Posts Tagged ‘Crafty’

Paper Mosaics

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

What do you do when you have lots of scraps of construction paper left over from a valentine project?

You recycle them by making mosaics….and a mess of lots of little tiny bits of paper.  Of course.

But the kids have fun.   And if you’re a neater person than I, you can put the different colors of cut up paper pieces each in their own little container so they don’t make such a big mess.

You’ll need, construction paper, a pencil, glue sticks and scissors.

First have the kids draw a simple drawing of a single item (like a heart), or a design (like a tree with clouds in the sky) on a piece of construction paper.  

Next they cut the scrap paper in small pieces (this was my two year old’s favorite part.)

Now apply glue on a small part of the design and apply the small paper pieces within the lines.   Kinda like coloring with paper instead of crayons. 

The only rule is the pieces shouldn’t overlap and should be spaced somewhat evenly apart.

Continue applying glue and paper until the picture is done.

Now get out the vacumn.

Next plan.  Since the kids had so much fun making these, I’m thinking of getting a big piece of posterboard and letting the kids draw a neat design to mosaic.  Then in their free (”mommy what can we doooooo?”) time, they can get out their giant mosaic and work on it little by little.  It might take a whole month or so to finish and then we’d have a really neat piece of big art to hang in the kids play area.

Stained Glass Hearts

Monday, February 8th, 2010

This is a pretty way to use up some old crayons…and make special hearts that your ‘valentines’ can hang in their windows. 

All you need is wax paper, crayons, a sharpener and iron to start.

 For the second half of the project you’ll need construction paper scissors and glue.

First rip off two pieces of wax paper about 7 inches long.

 Next sharpen your crayons in the sharpener and scatter the crayon shavings on one sheet of waxed paper.

 We did this step right on the ironing board so we wouldn’t have to move the pieces.

Be sure to place an old sheet or towel under the wax paper because they can melt through a bit.

 Now sandwich your shavings by placing another piece of waxed paper on top of the crayons.

Then place another old sheet or pillowcase.

Iron over the pieces for about 5 seconds.  They melt quickly.

(You can do this for just a moment and then check to see how melted the pieces have gotten and melt some more if you’d like them to blend together more.) 

 To make your heart cut 2 heart frames out of construction paper.  You’ll need a piece for the front and a piece for the back.


 Next trace the smaller, inside heart onto your wax paper and cut out around the hearts about a half inch larger so you will have an edge to glue onto the construction paper.  (you’ll notice you can kinda see the pencil marks  on the hearts in this photo.)

Glue your stained glass heart onto one of the construction paper hearts.

Then glue the other heart on top.

To hang, use a needle to string a piece of thread through the top.

And have a Happy Valentines Day!

If you’d like to see more example, we used this same technique to make stained glass church Christmas cards in 2008.








Anyone want to make a kitty toy?

Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Makenna desperately wanted to make a kitty toy for the homeless cats at Animals in Distress.  She bugged me for days.

So we hit my fabric and ribbon stash… and this fish was what we came up with as a first effort.   Well it was stuffed too, but of course, after taking the pictures of all the different steps to make the fish, I forgot to take a picture of the finished project before we gave it to the kitties.  (My adorable son will tell you that is because ‘mommy has a small brain’.)

It was important that the toy could be made by Makenna alone, since she wants to make lots of them for the different kitty rooms at the shelter.   Since I already have a long list of sewing projects to do myself, the kitty toys need to be on her list.

The toy was made from my fabric stash with fabric ribbon and then stuffed with cut up sheets (in case the kitties managed to rip open the toy I didn’t want them choking on stuffing).

Lesson learned for the next toy.  Use strips of thin fleece (or something else that won’t fray) for the tassles because the cats claws had the ribbon shredded in about a minute.

We cut out a fish shape that was about 5 inches long by 3.5 inches high.  Next we cut pieces of ribbon in varying 4-5 inch lengths, and one 15 inch piece to use to dangle the toy.

