Pages Menu
TwitterFacebook
Categories Menu

Posted by on May 13, 2013 | 0 comments

In Praise of 1970s Crafts: The Tin Can Lantern

In Praise of 1970s Crafts: The Tin Can Lantern

I often head for the children’s craft section at the library and find the old 1970s craft books with the coolest projects. The tin can lantern is a project from one of the very best books from that era — Making Things — that you might remember if you grew up then. My neighbor remembers making them in cub scouts. You gather some tin cans of varying sizes, wash them and then take off the paper. Then, you fill them with water and put them in the freezer for a day. The idea is to pound holes of varying sizes into the can to make a design, but if you don’t have frozen water in the can, the nail bounces off or else dents the can. Don’t worry about the swelling at the bottom. It doesn’t affect the working of the lantern. Next, you mark a design on the cans with a Sharpie. Then, you find nails of varying thicknesses. And hammer nails into the cans. The kids loved doing this part. When...

Read More

Posted by on Apr 17, 2013 | 0 comments

DIY Kids: Picture-Perfect Postcards

DIY Kids: Picture-Perfect Postcards

Back in January I shared my newly decorated Winter corner which included a photo of the big Del Ray snow storm of 2010. Well now that it’s Spring, out goes the Winter wonderland and in comes some new seasonally appropriate art, an oil pastel drawing by my 7-year-old son Jack. Of course I’m biased because my son made it, but I think it’s quite stunning. I watched as he carefully layered the flowers and buildings; he had a vision and he took his time to bring it to life. But I also love it because the colors are so vibrant and its simplicity reminds me of Van Gogh. I’m completely in awe of his talent. But that’s not the end of it. I loved the drawing so much I photographed it, uploaded it to Snapfish and ordered a set of postcards. I wasn’t sure how they would look, and at $.99/piece, I decided to order just a small amount before investing too much money. A week later, the postcards...

Read More

Posted by on Apr 12, 2013 | 0 comments

Making Felt Animal Masks

Making Felt Animal Masks

For my daughter Nadja’s animal-themed 5th birthday party, we’ve hired a professional storyteller who will be doing stories like Crictor, the boa constrictor and Three Billy Goats Gruff using puppets. For party favors, I made 10 felt animal masks — count ’em, 10. The kids will get to choose one to take home. The process was pretty easy once we decided on the animals. We started out looking online for images of different animal masks and then sketched out the designs for a puppy, a walrus, an owl, a penguin, a chicken, and a rabbit. I bought all of the felt for the main section of each mask and for the details, like ears and noses, as well as other supplies at Del Ray Variety Store. The other supplies you need are: Scissors Xacto knife Craft glue Thread Elastic Straight pins Sewing needles or a sewing machine Next, I made one template for the main section of the masks and then cut two pieces of felt for each individual mask, so they would...

Read More

Posted by on Jan 9, 2013 | 0 comments

DIY Kids: Pretend Play with Cardboard Cutouts and Paper Cities

DIY Kids: Pretend Play with Cardboard Cutouts and Paper Cities

The pretend play possibilities are so endless when you have a big cardboard box. Living in a small house, though, we just don’t have the floor space for kid-size playhouses, robots, spaceships, or make-believe kitchen appliances as totally cool they are. But we can create some clever cardboard and paper creations at a size appropriate for Playmobile people and accessories. Best part is that these creations only require some scissors, a ruler, pencil, and maybe paint or markers. Cardboard Castle and Horse Stable I copied the template designs from the new book eco-friendly crafting with kids, on to cardboard (taken from a big shipping box) to make a castle with a tall tower, as well as a smaller stable. Then, Ana assembled the structures and we made minor adjustments to make sure they weren’t too off-kilter. Next, Ana painted the exteriors. And then she drew some designs on them with magic marker, like climbing ivy and three-headed dragons. (See the dragon’s menacing face in the circular window.) Next, imaginary play...

Read More

Posted by on Dec 28, 2012 | 0 comments

Keeping Kids Busy During Holiday Break

Keeping Kids Busy During Holiday Break

When the kids are hanging around the house during holiday break, it’s always a plus to have some projects up your sleeve for them to do. Laine Hardman, a professional organizer with Tidy Up Now, and I have come up with a list of simple crafts and organizing jobs that you can propose on the spur of the moment. These don’t require a lot of specialized supplies or too much hands-on instruction either. Crafts The old-fashioned paperclip necklace. I grabbed a colorful box of paperclips from the drugstore and after about a two-second demo, the girls were on their way. They enjoyed creating patterns with the different paperclip colors. Silver beaded jewelry. This is a Todd Oldham idea that I remembered from his fantastic Kid Made Modern book. It’s a modern twist on the old macaroni noodle necklace project. You start with rigatoni noodles and some tin foil. The kids roll the tin foil around the noodles and rub the sides to accentuate the groves. Then they have shiny “silver” bling...

Read More