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Archive for Tag 'Winter crafts for kids'

Making Traditions, Making Memories

by Sonya Bingaman

One of our favorite Winter traditions is making colorful stars out of various sizes of kite paper and giving them to friends and neighbors.  Our children love to make the stars and then walk around the neighborhood, giving away stars, sharing love and peace.  It is especially sweet to see the children giving gifts to older neighbors who don’t have grandchildren nearby.  I love to watch the warm smiles both from the giver and the receiver!  We can see the stars taped on our neighbors windows and know it brings joy throughout the year.  Making huge stars using the large pieces of kite paper in the roll, is especially impressive.  For smaller stars the children use a glue stick, for larger stars, they like to use tape.  Sometimes they make a simple 6 or 8 sided star.  Sometimes they get inspired and make a complex 32 pointed star.  Stars can be sent to grandparents, aunts and uncles, children in college or living far from home, brought to group homes to decorate children’s rooms, or given to neighbors or teachers.  We carry Large Rolls in a rainbow of colors, small blocks of paper in rainbow or Christmas colors. Enjoy!

The Star in the picture above is made from 6 1/4″ squares of Kite Paper.  This paper comes precut in this size.  It also comes in large, 27″ x 20″, pieces which can be cut to make many large pieces.  Stars are beautiful with a few colors or even in solid colors.

You can buy these stars online.  The paper used for this project is from A Toy Garden.  Click here to purchase or find more information.

Posted by Sonya Bingaman on Dec 16, 2011 02:48 PM | 2 Comments

Tiny Treasures- Felt Painting Boards and Giveaway

Felt Painting Boards are the fifth project in a seasonal series of  little, quick-to-make gifts we so often need for the holidays. For planned or last minute occasions, for tooth fairies, pocket ladies, and winter fairs; for classmates, neighbour’s and host’s children; for advent calenders and stockings! Tiny treasures that can be made with a small amount of materials and a small amount of time- 20 minutes or less!

Painting with wool roving is such a warm, tactile and pleasing craft. Washes of color or detailed images- they all look lovely made with wool. And, most importantly, they can be changed at any time to become a whole new “painting”.  These little kits make fantastic creative gifts, not only for children! Make the felt board on a log cut, as we have, or on a piece of  finished wood, include a little pouch of colored wool, and the wool painting can start! We’ve included instructions below on making a simple tree image. It can be helpful to show children how to make an image first, to develop a hand and head understanding of how to use the materials….how to build up a picture, enjoy it, and then take it apart and make another!

Materials:

a log slice or piece of finished wood, about 5 inches in diameter or a 5 inch square. Log slices can often be obtained from craft supply shops. If you are cutting your own, make sure the wood is dry.

5″ x 5″ piece of wool felt.  A fluffy felt works especially well as a background to hold the paintings in place. A piece of felted blanket or sweater would work well, or National Non-Wovens wool felt in white dyed using this method.  All felt will work for this though!

small amounts in a rainbow of wool roving/batting colors

tiny twigs

wood glue

Cut a piece of wool felt to fit on the wooden base. Cut to a size so there is a nice wooden frame left visible around the wool felt.

Apply glue well over the entire back of the wool felt piece. Glue onto the wooden base. You may want to weight down the wool felt while it dries to get the best adhesion to the wood.

To make the wool tree painting:

First we need to lay down some earth for the tree to put down it’s roots and grow…

This step sets up the basic painting with wool technique- Use only very small wisps of wool. Hold down one side and draw or paint the wool out, pulling it where you want it to be on your board.

Push your twig tree trunk a little way into the earth, and roll a little on the felt base to hold it in place.

Paint the branches on your tree.  Hold the green woolly wisp at the top of the tree trunk and pull the wool out into boughs.  Add a few on each side and down the trunk.

We can make some decorations for our tree by using just a few wool fibers and rolling them into a ball between thumb and forefinger.  Drop them randomly onto the tree.

If it’s going to snow in your picture, pull out small white wool wisps of snow and have them fall in drifts across the ground and on a few boughs. When the snow melts and the holidays are over, the snow and decorations can be taken off the tree.

Or maybe the whole tree will come off and the wool and twig be made into something completely different.  Here are some ideas:

These wool paintings can be hung on a wall, displayed on a table or mantlepiece, or hung on your tree. It can be changed through the day or the year to create new seasonal pictures. Ideal for travelling, during appointments, or family gatherings.

You can read more about painting with wool in Living Crafts- Fall 2008.

Watch for more in our Tiny Treasures series- we’ll be featuring at least one new tutorial each week until Christmas,  including wooden castle blocks, and poppy pod people, plus other small and simple natural gift making inspirations.

