Kids Crafts for Autumn: Hanging Leaves

Originally posted in 2012 - re-posting in 2021 because it's still a pretty cool and simple craft idea!

When the kids were little it seemed our house was filled with Autumn decorations.  Handmade by small children, it seems they came home with a new craft daily from their respective schools.  As they got older and made less school crafts, it was fun to buy decorations to supplement and/or plan our own crafts to do at home.

Whether or not you have kids, this is a craft I think would be fun for any age.  Plus, it doesn't have that goofy knick-knack feel to it (where you are left wondering where to put something) - it hangs beautifully from anywhere, alleviating  the need to find 'another' place on the mantel.

This mobile mimics fluttering foliage — minus the raking. Collect leaves with intact stems and press in a heavy book for a few days.


  • Wrap twine or ribbon around an 18-inch embroidery or craft hoop; secure ends with hot glue. 
  • Tie eight 3-foot-long waxed strings at even intervals around it, attaching pine cones at the bottoms as weights. 
  • Knot the string around each leaf's stem, spacing randomly. 
  • Secure hoop to a ceiling hook using twine






If you've read my previous post(s) about trying to find a cover for a very old Samsung tablet (circa 2012 maybe? A LONG time ago.) I finally GAVE UP and made my own.  I had tried off and on for probably a year or two to find one that would fit and it was almost impossible.  I checked all the obvious places - including Samsung's site, Best Buy, online at Walmart.com, Target.com, in retail stores like TJMaxx, etc.  And of course I obviously spent hours upon hours at Amazon reading through descriptions, reviews, looking at photos....

Here is part of the post on when I finally made my own - which barely touched on the frustration I had with trying to find a cover I KNEW would fit.

"I went online and found some at Amazon but after a while my head was swimming with the conflicting information on sizes.   There are SO MANY different tablets and readers available now than ever before, and they are all different sizes.  The problem is that my tablet is OLD so it's not even listed.  I had the exact measurements of my device but even that got confusing as the exact item by two or three different sellers found some saying it would fit and others saying it would not."


My self-made cover was good and I was happy with it, but I still wanted a legit tablet cover if I could ever find one (I had pretty much given up).  AND THEN I FOUND ONE!!!

I found it on Amazon - and here is the information directly from the listing.... 


Case Compatible with Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 P3110 / P3100 - PU Leather and Canvas Cover with Stand Feature - Black/Brown Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 P3110 / P3100  

  • COMPATIBILITY: Made to fit Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 P3110 / P3100 / P3113
  • MIXED MATERIAL: Made of synthetic leather and textile fabric for a trendy look and protects your tablet from dirt, dust, scratches and fingerprints
  • FULL PROTECTION: Slim and durable cover protects against shocks, falls, bumps and drops
  • STAND FUNCTION: Place tablet in landscape view to watch movies and videos comfortably. Just sit, relax and enjoy!
  • EASY ACCESS: Precise cutouts on flip case enable easy access to all buttons, ports and camera 
  •  8.78 x 7.23 x 0.71 inches



Here are some photos I snapped of my tablet in this cover. 
It has the flip case capability I know a lot of people like as they use their tablet to watch movies, surf the net, etc.  I don't care about that as I literally only use this tablet as my ereader.  As a matter of fact, the flip capability is a small "con" for me as I would have preferred it to be solid - like a hardcover book. I know I could remedy this by using some sticky velcro on the back of the reader and the cover to hold the 'half fold' solidly in place.

But for anyone who wants it to 'stand' for movies, or to read a recipe online while they cook, etc., yes it has it.  


Here is a close up of the stitching on the cover....




It has a cut out for the photo lens in the back as well!


It's a canvas material on top with a fake leather strip across the bottom.  There are button covers built in and the only thing I can think of that is a 'con' (but barely) is the power button is hard to operate with this cover.  I did read a reviewer cut out the power button to make it easier to access and press; which I totally 'get' because I've done the same thing on a couple of my cell phone covers that made it hard or impossible to press the power or volume buttons.  However, this one doesn't bother me enough yet to cut it out with an exacto-knife - but it would be very simple to do.

At the time of this posting the cover is just under $15.  I'm THRILLED I finally found a cover after so, so long searching. 


