Cheap Homemade Holiday Crafts, Home Decor on a Shoestring

I'm the original frugalista. In home decor, I'm all about recycled, cheap and (my favorite) free. At Christmas, I save big with homemade, re-purposed decorations. Here's my guide to decorating for the holidays on a shoestring. I use minimalist techniques combined with natural elements and recycled, homemade crafts.  Read more

Free Printable Jesse Tree Coloring, Ornaments and Activities

  'A root shall spring up from the stump of Jesse's lineage'. This Bible passage foretells the birth of the Messiah. During Advent, symbols are hung on the Jesse Tree to represent the story of Jesus. For free printable Jesse Tree devotional activities, I've listed internet links. Advent is the season of preparation for Christmas in the Church liturgical year. Catholics and many protestants observe and celebrate Advent in churches and homes, using the Advent Wreath and candles, an Advent Calendar and also the Jesse Tree.  read more

Free Printable Hanukkah Crafts

Hanukkah, Chanukkah, the 'festival of light' is celebrated on the 25th of Kislev in the Jewish calendar. On the western calendar Hanukkah falls near Christmas. Here are free printable Hanukkah crafts: dreidel, gelt, menorah, treats, decorations. Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days. For 2012, Hanukkah begins at sundown on December 8 and goes until December 16.  read more

Free Printable Thanksgiving Cut and Paste Activities

Looking for some quick, easy crafts for Thanksgiving? How about printing freebies from the internet? Use these cut and paste projects for classroom, homeschool, day care, scouts, senior centers or church groups. You can print turkeys, pilgrims, leaves, pumpkins and fall nature crafts. Keep busy hands and minds productively active making decorations, coloring pages, place cards and table decor for dinner parties. Print free invitations and have kids color them. Use printable greeting cards and thank-you notes.  Crafts and Printables for Thanksgiving

Free Printable Diwali Activities, Rangoli Crafts

Diwali, also called Deepavali and Divali, is a five-day festival celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. Diwali 2012 is celebrated from November 13-17 in the western calendar. Here are free printable Diwali crafts and activities. Diwali means 'row' or 'garland of lights' in Sanskrit and is referred to as the 'festival of lights'. In the Indian calendar, Diwali is celebrated in late Ashwin (September-October) and ends in early Kartika (October-November)  Free Printable Diwali and Rangoli Crafts and Activities 

Free Printable Eastern Orthodox Catholic Coloring Activities

The Christian Orthodox church, whose branches include Russian, Ukrainian, Slavic, Slavonic and Greek Orthodox, is linked to the Byzantine Church. The eastern rite churches follow most of the same practices as the Christian Catholic church, such as veneration of saints, icons, holy relics and martyrs. Here are free printable coloring pages, activities and lesson plans to celebrate the rich tradition of the Orthodox church.  Free Printable Eastern Orthodox Catholic Coloring Activities

Free Printable Despicable Me Minions Halloween Costume Guide

Steve Carell's new cartoon Despicable Me with the cute little yellow Twinkie-shaped minions is a huge hit. I predict that we will see lots of little yellow minions this Halloween. Want to make a Despicable Me minion Halloween costume? Here's how.

Examine the picture (left) to see what a Despicable Me minion looks like. Each one looks a little different, but they have the same elements. There are several options to create the yellow capsule shaped body of the Despicable Me minion. Most are cheap or free using recycled materials. Most options are no sew. Read on for free printable minions costume guide

Back-to-school bash, Crafts Lollapalooza

Labor Day is a bittersweet holiday. It's a time of summer endings and fall beginnings. Why not start the school year off on a fun note with a back-to-school party? Here's an easy and cheap kids' party plan for students in preschool to middle elementary.

* Choose a positive theme. This gets kids excited about school. Make it a shoe theme with the slogan "We're putting our best foot forward." Or do a football theme--"Kicking off a great year."  Throw a back-to-school bash for your kids

Green Recycled Halloween Pumpkin Crafts, Fall Harvest Craft Ideas

Planning your annual Halloween party or harvest festival? Or maybe you're planning a fall themed party for school or church? Here are easy recycled fall themed crafts that focus on autumn harvest and non-spooky Halloween fun. Easy, inexpensive crafts using materials from your recycle bin.  Eco Friendly Recycled Halloween and Autumn Harvest Craft Ideas 