Enjoy our earlier tutorials in this series:  Tiny Toadstools, Rainbow Rocks, Frost Gnomes and  Pinecone Gnomes.

Giveaway

National Non-Wovens has generously offered a wool felt assortment pack for the lucky winner! Their gift includes a collection of gorgeous colors in 100% wool felt sheets!

Please leave a comment on this post by Thursday, December 15 for a chance to win this wonderful giveaway.

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Fiona Duthie

Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.

In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at www.kattikloo.com and on Facebook.

Posted by Fiona Duthie on Dec 11, 2011 09:47 PM | 397 Comments

Tiny Treasures- Frost Gnomes and Giveaway

Frost Gnomes are the third project in a seasonal series of  little, quick-to-make gifts we so often need for the holidays. For planned or last minute occasions, for tooth fairies, pocket ladies, and winter fairs; for classmates, neighbour’s and host’s children; for advent calenders and stockings! Tiny treasures that can be made with a small amount of materials and a small amount of time- 20 minutes or less!

We love making these tiny frost gnomes, to adorn a gift, slip into a stocking or even hide in the forest or garden for someone small to find. They are made in icy, crystal colors of wool felt, and have a Swarovski crystal atop their cap. They fit happily in a pocket or purse and are lovely for little stories in the car, in line at the grocery store, or on holiday visits.

Materials:

small amounts of wool felt in icy colors. Shown here are pastel blue, lavender, lilac and ecru, all from BearDance Crafts.

wooden peg person 1 11/16″ tall x 5/8″ base, available at Stockade, Woodworks Ltd., Caseys Wood Products, or most local craft stores.

sewing needle and threads to match felt

glue

a small length of mohair yarn (about 16 inches) or wool locks

optional: Swarovski crystal or glittery crystal bead

Frost Gnome Pattern Pieces

Apply a small amount of glue over the body. Wrap the tunic around the body and sew up the back of the tunic using whip or blanket stitch. Sew around the neck of the tunic using running stitch. Pull tight to gather the tunic around the neck.

Sew across the top of the cape using running stitch. Leave long ends on both sides to tie the cape securely around the neck.

Apply glue around the back of the head and a little under the chin. Wrap the mohair yarn around the head- higher at the back and under the chin at the front.

Sew the crystal or bead to the tip of the hat. Fold the hat in half and sew up the back using blanket stitch.

Apply a ring of glue around the inside rim of the hat. Slip the hat onto the Frost Gnome’s head until it is in just the right position. If he gets any glue on his face, gently wash it off before it dries. A clean frost gnome is a happy frost gnome!  Allow the glue to dry for at least one hour (ideally 6-12 hours) before play.

Watch for more in our Tiny Treasures series- we’ll be featuring at least one new tutorial each week until Christmas,  including wooden castle blocks, wool painting boards, and poppy pod people, plus other small and simple natural gift making inspirations.

Enjoy our earlier tutorials in this series:  Tiny Toadstools, Rainbow Rocks

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Bear Dance Crafts is giving away a collection of 5 holiday craft kits from Atelier Pippilotta to one lucky Living Crafts blog visitor.
Included in the giveaway are the kits: Little Star Child, Three Little Angels, Little Winter Hut, Three Holly Children and Three Little Light Bearer’s.

These are such sweet kits- to make yourself for your loved ones, or as a perfect crafty gift for a creative friend.
Please leave a comment by Thursday, December 8th, sharing your favorite holiday decoration, to be entered in the draw.

Use the comments section below the full tutorial post, rather than the individual picture of the giveaway- Thanks, and Good Luck!

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Fiona Duthie

Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.

In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at www.kattikloo.com and on Facebook.

Posted by Fiona Duthie on Dec 5, 2011 12:48 PM | 247 Comments

Tiny Treasures- Rainbow Rocks

Rainbow Rocks are the second project in a seasonal series of  little, quick-to-make gifts we so often need for the holidays. For planned or last minute occasions; for tooth fairies, pocket ladies, and winter fairs; for classmates, neighbour’s and host’s children; for advent calenders and stockings! Tiny treasures that can be made with a small amount of materials and a small amount of time- 20 minutes or less!

Children love to make these felt geodes, and are always amazed when they are cut open. We have been making these to be given out at our Winter Faire, along with a short story about The Rainbow Rock, and instructions on how to “break” them open.

Materials:

0.5 ounces/  13 grams assorted colors of wool roving

small piece of bubble wrap

dish soap, warm water, bowl

Use a small amount of wool roving and wrap the roving tightly into a ball about the size of a cherry or grape.

