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Occasionally people need to find an opportunity to loosen up and unwind. The ancient Greeks understood this, and that is why they regularly staged elaborate plays. People could gather together and revel in the spectacle. Often the crowds would swell to such enormous sizes that the audience had a difficult time clearly seeing the actors. Therefore, the actors began to wear elaborate masks that heavily emphasized the emotions that they wished to portray. Once the mask was placed upon the performer, the performer ceased to be him or herself and transformed into someone else entirely. Masks provide their wearer with a sense of anonymity. There is a freedom that comes with wearing a mask. People act in ways that they might not act otherwise.

The key is in finding the right place to don a mask. Every year there is a series of Carnival celebrations in New Orleans, Louisiana known as Mardi Gras that precede the Christian season of Lent. This year, it will last from January 1st until February 10th. There are gigantic floats, skillfully designed doubloons, highly trained flambeau carriers, delicious king cakes with toy baby’s inside, and a vast assortment of masks. The concept behind wearing masks at Mardi Gras is that by wearing a mask, the wearer is celebrating a last hoorah prior to having to begin fasting for Lent.

Making a Mardi Gras mask is fairly simple. Take a piece of colored construction paper. The traditional colors of Mardi Gras are gold, green, and purple. Gold symbolizes power, green symbolizes faith, and purple symbolizes justice. Cut out a large figure 8 that is roughly the width of your head. Be creative with the figure 8. You can cut round edges, sharp edges, or you can cut designs into it. Make two eyeholes. Find a twelve-inch long dowel. Decorate the mask with fabric, faux jewelry, foil, glitter, paint, ribbons, and sequins. Feel free to go wild. Paint the dowel an attractive color. Glue the dowel to one side of the mask and you will have a hand made Mardi Gras mask. Go out and enjoy yourself.

Find out more about Mardi Gras Masks and other industry specific topics.

Jewelry making craft projects typically involve using jewelry supplies to make all sorts of items – some wearable, some useable, and some decorative. It’s a fun way to use up bits and pieces of leftover supplies, or to mix other craft forms with jewelry techniques. If you’re having a creativity block, have some fun using your supplies in a totally different kind of project.

Kids love jewelry making craft projects too. You can set out an assortment of beads, findings, colored art wire, ribbon, glue, and a few other odds and ends – and a group of creative children can happily entertain themselves for a couple of hours.

You can also make and sell kits for specific projects, and include photos of a few suggested ways to create the project using the supplies in the kit package. Jewelry making craft kits are popular gifts, and can sell well if you hit on currently cool projects and colors.

Jewelry Making Craft Ideas

Here are a few idea starters for projects you can experiment with. Many of these items make wonderful gifts, especially if you personalize the design for the person you give it to.

* Home decor – try using your jewelry supplies to embellish vases, create wall hangings, craft a bookmark, or make a wind chime.

* Baby gifts – make a dream-catcher to hang over baby’s crib, or a sun-catcher to sparkle in the window.

* Clothing – use rhinestones or faux pearls to decorate a T-shirt, a pair of jeans, or a jacket. Make a belt buckle fancier with your jewelry making craft supplies.

* Handbags – embellish a cigar box into a purse with jeweled clasp, or crochet a beaded evening bag, or decorate a tote bag with beaded fringe and photo-charms of grandchildren.

* Shoes – make pretty shoe clips from wire and other items. Or add beads to the ends of tennis shoe laces.

* Gift packaging – use jewelry supplies to decorate a gift bag or create package ornaments.

* Holiday ornaments – design seasonal decorations small enough to hang on a tree, or large enough to hang on a door. Or give ordinary ornaments a makeover with jewelry making craft supplies.

* Party favors – make wine glass charms or coffee mug markers.

* Small gifts for anyone – create zipper pulls, cell phone charms, ceiling fan pulls, and key chains.

What Can You Use for Jewelry Making Craft Supplies?

In addition to your regular jewelry supplies and tools, here are some examples of other great crafty items to have on hand for your projects:

* A variety of glues.

* Fabric paint.

* Spray paint.

* Sharpie markers – wide tip and fine tip.

* Craft knife and cutting mat.

* Mod Podge.

* Bits and pieces of interesting paper and ephemera.

* Used postage stamps.

* Sponge brushes.

* Small paint brushes.

* Scrapbooking paper.

* Embossing powders.

* Ribbon, string, raffia, embroidery floss.

* Rubber stamps and ink.

After enjoying a few sessions of jewelry making craft projects, don’t be surprised to find yourself crossing over into using craft materials in your jewelry designs. It opens up a whole new universe of addictive supplies and tools to collect!

Discover how to make earrings in crafty new ways, plus more ideas and inspirations for making jewelry, on Rena Klingenberg’s Making Jewelry Now website.

One of the easiest ways to save money is by collecting items around your home to use for your arts and crafts projects. You will need a large container and a place to store your collection.

Some useful items to collect include the following:

  • paper towel rolls
  • toilet paper rolls
  • clean tuna cans
  • soup cans
  • 1 gallon milk jugs
  • 1/2 gallon milk cartons
  • egg cartons
  • cereal boxes
  • small cardboard boxes
  • newspapers
  • cloth scraps
  • coat hangers
  • corks
  • yarn
  • juice cans
  • soap (for carving)
  • dried macaroni
  • wrapping paper
  • straws
  • paper plates
  • button down shirts (smocks)
  • wallpaper
  • cotton swabs
  • cotton balls
  •  

  • sponges
  • potatoes (for stamping)
  • old catalogs
  • clothespins
  •  

  • old blue jeans
  • clean coke cans
  • jelly jars
  • baby food jars
  • cream cheese containers
  • old t-shirts
  • old socks
  • bottle caps
  • paper bags
  • small sticks
  •  

  • coloring books
  • pipe cleaners
  • coffee can
  •  

 

Styrofoam meat trays are great as well, but they must be washed thoroughly to remove any leftover meat residue and possible bacteria.

