Category Archives: Upcycle/ Recycle/ Repurpose

Safari Party: Time to Get WILD!!!

If you have little ones you will undoubtedly be planning a themed birthday party in the near future (and probably for years to come). Tempting as it may be to swing by the party store and pick up an all-in-one princess party pack, ditching the cheesy plastic tablecloth to create your own theme doesn’t have to be intimidating. With just some recycled cardboard, a handful of Box Play for Kids stickers, and some cute kick-knacks we threw together our very own African Safari Party. So take a walk on the wild side and don’t be afraid to plan your own adventure!

BPFK Giraffe Jeep Outside_Final

We skipped the balloon on the mailbox and opted for a more unique theme teaser for the outside. I came across this handmade, hand painted, wooden jeep and couldn’t resist. And what’s a safari without animals? Paper towel rolls and our very own giraffe stickers add some wildlife to the party.

BPFK Safari Wide Hero_2

Throw together a map, a lantern, binoculars, a few more giraffe stickers and voilà – an air-conditioned African safari. If you haven’t noticed, toilet paper rolls make fantastic binoculars. Our camo stickers and some rubber bands are a great way to transform trash into interactive party favors. 

crafting station 1

Let your little explorers make their own binoculars as a party activity. Less prep work for you…more fun for them.

placing stickers

Peel. Stick. Romp. 

C with green camo

Send the kiddos on a sightseeing adventure around the around the house (while the parents relax). Chloe has the right idea hiding under the burlap table skirt we made. Very serious safari fun.

napkin rings with forkSmall party details can go a long way. We repurposed paper towel rolls using animal print duct tape to create DIY napkin rings. So simple and wildly cute! 

cake cutting 1

Instead of grabbing a pre-made cake off the shelf, you can easily and inexpensively create a beautiful custom cake with an edible image. We found this antique compass image to go along with our safari theme. It was painful to make the first cut because the cake was so gorgeous.

elephants on cake camo 2Not even the elephants could resist this yummy cake! Kids will be kids. Fortunately these little creatures were clean! Round wicker floor pillows made for perfect kid seats and created the atmosphere of being on a safari.

animal party favors_pink

The safari party doesn’t have to stop at your house. Send each little explorer home with his or her own BPFK binoculars and some new animal friends – perfect party favors. After this party, mama is planning a real safari adventure for 2015!

BPFK_GET STICKERS HERE_camo

The Sweetest ABCs

As a graphic designer, I really appreciate beautiful typography. Below are some examples of my most favorite kid-friendly alphabets.

I love these colorful ABC DIY crayons.
Crayon ABCs

Source: Pinterest

These blocks from KLOTZE by Stuart Greer are just gorgeous. We’d be thrilled to have a set.

KLOTZE by Stuart GreerSource: behance.net

This whimsical illustration poster by Sarah Andreacchio makes me so happy when I look at it. Imagine the delight of a young child. This would definitely make learning more fun!Sarah Andreacchio

Source: happy-mitou.blogspot.com

An ABC print cotton twill trim with white butcher paper would make a very sweet gift presentation.

Cotton Twill Trim Tape Cream by Little Red CottageSource: Etsy by Little Red Cottage

Alphabet stones…another super fun DIY kid project by Green Kid Crafts.

Green Kids CraftSource: Pinterest

I have a soft spot in my heart for needlepoint. It reminds me of my mom in the late 70s. It was her chosen art form. I love how simplistic the letterforms and animals are done. Hallow Sampler by Primitive Needle.

Hallow Sampler by Primitive NeedleSource: flickr.com

To view the rest of our ABC finds, visit our Pinterest page.

Red, White and Play

BPFK July 4 Table Shot Planning a patriotic party? We’ve put together a July 4th “inspired table” featuring – American flags, water balloons, fire chief hats, Dalmatians and our Fire Truck Party Pack stickers. Our recycling craft stickers are great as a party activity, table décor or party favors.

water balloons in hat

Kids love interactive elements so we included yellow fire chief hats, water balloons (caution: it might get a little wet) and fire trucks made out of repurposed milk cartons. Everyone can be chief at this party!dalmation cake stand

 

I’m not much of a baker so I took the easy way out and picked up store-bought treats. We created cupcake toppers using the Dalmatian from our fire truck stickers. It’s not a party unless you include cute, cuddly creatures.goodie bags

 

We put together goodie bags so the Red, White and Play can continue at home!Box Play for Kids July 4th Fire Truck Party

Below is a recap of all the fun.