Back to School Kickoff Event: Nature Detective Treasure Hunt

Welcome kids back to school with a super science exploration kick off activity. Make easy inexpensive individual nature detective and science investigator kits for homeschool and elementary or middle school students. Here's an easy school kickoff event that's cheap and hands on. Back to School Kickoff Event: DIY Nature Science Activities

Free Printable Preschool Games, Hands-on Activities, Lesson Plans

Hands-on preschool games and activities help build developmental skills in early childhood. There's no need to spend money on lessons for preschoolers. You can find free printable games and interactive educational materials online. Many preschool printables are also cut and paste crafts that kids can make themselves. Here are free printable alphabet activities, reading and letter games, math worksheets and shapes lessons. Perfect for bored preschoolers whose siblings have gone back to school. Free Printable Preschool Games, Hands-on Activities, Lesson Plans

Free Printable Science Activities, Recipes from PBS ZOOM

ZOOM is a television show from PBS with a long and celebrated tradition in excellence in children's programming. The first ZOOM episodes were shot 1972 and ran until 1978. PBS brought ZOOM back for another six years in starting in 1999. Public Television and the Children's Television Workshop were truly pioneers in creating healthy, safe television shows. PBS and CTW have long been advocates for children. Children featured on the show ZOOM were introduced only by first name and last initial, making ZOOM into a show for kids like you and me.

The purpose of ZOOM as with all of PBS children's programming was to make learning fun. ZOOM featured lots of safe, kid friendly hands on science projects using common household objects.   Free Printable Science Activities and Recipes from PBS ZOOM

Science Crafts, Lessons Using Recycled Egg Cartons

We know that we need to reduce, reuse an recycle. As teachers, we can demonstrate this important lesson by turning garbage into learning materials and lessons. Egg cartons are one of my favorite items to reuse in the classroom. The possibilities are endless. Here are over 10 ways that you can incorporate this concept into your curriculum and lessons using old egg cartons. You'll save money and be a friend to the environment as well. 10 Science Lessons Using Recycled Egg Cartons 

Free Printable Summer Olympics Crafts, Games for Preschool, Early Childhood

The 2012 Summer Olympics kicked off on July 27 in London, England. They'll run through August 12. Looking for hands-on activities to engage young ones in the Olympic festivities (or keep them occupied so that you can enjoy the events)? Look no further--here's an assortment of Olympic-sized goodies for the youngest fans. Preschoolers and early elementary age kids will love these activities designed especially for their developmental level. Free Printable Summer Olympics Crafts, Games for Preschool, Early Childhood 

Free Printable Medieval Crafts, Coloring Pages

I have a penchant for history, especially of the medieval period. I'm sure that my idea of the Middle Ages is pretty romanticized, but I can't help thrilling to words like dovecote, kirtle and merlon. If you share my predilection, here are free printable coloring pages from the medieval period. Free Printable Medieval Middle Ages Crafts, Coloring Pages. 

How to Make a Floral American Flag for Memorial Day

My mother-in-law lives in a lovely retirement community. She is also an avid gardener and has an unusually green thumb. Last Memorial Day, she volunteered to plant a patriotic "floral flag" garden. Her design was remarkably popular and well-received by visitors and residents. I asked her how she designed it and she explained it to me. I'll pass this easy attractive garden layout on so you can create a patriotic display floral as well.  How to Make a Floral American Flag for Memorial Day 

Free Printable Summer Beach and Nature Craft Activities

Family Fun magazine is the best family magazine to hit newsstand since the Saturday Evening Post. Family Fun focuses on inexpensive, diy crafts, games, recipes and activities for the whole family. Here are free printable summer fun crafts and scrapbook activities from Family Fun's free printables page Printapalooza (click here for Family Fun Summer printables home page)You know I never can resist sharing links for the free printable activities I find all over the web. And with Family Fun, you can always be sure the you'll get safe, inexpensive, green, diy family activities from fun other great families. Free Printable Summer Beach and Nature Craft Activities 

How to Decorate a Bike for a 4th of July Parade

Memorial Day and 4th of July meant one certain thing for us as children: decorating our bikes and riding them in the local parade, or at least just riding them around the neighborhood. This guide will give you a parade-worthy bicycle It's easy and inexpensive. You can easily decorate any bicycle in a patriotic theme with this simply step-by-step guide. How to Decorate a Bike for a 4th of July Parade 