With the right side of fabric facing up, we layed the ribbons down with the ends at the back of the fish and the long ends out past the head.  This way the ribbons will hang out the back of the fish like you want. 

Attach the ribbon with a piece of scotch tape about an inch from the end of the ribbon (where you won’t be sewing) in order to hold the ribbon in place while you sew.

With your sewing machine, run a straight stitch along the ribbons twice to attach them to the fish.

Remove the tape that was holding them inplace.

Next tape the long piece of ribbon with the end near the fish’s mouth and the long end hanging over the tail.  Tape, and sew as you did the back ribbons.

Now gather the ribbons together in the middle of the fish and tape down away from the edges so that you don’t accidently sew through them when you sew the two pieces of the fish together.

With right sides facing each other pin the pieces together and then sew a straight stitch around the perimeter of the fish about 1/4 inch from the edge leaving a 1.5 inch opening at the base of the fish for turning it right side out.

Turn your toy right side out.  Remove the tape from the ribbons.

Stuff with small pieces (about 1/2 inch) of recycled fabric.

Hand stitch the opening closed and your toy is ready.

Next toy I plan on buying 3/8 inch dowel rods which we will drill a hole through (mommy will have to do that part), and then we can tie the long ribbon through it and dangle the toy more easily for the kitties.

As soon as we make a few more toys (this weekend since we go to see the kitties again Monday) I will add some better pictures, including a few completely finished ones, and they’ll show the stick for dangling them too.

4/9/10  I still haven’t remembered to take a picture of these since we’re always so excited to give them to the kitties, but one thing we learned is to use thin fleece instead of ribbon because it holds up much better to kitty claws.

Artsy Pipe Cleaner Tree

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

Keep in mind, this is one of those projects that just doesn’t photograph well.  I apologize, but trust me when I say that they are really, really cute. 

Makenna and I discovered a version of these interesting trees displayed at a local elementary school over the weekend and just had to make one immediately.  Makenna made a beautiful one using our endless supply of buttons and some ribbon for decorations, unfortunately, we didn’t have enough pipe cleaners in the house to make one for me too.   (Note.  The original trees we saw were made using beads and feathers for ornaments.)

To make your own Fancy Tree you’ll need:

16 Pipe Cleaners,

Small Base of scrap wood,

Paint to paint the base (and we painted buttons too)

Glue Gun to Glue tree on the base,

Embellishements like Buttons, Ribbon, Feathers, Beads

and Glue if you are using embellishement that need to be glued on the tree.

To Start:

Line up your 16 pipe cleaners and starting about 2 inches from the bottom (that section will be the roots), twist them together for about 2 to 3 inches to form your trunk.

Now seperate the trunk into 4 sections with 4 pipe cleaners each and twist those a little.  Then seperate the groups of 4 into two pipe cleaners.   Twist a bit more, and finally you’ll have single pipe cleaner branches to bend out into the tips of branches.  (This makes a good visual lesson on how generally branches get narrower as you go up from the trunk and out to the branches).

Next add your decorations on the branches.  Either by gluing on feathers, stringing on the beads and buttons or tying on ribbons.

Set aside your tree and paint your wood base.  Let dry.

When the base is dry, apply hot glue to the ‘roots’ of the tree and quickly and firmly press it onto the center of your base.

Optional.  You can now decorate your base more to your liking.  We painted some buttons (I never pass up an opportuntiy to use up more of our 1 million buttons), and glued them on the base and roots to look as if they’d fallen off the tree.

This is definitely a project we’ll be doing again.  Different trees for different holidays/seasons.  I can see making a red, pink and white one with little hearts for Valentines Day, a Fourth of July themed tree, a beautiful white and silver winter tree with snowflakes….Oooo, I’m excited, time to go buy more pipe cleaners!


Foam Photo Ornaments

Tuesday, December 29th, 2009

These were a fun way to keep the kids occupied yesterday.  They loved making them and getting to go through pictures from the last few months to choose just the right one for their ornament.

