5 Minute Memory Makers

One of the big problems with being a slob, and a mom, is that a house out of control can make you feel overwhelmed, and the overwhelmed feeling can keep you from doing the neat little projects that you read about and want to do with your kids.

So having the house under better control helps so much in my being willing to tackle a project. But also, I have to remember that with three young kids, most of these projects only actually last a few minutes. They’re just not able to sit for hours creating crafty masterpieces. But, I’m also amazed at how much they remember from year to year. My 6 and 7 year olds sometimes surprise me by talking about “traditions” we have that I remember as flops.

So here are three ultra fast projects that we did yesterday. Yes, all of them were yesterday, and each only took a few minutes.

First, we made gifts for family members. I received a rice bag when my second was born. We all love it. You just pop it in the microwave for about 45 seconds at a time, and the rice heats up and holds its heat pretty well. It’s safer than a heating pad, and feels so good since it conforms to your achy spot. I had thought that we might make these for family members this year, even though that would mean unearthing the sewing machine that’s stored in the garage. I mentioned my idea at a mom’s group meeting, and someone there had done this before but used knee socks to put them in, and deer corn instead of rice. The ones with deer corn can be put in the freezer, and then can also be a cold pack. Enough deer corn to fill eight socks is a lot cheaper. About 5.49 for a 40 lb bag (found in the hunting section at Walmart). And the knee socks mean almost no sewing, plus they wrap around the back of your neck perfectly.

I cut the top off of an empty 2 liter bottle and used it as a funnel to fill the ultra cute knee-high socks I bought. Then I just tied off the tops. We’re also going to sew up the tops, and the boys are very excited about that.

The 2nd project was one that I read about on a blog that I can’t find now. Grrr. If anyone knows where the instructions were, let me know. Anyway, I bought plastic ball ornaments and strung them on a wire hanger. The kids loved putting the balls on the hanger, and I must say that this is a VERY gorgeous wreath. Hubby was quite impressed.
Here’s the link to instructions at Eddie Ross.

Last but not least was something that I have wanted to do for a long time. I heard an idea at a moms’ group about 6 years ago to use an old sheet as a tablecloth for Thanksgiving dinner. Pass out sharpie markers and have everyone write something they’re thankful for and their name and the year. Then you can use the same tablecloth each year and add to it. I’ve never felt like I could do this because I usually don’t have Thanksgiving at our house. But I happened to see a white sheet that I had put in the garage sale pile. And then I remembered this idea and realized that for the past two years, we have just gone somewhere else on Thanksgiving day, so we’re home the night before. I decided that this would be our Thanksgiving Eve dinner tradition. I don’t know that we’ll have tator tot casserole EVERY Thanksgiving Eve, but we might.

I do have to add that on this one, I was glad we did it on our garage-sale, beat-up-but-perfectly-fine breakfast table rather than on our dining room table. The sharpie markers did bleed through onto the table. Since our table has a tile top, it wiped off, but it probably wouldn’t have come off of my dining table. You could probably cover the table with newspaper underneath the tablecloth, but of course that would make this 5 minute project turn into an 8 minute one.

The kids were so excited to get to write on the tablecloth, and I loved seeing what they were thankful for, although I’m pretty sure that my kindergartner decided to be thankful for things he knew he could spell.
I’m linking this up to Works for Me Wednesday. Go check out lots of great ideas!

I’m also linking up this (rather old) post to Have a Handmade Christmas over at Proverbs 31 Living.


  1. I absolutely LOVE the knee sock rice bags! Amazing idea! When I first saw them, I thought they were draft stoppers for the bottom of doors – and I thought I could make some for that purpose as well!

    I think I will have the kids make these for gifts for the grandparents :)

    I'm a slob too. I've been decluttering up a storm this week! We have a very embarrassing 20+ bags of garbage on the curb today. But I feel oh so accomplished!

    Best of luck!



  2. Sherry, my husband takes strange pride in having LOTS of garbage bags on trash day. He'd be very jealous of your 20. Go you!

  3. AngiePangie says:

    I made the wreath, too! It's at EddieRoss.com, which I found via getyourmarthaon.blogspot.com. I would post a direct link, but cut/paste doesn't seem to work here.

    I am following your journey – it helps keep me motivated and it also helps to know I'm not alone. =)

  4. Anonymous says:

    I know this is from a year ago. But what about putting down a piece of plastic under the table cloth to keep the marker from getting on the table under it? You can buy a piece vinal at Walmart big enough to fit the table.

    I love the knee sock idea. I've been given the little heating pad before, but they used dried beans in it. I love the no sew idea of the knee socks though, especially since I don't sew.

  5. Nony the Slob says:

    Hi Anon, I'm glad you commented! Since it's been almost a year, it's almost time to do it again, and without your comment I might forgotten about the bleed-through issue. Great idea!

  6. I found your blog through Proverbs 31 Living and I love all your ideas!! My son was sick last night and I was wishing for a rice bag. I am going to see if can find some deer corn from Wal-Mart.
    I can also relate to wanting projects to be a spectacular filled with moments I want to scrapbook about. Thanks for the reminder that kids just love to do something together. Makes me wonder if all those specials memories I have of doing crafts & baking with my mom were as perfect to her at the time as they now are in my memory. :)

  7. Great ideas! Thanks for linking it up. It is so nice to have things that go together quickly. Lengthy projects can be rewarding too but I do surely like quick ones!

  8. We are making rice bags too. I used rice. My grandma has already took them for a trial run and they recieved a thumbs up.
    We made the ornament wreath last year and all of the ornaments fell off. I later read to hotglue the tops on so I think that I will try it again.
    great post!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Love the idea of using knee socks for the rice bags. I made these a couple of years back & made small & medium size pillow-shaped bags. These would be perfect for neck bags. I might have to pull out the sewing machine & give these a try! I added whole cloves, whole allspice berries & broken up cinnamon stick to mine to give them a nice spice scent when they are heated.

  10. I totally love that your kindergartner was thankful for things he knew he could spell. That’s too sweet for words! I also love the wreath, and have saved the page. As for the tablecloth idea, I love that, too. And I’m thinking I might buy a cheap vinyl tablecloth to go under the sheet, and then pack them away together (hoping I don’t forget about them the next year (s). :)

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