August 2015 – Holiday History & Craft

THIS ONESummer… Enjoying the hot days, cool evenings, watermelon, water fights, good books, or the beach? How about ice cream?

Well, this poor writer and crafter was at her wit’s end this month because there are no major U.S. Holidays in August. How sad…until I discovered that August is “Family Fun Month.” That’s perfect, so that’s our theme for the month.

Now, since it’s kind of hard to write some history about our topic, (after all I think we all know what family fun is) let’s jump right to the craft and have some FAMILY FUN!

Who doesn’t love ice cream? I don’t see very many raised hands. How about a non-drip ice cream cone to organize the papers on the refrigerator? Let’s get crafty…

CRAFT – Ice Cream Cone Magnets

Adult Supervision Advised

Family Fun Craft - August 2015What You’ll Need:

Wax paper (to protect the table from glue)

Foam Sheets – brown, and then the colors of your ice cream (I chose white and pink)



Scissor (BE CAREFUL when using these – they’re sharp)



Magnetic strips

Lay out some wax paper and begin by gluing (or using self-adhesive) to stick the magnetic strips to the back of the clothespin. Set aside. (If making multiple magnets, just repeat steps as many times as necessary!)




Family Fun Craft - August 2015Cut out a triangle from the brown foam sheet. Make sure it will cover the width of the clothespin and about 2/3 the of the length.

Cut a circle from the foam sheet you’ve chosen for the ice cream color. Hint: I used a small plastic container to help me trace a perfect circle, use the pencil.


Use the markers to decorate the cones with cross-hatch designs and add chunks of cookie to the vanilla ice cream (or whatever else you imagine would be good). Note: the marker pens I used took a very, very long time to dry permanently. You might try a permanent market or some other form of pen…just a thought.

Family Fun Craft - August 2015Now, glue the ice cream to the cone and let it dry for a while.





Finally, glue the clothespin to the ice cream cone (magnetic side up, of course). Let it dry.

Place on refrigerator, file cabinet, or other metal surface and clip paper notes into the clothespin.

THIS ONELastly, eat ice cream?



June: Holiday History & Craft

Father's Day Craft - Holiday History & CraftIf Mother’s Day is in May, guess what holiday we have in June? Father’s Day! Do you know when it became an official holiday in the United States? Do you need a gift idea? Here’s your Holiday History & Craft for June.

(This article and project were prepared for children and it’s written accordingly.)

We’re going to learn about how this holiday began and make a pen or pencil holder. Come join the fun!




President Nixon made Father's Day an official holiday.

President Nixon made Father’s Day an official holiday.

Remember how Anna Jarvis started Mother’s Day? (You can read about it here.) Well, another lady – Grace Golden Clayton – wanted to do something special for her dad. Her dad had passed away and she knew a lot of children had also lost their fathers in a mining accident in her town in West Virginia. So on June 5, 1908, Grace and her friends held a special church service to honor their fathers. This was the first time “Father’s Day” was held in the United States, but unfortunately the idea wasn’t very popular and Grace didn’t try to encourage others to accept the holiday.

But in Washington State, another lady – Sonora Smart – also wanted to honor her father. Throughout her life, Sonora encouraged people to set aside a special day for dads and talked to retailers and lawmakers about the holiday. Different presidents offered support for the national holiday, but it wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon signed the bill which made Father’s Day an official holiday.

Father’s Day is always the third Sunday in June!


I made a lot of these for my dad when I was little. It’s a pen or pencil holder for his desk at home or at work. I hope you like this craft! *Adult supervision is recommended*

What You’ll Need:

Father's Day Craft - Holiday History & Craft15 0z. tin can

Craft Sticks (a.k.a. “popsicle sticks”) – I used 36 and had extras left over

Wood paint, any favorite colors

Foam paint brush

Paper plate

Wax paper

Glue (I used hot glue, but normal glue will work too)

Table knives

Rubber bands

Father's Day Craft - Holiday History & CraftDirections:

Begin by emptying and washing out the tin can. (I used peaches…yummy!) Dry the can and set aside. **Be careful the raw edges of the can may be sharp**

Next, layout the wax paper, pour some paint onto the paper plate and start painting those craft sticks. I used three different shades of blue, but you can use any colors you like. Try to think of you dad’s favorite color combinations.

Father's Day Craft - Holiday History & CraftWhen all the craft sticks are painted, left them dry really well. (I left mine overnight.)





Father's Day Craft - Holiday History & CraftDecide on your type of glue and prepare to assemble your pencil / pen holder. Lay out the wax paper. Use two table knives to help hold your can in place to reduce its rolling tendency. (See photo) Now begin gluing the painted craft sticks onto the can. Be careful not to extend the stick over the bottom edge because then it won’t stand evenly; cheat any extra to the top.

Make a pattern if you have multiple colors. **If you’re using a glue gun, be VERY careful – I actually burned myself during this project, and it HURTS**

Father's Day Craft - Holiday History & CraftContinue gluing the craft sticks around the can until they meet or over lap. Next, take the rubber bands and place them around the can and sticks; this is especially important if you are using regular glue. Let it dry well, then remove rubber bands.





