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Christ-Centered Christmas Countdown (Fun Arts & Crafts!)

Friday, November 30, 2018

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Two years ago, I started doing a Christmas countdown and my boys loved it. This time, I decided to do it again but with simpler activities. This way, even busy mothers can participate and get crafty at home.  The important thing is to focus and understand the story of the day based on Bible verses. As a Christian parent, I firmly believe that it’s our duty to share the life of Christ and it’s lessons to our kids. Christmas is the perfect time to share the true meaning of this event – it’s all about our savior Jesus Christ who died for our sins.

It took me a while to finish researching the activities (most I found from Pinterest) and to put it all together because of this very busy season. Nevertheless, I’m excited to start soon! Some of the activities are inspired by pictures I saw online. I tweaked some of the activities to make it more personal.

I used couple of my kids’ children’s Bible books like “The Beginner’s Bible ; Timeless Children’s Stories” and “The Action Bible”  to read the stories to them before doing the activities. We also use this as a guide to help us decide which story of Jesus we want to discuss on a certain day.

Here are some of the craft activities to help my kids understand more about the story about Jesus.

DECEMBER ONE

An Angel Visit Mary (Luke 1:26-38)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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(source)

Materials:

Paper Plate

Drawing of a face

Glue/ Tape

Paper, Pencil and Scissor

Marker

DECEMBER TWO

Baby Jesus Is Born  Luke 2:1-7

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

1

(source)

Materials:

Small Paper Bag

Scratch paper

Marker

Star sticker or yellow cardstock

Glue

Scissor

You can use popsicle stick or craft stick and wrap it up with tissue paper. Use pen to draw the face.

DECEMBER THREE

Shepherds Visit  (Luke 2:8-20)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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(source)

Materials:

Cereal Box

White Paper

Black Marker

Cotton balls

Popsicle sticks

Glue

DECEMBER FOUR

The King of all kings (Matthew 2:1-12)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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(source)

Materials:

Yellow cardstock

Different colors of kraft paper (cut into small square size)

Glue

Crayons (optional)

Glitter Markers (optional)

DECEMBER FIVE

John Baptizes Jesus (Matthew 3:1-7; Mark 1:1-11; Luke 3:1-22)

Read: The Action Bible

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(source)

Materials:

White paper plate (or any white cardstock)

Piece of orange paper

Eye decor

White feather (you may add more if you’d prefer)

Glue

DECEMBER SIX

Jesus chooses his disciples (Matthew 4:18-22; 9:9; 10:1-4; Mark 1-3; Luke 5-6)

Read:  “The Beginner’s Bible”

5

(source)

Materials:

Straws (cut in half)

 Craft Papers, cut out of people as 12 disciples

Small bowl

DECEMBER SEVEN

Jesus’ First Miracle (John 2:1-11)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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(source)

Materials:

Water

Cup

Kool-Aid

DECEMBER 8

Jesus teaches on a mountain (Matthew 5:1-12)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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Materials:

Small Canvas or white card stock

Acrylic Paint (2-4 colors)

Cottons and Clothespins

Tape

Cut out heart shape using cardstock

DECEMBER NINE

Up on the roof (Mark 2:1-12)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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(source)

Materials:

Yarn / Twine

(2) Popsicle Sticks

Small cardstock or small fabric

Lego man

Small Box

DECEMBER TEN

Jesus calms the storm (Matthew 8:23-27)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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(source)

Materials:

Empty Large Bottle

Blue Glitters

Water

Toothpicks to make the boat

DECEMBER ELEVEN

The hungry crowd (John 6:1-14; Mark 6:30-44)

Read: The Action Bible

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(source)

Materials:

Printed fish and bread (or draw a simple drawing and cut it)

Glue

Paper Plate

Wire string

DECEMBER TWELVE 

Jesus Walks on Water (Matthew 14:22-33; John 6:15-21; mark 6:45-52)

Read: The Action Bible

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(source)

Materials:

Boat Water Illustration

Wood Sticks /Popsicle sticks (2)

Peter and Jesus Illustration

DECEMBER THIRTEEN

Faith at First Sight (from action Bible; John 9:1-10:21)

Read: The Action Bible

Blind man at Siloam game

(source)

Materials:

Illustration of a man’s face

Brown paper

Tape

Blindfolds

DECEMBER FOURTEEN

A good Neighbor (Luke 10:25-37)

Read: The Action Bible

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(source)

Materials:

Illustration of a man

Crayons

Cotton and Glue (or you can use band-aid)

I’ll draw a wounded man on a piece of paper and let the kids do the coloring. Once done, I’ll color a red spot (wound) on the man’s body. The kids can be the good samaritan helping a stranger by attending to his wound with glue and cotton.

