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8 posts categorized "..Projects by Jennifer"

Project #112: Secret Message with Decoder

Secret-message-finished-3

Secret Message with Decoder by Jennifer Kirk from Ambrosia Creative

Inspired by birthday party invites from a friend of mine created a while back, this hidden message along with a DIY decoder is sure to surprise your recipient (ours was a treat for grandpa). Most of the materials were items we already had on hand, making this project extra quick and easy.

You will need:
* Kraft paper box with lid. Any shape is fine.
* Medium to large plastic lid or food packaging (ours was a lid to a plastic container of animal crackers)
* Red permanent marker
* Patterned tape such as washi or printed fabric
* Clear double-sided tape
* Paint and brushes
* Blue colored pencil or crayon
* Red colored pencil or crayon

Secretmessagebox

To Make the Decoder Box
Step 1: Cut out a circle from the box lid.
Step 2: Decorate the lid however you like. We painted it then added patterned tape around the edge. While you can decorate the box itself, we kept ours blank.
Step 3: With red permanent marker, color an area roughly the same size as the lid. Mom or dad may want to do this part.
Step 4: After the link has dried, cut the colored plastic so it is just a bit smaller than your box lid. Using double-sided tape, affix to underside. This is the secret message decoder. To use, make sure the outside of the lid is face down on the paper.

Write and Deliver Secret Message
Step1: On a piece of paper (we cut ours into wedges so that it would open up into a circle), write your message in blue.
Step 2: In red, scribble over, around, and across your message that is in blue. Try to obscure the blue message as much as possible. We found that loops worked much better than hash strokes. Write a few more messages (or drawings, even) if you like.
Step 3: Package up message(s) along with some treats. Wrap this printable band around the box as the final touch.


Secret-message-packageUp

..Ambrosia Creative
..All images by Jennifer Kirk

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Project #110: Bouncy Bugs

Bouncybug_blue

Bouncy Bugs by by Jennifer Kirk from Ambrosia Creative

A paper insect comes to life when it is attached to some flexible wire and bounces from a stick. This toy can be assembled in just a few steps and is made easy with a printable coloring page. My kids enjoyed "bugging" one another with their insects, so you may want to take the finished product outdoors!

Bouncybug_mix_1

You will need:
*printout or drawing of insect
*long wooden dowl
*washi or other colored tape
*copper jewelry wire, medium/light thickness
*clear tape
*popsicle stick
*spray paint (optional)

Link for downloads:
Butterfly (PDF)
Dragonfly (PDF)

Bouncybug_mix

Step 1:
Draw a favorite insect (butterfly, dragonfly, ladybug, etc.) or print out from template. Color and cut out.
Optional step:
Spray paint dowl and let dry. I used a lime green color.
Step 2:
Cut off an 18" piece of wire.
Step 3:
Poke a small hole about 1/4" down from the top of the butterfly/dragonfly head. Thread wire through hole and tape down.
Step 4:
Tape a popsicle stick to the backside of paper insect to weigh it down. The butterfly body is shorter, so using scissors, cut off a 1.5" piece from a popsicle stick and tape to backside. Fold insect wings up along popsicle stick. Adjust the wire by bending it where it meets the top of insect.
Step 5:
Wrap wire end near the end tip of dowl and secure with washi tape. Your bug is now ready to "fly"!

Bouncybug

..Ambrosia Creative
..All images by Jennifer Kirk

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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 #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 #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 #96: Vellum Paper Mache Igloo

6-igloo

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:
*All-purpose glue
*Glue gun
*Balloon
*Vellum paper torn into strips, various lengths
*Oatmeal canister wrapped in plastic wrap (optional)

6-igloomix

Step 1:
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.
Step 2:
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.
Step 3:
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).
Step 4:
Slowly deflate balloon. It will stick a little to the inside of the igloo, so do this step carefully!
Step 5:
Trim off the marker lines.
Step 6:
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.

5-igloo

..Ambrosia Creative

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Project #94: Halloween Suncatchers

Halloween

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


Halloweenmix

Step 1:
With black permanent marker, illustrate Halloween image onto a piece of plastic. ( Download Halloween Suncatchers)
Step 2:
Flipping the plastic around so that the marker side is facing down, tape plastic to a sheet of paper to protect your surface.
Step 3:
Color in the design.
Step 4:
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!

DD3

..Ambrosia Creative

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