Rainbow Bugs – Crafts for Kids

The girls and I were looking for something fun to do this week, and we came across a few different crafts/ideas and decided to make them our way.   We made our own set of little garden bugs but with a rainbow of colors!  They loved how easy all of these were to make and even my little 3-yr old munchkin got really into it.  They especially loved choosing all the different colors of buttons from my stash for their caterpillars. Notice that one caterpillar has a happy face while the other one looks a bit disgruntled…hmmm…maybe he’s tired of seeing double with those crazy googly eyes…

Now that we’ve covered the buggy area, I think we will be moving on to the world under the sea…I wonder where a little imagination will take us with that!

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Cabin Fever Cure #1

The cooler weather has only been here for a couple of weeks, and living in the midwest, we know this is barely even the tip of the iceberg.  My little preschooler is already bouncing off the walls and in fully-loaded “terrible 3” mode (don’t believe what they say about 2yrs old, trust me, 3 is harder!) and causing her mama to want to check herself into the nearest psych ward.  SO, I’ve been on the look-out for some fun, new things to keep us busy this winter.  Of course, Pinterest is my best friend for all things creative and fun, and one of the most interesting things I found was called Cloud Dough.

It was a HUGE hit!!

This was just a test run. So, I only used 4 cups of flour (wheat worked great to make it look more like sand) and a foil baking pan to mix it in.  It had an awesome texture and molded extremely well.  The little munchkin loved the squishy feeling in her fingers and was completely absorbed in building her “castles.”  It’s a bit messy but was so worth it for the shocking 90 minutes of fun that she had with it!

My plan is to double or triple the initial recipe from here and dump it all into one of those large under-the bed Rubbermaid containers along with a few of their sandbox toys and a few cups.  Then, we can just store it covered in the garage and yank it in the house when we’re ready for some messy but fun playtime!

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Simple Fabric Flower Tutorials- Part 1

I get asked about my girls’ hairclips and headbands on such a regular basis that I decided to share some how-to’s!  This particular “flower” is my favorite to make because of its simplicity and flexibility.  This tutorial will be the first in a series that I will be posting over the next couple of months.

First, let’s go over the few basic supplies:

fabric scraps

needle and thread

hot glue gun

scrap of felt

button

whatever you want to attach the flower to (elastic for stretchy headband, hairclip, pin, etc…)

Now that we have all of that gathered up, let’s get started!  First, you will want to rip your coordinating strips of fabric.  These can vary in size depending on what you like.  For this particular flower, my fabric strips were ripped in these sizes:

Blue – 22 in. x 2 in.

Yellow – 18 in. x 1.5 in.

Pink – 12 in. x 1 in.

Next, you will want to pick up that needle and thread.  For this part, I usually just cut a piece of thread long enough to gather up the fabric.  I recommend making it longer than the length of the fabric on your first try…let’s just say that dogs, kids, and needles don’t mix and sometimes they go flying out of your hand and shooting across the room with thread still in fabric IF you made it long enough….saving you a gathering re-do.

After you get the fabric strip all gathered up, pull it nice and tight, and try to pull the inner edge of the gathers to the backside of the fabric that way your flower will be flat on top.  Next, just tie a few knots (5-6 to secure it really well) and you now have your first flower  base! For this flower, you will do the same thing 2 more times for the other fabric strips.  Then, grab our best friend, the trusty hot glue gun, and stack those guys on top of each other with a nice little glob of glue between each one and look what we have!

Now, the next few steps are really up to you and your imagination.  I usually find a coordinating button that I like and glue that to the center.  Be careful when doing this part because it can be easy to over-do the glue and burn a finger or make an icky mess.  I made mine into a headband… so I found a piece of double-fold elastic from my stash and glued that on to the back.  To make it look a little cleaner and prettier on the back, I recommend glueing on a piece of felt to cover the stitching area.

This flower can be used for headbands or hair clips, but it can also be great for embellishing clothes, handbags, home decor, and plenty more.  It can be made any size or any number of layers, just play around with it and see what you come up with!

 

 

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My tomato cage Christmas tree tutorial

Here goes my first post!  I have been dying to try my hand at making a couple of the tomato cage Christmas trees that I have been seeing all over Pinterest.  The couple I saw didn’t really have much of a tutorial, but it seemed like a fairly easy project to figure out.  So, I decide to just wing it and make my own.  I have to say I’m pretty stinkin’ happy with how it turned out!

First, gather all of your supplies:

(you’ll need a trusty hot glue gun as well and possibly a pair of wire-cutters)

I used a couple of old tomato cages that were left at our house when we moved in, and I bought 10 packs of wire garland from the “Everything’s a Dollar” store.  After finishing the first tree, I now will have to go buy some more since it took about 8 1/2 packs to do 1 tree.  I also used some old wrapped wire that I found in my craft supplies to tie up the top like this:

I recommend hot glueing the wire in place after you get it situated the way you want it.  Otherwise, you may be fighting it sliding around and/or flying off completely.. You may need to shape the cage a bit if it looks a little lop-sided or off.  Next, I started wrapping and glueing..

Now, this can be a bit tricky to make sure it doesn’t have gaps or look too thin.  I placed a dot of hot glue on the vertical wires as I wrapped around with about a 3/4 inch gap between each row as I was coming around.  That kept it nice and full while moving at a nice pace up the tomato cage.  Now for the finished product…

Add a few decorations, and there ya go!  I actually plan to do a little more with these in the next couple of days…(think lights and potted-tree look). I will have an update post on that coming soon…

So, costs for this project:

upcycled old tomato cages:  FREE

wire garland for 1 tree:  $9

any old piece of wire or twine around the house:  FREE

Bows (you could use any decorations lying around the house):  $3

GRAND TOTAL = $12  or less

 

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