Skip to content

FitsMyBudget

Shopping, Crafts, and Recipes on a Budget

Archive

Tag: crafts

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.

Sawdust Clay

2/3 parts fine sawdust (any kind except redwood)
1/3 part flour
Water
Large bowl or bucket
Wooden spoon
Few people have used this type of clay, but after I tried it, I loved it!  It’s very inexpensive, and the results can be quite impressive.  When dried in the sun, sawdust clay becomes very hard and can be sanded with sandpaper before it’s painted.  Children of all ages can use it, clean up is easy, and one bucket of sawdust will keep you busy a long time.

To mix the clay, use a large bowl or bucket.  Mix 2/3 parts of sawdust and 1/3 part of flour together.  Pour in water and mix until it reaches a stiff but “squishy” consistency.  Add more flour if it is too crumbly.  The clay needs some kneading before the gluten in the flour becomes elastic, holding the sawdust together.  Work it in your hands or on a table top covered with newspapers.  Play with the clay a little until it becomes easy to shape.

This clay has a thick heavy texture, and the best type of projects seem to be “Indian” type pottery pieces.  Take large balls of clay.  Push your thumbs together into the center, shaping the sides as you go for bowls and other containers.  Sawdust clay can also be rolled flat and cut into shapes with cookie cutters.  Poke a hole in each cut-out with a drinking straw.  When dry, string with yarn to make simple wall decorations or Christmas tree ornaments.

This clay air-dries very hard.  It should be placed directly in the sun, if possible.  When dry, you can sand it or not, depending upon what you like.  Use tempera or acrylic paints to decorate the finished objects.  To give your pieces a glossy coating, spray with acrylic clear finish or paint with acrylic floor wax.

From the book Kids Create, Art & Craft Experiences for 3 to 9 Year Olds by Laurie Carlson

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.

Make Maple Nut Lip Gloss-Recipe
1 teaspoon grated cocoa butter
1/4 teaspoon grated beeswax
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon walnut oil
1/4 teaspoon pure maple syrup
1/8 teaspoon vitamin E oil
Combine the cocoa butter, beeswax, and oils, and heat gently until melted.  Remove from the heat source and stir in the maple syrup and vitamin E oil.  Stir well until all the ingredients are combined and let cool completely.  Spoon into a small clean container with a lid.

Yield: 1/2 ounce

From: Natural Beauty for All Seasons by Janice Cox

Hot Process Soap from Scratch

This is a craft project most kids really enjoy. It is the perfect craft idea for Easter and egg painting can be a great yearly tradition for the family. You can use either boiled eggs (which can be eaten afterwards) or, if the children want to keep their artwork or you’re making Easter decorations, you can paint on blown out eggs.

  • If you are going to use blown out eggs rather than hard boiled eggs, this will need to be done by an adult. The first step is to pierce both ends of the egg with a large needle.
  • Use the needle or a utility knife to slightly widen the hole at the narrower end of the egg.
  • Before you can blow out the contents of the egg out you will need to break the yolk. Do this by inserting the needle and swirling it around the inside of the egg.
  • Place a bowl underneath the egg, put your mouth over the hole at the broader end of the egg and blow. You could also insert a narrow straw into the hole and blow through it. The egg should start to run out of the larger hole.
  • Once you have blown out most of the contents, stick the egg under a tap and fill it with water through the larger hole. Drain the water out. Repeat until the water is coming out clear and the entire contents of the egg have been removed.
  • Leave to thoroughly dry out.
  • When the egg is dry, you may want to put a little glue around the edge of the hole to help prevent cracking.
  • Once the egg is prepared, your child can paint it. Decide if you want to keep the background on your painted egg plain or coloured. If you want a coloured background, you can either dye it with food colouring or paint the entire egg with a base coat. Painting a base coat is the more laborious option, but if you are using the more usual brown eggs (rather than white) it can give a much brighter and more colourful finish. Sponge painting works well for the background.
  • Paint on your design. The best paints to use are watercolours or acrylic. You could also use pens rather than paint.
  • If you want, glue on further embellishments such as beads, sequins, ribbon, glitter and googley eyes.

 

Leanne is a contributing writer to several baby and child websites, writing on topics such as the best places to buy moses basket covers.

