Saturday, February 26, 2011

Toddler Crafts (

Finger Puppets for the Bath

Waterproof Puppet Theater

Turn a pair of rubber gloves into a handful of bath-friendly finger puppets for your toddler.
.Homemade Hobby Horse
Keep your little neigh-sayer horsing around for days with this soulful steed, easily assembled in about an hour from a dowel and a fuzzy slipper sock.
A Trail ToteMark Mantegna
To help kids get the most out of communing with nature, Lizette Castano at the Children's Nature Institute suggests packing a canvas bag with a few of simple item, such as this colorful egg carton or collecting souvenirs.
Super Scoops

Super Scoops

These decoupaged milk jugs are great for transporting toys, dumping them on the ground, and scooping them up again when playtime is done -- and a waterproof version is perfect for skimming toys from the bathtub.
Personalized Peekaboo Board

Ronnie Andren

Personalized Peekaboo Board

Your toddler will have great peekaboo fun with this custom-made lift-the-flap craft, and will find a special surprise waiting behind each door: Grandma! Teddy! The family dog!

Seed Art (

Seed Art

Make It: To make dye, mix white vinegar, food coloring, and water (experiment with the amounts of each to suit your child's desired look). Place pumpkin seeds and popcorn kernels in the dye. Let them soak 4-6 hours before straining and drying overnight. Let your kids have fun sorting and organizing the seeds into imaginative shapes and gluing them onto paper, foam, or canvas.

Play-Food Craft (

Play-Food Picnic

Make It: Cut two rectangles from thick, white foam sheets (for bread); trim and paint the edges brown. Cut a circle for a tomato, a square for cheese, a circle for meat, and a free-form, frilly-edge shape for lettuce. Cut thin strips of white foam, staple them into a loop, and have your child paint them purple to create onion ring slices. For extra fun, cut out oval chips and run them through a paper crimper.

Pretty Paper Purse (

Pretty Paper Purse

Make it: Paint the underside of a sturdy paper plate green, let dry, then cut the plate in half. Staple the rims together with the green side facing out to create a pouch. Next, staple a ribbon onto the sides of the purse. To create the latch, cut out a rectangle of pink felt and glue it onto one side of the purse. Hang the felt over the pouch and glue on a pink button to weigh it down. For a stylish purse that really stays closed, add a little Velcro underneath.

Fairy House (

Fairy House
Jay Wilde

Make It: Have your child paint a 1x8-1/2-inch plastic foam disk with brown acrylic paint. Gather 6- to 8-inch twigs and push them into the foam in a circle pattern, tilting the twigs at an angle so they meet in the center as shown; leave room for a door. Fill in any gaps by pushing smaller twigs into the holes. Then let your child's imagination run wild as she decorates with natural supplies.

Sequined CD Fish (

Sequined CD Fish

Make It: Glue one googly eye each to the iridescent side of two CDs. Add small drops of tacky glue and help your kids attach sequins to the rest of both CDs. Cut out fins and lips from cardstock and adhere to the noniridescent side of one CD. Next, determine the length of twine you'll need to hang the fish, double it, and tie the ends together. Glue the twine to the top of one of the CD's noniridescent sides. Then adhere the two CDs together -- don't forget to line up the eyes!

Cool Decor Ideas (

Wall cubes covered in decorative paper

Pretty Wall Cubes

Decorate your wall with customized cubes. Select three same-size square sturdy cardboard boxes or use wood cubes. Trace a box side onto decorative paper; repeat the tracing five times for each box for a total of 15; cut out. Using a paintbrush, spread a thin layer ofadhesive on five sides of each box. Adhere the paper to the box sides, using your hand and a brayer to smooth each side. Finish with a coat of polyurethaneif desired.

Alphabet letters on canvas

Alphabet Art

Raid your scraps stash to create an inexpensive custom work of art. Paint a canvas and paintchipboard letters. Cover the canvas with patterned-paper blocks, the painted chipboard letters,embellishments, photos, artwork, and paper-pieced accents that correspond with the letters.

window seal 2

Revamp a Window Frame

Use an old window frame (found in antiques stores) as a frame to show off love ones. Gather pieces ofchipboard the size of each pane to use as "pages." Cover the chipboard with patterned paper, then add pictures and embellishments. Attach your completed chipboard "pages" to the back of the window panes with a staple gun. For a finishing touch, add rub-on words or phrases to the glass panes.

Family Photo House Decoration

Decorative House

Construct and decorate a tiny house with family photos. Assemble the house using foam-core board and hot

glue. Mount mini photos on chipboardrectangles and hang them from ribbon.

blocks on foam core

DIY Artwork

With a little paint and some foam-core board, nine fun cards form a spiffy piece of artwork. Choose a boldly patterned card then use spray adhesive to mount onto same-size pieces of foam-core board. Attach the squares to the painted square with double-sided carpet tape, and voila! For an extra touch paint a large square in a contrasting color to make your art work pop off your walls.

