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I love the look of fall. There is nothing like the bright colored leaves on trees. Especially when the sun hits them just right. That’s why I love this fall tulle wreath so much.

Easy DIY Fall Tulle Wreath

I love hanging wreaths on my front door. From about the end of September through October I put up my Halloween tinsel wreath, but that left me without anything to put up for the majority September and the time between Halloween and Christmas decorations. So I decided it was time to make a wreath that worked for those other fall times.

I love how this fall tulle wreath turned out. There is nothing better then when a craft you think up turns out just like how you saw it in your head.

I really like how the leaves look against the brown tulle. To me it really captures that look of the fall. I found some leaves to use that had a bit of sparkle added to them which looks simply amazing on a sunny fall day.

Supplies Needed to Make a Fall Tulle Wreath How to Make a Fall Tulle Wreath

This wreath is really quite easy to make. I have to admit though that it isn’t really fast to make. The way that I attach the tulle can take some time to do.

The tulle work is pretty mindless though. I don’t know about you, but I love having a mindless craft that I can do while watching TV or other simple tasks where I am just listening. I’m one of those types of people that is better able to stay focused if I have something to do.

Cutting the Tulle

One of the things that can take a bit of time is cutting the tulle that you’ll use to make the fall tulle wreath. I prefer to cut it up as I go, but you might prefer to cut it up in big batches and then later attach it to the wire frame. Either way is totally fine. It just depends on what works best for you.

Now, if you’re lucky enough to find 3 inch wide tulle you’ll save yourself a cutting step. I haven’t had as much luck finding that size of tulle any more, so like me you’re most likely going to need to buy 6 inch wide tulle. You will need to purchase 3 spools of 6 inch wide tulle. If you purchase 3 inch wide then you likely will need to get 6 spools although you might get away with only 5 spools.

This is where you will need to use the 12 inch ruler. You need to start by cutting the tulle into 12 inch strips. I measure it out with the ruler and then make a quick cut up at the end of the ruler. You do not need the pieces to be perfectly straight, so precise cutting isn’t necessary. That at least saves a little bit of time in the crafting process.

This is the point where the next step depends on whether you have 3 inch wide tulle or 6 inch wide. If you have 3 inch wide skip down to the next cutting step.

If you have 6 inch tulle take the 12 inch piece of tulle that you just cut and fold it length wise (hot dog style if that rings a bell). Once you’ve folded it over cut the entire length of the fold. Again you do not need to worry about a precise cut.

Now take one of pieces you just cut, or your 3 inch wide tulle piece, and fold it in half width wise (hamburger style). As before you’re going to cut right along the fold.

There is just one cutting step left. Finally take the pieces that you cut up and fold them length wise (hotdog style) and cut along the fold.

When you are all done cutting you should have strips of tulle that measure 1.5 x 6 inches. You will have 4 pieces if you had 3 inch wide tulle or 8 pieces if you had 6 inch wide tulle.

Attaching the Tulle

Once you have strips of tulle cut up you can start attaching them to the wire frame.

To do this take one of your 1.5 x 6 inch strips of tulle and fold it in half so the size is 1.5 x 3 inches. Then wrap that piece of tulle around one of the rims on the frame.

Then you’re simply going to tie the tulle into a knot. You should have about the same amount of tulle sticking up from either side of the knot.

Finally push the tulle up until it can’t go any farther.

You will continue to do this until the frame is fully covered in brown tulle.

Decorating the Wreath

Now comes the fun part! Once the wire frame is fully covered in brown tulle it is time to decorate your fall tulle wreath.

You can get whatever kind and color of silk leaves that you like. I happened to get a collection that contained different styles, sizes, and colors. At first I wasn’t sure about putting the brown leaves on the brown tulle, but the colors ended up being different enough and I felt the red and orange also helped the darker brown pop.

Before you start attaching any leaves I recommend placing them on the wreath the way that you would like them to go. That way you can play around with your patterns and placements and you’re able to change things that you don’t like.

I chose to create a color pattern with my leaves, and I changed the direction that the top of the leaf pointed for each one. I must say I lucked out because when I placed my last leaf it fit the pattern perfectly.