You can make fun and easy Mardi Gras beads for your kids Mardi Gras Celebration with Salt dough. You can make these beads for just about any kid’s celebration too.

You’ll Need:

o 2 cups of plain flour

o 1 cup of salt

o 1 cup of water

o oven

o acrylic paint

o knife

o board

o rolling pin

o paintbrushes

o baking tray

o aluminum foil or wax paper

To start with you’ll need to mix up your salt dough. Pour the two cups of flour into a bowl with one cup of salt and one cup of water. Mix with your hands until the dough is entirely moistened and sticks together. It should be like pizza dough easy to mold without it sticking to your hands. You’ll see the little grains of salt in the dough.

Once the dough is made you can begin making the beads. Take the aluminum foil or wax paper and roll a sheet into a small tube shape so that it looks like a straw. Next roll out a sheet of the dough with the rolling pin until it’s fairly thin. Gently roll a piece of this sheet around the foil tube. Cut with the knife to separate the dough wrapped around the tube from the rest of the dough sheet. Press the cut edge so that it’s sticking to the tube. Next use your knife to cut the dough wrapped around the aluminum tube into small sections about the size of the width of Mardi Gras beads.

When the dough is cooked it should harden enough that you’ll be able to pull each of the sections off the aluminum tube and end up with your Mardi Gras beads with a nice hole through them for stringing. Place the dough wrapped tube into the oven at 212 degrees Fahrenheit for about half an hour. When it’s done and cooled gently pull off the bead sections.

You can now paint them with your acrylic paint in bright colors and string it together.

Mrs. Party… Gail Leino is the internet’s leading authority on selecting the best possible party supplies, using proper etiquette, and living a healthy life while also teaching organizational skills and fun facts. The Party Supplies Hut has lots of party ideas with hundreds of free coloring sheets, printable games, and free birthday party activities. Over 100 adorable Party Themes to fit your birthday celebration, holiday event, or “just because” parties is at the Party Theme Shop. Party themes include cartoon characters, sports, movie, TV shows, luau, western, holidays, and unique crazy fun theme ideas.

Looking for a way to make this holiday season stand out from the rest? Start a new tradition that can get the entire family involved and allow you to save money on decorations. In between the cookie baking and gift shopping, set aside some time to make holiday crafts. There are so many simple ways to make your holiday decorations personal and it won’t cost you a ton of money.

With just a little creativity and craft supplies you can create pieces that will make your house look spectacular for the holidays and offer you the chance to create lasting memories with your loved ones. Just a few ideas to get your creativity flowing:

  • Paper Chain- Using leftover scrapbooking paper, cardstock or other heavy-weight, fade-resistant paper you can create a festive paper chain perfect for the Christmas tree, mantelpiece or staircase. Simply cut thin strips of paper and tape or glue the ends together. Keep looping paper inside your original link and create a paper chain that is as long or short as you need it. This simple craft project is ideal for small children and large groups, because you can each make your own chain and then link them all together when everyone is finished.
  • Homemade Gift Tags- Using leftover craft supplies you can create homemade gift tags for all of your gift-giving needs this year. Most gift tags from the store are impersonal and expensive. Make your own using leftover ribbon, scrapbooking paper, glitter, embellishments and pens. But be careful, you might end up designing tags that get more attention than the gift.
  • Bows – Using leftover ribbon you can create your own bows in a variety of shapes and sizes. If you get the entire family involved, you won’t have to waste money buying bows this year. Plus, everyone will appreciate the extra effort you put into making this holiday season a little more personal.
  • Ornaments – By digging through your craft supplies, you may find leftover ribbon strips, pictures, sequins, cardstock and embellishments you can use to create homemade ornaments. Make grandparents personalized ornaments with each of their grandkids or make an ornament of your new puppy for your tree. Each year you hang up your homemade ornament you will remember how much fun you had making holiday crafts with your family.
  • Ribbon Wreath- By cutting strips of different colors, patterns and sizes of ribbon you can create a homemade wreath that embodies the spirit of the holidays. Tie the ribbon strips around a bent wire hanger until the wire is completely covered. By adding different colors, you can make your ribbon wreath to match a specific room in your home. They make perfect holiday gifts and will last for years. It is a fun arts and crafts project that everyone can get everyone involved.

 

These are just a few ideas to make your holidays a little more personal. Other great holiday crafts include making gift boxes, holiday greeting cards and personalized wrapping paper. Use all your crafts supplies to create unique holiday gifts for all the people on your list.

Pat Catan’s is a family owned arts and crafts supply store. Started in Cleveland in 1954, Pat Catan’s has been offering quality floral, scrapbooking, ribbon, candy making, jewelry and art supplies crafters need to let their creativity flourish. With twenty craft stores located throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania, Pat Catan’s has grown into a haven for artists and crafters.

 

Like many of our holidays, Passover is a great time to break out some craft materials for our children and help them make a great work of art. Not only can this teach them about the holiday, but it can help get their creative juices flowing. Here are some good craft ideas you might use to help your child celebrate Passover. While this list won’t go into the details of each project, it should be enough to get you started.

1. Greeting Card

This is perhaps one of the easiest craft ideas, and it is ideal especially for young children who might not be too coordinated yet. All you need is some construction paper and crayons, but you might want to use some glue and glitter for an even more elegant touch. You can have the child address the card to a parent, sibling, or even a friend. Teach the child how to draw the Star of David or Moses on the front of the card. You can even teach them how to write a simple Hebrew phrase.

