Saturday, May 29, 2010

Sparkly Snowflakes

Christmas ornaments so easy a 2 year can (and did) make them.

You will need:
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Glitter
  • Sparkly sequins
  • Ribbon, cut into 4-inch strips
  • Glue
  • Glue gun* (optional)

How to:
  1. For each snowflake use four popsicle sticks. I found it easiest to make two "X"s with two sticks and then layer each "X" on top of one another in a star pattern.
  2. Let dry completely.
  3. Spread glue on to each snowflake.
  4. Sprinkle generously with glitter.
  5. Add dabs of glue and press sequins on.
  6. Using glue gun (or glue) attach ribbon on to back side of ornament in a loop.

My sister started our family tradition of our boys making Christmas ornaments for family members each year and it has become the gift I most look forward to each year. If you choose to start a tradition like this, be sure to enclose a picture of your child making or holding the finished product.

This sparkly snowflake was Elliott's 2009 ornament.

Anything involving shaking a big bottle of glitter will be a huge success in this house and this ornament was no exception. However, the real fun in this craft was apparently in upturning the bag-o-sequins. Over. And. Over. For those of you wondering, picking up sequins is ever so fun. Our sequins have made multiple appearances for different crafts and pouring them on to the floor is par for the course. I don't even bat an eye anymore and I'm no longer above vacuuming the stray suckers right up.

I hesitated to suggest using a glue gun with this craft after seeing one of my husband's co-worker's hands from a hot glue gun accident. Seriously, layers of skin gone. Layers! (Google it to see just how severe these burns can be!) However, I did find that attaching the ribbon loop to the ornament just worked better using a glue gun. If you choose to use one, use caution, especially with little ones. I won't let the boy near my glue gun.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ghost T-Shirts

One more Halloween craft to get you in the mood for summer!

Halloween t-shirts don't get any cuter than this! Make one for yourself! You won't regret it.

You will need:
  • Plain t-shirts in any color except white (Gray and black work best.) JoAnn's, Micheal's, and Walmart all sell plain tees for around $3 each.
  • White or glow-in-the-dark fabric paint
  • Black fabric paint (tube works best)
  • Cardboard, cut to fit inside shirt (to prevent leakage)
  • Plastic bag
  • Plastic plate
  • Clothespins (optional)
How to:
  1. Insert cardboard into plastic bag and place inside t-shirt. If desired, secure with clothespins to prevent tee from moving around.* 
  2. Generously pour white paint on to plastic plate.
  3. Have child place one bare foot into paint, making sure paint covers entire bottom of foot, including toes.
  4. Have child step onto t-shirt, making sure the heel of foot is pointing towards the collar of shirt (toes are pointing down). **
  5. Carefully remove child's foot. (Not from his leg, just from the t-shirt.) Repeat as many times as you wish, applying new paint each time. (In our case, we did three to four prints per shirt.)
  6. Add eyes and mouth with black paint.
  7. Let shirt dry completely before removing insert or wearing.
This is one of my favorite crafts that we have done. Originally I made a "sample tee" for myself for our annual Halloween party so that the kids could see what the finished project would look like and I am so glad that I did. While Elliott will outgrow his shirt, I'll always have his little footprints on my shirt forever.

 *Couple of things that I have learned since doing this: It seems like a small thing, but make sure to place your cardboard insert inside of a plastic bag before placing it in your shirt. The fabric paint leaks through the top layer of the shirt. The plastic bag will prevent the cardboard from softening up and sticking to the paint. We still have stiff cardboard on the inside of our shirts that no amount of washing will remove. We have since made more shirts similar to this one and the plastic bag really helps.

 **Also, I sent these supplies to my nephews so they could make their own shirts and my sister found this to be a very messy craft, which kind of shocked me. Of course, my sister is kind of messy, so nothing like that should be a total surprise, but, we got to talking (for two hours, on a Monday, drinking our morning coffee, neglecting our children)  and I found that she just let her kids step in the paint and then walk, uh, casually stroll, over to the shirts. (Well, helloooo!) I, meanwhile, had a child going through a huge Mama's Boy phase (Who am I kidding? He's still going through it.) and had him sitting in my lap while he placed his foot in the paint. Point being, force your child (use threats) to sit in your lap for the painting part and you should be able to avoid a mess and you'll be able to choose where your child's foot lands on the tee.
Could these two perfect angels ever be messy? According to my sister, the answer is yes!

One more note:
My friend, Missy, not a huge fan of ghosts, gave me an alternative idea for this t-shirt making spiders with hands instead. We'll be stealing that idea this year, so keep an eye out for that later on in the year. (Or next May, whichever comes first...)

Ghost Windsock

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm posting Halloween crafts in May. Look at it as I am five months ahead, not seven months behind.

Very easy Halloween craft that The Boy claims was his favorite.

