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Christen's Crafts


10 easy Halloween party ideas

Are you throwing a Halloween party in a few weeks? If so, we've got your party covered with ten easy ideas to make your party spook-tacular and fun!Are you throwing a Halloween party in a few weeks? If so, we've got your party covered with ten easy ideas to make your party spook-tacular and fun!



Easter Ideas for Families

IMG_1726 One of my favorite reasons for working in Children's Ministry is learning fun ideas on how to share Jesus with kids.  With us being in the Lenten season, there are so many creative ways to teach our children about Easter in the church and at home.  Here are a few fun crafts, baking, and stories about Easter that parents can share with their kids at home:


Bury the Alleluia

This craft was shared by one of our wonderful volunteers, Mandy: "I know the Traditional Church service does traditional Lenten music during Lent but it's tradition that you don't sing Alleluias during Lent because it's a time of reflection and it's supposed to make it that much more impressive when you break forth with all that music and alleluias on Easter Sunday."  One activity for parents to do with kids at home to reflect on this tradition is to have your kids each make a banner - using yarn and triangles of construction paper - each triangle has a letter from the word Alleluia or Hallelujah - however you want to do it - then tell them to hide it (you can make one and hide as well) and Easter Sunday they can find it and hang it somewhere prominent like their front door or on their bedroom door. On Easter Sunday, make a game out of how many alleluias they hear the church saying or singing.

Draw Jesus' Empty Tomb:

This idea from Totally Tots is simple and easy (the kind of crafts I love!). Make a picture showing Jesus’ empty tomb! Draw two half circles (one small and one large) for the tomb. Draw a circle for the stone that was rolled away. Let your little one cut out the pieces. Glue to tomb onto construction paper and attach the stone with a brad.



Carrot-Shaped Goldfish

My girls love goldfish, and I’m sure your children do too.  Purchase a clear, plastic bag from the party section of your home goods store and tape the back so it is in the shape of a cone.  Fill the bag 3/4 full with goldfish.  Tie it off with some pretty green ribbon and your child has their very own carrot snack to enjoy!

Easter Fruit

To make fruit a bit more fun, try cutting it out with some Easter-shaped cookie cutters.  I found a mini cookie cutter package filled with shapes such as eggs, crosses, bunnies, flowers, and ducks at my local craft store that made the perfect size treat for my children.  Let your child pick out the shape that they want and help them press the cutter into their favorite fruit.  We used cantaloupe, pineapple, and honeydew as our fruits and they were just as much fun to eat as they were to make!

Bake Pretzels

This is another wonderful idea shared by our volunteer, Mandy:  "One of the traditions of lent - which some religions still practice - was fasting. This was very strict in the Middle Ages." Tell your children the story of how the pretzel began (see below). You can either make dough and let them make home-made pretzels, buy them soft pretzels or a bag of the regular kind and pass out.

A very long time ago, (in the early 600’s)  there was a man who worked for God. His job was being a MONK. A MONK does everything in his life for God. He lives in a special place with other MONKS, who pray and read the Bible many times during the day. They usually live in a building or group of buildings for this purpose. It is called a monastery. MONKS usually make and/or grow their own food.

This MONK  had been in the kitchen where other monks were  baking a special bread for LENT, and he saw some leftover pieces of dough. This monk decided to use the leftover pieces of dough for something special. The Monk formed the dough  into thin strips crossed  into a looped twist to be like  the folded arms of children in prayer.


Look at the picture. You will one of the few people who know which way is really UP! That was how children held their hands to pray in those days.

child crossing arms

Let’s all try crossing our arms like the children in the early church. (Like a pretzel for prayer.)
This treat was given to the children as they learned their prayers. They began calling the treat "Pretiola", which means "little reward" in Latin. (a common language of the monks) (a different version of the story calls them bracellae, a German word that eventually became pretzel.)

Soon it was known the world over as a pretzel. The simple shape of the pretzel, arms folded in prayer, reminds us to pray every day. Every time you see a pretzel, remember prayer! What do we do with our hands and arms when we pray? We should fold our hands and bow our heads! Would it be ok to pray with our arms folded? Yes it would, but some people who do not know what you know might think it was strange!

baked pretzels

photo courtesy of

The pretzel really has its origins as an official food of Lent. Lent is known as the 40 days before Easter.  Lent is a time when we should be thinking of what Jesus gave up for us – his body and blood – his life – so we could go to heaven. Lent is a time when we could think of what we could give up in honor of  God or Jesus. Long ago, in some churches, you had to decide on something to give up for the 40 days of Lent. (A personal sacrifice) Some ideas would have been chocolate, or candy or cookies or pizza!

