Crafts, Crafts for Kids, Reuse Reduce Recycle

Kids Can Make Art From Recycled Materials: Go Green With Children’s Art Projects

Think before dumping household junk into the garbage can, as children may want to use it for art projects. Yes, junk! Believe it or not, many items that are otherwise known as trash can be used to create an array of arts and crafts projects – and if this trash is gathered neatly in a decorated “junk box”, they’ll be more accessible to young crafters.

Mosaic

Smaller pieces of junk can be used to create a colourful mosaic – a picture made of tiny items. Glue materials such as bottle caps, broken toy parts, or torn notebook covers, into a pattern on a piece of cardboard or sturdy paper. Dried foods, such as rice, seeds, beans, and even egg shells also make mosaics appealing.

Rather than a pattern, children may choose to make a representational mosaic of a dog or a house. Have them first draw the figure on the cardboard, then they can glue on the small junk pieces to fill inside the shape.

Mask

Masks can be made from cardboard and paper bags. A unique idea is to make masks from wire frames (coat hangers) and pantyhose. Construct the frame in any shape you wish. Slip the pantyhose leg up and around the frame and knot the cut end.

Encourage the kids to create whimsical faces and characters by gluing on recycled materials on the front surface. Think of things that will glue onto this soft nylon, such as felt, fabric scraps, construction paper, yarn and cotton. There are no safety issues with these masks as children can see through the nylon.

Collage

Collage making comes from the French, as the word means “to glue.” Using a piece of heavy cardboard as a backing, have the children glue items together to form a collage (flat on cardboard) or a collage sculpture.

For young children, provide a theme to work with, such as a shape collage, which would focus on squares, circles, and other geometric figures cut out of fabric, felt, construction paper, buttons and styrofoam. Another theme kids love are colour collages where they concentrate on one colour and add miscellaneous objects of that colour to the board.

The Perfect Junk Box

Design a special box to hold all these recyclables collected. This makes obtaining art materials easy for children. Keep it filled with materials such as, fabric, wallpaper samples, coloured paper, egg cartons, buttons, cardboard, packing peanuts, styrofoam, plastic water bottles, bottle caps (lids), yarn, felt, cotton, magazines, small boxes and broken toy pieces.

Think junk, when rainy days come around or the “I’m bored” situations happen. Just bring out the junk box and challenge the children to make a flat art project or sculpture with recycled materials. What a way to go green, save the Earth and have fun along the way. And when the masterpieces have long been forgotten, they can be recycled again in the nearest recycle bin

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Crafts, Crafts for Kids

Toddler Art Activities – Six Easy Crafts for Toddlers

Art is a vital part of human development. According to A Place of Our Own, an online and television channel for caregivers, toddler art activities help children develop fine motor control as well as early math skills and exercise their innate creativity.

This is all good and well, but, for parents who haven’t picked up a paintbrush in a while, it can be hard to branch out past crayons and markers. Here are six easy and inexpensive toddler craft ideas that kids will love.

Just remember, at this phase of development, art is about the process not the end product. Don’t expect a masterpiece just yet. Instead focus on feeling textures and experimenting not just with colour but cause and effect as well.

Make Foam Paint for Toddler Crafts

Homemade “foam” paint can be made with glue, paint, and shaving cream. Take equal amounts of glue and shaving cream (regular Barbasol shaving cream works well), mix and then add finger paint or tempura paint until desired colour is achieved.

Note that most shaving creams are heavily scented, so if that is an issue look for unscented shaving cream.This creates a really foamy finger paint that provides a fun sensory experience for budding artists. When it dries, it’s puffy and creates a three dimensional effect. 

Glue is the Key to Toddler Art Activities

Glue in general presents a variety of great childs play craft opportunities. The options are endless, but here are three to get parents started.

  • Squeeze a trail of glue on paper and have toddlers cover the glue with feathers, which are inexpensive and available at any craft store. The glue can even be used to “draw” a picture or the child’s name.
  • Take pinking shears and cut all sorts of different shapes (triangles, squares, rectangles, etc) out of construction paper or even old catalogs. Toddlers will enjoy selecting shapes to glue onto their paper.
  • Glue pom pom balls onto construction paper. Toddlers will love dipping the fluffy pom poms into glue and applying them to paper.

