Tag Archives: Kids crafting

Some Recent Craftiness

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I have mentioned before that I am a bit obsessed with making things. I have had this kind of craft aspiration before, but this time the urges are actually translating into real stuff that I have made! Oddly, this is not making my urges go away–every time I make something, the compulsion to make more things increases. For now, all of my friends and family are thrilled, but we will see how long it takes for them to turn me away like a gardener during zucchini season.

The first thing I have to show was a pretty easy project: tied fleece blankets. I made one with colorful peace signs and a purple back for my daughter:

For my son, I chose planets and constellations with a blue back:

For my children’s little brother from their dad’s second marriage, I made a blanket with frogs and a blue back again:

It took me a while to start these blankets, because I couldn’t find a ruler. I was sure I needed a ruler to get the corners cut out and all the fringe the same length. I finally realized the exact size didn’t matter, just (mostly) consistent cuts, so I made a template square from a sheet of paper and used it as a guide. That really did the trick. I just spread out the fleece on my bed, turned on NPR and did a lot of cutting and tying. I think they turned out very cute, and my kids really liked theirs (little brother will get his next weekend).

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My family mostly does presents for the kids only, but lately our celebrations have gotten smaller–everyone seems to be busy and geographically dispersed, not to mention all the other extended family obligations. Consequently, there aren’t as many children or adults, so we do sometimes exchange small presents among the aunts and cousins (the ones who still come around are women, mostly, that’s just how it worked out; my brother gets left out, but I don’t think he cares). Come to think of it, though, people have always brought the occasional crafty gift. It isn’t expected, but sometimes people just make something and distribute. My aunt makes earrings, but only when she finds beads that inspire her, for instance. This year, I made magnets.

None of these are actually glowing; I need a new camera, but you get the idea. These were easy and fun to do, and my aunts and cousin loved them. I got the idea from my friend Hilary at the crafting party a few weeks ago–this is why I think getting together to craft with friends is so awesome. I also made a few with regular round buttons for another cousin, but I didn’t get a picture of those.

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I went out yesterday and bought a bunch of new craft supplies, including glass plates and spray paint to make my own custom plates. When I got home, though, it was raining outside, and I didn’t get any lace to make a pattern on the back of the plate, so I was bummed out. Then I remembered one of the things I wanted to do was to spray some of the plates with water and then silver paint, let that dry and back it with another color. I don’t have an empty spray bottle handy for the water, so a light rain was actually perfect for my purposes. I ran outside and sprayed my first plate, and now I am waiting for good weather to finish with another color.

I haven’t decided yet whether to back this one with Rich Plum or Jade, but if it turns out as awesome as I think it is going to be, it doesn’t really matter, since I will make many more!

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A couple of cute stories about crafts and my kids:

I always get something arty for my son, because he loves to draw and do crafty things. This year, I got him a drawing desk with a projector and light box. When he opened it, he said, “I was wondering when I would get a crafty present! Finally!” I am so glad he likes doing art!

Later that morning, I was looking through my new craft book, and talking about gifts I could make to give out next year for Christmas. I learned this year that giving nice handmade Christmas gifts requires planning ahead, and it is fresh in my mind now, so I was going through all the things I could make, thinking about getting things done early. My daughter looked at my like I am crazy and said, “Mom, it is still *this* Christmas *today*! You have the longest possibly time to worry about this still! Why are you thinking about making next year’s presents already?” She is 14, though, so I am used to her thinking I am crazy, :).

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What are you making?

Planning a Kids’ Crafting Party: Stations and Snacks

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Note: I am having a bunch of kids over this coming weekend to make Christmas gifts, and I have been trying to spread the planning out to make sure it goes well. Part 1 has possible projects I considered, and Part 2 has the supply lists for the crafts we chose and some ideas for what needs to be done ahead.

Now that we know what we are making at the party, we need to figure out how to set up the projects and what we will give these kids to eat. First, the food.

I want a combination of healthy and fun snacks, but I don’t need anything too substantial, since the party is from 1-5. Kids are always hungry, but they will have presumably had lunch and will be having dinner after they leave, so we don’t need a meal. Here are some things I am thinking about having:

Image from Family Fun

Holiday Pretzel Treats
Holiday Cucumber cups
Either White Chocolate Holiday Mix or Christmas Snack Mix
Red and green grapes
Holly Jolly Dip with veggies
Pine-Tree Fruit Kabobs
Gumdrop Tree

This may be too much, and we may not do the last two things, but I think my kids would enjoy doing those as a pre-party activity, so I am leaving them on the list for now. I am thinking of making a punch with cranberry juice, pineapple juice and lemon-lime soda or ginger ale for the kids, and this pomegranate champagne punch for the adults, too. I am not certain that we really need the champagne punch, but it does sound festive. I figure if I make it with a bit less rum and a bit more juice, it won’t be too much for the afternoon.

Next up, deciding how to set up the supplies so that kids can work on projects. I have a table for eight in my dining room that will be the main location for all things crafty, but I think we will need more space, too. We have a couple of different options.

We will need to do some spray painting outside, and I would love to set some stuff up out there, but the forecasted high for that day is only 36 degrees, so that won’t work. I do have a small table in the family room that could be used for something. I can either set up one project in there, or bring it into the dining room and place it at the end of the big table to expand the space. I like the idea of keeping everyone together, but it does make the dining room crowded. I think there will only be about 8 kids, though, so I think we’ll try that. We can always move the table back if it is too hectic.

I’d like to set up the coasters, magnets and dragonfly crafts near each other, because they will draw from the same pool of supplies (felt, magnets, buttons, beads, etc.) I also want to add one small craft–pipe cleaner ornaments. I have some pipe cleaners and we will have beads, so it should be pretty easy to make some beaded wreaths or candy canes. The felt coasters can be on the other side of the table.

We will set up the tables early Saturday morning so we can check on flow through the room, so the moms can help as needed. I will also need to clear off my desk and the buffet to lay out the snacks for easy access without messes on the supplies.

I am starting to feel like this is something we can do fairly successfully! I still haven’t done any practice crafts, but we have a bit of time for that, still. I think we will need to run out for a few supplies as well, but we are definitely close to having what we need, and the plan feels good. Next up: the party report, hopefully with pictures of actual crafts.