Finger Painting Craft

A month and a half ago a cold day turned into a finger painting project. I occasionally take the art projects of our mini cupcake and turn them into part of the decor of his room and bathroom. For this particular project I had a spot above his towel rack in the bathroom in mind for the completed canvas. So after a morning of painting back in March this…

Became this…

It matches the safari theme of his bathroom that I started and have added to since he was first born. This was a wide edged canvas, which I really like for two reasons; one I painted the sides, so it ties into the painting and the room, and two because it’s easy to hang!

If you haven’t tried canvas when finger painting I highly suggest it if you are interested in hanging the art work of your own little cupcake. It stands up really well to the paint (i.e. it doesn’t wrinkle and dries well) and makes it easy to create a piece of art for your own home!

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Spring Craft: Lace-Up Rainbow

I have been trying to figure out a craft to do for St. Patrick’s Day. I found that there are not a lot of crafts out there, especially for toddlers for St. Patrick’s Day. I made this craft myself, and basically the end product is something that can be played with. Right now my mini cupcake is very into strings and laces, he loves to poke the laces through the holes in our sneakers. I figured this would be a fun little item for him to play with and it also helps him learn his colors!

So here’s what you will need:

Foam paper (I got a huge stack of multi-color foam paper at Hobby Lobby for around five dollars…good for future crafts)

A one hole punch

Scissors

A four leaf clover cookie cutter (Unless you are good at drawing, then you can just make it yourself!)

Shoe string, or cord ribbon

Some sort of arc tracing object (I used a 8×8 round cake pan…again I do not succeed with doing any sort of free hand drawing)

And here’s what you do!

First gather roygbiv foam paper (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet). I did not have a true “indigo”, so I used a lighter purple instead.

From the paper cut out arcs from each color, and then trace and cut out two shamrock shapes (I used a darker green for the shamrocks).

Put a hole punch in the center of each shamrock, and then a hole punch within each arc at each end. In addition put a few hole punches throughout each arc and on the shamrocks.

As you can see from the picture above, after you have created your hole punches, you then string together the rainbow. Now here’s the trick to keep it all in place. Tie the cord on one side of a shamrock with two to three double knots (one right on top of the other). Then string through all of the colors on one side. On the other side tie another double knot and then leave string hanging. Repeat with the other side…it should look like this…

And this…

And your knots should look like this…

See how there is cord hanging off of the other side? That’s the lacing cord for the finished product. To finish the ends so they don’t fray you can do one of two things. You can simply cut the ends, you can place a quality tape around them (I wouldn’t recommend this for toddlers as it can fall off and they might try to eat it…mine would!), or you can do what I plan to do and that is to get my Dad to torch the ends so they stay tight and will not fray (you’ll need a quality blow torch and oh yeah someone experienced to do that!)

Once you are finished, get practicing on that lacing! Or wear it as a hat. That’s what my mini-cupcake did. HA!

Tip: This should only be played with under supervision as it does have long strings and several pieces.

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Make Your Own Crayons

My little cupcake loves to color. He loves to color so much he insists upon coloring every day, at least twice a day. We color construction paper, we color pictures, he has even tried coloring his beloved bunny (as discussed in previous post!). Since coloring on the floor tends to lead to running around with crayons, our normal coloring spot is a booster seat at the table. Which unfortunately is the perfect place to not only color, but toss crayons onto the floor. Even my numerous sayings of “keep your crayons on the table”, I am ignored (by a one year old? Unheard of, I’m sure!).

This has lead to broken crayons…many, many broken crayons. It saddens my heart each time I hear one snap as it crashes to the floor. So I was delighted when my sister showed me how she had made chunk crayons out of many of her house of broken crayons (not by my son. Well, probably some of them.) So after looking at various places on-line I came up with a combination of several different ideas, and this recipe seems to work well for us.

What you will need…

A bunch of broken crayons in various colors

A muffin tin

Paper cupcake liners

An oven

What you do…

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

So here’s your crayons….

Here’s the only survivors I could find…

Why do you think purple is the least broken crayon? Could it be the super crayon?

