Category Archives: Artsy Fartsy

Art projects – mine, the kids, hubby’s, amateur, fabulous, useful, sanity savers

Chore Sticks

When the kids were at an age where I wanted them to help, I had to come up with a fun way to persuade them to pick up a vacuum or dust cloth. So I created a list of chores. I divided them up into three categories: simple (yellow), medium difficulty (red) and time-consuming (blue). I wrote the chores on the sticks.


write chores with fine tip sharpie marker on craft sticks

I wrapped colored yarn around the opposite end of the stick based on the difficulty. Adrian, when he was much younger was only allowed to choose the yellow sticks. They were jobs like, “Organize the shoes” or “pick up toys”. Josie was able to close her eyes and pick any stick.

It made it much more fun and they actually cheered, “Let’s do a chore stick!” We’ve moved since I made these sticks so I need to make some new ones. “Wipe down the bar stools” is no longer appropriate because we don’t have those bar stools. And the kitchen I have now doesn’t have pulls on the doors and drawers so that chore stick is no longer useable. It’s very simple. Sitting in front of the tv one night I just wrapped yarn around the sticks and glued with Elmer’s glue. And when the yarn ends are popping out of a pretty mug, it’s not an ugly list of chores. It’s Artsy Fartsy!

wrap with yarn

choose yarn according to color category and glue with Elmer’s and let rest until dry

Packing Paper Turned Wrapping Paper – don’t try to say that five times fast….you’ll hurt yourself.

Adrian and I made homemade wrapping paper for Josie’s 8th birthday party.

So we moved from the Eastern Shore of Maryland to Northern Virginia right before Christmas. We had a lot of stuff. Holy cow. Four moving trucks worth! Which meant 4 weekends traveling, packing and unpacking. And during our move mommy caught a cold and lost her voice. That was awesome. Trying to tell people where to take things, and occasionally yell at the kids, with no voice. Yeah. Awesome.

A friend donated his leftover moving boxes and packing paper (thank God)… but the over-achieving frugal part of me thought I should try to save some of it for projects; either just as paper to protect our tables during projects or like we did here— WRAPPING PAPER! It’s one of a kind paper, and a project for Adrian. Every day after we moved here, and Josie went to school leaving him here with mommy, the first thing he said to me after, ‘What can I eat for breakfast?’ was, “Can we do a project?” This project was a great one. I could set him up with stamp pads, stamps, paper, and baby wipes for cleaning off the stamp. (I think I’ll buy baby wipes forever. They are so great for so many things.) And then while he gets his craft on, I can do other things. Like clean a toilet or stare at Pinterest.

I love taking pictures of his little hands.

And you know what’s great about this paper? It’s already been crumbled up protecting our household items, so it’s easy to store it for future use. Just shove it in a corner or in a drawer. No need to keep it neat and tidy like you do your fancy rolls of wrapping paper. Right now I have a 4 inch thick pile of paper piled up under my craft table. The cat sleeps on it. Whatever kitty. You weirdo.

This project was for Josie’s 8th birthday which went off without a hitch, on Feb. 7th. We just didn’t get to coordinate a giant Super Bowl party with her birthday, which is what we always did in Salisbury, MD. It was just us and Gramma. And these adorable gifts. And Batman cake pops (which is another post.) We are looking forward to making more homemade wrapping paper for other gifts!

Once he got the hang of it, he really had fun.