Simple Pumpkin Crafts You Can Do with the Kids

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This Halloween, forget store-bought decorations. Instead, get crafty with the kids and make seasonally inspired artwork featuring fall’s favorite gourd. From smiling jack-o-lantern sun catchers to pumpkin crafts for toddlers, these pumpkin crafts for kids are the perfect way to get your home ready for All Hallows Eve.

bargain-briana-pumpkin-puzzlephoto: Bargain Briana

Puzzled Pumpkin
Put all those puzzles with missing pieces to good use. This pumpkin shaped decoration is easy enough for crafters of any age to assemble. Check out the how-to over at Bargain Briana.

glue-sticks-gum-drops-beaded-pumpkinphoto: Glue Sticks & Gum Drops

Bibbity, Bobbity, Beads! 
Pipe cleaners and pony beads are all you’ll need to create this autumn craft. Great for exercising fine motor skills, check out the step-by-step instructions over at Glue Sticks & Gum Drops.

crafts-on-sea-stained-glass-pumpkinphoto: Crafts on Sea

Pumpkin in the Sun
There’s no need to wait until nightfall to watch this jack-o-lantern glow. Made to look like stained glass, you’ll find the how-to at Crafts on Sea.

mom-to-2-posh-lil-divas-pasta-pumpkinphoto: Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas

Oodles of Noodles
Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas added food coloring to pasta pinwheels and macaroni elbows, transforming the classic crafting medium in the materials her girls needed to make pasta pumpkins. Find out how to color your own pasta here.

pumpkin-apple-stampsphoto: Frugal Mom Eh!

Squash Stamps
Using apples, another favorite fall produce, this easy art project from Frugal Mom Eh! definitely gets our stamp of approval. Perfect for making classic pumpkins, you can add faces to create jack-o-lanterns!

the-simple-parent-pumpkin-paper-platephoto: The Simple Parent

Classic Plate Pumpkin
No scissors or glue means minimal cleanup for this super easy pumpkin project from The Simple Parent. Great for crafters of all ages, find all the materials you’ll need here.

this-girls-life-popsicle-stick-pumpkinphoto: This Girl’s Life Blog

Stick It to ‘Em
This festive magnet doubles as festive refrigerator decor. Easy to make, the kids will love using it display all their fall artwork. Part of a set that includes a wickedly cute witch and adorable scarecrow, check out the how-to at This Girl’s Life Blog.

buggy-and-buddy-toilet-paper-roll-pumpkinsphoto: Buggy and Buddy

Green Pumpkins
This great upcycled craft from Buggy and Buddy puts empty toilet paper rolls to good use. Filled with stickers or sweet treats, they also double as seasonal table decor.

Glittery-Halloween-Pumpkin-Jars (2)photo: Life is a Lullaby

Glittery Gourds
We love how Life is a Lullaby transformed tiny mason jars into whimsical, shimmering jack-o-lanterns that double as candy holders and decor. The kids will love crafting their own too\thy grins.  Find the how-to and materials here.

the-benson-street-pumpkin-magnetsphoto: The Benson Street

Marvelous Magnets
Emily at The Benson Street knows that the refrigerator isn’t the only place to display magnets. These adorable pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns add a festive flair to any magnetic service. Check out the how-to here.

Which craft will you and your little pumpkins make this year? Share with us in the comments. 

— Lauren Hill

 

11 Ways to Repurpose Your Old Baby Gear

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The only thing more surprising than how fast a baby can accumulate so much stuff is how fast that little person outgrows all of it. But, with some creative thinking and a little research on how to reuse, you can learn how a bottle rack is perfect for drying fragile glassware, how infant towels can make adorable puppets, and that you can tie old bumpers together to create a great portable nap mat. All of these ideas will help you bring your baby items into the next phase of childhood—keep reading to see them all.

Burp Cloths into Dish Towels

Use all those spit rags and burp cloths as dish towels to wipe up messes, dry pots and pans and even as a cleaning rag. Not only will you give the material a second life, but you'll cut back on the number of paper towels you use on the regular. 

Changing Table to Beverage Cart

How's this for a clever repurposing project? After your youngest is potty trained, instead of selling or donating your changing table, simply add wheels, paint (if you want) and use it as a beverage cart, indoors or out. Check out the tutorial over at Shine Your Light. If you'd rather do something the kids can still use, check out this DIY Ice Cream Stand.

