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at home birthday party backdrops!

Oh Joy Heart Fringe Backdrop

Birthday parties have certainly been different this year. We've been doing lots of drive by birthday parades for my kids' friends. Everyone is celebrating at home with their immediate at-home family and creating special moments regardless of our limitations right now. If you are looking for fun things to do that involve some crafting together and celebrating a special occasion, photo backdrops are a great craft for getting the whole family involved...

Oh Joy! Paper Chain Backdrop

We've all made these paper chains back in the day at school, so use the same idea to make a Rainbow Paper Chain Backdrop for your next at-home celebration! If you want to make something that's extra special and can be moved around to different parts of your home (inside or out), we also love this Heart Fringe version (shown up top).

Oh Joy! Silver and Gold Glitter Backdrop

Using garland you might have stored with your holiday decorations, you can make this Gold and Silver Stars Backdrop!

Oh Joy! Rainbow Backdrop

You can use a similar hanging method with Rainbow Streamers and add festive honeycombs you might have saved from last year's birthday party.

Oh Joy! Honeycomb Backdrop

While these Sparkly Honeycombs were made for a holiday celebration, change up the colors and they can turn into a festive graduation, birthday, or at-home baby or wedding shower, too!

However you make your backdrop, the fun doesn't end there. Now it's time for photoshoots and fashion shows. Everyone dress in their finest clothes, in one solid color, or in their wackiest costumes. Prop up your phone up and do a self-timer so everyone can get in frame. And remember, while celebrations right now are not what they used to be, they can still be full of amazing memories!

{Photos by Lily Glass and Casey Brodley, styling by Wilmarose Orlanes and Julia Wester, styling assistance and crafting by Jess Hong. Thanks to our models, Jess, Julia, and Joy!} 

craftopia!

Craftopia - HBO Max

When it comes to TV time, my kids have started to break outside of the kids' cartoons and watch shows with real people. They now love creative competition shows which have been so fun to watch as a family. So I'm excited to tell you about this amazing new show that launched a couple weeks ago on HBO Max called Craftopia. Hosted by Lauren Riihimaki of LaurDIY with judges James Worsham and Toya Moore-Broyles, it's a crafting competition show for kids ages 9-15.

Craftopia - HBO Max

Craftopia - HBO Max

Not only is it completely family-friendly and SO MUCH FUN (my kids are obsessed!), but I'm a guest judge on the 5th episode ("It's Lit!")! The challenges are so fun, the set design is RIDICULOUSLY GOOD, and I'm so thrilled to have played a small part in it. We filmed this back in November—and to see it now in our current times—I'm so proud of the diversity of the cast and the contestants. It's an amazing sign of our times and the evolution of TV. I am so happy that all kinds of kids can see themselves represented in this show and feel inspired to explore their creativity. Thanks so much to the team at Craftopia for having me...I truly had the best time filming this!

(Top photo by Oh Joy, others are screen shots from the show)

simple and inexpensive ways to spruce up your home decor...

Oh Joy Styling with Large Branches

Extra time at home means we're craving joy wherever we can add it! Today, we're bringing you three fun and easy projects to add a little pop of color and newness to your already existing decor. These are inexpensive projects that can give your space (and yourself!) a little refresh it needs to bring out the sunshine!

Oh Joy Mirror Decal

1) Try adding a decal to your mirror. A cute and short inspirational thought that makes you happy to look in the mirror and reminds you of your strength and determination. Try "You Got This" or "Find Joy Here" or "Keep Going".  Let us know what phrase you choose to give yourself some positivity every time you look in the mirror.

Oh Joy Wrapping Paper Mat Frames

2) Use wrapping paper to make a mat for your existing wall prints to freshen them up! Or, if you're ready for a new print, so many of our friends are offering amazing and inspirational prints during this time. Check out Everyday is OK, The House that Lars Built, and All She Wrote Notes

Oh Joy Large Branch DIY

3) Add branches to your vases. This option is fun because it involves a trek outside (don't forget to get sunshine and fresh air everyday)! Find some branches that will dry up nicely, then paint some (or ALL) of the leaves for a fun touch of color.

Let me know how you're sprucing up your house or if you need more fun ideas of low-lift things to do to bring a quick smile everyday.

(Photos by Lily Glass. Styling by Wilmarose Orlanes and Julia Wester, styling assistance and crafting by Jess Hong.) 

you deserve dessert...

Oh Joy Mini Bundt Cakes

You, yes YOU, deserve dessert today! You are surviving an unprecedented time full of worry, stress, angst, anger, annoyance, scary feelings, and everything in between. You are doing it! No matter if that looks like Pinterest-worthy crafts with your kids or your third time watching Tiger King. Maybe you have a living room covered with every toy or craft you own, or the cleanest and most organized house your've ever lived in. Because this is hard on all of us, and and we are all doing our best right now, we all deserve a treat (or two)! If you feel like treating yourself today, here are a few of our favorite recipes just for you!

