- You may feel silly wearing protective wear, but your eyes, skin, and lungs will thank you. When using any supplies that states use in a well-ventilated area–wear a dust and filter mask that covers your nose and mouth. Also wear when sanding and cutting with power saws. The fine dust particles are bad for your lungs. Wear goggles when working at close contact with spray paints and power tools. Also don’t forget the rubber gloves when working with chemicals, dyes, and other products that can irritate skin.
- Work in a circle: Have items you use all the time including your tools like scissors in the front part of the circle within easy reach. Other items can fill in the circle. This set-up is less stressful and not as exhausting as having to hunt down the items you need.
- Storage of supplies is always a problem– store up, down, here and there, but NEVER on the floor. It’s an accident waiting to happen and very frustrating.
- Always get up every hour (when sitting for a long time) and stretch–your legs, neck, back, and arms.
- Lighting is very important–even if you have to make an investment in new fixtures and bulbs. Avoid eyestrain and mistakes (especially when matching colors) with good lighting. Mother Nature is best so if possible set-up near a sunny window.
- Never completely relax when using power tools or anything that uses electricity. Mistakes and accidents happen when we take these tools for granted.
- If it smells…it’s probably not good for your respiratory system. Buy non-toxic glues, paints, and sprays. Unscrew the lid of a liquid and smell for fumes. No room is ventilated well enough for some of these products.
- Rotary scissors are wonderful to relieve hand and wrist stress, but buy one with a retractable blade. Always replace the cover of sharp, pointed tools to avoid accidents.
By General Crafts Contributor Michelle
Welcome spring and Easter to your home with these whimsical decorations that look like colorful, candy confections!
March is just flying by, and I almost forgot to plan St. Patrick’s Day activities for the little ones in my family. If you’re feeling a little last minute like me, I hope you find these crafts and activities helpful and fun!
Crafting and creating with young people is a learning experience for kids and adults. I like to use the prep-time as teachable moments. I might tell a background story about St. Patrick’s Day, how the tradition began etc. If they’ve never been to Ireland or seen pictures I might bring out my laptop and show pictures first of where Ireland is on the map and then of photographs of the landscape. Kids seem instinctively interested in geography, place, contrast, and of course, pictures, so I like to nurture these interests from a young age. Then I’ll introduce the activity and ask my little ones what they think might work and what might not. If we’re using something new I always like to model using the materials. Then I sit back and watch them discover and learn from their experience.
All you need to make these cute Shamrock Prints are toilet paper holders and green paint! You can use these prints to decorate wrapping paper for a St. Patrick’s Day gift, to make a special card for parents and siblings who might be at work or at school, or just for fun. After making these prints if the kids are still interested I’ll add rainbow crayons and gold pom poms to create a multi-dimensional project.
Shamrock Prints – Think Crafts
Buttons and Burlap are some of my personal favorite crafting materials, so I have plenty on hand to share with my little ones. The combination creates a lovely wall hanging. This craft is best for school aged kids, since it requires a glue gun, but you could easily modify the project for younger children with paper and glue, or fabric and fabric glue.
I think all of us can admit that we have way too many craft supplies. I have tons of leftover odds and ends from finished projects, projects I gave up on, and things I just had to have. Going into the New Year gives us a chance to look at what we have and improve. I’m hoping to clean out my craft space for the coming year, but I don’t want all of those scraps and materials I have saved to go to waste. So, I went on the hunt for some great stash busting projects, no matter what you need to use up.
I’m not the best at putting my pins back into the pincushion as I’m sewing. Instead, I set them down on my table, just waiting for me to accidentally stab myself. They roll around, sometimes end up on the floor, and leave me searching all over my craft room to make sure I didn’t miss a pin. So, in the spirit of spring cleaning, I decided to create myself a small go-to dish for my sewing notions. It’s the perfect place to store things I might need like bobbins, extra pins, a measuring tape, and maybe even some small scissors for snipping threads. No more looking for dropped pins, extra bobbins, or a pair of scissors, they’re all in once place!
What You Need:
- Clay (I used air-dry clay, but polymer clay would work with an oven safe dish)
- Small Sewing Notions (to make impressions, I used safety pins, buttons and a pair of small scissors)
- Wax or Parchment Paper
- Rolling Pin
- A Ramekin or Small Bowl
- A Plastic Knife
- Craft Paint
How to Make It:
By Home Decor Contributor Jennifer from Brave New Home.
When we went to a museum on our last family trip, my toddler became engrossed with this little weaving loom the museum had as part of their hands-on kid section. Even though his little fingers weren’t quite able to weave the yarn, we couldn’t pull him away from trying.
When we got back from our trip, I thought about ways to make a weaving loom that would be appropriate for his level of hand-eye coordination. For this project I used a wood frame that I picked up for a dollar, yarn, paint, hot glue, and wire.
I started by removing any frame bits from the frame (like the metal brackets that keep the photo in place). I marked where I would drill holes for the wires to fit through. After drilling my holes, I sanded over the entire surface.
The wood frame received a coat of paint then I started inserting the wire through the holes. I suggest covering the ends of the wire with hot glue or some sort of tape as a safety precaution.
I was planning on using a craft stick to thread the yarn but the wooden dowel that came with the frame ended up being an even better fit so I got glued the end of my yarn to it. I did a few rows of weaving as an example before explaining it to my toddler.
By General Crafts Contributor Monica from the blog Mon Makes Things.
Now for the braiding…
- Place your base cord over the midpoint of your side cords (the fold if using one color OR the point where your colors are linked if using two colors). You want your side cords down just far enough so that they create a loop the size of your wooden bead at the top of the base cord. If it helps, tape the loop to a book or table with washi tape, or pin the loop to your jeans with your safety pin.
- Place your left cord over your base cords, leaving a loop on the left side.
- Place your right cord over the length of the left cord that is now on the right side, slide your right cord under your base cords, under the loop created by the left cord on the left side, and through the loop.
- Pull your cords tight. **Refer to the animation above for reference!**
- Now do the same thing in reverse:
- Place your right cord over your base cords, leaving a loop on the right side.
- Place your left cord over the length of the right cord that is now on the left side, slide your left cord under your base cords, under the loop created by the right cord on the right side, and through the loop.
- Pull your cords tight.
- Repeat steps 2 – 8 until your bracelet fits your wrist.
- When your bracelet is your desired length, slide your wooden bead onto the base cords (if not all the cords), and tie a knot using all the cords. Using your lighter, carefully melt the cord ends and parts of the knot to keep it secure.
- To wear, slide your knot and bead through the loop!
I have three different styles pictured here. The orange and pink bracelets are done with different colored side cords, the larger white bracelet is done using two long strands of white cord over a thicker purple cord for the base (finished with a knot and no bead), and the white bracelet with beads uses a single strand of long white cord with beads strung onto the base cord ever 8 knots! Get creative with your designs!
This is a fun and easy craft for kids, too — sort of like friendship bracelets! If you whip some up, I’d love to see what you come up with!