Beginner’s Guide to Crochet Hooks and Yarns

by YCMT on December 23, 2013

Crochet Hooks and Yarn-01

If you are just beginning to crochet, it is important to know the various types of hooks and yarn you can use, and what they will mean to your finished product. The outcome will be determined by 3 variables: The yarn you use, the hook you use, and your gauge (how tight or loose you make the stitches). The following is a beginner’s guide to crochet hooks and yarn.


HooksIn order to understand the variation in hooks, it is important to understand the different parts that make up a crochet hook, and the role they play in the stitch.

Inline vs. not inline: An inline hook is a hook where the shaft and the head are in a line. It is like having a cylinder with a notch out to hold the loop. There are no tapers or bulges on the shaft. This hook type has a very passive notch, which makes it easy for the loop to fall out. A not inline hook is any hook that does not fit the definition of inline.

Handle: This is the part you hold. On a standard hook, the handle will be the same thickness of the hook. But if you have arthritis, or you simply want a more ergonomic handle, there are hooks made with larger, easier to hold handles.

Thumb rest: This is the part of the hook where you rest your thumb, and often the part where the brand is displayed.

Shaft: This is the neck of the hook. You will have one of two shapes here: the inline shape, which is perfectly symmetrical and cylinder, or a tapered shaft such as that found in a not inline hook. If you are new to crochet, and struggle with uneven application of tension, or overly tight stitches, an inline, cylindrical shaft may be helpful.

Throat: The gap the loop of yarn is held in is referred to as the throat. If you are using a not inline hook, the throat may have a significant taper, which is great for crocheters that drop loops, or pop their hooks out of their work. If you snag or split yarn, you may want to opt for an inline hook, as the smooth notch that holds the loop will be easier to use.

Point: This is the very tip of the hook; it is the part that is used to push into the loops of yarn.

The hook you choose will impact what the finished product looks like, as well as your ease of use. Crochet hooks come in sizes, metric sizes of millimeter dimensions, or a US indicator of a letter and number. Different sizes work better with different yarn types. Larger hooks are needed for the bulkier yarn.



Like the hook, there is also a lot of variation in yarn types. When you purchase yarn, you will see a number on it, which represents the weight of the yarn and ranges from 1 to 6. Here’s what these numbers mean.

1. Superfine: This is the type of yarn you would use for baby items, fingering, or socks. Anything delicate. Use a U.S. B1 – E4 or metric size 2.25mm–3.5mm crochet hook when using this yarn.
2. Fine: This is another thin yarn. It is good for the baby items like sweaters, and is also great for accessories and wraps. Use a U.S. hook size E4–7 or metric size 3.5mm–4.5mm.
3. Light: This is a versatile yarn, used for all kinds of things from gloves and scarves to heavier duty baby blankets, and sweaters. Use a U.S. 7–19 or metric size 4.5mm–5.5mm hook.
4. Medium: This yarn is commonly used in blankets. It is also used for slippers and sweaters, and is the crafting yarn. If you are unsure what yarn weight to get, this is probably a good option. It is often called worsten, Afghan, or Aran yarn. The most commonly used hook size for this yard type is U.S. size 19 to size K or 10 ½, or 5.5mm to 6.5mm.
5. Bulky: This is a chunky yarn used for rugs and thick blankets. It is also used for making things like doll hair or specialty items like hats. This requires a larger hook, such as a U.S. K (10 ½) to an M or a 6.5mm–9mm.
6. Super bulky: This yarn is used for large rugs, doll hair, finger knitting, and craft projects requiring some bulk. Use a crochet hook size M or larger or 9mm or larger.

The larger the number on the yarn, the fewer stitches for a gauge, the larger the needed hook, and often the faster the project goes.

Now that you’ve got the basics, why not head over to to the Crochet section of the YCMT and find a few projects to try out?


20 Fun Indoor Family Activities

by YCMT on December 20, 2013

Indoor Activities-01

When the cold weather hits and you’ve done all the sledding and snowman building your body can handle, refer to this list of indoor activities you can do as a family to keep the fun alive all winter long!

1. Homemade play dough

Not just for toddlers, family members of all ages can delight in making and playing with this soft and squishy stuff. (In fact, playing with it has been proven to actually relieve stress in adults!) Here’s an easy, reliable, no-cook method.

2. Science experiments

If you are looking for a hands-on activity of the educational variety, there’s nothing like scientific experimentation with the kids! Here is a fantastic list of ideas, most of which you can make using common household items.