Your Favorite Clothing Becomes Your a Treasured Stuffed Animal

Since most infants double their body weight within the first five months, your little bundle probably never got a chance to wear half their adorable ensembles. Don’t fret! The clever seamstress over at Sewing With Knits created this sweet stuffed animal using outgrown infant clothing. Cute and cuddly, it’s an adorable way to repurpose your little one’s unworn attire. For an added touch of nostalgia, use your favorite outgrown outfit. You’ll likely have enough fabric to remove the milk-stained portions.

Formula Cans and Wipe Containers

Wipe containers and formula canisters are great vessels for storing everything from toys to art supplies. Design Improvised used decorative paper in various patterns and hues to disguise her empty containers. Find out how here, and be sure to check out some other genius reuse ideas.

Diaper Boxes to Toy Bins

Thousands of diaper changes leave behind lots of empty boxes. Instead of recycling, try upcycling. 2 Little Faces used wrapping paper to transform her old diaper boxes into storage bins for her son’s toys. You’d never know that these stylish containers once held a pack of diapers. 

Baby Food Jars to Crayon Holders

Perhaps the most versatile of all the baby gear you might collect, glass baby food jars can be repurposed in tons of ways around the house. Create a decorative new home for your spice collection, grow an herb garden, or save the jars for holding snacks while on the go. The resourceful mom behind Monkey See Monkey Do gave the jars a fresh coat of paint and used them as a color-blocked centerpiece for the kids' art table. If you made your baby food from scratch or opted for the ever-convenient pouch, glass or plastic baby bottles make an excellent substitute for these projects.

Move the Monitor Out of the Bedroom

Once your little one no longer requires supervision while snoozing, let your monitor continue to keep watch in the playroom or backyard. Hang on to the parent base, and you can get things done around the house during playtime. 

Crib Springs to A Photo Display

Once your little one has graduated to a big kid bed, put that unused crib to good use. Deconstructed, the pieces can serve multiple uses. We especially love this picturesque idea from Allen Mowry Photography. Once you've made your DIY photo wall art, use the remaining pieces to create a toy chest

Crib to Desk

Your little princess (or prince) has shimmied over the castle wall, and it’s time to leave the fortress behind. As they settle into their new big kid bed, consider transforming the crib into a desk or art table they can use for years to come. Check out this transformation by Straight Stitch Designs, and you’ll see it's easier than it sounds.

 

Stroller to Super Vehicle

If getting your big kid to sit in a stroller is a feat that only Superman could achieve, then consider transforming those basic four wheels into a vehicle any superhero in training would be excited to pilot. The mom over at Just a Girl and Her Blog has turned her boys’ stroller into everything from the Batmobile to the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine. 

If your tall can reach the sink, then take a cue from Mommo Design and create a fun play kitchen out of your old bathroom stool. Compact enough to move around the house, you can even set up a sous chef station while you're making dinner. 

—Lauren Hill

Feature photo: iStock 

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Feature photo: Unsplash

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Forget frightening zombies, spooky spirits, and menacing mummies. Get the whole family into the Halloween mood with 11 projects that are way more sweet than scary. Scroll down to find smiling jack-o’-lanterns and googly-eyed bats that’ll leave you and your crafty little pumpkins cackling with glee.

Macaron Pumpkins

Nothing spooky here! This sweet pumpkin craft from Craft Box Girls, Michaels Maker, transforms an ordinary craft gourd into a macaron with a little paint, glitter, felt and glue. And let's be honest, it's a whole lot easier than making real macarons!

Crafty Bats

These happy nocturnal creatures are the perfect Halloween decor for your bat cave. You might even have everything you need lying around the house, too! Fly over to the tutorial at Buggy and Buddy.

Handprint Spiders

Let the kids lend a hand (or two) to create these adorable arachnids from Fun at Home with Kids. Make a new one every year to document growth! Crawl over to the blog for materials and instructions.

Halloween Rock Magnets

This rockin' craft from This Heart of Mine is perfect for hanging your little monsters artwork on the fridge. Check out the how-to and make a set of your favorite creatures.

Mum-pkin

This Mummy Pumpkin from The Everyday Home is hauntingly cute. Perfect for trick-or-treating or outdoor decor, have your mini-mummies create their own faces for a fun pre-candy collecting project.

Footprint Bunting

Put your left (and right) foot in to create this adorable party decor from Mama.Papa.Bubba. From ghosts to cats, candy corn and more, let the kids decorate each footprint as their favorite Halloween characters. 

Glittery Jack-o-Lantern Mason Jars

We love how Life is a Lullaby transformed tiny mason jars into whimsical, shimmering jack-o-lanterns that double as candy holders and decor. The kids will love crafting their own toothy grins.  