Remove the paper from your crayons and break any larger pieces into smaller pieces so all the pieces of crayon are “similar” in size (they definitely don’t need to be the exact same size, just small enough to fit in cupcake wrappers).

Place the paperless, broken crayons in the cupcake wrappers. You can mix and match colors as I did. We made St. Patrick’s Day crayons and Auburn crayons, in addition to several other combinations.

I only put between four and six pieces in each. It’s up to you how many pieces you put in…the more pieces the fatter the crayon (and the longer it takes to melt).

Then place your cupcake wrapper crayons in a muffin tin as so…

Then pop them in the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes. Watch to see that they are all melted and then carefully remove them from the oven (they will be very sloshy…so handle with care!)…

Let cool in the muffin tin until the crayons have hardened. Mine took less than an hour to cool, but it depends on how many broken crayons you placed in the wrapper. Once the crayons have cooled peel off the wrapper and…

Tada! Crayon circles. Quick, easy, and back to coloring in no time (Well a little time. But not much.)

*Hints: I dusted off the edges of the circles after removing them from the cupcake wrappers to prevent flaking.

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Valentine Craft

I had searched a few different craft books and sites for a Valentine’s Day craft that would be age appropriate. Since we are doing quite a bit of coloring lately it seemed to be appropriate to do something with coloring and construction paper. So I came up with the idea for a heart wreath. It is simple, and the older your kids are the more they can do to help complete the project!

So here is what you will need….

Red and Pink Construction Paper

Crayons (We also used stamp markers)

Heart Stickers

Craft Glue

Glitter

Large and Small Heart Cookie Cutters (If you are talented you can cut the hearts out yourself, I am not, so I used a set of cookie cutters I got from target).

Here’s what to do…

I let my mini-cupcake color, marker, and add stickers all over the construction paper before I cut the hearts out. I cut two large hearts and eight small hearts. Here is the large heart…

Then I arranged the small hearts in wreath like pattern…

And then added stickers to the edges (just to hold it together before you glue down the large heart)…

And then I glued one large heart on the front and one large heart on the back of the wreath. On the heart on the front I traced glue around the heart’s edges and let my mini cupcake go to town with the glitter…

I used the other side for writing a message (or to put their name and date for a keepsake)…and tada!

You can also add ribbon to the top if you want to hang your heart wreath. See…simple, easy, and very Valentine’s Day!

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Fingerpaint Art

As it is quite cold here right now, I have been searching for toddler friendly activities and crafts that will keep us from going stir crazy, until we thaw out from this frigid winter! I decided (most likely against better judgment) to let my little dude go crazy and finger paint. Now I have used finger painting in the past, but it has been mostly in a confined since…carefully patting his hands in the paint while he was strapped in a booster seat. Really what is the fun in that when you are little? So, I decided to just cover the floor of our kitchen with a cheap plastic table cloth (left over from his birthday party), and let him go wild. I figured in the meantime I might as well get something memorable out of this rare occasion, so I stuck a canvas on the floor for him to “paint” on. In case you too need an outlet during these winter months, here are the instructions to make the completed canvas that I have pictured below.

What you will need:

Finger paint (I suggest Crayola’s washable finger paint…it’s a bit more of a gel than a paint, but it washes off really well. It does not dry quickly on paper, but dries in about an hour on a canvas)

A 9 x 12 flat canvas (You can use a box canvas…one with sides, but I worried that it might get broken as my child stepped on the canvas several times)

Different painting items (I gave my child an old bottle brush, some paper towels, and a paint brush to make different textures, plus his hands and feet worked well…haha)

A large plastic bag to lay down (or old tablecloth)

Puffy sticker letters (I used two different types both purchased in the scrapebook section of Hobby Lobby)

What you do:

Lay down the plastic tablecloth. Put the canvas on the table cloth. Put small amounts of the paint on the canvas (whichever paint you want, I used only blue and green and a little yellow, so it wouldn’t turn brown) and let your child get creative! After the canvas dries, sticker the letters on the canvas, if you need to add a bit of fabric glue to make sure the letters stick.

