Easy Dollar Tree Topiary Decoration

With Video Instructions

I love creating crafts from dollar tree products. This creation is inspired by one of my visits to the Home Goods store. I love all the topiaries that Home Goods have during spring and summer times, however cannot bring myself to pay $20 for something that is basically some foam balls and faux moss.

This piece added a nice all year round touch to my fireplace mantel. I also hit the jackpot and found a teal gnome for $2.00 at the gift shop at my work! This DIY does come with some burnt finger tips due to the hot glue but is otherwise a fun, easy decoration idea. It can also be a very interesting project for your tween and teens too.

Here’s What You Will Need

  • 2 foam balls( any size you want… try to get a green one if it is available)
  • One craft dowel rod ($tree)
  • Faux moss ($tree)
  • Terra cotta pot ($tree) or an old pot from a gift I received a while back
  • Hot glue gun ( any craft store)
  • White paint ($tree)
  • brown paint(optional) ($tree)

How To Make It

  1. First paint the terra-cotta pot. You can use acrylic paint or chalk paint whatever you have on hand. Let it dry completely before you move onto the next step.
  2. Cut a small foam piece to fit your terra-cotta pot and place it inside.
  3. Next insert the Dowel rods into the foam balls. You can paint the dowel rod so that it looks more like natural bark or you can leave it as is. I would suggest painting it before you insert into the foam balls rather than as I have shown in the video because it’s much easier painting it ahead of time.
  4. Position the foam balls how you would like it to look, then hot glue above and below the insertion sites of the rods to keep the foam balls in place.
  5. When the foam balls have dried up and are secure I would go ahead and start hot gluing the faux moss onto them at this point. In the video I secured the foam balls into the pot first then glued on the moss, I found this a little bit on the difficult side so I would suggest gluing the moss first then securing the foam balls into the pot.
  6. After you have glued on all the moss, press down with your hands to secure everything in place.
  7. Once you are happy with your creation go ahead and hot glue the bottom of the dowel rod and insert it into the foam that you placed in the terra-cotta pot.
  8. Add some moss inside of the terra-cotta pot to hide the foam inside and give it a nice finishing touch with a bow or anything else of your preference.

There you have it! You’re very own handmade topiary without breaking the bank.

I would love to see your creations. Please post them in the comments or on my Facebook page

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Mommy/Kid/Teens &Tweens

Staying ON Track With Home School and Online Learning

A guide for parents To organize life during mandatory shutdown due to the Corona Virus Pandemic.

It’s been a rough year for all of us. Some of us went from being happily employed to being unemployed the next day amid this COVID 19 break out. The biggest adjustment I think has been for parents who now have to work or work from home and also adopt a new role as teachers . As an essential worker, I myself have had to juggle my job, housework, grocery shopping, laundry and teaching the kiddos. I do have to applaud the teachers though because everything else is easy peezy but teaching kids who think they know more than you is very challenging. And for the record for all the teachers that are reading this…clap clap eyes on me( and the entire class shuts up and pays attention to the teacher)… does not work at home! Here are some easy tips for both working moms/dads and stay at home moms and dads to help get organized for distance learning.

Dedicated Housework Time

Housework seems to take most time in my opinion. And right now with the kids at home I’m sure there is more than normal amount of housework that piles up. While we are trying to accommodate online learning at home, it’s very important to have a dedicated day or two for housework housework. For instance, Monday is my cleaning day since I work on the weekends. For a lot of parents out there who work Monday through Friday, Friday might be a good day to tidy up the entire house, get the laundry done etc. This will help you free up some time on the weekend to organize schoolwork and plan rest of the week. It will also help create some time for rest and relaxing before another busy week. I know most of us are probably really tired on Fridays. However, if you can just gather some strength to tackle some housework before bed, it will really help you stay on top of things for the following week. Also, don’t forget to delegate chores, especially if you have older kids at home. Pay them, bribe them or whatever but any help is better then no help!

Wake Up Early

For those of you who are working from home, or are stay at home parents it’s essential to wake up early to stay ahead of the task throughout the day. I know we are at home and we like to sleep in. However, I have learned over and over again that when I wake up late we run behind on things all day long. Even though we are home, try to stay on your normal schedule as much as possible. I usually wake up early, get all the housework done, do my exercise and make breakfast before waking up the kids. That way when the kids do wake up we can have breakfast and focus on online learning for a good 2 to 3 hours.

Download Apps

Download your kids apps that they are using for online learning on your phone. That way you can check what assignments the kids have to do and if they are even keeping up with their assignments. If you’re still working, you can keep track of all the work that is required of them from work and send them reminders throughout the day if they still have not completed them. Write out all Zoom meeting times so that everyone knows when to be online.

Stay In The Loop With Teachers

The teachers send several emails throughout the day. Make sure you read them and jot down important dates and information. Write out a general schedule of each of your child’s class and post them in the study area where they can see it and follow it every day. For my kids I have made a general schedule of what is expected on a daily basis from each of their teachers including which days they have their zoom meetings online. I look at their Google classroom frequently to see what is due and if there are any messages from the teachers.

Get Into A Routine And Try To Stick To It

Try sticking to your normal school time routine as much as you can. For us, one of our teachers has a daily zoom meeting at 9am. My daughter wakes up early everyday and gets ready like she is going to school for her meetings. I try to have breakfast ready to go for them by the time they get downstairs. After breakfast, it zoom meetings and solid 2-3 hours of online study time divided by the two of them. Face it…. we as parents will never be able to keep our kids undivided attention like their teachers do. So dedicate a few hours in the morning for study time and use the rest of the time learning other subjects and and life skills. If you need ideas on some quality learning activities with you kiddos, check out my recent blog Surviving Mandatory School Closures With Older Kids.

Feature Images From UNSPLASH.COM

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