Plush Ornaments

Perfect for older crafters who love to sew, decorate backpacks or trick-or-treating bags with smiling plush ornaments. Find the how-to and free pattern at Paper and String.

Popsicle Stick Witch

This googly-eyed witch from This Girl's Life Blog is wickedly cute. Part of a collection of magnets that includes a festive scarecrow and pumpkin, it's the perfect craft for the spooky season.

Spider Headband

Your little arachnids will love accessorizing with this wriggly headpiece from Fantastic Fun and Learning. Crawl over to the blog to find out how to make this easy Halloween craft educational as well as fun.

 

Sweet Suncatcher Pumpkin

It's a Jack O' Lantern that will glow all day. Decorate the windows with a vibrant "stained-glass" pumpkin. Check out the how-to at Crafts on Sea.

 

— Abigail Matsumoto, Lauren Hill & Karly Wood

 

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26 Bunk Beds You’ll Want for Yourself

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Whether you have a small space or just really the kids to share a bedroom, bunk beds will take their sleeping arrangements to a whole new level. From designer bunk beds to bunk beds with stairs, the only limit for these lofty projects is your imagination (and your ceiling height). And who knows? With these clever designs, sleeping in your kid’s room may not be such a bad option after all. 

Convertible Bunk Bed

They want twin beds—no—they want a bunk bed! Lucky for you, Delta Children has a brand-new convertible bunk bed with guard rails and a ladder that can be converted into twin beds. 

Mid-Century Bunk Bed

If you love all things Mid Century, then this bunk bed from West Elm will be a perfect fit in your kids' room. We also love that the ladder is fixed, so there's no worry that someone will dislodge it. Get details at West Elm

Bunk Beds with Built Ins

We love the built-in shelves that line this twin over full bunk bed idea from designer Bailey McCarthy. It's perfect for older kids and allows for sibling sharing rooms to have their own decorative space. See the bunk beds over at Bailey McCarthy

DIY Designer Bunk Bed

Jewel Marlowe, interior designer and prolific DIY-er, upgraded a standard wooden bunk bed into this luxurious room-stopper in just seven easy steps. Head over to her blog Jeweled Interiors for the step-by-step instructions and see for yourself the amazing photo transformation before photo—you'll never look at a bunk bed in the same way again.

Sophisticated Bunks

If your kid's (or your) taste tends to eschew on the less juvenile side, get inspired by Amber Interior's bunk bed situation that was made with timeless design in mind. This modern marvel, complete with stairs and built-in bookcases may be the best twin bed over a full bunk bed that we've ever seen. Don't be surprised if your kids never want to leave their room.

 

Triple Bunk Beds

The problem with a lot of bunk beds is that they look, well, out of place. This triple-bunk by Foxhole Farmhouse looks as if it has always been in this space thanks to custom woodwork like moldings and shiplap. For the full instructions on how these clever DIY-ers maximized this corner in their house, check out the "Bunk Tutorial" on their Instastories.

 

Private Bunks

Sleek and simple, this bunk design by Vardehaugen Architects, a firm located in Norway, nails the privacy and space issue while maximizing the hygge feel of course. 

Bunk with Stairs

Instead of a ladder, which might be scary for little kids, this one has a set of stairs (keeping bunk bed ideas for toddlers in mind) that'll take your little one to dreamland. Plus, with an extra pull-out trundle and built-in cupboards, this one is perfect for sharing among family and friends. More details at Wayfair.

Built-In Ladder Bunk Bed

We love how the ladder is built into the side of this bunk bed from Crate&kids, saving additional floor space, not to mention the rolling twin bed feature that allows you to change the positioning of the lower mattress from parallel to perpendicular to the bunk. More details at Crate&kids

Bunk for One

Kids that don't have to share a room can enjoy the perks of bunk living too. This loft-style IKEA bed allows for the top to be used as the sleeping space, and the area below as a reading nook or even a study space, which is ideal for a small room. More details at IKEA

Navy & Brass Bunk

We love how Sarah Barnard Design tackled this kid's bedroom. While bunk beds don't traditionally don't scream privacy, the addition of individual curtains on the bunks coupled with the private desk alcoves all but guarantees that each kid will have plenty of space to themselves.

Cottage Chic Bunk Bed

Wake up and play in this fully customizable farm-fresh styled bunk that comes complete with flower boxes and a handy trundle space that can be used for storage or extra sleeping space. More details at Etsy.

