Posted by Erika on Feb 18, 2009 in Family Crafts

Stenciling with freezer papers is one of the easiest, most inexpensive ways to create fashion items at home.

Freezer papers have a plastic coating on one side that can be ironed onto fabric without leaving any residue. You can quickly customize your plain t-shirts, tops, jackets and cotton Capri pants (see picture below).

Using an x-acto knife, carefully cut your designs out of freezer paper. If you wish, trace the pattern out before cutting. Don’t throw out your paper scraps – you can use them later to create other designs. Next, apply fabric paint to your stencils using a foam brush. (Fabric paint and foam brushes are available at most craft stores).

Next, place the stencil on your shirt/pant (oriented how you want the image to appear) with the shiny side of the freezer paper down. Place a full sheet of freezer paper on top of your stencil with the shiny side up. Lastly, place a thin piece of cloth on top of both freezer papers, and carefully iron your stencil onto the garment.

Leave the paint to dry overnight. After the paint dries, carefully peel off your stencil. To seal the paint, iron it once more with a piece of cloth or fresh freezer paper to protect it.

Congratulations, your garment is ready-to-wear.

Image courtesy: artfulparent.wordpress.com

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Easy Craft Projects for Kids – Paper Photo Frames for V-Day

Posted by Erika on Feb 14, 2009 in Uncategorized , Valentine's Day Crafts

We’ve already shared some Valentine’s Day craft ideas, but we almost forgot one of out favorites – the V-Day Photo Frame. This decorative frame is simple to make, and doesn’t require many craft materials. Let’s get started!

Image courtesy: kiddyhouse.com

To make this craft you’ll need:

  • 2 equally-sized pieces of thin cardboard (you can use the sides of cereal boxes),
  • Colored construction paper,
  • Craft glue,
  • Craft knife and a heart shaped cookie cutter,
  • Tape,
  • A pencil, and
  • A photograph.

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. First, draw a heart in the center of your cardboard (trace your cookie-cutter for a perfect heart). Carefully extract the heart-shape from the cardboard with your craft knife. (For safety’s sake, show your children how to use the craft knife, but do the actual trimming yourself.) Save the cardboard heart you’ve removed for later use.
  2. Cover both pieces of cardboard with construction paper using craft glue.
  3. Apply small pieces of colored paper to the cardboard with the heart cut-out. Overlap your papers and glue them down. Allow the glue to dry.
  4. Use your cardboard (with the heart cut-out) to matte your photograph. Tape the photograph to the back of the cardboard.
  5. Glue the two pieces of cardboard together. The cardboard that is intact should be used as the backing board. Allow the glue to dry.
  6. Fold the edges of your cutout heart toward the center. If done properly, the center of the heart cutout should be flat.
  7. Glue the flat center of the heart cutout to the backboard so that it is flush with the bottom. This is how your frame will stand upright. Allow the glue to dry.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Posted by Erika on Feb 13, 2009 in Valentine's Day Crafts

In these times of economic uncertainty, family crafts are the perfect low-cost activity. The time you spend crafting can bring your family closer together, and can save you loads of money (crafting is way cheaper than a movie).

Make this Valentine’s Day special with an ultra-cute V-day card. This project if perfect for kids 4 years and older (younger children will likely need some help). Here’s what you need:

  • 8.5” x 11” construction paper (assorted colors),
  • Heart shaped stickers (or you can cut your own hearts out of construction paper),
  • Safety scissors,
  • Glue stick,
  • Glitter (assorted colors), and
  • Glitter glue (assorted colors).

Step by Step Instructions:

  1. Cut a piece of construction paper into four quarters.
  2. Fold each quarter in half to make a small card.
  3. Apply your heart-shaped stickers to the front of the card. (If you don’t have stickers, cut small hearts from your construction paper, and apply them with a glue stick.) Experiment making different patterns and collages with your hearts.
  4. Use the edge of your glue stick to write short words and phrases on your card. Dust your glue-stick-writing with glitter. Allow glue to dry.
  5. Trace the borders of your cut out hearts with glitter glue. Allow glue to dry.
  6. Place each card between two sheets of plain paper. Set a book on top of your card while it dries (to prevent bending).

Neatly re-pack any leftover papers, glitter and stickers for future craft projects.
Once your cards have dried, your children can personalize them and hand them out to friends, teachers, and neighbors.

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Image courtesy: familyplayandlearn.com

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Posted by Erika on Feb 9, 2009 in Valentine's Day Crafts

This Valentine’s Day, create a heart-themed box to store all of your Valentine’s day cards. Your kids will love creating their very own storage system, and you’ll help them develop organizational skills.

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Cereal box,
  • Construction paper (Red and pink colors are preferable),
  • Safety scissors,
  • Tape,
  • Glittered glue tubes (warm colors like red, purple and pink are preferable),
  • White craft glue,
  • Heart shaped craft foam (craft foams are available in packets in pre-cut shapes),
  • Heart shaped cookie cutter, and
  • A pencil.

How to Make:

  1. Cut out a rectangle from the side of your cereal box (the hole should be large enough to accept a card).
  2. Cover your box in cpnstruction paper, securing it with tape.
  3. Cut a total of 6 hearts from your construction paper. You can use cookie cutters to trace perfect heart shapes.
  4. Write some short phrases on your hearts with glitter glue. Allow the glue to dry.
  5. Glue 3 hearts to each of the box’s larger sides. The hearts should overlap and extend past the edge of the box.
  6. Glue your foam hearts to the thin sides of the box, and allow glue to dry.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Image courtesy: crafts.kaboose.com

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Posted by Erika on Feb 2, 2009 in Family Crafts

Are the kids done with their homework and need something to do? Why not get them started on a fun craft project? It’s a good way to keep them busy and they’ll be proud of their work. Most importantly, crafting teaches children to be both creative and resourceful. Watch their young eyes light up when they realize that they can make lamp shades, calendars, jewelry, paper weights and more, out of household items.

Since it’s cold out, it only seems right to make a winter-themed craft. So how about making a snowman card? Here’s what you need to get started:

Materials for Snowman Card

  • Blank card,
  • Chart paper,
  • Three cotton balls (one large, one medium and one small),
  • Blue watercolor paint,
  • Orange construction paper,
  • Paint brush,
  • White glue,
  • Sparkle glitter,
  • Safety scissors,
  • Black marker, and
  • Black marble paper

How to Make Your Snowman Card

Before you start, keep the cotton balls under something heavy to flatten them (it will take some time). Alternatively, you can cut circles of white felt.

Cut out a rectangular shaped piece from the chart paper. Paint this piece blue with your watercolor paint. Let it dry. Next, glue the paper to the center of the blank card. Apply a smear of glue to the top of blue paper, and then give it a dusting of sparkle glitter. Allow time for everything to dry.

Glue the three cotton balls to the center of the blue rectangular paper. The large one should be at the bottom, the medium one in the middle, and the small one at the top – you’re making the snowman’s body. Next, cut out a small hat from the black marble paper and glue atop your snowman’s head.

Cut your smowman a nose from the orange construction paper, and apply it with a dab of glue. Finally, draw your snowman a mouth, eyes, and arms with the black marker and you’re done.

Happy Crafting!

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