Showing posts with label kids craft ideas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label kids craft ideas. Show all posts

Monday, January 21, 2013

Paper Snowflakes

Andrew made these in art class the other day and on a boring day off at home, made some more.  I was so surprised by the end result, after I saw him hard at work.  So simple and pretty.

He agreed to do a little tutorial for me.

You need six square sheets of white paper and a glue stick and scissors, and something to draw a straight line with.  We used some wooden popsicle sticks, but there are these things called rulers that work well also, if you can find one laying around. :)


Corner to corner and then again, fold the square sheet so it looks like this.

Draw lines with a pencil that look like this.  You want to start your line on the open side, not the folded size, and don't draw all the way to the end.


Cut on the lines.


When you unfold the paper it will look like this.

Now pick up the two littlest center triangles and glue their ends together with your glue stick.  (You might have to count to 50 while you pinch the ends and the glue dries.)

Now FLIP the snowflake over.  You are working on the "back" side of the paper now.  Glue the next tips of the next triangle together.  

Keep going, flipping over each time, till all the ends of the triangles are glued.

Repeat with five more pieces of paper till you have six more. Glue them all together by one end like this:


Let it snow!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Personalized Place Mats: A Tutorial


I am always on the look out for cute place mats.  I just cannot use cloth mats!  I would have to wash them every day and I do not want to add to my laundry load.

The plastic ones I find always seem boring and outdated so I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Using Picasa, I made a collage for each member of my family.  I selected a bunch of different photos of each of the children...great vacation memories, baby pics, funny faces, etc...created a collage, and then using the Text feature, wrote their names on them.  The kids love these place mats!  Each photo seems to bring up a topic of conversation at the dinner table.  "Remember when Dad made us hike up that mountain?"  or "We had so much fun at that reunion!"

You have heard me talk about using the collage feature of Picasa before...it is the same method I use for making my blog headers and my scrapbook pages.  It is so fun, easy and best of all free.   For a tutorial on how to make a collage you can go here, or here for a step-by-step easy video tutorial from Persnickety Prints.  You can also use a different program (i.e.Photoshop), OR just use a single picture if you don't want to bother with fancy digital stuff.  If you want to make it even easier, you could pick up a few 11 x 17 size papers, and have your children make their own drawings.

I called my local printer and decided to go with an 11 x 17 size.  That seemed to be a good size for a place mat, and it was easy and cheap for them to make color copies and laminate those color copies because it is a standard size.  The color copies were $1 each, and then to laminate each of them was $3.  $4 for custom place mats!  Not bad!  They also told me I could just email the collages to them, which made the whole process extra easy.

I did this about 5 years ago (using just a single picture that I brought in to be photocopied, before I was familiar with photo editing software) and the place mats held up for a good 3 years.  They are easy to wipe off with soap and water.  The copy place told me that they use 5mil laminate which makes them durable and sturdy.

Here are some tips and ideas:
1. I made a collage using the automatic "Mosaic" feature...that throws all your selected photos together into a collage automatically. (I chose plain white for my collage background.)  Once that collage was created, (after you hit the Create Collage button) I selected that collage, and also selected a scrapbook paper, pressed Collage again, and using the Picture Pile feature, centered the finished collage on the scrapbook paper.  That is how I got the scrapbook paper edge around the collage.

2. Sometimes the copier will cut off a small bit around the edges...ask!!!  The copy lady told me I would lose about 1/4"...it didn't matter because I had the scrapbook paper behind my collage, but without it, it might have.  Keep that in mind.

3. Remember in Picasa you can select your own custom collage size.  You just type in your dimensions.  (Horizontal size first.)  Again, I used 17 x 11 because it was cheap and easy.

4. I think for this size, I could have used less pictures.  I overloaded my own placemat and some of the pictures are tiny.  The ones that turned out best are the ones were I selected not more than 30 pictures.

5. And of course, the possibilities are endless.  Wouldn't it be cute to type in manner reminders?  Or the family dinner blessing?  You could make seasonal place mats also, with fun summer or fall colors, or a holiday theme.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Peanut Butter Birdfeeders: An Easy Winter Activity

1. Gather pine cones.
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2. Spread with peanut butter.
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3. Roll in birdseed.
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4. Tie on a wire or string.  (Best done BEFORE the sticky mess.)


5. Find a branch to hang.
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6. Check often.066

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Elf and Owl Pinecone Ornaments

We had so much fun making these:059And these:088
Here’s what you need:042
1. Pinecones
2. Felt
3. Ribbon or string for hanging.
4. A glue gun (This is a necessity and only a couple dollars at the craft store if you don’t already have one!  I don’t think there is a glue in a bottle on the market that would stick to pine cones.)
And just for the owls:
Feathers
Googly eyes

And just for the elves:
Tiny pom-poms
Pipe cleaners
Crayola Model Magic in Skin Tones

We found pine cones in our backyard and then put them in the oven for 2 hours at 250 degrees to kill any bugs and dry them out a bit.  Of course, you can just buy them at a craft store.