You will need:

  • White construction paper
  • Black construction paper cut into circles (eyes and mouth)
  • White crepe streamers, cut into long strips (about 5 for each ghost)
  • Stapler, glue stick and/or tape
  • Hole puncher
  • String

How to:
  1. Glue eyes and mouth on to paper.
  2. Roll paper into tube and staple together.
  3. Glue, tape or staple streamers so that they are "pouring" out of ghost's head. (Think hair)
  4. Punch two holes on sides of ghosts and loop string through to hang.

So easy it almost borders on boring. However, it was a huge hit in this household and will become a Halloween staple. Of course, Chuggington is a huge hit in this household, so you'll have to take that with a grain of salt.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Ghost Prints

A spooktacular art project!

You will need:

  • Construction paper, cut into desired size
  • Non-toxic paint (tubes work best)
  • Googly eyes
  • Glue

How to:
  1. Drizzle paint onto paper. Try to avoid getting too close to the edges to prevent spills.
  2. Fold paper in half and lightly rub. (Saying "Booooo!" usually helps.)
  3. Open and voila! a ghost appears.
  4. Add googly eyes.
This was a project we did over and over last Halloween and it was always a huge hit. We even did it as a craft at our Halloween party and every child enjoyed it.

Once the paint dried, I cut around the shape and hung fishing line through a hole and hung them all over the house.

When making ghosts, white paint (or glow-in-the-dark paint!) looked best on black paper. But the nice thing about this craft is that you aren't limited to just ghosts. You can use any color paint and paper to make creepy bugs, monsters or aliens. (The more googly eyes the better!)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Indoor Fireworks

A very easy project to celebrate patriotic holidays.

You will need:
  • Pipe cleaners (any colors will do)
  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • Thread

How to:
  1. Dip the ends of pipe cleaners into glue and then into glitter.
  2. Twist one pipe cleaner around the middle of the others to cinch them together.
  3. Fan out to make "fireworks".
  4. Loop thread around one end and hang.
  5. Repeat the phrases "Oooh" and "Ahhh" over and over.
A pretty quick craft. I think it took longer to try to sort out red, white and blue pipe cleaners than to actually complete the project. Elliott enjoyed dipping the ends into glitter. (Helloooo! It's glitter.) But he lost interest in shaping them. Still: easy, cheap and done in a jiff. Not to mention El loved seeing them hanging around the house.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Melody Maker

This project involves a child's favorite things; noise, tools and a trip to the hardware store! We spread this out into 2 day craft and made a trip to Home Depot part of the fun. We made this over a year ago and Elliott still requests to play with it.

You will need:
  • 1/2 by 4-inch Threaded eyebolt
  • Teflon (plumber's) tape
  • 1/2-inch coupling nut
  • 1/2-inch all-thread rod, 24 to 36 inches long
  • 10 to 15 1/2-inch washers
  • 1/2-inch locknut

Overwhelmed already? If you're like me, you will have never heard of half of these items. (We had just finished remodeling our bathrooms, so plumber's tape was the only item I knew or had in stock.) I got this idea from Family Fun magazine. Go to their website for a printable diagram that you can bring right to the store. (

How to:
  1. Wrap teflon tape around the end of the eyebolt and both ends of the rod. (Prevents metal from unscrewing.)
  2. Assemble the pieces in the order listed, slide washers on and finish with the locknut.
  3. Hang the eyebolt with a rope and place within child's reach. They will push the washers up to the top and let them drop again and again and again and again.....

After assembling this rod, I felt like I could build anything! It was really fun to locate all the items at the store. And as an added bonus: I don't give my husband a blank stare if he happens to mention "washers" or "eyebolts".

Elliott really enjoyed putting all the parts together and like I said, a year later he still plays with it. A note of caution, it IS a metal rod. Probably not the best project for a child who likes to, say, swing metal rods around. This is an outside toy for that exact reason.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bubble Prints

More craptastic-edness! This project went waaay wrong.

You will need:
  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Paper
  • Straws (For blowing out, not sucking in!!!!!)
How to:
  1. Add a squirt of dish soap to about one cup of water in a small container. Add drops of food coloring. Stir.
  2. Have kids blow into straws placed inside containers.
  3. Once bubbles reach top of container, place a white sheet of paper over container. Bubbles will pop and leave "prints" on sheet.
  4. Repeat with several colors.

Thoughts: Oh dear. Let's just say you should make sure your child has mastered the art of blowing out of a straw as opposed to only being able to suck in. This child, Jack, has mastered it:
This one, (mine) not so much:

 According to Poison Control (1-800-222-1222), dish soap has no terribly bad side effects, besides the instant vomiting that will occur IMMEDIATELY after ingesting. That being said, this was actually a pretty cool project that I will try when Elliott is a bit older, say 14, when he can clean up his own vomit. Both boys loved making the bubbles. The actual prints came out pretty cool, too, as you can see from the picture Maribeth is holding.

More thoughts: Hmmm, When you call Poison Control they take your name and information. Wonder if that puts you on their Another-stupid-mom-doing-another-stupid-gone-awry-craft-project list?

Super-duper shout out to Maribeth who should win an award for her mad barf-cleaning skills.