Finger Paint Without the Mess or Clean Up

Here’s a new twist on finger paints: Put the paint in gallon sized plastic storage bags and seal. Children can then draw on the bag with their finger, creating and erasing designs over and over again. Because there’s no mess to clean up, this is great for traveling in the car or for long waits at restaurants.

Mess Free Watercolours

Watercolours are relatively mess free and a fun toddler craft that many parents haven’t thought to try. The key is to skip the water, which is prone to spilling. Instead, simply run water over the paints and brushes until wet. This way toddlers will be able to paint freely and parents won’t have to worry about spills. Don’t forget to provide a variety of different brushes for toddlers to experiment with.

Stickers Combine Art and Academics

Use stickers for a variety of easy crafts for toddlers. Lots of stickers. Why? Stickers are a fun way to build vocabulary, explore new concepts and keep toddlers busy. Use them with crayons or paints or by themselves.

Many craft stores have a big selection of inexpensive stickers for £1.00 or less. Giant sticker books can also be found inexpensively at bookstores and are a great investment for parents looking to expand the repertoire of toddler art activities.

Make Toddler Crafts With Stamps

Stamps are a great toddler craft. The ink pad will be the biggest expense, but lasts for months and foam stamp cubes cost as little as 50 pence at craft stores. Work on creating a stamp library that covers major seasons, holidays and includes letter as well as number stamps.

The stamps will see years of use. Not only can toddlers create pictures, brown paper grocery bags can be recycled into gift wrap using the stamps for decoration.

All of these toddler art activities – foam paint, watercolours, stickers, stamps, finger painting and glue – use inexpensive items and there’s no goal other than the experience itself. This open ended approach to art takes pressure off parents and allows kids the freedom to express themselves with no expectations. Beyond that, the fine motor control, hand-eye coordination and academics fostered through toddler crafts will last a life time.

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Crafts, Crafts for Kids

Weather Art Projects for Kids

Use the day’s weather to inspire an art project. Or, if studying weather in school or at home, do a series of these projects and post them on a bulletin board or set them in an album. Some of the pieces mimic the look of the weather while other projects use the weather, sun or rain, to create the final results.

For example, draw a picture with washable markers or watercolour pencils and set out in the rain to create rainy day art. These projects all use inexpensive, basic art supplies.

Sunshine Prints

On a sunny day, gather an assortment of objects with interesting shapes. The details of the particular object don’t matter as much as the outline. Take a piece of dark coloured construction paper and arrange the objects on the paper. Do this in a location that will remain sunny for at least four or five hours.

When the time is up, remove the objects from the paper. The paper beneath the objects will be dark while the rest of the paper will have faded in the sun. This is an inexpensive option to the sun sensitive paper that can be found in art and hobby shops. Use the resulting print for journal cover or greeting card.

Foggy Art

Make a foggy scene with waxed paper and construction paper. Start with a sheet of gray paper that will act as the background. From brown paper, cut hills or mountains and glue them to the construction paper. Draw a line of glue around the edges of the picture on all four sides. Set a piece of waxed paper over the scene.

Now, cut trees from black construction paper and glue them onto the waxed paper. Put more glue along the margins of the paper and set another sheet of waxed paper over the picture. Cut one tree from the black paper and glue on top of waxed paper. The scene will appear to be shrouded in fog.

Snow Picture

On a piece of blue construction paper, draw an outdoor scene either with a house and trees or with trees and mountains. After drawing the picture, add some white glue to the tops of the trees, house, mountains, etc. Pull apart cotton balls so the pieces are wispy and glue them onto the pictures to add the look of snow. Kids can also cut paper snowflakes.

Soapsuds Paint Clouds

Mix a teaspoon of liquid dish detergent with two tablespoons of liquid starch. Beat the mixture with a hand mixer or egg beater so the mixture is as thick as cake frosting. Add a few drops of white tempera paint. On a piece of blue paper, finger paint clouds with the soapsuds paint. Draw the ground scene with markers after the paint dries.