Tractor Bunk Bed

For those kids that love tractors more than trains, this DIY bunk bed pays tribute to the iconic brand John Deere including an exact color match and those can't miss decals. If you want to make one for your own little hauler, all the details (including measurements!) can be found at the blog Rucker Rendevouz

 

LEGO Bunk Bed

The Suzanne Nichols Design Group took their inspiration from one of childhood's most clever toys and designed a room that any master builder (or master builder in training) will want to cozy up in thanks to the eye-popping colors and brick-inspired steps. 

Industrial Modern Bunk Beds

The metallic frame on this bunk bed looks like it is made from plumbing parts. It lends an industrial modern edge to the room and successfully mixes and matches with the classic Hudson Bay bedding. The whole look is pulled together by interior design company Massucco Warner Miller

Triple Bunks

If you’ve got triplets (we salute you!) or three kids sharing a room, this modern, made-to-order bunk bed set from Amazon could be the answer to your prayers. The bottom flor bunk uses the space well, and the simple design makes for a streamlined look. More details at Amazon

Fun & Smart Bunk Beds

The best part about this bunk bed set-up is that you can fully customize it to meet your needs. But don't worry about feeling stuck with it—not only are the parts are reversible, but they can also be dismantled and used separately, meaning you can change the configuration as the needs of your family changes. Oh, and let's not ignore the awesome-ness of the slide. More details at Max Trix Kids.

DIY Loft Bunk

Here's some fun math: Five people, two bedrooms, and 1000 square feet. Tight right? Well, maybe not. Thanks to this unique set up by Meg Freeman who ran the blog, Elsie Marley: Handmade and Imperfect, she found a fantastic solution for providing the best dreamscape for her growing brood. Here she created a makeshift bunk bed by building a loft above the existing bed adding "clouds" to double as a guardrail and as decorative distraction from an unmade bed. 

Groovy Bus Bunk Bed

Beep! Beep! It’s nothing but sweet dreams ahead. As his daughter’s third birthday approached, and her days in the crib were numbered, this handy dad raced to finish her adorable big kid bed. Made with real VW parts, painted in a spectacular palette of psychedelic colors, and finished just in time for the big celebration, you can see this incredible bed come together at the blog Treehouser.

Rope Bunk

Just hanging around takes on a whole new meaning with this lofty bunk bed designed by Barbara Chapartegui. Like a modern hammock suspended from strong ropes, this modern twist on traditional bunk beds is an ingenious solution to creating a shared sleeping space. 

Bunk Over a Crib

Expecting a new addition to the family? Your toddler might be ready to abdicate their spot in the crib and move on up…to the top bunk! Customize your shared space with a lofted toddler bed/crib combo. This configuration features easy staircase access to the top bunk, a built-in bookcase, sturdy safety railing and shelving. The crib is even outfitted with wheels for easy mobility. More details at Casa Kids.

Treehouse Bunk Beds

Inspired by treehouses, this bunk bed design is available in an assortment of vibrant colors and unique configurations. We love the slim and compact nature of the beds—providing maximum comfort in a minimal amount of space. More details at Aalto + Aalto.

Basic Bunk No More

Ultra-versatile, the "Up and Down Bed" by Thomas Durner is designed to grow with your child. Individual beds allow for multiple configurations, as single or lofted with an integrated ladder, storage space and side table. Delivered directly from the Netherlands, these pieces are modern, simple and worth the shipping costs. More details at Thomas Durner.

Artistic Bunks

Designed by Danish company Mimondo, the "Wave 2 Bunk Bed" doubles as a modern centerpiece for your child’s bedroom. Made of sturdy materials and handcrafted to withstand years of climbing, the built-in ladder blends into the curved frame like the trunk of a tree. The structure itself resembles a playful work of art that any kid would love to sleep (or climb) on. Just be sure to ask for the American model. More details at Mimondo.

Cozy Cabin Bunk

The ultimate sleeping quarters for your little campers, this adorable cabin is handcrafted by a Belgian design company. The house-inspired bunk bed is great for a shared space that also doubles as a playroom. More details at Mathy by Bols

Climbing Bunks

Opting for a rock wall in lieu of a traditional ladder helped to transform these top bunks into a private space that's definitely worth the climb. More details at Decoist

—Andie Huber with Lauren Hill

 

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27 Family Halloween Costume Ideas to Copy This Year

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If you start now, it’s easy to coordinate an awesome family Halloween costume that will bring you tons of compliments from fellow trick-or-treaters. From Scooby Do family costumes to Star Wars family costumes and plenty of Disney family costumes, we’ve found 30 ways to dress up your brood this year. Scroll down and start planning for this spooky holiday right now.

Click here and save all these family costumes to Pinterest.