Once you’ve decided that you like that way your have your leaves placed you can attach them to the tulle wreath. I picked each leaf up, one at a time and put a strip of hot glue down the back. Then I placed it back into it’s spot on the wreath and gently pushed it into the tulle. Once it was attached I would pick the next leaf up and do the same. That way my pattern and spacing didn’t get messed up.

How much hot glue you put on is up to you. I felt a small strip was enough. I didn’t want my leaves to look really tacked down. I tried a smallish dot at first but felt that wasn’t quite enough glue.

When your glue is all dry your wreath is ready to be hung up and proudly displayed on your front door!

I hope you enjoy your fall tulle wreath! I just love how it looks hanging on my front door, and I’m sure you will too!

More DIY Fall Wreaths

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When you think about decorating holiday cookies Halloween is probably not the holiday that comes to mind. That might change after you hear about these pumpkin oatmeal Halloween cookies. When it comes to fall desserts this one is by far my son’s favorite!

Pumpkin Oatmeal Halloween Cookies

When I was growing up baking and cookie decorating was a big part of the holidays. In our home though we didn’t have to wait until Christmas to get started. We got to start in the fall when mom made her pumpkin oatmeal Halloween cookies.

We always loved when mom made these pumpkin cookies. They taste so good, and we had so much fun decorating them to look like jack-o’-lanterns.

In years past I have made these cookies a lot myself. Every time I’ve made them I find that kids can’t get enough of them. Nick has always been a fan of them as well. He can’t seem to stop eating them when they’re in the house.

I made them when I did a long term sub job years back in a 1st grade class. I made the cookies for the Halloween party. One of the rotation activities was for the kids to decorate their cookie and we later ate them while watching It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. The kids went crazy for them!

As a mom I love that these cookies are somewhat healthy. They contain both pumpkin and oatmeal. Plus depending on the decoration toppings used you can add more healthy items such as peanut butter, raisins, and nuts.

Nick is a very picky eater, so anything he’ll eat that contains healthy things is a win in my book!

What You Need to Make Pumpkin Oatmeal Halloween Cookies How to Make Pumpkin Oatmeal Halloween Cookies

The pumpkin oatmeal Halloween cookies are not too difficult to make, and if you follow my blog you’ll know that is a must in my book. The one downside is that they can take a bit of time to make. There are a lot of ingredients that need to be mixed up, but the real time consumer is creating the cookies themselves. The recipe does yield around 20 cookies though, so you get a lot for the time put in.

The first thing you’ll want to do is mix the flour, oatmeal, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Then set the bowl with the flour mixture to the side.

Next you need to cream the butter with an electric mixer. I personally like to get the butter out before I start mixing anything so it has time to soften. This makes this step go a little faster.

Next add both types of sugars as well as the egg and vanilla to the creamed butter and mix it altogether.

Now you need to grab the flour mixture that you created earlier and add that to the bowl with the creamed butter and other ingredients. Mix everything together. Be aware that at this point your batter is pretty thick and clumpy, so it isn’t the easiest to mix.

For the last step you’ll add the cup of pumpkin and finish by mixing it in.

Once you’re batter is ready it’s time to start making pumpkin cookies! To make the cookies place 1/4 cup of the batter onto a greased cookie sheet. Then use a spoon to move the batter around to give the cookie batter a pumpkin shape. Basically you want the bottom to be round with a bit of a stem at the top. The batter will shift some during baking, so don’t spend forever shaping the cookies.

On a side note, these are fairly large cookies. My cookie sheet is a decent size, but I never bake more then six of these cookies on it at a time.

Once your cookies are shaped place the cookie sheet in the oven and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. I find that 20 minutes is usually long enough, so I highly suggest at least checking on them at that time.

Supplies Needed to Decorate the Pumpkin Cookies

These are suggestions for the items you could use to decorate your cookies. What you want to use can be totally up to you, or even based on what you already have in the pantry and what your family likes.

