Crafts

Kid Made // Peg People


Kid Made // Peg People

This project happened without my involvement. It just…happened! I turned around, and there were little peg people being made. My daughter, age 14, was my helper at art camp. We had just finished making circus tents (that post is coming and SO cool) and I guess one of the kids wanted a little clown to play with in her tent. My daughter found some pegs and used fabric scraps that I had cut up for another project. Aren’t these so cute? I forgot to photograph the first batch of clowns which were hilarious with giant pom-pons on their heads. But I caught the next group of peg people, which were the audience. I love on-the-fly creating!

kids can make little people from wooden pegs and fabric scraps

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Supplies:

~ Wooden peg people

~ Fabric scraps cut into about 1″ x 5″ strips

~ Pom-poms

~ Pipe cleaners (I love these neon ones)

~ Buttons (optional)

~ Elmer’s glue

~ Black fine tip Sharpie or marker for face

kids can make little people from wooden pegs and fabric scraps

kids can make little people from wooden pegs and fabric scraps

Process:

The whole thing takes no time at all. The hardest part is waiting for the glue to dry! Simply squeeze a bit of glue onto the fabric scrap, then roll around the wooden peg. We actually used a bit of colored tape at the end of the strip to secure it and also for a bit of color. Next we used pipe cleaners (cut into bits) for scarves, and buttons and pom-poms for hats. Some kids cut some yarn for hair. Last of all, they drew on their faces.

kids can make little people from wooden pegs and fabric scraps

Kids are so darn clever. I’m not sure I would have thought of this, at least not the pom-pom hats. Make sure you let everything dry, probably overnight. Then it’s time to play!

xo, Bar

 

Painted Bead Necklaces


Painted Bead Necklaces

Wooden bead painting has become one of my go-to activities lately. Whether for art class, or playdates, painting beads is such a lovely little art escape. It takes no skill whatsoever which therefore creates this calm atmosphere that is very relaxed and free. The kids start talking about what’s on their mind, and they connect with each other. And then…. you end up with these gorgeous beads! We took it one step further and painted little shapes as well. wooden beads painted with liquid watercolors + painted cardboard shapes ~ made by kids ages 3-8yrs

wooden beads painted with liquid watercolors + painted cardboard shapes ~ made by kids ages 3-8yrs

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Supplies:

~ Wooden beads

~ Liquid watercolors (this is a link to the brand I like, you don’t have to buy the whole set ~ but i do love using gold)

~ Brushes, a glass of water, a damp sponge, and a plate with a piece of paper towel to place the beads when drying

~ Cardboard cut out shapes

~ Tempera paint (more opaque to cover brown cardboard), or you can just use the same liquid watercolors that are out already

~ Yarn, cording, and/or thin wire

~ Blunt needle (if you’re using yarn)

wooden beads painted with liquid watercolors + painted cardboard shapes ~ made by kids ages 3-8yrs

Process:

~ Put out your paints in separate cups, jars, or plastic egg carton. Start painting! I told the kids they needed about 20 beads or more for their necklace. There is a technique that my friend Merry Cherry uses which keeps their fingers clean, but we just went the messy route! Place the beads on the paper towel to dry.

~ While the kids are painting, you can cut out some small shapes from cardboard. Make sure you cut across the grain. Take a look at the photo below and you will see what I mean. There is a grain in between the cardboard. I use this grain as a tunnel to thread the yarn or cording through. It’s pretty cool how well it works!

HINT: Make the shape small enough that your needle can go through to the other side so you can grab it and pull it out!

wooden beads painted with liquid watercolors + painted cardboard shapes ~ made by kids ages 3-8yrs

~ When everything is dry, you can thread your necklace. Have the kids lay out their beads. The kids can use the blunt needle, they love using grown up tools. But you can do it, also, if you are afraid of them holding a needle.

wooden beads painted with liquid watercolors + painted cardboard shapes ~ made by kids ages 3-8yrs

~ Or you may want to use cording. This makes beading even easier, and the kids can do all of it themselves.

wooden beads painted with liquid watercolors + painted cardboard shapes ~ made by kids ages 3-8yrs