They’ll hang on this year’s tree a little while then get packed away for next year, when we’ll marvel at how big they gotten since ‘last year’.

We used craft foam, scissors, favorite recent photos, glue sticks, ribbon or fabric for the ties,  a permanent marker to write the year and a hole punch.

The one extra thing we do is to cut a matching piece of foam for on the back to secure the picture in place better and to make it look more finished.

Happy Crafting!

Dollhouse Redo

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

I’m still here.

Admist wrapping paper, paint and fabric and with quite a list of gifts to finish yet today and tomorrow.

But at least I got my favorite gift for Makenna finished.

This dollhouse was mine, and I suppose I’m dating myself, because I bet you can tell it’s from the seventies.  You have to love those rug swatches.

I decided to paint the whole thing pale pink with a tan roof because, well, everything should be pink as far as Makenna is concerned.  And its so much more girly than the charcoal gray and barn red roof that it had when I was little.

The inside is the same color because I decided that rather than me do the decorating,  Makenna can choose the colors and fabric and decorate the whole inside herself.  She loves doing that kind of thing.

This is the furniture for it….a bit of it may have to be redone too.

I’m so excited to give this to her.   I can’t wait to see what she does with the place.  I’ll post photos when she’s done.

Recycled Tin Punch Ornaments

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Ever since Jarod made this neat Tin Punched Car at church last month I’ve been working on ideas for making some punched things for Christmas.

Frozen orange juice lids (the cross design), those round metal ends that come off the package of crescent rolls (the star design), and canning lids (the snowman) made for some fun ornaments of different sizes.   And for kids, they all have smooth edges that won’t cut fingers.  

We started by drawing a design on the lid in pencil and then we tapped a nail 2 to 3 imes for each hole, along the drawing.

After the design was punched we spray paint the lids in gold or silver and then added embellishments with a glue gun, color with permanent markers and acrylic paint and on some we had to add glitter, of course.

The kids loved making these, and are already working on more designs for our tree.   As soon as our tree is up (I have two weeks yet), I’m sure they’ll look beautiful hanging with lights glittering through the holes. 

Quick Homemade Gift. Checkbook Covers.

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Last night I made a list of all the Christmas gifts I have yet to sew this year.  

It’s not good….Let’s just say I’m a little bit behind.

So when I noticed this great tutorial for checkbook covers at my favorite quilting site, Crazy Mom Quilts, last week, I was very excited.  (She also has some other great tutorials too.)

I made a sample one for myself first, and it took less than thirty minutes, PLUS the fabric all came from my stash of larger scraps.  I was very very excited.

If you can cut a rectangular piece of fabric and sew a straight stitch and iron you can whip up a few of these babies in no time for some last minute gifts.

Homemade Gift. Clothespin Photoholder

Friday, December 4th, 2009

We’ve got a new project video with step by step instructions up on our main site at

These clothespin photoholders are a great way to display photos and make a cute gift for anyone young or old.

Christmas Cards using Recycled Fabric

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

I’m so excited.  We got our Christmas cards done early this year.

They’re not mailed yet, so there’s still no guarantee that I’ll get them out early, but I figure I at least have a good shot at them arriving at people’s home before New Years this year. 

For these cards we decided to raid the fabric scrap bag.  You’ll notice we used all types of fabric, not just Christmas themes.  There’s some from dresses I made the girls, as well as fabric from an old shirt that added a little variety.

This was a simple card that all three kids could help to make.

The twins cut the fabric triangles and Alexandra (who is two) was able to help mod podge the ‘trees’ on the card.  Then we used fabric paints to outline the trees and for the stars.

We picked a bible passage for the saying inside and printed it out on some name badge labels I had laying around (8 per sheet), and the kids stuck them inside the cards.

If you’d like to see last years stained glass church cards made from recycled crayon the post is here.