Tips for Starting a Scrapbook | Cute Beltz

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Scrapbooking is a fun way to combine photos and memories into a family keepsake!  The idea of starting and maintaining a scrapbook can seem tedious, but once you get going, it’s easy to create something your family will cherish.

So, what do you need to get started? You’ll need basic supplies like an album, archival paper, photo corners, a glue stick, scissors, a paper trimmer, photos, and mementos.

The most common album sizes are 12×12-inches, 8.5×11-inches, and 6×6-inches. Some people go for larger size albums, as it gives more space on each scrapbook page. Smaller ones are perfect for event-specific scrapbooks.

Choose colorful paper to make a lively background for photos and other tidbits. Try to choose paper that complements, rather than distracts from, your photos. Pictures and memorabilia should be the focus of the page.

Bring your photos out of hiding.  When photos are just sitting around, they don’t tell a story. Imagine finding a long-lost family picture. What would you want to know about the people in the picture? Keep these thoughts in mind as you start scrapbooking.

Use embellishments like stickers, yarn, buttons, glitter, safety pins, and pretty much whatever sticks. They enhance your pages, and add an extra-personal touch. Some love glitter and totally bling out their pages. Other people are into tags. Don’t hold back!

Using glue will help your photos stick around for years to come, so you want to be sure to use an acid-free kind (acid can speed up the deterioration of photos). Some of the most popular adhesives are photo squares, removable glue dots, and craft glue.

For layout inspiration, check out books, magazines, and websites. Craft stores often have sample layouts displayed. Websites with loads of inspiration include Creating Keepsakes, Scrapbook.com, and Two Peas In A Bucket.

To begin your layout for a page, choose four to eight photos that tell a story. Pick a few colors from the pictures and choose coordinating paper and embellishments. Lay your photos out on the paper to see how they best fit before you do any gluing. If corners and edges are securely stuck to the paper, the pictures will stay put. Start with less adhesive than you think you need.

Journaling is a key step in telling your story. Include the “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, and “why”, along with how the people in the pictures felt. Have others weigh in for a different perspective. Make sure whatever pens and markers you use are acid-free. Adding a title will give your audience a quick idea of what the story. Make a mistake? No worries! It makes it even more real. There you go, you scrapbooking pro, you. Have fun!

Check out some of these scrapbooks for inspiration!

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Girls Belts & Boys Belts
Toddler & Kids Belts

What are some of the ways you would make your scrapbook unique?- Cute Beltz

DIY Home Accents | Cute Beltz

Do-it-yourself home accents transform any space into one you can call your very own. Follow these tips to make over any room with budget-friendly projects you can complete in a weekend.

Chevron Vase

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Customize a plain vase by taping off a chevron pattern with painter’s tape (it need not be perfect). Spray-paint the exposed area with a lighter shade of the vase color. Remove the tape when the paint is dry.

Memo Board

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This magnetic memo board is as functional as it is stylish. Simply cut decorative paper to fit inside a cookie sheet and glue it to the pan. Add magnets and important papers, notes, or letters, and you’re ready for business. Place it on a desk or hang it in the kitchen to ensure your family always stays on task.

Rosette Lampshade

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Embellish a plain lampshade with paper roses. Use a compass to draw an 8-inch-diameter circle onto drawing-weight paper. Cut the circle into a swirl to create a paper coil about 1/2 inch wide. Roll the paper tightly starting at the outside end of the coil. Release the coil slightly and manipulate it until you have created a flower shape, then hot glue it at the base to retain the shape. Use hot-glue to adhere roses to the lampshade.

Ombré Dyeing

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Hot from the runway, ombré dyeing is a variation on basic tub dyeing giving fabrics a subtle, ethereal look. We put the trendy technique to work on these ordinary, store-bought throw pillows. For maximum results, always make sure you take the process slowly and follow through with each step

What you’ll need (per pound of dry fabric):

  • 1/4 cup professional textile detergent
  • 1/3 cup soda ash
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Two 5-gallon buckets or plastic containers
  • 1 tablespoon urea powder
  • 1-2 tablespoons fiber-reactive dye
  • 3 cups non-iodized salt
  • Rubber gloves
  • 2-3-cup plastic mixing container
  • Ruler
  • String
  • Two binder clips
  • Stool
  • Spring clamp

Directions:

1.Wash fabric with professional textile detergent, following manufacturer instructions. Combine soda ash and 3 gallons of warm water in a bucket, stirring until dissolved.