Bath Jelly Recipe

From: Natural Beauty for All Seasons by Janice Cox

1/2 cup water
I packet unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup bubble bath or liquid soap (If you’re making this for young
Children, use nontoxic, Nontearing formulas)
Food coloring (optional)
Small plastic toy or seashell

Add this ‘jelly” to your bathwater for a really invigorating and cleansing experience. Kids especially love this bubbly treat. Create a “Bathtime Basket” to give to your children: Fill a plastic bucket with tubs Of bath jelly and include different shaped sponges, an animal nailbrush, bath bubbles and fruit-scented soaps. Make a bath puzzle by cutting up a plastic
place mat when wet the shapes will stick to the tile walls of your tub or shower.

Heat the water until just boiling and dissolve the gelatin in it. This may take 1-2 minutes. Add the soap and stir slowly. Do not beat or the soap will become foamy. Pour the mixture into a plastic container with a lid and drop a small plastic toy or seashell inside as a hidden “surprise.” Place in the refrigerator until set (firm like gelatin). To use: Place a small amount of jelly under the running tap or use as skin cleanser the tub or shower.
Yield: 8 ounces

You can help your kids celebrate Mardi Gras by making up easy Mardi Gras Masks. For this you’ll need:

o Construction paper in several colors

o Scissors

o Glitter

o Glue sticks

o Markers or crayons

o Some loose craft feathers

o Straws

o Tape

These will be those half masks that you hold up to your face. First have the kids each pick out a piece of construction paper in the color that they like. Then, help them draw the outline of the half mask that they want and help them cut it out. Don’t forget to put eye holes in the right spots.

Once the kids have the construction paper masks cut out they can start decorating them. They can put drops of glue around the outside of their masks and line them with the fluffy colored feathers. The kids can also spread a thin layer of glue on their masks and sprinkle glitter on them. Let the glue dry and shake off the excess glitter for a sparkly feather mask.

You can create an eyeliner effect on the masks by carefully outlining the eyeholes with the marker. You can also draw in whiskers, freckles or any other design that you like on the masks.

To attach your half masks to their holders simply tape one end of a straw to one side of the half mask. If you want you can decorate the straw too by covering it in a thin layer of glue and rolling it in the glitter before you tape it to the mask.

You can also get more involved in the making of your Mardi Gras masks by getting some plastic beads and sewing them to the masks in elaborate designs. Try stringing up a row of beads and tacking them to the outside rims of the masks like a garland.

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.

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.

Make Hair Conditioning Clay – Recipe
 

1/4 cup jojoba oil
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons white clay (kaolin or China clay)
1/2 cup water
Heat together the jojoba and coconut oils until the coconut oil has melted.  This doesn’t take long, perhaps 1 to 2 minutes.  Combine the melted oils with the clay and water, and stir well, then pour into a clean container and label.

To use: Wet hair and pour a small amount into your palm (approximately 1 tablespoon).  Massage thoroughly into your hair and scalp.  Wrap your head with plastic and cover with a towel turban style.  Let the conditioner sit on your hair for 10-15 minutes, then shampoo as usual.  You may have to shampoo twice to remove the conditioner.  If the mixture separates between uses, simply run hot water over the closed container to remelt the coconut oil and shake gently to mix.

From: Natural Beauty for All Seasons by Janice Cox

Milk Bath Recipe

1 cup powdered milk
1/2 cup Epsom salts
1 tbsp baking soda
1 tsp cornstarch
A few drops of your favorite EO (Essential Oil)

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and then package.

Shelf life: 2-3 months (But longer if frozen, you might want to add the EO to it when you take it out of the freezer for use).
From “The Natural Beauty and Bath Book” by Casey Kellar

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.

Kathy Miller’s Homemade Soap Pages

Make Egg Nog Lotion-Recipe
 

Can be used for both face and body application.
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
1 tablespoon rum
1/4 cup light oil (canola, almond, and walnut work well)

In a blender, mix together the egg yolks, cream, and rum until well blended.  With the blender running, slowly add the oil in a think stream until well combined.  Pour the creamy lotion into a clean container and store in the refrigerator.

Yield: 8 ounces

From: Natural Beauty for All Seasons by Janice Cox

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?

Thummies Fingerprint Pictures

Ink Pad or Tempera Pain
Paper
Fine point felt tip marking pen
Thummies are so easy to do, and you can continually come up with more ideas for them.  Once you start, it’s hard to stop!

