These felt mittens treat holders are fun to make with kids!

Hi friends! These cute felt ornaments do more than look good in the Christmas tree, they can also hold a treat! You can fill them with candy canes, lip balm, small jewelry and gifts or even gift cards. They can also be reused year after year!

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If you are a teacher, scout leader, classroom volunteer, librarian, parent or grandparent this is the perfect wintertime craft to make with the children in your life. The supplies are easy to find and affordable and you might even have everything you need already. Watch the video to see how! Don’t forget to grab the free template below!

Supplies (affiliate links used)

I miss the days when my children were really little. Their elementary school did “Polar Express Day” and parents would volunteer to run games and craft tables with the kids. The day would commence with the principal reading a wintry book to all of the k-3 kids, then the kids would travel around to classrooms to play games and do crafts and end with a viewing of the movie The Polar Express. There are many books that would be nice to feature with this craft if you have little ones in your life and I got some great suggestions from viewers:

  • The Mitten by Jan Brett
  • The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
  • Snowman at Night by Caralyn Buehner
  • and my favorite (actually I love all the books in this series and so did my kids…aww, miss those days!) Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. And there is The Bear Stays up for Christmas and actually if you have little kids on your Christmas list and you like to buy them books there is a Bear books boxed set, all of the bear books are so enjoyable, the words have a lovely rhyming cadence to read and the illustrations are beautifully done. I just loved these books so much when my kids were small.

If you have a girl or cub scout troop you could make the ornaments and then take them to a nursing or veterans home with a candy cane in them. The residents always enjoyed it when we brought the kids in to sing Christmas carols and you could hand out these treats and since they are reusable they can use them to gift to their loved ones too. Sometimes it is the smallest thing, in this case a felt mitten or stocking, that can make people feel appreciated and loved. Take care of yourself and each other and til next time happy crafting:)

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Mask Making Tutorial & My 2000th Video!

Hi friends! With Halloween right around the corner I thought it would be fun to teach you how to make masks either to wear or for decoration. This was one of my favorite lessons to teach kids at art summer camps when I was younger. I hope you try this idea and maybe teach it to a child in your life!

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I also realized that this was my 2000th YouTube video! Can you believe it? And I am still having fun making videos so let’s try for another 2000, what do you think?

This Video is Sponsored by Lava® Soap. Visit their website to learn more and find a store near you. For money-saving coupons click here. Follow Lava Soap on Facebook for more tips on how to clean up after craft projects.

Supplies (Homemade recipes and instructions below)

*Using the plaster impregnated gauze strips is the least messy option but the most expensive. See below for cheaper alternatives.

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OR you can use

  • 1″ Strips of newspaper (cut before you mix up the plaster because once you mix the plaster you only have 15 minutes to work.
  • Plaster of Paris (this will be cheaper to buy at a home improvement or craft store, it is more expensive online because it is heavy and has to be shipped)
  • Mixing cups (washed yogurt or margarine tubs are perfect)
  • Water
  • Vaseline and straws (if making masks on people’s faces)

Directions for making masks on people’s faces: This is a great school art project because kids can team up and you don’t need to buy mask forms. You can also use the newspaper strip and plaster method which will be much cheaper in a classroom setting.

1. Have the person you are making a mask on tie back any loose hair or use a headband for short hair. Apply vaseline to eyebrows and hairline. The subject might want to wear a smock to protect their clothes from plaster drips. It is best to do this project outside in good weather. It also helps to have the subject lay on the ground. This project is NOT good for anyone who is claustrophobic.

2. Cut strips of newspaper 1″ wide and place at your work area.

3. Place 1/2 cup of plaster in a mixing cup and add water a table-spoon at a time until you have the consistency of heavy cream.

4. Dip a strip of paper in the plaster and wipe off excess. Place the strip over the subjects forehead and fold back the excess paper onto the face. Try not to get the paper in the subjects hair. Repeat until the face is covered. Make sure the subject has a straw to breath from of keep the mouth or nose unplastered. You can keep holes for the eyes but have the subject keep their eyes closed so they don’t get plaster in them.

5. Do about 5 layers and let the mask firm up (about 15 minutes) then have the subject scrunch their face to release the mask and let it dry overnight before decorating.

