Posts Tagged With: crafts

Card Making Extravaganza

Dear Kids,

On Valentine’s Day last month, I got a little crafty at work. Turns out, making handmade valentine’s cards is still a lot of fun! (And free when you have a very generous boss and a lot of red printer paper that everyone hates.)

Here’s your card, Kitten:

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Buddy, here’s yours:

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Here’s Daddy’s (Inside it says: I dig you. I know, I’m a dork.)

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And, just for good measure, a birthday card for a friend:

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Okay, back to work!!

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Girls Gone (Bead) Wild

Dear Kitten,

For your birthday you got a bead melting kit thingy from your Aunt Bethie. At first it was cute…

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…and then…well, I kind of got carried away. Before I knew it I was beading alone. And then you were beading alone. It was clear we both had a problem…

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So, what do you do when you realize you have a problem?

You bring in reinforcements!

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…ya, it turns out they have a beading problem too…

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Categories: Crafts, Kids | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Candle Making Like a Freaking Pioneer Woman!

My mother’s church had a big ‘ol box of used candles they weren’t going to keep after their candle-light Christmas service:

A solid 8" deep of free wax, my friends.

A solid 8″ deep of free wax, my friends.

So, Mom came on over and we decided to cover my kitchen in wax make candles.

Having never done this before we decided to do a lot of research and come at this project with good instructions, proper materials, and end product goals.

Ya, no. We threw a handful of candles in a pot and winged it.

Hang on to your butter churns, people! We're crafting old school.

Hang on to your butter churns, people! We’re crafting old school.

Tip #1: We thought we had to cut up the candles or at least take out the wicks before throwing them in to the pot – Nope! They melt just fine whole and the wicks will float around in there and wait patiently for you to fish them out whenever you darn well feel like it. Seriously – wax is so freaking forgiving.

Tip #2: You really don’t need to have the heat up that high. Wax will melt if you just  stare at it too long. Put that burner on low and let it mellow. You’ll have a pool of wax in minutes.

I had two mason jars. Well…technically I had two jars of five year-old fruit stand preserves. But, very quickly I had two empty mason jars. I also had a handful of metal cookie cutters.

We put the cookie cutters on some wax paper and poured a little test wax in to one.

Mistake #1: If the path of wax is not impeded by some sort of barrier, it will go wherever it darn well pleases.

Next, we tried putting the cookie cutters on some wax paper on a cookie sheet with edges.

Mistake #2: If you do not create some sort of seal around the cookie cutter you will simply have a cookie sheet full of wax.

Next, Mom had the brilliant idea to wrap the bottom and sides of the cookie cutters in foil, creating a mold for the wax. We kept them in the cookie sheet, which turned out to be wise because one of the foil molds sprung a small leak at one point. Lesson: Contain! Contain! Contain!

We got smart!

We got smart! Foil, baby!

We poured the wax into the molds in stages. I don’t think this is necessary if you are doing all one color, but we broke out all my kids broken crayons and started having fun 🙂

We didn’t want to color a whole pot of wax, so we put a little of the white/clear wax in a mason jar, added a crayon or two, and nuked the concoction in the microwave for a few seconds (remember, wax doesn’t take much to melt).

Viola! Colored Wax!

Viola! Colored Wax!

This reminds me of Mistake #3: Apparently you can’t color wax with food coloring.

Food coloring sinks in wax - who knew?

Food coloring sinks in wax – who knew?

When the wax was dry we nervously attempted extraction. We could have left them in the cookie cutters and they would have made adorable little gifts (after you burn the homemade candle you have a cookie cutter – sweet!). However, I use these things and I wanted them back.

We weren’t sure if the candles would come out of the cutters. If they did come out, we weren’t sure what condition they would be in. Would they just fall apart? Would we damage the cookie cutters?

Tip #3: To remove the candles, simply pull at the sides of the cutter a little to break the seal from the wax. Push from the firmest side of the candle (since we did ours in layers, the bottom was much firmer and cooler than the top). With a little wiggling and gentle pushing, it should shimmy its way out of the cutter in great shape.