Free Printable Eric Carle Very Hungry Caterpillar Crafts

Eric Carle is a beloved childrens' illustrator and author of dozens of books about insects and animals. Here are free printable cut and paste crafts, games, activities, lessons, puzzles and coloring pages from Eric Carle's best known book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. In the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a little caterpillar eats his way through different foods each day of the week. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is used in preschool and kindergarten classrooms teach and explore caterpillars and butterflies, sequencing and days of the week.  Free Printable Eric Carle Activities from The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Free Printable Stencils, Patterns for Crafts, Painting

Stenciling is a heritage craft that had it's zenith in Victorian times with the arts and crafts, prairie and revival architecture periods. There are dozens of craft projects that employ stenciling, especially holiday crafts. Here are free printable stencils and patterns for stenciling. Use these stencils for wall border painting, fabric and canvas painting, sewing, quilting, applique, drawing and design.

Trace these stencils onto Mylar plastic or recycle old plastic containers and trace the stencil patterns onto flat surfaces. You can also make sturdy, reusable stencils by tracing patterns on recycled cardboard boxes (flattened cereal boxes work very well). Tape the edges to strengthen them and make the stencils last longer.

For links to printables, visit free printable Martha Stewart craft patterns to make many amazing crafts. This craft guru literally has crafts, recipes and printables for every holiday, theme and occasion. Whatever holiday is coming next is featured on the homepage. There's a timeline of holidays along the banner menu, so you can scroll through and find printable craft patterns and templates for past or upcoming holidays. What do I mean when I say "every" holiday? Okay, hold on, here are some.

New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Epiphany (Three Kings Day, Twelfth Night), Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Chinese New Year, President's Day, Valentine's Day, Purim, St. Patrick's Day, Passover, Easter, Cinco de Mayo, Mother's Day, Shavuot, Memorial Day, Father's Day, Sweetest Day, Summer Solstice, 4th of July, Labor Day, Sukkot, Grandparents' Day, Rosh Hashanah, Columbus Day, Halloween, Day of the Dead, Diwali, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Kwanzaa--to name a few!

Plus there are seasonal printable crafts for winter, summer, spring fall, Plus there are all occasion crafts: baptism, new baby, anniversary, wedding, bridal shower, bat and bar mitzvahs, birthday, graduation, retirement and more! What kind of free printable crafts can you get from Martha Stewart? There are greeting cards, invitations, party planners, decorations, party games, banners, cut and paste, children's activities, gift crafts and more. Did I mention there are scads of printable holiday recipes, too?

Martha Stewart has all the free printable craft stencils, patterns and templates you need to make lots of cute stuff. I'm quite taken with the adorable vintage Father's Day cards and patriotic Memorial Day paper lanterns. Oh, and parents (grandparents, daycare providers) if you have to occupy youngsters, why not have them make the party crafts? You provide the craft supplies and they will reward you with hours of blissful productivity. Teachers, why not use these free printable crafts in class?

For more free printable craft projects and holiday decor, visit my blogs Green CraftsFree Printable Holiday and Free Printable Lesson Plans.

Free Printable Origami, Kirigami, Pop up Scissors Craft Patterns, Stencils, Templates

Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding and kirigami is the art of cutting paper to create stand up, pop up or three dimensional figures. Here are free printable origami and kirigami patterns and template for you to cut, fold and create. Family Fun Magazine has free printable origami with patterns and folding lines printed on the paper. There are is a free printable origami frog, fish, turtle, pond scene and origami boat. For details click Free Printable Origami, Kirigami and Pop-up Scissors Craft Patterns, Stencils and Templates 

Free Printable Easter Crafts Activities--Color-Your-Own Cards, Games, Puzzles, 3D Crafts

Easter is the highest season in the Christian church and the second largest national holiday in most countries. Easter has taken on a secular side. If you celebrate Easter with eggs, bunnies and Easter baskets here free printable Easter crafts and activities. Here are websites with free printable Easter crafts, greeting cards, Easter party games, Easter cut and fold crafts, Easter baskets, Easter bunny coloring pages, puzzles, mazes, plus a whole lot more. You can print crafts with Easter baskets, Easter eggs, bunnies, baby animals and all the cute Spring and Easter decorations. Read more at Free Printable Easter Crafts and Activities: Color Your Own Cards, Games, Puzzles, 3D Crafts 