Children can mimic a snowy, foggy, or cloudy scene with different art materials. They can use the sun or rain to create unique abstract images using the weather to form the final picture.

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Crafts, Decorated

Instructions for Creating a Seashell Frame: What to do with Seashells from the Beach

Create a unique picture frame or mirror frame loaded with seashells easily and inexpensively. It is an easy craft for all ages to work on together. Make it simple or create more intricate designs. Use white and natural colours of seashells and even dyed seashells to assemble this one-of-a-kind memento. you don’t need a fancy craft studio, this can be done at home.

Collecting Seashells

The best part of this project is finding all of the seashells to work with. Shelling is a fun activity for all ages. Collect a variety of sizes and shapes of seashells to take home from the beach.

Seashells collected at the beach can get a strong odour unless they are washed and dried properly. To clean seashells, soak them in a water and bleach mixture, rinse thoroughly, and let dry completely before using shells for any crafts.

Seashells, huge selections of them, are available online in bulk and individually. These shells are ready to use for crafting purposes, they could even be used for a Seashell Sand Art Jar.

Choose a variety of shapes and sizes. A frame using all white shells will look gorgeous. Add some pearlised, shiny seashells to create shimmer. Another option is to use seashells with a variety of natural colours. There are even dyed seashells available in all the colours of the rainbow.

Supplies for Craft Making

Find a flat frame. This will make it easier for the shells to stay in place. More seashells can be used on a frame that is larger and has more surface area.

A wooden frame can be painted or unpainted. The style is up to the person making the frame. Whitewashing the frame with paint looks nice and gives it a shabby chic appearance. For more durability, give the frame a coat or two of a water-based sealer.

Glue is essential. An all-purpose glue will work just fine. Craft stores are an abundant source of glue, as are hardware stores. Other options are using a hot glue gun or glue recommended for non-porous surfaces.

Assembling Art

When the shells, frame and glue are ready, it is time to start putting together this masterpiece. Lay out some of the shells in the shape of the frame to get an idea of spacing and placement. Or just start in anywhere.

Use enough glue so that as much as possible of the shells can stick to the frame. Put a big dollop right where the shell will go or cover a small space with a thick layer of glue for multiple shells.

Wipe off any excess glue that gets on the front of the shells or drips onto the sides of the frame. The glue will dry clear so it won’t matter if some get around the sides of the shells. To create a grouping or to pile seashells on top of each other, glue one base layer of shells, allow it to dry a little, then go back and apply more glue and more shells right on top of what you already have. This will make it more sturdy and less likely to slide around.

Allow to dry completely according to the glue’s instructions, usually about 24 hours.

A beautiful, unique work of seashell art is ready to go. Put in a picture to remember the beach, hang it on the wall, place it on a shelf, or put it on a table and enjoy. Also makes a great personalised homemade gift.

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Crafts, Decorated

How To Create A Seashell Sand Art Jar: Turn Childs Play Into Gorgeous Home Decor

Sand art is not just for children. Enhance the seashell theme in your home or make wonderful gifts with a little creativity.

Supplies Needed To Make Seashell Sand Art Jar

  • Various seashells
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Sand in a variety of colours
  • Drinking straws
  • Mason jar
  • Kitchen knife
  • Funnel
  • Spoon

Mixing The Sand

  1. Using a clear glass mason jar, either plain or patterned, decide what colours you would like in the jar. There are many ways to create patterns in the sand using a few basic household tools. Pour the sand into the jar a little at a time using a spoon, funnel or both. This is a very easy way to create coloured layers of sand.
  2. Once you have the layers completed, you can try making patterns within them by pushing a straw slowly in, then out of the sand, causing small areas to mix. A kitchen knife works for this as well or even toothpicks, depending on how big you would like the effect to be.
  3. You can also use the straws to leave gaps in the sand which you will fill with a new colour later. Hold the straws up against the glass as you pour the base layers of sand into the jar. If you are using many straws, grab a friend to help out. When the layers are done, pour a different sand colour into the straw opening, using the funnel for accuracy. Once the straw is filled, lift it slowly to release the new colour and angle the straw opening towards the glass.
  4. Try swirling a knife around the outer-most area of the design to create waves and larger mixtures of colour. Keep in mind though, once the sand is mixed, there is no going back. And if you plan on adding seashells to the inside of the jar atop the sand, be sure to leave room.

