Thursday, July 24, 2014

DIY Pioneer Games

Excuse our explosion of 24th of July posts, but this is our finale!
We know it's a little late, but here are a couple pioneer games for boys in case they were feeling a little left out from the dolls for the girls.  You still have the rest of the weekend to whip these out!

The first one is a bean bag toss game...with yourself! :)

Things you'll need:
-a drill
-two paint sticks (super cheap at Walmart)
-two empty tuna cans
-two screws (small enough to not go through both sticks)
-hand saw
-spray paint..optional

First, measure out your paint sticks to 13" and saw off the excess.

You'll then want to drill a hole in the middle of each tuna can before you put the screws in.  

Place your can on the end of BOTH sticks stacked, and then drill in the screw.

Do the same thing on the opposite end and side of the sicks, so that it looks like this.

I didn't have any bean bags, so I just sewed a little 3" square and filled it with dried beans.

To make them a little cuter, you can spray paint them!  How cute are these?

If you haven't seen how these are used, here's a video of my son using it.  He had a blast and played with it for hours. 

The second game we have is the easiest game you'll ever make.  Not that you make that many games, but either way it's incredibly easy.

All you need is:
-bakers twine, or some type of string
-a milk gallon lid
-a drill

First make a mark on your lid of where you're going to drill two holes.

You can also use a wooden disk if you want to be a real pioneer but if you don't have any or don't want to buy any, just chug some milk and you're good.

Now drill the holes (is this easy enough?)

You'll then cut a piece of string about 36" long, and thread it through both holes.

Tie a knot at the end of your string.

It should end up being about 18" long.

Here's a video of how to use it!

Hope you guys enjoy these games and you've had as much fun as we've had making all these pioneer crafts and delicious donuts!

Brigham Young Doughnuts

Did you know Brigham Young used to eat donuts for breakfast?  Not the typical pioneer breakfast, right?  We think you should follow his example and make some in honor of him today.  Because who doesn't love a good donut?
Turns out his recipe has been passed down through generations and the Lion House released the recipe in the Salt Lake Tribune about 5 years ago.  You can read the article here. They are the easiest donuts you'll ever make!  There's no better way to celebrate the 24th of July than having some of Brigham Young's donuts for breakfast (or lunch...or for a snack, or dinner).

You'll need:
5 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups sugar
6 Tbs. butter, melted
Oil for frying

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.

In another large bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs and sugar.  Add melted butter to liquid mixture and whisk again.

If you're like us and didn't have buttermilk, you can make your own if you have milk and lemon juice!  You just need 1 Tbs lemon juice for every cup of milk.  To make sure you don't end up with extra liquid, make sure you put the 2 Tbs lemon juice in your measuring cup before you measure the milk.  We did this before we started, because after you combine them, it needs to sit for 10 minutes.

Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and gently stir together with a spoon.  Do not use the electric mixer.

Dough will be sticky.  Let it rest for 5 minutes before rolling for easier handling.

In a large pot or deep fryer, heat several inches of vegetable oil to 375 degrees.

Roll out dough on a well-floured board until 1/4-3/8 in thick.  cut with a 2 inch doughnut cutter.

You don't need to roll it out on a board, and we found it easier to pat it down to the thickness we needed rather than rolling.  Just put some flour on the top because it is VERY sticky.

This is about how thick it needs to look.

If you have a donut cutter, great!  Use that.  If not, we used a mason jar lid (the smaller ones) to cut it out.

And then to make it so you don't have to have donut holes, you can just make the hole with your finger by spinning it around.

Carefully place three or four cut pieces of dough into the hot oil.  When doughnuts start to crack on top, turn.  Cook on the second side until golden and cooked through.

Remove from oil and drain on paper towels.  Repeat until all remaining pieces of dough are cooked.  


Now for the toppings (is that what they are for donuts?) you can do whatever your heart desires.  For some of ours, we did a glaze by mixing powdered sugar and milk together until you get a consistency you like, then spoon it onto the donuts.

Or you can sprinkle powdered sugar on them.

Or roll them in a mixture of cinnamon & sugar.

The options are endless!