How to Decorate the Pumpkin Cookies

There is no denying that these cookies taste really good. Still, decorating them is half the fun! Kids just love giving these pumpkin cookies faces and turning them into fun jack-o’-lanterns.

How you want to decorate each cookie is totally up to you. I like to give my pumpkin a typical looking face, and possibly adding a decorative stem. Nick on the other hand went all out and made pictures on his cookies.

To decorate the pumpkin oatmeal Halloween cookies simply place colored frosting or peanut butter in the locations you want to add decoration to. Then you can place the candy, raisins, peanuts, etc. onto the frosting or peanut butter. Sometimes it’s fun to just leave the colored frosting on it’s own too.

Once you’re done decorating each cookie place it to the side and give the frosting time to dry before placing it in any type of storage container.

 

Pumpkin Oatmeal Halloween Cookies

Fun Halloween cookies made with real pumpkin and oatmeal. Give each cookie it’s own Jack-O’-Lantern face using frosting, peanutbutter, and fun toppings!

  • 2 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Oatmeal (Quick Cooking)
  • 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Cup Butter
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 Cup Pumpkin (Packed Solid)
Decoration Toppings – These are ideas. There are a lot of different items you could use.
  • Colored Frosting
  • Peanut Butter
  • M&Ms
  • Chocolate Chips
  • Raisins
  • Peanuts
  1. Mix flour, oatmeal, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl and then set aside

  2. Cream butter with electric mixer

  3. Add in both sugars, egg, and vanilla to the creamed butter

  4. Mix flour mixture into the butter mixture

  5. Add in pumpkin

  6. Drop 1/4 cup of batter onto greased cookie sheet. Move the batter around to create a pumpkin shape.

  7. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes

  8. Decorate cookies to look like jack-o’-lanterns once cooled

I hope your kids love these pumpkin oatmeal Halloween cookies as much as the kids I’ve given them to have. I believe I’ll be making another batch of these cookies this weekend myself because Nick is eating them like they’re going out of style!

More Fall Desserts

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Pumpkin pie is staple when it comes to holiday desserts. Yet most pumpkin pie recipes call for eggs, so for those like my son that need recipes without eggs they can’t have it. To me though a holiday isn’t finished until you have a piece of pumpkin pie, so I went on a mission to create a pumpkin pie recipe without eggs.

Pumpkin Pie Recipe without Eggs

When I went to create a pumpkin pie recipe without eggs I really wasn’t sure how it would turn out. It just seemed like eggs were a necessary part of the recipe to hold the pie together.

To my surprise replacing the eggs turned out to be quite easy. I was also very pleased with how it tasted. I replaced the eggs with applesauce and it really didn’t change the consistency or the flavor of the pumpkin pie.

This recipe is very easy to make. It is the same pie recipe that my family has made for years, but with applesauce instead of eggs. The recipe that we have always made, and that I modified to make egg-free, is Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe that you can find on the label on a can of Libby’s Pumpkin. In my opinion there isn’t a pumpkin pie out there that is better then the Libby’s recipe.

What You Need to Make an Egg-Free Pumpkin Pie How to Make a Pumpkin Pie without Eggs

What I love about Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe is that it tastes so good, and yet it is so easy to make. It was one of the first pies that I ever baked on my own. Modifying it to make it egg-free does not change how easy making this pie is. It just changes the ingredients some and adds on a little baking time.

Before starting to make your pumpkin pie recipe without eggs I recommend getting you pie shell ready in the pie plate. I think that it just makes things easier to have the pie shell ready to go when you’re done mixing everything together.

To start you need to mix the sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves in a bowl.

Next add the applesauce and pumpkin to the sugar-spice mixture and stir well.

Finally you need to stir in the evaporated milk. It’s much easier if you add the milk slowly and stir in what you’ve added before adding more. Otherwise there’s just too much liquid and it’s hard to mix it all together.

Once you’ve mixed all of the ingredients together you can pour the mixture into the pie shell.

Now you’re ready to bake your egg-free pumpkin pie! Due to the lack of eggs you’ll need to bake your pie a bit longer then normal. For the most part the extra baking time shouldn’t effect the crust, but you might want to wrap some tinfoil around the edges to keep it from getting too dark.

