Tag Archives: spring

The Craft Cupboard Overhaul

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The Craft Cupboard Overhaul

I’ll be honest, I rarely walk past a discount shop without picking up a little something for my craft stash.  The only problem with this, is finding somewhere to keep it all.  The side board I keep everything in was at breaking point, it had been for weeks actually. So it was time to dive in and sort everything out.  It was a painful 3 hour job, but worth it!

 

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4 small bins worth of rubbish and a few hours later…

 

That all fits nicely now, but it did mean my supplies have to start taking over another room.

Craft cupboard.

Sewing kit, ribbon box, wool and twine box, tule, felt and glue stash.

Ohhh, looky, there is even some extra space!  What ever will I fill it with?  Mwahahaha!

Easy Sun Catcher, Kids Craft

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Easy Sun Catcher, Kids Craft

Everyone loves a sun catcher – well according to Pinterest they do! This is basically the same concept as the Valentine Hearts  we did a few weeks back, but instead of random shapes, we used a punch to make stars and circles etc from the cellophane. Once laminated, we cut out smaller shapes and hung them from a branch with some beads.

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This is yet another almost impossible thing to photograph, it looks so much more bright and colourful in real life. I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself, or maybe I just need to do a photography coarse, or even read the instructions for my DSLR…

Kids Valentine Craft – Stained Glass Hearts

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Kids Valentine Craft – Stained Glass Hearts

I was determine to do some Valentine craft today with the kids before we ran out of time.  I had an idea in my head of what I wanted to do, but we couldn’t find the type of paper I needed.  While picking up some other bits and pieces from the grocery store, we found A4 laminate sheets on special and decided to grab some for the craft cupboard. I had a look around Pinterest for inspiration and then it finally came to me, lucky we grabbed those sheets!
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The steps are pretty self explanatory I think, but you can see more instructions by clicking on or running your mouse over each photo below.

The similar projects I have seen on Pinterest use clear book contact, which you could also use if you don’t have a laminating machine.  The laminate sleeves give a much clearer finish though.  I was worried at first that the cellophane might melt as it went through the heat, but it was fine.

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Ten Tin Bowling! Recycled Cans – Toddler Activity.

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Ten Tin Bowling! Recycled Cans – Toddler Activity.

 

The hardest part of this project was collecting the cans!  To make stacking easier, make sure all 10 cans are the same height.  Obviously you don’t need to cover the cans with paper, but I think it made it a bit more fun.   I just cut some scrap booking paper to size, fixed with tape, and they’re done.

 

 

This activity develops hand eye coordination, cognitive and gross motor skills.  Once you’ve had enough, the cans can just go into the recycling!   The kids loved the noise they make as they smashed to the ground.  Older kids could keep score and make a more competitive game out of it.

 

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Upcycled CDs. Sun Catcher.

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Upcycled CDs. Sun Catcher.

We were having a clean out of old computer stuff and were about to throw away a pile of old discs, but I decided those shinny little things must be good for something else?  So after a bit of thinking, I came up with yet another sun catcher idea.  Anyone would think I like sparkly things?  It took me ages to work out what to cover, a sphere didn’t seem practical as the CD pieces are flat obviously, so after some uhmming and arrring, I decided wooden cubes were the best solution.  The lovely man at the local hardware was kind enough to give me some 3″ x 3″ off cuts for free.  The rest of the instructions are on the pictures.  I just used clear drying craft glue to attach the CD chips to the wood and the grout is standard bathroom tile grout mixed according to instructions, available from any hardware (we had some left over from the laundry renovation).

Recycled DVD / CD Sun catcher

Recycled DVD / CD Sun catcher

Sun Catcher.  CD / DVD

Sun Catcher. CD / DVD

 

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Owl Family Craft Project

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Owl Family Craft Project

To be honest, craft is the last thing I was in the mood for this weekend. After some tragic news on Saturday morning, the tone of what was planned to be a fun 3 day weekend, soon turned into a very sombre one indeed.  All I really wanted to do was hug my pillow and cry.  But my children don’t really understand grief, so after 24 hours of my moping around, they were climbing the walls.  I was inspired by this project from an activity I saw at school a few weeks ago, of individual owls as they related to the letter O (letter of the week).  I thought a little owl family with the kids prints would look very cute.