Tips: I figured out where I wanted the letters before I began to make sure it would work on the canvas size I found. I also immediately gave my child a bath after the finger painting to make sure he didn’t stay blue…although blue is really in right now, isn’t it?

Here is how it looks!

The phrase matches his bedroom theme.
Swirling some paint
Look at that footprint!
The completed picture
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Christmas Crafts Part 2…Reindeer Faces

On Friday we completed part 2 of our Christmas crafts I mentioned in my previous posts. This craft get together went much better than our previous gathering, with scheduled naps, and plenty of treats to keep the kids happy. And my little man actually colored on the paper this time! So here is what you need to make our Reindeer faces…

Medium size red pom poms

Tan construction paper

Dark brown construction paper

Red or green construction paper

Googly eyes

Glue

Red glitter

Crayons

Safety Scissors (or regular scissors if you are doing the cutting)

So here is what you do to put your craft together…

Trace the kids hands and one foot on white paper. Use these traces to make cut-outs to then trace the hands on the dark brown construction paper, and the foot on the tan colored construction paper. While you are cutting the hands and feet out (unless you have an older child who can do this with safety scissors…we don’t!), let the kids color on red or green construction paper. After completing the cut-outs paste the hands first and then foot on top of the hands on the colored red or green construction paper…as so…

Hands and Feet
Hands and Feet

Then add your googly eyes and pom pom with glue, as seen here…

Add Eyes and a Nose
Add Eyes and a Nose

Then add glue around the antlers and let your kids shake glitter all over (tip: place the pictures on a foil covered cookie sheet so when they sprinkle the glitter on it doesn’t cover your floor…completely)

Add Some Sparkle!
Add Some Sparkle!

And then stand back and admire your completed craft!

The Completed Craft
The Completed Craft
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Oh Christmas Craft!

I missed posting my Thanksgiving craft this year, so I am making up for it by posting several Christmas crafts! My sister and I got together for our annual craft making festivities, but with numerous small children we found we would have to do our crafts in two parts. So part one was marshmallow wreaths. I actually got this idea from food network magazine, but we doctored it a bit to cater to smaller children. So here’s what you need…

1 small foam wreath (get the smallest you can find…trust me, once you start making it you will understand)

1 bag of mini marshmallows

1 bag of large marshmallows

School glue

Glitter

Large ribbon for the tie

Here’s what to do….

Pour some glue on a paper plate. Dip the bottom of the marshmallows on the plate and place around the wreath. They will slide a bit…try to hold each one for a few seconds before moving on. Once they have dried and set, drizzle some glue around the wreath and shake glitter on top. A few tips…cut the large marshmallows in half, and place the wreath in a foil lined cake pan. This is a trick my Mom used when we were small. That way most of the mess ends up in the cake pan rather than the floor, table, etc. Prepare for some mess to end up on the floor, table, etc…haha! It takes the marshmallows about a day to dry, once they are dry use the ribbon to make a hook for the wreath.

Here’s the finished product…

Marshmellow Wreath
Marshmallow Wreath

If you want the food network version check out their current magazine. They used toothpicks instead of glue…but it takes a lot of toothpicks and probably a denser wreath to complete properly. In the future I would fill in the whole wreath so the foam doesn’t show…but holding the attention of small children long enough to do this was a good bit of work. Oh and little kids don’t care if some of the foam shows…I think the response we got was…”why it’s the same color as the marshmallows”

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So Yummy… A Cupcake Delight!

Cupcake Bites by Bakerella
Cupcake Bites by Bakerella

Don’t these cupcake bites just look scrumptious! They are done by Bakerella, a fabulous blog of all things deliciously baked.

However if you don’t have the time to make these tasty treats, check out hostess with the mostess for a a great DIY Marshmallow Bite. By the way if you don’t have a local “bakery supplies” type store (as I don’t know of one in my area, except those on-line!), all of the great supplies mentioned in the DIY post (even the candy melts) can be found at Hobby Lobby. I’m thinking about making these for the Candyland party I am in the midst of creating for my little mini cupcake’s first birthday (but not in pink…that would be for my birthday!).

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