DECEMBER FIFTEEN

Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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(source)

Materials:

Marker

White cardstock

Crayon to color the ears

Tape

Scissor

DECEMBER SIXTEEN 

The Lost Son (Luke 15:11-32)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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(teaching kids forgiveness / source)

Materials:

Pencil

Scissor

Cardstock

Wiggle eyes

Glue

Twine

Marker

Printed Bible Verse: Ephesians 1:7

DECEMBER SEVENTEEN

Lazarus Lives Again ( John 11; Mark 10:13-22)

Read: The Action Bible

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(source)

Materials:

Cut out papers (tomb, man and white small strips of paper)

Wiggle Eyes

Glue or Double sided tape

DECEMBER EIGHTEEN

Man in a Tree (Luke 19:1-35; John 12:1-8)

Read: The Action Bible

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(source)

Materials:

Paper Plate

Green paper

Scissor

String

Popsicle stick

short man illustration

DECEMBER NINETEEN

The True King (Mathew 21:1-11; Luke 19:20-42; John 12:12-19)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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(source)

Materials:

Green craft papers

Popsicle sticks

Tape

Scissor

DECEMBER TWENTY

Washing the Disciples’ Feet (John 13:3-30)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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(source)

Materials:

Action figure (or doll)

Paint

Bowl of water

Papertowel

DECEMBER TWENTY-ONE

The Last Supper (Matthew 26:17-29)

Read: “The Beginner’s Bible”

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(source)

Materials:

Cut out of brown paper as a bread

Cut out of white paper as wine cup

Purple crayon (Kids will color the cup)

Glue

DECEMBER TWENTY-TWO

On Trial (Matthew 26:57-27:2)

Read: The Action Bible

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(source)

Materials:

Red Paper for hand cut out

Round white paper

2 small triangle yellow paper

Pencil

Glue

Scissor

Popsicle stick

Wiggle eye

DECEMBER TWENTY-THREE

Death Sentence and Crucified

Read: The Action Bible

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(source)

Materials:

Salt dough (find the recipe here that I used before.I probably will double the ingredients)

Bag of Toothpicks

Oven

DECEMBER TWENTY-FOUR

The Sealed Tomb (Matthew 27:59-28:15)

Read: The Action Bible

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(source)

Materials

Clothespin

Card stock (for one person and tomb)

Crayons

Scissor

glue

This activity is perfect for preschoolers. It teaches them to be more creative and resourceful. At the same time, they learn about a lot of things too, from vocabulary to storytelling. Expensive materials are not necessary for these activities. You can use anything that’s lying around your house. The important things is to share the story and meaning of Jesus Christ’s life.

How do you teach your kid’s the true meaning of Christmas?

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Give Back and Share the Love

Wednesday, November 28, 2018
Give Back and Share the Love adidas helloislandmama 6

Thank you so much to adidas for sponsoring this post.

These past few days, I’m grateful more than ever for the blogging opportunities that I have received. I’m not a big time blogger/influencer and is still quite relatively new in this field. I’m always thankful and feel extremely blessed for everything that I have right now. I know that I can’t do anything without God’s help and I believe there’s a bigger purpose to what I’m doing. I also know that God wants me to share the blessings I have received. I partnered with adidas to share a few gifts to someone who I really want to help.

The first person who came to mind is Charity – she’s a mom of two boys and I have met her through a Bible group study. Her positivity and strength was noticeable when we first met. Unfortunately, she was one of the victims of Hurricane Harvey last 2017 in Houston. Her home was flooded and destroyed the furniture they own. They now reside in a trailer with one bedroom. I truly admire Charity’s faith and resilience. After everything that happened, she remained positive and still thankful to God for every bit of blessing even after the ordeal.