The concept is quite simple like most of my projects, and as you can see in the photos below, so I wont go into too much detail.  I let the kids choose from my scrapbooking paper a pattern they liked, but you could just as easily use plain colours.  The background is just 2 school scrap books centre pages sticky taped together, then washed with blue water colour as demonstrated by Mr 8.  Once dry, I ironed the paper to make it flat again.  I drew the owl body and Mr 8 and I cut them out.  The eyes were traced from a circular cookie cutter and cut out.  The black dots made with a hole punch.  I just drew one foot, then used it as a stencil for the rest of the feet, so they are all similar.

The kids then chose their wing colour.  I placed the body on the background and had the children do their hand prints one at a time, starting in the middle.  This way I didn’t have to worry too much about working out the spacing. Once they were all done, I sketched in a branch and Mr 8 painted it in. Then it was just a case of glueing eyes, pupils, beaks and feet.  We added some leaves cut out from green paper to the branch and there you have it.  A little owl family hand print keepsake.

Materials:

Paper, Scissors, hole punch, water colour, coloured card and paper, glue stick, craft paint.

If you have got this far, thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed the post and it inspires you to do something just as fun and rewarding with your young family.  But if I can just ask one small thing of you, next time the opportunity arises, please donate to childhood cancer research in your country.  Currently only 5% of research funds go towards childhood cancer research, so please pinpoint your donations to this very important cause. This beast needs to be stopped.

DIY Sun catcher/Wind chime.

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DIY Sun catcher/Wind chime.

This project was inspired by another bloggers post, which I can’t find again on Pinterest, so will have to edit it back in later when I can find it.  Anyway, I ended up doing something completely different to hers, because I couldn’t get my hands on the right kind of cups.  The original mobile was created with plastic (recycling number 6) disposable drinking cups.  I hunted high and low however, the only ones of them here were solid colours, so I had to settle for these shot glasses.  The shot glasses are a lot thicker though, so the entire method required adjusting.  As you can see in the gallery images, melting these at a low heat basically make little plastic globs that would only be good for playing jacks with.   Eventually I worked out that by turning the heat up enough, I could get them to melt flat.  However, they did emit a nasty smell at this temp, so I took the project out to the BBQ.  

Adding the next colour

Adding the next colour

After melting the first cups, I added another cup, so there was enough plastic to cover the base of each muffin hole.  I was not too worried about thickness, some ended up with 3 cups, I broke a few cups up to splash some other colour around.  The BBQ was set to 220C with the lid down.   After cooling, this is what you get; 

The finished disks

The finished disks

 

They actually set really hard and when clicked together sound like glass rather than plastic.  Makes them perfect for a wind chime.  Just like with my previous sun catcher, I drilled holes in the sides of each piece using a normal drill bit.  None of them broke this time, which was an extra win.  Then we threaded some fishing line through, held each end together and threaded random shiny and transparent beads along the 2 lines. Admittedly I do have a ridiculously huge stash of beads and stones accumulated from over the years, but you can pick up cheap beads at $2 shops that will still make the project inexpensive if you were starting from scratch.  The first line was 11cm, then I continued along making each one 1cm longer, there is 17 in total.  My darling partner tied them on to the pre made metal loop (from spotlight – and much to his disappointment, he is not a crafty person).  Once they were all tied on, I just slid them around until they were spaced evenly.  And done! 

Close up

Close up

 

** Please note, breathing in the fumes from melting plastic is probably not a very good idea.  So if you do try this at home, try to use the BBQ or make sure the room is well ventilated, and preferably don’t be near the oven while its all happening.  It not like burning tyres or anything, but it sure doesn’t smell like something you should be breathing in! 

 

Home Made Chalk with an Easter Twist.

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Home Made Chalk with an Easter Twist.

I have been going to try out this home made chalk method for a while.  When I picked up some new silicone moulds from Aldi last week, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to try them both out!

Ingredients and utensils.

Ingredients and utensils.

Ideally disposable plastic cups would be the best thing to mix the plaster in, but I didn’t have any, so we just used some plastic cups we are not very attached to (IE, not Tupperware, lol).  You can buy plaster of paris from any large hardware or craft shop for around $10 for a 3kg (which is heeeaaaaps, 1kg is more than enough for this project). Silicone or rubber ice cube trays, food colouring and something to stir with.  Again, paddle pop sticks would have been better, but these skewers will do the trick.