2. Submerge fabric in soda ash mixture. Do not overstuff; instead, soak only fabric that easily fits in bucket. Allow fabric to soak in soda ash mixture for at least 30 minutes.

3. Combine urea powder and 1 cup warm water in a mixing cup. Pour a few tablespoons of urea mixture into a plastic mixing container with fiber-reactive dye in bottom. Work the powder and urea water into a smooth paste, then stir in the rest of the urea mixture to make a concentrate.

4. Add salt to 3 gallons of warm water in your dyeing tub, stirring until dissolved.

5. To create the lightest shade in your ombre pattern, add about 1/3 cup dye concentrate to saltwater and stir.

6. Wipe the inside of dye tub to prevent unwanted dye marks on fabric.

7. Create a tool to help you hold your fabric longer by tying strings to two binder clips and then wrapping the string around a ruler. Wring out fabric and attach binder clips.

8. Dip fabric to desired point and hold for 10 minutes or until you reach preferred color intensity.

9. With clean, gloved hands, remove fabric from dye. Hold undyed end of fabric with one hand while wringing out excess dye with the other.

10. Place dyed fabric on a clean surface protected from the dyeing area.

11. To create the next intensity of dye, pour about 1/3 cup of the dye concentrate into the dye tub and stir.

12. Dip fabric to desired point (we suggest several inches below your last dip point for a noticeable progression) and hold for twice the amount of time of first level or until you reach preferred color strength.

13. Repeat steps 8 through 12, each time doubling the amount of dye you add and the amount of time you leave the fabric submerged. For more than three levels of ombre, you’ll need to make more dye concentrate. Use a spring clamp and stool or ladder to hold fabric while dyeing if desired.

14. Rinse fabric with cold running water until water runs clear.

15. Wring fabric again, squeezing out as much excess water and dye as possible.

16. Wash fabric in hot water using professional textile detergent. If you’re unable to wash immediately, lay fabric flat on clean plastic wrap and wrap completely to prevent unwanted dye marks and drying.

What are some ways you add DIY accents to your home? – Cute Beltz

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Toddler Belts & Kids Belts

Fun Sensory Bag Ideas | Cute Beltz

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Sensory Bags are a great way for kids to expand their sense of touch, creativity, and adventure.  Giving your child the chance to play with different types of textures and objects helps them to build new ways of talking about the world. Suddenly the tree is more than a tree, it’s a sapling with smooth bark or it’s a pine tree with rough bark and a sharp-pine scent. Water isn’t just wet, it can be rough (waves) or slippery with bubbles or cold and translucent when frozen or clear and still.  Squishy bags allow small children to experience the fun of “squishing” gel in their hands as well as exploring small objects and other items with their sense of touch.

Supplies

  • Bottle of clear hair gel
  • food coloring
  • Ziploc bag (quart size freezer bag works well)
  • beads
  • buttons
  • sequins

(You can easily switch up the trinkets that you put in the bag to keep sensory play interesting.)

Directions

1. Put all the hair gel into the bag.

2. Add one or two drops of food coloring.

3. Next, add the beads, sequins, buttons and other objects. Close the top of the Ziploc bag and make sure there is no air in the bag.

4. Finally, seal with a strip of duct tape across the top to prevent leaks and make it more secure for little fingers.

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How do you get your kids involved in sensory play?  – Cute Beltz

Cute Beltz - Belts for Kids
Toddler Belts & Kids Belts

Traveling With Kids Simplified

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Whether you’re taking your first big trip with a newborn or you’re a seasoned traveler with a disaffected teen, these tips and tools can help make family vacations more fun and way less stressful for everyone. Check out how you can make traveling with kids a breeze!

Packing

Depending on the age of the kids, have each child bring a small backpack filled with their toys and goodies for the flight.  When possible, load their bags with some of the other things that you need, such as bottles, diapers and wipes. Even very young kids can carry a small backpack filled with their own diapers. This saves you space in your bag and makes the child feel like a “big” boy or girl.

