Thursday, September 8, 2011

Tie-Dye Kindness Banner

Here's something we did this Summer.

You should consider doing it, too, especially if you have small children. Or an unruly husband.

But do it before the first frost.

What is that lovely banner hanging o'er the Legos? Is it a rainbow? Is it magic?

You're all right. It's a magical, rainbow banner.

It's magical because 1) it's easy 2) it's cheap 3) there are several steps, all of which fascinate the small fries.

It's rainbow because, well, it's rainbow.

Here's how to do it:

Grab some white coffee filters and a handful of washable markers.

Sit down on a dreary day with every rascally child and color them up. There's no wrong way. Just be sure to use several colors on each filter.

Walk away, get on with life. You just occupied your kids for over 30 minutes! Reward yourself with some salsa.

The next time things get a little hairy in your hood, take your colored filters outside and string them up.

Maybe use an extra pin on the bottom if it's breezy.

Admire the utilitarian charm of the humble clothes pin.

Vow not to let these pretty pins decay to drift-wood on the line.

Great Scotts! (as my mom would say) How many pictures did I take of these dang clothespins???

Find the child that is not napping and put a water bottle in his hot little hands.

Walk away again and let them dry.

Read a book. Pet the cat. Go camping. Why not?

Now, that's pretty.

That's real, real pretty.

Once dry, take them down and pile them in a drawer somewhere. You might or might not forget about them for the next several weeks. It's okay, Mama Mia. You've got bigger fish to fry.

Some days/weeks later, you might be getting groceries with all of your children and your oldest might drop his sucker on the floor just before you roll over it with the shopping cart. He might feel a little despondent. He might believe that the whole world desires to separate him from his Cream Soda Dum Dum. And then? Your kind-hearted daughter will pop her own sucker out of her mouth and hand it to him. You will beam with pride. You will be humbled by her generous spirit. You will remember the stash of coffee filter banners waiting in a drawer somewhere back home.

When you get home, string up some twine, write it down, and staple that puppy UP.



String up the unexpected kindnesses of your babies and watch them catch the light.

And then? More salsa, of course.


  1. Hey this made me think of and I don't know why...what happened with the purple crayon predicament ...cute banner for really cute little people.

  2. You cooked this post up right, my friend. Sweet Siley words, salsa, and a craft I might actually be able to complete.


    I can't help but love you.


    P.S.- C and R also rocked the post, but you know where my loyalties lie.

  3. love this idea....
    it might take years for us to come up with enough kindness to fill all the coffee filters....which is sad...but my boys are in a weird stage..11 and 9....I'm just gonna keep telling them that they're best friends until they believe me.

  4. I love this sweet idea! Love it!

  5. This is all kinds of goodness. I love it!

    I'm eating salsa right this second. No joke. It makes my world a better place.

  6. I have the biggest smile on my face. Great post and great idea. :) Kit

  7. I chatted a little with Calvin and Ruby about their rainbow banner when I was there earlier this summer in the toy room. It was so sweet to hear them tell me all about it in their own words. Such a neat idea. I love the idea of celebrating kindness this way.

  8. Yes more salsa please:) Love this goodness banner. Pure sunshine.

  9. Very cute! I did this exact method for my thankfulness tree last year at Thanksgiving.

  10. brilliant. to reward you for being a wonderful mama to sweetie rascals...i will eat salsa. in your honor, of course;)

    love you and praying for you and your adorable fam!

  11. Would y'all stop with the salsa! Please! I'm on Head Chickens diet & I'm pretty sure chips are NOT on the menu!!! :(
    Of course...I could just eat it straight from the jar I suppose! :)

    REALLY NEAT idea with the banner! We use to marker up paper towels as kids! May have to try this one with the girlie!

  12. I really LOVE this idea!! Will have to give it a try soon as I finish my own darn blog post that's taken me all week to write! Peace out homes :)

  13. cute cute!! this is something kiddos would love doing too!

  14. Oh my what a wonderful craft for the little ones and even the older ones!

  15. oh I love this idea! we have done the coffee filter art before, but I love adding the notes of kindness to them :) You are a very smart lady. It's true

  16. I'm totally doing this- thanks for the idea and chuckles!! And, I have no salsa, but salty chips sure do sound good now... Which reminds me, my hubby hates how I say "salsa". He thinks *I* say it wrong, sheesh.

