Ribbons & Braids!

Hello Folks! We had school pictures this week. It can be quite a traumatic time dealing with finding the perfect outfit and practicing that iconic school picture smile (then paying for the photo packages!) My wavy haired daughter wanted her hair straitened and my strait haired daughter wanted her hair curled. I curled, straitened and sprayed and they left looking pretty good, my hope is that pictures were taken early that day because when they home they were looking a little rough around the edges LOL! That’s why I love French braids, they can hold in the craziest of hair and look fresh for hours. They can be a bit boring though so today I’ll show you how to do a french braid and side twists and how to easily accent them with ribbon from Papermart.

these braids will stay in, Maizy went outside, chased chickens, cartwheeled and, judging by they way she looked when she came back in, made mud pies yest the hair remained neat and tidy.  The best thing about using ribbon in a hairstyle is how you can switch it out for any occasion such as holidays, school sports or any group activity.  Be sure to check out Papermart’s wide selection of fabric ribbons for your next project or hairstyle! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

A Menagerie of Monsters! {but they’re cute!}

Happy Sunday folks! Sunday is always “Family Craft Day” during football season. I love that everyone is home and cozy whether we are sitting upstairs by the fire and knitting while watching the Patriots play or hanging out in the studio making messy crafts. We had a day like that yesterday. After soccer in the morning we all came home and chilled out, listened to music and created, my husband was working on a workshop redo and the girls and I made monsters:

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this craft is really easy and a great use for leftover yarn. You will need Styrofoam balls, pipe cleaners, felt scraps, gogglie eyes, pom-poms, golf tees (for legs), cardboard or any other leftovers you want to use up! You will need thick and tacky glue or low temp hot glue as well.

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Here’s what you do:

  1. Wrap a Styrofoam ball with yarn. I used hot glue to secure it but you can use thick and tacky glue if the kids want to do this step themselves.
  2. Make a base for it to stand, you can cut feet out of cereal box or stick golf tees in for legs. Use hot glue to stick the ball to the base.
  3. Decorate the monster with felt, pipe cleaners, sequins or whatever! Googlie eyes are a nice touch!

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Variations!

I would love to find a substitute for the Styrofoam balls, they are expensive in price and cost to the environment. I think you could ball up newspaper and tape it for an alternative or make a big pompom (using one of the c shaped pompom makers or cardboard) and decorate that! OR just wind up a ball of yarn and decorate with felt pieces without gluing (they will stick with static) and you can use the yarn again! There are a lot of ways to make a monster! Hey don’t forget today is the last day to sign up on last Monday’s post to win a stamp from Art Neko/About Art Accents. I’ll pick a winner tomorrow! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Kid’s Craft! Make Newspaper Baskets!

Howdy Friends! Today I have a craft for the kids to do using recycled materials to make something really useful:

basket1

For this project you will need:

newspapers

white glue

think cardboard (like a cereal box)

a pencil

clothespins

Something round to trace like a plate

Watch the video to see how easy it is to make a rolled newspaper basket:

Tip! If you want to make this project with a bunch of children you can use hot glue and make the basket bases (the cardboard with the spokes) ahead of time! Here is a recap of the steps:

  1. Cut the newspaper pages in half.
  2. Roll the newspaper using a pencil as a guide and secure the ends with glue.
  3. Trace a plate on cardboard 2 times and cut out.
  4. Glue an odd number or rolled newspaper “spokes” to the cardboard. Add the other cardboard piece on top and place a book on top to weigh it down as it dries OR have an adult hot glue it for you.
  5. Weave the remaining newspaper tubes around the spokes. Use a bit of white clue each time you add a new newspaper and clip it with a clothespin to hold it in place as it dries.
  6. Finish your basket by painting it with acrylic paint, spray paint or just seal it with a layer of glue or Mod-Podge.

Bonus ideas! You can use wrapping paper, magazines and comics to make really cool looking baskets! You can easily make a square, rectangle or heart shaped basket using the same technique, just cut your cardboard in the shape you would like your basket. Bold shapes with few details are best!

Parents & Teachers: If you try this project with your kids please let me know how it turns out. If you have any questions just leave a comment and I will get back to you! Happy crafting!

Rainbow Beads & Free Paper Bead Generator!