Oh Joy Neapolitan Cookies

A Neapolitan Cookie dipped in white chocolate and coconut.  Fresh from the oven - just for you!

Oh Joy Funfetti Mille Cake

This Funfetti Crepe Cake may look super fancy and hard to make but it doesn't even require baking! Plus, everything needed is available at the grocery store.

Oh Joy and Molly Yeh Rainbow Icebox Cake

Here's a super fun Rainbow Icebox Cake we made with Molly Yeh 5 years ago! This one also requires no baking, and I love that you could make this in any size you want!

Oh Joy Pastel Mini Bundt Cakes

If you feel like sharing, you can make an entire platter of Mini Bundt Cakes with a delicious pastel icing coating that borders on perfection.

I love and appreciate each one of you and want you to be safe, healthy and happy...and your sweet tooth satiated!

{Photos by Lily Glass and Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester, styling assistance and baking by Jess Hong.}

store and display your kids' masterpieces...

Oh Joy Tips - Kids Art Storage Rubys Masterpiece

I've suddenly found myself with more masterpieces created during my family's morning live drawing sessions than I know what to do with. Luckily, we have some great ideas about how to store, scan, or display all that artwork your kids are making right now! Check out some of my favorite tips...

Oh Joy Tips - Kids Art Storage Mixbook

1) Make a Photo Book!  Scan all your kids' artwork (taking a clear photo on your iPhone works!), and put everything into a bound book. You can put them into all of our fun and bright Mixbook designs. This offers a way to remember all the art without having to physically keep it all and bound perfectly together to enjoy for years to come!

Or, for a low-tech version, glue/tape them into a notebook! This is fun for dimensional art or if you truly can't part with the original.

Oh Joy Tips - Kids Art Storage Containers

2) Storage Containers. DIY some fun containers to store everything neatly (try a container per child) and have an easy place to store everything when it's complete. Check out all our tips for keeping your containers organized and curated here!

Oh Joy Tips - Kids Art Storage Display

3) Make A Colorful Display!  Everyone needs a little color in their lives, especially now! So make fun colorful displays and hang up those masterpieces as if they belonged in a museum. You can have rotating "guest artists" if you've got multiple kids in the house, or use all the blank walls to feature everyone. You can use the dowel rods in this tutorial, or simply use bright and fun washi tape

Oh Joy Tips - Kids Art Storage Hangers

...if you don't have dowel rods lying around, try this fun alternative with "fancying up" some hangers for displaying your art.

I hope everyone is hanging in there and doing okay safe at home!  Let me know what you're filling the non-working portion of your days with...arts and crafts projects? Music or outdoor fun? Snacks and Netflix? I want to hear all the ideas you have to stay healthy and happy.  

(Photos by Lily Glass and Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester, production assistance by Jess Hong.)

give your wardrobe an at-home refresh!

Emroider Clothes - Oh Joy!

Right now, everyone seems to be focused in the craft and creativity space for kids, but no one is focused on adult crafting and creativity as a way to relieve stress and to do something fun and engaging with your hands during quarantine. So today we wanted to round up a few of our favorite Oh Joy! projects to get you crafting and finding joy with an activity that's just for you! Plus, you might just come out of it with a fun wardrobe refresh...

Emboridered Shirt Edges - Oh Joy!

A Little Embroidered Detail - For collars, cuffs, or edges, we did this DIY is on shirts, but can be used on any piece of clothing (even socks and scarves!) or on your home decor as well (think napkins and table runners).  See the full tutorial here!

Or if you're looking to add a fun phrase or symbol (see first photo), check out that tutorial here!

Popcorn Knit How To - Oh Joy!

Add Popcorn Knots - This works best on chunky weave clothing like sweaters and cardigans (or maybe your favorite blanket). Check our the blog post for the full how-to...

Splatter Paint Clothing - Oh Joy!

Splatter Paint Clothing - Oh Joy!

Splatter Paint - Take your denim jacket (or backpack) or anything that needs a literal splatter of color and add paint, and go wild!

Let us know if you end up making any of these projects..we would love to see them!

(Photos by Lily Glass, Concept and styling by Julia WesterProduction and Styling Assistance by Jess Hong.)

easy healthy-ish snacking tips...

Oh Joy Cereal Bark

If your house is anything like mine, our snacking has become an all-day activity being home so much! So if you're like me and want to make sure a few of those snacks are healthy-ish, here are few fun ideas to help...

Oh Joy Healthy Monster Muffins

1) Make a healthy snack (that doesn't seem healthy). We love cereal bark with yogurt, fruit and cereal (shown above) or make monster muffins. Both could be made for breakfast...or for a mid-morning snack! 

Oh Joy Fruit Jar DIY

2) Keep "better' choices more easily available.  Put the candy in a drawer, and leave your fruit out on the counter. That way, when you're bored or between Zoom calls (or actually hungry), it's easier to grab a fresher option. To make it more fun, you can DIY your bowl, jar or tray. Check out the tutorial here...

