Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"Tie-Dye" Done Simple (Yes, We are tie dying AGAIN)

Of all the ways we have tie-dyed, this has to be the easiest for kids!  Its soo simple and much cheaper than buying actual tie-dye.
Basically, take some permanent markers, draw on a shirt, spray some rubbing alcohol all over it, and wait for it to "tie-dye".  Boom-taw your done (well, other than setting your dye - details at bottom of post)!  I took before and after pictures to show how different sized lines made different designs.
Before and After

Before and After

If you want the marker on both sides of the shirt, just lay the shirt flat on the table (on paper so it doesn't bleed on the table) and start drawing. Then turn the shirt over, and go over the lines to make them darker.  Spray both sides with alcohol either using a tiny spray bottle or a pipette.

If you want to keep the design in just one spot on the shirt, you can stretch the shirt over the open side of a bowl and put a rubber band around it to keep it in place.  Then spray with alcohol and let dry before removing from bowl.

I also thought it would be cool to tie-dye a shirt the traditional way first in a couple of light color,s and then after it has set, do the marker method over top of it.  Can't wait to try this next time!

To set your design:
After spraying your shirt, let it set for about 6 hours (even though it will dry fairly quickly).  Fill a bucket half with vinegar and half with cold water.  Let your shirt sit in the mixture for 30 minutes, then wash on cold.

A Breakfast Craft-to-Go

Wanna let your kids make a fun snack that they can eat on-the-go?? 
Welllll.......  get some of their favorite O shaped cereal (yes, we used the most sugar-filled cereal we could find, but you could always choose a much healthier O cereal).  Get a piece of elastic, yarn, or embroidery floss, and tie a button two one end (or anything that will prevent the cereal from falling off).  We use elastic because the thought of possibly chewing on a piece of yarn or embroidery floss makes me cringe. 

Now give your child a plate of the O cereal and let them string their own necklace.  Its another great project for hand-eye coordination and its fun to do during snack time:  one on the string, one in the mouth!  When they are finished, tie the string into a necklace and you have an instant snack-to-go!!

The kids love making necklaces and taking them when we go out.  I saw a few people have these around the way and have also seen these on various blogs.  So easy, so fun, so handy.  We've done this a bunch of times; glad I finally thought to take a picture!! 

Monday, August 22, 2011

No Paint, No Problem

Its safe to say my kids paint at least 3 times a week, so we go through some paint!  We run out quite often, and I will not buy it unless its on super clearance.  So what do we do when its time to paint and we can't find the colors we want??  I open the cabinets and start searching.  I've talked before about how we paint with pudding and spaghetti, but we also use other fun foods and supplies.

We paint with shaving cream with food coloring.  Sometimes we add a handful of sand from the sandbox to the shaving cream or finger paint to change the texture. 

You can use your leftover Jello out of the refridgerator and put it on paper, cover with plastic wrap and squish the Jello all around.  When finished, remove the plastic wrap, shake the extra off, and the paper is left with some nice designs.

Our new favorite way to paint:  take some glue and either squirt or paint it onto the paper (I learned to make glue and put it into an empty glue bottle for the little one since she likes to eat this project).  Take cake sprinkles and colored decorating sugar and sprinkle it onto the glue.  This time, we also used some purple Kool-Aid and some pink lemonade.  Once it sets for a day, the colors will spread and its BEAUTIFUL!  The colors come out soooo vibrant.

We did glue/sugar/sprinkle painting last week during our craft-a-day, and the kids entered their pictures in the fair.  They both won ribbons :)

Happy Painting!!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Sew Fun

Want to know whats great about teaching your kids needlework?
  1.  Its fun and entertaining.
  2.  Little ones can make artwork that any family member would love to have.
  3.  Needlework is good practice for hand-eye coordination which is great for little ones learning to write.

Materials (Other than the buttons, these materials will all be located in the needle art/cross stitching section of your local fabric store)

Stitchable fabric - These fabrics are pre-cut in small sizes for needle art.  Make sure you choose a fabric that is larger enough to fill your hoop.  I chose a bread cover material because the holes were a little larger which would make it a little easier to stitch through.
Embroidery Hoop - There are lots of sizes and colors.  I got cheap plastic ones (ranging from $2 to $5).
Embroidery Floss - Any color
Yarn Needle - These are metal (or plastic) needles that have NO point.  Just make sure you don't get one with a big head as it won't fit through your buttons.
Bunch of Buttons - Rather than use buttons from my stash, I bought a bag of assorted shapes so that my son would enjoy them a little more, plus the shape buttons had bigger holes than normal buttons.

Time to Sew

Take the fabric, and put it into the embroidery hoop.  Now, thread the needle with a piece of embroidery floss.  I kept the floss pieces to about 2 foot so that my son could easily work with it.  Instead of leaving a piece of thread hanging from the eye (as you would normally do when handsewing), I tied a knot so that it didn't slip out of the eye.  On the other end of the floss, tie a large knot.....  And thats it for set-up.

I showed my son once how to run the needle up through the bottom of the fabric and pull it all the way through.  We added a button, and pushed the needle back through the other hole, through the back of the fabric, and pulled it tight again.  After showing him one time, he went for it!  Each button was threaded through one time, then when the needle was to the back of the fabric, he just moved it to the next spot and started over.  The only time he needed my help was when he reached the end of the floss.  I just tied a knot, re-threaded, and set him loose again.

And of coarse, we couldn't do this project without a version for my two-year-old.  So for her, I put a piece of fabric in a hoop and gave her some glue (make sure it dries clear because it will probably go everywhere), buttons, and a paint brush.  She loved being able to "sew" on buttons just like her big brubby.

Now obviously you can take the fabric out of the hoops and frame it to hang on the wall, or you could sew a back on it, stuff it, and make it into a blanket.  But, my kids wanted theirs hung on the wall hoop and all!

Theres nothing like having new handcrafted artwork to hang on my walls.