Category Archives: Books

DIY Lightning Bolt Mobile

DIY Lightning Bolt Mobile |www.GigglingCaravan.com

We’re excited to announce that our next children’s gift book, out in 2015, is SUPERHERO themed! Till then, expect to see a lot of superhero themed crafts pop up on the blog like this DIY Lightning Bolt Mobile!

DIY Lightning Bolt Mobile |www.GigglingCaravan.comWhat you need: Scissors, string, marker, wooden stick, and a gold glitter foam sheet.DIY Lightning Bolt Mobile |www.GigglingCaravan.comFree hand or trace lightning bolts to the back of your gold glitter foam sheet. Remember to draw the mirror image of the lightning bolts. (See image above.)DIY Lightning Bolt Mobile |www.GigglingCaravan.comDIY Lightning Bolt Mobile |www.GigglingCaravan.comCut each lightening bolt out. Create a small hole about a centimeter from the top of each lightening bolt. Thread string though the hole, and knot. You can create a backside of the lightening bolts by cutting out a second sheet, and sticking the backs of the bolts together. DIY Lightning Bolt Mobile |www.GigglingCaravan.comArrange the lightning bolts however you prefer, and tie the other side of the string to the wooden stick.

DIY Lightning Bolt Mobile |www.GigglingCaravan.comHang your glittery gold lightning bolt mobile wherever that little superhero in your life can be inspired. We’ll  have more info about our Superhero themed gift-book for you soon! Check back for more superhero themed crafts!

Happy Tuesday from the Giggling Caravan Team!

DIY Crossroad Destination Sign

DIY Crossroad Destination Sign | www.gigglingcaravan.com

It’s always fun to have a little travel inspiration around the house, but what about for the outside of your home? Well, here’s a really easy way to create some travel inspiration with the kiddos!

DIY Crossroad Destination Sign | www.gigglingcaravan.com

-Wood shims

-Craft paint

-Letter stickers

-Wood stick

-Utility knife

-Hot glue gun

-Craft varnish

DIY Crossroad Destination Sign | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Take a wood shim (you can get these at Home Depot for pretty cheap) and draw out a point on one end. Take a utility knife and score and snap off the unwanted wood. Paint the wood shim white. Let paint dry completely. Place letter stickers onto it, spelling out any destination. Paint over the white paint and letters with a second color. Let it dry completely. Once dry, peel off the letter stickers. Carefully use a hot glue gun to glue the destination wood shims onto a wooden stick.  Make sure to keep in mind where you are located and the direction your destination should point. Lastly, if you’re worried about weather ruining your sign, just add a layer of craft varnish!

DIY Crossroad Destination Sign | www.gigglingcaravan.com

DIY Crossroad Destination Sign | www.gigglingcaravan.com

We loved how easy this was to make and yet it added so much spunk to our garden. Have fun making your crossroad destination sign! What destinations are you going to include?

Metallic Gold State Mug

DIY Gold State Mug | www.gigglingcaravan.com

We all know THE golden state is California …but it’s fun to give every other state (or country) a try at being golden every once in awhile. Well, any chance to make anything golden is a great idea in my book. Here’s a really easy way to create a mug that is perfect to proudly display your state or give as a gift.

DIY Gold State Mug | www.gigglingcaravan.comHere’s what I used to make this: a blank mug, metallic paint pen, and metallic gold paint. You can purchase a blank mug for pretty cheap at a 99c/dollar store. First, make a paper stencil of the state you wish to have on your mug. Then tape the stencil onto the mug. With your metallic paint pen, follow the outline of the state stencil.

DIY Gold State Mug | www.gigglingcaravan.com

With metallic gold paint, paint in the state. This may require a few paint coats. We prefer using the paint because we wasn’t a fan of seeing all the pen lines. When the paint is dry to the touch, put the mug in the oven (NOT microwave oven) for 30 minutes at 300 degrees (Place the mug into the oven while it is preheating) . Let it stay in there for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, turn off the oven, leave the mug inside, and let them cool down together. Once the mug and oven are cool, cautiously take the mug out of the oven. Also, make sure to only hand wash these.

DIY Gold State Mug | www.gigglingcaravan.comDIY Gold State Mug | www.gigglingcaravan.com

We may like my coffee black, but our states as golden as they can get. Enjoy!

Nanaimo Bars

  Nanaimo Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Nanaimo Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.com

In prep for our next gift book, See the World…, we take you to Canada. This delicious Canadian treat is named after Nanaimo, British Columbia. It comprises of three delicious layers, all of which require no baking. There’s a bit of a wait between making layers, but it’s well worth it!Nanaimo Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Here are the ingredients for the first, bottom layer (photographed above):

-1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

-1/4 cup granulated white sugar

-1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

-1 large egg, lightly beaten

-1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

-2 cups graham cracker, crushed

-1 cup sweetened or unsweetened coconut (shredded or flaked)

-1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped

To make the bottom layer you will need to first melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Once the butter has melted completely, remove from heat and add the sugar and cocoa powder. Stir. Now whisk the beaten egg in. Bring the saucepan back to low heat for another 1-2 minutes. Once the mixture has become thick, remove from heat and add the vanilla extra, crushed graham cracker, coconut, and walnuts. Stir until all the ingredients have mixed together. In a 9x9in prepared pan, spread the mixture evenly onto the bottom. Refrigerate for about an hour or until the mixture has become firm.

