Tuesday, 10 January 2012 by Irene Hoofs
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
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
Note: I made a 'kaleidoscope' myself, but my version employed three circles. Each circle had stripes in each of the three colors.
..All images by Jennifer Kirk
Thursday, 15 December 2011 by Irene Hoofs
Faux Mirrored Tile Ornaments by by Jennifer Kirk from Ambrosia Creative
What you'll need:
*roll of tin foil
*foam core (or stiff cardboard)
*all-purpose glue (we used Aleen's quick dry tacky glue)
*string or ribbon for hanging
Sketch ornament shapes onto foam core and cut out.
Tear off a 6" long sheet of tin foil from a roll.
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.
Color strips with permanent markers and let dry. After a few minutes, cut strips down into square tiles.
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.
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!
Wednesday, 7 December 2011 by Irene Hoofs
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.
*Colored card stock
*Decorations - felt balls, stickers, or glittery glue
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.
Cut out the triangles and decorate. We used colored felt balls, but you could use stickers or glittery glue.
Cut a piece of pretty paper to cover the matchbox. Attach the box to the back of the tree.
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.
Personalize the accordion book with pictures, drawings or fun information about the year. Attach to the inside of the matchbox.
Tuesday, 29 November 2011 by Irene Hoofs
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:
*water based acrylic paint
Cut a circle wreath out of cardboard and paint if desired.
Now paint paper bags with various colors / let dry / cut strips in various desired widths.
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.
Repeat this process until you cover the entire wreath.
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.
Tuesday, 22 November 2011 by Irene Hoofs
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)
*Pencil + Permanent Pen
Draw a simple picture of cute ducks – cut out the drawings to make a pattern
Using the directions, iron the fusible fabric paper on to the fabric
Put the pattern face-down on the attached fabric paper and draw around the design
ut out the fabric design and use the directions to adhere the fabric design to the bag
Use a permanent pen to add eyes to the ducks
Fill with bread and spend a fun afternoon outside.
.. Curly Birds
Tuesday, 15 November 2011 by Irene Hoofs
Vellum Paper Mache Igloo by Jennifer Kirk from Ambrosia Creative
With cooler weather coming upon us, I'm ready for some winter themed crafts with the boys. This project involves one of my favorite mediums, vellum paper. With its translucency, applications are almost endless and this project was an experiment to see if it would paper mache well. As a forewarning, this project is very messy, but my kids enjoyed the tactile experience of getting their hands dirty! So be prepared to make a bit of mess and to work on this project over the course of a couple of days.
What you'll need:
*Vellum paper torn into strips, various lengths
*Oatmeal canister wrapped in plastic wrap (optional)
Create paper mache glue by mixing entire contents of glue bottle (I used a 4oz bottle here) with 1/4 cup of water in a bowl. Set aside.
Stabilize inflated balloon in another bowl. Use a couple pieces of tape to make it extra secure. Draw outlines for the bottom of the igloo and for the doorway.
Dip strips into glue mixture, making sure to completely saturate paper. Slide off excess glue and lay strips over surface of the balloon. Try to keep to one layer -- makes for a quicker drying time -- and aim to have the pieces criss-cross and overlap. Optional step: If you're feeling ambitious, make a doorway to the igloo. For the mold, I used a round oatmeal canister wrapped in plastic wrap. Allow everything to dry until hard (I had to wait overnight).
Slowly deflate balloon. It will stick a little to the inside of the igloo, so do this step carefully!
Trim off the marker lines.
If you made the igloo doorway, attach using a glue gun and trim off any excess. While gluing, it helps to use a bowl again to hold the igloo steady.
I found a small string of battery-operated lights at the store that we used to illuminate the inside of the igloo which gave it that extra cool factor for the kids.
Tuesday, 18 October 2011 by Irene Hoofs
DIY: Creepy-Face-Changer by Teri from Giddy Giddy
Here's a Halloween project that is both silly and creepy...if you like that sort of thing! Well, we sure do! We've made vampire faces, and gross zombie heads. But this was the "safest" to show you!
My daughters can't stop giggling over this.
Here are the instructions:
Print out 2 copies of your child's portrait on cardstock paper. The higher the resolution and photo quality, the better.
