Outdoor Crafts for the Kids

Homemade Colored Bubbles

When the weather gets nice and you want to be outdoors in the warm sunshine, take your crafts outside and enjoy hours of fun being creative.  I’ve never met a kid who doesn’t like bubbles and painting, so playing with bubbles and drawing with sidewalk chalk are go-to activities for all 3 of my kids.  But what if you could get extra creative with these activities?

Make Homemade Colored Bubbles

Homemade Colored Bubbles

Rather than going out and buying bubbles from the store, go ahead and make your own bubble solution this summer.  And for extra fun, make them colored bubbles.  Kids will have fun mixing food coloring into the solution to mix and match to come-up with the perfect color.

How to Make Colored Bubbles

2 1/2 quarts water
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup clear liquid dish detergent or baby shampoo
Food coloring (optional)

Directions:
In a large container, gently mix the water and corn syrup. Add the liquid dish detergent and stir lightly.  Make sure that you don’t over mix.  You should mix just until you see a few bubbles on top of the mixture, but you don’t want it to get too bubbly. If you want to make colored bubbles, mix in a couple drops of food coloring.

This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.  The bubbles can be used immediately, or stored in an airtight container for several weeks.

I recommend making a big batch of homemade bubbles to have on hand.  Don’t add any coloring to the big batch, just keep it clear.  Then you have the option of using it for regular, clear bubbles.  Or, pouring some in smaller containers to make colored bubbles.  That way kids can experiment with smaller portions of colorful bubbles.  It gives them more variety, and more opportunities to play around mixing different colors.

Make Outdoor Sidewalk Paint

My kids love drawing with sidewalk chalk and can entertain themselves for hours.  As a mother I have a love-hate relationship with sidewalk chalk.  I love the creativity that it invokes and that the kids have such fun with it.  But, I hate how messy it gets.  I don’t like the feel of it on my hands and I’m not a fan of how it gets your clothes so dirty.  I do enough laundry, thank you very much.  The solution?  Make your own sidewalk paint.

How to Make Sidewalk Paint

1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
Food coloring

Directions:
In a small bowl, mix together the cornstarch and cold water.  Add as many drops of food coloring as you’d like to get your desired color.

Repeat this process for each paint color. Pour into a muffin tin to make it easy to carry and use. Use a paintbrush, foam brush or sponges to make fun designs on the sidewalk, patio, or driveway.  This non-toxic mix simply washes away with the rain, or when sprayed with water.

If you want to see it in action, this video shows you how to mix-up these two fun outdoor crafts for kids.

Video by wwlp

Just like with the colored bubbles solution, I prefer to make a big batch of the paint.  Since it’s equal measurements of water and cornstarch, it’s pretty easy to make this mixture in any quantity you want.  Mix it in a plastic pitcher and then pour it into muffin tins, or smaller plastic containers that can be covered and put away for future use.

There are lots of fun crafts that you can do with the kids this summer.  Just because the weather is warm, it doesn’t mean that you have to put away the crafts and wait for cooler days.  Get out and enjoy the perfect mix of sun, fun and crafts!

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Fun Crafts Using Rolled-Up Magazines

Rolled-Up Magazine Crafts

Do you have piles of magazines at home that are just waiting to be recycled?  Before you toss them in the recycling bin, how about some fun craft ideas for how you can take rolled-up magazines and turn them into vases, organizers and other pretty pieces to decorate your home.

How to Make a Rolled-Up Magazine Vase

All you need for this craft are a few magazines, a glue stick, glue gun and a paper or plastic container (like a recycled food container).  You may also want ribbon, pipe cleaners or rope to finish off the edges.

This video shows you how easy it is to make a magazine vase.  You can use this idea to make a pen holder, trash can, or any size holder you’d like.

Video by PattieWackDesigns

And this video uses the same rolled-magazine technique, but shows you how to make a decorative box with it.  In this example, she has made a magazine holder.  How appropriate, right?


Video by kelseyr2

How to Make a Rolled Paper Trash Can

These two videos show you variations of the rolled-up magazine technique.  Rather than creating long tubes with the magazine pages, these two ideas both use coils of paper.  Definitely more time consuming to do it this way, but the result is pretty cool.

Video by Flux Magazine

Video by Keepinitsimple101

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Painting With Fluid Acrylic Techniques

Fluid Acrylic Painting Techniques

I love the idea of sitting down with brush in hand to paint a fabulous piece of artwork, but the reality is painting is not my strength.  I love arts and crafts, but drawing and painting are not my area of expertise.  That is, until I learned about painting with fluid acrylics.  This is a fun way to create colorful designs and the best part about it is that anyone can do it- even kids!