If using an ink pad, simply press your thumb into the inked pad, and then press it onto paper.  Add details and background to the print to create an animal, person or whatever strikes your fancy.  If you are using tempera paint, pour a small amount into a jar lid or onto a styrofoam plate.  You may need to gently wipe some off your fingertip before printing.

Thummies make great decorations for greeting cards, stationary and gift tags.  They are a great way to illustrate a story or an experience.  Thummies enjoy each other’s company, and the more of them you put into a picture, the more fun it becomes.

From the book Kids Create, Art & Craft Experiences for 3 to 9 Year Olds by Laurie Carlson

Crafts help kids to grow, developing their imagination along the way. It is important that you design successful arts and crafts projects which keep your children interested from start to finish.

How to Measure the Success of a Project:

  1. Are your kids having fun? (If your kids are not having fun or becoming bored very easily, then you may need to look for another project that might keep them interested.)
  2. Are your kids learning something new? (What better way to develop a growing mind than to make something they have never created before).
  3. Are your kids able to complete the art project with minimal assistance? (This does not apply to young toddlers. Your arts and crafts projects should be designed with the child’s age in mind.)
  4. Are your projects bringing your family closer together? (One of the reasons why we like to create arts and crafts projects with our kids is to bring us closer together. If your child seems to be inattentive or frustrated, it is better to take a mini break and come back to the project at a later time. Inattentiveness and frustration will not bring us closer together.)
  5. Are your kids successfully using their imaginations to bring uniqueness to the project? (Allowing your child to develop their own talents will keep them happier and make your job much easier. Example- Allowing your children to use their own colors and designs in the project.)

There are many options when it comes to coloring your homemade soap. Artificial colorants are often more vibrant than natural colorants, but many people like the idea of using all-natural ingredients in their soap.

There are also safety concerns with some artificial colorants, and they can have some unanticipated effects on the final soap product. If you decide to use natural colorants for your soap, there are endless possibilities to choose from, and you can give your soap almost any hue you desire.

Many of the natural materials you can use to color soap can be found in your kitchen, or local supermarket, and many are already used to color food and drug products.

These dyes can easily be extracted from fruits, vegetables, spices and even your morning coffee.

For example, beets will yield a dye that is bright purple, and depending on how much you use, will turn your soap pale pink to a deep red. To make the dye, cut the beets into half-inch slices, and boil three cups of beet slices in two cups of water.

Red onions will produce a red dye that will turn your soap reddish-brown; to make the dye you’ll use only the skin, so the onions can be used for cooking later.

Remove the outermost dry layers of skin, and the first moist layer; boil two cups of skins in three cups of water.

Red cabbage, oddly enough, produces an inky blue dye, which can be used to color soap pastel to deep blue.

Shred one head of cabbage, and boil it in two cups of water until the cabbage itself is a pale blue.

If the dye you get using these methods isn’t concentrated enough for your tastes, simply boil the mixture longer to evaporate more water.

Be sure to strain the liquid through cheesecloth before use, to ensure that any vegetable matter is removed.

Typically, you will add your homemade dye at trace, or when hand-milling a batch of cold-process soap.

You can use spices to dye soap as well, but the dye needs to be oil-based, instead of water-based.

Making an oil-based dye from spices involves three simple steps. First, mix two teaspoons of the spice with two tablespoons of oil. Let the spice soak in the oil for a while.

Next, heat the oil and spice mixture in the microwave for one to two minutes. Finally, strain the mixture through cheesecloth, or a coffee filter, to remove the spice particles, and you’ll be left with an oil-based dye that retained the color of the spice you used. Here is a list of some common food-based, homemade dyes, and the colors they will yield in your soap. (Always test dyes before use, to avoid unwanted results in final soap product.)