Cut face out of the background. this will serve as the front of this creepy face changer
Cut out eyes as well as lower lip/chin with x-acto knife.
Create the pull tab from cardstock/ in a shape of a T and in relative proportion to face.
Align the top photo above the pull tab so that eyes appear in the correct place. Now tape chin to lower part of pull tab.
Create the new eyes and mouth/teeth by drawing and coloring them directly on the tab. We created these bugged out eyes and silly teeth using markers and colored pencils.
Cut out a back piece that matches the shape of the head.
Align pull tab between the front and back pieces so that eyes and mouth all line up. Now that you've sandwiched the tab in between, tape back and front together.
Pull the tab to see face transform from cute to....whoa... creepy!
Wednesday, 12 October 2011 by Irene Hoofs
Halloween Suncatchers by Jennifer Kirk from Ambrosia Creative
With Halloween coming up in just a few weeks, the boys and I have wasted no time in starting some projects. Wanting to do make some decor more colorful than the standard black and orange, I turned to the Mexican holiday, Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, for inspiration.
What you'll need:
*Permanent Sharpie markers (for really small kids, you'll want to don aprons or 'work' clothes, or reserve this project for older kids!)
*Flat pieces of clear plastic cut out from food packaging/lids/containers
*Scissors, tape, and a few sheets of white paper
With black permanent marker, illustrate Halloween image onto a piece of plastic. ( Download Halloween Suncatchers)
Flipping the plastic around so that the marker side is facing down, tape plastic to a sheet of paper to protect your surface.
Color in the design.
Remove design from paper and cut out. Tape to window or glass doors so the sunlight can filter through.
My 6-year-old really loved this easy, colorful project and we both can't wait to add more characters to our Halloween crew!
Tuesday, 13 September 2011 by Irene Hoofs
Yarn Font instructions by Teri from Giddy Giddy
Here's a really easy project for font fanatics and craft lovers. Its so easy that children should be able to handle a single letter or shape just fine. Now that we've tackled a few words, I think we'll start making longer messages like Happy Birthday or Have a Wonderful Day!
What you'll need..... The DIY is easy!
*All you need are yarn scraps and some pipecleaners.
step 1. connect your pipe cleaners by twisting together and then shape your word.
step 2. Start tying yarn pieces around the pipe cleaner and then wrapping loosely several times til desired thickness is reached.
step 3. Once the pipe cleaner is covered in yarn, you can reshape the word or letter as it holds the shape even more firmly.
Have a great time!
.. Giddy Giddy..
Tuesday, 6 September 2011 by Irene Hoofs
Flower Press by Helen Bird from Curly Birds
Whether your first spring blooms are about to appear, or the late summer flowers are near their end, preserving your garden’s beauty can be a fun activity for any child. A home-made flower press is fun to make and can be used forever.
What you’ll need:
* 2 9x9” ply wood
* 4 1.5” ¼-20 screws
* 4 ¼-20 wing nuts
* Tissue paper
* Pencil with eraser
* Letter stamps (optional)
Cut 2 pieces of ply wood to 9”x9” (the kind folks at our hardware store did this for me)
Using a ¼” drill bit, drill 4 holes in one of the boards. Place this drilled board on top of the second board and drill through the made holes and through the next board. As you complete a hole, screw the boards together – this will keep all the holes aligned.
Sand the wood to make sure there are no rough edges or splinters
To decorate the press, draw a circle in the middle of the top board. Using letter stamps, stamp a saying around the circle. (I stamped “PRESS ME A FLOWER”) Erase the pencil mark after the ink is dry.
Cut the cardboard and tissue paper to 5.5”x5.5” or fit in between the screws
Thread the screws through the bottom piece of wood and lay a piece of cardboard and tissue paper on top of the wood. Place the flowers on the press. (For best results, the flowers should not overlap of lay off the paper.)
Repeat cardboard and tissue paper layers until you have placed all of the flowers on the press.
Slide the top wood board onto the screws and tighten with the wing nuts.
Wait 2-3 weeks. And watch this space for a craft involving pressed flowers in the next 3 weeks!
..Curly Birds etsy shop..