string ball

written by tammy

examples

Let me begin by saying that this is not an easy craft, but the results have you making them again and again. And although it almost reduced two thirty-something’s to tears, I did it the very next week with a very capable six year old (as a team, of course).


What you need:
- old newspaper/magazine from the recycling bin
- disposable cup & something to put inside to weigh it down (rocks)
- wallpaper paste
- warm water
- Vaseline
- balloon
- string or yarn

1. Cut the yarn or string into pieces at least 3ft long, short pieces do not work for this.

2. Weigh down the cup with something of no importance, like a rock or an old lemon.

3. Cover the entire work area with newspaper… it gets messy!

4. Blow up a balloon about the size of an adult palm (it’s easiest to start out with a smaller size like this) and then slather with Vaseline to prevent the glue from sticking to the balloon. *Rub the rest into your hands… it forms a nice barrier against the glue*

5. Mix up some wallpaper paste with warm water; it should be the consistency of thin oatmeal (cream-of-wheat, if you want to get technical). Be careful… a little powder makes a lot of paste.

ex2

Now the tough part…

6. Dip the string into the paste one piece at a time. Take it out and wrap it around the balloon. The easiest way to do this is to put one end of string on the balloon, then spin the balloon. This way the string will wrap automatically.

*Try to overlap your starting point at least once, locking it into place* When you start the next piece, criss-cross it with where the previous piece ended. The trick here, is that if you don’t lock the corners down, they will begin to fall off as you try to put new strings into place.

If you get frustrated, take a break and let it dry for a while, then go back to it when you’re feeling better (like we did!)

Tip: If you are doing this with someone under the age of, let us say…nine, then do it as a team. The kids dip the string into the paste, and the grown-ups spin it on the balloon.

7. When you are all done, put the balloon on the cup to dry and Clean-Up. It needs to sit overnight to harden (turn occasionally, or the part inside the cup will not dry)

8. When it’s all dry, pop the balloon and wiggle it out through an opening.

Enjoy your string ball! The project is hard, but the results are amazing. Put them in a bowl, hang them from the ceiling or give them as a gift!

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pant-leg pillows

written by tammy

What you Need

With the holidays encroaching, this is a great time for getting busy with some arts-n-crafts… and Pant-Leg Pillows make the perfect gift. They are easy to make, customizable and recycled!

This is a easy project for any child or teen. Younger children will need help cutting and tying, but because this project requires no sewing,a child of about 7 or 8 with good cutting skills & who can tie their shoes, could do this project on their own!

To get started all you really need are an old pair of pants or jeans, some polly-fill stuffing, and ribbon or string to tie the ends. To add some more flair, we suggest rhinestones, decorative fabric swatches, or fabric paint (in our example).

reuse idea#2: Keep a bag in the closet for old tights, stockings and pairless socks… these make great stuffing for pillows and dolls!


examples
STEPS:

1. Choose an old pair of pants of jeans and cut off both legs close to the top. These leg-tubes are going to be the outer shell of your pillow, cut to the desired length.

2. If you are going to decorate the pillow, do it now! It is much tougher to work on a stuffed-surface. Keep all artwork 2 or 3 inches from each side.

Note: Young children can use sponge shapes or paint brushes to spread paints on the fabric. Let them make a big mess, it doesn’t matter what it looks like, as long as they have fun doing it. If you want, when they’re done, write their name in the center in the colors they choose.

3. When your artwork is completely dry, gather one end of the tube and secure it tightly with a strong piece of string or ribbon. We tied ours first with string, then added different color ribbon and rick-rack to jazz it up.

4. Once one end is secure, stuff the pillow to your desired firmness. Kids of all ages love this part!

5. Repeat step 3, tie the other end, and you’re done! So easy to make… they’re addictive.

done

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the menu book

written by tammy

menu_book
menubook2.jpg

Problem: The junk drawer is overcrowded… you have scissors, twine, tape, cousin Diane’s wedding invitation (from 6 years ago), and menu’s to every yummy place in your delivery zone.

Solution: Clear out some of the clutter and make a Menu Book!
Get started by sorting through your menu’s and tossing out all the restaurants that no longer exist, or you’ve never eaten at. Next, you will need a three ring binder and some clear plastic sleeves. Load the sleeves with your favorite places first, and if you have extra space, tuck grandma’s chocolate chip cookie recipe in the back.

When you’re done, slip it away somewhere convenient for one of those, I’m straving, but too tired to cook, kind of nights.

P.S. Don’t forget to show the babysitter where you keep the book!

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