Rediscover the Barney bag for green, cheap kids' craft fun

Barney the bouncy purple dinosaur celebrates his 20th anniversary this year. In 1992, PBS adopted the character into the series Barney & Friends. Over the years, the children's show and its outgoing host have gotten mixed reviews; people either love or despise it. I was early in my mom career with a 3-year-old, 2-year-old and infant when the show aired. My children didn't watch much television and when they did, Barney wasn't their first choice. We did pick up one idea that has become a family tradition: the Barney Bag. Looking for green, inexpensive, easy, creative crafts for anywhere-anytime fun? Why not revisit the Barney Bag? Here's a Q-and-A to get started. Read more at Rediscover the Barney bag for green, cheap kids' craft fun

Lenten Church, Religious Education or Family Devotional Craft

One of the symbols of the Church is the image of a family gathered at table for a meal. We partake of the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity or Our Lord as He instructed us. The whole family can relate to the elements of a family meal. From the food to the dishes, vessels and even the tablecloth. We use different table linens to reflect the different seasons in our life. In the summer, we might have a light cloth with images of sun and water and fun. In spring, our table will reflect plants, growing, flowers, etc. At Christmas, the red and green decorates our table. When the table is set, we know that good things will come and we will be nourished.

So many years ago, I decided to make a Lenten tablecloth to focus our thoughts upon the Passion of Christ. It was a family activity that we all could share in and have a part. You can make on just as easily with your family, classroom or religious education class. Read more at Lenten Church, Religious Education or Family Devotional Craft

Free Printable Valentines, Coloring Pages, Cards, Craft Activities

Let's get crafty-cal, crafty-cal! (I know right? Just don't sing the real version!) At Green Crafts we're crafty with a twist: a reduce-renew-reuse-recycle twist. Other than paying for printer ink, these crafts are free. All of them can be printed on any kind of recycled paper you like.

At each holiday I have a few bookmarked websites that I check for free printable crafts, greeting cards, coloring pages and activities. Here are my top favorite free printable valentines crafts websites for Valentine's Day activities. The Toymaker for whimsical, Victorian-inspired Valentine's Day crafts, you can't beat Marilyn's collection at The Toymaker. I've linked you to the Holidays - Valentine's Day page, but be sure to check out all the free printable toys, games, crafts, cut and paste, coloring and novelties at The Toymaker. For Valentine's Day, there are free printable valentine cards, treat boxes, a cute elephant valentine holder, valentine ornaments, treat boxes, a Celtic Valentine's Day treat box, a pixie box, door hangers, party decorations and more. Perfect for preschoolers, homeschoolers, classroom crafts and nursing home craft projects. Let's not forget our senior friends; they love crafts. Read more at Free Printable Valentines, Coloring Pages, Cards, Craft Activities

Free Printable Very Hungry Caterpillar Games

Free Printable Eric Carle Activities from The Very Hungry Caterpillar Eric Carle is a beloved childrens' illustrator and author of dozens of books about insects and animals. Here are free printable cut and paste crafts, games, activities, lessons, puzzles and coloring pages from Eric Carle's best known book The Very Hungry Caterpillar. In the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, a little caterpillar eats his way through different foods each day of the week. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is used in preschool and kindergarten classrooms teach and explore caterpillars and butterflies, sequencing and days of the week. Read more...

Free Printable Kung Fu Panda, Asia Crafts for Chinese New Year

Free Printable Kung Fu Panda, Asian Crafts for Chinese New Year Teaching a unit on Asia, African-American, North American, Latino or Celtic culture? Need some great free printable craft projects from these ethnic groups? Hewlett-Packard has many free crafts projects. These free printable craft activities make great projects for homeschoolers and teachers. Use these free printables for your next social studies, world history, literature or geography unit. Parents and families: need a project for your child to complete for a school project? Check these out. Free printable projects like these make excellent activities for special needs students also. Read on

Free Printable Snowflake Patterns and Winter Craft Activities

Free Printable Snowflake Patterns and Winter Craft Activities As the winter holidays wind to a close and the New Year approaches, kids will be going back to school. Now is the time that winter can get long. Why not celebrate the season with free printable winter crafts? Here are free printable templates and patterns for snowflakes, snowmen crafts and winter-themed activities. Perfect for preschool, kindergarten and lower elementary age children. I've included tips to make recycled crafts, in keeping with the "green" concept of this blog. Click here for winter fun!

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