3. Play a video game together

Relax a bit and let out your inner gamer. Whether you’re playing your kids’ favorite new game or one from your childhood, your kids will appreciate the fact that you’re spending time doing something they love to do. Go ahead and build your dream home in Minecraft or teach your kids a thing or two about Asteroids. Either way, you’re going to look pretty cool.

Wii family

4. Finger puppet show

Make your own finger puppets or use ones you already have to put on a puppet show! You can easily fashion a “theater” out of a large cardboard box and enjoy performing for each other.

5. Board games or jigsaw puzzles

Don’t let the old-fashioned nature of these activities make you a skeptic! Games like Monopoly, Boggle, Apples to Apples or even a 500-piece jigsaw puzzle can provide first-class entertainment, laughs and a sense of closeness with your family. Younger kids can play Memory or build puzzles with fewer pieces.

6. Read-a-thon

Have everyone grab a book, blanket, and nestle into their favorite cozy spots in the family room and read… and read and read! Don’t forget to provide yummy treats. For children who can’t yet read on their own, parents can snuggle up and read books aloud.

7. Sugar-cookie pizzas

Made of a baked sugar-cookie crust topped with cream cheese frosting and fresh fruit, these ”pizzas” are easy, fun to make and prove to be irresistibly delectable. Have every family member choose his or her favorite fruit, slice it up, decorate the pie, and, of course, devour it together! Here’s the recipe.

8. Dance party

If you feel like moving, why not dance to your favorite tunes? Turn your common area into a family dance club by plugging your smartphone into a speaker system, and then get grooving. You’ll release endorphins and wear your kids out by bedtime!

9. Movie time

Hit up your local RedBox for a new rental, put on a favorite family classic, stream a festive flick online during the holidays, or relive family memories through old home videos. Whatever your family picks, don’t forget the popcorn!

Family TV

10. Create a film together

You don’t have to own a fancy camera or be Spielberg to make a movie as a family. Use your smart phones (or actual cameras) to make it happen. Scary, funny, or just ridiculous, it won’t matter; you are going to love watching it together if only to laugh at how silly (or amazing) it is.

11. Hide-and-seek or tag

Take turns being “it,” scouting out the best hiding spots in your house, and chasing each other around!

12. Decorate a room together

Pick a room you’ve wanted to beautify and do it! Whether it’s painting the walls or furnishing the space with new textiles, let all in the family have some say as to what goes into the project, promoting both creativity and teamwork.

13. Family “jam” session

If any of you play instruments, get them out and start making music together! Play written music or make up your own on the spot. Sing songs with the guitar, play duets on the piano, or make a beat together using percussive instruments or even pots and pans. Let loose and have fun!

kids playing music

14. Origami

Indulge in this traditional Japanese paper-folding craft with your family. Make anything from paper planes to sea animals to clothes! Browse dozens of techniques here.

15. Photo scavenger hunt

Create a list of items (such as this one) for your kids to find and then send them on a timed hunt throughout the house with a camera phone in tow to locate and take a snapshot of each found item. For an extra challenge, assign point values to items, with higher values for things that are harder to find. Offer prizes to whomever earns the most “points” within the time limit.

16. Dress-up fashion show

Raid the dress-up box to create goofy getups and take turns modeling them in front of each other. If you’ve got several people, select a panel of judges to vote for the silliest, fanciest or most creative costume. Award winners with paper plate medallions.

17. Greetings to loved ones

Make greeting cards or write letters to a family member or friend and mail them off the old-fashioned way. Or, collectively compose a questionnaire for your recipient to fill out and mail back!

18. Build something together

As a family, choose and carry out a fun DIY construction project, like building a doghouse, an indoor teepee (like this no-sew option,) or something simpler such as assembling a model airplane or Lego set. For more complex projects, purchase supplies ahead of time and have them handy when inclement weather kicks in.

19. Living room picnic

Take a family picnic to your living room! Spread a blanket out on the floor, and pack lunches just as you would if you were headed to the park. Pack a large basket with sandwiches, juice boxes and other favorite snacks.

20. Indoor campout

Make a campsite out of your living room! Roast hot dogs, pop popcorn, and toast marshmallows in your fireplace, if you have one, or cook them over your kitchen stove and tote them to your “campsite.” Tell stories, sing campfire songs, roll out your sleeping bags in the middle of the room and sleep there instead of your rooms for the night.

