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DIY "Year of Smiles" Mod Podge Craft (Free Printable)

Early last year, I had pinned an idea shared by the Inchmark blog about jotting down all the funny things her children said and collecting them in a jar for one year.  This gave me the idea to collect my own family's happy memories.  I wanted to do something that the whole family could participate in that would emphasize the happy moments in our busy and stressful lives.  Well, I never got around to creating this craft during the beginning of last year, so when the New Year began approaching, I made sure I made time to do it.

My children were quite puzzled about what I was making, but were delighted with the idea when I explained to them how it worked . . . each time something happens that makes them smile or feel happy, they will write down the date, their name, and what the memory was on a smiley face circle.  Then they will put the circle in the can.  By the end of the year, we will have a whole stack of happy memories to reminisce about when we read them all on New Year's Eve.

Today's Project:  A "Year of Smiles" Craft

6.38oz Pringles can (cleaned and dried)
12"x12" scrapbook paper
Mod Podge
sponge applicator or brush
standard spring wooden clothespin
thin permanent marker (or small number decals)
coordinating ribbon (1" or wider)
"Year of Smiles" printable
ruler (optional)

Step 1.  Trim your scrapbook paper to match the height of the Pringles can (just slightly under 10-1/4").  You could try to eyeball it or measure the Pringles can with a ruler and lightly mark of the measurements on the backside of your paper before cutting it.

Step 2.  Using your applicator or brush, thinly apply Mod Podge to the side of the Pringles can starting at the top and going all the way to the bottom in an area about 3 inches wide.  Then carefully line up your paper and glue the edge of the paper in place onto the side of the can.

Step 3.  Apply Mod Podge to the rest of the Pringles can in order to adhere the entire sheet of paper around the sides of the can.  Your paper should be long enough to overlap.

Step 4.  After the paper has been wrapped around the Pringles can and glued into place, apply a thin coat of Mod Podge over the entire paper surface as a sealer.

Step 5.  While the glue is drying, take your permanent marker (or number decals) and write the year on the side of the clothespin with the clip-side pointing up.

Step 6.  Print out several sheets of "Year of Smiles" smiley faces.  To print, make sure your computer's printer is turned on and ready to print.  Then click on the image below to enlarge.  Next, right click on the image and select print.

Step 7.  Cut out the individual smiley faces from the printable.  (My children were able to help me with this.)

Step 8.  When the Mod Podge feels dry to the touch, cut a piece of ribbon (approximately 18"L), wrap it around the top of the can, and tie it once.  Clip on the clothespin to keep the ribbon from coming untied.

Step 9.  Using the same piece of ribbon, tie a bow on top of the clothespin.  (I double-knotted mine for added security.)  Then trim the ends of your ribbon so that they are even (either at a slant or dovetailed).

What our finished product looks like . . .

Our "Year of Smiles" container sits in our kitchen and takes up very little space.  Hopefully, all the members of our family will remember to use it throughout the year.

How to Make This Craft Your Own:
  • Instead of scrapbook paper, you could wrap the can with wrapping paper, wallpaper, or fabric.
  • Instead of scrapbook paper, you could decoupage photos onto your can.
  • Instead of ribbon, you could use sisal or rope.
  • Instead of a simple bow, you could tie on a sprig of dried flowers or a charm to your can.