old clothes pillows

written by tammy

When clearing out the closet to make room for all the unbelievable after-holiday finds, be sure to put aside a few graphic-T’s and interesting fabrics for sewing projects like this one…

old clothes pillows

Old Clothes Pillows is also an amazing way to hang on to a part of a favorite old shirt, or kids outfit that is never going to fit again. Tween girls will love filling up their beds with these tiny little pillows, and boys can turn their favorite old sports shirts into team pillows. Sewing skills are required (but not professional!)

some pictures

1. Using sharp scissors, cut out the shape you are going to use for the front of your pillow. Then, choose and cut a contrasting color or pattern for the pillow back.

2. Pin the fabric together inside-out, and then sew. We used our sewing machine (because practice is good) but, for the most part, these pillows are not that large and can also be sewn by hand. Be sure to leave an opening for stuffing the pillow

3. Flip your pillow case right-side-out and stuff! Since these were to toss around my house, I used poly-fill from an old (clean) dog bed. I also suggest shredding the remainder of the clothing fabric you did not use for stuffing or, stray sock stuffing.

4. Hand-sew the stuffing hole and you’re done! Enjoy! …but watch out, they’re totally addictive!

clothes pillows

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animal totem ribbon

written by tammy

totem_ribbon

The Animal Totem Ribbon is a fun and adorable, multi-step project.

This project involves cooking and permanent paint, so adult supervision and interactivity is required. To get started you will have to make some Salt-Dough.

Salt-Dough
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup salt
- 3/4 cup water

1. Gather the ingredients and squish them together in a medium sized bowl until everything is combined. You’ll have to push up your sleeves and get your hands dirty for this one!

2. Roll out the dough and cut out your favorite animal shapes with cookie cutters (or whatever is in the Play-Doh bin).
3. Carefully, slide half of a bobby-pin (or paper clip) into the top of the shape, and then place on a cookie sheet.

4. Bake your creations at 350 degrees, for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

5. Let cool, completely.

6. Paint your animals with acrylic paint for a nice, long lasting finish. What about kids? Make sure there is a lot of supervision for young ones, it’s okay to use permanent paints sometimes, as long as there is the proper amount of adult help, and everything is covered up! Note: You could try tempura (or poster) paints, however when we did, the high water content made our baked goods a bit soft again… it dried eventually, but we were not that pleased with the results.

We painted each of our animals with a single, bright color. Once dry, we added eyes (and other tiny details).

7. Let dry, completely.

8. Arrange your creatures, and then, starting with the top, tie them one by one, onto a long piece of colored ribbon. Tie a loop at the top of your totem to hang it up with. **Make this project boy-friendly by using thick string or twine instead of ribbon. Tie big chunky knots and wrap tape around the ends of the string**

9. If you want, you can jazz up your totem by adding some beads, bells, or more ribbon… like us!

Check out the pictures…

totem_pics

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art box deluxe (kit)

written by tammy

This was, hands down, the best gift I gave this winter… and while the holidays have passed, there are plenty of birthdays ahead in the new year to give The Best Gift Ever. Art Box Deluxe is filled with tons and tons of great art-project stuff for crafty kids about 6years and older (depending on the child, of course).

To make this interesting, the majority of the contents in Art Box Deluxe were selected to accompany the projects listed in the book D.I.Y. Kids, by Ellen Lupton and Julia Lupton. In addition to tucking all the materials neatly into a large tupperware container, I also put post-it tabs on the corresponding pages in the book to make it easy for youngsters to get started right away.

Since the gift was also for a bubbalulu kid, I made sure to put some extra supplies for projects we write about (or will write about) on our blog.

Check out the picture below for a listing of all the goodies inside this great gift…

art box deluxe

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decoupage photo frame

written by tammy

decoupage frame


What You Need:
- Old Magazine
- Scissors
- Mod Podge glue
- Paint Brush/Sponge
- Old Frame

Instead of tossing out those old, banged-up frames… Recreate Them!

1. Cover your work area with paper, then start cutting out pieces from the magazine to cover your frame with. It is a good idea to cut and measure all your pieces before starting to glue.

For our frame, we went with a patterned background and then put a couple of cute pictures on top of the pattern… to make them stand out.

2. When all the cutting is done, you are ready to decoupage.
The steps are simple: apply Mod Podge glue to frame with your brush, place your cutting on top of the glue, then cover the entire image with even more glue. Do this for the whole frame.

Tip: If you are applying picture layers (a picture on top of another picture) allow the bottom layer to dry before applying the next layer to the top. As Mod Podge starts to dry, painting over the same place again while half-wet, often results in paper tearing.

3. Allow your decoupage to dry a few hours, then apply one last coat of Mod Podge, to even things out, and you’re done!!

examples

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art box,jr. (kit)

written by tammy

art box1

Assemble this easy kit at home for any little person in your life!

Art Box, Jr. is the perfect gift for young artists. Choose a plastic pencil box and write the child’s name in ABC stickers, then start filling it with goodies appropriate to the age of the child.

This gift-kit is for a 4yo, so we put markers, stickers, glue stick, tape, scissors, cute erasers and some post-its. If they are under 3yo, substitute markers for crayons (and skip the scissors).

Art Box, Jr. also makes a great Travel Art Box… good for airplane rides and weekend stays at grandma’s house.

art box2

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doll in a bag (kit)

written by tammy

doll kit

Gift giving is always more exciting than gift getting… especially when you take the time to gift-it right. There are tons of great creative projects out there, why not pick a project, collect all the supplies and Make A Gift Kit.

Over the next couple weeks, we will try to post a few extra creative gift giving ideas… since it is the season for gifting. Today we are sharing, Doll in a Bag. The main thing you need for this gift-set is a blank craft doll. We got ours from the dollar store, but you can find one at craft or sewing store.

The rest of the things you could probably find around the house… some buttons for eyes, embroidery thread to stitch a mouth, some yarn for hair, and felt or old clothing scraps to design a fabulous holiday outfit for Dolly. Put it all together in a cute bag or box and give it to someone you care about.

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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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