Here are some materials I used for the gift basket:

Kraft paper

Twine

Artificial Christmas pine leaf

Scissors

Wax paper (for the banana bread)

Basket

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I made the bread from scratch using the recipes from allrecipes.com (I used plain yogurt instead of sour cream). I find making something for someone infinitely better and more heartfelt than store bought ones. Let the banana bread cool down before wrapping in wax paper.

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I love using twine as a finishing touch for presents. I added an artificial mini Christmas wreath to make it more elegant.

Give Back and Share the Love adidas helloislandmama 2

Since Charity and her family live in a trailer, her two boys often play outside. I thought to include a mini basketball and Adidas track suits (5t and 3t size) for her kids since the weather is getting cold in Houston.

Give Back and Share the Love adidas helloislandmama 5 I used twine and an artificial Christmas leaf to wrap the clothes.

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If you want to make your basket more festive, try adding ribbons of your preferred style. You can use a glue gun or adhesive to help keep it in place. Give Back and Share the Love adidas helloislandmama 7

Give Back and Share the Love adidas helloislandmama 3

Do you know someone you can help even in the simplest way? How do you give back especially this season?

 

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Updating Your Old Photo Frames (Tutorial)

Monday, November 5, 2018

updating old photo frames (1)

A lot are asking me about the frames in our living room that I featured in one of my blog posts, Living Room Makeover. I used our old frames and some that I bought from thrift stores. The DIY of refurbishing your old frames to a new one is very easy. It saves money and you can design the frame any way you want. I find that my style leans more on Scandinavian style since I like simple lines and a clean feel at home.

I decided to frame pictures that Brent took when he was in Indonesia and some of mine, which are from the Philippines.

Materials:

Photo Frames.

Spray Paint

Newspaper or any large paper size

Photos

updating old photo frames (2)

1. Remove everything except the frame. I did this in an open area and laid a few newspapers to protect the surface of the ground.

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2. Start to spray all areas. Follow the instructions on the spray paint you’re using. I used a stick to turn the frames around to make sure everything is covered evenly.

3. Allow paint to dry for a few hours before putting the glass back in the frame.  You can also coat with varnish for protection
updating old photo frames (5)

BEFORE updating old photo frames (6)

AFTER

That’s it! Super easy. You can design the frame however you want. Drawing patterns or painting on them is also a good choice. I find repurposing some of our items at home better than buying new ones. Less clutter and more savings! What stuff have you redesigned in your home?

You can also check some of my DIY projects here.

CATEGORY DIY
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Happy Halloween! We are on-call!

Thursday, November 1, 2018

family halloween costume scrubs 2

family halloween costume scrubs 3

Our Halloween Family Costume 2018 is easy peasy, a perfect costume for busy parents like us and especially perfect for someone I know who isn’t fond of wearing costumes.. Hmm can you guess who? (Hint: someone who just came home from work this evening 😉 )

Materials for the wheelchair and props:

Big cardboards for the wheels

Velcro

Acrylic Paint and Paint Brush

Glue Stick and Glue Gun

Secure-Flex Wrap

Stick

Empty Soda Plastic

Masking Tape

IV Tubing (I got it from Amazon but you can just use white clothesline)

Stroller (We’re using Diono Quantum Stroller. We love it and it’s on sale!)

 

For my eldest kids:

Medical Kit Toys (Thanks Grandma Kelly!)

Toddler Scrubs

My ID from my Bible group

Clipboard

 

family halloween costume scrubs

Here are some of the behind the scene and quick video on how I created this wheelchair.

Anyone you know who wears scrubs to work? :)

Happy Halloween!

P.S Special thanks to our nurse friend, Lesley for my pink scrubs <3

CATEGORY DIY, Family
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DIY Magnetic Door Curtain

Saturday, July 21, 2018

DIY Magnetic Door Curtain (1)

Today I decided to try to make my own “Magnetic Door Curtain”. Like what I shared in my post few weeks ago, we recently moved to a new home so there’s still some decorating left to do. I wanted to create a cover for our door that’s easy to remove. Back in the Philippines, we’re used to wooden doors instead of ones made of steel. You can just imagine my excitement when I found out I can stick magnets to our door!