 

Our stickers are proudly made in the USA.

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July!

 

Octo-Mobile

At Box Play for Kids we are all about reusing, recycling, and repurposing which is why we love thinking about new ways to use our products. We hope this DIY octo-mobile (using our octopus sticker) will add a pop to your nursery and bring smiles to your baby.

Supplies: a few small branches, spray paint {go with a non-toxic latex or water-based option, especially for a nursery}, 6 toilet paper rolls, 6 BPFK octopus stickers, ribbon, clear twine, scissors, and an exacto knife.octomobile_1_new

 

 

Step one: spray paint the branches. You may need to do several coats. Let dry in between coats and rotate as needed.

octomobile_2

 

Step two: Apply the octopus stickers to the toilet paper rolls while the branches are drying. Cut along the dotted lines to create tentacles.

octomobile_3octomobile_4

 

Step three: Using an exacto knife, carefully puncture two small holes on opposite ends of each octopus’ head. 

octomobile_5

 

Step four: Cut the clear twine into six, 12-inch pieces. Thread a piece of twine through the two holes on each octopus and tie a small knot to secure. Leave a long tail of twine for attaching to the branches.

octomobile_7

 

Step five: Once the branches are dry to the touch, arrange them like spokes on a wheel. Don’t worry if the spacing between each branch is uneven. Weave ribbon around the center axis to secure placement. Leave a long loop of ribbon for attaching to the ceiling.

octomobile_8octomobile_9

 

Step six: Attach the octopuses to the branches using the clear twine tails. Arrange the octopuses at different heights and locations along the branches until the mobile is balanced. Hang and enjoy! Note: Be sure your mobile is carefully and tightly secured (far from reaching distance) above the baby’s crib, as branches may be sharp. 

 

Give Yourself Flowers This Mother’s Day

Here’s an eggceptional Mother’s Day activity courtesy of our very talented friend and paper artist, Kira Naylor. This one takes a little time but you end up with a beautiful bouquet that lasts a heck of a lot longer than the real thing. (Attention husband: This doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for a gift.)

Supplies needed: Recycled egg carton, scissors, green construction paper, watercolor paint, paint brush, florist tape, florist wire, glue, green and purple tissue paper, yellow raffia and a toilet paper roll. (Phew… that’s a lot of stuff.)
BPFK_MD_supplies

 

Step 1: Begin by cutting the tips of the egg carton first. These will become the bluebell and center portion of the daffodils. Cut out all 12 egg cups.

BPFK_MD_step1

Step 2: Make 4 daisies by cutting several long skinny petals from the top of an egg cup to the base. Make 2 roses by cutting shorter wavy curves along the tops of 4 egg cups. And, finally, make 2 daffodils by also cutting wavy curves along the tops of 2 egg cups and inset 2 egg tips.

BPFK_MD_step2

Step 3: Paint cups – pink roses, yellow daffodils, purple bluebell and white and yellow daisies (or whatever colors you love). While the painted rose cups are still wet and pliable, scrunch inside petals in and bend outer petals out so they begin to take on the natural shape of a rose. Allow all the painted cups to dry completely before assembling and gluing.

BPFK_MD_step3

Step 4: Prep leaves and stems. Cut leaf shapes with a stem on them. Make them all slightly a different size. Hold stem of the leaf and wrap around a piece of florist wire with florist tape about 1/3 down the wire.IMG_4800

Step 5: Glue the rose, daffodil and bluebell petals together.

BPFK_MD_step4b

Step 6: At the very top of the flower stems, create a “swirl-shape” for the flowers to sit on. Glue flowers to stems. We recommend using a glue gun if you have one. We found out the hard way that regular glue takes a super long time to set and can not hold the weight of the flower cups.

BPFK_MD_step5

Step 7: Cut green tissue paper into long leaf shapes.
(Optional: Cut purple tissue into small 1″ x 2″ rectangles. Twist and shape to create the tendrils for the bluebell. Cut raffia into 3″ strips. Open flat and twist into bow and close in half to make “pod shape” for daffodils.)

