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Archive for the 'Crafts' Category

COUNTDOWN to Thanksgiving: 3 More Days!

Village People (Family Fun Magazine)We’ve always been big fans of Family Fun Magazine and its crafts, and these “Village People” look like the perfect children’s table activity and table decoration all in one. All you need are toilet paper tubes, colored paper, glue and some markers – although we’re dying to try putting our kids in the pilgrim and American Indian roles by printing appropriately sized family photos on lightweight paper, then cutting out the little faces and gluing them in place.

Anyway, here’s how to make these guys: wrap a rectangle of colored paper – a brown shade for the Indians, black for the pilgrims – around each tube, attaching it with glue or double sticky tape. Draw a little face on a 2×3 inch piece of paper and glue it into place. Glue on hair – cut a fringe into one end of a paper rectangle, then roll it around a pen to make it curly. Glue it on!

All that’s left are the embellishments. Your American Indian needs a paper headband and feathers. Your pilgrims could probably use white collars and a bonnet or hat with square buckle. Click here for directions from Family Fun.

Posted on Monday, November 24th, 2008
Under: Crafts, Thanksgiving | No Comments »

7 DAY Countdown to Thanksgiving

Pilgrim Hat (Courtesy is a week away and we’re starting our countdown! For the next seven days, we’ll be bringing you kid-friendly Thanksgiving recipes, crafts and activities, starting with these adorable, pilgrim-inspired place cards. We found these on the Better Homes & Gardens web site along with other crafts, games and decorating ideas. And they were delighted to share these little pilgrim hats, both the pics and the directions, with us – and you!

SUPPLIES: Here’s what you’ll need for each “hat.”
A 3-inch terracotta flowerpot (sold at nurseries and craft stores)
Crafting foam – black for the brim and yellow for the buckle
Acrylic paint – black, white and a bright color of your choice
A black fabric paint pen or paint squeeze bottle
Thick white crafts glue, scissors

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Posted on Thursday, November 20th, 2008
Under: Crafts, Thanksgiving | No Comments »

FOURTH Day of Halloween…

Halloween bingoNeed a quick craft or game for that classroom Boo Party? Halloween bingo fills the bill. Make them yourself for a game station, or have the kids construct their own. Here’s how:

Heavy paper
Markers – candy corn or plastic spiders
Halloween rubber stamps, clip art or stickers with 25 different images (if you’re making six cards, you’ll need seven identical sets of images).

1. Open a new Word document on your computer. Hit the “insert a table” button near the top, and make one that’s five columns across and six rows down.
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Posted on Tuesday, October 28th, 2008
Under: Crafts, Halloween | No Comments »

FIFTH Day Before Halloween…

Beadles: Mad ScientistWe’ve always been big fans of Family Fun magazine, but our favorite FF craft ever would have to be the Beadles from the “Family Fun Crafts” book. Who knew pipe cleaners, wooden beads and embroidery floss could make children and adults so darn happy? We’ve entertained literally hundreds of children at a time with this craft project – you shoulda seen us on the fourth grade overnight with a sea of 9-year-olds, both boys and girls, all carefully drawing little faces on their beadle heads and threading embroidery floss hair. It’s a great project for grade schoolers, tweens and even teens.

We’ve always wanted to try this project as a Thanksgiving craft – little pilgrims and American Indians – but somehow, we always end up with mad scientists. Something about that neon green hair, you know?

Here’s what you’ll need:
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Posted on Monday, October 27th, 2008
Under: Crafts, Halloween | No Comments »

SEVEN DAYS Till Halloween…

Staff PhotojournalistI have a confession to make: I’ve always envied those tricked out front yards transformed into eerie graveyards and monster’s lairs at Halloween time. Problem was, I didn’t have the time or money to recreate a scene from the Addams family. Then came the perfect assignment: create affordable and simply Halloween decorations for a Home & Garden article. Essentially, the job was requiring me to turn envy into reality, or at least a scaled-down version of it.

