Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Tic, Tac Toe Buddy Gifts

Last week my friend Brandi explained to me a DIY project she had seen on Small Fry Blog…sounded easy, yet super adorable and unique! I knew I had to share…

DIY TIC TAC TOE Buddy Gift By: Brandi {Inspired by Small Fry Blog}
A couple of my friends had mentioned the Small Fry blog to me, and I finally had a chance to check it out last week (seriously adorable!).  That day’s post was about inexpensive buddy gifts for children or families to give their little friends, and I loved the simplicity of their ideas, and of course, the thought behind it!

Let’s be honest, my holiday to-do list has me running in a million different directions right now, but their individual Tic-Tac-Toe games were just easy enough that I knew my first grader and I could whip them out in an afternoon and have them ready to hand out at his Christmas party later this week.  Quality together time + hammering home the “giving is more than receiving” value = a total parenting win!!!

What you’ll need (yes, you still have time to make this happen for your little buddies for Christmas, too!):

-Mardi Gras beads
-Glassine bags
-Computer & printer
-Photo paper or cardstock
-Paper cutter, optional
-Ruler or straight edge
-Washi tape, sticker, or label

1.  Cut the strands of Mardi Beads into individual beads, sorting and dividing by color.  My 7 year old was able to do this unassisted, and my 4 year old managed to do some cutting, too, with my supervision.  We separated the colors into plastic bags, and I will admit to taking about 75 unnecessary pictures of the beads in various locations in my house, just because they looked.so.cool.  I couldn’t stop!  Don’t worry about the little strands that stick out on either side of the bead; those bothered me at first, and I wanted to go back in with tiny scissors and trim them off, but they actually serve a purpose and help the beads stay in their spot on the Tic Tac Toe board!

2.  The original Small Fry Tic Tac Toe board had an acorn on it, making it look kind of autumnal, so I made my own as a Word document, replacing the acorn with a snowflake.  I printed 3 to a page, using photo paper I already had.

3.  I used a paper cutter to cut the boards out into “squares.”  I use this term loosely because none of the boards are exactly the same size, and I’m sure they aren’t perfectly even.  I’m totally okay with that J

4.  Trying to figure out how to print the actual Tic Tac Toe board on the reverse side of the paper was going to require way more brain power than I felt like devoting to this project, so I simply drew them by hand using a black Sharpie and a ruler.  Again, they aren’t perfect.  Just letting this go, friends.

5.  I slid the board into the glassine bags, dropping in 4 beads of 3 different colors so that each player would have enough of one color to use for his or her game pieces.  When I was finished and saw that I had plenty of leftover beads, I put about 10 more beads in each bag because I thought it looked nice. 

6.   I cut about 4 inches off the top of the bag so they would fold nicely, and we sealed them with a label.  This is another great opportunity for your child to get involved by writing a personal message or signing his name.

Thanks to Small Fry for the wonderful idea, and to my friends for turning me onto their goodness!  This is the perfect gift for classroom parties or to keep by the door when little buddies and neighbors stop by.  I love the idea of starting the love and appreciation for homemade gifts at a young age!

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