It sure makes a cute plate to give to someone, or keep for yourself.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

DIY Pioneer Wagon + Doll

Need a fun craft for your kids for the 24th of July?  A pioneer clothes pin doll + a wagon for her is perfect for the holiday.

 It's easy, fun, fast, and SO inexpensive.  Most of the items you probably already have, but if you don't it's super cheap to get the items you need.

What you'll need:
-match box/any box-like item
-fabric scraps
-wire (& pliers)
-hot glue gun
-4 wooden circles/wheels
-clothes pin (for each doll)
-black/brown paint
-lace (like 2" for each doll)
-pipe cleaner
-embroidery thread

Remember how we said that we like to use things around the house to make projects?  Well, this time I used an item you'd least expect.  If you have a match box, great!  If not, go to the bathroom cabinet.  You'll be sure to find something.

To start, cut your box so is about the size of a match box.

Then take some fabric and measure/cut out enough to cover the bottom and inside sides of your box.  Use a hot glue gun to glue the fabric to the bottom.
*don't glue sides yet*

You'll then poke 4 holes (doesn't have to be 4...I just thought 4 sounded good) on each side of your box for the wire to come through.

Then you'll cut 4 pieces of wire (mine were about 8") and poke them through the holes you just made.  Then use pliers to bend the ends so that it's secure.

Now glue your fabric to the sides of the box.  Make sure to get some glue on each s will make them more secure.

Now take some more scraps of fabric and just wrap your box in whatever way makes sense to you.  I wrapped from one side, across the bottom, and to the other side with one scrap, then used smaller scraps to get the two ends.  You can do whatever is easiest for you.  Just make sure all your ends are glued down.

Now for the wagon cover.  I tore this part instead of cutting it because I liked the look of ragged edges.  Make sure you measure it so that it comes down on the sides a little further than your wire, maybe 3/4".

I started to glue in the middle to make sure it was centered.  I put a little dot of glue on the very top of each wire and placed my fabric on it.  You can then put glue all the way down the rest of the wire (for each side) and secure your fabric, but I found it was easier to do half of each wire and work your way down, so that your glue doesn't dry too quickly.

You're then going to want to glue the end of your wagon cover to the wagon itself.

 Now for the wheels!  I got this little package of wheels from Bennion Crafts and you can find them at any craft store.  I just put hot glue on half of each wheel so that it would sit a little bit above the ground.  
And there you have your wagon!

And now the dolls!  I didn't snap a picture of the clothes pin before I started, but I started out by painting the very bottom of the pin brown for her shoes, but you can do this in any order you want to.  You can also put a couple dots of paint for eyes right now, but I waited until after I put her bonnet on.  

After/before painting the shoes/eyes, print off the FREE pattern here.

Cut out her dress and little apron and put it on her like this.

 You then glue each side together, starting with the arms.  Try to make sure the pin is facing the right direction in case you glue the fabric right to the wood.

Cut a piece of pipe cleaner the size of her arm span and thread it through her arms.

Once the dress is glued together, take the apron and glue the very top of it about where the arms start.  You can also glue the whole apron to the dress, whichever you prefer.

Now for the lace!  I bought this from Walmart and it was .30 for 12" of it.  You only need a couple inches for each doll you make, if that.  You can use whatever you prefer, but since this one was pretty  big for a small doll, I cut the top part off to make it smaller.  Then cut a little piece and glue it to her head for a bonnet, as well as a little piece on top of her apron.

The last step is to tie a little piece of embroidery thread on the end of her arms, just to make it a little cuter.  

Now you've got yourself an adorable little pioneer doll!

If you want to make the wagon a little more homey for your doll, you can make a pillow and blanket in about 10 seconds.  All you need to do is cut out a square of fabric for the pillow, fold it in half, glue all the ends except one, stuff it with cotton balls (I didn't have any cotton I used an old baby sock.  Worked like a charm) and glue the last end together.

For a blanket, just cut a piece however big you want, and don't do anything to it!  Can't get easier than that.

Now go crazy and gather up all your tampon boxes, match boxes, and clothespins and start making some pioneer dolls!  Have a happy 24th of July!