Winter may be cold, by it doesn’t need to be dreary or boring. Try out some of these ideas and share your experience in the comments – or better yet, share some ideas of your own! And if you’re looking for even more options, check out the Crafts & Hobbies section of our website.

Image credit: Tinkerbrad

Jen Hagedorn of Tie Dye Diva

by admin on December 17, 2013


Click here to view Jen’s Designs!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve been publishing e-patterns under the Tie Dye Diva name since 2007 and my line has grown to over 70 PDF patterns. I live in Northern California with 3 wonderful children and a supportive and patient husband who never complains about having serger tails sticking to his shirt.

2. What are your favorite projects to design?
I love easy-to wear classic clothing designs that have just a touch of whimsy – like animal ears on fleece hats and ruffled bottoms on babywear.

3. What is your favorite thing you have made for yourself?
I had to think a long time about this, as I hardly ever sew for myself! Then I looked down and realized I was wearing slippers I made for myself years ago that I wear pretty much every day! I think that will qualify them as my favorite thing made for myself.

For someone else?
For someone else … usually it’s whatever I have made most recently. I am in love with this baby a-line dress and bloomers set I made for a friend from my patterns. The fabric was just perfect for it and I had matching vintage buttons in my stash.

4. What is your favorite season/holiday to decorate for?
All of them! My family loves to have any excuse to celebrate. I have a huge set of handmade pillow covers and I change them out for every holiday and season. Our sofa is now full of Christmas pillows.

5. What DIY tips or tricks would you like to share with customers?
This sounds so simple, but press as you sew! It makes such a big difference in the polished appearance of your finished garment. Pressing means, lift the iron up and set it down, don’t wipe side to side. Pressing hems encourages the stitches to sink down into the fabric and makes them blend right in. Pressing seams open or to one side gives them a smooth look and can go a long way toward hiding any small imperfections, and pressing points and corners makes them crisp and sharp.

8. Any other interests or hobbies?
Even though sewing is a big part of the pattern-making process, it is still my favorite hobby! That is how I know I am in the right business. I also like to run, read, and collect sea glass.

9. Do you have a favorite quote?
Friends are like fabric – you can never have enough!

Highlighted Patterns:

photo1The Sugarplum Skirt

photo2The Perfect Party Dress

photo3The Belle Peasant Twirl Dress

Receive 10% off these patterns or any of Tie Dye Diva’s Patterns buy using the promo code “TIEDYEDIVA10″ now through December 24!

Click here to view Jen’s Designs at!

9 Creative Holiday Gift-Wrapping Ideas

by YCMT on December 13, 2013

You’ve decked the halls, and now you want to deck out your gift wrap. Sure, it’s what’s on the inside that counts, but that doesn’t mean the presentation can’t be pretty, too! Here are 10 crafty-chic DIY embellishments you can make to add fa-la-la-la-oomph to your Christmas packaging!

1. “Tiffany-Style” Bow

Using a satin ribbon and these simple instructions, the Christmas bow has never looked so elegant so easily!

2. Tissue Paper Flower Wrap

These flowers are delicate, simply stunning, and simple to make. The craft works best over cylindrical containers. Try red and white tissue paper to make poinsettias!

3. Plain Paper with Fresh Greens

Take simple brown paper packaging or even white printer paper and doll it up with a sprig of pine, holly berries, or DIY mini pine wreath bound under twine.

4. Paper Garland

Your Christmas tree needn’t be the only thing that wears trimmings! Paper cut-outs strung together as garland make for beautiful ribbon. Here’s a super easy how-to.

5. Map Wrap

GPS technology gives you permission to upcycle your old travel maps into beautiful wrapping paper! Once you’ve wrapped the interstate into a neat little package, tie it up with a bold-colored ribbon or string.

6. Washi Tape

This decorative Japanese tape goes far beyond adhering your gift wrap; it adorns it! Washi tape is printed in hundreds of patterns and can be applied and woven into whatever design you can conjure. Find ideas here and buy Washi tape here.

7. Sweater or Fabric Wrap

Wrap your gift in your favorite festive fabric, just as you would with paper wrapping. Cozier yet, package your present in an old sweater! Here’s the tutorial.

8. Yarn Pom Pom Bow

Got yarn and you’re not up for knitting? Make pom poms! This version, simple to construct, makes them look full and classy. Tie your pom poms around your presents with extra yarn.