oAlfalfa – medium green
oAlkanet – deep purple to muted blue
oBeet root – muted pink to red
oGround calendula petals – yellow
oCarrots – yellow to orange
oGround chamomile – yellow-beige
oChlorophyll – medium green
oCinnamon – tan to brown (can be an irritant)
oCloves – brown
oCochineal powder – deep red
oCocoa powder – brown
oCoffee – brown to black
oComfrey root – light milky brown
oCucumber – bright green
oCurry powder – yellow
oElderberries – light brown (steep in lye solution)
oHenna, ground – olive green, drab green, greenish-brown
oIndigo root – deep blues (can stain)
oJojoba beads – come in many colors, and are exfoliating
oKaolin Clay – white
oKelp/seaweed – green
oMadder root – rosy red to purple
oMilk (goat’s or cow’s) – tan to brown, depending upon sugar & fat content
oMoroccan Red Clay – brick red
oPaprika – light peach to salmon (can be an irritant)
oPoppy Seeds – blue-grey to black specks
oPumice, ground – grey (also exfoliating)
oPumpkin, pureed – deep orange
oRattanjot – lavender to purple
oRose Pink Clay – brick red
oRosehips, ground – tan to deep brown
oSafflower Petals – yellow to deep orange
oSaffron – yellow
oSage – green
oSpinach – light green
oSpirulina – blue-green
oTitanium Dioxide – bright white
oTurmeric – gold to amber

My Soap Making Made Easy Book gives you more information on soap colorants, fragrances and essential oils plus many recipes and ingredients you can use in making your soaps.

Michelle Gaboya has been a Soap Enthusiast for over 10 years, she has created Soap Making Advice giving free information about soap making colorants with guides, ingredients and recipes to use to get started. For More information visit: http://www.soapmakingadvice.com/ and get your FREE Soap Making Mini course Today.

Schoolhouse Photo Frame

1. Paint two craft sticks with black paint and three craft sticks with red paint.  Glue a piece of rickrack or ribbon along the length of another craft stick. 

2.  Overlap and glue together the craft sticks into a house shape. (The 2 black sticks are for the roof and the 3 red sticks are for the sides and bottom portion of the roof.)  The craft stick with the fabric should be on the bottom to form the base of the house.

3.  Cut a bell from yellow paper.  Use a marker to add details to the bell.  To hang the bell, tie a piece of thread to the point of the roof. Tape the other end of the thread to the bell.

4.  Cut a piece of paper to fit behind the schoolhouse.  Glue it in place.  Glue your photo onto the paper.

From Highlights, September 2002: by Linda Bloomgren

Make Your Own Jigsaw Puzzles

Poster or magazine picture
Rubber cement
Lightweight cardboard (notebook covers, tagboard, shirt cardboard)
Scissors
Clear adhesive paper if desired (like Contact brand)
Trim the cardboard so it is the same size as the picture.  Spread the back of the picture with rubber cement, and glue to the cardboard.  Dry.  Turn the cardboard over and use a pencil to draw curving lines from one edge of the cardboard to the other.  Draw more curving shapes within the larger ones.  Don’t make the areas too small, or cutting them out will be difficult.  When you have divided the area into interesting shapes, cut along the lines to create the puzzle pieces.  Store pieces in an envelope.  If you want to make the puzzle more durable, cover the picture with a piece of clear adhesive paper before cutting.

If you make several puzzles, you may want to label them so they don’t get mixed up.  Label the pieces that go with each puzzle by marking all pieces to the same puzzle by marking all pieces to the same puzzle with a similar mark such as a colored “x” on the back of one puzzle’s pieces, an “s” on all pieces to another puzzle.

From the book Kids Create, Art & Craft Experiences for 3 to 9 Year Olds by Laurie Carlson

Making your own soap at home isn’t just for your grandmother anymore. For quite a while, this hobby has been increasingly fashionable among young and artistic people. Because the creative freedom that making soap offers is a great outlet, the soap is chemical-free, and it costs less than buying — once you’ve done the initial investments — knowing how to make bar soap has far-reaching benefits.

If you haven’t read anything about this before, you might be apprehensive of such a complicated process. So I’m glad to tell you that making soap at home is much easier than one would expect. The basic process consists of mixing lye (also known as sodium hydroxide), a naturally-occurring chemical, with fatty oils or fats. These can be anything from animal fat to olive oil or coconut oil.

The choices vary widely, and this allows you to make your own recipes which suits your own needs. For example, by adding more of certain types of oils such as coconut oil, you get more lather in the soap, if that’s what you prefer. Shea, cocoa butter and hemp oil are known for their moisturizing properties.

