Tag: craft

Portable Busy Box

Portable Busy Box

Sometimes you go somewhere, like a restaurant or the doctor’s office, and the kids get bored and restless sitting there. What can you do?

I’ll admit that I have resorted to handing over my phone in some dire circumstances, and although I am never particularly proud of myself for this, I am thankful for the temporary reprieve that it offers.

However, I knew in my bones that there had to be a better way. And then suddenly, after a hankering for turkey lettuce wraps, the solution sat in front of me in the form of an empty lunch meat container.

Just a smallish container and the possibilities became endless.

Supplies:

A small container per child

Art supplies–colored pencils, crayons, markers, stickers, and coloring pages have worked well for me

Small, versatile toys–blocks, figurines, or even a puzzle might be fun

Directions:

Mix and match! I like to change the contents of the containers frequently because I enjoy their surprise when they see what’s inside.

That’s it! Cheap, simple, fun, and effective.

4th of July Fork Painting

4th of July Fork Painting

This is really simple, but with my younger girls I often find that simple is best.

Supplies:

Tempera paint–white, red, and blue

Red or blue construction paper

A fork

Directions:

1. Hand out paint, paper, and forks.

2. Let the kids draw by dipping the fork in paint and using it on paper. I had hoped that the forks would help make firework and stripe patterns, but it turns out that they are 1 and 2 and mommy’s complex art ideas can be a bit silly to them.

Personalized Family Tree

Personalized Family Tree

Creating a visual representation of your family tree can be incredibly fun and rewarding. Whether you want one for yourself or need a special gift for someone you care for, this tree is a great personal project that’s sure to have lots of people smiling as they contribute their fingerprint leaves.

Disclosure: some of the supplies linked are affiliate links, meaning that, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you use this link to make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Supplies:

Colored buttons (I used these green ones for one and these orange ones for another)

Ink pads in shades of green (or whatever color you choose, I bought these ink pads)

Canvas (any size, I’m using 11 × 14)

Pencil and scrap paper

Embossing ink pen

Brown permanent marker

Needle and color coordinated thread OR hot glue gun

Embossing powder in shades of brown. I use Reflections embossing powder in copper, champagne, gold, and vintage mahogany. You can paint instead, but the embossing is really worth the effort.

Embossing heat gun

Directions:

  1. Make your family list and sketch a quick rough draft of the tree. The sketch isn’t important, you just need to have a general idea of where you want everything to go. 
    Number one terrible sketch.

    2. Using a pencil, lightly draw your tree on the canvas. Don’t overthink it! It’s okay for the lines to be wobbly and jagged, most trees aren’t perfectly straight. If you feel like you’ve messed up you can erase, but it might not all come off, it just depends on the pencil, eraser, and canvas. I like to write each person’s name on the inside of the branch. I also like to do parent’s names in a heart shape on the trunk with kids up in the canopy of the tree.

    3. Trace over your pencil with brown permanent marker. If you mess up you can use a cotton swab and alcohol or nail polish remover to very carefully remove the errors and correct them. 4. Using your embossing pen, draw some (many) lines through the branches of the tree and down the trunk. We’re emulating bark here, so it should be sort of erratic and natural looking. Once you’re satisfied with the amount of ink down, sprinkle with the first embossing powder color. I use copper as my first color because I prefer it as the dominant trunk color. 

    5. Repeat this step with the rest of your brown colored embossing powders, filling in empty spots with ink, dusting the tree, and then pouring it off. You might want to keep a paper towel next to you to wipe off the embossing powder that sticks to the embossing pen as you fill in the tree. 6. Now for the really fun part. Using your embossing gun, apply heat. Start at the bottom and work your way up. You will see the embossing powder flash in golden glory as it transforms. Move up the trunk and across the branches. Once you’re finished and all of the powder has been transformed, everything should have a wonderful golden shine.7. Grab your buttons! Pick some places that look to you like maybe there should be some leaves there to fill out the tree. Be sure to leave enough space that fingerprints won’t be obstructed. Sew into place or hot glue. I sewed onto this canvas, but my orange tree is on a board canvas (because I was worried that cats would rip canvas) so the orange buttons were hot glued on. 8. Add family fingerprints! I did one at home with just the kids and cats as an example. The green tree is going with us to our next family gathering to be filled in there.