Jewelry on display

Bedazzled Wall Art

Problem: Tangled jewelry

Solution: You use your jewelry to dress up your outfit. Now use it to dress up your walls. Turn the tangle of jewelry in your jewelry box into artwork. Use frames or shadow boxes to group pieces together. Not only will your walls sparkle, but you'll be more likely to wear pieces because you see them on a regular basis.

Funky Moon Rocks (

Boy with painted rocks on floor

Collect rocks. Clean the rocks, then paint them with several coats of acrylic paint. Let dry and decorate with letters, dots, symbols, or other imaginative motifs. Protect the paint with several coats of sprayvarnish.

Decorated Shoelaces (

Decorated shoelaces

Jazz up plain shoelaces with colorful designs. Cover the work space with waxed paper or a grocery bag. Tape the lace ends to the work surface. Using fabricmarkers, decorate one side of each shoelace with a bright pattern or stripes. Let the ink dry. Repeat the design on the other side of each lace.

Hanging Stars (

White card stock star with stickers

Download our star template below. Cut out two star shapes from card stock. Slit one star from the top point to the middle and the second from the bottom to the center point. Adorn each star with leftover buttons, gems, and stickers. Slide the two stars together, punch a hole at the top, and thread ribbonthrough the hole for hanging.

Get the Hanging Stars pattern.

Decoupage Vases (

Vases decoupaged in decorative papers

Head to a thrift store to pick up inexpensive glassvases. Tear pieces of patterned tissue paper into 2-inch squares. Brush decoupage medium onto the vases, then cover them with paper squares. Brush decoupage medium over the paper-covered vases; let dry.

Tubular Bracelet (

Clear tubular plastic bracelets with beads and glitter inside

Cut vinyl tubing into a 10-inch-long piece. For a connector, cut a 1-inch-long piece from smaller tubing that fits snugly into the longer piece. Slide the small piece 1/2 inch into one end of the longer piece. Use a funnel to fill the long piece with candy, beads, or glitter. Bend the long piece into a circle. Slide the open end over the exposed end of the connector to complete the bracelet.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Vacation Memory Jars (

Filled with souvenirs collected on trips and pictures developed afterward, vacation memory jars are like little worlds that can be visited again and again. Kids can add to them or rearrange them anytime they like. Bent wire can be used to lower and position objects in a thin-necked jar.

Treasure Chest (

Here's a simple way for kids to store their collections: Accordion-fold a strip of paper, and glue the first and last pages to the inside of a box's lid and bottom. Keep some pages empty so the collection can grow.

Ocean Diorama (

Ocean Diorama

Tools and Materials
Sardine tin (well washed and dried)
Nautical map
Blue paper
Toy Birds
Cutout images (from sardine label)
Fish cutout
Card stock

Ocean Diorama How-To
1. For background, trace bottom of well-washed sardine tin onto cardboard and a nautical map, and cut out; glue map onto cardboard, then glue inside tin.

2. Cut waves from blue paper, making tabs on bottom and sides for attaching to can; glue in place. Glue on shells, twigs, toy birds, and cutout images photocopied from sardine label, and cheesecloth for a net.

3. To make free-floating fish, glue fish cut out to one end of card stock strip folded at each end; glue other end to background.

4. Brush glue on floor of diorama; sprinkle with sand. To hang diorama, tape rope to back.

Party Bracelet (

It only takes paper-towel tubes, buttons, feathers, and ribbon to create these glitzy bangles, ideal for young girls.

Slice the tubes into rings with a utility knife and give to kids to decorate. When they're done, snip the rings open for wearing and glue while they're still intact.

Lunch Money Locket (

Lunch Money Locket

  • Small metal mint tin (Ours measured roughly 2 by 2 1/2 inches. Make sure it has a hinged lid to pull a string through or around. We found ours at Target and CVS.)
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrush
  • String or metallic craft cord (You'll need about a 3-foot length. Be sure it's thin enough to fit around or through the tin's hinge so the lid can still close.)
  • Tacky glue
  • Small plastic animal or fake jewels, stickers, etc.
  1. Lunch Money Locket - Step 1 Clean the inside of the tin. Paint the top and let it dry.

  2. Thread the string or metallic cord around or through (depending on the type of tin) the tin's hinges. Pull both ends of the string tight, so that they fit snugly around the hinge, and then knot them together at the top.

