Kid Craft: Finding Dory Dioramas

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FamilyMovieWithKleenex #CollectiveBias

Kids everywhere will LOVE this #FindingDory under the sea craft - making interactive dioramas they can play with and display. #FamilyMovieWithKleenex #ad

I remember something my little sister said last year that made me beam for days.

She was pregnant and it was a winter night, with the sunset creeping ever closer to afternoon, and we had about eight minutes to do a maternity shoot. Somehow we managed it, in the near dark, and I later handed (emailed) over her pictures. “I’ll do newborn ones too!” I said, because of course I would do that for my sister. And that’s when she said it. She said, “Man, having a photographer for a sister is so clutch.” I couldn’t stop beaming. I was so happy she had noticed!

Finding Dory

Now I’m going to tell you how I use the term. “Having an art teacher for a mom is SO CLUTCH.” I probably don’t sound as cool as my sister did, but that’s ok. The thing is clutch. My mom has been an artist/art teacher for about 40 years now. She expresses her thoughts, opinions, experiences and DREAMS through art. I used to be her art assistant and I’ve taken note of the projects the kids really took to the most, and I use them with my own kids. It amazes me how imaginative they are.

Finding Dory

I should know now how that my kids are highly interested in expressing themselves through art.

(I love his art face)

We saw Finding Dory when it came out, and it was the first movie Des ever saw in 3D, and only the second time for me! I had been worried it would be too much stimulation for him, or more honestly – for me – but it was really dreamy. We felt like we were underwater the entire time we watched the movie! For weeks when I explained it to people, I wanted so badly to be able to capture that dreamy, underwater feeling I had for the full 1-2 hours. We laughed together. We cried together.

We were underwater together.

We stayed at my parent’s house for Christmas and had a full day with time to relax. This means staying in pajamas until at least 3:00pm, assuming you’re getting dressed at all, and finding fun art projects for the kids. Not only is my mom an artist and art teacher to children, she has made a name for herself making exquisite and detailed dioramas. They tell stories, emotions, and experiences. They show moments in time. Both adults and kids love to express themselves with dioramas.

This tutorial will show you how to make a Finding Dory undersea experience with just a shoe box, or any cardboard box. My mom’s students have loved to make dioramas for decades now. It requires some adult help – like cutting out the sides of the box to look like a fish tank, and using spray paint in a safe spot. And kids often need help with threading the fish to look like they’re “swimming” but mostly – this project is all about imagination & wonder. The diorama becomes a whole world:

(Scarlet has informed me that the turtle is upside down here! Sleeping)

What You Need:

Shoebox or spare box left over from the holidays
An X-ACTO blade/knife or something like that
Blue cellophane, and if you don’t have that – plastic wrap will do
Model Magic in several colors – bought in many craft/box stores
Rolling pin (this is optional but Des loves it)
Silver or blue spray paint, or even paint/brushes if you’re up for the task
Construction paper scraps to make sea creatures (optional)
Googly eyes (also optional because kids can make eyes out of model magic)
Toothpicks, sticks to help mold clay, plates to work on, etc.

What You Do:

1 – Get the kids started with modeling the sea creatures. We keep ours in separate sealed bags so they don’t dry out, and we don’t mix colors. Use strong scissors to cut strips of the colors the kids want to use for their undersea adventures.



2 – Meanwhile, ready your box! Use the X-ACTO knife to cut out three sides of the box, to make it an open and interactive project. The sides are where you will stick blue cellophane or even clear plastic wrap when your box is ready.

3 – Next, it’s time for painting. My mom and I went out on a porch and sprayed over newspaper. You can also choose to hand-paint the box, or have your children paint the box. We chose silver, but I’m sure that blue would be a nice look too.

4 – Now it’s time to attach the blue cellophane (or plastic wrap) across the cut-out parts of the box to give it an aquarium look. You can use a glue stick or even rubber cement. Kids use glue sticks or paste if they’re doing this part.

5 – Model Magic takes 24 hours to dry so we wait. Then using toothpicks, you can stick thread or string through your sea creatures and tape or glue them to the top of the diorama. You can also glue or tape in construction paper creations.

Then you have to decide how to decorate your home with your new diorama!

Speaking of decorating the house, I was at BJ’s Wholesale Club a few days ago, stocking up on supplies for the FOUR houseguests we’re having from now until January, when I came across the most adorable little girl in a shopping cart. “Hi!” She kept saying. She had a cold and her dad was buying her supplies. They were buying Kleenex® Finding Dory Tissue Box Designs and she was so happy. As I walked along the store during my shopping trip, I kept hearing her say, “Hi!” to everyone she saw. It’s the little things, isn’t it? I ran back to that aisle to get a box (or several) of my own:

Kleenex® are soft, strong, and absorbent – as always. My kids are pretty happy to decorate our home with these Dory and friends designs, and to take them wherever we go. They’re perfect for houseguests too!

