Archive for the ‘ Crafts ’ Category

City-Streets Felt Craft: FamilyFun Test Drive

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

I’m sure I’ve said this before, but my 4-year-old son Oliver is of the wheel-loving variety. Cars, trucks, trains…he loves it all. When I was flipping through the June/July issue of FamilyFun and saw this felt road project, I knew this was a must-do. It’s basically 2 materials—felt and duct tape— and no drying time. Gotta love crafts that simple. The photo in the magazine had yellow roads with black lines, but I didn’t have black duct tape, so I reversed it. (They also recommend using thinner tape that you don’t have to cut, but I discovered a work-around for that! Read on…)

What you’ll need:

  • Cereal or cracker box
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Black felt
  • Yellow duct tape
  • Parchment paper

 

So the first thing to do is to measure and draw a 5″ by 5″ square onto the cardboard and cut it out.

Then, take this square and lay it on your felt to trace. You can make straight lines by just moving that cardboard piece or you can make an intersection like this one. Basically, I kept tracing and cutting until I ran out of black felt. Flip the felt over before the next step so any pencil lines are on the back.

The last step is to put the street lines on. Have you ever tried cutting duct tape? It’s a total pain in the rear—it sticks to the scissors, curls up, sticks to itself; basically, it’s a nightmare. So I came up with this quick technique. Ready? Rip off a piece of duct tape and stick it to parchment paper. Then, cut 1/4″ to 1/2″ wide strips. They peel right off and stick to the felt really well. Now it’s time to play!

Oliver and his friend Elias loved driving his cars around the streets! (Then Sommer came home from ballet, and joined in. Why not?) Bonus: It’s a great (read: lightweight), portable toy to take on trips.

Just as one extra added step, I made this little handy storage bag. I’m on a constant toy-organization rampage, and I figured it would be the easiest way to get Oliver and Sommer to put these pieces away. (It’s totally worth having a stash of these cotton bags to store small toy parts and pieces in!)

Home Organization: Organizing Toys
Home Organization: Organizing Toys
Home Organization: Organizing Toys

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Prince George’s First Birthday Party Hats: FamilyFun Test Drive

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Oh, I do love a good birthday party! And better yet, I love crafting for birthday parties. Probably one of the biggest first birthday celebrations of our time is coming up on July 22nd…that of Prince George Alexander Louis Mountbatten-Windsor, son of Prince William and Kate. Yes in about 10 days or so, #GeorgeTurns1. It’s hard to even fathom how the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will commemorate this momentous occasion. Will there be royal pony rides? A cake in the shape of Buckingham Palace? And what will the favors be? Chocolate Big Ben’s on a stick? Personalized teabags? Knighthood?

The one thing I know will be VERY important is the party hat. Perhaps little George will don a fancy birthday crown, as many first birthday honorees do, but what will the party goers wear? Party-Hat Fascinators, but of course! You must recall the creative fascinator showing that emerged when William and Kate got married—I feel like the world really learned the extent of what head-wear could be. Here are a few gems from Kate Middleton’s time in the spotlight:

Inspired by FamilyFun’s July 4th party hats, Oliver, Sommer, and I got to work on souped-up versions of our own. I decided to use white paper party cups—they have a dull surface (no shine) so they are perfect for crafting. We started with paint—and it got messy fast. But it was super-fun. Sommer lost focus, but Oliver was down with making another hat, this time using washi tape (a crafter after my own heart).

I had pre-cut the circle brims (you can download the template here), and I let them decide what materials to use to accessorize their fascinator party hats. Feathers were a natural choice, and Oliver chose yarn pom-poms (I love these from eeBoo), and Sommer couldn’t help herself; she needed to add some bling to bring her hat to the level of royalty. (At just past two-years-old, she is firmly convinced she’s a princess. Not sure how that happened.)

For my own, I used washi tape, feathers, and then I added a fringed cupcake liner carnation—a craft from my book, Project Kid.

My favorite part of making these paper-party-hat fascinators is that there are no rules when it comes to embellishments. The more supplies, the more the merrier! And once your kids put them on, their goofy sides will really come out!