2. Toilet Paper Moses

An empty cardboard toilet paper roll is a great craft tool which can be used as the starting basis for a figurine of a person. You could have the child make any of a number of Biblical characters, but Moses is an excellent and popular choice. The toilet paper roll will act as Moses’s body. Pipe cleaners are great for creating the arms or for fashioning his staff. You can use a small piece of brown felt for his robe. A cotton ball is great for bushy white hair. Get creative! There are many different ways to run with this idea!

3. Placemat

There are so many things a child might draw on a placemat. He could draw a biblical scene, or write out verses from the Torah. He could draw his family gathering together for a prayer or draw the Star of David. All you need for this project is a sheet of white poster board and some drawing materials. You might need some colored construction paper and glue to really spice things up. Finally, you will need some Con-Tact paper so that you can laminate the placemat when the child is finished. This is a craft item he can eat off of and truly enjoy long after the project is completed.

4. Elijah’s Goblet

According to legend, Elijah visits every Passover Seder around the world and takes a sip from the goblet of red wine left out for him. You can have your child make a beautiful goblet just for Elijah! Start with a plastic wine glass, gold tissue paper, some plastic jewels, and glue. Just shred up the tissue paper and glue it around the outside of the cup. Then add on the jewels and any other embellishments you’d like. Soon you’ll have a golden goblet which looks like it is fit for a king.

Those were just a few ideas for craft projects you might do with your child in recognition of Passover. However, there are undoubtedly many more! If you brainstorm you may be able to come up with some yourself. You may even try asking your child what they think might make a good project. Sometimes children have the best ideas. They might suggest decorating some small trash cans, such as your bathroom trash can. These are relatively inexpensive, so why not?

Do you have a little one who loves to play with 11 1/2″ tall fashion dolls? Does you little one need some new furniture to go along with her dolls? If so, I have an easy to make craft project to share with you today that involves using a skein of acrylic yarn, needle and some 7 count plastic canvas. This project is great for beginners and works up in just one afternoon.

You can make just about any type of fashion doll furniture that you would like by using standard plastic canvas and some yarn. To design your own patterns, simple sketch out what you would like to make on graph paper and then cut out your graph paper and use it as a template.

Supplies Needed:

2 sheets 7 count plastic canvas (clear or a color to match yarn)
1 skein acrylic yarn
plastic canvas sewing needle
sharp scissors

To Make The Chair:

1 seat – 19 holes by 19 holes
2 seat backs – 19 holes by 22 holes high
4 leg pieces – 19 holes by 18 holes high
note – you can leave your leg pieces in a solid block shape or cut them to resemble a block style letter A, the choice is up to you.

Stitching: I did a simple tent stitch but I did it over 3 holes at a time going top to bottom to make vertical rows. I used 4-ply Acrylic yarn. You will first stitch your seat, seat backs and then the legs, leaving all outer edges unfinished. Once done, place the two seat backs wrong sides together and stitch them together using a whip stitch but leave the bottom edge unfinished. Stitch three of the chair leg sections to the seat. Place the seat back and fourth leg section together and whip stitch to the remaining unfinished edge of the seat. Finish up by stitching around the legs and openings so that your chair has no unfinished edges.

To Make The Side Table:

table top – 19 holes by 19 holes squared
8 legs – 3 holes wide by 18 holes tall

Stitching: I simply used a tent stitch and stitched the top of the table and then the eight legs. Once done I stitched all eight legs to my table by joining two leg pieces at each of the table’s corners. After they are attached using a simple whip stitch, just go around and whip stitch all of your unfinished edges. When stitching the pieces together, just envision your standard look side table with a flat top and four legs.

To Make The Accent Rug:

rug piece measures 22 holes by 22 holes squared

Stitching: You can use a tent stitch or a scotch stitch to add texture and interest to the accent rug. Once you decide on the stitch you want to use, work the center first and then finish up by whip stitching around your outer edges. You can leave the edges plain or add a 1/2″ fringe to them, that choice is up to you.

Shelly Hill is a mother and grandmother living in Pennsylvania who enjoys scrapbooking, crafting, and needle crafts. Shelly owns the popular Passionate About Crafting blog at http://passionateaboutcrafting.blogspot.com where you can find free craft project ideas and tips. You can find a photo of this completed project on Shelly’s blog at http://passionateaboutcrafting.blogspot.com/2010/07/free-plastic-canvas-barbie-doll-chair.html

As a grandmother to a precious little girl, I am always thinking up of ways to make new craft items by re-using her outgrown baby socks. As a mother or grandmother, I am sure you know that they outgrow those socks before they even begin to wear them out!

Since I am a ‘green’ grandmother, I have been re-purposing those socks into new items that she can play with. One of the things I came up with is this cute dress that be used with 11 1/2″ fashion dolls. Here is how you can make one too but it does require a little bit of crocheting.

To Make The 1 piece Fashion Doll Dress: You will need one baby sock, in this case, I used a light purple one. These are the classic stretch knit ones. I cut the heal and toe section off so that the tube remaining measures 4 3/4″ long. The top opening of the sock will be the top of the dress, the raw edge (the cut edge) will be the bottom. You will want to fold under 1/8″ of the raw edge so that its hidden inside the dress. Using bedspread weight cotton and a size 4 crochet hook, you will want to do a picot stitch trim around the hemline of the dress working through both layers so that the raw edge will be inside.

Picot Trim: Attach by single crocheting, chain 2, single crochet in second chain from hook, insert hook through both layers about 1/8″ away from your last stitch and single crochet, chain 2, single crochet in second chain from hook, insert hook through both layers about 1/8″ away from your last stitch…go around the entire bottom edge of the dress in this manner and then finish up by slant stitching in your first single crochet, fasten off and weave in your ends.

To Make The 2 Piece Fashion Doll Dress: You will need to use 2 baby knit socks to make this outfit.

