Tuesday, April 27, 2010

An Eggcellent Snake Project

I finally got tired of seeing the basket of plastic Easter eggs sitting in the living room floor and decided we needed to do something with them or throw them away.  I was looking at them (thinking about tossing them in the trash) and noticed that each half of each egg had holes in the ends.  I assume these holes are there in case one gets stuck in your childs mouth.  So anyway, I grabbed some line and gave it to Russ to string the eggs onto. 

I was amazed at how much thought he put into stringing them together and how carefully he worked.  I wanted to help, but he enjoyed it too much and wouldn't let me!  So, as he was stringing the eggs, they started looking like a long, winding snake.  Our playtime had developed a into a snake project. 

Russ continued stringing the eggs until he had one left.  The very last egg was turned backwards to give it a "finished" look and the line was tied in a knot.

Then, since we decided it was a snake, I painted a face on it and glued on a piece of ribbon to make a mouth.  Our pointless project turned into a cute little toy.  My 8 month old daughter especially likes playing with it!!  And best of all, I didn't have to throw the eggs away.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Earth Day

I was at my dad's last week, and he had the cutest little simple tool I'd ever seen.  You use it to turn strips of newspaper into little pots for starting seeds.  They are great little pots because once the seeds sprout, you can plant the entire newspaper pot into the ground.  

I wanted to make this little tool for myself, but that would require using the lathe, and well, I need all my fingers.  I came home and sat down next to the recycling bin and figured out how I could make the pots using stuff we had thrown out.  I finally got it to work and so, to celebrate Earth Day, we decided to make some of these newspaper pots and planted some wildflower seeds in them.

The only "tools" I used were a water bottle that we cut both ends off of and a laundry detergent cap.

To start, take your newspaper (after you've finished reading it) and cut strips all the way across that are about 6 inches tall and are the length of the paper.  

Take one strip and wrap it around the water bottle.  Let about 2 to 3 inches of the paper hang over the end of the bottle (the overhang will form the bottom of the pot).  The overhang should be over the cut end of the bottle.  You keep wrapping around and around until you reach the end of the paper.

Once the newspaper is around the bottle, push the overhanging paper up inside the cut-out hole in the bottle.  I used the laundry detergent lid to get it pushed all the way up in there.

Next, carefully pull the newspaper off the bottle.  Reach inside and twist the paper that was pushed inside.  It helps if you set the pot on the table while twisting the inside paper.  This will form a nice, solid bottom.

Now you can fill you pot with dirt and plant your seeds.  I placed all my pots in a tray that we got when we bought flowers.  If you don't have one, you can put them on a cookie sheet.  Put the tray in a nice sunny area, water daily, and when they sprout, you can plant the entire newspaper pot and all straight into the ground!
Happy Earth Day!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Crayon Iron-Ons

I know, I've already done crayons (probably will do them again).  But, they have soo many fun uses that I can't get enough.  This time we used our crayons and some sandpaper to make iron-ons.  The little ones (and big ones) will love creating their own clothing or accessory designs!  Its such a fun project for kids of all ages.

Take a piece of coarse sandpaper and color your design on the rough side.  I free-handed some hearts and flowers.  Since my son isn't old enough to really draw designs yet, I cut out some shapes and letters for him to color.  Remember:  When cutting out letters or when coloring words, you must make them backwards so when they are transfered, they face the right way.

Now for the adult portion!  Take your material (shirt, bag, whatever) and put it on your ironing board.  Be sure to put a piece of white paper or aluminum foil under the layer of fabric you are putting your iron-on on.  If you don't, the crayon will bleed through.  Place your picture on the fabric, crayon side down.  Now iron it on.  Be sure to move the iron very slowly and iron for 10-20 seconds (don't burn your shirt though). 

Now, carefully peel off the sandpaper while its still hot and ALL done!!

Wait until your child sees their masterpiece on a piece of clothing.  They'll love it!

BE SURE TO READ THIS:  While handwashing is best, you can wash your project in the machine on cold.  DO NOT DRY YOUR PROJECT IN THE DRYER!  Not only will the crayon melt all over your project, it will probably ruin all the clothes in the dryer.  I know this from experiences with crayons left in pockets.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Bunnies and Chics and All that Cute Stuff

When I decided to make some fun little stuff for the kid's Easter baskets, this is the first thing that popped into my mind.  By no means am I trying to say I invented these little boogers (I actually had a purple one when I was little).  So, I got my washrags and folded them up until they looked like I remember, and now I'll show you what I did.

For the bunny:  Fold the washrag into a triangle and roll it up, starting with the pointy side.

Next you want to fold the rag around to form an O.
While holding the rag as shown above, fold the two ends back over your hand.  It will form a "head" on front of the O.

Now take a piece of ribbon and tie it around the entire area to hold the head in place (tie it around the rag where my fingers are in the last pictures).

For the chic:  Start off the same as the bunny.

Now, instead of flipping the ends up, you flip them to the sides to form wings. 

As you see above, I pulled one side of the rag down and to the side to have a smoother area for the face.  Now wrap a piece of ribbon around the entire thing (where my fingers are).

Now, to make the faces, I just glued on some pom-poms and googly eyes. Because my 7 month old eats everything she can get her hands on, I decided it would be safer to paint a face on her bunny.

These guys are a great idea if you are looking for a last minute basket stuffer since they are quick and easy to make!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Jar o' Beans

When deciding what to make for the kid's Easter baskets, I wanted to use things in the house so I didn't have to buy too much stuff.  Since I have plenty of baby food jars, I decided to turn them into jelly bean and robin egg holders.

First, paint your lid:  white for the bunny, yellow for the chic.

Take some felt (or construction paper) and cut your pieces.  For the bunny:  ears and feet.  For the chic:  beak, feet, and wings.

Now glue the pieces to the jars.  For the mouth and eyes, just grab a paintbrush and paint them on.  If you don't have a small paintbrush, use a toothpick.  Toothpicks work great for painting small things like eyeballs.

Only thing left to do is seperate out your yellow and white jelly beans or robin eggs and add them to their jars.

I couldn't let Russ help me with this one since it will be in his basket Easter morning, but I'm sure the kids would love to do this project with you.