Materials:

Fabric of your choice

Round magnets

Hot glue

Scissor

Iron

 

Instructions:

  1.     Measure the window on the door and added extra two inches all around where I’ll fold and place the magnets.

DIY Magnetic Door Curtain (3)

2. Use an iron to flatten folds on edges of the fabric.

DIY Magnetic Door Curtain (5)

3.     Create two folds horizontally on the upper side of the fabric. Use an iron again to flatten folds.

DIY Magnetic Door Curtain (2)

4.     Turn the curtain around to hot glue the magnets in place inside the fabric. (Sewing is also an option but if you’re in a hurry, hot glue is fine.) DIY Magnetic Door Curtain (4)

This is how it should like when magnets are placed.

  1.     Let glue dry and hang to your door.

Easy peasy!

What I like about DIYs is that I can personalize and customize any project. For this one, I was free to choose which design and what kind of fabric I want to work with. You can use leftover fabric or curtains you don’t get to use anymore but want to tweak. I used small refrigerator magnets that I found at home but you can try these magnets that are available in Amazon for less than $10 for 50 pcs.. Some hardware stores also sell magnets of different sizes and sets. If you want a more bohemian or lively style, you can add different colors of tassels to the bottom of your curtain.

Are there any DIY you particularly like doing? Or if there are any DIY projects you want to see, let me know in the comments.

Happy crafting!

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Lego Birthday Theme (My son is 3!)

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

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Today I’d like to share my second son’s birthday theme for his third birthday celebration, which is – wait for it – Lego! He and his friends had fun playing with water guns, slides, and making candy necklaces in our backyard. For his past two birthday celebrations, we had a Sailboat and Fish theme respectively. 

My kids are big fans of Duplo ever since Brent and my mother-in-law surprised them with their own set. To be honest, I was never really a fan of Lego or Duplo. It’s incredibly messy and painful especially when accidentally stepped on. But eventually, I learned to love it. It can keep my kids occupied and entertained for hours while honing their creativity and imagination. They love to give me pink Legos or something that they created with pink Legos and I make sure to keep them with me all the time. They really are the sweetest kids!

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Here’s the board I made for my son’s birthday. lego birthday theme hello island mama 4

I have Pinterest to thank for helping me out with this idea and that I was able to pull through. I’m not really good with baking, so I’m extra grateful for ready-made fondants you can buy at the store. I used them to design the cake and cupcakes for my son’s birthday. It wasn’t as hard as I thought. The fondants were quite easy to use, too. I never realized how relaxing and calming it was to design until I tried it.

Instead of buying Lego decorations, I used Duplo blocks to decorate the table, Brent helped design the cupcake tower.

Since our kids are half-American and half-Filipino, I decided to make Philippine and U.S Flags as fondant toppers for the cupcakes. I also made a Texas flag because we currently reside here.

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Here are the Lego Duplos set that my kids love to play and some of the sets I used to help decorate the Lego-themed birthday  cake:

My First Cars and Trucks

Town Around the World (they love this set, gifted from Grandma!)

My First Playhouse (I think these are their first Lego Duplo Set)

Push Train (This is the set I used to design around the cake)

World Animal Jungle Set (where I got the alligator Lego)

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I love that the colors worked well together. They really look like Lego!

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Happy Birthday my sweet little boy!

I thoroughly enjoyed the process and preparations for my son’s birthday. When it comes to DIY, the result is always something to look forward to. It can be a hit or miss situation and it takes a lot of work – but seeing my son and his friends happy makes all the work worth it. Every time.

Do you or your kids love Legos?

Don’t forget to pin your favorite image on Pinterest <3

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Chalk Shape Hop with Dial Complete® 2 in 1

Sunday, June 10, 2018

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Dial2in1 #DialCompletesUs #2in1 #CollectiveBias

chalk shape hop dial 2in1 hello island mama

My boys and I love being outdoors when the weather is warm here in Houston. If you are following my Instagram stories, you’ll see that we recently moved to a new home with a nice front yard to play in. One of the outdoor activities we love to do together is play “Chalk Shape Hop”. This is great activity for kids to learn about different shapes. I’m partnering today with Dial®, America’s beloved soap brand of 70 years. Dial® has recently released a new line-up, Dial Complete® 2 in 1 Moisturizing & Antibacterial Beauty Bar and Dial Complete® 2 in 1 Moisturizing & Antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash. I’m partnering with Dial® to share a fun, messy, yet educational chalk activity that you can try with your kids this summer! This chalk shape hop is a hit with my boys and I hope it will be a hit with your kids, too!

