Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Three Years Old Is Just Around The Bend

This December my boys are turning three! I can hardly believe it. It seems that every three months or so we still go through pretty major changes and advancements. Three seems so mature. I can actually ask their opinion on things. It was this that led me to choosing a pirate theme for their birthday. Since their birthday falls smack dab in the middle of the holidays I throw a big adult and kid party in honor of the holidays, the birthday and the close of the year. I make sure that all tastes are covered in food and booze, create lots of seating and conversation areas and a big project for the kids. Last year it was gingerbread houses (big success) and this year it is pirate themed.

Here is the plan……

  • The house will be transformed into a pirate ship with lots of skeletons, skulls, pirate flags, gold coins and sails.
  • Pirate costumes are optional for guests, but mandatory for us (more on that later).
  • The food table will be set up like a ship with a big sail.
  • There will be a “Dig for Treasure” for the little kids comprised of rice and small favors wrapped in gold.
  • The big craft for kids or adventurous adults will be a “Make Your Own Pirate Bandanna” craft.
  • There will be themed cocktails like “Sharks Blood Martinis.”
  • The birthday cake (made by me, the mom) will be a pirate ship.

So today, the challenge begins. I have collected supplies and now I must start creating those pirate costumes and crazy decorations. More to come. Super excited crafty mom here!

PostHeaderIcon Craft Time: Finger Puppet Theater

IMG 2189 300x225 Craft Time: Finger Puppet TheaterI will hearken back to my previous posting to remind you that I love to upcycle. Before I recycle or trash anything I try to assess whether or not it can have another life. This has made my studio look a bit like a hoarder’s haven, but it make my artwork interesting. Since we consume a lot of oatmeal in this house, I am always looking for ways to re-fashion the tall containers. I have previously used them as bases for centerpieces, and I once recommended it to a friend for the foundation of a marching band hat. This time: a finger puppet theater.

We have been using silly voices to amuse our kids with finger puppets and other toys from day one. I keep the finger puppets tucked away (choking hazard) and throw them in my bag for road trips. They are great for front seat to back seat amusement (especially pre-dvd player). The obvious idea was a finger puppet theater. It’s fun to make a distracts the little ones from Mommy’s hand, bringing the focus to the puppet show. Now, this idea can be implemented in so many different ways. I have thought of many others since I started. I present to you the first iteration of the Baby Squared Finger Puppet Theater, what I learned and some strong suggestions.

1. Finish large tub of oatmeal and remove the paper label. I forgot about this in a Mommy brain fart moment, but things still worked out. The second iteration is in progress and the label removal was easy.
2. Spray paint or paint the canister in a solid color, preferably dark. If little hands are helping then any non-toxic paint and a sponge brush would be ideal. Cardboard is receptive to all paint. I also painted the inside so that it would blend, but this is not necessary.
3. Mark two holes. The first hole is mid canister on the front. I recommend drawing a template, gluing it on and then cutting. I used the eyeball method, as I often do, and it brought reasonable results but could have been nicer. The second hole is at the bottom rear. This is where you will insert your hand. I started cutting from the bottom of the container and up. I thought perfection was not important here, but you really can see it if the hole comes up high. So, again, I recommend the template. Use a craft knife or utility knife and keep little ones away for this step.
4. Finish your edges with colored duct tape. This is optional, but I love a nice clean edge, especially when I was sloppy with the knife. Duct tape comes in so many colors so I was able to blend with my paint.
5. Decorate your “stage” however your heart desires. This is the really fun part for your older kids. I created a curtain with craft paper, but you can use fabric scraps, glitter, paint or other upcycled goodies to make your “stage” fun.
6. Play!

Note: If you want to wear your puppet theater you can attach material or an old sock at the opening and slip your hand through there versus a hole at the back. I haven’t tried this, but I think that with very little finessing it would work. An old glove can be turned into finger puppets and also be attached right to the theater. Be creative and have fun.

20111020 162821 Craft Time: Finger Puppet Theater

20111020 162842 Craft Time: Finger Puppet Theater