~ You could also try using wire with the cording. See above for the steps involved. It’s fairly straightforward and looks pretty sophisticated!

wooden beads painted with liquid watercolors + painted cardboard shapes ~ made by kids ages 3-8yrs

wooden beads painted with liquid watercolors + painted cardboard shapes ~ made by kids ages 3-8yrs

wooden beads painted with liquid watercolors + painted cardboard shapes ~ made by kids ages 3-8yrs

The variations are endless, and they can be made by 3yr olds as well and as beautifully as 30yr olds! My age exactly ;) (My 14 year old daughter and I made the red triangle necklace together. Collaborating is the coolest.)

As an added bonus for getting to the end of this post (well done!), click on over to my good friend Merry Cherry’s blog and read about her favorite way to make necklaces with kids. She and I struck up an incredibly synergistic relationship last year when we met through our blogs. Then, when I took my girls out to California in April, we met!! We had an instant connection because we are extremely well-matched. It’s been super weird how we keep coming up with similar ideas at the same time. It’s so fun sharing with each other, we thought we’d share with you, too!

xo, Bar

{PS: My son (age 8) made the one with the orange and green diamond. Just saying….boys love necklaces, too!!}

 

Weaving with Kids


Weaving with Kids

I’ve been a wee bit obsessed with weaving lately (ha ha), ever since May when I saw these beautiful pieces made by Rachel Denbow. After seeing cardboard looms all over Pinterest this summer, which totally fueled my fixation, I decided to make some looms myself for my little campers. The week we made these I had five girls at art camp ranging from ages five to seven (and one 14 year old helper extraordinaire). I wasn’t sure what would happen, or if they could even handle weaving, but I decided to just give it a try.

make cardboard looms and show little kids how to weave and you will be amazed by what they can make

Turns out, they LOVED WEAVING! My daughter and I did it with them so it was complete side-by-side, art-making bliss. I love that in the end, you couldn’t even tell the difference between my weaving and theirs (I’m only showing you theirs in this post). In fact, I loved theirs even more than mine because they were way more free with their choices and their technique. (Isn’t that true for most art making! Those little ones are so unhindered by vision and plans. They just enjoy the process.)

make cardboard looms and show little kids how to weave and you will be amazed by what they can make

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Here’s what you’ll need to make your own looms and weavings:

~ A piece of cardboard about 6” x 8”, and two strips for the top and bottom.

~ Exacto knife or scissors

~ Ruler

~ Yarn (I buy mine at Michael’s, but these little guys are super cute for a project like this)

~ Plastic needle

~ Masking tape & Scotch tape

~ Pom-pom maker (optional)

~ Pony beads (optional)

~ Twigs

Making the loom:

1. Take your ruler and put it across the top of your piece of cardboard, about 1/2” from the top. Draw a straight line with a pencil. Now measure in 1” and make a hash mark. Continue on and make 12 hash marks about 3/8” apart all across the top. Do the same at the bottom. You can space them out however you would like, but this is just what I did for my looms.

2. Using an exacto knife, or scissors, cut along each hash mark, stopping at the 1/2″ line.

3. Glue on the strips of cardboard so that the top of the strip aligns with the 1/2″ line (strips are about 1/2″ wide).

4. Cut 12 pieces of yarn and thread each notch, making sure to leave a tail of about 3” on the back. Tape these ends to the back with scotch tape. Make sure the threads are fairly tight (but not so tight that it’s stretching the yarn). These vertical threads are called the warp. You have your loom!

make cardboard looms and show little kids how to weave and you will be amazed by what they can make

Make your weaving:

1. Cut a piece of yarn about 2 feet long. Thread it through the plastic needle and then tie a knot at the top of the needle.

2. Starting with the first warp thread, slide the needle underneath and then up over the next thread, and then back under the third thread, and so on. Use this under-over pattern until you get to the last warp thread. When you get to the end of your first row, pull it through all the way, leaving about a 3” tail. You can tie this tail in a knot around the first warp thread to secure it for the little kids, but after they weave two rows it won’t be in danger of coming out anymore.

