January 2011 archive

Reusing Plastic Fun!

| Decor, DIY Home, Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Nature, Older Elementary, Upcycled

plastic shanghai

When I saw this photo of Shanghai built from cheap plastic containers (made by artist Bang-Yao Liu), it got me thinking about the plethora of ways to craft with ho-hum plastic containers and everyday items. (Found via Design Boom.)

plastic crafts

Honestly, these are two of the cutest executions of plastic flowers I have ever seen. Yes, those tulips are made from plastic spoons! And the others from plates and cups! Brilliant. (I wish I could give credit where credit is due, but I found this image via Google Images and when I clicked on it, it took me to a site with no sign of this image. Hmmm.)

I seriously thought I’d seen it all in the way of trash crafting, but this is amazing! I would so live with this on my wall. Found via Snike Larten.

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Time for an Owl Party

| Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Food, Nature, Older Elementary, Parties

Ok, here’s the thing about me and owls…I collect them. And I swear, I’ve been collecting them for years longer than they have been the bird of the moment. Both of my grandmothers collected figurines, jewelry, tape dispensers, belt buckles…all with owls. So when my niece Grey asked if I would help plan an owl party for her 7th birthday, it was a no-brainer.

The party started with a hunt for gold rocks in the front yard, followed by this adorable owl craft. My sister-in-law Dena found a pile of magnolia branches on the side of the road and took them home to slice and seal them with polyurethane.

PC042375  PC042379


PC042314  PC042341

Here’s how to make the owl:

  1. We used Mod Podge to cover 3″ styrofoam balls with tissue paper. (We saved ourselves the mess and did this step for them.) We put them on skewers so the girls would have something to hold.
  2. We cut large feathers out of brown felt; they became the wings and feathers to cover the backs of the birds. They girls glued them on to their styro ball.
  3. Dena pre-cut hundreds feathers from felt (yes, she’s a little nuts). Starting at the bottom, we glued the feathers in rows to cover the ball.
  4. Once the ball is covered, glue a triangle pointing down in the front to the top of the head.
  5. Then, glue two buttons on either side of the triangle.
  6. Use hot glue gun to attach to a log or stick.

Here are some pics of these adorable little girls having the best time!

PC042317  PC042319

PC042342  PC042358


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A 5-minute Homemade Toy

| Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Nature, Older Elementary, Toys

Made by Joel Branch Trees 1

I’ve blogged about Made by Joel before…he’s one of my absolute faves! Here, he made the simplest toy: he gathered sticks and twigs with his kids and then drilled a few holes in a sanded piece of wood. The kids inserted the twigs in the holes and voila, insta-forest! It doesn’t beep, light up, or move. But it does entertain, in the simplest way.

Made by Joel Branch Trees 3

Made by Joel Branch Trees 4

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Technology of Yesteryear

| Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Gifts, Preschool, Toddler, Toys

crocheted Record player

When I saw this adorable knitted record player on All The Beautiful Things I Want, I realized that my son Oliver will never know what a record player is. Or a cassette tape. Or even a compact disk for that matter. It got me thinking of other passé technology that he’ll never know and how I can introduce it to him in a toy version. Just trying to keep the nostalgia alive.

knitted rotary phone


And then there’s the rotary phone. Or honestly, just a phone with a cord will be foreign to him! You can make your own with Caffa Knitted’s Rotary Dial Telephone knitting pattern.

felt typewriter

Oh, and the typewriter. No screen. No backspace. No iTunes. Felt typewriter found on Double Takes.

felt boom box

Oliver will never see a dude walking down the street with a 15-pound boom box on his shoulder. This felt boombox by Sewn by Blythe is really a work of art.

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