  3. Glue plastic animals or jewels to the top of the tin. Let it dry.

For the Grown-Ups (

Easy Craft Ideas: Envelope Accordion Book

Envelope OrganizerMATERIALS NEEDED:
Chartreuse A2 Envelopes
Glue Stick
Bone folder
Gel Pens
This easy to make accordion book is a personalized way to organize all of your small odds and ends. Each envelope page can hold something different such as- "to do" lists, stamps, tickets, coupons, and business cards. Also a fun craft idea for a gift - fill with photos, tickets, and other keepsakes and share with a special friend. step one:
Choose your envelopes. You will need an odd number, anywhere from five to nine. We have used A2 envelopes here but, almost any size side-opening envelope will work. Burnish with bone folderstep two:
Using a glue stick, adhere the envelopes together by placing adhesive on the inside of the flap of one envelope and using a bone folder, burnish it to the front of the next envelope.step three:
Fold the pages accordion style, making the pointed flap of the first envelope the cover of your book.Fold envelope pagesMake ribbon closurestep four:
Add a ribbon closure. Cut a small opening the width of the ribbon on both sides of the last envelope and run the ribbon through.step five:
Using labels and colored gel pens indicate the contents of each envelope "page". Fill with all your odds and ends, fold up, and tie the ribbon closure to keep everything safely tucked inside.Homemade envelope organizer

See our How-to Video to learn about a similar accordion project.

Recycling Bread Tags (

Don't throw out those little plastic bread tag clips that come on packages of bagels, English muffins and sandwich buns. Instead, save them to make these cute little snowmen for securing your Christmas treat bags!

You probably remember the recycled bread tag monsters that I made for Halloween. Right after making those I knew I wanted to make some for Christmas too. I finally had some time to make these and just in time for your holiday treat bags!

These were actually very easy and I think I like the ones without mouths better than the ones with mouths. Either way, I think they came out cute and took almost no time at all!

Recycled Bread Tag Snowmen
printable version

plastic bread tags
acrylic paint: orange, pink and black
sealer spray, matte finish

If your bread tags are any color but white, you will need to paint them with white acrylic paint first.

First I sketched out some ideas. I really recommend doing this whenever you are trying to make something from your head a reality.

You want to do the cheeks first. Use an old scruffy brush and dip it in pink paint. Dab off the excess paint on a piece of paper.

Dab the cheeks on with the pink paint.

Practice making the noses on a piece of paper.

Add noses to the bread clips.

Dip the handle end of a small paintbrush into black paint. Dot on the eyes.

Use the same dotting method to add a mouth if you like, or use a Sharpie marker. NOTE: If using a Sharpie, let these sit for several hours before spraying with sealer, otherwise the ink may run.

If not using Sharpie, just allow the paint to dry then spray with sealer.

Football Bobblehead (

  • 18- to 20-gauge white craft wire
  • Small, clean plastic container (such as Danimals Drinkable Yogurt; label removed)
  • Uncooked rice
  • White glue
  • Craft foam
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Pipe cleaner
  • Toothpick
  • 2 ½-inch Styrofoam ball
  • Tissue paper (in your favorite team's color)
  • Small snapshot of your child's face
  • Household tools
  1. The Body
    Wrap a 2-foot length of craft wire around a marker to form a tight coil, leaving 1 ½ inches at one end straight. Remove the coil from the marker, stretch it to a length of about 6 inches, then set it in the plastic container. Pour in about ¼ cup of rice, then pour about 1 ½ tablespoons of glue over the rice. Let the glue dry for at least 1 hour before continuing (overnight to dry completely).

  2. Bobbleheads  - Step 2The Jersey
    Cut a cross-like shape from craft foam (see diagram; ours was 6 by 7 inches for our 4-inch-tall container). Make two 1 ½-inch cuts in the center of the shape, as shown, then fold back the corners and hot-glue them in place for a neckhole. Turn over the foam and hot-glue on craft foam numbers or other details. Slip the jersey over the top of the plastic container, then fold it in 2 and hot-glue the edges together, leaving the ends of the sleeves open.

  3. The Hands and The Pennant
    For each hand, twist 1 end of a 4-inch piece of pipe cleaner into a coil, then slip it inside a sleeve, gluing it in place, if you like. Make a pennant by gluing together 2 triangles, a football shape, and white stripes cut from craft foam, then poke a toothpick through the wide end of the flag and secure it in a pipe cleaner hand.

  4. The Helmet
    With a serrated knife (parents only), cut a rectangular section the size of your child's photo from the Styrofoam ball. Cover the entire surface of the ball with 2-inch squares of tissue paper, using a paintbrush to seal each piece in place with a mixture of equal parts glue and water. Add a craft foam stripe if you like, then let the helmet dry completely. Glue your child's photo to the face area of the helmet, then poke the ends of 1 or 2 short pieces of craft wire into the helmet on each side of the photo for a face mask. Finally, stick the helmet onto the wire coil and adjust as needed for maximum bobbing.

It's Snowing!! ( )

What You’ll Need:

  • pencil
  • short cardboard tube
  • scissors
  • poster paint
  • tape
  • glue
  • glitter
  • thread
Craft Image

How to Make It:

  1. Craft Image Draw an inch-wide band around the center of a short cardboard tube. Draw six evenly spaced lines from each end of the tube to the band, then cut along them. (See diagram.)

  2. Paint the tube, inside and out, with a coat or two of poster paint. Let it dry.

  3. Tape the ends of the strips from one side of the band to those from the other side.

  4. Snip triangles from the edges of the strips. Add glue-and-glitter spots. Use thread to hang up the snowflake.