Happy Birthday, Prince George!

 

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FamilyFun Test Drive: July 4th Wreath Decoration

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

People have been asking me lately why I think that crafting for July 4th has become so popular. I think there are a few things working here…

  1. All kids are out of school, so there’s a collective need for something to do!
  2. It’s the ultimate celebration of summer since the season officially begins just about 2 weeks before.
  3. There’s no decision-making about the color scheme. Its red, white, and blue or bust. There something nice about crafting with a universal color palette.
I made this wreath by myself, but my 4-year-old son Oliver could definitely have helped with the gluing of the straws. My daughter Sommer was ready for the parade…after she marched up and down the block with the wreath, I was thinking it would be cute to replace a straw with a 1/2-inch-wide dowel for parade-marching or lawn ornamentation. (Just print 2 of the templates and glue them on either side if you’re not hanging it on your door or against a wall!)

What you’ll need:

  • Template printed onto card stock
  • Pencil
  • Cardboard
  • Tacky glue
  • Paper straws
  • Fishing line
  • Glue stick
1. Print out the adorable template from Parents.com
2. Trace the template onto regular cardboard twice, and cut out both circles.
3. Make several rings of tacky glue on one cardboard circle and lay the straws in the glue. You can alternate red and blue or let it be random. Make sure to leave about a 2″ circle in the center. 
4. Cut a 1-inch piece of straw and thread a long length of fishing line through that piece and knot the ends. Glue that small straw piece into the center of the cardboard circle with tacky glue. 
5. Apply a generous amount of glue on top of the straws and then cover with the second cardboard circle.
6. With a glue stick, attach the card stock center.
7. Trim the straws to different lengths (I chose to trim my red ones only).

 

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President Obama’s National Day of Making!

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

I was raised to listen to authority. I took it seriously (most of the time) and today, I think we should all listen to our president’s declaration of the National Day of Making! While I do realize that Mr. President is trying to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in technology and the like, I don’t think we have to discount our need (and love) for the decorative arts! So I say…make robots, make jewelry, make cupcakes!

Here’s a fun, quick, and easy little project that you can do with your kids on this first National Day of Making!

What you’ll need:

  1. Decorate beads with paint pens and let dry. While they are drying, wrap cord around 2 fingers about 8-10 times. Cut bundle from the spool.
  2. Cut a 20″ piece of cord and thread it through the loops of the bundle.
  3. Tie a knot to keep the bundle together in the center of the 20″ cord.
  4. Cut the loops at the bottom and thread the long strings through the 2 beads to make a necklace. (not shown)

Today is the first ever White House Maker Faire (oh how I’d love to be there!)—visit the website to learn, watch, and make! Post what you are making on social media with the hashtag, #nationofmakers .

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8 Fabulous (and free!) Father’s Day Printables

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

The Father’s Day rule in my household is simple. Dad gets to choose whatever he wants for that day (and ditto on Mother’s Day). So for example, if Dad wants to lay in the park with a bagel and lox and play catch for 7 minutes then lay in the sun then nap when the kids nap then choose his own restaurant for dinner, then so be it. That’s what he gets. If he decides that he doesn’t want to make any decisions, then Mom and kids take over. It’s our way of relieving the pressure of gift giving—we have birthdays and other holidays for that. But there’s always room for a little bit of surprise, even in a day totally prescribed by Dad. And these adorable printables are sure to bring a smile to his face!

Top: Paper Dad Rocks—Mr. Printables / Sugar cookie fries (we are making these!)—Bakerella (those are sugar cookie fries!) / Gummy bottle labels—Get Creative Juice

Middle: Love you to the moon and back photobooth printables—B Kids / Dad Coupons—The DadaBase

Bottom: Etch-a-Sketch card—Zakka Life (via Cool Mom Picks) / Nuts About Dad—Design Dining Diapers / We Heart Daddy banner—Paging Supermom

Kids Talk about Loving their Daddy
Kids Talk about Loving their Daddy
Kids Talk about Loving their Daddy

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