Oh Joy Snack Kit

3) Snack Kits - Something I'm trying this week is to put everyone's daily snacks out in the morning. That way the girls (and I) can see how much is left for the day (instead of constantly digging through the pantry). Everyone gets a little basket filled with some healthy and some fun snacks that they can eat whenever they want.  It's a fun way for the girls to be in charge and limits the number of snacks we have every day.

Oh Joy Snack Mix

4) Make a snack mix full of healthy and fun stuff! Snack mixes are always fun because kids can help make them AND it can be truly whatever you want. I like a mix of 2/3 healthy and 1/3 fun...that way it's a fun mix of sweet and savory, carbs and protein that delivers a satiated appetite!

How are you handling snacks right now?  Share any tips and tricks with us below!

{Photos by Lily Glass and Casey Brodley. Styling by Wilmarose Orlanes and Julia Wester, styling assistance by Jess Hong.

a few fun things for easter!

Oh Joy Easter Table

Easter is almost here. And we could all use a reason to have a little celebration more now than ever. So here are a few of my favorites from over the years that involve supplies you probably have at home!

1) Here's a fun printable to add Easter cheer to your produce, eggs, or even coffee mugs around the house!

Oh Joy Easter Printable{Template design by Angie Stalker, photo by Lily Glass, styling by Julia Wester, styling assistance and crafting by Jess Hong.} 

2) Decorate marshmallows and turn them into the cutest bunnies.  Check it out right here...

Oh Joy Easter Bunny Marshmallows{Photos by Lily Glass, styling by Julia Wester, styling assistance by Jess Hong.}

3) Glitter up your easter eggs!  Here's how...

Oh Joy Glitter Easter Eggs{Photos by Lily Glass, styling by Julia Wester, styling assistance and crafting by Jess Hong.}  

Wishing you and yours and a very happy Easter!

be curious activity: colorful curiosity!

be curious activity: colorful curiosity!

While home with the kids, we wanted to share a few ways to create sunshine during your day with our weekly activity inspired by our BE CURIOUS! book launching on April 7th! These are simple activities you can do with materials you have at home to inspire colorful curiosity especially for little ones from ages 2-6...

COLOR SCAVENGER HUNTS (above)

Simply make small squares of color and paste on a single page. Then search the house to find small objects that match each color square! Find the full tutorial here.  

be curious activity: colorful curiosity!

LETTER CRAYONS

Here's a great time to make use of all those crayon bits we have laying around to create something new! Kids can help come up with their favorite color combinations or group similar colors (all the greens, for example) together! Find the full instructions right here.

be curious activity: colorful curiosity!

GEM CHALK

If it's warm where you live, get in some outdoor time with chalk art, and these gems are so fun for kids to help make and then get to use. See how right here.

be curious activity: colorful curiosity!-800wi

SMUSHED PAINT ART

Super fun and tactile especially for little ones as small as 1 year old, we love this project that turns into your very own masterpieces! The color options here are endless! See that one right here.

Color is all around us and certainly inspires a ton curiosity and creating! Let us know which projects you create together! Also, check out our Make with Kids Pinterest board for more ideas!

(Photos by Lily Glass and Casey Brodley, styling by Julia Wester, Wilmarose Orlanes, and Ariel Fulmer, Production Assistance by Jess Hong.)

be curious activity: teach something you used to be good at!

be curious activity: teach something you used to be good at!

While we're home with our kids for the next several weeks, I've been thinking about ways that we can turn this situation into some ray of sunshine and see the good that will eventually come of this seemingly terrible situation. I'll be sharing activities and ideas here inspired by our BE CURIOUS! book launching soon and ways to bring out creativity and curiosity during this time. First up...

Teach Something You Used to Be Good At!

I was thinking...how can we use this time to revive some of our past beloved hobbies? I went to art school, took dozens of drawing classes, and USED to be able to draw well. But my life drawing skills have gone away with the realities of my current job and schedule. When's the last time I actually sat down to draw away from a computer? So, as part of my daily school with my kids, we're starting the morning off with a Life Drawing class! I'll set out everyday objects or take a walk outside, and we'll all draw the same thing from whatever vantage point we're at. Here's an example of what we did today...

be curious activity: teach something you used to be good at!

I simply placed a few pieces of fruit on a plate and we all drew them based on our own vantage point. I talked about perspective and shadow and overall just getting them to slow dow and look at something and notice the details of it to draw it. Here's where we landed...

be curious activity: teach something you used to be good at!

be curious activity: teach something you used to be good at!

be curious activity: teach something you used to be good at!

It's so fun to see how we all drew them differently based on our ages, where we sat in relation to the subject, and it was such a fun activity to do with my kids. These will be fun to scan and make into a book, too, at the end of all this self-isolation! You could do this daily drawing exercise, too. Or, if there's something YOU used to be great at that you've neglected, take this as a chance to revive it! Whether that means teaching your kids (like I'm doing) or just giving yourself some of this downtime to practice your long-lost skill.

Let me know what you guys decide to do!