That’s one thing I love about making soap – you can choose and combine your own recipes and experiment with the results. When you’re just starting to learn how to make bar soap, keep in mind though that you should keep the ratios of the components the same.

When beginning, you just need to buy the tools and components you don’t already have, and you can begin practicing. Keep in mind that lye is a dangerous chemical and can damage your skin, so when handling it you should be wearing full sleeves, gloves and plastic goggles. Learning to safely work with lye is the hardest part of learning to make bar soap. If you feel confident doing that, then the rest is quite easy!

This is the kind of information that I started out learning how to make bar soap with in the beginning. However, I didn’t feel confident enough to try to create my first batch for a long time, until I found an instructional video that goes through every detail in the process of making soap. Click here: Easy Soap Making.

- Bradley Edwards

Soap-making is a delicate process, but the ingredients used to make soap are fairly simple: oils, lye, water, fragrances, colorants, and other, optional additives. The fats and oils used in soap can be derived from either animal or vegetable fat. Typically, soaps made from vegetable oils are softer than those made with animal fat. The most useful oils for soap-making are fixed oils – oils that can be raised to a high temperature without evaporating. Fixed oils include a variety of base oils, such as olive, palm and coconut oils.

There are two types of fats used for soap-making: saturated fats and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats make a hard soap.

They commonly come in a solid form and must be melted prior to use; cocoa and shea butters are good examples of saturated fats. Unsaturated fats, like some vegetable oils, come in a liquid form, and are commonly used to make liquid soap. To use these fats to make bar soap, they must be mixed with saturated fat; the more saturated fat you use, the harder the bar will be.

Historically, lye (also called sodium hydroxide, potash, or caustic soda) was hand-extracted from wood ashes. It is now commonly found in many hardware and grocery stores. It is the ingredient that hydrolyzes the oils or fats, and turns them into soap.

The minerals and other additives in tap water make it less than ideal for soap-making. Therefore, it is best to use distilled, bottled, or spring water. There are two types of scent oils: essential oils and fragrance oils. Fragrance oils are man-made and contain alcohol, so they are typically avoided; the alcohol and other chemicals in the oil may be drying or irritating to the skin, and cause unforeseen problems with the saponification process, or ruin the soap mixture altogether.

Essential oils are more costly, and sometimes more difficult to find; however, a smaller amount is required (usually only a drop or two) and they retain their scent better because they are undiluted. Research oils thoroughly before use; some can be irritating to skin, or even toxic. Also, different amounts are required for different oils, because some will overpower others if the same amount is used for all.

Avoid potpourri, candle scent oils and other strong, commercially-made fragrances, as they often contain harsh chemicals that can be irritating to the skin as well. Whole or crushed herbs can also be used, but they will not give their full benefits in a first batch of soap; if you use herbs, the best thing to do is to rebatch the soap later, to extract the full benefit from the herbs.

Colorants can be purchased at a soap-making supply store.

There are also various other natural ingredients that you can use to color soap, such as powdered clay, cocoa powder, tea, paprika, saffron, or ratanjot. Avoid using fabric dyes, hair dyes, candle colorants, or paints to color your soap; even if they are labeled as “non-toxic,” they are not safe to have in contact with skin for prolonged periods, and they may dye your skin.

Some sources say that crayons can be added to soap for coloration, as long as they are made of stearic acid (most crayons made now are), but there is some debate on this topic; it is probably best to err on the side of caution, and avoid using them.

Depending on the oils used in the recipe, the resultant soap can be prone to spoilage.

Various preservatives can be utilized, such as vitamins E, C, and A, which are also great for your skin. These vitamins can be found in various oils. Sand or pumice can be added to the soap, to make it exfoliating. Also, some metals, such as titanium, silver, nickel, or aluminum can be added for antibacterial properties, and to make the soap bright white.

Michelle Gaboya has been a Soap Enthusiast for over 10 years, she has created Soap Making Advice giving free information about soap making ingredients with guides, ingredients and recipes to use to get started. For More information visit: http://www.soapmakingadvice.com/ and get your FREE Soap Making Mini course Today

This holiday is important to people everywhere because it celebrates the achievements of the American workers. So this holiday is celebrated everywhere in America. Lots of people decorate their homes for Labor Day. If you have kids you can get them involved in decorating by having them make decorations with crafts.