Adding the Seashells

  1. You can add shells to both the inside and outside of the jar. Place enough shells on top of the sand so that they touch the edges of the jar and will not shift around too much. Once this is done, close the jar and secure the lid.
  2. Using the hot glue gun, attach a few shells to the top of the lid in the center. Once the glue has dried, tidy up any loose glue strands and your jar is complete.

When your jar is ready for display, remember to place it on a flat surface where it will not get knocked around. Bookshelves, coffee tables and window ledges are all wonderful choices. Use your imagination!

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Business, Crafts

Designing Crafts That Sell: Selling Crafts For Fun And Profit

There are many people that want to make money with their crafts but are not sure as to what they need to do in order to make it work. There is one key thing that all crafters should think about, design.

What Works and What Doesn’t

There are a few things that work better than others and things that sell better than others. The key is finding what works and what may need a little more help, it’s not the biggest and best setups that sell crafts, but organisation helps. A studio for craft will focus your efforts. There are a few ways that a crafter can find out what will work better than others. The best way is to research what is selling in the craft world. Internet is a good way to look for the best sales of items that are comparable to what is being sold by them.

Any crafter that is researching may consider looking to craft bid sites or other venues that are on the Internet for ideas as to what is going well for other people and what the customers might be buying right now. They should remember that this will change as the year goes on and that they should be ready to change with it.

Colours Matter

When a crafter is designing their products they should think about the colours that they are using in their creations. Certain colours do better during certain times of the year. Knowing what colours do well at what times, can help a crafter to design their products better for the year in front of them. Colours also vary depending on the customers that are buying the products and what their ages are. This way the customers will have more to choose from in regards to colours and styles.

Know Your Crafting Style

Most crafters have a certain kind of product that they do and a certain style to their crafts. This might be anything from their products being more based for a teen audience or they may feel that their products are more of a country kind of feel to them. Knowing what style they are designing in and what audience they are designing for, will help them to make the most of their crafting and their customer base.

Design is a big part of crafting and a lot of people that do crafts depend on their designs to make them the most money that they can get. Learning what works and what doesn’t will make any crafters experience the best that it can be and they can make the most money possible.

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Crafts, Decorated

Canopy of Netting: Create a Bed for a Princess or Romance

Today’s project is a double ring tulle canopy for over a bed. You can simplify the directions by adding only one ring or personalise your canopy by adding trim or other embellishments.

Materials Needed:

  • 2-Two foot metal rings
  • 1-Two foot piece of ribbon
  • 2-Seven foot pieces of ribbon about 1 1/2 inches wide.
  • Netting-18 yards for an 8 foot ceiling
  • Needle and thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Pins
  • Pencil
  • 1-Safety pin

These can be recycled craft materials.

Preparation

  1. Measure eight feet from the salvage end and mark or pin.
  2. From the mark, measure the next eight feet and mark or pin.
  3. Repeat until you have measured eight feet lengths six times.
  4. Cut apart each of the eight foot lengths.

Sewing the Panel Together

  1. Take two of the eight foot panels and lay them one on top of the other.
  2. Sew down one side with a 1/2 inch seam allowance.
  3. Repeat until all of the panels are stitched together side by side.
  4. Fold one of the salvage ends of the whole piece in six inches and pin.
  5. Fold the salvage end in again two inches to create a hem. (See figure 1)
  6. Sew the hem in place all the way across.
  7. Hem the upper salvage end by folding over the fabric three inches and fold the top of the three inches in about 1/2 to 1 inch. Sew into place.