BPFK_MD_step6aBPFK_MD_step6bIMG_4821

Step 8: Arrange bouquet and enjoy all year round. Happy Mother’s Day!!!
(Optional: Decorate and personalize a toilet paper roll as a bouquet holder.)


BPFK_MD_bouquet_final

Kira has an Etsy store if you’d like to check out more of her amazing work.

DIY Piñata Just in Time for Cinco de Mayo

What better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than with a round of margaritas festive, DIY piñata that your little one (and all the neighbor kids) will LOVE! With just some recycled newspaper, flour from the kitchen, a single balloon, and some craft supplies from around the house, you can design just about any kind of piñata your heart desires. I opted for a less traditional, but super-cute, beehive piñata for my little bumblebee. See our step-by-step instructions below, but BEEware – this may turn out cute enough to save from assault.

Supplies needed: newspaper, (1) balloon, flour, glue, scissors, yellow crepe paper, black pipe cleaners, medium-sized yellow pom-poms, small black pom-poms, ribbon or string.

beehive.craft_1

Step 1: Blow up the balloon. Don’t worry about the color…we will eventually pop it and throw it away.

beehive.craft_2

Step 2: Combine flour and water in a pot on the stove. Heat and stir until the mixture thickens into a paste.

beehive.craft_4

Step 3: Cut up strips of newspaper. You will probably want to lay out a newspaper work surface. Things are about to get messy!

beehive.craft_3

Step 4: Dip each newspaper strip in your paste mixture and coat the entire balloon, leaving just a little space around the knot. Repete this step until you have done 2-3 coats, letting your balloon dry in between coats. After the final coat, let your balloon dry overnight or until completely hardened.

beehive.craft_5

Step 5: Once your newspaper shell is dry, use a pin or scissors to pop the balloon and remove.

beehive.craft_7

Step 6: Decoration time! Starting with the wider end of your shell (opposite the hole), wrap and glue layers of yellow crepe paper to the newspaper. Be sure to overlap each layer slightly as you work your way up to the narrow end of the balloon.

beehive.craft_8

Step 7: Moving on to the bees! Just wrap a little piece of black pipe cleaner around each yellow pom-pom. Add little black pom-poms to make the heads. We recycled a coffee filter for the wings.

beehive.craft_6Step 8: Glue your bees to the hive and add some ribbon (or string) to the top by making holes with your hole puncher or scissors.

beehive.craft_10

Step 9: Add candy to the little hole at the top. Cover the hole with some crepe paper. Hang and hit or display in your casa. ENJOY!

beehive.craft_12

 

Unfortunately we can’t take all the credit for this unique piñata. It was inspired by a find on Pinterest that led us here

Trees make paper. Paper makes a tree.

It’s the last Friday in April which means today is Arbor Day, a special day to celebrate trees. In the spirit of Arbor Day, here’s a fun tree craft made from recycled and recyclable tree products you probably have around the house. What better way to teach your little ones about the importance of trees and recycling than with a little project like this?!

Supplies needed: toilet paper roll (or paper towel roll), scissors, hole puncher, green and red scrap paper, and a glue stick.

arbor craft supplies

Step 1: Cut a tree top shape out of your green scrap paper.

arbor.craft_2

Step 2: Use the rest of your green scrap paper to make leaves. I like to tear into little pieces but you can use your scissors to make more precise leaf shapes if you want.

arbor.craft_3

Step 3: Grab your glue stick and add your leaf texture.

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Step 4: Use your red scrap paper and a hole puncher to make some fruit for your tree. Apples or cherries…your call.

arbor.craft_5

Step 5: Grab your glue stick again and dot your tree with some yummy fruit. arbor.craft_6

Step 6: Take your toilet paper roll and cut a one inch slit down each side (on opposite ends of the same circle). arbor.craft_7

Step 7: Slide in your tree topper and you have a cute little tree made with paper and cardboard (that came from a tree)!

arbor.craft_8 You can use it as a centerpiece on your Arbor Day table or bring it outside to play. arbor.craft_9

We Turned a Cardboard Box into “The Greatest Show on Earth Day”

Our friends over at threadUP, an online consignment store offering super cute, high-qulaity kids clothing, challenged us, along with some of their other favorite DIY and Green bloggers, to create our best craft using recycling their polka dot threadUP box. Each day this week, they have been featuring one DIY box craft.

