When I think of Earth Day crafting, I think of 2 things. First, I think of upcycling…taking something out of the recycling bin and turning it into something else. Secondly, I think about crafting with elements of nature…shopping in your backyard or park for FREE craft supplies provided by Mother Nature herself.
Ok, it’s time for a moment of shameless self-promotion! My craft book, Project Kid, hit the shelves this week, and I couldn’t be more proud! It’s a book for kids ages 3 and up (I don’t like to put an end cap because even adults tell me they want to make my projects!) with over 100 unique (and awesome, if I do say so myself) projects.
I really tried to look at the world through the eyes of a child, seeing juice boxes as the bodies of owls and paper towel tubes as freight trains. My trips to the grocery store were spent staring at oatmeal containers and cereal boxes, trying to invent new ways to transform them. The rocket on the cover? That’s a Dove body wash bottle covered in a sock! Scroll down for a how-to of one of my favorite projects in the book, but first, check out this fun video that my publisher, Artisan Books produced to really capture the whimsy and playfulness of the book.
And now, let’s get crafting! Visit my website ProjectKid.com for information about craft events and book signings in your area! You can also follow me on Facebook and Twitter for updates and fun pics!
Painted Feather Peacock Fan
What you’ll need:
8 to 10 white feathers
Acrylic paint in blue, yellow, green, and turquoise
Gold glitter glue
Blue and yellow craft paper
Paint the feathers as shown or in your own design. Let dry.
Add glitter glue embellishments—tiny dots or thin stripes are best. Let dry.
To create the peacock’s body, draw a 2-inch tall figure eight on the back of the blue craft paper; make the top oval about half the size of the bottom one. Cut along the outside edge of the figure eight, leaving about 1⁄8 inch of space around it.
For the beak, cut a tiny triangle from the yellow craft paper and glue it, pointing down, to the small end of the figure eight.
To create your fan, cut a 1-inch square from either color of craft paper and glue the bottom points of your feathers to it close together in a fan shape.
Finish by gluing the large side of the figure eight on top of the junction of the feathers.
Cupcakes, cell phones, Hello Kitty, and BLING! What do these things have in common, you ask? The answer: decoden! And what is decoden? It’s a Japanese-inspired craft trend that is sweeping the nation. Deco is short for decorate and Den is short for denwa, the Japenese word for phone. The technique started as a cell phone decoration, but now you can see it on everything from compact mirrors to picture frames to even finger nails! In short, decoden is just another form of mosaic, but instead of using tiles, you use rhinestones, pearls, clay charms, and, of course, glitter!
Until now, the supplies were a little hard to come by here in the US. You could buy them on Amazon or Etsy, but it was cost-prohibitive because they are mostly coming from Japan. Now, Mod Podge (my favorite craft supply ever) has come out with product line that will make DecoDen a hit here in the States (check your local Michaels Stores for availability). Visit Cathie & Steve’s Handmade Happy Hour to read about the products and to watch videos about how the products work. They were kind enough to send a heap of supplies for my friend Sophia’s 12th birthday party, and I can tell you first hand that THIS IS FUN. I loved it and the kids were obsessed!
To start your decoden projects, you need a few basic things—collage clay (commonly called whip), the object that you want to decorate, and your embellishments (charms-commonly referred to as cabochons, rhinestones, beads, mini-erasers, glitter). You can also use dimensional paint as the adhesive to stick the items to the object. Most of the charms that you see in the photo above are plastic trinkets that I pulled off of inexpensive hair rubber bands and clips, but kids can make their own with polymer clay or with Mod Podge’s new product called Mod Melts. You use the melts with a glue gun and silicone molds to make your own cabochons.
The Collage Clay goes on like icing (but don’t eat it!) It comes packaged in a piping bag and comes with 3 different tips. Here I am showing the kids how you can apply the clay in different patterns, and Victoria is practicing her technique before applying it to her frame.
And then, the decorating began. I offered very little design direction—the kids just went for it full speed ahead. Some went for broad strokes with big, overlapping chunky decorations, and others spent the entire 3-hour party painstakingly applying tiny rhinestones like a mosaic to the back of their phone cases. It was so insane to watch!
If you want to learn all the ins and outs of decoden, check out this brand new book, DecoDen Bling by Alice Fisher. Jump on this craft train people. You’re looking at the next Rainbow Loom explosion!
Birthday girl Sophia was more than pleased with her unique decoden birthday party! I might venture to say it is one of the first of its kind around these parts!
I love me some green. In fact, I think green is my favorite of all colors—emerald, chartreuse, apple—you can’t go wrong in my eyes. But on St. Patty’s day, I want nothing to do with the color. The sea of green before my eyes blurs my love for the hue. So this year, I’ve decided to embrace another symbol of the day…the rainbow. Here are a few creative ways to embrace the rainbow on St. Patrick’s Day 2014!
I really don’t need a holiday to make and wear this adorable rainbow necklace. Visit Oh Happy Day for the how-to!
We all love the rainbow layer cake, but I’m also crushing on this M&M rainbow variation to make (and eat) on St. Patty’s Day. Found via Pinterest.
I love the pencil eraser as a print-making stamp tool. Teach your kids about ROYGBIV with this fun little rainbow craft. Crafted by MerMag, found via Minted.
Two things I love…Valentine crafts and neon colors! It’s time to start thinking about the assembly-line production of class Valentines, so here are 3 cute neon ideas to get you started! (I promise I will whole-craftily obsess over February 14th for the next 4 weeks, so there’s lots more to come!)
I love how these little origami hearts look like they have wings! The solid neon paper really makes the heart shape pop. Find the how-to here. Found via LMNOP.
Let your kids decorate white card stock with wild abandon using neon dot stickers and washi tape. After it’s covered, cut hearts out and write the message on the back to finish the cards. Found via Blank Goods.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a kid who didn’t LOVE glow necklaces and bracelets. Download this adorable Valentine from Delia Creates. Or, check out Craftiness is not Optional for a slightly different version!