To Make The Top: I cut the heal and toe area off of the sock. It now measures 2 3/4: long. The opening will be the top of the shirt and the portion of the sock that you cut off will be the bottom. Using some sewing thread and a needle, fold 1/8″ of the cut edge up and on the inside so that the raw edge is underneath your top. Use 2-4 stitches just to tack it up (these will be removed later).

Using a size 2 crochet hook, poke it through both layers of your raw edge end and attach cotton thread (bedspread weight crochet thread) with a single crochet. Now you want to do the edging which is: chain 2, single crochet in second stitch from your hook, poke your crochet needle through both layers about 1/8″ away from your first single crochet and single crochet in that spot, chain 2, single crochet in second chain from hook, poke your crochet needle through both layers 1/8″ away from your previous single crochet and keep going around the circumference of your sock. Once around, join with a slant stitch in first single crochet, Fasten off and weave in ends. Remove the tack stitches and your top is now done.

To Make The Skirt: The skirt is made just like the top except I used a white sock for this skirt and I also made it 1/2″ longer in the length than what I did for the top.

As you can see, this is a really quick and easy project that will help you to recycle those outgrown baby socks into new items for your little girl to play with. Happy Crafting!

Shelly Hill is a mother and grandmother living in Pennsylvania who enjoys making a variety of crafts. You can visit Shelly’s online craft blog called Passionate About Crafting for free project ideas and craft tips at http://passionateaboutcrafting.blogspot.com You can find a photo of the completed project on her blog at http://passionateaboutcrafting.blogspot.com/2010/06/how-to-make-barbie-doll-dress-from-baby.html

A country western party is all the rage amongst your guests. However, before you get down with that boot scootin’ boogie, you’ll have to get the guests into making their own rain sticks! These are fun, Native American themed crafts that introduce the kids to the other cultures of the western United States.

Rain Stick!

For this country western party craft you’ll need the following items; Paper towel tube or other long cardboard tube, Aluminum foil, Small dried beans, unpopped popcorn, dry rice, or tiny pasta, Brown grocery bag paper, Glue, Scissors, and Crayons or markers.

You’ll begin your country western rainstick by tracing around the end of your paper tube onto a piece of brown paper. Draw a slightly bigger circle around the circle you traced and then draw a lot of spokes connecting the two circles.

Cut out the larger outer circle and then snip the brown paper along the spokes. You’ll make two of these and then glue them onto the ends of your paper tubes. However, for now, only glue one on. Let dry.

Meanwhile, cut a piece of aluminum foil that is about one and half times the length of your tube and about 6 inches wide. This will help create a unique sound for your country western rainstick. Crunch the aluminum foil into two long, thin, snake-like shapes. Twist each of the foil rolls one into a spring shape. Place both of the aluminum foil springs into your tube.

Next, you’ll pour some dry beans, dry rice, or unpopped popcorn into your tube. Only place a good handful of the items into your country western craft item. It only takes a little bit to create lots of sound.

Glue the other brown paper cap on the open end of your rainstick. Let it dry. Wrap your rainstick in brown paper and glue. Let dry. Now you can decorate your rainstick anyway you wish with the crayons and markers.

Whenever you hit a dry spell, your guests can take their country western rainsticks outside and shake them in order to call the rain!

Mrs. Party… Gail Leino takes a common sense approach to planning and organizing events, celebrations and holiday parties with unique ideas for country western party supplies and fun country western party games She explains proper etiquette and living a healthy life while also teaching organizational skills and fun facts. The Party Supplies Hut has lots of party ideas with hundreds of free holiday printable games and free birthday party activities. Over 100 adorable Themes including country western Party Supplies to fit your birthday celebration, holiday event, or “just because” parties. Party themes include cartoon characters, sports, movie, TV shows, luau, western, holidays, and unique crazy fun theme ideas.

Have you noticed the high prices of craft supplies? Me too!

To find cheaper crafting materials, crafters often visit flea markets, garage sales, and consignment stores. These are all wonderful sources for less expensive craft supplies, but there’s one place even cheaper – and everyone has access to it.

The outdoors. Mother Nature has a spectacular array of materials useful for craft projects, and it’s free.

For free craft supplies, try looking in your own yard, open spaces and trails, friends’ yards, city parks, or even next to roadways. Be aware that removing items from some areas, such as national parks, is illegal.

I’ve used several natural items in my craft projects. Here is a short list to help you with ideas:

  • Pine cones
  • Rocks big and small
  • Bark
  • Sticks, twigs and branches
  • Flowers
  • Leaves
  • Sea shells
  • Sand
  • Abandoned bird nests
  • Feathers

 

Natural materials often need some type of treatment to be usable. Pine cones, for example, have sap and bugs and so should be heated in an oven before using in your craft projects.

Flowers and leaves will need to be dried for use in certain projects, like collage or card making. You can press between newspaper and heavy books, or even make your own flower press to accomplish this. Look for instructions online.

Rocks, sea shells, sticks, and bird nests need to be cleaned prior to use. Sand can be sterilized by heating in an oven.

Take a step outside. It’s amazing what you can find in nature to use in your craft projects. And best of all, nature’s craft supplies are free.

For more ideas on how to craft on a budget, read Melody Jones’ “The Craft Lover’s Success Guide: Simple Ways to Nurture Your Creativity and Actually Finish Your Projects” available at http://www.mycraftebooks.com Melody Jones is a freelance writer, blogger, and expert crafter.

 

These craft show ideas focus on things you can do to enhance your customers’ shopping experience with you. One of the main reasons why people like to shop from a handmade business is the unique, customized products and services. Make your crafty business known for your phenomenal customer care and personal touches like these that keep customers coming back for more.

Enhance visitors’ shopping experience with these craft show ideas:

1) Useful product packaging:

When deciding how to package your handmade wares, consider providing interesting, re-usable containers with your business name and contact info on them.