Tomorrow Friday, April 26th, you can vote for our super cute your favorite craft. Not only will your vote help us at a chance to win a $200 gift card AND an exclusive threadUP discount to share with our readers, BUT ALSO threadUP will be giving away (2) $25 threadUP gift cards to two random voters!

So here’s what we came up with…a cardboard box turned into a puppet show. We even found a way to recycle our pink refrigerator sticker set to make the curtains!

threadUP box challenge

Want to make this at home? Get our step-by-step instructions and learn more about challenge on threadUP’s blog. And be sure to follow us on Facebook for details on how to vote.

Eco-friendly Art Supplies for Your Little Artist

I love doing crafts with my little one but I’m always on the lookout for art supplies that I know are safe for me, for my child, and for the environment. Believe it or not, there are a myriad of natural, non-toxic, and planet-friendly alternatives to the chemical-laden markers, paints, and glues we often find on the shelves. Here’s a list of our favorite eco-friendly finds for your little budding artist.

1. Clementine Art: Natural Modeling Dough

source: creativebrainsonline.com

source: creativebrainsonline.com

Clementine Art carries an array of natural and green art supplies for kids – from washable paint colored with Mayan mineral earth pigments to soy crayon rocks, but we love the scented modeling dough. Colored with turmeric, carmine and spinach, the dough comes in fresh flavors like strawberry, lemon, and lime. And moms can rest assured that their little ones are playing safe; Clementine products are certified non-toxic, free of synthetic preservatives, animal byproducts or petroleum bases (just in case your little one decides to sneak a nibble).

2. Eco-finger paint

source: http://shop.ecokidsusa.com/

source: http://shop.ecokidsusa.com/

What kid doesn’t like to get her hands dirty? And what mom doesn’t like the sound of all natural ingredients? We’re liking this powder based finger paint from eco-kids, another great line of eco-friendly art supplies for kids. Ingredients include flour, annatto seed, carrots, spinach, earth clay, red grapeseed, purple sweet potato, gardenia, red cabbage and cornstarch – almost sounds more like a salad than paint! Eco-kids also carries other essential art supplies like eco-glue, eco-crayons, and eco-dough. Not only are we big fans of this brand, but we became friends with the owners of this super nice, family owned business at the NY International Gift Fair!

3. Coccoina Glue

source: www.seejanework.com

source: www.seejanework.com

Whether you’re doing paper crafts, school projects, or scrapbooking, glue sticks are a staple for all sorts of kid’s crafts. We’re digging this Italian-made variety called Coccoina. Made from potato starch, these glue sticks are gluten free, non-toxic, non-solvent, and acid free. Not to mention, they smell like yummy almond marzipan.

4. Fortune Cookie Crayons

source: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ivylanedesigns

source: http://www.etsy.com/shop/ivylanedesigns

And now for the cutest, planet-friendly crayons EVER – check out these adorable fortune cookie crayons from Ivy Lane Design. This Etsy shop owner and mother of two really knows how to upcycle. Her crayons are hand poured and made from broken bits and pieces left over at the end of each school year. She travels around to elementary schools and collects bags and boxes full of old crayons that would otherwise go in the trash. Check out her Etsy shop for other fun crayon shapes.

5. Paper plates and toilet paper rolls

source: http://www.parents.com

source: http://www.parents.com

Some of the best craft supplies are the ones that we already have laying around the house. If you have paper plates, toilet paper rolls, (and just a little bit of imagination) you will never run out of things to make with your kids. Turn a paper plate into a bird nest or a tambourine. Make racecars or binoculars out of toilet paper rolls. The possibilities are endless. Looking for an easy way to turn nothing into something? That’s what we’re all about at Box Play for Kids. Check out our website for custom-designed children’s stickers that (combined with a little imagination) turn toilet paper rolls into rocket ships, egg cartons into pianos, cardboard boxes into cameras, and much more!!

Earth Day Love from Today’s Parent Magazine

We are thrilled to be featured in Today’s Parent magazine – Canada’s national parenting magazine. In honor of Earth Day, they highlighted our Buildings, Fire Truck and Pink House eco-friendly kids stickers to create a “green” cityscape. WHAT WE LOVE…Today’s Parent.

Todays Parent April 2013