voila: you have just managed to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids.

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial - finished

If you have enjoyed reading “Homemade shower gel for super soft and healthy skin” or know someone who might be interested in this subject: Please share this post! Thank you 🙂

How to make a Halloween sign from reclaimed wood with your kids. It´s always a lot of fun making your own decorations together with your kids. Learn how in this step by step tutorial

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You might also be interested in our Boy´s room Minecraft makeover or my DIY mosquito repelling deodorantCoasters made from bottle topsand How to teach your kids the importance of green living.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part I

* Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything using them, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I only provide links to products of which I think they are useful to you and I try to link to eco-friendly products at the same time. For more information please read my disclosure & privacy policy.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part 1; In this part I show you how to make your own Creeper lamp and Minecraft shelf

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part I

My son LOVES Minecraft and anything to do with it… That´s why we decided to give his room a Minecraft makeover.

It all started when my mum found a picture on Pinterest of a Minecraft crochet blanket. Unfortunately it was one of those that lead to absolutely nothing… One was leading to Google search from where it was leading us back to Pinterest. So my mum, brilliant as she is with anything knitting and crochet, decided to give it a try anyway. She made all the squares needed and laid them out in the order she thought looked best… but her grandson walked in and started to reorder them all straight away :o) Seeing that is was his, it stayed like that, so if you find it looking a bit odd with most red pieces together, blame my son :o)

I will have to get my mum to sit down with me and write down instructions on how to do the blanket… This will be Part II then. Same counts for the TNT cushion and the Enderman. And maybe some more things that we might have added until then. Curtains will be on part 2 as well, but they are not finished yet.

Now in summer I am extremely busy in my day job, so part 2 will most likely come in September. I will try to have it up sooner, if possible.

When my mum finished the blanket and the cushion, we started emptying the bedroom, because we wanted to change the position of the bed as well. For this, I took one of his shelves off as well. I wanted to apply a coat of clear paint to the top as it was terrible to dust… Here the idea was born of us painting the shelf together in a Minecraft theme. My son chose the creeper, the TNT, the diamond blocks and originally wanted a diamond sword and axe, but there wasn´t enough space left, so we changed it to parts of obsidian blocks.

But before we got to paint the shelf, we stumbled over a green light in a charity shop. Me and my mum straight away had the idea to make a creeper lamp!

How to make a creeper lamp yourself

You need:

  • an old lamp, best with a green base. If not, you can easily paint it.
  • green fabric,
  • black felt fabric,
  • needles,
  • hem tape and
  • an iron

Instructions:

Try and find some green fabric as leftover or maybe you have got some at home you can re-use/re-purpose… I get smaller bits of fabric often from the local market. There is one store selling curtain fabrics with a corner of “leftovers”. I think it is a very good idea, specially if you don´t need meters of it.

Wrap the green fabric around the lamp shade to measure how much you need and place the needles so you know where to cut if you have too much. Dont worry, if it overhangs at the bottom.

Now take the ham tape, measure the length you need to fold the top and bottom over, so they look good, and cut it. Next measure the height.

Lay the green cloth out in front of you and cut the squares you need for the creeper from the black felt fabric. Once cut, place them onto the green fabric, cut hem tape for the squares and warm up your iron according to the instructions of the tape. “Glue” the squares on, then do the top and bottom rim before closing the green cloth.

Once closed, all you need to do is pull it over the lamp shade and you got your own creeper lamp!

Pretty easy, wasn´t it? Plus, it looks great!

Next, I explain to you, how my son and I created the shelf for his Minecraft room.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part 1 Creeper lamp

Minecraft shelf

Now, you might have wondered, why we painted the bottom of the shelf and not the top. Painting the bottom seems outright crazy, doesn´t it?

The shelf is hanging pretty high in the bedroom and painting the top, nobody would have seen it. Plus, shelves normally are filled on the top. That´s why we decided to paint the underneath and showcase our work to everyone entering the room.

