Jenna received a sewing machine for Christmas this year, and she’s been stitching and stitching ever since. I had no idea how well this gift would be received. She’s already made a pillow, a coin purse and a small pouch for taking her Shopkins on the go. For anyone else considering a similar gift, here are some recommendations for a child’s starter sewing kit that is likely to inspire confidence and creativity. (more…)
This weekend, Jenna and I painted tiny tube-shaped pasta and made necklaces with the pasta beads:
We’ve been having lots of sick days at our house, and sick days for kids means work-from-home days for mom and dad. Trying to balance caring for – and entertaining – a sick child with conference calls and other work-related tasks isn’t easy, so I love when I find an activity that keeps Jason or Jenna independently engaged for a little bit of time. Felt Forests turned out to be just such an activity. All it takes is a big pile of triangles cut out of felt (older children can cut their own), a glue stick and paper or poster board.
My kids often start collecting something (rocks, acorns, leaves, etc.) that I keep for awhile with the idea of developing a creatively genius craft to do with them. Honestly, I’d even settle for a moderately entertaining craft. But in the end, the need to clear away clutter wins out and I end up throwing things away. To get ahead of the game (or maybe just to always appear creatively genius), I thought I’d work on a series of posts centered around a specific material and what to do with it. I’m hoping this will also help lessen my stockpile of leftover art and craft supplies … 10 things to do with paper towel rolls, pipe cleaners, bubble wrap … my list goes on and on.
First up, stick and stones.
What fun this was! I had no idea when I taped half a roll of gift wrap to the floor and put out a few paint brushes, stamps and a selection of paint that J+J would be so thrilled. I was hoping to have enough gift wrap for grandma and grandpa’s presents, but based on the painting party that ensued, I think I could wrap nearly everything under the tree with their designs.
Here’s how the scene went down:
It was a Christmas craft-tastic weekend, starting with the Etsy Dallas Jingle Bash on Saturday and continuing into Sunday when we put our Christmas tree up (early, I know) and worked on all sorts of holiday crafts. Jason was in a rare artsy mood, so I definitely took advantage. On the holiday card front, J+J put on a stellar performance (in anticipation of the promised lollipops), and I could only blame so-so lighting and my so-so skills for the less-than-perfect results. That being said, this is the first year they are together AND smiling, so who am I to complain?
Post-holiday photo shoot lollipop cheers
We put the kids in charge of decorations this year
Dallas Etsy Jingle Bash
Making graffiti gift wrap – more on that tomorrow
We started with a couple of colors of Sculpey Premo clay. The neon pink was too dry to work with, and Jenna only wanted to make worms with the green, so all of our beads were red, white and light pink.
We made the beads by rolling the clay into small shapes, pressing a toothpick through the centers and then baking at 275 degrees for 30 minutes.
Once the beads were cool, I strung them on thin jewelry string.
And then we put on our new necklaces:
Jenna and I made papier-mache ghosts this weekend. It was a huge mess, but lots of fun.
Here’s how we made them:
First, we assembled the materials:
- Elmers Glue
- Printer Paper, cut into strips
- Tissue Paper, cut into strips
- Doilies, cut into small, irregular pieces
- Small Dixie cups
I put a layer of wet (with water, not glue) paper strips over the cup to form a base.
Next, I made a mixture of half glue, half water in a shallow bowl and covered the base in a couple of layers of printer paper strips.
Then I gave the form to Jenna and let her pile on more and more paper strips, tissue paper and doilies.
We let the shapes dry for several hours.
Once the shapes were almost dry, I cut out eyes and mouths and let Jenna glue the faces to the ghosts. I let the ghosts dry until firm, then removed the inside Dixie cups.
My mom suggested we try this craft – at our house, not hers. I think she must have known how messy it would be. But J+J loved it, so I have a feeling we’ll be making more shaving cream snow before winter’s end.
The snow mixture can be made with 2 parts shaving cream and 1 part glue, but we made ours a little light on the glue since I knew we would be getting our hands in it. For more three-dimensionality to the snow, you can stick to the 2-to-1 ratio.
J+J had a great time with Elizabeth yesterday. Here’s a peek at our pumpkins:
Today is the first day of fall, but you wouldn’t know it by the 90 degree temperatures. Despite the continued heatwave, we celebrated the day by making prints with leaves that we collected during last night’s walk. Admittedly, not a lot of leaves are on the ground yet, so I had to pull a couple off of the branches. Don’t tell my neighbors.
Earlier this year I made paper guitars for Jason and Jenna to decorate. I’m thinking about incorporating this craft into Jason’s upcoming birthday party, but this time I’d like them to withstand the wear and tear that a large group of 2 to 6 year olds are likely to inflict. So I made a sample one and gave it to Jason today to see what destruction ensued. I didn’t see much damage, but I did see quite a bit of rock-n-roll adorableness.
Today’s art is a two-step project that we started yesterday. First we dipped the coffee filters into water dyed with watercolors and then we used brushes to add some dots. Today, we took the dried filters and made butterflies.