Note for teachers! Before attempting this with your class test out the process with a friend. The climate where you live can affect set up time (speeding it up it hot dry climates and slowing it in damp climates) For clean up let the plaster harden in the cups and flex the cups and the plaster will fall out so you can reuse the cups. Clean up desks with a wet rag.

Option 2. (using mask forms)
Mix wallpaper paste with water per package directions until you have a gel and dip newspaper strips to create mask. This will take at least a day to dry so only use mask forms for this.
*Do not use is you (or your students) have wheat allergies.

I hope this gives you some fun ideas for Halloween costumes, parties or home decor! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Cute Polymer Clay Chopstick (or Brush) Rests!

Howdy friends! Today I have a fun polymer clay project that you can make for yourself or for a gift!

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These whimsical chopstick rests would look so charming on your dinner table. These are made to keep your chopsticks clean during dinner when you are using them rather than laying them on the table. I guess they keep the table clean too! You can also use them to rest your watercolor brush when you paint, it will keep your table clean and stop your brush from rolling away. It will also give your brush a better way to dry than tip up in a cup (but for the record I think it’s fine to dry your brushes tip up in a cup and I have never had any damage from that.

Video!

Supplies: (affiliate links used)

Polymer Clay Pointers!

  1. ALWAYS condition any polymer clay before use by kneading in your hands until it is soft and pliable or cranking it through a pasta machine about 20 times. *If it is warm I can usually do this by hand but during the winter in my cool craft room I need the pasta machine. If you have arthritis and you want to do clay I strongly urge you to get one, the basic ones are cheap (this one is $16) or keep an eye out at yard sales. You do not need any bells and whistles, it just needs to crank clay through. Start at the thickest setting and send the clay through a few times folding it in half as you can and keep going thinner and thinner until you can crank it through without it cracking and then you can knead it into a soft smooth ball by hand. If you skip this set your clay will be brittle after it is baked.
  2. Wash your hands when switching from a dark to light color to avoid dirtying the light clay.
  3. When in doubt bake clay at a lower temp for longer. You may be mixing clays and see one brand has you bake your clay at 260 for 30 minutes and another say 275 for 15 minutes. Always go low and slow. If you are not sure if your oven’s temperature is correct bake the clay 10 degrees less and add about 5 minutes of baking time. If you cook your clay at too high a temp it will discolor. If that happens you can paint it though.
  4. Clay will be a bit bendy when it is hot and just out of the oven, that’s fine, let it cool and it will harden.
  5. However…Fine art clays (like Premo by sculpey) remain a bit flexible which is good for thin jewelry pieces so they don’t snap. These finer clays are harder to condition though so I choose softer clay like Sculpey 3. This Arteza clay is between the two. If you plan to roll out clay thinner than 1/8″ I highly recommend using Sculpey Premo as it will flex instead of break when cured.
  6. Don’t store clay in a hot car (not even while you run errands) on a windowsill or near a heater or store or it could cure in the package and be ruined.
  7. Remove your rings before working with clay as it can leave a film on them. It can also wreak a manicure so I’d wait to polish your nails until after claying:)
  8. If you want a shiny clay creation you can vanish it but you need to be careful what you use. Clear nail polish and oil based spray paint can turn sticky after a while and ruin your hard work. I like Future Floor Wax but it is difficult to find nowadays but any light acrylic (water based) sealer will do the trick.
  9. If you want to tint the clay while it is raw you can use pigment inks (you can even stamp on it!) or brush on chalk or mica powder. Baking will seal the ink or chalk to the surface.

Clay is such a versatile medium and fun for all ages! I really love the gift making potential too! You can make jewelry, ornaments, figurines and of course chopstick rests! I hope you give polymer clay a try and til next time happy crafting!

Back to School Product Review from Maped

**Please note, I am away this week so there is no live show today. I am hoping to have one on Sunday though:)

Hi friends! Whether you have kids or grandkids going back to school or you are a teacher stocking up for the school year ahead or you are just looking for some good quality but inexpensive coloring supplies back to school time is a great time to get some deals. I was set a box of office supplies from Maped that may be just what you are looking for. Watch my video review below:

*I really like all of these product except for the Color’Peps Duo pencils.

Supplies in order or appearance, prices are taken from Amazon and may change without notice. Affiliate links used. These supplies were provided to me for review purposes. To find a Maped supplied near you please visit their website.