You can shake up your Labor Day with this fun craft. You will need two paper plates, scissors, zip lock bag, glitter, patriotic confetti, silver and red ribbon, dried beans or rice, stapler and markers. The first step is to cut out the center of one plate. Put glitter, silver ribbons and confetti into the zip lock bag. Make sure it is securely shut. You want to center the zip lock bag over the hole that you cut out of the paper plate. Staple it in place. You want to make sure it is secure so you need to put the staples close together around the circle. This is to make sure that nothing gets out of the bag. Now you need to put beans or rice in the center of the other plate. Put the plate that has the bag attached to it over the top of the other one so that there is a space in between that the rice or beans can move around, than staple it shut. It is important that you put the staples close together to keep everything in. Then you can add your own decorations with markers and red ribbon.

Another fun craft is a Patriotic Paper Chain. The supplies you will need are red, white and blue construction paper, stapler, tape, and misc. craft supplies to decorate with. The first step is to cut the all three colors of construction paper into 2 inch wide strips. Make a loop and then staple it together or tape it. Then put the next color paper through the first and make a loop. Then close it with tape or stapler. Repeat this until all of the paper is gone but be sure that you use alternating colors for your chain. Then decorate with stickers, glitter or makers. These two crafts will be a big hit with any kid on Labor Day.

Mrs. Party… Gail Leino takes a common sense approach to planning and organizing events, celebrations and holiday parties with unique ideas for Labor Day party supplies and fun Labor Day 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 Labor Day 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.

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

The first evidence of soap making dates from the ancient world, around 2800 B. C. Archaeologists found clay cylinders left by the Mesopotamian civilization that had been coated with a soap-like substance inside. Once the archeologists deciphered the inscriptions on the cylinders, they were surprised to find a description of fats being boiled with ashes–the basic method of making soap. Intriguingly, these early cylinders didn’t describe what this soap-like substance was used for, and so archeologists are left to guess.

As in Mesopotamia, so too did archaeologists find Pharaonic artifacts that attest to ways to make soap. A medical text written on papyrus, the Ebers Papyrus dating to 1500, outlines a method to combine animal and vegetable fats with alkaline salts. The resulting soap-like material could be used for bathing, or as a topical treatment for skin diseases. Biblical evidences suggest that a third ancient civilization, the Israelites, knew how to mix ashes and vegetable oils to produce something a great deal like hair gel. By the second century A.D., Alexandria’s famous physician, Galens, recommended that his patients use soap as a topical ointment, as well as to keep clean.

The Mediterranean civilizations–Greece and Rome–preferred to wash without soap, but they learned about soap form the people they colonized. Pompeii’s ruins included a soap factory, complete with a batch of soap. Both Greeks and Romans cleaned their bodies by rubbing them with oil, and then scraping the oil off with metal instruments or pumice stones. Ancient Germans and the Gauls made their own soap out from ashes mixed with animal fat, and they used it to decorate their hair.

Europeans started to use soap to clean their bodies in the Renaissance, and once soap came to be widely used for personal cleanliness, its chemical formula didn’t change much. The soap made by the American colonists (that you can watch made at any open-air museum) is much the same soap that has been made since the Renaissance. The person making soap would collect lye by dripping water through wood ashes, and then mix the resulting lye with animal or vegetable fat to make soap.

For more on homemade organic soap making as well as candle making and other do-it-yourself crafts visit the soap making resources center at Pure and Natural Soaps where you’ll find articles, recipes, instructions, ideas and tips.

To discuss these and other craft projects visit the Soap Making Message Board – a community forum for soap and candle making as well as other crafts and do-it-yourself projects. Discuss techniques, share ideas, learn new methods, post your favorite recipes and meet new friends.

Most kids love crafts because they are fun and artistic. Many crafts are also educational and can be used to teach children of all ages about numbers, letters, animals, shapes, themes, science, and even stories about history or legends. The great thing about crafts is any kid can participate, and their finished product doesn’t have to be “perfect.”

Crafts are available for all ages and learning levels. There are fun activities for daycare and preschool kids, families, and even grandparents to enjoy with their grandchildren. There are also educational crafts for every season so there’s never a boring moment year round!