What you need:

  • Wooden shelf (Maybe you already have one in the room you can use or one stored away?),
  • Acrylic paint (colours depending on motives you choose), here is a set, if you don´t have any at home
  • Flat 3 inch (80 cm) paint brush,
  • Flat artist brush for the squares,
  • Ruler,
  • Soft pencil,
  • Clear sealant (I have linked to a water based eco-friendly, kids safe version here because I think, it is all round the best option)

Instructions

To start off, measure the width and length of your shelf and mark the middle lengthwise with a little dot. Now you can calculate how many squares you can paint onto the shelf. In our case it was 4 full squares and I decided, it would look better to have 2 small bits instead of 1 odd bit. Draw lines to mark your squares, but don´t press too hard with the pencil or the line will show through.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part 1 Minecraft shelf Step 1

Next decide what Minecraft characters and/or blocks you want to paint. It´s up to you, if you want to paint everything yourself or want to get your kid/s involved further than the decision on what to paint. I can only tell you that we had a lot of fun together and the excitement of putting it up was much bigger for both of us.

Want to help protect the environment, but don´t know where to start? Download my FREE pdf “15 tips on starting a greener life“!

First paint the base colour of your squares. We started with 2 coats of the bright blue, white and green. Then we painted the red for the TNT and then the black for the letters, the creeper and the obsidian. Here it´s up to you, if you want the base shining through a bit or if you paint 2 coats. Remember to wait a little before applying a second coat and other colours on top.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part 1 Minecraft shelf Step 2

Our lines are not totally straight and the letters are a bit off-center, but that´s okay. At least you can see that we done it together and I didn´t expect perfection.

Don´t forget to clean out your brushes when starting a new colour.

Last, we painted the dark blue and grey squares, although we started some dark blue squares before, but I recommend you to first finish the black. We didn´t have grey, so I mixed it. Looking at the pictures, I should have used a bit more white as the grey doesn´t really show on them… With the squares, remember that in the game they are not totally even and more shades than we paint. So try to go thicker and thinner with your coats in places. This seems to be easier for a kid than for an adult… ;o)

Once you finished the little squares, let all the paint dry and apply the sealant.

When the sealant is dry, you can put it up and start enjoying it.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part 1 Minecraft shelf finished

I hope you have enjoyed reading this post. Feel free to upload your own Minecraft versions either in the comments or send me a picture by email (tjalva tjalvasdiy.com). I would love to see them!

If you have enjoyed this post, please share it with your friends.

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You might also be interested in: DVD-Shelves made from pallets, Coasters made from bottle tops or my doormat from plastic bags.

Boy´s room Minecraft makeover Part 1; In this part I show you how to make your own Creeper lamp and Minecraft shelf

Quickly made Easter bunny from a steel scouring pad

How to make a super cute and easy Easter bunny from a steel scouring pad with your kids. Step by step tutorial. Done in less than 5 minutes!

Easter is nearly here, so if you are looking for some quickly made Easter decorations, this Easter bunny from a steel scouring pad is for you.

All you need is a steel scouring pad and a piece of pipe cleaner or a ribbon.

Open the pad on one side. For this simply turn the middle.

How to make a super cute and easy Easter bunny from a steel scouring pad with your kids. Step by step tutorial. Done in less than 5 minutes! Step 1

Pull both ends to get a long shape. Leave the bottom a bit curled to either the inside or the outside.

How to make a super cute and easy Easter bunny from a steel scouring pad with your kids. Step by step tutorial. Done in less than 5 minutes! Step 2

Half the knot on the top and twist both to create the ears.

How to make a super cute and easy Easter bunny from a steel scouring pad with your kids. Step by step tutorial. Done in less than 5 minutes! Step 3

Squeeze at about 1/4 height to form the head and tie the ribbon or pipe cleaner around it.

How to make a super cute and easy Easter bunny from a steel scouring pad with your kids. Step by step tutorial. Done in less than 5 minutes! Finished

If you are not happy with the shape yet, pull it into the right shape. Done!

How to make a super cute and easy Easter bunny from a steel scouring pad with your kids. Step by step tutorial. Done in less than 5 minutes! In the garden

My son absolutely loves it and with a few minutes work, we’ve done several bunnies together.

How to make a super cute and easy Easter bunny from a steel scouring pad with your kids. Step by step tutorial. Done in less than 5 minutes! Between flowers

How to make a super cute and easy Easter bunny from a steel scouring pad with your kids. Step by step tutorial. Done in less than 5 minutes! On the terrace

Happy Easter!

You might be interested as well in the Salt dough Easter eggs, although they need more time to make.

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New posts you might enjoy reading: DVD-Shelves from a pallet, World cup coasters from bottle tops and 25 ways to protect the environment when on a budget.