Dyed Dryer Sheets

Dyed Dryer Sheets

This is just a fun way to recycle your old dryer sheets into something pretty and potentially useful. The great part is that it’s so simple kids can do it, too. I like using them in vases with paper flowers,especially with painted paper. I’ve considered trying to crochet strips into something, but haven’t tried it yet.

Supplies:

Used fabric softener sheets

Food coloring

Cups or bowls with water

Steps:

1. Add 15-20 drops of food coloring per cup of water. You can mix yellow and red for orange, and blue and green for turquoise. I have tried purple and am just never happy with the resulting grayish color–it lacks the vibrance of the other colors–but let me know if you figure out how to make purple work.

2. Push dryer sheets into the colored water until immersed. They should easily stay under the water once wet.

3. Let sit overnight, 8-12 hours.

4. Remove from water and lay flat or hang to dry.

5. Have fun playing with these.

 

Fun Summer Hats

Fun Summer Hats

Well it’s pretty hot here. I’m really not used to the Texas heat, so I’m just staying inside most of the time, which is a bummer. This means lots of indoor activities and crafts.

Today we made fun, colorful summer hats by repurposing old hats whose decorations had fallen (read: were pulled) off.

This was a lot of fun to do with the girls.

Supplies: Disclosure: some of the supplies linked are affiliate links, meaning that, at no additional cost to you, I will receive a commission if you use this link to make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

An old or cheap hat (these and these both look like great starters to me!)

Decorations: ribbon, bows, feathers, flowers, butterflies, pom poms

A hot glue gun (for adult use only)

 

Steps:

1. Place ribbon around brim. Glue in place.

2. Add some flowers or butterflies. Hot glue them in place. I used butterflies because I’m not sure where all my flowers are, and really like how it turned out.

3. Glue some feathers down on the “front.” You can add more flowers and such on top of the feathers. It starts to look really cute here.

4. We also put pom poms on the brim for a fun and silly addition.

Happy kids, happy life.

 

 

Bubble Painting

Bubble Painting

I wrote an instructable for paper flower bouquet last week. This project creates my preferred paper to use in those bouquets–bubble painted paper. I used to do this even before I had the kids just because it’s so much fun.

This is, however, my first attempt with the girls. I’m sure it’s going to be a bit messy. Heck, my kids are always messy, so it doesn’t matter much. Just be prepared for the cleanup. On the bright side, it’s soap! Cleanup is always better when what you’re cleaning up is soap.

Let’s do this!

Supplies:

white paper (8 1/2 x 11 printer paper is what we used)

Cups or bowls

straws

soap and water or bubble solution

water

food coloring

 

Steps:

 

1. Pour soap and water or bubble solution into bowls. Add a few drops of food coloring (adjust according to how bold you would like your colors to be). Give the cups or bowls a little swirl to distribute the color.
2. Distribute straws, bubble mix, and paper among all involved adults and kids. I had a 2 1/2 year old and an 18 month old participating. I quickly found out that the bubble mixture was inappropriate for my younger daughter, who tried to drink it. We then substituted her solution for colored almond milk, which she painted with and drank happily.

3. Blow bubbles onto your paper. They should cascade across your paper, clinging to it, creating fun marbling effects, and splattering color everywhere! It’s delightful.

 

4. Set aside to dry.

Once dry, these papers make lovely origami bases. I do suggest trying out a Paper Tulip Bouquet, which is fun and beautiful. Next week maybe we’ll do another related project!

Toddler Activities for Rainy Days

Toddler Activities for Rainy Days

Well, we had told the kids that we would go to the zoo today because it was supposed to be cooler. We woke up to a dark sky and pouring rain–no way was the zoo happening. Boo!

Oh well. I felt bad, though. I wanted to give them something different and engaging to do.


Activity 1: pom pom toss

I used painter’s tape to tape some toilet paper and paper towel rolls to the wall and handed each a cup full of pom poms. Karissa loved this and kept going back to it constantly.

Bonus Activities: Madilyn dropped a few through the tubes before deciding that it wasn’t really her thing. She decided to sit down and sort the pom poms instead (she really loves pom poms), and then wanted to stick and unstick tape to the wall for a while.