For younger kids, there are crafts using paper, crayons, soaps, putty, play dough, stickers, photos, toys, etc. For children ages 7-9, crafts are often a little more challenging and may involve watercolors or finger paints, beads, photo albums, scrapbooks, tie-dye materials, book covers, lunch boxes, dolls, and many other items. For older girls, there are some excellent quilting books for kids with a variety of patterns and colors. Older boys enjoy sports-related crafts or even scientific experiments!

Educate with Play Dough Crafts for Kids

Whether you’re a parent wanting to spend quality time with your child, or a daycare or preschool teacher, play dough provides a fun, clean activity to create animals, numbers, and even words. With play dough, kids can use their imagination (and their hands) to mold all sorts of shapes. Challenge them to mold certain characters or animals they see in a book. Or, get several kids together with play dough to create an entire village. Obtain a book of play dough recipes to help the kids sculpt their favorite animal or character. You can find play dough recipes for flowers such as daffodils and roses, snowmen, pigs, snails, cats, turtles, faces, fruit, butterflies, frogs, buildings, furniture, foods, and many other examples.

Puppet Shows

For older children, teach them to create their own puppets and put on a puppet show. The show doesn’t have to be elaborate… but it should definitely be fun for the kids! Choose a theme or story for the play from a book or play script, and provide photos or drawings of the characters so the kids can get an idea of how to create their puppets. Provide materials and instructions for creating puppets. Help with those parts that are difficult, but allow the children to use their creativity.

Use Crafts to Teach Gardening Techniques

Kids enjoy watching things grow, especially plants or foods they planted on their own. There are many educational crafts for kids centered on gardening. You can teach them to make their own flowerpots or garden bins. Have them decorate planters using their own method and materials, and then plant flowers, fruit, or vegetables. You can even make funny cup characters from foam cups by planting grass as the hair! Just draw a funny face on the cup, add rich soil, sprinkle some grass seeds on top, and add a little water every couple of days.

Cooking Crafts

Baking is another fun activity to go along with crafts. Have your kids make their own cookie jars and then bake some cookies to place in the jars. Or, bake a cake and teach them to decorate it with frosting, sprinkles, and other cake ornaments. Buy various shapes of pans and cutters for making cupcakes, cookies, and bread. Also, make creative popcorn treats for a movie night.

Other Educational Craft Themes

Some other themes that are both fun and educational include holiday crafts, toilet roll crafts, bible crafts, egg crate creations, sewing or quilting, beading, face painting, and flip flop crafts. Whatever theme you want to try, be sure to find an age-appropriate book with craft ideas. Craft books can show you how to create crafts for kids from start to finish and which materials and supplies are needed. For young quilters, quilting books offer detailed instructions on their level.

Crafts for kids give you a wonderful opportunity to teach your children about all aspects of life. Check out the many craft resources online today for more fantastic ideas!

Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies on the web.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Chris_Robertson

 

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

Soapmaking beginners often wonder how to make glycerin soap, but for a beginner, trying to make glycerin soap from scratch can be a tricky business. Many soapers get round this by using a glycerin soap base, which can either be bought from soap making suppliers. Glycerin is produced during the saponification process in soap making, giving the soap its conditioning feeling. Most commercial soaps have had the glycerin removed, which is then used separately for other products.

It is of course possible to make clear (glycerin) soap from scratch, and more experienced soapers enjoy the challenge of learning how to make glycerin soap. The method of making glyerin soap begins with the same techniques as cold process soap making, using a lye and water mixture, with fats and oils. To make glycerin soap, the addition of alcohol and sugar is required. The alcohol needs to have a very high proof, so while some soap crafters use rubbing oil, many prefer the drinking type, namely vodka, as it usually has a higher alcohol concentration.

When reading instructions on how to make glycerin soap, less knowledgeable soapmakers might find it slightly confusing. This is because the glycerin soap does not have to come from the cold process, but can actually be made using soap scraps or shavings. For those who already make their own soap, previous recipe attempts may have gone wrong or the right balance of ingredients hadn’t been achieved, and so these soaps can be melted and used to make glycerin soap. This basically cuts out the first stage of the soap making process, and jumps straight into the more difficult task of mixing the melted substance with the alcohol, glycerin and sugar solution.

