Sunday, June 30, 2013

Backyard "Giant" Matching Game

Are you looking for some outdoor fun with the kids?  Try making your own Backyard Giant Matching Game!   My cousin Shawna made this game, and I loved it so much I had to create one for my daughter.  It was really easy to make.  Just follow the directions below to make your own set!

Rules of the Game

Set the game up in rows as shown above.  One player turns over two tiles.  If the tiles match, that player takes the pair and gets another turn. If the tiles do not match, they are flipped back over and the next player gets a turn.  The winner is the player who has collected the most pairs.


How to Make a Backyard "Giant" Matching Game


Step 1 - Get Vinyl Floor Tiles

I found these vinyl floor tiles at Ollie's (a discount store).  There were 25 in a box for $9.99.  They are like a linoleum tile, so they are bendable and durable.  The tiles are adhesive, so in a later step I will explain how to attach a piece of cardboard to each tile.  Since you need pairs for the matching game, I only used 24 of the tiles.

Step 2 - Paint the Tiles

This is a great project for the kids to help with.  I found six old cans of paint (in fun colors) and painted the tiles.  I painted four tiles each of the different colors.  It took two coats of paint to completely cover the design on the tiles. 

Step 3 - Attach Cardboard

In the first picture above I have one tile turned upside down so that you can see the paper covering the adhesive on the tile.  I cut 24 pieces of cardboard (from old boxes) and attached them to the back of the tiles.  This made the tiles sturdy.  You could also use brown paper if you want the matching pieces to be a bit thinner.

Step 4 - Duct Tape the Edges

In order to give the tiles a finished look, I folded a piece of Duct Tape (in a crazy paint splash color) over the front and back edge of the tiles.  I found the Duct Tape at Dollar General for a couple of dollars.


Step 5 - Get 12 Images

I printed 12 images onto card stock.  The size of each image was roughly 7 x 7.  I used animals, shapes, and silhouettes of my kids' heads.  After printing the images you are going to use, cut them out.


Step 6 - Trace the Images onto the Tiles

Trace each image onto two tiles (remember you need to have pairs) as shown above.


Step 7 - Paint the Images

Paint each of the tiles.  When you are finished you should have 12 pairs of matching tiles.  You are now ready to play your matching game!  Have fun!


The Final Product

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Frame Your Vacation Photos!

I took a vacation to Tulum, Mexico for a destination wedding.  While I was there, I photographed much of the landscape because it was really beautiful.  When I got home and loaded the pictures on my computer I was awestruck by their clarity and color, not to mention the serene feeling that I got from looking at the beautiful sites I was able to see in person that were reflected so accurately in the photographs. 
I do not have any formal photography training, but I do love to experiment with picture-taking.  At the time that I took these photos, I had a pretty nice Sony point-and-shoot camera.  Anyone can take great photos if the setting is good. 

Pictures Taken on the Beach

These photos were taken while walking along the beach at the Dreams Tulum Resort in Tulum, Mexico. It was such a beautiful day! The water and sky looked amazing. I couldn't resist photographing these boats that were docked on the shore. In the photograph with the two boats, I also got a corner of a tiki hut that was situated on the beach.

I had the pictures printed in 5 x 7 sizes and then framed them in white frames with white matting. I thought the pictures would look great in my spare bathroom which is painted a tropical blue color. I hung the two pictures side by side on one wall in the bathroom, as you can see in the picture below.

Pictures Taken at the Tulum Ruins

One day we decided to take an excursion to see the Mayan Ruins in Tulum.  I find the stories and architecture of these ancients civilizations to be so intriguing and fascinating.  I took several pictures of the landscape because the ruins are located right next to the Caribbean Sea.  In the picture below, we were standing at a high point at the ruins.  There was a stairway where people could walk down to the beach.  We stayed at the top and enjoyed the gorgeous view.  I snapped a couple of pictures of these two rock formations with the turquoise ocean peeking in between.
I also photographed the Tulum Temple of the Frescoes (shown below).  The Temple still has the remains of red frescoes on the interior, which you can see when peering in from the outside.  It is really incredible!

I then printed the two pictures taken at the Tulum Ruins in size 5 x 7 and framed them in the same white frames used for the pictures on the beach, which are shown above.  I also hung these photographs in my spare bathroom.  The pictures look like professional photographs that I would have purchased somewhere, but the only cost to me was the frames and the printing, which were not expensive.  Check out the final product below...
The following photographs were also taken at the Tulum Ruins.  This one is another picture of the landscape from high on the rocks.  I thought the single red flower on the rocky cliff overlooking the Caribbean was very beautiful. 
This is a picture of El Castillo de Tulum.  This is the main castle on the site of the ruins.  I love the contrast of the green grass and the cloudy sky.  The castle looks very beautiful.

I printed the two pictures in an 8 x 10 size on metallic paper, which gave them a really cool sheen. I then framed the pictures in dark brown frames and hung them in the hallway in my house.  As you can see in the picture below, I hung the pictures vertically because the wall in my hallway has a slight angle.  The space where these pictures are hanging is between the angle and closet door.  They look nice hanging vertically in that small space.