Imagination took over. I wanted something spooky, but more eerie-like than frightful. The whole glowing fog image topped my must-have list. And so, the Ghoulish Cauldron was born, and less than $25 later, I had a make-it-yourself monster standing over a brewing black cauldron. In the light of day, it looks almost cute. But after dark, it startled both my unsuspecting husband and stepdaughter the first time they came home to find it waiting in the front yard. To try it yourself, follow these instructions (and to learn about more Halloween decoration ideas, check out the Home & Garden section):
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Posted on Saturday, October 25th, 2008
Under: Crafts, Halloween | No Comments »

EIGHT DAYS Till Halloween…

Staff PhotojournalistIs the table or front porch looking a little bleak? Does it need a Halloween pick-me-up? I’ve always been BIG in the decorate-for-Christmas department. Not so much for Halloween. Considering I’m throwing a Halloween party this year, I decided it was time to bust out the orange and black. But of course, with the economy being tight, I needed to do it on a budget.

That brought me to the discount stores. With just a few bucks and lots of imagination, it’s possible to whip out a porch or table centerpiece in just about an hour. I wanted one that would work both indoors and out. Even better, the pumpkin tree uses indoor and outdoor elements, cost less than $20 to make, lights up with battery-operated votive candles and was simple enough that my 11-year-old stepdaughter could help put it together. (One note: Branches are fragile, a lesson I learned the hard way when I accidentally tipped the centerpiece over and snapped one side of it. The good news, however — branches are free, so it was easy to fix.) Want to make a pumpkin tree of your own, just follow these instructions (and for more affordable Halloween decoration ideas, check out the Home & Garden section Saturday):
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Posted on Friday, October 24th, 2008
Under: Crafts, Halloween | No Comments »

ON the 10th Day Before Halloween…

Candy Bucket Trick-or-treating is big fun, but for those of us on door duty – or kids who prefer something a bit more interesting than a pillowcase treat bag – Martha Stewart has some fun candy bucket options and other Halloween crafts on her web site. Among them, this tin paint bucket, decoupaged with candy wrappers. We used Mod Podge, a matte medium/gluey substance to slather goo all over the metal bucket, smoothed on wrappers and coated the outside with more podge. The gluing was fast and easy. It was the candy unwrapping that took forever! Martha must have assigned an assistant to unwrap all her old-fashioned candy and trim the wrappers to perfection. If you’re doing this project with a young child, you may want to prep the wrappers ahead of time.

Posted on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008
Under: Crafts, Halloween | No Comments »

ON the 12th Day of Halloween…

Hand soap
Hand soap anyone? This one was also inspired by “A Ghostly Good Time: The Family Halloween Handbook,” our new fave from Women’s Day Magazine publications, but we tried it with eyeballs, spiders and other embellishments too. Still, who can resist hand soap that contains… a hand?
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Posted on Monday, October 20th, 2008
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13 DAYS of Halloween

Frankenstein Fingers The countdown to that trickiest, treatiest holiday – Halloween – has begun and we’re definitely getting in the mood. For the next 13 days, we’ll be bringing you tricks, treats, crafts and recipes, starting with these ghoulish little snacks. Care for a Frankenstein finger? Or a mummy digit? These are from one of our favorite new books, “A Ghostly Good Time: The Family Halloween Handbook” from Women’s Day Magazine publications. The book – and these hilarious little “fingers” made from candy-coated pretzels – is featured in the Times and Trib’s food sections on Oct. 29, but we’re giving you a sneak peek now. And believe us when we say, these fingers are just one of about 50 recipes and ideas we fell in love with in the book. The book is fab – super creative, super easy and everything comes out looking exactly like it does in the book, which is no small feat. Have we mentioned how much we hate, abhor and loathe cookbooks whose results bear no resemblance to what the pictures promise? So let’s segue direct to the Frankie fingers…
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Posted on Sunday, October 19th, 2008
Under: Crafts, Cuisine, Halloween | No Comments »

AMERICAN GIRL Craft Workshop

American Girl crafts Got an American Girl fan at home? The folks at Michael’s Crafts are hosting a free American Girl-themed family workshop this Saturday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Kids can make customized T-shirts and handbags for their AG dolls or favorite teddy bear. Cute! It’s all part of the publicity push for two new AG craft books, “Doll Tees: Sparkling Shirts to Make Your Doll Shine” and “Doll Purses: Create Tiny Totes Your Doll Will Treasure.” Perfect for ages 8 and up.

Posted on Friday, September 19th, 2008
Under: Crafts | 1 Comment »