Wrap the ball with another color of wool roving. It can be helpful to divide the roving along the length into thin strips, to make it easier to wrap evenly. Continue adding layers of color, completely covering the ball with each new layer. To help keep the ball evenly shaped, roll it in your hands for a minute or so, after adding each new layer. This is a wonderful tactile experience for children.  Add about 5-6 layers of color, or until the ball is about the size of an orange. If you want your Rainbow Rock to look like a stone, finish with a layer of white wool roving and then grey or brown for the last layer.

 Holding the wool ball securely in both hands, dip it gently into a bowl of soapy water. A good felting mixture is 1Tablespoon of dish soap to 1 quart (1 litre) of water.

Hold the wool ball in both hands and  gently squeeze the wool while cupping it. This will help to keep the wool in place and after about 5 minutes of squeezing, a felt “skin”will develop. It is important not to roll or squeeze the delicate wool ball too much at the beginning.  Dip into the bowl as necessary to add a more water and soap. The wool ball should roll easily in your hands, with some lather on the surface, and be wet all the way through.

For about 15 minutes, alternate between rolling the wool ball in your hands, rolling it on your bubble wrap piece, and squeezing it. Apply more pressure as you work to increase the felting.

If you working on these as a group, especially with young children, pass the felt stones around in a circle, each taking a turn to work on each one. In this way stronger hands get to work on the wool stone and help with the felting.  This also adds a playful co-operative element to the craft, and keeps children engaged in the activity.  Just remember which one is yours, so everyone ends with their own one back!

Once the wool rock feels quite firm, rinse well, squeezing under running water to get out the soap.  Then finish the felting by rolling the wool rock under your hand on a towel, to get out any excess water.

Shape into your desired stone shape and leave to dry.

Use very sharp scissors or a kitchen knife to cut open the Rainbow Rock. Start with cutting into the rock , just under the surface, making tiny clips with the points of the scissors. Continue working around the rock in this way, cutting a little deeper with each round. Children love to see the layers opening as you go.

Once you’ve cut in through about three layers, you can probably cut the remaining layers all at once by cutting the Rainbow Rock in half.

Open up and take a moment to enjoy the array of colors and shapes formed through the felting.

We first made these when my oldest son was three years old. We passed a thread through the top of each half and used them as Christmas ornaments.

Watch for more in our Tiny Treasures series- we’ll be featuring at least one new tutorial each week until Christmas,  including wooden castle blocks, tiny frost gnomes, and poppy pod people, plus other small and simple natural gift making inspirations.

If you’d like to accompany this craft with a story, you could read  The Rainbow Rock . This story would also be nice to go along with a real crystal geode as a special Tiny Treasure!

Fiona Duthie

Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.

In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at www.kattikloo.com and on Facebook.

Posted by Fiona Duthie on Nov 26, 2011 06:07 PM | 21 Comments

Embroidery Hoop Weaving Loom

This is an inventive and inexpensive way to make a beautiful weaving loom, using an embroidery hoop as a multipurpose tool!  We had a young visitor who was very keen to learn to weave.  We couldn’t find a loom locally, and didn’t have time to build one…this led to some creative brainstorming on different ways you could make a loom. Something new and different, that could travel well, not catch on things, be used by a beginner with ease, and be simple to build.

Embroidery hoops can be purchased in most fabric and department stores, and often found in thrift shops. This one cost only a dollar.  The embroidery hoop weaving loom is nice to hold onto, and gives room for little hands to easily work their threads in and out…in and out…seeing both the front and the back of their work as they go…

An 8 to 10 inch (20cm to 25cm) embroidery hoop works well.  Start by stretching an elastic band over the inner hoop.  This will provide some grip to hold the threads in place while warping the loom.

Tie on your warp thread. We used crochet cotton.

Wrap your warp yarn around the middle third of the hoop.

End your wrapping at the same end as you started, giving an even number of warp threads. Tie warp thread off at the top of the loom.

Make a foundation row by tying a yarn onto the side of the loom, and then wrapping around each warp thread to bring the front and back warp threads together, and to space them evenly. Tie the end of the yarn to the other side of the loom.  Repeat on the other end.  This foundation row really helps beginning weavers.

Ready to weave!

Plant dyed, rainbow colors on bulky yarns are fun for weaving. Children love to watch the colors change as they weave, and the results are always beautiful! The colors give them a good focus…to weave until they finish one color, or to weave one rainbow range in a sitting…although often no encouragement is needed to weave more!

You can cut the weaving out of the loom and knot off the ends, or leave it in and display as a wallhanging.

You can read more weaving tips and ideas in the Living Crafts Spring 2009 issue, and check out the free Treasure Purse instructions in the Living Crafts Craft Room.  We hope your children will enjoy these projects- as much as our enthusiastic weaver does!