Prepping for the Rings

  1. Measure down one foot from the top hem and pin every foot across the fabric.
  2. Measure down two feet from the top hem and pin every foot across the fabric.
  3. Sew a gathered stitch across each of the lines you created at the one foot and two foot measures.
  4. The circumference of a two foot ring is 75.39 inches. Cut two pieces of ribbon 76 inches each.
  5. Pin the one piece of ribbon to the tulle along the one foot gathered line. To do this pin the ribbon at one end of the tulle and overlapping one inch on the other end of the tulle. Find the centre of the tulle and pin to the centre of the ribbon. Find the centre of the tulle between pins and pin to the centre of the ribbon. Gather the fabric up where needed to fit. Sew The upper side of the ribbon to the tulle along gathered line using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  6. Repeat with two foot gathered line.

Adding the Rings

  1. Tuck the one ring under the ribbon and tack the bottom of the ribbon in place.
  2. Repeat for second ring.
  3. At the opening pull the fabric together so that the one inch over hang of ribbon lays onto the ribbon on the opposite end of the fabric and tack.

Finishing Off

  1. Attach the safety pin to one end of the two foot length of ribbon.
  2. Push the safety pin through the small upper hem until you come out the other side.
  3. Gather the fabric tight on the ribbon and tie into a knot.
  4. Knot the ends of the ribbon together.
  5. Securely attach a hook to the ceiling and hook the ribbon onto the hook so that the opening is facing outward.

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Crafts

Fragrant Lavender Has Calming Effect: Lavender Crafts for Aromatherapy and Inexpensive Gift Ideas

There are many ways to utilise the gathered flower heads and leaves that can soothe the frayed nerves.

Lavender Flowers and Leaves in an Attractive Jar

When the leaves and flowers are completely dry, remove the stems. Put a handful of the lavender into a pretty, clear glass jar or dish without a lid. If preferred, a fancy dish with a lid can be used. Place it anywhere the wonderful scent is desired. To ‘work’ the aroma, simply stir the contents periodically.

If preferred, keep the lid on the dish, and then leave it off after stirring the mixture whenever the wonderful fragrance is desired. That arrangement would be a special addition to the décor of a guest bedroom, or anywhere, for that matter.

Lavender flowers and leaves removed from their stems after drying are wonderful in sachets. For years, people made pillows filled with lavender to help induce relaxation and sleep. Now, scientific evidence suggests that lavender may slow the nervous system’s activity, promote relaxation, and improve the quality of sleep. It suggests also that fragrant lavender may lift the moods of people who suffer from sleep disorders.

Lavender Pillow for Relaxation and Sleep

How to make lavender pillow:

  • Cut a five-inch-diameter circle of light cotton. Measure lace to fit outer edge of circle (optional). Sow the lace around the edge of the circle. Fold the circle in half, inside out. Stitch the piece until one inch opening is reached. Turn the piece right side out. Put the dried lavender flowers (about one tablespoonful) into the ‘pocket’ and finish the stitching. Tuck the lavender pillow inside a pillowcase on bed.

Sachets for Personal Use and Inexpensive Gifts

How to make small lavender bundles for drawers or closets:

  • Cut a four-inch diameter circle of light material. Place about one-quarter cup of the lavender in the center. Draw up, tie tightly with a coloured ribbon, and make a pretty bow.
  • The material could be trimmed with lace or cut with pinking shears for special effect.
  • Patterned material adds colour to the decoration. Sheer material lets the lavender mixture’s colour show through. The lace sachet shown here has a sheer liner to prevent loss of content.
  • These pieces can be made quickly at very little cost. Either can be used in linen shelves or clothing drawers. The small sachet bundles can be tied to a clothes hanger in closets for special aromatic touch. To rejuvenate the fragrance, rub the piece for a moment or two

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Crafts

Pysanka Technique To Decorate Eggs: Create Your Own Colourful Keepsake Easter Eggs

The traditional Ukrainian Easter eggs known as pysanka are often elaborately decorated with intricate geometrical patterns that can be difficult to replicate or produce. However, using the same process by which pysanka are created, you can design your own more personal and perhaps more child-friendly decorated eggs for your Easter season.

