Passover is a funny holiday for crafting. Not really funny as in Ha Ha, but more like funny as in unexpected. Story-wise, it’s not the most joyous of weeks—there is a triumph in the end, but getting there was quite difficult for the Israelites. (Rather than do a synopsis of the book of Exodus, you can read the story to you kids from here.)
But, even the most serious of holidays deserve a little craft in their step and since I refuse to promote crafts of the 10 plagues (ew), I found these 4 (one made by yours truly) to be particularly surprising and fun!
When I was a kid, my sister, cousin Andy, and I were in competition for finding the hidden matzah (the afikomen). So after the official search, we would just wrap it up again and again and hide it for each other. Since Aunt Rosa didn’t wan’t crumbs all over the place, it ended up being just “hide the napkin.” So I thought, what if I make this fake matzah out of cardboard? Then we could really hide it and do a craft at the same time? Cut a square of cardboard (mine was 6 1/2 x 6 1/2″) and paint it a tan color. Let it dry, then use a pencil to poke holes in the cardboard. Glue brown yarn or twine around the edges to give it that finished, baked look. Look ma…no crumbs! (My son Oliver made the middle one here, by the way)
I always repurpose cereal boxes and cracker boxes for crafts, but it never occurred to me to craft with a matzah box. I love how Deep Fried Kudzu cut letters out of the boxes to make this holiday sign. Save your boxes to make the sign for next year!
Gingerbread houses are so much fun to make, but they are almost always Christmas-themed. With this unleavened holiday, who says you can’t make a matzah house, complete with a kosher-for-Passover fruit chew fence! Boca Raton Matzah house found via Epicurious.
The pyramids are such a symbol of the holiday, representing the slavery that the Israelites endured. While obviously not as hard to build, these origami pyramids are fun to make and teach kids about the 3D form. No Jewish holiday is complete without a visit to the blog, Creative Jewish Mom.
Which came first, the carton or the egg? Just a little egg humor to start off one of my favorite posts this spring—crafts for Easter made from egg cartons! We focus so much on the egg, and that poor container just gets tossed aside into the recycling bin—so much potential wasted. This year, stop yourself and make one of these six crafts with your kids!
I have seen a fair share of wreaths made from egg carton segments, and they are lovely, but to be honest, they look like an insane amount of work. And that’s what I love about this beauty from Honest to Nod, the Land of Nod blog. You don’t have to save dozens of egg cartons, cut them up, and paint them. These lovely flowers are made from just one carton, and as you see in the how-to photos, they are legitimately created by a young child. Really, they had me at the embroidery hoop. Just adorable.
I usually don’t love the styrofoam cartons, but these little chicks from Parenting.com are just perfect. They are so easy to make and I can just imagine one sitting on each plate at the Easter brunch table.
I’d be hard-pressed to find a party supply website with more style than Shop Sweet Lulu. And again, they knocked my socks off with this adorable take on an egg-carton Easter basket. They call them Easter Sundae Kits, because they are intended to be used to decorate a bowl of ice cream. How genius? Give the kids an array of candy in the mini cartons and decorate the top with a paper pinwheel and a spoon.
If these little baskets look a little Christmasy, it’s because they were designed with that holiday in mind. But I think they have such potential to be intended for Easter and I’m super-tempted to whip some up tomorrow (stay tuned). You can find these and other gorgeous craft ideas in this issue of Inspired Ideas.
Egg cups are one of the joys of Easter in my book. I love seeing all of the variations and styles from around the globe. These hand-painted, cardboard versions from Zakka Life stand up to any others if you ask me.
I can’t find the origin of this photograph, so I’m sad to not give credit where credit is due because This. Is. Amazing. Turn parts of your carton into a chicken. Can you even stand it? Found via Pinterest.
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!
My son is obsessed with cooking. Whether it’s dropping a piece of bread in the toaster, dumping the noodles into the hot water, or making cookies from scratch, he drags his chair over to the kitchen counter so he can lend a helping hand. (I only wish that his enthusiasm for cooking matched his enthusiasm for eating, but that’s another story.) He’s always saying, “Mommy we need to read the constructions,” (meaning instructions or recipe, of course), and I’ve always craved a more visual guide that would allow him to follow along and even tell ME what to do next!
Well, enter Raddish…a new subscription services that delivers an awesome box of cooking (and crafting) goodies to your doorstep each month. Here’s what you get:
3 family friendly recipe guides (They are slick and wipeable…no more spills on the iPad or bleeding ink on a computer print-out! The illustrations are adorable and easy to follow.)
2 creative family activities (They give you everything you need for the crafts!)
A grocery list (thank goodness…someone to do it for you!)
A skill card that teaches kids (and parents) culinary techniques
An adorable Raddish patch to be ironed on to the Raddish apron
Table talk cards to ensure fun dinner table conversation
Here’s the thing: children who explore in the kitchen are much more likely to become adventurous eaters (yes, please). Tasks as simple as washing and peeling veggies can empower kids and get them excited to eat wholesome foods. Plus, countless studies prove that families who eat meals together raise healthier, safer, and more successful children. No brainer, right?
Raddish is designed by teachers who believe the kitchen classroom is the tastiest place to learn. Each box incorporates math, science, nutrition, geography, culture, and history. Raddish provides culinary instruction that cultivates a diverse palate, increases self-confidence, and helps build a solid foundation for a healthy future.
(That’s my little Oliver, wearing his Raddish apron proudly, rollin’ out his pizza dough!)