To bake the pie place it in an oven preheated to 425 and bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 350 and continue to bake for another hour. To see if the pie is done stick a knife near the center and see if it comes out clean. If the knife isn’t clean put the pie back in the oven and bake for another 10-15 minutes and then check again.

Once your pie is finished remove it from the oven and allow it to cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Then serve immediately (with whipped topping if desired) or refrigerate.

Pumpkin Pie without Eggs

Libby’s Famous Pumpkin Pie recipe modified to be egg-free.

  • 3/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp. Salt
  • 1 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp. Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 Tsp. Ground Cloves
  • 1/2 Cup Applesauce (Unsweetened)
  • 1 Can Pumpkin Puree (15 oz)
  • 1 Can Evaporated Milk (12 oz)
  • 1 Pie Shell (9-inch Unbaked)
  1. Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves together in a bowl.

  2. Stir in applesauce and pumpkin to the sugar-spice mixture.

  3. Slowly add the evaporated milk. Stir in the milk you’ve added before adding more.

  4. Pour mixture into the pie shell.

  5. In a preheated oven bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 350 then continue to bake for another 60 minutes. Insert a knife near the middle to see if the pie is done. If not bake for another 10-15 minutes and then check again.

  6. Once removed from the oven allow the pie to cool for 2 hours. Then serve immediately (with whipped topping if desired) or refrigerate.

I hope your family enjoys this pumpkin pie recipe without eggs as much as we did. Even though it’s egg-free it still has the same great taste that the pumpkin pies I grew up eating had.

More Recipes without Eggs

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We all know that scene from It’s a Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown. Lucy lays down the newspaper and jabs a knife into the top of the poor defenseless pumpkin. Linus is beside himself and cries, “You didn’t tell me you were going to kill it!” Sadly decorating for Halloween involves killing many pumpkins, but with this best way to cut open a pumpkin trick you can do it more easily then Lucy did!

The Best Way to Cut Open a Pumpkin

I have always loved Halloween, and I have such a fun time decorating and celebrating. I have to admit that I do not enjoy carving the pumpkin though.

I keep trying to get Nick to use those kits where you just stick the pieces into the pumpkin. He almost went for it last year, but then he wanted to carve his pumpkin like normal.

Part of my problem is that I have arthritis in my hands. Holding a knife and cutting through a thick pumpkin is not only hard to do, but for me it can be downright painful.

Preparing the pumpkin for carving can be such a difficult task. You have to cut the pumpkin open, and then you’re scooping out all the inside. On top of it all it’s such a messy thing to do.

It was a task that I have always hated, but several years back my mother told me a trick that made it a lot easier.

One Simple Hack that will Make Pumpkin Carving Easier

Have you always carved a pumpkin like Lucy? I always had, but not any more. This best way to cut open a pumpkin trick has made opening the pumpkin and gutting it so much easier.

Next time you go to open your pumpkin don’t cut into the top. Instead cut open the back of the pumpkin!

When I go to open the pumpkin I usually carve a decent sized rectangle out of the back. You want to cut an opening large enough for you to easily get in and scoop everything out.

Now, when you open the pumpkin by cutting the top off you usually put the top back on when you’re all done. That won’t work with this technique. Once you cut the back off you’re done with that piece of the pumpkin and you can get rid of it. I like to put it on the back patio for the squirrels to eat, but that’s just me.

With this type of opening I find that it’s much easier to scoop everything out of the pumpkin. It’s tough to reach in and literally scoop everything out. It can be hard to get to a lot of the areas when you’re reaching in from the top. With this type of opening though the hole is closer to the area that needs the most scooping, and you can turn the pumpkin from side to side to more easily get to other areas that you need to.


What Makes this the Best Way to Cut Open a Pumpkin

So I love this trick for carving the pumpkin. It makes the whole process a whole lot easier, but that really isn’t what makes this the best way to cut open a pumpkin. That comes when it’s time to light it up for Halloween.