9. Cupcake Liner Topper

After you’ve baked all your holiday cupcakes, pop some color and dimension into your gift wrap with these unexpected “bows.” Use regular paper liners or, if you’re feeling shiny, foil liners might add just the touch of metallic glam you’re after.

Don’t be surprised if, after you try these out, what’s under your tree outshines your ornaments! And if this gets your holiday creative juices flowing, why not stop by and check out out holiday-themed sewing patterns?

Image credits: Maegan TintariSunshinetaliaMeaghan O’Malley

Leslie Rutland of Sugar Pie Chic

by admin on December 10, 2013


Click here to view Leslie’s Designs!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am an Austin-based blogger who loves all things delightfully domestic. Sewing, gardening, crafting, cooking, and anything DIY. Spending time with my hubby, our kids and their families is about as good as it gets.

2. What are your favorite projects to design?
I really love designing aprons, but I also want to do some classic children’s clothes and simple garments for women.

3. What is your favorite thing you have made for yourself? For someone else?
I have a saying, “Aprons make great gifts!” And, it is true, I love making a unique apron and giving it away. By far, my biggest seller on YCMT is the Tutu Tote Trio. I designed the pattern for the Tutu Tote Trio after my sister called and described the bag over the phone. Her daughter wanted one for the first day of kindergarten.

4. What is your favorite season/holiday to decorate for?
I like simplicity and don’t do a lot of seasonal decorating. Instead, my favorite way to bring in something for a season or holiday is to start in my garden and bring the outdoors inside.

5. Any other interests or hobbies?
Rabid gardener with a love of native plants and organic veggies. I usually have a farmer’s tan and a disgusting manicure. When I’m not scratching in the dirt, I am trying to convert classic recipes into gluten-free options.

6. Do you have a favorite quote?
“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should!” Nowhere is this more evident than at a quilt show.

Pattern Highlight:


Receive 10% off the Tutu Tote Trio Pattern or any patterns by Sugar Pie Chic for the next week by using the Promo Code “SUGARPIE10″ when checking out!

Click here to view Leslie’s Designs!

Jamie Haney – Maryland Quilter

by admin on December 4, 2013


Click here to view Jamies’s Designs!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a third generation quilter, still using the quilt my grandmother made for me. For many years raising my 6 children took all the time and attention available. Now some kids are grown and the rest are in school and I have time to create. New ideas swirl around in my thoughts all day long. The hardest part is choosing which ones to sew into quilts. I’ve been quilting and designing professionally since 2011.

2. What are your favorite projects to design?
I love designing quilts that can be made easily and quickly. I like to make quilts that can be sewn in a day, with fun surprise elements of texture; quilts that look complicated but are really easy.

3. What is your favorite thing you have made for yourself? For someone else?
My favorite quilt I’ve made is called “All is Vanity”. I made 3 copies of this quilt. One is hanging in my workshop, and I gave one to my cousin. This quilt was the first story quilt I designed, so it is special to me. It illustrates the futility of striving so hard in life and was inspired by Ecclesiastes 1: 4-6. Having it in my workshop reminds me to keep life in perspective.

4. What is your favorite season/holiday to decorate for?
I love Halloween because the decorations make me smile.

5. Any other interests or hobbies?
I love reading and walking. I try to walk 2 miles a day. I read whenever I’m not sewing.

Highlighted Pattern:
This is a great quilt for a beginner. You really can make this, and you really can’t mess it up! It illustrates my favorite combination of looking complicated but actually easy.
Highlight Pattern

Get 10% off the Ghastlie Halloween Crazy Quilt or any other pattern by Maryland Quilter for the next week when using the Promo Code “MARYLANDQUILTER10″ at check out.

Click here to view Jamies’s Designs!

tailoring title

In today’s world of inexpensive, off-the-rack clothing, the art of tailoring seems to be lost sometimes. But for those of us adventurous enough to make our own clothes, there are a few simple tips that can help us get the right fit every time.

One of the first things a tailor does is to prepare the fabric. So before you get the sewing machine, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Will the fabric shrink after it is washed? If so, it needs to be pre-shrunk before you cut it out. If you don’t, you run the risk of the item being too small after the first washing.

2. Be sure the fabric hangs right. Hold it up at the corners of the selvages, with the fold hanging parallel to the selvages. Does it hang smoothly? If not, then adjust the corners until it hangs nicely. Now you know where the straight the grain is.