Out it comes!

Out it comes!

That was it! Suddenly we were the proud owners of homemade candles. So ridiculously easy! (Minus those mistakes…)

We had a bit of wax leftover so I decided to try my hand at dipped candles (hypnotically enjoyable) and a mason jar candle (straight forward and kinda boring).

I am a freaking pioneer woman now!

I am a freaking pioneer woman now!

But, honestly, we were super proud of the cookie cutter candles.

Suitable for gifting!

Suitable for gifting!

Layers - Oooo!

Layers – Oooo!

One more thing…Mistake #4: Don’t trip while holding a mason jar full of wax and spill it all over the kitchen floor. That’s a real bummer.

Cheers!

Cheers!

Categories: Crafts, Kids | Tags: , , , , , | 6 Comments

Fun with Kids – Strawberry Cream Cake

Strawberry Cream Cake

This may possibly be my favorite cake and it is so easy! You don’t even need an oven if you buy your angel food cake at the store (which I do, thankyouverymuch).

1 Angel Food Cake
1 Container Cream Cheese Icing
1 Container Cool Whip
1-2 Container Strawberries
1-2 Containers Blueberries or other fruit (optional)

Mix the cream cheese icing and the cool whip together – you can use a blender for extra fluffiness if desired. I have to take a moment here. I love this whip – it is like my crack. I make extra and put it on every fruit we have in the house. It’s not diet-friendly exactly, but I’m eating more fruit, right?

Tear up the angel food cake – a great job for the kids. In a large container – preferably glass so you can admire the layers – put in a layer of cake, a layer of whip, a layer of fruit, and repeat. The kids can chuck in the cake and fruit and you can add the whip which is sticky and somewhat uncooperative – delicious mutiny! Mine tend to be pretty messy and they are still really pretty – so, don’t sweat it. At the top, put down a smooth layer of the whip and then decorate with the fruit. Viola! You are ready to rock.

Strawberry Terarium Cake

Categories: Crafts, Kids | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

Fun with Kids – Beaded Suncatcher

Beaded Suncatcher

We had so much fun making these! They are just melted plastic beads. We’ve done them in cake pans and also using metal cookie cutters on a cookie sheet. You can make a hanging hole in them using a marble. Arrange the beads – or just dump them in – then bake for 20 minutes at 425. Do NOT use beads with any sort of coating or paint – the fumes are horrible! There will be slight fumes regardless, so open the house up. Super easy and both kids and adults have fun making them.

Beaded Suncatcher

Categories: Crafts | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Fun with Kids – Snow Day Crafts

As a result of a rare snow day that graced us today, the Kitten and I got in to some crafts will Buddy was napping.

Stained Glass Wax

Super simple, but she loved it. I drew a picture on a piece of wax paper and taped it on the glass. I think the key is the outside line which I told her she was not allowed to draw past. We used mini Sharpies because her washable markers didn’t stick. I imagine if any had gotten on the glass we could have just wiped it off. With the backdrop of all the white snow outside it looked really cool on the window!

Stained Glass Wax 1            Stained Glass Wax 2

Paint Bag

LOVE this one! After she smooshed the paint to her heart’s content, we took our fingers and wrote things in it, drew pictures, and played games. Her favorite part was ‘clearing’ the lines afterwards. All this is is a ziplock bag with paint in two corners taped to the table with a piece of white paper underneath. I love the simple things!

Paint Bag 1        Paint Bag 2

I Spy Jar

Another simple one! I found an old mason jar – although I really wanted something plastic, it will be a mess if this ever breaks – and filled it with rice. Kitten and I then went around the house and filled it with little doo-dads – that was fun too. I wrote the items on the side of the jar so we would remember what to look for. She had a good time with it and some of the things actually took awhile even for me to find!

I Spy Jar     I Spy Jar 2

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