I have always hated lighting the candle for the pumpkin. Once you light the match you have to keep it lit the whole way to the bottom of the pumpkin and then get the candle lit in time. It’s not easy! A lighter makes it a little easier, but I’m no good with lighters and the whole process still would make me nervous. Plus, those tea candles never want to light for me when I do it this way!

With this trick though you have easy access to the bottom of the pumpkin. All you have to do is light the candle outside of the pumpkin. Then you can place it inside on the bottom. So much easier!

There you have it! After years of opening pumpkins I truly find that this is the best way to cut open a pumpkin to prepare it to carve for Halloween. It makes the process of cleaning out the pumpkin a lot easier. It also makes lighting the candle for the pumpkin simpler and safer. I’ll never go back to the way I used to cut pumpkins open.

More Halloween Fun

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When it comes to seasonal flavors there is nothing like the flavors that you can experience in the fall. From apples to pumpkins there are so many amazing tastes. One of the best ways to capture the flavors of the season are with these 80 fall cake recipes.

Over 80 Different Fall Cake Recipes

In my opinion there are no better flavors for baking then the ones you have in the fall. You can make a cake any time of year, but there is just something extra special about fall cake recipes. No other season is captured as well in a cake as fall is.

I suppose I might be a bit biased on that since many fall flavors are some of my favorites anyways. Still there is nothing like curling up on a cool fall night with a slice of any one of these amazing cakes.

Apple Cake Recipes

You know fall has arrived when apple recipes come out. Maybe that is because for those of us in certain areas fall isn’t complete without a visit to the cider mill.

Alright, so I know that there are apple dessert recipes that we eat any time of year. Still there is something extra special about them during the fall months.

Pumpkin Cake Recipes

I have been a huge fan of pumpkin for basically my entire life. Sure I love the look of a carved jack-o-lantern for Halloween, but I love any recipe with pumpkin even more.

Pecan Cake Recipes

I know that pecans aren’t a favorite or everyone. I love pecans though. They’re great on salads, and they make great fall desserts. A Pecan Pie is always made for Thanksgiving for our family, but I’d love to give these pecan cakes a try!

Maple Cake Recipes

Maple is one of those fall flavors that sometimes gets forgotten. Try one of these cake recipes out next time you make a dessert. They’re a great way to add a different flavor to the fall.

More Fall Cake Recipes

Apple and Pumpkin would likely be considered the main flavors of fall, but there are so many other choices. Here are some great fall cake recipes to try that didn’t fit into a different overall category.

Fall Cake Recipes that Fit Multiple Categories

There are so many great fall flavors that it can be hard to choose. That’s where these recipes come in handy. Try one of these recipes that combine lots of different fall flavors.

Next time you need to bake a dessert during the fall months why not give one of these amazing fall cake recipes a try? I bet that with over 80 to choose from you’ll find one that is the perfect for you for capturing the amazing flavors of the fall.

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Finding a child who actually likes to care about its hygiene is a very difficult thing. We’ve all been kids once, and we definitely know how those extra 15 minutes of play can be more important than spending it on a shower or tooth brushing, and for that reason we cannot blame them. But our job, as parents, is to ensure that they know how to take proper care of themselves – and the sooner they start, the better. However, that endeavor can be quite a challenging one as it’s difficult to actually explain to them why hygiene is very important. On the other hand, teaching them good hygiene habits will not only be good for them, but also for you as bacteria and viruses will not run amok in your own house. This is how I managed to teach my children good hygiene habits, and hopefully, these tips will help you:

6 Ways to Teach Your Child Good Hygiene Habits 1. Brush Those Pearls

Brushing your child’s teeth is a thing that you should start at a very early age, so that once they start growing up, they realize it’s a thing they have to repeat two or three times a day. Once they create the routine of brushing and flossing by themselves, it’s going to be much easier. Since not many kids love brushing their teeth, you could encourage them by letting them choose their own toothbrush and toothpaste – that way you will show them that they are mature enough to take care of themselves, and it’s definitely going to mean a lot to them (children love when they feel they’re mature for something). Since you also want to make sure that they brush their teeth for the appropriate amount of time, play a two-minute song while they’re brushing their teeth with you. That way they’ll start to realize how much time they have to spend while doing this.