You’ll love the abstract designs that you can create.  All you need are some acrylic paints, water and a canvas.  Here’s a look at a few of the techniques.  I hope you enjoy them!

Fluid Acrylic Tutorial

Video by pogart2000

Drip Technique for Painting With Acrylics

Here’s an alternate technique that is done with the canvas in a vertical position so that the paint drips down to form an abstract design.  Use a water bottle to spray the canvas to get the drips and blending.  You can also use a sponge to help create depth and detail.

Video by James Kruse

How to Make Acrylic Skins

This technique shows you how to use a liquid medium to create a painting that can be peeled off and used in a collage.  So you’re using the same dripping technique, but the medium is used rather than water to thin out the paint.  The result is a cool skin that simply peels off the canvas when dry.

Video by cheapjoes

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How to Make Flubber With the Kids

How to Make Flubber

If your kids love playing with Play Dough or clay, then they’ll love flubber.  One of the great things about making flubber is that it’s not just a fun craft project for the kids, but it’s also a mini-science lesson.  Kids will ooh and ahh as they watch the mixture come together and transform from a liquid to a solid.

The recipe for flubber is easy.  You’ll have 2 bowls of ingredients that you will then combine to make the flubber.

Bowl #1:

1 cup of white glue

3/4 cup warm water

food coloring

–Stir to combine

Bowl #2:

1/2 cup warm water

2 teaspooons Borax

–Stir to combine and dissolve Borax

Pour bowl #1 into bowl #2 and watch the flubber magic begin.  Here’s a video to show it to you in action.

How to Make Flubber – The Best Kid’s Craft Video

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How to Make Flubber

Let the kids mix-up the flubber with their hands.  That’s what makes this craft fun for kids.  They get to get their hands dirty!  Store the flubber in an air-tight container and you’ll be able to enjoy playing with it again and again.

Photo of Flubber by Mellissa Hillier

 

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Free Classes Available With Craftsy

Craftsy Online Classes

I love free stuff, who doesn’t right?  And when it’s something that I’ve been looking for anyway, well then that’s just an extra bonus.  That’s why I was so excited when I heard about the Free Class being offered by Craftsy.

Free Online Class From Craftsy

This site is one of my favorites and I think that their classes are top notch. For one day only on May 18th, they will be offering a free class to anyone who signs up on their website.  On top of this great offer, Craftsy will be “paying it forward” with a $5,000 donation to DonorsChoose.org.  So not only do you get a free class, but you get to help them give back.  And best of all?  It doesn’t cost you a dime!

Craftsy Online Classes

Take a Free Online Class

I took the Brioche Knitting class with Nancy Marchant and I really enjoyed it.  I think that no matter what your skill level, an online class is a great way to learn new skills, improve your technique, get some great tips and meet lots of other creative folks.  I highly recommend it.  I’m an advanced knitter, but I’ve never taken a class, or participated in a workshop where I didn’t have fun and learn something new.

Benefits of Online Classes

  1. Watch the class anytime
  2. Watch it from home or on the go
  3. Go at your own pace
  4. No time limits!  Sign-up for the free class on May 18th, but take the class whenever you have time.  The classes never expire!!

Online Classes Available With Craftsy

  • Cake Decorating
  • Cooking
  • Crocheting
  • Knitting
  • Sewing
  • Quilting
  • Jewelry
  • Weaving
  • Spinning
  • Paper Crafts
  • Embroidery and many, many more

I hope you enjoy your free class.  Happy Crafting!

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Water Bottle and Paper Bangle Bracelets

Water Bottle Bangle Bracelet

Take an old water bottle and turn it into a fun bangle bracelet that you can wear alone, or layer with other bracelets.  This is recycling and upcycling at its very best!

How to Make a Water Bottle Bracelet

The premise of this DIY bracelet is that you’ll sandwich some pretty paper between two layers of plastic cut from a water bottle.  Finish off the edges with an adhesive tape that holds it all together, but that also adds a pretty contrast to the pattern in the paper.

Video by EcoHeidi Borchers

Supplies for this craft are minimal.  You’ll just need some paper, glue, decorative adhesive tape and a water bottle. An inexpensive way to accessorize your outfit.  You can make the bangles as thin or as thick as you’d like, so you can create lots of variations for mixing and matching.

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Eggshell Mosaic Bracelet & Pendant

Eggshell Mosaic Bracelet

Who would think that a little old egg could be the perfect resource for making mosaic jewelry?  But as it turns out, eggshells are a great choice for making all sorts of jewelry and crafts. The fragile shells are ideal for creating mosaic designs and when applied to a firm base and sealed for protection, these eggshells transform into beautiful showpieces.

