Christmas · DIY

Travel-Friendly Lego Tray


For Christmas this year, I decided to try and make my children a couple of gifts that I could not find in stores.  One of the gifts I made my son was a Lego tray that he could take on car trips.  He really loves his Legos and tries to take them everywhere he goes so I thought it was a cute idea and really practical. (I was a little afraid that he might think it was too boring a gift for Christmas, but he was really excited about it when he saw it and immediately tried it out!)

Things needed to make your own Lego tray:

Small tray (I found an unfinished wood tray at Hobby Lobby for under $4)

Wood Glue **If you decide to use an unfinished wood tray

Paint or stain (I went with spray paint because it dries fast and he loves blue)

Sealant (To protect it from spills and scrapes)

Lego mat

Strong glue like Gorilla glue or a maybe a two sided foam tape


1. First, I filled in the gaps between the side walls and the base of the tray with some wood glue to make it more sturdy.

2. After the glue dried, I applied two coats of spray paint and one coat of sealant spray. **Wait until each coating is dry before you add the next coat**

3. While the paint is drying, you can cut off however much you will need from the Lego mat to fit into your tray.  **I used about 2/3 of one mat for mine or you could even leave a bigger border and use only half of a mat so you could make another tray to give to another child or sibling**

4. Finally, either glue or tape the Lego mat to the tray and place a heavy object like a can of food or a book on top of the mat to help bind the materials better.  Once the materials have dried, the tray is ready to use.

Hopefully your child will like it as much as mine did:)

Happy Boy!!






Christmas Fun: Host Your Own Gingerbread House Competition

One of my family’s favorite Christmas traditions is our annual Gingerbread House Competition.  I know lots of people love to make gingerbread houses with their kids for Christmas, but we take it a step further and turn it into a competition.  I know it sounds crazy, but we have so much fun competing for a slip of paper that proclaims our house as the best in a certain category.  (Even the teenage grandchildren love to come and banter with their parents over who should win in each category and that says a lot!)


**Now you could go out and buy a gingerbread house kit to save yourself a lot of time….but we choose to be creative and save money by building ours with graham crackers. (We also use hot glue to build the houses, this makes them more durable and less likely to fall apart under all that icing and candy that we pile on there)

This was my favorite! It looked like a snow covered church

Here are all the things you need to host your own competition:

Graham Crackers (or individual gingerbread house kits)

Hot glue(if you are an extreme builder)

Frosting (We usually use about one jar per 2-3 people)

Variety of candies (M&Ms, Skittles, Twizzlers, Smarties, peppermints, candy canes, gum drops, Hershey kisses, edible Christmas figurines, marshmallows, chocolate chips, etc)

Sprinkles of various colors and shapes

Sturdy cardboard

Index cards or strips of paper to make winner labels (We usually put on a couple of Christmas stickers to spruce it up a bit)

Some people bring in their own special candy to get an advantage over the others…cough, cough…Joanna:)

** If you want to offer a small prize for each winner then candy prizes like large candy canes or holiday chocolate bars are always a big hit

The next thing you need to determine is which categories you will be judging the houses on.  Our usual ones include:  Best Overall, Best Roof, Best Yard, Most Christmasy, Most Colorful, Most Creative, Most Unique(the most coveted of all categories for some reason!), Prettiest, and Best Winter Scene.  You can really choose any categories that will suit your family’s taste like:  Most Patriotic, Best Team Spirit (sports team colors or logos), Most Religious, etc.

He was sad he didn’t get Most Creative until he found out that everyone else really, really wanted to get Most Unique…then he smiled!

The last thing you will need is a unbiased judge.  My father is usually our judge and he loves to do it!  The judge should not be watching the houses being built because they might be swayed by who is doing the building… me….

Happy with Most Colorful!

I hope your family might add this fun tradition to your Christmas season and get from it all the joy and memories that we have for the past 10 years.