"Mary Poppins" Family Costume

This fun family costume idea could go so many ways. You could have chimney sweeps, more penguins, the Banks children and more! 

Scooby Do Family Costume

How adorable is this family costume idea? Be sure to save your big Amazon box in order to make your own Mystery Machine. 

"Cruella" Family Costume

Cruella was a huge hit this summer, so we think this family costume idea is not only pure genius but bound to be seen everywhere on Halloween night. 

Ancient Egypt Family Costume

We love this take on ancient Egypt. Cleopatra, her Pharoah and their two mummies! 

Family Weather Costume

We love the idea of your kid being the rainbow in between the sunshine and rain! Find out how to make your own version over at Studio DIY

photo: Gabby Cullen

"Star Wars" Family Costume

The trick to this Star Wars-themed family costume is Queen Amidala's makeup. The rest is easily found on Amazon, like this Princess Leia, this Luke Skywalker and this Darth Vader costume. 

"Wreck-It-Ralph" Family Costume

How cute is this Wreck-It-Ralph group costume idea? We love how a lot of these costumes might be laying around your house, and that crafter Vanessa says the hardest part was making Vanellope's striped tights. Head over to See Vanessa Craft for the tutorials for each costume. 

"Labyrinth" Family Costume

Fulfill all your Goblin King dreams with this awesome family costume. Sarah, Jareth and baby Toby complete this perfect trio of a costume. Find out how it's done over at Brit + Co

 

Pot of Gold Family Costume

Good as gold! We give the green light to the striped stockings and big green hats that make these lucky little ones ready for trick-or-treating. Create a rainbow and add gold coins to a shirt, and you've got an adorable leprechaun family Halloween costume idea. 

Ariel Family Halloween Costumes

Dive in! Put your sewing skills to work like mama Jessica over at Craftiness Is Not Optional, and have your crew dress up as Disney®'s Little Mermaid cast. Little ones can be (of course!) the little mermaid, but baby brother makes an adorable Sebastian. 

 

Pixar’s "Up" Family Costume

On a cloud! These DIY Up costumes are perfect for Halloween. 

"Guardians of the Galaxy" Family Costume

Protect the universe by having your brood channel characters from the Guardians of the Galaxy. Zoom over to Sugar Bee Craft and see the use of face paints, props and leather jackets that make this family's Halloween costume ideas marvelous.

Birthday Party Family Costume

Piece of cake! Confetti, gifts, birthday cake and a birthday hat make a fun, happy DIY family costume. We love how A Joyful Riot gives a detailed tutorial on making these party-themed family outfits. The best part is that the cake is a wagon for little ones to ride in—what a clever idea!

 

"Harry Potter" Family Costume

If you have a little muggle in the house, then a family Harry Potter costume theme makes for the perfect fit! 

Russian Nesting Dolls

Another adorable idea from Brit + Co is these Russian Nesting Dolls. Since the dolls are arranged by size, it's the perfect costume for a family of any size! Find out where to find the things you'll need for this costume over at Brit + Co. 

 

DIY Shark Family Costumes

Sew cute! We love DIY costumes and give a wave of approval for this adorable shark family. You and your herd of fish will be sure to see grins on fellow trick-or-treaters.

DIY School Family Costumes

As easy as A-B-C. Put your crafty skills to work making these family school-themed Halloween costumes which we give an A-plus. Get inspiration on the how-to over at Studio DIY, where you can see a few accessories that make these costumes top of the class.

Peter Pan and the Lost Boys

We're clapping our hands for these whimsical costumes featuring Peter Pan and his Lost Boys. Grab a little pixie dust and fly over to A Beautiful Mess for a closer look at the costumes. It's easy to re-create if you just believe! You can even make your pixie dust by clicking here.

Monster Family

The family over at Tell Love and Party knows how to celebrate Halloween. Since few things say Halloween more than creatures of the night, the family chose to embrace their inner monsters for this freakishly fabulous group costume. Featuring Frankenstein, his bride, a mini mummy and a baby bat, you'll find all the how-tos and close-ups of the spook-tacular makeup here.

The Sandlot

The family behind Chris Loves Julia took this awesome film-themed photo for the invitation to their annual costume bash. A flashback to a favorite childhood movie, the kids may not be familiar with The Sandlot, but they'll love the fun summery costumes.

"LEGO Movie" Family Costume

This group costume, a collection of favorite characters from the popular LEGO film, requires a substantial time commitment, but the results are definitely worth the effort. Taking the creator about 70 hours to create, find the materials and download the how-to at Instructables.