There are all kinds of environmentally friendly boxes, bags, and other containers that your customers can use for other purposes after they get your handmade product home. And they’ll be reminded of your business each time they use them!

Many successful artists put as much creativity into their product packaging as they put into the rest of their craft show ideas.

I package many of my jewelry items in velvet jewelry pouches. My clients often use them as travel jewelry pouches – so they recall my jewelry business (where they got the lovely free pouch) every time they travel.

2) Unexpected gift:

This is one of the most fun craft show ideas. Have an assortment of unusual free goodies right at your checkout station, so you can put one in with each customer’s purchase. It’s a fun little surprise for them to discover when they get home.

Good choices for this include any small treasures from your particular art form, small crystals or polished stones, business-size cards printed with empowering sayings or haiku poetry, etc.

3) Keeping your customers’ kids occupied:

Come up with a few craft show ideas for keeping kids busy (and out of your display) while their parents shop in your booth.

Provide something unusual and entertaining that children can play with safely at your booth, enabling their adults to have the lovely opportunity to shop without interruption. For instance, you might have some enticing containers filled with scraps and odds and ends of your supplies. Or have some type of hands-on creative toy.

In my booth I provide a fascinating-looking “treasure chest” filled with a variety of tumbled gemstones, plus a couple of sturdy plastic cups. I tell older children they have to find the prettiest rock in the treasure chest – which means they usually take a good long time sorting through the entire of the contents of the chest! Then I let them keep the stone they chose as prettiest – which always results in delighted smiles.

Younger children can stay busy for ages filling the plastic cups to the brim with the tumbled stones, and pouring them back out into the chest.

And the grownups focus on browsing through my booth at their leisure, while their young folks are kept quietly occupied!

4) Encourage shoppers to customize their purchases:

People are increasingly interested in customizing the items they buy, to suit their purchases to their own style or needs.

Come up with some craft show ideas that provide a few simple options your customers can choose from – colors, sizes, shapes, materials, etc. For instance, my customers love to “build their own necklace” by selecting their choice of pendant, and the type of cord or chain they prefer to hang it on.

And don’t forget that people love to have items personalized for them! Consider how you might include options for shoppers to have their name, initials, monogram, meaningful personal imagery, etc. inscribed on your items, for an additional fee.

These craft show ideas are easy to tie into nearly any booth theme or handmade product line. Enjoy using them to enhance your customers’ shopping experience!

See more creative craft show ideas, strategies, and clever craft show tips to get the most out of your events.

The fall season brings cool nights and warm days, crunchy leaves, warm autumn colors, and spiced apple cider. It’s a time to enjoy the changing of the season and snuggle into a crafting routine. Start by making a fall flower centerpiece craft project that brings autumn warmth indoors.

This fall craft project is versatile. You can use several different types of silk flowers and colors, making it easy to change your decor on a whim. Consider making several flower balls for different seasons and have lovely color all year long.

For any craft project, follow common sense guidelines. Keep newspaper handy to protect work surfaces, and a roll of paper towels to quickly mop up spills or dry hands. Read package directions first for craft products you are unfamiliar with. Gather all the craft supplies you will need beforehand so you can spend your time doing the fun stuff.

Fall Flower Centerpiece

Craft supplies needed

  • Several bunches silk flowers such as mums (medium to small blooms work best)
  • Styrofoam balls in a size of your choice
  • Glue gun with low heat setting
  • Glue sticks for glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters
  • Bowl, basket, or other container to display flowers

 

Crafting Instructions

  1. First, firmly press a Styrofoam ball on table to create a flattened end. Be careful not to press too hard or you may damage Styrofoam. This makes the ball more stable so it is easier to glue flowers and leaves. It will also make the ball easier to display.
  2. Cut several silk flowers from bunch. Cut as close to each flower as possible without cutting off so much stem that the flower easily falls off. Some flowers will have wire stems, requiring wire cutters to remove. Others can be cut with scissors.
  3. Beginning at top of Styrofoam ball, glue one flower using a glue gun on the low heat setting. Continue gluing flowers around ball, placing them so that no Styrofoam is visible. Leave the flattened end bare.
  4. Remove several leaves from remaining flower stems. Position them on flattened end of ball until satisfied with coverage. Glue leaves to ball using glue gun.
  5. Make several fall flower balls in complementary colors. Display by assembling the balls in a container of some type and placing on a table. Your fall flower centerpiece can be easily rearranged as needed.

 

More ideas for embellishing your fall flower centerpiece

  • Paint Styrofoam balls before gluing flowers and leaves.
  • Instead of gluing leaves to bottom, just glue more flowers.
  • Experiment with different flower patterns.
  • Make each ball using only one color flower.
  • Add ribbon, lace, or strings of small plastic pearls to flower balls.
  • Decorate display container with complementary flowers, ribbon, or lace.
  • Paint display container before adding flower balls.
  • Add designs to container using stencils or decoupage.
  • Glue painted wooden shapes to container.
  • Use different sizes of Styrofoam balls and display together.
  • Change seasons and use spring blooms or Christmas colors on Styrofoam balls.

 

Be creative with this versatile fall flower centerpiece. Make enough flower balls to warm every room in the house.

Copyright 2010 Melody Jones

If you love to make crafts, but can’t seem to find time, find your craft supplies, find your budget, or find your way to crafty fulfillment, read Melody Jones’ “The Craft Lover’s Success Guide: Simple Ways to Nurture Your Creativity and Actually Finish Your Projects” available at http://www.mycraftebooks.com. All customer receive a free bonus ebook “Simple Craft Projects to Get Your Started”.

Not only will you learn key steps for finding time, you’ll also learn how to organize your craft supplies and stay organized even if you are a pack rat, how to craft on a budget, ways to find new craft project ideas and inspiration, and resources and ideas for learning new crafts.