Design Your Own Pysanka Eggs

There are endless possibilities for pysanka designs. You can experiment with traditional or religious symbols, or simple motifs of birds, chicks, bunny rabbits, flowers, or with patterns that you create yourself. Colours can range from cheerful pastels to brighter shades – sky blues, bright roses, sunny yellows. You can write the names of family members, relatives or friends, even your pets, as well as the year and date of your Easter holiday. You can write special greetings or brief messages. You can create a design as simple or as elaborate as you choose to work with. Use your imagination – the egg is your palette!

The Pysanka Process

The process for creating pysanka eggs is similar to batik. Designs are drawn on the egg with hot beeswax using a special tool called a stylus, or kistka. These covered areas are then protected when the egg is dipped into a dye bath – where the wax is, the dye doesn’t colour. This process is repeated with additional wax applications and different coloured dye baths, progressing from lightest to darkest colours. After repeated waxing and dipping, and depending on the complexity of your design, the egg is covered partially or totally with wax. The coating of wax is removed by heating the egg near a candle flame and wiping off the melting wax – this is when the beautiful colours of the design on the egg are revealed.

The finished pysanka are usually coated with varnish or polyurethane which makes them shiny and also preserves them. They can then be kept indefinitely – they gradually become lighter and the insides harden, until when you shake them you hear what sounds like little balls rattling inside.

Supplies For Pysanka

You can purchase special kits for making pysanka eggs in craft and local specialty shops, as well as from numerous sites on the internet. The kits contain directions, sample patterns and the necessary supplies – wax, styluses and assorted dyes. The dyes are crucial as typical grocery store dyes are usually too weak for the pysanka process.

Once you’ve created your own personalised pysanka eggs, you may want to keep them for many Easters to come. Or you may want to give them as gifts to family or friends. Just be sure to handle them with care – after all your work, you don’t want to drop them!

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Crafts, Decorated

Decorate With the Beauty of Autumn Leaves: How to Use Real Leaves for Fall Decor, an Easy Craft

Capturing real fall beauty indoors is simple and fun. Easy crafts like this are also inexpensive. Kids will love helping with this project. Individual leaves or branches with multiple leaves can be treated for indoor use. Treated leaves are obviously much more realistic than artificial ones, and it costs so little. Fall colours quickly flee, so gather you leaves while you may. Here is a silly rhyme to repeat while you gather.

Fall Limerick

Yellow perched by green on a tree, / Splendid in colour for all to see, / The tree was lush, / Making leaves blush / and dive to the ground with a wheee!

Materials Needed for Treating Leaves

  • Paraffin – Paraffin can be purchased where canning supplies are sold.
  • Leaves
  • Waxed paper or parchment

How to Treat Fall Leaves for Indoor Decorating

Place 1 block of paraffin in a 4 cup heatproof measuring cup. Place the cup in the oven, and place a baking sheet that has sides between the cup and the heating element. Paraffin is flammable, the sheet will prevent any spills from reaching the heating element. It’s also a good idea to avoid possible spills by having the cup no more than 1/2 full. Heat at 225 degrees until the paraffin is completely melted. The wax can also be melted in a double boiler on top of the stove. Never place a container of paraffin directly on a burner. Heat the wax slowly at a low heat to avoid over heating.

Remove the cup from the heat and dip each leaf in the melted paraffin, letting the excess drip off and back into the cup. Place the leaves on either parchment or wax paper to finish cooling. If using a branch with multiple leaves, dip each leaf individually, there’s no need to dip the branch itself.

Suggestions for Using Treated Leaves

Dipped leaves will hold their shape and colour nicely. To hold waxed leaves into place, use drops of melted wax. Tilt a lighted candle so that it drips onto the leaf and secure. 

  • Add to a wreath
  • Secure to a ribbon to hang on a wall
  • Make a drift in a corner
  • Use under the Thanksgiving turkey platter
  • Scatter on a shelf
  • Fill a glass bowl
  • Hang a branch on a wall
  • Place around a punchbowl of pumpkin juice

The paraffin keeps the leaves from drying out and crumbling. Just as Joyce Kilmer wrote “I think that I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree”, capturing the real beauty of tree leaves, even for a moment, is so much lovelier than pale imitations.

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