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Project #106: April Fool's Jack in the Box

Aprilfool

April Fool's Jack in the Box by Jennifer Kirk from Ambrosia Creative

In celebration of April Fools day, one my family's favorite days of the year, I’m happy to share this jack-in-the-box craft. Under the guise of a gift, a simple spring pops out confetti onto the unsuspecting. The kids and I worked together on this little prank for dad!

You will need:
* Small box with lid
* Colorful paper
* Colorful tissue paper
* Clear tape
* Washi tape
* Hole punch
* Picture of your child (his or her face should be about 1")
* Craft knife

Aprilfool_mix

Step 1:
Choose two colors to use for the paper spring. Cut two strips from each color paper (lengthwise) so you have four strips total. I chose blue and yellow, so I had two blue and two yellow strips. Make sure strips are at least 1/4 inch narrower than the inside of the box -- you want to make sure the spring will freely pop out of the box. Tape together the ends of two strips of the same color paper so you end up with two long strips (one long yellow and one long blue in my case).
Step 2:
Lay the two strips perpendicular to each other forming a large L and tape the edges together. Starting with the strip on the bottom (blue in my example), fold it up and over the top strip at a nice right angle. The fold needs to be flush against the top (yellow) strip. Then fold the yellow strip (now on the bottom) up and over the blue strip. Repeat the folds over the entire length of the strip forming an accordion. At the end, tape together the loose edges so the spring will not unravel.
Step 3:
From colored and tissue paper, use the hole puncher to create confetti. I used a 1" diameter hole punch because larger confetti means an easier cleanup!
Step 4: (Optional)
With a craft knife, cut out three of the four sides of the box lid. This isn't necessary, but I thought a clamshell-type lid helped the spring pop out of the box more nicely. Secure the lid back onto the box. I used a piece of washi tape on the lid edge to gussy it up a bit.
Step 5: Stretch out spring a bit by gently pulling the ends in opposite directions. Then, compress into box and close lid. Test the spring to make sure it clears the box. When I did a test, there was some remnant paper around the lid I had to cut away. I also noticed the spring popped out differently depending on its orientation. When you're happy with the configuration, tape a picture of your child's face to the top of the spring.
Step 6: To set up the box to give, compress the spring back into the box, place confetti on the very top, then close the lid and secure with washi tape. A friendly, harmless, happy April Fool's surprise for some lucky person!

Aprilfools

..Ambrosia Creative
..All images by Jennifer Kirk

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Project #105: Circus

Circus1

Circus by Véronique from Pichouline

What you'll need:
*1 cardboard A4
*pencil
*ruler
*tape (transparent – masking)
*glue
*cord – I used a cotton silver cord
*wooden stick / toothpick
*knife
*scissors

Circus_

Step 1:
Cut 8 papers strips from the cardboard. The strips are approximately 1 by 29 cm.
Step 2:
Make a round basement for your circus. Tape 2 strips together.
Step 3:
Cut 4 large fence “rail” strips, height +/- 29cm. Glue them on the basement. You will use them to make the roof.
Fold the top of the large strips so that they meet and form a peak. Secure with glue or tape, leaving a small hole for the flag.

Circus_3

Step 4:
Cut 9 small fence “rail” strips, height +/- 4cm.
Glue the fence "rail" strips of cardboard on the basement. Leave one sight open as the entrance of the circus.
Step 5:
Make 1 flag and 2 garlands with the cord, wooden stick and masking tape. To make them, cut 2 lengths of cords and wrap lengths of tape around the cord or stick so that each one sticks to itself. Tape and glue them to decorate the circus.

Circus

..Pichouline          ..All images by Véronique

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Project #104: Tiny Shadowbox

Tinyshadowbox

Tiny Shadowbox by Jennifer Kirk from Ambrosia Creative

Like most kids, my boys are big collectors. While it is easy displaying some of their larger treasures, I've had a hard time finding a solution for some of their tinier findings and these would oftentimes get lost. Here's one idea to store and display little special objects.

What you'll need:
* kraft favor boxes
* colorful paper (the pack I used is from IKEA)
* rope or string
* hot glue gun
* double-sided tape or all-purpose glue

Tinyshadowbox3

Step 1:
Set aside and save the lids to the boxes for another project. Play around with different configurations of boxes until you're happy with the arrangement.
Step 2:
Choose your paper colors for lining the inside of box. Trace around the outside of the box onto paper to get the box general size and shape. Cut out paper and trim down until it fits nicely inside.
Step 3:
Using a bit of glue or double-sided tape, affix paper to inside of box.
Step 4:
Attach boxes together using a glue-gun.
Step 5:
To make the hanger, cut small holes out of the sides of the topmost box(es). The hole should be about a quarter of an inch from the back of the box. Thread rope or string through (from the outside), knot, and repeat on other side.
Step 6:
Hunt down some tiny treasure to populate your shadow box!