  1. Color’Peps Jungle Caddy Markers $7
  2. Color’Peps Duo Markers $6.55
  3. Watercolor Pencils Color’Peps Aqua $10 for 24 set $16 for 48 set in tin
  4. Novelty Sharpeners Bunny and frog $4  Also available a 2 hole sharpener (caterpillar)
  5. ***Color’Peps Duo Pencils (I don’t recommend these)
  6. Graph’Peps Stencil Mania felt tip pens $17.68
  7. Black’Peps Mechanical Pencils
  8. Erasers

I am a sucker for stationary, I love the smell of a new pencil box and the novelty of cute supplies. If that’s worng I don’t wanna be right! Til next time happy crafting!

Easy Graduation Decorations!

Hi friends!  My daughters are graduating 8th grade in a few weeks and it is a pretty big deal in our small school because we don’t have a high school in our town so all the kids pick where they will attend high schools from about 5 choices. So this is the last time they will be together as a class after 9 years together if you count kindergarten and 10 if you count Pre-k! The graduation is all about the kids and we wanted to make sure the decorations reflected their unique style so I made up a blank cap and tassel decoration for them to decorate. They will write their name at the top where I put the lettering on the sample and the rest is up to them to decorate in a way meaningful to them:)

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This is an easy and inexpensive project and suitable for any elementary school graduation. You could also use it for a grad party for older kids too!

Supplies:

I hope you enjoyed this quick craft and if you know of anyone who might like it please share it using one of the handy sharing buttons below! Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

Freezer Paper T-Shirt Printing!

Hi friends! This project is super fun and easy and the results look so professional! Plus with school vacations rolling around it is a fun project you can do with your kids or grandkids. Even better,you probably have everything you need in your own home! In today’s video I’ll show you how to print on fabric using a homemade freezer paper stencil.

Supplies: *Affiliate links used

Directions
1. Cut stencil from freezer paper. Make sure when you design your stencil the shiny side of the paper is down.

2. Place stencil shiny side down on your T-shirt and press with an iron set to the hottest temperature for the fabric you are printing on. I recommend cotton. I usually buy multi packs of mens T-shirts for this.

3. Apply paint by stenciling with a stencil brush or kids chunky brush.

4. Let dry and peel off stencil!

I recommend watching this shirt alone the first time you launder it to make sure none of the paint comes off, it shouldn’t if you are using fabric paint but better safe than sorry. You can also turn the shirt inside out and press it after the paint is dry to heat set it just to be safe. I had several viewers from the UK say that they don’t sell freezer paper over there but I have also heard it called greeseproof paper. Basically it is a white paper with a plastic coating on one side. You may be able to get some from a local butcher. If anyone from the UK can comment with a source for this kind of freezer paper in the UK please leave a comment, thanks! Happy crafting!

 

 

 

Fun Kids Birthday Cards You Can Make in Batches!

Hi friends! If you have children you have probably had to rush out to the store to pick up a card for one of their friends last-minute birthday parties. The cards I am going to share today are so fun and easy to make in batches that you may never need to go to the card store at the last-minute again!

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In all honesty I think these would be pretty nifty for adults too, I mean, look at those pandas!

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The great thing about making cards in batches is that you can explore several ideas with one set f supplies. It is a great way to make the most out of limited supplies or get to really know a new product.

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I stamped all of the images from this set out and then colored them with the new Stampin Blends markers. I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to cut them out with my Scan n Cut2 because I stamped them fairly close together but it worked like a charm! I used a .08″ border to get a white outline.

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In today’s video I will show you how I made these cards. Enjoy!

I’m using supplies from Stampin Up including some free Sale-A-Bration products. With Sale-a-bration you earn a free product with ever $50 you spend making it a nice time to stock up! You can order from your local demonstrator or my friend Wendy Cranford. *If ordering less than $150 be sure to use the host code on her website, orders over $50 get extra goodies!

*Orders placed before March 31 qualify for Sale-a-bration freebies!

Supplies!

Other supplies:
Black pigment ink (Versafine)
Black embossing powder
Smooth watercolor paper
Pre Folded card bases
Sequins
Sewing machine and thread
*Also I used my Scan n Cut 2 Machine to cut out the stamped images:

One more tip to make these cards more useful: Put a pocket inside to hold a gift card! I have a hard time choosing gifts for kids I don’t really know and kids I do know are tricky as they get older. This way they will surely get something they like. 😀 Thanks for stopping by and til next time happy crafting!

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