Monday, July 26, 2010

Painted Pet Rock

Our new pet rock.

You will need:
  • A rock
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
How to:
Seriously? You are actually reading the directions for this project? Well, OK, for those of you who like to have things spelled out for you...

  1. Go for a walk and look for a nice size rock.
  2. Pick up rock; take it home.
  3. Wash off any dirt. Let dry
  4. Paint rock. Let dry.
Easy, easy, easy. Our rock sits on Elliott's bookshelf now, but for weeks after it was made, it went EVERYWHERE with us.

 We walked for quite a while and turned our noses up at several rocks before finding "the one". I think that was part of the reason Elliott took such ownership of his rock.

You'd be surprised at how well this project goes over with kids.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lava Lamp

We're bringin' Disco back with this swell homage to the 70's classic.

You will need:
  • Plastic bottle, any size
  • Vegetable oil
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Pie pan (for spills)
  • Antacid, such as Alka-Seltzer (one tablet, cut into quarters.)

How to:
  1. Place bottle on pie pan.
  2. Fill the bottle halfway with oil. Add water to an inch from the top.
  3. Add 10 drops of food coloring.
  4. Drop one quarter of antacid into bottle and cap.

The antacid forms lava bubbles.


Not nearly as Brady-tastic as I was hoping. The lava "action" was cool for about a minute or so and then it all sort of mixed together. I'm not sure if we put too much coloring in (we may have gone over the ten drops), shook it up too much or what. The bubbling from the antacid ended so quickly that we just dropped the rest of the tablet in and that may have cause everything to combine too quickly. Who knows.

Yeah, we did a lot of shaking, but I thought oil and water didn't mix.

Got five minutes and want to keep your kid entertained while you make dinner?  This could be the craptastic craft for you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Easter Chicks

These cute chicks go perfect with the Egg Nest.

You will need:
  • Yellow pom-poms (We used two large and one small)
  • Black seed beads
  • Tweezers
  • Glue
  • Orange felt

How to:
  1. Cut the orange felt into diamond shapes, fold in half and place glue on the crease. Glue onto pom-poms for beaks. We had some trouble getting the felt to stick to the pom-pom, but after many attempts, the glue hardened enough to make the next try stick.
  2. Holding seed beads with tweezers, dip into glue and place onto pom-poms for eyes.

This craft isn't exactly kid (i.e. 3 year old) friendly, but I've included it because the birds look so cute and look great in the nest. Young children can help to fold the diamonds in half to form the beaks and choose where to place the beaks and eyes.

Seed beads! I had no idea what they were, and after a good 20 minutes or so of hunting them down at the craft store, finally found them in the (duh) bead aisle. For those of you, like me, who don't know, they are those little teeny tiny beads that people use to make beaded jewelry. Who knew?

Easter Egg Nest

An egg-cellent Springtime craft

You will need:
  • Colored tissue paper
  • White paper
  • Balloon
  • Newspaper (to protect your work area-this is a messy one!)
  • String
  • Jar lid
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Ribbon (15-20 inches)
  • Glue
Items for interior of egg:
  • Birds (see Easter Chicks posting on this blog)
  • Paper grass
  • Plastic egg
How to:
1.   Cut the tissue paper and white paper into 1 & 1/2 to 2 inch squares.
2.   Inflate balloon to desired size. Knot it. I tied a string to the balloon and hung it from our light fixture, so that it was suspended right in front of us. You could also try to set the balloon in a small bowl to keep it still.
3.   In a bowl, stir the flour and water together to make a paste. Working with one piece at a time, dip tissue paper squares into paste and smooth it onto the balloon. Cover the entire balloon, making sure the squares overlap slightly. This will be the inner layer of your egg.

My poor friend Kim came to town for a last minute visit and got roped into helping out.

4.   Using the same method, add two layers of the white paper on top of the tissue paper layer.
5.   Add one final layer of tissue paper.
6.   When the egg is completely dry, (We let ours dry overnight.) use a pencil to draw a window opening on one side of the egg, then cut it out with scissors. Pop and discard balloon.
7.   Ball up individual tissue squares, dip into glue and place around the edge of the opening.
8.   Tie ribbon into a bow and tuck knot into hole left by balloon knot.

9.   Decorate interior of egg with grass, birds and plastic egg.
10. Display egg by placing on an upside-down jar lid.  

Nothing craptastic about this craft; the final result is so adorable. My husband thinks I should make more and sell them for 15 bucks a pop at a craft show. The tissue paper layering is a messy and tedious process.

Elliott thought his messy hands were a riot!

Elliott lost interest after a while, and I was stuck doing most of it on my own. I actually found it to be very relaxing. El particularly enjoyed assembling the nest.

Our nest is still sitting on Elliott's bookshelf and he takes it down to play with it quite often. He loves to hear stories about the Mommy and Daddy bird preparing their nest for the arrival of their baby bird, who hatches at the end of the story. Elliott has recently been asking if he could do this craft again, next time making a hot-air balloon, so keep an eye out for that in the future.