Cat Scratch Circles from Recycled Pizza Boxes

After a BIG pizza party, Belle and I decided to put together a few cat scratch pads to donate to our local humane society. For our first pad, I used a rotary knife and a quilt ruler to measure off and cut strips of cardboard, while Belle made the strips more flexible by bending them. (But later, I used a utility knife and a 2×4 when we decided to make six more pads and needed a LOT of cardboard strips.) The key to success is cutting the strips perpendicular to the corrugation in the cardboard if that makes sense.

We then started to roll the cardboard up and tape it together as we added more and more strips. It took some time, but we had a lot of fun taking the finished product to the shelter. We rubbed a little bit of catnip onto the tops to make them irresistible.

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Belle’s Nook Hook

Belle and I “enhanced” a project I saw on FaveCrafts, called Bed Pockets. She has been itching to learn how to use her new sewing machine, and I am desperate for her to start putting her electronics in a safe place at bedtime. Although it ended up being far more complicated a project for her to do on her own, she is learning patience and perseverance — the byproduct of sewing without a pattern! And if she can get over her pedal-to-the-floor urges, she might just end up a great seamstress. Depending on the troop size and age of the girls, I thought this would be a great way to introduce girl scouts to sewing — good use of all those scraps!

 

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Converting a Full-sized Bed Frame into a Daybed

And to make Marti happy. . . although, my mother is still not talking to me about the fact that I cut her mother’s bed in half, I have managed to pull a family heirloom out of storage and actually put it to good use! Plus, I saved a barely used crib mattress from the land fill.

This did require a little help from my handyman hubby, but I COULD have done it myself. He cut the footboard in half and joined them in the front with a long section of board. He then screwed the split footboard pieces and the headboard together from the back. There are a few crossboards used under the crib mattress to for support, too. Then I put SEVERAL layers of lime paint on it. I’d like to think Granny would like the lime green and hot pink decor. I’m still working on the coverlet for it, but for now one of Belle’s endless fuzzy blankets works.

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Poinsettia Hair Clips

My brownie troop wore these easy-to-make hair clips when we went Christmas caroling at a senior center. We glued some to hair clips for the girls, and the rest to clothes clips to hand out to the residents, who could safely clip them onto anything. The girls could easily cut the felt and tie the leaves together with some chenille wire. And even when it didn’t quite work out for my most craft-challenged child, it was okay – the end result is still cute…and easy…and cheap. In fact, most craft-supply hoarders (i.e., girl scout leaders) will have all of these items in their leftover pile. Most importantly, they did it themselves, and teaching a child to create something on their own is a beautiful thing!

Craft Supplies:

  • piece of yellow or white chenille wire (cut to about 4 inches long)
  • 3 yellow, white or red pony beads
  • red felt
  • green felt
  • hair clip (hair band or clothes clip)
  • hot glue gun and glue stick
  • scissors

Directions: Slide one of the beads onto the chenille wire and move to the middle. Wrap the wire around the bead and twist once so that the wire secures it from shifting (wire ends should be sticking out in a “V” shape with the bead in the middle). Add another bead to each end of the wire  and slide to the middle so that you have all three beads on the wire (again with wire ends sticking out in a “V” shape with the beads in the middle), set aside. We will soon use this beaded wire to hold the leaves together. Cut 3 petals (see template below) out of red felt and one slightly bigger piece of green felt for the leaves. Fold and pinch together the middle of the 3 red petals with two fingers, then lay the green felt piece over top. Transfer to your other pinched fingers so that you’re looking at 3 red petals on top with the green leaves in the back. Use the beaded chenille wire as a twist tie in the middle of the flower and tightly twist together in the back behind the green leaves. Fluff your petals and arrange the beads to get a desired look. This can then be hot glued to a hair band, hair clip or clothes clip by an adult. At first, my girls needed a template. However, after the first few petals quickly realized that the petals (or Christmas moustaches) were easier to cut free-hand on the fold of a piece of felt. Key to success: cut fat petals with a middle  about as thick as your pinky finger. They will fill out and make a fuller flower.

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Santa Letter for New House

Worried about Santa not finding your house on Christmas Eve? The kids and I put together the following letter for the children of friends who have very recently moved. Naturally, their young children were worried about confusing Santa. We printed out the letter, marked off the appropriate “changes”, glued it to a piece of red construction paper, rolled it into a scroll and tied it with a bow. Belle hand-delivered it to the house. We had so much fun doing it that I just had to share.