Happy Saturday folks! I found a really cool website all about paper beadmaking this week and on it there was a paper bead designer page where you could pick the size and type of bead you want to make and print out the sheet of bead strips for free! Here is what I made with the rainbow texture:

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Neat huh? It took a little getting used to. At first it would only print two strips then I changed the settings to make a bead 1 1/8″ wide and for bead type I chose “all over design” and I got nice rectangle bands of color. I cut the strips corner to corner to make a taper. Normally if you roll a strip like that you get a bell shape but you can get an even taper in the center if you trim the wide end of the paper so each of the side angles are equal or just compensate by centering the taper as you roll. No need to make it complicated! I used mod podge to glaze the beads and it worked very well. I was worried that my printer ink would smear (it is an ink jet) but the mod-podge was thick enough to keep the ink from running. I did notice a purple/gray tint to my brush once in a while so I wiped it on a paper towel and kept on podgein’!

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I use paraffin wax coated toothpicks to glaze my beads on, the wax keeps the mod-podge from gluing the bead to the toothpick. I stick the pics in Styrofoam to keep the beads from touching anything as they dry. Last weekend I went on a paper bead binge, look I filled my bottle with beads! I was very proud of myself! :)

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It was a small bottle but still, there is probably 400 beads in there! Now I have a lot of beads to varnish, that’s OK tho, It is a nice chill-out task I can do in front of the TV, much like making the beads, heck who needs relaxation medication? Let’s all make paper beads! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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Cool Recycled Bottle Cap Craft! {and a lot of rambling}

Hello friends! I spent the day cleaning the basement. Well, most of the basement, I didn’t bother with my craft area or my husbands workshop, they were OK but the rest of the cellar had gone to pot over the summer. Hmm, does anyone say “gone to pot” anymore? Maybe it’s a Maine thing, well anyway, it means trashed and neglected and if that did not sum up my basement perfectly I don’t know what would. Let me paint a picture for you (because I would be horrified to share an actual picture) Sidewalk chalk artwork on walls and floor, paper strips from a gum wrapper bracelet turned paper bead obsession, pearler beads which I think somehow multiply once spilled on the floor (there were spilled on the floor waiting to be ironed…the iron was lost in this mess!), totes of kids toys that are apparently way more interesting once you pack them up and put them in the basement, and then there was the kids craft area.  This was really bothering me. I’m not a neat freak but I work in my basement everyday, in addition to being the fabulous frugalcrafter I also do custom framing and I need a large clean area (AKA the pool table) to lay out frames on, it was out of control.

Warning, I’m gonna talk about cleaning ad organizing for at least another paragraph so if you want to skip to the video you can. Still here? Well, what do you know, cool! The basement went downhill when we moved our love seat downstairs after buying a new living room set last fall, then we put our old TV downstairs too. This was a kid magnet, so instead of the kids sitting at their craft table to create they dragged their stuff over to the love seat and created there. Craft sprawl is the worst! Yarn! I forgot to mention the yarn LOL! I put a small table behind the love seat thinking I might want to bead there and it was taken over by the kids, they did not use their craft table anymore and honestly it was too small for more than one to use at once. So I decided to change the kids craft area to kids art supply storage. I thought about buying a big industrial shelf and getting rid of the 6″ table they had but then I realized (read: too cheap to buy a shelf and too lazy to go to the store) that I already had a storage shelf under the table and two plastic carts I could put on top so I made my own shelf like storage solution. then it was a matter of tossing junk like dried up bottles of glue, paint and play doh, old coloring books and stuff they would never use then sorting the rest into drawers. I had a full drawer of sharpies AND a full drawer of water based markers when I was done. Insanity I tell you! I had a drawer for clay, basic craft supplies, watercolor, stickers, basic school supplies, crayons & colored pencils, fabric crafting and a couple more things. A milk crate for paper, homemade magazine boxes made from soymilk boxes for coloring books, notebooks and journals and a couple boxes for stamps. Under the table which was pretty well organized was jewelry making supplies, jumbo pads, pottery and a basket of ink pads. I was able to empty a fairly big storage unit by putting like items together and everything is accessible, will wonders ever cease? The I took masking tape and a sharpie and labeled every bin and drawer!  go me! OK now, on to the video of an unrelated recycled bottle cap craft!