 

 

Mix the food colouring in the water first, then add the plaster.  Stir rapidly until its fully mixed, then poor into the moulds. The plaster will set in roughly half an hour, some water may rise to the top, you can just dab this away with some paper towel or tip the moulds after this time for it to run away.  Then allow to fully cure in the moulds over night.  We also experimented with some glitter in the chalk, for something a bit different.  It actually worked quite well, although its really hard to capture the results with the camera.

 

Then simply turn out of the moulds and get drawing!

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Decorated Eggs, Easter Egg Dying and Decorating.

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Decorated Eggs, Easter Egg Dying and Decorating.

While we did the Tie Dying, I also started experimenting with a few other methods of colouring eggs using a home made dye using ingredients that almost everyone has already in their kitchen.  These were some of the results;

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These are obviously pretty straight forward.  Dyed in a food colouring/vinegar/warm water mixture.  Then a scrap booking embelishment stuck on.  Would have preferred embellishments without the clear plastic behind them, but the craft shop didn’t have any like that and you can’t really tell from a distance anyway.

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I love how these turned out.  Just use leaves from the garden, lay over the eggs then cover with a stocking or pantyhose.  I actually used some stocking I had on hand and didn’t even need to ruin them in the process.  Dip dye for a few minutes and you’re done.

Crepe paper results

Crepe paper results

 

We actually discovered this dying method accidentally.  After we had finished the Tie Dying from a previous post, we placed the eggs on this pre shredded crepe paper.   Some of the eggs still had a bit of water in them from the boiling process, so when that ran out and wet the paper, the colour transferred onto the eggs!  So I took it a step further, wet a hand full and covered them in it.  The results are pretty cool I think!

The dying solution we used was 3 parts hot tap water to one part vinegar, with as much food colouring as you wanted, we only used about a teaspoon per large cup.

Some of the other patterns we created can be seen below.

Easter Craft, Cute Little Chicks.

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Easter Craft, Cute Little Chicks.

Another very wet weekend has resulted in craft overload in this house.  Today we made some little chickens.  We will call them Easter Chicks, but they could really just be birds and would still be just as cute!  All we used was some small styrofoam balls, paint, google eyes a pack of feathers and a few different glues and double sided tape.  Oh, and some of those pre stuck felt shapes.  First we put the balls on a skewer to hold them up to paint.  The paint, like everything at the moment, took forever to dry, even under the ceiling fan.  Then we added the eyes and beaks.  It was a bit of trial and error with the glue, as some glue dissolves the styrofoam.  But we got there eventually, with some scrap booking glue.

Glue on eyes.

Glue on eyes.

 

For the beak, we just cut off petals from a foam flower sticker (which you will see further on).  We used several different methods to make the wings.  For thicker wings I folded over a feather from the centre, and secured both sides together with some double sided tape.  This worked well, but was a lot of fiddling around and you could see the tape through some, which I was not happy with.  Others I just cut away one side of the feather, to make it more a wing shape.  Then for the crazy birds I just stick the feathers straight in the side, to make them look like they were running.  Way cute!  Twisted some pipe cleaners to make legs and we were done.

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Ms 4 wanted to make a nest for them, so I grabbed some sugar cane mulch and let her build one outside, she then sprinkled a few flowers around which I thought was a great idea, so told her to get more.

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The coloured eggs are from another project we did this weekend, I will post more on them tomorrow.  They finished it off nicely though I think.

 

Tie Die Eggs – Easter Craft, Egg Decorating

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Tie Die Eggs – Easter Craft, Egg Decorating

In Australia, Easter in my experience at least, is all about chocolate eggs.  The only time I decorated an egg was in grade 3, for a decorating competition.  But apparently in other parts of the world its just what you do at Easter time.  A friend showed me this idea and I just had to give it a go!  I rushed out to the local Op shops that afternoon and fumbled through a rack of ties trying to find any that were 100% silk (they must be 100% silk, polyester will not work). One shop charged $1 each and the other wanted up to $5 each, I told them they were dreaming and talked them down to $2.