3. For your next row, go back the other way by doing the opposite over-under pattern as you did for the first row. (If you go under and over in the same way as the first row you will be undoing what you just did. This mistake does happen with the littles so make sure to check on them before they begin each row in the beginning, Eventually they get the hang of it).

make cardboard looms and show little kids how to weave and you will be amazed by what they can make

4. Once you have a few rows, use your fingers to push up the weft yarn so that it’s snug. Be careful not to pull too hard on the weft yarns after each pass through because your weaving will start to cinch in at the middle. Of course, this did happen to all of us, but I thought I should warn you anyway! First time weaving mistakes.

5. When you are done with your first color yarn, or if you decide you want to switch colors, simply end it with about a 3” tail remaining. It might start to look sloppy with lots of tails hanging out all over, but don’t worry ~ all of them will be taped to the back at the end.

6. Start the next colors in the same way you started the first, leaving a tail of about 3”.

7. When you get to the end, just cut off the yarn that you are working with. Not to sound too redundant…but don’t forget to leave that tail. :)

make cardboard looms and show little kids how to weave and you will be amazed by what they can make

Taking your weaving off of the loom:

1. When you are finished, undo the scotch tape in the back and carefully pull off the warp threads. I didn’t take any pictures of this process for some mysterious reason, but it’s fairly straightforward…it’s just that you have to be careful because the weft threads could come off easily.

2. When your entire weaving has been pulled off of the loom, tie all of the warp threads together at the ends. Tie 1 & 2 together, 3 & 4 together, and so on. You should have six knots at the top and bottom. Double knots.

3. At this point, it’s time to deal with the tails coming out of the sides. The reason to leave the tails on the longish side is so that you can thread them through the needle, and then gently weave them through the back a few times before trimming them. If you don’t want to take this extra step, you could just tape the tails to the back with masking tape.

4. Also use masking take to tape down the top and  bottom warp threads to the back of your weaving.

(back view) make cardboard looms and show little kids how to weave and you will be amazed by what they can make

Finishing your weaving:

1. Technically, you are now done with your weaving. Hooray! But if you want to embellish with pom-poms and beads, and hang it on a twig, then read on. Just a note: The kids didn’t do any of the finishings, except for the pom-poms. I did all of the taping, beading (kids picked out their colors) and attaching it to the twig. They watched as I did it all, but it was too finicky for their little hands.

2. We made our pom-poms with a pom-pom maker (I highly recommend these things…they are good for life!). But you can also do it the old fashioned way: around your fingers. Here is a good tutorial for that way. Don’t forget to leave a longish tail with the piece of yarn that you use to tie the pom-pom. You will thread this tail through the needle and then attach it to your weaving by going through the bottom (front to back) and then taping it on the back. You can add beads to your pom-pom before you attach it to your weaving.

3. To attach the weaving to the twig, cut a piece of yarn, about a foot long, and string it through the needle. Starting on one end, loop the threaded needle through the top of the weaving and around the twig, wrapping the twig all the way until the end. Tie knots on either end, then trim and use masking tape to tape the ends to the back.

4. Lastly, to attach the hanger, simply cut a piece of yarn about 18” long (this will be trimmed, but better too long than too short), and fold it over. Loop the folded end around one side of the twig and make a knot. If you want to add beads, now is the time. To finish off the other side just tie it around the twig in a double knot and trim.

make cardboard looms and show little kids how to weave and you will be amazed by what they can make

make cardboard looms and show little kids how to weave and you will be amazed by what they can make

I know there are like a million steps, but the steps for the kids are pretty simple and fun. It’s the making of the loom and the finishing that involves some busy work on the part of the adult. I personally LOVE busy work…and I’m betting that if you’ve read this far, you do too.

One thing I forgot to mention is that this project is a great way to introduce some new vocabulary for the kids. They learned warp & weft, and they learned about woven fabric vs. knit. We talked about how so many things in their world are woven: the shorts they are wearing, their sheets and pillows, towels, tablecloths. It was such an eye opener and so fun to see all of this new knowledge sink in.

I hope you try weaving, it really is so cool.

xo, Bar