Posts Tagged ‘ art ’

This Kid-Friendly Craft is a Keeper

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

Vases_350 As a kid, my life wasn’t governed by too many rules. Still, there was one hard-and-fast mandate I knew not to break: No craft projects involving glitter. Actually, the rule was more like: No crazy craft projects, period. (My mom simply hated buying all the expensive supplies, which inevitably got lost in the back of the closet.) Aside from coloring, the one thing she really encouraged us to do was papier-mâché. I’m pretty sure that's because it only involved three household staples: water, Elmer’s glue, and old newspapers.

Anyway, last night, while flipping through the newest issue of our crafty sister-pub, ReadyMade, I came across a project that I’m dying to try: Turning empty plastic bottles into striking colored vases. The materials are cheap/recycled and it involves papier-mâché? Even Mom would approve.

Most impressive to me is that while the so-simple instructions are easy enough for little ones to take on, they result in some truly chic vessels (ReadyMade’s vases, which started out as empty Method hand soap and POM juice bottles, among others, remind me of pricey Jonathan Adler ceramics I’ve long coveted for my living room.) I’d like to make a few  of my own this week—I’m thinking one could be the perfect container for a sweet Mother’s Day bouquet ….

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A Green Bouquet for Mommy

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Ss_101371704 In case you haven't picked up the May issue of Parents, I thought I'd share with you our adorable, simple, and eco-friendly Mother's Day Bouquet (crafted by the ultra-talented Blair Stocker of Wise Craft).

These flowers are made from magazine or catalog pages, chenille stems, and buttons. Below is the simple how-to, and you can see the step-by-step photos on Parentsmag.com.

What you'll need: Pencil, Ruler, Scissors, Glossy magazines, Hole punch, Green chenille stems, Buttons

  1. Cut
    4 to 6 same-size strips lengthwise from colorful magazine pages. Choose
    the width of your strips from 1/2 inch to 1 inch — the narrower the
    strips, the more you will need to make the flower appear full.
  2. Punch 3 holes along each strip — one centered and the others 1/2 inch
    from either end. Hold paper face down and poke a chenille stem through
    the center hole. Fold ends over to slide other two holes onto stem.
  3. Add remaining strips, arranging them to form a flower design, as shown.
    Thread the chenille stem through a button, then back in through the
    flower, twisting stem behind the petals to hold it in place.

So once you've digested the May issue in its entirety, go ahead and make some flowers!

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With This Ring, I Thee Color

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

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I'm a sucker for a crayons. Actually I come from a mother who collects them! We have all the limited edition boxes, unopened—she always bought three, one for me, one for my sister, and one for her. Apparently, they'll one day be collectors' items. So when I spotted these ring crayons by Timothy Liles (also limited editions) on Ohdeedoh, I felt the need to get them for my mom (until I saw the price). But regardless, I wanted to share, just because the concept is so darn cute. If wearable crayons are a must-have in your home, then check out these (more affordable) finger crayons from Alex Toys.

I now pronounce you Burnt Sienna and Midnight Blue.

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Tags: , , , | Categories: Crafts, Time for Fun

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A Success Story!

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

3366541636_9d7624364f A game that is both highly portable and creatively inspiring passes two very important criteria in my book.

Check out this super fun idea from The Toby Show—just get a few simple wood blocks (only 25 cents each from Casey's Wood Products!) and paint or collage each side with a simple, recognizable icon like a tree, house, butterfly, ball, etc. The idea is that Player 1 rolls a die and begins a story about that object. Player 2 rolls the 2nd die, and continues the story, but using her picture. And so on and so on. This would be a great waiting room game or restaurant distraction.

Found via (the ever-amazing) Crafty Crow.