For the owls:
1. Cut a beak from felt.
2. Cut a string to hang.
3. Wide part of the cone on top, using a glue gun (for little ones I let them choose  the color of beak and the feathers they wished to use), glue the string, beak, feathers and eyes on.  It’s that easy.  Abbey added a bow for a girl owl.
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For the elves:
Using the Crayola Model Magic.. 037
…roll into head shapes, and dry.  To speed up drying time I set them near a heat duct.
1. Using Sharpies or other thin markers, draw a face on the hardened modeling clay.004
2. Cut a wide triangle out of felt for the hat.029
3. Cut a string for hanging.
4. Glue the string or ribbon into the triangle, and then glue the triangle into a cone shape.
0325. Glue pom-pom on hat.
6. Trim hat if necessary.033
7. Glue hat on elf head.039
8. Cut and tie scarf. (You can use fabric like picture above, but we mostly used pieces of felt like below.)
0099. Cut arms and legs out of pipe cleaner.011
10. Cut mittens and boots out of felt and glue onto the ends of pipe cleaner.
11. Glue appendages onto pine cone.018
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A Great Fall Activity: Waxing Leaves

I posted this last year and it was such a hit I thought I'd remind you all again...

We did this every year when we were young and it was so much fun. It’s a simple tradition but one kids love. First you need to gather leaves…go on a nature walk, find the most beautiful, colorful, perfect leaves. OR just zip your mouth, let the kids pick up the ones they want, no matter what they look like...there is no better way to ruin a creative endeavor with your kids than by being bossy and controlling!

Pick some of this up at your grocery store in the canning section. It’s a couple dollars and one box should be enough.
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Don’t forget to buy a disposal pan like this one…if you don’t you will have to use a good pan, and you will ruin it.
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Melt the wax over low heat.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE be careful…hot wax is HOT. Place it on a back burner and guard it with your life if your children are little.  I don't want to feel awful if you tell me one of your little ones got burned because of me and my cute little autumn activity.

I know I have done this with kids as young as 2, but you have to be vigilant!
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Have them hold the stem, dip the leave in melted wax and then set the leave on wax paper. Cover your counter with newspaper, then the wax paper, to make clean up easy, because it’s NO fun scraping wax drippings off counters.
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Let each leaf cool completely…once they are totally cool they will lift off easily. If the wax starts to harden in the pan, just warm it up on the burner again.
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You can put them in a big glass bowl, or tie them up with string to form a garland. They are beautiful and a perfectly simple (and almost free) autumn decoration.
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Some tips:
Make sure the leaves are completely dry when you start. 
Lots of people asked me how long they last.  It really depends.  The way I hang these in the window in direct sunlight and over 2 heat ducts makes them last till I am ready to get up the Christmas decorations...around December 1. (They start to get curly and shrinky looking.)
If you keep them in a darker, cooler place I'd bet they'd last longer.

I hung my leaves from thread that I tied around each stem to create a garland.

If you drip wax on your floor or counters, a reader sent in this tip:
Just lay down a paper towel or newspaper on the wax spill and iron it (cotton setting). It even works on CARPET, yes really.  I have cleaned up some doozies with this method. I would not use this method on fine wood furniture, there are ice methods for that.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A January Craft: Cute Walnut Mice


I stole these from my mother last time I was home.  She doesn’t mind…we acquired them through a children’s craft bazaar about 30-so years ago…the kind where you went during school to buy your brother’s and sister’s presents for Christmas.  They really are Christmas ornaments but I love them for the winter months more.  They are hanging on a little tack on my kitchen window.  Aren’t they so cute?
They are cheap to make and relatively easy.
Here’s what you need:
096Walnuts (you must crack them carefully…my method: Use a nutcracker on one 1/2 of the shell…that part will break but you will be left with the other 1/2. )  Buy plenty…about 1/3 makes it through the cracking procedure properly.
String…any kind.  I used embroidery thread.
Cotton balls
Tiny black beads
Black thread and a little needle
Fabric scraps
Grey felt
A glue gun

Crack your walnuts like this:
013 Or make your daughter do it, like I did.  Scoop them out.

Cut a square (about 2”) out of a piece of fabric for the blanket part.
Cut a out a rectangular (about 1 1/2” x 3”) piece of felt.
Cut two little tiny ears and a long thin tail
Cut a piece of string to use for the hanger.170 I sewed my nose and eyes on because I am a TERRIBLE glue gunner.  It’s actually easier, I think to sew them on, and stitch up the underside of the face. (If you are a master glue gunner, go for it!) Place the nose in the middle at the very bottom of the rectangular piece and the eyes right above.  Stitch up the underside so it forms a cone shape.  Shove a little cotton from a cotton ball in the nose.
133 Use your glue gun and glue the tail, the ears and the string on the walnut: Fold over the back of the mouse’s head and put a quick stitch in…you may need to cut a little fabric off to make it fit in the walnut properly:124165166  Use your glue gun and glue that head in there…I just use a little bead of glue around the inside edge.
125Place a fluffed up cotton ball in the middle of the fabric “blankie” and wrap up like a ball:105Next, fit your fabric covered “blankie” cotton ball into the remaining space…glue the same way you did the head.171 139
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Here’s Andrew’s…he insisted on making himself one using the glue gun…you know the ending of that story.  He loves it though, red mark on his finger and all.
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Have Fun and Stay Warm!