Nanaimo Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Ingredients to make the second, middle layer (photographed above):

-1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

-2 – 3 tablespoons milk or cream

-2 tablespoons vanilla custard powder or vanilla pudding powder

-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

-2 cups powdered sugar

To make the second layer you will need to first beat the butter in an electric mixer (or hand mixer). Once the butter has become smooth and creamy you can go ahead and add the rest of the ingredients. Beat all of the ingredients until the mixture is smooth. Evenly add this mixture on top of the first layer. (Tip: If the mixture is too thick, add some milk). Refrigerate for about 30 minutes or until the second layer has become firm.

Nanaimo Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Ingredients to make the third, top layer (photographed above):

-1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

-1 tablespoon unsalted butter

To make the final layer you will need to put the chocolate chips and butter into a heat-safe bowl. Place this heat-safe bowl over a saucepan of simmering water.  Once it has completely melted, spread the final layer evenly on top.

Nanaimo Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Nanaimo Bars | www.gigglingcaravan.com

I’ve heard there are a bunch of different variations of the Nanaimo bar and after trying this one and falling in love with it I’m eager to try the others. I hope you enjoy this Canadian treat!

DIY ADVENTUROUS GIFT TAGS

DIY ADVENTUROUS GIFT TAGS | See the World... | www.gigglingcaravan.comWe have this book on California that has pages torn and falling out. But since it is filled with all these great images of California, we decided that instead of tossing it out we should keep it for some “reuse DIY” projects. Here is one of those “reuse DIY” projects: a super easy way to create your own gift tags!

DIY ADVENTUROUS GIFT TAGS | See the World... | www.gigglingcaravan.com

DIY ADVENTUROUS GIFT TAGS | See the World... | www.gigglingcaravan.com

DIY ADVENTUROUS GIFT TAGS | See the World... | www.gigglingcaravan.com

You can either cut out your own tag using thick construction paper like we did here or you can buy pre-made tags from a craft store. Cut out an image and glue to it one side of your tag. Let the glue dry completely. Trim down the image to fit the tag. Using a hole puncher, punch a hole on the top side of the tag. Use some decorative string to attach the tag to the gift. Leave a sweet note or an inspirational travel quote on the opposite, plain side of the gift tag.

DIY ADVENTUROUS GIFT TAGS | See the World... | www.gigglingcaravan.com

DIY ADVENTUROUS GIFT TAGS | See the World... | www.gigglingcaravan.com

If you’re looking for more gift wrapping ideas, make sure to check out our DIY Map Decorative Tape post!

You Can Catch Each and Every One of Your Many Dreams

You Can Catch Each and Every One of Your Many Dreams | Free Printable! www.gigglingcaravan.com

You can download our free  You Can Catch Each and Every One of Your Many Dreams here. You can also purchase a larger size of each printable at our shop. Just like our books, a portion of the proceeds from the sale of our prints benefit children charities.

We always LOVE seeing the creative ways you use our printables, so make sure to tag #gigglingcaravan on social media. Also, make sure to keep checking back because there will be plenty of free printables all month long!

I Know a Boy... www.gigglingcaravan.comI Know a Girl... www.gigglingcaravan.com

This printable is inspired by our gift books, I Know a Boy… and I Know a Girl….

Mini Memory Keepsakes

Mini Memory Keepsakes | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Since our next inspirational children’s book, See the World…, is out in only two months, we thought we’d make some  fun travel diys.

Sometimes the souvenirs you bring back with you are a lot more personal than the ones you could buy from the tourist shops- Like a ticket to a museum, a seashell you picked up on a walk along a beach, or some euros for when you go back (Because you’re determined to go back). All of these may be small in size but are not small when it comes to their personal importance. Here’s a fun way to display where you’ve been as well as organize those little memories you brought back with you so you can easily find them and reminisce.

Here’s what you need: A tin-box, paint, and removable sticker letters.

Mini Memory Keepsakes | www.gigglingcaravan.com
Mini Memory Keepsakes | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Take your letter stickers and spell out the state, city or country you want to make a keepsake for. Paint over tin-box, including the letters you have placed down. Once you have added a few layers of paint, let it dry completely. Carefully remove the letters. I found it helpful to have a an exacto knife by my side. That way if the paint wanted to stay attached to the letters I made  small cuts to free the two from each other.

Mini Memory Keepsakes | www.gigglingcaravan.com

What little souvenirs have you brought back from your travels?

Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites

Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites | www.gigglingcaravan.comHere at the studio, we are always looking for ways to get a healthy energy boost so that we can keep making books and prints for you all. These cranberry energy bites sure did the trick! Plus, a little travel themed for our next kiddie book: See the World… out November 2014!Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Ingredients:

- 8oz chopped dates

-1/2 cup honey

-1 tbsp. ground flax seed

-pinch of salt

-1 1/2 cup of (dry) old fashioned oats

-1 cup shelled pistachio nuts

-1 cup dried cranberries

-1/3 cup white chocolate chips

Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites | www.gigglingcaravan.com

Steps:

1. In a food processor, combine the dates, honey, flax seed, and salt.

2. In a large bowl, evenly combine the mixture, oats, pistachios, dried cranberries, and white chocolate chips.

3. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Using a spoon or cookie scoop, shape the cooled mixture into your perfect sized energy bite (these are about an inch in diameter).

Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites| www.gigglingcaravan.com Cranberry Pistachio Energy Bites | www.gigglingcaravan.comEnjoy!