    Even more off-subject... We're getting two puppies in a few weeks, and since I've always LOVED the name Ruby (and that Kenny Rogers song!) and in honor of you, one of the girlies is named Ruby. :-)

  17. love it! and all i did was stuck the wetwipes they used to wipe their paintbrushes up to the bay window while they were still wet. the blend of colors were beautiful. much prettier than the beans we were sprouting taped on the window in ziplocs that molded. ahem.

  18. I can't wait to do this one day with my kiddos!!! Such a wonderful idea!!

  19. The multitude of clothes pin pictures made me smile. Such simple things - I need a clothes line. :) I am filing this idea away for in a year or two when my littles are big enough to "get it" and enjoy it.

  20. Aww that was the best tutorial. It was a whole lotta love all rolled into a how-to!
    So purdy!
    Around December 1 I start a "chain of kindness" with my kiddos. I write their kind gestures on scrap wrapping or drawing paper and they staple and make a huge chain that we eventually hang on the tree. Same idea but I think the coffee filter rainbows would be fun to change it up this year!
    And that sucker story - what a girl!!!!!

  21. Amazing! I am a substitute teacher-- I think this makes a great classroom activity. :)

    Love it. Thanks for sharing!

  22. this just rocks on so many being an excuse to go to the dollar store and buy white coffee filters since we use brown cones. but the most important being the "there is no wrong way", no lines to stay in, no perfection required.

  23. My pastor's wife told me about your blog on Wednesday evening because she just knew that I would enjoy it...and I DO!!
    She knew that I would love your writing and the prettiness of your blog. She knew that I would feel a connection, since I am originally from that "neck of the woods." I am excited to have made a new "blogging buddy." :) And to get a great idea like your coffee filter rainbow! We will be starting that project today down in cloudy central IN.
    Have a beautiful day!
    :) Jodi

  24. This is a great idea! I think my big kids would even like it. Only their "kindness" would read something like "I did not hit my sister when she annoyed me" ;)

  25. Love love love this idea - what a great thing to do with kids.

  26. Absolutely darling.

    I LOVE the kindness banner! And doesn't seeing all of the sweet things they do for one another re-remind you of how sweet and kind they actually ARE on a trying day?

    Glad to see all is well in your sphere.

    I've been AWOL with hubby's surgery and am trying to catch up on your fabulous posts between administering pain pills and doing physical therapy with him.

    I know..who knew I was a Flo Nightingale in the making?

    Peace out, Girl. Thanks for making me smile today.



  27. Ah, I love the special notes you've written on each of these. Makes me want to go back to those days of my bigs being littles!!

  28. What a great idea=) I'm going to pin this for when my kiddos are older!


  29. very sweet! what a good momma you are! :)

  30. I have an identical stripey chair in my living room in front of a window. And I also have the Gap Love is Everywhere tshirt. I am almost certain this means in another life we would live closer and swap gossip while hanging clothes on the line to dry.

  31. Shannan this is one of the best crafty ideas ever! I am totally copying it! It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside and man, I can't wait to purchase some clothespins!

  32. Too cute!!!
    Really. Please stop being so cute.
    You make the rest of us look bad.


  33. Great project! I haven't read through all of the comments so I apologize ahead of time if I'm repeating what someone has already said. My kids make snowflakes out of the coffee filters. Just fold them up and cut! It's so fun to decorate with them for the winter and they're light and airy like a perfect snowflake. :)

  34. D'Nese DillonSeptember 10, 2011 at 2:32 PM

    This idea just brings me all kind of happy feelings. Thanks for sharing it. This is now added to my to-do list with my little man.

  35. Love, love, LOVE this idea!

    As a teacher, one of the tricks of our trade is to "catch kids being good". Somehow, when it comes to my own kids, I just expect them to do the right thing---I think because I know that they know what the right thing is! Not entirely fair, but whatever. You just gave me a trick to bust out this afternoon. Thanks so much!

  36. That is so incredibly beautiful!

    I love it.


  37. Who knew a craft idea with coffe filters could amke a girl cry!?! Love this so much!