2. Bubble Bath

There’s no age expectancy for when kids can have baths alone, so it’s up to you to teach them how to properly bathe themselves. I used my own personal experience from when I was a child (and asked my parents as well). Mind that this is the most important part of hygiene, so you really want to make sure that they learn everything. Since sometimes they might not be up for a bath, let them take control. Give them the option to bring whatever toys they want, and let them play for 10 minutes without you actually bathing them (never leave them unattended, though). Once they become a bit older, you can supervise them by telling them which part of the body they should wash and how.

3. When You Have No Time for a Bath

Sometimes it might happen that you don’t have time for a bath, but you need to clean them. The good thing is that nowadays, you don’t have to use your shower for that, as you can install a bidet where you will be able to wash your child’s legs, bottom and genitalia anytime you want. However, if you want the best of the best and still save some space in your bathroom, you can also opt for high-quality bidet toilet seats that are not only super user-friendly, but your child will find them very interesting (trust me, I know). By installing one in your home, you will also be encouraging them to use the toilet all by themselves, without your help, which is very helpful.

4. Clean Hands, Healthy Bodies

It’s OK to let your child get dirty once in a while – they’re children after all. However, mind that they know what to do after they’re finished with this –a bath (if they’re super dirty) and always washing their hands. Since washing hands is an imperative after using the toilet, playing outside or playing with pets, you should encourage them to do this as many times a day as you can. The best idea would be to use a soap that produces a lot of foam so that your children find it interesting. Teach them that they should scrub their hands for at least 15 seconds and rinse them properly.

5. Taking Care of Body Odor

Once your child becomes a teenager, you will encounter another villain in your home – the teenage body odor. And perhaps you don’t know this if your child is still a toddler, but having your way with a teenager is close to impossible. This is why you need to teach them about the “smelly dangers” of sweat beforehand, and encourage them to take showers every day. Not only that, but you should also introduce the use of a deodorant just before they hit puberty. Make sure to choose a good one, though, one which actually deals with bacteria while adding fragrance. The same goes with greasy hair – try to teach them to wash their hair at least a couple of times a week at an early age, so that the routine stays when they hit puberty.

6. Help with Games

If you find teaching these to your child challenging and difficult, you could always turn to different games that might help you achieve just that. Not only will the toddlers find them interesting, but it’s going to stay with them once they become teenagers.

After all, doing this with your child doesn’t have to be a chore, and it definitely doesn’t have to be boring. Just make sure that you introduce all hygiene aspects at an early age, and make them understand and follow the routine. Good luck!

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About the Guest Author: Derek Lotts is a Sydney based writer and researcher, a regular contributor at Smooth Decorator  blog. He writes about décor, gardening, recycling, ecology and business. He thinks all of these topics fall under the self-improvement category. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment.

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Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CelebratingMorris #CollectiveBias

Do you have a cat with lots of energy? Help them use some of it with this easy to make DIY catnip toy!

DIY Catnip Toy

A few weeks ago we were getting ready to leave for vacation. I love to travel, but I hate having to leave my cats. When we’re gone I try to leave lots of toys out for them to play with.

I’ve struggled with toys for our younger cat named Storm. He is a bit destructive and has a habit of ripping toys apart and chewing plastic pieces until he’s breaking little pieces off.

Knowing how Storm is I didn’t want to leave out any toys I would worry about. While I was in Dollar General buying 9Lives Daily Essentials® 20 lb bag of food to leave for our cat sitter I saw a bag of catnip and had an idea.

The one toy that Storm loves, and hasn’t destroyed, is a simple handmade catnip toy that I had bought for our older cat years ago when he was a kitten. After years and years of play it’s very worn out but it’s been able to hold up for Storm, and he loves playing with it.

I grabbed the bag of catnip intending to recreate the DIY catnip toy on my own. I don’t own a sewing machine, but I knew this was a craft that I could easily sew by hand.

