Campfire Wishing Stones Craft

One of the best ways to keep kids entertained while camping is to have a great stash of camp crafts ready to make.These “wishing stones” are made with melted crayons, and no two are ever the same.


Find some smooth stones on your nature scavenger hunt, or bring some with you, along with a handful of crayons. This is a great way to use up all those broken pieces.


Have an adult place your stones in the fire coals to heat. We like to use kitchen tongs for adding and removing stones.  While the stones are heating, have the kids peel any wrappers off the crayons.


Remove stones from fire and place on paper towel or plate.  Press crayons against hot stones to melt wax. Make lines, dots, flowers, or whatever your imagination desires.

*Safety note:  kids should use paper towel or plate to turn stones, not fingers. Stones are hot!


Experiment with metallic, shimmery, and other types of crayons, they all melt with different effects.  Let stones cool and wax harden before touching.

20140719-165551-60951938.jpgFor bonus fun, before crayon wax hardens, sprinkle wishing stones with glow-in-the-dark glitter.  “Charge” glitter with a flashlight for glowing nighttime entertainment and extra-special wishes.

Thanks for stopping by!  For more fab camping crafts, check out the rest of the posts on this month’s Craft Lightning series.


Travel Bingo for Kids

When I was a kid, we vacationed in a series of Griswold-worthy road trips.  Each was complete with side trips to see local “largest ball of twine” style landmarks and random unscheduled detours, all in our wood paneled Buick station wagon with luggage on top.  Niagara Falls, Mackinac Island, Philadelphia, Hershey PA, Myrtle Beach, Disney, and every Midwestern destination between…we did them all.

Confession:  Some of those road trips I remember more than the vacation destination itself.

Free printable travel bingo game for kids from

Printable Travel Bingo for Kids


We played the license plate game, and searched for the letters of the alphabet, but our favorite was always Travel Bingo.  There would be a new list each trip, filled with some old favorites and more new items to find.  The only problem was that in the early road trip years, my sister couldn’t read yet.  So before we could start, I had to sketch little pictures of each one.   Pure torture for a kid waiting to play!

It also would have been great if Mom could draw.  But her genius in making staring out a car window into a fun game makes up for it.

Free Printable Travel Bingo for Kids

Make family memories with Travel Bingo.

In the spirit of the traditional family road trip, I made a Printable Travel Bingo game for kids in those younger age groups to play along with older siblings and parents.  I included pictures for pre-readers, and added labels for kids beginning to connect words together.  Just download and print as many as you need.  Find just one row or the whole sheet, depending on the length of your trip.

Free printable Travel Bingo for Kids from

For those with older kids, I have a separate Printable Travel Scavenger Hunt for tweens and teens.  A little sillier (and a wee bit icky), it’s a fun way to convince them to turn off the electronics for a while and join in the family fun. Note: in our version of the game, each person finds his/her own item on the list, and finds must be verified by another passenger.  It lets us all use the same sheet, and keeps everyone honest.  (More on the rules we use in the tween post.)

Use printable Travel Bingo to entertain younger children on road trips.  Free from

Play Travel Bingo on your next road trip.

I hope you enjoy our traditional travel bingo, and wish you a bunch of silly family road trip memories!

Thanks for stopping by!

Time to Shine” Inspiration Notes

Ranging from free to a few dollars, updating home decor using art printables is inexpensive and convenient.  Customizing your printables is easy as well.  In a few minutes, you can add a bit of sparkle and show your personality.

"Shine" printable inspiration image.  Free on

Shine” printable image from Carla Schauer

I like using 4×6″ art printables to tuck into vignettes or use on smaller shelves and tables.  They are also fun to swap out every once in a while to keep decor fresh and interesting .

Add sparkle to printable art.  Printable available on

Look closely to see sparkly letters.

I added some sparkle to my “Time to Shine” printables using Clearsnap Smooch Iridescent Accent Ink.  While it is not as easy to see in photographs, the “shine” text shimmers nicely in the light.  It’s a little detail that makes a big impact.

Inspirational printables in two color options, free on

Turquoise or fuchsia color options.

You can download these 4×6 “Time to Shine” Inspirational Printables and add your own sparkle using Smooch or glitter glue.  Just a fun little freebie because I like you.  And because everyone needs a day to shine.  :D

Thanks for stopping by!


DIY Fairy House

You know how some DIY projects seem to take on a life of their own even though they seemed simple at the start?  That’s what happened with this fairy house I made from an unfinished wood birdhouse.  By the time I was finished, I had added a balcony, a handmade wind chime, and a split log bench.

DIY Fairy House with stone roof and clay flowers, from

Finished Fairy house


I started with a plain, ordinary unfinished birdhouse. I chose this one because it had a set of hinged doors at the bottom, which meant I didn’t have to build them.  (Bonus!)  I started by painting the house brown, the roof green, and the doors white, using Americana Patio Paint.

I had envisioned some clay sunflowers along the side of the house. Fairy garden accessories hadn’t become widely available when I made my house, so I made what I needed from Sculpey clay.  I cut out the petals with a small teardrop shaped cutter, freehand cut and formed the leaves, and extruded the stems, then baked the clay and glued the flowers to the side of the house. The flower center texture was made using the tip of a closed pen pressed into flattened clay circles.

Fairy House with Clay Sunflowers, from Carla Schauer Designs

Fairy House Clay Sunflowers


Then I decided to add a climbing vine along the front corner to add some detail to the other side of the house.  More extruded green clay made the vines, with small bits that I flattened and shaped to make leaves.  A tiny flower cutter created the pink flowers, which I curved around my pinkie finger for a little dimension.  I shaped the vines, estimating where they would go, baked the clay, and glued everything in place after the clay cooled.

Clay climbing flower vines for DIY fairy house on

Fairy House Climbing Flower Vines


You’d think after spending a night shaping clay flowers I’d be ready to streamline the rest of the process, but no.  

My fairy house had clay flowers, but only a plain wooden roof that didn’t look very natural.  I plucked some tiny rocks from my landscaping, glued them to the roof, and filled in the spaces between rocks using model tree foliage.

The roof helped it look more woodsy, but I still had a big hole in the front, making the house look more bird than fairy.  I decided to cover it with a little door made of sticks and a flower bead doorknob.  Perfect!  No more bird hole!  Except that I couldn’t get past the door opening into nothingness, so I built a balcony from small square wood dowels painted to match the house and glued it under the door.

DIY fairy house balcony and door from Carla Schauer Designs

DIY fairy house balcony and door.


So by now, after painting, clay flowers, clay vines, door and balcony, you might think I’d be finished.  But nope.  I couldn’t stop there.  My fairy house needed a whimsical windchime! 

So I made one from tiny aluminum pipe, turquoise wire, and a cute little mushroom charm as the top.  A flower charm and green bead made an ideal striker.

At this point, I think my family started questioning my sanity.  Especially when I started searching the yard for a fallen branch the right diameter for the split log bench I NEEDED for the side of the fairy house, and digging through our leftover landscaping slate for a base.

Fairy house split log bench, from Carla Schauer Designs

Split log bench in one of the other locations.

But it all worked, and I love it.  After moving it several times through that summer, this fairy house now lives indoors, adding its whimsy to my family room while protecting it from the elements.  This summer’s plans include a smaller scale complete fairy garden near the back patio.

I can’t wait to get obsessed started!

Thanks for stopping by!