Tinyshadowbox2

..Ambrosia Creative
..All images by Jennifer Kirk

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Project #103: Cork Necklace

Corknecklace

Cork Necklace by Véronique from Pichouline

What you'll need:
*3 corks - you can choose the quantity yourself, I used 3 corks.
*paintbrush
*craft paint
*knife
*cord – I used a cotton silver cord 70cm long
*awl or you can use a very sharp needle or bottle opener
*plastic needle for kids
  Corknecklace3

Step 1:
Paint the corks in the colour you like, you can also leave one cork unpainted. I used two coats of paint.
Step 2:
You can do this for your kid: Use a sharp knife and cut the cork into 4mm-thick rounds (you can choose the thickness).
Step 3:
Punch a hole in the center of the rounds.
Step 4:
Take a plastic needle and thread the rounds onto the cord.
Step 5:
Take the two ends and tie them together with a knot and finish with a bow. Pull this knot very tight so that it will not come undone when you pull the necklace over your head. You can determine the length of your necklace by where you tie this knot.

Corknecklace2

Have fun!

..Pichouline

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Project #102: a Treasure book

Booklet

Treasure book by Véronique from Pichouline

what you'll need:
*you can choose between glassine bags, paper bags or envelopes  - you can choose the quantity yourself, I used 10 bags.
*scissors
*glue stick
*tape
*cord
*magazine, craft paper or coloured paper
*treasures
Book_mix

Step 1:
Cut of the closure flap of the glassine bag.
Step 2:
Choose a nice picture, kids drawing  or a graphic design from a magazine, you'll need it to make the cover of your book.
Measure the size of 2 bags and cut the cover out, it's better that you cut it out a little bit bigger.
Fold the cover in half.
Step 3:
Glue the entire frontsize of the first bag on to the back of the front cover side. Glue the other bags to eachother, but only in the middle over the total length of the bag, so you get an "accordeon".
Step 4:
Punch a hole on the right side of the front & back cover.
Step 5:
Use some tape to attach the cord onto the book.
Step 6:
Let you beloved one find some treasures, he or she can keep everything he or she likes.
Step 7:
You can decorate the cover with a stamp, picture or whatever you like.
Step 8:
You can make a lot of varieties playing with colours, words & designs.

Have fun!

Bookjes

..Pichouline

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Project #101: Color Kaleidoscope Wheel

Kal-finish1

Color Kaleidoscope Wheel by Jennifer Kirk from Ambrosia Creative

Here's a simple project that is a craft and rudimentary lesson in color theory all wrapped in one.

What you'll need:
*self-sealing laminating sheets or pouches
*tissue paper in cyan, magenta, and yellow
*a CD or DVD for tracing
*metal brads
*permanent marker

Kaleidoscope_DIY_mix

Step 1:
Using permanent marker, trace around the DVD/CD onto laminate sheet. Mark a dot in the center. Cut out circle, making sure to cut inside the line (so that marker line is cut off), and cut center dot out. Use the tip of your scissor, a craft knife, or hole punch if you have one long enough. Just make sure this center hole is large enough to accomodate your metal brad. Repeat all of Step 1 so you have two circles.
Step 2:
Make a small stack of all the colors of the tissue paper and cut out various shapes. These will eventually be layered on top of each other, so have multiples of each shape in all three colors (eg. a cloud in cyan, magenta, and yellow, etc).
Step 3:
Unpeel laminate circle. Set aside the non-sticky side for sealing later on, and lay the other part of the circle on work surface, sticky-side up. Carefully stick on tissue paper shapes. My younger son free-styled this part, placing shapes arbitrarily, whereas my older son created a pattern. The laminate is very sticky and unforgiving, so your child may need your steady hand for help! We made a couple mistakes, but built any wayward tissue pieces into our pattern.
Step 4:
When finished, seal up your circle with the non-sticky side you set aside earlier. Now lightly (I used just two small pieces) tape this circle down to your work surface, just to keep it steady and in place for the next step.
Step 5:
Expose the sticky side of your second circle, setting aside the non-sticky side for sealing later on. Sticky side up, lay the circle down on top of your previous circle. Remember making multiples of your shapes in Step 2? Carefully stick on same shapes to align with the shapes on the circle below. This is essentially a duplicate of the first circle, but use different tissue paper colors. Here's where the lesson in color theory comes in; your child can see how adding a blue cloud on top of the yellow cloud makes it green. When all the shapes have been added in, seal up this circle with the non-sticky side you set aside earlier.
Step 6:
Remove your first circle from the tape and off your work surface. Use the metal brad to attach the two circles together and you're done! Hold and spin the circles against a light-source to get a really neat kaleidoscope effect.