"A League of Their Own" Family Costume

The family behind Pretty Plain Janes hit a home run with this movie-themed group costume. Complete with a ballpark candy vendor, head over to the blog for a closer look at the individual ensembles.

"Where's Waldo" Family Costume

The search is over! We spotted this ultra-coordinated family costume over at Say Yes. It's easy to pull together from items likely already in your closet.

Intergalactic Family

These metallic space suits from Tell Love and Party are out of this world! Your little aliens will have a blast exploring the galaxy in search of candy. Zoom over to the blog for the how-to and a list of supplies.

"Jurassic Park" Family Costume

This Jurassic Park family costume is a mix of buy and DIY. The stylish mom behind Cupcakes and Cashmere scoured Goodwill and pulled together Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler's costumes for only $17, while the baby dinosaur was a Pottery Barn Kids purchase. This is one great costume idea that will never go extinct.

Sweet Treats

These sweet no-sew costumes are easy for even the novice DIY-er to recreate. Sure to satisfy your family's sugar cravings, check out the instructions over at Capturing Joy with Kristen Duke.

Nintendo Family

Your little gamers will love these super costumes handmade by Lindsay at Diary of a Crafty Lady. There's even a remote control! 

—Nikki Walsh with Lauren Hill

 

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These practical, creative and fun baby shower favors will make guests smile. From a floral favor bar to decor and delicious treats, these baby shower favor ideas will make your shower stand outand show guests they’re appreciated. Read on for 16 baby shower favor ideas for a girl or boy that you and guests will love.

Place Card Holder & Picture Frame

Write each guest's name on the included chalkboard insert to use this as a place card holder. Then guests can use them as picture frames after the party!

"About to Hatch" Egg Timer

Foodie friends will especially love this fun and functional egg timer ($3.99) by Kate Aspen, and baby shower planners will appreciate that it already comes in an adorable gift box, perfect for a gift table or set alongside each person's plate at a dining table. If you're looking for something more spicy, go with the mini salt & pepper shaker ($8.06) shaped like baby birds.

Tea Light Holder

Get the blue or pink theme across with tea light candleholders like this one from Just Artifacts ($25.18 for 12). It comes in two shades of pink or blue, as well as several other colors to match your color scheme. Add tea lights in your favorite scent to give your shower a warm glow and ambience.

"Watch Me Grow" Succulent

A pint-sized, easy-to-maintain succulent is the perfect gift for guests to take home and enjoy. Add this adorable "Watch me grow" tag ($12.50+ for 25 tags) from Etsy shop Bordon Specifics for a low-cost party favor guests will be raving about.

Soap with a Customized Label

For a gender-neutral gift that guests can use after the big event, get these sweet-smelling soaps ($22.99 for 15 bars) from Etsy shop Mod Party. Leave them in a basket by the door for guests to take when they leave. You choose the color and text on the label to send off guests with a gift from your shower to their shower. 

Flower Favor Bar

This floral favor bar can be as extravagant as you like, and it serves as decor, activity and party favor all in one. Ask guests to arrange small bouquets while socializing at the party to bring home with them when they leave. Provide ribbons to wrap up their creations. Caitlin Kruse, brand and creative partnerships director at Glitter Guide, proves that fresh flowers offer a bang for your buck.

Gourmet Popcorn

Ready to pop! This theme is perfect for baby showers and fun to weave through your entire baby fete. Add the label to bags of gourmet popcorn, and you have the perfect edible favor (and party snack) for your guests.

She's Going to Pop Mini Champagne Bottles

If you prefer to pop with bubbly, these custom labels ($15+) from Etsy shop Studio B Labels dress up mini champagne bottles and add flair to your soiree. Label colors can be customized.

Baby-Shower-Themed Cookies

Make cookies in the shape of a onesie, bib, rattle, baby bottle and old-fashioned baby carriage with this set of cookie cutters ($12.99). It comes with a recipe booklet, or make the mom-to-be's favorite treats.

"Sweet as Can Bee" Mini Honey Pots

Perfect for a tea party theme, your guests will be buzzing about these "sweet as can bee" mini honey pots. The ceramic beehive is decorated with bumblebees and features with a wooden honey dipper topped with a heart. Each item comes individually wrapped in a clear gift box topped with ribbon. Available at BeauCoop, $4.25-$5.19, depending on quantity ordered.

Gimme S'more Trail Mix

Outdoorsy types will love this trail mix, sweetened with mini marshmallows, chocolate candies and honey-flavored cereal. Evermine Occasions whipped this up for a woodland-themed baby shower, but the recipe can easily be adapted to the mom-to-be's cravings. Put out bowls of this tasty treat for guests to snack on during the shower, and give each guest a jar to take home.