Father's Day Craft - Holiday History & CraftAdd some sharpened pencils or Dad’s favorite pens. Your Father’s Day gift is ready!



March 2015: Holiday History & Craft

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette6659It’s time to “march” on over to Ireland for our third Holiday History & Craft this year! (This article and craft is designed for younger children and is written accordingly).

Can you think of a holiday in this month? How about a day to wear green (or orange)?

That’s right. St. Patrick’s Day is in March. So what is St. Patrick’s Day? I can remember asking my mom the same question when I was younger. 🙂

Let’s explore a little of the history surrounding the holiday and the Emerald Isle (that’s a fancy name for Ireland) and then we’ll do a craft.


Who was this guy called St. Patrick? Is he the funny looking little man with red hair and a green costume? No, that’s a leprechaun, a mischievous and legendary little character. St. Patrick was a missionary to Ireland. He lived during the 5th Century A.D. (That’s about 1600 years ago, and so long ago that historians are still debated when he was actually born!) Patrick originally lived in England, but he got captured and taken to Ireland when he was young man; he eventually escaped and returned to his family. But Patrick was concerned about the people of Ireland. He wanted to tell them about the Christian faith, so when he was older he returned to Ireland. He is often called the patron saint of Ireland and some churches have a specially celebration for him on March 17 (St. Patrick’s Day).

St. Patrick Stained Glass (Photo by Andreas F. Borchert, Wikipedia)

St. Patrick Stained Glass (Photo by Andreas F. Borchert, Wikipedia)

There are many legends about St. Patrick. One claims that he drove all the snakes off the island and into the sea where they were drowned! Another says he used the Irish shamrock plant to explain the Christian belief of the Trinity to his converts.

Maybe you don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in your church? (I don’t…) So why’s the day important? Well, a lot people do crazy things on the holiday, but I think it’s a nice time to remember the country of Ireland, it’s fascinating history, and the Irish people who came to America.

For example, did you know that potatoes were a main food source for the Irish people? Sadly, in the 1840’s (about 170 years ago) a bad plant disease ruined the potato crops for many years. The Irish people were hungry. Some of them came to America to escape the famine and they became an important part of American society. Did you know that some Irishmen helped lay the railroad tracks for the first trans-continental railroad in America?

You can find for fun-facts and information on Gazette665 Facebook page between March 15th and 21st. (Parental supervision recommend.) I will also share a short list of some of my favorite books about Ireland on Tuesday, March 10 – you’ll be able to find it on the Holiday History and Craft Page.


To remember the Irish and St. Patrick, let’s make a celebration sign. You’ll use potatoes to make stamps – remember that the potato famine brought many Irish to America, looking for work and food.

*Warning: Knives are sharp – please be careful – adult supervision/help is STRONGLY recommended*

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette665

What You’ll Need:

A large piece of white paper (I used an oversize sheet of construction paper)

Some sort of table protector (I found a good use for the sports section of the newspaper)

Orange, Green, and Yellow Paint – the washable type is my favorite 🙂

A paper plate

Paint brushes


Measuring spoon

Large Potatoes

Paper Towels

Sharp Knife (and an adult’s help!)

Markers or colored pencils (optional)

Lay out your table cover and let’s begin. Start by writing out HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY on your paper. Write in pencil. Then either use the orange paint and paint on the lines or use the markers or colored pencils.

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette6652

Now, make the potato stamps. *Remember, knives are sharp – be careful* Cut the potato in half, NOT length wise!

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette665

You’ll make the diamond stamp first. Take your pencil and draw a square (which will be a diamond when turned) in the white part of the potato.

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette665

Use the knife to cut away the extra potato on the sides, leaving the square standing up about a half-inch from the rest of the potato. (See the photograph).

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette665

Next, if you’re brave, prepare the cut the shamrock stamp. Start by lightly pressing the measuring spoon into the potato, move it and press two more times, making the interlocking circles and the outer lines should start to look like a shamrock. (See photograph.) Leave enough room to make a straight stem.

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette665

Now, trace with a pencil to finalize your impressions; remember to only trace the outer part. Use the knife to carefully cut away the outer part of the shamrock, leaving the design standing up about a half-inch from the rest of the potato. I found that cutting small pieces helped to preserve the design better.

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette665

Dry the diamond and shamrock stamps lightly with a paper towel.

Put some paint on the paper plate. Use a paint brush to apply a generous coating of paint to the raised surface of the stamps. Test on scrap paper if you like. Press the stamp firmly against the page; don’t allow it to slip or slide around. Pick it straight up off the page. Use the paint brush to fix any open spaces in the design – Do Not try to “reprint” a stamp, it doesn’t work well. (Trust me.)

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette665

Stamp green shamrocks and gold diamonds around your orange text. Have Fun! Do you remember why we used potatoes? Tell your dad, mom, grandma, or friend about what you learned!

March 2015 Holiday History and Craft Gazette6659