The monk in our story lived in a time when you could not eat meat or milk or eggs during Lent! So he and his brother monks had to figure out a special bread that did not use eggs or milk. The monks were preparing a special Lenten bread of water, flour and salt – which is what pretzels are still made out of today. Pretzels then began to be enjoyed by all people. They became a symbol of good luck and long life. They were also a common food given to the poor and hungry. They were cheap and easy to make and satisfied hunger.


  1. Have you ever had a pretzel like this?
  2. Who can tell what it tastes like?
  3. If you were asked to give up a favorite food from now until Easter, what would it be? (Ask each child)
  4. Would it be easy or hard not to have that food until Easter?

Let’s pray with our arms folded like the pretzel:

Dear God,

We thank you for your son Jesus. We thank you for caring about us and loving us. Amen.


This video is from the Jesus Storybook Bible about God's Wonderful Surprise.  Perfect to watch with your kids on the iPad before bedtime!

Trail to the Tree is a devotional book written by Ann Voskamp full of devotions, how to make your own Jesus tree, and teachings about Lent.  Great to share around the dinner table (especially with older kids!).


I hope you can share some of these Easter ideas with your kids!  Do you have any Easter traditions that you can share with all of us?

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen




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Snail Mail

We've recently received some pretty sweet mail from friends and family.
Hand-made cards.
Sticker-covered brown packages.
Scribbled notes on gorgeous stationery, often sealed with washi tape.
Who doesn't love a good piece of real, hold-it-in-your-hands-with-not-option-to-click-forward-or-delete snail mail?
It's a lost art.

So I've been doing my research. (You know, on Pinterest, where all scientific research is done.) I thought if I shared some of my findings, we'd all be inspired to be more thoughtful, and send a handwritten note or package today!

And here's the challenge:

I'm going to start sending some fun mail and taking pictures.  Will YOU ALSO send some fun and/or pretty mail, and send me the pictures to post on my blog?  We'll all inspire each other!

Heart Handmade UK
This is gorgeous.  Brown craft paper looks fantastic with simple gel-pen doodles and an artistic collage of pretty stamps.
I've noticed many people purposely buy lower-value stamps so they can paste more of them along the envelope like a mini-gallery.


(Note to self: Must buy pretty stamps!)
I want this bird stamp! What a stunning package.
I love this blog. It's filled with package ideas... but it's not in English. :)
Pictures are worth a thousand words, right?
Ishtar Olivera
More stamping.
Can you tell I love brown craft paper?
Omiyage Blogs
But I'm also a fan of color.
Those little houses are made of washi tape!

One more fun idea for you... how about mailing items that ARE NOT in an envelope or box? There's a blog called Giver's Log that shows you all kinds of uncoventional items that can be popped into the mail.  Click here, or browse below:

Now go send some mail!

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Christen's Crafts

Since I've been making the girls' Easter dresses, I haven't had much time for crafts.  Still, I couldn't help but share these fun ideas via Pinterest!  Happy Crafting!!!!  

Source: via Christen on Pinterest

Source: via Christen on Pinterest

Source: via Christen on Pinterest

Till next time, let your light shine!

Blessings, christen

Follow Me on Pinterest



Holly Jolly Christmas Sale!

With all the shopping coming up for Black Friday and Cyber Monday we wanted to let you all in on a special sale over at our nothing{2}something shop on etsy!

Starting Black Friday, November 25 and running til Sunday December 4 ALL PRINTABLES will be 30% OFF!

All you have to do is visit our shop at and enter the COUPON CODE: HOLLYJOLLY2011 at the checkout.

There is no limit to the size of your purchase, whether it's a $5 Thank You Card or a $30 Party Pack.  Whatever the total of your PRINTABLES order is you get 30% off!

I do want to point out that this offer ONLY applies to PRINTABLES.  The coupon code is not meant for appliqued and monogrammed items in the store.

Here are a few samples of some of our hot sellers right now!

These mini Christmas Gift boxes are the perfect way to tell a special someone you are thinking about them.  Cookies, candies, and jewelry all fit perfectly within these boxes.

This modern Christmas Card has quickly become a favorite with it's use of fun and playful colors.

These favor tags perfectly accompany your gifts.  Simply print them out and attach to your gifts!

This timeless Christmas Card has continued to sell well with its traditional styling.

Don't forget that ALL of the PRINTABLES are FULLY CUSTOMIZABLE to match colors and wording perfectly with your own photos!

Happy Shopping!