With the corners matched, the skew in the fold is obvious. You can see how far I had to pull it over to make sure the fabric hangs properly.

3. Sometimes you need to press out the fold line so it doesn’t mess you up later. The way it is folded on the bolt is not necessarily in two equal halves, and that fold may cause you to pin on the pattern piece incorrectly. Check this before you depend on it. If regular pressing does not remove it, then use a slightly damp press cloth.


With regular pressing, this line would not come out. But with steam and a pressing cloth, it did.

Once you’ve got the fabric ready to go, it’s time to check the pattern and get sewing!

4.  A tailor checks the measurements of the person who will be wearing the garment and adjusts the pattern if necessary. A size 6 of one pattern company is not always the same as a size 6 of another. Or, just because you wear a size 12 when you buy clothes off the rack, you will not necessarily fit into a size 12 of a particular pattern. You should always check the wearer’s measurements with those on the back of the pattern.

5. Related to this is the fact that there is some ease built into most patterns. The garment is designed to be bigger than the body measurements in some places. This helps the garment fit properly. Some seamstresses use up this ease instead of adjusting to a bigger size. Decide before you start to sew what approach you want to take.

6. Be accurate on the width of seams. Follow the pattern instructions.

7. Tailors press. Often, seamstresses say, “Oh, it won’t really matter.” But it does. From the book, How to Tailor (by Phyllis W. Schwebke) “Pressing is one of the most important procedures used in tailoring, and it requires time, patience, and practice.” (p. 38) Remember to press as you sew – not just at the end.

8. Use interfacing if the instructions tell you to. Interfacing is the material used between the outer cloth and its facing. Some people prefer to omit it as an unnecessary step, but it helps the garment retain its shape – collars, cuffs, front openings, buttonholes, etc.

9. The most important thing tailors are trained to do is to take their time to do a good job. Often, seamstresses are in a hurry and skip steps in the name of speed. But particularly for those who don’t have a lot of experience, taking a little more time up front can save you from having to redo a lot of work.

10.  Part of taking your time is to make sure you stop when the main pieces of the item are assembled, for a trial fit. Having the person try it on at this stage helps you make any necessary adjustments before you go to the work of finishing it, when alterations can be a lot more time-consuming.

Sewing is a fun, challenging skill, and there are a lot more things to pay attention to as you work on your projects. But following some of these simple tips can help make sure you get the right fit every time.

Need some ideas for your next project? Check out our Sewing Patterns section for hundreds of great patterns!


This is the best time of year to share your creations with others and also to pick up some great patterns at a great price! Following are some ideas to get the most out of this $5 Deals sale for your gift making and giving. Hurry, though… this sale ends on Tuesday, December 3!

Handmade Gifts for the Kids in Your Life

Making treasures for babies and children is as natural and rewarding as it gets.  Here are just a few ideas:

Make her a dress


Over 20 dress and skirt patterns by top-rated designers are reduced right now.  You’ll love the process of making a dress and, of course, every little girl LOVES to get a pretty new dress!  There are too many to mention each pattern here, but head over to the list of $5 Deals to see them all.

The baby (and the Mom) needs some love too!


Here are some great ideas for babies or Moms with babies.

Make them toys!



Kids love toys! Did you know carries a large selection of patterns for making toys? We do, and they are so cute and fun to make.

Here are some great toy patterns included in the $5 Deals sale:

Gifts for Friends

Show your close friends just how much you appreciate them with a special hand-made gift.  Here are a few ideas.

You can’t go wrong with a great bag


There are over 20 bag patterns of all varieties included in this $5 Deals sale!  So, you are sure to be able to find something that would be perfect for your friend.  If she is a gadget girl, you could make her a cover for her smart phone or tablet.  If she is one of those women that needs a BIG bag (don’t we all sometimes), we have patterns for those too.  There are lots of other interesting bags too, including totes, diaper bags, clutches, organizers, handbags and more.

Again, there are too many to list here, but you will find them all by visiting the $5 Deals page.

 Make her a handy item for the kitchen


Have a friend that loves to cook? If so, you’re very lucky! Here are some great ideas for the culinary types:

Loads of Other Ideas Too!

Make sure you take a little time to check out all of the patterns included in the $5 Sale.  With over 100 different patterns marked down, you never know what you’ll find that will help you make that perfect gift.

Visit the $5 Deals section to see everything!

