Keepsake Crafts for Mother's Day
These little vessels look like they came off a potter's wheel but are actually hand-rolled from clay.
1. Use a large marker or any smooth cylinder to roll softened polymer clay (such as Fimo or Sculpey) into a slab that's about 1/8 inch thick.
2. Press a second color of clay onto the slab, if you like. Use small balls or snakes of clay for dots and stripes. Roll the slab smooth again.
3. Use a clay tool or plastic knife to cut a rectangle about 2 inches by 2 1/2 inches from the slab. Loosely wrap the rectangle around a finger and smooth the seam closed to form a cylinder.
4. Form a base by placing the cylinder on a 1/8-inch-thick remnant of clay and cutting around it. Smooth the edges of the base to the cylinder, and seal up any holes. Press and smooth the clay walls to shape the vase as desired.
5. Bake the vase according to the clay package directions.
Kids can make armloads of these cool bangles for Mom, grandmothers, teachers, and others. Start by twisting together the ends of three 18-inch lengths of crepe paper streamers, then wrap the twist tightly with tape. Braid the paper until it's 7 to 8 inches long. Twist and tape the ends together. Coat the ends with tacky glue and insert them into either end of a wood bead. Brush the bracelet with Hard Coat Mod Podge. Set the bangle on a sheet of waxed paper, shape it into a circle, and let it dry.
Pick of the Bunch
Turn an old wire whisk into a fun flower that can last for years.
1. Bend the loops out from the center of the whisk, as shown.2. Tear paper into strips. We used translucent Japanese paper, called unryu, available at art supply stores, but you can also use copy or wrapping paper.3. Brush one side of a strip with Mod Podge and wrap that side around a loop. Add strips to the loops until they're covered.4. Brush the finished petals with a light coat of Mod Podge.5. Glue a large pom-pom to the center of the flower.
Pretty Wrapping Paper
Here's how to make striped paper to wrap gifts for mothers (and others). Stick lines of low-tack painter's tape to a large piece of paper (test a small section first to make sure the tape won't tear the paper when it's lifted). Paint the paper, then peel off the strips. Let the paper dry, then get wrapping!
Take It Further: For a plaid design, make striped paper as described above. Remove the tape and let the paint dry. Tape new lines perpendicular to the first, then repaint the paper with a second color.
Mother's Day Twig Necklace
Easy to create but brimming with style, these one-of-a-kind necklaces make a special gift for Mother's Day or teachers. Coat a 3-inch twig with white acrylic paint and let it dry. Cut a length of cotton embroidery floss and knot it onto one end of the twig. Wrap the floss around the twig and knot it once more. Trim away the excess floss. Add more colors, using the same method. To finish the necklace, knot a length of size 5 pearl cotton thread to each end of the twig. Secure each knot with a dab of clear tacky glue applied with a toothpick.
For each button bloom, fold over an inch or so of an 18-inch length of 22-gauge floral wire. Insert the wire's long end, then the short end, into two to four buttons. Twist the short end of the wire around the long one to secure the stack. Then arrange your blooms in a pretty potted plant for a lovely gift.
These pretty baubles have the look of glass enamel but are easily created by painting a metal washer with nail polish. Start with a base coat of white or yellow. Add colors, letting each coat dry before painting on top of it. Top the finished design with a protective coat of clear polish.
Photo Candle Holder
1. Choose a digital photograph that's horizontal (not vertical).2. Print it in black-and-white on an 8 1/2- by 11-inch sheet of plain vellum paper, available at craft and office supply stores.3. Wrap the vellum around a tall, cylindrical glass vase (we got ours at Michaels for $3) and adhere the overlapping edges with double-sided tape. Trim any excess paper.4. Put a battery-operated tea light inside the vase.
Bouquet-of-the-Day Garden Stake
Set this outdoor flower vase in your backyard, and you can display fresh blooms all summer long.
To make one, secure a large, clean jar (we used a quart-sized jar) to a sturdy stick (at least 3 feet high) with 4 to 6 wide rubber bands. Use garden shears to trim a point at the stick's bottom end, then push it into the ground. Fill your outdoor vase with a pretty Mother's Day bouquet!
1. Photograph your child's head from the side.2. Enlarge the photo on your computer to a size you like, then print it in black and white. (Or you can enlarge an existing print on a copier.)3. Lay the image on top of a sheet of black paper. Cut around the head and shoulders, through both pieces of paper.4. Remove the back panel from a frame. Cover the panel with glue stick, then lay on of a piece of fabric for a background. Trim the fabric to fit the panel.5. Attach the silhouette to the fabric with glue stick. Reassemble the frame, and your art is ready to display.
Grow a Little Love
These planters created from milk cartons make winning teacher and Mother's Day gifts. With a craft knife (adults only), cut off the top third of an empty quart-size milk carton and discard. Draw the top edge of the planter, including the outline of the ears, in pencil, then cut along the line. Cover the carton's printing with two or three coats of acrylic paint. When the paint is dry, draw a face and other features with permanent marker. Add potting soil and a pretty plant.