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chalk shape hop dial 2in1 hello island mama 8

STEP 1 You can use different colors of chalk to make this activity fun. Start by outlining all the shapes you’d like for your kids to learn. I drew a circle, star, square, triangle, rectangle, oval, and crescent. I drew all the shapes close together so my boys could easily hop from one to another.

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STEP 2 Here’s the fun and messy part that my boys love. I let them help me color the inside of each shape.

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LET THE FUN BEGIN! I ask them to stand on a specific shape. Then I call out a shape and they hop from shape to shape as fast as they can until they get to the correct one! It’s a simple game, but my kids love it! If you have bilingual kids like I do, this is also a great way for them to learn shape and color words in both English and another language.

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My boys love to have snack time after playing. I trust Dial Complete® 2 in 1 Moisturizing & Antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash to clean off all the bacteria they came into contact with playing outside. It gives me peace of mind to know my  kid’s hands are clean after such messy activities. We’ve actually used Dial® foaming hand wash for many years, as my husband likes how easy it is for the kids to lather up and rinse off. I love that it’s formulated to keep hands moisturized and clean with its antibacterial formula, even after repeated hand washing. It comes in three variants: Manuka Honey, Pearl Essence, and Rose Oil. I personally like Pearl Essence. The scent is calming and feels extra good on the skin!

chalk shape hop dial 2in1 hello island mama12

I purchased mine from Target, but Dial® is available in all retailers near you. There’s several ongoing coupons that you can use while supplies last:

    • Buy the Dial® 2 in 1 Moisturizing & Antibacterial Foaming Hand Wash and receive $0.75 off
    • Buy the 3 pack of Dial® 2 in 1 Moisturizing & Antibacterial Beauty Bars and get $0.75 off
    • Buy the 6 pack of Dial® 2 in 1 Moisturizing & Antibacterial Beauty Bars and get $1.00 off

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Bacteria can’t be avoided, but we can arm ourselves with proper products to rinse them away. When it comes to our family, our kids’health is our number one priority. With NEW Dial® 2 in 1, messy activities are worry-free!

What’s your kid’s favorite outdoor activity this summer?

 

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DIY Hanging Plant Holder

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

DIY hanging planter tutorial

 

I love doing DIY projects at home. It’s a great way to relax, spend extra time, and be creative. It’s also the most ideal way to customize something to your own liking sans the expensive price tag. Today, I decided to make a DIY Hanging Air Plant Holder. It gives any room in the house life and the plants help improve air quality at the same time! It’s the perfect season to decorate your home with plants whether indoors or outdoors. Plants also help reduce stress and create a feeling of well-being. It’s a win-win for you and your home!

DIY Hanging Air Plant Holder

Materials:

Twine

Scissors

Hook

Your preferred air plant

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Instructions:

  1.     Cut four equal pieces of twine. Adjust depending on your desired length. Take a piece of the twine that’s the length of your planter and multiply by two and the width of your planter.
  2.     Repeat three times.
  3.     Fold twine in half. Tie a knot at the top of the fold.
  4.     Hang on a hook or lay flat then take two cords and tie a knot to create four separate knots. Distance should all be the same from the top.
  5.     Take two adjacent knots and one cord from each knots and tie them together. Make four knots more. All knots should be at the same level.
  6.     You can slide beads or stones in between knots to give it more flair or leave as is for a dainty and minimalist feel.
  7.     Make sure your pot fits properly before step 8.
  8.     Make final knot below the pot.
  9.     Hang anywhere in the house and display.

That’s it! Very easy to make and does not cost a lot. It’s always a challenge to do DIY projects but once you get the hang of it, you’re left wanting to create more. But I also shared some ready to buy hanging planters below if you’d like to check it out.

 

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What else do you want to make for our next DIY? Let me know in the comments!

 

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Hello Island Mama is a makeup, DIY, photography, motherhood and lifestyle blog by Em Smith. She is the mother of three boys and a wife, who loves to inspire and encourage others through her works and stories. Based in Houston, Texas. Originally from the Philippines.

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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