About the $5 Deals Sale is your source for downloadable, step-by-step sewing patterns and project instructions. During the Black Friday / Cyber Monday time frame every year we mark down a large selection of patterns to just $5.  This represents a significant discount for you! Watch for other $5 Deals sales throughout the year, as well.  These deals will end at midnight on Tuesday, December 3, 2013.

Donna Collinsworth of Donna’s Crochet Designs

by admin on November 26, 2013


Click here to view Donna’s Designs!

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’ve been designing my own crochet patterns after finding out it wasn’t against some unspoken law to change up things in patterns. It was liberating! I look at everything differently now, especially non-crochet items. There is an entire world out there just waiting to be translated into crochet!

2. What are your favorite projects to design?
It changes. Right now I’m into translating different animals into scarves and tote bags.

3. What is your favorite thing you have made for yourself? For someone else?
For myself it has to be an afghan I made. It was one of my first attempts at design. That thing has been washed about 50 times and still looks great. For someone else; it has to be the dolls I made for my great aunt. She basically raised my mother and they were really poor back in the day. She loves dolls. I try to make the next one better than the last one I gave her. She always looks at them like some great piece of art; art made just for her. It really makes me feel good–even special– to see how something I created caused such joy.

4. What is your favorite season/holiday to decorate for?
That would be Halloween. I just love all the creepy, ghouly stuff.

5. What DIY tips or tricks would you like to share with customers?
Gauge, it is the most important detail in any pattern. If you don’t get the gauge right you could end up with a sweater that fits your Yorkie instead of your sister.

6. Any other interests or hobbies?
I love to sew, draw and write.

7. Do you have a favorite quote?
Can’t remember who it is by or the exact wording but it is one I love by: “The only way to fail is to not try!”

Pattern Highlight:


Purchase these patterns or any other pattern by Donna’s Crochet Designs and receive 10% off by using the Coupon Code “DONNASCROCHET10″ when checking out for next week!

Click here to view Donna’s Designs!

10 Little Lunchbox Surprises for Your Kiddo

by YCMT on November 21, 2013


Spending all day at school can be tough. Want to add some cheer to your child’s day? A little lunchbox surprise just might do the trick. Sneak in serving after serving of fun with these 10 adorable ideas that your kid will love!

1. Love note

Go ahead, be a sap! Write the traditional love note-on-a-napkin to your kid, or pen a few words of encouragement in Sharpie on her sandwich baggie. Cuter yet, jot your affections upon a favorite photo print from a recent family vacation, on a picture of her favorite animated character, or a creatively folded paper.

2. Mystery game

Make a mystery game of your child’s lunch hour by dropping a clue into his lunch sack that leads to another clue the next day. Reveal the answer to the puzzle at the end of the week. For added fun, offer him a prize if he can solve the riddle before Friday.

3. Funny joke or food prank

Slip a written joke into her lunchbox and deliver the punchline when she gets home, or pull a food prank like a gummy worm coming out of her apple or put googly eyes on all of her food containers.

4. Super treat 

Sweeten your young one’s day with a thoughtful treat such as a handmade candy-gram or heart-shaped brownies.


5. Lunchtime survey

Insert a fun questionnaire about his day to fill out and return, and then have fun reading his responses! Get inspired with these printables.

6. Fun table-top accessory

Complement her lunch with cool accessories like disposable cutlery adorned with custom phrases, eco-friendly paper straws, finger sporks, fancy toothpicks, or origami napkins.

7. Lunch poem or haiku

Hearken back to your days in English class by composing a few words of poetry, like an acrostic poem using your child’s name, or haiku dedicated to her. Make your rhyme heartfelt or silly.

8. Paper fortune cookies

Create a custom fortune for your kid with this darling, simple DIY.

fortune cookie

9. Invitation to an upcoming family event

Let your child know he is cordially invited to the next family party, outing or vacation by including a formal invitation with his meal. Step up the fun by signing the invitation from his favorite celebrity, athlete or fictional character.

10. Fancy food

For an extra dash of class in the cafeteria, try dressing up your kid’s lunch bento box-style, print a whimsical image on a plain brown paper lunch sack, or really make him smile by wrapping up his sandwich like a holiday gift, complete with a bow!

Tickle your kid pink with these crafts and patterns, and then share your own lunchbox surprise ideas with us below! And for even more fun ideas, visit our Crafts & Hobbies page.