craft

Ojo de Dios / God’s Eye


Ojo de Dios / God’s Eye

This summer has been flying by! We haven’t made much of a dent in our summer crafts list, I’m afraid. But there is still time!

One craft I was dying to make with the kids were these God’s Eyes. With their Mexican roots, these Ojo de Dios’ are so colorful and beautiful.

Here’s what you need:

2 sticks (from nature, or store bought)

Yarn

Good sharp scissors

The trick is all in the beginning. Hold the sticks tightly in a cross, then start by wrapping the string diagonally one way 6 or 7 times, then the other way. When the sticks feels secure, you can start the weaving. Basically, you just wrap the string once around the stick, then continue going around and around.

When you want to change colors, tie the new color onto the back and keep going.

While my two older girls (9 and 12) had fun with these, my little guy (6) found it a little challenging to keep the yarn straight as he went around. But with mommy’s help, he felt proud of his work!

We now keep them on our mantle along with our other summer craft collections. Each time I walk by, I get a feeling that I’m being watched over…it’s kind of nice.

 

Washi Tape Art


Washi Tape Art

This idea comes from Rubyellen (mom to four!) of CAKIES. It’s such a simple and fun idea…all you need is tape and paper.

Rubyellen’s tape is from Kid Made Modern at Target. I like the use of solid tape for this project. It lends itself better to interpreting ideas than patterned tape would, especially for smaller children. But I think my older girls (9 & 12) will try it with our collection of patterned washi tape!

Check out CAKIES blog for more beautiful photos of this project!

 

Bubble Wrap Printing


Bubble Wrap Printing

This is a very fun and quite simple art idea for the whole family. All my kids got involved — my 6-yr old stayed with it for hours! We printed on a long roll of paper (our intention was to make wrapping paper), but you can also just use sheets and hang them up as art!

Supplies:

bubble wrap, coffee can (or any container that is sturdy), duct tapewatercolorspaint brushes, 2 sponges, water

Cut a piece of bubble wrap and fold it over the top of the can (with the lid on). Use duct tape to secure it so it’s tight. Mix a color and paint it on the bubble wrap. Try not to push too hard — you want to paint the bubbles, but not the crevices in between. Paint fast before the paint dries, then turn it over onto the paper and press down.

It may take a few stamps to get it right, but the beauty of this project is that even if you are too heavy-handed, or the opposite — it’s printmaking and it’s supposed to be imperfect!

I am a big believer in never going for perfection. Point out to your kids how beautiful each stamp is — no two are alike (just like snowflakes).

We wrapped teacher gifts with the paper. I will share more of our wrapping papers in my next post!

Recycled Postcard Banner


Recycled Postcard Banner

My sweet neighbor, Georgy, turned 103 last week. Yep! She was born in 1909. We visited her in her house that she built with her husband in 1939. She lives alone, but is loved and taken care of by many. She still cleans her own house and takes walks up the street on nice days. She goes to bed at 5pm and reads, listens to the news and does crossword puzzles until 9 o’clock. She is not only wise and beautiful and inspiring…she is a legend.

We wanted to bring her something homemade. She didn’t want a fancy party or any “fuss”. The kids made her a pumpkin bread, and I thought I’d make her a colorful, happy banner. I decided to use my old holiday postcards. The idea was to use the colorful backside of the postcards for the front of the banner with the letters. And then, as a bonus, the back of the banner (which would have been the front of the postcards) would have the kids’ faces. A reversible banner!

Because I am an awful planner, I usually think of an idea the day of the event. I am then forced to use what I have, as I don’t have time to shop for any supplies. The upside to my disorganization is that most things that I make use materials that I have lying around. I do love the recycled aspect of crafts! Here’s how I made this banner:

Recycled Postcard Banner:

Supplies:
Recycled cards
Paper of some sort to cut out letters
Scissors
Exacto knife
Tape or glue
Hole punch
String

Start by cutting out triangles for the flags. Make one triangle, then use that as a template.

Next, cut out letters. I drew mine freehand, but you can use stencils. You’ll have to use an exacto knife to cut out the insides of the letters.

Arrange the flags in a nice, colorful pattern. Tape or glue on the letters. Punch holes in the corners.

When stringing the flags, I went back through the holes twice. This is not necessary, but it does give it extra stability.

Voila! Not hard to make, it took me about 90 minutes.

Flubber Recipe


Flubber Recipe

This past weekend was my son’s birthday. He turned six! We broke our own rules of 1) having birthday parties at home and 2) inviting no more than 10 guests. This year he wanted to invite all of the kids in Kindergarten (oy!), no one was to be left out. With so many invitees, we had to come up with a new plan. We decided to rent out the local movie theatre, and make a homemade party favor that wouldn’t cost too much. After some investigation, and many lengthy discussions, we decided to make flubber!

I researched and tried several variations on the recipe. We made 10 batches, each batch filling 4 containers. That’s 40 party favors! I designed a little label which I had printed on sticker paper at my local print shop, color coordinated, of course, and we were done. Moms were happy there was no candy, and my son was happy that he could share something he made himself.

Here is the simple recipe we used:

FLUBBER

Mixture 1:

~ 1 1/2 cups very warm water

~ 2 cups white school glue (I used Elmer’s)

~ Food coloring

Combine in a small to medium bowl and stir with a clean spoon.

Mixture 2:

~ 3 teaspoons Borax (you can buy it on Amazon or at the grocery store)

~ 1 cup very warm water

Combine in a large bowl, stir until dissolved (or almost dissolved) with a clean spoon.

Pour mixture 1 into mixture 2. Because of the science behind this recipe, the borax combines with the PVA in the glue and makes a polymer. You could do nothing at this point and it would turn to flubber after a while. But what fun would that be? Your kids will want to stick their hands in immediately and start mixing. It will take about 10 minutes, but eventually all of the water will be absorbed, and you will have flubber!

Since I am an eco-mom, I did some research on Borax. (I had read on a few blogs that it was toxic which freaked me out). Borax (sodium borate) is a mined substance, just like salt is mined, and occurs naturally in the Mojave Desert, Chile and Tibet. Borax is only slightly more toxic than salt, and in some countries it is used as a salt substitute. Caffeine is 14 times more toxic than Borax! Flouride is more toxic, too. Breathing Borax powder is not a good idea, so don’t let your kids handle the powder. But once it is in it’s polymer form, it is completely safe.

Remind your kids that flubber is not a food! Also, just to be safe, have them wash their hands after playing with their flubber.

Tip: Keep your flubber in an airtight container, or a ziploc baggie. it’s shelf life is about 3 weeks. When throwing out your flubber, use the garbage not the sink.