One Dozen Homemade Soy Candles for My Emergency Storage! (Super cheap and easy) Original post 2014, reposted 2021

Posted March 2014
Reposting August 2021

Spring has sprung!  And with it comes horrible thunderstorms, tornadoes, straight-line winds, downed trees and power outages!  Prepared as I am with flashlights, solar battery power, inverters, a generator, etc. to power our laptop computer, cellphones, and a small tv; but a nice stock of candles was something on my 'to do' list for the past year. 

Now, I could have bought a bunch of cheap candles at the store, but what I wanted was a good quality, long lasting candle without funky or cheap fragrances.  Dollar store candles burn QUICKLY and last barely 2 hours.  I wanted something that would burn for a long time and burn clean.  Thus, my reasoning for looking into homemade soy candles.  Good quality, but by making them myself I could pay about $1.50 per candle verses the $10-18 a retail store would want.

I didn't follow any recipe or worry about how others make theirs - I simply thought about it, and got creative with what I wanted and how to do it.  Someone might have a better idea how to do part of it but I'm thrilled with how they turned out as well as my process and I do plan on doing another dozen the same way next month.

First:  I chose cheap canning jars I bought at Walmart (2014).  Reposting this in 2021 it's more difficult to find canning jars, lids and rings now but they are still out there.  Remember you don't need a brand name canning jar/lids because these are not coming in contact with your food, nor being used in a pressure canner, etc.  Cheap is fine for candles.  But also, you don't need jars if you can't find them.  Use any glass containers or re-use old candle containers that are gone.  Also: if you can find old canning jars but no lids or rings that's fineThe lids and rings were just for holding the wick up while the wax hardened, and for storage anyway.  All you really need is a sturdy glass container.

Second:  The wax.  Cheap wax burns cheap.  It burns FAST. I wanted a decent, clean burning wax that would last many hours and burn bright but burn slow.  I also wanted enough wax to make unscented emergency candles as well as homemade scented candles for daily use so a good quality 'scent throwing' soy wax is what I looked for. 

Third:  Wicks.  Boy did I have to research these.  Oh, I found them quick enough, but I had no idea there were so many CHOICES in wicks.  I went to Walmart, Michael's and Target on a search for wicks and ended up ordering two different sizes from Amazon - that were pre-cut and pre-inserted in metal disks.  I bought a bag of large and a bag of medium.  In the end, I used medium for my canning jar candles and I'm very happy with my results.  The large were used for the 'recycled' candles I made in larger containers. 

Fourth:  OTHER STUFF.  These are things I used in making the candles.  I sat and stared at the candles and thought about how to put everything together and this is the process I came up with.  You can do them however you wish!  Basically you are going to melt the wax (double boiler, microwave, up to you!).  Pour the wax.  Add the wicks.  Keep them straight while the candle hardens.  Seal and store.

Wax (some links below)
Jars or containers
Wicks and metal disks to help them stand and stay stationary as the candle burns (links below)
Hot glue gun
Glass container to melt the wax in or a bowl if you use a double boiler
Nail or screw to punch hole in lid (IF YOU WANT - optional - you'll see in a moment)

Use the hot glue gun to adhere the metal disk to the bottom of the jar. Thread the wick into a straw for easy placement.

Using the straw to put the wick in place on the hot glue dab.

I decided to punch a hole in the lid to hold the wicks stationary during setting up.

I also swapped out the new, nice lids for some old canning lids I had. No reason to waste the 'new' lids on candles.

I simply poured wax flakes into a container and microwaved it until half melted, then stirred until it all melted.

I put the lids on with the wick threaded through to hold it in place while the candle hardens.

This worked perfectly!  The wicks were straight and perfect.

After the candle set up I trimmed the wicks down.

This is the wicks and soy wax flakes.  I bought 10 lbs.  I used about half of it.  So, just under 5 pounds made just over a dozen (12) candles.

You might be interested in products related to this post, available through Amazon;

Hearth & Harbor Natural Soy Wax and DIY Candle Making Supplies -10 Lbs Soy Candle Wax Flakes w/ 100 Cotton Wicks, 2 Metal Centering Devices  


100pcs/lot Candle Wicks for Candle Making - Coated with Natural Soy Wax, Low Smoke - Cotton Threads Woven with Paper - Candle DIY (6 inch)   



American Soy Organics- 10 lb of Freedom Soy Wax Beads for Candle Making – Microwavable Soy Wax Beads – Premium Soy Candle Making Supplies



American Soy Organics Millennium Wax - 5 lb Bag of Natural Soy Wax for Candle Making






My 'homemade' tablet (ereader) 'book' cover: looks like a real book but it's really my Samsung Galaxy ereader with a Kindle app on it

Homemade vintage book looking tablet ereader cover
Looks like a book - it's really my Samsung Galaxy tablet


Years ago, my husband got me a Samsung Galaxy tablet.  At the time I went into a Best Buy store and bought a cover for it at random - not realizing there were certain styles and sizes that only worked with certain brands or sizes but I got lucky and basically, it fit.  I loved it because it looked similar to a travel journal - it wasn't a cover that screamed out "I'm an electronic device!"