 

When you think of Mardi Gras, you automatically imagine fun, revelry, parties, beads, costumes, and masks. Of all the images, the carnival mask predominates. In fact, Venetian masks are often used to symbolize the festival.

The history of their use at Carnival celebrations is centuries old as Mardi Gras masks were originally worn to conceal a person’s identity and social class during costume parties. Accented with feathers, sequins and ribbons, these decorative masks come in an array of bright, regal colors including green, purple and gold.

During Mardi Gras, every member of your family, including your pets, should have an authentic, uniquely crafted mask.

Making a Mardi Gras mask is simple. The process can be used as a fun, family activity to enjoy with the kids, and it only takes a few inexpensive, items to make one: cardboard, craft foam, large craft stick, faux jewels, feathers, foil wrapping paper or paint, glitter, glue, glue gun, protective cloth or paper, ribbon, scissors, sequins, hole-punch, and scissors or utility knife.

1. Before you begin, place the protective cloth or paper on your table or work station.
2. Allow the glue gun to heat for at least 10 minutes before using it.
3. Choose a design for your mask. You may refer to either a picture or you can use a mask template. Many free templates are available online.
4. Trace or draw the shape of the mask on tracing paper. Transfer the drawing or template onto either the cardboard or lightweight craft foam.
5. To keep the template secure, use the heated glue gun to place a small drop of glue at the top of the backside of the mask. Allow the template to adhere to the cardboard or craft foam.
6. Cut the mask with a pair of scissors or utility knife.
7. Put a drop of glue on the craft stick.
8. Too add color, cover your mask with foil wrapping paper or paint it.
9. Decorate the stick with glitter, ribbon or sequins.
10. Be creative- add feathers, sequins, jewels, and ribbon to decorate the rim of the mask.
11. Allow the decorations to completely dry before wearing your mask.

Learn more about Mardi Gras masks and other industry specific topics by visiting the company website.

Have you ever started to make a craft project and found that you didn’t have the necessary supplies on hand? Here are some art and crafts supplies you can make at home with these easy to follow recipes. Not only will you save money but it will give your children a chance to be even more creative. Kids are so proud of their artistic endeavors when they make their own supplies to use in their craft projects.

Here are some of our favorites to make at home:

Play dough - There are lots of play dough recipes online but ones that don’t require baking are much easier to make and the results are great. Here’s one that fits the bill: Mix 3 cups of flour and 1/3 cup of salt with 2 tablespoons of oil (vegetable or olive oil work well.) Add approximately 7 drops of food coloring to 1 cup of water and mix together. Add the water to the flour/salt/oil mixture slowly – about 1/4 cup at a time. Mix with a spoon. Knead the dough with your hands until it is entirely mixed. For added benefit, add essential oils, like lavender, lemon, and orange and encourage children to smell the fragrant play clays. Store in zip lock bags to keep moist.

Milk Paint - This recipe creates a nice batch of very bright, shiny paint and works well with lots of different craft projects. Mix one cup of condensed milk with a few drops of food coloring. This makes a very bright, glossy colored paint and can be used in a variety of unique craft projects.

Chalk - Mix 1 cup of plaster of Paris with 2 -3 tablespoons of tempera paint. Add ½ cup of water and mix well. Pour into candy or candle molds and let dry for 24 hours. You can also use muffin tins, plastic tubs, food containers, or other empty containers you have on hand.

Crayons - Do you have broken crayons around the house? Don’t throw them out. Instead, teach your children how to make crayons. This also makes a great recycling project. Peel off the paper from the broken crayons and dump the broken crayons into a foil lined muffin tin. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes or until crayons are completely melted into a solid, rainbow block. Let the melted crayons cool and remove from liners.

Finger Paints – All children love to finger paint. Here’s an easy to make finger paint recipe. Mix 2 tablespoons sugar and 1/3 cup of cornstarch together. Slowly add 2 cups of cold water. Cook over low heat until the mixture looks like a gel (this is a step for parents.) Let cool and then stir in ¼ cup of clear liquid soap. Add food coloring for specific colors.

For more DIY craft supply ideas, go to http://www.kraftykid.com/category/free-craft-ideas/art-medium/make-your-own-recipes

Written by Pam Laughlin from http://www.Kraftykid.com

Kraftykid offers children’s 3, 6, 9, and 12 month subscriptions to craft of the month clubs. Fun and educational craft kits delivered directly to the lucky child’s home each month. Fun facts sheets and kid-tested instructions included.

Are you interested in baby food jar crafts? There are many ideas for recycling those baby food jars. This would have to be my all time favourite use of those baby food jars. I have shared this idea with many of my friends and they have also said it was a complete hit with their baby. It is so simple.

  • Simply collect every lid off every jar whether it is a baby food jar or the pasta sauce jar lid.
  • Put them into the dishwasher and sterilize them.
  • Then fill a big plastic jar with those lids. I buy my rice in a large plastic jar and this is perfect for collecting lids.

 

When my baby was less than 7 months old he loved to hold the lids and bang them together. He found out that they rolled and then he began to stack them. They were perfect for his wee hand grip.

At around 7 months he began to put them one at a time back into the plastic jar.

At around 11 months he loved to tip the plastic jar over and try and tip all the lids out and then of course put them back in.

When he was about 14 months he started using the lids to cook with.

Now at 21 months he is still playing with baby food jar lids.

We once borrowed a toy from a friend as Jamie loved playing with it so much at her house. When I asked her if there was a toy Jamie had that she wanted to borrow she said ‘Actually could I have some of your baby food jar lids’.

The most fun toys are usually free and in our house all along.

To learn more about baby food jar craft ideas and many other baby craft ideas try Baby Books Guide the ultimate resource site for parents. It is where you can find books both for your baby and about your baby.

