Fun Fall Button Art

This may sound strange, but I always love a good button craft.  Buttons make my heart happy.  So I bought a few packages of autumn-colored buttons at Walmart and asked the kids what they wanted to do with them. Fall Button Art @ Rub Some Dirt On It

We had a lot of fun doing a similar craft last year, but this year Jax wanted to make an autumn tree with colorful button leaves.  We went outside to look at the colors and leaves to get an idea of what our art could look like, and Em found the perfect beech leaf.  She decided she just wanted to make a leaf, so their creativity parted ways but I liked that they both had a vision of what they wanted.  I set out a bowl of buttons each, drew the outline of a maple tree for Jax (he was very specific) and traced the beech leaf for Em.  Just add Elmer’s glue and they were busy, content, and artsy.  Love it.


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And in the end, we had some beautiful autumn artwork to spice up our kitchen!

Fall Button Art @ Rub Some Dirt On It (2)

Fall Button Art @ Rub Some Dirt On ItI love how Jax wanted a few button “leaves” on the ground, just like outside, although he did add  a rogue blue leaf.  These Vermont kids sure love autumn.  With fun like this, who can blame them?

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DIY Travel Tic Tac Toe


I was inspired to make these when I saw them on the Parents magazine website–a travel tic tac toe board made of sewn felt and buttons.  Perfect for my diaper bag for our summer travels!

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When I started pulling the materials together and asking the kids what colors they wanted, they were really excited about the prospect of this craft.  In fact, they had me bring extra felt and buttons down to Massachusetts so their big cousins Christian and Erika could make one, too!  They were into it and we made four tic tac toe boards with me–Erika helped me thread the needles with that thick friendship bracelet yarn and Christian…well, he watched.

Basically I just made marks with chalk and we threaded the yarn in and out to create dotted tic tac toe lines.  Then you use colored buttons instead of x’s and o’s.  It was so easy, even JDubbs took a turn to help, all in the name of making his woman happy.  Is he great or what?

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Real men do arts and crafts.

Finally, I used the leftover felt to create little pouches to put each board in and keep the buttons safe.  Use a little extra yarn to tie it all up and you have a great little DIY keepsake that can keep the kids busy in desperate times!  Plus, it gives a nice sense of accomplishment, too.

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Love it.

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Simply Busy: Button Fun!

The things we do to keep our kids occupied while on husband-imposed bedrest.  I know, bedrest sounds awesome after lugging two kids and a fetus around all day to the grocery store, gymnastics, the doctor’s office…the list goes on and on.  But luckily I have a zillion and two ideas on how to keep my kids busy while I sit on my butt, courtesy of Pinterest–otherwise I’m pretty sure Jax would Facetime his Daddy and tattle on me.  And this example of simply busy fun actually reinforces a positive thing or two!

Construction paper, glue, and buttons.  Make a design (like a Valentine or love  bug), their name, or in Jax’s case, a sign for Daddy for his office door.  It doesn’t matter what–they just love the buttons!  So do I, actually.

Plus it promotes fine motor skills, spelling, patterns (if you would be so bold) and just plain old simple fun.  And I can keep my feet up all the while.  Everybody’s happy!

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Valentine’s Day Ideas

What’s a mama to do while sitting in the hospital, waiting to see if her 33 week old baby will listen to her and stay in her belly, while having annoying contractions that keep her from sleeping?  Stockpile a bunch of posts, just in case things get hectic and she won’t be here for a bit.  So if these seem a bit incongruous to my current situation, it’s because I am writing to pass the time and not spend hours googling premature babies and their myriad potential health problems.  Only positive energy around here!

Today I am sharing all the ways we have shown our love of Valentine’s Day here at Rub Some Dirt On It in years past.  I hope you find a decoration, activity, or valentine to show those in your life how much they mean to you.  There will certainly be more to come!  Click the link, not the picture, to be directed to the post with instructions.

This year we made Beaded Pipe Cleaner Hearts to spruce up our winter windows.  They cheer me up every morning, and the kids loved creating them.  Good for fine motor skills, too!

Last year we started the tradition of hanging a Curtain Of Love outside our kids’ doorways with little love notes to let them know individual reasons why we love them and think they are amazing.  Keep the notes every year and then share them with them when they’ve grown!  Can’t wait to do it again this year!

Having a Valentine’s Day party, or just want a place to store all that Valentine swag?  Here’s just the thing: Paper Plate Valentine Holders.

Need an excuse to put those broken crayons to good use?  Create Stained Glass Hearts to decorate your windows and declutter your arts and crafts box!

Celebrate this beautiful day with a Valentine’s Day Photo Shoot!  Help break up the monotony of February with an impromptu shoot, and you’ve got the perfect way to tell people in your life you love them.