To avoid lugging a heavy stroller, buy a lightweight or “umbrella” stroller for your trip. They are generally inexpensive (under $50) and easy to roll down the ramp and gate check.  If you bring a cumbersome stroller, the airline might have you check it as luggage. You also run the risk of an expensive stroller getting damaged in transit. Whichever you bring, wait to check it at the gate, right before boarding. It will be waiting for you when you land and you’ll be able to wheel junior to the baggage claim.

With a baby under age 2, bring an FAA approved car seat onto the plane with you. If there is an extra seat you will be given the extra seat for the baby. If not, then they will take it from you and put it underneath. This is a great option if you need a car seat where you are going. If not, it is probably not worth it.

Booking and Checking In

When selecting a flight, try to book nonstop flights during off-peak hours, either early or late, when kids are likely to sleep through more of the trip.

Check in for your flight online as early as possible (24 hours before).  If you are traveling with an infant consider asking for a seat in the back of the plane. If there are any empty seats left on the flight, chances are they will be there, and you might have extra room to stretch out. In addition, you are closer to the bathrooms, will have extra standing space and will have flight attendants close at hand, if you need them. Bulkhead seats have a little extra leg room, and remember that you’ll need to avoid exit-row seats with kids.

Give Yourself Plenty of Time

How early you need to arrive depends upon a variety of factors, including your airline, airport, plans for parking, flight time and whether or not you are checking baggage. If you’re traveling during school vacations, chances are good the airport will be crowded with other families doing the same. We recommend arriving at least ninety minutes ahead of your scheduled departure. Keep in mind that some destinations (such as international flights and the U.S. Virgin Islands) have earlier check-in times than others and if you miss the plane, it can be very difficult for you to find enough seats or seats together on a later flight.  Because of the new security regulations, make sure you and the children are in shoes that are easy to get on and off. Before taking off the children’s shoes, double check with security if it is necessary, since depending on the type of shoe, often it is not

Keep Kids Entertained

Try to pack a few surprises for the kids in your carry-on. Go to a discount store, and pick up a couple of small inexpensive items like stickers, small toys or action figures for younger kids and music, books or handheld games for older kids.   Pack toys that do not have pieces and do not require numerous things to work. Better even than a coloring book and crayons is a doodle pad with the coloring stick attached that can erase and start over.

During takeoff and landing, make sure to have kids drink or chew gum. Make sure the baby is either nursing or drinking a bottle. Explain to them what is happening, and if they are too small to see out the window, play a game where they have to tell you when you are finally in the air or when you have finally touched ground.

Have fun! –Cute Beltz

Cute Beltz - Belts for Kids
Toddler Belts & Kids Belts

Easter Chicks Deviled Egg Recipe

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Are you looking for something different to do with your eggs on Easter? How about making them into these cute little Easter Chicks?  They are rather simple to make and cheap too.

To make deviled eggs start by first boiling them. The best way to make boiled eggs is to put 12 in the bottom of a 3 quart pan.  Cover with water (have the water about 1 inch over the eggs).  With the lid off bring the eggs to a boil once they have reached a FULL rolling boil, let them boil for 2 minutes.  Turn the heat off, put the lid on and let them stand for 15 minutes.  Once 15 minutes has passed take them out and put them in an ice bath cooling them, so you can then peel them.

Once you have all 12 eggs peeled, cut a SMALL section off the wide end, this will create a flat surface so the eggs can stand up and not roll on the plate.  Carefully remove the yolks, being careful not to tear the whites. (This will take a bit of patience.) Collect all of the yolks into a small mixing bowl and add the mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and vinegar. Mix until smooth.

To make a really creamy filling, use a fork and mash the yolk up as fine as you can make it. Then mix in the mayo and a little salt (to taste) until it has a consistency of pudding. At this point, it’s still a bit gritty though. So scoop the entire mixture into a gallon-sized Ziploc and knead the baggie just as if it were dough! Spend a good 15 to 20 minutes squishing the baggie until it’s super creamy like frosting.   To fill the egg white halves from the baggie, just cut the corner of the baggie and squeeze the bag, applying it to the egg halves like squeezing icing onto a cake.

To make the Chicks eyes cut a small pickle length wise , into 4 thin strips.  Then cut those thin strips into even smaller section to create a little eye.  Do the same thing to a baby carrot, but cut the 4 thin strips into a triangle shape for the chicks beak. Place the top of the egg back on at an angle so you can see the chicks face.  Add the eyes and beak and you are done.