 

MAKE A MASK

Children will love this Mardi Gras project – who does not love masquerading around with a mask, pretending that they are somebody else? Of course, first, they have to make the mask. There are many different ways to go about making a mask – what you choose depends completely on what you and your students or children want to make. To make a mask, you will need cardboard to keep it from bending (a cereal box will work). You can either create a template, or have your students come up with their own mask designs. Draw this onto the cardboard and cut it out (cardboard is difficult to cut through – make sure that you help any children that need it).

Now, you can take crepe paper or tissue paper (in green, purple, and yellow, of course) or construction paper. You can cut it up and glue it to your mask (or Modge Podge it to it) in what ever design you want. You can even make your mask look like a butterfly. Add glitter and feathers and sequins. Make sure that you have 2 holes cut out for the eyes (help with this). Now you just need to tape to the side of the mask a stick (made from a stick, sturdy straws, a wooden spoon, or whatever) so that your students can hold it up. Voila.

Mardi Gras projects and activities – MAKE A KINGS CROWN

Treat your students like royalty, and let them create their own kings crowns. You just need some construction paper, scissors, and tape or a stapler. Have your kids cut a piece of paper lengthwise with jagged pointed edges. Now they can decorate it (with crayons, glitter, sequins, feathers, etc.). Then simply curve the paper around, decorations on the outside, and staple it together. For a more sturdy crown, glue the construction paper to a long and thing piece of cardboard paper right at the base.

Mardi Gras projects and activities – MAKE MARDI GRAS BEADS

Alright, we have saved the best of the Mardi Gras projects and activities for last. Who doesn’t love Mardi Gras beads? First of all, you are going to need to make “clay beads.” Here is an easy recipe.

· 2 cups flour

· 1 cup salt

· 2 Tbsp vegetable oil

· ¾-1 cup water

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Mix the 2 cups of flour with the salt and then add the oil and slowly add the water. Stir this concoction until you have a good clay consistency. Now make the clay into the desired shapes that you want. Do not forget to poke a big hole through your clay beads so that you will be able to string them later – you can use a straw or a toothpick). Cook the beads for about one hour (the time varies depending on how thick your beads are. Do not make them too thick, because then they will crack while baking).

Once your beads have cooled down, paint your beads green, purple, and gold (or yellow). Once they dry, string them up onto some yarn or string. Now was not that an awesomely fun Mardi Gras project?

Anne Clarke writes numerous articles for websites on gardening, parenting, fashion, and home decor. Her background includes teaching and gardening. For more of her articles on arts and crafts, please visit Homeroom Teacher.

Handmade card ideas can start from pretty paper prints, beautiful stickers or even a favorite tool like a craft punch. Making greeting cards can be fun but sometimes frustrating when you are just staring at a blank card.

There are so many tools and embellishments available these days that coming up with card making ideas seem endless. You can create beautiful, handmade birthday, thank you, Valentines, Christmas and get well cards using a plethora of materials.

One popular tool is craft punches. I love using craft punches because my cutting skills aren’t so refined. Since the cut is pretty precise, using craft punches give your card a professional, polished appearance.

One of my favorites is the 1/2″ corner punch. You can round off one, two or all four corners of your card. Rounded corners help soften the look of a card.

  • TIP #1: Cut two or three different sizes of rectangles or squares in different colors that coordinate with your card, each 1/8″ smaller than the other, and round off the corners. Then layer them about 1/8″ apart to give a dimensional effect.
  • TIP #2: To give depth to a card, cut out a rectangle or square shape, round off all four corners using a corner punch and then adhere foam tape on the back. Put your sentiment, sticker or other embellishment onto the rectangle or square shape.
  • TIP #3: You can also use a corner craft punch on your photos. Cut a shape from cardstock, 1/8″ larger than your photo and round off the corners with a corner punch. Round off corners of your photo as well and then place your photo over the larger shape which will create a frame for your photo.

 

A ¼” corner punch is great for making tags as well as rounding off corners from square or rectangle shapes. Apply chalk paint to soften and highlight the edges.
 
Decorative corner punches are pretty and delicate. I like to use it on solid color paper or paper that isn’t so busy because you lose the fine detail of the punch design.

My other favorite craft punch is border punches. As of this article, I only have one design but it has been so versatile, I’ve utilized it on many cards. You can include a punched border on the sides, middle and bottom of your card.

  • TIP #4: Cut strips of paper using different colors that coordinate with your card. Punch out one side of the edge of each strip and layer by overlapping the strips. Circle punches are great for adding a sentiment or featuring an embellishment.
  • TIP #5: Using a graphic software program, create a dotted circle large enough that it fits just inside the circle, close to the edge of the punch. You can also include a sentiment or personalized message. Print it out on light cardstock paper. Center and punch out the dotted circle or sentiment with your circle punch. Punch a tiny hole just close to the top and use it as a tag.

 

If you can find two circle punches, one about 1/8″ smaller circumference than the other, the larger circle creates a nice frame and is just another idea to include in your card making techniques.
 
I think craft punches are a great addition to your card making supplies because they are so versatile and you can reuse it over and over again.

My name is Chloe, a card making enthusiast, and I love to share my ideas with those of you that have the same passion for card making.

Find these tips, examples and instructions of how punches are used at http://card-making-corner.com/handmade-card-ideas.html

 

Most parents have an annual hunt for good Christmas craft ideas, so to help you out, I have listed out my top three favorites.

1. Paper stars. These are really fund to make and also strangely simple. I actually use these for three different purposes. I make them small and colored for the and then use a sewing cotton thread to create a tie to hold them onto the Christmas tree. Then I make quite a few of these in different colors and sizes, and use them to make indoor wreaths. This is really simple to do. Firstly find a metal coat hanger and pull it out into a circular wreath shape. Then you will need to cover the metal. To cover the metal you can use either crepe ribbon or material ribbon; tissue paper is not really strong enough for the job. Then you need to simply arrange all your stars onto your circle and attach them. The best way to attach them is with strong tape at the back. To make the wreath look really good you need to make sure that it is jammed packed with stars, do not leave any spaces. To finish off the wreath simply add a large fabric bow at the top, then bend to coat hanger hook and hang it up. The final use for paper stars is as gift decorations. If you are making the Froebel stars then you can form half of the star and stick the easily to the presents.