I used this cover for years and years and it was well worn and loved (remember the Velveteen Rabbit and how fur was loved off through the years?  That.)  

But I desperately needed a new cover as it was worn so thin on the edges it was almost ready to rip and the outside was so worn, the fabric was threadbare in places.   I went online to find another of 'my' covers only to find out they were no longer available.  Sadly, nothing close to it was available - which was ok because I had a second choice. 

I wanted a cover that looked like a real book. 

I went online and found some at Amazon but after a while my head was swimming with the conflicting information on sizes.   There are SO MANY different tablets and readers available now than ever before, and they are all different sizes.  The problem is that my tablet is OLD so it's not even listed.  I had the exact measurements of my device but even that got confusing as the exact item by two or three different sellers found some saying it would fit and others saying it would not.  When I found reviewers that had my exact item and I knew it would fit and work... the seller didn't have the style cover I wanted or would be happy with.

Finally one day I just decided to make my own.

It was simple really.

The most difficult part was just finding a book that was the right size, that I was willing to part with.

It just so happened, we had a random book that I had bought about 15 years ago that wasn't good and I hadn't read it since.  No one had opened it in 14 years and I have no idea why we even still had it other than it got shoved into a moving box when we moved and never 'donated' anywhere.

It was the perfect size.  

I used an exacto-knife and a razor blade to simply slice the book from the cover down either side of the spine (on the inside).  This left me with the hardcover (and the book is still readable if I wish - it's just a binded book of pages with no cover.)

➨Originally I thought I'd have to put a large piece of Velcro on the back of my tablet and adhere another piece on the inside of the back book cover to attach my tablet but on second thought, I decided to use my current tablet cover and just glue that to the book cover.  (THIS IS AN IDEA FOR ANY READERS THAT DON'T HAVE AN OLD COVER TO WORK WITH).

Because I still had my old, worn cover, I just glued it to the inside of the book cover!

If any readers decide to do this here are some helps:

1)  Test the size of the cover not only for height and width but the thickness as well.  It can't be a short, skinny little 200 page book if your tablet/kindle/reader is thicker than the spine of the book.

2)  I first tried to use a soft-cover book!  The first book I found that was the correct size was a soft cover, which I thought would be fine.  I removed the book and glued it to the tablet cover but the glue was not drying well and the spine stayed soggy and started to soak through the cover.  I used it for about a week and wasn't happy with it so I ripped it off and cut off the parts that were already dried solid.  That's why there is a bit of leftover paper on the edge of my tablet cover in the photos.  USE A HARD COVER not a soft-cover.

3)  I used superglue and wood glue first thinking they would be the strongest but surprise - they weren't.  They only lasted about a week or so before they were dried and popping off.  I then used a SPRAY ADHESIVE and it's worked perfectly.  I've been using my tablet daily for about a month and the adhesive is still absolutely perfect and holding well. 


If you like the idea of a 'real' book cover for your ereader or tablet but you aren't sure you want to go through the hassle of making one or you know you don't have a book that will fit, there are many options on Amazon;  here are just 3 but there are tons more as well.  All different styles, including many with fake 'titles'.

Wonder Wild Case Compatible with Apple iPad Retro Book 5th 6th Generation Retro Mini 1 2 3 4 Air 2 Pro 10.5 12.9 11 10.2 9.7 in Cover Vintage Ancient Old Leather Skin Binding Adult Gift Golden Imprint





Verso Prologue Cover for iPad (all generations), Samsung Galaxy Tab & Note, Motorola Xoom, HP TouchPad, Acer Iconia, Lenovo Idea Pad, Asus Transformer & LG Optimus 




Samsill Vintage Hardback Universal 9 Inch - 10 Inch Tablet Cases for iPad and Android Tablets - Tan (35027)





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