The Perfect Shade of Polish

You can never have too many nail polishes, so send guests home with the perfect shade of pink or blue nail polish to use at their next mani or pedi. Wrap each bottle in one of these sweet labels (5+) from Etsy shop Recipe Box Designs; the tags come in a variety of colors to match your event.

Hair Ties

Sparkly elastic hair ties ($3.99) are a festive and practical reminder of a baby shower. Etsy shop Plum Polka Dot makes hair ties with messages to celebrate baby-to-be, in a variety of colors and patterns. The boy hair ties include an awesome mustache print. If the baby's gender is a surprise, go with "ready to pop" or "twinkle, twinkle, little star" messages.

Baby Bottle Mason Jars

Turn a mason jar into a baby bottle favor for a fun favor (or a prize for your shower games). Fawn Over Baby filled hers with the dry ingredients of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies for a creative treat to be enjoyed post-shower.

Coffee Mugs

Celebrate the coffee the new mom will need to stay up after all those sleepless nights with baby with a “Coffee and Cravings” shower theme, courtesy of Paula of Frog Prince Paperie. Her shower included custom coffee mugs that doubled as favors so guests could enjoy their favorite brew at home. You can choose matching mugs or a variety with funny messages or sweet sayings.

Mini "Sweetie Pie" Favors

These delectable (and homemade) pastries were whipped up for one lucky mom-to-be by Jenny Hobick of Everyday Occasions. Devour the delicious step-by-step photos and check out the surprisingly easy-as-pie recipe on the JSH Home Essentials blog. The "sweetie pie" label makes the perfect accompaniment.

 

—Lauren Hill & Aimee Della Bitta

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Hauntingly yummy, these mummified interpretations of everyday dishes will quickly become your little monster’s favorite Halloween fare. A delicious mix of spooky and sweet, from apple pie to quesadillas, click through to check out 10 recipes that are simply to die for!

Mummy Madeleines

These Madeleine Mummies and Minions look like you slaved away in the kitchen, but they're actually fuss free. Just put some white frosting in a piping bag with a cross-hatch tip, then make lines or zigzags before popping on some candy eyes and sprinkles. We tend to love these soft and fluffy traditional or pumpkin spice Madeleines from Sugar Bowl Bakery!

Mummy Pouches

Check out the dressed up GoGo squeeZ pouches from The Nerd’s Wife for an on-the-go Halloween snack. Add them to your little monster’s lunchbox or keep handy while out trick-or-treating. Find the how to at The Nerd's Wife.

Mummy Bark

Jenny at Bloom Designs used candy eyes to transform classic bark into a hauntingly sweet treat perfect for Halloween. Find the recipe here.

Apple Mummies

An apple a day won’t keep these mummies away. Serve the kids nature’s candy, and learn how to make this healthy haunted treat plus some delicious dips at Two Healthy Kitchens.

Mummified Oreos

How Does She serves up a spook-tacular assortment of haunted treats, including to-die-for Mummy Oreo Suckers. Find the recipe and assembly instructions here.

Mini Mummy Apple Pies

Laying the lattice in a haphazard pattern transforms a classic mini apple pie into a frightfully delicious dessert. Create your own mini mummy pies with the recipe and how-to from Jillian Harris.

Mummy Chocolate Bars

Bloom Design gave everyday chocolate bars a mummy makeover for her lucky trick-or-treaters. Head over to the blog to find the how-to and a free mummy printable.

photo: Red Tricycle

Yummy Mummies

These mummy dogs are the perfect Halloween dish to make with your little monsters. Let the kids lend a hand wrapping bandages to transform this ballpark staple into an eerie entrée. Check out the how-to video from Red Tricycle’s Bay Area Editor, Erin Feher.

Mummy Pretzels

This salty, sweet, and spooky treat is scarily simple to make. The most difficult step according to Simply Being Mommy is waiting for the chocolate to cool and harden before eating!

Halloweeño Jalapeño Popper Mummies

If you’re a fan of spice, this hot idea from The Hopeless Housewife is sure to startle your taste buds. Terrifyingly simple to bake, these Jalapeño Popper Mummies make a great savory appetizer for your Halloween bash. Find the recipe here.

photo: Red Tricycle

Not-So-Scary Mummy

These not-so-scary mummy cupcakes baked up by our Bay Area editor are uber-easy to make and monstrously yummy. Find the how-to and other haunted cupcake ideas here.