DIY Catnip Toy Supplies
  • Catnip
  • Fabric – You can easily grab some leftover fabric swatches at Jo-Ann for really cheap. Look for a durable fabric and not something that claws will easily rip up.
  • Yarn
  • Cotton balls
  • Thread
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Toy trace pattern
  • Pencil
How to Make an Easy Catnip Toy

As I mentioned I don’t own a sewing machine, so I did sew this by hand. If you have a sewing machine though go ahead and use it. This cat toy doesn’t take long to make, but you’ll have it done in no time if you sew it on a machine.

The first thing to do is to print off this toy trace pattern. I like to print mine on card stock so it’s a bit thicker for tracing then just a regular piece of paper is. Also, I cut my tracer inside of the lines to create the exact size that I wanted.

Once you’ve printed the tracer and cut it out you can use it to trace the pattern onto your material. I was able to trace my patterns with a pencil, but you might need a pen or maker if your material is dark or hard to draw on.

Before you draw your second pattern make sure that you place it properly! If you don’t turn it the correct way then when you go to sew the pieces together they won’t line up correctly. You can see the correct way to place them in the picture above.

Once you’ve traced your pieces you can cut each one out. Don’t worry about making perfect cuts. With the way you’ll sew the toy all of the imperfections will disappear.

The first thing you want to do once your fabric pieces are cut is to fold the top of each piece over and sew it into that position. This will keep the material from unraveling when your cat plays with it. There is no specific amount you need to fold over. Just have enough so there is a little space between where you’re tacking the material down and the top. When doing this to the second piece I do measure them up so the amount folded is about the same on each piece, but it does not need to be perfect.

When that is done it’s time to start assembling the toy. To do this you’ll put the fabric pieces back to back. The back of the material should be showing out on each piece. Then sew them together. Start at the top corner on one side, sew down, and continue to sew until you reach the top corner of the other side. Just make sure to not sew the top area closed.

Now you’ll want to turn the material inside out. At this point you can start to stuff the inside of the toy with cotton and catnip. Take the cotton balls and pull them apart so they are no longer tight balls. Then stuff it in. I put a full cotton ball worth in the bottom, and then I would switch between about a teaspoon of catnip and half a cotton ball. I did that until I got to about the sewed over seam near the top of the toy.

You’re almost done! To finish all you need to do is add the yarn and sew the toy shut. For the yarn cut 3 strips of yarn that are about 4 inches each. Then knot them together. I like to knot them twice to create a good size knot. Stick the knot of the yarn into the toy, and then sew the toy closed by following the stitches you had made when you folded the top of the toy over at the start.

That’s all there is to it! Now you have a new and fun toy for you cat to play with!

After making the DIY catnip toy I was so glad to see that I had a lot of supplies left to make more catnip toys because with the 9Lives Daily Essentials® 20 lb bag that I picked up at Dollar General the cats are going to have a lot of energy to burn off.

9Lives Cat Food

Dollar General has so many 9Lives products that you can get for a great price. My cats prefer the dry food, but I am always amazed by how many different flavors of 9Lives wet cat food that Dollar General has as well. Plus with this 9Lives dry food coupon you can save even more on their great prices!

I really shouldn’t be surprised by all of the flavor options because 9Lives has been dedicated to the health and happiness of cats everywhere for over 50 years now! For all of that time 9Lives has been assuring cat parents that they are making the responsible choice, because their food provides taste, nutrition and variety while at the same time providing practical knowledge and advice.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 50 years since Morris the Cat was discovered at the Humane Society in Hinsdale, IL. Now he’s the greatest Celebri-cat out there and he does so much good. He has visited countless schools to promote kindness to animals. Plus, in 2007, he launched Morris’ Million Cat Rescue® to save those animals in need of a forever home.

One thing is for sure, 9Lives cat food and Morris the Cat are doing a great job of celebrating and championing all cats! Be sure to sure to find out more about Morris the 9Lives Cat and his 50th adopt-i-versary!

