Sunday, May 15, 2011

Baskets fashioned from Upcycled Materials

I've been experimenting with making baskets entirely from magazine pages and paper towel tubes and a little glue. These decorative baskets have a more open structure, but are very sturdy and functional. I will be working on more designs, some with more solid sides, lids etc. I have lots of ideas to try. Once I have a few more made, I will put a coat of varnish on them all.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Angels for Mother's Day

("My Mom is an Angel cuz funny, cooks good, is pretty cool, gives nice hugs...")

This is an easy craft for kids to make for a Mother's Day gift from items found around the house. This one uses all recycled items except clear sticky tape, kids glue stick and maybe the bits of yarn or string.

One child could craft the whole thing, or each child could make their own angel and tag to add to the sign. The sign could say "My Mom is an Angel cuz she..." or "Happy Mother's Day from your Little Angels". Just leave enough space at bottom of the sign to glue the angels in place.

A tissue box was cut for the sign at top and the tags hanging at the bottom of the angels, but any stiff paper or cardboard would do.

The writing here was created from seperate letters cut from magazines, junk mail or ads, which were then glued in place. But your child could write the words with crayon or magic marker on a lighter colored paper and it would be just as adorable, and probably much easier.

The angels here are made from the lift off portion of a Dunkin Donut's coffee cup lid, with a white button, cut out white cardboard circle, or anything else that would work for a head. But for a younger child you could easily cut the entire angel shape from paper instead of making the more complcated version. If using paper cutout angels, you can skip the next two steps.

Use a narrow strip of the cardboard, cut to go up the entire back of the angels' body to an inch or so above the head. Place the cardboard strip on the back of the angel, centering it so it doesn't show from the front, then place a piece of tape across the entire wing area to hold the cardboard in place.

Glue or tape the head to the cardboard strip just above the 'wings' then take a white plastic ring that seals the cap of a pop bottle and place it over the cardboard strip to just at the top of the head for a halo and fasten it by folding the excess cardboard strip to the back, over one side of the ring and secure it with tape from the top of the head and down a portion of the body. Trim any excess tape that shows from the front. Or make a white paper halo out of a small strip of paper with the ends glued together and then glue it to the excess cardboard at the top of the head, trimming the cardboard off just above the halo.

Draw a face on the angel with magic marker and then glue the head of the angel to the bottom portion of the sign. Set it aside to dry. Then use a paper punch to make a hole at the foot of the angel to thread string or yarn through to hang a tag from. And punch two holes at the top of the sign for string to hang it with.

Cut a tag out of paper or cardboard, punch a hole at the top end and have the child put a short message to mom on it, such as something she does that makes her an angel, or a message of love or thanks from her little angel.

Loop a string, or yarn, through the holes at the foot of the angel and the tag, leaving the tag hang a little loosely and tie a knot to fasten the tag in place. Finally, tie a string loosely from one hole to the other at the top of the sign to hang it with.