Fiona Duthie

Fiona Duthie is a regular contributor to Living Crafts.

In her studio on Salt Spring Island, BC, she creates in a bountiful beauty of color, wool, and texture, inspired by the natural world. Fiona designs fine feltwork, felting and knitting patterns, gives workshops in natural craft, and runs her hand dyed, artisan fibre company, Kattikloo. You can read more about her fibers, projects and creative living at www.kattikloo.com and on Facebook.

Posted by Fiona Duthie on Sep 13, 2011 04:08 AM | 15 Comments

Winter Solstice Magic

This afternoon, shortly before the Winter Solstice, I received an email from Christine Schreier of The Puppenstube, that she has visited our blog and seen the number of people who participated in her Ore Gnome giveaway, and that she decided to give away every gnome she has, to increase the chance of winning for everyone. Christine, I am overwhelmed by your kindness and your generosity. May you be an example for all of us. Thank you for representing a true spirit of giving. You never seize to amaze me with your talents, in the art of handwork, and love.

ChristineSchreier

The Puppenstube

Our 11 lucky winners are:

Michael C.: I would love to win one of those cute gnomes.

Meghan Lambert: I love these gnomes!!!

Kristyn: what a cutie! thanks for the giveaway!

Susan: He’s a cute little gnome.

Ms Beezus: I made the perfect gnome lady to accompany this handsome guy!

Valerie: Oh my goodness-I was thinking I might give these to a grandchild BUT NOOOOOOO! I would have to keep this one for me! Too cute. Thank you Christine for the smiles and joy your gnomes spread.

Amy G.: These gnomes are the cutest things ever!

Colleen C.: How adorable!!! Thanks for offering a chance to win Gnomey!!!

Brooke: That is so adorable! love all of them!

Jodi H.: I LOVE these little gnomes! I hope to make some myself someday.

Tree: I absolutely love these!! So wonderful! Thanks for the chance! My daughter would adore a little fat gnome.

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 22, 2010 06:26 AM | 11 Comments

A Winter Night Craft

This simple project is perfect for the days leading up to Christmas and also makes a great gift.  Instructions are easy:

cut stars from beeswax

cut star shapes from yellow or white beeswax sheets,

beeswax stars on candle

place on your candle and press lightly with your fingers.

The warmth of your hand will help the beeswax stick to any candle.

completed candle
You can use these beeswax stars on any other candle you have handy. They don’t have to be made of beeswax for this to work.

That’s it!  Scroll down for resources.

Stars on finished candle

Candlelit Heart

by Mary E. Linton

warm with your handsSomewhere across the winter world tonight

You will be hearing chimes that fill the air;

Christmas extends its all-enfolding light

Across the distance … something we can share.

You will be singing, just the same as I,

These familiar songs we know so well,

And you will see these same stars in your sky

And wish upon that brightest one that fell.

I shall remember you and trim my tree,

One shining star upon the topmost bough;

I will hang wreaths of faith that all may see –

Tonight I glimpse beyond the here and now.

And all the time that we must be apart

I keep a candle in my heart.

Resources

Giveaway

All you need is star shaped cutters. We used Kemper Tools Klay Kutters Star Set, which includes 5 different sizes and retails for $10.95. You can buy them from Prairie Craft online. If you know of any other stores that carry them please leave a comment on this post so we have more resources! The candle pillars are made by Living Crafts contributor Jan Schubert of Bee Happy Candles. The photos of the orange and walnut wotives you see on her home page are from the article she contributed in the Winter 2009 issue of Living Crafts! For this project, she dipped her natural beeswax pillars in dark blue beeswax, to give them a night sky effect. All you have to do is cut star shapes from yellow beeswax sheets (we used the Stockmar brand). We bought the single color box and the color used is 05 Lemon Yellow. In her article for the Winter 2009 issue of Living Crafts Jan teaches you how to make walnut and citrus votives. I used her walnut votives as floating candles for my holiday party along with flowers, and it was a real hit. Here’s a photo:

Floating Walnut Candles
Orange Walnut Candles

Living Crafts Winter 2009

I’d love to hear about other candle making and decorating ideas from your family!

Today’s Giveaway

We’re offering you a complete kit, with a box of the beeswax decorating sheets, a package of 5 star cutters, and 6 each blue pillar candles for a night of creative family crafting this holiday. This package is valued at $85. To enter, please leave a comment on this post by 8 p.m. Eastern Time, Sunday, December 19th. Comments close at that time, and the winner will be announced Monday, December 20th.

Blessings,

Pardis

Update: The winner of the Giveaway is Danielle:  “A wonderful family craft for the holidays, thank you!”

Posted by Living Crafts on Dec 17, 2010 12:09 PM | 178 Comments























  




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