Another way of using glycerin soap is the melt and pour method, where a pure glycerin soap base is used to create all kinds of interesting shapes and sizes. Even children can have fun with this method, under supervision, learning how to make glycerin soap products for craft projects or gifts for family or friends. For those who enjoy handcrafting, finding out how to make glycerin soap together with their other soap making skills, can help them produce attractive soap bars, for instance a stained glass or frosted glass effect.

Starting with a glycerin soap base can also be an easy way of creating sweet smelling aromatherapy soap bars. By experimenting with different essential oils and fragrance oils, soapers can learn how to make glycerin soap into a beautiful, natural alternative to store-bought soaps.

Marie Ackland – Soap making was originally a hobby of mine that gave me great pleasure, theres something quite satisfying about creating from scratch a beautifully scented bar of soap.

It then turned into a full time passion, creating wonderful soap for family and friends to enjoy. When a friend surgested I take some along to a local craft fair, which I did and from that day on I never looked back. I now have a great soap business which makes a healthy profit and gives me great satisfaction.

So now 20 years on from my first batch I love to teach the art of soap making. It can be frustrating at first but if you learn the fundamentals and put into practice my methods you WILL have great soap every time.

Learn To Make The Most Amazing Soap Today – Step By Step Guide

Now that the weekend is here, the kids need something to do.  So, why not create your own weekend camp for your kids?  The best part of camp is doing great craft projects that get the imagination going.  Therefore, step number one in starting your own weekend camp is to set up projects that they can do on their own or with just a little bit of supervision from you.  Here are some crafty projects that you can set up quickly and easily.

One project is to fill empty bottles with coloured sand.  All you need is an empty bottle (with lid), sand (from either the beach or the store), coloured chalk, wax paper and a funnel.  Start by putting a small bit of sand on the wax paper.  Then roll the chalk in the sand until the sand changes colour.  Next, use the funnel to fill the bottle with the coloured sand.  Finally, repeat these steps using different coloured chalk until the bottle is completely filled.  Put the lid on the bottle.  If you like, you can create a label for the bottle putting the year or the name of the beach the sand came from.

Another project is to make your own pinwheels.  Start by cutting out 4 squares from construction paper.  On each square, cut a line from each corner to almost the middle of the square.  Then take one corner and fold it over to the center.  Glue the corner to the center.  Repeat this process of folding each corner to the center and gluing it in place.  Hold the paper together until the glue has dried.  Then use a stick pin to attach the center of the pinwheel to the eraser part of a pencil.  Give the pinwheel a gentle tug to see if it will spin easily.  Once you are happy with the way the pinwheel spins, then use stickers or glitter glue to decorate the pinwheel.  Finally, take it outside and let the wind spin the pinwheel around and around.

A third project kids can make is to decorate their very own hat.  This way they’ll want to wear their hat more and that will help protect them from the sun.  Buy a variety of craft jewels and fabric paint and let your child decorate the hat anyway that they want.  Tip:  If you buy jewels, you can attach them to the hat with permanent fabric glue.  Don’t use white craft glue or a hot glue gun, as this will not stick to the fabric.  

A fourth project you can do is to have the kids make their own clay beads for necklaces and bracelets.  Simply take some no-bake modeling clay (choose a variety of colours) and take a few pinches from two colours or more.  Roll the clay together until it forms a small ball – either round or oval.  If you are using more than one colour, you’ll end up with a marble effect with all the colours mixed together.  Once you have rolled the clay into a small ball, then stick the ball on a wooden skewer.  Remember to keep the balls from touching one another and let the clay balls dry for 3-4 hours.  Once they are dry, take them off the skewers and they’re ready to make them into necklaces and bracelets.

Another project idea for kids is to create their own pet rocks or pet seashells.  Start by gathering some rocks and seashells from the beach.  Then put some newspaper on the table and put out a variety of supplies like paint, rolly eyes, miniature doll clothes, beads or anything else you want.  Then let your kids go wild and create their own pets by gluing them together, painting them and gluing on eyes or whatever else they want.  They’re cute and a great way to keep the kids busy.

Looking for some more projects for your kids to do? Then check out Beautiful Creations at http://www.beautifulcreations.ca/ProjectIdeas/FreeProjectsForChildren.htm for great crafty ideas for kids that will get their imagination going. Still, looking for more ways to inspire your kids to be crafty and creative? Then visit http://www.beautifulcreations.ca/Crafts/CraftKits.htm to see tons of crafty kits just for kids!