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The Easiest Easter Eggs of All

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

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Last year, when my friend Lea invited me to help make Easter eggs with her daughter, I almost laughed in her face. Everything at Lea's place—from the couch, to the tablecloth, to the cushions on her kitchen chairs—is white; it's about as dye-unfriendly as apartments come. But it turns out that this super-prudent (and creative!) mama wasn't planning on coloring her eggs in spillable pots of neon liquid—instead, she was planning on doing it dye-free, using silk ties she'd picked up for pennies at a stoop sale.

I'd never before heard of the "tie dye" egg method—but after spending an afternoon trying it out, I can vouch that not only is it completely mess- and hassle-free, the results look amazing. In fact, this weekend, I'm planning on hitting the flea market to pick up a few silk neckties for my own eggs. Want to give this technique a try? Here's how:

What you’ll need:
-Silk ties
-Eggs
-White rags (like an old t-shirt or sheet)
-Rubber bands
-Household Vinegar

What to do:
1. Cut silk ties into square pieces of fabric (large enough to cover an egg).
2. Cut even larger squares out of the white rags.
3. Place egg in center of a silk square, with the printed side facing the egg. Wrap fabric around the egg.
4. Place silk-wrapped egg on white square. Gather  edges and secure the "sack" with a rubber band.
5. Place eggs in large non-aluminum pot. Fill with enough water to cover the eggs.
6. Add a few glugs of vinegar to the pot; bring water to a boil. Reduce heat; let simmer 25 minutes.
7. Use a slotted spoon to remove eggs from water and let cool before removing the fabric.
8. For more vibrantly colored eggs, wipe with a little vegetable oil once dry.

Gorgeous photos via The Little Red Hen.

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How Do Your Children Grow?

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

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I'm a little obsessed with growth charts these days—anything from pencil marks on the door jamb to cute printed designs to follow the accumulating inches. Of all the products I've seen lately, this one by Etsy artist Miss Natalie made my heart flutter. Yes, it's a little divergent from the traditional growing flower motif, but I love it for its simplicity, rustic-ness, and mostly for its ability to be hung in any room of the house.

It comes packaged in an heirloom wooden box and contains a 4'
long jute ribbon that's mounted on wooden dowels, twenty tags (ten in red,
ten in manila) with space to mark your child's name, age, and date of
measurement, and twenty large safety pins in a muslin bag
to secure your child's tag on the burlap ribbon. Yes, I know, this concept is totally DIY-able, but how great would this be as a gift for a new parent?

Found via a new (to me) beautiful blog, Mer Mag.

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Tags: , , , , , , | Categories: Crafts, Your Child

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Affordable, Original Art for Your Baby’s Bedroom

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

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Just a month into my new gig at Parents, I’ve been staying late at the office most nights. And since I seem to have made myself at home in my cubicle, I thought it made sense to make my cubicle a little more, well, homey. The challenge? I don’t have much of a budget for office décor, but I can’t stomach the thought of putting up something mass-produced (no Starry Night poster, please!). So, I turned to my favorite source for affordable, original art: Etsy. While browsing for prints to brighten up my workspace, I happened upon this amazing, graphic Alphabet Pipeline poster. Intrigued, I decided to check out what other cool, kid-friendly designs might be out there. Turns out, when it comes nursery art, chic (and cheap!) options abound. I couldn’t keep my excitement to myself, so I rounded up a few of my favorite finds (from $14 a pop) for you to check out. From left to right: Birds in Tree, Monstropolis, I Like to Rock, Daryl No 78365, and Jungle Animals.

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Pom-Pom Pals: A Craft Success Story

Wednesday, February 18th, 2009

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One of the most rewarding aspects of our job in magazines is reading happy, positive reader mail. As the crafts editor, I'm lucky enough to get a visual of the success story, like this sweet photo from Parents reader Megan Grebowiec from Plainville, Kansas. Megan and her 3 year old daughter Kaydence crafted the Pom-Pom Pals from our January 2009 issue (and they did so very well, I might add).

If you have photos of your craft accomplishments, please send them to us at mailbag@parentsmag.com. We love to see our ideas (and your creativity) in action!

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