—Lauren Hill & Karly Wood

 

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Think outside the tub and head outdoors for some creative water play with your little fish. Whether your child is scooting, crawling, toddling or still working on tummy time, there are activities for them to enjoy. Splashing (and parental supervision) required!

Water Painting

Kids painting with no mess? Yes, please! Fill a tray with water, grab some brushes and sponges, and put your budding artist to work painting deckboards, rocks, driveway or walls. Allison at No Time for Flash Cards suggests introducing different painting tools when attention starts to the drift. Head over to her blog for more playtime tips.

DIY Car Wash

Upgrade from sprinklers by building your little one through their very own car wash. Perfect for early walkers, they’ll love pushing their favorite “vehicle” through the water. Plus, you’re guaranteed some adorable photo opps. Visit Design Mom for a list of materials and assembly instructions.

Tummy Time with Water

A little water transforms tummy time into a full-body sensory experience. Expect lots of giggles as your little one moves the water around and discovers the cause and effect of splashing. Check out how the resourceful mom over at Dirt & Boogers set up this splash-tastic activity with items from around the house.

Colored Water & Ice

This refreshing game is perfect for cooling off on a hot summer day. Jen at Plain Vanilla Mom explained how she entertained her 9-month-old by adding a little food coloring to standard ice cube trays and plopping them into a bucket of water. As the ice melted, your little one will love watching the water change color.

Giant Frog Pond

This giant frog pond provided hours of excitement for the tiny tadpoles over at Fun at Home with Kids. Hop over to the blog for instructions and sources for creating your own pond world.

Five Little Ducks Sensory Tub

Attention, mama ducks! Adding an aquatic element to the classic children’s story, even the littlest ducklings will love taking the rubber ducks in and out of the bucket or tub as you sing the song. It’s a great way to work on numbers, counting and music. Set the scene with instructions from The Imagination Tree.

Kiddie Pool Play

Ball pit + kiddie pool = awesome! Your little one will have a ball splashing around in a kiddie pool filled with vibrantly colored plastic balls. Allison at Learn Play Imagine set up the pool for her 13-month-old twins, who loved tossing the balls out onto the grass.

Baby Waterbed

A mini version of the popular water blob, these colorful “waterbeds” are perfectly sized for baby play. Great alone or when filled with bouncy balls and other objects, your little one will love pushing the water around inside. Visit Meri Cherry to learn how to make your own.

Water Scooping

Just water, a bucket and colorful scooping tools can keep baby busy for a good long while. Using measuring cups, they'll practice how to pour, empty and fill and will be captivated from start to finish. Get tips for play from Tinker Lab.

Tray Play

Does your baby like water? Do you have a high chair or a baby plate with a suctioned bottom Yay! You have everything it takes to try this. Babies will splash, trickle, pour and go wild with just a little bit of water. Add a blast of color using food coloring to keep things interesting. Find out more from The Imagination Tree.

Gelatin Bath

When you put blue Jell-) in the bathtub (try four boxes' worth, spread evenly on the bathtub floor), you get an awesome ocean adventure. Add plastic fish, boats and duckies to keep with the theme. Learn more from the master mama of creative play at Growing a Jeweled Rose.

Bowls of Bubbles

Sometimes the best toys are right in your kitchen cabinet. Anna at The Imagination Tree grabbed some measuring cubs, plastic bowls and dish soap and headed outside with her child for some bubbly fun. Her little one loved transferring the sudsy water from one container to another.

Cubes on a String

Are you familiar with soap on a rope? Make an ice cube version of it by placing a piece of yarn throughout your ice cube tray and freezing colored cubes of water. The coolest part? The ice cubes, being attached, won’t slip away from your baby. Get the details from Dukes And Duchesses.

Rainbow Bath

Babies love water and bubbles so why not combine the two? The blogger mama at Growing A Jeweled Rose throws food coloring and bubble bath colors in the sink for colorful water play.

Small Bowl, Big Fun

A plastic bowl and a few baby-safe items are great for water play. Just a little bit of water is all you'll need, along with a few simple items such as large smooth rocks, spoons and cups. This activity guarantees a wet baby so it's best on warm, sunny days. For more on this simple but effective experience, check out Childhood 101.

Baby-Safe Water Beads

Water beads for baby? Yes, provided you make these mini, edible water beads. Follow this tutorial from Asia at Fun At Home with Kids. With just basil seeds, food coloring and water, you’ll be on your way.

A Simple Sprinkler

One of the easiest ways to let wee ones get some water action is turning on a sprinkler in the yard, set on low, of course. Any sprinkler head will do the job, but a kid-friendly one will add a little something extra to playtime.

Lauren Hill & Gabby Cullen

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