These really are too easy and turned out so well! I will be using this concept for some other projects as soon as more cookie cutters arrive.
We used a tupperware baking sheet under them, but I think any flexible non stick surface would do, (baking paper). Simply fill some metal or oven proof cookie cutters or moulds roughly 2 layers deep, and bake at around 180c. Keep an eye on them until they are all melted. The plastic beads we used did not emit any nasty smell and did not burn, even when I got impatient and turned the over up to 200c, however, make sure the area is well ventilated just to be on the safe side.
Try to pile the beads up in the middle slightly, but only leave them 1 high at the edges, to avoid any bits sticking to the sides higher than other areas (you can see where this happened on the small man) Once cooled, remove the cutter and there you have it. I ran cool water over them to cool them a bit faster and this didn’t damage the shiny finish at all.
The husband drilled some holes in the top for string, and there you have it.
We will make a stack of smaller Christmas coloured ones for the trees next year.
Place the beads, trying to keep them at only 1 high around the edges
Green and red for the tree
Nice and flat and smooth edges
Once out of the oven,
Drilling the holes for string
Ms 4 showing off her man
You can see some sharp edges on this one where the beads were 2 high.
The finished 3d tree from jelly mould
In the sun
Catching the sun light
Beading is hardly new as a way to entertain the kids and improve fine motor skills, but I have never let them try it with memory wire before. For those who don’t know what that is, Memory wire is tempered wire that “remembers” its shape and retains its coiled form. You can pick it up really cheap on ebay and then just cut to desired length as required. Due to the fact its wire rather than thread, it also makes it much easier for the little ones to get the beads on.
Once cut to length, just turn the end over with some needle nose pliers into a loop big enough that it wont allow your chosen beads to slip over, or in the case of really big beads, as I have done above, making sure no sharp ends will dig into their little arms.
The kids just made single loops today. Mr 7 experimented with patterns and Miss 4 went random.
Memory wire cut to length
Mr 7 threading some beads.
Ms 4 threading onto the wire
Mr 7s own design
Ms 4 modelling some bracelets.
Here is another. Because I had worked out the way to do the leg insert from the elephant. I figured I’d give it a go free hand.
Cut out both sides and the leg insert. Plus a leaf shape for the head insert to create a 3rd dimension.
I started sewing from under the chin and worked my way around leaving the neck open to add the mane, ears and antlers and of course stuff the body. The mane needs to be put in before turning it inside out. It was a little fiddly, but I am happy with the results. I stuffed the antlers to make them stand up on their own. You can see below where I have sewn the head pieces together with the antler (in red) on the inside, so its positioned correctly when turned in the right way.
There ended up being a lot going on in the head area. This would have been easier had I made the head bigger. He would have also ended up with a more realistic length nose! We live and learn.
I dont know if I have ever mentioned here before my love of elephants? Anyway, I think they are very awesome animals, and elephant toys are the cutest. I actually made this a while ago, but never got around to blogging about it. I have been soooo slack this school holidays, so this is my token effort for the week.
I just googled elephant softie pattern until I found something that looked simple enough. I copied the image, pasted into a word doc and blew up as big as I could. Printed it out and stuck it all together again!
The kids helped cut out all the pieces, pin them to the fabric and cut out the fabric. Then it was sewing time.
I really didn’t take enough photos through this process, but it was all very straight forward. The line across the middle is the piece you need to make for the inside of the legs. You can see this piece folded over in the image below.
Now here is a hint – make sure you put the eyes on BEFORE you finish sewing it. Because this little guy is now getting around the house blind, as I couldn’t put the backs on his eyes!
Anyway, we love the little blind guy. I want to make a whole herd!