DOCUMENT FILE: Christmas_Moving_Letter

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Jack-o-Lantern in a Bag SWAP

I just love the idea of SWAPS for girl scouts. (If you don’t know this means, check out what girl scouts has to say about SWAPS.) I came up with this idea for a SWAPS event just before Halloween.

We included:

a small cut-out pumpkin
a “candle” made out of a yellow seed bead and a snip of pipe cleaner wire
a mouth, eyes and nose cut-outs
Halloween-themed confetti
a small brown stem
a slip of paper with a Halloween greeting

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My Baby Belle is Turning “9”

Sniff, sniff – time flies! Here they are basking in the glow of her birthday Nook.

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Starting a Daisy or Brownie Troop

Tips & Resources for New Girl Scout Leaders

As a new Daisy girl scout leader, I felt completely overwhelmed by the thought of keep 20+ wiggly, giggly little girls occupied for a whole year of meetings. These are just a few of the ideas I used as my girls grew through the girl scouts age-levels. This list is NOT comprehensive, but I do plan to add to these ideas as I discover worthwhile projects for Daisy, Brownies, and beyond. The images on the following idea pages were designed so that you can easily cut and paste them multiple times onto a “word” page to print out several on a sheet.

Crafts and Activities for Daisy Girl Scout Meetings
I scheduled our activities so that my Daisy girl scouts could earn all of their petals in one year. During the second year of Daisies, we repeated the petal schedule using different activities. It was good review of the Girl Scout Law, it gave new scouts the chance to earn all of their petals and it gave 2nd year Daisies a full year to show off their complete uniform.

Daisy Girl Scout Petal Plan
Daisy Blue Center / Learn the Girl Scout Promise
• Girl Scout Promise Card
Light Blue Petal / Honest & Fair
• Web of Lies Game
• Honest & Fair Word Search
Yellow Petal / Friendly & Helpful
• Scrapbook Page
• Thanksgiving Card
• Personal Hug Card
• Friendship Bracelet Braiding Instructions
Spring Green Petal / Considerate & Caring
• Personal Hug Card
Red Petal / Courageous & Strong
• Fire plan hand-out
Orange Petal / Responsible for What I Say and Do
• Good Deed Collector
• Chore Chart & Daisy Pen
• Telephone Game & Tips
• Internet Surfing Safety Quiz
Purple Petal / Respect Myself & Others
• Respectful Words Lesson
Magenta Petal / Respect Authority
• Safety/Emergency Cards
Green Petal / Use Resources Wisely
• Recycled Flowers
• Braided Dog Toys
Rose Petal / Make the World a Better Place
• Braided Dog Toys
Violet Petal / Be a Sister to Every Girl Scout
• Manner Poem Game
• Welcome Signs

Ceremonies for Daisy Girl Scouts
• Recipe for a Girl Scout Troop
• Investiture Ceremony Plan

Journeys for Daisy Girl Scouts
Consider the reading-level of your girls before investing in the Journey books. We bought them the first year when no one could read them. We did activities to fulfill the journey requirements, but I don’t have any resources to share.

SWAPS for Daisy Girl Scouts
• Jack-o-Lantern in a Bag SWAP
• Puzzle Piece Picture Frame & SWAP

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Ending the Summer Cowgirl-Style

Although we have already started school, I thought it would be nice to get the girls in our Girl Scout Troop all together for some fun before school starts for them. One of the moms suggested horseback riding at a nearby ranch, and without thinking, I signed as up! Without thinking about how these hips are SO not meant for riding a horse! Owww….but the girls had a blast, so yesterday was definitely an EGG DAY.

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Too Cute = Girl Scout Vest Pillow

I have said it before and I will say it again – as a Girl Scout leader, I love Making Friends.com. I find the cutest ideas on this site. Our family is all about scouts (cub, girl and boy). We were recently at an Eagle Scout award dinner, and the honoree had his old scout uniforms on display. It was touching to see the years of work and new experiences those badges represented. It got me thinking about keeping Belle’s vests and sashes over the years, and what to do with them. Of course, I saw the cutest idea on MakingFriends.com for Girl Scout Vest Pillows – just too cute!

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