Kaleidoscope_DIY

Note: I made a 'kaleidoscope' myself, but my version employed three circles. Each circle had stripes in each of the three colors.

..Ambrosia Creative
..All images by Jennifer Kirk

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Project #100: Faux Mirrored Tile Ornaments

Mirror-ornaments-final

Faux Mirrored Tile Ornaments by by Jennifer Kirk from Ambrosia Creative

What you'll need:
*roll of tin foil
*foam core (or stiff cardboard)
*permanent markers
*all-purpose glue (we used Aleen's quick dry tacky glue)
*glue stick
*glue gun
*string or ribbon for hanging


Mirror-ornaments-2up1
Mirror-ornaments-2up

Step 1:
Sketch ornament shapes onto foam core and cut out.
Step 2:
Tear off a 6" long sheet of tin foil from a roll.
Step 3:
Fold foil sheet down into a long skinny strip about 3/4" wide. With glue stick, glue down the very last fold so the strip won't unravel. Make multiple strips. 3-4 covered one ornament.
Step 4:
Color strips with permanent markers and let dry. After a few minutes, cut strips down into square tiles.
Step 5:
Now decorate ornaments with your faux mirrored tiles. One row at a time, lay down a line of fast-tack or all-purpose glue and apply tiles. Along the top and sides, apply the tiles so they hang past the edge of the ornament. This way, the entire surface gets covered. Cut off excess tile along the edges once glue dries.
Step 6:
Lastly, attach a ribbon for hanging on the tree. With a sharp pencil, poke a hole into the foam at the top of ornament. Stick in the ends of a piece of looped ribbon or string, and hot glue into place. Once hot glue is hardened, your ornament is ready to hang!

..Ambrosia Creative

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Project #99: Christmas Tree Photo Holders

Tree-6

Christmas Tree Photo Holders by Helen Bird from Curly Birds

Every year the girls and I like to make Christmas ornaments for ourselves and to send to our family spread across the ocean. This year we made Christmas tree photo holders. Each pretty tree is supported by a matchbox, which contains a little accordion book of pictures.

Treemix

Materials:
*Colored card stock
*Decorations - felt balls, stickers, or glittery glue
*Matchbox
*Photos
*Glue
*Scissors
*Pen

Tree-5

Step 1:
Place the matchbox on the cardstock and draw a triangle for the tree – make sure the tree is big enough to hide the matchbox! If you are making lots of trees, make a pattern to draw around.
Step 2:
Cut out the triangles and decorate. We used colored felt balls, but you could use stickers or glittery glue.
Step 3:
Cut a piece of pretty paper to cover the matchbox. Attach the box to the back of the tree.
Step 4:
Cut a piece of card stock to the height of the matchbox and 6 times as long as the box. Score and fold the card to create an accordion book.
Step 5:
Personalize the accordion book with pictures, drawings or fun information about the year. Attach to the inside of the matchbox.

..Curly Birds..

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Project #98: Paperbag Wreath

Wreath-6

Paperbag Wreath by Teri from Giddy Giddy

It's time to start decorating the house with holiday cheer! Here's a simple and colorful holiday wreath you can make with kids. This only requires recycled paper bags and a little bit of cardboard - materials that are easy to find and entirely eco-friendly.

What you'll need:
*Cardboard
*paper bag,
*water based acrylic paint
*scissors
*tape

Mix_wrath

Step 1:
Cut a circle wreath out of cardboard and paint if desired.
Step 2:
Now paint paper bags with various colors / let dry / cut strips in various desired widths.
Step 3:
 Place strip on wreath, making sure to bow it out so that that an arc is formed by the paper. Tape it in place on the underside of the wreath.
Step 4:
Repeat this process until you cover the entire wreath.
Step 5:
Now your wreath is almost done; You can add a personal touch by adorning it with paper flower, paper ribbons, buttons, or a written message.

..Giddy Giddy..

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Project #97: Feed the Ducks

Feedtheducks

Feed the Ducks by Helen Bird from Curly Birds

Feeding ducks is such a simple activity that has been loved for generations – make the day extra special with a sweet ‘Feed the Ducks” bag.

What You’ll Need:
*Pre-made cotton bag (available at craft stores)
*Felt and contrasting fabric
*Fusible fabric paper (I used pellon)
*Iron
*Cardstock
*Pencil + Permanent Pen
*Scissors

Feedtheducks1

Step 1:
Draw a simple picture of cute ducks – cut out the drawings to make a pattern
Step 2:
Using the directions, iron the fusible fabric paper on to the fabric
Step 3:
Put the pattern face-down on the attached fabric paper and draw around the design
Step 4:
ut out the fabric design and use the directions to adhere the fabric design to the bag
Step 5:
Use a permanent pen to add eyes to the ducks
Step 6:
Fill with bread and spend a fun afternoon outside.

 

.. Curly Birds

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