This month I am also running a free email challenge “30 days to a life with less plastic waste”. Interested in beta testing it? Then click here!

Salt dough Easter decorations

* Please note that this post contains affiliate links. If you purchase anything using them, I may receive a small commission at NO extra cost to you. I only provide links to products of which I think they are useful to you and I try to link to eco-friendly products at the same time. For more information please read my disclosure & privacy policy.
How to make salt dough Easter eggs with your kids; tjalvasdiy.com; crafts; activities with kids

How to make salt dough Easter eggs

The weather has been dreadful the last few weeks, so we had to find something to do for indoors…

I remembered doing things with salt dough as a kid and as Easter isn’t far away, we got to work 🙂

You need:

– 2 cups of flour

– 1 cup of water

– a cup of salt

– 1 tbsp oil

We got 20 big and 20 small eggs out of these ingredients. Half them if those are too many for you.

Later you will need:

– a rolling-pin,

egg-shaped cookie cutter/s or anything egg-shaped and flat (if you don’t have both, then cut one out of cardboard),

– a knife, if you don’t have a cookie cutter,

– a wooden skewer,

– a baking tray and baking paper,

– paint (colours of your choice),

– paint brushes and

– string/wool

Instructions:

I used Acrylic paint as my son is old enough now, but if your kid is younger, better chose child friendly paint.

Mix all ingredients together until you get a smooth dough. We are pretty “hands on”, so that’s why we knead it by hand.

If the dough is too hard, add a bit of water. Should it feel too wet, add a bit more flour.

Sprinkle flour over your worktop, the pin and your hands. Then roll the dough out to a thickness of approx. 3 to 4 mm. If you roll it too thin, it will crack when drying. Too thick and it will take a lot longer in drying.

Now cut out your eggs, pinch them with the skewer to create a hole for the string and place them on the baking paper on the tray.

Once all dough is used up, place the tray in a warm spot and let the dough dry for a day.

You can put dough that you don’t use into an airtight container and use it a different day as well if you want.

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Put the tray in the oven, then set it to 50° C on top and bottom heat. Leave them for about 10 minutes.

Turn the heat up to 100° C and leave them for another 10 minutes.

Then put the heat to 150° C. Check after 15/20 minutes. If they are getting brown and feel rock hard, they are done. Otherwise leave them until they are. Depending on the thickness the dough needs a total of 2 hours in the oven. This shouldn’t be with our eggs, but if you decided to do something else as well, then it’s good to know.

Turn the oven off, take the tray out and let the eggs cool down.

Once cooled down it’s time to get creative! Paint them how ever you like. I kept the baking paper under our eggs to make cleaning up easier for me after.

How to make salt dough Easter eggs with your kids, work in progress; tjalvasdiy.com; crafts; activities with kids

Special opportunity starting October 25th! Take part in my live training “A Quick Start Guide To Creating An Eco-friendly Home Without Overwhelm And Frustration“!

Once the paint is dry, put the string through, make a knot and they are ready to be hung up.

My son decided, to write “i love you” on some of the eggs, so I needed to find a way to display those different from the planned Easter bunch. It is now an Easter ornament on our front door.

How to make salt dough Easter eggs with your kids, door ornament; tjalvasdiy.com; crafts; activities with kids

Now the best part for me, as I got to cut one of our bushes which was in desperate need of pruning. 🙂

Remove all the leaves from the twigs you want to use.

For the door ornament: tie two branches together on one side and add the eggs to both branches. Create a bow and tie the other side together.

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Place the rest of the branches in a vase. Make sure it’s heavy enough to not fall over or add water for extra weight. Now hang up your eggs and, if you want, add more decoration.

How to make salt dough Easter eggs with your kids, Easter spray; tjalvasdiy.com; crafts; activities with kids

I hope, you had fun / will be having fun making your own Easter decoration.

Feel free to share your own version in the comments or simply email them to me: tjalva tjalvasdiy.com

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How to make salt dough Easter eggs with your kids; tjalvasdiy.com; crafts; activities with kids

 

You might also be interested in those super cute Easter bunnies done in less than 5 minutes. Or maybe my 25 ways to protect the environment on a budget, the signs we made for Halloween and Father´s day or our Boy´s room Minecraft Makeover.