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Disclaimer: I received a free membership for the Learning Success System in order to write this review. Still all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Watching your child struggle in school is a difficult thing for a parent. It’s especially frustrating when you feel that there is nothing you can do to help them. Today it seems like kids struggle in school more than ever, but with the internet we also have some amazing programs available to us. The Learning Success System is one such program.

Help Your Child Succeed with the Learning Success System

I have been that stressed out parent. I have a child that from an early age showed signs of being extremely bright, but he struggles with basic school work. Nick never developed a dominant hand which has caused him delay in the fine motor skills he needs for writing, cutting, coloring, all of the things that elementary age kids do all day long.

As Nick’s time in school has progressed it has been noticed by many that he is very smart, and he can verbalize that, but he can’t get that information on paper. He still struggles to do basic writing and he has had some delays in reading.

There are days that I’m not sure if it’s better or worse that I have a teaching background because I see Nick’s struggles from both sides. It’s hard though to know that even with all of my training I haven’t been able to help my son get over the hurdle that is causing him frustration with school.

Many months ago I was contacted by the Learning Success System asking if I would be interested in reviewing their program. Their email came right after I had been to a parent-teacher conference and I was quite frustrated with things. I don’t do many product reviews anymore, but I was very excited to try their program out with Nick.

About the Learning Success System

The Learning Success System is a learning program geared to help both children and adults with educational struggles. This comprehensive program has been developed to work in a way that can help with basically any type of learning struggles including dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, auditory processing disorder, visual processing disorder, as well as other specific learning disabilities

So what makes Learning Success System different from other learning programs out there?

Basically this program works on making sure that students build strength in the learning skills that they struggle with. These skills are called Learning Micro-skills. The three categories these skills all fall into are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Under these categories are subgroups. By strengthening these skills students are able to develop new learning strategies that lead to educational success.

Our Learning Success System Review

I’m sure at this point you’re wondering how well this system truly works. I can say from our experience it is very helpful.

When we started using the Learning Success System I was set-up with an account for the program. The first thing I did was go to the Members Forums. There is a lot of information there on how to use the program.

Nick and I have what we call “school work” time in the afternoon. That was when we would read and do any other work that was needed, and we’d end with some fun playtime together. This made it very easy for us to integrate the Learning Success System into our school work routine.

We would start out with doing a few minutes of physical movement as was recommended. Nick really loved that. Then we would move on and work our way through the listed exercises.

The first exercise is a basic activity called Poke the Smilies. This helps students because it incorporates cross motion in the body, and it also requires students to be aware of what they’re looking at. Nick got the hang of this one fairly quickly, and he really liked it.

You can get an idea of it from this quick video.

Learning Success System - YouTube
I’m happy to say that we saw some results right away. Nick quickly moved up several reading levels right after we started using the program.

Then we got stuck. For several months Nick has been trying to master the Eye Sasccades Version 1 exercise. It helps with eye tracking, and he’s finally showing some improvement, but this one has been very difficult for him.

While this has been a bit frustrating for me I don’t see it as a bad thing. We have been working with doctors this summer on Nick’s issue, and I was able to help them quickly recognize Nick’s tracking struggles because I brought up how Nick is having a hard time with this exercise.

Even though Nick hasn’t progressed all that far into the system we aren’t stopping. This system has helped me be an advocate for Nick because I have been able to recognize some of his struggles. Plus after meeting with an OT I’m here to tell you that all of the things they think Nick should do are the exact types of things included in this program.

As an education major I find this to be a fantastic learning system. I’m sure Nick would be much farther along if one of the first few exercises didn’t happen to be one that focused on one of his greatest struggles. We keep working on it though and I know Nick will soon master it. This system truly does help students overcome the learning struggles that they have.

Win a Learning Success System Membership

I am very excited to share that not only did I get a chance to try this amazing system out, but one of my readers will get a chance to as well! I am holding a giveaway for a Learning Success membership. Use the widget below to earn entries. A few of the entries can be done daily, so be sure to come back and earn more!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I am really glad that Nick and I were able to test the Learning Success System out. It has already helped Nick in many ways, and I look forward to seeing his continued growth from it. I hope you and your child find success from it as well.

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