Relocated pom pom toss

Activity 2: Paper Basketball

My mom in law constantly gets junk mail clothing catalogues, so today we utilized them! We made some crumpled paper “balls” and tried to throw them in our bucket “baskets.” Alas, mommy doesn’t have great aim.

Oh well, still fun.


Activity 3: Straw Bead Necklaces

I still love crafts, but since we moved I’m not sure where everything is. This is really easy–all you need is some stiff string (we used paracord), plastic straws, and scissors to cut your straws into beads.  Give them to little hands for great motor skills practice. I was very impressed with both girls, Madi even strung the beads herself.

So proud of her work

I love getting to share what we do with you and I’m always looking for new fun and/or easy activities to do with my girls. What does your family do for fun on rainy days?

Glitter Pinecone Ornament

Glitter Pinecone Ornament

Trying to get two small children immersed in the spirit of the season can be tough. It involves lots of music, lights, walking, crayons, wrapping paper and bows. When you add crafting components it can get loud and messy. That’s alright though–we had a ton of fun! Karissa kept saying, “It’s pretty, mommy,” as she poured it through her fingers over the pinecone. Fun fact: everyone was 85 percent less frustrated than usual. That’s a win for me! Heads up, my one year old did nothing except eat glue and chew on the brush, so that could be in your future.

Supplies:

Elmer’s glue

Pinecones (we used three)

Paintbrushes or sponges

Festive colored glitter (we mixed green and silver, and red and gold)

Ribbon

Steps:

1. Brush glue over the outside of the pinecone.

 

2. Pour glitter over the pinecone.

3. Set aside and allow to dry.

4. Tie a ribbon to hang.

Mother’s Day Print Cards

Mother’s Day Print Cards

My sister is visiting, so she gets to help with a special Mother’s Day project today! I love my mom–my sweet, far away, Texan mom. Sadly, the distance means that she doesn’t get to see the kids. She’s seen Kari three times and Madi once, so we have to let her know that we’re thinking of her on this special holiday! This card didn’t turn out as great as I wanted it to, but it incorporated more people and was still a ton of fun.

Difficulty: medium

Supplies:
8 1/2 × 11 thick paper or cardstock cut in half
Paint
Embellishments (feathers, sequins, glitter )
A little helper or two

Steps:
1. On the front of the card, write your sentiments. I have also added a few decorative feathers and sequins as embellishments.

2. Paint your hand green, turquoise, blue, or purple–some peacocky color. In the center of the inside press firmly, leaving an imprint. Have anyone else participating do the same thing on top of yours in a different color, creating layers of “peacock feathers.” My sister, husband and two girls are doing this with me, so we have 5 layers.

3. For the body, take blue paint and paint the body off to one side–let him show off that tail! I mixed dark blue, light blue, and lime green glitter in with my paint.

4. Put some white paint for an eye–I just did a dot with my finger. Once it dries, Add a pupil with black paint or a sharpie marker. Add a beak with a little bit of yellow or orange paint.

5. Against the top of the peacock’s head add a little feather tuft using a blue, green, or purple feather.

6. Label your handprints and send to moms and grandmas!

Valentines Cards

Valentines Cards

Today we’re making cards for family for the next upcoming holiday! I have a 16 month old and a 3 month old, so the cards are very simple for now, just crayons and paint. Kari actually participated happily, which surprised me. She scribbled on the paper–I had six papers out–and slapped red paint onto the page for me.

Difficulty– Easy (depending on your participants)

Supplies:
8 1/2 x 11 paper or cardstock cut in half
Washable finger paint or colored ink pads
Any other crafty supplies your toddler might enjoy (glitter, glue, foam shapes, crayons, sequins–the possibilities are endless!)
A little helper or two

Steps:
1. Let your child/children color the paper, write, etc.
2. Have your child make a handprint on the inside of the paper. Decorate the handprint if desired.


3. On the cover, use two footprints in the shape of a heart to adorn the card. I am using my 3 month old’s feet to make hearts.
4. Write a cute phrase on the front of the card. Add embellishments–here I added stickers and ribbon.
5. Add any finishing touches, such as names and dates. Make sure you label the prints for relatives!