How to Make an Eggshell Bracelet

In this video, Tiffany Windsor shows you how to create a mosaic bracelet using eggshells and alcohol ink for the color.  The trick to achieving the color variation is to sand the eggshells once the paint is dry.  This way you get less color in some areas and it adds depth and contrast to the design.

Video by Cool2Craft

Mosaic Eggshell Pendant Tutorial

Here’s another video showing you how to create an eggshell pendant.  This video uses transparent acrylic paint, so you can see the difference between working with paint vs alcohol ink like in the video above.  She also shows you a different technique, using a black ink pad, to achieve color contrast and blending.

Video by BeyondBracelets

Supplies Needed Include:

Alcohol Ink or Transparent Acrylic Paints

Resin Block, Wooden Pieces, or a base to attach the eggshells to

Sanding Block or Nail File

Glue**

Black Ink Pad

Gloss Sealer**

Triple Thick Glaze**

**Mod Podge Gloss Finish can be used as a glue, sealant and glaze if you want to keep things easy (and cheaper) for yourself.

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DIY Ted Baker Clutch Purse

No Sew Ted Baker Clutch

A clutch purse is perfect for any occasion and the Pink Leda clutch by Ted Baker is adorable.  But the price of a real Ted Baker bag is pretty steep, so how about a DIY project that lets you make your own handbag at a fraction of the cost?

I love this tutorial with Gracie Dzienny.  She shows you how to make a no-sew clutch that rivals the designer bags you see in the stores.  This one is so easy to make, you’ll want to make one in every color.

No-Sew Clutch Purse Tutorial

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Adorable Knit Bear Pattern

Knit Bear Pattern

Knit Bear Pattern

Knitting Pattern for Huggable Bears

Take a look around my house and you will see that I love stuffed animals. My kids have inherited, or should I say taken over my collection, but I’m not embarrassed to say that many of the cuddly creatures in our house have been with me long before I had kids.

I know that my love for teddy bears is something that I share with my mother.  She has a huge collection of miniature teddy bears that adorn every nook and cranny of my parent’s home.  I love how each teddy bear has a different look and personality, just like people.  So as a knitter, this is a project that I really enjoy.

Have fun knitting one of these adorable, huggable teddy bears for yourself.  Or, give one as a gift for a baby shower, or to welcome a new baby.  I think that anyone who receives one of these lovable bears will smile with delight.

Pattern for these bears

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DIY Box Clutch Purse

DIY Box Purse

It’s always nice to have a little clutch to go with a special dress, but buying them can get expensive and I can never find the style I want.  You know how it is right?  You’re heading out to a wedding or party and you want the perfect shoes or bag to go with your dress, but you can never find what you want, when you want it.  So here’s the solution, make a clutch purse yourself.

This box clutch purse from LifeAnnStyle is a fun way to make your own clutch in whatever color you choose.  I think that this is a fun project for girls of all ages and it would even make a really cute gift to make for mum. A girl can never have enough purses after all!

DIY-box-purses-bling

How to Make a Box Clutch Purse

What I like about this DIY idea is that you can recycle and upcycle things that you already have on hand.  Use a little gift box for the frame of the purse and use some old pieces of cosmetic jewelry that you have around the house.

Make sure you check the kids toys for things to upcycle too.  I know that my daughter has broken tiaras and play jewelry that we could use to make a cute purse.  And if you don’t want to use this as a clutch, you could skip the handle and just use it as a treasure box to keep on your bureau.

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DIY Mothers Day Gift Idea

Mothers Day Gift Idea

Make a painted cup or mug for Mother’s Day and every day your mum will enjoy this personalized gift.  One of the reasons why I love this gift idea is because a personalized mug can be made lots of ways.  You can use markers or paints to create a truly memorable gift.  Write a simple message on the mug to let her know how much you love her, or paint something special.  No matter what you do, she’ll love it.

Mothers Day Gift Idea

Personalized Painted Mug Tutorial

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Mothers Day Flower Mug Bouquet

Mothers Day Flower Mug

Make your mother a bouquet of flowers that she can reuse once Mother’s Day has passed.  With this mug bouquet, she’ll be able to use the mug and the artificial flowers all year long.

Although this video shows you how to make a flower mug bouquet, one of the things I like best about it is the technique for wrapping the gift with shrink wrap.  It’s a great tip that can be used for any present you may have, whether’s it’s for Mother’s Day, a birthday, or Christmas.

This tutorial uses a premade mug, but how about if you gave her a personalized mug?  Now that would be an extra special gift that mum will really love.  This gift idea is perfect for any special person in your life, so an Aunt, Grandmother, or teacher would also love this gift.

Flower Bouquet Tutorial

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