If you are in need of bottle caps ask any single friend you have to save them for you, you will get them in spades! So as a reward to all of my cleaning today (or yesterday as you are reading this) I am rewarding myself by checking out the brand new Hobby Lobby in Bangor Maine (I’ve never been in one before!) The grand opening is tomorrow (or by now I guess it’s today) so if you are there say howdy! I’m meeting friends there first thing before the Buffalo Wild Wing crazies grab all of the parking spaces LOL! I actually thought they were open last week but it was just the wingers. Well that’s it for tonight, I am extremely tired from the cleaning but happy with the results. I hope the kids can keep it that way. :) Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Party Craft: Pom-Pom Earrings & Tassel Necklaces!

Good evening crafty friends. Phew! What a day! I swear I spent all day baking and I have only 2 cakes and a dozen cupcakes to show for my trouble. I made such a mess I had to clean the kitchen 2 whole times! How do people do this on a regular basis? It’s awful! I made each of my girls (they are twins you see) their own cake for their birthday this year. They had let me get away with cupcakes the last few years but Maizy was looking through an old scrapbook (this is the downside of scrapbooking folks) and saw a picture of the horse cake I made for their second birthday and wanted a horse cake this year. Oh boy, I had borrowed the pan last time and there was no time to get it so I started with a sheet cake and some creative cutting and you can even tell it is a horse. I’m good with that!. Lila wanted one of those “Big Top Cupcake” cakes and when it was done it looked like a beehive so ta-da, it’s a beehive and I totally planned it that way LOL! I’ll share photos of the cake tomorrow but tonight I wanted to show you the party favor/craft I have planned for the guests of the all-girl birthday party:

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I wanted to make something simple, that anyone could make with no crafting experience. Also it had to be quick because the kids will want to run around and play and I’m all for unstructured activities at a birthday party. This is a 10 minute craft that is easy for everyone! Grown-ups are needed for the hot gluing or give the kids tacky glue. I got my huge spools of bakers twine at Papermart, you get 240 yards per spool so you can afford to make a lot of these! Watch the video to see how:

The key to making this (or any) craft with kids to ABP: Always be prepared. Here are the kits I have prepared in advance so the kids can grab the color they like and go. Some have clip-on earrings and some have pierced earrings so I might have to swap finding but that is quick and easy. 

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And the finished project it adorable. I will even wear mine with pride!  (pardon the cheesy “Senior Picture” pose hahahaha!)

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Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

WOYWW: Pinata!

Howdy folks! I started training for a race today. My son runs cross country for his school and every year they have a “parent race” and I figure what’s good for the goose is good for the gander so I am going to run it. I have 2 goals:

  1. To finish the race and not have a heart attack.
  2. Not to come in dead last.

So today instead of walking my dog I jogged the first 3rd of our route, walked a third and jogged the last third. That might sound impressive but our route is 1/2 mile long. The race is 1.62 miles long.  I had to drag my dog the last third of the way because she is more of a leisure breed I think. Come to think of it I probably am too. My ankles hurt and my lungs burned.  Good times. I am trying to recruit other moms of x-country runners to join me because misery loves company I guess. :) I have to say though, a half an hour after the run I felt really good and had lots of energy the rest of the day too so that is worth a little bit of agony I guess…right? Oh, you did not come hear to read about my running? OK then, here is my work desk this week, my twin daughters birthday is this weekend and here is the pinata we began tonight:

woyww_piniata

You might wonder why we spend so much time making something that is going to be destroyed (I think that when I see the elaborate food some people cook) well, I’ll tell you:

  1. It is fun to design and make.
  2. It is inexpensive (cardboard and party streamers) and it is nice to save money on the pinata and spend the money on the good fillings!
  3. What kid doesn’t love a pinata?
  4. It is really fun and freeing to make something that you know is temporary, it is liberating!

I was running low on cardboard and had to get creative with this. I just had some new goodies arrive from Papermart today so I used the box as the belly of the pinata (I filled the box chock-a-block full of candy) then I used a panel of flat cardboard for the nose and tail. I had to scrounge clean cardboard from a pizza box to make the fin and some tapering pieces from the box to the ends but who cares, it will all be covered in crepe paper! Man, I love making pinatas!  If only I could figure out how to put the squiggle over the “a” whenever I spell pinata….

Do you want to see what other craft folk have on their desks today? Well hop over the Julia’s blog The Stamping Ground for more WOYWW fun! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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