We’re going to snuggle up with our houseguests and our tissues, and watch our new favorite movie! Right now if you buy any Kleenex® packaging, you can upload your receipt and get a free movie rental! I can’t wait to enjoy the next week or so of holiday vacation. Kleenex® have a perfect balance of softness and strength, are also durable with their 2-ply thickness, and are also absorbent to lock in moisture. They’re essential for makeup smudges, sniffles and sneezes, & messy faces!

Connect with Kleenex and BJ’s Wholesale!

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Ten Brilliant Car Cleaning & Organization Hacks

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StickItToLint #CollectiveBias

Although Cassidy is generous with letting me drive his gorgeous new car when I need a getaway, generally it makes more sense for me to drive the “Family Car” – in all of its glory – while he drives the newer, cleaner, less dog-hairy car.

Think that car cleaning and organization has to be hard and time-consuming? Think again! These hacks will have it sparkling in no time at all. #StickItToLint

My car is the messy, imperfect, charming minivan. I’m not saying I’m the cleanest person in the world, but I do tend to get overwhelmed by clutter and dirt. My car is the hardest place to kep clean – with its endless influx of kids and pets and food, and then more kids and pets and food. There’s soccer cleats dirt. Pet hair from rides to the vet or the dog park. Crackers!

Toys, wrappers, papers, love. All of it and more.

Every now and then, Cassidy and the kids vacuum out the car and then take it to the car wash for an interior and exterior deep cleaning. I love that. The car comes back home smelling so wonderful, and the cleanliness and organization lasts about a week. Tops! That’s why I love hacks. They are designed to make your life easier without costing too much, or taking too much time. Generally they can be done by using things you already have around the house – and some of them are so smart and easy, I can even clean the car often. We did a wonderful cleaning for back to school time, using these smart hacks:

Scotch-Brite™ Lint Rollers. These are wonderful! We use the Scotch-Brite™ Printed Lint Roller – to bring creativity and fun to our household – and because Scarlet picked it out! There are designs on every sheet. We also use the Scotch-Brite™ 50% Stickier Lint Roller – which is great for pet hair and crumbs, and has 50% more adhesive to grab more than just lint and hair. There are bonus sheets available on this product. I keep one of each in the car and I use them daily for many soft surfaces.

Floor Mats. I use the Scotch-Brite™ 50% Stickier Lint Roller on all the seats and floor mats. Once the crumbs, hair and dirt is gone, you can spray mats with stain remover, and even throw them in the washing machine. They come out great:

Use a toothbrush. Use a toothbrush to get crumbs and dirt out from in between your seat cushions, or between your car seats and seat cushions. After you are done, then use the Scotch-Brite™ 50% Stickier Lint Roller to clean them up.

Use the foam brush/paint brush/vacuum combo. Use a paint brush or foam brush to dust between the AC vents, and to clean your car’s knobs and dials. Then vacuum up the dust as you brush so it doesn’t settle elsewhere in the car.

Sponge or eraser. These can be great to scrub sticky things off of vinyl and leather!

Wipers! Wipe down your windshield wipers with rubbing alcohol wipes to prevent smears.

My favorite? The Scotch-Brite™ Printed Lint Roller makes such a difference in our car, just like it does in-home. It’s wonderful for so many soft surfaces – like clothing, upholstery, carpeting, car mats, furniture, etc. It fits easily in the car and can get to places a vacuum can’t. Bonus is just to have it around anyway – cleaning or not – because we have two pets and I like to wear a lot of dark colors that pick up fur. Another wonderful use for the lint roller is to get my purse and diaper bag ready for the day. I don’t know about yours, but mine tend to accumulate cookie crumbs, shredded tissues and dust. The lint roller makes everything as good as new. I tend to keep two in the car, one in the diaper bag, and a few in the house.

In order to keep your car clean, or make it easier to clean, we also employ a few organizational hacks:

  • A backseat car organizer

  • Using shower caddies that stick to passenger windows to store kid art supplies, snacks, toys, and drinks

  • A car trashcan

  • A dog seat cover and a towel in the car for post-muddy walks

  • A car cooler for road trips

  • Sealed, plastic baggies full of activity, snack, and first-aid “kits”

  • An empty gum container for loose change

  • Silicone muffin tins at the bottom of cup holders

  • Shower caps for dirty shoes

  • Storing plastic grocery bags in a tissue box

At my Walmart, I found Scotch-Brite™ Lint Rollers in the Cleaning Aisle:

Visit this site for more great ideas and inspiration from Scotch-Brite. How do you organize or clean your car? Do you have any tips, tricks, and hacks that help keep your car clean and organized, and ready for whatever the day holds for your family?

Think that car cleaning and organization has to be hard and time-consuming? Think again! These hacks will have it sparkling in no time at all.

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At Walmart