Always remember how little they were on this Valentine’s Day with a Hearts Tree that captures their sweet little hands.

And last but not least, here are some great ideas for actual Valentine’s for classmates, teachers, grandparents, friends.  Or just keep them for yourself because they’re so adorable!

Fish Valentines

Butterfly Valentines

Melted Crayon Hearts

Button Hearts


You can find all these ideas and more on my Rub Some Dirt On It Pinterest page.  I hope I got you excited for this fabulous holiday and that I can accomplish some more lovey dovey crafts this year, too!  I just love this time of year!

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Paper Plate Snowman

Found this on…wait for it…Pinterest from here, but the kids and I simplified it and made it our own.  Rather than write the letters of the kids’ names on individual plates (my kids have long names), we took a festive holiday saying and applied it instead.  Let It Snow seemed like a good fit.

The whole process is very self-explanatory and you can make your snowman your own.  Our snowman looks a lot like Frosty from the cartoon–Em insisted on a purple broom–and we glued some buttons on for good measure.  Staples work well for securing the plates together, and we used good old Elmer’s glue for the construction paper bits.  Rather than cutting out letters or using foam cut outs, I just wrote them myself.  We don’t have to go big on everything around here.

The kids were impressed and our home is more festive and cheerful now that we have this jolly, happy soul adorning our kitchen!  It was simple to make and fun to do together as a family–bunker down in front of the fire and spend some quality time creating some holiday decor!

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Autumn Button Branch

It’s official!  The first fall craft of the year!  Thank you Meet the Dubiens!

What is it with kids and buttons?  Maybe it’s because they look like candy, but luckily my kids know they can’t eat them.  There’s something about seeing that glossy rainbow spread across the table that is just so tantalizing–kids just have to sort and touch and admire.  I do, too, actually.  I won’t pretend I don’t love a good button sort.

So I gave the kids all our buttons and asked them to pull out the fall colors (plus green).  Then we headed outside, grabbed a small, relatively flat twigs, and glued each to a piece of cardstock with Tacky Glue.  I put a few very heavy books on top while they dried.

Then I added a ton of Elmer’s glue and the kids glued the button “leaves” to the branches of our fall tree.  The loved it.

I will admit that I had to help more than I usually care to–it took a lot of buttons and my presence helped keep them on task.  Also, I found that I had to keep adding more glue to give the branches more shape (so that they didn’t just trace an outline of buttons around each branch).  Oh, and don’t forget button color hoarding.  Have to be on the lookout for that.

In the end, they look beautiful and the kids went to see them first thing this morning!  That plus a touch of a chill in the air and apple picking this weekend makes it really feel like fall!  We’re happy to celebrate the occasion!

Happy Fall everyone!

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Shamrock Wand

Note: This is a repost from last March and the spacing is being stubborn.  I loved this idea but didn’t post it until St. Patrick’s Day itself.  Thought I’d share it with you again this year so you can have time to make one of these with your little leprechauns!


Starring in this craft:
Jax and his good buddy Harper


3 small unfinished wooden hearts
1 small wooden dowel
green paint
craft glue
something small, flat, and round to hold the hearts together, like a button, small unfinished wooden circle, or a penny


First, have your kids paint the small wooden hearts green on all sides.
As you can see, Harper is very good at following directions.  Jax, not so much.


When they have finished painting the hearts, put them aside.

Why do our hearts look turquoise?  Not sure.  Weird lighting, I guess.  They were most definitely green.
Then have the kids paint the dowel.  This will be “handle,” if you will, of their shamrock wand.  Jax chose red (shocker) and Harper painted hers white.


Let it all dry.  Go eat lunch.  Read some books.  Play.  Come back later.
Secure the hearts in a shamrock fashion with some kind of flat, round object like a button or penny.  You can get unfinished wooden discs when you buy the hearts, but I forgot, so we improvised and used a penny.
Then secure the hearts and penny-like object to your dowel with glue and/or tape and you have a wand!
The kids were really excited about them.  I know Harper doesn’t look it…
…but she hates smiling for photos right now so that’s the best we can do.
Jax loved his but of course shook his very vigorously, causing the hearts to fall off.  The pennies look cool but aren’t the best thing to secure the hearts; the hearts don’t love being glued to it.  I put Scotch tape on the back and it seemed to help.
If you are feeling really crafty, you could add ribbons or glitter to make it super celebratory.  I wanted to write “Mommy’s Lucky Charm” (one word on each of the hearts), but my pen was being leaky and the hearts were pretty small.  Improvise and improve upon these as you will!
Hope you all have a wonderful day and are as lucky as I am!
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