2. Snow flakes. These are the easiest and probably the most commonly found of Christmas craft ideas. Some people then to think of these are rather basic. However, that does not need to be the case. By putting multiple snow flakes together in different colors and either overlaying them or interweaving them some truly amazing effects can be created. This is also a great way to get the kids involved as even the youngest children can make basic snow flakes.

3. Marzipan fruits. The only problem with these is not eating them as you make them. As a child I used to make these with my grand father and it is a memory I will always cherish. We divided the marzipan into parts and colored each one separately; red, yellow, green, brown, orange. The brown only needs to be a small amount. Then we would make strawberries, bananas, apples and oranges and each one would have it relevant stalks and stems. To create the texture for the strawberries and oranges we would roll them on a cheese grater.

Personally I find that Christmas can be a fairly stressful time, but the time we spend as a family together discovering new Christmas craft ideas and making old ideas more spectacular than the year before, is time I hope my kids will never forget.

These are the moments which form happy memories and can often last longer than receiving any gift from Father Christmas.

Discover more great Christmas craft ideas and other hints and tips to ensure that you have wonderful and memorable Christmas at http://greatchristmastime.com

So you have decided to promote your business doing craft shows but now you are wondering “how do I make the most out of my precious 10 X 10 area?” The key to this is to attract attention and bring those customers into your booth!

Planning out your booth before hand is a key factor to the successful layout of your booth. Using items found at home is an inexpensive method. Look for unique pieces to incorporate into your display; furniture pieces, shelving, Items with visual interest. Layers and stacking product keep interest high and makes everything easier to see.

Color plays a big factor as well. What decorations are you using? Is it holiday themed? Tie decorations around that. Harvest time? Easter, Valentines, Bridal? All of these have certain colors associated with them. Of course you do not have to go that route. Complete opposite decorations are attractive as well. Shocking pink or bright yellow would definitely set you apart from the crowd. Make sure that you incorporate your products however and pick up color schemes from them.

Interesting fabrics are a great tool to use as well. Be careful of clashing prints though. You do not want any busy displays. If it is hard for people to focus on any one thing and the table ends up looking junky, they will walk away.

The flow of traffic in and out of your booth is important. You don’t want it to seem crowded but you do want to utilize your space completely. You want to be able to have someone come in and talk with you, see your merchandise easily, fill out information sheets. Comfortable and inviting is the ambience that you are striving for.

Your mix of product is equally important as all of the above. You do not have to bring your whole inventory, just a representation of your line or the products geared to the event theme. Taking orders is definitely ok to do at these shows. Don’t feel you have to bring everything. That will be too much work for you and you will be less inclined to want to continue these types of shows. Try bringing a photo album or book with you to display your other items available.

Keeping your event set up simple yet attractive will ensure interest from your potential customers. Being a unique vendor in set up and display will encourage a great shopping experience for them as well. Above all, have fun!

Copyright Chris Carroll All Rights Reserved

Chris Carroll is a sales professional that has made direct sales her business of choice and enjoys sharing with others. Blogger, product reviewer, article writer and ghostwriter round out her profession. Find her at http://www.DirectSalesTalk.com and http://www.TwoClassyChics.com

When you organize a baby shower, decorations are quite important. You want funny stuff which will amuse the mum to be and all the guests, but at the same time will make great gifts for the parents. You can make a lot of fun crafts to decorate the baby shower party and your crafts will be much more than simple decorations. The parents and the baby will be able to actually use all of them.

Instead of buying flower arrangements for the tables, you can make some great roses from baby socks. Just roll them and tie one of the ends to some kind of support, like a wooden stick or a straw and put them in vases. It’s a very amusing arrangement, and the mom to be will be relieved that she doesn’t have to buy a lot of socks for the baby!

Baby towels are another item you can use to make a lot of fun crafts for the baby shower. The main rule is the same as with the baby socks: roll them and then you can make just about anything out of them. You can make a teddy bear or a nice doll, for example. From smaller towels you make the head, legs and hands, and from larger towels you make the actual body. Use satin ribbons to tie the teddy bear together.

The main centerpiece of the baby shower can be something truly special, crafted by your own hands. Whether it’s a classic diaper cake or you try something different, like a basket made from rolled and then tied together towels, your effort will be certainly appreciated. All you have to do is rolling the towels on the long side, and then tie the rolls together with blue or pink ribbon. If you tie harder around the ends, the whole ensemble will curve and will look like a small basket. Keep one of the rolled towels to make a handle for the basket. If you make a baby towel basket, you can put inside a lot of the gifts for the mom-to-be and the baby including powders, lotions, baby bottles, toys and others.

Another super idea of fun craft for baby showers is a baby basinet. To make one, you need a large oval bowl, some baby blankets, and ribbons. Cover the large bowl with baby blankets in a decorative manner and also add some ribbons. Inside the basinet, you can also put some gifts for the mum and the baby like clothes, toys or baby bottles.

You can also create some edible crafts for the baby shower. For example, if you bake a cake for the baby shower, you can decorate it with small baby booties made of marzipan. They are quite easy to model. All you have to do is study a bit a picture of a baby bootie or an actual bootie and in no time, you’ll create your own fun and delicious marzipan baby booties. You can put them on the cake or you can wrap them and give them as favors to the guests.

Jamie Highland enjoys writing about events and parties, like weddings and baby showers. To shop for baby shower gifts or to check out some baby shower games, visit My Baby Shower Favors.