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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Another Kid Friendly Craft

Coryn loves to get coffee at the (overpriced for what it is) coffee shop next to the on base food court, but she hates the cardboard hot sleeves they put on her drink. I don't know why these bug her so much, but the first thing she does when she gets her (admittedly not very hot) hot chocolate is to rip off the sleeve and toss it aside. I tried to make the most of it last time by up-cycling it into a hand puppet which she got into for a bit then I tried wearing them on my arms, which made me think they might make an interesting craft supply. So I slipped them into my purse (somehow we ended up with three, one from my drink, one from hers, and the other must've just been sitting there on the counter and got swept up with ours).

That afternoon we got out her crayola paints and she made two and I made one. I waited for the first side of mine to dry a bit before flipping it over and painting the other. She just went for it and hers is a big smudged on one side because of that. The whole project only took about a half hour, counting the short set up time of getting out paints and brushes.
So these are our coffee sleeve armbands. I suppose they could also be reused as slightly more decorative coffee sleeves if you are so inclined.

Pros: Ridiculously simple; recycled materials; you can decorate them anyway you want with any thing you want; and you can play with them until they fall apart.

Cons: Maybe a little bit too quick to make it worth getting out all the materials (unless you are doing a whole bunch of them at once, say a dozen or so saved up over time); they are actually really uncomfortable to wear (I know because Coryn insisted I wear one for awhile).

I love shoving random items like coffee sleeves into Coryn's craft supplies (I don't have enough room to save everything I want to, maybe someday) and pulling them out when we have some down time. I think it teaches resourcefulness and I want her to look at every object and moment and see hidden potential .

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Quick and Easy Craft

It's been awhile since I sat down to write and there is a lot I could talk about: my commencing pregnancy; my anniversary with Matt back in December; which Christmas presents ended up being the biggest hits; how uneventful our New Years was; Coryn's (a good deal more eventful) birthday party; and even taking the time to actually read through a book (it was a really, really short book). I thought I'd start off by cataloging a really awesome, easy craft that Coryn and I did this afternoon.

I've been in charge of creative activities for our local MoPs group here on MCAS Iwakuni and late last year we made bath salt jars at one of our bi-monthly meetings. We had a ton of supplies left over (even though it was one of our most popular crafts, it wasn't our best attended meeting, and we'd over bought practically everything.). Since then I've been determined to eventually use the left over supplies to make door prizes our hospitality team could give out or something, and today Coryn and I finally got around to it.

The supplies are cheap and simple to assemble. We used epsom salts which are available cheaply in the skin care and health supplement section of our commissary and probably your drug store/grocery store, recycled (cleaned and de-labeled) baby food jars, food coloring (just to make it pretty; I suppose you could leave this out), and essential oils for scent (we had some small bottles ordered from Joann's).

All you do is fill up a plastic baggy about 2/3rds of the way with salt, add a few drops of food coloring and scent (a little goes a long way) then shake or kneed the salts until the coloring has reached all the salt. Then pour them (carefully) into your jar, seal it tight, and decorate it as you like (a nice way is to cover the top with a square scrap of fabric and tie a ribbon around it; another is to use home printed labels or stickers. . .and with the colors they don't look bad un-decorated either).

When doing this with a bunch of grown women, it struck me that my daughter would be able to do pretty much everything if properly supervised, and so I began to save any interesting jars that came through my kitchen and today Coryn and I went on a salt making marathon. At the end she was looking around for more jars and I had a head ache from all the scents mixing together . . .and my kitchen table was pretty messy, but it was a good way to kill an hour and the results are some pretty nice (as of yet un-decorated) jars, if I say so myself.

These would make awesome gifts for kids to make for any woman in their life, mom on Mother's Day, grandmas and aunts, even teachers. You can do an entire jar in one color or layer the color for a sand art effect. Anyway, I hope we didn't over do it, but I personally think the results of our craft time are spectacular.