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Posted by on Mar 12, 2014 | 2 comments

Family Craft: Making a Peeps Diorama

Family Craft: Making a Peeps Diorama

We love the Washington Post Peeps Diorama Contest, now in its eighth year. This will be the first time we throw our hat in the ring and create our own diorama. It took us the better part of a week, off and on, to create our entry. We started by brainstorming some ideas and looking at past winners, oohing and aahing at the impressive creations. We loved the various Downton Abbey dioramas especially. After much debate, we decided on a scene from the movie Gravity. First, we found a box and then gathered all sorts of craft supplies from our craft closet, not sure quite what we’d end up using but wanting a lot of options. And, of course, we purchased a package of Peeps — the bunnies rather than the chicks — so we’d have more room on their heads for space helmets. We looked at images online of scenes from the Gravity movie and picked one to depict, with a sliver of the Earth showing on one...

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Posted by on Feb 7, 2014 | 1 comment

A Valentine Card-Making Extravaganza

A Valentine Card-Making Extravaganza

With Valentine’s Day just a week away, I pulled out a ton of craft supplies so my daughters could make their own Valentine cards. I also bought a few items from Del Ray Variety such as construction paper and heart stickers. Our card-making endeavor is an artistic free-for-all, after we get our juices flowing with a little inspiration from Pinterest and other crafty blogs. Ana cut out some hearts of different sizes and sewed them on a card she had cut out from the construction paper. She’s much better at threading embroidery floss than I am, so she also helped me as I sewed a heart row by row starting with a white heart on pink to use as the pattern. Working with embroidery floss is slow going, just be warned. It would go faster with yarn, but you’d need to use a thicker paper, like cardstock, or else you’d probably poke the heart right through the card. The back looks just like the front with little ends tucked...

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Posted by on Jan 29, 2014 | 5 comments

Adventures in String Art

Adventures in String Art

String art was ubiquitous in my youth. When I see one of the owls or sailboats so popular to design with string tied between tiny nails, I feel nostalgic for the 1970s. We didn’t use it in my math class, but it originated in the late 19th century as a way to teach curves made with intersecting tangents to children. My friend Jen and I made two projects – we each came up with a drawing to recreate with nails and string, and I did a simple circle pattern (similar to a Spirograph design). The 1960s string art used a wooden board covered in velvet, but we went for the natural wood look for both projects. You could also cover a piece of scrap wood with felt. The wood slices came from tree that workers were cutting down in the neighborhood. They were kind enough to cut some slices for me. Jen decided to make a bicycle. She drew the design on paper first and then placed it on...

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Posted by on Jan 8, 2014 | 0 comments

Making Bedazzling 3-D Felt Birds

Making Bedazzling 3-D Felt Birds

I made a few of these 3-D felt birds as holiday gifts and kept a couple for myself. They did not get packed away with the Christmas ornaments, but hang in our kitchen adding color and whimsy. You can make these birds with the following supplies: Felt of any color Embroidery thread of any color and needle Hot glue gun Sequins Feathers String for hanging Scissors I did most of the sewing work on the birds, but my 10-year-old was perfectly able to do this craft. The 5-year-old didn’t quite have the patience or manual dexterity, but she enjoyed suggesting the embellishments. 1. Create a template on cardboard. You need to make a template for the bird’s body and also for the wings.  Trace the template on felt and cut out the bird and wing shapes. As you can see, you make one long wing because later you’ll slide the wing through the main body. You need two body shapes and two wing shapes for each bird. 2. Use a...

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Posted by on Nov 11, 2013 | 1 comment

Making an Upcycled Rope Basket

Making an Upcycled Rope Basket

With about a skein or two of yarn and some rope, you can make a stylish and practical basket. I made one after learning how from Susan, one of the UpCycle Creative Reuse Center owners. She had made her basket from climbing rope that came in as a donation. (It’s not uncommon for rock climbers to have yards and yards of retired rope, too worn to be used safely on a climb, in their possession.) Susan used red wool yarn to make her gorgeous basket. She was kind enough to give me a private tutorial. I chose a length of rope to use. She said you can attach individual lengths of rope together if you want to make a bigger basket. I decided to work with a smaller piece. She got the project started by making a tight coil and securing it the best she could with an embroidery needle and some yarn. It’s okay to have a small hole in the very center of the basket. She showed me how to...

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