$20 worth of Op shop pure silk ties

$20 worth of Op shop pure silk ties

 

You can do this with boiled eggs, but I wanted to be able to keep them for future years or at least future craft projects.  So rather than using whole eggs, we blew the eggs.  That was a challenge in its self, but once I got the hang of it, I cleared out a dozen eggs and away we went.  Cut the stitching at the back of the tie so you can open it up, remove any lining and cut a piece big enough to cover your egg.  Making sure the dark side (what was once the outside of the tie) is against the egg. Secure with a twist tie or as I did, rubber bands as tight as possible without breaking the egg. You want as much surface contact as you can get.  I then removed the excess fabric to make putting on the second layer easier.

All wrapped up tight in the first layer (print facing egg)

All wrapped up tight in the first layer (print facing egg)

 

Then wrap a layer of plain fabric (I used some flannel and calico I had in the scrap fabric bag) and secure again with another band.  Fill a saucepan with water and half a cup of vinegar (I didn’t measure, but would have used more than half a cup of white vinegar) and bring to the boil.  Different directions state different cooking times, from 5 minutes to 20, I went with closer to 20 minutes.  Then the exciting part!

Love the colours and patterns in this one.

Love the colours and patterns in this one.

 

Remove from the water and allow to cool.  Remove fabric and discover what you have created!  Don’t forget to blow out the water that may have ended up inside again if you used hollow eggs.  Out of the 11 we made, 3 didn’t work at all.  I can’t say for sure, but I think they were ‘fake 100% silk’ ties those ones!

Easter egg decorating

Easter egg decorating

 

So, looks like we are having scrambled eggs and omelettes for dinner tonight.

 

Quick Toddler Craft – Tissue Paper Butterfly Mobile

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Quick Toddler Craft – Tissue Paper Butterfly Mobile

After 2 days of rain the daughter was really tearing her hair out – or was that mine?  I had plenty of work to do, but figured I best take some time out to entertain her.  Once again inspired by ABC Play School  They were making paper butterflies to blow in the wind, so I thought we’d just extend on that idea.

What you’ll need for tissue paper butterflies

What you’ll need; tissue paper (crepe paper would probably work just as well) pipe cleaners, scissors, plastic ribbon and a coat hanger (not pictured)

Twist the paper in the middle

Cut squares or rectangles out of the paper and twist in the middle – as demonstrated by Miss 3.

Twist a pipe cleaner around the middle.

Twist a pipe cleaner around the middle.

Twist a pipe cleaner around the middle.  This is not entirely necessary, but I liked the addition of an extra colour and texture, as well as the antennae look it created.

Attach the string or ribbon

Attach the string or ribbonAT

Attach your string or ribbon, keep attaching as many as you would like.  We just did 3 on each string x 3 strings.

Finished

As a mobile

in the window

In the window

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And there you have it.  Took less than 10 minutes to create and she thinks they are awesome.

Easy Toddler Craft – Leaf Animals.

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Easy Toddler Craft – Leaf Animals.

Inspired by ABC Play School.  Today we made leaf animal pictures.  It was super easy with minimal mess.

Cutting the leaves for the project

Layla cuts some leaves off our pot plant

DD3 cuts some leaves from our garden.

Leaf pictures

What you need.

What you will need;  Some coloured paper, leaves, marker pens, craft glue and scissors (craft eyes optional)

Leaf pictures

Draw some simple animals to add the leaves too, like this bird.

Draw the outline of some simple shapes on the paper using your makers.

Toddler leaf pictures

Glue on the best shaped leaf for the job!

Start gluing on the leaves that best suit the picture.

Toddler leaf craft

We used the same leaf configuration each time to finish off this bird.

We used the tips of a China doll branch to create this picture.

Toddler leaf craft

Adding the finishing touches.

Adding some boggle eyes, because every kids loves those (ok, and maybe I do too)

Toddler craft leaf bird

One of my favourites

Some of the finished products

The finished products

The finished masterpieces, drying on a flat surface.

Hanging toddler craft

All dried and ready for display.

All dry and ready to display.

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Spring goodness!

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Spring goodness!

I LOVE SPRING!  Sorry to yell at you all, but seriously?  Best season of the year.   Check out what I found at mums today – a Willie Wagtail  has made a nest in the most picture perfect position.  Like something out of a fairy scene.

Can you see it?

 

 

 

*Updated, the eggs have now hatched.

 

The hatchlings

The hatchlings.

 

around 2 weeks

around 2 weeks

 

2 weeks close up

close up.